Thursday, February 25, 2010
Another article which should have gone under my "Monday's Humour" column but decided to post it today because it is just simply too good to be missed or held back. Enjoy this article from Hafidz Baharom [The Malaysian Insider].
I’ll start with a deep sigh and state the obvious. We are not practising Sharia law. It’s a farce to make most Muslims feel good about their ‘holier than thou’ selves.
And honestly, if we were to truly follow Islamic law to the core, then most members of Parliament would have had their right hands surgically removed. If this was Pakistan, their arms would be road bumps.
Most banks would be closed down and their employees lose their lives for usury.
The Orang Asli cane fashioners would probably be the richest people in the nation due to their wares being used for law enforcement, alongside the medical professionals and butchers involved.
Plus, Ipoh’s marble quarries would make a killer profit for supplying raw materials for public stoning and our stadiums would probably be packed to the brim on Fridays to witness all these events.
Let’s not forget the public beheadings. Can’t help but wonder how many thoroughbred Muslims would be dragging human heads to the Selangor State Secretariat this time around.
I consider myself politically independent because I don’t fully support either of the Siamese twins we call the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat. This is probably due to the fact that neither of them can truly offer me what I want.
So in the next election, my vote is going to be based on who does the least Islamic things in the area of Shah Alam.
I am truly sorry to offend the Muslims, particularly the women, but when some of you state to the press that you “liked” people being caned as punishment...
I’m going to ask all of you to loosen your Aryani style hijabs just a bit because obviously not enough oxygen is getting to your heads.
If you haven’t heard, 4 men and 3 women were recently found guilty for having sex without being married.
First and foremost, I wonder who was representing these individuals who didn’t file for an appeal to stay the execution of the caning sentence, as stated by the code of conduct of the Federal Syariah Court.
Couldn’t said lawyer have filed an appeal and blown this event out of proportion for the media to highlight before the sentencing?
Or perhaps the said lawyer didn’t have any contact with Sisters In Islam?
According to our Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein the women have apparently been caned and found to have been “okay” with it. Maybe it’s just me, but the way the Home Minister described it is as if these women were whipped and then told to fill up a satisfactory survey card.
And of course, the men were not given the survey card at all. In fact nobody mentioned what happened to the men.
Our darling Home Minister decides to tell us of the whipping after it has taken place to avoid another Kartika fiasco. If you have been living under a shell, Kartika is the part-time model who is sentenced to be caned, wants to be caned, but the government can’t find a person to cane her, supposedly.
While the so-called Islamic NGOs are all congratulating the government on a job well done, others are quietly slapping their foreheads and wondering just how exactly this is going to turn out internationally.
What we have here is pure and simple cowardice by a government that is afraid of the public pressuring them. Thus, the blackout of information before the caning was done is a clear sign that this government has failed in remaining transparent in its dealings with the rakyat.
I equate this with the barbaric and cowardly actions of the Iranian government in the hanging of Delara Darabi, who was granted a two-month stay from the judiciary but was hanged anyway, before the public could be given any notice whatsoever on what the heck was going on.
I personally believe that our nation’s government has turned cowardly. And honestly, I think it’s because the nation’s balls have been skewered. Just look at the top of KLCC.
But then, I’m guessing that it’s just symbolic that Petronas has the nation by the balls.
Truth be told, that’s not the problem.
The problem here is we still think it right to cane women and men for having sex, and we’re not even talking about sadomasochism here. I don’t have a problem with people having sex, and I think others should bloody well mind their own business.
If there should be any concerns over people having sex, it’s contraception to avoid baby dumping and the spread of STDs, and drug prohibition to avoid date raping.
Other than that, the government and the religious community should seriously start focusing on cleaning up their own act.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If ever there was a case of hypocrisy and double standards about the caning of women, this must be one of them. It is despicable and crass and just shows how we are tumbling headlong into an abyss of sanctimoniousness and moral decay.
The news about a 15-year-old Malaysian teenager, by the name of Salsabila Yunan aka Bella has just broken, in the mainstream papers. Salsabila who calls herself an actress, ran off with an Indonesian man from Lombok. They are now married and she is 6 months pregnant. She has not even finished her PMR examinations. Her father was quoted as saying that Umno Youth had traced her and brought her home. Although he is grateful to them, she is unrepentant about her marriage. She says she would like her husband to come to Malaysia and look after her and the baby, and has asked for help from Umno and the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta, to furnish her husband with the appropriate travel papers.
First. This girl is underaged. Therefore, her husband, whose age we are not given, had sex with a minor. Even if it was consensual sex, it is still statutory rape. She could even have been 14 years old when she was made pregnant. In the recent debacle of three women being whipped, for illicit sex, the youngest woman was 17 years. Are we to understand that as Umno Youth were involved, this 15-year-old will escape punishment?
Second. How did she obtain the travel papers/documentation to go abroad? Even when I go overseas on holiday, with my young nephews and nieces accompanying me, I have to carry letters from their parents to say that I have not kidnapped these children (they have their own passports). Or are the immigration authorities only particular in western countries? If so, we need to upgrade our immigration policies.
Third. This 15-year old calls herself an ‘actress’. In the recent case of the three young women who were whipped recently, we are not told their backgrounds or professions, but the implication was that they were stay-at-home types, thus nothing as glamorous as this teenage celluloid celebrity. Are we to come to the conclusion, that Malaysia syariah justice considers housewifely types more punishable than so-called actresses? Or does Umno Youth’s involvement have a strong influence on who gets whipped or not?
Fourth. Both the Malaysian Embassy and Umno have been asked by Salsabila to help her husband with his documentation. I agree. Just prepare the international arrest warrant for him. Actually, why not just let the Indonesians arrest him and let him languish in an Indonesian jail. That might save our foreign embassy some money, on air-fares and custody costs.
Five. This girl seems more upset that she has been dragged home because her father is ill. She sounds very ungrateful and more concerned about her husband’s well-being. Maybe she should have been left in Lombok.
The recent whippings have highlighted many irregularities in our syariah laws. The Malaysian authorities seem unfazed by the domestic and international condemnation s. And naturally, those of us who question certain aspects of this punishment, risks being labeled as trouble-makers or anti-Islam.
Nevertheless, we watch with interest if this 15-year old, who was rescued by Umno Youth, will receive the same treatment as the three women who were recently whipped. Its early days yet and she may of course, give herself up voluntarily to the authorities, out of guilt, just like the other three did. But, let’s not hold our breath.
[Source: The Malaysian Insider]
After reading the above, I just can't help but feel an abyss of despair when our laws, be they civil or syariah, are strictly not adhered to. So as we can see, there is actually no religious strife amongst us Malaysians, but political ones, all manufactured by none other than UMNO.
Monday, February 22, 2010
She was earlier taken to the Hospital Batu Pahat at 9am.
The late Selangor political aide’s sister, Teoh Lee Lan, was unable to shed further light on the mother’s condition when contacted.
“I’m not really sure about this right now. Clarify with you later” she replied through a text message.
Lee Lan later announced that the family will hold a press conference at the Batu Pahat hospital at 3pm today.
Soh was inducted into the Teoh family according to traditional Chinese rites last October, and was two months pregnant when her fiancé was found dead.
The couple was scheduled to register their marriage last July 17, which was dashed following Teoh’s untimely death.
The 30-year-old political secretary to Selangor executive councillor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, had been questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating claims his boss had misused state funds.
His body was found sprawled on a 5th-floor corridor outside the MACC office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam the next day. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated by the coroner’s court.
A guy with an office on 103rd floor of the World Trade Centre spent the morning at his girlfriend's apartment with his phone turned off. He wasn't watching TV either.
When he turned the phone back on about 11am, it rang immediately. It was his hysterical wife, "Are you OK? Where are you?"
He said, "What do you mean? I'm in my office of course."
His marriage ended. He lost his job. He is single again.
A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem.
While they were there, the wife passed away.
The undertaker told the husband, “You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her, in the Holy Land, for $150.”
The man thought about it and said he preferred to have her shipped home.
The undertaker asked, “Why would you spend $5,000 to shipped when it would be wonderful to be buried here on the Holy Land?”
The man replied, “Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and 3 days later he rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance.”
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Driving is more than just being able to operate a car. Frighteningly, the problem of unlicensed drivers is a huge one on Malaysian roads. It is alleged that there are several hundred thousand unlicensed drivers in the country.
Thus, the policeman, the DPP and the judge who jailed and fined Warid Said Zuraish Khan for driving without a driving licence in Johor, on Feb 5, seem the only models of clear thinking in our corrupt society.
We are so accustomed to hearing and reading about how the law is constantly being broken but without the perpetrators being brought to justice. Wrong-doers are routinely released for lack of evidence or simply let off the hook. Therefore, the sentencing of Warid Khan is welcome news.
Empty promises of leaders
We are constantly told that corruption will be investigated, only for the long-drawn out cases to arrive at an unsatisfactory conclusion. It is depressingly evident that the promises of various leaders have not been sustained.
Severe deterrents are effective. But our lawmakers don't necessarily act in the public's best interests. It happens in most if not all facets of our society, not just in traffic offences.
Take for instance the outcome of a major bus crash. Bus companies have strenuously objected to compulsory training for their drivers because it is too expensive to implement. But the alternative is more costly. Reputations are at stake and insurance premiums are increased. And more importantly, people get injured or die. No one can put a price on lives that are lost, as every death is unacceptable.
But, as always, the short-term remedy, or the quick-fix measure is preferred to the long-term solution. So we go through the same rigmarole of investigation, meetings, the blame-game and rigid enforcement (for a limited time period or at least till the fuss dies down). Until the next major bus crash, when the whole process is repeated.
It has happened with migrant workers. The government is aware of the problem but refuses to tackle it head-on. The crackdown on illegal workers this Chinese New Year was postponed to appease certain sections of society. Trying to halt or reduce dependence on migrant labour is economically damaging. The government wants to meet its economic needs, but at what cost?
We also have maintenance issues of wives in divorce cases. Single mothers struggle to raise families because men ignore the responsibility of providing financial support. Ex-husbands are not prosecuted for non-payment.
Enforcement and implementation of rules are tardy. The victims, the mothers and their children, often give up. Funding of RM15m to aid single mothers is side-stepping the real issue. This aid, proposed for Muslim women, may be extended to the other races. It is the symptom of the problem that is being tackled, but not the problem itself.
Well known problem
Driving without a valid licence is a serious but well known problem in Malaysia. It is said that uninsured drivers also cost the insurance industry millions of ringgits every year. People refuse to take driving lessons and be tested.
These offenders come from all walks of life: children from wealthy families drive without valid licences, with parents condoning their actions. They are well connected and call-in favours from influential people to extricate their offspring from being penalised because of a traffic offence. Otherwise, out-of-court settlements, in a bid to prevent prosecutions, are the norm.
Then, there are others who simply 'purchase' a driving license without undergoing the lessons, lectures, theory and practical tests.
High insurance premiums and low penalty fines are suspected of encouraging people to drive uninsured. Unlicensed drivers are ignorant of the consequences. In the event of accidents, victims are responsible for the costs and their insurance premiums will increase, causing them financial hardship.
The law is in place for the safety of all road users. We should ask ourselves if we are prepared to be driven by an unlicensed driver. He or she may not have a clue about road markings, traffic signs, speed limits, where to give way, who has priority, etcetera. Do we want to risk out lives with them at the wheel?
In the Johor case, Warid Khan, a 22-year old Pakistani, was driving his relative's lorry, when he was stopped by police constable Mohamad Junaidi Mahmood. The lorry driver did not have a driving licence and tried to bribe the policeman with a RM50 fine.
End result: People's confidence
In the end, Judge Alman Musri sentenced Warid to a day's jail and fined him RM10,000 to reflect the severity of his crime.
Warid considered this a harsh punishment but he should try and imagine what would have happened had he caused serious injury or even death. He also probably wished he never offered the sweetener to the policeman who was merely carrying out his duty.
The constable's actions are to be commended for we are only too aware of the untold damage others in his profession have caused.
Enforcement and prosecution should be routine rather than sporadic or only before a festival. Justice must be seen to be delivered and the rule of law observed. Our roads would be safer, we'd have increased revenue from fines, encourage a less corrupt society and have safety-conscious road users.The end result is that the business and financial institutions and Malaysian people, will feel more confident with our public services. — Mariam Mokhtar/Malaysian Mirror