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Thread: Religious Suppression: Christians say fed up with Najib administration

   
   
       
  1. #41
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    To understand the strategy, watch where the interests lie. Who will benefit in the event of civil unrest? That will point the finger to who and why some bodies are so keen to create such controversies.

    BN to blame for any attack against Christians, says DAP

    By Clara Chooi May 09, 2011
    KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The DAP warned Barisan Nasional (BN) today that it will have to bear responsibility for any undesirable consequences that may befall the Christian community resulting from its endorsement of Utusan Malaysia’s Christian Malaysia reports.

    DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the ruling pact has deliberately refused to punish the Umno-owned daily for propagating its “hate campaign of lies” against the Christian community.

    “By failing to stop the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia from continuing this hate campaign of lies, the BN government is inciting hate against the minority Christian community.

    “DAP expresses grave concern that this hate campaign against Christians by Utusan Malaysia may not just stop at verbal attacks.



    “The BN government has to bear full responsibility for any undesirable consequences on the Christian community in Malaysia based on Utusan's hate campaign of lies,” Lim (picture) said in a statement today.

    The Penang chief minister also criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for promising to probe the report without stating that action would be taken against the daily for reporting false news.

    “Clearly, the BN government has not only failed to stop Utusan Malaysia from continuing with such baseless attacks but has even encouraged them by promising action against Christian pastors and the DAP if found to be true.

    “Why has the BN government not promised to take stern action against Utusan Malaysia when Utusan’s lies are exposed?” he asked.

    Lim questioned if Utusan Malaysia now enjoys full immunity to spread unqualified allegations without facing the possibility of being punished for false reporting.

    “It is utterly irresponsible of Umno to play with fire by spreading such lies through their newspaper Utusan Malaysia just to win Malay support at any cost.

    “Many Christian leaders have expressed utter dismay at these provocative lies and denied vehemently that there are groups of Christian pastors working with DAP to create a Christian state and prime minister,” he said.

    He added that the DAP has always endorsed Islam as the federal religion of Malaysia as enshrined in the Constitution and has always opposed the establishment of any theocratic state from any religion.

    “This position of supporting Islam as stated in our Federal Constitution is even included in the DAP party constitution,” he said.

    On a separate issue, Lim slammed Umno for leading a demonstration against him in Butterworth yesterday on the state government’s proposed toll-free alternative road from Jalan Bagan 29 to Jalan Siram.

    He pointed out that the proposed road, which was initially set to cost RM5 million, had been brought down to cost only RM3.3 million after the state used an open tender system to source for contractors for the project.

    “The contractor who won the project was a Malay contractor who brought down the cost further by another RM800,000 to RM2.5 million through close monitoring by Penang state executive councillor Lim Hock Seng.

    “This is a classic case of a state government project costing less than the awarded tender price; that would never happen in a BN state, which would invariably cost more than the tendered price,” he said.

    However, Lim said that BN and Umno had every right to oppose the project as it proves the difference in BN’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s policies.

    “But no one has a right to run a campaign based on lies and Umno has no right to protest against something that is just not true.

    “Or else, where would this end? If our country is built on lies, then collapse is certain,” he said, referring again to the Utusan Malaysia report.

    “Malaysians regardless of race and religion must stand up together against Umno and Utusan Malaysia who are playing with fire and are ready to burn 1 Malaysia with the racist agenda of 1 Melayu-1 Bumi, 1 Cina of MCA or 1 India of MIC,” he added.
    py

  2. #42
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    In the old days, PERKASA's action is known as a witch-hunt.


    [Malaysian Bar:3207] Press Release: Reject attempts by Utusan Malaysiato instil fear and spread falsehood

    From: Bar Council <council@malaysianbar.org.my>
    Sender: malaysianbar@googlegroups.com
    Date: Mon, 09 May 2011 18:37:33 +0800
    To: <malaysianbar@googlegroups.com>
    ReplyTo: council@malaysianbar.org.my

    The Malaysian Bar is deeply concerned about the report that appeared on the front page of Utusan Malaysia on Saturday, 7 May 2011, entitled “Malaysia negara Kristian?”

    Without offering any evidence save references to postings by bloggers, which do not appear to have been separately and independently verified, Utusan Malaysia saw fit to publish this story. Given the highly controversial nature of the alleged story, it is incumbent on any self-respecting newspaper to ensure that its reporting is fact-checked. To have printed such a story without checking with the subjects of the alleged incidents is highly irresponsible on the part of Utusan Malaysia, and is nothing short of gutter journalism.

    What concerns the Malaysian Bar further is the fact that Utusan Malaysia appears to be able to offer such so-called journalism in a climate of impunity. Instead of questioning Utusan Malaysia’s journalistic conduct and ethics, the immediate responses from the Ministers in charge of home affairs and communications were to order investigations into the alleged incidents themselves.

    It appears that it is enough for the police to launch an investigation once a report has been made, without first investigating the veracity of such reports themselves. The whole process of making police reports has thus been turned into an avenue to invade the privacy of dinner parties and closed-door meetings, without first asking whether the maker of such reports has ulterior motives. People are then being made to respond to police investigations launched on the flimsiest of reasons and to defend their freedom of assembly and speech. This is a mockery of the principle of justice that someone who is accused of wrongdoing is innocent until proven guilty. This is clearly a dangerous erosion of the fundamental liberties enshrined in our Federal Constitution, and must be stopped.

    By immediately investigating the alleged incidents rather than those who made the reports, the authorities have shown favoured irresponsible parties how they can wantonly instil fear and religious disharmony in the country. All they have to do now is to make unproven and unsubstantiated allegations in any compliant national newspaper and the law enforcement authorities will do the rest. In this way, the authorities are gullibly assisting those who seek to play up lies and falsehoods in order to artificially create religious conflict.

    In creating and/or highlighting this “non-news” item, these irresponsible parties seek to manoeuvre and manipulate current events so as to give the impression that certain elements within a particular community are working to cause disunity and perpetrate treasonous activities.

    This dastardly deed by such reckless parties must be seen for what it is – a naked and blatant act of deliberate provocation. The aim appears to be to cause fear through the creation of false news. The lodging of police reports throughout the country seeks to invite the police to investigate a particular community, thus heightening emotions. This then conveniently provides the authorities with a false justification to tighten control of blogs and other forms of electronic media, thereby muzzling free speech, open dialogue and informed discussions.

    Any independent observer of the mass media would reach the conclusion that Utusan Malaysia is beyond the reach of the law. Although the Malaysian Bar opposes the use of oppressive laws, including the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984, the Government threatens to wield such laws against those who voice dissent, hence acting in what is perceived as an arbitrary, or even biased, manner.

    The Malaysian Bar is concerned that no action has been taken against Utusan Malaysia although it has persistently published intemperate and wild accusations, written in inflammatory language, which threaten Malaysia’s social fabric. Utusan Malaysia continues to act with impunity, and thus appears to enjoy a status that is above the law.

    We call on the authorities to instead investigate the Utusan Malaysia journalists and editors responsible for perpetrating such repeated attempts to instil fear and spread falsehood.


    Lim Chee Wee
    President
    Malaysian Bar

    9 May 2011
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  3. #43
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    ACT MEAN AND FAST AGAINST UTUSAN MALAYSIA

    Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 11:44 AM

    Arsad is a retired Brigadier General

    By Mohd Arshad Raji

    A retired army officer who believes in justice for all and hates liars and apple polisher.Believes that all members of AF must be free of corrupt practices.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    ACT MEAN AND FAST AGAINST UTUSAN MALAYSIA

    What words can I use to describe Utusan Malaysia’s (UM) recent report that some Christian group is plotting to turn Malaysia into a Christian State? What words can I describe a UM report which says that a Christian group together with the DAP is plotting to appoint a Christian as the Prime Minister? The only words that I can used to describe all this are DISGUSTING, IRRESPONSIBLE, DANGEROUS and a pack of LIES.

    How on earth could the editors of the daily approve such a report that is unsubstantiated, and knowing full well that the report can be a cause for serious racial strife between Christians and Muslims of this country. This is not the first time UM has reported on issues that can bring devastation and worse still the disintegration of a well tested multi racial and multi cultural Malaysian society. How could the Home Minister be so lame in not wanting to impose stricter rules to prohibit UM from publishing reports that can bear serious effect on racial harmony?

    Personally, I have had enough of UM, and I dread the day when this blessed nation of ours sees the repeat of the bloody May 13 incident. I would like to ask the entire UM editorial board, where were they during May 13, 1969 i.e. 42 years ago? I think most were mere kids sucking milk bottles. Some may be slightly older who knows not what suffering and fear is all about. Just ask the soldiers on how they felt trying to maintain the peace throughout the entire troubled period, and most will say that they do not wish to go through a similar period again. I was lucky because I was in Tawau then, but my parents who were residing at Kg. Datuk Keramat lived in fear.

    Let me tell this to the entire UM editorial board that you don’t know what it is like to go without sleep. You do not know what it is like to be shot at. You do not know the ordeals that your parents have gone through to protect you. You do not understand what fear is and how it affects your physical and psychological well being. You do not understand what pain is, and there are thousands of others that you do not understand. So please cease writing all this garbage, and stop practicing gutter journalism.

    Personally, I do not think what was reported is true. And I do not believe the Christians in this country would want to do what was stupidly reported by UM. The repercussion is too great and no one would want to see this country disintegrate and destroyed by some unscrupulous instigators of violence who gleefully hides themselves behind their sponsors. And if ever your report turns to be true and is realized in the future, I will not blame anyone else but the UM and your sponsors for their own stupidity.

    To the Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, you have to act mean and fast, and do not let the instigators and those behind these reports be left scot free. The people know who owns UM and if you fear to act professionally, then you deserve to be called a COWARD.


    CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
    py

  4. #44
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    Thursday, 12 May 2011 11:42
    Stop making useless statements while the nation burns


    Written by Maclean Patrick, Malaysia Chronicle

    ............................

    Thursday, 12 May 2011 19:20
    Home ministry warning to Utusan not enough, Najib slammed for arrogance


    Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

    ....................................

    Thursday, 12 May 2011 16:26
    Nothing new, no progress from Najib's meeting with Christian leaders


    Written by Melissa Lee, Malaysia Chronicle

    ....................................

    Friday, 13 May 2011 10:01
    Nie Ching: Utusan the "real son" of Umno, slams Najib for double-standards


    Written by Teo Nie Ching

    ....................................

    Friday, 13 May 2011 11:05
    Christians more angry now at Najib's 'two-faced' handling of Utusan report


    Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

    Christians expressed anger and disappointment with the way Prime Minister Najib Razak handled the latest attack against their community, sparked by a false report published by Utusan, a Malay-language newspaper owned by his Umno party.

    Many felt that instead of conciliation and making amends, Najib used a luncheon meeting with select Christian leaders to gain publicity for himself as a Malay and Muslim leader at their expense.

    “In the end, it comes out as though the Christians had been guilty and he had managed to get us to change our stance. It is really rubbing salt to the wound,” Christopher Isaac, who frequents the SFX Church in Petaling Jaya told Malaysia Chronicle.

    At the end of a 45-minute meeting held a day ago, Najib announced that Christian leaders had pledged to respect the position of Islam as Malaysia's official religion and that they had no intention of challenging the provision enshrined in the Federal.

    "There is nothing new in that statement. No one has disputed the position of Islam or the provision in the Federal Constitution, so there is no need for anyone to say it on our behalf," Ramon Navaratnam, a prominent Christian lay-leader, had told Malaysia Chronicle.

    “What is lacking is that there wasn’t a joint statement with the Church leaders and this in itself is telling.”

    Lack of joint statement bodes ill for future ties

    Indeed, Najib’s statement was immediately condemned as being skewed and unbalanced. He did not once mention the role of the Umno bloggers who had helped Utusan stir up the trouble or to chastise them.

    Some followers of the inter-faith problems dogging Malaysia said Najib’s refusal to issue a joint statement boded ill for the future. They pointed to the mountain of problems still sitting in the in-tray at the PM’s office under National Unity minister Koh Tsu Koon.

    “Najib has purposely avoided a joint statement because he wants to show the Muslim and Malay communities that he will perpetuate the Ketuanan or supremacy policies that other religions are not equal to Islam and other races below the Malays,” said Christopher, who is also a regular contributor to a Christian magazine.

    “His aides can try to defuse anger by whispering that it is because the elections are nearby and he has no choice. But these are long-standing principles and if a man cannot make a stand on this, then he is not a man worthy to be a prime minister of a country.”

    The Christian leaders who attended the Thursday meeting, including Bishop Ng Moon Hing of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, were left to make their own statements to the press.

    "We only said we are very disturbed and unhappy. The irresponsible, potential riot-type seditious words shouldn’t be published in mainstream media or any media for the matter,” said Ng, the CFM chief.

    Rubbing salt into the wound created by Umno

    A separate statement from the Home Ministry issued later in the evening stating that Utusan had been reprimanded - and not even warned - added salt to the wound.

    Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching took Najib to task by questioning why he treated Utusan with such leniency, when in 2008, the government arrested Sin Chew journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the Internal Security Act. This depite the fact than Tan had correctly reported in her 4-paragraph article a speech made by a Penang Umno leader that called Malaysian Chinese 'penumpang' or passengers.

    "While everyone knows that Utusan Malaysia is the mouthpiece and the ‘real son’ of Umno, Najib should not practise double standards with regard to his stand on the rest of the mainstream media in such a blatant manner, and treat the Chinese-language media in particular like ‘stepsons’," Nie Ching said in a statement out on Friday.

    "All media outlets and journalists should be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny, overview as well as defence when the need arises."

    The ruckus flared up last Saturday after Utusan front-paged an article entitled Christianity, the official religion? The article was based on unsubstantiated postings on two pro-Umno blogs that accused the DAP and a group of Christian pastors of colluding to replace Islam with Christianity as the official religion for the purpose of installing a Christian prime minister.

    The motivation for the story appears to be an attempt by the Umno elite to shore up Malay support as the country gears up for general elections widely expected to be called before the end of this year. Malays form 60 per cent of the population and their support is key for the BN to retain control of the federal government.

    Speculation is also rife that the move arose as a result of infighting amongst the Umno elite, with former premier Mahathir Mohamad alleged to have triggered the blog postings so as to force Najib to put the brakes on any plans to hold the GE earlier than 2012.
    py

  5. #45
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    An UMNO-owned Newspaper Inflames Malaysia


    Written by Our Correspondent
    Thursday, 12 May 2011


    Najib says don't worry about it

    Utusan Malaysia stirs the racial pot

    A week ago, the Malay-language broadsheet Utusan Malaysia printed a story that is sending reverberations throughout an increasingly racially tense Malaysia, to the effect that Christian pastors were seeking to install a Christian prime minister who would change the country's official religion.

    Although the story was ridiculous on the face of it, it has been given wide circulation and drawn considerable comment as well as a series of police reports filed in local stations. Malaysia's official religion, enshrined in the country's constitution, is Islam although other religions are guaranteed freedom of existence. Any attempt to change that would probably result in a racial conflagration that no sane individual in Malaysia would want.

    According to the CIA World Factbook, ethnic Malays make up 50.4 percent of the population, more than double the population of Chinese with 23.7 percent, Indians at 7.1 percent, others 7.8 percent and indigenous races, primarily in East Malaysia, at 11 percent. Muslims account for 60.4 percent of the population, Buddhists 19.2 percent, Christians 9.1 percent and Hindus 6.2 percent.

    Leaders of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents several different religions met with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on Thursday to say the report was specious and to ask that Utusan's editors be disciplined for irresponsible reporting. Najib told local reporters he welcomed the church leaders' assurance that they were not seeking to make the country a Christian nation.

    News reports gave no indication that Najib apologized to the church leaders for the newspaper's irresponsible reporting. Utusan Malaysia is owned by the party that Najib heads – the United Malays National Organization, the ethnic Malay party that leads the national governing coalition, the Barisan Nasional. Over recent months, the newspaper has become more strident in its racial reporting, earning it criticism from a wide variety of sources, particularly the opposition parties which it regularly excoriates.

    The paper recently fired Hata Wahari, a longtime reporter at Utusan and the recently elected president of the Malaysian National Union of Journalists after filing eight charges against him for a variety of shortcomings. However, the charges were widely regarded as having been triggered by Hata's statements about the lack of freedom in the country's mainstream press and in particular Utusan Malaysia's pro-government, anti-opposition bias. Hata was the second national journalist's union head fired by the paper.

    As with Utusan, the country's political parties own most of Malaysia's major dailies and television stations, in Malay, English, Chinese or Tamil languages. Utusan is just one of several newspapers controlled by UMNO. Although opposition parties own their own publications, they are under strict licensing rules that require renewal each year. While the mainstream press face the same restrictions, their ownership serves as an even bigger impediment to impartial journalism. The Internet largely supplies the country's only independent journalism, a fact that appears to account for fast-growing online readership.

    Supposedly the demand to Christianize the country, reported by two pro-government bloggers according to Utusan Malaysia, was made at a meeting in which opposition lawmaker Jeff Ooi was present. However, according to critics, Utusan didn't bother to check the information. The blogs themselves didn't state how they learned of the report.
    Press freedom organizations including the Center for Independent Journalism, Charter2000-Aliran, the Writers' Alliance for Media Independence and 1 Muted Malaysia all condemned the reports as irresponsible.

    "Utusan Malaysia also did not offer an explanation for not naming these sources," the organizations said in an open letter. "The use of anonymous sources - usually, in consideration of the sources' safety - must be publicly justified. Notwithstanding this, Utusan Malaysia chose to run this as a front-page report, no less, and in so doing, gave the unverified story the credibility it did not deserve."

    Further, the group said, "the front-page story only quoted Ooi denying the allegation that he had sponsored the meeting. The subjects of the allegation itself - the pastors who allegedly made this call - were not interviewed. The Christian meeting's organizers, which included the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), had already denied the allegations of such a call being made in a statement published in the online media. Utusan Malaysia did not refer to this statement at all, nor was there any indication that any attempts were made to seek clarification from the pastors, NECF or any other Christian organizations."

    Free Malaysia Today, a Kuala Lumpur-based blog, argued today that "The mainstream media, for as long as they pander to the government, enjoy immunity from public prosecution. But Utusan Malaysia has earned a special place within this untouchable clique simply by the virtue of being owned by UMNO. This privilege has spawned relentless attacks on the opposition and increasingly frequent inflammatory reports on race and religion. But while most urbanites can see right through Utusan Malaysia's thinly-veiled propaganda, its rural readership remains staunch believers.

    The blog quoted Hata Wahiri as saying that the country should worry about the "slander" his former employer is producing, "because it is taking root in the rural areas. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are multi-cultural and able to discuss Utusan's reports among themselves to seek clarification. But the rural community is predominantly Malay-Muslim. Who are they going to cross-check their facts with? Neither is there another Malay-language paper to counter Utusan's reports. The only media they are exposed to is government-owned media."

    Hata warned that the newspaper is stoking racial flames and that "one day it will explode. I'm very afraid of that. If anything were to happen, it will begin in the rural areas." If it continues, he said, "another May 13" – the day in 1969 when the country exploded into race riots that took hundreds of lives – is likely.

    "The fact that Utusan Malaysia is continuing to spin more stories from a completely unverified report implies mischief on their part," the press freedom organizations warned in their letter, "since there is a danger of various communities reacting further and inflaming an essentially emotive issue. Already, there are at least seven police reports lodged in response to what was mere rumor. Accuracy and verification are an integral part of journalism. Sources must be named as a measure of accountability on the part of both sources and journalists, and to allow readers to judge for themselves whether the information provided is true."
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  6. #46
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    Are we Umno’s prisoners of irrational fear


    Mariam Mokhtar | May 13, 2011

    Umno is bereft of conviction and hampered by weak leaders and their only course of action is to remind us of the possibility of another May 13.

    COMMENT

    Utusan Malaysia’s headline, ‘Malaysia Negara Kristian?’ (Malaysia a Christian state?), was a subtle Umno plot to warn us, that the consequences of voting for the Opposition might trigger another ‘May 13’.

    The Utusan article bears all the tell-tale signs– sowing the seeds of discord and exaggerating our fears. Ever since the May 13 riots of 1969, Umno has relied on scaremongering and threats, to make Malaysians prisoners of irrational fear.

    It is in Umno’s character to employ cynical tactics because it faces defeat in the 13th General Election. The opposition has captivated the electorate as seen by its successes in Sarawak and to make matters worse, PAS has rejected Umno’s overtures. Umno has run out of ideas and vision. It lacks momentum and motivation. It has reached the end of the road.

    In June 1969, the young Mahathir Mohamad cut his political teeth by penning a letter urging Tunku Abdul Rahman to resign as Prime Minister and Umno chief. Mahathir blamed Tunku, for the Alliance’s general election losses and May 13.

    The Umno council expelled Mahathir from Umno in September 1969 but two years later, he was welcomed back into the party. By 1973, he was appointed senator. The year after, Mahathir became the Minister of Education. Bizarrely, Mahathir became prime minister twelve years after May 13 and his expulsion from Umno.

    Extremist Malays probably considered May 13 a Ketuanan Melayu triumph. In addition, the 70s saw the age of ascension of the new Malay capitalists who sought to undermine the aristocratic Malays, of which the Tunku belonged.

    The arrogance of Mahathir can be illustrated in how he boasted during campaigning in 1969, that he could retain his parliamentary seat without any need for support from the Chinese electorate.

    The NEP was borne out of the May 13 riots. Umno was given carte blanche to implement their agenda for political and economic dominance through the NEP.

    Umno’s masterplan at work

    In a further horrific move, all the institutions which were left us by the British were slowly and systematically dismantled to assist Umno in its masterplan for complete domination of our mind, body and soul.

    Our judiciary, the police, the military, our civil service and the education system, were some of the region’s best, but which have all been exploited by Umno.

    Malaysians are not convinced by the Umno ‘experiment’. What have we to show for the past 54 years of Umno domination? So what if we have twin towers of concrete, steel and glass that reach out to the sky when our morals have sunk to terrible depths?

    What use have we of an astronaut who ventures into space when the poor Penan can’t even send his daughter to school without the risk of being raped? What is the point of mono-culture when you deprive the Iban or Orang Asli of his ancestral land or of the general populace of much needed acreage for the cultivation of food crops?

    Umno’s governance has been a wasted opportunity of historic proportions. Why should we believe that Umno was elected fairly when we hear of the various ways Umno is ‘creative’ at election rigging?

    Umno was well-placed to change this country for the better. But its succession of leaders has failed the country.

    There were flaws which undermined the project to make Malaysia an economic phenomenon.

    First is that we threw money at the Malays without making them understand the true value of how to appreciate it. The second was that we did not include the non-Malays in the restructuring of the country.

    The Malays were sold a dream but that dream has turned into a nightmare. Industrialisation meant they moved out of their kampungs to the towns for they were told the streets were paved with gold. The loss of the close family unit and community network plus the inadequate housing, have created its own social problems.

    The Ibans too feel the same disappointment and frustrations as the Malay. Whole longhouses are vacated as the Ibans migrate to the urban areas with the loss of their NCR lands. But the longhouses are not empty for they have been colonised by the Indonesians who now work as the cheap labour of the massive plantations in Sarawak.

    The non-Malays, like the Indians and Chinese, would like to share in the Malaysian dream but are forbidden from doing so. They are ‘pendatang’ and are treated as second class citizens even though Malaysia is the only place they call home.

    Led by weak leaders

    When all that is familiar is eradicated, these races feel a sense of loss. Without an identity, how can they possibly build a future together?

    Given all this, it is not surprising that the opposition has managed to capture the imagination of the voters to build a nation based on the contributions of each and everyone of us.

    The possibility of a united stable Malaysia under the opposition is what scares Umno and so they try one last tactic to influence the Malays.

    Umno, via Utusan and its contentious article – tells the Malay that he will be robbed of his faith, possibly even be converted to a Christian, because subversive elements are trying to change the official religion to Christianity.

    Umno is bereft of conviction and hampered by weak leaders. Their only course of action is to remind us of the possibility of another May 13. But why should we allow them to make us prisoners of irrational fear?

    Mariam Mokhtar is a political observer and an FMT columnist.
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  7. #47
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    Is this a ploy by Mahathir to force Najib to delay the GE?

    Thursday, 12 May 2011 16:08
    A storm is brewing as the Umno elite bargain for territory ahead of the GE


    Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

    Something is brewing in Umno, right at the top, and a brawl that has broken amongst its troop of bloggers has given the game away. It looks Prime Minister Najib Razak and his sometimes-mentor, sometimes-foe Mahathir Mohamad are at odds again.
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    Bar Council says unconstitutional for Islamic laws to skip legislative approval


    By Boo Su-Lyn
    May 14, 2011

    KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — The Bar Council has dismissed a call by Muslim lawyers for Islamic laws to be legislated solely by the Malay Rulers instead of Parliament, saying it is unconstitutional.

    Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said all laws have to be passed by elected members of Parliament and the respective state assemblies as Malaysia is a constitutional democracy.


    “This is a fundamental and basic structure of the federal constitution,” Lim (picture) told The Malaysian Insider via e-mail last night.

    “Such fundamental and basic structure cannot be bypassed,” he stressed.

    He said the Malaysia Muslim Lawyers Association’s (PPMM) proposed memorandum to the government contradicted the legislative process and the federal constitution.

    He also pointed out that matters pertaining to Islamic law are enacted by the state legislative assembly, except for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which are under the purview of Parliament.

    “This is provided under Article 74 read together with the Second List set out in the Ninth Schedule in the federal constitution,” said Lim.

    “Thus, legislative powers as regard Islamic law are generally under the state’s legislative jurisdiction,” he said, adding that certain laws like the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 was passed by Parliament.

    Lim also said the constitution did not make a distinction between the type of laws that Parliament was empowered to make.

    He said Article 66(1) stated that the “power of Parliament to make laws” shall be exercised by Bills passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Senate.

    Utusan Malaysia recently reported PPMM president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar as saying that his proposal was to avoid debate by non-Muslims on Islamic laws.

    Zainul Rijal suggested that proposed laws or Bills be approved by the Conference of Rulers or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before they are presented to the Cabinet and Parliament for mere endorsement.

    The Muslim lawyer also said the Bills do not need to be debated in their first and second reading as they have already been approved by the Conference of Rulers.

    Zainul Rijal added that his proposal would put Article 11(3) of the federal constitution into effect for Muslims to administer their own religious affairs exclusively.

    Lim, however, called Zainul Rijal’s use of the mentioned article “wholly misplaced”.

    “The said provision does not allow religious groups (in this case, Islamic groups) the right to legislate Islamic laws,” said the senior lawyer.

    “The power lies with the respective legislative bodies (either State Legislative Assembly or Parliament as the case may be) and does not and cannot be extended in the context put forth by Mr Zainul,” Lim added.

    He pointed out that if Article 11(3) were to be interpreted in the extreme, any religious group may make laws as they please and thus spark “legislative anarchy”.

    “Article 11(3) of the federal constitution provides that every religious group has the right to ‘acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with the law’,” said Lim.

    “‘Administer’ under the said provision must be read in the context of the whole provision... ‘it’ refers to ‘property’, not ‘administering their religion’ (which is a wider and incorrect interpretation),” he added.

    PPMM’s proposal came even as a raging debate swirls over whether Muslim-majority Malaysia can be headed by a non-Muslim prime minister.

    Some Malay-Muslim groups have been pushing the view that the constitution proclaims Islam to be its “official” religion and that only a Muslim can be the prime minister.

    Barisan Nasional (BN) Cabinet member Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said recently, however, that there was nothing wrong with a Christian prime minister, pointing out that the federal constitution has never made race or religion a criteria.
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  9. #49
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    Shame on you, Najib


    Maclean Patrick | May 16, 2011


    Instead of becoming the prime minister for all Malaysians, Najib chose to safeguard his own position first at the expense of the minorities.

    COMMENT

    In AD 64, 10 of the 14 districts of Rome went up in flames in a fire that raged for five and a half days.

    Contrary to popular belief, Nero did not light the “Great Fire of Rome”. This was a rumour at the time and in order to deflect blame, Nero blamed the Christians. Thus, began the persecution of the Christians under Nero’s reign. During this period, Christians were tortured, fed to the animals and burnt at the stakes (illuminating Nero’s palaces during his parties to which we get the term “human candle”).

    After the Great Fire of Rome, Nero organised relief efforts for all those affected. He opened his palaces to shelter the victims of the fire and provided food for the starving citizens. Nero played the saviour of Rome, winning over the hearts of the Romans with his charitable works. And when it came time to find fault, Nero placed the blame on the Christians without providing any proof whatsoever on their alleged involvement.
    Now fast-forward to May 2011, and Christians were again falsely blamed for a fire started by a rumour. Only this time, the accuser and the ruler are in cahoots. While the nation simmers as religious and racial tensions rise – created largely by Utusan Malaysia and Umno – Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak steps in in an attempt at playing the good “cop”.

    Shame on Najib, for like Nero, all your deeds are just for personal gains. All your deeds are to secure your position as head of this corrupt government. Shame on you that you would burn, at the stake, innocents just so that you may gain more support from the Malay grassroots.

    There is internal bickering within Umno itself as to who will helm the party after Najib. And seemingly anxious to show his strength, Najib is working over-time to garner the support of the Malays as the nation heads towards the 13th general election.

    Huge mis-step

    This fear of losing the reins of government is further compounded by gains the opposition front made in the recent Sarawak state election. People are waking up and making a stand.

    A huge mis-step was made by Umno and its various mouthpieces stepped out to attack the Chinese for their support towards the DAP, especially after the Sarawak state election. The poor mindset of the Barisan Nasional (BN) at that time was that all Chinese support had been thrown behind the DAP and therefore the Chinese had to be punished.

    Thus, various accusations were levelled at the Chinese, prompting even the Chinese component parties within BN to state their stand. In all this bickering, did Najib step forward to stamp his authority as the prime minister of Malaysia? No, instead he allowed it to fester. And when the Chinese have been painted as enemies of the BN and the government, the same charge was hurled at the Christians.

    It comes as no surprise that the DAP and the Christian community were jointly charged when Utusan Malaysia lied about a plot to Christianise Malaysia. And did Najib step forward to defend the minority group being targeted by this deluge of lies and unfounded accusations? No. Instead, he opted to keep quiet and being the opportunist, he would play the role of good cop.

    Let’s not be hood-winked by the play being scripted here. Najib played it out as if the Christians were the one causing all the ruckus. Why then did Najib not meet DAP, too, since it was also labelled by Utusan Malaysia for being in cahoots with the Christians?
    No, Najib was not out to calm matters. Instead, the matter has been turned on its head and the Christian leaders were made out as apologetic leaders apologising to the prime minister for even thinking about the matter. Did Najib in any way tell the leaders that they were not to blame but that it was Utusan’s fault for reporting lies? No.

    Reckless minions

    Najib assured the Muslim leaders that Islam will remain the religion of the federation, and the Christian leaders assured the Muslims that Islam’s place will be respected.
    Umno, Najib and Utusan Malaysia washed off their hands for an obvious misdeed. And for formality’s sake, Utusan Malaysia was only issued a warning letter and bloggers like Big Dog were allowed to continue yelping in their kernel.

    Shame on you, Najib. You are the prime minister for all Malaysians and especially responsible for the minority voices in the country. Yet, you safeguard your own position first at the expense of the minorities.

    You allow the nation to burn under the weight of mismanagement and turn on the minority communities, branding them as the culprits for your inability to control your reckless minions.

    The problem in Malaysia is not so much racial or religious tension but rather it is a leader who is so out of touch with the principles of governing people of diverse backgrounds.

    Maclean Patrick is a Kuching-based blogger and an FMT columnist.
    py

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,391
    The Ugly Muslim

    By Mariam Mokhtar
    May 9, 11 | Malaysiakini


    The Muslim NGO Pembela is wrong to blame Christianity for the alleged decline of Islam in Malaysia because the worst enemies of Islam, in Malaysia, are from within the ranks of the Muslims.

    Islam may be a beautiful religion, but some of the Muslims in Umno, Utusan Malaysia, and the extremist groups like Perkasa and Pembela are ugly. Islam may preach love and tolerance, but Muslims in Umno, Utusan, Perkasa and Pembela are bigots who are consumed with hate.

    Perhaps the so-called Muslims in these organisations, who profess to be true Muslims, are Muslim in name only. They lust after power and are aware that without the Malay vote, the activities of their party, their newspaper, their institution or their way of life (the Ketuanan Melayu lording it over other communities) will be curtailed or cease to exist altogether.


    Umno has been stung by the successes of the Opposition in Sarawak. They then suffered further humiliation with PAS rejecting their overtures. So, their only recourse to remain in power, come the general election, has been to provoke and manipulate Malay/Muslim minds, especially the rural Malays.

    Umno has capitalised on the power of distraction. The trick is to divert Malaysians from BN’s failure to stabilise the economy, to reinvigorate the private sector and investment, and to manage the public finances.

    Instill fear in Malays, blame the others

    They do this by instilling fear in the Malays and by shifting the blame onto others. This time, the hapless recipient of Umno’s degeneracy, are the Christians of Malaysia. On previous occasions, it has been the ‘ungrateful’ Chinese.

    Last Saturday, Utusan Malaysia defiantly provoked Malaysians with a front-page headline claiming the DAP was in league with a group of Christian pastors to instal Christianity as the country’s official religion. The insinuation was that the act would pave the way for a Christian prime minister.

    Had this been a non-BN sanctioned newspaper, the editors would have been sacked and jailed, their licence to print revoked and the paper shut down. As Utusan is owned by Umno, it was business as usual at this Malay daily.

    Time and time again, Utusan has got away with seditious publications when others, like Raja Petra Kamaruddin, face arrest for publishing revealing documents. It is the same treatment meted to Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the non-Muslim founder of the online website, Sarawak Report (SR).

    SR prints original documents alleging Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s corruption and illegally obtained wealth. Clare is trying to make Malaysians aware of Taib’s corruption, but very few of the Muslims in Umno have taken heed.

    It is without doubt that weak leadership of the country has given rise to this dangerous state of affairs.

    Najib’s pledge may prove to be just hot air

    Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak finally broke his silence on the Utusan article; however, his announcement that the government would ‘investigate the matter before it was blown out of proportion’ and lead to ‘serious polarisation in society’, may prove to be just more hot air.

    Perhaps he should ask himself how many times Utusan has been guilty of sedition and escaped censure? Most will say far too often.

    How soon, and how severely, will he clamp down on the extremist Muslim elements in Malaysia, who have fanned anger and suspicion in the community?

    Perkasa has already lodged a series of police reports in every state, saying that the ‘Christian state issue’ was a threat to national security.

    Pembela finds fault with the Christians, by claiming that the Christians were on a mission to convert Muslims in the country, starting with “confusing” Muslims by the use of Islamic terms, presumably like the word ‘Allah’.

    Those who have lived in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s will recall that Christmas was a time when all the races and religions would mix and mingle in open houses. There was no issue with the food or drink, no issue with the religious symbols like crosses or that there was a Christmas tree and hymns and carols were sung. Those times are but a distant memory.

    If it is any consolation, all these machinations by the media are an indication that the general election is near. There is nothing like a dose of fear to manipulate people to do the wrong thing.

    Perhaps the best way to reason the perceived threat to Islam, in Malaysia, is in the Muslim populace. If Islam here is under siege, it is because the enemy is the ‘Ugly Muslim’.

    They are the ones who crave power. They are the ones who maintain that the term ‘Allah’ cannot be used by non-Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, but is permissible in Borneo. They are the ones who confiscated the Bible in the Malay language and held the Christians to ransom.

    So, why do they keep silent on the serious issues?

    If we dig deeper, who are the ones who force children to convert to Islam, if one of the parents becomes a Muslim? How about body snatching or grave robbing? What about the child in Sarawak who was whipped for eating food that had been prepared for his school break?

    What about the women who are treated like cattle? Or those who are abandoned by their husbands who yearn for a younger model? What about the Muslims who are flogged for drinking beer when this should be a personal choice?

    What about the moral policing which has caused several deaths? What about the endemic corruption or the public screening of sex videos? What about child marriages?

    Why do the Muslims keep silent on these serious issues but harp on about a fictitious demand by the Christians for Christianity to be the official state religion?

    The biggest threats to Malaysia and Islam in Malaysia are the thieving, power-grabbing Muslims in political parties, the media and the NGOs, who know the truth but prefer to manipulate it for their own selfish means. They have failed their fellow Malaysian and others of their religion. That is the profile of the Ugly Muslim.

    MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.
    py

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