- Westergaard Wants to Meet His Would-be Killer
- Death of a dynasty?
- Now Pairin is talking...
- DUH!!! YB you okay ke?
- Here's Why The Story That Christians Are Using "Allah" To Convert Muslims Is A Blatant Lie...
- [Al Jazeera] 101 East - Malaysia : Whose God?
- HAS OUR OIL WELLS GONE DRY - REASON FOR REMOVING SUBSIDY
- Fantastic Funny
- Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times
- A mob vs a roundtable
- Read this link. Please.
- US Threatens Sanctions Over Missing Jets & Church Attacks.
- What Should Be The Christian's View Of Government? Pt 2
- Damansara Village is coming to <br>KUALA LUMPUR!!!<br><br>Watch out for
- Noah's problems building the Ark.. Malaysia version.. !!!
- PRS”110 metres Hurdles”
- A passport to stay abroad
- <br>Sabah churches say ‘no’ to Nazri<br> <br>Tue, Jan 19, 2010<br>
- We are looking for Good Malaysians to help ...
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 01:54 PM PST
BBC: Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard says he wants to meet the man accused of trying to kill him.
Mr Westergaard has been the target of at least three murder plots after drawing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. He was attacked in his home on New Year's Day.
After spending two weeks in a safe house, he has now returned home.
Malcolm Brabant reports. Watch BBC video >>> | Tuesday, January 19, 2010
BBC: What the Muhammad cartoons portray: Twelve caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in 2005 had a huge impact around the world, with riots in many Muslim countries the following year causing deaths and destruction - so what do the drawings actually say? >>> | Saturday, January 02, 2010
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 05:41 AM PST
The face of a devil in all consuming greed
The successor to the powerful Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, 74 has yet to be resolved. The increasingly frail Taib has been in office for 28 years, the longest term of any chief minister or menteri besar in the history of Malaysia.
Taib's son Sulaiman has been mooted as the most likely candidate. This would continue the mini-dynasty established by the minority Melanau ethnic group, beginning with Taib's uncle and predecessor Abdul Rahman Ya'kub.
The Melanau make up barely five percent of the population of Sarawak. Their political and economic dominance has caused deep divisions, even within Taib's (right) own dominant party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Sarawak (PBB).
Iban, Malay and Bidayuh, making up 34 percent, 21 percent and eight percent of Sarawak's population respectively, resent the accumulation of vast wealth within Taib's own family and ethnic group. Rahman was Sarawak's third Chief Minister from 1970 to 1981. He and his nephew Taib presided over a sustained period of rapid expansion of logging, resulting in deforestation and logging blockades.
Income disparities in Sarawak have ballooned, and are now among the worst in Malaysia. High profile reports of human rights abuses, including the loss of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land of the indigenous Dayak, and sexual abuse of local communities by loggers, have drawn international condemnation.
Taib has found it difficult to shrug off reports of alleged nepotism and corruption. These include a story broken by Malaysiakini detailing RM32 million worth of kickbacks paid by Japanese timber importing companies to a Hong Kong agent allegedly linked to Taib, and a report of his daughter Jamilah's purchase of a 'palace', the second most expensive house in Ottawa, Canada, worth RM28 million.
Taib has sued Malaysiakini over its special report on the Japanese timber import scandal, described as 'the tip of the iceberg', but has been unable to silence outrage both at home and abroad.
CM needs a supportive successor
Amidst such controversy, Taib must be extremely careful with the choice of his successor. The next chief minister must be loyal, and protect Taib and his family, both from any possible legal consequences, and from the vagaries of the free market.
Taib's family dominates Sarawak's economy through the Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS) conglomerate. CMS, widely disparaged as 'Chief Minister and Sons', makes money from a huge range of industries, ranging from cement to road maintenance to the posh international Tunku Putra school in Kuching.
Taib's heir apparent, Sulaiman, entered Parliament by winning his father's old seat, Kota Samarahan in 2008. The PBB Youth vice-president was immediately elevated to Tourism Deputy Minister.
Sulaiman (left) resigned from the federal cabinet over a month ago, creating speculation that he could not work with Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen. Ng denied they could not see eye to eye.Sulaiman did not explain his abrupt resignation, but Taib later announced that "he was not very happy and a bit upset" over his mother's death from lung cancer last April.
Some observers still maintain Sulaiman is next in line to succeed his father. They wonder whether he may have resigned in order to contest a state seat in Sarawak's upcoming State Assembly elections. However, Sulaiman certainly has significant baggage in tow.. He has been dogged by controversy.
In 2003, national news reports that he had assaulted a television news presenter, Avaa Vanja Ramli. Reports splashed across the front pages outlined allegations that he had beaten and strangled the young woman. She was said to have described him as "her boyfriend" in her police report. The case was subsequently closed by the Attorney General's office.
Sulaiman did not win admirers, too, for his lacklustre performance as executive chair of RHB Bank, beginning in 2003. He was reported to have had little enthusiasm for attending board meetings and was widely derided for attempting to change the bank's name to 'CMS Bank'.
He was eventually removed as chairperson by Bank Negara, an unprecedented move in Malaysian banking.
"How can he run a state if he could not even run a bank?" asked one political observer. Unlike his strongman father, Sulaiman does not command much grassroots political support, as evidenced by Sulaiman's relatively humble post in the PBB party structure.
In fact, credible candidates to take over the PBB president's position, and therefore the chief minister's post, as is the custom in Sarawak BN, appear thin on the ground.
Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Second Minister for Planning and Resource Management, appears to be another frontrunner. Awang Tengah is Taib's powerful right hand man, in matters of land acquisition and awarding of lucrative licences and land in the logging, plantation and other industries.
Awang Tengah (left) has drawn criticism for telling NCR landowners they can be expelled from their land at the state government's discretion, and for asking the Auditor General to change his department's annual 2008 report, alleging poor forestry management and enforcement..
PBB deputy presidents Alfred Jabu and Abang Johari Openg are not likely to ascend to the chief minister's post. Alfred Jabu is not considered to have the political mind for the job.
Abang Johari (right) is considered divisive in the Malay-Dayak-Melanau party as he is seen to represent the Malay faction in the party. Malays resent Melanau dominance of the economy, and most rural Malays remain poor and disenfranchised.
Whoever takes over as chief minister will have to struggle with Sarawak's stagnant economy, depleted natural resources, and primitive race-based politics. Perhaps the choice of any particular individual personality as Taib's successor will not prove as important, in the long term, as the new, stumbling efforts to reform Sarawak's moribund political culture, and deep rooted corruption in its economic life.
KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist - 'anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia'. His weekly column is an effort to provide a voice for marginalised Malaysians. Keruah Usit can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 05:09 AM PST
Consultation the best: PBS
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is all for consultation or mediation as the best way to resolve the conflict over the use of the term "Allah" in Malaysia.
PBS President, Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, said he regretted the conflict has gone to the court in the first place, but added that he understood the circumstances behind it.
He said he also sympathised with the Prime Minister who has to make tough decisions in light of the sensitivity of the issue and the conflicting demands and expectations of various groups.
However, Pairin, who was speaking during the swearing-in of the elected and appointed PBS Supreme Council members in Donggongon, Penampang, said the issue on the use of the term "Allah" is complex and whatever position the Government takes is bound to please or diplease someone.
Due to the heightened sensitivities at the moment, he feels the best policy is to speak less so as not to aggravate situation.
For that reason, he said, in the last few days PBS decided not to make unnecessary statements.
Pairin, who is deeply concerned with the development in the case, advised all PBS members not to read too much into what they see on TV or the unfounded rumours they read from the short messaging service (SMS).
"No one can be truly sure who are the real perpetrators causing the unnecessary trouble which seems to create a climate of fear and uncertainty," he said.
Further, he said PBS leaders must refrain from making statements especially to the newspapers, which may be misconstrued and, thus, further aggravate the already tense situation.
He said after taking into consideration recent events and the various statements by individuals, some favourable and others not so favourable, PBS' stand is that the best way to resolve the conflict is through proper consultation.
He said the case is already in the court of appeal and the prospect of the plaintiffs in the court case withdrawing their case without any tangible offer to negotiate out of court is very slim, so PBS wants to see proper consultations among the parties to the dispute to reach an amicable solution.
Pairin said the prospect of success in resolving the conflict is good as the culture of the people of Sabah is to negotiate or consult one another in resolving conflict.
Pairin therefore welcomed the statement by Datuk Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, that non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak be allowed by the Federal Government to use the term "Allah" in their prayers and worship which he said is acceptable and should be seriously considered.
He said there have been suggestions that the "Allah" controversy is a uniquely Peninsular Malaysia problem, not Sabah and Sarawak.
"If viewed from this angle, then the statement by Nazri certainly offers a clue as to the possible solution to the problem," he said, urging the Federal leaders to take notice of the need for proper consultation with the relevant parties.
Pairin expressed concern that the issue now has been highly politicised since PAS and PKR have issued statements to say they accept the use of the term "Allah" by Christians in the footsteps of Muslim majority countries such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia where non-Muslim citizens can use the term" Allah" without any restriction.
Nonetheless, Pairin expressed confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister who recognised and understood the issue from the perspectives of both sides.
He said he was grateful both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have given their firm assurances that the matter will be resolved amicably.
"PBS is confident the social maturity and the democratic values of the people of Malaysia will ensure the country will weather the storm of any racial or religious disputes arising out of misunderstanding," he said.
He said Malaysia must learn from the lessons of history that racial unity and religious harmony built over a period of 50 years cannot be taken for granted and should never be compromised.
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 08:19 AM PST
Interfaith dialogue must strive for harmony
....Rais Yatim, Minister of Information, MalaysiaExcuse me, YB but what else would participants in a dialogue strive for? Disharmony ah? Then dialogue waffor? Like that also must make like you just stumbled upon something great ah?
Errr..actually that sentence quite terror to say you know. Try it la. Stand on a chair, puff up your chest, raise your right hand index finger in the air and then say loudly......
"Interfaith dialogue must strive for harmony"
Feels good right?
Also ah...this next bit is quite funny.
Rais said that Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's suggestion that local writers should be given preference over foreign authors when selecting literary works for schools and institutions of higher learning was "..... music to our ears.. We welcome this. We have been waiting for this kind of policy. As such, prominent local writers must redeem themselves."
As such local writers must redeem themselves?
Meaning that the reason why local literature was not given preference in the first place was because local lit sucks???
So now the fuckers (writers) better REDEEM themselves???
Someone at The Malaysian Insider is going to get it for 'misquoting' the YB, I think. Sorry ah MI.
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 03:40 AM PST
The ridiculous accusation that Christians are trying to lie and cheat Muslims into the religion by using "Allah" is so ridiculous it's not even funny! But the current UMNO-led hate campaign against Christians in Malaysia deserves to be exposed for the ridiculous political charade it is.
Don't they realise that saying Muslims can be cheated out of their faith is not only insulting to Christians but it is ESPECIALLY insulting to Muslims?
They're saying that Muslims in Malaysia are so stupid they can't tell the difference between a mosque and a church, just because the Word "Allah" is used by both! They're saying that Muslims in Malaysia are so stupid they can't tell the difference between the Quran recitals and Christian hymns. They're saying that Muslims in Malaysia are so stupid they can't tell the difference between the azan and church bells. Between the Imam and the priest. Between the Bible and the Quran. Between...you get the idea. The list just goes on and on!
The tragedy is that there are 240,000++ Muslims who AGREE that they are as stupid as UMNO says they are! And they are all so gung ho in trying to get ALL Malay Muslims to agree with them that they are just as stupid!
No wonder the Indonesians hate Malaysia so much - these dudes here are giving their ancestral homeland a bad name!!
But anyway, I'm not a Malay nor a Muslim. I am DEFINITELY NOT an UMNO member/supporter/crony/whatever. So whatever they want to think about themselves is their business.
But I just want to put this one lie to rest for the moment:
Yes, Christians are called to carry the message of God to everyone. But lies and cheating has never been one of the strategies that Jesus taught His disciples. In fact, Jesus says:
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
So, Christians are called to speak the truth. If so, how can we be accused of using lies and cheating tactics to convert people?
Not only that, these were Jesus' instructions to those he sent to carry His message:
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.
If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.
As we can see, there is no compulsion at all for people to accept the message. The disciples were merely instructed to speak. If their words were accepted, fine. If not, just leave.
In the Malaysian context, the entire Muslim population has been closed off from the Christian message by the Federal Consitution. In other words, this entire segment of the Malaysian population are the "people do not welcome you". And what is Christ's command in such a situation?
Where does it say that Christians have to pursue converts to the point where lies and cheating tactics become acceptable evangelism tools?
Can anyone from the UMNO campaign answer?
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 02:18 AM PST
Aljazeera explores the Allah controversy with a debate featuring Pas MP Khalid Samad, social activist Marina Mahathir and Abim's Yusri Mohamad.
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Posted: 19 Jan 2010 02:05 AM PST
Malaysians are wandering why suddenly the Barisan Nasional federal government who had administered us for the past 52 over years seem to indicate that they are REMOVING SUBSIDY for almost every essential commodity item. Sugar subsidy was recently removed and the next is petrol, sometime in May 2010, with many more to come. Even after raising sugar prices, the commodity is still unavailable at most retail stores. Isn't it surprising!!!!!
Most Malaysians believe we are a RICH country since we have oil revenue to fall back to and with the Malaysian Petroleum Company, PETRONAS, claiming to pay royalty payments in Billions to the Federal government while protected by Law from disclosing its revenue and expenditure to the Malaysian public.
It may not be surprising that our OIL WELLS HAVE GONE DRY and our BN Federal government will not be getting its Billions anymore from Petronas.
Will we ever know the TRUTH !!!!!!!
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 08:11 AM PST
And so I was debating whether I should post this one or not. For about 25 seconds. Then I decided that it was too funny not to share. I got this from the Tweet of a friend of mine. Enjoy.........
Rais Yatim is so ancient, a book about him is delayed because the publishers can't get rights to his cave drawings
UPDATE FROM A FRIEND'S TWEET
Rais is so old that Steven Spielberg's made a movie about him.
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 05:46 PM PST
Who is Mahathir Mohamad?
Review By :
Mr. Hill is the H.W. Arndt professor of Southeast Asian economies at Australian National University.
Dr. Mahathir's personal story, as recounted in Barry Wain's "Malaysian Maverick," tracks the country's broader post-war history. The prime minister's origins wouldn't necessarily have augured a great political future. Born in 1925 to parents of modest means, he grew up on the "poor side of the river" that bisected the town of Alor Star, in northern Malaysia. Of mixed Indian and Malay ancestry, he was a member of neither the Malay aristocracy nor the ethnic Chinese business class in a country where race did, and still does, significantly determine a person's prospects.
As a child, he was driven, impatient, energetic and intelligent. His teenage years were overshadowed by war and the Japanese occupation, when he became a street hawker to eke out a living. Returning to school after the war, he excelled and found his way to Singapore to study medicine in 1947. He was stunned by the relative wealth and sophistication he found on the island, a stark contrast with colonial Malaya.
Returning home in 1953 to practice medicine, it was only a matter of time before politics beckoned. Dr. Mahathir entered Parliament in 1964, representing a local Kedah constituency for the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO). The '60s were turbulent for the newly independent country: "Malaysia" was officially birthed in 1963 by combining Malaya with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah, but in 1965 Singapore broke off as an independent city-state. Following the general election in May 1969, brief but vicious conflicts broke out between the Chinese and Malay communities. Dr. Mahathir also lost his seat at that election and, following some bitter political infighting, was expelled from UMNO.
His retreat from politics provided an opportunity to reflect more deeply on national issues. He penned "The Malay Dilemma," arguing that the country's ills resulted from the country's extreme ethnic imbalances. The book was immediately banned, but it became an influential political document. It asserted that the Malays were the country's original "definitive race" and that this should be embedded in national institutions and policies.
Dr. Mahathir was by now a national figure, and the departure of Malaysia's founding prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, with whom he frequently quarreled, opened the way for his re-entry into politics in 1974. He quickly rose through the ranks, winning the premiership in 1981—the first "commoner" to hold the post. He quickly set about implementing his vision of modernization: developing a vibrant Malay business class while also embarking on a "Look East" strategy of heavy industrialization.
Dr. Mahathir saw himself as a nation builder and a champion of third-world causes. He liked to think big, whether it was the construction of the nation's north-south highway stretching from Thailand to Singapore or the new capital he started at Putra Jaya. Inevitably, these and other projects became entangled within the complex web of UMNO money politics. They tended to be very expensive, rely on nontransparent bidding and favor contractors with ties to UMNO. But the book presents little evidence that Dr. Mahathir saw these projects as vehicles for personal enrichment—even if it is alleged some of his cronies and family apparently did.
More than his economic program, however, Dr. Mahathir's personality has attracted attention. As Mr. Wain makes clear, he displayed a well-developed authoritarian streak and a propensity to lock up dissidents. The most infamous of these was the jailing of his former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, in September 1998 on charges of financial and sexual improprieties, an event that deeply shocked the nation. Dr. Mahathir has denied the charges were politically motivated, and Mr. Anwar was later acquitted. The international media were also targeted, including this newspaper, which was banned for a period for its articles about the economy and then Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin.
This new biography contends that Dr. Mahathir cemented his rule in part by weakening institutions like the judiciary, media and professional civil service that could have challenged him. Although Dr. Mahathir contests that claim, he did introduce press controls, bypass the civil service with his own direct appointments and dismiss the lord president of the Supreme Court during the constitutional crisis of 1988. His personalization of power "cut Malaysia adrift institutionally," Mr. Wain writes, rendering more difficult the country's transition to modern statehood.
Mr. Wain's book is biography at its best. The author, a former Journal editor and Malaysia bureau chief, builds on extensive interviews with Dr. Mahathir, his family and close associates. But Mr. Wain also gives plenty of airing to the critics, and he has meticulously sifted through the Malaysian press, the scholarly literature and "underground" commentary, offering no fewer than 1,236 footnotes to support his rich narrative. The result is a balanced, comprehensive and nuanced study that apportions praise and criticism in equal measure. It replaces a much earlier work, Khoo Boo Teik's 1995 "Paradoxes of Mahathirism" as the seminal study of Dr. Mahathir.
Yet Mr. Wain could have stepped back a little more and asked whether Dr. Mahathir fundamentally changed the course of Malaysian economic development. Under his leadership growth was no more impressive than under his three predecessors or two successors. Arguably, Malaysia's growth record is attributable more to the country's consistent openness and prudent macroeconomic management—it has never suffered the fiscal crises, hyperinflation, financial collapses that have afflicted other developing countries—combined with its rich natural resources.
While this debate deserves more attention, Mr. Wain's important biography sheds light on a fascinating character. As the winds of reformasi and the inexorable rise of the Internet pry open the country's controlled print and television media, there will likely be further revelations about the tight nexus between politics and money that flourished under his rule.
My sincere thanks to my friend Hornbill-Hornbil..
Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 01:00 AM PST
The contrast is self-evident. Events following the High Court's decision on the 'Allah' case, would suggest that Umno tacitly played up the matter to politically capitalise on the situation. Especially noteworthy was the prime minister's remark that there was not much the regime could do to prevent the Friday street protests from proceeding. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought we were living in a failed state with an absolutely hopeless and meaningless government; much of the kind we find in Somalia, where warlords – not elected officials rule the day.
By way of contrast to the Umno response, consider the fact that Anwar recently hosted a roundtable on the 'Allah' controversy.
Why did it not surprise me that, from the outset, Umno's response was utterly predictable? Indeed, I reminded you all shortly after the Court's decision that you can essentially count on an appeal of the decision from Umno. Nowhere did you find Umno ever keen on modeling a genuinely moderate approach to such issues. Having first initiated the 'Allah' ban, Umno then proceeds to essentially give the 'green light' for the protests following the Court's ruling. At no point did we see the so-called leadership of Umno come out and model constructive action such as promoting a public dialogue to help channel the energy this issue had arounsed.
No. Instead we saw a kind of impotent response to the planned illegal protests. Whatever happened this time around to the FRU and police who only months ago were cracking down on Hindraf, PKR or other NGO protesters? Did these instruments of brute force suddenly misplace their batons and water cannons?
Indeed, the contrast is self-evident in how Umno responded then and how it responded now to the protesters. But equally revealing is how Umno cannot fathom to openly and genuinely model any democratic qualities, such as having a public forum, roundtable or public dialogue between the various concerned segments of the population. You see that would be how leaders and organisations committed to democratic principles would respond – by helping to bring various parties to the table, by showing that dialogue is the way to moving forward; not just in this instance, but in every situation.
That different groups might have competing and divergent interests is not surprising. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, and others may not all and always see eye-to-eye on all matters. But a responsible government, especially one that espouses to be 'democratic,' would know the importance of generating and modeling dialogue: not fanning the flames of sectarianism.
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 12:53 AM PST
Of late the Facebook group 'Menentang penggunaan nama Allah oleh golongan bukan Muslim' has been getting a lot of attention among media watchers especially those who are following the name of God issue. This Facebook group has managed to garner more than a quarter of a million members in the space of a couple of weeks.
While we uphold our belief in freedom of speech and expression I think it is imperative for all concerned Malaysians to read this analysis of the group and its postings by the Centre For Policy Initiatives (CPI). The CPI analysis is HERE.
The Centre for Policy Initiatives was formally established as a non-profit policy reform organization in June 2007. Its mission is focused on providing the policy interested public, academia, private sector, government and other key stakeholders with accurate information, data and analysis on vital national issues affecting the country's economy and society. The Centre also aims to act as a independent and uncompromising watchdog on democratization, good governance and public policy reform.
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 01:23 AM PST
The United States may slap economic sanctions if the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government fails to resolve two key issues considered crucial by the international community, according to diplomatic sources.
The latest edition of the Pakatan Rakyat weekly, Suara Keadilan, quoting the sources as saying that the administration of President Barrack Obama is demanding a detailed explanation from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's government on the two missing F-5E jet engines and the series of arson attacks on churches and other places of worship over the last two weeks.
It also quoted Wisma Putra sources as saying if Najib viewed these issues lightly then Washington could slap economic sanctions on Malaysia.
The United States is Malaysia's number one trading partner and in recent years has been ranked among the top three foreign investors. In 2008, it was the second largest investor, with investments totalling RM8.7 billion.
Any economic sanction will have a painful effect on the country, which is already suffering from a large deficit.
Wisma Putra sources said Washington's diplomatic note reflects the seriousness of the Obama administration, which until now had only voiced their objections with statements.
"After this, if the government still dilly-dallies and takes no serious move to resolve the issues, heavier pressure will be instituted, including economic sanctions," said one source.
In an SMS revert to Suara Keadilan, the US embassy's media officer, Tina Malone, said Washington took a serious view of media reports of the missing jet engines, which were manufactured in the US.
"The US Government views seriously reports of the missing F-5E jet engines supplied to Malaysia," said the SMS.
"The US Government has asked the Malaysian Government to provide a comprehensive report in relation to investigations into the matter."
One of the Wisma Putra sources also confirmed that Washington had sent a diplomatic note to the Malaysian Government over the petrol bomb attacks and vandalism on Christian churches.
America's fear was underscored by its Commissioner for International Religious Freedom, Leonard Leo, who said: "How the Malaysian leadership deals with this issue will determine the political and economic future of the country."
Courtesy of Free Malaysia Today
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 12:22 AM PST
In Romans chapter 13, the Apostle Paul says that Christians should regard governments as God's delegated authority on earth, and therefore we should submit to them just as we would submit to God Himself.
So what should be the Christian's response to a government that does things which are not worthy of honour and respect? Do Christians owe the government unconditional respect and honour? Surely Christians cannot submit to government decrees and actions that go against our conscience?
Paul does not expressly state that there are conditions where we can choose not to submit against the government of the day. And it is wise for him to not do so. Because if Paul had made such a proviso for Christians, I can imagine that there would have been no shortage of people who would quickly hijack his statement to justify all sorts of "holy wars". Such is the nature of human beings, that we will grasp at anything to justify our own agenda.
Thank God He gave the fiery-tempered Paul the wisdom of peace! Paul instead upholds Christ's example of submission to earthly authority while maintaining ultimate allegiance to heavenly authority.
When Jesus was brought before Pilate to be questioned, He chose which questions he wanted to answer. He did not argue a case for his innocence. He did not pronounce judgement upon the wicked schemers against Him. In fact, He SUBMITTED to the physical authority of the Romans. In John 19:10-11, it is recorded:
"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."
Some may say that Jesus acted this way because he was destined to die as a redemption for Mankind's collective sin, therefore he HAD to submit in order to get crucified - it was part of the script. But I believe that this principle is eternal, as can be seen in the book of Daniel written hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
In the book of Daniel, the Israelites had been conquered and exiled from their own country. The Israelite elite were forced to be the servants of King Nebuchadnezzar. They had to submit to a pagan King and serve in the pagan royal household with pagan food and rituals. This went against all Jewish sensibilities as God's own Chosen People, where the very essence of their identity to be set apart and enjoy God's exclusive favour and protection.
But rather than fight back, they submitted to their conquerors, seeing their conquest and exile as punishment wrought by God upon a recalcitrant people.
However, although they submitted to their ruling authorities, they maintained their spiritual purity at some risk to theimselves (read Daniel chapter 1). However in chapter 3, the Israelites in the King's court were faced with a life-or-death choice:
DANIEL Chapter 3:14-1814 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?
15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."So we can see that while their physical circumstances required them to submit to the physical authorities, they firmly maintained their spiritual allegience and refused to compromise. And in this passage, we can see that the three friends clearly disobeyed the earthly king because he had asked them to violate their allegiance to their heavenly King, even though it would cost them their lives.
So back to the question: what should be the Christian's response to a government that does things which are not worthy of honour and respect? Should Christians still submit to their authority?
Based on Biblical principles and the example set by Christ, the answer would be: YES
And this must be so, otherwise there would be anarchy in the name of Christ! But is submitting to the earthly authorities the same as accepting or supporting them unconditionally?
Posted: 19 Jan 2010 12:25 AM PST
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 10:43 PM PST
what a joke....
NOAH and THE ARK
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 11:25 PM PST
A veteran political analysts said to audie61," The 110 metres hurdles have been won by Larry Sng and he has crossed the line." What the point and why should James Masing still try to harp on the issue of Pelagus State Seat? It's already a Done Deal and the Pelagus issue has already been settled and completed. Wasnt he told to "Swallow his pride by CM and he will come out on top." Something must not be right or else the PRS President would have be tightlipped and carry on with business as usual. Why rock the boat when everything seems smooth?
He can shout as loud as possible to the press/mass media but as far as CM is concerned Larry will still be a candidate for Pelagus. The poltical analysts said it just shows that " James needs to speak out to apiece the WARLORDS in PRS and to keep his troops intact with him as PRS prepares to face the State elections.
Can anyone rule out the possibilty of PRS leaving the BN State coalition? It has happened to PBDS though its now a different party but some remaining players inside PRS are very much the same but are older, wiser and more politically experience. Could this ignite the fire of 1987 revisited?
The State BN has ensured that stabilty,unity and harmony is prevalent in Sarawak Politics. To say that conflict was totally eradicated ,whether involving intra-party relationship or specific personalities in the most sublte ways,is attempting to paint a picture of political bliss. The State BN leadership has been able significcantly to contain most of these PETTY bickerings without upsetting the balance of power within the State BN.
We know that crisis breeds opportunities and conflicts is an inherent process in any power arrangement. A better understanding of how PRS works one has to understand that usage of the role of conflict to gain a foothold. The Pelagus issue is very much a thorn that has stuck in the parties backside and the party members according to sources have been pressuring the President to once and for all lay the ghosts of Pelagus to rests. Though its very thought -provoking the President expects this approach would open a leeway for the CM to appease the party.
The CM being very astute will no doubt hold this card close to his chest and will refuse even when asked by press reporters to reveal even the slightest clue. The excitement is already up an ante on Pelagus State seat and James will sooner rather than later push his cart of names for consideration in the remaining 8 PRS areas. The 110 metres hurdles have been won by Larry Sng and be rests assured that he could even be an independant BN candidate.
WILL PRS TAKE THAT..??
The article from Borneo Posts (English daily) which has sparked differences of opinions in Sarawak's political arena.
In a broad hint that incumbent must go, party president said successors have been identified
SRI AMAN: There are no two ways to it. Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) is staking its claim over Pelagus and has identified several names to win it come the next state election.Speaking to reporters after officiating at a public function at Rumah Anyie Rangie, Entulang Entawa, here yesterday, President Dato Sri Dr James Masing said PRS has short-listed "a few possible candidates" for the Iban-majority seat.
"We have several good nominees to choose from, who are highly qualified local Dayaks and the most appropriate to continue the Barisan Nasional (BN) struggle in Pelagus," he said, clearly hinting that Pelagus incumbent Larry Sng will have to go.
And if that was not enough, Masing further said: "Pelagus is PRS' for keeps … we will defend it come election."
Asked to name names, Masing said not only is the time not right but that PRS prefers to let the potential successors to work hard on the ground until such time as when the party will weigh who is the best of the lot.
"What I can tell you now is the potential names are highly qualified Ibans who are born in Pelagus and capable of carrying the BN flag high," Masing reiterated.
Masing, who is also Land Development Minister, was earlier asked of PRS' stand regarding Pelagus whose assemblyman he had expelled.
Sng, an assistant minister with three portfolios, is now partyless after he was sacked by PRS in 2008.
But since he was retained in last December's cabinet reshuffle, many political observers until now believe that Sng will defend Pelagus under a seat-swapping arrangement between PRS and another BN component.
In response, Masing said yesterday that he does not see any seat-swapping coming simply because whoever is supposed to be the other party in the arrangement has not been showing any interest.
"I think they (the other BN component) are not interested in swapping seats. Because of that, PRS will be defending Pelagus because the seat has always been ours," he said.
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 10:52 PM PST
Had an opportunity to talk to a few students intending to do medicine in a private university offering twinning program to do medicine overseas.
I asked them, do you know what medicine is about? Do you know that a doctor's life is not as rosy as many non medical people think? Do you know that it takes years of training to become a competent doctor and in the British system, to become a specialist takes many more years of hard work after the basic medical degree.
A few of them looked puzzled when I asked them these questions. When I asked them what made them think of taking up medicine, one of them gave the reply about doctors' earnings. Finally, a smiling one confided that if they go overseas to study medicine, it would be their passports to stay behind whichever country they go to, since in most of the Western countries (Australia included even though it is down South), there is a shortage of doctors.
I suspect this is the main reason why suddenly so many people are taking the medical courses, and Malaysia has so now more medical schools than Australia, with UTAR also joining in this year to offer MBBS degree.
These young people, for whatever reasons, want to leave their home country and settle down overseas.
In the past, Malaysians have always emigrated. Many Malaysians studied overseas, and some remained in those countries where they studied, but many did return.
For the past few years, there is a new trend that lesser and lesser of those who study overseas are coming home; and many of those who returned are mainly those who could not find employment overseas. For those who studied medicine, not many have returned. I have stated that none of my eldest 2 children classmates have returned home, and as far as I understand, none of their senior class returned home too.
Malaysia has lost the shine, so much i can say. with the economy stagnant, inflation overtaking increasing in earning, polution and traffic jam getting worse, Malaysia is less liveable now than a decade or 2 before.
How do we expect these young and bright people, who could have helped re building the country, to come home when they can have much much better prospect of life and a better lifestyle overseas?
The only consolation is the food perhaps. We have one of the most varied food and it is still relatively cheap to eat out.
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 09:14 PM PST
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Council of Churches has rejected a proposal by Minister Nazri Aziz that the word "Allah" can only be used by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak and not in the peninsula.
Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said it felt that Minister in Nazri's suggestion was "illogical, inconsistent and untenable for Christian communities of both states, especially those residing in the peninsula".
"The intended concession also goes against the spirit and intent of the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia concept of forging unity and harmony among all races and religions by mutual respect and acceptance," Rev Dusing said in a statement.
He said the proposal also impinged on the rights of the Christian community as it "dichotomises and segregates" the rights to profess and practise one's faith on the basis of geographical location.
Posted: 18 Jan 2010 09:09 PM PST
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Posted: 18 Jan 2010 10:02 PM PST
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