Archive for December 31st, 2013

Despite rising Islamic conservatism, non-Muslim groups stick to peaceful engagement in Malaysia

The Malaysian Insider
by V Anbalagan
December 30, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, Malaysia has seen its fair share of events with people who either inspire or bring despair to the country. It has been a year where some feel a sense of entitlement, that it is their way or the highway, that they have to make a name for themselves no matter what, and where the little people’s hopes have risen and have also been shattered. Yet, there are the few who do good work quietly to help their fellow man, to make Malaysia a better place. Over the next few days, The Malaysian Insider will feature some of them – Malaysia’s Inspiring People 2013 – the ordinary heroes who never cease to amaze us with their perseverance, diligence, empathy and vision for a happier nation.

Malaysia has been touted as a model of multi-racial and multi-religious harmony over the years under a coalition government that seeks consensus to prevent a recurrence of racial riots over 40 years ago.

Yet, in recent years, there has been a rise in Islamic conservatism, especially within the ruling government, putting pressure on non-Muslims in the Muslim-majority nation.

Despite that, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) has taken it upon itself to champion the cause of about 40% cent of the 29 million population.

Their weapon of choice is peaceful engagement and communication, says council president Jagir Singh, despite the uphill battle to ensure religious freedom in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Perutusan Tahun Baru 2014

Kita akan mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada 2013 dengan dada yang lapang; dengan kesedaran bahawa pada setiap penghujung tahun adalah permulaan bagi hari-hari baru yang bakal menjelang. Kita harus sentiasa optimis bahawa segala yang terjadi sepanjang tahun lalu adalah batu-batu asas yang akan merintis jalan ke arah perubahan.

Perubahan itu sifatnya abadi. Setiap waktu, setiap hari; perubahan tidak berhenti. Tidak ada siapa yang mampu menahan perubahan daripada berlaku ketika ia datang tepat pada waktu.

2008 yang lalu Malaysia telah melihat tsunami politik yang begitu besar, dengan beberapa buah negeri berjaya ditadbir oleh koalisi politik parti-parti oposisi yang kini dikenali umum sebagai Pakatan Rakyat.

Lima tahun kemudian pada 2013, ombak perubahan politik yang lebih kuat terus membadai lantas berkesudahan dengan pertambahan kerusi Pakatan Rakyat di Parlimen, selain menafikan majoriti undi popular parti pemerintah.

Pasca 505, negara menyaksikan harapan dan impian baru yang selama ini jarang-jarang diyakini boleh tercapai. Meski pun harapan rakyat untuk melihat perubahan rejim tidak kesampaian, kita masih boleh merasakan kehendak rakyat yang semakin berkobar-kobar mahukan sebuah perubahan, dan tanggungjawab membawa perubahan ini haruslah digalas bersama. Read the rest of this entry »


When He’s Alone, What Does Najib Think About?

by Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News

I wonder, when Najib Razak has his private moments, what does he think about?

Does he think about what a liability his wife, Rosmah Mansor, is turning out to be? About the bad press that has been mounting against her and her allegedly extravagant spending and her use of the government jet to go to Qatar? And now her son’s purchase of a RM110 million condo in New York City?

Lavishing that amount of money at a time when Malaysians are being compelled to pinch pennies is obscene. It also shows up the glaring contrast between the lifestyles of the ruling elite and those of the common people. While the ruling elite forces us to tighten our belts in the face of rising prices, its own family members appear to be having a whale of a time.

It may be claimed that Rosmah’s son, Riza Aziz, came to great wealth through his own talent and initiatives, like investing successfully in Hollywood movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, and is therefore entitled to his enjoyment of luxuries, but the next question that begs to be asked is: Why, in the midst of the brain drain Malaysia is suffering, does he not come back instead to contribute his talent and wealth to developing his own country? And helping his stepfather to achieve the goal of making Malaysia a high-income nation? Read the rest of this entry »