Archive for December 20th, 2014

Why such uneasiness among Muslims over ‘Allah’?

By Stephen Ng
Oct 12, 2013

As the nation anxiously awaits the Court of Appeal’s decision on Monday regarding the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims, a short chapter on the controversial issue in former Tenaga Nasional Bhd chief’s latest book, ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’, is both apt and timely.

Representing the “endangered species” of broadminded Malays who grew up in multicultural Malaysia, Ani asks, “Why there is so much uneasiness among Muslims to hear others using the word loosely?”

Ani is referring to the dispute on the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in Malaysia, which has gone all the way up to the appellate court.

It has also created tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country, which led to a few churches being fire-bombed following the High Court decision to allow the Catholic weekly The Herald to use the word ‘Allah’ for God in Bahasa Malaysia, the language used by many Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.

Pig’s heads, wrapped in plastic, were also found in two mosques in Kuala Lumpur, but to date police have not arrested the culprits. Read the rest of this entry »


Ani Arope on how TNB got a raw deal from IPPs

By Stephen Ng
Oct 11, 2013

In his book published by the Fulbright Alumni Association of Malaysia, former Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) executive chairperson Ani Arope reveals how, after the landmark blackout in Peninsular Malaysia in 1992, TNB was forced to surrender the land it had acquired in Paka (Terengganu) and Pasir Gudang (Johor) to a third party for power plants.

This started the era of the independent power producers (IPPs) and the first was YTL Power Generation Sdn Bhd.

This was followed by a slew of other IPPs – Powertek Bhd, Genting Sanyan Power Sdn Bhd, Segeri Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd, Malakoff Bhd, Tanjung plc, EPE Power Sabah Energy Corp, Alpha Intercount’l Bhd, Sutera Bhd, Cergas Unggul Sdn Bhd and Ekran Corp.

Although Ani, who is Malaysia’s first Fulbright scholar, had felt that the power purchase agreements with YTL for a period of 21 years – from 1994 to 2015 – were “too darn generous”, he was pressured to ink the deal, which had been drafted by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

Then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the man who “engineered” the rise of IPPs.

“There was no negotiation; absolutely none. Instead of talking directly with the IPPs, TNB was sitting down with the EPU. And we were harassed, humiliated and talked down every time we went there. Read the rest of this entry »


Ultra Malays out to polarise nation, warns Ani Arope

By Stephen Ng
Oct 10, 2013

To say that Ani Arope epitomises a true Malay statesman is an understatement.

In his recently launched ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’, the former chairperson and chief executive of Tenaga Nasional Bhd (1990-96) portrays himself as a good communicator who speaks fluent Hokkien, passable Cantonese and Mandarin and reasonably good Tamil and French.

Yet, he did not at any point lose his identity as a Malay, a person well-respected by family and friends as ‘Pak Ani’ or Uncle Ani.

Lamenting that a lot of today’s woes are the result of gutter politics played by politicians bounded by arrogance, boastfulness, avarice, hate and jealousy, the octogenarian says his major concern is “to see a more stark polarisation of races in our schools and institutions of higher learning”.

Ani, the country’s first recipient of the Fulbright scholarship in 1964, said such polarisation opened the door to prejudice and bigotry among the various races. Read the rest of this entry »


Race riots could be costly, warns Ani Arope in memoirs

By Stephen Ng
Oct 9, 2013

Collateral damage resulting from a race riot or a civil strife is too great a cost of human sufferings, the former Tenaga Nasional Bhd executive chairperson Ani Arope has warned.

“It should never be our political option,” he says in his book, ‘Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope’.

The 81-year-old outspoken Malay statesman said although the issue of special rights for Malays and other bumiputeras is and will always be a delicate issue, he hopes to see the loopholes of the New Economy Policy plugged.

If these rights will benefit Malays and other bumiputeras who truly deserve, then Malaysians will view the whole matter in a different light,” he notes.

“However, it appears that these rights have been skewered to benefit the privileged Malays. The rural folk and those who really need help are getting the smallest of crumbs, if at all.” Read the rest of this entry »


The politics of inequality

20 December 2014

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not mince his words. Not since he started in politics and definitely not now, more than a decade after stepping down as Malaysia’s fourth prime minister.

But there are days where you wonder where is he coming from. Today, he said the Malays’ grip on politics was weak due to disunity and them having to beg from other races for support to remain in power.

“Now Umno, PKR, and PAS have to beg for support from DAP Chinese to win the general election. When we become beggars, we no longer have power,” he said in his keynote address at a youth leadership programme in Kuala Lumpur.

He added that even if the country achieved developed-nation status, the Malays might be left behind. Read the rest of this entry »


We won’t forget how CM labelled a holy pig

By TK Chua
Dec 20, 2014

Only in this country could a small group of extremists label a chief minister of a state a holy pig and “kurang ajar” and get away with it. Only in this country would a chief minister making a statement based on his legal interpretation be considered as encroachment into the rights of others. When are these extremists going to grow up?

Whatever Lim Guan Eng had said or did not say, we should all debate decently and if possible allow the due process to determine whether he has infringed any law in the country.

But this is not the case. Everyone in the country knows that the extremists are bullying others with raw power and brutal force. They know non-Muslims and non-Malays are the minority and powerless to retaliate. In fact, have you seen non-Malays resorting to trigger-happy demonstrations like this group of extremists in Penang? Since Pakatan took over the helm of the state government, may I know how many demonstrations have been staged by them?

Don’t forget that the tactic used was most uncouth and depraved. We have not forgotten the cake in the shape of faeces that was presented to the chief minister. We have not forgotten the photograph of the chief minister put up as if it was for his funeral. We have not forgotten there was once a challenge to “fist fight” with the chief minister.

We have not forgotten the aggressive storming of the state government office building. We have not forgotten the intrusion into the state assembly building. Now, surely we will not forget how the chief minister of the state was labelled as a holy pig, a wild boar, et cetera. Read the rest of this entry »


The RCIIIS was a total cop-out on the fundamental question as to the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah in the electoral rolls

Sabahans and Malaysians have expected the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) to at least answer some of the fundamental questions which have haunted Sabahans for four decades, for instance on the Project IC, the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah and the number of illegal immigrants on the Sabah electoral rolls.

However, the RCIIIS Report was a total cop-out as it has virtually left all the basic issues about nightmare of four decades of illegal immigrants open-ended, providing no satisfactory answers and indulging in irresponsible evasion tactics.

Despite spending 20 months from the establishment of the RCIIIS on Sept. 6, 2012 until the completion of its report and presentation to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on May 14, 2014, with public hearings involving 211 witnesses producing 5,000 pages of testimonies, public memoranda and 177 exhibits, the five-man RCIIIS failed in its most important tasks – to provide answers to the many nagging and basic questions about the four-decade nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

I have already exposed the ongoing attempt to distort and further “white-wash” the RCIIIS Report on the issue Project IC.

Although the RCIIIS Report made it clear that “there is a possibility that such a Project did exist at all material times” (p. 300), both the Chief Secretary Tan Sri Hamsa Ali and the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tried to twist and distort its findings, with the former saying that the government was not involved in the Project IC (which was never the finding of the RCIIIS) and the latter going one step further denying that Project IC had ever existed

I will discuss the vexing subject of the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah tomorrow, focussing today on the basic question of the number of illegal immigrants in the Sabah electoral rolls Read the rest of this entry »


Islam needs heroes, not zeroes who kill in its name

COMMENTARY by Jahabar Sadiq, Editor
The Malaysian Insider
17 December 2014

Yesterday, 132 schoolchildren and nine adults were mowed down by gunfire in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. A day earlier, two hostages died as Australian police ended a siege at a Sydney chocolate shop.

The link between both? It was done by people who professed to be Muslims. It was not a matter of what sect or school of thought they belonged to, they were simply Muslims like a majority of us here in Malaysia.

The Peshawar gunmen belonged to the Tehrik-E-Taliban or Pakistan Taliban out to seek revenge against the Pakistan army for an offensive that began last summer and resulted in some 1,000 deaths.

This was an insurgency’s pure revenge and hate against the government of the day. It was also the same group that shot Pakistani schoolgirl and now Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in 2012, purportedly because women do not need education in an Islamic caliphate or state.

In Sydney, an Iranian asylum seeker named Man Hosni Monis with a criminal past invoked his Islamic credentials when he took over the Lindt chocolate cafe that ended up in tragedy.

It really does not matter if both incidents have nothing to do with Islam as we know it. Or linked to more than a billion peace-loving Muslims across the globe. For the world, it is all done and declared in the name of Islam. Read the rest of this entry »