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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anwar di Desa Mentari

Sabah JPs urge 'compromise' on Allah row - Malaysiakini

Members of the Council of Justices of Peace Malaysia in Sabah (CJPM) are privately urging that the Catholic church forge a quiet compromise with the Home Ministry on the use of the term Allah for God in the Malay pages of the Herald.

The Herald is a weekly published in four languages including English, Tamil and Chinese.

The idea is that the Catholic church drop plans to use Allah in the Peninsular Malaysian edition notwithstanding the use of the Malay language in prayer, service, worship and the Bible.

the heraldHowever, the caveat here is that Sabahans and Sarawakians in Peninsular Malaysia should be allowed to buy the East Malaysian edition of the Herald using the term Allah for God in the Malay pages.

"To ensure strict compliance, the Herald should grant the Home Ministry the exclusive right to retail the weekly to Christians from Sabah and Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia," said the JPs who requested anonymity on the grounds of "the issue being too sensitive."

"This will satisfy that there is no hidden agenda to convert Muslims to Christianity on the basis of the term Allah being used for God in the Malay pages of the Herald."

In turn, the JPs urged that the Home Ministry should not interfere with the local printing of the Bible in Malay for Sabah and Sarawak and using the term Allah for God.

In Malaysian Borneo, the JPs noted, people have been using Allah in Christian worship for at least 300 years.

The Customs Department, in that case, will be free to release the Bahasa Indonesia Bibles which have been held up for the use of the term Allah for God.

Should not be seen as surrender

"A re-think by the church should not be seen as surrender," according to the JPs. "There's a world of difference between compromise and surrender."

Many JPs conceded that they are not really sure about the history of the term Allah among Christians in Peninsular Malaysia. One opined that it probably would not be an issue among Peninsular Malaysian Christians.

"I had some of my education at a mission school in Kuala Lumpur many decades ago and I don't remember the local Catholics using the term Allah for God," said a JP.

"I think that the issue has now arisen because there are so many people from Sabah and Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia. Also, they have all been educated in Malay."

The JPs acknowledged that they are by no means unanimous on this decision but stressed that the majority urge a compromise "so that we can move ahead from history to the more pressing issues of the day."

The JPs could not say how many of them were practicing Christians but it is learnt that they are in the minority excluding the fallen ones.

The JPs lamented the fact that the Allah issue has been politicised and distorted out of recognition "by people in Peninsular Malaysia who don't care to read or know the truth."

They are only interested in their "narrow politics", the JPs added.

"The Catholic church is not asking the permission of the court for the right to use Allah in print, service, prayer and worship," pointed out the first JP.

"The question of seeking the court's permission does not arise. You cannot seek the intervention of the court in such matters. What is there to prevent millions of Christians from uttering Allah in their prayers?"

The issue, according to the first JP, must be kept in its perspective: i.e. whether the home minister has the right or otherwise to prohibit the Herald from using the term Allah.

The weekly also wanted to add pages in Kadazandusun, the JP noted, but this was shot down by the Home Ministry who reportedly feared another battle with an increasingly assertive Catholic church over the use of the term Allah in print.

Bogged down in court

The Allah issue is currently bogged down in court over the moot point: former home minister Syed Hamid Albar disallowing the use of the term Allah for God in the Malay pages of the Herald.

The high court has since declared that Allah is not exclusive to Islam, a non-issue, instead of ruling exclusively on the power of the home minister and adding the history of Allah as a footnote.

The Home Ministry's appeal process is currently before the court with no date set.

Generally, the JPs conceded that the Home Ministry and the authorities raised a valid point when they feared the possibility of Malays being confused by Christians using the term Allah in the Malay pages of the Herald.

"We are not saying that the Malays would be confused but the possibility exists," conceded a second JP.

"Previously, the issue did not arise because there were very few Christians from Sabah and Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia. Also, education in the Malay language had not taken root."

A third JP saw great difficulties in arguing "in the people's court" that just because Muslim Arabs were not confused by Christian Arabs using the term Allah for God, "the Malays would not be confused either."

Indonesia has also been cited by the Catholic church as a point in its favour on the issue.

Asked whether the JPs were in favour of the suit, currently in court, being withdrawn by all parties concerned, they answered in the negative.

"The compromise that we are advocating has nothing to do with the suit," clarified the first JP.

"The suit involves important issues of law which should be determined by the court. We cannot have the home minister running around like some kind of tinpot dictator."

More churches come under attack

More churches came under attack today, with molotov cocktails being hurled at two in Taiping and black paint splashed on another in Malacca.

In Taiping, the guard post of the SM Convent school was also hit by a petrol bomb.

Perak police chief Zulkifli Abdullah said there was no damage to the All Saints Church, the oldest Anglican church in the country, while the school's guard post suffered only minor damage.

According to Bernama, he said the church keeper realised the incident at 7.30am and reported the matter to the police.

Police, who went to the scene, found two black spots on the church wall and two broken bottles believed to have been used in the incident, he said when contacted.

On the incident at SM Convent, he said, the school's security guard realised the incident at about 3.30am.

He added that police believed the incidents were perpetrated by opportunist individuals out to take advantage of the current issue.

He said police had stepped up the monitoring of houses of worship in the state and urged the public to remain calm.

No arrest were made so far.

According to Malaysiakini correspondent Humayun Kabir, St Louis Church, which sits adjacent to SM Convent was also struck with a bottle containing flammable liquid but with little damage.

The attack on the the St Louis Church has not been confirmed by the police at the time of writing.

In Malacca, Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau sent out a news alert that the police have confirmed that the Melaka Baptist church in Durian Daun was splashed with black paint.

Photos: HINDRAF/HRP AT New Dehli for Pravasi Barathiya Divas conference.

the-malaysian-indian-minority-human-rights-violations-annual-report-20092

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P.Uthayakumar being interviewed by a local media on Indian Problems in Malaysia

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Lobbying a pravasi delegate from california Mr. N. P. Acharya, a charted Engeenier who promised to bring up the plight of Malaysian Indian Minority to his senator to brought up in the senate foreign relations committee
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With Mr. Mahindra Chaudrey, ex- Prime Minister of Fiji Island.
sdc107121 In Mr. Hanumanta Rao, Member of Parliament in his residence.

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On 6th About 30 advocates of the supreme court of India were briefed about the critical Indian problems in Malaysia

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Government plans private inter-faith dialogue

Koh (left) at the Tabernacle service today. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon today confirmed that the government plans to hold a series of dialogues between religious leaders, after the spate of church arson attacks in the country.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department explained that the government had already met the religious groups separately but will soon hold a meeting with the different leaders privately.

“Well, we are planning to do so (interfaith dialogue). For example Ikim has started and my department would be holding closed-door interfaith dialogues or discussion,” Koh said, referring to the Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia led by former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“We will hold closed-door [meetings] among the leaders first because it is important to arrive at certain common denominators of understanding,” he told reporters, after attending Metro Tabernacle Church’s first service since Friday’s attack, at the MCA headquarters here.

The Gerakan president added that the government has been meeting with the religious groups prior to the attacks, which came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that Catholic weekly Herald has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to describe the Christian God in their Bahasa Malaysia section.

There has been five attacks against churches over three days thus far.

Petrol bombs were also found at a convent school in Taiping earlier today.

“We have had discussions with every group separately, even before this but as you could understand, every faith has different groupings with different views.

“Every religious faith has [a] different understanding and interpretation, so we do need to engage [them] separately,” he added.

But Koh refused to commit to a public interfaith dialogue.

“I think let’s take it one step at a time,” he said.

He also reiterated that the arson attacks were isolated and did not represent the sentiments of the whole country.

“Let this be a defining moment and these are trying times for all of us. The way that the vast majority of Malaysians [have] responded actually gives us great hope.

“It is very often in the times of trial like these that we discover our true commitment,” he said.

The Church’s senior pastor Reverend Ong Sek Leang thanked MCA for allowing his followers to use the hall for free. He said this before receiving a RM100,000 donation from CIMB Group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

Nazir’s brother, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had earlier pledged RM500,000 in government funds to the church.

Ong was grateful for the generosity of Malaysians but asked for the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to expedite the approval for the church’s new building near Batu Caves.

He also confirmed that the church suffered RM1.5 million in damages from the arson attack.

Failed attack at Taiping church, convent school

The All Saints Church in Taiping. - Picture from asiaexplorer.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Arsonists failed to set fire to Taiping’s historic All Saints’ Church and the Convent School last night, making it the fifth church and first Christian school attack linked to the controversial ‘Allah’ ruling that has riled many Muslims.

Police confirmed both incidents, saying Molotov cocktails were lobbed at the church and school but the petrol bombs did not explode. Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau also sent out a news alert reporting police confirmation that a Baptist church in Durian Daun, Malacca was splashed with black paint.

The country’s first Anglican church is also the first outside Klang Valley to be attacked since Friday.

The church in Jalan Taming Sari was built in 1886 and is considered one of Malaysia’s precious heritage sites with its humble timber facade.

Church officials said the petrol bomb found at the convent school was probably meant for the St Louis Church next door.

Convent Taiping. - Picture from www.asiaexplorer.com

The convent school, renamed SMK Convent Taiping, started in 1899 but moved to its present location in Convent Lane in 1938.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah said that it was suspected that both cases were just acts of mischief by opportunists taking advantage of the other incidents of church attacks in Kuala Lumpur.

“We suspect that the incidents have no link to the other attacks on churches regarding the Allah issue. These were probably just mischievous acts by opportunists.

“However, we are not taking this matter lightly and we will be investigating both cases for arson. The perpetrators will be punished,” he said.

In the incident at the All Saints Church, the caretaker of the premises lodged a report with the police upon discovering two broken bottles just outside the wall of the church at about 7.30am this morning.

DCP Zulkifli said the caretaker had also discovered black marks on the wall, leading to the belief that it was a case of attempted arson.

In the other incident, the security guard of SM Convent Taiping had found a similar broken bottle just outside the school premises.

Police suspect that the bottle had been flung at the school at about 3.30am this morning.

“In both incidents however, no damages were recorded. Our forensic experts are presently investigating to see if both were attempted arson cases,” said DCP Zulkifli, adding that so far, the police had no suspects.

Meanwhile, he warned the public against repeating such attempts and said that the police would spare no mercy towards those involved in such criminal acts.

PAS youth members just outside the Taiping church today. - Picture from Perak PAS

“We are also heightening our patrols across the state at all churches and mosques. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation,” he said.

Police have stepped up patols at most houses of worship in the country but appealed to church authorities to hire their own security guards due to a lack of policemen.

The Perak PAS Youth condemned the attempted arson attemps at the All Saints’ Church and St Louis Church and asked for immediate investigations into the incidents.

They also appealed for calm after visiting the churches in Taiping.

The heightened alert came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Muslim groups then organised protest for Friday when the church attacks began.

The first and worst hit was the Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati which had its office gutted in the early hours of Friday. The government has given RM500,000 to rebuild the church, which is part of the Assemblies of God church.

The Life Chapel in Section 17 Petaling Jaya suffered scorch marks in another attack, similar to that seen in the Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in the city’s old town quarter.

Another Molotov cocktail attack failed at the Catholic Assumption Church in Jalan Templar in Petaling Jaya.

Some churches cancelled services on Friday while others have started vigils to pray for safety and peace.

The Metro Tabernacle church had its Sunday service at the MCA headquarters today.

Turnout not affected by attacks

For Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevesan and political scientist Wong Chin Huat attended service this morning in a show of solidarity following a statement by 127 NGOs protesting the church attacks. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Jan 10 — Yesterday’s firebomb attack at the Good Sheperd Lutheran church did not affect the turnout its Sunday service this morning.

Some 60 worshippers were present during the English service at 10.30am.

The attack believed to have occurred early yesterday morning was discovered by church pastor reverend Augustine Muthusamy later that afternoon, who then lodged a police report.

The firebomb was thrown from outside the worship hall and missed the glass window by a few inches, leaving burnt marks on the church’s wall.

In his sermon today Muthusamy urged the worshippers to pray for peace and work towards maintaining harmony.

“One important thing to do is to stop pointing fingers,” he said in his sermon emphasising the importance of offering forgiveness.

Speaking to reporters after the service he said the attack on the church was shocking as there has been too many rumours on such incidents.

“When SMS of attacks or riot in Bangsar were circulated, I was in Bangsar, nothing happened so I took for granted all these,” said Muthusamy referring to the rumours circulating last Friday.

“I always thought the country is very safe,” he added.

Muthusamy (right) also said that the incident should not be seen as a Muslims versus Christians issue.

“The police officer who took my report told me he was ashamed of what happened and many Muslims have come forward condemning the attacks,” he said.

“For most people this shouldn’t have happened,” he added.

Two other churches here were also attacked with the Life Chapel in Section 17 suffering scorch marks while Assumption Church was not damaged.

The Metro Tabernacle Church near the city centre was the worst hit and the government had allocated RM500,000 for the relocation of the church.

Press Statement by Anwar Ibrahim

We are outraged by the tragic attacks on our Christian brothers and sisters and reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the bombing of churches in Malaysia. Today’s attack on the oldest standing church in Malaysia, the All Saints Church in Taiping, is an attack on our nation’s heritage.

As a nation we struggle to uphold the spirit of unity that our founding fathers envisioned at independence. We must hold fast to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion and the right of religious groups to manage their own affairs. In such times the spirit of engagement and dialogue must transcend those voices that would seek to sow discord and enmity across our land.

The people of Malaysia must unite against those who exploit race and religion to incite hatred for political gain. We must renew our commitment to religious understanding and religious freedom.

This is a time that tests the resolve of all religions for peace and mutual respect. We must remember that the God who we worship is in fact the same God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

With respect to the use of the word Allah, for example, it cannot be disputed that Arabic speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews have collectively prayed to God as Allah throughout the last fourteen centuries. While sensitivities over its usage have arisen in Malaysia, the way to resolve these conflicts is not by burning churches and staging incendiary protests but by reasoned engagement and interreligious dialogue.

Muslims must recall the memory of our own tradition’s remarkable commitment to understanding and coexistence with the People of the Book. Islam clearly grants respect to Christians and Jews. In the Quran’s second chapter, God says:

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God (Aal-Imran, 3:64)

And in the 29th Chapter He says:

And dispute not with the People of the Book but say “We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and that which came down to you…our God [Allah] and your God [Allah] is One, and it is to Him we bow (al-Ankabut, 29:46)

Jesus is himself revered as one of the greatest prophets whose noble example should be followed. The Caliph Umar, who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 638 AD, was careful to ensure that the Muslims respect the sanctity of Christian places of worship. What then of our own Police’s hesitation to offer an assurance of safety and security for Malaysian churches?

Much of the blame for the recent attacks can be placed at the doorstep of the UMNO-led BN ruling party. Its incessant racist propaganda over the Allah issue and the inflammatory rhetoric issued by government controlled mainstream media especially, Utusan Malaysia, are reprehensible. Such wanton acts of provocation are indeed criminal and demonstrate the duplicity of the 1Malaysia campaign.

I am encouraged by the swift condemnation of the attacks issued by Muslim organizations and leaders. I likewise applaud our Christian leaders for their strong statements calling for calm and forgiveness and resisting revenge and retaliation.

The need for interfaith dialogue in Malaysia is an idea whose time is long overdue. We must now advance the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood which is inherent in our religions and enshrined in our Constitution. Pakatan Rakyat will collectively take steps to ensure that the necessary dialogue and discussion take place throughout the country. Our fellow Christians must feel safe and secure in this country knowing that their freedom to worship is protected.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Opposition Leader

The Allah Controversy: Damage Done, What Now?

On Friday, Malaysia sent a strong message to the world. It showed that, after 52 years of living together, nation building and national unity is in tatters. The church attacks shattered notions of Malaysia as a model secular Muslim nation in the eyes of the international community.

The cowardly arsonists depicted Malaysia’s reality on the ground, which stinks of a gross lack of respect for other religions. It sings a tune of institutionalized racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

When you chat with the old timers who sit in teh tarik stalls, early Friday’s incidences bring tears to their eyes. To them, this is not the Malaysia they grew up in. Neither is it to me.

Although the fire-bombing of churches alarmed Malaysians, it underscored the magnitude of the real problem. The truth which is staring at us in the face caricatures years of wariness and suspicion and siege mentality.

The problem is far from over. This is evident in the seething anger demonstrated by the protesters who rallied at the Masjid Negara compound in Kuala Lumpur and the Shah Alam Mosque in Selangor, denouncing the High Court decision to allow the Catholic weekly Herald to use the word Allah to refer to God.

Allah is a common word used to describe the Christian God in Arabic-speaking countries like Egypt and Syria and in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim nation. But instead of working to iron out the insecurities faced by both the Muslims and Christians including people of other faith, UMNO has used the issue to create fear among the public.

And to further avoid further global embarrassment and local criticism over the way the controversy was managed by the UMNO/BN government, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has issued a gag order on the public. The police have also warned people not to speculate.

This, unfortunately would not solve the real problem which is threatening to divide the social fabric of the society. Malaysians are now living in fear of a racial clash following the church attacks and rising orthodox Islamic tones in the country.

But, where do we go now from here? How do we, as Malaysians, forge the trust between us once again and find a consensus to move forward as one nation?

The nation is confronted with an unprecedented crisis requiring various stake holders to create an enabling environment towards reconciliation and compassion, a necessary component in reclaiming the nation for its people.

Various calls have been made to Najib to act swiftly in order to resolve the crisis but to no avail.

Therefore, I call upon my colleagues in the Pakatan Rakyat governments of Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan to demonstrate leadership by forming a common task force to urgently convene nation-wide consultations among stake holders with a view to developing strategies in resolving this national crisis, consistent with the dictates of the Federal constitution and equal citizenship.

The role of civil society and academia is critical in helping to shape a resolution to this unprecedented crisis, as well.

I, once again, request Malaysians from all walks of life to come together and work towards reconciliation for the future of the nation and to bring an end to the politics of hate that has consumed the country.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

Najib and Hishammuddin should apologise for their irresponsible, insensitive and maladroit handling of the “Allah” controversy

By lim Kit Siang

The announcement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak of a RM500,000 allocation to the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati to help it to relocate to new premises in Batu Caves after experiencing the worst case of a series of church arson in the past few days is commendable and a step in the right direction but it cannot undo the grave damage whether to nation building or to Malaysia’s international reputation as the best location for foreign investment, tourism or educational opportunities.

The claim by Najib that his 1Malaysia slogan is not affected by the spate of church arson attacks only demonstrates the seriousness of the denial syndrome of the Najib premiership even before the end of his first year as Prime Minister.

When Najib visited New York end of November to attract American investors and boost trade and investment ties between Malaysia and the United States, he was dogged by Malaysia’s adverse international image, not only by our endemic crime rate but also controversies over moral policing and religious disputes.

Najib found out first-hand that it “takes us months” to clear up adverse international publicity like the case of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, even before the implementation of the order for six strokes of the cane for drinking beer.

If “Malaysia Kartika” is googled, it turns out 263,000 results – which is small fry if the “Allah” controversy is googled, as a google search for “Malaysia Allah” turns up 7.1 million finds, proof of the enormity of the damage the current “Allah” controversy is doing to Malaysia’s international image.

The adverse international image arising from the “Allah” controversy and the attacks on the places of worship would probably haunt all Najib’s investment trips overseas to attract investors, tourists and students in the rest of his premiership!

Najib has called for a halt to “finger pointing” and denied that Umno should be held responsible for the spate of church attacks.

There is no doubt that those in power would have no hesitation or compunction in blaming PAS, PKR or DAP for the religious sacrileges committed against places of worship if they could pin some relationship, however remote, fictitious or chimerical.

In this case, however, no one would believe in any such allegations. On the other hand, there is substance to believe the involvement of Umno hands in the incitement of religious hatred and intolerance over the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on the “Allah” controversy, as pointed out by DAP Selangor State Secretary and State Assemblyman for Kampung Tunku, Lau Weng San in his statement on his blog.

When Hishammuddin said last Thursday that the government did not prohibit the people from expressing their views over the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic weekly magazine Herald and Najib defended Hishammuddin’s stand on plans by several organizations to stage demonstrations to protest against the use of the word “Allah” by other religions, many feared the worst and the worst had come to pass.

How was it that Najib and Hishammuddin could not see what the majority of Malaysians could see?

This was also why I had asked whether Najib and Hishammuddin would be so “benign and tolerant” if demonstrations were to be held in support of the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s Dec. 31 judgment that the Herald may use the term “Allah”?

Najib and Hishammuddin should not only apologise for their irresponsible, insensitive and maladroit handling of the “Allah” controversy, the Cabinet should on Wednesday institute an independent inquiry whether Umno elements were behind the spate of religious incitements resulting in the church arson.

The single greatest challenge of the Cabinet on Wednesday is whether it is prepared to make amends for its past failures in allowing the “Allah” controversy to reach its present combustible point.

The biggest mistake of the Barisan Nasional Cabinet Ministers was to allow the the former Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to disrupt the religious equilibrium by imposing the ban on the use of Allah by Herald.

Why no other Cabinet Minister, whether from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, the Sabah and Sarawak parties had spoken up in Cabinet to stop such a ban because of long common usage of the practice particularly in Sabah and Sarawak predating the formation of Malaysia in 1963 we well as world-wide in the Middle East and Indonesia?

This mistake was compounded by the haste with which the government appealed against the KL High Court judgment and secured an instant “stay”, without first allowing a full and balanced discussion and decision by the Cabinet last Wednesday on what is the appropriate response of the Barisan Nasional government, representing not only Umno, but also MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional.

The Cabinet on Wednsday should make amends for its failure of leadership on the issue and seek to resolve the “Allah” controversy by convening immediately and urgently an all-party/inter-religious roundtable to restore the inter-religious equilibrium, amity and harmony before the 2007 ban by the Home Ministry on the Catholic Herald on the use of “Allah” to steer the country away from irresponsible incitements of religious discord, intolerance and hatred.

Ambiga Screenevasan: This Government Does Not Have The Political Will To Fight Corruption



Bhavishya Purana: The Prediction of Islam

by Suhotra Maharaj (http://www.bvml.org/tmi/SS_bpatpm.html)

Some five hundred years after the time of Salivahan Maharaja, a king in his family line named Bhoja Raja crossed the Sindhu river into Gandhara (Afghanistan) and other westward lands. Bhavisya Purana states that while he was in this western region, Bhoja Raja worshiped a Sivalinga situated in the desert.

nripascaiva mahaadevam marusthalanivaasinam
gangaajalaishca sasnaapya pancagavyasamanvitaih
candanaadibhirabhyarcya tushtaava manasaa harim


For persons in darkness and ignorance, Mahadeva Lord Shiva is God. He is known as Bhutanatha, the lord of ghostly entities like pishachas, yakshas, and rakshashas. And he is the lord of destruction. Direct or indirect worship of Shiva is seen in many guises all around the world. His linga (symbol) is a type of stone. Ganga-devi lives in his matted locks; thus wherever Shiva appears, the water of the Ganges appears also.

He offered that linga Ganges water, pancagavya and sandalwood pulp.

From Kartik Prabhu's notes, we learn that the central shrine of Islam is the Kabba, which is a cube-shaped, one-room stone structure in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. In pre-Muslim Arabia it already attracted pilgrims as the most important sanctuary. The traditional belief is that it was built by Abraham and Ishmael (to whom the Arabs trace their descent). This is confirmed in the Qur'an (Koran). A black stone is worshiped in the shrine. This kaaba stone is also called as Sange-Aswad, which is corruption of Sanskrit linga-asveta which literally means the Black (asveta=not white) Shiva Linga.

Near this shrine there is a sacred well called Zamzam, a name that sounds remarkably like "ganga. " The Zamzam well was holy even before the rise of Islam in Arabia, and it remains holy to the Muslims. It appears that Bhoja Raja bathed the Shivalinga with water from this well, which is non-different from the Ganges. That a well far from the Ganges river yields Ganges water is not remarkable. There is such a well at Ramesvaram in South India.

Bhavisya Purana continues:

etasminnantare mleccha aacaaryayena samanvitam
mahaamad iti khyaatah shishya shaakhaa samanvitah

At that time a mleccha acarya, famous by the name Mahamad (Mohammad), dwelt there accompanied by his followers.

Kartik Prabhu notes:

The prophet Mohammad (570?-632), founder of Islam, taught political and social as well as religious principles that are the basis of Islamic civilization and that have had a vast influence on world history. Mohammad was born in Mecca. He belonged to the clan of Hashim, a poor but respected branch of the prestigious and influential tribe of Quraysh. His father died before he was born, and after his mother's death when he was six, he was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib, who was the priest at the kaaba.
The prophet Mohammed propagated the religion of Islam among the people of the Arabian desert.
Mecca (Makkah, called Macoraba in very olden times), is a city in western Saudi Arabia. It is located in Al ijaz (Hejaz) Province near Jiddah. Mecca is the most sacred of the Muslim holy cities. Muslims around the world must face Mecca during their daily prayers. Every year, during the last month of the Islamic calendar, more than 1 milion Muslims make a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca. The city's location on several trade routes has made it commercialy important since ancient times. Mecca was a religious center before the time of Muhammad, and several holy sites within the sacred precincts of the great mosque, called al-Haram, had religious significance in pre-Islamic times.

Many Vedic deities were worshiped at Mecca in pre-Islamic times. These were destroyed by Mohammad and his followers. The Kabba, a windowless cube-shaped building in the courtyard of the mosque, is believed to have been built by the Hebrew patriarch Abraham. In the southeastern corner of the Kaaba is the Black Stone, supposedly given to Abraham by the angel Gabriel. Also within the precincts of the mosque is the sacred well, called the Zamzam (Zemzem), a corruption of Sanskrit word Ganga, which was reputedly used by Hagar, mother of Abraham's son Ishmael. The city is first mentioned by the Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy, who in the 2nd century ad called it Macoraba.

Mohammad secretly came to meet Bhoja Raja, as the Bhavisya Purana now describes. It appears that this meeting took place before Mohammed had achieved prominence in Arabia.

raatrau sa devaruupashca bahumaayavishaaradah
paishaacam dehamaasthaaya bhojaraajam hi soabravit

At night, he (Mohammad) of angelic disposition, this shrewd man in the guise of a Pishacha [a desert spirit or jinn], spoke to Bhoja Raja.

aaryayadharmohi te raajansarvadharmottamah smritah
iishaagyayaa karishyaami paishaaca dharma daarunam

O Raja! Your Arya Dharma has been considered to be the best of all religions, but according to the commandments of the Supreme Controler, I shall enforce the strong creed of the Pishachas.

lingacchedii shikhaahinah shmashrudhaari sa dushakah
uccaalaapii sarva bhakshi bhavishyati jano mama

My followers will see to it that men are circumcised and that they wear no shikha on their heads. Instead they will wear beards and behave against brahminical principles. They will call out loudly in their prayers. They will eat all things.

binaa kaala caa pashavaasteshaaam bhakshyaa mataa mama
naimusaleva samskaarah kushariva bhavishyati

According to my teachings, they will eat all animals except swine. They will not seek purification by sitting on Kusha grass, rather their purification will come by warfare. (Musal).

tasmaanmusalavanto hi jaatayo dharmadushakaah
iti paishaaca dharmashca bhavishyati maya krutah

They shall be known as Musal because of their battles with irreligious nations, and I shall be known as the originator of this pisaca-dharma.

Bomb explodes outside Greek parliament; no casualties

A police officer stands by pieces from a bomb explosion Saturday in front of the Greek parliament in Athens.
A police officer stands by pieces from a bomb explosion Saturday in front of the Greek parliament in Athens

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- A bomb exploded outside Greece's parliament building in central Athens on Saturday evening, a blast near a national landmark that unnerved the country.

There were no casualties in the blast, and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told reporters that Greeks would not be intimidated by such acts.

"My message is simple: democracy cannot be terrorized," he said when he arrived at his parliament office.

Police were alerted immediately after the Eleftherotypia newspaper received a call saying a bomb was placed in an open area outside of parliament.

Authorities closed off part of the boulevards in front of parliament and on the eastern side of the building before an explosive device detonated inside an installation for garbage disposal.

Later, a caller phoned a police emergency line and said one bomb was placed outside of parliament and another inside the Hotel Grande Bretagne near parliament. The hotel entrance faces one of the closed boulevards.

Melios Dimitris, Hotel Grande Bretagne manager, told CNN he had not heard of an immediate threat to the hotel and that the business is operating as usual.

Law enforcement officers were carefully combing the area, local media reported, but police don't think those threats are credible.

Greece's tomb of the unknown soldier, a major tourist attraction, is opposite the parliament building.

Uthayakumar’s address in Pravasi Bharathiya Divas Meeting

Uthayakumar Ponnusamy from Malaysia. The great Indian leaders, the Prime Minister, and the external Affairs Minister all spoke on business, social and cultural issues concerning the Indian Diasporas. We regret that the Human rights issues of Indians especially in Malaysia, where the Indians are being denied their birth certificate and the citizenship even for the fourth and fifth generation Malaysian Indians.

Hindu temples, Hindu crematorium and Indian Tradisional Villages indiscriminately demolished.

Deserving Indian students denied University entry or tertiary education scholarships and also denied skills training simply because they are Indians. 95% of deaths in police custody and shot dead by Malay Muslim police are Indians. 70% of Indians in Malaysia are categorized as poor or hardcore poor because they have been excluded from the mainstream development of Malaysia.

Further and better particulars of the discriminations of Malaysian Indians are as per our ‘Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2009 Malay-sia Truly Racist’

For next year’s Pravasi Barathiya Divas conference we propose a human rights segment. In the interim we ask the government of India to assign a senior human rights officer at Indian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to monitor the above matter and report it to New Delhi and raise this matter with the Malaysian government the human rights violations as in our the-malaysian-indian-minority-human-rights-violations-annual-report-20091 by Hindraf and HRP

S.JAYATHAS

HRP Information Chief

sdc10673

Rebels move against leader of Najib’s Indian party

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The curtain is finally coming down on R.S. Thanenthiran (picture), president of the Malaysia Makkal Sakthi Party, on whom Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had pinned high hopes on to win over the Tamil working class that voted Pakatan Rakyat in the 2008 general election.

A group led by party deputy president A. Vathemurthy which had been involved in a power struggle with Thanenthiran and his factions for control of the party since October 2009, resolved at a meeting today to subject their president to an inquiry for alleged misconduct.

They will ask Thanenthiran to attend the inquiry on Jan 17 and if found guilty, sack him from the party.

“We have to nip the problem before it becomes too big to resolve,” Vathemurthy told The Malaysian Insider today.

However, Thanenthiran, who is overseas and controls one-half of the party’s 27-member Central Committee, is expected to appoint more members to the committee, convene an emergency session on his return and sack Vathemurthy and his supporters.

The constant infighting among them has also turned the once promising party into a laughing stock in the Indian community.

Vathemurthy has said before that he does not want to be the president but is offering the job to others.

The most likely candidate, according to party secretary Kannan Ramasamy, is Klang businessman Omms Thiagarajan, who is close to former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam.

Sources said if given the presidency, Omms would be keeping the seat warm for Subramaniam, whose days in the MIC are numbered after he lost in a bid to win the MIC deputy president’s post in October 2008.

Subramaniam, the sources said, is on the look-out for a vehicle - an NGO or a political party — to move his camp from the MIC after any chance of succeeding MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu dimmed with his defeat.

MIC vice-president and Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S Subramaniam is already emerging as a deputy presidential candidate once Datuk G Palanivel moves up the ladder after Samy Vellu retires sometime late this year.

Subramaniam, longtime deputy to Samy Vellu, would be finally squeezed out when this transition happens.

Many other MIC leaders and grassroots members are also said to be on the look out for a vehicle through which they hope to jump to Pakatan Rakyat if they feel the Barisan Nasional ship is about to sink for good.

The leadership tussle in the Makkal Sakthi party should be seen in the larger context of the changes in the political landscape and in preparation for the 13th general election.

While being close to Subramaniam, Omms also funds functions attended by PKR leaders including a recent one in Klang attended by PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former Hindraf leader Vasantha Kumar.

Churches must step up security themselves, says IGP

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan today urged all churches to beef up security on their own because with its limited manpower the police cannot ensure security at all houses of worship.

“I would like to advise the churches to have their own security because I don’t have enough policemen.

“In PJ alone there are 62 churches. In KL and Selangor altogether we have about 200,” Musa told reporters outside the Metro Tabernacle Church here.

He said that the police are also monitoring the situation at mosques nationwide.

“We also monitor other places of worship,” said Musa.

Since early yesterday, four churches have been firebombed and the worst-hit was the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati which had its administrative office gutted.

Two churches in Petaling Jaya were also attacked yesterday with the Life Chapel in Section 17 suffering scorch marks while Assumption Church was not damaged.

Earlier today, arsonists attempted to set fire to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Petaling Jaya, causing minor damage to the building, in what is the fourth attack in two days on a church in the Klang Valley.

Musa said the police were still investigating the attacks.

When asked he said today’s attacks appeared not to have been perpetrated by those behind yesterday’s attacks.

“Different group, because the modus operandi was different,” he said.

Musa also called on the public not to make prank calls to his number, which he had publicised following the series of attacks.

“Some were fooling around, so I hope the public will take this seriously, we have a lot of work to do,” said Musa.

He added that he had received more than 900 calls since yesterday.

Najib announces RM500,000 aid for gutted church

Prime Minister Najib Razak shaking hands with Rev Ong Sek Leang (right), the senior pastor of Metro Tabernacle Church. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced a government allocation of RM500,000 to rebuild the Metro Tabernacle Church, as his administration moved quickly to calm disquiet even as another church was attacked today.

Najib visited the partially-gutted Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati late this afternoon. It was the worst affected of three churches attacked yesterday.

The Life Chapel in Petaling Jaya suffered scorch marks while the Church of Assumption, the only Roman Catholic church attacked, was undamaged.

Earlier today, arsonists attempted to set fire to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Petaling Jaya, causing minor damage to the building, in what is the fourth attack on a Klang Valley Christian church over two days.

Church authorities said the building in Petaling Jaya Old Town was believed to be firebombed sometime between last night and this morning.

Visiting the Metro Tabernacle Church today, Najib was spearheading his administration’s damage-control exercise, after several of his ministers were dispatched yesterday to placate the Christian community and offer financial and other aid in the wake of the arson attacks.

Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon yesterday met pastors, Christian groups and visited the three affected churches in an attempt to convince Christians and non-Muslims that the Najib administration is sincere about resolving the Allah controversy amicably.

“I hope they will be able to rebuild the church in a new place for the purpose of worship. This is a sign of government’s sincerity,” Najib told reporters in front of the church after his visit there today.

He had earlier spent about 20 minutes visiting and talking to church leaders.

Citing a verse from the Quran, Najib also said that Islam does not condone such violent acts against churches.

He called on all parties to remain calm and to continue to maintain peace and harmony in the country.

The “Allah” controversy erupted on Dec 31 when the High Court ruled that the Home Ministry’s prohibition against the Herald using the word Allah was invalid, thereby allowing the Catholic publication to continue using the term Allah in its national language publications.

Umno politicians and Muslim groups criticised the decision and indulged in sabre-rattling. The threatening rhetoric culminated in the attacks on three churches, which is unprecedented in Malaysian history.

The police have since fanned out to secure all churches in the country and have warned against demonstrations of any kind for and against the ruling.

Christians have resorted to prayers and vigils in the wake of the attack in churches now under the watch of the police. Some churches in the Klang Valley have cancelled their service due to the tense situation and are hoping for a return to normalcy soon.

Christian groups now hope the government will take further steps to cool the situation and find ways to resolve the touchy subject of the Allah ruling.

How many times do I need to explain this?



So all this talk that I should attend trial and prove my innocence is pure hogwash. I would not be able to prove my innocence because I would not be asked to do so. In fact, in the first place, I should not even be asked to prove my innocence, as the Prosecution has to prove my guilt.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

My simple observation on the Raja Petra Kamarudin issue is for him to stand up and be counted.

Opportunities rarely knock twice and his chance to defend himself and prove his allegations in open court came and went when he decided to flee.

However, since he has decided to forgo the opportunity, perhaps it is now a wiser option for the government to focus its attention on more pressing matters than attempting to extradite him, such as resolving the issue of Malaysians overstaying in Britain.

A person who has deep convictions in what he believes to be the truth would face the consequences of his actions head on, irrespective of whether there are unconditional guarantees to safeguard his safety and wellbeing.

NIZAM MOHD REZA, Kuala Lumpur (New Straits Times, 8 January 2010)

*************************************************
I do not blame Nizam Mohd Reza for arriving at this ‘simple observation’. After all, even Federal Court judges ruled that Anwar Ibrahim is guilty because he failed to prove his innocence. And this was what the written judgement said: the accused failed to convince the court of his innocence. Therefore, the court finds him guilty.

There are two issues here. First is that the accused does not need to prove his innocence. The Prosecution needs to prove guilt. The onus is on the Prosecution to prove guilt, not the task of the Defence to prove innocence. In a criminal indictment, all the accused needs to do is to raise doubt. And if the accused succeeds in raising doubt, then the court has to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused. That’s where the phrase ‘benefit of the doubt’ comes from.

Second, in the many charges that I faced (Sedition and Criminal Defamation), there is no avenue to prove my innocence even if I wish to do so (which, as I said, is not my job anyway). Sedition and Criminal Defamation is not about whether what I wrote is true or false. It is about whether I did or did not write what I was alleged to have written.

In other words, it does not matter whether what I wrote was the gospel. The court is not concerned about the truth of the matter. The court only wants to know whether I did write what I have been alleged to have written. If I did, then I am guilty and I go to jail. Never mind if what I wrote may be true. I will still be found guilty and will be sent to jail.

The fact that I was first hauled in and interrogated by the police on allegations that I had written lies and that I had signed a false Statutory Declaration, but later charged for something else, proves the mala fide of the police. The police reports against me stated that I had written lies in my article and that I had signed a false declaration. But if they charge me for writing lies and for signing a false Statutory Declaration then they would have to prove this.

The police then raided my house and confiscated two computers that they found in my house. The computers were then sent to the forensic people who tried looking for copies of the article on my hard disk plus evidence that I had uploaded the article onto the website.

But they found nothing.

Later they adjourned the trial and requested permission from the court to do a second examination of the computer but still found nothing. The police report, however, said I had lied and the charge, in fact, also stated the same thing. But how do they prove I lied unless they go through what I wrote in court, sentence by sentence, and examine the truth of the matter?

The Prosecution knew that to prove I had lied was an uphill task. I need not prove what I wrote was true. Instead, the Prosecution has to prove that I lied. Knowing they would not be able to do this without opening a can of worms, they decided to dispense with the true or false exercise and instead just charge me for Sedition and Criminal Defamation -- which does not need to touch on the truth of the matter but just whether I did or did not write what I was alleged to have written.

In other words, the government wanted to avoid discussing what I wrote but instead just focus on whether I did write it. Furthermore, they would avoid discussing whether what I signed in the Statutory Declaration is true or false and instead just focus on whether I did sign that Statutory Declaration.

So all this talk that I should attend trial and prove my innocence is pure hogwash. I would not be able to prove my innocence because I would not be asked to do so. In fact, in the first place, I should not even be asked to prove my innocence, as the Prosecution has to prove my guilt. But with what I have been charged with, that does not even apply. All they need to do is prove that I did it (true or false as the case may be notwithstanding). And even then they could not do that because the computers they confiscated were not my computers but belonged to someone else and they just happened to be in my house at the time the police raid occurred.

The fact is, even if I did do it they can’t prove it because the computers I used to update Malaysia Today were not in my house at the time of the police raid and what they confiscated were not the ‘offensive weapon’.

Let me put it another way. I do own a gun. And I did use my gun to commit murder. But I have since thrown that particular gun into the river and the gun they found in my house belonged to someone else and was not the gun that was used to commit the murder.

Now do you get it?

So what do the police do? Knowing that they were losing their case and would never be able to prove that I did write that article and/or uploaded it onto the Internet, they decided to detain me without trial under the Internal Security Act. And in my Detention Order it stated that my offence was for writing that exact article that I had already been charged for and was facing trial. (Plus they threw in ‘insulting Islam’ as additional charges to strengthen their case so that if they get knocked out on one charge they still had others to hang on to).

In other words, I was being punished twice for the same so-called crime. And you just can’t punish someone twice for the same crime. And since I was now serving my sentence under detention without trial, they should have dropped the charges against me.

But they did not. Even as I was under detention they kept dragging me to court to face trial. I was already serving a sentence under the Internal Security Act. Yet they were still trying to convict me for that same crime. And if they succeed in convicting me then I would be serving two sentences simultaneously, both for the same crime.

This, the government-owned mainstream media has kept hidden from the public. They are making it appear like I am a fugitive who refuses to face trial. What they failed to mention is that I have already been punished for that crime and should not be punished a second time for the same thing.

That is the law.

And, to make matters worse, the High Court declared by detention illegal and released me. The fact that the High Court released me does not mean I have not served my sentence. I have. It is just that the court views my detention as illegal.

Not happy in leaving things alone, the government appealed my release (at the same time they announced they will not appeal the Razak Baginda acquittal). And the Federal Court gave me hell. Every step of the way the Federal Court put obstacles in our way. They even sat with a two-man quorum to hear our objections to Augustine Paul being one of the judges. The court just can’t sit with a two-man quorum. But in my case they did although it violates the constitution.

We then filed an appeal in another Federal Court and the second court agreed that a two-man quorum is just so wrong. So the first Federal Court was given a slap in the face. But instead of re-sitting, this time with a three-man quorum to hear our application for Augustine Paul to recuse, they adjourned indefinitely without fixing a new hearing date.

It is almost one year now and still the Federal Court refuses to continue with the appeal against my release. Why? Well, because if they do then they would have to sit with a three-man quorum to hear our application to kick out Augustine Paul. And note that I do not have to be present in this hearing because it is the Prosecution that is appealing the High Court’s decision to release me from Internal Security Act detention. I have not been arrested or put on bail. So I need not be present in court. The hearing can proceed without me. But it has not proceeded for almost a year and the court has not explained why this hearing has been frozen and put in limbo.

Anyway, Augustine Paul refused to recuse and the Federal Court wanted him to stay as one of my three judges. But God stepped in and removed Augustine Paul as one of my judges. So, like it or not, the Federal Court no longer has any choice but to replace Augustine Paul since he is already food for worms in the ground.

But why have they not done so? What’s to stop the Federal Court from replacing the now very dead Augustine Paul with another half-dead Federal Court judge and proceed with hearing the appeal by the government? My presence is not required. I do not have to be in court because I am not under arrest or out on bail. It is an appeal by the government and only the lawyers need to be in court.

Yes, the government-owned mainstream media is not talking about all this. Instead, they are spinning stories that I am a fugitive who refuses to appear in court to prove my innocence. Where the fuck did they learn their law from? I never went to law school and even I know how it is supposed to work.

Hmm…maybe I will become a lawyer when I grow up.

Anyway, look at the following extract from Malaysiakini with regards to the church bombings in the wee hours of Friday morning. This more or less dovetails with what I wrote in The Corridors of Power yesterday (Kelantan 1977 revisited: to understand Selangor 2010).

*************************************************
Jeffrey Kitingan does not think the arson attacks were isolated incidents, which could be excused as the work of "some cowards or fanatics".

"It is bad enough that the Customs are sitting on our Bahasa Indonesia language Bibles for using the word 'Allah'," said Jeffrey.

He's convinced the Umno government's handling of the Allah issue was the inspiration and the clearest evidence that "the party is up to no good in the emerging new politics of the nation".

"I think that there are certain elements in Umno who have this thinking that when it comes to the crunch, they must be willing to employ strong-arm tactics to remain in power," said Jeffrey.

"This means deliberately embarking on a campaign of intimidation and instilling fear to beat others into submission.”

"It is ironic that people in Peninsular Malaysia would demonstrate over us in far away Sabah and Sarawak using the term 'Allah' for God in our Bible and prayers," said Jeffrey.

"After 50 years, surely we have to ask ourselves whether we still want a party which is no better than the British colonialists. Where is our freedom?" asked Jeffrey.

"They indulge in divide-and-rule tactics like the British, treat us like slaves, are trying to introduce racial polarisation a la Malaya and exploit our resources without developing our states."

Jeffrey points out that he does not want to "sound like a broken record stuck in the same groove" by reciting the litany of federal government transgressions in Sabah and Sarawak besides the Allah issue.

"Mark my words. Umno is bent on systematically creating political chaos in the country to save itself out of the hole it had dug itself into over the years," warned Jeffrey.

"Everyone is beginning to see the hollowness of PM Najib's so-called 1Malaysia theme. It was too good to be true."

(Malaysiakini, 9 January 2010)

Post Mortem of a Fire Bombing

Whoever organized the firebombing of the 3 churches, I think they botched it. If they hired Mat Rempits to do it, in only one case was some serious damage done while in another a pastor was manhandled. This is in stark contrast to the popular image of Mat Rempits swarming the roads and highways striking terror to road users who happen by.

By batsman

In addition, the dastardly fire bombings were done surreptitiously in the dead of night in cowardly fashion by a few panicky gangsters. If American white supremacist bikers had done it, the results would have been completely different on the havoc scale and they would have done it in broad daylight.

I think this shows that the ability of the mysterious organizers to wreak havoc has been much reduced from early historical episodes of mysterious havoc wreaking. Maybe it is the recession. The money available to hire serious gangsters is no longer big time.

After all, the prize is not paltry. As RPK claims, it is political control of the richest state in Malaysia – Selangor. The organizers would have ensured that the havoc they caused is commensurate with the excuse to force the government to impose a state of emergency, but there was no big time havoc to give the excuse to impose a state of emergency.

I believe it was not due to the recession or to lack of money. I think it is a simple case of Malaysians being fed up with being manipulated for political gain. Malaysians no longer support dirty tricks and I think a stronger opposition has something to do with this.

Even the protests (whether coordinated or timed to occur with the fire bombings or not) were not the mass demonstrations promised and the protest organizers had to disavow any connection with the fire bombings.

The PR did its job well to educate Malaysians to reject extremism, provocation, manipulation of religious sensitivities and dirty tricks in politics. If ever there is a case to support the PR wholeheartedly and without stinting, it is this episode of political dirty tricks backfired in the face of the mysterious organizers.

The PR must now organize to be the next federal government with the upcoming General Elections. It must no longer content itself to be just a strong opposition. The country cannot afford the irresponsible manipulation and selfish political maneuvering that threatens peace and even its very survival any more.

We need to say “enough is enough”. It is time to bring back sanity and decency.

Re: Who owns "Allah"? By John Doe

I refer to your article ' Who owns "Allah" ? By John Doe'. I notice that the writer repeated the Allah as moon god theory which has been proven to be a lie.

By Ahmad Razi

I would appreciate it if you could publish a lecture by Shabir Ally in London regarding this issue.



IGP asks churches to increase security as not enough cops

(The Star) - Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan has advised churches to tighten the security at their premises as there are not enough police officers to guard them.

He said the churches may up the security by hiring guards as the police force did not have enough manpower to keep watch at every church.

"In Petaling Jaya alone, there are 62 churches and a total of 200 in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

"Not only do we have to watch churches, but we also have to cover mosques and monitor other places of worship," he told reporters during his visit to the Metro Tabernacle Church at Desa Melawati here Saturday.

Musa added that police were still investigating the attack on the church and confirmed there were currently a total of four cases of churches being attacked.

"We have yet to determine the nationality of those responsible for the attacks," he said, adding that witnesses were still assisting in investigations.

He said since he revealed his handphone number to the public on Friday, he had received a total of 900 calls and 800 SMS-es.

"I received a lot of information on various crimes. There were some people from churches who have asked us to step up the level of security at their premises," Musa said.

He added that while some people have also called him to thank the police for their efforts, there were many who also made crank calls to him by calling him but not speaki

UMNO Not A Racist Party, Says Najib

RAWANG, Jan 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday reiterated that Umno is not a party that practised racism and never had any intention to grab power from other races in the country.

Instead, he said, Umno had always upheld the principle of wanting to be fair to all.

"As Muslims were are guided by the teachings of the Quran whereby God commanded that if in leading or punishing, it must be done fairly to all," he said when opening Umno's "Juara Rakyat" (Champion of the People) programme in Bukit Beruntung near here.

"If we are to say Umno is racist, it is denying history. Umno has never been a racist or an extremist party," he added.

Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein as well as other leaders of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties.

In his speech, Najib, who is also Umno president, stressed that Umno had never at any time intended to grab power for itself because besides following Allah's commandments, the party had always respected the roles and position of other races in the country.

"Till today we (Umno) are protecting the interests of the other races besides championing those of the Malays," he said.

"This our concept. As such, don't point fingers and say Umno is racist...when churches are burned, Umno is bad. I wish to categorically state here, we condemn the acts and want to be fair...if the police can find who committed the acts, we will punish them accordingly," he stressed.

He also stressed that because of the incidents, people should not reject the 1Malaysia concept that was introduced when he took over as prime minister in April last year.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, said that if seen in historical terms, no other party could claim to be the people's champion other than the Alliance.

"Take for instance the opposition to the Malayan Union. Who brought about the spirit of nationalism in the country if not for Umno? And when it came time to gain independence, who went to London to demand independence? It was Umno together with leaders representing the Chinese and Indian communities, which now come under the banner of MCA and MIC.

"After independence was gained, who brought about the changes in towns and the rural areas of our country, fighting poverty, bringing in infrastructure in the towns and rurals, opening up land schemes for the landless, housing, roads, schools? Who built up our country if not for Umno and the BN," he said.

It was Umno and the BN component parties that handled various crises that affected the nation including a communist insurgency and confrontation with Indonesia besides economic ones, he said, adding that at about the time of independence, the Malays could have formed the government by themselves but the leaders did not take this path.

Instead, he said, they, including Malaysia's first prime minister the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, invited the other races to share power from the very beginning.

"When the May 13 tragedy happened, we took over but did not impose martial law. Umno did not seize power but contained the situation and when normalcy returned, we got back and expanded the Alliance by forming the Barisan Nasional (BN).

But if it were to be another country, the majority race might have taken such an opportunity to grab power for itself, he said.

When asked to comment on yesterday's arson attacks on three churches around Kuala Lumpur at a press conference later, Najib said so far the government did not have any intention to bring up the matter to the Conference of Rulers.

Asked if the Internal Security Act would be used against the culprits, he said Malaysia had sufficient laws to punish those responsible.

He said what was more important now was to get the evidence and identify the perpetrators.

Commenting on the manhandling of a priest, Najib said :"In any society, there are people who like to break the law and take the law in their own hands.

"You cannot judge the reaction of one or two individual as indicative of the party's position, which is very clear on the issue," he said, adding that he would be visiting the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur this later in the evening.

That church and the Assumption Church and Life Chapel in Petaling Jaya were subjected to arson attacks by unknown assailants late Thurdsay and in the early hours of yesterday.

The attacks came in the wake of the High Court ruling that the Catholic Church could use the word "Allah" in its weekly publication, Herald. The ruling has since been stayed after the goverment filed an appeal against the decision.