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Monday, March 19, 2012

HAF Releases New Human Rights Report Amidst Worsening Plight of Hindus in Pakistan

58904008_rinkle1.jpgWashington, D.C. (March 16, 2012) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) released its eighth annual Hindu human rights report today amidst increased concern over the worsening plight of Hindus in Pakistan. The report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2011, documents human rights violations against Hindus in Pakistan as well as seven other countries and regions around the world, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago. It also summarizes the situation facing the small Hindu populations in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

According to the Foundation, Hindu minorities continue to be subjected to violent attacks, restrictions on religious freedom, discriminatory laws, and economic and social marginalization in many of these nations. In Malaysia, for instance, HAF asserts that the Bumiputra (Sons of the Soil) policies, enshrined in Article 153 of the Constitution, provide economic and social benefits to the majority ethnic Muslim Malay population, while explicitly discriminating against Hindus and other minorities. Moreover, non-Muslims are increasingly compelled to adjudicate family law cases through the Islamic Sharia law court system. This past November, the Foundation sponsored a Congressional briefing, Institutionalized Racism and Religious Discrimination in Malaysia, with exiled Malaysian Hindu civil rights leader, Waytha Moorthy, in order to raise awareness on these issues.

"While we are encouraged by improvements in the condition of Hindus in countries such as Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago, the situation for Hindus continues to significantly deteriorate in other areas, particularly Pakistan and Malaysia,” said Ramesh Rao, PhD, HAF’s Human Rights Coordinator and author of its 2011 report. “It is absolutely imperative that the international community and the U.S. government urgently address the systematic and rampant denial of fundamental human rights in these countries.”

The recent kidnapping and forced conversion of a young Pakistani Hindu girl, Rinkle Kumari, is indicative of the danger faced by the Hindu community in Pakistan, allege several human rights groups. Kumari was reportedly kidnapped from her home in Sindh province, forcibly converted to Islam, and married to a Muslim man with the assistance of a leading Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) politician’s son. The case has attracted widespread media attention and has shed light on the common practice of kidnappings and forced conversions in this South Asian nation.

According to numerous sources, including the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), at least 20 - 25 Hindu girls are kidnapped and converted to Islam every month in the southern Sindh province alone. HRCP further contends that local politicians, police authorities, and the courts are frequently complicit in such kidnappings and conversions, or fail to adequately protect the victims.

Kumari's case has also garnered the interest of U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), who wrote directly to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari earlier this week, urging him to intervene on Kumari’s behalf and ensure her safe return to her family. Rep. Sherman’s letter further called on President Zardari to put an end to the kidnappings and other acts of “harassment” of the Hindu community in Pakistan.

"Rinkle Kumari’s case is a heartbreaking example of the desperate plight faced by Hindu girls and their families in Pakistan,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF’s Director and Senior Fellow for Human Rights. “Unfortunately, such kidnappings are only one of a litany of abuses Hindus confront in that country.” The Foundation’s latest report notes that Hindus and other minorities are subjected to a wide range of violence and persecution in Pakistan, including abductions for ransom, attacks on places of worship, and institutional and legal discrimination. Poor rural Hindus are also victimized by the bonded labor system, where they are unable to pay off debts to feudal landlords.

The majority of Pakistan’s remaining Hindu population reside in Sindh, with smaller concentrations in the provinces of Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkwa. Many Sindhi advocacy groups, such as World Sindhi Congress (WSC) and the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) have been active in raising awareness about the plight of Hindus in Sindh.

Morocco protest against rape-marriage law

Several hundred women's rights activists have demonstrated outside Morocco's parliament to demand the
Women's rights activists protesting in Rabat, Morocco - 17 March 2012 
Morocco's penal code allows a rapist to marry his victim if she is a minor as a way of avoiding prosecution.

A 16-year-old girl, Amina Filali, killed herself a week ago after being severely beaten during a forced marriage to her rapist.

The protesters held signs saying, "The law has killed Amina".

The parents of Amina Filali were at the protest, says the BBC's Nora Fakim, in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

They say their daughter was pressured by a local court into marrying her rapist, who then abused her.

She died after swallowing rat poison on 10 March.
'Special circumstances'

Her case has shocked many in Morocco. Women's rights groups have started an online campaign to have the law - article 475 - repealed. A Facebook page called "We are all Amina Filali" has been set up.

"What we have witnessed is scandalous. We have had enough. We must change this law, we must change the penal code," said Fouzia Assouli, the president of the Democratic League for Women's Rights.

Ms Filali came from the small northern town of Larache, near Tangiers.

In poor, conservative rural areas such as this, it is unacceptable for a woman to lose her virginity before marriage - and the dishonour is hers and her family's even if she is raped, our correspondent says.

The legal age of marriage in Morocco is 18, unless there are "special circumstances" - which is the reason why Ms Filali was married despite being under-age.

A judge can only recommend marriage if all parties involved agree - but activists say pressure is often applied to the victim's family to avoid a scandal.

Ms Filali's father said that when he reported the rape of his daughter, he was advised of the option to marry by court officials.

"The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry. He said, 'Go and make the marriage contract'," Lahcen Filali told an online newspaper, goud.ma.

Campaigners are also calling for the judge who allowed the marriage and the rapist to be jailed.

Najib promotes contracts for qualified Bumiputera firms, not cronies

SHAH ALAM, March 18 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants government contracts to be given to those who were qualified, and not cronies, admitting today Putrajaya had bailed out troubled Bumiputera companies that did not deserve to be given contracts due to their political connections.
The prime minister said while Barisan Nasional’s pro-Bumiputera policies were correct, their implementation had been “off the mark” due to the tendency to award jobs to those who did not have the expertise.
Prime Minister Najib: Implementation “off the mark”. — Picture by Choo Choy May
He warned that such practices must cease if Malaysia wished to become a developed nation and achieve high-income status by 2020. “We must be give to Bumiputera who are qualified, not the people we know,” he told some 700 retired senior civil servants at De Palma Hotel here. “Help those who deserve to be helped... those who have proven their ability.”
Najib, who is chairman of BN, said the tender process must therefore be made more transparent and fair to ensure that only worthy Bumiputera individuals were given contracts.
He said Bumiputeras must shed their “rent-seeking mentality” if Malaysia was to transform into a progressive and modern country.
“There’s no use asking ministers to sign letters (of support) when we don’t build up Bumiputera capacity. This is what’s wrong,” he said.
This did not mean he could guarantee there would no longer be failures, he said, but stressed that the giving out of contracts to Bumiputeras would be improved.
The government’s privatisation policy in the 1980s saw a slew of infrastructure projects given to politically connected tycoons but the Asian financial crisis triggered a meltdown, forcing Putrajaya to take over and nurse the companies back to the black.
Among those affected were diversified conglomerate UEM, flag carrier MAS and several telcos absorbed by their competitors.
Under the Najib administration, state asset manager Khazanah Nasional Berhad has divested itself of national car maker Proton Bhd to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s DRB-HICOM group.
Syed Mokhtar, who has close ties with Umno politicians, also has a stake in several big ventures including a rail double-tracking project and the city train project.
Critics say the government is still pandering to cronies and has yet to be serious about transarency in business. Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have promised to unwind unfreindly deals when they take power.

Anwar takut RPK bocor rahsia - TPM


(Bernama) - Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin menyifatkan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai penakut kerana meminta penganjur forum Wikileaks mengeluarkan nama Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) dari senarai peserta forum itu.
Muhyiddin berkata, keengganan ketua pembangkang itu untuk berdepan dengan pengendali portal

Malaysia-Today menunjukkan bahawa Anwar bimbang Raja Petra akan membocorkan segala rahsianya.

"Dia (Anwar) hanya sanggup berdepan dengan orang asing tetapi tak sanggup berdepan dengan Raja Petra.

Raja Petra sudah mencabar dia berkali-kali, nampaknya mungkin kerana dia takut berhadapan dengan Raja Petra yang pernah menjadi penyokong kuat beliau (akan) membocorkan rahsia-rahsianya.

"Jadi, kalau Anwar betul anak jantan, dia patut ke depan dan tak harus bimbang, jangan takut sangat apa yang disebut Raja Petra, malahan cabaran yang dibuat oleh Raja Petra tak disahut, mungkin (ada) sesuatu yang beliau (Anwar) nak selindung dari orang ramai," katanya kepada pemberita selepas melancarkan jentera pilihan raya UMNO Wilayah Persekutuan di Stadium Tertutup Titiwangsa di sini hari ini.

Forum yang berlangsung semalam di Kent, England bagi membincangkan senario politik global itu turut mempertemukan pengasas laman web WikiLeaks Julian Assange dan Anwar menerusi komunikasi Skype.

Investigating Judges Named in Malaysia Submarine Graft Case


Image
A Scorpene submarine ties up n Malaysia
French case draws closer to Malaysian officials
Two magistrates have been nominated in Paris to investigate the politically explosive 2002 purchase of Scorpene submarines by the Malaysian Ministry of Defense when Najib Tun Razak was Defense Minister.

The case focuses on a 1.2 billion euro contract called a “programme soumalais” with the state-owned French defense giant DCNS, formerly known as DCN. The contract was later transferred to Armaris, a joint venture between DCNS and the French company Thales. In questioning in the Dewan Rakyat, the Malaysian Parliament, it transpired that a €114 million (US$150 million at current exchange rates) commission had been paid to a newly-minted company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd, nominally owned by the wife of one of Najib’s best friends, Abdul Razak Baginda, then the head of a Malaysian think-tank.

It is likely to take several years before the case comes to fruition. In the meantime Najib, now Malaysia’s prime minister and head of the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, is preparing for snap elections, possibly in May or June, according to political observers in Kuala Lumpur.

At the heart of the story are allegations of a massive scandal involving not only Malaysian officials but top French politicians and arms purchases in Pakistan, Taiwan, India, Chile, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and other countries as DCNS geared up to sell naval equipment across the planet. The allegations include blackmail, kickbacks, a string of murders in Pakistan, Taiwan and Malaysia and involvement of such top figures as former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and others.

Other magistrates are handling different aspects of the affair. One, called “l’affaire Karachi,” has raised suspicions of the involvement of the current French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who faces a difficult re-election campaign. Sarkozy has angrily denied any involvement. In that case, the deaths of 11 French engineers who were blown up in Karachi was first laid to a bomb set by Al Qaeda. However the bomb was later believed to have been set off by Pakistani military officials angered because the French had reneged on bribes promised by Balladur but cancelled by Jacques Chirac after he defeated Balladur for the presidency.

Judges investigating the affair have been probing whether Balladur received “retro commissions” or kickbacks for the contract. Balladur has given no credible explanation for 10 million French francs (€1.5 million) which found their way into his campaign coffers. Sarkozy was his campaign finance minister at the time.

In accordance with the French legal system, the Malaysia case has first been the subject of a preliminary survey from the financial division of the legal police. So the appointment of the two investigating judges, Serge Tournaire and Roger Le Loire, follows more than two years of investigation. The two are known for previous investigations on national and international corruption matters. They have broader powers to investigate independently and can call witnesses and conduct international surveys.

According to financial statements, the cost of the program was divided into four contracts:
  • The contrat Scorpene, about €670 million, for two Scorpene submarines, built in France and Spain, and delivered in July 2009 and July 2010 ;
  • The contrat Formation, signed in 2003, to train 156 submariners over four years.
  • The contrat Ouessant for the rehabilitation of an Agosta-type submarine which has never seen service and is now a museum in Malaysia. The two together amount to 313 million euros/
  • The contrat Malsout, provided logistics for the installation of Malaysian navy personnel, over 200 people located in Brest and Cherbourg, from December 2002.
The payment of bribes -- called commissions in this case – to foreign public officials as part of international contracts has been illegal in France since the ratification of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Convention on bribery of September 2000.

Since the beginning of the probe, bribes amounting to €32.5 million have been investigated, authorities say.
In other cases involving DCNS, particlarly the Karachi one, Nicholas Bazire, 54, the best man at Sarkozy’s wedding to supermodel Carla Bruni, was arrested and charged with misuse of public funds in Balladur’s 1995 presidential campaign. Another friend, Thierry Gaubert, Sarkozy’s cabinet chief when he was budget and communication minister, was arrested earlier.

Sarkozy is seeking avoid the appointment of an instruction judge in other aspects of the DCN case.. But the political knives may be out, especially if Sarkozy loses the presidential election.Having been named in the press in the Karachi case, observers in Paris say he could use the Malaysian case as a weapon against the Socialists. Currently his Socialist opponent, Francois* Hollande, leads him by 10 percentage points. The first round of voting is to be held in May.

The case also holds obvious political implications for Najib. A former DCN financial director, questioned in another case, alleged that the Malaysian case violated the OECD bribery convention. The Malaysian end of the episode has received widespread publicity, not just because of the €114 million commission paid to Razak Baginda’s company, but because of the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and party girl, who was killed in 2006 by two of Najib’s bodyguards and whose body was blown up with military explosives in a patch of jungle outside Shah Alam.

Razak Baginda’s jilted lover, Altantuya was believed to have served as a translator in at least some of the negotiations over the submarines and is believed to have accompanied Razak Baginda and Najib to France. In a note found after her death, she said she was attempting to blackmail Razak Baginda for US$500,000. Najib has sworn on the Quran that he never met the woman.

The two bodyguards were found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. Although Razak Baginda was arrested along with the two, he was freed without having to put on a defense and immediately left the country for England. The appeal of the two bodyguards has droned on for more than two years and has been delayed again until August, after expected elections.

The French judges face many difficulties. During a police search of the DCNS offices few files were allowed to be opened. Most remain closed on the pretext that they contain military secrets.

Moreover, no DCNS cases have yet been completed. Unlike in the United States, no plea bargaining is allowed. The judges are almost certain to face industry opposition, particularly in this case, which made Malaysia DCNS’s first export customer.

The judges may also face political opposition despite their independence. The Scorpene contracts spanned a long series of governments – prepared with the approval of the government of the Socialist Party, signed under the conservative Union pour UN Movement Popularize government of then-Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Refrain. Jacques Chirac was the president of both governments. Suspicions of illegal kickbacks --“retrocommissions” – will complicate the problems.

The investigation, however, should finally allow investigators to confront the complexity of the financial circuits used by companies. Since the ratification of the OECD Convention, companies have thought twice about diverting commission payments directly to foreign public officials, steering payments through foreign subsidiaries (Armaris had a subsidiary in Kuala Lumpur) or through intermediaries.. However, the 2007 law made it clear that none of these remedies would allow companies to bypass justice.

According to the 2007 French law, conviction for bribery is subject to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 150 million euros.
*Typo corrected 18 Mar 2012

Careful, Ibs, lest you noose yourself with your apostasy laws!

Ibrahim Ali has joined the bandwagon of the many others who hold themselves out as the defenders of Islam in calling for the enactment of an Apostasy Act. Malaysiakini has the report HERE.

What would they prescribe?

Death to the apostates?

Ib laments that part of the problem is the well-to-do Muslims not helping their more impoverished brethren.

Does he mean like Najib spending 1/2 a million ringgit on an engagement banquet for his daughter for less than 1000 guests whilst Muslim sibling students in Selayang have to share one set of school uniform for the entire week?

What about UMNO’s and Perkasa’s ketuanan Melayu?

UnIslamic?

An act of apostasy?

Did not the prophet (pbuh), in his final sermon say that :

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action”

Penjualan Maju Expressway: Geran bernilai RM976.7j perlu dipulangkan kpd rakyat - Rafizi

Penjualan Maju Expressway: Geran bernilai RM976.7j perlu dipulangkan kpd rakyat - Rafizi

Saya mengikuti dengan rapat penjualan konsesi Lebuhraya Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya oleh Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd kepada EP Manufacturing Berhad dalam urusniaga yang dilaporkan bernilai RM1.7 bilion.

Ini menimbulkan keraguan serta merta memandangkan pembinaan lebuhraya tersebut menggunakan dana awam yang besar melalui geran kerajaan bernilai RM976.7 juta. Kos keseluruhan lebuhraya tersebut dianggarkan bernilai RM1.32 bilion dan sebahagian besarnya dibiayai oleh rakyat melalui geran RM976.7 juta yang diberikan kerajaan kepada Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd. Selain geran tersebut, saya menganggarkan suntikan dana yang dibuat oleh Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd hanyalah sekitar RM60 juta (iaitu 4.5% dari kos keseluruhan) kerana ia turut meminjam RM370 juta dari institusi kewangan.

Oleh yang demikian, penjualan berjumlah RM1.7 bilion ini akan memberi durian runtuh kepada Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd sekiranya geran oleh kerajaan berjumlah RM976.6 juta tidak dikembalikan. Jika ini berlaku, selepas membayar hutang institusi kewangan berjumlah RM370 juta, bermakna Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd bakal membuat keuntungan berjumlah sekitar RM1.33 bilion sedangkan modal pelaburannya dianggarkan RM60 juta sahaja.

Kembali dana rakyat

Saya mendesak Perdana Menteri selaku Menteri Kewangan mengesahkan sama ada Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd akan mengembalikan dana rakyat sejumlah RM976.7 juta itu, kerana jika tidak ia menimbulkan lebih banyak persoalan yang akan terus menaikkan kemarahan rakyat?

Jika keuntungan RM1.33 bilion itu disimpan oleh Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, apakah perjanjian di antara Perdana Menteri dengan pemilik Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd yang diketahui umum penyokong kuat UMNO? Adakah wujud persefahaman agar keuntungan atas angin yang merampas dana rakyat itu akan disalurkan kembali kepada UMNO sebagai dana pilihanraya?

Sejak akhir-akhir ini, keghairahan Perdana Menteri meluluskan urusniaga melibatkan kroni UMNO/Barisan Nasional bernilai berbilion ringgit menguatkan syak wasangka rakyat bahawa harga yang tinggi yang dikenakan kroni merugikan rakyat. Tambahan pula, urusniaga dalam serba kerahsiaan dan tiadanya ketelusan boleh menguatkan lagi wasangka rakyat itu.

Penjualan konsesi lebuhraya ini adalah urusniaga yang kedua dalam masa sebulan yang membelakangkan kepentingan rakyat, selepas pembelian aset dan perniagaan Ananda Krishnan oleh dana 1MDB yang dikawal sepenuhnya Perdana Menteri berjumlah RM8 bilion, walaupun 1MDB tidak pernah ada sebarang pengalaman di dalam industri penjanaan tenaga.

Jumlah dana rakyat yang terlibat sebanyak RM976.6 juta itu adalah empat kali ganda lebih tinggi dari dana yang membabitkan NFC. Perdana Menteri mungkin berfikiran beliau boleh mendiamkan diri mengenai NFC, tetapi sudah tentu jumlah dana rakyat sebesar RM976.6 juta ini memerlukan jawapan dari beliau memandangkan urusniaga tersebut tidak boleh berlaku tanpa kelulusan beliau sendiri sebagai Menteri Kewangan.

MOHD RAFIZI RAMLI

Pengarah Strategi KEADILAN

11 Die In Van-train Collision

From Ahmad Fuad Yahya

JAKARTA, March 18 (Bernama) - Eleven people were killed when a van was involved in a crash with a train at an ungated railway crossing in Cibeureum, Tasikmalaya, West Java Sunday.

Ten of the victims reportedly died at the scene of the crash while another died in hospital. Three people were also hurt in the crash.

The incident occurred when the van's engine suddenly died in the middle of the track while crossing the railway line at 10am.

The crash sent the van packed with passengers several metres beside the railway line not far from a padi field.

Najib gives scholarships for Indian students, praises SMC

Prime Minister Najib says government would provide full scholarships for top 100 Indian students who achieved first class degree.
UPDATED
 
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was in high praises of the Sri Murugan Centre over the key role played by the education centre in educating thousands of Indian students.

Minutes after launching the 30th  anniversary celebrations of Sri Murugan Centre (SMC) here, Najib tweeted to show his appreciation to the centre.
“They have done much for the Indian community,” he tweeted.

Earlier in his speech, Najib said the government would provide full scholarships for top 100 Indian students who achieved first class degree.

They will be provided the financial aid to pursue education at local public universities, he said.
“These top students can now pursue post-graduate degrees at public universities should they decide to do so,” he added.

The prime minister said that the scholarship award showed the government’s commitment to education for Malaysian Indians.

He said the scholarships announcement was to fulfill the promises he made at the launching of the 1Malaysia Indian Student Movement (1MISM) last year.

“In 2011, I announced at the launch of 1MISM that more opportunities for funding will be given to first class honours Indian undergraduates at public universities whereby they can pursue their Masters and PhDs at IPTAs.

He also repeated his earlier assurance that 1,000 places for matriculation will be offered to Indian students who have excelled in the 2011 SPM examinations. This offer will kickstart from the 2012/2013 intake.

At a press conference afterwards, the prime minister also announced that a new Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) made up of two four-storey classroom blocks would be built in Taman PJS 1 here.

Najib said the school would be named SJKT Tan Sri V Manikavasagam in appreciation of the contributions the late former president of MIC in advancing the Indian community in the country.

“Construction will begin this year itself,” he added.

The prime minister’s scholarships announcement for the top 100 Indian students was received well by more than 6,000 students, parents and teachers who attended the SMC celebrations today.

The Sri Murugan Centre has served a crucial role in helping more than 23,000 students from the low and middle income groups become graduates.

Dedicated to teaching

Speaking to FMT last week, SMC founder M Thambirajah said that the centre was committed to its three main principals – all are created equal, all have been bestowed with the same intelligence and faith in religion is crucial to success in education.

“All children are not born stupid. All are born equal and SMC really cares for our children. We invited the PM to recognise the achievement of our children over the years and reaffirm our commitment towards nation building,” he added.

Thambirajah said the centre was founded on Sept 24, 1982 by him and a group of 42 students of the Tamil Language Society and lecturers of Universiti Malaya.
He recalled that he initiated the centre in that year after only 120 students qualified for the Arts faculty of UM despite 160 places having been allocated for Indian students.

“This resulted in under qualified students being given places to fullfil the quota requirement at that time,” he said.

Thambirajah said SMC and its volunteers were dedicated to teaching and guiding its students to discover their full potential.

“For the last 30 years, we have come a long way in narrowing the gap between those who are well educated and not educated.

[main photo from SMC website]

‘Muslims don’t understand their own religion’

National Inter-faith committee member Dr Mohammad Nawar Ariffin believes there is a lot of 'confusion' over Islam and the 'quality of Muslims have begun to deteriorate.'

KUALA LUMPUR: The quality of Muslims in the country have deteriorated and younger Muslims have lost sight of the ‘original ways’ of their forefathers, said Malaysian Assembly of Mosque Youth chairman Dr Mohammad Nawar Ariffin yesterday.

“Who are the Muslims? If you study the history of Malaysia. Why have we lost the generation that can mingle together regardless of religion?

“I see the quality of Muslims have started to deteriorate. We have deviated. It is very dangerous. I do not want to start the blame game. But I just want us to see our humanity and love again,” said the orthopedic surgeon, who is also member of a national inter-faith committee that reports to the Prime Minister’s Department.

“In those days, because of the understanding of the religion, my father and his father actually did wonderful things to understand others.

“If everyone of us in Malaysia do not protect Islam then we will be in trouble.”

“Now we have a different understanding of Islam. We have a lot of confusion of Islam. That is why they cannot understand the non-Muslims. We can only expect disaster. Let’s bring back the original Islam.

“Now we think in terms of ‘you are less religious, we are more religious’. We are the majority, you are the minority, let’s not do all that because that is not the original teachings,” said Mohammad Nawar during a public forum entitled “Religion and Unity in a Multi-ethnic Society” organised by MCA think-thank INSAP.

Confused Muslims

Mohammad Nawar said that many Muslims don’t even understand their own religion and some who claim to speak for the religion contradict each other.

“If we of the Muslim faith are confused, how do we expect the non-Muslims to understand this?”

“Please don’t concentrate on what you should do and not do as a Muslim. We should actually practice what the Prophet Muhamad taught, which is love.

“He has stories that he has actually fed a Jew on one occasion. This shows to me that he could cut across boundaries of religion and race. Why can’t we practice that?”

Mohammad Nawar said the youth now want to act and be immobilised and be involved in volunteer programmes.

“Come let’s go and help an old folks home. They ask me, that is Chinese or Indian. So what? No problem.”

Choking back tears, Mohammad Nawar said “I still remember a Chinese boy who helped carry an older Muslim man to the mosque and he said ‘I just want to help him pray’. Isn’t that what is good in our hearts?”

Pembaikpulihan bumbung SRJK(T) RRIM sedang dilakukan

Exco Dr. Xavier Jayakumar pada 6 Mac mengumumkan bantuan RM 50,000 kepada sekolah tersebut.

PETALING JAYA: Kerja-kerja -kerja pembaikpulihan  bumbung Sekolah Tamil RRIM di Sungai Buloh  akibat ribut kuat pada akhir  Februari lalu sedang giat dijalankan supaya dapat digunakan apabila sekolah bermula pada minggu depan .

Adun Kota Damansara Dr Nasir Hashim berkata, kebanyakkan struktur bumbungnya telah rosak dan perlu diperbaiki d iketiga -tiga blok bangunan sekolah satu tingkat ini .

Katanya, semasa ribut tersebut juga air hujan telah membanjiri kebanyakkan bilik darjah dan juga perpustakaan.

Dr. Nasir  berkata, beliau dengan Ahli Parlimen Subang, R Sivarasa sekolah tersebut dan mendapati kebanyakkan struktur bumbung  di ketiga -tiga blok bangunan sekolah satu tingkat itu perlu diperbaiki.

Beliau memohon bantuan segera  dari kerajaan Selangor dan Exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar pada 6 Mac  mengumumkan bantuan RM 50,000 kepada sekolah tersebut.

Korporat bantu

“Beberapa pihak korporat juga telah menghulurkan bantuan untuk membantu para  pelajar sekolah Tamil .

“Sumbangan barangan bumbung dan ‘hardware’  bernilai RM 30,000 disediakan oleh sebuah syarikat pembekal. Sebuah lagi syarikat kontraktor swasta memberikan bantuan RM 10,000 dengan tenaga pekerjanya untuk menyiapkan kerja tersebut secepat mungkin,” kata Presiden PSM itu dalam satu kenyataan hari ini .

Pada masa, Dr Nasir juga  memberikan bantuan kewangan RM200 kepada setiap keluarga pekerja RRIM yang mengalami kerugian akibat ribut itu .

Sebanyak 34 keluarga ini menerima RM 200 seorang, tambahnya.