Archive for August 28th, 2013

Lets celebrate the 56th National Day in unity and harmony, by taking the first step to acknowledge and respect the patriotism of the 51% of Malaysians who voted for Pakatan Rakyat and 47% who voted for Barisan Nasional in 13GE

Something is very amiss in the air with the approach of the 56th National Day anniversary on Saturday.

Even the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek toyed with the idea of introducing a law to make it compulsory for every premises to fly the Jalur Gemilang through the month of Merdeka but he backed off three days later after admitting his extreme disappointment on discovery that government quarters in Putrajaya are not leading the example in flying the national flag.

He complained: “They are still waiting for the government to give them flags”.

Why is this so?

At the Pakatan Rakyat mega-rallies both before and after the 13th general elections on May 5, Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, age or gender stood proud and tall to sing the national anthem when it was played – demonstrating their patriotism and love for the country.

Could such patriotism simply evaporate? Read the rest of this entry »


Patriotic in heart, in word and in deed

– Dr Amar Singh and Dr Lim Swee Im
The Malaysian Insider
August 28, 2013

There is an impression conveyed by the authorities that if you do not fly the Malaysian flag then you are not patriotic. Flying the flag means little if your life and “internals and motives of the heart” are not patriotic.

True patriotism is not about flying a flag or shouting slogans. True patriotism is:

– Respecting everyone in the nation, irrespective of ethnicity or social status,

– Supporting all segments of our population, especially those struggling and marginalised,

– Working together to protect our land – both the people and the environment (flora and fauna).

It is not important whether a Malaysian makes a public display of our flag or not. It is more important that every Malaysian has a heart of love for all the people of this land. That we share our resources and lives. That we have a collective dream and make it into a reality, a dream that is called Malaysia.

Unpatriotic acts are common and regularly practised. They include:

– Pushing for a Malay-sia rather than a Malaysia (inclusive of all people groups),

– Sharing the wealth of the nation with a few cronies and corrupt practices amongst those in power,

– Using power to oppress others in small and big ways,

– Acts of hypocrisy where words and actions differ, all empty talk with no meaningful action.

Read the rest of this entry »


Of sectarianism, secularism and power politics

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
August 28, 2013

A climate of fear and tension appears to be gripping the Muslim world today – not only in the ever-conflicted Middle East, but even here in Malaysia. In recent months we have seen an increasing zeal on the part of the authorities, certain politicians and right-wing groups.

The gross overreaction in the handling of issues such as the surau in Johor, the “dog lady” video incident, the use of the word “Allah”, and the growing persecution of minorities such as the Chinese, the Christians and the Shias, have revealed uncharacteristic fanaticism. Since when have we become such an intolerant society?

The worst part is that most of these sentiments do not assume any rationality.

Take the virulent stance against the Shias, for example. During one of the terawih prayers that I attended in the recent Ramadan, a popular cleric had been invited to deliver a tazkirah or sermon.

In his sermon, the cleric nonchalantly informed us all that the Shias were not really Muslims, and that they worshipped a different religion altogether.

I thought this extreme view was perhaps an isolated one, until I read that the Kedah state government is planning to gazette a fatwa that will effectively treat Shias as deviants.

Now, if Shias are deviants and regarded as non-Muslims, why do we invite them every year to participate in our annual Tilawah Al-Quran competition at the Putra World Trade Centre?

In fact, since 1961, nine Iranians (read: Shias) have won the men’s recital competition. Furthermore, why is Iran accepted as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)?

What about the thousands of Iranian students that we are willing to accept as students in our universities every year? Read the rest of this entry »