Archive for category Media

Discomfiting glare falls on journalists after sedition rap

BY Joseph Sipalan | MMO
September 8, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Journalists in Malaysia have been thrust under the unaccustomed glare of the spotlight, grappling with the startling arrest of one of their number in a sedition blitz that has snagged politicians and an academic over the past couple of weeks.

The detention of Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone drew silent indignation among many in the industry, who saw no call for punitive action against a reporter simply doing her job.

Malaysia, already low on a key gauge of press freedom, could sink further. The World Press Freedom Index 2014 , released by global media watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontières, ranked Malaysia at 147th out of a total of 180 nations., tumbling 23 places from 2013.

Loone was detained on September 4 and reportedly questioned for nine hours in connection to police reports lodged against her and Malaysiakini over an article she wrote related to the police’s recent crackdown on the Penang Volunteer Patrol Unit (PPS). Read the rest of this entry »

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On authorities’ alleged selective prosecution

– Lim Chee Wee
The Malaysian Insider
5 August 2014

Recent attempts to question the authorities’ purported inaction over cases involving non-Muslims’ alleged disrespect for Islam will only heighten racial tension. This is most irresponsible and unnecessary at a time when we can do with more goodwill among the different races.

On Sunday, Mingguan Malaysia in a column by Awang Selamat and Federal Territory Umno Youth chief, Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii had suggested that the authorities practiced selective prosecution by not acting against those who had insulted Islam. The argument was that Islamic preacher Shahul Hamid was swiftly picked up for questioning after a video of him insulting Hindus went viral on social media. Meanwhile, two individuals who had made disparaging remarks about Islam are still on the loose. Read the rest of this entry »

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Height of irony Utusan Malaysia complaining about selective prosecution and investigation when it has been the major beneficiary enjoying immunity and impunity for series of seditious articles inciting racial and religious hatred and tensions in the country in recent years

It is the height of irony that Utusan Malaysia is complaining about selective prosecution and investigation when the UMNO-owned daily has been the biggest beneficiary of such criminal oversight and abuses of power by various enforcement agencies particularly the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers as Utusan continues to enjoy both “immunity and impunity” for a series of seditious articles inciting racial and religious hatred and tensions in the country in recent years.

Now Utusan alleges that non-Muslims are becoming blatant in demeaning Islam because authorities are not pursuing them with the same vigour applied to Malays.

Utusan Malaysia further alleges that “the eagerness of non-Muslims to insult Islam can no longer be ignored” because of the “hesitance or fear on the part of the authorities to punish non-Malays for such activity”.

This is utter bunkum. Read the rest of this entry »

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WikiLeaks gag order: open justice is threatened by super-injunctions

Richard Ackland
theguardian.com
30 July 2014

Australian courts have increasingly been issuing suppression orders preventing the publication of legal proceedings – and an implicit dislike of the media is partly to blame

Last month, an Australian judge issued a super-duper injunction preventing the reporting of bribery allegations which involved south east Asian political figures, and in some cases their family members.

The allegations have arisen in a criminal case before the supreme court of Victoria. The super-injunction, which not only prevents publication of the allegations, but the detailed terms of the injunction itself, only came to light because WikiLeaks published the intimate details on July 29.

So while WikiLeaks, anonymous blogs and social media are buzzing with the details of these sweeping court orders, which apply Australia-wide, the mainstream media cannot trespass in this territory for fear of facing proceedings for contempt of court. This is the ludicrous nature of overreaching suppression orders, and this one is to last for five years unless earlier revoked.

The internet has made them so porous as to be useless. Only those who publish above the radar with sizeable assets and readily identifiable journalists and executives (at least ones that are not corralled in foreign embassies) are effectively injuncted from publishing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Memperkasa mahasiswa Melayu: Menjana minda kritis

– Dr Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
The Malaysian Insider
9 July 2014

Untuk memperkasakan lagi mahasiswa Melayu, mereka harus membangunkan minda yang kritis. Dalam era ledakan maklumat ini, terdapat banyak berita dan informasi yang boleh digunakan dan diinterpretasi namun kesahihan dan kepenggunaannya harus dipertimbangkan terlebih dahulu.

Tidak semua maklumat adalah benar, tidak semua maklumat bersifat neutral. Jika mahasiswa Melayu memperlengkapkan diri dengan kuasa minda yang kritis ia bukan saja dapat mententeramkan kehidupan keluarga, komuniti dan syarikat yang mnggajikannya ia juga akan dapat membangun dengan positif.

Terdapat enam tahap pengasahan minda kritis yang perlu dilalui dan dipraktik serta di praktis oleh mahasiswa Melayu.

Tahap pertama adalah untuk mendapatkan keseluruhan jalan cerita dan konteks seseuatu maklumat atau kejadian atau pernyataan. Tahap kedua mengidentifikasi sumber asal berita atau informasi tersebut sebelum mengambil apa-apa tindakan atau strategi. Dalam tahap ketiga mahasiswa perlu membuat pengujian kebolehyakinan terhadap sumber informasi dan berita tersebut.

Selepas itu, di tahap keempat perlu pula bertanyakan sama ada sumber informasi berita atau informasi tersebut boleh mendapat apa-apa keuntungan daripada penjelasan dan peyampaian berita dan infrormasi tersebut.

Tahap kelima pula adalah mengasingkan maklumat cerita dari interpretasi maklumat dan cerita yang disampaikan. Akhir sekali di tahap enam, apakah pertimbangan nilai kemanusiaan yang boleh diambil dalam membentuk proses tindakan dan kesimpulan daripada berita, maklumat atau data yang baru diperoleh itu? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bernama should own up to the charges of plagiarism by Jakarta Globe as the international disgrace for Malaysian journalism is easily established by a quick read of the four articles concerned

I was intrigued by the admission by the Bernama editor-in-chief Zulkefli Salleh that there was some basis in the accusation made by the Indonesian newspaper Jakarta Globe that two of its articles published online pertaining to the ongoing Indonesian presidential debates had been plagiarized by Bernama.

As a result, I read in detail the allegations by Indonesian Globe.

The most recent incident occurred on Sunday when Bernama plagiarised “word for word” an article published on the Jakarta Globe website entitled “In Closing Debate, Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for ‘A Dignified Nation.’”

The article was part of Jakarta Glob’s live coverage of the fifth and final Indonesian presidential debate which was published on July 5.

Bernama published a similar article the next day under the heading, “Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for ‘A Dignified Nation.’”

Jakarta Globe alleged that Bernama had copied the Globe’s piece verbatim, attributing one of the many quotes in the article to the newspaper.

Bernama also removed the names of Globe reporters Josua Gantan and Andrea Wijaya, the original authors of the story, replacing the byline with a Bernama journalist, Elmi Rizal Alias.

The Jakarta Globe also accused Bernama of plagiarising an earlier story by its reporter Basten Gokkon on the fourth debate “Hatta Says Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus.’”, which was published by Bernama under the headline “Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus’ – Hatta”. Bernama claimed it was written by its reporter Elmi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Propagandist I am not!

Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Jun 6, 2014

COMMENT Some call me a propagandist. Others call me an apologist.

I won’t be surprised that I am also one of those in Utusan Malaysia’s wildest dream – a member of the elite Red Bean Army, except that I do not know how many millions of ringgit I am paid by the DAP for my work. Not even a plate of char koay teow for all you know!

When I wrote my two sen worth of an article about the Teluk Intan by-election, another fallen angel currently living in the comfort of the West, and an armchair critic, even called me a ‘party spin doctor’ by merely assuming that I am with the DAP. Ask the DAP if I am even on their membership roll!

I do not need to envy Anwar Ibrahim now, because even for all the efforts that I put in as an individual to fight against the ‘fitnah’ crafters in this country, I have even earned myself the label of being a ‘racist’.

For someone who always says, “Race is only skin deep”, I wonder why some people can even call me a racist. Read the rest of this entry »

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What would be the response of the authorities if there is a non-Malay Isma which openly attacked Najib as anti-Chinese or anti-Indian, out to wipe out the Chinese or Indians in Malaysia?

In response to online news reports that Isma had concocted downright lies and falsehoods in its latest accusations of a plethora of crimes and horrors against me like being “anti-Malay”, “gunning for Malays since 1960s” and “wanting to wipe out the Malay race”, I had tweeted yesterday, among others, the following:

1. How should I react? Such blabber. My hair should stand but sorry, No! http://goo.gl/x7MYkW Isma: Kit Siang wants 2wipe out Malay race (Mkini)

2. Should I lose sleep? Will u if some crazy hurl abuse at u? http://goo.gl/OxUefz Isma labels Kit Siang “anti-Malay” – Looi Sue-Chern (TMI)

3. Thankful for live examples of jesters and liars. http://goo.gl/6lCfW8 In reprisal, Isma claims Kit Siang gunning for Malays since 1960s (MMO)

There have been hundreds of responses on the facebook, twitter, blog and online news portals to the wild allegations by Isma and advising me how to react – basically that I should just ignore Isma and that I should sue it until kingdom come! Read the rest of this entry »

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Social media driving Teluk Intan polls

— Bob Teoh
The Malay Mail Online
MAY 29, 2014

MAY 29 — In many ways the Teluk Intan by-election is a dry run for the next general elections due as early as three years from now or even sooner. The tipping point probably depends on how well social media is used to engage the electorate. This will re-define politics where the electoral demographics is shifting to a more youthful and social media savvy profile.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of the non-fiction best seller “Tipping point – How little things can make a big difference (2000),” points out that one dramatic moment when everything can change all at once is called the Tipping Point. His says there are three characteristics for this to happen, one, contagiousness; two, the fact that little causes can have big effects; and three, that change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment.

Social media featured prominently in the 2008 general elections (GE12). There was no tipping point to bring about a regime change. But the ruling coalition lost its crucial two-third majority in parliament that has allowed it to amend the constitution at will since independence. Barisan Nasional (BN) also lost five states out of 13 -Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan. It eventually recovered Perak under questionable circumstances. Nonetheless, BN’s loss was unprecedented and the cutting edge was undoubtedly the social media campaign engaged by both the opposition coalition and civil society groups that were seeking a regime change.

Its popular vote was reduced to such a level that the then incumbent Prime Minister Pak Lah was forced put of office rather ungracefully by factional infighting within Umno, the dominant party in the coalition. In came the new Prime Minister Najib Razak only with a party mandate.

Najib had declared that GE13 would be the country’s first “social media elections.” Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote but managed to win 133 or 60 percent of the parliamentary seats under a highly skewed electoral system. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP slams Utusan for saying ‘Lims’ masterminded attacks against Dyana Sofya

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2014

The DAP has slammed Umno-mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia over an article which said that the recent attacks against the Teluk Intan by-election candidate Intan Dyana Sofya Mohd Duad were planned by the “Lim Dynasty”.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Malay newspaper’s Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, had slandered the party by implying that he and his father, Lim Kit Siang, had planned the attacks against Dyana.

“We strongly condemn this. It is very malicious. You slander us once, fine. But you do it again and again.

“Do not try to demean a woman and her dignity like that… Mingguan Malaysia does not know Dyana yet.

“She will not bow to such attacks and she will continue to fight for justice and democracy,” Lim said in a press conference after the opening of the state legislative assembly today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Obama assist democracy in Malaysia?

By Anwar Ibrahim

Washington Post
April 25

For 15 years, the people of Malaysia have been immersed in our own Arab Spring. After enduring a corrupt and authoritarian regime for more than five decades, an era has emerged in which we are standing up for our rights.

For the first time in our history, the voices of reform and democracy represent the majority. In last year’s general election, the popular vote in favor of the opposition would have swept from power the authoritarian regime of Najib Razak and the party that has ruled Malaysia since its independence in 1957. In its place would have been the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance), poised to push the nation on the path to greater freedom and democracy. Alas, widespread fraud and devious gerrymandering perpetrated by the ruling party, a situation the White House noted, affected the outcome. A study conducted by Harvard ranked Malaysia as having one of the worst records on electoral integrity in the world.

Despite this setback, the Malaysian people have remained steadfast. Despite anger and frustration over our government’s continued corruption and abuse of power, we have pursued a peaceful approach to educating and engaging with the masses. Thousands have come to hear our message and embrace our cause.

President Obama’s visit to Malaysia this weekend comes at a pivotal time. It would be an opportune moment to live up to the ideals Obama espoused in his campaign and the early days of his administration. Then, there was hope that U.S. engagement with Muslim countries would be based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Yet as the Arab Spring came and went, hope was eclipsed by disappointment. It is baffling that the United States can talk about a democratic transition in Egypt today as hundreds of innocent people are sentenced to death while thousands languish in prison.

In Malaysia, there is an opportunity to take a different path. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Ex-NST boss backs foreign press coverage, skewers conspiracy claims

The Malay Mail Online
April 22, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The foreign media should not be attacked for sullying Malaysia’s image in its coverage of the MH370 crisis, veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said, telling local authorities to first look at the circumstances surrounding the missing jetliner before pointing fingers at others.

The former group editor-in-chief for English daily New Straits Times said criticising the press when they were just doing their jobs was akin to “shooting the messenger”.

“It won’t solve the problem, especially if what they’ve reported is the truth,” he said in a blog posting here.

“When one messenger is shot, tens more will arise. The information and communication technology of today allows any person with a computer or a smartphone to become instant journalists should they want to,” he pointed out.

Kadir added that given the lack of answers to the ongoing crisis, and the string of unfortunate incidents that followed the jetliner’s mysterious disappearance last month, it was to be expected that Malaysia would take a beating in the international media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Utusan Malaysia tickled Malaysians no end with its preposterous allegation of “stone age” journalism against Malaysiakini when all Malaysians know that Utusan is the most egregious perpetrator of this sin in history of Malaysian journalism

Utusan Malaysia tickled journalists in particular and Malaysians generally no end with its preposterous allegation of “stone age” journalism against Malaysiakini when all Malaysians know that Utusan is the most egregious perpetrator of this sin in the history of Malaysian journalism.

This is another classic case of “Thief Shouting Thief” by Utusan Malaysia, continuing its most reprehensible brand of unethical, dishonest and gutter journalism in the past six years as the mouthpiece of UMNO, totally in contrast to the high standards of journalism set and maintained by Utusan Melayu in the early decades of its history.

The Utusan editor, Zulkiflee Bakar, in an analysis piece yesterday, accused Malaysiakini of putting up a facade of transparency, but “everyone” knows its inclinations, purpose and hidden agenda.

He wrote: “Responsible journalism does not entail the reporting of facts that have yet to be verified, not reporting issues that can cause controversies and definitely not distorting the facts for the political purpose of some quarters.”

Zulkiflee does not seem to realise the irony that he was in fact making a confession the journalistic sins and misdeeds committed by Utusan Malaysia under his charge. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN cyber war unit has spawned the world’s craziest cybertroopers and NGOs who continue to make fictitious and nonsensical claims …

The UMNO/BN cyber war unit has spawned the world’s craziest cybertroopers and NGOs who continue to make fictitious and nonsensical claims like the DAP aiming to recruit 10 million Red Bean Army cybertroopers by 14GE, paying them each Rm3,000 a month or a monthly budget of RM30 billion.

For one whole year, this will be an unthinkable budget of RM360 billion just to feed 10 million so-called “Red Bean Army” cybertroopers!

Only the craziest of the crazies will believe such nonsense, yet this could be seriously stated in a press conference last Tuesday by various UMNO/BN NGO cybertroopers led by Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, President of Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) and other NGOs like Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslims Malaysia and Pertubuhan Minda dan Sosial Prihatin (PMSP), claiming that DAP is now paying RM3,000 each to 800 cybertroopers in the so-called Red Bean Army (RBA), and that DAP has targeted recruiting 10 million cybertroopers in time for the 14th General Elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s credibility at stake in search for missing flight MH370, says report

The Malaysian Insider
March 26, 2014

Putrajaya’s handling of search efforts for flight MH370 has set the country on a long road to repair its reputation, The Wall Street Journal said, following a slew of criticism over disorganised search efforts besides the conflicting and opaque information released since the aircraft disappeared on March 8.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that complaints have stung a government seldom used to such global scrutiny, and this week, authorities appeared to seek a new course.

The business daily cited Monday night’s press conference where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had explained how foreign experts had concluded from new satellite data analysis that the plane had gone down in a remote portion of the southern Indian Ocean.

WSJ said that Najib’s statement was uncharacteristically forthright, and the new information was released unusually fast – and the backlash was just as intense. Read the rest of this entry »

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In MH370 search, unforgiving spotlight on Malaysia

By Justin Ong and Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
March 21, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — When Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, the world poured out its sympathy to Malaysia.

The disappearance of a Boeing 777-200ER — considered one of the safest planes in aviation history — with 239 passengers onboard captured the world’s attention and the media obliged, with news outlets arriving in droves to cover the tragedy.

The first faces that the world saw of Malaysia was that of MAS chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

From the offset, Azharuddin appeared uncomfortable in front of cameras, speaking with apprehension palpable to those watching.

As hours turned into days and with no signs of the plane, however, sympathy gave way to frustration and attention slowly turned from Malaysia’s loss of a passenger plane to its handling of the search.

Under the unforgiving glare of the assembled international and local media, whose reports were played again and again on 24-hour news channels and shared globally on social media sites to be further dissected, Malaysia’s well-coiffed image on the international stage began to be picked apart. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Aussie handling of MH370 search, valuable lessons for Malaysia

by Justin Ong
The Malay Mail Online
March 20, 2014

COMMENTARY, March 20 — Australia’s response to satellite imagery of debris possibly from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could not have been more different from Malaysia’s in the past 12 days.

Choosing the country’s Parliament as the venue to announce the discovery, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott conveyed both the gravity of the matter — a missing jetliner with 239 passengers — and that it went beyond partisan lines.

And while the discovery remains far from conclusive — the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) repeatedly said the debris may even not have anything to do with the missing plane — it chose to come forward with the information almost immediately.

During the press conference, AMSA Emergency Response Division general manager John Young spoke with lucidity and deliberate caution, readily professing a lack of expertise when he was talking on matters with which he was unfamiliar.

And even with the press conference attended by international media held just hours after Abbott made his announcement, the Australian maritime authority made readily available online all the information it shared with the press then, preventing any possible misinterpretation of its findings.

The alacrity, transparency and neutrality of the response stood in contrast to Malaysia’s actions, which have invited criticism by some and condemnation by others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aviation experts rap M’sian authorities

Malaysiakini
11:11AM Mar 12, 2014

Malaysian authorities have come under fire from aviation experts for fuelling what is believed to be misleading speculations about flight MH370, The Guardian reported.

“What is so mysterious here is the complete absence of any information, which to me tends to support a complete catastrophic failure at altitude. If the aircraft had come under control, it would have been picked up by some radar, or some radio communication.

“The complete absence of any information suggests there was a big failure and it was very sudden,” said Steve Marks, a lawyer at the US firm Podhurst Orseck, which represented relatives of victims of a SilkAir crash in Asia in 1997 and the Air France crash in 2009 (right).

Marks said he was suspicious of information being released by Malaysia.

“In my opinion terrorism and pilot suicide are very remote and farfetched. It can’t be ruled out 100 percent, but it certainly shouldn’t be the focus.

“That kind of speculation without proof is very damaging and hurtful to the families,” he said, adding that the most likely explanation for the plane’s disappearance was a sudden technical failure.

“It is not uncommon in plane crashes over water to have a very extended search.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Airlines struggling with press

Grant Bradley
The New Zealand Herald
Mar 12, 2014

Malaysia Airlines faces an uphill public relations battle as it struggles to get on the front foot after the disappearance of MH370.

The airline’s response to the loss of its aircraft in the first three days was described as a mess, partly because of inexperience in dealing with Western journalists, said veteran aviation industry commentator Geoffrey Thomas.

Furious relatives among the 227 passengers reportedly complained they had been “treated worse than dogs”, at one point storming out of a hotel room where they had been taken in Beijing and starting a petition to demand more information.
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Media briefings by Malaysia Airlines had initially been fleeting, with spokesmen not taking questions.

Thomas, the editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com, said the lack of international experience among Malaysia Airlines’ public relations was a problem. “Their PR department has been missing in action. It’s when something like this happens you really need them,” he said.

The airline’s representatives were accustomed to dealing with a more compliant local media, not journalists from around the world who were more demanding. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are the Police and MCMC investigating and taking any action against cyber lies and falsehoods about Muslims being converted to Christianity calculated to incite racial and religious animosity and hatred in country?

Are the police and the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC )investigating and taking any action against the lies on the Internet about Muslims being converted to Christianity calculated to incite racial and religious animosity and hatred in the country, in the larger plot to pit race against race and religion against religion in Malaysia?

It is recently reported that a photo of a women’s rights activist, Yu Ren Chung and several others attending a government function has been circulating in cyberspace as ‘proof’ of the country’s Muslims being converted to Christianity.

The photo circulating in blogs since 2012 shows him among with a group seated on wooden benches, many of them women wearing headscarves.

In actual fact, the photo was taken at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation’s (Istac) main hall in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur, and not at a church as alleged by the blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

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