Saturday, August 25, 2012

They are back!!

This time, the victims are the family of the late M Nagamah, whose body, correction, ashes were taken away by the South Seberang Prai Religious Department as they claimed she was a converted Muslim

Although it was later confirmed that the deceased was indeed a Muslim, but the way the whole matter was handled leaves much to be desired.

Can these Muslim officers from the religious department try to visualise this - you are about to bury one of your kin according to Muslim rites.  In the midst of the family grief, out of the blues comes a group of Hindu religious people demanding that the body be handed over to them because the dead person was a converted Hindu.

How do you think the family will feel? Traumatised would be the word. So, can some of the religious departments, whether it is MAIS, JAIS or SPS, come out with a system where a better approach be made when claiming the body from the grieving family, and to finally lay the body to rest?

Just snatching the body away while the entire family is in grief is most callous and insensitive, to say the least.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chris Hedges says it all

Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and war correspondent specializing in American and Middle Easter politics and societies. His most recent book, written with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, is Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012). The book shows the consequences of unregulated capitalism by reporting from "sacrifice zones", the poorest pockets of the United States such as Camden New Jersey and the the coal fields of southern West Virginia "that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit".

Talam, what Talam?

The following was written by a certain "Moo" which I am happy to reproduce as follows.

I would like to comment on Selangor MCA's recent shiok sendiri (self gratifying) conference that if any party wants to win the vote of the people these days, it should start showing they can do some real work, instead of going on and on like a broken record about how the other party stinks (or stinks more than they do).

Does MCA really think Selangorians are so stupid, or do they just enjoy insulting us? We voted for Pakatan in Selangor, so you are tantamount to saying we are idiots. So far the Selangor government has done far better than any of you Barisan people in the last 50 years.

Harping on Talam will not win you any points. If anything, it makes you look plain stupid. As a taxpayer, I do not care about Talam except for the fact that the state made millions for our coffers. That is good enough for me.

What I do care about is when the state loses money, such as in the past when Talam under BN owed the state millions and it was not recovered, such as when we the taxpayers had to bail out PKFZ's bond holders billions.

And by the way, aren't those all MCA past presidents who are being charged over PKFZ? Have you got a selective memory, Selangor MCA?

You rant on and on about the Talam White Paper, but do us a favour and get us the White Paper on PKFZ's billion ringgit scandal, on the MAS million ringgit bailout using our funds, the lucrative deals given to highway concessionaires, the White Paper on Syabas' failure to manage water resources and losses in contrast to its directors' millions in salaries... the list will go on and on and on.

And the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry where Chua Tee Yong is deputy minister, what about the RM250 million scandal where there are no cows but plenty of condominiums?

Also what about the auditor-general's report on your own ministry's missing millions for the Selangor padi farmers' incentives?

These are all loss-making ventures, MCA, not Talam. Go put up banners demanding a White Paper on all these, and maybe, just maybe, the Chinese will start listening to you again. Just maybe.


It is without a doubt that MCA today is already a lost cause, and just to stay relevant (which is fading day by day), they have no choice but to embark on nit-picking sprees.  Chua Tee Yong tries to do a Rafizi act but fails miserably, especially when his early press conferences lack depth and preparations.  Chua Tee Yong might as well give up his crusade against the Selangor state government, if only he knows that no one is listening anymore, or at all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Muslim raps to soothe the pain of the Sikhs

Zaki Syed (pic), a clean-cut Muslim American rapper in glasses and blue jeans, has become one of the loudest voices for tolerance and understanding in the wake of the Wisconsin Sikh massacre.

His impassioned rap, "Sikh Temple Shooting," moved many of the 500 worshippers to tears Sunday at the Spiritual Life Center's services at Sacramento City College.

Syed also performed at the state Capitol during a candlelight vigil Friday night. It touched on basic Sikh beliefs of tolerance and community service, as well as the magnitude of the tragedy when a 40-year-old white supremacist went on a rampage Aug. 5 at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, killing six people and himself.

The devils and the hate mongers are in the shadows lurking – but when we see each other as persons, goodness starts working ...

All I see in the Sikh community is the greatness of love, faces of love, still rising above.

Syed, 24, is a sociology graduate student at California State University, Sacramento. The son of Pakistani immigrants, he was born in Santa Clara. His family moved to Roseville when Syed was 10.

He attended Woodcreek High School, Silverado Middle School and Quail Glen Elementary School. In the rap he described what happened to him in his eighth-grade class after Sept. 11, 2001.

"The next day after the shooting bothered me alot, and brought up PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) memories I thought I had forgot."

As a Muslim and Pakistani American, Syed said, he empathizes with the pain Sikhs feel when they are attacked.

After 9/11, he wrote about being singled out in a rap entitled "Islam is P-e-a-c-e."

Went to class, opened the door, staring at me like I robbed a store … Sat down in my seat with a glare hard to beat … Kids all screaming 'They hit us at dawn, they hit us at dawn.'

Kid said 'Zaki's a terrorist,' punched him and I hadn't missed … But violence is never the way, I still had a lot to learn that day ...

The Rev. Michael Moran, who had invited Syed to perform that rap at the Spiritual Life Center, said Syed and other Muslim youths from the SALAM Islamic Center worked with church youths after 9/11 to spread peace and understanding.

Moran made Syed the centerpiece of Sunday's service featuring Dr. Gurtej Singh Cheema and four Sikh youths.

"Our practices are different, but our beliefs are identical," Moran said of Sikhism and his Christian congregation.

Cheema, clad in a saffron-colored turban, declared, "When you look for God within, not with empty rituals or outward dress, only then can you see God in others."

Then Syed took the stage and explained how Sikhs are often confused with Muslims, though their beliefs are quite different.

At high school in Roseville, "Sikh kids stepped in when I was about to get hurt and said, 'He's with us'."

One of his Sikh friend's fathers was beaten up on a bus for wearing a turban, Syed said. And another friend's grandfather was one of two Sikh elders slain while on their afternoon stroll through Elk Grove in March 2011.

"Not once did anybody blame me as a Muslim. They just protected me," he told the crowd. "Hope people can finally understand they're peaceful people, and what great friends they are."

Syed first began rapping after he was cut from his middle school basketball team. When he realized his raps inspired people and cut across race, age and religion, he rapped about 9/11, the struggles of South Asian kids caught between ancient traditions and American-style freedoms, and disasters such as a Pakistan earthquake, a Bangladesh flood and the tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

His words have moved people across racial and ethnic barriers.

"Zaki's an amazing young man," said Andy Noguchi of the Florin Japanese American Citizens League, a civil rights advocacy group for people of Japanese descent.

"He came on our pilgrimage to the Manzanar internment camp a couple of years ago, performed for hundreds of people, and blew people away with his thoughts and feelings about events like this and civil rights."

Syed said his CD production team, Desi 916, includes several Sikhs.

The soft-spoken Syed roared like a lion once he took the microphone Sunday. He recalled the faces of the slain Sikh's family members.

I felt my anger rise as I thought about the daughter who would never get to hear her father's voice again …

I understood that racism was something to which we could both relate, so we promised each other we would do something great – one day teach the United States not to discriminate based on religion or race.

Sunday's crowd gave him a standing ovation.

"It made me search my soul, and question how I can change," said R.J. Bullen, 52.

"It opened me up," said Richard Mullock, 24. "We all feel the same way; we are all human beings and a reflection of God, regardless of pigment."

Jasmeet Kaur, a 16-year-old Sikh girl who also spoke Sunday, remarked: "Zaki was brilliant. He said he didn't have any money, but what he has, he gave it all."

Maybe Hasan Ali, Ibrahim Ali and UMNO could learn a thing or two from Zaki Syed about caring for one another in a society we live in, and who knows, our country may still be a wonderful place to live in.

UMNO Youth - a test of Section 114A

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will lodge a police report today over a controversial posting on a Facebook page purportedly owned by the political wing that has sparked a public uproar over its provocative religious message in the run-up to national polls.

The Rembau MP took to Twitter to distance the wing from the controversy after it was reported by The Malaysian Insider yesterday, the start of the Muslim holiday Aidilfitri.

“Yes, not our FB page,” he said in a reply to a follower on his Twitter account ‏@Khairykj.

“Update: We have narrowed down the admin of the unsanctioned Pemuda UMNO FB page w/ offensive post. We will lodge a police report tomorrow,” Khairy (picture) added.

He did not disclose the identity of the administrator or any further information.

Lokman Noor Adam, an Umno Youth executive council member, also denied knowledge of the controversial posting or that the wing had a Facebook page.

“Pemuda Umno does not have a FB page. We only have an official website,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted today, referring to the popular social network by its initials.

“This is the first time I am hearing such a thing,” he said, adding that he was unaware of any picture being uploaded on the Facebook account bearing the Malay party’s name and logo.

Lokman also said that he had not been told of any police complaint being filed over the provocative posting and attempted to play down the controversy.

“I don’t think anyone cares about the picture and what it says,” he said.

The controversial posting was first posted on the eve of Aidilfitri, and had read: “Jika anda setuju untuk jadikan KRISTIAN sebagai agama rasmi persekutuan Malaysia, teruskan sokongan anda kepada Pakatan Rakyat. (If you agree to make CHRISTIANITY the official religion of the federation of Malaysia, continue supporting Pakatan Rakyat.) ‘God bless you my son’.”

The Facebook post appeared to suggest that a vote for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will catapult Christianity into Islam’s unquestioned position as Malaysia’s religion, showing that faith is still being used to scare off the crucial Malay-Muslim vote in the run-up to national polls.

The picture is a reminder of Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, which last year placed on its front page an unsubstantiated report suggesting that the DAP was conspiring with the Church to install a Christian as prime minister and create a Christian Malaysian state.

It triggered an uproar on the popular social network with some cyber citizens, supporting the statement and others condemning Umno Youth for attempting to fan emotions and religious sentiments between Christians and Muslims on the eve of Aidilfitri, one of the biggest holidays in multicultural Malaysia’s calendar.

PR opposition leaders have also slammed Umno Youth for the incendiary message and demanded that party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak take action to rein in the wing.

The provocative posting was taken down about 6.30pm last Saturday, after drawing nearly 300 comments on the Facebook page.

[Source: The MI]

Sorry, Khairy, Section 114A of the Evidence Act is very clear that whoever publishes such seditious article is deemed guilty unless the author can prove his innocence.  Now let's sit back and enjoy the show, to see how this new amendment to the Act is going to take its course or will the guilty party be let off the hook by some flimsy excuses.