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.

Abdullah wrote his ‘Hikayat Abdullah’ which stands until today as one of the most honest accounts of the state of the Malay world at that crucial juncture in the history of this region. Abdullah was of course a key figure in the exchange of letters between British colonial administrators like Raffles, Farquhar, Minto, et al. and the Malay nobles and kings. The Hikayat of Abdullah was unique for its pointedly frank observations about all that was wrong with the world he lived in then, though perhaps one of the most interesting and touching episodes in the Hikayat is where Abdullah describes his quarrel with his father, who was afraid that his son might be tempted off the right path by the ‘deviant teachings’ of the English missionaries he was working with.

The thorny issue that was being debated between Abdullah and his peers at the moment was his role as translator for a particular text that many of them were reluctant to touch: The New Testament.

Abdullah had been approached by some English missionaries and commissioned by them to translate the New Testament into vernacular Malay, which was to be used at Church as well as the modest missionary efforts among the colonial subjects of the Crown Colonies. As Malay was the lingua franca of everyone who lived in the straits then (including the Peranakan Chinese, Indians, Eurasians and even the British and Dutch), it was deemed appropriate to have the Bible translated into Malay as well.

Munshi Abdullah who regarded himself primarily as a professional translator was prepared to do the job that scared off all other contenders; until his father came into the picture, spewing steam and hot curses, and swearing that his son would never be converted by the heathen missionaries. In a touching passage of the Hikayat Abdullah describes how he appealed to his father’s own sense of values, and in particular to his father’s own love for knowledge and languages in general. His father was further persuaded by the appeals of the priests Milner and Thomson, who promised that they would respect his father’s wishes and refrain from offering any religious instruction to Abdullah. In the end, Abdullah notes how the appeals eventually won over his father’s consent and he was allowed to continue his study of this foreign language called English. The result of Abdullah’s efforts came in the form of one of the first vernacular Malay translations of the New Testament, the Kitab Injil al-Kudus daripada Tuhan Esa al-Masihi.

Now contrary to the fears and doubts of his friends, Munshi Abdullah was not secretly converted to Christianity as a result of translating the Kitab Injil al-Kudus. No magic Christian pills were plopped into his tea behind his back while he was working in the missionaries’ quarters; nor were there any reported attempts to lure him to the Church by offers of money, promotions or package holidays. As he stated from the outset, he was professional through and through and he carried out his translation work in a scrupulous and objective manner, to the satisfaction of all.

Today one can only wonder aloud about the fate of such a text, should it find itself before the customs officials or immigration desk at KLIA or the Golok crossing up North. If Bibles from the Philippines can be detained upon arrival, what then would be the fate of Abdullah’s Bible, born and bred (or translated and bound) right here, in our dear ‘ol Malaysia? And how would be take to Munshi Abdullah, ‘father’ of modern vernacular Malay literature, pioneer of the vernacular autobiography and realist writing; who also happens to be one of the first translators of the Bible? Or have we, in denying the religious complexity and pluralism of Malaysia today, also closed the door to Malaysia’s past where Muslims seemed less easily spooked by books of whichever tongue?

  1. #1 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:16 pm

    “Or have we, in denying the religious complexity and pluralism of Malaysia today, also closed the door to Malaysia’s past where Muslims seemed less easily spooked by books of whichever tongue?”

    From a Muslim perspective. We are in the post 9/11 era when Islam is seen as being under attack. Events in Malaysia cannot be divorced from events happening in the Middle East post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan. It is not a matter of closing the door to our past. It is a matter of discovering and opening an old door to a new and different future.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:22 pm

    Wow, thanks Farid. That was enlightening. In fact I never knew that was Munshi Abdullah’s Bible. If I am not mistaken, copies of that were in still circulation some 30 or 40 years ago even in Peninsular Malaysia. I think nobody asked and nobody knew then of any ban, (if indeed there was any), of Munshi’s seminal work. Today, I think there is at least one other more modern version in BM.

    And I thought there was freedom of religion in this land. Does that mean freedom of religion is only for non-Malays? Isn’t that pathetic in this time and age? If so, then the Malays have to be content to live with their chains, rightly or wrongly. But how does one chain a person’s mind, I wonder? Or put fetters on someone’s heart?

  3. #3 by desmond yong on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:26 pm

    Farish’s comments proved him a true believer in God, and therefore a man of wisdom. I pray for Malaysia to have more people of discernment and wisdom like him. Lets stop persecuting God by restricting & confining His style of revelation to our own understanding. Human minds cannot contain God the Creator. True believers will act their faith in truth, upholding justice & uprightness. They will not mock God by painting an ugly face of Him to their neighbour.
    Instead of confiscating Bibles, clean up the corrupt & unfair system in our Country. For by doing,one will truly glorify God and draw more people to believe in Him, and do as He wants.
    Lets stop destroying our economy by power corruption and money politics, these are the more severe sins than Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, if at all these Bibles, God’s words, are viewed more sinful,threatening than the many billion ringgit lies which are killing the nation ?!….

  4. #4 by P.O.T.S on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:27 pm

    Once again, we must all be reminded that the UMNO is behind all this fanaticism and extremism, not PAS.

    One does not hear of confiscated bibles and arsoned churches in Kelantan all these years under PAS rule.

  5. #5 by Boneka on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:27 pm

    If this trend continues wherein Little Napoleons frustrate the general public in their overzealous actions,UMNO and its Putras will be good candidates to be white washed off the political arena at the next election. Theri draconian enforcement of “unfair” Rules will hasten their masters’ demise. So keep at it you morons!

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:35 pm

    “Does that mean freedom of religion is only for non-Malays?” HORNBILL

    No. It means freedom of religion is for every Malaysian except the Malays. There is a difference.

  7. #7 by bukanbumi on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 9:55 pm

    Actually the Malay Muslims in Malaysia were highly tolerant of other religions before the 80s. I remember my Malay friends came to my house and they share food with me in porcelain cups and plates, unlike today where if I do invite my Malay friends, I need to provide disposable paper cups and plates purchase from supermarket, more over the food provided must be catered from Muslim food caterer.

    Things start to change after the Iran revolution and after that make worst by the religious fanatics in UMNO.

  8. #8 by Just_True on Thursday, 20 March 2008 - 10:26 pm

    Thanks for your article – very enlightening. I have pondered over the many incidents regarding the reactions (more like over-reactions) of Muslims towards perceived threats to their religion. Why the over-reaction? If you are secure in your faith, it does not matter what people do and say. The human mind and spirit cannot be shackled -> it should be allowed to settle in into convictions and acceptance – a knowing and a believing that cannot be shaken.

    If one’s faith can be so easily shaken, by human definitions and caricatures, then I question whether one has understood and attained real faith. Could be over-reactions be due to a herd mentality?

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 12:31 am

    undergrad2 Says:

    Yesterday at 21: 35.22
    “Does that mean freedom of religion is only for non-Malays?” HORNBILL

    No. It means freedom of religion is for every Malaysian except the Malays. There is a difference.

    What’s the difference, brother? Sorry, I am no philosopher. Sometimes mere differences in words or numbers do not mean anything! E.g. 1+1 = 3 -1.

    But I don’t want to divert from the deprivation in the other equation. If there is a difference, it’s merely semantics; the pain remains.

  10. #10 by Blind Faith on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 12:55 am

    The Islamist by Ed Husain reveals much on how terrorists and other extremists have hijacked Islam, supposedly a religion of peace, to justify all acts of violence, including even murder of the innocent.
    An interesting, perhaps frightening parallel appears with the methods of these extremists and those religious zealots and politicians alike in the BN. This book serves as a revelation to both muslims and non-muslims alike in Malaysia on how the ‘endgame’ could turnout if these islamists in BN are allowed to continue.

  11. #11 by undergrad2 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 1:16 am

    Difference?? Like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?

  12. #12 by Malaysian For Equality on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 1:33 am

    We must not confuse Islam with ‘Political Islam’. Islam Hadhari is an example of ‘Political Islam’. Political Islam is about about power and control which uses religion as a pretext. Paradoxically, political Islam uses unIslamic methods in propagating their brand of religion.

    Religious truths in the Koran are often perverted to suit the political interests of these groups. Unfortunately, most Malays in Malaysia are not well versed in Arabic and leave it to the ‘political ulamaks’ to interprete the Koran for them without any scrutiny. In fact, debate and scrutiny and frowned upon as this is considered lack of ‘iman’. So, when there is blind loyalty, it is not surprising that one can be led up the alleyway of ignorance and bigotry.

    A case in point is the banning of the Bible in Malay. It was the Arabs and Indians who were involved in religious instruction to the Malays who for feudal reason were nominal Muslims at the time but still strongly influenced by cultural, Hindu and animist beliefs, despite being at variance with Islamic dogma. Clearly they were sensitive about attempts to prosletyse their flock but there was was no moral objection to translating the Bible into Malay. The main reason for this was there was no political definition of a ‘Malay’ at the time. A Malay could have been a Hindu or a Christian however these were a minority. But there was no contradiction to a Malay being a non-Muslim as would be the case now.

    The existence of the Abdullah Bible shows Malays how their perception of religion, their sense of identity has alot to do with imposed political strategies which are not always based on rational and honest thought processes.

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 6:07 am

    ///We must not confuse Islam with ‘Political Islam’ Islam Hadhari is an example of ‘Political Islam’. /// – Malaysian For Equality.

    On the contrary my perception is that Islam Hadhari is not an example of ‘Political Islam’, indeed the opposite of it……

    To me, “Political Islam” is Islamic movement popularised since Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution to return to fundamentals of the faith in its purest form as it was understood and practised in early Caliphate.

    The distinguishing feature of political Islam is its goal to islamize the political order and rid it off western liberal, democratic, secular influences. By definition, the interpretation is rigid demanding conformity to rituals and practices of Medieval past in its original ‘purest’ form.

    In contrast Islam Hadhari or “Civilizational Islam” is, according to popular understanding, a theory of government based on based on the principles of Islam as derived from the Qur’an interpreted as to their essence rather than rigid forms when applied to present conditions.

  14. #14 by billgates on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 8:11 am

    I do not think the Christians are in the business of converting Muslim to Christians. The translation is to facilitate and assist those who want to know more about God. Even though Muslims around the world are using only one language – the Arabic language for their Quran, that does not guarantee they stay united and think alike. In Malaysia, religion has been used extensively by certain individual for their own personal gain and political mileage.

    Religion is something you can force upon any individual. By reading newspapers in Bahasa Malaysia for instance does not make me a potential Muslim. By listening to Muslim prayers every morning during school assembly does not influence me at all to convert to Muslim.

  15. #15 by k1980 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 8:34 am

    Spaceflight participant Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said he would do his best to share his experiences and inspire young Malaysians. “I took 35 years to chase and achieve my dreams…”

    Stupid boy, your teh tariking dreams have been achieved using taxpayers’ money, so wake up and stop bragging. 26 million Malaysians are also capable of going to space IF the fare has been paid for them, as it has been in your case

  16. #16 by k1980 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 8:41 am

  17. #17 by Tickler on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 8:50 am

    `..and arsoned churches in Kelantan all these years under PAS rule.`

    Must have missed this one then:
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, January 24 (Compass Direct News) – An indigenous church community has filed a lawsuit against local authorities in the state of Kelantan over the demolition of their church building on June 4, 2007.

  18. #18 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 9:34 am

    As long as the present goverment rule under certain fanatic, I would definetely says that this country is no more be a safer place for most of us.
    Firstly under Dr Mahathir, we were a bit uneasy over certain things but can cope with it after that.
    Then came this Pak Lah and hell break lose to all of us.
    When he was first sworn in as the PM, he was a kind of sweet and after when our Datin Endon left, he was totally sickening.
    With Jeannie by his side, he is even much terrible as I’ve thought.
    He never admit his mistakes and if he did admit it, it will be forgotten the next second.
    Even in the recent GE, he never truely admit his role in BN defeat while other component party leaders were made scapegoats.
    What else can we say!
    If the bible is a threaten to security, then he the one should be the most threatening to us all.
    What a sort of “Frankenstein”, he is!!!

  19. #19 by jennifer cheong on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 9:41 am

    Dear Lim Kit Siang and Guan Eng,
    Currently we are worry about Guan Eng safety as the rumours and protest and so on keep disturbing Penang now. I had saw him walking alone without somebody accompany when I last attended his speech in PJ before election.So we pray that God will protect him and also hope that he will be more alert and gear up his safety/security.All the best to DAP Admin at Penang,Perak and Selangor.Thanks.

  20. #20 by Tickler on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 9:45 am

    `When he was first sworn in as the PM, he was a kind of sweet..`

    Mahathir was into Shakespeare`s Julius caesar. Badawi is into Macbeth:

    Lady M: …look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.

  21. #21 by winterman05 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:10 am

    ” Abdullah’s Bible ” makes me wonder whether a new , revised version of the Holy Bible has hit the streets of Malaysia!

    While the Government preaches religious tolerance and freedom of religion, the seizure of Bibles runs contrary to what is trumpeted. It means that word and deed do not match. Hence, the thrashing BN received from the Voters, who do not trust the words of leaders . Promises which were piously propounded and proclaimed to the world to hear were not piously kept in most cases. Hence, people will now not watch ” my lips” because they simply do not trust words spewed out for public consumption. But the reality is that leaders do not mean what they say; so they might as well not say anything.

    You can pick a few examples. One, anti-corruption. Has corruption index gone down or has it gone up? Two, “No man is above the law”. It is a nice saying; but what had happened? BERSIH and HINDRAF demonstrators were harassed; and five Hindraf leeaders were detained uner the ISA! Then look at the denmonstrations particularly by UMNO members at Komtar in Penang and Shah Alam in Selangor. What actions, if any, were taken? Poor LOSERS! At least, the former Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, accepted defeat like a true gentleman . Now, we see demonstartors in Perak and Selangor, dictating the MBs what should and what should not, be done ! Any one arrested and sent to Kamunting Detention Centre? Then, there was the illegal mansion in Klang. No assessment paid for years! PM dared not touch him! The MB dared not touch him! It was left to the Sultan to touch him! So, was it surprising that Selangor fell to the Opposition. PKR-DAP-Pas should thank the PM, MB and the Klang Assemblyman for their actions or non-actions. The PM’s son-in-law demonstrated against the INVITED guest, US State Secretary Rice, and what happened? Nothing! Even the Police aided and abetted in controlling the traffic so that the demonstrators could do their job. Do you spurn an INVITED guest? What sort of culture do we promote?

    Then , the WHIP BLINDLY used the power . Use common sense. Any sensible proposal should be looked at rationally, ieven if it came from the Opposition.

    And was the “bocor” MPs reprimanded ? Was the WHIP used against them? Use your BRAINs!

    There are many other points which readers could add to the list!

    So, does BN know what hit it on March 8th, 2008?
    What postmortens? Post-mortens are for DEAD bodies!

  22. #22 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:22 am

    One thing for sure!
    You could fool everyone once or twice but you can’t fool us the rest of your life.
    Remember, Big Brother is watching you!!!

  23. #23 by ChinNA on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:23 am

    Let me share this:

    What is the difference between these 2 statements:

    A) He supports Obama.
    B) He supports Osama.

    Although the difference is ‘b’ and ‘s’, it is a very different.

    So is the difference between religious fervor and religious fanaticism. Religion, specifically Islam in Malaysia is being politicized that it is bordering on fanaticism now. Remember it is thin line that separate the two, just like the ‘bs’ in the 2 statements above.

    This caused me to think, when will Malaysia tip over in this respect?

  24. #24 by ChinNA on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:37 am

    I do not think the Christians are in the business of converting Muslim to Christians. – billgates

    There maybe a truth in what was stated above. But this I know: Christians are in the business to preach the faith. Strictly speaking conversion to the faith is the business of the Holy Ghost.

    However, using a more secular description: Confessing Christians are bound by their faith to preach their faith to everyone, not to deny their God, and be ready to be a martyr.

    … and this is very similar to Islam. I think it is akin to dakwah, iman and jihad.

    The last part about martyrdom is scary because if it is misguided, it is a very potent destructive force.

    History will testify to that.

  25. #25 by k1980 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:39 am

    In Malaysia, the PM would rather have “Bible Hadhari” for Christians

  26. #26 by mysn1st on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:41 am

    To Prof,
    Malaysian specially not limited to the malay are desperately need you, it will be great if you can spend more time to serve our country than rather than at Singapore (forgive me if I am not wrong)?

    To Sir,
    May I suggest the DAP should invite Prof Farish to give all the DAP leaders a learning session (perhaps few) pertaining to the his though or point of view regards his view as a knowledgeable and moderate Malaysian. I believe this should able to add another credit to the DAP and could able to give a better image to the Malaysian that DAP are really open minded to learn from the best (based on my limited knowledge) and prepare to serve the country regardless of race.

  27. #27 by robleong on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:55 am

    [quote]But Bibles? A security threat? To whom?[/quote]

    To the devil, of course! :D

  28. #28 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:16 am

    He says he fear of no one except god but why is he so fear of one book?

  29. #29 by Earshot on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:22 am

    Munshi Abdullah had been revered in recent past which explains his name being used on roads in some towns in Malaysia. Now that this little known fact about him having worked closely with British colonial administrators and having translated the Bible is out in the open, you can imagine the bigots in those town councils now impatiently getting ready to change the road names.

  30. #30 by AHILA on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:25 am

    Just like what ‘bukanbumi’ said..I too experienced the similarity among some of my neighbours.Once the good and kind Malay neighbours would just walk into my house and have a chat;despite me owning a BIG German Shepherd.The makciks and kakaks will sit in my kitchen and talk talk talk.Eating whatever offered.Then the day came ‘ UMNO cawangan Taman Wira was opened’. Since then till todate, they hardly speak to us nor enter our home.Why? I can only ask…what are they are preaching in UMNO? But no matter what…I cant be like them. Hadhari or not…I am a Malaysian..MalaysiaTulen !

  31. #32 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:40 am

    Hatred! that is what they preached.
    Even a malay boy which my son once met in school call him “Cina babi” and asked him for a fight without reason.
    Wait till the “keris kissing boy” or that KJ becomes the PM one day.
    We will all be singing, “Negara mu” instead of “Negara ku”.

  32. #33 by lkt-56 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:44 am

    ….But how does one chain a person’s mind, I wonder? Or put fetters on someone’s heart?…..

    Aren’t we all chained by our inability to see the reality of our ultimate destiny…….. DEATH? If we make use of our limited time here to unite our gift of free will (limited and earth bound) with the FREE WILL of the SUPREME POWER, we will be to break this mental chain created by our own deluded minds.

    Hornbill, does that answer your question? No one can chain you. Only our own delusions can.

  33. #34 by lkt-56 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:47 am

    …we will be able to break this mental chain created by our own deluded minds.

  34. #35 by petestop on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:57 am

    The very reason why we should not mix Religion and Politics,
    neither should a multi-ethnic, multi-religion country like ours be
    run based on single religion values.

    We need a secular government that is detached from Religion.
    Religion should be the domain of our Constitutional Monarch and
    never be politicised, as our Monarch should be apolitical.

    With religion, you have your dogmas, and politics is about
    compromise to accomodate all.

    Religion just does’nt work in politics, except being abused
    for political gains, just like the racial issue.

    Eash mah, rattle the chain on some of our religion/race dogmas,
    and people align themselves like cadets in a drill.

  35. #36 by Malaysian For Equality on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 11:57 am

    “To me, “Political Islam” is Islamic movement popularised since Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution to return to fundamentals of the faith in its purest form as it was understood and practised in early Caliphate.” – Jeffrey


    The Khomeini revolution was political Islam in essence. It was essentially a power grab with Islam used as a pretext. With due respect, the early Caliphates were characterised by bloody wars and family feuds. The impetus for this was the fact that Muhammed did not leave a male heir. There was bitter rivalry amongst his followers as to who should succeed him as the leader of the early Muslims.

    Shias believe that Ali, Muhammed’s son-in-law was the rightful heir and the Sunnis believe that Abu Bakar, the 1st Caliph who was Muhammed’s close companion was the legitimate heir. The Shia/ Sunni dichotomy and all the sects it spawned has its roots in the bloody rivalry of these early Muslims. There was nothing ‘pure’ in their actions. They were motivated by power, wealth and greed.

    Ali eventually did become the 4th Caliph but his rule was shortlived because he was poisoned. His son Hussain was killed in a horrific battle at Kerbala and this was the pivotal point history for the Sunni/ Shia split. To this day, in the Ashura celebrations, Shias commemorate Hussain’s ‘martyrdom’ by flagellating themselves and cutting themselves till they bleed in remembrance of the bloody battle at Kerbala where their beloved Imam Hussain was murdered.

    The Khomeini revolution was a ‘Shia’ revolution and as such had nothing to do with reverting to Islam of the early Caliphates because they utterly reject the legitimacy of the early Caliphates but instead recognise Imamhood, with Ali being regarded as the 1st Imam. With regard to Islamic practice, even here Khomeini betrayed basic Islamic tenets by persecuting Jews, Zoroasterians and adherents of the Bahai faith, many of whom were killed during his reign.

    Islam Hadhari promulgated by Badawi is widely regarded by most Malaysians as an exercise in hypocrisy and humbug. It was purely political in purpose.

    Pure Islam should simply be what it means- Submission to God.

  36. #37 by NotProudToBeMalaysian on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 12:00 pm

    Lim Guan Eng have once said in Bernama that he has stepped into a lion’s den but to us, we are going to step onto a “time bomb”.
    As long as those “weirdos” are still around in the cabinet, neither of us will be peaceful.

  37. #38 by sheriff singh on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 12:08 pm

    Where can I get a copy of Abdullah’s Bible? It sounds good.

  38. #39 by badak on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 12:10 pm

    Its scarry what is happening, This UMNO muslim are becoming scared of other religion,Now we can see special branch officers at all opposition ceramah,

    In time to come do we see special branch officers at all non muslim events. Think about it,its scarry.We non muslim have to carry a letter to say ” I am not a muslim “so my dead body will not be snatched….

  39. #40 by k1980 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 1:22 pm

    ….hampir separuh Ahli Parlimen Sarawak di bawa ke negeri Kanggaru untuk ‘berehat’ selepas pilihanraya….kehilangan mengejut Ahli-ahli Parlimen dari Sarawak itu ada kaitan dengan berita bahawa mereka sedang bersiap sedia melakukan ‘penyeberangan’ dari Barisan Nasional ke Barisan Rakyat.

    “Sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga Taib Mahmud (Ketua Menteri Sarawak) mengarahkan semua MP dikumpulkan setempat dan dibawa ke Australia,” kata sumber terbabit.

  40. #41 by lkt-56 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 1:40 pm

    Dear friends,
    If you are on your death bed now…

    1) Will what we are discussing now be important to you?
    2) Or perhaps you will be thinking what heaven oe hell is like depending on where you think you will end up. You should know yourself better, right. ;)
    3) Will you be asking your Almighty for forgiveness for NOT LOVING a fellow member of your human race.
    4) Maybe you will be regreting for having used the Almighty’s name to further your own self interest?
    5) Maybe you want the countless enemies you have made to forgive you before you disappear forvever?

    Come on folks…. Stop preaching hate!

    Just get on with what matters… let us talk about how we can move forward together as a nation. Let us be focussed so that those who have dedicated their lives to serve you can have a peace of mind to carry out their programme of reforms to correct whatever wrongs that has been committed by the previous administration.


  41. #42 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:03 pm

    :) if I am on my death bed now, I want to see Jesus, Buddha, Prophet, Lord, Siva,……not the Devil….. :)……. …….righto, back to the main topic…

  42. #43 by Jeffrey on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:05 pm

    Malaysian For Equality, thanks for the elucidations on “Political Islam”. No matter as you said that (at least some) Malaysians may regard Islam Hadari “as an exercise in hypocrisy and humbug” my point is that it cannot, by any stretch, be considered an example of “Political Islam”, even by your explanations, unless one intends to use the word “political” in relation to word “Political Islam” in a loose way as denoting something useful for some political purpose.

  43. #44 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:06 pm

    Admin, Why can’t the word cackle be used???????

  44. #45 by wag-the-dog on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:08 pm

    The Malay Struggle – Please Explain


  45. #46 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:08 pm

    Admin, can you please put that word back into the blanks…….it is not obscene…..no?

  46. #47 by lkt-56 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:32 pm

    I just checked the meaning of cackle… It is to make a shrill broken sound like a mother hen. :D
    Its okay-lah… if you are referring to the comments here as “cackling” could get you into a lot of trouble. You jnow why? You are hurting fragile egos!

    Buddha says: Right thought, right speech, and right action.

  47. #48 by lkt-56 on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:40 pm

    Heh, heh, sorry… I can’t help cackling now… :D

  48. #49 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:41 pm

    lkt-56″ I was only laughing at my own joke/ comment…….hmmmm…perhaps Admin has fat fingers too…..like me sometimes….too quick to delete before grasping my point…..
    Probably, hmmm…they are trying to promote a “clean” blog….I read it somewhere in the blogs…..

    I do agree with you on what Buddha says: Right thought, right speech and right action. Unfortunately, just to have some fun…..sometimes…..one ask to be excused to take a break from being a Buddha……. :) I think my teacher will fall off his chair….. :) ….

  49. #50 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:42 pm

    lkt-56, admin – this is like the second time my cackling is deleted……unbelievable……obviously no fat fingers at play….

  50. #51 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:45 pm

    i reckon, if anyone wanna show their emoticons, don’t use the brackets i think that’s not allowed…..or it is programmed to delete…..

  51. #52 by Toyol on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 2:52 pm

    Its amazing how UMNO uses religion to terrorise its members and put them in chains. If the Malays do not open their minds and accept the globally changing world as it is, they will be left behind not just in economics but become social outcasts as well. This is what I have been telling my Malay friends and some who are more open have begun to change. I fell sorry for those who have not.

  52. #53 by wag-the-dog on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 3:05 pm

    Malaysia’s opposition parties mull forming formal coalition – AP 2 hours ago.

    Check http://www.wagthedog-malaysia.blogspot.com for details.

  53. #54 by jetaime.f on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 3:09 pm

    Hurrah…… ;)

  54. #55 by Jeffrey on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 4:01 pm

    ///Malaysia’s opposition parties mull forming formal coalition – AP 2 hours ago///.

    “If we are going to respect the people’s wish for change, we have to have some kind of cooperation,” opposition leader Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party told The Associated Press. “We have to try to make it work. If there is a failure, all will suffer from it”, The Associated Press reported. It was further reported “but PAS has toned down its religious rhetoric in recent months, and even dropped from its election manifesto its demand for an Islamic state”.

    Toning down its religious rhetoric in recent months on establishing an islamic state does not mean abandoning it when it helps form the government.

    The question is, YB, would the DAP stipulate a condition precedent to working with PAS in a formal coalitiuon that it drops its demand for the establishment of the Islamic state?

  55. #56 by KL Dude on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 9:52 pm


    Bibles in BM are needed today in Malaysia for the BM speaking Christians especially in East Malaysia and the local Orang Asli christian communities, not for any other reason to threat or translated for fun.

    But UMNO scumbags see it as a threat perhaps to their brand of Islam and they later create a mockery out of Islam in the eyes of the world when they came up with the ban on the word ‘Allah’ with an excuse that Muslims can get confuse it seems but which Muslims, UMNO Muslims or the Muslims globally ?

    Think also why the IC of many Christians are not stated with their correct religion when they checked ? And when a complain is made with the IRD, the excuse given was typo error…. my foot.

    So who is at threat now actually fearing the Christians… the devil or UMNO ??

  56. #57 by AhPek on Friday, 21 March 2008 - 10:25 pm

    ‘If we are going to respect the people’s wish for change,we have to have some kind of cooperation.’ Lim Kit Siang.

    Seems reasonable enough provided you keep to within ‘some kind of cooperation’.However if you should in future proceed to full cooperation, then Jeffrey’s attempt to persuade you to stipulate a condition precedent to working with PAS in a full formal coalition that it drops its demand for the establishment of an Islamic state is wise and in fact in order.

  57. #58 by Noor Aza Othman on Saturday, 22 March 2008 - 12:44 am

    Undergrad; you really pissed me off with your narrow-mindedness everytime you open your mouth! Think before you speak; by the way learning is a whole lifetime process and thus, you should be humble to educate yourself further! And open your mind to learn something valuable from such a rare real Malay intellectual nowadays like Dr. Farish Noor here. Anyway; how would Muslims feel if their Qurans were confiscated so unjustly in the west? Look at the Muslims; being able to protest freely in the west about the Danish cartoon and on the Iraq War; whereas the Hindraf leaders are being imprisoned so barbarically by the Islamic Umno leaders, without trial for defending Hindu temples and Hindu/Indian rights! Muslims must learn to open their minds and hearts to the 21st. modern century; and maybe then they’ll be respected and not ridiculed with so much contempt! Get your Islamic house in order first; because that’s why Bush-Blair regimes are able to manipulate the western world to hate Islam and its followers. And the unjust confiscation incident of the Bibles show how primitive still the Islamic civilisation on the whole! The so-called Islam Hadhari/Civilisational Islam is a farce indeed!

  58. #59 by ChinNA on Saturday, 22 March 2008 - 5:45 am

    A question to help me understand:

    It is commented that Malays don’t quite understand Arabic, thus are not well-versed in the Quran. Question: Is there a Malay translation of the Quran to help Malays understand?

    If these is one, would Malays use it? I once heard that only the Arabic Quran matters. All other translation does not matter much. Is that true?


  59. #60 by lakilompat on Monday, 21 April 2008 - 4:08 pm

    Al Quran has been manipulates since our ancestor times. Some manipulation has become absurd leaving bloodshed, and some still waiting evolution & translation like the “Islam Hadhari” manipulated introduced by Pak Lah.

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