Sunday, November 30, 2008

Letter To A Concerned Citizen

Received by e-mail. For a little Sunday laughter.

A lady Canadian libertarian wrote a lot of letters to her government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She received the following reply:

National Defense Headquarters
MGEN George R. Pearkes Bldg,
15 NT, 101 Colonel By Drive Ottawa,
ON K1A 0K2 Canada

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern for the treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa . You will be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defence, to be called 'Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers' program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommend in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his 'attitudinal problem' will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.

We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of 'respecting his culture and religious beliefs' as described in your letter.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. You take good care of Ahmed and remember, we'll be watching.

Good luck and God bless you.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Islamist Militants In Mumbai Terror Attack Pretended To Be Malaysians!

Several of the Islamist militants who attacked Mumbai this week visited the city a few months ago and lived there for a while pretending to be students, the Times of India reported on Saturday.

Quoting from interrogation reports of one of the militants taken into custody, the newspaper said nine militants rented an apartment in the Colaba area of downtown Mumbai, near where the attacks were carried out.

The group often visited the two luxury hotels that were among the city landmarks attacked on Wednesday night, it added.

The militants, who were mainly Pakistanis, pretended to be Malaysians during their reconnaissance visit, the newspaper said.

At least 10 militants slipped into Mumbai this week after hijacking an Indian fishing trawler in international waters and killing the four crew, it said. They came ashore in rubber dinghies and the trawler was found abandoned off Mumbai.

In all, 16 militants took part in the attack, the newspaper said, but it did not give details on how the others may have entered the city.

At least 144 people have been killed and more than 280 wounded in the attacks. Indian commandos were still trying to flush out two or three militants holed up in the Taj Mahal hotel. (Reuters)

***** For a live coverage of the ongoing commando operation and gunbattle, click HERE.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

DBP To Get More Powers Under New Legislation To 'Enforce' Use Of Bahasa Malaysia

The Education Ministry is studying the best way to give more powers to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) in enforcing the use of Bahasa Malaysia, the Dewan Rakyat was told Thursday.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said the DBP Act 1959 would be amended to realise the plan but the draft was still at the ministry's legal adviser.

"It will involve many parties and has something to do with several matters including the appointment of DBP director-general and provisions to strengthen DBP's administration," he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2009 on the ministry's behalf.

He said the Bill was expected to be tabled in Parliament soon.

On the appointment of new DBP director-general, Wee said the candidate had been identified and the appointment would be made soon. The ministry was also paying attention to solving several matters affecting DBP, he added.

Wee said the supposed crisis in DBP was due to opinion differences in selecting a suitable candidate to bear the big responsibility of dealing with issues regarding the national language and DBP's role.

"Maybe, the board and the administrator have different views. It is important that we pick the right candidate who can bring them together and reach a consensus for common benefits in dignifying the national language.

"When we have made the final decision on the matter after looking at the candidate's suitability to carry out the responsibility, I am sure the candidate appointed can honour the responsibility and understands DBP's functions to explain particular concepts," he said.

On a suggestion for the setting up of a National Language Implementation Commission, he said the ministry did not have plans for it but was committed to putting DBP, presently under the Education Ministry, on a platform where it could dignify Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.

Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) had earlier suggested that DBP be placed under the Prime Minister's Department to enable it monitor language issues more effectively.

On the closure of Sri Inai private school, Wee said the school must first ensure the students had completed their examinations and arrange the students' transfer to other schools systematically. (Bernama)

Bahasa Malaysia is the medium of instruction in national schools, the language of Parliament and the courts, the sole language of official government communication, is given prominence on banners and signboards, dominates the government television and radio networks and has without doubt evolved into the undisputed lingua franca of Malaysia. One cannot pass a government school exam without a pass in BM and a credit in the language is essential for entry into our varsities and the civil service.

What more can they expect to achieve by empowering DBP to '
dignify the national language'? As it is the national school and tertiary education system in the country is at a dismally low level after the government, pandering to 'nationalists' and Malay language fanatics, downgraded English at great expense to our competitiveness. What more 'enforcing' is being conceived? Compelling every citizen to publicly and privately speak BM? Systematically reducing vernacular content in advertisements, entertainment programmes and events? Abolishing Chinese and Tamil medium schools?

More importantly can any language truly attain a 'dignified' status by the legislative fiat of Parliament?

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mayhem In Mumbai - Coordinated Terror Attack. At Least 82 Killed

Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

Parts of the city remained under siege as dawn approached Thursday, with police and gunmen exchanging occasional gunfire at two hotels and an unknown number of people still held hostage, said A.N. Roy, a top police official. Soldiers also took up positions across the city.

A raging fire and explosions struck the landmark Taj Mahal hotel shortly after midnight. Screams could be heard and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from windows and balconies with extension ladders.

The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans, witnesses said. Officials said at least 200 people were wounded.

The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

State home secretary Bipin Shrimali said four suspects had been killed in two incidents when they tried to flee in cars, and Roy said two more gunmen were killed at the Taj Mahal. State Home Minister R.R. Patil said nine more were captured. They declined to provide any further details.

An Indian media report said a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets. There was no way to verify the claim.

Police reported hostages being held at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, two of the best-known upscale destinations in this crowded but wealthy city.

Gunmen who burst into the Taj "were targeting foreigners. They kept shouting: "Who has U.S. or U.K. passports?" said Ashok Patel, a British citizen who fled from the hotel.

Authorities believed seven to 15 foreigners were hostages at the Taj Mahal, but it was not immediately clear if hostages at the Oberoi were Indians or foreigners, said Anees Ahmed, a top state official. It was also unclear where the hostages were in the Taj Mahal, which is divided into an older wing, which was in flames, and a modern tower that was not on fire.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said U.S. officials were not aware of any American casualties, but were still checking. He said he could not address reports that Westerners might be among the hostages.

"The United States condemns this terrorist attack and we will continue to stand with the people of India in this time of tragedy," White House press secretary Dana Perino said. "President Bush offers his condolences to the Indian people and the families of the innocent civilians killed and injured in the attacks."

Johnny Joseph, chief secretary for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said 82 people had been killed and 120 had been wounded.

Officials at Bombay Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a Japanese man had died there and nine Europeans were admitted, three of them in critical condition with gunshot wounds. All were brought in from the Taj Mahal, the officials said.

At least three top Indian police officers - including the chief of the anti-terror squad - were among those killed, said Roy, the senior police official.

Blood smeared the floor of the Chhatrapati Shivaji rail station, where attackers sprayed bullets into the crowded terminal. Press Trust of India quoted the chief of the Mumbai railway police, A.K. Sharma, as saying several men armed with rifles and grenades were holed up at the station.

Other gunmen attacked Leopold's restaurant, a landmark popular with foreigners, and the police headquarters in southern Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks took place. The restaurant was riddled with bullet holes and there were blood on the floor and shoes left by fleeing customers.

Officials also reported that terrorists attacked the city's Cama and Albless Hospital and G.T. Hospital, but it was not immediately clear if anyone was killed in those places.

A British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi hotel told Sky News television that the gunmen who struck there singled out Britons and Americans.

Alex Chamberlain said a gunman, a young man of 22 or 23, ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and ordered everyone to put up their hands. He said the gunman spoke in Hindi or Urdu.

"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything - and thank God they didn't," he said.

Chamberlain said he managed to slip away as the patrons were forced to walk up stairs, but he thought much of the group was being held hostage.

Early Thursday, several European lawmakers were among people who barricaded themselves inside the Taj, a century-old seaside hotel complex and one of the city's best-known destinations.

"I was in the main lobby and there was all of a sudden a lot of firing outside," said Sajjad Karim, part of a delegation of European lawmakers visiting Mumbai ahead of a European Union-India summit.

As he turned to get away, "all of a sudden another gunmen appeared in front of us, carrying machine gun-type weapons. And he just started firing at us ... I just turned and ran in the opposite direction," he told The Associated Press over his mobile phone.

Hours later, Karim remained holed up in a hotel restaurant, unsure if it was safe to come out.

The British Foreign Office said it was advising all British citizens in Mumbai to stay indoors.

Britain's foreign secretary, David Miliband, strongly condemned the attacks. "Today's attacks in Mumbai which have claimed many innocent victims remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists," Miliband said in a statement.

India has been wracked by bomb attacks the past three years, which police blame on Muslim militants intent on destabilizing this largely Hindu country. Nearly 700 people have died.

Since May a militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when a series of explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.

Mumbai has been hit repeatedly by terror attacks since March 1993, when Muslim underworld figures tied to Pakistani militants allegedly carried out a series of bombings on Mumbai's stock exchange, trains, hotels and gas stations. Authorities say those attacks, which killed 257 people and wounded more than 1,100, were carried out to avenge the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in religious riots that had swept India.

Ten years later, in 2003, 52 people were killed in Mumbai bombings blamed on Muslim militants and in 2006 a series of seven blasts on railway trains and at commuter rail stations killed at least 187.

Relations between Hindus, who make up more than 80 percent of India's 1 billion population, and Muslims, who make up about 14 percent, have sporadically erupted into bouts of sectarian violence since British-ruled India was split into independent India and Pakistan in 1947. (Huffington Post)

***** I'm sure that the influence of yoga on people had nothing to do with the terrorist bombings in Mumbai. Since some of the extremists have been captured we can expect that over the next few days and weeks, details about the groups responsible for this senseless violence will come out.
Image - Source

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kedah MB Says He Doesn't Want To Know About Yoga Issue

Amidst the polemics over the yoga fatwa, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said he was simply not interested in the yoga issue and left it to the state Mufti to make a decision.

"I don't know what yoga is. I'm not interested to know about it. If people want to sit cross-legged and think deep like Gandhi, it's their business," he said when asked to comment on the National Fatwa Council's ruling of yoga as "haram" (forbidden) for Muslims.

Last Saturday, the National Fatwa Council ruled that systematic yoga practice comprising physical exercise, chanting of mantra and the aim of oneness with God are against Islamic teachings.

Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS' Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said yesterday that he accepted the fatwa and that Kelantan would have no problem gazetting it.

However, Azizan who was met at Wisma Darul Aman Wednesday after chairing the state executive council meeting, and repeatedly asked by reporters, declined to comment on the matter other than saying:

"I'm not interested and I don't want to know about yoga as there are many other things to think about.

"We have a Mufti, so let him do the job." (Bernama)

LATEST: Malaysia backs down from yoga ban amid backlash

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Transfer Of Defamation Case To Sessions Court - Raja Petra Objects

The transfer of Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin’s defamation case from the magistrates court to the Sessions court was “illegal, void and contrary” to provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), the Sessions court heard on Monday.

Raja Petra’s lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon said that Section 117 of the CPC did not permit the transfer of a case by a magistrate’s to the Sessions Court where the case was properly before the magistrates court.

“The said order of the magistrate, which exposes the accused to an unequal and potentially higher punishment, is unconstitutional in that it breaches the equality provisions of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Raja Petra is alleged to have defamed the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor by making a libelous statement in the declaration, which he affirmed on June 18.

He also faces two similar charges against Kolonel Norhayati Hassan and her husband Acting Kolonel Abdul Aziz Buyong.

He was charged with the three counts of defamation in the Kuala Lumpur magistrates court in July this year.

On Aug 15, the Attorney-General Chambers had applied to the magistrates court to transfer the cases to the Sessions Court on grounds that it “involved public interest”, and the cases were transferred.

Manjeet submitted that Sessions Court judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat could either send the case back to the magistrates court, or order a stay of proceedings and transmit the record to the High Court to determine if the transfer was valid.(The Star Online)

***** Can RPK expect real justice from the courts or is he banging his head against a brick wall?
Image - Source

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Wise Is This Felda Investment?

Felda Group Chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusoff Noor on Saturday said that Felda had acquired three floors in a 20-storey hotel in Mecca for the convenience of Malaysians while performing the haj or umrah in the Holy Land.

He said the acquisition of the three floors was made after much considerations on the group's financial capacity.

"We have bought the rooms in the hotel according to our capability. What matters is the customer's satisfaction. We cannot afford to follow the other industrial players," he told reporters at the launch of the Felda Residence Hot Springs Hotel and Spa in Sungai Klah.

Mohd Yusoff said although the acquisition involved only three floors of the hotel, the returns from the investment was higher than what Felda had imagined.

He said the investment would also enable various Felda products to be promoted in Mecca through a display area which could be set up on one of the three floors.

Prior to this, Felda was reported to have invested RM200 million in the construction of a hotel and a restaurant in Mecca for the convenience of Malaysians while performing the haj or umrah.

A board member, Datuk Dr Ahmad Shukri Ismail was also reported as saying that the project was managed by Felda Global Venture, a subsidiary of the Felda Group, with the cooperation of the Pilgrims Management Board (Tabung Haji) and the Saudi government.

Both the hotel and restaurant, to be located in Bab Al Aziz, Mecca, was among Felda's biggest projects.

Meanwhile, Mohd Yusoff said about RM9 million had been spent to upgrade the facilities at the Felda Residence Hot Springs in Sungai Klah, comprising the construction of a 64-room hotel, a restaurant and a spa centre which was officiated today.

Since it was opened in December 2003, Felda Residence Hot Springs had received overwhelming response from all quarters with over one million tourist arrivals recorded so far. (Bernama)

***** Congratulations to Felda. With credit drying up for even mega businesses worldwide, Felda apparently is bucking the trend and daringly investing in the already visibly nervous, profit-challenged hotel industry. Holy cash cow Batman!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Malaysia's Fatwa Fad - After Fatwa On 'Tomboys' Yoga Gets The Boot Now

Worried that Muslims could be swayed by Yoga's elements of Hinduism, Malaysia's top Islamic body banned the community from practising the ancient physical exercise.

The National Fatwa Council issued a religious decree telling the Muslims, who comprise two-thirds of Malaysia's 27 million population, that practising Yoga was 'haram' or prohibited in Islam.

Apart from the physical movements, the yoga practices contain worshipping and chanting, which were prohibited for Muslims, it said.

The ruling came after an Islamic studies lecturer recently advised Muslims, who had taken up yoga, to stop practising it as they could deviate from the teachings of Islam.

Meanwhile, the Sisters in Islam (SIS), an NGO, has hit out at a recent ruling on 'Tomboyish behaviour' by the National Fatwa Council, saying it was concerned with the continuous sexist and discriminatory approach towards Malaysian women, especially those who were Muslim.

"The fatwa on 'tomboys' can lead to arbitrary arrests and undue harassment towards our Muslim women and girls. How do the authorities define a tomboy? A woman with short hair? Wearing pants? Wearing shirts? No make-up?", SIS Programme Manager, Norhayati Kaprawi, was quoted as saying by 'Star' newspaper.

She said the women who did not dress or behave as what certain quarters perceived as not feminine were not a menace to society.

"In fact, many of these women hold respectable positions and actively contribute to our society," she said. She also asked why the fatwa was only imposed on women, saying it was yet another example of "selective prosecution".

"SIS believes it is not Islam's obsession to police people's morality, find people's faults or spy on its followers," Norhayati said.

The Council last month issued the edict saying that 'tomboyishness' where a girl behaved or dressed in a boyish manner, was forbidden in Islam. (Agencies)

***** A religious decree by the National Fatwa Council is a serious matter that cannot be simply ignored. However some Muslims may feel that this particular fatwa could be too much of an unwarranted intrusion into their personal lives and that the choice of practising yoga or not should have been left to the individual to decide. After all there have been no reports of yoga-practising Muslims who have become closet Hindus.

I suppose T'ai Chi Ch'uan is next on the
National Fatwa Council's hit list.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Allah Controversy - High Court Sets Feb 27 For Mention Of Case

The High Court set Feb 27 for mention of the case to hear the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Herald-The Catholic Weekly, a Christian publication.

Judge Lau Bee Lan said that the date was set to allow all parties time to file their affidavits.

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur has applied for a judicial review of a Home Ministry directive forbidding the Herald publishers from using the word ‘Allah’.

The Archbishop’s counsel Porres Royal said that the directive was unlawful under the Federal Constitution and that the word not exclusive to Islam.

On Dec 5, the publisher filed a writ of summons in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to seek a declaration on the use of the word.

The respondents are the Home Ministry, the Government and the state Islamic Councils of Federal Territory, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Johor, Malacca and the Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association.

Mubashir Mansor, counsel for the Terengganu, Penang and Malacca Islamic councils said on Friday that they would file an affidavit in two weeks to the Federal Court saying that no court of law could hear this case. (The Star Online)

***** The die is cast and let us hope that common sense prevails. The issue involving
the Herald-The Catholic Weekly is incidental. What is more important is which will triumph - the insecure, homegrown, narrow, Umno Malay interpretation of Islam or the more universal worldview of the religion.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Qur'ān In Malaysian Hotel Rooms Soon

A copy of the Quran and its intepretation will be made available in most hotel rooms in the country to allow both Muslims and non-Muslims to have “access” to the Holy book.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the department had embarked on a pilot project recently where a copy of the Quran’s intepretation was placed in several five-star hotel rooms in the Klang Valley.

He said the move received positive response from guests and members of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) have asked the Islamic Development department (Jakim) if they too could be part of this project.

“This move is not only because of the high number of visitors and tourists from the Middle East, but also because there are people of other beliefs who are keen to know more about what is said in the Quran, just as they are interested to know more about the teachings of other religions.

“We are pleased that our effort is accepted positively by the public. Soon, one can expect to see a copy of the Quran in rooms of three-star hotels and above,” he told reporters Thursday after launching the latest Bahasa Malaysia-version of the interpretation of the Quran.

Ahmad Zahid said Jakim would be printing another 50,000 copies of the Quran’s interpretation for the purpose, costing some RM1.3mil, adding these books were in English to cater to foreign visitors and tourists. (The Star)

***** In the US, for more than a century the Gideon's Bible has been placed in hospitals, prisons, military bases, and schools as well as hotels. This particular Bible is now found in more than 180 countries and in over 80 languages. I suppose that some good must have come out of giving such easy access to a holy book. Therefore placing
a copy of the Quran in hotel rooms is on balance a good idea.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Syariah Judge: Islam Defends Everybody. Non-Muslim Fears Unwarranted

Islam does not discriminate against any race or religion so non-Muslims do not have to fear if common law and syariah courts were to be merged as suggested by a former Chief Justice.

Syariah Court Judge and Syariah Judicial Department director-general Datuk Ibrahim Lembut said such fears among non-Muslims were unwarranted.

Islam will defend everybody. The impression that merging the two court systems will override the rights of the non-Muslims is wrong,” he told reporters after attending the International Seminar on Comparative Law at Marriott Hotel here on Tuesday.

“However, we still have a long way to go before we can merge the two court systems although we have held talks on the possibility of harmonising civil and syariah laws,” he said.

He said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had also given his views on the matter during such talks.

Some civil lawyers who had attended these talks had refused to even consider harmonising the laws between the two systems, Ibrahim said when commenting on a statement by MCA legal bureau chairman Datuk Leong Tang Chong.

Leong had said that any merger would subject non-Muslims to syariah jurisdiction on all legal matters, including inter-faith cases relating to marriage and divorce.

Read the whole report HERE

***** Does the assurance by the learned Syariah Court Judge and Syariah Judicial Department director-general calm your doubts and worries about the future of our justice system if there should be a merger?

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Make History Lessons More Interesting, Urges Malaysian Historical Society. Also Keep It Truthful

Educationists should fully utilise modern facilities to make history lessons more interesting and able to capture the students' imagination, newly-appointed Malaysian Historical Society fellow Tan Sri Dol Ramli said, Saturday.

He said that during his university days, one of his professors was able to turn history into such an interesting topic that none of his classmates ever missed a single lesson.

"How history is presented is important. The education department, teachers, professors and lecturers should conduct history lessons in an interesting way.

"My professors could do it during my school days and they did not have many audio-video aids then. What more now with all the modern gadgets," he said at the PSM Fellowship Awards presentation at the society's headquarters here.

Dol, who was one of RTM's pioneers and a former Bernama general manager, received the fellowship from Heritage of Malaysia Trust president Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.

The other two recipients were former Education Services Commission Tan Sri Sheikh Hussein Sheikh Mohamed and UKM Borneo Studies Centredirector Datuk Zainal Abidin Abdul Wahid. (Bernama)

***** Tan Sri Dol Ramli is a highly respected individual (His son Aziz Dol is a contemporary of mine and a very talented person) and he is absolutely right about the need to make history lessons more interesting.

However where the problem comes in is the spin that our history books give. It doesn't take a genius to quickly deduce after reading our history texts that the liberal interpretation and licence taken by our 'authors' is heavily skewed to promote Malay heroism and Umno propaganda while openly downplaying non-Malay involvement. Perhaps the good Tan Sri should also urge the government to keep historical 'interpretations' to a realistic and believable level.
Image - Source

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Prosecution Not Appealing Razak Baginda's Acquittal.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, who was acquitted of abetment in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, can breathe easy after the prosecution confirmed Friday that it will not appeal the decision made by the Shah Alam High Court two weeks ago.

Deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, who is leading the prosecution, said in a statement today that there would be no appeal because the trial judge had made a finding of fact in acquitting Abdul Razak.

"(There will be) no further comments in view that the case is continuing with the defence of Azilah (Hadri) and Sirul (Azhar Umar)," he said.

Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin acquitted and discharged Abdul Razak, 48, without calling for his defence on Oct 31.

Abdul Razak was alleged to have abetted Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, who are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006, and 1am the following day.

The two Special Action Unit operatives are scheduled to enter their defence on Jan 15 next year.

The prosecution confirmed Friday that it will not appeal the decision because the trial judge had made a finding of fact in acquitting Abdul Razak! Incredible logic, simply unbelievable. But then again did we really expect anything different?

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Yoga Exercise Deviates From The Teachings Of Islam? Fatwa Council To Announce Ruling

The National Fatwa Council has deferred announcing its ruling on yoga exercise scheduled to be made Friday, as the council chairman is abroad.

The Islamic Development department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the announcement would have to be made some other time as fatwa council chairman Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin is in Jordan on an official trip.

“We will check when he (Shukor) is able to make the announcement once he returns home from his trip. The media will be informed when we have a confirmed date from the council chairman,” Wan Mohamad told The Star on Friday.

It was earlier reported that the National Fatwa Council would come out with a ruling on yoga exercise on Friday. The ruling is related to the faith of Muslims who practised yoga where Jakim had carried out an in-depth study on the issue over six months.

Recently, lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Islamic Studies Centre advised Muslims who had taken up yoga to stop practising it for fear that they could deviate from the teachings of Islam.

Yoga, related to health, has been practised since 3,000 BC and is said to help slow down ageing, reduce risk of diabetes, asthma and heart-related diseases.

Asked if the council would need more time to dissect the issue, Wan Mohamad said the matter had already been discussed and deliberated at length and it was prepared to address the matter.

Wan Mohamad however declined to reveal if the fatwa would prevent Muslims from practising yoga, saying any announcement would have to come from the council. (The Star)

***** With the world economy in shambles and a million important issues the nation is preoccupied with, a fatwa on the practice of yoga isn't something the people are waiting for with bated breath. But it does speak of the pathetic pettiness to which the religious authorities have sunk to over the past few years.


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