Archive for January 5th, 2012

Why no apology?

— Spencer Gan
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 05, 2012

JAN 5 — In 1998, then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed promised Catholic Church leaders that the church would be consulted when it comes to the appointment of principals and heads of mission schools.

That promise was elastic and was made just before the Sabah election, and at a time when Dr Mahathir was shaky after the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim. This historical fact was made public a few weeks when Archbishop Murphy Pakiam informed Catholics that the government had reneged on its promise to consult the church on the new principal of Convent Bukit Nanas.

Only after threatening noises by the church did the government back down. So please excuse my scepticism about the “assurance” given by Najib Razak at a lunch with Christian leaders that the government would consult in future before any appointments are made. Once again, this promise is being before an election.

Given this administration’s big propensity for flip-flopping, it would not surprise me if in the new future the Catholic Church may once again have to highlight another episode of the government going back on its word.

So unless there is some written agreement between church and government, this assurance by Najib will count for not much. Read the rest of this entry »


The government doth protest too much

— Azmil Tayeb
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 05, 2012

JAN 5 — In my previous incarnation as a student in the United States, I occasionally attended gatherings at the Malaysian Embassy and consulate offices, some of which were hosted to receive various ministers and other high-ranking government officials.

In addition to being stuffed with delicious home-made Malaysian food — the main reason why I think most of us were there — we were also fed with the exhortations that we were not supposed to get involved in politics, not to pay any attention to the political issues currently brewing in Malaysia, and instead to solely focus on our studies.

Don’t sweat your innocent, highly impressionable minds with all these slanders and negativities you hear from home, said the avuncular minister. The time will come soon enough for you to get involve and subsequently enjoy the experience of being bashed senseless in the head by the FRU.

Okay, the minister didn’t say that last part. But the point I’m trying make here is that there’s no better moment to assume a proactive role in the society than during this unique window of time and place occupied by these so-called innocent, highly impressionable minds.

The recent “controversy” concerning the lowering of the PM’s banner at PWTC by the students and the alleged assault on student activists at UPSI on new year’s day by the police brings to light the familiar issue of whether Malaysian students should be allowed to get involved in politics, particularly via protests and other acts of civil disobedience. Read the rest of this entry »


109: The day we must move on

By Zairil Khir Johari | January 05, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

JAN 5 — Three-and-a-half years ago, in line with the fad of reviving old TV drama serials such as “90210” and “Hawaii-5-O”, Malaysians were treated to a remake of a soap opera that began its first run in 1998. Though the original had been universally panned by industry critics and foreign audiences, it nevertheless enjoyed somewhat limited domestic success. Of course, it also helped that the producers of the drama also controlled every media outlet in the country.

As is the case with unimaginative remakes, the same formula is once again rehashed. And while a coterie of new characters including a young, tall and handsome antagonist was thrown into the fray in an attempt to inject some semblance of freshness, the same actor, now visibly aged, was re-casted as the reluctant protagonist.

In staying true to the spirit of the original version, Malaysians were once again treated to a roller coaster of absurd plot twists, logic-defying scenarios and draggy story arcs involving numerous sub-plots detailing tales of sordid sex, DNA manipulation and — in keeping with the times — leaked video tapes.
Read the rest of this entry »


Churches tell Najib: Respect law, remove anti-Christian rules, policies

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 05, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak should respect the law and start removing rules and policies that have seen Christians being victimised by the bureaucracry, a national group representing over 90 per cent of churches said yesterday.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) called on the prime minister to check the growing systematic religious attacks against Christians nationwide over the past one year.

It also called on Najib to act and stop the attempts to “murder” and “destroy” his commitment and legacy to religious moderation he is championing.

Anglican Bishop Ng Moon Hing, who heads the CFM, urged the PM to set up a non-Muslim religious affairs ministry to safeguard and protect the interests and rights of not only Christians but Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists and Hindus. Read the rest of this entry »