Archive for category nation building

Liow Tiong Lai should stop blowing “hot air” if he is not prepared to issue an ultimatum to Najib that he and MCA would not return to Cabinet unless the Prime Minister gives solemn undertaking to uphold secular Malaysian constitution with no hudud laws for the country

MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should stop blowing “hot air” if he is not prepared to issue an ultimatum to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he and MCA would not return to the Barisan Nasional Cabinet and Government unless and until the Najib administration gives a solemn undertaking to uphold the secular Malaysian Constitution with no hudud laws for the country.

It is pointless of Liow going on a nation-wide road show to meet thousands of “MCA grassroots leaders and leaders from Chinese guilds and associations” breathing “fire and brimstone” and threatening to unleash thousands of MCA Youth members throughout the country, including surrounding Parliament when it reconvenes in June, over a PAS proposal to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan when the MCA President dare not say “No”, loudly and clearly, to the Prime Minister who had said a few days ago that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud?

Was Liow and the MCA leadership consulted before Najib made the policy change and announcement that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud, which not only violates the fundamental principles and features of the secular 1957 Merdeka Constitution but goes against the struggles, memory and heritage of the nation’s founding fathers in UMNO, MCA and MIC, whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin or Tun V. T. Sambanthan?

Or had Liow given his personal, if not party, agreement to Najib’s new policy announcement that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud?

Malaysians are entitled to know – was the MCA President ever consulted and whether he had given his consent, whether personally and privately or as MCA President, to Najib’s announcement? Read the rest of this entry »

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Open letter to the President of the United States

– Tony Pua
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

Dear President Barack Obama,

Welcome to my country, my home, my beautiful Malaysia.

We Malaysians are extremely proud that an American president, the first in 48 years, decided to visit our humble country.

Although you are an American, Malaysians together with the rest of the world celebrated with you when you won the historic presidential election in 2008.

To quote your predecessor, President George Bush, your “journey represents a triumph of the American story”.

I was personally moved and inspired by your victory acceptance speech in Chicago, “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

Hence you would surely remember and appreciate the struggles of African Americans in the history of the United States for freedom, justice and equality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kajang voters, Malaysia’s destiny is in your hands!

P Ramakrishan
Aliran
The Malay Mail Online
March 22, 2014

MARCH 22 — As you go to the polling booth on Sunday, 23 March 2014, remember that in your hands lies the destiny of this nation.

When you hold the ballot paper in your hand, remember that you are going to determine the future of our country. It is a heavy responsibility that you have been entrusted with but no generation of voters has ever been tasked with such a duty or been given such an opportunity.

What you do on 23 March must surely be the beginning of a new change that will provide the impetus for a new government.

It is not so much as casting your vote in favour of Pakatan or Barisan Nasional. You cast your vote in favour of fairness, justice, rule of law and democracy.

You are casting your vote to determine how this nation should be governed. You are going to express yourself very diligently and bravely, and let it be known in no uncertain terms what is best for this country.

The present government has failed to curb corruption which is the scourge of this nation. Corruption has become so rooted in our everyday life that it flourishes rampantly without any serious attempt to curb it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Denying BN deposit in Kajang by-election an “impossibly tall order” but there is no other more appropriate occasion than Kajang by-election for voters to forfeit BN of election deposit

(Speech at the DAPSY Ceramah for the Kajang by-election held at the Sungei Chua BasketBall Court, Kajang on Sunday, 16th March 2014 at 9.30 pm)

When I first suggested at the fifth Pakatan Rakyat Convention in Shah Alam the previous Saturday (8th March) that the Kajang voters should do the impossible in the by-election by making the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate lose deposit, I had said that this was a “very tall order” but the occasion warranted going for such an extraordinary result.

I want to repeat my call tonight to the Kajang voters in the by-election to perform the impossible to make the Barisan Nasional candidate lose the deposit on polling day on March 23.

I would describe this not just a “very tall order” but an “impossibly tall order”, which is not going to be easily achieved as it would need a super-herculean effort by the Kajang voters on polling day.

There are some 40,000 voters in Kajang state assembly seat. In the 13GE in May last year, the voter turnout for the constituency, comprising 48% Malay voters, Chinese 41%, Indian 10% and others 1%, was as high as 87.9%. Read the rest of this entry »

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If DAP or any of Pakatan Rakyat parties had done what Perkasa had done in going against the King’s Speech on the National Unity Consultative Council, we would have been accused of being anti-national, anti-Agong and traitors

In his royal address opening Parliament on Monday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not only endorsed the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) set up by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to preserve the country’s harmony and seek a common ground on various religious and ethnic matters, he “called on all parties to refrain from making any statement or action that might be deemed provocative or sensitive”.

The Yang di Pertuan Agong said: “Be mindful that when unity disintegrates, the country will head towards destruction. Therefore, we should reinforce unity by cultivating mutual respect and moderation in life.”

But the Yang di Pertuan Agong has been openly challenged and defied by the provocative and insensitive statements and actions of extremist organization Perkasa and other NGOs, led by Ibrahim Ali, which rejected “wholesale” the NUCC and have set up the National Unity Front (NUF) as an alternative to the NUCC.

Yesterday, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed was announced as the first chief of the Perkasa-backed NUF to challenge what the Yang di Pertuan Agong said in his Royal Address to Parliament on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two brands of Malaysian unity: moderation versus bigotry

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
March 06, 2014

Malay rights group Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali has only one reason for setting up his own unity council – he wants to keep the Malays happy.

Ibrahim feels that by keeping the Malays happy and united, only then will unity be possible in Malaysia, a country where over half of the 30 million population are Malays.

“The happiness and the unity of the Malays and the Bumiputera are the core of unity in Malaysia because we are the majority at 67%,” the Perkasa president told The Malaysian Insider.

“The government cannot satisfy everyone, so it is best if they keep the majority happy because they are the ones who can determine and foster unity.”

Hence, the formation of his baby, the National Unity Front, which Perkasa has presented as an alternative to Putrajaya’s newly formed National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC). Read the rest of this entry »

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Attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs and to hold by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor fly in the face of Najib’s claim that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus

(Speech 2 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

The traumatic and heart-rending MH370 tragedy is not the only event to darken the horizon of the country in the past week.

The other two somber developments of the country were the attempts to disqualify the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh as Members of Parliament and to hold parliamentary by-elections in the Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor constituencies, the former probably as early as before the next Parliamentary meeting in June.

The attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs fly in face of the claim by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus and is prepared to rise above partisan differences to end national drift and loss of leadership and direction in the country in the past 10 months since the 13th General Elections.

In his written reply to the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on National Reconciliation Plan, Najib smuggled for the first time in the past 10 months a reference to the 1Malaysia Policy, which he seemed to have forgotten or abandoned although he promulgated as his signature policy when he first became Prime Minister in April 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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A nation responds to loss of MH370

by Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
March 10, 2014

COMMENT The loss of MH370 will be a defining moment in the country’s history. While attention rightly focuses on comforting families, finding the plane and what has caused this tragedy, the event has shown the depth of caring among Malaysians.

Across faiths, ethnic groups and borders, Malaysians have reached out to each other and to friends. Pride has been put aside in accepting international help and social media on the whole has shared more messages of hope than division. In the shared sadness of loss, the tragedy had revealed and reinforced a strong sense of community.

The image of an interfaith prayer led by former PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was perhaps the most powerful moment over the weekend, as it reflected what had been happening in society itself as Malaysians from all walks of life reached across their differences for those affected by the missing plane. It did not matter what word was being used, as the sentiment was the same.

Crises like these reveal character. They tell us who can handle pressure, test leaders and what are the real priorities. The character that was revealed is a society that cares for each other.

Despite all of the anger and stupidity surrounding recent events – from red paint throwing to unjust legal decisions – the ties among Malaysians are strong and resilient.

The silent majority of people who go about their lives, take planes, go on vacation and work, came out this weekend in the phone calls made to each other, recollections of classmates and on Facebook. This same silent majority is the one who is fed up with politicians abusing power and attacking each other, and wants more emphasis on solving the country’s problems and more dignity in political engagement.

They put Malaysia, its citizens and visitors first. If anything, this is a silver lining of the tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Kajang voters to do the impossible in the by-election by making the Barisan Nasional candidate lose deposit

[Speech (Part 2) at the 5th Pakatan Rakyat Convention at Setia City Convention Centre, Shah Alam on Saturday, 8th March 2014 at 4.30 pm]

The Kajang voters should do the impossible in the by-election on March 23 by making the Barisan Nasional candidate lose deposit.

It is not enough for the Pakatan Rakyat/PKR candidate just to win, or even to win with a bigger majority than last year during the 13th general election.

Pakatan Rakyat should set out to ensure the achievement of the impossible in the Kajang by-election by getting the Barisan Nasional candidate to lose the deposit.

This is a very “tall order” but the occasion warrants going for such an extraordinary result.

This will a clear and unmistakable verdict that the people disapproves of any return to authoritarian rule or reversion to blatant and flagrant subversion of the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary and other important national institutions to serve the political interests of the powers-that-be, as is clearly evident in the five-year jail conviction of Anwar Ibrahim yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Applauding Khairy’s suggestion to revise BTN

— Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud
The Malay Mail Online
March 6, 2014

MARCH 6 ― In The Malay Mail dated 5 March, Umno minister Khairy Jamaluddin has suggested a revision of the country’s National Civics Bureau (BTN) training courses, saying undergraduates should be treated like adults and not taught to be blind supporters of the government.

I, myself have never been to any of BTN courses. However, a few years back, a friend of mine who was working for a government agency and was dating a lovely Chinese lady received a directive from his superior to attend a BTN course.

Upon returning from the course held somewhere in the state of Pahang, we went for our weekly coffee session and he shared with me his experience about the course he attended. He mentioned,

“The course made me racist. I feel that the other races are not thankful enough for being in Malaysia. We should show them that we are the boss and they better respect it.”

I was shocked. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for a high-powered squad comprising MCMC, Police and representatives from BN and PR, to clean up social media of incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred through lies and falsehoods to set Malaysia aflame

The latest criminal harassment and intimidation of DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok for her “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” video must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

The police should act under Section 124A of the Penal Code which provides for up to seven-year jail sentence for the offence by anyone who “attempts to overawe by means of criminal force” a Member of Parliament from exercising her lawful powers.

Last night, Utusan Malaysia had, around midnight, sent an SMS alert stating “Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was slapped by an unknown man after a ceramah at Taman Permatang Pauh at 11.30 pm”.

However, the Umno-owned daily soon issued a correction stating that Kok had not been slapped but was instead “handed” a rotten egg by a man, which later broke when they shook hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes, Ally Hazran Hashim and Siti Kassim are among the unsung heroes and heroines of Malaysia and I welcome the public to pinpoint and identity more “unsung heroes” out to save Malaysia from the voices and forces of hate, bigotry and intolerance

On Saturday (1st March) I issued a statement calling on Malaysians to pay tribute to ordinary Malaysians who are the country’s unsung heroes who dare to stand up for a better Malaysia whether in terms of a better education system, clean elections or inter-religious harmony, for they are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness instead of becoming a failed state.

I named three persons, viz:

· *Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), who is facing mean, petty and punitive persecution although he had rendered great national service in spearheading the protest against the woes of the badly-planned and poorly-conceived student-based assessment (SBA) system; and

· *Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who is facing court martial for his patriotic duty of speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections; and

· *Azrul Mohd Khalib, social activist, who led a Malaysians for Malaysia group to spearhead a “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Unity is only a dream

by Kevin Soo
The Malaysian Insider
March 02, 2014

So goes the narrative: We are an example of how a multiracial country can flourish. We find our strength in diversity. We are all Malaysians (or, at least, those from an older generation tell us stories about how race did not matter when they were children).

I ask myself daily how true this is. Do we simply happen to be citizens of the same state, or is there anything that truly binds us into a collective? Is national unity a reality that we are defending, or are we simply hoping that if we repeat it enough the narrative will turn into reality?

We tell each other and ourselves these stories, as if they are the truth, while extremism and discord are only aberrations caused by a vocal minority. “True Malaysians reject that,” we say. But on what basis do we lay claim to be true Malaysians? We need to at least consider possibility that our stories are becoming increasingly fictional for the real Malaysian. Read the rest of this entry »

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Interfaith harmony in shambles as government agencies stoke the fire

Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
The Ant Daily
28/02/2014

OUTSPOKEN: As Malaysia marches into the unchartered waters of the future, I have good reason to be less optimistic about the country. Day in and day out, groups with neo-fascist agenda keep creating problems to disunite the people. Even government agencies have jumped on the bandwagon to add more fire to this unholy movement.

Jakim, the department entrusted with Islamic development, blames all quarters about the perceived threat to Islam. The latest rumbling accuses the Christians and the Jews of undermining Islam. This is a fantasy which only the illiterate and the confused can create. But then Jakim has not been very constructive in its actions since its inception in 1991. It only gropes around to justify its existence by creating fear among the Malaysian Muslims.

This story about the Christians and the Jews undermining Islam is an archaic one that has been overused and misused.

Jakim’s strategy is to portray all and sundry as being the enemies of Islam. It never tries to strengthen the religious beliefs of the Muslims. Its actions therefore are very negative in nature.

It has not done anything to strengthen interfaith harmony. Instead, it is destroying the goodwill that had been built up in the past. Never in the history of the country had fingers been pointed that Islam was facing threats from other religious groups. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let us pay tribute to three unsung heroes who dare to stand up for inter-religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system – Azrul Mohd Khalib, Major Zaidi Ahmad and Mohd Nor Izzah

Let us pay tribute to ordinary Malaysians who are the country’s unsung heroes who dare to stand up for a better Malaysia whether in terms of a better education system, clean elections or inter-religious harmony, for they are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness instead of becoming a failed state.

Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), who is facing mean, petty and punitive persecution from the “Little Napoleons” in the Education Ministry with the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin too “busy” to intervene, is one such unsung hero in Malaysia.

What is Nor Izzat’s crime? None, instead he had rendered great national service in spearheading the protest against the woes of the badly-planned and poorly-conceived student-based assessment (SBA) system. He should be rewarded for his positive contribution in forcing the Education Ministry to suspend the SBA instead of being subject to mean and petty punitive actions.

Another unsung Malaysian hero is Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded instead of being penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections and is now awaiting court-martial for his great service as a patriot to the country.

Nor Izzat wants to have a better education system for our teachers and children. Major Zaidi wants the country to have a clean election system which Malaysians can stand tall in the world.

A third unsung hero Malaysians should pay tribute to is social activist Azrul Mohd Khalib who led a Malaysians for Malaysia group to spearhead a “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Muhyiddin support the National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) and will he now declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second”?

Five things happened in the 28 days between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first announcement of a National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) after the Cabinet meeting of January 29 and his blog-post on Feb. 25 on “A national reconciliation update” which raise serious questions whether the Najib premiership is really serious about national reconciliation, national unity and national consensus.

These five incidents are:

1. Although Najib’s post-Cabinet announcement of an NRP on Jan 29 was in response to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s offer of an olive branch on Jan 26 to Barisan Nasional on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat for a “national consensus” to end the voices of hate and to move the nation forward, nothing was done in the past 30 days to convene a summit meeting of BN-PR leaders on “national reconciliation”.

2. Najib conspicuously turned his back on the world-wide celebration of “World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014” (Feb. 3 – 9) not participating in any function to mark the occasion, although on the first day of the World Interfaith Harmony Week last year, he set the pace on the observance of the global interfaith harmony week and visited the places of worship of the nation’s five main religions in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fighting those who are fanning hatred in Malaysia

by Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
February 26, 2014

“Dear fellow Malaysians,

Like most Malaysians , I am deeply disturbed by the serious developments that have been unfolding in our beloved country Malaysia in recent times.

It is depressing to read mass media reports on the increasing number of “hate incidents” occurring all over our country.

I ask myself constantly, what is happening and why are these extremists, who commit these hate crimes, doing so and worse still, why are they getting away with it?

Why has the government and the police not come down hard on these destructive elements?

Why are those who are brazenly and unashamedly preaching and practising hate on racial and religious grounds not being publicly reprimanded and/or brought to book immediately?

The authorities are relatively “silent” and are causing great uncertainty, unrest and disharmony among the people by their relative slow, if sometimes ineffective, response.

There is now growing speculation among the public that some parts of government may even be quietly helping to stoke hate and social and religious unrest behind the scenes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Building a harmonious Malaysia

by Pastor Lam Kee Hing
The Malaysian Insider
February 28, 2014

I am a 60-year-old Malaysian who works as a church pastor. I went through the May 13 tragedy as a teenager and can still recall the terror we went through huddled in fear in our homes as we heard news of people being killed and shops being burnt. My prayer is that our beloved nation will never ever have to go through a similar tragedy.

It seems clear to me that there are a group of people who are determined to create fear and chaos in our country for their own devilish agenda. The actions we have witnessed since 2009 point to a concerted effort by these deranged groups of people who are doing their best to create a wedge between the races and religious groups. All the actions and words have a racial and religious twist to it.

The only way to fight these people is for ordinary Malaysians to speak up and rise up against all forms of racial and religious extremism. We must take back the public space and not let this small minority’s views and actions cow us and intimidate us. We need to respond with calmness and firmness, not react with anger and descend to their level or fall into their traps.

We need to show and express mutual respect and help to one another as Malaysians, not as one race to another. We must learn to celebrate our differences and diversity, and promote unity in diversity. We need to avoid the temptation to label each other in racial or religious boxes and to discourage uniformity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to immediately clarify his blog-post that it is not a directive to bar the police, AG’s Chambers and all law-enforcement agencies from carrying out their duties to give no quarter to instigators and extremists incessantly inciting racial and religious animosities and hatred

The biggest mystery now in the Najib premiership is the National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) which he first announced after the Cabinet meeting on January 29 and which he blogged about a week ago on Feb. 25 as until then nobody has ever heard anything about such a NRP.

What is noteworthy is that no other Cabinet Minister, not even the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, who is entrusted with the specific portfolio of national integration and national unity, had ever breathed a word about the NRP, both before and after the Jan. 29 Cabinet meeting.

It would appear that nobody else in Cabinet and Government apart from Najib knows anything about the NRP.

There are two big questions about both the events of the Jan 29 Cabinet meeting and Najib’s blog post three days ago.

Firstly, about Najib’s first mention of the NRP on Jan. 29 in his post-Cabinet statement where he said that “at today’s cabinet meeting, the members had examined a plan to develop and promote an environment which was conducive to and would help promote national reconciliation through unity and consensus in the country” and his second mention of the NRP in his blog three days ago that the NRP will be unveiled and implemented over the next few months.

Why is Najib treating the NRP like a strip-tease show, unpeeling one piece of clothing after another, completely unwilling to make full public disclosure of the proposed NRP? Read the rest of this entry »

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The death of common sense

by Dr. Janet Lee
The Malaysian Insider
February 27, 2014

I am Chinese. My husband is Indian. Both of us are qualified in the medical field and teach at local universities.

Recently, my husband’s contract was not renewed. His speciality is quite rare in the region. He was replaced by a younger person.

Of course, he was disappointed but felt new blood was needed to bring in the latest methods and medicines into the picture.

But here’s where things get very scary: the new person cannot string a sentence in English, in a profession where results have to be transmitted clearly to its end-users.

His former colleagues call at night and he does the work for them on the quiet, minus the fee, so that the patients will have a fighting chance!

You see, dear people in authority, the moral majority in this country are keeping us going. Selfless people who take the humiliation and abuse and to ensure that there is a sense of balance and sanity still operating at critical areas. Read the rest of this entry »

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