Archive for July 22nd, 2013

A Response to Rafizi Ramli

– Aerie Rahman
The Malay Mail Online
July 22, 2013

JULY 22 – In an article dated July 22, Rafizi Ramli admirably tried to defend the forced implementation of TITAS in private tertiary institutions. His primary argument is that TITAS being made compulsory is a vehicle that is able to promote greater understanding among the various cultures in Malaysia.

Rafizi dissected the content of TITAS and concluded that the implementation would be of benefit to all. I would like to commend Rafizi’s direct clarification on this matter. Unlike Khairy Jamaluddin who only tweeted on this issue, Rafizi recognises the importance of discourse that is not confined to mere sound bytes and ipse dixit assertions.

I agree with Rafizi that if there is an issue with the syllabus, we should amend it to make TITAS palatable to all cultures. This is a practical point and not a principle concession. If Islamisation is the problem like what Dr Lim Teck Ghee is worried about, then the syllabus should be revamped to ensure that Islamisation doesn’t happen.

However, my concern with Rafizi’s article is twofold. Rafizi did not address the negative consequences of compulsion. Rafizi also failed to answer the point of practicality; does TITAS have any utility to students, who need to accumulate essential skills to secure a job upon graduation. Read the rest of this entry »


TITAS is about cross learning in a multicultural society

— Rafizi Ramli
The Malay Mail Online
July 22, 2013

JULY 22 — I must begin by conveying my gratitude to Dr Lim Teck Ghee and S. Thayaparan for their views on the position I took with regards to the implementation of TITAS at private tertiary institutions (IPTS).

While the ensuing exchange of views on the matter had earned me many labels from some of the readers of Malaysiakini (including lumping me as another Umno prototype), I look at it positively. If Malaysia were to progress, we must be able to debate openly and accept criticisms both ways.

I will explain the basis for the position I had taken before I respond to some of the issues brought by both of them. Read the rest of this entry »


MACC, election panel must answer on money politics

    Josie Fernandez
    Jul 22, 2013

    COMMENT At the launch of a book on Reforming Political Financing in Malaysia in 2010, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Abu Kasim Mohamed said, “Political corruption is the mother of all corruption. The MACC Act 2009 is clear about the offence of using public office for any form of gratification.”

    And for Wednesday’s Kuala Besut by-election in Terengganu, PAS has circulated a list of projects announced by the BN, which include RM343,000 upgrade to Masjid Haji Ishal in Kampung Dengir and the construction of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Alor Peroi, Tok Saboh, which will cost RM28 million.

    PAS has claimed that rival BN is pouring cash on the constituency in a bid to cover up the weaknesses of its candidate, Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman.

    The claims of PAS on the pouring of cash and announcement of projects worth millions of rinngit for the Kuala Besut constituency during this by-election period surely requires an investigation by the MACC, which claims to be independent.

    PAS is right in asking BN to declare the sources of the money being poured into the small fishing town of Kuala Besut during the by-election campaign period. The Election Commission (EC) should be in the forefront raising this question, not PAS.

    It is the responsibility of the EC to act on the use of money in elections. It is funded by taxpayers’ money and entrusted with the role of running free and fair elections, without bribery and use of money to garner votes.

    For too long, the Election Commission has claimed that it is unable to act on the use of money, gifts and projects to garner votes during elections in the country. The EC continues to claim that it is powerless to do anything about widespread vote buying under the current Election Offences Act. Read the rest of this entry »


Respect all races and faiths

Jeswan Kaur | July 21, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

With all the racial tension and unhappiness taking place, it is a wonder how Najib intends to pull off the national reconciliation agenda.


Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad keeps insulting the non-Malays all the time and not a word comes of concern comes out from the mouth of the country’s leading party, the Barisan Nasional alliance.

Likewise, Mahathir’s protege, Ibrahim Ali who founded the Maly extremist party Perkasa and his deputy Zulkifli Noordin who have little to fear each time they take pot-shots at the non-Muslims.

Then there are others in powerful positions who keep stirring racial tensions by warning the non-Malays to refrain from using the word ‘Allah’.

The word “Allah” has been used by the Sikhs and Christians for a long, long time or for that matter Arab Christians have been using the term “Allah” for over 600 years before the Muslims began doing so?

The word “Allah” is used 12 times in the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, by Sheikh Farid, Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan Dev while Sant Kabeer has uttered the word 18 times.

Despite that, Umno continues to live by its fallacy that only Muslims have the right to use the word “Allah” despite the fact that the term has been used by the Sikhs and the Arabic-speaking Christians of Syria and the rest of the Middle East.

Now Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir has decided to follow in the footsteps of the rest by barring the non-Malays there from using the word ‘Allah’. Read the rest of this entry »