Saturday, August 26, 2006

What Merdeka Means To Me Part 2

What Merdeka Means to Me Part 2


Continued from here   And later proved the guy wrong, but I cannot recall exactly what Quran verses I quoted and then this kid got confused and went and asked his Ustaz, and I got scolding because I was not �supposed to touch� the Quran.Well, I am sure the ustaz will be glad to know that with the advancement of IT, I will no longer need to touch the Quran, but can browse through it using an e-book reader or PDF viewer.


As a teenager in secondary school, the rift was showing but even so not among racial lines, at least I did not feel so.It was more of a rift between the haves and the have nots and the smart and the dumb.


In secondary school I made the friendships of my life.One of which would go on to be my tentative business partner, 3 or 4 of who went on to be my partners in crime (steady life of mamak, clubbing, Genting , 1Utama, Melaka and Penang makan adventures and so on )


The closest friends whom I would die for and whom I do not doubt would take a bullet  for me, (yes Hizzad, I know probably not in the chest, right?) I met in secondary school.The ethos of the school I attended (a missionary one) transcended race and religion, and held special meaning to me as a dear relative of mine belongs to that Order of Brothers, and that I myself am a Catholic.


I remember feeling so proud of the contributions the Church had made to the nation, contributions that sadly of late have been taken for granted, questioned, and in some sadder cases, forgotten.


It was in secondary school that I experienced the most brotherhood I have since ever. There was this incident I remember well that happened in my class.when I was in Form 4. A teacher of Ceylonese origin got into a hissy fit one day, came into the class red from anger and went on and on venting her unwanted opinions on the Indian community. �Your society is this and that� For about ten minutes she went on complaining and bitching about the Indians that I could take no more and yelled from the back of the class- �Teacher, this is Malaysia� and she yelled �So what?� and I shot back �It�s a multiracial country!� to some cheering students.


This passed and later we were called to the principal�s office where I faced a few JPS (Selangor Education Dept)  officials and had to testify. Chinese and Malay friends of mine testified alongside with me,for there was no place in our hearts for racists..The rest is history- she now teaches in a Chinese school with really very few Indians to insult.This  type of teachers(this and the ustaz who reprimanded me) are the type of teachers educating our young.I shudder at this thought


Fast forward a few years where I worked at the wharf side (in a now rival  port and a far cry from my current position). My main job then was producing balance sheets to passing lorries.

I was paid much much much  less than what God has blessed me with now and everyone looked low on you. I was pushed around a lot, and learnt humility and how it was like to live a true blue collar job.Here I saw my first real taste of class difference with a tinge of racism, but not at its full potency.


My next job was as a factory contract worker in a air con manufacturer in Shah Alam( all this was before I started college) for about 3 months. Here I tasted racism in its most raw form.


My supervisor was a Malay chap, and at first he treated me really really well (it was the fasting month) and would bring me around on his buggy to drop me off at my station at the operation line.AS SOON as he found out I WAS NOT Malay, suddenly my workload quadrupled. I was moved from the packing line to the heavy machines, where I pushed 4,5 industrial air con units across the hall (1 km apart). My ego shrunk, my arms sweleed and my character formed. I did not feel malice to this guy, probably a diploma holder or something.I was merely waiting to enter APIIT, and I remember asking a good friend of mine what to do and her reply- why bother,  some day when I am somewhere in life, I will not be bothered about him anymore.How right she was J


During college I worked for another employer  and waited tables at a restaurant .Here I worked all through my college years, as a kitchen hand, a waiter, supervisor, cashier and basically everything you can do in a restaurant la (which is why I probably am going to open one myself).


While working here, I met many amazing people, I worked with migrant workers and shared their meals, their stories of war and oppression in their homeland (Myanmar mainly) and remember feeling how lucky I was to be in Malaysia. This was much better exposure in my humble opinion than going on some field trip to an orphanage or doing some charity ball somewhere.


Here also I got my first major �backstab,� when a relative of a then good friend of mine turned on me.I remember doing her Masters degree Multimedia project for her from start to finish, for free and not expecting anything .Later I found out she was telling her nephew to avoid me as I am bad company (she assumed I got kicked out of college because she�s seen  me work till 2am) and she labeled me a useless guy. What she did not know was I was doing this for experience and that my parents had more than enough cash to send me anywhere I wanted to go, and that I was an A student in college. But earlier lessons in life taught me, not to be bothered about what people thought about you. And how right that was.


And so I went to college, fell in love, got dumped after 4 and a half years, lost a hard earned laptop (with my Final Year project and dissertation in it) and reversed a new car into a tree all in the same week; yet I am still living and loving every moment of it J


In college too I made a bunch of great friends, and some not so good ones.There were many in college who judged you by your dressing and your car, and I remember one instance where I was in a discussion with a few friends on a project where I used the term �server farm� (of course the more commonly used term now is data center)


Rude Oxymoron Friend : Hahaha what you mean a server farm?

Me: Well, is that not a correct term to call a place with many server racks banded together?

Rude Oxymoron Friend : Hahahhahahahahahhah imagine a place you bury servers and they make baby agahahhahahahah 9and all his fellow oxymorons laughed with him at me)

Me: (To passing student who is REALLY smart and codes in assembly language) Yo JT, a server room can be called a server farm right?

JT: Yes la correct la

Rude Oxymorons (some lame jokes followed by laughter)


As karma/God would have it, NONE of this morons now work remotely close to a server, in fact none work in any IT-related job as a result.moral of the story:Never insult something that sounds stupid, you might just regret is someday.


So at this point of my life, Merdeka was feeling grateful for what we have in this country, it may not be all great, but it�s home


-To be continued (My working life)

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Exchanges With some Visitors on MENJ's Blog

I reproduce here an exchange, a surprisingly friendly one between me, another assumedly non Muslim, a respectful Muslim(Nizam Bashir) and Saffiyah (I'm guessing a recreation of Rachel who engaged all of us who posted in MENJ's blog a few weeks back.)

I am beggining to see this lady as the 'herald of MENJ' of sorts but she has some points she raised, and I reproduce here my responses to her and Nizam in MENj's blog.For context see here


I reproduce only my parts of the exchange out of respect for Nizam and MENJ's blog


  • To me this is a joke.If you wanna keep the purity of Islam, you need pure Muslims.Why keep the apostates and the liberals within your hold.see the absurdity of this to me is- you keep hitting at them for being liberals, apostates, etc, but when they leave, your cling to them and hit them some more at the same time.I cannot make sense of this head or tail.If you want them, treat them well.If not, let them leave.Simplistic, no?

  • No one is looking down on you intellectually, Saffiyah,though notedly, you seem to be doing a great job of looking down on people yourself.How can such a simple argument be baffling?

  • When a paddy field is infested with a weed overgrowth what do you do?The weed is ALREADY there, since no one bothered to check its growth in the first place.Now that is here. you have two options to deal with it.One- weed it out and start a new.Two- try and change the weed into paddy.Option two is nullified, because weed is weed, it will never turn into paddy.While it was growing up, it has been identified as weed,and so weed it remains.

  • Funny you should use this line -

    �If someone is spreading LIES about our religion, so are we just supposed to LEAVE THEM BE? Of course NOT. We must stand up, and explain, to the ignorant - kindly, to the stubborn - slap on their face, to the offenders (i.e. detrimental to society) PUNISHMENT.�

    When you may very well know people are going around writing crap about Christianity, calling the Hindus idol worshippers(I was about to use a harsher word, but) and Buddhists similar names, but we(the non-Muslims) cannot respond due to the �religious sensitivity� in this country.

    I fail to see how Lina Joy�s case is deprimental to society.I do however see how your kind of thinking is.How does one draw the line between an ignorant and an offender?Does being born a Muslim constitute a deep knowledge of religion.By your (and MENJ�s) definition, every Malay in this country should be well-versed in the Quran if they are to be prosecuted fairly.

    Saffiyah, I invite you to shoot me an email.I am interested in continuing this discussion, but this blog does not seem to be the right forum to do so.

  • Dear Saffiyah,

  • Since you are so cold about it, fine.Apparently I belong to the kufaar and probably as such am unworthy of your email address, or to be your friend, so let�s continue to talk here, in the fairground where all comments �insulting� to Islam is deleted and in a country where insults to Christianity is welcome, questions about Islam declared as acts of �religious insensitivity�,where people like you can go on telling people like me that it does not matter to me because its not my religion yet with that same sticky hands decide to tear down churches and temples, because it is your business to do so.I will be as tactful as possible.

    For after all, this country is governed by the same people who welcome communist leaders into this country with open arms yet deny the entrance of the Pope.I can name many more instances of injustice and persecution, even of people of other faiths going on IN this country, yet people like you turn a blind eye to it, and keep telling us to mind our own.How do we mind our own when others keep minding our own for us?There is no religious dialogue here, it is religious instructions.Existense of freedom of speech, but non after you have spoken.

    The line between confidence and arrogance is a very thin one, so is the line of fundamentalism and bigotry laced and presented as a �tolerant� view.How am I going to engage you constructively in a controlled environment?That is the purpose I requested email correspondence, not to perform some Quran bashing or to villify the Prophet.I believe I am right, as so do you.Let�s agree to disagree.I know you will never budge from your stand that you are right and I know that I also in all likelihood am probably your best target for da�wah, so our interests are purely mental exercise, or, academic.

    To your question about worshipping idols, I would like to remind you about the Hindu culture, who of course as you regard as idol worshippers.Now, in a respectful way, I ask you- how did statues of Hindu gods drink milk off hands of devotees a few years back?An incident reported not only by some Hindu website but even by AFP and AP.Have you been to a Hindu Thaipusam procession?To see their acts of faith in action when they carry their kavadis?If I ask you to explain this, you would probably dismiss both this incidents as either mind over matter or something similar.

    That is your view on the matter while to the Hindus, this is a manifestation of faith.Who are we to deny them that?I invite you, Saffiyah to read a blog post on my childhood,coincidentally which I posted yesterday to understand where I coming from and my concern of the current trends in this country.

    I would also like to clarify something here.Lina Joy did an offence according, to your definition of religion, not according to our constitutional law.Many states� syaria actually HAS provisions for conversion.Kindly differentiate between the Islamic law, which is not in full effect, fortunately or unfortunately in this country.The issue now is no longer the her conversion, it is the deletion of her religion from her IC.Please read her case carefully.Another point to note, for you and MENJ alike is this- IF you succeed and stop all this, What is to stop Muslims from apostasizing in another country?Thailand, Singapore?Are you going to try and legislate them as well?

    His approach is at least on the right track:-education.There again a thin line as well between education and brainwashing.As you are fond of lines, humour me this

    ��The Prophet (SAWS), went to Ta�if, a nearby city, to spread his message and seek help. But the people of Ta�if refused to listen to the Prophet (SAWS). They jeered at him and drove him out of town, setting the street urchins to pelting him with stones. The Prophet�s body was covered with wounds, and he was bleeding from head to toe.

    Suddenly, the Archangel Gabriel appeared along with the Angel of mountains. The latter asked if he should crush the people of Ta�if between two mountains. �No,� said the noble Prophet (SAWS), and he raised his hands instead to pray for the people of Ta�if: �Lord, guide them, I am hopeful for their descendants, who will one day serve Your cause.� Then he returned to Makkah. ��

    Is this not a display of love and compassion of the Prophet, even if the face of undeserved rejection?That is what I fail to reconcile, the stance of my learned Muslim friends, which seem in harmony with what i know of Islam and this harsh and unyielding version, scary even, as preached by you.Oh well.

  • Saffiyah,

  • Me beating around the bush, you did not even answer the question!OK you said I misintepreted the Hadis- give me the correspondance in the Quran?My �liberal false West butt kissing� friends hold degrees in Syarie� and in Islamic History , from IUUM and from UUM.I call them learned because I judge the tree from its fruits.Their fruit is compassion,love for fellow beings, respect, non judgmental character and a brotherly bond that I share with them, which I do not hope for you to possibly understand.To you bonds is quite limited to religion.A far cry from what I get from you, here.So they may be lousy Muslims in your book, but in mine, they are good people.Blasphemy?Maybe to you.Beautiful?Yes to me.The links to the Hadis was given by one of them to me, as a matter of fact.They don�t favour the West much to,much less Israel, for your information, but we agree to disagree.For your information also, both are PAS members, one is a son of a prominent PAS leader.No offence to Saffiyah, but I do not hold you much of an authority of Islam either.I actually have much more respect for MENJ in that sense, as at least he backs up his statements with verses and proof, even if I disagree with the sources.But this is not about personality.

    I keep going in circles, funny it seems you were.You keep saying all you do is �responding� to Lina Joy�s case.You keep alluding the question what is it you want from all of this?If its merely rage and protest you�re venting, what do you expect to come from this rage?A verdict in your favour, would equate wanting her not to leave the religion, and would negate all the stuff you just wrote about not caring about whether she eats pork and goes to church.

    As to my beliefs and what not-let my God be my judge.I am not ashamed to call myself a Christian but you seem to ashamed enough for the both of us.I asked a question,and I do not see an answer.You merely said it was not divine, but did not offer an explanation.I could have used some Christian miracle as an example but that would have made this a Christian vs Islam issue and it is not my intention.I merely would like your perspective on miracles or otherwise in other religions.For the record, I have my own opinion on the issue, and if you must know I do not think it was divine in nature, as agreed by a few Hindu friends of mine.

    As for my knowledge of Islam, I grew up in a Malay kampung environment and probably know more than you give me credit for.I am not claiming to know a lot.And yes, I disagree with the statement that Malaysia is a Muslim country, but even PAS disagrees with that.Hudud and Qisas is not implemented here.Just because a statesman says so and that government money is being used to build mosques doesn�t make this a Muslim country.The Constitution says Islam is the official religion, not that Malaysia is a Muslim country.Three of our Prime Ministers, the first three kept asserting this fact.

    You keep saying I refuse to accept true Islam, etc etc.Well this is not true.You will be surprised to note this- I agree with many concepts of Hudud and Qisas and with many of PAS� struggles, which I am well aware of.What I disagree is this,criminalizing Lina Joy.One- this is not a Muslim country, at least not yet.Two-She has had ample time to �repent� and go back to Islam and Three-yes this concerns me because my church has been dragged into this.Its not about your religion and your ways alone anymore.You think all of us are actually bothered by the propagation of faith?Rubbish, you are free to do anything you want on your faith, it is your own.But when you go and disturb a very delicate fabric woven by years of mutual respect and understanding and one easily snapped, you MAKE it my business, because I too am Malaysian, a stakeholder in its outcome.

    As Cynical pointed out before, we are citizens of the world, togather and are bound by its norms.Thats why there are UN Charters.Thats why resolutions are passed in assemblies.Thats why we are evn having this conversation.
    No one is forcing any Western ideology down your throat.It is the blatant and open discussion about a sensitive topic that is worrying everyone!

    There is no freedom when you have decided the answer for her beforehand, and prejudged her before her decision.By the way,you said quite a lot about her converting to marry this guy, that I am curious of your views should the opposite occur.If HE would�ve converted to marry HER, you know what would�ve happened?They would probably be featured in Nona in a special edition showcasing how Indian culture is being incorporated into a Malay wedding.

  • Nizam,

  • First allow me to thank you for being very polite in your address, and I personally believe your approach to be much friendlier.If I may reply to your questions, may I state also I am by far no authority on Christian teaching but I am merely a learning Catholic(as you wondered on my religion) who tries to find the good in all things.

    OK to your question on my take on Deut. 13 (about the stoning of those worshipping foreign god(s) ).This question was asked before to me by my two �liberal west-ass-kissing friends� as Saffiyah so �eloquently� named them, and my answer was twofold.The types of god(s) worshipped in Deut 12, and the context in which it was written(Deuteronomy was written when the Isrealites just moved into Canaan, after God delivered them from their enslavement.)

    Another point I�d like to share is that I believe these laws to be of �national� house rules for Israelites.This I base on Deut. 12 :1-2.

    And as Catholic, I also believe in what the Church teaches, which is in the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, which states

    �Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, as they know it through the dictates of their conscience-those too may achieve eternal salvation.� (CCC #847)

    Lumen Gentium (a letter from the Pope,probably comparable to an edict,states)

    Jews are The �first receivers of God�s covenant,� Muslims as �followers of Abraham,� Hindus and Buddhists as �advanced civilisations . . .with a deep religious sense� (LG, 16; NA 2).

    So Nizam, to answer your question simply would be 1)The rules may have only applied to a)The Jews b)The Israelites
    c)People of that time. d)People who worshipped pagan gods

    or a culmination of a,b,c and d.

    In Mt 4:4,7 and 10, Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy, but notedly, He was speaking to Satan, not to the masses.

    To your second point, why I fail to see Lina Joys case as deprimental to society,is as she could have easily settled down in another country.As we know, this already happens amongst converts/apostates.I am not aware of the Nadra case, would appreciate it if you could shoot me a link to that case.

    To your third point, yes I maybe emotional about it, whats not to be your religion is at stake :)
    Ask any Christian friend of yours if they believe they are granted religious freedom.No I do not believe I am over-reacting :) Just open up any Malay daily and you will read some negative news of Christianity that has been blown out of proportion, doctored or even entirely made up (like the �Paderi Besar Sabah� who converted, or I read an article where we are supposed to sprinkle holy water on pople who come into church to �ritually� convert them.I read these all i, and countless more untruths on my religion in Malay dailies.Take a walk in any bookstore and you would read many critical books written in Malay about Christianity.Now look at the English Religion section in MPH,Kinokuniya,Times,Popular and try and find any Ibn Warraq book, or any critical analysis of Islam.

    To your fourth statement, brother, I leave you this link.

    I have no link to the denial of entry of the Pope, only some memories as a kid of booklets and material being confisticated at the Singapore border before re-entering Malaysia when I was little (and the Pope) visited Singapore and some news from reliable sources on both sides(government and church) that the previous Pope (John Paul) made some requests to visit this country but wasn�t allowed.Also, usually, when a Head of State visits another, an invitation is given to the country visited to return the visit.No invitation was given during Dr M�s visit to Vatican.

    Wow this is long and I need to get to my office lol- to 5, my answer is a negative, but a great degree of freedom, though not absolute.To6, that is why I wanted to engage her via email/IM.And I extend that invitation to you as well, you appear to be very knowledgable, really polite and humble.I hope to learn more from you like lkt.

    And to point 7, That was my point , as it works both ways.Agreeing to disagree to me is a matter of perspective and opening oneself to new ones.However there will be points in which both sides will not concede, hence my usage of the term.

    To point 8, I have had little time to read your analysis to make a informed response.I will once I have the time, but at this point,I would like to point out issues of conversion vary from state to state, as it comes under the purview of the Syariah courts,(which is the bone of contention of the JPN and JAKIM at this point) and that somes states have provisions for conversion.

    Thank you for taking time to respond to my simple and humble views.As this post is too long and already in MENJ�s second page, may I interest you in sharing your thoughts, perhaps MENJ as well in some other forum/avenue?

  • Dear Saffiyah

  • OK then will I too not engage you in a religious debate out of respect of you not wanting to do so.To you I am not worthy to comment on the Quran and to me you are not,s o whats the point of talking about this?Let�s move to other things.I am happy for you that religion has guided you in a very positive way.In my 22 years of life I too have benefitted similarly from my own religion, and I too count myself blessedly successful for my age,having seen and done many things people twice my age may not have.I count many good people as my friends and for this too I am thankful.

  • May you be as blessed always.

  • Regards.


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    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    What Merdeka Means to Me Part 1


    First off, I am guessing many of my fellow bloggers who actually bother to
    stop by this humble blog of mine may not know my origins.Allow me to (re) introduce
    myself in a nutshell.I am 22 years of age, having worked a year in a seaport as..
    wait I am sure you are not *that* interested in my history la.

    Suffice to say, I am a Chinese-Indian(Chindian) (read: halfdbreed) who grew up
    in a Malay kampung environment, went to co-ed primary school with lots of Malay
    friends, a banana farm secondary school(banana farm= guys school,
    papaya farm= all girls school, I really think I don't need to explain the fruity connotation...), a
    very cosmopolitan college, and that I have done a fair bit of travelling across 4 continents.The purpose
    of this boring introduction is to provide the reader with some background of myself before they get into a befuddled
    expression as to my somewhat confusing identity.Either that or they would want to judge me for being an infidel,
    a racial betrayer, or wave an excommunication letter in my face.It has also been
    suggested that I suffer from mild identity crisis.
    I believe that to be a lie as I personally believe I suffer from quite major identity crisis at times.

    OK, now to what Malaysia means to me.It is my home, the land my ancestors from both sides chose to call their new homeland.
    it is the place my grandparents from both sides argued till the cows came home, went out and came home again over
    my parents wedding.It is the place I made my best friends from childhood till now and it is also the land I fear is changing
    at a pace and trend that is extremely worrying.

    There was a time in this country where unity among the races was so good, there was no need to mention it.There
    was nothing to 'preserve' or no 'delicate balance' coz we truly were one.One in every sense of the word.even as a kid growing up, I saw this
    unity at work.Kids from my school, regardless of 'keturunan' and 'agama' would band togather and whack any neighbouring school kids
    who dared bully any of our own.OK so it was kinda a childish-samsengish type of racial harmony, but one very strong nonetheless.

    As a Child

    As a Malay-looking kid I also had my perks la of course.The nasi lemak makcik and satay pakcik would always through in
    that extra egg or that extra stick or two.Come to think of it maybe it was coz I looked like I needed the extra food la
    but then again.. who cares right? I also had my downs when an ustaz who walked into class couldn't be bothered to
    check if I was Muslim or not and asked me to read something in Jawi.So the smart alecky devil in me took over(as I did
    have a little Jawi knowledge at that time, but not quite enough to form words) as my little brain tried to process
    what Alif Lam Lam Ha spelt(it was Gods name, to those who are probably not laughing their butts off yet).

    I also remember every Ramadan I could not go to the canteen as the pengawas and cikgu displin of the morning session did not know who I was and
    really could not be bothered.So after a few times of trying to explain (and one time where I sneaked past them all,
    only to be disappointed by a pakcik who would not sell me my nasi goreng coz even he did not believe I was not Malay)
    So I learnt early, try once, try twice then just don't bother explaining.

    School those days, where race and religion did not matter, would include cross-dressing and make up for us poor kids
    who did not know anything about UN-guaranteed children rights as our teachers(whom I suspect failed in their ambition to be
    make up artists) dress up like sissies or gender bended freaks with annoying comments like 'oh you look so cute'
    followed by cheek squeezing and other equally annoying fusses.But at that age, we were all togather in this
    mental trauma.No one bothered with skin colour etc,we even had non Malays in Nasyid, not as singers, but
    as backup props (I remember this Chinese dude whose role was to scream and die in a nasyid on Bosnia)

    No one bothered about quotas and being politically correct in office bearers for clubs and societies.Our groupings were more likely
    to be according to dad's occupation or which class you belonged to rather than race or religion.
    To belong, you did not need a correct colour or religion.Today I pass my primary school and I see pools of students
    grouped according to race.The Malays to themselves, the Indians playing football to themselves and I can hardly see a Chinese there anymore.
    What happened?

    As a Teen

    I got my first taste of fundamentalism (or simple misconceived ideas), from a Muslim dude, one I considered to be a friend.We were lepaking under a tree
    one day and I had some 'ummupuddi' (you know that muruku-like snacks with dried green peas and kacang) with me
    and I offered some to him and i got back a shot 'Ini aku tak boleh makan, kau sembah berhala' (translation :
    I can't eat this, you pray to a deity)

    I got shocked and at that point remember telling myself this cannot be accurate.I have as a kid read the Bible and
    some light books on other religions, I could even recite basic prayers from Islam,Buddhism and Sikhism at this point,
    but serious religious studies(doctrine and social teachings of the various religions-I had no need to, not until this point of time)
    And so I went home and started looking through my dad's books and found a Longman publication of the Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran
    (this happened when I was about 12)

    -To be continued-

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    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Subtle Changes

    Got bored of using the old template so I'm gonna mod my blog a little.Bear with me right?The chatterbox etc will be up by end of tommorow.Moving my photos to photobucket and doing a few more small items.Comments still working :)

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    A Long Response to MENJ's Lina Joy Issue And More.

    To the unaware, MENJ has again fired another salvo that has pissed off many Malaysians.Many have responded through their blogs and unlike the last time, I did not immediately post a response in my blog.I did however post a barrage of questions and explanations- a few pages long in MENJ's own blog.However, as of yesterday evening, MENJ has again shut himself out of this reality.To him, its self-defence.To me, its nothing short of cowardice and not holding to one's principles.

    First, the article, has been altered.If you truly mean to call us(Christians) retards and what not, please stick to it.It does not matter whether we think you are wrong or not,t hat is secondary, which by the way most of us think you are wrong anyway

    At this point I really do not hold MENJ to be a principled fellow anymore.Here are a few reaons why.its a really long post, inspired by Minishorts long post , so bear with me, please.I feel its imperative to read this.A gentle disclaimer: I love my Muslim friends, and if this article in any remote way offends you I am sorry.I seriously doubt it though, as I am commenting solely on people, not even the religion.That being said, please proceed.

    MENJ's Calling for Conversions.

    With the same breath that he claims to respect other religions he calls every other religion, blatantly false.I can go into why I think this is utter BS, but it is not what I really believe, and I will not belittle another man's religion.I believe Christ is the Way, but I do not hold to the idea that everyone else will burn in Hell.By this, I may be a good Christian to some and a heretic to others.What matters is my conscience and it is clear, so frankly I do not care.But on the other hand, MENJ has gone against mine and many others' level of tolerance by yelling the now (in)famous battlecry 'Convert them all'. That is hypocritical bullshit.You hate it when people preach to your Muslim brethren yet you openly wish for people to convert all of us to Islam.I feel this to be unfairness in the highest degree.And to me, living a good Muslim life is far more effective a preaching tool than all the religious rhetoric you can throw out there.I learnt to respect Islam through the living examples of my friends.Like I've said, three of those I count as my closest friends are Malay-Muslims.And , all three are PAS supporters.All three,MENJ disagree with your stance.One of my friends took up Islamic Studies at tertiary level.He asked me to ask you to rethink your 'Mantiq' and re-read Hadis 40.I am not sure what he means though..He also disagrees with your mixing race and religion(that racist statement you made about Lina Joy's husband's genitalia)and that anyone who says is not a preacher, as Islam does not allow you to speak ill of anyone, let alone a Muslim(as technically, under the Malaysian law that you hate and love at the same time, she is still a Muslim)

    I raised a few points in my line of questions to MENJ in his blog, which is now closed to public of course.One is the call to boycott Israeli and American products.This is not hypocrisy, its stupidity.There are three major microprocessor manufacturers in the world.Two are American.The third is British, an American ally.So if you were to boycott all of them, what new chip will you use in our computers?OK, granted US trades with Malaysia as well.Stop and ask yourself, what is it do they trade here.Answer: They buy back ready/semi-ready items which they assemble here.They can easily move their operations to another country, given the rising cost of labour as well.That being that- Your site is being funded partially by Google.Bismika Allahuma is being funded by Paypal AND Google Adsense.Paypal and Google transfer cheques mostly through Citibank.ALL THESE are not exactly Chinese companies.And you already know this- Google Adsense has a policy against targetting a certain religion,race or country.I hope you're aware of this.Use your mentality man.70% shares of all American companies here are locally owned.You hurt 30% of their income, they hurt 70% of yours.I am sure you studied math in school.

    Second, the issue of Lina Joy.I will not comment much on this, in respect of the PMs call for everyone to calm down.I just have to say this- I believe there is no compulsion in religion.Even in Islam, prior to declaring a person a murtad, you have to ascertain the previous way of life of the person, whether or not he/she was really practising an Islamic lifestyle prior to conversion.It is an a priori thing, not a a posteori. Also, if a person is an alcaholic, a mentally ill person or have accepted Islam under duress, you cannot declare him/her a murtad(information shared by a close,devout Muslim friend)Also in context, apostasy in time of the Prophet was akin to treason as people who apostatized out of Islam also turned their back on the Islamic Nation.But we cannot say the same thing in the case of Malaysia at present.One, according to MENJ Malaysia is not an Islamic country ( as we do not practise Hudud and Qisas).Sha'ria is not the highest law of the land.Today apostasy may be wrong of a religion but not to a country, at least I do not believe so.But I am not qualified to talk about Islam.I have not experienced the religion so I will limit my argument to what I know and have been told. Even though MENJ feels obliged to put down my religion,as part of his struggle, I feel obliged to respect his.

    Non Muslim Rights in Malaysia.

    MENJ has been extremely vocal in his call for the Article 11 and IFC to be called off, and he has to his definition succeeded.Well, even to the extent of supporting the holding of anti IFC forums when the PM has clearly asked everyone to stop organizing such forums.Thank you to Syed Hamid for being fair in your comments in the Star today, anyway.Back to the issue I raised in MENJ's blog.He claims that Muslim rights in Malaysia has been infringed by this calls for Article 11 and IFC.I disagree.For starters, there are many Muslims on the Article 11 side of the fence(Liberal Heretics according to MENJ's book) but as he likes to point out, you cannot change the law, and according to Malaysian law, well, they are about as Muslim as you MENJ.I disagree to this point.I ask MENJ or his loyal groupie Rachel or anyone to come up with ONE instance where we non-Muslims have ever challenged the special place of Islam in this country.Muslim rights to worship, or their primary place in our country.I will give you here now, some examples of how the non-Muslim groups have shown our loyalty to this country and our dedication to tolerance, still at this point, where you have slinged mud on our faces.

    -The church in Shah Alam took a record number of years before its been approved.In my recollection, only very few churches, temples and mosques have been built of recent.You have constantly been raising up points prehistoric in nature(the big statues in Kelantan of Buddha etc) to advocate your idea of freedom of worship.Do you see us complaining about this?No, and we are instead grateful to the government for allowing us more freedom than the likes of Iran(Shii'tes who do not allow Christians to even hold military ranks) or Pakistan(where even orphanages are burnt when someone accuses a Christian of something).When last I checked MENJ, it is rather uncomfortable to climb on top of a statue to pray.And many rulings were made to the height of churches and temples to the extent one day we might end up praying from a negative height, i.e. underground.But all this does not water down our loyalty to this country.When the country was split in two by votes during the DSAI crisis it was the non Malays that helped this government retain its power, as admitted by the then PM, Tun Dr M.Do not question our loyalty man.We fought the communists alongside you.we never question the right to build mosques in every new township.All we ask for is some freedom to feed our spiritual needs.Is that much?

    -There is really very little crawlspace for us in the media as well.I have said that Muslims in the West have more freedom than Christians in Malaysia.I am not complaining, I am comparing.They have their own TV and radio shows, and despite your claims there are no missionary groups in Islam, rest assured they exist well in the West, and its a good thing to propagate religion.There are huge mosques in Chicago, New York and Rome.They rival the Shah Alam mosque in terms of size.And you call Christians an intolerant bunch?The one in Rome is really close to Vatican city.I understand that the Kaa'bah and surrounding areas is called Haram, and that the soil is holy, you cannot even remove it from the grounds let alone build a church there.Do we come forward and question this,and demand some church ? No.Why?Because we were taught, even as it is written in the Holy Quran, 'To You Your religion and to us, ours'.the Quran Verse 2:256 states 'Let there be no compulsion in religion! Truth is distinguishable easily from error!' And you say we are intolerant.Laws are being bended in the West to make place for Islam.workplaces even begin to allow the hijjab.In Malaysian context, thats like allowing me to go to work in a cassock or saffron robe.Crosses are being removed from schools and courthouses because they make Muslims feel uncomfortable.Are we intolerant?

    -Ask yourself- why did Article 11 come into existence in the first place?Non Muslims in Malaysia are afraid that even what little we have will be taken away from us.Put yourself in our shoes and if you read in the papers each day about this and that scholar or mufti telling people to stop mingling with us during our celebrations, that cross celebrations are sacrilegious, of temples and churches being torn down, what signals do that send to your brain?In schools that missionaries set up even, and orphanages,any symbols of their legacy is being removed.Funny no one mentioned anything when they were no schools or hospitals around.We are afraid, thats all.We are not interested in infringing our way on anyone, neither are we questioning the supremacy of Islam in this blessed piece of earth called Malaysia.We don't want to be strangers in the land of our birth, where our ancestors too shed blood to build this country.

    Insistance that MENJ is not Breaking the Law.

    -Well accoiding to some lawyer friends of mine , he is as good as guilty of incitement as he can get, but hey, who are they to know, they only practise law.In any case MENJ, this I say to you, you are only shooting yourself in the foot by saying the law is not applicable in cyberspace.Jeff Ooi and Malaysiakini has been subjected to the law before.You are not above it.No one wanted to report you to the police, but you took the step of blocking everyone from your blog, goodness knows for what.Since you so boldly claim you are not subject to the law, why bother to lock everyone out?Why be so afraid of a police report(I am not advocating it)?Let them investigate and come over and say, MENJ, these idiots are so stupid, the law is not applicable here!Go ahead go and stir up all the racial tension you want man!I hope you see my point, my friend.

    May good sense and peace prevail.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Vijaykanth the Indian Film Star

    This weekend I went into reverse mode no thanks to a sudden bout of madness togather with my workplace buddies.What exactly is reverse mode?Well, no its not that I've reverted back into a life of total divulgance, rather I went into gila gila makan mode.And I did not go to gym for a week.Gila makan as in 3 days McD drive through straight and tonight we're gonna go to a 24 hr KFC.

    Here we were the bunch of people that guys look up to make decisions, eating McD in the playground and laughing at reactions of passers by who probably assumed we were mad or drunk, when in reality were only happy.Oh ya, I forgot to mention all these food-escapades occured after 2 am :P Yesterday went over to my friend Ganesh's place where I was treated to the most amazingly physics defying stunts in the history of Indian film history.So, get this apparently, there's this guy called Vijaykanth in Indian cinema and he came before Ranjinikanth and the new metrosexual bunch of Hindi actors.Ths guy seriously is the Man.He makes Neo look like a girl scout.

    There's one scene in a movie - where he is facing two enemies in front and one behind.he only has a knife and a single-bullet in his gun.How did he defeat the bad guys?OK get this- the guy behind him shoots the bullet, this Vijaykanth JUMPS OVER the bullet, throws his knife at the bullet, SPLITS THE BULLET IN HALF, killing the two baddies in front of me, and in one sweeping motion, turns around and shoots the guy behind him.If you think that's good, check out another one...

    What do you do when there's a guy over you you simply cannot reach by a single gunshot?Here's what Vijaykanth does....he throws a gun in the air and USING ANOTHER GUN, SHOOTS the first gun's TRIGGER, forming a 90 degree angle shot and kills the guy over his pistol reach.

    Seriously- this one man commando team is really something la wei.Beats Sgt Bilko by a mile.Now I understand two emails I received... forwards.One has the entire 7th fleet and its equaivalent in the Indian Army- Vijaykanth.

    Another is a factual email telling us about this asteroid thats supposed to hit India in 2008.It goes on and on about research on how to deal with this asteroid and finally India came up with a video presentation on how to divert from sure disaster- a gif image of Vijaykanth kicking the asteroid away back into space.

    What a week.

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    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Europeanised Malaysian folklore series :Hang Tuah

    Well decided to go reverse for a day and try and tell a Malaysian folklore tale (not to be confused with the actual historic Hang Tuah- this here is a parody joke.) from a 'gwailo' (read: Westerners)  perspective.

    Once upon a time in a land north of Singapore, where the mythical Sarong Party Girls are to be found, there lived a young handsome Calvin Klein model quality hunk called Hang Tuah.It is widely believed that prior to being named, his dad was pretty much Hung from Tuak.So his real Europeanized name would be Hung O(n) Tuak.So Hung O. Tuak, the warrior prince, the male version of Xena had a few other equally high flying partying friends.The Hungs, as they were affectionately known consisted Gas Story( Kasturi) whose superpower was to fart unendingly, Leg In You (Lekiu) who would place his foot where the sun don't shine if you pissed him off and Leg in Air (Lekir) who was famous for his Flying Kick Bersepadu dan Bersepatu (translation: Integrated Flying Kick with Footwear)

    So the baddie in this story apparently used to be a Hung gang member, but was influenced by a confused mystic called the Pin Daddy ( Ayah Pin) who later married the Needle  Mummy (Mami Jarum) and produced a cute baby daughter called Anak Mami Jarum.His name was - The Bat (Jebat)

    So The Bat and Anak Mami Jarum used to date and all, but now Tuah's boss, the Sultan wants to get married.So, he calls his best thug henchmen togather with Tuah and assault the cave fortress where The Bat was hiding togather with a few Marvel superheroes.So in goes our hero but he ges his butt kicked coz Spiderman is not too happy to be interrupted when he's lepaking in his cave and tweaking photos for the Daily Bugle with Photoshop.Then an old mystic walks in front of Tuah, as if on cue, and says, "Son if you wanna succeed in fighting this spider-demon, you gotta get yourself bitten by a creature bigger than a spider.

    So then Tuah goes to the forest and meets Pak Belang, the Tiger.He spreads some corned beef on his ass and then the tigers bites it.He then gets some powers of the tiger that enables to jump around, snarl at people and basically do whatever the Kellogg Corn Flakes mascot gets to do.

    After a fight that lasted longer than the Cold War, the two sides finally reach a stalemate.The Sultan then ordered a Stinger missile to be targetted near the cave and instantly killing Mat Labah Labah, Tuak and The Bat.It is said, that nowadays when you hang around an unnamed cave in Melaka, you can see the amalgamation of these creatures- annoying, powerful, scary , as fast as a spider but flies like a bat.its called Tupai Terbang( flying fox).However mysteriously, those who tried eating Tupai Terbang soup hoping to cure impotency and embue them with the sex drive of Mat Labah Labah, Tuah and Jebat combined only end up in dioarrhea.Moraql of the story: Don't eat exotic food.Stick with chicken.KFC loves you.

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    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Malaysianised -European Folklore series: Cinderella

    I knew the day would come when the sneaky BN government would ask us to stop blogging about stuff that isn't true(read as: anything against the present administration, support for the opposition or the former PM, or anything anti-establishment and so on.So I, Emmanuel, will show my loyalty(read: distaste) with the current administration's media blackout-cut and rule ideology by blogging about happy stuff.And NO I am not blogging about the absurdity of DBP's latest futile efforts- now why would you think that?

    Have you heard about Cinderella edisi Malaysia?OK, first the name must be translated into the Malay equaivalent- How about Ela Hitam?OK now Ela Hitam was a beautiful dark girl.(and here was how theoratically hitam manis got coined) Now Ela Hitam was a simple girl who wanted nothing more than a simple life.She lived with her two evil stepsisters, Buntal and Lidi and her stepmom, Cik Mental

    Now Buntal and Lidi were fuglies.Their mom was the mother of all fuglies.The dad had earlier died coz of financial complications.He experienced a sudden insurgence in wealth that compelled him to some hasty investment decisions that plumetted, resulting in a deficit in budget.In laymans terms, he struck gold in 4D, went to Genting, lost and jumped down from First world Hotel.

    Then suddenly one day the rich Datuk L wanted to throw a bachelor party.They were not spinsters and far too ugly to be exotic dancers or anything...But being evil fuglies and all, Buntal, Lidi and their stepmom decided to go and throw themselves at drunk Indonesian men who might just decide to take them back to Bandung, impregnate them and throw them out of the house where they will later, wail, moan, howl and shrivel and die.

    So off they went, and Ela Hitam wasn't allowed to go coz she was too black.Then she saw a Fair and Lovely advertisment on TV and started using the product on her face, but instead ended up with red spots all over since she bought it near the Masjid Jamek LRT station from a Bangladeshi.She was then interviewed by Edisi Siasat whose host proceeded to go over to the Bangladeshi and go "Celaka Punya Laknat...Bangsat Pendatang Haram, Dasar Mak Bapak Kurang Hajar" and hit him repeatedly on the head with a bottle of impotency cure that apparently did not work on the TV host.

    Meanwhile, Ela was being harassed by a group of leather wearing punks on the background whose leader was wearing a 'rock' T-shirt with mispelled 'System of a Down' reading 'System Down' and who was later arrested by the police for disorderly conduct.Datuk L however who was enjoying his bachelor party at home was getting increasingly disgusted by the Three Fuglies who kept throwing their ugly selves at him that he went out to get some fresh air when he saw Ela in his 79 inch China made Samsung flat screen.He fell in love with her pimpled nose and immediately contacted his friend, Jimmy Choo to make to order 999 shoes of various sizes. He injected the various shoes with a smart chip that electrocutes its user according to a sophisticated program written by an Indian programmer and marked up by Microsoft 30 times its original price.

    He set the chip to electrocute 3 DNAs - The Fuglies.He obtained their DNA from saliva he got slobbered all over him while they tried to bite his arm.

    He then announced a shoe giveaway at Midvalley and all the women came, including the fuglies.They put on the shoes and die a miserable and painful death.After that he picked up Ela from her house and they ran to Thailand to get married and lived happily ever after.



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    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    The day I Saw Christ on a Ship.

    Note: If you are offended by religious posts, or your name happens to initial to MENJ kindly turn away now before you throw rocks into my house.

    I have always maintained that I am a lousy, low-level,scum-of-the-earth, gonna-burn-in-hell type of Catholic.Those who know me well enough often dispute this(though those who know me better than well enough readily support this statement).I do everything almost that Christians frown upon, among the tamer ones include swigging a bottle of alcahol, smoking like a chimney and having the PC with like the most amount of smut ever.I've had tonnes of people try to turn me over and what not but the world and me were too close to be torn apart and Heaven just had to wait.

    Its odd coz I always thought of myself as knowledgable in matters of religion, and in my pride/arrogance,though probably true, that I knew more about doctrine than the average blue collar Sunday School teacher(no offence, God loves your work, but as a kid I did not). As a teenager I was deeply influenced by both sides of the story, on one side were the writings of Aquainas ,Plantinga and McDowell, and on the other, Nietzche, Crowley and LaVey himself.I always, in my pride or foolishness, thought of myself as a rationalist, a thinker and well-read.

    Then came this vessel Doulos(the floating bookfair-vessel) that docked in the terminal next to the place I work..Ironically it was a Muslim friend of mine who suggested we visit this vessel.Since I am mixed and look Malay/Muslim myself both of us were kinda worried la, since Muslims previously were not allowed onboard (as much of the material is Christian-centric in nature). Anyway, there, I spent a luttle over 100  bucks on some books and a few nice CDs/cassetes.Among the books I picked up, there was a pictorial coffee table edition of "Passion" after the Mel Gibson book.His preface caught my attention.His book caught my soul.

    Caught it enough to rethink my position in life.I was always so comfortable in this new position of mine to the point it was always about proving a point to those who doubted me and ever looked low on me.I was chasing the elusive golden carrot.I wanted to come far in life, and I have, and deservingly too according to some of my friends.I've always wanted to outdo, out-think and outperform.I was smitten by this world, especially at work, which brings me places and allows me to stay places I've never dreamt I will, eat where I wouldn't have and play where I never thought I would.That doubled with my passion to succeed pushed me further.I started doing lots of stuff out of my usual character.

    For a most part, it was college that probably made me this way.A broken relationship and a string of backstabs from who I thought was my friends hardened my heart and made me only want to succeed in life,nothing more, nothing less.

    Back to Doulos.Seeing this young beautiful people giving 2 years of their lives serving God by serving His people just reminded me of the things I use to know.Things I use to love and things I have since neglected, abandoned. I've had a hunger in my spirit I ignored for so long that one day it wasn't there anymore.Reading the book Passion , I threw out my porn, my last remaining box of cigarettes and decided to drink only socially from now on.(hey after all Jesus drank in Cana and in the upper room,rite? :P)

    For one week I've been listening to nothing but Christian music on my way to and from work.and you know what?I actually like this life.It feels hollow, but strangely satisfying.Its kind of when you are hungry and suddenly the hunger is gone, but you haven't eaten, yet you don't feel hungry?well, its kind of like that.

    Emmanuel as you know him has died.The cigarettes have been put out, glasses poured, CDs burnt, files deleted and whats left of Jesus in him, after all the torture is now being taken care of.In nomine Patris et Fille et Spirito Sancti.Amen.


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