Friday, January 22, 2010

In Defense of YBs Khalid Samad, Dr Dzul,TGNA and Nizar.

The Star Online today published what I think is a mischievous article here. In my humble opinion,it depicts YB Khalid Samad as either 'being forced to' or 'summoned' to the palace to be 'put in his place' by the Sultan. 'Embattled' was how Christina Tan chose to paint YB Khalid, but is he really embattled? I have not heard calls for his resignation reigning loudly other than from official UMNO mouthpieces.Its irritating to see The Star report the matter as though NGOs were leading the charge against YB Khalid today, when a Google search reveals a Star Report, just months ago, that the leader of the so-called Belia Bersatu Shah Alam chairman,Azahari Shaari,and the UMNO Youth Head of Shah Alam is one and the same person. Not surprisingly, En Azahari was also one of the four UMNO Youth leaders who mobbed YB Karpal and was fined a measly RM 1,000 for disrepecting Parliament, an elected representative, and a disabled person all at once.See Here
The way I see it,UMNO has taken extra pains to nail three PAS MPs- Dr Dzul, Khalid Samad and Ir Nizar.Now, they are attempting to take down Tuan Guru Nik Aziz as well. The reason is quite obvious- these are the MPs that the non Muslims have warmed up to.YB Khalid Samad has been labelled 'Khalid Gereja' for entering the church of Divine Mercy in his capacity as the MP for all residents of Shah Alam.Just because the previous MPs from BN never bothered to visit the church, YB Khalid's simple action earned him instant popularity among most Catholics in the country.So in all honesty, Pakatan MPs have an unfair advantage over BN. The overwhelming insensitivity and racism practised by many BN leaders have caused minorities like the Catholics, Sikhs and such, to hunger for simple actions and words to feel that they too, are a part of Malaysia.Back to the Khalid Gereja issue, what exactly is wrong with visiting a church?If it is wrong,what about the rightly guided Caliph Ali? History tells us not only did he visit the church, he ordered its reconstruction, and funded it!  Even till today, the keys to the Church is held by two Muslim families,the family of Nuseibeh and another family, the Juebehs.The current key holder is one Mr Wajeeh Nuseibeh, you can actually call him if you would like to visit the Church.His phone number is 02-6285910 from Jerusalem.So is Mr Nuseibeh, who is acting on an old, multiple generational command by Caliph Ali , also a Wajeeh Jaga Gereja? Mind you, the Church of the Holy Sepulchure is a much more popular church than the Church of the Divine Mercy.
If Khalid is Khalid Gereja, can Najib be called Najib Gereja, now that he has visited Metro Tabernacle?Or could he labelled a step higher, Najib Pembina Gereja, as he also donated 500,000 ringgit to a new building for that church. What about Ir Nizar? If he is accused to be a tool of the Ngeh-Nga cousins, what about Dr Mah? Can Dr Mah be considered a puppet of the Zambry-Hamidah Osman team?At least with Pakatan, there was a balance in power, and all races were represented in the government. I, unfortunately cannot say the same about the current 'government' of the day in Perak.This name calling,that I see as part of a concerted effort to 'burn PAS' bridges' with the non Muslims, hopefully fails.Not so much for political reasons alone, but for the sake of national unity. Never would I have dreamed the day before March 8th, 2008, that I would see the picture of a Muslim religious teacher being worn by templegoing Hindu youth in a t-shirt. If that is not religious acceptance, I don't know what is. Granted, the acceptance mentioned has its roots in political reasons, but in the end, the end is more important than the means, no? Some people see an oppressed citizen idolizing someone who stood up for him. Some see an ignorant youth who does not know what exactly he is wearing, just following the hype. But I see a non Muslim, truly  recognizing and accepting that a Muslim religious spiritual teacher is a good man,and worthy to lead him.All this, I believe was a direct result, rightly or wrongly, directly or indirectly, of the political tsunami of 308.
It is said that the strongest of relationships is forged only after thorough and difficult,strenous tests. And I believe that the new generation of PAS leaders have been been weighed, measured and judged enough to say they truly stand up for the minority, as what I would like to believe a good believer of any religion should do.And that, in today's Malaysia, is something to cheer about.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Check out this Japanese folk song damn funny.
Tan Tan Tanuki,
No Kintama Wa.
Kaze Mo Nai No Ni,
Racoon-dog, racoon dog,
So idle,
When the wind comes,
Pic supposed to show that.
apple pie of doom's Avatar

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Posts and Comments from Insider.

written by Emmanuel, January 12, 2010
I watched the Doha Debates television programme on BBC two days ago and contrasted it with the pathetic crawlspace we call free speech and was undecided if I should laugh or cry.Here people are allowed to be as open as they wish and lay an issue bare, and something concrete is formulated at the end of each debate- an actual result.The scale of topics is as impressive as the speakers themselves, often political, economic and social heavyweights.
Compare with the ultra polite 'intellectual' sessions in RTM where we have half baked 'professionals', 'economic experts' fresh from our local university,and 'religious leaders' often affliated to some government agency or another.In the end, the guests have only, if at all achieved anything, to confuse and befuddle and already confused audience.
Here you have Qatar, a country with a 98% Muslim population, a smattering handful of Christians, yet they are liberalizing. Last year, a Roman Catholic church was consencrated in Qatar. The only remaining Gulf state that officially bans non-mosques now is Saudi Arabia. Qatar has come a long way, the world too has noticed.Foreign investments have begun to pour into these countries, not that they need it.
Yet, at our home front, we see the opposite.We see rising intolerance for the minorities and difference are pointed out, instead of celebrated.The world is liberalizing,moving, accepting each other.And here, we are simply the opposite.'Pendatang' , 'bangsa asing', 'keling' , is used in no less than in the Parliament. Here in Malaysia, where we do rely on foreign investment, and should be mindful of their perception of us, these people do not seem to bother.After all, if everyone leaves Malaysia and the oil runs out, we can always eat sand, that is if they have not sold it all to Singapore.
People who lob Molokov cocktails into any building should be shot in the foot, left to bleed to death, revived and shot again.People who lob Molokov cocktails into places of worship ought to suffer the same fate, plus having to watch a rerun of Titanic while they bleed to death.
written by Emmanuel, January 11, 2010
There is a bigger issue worth considering here.If today, the government decides to tell me what to call (or rather, not call) my God, what's to stop this same government to tell me how to pray, what rituals I can and cannot perform, how my church design should look like and who my priest should be.
As the author mentioned Satan (or Shaitaan) , what if I am disallowed from using that term and asked to call the Devil 'Setan' or 'Syaitan Kristian'? Being Abrahamaic, Mosaic and Monotheistic,like Islam, we share too much in common. Our lineage of Prophets are almost identical.If we were to pick out all similiarities and be barred from professing whatever resembles Islamic teachings, we will end up with a totally different religion, maybe all that will be left of 'Christianity' will be Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.Paranoid?Maybe. But so is saying people will be confused over two words, or that 200,000 Muslims in Malaysia has converted to Christianity.
Come on la, we have been through so much together,Malaysia, I would be surprised if you could find me Muslims who actually read the Herald before this incident. So if something has not been bothering you before, why should it now?Arguments and points put forth by many 'instant' experts on religion are far from salient. Now, more than ever, Malaysia needs prayer, goodwill and patience. A whole lot of it.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

I am disappointed Dato Malakun

Dear sir, you, as a Catholic and as an UPKO man should be at the forefront of this peaceful struggle.Why are you conceding?While in liturgy, only a small part of Peninsula uses it, why then do you, a participant in a full Bahasa liturgy have to change your tone?
This is not a confrontation as some paint it to be.It is not an act of provocation. It is simply one big provoked misunderstanding stoked on by misinformation in the media, egged on by illogical but passionate speeches, fed by malovalent , mischevious ommisions,suspicious and ill-intended play-ups and overall , all rounded confusion that has led to this pot of problems.
The solution is as simple as the reason. Someone messed with the status quo, and in a country as sensitive as this one, one should not do that.As mentioned time and time again, there is a bigger picture to be held, to be seen.A nick in the status quo will go a long way in the erosion of minorities in this land nearly 2 million Christians call home.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Level Heads and Calm Minds

When I was a much younger, I remember I was shuttled into the Agama class of my school for looking 'Malay'(my parents are Indian and Chinese, respectively, I look quite Malay) .I remember my old school friends were mainly Malay. I have attended a string of their weddings recently and we laughed together happily remembering the old times at school. Race then was just a field in our forms, just a formality, it did not matter, apart from the fasting month.In my two classes where I was accidentally placed in Agama,  I remember one of the first lesson I learnt was the name of God, I learnt how to write Alif Lam Lam Ha. Alif is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. When I entered Form One, I read a translation of the Thirukurral, arguably one of the best religious books written in Tamil.The first lines of it was 'A Leads the letters of the Alphabet. The Lord leads the entire World. The first name of God I thought of was Allah, naturally.Anything with the name of God in it sounded awesome to me. Abdullah, son of God, sounded 'complete'. Michael, 'Who is Like God?' sounded powerful. Fast forward 10 years later, we are faced with a potential ignition point that threathens our very social fabric and way of life as Malaysians.All in the name of God.
Religion, both my own or otherwise, is a topic close to my heart.Being born into a mixed family,with Muslims, Christians. Hindus, Buddhists and such, religion fascinated me as a child. Books by Swami Prabupadh, Peter Yancey, Ronald Tacelli, Karen Armstrong,Zakir Naik are scattered in my room. My KJV study bible sits next to my most prized book of all, a nearly coverless 1920 Longman published, Yusuf Ali translation English Al-Quran.So forgive me, if I really do not see the problem here.Much has been said about the history of the early Church in East Malaysia, the etymological origins of the word Allah, how it is used the world over, how its use is even mentioned in the Al Quran et cetera, et cetera. I am not a biblical scholar, nor am I a Coptic Christian. But I am a Semenanjung Catholic. I have been singing 'anak Domba Allah'  in Doxology during Mass since I was in primary school. I am Selangorian.I have been singing 'Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku' for 12 years in school, and in every state function.So I really did not see the deal in it.If there is a big deal with it, let's talk about it.
The way I see it, History thinks it is OK- Herald has been around for more than 10 years, why the fuss now?A political party whose raison d 'etre is Islam, says its OK. An influential Islamic magazine in the US, along one of its most influential Muslim association says its OK. Quite a few local religious figures, local and abroad says its OK.Christians believe it is OK. Sikhs thinks its OK. Bahais think its OK.Sabahan and Sarawakien Christians thinks its OK. So who exactly thinks its not OK?And if its not OK, tell us why. Why burn down our churches? Why bully us because we are small in number? Why intimidate us using scare tactics?It is disheartening.
One does not provoke with his left hand and attempt to reconcile with his left. Please do not throw a stone and then pretend to pick it up and scold the imaginary person who threw it.You look stupid, and more importantly, you are toeing a dangerously precarious line.Please, there's politics and there's political prostitution.Be a politician, not a prostitute.
A colleague today asked me not to worry, when I told him that two churches had been torched, and I worried for mine, my priest and my family. He assured me most Muslims would not march with Pribumi Perkasa and a few other government connected non government organizations.God, and the world is watching he told me.The day PAS moved to diffuse the tension created by some quarters, I sent an SMS to my good friend in the PAS committee, thanking him, and told him that I owed their leaders a big hug. His reply was ' We just say it as it is, but we always welcome a hug'
Somehow, all this made me feel a little better.After all, God, and the world is watching.

To my Muslim brothers and sisters,
Those who know me well enough probably know the respect I have for every religion. Please consider this a personal plea. Let's let dialogue and conversation, prevail over street hooliganism.Before you proceed with the 'we are under siege',  'you guys started it', 'this is provocation!', 'you guys are getting big headed', and 'This is a Muslim country' usual arguments, please please just ask yourselves these questions.
1. Which religion is growing in Malaysia, which is shrinking?
2. How many Catholic- Muslim converts do you know? And how many vice versa?
3. Whose places of worship got torched?
4. Whose followers got threatened?
5  Who is forced out of their places of worship?
Please ask these questions, and tell me, who should be worried about the position of their religion.
Peace to us all.There is no way to peace, peace is the way.And God knows best.


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