Saturday, January 30, 2010

Guan Eng dictator? Good for Guan Eng

Allow me to share this article with you written by Raja Petra regarding Zahrain latest accusation on Lim Guan Eng....

But Lim Guan Eng is nobody’s running dog. He is not in office to serve Umno’s interest, or the interest of ex-Umno people who no longer have any future in Umno and are now trying to build a new future in PKR.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

When the Umno Malays attack the Chinese from the opposition, they would normally use the word ‘Communist’. To the Umno Malays, any Chinese who opposes Umno is a Communist.
And this is what MP Zahrain Mohd Hashim from PKR called Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng from DAP -- ‘Communist-minded’.

But then, Zahrain is Umno. Okay, maybe now he is in PKR. But that was only very recently. For decades he was in Umno and, furthermore, he was one of the key people in Umno Penang who headed various very important government agencies in the state.

In short, in true Umno fashion, Zahrain was one of the Penang warlords -- and he was so for a great number of years. But Umno warlords, even ex-Umno warlords now in the opposition, no longer carry any weight in Penang. And this must be extremely unsettling for someone like Zahrain, who practically had the power of ‘life and death’ over Penang -- and now has no power to even change the curtains in his office without the approval of ‘dictator’ Lim Guan Eng.

Another thing that is even more upsetting for Umno, even ex-Umno people now in PKR, is that, during the days of the Gerakan state government, it was Umno that called the shots while the Gerakan Chief Minister was merely an Umno running dog and in office merely to serve Umno’s interest.

But Lim Guan Eng is nobody’s running dog. He is not in office to serve Umno’s interest, or the interest of ex-Umno people who no longer have any future in Umno and are now trying to build a new future in PKR.

The ex-Umno people in PKR, in particular those from Penang, will have to learn how to adjust to the new ‘culture’. During the Umno days it was the Chinese who sat on the throne while the Malays were the power behind the throne who manipulated Gerakan and the Chief Minister. All Umno had to do was tell the Chief Minister to jump and he would respond, “How high?"

Lim Guan Eng, however, has a mind of his own. He knows what needs to be done (after all, Penang is the best run state, according to the Auditor-General).

He understands the old Umno culture, which invariably has been ‘imported’ into PKR. No one is going to pressure him or blackmail him. He will not allow himself to become a puppet Chief Minister like the Gerakan Chief Minister in the days when Umno was running Penang with Gerakan as its front.

So we lose some ex-Umno people in PKR who decide to go back to Umno because they are no longer warlords like they used to be. Well, so be it. Better they go now even if we see a Perak situation in the other states as well. Spring-cleaning in PKR (and DAP and PAS as well) is long overdue anyway.

I have just about had it with all these ex-Umno people like Hassan Ali, Zulkifli Noordin, Zahrain Mohd Hashim, and many more who have been nothing but a source of problems for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. If I were to list down the names of people like Ruslan Kassim, Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Adam, Rozaid Abdul Rahman, Hanafiah Man, and all those many others who came from Umno into PKR, and then left PKR to rejoin Umno after causing so much problems, this article would probably run into 20 or 30 pages.

It is time we bite the bullet and purge the party, even if we have to use 'undemocratic' methods, or else this nonsense will never end. Maybe Lim Guan Eng can teach us some of his ‘undemocratic’ tactics that we can use in PKR to clean up the party.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kelantanese are not beggars..........

"Kelantan may be poor but we are not beggars" .........Ku Li I cannot agree with you anymore.....

Ku Li insists Kelantan gets 5pc oil royalty

KOTA BHARU, Jan 29 — Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has insisted that Kelantan is entitled to a five per cent royalty for oil extracted off its waters, saying it was time to “re-examine the relationship between the states and the federal government”.
The Gua Musang MP told a packed Stadium Sultan Mohamed IV last night that national oil firm Petronas was bound by law to give the money to states where oil is found, adding Kelantan was not interested in compassionate payments.

“Kelantan may be poor. But we are not beggars. We demand what is rightfully ours,” the Kelantan prince said to cheers and cries of “Allahu Akbar (God is great)” at the last night’s gathering organised by the state government over the oil royalty issue.

The PAS government had demanded the oil royalty payment from Petronas last year, after the Statistics Department revealed that Kelantan, together with Sabah and Terengganu, had contributed 62.5 per cent of the oil extracted in Malaysia

The Barisan Nasional-ruled federal government has insisted oil from the joint development area with Thailand was not from part of Kelantan’s waters and has only offered RM20 million as “compassionate payment”.

But Razaleigh, the founding chairman of Petronas, disagreed with the government’s move, saying the formula for oil royalty was first agreed with Sarawak and later extended to all states.

If Sarawak is due her five per cent royalty, no less is Kelantan, by the same principle,” thundered the Umno politician popularly known as Ku Li.

An estimated 50,000 turned up to hear Ku Li’s speech.
Razaleigh said he has received the blessings of the Kelantan palace to speak on the issue and also confirmed that he will lead a parliamentary caucus to press the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional to honour the Petronas agreement.

The oil caucus I will lead is not just about oil. It is to re-examine the relationship between the states and the federal government,” he told the crowd, adding the larger issue here was state rights as Malaysia was a federation of sovereign states that have assigned only certain rights to the federal government.

“Let us re-examine the terms of the Federation Agreement signed in 1948,” Razaleigh added, referring to the founding of Malaya before it gained independence from Great Britain in 1957.

He repeated his earlier argument that Putrajaya should respect the agreements made and not change them depending on who ruled the states, saying “How are we to ask investors to have confidence in us if we can’t even keep contracts between ourselves!”

The move has a precedent in Terengganu after the 1999 general elections, when PAS won the state, prompting the federal government to convert oil royalty payments to compassionate payments managed by a federal department. Terengganu had sued for its right and Putrajaya relented only after Barisan Nasional recaptured the state.

Ku Li, who noted to the crowd that he was entering the stadium after 15 years, was earlier escorted in by a convoy of 50 trishaws. Among those sharing the stage with him were Kelantan state executive councillors, led by Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

The approximately 50,000 crowd cheered and clapped when Razaleigh began his speech with “I stand here representing only myself. I am here upon principle.”

The former finance minister and one-time Umno vice-president, who had unsuccessfully challenged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the Umno presidency, had no kind words for his party during the speech and later when speaking to reporters.

He described Kelantan Umno chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, also International Trade and Industry Minister, as a sycophant, and party-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia as reporting fiction.

“Don’t mention those names to me. Mustapa is a sycophant, Utusan is just [reporting] myths,” he retorted.
Razaleigh has, in recent months, taken a strident stand against his party, particularly over the oil royalty issue and the larger issues of governance in Malaysia.

He had earlier written in his weblog ( that by ignoring both the letter and the spirit of agreements over oil found in Malaysia, the federal government sets aside the very purpose of Petronas.

More importantly there is a failure to understand the origin of federal powers over state resources.

We have forgotten that the states existed prior to the Federation. The Federation only exists because the states were willing to vest their rights in it, such as their rights in oil. Not the other way around,” he wrote.
Razaleigh noted the federation itself rested on the principle of fairness to all the states, and to its citizens, wherever they may live.

When the government of the day ignores this principle, it is ignoring a basic principle holding our country together.

“There has been too much centralisation of power in the federal government. Powers functions and rights that belong to the states must be restored to them,” the Gua Musang Umno chief said.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Truly One Malaysia !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 A photo speak louder than words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not think I should introduce any one in the photo to you....... They are just Malaysian, Truly Malaysian!!!!!

No cosmetic, no slogan.......

Friday, January 22, 2010

Malaysia Human Rights ranking drops further..... Congratulations Najib!!!!

Rights group slams KL for ‘more rhetoric than reality’

Demonstrators run away from tear gas during a protest against the Internal Security Act in Kuala Lumpur.

— Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia has failed to undertake systematic reforms to fulfil Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s oath of office in April 2009 promising to respect “the fundamental rights of the people,” Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2010.
The 612-page report, the New York-based organisation’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.
In Malaysia, the report said, instead of addressing persistent human rights problems, the government harasses the political opposition; improperly restricts the rights to peaceful expression, association, and assembly; and mistreats migrants.
“The Malaysian government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage than safeguarding rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“In the hopes of maintaining control and power, the government has turned its back on its promises to protect people’s rights.”
The release of a number of detainees held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) early in Najib’s term was a positive development, Human Rights Watch said. But Parliament should repeal that and other repressive laws, including the Police Act 1967, which was most recently used to justify a violent crackdown on a citizens’ march against the ISA on Aug 1 last year.
It reported that security forces attacked the gathering with tear gas and water laced with chemicals fired from water cannon trucks, and arrested almost 600 people, including 44 children.
Human Rights Watch also criticised the government’s continuing heavy restrictions on freedom of expression, saying “The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 enables government officials to compel censorship of publications through control of printing and distribution licenses.
“More recently, Internet media and bloggers are coming under closer scrutiny as the government, cognisant of the Internet’s impact in the last general election, tries to rein in non-traditional media,” it added.
It also said Malaysian legislation failed to distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from other undocumented migrants and authorised Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (Rela), which it called “an ill-trained, abusive civilian force, to use its authority to enter living quarters and make arrests without search or arrest warrants”.
The HRW report said apprehended undocumented migrants are detained under inhumane conditions in immigration detention centres, where several migrants died during 2009 and dozens were sickened by leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal faeces in unclean water.
It also noted that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee produced a report alleging ties between Malaysian deportations and human trafficking gangs at the Malaysian-Thai border, where the lives of deportees were at risk if they could not pay ransoms.
“It is beyond understanding why the Malaysian government delays access to basic medical services for the thousands of migrants locked in cramped, dirty, and disease-ridden conditions,” Robertson said.
“How many more migrants have to die in detention before Malaysian policymakers wake up?”
The report also lamented that human rights defenders — such as lawyers, journalists, and members of non-governmental organisations — faced continued harassment and the possibility of arrest, especially if the government considered their work to be connected to opposition political parties.
It alleged that Malaysia also continued to violate human rights norms by criminalising adult consensual sexual behaviour, “as evidenced by the ongoing efforts to bring the parliamentary opposition leader, (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, to trial for alleged consensual sodomy in a case that many observers believe is politically motivated”.
“For a country that is so proud of its post-colonial political development, it is truly bizarre that the government continues to enforce an antiquated British colonial law against ‘sodomy’ by consenting adults,” said Robertson.
“It’s about time the government brought its criminal code into the 21st century.”
The report said that under pressure from the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC), the government made slight modifications to the law that established Suhakam, Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission.
“However, Suhakam remained hampered by its status as an advisory committee, without adequate independence for its commissioners or power to compel enforcement of its decisions,” the report said.
The major recommendations to Malaysia’s government in the Human Rights Watch report are:
  • Revoke the Internal Security Act and other arbitrary and preventive detention measures;
  • Rescind the Printing Presses and Publications Act, narrowing the definition of sedition and seditious tendency;
  • Amend the Police Act to provide for reasonable and negotiated conditions for assembly;
  • Abolish Rela and uphold the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
In addition, Human Rights Watch urged ratification of key international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
“During the early days of his government, Prime Minister Najib talked big on protecting human rights — but talk is cheap,” Robertson said. “If the government really believes in its 1 Malaysia campaign, then it should demonstrate real commitment to improving respect for the human rights of all Malaysians.”
Click here to read Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2010 chapter on Malaysia.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Muhyiddin , why go all the way to London?

Kit Siang, please do not waste your time...... As long as this country governed by UMNO...Malaysia will not have future....You can bet my words......

Kit Siang wants Muhyiddin to address brain drain to Singapore

By Adib Zalkapli

Lim says the country’s best is being siphoned off by Singapore. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today urged Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to address the problem of the country’s brain drain at an early stage, citing the high number of top scholars being enticed to go across the Causeway — as exemplified by the case of a Malaysian being Singapore’s top O-Level student this year.
“The question Muhyiddin must answer is, why go all the way to the United Kingdom to urge [for] the return of the ‘best brains’ while he is completely blind, unconcerned and insensitive to the loss of the ‘best brains’ to neighbouring Singapore, or the 300,000 Malaysians who emigrated since the last general election?” asked Lim in a statement.
The deputy prime minister was reported to have urged the “best brains” working abroad to return to Malaysia to help drive the country’s new economic model, at a dialogue with Malaysian students in London.
Lim said the government appeared to be insensitive over the report on the success of Malaysian Lai Kai Rou, 16, who emerged tops in the island republic, scoring 10 A1s in the recent O-Level examinations.
“The question Muhyiddin, who is also Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Human Resources, should  address is why Malaysia continues to be helpless, unconcerned and even insensitive to the brain drain of the best and most talented young Malaysians to Singapore, right from the start of secondary education,” said Lim.
“Can the Cabinet Committee on Human Resources headed by Muhyiddin come out with a master plan to stop such a brain drain by not only ensuring that there is a quality education system in the country but that all talented Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, would be assured of equal opportunities both in education and employment, as well as full respect of the constitutional rights of all Malaysians?” he added.
He also said that addressing the brain drain issue should be made the Key Performance Index (KPI) and one of the National Key Results Area (NKRA) for the Education Ministry.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is not a Malaysia that I know anymore.....









What’s next after church attacks in Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 —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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Friday, January 8, 2010

Is this condoned by "Allah"?

I just cannot believe that this kind of coward acts can actually happen in my country called Malaysia......  Really memalukan....

Church fire-bombed ahead of protests

Jan 8, 10 6:49am

A church has been fire-bombed in an attack that gutted its ground floor, church officials said, escalating a dispute over the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims.

Al least four other churches are also believed to have been attacked in the oast 12 hours in the Klang Valley, including the Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya.

A fire department official said all stations were on alert for more blazes at religious buildings, ahead of planned nationwide protests today by Muslim groups angry over the use of the word as a translation for 'God' by Christians.
desa melawati church firebomb allah issue 1

The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, part of the Assemblies of God movement, was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight, said church leader Peter Yeow, 62.

"Witnesses saw four people smash the glass and throw incendiaries into the church building. They came on two motorcycles," he told AFP at the scene as fire department forensic officers picked through the wreckage.

There were no casualties in the attack on the church, which occupies the corner lot of a row of shop houses and which Yeow said draws some 1,500 people weekly.

"The fire destroyed the administrative part of the church. We do not know if the prayer hall on the third floor suffered any damage," he said, warning all other churches to "double their guard" against any attacks.
Anuar Harun, who headed the fire department operation, said that forensic experts were working with the police and a canine unit to probe the blaze.
"We are investigating the cause of fire. We cannot provide any more details. It is a sensitive issue," he said when asked if it was a case of arson.
"We have asked all our fire stations to be on alert for such fires on religious premises," he told AFP.

desa melawati church firebomb allah issue 2

Meanwhile Kuala Lumpur police Sabtu Othman said the police found one spanner and a kerosene container at the scene, along with two scorched helmets.
He said that the police were investigating the matter under Section 436 of the Penal Code which can punish an offender to 20 years' jail and a fine.

Building erupted into flames
The High Court last week ruled in favour of the Catholic weekly, The Herald newspaper, which has used 'Allah' as a translation for "God" in its Malay-language section. The government has said the word should be used only by Muslims.

The ruling was suspended on Wednesday pending an appeal, after the government argued the decision could cause racial conflict in multicultural Malaysia, where Muslim Malays make up 60 percent of the population.

The security guard at the Metro Tabernacle church, 65-year-old V Mariappan, said he had just walked away from the main entrance of the building to use the bathroom when the building erupted in flames.
"When I came back, there was a huge fire inside the church building. There was a few loud explosions like bombs exploding," he said, adding he saw two motorcycle helmets lying on the road in flames.

The Herald's editor Father Lawrence Andrew has warned of a campaign of intimidation including hacker attacks against the weekly's website, protest plans and widespread criticism in the media over last week's ruling.

desa melawati church firebomb allah issue 4desa melawati church firebomb allah issue 3

"We believe these actions (are designed) to create a climate of fear and a perceived threat to national security so as to pressure the court in reversing its decision," he said this week.

The Herald, which is printed in four languages, has been using the word 'Allah' as a translation for 'God' in its Malay-language section, but the government argued 'Allah' should be used only by Muslims.

More than half of Malaysia's Catholics are from indigenous groups, most of whom live in Sabah and Sarawak and who mainly speak Bahasa Malaysia.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Malaysia...Which one?


Ironically when the Acting OCPD of Penampang,ASP Wan Badrul did not allow the gathering of the group of Church Activist in Penampang,in Kuala Lumpur the Home Ministry will allow a public demonstration against the “Allah” ruling, planned by Muslim groups this Friday at the Kampung Baru mosque here, to proceed and will only take action if “things get out of hand.”

By Ronnie Klassen
January 6th 2010 at 2pm will go down in history as the day,a group of brave concerned Sabahans shook Sabah with their stand on the Allah issue.I thank the reporters and editors who interviewed me.

Out in force, Sabah police on Wednesday foiled an attempt by a group of Church activists to hold a peaceful gathering in Penampang- the heartland of the Christian community in the state.

Worried by the angry outburst against non-Muslims using the word Allah, they had wanted to publicly urge Prime Minister Najib Razak to show that he is a leader for all Malaysians and not just the Malays and the Muslims.

"I got a call from ASP Wan Badrul to call off the gathering in view of the sensitivity of the matter.I told him that the gathering would go on and assured that it would be peaceful. No shouting, no loud haler and no unruly behavior. But he was uncompromising and we could see they were crawling all over Penampang. So we decided to call it off as there were a few elderly people involved and we did not want any untoward incident," Ronnie Klassen, the organizing activist and PKR leader said in an interview.

Ironically when the Acting OCPD of Penampang,ASP Wan Badrul did not allow the gathering of the group of Church Activist in Penampang,in Kuala Lumpur the Home Ministry will allow a public demonstration against the “Allah” ruling, planned by Muslim groups this Friday at the Kampung Baru mosque here, to proceed and will only take action if “things get out of hand.”

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn told a press conference here at a post-Cabinet meeting that the developments will be monitored and that action will only be taken if the need arises.Why the double standards?

“If Prime Minister Najib is sincere in his 1Malaysia, then this would be the time for him to prove his intentions. Confusion only occurs if it is meant for political reasons as in the case in Malaysia today. We hope that he will continue to respect Sabahans and Sarawakians on their continued usage of the word Allah. There should not be any confusion by our Muslim Brothers and Sisters as there is only one Allah and we should be proud to acknowledge him together.”

While not large, the core group of some 60 ‘old-faithfuls’ have been very effective in their outreach programmes. In April 2009, Ronnie managed to gather 20,000 signatures on a petition to the federal government not to ban the Catholic Herald, from the word Allah in its Malay-language section.

Part of their heritage

According to Ronnie, Sabahans and Sarawakians have been using the word Allah in churches well before the formation of Malaysia in 1963. This was a historical fact and Christian leaders in the Umno-Barisan Nasional should do more to explain this to the federal government.Have they forgotten that the people put them there and can also remove them? Similarly, PM Najib should not pretend not to know history and bury his head in the sand about this issue.

“The history of Christianity in Sabah and Sarawak goes a long way back in time, approximately 4 centuries ago,1818 to be exact. The Seventh Day Adventist Church had pastors from Indonesia who would conduct sermons in Bahasa Indonesia, thus the word 'Allah' was frequently used,” said Ronnie.
Read more at: Sabah police foil bid by Christian group to hold peaceful demo

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who do you think is more convincing? Father or Daugther?

Again and again, father just talks like a politician without real fact that really can convince people on his arguments....His daugther who speaks with facts and confidence is more my vote will go to Marina.....Well said and keep it up Marina.....You are truly Malaysian...


Confident people do not get confused — Marina Mahathir

JAN 4 — I found by chance this article the other day: “Prophet Muhammad’s Promise to Christians”.
The document is not a modern human rights treaty but even though it was penned in 628 AD it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person, says Muqtedar Khan.
Muslims and Christians together constitute over 50 per cent of the world and if they lived in peace, we will be half way to world peace. One small step that we can take towards fostering Muslim-Christian harmony is to tell and retell positive stories and abstain from mutual demonisation.
In this article I propose to remind both Muslims and Christians about a promise that Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) made to Christians. The knowledge of this promise can have enormous impact on Muslim conduct towards Christians. Muslims generally respect the precedent of their Prophet and try to practise it in their lives.
In 628 AD, a delegation from St Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.
The Promise to St Catherine:
“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
“Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
“No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
“Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
“No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
“No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
The first and the final sentence of the charter are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. Muhammed asserts that Muslims are with Christians near and far, straight away rejecting any future attempts to limit the promise to St Catherine alone. By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable. Muhammed declared Christians, all of them, as his allies and he equated ill treatment of Christians with violating God’s covenant.
A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties!
The document is not a modern human rights treaty but even thought it was penned in 628 AD it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person.
I know most readers must be thinking so what? Well the answer is simple. Those who seek to foster discord among Muslims and Christians focus on issues that divide and emphasise areas of conflict. But when resources such as Muhammad’s promise to Christians are invoked and highlighted it builds bridges. It inspires Muslims to rise above communal intolerance and engenders goodwill in Christians who might be nursing fear of Islam or Muslims.
When I look at Islamic sources, I find in them unprecedented examples of religious tolerance and inclusiveness. They make me want to become a better person. I think the capacity to seek good and do good inheres in all of us. When we subdue this predisposition towards the good, we deny our fundamental humanity. In this holiday season, I hope all of us can find time to look for something positive and worthy of appreciation in the values, cultures and histories of other peoples.
Dr Muqtedar Khan is director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Now, when that delegation from St Catherine's monastery came to meet with Prophet Mohamad (pbuh), I suppose it's fair to assume that they spoke Arabic to one another. And when they were conversing, surely the word “God” must have come up. As in "May God Be With You" and such like. What word did the Prophet (pbuh) use for “God” I wonder? And what did the St Catherinians use in return? For monotheists like them, was there a “your God” and “my God” type of situation, or did they understand that they were both talking about the same One?
While some idiots are mourning over the “loss” of the word “Allah” and therefore basically telling the world that they are people easily confused by nomenclature, and others are predicting riots over what is basically a “copyright” issue, let me define what I think a confident Muslim should be:
1. A confident Muslim is unfazed by the issue of God's name. God speaks to all of humankind in the Quran and never said that only Muslims could call him by the name Allah.
2. A confident Muslim has 99 names to choose from to describe that One God. My favourites are Ar-Rahman (The All-Compassionate) and Ar-Rahim (The All-Merciful).
3. A confident Muslim never gets confused over which is his/her religion and which is other people's. For instance, a confident Muslim knows exactly what the first chapter of the Quran is. And it's not the Lord's Prayer.
4. A confident Muslim will not walk into a church, hear a liturgy in Malay or Arabic where they use the word “Allah” and then think that he or she is in a mosque. A confident Muslim knows the difference.
5. A confident Muslim is generous, inclusive and doesn't think that his or her brethren is made exclusive through the use of a single language. The confident Muslim is well aware that in the Middle East, all services of ANY religion are in Arabic because that's what they all speak.
6. A confident Muslim knows the basis of his/her faith are the five pillars of Islam and will not be shaken just because other people call God by the same name.
7. A Muslim believes in only One God. Therefore it makes sense that other people should call God by the same name because there is no other God.
ART THOU NOT aware that it is God whose limitless glory all [creatures] that are in the heavens and on earth extol, even the birds as they spread out their wings? Each [of them] knows indeed how to pray unto Him and to glorify Him; and God has full knowledge of all that they do: (Surah Nour, Verse 41) (Asad).
So I would ask those people demonstrating against the court decision, have you no pride? Are you saying you're easily confused?
And before anyone says I have no qualifications to say these things, read what Dr Asri Zainal Abidin (who does have qualifications no matter what JAIS says) has written about this very subject here.
And here's something interesting. In 2007, the Majlis Agama Negeri Perlis, which is a large majlis filled with people very learned in Islamic religious knowledge, discussed the question of the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims. Their unanimous decision? They issued a fatwa to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with non-Muslims using the word at all. (This was told to me by Asri but I cannot find the fatwa anywhere online because all the religious departments' websites are so useless.)
Are we now going to excommunicate the whole of Perlis? —


Kontroversi kegunaan kalimah ‘Allah’ — Dr Mahathir Mohamad

JAN 5 — Ingin saya terangkan secara lebih terperinci pendapat saya berkenaan kegunaan kalimah “Allah” untuk agama yang bukan Islam.
Sebenarnya kontroversi ini bermula di waktu saya masih Perdana Menteri. Pendapat Kabinet pada masa itu ialah kegunaannya dalam kitab Injil adalah perkara yang sensitif. Perkara yang sensitif seperti ini tidak boleh diselesaikan dengan hanya merujuk kepada undang-undang.
Sebagai perbandingan agak mudah dirujukkan perkataan “kaum pendatang” kepada mahkamah, tetapi ia adalah sesuatu yang sensitif yang tidak dapat diselesaikan oleh undang-undang.
Penyelesaian kontroversi berkenaan kalimah “Allah” juga tidak boleh dicapai dengan membuat rayuan kepada mahkamah rayuan.
Undang-undang tidak mengambilkira soal sensitif atau tidaknya sesuatu, soal mencetuskan ketegangan dan permusuhan antara penganut-penganut agama yang berlainan. Undang-undang mengutamakan maksud undang-undang sahaja.
Sebenarnya kalimah “Allah” tidak terdapat dalam kitab Taurat atau Talmud Hebrew atau kitab Injil Kristian dalam bahasa Latin, Greek atau bahasa-bahasa Eropah.
Nama bagi Tuhan dalam bahasa yahudi ialah “Yahweh”, yang diterjemahkan kepada bahasa Inggeris sebagai “Jehovah”.
Dalam kitab Injil, Jesus (Isa) dan God adalah sama. Tidak ada kalimah Allah dalam kitab Injil dalam bahasa-bahasa yang disebut di atas.
Dalam usaha menerangkan agama Kristian di kalangan orang Islam atau masyarakat yang mahir dengan agama Islam, perkataan God diterjemah kepada “Allah” supaya mudah difaham oleh pendengar.
Mungkin juga kalimah “Allah” dapat menyamakan agama Kristian dengan agama Islam kerana menyembah Tuhan yang sama. Dengan ini penerimaan agama Kristian oleh orang Islam boleh jadi lebih mudah. Terjemahan ini salah. Sepatutnya perkataan “Tuhan” digunakan untuk God.
Tetapi dalam agama Kristian terdapat konsep “Trinity” yang mana terdapat “God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost”. Jika dalam bahasa Melayu terdapat dalam kitab Injil atau syarahan berkenaan “Allah sebagai Bapak, Allah sebagai Anak dan Roh yang Suci”, maka tentulah ini akan ditentang oleh orang Islam.
Dalam Islam Allah tidak ada bapak, tidak ada anak. Ia tidak dilahirkan dan Ia tidak melahirkan sesiapa. Allah hanya satu. Ia tidak boleh disekutu dengan sesiapa.
Di Amerika Syarikat, orang Kristian yang sudah tidak teguh iman biasa berkata dan menulis, “God is dead”. Apakah perasaan orang Islam apabila ini diganti denagn “Allah is dead”?
Di Semenanjung Malaysia kita tidak pernah mendengar orang Kristian menggunakan kalimah “Allah” apabila bercakap berkenaan God dalam bahasa Melayu. Kenapa pula kita sekarang akan mengguna kalimah ini?
Saya harap pihak Kerajaan berhati-hati dalam perkara ini supaya negara berbilang agama yang aman ini tidak menjadi tegang dan tidak stabil secara berterusan. Wallahua’lam. —

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My First New Year Present....

I cannot wait for my 1st NEW YEAR PRESENT to be launched in 5th January 2009 and it is none other than.....

Book Review: Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times by Barry Wain
Written by John Berthelsen
Friday, 04 December 2009

Authored by Barry Wain. Palgrave Macmillan, 363pp. Available through Amazon, US$60.75. Available for Pre-order, to be released Jan 5, 2010.

In 1984 or 1985, when I was an Asian Wall Street Journal correspondent in Malaysia, an acquaintance called me and said he had seen a US Army 2-1/2 ton truck, known as a "deuce-and-a-half," filled with US military personnel in jungle gear on a back road outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Since Malaysia and the United States were hardly close friends at that point, I immediately went to the US Embassy in KL and asked what the US soldiers were doing there. I received blank stares. Similar requests to the Malaysian Ministry of Defense brought the same response. After a few days of chasing the story, I concluded that my acquaintance must have been seeing things and dropped it.

It turns out he wasn’t seeing things after all. In a new book, "Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times," launched Dec. 4 in Asia, former Asian Wall Street Journal editor Barry Wain solved the mystery. In 1984, during a visit to Washington DC in which Mahathir met President Ronald Reagan, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and others, he secretly launched an innocuous sounding Bilateral Training and Consultation Treaty, which Wain described as a series of working groups for exercises, intelligence sharing, logistical support and general security issues. In the meantime, Mahathir continued display a public antipathy on general principles at the Americans while his jungle was crawling with US troops quietly training for jungle warfare.
That ability to work both sides of the street was a Mahathir characteristic. In his foreword, Wain, in what is hoped to be a definitive history of the former prime minister’s life and career, writes that "while [Mahathir] has been a public figure in Malaysia for half a century and well known abroad for almost as long, he has presented himself as a bundle of contradictions: a Malay champion who was the Malays’ fiercest critic and an ally of Chinese-Malaysian businessmen; a tireless campaigner against Western economic domination who assiduously courted American and European capitalists; a blunt, combative individual who extolled the virtues of consensual Asian values."

Wain was granted access to the former premier for a series of exhaustive interviews. It may well be the most definitive picture painted of Mahathir to date, and certainly is even-handed. Wain, now a writer in residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, is by no means a Mahathir sycophant. Advance publicity for the book has dwelt on an assertion by Wain that Mahathir may well have wasted or burned up as much as RM100 billion (US$40 billion at earlier exchange rates when the projects were active) on grandiose projects and the corruption that that the projects engendered as he sought to turn Malaysia into an industrialized state. Although some in Malaysia have said the figure is too high, it seems about accurate, considering such ill-advised projects as a national car, the Proton, which still continues to bleed money and cost vastly more in opportunity costs for Malaysian citizens forced to buy any other make at huge markups behind tariff walls. In addition, while Thailand in particular became a regional center for car manufacture and for spares, Malaysia, handicapped by its national car policy, was left out.
Almost at the start of the book, Wain encapsulates the former premier so well that it bears repeating here: Mahathir, he writes, "had an all-consuming desire to turn Malaysia into a modern, industrialized nation commanding worldwide respect. Dr Mahathir’s decision to direct the ruling party into business in a major way while the government practiced affirmative action, changed the nature of the party and accelerated the spread of corruption. One manifestation was the eruption of successive financial scandals, massive by any standards, which nevertheless left Dr Mahathir unfazed and unapologetic."
That pretty much was the story of Malaysia for the 22 years that Mahathir was in charge. There is no evidence that Mahathir himself was ever involved in corruption. Once, as Ferdinand Marcos was losing his grip on the Philippines, Mahathir pointed out to a group of reporters that he was conveyed around in a long black Daimler – the same model as the British ambassador used – that the Istana where he lived was a huge mansion, that he had everything he needed. Why, he asked, was there any need to take money from corruption? Nonetheless, in his drive to foster a Malay entrepreneurial class, he allowed those around him to pillage the national treasury almost at will, which carried over into Umno after he had left office and which blights the country to this day.
Wain follows intricate trails through much of this, ranging from the attempt, okayed by Mahathir, to attempt to rescue Bumiputra Malaysia Finance in the early 1980s which turned into what at the time was the world’s biggest banking scandal.

In the final analysis, much as Lee Kuan Yew down the road in Singapore strove to create a nation in his own image and largely succeeded, so did Mahathir. Both nations are flawed – Singapore in its mixture of technological and social prowess and draconian ruthlessness against an independent press or opposition, Malaysia with its iconic twin towers and its other attributes colored by a deepening culture of corruption that has continued well beyond his reign, which ended in 2003. Mahathir must bear the blame for much of this, in particular his destruction of an independent judiciary, as Wain writes, to further his aims.

Mahathir, as the former premier said in the conversation over his mansion and his car, had everything including, one suspects, a fully-developed sense of injustice. He appears to this day to continue to resent much of the west, particularly the British. Wain writes exhaustively of Mahathir’s deep antagonism over both British elitism during the colonial days and the disdain of his fellow Malays (Mahathir’s parentage is partly Indian Muslim on his father’s side), especially the Malay royalty. That antagonism against the British has been a hallmark of his career – from the time he instituted the "Buy British Last" policy for the Malaysian government as prime minister to the present day.

Robert Mugabe, in disgrace across much of the world for the way his policies have destroyed what was one of the richest countries in Africa, remains in Mahathir’s good graces. Asked recently why that was, an aide told me Mugabe had driven the British out of Zimbabwe and was continuing to drive out white farmers to this day, although he was replacing them with people who knew nothing of farming. That expropriation of vast tracts of white-owned land might have destroyed Zimbabwe’s agricultural production. But, the aide said, "He got the Brits out."

For anybody wishing to understand Mahathir and the nation he transformed, Wain’s book is going to be a must – but bring spectacles. The tiny type and gray typeface make it a difficult read.

And a disclaimer: Wain was once my boss. (From Asia Sentinel)

2010 New Year Presents to Rakyat?

No No No......

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar the new Sugar King in Malaysia is given the biggest  presents by the Government when they raised sugar price to RM1.65 per kilo in Peninsular Malaysia and RM1.75 in Sabah and Sarawak effective yesterday. The new rate is 20 sen more compared to the previous price.

 When more and more excuses were given to rationalise the increase, we know that our 1 Malaysia government is shoratge of cash now and hence they have to raise more tax from Rakyat ranging from credit card tax, real property tax , goods and services tax.... and everytime we will listen to the same excuse again....."OH OUR PRICE IS STILL CHEAPER COMPARING TO NEIGHBOUR COUNTRY"

Ask yourself, for the past few year ,how much your boss has increased your salary compares with the price rises in other necessity items like foods and transportation costs?

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary
Controlling shareholder, various listed companies

YOU can’t afford to take your eyes off the corporate sprawl that forms part of Syed Mokhtar’s business empire. There’s always something happening somewhere, and this year should be no different.
Also, because several relatedparty transactions in the last few years involving his companies have drawn criticism and angered minority shareholders, people are eager to know if the tycoon’s next moves will gain from the lessons of the past.
The year kicks off with questions about what’s next for Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas). Tradewinds (M) Bhd’s general offer for Bernas shares closed on Dec 9, with the former having slightly more than 50% in Bernas.
Tradewinds Malaysia will acquire a further 22% from Gandingan Bersepadu Sdn Bhd, a Syed Mokhtar private vehicle, which means he will end up with 72% in Bernas. Previously, his interest in Bernas was via Gandingan Bersepadu subsidiary, Budaya Generasi Sdn Bhd, which has just under 31% in the rice company.
Tradewinds Malaysia said it wanted control of Bernas because of the latter’s “strong competitive advantage” as a rice supplier to the whole country. Tradewinds also pointed to the synergies offered by Bernas’ distribution and marketing networks and the two companies’ combined size.
That makes business sense, but Bernas has a political dimension to it because of its central position in Malaysia’s rice and paddy industry. Will Tradewinds have a free hand in leveraging on Bernas’ strengths?
Another Syed Mokhtar storyline worth following in 2010 is the ties between his businesses and the Felda group. In November, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd acquired Tan Sri Robert Kuok’s sugar assets, including a 20% stake in Tradewinds Malaysia. That makes Felda a partner of Syed Mokhtar.
And there is room for more tie-ups because both Syed Mokhtar and Felda are in areas such as commodities and logistics.
Syed Mokhtar’s other listed companies, such as MMC Corp Bhd and DRB-HICOM Bhd, are equally capable of making the news because of their diverse businesses, and his contacts and deal-making prowess.
Through private companies, he is also working with partners on large projects such as an aluminium smelter in Sarawak, gas fields in Iran, and refineries in Iran and Malaysia. He does indeed seem to be everywhere