Monday, December 31, 2007

Malaysia Urged To Lift Ban On Huge Taoist Statue

Malaysia’s opposition on Monday urged the government to lift a ban on construction of the world’s tallest Taoist Goddess of the Sea statue on Borneo island in the latest row over sensitive racial and religious issues.

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, who heads the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party, warned that if the row was not resolved it could hurt racial harmony in the Muslim-dominated country.

‘The insensitive controversy objecting to the building of the Mazu statue is created by a small group of Muslims with ulterior political objectives, which set a dangerous precedent in undermining inter-religious goodwill in Malaysia,’ he said.

Local authorities in the fishing village of Kudat in Sabah state had approved construction of the 36-metre (108-foot) Mazu statue in December 2005.

Workers had completed the platform when the state government ordered work be halted. The state mufti (Muslim scholar) last July followed up with a religious decree that the statue would offend Islam.

Sabah’s deputy chief minister resigned in protest and in early December filed a legal suit challenging the order to halt construction.

Lim said the issue had been mishandled by the government. ‘The controversy undermines nation-building, inter-religious understanding and makes Malaysia an international laughing stock,’ he said.

Malaysian commentators have sounded alarm over the growing ‘Islamisation’ of the country and the increasing polarisation of the three main ethnic communities, which mix much less than in the past.

Religion and language are sensitive issues in multiracial Malaysia, which experienced deadly race riots in 1969.

In recent weeks there have been controversies over a Catholic newspaper’s use of the word ‘Allah’ and Islamic Sharia court cases between Muslims and their non-Muslim spouses.

Five Hindu rights activists have also been detained under a tough security law following a mass rally alleging discrimination against ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

About 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims. The rest are mostly Buddhist, Hindu or Christian Chinese and Indians. (Khaleej Times Online)

***** Lim Kit Siang is absolutely correct on two points. Firstly this is the dirty work of just a few scheming politicians and officials aligned to Umno. Secondly Malaysia has become in many ways an international laughing stock, which is sad really, for if only the top Malay leadership could avoid seeing everything through the lens of race and religion and taking decisions which are both divisive and politically expedient, there would be true racial harmony unlike the fake type we see on RTM's propaganda channels. Moreover polarisation would be a word Malaysians would not have heard of. Now wouldn't that have been nice?

Earlier related post: 30-Metre High Jesus Statue Built In Indonesian City, While Sabah Mufti's Fatwa Declares Buddhist Statues Haram.
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Indonesian Media Observers Slam Zainuddin Maidin, Say Media There More Democratic Than In Malaysia

Media observers criticized Saturday the statement made by a Malaysian minister regarding press freedom in Indonesia, saying the media here was more democratic than in Malaysia.

Communications expert from the University of Indonesia Effendi Gazali said Malaysian Information Minister Dato' Seri Zainudin Maidin had made a mistake by concluding the Indonesian media was insensitive to Malaysian politics on the basis that the views of Malaysian government opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim were given space in the local media.

"That was a huge mistake," he said, referring to the minister's actions. "He (the minister) said that just to protect his government's interest."

He said the minister should not have made an issue of the fact that an Indonesian reporter interviewed Anwar Ibrahim.

"We Indonesians would be very happy if the Malaysian media or scholars criticized President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or other Indonesian leaders."

Similar comments came from the secretary general of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Abdul Manan.

Manan said the minister viewed the issue from the Malaysian perspective, a country where the press is suppressed by the state.

"What's wrong with interviewing Anwar Ibrahim? Indonesians also have the right to know what's going on in Malaysia."

Manan said the media in the neighboring country was now in more or less the same situation as was the Indonesian press during the New Order regime.

"Press freedom is very limited in Malaysia, which makes the media there less critical of the government.

"Rallies or other events that may reflect negatively on the government are rarely covered because doing so invites repression," said Manan.

The minister's comments came amid other criticism of an October interview with Anwar on a talk show called K!CK Andy on Metro TV.

Host and Metro TV chief executive Andy F. Noya said Anwar Ibrahim was interviewed because of his ideas on Indonesia-Malaysia relations and the rise of Asians in international leadership circles. "As a reformist leader, Anwar's thought is worth listening to," Andy told The Jakarta Post. He added that Metro TV had no intention of meddling in Malaysia's internal matters.

"It's not the responsibility of the Indonesian press to maintain the stability of Malaysian politics. That's the responsibility of the Malaysian government. Speaking of sensitivity, how sensitive are the Malaysian government and media about Indonesia," said Andy.

Effendi said the Malaysian government and media frequently labeled Indonesia's democracy and press "too open" and misguided, while intimating that Malaysian democracy was on the right track.

"That was exactly how (New Order information minister) Harmoko and other New Order leaders used to defend themselves when they were asked by the international community about democracy in Indonesia."

Although economically Malaysia is now wealthier than Indonesia, he said Indonesians should be happy to know they are living in a more democratic system.

"Democracy in Malaysia is an artificial democracy. Just look at the trial of Anwar Ibrahim."

"Even people conducting peaceful demonstrations are taken into custody for internal security reasons," said Effendi.

He added that although Indonesian democracy had yet to bring prosperity to the people, at least the political tension in the country did not lead to bloodshed as it did in other countries. "Despite some problems, we are on the path to real democracy," he said.

However, both Effendi and Manan said Indonesia still had work to do to see through the implementation of democracy and media performance. "Our democracy has yet to guarantee law enforcement which is one of the essential pillars of democracy," said Effendi. Manan said Indonesian journalists needed to work harder to improve their public image. (Alfian, The Jakarta Post)

*****
Three cheers to the Indonesian media observers for their very accurate assessment of the situation in Malaysia as well as for directly telling info-dictator Zam to stuff it. This intolerant umnoputera having already made an ass of himself domestically as well as on Al Jazeera, has now become notorious in Indonesia as well. It's about time he realised that he simply can't go to other countries and try his brand of bullshitting. Here because of his standing in Umno as well as the pro-Umno stance and logic he spins regularly with, he can get away talking rubbish. At least in future I hope he just keeps shut and not be a busybody giving out unsolicited opinion and advice.

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Bloggers Around The Globe Pay Their Tribute To Benazir Bhutto

BENAZIR BHUTTO'S FINAL SECONDS

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has generated an enormous scale of response throughout the globe. People not just in Pakistan but all over the world have responded to her death with great shock and dismay. This mass-scale response is evident from the fact that bloggers have flooded the internet with reactions to this unfortunate incident.

From tributes and expression of sorrow to conspiracy theories on who was responsible for Benazir’s murder, bloggers have discussed almost all aspects of the hideous deed that was committed December 27.

The pain and anguish that the people are going through is apparent in the words that they have used in their blogs.

Hyder Yusafzai wrote: “Today I am in pain, I am in anger and my heart bleeds for Benazir Bhutto and her family and for my beloved Pakistan.”

Marcia from Portland Oregon, USA wrote: “The whole world is crying. A brave and beautiful woman, dedicated to making the world a better place. My heart is broken.”

Some grew up witnessing the life of Benazir Bhutto such as Umarah, who wrote, “I feel sad and I am still in shock. I grew up with her politics around me and I feel very strange that my kids will not know of her as one of the most powerful leaders of her times, just like I didn’t see any of her father’s politics.”

Most of the bloggers have used beautiful words to present their tributes to the great lady as can be seen in the following blog posted by one Leighann: “I am so saddened by this loss. This woman of such great strength and zeal who, for all else, believed in her country and in her desire to bring it into a modern world. Benazir Bhutto died for her country, died fighting for a better way, died believing Pakistan could be a shining star. To the men who couldn’t handle it, may swift winds come your way, you cannot stop change.”

Dr J. S. Gill from Malaysia wrote: “My condolences to her immediate family and the people of Pakistan. My wife and I are saddened by this tragic loss of your country’s ex-PM and a world-renowned politician. She was a brave woman to take the risks for the return of democracy to Pakistan.”

Some like Erin from the USA made the message small but precise: “We are grieving with you.”

Lala Hasan used the following poetry for her: “What kind of flowers could we offer you on your grave. You left during a season when the branches of trees are empty.”

Mrs Akram understands the pain that Benazir’s children must be going through. She wrote: “I am shocked. I am not thinking who she was except that she was a mother.”

Some who personally knew Benazir Bhutto like Haroo-Pascal Mian also posted on a blog: “Dear Pinky, We will all miss you. I remember the first time I saw you, it was on your first day at Karachi Grammar School. The big buzz was ‘Pinky is here, Pinky is here!’ at the morning assembly. Everyone was trying to have a look at you. You are Benazir to others, to me you will always be Pinky.”

People of all castes, races, religions and boundaries have shown solidarity and set aside their differences in expressing their grief and sorrow over the death of a woman they all loved and admired.

Rohit from India wrote: “Growing up in India, Benazir Bhutto remained an alluring figure, beautiful, impossibly brave, tragically flawed, and bearing the heavy burden of destiny. Her death is a tragedy of immense proportions, for all those who hoped for a better South Asia.”

There are thousands of blogs from all across the world with similar sentiments. They are a great tribute to a great personality, who has become a larger-than-life figure in her death, as she was during her lifetime. (Bilal Farooqi, Daily Times)
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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Samy Vellu To Meet India's Leaders To Explain Our Situation. Isn't This Inviting Interference In Our Affairs Nazri?

According to a Bernama report the latest desperado in Malaysia's political landscape, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu claimed that he will be meeting Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to 'explain the real situation' concerning the Indian community in Malaysia.

Samy Vellu, who is also MIC president, said he would undertake a similar effort with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister S. Karunanidhi.

He said that in view of negative publicity arising from the Nov 25 illegal street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur involving a group of Indian Malaysians, he would explain to the two leaders the 'actual position' of the Indian community in Malaysia.

He hoped to meet the Indian prime minister on the sidelines of the Pravasi Barathiya Divas 2008 conference beginning Jan 7 which is an annual gathering of people of Indian origin from all over the world. He would also meet the Tamil Nadu chief minister here within the next few days, he said.

Samy Vellu said it was not true that Indians in Malaysia were deprived of so many things and that many Hindu temples had been demolished arbitrarily.

"Some of the temples were demolished because of court orders as they were built illegally," he said, adding that many of the temples were 'relocated' to alternative sites.

He also said that the Malaysian government had 'created many opportunities' for Indian Malaysians and many were doing well in various fields.

Samy Vellu expressed hope that his explanation to the Indian government would clear up any misunderstanding over the issue.

***** Since when did Samy Vellu usurp the position of the High Commissioner for India to Malaysia? It is the duty of the Indian mission here to apprise their leaders in New Delhi about whatever is going on in our country and not the business of a Malaysian cabinet minister, whether he be of Indian origin or not.

If any official message is to be communicated, we have a full-fledged Malaysian high commission in Delhi staffed by experienced diplomats who can do the job far better than any sycophantic political specimen. Samy Vellu is not a mandore of some estate who has to report to his Tuan in Delhi with a latex cup in hand.

What does Nazri who had earlier cautioned a politician in India to "keep off" and not interfere in Malaysia's domestic affairs have to say about the subservient stance taken by Sam? Is this not an invitation for the government of India to meddle in our politics? Especially since the federal leadership at Delhi has already made it clear that they have no intention of involving themselves in what they consider a totally Malaysian problem? Shouldn't the voluble Nazri be screaming his head off and demanding that the traitor Samy Vellu be kicked out of Barisan? It won't happen because Nazri is a smalltime bully who generally avoids fights with anyone bigger than him.

Basically Sam is trying to make the best of a bad situation by attempting to elicit some sympathy from Indian leaders. After the brutal suppression of the Hindraf rally and the subsequent visit to India by one Hindraf's senior men, Samy Vellu's reputation and credibility in the motherland started dwindling and it was a matter of time before he lost all goodwill from the big guns in Delhi and Chennai.

Whoever holds the office of MIC president is in a fortunate position where Indian officialdom is concerned. Doors which normally are shut to the average citizen and even senior Malaysian cabinet ministers and officers are silently opened and the incumbent is treated with respect and dignity for he is considered as the highest representative of the Malaysian 'section' of the Indian diaspora and is invited to major functions and even exclusive family receptions and celebrations of Indian leaders. It is the Indian government's oft-stated policy that they will not interfere in our affairs and they firmly stick to that assurance. But they do have great concerns about Indians everywhere including the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and the citizens of foreign countries of Indian origin like Samy Vellu. And the leadership there is said to have deep ties with influential Indians here. The advantages and benefits enjoyed by a president of the MIC by being close to highly-placed Indian politicians is 'bounteous'.

Therefore one is not wrong in suspecting that Sam's request for appointments with the top leadership there (which is surely to be granted by virtue of his post) is a desperate damage control exercise intended to bolster his standing and keep intact the goodwill of the Tuan2 in India. It is definitely not due to any out-of-character altruistic intention or desire on his part.
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Benazir Killing: "It's Against Our Culture To Attack Woman," Says Taliban

Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban


In a new twist to the killing of former Premier Benazir Bhutto, the Taliban commander blamed by the Pakistan government for masterminding the assassination denied any involvement in the attack.


Maulvi Muhammad Omar, a spokesman for Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, said in Peshawar on phone from an undisclosed location that the government was trying to implicate Mehsud to cover up its ‘failure’ to provide security to Bhutto.

"We are sad over Benazir Bhutto's death. We do not have any enmity with Pakistani leaders and are only opposed to the US," Omar said and described the government's claims about Mehsud's involvement in the suicide attack as ‘propaganda’.

The Interior Minister had on Friday blamed Mehsud and al-Qaida for a series of suicide attacks across Pakistan and the assassination of Bhutto, who was killed by a suicide attacker after an election rally in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said al-Qaida was bent on destabilising Pakistan.

Mehsud was recently chosen as chief of the Tehrik Taliban-e-Pakistan, a coalition of pro-Taliban groups from Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas.

Maulvi Omar said it was against tribal culture and traditions to attack a woman.

Omar also said a transcript released by the Interior Ministry of a purported conversation in which Mehsud apparently congratulated another person for the attack on Bhutto was ‘fabricated’. "Mehsud never congratulated anyone for the killing of Benazir Bhutto," he said. (Express India.com)

***** Everything seems to be in a state of disarray in Pakistan following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. There is so much confusion about what killed her; whether it was the gunshots, the suicide bomb or the impact which resulted in a fractured skull. Even the injuries sustained by her is shrouded in mystery. Now there are accusations, counter-accusations and denials over who really was responsible. Only time will unravel the true story behind this dastardly crime.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Power-Sharing, Tolerance Basis For Nation's Success." How Accurate Is This Najib Statement?

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says power-sharing and the exercise of tolerance in a multiracial society, practised by the government, are the basis for political stability and the nation's success.

The deputy prime minister said all component parties of the Barisan Nasional (BN) had the responsibility to safeguard the existing cooperation and collaboration among them to ensure that the country achieved greater excellence in the future.

"Surely, we cannot develop the country if we cannot maintain political stability," he said in his message in the souvenir programme published in conjunction with the 12th annual general assembly of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) which he is scheduled to open tomorrow.

Najib said solidarity and political stability had enabled the BN government to bring about development and enhance the quality of life of the people, including those in the rural areas.

"The government will continue to step up efforts to assist the rural people, particularly in Sabah," he said. (Bernama)

***** How so very nice Najib's speech sounds! But alas, there are a few crucial points that our revered DPM conveniently omitted. For one, he did not tell us that in our country the much hyped word tolerance has different 'functions' for different people. In the umnoputera lexicon, there are two types of 'tolerance'; one for the Malays and the other is the tolerance expected and often demanded of the non-Malays.

For the non-Malays it means that they are required to unquestioningly accept the Never Ending Policy (NEP) and all the injustice and discrimination which comes along with it. They have to acquiesce and passively support any and all plans or programmes of the government even if there is nothing in it for them or it places them at a distinct disadvantage. They have to smile, cheer on the Umno pemimpin and vote for the BN at every election.

In return for this laudable display of patriotism, 'tolerance (non-Malay)' and gratitude, the government on behalf of the Malays (or so they claim) will exercise the second type of tolerance. This 'tolerance (Malay)' is an implied one and which surfaces at every Umno general assembly and its direct meaning is the refraining from actively sponsoring/inciting/participating in bloodbaths and May 13 style pogrom.

The same 'democratic' principles apply for the other much hyped claim, namely 'power-sharing'. As long as Umno gets a disproportionate, lion's share of parliamentary and state seats, government posts and every single ministerial portfolio of consequence/importance and provided that the rest of the BN 'family' wholeheartedly agree to and merrily applaud every major decision and appointment made in the name of bangsa, agama dan negara, the country will continue to be stable, successful and populated by happy citizens who display true 'solidarity'.

So you see our 'formula' for
political stability and the nation's success is pretty straightforward. All it requires is remarkably thick non-Malay skin coupled with a commendable degree of humble servitude towards Umno, of which there is a surfeit in the BN 'family'.

If in the occasional event you get a maverick like Gerakan's S. Paranjothy who complained of race discrimination, he will be branded a traitor making 'baseless' allegations, be hounded out of the party and made such an example of, that other 'mischief-makers' would be convincingly discouraged from telling 'malicious lies' about the benevolent Umno leadership.

And finally, when Najib continues to make such nice muhibah speeches all over the country, the step-siblings of the BN 'family' would be expected to nod vigorously in grateful agreement and shout joyfully in unison, "Malaysia Boleh!"
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Friday, December 28, 2007

Malaysia Frees Four Suspected Militants Held For Five Years Under the ISA

Jemaah Islamiah's 'Future' Islamic State

Malaysia has freed four suspected Islamic militants held without trial under a tough security law for five years, a rights group said on Friday.


Malaysia can detain people for consecutive two-year terms without trial under internal security laws used mostly against suspected members of militant groups such as Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which is fighting for an Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

This month, five ethnic Indian activists from a group that had staged a mass anti-government protest were detained under such laws.

The GMI group, which opposes detention without trial, said the four suspected militants had been freed on Dec. 19 from a detention centre in northwestern Malaysia.

It said three of the four men -- Bakkery Mahhamud, Mohd Zamri Sukirman and Sabri Jaafar -- had been detained in December 2002 and the fourth, Zamzuri Sukirman, in January 2003.

Internal Security Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

The government has said in the past it would release detainees if they no longer posed a threat.

Malaysia has used the Internal Security Act, a legacy of its counter-insurgency campaign against the communists during British colonial times, to lock up dozens of suspected Islamic militants since Sept. 11, 2001.

The GMI rights group welcomed the release of the four, but said it was concerned by the residency curbs imposed on them and said many others were still in detention without trial.

"There are scores of detainees who are still being detained in the Kamunting Detention Camp, for the same allegations as those who were released," the group said in a statement.

Under Malaysia's Restricted Residence Act, the government can order people to remain within restricted zones around their homes and to report regularly to police.

The GMI called for all detainees at Kamunting to be either freed or charged and tried in court. (Reuters India)
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Moderates In Peril

From Gold Coast News, Australia

The assassination of Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is not just a sickening blow to her people. It also gives the whole world cause to worry.

Bhutto was a moderate who wanted a civilian, democratic, secular future for Pakistan -- in other words freedom for a people who have suffered for centuries at the hands of kings, military dictators, colonising powers and temporary invaders.

The early indications are that the 21st century's oppressive power in the region, Islamic fundamentalism, is to blame for yesterday's bloodshed.

To the fanatics who want to stop democracy in its tracks and establish an Islamic crescent of influence from Pakistan to the Mediterranean, the sort of freedoms espoused by Bhutto pose a threat.

Pakistan and Afghanistan represent a fault line running between great civilisations, in the same way the Balkans was the space between east and west in the lead-up to World War I.

Both countries are bordered by Iran in the west, by China in the northeast, and for centuries have been considered the gateways of the Middle East and Central Asia. The giant Hindu power of India, an old foe of Pakistan, is in the southeast.

US-backed Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Australian troops are serving with NATO forces to provide stability and order, represent plum pickings for Islamic radicals. This is the region where Osama bin Laden has his power base among al-Qaeda, where the Taliban flourishes and where terrorism training schools abound.

Islamic radicals have made it clear they want to sweep away the normal rule of law, the fruits of democracy and the freedoms normally afforded to people living in a secular society. They want to establish religious states, operating under Sharia law.

Attempts by the West to hold back extremism and exert influence in this area began in earnest with the arrival of English forces in 1839 and with the subsequent establishment of British colonial power up until 1947. The US Carter administration and the Russians also tried to exert control over Afghanistan from the late 1970s, accidentally inspiring the creation of extremists such as the Taliban.

The killing of Bhutto is the latest and most telling chapter in the long power struggle in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Moderate and secular politicians are under attack from ruthless Islamic zealots.

This is a disturbing development for moderate Islamic states everywhere -- in Turkey north of Iraq and in Malaysia and Indonesia in our neighbourhood.

We know, from the pressure brought to bear by extremist Muslim clerics and by the establishment of radical networks in South-East Asia, that fundamentalists are single-minded in their drive to establish Islamic states.

And we know, from their bomb attacks against young Westerners in Bali and their brutal attacks on Christians in Sulawesi, they can be savage when they want to oust non-Muslims from what they perceive to be their own territory.

The policy of containment of the insurgents by Western forces in Afghanistan is not guaranteed of success.

Nor can we be sure that unstable countries such as Pakistan will be saved from the grip of the Islamic fundamentalists. Disorder and chaos are the tools of these terrorists.

The concern is that widespread civil unrest in the wake of the Bhutto assassination and the possibility of next month's Pakistani elections being cancelled will create a power vacuum, allowing al-Qaeda and the Taliban to move in.

There is one other concern, and it is a big one. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and long-range missiles which, in the wrong hands, could prove disastrous for the world. Bhutto's passing proves that radicals see moderates as a threat, and Western nations must take something from that. It reinforces the belief that, without moderating forces such as our Diggers in Afghanistan, the fundamentalists would spread their poison far and wide.
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Lesson For Malaysian Government In Benazir Murder - Rein In Muslim Extremists Before It Is Too Late

How the assassination happened.

* Benazir Bhutto addresses an election rally at Rawalpindi. The rally turns out to be a success and she prepares to leave the venue.

* She was exiting Liaquat Bagh (the venue) when her vehicle, a Black Lexus bulletproof vehicle, stopped near the venue’s gate where her PPP workers were shouting party slogans.

* Benazir came out from the sunroof of her vehicle to respond to her supporters’ cheers when a motorcyclist armed with a Kalashnikov opened fire on her. The gunman fired five times at her from close range.

* Benazir fell inside her vehicle after receiving bullet injuries on her head, neck and chest.

* The attacker blew himself up after firing the shots, killing 20 Bhutto supporters and wounding many others.

* Benazir lies unattended for sometime before being picked up and rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital.

* Doctors attempt to resuscitate her for 35 minutes.

* At 6:16 PM (Pakistan time) doctors declare her dead.

* Late evening the body is taken in a coffin from the hospital to her hometown Larkana.

* Bhutto’s 19-year-old son rushes from Dubai.

* The funeral is to take place today, December 28th 2007.

May her soul rest in peace.

***** When the outrage over this tragic incident subsides there will be much analyses on what went wrong on that fateful day and where Pakistan is heading to. The perilous situation there serves as a valuable lesson for Muslim majority countries like Malaysia.

As a consequence of the late Pakistani military despot, Zia-ul-Haq's experiment and flirtation with an 'Islamic republic' there have been over the past decade and more, many reports and worried comments about the changing environment in Pakistan which was fast turning into an exporter of violence and terrorism. The mushrooming of unsupervised madrassahs had laid the ground for the grooming and nurturing of aberrant deviants who were taught to fervently believe that anything done by them in the name of the Supreme Being, even if it be wanton murder, was not only acceptable but indeed desirable and a prerequisite to be looked up to as a true follower of the faith. Part of the turmoil in Pakistan today can be attributed to this unregulated spread of an errant brand of Islam.

Allow me a little generalization/license here. After the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the 'creation' of India and Pakistan, both these countries were more or less on the same footing and at the same level of development or lack of it. Ethnically they were of the same stock and culturally they had more in common with each other than say with other Asians or Arabs. While India until today determinedly maintained its secular credentials despite its overwhelming Hindu majority, the Pakistanis went the way of an Islamic state. Both nations by and large inherited the same institutions of the colonialists and the same federal constitution. Over time India progressed albeit initially in fits and starts and slowly reaped the rewards of pragmatic policies and remained politically stable, in part by firmly ensuring that the state did not meddle with religion which was considered a personal matter between her citizens and God. Now with India at the verge of becoming an economic and military superpower, one is tempted to ask why Pakistan did not follow suit and is hopelessly stuck in the terrible quagmire it finds itself in today?

Looking at and recoiling in horror at the chaos that is Pakistan, we in Malaysia should consider ourselves a fortunate lot. If today we are considered an oasis of peace amidst the gore and violence wracking the world, a large part of the credit should go to the sober policies of successive governments here. No one can deny that. Even if many disagree with unfair policies on a lot of issues which may have made them unhappy they still have to acknowledge the very significant contribution of the government in maintaining uninterrupted peace and stability.

Having said that I must hasten to add that the record of our government over the past few years has brought much discomfiture to Malaysians in general and non-Muslims in particular. The authorities seem to be in an undue hurry to backtrack on the fundamental rights guaranteed to non-Muslims while aggressively attempting to justify and portray our country as an Islamic one with arguments which fly in the face of 'basic structure' provisions in the federal constitution. In an unwise and indeed dangerous game of one-upmanship which the ruling Umno party is playing to keep PAS at bay and their Malay-Muslim electorate and vote bank contented, are our leaders exposing the nation to the risks of a Pakistan-style extremist epidemic and unwittingly rendering the more religiously inclined and 'vulnerable' section of society to the manipulations of fundamentalist criminals in mullah's clothing?

Today Pakistan stands alone as a failed nuclear-armed Islamic state where society is increasingly being radicalized and is indicative of the rapid stride it has taken on the path of extremism under General Pervez Musharraf. If our government insists on going down the same path on the grounds of expediency rather than principle and for a little political gain, it won't take a genius to point out that a similar fate awaits us too.
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An interesting read from The Jerusalem Post: Analysis: The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Subashini Loses Bid To Stop Estranged Husband From Converting Youngest Son To Islam

Malaysia's highest court threw out on Thursday a bid by a Hindu woman to stop her estranged husband from converting their youngest son to Islam.

Her case is another sign of strain in the social fabric of the multi-racial nation, where many non-Muslims believe their rights are being trampled by the Muslim majority.

R. Subashini took legal action after her husband converted himself and their elder son, now four, to Islam in 2006. She says she now fears the husband wants to take their two-year-old, who still lives with her, and convert him to Islam as well.

The Federal Court rejected her request for an injunction on technical grounds, leaving her free to try again, but one judge noted the court's jurisdiction was limited, given the husband was now a Muslim and therefore governed by Islamic or sharia law.

"The civil and sharia courts cannot interfere with each other's jurisdiction," said Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, one of two judges who dismissed the case. One judge dissented.

Family law has become an emotional battleground between Malaysia's religious communities, with non-Muslims complaining civil courts are too willing to surrender jurisdiction to their Islamic counterparts in cases involving a Muslim conversion.

Marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims are forbidden in Malaysia, so once a non-Muslim spouse converts to Islam, the union is broken, lawyers say. While it can still exist under civil law, in reality the Islamic court does not recognise it.

A lawyer for R. Subashini said that although his client's case failed on a technicality, the judges' comments made it clear they recognised the husband's right, as a newly converted Muslim, to have recourse to the Islamic courts.

"The High Court has jurisdiction to hear matters when this is a non-Muslim marriage but the husband also has a right to sharia court under Islamic Law," lawyer K. Shanmuga said when asked by reporters to sum up the ruling's significance.

R. Subashini, a 29-year-old clerk, had initially asked the High Court to prevent her husband from gaining custody of both their sons through the sharia courts.

Her husband, a 32-year-old businessman, had converted to Islam and when he conveyed the news to his wife, she attempted suicide and was admitted to hospital. After her hospitalisation, she discovered her husband had converted their eldest son to Islam.

Her lawyers had told the Federal Court the civil system was the right place for this case because she was not a Muslim.

They cited a landmark ruling by the Federal Court in July which stated that if one party was a non-Muslim, the sharia court had no jurisdiction. This was a rare ruling that went against a tide of decisions granting jurisdiction to the Islamic courts. (Reuters)

***** Perhaps the time has come for our tourism department to change our fake slogan to a more accurate one - "Malaysia Truly West Asia".
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Allah Controversy - KL High Court Plays For Time

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has deferred the hearing of a Sabah church's application to sue the government over non-Muslims' right to use the word 'Allah'. The professed reason for this deferment is to allow both parties to 'discuss' the issues.

This unnecessary controversy was sparked by that unthinking idiot Johari Baharum, deputy Internal Security minister who sent a directive ordering the weekly to drop the use of the word "Allah," when referring to the God who Christians worship. Instead, the newspaper should use the word "Tuhan," which is a general term for God. He further compounded his ignorance by saying that "Allah" referred only to the Muslim god, and its use was designed to confuse Muslims.

"Malaysians are truly dumbfounded that the use of a single, widely used term to refer to the Almighty could be the basis for denying a basic right -- the freedom to publish," cried Aliran in a statement. It challenged Prime Minister Ahmed Badawi, who touts the 'moderate' Islam Hadhari to speak out and clarify the issue.

Aliran and others have observed that the Arabic word "Allah" was used as a name for a supreme being even before Mohammed established Islam in the seventh century. Many Christian Arabs use the same word for God.

Fr. Lawrence Andrew, the Herald editor, said the ministry was trying to suppress the Bahasa Malaysia section of the newspaper. He pointed out that the word for God in the Bible in the Malay language is Allah, and said it was thus natural that that word be used.

"Surely we all know that no one can change the words of the Koran, likewise no editor can change the words of the [Bahasa Malaysia Bible]," he argued.

Andrew said many Bahasa Malaysia-speakers read the Herald, and by forcing the paper to stop publishing that section, the government was "curtailing the rights of Christian citizens who want to practice their faith -- to know more of the faith activities or be informed of faith events that are going to take place."

"This amounts to interfering in the internal activities of a religious group and ... contradicts the constitution," he said.

This isn't the first time the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims has caused contention in Malaysia.

In 2003, the issue prompted a government decision to ban a Bible published in the tongue of a small indigenous ethnic group. The ban was later reversed after protests.

In another recent sign of cracks along ethnic and religious lines in Malaysia, tens of thousands of ethnic Indian Hindus took to the streets in November to protest what they say are discriminatory policies that favor ethnic Malays at the expense of minorities. Among other things, the Hindus complained about the destruction of temples which officials say are illegal.

"The rights of one religious group should not trump the most basic of all individual human rights, the right to follow one's own conscience," said Michael Cromartie, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a statutory body that advises the administration and Congress.

With this High Court decision to defer the case, the ball has cleverly been placed in no one's court in particular and since there has been apparently no time limit being imposed for the 'discussions' we can safely assume that the controversy will be swept under the carpet. But things could have been worse if some spineless Malay judge putting his/her religious prejudices ahead of his/her sacred oath of office had abdicated his/her sworn obligation and duties and pushed the whole thing over to our Syariah courts. Luckily that didn't happen and we must thank Allah for small mercies.

In the meanwhile if the government has some brains and a true understanding of freedom to practice one's religion in a democracy, they will enable The Herald to continue publishing unmolested and allow the continued use of the word Allah as the editors have been doing all these years without converting or 'confusing' Muslims.


People like Johari Baharum who worry that Muslims are in danger of being pulled towards Christianity just because of the use of that one word, have actually deeply insulted fellow Malays and Muslims by insinuating that they are so shallow of mind and of so little faith. Johari B and his ilk exhibit symptoms of classical paranoia and therefore of unsound mind and should be referred at the earliest to a Muslim psychiatrist for professional help.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Samy Vellu To 'Hit The Road' To Solve Problems Faced By Indians. Too Little Too Late Sam!

MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu said Wednesday that he will traverse the country in his effort to solve problems faced by the Indian community.

"I am going to go from place to place and shoot down any problems the Indians may be facing," he told reporters after opening the newly-refurbished Pagoh rest area on the North-South Expressway (southbound) near here today.

Samy Vellu, who is also Works Minister, said he needed do this to counter baseless allegations made by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), a non- registered organisation, about the party.

He said the MIC had identified those who had taken part in the illegal assembly organised by Hindraf in the federal capital recently and that these people would be provided with the appropriate counselling.

"We will clarify matters with them. We have already done so in Penang, Kulim and Teluk Intan and will go to all the places where the Hindraf followers are," he said, adding that yesterday such a session was held in Mantin with a group which sent some 250 people to the Hindraf rally.

The group, he said, claimed that they were dissatisfied with the government for not keeping a promise made 36 years ago to resolve their housing problems in Mak Mandin, Penang.

Samy Vellu said he would approach Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to try and resolve the matter.

"When they get their houses, their problem is solved," he said.

On remarks by Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam that Indians were not keen on jobs in the public sector, Samy Vellu said that this was not correct as his feedback showed thousands of Indians had applied to join the civil service last year.

"I will be raising this up with the Cabinet," he said. (Bernama)

***** Dear Sam, it would be purposeless for you to 'hit the road' at your age and especially with your current rock bottom credibility. There is every chance that you may at some point in your 'traversing the country' be hit instead by a stray tomato or rotten egg.

Your brave statement that you will "
go from place to place and shoot down any problems" might not be exactly what the emergency room doctor ordered. There seems to be a 'Samy Vellu open season' fever going around right now. I'm sure you must have had a taste of it at Penang recently. Why push your luck and get metaphorically shot down instead?

By the way from what I gather from the above report, you have still not learnt your lessons. For example you along with your Tuan2 in Umno still persist in terming Hindraf's genuine demands which have found resonance around the world as
baseless allegations. It is indeed the height of obstinacy and a clear symptom of the uniquely Malaysian ruling politician's affliction of 'missing the wood for the trees'.

Of course your Tuan2 in Umno are more lucky as they have been catering for their people and 'fattening them for the kill' at the next general election or at least that's what they think. But you have lead your flock down the path of poverty and the only fate awaiting you is a slaughter at the polls. Yet you so foolishly overrate your powers of survival by thinking that you can talk and buy your way out of oblivion. Do you think that the problems of some people in Penang will be solved 'when they get their houses'? They may get their houses, but you don't seem to get it about the sorry state that you are truly in at the moment.

And one more thing, Sam. For heaven's sake stop giving that same old, "I will be raising this up with the Cabinet" bluster. No one is impressed with this kind of talk and frankly very few people even believe you anymore.
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9-Year-Old Girl In Pakistan Forced To Marry 35-Year-Old Cousin

A nine-year-old girl was allegedly forced to marry her 35-year-old physically handicapped cousin to settle a gambling debt.

The incident took place in Akhtarabad near Okara on Tuesday.

The husband is the girl’s cousin and cannot hear or speak. The girl’s father owed gambling money to his sister-in-law’s husband and in exchange married off his daughter to his sister-in-law’s son. (Daily Times, Pakistan)

***** Disgusting! Thank Al..., ooops sorry, GOD we don't have such problems in Malaysia. Or do we?
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"Reject Extremists," Says PM. Great Advice! Let's Start With Umno, Lair Of The Nation's Most Treacherous Ultras

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Sunday reminded Malaysians not to allow extremist tendencies to take root and undermine interracial harmony in the country.

The prime minister said the moderates should play a role in ensuring that members of the public were not swayed by extremist propaganda which played on people's emotions by raising sensitive religious and racial issues.

"I'm really concerned when issues involving religion are brought up from time to time and the attendant problems that all of us would need to address.

"If moderates don't take centre stage, surely extremist elements will occupy it, making us fall for their extremist approach being touted as a religious or national approach," he said.

Abdullah said this at a Christmas tea party organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) and Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Datuk Murphy Pakiam here.

The event was attended by about 200 guests, including Abdullah's wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen and Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

In his speech, Abdullah said bigger problems would crop up if unscrupulous people continued to peddle their extremist views.

The prime minister said to deal with the issue, Malaysians should manifest a high level of understanding, tolerance and respect for each other which have been the hallmarks of the multi-ethnic Malaysian society all this while.

"We do have a big responsibility to shoulder as we need to ensure that our country remains safe and peaceful for our own mutual benefit," he said.

Abdullah said as a multiracial country, Malaysia had come a long way to be where it was now -- a nation capable of bringing progress, peace and stability to its people, thanks to the sacrifices of all the races.

However, he said, there was a need for the people to maintain what had been achieved thus far so that the country's development, peace and stability could be inherited by future generations.

On the tea reception, Abdullah described the muhibbah (unity) spirit shown by people of various ethnic backgrounds, who came together to join in the Christmas celebrations, as a potent symbol of friendship that should be preserved. (Bernama)

***** I fully agree with the Prime Minister that we have to be on our guard against extremists and be wary of their vile propaganda. But where Pak Lah and I differ is on WHO the real extremists in Malaysia are. The PM follows the Umno line of thinking that whoever speaks out against the abuses of Umno or disagrees with their racist policies is an extremist.

Many of the ordinary citizens of the country however feel that the Umno leaders themselves who
while outwardly pretending to espouse and preach ethnic harmony, in real fact play a vicious form of religio-racist divide-and-rule political game, couched deviously in one-sided pseudo-nationalistic terms, namely bangsa, agama dan negara. They are the true embodiment of the type of extremism which this country can do without.
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Malaysia's Stalling Reform Threatens Investment

Malaysia's drive to woo investment is losing traction, as efforts to get rid of red tape and inept bureaucrats falter, threatening to put it further behind neighbouring Singapore.

A year after the authorities vowed to speed up the business approval process, businessmen are still battling unwieldy procedures and inert government staff.

"Civil servants have become more courteous, they smile more than usual but the bureaucracy, the red tape, is still there," said Mohd Ghouse Mohd Noor, who is setting up a hospital resort in Penang state in northern Malaysia where he hopes to entice visitors for medical treatment.

Ghouse said potential investors from the United Arab Emirates had been scared off by the red tape encountered at government departments.

"They are still passing us from one person to another. Nobody seems to know who is responsible and who should look into matters," he said of the bureaucracy. "Some of our investors say to us 'You go and solve your problem first'."

While Malaysia's record in attracting foreign investment would be the envy of many developing countries, it is still much harder to open a business here than in Singapore.

It takes nine steps and more than a week to register a business in Malaysia compared with five steps in five days for Singapore, according to the World Bank's Doing Business Index 2008.

Many blame Malaysia's civil service for being slow, unresponsive and opaque, and it continues to disappoint despite a state-led revamp aimed at winning more investment.

Perhaps now more than ever, Malaysia needs investors as it seeks private money to help fund several multibillion dollar farming, energy and tourism projects. Foreign direct investment into Malaysia leapt to a 10-year high in 2006 but many in the business community say that is despite red tape, rather than because of government efforts to reduce it.

"If you compare with other countries, it's nothing," Pankaj Kumar, chief investment officer at Malaysian insurance company Kurnia Insurans, said of foreign investment. "Asia as a whole has been a magnet for investments to come in, especially with the petrodollars."

In response to complaints, the government set up a cabinet committee in September 2006 to fast-track approval for projects involving high-technology, huge capital investment or job growth.

And in February, the authorities created a task force of officials and business leaders to simplify procedures. It expedited approval for expatriate work passes and speeded up the registration of businesses and renewal of business licences.

Since the drive was launched, businesses have reported improved service from customs and immigration staff. On the whole, however, complaints about sluggish bureaucrats and tardy service are still common.

Malaysia was ranked 24th in the World Bank's 2008 index on ease of doing business, down three places from 2007. It was behind Hong Kong and Thailand but ahead of South Korea, China, Vietnam and India. Singapore topped the list of 178 economies.

CHANGING MINDSETS

Overseas investors helped build Kuala Lumpur's iconic twin towers and the main highway, which spans the length of the peninsula, while global oil majors are developing multimillion dollar energy fields in Malaysia.

But foreign companies have complained that the regulatory authorities sit on applications to set up offices here, and local businessmen allege that government officials have asked for payment in return for state contracts.

The government awards state contracts through open tender but in some instances it has expedited the process by shortlisting only proven contractors and then awarding the job to one of them.

Malaysia wants to attract foreign dollars into its Islamic finance industry to build on its success as the world's largest Islamic bond market.

The authorities are also setting up a $105 billion, electronics, food, health and education hub in Johor state in the south.

It also wants to transform its Malay heartland in the northern states of Kedah, Penang and Terengganu into a farming, tourism, energy and manufacturing powerhouse.

But its plans are at risk of foundering as it struggles to galvanise its roughly one million public servants, despite wielding the stick.

"The government might want one thing but the culture of the civil service might not react to it," said political analyst Ooi Kee Beng of Singapore's Institute of South East Asian Studies. "That's the tough part to change: you can change the rules and all that but how do you, down the hierarchy, actually get people to work?" Ooi said.

In the Malaysian civil service, rewards are modest, punishments are few and jobs are usually secure for life, which offers little incentive for improvement.

Public servants are almost all ethnic Malays, due to an affirmative action policy which favours the race in jobs, education and business.

FALTERING ANTI-GRAFT DRIVE?

In the World Bank's Doing Business Index 2008, Malaysia got good marks for investor protection but scored less well for enforcing contracts, registering property and starting a business.

Pemudah, a panel to facilitate business comprising private and public sector officials, says efforts are being made to rectify Malaysia's weaknesses.

"It is a matter of procedures and how we can shorten them," said Yong Poh Kon, who co-chairs the panel.

Kuala Lumpur is also struggling with perceptions that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has gone soft on his pledge to stamp out graft in the civil service.

High profile prosecutions of civil servants for corruption have been rare. Former lands minister Kasitah Gaddam, the most senior official prosecuted for graft so far, was charged in 2004, and his case is still wending its way through the courts.

Analysts say the Anti-Corruption Agency's discretion to prosecute is fettered as it reports to the Prime Minister, unlike countries such as Hong Kong where the equivalent body reports to Parliament.

And some critics say there are other pressing issues raised by investors, including a requirement that listed firms be owned 30 percent by "Bumiputras" (sons of the soil) who are Malays or indigenous people under the affirmative action policy.

"If the government is serious about facilitating rather than imposing barriers for foreign investors we must actually address fundamental problems," said opposition politician Lim Guan Eng. (Reuters FEATURES: Reporting by Liau Y-Sing; Editing by Eddie Evans)

***** This is the price that we must pay for ignoring meritocracy and relentlessly promoting race-based quotas cleverly designed to divide the people and thereby ensuring the continued political wellbeing of the ruling Umno party. "Better out of tune with the world than out of power in Malaysia," must be their undeclared motto.
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bangladesh Workers Claim Abuse In Malaysia

More than 200 Bangladeshi migrant workers who claim their employers underpaid and abused them have sought refuge outside their country's embassy in Malaysia, an envoy said.

The Bangladesh high commission has turned a section of its mission into a temporary shelter for some of the 225 workers but most of them have been sheltering on the pavement since early December due to a lack of space inside.

"Out of sympathy we have provided them a place to stay but we can only accommodate so much," a senior Bangladeshi envoy told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We are trying our best to get the workers and employers to reach consensus but it's difficult because both sides have different views on the matter," he added.

The envoy said there were about 350,000 Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, mainly engaged in the plantation and manufacturing sectors.

As Christians celebrated Christmas, a charity group provided some chicken curry with rice for the hungry and pale-looking Muslim migrant workers.

Many of the poor migrants paid thousands of dollars to agents to find them work in Malaysia where they hoped to make their fortunes.

One 28-year-old Bangladeshi who gave his name as Hossain said he came to Malaysia in September.

"I paid the agent RM12,000 and I sold my father's land and cows to gather the money," he told AFP.

"My agent got me a job with a company that manufactured computer hard discs. According to the contract, I should be paid RM800 a month but they only gave me RM380.

"When I questioned them, they threatened me and refused to give me back my passport. All I want now is my passport and to find another job. Fearing my safety, I came to the embassy with RM300 and now I don't have anything left," he said.

Another worker, Nazir Hossain, 32, said he had been in Malaysia for the past six months and was being underpaid.

"I was working in a shipping company but I was not satisfied with the treatment. I was not paid the right amount they promised. Instead they gave me only RM400 a month.

Siddiq Miah, 42, gave a similar tale.

"I paid the agent in Bangladesh RM12,000 to arrange a job for me, and he promised me a job in a factory but when I came here they refused to hire me on health grounds," he said.

"My mother, wife and children barely have enough to eat without my salary. I want my agent to return my passport so that I can go home," he said.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third largest economy, has an estimated 2.6 million legal and illegal foreign workers.

They are critical to the nation's key manufacturing and agriculture sectors, and many household rely on foreign domestic workers mainly from Indonesia, Philippines and India.

*****
These poor people work long hours almost every day and for that they are paid a paltry RM380 to RM400 a month! This is modern day slavery and a gross abuse of human rights.

The heartless bastards who own the computer hard disc company and other such employers are the first ones who scream of being discriminated by the government and vote for the DAP in protest. Yet they have no compunction in doing the same to foreigners and allowing them to suffer while fattening their own bank balance.
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Hishammuddin To Counter Paranjothy's 'Allegations'. How Will You Refute The Naked Truth Hisham? By Wielding A Keris?

Umno Youth will 'answer' all allegations made by Gerakan Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy against Umno and its leaders, Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.

He said Paranjothy's accusations were serious and aimed at Umno leaders, including himself and his deputy, Khairy Jamaluddin.


"He claimed that he was telling the truth but that was not the case," he said when asked to comment on the issue.

Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on Sunday said disciplinary action would be taken against Paranjothy for his statement which had hurt Umno members.

Asked whether Paranjothy's party membership should be suspended, Hishammuddin, who is Barisan Nasional Youth chairman, said the matter should be handled by Gerakan leaders.

"It's Gerakan's right to make such a decision. They themselves have said that Paranjothy's allegations are baseless."


Hishammuddin said the opposition, including Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was already taking advantage of the issue.

"He's been campaigning that he will rebuild all demolished Hindu temples and develop the Indian community.

"Those who listen to his ceramah should ask him how many temples and Tamil schools he had helped build when he was deputy prime minister and education minister." (NST)

***** What 'answers' can Hishammuddin or other Umno youth 'leaders' or for that matter any Umno pemimpin give which will reasonably refute the stark and harsh facts so eloquently related by S. Paranjothy? The Umno leadership is guilty as hell on every single charge that
the Gerakan Youth vice-chief has made and there is no way they can justify their racist practices. But they will go on ad infinitum about theoretically 'leveling' an already pristine, international golf course standard playing field.

These Umno warlords are merely pissed off that another erstwhile silent minority type politician has dared to publicly reveal the plundering by corrupt pemimpin ably assisted by racist civil servants. Their standard reaction and response to this courageous man's exposé will be firstly his vilification in the mainstream media and secondly an orchestrated chorus of demands for his head. Both will be done to Umno's satisfaction by the servile media and the slavish, testically-challenged Gerakan leadership (pic).

But note. Not one minuscule part of Paranjothy's accusations will be rebutted or proven false. They simply will be unable to do it. No matter how much these fact distorting specialists may try, even they know that no one can turn 100% truth into blatant lies.

So they will try diverting to other issues like Hishammuddin's criticism of Anwar Ibrahim in the above NST report where he says
"those who listen to his (Anwar's) ceramah should ask him how many temples and Tamil schools he had helped build when he was deputy prime minister and education minister." This is a good point that our sandiwara loving and practising Turkish blue blood Hish has made. Basically what he is saying is, "none of us, not you, not me and absolutely no one in Umno have even lifted a finger to help these people. So don't go around pretending and falsely claiming that you have done a lot for them. Once an umnoputera always an umnoputera."

This is the reality as it stands in this once fair land of ours where half-Turks, quarter-Arabs, Indians, Chindians and Indonesians claim to be Malays and happily discriminate their country cousins in an unending quest demi bangsa, agama dan negara.

To all Christian readers of this blog, we wish "Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year".

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