Archive for August 12th, 2008

2nd Abdullah premiership – is it to be even worse than 22-year Mahathir administraiton?

To many concerned Malaysians, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has shown his true colours yesterday – he is not that open, liberal and tolerant after all.

He laid down two edicts for his second administration:

• No open forums or dialogues on religious or racial issues as they can undermine peace and stability – no more discussion on matters of religion or race that had already been enshrined in the Federal Constitution; and

• No objection to the use of Internal Security Act and Sedition Act against those who organize such forums like the Bar Council – up to the Home Ministry to act against the Bar Council.

Is it any wonder that Malaysians react to such edicts with the premonition that the second Abdullah premiership could be even worse than the previous 22-year Mahathir administration? Read the rest of this entry »


Hishammuddin should explain why Education Ministry condoning the racist and unprintable slurs of a history teacher

The New Straits Times today carried the following report:

Racial abuse teacher gets ‘a better deal’

By : V. Shankar Ganesh

BANTING: It obviously pays to hurl racial abuse at students, going by what happened to the teacher who did so at a school here.

The 35-year-old history teacher from SM Telok Panglima Garang was not only transferred to a smart school but to one located nearer her house.

To add insult to injury, no disciplinary action was taken against her.

It is understood that her letter of transfer stated that she was being transferred due to concerns for her security and not because she had committed an offence. Read the rest of this entry »


The future of our interfaith dialogue

by Azly Rahman

Must engaging in dialogue on religion be painful? Must it be greeted with hostility? Or is it a moot question—that the answer lies in what we failed to have done through our education system, decades ago?

I have faith that we will one day be ready to appreciate interfaith dialogue. On this note, I too believe that we will one day appreciate philosophical discussions and scientific debates. My experience conducting interfaith dialogue every semester in the American classroom setting gives me the assurance that we will be ready. It would be good to one day know that our corridors of academia are filled with passionate discussions on the self, the universe, God, and fate of humanity.

The core of each religious foundation is there for us to explore and to learn from. We need to escape from being trapped in the particular and liberate ourselves into explorers of the universal. Of course this will take time given the nature of class and caste system we are in; developments that have impacted upon our consciousness. But evolve we must, if we are to see a progressive country emerging out of these ruins of communal politics, immorality of modern capitalism, and persistent religious misunderstandings. Ignorance is the greatest enemy of knowledge, as the sage Socrates once said. Read the rest of this entry »