Archive for January 22nd, 2010

Three generations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion have been singing the state anthems of seven states invoking the name of Allah to bless and protect the Sultan and people. Were they wrong?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “1Malaysia” slogan is facing its most critical test less than a year of its coinage in the “Allah” controversy, which has catapulted Malaysia into three weeks of adverse international attention raising the question whether we qualify to be a model modern nation-state of racial and religious diversity.

Three generations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion have been singing the state anthems of seven states, Johore, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu invoking the name of Allah to bless and protect the Sultan and people. Were they wrong?

The six-line Perak state anthem invoked Allah’s name four times, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Away with support letters, cries DAP leader

by Rahmah Ghazali | Malaysiakini

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang urged government ministries to get cracking for a total ban on government support letters for those tendering for its projects.

In response to Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat’s statement on the a move by the ministry on Wednesday, Lim had said it was a step in the right direction.

The Ipoh Timor MP said ministries should, instead, replace the questionable support letters with the open tender system.

“The prime minister, PM’s department and other ministries should impose a total ban on support letters and practise open tenders, so questions over the letters would vanish.

“If there are open tenders, then there would be accountability and transparency. They would be open to public scrutiny and all will depend on the merits and demerits of the proposals,” said Lim when contacted.
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A landmark shura council

The Nutmeg Verses – By Himanshu Bhatt | The Sun Daily
Updated: 10:07AM Thu, 21 Jan 2010

CENTURIES back, tribes in Arabia were said to have each consulted a gathering of elders and community leaders for guidance in making decisions for the people. The use of such a council, called the “shura”, was meant to act as a congenial forum for decisions to be made in an air of mutual respect and responsibility. The shura formed one of the key characteristics of governance in the region during the early Islamic period, and even before the religion rose to prominence.

There was an interesting development in Penang last week when the Pakatan Rakyat state administration formed the first ever shura gathering for any government in the country.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng launched the Penang Shura Council which brought together some 30 persons from Islamic agencies and NGOs, as well as syariah lawyers, before it convened its inaugural meeting at his office last Friday.

The occasion turned out to be a rather warm-hearted affair. Chaired by PKR’s state executive councillor Abdul Malek Abul Kassim, the council is meant to serve as an advisory platform for the state on various Islamic issues and to make recommendations when necessary.
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Did they remember to take off their shoes?

by Goh Keat Peng

In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, a spiritually poignant moment occurred when Moses

“came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ Then he said, ‘Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ ” (Exodus 3.1-5)

As a Christian, as I prepare to enter the church and face the altar for worship and prayer, a conscious switch in mind, body and soul takes place and I become aware that I am entering the realm of the sacred.

Likewise, for the Muslim as he enters the mosque or surau; and for a Sikh as he enters the gurdwara.
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