Archive for January 3rd, 2014

Of mad mullahs and mangled muftis

by azly rahman

Jan 3, 2014

When will we ever see people respecting each other for what they believe in and to pray by whichever way they feel safe, at peace, and connected as what “religion” derived from the Latin “religio” means, i.e. “connectedness” (to a higher and greater consciousness)?

Why can’t the Shiites and Sunnis stop fighting? Why can’t we focus on larger issues such as the future of our children through the fixing of our education system, or to make sure that our streets are safe, to bring back local elections so that our democracy will be stronger, or to ensure that our leaders are doing what they are supposed to be doing since they are servants to the people they begged votes from?

But what do we still have? Pathos, thanatos, and the loss of eros. Of hubris and hamartia. Of poetic injustices year after year. That’s what we have. Another year of diabolical doings left undone. Read the rest of this entry »


Abide by the Federal Constitution; Focus on achieving harmony and unity — Bar Council Malaysia

Christopher Leong
Malaysian Bar
The Malay Mail Online
January 3, 2014

Jan 3 — The Malaysian Bar is concerned by reports that Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (“JAIS”, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department) had on 2 January 2014 conducted a raid on the office of the Bible Society of Malaysia (“BSM”), confiscated more than 300 copies of the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban bible), and arrested the President and the Office Manager of BSM. It is also reported that the President and the Office Manager have been required to present themselves to JAIS officers on 10 January 2014.

It is alarming that the religious body or enforcement agency of one religion would purport to have jurisdiction or purview over other religions. This is not what is envisaged under the Federal Constitution. The actions of JAIS are purported to have been carried out pursuant to the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment No 1 of 1988 of Selangor (“said Selangor Enactment”), in particular sections 9 to 13 thereof.

The said Selangor Enactment is stated in its preamble to have been enacted pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, which provides that State law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam. The purpose of the said Selangor Enactment is therefore an enactment against the propagation of other religions to Muslims or the proselytisation of Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »


Proposal for a meeting of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat top leaders on an agenda and blueprint for National Reconciliation to rebuild National Unity

This year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

It is most unfortunate, sad and shocking that the greatest threat to the unity and solidarity of Malaysia in its 50-year history should also take place this year – the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais)’s illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles yesterday.

It is no exaggeration to say that Jais’ illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles is the greatest blow and setback to the unity and cohesion of the 50-year Malaysian nation-building process capable of causing grave disunity, discord and even disintegration of the nation.

I fully agree with the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) that the shocking raid and seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles is a violation of the Christians’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and an “aggressive attack” on interfaith ties in Malaysia.

Even more serious, it is the most serious setback for Malaysian nation-building in the past five decades, undermining the very basis of the multi-religious fabric of the Malaysian nation, giving cause to grave concerns in Sabah and Sarawak whether the fundamental terms for their joining the peninsular states – the 20 Points for Sabah and 18 Points for Sarawak – to form the Malaysian federation and other solemn agreements agreed by the Putrajaya like the 10-Point Solution to the Bible controversy would really be honoured. Read the rest of this entry »


Tolls and hikes short-circuiting Malaysian future

S RAMAKRISHNAN | 12:47PM Jan 2, 2014

COMMENT The simultaneous increase in fuel and sugar prices, electricity tariff and toll hikes have got Malaysians worried and bewildered as to how they will manage their household expenses. Compounding matters will be the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will kick in in 2015. The already weakened ringgit and the sudden withdrawal of subsidies on essential goods will hit hard where it hurts most – the pocket.

Not unlike Marie Antoinette, the prime minister is obstinately insisting that the people can afford these massive hikes. Talk about telling the masses to eat cake, he adds insult to injury by saying these increase are not a burden!

The entire cabinet and prime minister suddenly woke up from their slumber. It dawned on them that the budget deficit, huge public and household debt have to be narrowed. What is shocking is that for 16 continuous years, the deficit and the mounting debt did not raise any alarm bells.

In fact the pro-government economists and mainstream media stoically reminded the rakyat that economic fundamentals were positive and our country is on track to become a developed nation by 2020. But all that propaganda did not convince the world. Fitch Rating Agency, in a startling report, downgraded Malaysia from stable to negative. And the game was up.

The media propaganda failed and even more frightening, instead of being developed Malaysia, by 2020, may be a bankrupt nation!

The acrimonious Fitch report had a jolting effect that aroused the Malaysian government from its deep slumber and self-delusion. It suddenly dawned upon the cabinet that the lies they had believed to be the truth, were, in fact, lies. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib must act immediately to guarantee a stop to any further illegal and unconstitutional raids by Islamic authorities on other religions or his assurances whether in Christmas or New Year messages mean nothing and lose all credibility

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, must act immediately to guarantee a stop to any further illegal and unconstitutional raids by Islamic authorities on other religions or his assurances, whether in Christmas or New Year messages, mean nothing and lose all credibility.

Less than ten days after Najib’s two Christmas Speeches, one at the Federation of Malaysia’s Christmas Hi-Tea in Kuala Lumpur and the other at the national-level Christmas Open House in Penang, his message of moderation, harmony and co-existence have been thrown to the winds in the unprecedented and unconstitutional raid by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) and the police at the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia and the seizure of about 350 copies of Malay and Iban Bibles.

Najib had said that rather than choosing the path of fighting over their differences, it is better for Muslims and Christians to find a common ground “to preserve the peace, harmony and stability of the country”, urging both groups to understand the sensitivities of each other’s religions so as not to offend another.

Najib said: “Muslims should not hurt the feelings of Christians and likewise, Christians should not hurt the feelings of Muslims.”

But this was the sentiment that was trampled upon in the illegal and unconstitutional raid by Jais at the Bible Society of Malaysia yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno Baru’s Ten Commandments

by Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 30, 2013

Verse 2:256 in the Quran states that “there is no compulsion in religion”, but in Malaysia, which boasts the best democracy in the world, forced conversions are de rigeur and words like ‘Allah’ are copyrighted for the exclusive use of Muslims.

Malaysian Christians (and non-Muslims) are at the mercy of the country’s religious zealots but Najib Abdul Razak, the prime minister for 47 percent of the nation’s population, is too timid or too scared to smooth tensions between the different communities. He claims that what he does is in the name of peace and harmony. What would happen if he meant to create disorder and chaos?

In this Christmas period, I hope you will forgive me for adapting ‘The Ten Commandments’ to critique Umno Baru leaders and to raise awareness about the importance of tolerance. One needs respect and understanding to live harmoniously. One should be protected by the right of religious freedom, as enshrined in the constitution of Malaysia; but the reality is that most of our freedoms are being eroded.

The following Ten Commandments of Umno Baru explain the decline in spirituality of Umno Baru members. Read the rest of this entry »