Thursday, July 26, 2012

Be "conscious" of your political rights, Christians told to vote for a BETTER M'SIA


Be "conscious" of your political rights, Christians told to vote for a BETTER M'SIA 

 Written by  Ng Moon Hing 

 

8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 



The Right Reverend Ng Moon Hing
黄满兴
黃滿興
Bishop of West Malaysia

Ng Moon Hing
Province Church of the Province of South East Asia
Diocese West Malaysia
See St. Mary's Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur
Enthroned 2007
Reign ended Incumbent
Predecessor Lim Cheng Ean
Orders
Consecration 5 May 2007
Personal details
Born November 12, 1955 (age 56)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Nationality Malaysian
Denomination Anglicanism (Protestant Christian)
Spouse Ding Siew Lan
Children Joshua Ng Tarng Jiun, Sarah Ng Jia Yi, Ng Jia Lerd

 

 

 

8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 

In the first two chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, we read of two separate accounts of God giving to Adam rule and authority over the earth and all that live in it. In the first book of the New Testament, the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 5 and verses 13 to 15, Christians are told that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
These two passages and the collective message of our Holy Scripture point to the inescapable conclusion that Christians have a duty to protect and safeguard the earth, and all that live in it. Christians have not only been granted rights of leadership, but also the responsibility of stewardship.
Christians must be conscious of their political rights
In the context of the nation state, Christians, like other citizens, have been granted certain rights, including the right to participate in the democratic process of a country. This right to participate must be balanced with the responsibility of exercising that right, and doing so wisely.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) therefore invites and encourages all Christians to be conscious of their political rights – to vote, and to use the power of the vote to elect a government that will ensure justice with equity and the well-being of our nation. The CFM is not politically motivated nor is it endorsing any one political party.
It is of fundamental importance in a democracy, that citizens actually exercise their right to vote. Having the right to vote without utilising it is of little use. Voting ensures that every Malaysian citizen participates in bringing about a more just and equitable Malaysia for succeeding generations to come.
Therefore, it is important that as Christians, we undertake our duty as citizens and exercise our right to vote and express our preference for a political coalition that will best achieve our vision of a better Malaysia.
8 Priorities
In terms of our vision for a better Malaysia, CFM encourages Malaysian Christians to think about the following priorities:
1. A nation guided by the ethics of respect for human dignity. This means a nation where its citizens are engaged fairly as equals, and their rights respected in accordance with the provisions as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Such a nation treats its citizens with understanding, honesty and mutual respect.
2. A nation where extremism of all kinds is rejected and quickly curtailed. Racial and religious bigotry, manipulation and lies that have now come to define the social sphere, the print media and political posturing must end immediately.
3. A nation free of corruption, putting in place strengthened state and public institutions whose members conduct themselves with integrity, transparency and accountability.
4. A nation that works towards the fair and equitable distribution of wealth and ensuring well-being for all, regardless of citizenship status, ethnicity or creed. Every citizen and every community should be empowered and enabled to pursue economic activity and achieve advancement duly and fairly supported by the government where needed and necessary without favour or discrimination and without being overly or unfairly supported by the state.
5. A nation where care for the environment is privileged over self-seeking capitalism and where its political leaders weigh all decisions with ecological interest and sustainability as an essential aspect of development.
6. A nation where language and education are de-linked from political expedience.
7. A nation where elitism and inequality is not rampant and people are recognised and respected as human beings and not discriminated against due to social position, educational attainment, political beliefs, gender, race or religion.
8. A nation where religious freedom to profess, practice and propagate one’s religion is allowed to flourish without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition.
Pray for GOOD leaders
The CFM encourages Christians to pray that good leaders will emerge from the 13th general elections who will not only fulfil the above criteria, but who have the interest of our beloved nation and its people as their first and only priority.
Malaysians today are better educated, politically and socially more aware, and geographically more mobile than at any time in our history, and these
have led to a citizenry that is more knowledgeable and experienced.
Churches have a responsibility to help guide their congregations to use their wisdom in the exercise of their right to vote in order to bring about a nation where all Malaysians, and those who choose to make their living in this country, can live in harmony and prosperity, peace and justice.
May the grace and the peace of God be with you.

Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee
The Christian Federation of Malaysia



8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 




















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Pesanan Persekutuan Kristian M’sia kepada gereja-gereja berhubung PRU




 
Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia (CFM) mengedarkan sepucuk surat bertarikh 18 Julai 2012 kepada gereja-gereja dan penganut Kristian seluruh negara berhubung pilihanraya umum ke-13 akan datang.
Surat yang ditulis atas nama Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing, pengerusi Christian Federation of Malaysia, menyeru umat Kristian agar “mengundi dengan bijak”.
Ia boleh dibaca dalam bahasa Melayu di sini — CFM/BM
Versi bahasa Inggeris discreenshot di bawah dari laman National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF).
Surat itu menuntut supaya pemilih mengundi sebuah kerajaan yang akan membentuk

(“Sebuah negara di mana kebebasan agama merangkumi kebebasan untuk
menganut, mengamal dan menyebarkan agama di mana ia dibenarkan
berkembang tanpa sebarang pembatasan yang tidak wajar dari undang-undang, penegahan ataupun larangan.”)

 

8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CFM LETTER TO THE MALAYSIAN CHURCHES & CHRISTIANS ON THE FORTHCOMING 13th GENERAL ELECTIONS - STAND OF THE MALAYSIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH?

Readers, especially Catholics, please do correct me If am wrong. Also, I welcome and will appreciate anyone who can enlighten me.

What exactly is the Christian Federation of Malaysia?

According to Wikipedia - The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is an ecumenical umbrella body in Malaysia that comprises the Council of Churches of Malaysia (mainline Protestants and Oriental Orthodox), National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (Evangelicals) and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia (Roman Catholic). Formed in 1985, the CFM brought together the major expressions of Christianity in Malaysia in a broad-based ecumenical body and a unified voice in dealing with the government as well as other religious and secular bodies in the country.

I have linked CCM and NECF.

As for Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia there is no official website (as far as I am aware) but individual archdiocese websites, as examples - Archdioceses of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Malacca.

This is a "CFM LETTER TO THE MALAYSIAN CHURCHES & CHRISTIANS ON THE FORTHCOMING 13th GENERAL ELECTIONS" which calls on Christian voters to "VOTE WISELY, VOTE FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA" -
In terms of our vision for a better Malaysia, CFM encourages Malaysian Christians to think about the following priorities:

A nation guided by the ethics of respect for human dignity. This means a nation where its citizens are engaged fairly as equals, and their rights respected in accordance with the provisions as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Such a nation treats its citizens with understanding, honesty and mutual respect.

A nation where extremism of all kinds is rejected and quickly curtailed. Racial and religious bigotry, manipulation and lies that have now come to define the social sphere, the print media and political posturing must end immediately.

A nation free of corruption, putting in place strengthened state and public institutions whose members conduct themselves with integrity, transparency and accountability.

A nation that works towards the fair and equitable distribution of wealth and ensuring well-being for all, regardless of citizenship status, ethnicity or creed. Every citizen and every community should be empowered and enabled to pursue economic activity and achieve advancement duly and fairly supported by the government where needed and necessary without favour or discrimination and without being overly or unfairly supported by the state.

A nation where care for the environment is privileged over self-seeking capitalism and where its political leaders weigh all decisions with ecological interest and sustainability as an essential aspect of development.

A nation where language and education are de-linked from political expedience.

A nation where elitism and inequality is not rampant and people are recognised and respected as human beings and not discriminated against due to social position, educational attainment, political beliefs, gender, race or religion.

A nation where religious freedom to profess, practice and propagate one's religion is allowed to flourish without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition.
This posting is not to criticise the above of the "letter" which one easily can and I may in due course.

The above "letter" is carried by the NECF dated 18th July 2012 here.

It is not carried by the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) which is none of my concern but raises a question. In fact, it is not even carried by Bishop Ng Moon Hing's own Anglican website here.

Although it is carried by the Archdiocese of Malacca, which also raises a question, it is not carried (at time of this post) by The Herald, the online news portal of the Malaysian Catholic church.

Therefore my initial questions are:

1. Is this an authentic/official letter from the Christian Federation of Malaysia, CFM and when was it dated?

2. If so, is it endorsed by the all of the Archdioceses of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia.

3. If so, why was the "letter" not published by The Herald?

Update 1.08 PM

A cursory check with the website of dioceses of Kota Kinabalu, Keningau, Kuching, Sibu, and Miri has no mention of this CFM letter.

Update 2.03 PM

While there is no official website for Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia there is a Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and it's mission statement at the Catholic Diocese of Malacca-Johore, here

 

 

 

8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Ooi takes ‘Christian conspiracy’ to police


Susan Loone | May 8, 11

Malaysiakini

Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi has lodged a police report against Umno-linked Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia and a blogger BigDog.com, for what he described were “malicious” articles alleging he was involved in a purported Christian conspiracy to change the country’s official religion.
Ooi, who is DAP central executive committee member, wants the police to investigate Utusan over its front page articles on May 7 entitled ‘Kristian Agama Rasmi’ (Christianity the official religion?), ‘Dua halaman blog dedah ikrar paderi seluruh negara’ (Two blogs expose pledge by pastors nationwide), and ‘Jeff Ooi nafi anjur majlis’ (Jeff Ooi denies organising seminar).
On page five, Ooi noted two other articles on the same matter entitled “Malaysia negara Kristian? Dua blog dedah pertemuan paderi bincang agenda jadikan agama rasmi” (Christianity the official religion? Two blogs expose meeting between pastors discussing making Christianity the nation’s official religion).
He also said he wants the police to investigate another blog, called ‘Marahku’, that carried a similar allegation in his blog posting entitled ‘Agong under threat? DAP wants to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia?’.
Though conceding that he did not have much information about the blogger, Ooi said the articles suggested that Ooi had attended a meeting of Christian pastors in Penang on Friday, where the group had prayed for Christianity to be the official religion of the country and for a Christian to be prime minister.
Utusan Malaysia had based its articles on a blog posting by yet another pro-Umno blogger, Zakir Mohammed, titled ‘Making Christianity the official religion’, which alleged that Ooi had organised the meeting.
Zakir and anonymous blogger Marahku had carried a photo in their blog featuring a group of people in a circle praying with their heads bowed.
At a press conference at the Jalan Pattani police station, Ooi urged Zakir and Utusan Malaysia to apologise to all Christians within 24 hours for the said allegations.
“Apologise in 24 hours or else I will explain the matter to all Buddhist and Christian groups and ask them to vote wisely against extremism in the next election,” he told reporters.
He said that although Utusan Malaysia had quoted him as saying that he was merely a guest at the closed door dinner meeting, the daily had concluded that DAP was involved in a very dangerous act.
“(They accuse us of) bringing the Chinese chauvinistic political strategy to a very high and sensitive level,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ooi took Zakir to task for saying in his post that “The level … is thought to be much higher as compared to the post May 1969 general election where victorious Chinese chauvinists (from) DAP trotted around strategic places in Kuala Lumpur with brooms asking the Malays to ‘Balik Kampung, Tanam Jagung’ (Go home and plant corn).
“That sparked the bloody racial riot of the evening of 13 May,” Ooi cited Zakir as saying.
Ooi felt this was the blogger’s attempt to stir anti-Chinese sentiments among Malays although not everyone in the Chinese community are Christians.
“I deny all the allegations by Utusan Malaysia and BigDog but I believe (in) the coincidence that as May 13 draws nearer, the duo has (tried to) spark these anti-Chinese sentiments by bringing up the issue of May 13 and by hurling accusations that my party is Chinese chauvinistic.
“(They are) malicious and should be investigated under Penal Code section 499 (for defamation)”.
Ooi expressed hope that all religious leaders would appeal to their believers to stay calm, while urging pro-Malay rights pressure groups like Pembela and Perkasa to “stop playing with fire”.
He said Umno should take action against irresponsible editors in the newspaper who play up racial or religious sentiments.
“But would they take action since they dared to expel their own (dissenting) journalist?” he asked, referring to sacked journalist and National Union of Journalists chief Hata Wahari.
The articles has created waves, with Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein joining in the fray and expressing worries about the seriousness of the allegations were true.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim has said the bloggers’ allegations should be referred to the Malaysians Communications and Multimedia Commission.
These happened even after a strongly-worded denial by the organisers of the pastors meeting, the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), together with partners Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship.
The group described the articles as being “unfounded and totally untrue aimed at creating division and social disharmony in multi-ethnic society of Malaysia and appears to be seditious”.
NECF said the so-called special convention was in fact an unashamedly ethical marketplace seminar organised to discuss and address the issue of bribery and corruption in the marketplace and the Christians contribution in addressing such issues.
“It has nothing to do with political succession,” they said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did Jeff Ooi do a ‘Flip-Flop’?


Yang Berhormat Jeff Ooi
DAP MP for Jelutong Jeff Oii or his real name Ooi Chuan Aun retracted what he wrote which got him sued by NSTP, Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan and three others in January 2007. In High Court this morning, the lawyer representing his case on going for the last three and half years came to an end, where everyone walked away with their own cost.

Published: Monday June 13, 2011 MYT 11:30:00 AM
Updated: Monday June 13, 2011 MYT 2:24:51 PM

Jeff Ooi retracts allegation against NST, 3 senior staff

By M.MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: Jelutong MP and blogger Jeff Ooi openly retracted all his libelous allegations in his weblog against the New Straits Times (M) Bhd and its three former senior staff - Datuk Seri Kalimullah Masheerul HassanDatuk Hishamuddin Aun and Brendan Pereira – causing the suit to be struck out.
The plaintiffs maintained in the agreed statement, read out in open court, that these allegations were libelous and without foundation and had caused them considerable distress, embarrassment and inconvenience.
However, Jeff Ooi, who was not present, stated through his lawyer Asna Mohd Yunus that he had acted bona fide and without malice.
Jeff Ooi said he appreciated that his allegations might have caused the plaintiffs embarrassment and inconvenience and regretted the same.
The parties agreed there be no payment of damages, to bear their own costs and have no liberty to file afresh.
The statement was recorded by High Court Judge Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad in open court.
Kalimullah who was present in court said that he was glad that it was over.
At the time, Kalimullah was the The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd Deputy Chairman, Hishamuddin was the group editor-in-chief and Brendan the New Straits Times group editor.
*************
Some said this is a good solution. “At lest Jeff Ooi did not apologize. He just retracted”.

Ahirudin "Rocky" Attan and Jeff Ooi
Then again, retraction means he did not state his grounds. In the same stroke, NST-led Riong Kali also sued Supremo-blogger-journo Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan. The suit, brought upon the blogging community together. Friends and foes alike, came together and ‘Walked with Rocky and Jeff’. National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) were born put of this non-partisan community, where Ooi was elected the pro-tem Vice President in April 2007.

Chinese Chauvinists DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng, Jeff Ooi, 'Mini-Emperor-of-Middle-Kingdom' Lim Kit Siang
Jeff Ooi, then an active blogger with ‘Screen Shots’ had his activist name flourished there on. DAP courted him and brought the one-time Gerakanman under the wings of the Chinese Chauvinist ‘Mini-Emperor’ Lim Kit Siang. His political star was shinning to a point that the Pendang-born-Subang-resident Ooi was offered the Jelutong Palrliamentary seat in the 12th General Elections.

Lim Guan Eng and Jeff Ooi
Of course, he won.
Ooi now a Parliamentarian, was appointed the Chief of Staff in the Chief Minister’s Office when DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng took over the helm of the Penang State Government. He also became a slightly different man there on. In January 2010, he uttered defamatory words against MPPP Councillor representing PKR Mohd. Razali Abdullah. Last month, Penang Sessions Court decided that Ooi had to pay RM 150,000.00 for it.

Utusan Malaysia, 7 May 2011
Ooi’s credibility eroded upon Utusan Malaysia’s front page on 7 May 2011 about our posting on what had happened at a hotel on MacAlister Road two days earlier. According to media reports, he changed his account of events. When his own man Mohd. Razali A Rahman presented himself at Pattani Road Police Station on Friday 12 May 2011, he was quick to react with stories that beginning to make him sound nonsense.
Excerpts of Ooi’s reaction when Utusan Malaysia contacted him on 6 May 2011:
Jeff yang ditanya mengenai ikrar itu mendakwa, ketika majlis berlangsung, beliau sibuk ‘melayan’ iPad selain menjamu selera walaupun turut bertafakur semasa paderi-paderi itu berdoa.
“Bukankah berdoa itu suruhan tuhan. Apa yang saya tahu, ‘bigdog’ (penulis blog) tidak sebut nama saya, dia tidak tuduh saya. Kalau mahu tahu lebih lanjut, sila tanya polis Cawangan Khas dan dengar rakaman yang dibuat mereka,” katanya melalui khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.
******************
Two days later, he lodged a Police report against Utusan Malaysia and this blogger:

Police record Ooi’s statement

2011/05/09
By Lee Keng Fatt and Elvina Fernandez
news@nst.com.my
Ooi said he gave his statement at 10.30am and also lodged two reports — against Utusan Malaysia and the owner of the blog bigdogdot.com.wordpress.com for unwarranted and unsupported claims on the issue.
GEORGE TOWN: Police yesterday recorded a statement from Jelutong member of parliament Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun over his alleged involvement with a group purportedly trying to make Christianity the country’s official religion.
The Jelutong DAP denied that he had hosted the dinner in a hotel here on Thursday evening and clarified that there was no pledge among those who attended the dinner to have a Christian as the country’s prime minister.
Ooi also demanded that Utusan Malaysia and the blogger offer sincere apologies to all, including the Christian community, within 24 hours
********************
The investigation is still ongoing. Just like the case brought upon by Razali Abdullah, this most recent case of Razali Abdul Rahman is something worthwhile to pay attention to.
For the record, Ooi already gave up on blogging. Now the “Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question, did Jeff Ooi just a do a ‘Flip-Flop’, which now leaves Datuk Rocky to face Riong Kali, NSTP and three others all by himself? Most important in any story, why did he?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bersih is vindicated, says steering committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M’sia’s green movement goes political

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let there be a ‘yellow’ sea in court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘We’ll defend her at any cost’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GE 13 : VOTE WISELY, VOTE FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umno’s campaign tool: Sex, religion, media

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynas, Cancer and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanted: Not just bersih elections but also parliamentary reforms — Francis Loh

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTN given leeway to stoke racial tension with ‘spin’, says Kit Siang

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISING BN VIOLENCE towards the Opposition: Surendran & Kian Ming latest victims

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dosa Cina dan India kepada Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christians upset by Putrajaya curbs on Jerusalem pilgrimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mahathir, a racist Malay chauvinist - TRUE OR FALSE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presidents, Prime Ministers and Justices et.al are not above the Law

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Malays ANGRY with the non-Malays: Najib and Umno's last card

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umno creating racial bogeymen to woo Malay voters, PR leaders say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corruption blocking Malaysia’s leap into higher-income status, says Nazir Razak

 

 

 

 

 

 

1Christians Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 PRIORITIES for Christians to consider before casting vote in GE-13 - Bishop Ng 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Malaysia’s Multi-Religious Society threatened by “Politics of Emotion and of Identity”, says Scholar and Islamic Philosopher Tariq Ramadan

European Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, penning some observations of his recent Malaysian tour, has warned that Malaysia’s multi-religious society and huge potential to play a significant role globally were being threatened by “politics of emotion and of identity”.
“The fault-lines are visible, especially on the eve of anticipated elections,” said the Swiss academic, writing in his column in Dubai-based English daily Gulf News.
Tariq (right) opined that Malaysia, alongside Indonesia, has the potential to play significant role at the world economic stage, adding that the two countries had often been overlooked because attention was focused on China and India.
But he cautioned that despite Malaysia’s multi-cultural heritage as well as a “first-rate” economic and geo-strategic potential, a cacophony of political tensions and slogans, many of which referred to Islam, posed obstacles.
Tariq, who spoke at several events in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, highlighted a prevalent view among the non-Muslim minority that they are being marginalised in the wake of Islam becoming a “permanent reference in political debate”, comparing similar debates among Muslim minorities in the West.
“Like the mirror image of many Muslim citizens in the West, they may be perfectly respectful of the constitution, of the laws and prerogatives of the civil state, but it is as if they are slightly excluded from the shared narrative upon which the Malaysian nation is founded. It has proved difficult for them to achieve the fully equal status that would establish their sense of belonging to a pluralist society,” he said.
He noted how the presence of large number of Indonesian immigrants had fed into the existing political rhetoric, lamenting frequently hostile policy “towards the very immigrants the country needs”.
The grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Hasan al-Banna, Tariq, who teaches at the Faculty of Oriental Studies in Oxford, also commented on what he described was a penchant for “Islamising” modernism, capitalism and consumerism, “a strange mixture indeed”.
Impressed with Perlis Mosque-Majid Al-Hussain

But what impressed him the most during his many tours here is a mosque in Perlis built along traditional architecture and which incorporates green technology.
Tariq said it was a far cry from the “American-style modernism” which according to him characterised Kuala Lumpur’s buildings.
“The contrast between the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and other cities is striking. Here, looming skyscrapers surround the celebrated twin towers that challenge America’s tallest…
“There, a superb structure built on supporting piers, known as the ‘floating mosque’, reflects the extraordinary maritime landscape. Fifty per cent of its electricity consumption is generated by wind turbines and, when completed, solar panels will account for its remaining energy needs: A ‘green’ mosque beneath whose dome Islamic scriptural references are inscribed in the five national languages, to signify that Islam is not the property of one language and one culture,” he wrote.
Tariq further hailed the mosque as possibly the “symbol of Muslims’ greatest contribution to an era in search of meaning: To express its specificity in universal terms, in full respect of pluralism and to respond in full awareness and with all necessary expertise, to the challenges of our time,” said Tariq, whose recent works include the book The Quest for Meaning.
He is believed to be referring to the Al-Hussain Mosque in Kuala Perlis (above). Facing the Straits of Malacca near the Kuala Perlis jetty, the construction of the mosque was financed by entrepreneur Ta Sri Mohd. Ariffin Yusuf to fulfill the dying wish of his brother Dr Mohd. Hussain after whom the mosque was named.
“This mosque is ultimately far more ‘modern’ than all the blind mimicry of American models,” added Tariq. “What a pleasure to pray in such a mosque: one senses the encounter of intelligence and creative imagination.”
                           (Pic by tajai @ Flickr)I have learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call
Myself
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
A Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of itself
With me
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even pure                
Soul.













































IT’S the sort of religious madness that one might expect in India or Pakistan but certainly not here in Malaysia.

Except for a few cases in the past, destruction of places of worship is unheard of as we have long learnt to respect each other, way before cross-culturalism became a fashionable word in the Western world.

Last week’s torching of the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati in Kuala Lumpur was a rude jolt to religious relations in the country. It was a black day in our history, to put it bluntly.

Friday, January 08, 2010


The Allah issue: Churches torched in Malaysia


PM condemns agents provocateurs. Najib Razak has condemned those behind two incidents of church arson in the last 12 hours or so. Hisham the Home Minister is holding a press conference right now. I'm glad the Prime Minsiter has come out quickly and hard on the subject, and I hope the cops are on top of this. Politicians, this is the time to get your people to calm down, and if even that you can't do please shut the duck up.

We know the people behind the attacks are taking advantage of the "allah" controversy to split us up further. We just don't know who these agents provocateurs are.

Meantime, remember: Malaysia is not Egypt. And this is not Switzerland.
We don't want to be Nigeria, Kenya, or Iraq.

The Malay Mail will carry footages of Hisham's press conference on-line at www.mmail.com.my in a while. We are rushing today's hard copy Edition to include the latest on this matter. All pics here courtesy of The Malay Mail.






Malaysia is still struggling to uphold basic freedoms.
God means love in many places, but in Malaysia it can also mean politics. That’s the takeaway from the United Malays National Organization-led government’s attempt to quash the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslim groups.
At issue is the Catholic Herald’s two-year court battle to use the A-word in its Malay-language edition—which it claims it needs to do because there’s no other suitable word for “God” in Malay. Last week, the High Court overturned an arbitrary government ban. Yesterday, however, the church agreed to a stay of the decision—at the government’s request—until the ruling can be appealed. So the Herald is once again muzzled.
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail characterized the decision as “a matter of national interest,” which implies that somehow Muslims across Malaysia would revolt if the Herald were allowed to reference God in another language. Never mind that Malaysians of many faiths have peacefully co-existed for decades.
The real reason UMNO is politicizing the issue and pandering to its conservative base may be to deflect attention from its own political vulnerabilities. The opposition coalition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, has gained popularity by touting a vision of a secular country in which all religions have equal rights. Even the opposition’s Islamic partner, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party—which hasn’t always supported liberal ideas—issued a statement Monday saying that the Herald’s use of “Allah” is its constitutional right.
Prime Minister Najib Razak called the A-word controversy a “sensitive issue” Sunday. But by allowing his party to continue curtailing freedom of speech, he is only stirring tensions. What a disappointment for a man who ran for office promising to create “One Malaysia.”

Sunday January 10, 2010

Douse the fire of madness

On The Beat
By WONG CHUN WAI


The challenge to our Malaysian leaders, whether political or religious, is to have the courage to do what is right for our country and not just try to say the right things.
IT’S the sort of religious madness that one might expect in India or Pakistan but certainly not here in Malaysia.
Except for a few cases in the past, destruction of places of worship is unheard of as we have long learnt to respect each other, way before cross-culturalism became a fashionable word in the Western world.
Last week’s torching of the Metro Taber­nacle Church in Desa Melawati in Kuala Lumpur was a rude jolt to religious relations in the country. It was a black day in our history, to put it bluntly.
In the name of God, people have gone to war, slaughtering innocent people as their self-righteous leaders quote selectively, often wrongly but convincingly, from their holy books to justify their actions.
The history of religion is littered with such extremism although the perpetrators know that killing is unacceptable. In contemporary history, Muslim Bosnians have been killed by Christian Serbs and today, al-Qaeda operatives blow up buildings in the name of Allah.
But even as we try to come to terms with the arson at the church and attempts at two other churches, it is heartwarming to know there are many Malaysians who readily stand up and condemn the despicable acts.
It is important to note that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein have led in the condemnation of the arson.
Many Muslim personalities encouraged others to join them and show up at the Metro Tabernacle Church to give moral support by sending out text messages and Tweets.
The witnesses, who readily came forward to assist the police, included Muslims in the area, according to senior pastor Rev Ong Sek Leang, whom I spoke to on Friday evening.
The gang who threw the home-made explosives into the Metro Tabernacle Church had done it brazenly. It may have been well after midnight but there were still people in the area.
The Muslims in the area were familiar with the activities of the church and the people who run it. After all, the church has stood there for the last 12 years, co-existing peacefully with a surau across the church.
There was no animosity between the Muslims and the church, and the church does not even have a Bahasa Malaysia worship session.
Located in a predominantly Muslim area, the church was certainly aware of its minority status and has certainly been sensitive to its surroundings. It has plans to move to new premises near Batu Caves but is still struggling with bureaucratic problems put up by the Selayang local council. The church could certainly do with speedier approval from the Selangor state government, under which the council comes. There would be much goodwill if financial support also came from the federal and state governments.
As I write this article, several Muslim corporate figures have called to say they wanted to make donations to the church. These are gestures that we should commend. But in the minds of many Malaysians, especially Christians, the question is where we move from here.
As minorities in this country, non-Malays and non-Muslims are aware of their precarious positions and no one can argue that they put up much self-restraint for obvious reasons.
They know the backlash if they are too vocal or too demanding but they also feel that they enjoy the protection of the constitution. Many a time there is the perception, rightly or wrongly, that they have been taken for granted.
Many of the decisions reached on certain contentious cases involving the church may have the support of the leadership but along the way, they are sometimes ignored by lower ranking bureaucrats. This is where misunderstandings or pent-up frustrations begin to start.
Unless our leaders have the political and moral courage to take principled decisions on religious issues involving the church, we would merely postpone the problems.
Take, for example, Christian literature; the reality is there is now a whole generation of young Malaysians who are more proficient in Bahasa Malaysia. This is the product of the school system which replaced English with Bahasa Malaysia.
We cannot possibly tell them that they cannot read the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia. Their option is Bahasa Indonesia and that version of the Bible is also confiscated.
The largest number of Christians today are Sabahan and Sarawakian bumiputras, who prefer Bahasa Malaysia. The fastest growing church has a Malay name – the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) – which also enjoys the same popularity in the peninsula.
Indonesian workers also attend church services here every Sunday. Certainly, we don’t expect them to read the King James Version of the Bible, which even the English educated struggle with.
Setting up churches and getting approvals from the local councils is, to put it mildly, extremely challenging.
Reading through the many messages posted by young Malaysians on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, there is a sense of pessimism. We should be providing hope and assurances to them.
More than ever, there is a need for regular consultation between Muslim and non-Muslim groups at formal and informal settings. At present, there is none at a structured level between learned Muslims and non-Muslims. Prominent personalities with strong links to Christian and Muslim groups should also meet regularly to forge bonds and emphasise common areas.
The church groups need to also understand that the majority Muslims do not want other non-Muslim groups to use the world “Allah”. We have listened to the arguments of both sides, including the historical perspectives but there is no logic when it comes to matters of faith.
But a court decision should not be the end of all matters. Consensus could still be reached if the right initiatives and compromises are taken. The challenge to our Malaysian leaders, whether political or religious, is simple – have the courage to do what is right for Malaysia and not just try to say the right things. That’s all Malaysians ask for.

Najib - "We can't stop people from protesting"
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today said that the government cannot stop people from gathering at mosques tomorrow to protest against a court decision which had allowed the Christian publication Herald to use to term ‘Allah’.
NONE“We cannot stop them if they want to congregate in mosques,” said Najib, when asked if the government was practising double standards in handling demonstrations.
However, he stressed that the gatherings should be confined to the mosque compound and he hoped that it will not spill over to “something more serious”.
Speaking to reporters after the national level launch of the 1Malaysia clinic in Kampung Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur, Najib said the authorities are prepared and will take necessary action.
Najib said he hoped that there would be “minimal” protests tomorrow as to not cause tension in the country as he wanted the matter to be resolved through the courts.
“We should take the attitude that the matter should be resolved through the court in an amicable way. We should not raise the tension levels in this country,” he said.
Dialogues planned
Najib also brushed off comments by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the controversy cannot be resolved through the courts, as it does not recognise religious sensitivities.
penang protest against herald badai crowd“There are all kinds of views. As I have said, the appeal has gone to the courts, but (the issue) requires us to have dialogue with various groups,” he added.
Yesterday Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government did not prohibit the people from expressing their views on the issue.
penang protest against herald badai speech
However he said that he will not hesitate to take action if the protests “affects security”.
Several Muslim-based organisationsplan to stage a demonstration tomorrow to protest against the use of the word “Allah” by other religions.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had yesterday granted the Home Ministrya stay of execution on the Dec 31 High Court ruling allowing the Heraldto use the word ‘Allah’ in its Malay-language edition, pending the hearing of an appeal.
1Malaysia clinic
Earlier, Najib told a crowd of 200 people at the function that the 43 1Malaysia clinics launched today was due to public request.
“Why 1Malaysia clinics? It is because all Malaysians are entitled to equitable and accessible healthcare,” he said.
Najib said that RM10 million was allocated in Budget 2010 for 50 such clinics, located in urban areas nationwide, and it was implemented within a week of the new year.
On criticisms by the Malaysian Medical Association, Najib said there was no need for private doctors to worry about 1Malaysia clinics.
He said 1Malaysia clinics will act as referrers for patients to private and government medical institutions.
The 1Malaysia clinic provides basic treatments for flu, follow-up treatments for diabetes, hypertension, basic first aid and health awareness campaigns.
Jan
08
January 8, 2009

Anwar Ibrahim condemns attacks on several churches in the Klang Valley

I strongly criticize the act of some people who had attacked several churches in Klang Valley area. Those despicable acts were something that has been condemned in Al Quran. Islam clearly urges the Muslims to respect other religion act of devotion places.
Until now, I had been informed that there were 3 churches that had been assaulted. Subsequently, in a series of attack, the ground floor of Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati had been burnt. However, I am grateful that nobody was harmed in the incident.
I urge all parties to be calmed and shall not involve in the fire of hatred. Do not act based on narrow political views which rooted from racial interest. I am convinced that we Malaysian will solve this issue without further conflict. InsyaAllah our efforts to prevail the peacefulness shall be blessed.
ANWAR IBRAHIM
Saya mengecam tindakan pihak tertentu yang menyerang beberapa gereja di sekitar Lembah Klang. Serangan keji sedemikian merupakan satu tindakan yang dikecam keras al Quran. Agama Islam jelas menggesa umatnya untuk menghormati rumah peribadatan penganut agama lain.
Sehingga kini saya difahamkan sebanyak tiga gereja dijadikan sasaran serangan. Manakala itu aras bawah Gereja Metro Tabernacle di Desa Melawati telah hangus terbakar akibat dari siri serangan tersebut. Saya menyatakan rasa syukur kerana serangan tersebut tidak mengakibatkan sebarang kemalangan jiwa.
Saya menyeru semua pihak agar bertenang dan jangan sesekali terjerumus ke dalam api kebencian. Sebarang tindakan tidak boleh sama sekali didasari politik perkauman sempit. Saya mempunyai keyakinan kita rakyat Malaysia akan menyelesaikan isu ini tanpa diiringi sebarang konflik. Inshaallah usaha kita untuk mengekalkan keamanan diberkati jua.
ANWAR IBRAHIM


Jan
09
January 9, 2010

After Church Burning what is next in 1Malaysia?

Muslims rallied yesterday to protest against Christians using the word “Allah” for God after a spate of attacks on churches which threatened to stoke racial and religious tensions.
Following are some questions and answers on what lies ahead in Malaysia, a majority Muslim Southeast Asian country of 28 million.
IS THERE A RISK OF ETHNIC CLASHES?
The risk is small but analysts do not discount tensions coming to a boil between the majority Malays who are Muslim and ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who practice a range of faiths such as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.
It mostly depends on whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government comes down hard on the arsonists who attacked the churches. Usually at any sign of trouble the government uses the Internal Security Act that allows detention without trial.
The government says the attacks have been carried out by disaffected or criminal youths and that they are not coordinated. What may hold back ethnic clashes is the memory of the bloody 1969 riots that divided the country.
Protests yesterday at mosques against the non-Muslim use of the word Allah have been peaceful although the language on banners and speeches suggests growing anger.
ARE RELIGIOUS TENSIONS IN MALAYSIA AN INVESTMENT RISK?
After the arson attempts against the churches, possibly. Religious disputes are a risk mostly in their potential to increase ethnic tensions, making it important for investors to see how the government handles the issue.
Investors have been avoiding Malaysia due to the lacklustre government of Najib’s predecessor and Najib is working hard to implement economic reforms to win back investment.
Malaysia was one of the worst-performing stock markets in Asia in 2009, ranked fourth from the bottom. Malaysia’s benchmark share index rose 45 per cent in 2009.
During a meeting with investors in New York last year, Najib was asked about the government’s stand over the caning sentence meted out to a Muslim woman for drinking beer under rarely-enforced Islamic criminal laws. An escalation of religious tensions in Malaysia could weaken Najib’s ability to push through economic reforms.
WHAT COULD HAVE SPARKED THE PROTESTS, CHURCH ATTACKS?
The issue stems from a Catholic newspaper’s successful legal bid last week to overturn a government ban against the paper’s use of the word “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Malay-language section.
Their argument is that use of the word Allah has been common among non-English speaking Christians in the Borneo island states of Sabah and Sarawak for decades.
The government since has obtained a stay of execution on the judgment this week amid growing Malay-Muslim anger. The case is also before the appeal’s court and the verdict there can still be challenged at the Federal Court, Malaysia’s top court.
It is illegal for non-Muslims to proselytise to Muslims but freedom of worship for the mainly Buddhist, Christian and Hindu religious minorities, who make up 40 per cent of the country’s population, is guaranteed under the constitution.
WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT’S STANCE?
The coalition, which ruled Malaysia for 52 years, suffered its worst-ever setbacks in national and state elections in 2008 after being abandoned by non-Malays in part due to unease over an increasing Islamisation.
Religious tensions will jeopardise Najib’s ability to win back ethnic Chinese and Indian voters in the next general election, which must be held by 2013. The opposition and some political commentators say that Najib failed to show leadership on the church issue.
He could lose votes in the states of Sabah and Sarawak which have larger Christian populations. Sarawak has 31 MPs and Sabah 25, home to just two opposition MPs. The government has 137 seats in a 222-member Parliament.
AND THE OPPOSITION?
The three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat led by former Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is regarded as having played the religious row much more skilfully than the government.
While stressing its Muslim credentials, PAS has appealed for tolerance as has Anwar. PAS has also managed to keep its Islamic credentials intact. — Reuters

Jan
09
January 9, 2010

UMNO’s Utusan Malaysia is responsible , says Anwar Ibrahim

by Andrew Ong
PKR de facto leader accused UMNO-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia for inciting the Muslims over the court decision to allow Catholic weekly The Herald to use the term ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia section.
He said that the newspaper had for “weeks and months” whipped the Malay community into a frenzy over the controversy, which erupted into several protests after Friday prayers yesterday.
NONE“(They were) supported by the ruling establishment. Now you can organise demonstrations, without permits for the first time, but only for that particular occasion by the keris minister (Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein).
“What happened? They actually encouraged people to resort to extremism and even become perpetrators of violence,” he said during a public forum in Petaling Jaya today.
Early yesterday morning, three churches in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur were hit with petrol bombs hours before the protests were scheduled to start.
Prominent scholar disagrees
One of the church was set ablaze in the brazen attack, believed to be the first of its kind in Malaysia. Anwar called for calm and said that the reactions to the ‘Allah’ controversy was an “insult not only Malaysians but Muslims and Islam”.
Earlier, Anwar recounted his meeting with renowned Egyptian Muslim scholar Yusof Al-Qardawi, who expressed surprise that some Malaysian Muslims objected to non-Muslims using the term ‘Allah’.  “I said no, not me (who objected), but some ‘born-again’ Muslims in UMNO,” said Anwar, to the laughter of some 100 people in attendance.
Anwar said Yusof responded by saying that such a position was unjustifiable.  “There is nothing in the Quran and our historical legacy that can justify the banning (of non-Muslims from using) the word ‘Allah’,” he said.
‘Selangor anthem quandary’
Anwar explained that it would make life extremely difficult in Arab countries if there was such a ban as the word is commonly used by both Muslims and non-Muslims there.  “In Arab countries, it is very usual for people to respond to questions (in this manner): Can you come to my house tomorrow for supper? Well, I’ll have to think about it, insha’allah (God willing).
“Charge him in court!” cried Anwar mockingly, prompting another round of giggles from the audience.  Anwar also quipped that in Selangor, Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim is worried because non-Muslims may now be banned from singing the state anthem – ‘Allah pelihara Sultan (God save the Sultan)’.
Anwar was speaking at the Global Issues Forum III on corruption at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre, organised by the PKR International Bureau.

Jan
09
January 9, 2010

Malaysiakini reports: Church Bombings will be harmful to the Malaysian Economy and damaging to Malaysia’s image abroad

From Singapore and Hong Kong in Asia, to Ghana in Africa to the cities of Western Europe and the US like Rome, London, New York and Washington, Malaysia popped up on news websites around the world over yesterday’s firebombing of three churches.
Amidst controversy over the use by the Catholic publication Herald of the word ‘Allah’ in its publication, the churchs, two Protestant and one Catholic were firebombed in the early hours of January 8.
penang protest against herald badai crowdLater that day, gatherings were held at three different mosques in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam that saw Muslim crowds – angry over a court decision that overruled a three-year ban on the Herald’s use of ‘Allah’ for God in its Malay edition – calling for the decision to be quashed.
Elsewhere around the world, unflattering reports emerged following the incidents.
Cable News Network (CNN), for example, quoted Leonard Leo, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, as noting that the High Court’s decision “is not inconsistent with what the practice would be elsewhere around the world. The Malaysian ban is what’s unusual, not the court’s ruling.”
“It’s incumbent upon the Malaysian government to investigate the church bombings and to prosecute the perpetrators of this religiously motivated violence,” said Leo, whose agency makes recommendations to the US  Congress and the President regarding how to handle violations of religious freedom around the world.
‘Model’ Muslim country under question
Used to the image of Malaysia being a ‘model’ Muslim-majority country where different religious and ethnic communities co-exist peacefully, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in West Africa and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) picked up BBC reports on the church attacks on their websites.
Citing a BBC report, GBC noted the Malaysian government’s apparent authorisation of demonstrations against the court decision due to its reliance ‘on the Malay-Moslem vote‘.
mayday dataran merdeka  celebration 010508 06The US Washington Times, similarly, noted Malaysia’s shattered reputation as a developing, progressive and pluralistic society and the escalation of religious tensions over the issue.
The ‘Allah’ controversy ‘has the potential to shatter that carefully nurtured harmony, drive a deep racial wedge and scare away sorely needed foreign investment as the country struggles to emerge from the global financial crisis,’ said the Washington Times report.
The New York-based Wall Street Journal as well as the New York Times contained similar articles.  Picking up on the same theme, the London-based Financial Times warned of the dire economic consequences for Malaysia should foreign investors’ concerns about the government’s management of social issues ‘deepen’.
‘Silly, ignorant people’
Malaysia, the Financial Times noted, had already suffered ‘the biggest foreign exchange outflows of any Asian country in 2009′ due to the ‘massive withdrawal of capital by foreign investors’ that year. It also cited Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s vow to crackdown on dissenters, including the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA), to shore up national security.
The Christian Science Monitor based in Boston, meanwhile, wrote of the fine-line on which Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has to tread between the large Chinese-Indian minorities and the ethnic-Malay majority that serves as his party’s pillar of support.
Citing an interview on Al Jazeera with academician Azmi Sharom, the Christian Science Monitor said the government had for long been ‘pandering’ to quarters seeking greater Islamisation, thereby deciding differently on whether to allow public demonstrations, for example.
Some groups are allowed to protest when others were banned, Azmi was reported as saying, ‘because the main ruling UMNO party – which depends on the Malay/Muslim demographic to remain in power – is ‘unwilling to do anything which would seem to go against what they think is the Malay/Muslim desire.’
Citing the Malaysian Insider, Christian Science Monitor went on to predict the start of a blame game ‘with opposition leaders pointing fingers at their political rivals” for stoking religious tensions.
The Italian Catholic AsiaNews.it website, quoted Herald editor Lawrence Andrew as saying there is no immediate danger, though “the situation is still worrying.”
Andrew was also reported as saying that there is a “national propaganda campaign to force the courts to decide in favour of proscribing the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims. “We are worried – says the priest – but the situation is not dangerous as of yet. We have established close cooperation with the government to help restore peace in the country”.
The Hong Kong-based Union of Catholic Asia News (UCANEWS) and the Singaporean Christian Post also reported on the incident, quoting Father Phillips Muthu in Petaling Jaya had asked for his parishioners to ‘pray for the security and welfare of the nation’.
‘He is calling on members of all the parish’s 30 basic ecclesiastical communities (BECs) to continue building friendships with their Muslim neighbours and to assure them that the Catholic Church has no agenda to convert them,’ said the UCANEWS report.
Commenting on a Times Online report on yesterday’s church attacks, Chris Frankland quotes Singpore’s ex-premier Lee Kuan Yew as saying it takes very little time, given the right conditions, for a developing country to become developed.
“These silly, ignorant people are proving that the opposite can also be the case. They are stupidly shooting themselves, and their country, in the foot,” wrote Frankland.
Maintaining the delicate balance between the majority Malay-Muslims and the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian populations who practise a range of religions including Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, ‘has always been a challenge in Malaysia,’ said the Irish Times.
High Cost of Corruption


com
We the undersigned Malaysian civil society groups from different spiritual, cultural and ideological backgrounds condemn unconditionally in the strongest possible terms the arson against at least three churches following the controversy over the use of the word Allah.
We express our solidarity with  the Metro Tabernacle Church at Desa Melawati, Church of the Assumption,  Petaling Jaya and Life Chapel, Petaling Jaya, and other churches that have received threats, and to the Malaysian Christian community at large.
Nothing warrants such deliberately provocative violent acts, amounting to terrorism, on places of worship. Such violence however must not be seen as a communal conflict of Muslims and Christians. It is as much an affront to Islam and to all religions as it is to the Christians.
While we celebrate freedom of expression, no demonstration must be carried out to intimidate others who hold different opinions.
These acts are truly a blot on the image that we promote of ourselves as a harmonious multiracial and diverse society. It is also tantamount to an attack on the cardinal principle of the Rule of Law and the institution of the Judiciary who must at all times be left to decide on a case without fear, favour or intimidation.
We denounce those who shamelessly manipulate ethno-religious sentiments for their political gains. This sad situation has escalated due in part to the irresponsible responses from the Administration which appears to be practicing double standards.
We further deeply regret that in postulating their grievances to advance their agenda, those quarters have sought to convolute the real issues touching on the constitutional right of expression and to practice one’s faith  and, with the aid of certain segments of the media, both mainstream and otherwise.
We expect the police to now pursue the culprits in the serial arson attacks with their highest diligence and professionalism. Until the criminals are brought to book, the image of the Najib Administration and his “1Malaysia” slogan will be associated with violence and terrorism. We however categorically reject the proposed use of ISA against anyone. The arson suspects must be charged and tried in open court to delegitimize their barbaric act.
We call upon all groups with different views on the issue to seek rational dialogue and reach consensus.
No issue is too sensitive for rational debate in a democratic society. The threat of violence should not be used to kill democratic debate.
We call upon all Malaysians to come together collectively:
  • to condemn and denounce acts of desecration of any places of worship, now and in the future;
  • to create a healthy atmosphere for the most inclusive debate, dialogue, deliberation and resolution of all issues confronting our multi ethnic, multi faith nation.
Regardless of the developments, ordinary Malaysians will stand firm as a peace-loving nation and support each other.

Endorsing Civil Society Groups

  1. Aliran Kesedaran Rakyat (Aliran)
  2. All Women’s Action Society
  3. Awal Nahdah
  4. Bar Council of Malaysia
  5. Borneo Research Institute Sarawak (BRIMAS)
  6. Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI)
  7. Centre of Education. Research and Development (CEDAR)
  8. Child Development Initiative
  9. Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC KLSCAH)
  10. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre Bhd (LLGCSC)
  11. Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI@Parliament)
  12. Community Action Network (CAN)
  13. Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM)
  14. Council of Churches of Malaysia Youth (CCM Youth)
  15. Durham Malaysian Scholars
  16. Editorial Board of Horizon E-journal
  17. Education and Research Association of Consumer, Malaysia (ERA Consumer)
  18. Educational, Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia
  19. Federation of Hopo Associations Malaysia
  20. Federation of Indian Non-Governmental Organisations
  21. Free Public Forum (FPF)
  22. Friends in Conversation (FIC)
  23. Frin Jan
  24. Gabungan Pertubuhan-pertubuhan Masyarakat India Selangor
  25. Good Shepherd Sisters
  26. Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
  27. Hartal Mainstream Media (Hartal MSM)
  28. Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf)
  29. Indian Malaysian Active Generation (IMAGE)
  30. Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD)
  31. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
  32. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  33. Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM)
  34. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak (JKOAP)
  35. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia Sarawak (JOAS)
  36. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  37. Johor Tamizhar Sangam
  38. Justice Peace & Solidarity In Mission Office,
  39. Kesatuan Mahasiswa Indipenden (KAMI)
  40. Klang Consumer Association
  41. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Hopo Association
  42. Kuala Lumpur Hindu Youth Organisation (KLHYO)
  43. Kuala Lumpur Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals
  44. Kuen Cheng Alumni Kuala Lumpur
  45. Majlis Kelab Bell Belia Tamil Malaysia
  46. Malaysia Hindu Dharma Mamandram
  47. Malaysia Indian Progressive Educational Society
  48. Malaysia Lekshmi Pooja Meditation Society
  49. Malaysia Tamil Artiste Association
  50. Malaysia Tamil Neri Kalagam
  51. Malaysia Thanavasiya Association
  52. Malaysian AIDS Council
  53. Malaysian Archagar Sangam
  54. Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  55. Malaysian Association of Indian University Graduates
  56. Malaysian Ceylon Saivites Association
  57. Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST)
  58. Malaysian Dravidian Association
  59. Malaysian Hindu Youth Council
  60. Malaysian Indian Business Association
  61. Malaysian Indian Development & Unity Association
  62. Malaysian Indian Development Association
  63. Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals
  64. Malaysian Indian Historical Association
  65. Malaysian Indian Youth Development Foundation
  66. Malaysian Tamil Forum
  67. Middle Eastern Graduate Society
  68. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
  69. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
  70. myFuture Foundation
  71. National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI)
  72. New Millennium Indian Business Association of Malaysia
  73. Nur Damai
  74. Oriental Hearts and Minds Institute (OHMSI)
  75. Penang Du Zhong Education Society
  76. Penang Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals
  77. Penggerak Belia MPSJ Zon 23
  78. Persahabatan Semparuthi
  79. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor
  80. Persatuan Aruloli Mandram, Malaysia
  81. Persatuan Kebajikan Dan Sosial Kamakshi Wilayah Utara
  82. Persatuan Kebajikan MGR
  83. Persatuan Kebajikan Namakkal Malaysia
  84. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
  85. Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam Universiti Malaya (PMIUM)
  86. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
  87. Persatuan Meditasi Malaysia (Dhyana Ashram)
  88. Persatuan Meditasi Projan Kuala Lumpur and Selangor
  89. Persatuan Penduduk Taman Muhibbah
  90. Persatuan Pergabung Tamil Malaysia
  91. Persatuan Silambam Malaysia
  92. Pertubuhan Kesedaran Hare Krishna Klang
  93. Pusat KOMAS
  94. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  95. Robson Hill Study Group
  96. Saiva Siddhanta Mandram Malaysia
  97. Sarawak Central Region Friendship Association
  98. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
  99. Sarawak Native Land Rights Owners (TAHABAS)
  100. Sarawak Women for Women Society
  101. Sarawakians Access (SACCESS);
  102. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
  103. Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Kwang Tung Association
  104. Selangor Indian Entrepreneurs and Professionals
  105. Sisters In Islam (SIS)
  106. Southeast Asian Centre for e-Media (SEACEM)
  107. SPNS, Bidor
  108. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  109. Sundararaja Perumal Devasthanam Klang
  110. Tamilar Sangam, Teluk Intan
  111. TENAGANITA
  112. The Micah Mandate (TMM)
  113. Thiruvalluvar Nanneri Mayam Cameron Highlands
  114. Thiruvarul Thavaneri Mandram Malaysia
  115. Universiti Terbuka Perak (Ureka)
  116. Wanita Desa Sarawak (WADESA)
  117. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
  118. World Tamil Federation – Malaysian Chapter
  119. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
  120. Yayasan Penyelidikan dan Pembangunan Pendidikan Tamil Malaysia (Tamil Foundation)
  121. Youth for Change (Y4C)
  122. Youth Section of Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall
  123. Youth Section of Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall
  124. Youth Section of Persatuan Wui Leng Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
  125. Youth Section of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall
Endorsing Political Parties
  1. Democratic Action Party (DAP)
  2. Human Rights Party (HRP)
  3. Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)
  4. Parti KeADILan (PKR)
  5. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)



Jan
10
January 10, 2009

UMNO’s Utusan Malaysia (Mingguan Malaysia) Spin On Church Burning Incidents :Finger Pointing at the Political Opposition

Comment:
Awang Selamat suffers from a serious lapse of memory, bordering on a mild case of Alzhelmer’s Disease. As paid apologist who is beholden to UMNO ( his paper’s owner and sponsor), he conveniently forgets that over many months he and his colleagues in Utusan Malaysia/Mingguan Malaysia, and UMNO ultras  have been playing up racial and religious sentiments to rally Malay support for Najib and UMNO.
Awang failed to realise that his racist message and religious bigotry resulted in the assault against Christian places of worship, delivering a serious body blow to Malaysia’s image as a progressive, tolerant and peaceful pluralist nation. The racist genie is now out of the bottle and UMNO’s image has been further tarnished.
Civil society organisations, social activists and ordinary Malaysians have now to be roped in to “save Malaysia”( an euphemism for “Save Najib”).  It is not easy to seek help from this 5th estate which has assumed national importance, thanks to the internet and grassroots activism, in shaping public opinion. Mainstream media has credibility problems and even APCO, the Prime Minister’s image consultants, will be hard pressed to deal with the backlash from the church burning episode.
Awang’s  latest piece, which I have deliberately posted on this blog, attempts to undo what he had done before.  In order to do this , he finds a convenient target in, of course, PKR’s de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim. Be ready for more of this sort of gutter journalism from the mainstream media in the coming months as the Najib Government tries to rebuild 1Malaysia and recover from this embarassing episode.
It is naive of UMNO and their spinners to think that spinning  in  the mainstream  media including television,  providing compensation money to repair the damaged churches or relocate them, and using the newly launched  Juara Rakyat campaign can restore people’s trust in the Najib Government. Fundamental issues like democracy, human rights and freedom of worship, expression and  association, free  media, systemic corruption and incompetent management of the economy and public administration, and general abuse of power cannot  be spun away. These are real issues that should be addressed in order to restore  dignity to  a once proud and confident nation. Ubah Sebelum Lebih Parah. Ubah Demi Maruah. --Din Merican

Siapa Pakar Bakar Sentimen?

oleh Awang Selamat (http://www.utusan.com.my)

Bisik-bisik Mingguan Awang Selamat

Ketua Pembangkang, Anwar Ibrahim yang juga pemimpin utama PKR nampak terdesak untuk mempolitikkan apa sahaja. Dalam isu kalimah Allah, Anwar yang menyokong penggunaan kalimah suci itu untuk digunakan oleh agama Katolik (berdasarkan banyak laporan sebelum ini), sekali lagi mempolitikkan keadaan.
Kali ini, beliau bersama pemimpin DAP menuduh UMNO menyemarakkan sentimen bantahan umat Islam, yang kononnya secara tidak langsung dikaitkan dengan kejadian membakar gereja.
Itulah kepakaran Anwar, apa sahaja ruang dan kesempatan akan digunakan sepenuhnya untuk meraih sokongan. Dalam isu tersebut, sokongan bukan Islam terutama di Sabah dan Sarawak mahu ditagihnya dengan cara memburukkan UMNO. (Sedangkan pentadbiran Barisan Nasional di bawah teraju UMNO telah membolehkan agama lain berkembang dan dianuti dengan bebas. Rumah ibadat agama lain yang begitu banyak di negara yang majoriti Islam ini membuktikan hakikat itu. Kesederhanaan dan pragmatisme UMNO selama ini banyak menguntungkan agama lain.)
Maka apabila berlaku insiden bakar gereja, secepat kilat Anwar menyambarnya untuk dijadikan isu. Lebih-lebih lagi, Anwar sedar reaksi majoriti umat Islam yang menentang penggunaan kalimah Allah oleh agama lain, tidak memihak kepada beliau.
Demonstrasi aman di banyak masjid menyerlahkan hakikat bahawa umat Islam menolak pendirian Anwar dan sekelompok kecil termasuk pembangkang.
Bukan itu sahaja, reaksi kalangan orang muda menerusi laman web social facebook tidak selari dengan beliau. Sehingga Khamis lalu, lebih 100,000 orang menyertai bantahan penggunaan kalimah Allah dalam facebook. Malah Awang difahamkan, ramai ahli PKR dan pembangkang di kalangan orang Islam kecewa dengan pendirian pemimpin mereka itu.
Maka strategi Anwar ialah memaksimumkan sokongan bukan Islam bagi meneruskan momentum sokongan yang diperoleh ketika pilihan raya umum lalu. Awang percaya masyarakat bukan Islam boleh menilai siapa Anwar, yang sebenarnya lebih mementingkan agenda peribadinya.
Realitinya, beliau memerlukan banyak isu panas bagi mengalihkan perhatian daripada isu sebenar yang dihadapinya sekarang. Anwar kian tertekan kerana perbicaraan kes liwatnya terhadap Saiful Bukhari Azlan hampir tiba. Semua orang tahu, beliau asyik cuba menangguhkan perbicaraan sehingga mencetuskan banyak persoalan termasuk mengapa beliau takut.
Tindakan sekutu politiknya, Raja Petra melarikan diri ke luar negara dengan menggunakan pasport asing dan kini menjadi buruan polis, sedikit sebanyak menjejaskan kredibiliti pergerakan politik Anwar.
Selain itu, seorang demi seorang pemimpin PKR terus meninggalkan parti dan melepaskan jawatan. Terbaru, peletakan jawatan Setiausaha Agung PKR, Salehudin Hashim, yang tindakan tersebut dilihat satu lagi tamparan buat Anwar.
Apa sahaja strategi Anwar, tidak sukar dibaca. Beliaulah sebenarnya yang suka membakar sentimen rakyat. Sejarah telah membuktikan bahawa kes moral peribadinya boleh dimanipulasi sehingga rakyat terheret sama. PKR dan DAP menang banyak kerusi pada pilihan raya umum lalu juga kerana sentimen yang Anwar mainkan, biar sekalipun kepentingan agama dan bangsa menjadi taruhannya. — Mingguan Malaysia


Jan
10
January 10, 2010

Anwar takes ‘reluctant’ Police to take task

by Andrew Ong
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has criticised the police for their ‘reluctance’ to guarantee the safety of churches.
“The Caliph Umar, who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 638 AD, was careful to ensure that Muslims respect the sanctity of Christian places of worship. anwar pc at penang 080110 01“What then of our own police’s hesitation to offer an assurance of safety and security for Malaysian churches?” he said.
He was responding to Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan’s statement yesterday that churches must beef up their own security because the police had insufficient manpower.
Anwar said this while reading from a prepared text to reporters prior to a dialogue with Christian leaders at the Luther Centre in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.
The dialogue was initiated by Anwar and hosted by Bishop Phillip Lock of the Luther Centre. According to PKR Information Chief Latheefa Koya, the dialogue was part of Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge to hold inter-faith dialogues, which was expedited due to recent events.
Other PKR leaders accompanying Anwar were vice-president Azmin Ali, Jeffrey Kitingan, Zaid Ibrahim, Chua Jui Ming, Dr Xavier Jeyakumar and Hee Loy Sean. Christian leaders present included Bishop Ng Moon Hing (Anglican), Father Phillip Muthu (Catholic) and Rev Eu Hong Seng (Evangelical). The dialogue, attended by about 100 people, was held behind closed doors.
Exploiting race and religion for politics
Anwar said it cannot be disputed that Arabic speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews have collectively prayed to God as Allah throughout the last 14 centuries. However, Anwar said there are now those who are exploiting race and religion to incite hatred for political gain.
“While sensitivities over its usage (the word Allah) have arisen in Malaysia, the way to resolve these conflicts is not by burning churches and staging incendiary protests but by reasoned engagement and interreligious dialogue,” he said.
On the contrary, he said the UMNO-owned daily Utusan Malaysia is spreading racist propaganda and inflammatory rhetoric. “Such wanton acts of provocation and indeed criminal, demonstrate the duplicity of the 1Malaysia campaign,” he said.

BREAKING NEWS

—KENYATAAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA—
10hb Januari 2010
Kami mengecam serangan ke atas saudara kami penganut agama Kristian dan ke atas beberapa gereja di Malaysia. Serangan terbaru ke atas All Saints Church di Taiping juga merupakan satu serangan terhadap salah satu warisan negara.
Sebagai sebuah negara kita masih bergelut untuk menjunjung semangat perpaduan yang dicita-citakan oleh pejuang kemerdekaan negara ini. Saya menyeru agar kita semua akur dengan Perkara 11 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menjamin kebebasan beragama dan hak penganut agama-agama itu untuk menjaga hal ehwal agama mereka masing-masing. Ketika ini semangat musyawarah dan dialog mestilah mengatasi suara-suara mereka yang mahu memecah belahkan kerukunan rakyat serta meniup api permusuhan di negara ini.
Rakyat Malaysia mestilah bersatu menentang mereka yang mahu memperalatkan sentimem perkauman sempit dan agama untuk menyemarakkan kebencian demi laba politik puak-puak tertentu. Kita mestilah memperkukuh tekad mempertahan kebebasan beragama.
Kejadian ini merupakan satu ujian terhadap keazaman semua agama dan kepercayaan yang mahukan keamanan dan rasa saling hormat menghormati. Kita seharusnya sedar Tuhan yang kita sembah merupakan, Tuhan yang sama, Allah SWT, Tuhan yang memelihara dan mentadbirkan sekalian alam.
Sejarah menunjukkan kepada kita selama 14 abad ini, Muslim yang bertutur dalam bahasa Arab, penganut Kristian dan bangsa Yahudi, masing-masing menyembah Tuhan yang dikenal sebagai Allah. Sementara diakui keresahan umat Islam di Malaysia terhadap penggunaan kalimah Allah di kalangan penganut agama lainnya, tindakan seumpama menyerang gereja dan mengadakan protes hanya membantut usaha mencari penyelesaian. Jalan terbaik adalah melalui rundingan dan dialog antara agama.
Saya mengajak umat Islam untuk kembali kepada ayat al Quran yang menyeru kita untuk hidup dalam kerukunan dan saling mengenali di antara agama.
Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): Wahai Ahli Kitab, marilah kepada satu Kalimah yang bersamaan antara kami dengan kamu, iaitu kita semua tidak menyembah melainkan Allah. (Ali-Imran, 3:64)
Dan sepertimana yang termaktub di dalam surah al- Ankabut:
Dan janganlah kamu berbahas dengan Ahli Kitab melainkan dengan cara yang lebih baik, kecuali orang-orang yang berlaku zalim di antara mereka; dan katakanlah (kepada mereka): “Kami beriman kepada (Al-Quran) yang diturunkan kepada kami dan kepada (Taurat dan Injil) yang diturunkan kepada kamu; dan Tuhan kami, juga Tuhan kamu, adalah Satu; dan kepadaNyalah, kami patuh dengan berserah diri. (al-Ankabut, 29:46)
Nabi Isa al Masih merupakan antara Rasul Ulul Azmi yang begitu dikasihi umat Islam. Saidina Umar r.a yang melawati Gereja Holy Sepulcher pada tahun 638 masehi, menggesa umat Islam untuk menghormati tempat peribadatan dan suci penganut agama Kristian. Oleh itu adalah tidak munasabah apabila pihak Polis teragak-agak untuk memberi jaminan keselamatan kepada gereja-gereja di seluruh negara.
Api kebencian ini bolehlah ditudingkan kepada kegagalan Barisan Nasional yang diketuai UMNO. Propaganda UMNO yang berteraskan perkauman sempit terutamanya apabila berhadapan dengan isu penggunaan kalimah Allah serta retorika media yang dikongkong kerajaan, seperti Utusan Malaysia, yang meniupkan api kebencian, sewajarnya dipersalahkan berikutan dari serangan tersebut. Provokasi mereka bukan sahaja salah dari sudut undang-undang malah menzahirkan kempen 1Malaysia yang tidak tuntas serta bermuka-muka.
Walaubagaimanapun saya terharu dan gembira kerana serangan tersebut dikecam keras oleh organisasi Islam dan pimpinan umat. Saya juga menyambut baik saranan wakil-wakil penganut Kristian yang menyeru agar sentiasa bertenang dan menolak sebarang tindakan pembalasan serta keganasan.
Kejadian mutakhir ini menuntut kita agar segera memberi perhatian terhadap keperluan dialog antara agama. Semangat persaudaraan yang disarankan agama kita serta Perlembagaan Persekutuan perlu disemarakkan. Pakatan Rakyat akan berusaha memastikan dialog dan rundingan diadakan di semua peringkat seluruh negara. Saudara kita yang beragama Kristian perlu merasa selamat dan aman serta sedar bahawa kebebasan mereka untuk beragama adalah dijamin di negara ini.
ANWAR IBRAHIM
Ketua Pembangkang
—PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
January 10, 2010
We are outraged by the tragic attacks on our Christian brothers and sisters and reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the bombing of churches in Malaysia. Today’s attack on the oldest standing church in Malaysia, the All Saints Church in Taiping, is an attack on our nation’s heritage.
As a nation we struggle to uphold the spirit of unity that our founding fathers envisioned at independence. We must hold fast to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion and the right of religious groups to manage their own affairs. In such times the spirit of engagement and dialogue must transcend those voices that would seek to sow discord and enmity across our land.
The people of Malaysia must unite against those who exploit race and religion to incite hatred for political gain. We must renew our commitment to religious understanding and religious freedom.
This is a time that tests the resolve of all religions for peace and mutual respect. We must remember that the God who we worship is in fact the same God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
With respect to the use of the word Allah, for example, it cannot be disputed that Arabic speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews have collectively prayed to God as Allah throughout the last fourteen centuries. While sensitivities over its usage have arisen in Malaysia, the way to resolve these conflicts is not by burning churches and staging incendiary protests but by reasoned engagement and interreligious dialogue.
Muslims must recall the memory of our own tradition’s remarkable commitment to understanding and coexistence with the People of the Book. Islam clearly grants respect to Christians and Jews. In the Quran’s second chapter, God says:
Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God (Aal-Imran, 3:64)
And in the 29th Chapter He says:
And dispute not with the People of the Book but say “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and that which came down to you…our God [Allah] and your God [Allah] is One, and it is to Him we bow (al-Ankabut, 29:46)
Jesus is himself revered as one of the greatest prophets whose noble example should be followed. The Caliph Umar, who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 638 AD, was careful to ensure that the Muslims respect the sanctity of Christian places of worship. What then of our own Police’s hesitation to offer an assurance of safety and security for Malaysian churches?
Much of the blame for the recent attacks can be placed at the doorstep of the UMNO-led BN ruling party. Its incessant racist propaganda over the Allah issue and the inflammatory rhetoric issued by government controlled mainstream media especially, Utusan Malaysia, are reprehensible. Such wanton acts of provocation are indeed criminal and demonstrate the duplicity of the 1Malaysia campaign.
I am encouraged by the swift condemnation of the attacks issued by Muslim organizations and leaders. I likewise applaud our Christian leaders for their strong statements calling for calm and forgiveness and resisting revenge and retaliation.
The need for interfaith dialogue in Malaysia is an idea whose time is long overdue. We must now advance the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood which is inherent in our religions and enshrined in our Constitution. Pakatan Rakyat will collectively take steps to ensure that the necessary dialogue and discussion take place throughout the country. Our fellow Christians must feel safe and secure in this country knowing that their freedom to worship is protected.
ANWAR IBRAHIM
Opposition Leader




Jan
11
January 11, 2010

It Happened Under Your Watch, Najib!

by Dr. M. Bakri Musa
Morgan-Hill, California
“Don’t point the fingers at UMNO or anyone else,” so declared an angry Najib Razak, responding to a question on last Friday’s bombing of a church.  It was pathetic to see him react thus, a body language that bespoke of a sinister kid whose bag of malicious tricks finally exploded in his face.
Najib would like us to believe that those acts of arson were spontaneous combustion.  What a pathetic attempt at extricating himself from the ugly and dangerous mess he helped create!  His performance was more to convince himself, for he could not possibly convince us.
Here he was after pouring the gasoline feigning surprise when someone finally lit a match.  It was Najib who only the day before the incident declared that “Muslim groups were free to protest and express their views about the ‘Allah’ issue.”  Just in case that message did not register, he added that the authorities would not stop groups from gathering at mosques and protesting there.  Najib’s cousin and Home Minister, Hishammuddin, echoed the same sentiments.
Obviously somebody took them at their words.  It is truly touching to see these two ministers belatedly becoming so protective of citizens’ rights to protest!  The pair obviously do not appreciate the subtle but enormous difference between having those rights and the wisdom to exercise them appropriately.
Najib and Hishammuddin must think that Malaysians are a dumb lot not to see through their charade.  It was Hishammuddin who first unhinged that dangerous religious wrecking ball with his banning of the use of the word Allah by that Catholic publication.
Contrast the words and deeds of these two very public purveyors of the “1Malaysia” fantasy to that of the leaders of Pakatan.  In a statement issued through PKR, Anwar Ibrahim declared that “the wish of the non-Muslim community to use the term ‘Allah’ is a positive and welcomed development.  We must not let that be an opportunity for those with malicious intent to seize the occasion to portray themselves as champions of Islam.”  Amen to that!
Anwar realized only too well the potential dangers of stoking the religious fire.  To emphasize his point, Anwar called for restraint and urged his followers not to participate in the planned Friday demonstrations.  It was a particularly prescient call.  Anwar must have read Najib, Hishammuddin and all the other characters in UMNO well; he knew their mischievous if not evil intent.
Anwar was not alone; leaders of PAS went out of their way not only to discourage the demonstrations but also to defend the rights of the Catholic publication to use the term “Allah.”
I do not know whether Malaysians, specifically Malays, are becoming more sensible or the restraint urged on by Anwar and the others had an impact, for come Friday the demonstrations were definitely muted.  The egging-on by UMNO leaders fell flat; instead the rotten eggs landed on the faces of UMNO leaders.
The exemplary stand of the opposition leaders was a stark contrast to the mischievous if not downright dangerous antics of UMNO leaders.  The contrast did not end there.  Immediately following the tragic incident, Selangor Pakatan Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim visited the charred church.  His was a much needed and very comforting presence, as well as a deeply symbolic gesture.  It was a spontaneous yet splendid demonstration of common sense and deep concern for your fellow citizens, as well as of leadership.
Najib was content to condemn the hooliganism from afar, and in the process found himself in an uncomfortably defensive position.  He did not visit the damaged church until the next day, but not before he had launched his party’s People’s Champion campaign in preparation for the next elections.  That was Najib’s priority.
The only UMNO leader who visited the damaged church right away was its Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin.  He conveyed genuine empathy; his condemnation and expression of sympathy were genuine and heartfelt, a welcomed change from the hollowness of Najib’s.
Khairy’s presence made the absence of the other UMNO leaders that much more noticeable, and vulgar.  These supposedly more seasoned UMNO leaders could learn a thing or two from Khairy on the importance of showing leadership in moments of crisis.  You cannot teach that; either you have it or you don’t.  Obviously Najib does not have it.
Najib’s bag of tricks was so crude that even foreign observers saw through it.  “The real reason UMNO is politicizing the issue and pandering to its conservative base,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, “may be to deflect attention from its own political vulnerabilities.”
Najib had every reason to want to change the horrible headlines that were damaging his leadership, the latest being the jet engines stolen from a military base.  The theft occurred during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister but was only recently being made public.
That was not the only serious lapse of security during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister.  There was the spectacular and potentially devastating collapse of the naval base in Pularek just before its official opening.  And to balance things out, there was the lethal attack on the army base in Grik, Perak, by a band of sarong-clad Al Ma’unah gang members.  This recent revelation of the stolen jet engines was merely part of Najib’s trademark pattern of incompetence.
Thus far Najib is determined to repeat that same pattern as Prime Minister, except that he has now progressed beyond incompetence to being sinister.
It is downright malicious for Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO to attempt at dividing Malaysians by needlessly treading on our religious sensitivities.  Najib’s “1Malaysia” campaign has barely begun and he has already made a mockery of the ideal.
Specifically, Najib’s attempt to split Muslims in the opposition parties was brazen, crude and potentially destructive.  There were initial intimations that his dirty scheming would work, what with the mainstream media continually harping on the supposed differences among the leaders of PAS and Keadilan over this issue.  Najib and others must have been licking their chops, savoring the ‘brilliance’ of their strategy while remaining oblivious of the dangerous forces that they had unleashed.
Thankfully this time around Malaysians are far ahead of their leaders; we did not fall for this ugly and dangerous ploy.  I am heartened that even UMNO’s own New Straits Times felt emboldened enough not to defend the administration on this matter.
In a thoughtful commentary, Rehman Rashid not too subtly reminded us of the terrible mess we found ourselves in with this manufactured crisis.  Left unstated is the role of our leaders in leading us to be where we are today.  Of course it would be too much to expect the mainstream media, specifically NST, to explore that.  Under the circumstance, Rehman has gone as far as he could, and I applaud him for that.
In his piece Rehman wrote, “Debilitating dogmas need to be debunked, political parasites purged, and Little Napoleons stripped naked and hounded out of town.”  Strong words!  At least he has demonstrated that sycophantic editors (or at least their toadying editorials) are out too!
I hope that the positive gestures by Khairy and refreshingly candid commentary by Rehman would move Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO away from their dangerous games.  If they do not, then it is time we take the match away before they burn down the country.  It is also time we tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not only unfit to lead our great nation but they also pose an imminent danger to Malaysia.
The nation suffered terribly in 1969; that national tragedy was instrumental in elevating Tun Razak to the nation’s top post.  We should never risk our nation to another tragic episode under the inept and sinister leadership of his son.
We must not let Najib and his UMNO cahoots continue their bag of dirty tricks upon us.  The fire next time might not be so easily contained.  The conflagration then could rip us all apart.  Let us not even contemplate giving them another chance; we have had enough!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Update on Arson Attacks on Churches

Folks, I went to the Desa Melawati Metro Tabernacle Church this morning to take a look. What I saw made me want to cry. I have never seen hate like this in Malaysia in my entire life.

There were a few of my friends there as well as people who attended the church. Some people were quietly emotional but most were very sad but very calm. The press were there but they were more interested in Khairy Jamaluddin than me but that's OK. (It so happens that my assistant in my office, who has been with me for 20 years, attends the same church which I didn't know til I came back to the office.)


A Malay couple came up to me and said they were local residents and very sad by this stupid incident. They said that Desa Melawati is and has been very 1 Malaysia for a long time. Their favourite coffeeshop is right in front of the church. The church is on a corner. On one side it faces a field and on the other side of the field is what looked like a surau to me. Typical Malaysian neighbourhood.

This morning I sms'd lots and lots of people, all Muslims, to canvass them regarding condemning this terrible act. Unanimously they have all agreed that this act is unIslamic. I am trying to organise all those individual voices into a statement or petition of some kind and I hope more will sign up.

Meantime various friends and I have been encouraging people to find ways to show solidarity and support. These were some ideas:

* Some young Muslims are keen to go help clean up the mess after the fire at the church. It was not possible this morning because the area was still cordoned off but we are keeping tabs on when the churches will be ready to start clean up.

* Someone has asked for 1-3 minutes of prayer every hour on the hour to give people time to pause and reflect.

* Many of us have been tweeting what we know but also refuting some nasty rumours that are going around.

The best news was that the planned demos at the mosques have failed miserably. At Masjid Negara, there were only 200 people or so. At Kampung Baru there were about 20. I was at AlJazeera TV giving an interview this afternoon and the people there told me that the organiser of the Kampung Baru demo had said yesterday he was expecting 5000 people. Plus there were another group of people who urged people not to join the demo because they said the demonstrators are fanatics, and also accused them of the arsons.

Apart from political parties, groups like the Christian Federation of Malaysia and the Muslim Professionals Forum have issued statements condemning the arson.

 One of the most anguished posts on this event comes from Art Harun here.

Tonight there will be a quiet prayer vigil at the Luther Centre in PJ.

Tomorrow a goodwill gathering at Jalan Bukit Bintang will take place. Info here.

Anas Zubedy has just posted an email I wrote Muslim friends to ask for their support to condemn the arson.Since he's done that I might as well reproduce it here:

Dear friends,

Today is a very sad day for Malaysia. Last night at least three churches were attacked by unknown people with incendiary devices. The ground floor of the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati was totally destroyed. (See pix). It was heartbreaking to see.

There is nothing in Islam that says that we are to treat the houses of worship of any faith with such disrespect. Surah 22, Verse 40 of the Quran says:

22:40 (Asad) those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. And God will most certainly succour him who suc­cours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty, -
Any place where 'God's name is abundantly extolled' must be protected.

It is time for the silent majority of Muslims, who reject fanaticism and extremism, who favour dialogue and debate rather than violence, to be heard. We can no longer remain quiet if we love our religion and our country.

We should not let a small gang of thugs and hooligans speak in the name of Malaysian Muslims. We are NOT a religion of gangsters. We are a religion of peace, justice and equality. Do not let these people hijack Islam for their own ends.


 The Government needs to know that there is a substantial number of us who disagree with the violence and harsh words. Our fellow Malaysians especially Christians need to know that we deplore these acts and mean them no harm.

As Muslims, it is up to us to be magnanimous and to extend the hand of peace to our fellow citizens and reassure them that this act is an aberration and we abhor it.
Thank you.

Salams,

Marina
























Attack on Churches: Najib, the Buck Stops on Your Table, So Have the Decency to Take Responsibility as Prime Minister




 Monday, January 11, 2010

Read here for more in M.Bakri Musa blog

It Happened Under YOUR  Watch, Najib!

by

M. Bakri Musa

“Don’t point the fingers at UMNO or anyone else,” so declared an angry Najib Razak, responding to a question on last Friday’s bombing of a church.

It was pathetic to see him react thus, a body language that bespoke of a sinister kid whose bag of malicious tricks finally exploded in his face.

Najib would like us to believe that those acts of arson were spontaneous combustion. What a pathetic attempt at extricating himself from the ugly and dangerous mess he helped create! His performance was more to convince himself, for he could not possibly convince us.

Here he was after pouring the gasoline feigning surprise when someone finally lit a match.
It was Najib who only the day before the incident declared that “Muslim groups were free to protest and express their views about the ‘Allah’ issue.”
 Just in case that message did not register, he added that the authorities would not stop groups from gathering at mosques and protesting there. Najib’s cousin and Home Minister, Hishammuddin, echoed the same sentiments.

Obviously somebody took them at their words.

It is truly touching to see these two ministers belatedly becoming so protective of citizens’ rights to protest! The pair obviously do not appreciate the subtle but enormous difference between having those rights and the wisdom to exercise them appropriately.

Najib and Hishammuddin must think that Malaysians are a dumb lot not to see through their charade.

It was Hishammuddin who first unhinged that dangerous religious wrecking ball with his banning of the use of the word Allah by that Catholic publication.

Pakatan Rakyat Leaders

Contrast the words and deeds of these two very public purveyors of the “1Malaysia” fantasy to that of the leaders of Pakatan.  In a statement issued through PKR, Anwar Ibrahim declared that:
“The wish of the non-Muslim community to use the term ‘Allah’ is a positive and welcomed development.

We must not let that be an opportunity for those with malicious intent to seize the occasion to portray themselves as champions of Islam.”
  Amen to that!

Anwar realized only too well the potential dangers of stoking the religious fire.

To emphasize his point, Anwar called for restraint and urged his followers not to participate in the planned Friday demonstrations. It was a particularly prescient call.

Anwar must have read Najib, Hishammuddin and all the other characters in UMNO well; he knew their mischievous if not evil intent.

Anwar was not alone; leaders of PAS went out of their way not only to discourage the demonstrations but also to defend the rights of the Catholic publication to use the term “Allah.”

I do not know whether Malaysians, specifically Malays, are becoming more sensible or the restraint urged on by Anwar and the others had an impact, for come Friday the demonstrations were definitely muted.

The egging-on by UMNO leaders fell flat; instead the rotten eggs landed on the faces of UMNO leaders.

The exemplary stand of the opposition leaders was a stark contrast to the mischievous if not downright dangerous antics of UMNO leaders. The contrast did not end there.

Immediately following the tragic incident, Selangor Pakatan Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim visited the charred church. His was a much needed and very comforting presence, as well as a deeply symbolic gesture.

It was a spontaneous yet splendid demonstration of common sense and deep concern for your fellow citizens, as well as of leadership.

Najib was content to condemn the hooliganism from afar, and in the process found himself in an uncomfortably defensive position.

He did not visit the damaged church until the next day, but not before he had launched his party’s People’s Champion campaign in preparation for the next elections. That was Najib’s priority.

UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin

The only UMNO leader who visited the damaged church right away was its Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin. He conveyed genuine empathy; his condemnation and expression of sympathy were genuine and heartfelt, a welcomed change from the hollowness of Najib’s.

Khairy’s presence made the absence of the other UMNO leaders that much more noticeable, and vulgar.

These supposedly more seasoned UMNO leaders could learn a thing or two from Khairy on the importance of showing leadership in moments of crisis.

You cannot teach that; either you have it or you don’t. Obviously Najib does not have it.

Why Najiband Hishamuddin are  Politicising the Issue

Najib’s bag of tricks was so crude that even foreign observers saw through it. “The real reason UMNO is politicizing the issue and pandering to its conservative base,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, “may be to deflect attention from its own political vulnerabilities.”

Najib had every reason to want to change the horrible headlines that were damaging his leadership, the latest being the jet engines stolen from a military base. The theft occurred during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister but was only recently being made public.

That was not the only serious lapse of security during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister. There was the spectacular and potentially devastating collapse of the naval base in Pularek just before its official opening.

And to balance things out, there was the lethal attack on the army base in Grik, Perak, by a band of sarong-clad Al Maunah gang members. This recent revelation of the stolen jet engines was merely part of Najib’s trademark pattern of incompetence.

Thus far Najib is determined to repeat that same pattern as Prime Minister, except that he has now progressed beyond incompetence to being sinister.

It is downright malicious for Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO to attempt at dividing Malaysians by needlessly treading on our religious sensitivities. Najib’s “1Malaysia” campaign has barely begun and he has already made a mockery of the ideal.

Specifically, Najib’s attempt to split Muslims in the opposition parties was brazen, crude and potentially destructive. There were initial intimations that his dirty scheming would work, what with the mainstream media continually harping on the supposed differences among the leaders of PAS and Keadilan over this issue.

Najib and others must have been licking their chops, savoring the ‘brilliance’ of their strategy while remaining oblivious of the dangerous forces that they had unleashed.

NST Rehman Rashid's Column

Thankfully this time around Malaysians are far ahead of their leaders; we did not fall for this ugly and dangerous ploy. I am heartened that even UMNO’s own New Straits Times felt emboldened enough not to defend the administration on this matter.

In a thoughtful commentary, Rehman Rashid not too subtly reminded us of the terrible mess we found ourselves in with this manufactured crisis. Left unstated is the role of our leaders in leading us to be where we are today. Of course it would be too much to expect the mainstream media, specifically NST, to explore that. Under the circumstance, Rehman has gone as far as he could, and I applaud him for that.

In his piece Rehman wrote, 
“Debilitating dogmas need to be debunked, political parasites purged, and Little Napoleons stripped naked and hounded out of town.” 
 Strong words! At least he has demonstrated that sycophantic editors (or at least their toadying editorials) are out too!

UMNO's Dangerous Games

I hope that the positive gestures by Khairy and refreshingly candid commentary by Rehman would move Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO away from their dangerous games.

If they do not, then it is time we take the match away before they burn down the country. It is also time we tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not only unfit to lead our great nation but they also pose an imminent danger to Malaysia.

The nation suffered terribly in 1969; that national tragedy was instrumental in elevating Tun Razak to the nation’s top post. We should never risk our nation to another tragic episode under the inept and sinister leadership of his son.

We must not let Najib and his UMNO cahoots continue their bag of dirty tricks upon us.

The fire next time might not be so easily contained. The conflagration then could rip us all apart.

Let us not even contemplate giving them another chance; we have had enough!
-M.Bakri Musa


















Malay Bibles Desecrated by Malaysian Authorities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alkitab issue once again ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stamping of Malay Bible (AlKitab): How to approach the issue?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysian Christians reject government demands for warning label on Bibles

 

 

 

 

 

 The below is the latter half of my previous selective collection of postings from "The Micah Mandate", a Malaysian Christian website. (Lily) 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why Defacement of the Alkitab is NOT Desecration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Defacement of the Alkitab is Desecration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1Christians Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christians upset by Putrajaya curbs on Jerusalem pilgrimage

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 










8:52PM Jul 19, 2012
Police Special Branch investigations have concluded that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and former communists are infiltrating opposition parties and trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election.



















Hisham: Police watching political parties for terror links

July 20, 2012

Hishammuddin said he has received no word that the claimed JI and communist infiltrations into local parties were real. — File pic
SHAH ALAM, July 20 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein gave his assurance today that national security was fully under control and the police were on constant alert to prevent any elements of terrorism from infiltrating the country’s political parties. He said certain police units were responsible for surveillance on the matter and any information they obtained could not be made public before investigations were complete.
“Terrorism in this borderless world is something the police are burdened with and responsible for and we’ll monitor it closely. I confirm that the situation is under control so far.
“I’ve not received any information so far, so I cannot say if it’s true and that’s all I can say for now.  Because information below the radar is very sensitive and may come from international agencies, which we cannot share with the public until it is verified,” he told reporters after a visit to the Selangor police headquarters here.
Hishammuddin was commenting on the reported existence of terrorists from Jemaah Islamiah and individuals linked to the communist movement attempting to infiltrate opposition parties and trying to become candidates for the coming general election.
The matter was revealed yesterday by the Bukit Aman Social Extremist Threat Division, chief assistant director E2 (M), Datuk Mohd Sofian Md Makinuddin during his lecture on national security at the National Youth Leaders Convention. — Bernama

8:52PM Jul 19, 2012
Police Special Branch investigations have concluded that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and former communists are infiltrating opposition parties and trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election.



























Najib/Hisham should explain why they are “scraping the bottom of the barrel” in giving greenlight to SB to go public with “cock and bull story” of JI terrorists and communists infiltrating PR parties as candidates


The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammmudin Hussein should explain why they are “scraping the bottom of the barrel” in giving the green light to the Special Branch to go public with the “cock and bull story” of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and former communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties and trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election.
The Bernama report yesterday of the “revelation” by the Special Branch assistant director of the E2(M) national social extremist threat division head Mohd Sofian Md Makinuddin at the National Young Leaders Convention in Parliament yesterday, claiming that JI elements were trying to infiltrate PAS while the communist elements were trying to infiltrate DAP, would have been laughed off and dismissed as the most sick and top political joke of the year if not for the gravity of having such wild, scatter-brained and crackpot ideas influencing and determining policy making at the highest government and security levels in the country.
With the resurrection of the Islamist terrorist and communist bogeys infiltrating the Pakatan Rakyat parties, is the stage being set for a special operation against the Pakatan Rakyat parties to remove the democratic and legitimate threat posed by Pakatan Rakyat to continued UMNO/Barisan Nasional hold on federal power in the 13th general election?
It is open secret that Najib would have dissolved Parliament to hold general elections before the start of the fasting month tomorrow if not for the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, which placed UMNO/Barisan Nasional in an even more adverse and disadvantageous position compounded by the most insensitive and high-handed government/police response which regarded salt and mineral water as capable of toppling the UMNO/BN government!
Have the UMNO/BN leadership become so desperate in the face of the democratic electoral challenge from Pakatan Rakyat that they have to get the Special Branch to conjure up the latest scare, “cock and bull story” of the JI and communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties, in particular PAS and DAP, to prepare for an undemocratic pre-emptive strike against the Pakatan Rakyat?
Or is this an attempt by the Special Branch establishment to justify its hogging of RM381 million or 6% of the 2012 police budget of RM6.3 billion when there is increasing demand that the police should be devoting more of its budget and resources to fighting crime and make Malaysia safe for Malaysians instead of just maintaining UMNO/BN hold on power after 54 years?
And why is the Biro Tatanegara of the Prime Minister’s Department involved in the one-day National Youth Convention to spread the lie and poison that Pakatan Rakyat parties are being infiltrated by JI terrorists and communists, when only last week, BTN was involved in the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention to raise an army of 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers with the message that it was permissible to spin lies and falsehoods against the Pakatan Rakyat parties?
Is the Special Branch canard about JI terrorists and communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties the latest example of such permissible “spin” of lies and falsehoods against PR, just like the earlier “spins” of lies and falsehood about the DAP wanting to establish a Christian Malaysia and appoint a Christian Prime Minister as well as wanting to establish a republic by abolishing the constitutional monarchical system?
I challenge Najib, Hishammuddin and Mohd Sofian of the Special Branch to identify the present DAP and PR leaders, MPs and State Assembly members who are either closet JI terrorists or communists or name names of those who have “infiltrated” the PR parties “trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election”.
If not, Mohd Sofian should withdraw and apologise for such a serious and baseless allegation or he should face disciplinary action and even be sacked for making a most irresponsible statement unbecoming of a public servant whose topmost priority must be to serve the nation and not the political party currently in power.
Najib and Hishammuddin should also answer these questions. The Home Minister in particular should also tell Malaysian taxpayers when the Special Branch was officially recruited to be part of UMNO/BN propaganda machinery to help in its 13th general election campaign to hold on federal power!




























Karpal to PAS: Don’t spoil march to Putrajaya

Teoh El Sen | July 30, 2012
The DAP leader tells the Islamic party’s youth chief to stop giving BN the ammunition to attack Pakatan Rakyat over the hudud issue.
PETALING JAYA: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has again warned PAS not to spoil Pakatan Rakyat’s chances in the 13th general election by continuing to make contradictory statements regarding its stand on setting up an Islamic state and instituting hudud laws.
“PAS is only scuttling Pakatan Rakyat’s march to Putrajaya in the coming elections with contradictory statements on its stand on Islamic state,” he said today.
“Hudud is not included in the Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework, Buku Jingga. Likewise, it will not be included in the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat.”
He was responding to a statement by PAS youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi that those rejecting God’s laws would be considered “kufur”, an Arabic word often translated as “disbelievers”.
According to the New Straits Times, Nasrudin, in a posting on Twitter, said: “Karpal is consistent in rejecting hudud because he is a kufur. PAS must continue with its struggle to uphold Islam.
Karpal urged PAS to “stop supplying cannon fodder to the Barisan Nasional to be aimed at Pakatan”, saying that it was “counter productive and politically naive”.
He also warned Nasrudin to “mind his language” and also questioned if Nasrudin was the “spokesman of PAS”.
“I must warn this political upstart to mind his language. No one, no party, no organisation can claim to have a monopoly on God.
“I must state with all the force at my command that I believe in God. There is only one God and all religions reflect that.”
Karpal noted that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had publicly stated on June 3 last year that the Quran mentioned a “welfare state”, not an “Islamic state”.
“This reflects beyond the pale of a doubt that PAS has given up its aim to set up an Islamic state,” he said. “PAS has, clearly, opted for a welfare state.”
He said that since hudud was a component of the Islamic state, “any attempt by PAS now to espouse introduction of hudud in the country badly reflects the bona fides of what was decided at PAS’s Muktamar last year.”
He also noted that on June 8 last year, the New Straits Times quoted PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat as saying that the party was right in shifting its focus from “Islamic state” to “welfare state”.
The hudud question has long been a thorny issue between Islamist PAS and secular DAP, and critics of Pakatan Rakyat have constantly picked on this, saying the opposition bloc had not been able to communicate a clear stance to put the issue to rest.
Misdirected arrow

In a related development, MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong said Karpal’s warning to MCA to stop bringing up the hudud issue was a “misdirected arrow”.
Rather than warning MCA, the deputy education minister said that Karpal should be warning the rakyat instead as MCA was merely addressing concerns of the rakyat, especially the Chinese and
non-Muslim community, noting that this was something “DAP has failed to do”.
“It is only right that MCA demands answers.”
“Instead of trading barbs with us, Karpal should instead be shifting his attention to why his own DAP comrades, in particular Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng are still continuing to keep silent, leaving him alone in his battle with PAS and their Islamic agenda.”



























‘MCA and Gerakan are political eunuchs’

G Vinod | July 30, 2012
DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng asks why these two parties are still in BN despite Umno backing calls to implement hudud on all Malaysians.
PETALING JAYA: Turning the tables on his political foes, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng referred to MCA and Gerakan as ‘political eunuchs’ for not leaving Barisan Nasional (BN) despite Umno’s support to implement hudud laws.
Lim also defended PAS saying while the Islamist party only wanted to implement hudud to Muslims in the country, Umno had wanted to implement Islamic laws on all Malaysians.
“Why have MCA and Gerakan not left BN despite Umno leaders’ open support for hudud on all Malaysians?” asked Lim.
The Penang chief minister was referring to Johor Umno state assemblyman Ayub Rahmat’s statement last month who called for the state government to implement hudud in the state.
Ayub’s calls was also backed by national Umno Puteri chief Rosnah Abd Rashid.
On Friday, MCA publicity bureau chief Loh Seng Kok told Lim and his father, party veteran Lim Kit Siang to quit DAP for failing to rebuke PAS on its plan to implement hudud in the country.
“DAP’s failure to resist PAS shows the Rocket is unable to protect non Muslims from being subjected to PAS’ hardline doctrines.
“DAP is afraid of disagreeing with PAS and will not fight for the rights of the rakyat,” said Loh.
Responding to Loh, Lim said that DAP would not support the implementation of hudud in the country.
Lim said both DAP and PAS had signed a common policy framework that unites them on a nation-building agenda should Pakatan Rakyat win federal power in the general election.
“And the framework makes no mention of implementing hudud in the future Pakatan government,” he said.
However, Lim said both DAP and PAS would continue strengthening their bond on common principles, such as their disdain for corruption and abuse of power.
“DAP and PAS are committed in establishing integrity in leadership by focusing on competency, accountability and transparency.
“We also agreed on a welfare state programme to protect the poor and those who are in need,” said Lim.

























REVISITING A 2008 OPEN LETTER……

An Open Letter to all DAP Leaders and Members,
by Loi Bih Siang, Benjamin
Friday, 29 August 2008 17:20


The majority of the Malays support UMNO; and UMNO has plundered and mismanaged the wealth of this country with impunity. Therefore, to change the fate of our nation is to change the mentality of the Malays. This is the ONLY solution!
Without doubt, DAP has struggled and fought fearlessly and tirelessly over the past 4 decades aspiring to build a democratic and progressive Malaysia regardless of race and religion. However, I can only conclude that over the past 4 decades, DAP has completely failed to fight against the UMNO hegemony in the country.
DAP had never prepared itself to be the alternative of BN until 08 March 2008. And we have to acknowledge that DAP had been dragged and manipulated by UMNO to become or at least seen to become a Chinese-Chauvinist political party. The fact is that without PAS or Anwar Ibrahim, DAP will NEVER be able to engage the Malay electorate. The leadership of DAP has long been luxuriating in being recognized as the "Chinese Hero" or "Non-Muslims' Rights Defender".
Since DAP's inception in 1966, the Party has failed to recognize the basic and simple fact that it is the Malays who decide the sort of leaders they want and they have voted UMNO in for 12 consecutive General Elections.
UMNO had always been perceived as the sole defender of Malay supremacy with their special rights and privileges, even if it is at the expense of other ethnic groups. It doesn't require complex political analysis to understand that the MAJORITY of Malays had always been staunch supporters of UMNO. If they refuse to change their voting preference, the status quo is going to remain. The more we challenge it, the stronger UMNO will be. Thus, for DAP to directly clash with UMNO will further enhance its image as a Chinese-based party and provide UMNO with an opportunity to have more Malay sympathizers.
An example is, if they increase the number of scholarships for non-bumis, UMNO can easily tell the Kampong Malays that they have succumbed to the pressure of MCA, Gerakan and MIC. The Malays will immediately give their strong endorsement to UMNO to defend their rights. DAP, as one of the strongest opposition parties in Malaysia, is still failing to comprehend the racial game played by UMNO.
Instead of directly engaging the Malay electorate, DAP chooses to play the ZERO SUM GAME with MCA and Gerakan. These 3 Chinese-based political parties lack the basic political wisdom to survive independently in our multi-racial country where Malays/Muslims are the majority. At least we know UMNO can easily survive by means of communalism and form the government with smaller political parties.
No matter how hard DAP argues or debates with MCA or Gerakan, it won’t change the fixed mindset or mentality of the Malay electorate. Neither will MCA or Gerakan be forced to change the mindset of the Malays by DAP!
Remember the iron fact that the majority of the Malays support UMNO; and UMNO has plundered and mismanaged the wealth of this country with impunity. Therefore, to change the fate of our nation is to change the mentality of the Malays. This is the ONLY solution!
As our most respected Regent of Perak, Dr. Nazrin Shah put it, "The Malay mindset is a crucial factor in our nation's stability”. Dr. Nazrin further elaborated that, “racial prejudice can be erased if the Malay mindset is stable and comfortable towards forging harmony. It is a pre-condition to our nation's stability".
May I ask Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, or even the writer Liew Chin Tong, how much has DAP done over the past 40 years to change the mindset of the Malays? How much has DAP done to win the trust of the Malays? How many times has DAP challenged UMNO in open debate on the academic performance of Malay students?
Instead of getting closer and winning the hearts and trust of the Malay electorate, DAP has chosen to fight with MCA and Gerakan to play the role of Chinese Hero.
Worse still, after struggling for more than 40 years in Malaysia’s political history, DAP still doesn't have the slightest inkling of what "political courtship" is all about. Even the MOST STUPID salesman knows how to be courteous to customers and win their trust.
DAP chooses to shun Malay electorate and frighten them by:
a) Refusing to wear songkok,
b) Raising the issue of Social Contract,
c) Immediate abolition of positive discrimination policies
It's made me wonder whether DAP is paid by UMNO to strengthen their grass root supporters! If I were a DAP leader, I would ostentatiously wear the Songkok to pro-actively court and seek Malay support for DAP. I would put aside the issue of the Social Contract and would clearly and carefully pinpoint the weaknesses of the NEP to the Malay masses before revising it.
If the Umnoputras liken the fate of the Malays in Penang to the Malays in Singapore, how is YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng going to answer this question or "accusation"? What YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng will do is to imitate his predecessor Dr. Koh by keeping his mouth shut and be speechless. Silence means consent!
DAP should pro-actively and sincerely urge the Malay masses to look beyond the tiny island of Singapore and focus on the plight of Malays in Batam, Bintang, Karimun and even the slum areas in Jakarta. Ask them to compare whether Singapore Malays are better off or Batam Malays are better off.
I can help organize special tours for all the Malays/bumiputras in Malaysia to visit all the Indonesian islands surrounding Singapore to see for themselves how the Malays there are living in abject poverty and sordid conditions. Many young girls in Batam, Bintang and Karimun have to prostitute themselves to feed their family. They are also deprived of the opportunity to receive basic education and training. And we know many of them have to leave their families to become maids in Singapore and Malaysia.
We should challenge UMNO – NOT to protect the Malays in Singapore, but the Malays in Batam, Bintang and Karimun! We are not defending Singapore, but we have to speak the truth to the Malay masses. Enlighten them and so they won't be blinded and misguided by UMNO. Shame on our Education Minister who expressed the need to travel to the UK to save "our" so-called prodigy Sufiah. He should go to Batam Island to join the UN's efforts to curb child prostitution!
For DAP’s information, Singapore Malays have progressed very well. Over the last 15 years, they have improved significantly in their academic performance. Singapore Malays have the highest percentage of home ownership as compared to the Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia! DAP does not have to defend PAP, but I would encourage YAB Mr. Lim to invite Dr. Mahathir for a telecast debate on the plight of Malays in Singapore.
Dr. Mahathir always reminds the Malays in our country to look at the Malays in Singapore, how “miserable” they are without firm control in politics. For Mahathir's information, the Singapore Parliament Speaker is a Malay and the Finance Minister an Indian Muslim like Mahathir. And so far, I have not heard of Singapore Malays being maids in Malaysia or Indonesia, and neither have I heard of a large number of young Malay girls in Singapore prostituting themselves to feed their family.
As Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, DAP leaders should openly and publicly support the teachings of the Quran in our country. I voted for PAS on 8th March to close down casinos, horse-racing, 4D and TOTO. Non-Muslims have long been paying a second tax to the UMNO government by "gambling-off" their whole family savings and children’s education to win the trust and respect of Malays and Muslims.
DAP should advocate the closure of casinos, 4D, TOTO, and horse-racing as all these vice activities operators are UMNO agents. They take gambling money from non-Muslims and pay it to their UMNO Master. To cut off this source of revenue for UMNO, DAP should explain to the non-Muslim community how this gambling system works in Malaysia – and teach UMNO a lesson as we must expose UMNO’s hypocrisy!
Unfortunately, DAP leaders don't appear to have the intelligence, wit, courage and political will to have the paradigm shift and think out of the box politically. As mentioned earlier, DAP is just a political party helplessly manipulated by UMNO. By just simply advocating the banning of gambling, DAP could win the respect and trust of Malays and Muslims plus save many non-Muslims from bankruptcy and family problems. But most importantly, it cuts off a large chunk of revenue from UMNO. ONE stone killing 3 birds.
Instead of shouting and arguing with ridiculous Umnoputras in Parliament, I urge DAP to instruct each of their members to befriend at least 10 Malays to explain to them the challenge of this ever-changing globalized economy and how we have to work together regardless of race and religion for a better Malaysia. When the Malay mindsets change, Malaysia will change; and vice-versa.
DAP, hear me and hear me well. You may be sincere, but you are sincerely wrong in Malaysian politics. Go and study what made UMNO strong. Do your political analysis. Also, DAP, you must remember that PAS is your true friend, even though they talked with UMNO. They are righteous and godly people that won't succumb to the temptation of money. That is not the case with Keadilan. Except Anwar and a few top leaders, many Keadilan people are still carrying the UMNO-DNA, as we have witnessed with the running dog Ezam and Nalla betraying the party.
DAP, you should acknowledge the fact that the special rights and position of Malays/bumiputras are enshrined in our constitution. You have to respect it. You must have a complete and comprehensive Malay agenda to compete with UMNO. For example, the Penang state government can provide free but compulsory tuition for Penang Malay students at schools. DAP must cultivate and nurture the Malays in Penang to excel in academics and be able to compete on equal footing with others. Penang Malays must be the locomotive change of mindset to the rest of the Malays in our country. If DAP fails to change the Malay mindset in Penang, DAP will never be qualified to be addressed as a "National" party.
Lastly, DAP, you still have a long way to go and you really have to learn again who's given UMNO power. Go to their power base, seize their power and cut off their power supply! For a progressive and better Malaysia, wearing the songkok is a trivial matter.
If necessary, let Anwar’s new cabinet be full of capable Malays like Dr. Syed Husin Ali, Dr. Azly Rahman, Dr. Bakri Musa, Tuanku Abdul Aziz, etc. to prove to the Malay masses that we, Chinese, are not power hungry; we don't choose to "pegang" so as to destroy their livelihood as UMNO has claimed. We can prove to them that even though there is only 1 Chinese Minister in the Cabinet, it is still okay to us if the highly capable and honest Malay leaders can lead our country to greater heights and serve the rakyat wholeheartedly regardless of race, language and religion!
Please learn, understand and even master the UMNO's Art of War in Politics.
"Know your enemies and know yourself, hundred battles hundred victories" – "Sun Tzu’s Art of War".
FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA
Hidup Malaysia...
Mr. Loi Bih Siang Benjamin
Political Scientist
















Ubah.My
 


























DAP Co-operates With PAS On Common Principles That Benefits Malaysians With Our Eyes Open Unlike MCA, MIC And Gerakan Who Submits To UMNO With Both Eyes Closed.(en/bm/cn)

MCA and Gerakan continues their irresponsible, dishonest and untruthful attacks on DAP’s support for PAS hudud laws and establishing an Islamic state as well as launch personal attacks that shows their desperation to revive lost popular support. Both MCA and Gerakan is like a “culprit hurling the accusation first” by trying to hide their failure to demand action against UMNO leaders’ support for hudud to be imposed even on non-Muslims.
Let me reiterate that DAP does not support the implementation of an Islamic state in Malaysia and imposition of hudud law by PAS.
This consistent position of DAP has never changed. Despite these differences, both DAP and PAS have a common stand in fighting corruption and abuse of power as well as establishing integrity in leadership focusing on competency, accountability and transparency. We agree on a welfare state to protect the poor, destitute, sick and those who neeed help.
DAP and PAS can and should co-operate for the future of Malaysians on common principles that unites us as compared to continue to benefit BN by allowing these differences to divide us. For this reason both DAP and PAS have signed a ‘common policy’ that sets out the framework of what unites us and the nation-building policy of a future PR federal government. Clearly the ‘common policy’ makes no mention of implementing an Islamic state or hudud laws in any future PR federal government.
This is unlike UMNO Penang which is willing to go one step further by calling for the implementation of hudud in Penang and throughout the country. Even Johor Umno’s Kemelah state assemblyman Ayub Rahmat called for Johor to become the first state to implement “true hudud law”, which would differ from PAS’s version because UMNO’s “true hudud law” would be non-discriminatory as it would be imposed on non-Muslims. Not only did Penang State Opposition Leader Dato Azhar Ibrahim but the Kepala Batas Wanita UMNO Division also passed a resolution supporting hudud for all.
In other words, UMNO in wanting to implement hudud on non-Muslims too is more extreme than PAS who wants to see hudud implemented only on Muslims. I do not see top Gerakan leaders attacking UMNO leaders nor MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek using the same remarks of “political eunuchs” on UMNO. Why has MCA nor Gerakan not left BN because of UMNO leaders open support for hudud for all? DAP will not stoop so low to dirty tactics or smear campaigns employed by MCA and Gerakan against DAP leaders.
DAP has never misused parliamentary immunity to highlight Chua Soi Lek’s famous sex tapes. Nor have we attacked Chua as an immoral person leading an immoral party. Neither have we conducted a smear campaign like Gerakan against my family and me. Unfortunately such courage is never displayed by Gerakan leaders against UMNO whom Gerakan fully supports even though UMNO has shown utter contempt for Gerakan by tearing up Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s picture.
Lest we forget, it is UMNO that bans the use of the word “Allah” on Malay language Christian bibles, widely used in Sabah and Sarawak. In contrast, PAS takes the moderate approach allowing Christians to use the word “Allah” as being practiced these hundred years in the Middle-East and Indonesia.
Clearly there is a difference between DAP co-operating with PAS and either MCA or Gerakan co-operating with UMNO, when both PAS and UMNO supports the hudud and the Islamic state. PAS is open about their support but not wanting to impose on non-Muslims whilst UMNO only expresses their support for hudud or all in Malay but not Chinese/ English papers. DAP co-operates with PAS on common principles of justice, freedom and democracy with our eyes open unlike MCA, MIC and Gerakan whom submits to UMNO with both eyes closed.
Lim Guan Eng























Ubah.My






























Governing without a majority

 

 

 

 

 

Governing without a majority

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 08:35am
Image©The Star (Used by permission)
REFLECTING ON THE LAW By SHAD SALEEM FARUQI


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when launching the Foreign Correspondents Club on Monday night, said a hung Parliament would be the worst possible result for the country. What does a hung Parliament entail?

In political science, the term hung Parliament refers to a fragmented parliament in which no party or coalition secures an absolute majority. In the context of Malaysia, an absolute majority would mean 112 out of the 222 seats in the elected Dewan Rakyat.

Hung parliaments are the norm in many democracies. In Britain, hung parliaments occurred in January 1910, December 1910, 1929, 1974 and May 2010. Australia has a parliament with no clear-cut majority for any party.

A legislature with no overall control by any party can also arise when a slim government majority is eroded by deaths, resignations, by-election defeats or by defection of government MPs to opposition ranks. This happened in Britain in mid-1978 and in 1996.

What happens if there is such a stalemate after the next general election in Malaysia?

The Constitution provides very little guidance about the murky world of government formation. A few tentative generalisations about Commonwealth conventions can be made.

First, the government that took the country into the election remains in the saddle during the interim period, but only in a caretaker capacity and with the implied understanding that its job is to hold the fort and not to undertake any radical initiatives.

Second, there is no strict rule that a defeated Prime Minister must resign immediately. In 1974, Ted Heath, and in 2010 Gordon Brown, though not victorious, stayed put in Downing Street while they attempted to forge coalitions with the Liberals.

In Australia last year, Prime Minister Julia Gillard hung on despite failing to secure an electoral triumph. Ultimately, however, she was able to strike a deal with independent MPs to keep her government afloat.

The Commonwealth convention seems to be that in a stalemate, the government in office gets first choice to form the government.

Third, if this effort to cobble together a new coalition fails, then the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may install a “minority government” that, while lacking a majority, will rely on ad hoc support from willing MPs to survive no-confidence motions, pass budgets and secure essential legislation.

Minority governments are, understandably, weak governments and generally lead to early dissolutions and fresh polls.

Fourth, if neither side succeeds in making an agreement with cross benches, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may allow the caretaker PM to continue until he is defeated on the floor. In that case, a new election will be ordered.

Fifth, an untested and untried possibility is that if no party can put together a working majority, the King may exercise his influence to bring together a unity government of all parties to run the show for an interim period pending new elections.

In such a case, the PM must be from the previous Dewan Rakyat and must cease to hold office unless he is also an MP in the new Dewan Rakyat.

In a country with a hung parliament, can the King assume political control of the nation and rule by decree during such times?

Alluring though this proposition is, one must be reminded that in our system of constitutional monarchy, the King is not expected to rule in person.

He must have an interim caretaker government to advise him on all matters other than the limited areas of personal discretion permitted under Article 40(2).

The appointment of a prime minister is one such discretionary area. The advice of the previous or caretaker PM is not binding on the King.

However, the royal discretion is not absolute. Under Article 43(2)(a), the PM must be a member of the Dewan Rakyat who in the judgment of the King is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House.

In making his choice, the King must act impartially. He is not obliged to choose the leader with the largest number of Dewan Rakyat seats if the leader of any other party is able to forge a working majority.

In selecting the PM, the King is not required to take the percentage of electoral votes into consideration. It is the percentage of seats in the elected House that matters.

Under our winner-takes-all system, it is entirely possible that a party may have more or a majority of the popular vote, yet a minority or a lesser number of the seats in the House of Representatives.

Who decides when the new House sits? How and when is the new parliament convened?

The Constitution in Article 55(4) requires that the newly-elected parliament must be convened no later than 120 days from the date the previous parliament was dissolved.

This means that the defeated caretaker government is not obliged to throw in the towel immediately after the results. It may wait for negotiations to be completed before submitting its resignation.

New elections: After an inconclusive election result, can an immediate new election be called? Article 55(4) is explicit that after an election, parliament must be convened.

Only if the deadlocked parliament has met and the appointed PM has lost a confidence vote must the new House be dissolved and fresh elections ordered.

These are some of the issues a hung parliament may throw up. Of course, life is larger than the law and who knows what other interesting issues may crop up to challenge our imagination?

> Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM. He is the author of ‘Document of Destiny: The Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia’.


 

 

 

 

 

Governing without a majority

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dong Zong has gone too far

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
  • Segamat Rally Dong Zong
Migrants who wished to be naturalised as citizens of the said country “would accept the language and culture system” - Dr Mahathir (Inset : Dong Zong chairman Dr. Yap Sin Tian)
KUALA LUMPUR - Few bloggers recently pointed out that Dong Zong had gone too far this time around with their demand for the government to build another independent Chinese school.

They said the government had been too "soft" in dealing with these demands, adding that, the consequences will be bad as other races will feel that the government is pandering to the demand of one and ignoring others.

Blogger Big Dog, in his posting, argued that Dong Zong's demand for another independent school to be built in Segamat, Johor, is actually against the National Education Act 1996 (Act 550).

Big Dog claimed that the demand is considered as "too much" since there are already 214 Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) and 8 independent Chinese schools all over Johor.

"The existence of independent Chinese schools, not only can be seen as not (being) in tandem with the Act, it is also indirectly leading to a greater racial polarisation.

"Thus, this demand should be seen as an effort by the racist minority to protect their own interest, without being sensitive enough on harmonising the whole community," the blogger said.

Big Dog said, Ministry of Education, together with Menteri Besar Johor, should be firm on this matter and stop issuing more licenses on allowing more independent Chinese schools.

Echoing the same sentiment, blogger Eddy Daud viewed the demand as absurd, saying that instead of helping to unite races, Chinese schools were only encouraging segregation and for Malaysians to live separately,  oblivious to the majority of the population. 

"A nation that is going into its 55th year as a sovereign and independent entity should be celebrating unity of its multiracial population, but sadly, there are still citizens of this country who demand that more Chinese Independent School which curriculums are derived from a foreign country be built in this blessed country of ours," he said. 

In an article carried out by a news portal, Dr Mahathir pointed out that that “in every country, the national language is the original language of the original settlers”.

During the hour-long rally, Dong Zong as the main organiser, passed two resolutions.

First, participants expressed their support for the establishment of a branch of Batu Pahat’s Hua Ren independent school in Segamat.

Secondly, participants urged the education department to respect the board of governors of Chinese schools and allow it to have more say.

The Star had also reported that a few MCA leaders were seen including Jementah assemblyman Datuk Lee Hong Tee and several opposition local leaders.

Lee was quoted as saying that the MCA had never forgotten its duty to defend Chinese education and his presence with other party members proved it.

However, a spokeperson from MCA Johor claimed that Lee does not have the right to speak on behalf of the party.

"What ever he said, was only in his individual capacity. You should get reactions from the State MCA liaison chairman (who is MCA president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek)," the spokeperson added.




























     
































KINDLY CIRCULATE TO EVERY MALAYSIAN VOTER, AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE! THANKS.
Pakatan Rakyat Convention - 10 resolutions
You won't get this in the newspapers

The Pakatan Rakyat convention in Penang sent an unmistakable and chilling signal to arch rivals - Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Umno-BN coalition. Despite a roller coaster journey since sweeping to power in the 2008 general election, Pakatan has not been diminished by the enmity and malice unleashed by its political opponents, but has been able to mature and grow stronger in the process.

Indeed, the star-studded conference hall was packed with the likes of PAS president Hadi Awang, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, PKR president Wan Azizah, Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh.

Pakatan delegates and other members of the public who wanted to meet their 'reformasi' heroes were spoiled for choice. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang Chief Minister, played host to the 2,000-strong
Crowd at the convention.

Racial policies rejected, preliminary 10-point manifesto unveiled.

In a rousing opening address, Guan Eng warned Prime Minister Najib Razak's Umno party not to 'hijack' the federal constitution and misinterpret the controversial Article 153 to divide the ethnic groups in the country.

"Somehow Umno always fails to mention that Article 153 also states that the legitimate interests of other communities must also be protected, Guan Eng said.


Guan Eng also unveiled a ten-point document to be signed by all the top Pakatan leaders and which is set to become the coalition's preliminary manifesto in the coming general election. The resolutions to outline in detail the changes Pakatan will introduce within the first 100 days of its taking over Putrajaya if it wins the next general election expected to be held early next year.


The resolutions are:

1. A restructure of institutions including the Elections Commission (EC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Royal Malaysian Police. During a debate on the policy framework, DAP's Anthony Loke requested PR bring the MACC under the purview of Parliament.


2. A repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA)

3. Instruct Khazanah Berhad, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and other government bodies to take over highway assets from the concessionaires in order to abolish the toll system.

4. A restructure of the country's subsidies, to lessen subsidies given to the private sector (such as the RM19 billion in gas subsidies given to independent power producers) and transferring these to subsidies for the
Man on the street.

5. Acknowledging the role and sacrifices of civil servants by studying the current pay schemes and increasing the incentives for teachers by RM500 a month

6. Transferring private water concessions to the government

7. Offering free wireless Internet access to those in urban and semi-urban Areas

8. Cancelling Felda Plantations and opening up its farms to second- and third generation Felda settlers.

9. Increasing oil royalty payments to Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan to 20 per cent from 5 per cent currently.

10. Formation of a Royal Commission to solve the problem of illegal immigrants and citizenship issues in Sabah and Sarawak .
? May I add No. ?
11. To abolish the RM50 govt. Tax on the use of credit card. This tax is absolutely nonsense and unnecessary. We use credit card so as not to carry large amount of cash for our own safety. Now, by imposing this tax, the government is forcing us to carry large amount of cash thereby endangering our lives.? 
 
 Don't you think Pakatan Rakyat deserves your vote for a change for the better at the next 13th G. E.?

Evidence? ? Look at the improvements in Penang and Selangor.

" It Only Takes A Spark To Make A Fire Going ".
 
 
Please remember, by 7th level this email will reach 1 million people

and that is only when each of us forward it to 10 people
.
Please do it for the sake of our future. This is a good deed that all Malaysians MUST do. It is our duty to save our nation.
You are going to save 28 million people.
Please do so.
 
YOU CAN MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN!!!
 
Just send this to 10 other relatives or friends and ask them to do the same
to 10 of their friends and so on. By so doing we are enlisting the power of multilevel marketing. Yes the math works and it is awesome. By the 7thlevel this message would reach 1,000,000 people. Yes we can make our vote count! Better believe it!! We owe it to ourselves and to our children and to their children.
 
 
EMAIL ETIQUETTE: When forwarding this email, please have the courtesy to respect the privacy and confidentiality of the sender by deleting all previous email trails and addresses before you proceed to forward this email to others.
Please be kind to our email friends and use the BCC box so that a list of e-mail addresses is not circulated


















‘Christian’ Indonesia a big threat to Malaysia, says Muslim academic

August 06, 2012

Tee has long styled himself a champion of Islam.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — A Christian-majority Indonesia could be a threat to a small Muslim nation like Malaysia, controversial academic Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has said as growing Christian proselytisation in the Southeast Asian giant fuels fears of Islam’s followers leaving the religion. The Chinese-Muslim convert was weighing in on a recent furore in the world’s most populous Muslim nation that is experiencing a growing wave of converts to Christianity — as many as two million people a year — that had sparked a recent campaign to reverse the religious trend called “Save Maryam”.
Indonesia used to be 90 per cent Muslim, he said, but was now recording only 200 million Muslims out of a total population of 240 million.
“Mengikut jangkaan, jika sesuatu tidak dilakukan, pada 2035, Indonesia akan menjadi negara majoriti Kristian (According to estimates, if nothing is done, Indonesia will become a Christian-majority country by 2035).
“Jika perkara ini berlaku, ini satu ancaman besar kepada negara Islam kecil seperti Malaysia (If nothing is done, this will be a huge threat to a small Muslim nation like Malaysia),” said the Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia lecturer, in his column “Buka Minda (Open Mind)” published today by Malay daily Sinar Harian.
Tee, who is a member of the Islamic Consultative Council and Wasatiyyah panel in the Prime Minister’s Department, has long styled himself a champion of Islam.
He noted that many Muslim Indonesians converted to Christianity due to a variety of factors including the high poverty rate there that caused some to “sell out” their faith and the lack of laws to protect Muslims against Christian proselytisation in contrast to Malaysia.
But the columnist, who also writes for Umno-owned Malay broadsheet Utusan Malaysia, said the Christianisation movement was on the upswing here.
Tee appeared to suggest that Christians were the “enemy” of Muslims, citing a passage from the Quran, Surah Al-Anfal.
He said Christians had great financial power around the world and the Malay archipelago was now their main target after they had “failed” in their missionary attempts in the West.
He warned that Christian evangelical movements could attempt to employ similar tactics here as they did in Indonesia and called on Muslim Malaysians to “save” their brethren in the archipelago.
“Ingatlah wahai saudaraku, orang Indonesia itu juga adalah saudara kita (Remember my brothers, the Indonesians are our brethren too).
“Selamat mereka, selamatlah kita (If they are safe, we too are safe),” he said.
In multicultural Malaysia, non-Muslims are barred by the law from proselytising their faiths to Muslims even as they are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to practise their religions.
However, several right-wing religious groups have accused churches here of converting Muslims to Christianity and turning them into apostates, which is viewed as a serious offence and which has strained Christian-Muslim ties here over the past few years.
























Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Forum mulls moratorium on conversions


Catholic Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Hermen Shastri also says Christians must evaluate Pakatan Rakyat.


PETALING JAYA: Catholic Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Hermen Shastri has suggested that there be a moratorium on conversions on two major faiths – Islam and Christianity.

“The most ideal situation is for us to have a moratorium for a period of five years,” said the Methodist Christian priest at a forum entitled “Jesus in the Changing Malaysia” organised by the Community Action Network and co-hosted by Christian Renewal Society and Friends in Conversation.

This, he said, was due to the evangelising traditions of both the faiths.

“This may not work because the faiths are using triumphalism Christianity and Islam,” he said.

Triumphalism Christianity and Islam refers to proselytisation efforts.

In Malaysia, proselytisation of the Islamic faith is state sanctioned whereas Christians are allowed to proselytise non-Muslims.

He also cautioned the audience of 40-odd people about a vote for Pakatan Rakyat.

This is because co-panelist rights and church activist Paul Sinappan had in his speech earlier said that the Indian communities he worked with are all in support for PKR.

“The estate workers know that the Barisan Nasional government doesn’t have a clear policy for workers. They are supportive of PKR and are aware that change cannot be brought about immediately,” he said.



Taking this point forward Shastri said the Christian community needs to evaluate Pakatan.

“If we are PKR friendly we may have problems with PAS,” said Shastri in relations to the Islamic party’s agenda of an Islamist state.

He further stated that the Christian voice was strongest in Sabah and Sarawak, citing the case of the Malay bible last year.

In that case, the federal government allowed Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use Malay Bibles but did not allow Peninsular Malaysia based Christians to do so.

“The Allah issue is a stale mate,” said Shastri.

The alternative option, according to him, was to proselytise and evangelise Sabah and Sarawak.
“As long as they are interpretations on evangelisation, numbers matter,” he said.
But that too may not work.

He suggested that the Christians champion theirs on the basis of compassionate justice.
Shastri was earlier asked which political alliance would Christ support if he was a registered voter in Malaysia.

“Christ was not a political activist."

“He rebelled against the Roman empire by riding on donkeys and protesting just like (electoral reform watchdog) Bersih did,” he said.

He advised Christians to reflect on the life of Christ and their convictions before casting their votes.

























 "Christian conspiracy' bloggers in 'Pilih M'sia' drive

 Sunday, August 05, 2012


The mysterious 'Saya Pilih Malaysia' campaign took a new twist today with a newspaper advertisement featuring, among others, two bloggers who sparked the 'Christian conspiracy' row last year and three Pro-UMNO bloggers

Read here for more

(1) "CHRISTIAN CONSPIRACY" BLOGGERS


The two bloggers :
(a)  Big Dog, whose real name is Zakhir Mohamad, and
(b) My Anger (Shamsul Yunos)

Both had in May last year made blog postings alleging that DAP had organised a meeting with Christian leaders in Penang at which they took an oath to make Christianity the country's official religion.

utusan malaysia, malaysia negara kristianThe Christian conspiracy charge took the spotlight in May last year - weeks before the mammoth Bersih 2.0 rally - when Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia quoted the two bloggers Big Dog and My Anger in a front-page report with the screaming headline: "Kristian agama rasmi?" (Christianity the official religion?).

The report triggered an uproar among Christian leaders that led to a flurry of police reports and counter-reports. This was aggravated by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein saying there was "some basis" to the claim.

However, five months later, the Home Ministry confirmed that there was no evidence to back the claim and the case was subsequently closed.

(2) PRO-UMNO BLOGGERS


Three  other personalities featured in the advertisement carried by all major newspapers today, are prominent pro-BN bloggers

(a) rocky's bru, whose real name is Ahiruddin Attan, and

(b) Apanama (Firdaus Abdullah).

(c)   Syed Akbar Ali who goes by the blog name OutSyedTheBox, believed to be close to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad but has often been critical of both the government and opposition in his blog postings.

The template again uses BN's trademark blue and white colours, but does not specify who is behind the advertisement.

Personalities linked to Blog House

However, four personalities featured in the advertisement are linked to Blog House Malaysia (BHM), whose patron is Mahathir.

  Syed Akbar (OutSyedTheBox) is BHM president while Ahiruddin (Rockybru), Firdaus Abdullah (Apanama) and Zakhir (Big Dog) hold the posts of adviser, deputy secretary and treasurer respectively.

BHM too has had its fair share of controversy when its secretary, Tony Yew, lodged a police report against videographer Chan Lilian over a Twitter posting in which she urged Christians to back the Bersih 2.0 rally last year.

The report led the police to raid Chan's home in Penang before carting away her computer and modem.

The 'I Choose Malaysia' advertising blitz, which enters its third week, is not confined to major newspapers but is also broadcast on TV channels RTM1, RTM2, TV3, 8TV, TV9, NTV7, Astro RIA, Astro Awani, Astro Vaanavil and Astro AEC.

This extensive campaign is estimated to run into the millions of ringgit.































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