Archive for August 16th, 2007

Scarf Issue in IIUM

An email from G on the perennial problem of dress code for non-Muslim graduates for the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) convocation:

With reference to the above subject matter, I would like to direct your attention to the following url:
*particularly on the “Notes”.

Ms Fong (Po Kuan) and DAP had fight fiercelessly for non-Muslim females’ rights in IIUM, which resulted to the change of dress code from compulsory wearing of tudung to optional (even though we still need to wear a small bandana). However, this changes does not seem to take effect on the dress code on non-muslim female during the Convocation, as pointed out bluntly in the abovementioned website.

I believe, convocation ceromony is one of the “proudest” moment for every parent. However, for a non-Muslim parent to witness this precious moment while their child is wearing a tudung with a string hint of alien religion, is upsetting and embarassing. So, should they absent from the ceromony as how the University suggest? Or, put down their pride to cheer for the child?

We were brought up in a belief that (at least I worship this), a must for convocation is the “Cap”. Perhaps for a Muslim, wearing a tudung with a funny looking band over it is proud. but for non-Muslim, the Cap is almost everything. To wear it when receiving the roll, throw it to the air after completion of convocation, take family photo wearing the Cap, hanging it in the living room..the Cap signifies a huge and respective

During our 49th Convocation, a top student refused to attend the convocation simply because she opposed strongly for the wearing of tudung. The consequences were for her to give up the some awards. This year, the student who is a named and expected Best Student Award recipient refused to attend the ceromony for the same reason. Read the rest of this entry »


Bukit Gantang carnage – Kong Choy pointing finger of blame at everybody except himself

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy is pointing the finger of blame at everybody for the latest Bukit Gantang road carnage which killed 20 and injured nine except himself — when such horror road fatalities are not supposed to happen after the Kuala Lipis bus crash which claimed 14 lives and injured 26 people 45 months ago.

The Kuala Lipis road carnage happened in the first month of the premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 31st November 2003 and was the cause of a national hue-and-cry starting from the Prime Minister who demanded action by Chan to ensure that such tragedies do not recur.

Since then, there had not only been the road carnage at Km229 of the North-South Expressway near Bukit Gantang on Monday, but also the Nibong Tebal bus crash in July last year which left 11 dead and 35 injured among those on their way to the St. Anne’s Feast in Bukit Mertajam.

During the nation-wide hullabaloo led by the Transport Minister over the Kuala Lipis road carnage 45 months ago, I had warned the Prime Minister that his administration must learn from the expensive lessons of the past as to why the country had failed to end the road carnage on Malaysian roads which had wrought such great emotional and socio-economic havoc in terms of loss of human lives and economic costs to the community for the past 13 years.

I had expressed fears that “the latest bout of high-profile government and public concern about the high traffic accident rate and fatalities would not be another short-lived but quickly-forgotten “wonder” as had happened many times since 1990. Read the rest of this entry »


50th Merdeka: Now, everyone can be a Bajau!

by – Product of the System

An Unbooked Pregnancy

A 42-year-old lady presents with strong contraction pains at 3am. Of Filipino descent and speaking no Bahasa Malaysia, she was unable to provide any valuable clinical history pertinent to her current pregnancy.

In addition, she did not seek any antenatal care. A multiparous lady with 12 other children, she gave birth uneventfully but her premature 31-week baby developed breathing complications from his immature lungs.

He was referred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Likas, where he was treated for the next 48 days with costly first-line medications and neonatal supplements. Further investigations revealed congenital syphilis contracted from his mother.

Unable to settle the five-figure hospital bill, the father paid a meagre RM 10.00, vowing to settle the outstanding amount on their next clinic visit.

Seen in the clinic one month later, the couple returned with their child and – brand new Malaysian ICs. Declaring themselves now to be Malaysian Bajaus, they were absolved of all their hospital debts and spirited onto the red carpet of Bumiputeraship.

A Neglected Child

A frail 3-year-old Indonesian boy was admitted for severe dehydration from a two-week history of infective diarrhea.

The second youngest of 14 children, the family lives in a 5m X 8m stilt house built over sea water, aptly known as kampong air. They draw water and electricity from illegal connections made stealthily to the homes of local Sabahans.

Domestic waste and human excrement are disposed off by open sea dumping and drop latrines. On examination, the child was drowsy in hypotensive shock and was severely malnourished.

Over a period of 4 weeks, he was given intensive care and nursed back to health with adequate rehydration and total parenteral nutrition costing RM 1,000 per day.

Upon discharge, the parents swore themselves to be Bajau, flashed newly-minted Mykads and laid claim to the privilege of free healthcare.

From pendatang tanpa izin just a month ago, they’ve become warganegara Islam and are therefore eligible to the broad spectrum of bumiputera privileges under UMNO’s New Economic Policy.

The child went back to the family home, where he nonchalantly resumed his daily routine of waddling barefooted in the filthy mud of kampong air littered with human excrement.

A Jobless Lad

An unemployed 28-year-old man was admitted after a freak road accident. After a heavy alcohol binge, he went on a terror joyride with a friend equally under the influence.

He suffered a grade 3 open fractures of both his right forearm bones with multiple tendon and nerve cuts. He underwent a complicated and costly emergency surgery, the first of many to come.

Over the next two months, he underwent repeated reconstructive procedures — readjustments of metal fixator, wound debridements and skin flaps.

He was seen in the clinic a week after discharge whereby he now professes to be a Bajau. His outstanding hospital bills were consequently declared null and void. Read the rest of this entry »