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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Patani Police Station and Komtar











Juana wants to sit for SPM but has no birth cert

By Sarban Singh,

SEREMBAN: Seventeen-year-old Juana John-son has only one wish — to be allowed to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination in November.
Juana, who aspires to be a graphic designer, has not been attending school since early August after being told by a teacher that she could not take the exam.
The reason — her parents have not been registered as Malaysians at birth.
Victim of circumstance: Andrew (left) asking Gabriel some questions pertaining to Juana’s birth certificate in Seremban Sunday.
Her father, Gabriel Johnson, 55, who is a security guard and mother Mariah Nathan, 50, who is a housewife, are, however, hopeful that the authorities would look into their plight and allow Juana to sit for the exam.
Gabriel, who was born in Batu Arang, Selangor, said he never had a birth certificate as he was separated from his family when he was six.
“I remember taking the train to Penang with another family,” he recalled.
“When I reached Penang, I stayed at the St Joseph’s Church and worked as an odd-job worker.
“When I was in my teens, I tried to apply for my identity card several times but I couldn’t as I had no supporting documents,” he said, adding that he only returned to Baru Arang when he was in his late 20s. He never found his parents.
Mariah, who was born in Jalan Klang Lama, here, shares a similar story.
“I never knew who my parents were and I was raised by my grandmother,” she said.
“When I was 11, I moved to Klang where I worked as a maid for a Chinese family.
“I have only one child and I do not want her to pay for my misfortune.”
Mariah is hopeful that the Education Ministry would look into Juana’s plight.
“She is a good student and is very disciplined. My husband and I have been victims of circumstances but I hope the authorities would help us,” she added.
Malaysian Public Service Society president Andrew Raju, who accompanied the family to The Star office here, said what was most important was that Juana was not a foreigner.
“She was born in Malaysia and so were her parents,” he said.
“It was the mistake of their elders not to register their births and Juana should not be the victim of it.”

What the Quran says about Non-Muslim places of worship

I grew up accustomed to Chinese drums and Hindu temple bells and the experience made me a Muslim who loves the Quran more than any other book in the world.

Let me tell you why …

I grew up at Fettes Park Penang, Evergreen Road to be exact.

From Fettes Road turning into Evergreen Road, you will need to battle a short slope uphill where we kids would need to paddle standing up while riding our bicycles and where many ladies would jump off to push theirs till the road flattens 10 meters ahead – about 100 meters later you will pass my house, house number 14.

There is an empty space almost triangular in shape where the two roads meet. At the centre of that empty land stood a large tall leafy bee infested tree with red colored nuts sprouting from the branches. On one side of the empty land was a row of shop-houses. On its corner lot wall the words
NEW BOB AGENCY in red bold capital letters greeted the Fettes Park community for many years. So we call that little corner piece of land - Bob Agency. Across the road to Bob Agency stood two temples; one Chinese and the other a Hindu one.

Bob Agency for the better part of the year was left empty but the piece of land comes alive twice a year when the Chinese temple organize Chinese Operas ( Teng Lang Kho Tai) especially during the Hungry Ghost Festivals. Usually the first two days it would be the Chinese Opera (we use to call it Tong Tong Tong Cheng! Show) and followed by a second two days of modern bands belting the latest Chinese numbers and some popular western songs (I love it when the emcee announced something like “ Andy Gibb chang terk, Shallow Lancing!” ).

Each year the temple committee, both Hindu and Chinese will go house to house to request donation either for the upkeep, repair and temple improvement or for projects like the Hungry Ghost festivals or Thaipusam. Each time my Mom will ask me to tell them politely that as Muslims we cannot donate to a ‘To Kong’. (Besides, we actually did not have any extra cash anyway! Ha!ha!)

They too were polite and understanding and just moved away wishing me thank you regardless. I did not question my mom’s reasoning as I took it as true; not until 1977 when the Penang State Government was building the Penang State Mosque. I was 13.

It was announced that Loh Boon Siew the big Tau Keh of Penang donated RM 1 Million to the building of the state mosque. But wait a minute. We cannot give but we can take? That does not sound right and downright unfair. My mom had no answers so; I had to bring it up during agama class in school. After all, it will not be the first time I was asked to leave the class anyway- so what’s another period of wondering around the school (my eldest sister was not allowed to be in agama class at all during certain years in her school life !!!).

Honestly, I was not a bad boy. In fact I won the agama prize for being top in school twice. But I had questions that needed real solid answers. And, I do not give up easily!

Poor Ustazah. I asked her if I could donate to temples and her answer was a firm ‘No’. We can’t give but we can accept? I told her that my religion sounds unfair and I cannot accept her answer as my Grand Dad told me Islam is the most just religion in the world.

I refused to accept the answer and kept on harping on the RM 1 million from Loh Boon Siew. Finally she relented and said that if we were to give any donations to the ‘To Kong’, we must ‘niat’ that it is money we ‘ buang ke dalam sungai’. I told her ‘Ustazah dah merepet’.

She was by then in tears and it did not help that my classmates were cheering with drum beats – thumping the table top. She rushed out of the class and the rank cheered, the class went into the usual rumpus of school boys without supervision… but it did not last for long.

She returned with Ustaz Mahayudin, whom we were all scared shit of! And he was not alone; he brought his friend a handsomely meter long rotan. He banged the rotan on the teacher’s table a few times, we were dead silent. He uttered a few words of warning, and left. (Actually Ustaz Mahayudin was a kind and nice man, in fact I have never seen him use the rotan on anyone. I had good conversations with him, and he allowed differing opinions although he was worried of my constant questioning of the status quo. He treated Non-Muslims kindly too, and, always with respect).

I did not get my answer until my university days when I took to reading the Quran and Muslim history for myself. I discovered that the Quran suggested,

'WOE UNTO THOSE who give short measure: those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full, but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due! Do they not know that they are bound to be raised from the dead? [and called to account] on an awesome Day (Quran 83: 1-5)

I also discovered that early Muslim leaders created a peaceful environment so that people from the various faiths can practice their way of life. In fact state money was used to build, repair and support the building of not just the mosque but also Non- Muslim places of worship. The Muslim army has a duty to defend all places of worship as the Quran commands,

(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is God.. Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily God is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).( Quran 22:40)

Back in the mid 90s I decided to buy a condo unit at Sunway area. Beside the wonderful square swimming pool, the other attractions were a Hindu and Chinese temple right in front of the guard house and a mosque just behind the corner. In the morning you can hear the azan, the temple bells and every now and then I get to smell Chinese incense bringing me back memories of growing up in Fettes Park and Bob Agency. The only missing link was a church :(.

Each morning, each evening, each nite – each day that condo where I stayed for a good many years reminds me of another Quranic announcement. It is as though the Quran spoke to me directly,

To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way? If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute (Quran 5:48)

Thank You Bob Agency, Thank You Evergreen Road, Thank You Fettes Park, Thank You Penang, Thank You Malaysia!

Thank you for helping see the world the way God wanted me to see it.

Thank You God.

Also read Marina’s
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/2009/08/barbarians-at-gate.html

A "Coming Home" to Merdeka with Tunku and Chin Peng

By Dr. Collin Abraham

This should undoubtedly be the defining 52nd celebration of independence. The impeccable hands-on testimony and empirical evidence of Tunku’s son has invaluably added to the social historical reference of the Malayan Chapter in the Blackwell Encyclopedia on “Protest and Revolution”, and in the book the “Finest Hour: Malaysian-MCP Peace Accord in Perspective….,” by endorsing that Chin Peng had been in contact with and in fact “supported Tunku’s struggle for Independence" well before the Baling Talks.

As far as is known, for the very first time Tunku Abdul Rahman acknowledged the receipt of a letter from Chin Peng in 1954, wherein the latter gave the assurance of Tunku’s safety in road travel throughout the country because he (Chin Peng) “supported the struggle for Independence”. Indeed, what is even more significant is that as a result of this letter, Tunku had the confidence to order the security forces in Johor to “back off” because he felt their presence might in fact have the opposite effect of “endangering his life”!

Indeed, this added new evidence reinforces my conviction that as a result of this communication, Tunku subsequently initiated peace talks with Chin Peng, to the extent that there might even have been a shared “private agenda” between them towards independence. (It must be remembered that as early as 1953 (Sunday Times) Tunku stated “We are as much opposed to colonialism as the Malayan Communist Party” but unlike the latter seek independence through ‘righteous’ means.

In this connection, therefore, serious questions have been raised as to why the Tunku apparently failed to honour the ‘righteous’ promise reportedly made by his Emissary to Chin Peng at Baling, that there would be further peace talks once he (Tunku) had successfully negotiated a declaration of independence from the British. The historical evidence clearly indicates that Chin Peng seriously believed in this ‘promise’, so that it can be convincingly argued that this was the reason for his unprecedented offer to ‘lay down arms’ once Tunku secured the Defense and Internal Security portfolios from the British.

It is consequently being vehemently argued that this serious contradiction, which resulted in nearly 40 years of continued ‘war’ by the MCP with the elected independent government of Malaysia, must now be resolved once and for all, because it is without doubt the greatest single factor that has undermined what can be considered the “private agenda” by Chin Peng and the Tunku to seek peace and to initiate nation-building and national unity for all Malaysians.

Chin Peng feels that the Tunku “betrayed” him. This is not surprising considering that even the IGP at the Baling Talks considered Chin Peng to be an honest man and in his words “I trust him”. But now with the new evidence from Tunku’s son it is clear the negative role and political manipulation of the British against a possible “shared agenda” forced the Tunku to ‘abdicate’ from his promise to Chin Peng. Indeed it can convincingly be argued that the ‘no further peace talks’with the MCP was made a sufficient condition for the granting of independence. The historical evidence for this is incriminating. For one thing the British were very ‘unhappy” with the Tunku’s desire to hold peace talks with Chin Peng on grounds, inter alia, that the former might concede “too much” to the latter.

But what is absolutely crucial is that the British would not “stoop” to any lengths to demonize and destroy Chin Peng and the MCP once and for all so that there would be no further “problems” with the Communists.

It is an indictment against the British therefore that they failed to honour the internationally recognized assurance and protection given to opposing parties to peace talks, and especially the assurance given to Tunku Abdul Rahman and David Marshall that Chin Peng would be given “protection” for safe return to his base. Instead, British military plans had been finalized for the assassination of Chin Peng after the Baling talks. He only managed to escape because the MCP took steps to avoid capture.

Wee wants one EGM to sort out MCA mess

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 – MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong said today there was no need for two extraordinary general meetings to resolve the party crisis, in remarks that appeared to signal moves to thwart supporters of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Wee, one of the national leaders backing Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat in expelling Dr Chua, said that an EGM was the best way to solve the party’s worse leadership crisis in decades.

He said that the subject of the two EGMs – one called by the party president and the other by Dr Chua’s backers – were essentially the same.

But The Malaysian Insider understands that Dr Chua’s camp is still continuing moves to collect enough signatures to petition for an EGM. They need just 800 signatures to compel an EGM. The two main points on their EGM agenda is to compel the reinstatement of Dr Chua as deputy president, and to pass a vote of no-confidence against Ong as president.

A presidential council stacked with Ong’s supporters expelled FDr Chua from the party last week. But the reason for Dr Chua’s removal is tenuous – dredging up his sex scandal from late 2007 from which he had already resigned once and come back later from the dead to win the deputy presidency last year.

Ong, who is fighting for his political life, announced yesterday his own move to call for an EGM. On the agenda is to effectively seek an endorsement of the delegates of his decision to sack Dr Chua. Also on the agenda will be his handling as Transport Minister of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) affair.

Ong is betting his career on his carefully-crafted image of being a leader who has made the unpopular decision to make damaging disclosures of wrongdoings in the PKFZ project.

But his recent tiff with PKFZ contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd’s (KDSB) CEO Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has badly damaged his reputation. Tiong has accused Ong of taking RM10 million in donations from the business tycoon which is now unaccounted for.

Ong has also admitted taking free rides on KDSB’s private jets, suggesting he had close ties with Tiong.

A Piece From a Muslim Compatriot on Mutual Understanding and Respect

By Anas Zubedy

Saturday, August 29, 2009
What the Quran says about Non-Muslim places of worship.

I grew up accustomed to Chinese drums and Hindu temple bells and the experience made me a Muslim who loves the Quran more than any other book in the world.

Let me tell you why …

I grew up at Fettes Park Penang, Evergreen Road to be exact.

From Fettes Road turning into Evergreen Road, you will need to battle a short slope uphill where we kids would need to paddle standing up while riding our bicycles and where many ladies would jump off to push theirs till the road flattens 10 meters ahead – about 100 meters later you will pass my house, house number 14.

There is an empty space almost triangular in shape where the two roads meet. At the centre of that empty land stood a large tall leafy bee infested tree with red colored nuts sprouting from the branches. On one side of the empty land was a row of shop-houses. On its corner lot wall the words NEW BOB AGENCY in red bold capital letters greeted the Fettes Park community for many years. So we call that little corner piece of land - Bob Agency. Across the road to Bob Agency stood two temples; one Chinese and the other a Hindu one.

Bob Agency for the better part of the year was left empty but the piece of land comes alive twice a year when the Chinese temple organize Chinese Operas ( Teng Lang Kho Tai) especially during the Hungry Ghost Festivals. Usually the first two days it would be the Chinese Opera (we use to call it Tong Tong Tong Cheng! Show) and followed by a second two days of modern bands belting the latest Chinese numbers and some popular western songs (I love it when the emcee announced something like “ Andy Gibb chang terk, Shallow Lancing!” ).

Each year the temple committee, both Hindu and Chinese will go house to house to request donation either for the upkeep, repair and temple improvement or for projects like the Hungry Ghost festivals or Thaipusam. Each time my Mom will ask me to tell them politely that as Muslims we cannot donate to a ‘To Kong’. (Besides, we actually did not have any extra cash anyway! Ha!ha!)

They too were polite and understanding and just moved away wishing me thank you regardless. I did not question my mom’s reasoning as I took it as true; not until 1977 when the Penang State Government was building the Penang State Mosque. I was 13.

It was announced that Loh Boon Siew the big Tau Keh of Penang donated RM 1 Million to the building of the state mosque. But wait a minute. We cannot give but we can take? That does not sound right and downright unfair. My mom had no answers so; I had to bring it up during agama class in school. After all, it will not be the first time I was asked to leave the class anyway- so what’s another period of wondering around the school (my eldest sister was not allowed to be in agama class at all during certain years in her school life !!!).

Honestly, I was not a bad boy. In fact I won the agama prize for being top in school twice. But I had questions that needed real solid answers. And, I do not give up easily!

Poor Ustazah. I asked her if I could donate to temples and her answer was a firm ‘No’. We can’t give but we can accept? I told her that my religion sounds unfair and I cannot accept her answer as my Grand Dad told me Islam is the most just religion in the world.

I refused to accept the answer and kept on harping on the RM 1 million from Loh Boon Siew. Finally she relented and said that if we were to give any donations to the ‘To Kong’, we must ‘niat’ that it is money we ‘ buang ke dalam sungai’. I told her ‘Ustazah dah merepet’.

She was by then in tears and it did not help that my classmates were cheering with drum beats – thumping the table top. She rushed out of the class and the rank cheered, the class went into the usual rumpus of school boys without supervision… but it did not last for long.

She returned with Ustaz Mahayudin, whom we were all scared shit of! And he was not alone; he brought his friend a handsomely meter long rotan. He banged the rotan on the teacher’s table a few times, we were dead silent. He uttered a few words of warning, and left. (Actually Ustaz Mahayudin was a kind and nice man, in fact I have never seen him use the rotan on anyone. I had good conversations with him, and he allowed differing opinions although he was worried of my constant questioning of the status quo. He treated Non-Muslims kindly too, and, always with respect).

I did not get my answer until my university days when I took to reading the Quran and Muslim history for myself. I discovered that the Quran suggested,

'WOE UNTO THOSE who give short measure: those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full, but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due! Do they not know that they are bound to be raised from the dead? [and called to account] on an awesome Day (Quran 83: 1-5)

I also discovered that early Muslim leaders created a peaceful environment so that people from the various faiths can practice their way of life. In fact state money was used to build, repair and support the building of not just the mosque but also Non- Muslim places of worship. The Muslim army has a duty to defend all places of worship as the Quran commands,

(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is God.. Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure. God will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily God is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).( Quran 22:40)

Back in the mid 90s I decided to buy a condo unit at Sunway area. Beside the wonderful square swimming pool, the other attractions were a Hindu and Chinese temple right in front of the guard house and a mosque just behind the corner. In the morning you can hear the azan, the temple bells and every now and then I get to smell Chinese incense bringing me back memories of growing up in Fettes Park and Bob Agency. The only missing link was a church :(.

Each morning, each evening, each nite – each day that condo where I stayed for a good many years reminds me of another Quranic announcement. It is as though the Quran spoke to me directly,

To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way? If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God. it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute (Quran 5:48)

Thank You Bob Agency, Thank You Evergreen Road, Thank You Fettes Park, Thank You Penang, Thank You Malaysia!

Thank you for helping see the world the way God wanted me to see it.

Thank You God.

Bumpy stretch ahead for Malaysia

By Cheong Suk-Wai | Singapore Straits Times

AUG 29 – In early May 1969, Australian anthropologist Clive Kessler rode his motorcycle through Kelantan hamlets for 30km to the nearest telephone box. He then called his parents in Sydney and told them: “You’re going to hear about trouble in a few parts of Malaysia in the next few days, but not where I am.”

Sure enough, Malaysia’s bloodiest civil strife erupted. Dr Kessler, who was then there to observe Islamist politics, had predicted it in an article he wrote to the press and in an interview he gave the Times of London in April 1969.

Now 67, the emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney has been a Malaysia watcher for more than 40 years and published prodigiously on it, including two books.

He had taught at the London School of Economics (LSE) and then Columbia University in New York city from the late 1960s till 1980. In that time, he worked closely with such lions in his field as LSE’s Maurice Freedman and Raymond Firth as well as Princeton’s Clifford Geertz.

He got in touch with me initially about my published review of his compatriot Anthony Milner’s book, The Malays. In the review, I had wrongly attributed to Dr Kessler the view that if the Malay cannot make something of himself, he will try to bend others to his will. Dr Kessler was gracious about my unwitting error and we got to talking about Malaysia in Subang Jaya, Selangor, at the tail end of his two-month sojourn there recently.

You call yourself a cautious progressive. How far do you think Malaysia has come since 1969? Malaysia has achieved a huge amount.

Kessler: That’s undeniable. Yet, it could have done much more and much better. It’s moved to a safe mediocrity.

How much are the 1969 race riots responsible for that?

Kessler: I’ve never liked calling what happened in 1969 “race riots”. Of course there was inter-ethnic mayhem but it was a symptom of something larger – a regime crisis.

The problem was more than Malay poverty, disadvantage and resentment. It was the credibility of the political order that had produced, or failed to remedy, that sense of Malay marginalisation.

The New Economic Policy (NEP) was to remedy that, and had to be justified in terms of the “special position” of the Malays. But with the return of electoral politics in 1970, powerful populist demands grew for the NEP’s continuation, which was then used to justify the expansion of the notion of Malay rights and further entrenching of strong government.

Why are Malaysians marching in the streets these days?

Kessler: They want a different kind of politics. They want to say this post-1969 political dispensation is exhausted, that it’s being increasingly held together by intimidation and manipulation and even force, and that the Internal Security Act is central to that.

What’s gone wrong, really?

Kessler: The problem these days is that the United Malays National Organisation and the whole state fashioned in its image can be seen as a glove made to fit one hand – Umno’s – and not even its fingers work together. It lacks clear, convincing authority at the moment.

Why is that?

Kessler: There is no simple answer. In many ways, the transformation of Malaysian and, in particular, Malay society, was the work of Umno itself. But it could not acknowledge and embrace the changes that it had itself unleashed with its policies. It was unable to loosen up its own political structures and approach.

What was so interesting and moving, yet also frightening, about March last year was the eruption of the various social changes unleashed by Umno for which the political system had itself become a strait-jacket. So these changes simply burst through and broke it.

How much needs to be fixed?

Kessler: I am no prophet. I do not underestimate the difficulty and complexity of its problems. Its leaders are not delusional when they say things could go badly and if they do, society could turn upon itself.

At any time, Malaysia is subject to two inverse dynamics. First, continuing economic growth that is dependent on maintaining civil peace. Second, civil peace that is dependent on the continuation, or continued expectation of, uninterrupted economic development. If either cycle goes wrong, trouble is conceivable.

Malaysians are largely peace-loving, so how conceivable is that?

Kessler: Malaysia’s got the basis for progress and prosperity. But the basic problems of social cohesion, social and political accommodation and political trust, persist.

Why is that?

Kessler: It goes back to the fundamental contradictions in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020, which was not an architect’s blueprint from which to build but an amalgam of mutually incompatible elements.

It offered the image of an economically and technologically modern society, but failed to recognise that you cannot simply create a modern economy with modern technology and keep everything else pretty much unchanged.

So what has to change?

Kessler: You need a modern pluralistic society of independent autonomous and active citizens – and a government that can accept rather than feel threatened by their vitality.

Why has Umno been slow to change?

Kessler: It has wanted to keep the political world of deference, obedience, favour-seeking and gratitude.

Are you hopeful for Malaysia’s future?

Kessler: I’m not as hopeful as I used to be. Where I come from, it’s pessimism and anxiety, not football and cricket, that are the national sports. Malaysia is now on a complicated course, and it is at a particularly bumpy stretch of the road.

Serious roadworks are needed along the way. I am not sure that the vehicle that the people are travelling in is well maintained and still suitable to get them through all that they face. – Straits Times

Whipping Kartika

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

THE Pahang Syariah High Court's sentencing of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to whipping and a RM5,000 fine for drinking beer has thrown up all kinds of issues. As pointed out by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) in a 25 Aug 2009 memorandum to the prime minister, "the implementation of these [syariah] laws continues to raise numerous profound and controversial issues at the Islamic, constitutional, and human rights levels."

Indeed, JAG member Sisters in Islam (SIS) has since 2005 called on the government to repeal syariah criminal offences laws on the grounds that they have no basis in Islamic legal theory and practice, and are unconstitutional. Yet, groups such as the Syariah Lawyers' Association (PGSM) want more offences added to the list in state syariah enactments. PGSM deputy president Musa Awang tells The Nut Graph in an interview that penalties should be harsher and streamlined in all states.

Increasingly, what these opposing Muslim views demonstrate is this: there are different opinions in Islam about whether personal sins constitute a punishable crime. More importantly, the different penalties imposed in different states also reveal how arbitrary human agency is involved in drawing up syariah laws in the name of Islam.

whip
(Source: bullwhip.biz)
Who decides the punishment?

One dispute arising from the punishment of Kartika is whether the punishment is proportionate to the crime. Complicating matters further is the disparities between penalties for the same offence in different states. For example, the punishment for alcohol consumption in Pahang is harsher than it is in Selangor or Johor.

Musa says the disparities between different state syariah enactments cannot be helped because the federal constitution grants states the exclusive jurisdiction to manage Islamic affairs within their respective boundaries.

Also, none of the penalties in the states' syariah enactments are "hudud", which would require amendments to the federal constitution in order to implement. The punishments are all "tazir", crimes for which penalties are unspecified in the Quran and therefore set according to scholars' interpretation, as warnings.

In 1984, the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act was amended to set maximum sentencing for fines, jail and whipping at the 5-3-6 formula. Thus, state enactments cannot impose penalties beyond the maximum RM5,000 fine, and/or three years' jail, and six strokes as stipulated in the federal Act.

The amendment to the mother Act was followed by increased penalties under the state enactments. In Pahang's case, the penalty for alcohol consumption prior to 1984 was a fine of not more than RM100 or not more than 15 days' jail. The state enactment was amended in 1987 according to the maximum penalty in the federal Act. The Syariah High Court judge in sentencing Kartika Sari Dewi followed this to the letter.

However, not all states follow the maximum penalty allowed. The Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, and Johor syariah enactments each stipulate a fine of not more than RM3,000 or imprisonment for not more than two years, or both. None of them stipulate whipping for alcohol consumption.


Musa
Musa says these differences cause confusion among Muslims. Hence, his call for penalties to be streamlined in all state syariah enactments. "People will question why there are differences considering that the laws originated from the text and the Prophet," Musa argues.

However, other Muslim scholars have pointed out that the Quran is actually silent on the punishment for personal sins such as consuming alcohol. "Neither the Quran nor the Hadith invokes a penalty for alcohol consumption. The sin of consuming alcohol is described in the Quran in the mildest language of prohibition," notes Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in a commentary in The Star.

What's just punishment?

Disparities also cause some crimes to appear arbitrarily worse than others, calling into question personal judgment values between the types of offences.

Under Pahang syariah law, for example, a man who abuses his wife faces a maximum fine of RM1,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than six months. If he pimps his wife and lives off her earnings, the maximum fine is RM4,000 and/or a jail term not exceeding two years, and whipping. Yet, the penalty for drinking alcohol is stiffer than crimes against one's wife.

In Perlis, however, drinking alcohol is as bad as pimping one's wife. The sentencing for both crimes is the maximum penalty based on the 5-3-6 formula. Pimping in Selangor also faces the maximum penalty provided under the federal Act and is stiffer compared to the penalty for alcohol consumption.

But Musa argues that more bite should be given to syariah laws through harsher punishments so these can deter Muslims from committing sin.

He says PGSM has appealed several times to the government to streamline and increase syariah penalties. "A RM5,000 fine is not a lot these days. You can raise the money with one phone call to a friend. Fines for syariah offences should be similar to the Penal Code, like RM10,000 and with increased jail terms. If these deterrents are stiffer, then maybe there won't be a need for whipping which may seem too 'fundamentalist' in this day and age," he argues.

But whether harsher penalties work is really questionable. Whipping and corporal punishment, for example, have been shown to be ineffective deterrents even to violent crimes. SIS has also noted that even among Muslim scholars, there is no consensus on what offences should be punished with whipping.


Imam Feisal
Additionally, religious leaders like Imam Feisal have said in a previous interview with The Nut Graph that certain crimes committed against God and that do not hurt other people are not for "wordly courts" to punish. Some of these personal sins include eating pork and consuming alcohol, for which punishments are not specified in the Quran, Feisal notes.

Private vs public

Muslim Professionals Forum chairperson Dr Mazeni Alwi agrees that moral sins, which bring spiritual harm to oneself, should be handled differently from legal offences, or crimes that harm others.

"Drinking in public is a legal offence, but the law does not touch on drinking alone in private. It is not a crime, even if it may be a moral sin. Not everything that is sinful should be made into law," he says in a phone interview.

Still, Mazeni believes the law is necessary in order to create awareness about wrongs and to bring about repentance. He says having laws will also ensure that different views between Muslims do not cause offence. "One Muslim may feel there is nothing wrong with drinking in public but the law is there to prevent him [or her] from offending other Muslims who want to observe it."

But independent researcher Rosey Wang Ma believes that self-regulation is the best way rather than having more and more laws. "More laws and stiffer laws will only make people go into hiding," says the social anthropologist on Chinese Muslim history.

Musa disagrees, though, that it can all be left to self-regulation. "If you can hold your drink and control yourself, then ok. But can you? And even if you drink alone in private, but after that you drive your car and hit someone, you cause harm to other people. So the law is there for those who cannot regulate themselves."

Extending syariah


(Pic by engindeniz / sxc.hu)
In 2008, at a seminar on syariah law review, it was proposed that non-Muslims caught in khalwat with a Muslim should also be punished by the civil court. More recently, a suggestion was made by Selangor PAS to ban the sale of beer in Muslim-majority areas, regardless of non-Muslims who may be living in the same locality.

These proposals for greater moral policing, based on a particular interpretation of Islam or moral code, that affect all Malaysians — Muslims and non-Muslims — are not recent. A civil society compilation of events beginning from the mid-1990s show how the arbitrary application of laws has violated citizen's rights, regardless of faith.

With so much at stake, Kartika's punishment of whipping isn't just about one Muslim woman who was caught breaking syariah laws. Her case is really about where Malaysia is heading, and whether we will be able to uphold not just our constitutional rights, but also an Islam that is rational, just and compassionate.

Death in police custody - Burhanuddin Sulaiman (1 September 2008)

A year ago today Burhanuddin Sulaiman, a 57-year old former Royal Malaysian Air Force lieutenant-colonel, was found dead at the Ampang Jaya police station approximately seven hours after he had been arrested.

Despite the requirement that all custodial deaths be investigated by inquiries conducted pursuant to Chapter XXXII of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is not clear that an inquest has been conducted into Burhanuddin Sulaiman's death.

Every death in custody must be thoroughly and impartially investigated. Burhanuddin Sulaiman's death must not be relegated to a mere statistic.

Based on the Royal Malaysia Police's statistics, 85 persons died in police custody between 2003 and 2007 alone.

We express our heartfelt condolences to Burhanuddin Sulaiman's family and friends on this first anniversary of his death.

Dear PenyuMenagis (sic),

Assalamu'alaikum.

1. Your life makes interesting reading and so is your outlook on life. Long ago many poor Chinese gave their children to Malay families, which is why we often see many Malays who look like Chinese.

2. My son married a Chinese. The children are well-behaved and smart. They pray and read the Quran. The mother is very particular regarding their good upbringing.


3. You need not feel insulted being called Si Hitam (black). It is, or was common practice among Malays to give nicknames which seem to be opposite of the appearance of a person. We have many village girls in Kedah nicknamed "Udoh" (from "hodoh" or ugly). They believe that evil spirits would be cheated and leave the pretty one alone.


4. You said that the New Economic Policy will enrich further certain rich Malays. What really happens is that the help and opportunities were given to those able to benefit from them, whether they were rich or poor. When the rich failed no one would take notice. On the other hand any Malay who succeeded was assumed to be from a rich family eventhough he was not. Worse still he would be regarded as a crony of the Prime Minister.


5. If those who succeed were all from rich families then there must have been a lot of rich Malays before the New Economic Policy. But we know there were only a handful of rich Malays before the NEP. Had there been, there would not have been the anger which led to the May 13, 1969 incident.


6. The only way to satisfy the critics is to ensure that no Malay be allowed to become rich. If we do that then the disparity between Malays and non-Malays would remain or get worse. If that happens then the anger and bitterness of the Malays would render this country unstable.


7. I agree with you that intermarriage would help. But few Chinese would accept conversion. But the Malays will insist on this.


Chedet.

Elect Team Players And Not Part-Time Leaders - Samy Vellu

PENANG, Sept 1 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu moves into his final lap of a nationwide party election campaign here with an appeal to delegates to elect team players and rid the party of "part-time leaders."

"We must not elect leaders who will only come to the MIC headquarters (in Kuala Lumpur) to spend an hour or so to sign documents and cheques.

"We need to elect a team of service-oriented, capable and dedicated leaders who can serve the Indian community and realise their aspirations," he told some 70 Penang MIC delegates at a dinner here on Monday night.

Penang was his second last stop in a two-week nationwide tour to introduce his team to the delegates.

His last nationwide campaign trail will take him to Negeri Sembilan on Tuesday night.

Samy Vellu has named his "presidential team" which includes incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel for the post of deputy president and three new faces for the three vice-president's posts namely Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk S.K. Devamany and Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk M. Saravanan.

He has also named a 27-member team for the 23 Central Working Committee for the Sept 12 MIC elections.

A total of 1,464 delegates will vote in the elections, described by Samy Vellu as the most crucial party elections.

Samy Vellu also took to task certain party leaders who regarded the MIC as "an entertainment club seeking only to glorify themselves" and reiterated that there was no place for anyone with that kind of thinking in the party.

"I have presented to you a team of leaders who have proven track records and are holding government posts," he said.

With just 12 days to go before the delegates cast their votes, Samy Vellu urged them to think carefully before picking their candidates.

"Do you want the MIC to be further hammered in the next general election?" he asked.

The MIC took a severe beating in the last general election where it lost six out of nine parliamentary and 12 out of 19 state seats.

Samy Vellu said he had worked out a formula where he and Palanivel would concentrate on the political front while Dr Subramaniam, Devamany and Saravanan would implement the party's policies and programmes with the help of the government.

Merdeka... RON97 up by 25 sen!

By Jeff Ooi,

In marketing-speak, the same RON97 has been "upgraded as a premium product" and its price has increased from RM1.80 to RM2.05 as people counted down to Merdeka.

And... on Merdeka Day, Utusan Malaysia's Chan Sow Lin office was burglar-ed -- the second time in less than a month.

Compared with the PKFZ Scandal, the amount was paltry, just cheques worth about RM600,000 and RM8,000 in cash.

"However, there was no sign of forced entry,” Cheras OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Amir Mohd Hashim was quoted as saying. He added that police have not ruled out the crime as an inside job.

Inside job. That's the key phrase.

Memorandum to the Asst.CPO of Penang

A peaceful gathering to submit a memorandum to the Asst.CPO of Penang, will be organised on the 1st Aug 2009, 10.00am, to inform that the police has to protect the Villagers from all the cruelty and harrasment by the Developer Nusmetro and not siding and protecting the Developer and their gangsters. We are organising this gathering in a peaceful manner and will not cause distraction to the public, Our intention is to submit the memorandum and not to create chaos there the public area and not also to gain sympathy and immunity. General Public knew that we has all the rights to gather in this Democratic Country!

Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

Counter Statement for ACP Azam!

3.00pm-31st Aug 2009

Today ACP Azam the OCPD of Timur Tengah Penang,held a Press Conference at Patani Rd Police Station. I would like stress that some of the points that he said was unreasonable and unbelievable! He said that all the suspects knew about the report made against them and that they will be detained! This is a lie! I was with them throughout the process since 6pm and they were unaware of the arrest plans. The Committee members went to the police station to make a report against the harrassment made earlier by 2 policemen at about 6.45pm and shocked to know that they will be detained by Insp.Megat. The 3 of them was not aware of the case filed against them, they were suprised when Insp.Megat said that they will be detained under sec506 for threatening a Bangladeshi from Nusmetro ventures on the 4th Aug 2009, Mr.Stephen asked the press in one of the Press Conference," Kes Ugutan adalah kes berat, kenapa selama ini tidak ada tangkapan ataupun statement diambil selama ini? kalau sesiapa benar-benar ingin membuat sesuatu adakah polis akan menahan mereka selepas kejadian benar-benar telah berlaku? Why have they not informed or find for them from the date of report? Insp.Megat told one of them that he does'nt know their home address and they just found it out. Isnt this a bit funny? The whole nation knows about Mr.Stephen and even people from London knows where Kg.Buah Pala is, how come the police there doesnt know?

Buah Pala Villagers does not aiming for sympathy and Immunity, they are fighting for Justice and were angry due to the false allegations and been treated so badly by everyone.

In another account, ACP Azam told the reporters that there was'nt any blocking to the police station by the Villagers and said that they dont have that much of space in that police station, I was there and this is my statement, about 100 supporters and villagers stopped the van carrying the 3 committee members to a different police station, lead by the power of the women of Kg.Buah Pala, police realise their mistake and they understand that it is going to be an issue if they dont release them in time and decided to release them on police bail? From about 9pm i was there in that police station, why there was no offer from them regarding bails and why have they refused to entertain us and our Lawyer?

Something to think about and ACP Azam does not make any sense here..

Rwindraj@Cryingvoices

Dakwaan penjenayah kuasai polis: Sikap KPN dipertikai

(Harakah) - Sikap Ketua Polis Negara (KPN), Tan Sri Musa Hassan yang enggan mengulas tuduhan bahawa beliau mengizinkan penjenayah menguasai pasukan polis menimbulkan persoalan besar terhadap kredibilitinya, kata Naib Presiden PAS, Salahuddin Ayub.

Malah, katanya lagi, ia juga menyebabkan kredibiliti Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein lebih dipertikaikan.

"Mengapa selepas mengambil alih kerajaan April lalu, Najib dan Hishammuddin terus mengekalkan seorang KPN yang telah begitu lama dipertikaikan kredibilitinya?

"Sama seperti kita mahukan seorang Perdana Menteri yang bersih dan dilihat bersih sejak dari mula Najib menyandang jawatan itu, kita juga mahukan seorang KPN yang bukan sahaja bersih tetapi dilihat bersih.

"Amat mengecewakan apabila hendak melantik KPN yang bersih dan dilihat bersih pun tidak mampu dilakukan oleh kerajaan Najib," kata Salahuddin.

Mengulas lanjut keengganan Musa mengulas pelbagai tuduhan terhadapnya itu, beliau berkata, "itu bukan sifat seorang KPN".

Sepatutnya, kata Salahuddin, Musa berdiri tegak untuk menangkis pelbagai tuduhan terhadapnya.

"Umno tidak henti-henti memperlekehkan kenyataan-kenyataan bersumpah yang disiarkan oleh Raja Petra (Kamarudin) sebagai tidak ada nilai, bohong dan sebagainya.

"Kenapa Musa tidak matikan sama sekali pendedahan Raja Petra kalau pendedahannya tidak ada nilai dan bohong?

"Bukankah orang kita terkenal dengan pepatah berani kerana benar?" kata Ahli Parlimen Kubang Kerian itu.

Dalam laman web kelolaannya, Malaysia Today, Raja Petra semalam menyiarkan kenyataan bersumpah yang mengandungi pelbagai tuduhan terhadap Musa.

Malaysiakini melaporkan, Musa enggan mengulas tuduhan-tuduhan itu.

Walaupun dipadamkan identiti dan beberapa maklumat lain dalam kenyataan bersumpah itu, Raja Petra berjanji akan menyiarkan kesemuanya jika perkhidmatan Musa sebagai KPN disambung semula.

Dalam kenyataan bersumpah yang dikatakan dibuat oleh seorang pegawai polis yang pernah menjadi pembantu peribadinya (aide-de-camp atau ADC), Musa dituduh menyebabkan pasukan polis dikuasai penjenayah berikutan hubungannya dengan kumpulan itu.

Pegawai polis itu menuduh Musa membiarkan kepala-kepala penjenayah memanipulasi kenaikan pangkat anggota polis dan penentuan jawatan mereka.

Sebagai ADC kepada Musa, kata pegawai polis itu, beliau diarahkan untuk "menyelaraskan arahan mengenai pangkat dan jawatan para pegawai polis berdasarkan draf dan cadangan yang dibuat oleh BK Tan".

Laporan sebelum ini mendakwa Tan adalah kepala sindiket jenayah terancang yang menguasai dadah, persundalan, ceti haram dan rangkaian perjudian haram di seluruh Malaysia. Beliau juga didakwa menguasai sistem maklumat berkomputer polis.

Pegawai polis itu juga mendakwa bahawa sesetengah arahan pertukaran dibuat dengan tujuan untuk memerangkap pegawai yang diarahkan berpindah itu.

Sesetengah arahan pertukaran pula dibuat untuk memperlihatkan seolah-olah Musa melakukannya dengan tujuan menghapuskan rasuah.

Musa juga dituduh mengarahkan supaya diwujudkan blog tanpa nama pemiliknya untuk menuduh Timbalan Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum menerima rasuah RM5.5 juta dari tiga kepala penjenayah.

Johari pada masa itu ialah Timbalan Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri dan dikatakan tidak mempunyai hubungan baik dengan Musa.

Kenyataan bersumpah pegawai polis yang mendakwa pernah menjadi ADC kepada Musa itu juga mengulangi tuduhan bahawa Musa berada di sebalik pakatan jahat ke atas bekas Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil (JSJK), Datuk Ramli Yusof dan lain-lain pegawai yang terlibat menyiasat beberapa kepala penjenayah.

Ramli dan pegawai-pegawai tersebut sebelum ini menghadapi tindakan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) yang ketika itu dikenali sebagai Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR).

Pegawai polis tersebut juga menyatakan beliau pernah memaklum dan mengadukan perkara itu kepada begitu ramai pembesar termasuk Johari sendiri dan bekas Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri, Datuk Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

"Bagaimanapun, tidak banyak yang dapat dilakukan bila perkhidmatan Musa (sebagai KPN) dilanjutkan dua tahun lagi pada Julai 2007 lalu oleh Perdana Menteri sebelum ini, (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang juga Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri ketika itu.

"Ia menjadi pengesahan yang sangat kuat bahawa kerajaan berada di belakang Musa sepenuhnya," kata pegawai polis itu dalam kenyataan bersumpahnya.

Menurut Raja Petra, terdapat tanda-tanda bahawa kerajaan mahu menyambung lagi perkhidmatan Musa untuk kali ketiga apabila tempoh perkhidmatannya kini tamat pada 14 September akan datang.

"Ini bermakna kumpulan kongsi gelap Cina akan terus menguasai pasukan polis dan menentukan siapa yang ditukarkan, dinaikkan pangkat, diturunkan pangkat dan dicampak ke dalam penjara.

"Ya, mereka bertindak sehingga ke peringkat mencampakkan pegawai-pegawai polis yang enggan 'berkerjasama' ke dalam penjara. Dan, hari ini, kami mengemukakan bukti mengenainya," kata Raja Petra.

Why the Shah Alam ‘cow head’ episode goes against the spirit of Islam

Image

I am sure many non-Muslims are puzzled by the action of some people who participated in the ‘cow head’ demonstration on Friday. To understand what ‘true’ Islam is, maybe you can read the two pieces below by Karen Armstrong and Prof. Fazl Ahmad. This will give you an insight into what is supposed to be compared to what happened on Friday.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Jerusalem was central to the spiritual identity of Muslims from the very beginning of their faith. When the Prophet Muhammad first began to preach in Mecca in about 612, according to the earliest biographies, which are our primary source of information about him, he had his converts prostrate themselves in prayer in the direction of Jerusalem. They were symbolically reaching out toward the Jewish and Christian God, whom they were committed to worshipping, and turning their back on the paganism of Arabia. Muhammad never believed that he was founding a new religion that cancelled out the previous faiths. He was convinced that he was simply bringing the old religion of the One God to the Arabs, who had never been sent a prophet before.

Consequently, the Koran, the inspired scripture that Muhammad brought to the Arabs, venerates the great prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It speaks of Solomon's "great place of prayer" in Jerusalem, which the first Muslims called City of the Temple. Only after the Jews of Medina rejected Muhammad did he switch orientation and instruct his adherents to pray facing Mecca, whose ancient shrine, the Kabah, was thought by locals to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, the father of the Arabs.

The centrality of Jerusalem in Muslim spirituality is apparent in the story of Muhammad's mystical Night Journey to Jerusalem. Muslim texts make it clear that this was not a physical experience but a visionary one (not dissimilar to the heavenly visions of the Jewish Throne Mystics at this time). One night Muhammad was conveyed miraculously from the Kabah to Jerusalem's Temple Mount. There he was welcomed by all the great prophets of the past before ascending through the seven heavens. On his way up he sought the advice of Moses, Aaron, Enoch, Jesus, John the Baptist and Abraham before entering the presence of God. The story shows the yearning of the Muslims to come from far-off Arabia right into the heart of the monotheistic family, symbolized by Jerusalem.

Respect for other faiths was manifest in Islamic Jerusalem. When Caliph Umar, one of Muhammad's successors, conquered the Jerusalem of the Christian Byzantines in 638, he insisted that the three faiths of Abraham coexist. He refused to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher when he was escorted around the city by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. Had he done so, he explained, the Muslims would have wanted to build a mosque there to commemorate the first Islamic prayer in Jerusalem.

The Jews found their new Muslim rulers far more congenial than the Byzantines. The Christians had never allowed the Jews to reside permanently in the city, whereas Umar invited 70 Jewish families back. The Byzantines had left the Jewish Temple in ruins and had even begun to use the Temple Mount as a garbage dump.

Umar, according to a variety of accounts, was horrified to see this desecration. He helped clear it with his own hands, reconsecrated the platform and built a simple wooden mosque on the southern end, site of al-Aqsa Mosque today.

Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, built by Caliph Abd al-Malik in 691, was the first great building to be constructed in the Islamic world. It symbolizes the ascent that all Muslims must make to God, whose perfection and eternity are represented by the circle of the great golden dome. Other Islamic shrines on the Temple Mount, which Muslims call al-Haram al-Sharif, the Most Noble Sanctuary, were devoted to David, Solomon and Jesus.

After the bloodbath of the Crusades, when Saladin re-conquered Jerusalem for Islam in 1187, the Jews (barred from the city by the Crusaders) were invited to return, and even the Western Christians, who had supported the crusading atrocities, were allowed back. In the 16th century, Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent permitted the Jews to make the Western Wall their official holy place and had his court architect Sinan build an oratory for them there.

So why the rejectionism that some Muslims in Jerusalem display today? In history, a holy city has always become more precious to a people after they have lost it. In the struggle for survival, the more compassionate traditions tend to get lost. As Muslims the world over feel that Jerusalem is slipping from their grasp, some espouse an intolerance that is far from the Koranic spirit. In an age in which religious atrocity occurs in nearly all faiths, it would be tragic if the Muslim tradition of inclusion and respect were lost to the world.

Karen Armstrong is the author of Islam: A Short History and, more recently, Buddha

Time Magazine,16 April 2001

*************************************************

Omar in Jerusalem

The Caliph left Ali in Medina as his deputy and himself left for Jerusalem. He had only one attendant with him and only one camel to ride. Omar and the attendant rode the camel by turns. It happened to be the servant's turn to ride on the day when they were to reach Jerusalem. "Commander of the Faithful," said the attendant, "I give up my turn. It will look awkward, in the eyes of the people, if I ride and you lead the camel."

"Oh no," replied Omar, "I am not going to be unjust. The honour of Islam is enough for us all."

Abu Obaid, Khalid, Yazid and other officers of the army went some distance to receive the Caliph. All of them were wearing silk cloaks. This made Omar angry. He took some pebbles and threw them at his generals, saying, "Have you changed so much in just two years? What dress is this? Even if you had done this two hundred years from now, I would have dismissed you."

The officers replied, "Commander of the Faithful, we are in a land where the quality of clothes worn tells the rank of a man. If we wear ordinary clothes, we will command little respect among the people. However, we are wearing our arms underneath the silken robes."

This answer cooled down the anger of the Caliph.

Next the Caliph signed the treaty of peace. It ran as follows:

"From the servant of Allah and the Commander of the Faithful, Omar: The inhabitants of Jerusalem are granted security of life and property. Their churches and crosses shall be secure. This treaty applies to all people of the city. Their places of worship shall remain intact. These shall neither be taken over nor pulled down. People shall be quite free to follow their religion. They shall not be put to any trouble..."

The gates of the city were now opened. Omar went straight to the Temple of David (Masjid-i-Aqsa). Here he said his prayer under David's Arch.

Next he visited the biggest Christian church of the city. He was in the church when the time for the afternoon prayer came.

"You may say your prayers in the church," said the Bishop.

"No," replied Omar, "if I do so, the Muslims may one day make this an excuse for taking over the church from you."

So he said his prayers on the steps of the church. Even then, he gave the Bishop a promise in writing. It said that the steps were never to be used for congregational prayers nor was the Adhan [call to prayer] to be said there.

By Prof. Fazl Ahmad who has written many books on Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Caliphs

Chronology of Kg.Buah Pala










‘Golden Statue’ turns out to be dead man

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — A man who returned to retrieve a luggage, said to contain a golden statue in a jungle along Karak Highway on Thursday, was shocked to find a man’s body inside.

Ampang Jaya police chief ACP Abdul Jalil Hassan said scared by the discovery, the man hid the body and only reported it at Bentong police station on Saturday.

He told police that a woman staying in an apartment in Pandan Mewah had asked him to dispose the luggage said to contain a golden statue.

The woman paid the 30 something man from Penang RM100 to dispose the luggage.

“The man disposed the luggage as asked but returned at 5pm the same day to retrieve the ‘golden statue’.”

Abdul Jalil said police then raided the woman’s apartment in Pandan Mewah but found the premise empty.

A check with Immigration Department found that the woman had returned to India with her 8 year-old daughter one day after the body was disposed.

“Police have failed to locate the woman’s husband. We are still waiting for a post-mortem report on the body to ascertain whether it is that of the woman’s husband,” he said. — Bernama

Buah Pala folks turn to court again, to buy time

Joseph Stephen (seated) with other villagers, they are keeping their hopes with their lawyers tomorrow at the high court. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

GELUGOR, Aug 31 — Residents of Kampung Buah Pala are again turning to the courts to prevent the impending demolition of their homes.

Residents Association secretary Joseph Steven Draviam said lawyers representing them will file an injunction at the Penang High Court tomorrow.

“We are all hoping the court will grant us an urgent order on the basis of human rights.”

Joseph said the residents have nowhere to go if their homes are demolished.

The signboard for the village. - Picture by Jack Ooi

The residents have been locked in a battle with the developer and owners of the land and have already lost all previous attempts to get the courts to prevent the demolition of their homes.

The villagers have turned to Umno and the prime minister to intervene in their plight and are hoping the injunction will buy time for a solution to be found.

Developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd has had to abort two previous attempts to demolish the homes due to strong resistance by villagers.

In their last attempted on Aug 13, the developer moved in to demolished the homes after most of the residents rejected the offer of a double-storey house as compensation.

After a tense standoff, a new dateline was set and the homes are scheduled to be demolished tomorrow.

Where will the livestock go? - Picture by Jack Ooi

Meanwhile Joseph, who is among three villagers who were arrested and released by police on Sunday, told the press he has also lodged a police report for what he claims were unlawful detentions.

He said they were arrested for threatening a Bangladeshi worker hired by the developer to demolish their homes on August 4.

However he denies the allegations.

“The state government had intervened on August 4 before the workers could move in to demolish our homes, so there was no reason for us to threaten anyone.”

He added villager M.Sugumaran who was arrested with him, was not even in Penang at the time of the incident but in Kuala Lumpur.

Joseph also questioned the timing of their arrests, pointing out the incident allegedly took place weeks ago.

“We were told to go to the police station to have our statements recorded and then the police decided to arrest us”.

Other residents who heard about the arrest rushed to the Jelutong police station in Georgetown and stopped a police van from taking the trio to city police headquarters in Jalan Patani.

The men were taken back into the police station before being released on police bail two hours later.

Guan Eng is a Master Manipulator - the Chinese Version of an UMNO Leader.

This Q & A is based on media statement made by YB Lim Guan Eng and unreported media statement by the Villagers on Kg Buah Pala Land Scandal These YB Lim Guan Eng Statements can be verified and validated by way of newspaper reporting and the Village Statement can be verified by contacting Mr.Sugumaran/ Selvaraju/ Thamaraj at the Village. It is very unfortunate that some main media chose to edit indiscriminately the truth. Please pass on this email if you wish to help the oppresed by the Government.
Question 1 Reporter: Why did Pakatan Govt issued the Title for the Village Land on 27/3/2008 ?
YB Lim Guan Eng: It was merely admistrative process and it was approved by BN Govt previously.
Villagers: It is true that BN tried to steal Our Land . That is the reason We campaigned and supported DAP to win in Election in 2008 We believed and trusted in DAP YBs promise to save Our Land from Land Scam. We campaigned with Our Heart & Soul to ensure DAP victory and that DAP will save Our Land!!
Question 2 Reporter : Did Pakatan YBs made promises to the Village to save the Land during election??
YB Lim Guan Eng : I did not make any promises to anybody !! Maybe some other YBs did.. but not me!!
Villagers : YB Anwar , YB Karpal, YB Ramasamy.... all these people knew about our village land scam and they promised to save Our Land from Land Scam if they formed the State Government. We have video recordings of their promises!!
Question 3 Reporter : Couldnt the Pakatan Govt save the land from Land Scam??
YB Lim Guan Eng : We couldnt... The BN Govt is the Land Robber... ( declassified the BN EXCO minutes to prove!!)
Villagers : BN EXCO last approval on 25/4/07 should have lapsed and expired in 3 months..ie about 25/8/07!! S.81 National Land Code Further BN had preconditions that the interest and welfare of the villagers to be addressed first before issuance of the title. BN reduced the premium from RM6.4m to RM 3.2m because the compensation payable by the Developer to the Villagers. BN never issued the Title to the Developer because we never accepted any settlement for Our Land during BN times!! When Lim Guan Eng Govt came to power.. they had clean piece of paper to give us Our Land. It was Lim Guan Eng Govt who accepted the premium of RM 2.24 m from the Developer on 14/3/2008. It was Lim Guan Eng Govt who issued the Land Title on 27/3/2008 without addresing our interest! The Developer wouldnt have paid the premium of RM2.24m without fresh approval from Government!! YB Lim Guan Eng should declassify all EXCO minutes including DAP EXCO minutes and document on Our Land!!
Question 4 Reporter : Couldnt Pakatan Govt acquire the Land or try to save the Land???
YB Lim Guan Eng: It wil cost the Govt RM 150m to acquire the Land.. I should think about 1.5m penang people and not about or 24 houses in the village!
Villagers : Mr Derrick Fernandez ( Selangor Pakatan Legal Advisor ) have recommended that Penang Pakatan Government can acquire back & save the Land and need only refund RM3.2m to the Developer in view of the " Restriction of Interest" as at 27/3/2008 on the Land Title and the statement by YB Lim Guan Eng that Pakatan Govt had never approve anything in respect of the Land for Development. Since there is restriction on the land as at 27/3/2008 and Lim Guan Eng Govt did not approve anything... what is stopping Lim Guan Eng Govt from saving the Land worth RM 150m???
Question 5 Reporter : Why dont the State Government consider Mr.Derrick Fernandez proposal to the State ?
YB Lim Guan Eng : There isnt any precedent to support Mr. Derrick proposal.
Villagers : Wouldnt anyone with a reasonable mind who have lost the land worth rm150m would try to save land especially when distinguished lawyer like Mr.Derrick strongly recommends the acquisition and to offer refund only RM3.2m.to the Developer. Mr.Derrick Legal Opinion have yet to be challenged by anyone!!!! Perhaps YB Lim Guan Eng have other arrangement with the Developer???
Question 6 Reporter : Why dont You allow lawyers to represent the Villagers in any negotiation with the State?
YB Lim Guan Eng: I dont want outsiders to influence the villagers.
Villagers : We trusted all the DAP lawyers.. Karpal Singh.. Rayer... look where are we now??? We need independent lawyers to advise and intepret on whatever proposal by the State. We dont want to end up with " Empty Promises" again We are open to negotiate with the State on how to save the land or alternate housing.
Question 7 Reporter : What is the state proposal to the Villagers??
YB Lim Guan Eng : We will offer them RM200,000.00
Villagers : Firstly it is sham offer... Lim Guan Eng claimed that he will try to claim RM 200,000 from the Federal Government for us and he wants us to fight along with him against the Federal Govt!! Secondly We are not interested in any financial offers... We are losing our homes and land!!! The State Government have not filed any documents in Court to save the Land!! We want the State Government to honour their election promises to us.
Question 8 Reporter : The Villagers refused Your offer.. what is the next course of action?
YB Lim Guan Eng: The Villagers are being unreasonable .. they are being influenced by Hindraf & MIC. They are squatters and they should be reasonable.
Villagers : We are poor villagers .. We only want to save our homes... We appreciate any help from anyone in our cause to save our homes let it be Hindraf, MIC, Jerit, PSN, Obviously Pakatan is not interested to help us!!! We are not squatters. Our Land was held under British Title Lot 698 Crown Trust. It was Lim Guan Eng Govt who caused the Court to declare us squatters because it was Lim Guan Eng Govt who issued the Malaysian Title to the Developer on 27/3/2008 without addressing Our interest on the Land BN never replaced Our Land Title nor issued any title to any Developer in their 30 years in Power in Penang even though 3 other Developers have tried since 1970s because none of developer was able persuade us to accept the compensation to settle our interest on the Land held under Lot 698 Crown Trust. Lim Guan Eng Govt owes a duty to explain to the People of Penang on how Our Land held under Lot 698 Crown Trust being replaced by Malaysian Title PT 59 to the Developer on the 27/3/2008!!!
Question 9 ( after meeting villager without their lawyers) Reporter : What is the State Proposal to the Villagers?
YB Lim Guan Eng: Villager are going to get a Double Storey House worth RM 500k .
Villager : It is another sham offer because the offer by the Developer is only stated in 1 1/2 piece paper without any certainty of terms. duration or guarantee by the State. The Developer stated will not guarantee anything in the " so called" offer letter !!! We are being forced to sign the UNFAIR Offer within 24hours with threat of demolition of Our houses in the event we do not sign the offer and vacate peacefully!!! This is a BLACKMAIL!!! All We wanted was the State Government to guarantee the offer and ensure the houses to be built for us. What can we do if the Developer does not build the houses upon completion of the Oasis Project after 3 years? What if the Developer become Bankrupt?? What is our houses are located next to sewage plant?? What if Our houses are made of planks n zinc??
Question 10 Reporter : What is your opinion that the Villager rejected Your offer??
YB Lim Guan Eng : Most accepted the offer . But some of them are unreasonable and greedy!!! Some want RM 3.2 m each!!!
Villagers : Some villagers signed the sham offer out of fear because of the bulldozers demolishing their homes. Principaly the Villagers agreeable to accept the house offers but want the state government to guarantee the Agreement and fine tune the Agreement with definite certain terms and specification and duration. YB Lim Guan Eng is only interested to paint us as Black Sheep in the media to justify his ignorance towards Our plight and suffering. The State should accept our alternative proposal to relocate us to adjecent piece of 2acre Land to resettle Our Village and to maintain the cultural and heritage value of the Village.
Question 11 Reporter : Have you considered the alternative proposal by the Villagers??
YB Lim Guan Eng : Giving Double Storey House is already dangerous precedent for squatters. There is no precedence by BN Govt to relocate the village at alternative land.
Villagers : We were not squatters until the Lim Guan Eng Govt made us to be in Court of Law!!! We have been compromising to resolve the stalement and yet Lim Guan Eng is only interested to play up media to portray us as unreasonable and greedy. We believed that We change the Government to ensure that people are better represented and the corrupted ways of BN will finaly come to end. It is sad that Lim Guan Eng Govt wants to follow BN corrupted precedence and to deny us the adjecent 2 acre state land to resettle our village inspite it caused Our Land to be robbed by the Developer!! We wonder what have happen to DAP Slogan " Let Change It"!!!
Question 12 Reporter : What is your opinion that the Villagers are seeking help from Federal Government?
YB Lim Guan Eng : They are seeking help from those who robbed them. We have tried our best and we shall not dwelve further to negotiate with the villagers.
Villagers : We are seeking help from anyone who wish to help us .... let it be Pakatan or BN.. We are about to homeless.. do we have any option to choose??? We are not stopping Pakatan or DAP YBs to come forward to help us and infact We welcome Pakatan & DAP YBs since they are in power in Penang. We dont understand the reason Pakatan & DAP YBs refused to come to Village and talk to us ... usualy whenever there is BN cruelty.. they will the first and jostling each other in front of the camera to help the weak and the oppressed!!! We are not politicians... We are just poor farmers who want to save our homes.. We are not expert in media stunts and propaganda!!! We have been compromising and willing to negotiate for amicable settlement. Our Village is open to anyone who wish to help us. Lim Guan Eng Govt is government appointed by the people to serve the people. 300 penangnites about to be made homeless !!! Perhaps the glitteries of CM office have disillusioned Lim Guan Eng of his responsibilities to the people.
Guan Eng is a master manipulator. Kampung Buah Pala is the beginning of the unraveling of his hold on his chair. Kampung Buah Pala will begin the exposure of a blatant liar who masquarades as a champion of the Chinese people. He is just another greedy politician - no different from any other . Only he has not been caught ....yet!

1Malaysia on the 52nd Birthday - Laws that act selectively

Hindraf has filed a police report on the 'cow head' protest and urged the police to act swiftly. K Selvam acting for Hindraf lodged the report at the Shah Alam district police headquarters. He was accompanied by 16 leaders and supporters.

"We wonder why the police have yet to take any action against the protesters although they have promised to act swiftly. Until today, nothing has been done," he said.

The act of marching with the cow's head could create racial tension. “They marched about 300 metres with the head....it was seditious and the police did not do anything (to stop them),” he said.

Last Friday, some 50 residents from Section 23 in Shah Alam staged the protest against the proposal to relocate a Hindu temple to their area by carrying the head of a cow by its horns to the State Government Building. Before dispersing, several protesters spat and stomped on the cow's head.

By implications this is clearly inflammatory and provocative, as the cow is a religious symbol of the Hindus - a significant part of the Malaysian populace.

This action should have immediately invited the application of the Seditions Act by the Police -it is expressly for this purpose that this law exists.

Quote "Act 15 SEDITION ACT 1948
Seditious tendency
3. (1) A “seditious tendency” is a tendency — .......
(e) to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia;.....
4. (1) Any person who—
(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do,or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency; shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both

Imagine what would have happenned if a Chinese group in Kedah had taken a head of a pig like this when their slaughterhouse was demolished to the gates of the Government to protest against the act of demolishment..... Just imagine.
I think it would have setoff a tremendous furore across the country and all those involved would have been dealt with summarily and immediately.It would have been seen as a terribly provocative act.......... Compare!

1Malaysia on the 52nd Merdeka day for you.

All this must change - we need a new Malaysia.
A Malaysia bult on Justice.
A Malaysia built on Equality.
A Malaysia we can all equally celebrate.
A Malaysia we can all be equally proud of.

But we are some ways off from all of that. We can only create that Malaysia through struggle. Struggle on issues big and small like this.It is not going to happen easily. All the struggles against injustices like this will push the boundary continuously and we will slowly get there. And we do not stop till we get there.

Viva la Makkal.

Acceptance over Tolerance : The severed head of sacred cow.

By Augustine Anthony

I must thank a local TV Channel for reminding me about the 8 values of 1 Malaysia in their talk show on the 52nd Merdeka Day with Lee Lam Thye (Tan Sri) and Dr. Chandra Muzzaffar as their guests.

Something that one of the hosts said attracted me more than all other insignificant murmurings and mutterings. The body languages of everyone present seem to suggest that one of the 8 values and that is “Acceptance” as opposed to tolerance should be the new approach that all Malaysian should embrace.

A quick check on the prime minister’s website 1Malaysia.com reveals the following:-

“ACCEPTANCE

On the importance of acceptance over tolerance

I think there’s quite a big difference between the two (tolerance and acceptance). I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice. But if you talk in terms of acceptance, it indicates a state of mind that you are embracing something positively. I think it’s important for us to migrate from this concept of mere tolerance to acceptance. Acceptance in the sense that you are ready to accept things. If you’re willing to accept things, if you embrace things willingly, then I think your capacity to look at things in a more positive manner is much better than mere tolerance.”

I am afraid the prime minister though in his heightened consciousness and sharpened conscience endeavors to rebrand and promote a new culture but the prime minister too must understand that there cannot be a universal and total substitute for tolerance by acceptance.

The complexity of a multicultural society complicates the usage, performance and spirit of words and phrases. Some areas are best tolerated as gray area rather than accepting it and we must allow time with an honest reflection to device a mechanism in which there will be mutual respect for each other.

So when the prime minister said that “I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice.” perhaps the prime minister had not considered that it is only a state of physical appearance by a deceptive mental projection that reveals a false sense of visual manifestation of “no choice” and any person who observes the physical state would appreciate and understand that there exists a revolting energy vibrating around the person who is in a state of tolerance and given time this energy would eventually translate into a combined, cumulative and potent force that may translate into mental and physical force sufficient to rebel against the elements that breaks the threshold of tolerance.

The simplistic interpretation of acceptance over tolerance opens up a plethora of colliding questions that touches on personal values on the sophisticated debate between Fate and Freewill.

I can, for now accept something as fate, that a child in birth must meet death in old age but this does not mean that I must sit and accept everything that happens to me that brings me unhappiness and this is where I would like to exercise my freewill to tolerate it for a time until it reaches a critical point of unacceptability in which I must make choices in life to confront it.

I can accept that people kill animals for food but as it is not within my powers to prohibit the killing of animals for sporting purposes like the slaying of bulls by matadors, I can only tolerate it and at the same time display my displeasure in such a way that one day we may reach a critical mass of people to implement an outright prohibition of killing of animals for sporting events.

But my value of killing of animals for a certain purpose may collide with a vegetarian who for now may tolerate killing of animals for food and may engage in the same process above to attain a critical mass for change but until then he too can only tolerate.

Now it brings me to this final analysis of acceptance over tolerance.

Am I now supposed to sit back and accept the conduct of some individuals parading a severed cow head with blood splattered all around it?

No matter how I look at it, either from a religiously sensitive issue to cruelty to animals, one thing is certain and that is, I cannot accept this despicable act. And as it is not within my power to act against the people involved in this uncouth behavior, I could only tolerate it and translate my unacceptability into writings that may eventually draw like minded people into a critical mass that can demand change for mutual respect.

A state of acceptance may give rise to a phenomenon where the strong and powerful are likely to abuse the weak and meek and the weak and meek can do nothing but accept this predicament.
However an environment where there is mutual respect may promote a society in which the strong and powerful are just and fair whilst the weak and meek are protected and secure.