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Beyond the rituals of Ramadan — M.Bakri Musa

Involved as we are in the many rituals of Ramadan (beyond the integral daytime fasting), it is not surprising that we fail to appreciate much less live the true spirit of this holy month. This is especially so if we live in a predominantly Muslim country like Malaysia.

Muslims hold Ramadan in reverence because it was the month in which the first revelation of the Qur’an was given to Prophet Muhammad. It was a message for “all mankind, at all times, and till the end of time.” It was a message that would later change for the better not only the Arabs but also the world.

Ramadan thus should be a time for us to re-commit to the central message of the Holy Book. As Eboo Patel so eloquently wrote in the inaugural Ramadan series of the HuffingtonPost.com, “Ramadan is about remembrance and return — remembrance of the origins of Islam, and return to its essence.”

The Qur’an, was revealed “as a guidance for mankind [in] distinguishing between right and wrong,” (Surah Al Baqara 2:185), with its recurring theme of “commanding good and forbidding evil.”

“Be a community that calls for what is good, urges what is right, and forbids what is wrong; those who do this are the successful ones,” commands Surah Al Baqara (2:177).

Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West, the Surah continues. “The truly good are those who believe in God, and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; give away some of their wealth to the needy; liberate those in bondage; keep up their prayers and alms; fulfill their pledges; and remain steadfast in misfortune, adversity, and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.”

The Ugly Reality

Alas, the reality in so many Muslim countries today is so far detached from those lofty Quranic messages.

Peruse the headlines during this Ramadan, filled with deadly wars, civil unrests, and suicide bombings. While Malaysia is fortunately spared such horrific tragedies, nonetheless the lead items grabbing the headlines in the mainstream as well as the alternate media tell of an ugly reality not much different from those seen in other Muslim countries. If there were indeed differences, they would be merely in degree, not kind.

Consider our current diplomatic squabble with Indonesia over God knows what this time. The Indonesians, we are repeatedly reminded, are our kin and kind; we share the same faith, culture, and language. We even affectionately and respectfully refer to them as “Abang!” (older brother).

Yet there was precious little brotherly love or generosity in the spirit of Ramadan displayed in the recent demonstrations at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, what with human excrements thrown into the fray! Perhaps that was the best the Indonesians could hurl at us!

Back at home, there are the two ugly, loud-mouthed and self-professed champions of bangsa, agama dan negara (race, religion and nation) – Khairy Jamaluddin and Ali Ibrahim – going after each other in the hideous tradition of our Malay kurang ajar.

Don’t those two, and countless others, pause to reflect just a wee bit on the meaning of Ramadan as they go through their hunger pains during the day, or when they partake in their generously-sponsored iftars?

What could they be thinking of as they then perform their prayers?

Consumed with the rituals of Ramadan, they remain blissfully unaware of if not downright contemptuous of its essence.

I would have expected them to be guests at each other’s iftars, in the spirit of Ramadan. If they cannot do that, then at least have the decency to be civil with each other during this blessed month.

If these Muslim leaders are downright crude and rude with each other, imagine their attitude towards non-Muslims! I pity the poor freshman MP from Serdang, Teo Nie Ching. She had in the best tradition of Ramadan come to a surau in her constituency to share in the iftar and to present a modest donation from the state. She had rightly assumed that to be her role as their representative to Parliament.

She must have been blown away by the storm of controversy that subsequently erupted. I am not at all surprised that characters like Khairy Jamaluddin and Ibrahim Ali would seize the opportunity of Neo’s visit to the surau to expose their hideously ugly chauvinism by condemning her. That would be par for the course for any ambitious but untalented leaders everywhere.

I am however severely disappointed in the reaction of the Sultan of Selangor. According to the state religious council (MAIS – its Malay acronym), the sultan was “murka dan dukacita” (angry and disappointed).

The sultan should not be so quick to react; he should at least wait for the full facts. Ramadan after all calls for patience and restraint. He should also remember that he is not only the head of Islam by virtue of being a sultan, but he is also sultan to all Selangorians, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and that each should be treated no differently from the other. It is time to tell our sultans that we expect more from them if they wish to remain on the public payroll.

For her part, Teo was quick to put in her formal apology to the sultan. She should not have done so. She should have the courage to stand by her conviction that she had done nothing wrong. In this she can rely on the arguments put forth by Tok Guru Nik Aiz and Datuk Asri, the former Mufti of Perlis. As a Muslim, I would rely on these two luminaries on matters pertaining to Islam rather than from the likes of Khairy, Ibrahim Ali, or Datuk Sharizzat.

Things Can be Different If We Will It!

Things need not be this way; it is within us to change them.

Consider that on the first Friday of this Ramadan, President Obama continued a longstanding tradition of hosting a White House iftar with Muslim and non-Muslim guests. Mosques in the San Francisco Bay area, like many elsewhere, continue the tradition of “Open House” where we invite non-Muslim community members to join us for iftar. Yes, they sit and eat with us in the prayer area. We do not have the luxury of separate dining and praying areas!

In an earlier Ramadan PBS, the public television channel, chose the occasion to premier its highly-acclaimed series on Islam. This Ramadan, the HuffingtonPost.com, a highly influential Internet news and commentary portal, initiated its faith and religion feature by posting a series of articles on Islam. These are non-Muslim organisations and entities that sponsor these wonderful and highly informative initiatives. They deserve our praise. Better yet, their actions ought to be emulated in the Muslim world.

It would be wonderful if the first iftar were to be hosted by the King and all senior political and community leaders be invited. It would be a great tradition if similar events were to be replicated at the various state capitals! What a wonderful way to bring the community together!

There are many other ways to demonstrate our reverence for Ramadan and live its essence without having to resort to chauvinistic displays in a crude attempt to portray ourselves as “champions” or “defenders” of the faith.

It is said the first ten days of Ramadan are for mercy. What better way to show this then when making the announcement for fasting the next day, the King would also release the names of prisoners granted amnesty in the spirit of Ramadan. That would be a very tangible demonstration of the power of mercy of a Muslim state. I stand corrected, but I have yet to see this as a tradition with any Muslim country.

These are the traditions of Ramadan that we need to cultivate and demonstrate. — bakrimusa.com

Melayu Liwat got something to say about Meritocracy ...

By the way, do you know the jacket Mamak Mahathir wearing is actually an Indian uniform?

It's called the NEHRU JACKET ... I append a picture of Nehru below the Mamak for you to compare. See Wikipedia for more details. I think this Mamak is missing his Indian root ... Poor Mamak, missed home lah.
The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, with a mandarin collar, and modeled on the South Asian achkan or sherwani, an apparel worn ...

MERITOCRACY



Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru

1. I dislike to return to this subject but I need to explain myself.

2. I was prompted to write about the racism in meritocracy because of the reaction to Malay criticisms against the ideas coming out of the Chinese Economic Congress.

3. The leader who made the statement on doing away with quotas etc said that cannot we discuss anything without (the Malays) raising racial issues. He apparently considers his call for meritocracy was not racial.

4. It is racial beause he was advocating taking away the protection afforded by the NEP and quotas from the bumiputras and not from any other race. Obviously he believes that without these protections the bumiputras would lose against the non-bumis.

5. As much as giving protection to one race is racial, taking it away from that race so as to benefit another race must also be racial. The suggestion coming as it did from a racially exclusive economic congress must be because it is in the interest of that race. That must be racial even though the demand is for meritocracy.

6. I am not proud of the protection afforded the bumiputras. It implies weakness. I don't think Malays and other bumiputras like to think that they are inferior in any way.

7. But the reality is that in Malaysia the bumiputras need new skills and a new culture even. These cannot be had by them in a mere 20 years. The original planners of the NEP were too optimistic.

8. I had suggested merit for university entrance in order to shock the bumis into gettng serious about their education and their own future. However it did not work.

9. In education whereas there is about 60% bumis in theGovernment universities, there are less than 10% in the private universities. And there are more private universities, university colleges and colleges than there are public (Government) universities. Even the 10% bumis are there because of scholarships by MARA. Take the scholarships away and there would be practically none.

10. Why is it that the focus is only on what is done by the Government. If the bumis in Government universities should be reduced, then the bumis in the private universities should be increased. Or else meritocracy would reduce the number of bumiputras getting university education. Or is it the intention to deny bumis higher education. They are not the best but they are qualified.

11. It is the same with foreign universities. Because they can afford it there are more non-bumis than bumis in foreign universities. This must increase the disparities in higher education between different races.

12. Lest I be accused of making unfounded assumption, a proper audit should be done by an impartial team.

13. When I was still PM, the Government decided to allow for private colleges and universities to be set up. They can twin with recognised foreign universities and should issue their diplomas and degrees. The reason for allowing private institutions of higher learning is to reduce cost of tertiary education so that the parents who could not afford to send their children abroad can have access to foreign qualification from local private institutions. You can guess who are the beneficiaries of this Government policy.

14. As for contracts even with the 5% advantage given to bumi contractors, many of the Government contracts do not go to them because of their lack of capacity. Even if they do get, non-bumi contractors get most of the sub-contracts etc.

15. Actually construction by the private sector is bigger than the public sector. In the private sector the bumi contractors get next to nothing. I suppose this is because the private contracts are given based on merit. Or maybe it is not. I don't know.

16. Take away the minor protection afforded by the NEP and the bumis will lose whatever that they may have, Then racial division will be deepened by wealth division. I don't think this would be good for the country. Remember it was the disparity between rich and poor in Europe which led to the violence of the Communist revolution.

17. I may be labelled a racist but fear of the label will not stop me from working for what I think is the good of the country. Nothing will be gained by dividing the people of Malaysia into poor bumis and rich non-bumis. The time is not right for disregarding the disparities between the races in the interest of equity and merit.

18. For 46 years this country enjoyed relative stability and consequently good growth. But today the races are more divided than ever. Everyone has become racist, talks about meritocracy notwithstanding. Everyone is thinking about his own race. If I am included it is because I think t is dangerous for the rich to take away what little the poor has.

  1. PRIBUMI PERKASA NEGARA

    30 Ogos 2010 ... Zanuddin Salleh 09:30 pm | Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) .... Presidennya, Datuk Ibrahim Ali berkata, keputusan Bank Negara ...
    www.pribumiperkasa.com/
  2. YouTube - Mahathir launches Malay-rights group Perkasa - Part II

    queue Mahathir launches Malay-rights group Perkasa4439 views malaysiakini · 6:13 +. Added to queue Ibrahim Ali: Market economy a threat to Malays10278 views ...
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=erGq42ccIGk
  3. Mahathir launches Selangor Perkasa « anilnetto.com

    1535: Mahathir is at the launching of Selangor Perkasa at the MPAJ Multi-purpose Hall in ....now we are to be subject to the uber-nauseating Ibrahim Ali? ...
    anilnetto.com/ethnic-and-inter-religious.../mahathir-launches-perkasa/
  4. Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali is no birdbrain - Malaysiakini

    10 Mar 2010 ... Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali is no birdbrain. ... Cakap Cakap Mahathir | Anwar Ibrahim · Malaysia Needs New Property Policy | Anwar Ibrahim ...
    www.malaysiakini.com/letters/126221
  5. Suara Keadilan Malaysia: Nazir the 'Chinese' hero'? PERKASA ...

    17 Aug 2010 ... PERKASA president Katak Ibrahim Ali,Is he the Malay hero .... Mahathir, who had delivered a talk on the impact of technology on higher ...
    suarakeadilantaxidrivermalaysiaonline.blogspot.com/.../nazir-chinese-hero-perkasa-president.html
  6. Perkasa's Ibrahim Ali should take English lesson | Bintulu.Org

    4 Aug 2010 ... And all because Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali doesn't understand the ... Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and other members of the ruling party. ...
    www.bintulu.org/.../perkasa-chief-ibrahim-ali-should-take-english-lesson-us-ambassador.php
  7. Dr Mahathir opens Perkasa's AGM (Update)

    27 Mar 2010 ... In his opening speech, Dr Mahathir said the sudden mushrooming of Malay... Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, in his opening speech, hit out at the ...
    thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/27/nation/...sec=nation
  8. Listen to Perkasa - Mahathir Mohamad, Ex Prime Minister Warisan ...

    27 Mar 2010 ... Speaking while officiating the inaugural Perkasa general meeting at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur today, Mahathir echoed Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali's ...
    promahathir.blogspot.com/2010/03/tun-mahathir-to-pm-najib-listen-to.html
  9. Cakap cakap...of Perkasa, Ibrahim, Arman and Helen Ang!

    11 Aug 2010 ... Well, it seems that Perkasa is about Mahathir and we all know whatMahathir ... Stupidity and hypocrisy of Ibrahim Ali of the highest order. ...
    www.malaysia-today.net/.../33733-cakap-cakapof-perkasa-ibrahim-arman-and-helen-ang
  10. Malaysia Chronicle: Perkasa lashes out at Najib, Nazir for raising ...

    15 Aug 2010 ... "Nazir is talking nonsense," Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali told a press conference ... Mahathir and Badawi in 2 separate abuse-of-power cases. ...
    www.malaysia-chronicle.com/2010/08/blog-post_1526.html

PM's Zero Tolerance Applies Equally to Ibrahim Ali, Utusan Malaysia & Namewee?

Wee Meng Chee, a rapper, is being investigated for sedition, police said Monday, after posting a YouTube video which drew allegations he was stirring up ethnic tensions in the multicultural nation.

Wee is in fresh trouble for posting a three-minute rap titled "Nah" criticising a Muslim Malay headmistress accused of making racial slurs against her ethnic Chinese and Indian students.

PM Najib has to get his fact right; who is inciting racial hatred? The one who criticizes the perpetrator or the perpetrator herself?

I may not agree with the way Wee presented his criticism against racism. His vulgarity is not entirely acceptable to all Malaysians. But Wee should be treated fairly in the PM's new pledge on zero tolerance against racism.

Is the PM prepared to set up a committee to investigate Wee's latest video or leaving the matter entirely to the police? Why is Siti Inshah given a different treatment? Is is because she is a Malay teacher and a government servant? Does this treatment points to another form of discrimination.

PM Najib must state his stand clearly and this stand must be spelled out in his administration's action against all who made racist statements.

Ibrahim Ali and Utusan Malaysia have tried to confuse and incite religious hatred by manipulating the issue of a DAP member of parliament who visited a mosque in her constituency in her call of duty. Aren't both Ibrahim and Utusan guilty of being mischievous when a few leading religious leaders had said that non-Muslims should not be barred from visiting mosques especially those invited by Muslim leaders and with a good intention?

Is Najib prepared to take action against both Ibrahim and Utusan Malaysia?

PM Najib wants to be known and supported for his liberal and reform credentials but his tendency to flip-flop is going to confuse his would-be-supporters. Clearly, it is not the minorities who are testing the patience of the majority. It is people like Ibrahim Ali, several Umno leaders and Ut! usan Mal aysia who are testing the patience of the minorities. I would urge them to take their grouses to the ballot boxes.

We need to show the ruling regime that we are the real masters. We can put up or tear down a government with our votes.

Make this choice loud and clear if this regime still cannot fathom the virtue of fair and reasonable governance.

Politicide Campaign Running


When an UMNGOK member tells you hes doing it on your behalf, tell him to go to Hell.


See What Barisan Nasional Gotta Say?

Justice Has a Price

History and unpaid dues that justice demanded and the critical importance of the resolution of the crisis in Sabah has come to a head. It cannot be avoided anymore. The price for justice has to be paid, but are people willing to pay it? By batsman The best image of justice that mankind can come up with is a blindfolded lady with a sharp sword on one hand and a balance on the other. The message that comes across is that justice does not care about the background or the influence that a person possesses and whether rich or poor, good or bad, justice is equally applicable to all. Well and fine. Unfortunately, being blind, justice is easily subverted. This lesson every Malaysian knows too well, so even the image of justice is not perfect. It cannot be. My argument for a better understanding of the concept of justice is as follows.
Justice has a price. Sometimes, the price is small and people are willing to pay it to keep the image of themselves as decent, upright and good. Society benefits. Unfortunately on certain occasions, the price demanded is too high. Some people are no longer willing to pay the price. Why does such a situation come about?
Imagine an election where one candidate is clean and honest and the other is dirty and corrupt. The dirty candidate tries to bribe all the voters with goodies because he knows that if he gets elected, he can get back 100x his outlay of funds through corruption and outright theft. Later on, in the next elections, he does not even have to spend anything since he can now abuse his power and use public funds to bribe the voters. In such a scenario, if the voters fall for the bribe, then justice is going to be very expensive indeed since most of the voters do not want to carry it. Only a few upright and decent citizens demand justice, but since it is now heaped upon their few shoulders, it will be extremely expensive and most likely some of them will pay an extremely expensive price to get justice done.
In ! the othe r case, the voters reject the bribes. The price for justice is now reduced because most of the voters now accept to carry it on their own shoulders. The load of getting justice done is spread out and the price that needs to be paid is also spread out, so most of the time people are still willing to pay the price because the load has been spread out.
The argument is clear the more people accept to carry the load of justice on their shoulders, the lighter justice is for each and the price to be paid is also lighter for all. The situation facing the PKR in Sabah unfortunately may come to a very sad and unpalatable possibility. This is because the buck of justice has been passed around and very few people wanted to carry it in the past or were too easily fooled to do it effectively. History and unpaid dues that justice demanded and the critical importance of the resolution of the crisis in Sabah has come to a head. It cannot be avoided anymore. The price for justice has to be paid, but are people willing to pay it? More importantly, each individual has to ask himself honestly whether he is willing to pay the price. To help you make this decision, let me explain more clearly what the price is. Imagine a future scenario where after the 13th GE, PR has won 108 parliamentary seats and the Sabah PR representatives control at least 4 of these seats. The scenario is now somewhat similar to the scenario in Perak after the 12th GE only 1000x more critical because the fate of the Federal government lies in the hands of just a few elected representatives. Imagine the astronomical sums that will be promised to potential frogs.
I am not saying at all the Sabah PR representatives will turn. In fact just about anybody in the peninsula can also turn because of the astronomical sums promised, but with the fate of the nation at stake and possibly even total instability, violence and destruction, what price for justice are you willing to pay? Will you still recommend the suspension of th! e Sabah 12 based purely on an imaginary and speculative future possibility? How strong is your commitment to justice for these 12 unfortunate souls?
Would you blindly opt for justice, or would you now scrutinize the records and past behaviour of these 12 persons on the dock just to try and predict what they might do in future? As far as predictability is concerned, there is no way to be 100% sure, so we are back to the same question. What is the price for justice that you are willing to pay? How strong is your Faith?
It looks like our future is in the hands of the politicians even though the faith in DSAI seems to be a little weak at the moment. He has been accused of choosing the wrong candidates in the past and has admitted it. Will he now also make the wrong decision for the 13th GE as far as PKR is concerned?
Hopefully our protests, suggestions, ideas and complaints will guide him well, but hopefully too, our protests, suggestions, ideas and complaints are good, reasonable and decent ones and that each and everyone of us will be willing to carry the load of justice on our individual shoulders because I have no idea what the right decision is.

See What Barisan Nasional Gotta Say?

Jho Low's Lover Paris Hilton Busted for Coke again

Bag of cocaine in Paris Hilton's purse



In this Aug. 10, 2010 photo, Paris Hilton and Cy Waits attend the Paris Hilton fragrance launch

Paris Hilton's latest run-in with the law began when a motorcycle officer got a whiff of suspicious smoke emanating from a Cadillac on the Las Vegas Strip.

Suspecting the odour was marijuana, the officer stopped the car at 11:22 p.m. Friday and during a check, police say a bag of cocaine fell out of the 29-year-old socialite's purse. The officer "followed the vapour trail and the odour of marijuana to the Escalade," police Sgt. John Sheahan said. It's the second time this year that Hilton has been arrested on drug possession allegations, although authorities in South Africa dropped marijuana charges earlier this summer.

In 2007, Hilton pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. This time, the hotel heiress was with her boyfriend, Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Waits, who manages a club inside the Wynn Las Vegas and was driving the black SUV.

As other police arrived and a crowd gathered on the busy neon-lit Strip, Hilton asked to go into the Wynn resort for privacy, Sheahan said. "Miss Hilton pulled out a tube of lip balm," Sheahan said. "At the same time ... a bindle of cocaine in a plastic bag came out of her purse" in plain view of police in the room. Police Officer Marcus Martin characterized the cocaine as a "small amount," a package of the size usually associated with personal use. Police would not specify the weight of the cocaine or whether any marijuana was confiscated.

Hilton was arrested on suspicion of felony cocaine possession. If convicted of the low-grade felony, she would get probation, but any violation of that probation would be punishable by up to four years in Nevada state prison. Waits, 34, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in county jail. Police said he owned the 2009 Cadillac.

Hilton and Waits were booked into the Clark County jail, where Sheahan said Hilton was kept handcuffed on a booking room bench, fingerprinted, photographed and released without bail about 2:45 a.m. Saturday. Waits' lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said Waits posted $2,000 bail Saturday and was released that afternoon.

Sheahan said Hilton was not taken to a cell and received no special treatment on a busy Friday night and Saturday morning at the jail. He said release without bail was common in such cases. Hilton, a prolific tweeter, didn't mention the arrest on her Twitter site.

Hilton's attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press on Saturday morning that he was still gathering facts about the arrest. "This matter will be dealt with in the courts not in the media, and I encourage people not to rush to judgment until all of the facts have been dealt with in a court of law," Chesnoff said later in a statement. "There will be no interviews and no more comments at this time." Schonfeld said he was "troubled by the circumstances" leading to the arrest, but declined to specify his concerns.

"As the case proceeds, a lot of facts are going to come to light that will ultimately lead to exoneration," Schonfeld said.

Court dates for Hilton and Waits were not immediately available. Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined to comment Saturday about the case. A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Waits and his twin brother, Jesse, are managing partners of the Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas, Drai's after hours club at Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, and XS The Nightclub at Wynn's Encore resort. A spokeswoman for Harrah's resorts declined immediate comment.

Earlier this week, Hilton was in the news when a 31-year-old man allegedly tried to break into her Los Angeles home. Authorities have said that someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton's window Tuesday. She posted a photo of the arrest on Twitter and described it as "scary." Nathan Lee Parada faces a felony burglary charge. Hilton was arrested this summer after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing.

Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told CNN host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted "to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis." While most famous for her tabloid exploits and reality TV series "The Simple Life," Hilton has also appeared in the films "Bottoms Up," "The Hottie & the Nottie" and "House of Wax." - AP Published Aug 29 2010


Paris Hilton arrested for drugs again
Paris Hilton arrested for drugs again

Paris Hilton poses for a police booking photo in Las Vegas (Photo: AP)US socialite Paris Hilton has been released from a brief detention in Las Vegas. Hilton was arrested on Friday night for allegedly possessing cocaine in her purse, according to the Las Vegas Police Department. Few details were given, but a CNN report said Hilton was riding in a black Cadillac Escalade near Wynn Hotel when police smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and pulled it over.

Both Hilton and the driver were arrested.

This was not the first time that Hilton was taken into custody for allegedly possessing drugs.

During the soccer World Cup this summer in South Africa, Hilton was booked for allegedly possessing marijuana but the case was quickly dropped.

It's unclear when Las Vegas prosecutors will decide whether to charge Hilton in the cocaine case although she was released on Saturday.
Source: Xinhua news agency

What are you really celebrating on Merdeka?


They had asked us what we can do for the nation. But we forgot to ask them what the nation would do for us. And more importantly what it would do to us. Those who demanded equity for themselves did not give equity to others. And it has been that way since.

By Steve Oh

"This coming Merdeka will you be writing something about our country?" the unexpected question came in an e-mail from an old friend I hadn't seen for awhile. "Do e-mail me a copy if you do," he wrote.

I feel ambivalent writing on Merdeka. Between the mainstream and online news lies the balanced truth, as Malaysians today go through the angst of political change. The one who uses the pen instead of the sword must draw blood without destroying. And like the surgeon who heals, he or she has to make the incisions.

Malaysia is a young nation. It is still a work in progress. And young nations need the discipline to focus on the vision of the founding fathers and the genesis of their existence even as they adapt to changing times. The danger of not changing is fossilization. And fossilization is the result of being regressive.

"In many counsellors there is victory," says an old proverb. The late President John F. Kennedy had the knack of tapping into the brains of those in his cabinet and committees. He always listened and weighed carefully what others said. That according to some observers was his forte.

It is something we all need to do. It is something governments need to do.

There is conventional wisdom that if you want results employ those who are smarter than you. Sadly fear makes people do the opposite. And it is fear that makes people treat their neighbours shabbily and governments take a hard approach when they should be more understanding.

A non-muslim goes to a surau with an olive branch and good intentions. But the Pharisees pick on this hapless politician. A Malaysiakini report says she is going to apologize to the Sultan. Why? What has she done wrong? This is an example of a regressive approach and political opportunism: the nit-picking and making a mountain out of a mole hill to score political points. Sadly there's too much of it.

We reflect on the past that we may be wiser now and in the future.

And as I reflect on the past I am hopeful there is a silver lining in the cloud. Sometimes people can't learn except from their mistakes. It is a painful way when prevention is better than cure. And sadly, some people never learn from past mistakes. Thus the saying 'those who don't learn from history are wont to repeat the mistakes.'

There are many lessons we can learn from our history.

The image of Bapa KeMerdekaan - Tunku Abdul Rahman - raising his first into the air to shouts of 'Merdeka' at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on that auspicious day 53 years ago has become iconic, and Merdeka and its aftermath offer valuable lessons.

We know the Tunku died a disappointed and disillusioned man - a victim of a nation's history that failed him and its true sons and daughters, and left them with a dashed hope. We can easily forget the sacrifices he and others made to gain for us our independence and freedom because history is often written not in truth but prejudice when politicians hold the historian's hand.

I still remember the day the Tunku came to his alma mater, the Penang Free School, and delivered an awespiring speech to us, mostly Chinese students, during a school assembly. We were all children of the Merdeka generation, full of hope and promise.

"You are the future leaders of the country, "the Tunku said, with a hint of a Cambridge accent, "so you must study hard, be law-abiding, and do your best to serve your country." We did study hard, furthered our studies at home and abroad, and equipped ourselves to serve the nation.

But when we were ready the Tunku was no longer there.

It was the ominous start of Merdeka lost.

Read more at: http://english.cpiasia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1995:what-are-you-really-celebrating-on-merdeka-&catid=213:steve-oh&Itemid=156

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka


By Gayatri Unsworth

AUG 30 — We celebrate Merdeka tomorrow. And what do we have to show for it? Racist educators, intolerant politicians, bigoted pressure groups, xenophobic newspapers, crimes of vandalism against places of worship and other weird and not-so-wonderful things that can only happen in this nation. What a meaningful way to usher in Malaysia’s 53rd birthday!

If only our Bapa Malaysia, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, were alive to see the state of things today. To witness how the fruits of his labour have been utilised, and to observe how the unified Malaysia he dreamt of, still remain for the most part, a dream. To watch how we’ve spent the better part of the last half-century diligently dismantling piece by piece, the Malaysian unification he strived to hard to establish. To view the rapid extinction of the tolerant, empowered Malaysian, only to be replaced by one so blinded by prejudice that he is incapable of rational discourse towards his fellow countrymen. To hear words such as ‘pendatang’ and ‘penumpang’, to see protestors stamping on cow heads, to taste tear-gas and to smell the acrid odour of corruption, discrimination, oppression, and deception permeating Malaysian air.

I cannot help but wonder, what would the great man himself think? Have we truly done justice to Tunku’s inspirational and rousing declaration of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka”?

The British colonialists may be long gone but in their place appears to have sprouted various factions that have adopted the same divide and conquer strategy synonymous with the former. Groups that play on the insecurities of various Malaysian ethnicities for political mileage and popularity, without much consideration for the turmoil and carnage they willingly invite in doing so.

My beloved country appears to have been hijacked by certain quarters determined to see it crumble under the pressure of division and discord; the sensible, level-headed say of the average Malaysian repeatedly silenced by the violent rumble of dissonance. Yet, the voice of reason must prevail or we risk sacrificing everything we have achieved to a bunch of foolish thugs who dominate by flexing their insular, parochial muscles. If we truly love this blessed, extraordinary nation of ours, we must save it from being seized by brutes who shamelessly capitalise on primal instincts and insecurities.

Our forefathers, from a diverse range of race and religion, worked together as one tirelessly for us to enjoy the level of peace and harmony we have today. Yet, I fear that this concord which so many of us take for granted, is slowly being battered and eroded right in front of our very eyes.

We have allowed for far too long, those with detrimental, destructive agendas, to dictate how we live our lives; to instruct us how to detest and mistrust our fellow Malaysians by virtue of differing physical attributes, cultures and religious beliefs; to try and inculcate in us unfounded stereotypes and misconceptions; to attempt to instil in us a superiority complex that has neither place nor reason in tolerant, multi-cultural, democratic society.

We must stand up now and say No loud and clear, for nobody has the right to decide for you or me, the type of Malaysian we ought to be.

If we truly love this country, then we cannot allow for it to be reduced to a nation characterised by racist rhetoric and extremist diatribe. We cannot idly sit by and watch everything which our founding fathers struggled so hard to construct, washed away by caustic words and corrosive actions. We must disregard and delegitimise such abysmal deeds by uniting as a community, as a country, as a people. We must match unreasonable, excessive tirades, with eloquence, patience and composure, accepting that we know better. We are obliged to contest displays of unfounded ire with our own standards of rational conduct.

I love Malaysia for I am a daughter of this soil. This is my one and only home. My ancestors may have come from a different place but this is the country I proudly call my native land. I live in Malaysia because there is nowhere else I’d rather be despite having the opportunity to do so. Because I was born here and because till this day, when I hear the Negaraku my heart swells with pride and patriotism. And mostly because no matter what anyone may say, do, or think, I know that nothing can change the fact that I am Malaysian.

And so I call upon my fellow Malaysians to once and for all join hands and strive towards a truly genuine and united 1 Malaysia. Let us sincerely declare and demonstrate that we are wholly united and committed towards jointly making this nation of ours the best that it can be.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” and in memory of the great Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, who nurtured Malaysia into existence, let us once again remember and relive the true spirit of “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka.”

Happy 53rd Independence Day to all.

* Gayatri Unsworth is a 29-year-old writer, corporate trainer and academic who thinks it’s about time she voiced her opinions eloquently rather than just rant about them in her Facebook status column. She can be reached at gayatri[dot]unsworth[at]gmail[dot]com

Time to incarcerate the racist criminals

Time for Najib to haul up Ibrahim Ali for inciting racial tensions

Najib and his prized slogan
Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders say it is time for Prime Minister Najib Razak to haul in Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for escalating racial tensions with his latest demands to bar non-Muslims from Islamic places of worship. Otherwise the PM should stop wasting the citizenry’s time with his talk of “zero-tolerance” for racism.

“Ibrahim is trying to fan the fire of hatred. Each time Najib has allowed him to get away with it when he should order the police to arrest him for sedition. This shows Najib is also part of the Umno political game – to create Malay hatred for the non-Malays,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

A laughing stock in the international Muslim community

Nizar Jamaluddin
But Ibrahim and Umno have also upset their own community, many of whom are aghast at their ignorance of their own religion and their crude response to a member of the political opposition, Teo Nie Ching, after she visited a Muslim prayer hall last week.

Leaders of the Islamist PAS have pointed out that a National Fatwa Council decision in March 2010 confirmed that Muslim suraus and mosques were to be kept open to all people as part of efforts to propagate the religion.

They are worried that if Ibrahim and the other ultra-Malays from Umno were to get their way, Malaysia would become a laughing stock in the international Islamic community.

“This a very glaring manifestation of the complete state of confusion and mix-up of Islam and Malay racism by Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa patron Mahathir Mohamad,” PAS central committee member Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.

“It is also a very sobering reflection of how badly Umno has mismanaged and neglected the development of Islam despite being in power for 53 years. In their haste to accuse PAS of betraying and compromising Islam because of its committment to Pakatan Rakyat, Umno has ended up showing how ignorant it is of the religion it claims to defend."

Tian Chua
Twisting Islam

Muslim scholars like former Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat have condemned Umno and Perkasa for stirring up the latest brouhaha. In separate statements released on Sunday, they pointed out that even Prophet Muhamad had specifically invited non-believers to meet him at mosques so that they could get to know the religion up close.

However, that has not stopped Perkasa and Umno Youth from insisting that mosques and suraus be restricted to Muslims. Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who shot off an early warning to Nie Ching, has not called any ceasefire despite the latest revelations that visits by non-believers were sanctioned by the National Fatwa Council.

Meanwhile, Nie Ching has continued visiting another surau, this time to present a donation to the Al-Muhajirin prayer hall in Bangi.

Khalid Samad
“There is no easy solution because we are not talking logic or religion any more. This is about politics, political mileage and racism. For us in PAS, we want Malay unity based on Islam but Umno only wants Malay unity based on Malayness," PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad told Malaysia Chronicle.

"The Umno concept is a hollow one because there are no underlying principles. It is just about race – their race and nobody else’s. So how can Najib talk about zero tolerance for racism when race is Umno’s raison d'etre. It is just another huge lie and the silence is also deafening from MCA, MIC and Gerakan. They are being accessories to racism by not speaking up.”

Sowing what they reap

On Sunday, Ibrahim unleashed a torrent of violent words. He condemned Nie Ching, insisted that the religious authorities charge her, warned her DAP party, accused PAS of abandoning Islam, and questioned if Najib’s 1Malaysia meant equality for all the races.

Ibrahim Ali

Poll: 45% of Malays, 55% of Chinese unhappy with Umno


KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysian Insider) - Umno leaders may be blowing their own trumpets about the party having undergone serious reform since Election 2008 but voters remain unconvinced, a new survey shows.

A poll in July of more than 1,000 registered voters in the peninsula showed that 45 per cent of Malays remained dissatisfied with Umno, while 44 per cent were satisfied.

Among Chinese voters surveyed, only 12 per cent said they were satisfied with Umno.

Fifty-five per cent of Chinese voters surveyed were dissatisfied with Umno.

Contrasted with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's high 72 per cent approval rating from a separate poll in May, the results of the July survey showed that Malaysians are still largely unhappy with his party.

In the May survey, Najib enjoyed the highest approval among Indians, of whom 80 per cent expressed satisfaction, followed by Malays at 77 per cent and Chinese at 58 per cent.

But the latest Merdeka Center poll showed an increasingly divided country when it came to voters' perception of the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin party.

While Malays remained almost equally split in how they felt about Umno, Chinese dissatisfaction was palpable.

Although 55 per cent of Chinese voters surveyed said they were satisfied, a synopsis of the poll revealed that 34 per cent declined to answer the question of whether they were satisfied with Umno, possibly due to fear.

Therefore the distrust of Chinese is much higher than the 55 per cent would suggest.

According to the survey, most Chinese also equate Perkasa with Umno.

The Malay rights group led by maverick politician Datuk Ibrahim Ali has fashioned itself into a significant lobby group, demanding the government retain quotas as a right of Bumiputeras while issuing increasingly strident views on race relations.

The emergence of Perkasa as a right wing group has appealed to the conservative front in Umno, and Najib's reluctance to curb Perkasa has seen the group's influence grow.

Yesterday Ibrahim issued an ultimatum to Najib to explain his 1 Malaysia slogan, and pointed out Perkasa's contention that it is not about equality.

But besides Perkasa, Umno also has its work cut out in winning over the trust of a majority of Malay voters.

The main reasons cited by Malays for their dissatisfaction with Umno are that its politicians only care about self interest and are not interested in needy Malays (15 per cent); its politicians are busy playing politics (13 per cent); and corruption and abuse of power (12 per cent).

For the Chinese, the main reasons for their dissatisfaction are that Umno is unfair to non-Malays (24 per cent) and that it is too dominant, aggressive and racist (23 per cent).

The Merdeka Center findings would suggest that if Najib calls for early elections as expected, he will have to project himself and not the party or coalition he leads.

Read more at http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/still-a-way-to-go-for-umno-poll-shows/

FuckYeahMalaysia® Defeated The Mamak Gang

No kidding. Najib has annouced Mamak Mahathir is now officially canned.

Proof?

Here ... They are making a kiddie musical for as a 'tribute'. And remember the old man said"I have give my "constructive criticism" to Naib on NEM?

No time to write anymore ... Sweet Victory for FuckYeahMalaysia®, and Glory to the People's Power!

But the war is not over yet, In fact, far from it. We shall soldier on ...

VIDEO Coming soon - Tun Mahathir, The Musical

MUST WATCH: A tribute to the greatest pariah on earth!

Child actor Mohd Shafeiq Shazwan finds it a challenge reliving the childhood of his hero, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the soon to be staged - Tun Mahathir The Musical.


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