Archive for March 20th, 2008

Abdullah’s Bible

By Farish A. Noor

For a country that is not exactly known for its reading habit, we seem to be grabbing a lot of books lately. Or to put it more accurately, we seem to be confiscating and detaining an awful lot of books.

For reasons best known to themselves, the benighted authorities in this land of ours have been vigilantly manning the outposts on the frontier lest we, while sleeping, are caught unawares by the legions of dog-eared tomes that are – at this very moment – surreptitiously on their way to this country to ‘pollute, corrupt and confuse’ our minds. The list of banned books grows ever longer; and the outrages continue unabated. The latest fiasco was when thirty-two Bibles were confiscated by customs officials from a Malaysian Christian on her way back from the Philippines, to be submitted for inspection by the Ministry of Internal Security. Strange that Bibles are now seen by some as a potential ‘security threat’ that need to be confiscated upon entry into the sacred precinct that is Malaysia. But Bibles? A security threat? To whom?

All this talk of ‘dangerous’ texts and potentially dangerous Bibles in particular reminds me of one particular edition of the Bible that caused quite a stir when it first came out. In fact so controversial was this particular edition that it almost never came out at all. For here I am talking about Abdullah’s Bible; or rather the translation of the Bible by none other than Munshi Abdullah Abdul Kadir, who is universally regarded as one of the forefathers of modern Malay literature.

Now those of you who remember what you were taught at school (and believe me, as an academic I am all too familiar with the phenomenon of selective amnesia among students), will also remember the name of Munshi Abdullah. He was the Peranakan Muslim scholar and translator who served both the early British colonial administrators in Singapore and Malacca as well as the various Malay courts during the opening stages of the 19th century. Read the rest of this entry »


12 Proposals for a First-World Parliament in Malaysia

In 2004, I had made 12 proposals for parliamentary reform and modernization for Malaysia to have a “First World Parliament” not only in infrastructure, but mindset, culture, practices and performance.

These 12 proposals for First-World Parliament should be adopted as the parliamentary agenda of both the Barisan Nasional and the Opposition in the 12th Parliament when it convenes for its first meeting in May, viz:

– live telecast of parliamentary proceedings;

– daily two-hour question time;

– Prime Minister’s Question Time twice a week;

– Opposition MP heading the Public Accounts Committee (PAC);

– some 30 specialist Parliamentary Select Committees with a Select Committee for every Ministry;

– about ten general Parliamentary Select Committees to produce annual reports on progress, trends and recommendations on national integrity, IT, women’s agenda, environment, mass media, corruption, etc;

– allocation of certain days a week specifically to deal with Opposition business;
research and constituency staffing for MPs;

– an Opposition Deputy Speaker;

– modernization and democratization of Standing Orders;

– code of ethics for all MPs;

– Ministers’ Parliamentary code of conduct. Read the rest of this entry »


Eye specialist problem – another multiracial problem

by Dr. LMK

I am an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) currently practising in UK, I
cannot come home because of my specialist degree.

“FRCS(Glasgow) in Ophthalmology” (hereinafter refer as FRCS) is a
specialist degree recognised by the whole world, the eye specialist
must go through a proper training and exam in order to get this
degree. Many eye specialists in many are holding this degree
including our famous eye specialists in Tun Hussain Onn Eye Hospital.

FRCS was confered by 4 boards, ie, Edinburgh, London, Ireland and
Glasgow. In 1999, UK has decided to change its training service due
to the European Union. FRCS exam was be replaced by MRCS exam. For
your information, MRCS is not a recognised degree in Malaysia.
However, Glasgow board is STILL offering this exam for this degree
until NOW. Read the rest of this entry »