Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas & New Year

The North Borneo Herald wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Malaysia Not Merely A Slogan

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has clarified that his 1Malaysia policy is not merely a slogan but a philosophy.

With his statement it is hoped that those who seek to undermine the PM's 1Malaysia should wake up and toe the line, especially right wing extremist who have been making insensitive comments against non-Malays and non-Muslims in this country.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Libyan Dictator Ghaddafi Dies

Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi who ruled the country for 42 years died yesterday. Ghaddafi died in a gunfight in the town of Sirte between his loyal bodyguards and rebels who have taken over the country.

Ghaddafi and his bodyguards were in a convoy of army vehicles when they were attacked from air by NATO forces. Ghaddafi and his men then took cover in a drain beside the road.

Soon, Libyan rebels found them and asked them to surrender. Ghaddafi refused and his men opened fire. The rebels won the battle and Ghaddafi was taken prisoner. He later died of the wounds sustained in the gunfight.

Ghaddafi came to power in 1969 in a coup. He discarded the constitution and ruled with an iron fist.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zealots To Rally Against A Non-Issue

A radical Muslim organization based in Malaya known as Muslim Organizations Group (HIMPUN) is to launch a massive rally against so-called proselytizing of non-Muslim religions to Muslims.

The basis of the rally itself in the first place is weak. The proselytizing of Islam to non-Muslims is done on large scale from the day non-Muslim children attend primary school. Children are made to hear Islamic prayers daily. Islamic values are disseminated directly or indirectly on a daily basis. History syllabuses are mostly on Islamic religion and its history.

Studying Islam is compulsory even for non-Muslim students at the tertiary level.

Television, radio and newspapers talk about the beauty of Islam and it is not unusual to see, read or hear interviews of non-Muslims who convert to Islam in the mainstream media.

Then there are also bookstores openly selling books which ridicule or criticise other religions with Christianity being the usual target.

Non-Muslim civil servants seldom enjoy the promotions like their Muslim counterparts and this actually entices some non-Muslims to convert to Islam for fast-track promotions.

Non-Muslims who convert to Islam are paid cash in the guise of "wang bantuan muallaf" which is a big pull factor for large non-Muslim families who are poor.

Conversion to Islam is also a pre-condition for non-Muslims who wish to marry Muslims.

On the other hand, proselytizing to Muslims by other religions is a crime in many Malaysian states though the laws are still hazy. The Islamic religious police can storm any non-Islamic place of worship if there is even a rumour about Muslims converting out of Islam.

Muslims who convert out of Islam are unconstitutionally detained in many states like the case of Kamariah Ali of Kelantan and Revathi Masoosai of Malacca.

Muslim civil servants who convert out of Islam also face the prospect of discplinary action.

Non-Muslim places of worship depend on public donations for maintenance and non-Muslim organizations do not have the financial prowess of Islamic authorities nor the government's backing.

Non-Muslim religious programmes are not allowed on all national broadcasts and neither are non-Muslims allowed to say religious prayers in conjunction with their religious holidays on television or radio.

Therefore HIMPUN's rally is mind-boggling. If anything this can easily be misconstrued as a rally against non-Muslims, in particularly Christians.

It is a known fact that there is a growing anti-Christian sentiment in Malaysia ever since the opposition won five states in the 2008 elections. The burning of churches, attempts to ban the Malay Bible despite having been used since pre-independence days, storming church halls during functions despite not having enough evidence to charge attendees and the government's continued tolerance of some of these acts may be testament to this.

After all it is a known fact that the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) had lost significant Malay Muslim votes in 2008, and religion is an issue which could easily attract the Malays.

With the 13th general elections coming soon, a massive rally against so-called "Christianization" could be the atom bomb against political enemies of UMNO.

But what is fearful is the effect it will have on the Christian population in Malaysia. The fact that Christian leaders in Sabah has kept quiet for so long is disheartening and it is only hoped that such ill-feelings towards other religions do not reach Sabahan shores.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Council Threatens To Demolish Church

A chapel belonging to an Orang Asli community in Machap Umboo, Malacca has been threatened with demolition.

The Alor Gajah Municipal Council has issued a notice to the chapel to remove the structure or face demolition. The council claims the chapel was illegally built.

The Orang Asli are the indigenous people of Malaya. The Machap Umboo settlement is home to some 11 Orang Asli families. The chapel also caters to Orang Asli Christians from nearby settlements.

If the church is demolished it would not be the first Orang Asli church to be demolished by the authorities in Malaya.

In 2005, an Orang Asli church in Johore was demolished for the same reason.

Army Veteran Conferred Award

Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) on September 24th reported that Sarawakian army veteran Kanang Langkau has been awarded the "Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang" award by the Governor of Sarawak which carries the title "Datuk".

Datuk Temenggong Kanang Langkau fought against communist insurgents in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Army Veteran Dragged Into Political Game

Famous Sarawakian army veteran Kanang a/k Langkau made a comment against the Youth Chief of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) on August 28th. He apparently made the remark in the Malayan Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia against Mohammad Sabu to the extent of saying Sabu is useless.

Kanang as a respected army veteran should know better than to meddle in politics. The fact that his statement was made in the United Malays National Organization's (UMNO) mouthpiece speaks volumes of this person.

Kanang has made a statement in a pro-UMNO newspaper against the opponents of UMNO. Kanang should remember that despite his dislike for the communist insurgents, these rebels too were fighting for what they thought was right. And these rebels too lost a lot of men in their struggle.

Therefore if anyone has a favourable opinion of these rebels, then let them have their say. He should not have said this or that person is useless because they contradict his ideas.

Whatever it was , facts remain facts, and the rebels would always be remembered as rebels while Kanang would always be remembered as a hero.

But to stick his nose in the quarrel between two political parties by allowing his credentials as a veteran to be used is most disgusting.

Kanang better keeps whatever's left of his good name while he can. Or else he will not be remembered as a hero, but a political pawn.

He should remember that all the medals and titles bestowed upon him were not meant to be used as a political weapon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

PM Najib Promises Electoral Reforms

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has promised electoral reforms in the country. This follows the recent rally by election watch-group Bersih which called for the reforms.

Najib's pledge is most welcome and may even help to turn some of his critics into his admirers. It is hoped that opposition parties will see Najib's pledge positively and contribute to it.

However whether the radical ultra-nationalists in Najib's ruling party would accept these reforms is yet to be known.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scholar Says Christianity is "Wrong"and Christians "Want to Provoke Muslims"

According to the Malaysian Insider (July 20) a Muslim scholar speaking at a seminar at the Malaysian Institute of Muslim Understanding (IKIM) had commented on the use of the term "Allah" in the Malay-language Christian Bible. However his comments seem to charge that Christianity is wrong and that Christians wanted to provoke Muslims

The scholar, Dr.Mohd Sani Badron said "the translation of God as Allah is very wrong. It should be properly translated. We interpret not just the word, but the meaning and if the meaning is inaccurate, it is wrong. The interpretation of Allah in the Malay-language Bible carried a plural form. The term Allah was used in a godly and non-godly sense. It's use was twisted into conflicting meanings*.

On the court decision which permitted the Catholic newspaper, The Herald to continue using Allah in its Malay-language section he said
"It was a provocative issue planned to stir the anger of Muslims. The court action has spread the perception that Muslims are oppressive, certainly it will raise the anger of the Muslim community"*.

First of all Mohd Sani has no right to claim another religion as being wrong. All religions worship unseen deities, so it is a matter of faith and faith should not be questioned.

Secondly, the Christian Bible clearly tells its readers that God is not plural but one. This is demonstrated in Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me" among others.

Thirdly, Christians have used the word Allah long before Malaysia was formed and Muslims in Borneo have no qualms about it. So the issue of the court case involving the use of Allah is not planned. If anyone planned it then it must be those who chose to restrict the freedom of Christians in the first place.

Fourthly, to say that the court action made Muslims look oppressive is Dr.Mohd Sani's own opinion. In fact it was Muslim judges who made Muslims look oppressive when they denied Lina Joy her constitutional right to officially leave Islam.

* reported by the Malaysian Insider

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Demonstration for Fair Elections Draw 50,000 People

The planned demonstration by a non-governmental organization called Bersih was a success yesterday when it drew about 50,000 demonstrators. This was despite threats by the government to arrest demonstrators. Even locking up Kuala Lumpur did not prevent protestors to show up.

Bersih had initially wanted to hold a peace rally to call for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. However the federal government had been attempting to prevent the rally from day one. After much deliberation, it was agreed that Bersih could have their demonstration at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. However in the end even this was not allowed.

By Friday midnight, the whole city of Kuala Lumpur was locked down. Chartered buses were not allowed into the city, a list of 91 individuals were barred from entering the city, many roads were closed, hotels were combed for potential demonstrators and those wearing Bersih t-shirts were apprehended.

Surprisingly, by Saturday morning the planned rally did take place. Government figures put the number of demonstrators at 6,000, clearly as an attempt to downplay the success of Bersih. However figures from Bersih, foreign correspondence and eyewitness accounts say the number of demonstrators was anywhere around 50,000. If Kuala Lumpur had not been locked down, the number would probably be around 500,000. Also not to mention the repeated threats against the public not to attend the demonstration by the government officials.

By the end of the day, Bersih proves that many Malaysian indeed want a clean and fair elections. As has been proven from the scenarion in Sabah over the years, it is obvious that there is a lot of hanky panky, especially when illegal immigrants with genuine but fraudulently issued identity cards could vote.

Cheers for BERSIH!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pairin On Religious Freedom and Christians

The Huguan Siou, Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan today said that Christians in the country will continue to practise religious freedom despite attempts by certain quarters to restrict this.

He was speaking during the 18th Anniversary of the Keningau Diocese in Keningau. Recently, the Christian faith has come under attack from various irresponsible quarters out to create trouble.

Some of the issues were the detention of copies of the Malay-language Bible, confiscation of Christian CDs, attacks on churches, the illegal assembly which scared Christian worshippers outside a church, refusal to allow a Catholic newsletter a renewal of its printing licence, the refusal of a court of law to allow a Christian to officially be declared a Christian, threats of a crusade against Christians by a politician, false accusation that there are Christians who want to set up a Christian state and some others more.

It is hoped that Christians in the country especially in Sabah would not be disillussioned by these developments, but would take Pairin's words to continue practising their faith while praying for greater religious freedom in the state.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kotobian Tadau Kaamatan

The North Borneo Herald wishes all its readers a very happy Harvest Festival. Kotobian Tadau Kaamatan!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Malayan Daily Let Off With Warning

A Malayan Malay-language daily, the Utusan Malaysia was today let off with a warning by the Home Ministry for publishing a seditious article recently.

In the front page report entitled Kristian Agama Rasmi? (Christianity As Official Religion?)the newspaper said that an internet blog had reported that the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Christian leaders had pledged to make Christianity the state religion in Malaysia.

However, no action was taken against the newspaper except for the warning letter. In fact so far none of the cabinet ministers from the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) has made press statements condemning Utusan Malaysia.

Instead Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has stated that Islam's position as the official religion cannot be changed. This gives the impression that the DAP had indeed conspired with Christian pastors.

And in a recent meeting with Christian leaders over the issue Najib offered no apology.

The fact is that there was no such pledge by the DAP, which itself is dominated by non-Christians. The pastors were in Penang just for a prayer meeting. Furthermore the newspapers claim was outrageous considering that Christians do not constitute a majority in Malaysia.

But a lenient action like the slap on the wrist for Utusan was expected. After all, in May 1990 Utusan pulished a front page report entitled Ku Li Junjung Salib (Tengku Razaleigh Carries the Cross). It was an attempt to destroy Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's reputation among his fellow Malay-Muslims. Tengku Razaleigh was at that time in the Opposition.

The fact is that the Tengku was just wearing a Sigah, a traditional Kadazandusun headgear which had four arrows pointing north, south, east and west and did not carry any religious connotation. In fact the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr.Mahathir too had on many occassions wore the same type of sigah.

Even then no action was taken against Utusan.

Compare this with the action taken against the Sarawakian daily, the Sarawak Tribune in 2006 which produced a caricature of religious prophet to show what has caused the protest against a Danish newspaper. The Sarawak Tribune was suspended and only recently was the suspension lifted.

So, here we have it, one standard for Utusan Malaysia and another standard for the rest.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Singing Praises For An Outsider

The stupidity of certain Sabahans is so appalling. Recently there was a debate between certain leaders from the ruling coalition in the state who argued on whether former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad or former Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was the one who failed Sabah.

As far as history proves it, Pairin led the wake up call to Sabahans to rise against the Malayan Dr.Mahathir. PBS was able to unite Sabahans of all ethnic and religious background by continuously winning election after election without support from Malaya.

Today however, we have Pantai Manis assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail singing praises for Dr.Mahathir while at the same time running down Pairin by making accusations about mismanagement of state resources.

Pairin did not commit mass murders, state executions, detention of political opponents, outright discrimination of race and religion nor any of the evils usually committed by dictators.

And he was a true blue Sabahan. When Dr.Mahathir was prime minister Sabah suffered because Dr.Mahathir disliked Pairin.

So, if we have an outsider who discriminates against your state and a local who spearheads a struggle against this outsider, it would only be natural we support our local hero.

But here we have Rahim singing praises about Dr.Mahathir and criticising others who he says hurt the feelings of Malays and so on.

It shows us the level of thinking of our state assemblyman. If our assemblyman is so stupid, then what kind of a state are we living in.

By the way, would Rahim have defended Dr.Mahathir if the latter is a Christian. Or would he have criticised Pairin if Pairin is a born Muslim?

Rahim can consider contesting a Malayan state seat in the next election if he is so fond of Malayan leaders.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BN Wins Sarawak!

The Sarawak state elections ended with the Barisan Nasional (BN) winning 55 of the 71 seats in the state assembly. Of the 16 seats won by the opposition, 12 were won by the Democratic Action Party (DAP), 3 by the National Justice Party (PKR) and 1 by an independent.

BN's victory in Sarawak ended all talks of the United Malays National Organization's (UMNO) entry into Sarawak should BN lose. It was a sweet victory indeed for the Sarawak BN.

The North Borneo Herald wishes the Sarawak BN congratulations!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No Need For Pairin To Regret

he Huguan Siou Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan has expressed regret that his party the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) had pulled out of the Federal ruling coalition in 1990. His statement of regret was later praised by Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Going back to 1990, we should remember that despite having the backing of all the ethnic groups, PBS a member of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition was treated with suspicion. This is clear that even former prime minister Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his memoir that visiting Sabah at that time was like visiting an opposition state. The Tun apparently forgot what Sabahans arriving in Malaya thought of Malaya at that time.

Even when PBS had pulled out of BN, the Tun remarked that it was for the best as PBS was like a thorn in the flesh. If any of you remembered well enough, TV Sabah which was on air since 1969 was pulled out of service in 1985. That was the same year PBS won the first election. Even after rejoining BN, the television station was never reinstated.

The Huguan Siou is probably the only Chief Minister at that time who was not appointed as chairman of the state security council by the Federal government.

In 1990 at a rally in Merdeka Padang, Pairin asked for the Federal government to give Sabah a university and a television station. The Tun who took to the podium after Pairin did not respond as positively to these demands.

And this was at a time when the Tun was about to face a do-or-die battle against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, an opposition strongman who had just earlier been with the Tun in the same party.

PBS had won 36 of the 48 seats in Sabah. Now, with such a bleak future facing him, and with the PBS as a strong ally, the Tun still did not endear himself to PBS.

Therefore, it is only natural that PBS pulled out of BN. If it had pulled out of BN when the opposition won, it would truly be like a stab in the back. At least PBS pulled out earlier. This gave the pro-government side to paint Tengku Razaleigh as a Christian sympathiser. As a result, the Tun's party won.

There should be no reason for the Huguan Siou to regret. If he says he regretted his decision, the majority of Sabahans in 1994 had made the wrong decision. But no, PBS pulled out as a matter of principle. Sabahans regardless of race and religion backed PBS as a matter of principle.

Even the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun backed PBS. In fact he said that the Federal government was behaving like a colonialist.

We did what was right. Pairin did the right thing. Pairin pulling out of BN only showed Sabahans the true colour of Tun Dr.Mahathir. Utusan Malaysia, the Malayan newspaper owned by the Tun's party had no shame accusing the Tun's co-religionist as "Menjunjung Salib" (carrying the Christian cross).

This goes to show the great lengths the Tun would go to rule Sabah. In the period 1990-1999 the Project IC* issuance reached a frenzy. There were reports here and there of illegal immigrants lining up to get citizenship. Even the High Court in Kota Kinabalu ruled that one of BN's victory in the 1999 state elections was illegal as foreigners had voted.

So, Pairin pulling out exposed to us the true evil. Pairin as the Huguan Siou and four-time Chief Minister of Sabah need not regret. Neither do the people who believed in his struggle and voted for him.

Yes, Pairin fell in the end. But it was evident that he did not fall in a fair competition. His opponents had used dirty tactics against him.

PBS' struggle in the period 1990-2002 might have failed. But the struggle itself is not dead. It will resurface and only time will tell us when.

As for the Huguan Siou, the North Borneo Herald would like to say congratulations for pulling out of the BN for he exposed the devil.

*issuance of citizenship cards to illegal immigrants in Sabah

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sabahan Malay Version

North Borneo Herald has now included Sumunggup, a Sabahan Malay language version for those who prefer this lingua franca. Just go to

Friday, March 18, 2011

Federal Government Releases Bibles

The Malaysian Home Ministry has ordered the release of thousands of copies of the Christian Bible in the Malay Language that have been detained in ports in Sarawak and Malaya.

These Bibles were imported from Indonesia for the Malay-speaking Christian community in Malaysia, especially Sabahans and Sarawakians.

The Ministry's decision to release the Bibles is a wise one and should be lauded. However some Christians have protested that these Bibles have been stamped with the Home Ministry's serial number and seal. If this is done, then it should be applauded as it shows that the government endorses the use of the Malay Bible including the usage of the word "Allah" among Christians.

This move should also be carried on the religious texts of all other religions in Malaysia to avoid the spread of deviationist teachings.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Of Sabahan Leaders And Sabahan Rights

Recently the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun-Murut Organization (UPKO) called for a royal commission to look into the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

In 2008, Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) made a similar call in parliament but the North Borneo Herald does not recall any Sabahan leaders rallying behind Lim at that time. In fact, the parliament sitting at that time was chaired by none other than a Sabahan, Ronald Kiandee.

It brings to mind the thinking of Sabah politicians. If something right is being done for Sabah, should they reject it because the person doing it is not alligned to their party? And if something bad is going on in Sabah, should they be quiet because the person doing it is in alliance with them?

If this is the thinking of Sabahan leaders, then whatever left of Sabah's dignity would probably end up in the drain in ten years to come.

True leaders fight for their people and their rights, not just keep quiet for fear of offending those who violate these rights, as this is cowardice. The politicians can give a thousand excuses, but they will be judged by the people in the end.

For instance when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president finally spoke on the "Allah" issue, many who read his comments had made up their minds about him.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coal Plant Decision Reversed

The Federal Government has decided to scrap the coal power plant project in Lahad Datu. The Federal government should be congratulated for its bold decision in reversing its earlier decision.

As for those who supported the project, they must be the ones who had money to make from the project. Secondly, they could also be those who are ill-informed of the negative environmental impact of a coal power plant. This group could also be those who think that whatever power problems they have now is as a result of the absence of a coal plant. Obviously this group is illiterate or too oblivious of current happenings. As for the first group, their hopes of making money out of an environmental destruction has been dashed, fortunately.

It is an indeed a very brave decision by the government considering the hosts of businessmen and opportunists they would be disappointing.

The government certainly deserves an applause.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sulu Sultan Should Go Back To Sulu

The recent istallation of a state UMNO (United Malays National Organization) member as the Sultan of Sulu is a downright insult to the sovereignity of Sabah. Sabah was colonised by the Sulu Sultanate for hundreds of years.

When the North Borneo Chartered Company took over Sabah, they sort of "liberated" Sabah from both the Brunei and Sulu Sultananates though the company owned Sabah. In 1963, Sabahans became truly independent when it was declared as such on August 31st, though Sabah would be part of a Federation two weeks later.

So, by having this character installed as a Sulu Sultan on Sabahan soil is a grave insult to us. If he is so interested in in his crown, then he should have stayed in Sulu and give up his Malaysian citizenship.

The fact that this individual can still be an UMNO member and can even hold a post in a prominent Islamic missionary organization shows the sad state of affairs in Sabah.

We should never forget the deeds of our past leaders like Tomanggung Koratud and the rest who fought pirates, some of whom fought in the name of the Sulu Sultanate. The Sulu Sultanate is gone, and it should stay that way, at least in Sabah.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Time Non-Muslim Ministers Stand Up

Recently, Sabah Progressive Party(SAPP)'s vice-presidednt, Amde Sidek voiced concern over the building of the Faith Rehabilitation Centre in Kinarut.

It is indeed very courageous of him as a Muslim to speak out against it. Unfortunately Kadazandusun and Murut politicians who are not Muslims including those who sit in the state cabinet choose to be mum over the issue.

Perhaps they do not wish to interfere in issues which they may consider an Islamic problem. The fact is, when people are detained for converting to another religion, then it is no longer an Islamic issue. What if a person converts from Islam to Christianity? Then the authorities would be detaining a person who belongs to the Christian faith.

And when non-Muslim politicians say they are doing something about it, but not wanting their efforts to be published, we should also be wondering. Why is it that those who trample on non-Muslim rights can freely have their intentions published, but those wish to defend the non-Muslims cannot do so? Is it cowardice? Or is it because these politicians are afraid of losing their positions if they speak out.

There have been many issues affecting non-Muslims in recent years but the number of non-Muslim politicians speaking out is few and at times non-existent. In the case of the "Allah" issue not a single one spoke out save for Tan Sri Bernard Dompok of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun-Murut Organization (UPKO). But that was not enough.

When the Federal Court denied Lina Joy, a Christian the right to be called a Christian, still the leaders kept quiet.

But see what happened when the High Court ruled that Christians had the right to use the word "Allah". Many Muslims including ministers spoke out against the decision.

It is time the non-Muslim leaders in Sabah and Sarawak woke up and rally together as one voice to speak out against all these injustices. If only they spoke out as one voice, even the government-owned media will not be able to ignore them. This is because several ministers speaking out against injustices at the same time and together will surely attract foreign media, both print and electronic.

This should not be seen as going against the government, but should be seen as protecting the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 from irresponsibe people.

The question is: for the sake of the non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak, will the leaders of these communities willing to come together and speak against the current injustices? And do they have the guts to stand up for their people?

Saying they are already doing something about it is not enough. It proves nothing. We need to see press statements coming from this leaders, not one leader but all these leaders.

1. Ban on the word "Allah" for Christians
2. Restrictions on the Malay-language Bible and Malay-language Christian literature.
3. Edicts against building of non-Muslim statues in public places.
4. Mazu statue.
5. Building of Faith Rehabilitation Centre and enforcement of anti-apostasy laws.

Friday, January 21, 2011

PM Says Religious Freedom Shows Fairness

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today that the religious freedom practised in the country shows that the government is fair to all. Najib said that the government's stand in maintaining racial and religious harmony could be seen through the One Malaysia concept which is based on unity. He said this when addressing a crowd at a Hindu celebration in the northern Malayan state of Kedah.

It seems that the our Prime Minister is finally serious in upholding religious freedom in the country. This means now, Muslims who want to convert to other religiouns may be free to do so. It also means the government will no longer object to Malay-speaking Christians using the word "Allah". It will also mean that senior posts in the government will no longer be reserved for Muslims.

People like Revathi Masoosai and Lina Joy who have previously failed in their attempts to convert out of Islam will now be free to do so. Non-Muslim school principals with excellent track records may now be able to head state education departments. Non-Muslim religious programmes may also now be broadcast on radio and television. Subjects like Bible Knowledge will now be allowed to be taught within school hours. Non-Muslim places of worship will no longer be mercilessly demolished.

The Prime Minister should be commended for his commitment to religious freedom. From his speech it is clear that Malaysia is finally stepping through the door to true religious freedom. Kudos to the Prime Minister.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Irrational Reaction by Extremist Minority

Hundreds of protesters burned efigies and demonstrated against a person who complained against a mosque in Kampung Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. The man had apparently complained that the loudspeakers used by the mosque was too loud.

It was alleged that some of the demonstrators even called for the complainant's housed to be burned down. Thankfully this complainant was reported to be alligned to a member of the ruling coalition, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). Or else, the issue would have been politicised. But then again, there is no guarantee that this issue would not be politicised as some politicians are extremely sly.

Looking at this news report, we should be thankful that the Christian community was mature and calm when certain extremists called for the ban on the use of the word "Allah" in Christian worship. Even when terrorists burned down a church in Kualau Lumpur, the Christian community exercised calm and maturity.

And recently, when news went around that a Christian church was asked to take off crucifixes from walls during the visit of a very senior politician, the Christians still remained calm.

This shows that the Christian community in Malaysia are extremely rational and calm. In fact, when a Malayan-based newspaper published an insulting cartoon of Jesus holding a beer bottle, the Christian church was willing to forgive the newspaper.

Let us hope that the narrow-minded and adrenalin-driven immature demonstrators in Kuala Lumpur could also be more mature and forgiving. The North Borneo Herald believes this group of demonstrators do not represent all Muslims. The Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament (MP) Nurul Izzah Anwar was a reflection of a true Muslim when she urged Muslims to be calm in the incident.