Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walking Down Fear Street

Walking Down Fear Street


Walking Down Fear Street

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 09:09 AM PDT

You know BN is panicking when they invest a lot of money in getting skilled hackers to bring down website servers.

Some of you may not be aware that the Sarawak Report website was disabled a while back after being hacked.

More recently, the Malaysiakini servers are down, but this is not going to stop the free flow of information to those who need to see it.

Here are the alternative locations while the BN government continues their assault to curb sensitive information which could harm their selfish interests:

a) http://malaysiakinicom.wordpress.com/
b) http://malaysiakinicom.blogspot.com/

If you also want to read the Sarawak Report, please go here:

www1.sarawakreport.org
http://www.facebook.com/sarawakreport
http://twitter.com/sarawak_report

I assure you that BN will commission these sites to be hacked and taken down as well. So stay tuned and we will try to flow down the new sites as soon as they're up.

This has happened before to Malaysia Today, so it is nothing new! :-)


Visualising Sarawak’s New Dawn

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:41 AM PDT

Written by Dzulkarnian of  Malaysia Cronicle, originally entitled 'The Horror If BN Loses'

A-LOOK-AHEAD As the sun sets over the horizon and the dust begins to settle, the results of the Sarawak Election begins to trickle in. And much to the horror of BN, hitting with the impact of a bombshell, the realisation that the people of Sarawak have finally rejected the once-mighty BN.

No, there is no doubt about it. Recount as much as you like but the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has managed to secure a sensational win in Sarawak. Against all odds, the people of Sarawak have spoken. Change is unavoidable. Another Tsunami has landed.

And as the drama unfolds, frantic activity begins to take place in Kuching in the still warm night, while other parts of Sarawak are drenching in rain showers washing away the sins of past regimes. As the result begin to sink in, visibly shocked Sarawakians takes to the streets, with shouts of joy and laughter. Knowing that it is all over, there will be dancing in the streets, as people start to celebrate the end of draconian rule. Finally, Sarawakians have beaten the odds and a new era is dawning upon them.

On the other end, the losing coalition is frantically gathering evidence for destruction. Documents are shoved into overworked shredders, while lorry-loads of criminal evidence are shipped out overnight. Any documents that may leave a trail of evidence will not be left behind.

And as a new dawn emerges, Sarawakians wake up to a new era, unable to hide their genuine smile, grinning all over as the unseen shackles collapse. Milk and honey begin to flow again. A new hope and a new beginning is felt among the populace. Finally, there is a reason to exist again.

As PR starts to take over the administration of the state, Sarawak begins its healing process, both physically, mentally and spriritually. As the old Masters start to pack up and disappear with their tails between their legs, the once-enslaved masses look on in incredulity at their new found freedom. For once in their weary existence, they are now masters of their own fate, and it is up to them to shape their destiny.

PR's chief aim is to start developing the vast natural resources, tapping into the pool of human resources that will lead this State to prosperity. The 'leftover' BN opposition MPs begin to ponder their fate and mourn their losses, and the big question hanging on their heads is whether to stick on or evolve into amphibians.

Overnight, many Ibans may turn millionaires as their NCR lands are returned to them, and the spillover of wealth will start to stimulate and heal the economy of Sarawak. As the hoarded billions of ringgit are prevented from exiting Sarawak, it will be used as a stimulus to flood Sarawak with opportunities and wealth. Flushed with new funds for development, Sarawak's economy will steam ahead, knocking down all the obstacles of poverty and graft. As the potholed roads are filled in, people's optimism begin to stir and soar to new heights.

Archaic laws that were made to enslave the people will be dismantled one by one, enabling Sarawak to venture where no one has gone before. With a new sense of freedom, Sarawakians will venture forth to attain their long lost dreams.

From space, a satellite image will show Sarawak – a big blob of land mass nearly the size of the peninsula and glued to the Borneo subcontinent will appear, green amidst the vast blotches of brown from Taib's deforestation and surrounded by a deep blue sea – starting to heal itself. Whistle-blowers will ensure that pollution from giant oil mills and factories cease their persistent pollution and illegal run offs.

Not only the environment will heal but so will the people and its fauna and flora. The animals and birds will have fresher air and water to breed and the flora will start to flourish again. Sarawak, which is famous for its 180 million year old rainforests will once again be a botanical paradise where many of its exotic species will be extracted for medical and pharmaceutical drugs.

Billions of ringgit will be pumped into the economy to ensure Sarawak becomes a UTOPIA. The youth in the rural areas will be identified, and trained in new skills to be released into the job market created to spur the economy. Suddenly, everyone will be showered by new found wealth.

With the introduction of the CAT administration (competency, accountability and transparency) the state will transformed into the league of Penang and Selangor. This will translate into widespread development and clean administration for the people of Sarawak. Freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom to congregate will ensure Sarawak becomes one of the most democratic states in the world. Democracy will prevail, and everyone will enjoy equal rights. PR in its quest to increase the market share will recruit the poor in its programmes, and none will be left out.

Top of the list will be basic infrastructure – electricity, water and access roads into the interior. Later comes Internet connectivity via satellite communications. And suddenly Sarawak is a modern, pulsating state, standing on par with the rest of the world.

Scholars, Poets, Deep Thinkers, Educationists, Socialists, Aristocrats, Artistes, Composers and Architects of Modern Thought will one day be born from the sons of Sarawak. Everyone will have access to pristine Green Forests, Crystal Clear Rivers, Birds and Butterflies and the occasional Hornbill reminding us of UBAH in Recreation Areas.

The working class will be equally represented by the various indigenous tribes. The Iban Dayaks, Melanau, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, Malay and Chinese and their ethnic cultures will forever be etched in the History of Sarawak.

Tourism will reach a new High, bringing in more tourist dollars and Sarawak will be top choice for Eco-Tourism in the world.

With the exodus of former leaders due to fear of prosecution, common criminals, illegal settlers and unwanted colonizers, Sarawakians will once again enjoy a cleaner, crime-free environment. Illegal migrants without skills or papers would be deported leaving an abundance of jobs

Music and the Fine Arts will proliferate, and Kuching will be dotted with galleries showcasing raw talent. It will continue to grow and one day it will be akin to be another fine example of Switzerland. With its land mass, oil deposits, timber and other natural resources, Sarawak will go on to overtake Penang and Selangor to be the most prosperous state in the Federation.

Peace and Prosperity, will finally reign in Sarawak. Without the Economic Pirates, Political Looters, and Colonial masters to pillage and plunder Sarawak's wealth, Sarawak will ultimately reach UTOPIA status. It will also be an example for the rest of the Malaysian States to follow.

Sarawak has always been a utopia and still is a utopia now, only sadly, it has been mismanaged all these years. Sarawakians can change all that, as long as they can learn to say NO.

God will continue to bless the earth, its people, its hornbills, and everyone will live happily ever after. - Malaysia Chronicle


砂朥越的“东风”已经吹起!

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:29 AM PDT

光华日报"异言堂". 赤子丹心专栏 (13-04-2011)
 
作者:人民公正党槟州法律与社会服务局主任
           林武灿市议员
 
 
当人民公正党,民主行动党及回教党参加2006年的砂朥越州选举而进行沿户访问之际,许多选民看到来者就即刻把家门关上,让游说者饱尝闭门羹。
 
但是在这次的砂州选举中,人民联盟的竞选工作人员所到之处皆获得热烈欢迎,一般上因为砂州人民希望,自从48年前砂朥越加入马来西亚联合邦后奴役着他们的这片广阔富饶土地将会有所改变,从而他们的命运从此也将会随着改变!
                       
这解释了为何在本月六日晚上提名后在美里举行的一项民联政治大集会上观众人数出现已突破超过一万人,而接着下来的讲演会也是到处人山人海,大有排山倒海、风起云涌之势。回顾在2006年砂州选举时,一般上的民联政治座谈会也只有二,三十名观众而已。
 
其实美里是砂州人联党主席拿督陈康南副首长(即砂州首长旦斯里耶谷的亲家)的堡垒。但是看来这位人联党魁即将重蹈民政党主席许子根博士于2008年的滑铁卢之役,被人民力量所击败而人党两失与溃不成军。
 
        当前局势的转变对反对党非常有利,使到它有机缘在4月16日选举计票后组成一个新的砂朥越民联州政府。一些政治家分析甚至预测民联有望在71席的砂州议席里占据38席。目前的情况应该是棋鼓相当,不分上下。
 
        砂州国阵竞选所有的71个州议席,它的成员来自砂土保党,砂人联党,砂人民进步党,与砂人民党。后两党乃砂土保党离开国阵后所衍生的取代品。另一方面,公正党参选48席,行动党15席,回教党5席。与此同时,砂国民党在所有27个以伊班人为主的议席竞选,其选区跟公正党有所重叠。这也是造成公正党与砂国民党席位谈判失败的主因,因为砂国民党由始至终死咬住27席而不肯做出任何妥协,它与国阵有所默契的传言也并非空穴来风。在加上新成立的爱国党和一些独立人士的问津之下,一些议席已形成四或五角的混战。
 
不过从整体上看来,蚊子党与独立人士根本无法制定治州的政策或任何政策上的改变,由此推理选民如果把票投给他们也是枉然。毕竟他们都已面对三千元按柜金被取消的危机,看来它们的候选人鲜有能力获取超过投票总数的1/8。因此,在基本上还是国阵对民联的局面之下,再加上反对力量的不断膨胀与被后市看起,造成国阵主席兼我国首相拿督斯里纳吉身感压力,不得不破天荒亲自前往这个烽火连天的战场扎营六天,以期扭转颓废与疲惫的砂州国阵政权所面对的劣势。
 
        在砂州国阵主席及首席部丹斯里达益马莫的三十年铁蹄统治之下,砂劳越已沦为国阵的一个大累赘。这也是拿督斯里纳吉尝试在砂州议会解散之前抛弃的一个大包袱,虽然他的这项尝试毕竟是失败了。在联邦的巫统领袖的压力之下,外号"白毛"的达益在正副首相面前招待记者,声称这是他的最后一届。
 
但是人民也还记得达益在15 年前说过同样这句话,而最近的一次是在上届的砂州大选,他言之凿凿,虽然最后还是自食其言,"白毛"居然每次都用同样的藉口,说他之所以必须继续在位,是因为他尚未找到一位"好的"接班人。这30 年来,砂州国阵残民以自肥,为一小撮统治阶层与朋党们制造巨大的财富。单单"白毛"的兄弟也公开拥有200 公顷的土地。而最近他的儿媳妇也入禀高庭,公然地向他儿子索取两亿资产的一半,以作为离婚的赔偿金。
 
在砂州土著文化保留地被活剥生吞的情况之下,造成数以万计的砂州土著包括本南人,伊班人,达雅人,比达由人及民达瑙人流离失所,面对史无前例与惨无人道的大型迫迁造做,他们之间的许多人甚至分文未获但是却投诉无门。这些土地在被占用后,已被转售其他商业财团,最终许多原住民在被边缘化的情况下,顶多也只能沦为大园丘的廉价劳工而已。
 
这种情况下,人民联盟挺身而出为原住民入禀高庭,以展开他们为土地与生活的斗争,而一些案件也已奏效。如今时间已经到来,砂州人民已开始醒觉若要改变他们的梦魇就必须选出一个清廉、公正与民主的人民政府,这也是国阵执政集团所感忧虑之处。
 
联邦国阵领袖在看到砂州国阵领导集团面对怨声载道与四面楚歌的情况之下,在策略上呛声选民可以不管首席部长是谁,只管支持新首相拿督斯里纳吉的政策转变,企图弃车保帅、转移视线或安抚民心,以博取竞选的胜利。但是,不管是联邦或砂州国阵,其政策如同胎而出,最多也只是换汤不换药或糖衣炮弹,更何况对人民来讲,48年已经太久,只争朝夕。
 
因此无论国阵推出什么"使国家经济繁荣昌盛"、或"使社会团结稳定"之类的灌迷汤口号,相信都无法打动广大群众的心。对于数以百亿计的砂州资源因行政偏差或贪污滥权的平白流失,对一个连基本设施如道路与水电都非常贫乏的一片土地上,如果砂州人民不懂得在此非常时刻,当机立断并另选贤能的话,将是坐失这半世纪难得的一个良机,而只能痛心疾首而后悔莫及了!
 
虽然已退休的前古晋区国会议员沈观仰先生在提名前曾立论说他不相信一场类似308的政治海啸会在这届砂州选举出现,但是如今看起来要否决砂国阵的2/3统治已经不难,但是最终鹿死谁手?谁能问鼎砂州政权?还须看这几天政治领导的智慧与政治角力的演变如何。
 
换句话说,砂朥越的"东风"已经吹起,一切尚看行船者是否懂得顺势而导!


A Sarawak Spring?

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:16 AM PDT

By Bridget Welsh

When change rocked the Middle East from Tunisia to Yemen, many were quick to point out that it could not happen in Malaysia. The BN government has a stronger record of governance and, for all of the unevenness of the playing field, holds competitive elections.

Yet, as the Sarawak campaign has unfolded, it is increasingly becoming apparent that change is afoot. The 30-year tenure of Abdul Taib Mahmud – closely paralleling the length of Hosni Mubarak's own tenure – has inspired an unprecedented response on the ground.

With record attendance at rallies across the state, the floodgates of change have opened, with Prime Minister Najib Razak calling on all of his cabinet to campaign in what has become a defining national litmus test.

The 10th Sarawak election is perhaps the first real test since March 2008 of whether Malaysia will experience a similar spring, or whether it will stave off change.

Growing loss of faith in S'wak leadership

There are important similarities between Sarawak and the Middle East beyond the length of the tenure of the leadership. Foremost is deepening discontent with the state leadership, as more and more Sarawakians are losing faith in it.

With Taib Mahmud's decision to contest and not clearly offer a succession plan, attention has remained riveted on his personal and family's wealth. Attempts to block the Sarawak Report are too late.

While many personally remain loyal to Taib, especially among the Malay/Melanau community and to a lesser extent among some of the Iban communities, the issues of corruption and nepotism have become center stage in a manner that makes the 2006 polls pale in comparison.

These issues are being discussed in longhouses and coffee shops in an open manner, with references to concrete examples that has allowed the issue to permeate across communities. Some voters feel betrayed and lied to as there is a loss of credibility for BN state leaders.

What distinguishes this 'kopitiam' talk from previous polls is the scope of discussion and a widening belief that the excesses were exactly that, excesses.

Unfavourable economic conditions

The timing of the elections is not working in the BN's favour, and contributing to the sense of excesses. Inflation remains high in Sarawak (higher than Peninsular Malaysia), and the effects of growth under Najib's tenure, for example the New Economic Model (NEM) programme, have not been felt to the same degree.

Development in Sarawak has stagnated in the last few years, as growth has slowed and incomes have not risen. The state's economic benefits have been seen to be concentrated in hands of Taib's political elite. Sarawak's economy – with the exception of tourism and port development associated with natural gas – lacks dynamism.

Even the higher commodity prices for items such as palm oil have not trickled down in the same manner as Peninsular Malaysia, as these are dominated by corporations operating plantations (many in the hands of the political elite and Peninsular Malaysians) rather than smaller farmers.

Retail sectors have been pinched by less spending, due to the persistence of low wages, which remain shockingly low in services and agriculture especially, with workers making less than RM500 a month in arguably a consumer market that is at least 30 percent more expensive than Peninsular Malaysia.

Food security has also emerged as an issue, with the change in agricultural production and inflation, reducing the quality of food, especially in the rural areas.

Hardcore poverty levels may have dropped from 1980, but current relative poverty levels remain high, with the state recording second highest in the country. The gap between the rich and poor in Sarawak is increasing and arguably wider – if one believes even just some of the reports on the state's political elites wealth – than Peninsular Malaysia.

Economic hardship and disparity are much more prominent this election and these too are being openly discussed.

Loss of fear

This open discussion has started to transform another key element that has been an integral part of the fabric of Sarawak politics – fear.

While there is considerable concern that the voting process is not secret (which is understandable in less populated communities), there is also more willingness to come out and gather, and, as it happened on the streets in Cairo, this dynamic is gathering momentum.

Many voters, reticent of showing their loyalties to the opposition, are braving possible repercussions and attending meetings. They are giving financial support in some towns that rivals donations in the 2008 March elections.

While the BN is pointing to instability – reminiscent of the 2001 polls after September 11 – this is not having the same traction, as voters in Sarawak like those in Egypt are openly defiant.

More dynamic Internet campaign

Part of the reason has to do with new sources of information, namely the access to alternative sources of information. Blogs, websites like Malaysiakini, YouTube and more have become an integral part of the campaign. This did not happen before, even in March 2008.

The cyber campaign has been as hot as the rallies, perhaps even hotter. It is important to appreciate that Internet penetration in Sarawak is much more limited than in Peninsular Malaysia, concentrated in the major towns. Information however is filtering to the semi-rural and rural areas, but slowly and without a major impact to date.

Ironically, this was the situation in the Middle East as well, as the information sharing was concentrated in the urban areas. The middle class and professionals were especially important conduits and discussion leaders, and this dynamic seems to be at play in Sarawak as well.

Critical role of diaspora

The final similarity at play involves the important role of the Sarawak disapora. There are an estimated 300,000 Sarawakians outside of the state. Most left due to the lack of opportunities for employment and are concentrated in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

They have been following this election from afar, giving support and their return to vote will be a crucial factor in shaping the outcomes in the close contests. How many come home will be decisive in the final outcome.

The same issue will play out within the state, as younger voters in Kuching, Miri and Bintulu will shape campaigns in the rural communities.

Extremely tight contests

While these items point to a turning tide toward change, there are important challenges that make this contest the most competitive contest in Sarawak's history. The opposition gains in 2006 were won on very, very slim margins, and the overall small numbers of voters in constituencies makes for close races.

None of the opposition seats are "secure", given the tightness of the contests and now more than ever races are open contests. Almost half of the 71 seats are in play, with the number of undecided voters extremely high, especially in the Iban areas and in semi-rural seats. The results in all of the seats will be down to the wire, including every opposition incumbent.

BN's money and machinery

The BN will continue to rely of its traditional advantage of resources. The machinery of the BN – including the use of government departments – is well-oiled and the BN has the access to the rural areas, allowing it a secure buffer of "sure" wins.

The money has flowed already, with houses receiving RM1,000, individuals RM200 and influential individuals as much as RM5,000. Gone are the days when all that was paid was RM20. What will be interesting to see is if money continues to rule the day, which has been the case in previous elections, and how much more is on the way.

The early disbursement has made for an expensive election. The increasing use of financial incentives for support highlights a challenge that the BN faces in strengthening and in some cases reestablishing its legitimacy. The development card in Sarawak does not quite have the same impact.

At this rate, it will be hard for the BN to afford a national GE.

Personal ties and party

The continued use of patronage distinguishes Malaysia's possible "spring" from the change in the Middle East. In Sarawak, with its smaller population, especially in the rural areas, the ties are personal. There are many in the rural communities who feel a strong sense of loyalty to their CM Taib, and see their roads and livelihoods tied to his governance.

Unlike the decay of the grassroots connections of Umno in the rural areas of Peninsular Malaysia, the personal relationships are stronger in Sarawak, and continue to engender loyalty.

Crossing the bridge to the unknown – especially given uncertainties in opposition leadership among some – is not quite the step many are willing to take. This gives the BN its base, even though it has frayed.

One of the reasons the SUPP is facing its challenge for survival is that it lost the personal touch in the urban areas. It is not surprisingly that their campaign logo tries to use this appeal, although with limited impact to date.

Another element of the personal dimension to Sarawak's campaign is the personal relationships of candidates to communities. Candidates are known, from independents to BN ministers. They rely on extended family support and personal friendships. In small communities, these issues matter.

The more the infighting in a particular contest, with independents having their own bases and gripes for contesting, the more the uncertainty in very tight races. Infighting is particularly affecting PKR, Snap and PBB, with the record number of third-corner fights and independents contesting. Overall, this helps the BN to a greater degree than the opposition.

Nastier ethnic politics

What distinguishes this campaign from earlier ones beyond the greater mobilisation of voters is a harder ethnic edge to the campaign. Traditionally, ethnic dynamics in Sarawak have been played out at the elite level, with leadership infighting rarely extending into society. While Iban nationalism has been important, it has had little impact electorally.

Now the terrain has shifted. First, the race card is being used in the Malay/Melanau areas, arguing that their support is crucial for the position of these communities in Sarawak's leadership.

With photos of PKR's Baru Bian circulating and not-so-subtle messages being sent in the campaign, the issue of 'Ketuanan Melayu' is having an impact.

The quiet argument touted that the Chinese are disloyal for supporting the opposition is also angering some voters, who see Peninsular Malaysia's ethnic politics being brought into Sarawak inappropriately. This is happening at the same time as Christians – Iban, Chinese, Dayak and some Melanau – remain deeply angry over the handling of the Bible and 'Allah' issues.

Religion has been more intertwined with ethnicity and in this Christian-majority state, the questions of freedom of religion are making political ripples, as they did in March 2008 in Peninsular Malaysia.

Further complicating this ethnic dynamic is the issue of land, which has been tied to the perceived marginalisation of Iban and Dayak communities, at the expense of other communities and outsiders.

The lack of headway over customary land issues is having an impact in specific communities and this issue alone has salience in over 15 seats – from Ba'Kelalan to Belaga.

Keeping the contest as fair as possible

What is interesting to observe in this contest is whether the election continues to be played respectfully and fairly. Sarawakians traditionally avoid confrontation and political polarisation. While money has been accepted as a norm, other concerns with electoral process are emerging.

Voters want, and deserve, a fair contest. They want their votes to count. Unconfirmed reports of movement of voters between constituencies, problems with the electoral rolls, challenges over postal votes, IC cards being allegedly handed over for payment for someone to vote for an individual, cancellation of police permits, pressure on shop owners for allowing political discussion and more are raising concerns about the integrity of the polls.

Whatever happens when the final results come, it is essential that the process be credible. Many Sarawakians hope that the BN's call for good conduct in the campaign will extend to the voting process as well.

The role of neutrality and professionalism among civil servants in Malaysia in the Sarawak election, is as important as the actions of the governments in the Middle East.

Najib's leadership test

In these final days of the campaign, PM Najib has made a bold move to vest himself in the outcome of the polls. His presence on the ground is more than any other PM as this will be a do-or-die mandate for him.

Crucial will be whether he deflects the angst toward the state government and channels votes toward the BN.

The pattern historically has been one of Taib buttressing BN leaders. That role is reversed in this contest. A parallel can be made to Tunisia and Egypt when other leaders came in to stave off the opposition directed toward the top.

Targets and possibilities

The challenges on both sides are immense as the contest has taken on even greater importance as the campaign has evolved. For the BN, Taib and the SUPP are facing a defining referendum that will affect their future, and they have to hold onto the two-thirds majority and at least three seats, respectively.

For the opposition, any victory that surpasses the 15 seats of 1987 is a major accomplishment. Breaking the two-thirds is not out of the question for the opposition, although it is an extremely tough fight for all concerned, and the advantage remains squarely in the BN court despite the ceramah crowds.

Every vote will count. A spring has yet to come to Sarawak, but, given the changes on the ground, it remains in the realm of the possible.

——–
DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She is in Sarawak to observe the state election. Welsh can be reached at bwelsh@smu.edu.sg


Lim Guan Eng In Miri, Sarawak

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:09 AM PDT


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Anwar Launched The Sarawak Election Manifesto

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 07:51 AM PDT


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Caleb Project to Christianize Malays of Malaysia and Singapore ~ Evidence

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:56 AM PDT



The following contents are from a Christian Evangelical website which is part of the Caleb Project designed to convert as many Malays from Malaysia and Singapore to their faith :

Prayer Profile
The Malay of Malaysia
[IMAGE]While the Malay are spread throughout Southeast Asia, the majority live in the nation of Malaysia. They make up about half of the population, sharing the nation with Chinese and Indian minorities. Malay live primarily on the eastern coast of the peninsula of Malaysia and in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. They speak a Malayo-Polynesian language they call Bahasa Malaysia.

The Malay have lived in Southeast Asia for thousands of years, but their recorded history begins in the A.D. 1400's when they converted to Islam. They were divided into many small, competing kingdoms called sultanates, until they were united by British influence into one federation in 1909.

Malaysia was granted independence by the British, and since the late 1970's, the nation has industrialized rapidly, its economy one of the fastest growing in the world. Nevertheless, most Malay of Malaysia remain poor farmers and fisherman, and the economy is dominated by the Chinese living in the nation.


What are their lives like?
Most Malay living in rural areas grow rice as their main food crop. Rubber is the major cash crop; nearly every farmer is involved to some extent in the rubber industry. Fishing is also an important occupation.

In the cities, Malay are becoming involved in factory work and in governmental jobs.
Since much of Malaysia is covered by jungle, the Malay settle along the coast, rivers, and roads. In villages, houses are built on pilings four to eight feet off the ground and have thatched roofs.

The more wealthy Malay have houses with tiled roofs and wooden planks for floors. Local trade is conducted in the larger towns which have markets to serve the surrounding region. An increasing number of Malay have settled in major cities.

Most families consist of a husband, a wife, and their children. While Islamic laws permit men to have up to four wives, the majority have only one. With the consent of a male parent or guardian, women are allowed to marry when the couple registers with a local religious leader.

When marriages are arranged, the couple is notified and must give consent. Divorce is easy and frequent because a man has the right to end his marriage simply by declaring his intention to do so. Children are highly valued, and adoption of a relative's child by childless couples is common.

For recreation, the Malay enjoy socializing in coffee shops. They also enjoy celebrating religious festivals and engaging in religious discussions. One of their favorite pastimes is playing Sepak Raga, a game similar to volleyball.

What are their beliefs?
Religion is a major source of ethnic identity: the Malaysian constitution states that to be a Malay, one must be Muslim. However, even though the Malay identify strongly with Islam, they continue to practice many aspects of their pre-Islamic religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.

For example, they commemorate many important events in life such as birth, marriage, and death with non-Islamic rituals. It is common for Malay who live in rural areas to believe in ghosts, goblins, and spirits; and if medicine is unavailable, a shaman (witch doctor) will often be brought in to treat an illness.

For these reasons, other Muslims see the Malay as poor Muslims who have distorted the doctrines of Islam.


What are their needs?
Over 80% of Malay are rural farmers and fisherman who struggle to earn a living. Health care, clean water, electricity, education, transportation, and communication are all inadequate.

Although evangelical tools to reach the Malay are available, only a tiny minority of the people have become Christians.

The western region of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia, forbids Christian witnessing to Muslims; yet the government continuously tries to convert Christians and other religious minorities to Islam. 

The government has imposed numerous restrictions on churches. In Eastern Malaysia, there is considerably more religious freedom, but Islam is still favored.

Much prayer and added laborers are needed to reach the Malay with the Gospel.

Prayer Points
  • Ask the Lord to send Christian laborers into Malaysia who understand the culture and religion.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agencies that are presently working with the Malay.
  • Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Malay.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Malay through dreams and visions.
  • Pray that the Malaysian government will give the people the freedom to share the Gospel with their countrymen.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Malay bound.
  • Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
  • Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Malay by the year 2000.

[MAP]See also the following Malay Groups:
The Creole Malay of Sri Lanka, and The Diaspora Malay (Cluster Profile).


Statistics

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


THE PEOPLE
  • People name: Malay
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Their language: Malay (Bahasa)
  • Population:(1990) 5,950,500
    (1995) 6,698,300
    (2000) 7,416,300
  • Largest religion:Muslim (Shafiite) 99.9%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 1,340
  • Scriptures in their own language: Bible
  • Jesus Film in their own language: Available
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 5
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 2,747,600 (41%)
  • Those evangelized by local Christians: 202,300 (3%)
  • Those evangelized from the outside: 2,545,300 (38%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 3,950,700 (59%)
THEIR COUNTRY
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Population:(1990) 17,891,500
    (1995) 20,139,900
    (2000) 22,298,700
  • Major peoples in size order:Malay 33.2%
    Han Chinese (Hokkien) 8.7%
    Tamil 7.2%
    Han Chinese (Hakka) 7.1%
  • Major religions:Muslim 50.5%
    Chinese folk-religionist 24.3%
    Christian 8.9%
  • Number of denominations: 41


© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center

This profile may be copied and distributed without obtaining permission
as long as it is not altered, bound, published
or used for profit purposes.

*************************************************************
And from another webpage :

Dear friends,


This is serious. After half a dozen trips to Malaysia, and meeting pastors who were part of the 'crack-down' against any who were running a Malay-speaking church service etc. in 1988 I think it was (some of whom were tortured while in prison), I'm concerned that our Christian friends
there are about to be threatened again. Pray for them.


***** PROPOSED MALAYSIAN LAW


We received the following email from workers in Malaysia which is being circulated among the churches in Malaysia.


Dear friends,


There is an urgent need to pray for Christian Malays in Malaysia & all mission work that is going on among the Muslims.  I am never in the habit of writing chain mails but I drafted this email in response to the  article on "page 2 of 17 April 98 of The Straits Times".  


Please circulate to all your Christian friends out there...  


The New Straits Times article says ...GIVE UP YOUR FAITH AND GO TO JAIL ???????????????????????????  


In brief, the article says that a new Bill is in its final stages of drafting to curb the "problem" of Muslims converting to another religion and the Proposed Bill is ... "MALAYSIA MUSLIMS WHO REJECT THEIR ISLAMIC FAITH MAY BE JAILED UP TO THREE (3) YEARS !"  


I am not circulating this to invoke any resentment against the government of Malaysia because I believe that my struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).  


My purpose of drafting this chain mail is to start up a wave of prayer for the Muslims in particularly Malaysia.  I wish to invoke, in all born-again Christians, this burden to pray and fast for the Christian Malays in Malaysia and all the mission work that is going on among the Muslims.  


This Bill, if passed by the Malaysia Cabinet will set back Christian Missionary Work among the Malaysia Muslims by a great extent and much persecution will arise among the Christian Malays in Malaysia. Churches that have Malay congregations will be refused of their license and even be forced to close down and go underground.


As Paul urge Timothy, in the same manner I urge you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to start putting on your full armour of God and start interceding for all the Saints of God (Malay Christians and Missionaries) and particularly the Cabinet Leaders in Malaysia.  


Paul wrote to Timothy, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests prayers, intercession and thanks giving be made for everyone - for kings and all those
in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Tim 2:1-2)  As how the apostles, in conclusion, exhorted the Hebrews, in the same way I beseech you, to "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)


PLEASE pray:


     a.   for protection and wisdom for the Malay Christians;
     b.   for more Malay conversions especially among the families of the lawmakers and rulers;
     c.   that Polarization over religious issues will not split society;
     d.   for the salvation of government officials;
     e.   that this law would not pass; and
     f.   that the local church would become a strong governing entity, and seriously take it upon themselves to organize effective outreach to the
          Malays.


3.   ***** MALAYSIA


Malaysia is an Islamic stronghold in tropical SE Asia, and is about the size of the US state of New Mexico (329,750 sq km).  Most parts of the country have traditionally been ruled by hereditary rulers called Sultans.  The 21,000,000 people are composed of: Malay and other indigenous 58%, Chinese 26%, Indian 7%, others 9%.  


Although the country is multi-racial and multi-cultural, there is little mixing between the races.  British colonizers found Chinese entrepreneurs in settled areas and encouraged the Buddhist Chinese to stay in business, and the Muslim Malay to enter government service.  Indians were brought in to work the rubber plantations and staff the police forces and some professions.  Today the three Asian people groups have their own private schools with distinct uniforms.


The Malay people turned to Islam when sea faring Arab traders came with the teachings of their Prophet Muhammad in the 14th century.  Today they are one of the world's most resistant and unreached people groups. Although Muslims comprise only about 51% of the population, Islam is the official religion.  


No country organizes the pilgrimage to Mecca like Malaysia does. The trip lasts a month and pilgrims receive a package deal that covers food and hotels as well as transportation.


It is acceptable for non-Malays to be converted to Islam and many are openly encouraged to do so, through either marriage or economic incentive but it is against the Constitution to convert a Muslim to another religion.  However the constitution is fuzzy enough to allow for Malays to CHOOSE to convert on their own accord, but this loophole may be closed with a new law currently being discussed in parliament.  


Missionaries to Muslims have often turned to the more receptive Chinese and Indians, with good success, after giving up on the Malay Muslims.  The few hundred Malay in Malaysia who believe in Jesus have suffered social ostracism, loss of legal rights, loss of the economic privileges of being a Malay, jobs, and sometimes home and country.  


Many have moved to Singapore.  In 1987, a few converts were arrested and kept in solitary confinement.  Eventually, they left Malaysia.  Due to
economic and political injustices Malaysian Christians generally do not have a heart for their Malay neighbours.  


While the Church is strong and is now a missionary sending body, little outreach, and no coordinated outreach whatsoever, is done for the Malays.  It is often left up to the individual minister to decide whether or not they will even attempt to reach the other half of the population.  Those that set
their hearts to it have had good success.  


Recent legal/political developments include the proposed law making it a punishable offence for a Malay to convert to another religion (read "Christianity").  


This Bill is a reaction to the conversion of a Malay woman to Christianity earlier this year (1998) for the purpose of marriage, a common source of conversion to Islam in Malaysia.


Sources: http://www.calebproject.org/nance/n712.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PM Najib Tun Razak's erroneous delegation of handling the recent Christian Bible translated into Malay to Idris Jala, a Christian himself has seen the Christians triumph in getting their way after facing the gauntlet all these while under the administration of Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad's firm government.


The minute Mahathir handed over power to Tun Abdullah Badawi, the iron grip loosened and under Najib's current rule, things have now totally loosened up full scale.


From now on, the Christians will have full sway over the way they can evangelize the masses.


The common Malay is very easily influenced by the lure of Western culture and mannerisms. 


When their faith is not that well grounded, the average Malay is very susceptible to influences especially those that originate from the West.


The most obvious purveyors of this trend to ape the West are usually those who are members of the Malay royalty. They are those whose wealth are forever bountiful and care not as to how they spend or splurge ... as all expenses are duly taken care of by the taxpayers of this country. Their royal purses know no bounds.


These are the Malays who are in the upper echelons of society. They tend to adopt and adapt a very westernized lifestyle without much care or concern for the rules or guidelines of Islamic do's or don'ts.
Members of the Malay royalty are quite known to be very keen in being Anglophiles and their trend in aping the Western norms and cultures are prominently displayed in high society catering lifestyles of the rich and famous social magazines such as the Malaysian Tatler etc.


With the recent success of the evangelists in getting their more than 35,000 copies of the Malay Bibles into Sabah and Sarawak and the relaxing of rules concerning the importing of such bibles into the Malay Peninsular, the Christian missionaries must now be singing 'Hallelujah' out loud in their churches and missions.


I can only pray that Muslims in Malaysia especially the ones capable of reading and surfing blogs such as these will get wind of this huge hidden agenda of the Christians to evangelize amongst the Malaysian Malays with a stronger drive and zeal now that Najib's BN Government has finally given in to their demands.


All these because of the Sarawak state elections. 


Just because he is afraid of losing the Land of the Hornbill to the Opposition Pact, Najib's handing over control of the Malay Bibles issue to Idris Jala (photo at left) has seen the latter make the most of this unforeseen golden opportunity for him to open wide the door for the Malay bibles to the churches and missions to now go on full swing with their programs, especially the Caleb Project. 


They even have set up a website called Encountering Islam.org.


All I can say is that Islamic Dakwah movements need to buck up all over Malaysia and see to it that not a Malay gets duped into accepting a servant of Allahu Rabbi @ Isa Al Masih as His Son!


In a way, this is a blessing for each and every knowledgeable Muslim, both male and female to start sharing the truth of Al Islam with every one of his or her contacts and to help stem the evangelists silent crusade amongst us.


JAKIM and all the other Islamic Authorities can no longer afford to relax and take it easy. 


Now's the time for each and every Da'ee or Da'eeyah of Allah to start cracking and get on with their efforts to uphold the Deen of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala!


Let's share Suratul Al Ikhlas with all who are within our reach.




Surat Al-'Ikhlāş (The Sincerity) - سورة الإخلاص

Enlarge Text
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

112:1
Transliteration
Qul huwa Allahu ahad
Sahih International
Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,
Chinese
你說:他是真主,是獨一的主;
Indonesian
Katakanlah: "Dialah Allah, Yang Maha Esa.
Malay
Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): "(Tuhanku) ialah Allah Yang Maha Esa;
Tamil NEW
(நபியே!) நீர் கூறுவீராக: அல்லாஹ் அவன் ஒருவனே.

112:2
Transliteration
Allahu assamad
Sahih International
Allah , the Eternal Refuge.
Chinese
真主是萬物所仰賴的;
Indonesian
Allah adalah Tuhan yang bergantung kepada-Nya segala sesuatu.
Malay
"Allah Yang menjadi tumpuan sekalian makhluk untuk memohon sebarang hajat;
Tamil NEW
அல்லாஹ் (எவரிடத்தும்) தேவையற்றவன்.

112:3
Transliteration
Lam yalid walam yoolad
Sahih International
He neither begets nor is born,
Chinese
他沒有生產,也沒有被生產;
Indonesian
Dia tiada beranak dan tidak pula diperanakkan,
Malay
"Ia tiada beranak, dan Ia pula tidak diperanakkan;
Tamil NEW
அவன் (எவரையும்) பெறவுமில்லை (எவராலும்) பெறப்படவுமில்லை.

112:4
Transliteration
Walam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad
Sahih International
Nor is there to Him any equivalent."
Chinese
沒有任何物可以做他的匹敵。
Indonesian
dan tidak ada seorangpun yang setara dengan Dia".
Malay
"Dan tidak ada sesiapapun yang serupa denganNya".
Tamil NEW
அன்றியும், அவனுக்கு நிகராக எவரும் இல்லை.



To me as a Muslim, I welcome this new challenge to us here in Malaysia.


I want to see whether Najib's government has the spine and backbone to protect the aqeedah of the Malays of this nation?


Will we see a resurgence of Islamic Awareness amongst Malaysian Muslims or suffer the indignity of watching more 'Lina Joy's' spring out of this giving up of the defense against evangelism by the Christian missionaries who must be smiling from ear to ear like Father Lawrence Andrew (below) at this golden opportunity handed to them on a silver platter by Mr.Pink Lips?




As it is, most Malays nowadays are hardly bothered to uphold the aqeedah of their fellow brothers and sisters save for a few jamaats who spend their time and money in carrying Dakwah al Islamiyyah on their own.


The Islamic authorities are too proud and arrogant in wanting to come down to the masses and help guide them to the Truth of Al Islam.


They prefer to hold seminars and forums in selected venues instead of sending their imams and ustaz's or ustazah's to meet the people.


Friday prayers have been reduced to the khatibs droning out sermons prepared and vetted by the Islamic Departments. Quite a number of the congregation tend to doze off and not bother to listen to what's being read in a monotonous way by Imam's or Khatibs who can't add or improvise to the scripts prepared for them.


If they try to do so, after the prayers, there is a chance for them to be visited by officers from such departments who would be so raring to hand out show cause letters to them.


I have long called for the 'mimbar's @ pulpits to be freed from official bureaucracy but who bothers to listen to this lone voice?


The Christians preach with love to their masses but lead them astray from Allahu Rabbi.


The Muslim imams and khatibs on the other hand preach to the congregation on a 'holier than thou' pedestal and seldom do we see them do so with a smile.


Its usually a dreary affair and if we ever so bother to ask them as to why they tend to do so, chances are that we will be accused of 'challenging their positions and authority'!


Is there any wonder as to why some do stray away from the flock?


This Christian turn of events can work both ways.


If the Islamic authorities of Malaysia do what they are supposed to do, then there is no cause for alarm.


We can overcome this test as we have always done in the past.


Chances are that things can go worse.


Does Najib and his government stand a chance in overcoming this mess that they have just done?


Wallahu'alam bissawab.


Sarawak welcomes Pakatan

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 03:53 AM PDT

Story to follow
Views: 450
6 ratings
Time: 01:10 More in News & Politics


Politic 'desperate' BN in Sarawak poll

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 03:27 AM PDT

Story to follow
Views: 395
5 ratings
Time: 03:18 More in News & Politics


Teachers have right to choose their own representatives

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 01:55 AM PDT

Story to follow.
Views: 349
9 ratings
Time: 01:35 More in News & Politics


NGO serah memo bantah perbelanjaan ketenteraan

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 12:11 AM PDT

Sekumpulan lebih 10 orang aktivis hari ini berhimpun di hadapan Markas Angkatan Tentera, Kuala Lumpur bagi menyerahkan satu memorandum berhubung peruntukan ketenteraan negara yang didakwa semakin meningkat setiap tahun. Memorandum berkenaan antara lainnya mempertikaikan peningkatan perbelanjaan ketenteraan sehingga RM23 bilion dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-10 (RMK).
Views: 198
3 ratings
Time: 05:27 More in News & Politics


Utusan taken to court for bonus claims

Posted: 11 Apr 2011 10:26 PM PDT

Views: 403
5 ratings
Time: 01:26 More in News & Politics


Sarawak Election: Opposition election material sabotaged

Posted: 11 Apr 2011 09:59 PM PDT

Taib Mahmud Janji Untuk Berundur Semenjak 1995

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 07:21 AM PDT

Di bawah adalah janji yang Taib Mahmud buat pada tahun 1995. Ertinya, janji untuk berundur ni bukan perkara baru bagi Taib Mahmud. Kalau dulu dia buleh tipu, apatah lagi sekarang ni? Betul tak?


[MalaysiaKini Diserang] Bagaimana Melayari Malaysia Kini & Sarawak Report

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 05:59 AM PDT


MalaysiaKini dan Sarawak Report diserang menyebabkan ramai pembaca gagal untuk melayari kedua-dua report tersebut...

Namum dalam masa yang pantas, Malaysia Kini telah mewujudkan mirror untuk website tersebut, iaitu:


Malaysia Kini (English Version):
http://www.facebook.com/MalaysiaKini
http://malaysiakinicom.blogspot.com
http://malaysiakinicom.wordpress.com

Malaysia Kini (Malay Version):
http://www.facebook.com/mkinibm

Malaysia Kini (Chinese Version):
http://www.facebook.com/mkinicn
http://malaysiakini-cn.blogspot.com/


Sarawak Report:
http://www1.sarawakreport.org/



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Last Chance For A Truly Malaysian History — By Dr Lim Teck Ghee.

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 05:38 AM PDT

The current ongoing public debate over the history syllabus and textbooks may represent the last opportunity for Malaysians to have their say on how history is to be taught to children in the national school system.

During the past few months, various critics have focused especially on the history syllabus and textbooks currently in use and have provided much evidence of the shortcomings. Some of these shortcomings include:

* An over-emphasis on Islamic civilization and religion and on the Malay contribution

* The omission or marginalization of the contributions and roles of the non-Malays and other religions

* A strong ethno-centric and political bias

* Lack of objectivity and truthfulness

* Numerous factual errors and mistakes

Despite the readiness of critics, including many worried parents, to meet with the authorities and discuss their concerns, the only response to date from the Ministry of Education officials is a public relations letter with details of some token non-Malay participation in the writing of textbooks and referrals made in recommending textbook writers.

Perkasa has now jumped into the fray, with one of its leaders, Dr Ramlah Adam, taking issue with Dr Ranjit Singh Malhi's recent talk titled "The Islamic and Malay-centric nature of our history textbooks." In her response to Dr Ranjit's presentation, Dr Ramlah has lamented that "the non-Malays do not understand [Malaysia's history] because they do not want to accept the concept of Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu)".

Perkasa leader, Ibrahim Ali's response has been more succinct in dismissing the critics seeking a revamp of the history syllabus and textbooks. According to him, "Islam is the religion, Malays are the majority …its simple". Further he elaborates that "the minorities" … [should] not be too demanding in wanting to assert their rights." In other words, his brutal message to those seeking a reform of the history syllabus and textbooks is to put up or shut up.

If past experience is anything to go by, we can expect this firestorm to quickly die out. This is not the first time that charges of creeping political bias, crass nationalism and blatant Islamisation in the history syllabus and textbooks have been raised and have – in double quick time – disappeared from the political or public radar screen.

Not so long ago in 2008, Lok Seng Kok, a Member of Parliament from the MCA wrote:

When receiving the MCA delegation on education recently, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin expressed hope that the five-yearly review of the secondary school history textbook which is going to start soon will not be politicised. He asked the MCA representatives to look at the review from a wider perspective.

I am one of the representatives who met the minister. Though I faced opposition after the parliamentary debate as I raised the incomprehensiveness and imbalance of the textbook in its contents and syllabus, I did not give up. Instead I initiated a review group and later obtained the recognition and acceptance of the MCA leadership for the review paper.

In this review paper, we proposed that the ministry set up a committee to re-examine the curriculum, the committee having a balanced and multi-racial composition to ensure the quality and balanced content of the textbook.

Currently Loh is a member of the MCA central committee, a member of the MCA presidential council, and deputy chairman of the party's publicity bureau. But strangely he has gone all quiet on the issue.

How quickly he appears to have turned from lion to mouse.

A gutless and clueless printed mass media; an apathetic public (only 2,500 members of the public to date have signed the on-line petition calling for the review of the history syllabus – see here); sycophantic or can't be bothered academics; and perhaps most important of all, a bunch of spineless BN-affiliated political toadies, and ineffectual opposition, who are unwilling to stand their ground on what constitutes the real history of the country have been responsible for the debased version that is being propagated in schools.

But there is still time for sensible and concerned Malaysians of all races and religions to reject the racialised and propagandistic version of Malaysian history that, if not thoroughly reformed, will irreparably damage our young minds through its politically and racially sifted, factually twisted and ultimately anti-intellectual content and agenda.

For this to happen, all the major and minor players responsible for history teaching in the country as well as other stake-players, including parents need to act quickly to provide or demand substantive answers – not cheap polemical or political debating points – to the concerns raised by Dr Ranjit and others.

Meanwhile the very least that Malaysians can do is sign the online petition and mobilize friends and family to do the same.

And a final appeal to those who have mixed feelings about this campaign: This is not about taking sides on race or religion but about getting our history correct and truly reflective of what really happened in the past. We have a complex multiracial and multicultural-hued history which should be scrupulously and honestly conveyed in the school syllabus and textbooks.


Masters Of Bullsh!t

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 08:50 AM PDT

Our daily staple from the bullsh!t machinery aka Bernama:

---------------

MIRI, April 11 (Bernama) -- Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud
today urged the people of Miri to think of the future of the city and
not to listen to the "words of poison" of the opposition.

He said the voters should ignore the propaganda of the opposition
throughout the campaign that only intended to poison the people's mind.

---------------

I can only derive 2 conclusions from this:
a) The Chief Minister thinks Sarawakians are stupid
b) The Sarawakians really are stupid enough to buy this sort of crap.


PRN Sarawak: Kuching to Sri Aman

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 03:56 AM PDT

Today we decided to go Sri Aman, which is about 120 kilometres away from Kuching.
The drive was surprisingly pleasant and the road, which passed through the middle of nowhere was much better maintained than state roads in Kelantan.
Our local guide Erwan had earlier said that the roads were horrible and expressed concern that we wanted to venture so far away from the urban comfort and cleanliness of Kuching.
At first we were also slightly worried by the prospect of bouncing around in a 4x4 for several hours - everyone knows how 4x4s can really shake you about on patchy roads.

But we insisted so on we went and after an hour on the road we remarked at how clean the towns and villages along the way and how wide and well maintained the road was, especially when compared with the Gua Musang - Kota Baru road.
Erwan didn't believe us at first but after a while he realised that the admiration we had for Sarawak is genuine.

The challenges of developing this vast state is equally mammoth and if the state were to fall into the hands of the noisy but inexperienced then everyone in Sarawak loses.


My comments on - Religion and politics should be separate - Taib tells church

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 03:33 AM PDT

This was out in Malaysian Insider:
Religion and politics should be separate, Taib tells church
UPDATED @ 04:36:10 PM 12-04-2011
By Clara Chooi
April 12, 2011


KUCHING, April 12 — Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud moved today to repair the government's fraying ties with the church but at same time advised its religious leaders to keep politics and religion separate.

The chief minister's suggestion comes as the ruling Barisan Nasional heads into its toughest battle yet to retain power over Sarawak, long considered its fixed deposit.

Taib sat with representatives from the Association of Churches Sarawak (ACS) this afternoon for nearly 90 minutes to discuss the grouses faced by the local Christian community and attempt to assuage growing concerns over the Alkitab row.

When approached later however, Taib would not disclose the details of the discussion but declared that the row was over.

When asked if the Alkitab issue had been raised, the leader shook his head and said: "No".

"The case has been resolved so it's okay. No reason (to discuss it) in the first place anyway... Not in the case of Sarawak," he said.

He said the conversation instead had been centred on the church's lack of funds to improve and maintain its mission schools.

"I had a dialogue with leaders of Christian churches and they explained some of the problems that they are facing... mainly grants for schools and how to expand their mission schools to cater to the demands of their flock," he said.

Taib also brushed off reports of chain SMSes being spread among the Christian community urging them to vote against the Barisan Nasional in the coming polls as a vote for the opposition was a vote for Jesus.

"Have they got the authority from Jesus to say that?" he quipped before leaving the Pullman Hotel here.

Bolly speaking to the press after the meeting where he said the Alkitab row was discussed extensively.

When met later, however, ACS chairman Right Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok admitted to reporters that the Alkitab row was discussed extensively and that Taib had declared the issue resolved.

He also revealed that in explaining the government's stand on the matter, the chief minister had then said that such issues touching religion should not be handled together with politics.

"The CM was telling us what his government is doing regarding the Alkitab.

"As far as he is concerned, it has been cleared and he expressed that politics and religion should best be handled separately and if they are handled together, it is very easy to get abused and would cause unnecessary upset to Sarawakians," he said.

When suggested that Taib's words meant that the chief minister was directing the church not to politicise the Bible row, Bolly neither agreed nor disagreed.

Instead, he said that only the issues of the impounding of the Alkitab and the stamping on books were considered resolved.

"And the letter from (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri) Idris Jala to the churches has been welcomed but the letter also acknowledged that there are other issues which government is prepared to dialogue on with the church," he said.

Bolly, however, refused to reveal the outstanding issues, but noted that they were grouses affecting the relationship between the church and the state.

"The other issues differ from church to church, from state to state and this is what we do not wish to touch on, given the sensitive time at the moment," he said, referring to the looming April 16 polls.

He skirted a question on whether the church felt that the Alkitab row had been completely resolved but urged that the matter be put to rest.

"We are reiterating our position as has already been stressed earlier, which is that the Alkitab is just one of issues that affect the government-church relationship.

"So as far as the Alkitab is concerned, that is what we discussed. Let's leave it behind," he said.

Bolly acknowledged that the opposition camp had been using the Alkitab issue as campaign fodder but would not say if the church was against such a move.

"The approval of how one conducts one's self when campaigning, we leave it to their own wisdom.

"You do not want me to become a judge here," he said.

He stressed that the church would remain non-partisan and would not side with any political party.

"What we seek is to discern what is Christ's mind on the matter and so we trust that we have been faithful to our calling and have been getting across what the church needs to convey to other parties," he said.

Bolly also refused to comment on the chain SMSes, pointing out that he had not seen them.

"I cannot comment on what I have not seen... Not until I am ready.

"I do not know why people are so upset about it but before we comment, we need to see the content (of the SMSes)," he said.

Last month, the Home Ministry drew flak from Christians after stamping and serialising 35,000 Malay bibles, valued at about RM140,000, without the importers' consent.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia, the umbrella body that represents over 90 per cent of churches nationwide, has said Christians only wish for their constitutional rights to worship to be upheld.

Finally relenting to the community's demands, Putrajaya issued a 10-point solution to end the impasse on April 2, just four days before nomination day for the Sarawak polls.

But the solution raised more furore as it stipulated two separate sets of rules for the community residing in the peninsula and those living across the South China Sea in Sabah and Sarawak.

In his letter, Jala said that Christians in Sarawak and Sabah would be free to bring in and use their bibles in Malay and various indigenous languages and no restriction will be applied.

But at the same time, a slightly different set of rules apply to Christians in Peninsular Malaysia.

According to Jala, this is because Muslims are the majority community on the peninsula unlike in Borneo where they are the minority.

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My comment is actually very simple. It's really rich that separation of state and religion comes from Taib. Why didn't he say anything when Tun Dr Mahathir declared that Malaysia is an Islamic state?

Why didn't he say anything when the BN federal government and state governments implement measures to make our governmental administration more and more Islamic?

How does he explain the Home Ministry's resistance to have Bibles in BM made available to Peninsular Malaysians?

Since he didn't do anything, he is complicit in meshing religion with the state.


Jamming And Spamming In Cyberspace Running Up To Sarawak State Election..

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 01:58 AM PDT

Dear followers,

In an act of desperation the government is trying to hide our news!
Tell the world, they are trying to shut us up! Malaysiakini is down, Sarawak Report is down, Radio Free Sarawak is down, Dayak Baru is down.... and how many others!?
Tell everyone you know to follow us here, we are on the run!


http://www1.sarawakreport.org/

http://www.facebook.com/sarawakreport/

http://www.twitter.com/sarawak_report

http://www.facebook.com/radiofreesarawak

http://www.twitter.com/radiosarawak




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