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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Excellant Article from Great Granddaughter of Tunku Abdul Rahman

This is a very good article from a younger generation and a great granddaughter of Tunku Abdul Rahman. A very well expressed opinion of how all Malaysians should be treated.

IF THIS IS THE VOICE OF YOUR YOUNGER GENERATION IN MALAYSIA , YOU WILL BE BLESSED. Sharyn completed her Diploma in Advertising from Taylor 's College, and then left motherland to pursue her BA degree majoring in Media Studies and Anthropology at Victoria University in Wellington , New Zealand . While waiting for her graduation in May 08, she interned briefly at M&C Saatchi Wellington, a global advertising firm.. Upon returning to Malaysia , jobless and relieved of rent payments, Sharyn stumbled upon Wild Asia through The Star which sparked her interest to learn more about nature and environmental causes. Armed with a communications background, Sharyn works on the Wild Asia website and editorial, translating geek terms into laymen language, easily accessed and understood by visitors regardless of their backgrounds, be it scientific, business, the arts or just plain interested.
By The Tunku's Great Granddaughter
This is a great piece. She has all the qualities of her great grandfather. Tunku has reason to be proud of her!

Tunku Abdul Rahman's great granddaughter Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan, 24, Conservationist
Both my parents are Malay. My mum's heritage includes Chinese, Thai and Arab, while my dad is Minangkabau. Due to my skin colour, I am often mistaken for a Chinese.

I'm happy that I don't have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up "Are you Chinese or Malay"

Like, why does it matter? Before I used to answer "Malay" but now I'm trying to consciously answer Malaysian instead.

There's this incident from primary school that I remember till today. Someone told me that I will be called last during Judgement Day because I don't have a Muslim name. Of course, I was scared then but now that I'm older, I realise that a name is just a name. It doesn't define you as a good or bad person and there is definitely no such thing as a Muslim name. You can be named Rashid or Ali and still be a Christian.

I'e heard of the 1Malaysia concept, but I think we don't need to be told to be united. We've come such a long way that it should already be embedded in our hearts and minds that we are united. Unfortunately, you can still see racial discrimination and polarisation. There is still this ethno-centric view that the Malays are the dominant group and their rights must be protected, and non Malays are forever the outsiders.

For the concept to succeed, I think the government should stop with the race politics. It's tiring, really. We grew up with application forms asking us to tick our race. We should stop painting a negative image of the other races, stop thinking about 'us' and 'them' and focus on 'we', 'our' and 'Malaysians'.

No one should be made uncomfortable in their own home. A dear Chinese friend of mine said to me once, "I don't feel patriotic because I am not made to feel like Malaysians in my home, and I don't feel an affinity to China because I have never lived there.”

I know some baby Nyonya friends who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years. I'm a fourth generation Malaysian. If I am Bumiputra, why can't they be, too? Clearly I have issues with the term.

I think the main reason why we still can't achieve total unity is because of this 'Malay rights' concept. I'd rather 'Malay rights' be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this Bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity.

For my merdeka wish, I'd like for Malaysians to have more voice, to be respected and heard. I wish that the government would uphold the true essence of parliamentary democracy. I wish for the people to no longer fear and discriminate against each other, to see that we are one and the same.

I wish that Malaysia would truly live up to the tourism spin of Malaysia truly Asia . Malaysians to lead - whatever their ethnic background. Only ONE NATIONALITY MALAYSIAN. No Malays, No Chinese, No Indians - ONLY MALAYSIANS.. Choose whatever religion one is comfortable with.

Remember it was Dr M & UMNO who destroyed Tunku's Malaysia .


Friday, January 22, 2010

When Christian and Muslim fighting over "Allah" using facts

Got an interesting e-mail from my God-father regarding the issue in my country but have no affected my home town area due to our history. I think it's best for you to read them on your own...


1. Dompok fears backlash from 'Allah' row
Joe Fernandez | Jan 6, 10 MALAYSIAKINI
Negative comments and reactions on use of the term 'Allah' will be a severe setback to relations among the various races and faiths, and could poison ties between both halves of Malaysia.


This is the stark warning from United KadazanDusunMurut Organisation president and federal minister Bernard Giluk Dompok."Soon after the issue was brought to court, I appealed to all quarters to respect and give the court full freedom to carry out its responsibility," said Dompok.

He reiterated that the perspective of Malaysian Borneo must be taken into consideration and that there is no running away from history on the matter.

"(Kuala Lumpur) High Court Judge Lau Bee Lian, in the decision on Dec 31 last year, had taken into consideration all historical aspects and constitutional rights on the issue," said Dompok (left).

"Everyone in Malaysia has been given the right and freedom to practise the religion of their choice in a peaceful situation."

Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using the term 'Allah' from the 19th century, long before the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963.

In Sabah, for example, the term 'God' is used in English, 'Allah' in Malay and 'Kinoingan' in Kadazandusun, as religious services are conducted in the three languages to cater to the respective congregations.

Dompok opined that the new generation is more comfortable with mass being said in Malay, having been educated in the language. The practice was carried over when Christians from Sabah and Sarawak transmigrated to Peninsular Malaysia to study and work.

"They are requesting that mass in Peninsular Malaysia be conducted in Malay for them. The use of Malay as the medium of instruction in the education system has further expanded the influence of the language among the communities in Sabah."

He said the role of the church in promoting and preserving the national language must be recognised and given due importance.Traditionally, churches have played a pioneering role in keeping alive the various languages and dialects used by Christian Malaysians.

Dompok's statement has struck a unanimous chord in sections of society in Sabah. They fear that the Court of Appeal will sit on the appeal and "jam the process", citing the Goddess of the Sea (Mazu) case which is still to be heard by the Court of Appeal after several months.

'Umno endangering national security'

PKR vice-president Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan said he wants Umno to "stop playing politics with the 'Allah' issue and endangering national security".

He urged Umno to take a leaf from PAS which practises 'Islam the Faith' instead of 'Islam the Politics'.

Former Sabah PKR secretary-general Kanul Gindol said more effort should be made in Peninsular Malaysia to explain the historical rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak as the controversy over the use 'Allah' by Christians as just the tip of the iceberg.

"There are many other issues which have been swept under the carpet and are just waiting to explode," he claimed, without elaborating.

Sabah PKR deputy head Christina Liew (below) described the use of 'Allah' as a non-issue in Sabah and Sarawak.

"If the Home Ministry has any doubt, they should have referred to the federal attorney-general for the interpretation of the relevant law under sections 10, 11(4) and 12 of the federal constitution," said Liew, a senior lawyer.

She said Malaysia must be the only country that is trying to outlaw the use of 'Allah' among non-Muslims. Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation, has never made it an issue.

She went on to blast the BN government for its "hypocrisy and high-handed tactics" and questioned the relevance of the 1Malaysia theme propagated by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Sabah Council of Churches chairperson Rev Jerry Dusing noted that the High Court ruling has taken cognizance of provisions in the federal constitution on freedom of religion, and rights in respect of education and freedom of speech.

"We are a multiracial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation. This has found expression in the 1Malaysia theme," he said, highlighting the danger of ignoring the rights of any individual.

In Tenom, the Catholic church pastoral council deputy head, Jimmy Jawatah, said he hoped the High Court ruling will be accepted by all with an open heart.

"The decision proves that justice and democracy exists, as enshrined in the federal constitution," said Jawatah who is also Sabah Progressive Party vice-president.

The use of the Malay language by the church, without interference by the authorities, will help Christians increase their religious knowledge and understanding, he said.

"This is in line with the country's mission of instilling religious values for the creation of a caring society."

2. Allah was originally a Pagan God (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

NO HOLDS BARRED Wednesday, 06 January 2010

Why the sudden fuss about whether the Christian Bible should be allowed to use the word Allah for God. They have been using the word Allah in Bahasa Bibles for hundreds of years. In fact, the Jews, Christians and Pagans have been using Allah for God since long before the existence of Islam.
Raja Petra Kamarudin

"Saya khuatir kebenaran menggunakan perkataan Allah ini akan menimbulkan kemarahan orang Islam, sebenarnya terjemahan perkataan god dalam bahasa Inggeris adalah tuhan bukan Allah dan Allah spesifik bagi orang Islam sahaja. Jadi kalau mereka faham, mereka akan menggunakan perkataan tuhan bukannya Allah," said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – Utusan Malaysia (2 January 2010)


Mahathir said two things. First is that the Muslims, meaning Malaysian Malays, would get angry. This is Mahathir’s way of cautioning against triggering off another ‘May 13’, something the ex-Prime Minister has said many times since the 1970s.
Why must everything be translated into a race, and now religious riot? Is he declaring that Islam is an intolerant religion? Muslims always lament about the bad publicity Islam is getting from the western media. But is not the western media just basing its assumption on the acts and statements of Muslims themselves? And have I not said many times that Muslims are Islam’s worst enemy? Muslims are giving the western media the ‘ammunition’ to attack Islam.

The second thing Mahathir said is that the word Allah belongs to the Muslims. It does not and I shall offer you the evidence of this.
Anyway, why only now do we raise this objection to the Bible using the word Allah? The Bible has been using Allah for hundreds of years, ever since they translated the Bible into Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia. In fact, we have copies of a Bahasa-translated Bible published 200 years ago that used Allah. So it is not something new. It is something that has been happening for centuries as the photograph below shows.
I can, if you wish, go into a lengthy cheong hei article. But not today -- today I am going to make it short. Nevertheless, if you are the type who can only be convinced by a lengthy thesis supported by scores of references from scholars, then read the two links below.
And my simple argument is as follows. Muhammad’s father was named Abdullah. Abdullah means Servant of Allah -- a combination of Abdul and Allah; so it becomes Abdul-Allah or Abdullah when joined together.
Now, logically, Abdullah was born before Prophet Muhammad was born since the father has to be born before the son can be born. In fact, Abdullah died before Muhammad was born and that was why the Prophet was raised by his grandfather, Muttalib, and later, when Muttalib died eight years later, by his uncle, Abu Talib.

Read Muhammad: From Birth to Marriage

Now, what does this tell you? Muhammad received his prophet-hood and was ‘converted’ to Islam long after Abdullah, the Servant of Allah, died. But Abdullah was not a Muslim. Abdullah was a Pagan. So, if Muhammad’s ‘Pagan’ father was named the Servant of Allah, that means Allah was a Pagan and not a Muslim God, so to speak.

How can Muslims (meaning Malays in particular) claim that Allah is a Muslim God and therefore the name belongs to only the Muslims? If you were to research the history of Muhammad further you will know that Muhammad and his cousin Ali (who later went on to become the Fourth Caliph) indulged in idol-worshiping and animal sacrifice to Pagan Gods in Taif, a town in the suburbs of Makkah, before the time of the Revelation.

That means Muhammad the son of Abdullah was a Pagan, as was his father, the Servant of Allah. But he carried the name ‘Muhammad the son of the Servant of Allah’ long before the Revelation when he ‘became’ a Muslim. How do the Muslims (meaning Malays) explain this if they say that Allah belongs to the Muslims? The word ‘Allah’ existed before the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’.

And refer to the press statement by ISNA, one of the most respected Islamic organisations in the entire world. (Read ISNA’s press release here). Even ISNA endorses the Malaysian court ruling that the word Allah is not the monopoly of the Muslims. ISNA has far better credibility that any Malaysian organisation whether it be JAKIM, JIM, ABIM, PERKIM, or whatever. In fact, all the Malaysian organisations combined do not even come close to ISNA.

That is all I want to say about the ‘Allah’ word controversy.




Translated into Chinese at: ccliew.blogspot.com

3. Anwar tells supporters not to join protests

Yip Ai Tsin | Jan 7, 10 MALAYSIAKINI

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today discouraged Pakatan Rakyat supporters from joining in the protests organised for tomorrow against a court decision that allowed a Catholic publication to use the term "Allah".


He said that while he will not stop Pakatan supporters, he nevertheless advised them to stay away.

"I certainly discourage them as my view is that you must discuss on this matter as it is a very serious and contentious issue involving the Muslim and Christian faith."It is important for them to forge better understanding and not to spread rankle and enmity between the two groups," he told reporters after filling an affidavit at the Federal Territory Syariah court this morning.

He also lashed out at the government for practising double standards in approving the nationwide protests planned by several Muslim-based NGOs after Friday prayers tomorrow.

"The hypocritical stance, inconsistency and contradictory actions of the Home Ministry is very clear when it comes to allowing demonstrations.

"They disallow demonstrations with legitimate grounds but when it comes to this, they think it is politically beneficial."It is unwise for them to conduct rallies when emotion runs high. They should instead hold more serious meetings between Muslims and Christians," he said.

He also criticised the ministry over its "negligence and failure" in addressing the issue and for allowing this problem to fester."They should not have allowed this situation to prolong as the situation has became more tense."What they should have done is to allow an avenue for frank exchanges between civil societies, Muslim organisations, religious authorities and non-Muslim bodies," he added.

Anwar echoes PKR's stand

The purpose of the nationwide demonstrations is to protest against the use of the word "Allah" by other religions.In recent days, various Muslim groups have expressed anger over a high court ruling which allowed Catholic publication Herald to use the word "Allah" in its Malay-language edition.

The home minister yesterday obtained a stay against that decision pending an appeal.

In the meantime, both Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein gave tacit approvals for the protests by saying that the government will only act if the protests affected national security.

Anwar meanwhile echoed PKR's stand on the issue by saying that it was acceptable for Christians to use the term "Allah".

"Islamic tenets do not forbid the use of the term 'Allah' for other religions.

"Also, there is clear understanding among religious scholars and ulamas such as Wahbah Zuhaili, Sheikh Taha Jabir and Yusof Qardawi on this," he said.


4. Anwar calls Hisham a hypocrite for allowing Friday protest
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioned the sincerity of the Home Ministry for allowing a public demonstration against the recent “Allah” ruling.

The ruling allowed the Catholic weekly Herald to use the term to describe the Christian God in their national language edition.

Anwar also accused Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein of being hypocritical in allowing the demonstration as his ministry has previously denied and banned public rallies organized by Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“I am not opposed to demonstration, you can express yourself peacefully. I am questioning the hypocrisy of the Minister of Home Affairs,” the Permatang Pauh MP told reporters outside the Federal Territory Syariah Court here today.

”I question the sincerity of the minister that will help to sponsor a demonstration that they want but hit others that they don’t want to hold any peaceful demonstration. Peaceful demonstration must be allowed in the country.

”If we agree or not, that is a different question,” he added.

The Home Ministry yesterday announced that they will allow a public demonstration planned by Muslim groups tomorrow at the Kampung Baru mosque to proceed and will only take action if “things get out of hand.”

Hishammuddin explained that the protest will be monitored and that action will only be taken if the need arises.

Anwar blamed the current religious crisis to the negligence of the Home Ministry and its failure to properly engage with the different religious community in the country.

”This is odd because one hand you appeal for calm but there is a clear division in terms of abuse explained by religious scholars. Many have contended that this is permissible.

“Their concerns are regarding proselytization by the Christian missionaries on Muslims so the discourse is somewhat disconnected. So what I think the home ministry should have done much earlier is to call up the Christian representatives and discuss with them. They have failed to do that and they have gone to this stage due to their negligence and failure to attend the issue early enough,” he explained.

The Dec 31 High Court ruling caused an uproar with some Muslims threatening to take their dissatisfaction to the streets this Friday.

Following the uproar the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, called for calm and promised that the government would take the necessary actions.

Najib has also supported the right of Muslims to protest the ruling, the execution of which has been stayed pending appeal.

Anwar also agreed that there must calm and pointed out that the demonstration maybe politically motivated. ”At this stage, we must call for calm and have frank exchanges between religious authorities, social society groups, Muslim groups and non-Muslim groups. That would be the best solution because when it comes to a decision to allow demonstration, you have a clear hypocritical stand on the part of the minister of home affairs.

“One hand to you disallow people to express themselves on legitimate grounds but when it comes to this, they think how about the political benefits. I think in political it is not wise to conduct any sort of meetings when emotions are high.

”I recommend strongly that we should conduct more serious meetings between Muslims and Christian in particular,” he said, echoing the call made by some opposition leaders.

Anwar added that the court ruling is not against any Islamic law but understands the fear expressed by some Muslims.

”From my understanding referring to the renowned religious scholars, they all say that there is nothing in Islam that forbids the use of the word Allah but what is expressed is the fear of proselytization by the Christian missionaries. So that has to be dealt with separately. We could put laws in the country which stop the proselytization in this country if any.

“But we cannot incite religion and religious sentiments like this because after we are taught not to only live as Muslims but to respect the sanctity of religions, including Christianity.

“So you have to inter-marry between what is deemed to be an Islamic jurisprudence view point and the concerns of … missionary activities,” he added.


5. Ku Li says an intolerant Umno is fanning racial sentiments
By Leslie Lau Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah lashed out at Umno today over its strident position on the “Allah” controversy, pointing out that the party was bent on fanning communal sentiment and digging itself into an intolerant hard-line position with no parallel in the Muslim world.

He also suggested that racially-based parties should no longer be allowed to contest elections in multiracial Malaysia.

Speaking in Singapore today at the ISEAS regional outlook forum, his scathing remarks comes as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak shored up Umno and the government’s position over the Allah controversy by backing the right of Muslim groups to hold a public demonstration tomorrow.

Umno and a number of Muslim NGOs have been in an uproar over the recent High Court ruling allowing the Catholic church’s Herald newspaper to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in its Bahasa Malaysia edition.

The government has filed an appeal against the ruling and yesterday it won a stay of execution.

The Islamist PAS, however, have backed the court’s ruling by pointing out that the word “Allah” can be used by those of the Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Tengku Razaleigh suggested today that the rejection of Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) communal politics model by large swathes of voters in Election 2008 had led the Malay nationalist party to pursue racial issues more stridently.

“They think this will shore up their ’base’. They are mistaken about the nature of that base. As they do so, they become more extreme and out of touch with ordinary voters of every race and religion whose major concerns are not racial or religious identity but matters such as corruption, security, the economy and education.”

He cited as an example the “Allah” controversy.

“In a milestone moment, PAS, the Islamic party, is holding onto the more plural and moderate position while Umno is digging itself into an intolerant hard-line position that has no parallel that I know of in the Muslim world.

“Umno is fanning communal sentiment, and the government it leads is taking up policy lines based on ‘sensitivities’ rather than principle. The issue appears to be more about racial sentiment than religious, let alone constitutional principles,” he said in his luncheon address.

He said Umno’s response to the “Allah” controversy was “short of leadership and moral fibre.”

Tengku Razaleigh’s latest attack on Umno and the government is not likely to go down well with the hardline conservatives in his party.

But the Umno veteran has been unrelenting in his call for reforms in Umno. Recently, he also slammed the BN government’s position in refusing to give oil royalties to Kelantan, which is ruled by PAS.

On the “Allah” issue, the former Finance Minister is particularly scathing in his remarks.

“Sensitivities is the favoured resort of the gutter politician. With it he raises a mob, fans its resentment and helps it discover a growing list of other sensitivities. This is a road to ruin. A nation is made up of citizens bound by a shared conception of justice and not of mobs extracting satisfaction for politicized emotional states,” he said.

Tengku Razaleigh said that when the government began speaking the language of sensitivities, it was a mark of the country’s decline.

He said the controversy over the use of “Allah” should not be about managing sensitivities but about doing what was right.

“This is what government sounds like when a political system and its leadership have come unstuck from the rule of law. It goes from issue to issue, hostage to the brinksmanship of sensitivities. Small matters threaten to erupt into racial conflict.

“The government of a multiracial society that cannot rise above sentiment is clearly too weak or too self-interested to hold the country together. It has lost credibility and legitimacy. The regime is in crisis.”

Tengku Razaleigh said that while the prime minister had made what he called “helpful gestures” towards freeing up the economy and pursuing multiracial policies, Malaysia was still in need of fundamental reform.

He urged an overhaul of the political system to rule out racially exclusive parties from directly contesting elections; a restoration of the independence of the judiciary and the media; and an all out war against graft.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mental Feng Shui

This is without a doubt one of the best motivations I have received. Hope it works for you -- and me!

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, t heir conversational skills will be as important as any other.

Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

When you say, 'I love you,' mean it

When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

Believe in love at first sight.

Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

Don't judge people by their relatives.

Talk slowly but think quickly.

When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Spend some time alone.