Archive for January 5th, 2008

Ban on “Allah” for non-Muslims and on stop-work on world’s tallest Mazu statue – are moderates in Cabinet outnumbered by extremists?

In his speech at the Christmas high-tea organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made a stirring call to moderates to lead the fight against fanatics or extremism will prevail.

He said: “If the moderates do not speak up, they will allow the extremists to occupy centre stage. And then, extremism will be seen as the religious or national approach in our country.”

However, from the continued ban on the use of “Allah” for non-Muslims and the stop-work on the world’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat, Malaysians are entitled to ask: Where are the moderates in Cabinet and government to lead the fight against fanatics so that extremism will not prevail?

How can the Cabinet justify the total ban on the use of the word “Allah”, by surreptitiously inserting as an unwritten condition for the renewal of the printing permit of the Catholic weekly Herald, when for 50 years through four previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Mahathir, the use of the word by Christians and Sikhs had not caused religious misunderstanding, tension or conflict?

It is the Cabinet decision to impose a total ban on the use of the word “Allah” for non-Muslim religions, trampling on the fundamental right of freedom of religion for non-Muslims, that is exacerbating inter-religious relations in plural Malaysia.

Why are there no moderates in the Cabinet to hold the middle-ground or have the extremists and fanatics now outnumber the moderates among the Ministers? Read the rest of this entry »


Samy Vellu anti-national, disloyal and traitor in his current trip to India?

MIC President and Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is in India to attend the three-day conference for People of Indian Origin (PIO) and he is taking the opportunity to meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain to them the position of the Indian Malaysians in the country.

When Hindraf leaders sought to explain to Indian political leaders the plight of the Indian Malaysians as a new underclass after long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization, they were accused of being anti-national, disloyal and traitors of the country.

Can Samy Vellu be equally denounced now as anti-national, disloyal and traitor for involving Indian leaders in the Malaysian domestic affairs with regard to the plight of the Indian Malaysians?

Samy Vellu is organizing a mammoth 15,000-people rally at the Cheras Badminton Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on January 20 to pledge support for Barisan Nasional and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Read the rest of this entry »


Call for special parliamentary meeting before Parliament dissolves in 70 days for general election

Every day there are new and increasing pointers that the next general election is very close – in fact, I expect Parliament to be dissolved in less than 70 days for the 12th general election to be held.

This is the reason why the MCA President and Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting has been appointed Acting Health Minister after the sudden demise of the meteoric political career of Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek in the national landscape.

Is there no one in the current crop of MCA deputy ministers like Ong Tee Kiat, Donald Lim, Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Fu Ah Kiow, Wong Kam Hong, Hon Choon Kam or Liow Tiong Lai who is qualified to be appointed Health Minister to replace Chua that the MCA President must recommend himself to the Prime Minister as the Acting Health Minister?

The ulterior objective of such a move is clear – to keep a Ministerial seat open for his brother, Ong Ka Chuan after the general election!

The timing of the very organised, orchestrated and systematic campaign to destroy Chua’s political career in a blitzkrieg five-day operation is also linked to the fast approach of the general election, to wipe him out once and for all from the political scene!

Chua knows that he had been “killed” not by the Opposition, but by his own colleagues in the MCA. Yesterday, I had said that there could be no doubt that the “black hand” responsible for the “ninjas” who successfully carried out the political assassination of Chua could be traced or linked to person or persons sitting in the MCA Presidential Council which had with great hypocrisy “regrettably accepted and respected” Chua’s resignation from all government and party posts! Read the rest of this entry »


Muslim Students, Challenge Yourselves!

by Azly Rahman

[An introduction to a speech on “student idealism” delivered at the annual gathering of the Malaysian and Indonesian Muslim students in Washington D.C., USA., December 2007. (PART 1)]

Assalamualikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Peace and Blessings to all of you. May Allah Bless our gathering and grant us wisdom and serenity amidst this increasingly chaotic world in which the powerful amongst us continue to trample over the powerless. May we see this trend reversed, in our lifetime.

I thank you for inviting me to me speak on something which makes me feel twenty years younger – on “student idealism”, on what is it, and what to do with it. I love the word “idealism”. It brings us right to what the Greek philosopher Plato said about the difference between “forms” and “appearance”. Of what the Hindus say about “Maya” and the troubled “yuga” in which Prince Rama would come back to bring salvation. A world in which the “rapper” and the “hip hopper” would say “for real…my dude?”

Twenty year ago, when I was very young, when I was president of the Malaysian Student Association and then of the Southeast Asian Student Association in an American university in the Midwest, friends and I used to explore issues of what to do when we have ideals. Countless hours of dialogues amongst friends of all races and nationalities, coupled with our obsession with the topic of the impending collapse of the dreaded apartheid system in South Africa and the subsequent release of Nelson Mandela – hundred of hours of these — yielded in us some sense of idealism. We studied the secret mission, logic, and innerworkings of the American multinational corporations in propping up dictators around the world. Read the rest of this entry »