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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DAP makes overture to Hindraf - Malaysiakini

DAP is prepared to make the first move to mend ties with brothers P Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar, who lead the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

National labour bureau chief A Sivanesan said DAP is prepared to meet Waythamoorthy in Singapore, as the latter faces the threat of detention should he return to Malaysia from London where he is living in self-imposed exile.

Sivanesan is confident that the unity talks can succeed if the Hindraf duo can be persuaded to cooperate in this direction.

"I don't mind going the extra mile if we can reunite the Indian (Malaysian) community to form a formidable force," he said.

DAP's change of heart was triggered after its Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan (below) - who is on good terms with the individuals concerned - proposed mediating between three sets of leaders.

NONEThey comprise DAP leaders P Ramasamy, Sivanesan and M Kulasegaran; the Hindraf duo; and former Hindraf leaders V Ganabatirau (now with DAP) and K Vasanthakumar (PKR).

Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar have crossed swords with Ramasamy and Sivanesan over a number of issues, including the demolition of Kampung Buah Pala in Penang, where the DAP leads the Pakatan Rakyat government.

In turn, both DAP leaders had challenged the brothers to declare the accounts for public donations collected in the name of Hindraf.

The movement, which came to prominence after a massive street rally in November 2007, was banned by the government in October 2008. Five of its leaders - including Ganabatirau and Vasanthakumar - were detained under the Internal Security Act, but were released last year.

On Dec 31 last year, Waythamoorth filed a RM100 million defamation suit in the Kuala Lumpur High Court against Ramasamy, Sivanesan, Ganabatirau, Vasanthakumar and six media organisations.

Just yesterday, Sivanesan had dared Waythamoorthy to return home to face cross-examination during the proceedings, rather than 'hide' in London.

Today, he said this is a separat

Dating site for beautiful people expels 'fatties' after holiday weight gain

The dating site said the users can re-apply after they drop weight from excessive holiday eating. The site aims to attract users "tired of meeting unattractive people on the Net."
The dating site said the users can re-apply after they drop weight from excessive holiday eating.

(CNN) -- A dating site that markets itself as an elite community for beautiful people with a "strict ban on ugly people" has axed about 5,000 members for packing on the pounds during the holiday season.

The international site BeautifulPeople.com threw out members after they posted photos "revealing that they have let themselves go," according to a company statement.

"As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," said Robert Hintze, founder of BeautifulPeople.com. "Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded."

The site describes itself as an "elite online club, where every member works the door" -- that is, users can join only after enough members vote them "beautiful" during the 48 hours after their profile is uploaded.

And apparently, enough beautiful people were angry that some members had enjoyed a bit too many treats during the holiday season.

So BeautifulPeople.com sent those flagged members e-mails, according to the company statement, telling them they could register again for the site when the extra pudge was gone.

"We responded to complaints by moving the newly chubby members back to the rating stage. This is the same as having them re-apply," Greg Hodge, managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, said in a statement.

The company said it "expelled" 1,520 users from the U.S., 832 from the U.K., 533 from Canada, 510 from Poland, 425 from Germany, 402 from Italy, 323 from France, 220 from Denmark, 176 from Turkey and 88 people from Russia. In the e-mail, it gave users suggestions for boot camps and workout facilities to get themselves back in shape.

Some gave the site a shot again, hoping fellow users might not see them as the "fatties" others had.

"Their re-applications were reviewed by existing members, and only a few hundred were voted back in. Over 5,000 were rejected," Hodge added.

Hodge admits, and has admitted from the time his company started, that his site may not be fair, but people want to date someone they are attracted to.

"Is it elitist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be," Hodge said when the company started out in 2005. "Is it lookist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be. Is it PC? No, it's not, but it's honest."

And on this site, beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder; only one in five applicants is normally accepted, a company statement said.

Maintaining those standards is what the site is about, Hodge said, and that's why people were expelled.

"Every year we see that some of our members from Western cultures eat and drink to excess over the holidays, and clearly their looks suffer," he said in a statement. "The U.S.A. has been grossly over-indulging since Thanksgiving. It's no wonder that so many members have been expelled from the network. We hope they will be back after shedding the festive pounds."

Di manakah tanah untuk Sekolah Tamil Paya Besar?

LUNAS, 13, Disember – Sekumpulan ahli MIC dan wakil-wakil daripada pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) telah mengadakan demonstrasi secara aman dan meminta Ahli Parlimen Gopala Krishnan agar menunjukkan lokasi tapak untuk sekolah Tamil baru Paya Besar.

Mereka telah berhimpun di hadapan pejabat Gopala Krishnan. Pehimpunan itu telah disertai oleh 50 orang dan diketuai oleh S. Ananthan, Pengerusi MIC negeri Kedah. Beliau mengatakan bahawa Gopala Krishnan seharusnya menunujukkan tapak tanah bagi sekolah tersebut kepada mereka dan bukannya mengeluarkan notis bagi mencabar Pengerusi MIC kebangsaan, Dato Seri Samy Velu.

Beliau juga ingin tahu sama ada Kerajaan Negeri Kedah sememangnya telah memberikan tanah secara percuma untuk sekolah ini. Semalam Gopala Krishnan telah berjanji akan menunjukkan lokasi tanah yang diperuntukkan untuk Sekolah Tamil Paya Besar. Menurut ahli Lembaga MIC Kedah S.Stalin, Gopala Krishnan telah mungkir janji dan tidak menghiraukan mereka. Dia harus mendapatkan tanah secara percuma buat sekolah ini. “Malah beliau juga harus menunujukkan lokasi tapak tanah buat sekolah ini,” kata L.Thiagarajan Ketua Pemuda MIC Kedah dan Ketua- ketua Pemuda Bahagian S.P Saravanan dan M.A. Ramasami.

“Kami tidak akan berdiam diri sehingga sekolah ini mendapat tanah!”, kata Ko.V.Thiagarajan dari Makkal Murasu. “Tiada sesiapa yang harus mencari keuntungan dari segi politik dalam hal ini.”

paya-besar


Tiada meja dan kerusi

LUNAS, 4, Januari - Kekurangan meja dan kerusi di Sekolah Tamil Lunas (Wellesly) yang mempunyai 3 tingkat serta 16 bilik darjah yang telah siap dibina selepas ditangguhkan semenjak 2007 telah menyebabkan rasa tidak puas hati dalam kalangan segelintir ibu bapa. Mereka yang diketuai S.Nilamogan, ahli Parti Kongres India, telah mengadakan satu perhimpunan dengan membawa sepanduk.

Mereka kecewa kerana sempena hari pertama persekolahan bangunan baru sekolah tersebut tidak dibuka. Malah mereka juga menyuarakan masalah kekurangan meja dan kerusi di samping kelewatan pembinaan bangunan baru sekolah tersebut.

Nilamegam menyatakan bahawa Sekolah Tamil ialah masalah kaum India. Jadi masalah sekolah ini harus dilihat sebagai masalah kita semua. Setiap kali Sekolah Tamil menghadapi masalah sebegini Kerajaan tidak harus berat sebelah. Kebanyakan sekolah yang belum siap dibina telah mendapat bekalan meja dan kerusi yang secukupnya tetapi Sekolah Tamil Lunas (Wellesly) yang telah siap dibina pada 19/09/09 masih kekurangan bekalan meja dan kerusi.

“Pada 30/12/2009, Setiausaha Bahagian Pembangunan, Menteri Pelajaran telah berjanji untuk memberikan RM230,000 menerusi telefon dan ia mungkin akan didapati dalam dua minggu lagi”, kata Encik Paramasivam, Ketua PIBG sekolah tersebut.

Menurut Paramasivam dan juga ahli Lembaga PIBG S.Ramasivam, perjanjian pembinaan bangunan baru hanya memberi peruntukan untuk pembinaan bangunan baru sahaja. Menurut dia lagi PIBG telah menyediakan 150 meja dan kerusi dengan perbelanjaan PIBG sendiri sebanyak RM13 ribu. Turut dijelaskan bahawa bekalan meja dan kerusi untuk sekolah ini telah dipohon sejak tahun 2008 lagi.

article-of-tiada-kerusi-and-meja

Kelewatan pembinaan bangunan baru untuk 2 Sekolah Tamil Laporan akan dibuat kepada Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) hari ini.

Kuala Lumpur, 4 Januari - Walaupun diberi tanah dan peruntukan untuk dua buah sekolah di daerah Kemanyan Pahang, isu kelewatan dalam memulakan kerja pembinaan bangunan baru sekolah tersebut akan dilaporkan kepada Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR), kata Mu. Varatharaasu, Ketua Penasihat Persatuan Pengguna Kebangsaan.

Menurutnya lagi, “Saya tidak akan mengundurkan diri atas sebarang ugutan berkaitan dengan isu ini. Kerja pembinaan bagi Sekolah Tamil Ladang Menteri telah dikatakan akan bermula pada 3hb November tahun lepas. Namun sehingga hari ini tidak ada sebarang kerja yang telah dimulakan.

Tapak pembinaan tersebut telah ditumbuhi semak. Selama 29 tahun sekolah ini tidak mempunyai bangunan tersendiri dan yang lebih menyedihkan lagi ialah sekolah ini beroperasi di salah sebuah Sekolah Cina dengan bilangan murid sebanyak 124 orang.

Apakah langkah yang telah diambil oleh pihak yang bertanggungjawab selama ini? Badan Pencegah Rasuah harus menyoal selidik apa yang berlaku ke atas peruntukan yang diberi oleh Kerajaan Negeri untuk sekolah ini.

bpr4

Indians excluded in RM 750 million (99% malay muslim) Felda scheme and RM 6 billion allocation in 2010 for food production (NST and The Star headlines

logo_felda11

RM 750 million allocation for Felda to become Malay-sia’s top food producer by establishing the National Food Warehouse in the short term (2010-2014) and in the medium term (2015-2020) This project is to benefit 40,000 malay muslim settlers and comprising 11,000 to 30,000 new entrepreneurs . This food warehouse project is expected to give settlers an additional income of between RM 500.00 and RM 2,500.00 per month , says UMNOs’ One Malay-sia Prime Minister Najib Razak (NST 1/1/09 at page 2-Special FELDA pullout)

But this One Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib has no inhibitions in almost completely excluding the pre existing Indian plantation workers who were the very first and pioneer rubber tappers and plantation workers in Malaysia since the British Colonial era. In fact these Indians should have been given the first priority in these Felda , Felcra , Risda , Fama and Agropolitan 10 acre agriculture land ownership schemes and the aforesaid 30,000 entrepreneur opportunities.

UMNO most of the times talks about the many “non existent and long term programmes” for the Indians to give them hopes and “empty promises” and keep them going in the meantime. Hardly the short term and medium term programmes as above.

Indians have done extremely well in most other parts of the world with equality and equal opportunities accorded in their host countries.But the Indians are the worst off in Malay-sia the world’s most racist and religious extremist country.

P.Uthayakumar

High Court rules against Orang Asli Christians over village church

By Debra Chong - Tne Malaysian Insider

TEMERLOH, Jan 5 — A group of Orang Asli Christians here today lost a two-year court battle against local and state authorities, seeking basic amenities at their village church.

The High Court here struck out the 2007 suit by a group of Jahut Christians from Kampung Pasu against the Temerloh Land and District Office and the Pahang state government for disconnecting power and water supplies to their village church in Kampung Pasu here.

“The application for a judicial review was dismissed with cost,” Pahang state legal adviser Kamal Azira told The Malaysian Insider.

The amount for cost will be determined by the court later, he said.

Kamal, who was acting for the state and local authorities, said the judge, Datuk Akhtar Tahir, had only given a summary decision in chambers and will supply the written grounds of judgment later.

The government lawyer added that the judge also made a brief reference to Sections 6 and 7 of the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954, which supposedly gives the state authorities the power to gazette an area as “Aboriginal Land.”

Pressed to explain the implication of the court ruling, Kamal, who asked not to be photographed, repeated that the law says “the state authorities are the ones to gazette if an area is [an] Orang Asli area.”

Lawyers for the Jahut Christians told The Malaysian Insider they plan to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya next week.

Home ministry seeks to stay ‘Allah’ ruling

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s ministry has also lodged an appeal against the ‘Allah’ ruling. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — The Home Ministry today filed an application to stay the execution of the High Court ruling that the word “Allah” may be used by the Catholic weekly, The Herald. The application was filed at the High Court Registry here.

Yesterday, the ministry lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal against the ruling. On Dec 31, High Court Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled that pursuant to Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, The Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in respect of instruction and education of the congregation in the Christian religion.

She also said that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, it was an offence for non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” to Muslims to propagate the religion but it was not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to non-Muslims for the purpose of religion.

On Feb 16, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam filed for a judicial review on the use of the word “Allah” in the church’s publications for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2009, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents and claiming that the word “Allah” was not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

The Herald, which is printed in four languages, has been using the word “Allah” as a translation for “God” in its Malay-language section. The word “Allah” is widely used among the indigenous Christian groups in Sabah and Sarawak, most of whom speak Bahasa Malaysia.

The Home Minister had justified the ban on the grounds of national security and to avert misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims. — Bernama

Asri wants guidelines on ‘Allah’ usage

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

Asri backs non-Muslims’ right to use ‘Allah’, but says guidelines are needed. — file pic

GOMBAK, Jan 5 — Influential Islamic scholar Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin urged the government today to draw up reasonable guidelines on the usage of “Allah” among non-Muslims so that “other people’s rights will not be marginalised.”

The former Perlis Mufti said that reasonable guidelines have to be in place to avoid the misuse of “Allah”, but at the same time, people should not be denied their rights to mention God’s name, even though they are not of the Muslim faith.

“The best thing for a government to do in a multi-racial society is to set reasonable guidelines or rules. I feel that in a country, it is not about emotions, it is about how we manage ourselves with proper rules of conduct. Rules need to be drawn up so that people won’t misuse the name of Allah.

“However, at the same time, to absolutely deny a person from mentioning Allah’s name is just not right,” asserted the Islamic scholar.

He reiterated the fact that caution needs to be exercised in this matter, as Arab Christians before this and even Sikhs use the name “Allah” in their worship.

According to him, what needs to be made clear is that “Allah” cannot be used in idol-worship or in any activity which denounces other religions which refer to Allah.

“I mean, if a non-Muslim were to say to a Muslim this, ‘May Allah bless you’. How can you tell that person you cannot say this because you are not a Muslim?

“As long as the name of Allah is used in the right context, non-Muslims should be allowed to say Allah’s name.”

Dr Asri’s remarks come amid PAS’ decision last night to back the Catholic church’s right to use the word “Allah”, with the condition that it cannot be misused or inappropriately addressed.

There was uproar among Muslims last week when the High Court ruled that the Catholic church had a constitutional right to publish the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

The public outcry has resulted in several protests throughout the country, with Umno-led bloggers adding fuel to the fire by starting an online campaign against the ruling via social networking site Facebook.

The government has since decided to appeal the ruling, bowing to demands from Muslim groups who say they fear the ruling would result in confusion and that non-Muslims would abuse the usage of the word “Allah.”

3 soalan bukan Islam untuk ustaz PAS

Wahai ustaz-ustaz PAS sekalian,

Diharap ustaz-ustaz dapat membantu saya dalam mencari jawapan-jawapan terhadap beberapa kebuntuan dan persoalan saya mengenai agama Islam dan juga isu hangat yang sedang dibincangkan sekarang mengenai kalimah Allah.

By Tohkong Mosjid

Untuk makluman ustaz-ustaz, saya pernah membaca buku al-Quran demi memahami intipati saranan ajaran Islam yang dipeluk oleh beribu juta manusia ciptaan Tuhan (Bolehkah saya menggunakan perkataan Allah di sini?). Walaupun pernah membacanya, masih ada banyak perkara yang saya tidak faham mengenai ajaran Islam; mungkin sebab itulah sehingga kini saya tetap tergolong dalam kategori seorang yang kafir.

Soalan 1: Perkara-perkara haram.

Mengapa umat Islam mempunyai perasaan berbeza terhadap perkara-perkara dan benda-benda yang dikelaskan sebagai haram di dalam ajaran Islam? Umpamanya – mengapa umat Islam lebih senang merasa jijik dan mempunyai ketahanan diri yang jauh lebih tinggi terhadap binatang haram seperti khinzir daripada perkara-perkara seperti rasuah, berjudi, berminum arak dan berzina sedangkan perkara-perkara ini sama haramnya di sisi agama Islam?

Adakah fenomena ini berlaku disebabkan budaya kita yang suka untuk membezakan bangsa atau kesilapan proses pengajaran dan penghayatan terhadap agama Islam itu sendiri? Bagaimana ustaz-ustaz sekalian boleh memperbetulkan keadaan ini supaya umat-umat Islam boleh menjauhkan diri dan merasa jijik terhadap benda-benda haram secara sama rata tanpa ada tafsiran tersendiri?

Soalan 2: Persoalan mengenai khutbah.

Di sini saya ingin memberikan satu senario untuk dibahaskan bersama ustaz-ustaz sekalian. Setahu saya, ramai ustaz yang memberikan ceramah agama di masjid-masjid. Persoalan pertama saya, adakah ustaz-ustaz menyediakan khutbah-khutbah itu sendiri ataupun khutbah ini telah disediakan oleh orang lain untuk dibaca ustaz-ustaz sekalian sahaja?

Andai kata jikalau khutbah yang disediakan (sama ada sendiri ataupun orang lain) itu bermasalah dan mempunyai unsur menyeleweng daripada agama Islam, apakah hukum dan tahap dosanya terhadap ustaz-ustaz yang masih sanggup membacanya kepada para hadirin solat sekalian kerana takut dikenakan hukuman manusia seperti penarik-balikan sijil tauliah mereka?

Jika benar perkara di atas berlaku, apakah yang perlu dilakukan oleh ustaz-ustaz untuk mengatasi masalah di atas dalam membendung terlahirnya lebih banyak umat Islam yang berfikiran sempit di dunia ini?

Soalan 3: Kalimah Allah dan nama baik Islam.


Pada pendapat saya, sebuah negara yang majoritinya Muslim perlu sentiasa kelihatan bersih, amanah, cekap dan berintegriti di mata rakyat dan juga dunia. Sebarang kecalaran pada imej negara tersebut akibat amalan rasuah yang berleluasa, kroniisme, nepotisme dan tidak menghormati undang-undang patut dilihat sebagai satu penghinaan besar terhadap nama baik Islam. Sedihnya, sehingga kini tidak banyak pertubuhan gerakan Islam (selain PAS) menggerakkan jentera untuk membantah atau memboikot parti pemimpin yang merosakkan nama baik Islam.

Dalam isu kalimah Allah ini pula, umat-umat Islam negara kita telahpun mula menggerakkan bantahan demi bantahan sekitar negara dengan alasan untuk menjaga kalimah Allah daripada dihina dan disalahgunakan. Semangat “sediakan payung sebelum hujan” di sini amatlah dikagumkan, tapi perkara ini juga amat membinggungkan banyak orang kafir seperti saya, kerana, kebanyakan kami hairan mengapa pula semangat yang membara ini tidak wujud dalam hal isu menjaga nama baik Islam daripada dikaitkan dengan amalan rasuah, kroniisme dan nepotisme yang dipraktikkan secara terang-terangan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin negara kita.

Wahai ustaz-ustaz PAS sekalian,


Mengapa umat Islam tidak pula mempunyai semangat yang membara (seperti semangat yang ditunjukkan dalam mempertahankan kalimah Allah daripada disalahgunakan) terhadap penghinaan terhadap nama baik Islam akibat perbuatan pemimpin-pemimpin Muslim yang jauh menyeleweng daripada ajaran Islam walaupun setelah 29 tahun lamanya? Adakah ini menunjukkan nama baik Islam tidak lebih penting daripada kalimah Allah? Saya rasa sudah tentu tidak, akan tetapi saya tidak tahu di mana silapnya. Adakah ustaz-ustaz sekalian tahu jawapannya?

Sekiranya semangat yang membara dalam menjaga kalimah Allah ini dapat diaplikasikan oleh umat Islam secara sama rata dalam hal penjagaan nama baik Islam daripada diseleweng pemimpin-pemimpin negara yang jahat; sudah pasti kejadian-kejadian seperti kehilangan enjin pesawat, kematian saksi di MACC, bumbung-bumbung bangunan yang sering keruntuhan, skandal kes pembunuhan, pembelian RM42,000 untuk komputer dan katak-katak diutamakan daripada rakyat tidak akan berlaku. Betul tak?

Itulah sahaja soalan-soalan daripada saya pada masa ini. Diharap dapat mendengar jawapan daripada ustaz-ustaz PAS yang sudi menjawab. Saya memohon beribu ampun sekiranya terdapat silap bahasa dan ketelanjuran ayat-ayat saya yang menyinggung perasaan mana-mana pihak.

Buku ilmiah dibawa belayar,
Untuk dibaca mencari tema,
Niat saya mahu belajar,
Bertanya demi muafakat bersama.

Apakah kamu telah lupa amaran Allah?

By Motro (Rain Wonder)
Ingatlah….

Sudah lupa kah kamu wahai orang Melayu, beberapa purnama dulu kamu sekelian menginjak-injak lambang ugama jiran-jiran kamu. Kamu berarak sekeliling kota menunjukan kesombongan kamu. Kamu berkumpul dan berteriak menghina dan meludah kepala haiwan yang tak berdosa.

Nah sekarang, amaran tuhan yang telah kamu pinggirkan menerkam dari segala sudut. Tuhan sedang memerhatikan kita yang terkinja-kinja melenting bila nama Allah boleh di miliki oleh orang lain. Umat Melayu di Malaysia, risau akan disalahgunakan nama Allah itu oleh golongan yang lain. Namun mereka itu bukan orang lain tetapi jiran-jiran mereka juga, sahabat handai mereka juga, rakan taulan mereka juga,mungkin saudara sedarah mereka juga.

Apakah sekarang mereka sedar perasaan jiran,sahabat mereka dahulu yang pernah diperlekehkan oleh segerombolan manusia Melayu songsang yang sanggup memijak kepala haiwan yang tak bernyawa. Walaupun setakat ini belum lagi ada berbuat begitu terhadap nama Allah, belum lagi yang menghina nama Allah, belum lagi ada yang menginjak-injak kan nama Allah, tetapi umat Melayu melenting bagai monyet di cucuh puntung rokok.

Dalam kitab yang kamu sanjungi, Al Quran, jelas dan nyata melarang kamu menghina tuhan orang lain. Telah juga disebut dalam Al Quran apa yang bakal kamu terima jika kamu berbuat demikian, namun atas kebodohan, kesombongan dan kedegilan segerombolan manusia Melayu, bahana nya diterima oleh seluruh umat Islam. Sekarang , nah!.... balasan tuhan itu dihadapan kamu semua. Angkara secubit Melayu yang buta hati pada Quran, sekawah Melayu yang merasa hangatnya.

Baliklah lah kamu kepangkal, buka lah Al-Quran, jika amaran dan balasannya telah tertera jelas di dalamnya, cari lah penawarnya, cari lah antidotnya didalam kitab Allah itu. Jangan lah lagi kamu bertekak menyalahkan orang lain, lihat kedalam diri kamu, carilah didalam hati kamu, perincikan lah isi Al Quran itu agar terungkai kekusutan ini.

Orang Melayu di Malaysia penuh dengan bijak pandai ugamanya, politiknya, hujahnya. Janganlah pula kamu mencari dan menjurangkan lagi perbezaan yang ada diantara fahaman ugama. Janganlah lagi dicari kurangnya i’tikad ugama lain, janganlah lagi dicari silapnya ugama lain kerana bukan itu caranya menegakkan yang hak, bukan itu caranya berdakwah. Jika itu juga yang dibuat, ingatlah pesan Allah tentang ugama mu urusan mu, ugama mereka urusan mereka.

Realitinya….
Isu perkataan Allah kini seperti dipermainkan oleh satu pihak. Ucapan-ucapan provokasi sengaja di siarkan supaya jadi hangat. Media kerajaan sedang memainkan isu sensitif secara tak bertanggungjawab. Ada orang cuba menangguk di air keruh. Pemimpin Melayu UMNO sudah mengarahkan pencacai mereka mencanang-canang kan isu ini. Media suruhan sudah mula memalukan gendang perang saraf.

Apakah kerajaan tidak dapat melihat isu itu boleh didebatkan secara harmoni, intelektual dan akademik. Apa kah pihak TV kerajaan terlalu terdesak mengambil hujah dan pandangan yang bersifat emosi. Nampak gayanya ada orang yang nampak dia boleh dapat keuntungan dalam hal ini. Keuntungan politik. Perkara ini dilihat dan diputar-putarkan dalam konteks Melayu-Islam saja.

Jeyovah,Yahoo,Yahweh… apakah Itu. Perkataan itu merujuk kepada Siapa? Tak salah kalau ada Muslim mengatakan “Yahweh” kamu itu ialah “Allah” aku. Sebab mereka percaya, Yahweh itu tuhan Nabi Ibrahim,Nabi Musa,Nabi Yusuf, Nabi Isa.

Kita takut dengan bayang-bayang. Kita takut orang Islam terkeliru kerana penggunaan berganda. Mengapa kita tak fikir kita ada kelebihan sebab orang lain sudah mengakui Tuhan kita adalah tuhan mereka juga. Yang berbeza pada mereka ialah secara teknikal. Bukan kah lebih mudah kita hendak menerangkan Islam pada mereka dalam keadaan mereka mengakui Allah itu tuhan. Mengapa kita fikir kita yang “at lower side”. Tak boleh kah kita fikir kita yang berada di “upper side”. Apa fasal kita pula yang takut tentang isu perkataan “Allah”. Takut terkeliru, terseleweng, penggunaan yang salah.
Cuba kita kunyah-kunyah ini:Selama ini para pendakwah Islam berusaha menyampaikan Allah itu ialah tuhan, sekarang mereka yang bukan Islam beria-ia hendak mengaku yang Allah itu tuhan, kita pula cuba nak halang.
Oleh sebab mereka dah mengaku Allah itu tuhan, bukan kah dengan itu lebih senang kalau hendak memperjelaskan apa maksud Allah itu maha esa.
Ini lah sifat tipikal orang Melayu, orang tak nak, dia nak bagi. Bila orang nak dia pula tak nak bagi.

“Perkataan Allah itu eksklusif untuk orang Islam saja”. Satu komen yang keluar di kaca TV. Saya rasa komen itu memalukan umat Melayu atau umat Islam di Nusantara yang berjumlah ratusan juta ini.
Kawan saya berugama Hindu menyebut “Inshallah” bila saya minta dia jumpa saya esok hari. Saya rasa bangga dan terharu seolah dia dah faham benar apa maksudnya. Dan saya tahu nada yang di sebut bukan menghina. Dia serius.

Kawan saya Cina menyebut “Alhamdulillah”, bila sendawa sesudah makan. Bukan niat berjenaka tapi spontan sebab sudah terikut-ikut mendengar kawan Melayu yang lain menyebutya.

Terhina kah nama Tuhan?

Tidak! sama sekali tidak. Bukan kah dia sudah setapak mengenali Allah dan Islam jika dibandingkan dengan kawan seagama yang tak pernah menyebutnya?

KONTROVERSI KEGUNAAAN KALIMAH "ALLAH"


1. Ingin saya terangkan secara lebih terperinci pendapat saya berkenaan kegunaan kalimah "Allah" untuk agama yang bukan Islam.

2. Sebenarnya kontroversi ini bermula di waktu saya masih Perdana Menteri. Pendapat Kabinet pada masa itu ialah kegunaannya dalam kitab Injil adalah perkara yang sensitif. Perkara yang sensitif seperti ini tidak boleh diselesaikan dengan hanya merujuk kepada undang-undang.

3. Sebagai perbandingan agak mudah dirujukkan perkataan "kaum pendatang" kepada mahkamah, Tetapi ia adalah sesuatu yang sensitif yang tidak dapat diselesaikan oleh undang-undang.

4. Penyelesaian kontroversi berkenaan kalimah "Allah" juga tidak boleh dicapai dengan membuat rayuan kepada mahkamah rayuan. Undang-undang tidak mengambilkira soal sensitif atau tidaknya sesuatu, soal mencetuskan ketegangan dan permusuhan antara penganut-penganut agama yang berlainan. Undang-undang mengutamakan maksud undang-undang sahaja.

5. Sebenarnya kalimah "Allah" tidak terdapat dalam kitab Taurat atau Talmud Hebrew atau kitab Injil Kristian dalam bahasa Latin, Greek atau bahasa-bahasa Eropah. Nama bagi Tuhan dalam bahasa yahudi ialah "Yahweh", yang diterjemahkan kepada bahasa Inggeris sebagai "Jehovah".

6. Dalam kitab Injil, Jesus (Isa) dan God adalah sama. Tidak ada kalimah Allah dalam kitab Injil dalam bahasa-bahasa yang disebut di atas.

7. Dalam usaha menerangkan agama Kristian di kalangan orang Islam atau masyarakat yang mahir dengan agama Islam, perkataan God diterjemah kepada "Allah" supaya mudah difaham oleh pendengar.

8. Mungkin juga kalimah "Allah" dapat menyamakan agama Kristian dengan agama Islam kerana menyembah Tuhan yang sama. Dengan ini penerimaan agama Kristian oleh orang Islam boleh jadi lebih mudah. Terjemahan ini salah. Sepatutnya perkataan "Tuhan" digunakan untuk God.

9. Tetapi dalam agama Kristian terdapat konsep "Trinity" yang mana terdapat "God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost". Jika dalam bahasa Melayu terdapat dalam kitab Injil atau syarahan berkenaan "Allah sebagai Bapak, Allah sebagai Anak dan Roh yang Suci", maka tentulah ini akan ditentang oleh orang Islam. Dalam Islam Allah tidak ada bapak, tidak ada anak. Ia tidak dilahirkan dan Ia tidak melahirkan sesiapa. Allah hanya satu. Ia tidak boleh disekutu dengan sesiapa.

10. Di Amerika Syarikat, orang Kristian yang sudah tidak teguh iman biasa berkata dan menulis, "God is dead". Apakah perasaan orang Islam apabila ini diganti denagn "Allah is dead"?

11. Di Semenanjung Malaysia kita tidak pernah mendengar orang Kristian menggunakan kalimah "Allah" apabila bercakap berkenaan God dalam bahasa Melayu. Kenapa pula kita sekarang akan mengguna kalimah ini?

12. Saya harap pihak Kerajaan berhati-hati dalam perkara ini supaya negara berbilang agama yang aman ini tidak menjadi tegang dan tidak stabil secara berterusan. Wallahua'lam.

The new social contract

By Chan Kheng Hoe
thenutgraph.com

MALAYSIANS are constantly reminded of our social contract. As the story goes, some time before 1957, founding leaders from three communities (only three, no others) signed up to this arrangement on how we ought to live together in this land previously known as Tanah Melayu. The terms of the arrangement were simple enough: Malays get special rights in exchange for non-Malays getting citizenship. No lawyer was needed.

But I think all this social contract talk is a load of ______ (please fill in the blanks). The original concept promulgated by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau may have been useful for its time, within an agrarian society, but seems far-fetched in today's digital, borderless and globalised world.

Just look at the case of modern Malaysia. While the social contract may have sounded good on paper, if at all it was written on any paper, it did not meet the developing sociopolitical needs of the young nation. Malay Malaysians soon found themselves to be economically wanting, while non-Malay Malaysians went on to conduct all kinds of undesirable activities like earning money and getting rich. The economic disparity culminated in the racial riots of 1969, which in legal parlance would be an event of force majeure — something that would have allowed the social contract to be suspended.

Renegotiation

Thank goodness it was not suspended. Otherwise, non-Malay Malaysians may have suddenly found themselves packed like sardines on a boat to Medan, Indonesia. Instead, our wise leaders of 1969 decided to re-negotiate the social contract. Lo and behold, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was born.

The NEP was intended to be temporary. But consequently, what was planned to be temporary in 1969 became very much a fixture up until 2010. That has become a point of grievance for many, even among some Malay Malaysians.

To address the unhappiness some have felt, alternative forms of social contracts have been offered to the Malaysian citizenry. PAS offers Islam as the new social contract — accept Islam and be an equal citizen, so say some factions in PAS. The DAP, on the other hand, offers a Malaysian Malaysia. Brown, yellow, black or any other skin colour does not matter, so long as you carry a blue IC and a red passport.

Then, there is the "new deal" for Malaysia espoused by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. This man's a genius, because he has somehow managed to get PAS and the DAP to sit together at the same table, even if they face opposite directions at times. With the marriage of PKR, PAS and the DAP, we now get a "not fully Malaysian Malaysia, Islamic yet meritocratic, unfortunately no catchy name yet, but '1Malaysia' would have been good" policy offered to us by the Pakatan Rakyat.

And then there is 1Malaysia. Few have figured out what it actually is, so I will refrain from commenting on it. Suffice to say that 1Malaysia is different from the DAP's Malaysian Malaysia, because apparently under 1Malaysia you can still walk around town with a severed cow head and threaten abuse.

Redefinition

The thing is today, nobody needs to submit to our social contract in order to come to our shores. Instead, it is our government pleading for people to come to Malaysia. Hence, we have the Malaysia My Second Home programme. We send delegations overseas to seek foreign direct investments. We have an entire government ministry dedicated to tourism. We implore overseas Malaysians who are surgeons, doctors, biotechnology experts and who-knows-who-else to come home. We even welcome construction workers and domestic helpers because without them, our economy would simply not be able to function.

Frankly, the nation-state is no longer about individuals contracting to live together in a community. Instead, it is about people with talent, capital and ideas contracting directly with the government to bring these assets into the country. These people demand tax breaks, pioneer status and government grants, and the government actually gives in.

The point is, in the original concept of a social contract, individuals gave up their rights to participate in society. Today, governments bend over backwards to attract investments, tourists, talents, capital and ideas. Property is no longer limited to real, as in royal, property, owned ultimately by the sovereign. Instead, we use paperless money to buy paperless shares, and those who gather the most money or shares get to dictate government policies.


(Silhouette by CMSeter / sxc.hu)

In today's social contract, it is not the citizenry who have to behave themselves in exchange for the benefits of society such as peace, security, infrastructure or amenities. Instead, it is the government which must behave by governing properly, acting reasonably, and imposing reasonable taxes, in order that it, the government, may enjoy the benefits of foreign investment, a substantial talent pool, and a contented constituency. These are ultimately what would permit the government to sustain itself. If the government misbehaves, well, there are more than 150 other governments around the world vying for capital, talents and ideas.

Today, it is individuals who are sovereign. These individuals do not sit on thrones or wear crowns. They don't carry any royal insignia or wear any regal paraphernalia. Instead, they are simply armed with capital, talent and ideas. With these three, any government in the world can be brought to its knees.

Welcome to the social contract of the 21st century.

PAS: Allah Can Be Used By Non-Muslims But Do Not Abuse

From Harakah Daily

After a special meeting to discuss a recent controversial court ruling, PAS has decided to reiterate its stand that the use of the word Allah by Christians was not against Islam and in accordance with the federal constitution which guarantees religious freedom.

“As a responsible Islamic body, PAS is ready to explain this issue to all parties in order to ensure a harmonious environment that is based on the principles of fairness such as is guaranteed in the constitution and by Islam itself,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said in a statement issued after a three-hour long discussion.

He also called on all parties not to politicise the matter as this could threaten the peace among the different religious groups in the country.

“We would like to state that based on Islamic principles, the use of the word Allah by the people of the Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity and Judaism, is acceptable,” Hadi said. “PAS strongly objects to any aggressive and provocative approach that can lead to tension in society.”

He was referring to the emotional outbursts from some Umno-back NGOs, who have threatened to hold mass demonstrations at mosques throughout the country if a recent landmark court decision was not reversed. A slew of Umno leaders including Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and former Selangor mentri besar Khir Toyo have led the storm of protests, condemning the ruling as an ominous development for Muslims and Malays.

But do not misuse or abuse

In a bid to appease these groups, Prime Minister Najib Razak has promised to appeal last week’s High Court decision overturning a Home Ministry’s ban on a Chistrian magazine the Herald – to use Allah to describe God in its Malay language section. The appeal was filed on Monday.

On Sunday, PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat had told reporters that the word Allah was not exclusive to Muslims and it was acceptable for non-Muslims to say and use it. However, he was worried there might be abuse in its usage and invited Christian leaders to a meeting to sort out these concerns.

Hadi again stressed the usage of Allah must not be misused or abused or it will affect racial and religious harmony in the country.

Also present at Monday’s meeting of the political bureau, which was also attended by central committee members, were deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, vice presidents Salahudin Ayub and Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, secretary-general Mustafa Ali and head of women’s wingUstazah Nuridah Salleh.

Mah is judicial commissioner

Image The New Straits Times

By V. Anbalagan

PUTRAJAYA: Former Bar Council chairman Mah Weng Kwai has been appointed a judicial commissioner.

He took his oath of office before Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria at the Palace of Justice here yesterday. Also present were Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff.

Mah has been posted to the new commercial High Court in Jalan Duta and began his duty yesterday.

His appointment is among the measures taken by the judiciary to appoint experienced officials to help clear the backlog of criminal and civil cases.

Mah was in private practice for a year after he was called to the Bar in 1972 then joined the judicial and legal service the following year.

He had worked as magistrate, Sessions Court judge, deputy public prosecutor, senior federal counsel, court registrar and senior assistant parliamentary draftsman in the Attorney-General's Chambers before returning to private practice in 1985.

He was a Bar Council president from 2001 from 2003 and president of Law Asia for two years from 2006.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said the legal fraternity was proud of Mah's appointment as it reflected the judiciary's recognition of the Bar.

"We welcome Mah's appointment as he has the reputation of being independent, diligent and competent, " he said, adding that Mah' s previous experience was an asset to the Bench.

Monorail for Jaipur? - Anil Netto

Just spotted these news items here and here on MRails International Sdn Bhd’s reported involvment in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state in India. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

Notice the reference to Penang.

Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Monorail Company is reportedly considering filing for “Chapter 11 bankruptcy”.

A church in Java, Indonesia

Dubai opens world's tallest tower - Al Jazeera


The building's opening is seen as part of an effort to salvage Dubai's reputation

Dubai has opened the world's tallest building as the emirate tries to re-establish some of the optimism it experienced prior to its financial crisis.

Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, on Monday inaugurated the tower - originally called Burj Dubai - as Burj Khalifa in honour of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the president of the United Arab Emirates.

At a height of 828 metres, Burj Khalifa soars over its nearest rival - the Taipei 101 in Taiwan which rises to only 508 metres.

Dubai, one of seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has gained a reputation for excesses with the creation of man-made islands shaped like palms and an indoor ski slope in the desert.

But the emirate suffered a real estate crash at the end of 2008 when the global financial crisis hit.

Investor confidence was badly dented again in November when the emirate's largest conglomerate announced it planned to delay debt repayments.

Burj Khalifa's opening is seen as a positive start to the year and analysts believe Dubai's financial troubles have not hurt sales of the approximately 1,100 residential units in the "super-scraper".

Higher and higher

The Burj, which was developed by Emaar Properties, is believed to have cost $1.5bn and taken about 12,000 labourers to build.

The Burj Khalifa in numbers
Burj dubai comparison
Click image to enlarge

828m - height
57 - number of lifts
169 - number of floors
1,044 - number of apartments
31,400 - tonnes of steel used
330,000 - cubic metres of concrete used
$1.5bn - estimated cost
95 km - the distance it can be seen from
10C - cooler at the top than the bottom
158 - floor where "highest" mosque is planned
76 - floor of "highest" swimming pool
12,000 - number of labourers who toiled
$5 - daily wage of a labourer
$3m - price of a 80th floor one-bedroom apartment in 2008

"The message is very simple ... we build for tens of years to come," Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Dubai's Emaar properties, said.

"Crises come and go and the world has gone through two years of difficult times," he said. "I hope that this is the beginning of a gradual move forward."

Bill Baker, the building's structural engineer, said Emaar kept pushing the design of the the tapering metal-and-glass spire higher.

"We weren't sure how high we could go," Baker, who works for Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said.

"It was kind of an exploration ... a learning experience."

However, the building has come in for criticism over the treatment of labourers during its construction, its environmental impact and the signals it sends in a time of financial crisis.

"Nobody knows where the planning hubris of the sheikhs will lead," Christian Baumgart, the president of Germany's architect's association, said.

"One thing is sure though: what has become a glass and ferroconcrete desert hardly represents a sustainable contribution to building practices around the world."

Real estate bubble

At their peak, some apartments in the Burj were selling for more than $1,900 per square foot, though they now can go for less than half that, according to Heather Wipperman Amiji, chief executive of Dubai real estate consultancy Investment Boutique.

Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan, reporting from Dubai, said that about 95 per cent of the real estate in the tower was sold three years ago.

"That was at the top of the market and the real estate bubble has well and truly burst since then, so as for how many people will actually move in no one really knows," he said.

"Obviously most of those people were speculators who were never planning to move in."

Besides luxury apartments and offices, the Burj will be home to a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.

The Burj is the centrepiece of a more than two kilometres squared development that officials hope will become a new central residential and commercial district.

It is flanked by dozens of smaller but brand-new skyscrapers and the Middle East's largest shopping mall.

PAS tolak tindakan agresif dan provokatif

HRP Secretary-General P. Uthayakumar left for New Delhi for the annual Pravasi Bharathiya Divas (World Indian Diaspora)

HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY MALAYSIA

NO.6, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: 03-2282 5241 Fax: 03-2282 5245 Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Media Statement (4/1/2010)

Human Rights Party Protem Secretary-General P. Uthayakumar left for New Delhi for the annual Pravasi Bharathiya Divas (World Indian Diaspora) Conference to be held from the 7th to the 9th of January 2010.

On 6th January 2010 at 4.30 p.m Mr. Uthayakumar would speak at the New Delhi Bar Meeting to be held at the New Delhi Supreme Court and which would also be attended by retired judges, lawyers and academics.

On 7th January 2010 at this Pravasi Bharathiya Divas (World Indian Diaspora) Conference which is to be opened by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, HRP would be revealing their annual “Malaysian Indian Minority Human Rights Report 2009″ entitled “Malaysia truly racist”.

Thereafter Mr. P. Uthayakumar is expected to meet senior officers from the office of the Indian Prime Ministers Department, External Affairs Ministry, Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry, Law and Justice Ministry and the Opposition Leaders, and also present this 2009 Human Rights report to those officials.

S.JAYATHAS

HRP Information Chief.

Malaysia Protests

PKR Selangor - No to Kg. Medan poor Indian squatters flats

PKR Selangor - No to Kg. Medan poor Indian squatters flats

This is the plight of the poor Indians in Kg. Medan who on 8th March 2007 were attacked and killed for 15 days in a row by mobs allegedly linked to Umno, for some political reason.

But now even under the PKR government of Selangor, their plight remains the same. They have been ignored and not been given low cost flats.

P. Uthayakumar

Protem Sec-Gen, Human Rights Party

pkr-selangor

Perak Umno wings protest ‘Allah’ ruling, asks for royal intervention

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Jan 4 — Perak Umno’s three wings said Muslims have exclusive rights to use the word ‘Allah’ and are asking for royal intervention to reverse a controversial High Court ruling that has the country’s majority Muslims in an uproar.

The Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings have pleaded to the Yang diPertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers, as the country’s leaders of Islam, to step in over the Catholic weekly Herald’s right to use the word to describe the Christian God in its national language edition for a section of the 850,000 Catholics in the country.

The leaders claimed that if all legal avenues were exhausted, the Conference of Rulers would be the only recourse left available to save the word ‘Allah’ from being misused by other religions.

They claimed that Muslims should have exclusive rights to the use of the word “Allah” by virtue of the fact that ‘Allah’ was not a general term but was specific in nature.

Additionally, despite claiming that the matter was non-political in nature, the Malay nationalist party also appeared to be cashing in on the situation to garner the support of all Muslims, regardless of which party their allegiances lay.

Perak Umno Youth chief Maslim Sham Razman told a joint press conference at the party headquarters here this evening that this was the “one time” that all Muslims and Malays should stand united in protecting what was rightfully theirs.

“We should all come together, regardless of the differences in our political beliefs because this affects us all.

“We need to protect the word 'Allah' from being used by others wrongfully,” he said.

He added that the general fear was that by allowing other religions to use the word 'Allah' as a Malay translation to their reference of God, confusion would occur amongst the young Muslims.

“We do not mean to insult those of the other religions or stop them from practicing their religions freely. We just feel that our religion and the word 'Allah' should not be insulted or have its holiness outraged in this manner,” he said.

Maslim noted that the issue had raised much anger amongst the Muslims and hence, should be settled once and for all as soon as possible.

Perak Umno Wanita chief Datuk Rusnah Kassim echoed this view and said that the wing was very disappointed with the High Court ruling.

“We feel that such a decision may not have an immediate effect in the short run but in the long run, it would definitely cause much confusion amongst out youths.

“For us, the name 'Allah' is a very special one and it is not a general word that can be used to refer to something. For example, the word 'flower' is a general word but a 'rose' refers to specific type of flower.

“It is the same with the word 'Allah',” she said.

Rusnah added that the High Court decision would also give birth to the beginning of the culture of infringing on rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“It is a subtle way of allowing other religions to preach what is right and wrong in Islam. We do not want this to happen,” she said.

Rusnah also said the High Court ruling was not reflective of the values in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's 1 Malaysia concept.

“In 1 Malaysia, we learn of 'acceptance' which is a value that all Malaysians should follow. This means that all races need to accept the reality that Islam is Malaysia's official religion.

“All communities must know that Allah is for the Muslims,” she said.

Rusnah appealed on behalf of the wing for the Home Ministry to exhaust all legal avenues to appeal against the High Court's decision and should this fail, the Conference of Rulers should step in to intervene.

“Furthermore, we would also like to appeal for a law to be passed to state that the word 'Allah' is exclusively the rights of the Muslims and no other.

“We do not mean this as an insult to the other races but we just want what is ours to be protected and not misused,” she said, adding that the wing had no intention to take to the streets to voice its dissatisfaction.

When questioned if the stand of the three wings on the matter would give the general public and the world the perception that the party was being backward and old-fashioned in it beliefs, Rusnah forcefully disagreed.

She noted that it was true that in other countries like in Indonesia and Arab, those of other religious beliefs used the word “Allah” to refer to their gods.

“But in Malaysia, the context is different. In Arab and Indonesia, a smaller percentage of their population are actually Muslims.

“Here in Malaysia, this is our akidah (belief) and it is not a question of that this issue goes against our religion per se but on the fact that this belief has been held on to for so many years, so why is it being questioned today?” she said.

For the Perak Umno Puteri, its leader Salbiah Mohamed said that if those of other religious beliefs were allowed to refer to their Gods as 'Allah', it would make it seem like Islam was no different from the other religions.

“This is what will cause the confusion,” she said.

Meanwhile, state Umno veteran secretary Muhamad Mukhtar Asli, who was also present in the press conference, alleged that the Christians had some other “agenda” up their sleeves for wanting so badly to use the word 'Allah' in its Catholic weekly.

“I do not want to harp on this matter but for years, we as Muslims have not questioned the Christians in their practices and suddenly today, they are so insistent on using the word 'Allah' in their publication. Why is this? They must have some other agenda,” he said.

He added that the Conference of Rulers should dictate that any and all matters pertaining to Islamic issues should never be questioned by others, even by the courts.

Dr Asri says Muslims should not object if ‘Allah’ is used to refer to God

By Leslie Lau - The Malaysian Insider
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Influential Islamic scholar Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin stepped into the “Allah” controversy today by pointing out that Muslims should not protest against non-Muslims using the word “Allah” to describe God.

“Man should refer to the one true God as Allah. This proves the teachings of Islam in referring to God as Allah. Therefore all of mankind regardless of their religion should say that Allah has created the world, that Allah tells us to do good and so on.

“These words are the truth. It is not appropriate for a Muslim to protest when he hears a non-Muslim says such things,” he wrote in a posting on his blog today.

Mohd Asri’s remarks come amid an uproar among some Muslims over last week’s High Court ruling that the Catholic church had a constitutional right to publish the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

The government has decided to appeal the ruling today, bowing to demands from Muslim groups who say they fear the ruling would result in confusion and that non-Muslims would abuse the usage of the word “Allah.”

Mohd Asri, who is also the former Perlis Mufti, suggested guidelines instead for the use of the word “Allah”.

He said that the word “Allah” could not be used except to refer to the one, true God. Therefore stones or idols could not be referred to as “Allah”.

The Islamic scholar said that if non-Muslims accept that Allah is the one true God and refer to Allah in their worship then Muslims cannot interfere in the matter of other religions.

“Even though in Islam we dispute their faith but the freedom of worship is the right of every religion,” he said.

However, he pointed out that non-Muslims should not be allowed to use the word “Allah” to propagate in such a way which insults Islam, such as to joke or to tease the name of God.

“Non-Muslims should also not manipulate the teachings of Islam by using the word Allah as bait. Action must be taken against such provocative acts,” he said, adding that using the word “Allah” in polite and respectful conversation between Muslims and non-Muslims was also acceptable.

Mohd Asri’s comments come after Father Lawrence Andrew, the priest who edits the Catholic paper, Herald, reassured Malaysians that the church was not on any campaign to convert Muslims.

“There are allegations we’re trying to convert Muslims. We’re not doing that,” Lawrence told The Malaysian Insider in a phone interview this afternoon.

“You cannot use the word ‘Allah’ anyhow. We have to use it accordingly,” he stressed and repeated his earlier explanation from Dec 31, just after the High Court ruled that the Catholic church had a constitutional right to publish the word “Allah” and overturned the home minister’s ban.

Mahfuz: ‘Allah’ issue is Umno’s political diversion

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar (left) entered into the raging debate over Catholic weekly Herald’s use of the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia edition, saying it was an attempt by Umno to divert the people’s attention from other pressing issues.

The Pokok Sena MP said the heated discussion on the issue in the newspapers and online forums have distracted Malaysians from focusing on issues such as the stolen RMAF jet engines and the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

“We can see clearly, the print media which comes under the control of the Home Ministry, led by Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the electronic media continue to take advantage of the issue,” Mahfuz said in a statement released here today.

He also questioned why the Home Affairs Ministry did not appeal immediately against the High Court’s Dec 31 decision allowing the Herald to use the word ‘Allah’ to describe the Christian God.

“I believe when the debate gets out of control, when Umno is seen as the champion of Islam, an appeal will be made to reverse the high court’s decision,” Mahfuz noted.

“Umno will then proclaim itself as the defender of Islam,” he added.

Mahfuz also urged Muslims to remain calm, adding that their concern should also be addressed by formulating a guideline on the use of the word ‘Allah’.

“Most importantly, all Islamic institutions must strengthen their dakwah work to all Muslims to avoid the confusion that may be caused by the use of the word Allah

“I hope all Muslims and people of other faiths will not walk into the trap laid by Umno and BN,” he added.

The controversy first erupted early last year when the Roman Catholic church applied for a judicial review of the Home Ministry’s directive to not to use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in Bahasa Malaysia in its publication.

The court’s decision last Thursday was followed by series of protests by Muslim groups across the country.

Both the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had urged the people to stay calm as the government will appeal against the decision. The PAS central committee is to meet tonight to formulate its official stand on the issue following differing opinions among some of its leaders.

Are the engines in Latin America or Iran?



First it was Argentina. Now it is Uruguay. What if they were not really stolen as alleged? What if they were actually sold with the full knowledge of the then Minister of Defense? And what if they are now in Iran as what was originally planned? Would this not make the US very unhappy? And would Malaysia then not have to pretend that they were stolen and not sold with the government’s knowledge and blessing?

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Only rank-and-file personnel and not senior military officers were involved in the theft of the two engines of F-5E jet fighters of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said today (4 January 2010).

He said the decision on whether to charge those involved in the incident would be made "in the very near future".

He also said that all efforts would be made by the government to recover as soon as possible the two missing engines, last traced to Uruguay.

"We are now engaging into mutual legal assistance procedures with certain countries in trying to get those engines back," he told reporters.

Abdul Gani said the police had completed their investigation into the missing engines, which revealed that they were sent to an address in Subang Jaya, Selangor, on Dec 30, 2007 and Jan 1 last year.

"The military realised the loss only on May 22, 2008 and, when they found out, they proceeded with the investigation and then on Aug 4, 2008, a police report was made.

"On May 4, 2008, a container carrying the engines was shipped abroad and we traced it to Argentina, and from Argentina, the engines were offloaded onto another ship to Uruguay," he said.

Abdul Gani said Interpol was aware of the case, and added that he believed that the United States was also aware, based on the published reports.

Asked about the buyer of the engines, Abdul Gani said he could not say anything about that because the investigation for their recovery was still going on.

Asked how much the actual cost of an engine was, he said one should be realistic about it as the jets were bought in 1975. - Bernama

Raja Petra May Be Charged For Allegedly Using Foreign Passport - Attorney General

Bernama -- Malaysia Today portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin may be charged for using a foreign passport to leave the country if a report is lodged against him, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Abdul Gani, who was asked whether it was possible to charge the blogger had he been found using a foreign passport to flee the country last year, however, did not confirm if such report was made.

“We have to consider (charging Raja Petra) if there is a report lodged against him and investigations conducted from the report made,” he told reporters here today.

Abdul Gani said the important thing now was to get hold of Raja Petra first, before re-charging him.

“You don’t simply charge a person when you can’t get him. When you are sure of getting the person, then you proceed. Since the court granted him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, he can face the same charges when he is back in the country,” he said.

He said the government was still in the process of identifying the location of Raja Petra and once located, proper applications would have to be made in accordance with the respective country, to bring him back to Malaysia and face charges.

Raja Petra was alleged to have used a passport from a neighbouring country to flee to Britain and the Immigration authorities had confirmed that there is no record of him passing through its checkpoint.

Raja Petra went missing after two warrants of arrest were issued for failing to attend court hearings on April 23 and May 23, for publishing seditious words and defaming Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, on his portal, www.malaysia-today.net

The Sessions Court later granted him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on Nov 11 and 13, as the police were yet to serve the warrant of arrest on him.

RPK pengecut or MACC pengecut?



My client informs me that he had, on the 4th December 2009, sent you an email informing you that Mr. P. Balasubramaniam was prepared to assist you in your investigations into the above report subject to certain conditions.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Malay language government-owned newspapers say that I am a pengecut. Pengecut comes from the wordkecut, which means shrunk. That means I am a shrunk, insinuating, of course, that my testicles have shrunk. I am sure there is many a damsel out there who would testify to the opposite.

Anyway, the million-dollar question is: is it the MACC or I who is the one with the shrunken balls? Let us go through the events.

Malaysia Today published three videos together with the transcripts of Private Investigator P. Balasubramaniam’s interview that was conducted in front of three very senior and prominent lawyers.

And how do they respond?

One lawyer had his house bombed with three Molotov Cocktails by unknown persons. Another lawyer received three visits from some tough-looking people who would not identify themselves. Luckily on all three occasions this lawyer was not home. And we are told they are also looking for the third lawyer -- for whatever reason we do not know.

Now, is this the mark of some brave patriots or some shrunken ball arseholes, which Malays fondly callpengecut? Why remain anonymous? Only pengecut throw stones and hide their hands.

The PKR Youth Leader, Shamsul Iskandar Mohd. Akin, then lodged a report and the MACC asked him to help look for Bala. Bala’s lawyer then sent the MACC an e-mail offering to set up a meeting but they responded by saying that an e-mail will not do. They require an official letter.

Well, that official letter was sent many days ago. It was sent a day before Christmas to be exact. That was almost two weeks ago but the MACC has remained very silent.

The truth is the MACC is pengecut. They are afraid of interviewing Bala and taking his statement because they know it will hurt the Prime Minister real bad.

Yeap, RPK spins lies. RPK tells untruths. RPK made false allegations against the PM and his so-called ‘First Lady’. Hey, go interview Bala and take his statement. Then go investigate what Bala has to say. He even has all the documents to support his allegations. If not how will you find out whether RPK is lying or not?

Or is the MACC too pengecut?

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

MANJEET SINGH DHILLON

ADVOCATE & SOLICITOR

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia,

Blok D6, Kompleks D,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Perseketuan,

62007, Putrajaya.


Attn: En. Abdul Rahman Bachok


Your ref.: not known

Our ref.: AS/Bala/091224


24 December 2009

BY POST/FAX 03 8888 9562

Dear En. Abdul Rahman,

Re: Report lodged by Shamsul Iskandar Mohd. Akin in relation to the recent disclosures by P. Balasubramaniam.

I refer to the above matter wherein I act for Mr. Americk Sidhu.

My client informs me that he had, on the 4th December 2009, sent you an email informing you that Mr. P. Balasubramaniam was prepared to assist you in your investigations into the above report subject to certain conditions. The conditions which were listed are as follows:

1. That any interview of Mr. P. Balasubramaniam by MACC be conducted in either Singapore or London.

2. That the date, time and place of the interview be mutually agreed upon to suit all parties.

3. That all necessary air fares be borne by the MACC, including those of counsel involved.

4. That all hotel expenses, subsistence, transportation and meals in respect of Mr. P. Balasubramaniam, Mr. Americk Sidhu and other counsel necessarily present be borne by the MACC.

5. That any statement recorded by your officers be in the English language and a copy thereof be given to Mr. P. Balasubramaniam immediately after the interview has been completed.

6. That an audio-visual recording of the interview be taken by our client or his representatives, and a copy thereof be provided to the MACC.

Please note that Mr. Americk Sidhu is not in the Malaysia at the moment and therefore all future correspondence from MACC on this matter should be addressed to this office for my attention.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Manjeet Singh Dhillon

Berani, kah?

By Haris Ibrahim,

I called Art Harun last week to inform him that the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative would love to host a debate between himself and Dr. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah on the subject-matter of the latter’s article in his Mingguan Malaysia column and reproduced in his blog, which you can read HERE, and the former’s response thereto, in his blog, which you can read HERE.

Art’s response was as I expected.

“Heh, heh, heh. Let’s get it on, bro.”

SABM has issued a press release today to announce the offer to host this public debate. You can read the full text of the same by clicking on the image below