Archive for August 12th, 2013

Pluralism is not a dirty word

by Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
Aug 12, 2013

AUG 12 — While I was listening to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri sermon at the National Mosque the other day, I was struck by its gloomy, depressing and combative tone. Rather than a message of celebration and rejoicing at the achievements represented by the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan, the sermon was one which spoke in strident tones about the enemies of the faith, and attacks and threats to the ummah.

One of the elements identified in the sermon as being a threat to Islam (along with secularism and feminism, strangely enough) was pluralism.

Somehow, in less than 10 years, pluralism has become from being a proud attribute of multicultural and multi-ethnic Malaysia to one that has been vilified and has left certain people trembling in their boots.

In case anyone is unsure, the Oxford dictionary defines pluralism as being a condition or system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority, etc., co-exist. In the context of Malaysia, a condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society. Somehow, someone, somewhere has deemed pluralism to be the equivalent of a four-letter word.

Pluralism lives and breathes in Islam. It is embedded in the rich traditions of Islamic academia where from antiquity the religion prides itself in the diversity of views and the value of rigorous academic discourse and dialogue. Thus, the discourses and arguments of Muslim jurists and scholars of the likes of Al Kindi, Al Biruni, Ibn Sina are spoken in the same breath as the Greek and Roman philosophers such as Socrates, Cicero and Marcus Aurelius.

The best example of religious pluralism in Islam comes from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself who offered a delegation of Christians from the kingdom of Najran his own mosque, Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, for their prayers. What is this gesture if not recognition of the plurality of religion by the Prophet? Didn’t other religions not only survive but also flourish under early Islam? What does it say to others that pluralism is now considered a bad thing? Read the rest of this entry »


Crime is Up, Cops are Down

By Kee Thuan Chye | Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:30:00 GMT
MSN Malaysia

Hineous crimes such as the recent murder of Hussain Ahmad Najadi makes us think that the police are getting less and less efficient at curbing crime. In fact, the crime rate seems to be going up and up, but until lately, the Government was denying it.

ay after day, we keep getting reports of break-ins, muggings and robberies. Even of diners at popular restaurants falling victim to marauding gangs.

All this makes us think that the police are getting less and less efficient at curbing crime. In fact, the crime rate seems to be going up and up, but until lately, the Government was denying it.

In June 2012, the then home minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the crime rate was going down, and that if people thought it was going up instead, it was merely their “perception”. He was lambasted for his condescending comment.
Read the rest of this entry »


Public Inquiry into DAP CEC elections will prove there has been mass production and regurgitation of hundreds of lies and falsehoods against DAP in the Umno/BN media, culminating in the booklet of lies by the fictitious Father Augustus Chen

Will the Registrar of Societies Director-General, Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman, agree to a public inquiry into the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections in Penang last December to establish that there are reasonable and acceptable grounds for his directive to the DAP for CEC re-election?

He should if the RoS DG believes in the accountability, transparency, good governance, the rule of law and the important concept that public officers should not abuse their powers or act arbitrarily and have a special duty at this stage of national development to ensure public confidence in the efficiency, independence, impartiality and professionalism of national institutions and the public service.

Already national institutions and the public service are facing the worst crisis of confidence in the nation’s history as their efficiency, independence, impartiality and professionalism have been subverted by blatant political interference by their political masters, causing them to be guilty of being very biased and selective in their decisions and actions, whether selective arrests, selective prosecutions and other forms of selective persecution and oppression.

Is public confidence in the national institutions and public service to suffer a “quantum” assault in the RoS case with regard to the DAP CEC elections last December, because the decision of the RoS DG is completely based on lies, falsehoods and deception? Read the rest of this entry »

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— Patricia Anne Martinez
The Malay Mail Online
August 12, 2013

AUG 11 — As an ordinary Malaysian Christian, specifically a Catholic, I want to place on record that I am deeply INSULTED.

I just watched the programme “Pope from the end of the world” on the Astro History channel. It is a biography (and nothing else) of Pope Francis. Perhaps it was featured before, but it was the first time I watched it.


The disclaimer — if it can be called that — was shown FOUR TIMES throughout the programme.

I feel insulted because the statement shows a deep insensitivity, as if a programme about the life of the head of my Church is something on par with pornography or material of dubious ethical and moral value. Read the rest of this entry »


Barisan would have lost without postal, advance votes, says Merdeka Centre

The Malaysian Insider
August 12, 2013

Numbers tell a story and the startling story that has emerged from studying the past general election results is this: Barisan Nasional could not have gone back to Putrajaya without the controversial postal and advanced votes system.

These votes alone gave BN victory in 22 parliamentary seats, which made all the difference. Without those 22 seats, BN would have tied with opposition Pakatan Rakyat at 111 seats.

Without those key postal and advanced votes, MIC would be without the two Cabinet ministers Datuk Seri S Subramaniam (Segamat) and Datuk Seri G. Palanivel (Cameron Highlands).

Several seats in Johor and the Federal Territory would have also fallen to Pakatan Rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »


Joseph Kurup: Minister of unity or disunity?

— Ravinder Singh
The Malay Mail Online
August 11, 2013

AUG 11 — Speaking at the 30th anniversary dinner of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) Joseph Kurup, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity, said “We can’t allow issues that might just be a storm in a teacup take a turn for the worse, abruptly turning it into a perfect storm, destroying what took us years and years to build.” Beautiful words!

He also said the government has “taken a zero-tolerance approach and sometimes contentious position on religious bigotry”. Empty words, at least until now!

Racial and religious provocations by the likes of Ibrahim Ali (burn the Bibles), Ridhuan Tee (about Thaipusam), Zulkifli Nordin (Hindu deities), and some other Muslims have been going on not for days, but for years. Yet, not a murmur from the minister of national unity until the chest beating at the dinner.

The minister should state openly his stand on racial / religious bigotry — what does it mean to him? Read the rest of this entry »