Archive for category Religion

UMNO leaders must learn to be responsible Malaysian leaders and stop making baseless accusation against political opponents as anti-Malay or anti-Islam, when in my 52 years in politics, I have never accused any UMNO leader as anti-Chinese, anti-Indian or anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity or anti-Hinduism

Tomorrow, Malaysians celebrate Deepavali.

For six decades, we have failed to leverage as inheritors of the greatest civilizations in the world to build on their strengths and achievements instead of being blinded by their faults and vices.

We inherit the greatest accomplishments of mankind represented in the great civilizations in human history which meet in confluence in Malaysia, and we should be a shining example to the world of unity in diversity.

Let us benefit from the unique character and strength of Malaysia as a plural nation of diverse races, religions, cultures and languages and not be wracked by worsening racial and religious polarization in the country.

It is no use issuing Deepavali messages every year about the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil when we continue to practice and preach the politics of distrust and hatred based on a most irresponsible exploitation of the politics of race and religion.

UMNO leaders should learn to be more responsible Malaysian leaders and stop making baseless accusations against political opponents as anti-Malay or anti-Islam when in my 52 years in politics, I have never accused any UMNO leader as anti-Chinese, ant-Indian or anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity or anti-Hinduism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the pin-drop silence from Prime Minister and Cabinet the last two days on the Malay Rulers’ statement of concern on national unity and harmony

The Malay Rulers should be lauded for their expression of concern over the eroding unity and harmony in Malaysia, in light of racially controversial issues that have taken place of late.

Malaysians are entitled to ask why the pin-drop silence from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Cabinet in the last two days and whether the concern of the Malay Rulers was top of the agenda of the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday, and if not, why not; and if yes, the outcome of such Cabinet deliberations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kassim Ahmad: The passing of a great Malay intellectual

Rosli Dahlan
Free Malaysia Today
10th October 2017

Today, we mourn the passing of a great Malay intellectual, a towering Malaysian who stood firm in his belief to his last breath. At 10am on Oct 10, Kassim Ahmad passed away in Kulim Hospital after slipping into a coma two days ago.

Kassim was known as a non-conformist thinker, who was seen as being highly critical of the religious authorities, and more recently of Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (Jawi).

His books were banned and Jawi considered him to be a heretic. It is unknown to many that Kassim who was born on Sept 9, 1933 was the son of an Islamic religious teacher, Ahmad Ishak. Kassim’s religious knowledge therefore was not skin deep.

On Feb 16, 2014, Kassim was invited to speak at the Perdana Foundation in Putrajaya. The topic was “Hadis: Satu Penilaian Semula” and “Hadis: Jawapan kepada Pengkritik”.

The media reported about his speech. And following the media coverage, Jawi proceeded to persecute Kassim relentlessly. On March 26, 2014, Jawi officers raided Kassim’s house in Kulim, Kedah. Read the rest of this entry »

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CANCELLED BEER FEST IN MALAYSIA: IF NAJIB IS COURTING ISLAMIC HARDLINERS, ARE HIS RIVALS ANY BETTER?

BY BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS
South China Morning Post
8 OCT 2017

As Islamic hardliners grow more influential, political parties hesitate to offend the voting bloc of religious Malays, and the cancelled Oktoberfest-inspired event is likely a sign of things to come

Compared to the millions-strong boozy crowd of Munich’s fabled, month-long Oktoberfest, the now-cancelled Better Beer Festival in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur would have been a decidedly flat affair.

Planned for this weekend in a shopping centre and with just around 6,000 people expected to attend, the latest installation of the country’s biggest annual craft beer event would have posed little threat to public order, and was likely to have gone unnoticed in the international media.

But now its abrupt cancellation – compelled by Islamic hardliners seeking blanket alcohol prohibition – has sparked a fresh political maelstrom for both Prime Minister Najib Razak and his chief opponent, the 92-year-old ex strongman Mahathir Mohamad.

Two other Oktoberfest-related, beer-themed events in shopping malls are also likely to be banned in areas the opposition controls. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian launderette owner stirs Asian hornet’s nest

By James M. Dorsey
Huffington Post
09/28/2017

Uproar about a launderette owner’s decision to bar non-Muslims from using his service has focused a spotlight on broader discriminatory attitudes in Malaysian society as well as elsewhere in Asia that are reinforced by Saudi-inspired ultra-conservative interpretations of Islam.

In contrast to many Asian leaders who have been reluctant to confront-ultra-conservatives head-on, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskander, the sovereign of the Malaysian state of Johor, did not mince his words in forcing the launderette owner to rescind his ban on non-Muslims and insist that Johor was “not a Taliban state.”

The silver-lining in the launderette owner’s controversial move is the fact that it sparked debate about discrimination in Malaysia. Malaysian opposition member of parliament Teo Nie Ching announced that she was considering introducing legislation to strengthen anti-discrimination in the country’s legal code. It was not immediately clear whether she would tackle Malaysia’s banning of the use of the word Allah by Christians and repression of the country’s miniscule Shiite community in any proposed legislation.

Similarly, Malaysian lawyer Syahredzan Johan asked on Twitter what the difference was between what the difference was between a launderette owner refusing to service non-Muslims and Malaysian Chinese accepting only Chinese roommates or Malaysians refusing to rent properties to Africans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Zahid to immediately head a task force to prevent any more tahfiz school fires and present a White Paper to Parliament when it meets on Oct. 23 on the result of checks on all tahfiz schools in the country

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should not just chair the task force on the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz schools fire which resulted in the death of 24 people yesterday, his task force should be expanded in scope and terms of reference to ensure that there will be no more tahfiz school fires in the country.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his upset that no lessons had been learnt from a tahfiz school fire in Kedah in 1989, which killed 27 people.

He recalled that in the fire at a tahfiz school dormitory in 1989, 27 female students died. The fire also totally gutted the school and eight wooden hostels.

Zahid’s task force on tahfiz fire should also probe into why no lesson had been learnt from the fire in Kedah in 1989, which claimed 27 lives, as well as other tahfiz fires. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s statement on “Give us two-thirds to end unilateral conversion” is the Prime Minister’s second most irresponsible and morally reprehensible action after the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal which turned Malaysia overnight into a global kleptocracy

I am shocked beyond words by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s most cynical, contemptible and hypocritical urging to women to give Barisan Nasional to rule with two-thirds majority if they would like to see the proposed Section 88A introduced in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA).

This is Najib’s second most irresponsible and morally reprehensible action under his premiership after the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal which turned Malaysia overnight into a global kleptocracy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet today should speak up for a moderate Malaysia for a change, suspend the ban on G25 book and form a high-level committee to hold public hearings whether the book should be banned

The reported ban on G25 book on “Breaking the Silence –Voices of Moderation: Islam in a Constitutional Democracy” is so extraordinary and unbelieveable that the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi must confirm whether he had authorized such a ban and why.

This book is produced by G25, comprising former high-ranking Malay/Muslim civil servants, civic leaders and politicians first formed in December 2014 to call for a rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy as they are deeply concerned over developments regarding race relations, Islam and extremist behaviour in Malaysia.

In the Open Letter in December 2014 signed originally by 25 prominent personalities, including former secretaries-general, directors-general, ambassadors, judges and prominent Malay individuals who have contributed much to Malaysian society, their spokesperson, Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, former Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands, said she and the others were “deeply concerned about the state of the debate on many issues of conflict on the position and application of Islamic laws in Malaysia”.

Stressing that it was time for moderate Malays and Muslims to speak up, and that “extremist, immoderate and intolerant voices” do not speak in their name, she said:

“Given the impact of such vitriolic rhetoric on race relations and political stability of this country, we feel it is incumbent on us to take a public position and urge for an informed and rational dialogue on the ways Islam is used as a source of public law and policy in Malaysia”.

She also urged more moderate Malaysians to speak up and contribute to “a better informed and rational public discussion on the place of Islamic laws within a constitutional democracy and the urgency to address the breakdown of federal-state division of powers and finding solutions to the heart-wrenching stories of lives and relationships damaged and put in limbo because of battles over turf and identity”.

Now with the ban of G25’s book, what does it imply?

Will G25 itself, comprising former top prominent Malay/Muslim civil servants and public servants and which has since expanded to double its original number but has decided retain the name of “Group of 25” or “G25”, as this is the name that the Malaysian public is familiar with, be next to be banned, signifying a major setback for the cause of a moderate Malaysia and the triumph of extremist and intolerant forces in the country?

Does the ban of G25’s book signify a far-reaching and even seismic transformation in the nation-building directions in the country, where what had been regarded as being in the “out-boxes” for the past six decades have made a grand entrance into the “in-boxes” and what had been in the “in-boxes” under five Prime Ministers from 1957 to 2009 under Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Badawi have now been relegated to the “out-boxes”? Read the rest of this entry »

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I will quit DAP if it is a Christian party

By Joshua Woo Sze Zeng
Free Malaysia Today
July 6, 2017

History shows the evil that can be done in the name of religion for political gain, including oppression of other religions and other schools of thought.

COMMENT

I joined DAP as a member before the 12th general election in 2008. I believe in DAP’s vision to make Malaysia a better place for everyone, regardless of race and religion.

I am convinced that DAP’s political framework based on “ideals of accountability, equality, justice and human dignity” (as stated in the party’s constitution) can serve as the best form of governance for the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Kadazan, Bidayuh, and everyone else in this shared country.

I believe that DAP has accurately described the Federal Constitution as a “secular document”. And so, the party aims to follow the constitution to “preserve the special position of the Malays and Bumiputeras while protecting the rights of other races” and “safeguarding the position of Islam as the religion of the federation while simultaneously championing the freedom of other religions” (as stated in the party’s Shah Alam Declaration).

Nine years have passed since I became a DAP member. And the party has not changed its vision and political framework.

Therefore, it is extremely strange that there are people who allege that DAP is a Christian political party and has a “Christian agenda”. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP condemns the politics and mentality of kafir against a Malacca MCA State Exco and calls on moderates in Malaysia to strengthen national resilience against all forms of extremism in the face of threat of Islamic State of East Asia to spread fanaticism

DAP condemns the politics and mentality of kafir against a Malacca State Exco Member, Datuk Lim Ban Hong , who was referred to as a “kafir” (infidel) in a WhatsApp message on Sunday over his visit to a multi-purpose hall near a mosque in Bukit Rambai, Malacca to hand over Hari Raya goodies.

The Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron had said that it was “uncivilised and uncouth” to label a person as an infidel when Lim was doing a noble deed by providing goodies to the underprivileged.

Extremism of whatever form must not be allowed to rear their ugly heads in plural Malaysia or the strength of Malaysia’s diversity of races, religions, languages and cultures would become our fatal weaknesses to divide and tear the nation asunder.

This is particularly important especially as extremist forces in our society are seeking to establish a beach-head in our society. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all religions in Malaysia to unite with common objective to make Malaysia the beacon and inspiration for the world as a showcase of multi-religious harmony, understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity

When the nation achieved Merdeka in 1957 and Malaysia was formed in 1963, religion was conceived as an important nation-building block for the country to be a showcase to the world how a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural country could unite as one successful, progressive and prosperous nation with harmony, understanding, tolerance, solidarity and unity from our various diversities of race, religion, language and culture.

This is a time to take stock of our six decades of nation-building, for Malaysia seems to have lost its way – the nation losing its moral compass and forfeiting our moral high ground in the international community.

After six decades, Malaysia has not been able to leverage on our maximum potentials, whether in the political, economic, social, educational, human resources development and nation-building spheres – being increasingly left behind by many countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong which were behind us during our early years of nationhood, and now at risk of being overtaken by even more countries, especially, Vietnam, Thailand and even Indonesia.

China and Indonesia had trailed far behind Malaysia on the anti-corruption front, but in the past few decades, Malaysia has gradually but relentlessly lost ground to these two countries, until the question now is not whether, but when China and Indonesia will overtake Malaysia as a less corrupt country! Read the rest of this entry »

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Moderate Malaysians regardless of race, religion or politics must speak up strongly and steadfastly for peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect and not cede any single inch of mainstream ground to advocates of hatred, intolerance and extremism

Moderate Malaysians regardless of race, religion or politics must be very concerned that of late, the voices of hatred, intolerance and extremism are rearing their ugly heads.

Moderate Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or politics, must speak up strongly and steadfastly for peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect and not cede any single inch of mainstream ground to the advocates of hatred, intolerance and extremism or Malaysia will be heading towards a perilous and disastrous end.

Malaysia can only succeed as a world-class nation by leveraging on the best qualities embedded in the diverse races, languages, religions, cultures and civilizations which meet in confluence in Malaysia.

There is therefore no option but for Malaysia to pursue a policy of moderation in our nation-building policies and directions which give primacy to the goals of unity, peace, tolerance, understanding, mutual respect and excellence.

We will end up as a broken and a failed state if we do not resist the siren song of extremists who preach distrust, hatred and intolerance, and want to build walls segregating the diverse races, religions and cultures in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on moderate Malaysians to launch a virtuous movement of goodwill and solidarity among Malaysians regardless of race, religion or politics to build a nation of peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect to defeat those who want Malaysia to be trapped in a vicious circle of hate, enmity, intolerance , mutual distrust and extremism

Ramadan of 2017 is of special significance for Malaysia for moderate Malaysians should launch a virtuous movement of goodwill and solidarity among Malaysians regardless of race, religion or politics to build a nation of peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect to defeat those who want Malaysia to be trapped in a vicious circle of hate, enmity, intolerance, mutual distrust and extremism.

Pakatan Harapan leaders from PKR, Amanah, Pribumi Bersatu and DAP are visiting Pasar Ramadan in various parts of Johore and Malaysia to spread the message of peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect among the citizenry, regardless of race, religion or politics, for this is the best way to counter the evil designs of irresponsible elements who want Malaysians to be divided or torn asunder by hate, enmity, intolerance and mutual distrust, solely based on factors of race or religion.

It is a sad commentary on our failure in nation-building in the past six decades to lay a strong and powerful foundation for a united, harmonious, tolerant multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation that on the 60th anniversary of our National Day celebrations this year, there are forces in Malaysia preaching hate, enmity, intolerance and mutual distrust trying to divide Malaysians based on race or religion.

Patriotic and moderate Malaysians must unite to save the country from such irresponsible forces of disunity, division and disunity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alas – Kamarul Zaman is only a “downline” UMNO propagandist, and his admission that it is ridiculous for anyone to claim that “Lim Kit Siang is the DAP and DAP is Lim Kit Siang” will not stop the “upline” UMNO propagandists, cybertroopers and leaders from continuing such attacks

Kamrul Zaman Yusoff has done irreparable harm to the academic reputation of University Utara Malaysia (UUM) and I mourn for Malaysia’s university academic standards when people like him could become the director an university institute of political analysis.

Kamarul Zaman has only exhibited his academic mediocrity and sloppiness in his gem of lies and falsehoods in his latest FaceBook posting, repeating the garbage about a “DAP Christian agenda”, and claiming as proof two major “strategists” of such agenda, the DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke and DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua.

But Kamarul Zaman did UUM and Malaysian universities’s academic reputation no favours when he committed the most rudimentary academic sin of being misled by Loke and Pua’s western names and not verifying that Loke and Pua are Christians in the first place. For Kamarul’s information, both Loke and Pua are not Christians. Where come the DAP’s “Christian agenda”? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or party affiliation, must steadfastly speak up for peace, harmony, tolerance and goodwill to foil designs of those who want to spread hate, extremism and strife in plural Malaysia

The latest news from the Philippines that over a hundred people have died in the city of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao in less than a week as fighters affiliated with Islamic State (IS) engaged in violent clashes with government forces, coupled with the gory reports of the senseless bombings and killings of over 50 people in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt, in the past week are sad reminders of the troubled world we are living in today.

They are also challenges to Malaysians to preserve the country as an oasis of peace, tolerance, harmony and goodwill in a plural society where the greatest religions and civilizations meet in confluence.

Is there something Malaysia can teach the world? I think so. Read the rest of this entry »

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The most meaningful way to celebrate Malaysia’s 60th National Day celebrations is to launch a national movement to save the country from the politics of lies, hate and fear to ensure that what happened in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt in the past week never happen in Malaysia

The past week had been a sober reminder that we are living in dangerous times, with the senseless bombings and killings in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt, causing the death of over 50 innocent lives and the injury of scores of others as a result of bigotry, intolerance and extremism.

In Malaysia, there has recently been an intensification of the politics of lies, hate and fear coupled with irresponsible politics of race and religion which must be condemned by all right-thinking Malaysians who want the country to be an oasis of peace, tolerance, harmony and goodwill in the midst of diverse races, religions and cultures.

Malaysia can and must be a showcase to the world that diverse races, religions and cultures can live in peace, tolerance, harmony and understanding and not in bigotry, intolerance or strife. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia can only succeed as a top-class nation competing with rest of the world if Malaysians adhere to the Constitution and Rukunegara principles to be good Malaysians by being good Muslims, good Buddhists, good Christians, good Hindus, good Sikhs and good Taoists

I want to start by apologizing to Hannah Yeoh, Selangor State Assembly Speaker and DAP State Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya, that although she gave me a copy of her book, “Becoming Hannah – A Personal Journey” more than two years ago, I did not get to reading it until she and her book became a controversy because an university academician in Universiti Utara Malaysia accused her of trying to “proselytize” Muslims.

It was then that I read her book.

I am not a Christian and reading her book, I do not feel that Hannah was trying to proselytize or Christianise any person from another faith. I do not feel “proselytized”! I am indeed surprised and shocked that an university academician can come to such a conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kamarul Zaman’s police report against Hannah Yeoh raises the question whether he is fit and proper to be a lecturer of plural Malaysia’s public university

Kamarul Zaman Yusof’s false and malicious police report against Selangor Speaker and DAP Selangor State Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya, Hannah Yeoh, accusing her of proselytization of Muslims with the publication of her autobiography “Being Hannah”, raises the question whether he is fit and proper to be a lecturer of plural Malaysia’s public universities.

It is a further sign that the Malaysian nation-building process, after six decades, have gone terribly wrong and must be corrected.

It is unimaginable that Hannah Yeoh’s autobiography on her personal journey to be a good Christian so as to be a good Malaysian would have caused objections, let alone be the subject of a false and malicious police report of proselytization to Muslims, in the first five decades of our nationhood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib emulating Trump in using tweets to spread his politics of fear, hatred and lies

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is clearly a secret admirer of the US President Donald Trump, as he is emulating Trump in using tweets to spread his politics of fear, hatred and lies.

This could be seen by Najib’s tweet this evening:

“Lim Kit Siang is Pakatan’s de facto leader. DAP should stop trying to hide it. Voters know DAP has the most opposition seats and Lim Kit Siang calls the shots.”

I am reminded by Najib’s earlier politics of fear, hatred and lies when he tried to panic and scare the Malays into believing that if UMNO loses, I will become the Prime Minister of Malaysia as I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam and that the Malays will lose all their rights in the country.

There is one fatal flaw in the UMNO/Barisan Nasional campaign of fear, hatred and lies because of one great inner contradiction of their campaign – UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers accuse former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of being my puppet and stooge, while MCA and Gerakan leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers say the opposite, that I have become Mahathir’s puppet and stooge.

UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers should straighten out their propaganda campaign of fear, hatred and lies – whether Mahathir is my puppet and stooge or whether I have become Mahahir’s puppet and stooge. It is one or the other, as it cannot be both.

In actual fact, all these are lies and falsehoods – that Mahathir is my puppet and stooge, or that I have become Mahathir’s puppet and stooge.

It is also a downright lie that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam, or that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for new political culture of honest, moral and ethical politics in Malaysia – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies

Thaipusam in Malaysia is a symbol of Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity, which is Malaysia’s greatest asset although there are people who wrongly regard this factor as one of the national ills in the country.

Malaysia can only build a great future and great Malaysian civilization if all races, religions, languages and cultures fully participate and contribute to the Malaysian vision.

In this sense, no one can claim to be a truly Malaysian if he is anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh.

While a Malaysian is a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Dayak, no one can claim to be a Malaysian if he is anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Dayak or anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh.

In my 51 years in Malaysian politics, I have never called anyone anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak, or anti-Muslim, anti-Buddhist, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikh as I will in fact be challenging his or her very core existence as a Malaysian!

For this reason, on the occasion of 2017 Thaipusam, I call for a new political culture of honest, moral and ethical politics in Malaysia, involving three Noes – No politics of fear, no politics of hate and no politics of lies. Read the rest of this entry »

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