Archive for May 8th, 2007

Hishammuddin – apologise for “keris-wielding” episodes to restore confidence as a symbol for national integration among students

During the debate in Parliament today on the Youth Societies and Youth Development Bill, I called on the Umno Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to apologise for his “keris-wielding” episodes to restore confidence as a symbol for national integration among students in the nation’s schools.

This raised the heckles of UMNO MPs in the House particularly Datuk Badruddin bin Amiruldin (Jerai) and Idris Harun (Tangga Batu) who demanded clarifications which I rejected as I had only ten minutes to speak as the second last speaker on the Bill.

As a result, the last MP in the debate, Razali Ismail (Muar) started his speech on the “keris-wielding” episodes, allowing Badruddin to go on a rampage to accuse me of being disrespectful and contemptuous of Malay culture and the Yang di Pertuan Agong in not accepting the keris as a national symbol.

In rebuttal, I made it very clear that I accepted without reservation the Malay keris as part of the national emblem, and that when the Yang di Pertuan Agong unsheathed and kissed the keris, it was a symbol of justice.

However, what was unacceptable was when the Umno Youth leader wielded the keris in the context of extremist and communal demands utterly insensitive of the feelings and rights of all communities in the country. I reminded Umno MPs that at the recent Umno Youth general assembly, an Umno Youth delegate even asked when Hishammuddin was going to use the keris now that he had wielded it twice — highlighting the totally unacceptable circumstances of the keris episodes. Read the rest of this entry »


Religion disrupting families — two more cases

The Cabinet tomorrow must give top priority to end the series of man-made tragedies of religion disrupting families and announce after its meeting a proactive strategy to put an end to such instances which have cast a dark shadow over the nation’s 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations.

For over forty years, such instances of family disruptions because of religion were virtually unheard of but its increasing incidence is giving Malaysia not only a bad name internationally but stand as an indictment of the failure of nation-building and national integration in plural Malaysia on half-a-century of nationhood.

The two latest instances:

1. A hair saloon operator, Benedict Gopal, 32, married his wife Audrey Christina Samuel, 29, six years ago and have two children Melissa, 5 and Jason 17 months. Both are born Christians.

In April, she left the house after differences with her husband, converted to Islam and took the name Nur Adryana Questina binti Abdullah. The two children remained with the father.

On May 3, 2007, she secured an ex-parte order from the Negri Sembilan Syariah Court directing the Negri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department (MAINS) and the Police to co-operate to get Benedict Gopal to hand over Melissa and Jason to the mother.

Benedict Gopal was given 14 days to appear before the Negri Sembilan syariah court to set aside its order.

There have been two unsuccessful attempts involving the police to take Melissa and Jason from Benedict Gopal to hand them over to the custody of Nur Adryana Questina. Read the rest of this entry »


Can Samy Vellu guarantee that the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel will be trouble-free when it opens on Monday?

Public constructions and buildings have become a national scandal, with burst-pipes, collapsing ceilings, faulty air-conditioning systems in brand-new government buildings almost a daily shame.

As a result of we have the following two reports today:

  • “”I have spoken until my mouth is dry’ — PM tired of talking about Terengganu airport maintenance problem” (Sin Chew Daily).
  • “Judge loses his cool over faulty air-con” (New Straits Times).

The former referred to the cancellation of all night flights for two nights at the Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu following a power glitch that caused the runway navigation lights to be switched off. The two-day closure affected six commercial flights and some 335 passengers were stranded on the first day. The Yang di Pertuan Agong and his entourage, who were to have left for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday night, were also grounded.

The latter referred to spanking new RM290 million largest court complex in the world in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur which has earned instant notoriety as the most mishap-prone public building — not only with collapsed ceiling, cracks on the walls, defective lift and toilet, and yesterday, High Court judge Datuk Mohamed Apandi Ali lost his cool with the frequent breakdown of the air-conditioning system in the new court complex as he was forced to postpone an appeal hearing. Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya – Mahathir’s Fatehpur Sikri

by Z Ibrahim

I refer to the news regarding the various construction defects of buildings in Malaysia’s new administrative capital at Putrajaya. Putrajaya remains an architectural wonder in the forest with its gleaming, sometimes partially completed buildings and bridges. A megaproject during Malaysia’s days of excesses it is reminiscent of Akbar’s deserted capital of Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri, located 40km west of Agra, was the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign from 1571 until 1585. It shared its imperial duties as a capital city with Agra and is regarded as Emperor Akbar’s crowning architectural legacy. Construction of the new ceremonial capital, with its elaborate palaces, formal courtyards, reflecting pools, harems, tombs and a great mosque commenced in 1571. A large number of masons and stone carvers worked hard for 15 years on the construction of the city the size of which was larger than contemporary London. It served as the capital of his mighty empire for twelve years (1571-1585) and was abruptly abandoned thereafter shortly after the work was completed ostensibly because of the lack of adequate water supply. Read the rest of this entry »