Archive for December 23rd, 2011

Perlis Mufti slams NRD for annulling daughter’s citizenship

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 23, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Perlis Mufti Dr Juanda Jaya today lashed out at the civil service and Putrajaya after the National Registration Department (NRD) told him his daughter was not a Malaysian citizen.

The incident occurred earlier today when Juanda, who is Melanau, tried to renew his 12-year-old daughter’s identity card at the NRD office in Kuching.

“My child is stateless! What kind of system is this? Are we in Africa or chaotic Zimbabwe?” he said in a statement.

“At a time when many foreigners are said to have been given citizenship, my daughter who is a Melanau, a Sarawak Bumiputera whose right to citizenship is clearly preserved in the Constitution, is suddenly said not to be a Malaysian national.”

Juanda said that while his wife was an Indonesian citizen, there was no reason his young daughter should be victimised for this, especially since the NRD’s own records identified the child as a Melanau. Read the rest of this entry »


FGV: Looking out for settlers’ interests

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 22, 2011

DEC 22 — I am more interested in establishing credibility in a proposition, idea or plan. Accordingly I am not fixated over an idea nor feel xenophobic on having to change my position if necessary, in the interest of achieving credibility.

For example, while I am not immediately taken in by the idea of listing Felda Global Ventures, the rational economist in me accepts that it makes good business and economic sense to restructure Felda’s business to unlock value.

I think, even while some of us differ in our views, this principle of restructuring, reorganizing, changing in order to arrive at better value, is acceptable. Also I am not averse to having experts run and operate the business.

For example, KPF is the investment entity in Felda Holdings. The members of KPF get dividends, handouts, charity, assistance, etc. They are able to enjoy because the commercial entity, Felda Global Ventures Sdn Bhd does the business for them.

KPF’s and the interests of others — public spirited individuals, minders (paid or unpaid) — are to ensure the managers of the business do their work efficiently and create shareholder value. Except that I will always be circumspect about the term “unlocking value”. Read the rest of this entry »


Religious tension mars merriment for Christians

Julia Yeow
Dec 21, 2011

In every mall and along every main street in Malaysia’s capital, elaborate decorations and loud, blaring carols bring about festive reminders of the season to be jolly.

But beneath the blinking lights and merry making, many Christians will be celebrating Christmas with an undeniable sense of unease due to rising tensions with Muslim authorities.

Malaysia is a secular state as defined in its constitution, but Islam is the official religion and is embraced by 60 percent of the population. Minority Christians make up about 10 percent, followed by Buddhists, Hindus and people of other faiths.

Religious violence is rare in the multicultural society, but minority religious groups have complained that their right to practice freely is increasingly threatened by a Muslim-dominated government. Read the rest of this entry »


A year-end look at Malaysia from afar

— Farish Noor
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 22, 2011

DEC 22 — I began my academic career more than a decade ago — and I can wryly state, with a smirk on my face, that my career began in the previous century.

From the outset the subjects that I have taught have been in keeping with my own academic interests as a student years ago: Philosophy, political theory, literature, history and Area Studies, of which the study of Malaysian society, politics and history has always been an ongoing concern of mine. For a decade now I have been offering and teaching a handful of courses, one of them being the history of the society and politics of Malaysia, and this is a course that I have taught in Germany, France and now here in Singapore where I am presently based, at least for the next couple of years or so.

Of all the subjects I have taught, none has had as much attraction – or been the cause of so much anxiety and concern — as the subject of Malaysian politics and history. And perhaps none of the courses that I have taught have cost me so much, emotionally and psychologically.

This is simply because the prevailing norm of academic research and teaching is one that lays emphasis on reason, balance and objective distance from the subject at hand. But when the subject at hand happens to be the country of one’s birth, and to which one presumably has some emotional attachment to, then maintaining that sense of objective, critical, balanced distance becomes difficult even at the best of times.

What compounds matters for me is that my focus on Malaysian society, politics and history is shaped by my other related concerns about the linkages between politics and economics, power and violence, race and religion, and the instrumentalisation of all the previously-mentioned for the sake of power and the use of it by political elites the world over. Parallel to my focus on Malaysia has been my other research interests in radical and potentially violent ethno-nationalist politics, as well as religious politics, communitarian politics and religious violence. Put all of these ingredients into a crammed head like mine and the result is a catalogue of neuroses and anxiety that leads to depression and suicidal inclinations even on the sunniest of days. Read the rest of this entry »