Bananachinese’s Weblog

December 25, 2007

On the day before Christmas, BN gave to me…

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Life, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 2:00 pm

Please advise me, my dear Malay friends out there – will this branding of words like ‘Allah’ for exclusive use by Malaysian Malays by the BN government do wonders to cement the Malay faith in Islam?

Despite whatever put me downs, I still wanna believe in Peace and love for 2008.

Can we tell our ‘leaders’ to move away from just ‘tolerating’ each other. I accept and do not ‘tolerate’ my fellow Malaysians and I cringe in horror everytime our BN leaders use the word loudly and proudly. Do you know that at the other end of ‘tolerate’ is ‘persecute’? If BN is our moral guardians, then they are doing shit after 50 years eg: our property can be stolen, no reaction to complaints of misappropriation by orang dalam, law is made a fool of, etc.

Here’s something from Malaysiakini below for you to ponder upon. Let us pray for God’s continual guidance for all Rakyat Malaysia to live in wisdom and to demonstrate plenty of loving kindness for each and everyone of different religious denominations and spiritual needs.

Sabah church sues PM over book ban

Soon Li Tsin | Dec 24, 07 4:46pm

A Sabah church has sued the government and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his capacity as internal security minister for not allowing the import of Christian literature from Indonesia containing the word ‘Allah’.

Sabah Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Church president Pastor Jerry Dusing filed the suit on behalf of the church at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Dec 10 after six titles for their Sunday school education for children were banned from being imported.

The church is also asking the court to compel the minister to return the consignment of materials that were ‘unlawfully detained’ by customs officers at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal on Aug 15.

According to letters from the ministry, the books were banned because the Bahasa Indonesia publications contained various words that are exclusive only to Islam.

The words in contention are ‘Allah’ (God), ‘Baitullah’ (House of God), ‘Solat’ (prayer) and ‘Kaabah’ (The Sacred House).

The letters state that the ministry is allowed to stop any propagation of religious doctrine or belief to Muslims in accordance with Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution allowing certain words to be restricted and prohibited from use.

The ministry explained that the prohibition was due to the uneasiness felt in the community during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the issue has become sensitive and been classified as a security issue.

It also stated further that the publications can raise confusion and controversy in the Malaysian society.

Dursing’s affidavit rebuts several of these points including the use of Alkitab – the Bahasa Indonesia translation of the Holy Bible – where the word ‘Allah’ appears.

“The Christian usage of ‘Allah’ predates Islam. ‘Allah’ is the name of God in the old and the modern Arabic Bible.

“The Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia translations of the Holy Bible have been used by Christian native peoples in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak for generations,” it stated.

Educational purpose

He also noted that the publications was for educational purposes within the church and was not for sale or distribution outside the church.

“The publications will not be made available to members of the public and in particular to a person professing the religion of Islam.

“The publications contain nothing which is likely to cause public alarm or which touches on the sensitivities of Islam,” the affidavit read.

A range of constitutional provision were also raised by the applicants. The hearing for the application for leave in the Kuala Lumpur High Court is scheduled to take place on Dec 27.

The controversy over the use of ‘Allah’ in non-Islam publications recently surfaced when Herald – the largest Catholic newspaper – was facing problems when renewing its annual publishing permit because of the word ‘Allah’ was used in referring to ‘God’ in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The ministry has told the publisher to remove the entire Bahasa Malaysia section or the permit will not be renewed when it expires next week.

Asked for an explanation on the matter, Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum said the word ‘Allah’ can only be used in the context of Islam and not any other religion.

The Herald, which is published in four languages – English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil – has a circulation of 12,000.

December 21, 2007

Vodpod autopost test

Filed under: Citizenry, Media — Tags: , , , , — bananachinese @ 1:48 am

Hello from Vodpod!

Hehehe…gonna put up videos for you to open your ears and minds…

December 19, 2007

New year, new look for Malaysiakini, Malaysia-today and Mylivingwall.com

Filed under: Announcement, Citizenry, Life, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 1:51 am

Interesting discovery…

All three Malaysian news/opinion websites changing to new look for 2008. All at nearly the same time…

Malaysiakini giving voice to the opposition,

Malaysia-today giving voice to all,

Mylivingwall.com giving voice to ??? [p/s: Check out their raw videos.]

Hooray! More variety of viewpoints for Malaysians to kick start/tickle their grey matter and practice civil engagement on the net and hopefully spillover to real life. Then only Malaysia has hope for a new generation of real leaders. Leaders who can read, write, speak and more importantly, listen and engage with the people. Not frustrate the people with new tolls, fascist thinking, stupid utterances, wasteful projects…. I can go on and on. But new year is coming and so,

Peace and Love, everybody.

December 16, 2007

Message of peace and love for Malaysians

Filed under: Announcement, Forum, Life, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 1:51 am

It’ll be Hari Raya Haji, Christmas and a New Year soon.

Wish we could spend the rest of 2007 as Malaysians.

For a short moment, is it possible for us to take a step back and ignore UMNO & its clowns. Just for a moment, pretend Bersih and Hindraf did not happen. Can?

Here’s a simple message from a respected reverend.

Peace and love, people…

December 14, 2007

US demands due process for ISA arrests?

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Life, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 1:53 pm

No country is isolated from global scrutiny and compliance to civil/human rights standards nowadays.

Will mainstream papers like The Star carry this news tomorrow?

Malaysiakini carries a report from AFP on the ISA arrests of Hindraf movers below. Singapore’s The Straits Times also carry this report.

 

US demands due process for ISA arrests AFP | Dec 14, 07 10:28am

The United States demanded that Malaysia provide fair treatment to five leaders of a rights group held under a security law that allows for indefinite detention without trial.

 

The five from the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), pushing for an end to discrimination of ethnic Indians in multi-racial Malaysia, were picked up yesterday and ordered held under the feared Internal Security Act (ISA).

 

“Our expectation as a government is that these individuals would be provided the full protections under Malaysian law, that they would be given due process, that they would be accorded all the rights accorded to any other citizen, and that this be done in a speedy and transparent manner,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

 

Hindraf enraged the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last month by mustering at least 30,000 people to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to highlight various issues facing ethnic Indians, including lack of economic opportunities and destruction of Hindu temples.

 

Police used tear gas, water cannons and baton charges to break up the protests.

 

“It is our firm position that those individuals who want to peacefully express themselves in a political forum or any other forum should be allowed to do so,” McCormack told reporters.

 

Human rights groups have campaigned for the abolition of the ISA, a law that they say has been abused by the authorities.

 

The ISA is currently being used to hold more than 100 people, including about 80 alleged Islamic militants.

 

Human Rights Watch, a US group, said the arrest was “outrageous.”

“We have said over and over again that the ISA should be abolished and there is no room for holding people, never mind indefinitely, without charge and trial,” said Mickey Spiegel, the group’s Asia division senior researcher.

 

Erasing Hindu heritage

The Malaysian government has always used deadly race riots in 1969 as a reason for controls on freedom, even though some groups believe that after 50 years of independence, Malaysians are matured enough to discuss their grievances openly.

 

“Malaysian authorities are obligated, like any sovereign countries’ government, to balance the need for public order with equally important need for robust and free debate of issues important to Malaysian citizens,” a State Department official said.

 

“It is our hope that the Malaysia government will allow the freest possible debate,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a US non-profit law firm that helps defend freedom of all religions, charged that the destruction of Hindu temples – some built before the start of the British colonial period almost two centuries ago – could be an attempt to erase Hindu heritage in Malaysia.

Hindraf claimed one temple was being demolished every three weeks.

 

“What I have heard from people is really that in destroying these temples, they are trying to destroy evidence of how long the Hindu faith has been a part of Malaysia, particularly in the context of advancing Islamisation and of the equation of Islam with nationalism in Malaysia,” said Angela Wu, the Fund’s international law director.

 

Hindraf has filed a four trillion dollar lawsuit against Britain for alleged atrocities suffered by Indians whose forefathers were brought as indentured laborers to Malaysia during colonial rule.

 
 

December 11, 2007

Bersih: Roads to Parliament blocked

Dear PM Badawi,

A handful of your people are increasing their attempts to communicate with you. Their outreach methods via demonstrations, etc may be clumsy, ‘intolerant’ and ‘not the Malaysian way’ but please do take a listen to them. Please give these people who may have voted for you in 2004, a chance to reach out to you.

In 2004, I believed in your image of a ‘persuasive leader‘. I still want to believe it.

Dominant and institutional leaderships just do not cut it anymore.

Do connect with your people, especially the disenchanted ones. Use blue ocean strategy or whatever that’s believeable and workable. I’m sure you have with you, suitable advisors with adequate life experiences to assist you through.

Breaking news from Malaysiakini.

December 10, 2007

Hindraf, Bersih, demonstrations: Why this now?

Been too busy lately.

But I must share with you this comment received from Fairuz. I feel what Fairuz felt too. Sometimes, I feel different. Sometimes, I feel cheated. Sometimes, I feel vindicated. Sometimes, I feel angry. Sometimes, I feel nothing. Sometimes I don’t want to read Malaysiakini. Sometimes I avoid reading any mainstream newspapers.

People, how can we open our hearts and minds? How can we give all brothers/sisters a helping hand? How can we heal and move on?

“How many of you here really know about 13′th May 1969? How much do you all know the meaning of apartheid? How long you want peace in Malaysia? How do you feel as a Malaysian? Have you ever thinking the result from that incident? Do you know who behind it? Don’t just talk emotionally. Think wisely. I don’t ever want “13′th May 1969″ happen again. Why don’t you all do some reading about how Malaysia get “Merdeka”. How much blood were spill. How many people die. Don’t make this thing bigger. No one will get advantages if “13′th May 1969″ happen again. There will more pain in your heart. We all live in Malaysia. This is our land. Protect it. Love it. For 50 years we can live peacefully with each other. Why this now?

In my opinion…there some people want to make all Malaysian fighting each other. Riot won’t solve any problems. Its only will cost you more than you can imagine.”

Comment by Fairuz — December 10, 2007 @ 2:57 am

Bananachinese’s says:

Indeed, Fairuz.

Why this now?

Something must be wrong somewhere making our people unthinking and unknowing and so emotional. Any suggestions how this wrong can be unwronged?

December 6, 2007

Hindraf: Protesters charged with attempted murder

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Life, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 11:56 am

How’s your Malaysian spirit and faith in justice today? Shaken but not stirred? Or apathetic still?

Government of the Barisan Nasional, still got time to respond and get on with your genuine national conversation now with rakyat (and I do not mean schmoozing with those with $$, lar).

See extract from Malaysiakini today:

Five more Hindraf protesters were charged with attempted murder at the Shah Alam Sessions Court today, joining the 26 charged yesterday.

They are jointly charged with using criminal force against policeman Dedi Abd Rani in front of the Sri Subramaniam temple at Batu Caves, between 1am and 8am on Nov 25, 2007.

“The message this charge sends to people is that if you gather in a place of worship and in the course of worship an incident happens, someone is injured, there is a likelihood you can be charged for murder,” defence lawyer GK Ganesan told the Shah Alam Sessions Court Wednesday morning.

“This is the first time in the history of Malaysia people participating in an unlawful assembly have been charged with attempted murder,” he said. “This is not a good thing,” he added, as he attempted to have the charges dropped.

Why Bail cannot?

At yesterday’s proceedings Attorney-General Abdul Gani proceeded to submit on why he was objecting bail.

His main point was that the offence for attempted murder and causing mischief was not bailable.

This was followed by the submission made by lead defence counsel GK Ganesan, who urged the court to grant bail to the accused. He then showed 15 photographs obtained from a website which depicted police action during the incident at the Batu Caves temple. “My suggestion is that these photographs do not absolve my client (of the alleged crime), but the photographs show that their innocence is plausible,” he added.

Ganesan also said that the photographs were meant to show that there was no sufficient evidence to charge the accused.

In his reply, Abdul Gani however countered Ganesan’s arguments by saying that the photographs had indeed implicated the accused.

Referring to the second photograph produced by Ganesan, Abdul Gani said, “Their fist are pumped in the air and fingers pointing upwards. This is not peaceful.”

Click box for examples of fists pumped in the air and fingers pointing upwards: Fists up

December 3, 2007

Response to I’m Malay [Hindraf: Ordinary people’s feelings]

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Parliament, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 11:23 am

Dear I’m Malay,

I hear you. You have articulated very well the feelings of many of my Malay friends. In fact, you have articulated very well the feelings of many Malaysians I know.

We just need to transplant ‘Chinese’ or ‘Indian’ to replace whereever you have the word ‘Malay’.

Although I do not agree with HINDRAF sending their petition to the British Queen, I understand that they resorted to this after attempts to send memo to our PM generated silence.

And this sort of silence is very hurting to any citizens who look up to the government to address their grievances (perceived or real, it is the duty of the government to resolve problems of rakyat so that rakyat can get on with life)

Do not be surprised many non-Malays ‘do not’ understand the special rights of Malays designed 50 years ago. You see, in today’s global standards, awareness of civil rights, equal rights and human rights for all brothers and sisters, it has become hard to comprehend the protectionism. And it has become harder for those caught in the daily rat race to understand why the ‘privileged’ still cannot catch up despite years of protectionism under the care of its appointed caretakers.

Everyday Malaysians I see are really ‘kawan’ and sensitive to each other’s feelings. Examples of extreme extravagances by some privilege ones despite lack of evident honest and fair competition; just magnifies daily life’s hurts.

Malay privilege is protected by Federal Constitution, nobody is disputing it. In fact the rights of all Malaysians of whatever race are protected too. The question is how to balance it honestly. “Nothing in this Article [153] shall operate to deprive or authorise the deprivation of any person of any right, privilege, permit or licence accrued to or enjoyed or held by him or to authorise a refusal to renew to any person any such permit or licence or a refusal to grant to the heirs, successors or assigns of a person any permit or licence when the renewal or grant might reasonably be expected in the ordinary course of events.” [Article153 (7)]

The government just need to administer the country according to law and make sure Parliament is functioning with useable legislations that can facilitate honest livelihoods.

P/S: JKR and tolls dominated by Indian workers mostly at low level jobs. Good projects dominated by Indians? Can we have any real life examples?

December 1, 2007

The road to Hindraf… (Part I)

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Parliament, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 12:06 am

Dear Indian,

Yes, agree that last Sunday was a peaceful rally… until the FRU and police got carried away in their zest to keep the people away from their destinations. The minute I saw Gandhi’s pictures being carried by the people at the rally, I knew without a doubt something painful must have driven the usually docile people to this act of civil disobedience.

There is a serious, nay, an urgent need to educate our government to send the FRU and police to be trained properly on ‘crisis’ management. A civilised government takes pains to ensure safety of all its citizens, be they happy or unhappy ones. Government agents undertakes to protect citizens rights (Democracy means citizens give power to voted in government of the day to manage and administer the country on behalf of the citizens). There is no need for the government’s frivolous jesters to spit out unthoughtful utterances or provocation onto the citizens.

To your question of why application for assembly permits not given by authorities, I am also stumped. Because if so a permit is need for assembly, all of us must be hauled up to courts for participating in illegal assemblies. Many, many times. Here’s where most of us committed the crime of illegal assembly (Note applied logic: No police permit = illegal assembly)

1. Sunday church

2. Friday prayers at mosques

3. Temple congregations

4. Dataran Merdeka, Lake Gardens, KLCC, Bukit Bintang, ecetera

You can imagine how many people assemble at these places. Did the people who gather at these places need apply for police permits for right to assembly? As it is an assembly at public places does it mean police permit must be obtained before a group of friends can assemble???

The mind boggles at the illogical logic. Serious work needed to be done here by the parliamentarians. You see, it be the sole reason for existence for Parliament to push through for changes and updates in legislation. That’s why MPs are also called ‘lawmakers’. If there ain’t no updates to ye olde emergency laws, this means our MPs are having nice relaxing time at our tax payers expenses.

Suggestion: Lobby to set up a Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform

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