And neither will this widow Kaliammal get justice in the Federal Court, Malay-sia’s highest Court. The Court of Appeal held that only the Syariah Court can hear an alleged conversion to Islam of her husband which the widow has no knowledge. But in full knowledge that Madam Kaliammal and her non muslim lawyers are not even allowed to even step their foot in the Syariah Courts and no muslim lawyers will take up her case. So much for Justice in One Malay-sia. P.Uthayakumar
TELUK INTAN: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today was accused of putting on an act when he ordered the setting up of a task force to investigate allegations that a school principal had made racial slurs against her students.
Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran slammed Muhyiddin for being hypocritcal and double-faced about the whole affair.
In the incident on Aug 12, SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra principal Siti Inshah Mansor allegedly uttered offensive remarks against non-Malay Muslim pupils during the launching of the school's national day celebrations.
Siti Inshah was reported to have said that "Chinese students should go back to China" and likened Indian students to "dogs".
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, ordered the setting up of the task force to be headed by ministry's deputy secretary-general (management) Rosli Mohamed.
Said Manogoran: “He (Muhyiddin) is merely play acting. He should know that the Biro Tata Negara (BTN or National Civics Bureau) emphasises racial hatred in its training modules.”
"Doesn't he know that principals, headmasters, teachers and civil servants sent to BTN for so-called self-motivational courses are indoctrinated to hate other races?”
"Principals or teachers should use common sense and be sensitive about other races. But I blame the government for this kind of incident.
"Where are we heading if the government stirs up racial sentiments with the Malays through BTN courses?”
Manogaran also said it was common to see Indians or Chinese being treated rudely when they deal with government departments.
He added that the BTN courses conducted by the Umno-BN government are merely aimed at making Malays hate non-Malays.
He said he doesn't have any confidence that Muhyiddin, the State Education Department or Public Service Department will take action against the principal.
"The most they will do is tranfer her to another school or give her a warning. This is just to appease the disgruntled parents,” he added.
HOW many non-Muslims do you know who fast during Ramadan? And why would they? So far, I’ve found two non-Muslims who are conscientiously fasting the whole of Ramadan. Of these two, one fasts the Muslim way, eating only atsahur andiftarin accordance with the Muslim prayer times. The other doesn’t follow the fasting timetable and does a partial fast of eating only one meal a day at dinner. There were more I spoke to who said they fast but only for a day or two out of the entire month of Ramadan. For this, what I call the “casual” group, fasting usually means skipping lunch and only eating in the evening, usually because a buka puasa buffet feast with Muslim friends has been planned in advanced. The reasons for non-Muslims fasting during Ramadan included a) wanting a personal challenge, b) to accompany Muslim friends or colleagues, or c) to show solidarity. Showing solidarity. Er, but why?
It’s “to show solidarity” which intrigues me the most. I’ve found that overall, among non-Muslims who’ve fasted during Ramadan whether conscientiously or casually, “solidarity” was the first thing off the top of their heads when I asked why they did it. And yet, just what does “showing solidarity” mean in our context where Muslims and Malay Malaysians are the majority? And where non-Muslims have to abide, not by choice but by decree, to various directives such as a ban on newnon-Muslim clubsin schools and a ban on using the word “Allah” when it isn’t exclusive to Islam? Or where non-Muslims have no say in the unilateralconversion of childrenif one’s spouse converts to Islam, and have to give upburial rightsover a deceased Muslim family member’s body? Why should solidarity be shown with the majority if such are the circumstances for the minority? Unpacking solidarity Maybe I am totally wrong in looking at solidarity this way. Maybe I am taking politics too personally. But I think, after awhile, even the toughest of cynics cannot help but feel disheartened and resentful of the frequent labelling of non-Malay Malaysians, and by extension, non-Muslims, as “pendatang”, asingrates, and as plotters who will one daytake over the country. As if to reinforce the position of non-Muslim citizens in Malaysia, thecow-head protestorswere merely fined RM1,000 for illegal assembly, no charges were pressed against theAl-Islammagazine reporters, and a police report has now been lodged against a church for staging a play duringRamadan. How do I not let such insults and disrespect eat into me? One could say that it’s all just political posturing or media spin. And yes, that may be true but only some of the time.
Ahmad Ismail (source: Oriental Daily), against a map of Malaya (public domain. Source: wikipedia.org)
What about the times lesser-known figures like Datuk Ahmad Ismail, Datuk Nasir Safar, and most recently, a school principal in Kulaijaya, Johor, said similar things about non-Malay and non-Muslim Malaysians? These incidents suggest that it isn’t always just politics; that such views do have currency on the ground. Maybe Utusan Malaysia is merely reinforcing is subscribers’ perceptions. Maybe Perkasa is just echoing the voice of its 200,000 members.
Confused, I asked two non-Muslims who fast during Ramadan why they do it and what they get out of it. It’s best to let their own words speak for themselves. Tricia Yeoh, Selangor state government researcher: “I observe the full fast timetable, waking up for sahur at dawn and breaking fast at iftar in the evening. “Despite the fact that we [in Malaysia] are so exposed to different communities, many of us either can’t be bothered or don’t have the initiative to truly take the effort to understand the other. “I don’t think [the question of solidarity with the majority or minority] matters. As a human being, my commitment and my responsibility is to do what I can to understand people and the environment around me.
Tricia Yeoh (pic courtesy of Tricia Yeoh)
“I want to know what makes people tick. And in order to do that, you have to enter into their world. Obviously [Ramadan] will not mean the same thing for me as it does for them because I lack the spiritual element which Muslims apply to it, but the physical fast is the extent to which I can enter into their world. “[Disciplining the body also] makes you question whether there are other excesses I don’t need. It gets you focused on what’s important in life and often that comes back to the communal aspect of coming together as a family or as a people. I wake up for sahur alone in my house as I’m the only one in my family doing it, but knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of families all doing the same thing at the same time is special. As much as possible, I try to break fast with others who are Muslims. “The communal experience is a beautiful thing that we sometimes lose in an increasingly individualistic society. But if we were to think bigger, then communal also means looking out for the nation’s best interests. Those who are fasting should be reminded that there’s a greater purpose out there and the borders between races ought to thin. It’s all the more essential for everyone to step into the shoes of the ‘other’ in this time and age. Weallhave to make these efforts, these baby steps.” Dr Ong Kian Ming, political analyst and USCI lecturer: “I don’t follow the fasting timetable strictly. I fast in the sense that I eat only one meal a day at dinner. It’s to stand in solidarity with Muslims and it is also good discipline for me. It’s about learning to control my physical appetite and is the part of Ramadan I find attractive — learning to mengawal nafsu, or controlling one’s desires.
Ong Kian Ming
“Showing solidarity is basically about just trying to understand my Muslim friends better. I’ve always been inspired by the bookTo Kill a Mockingbird, about standing in somebody’s shoes and seeing life from their point of view. It’s something we should all do, to understand and sensitise ourselves to others. “Extending these ideas about controlling desires and understanding the other to a national level, I think we ought to fast from the desire to be accusatory of each other and instead try to see things from each other’s perspective. “I also have a personal dimension to fasting and I’m fasting for Sarawak because of several issues — state elections might be held soon, the bumiputera rural population there have been severely neglected, and I’m fasting as a way of hoping that change will come for these people. I try to accompany my fast with prayer and to give to charity whatever money I save from not eating.” Pockets of hope I’m still not fully convinced about the need to show solidarity if that is the reason for participating in a Ramadan fast as a non-Muslim. Maybe I am selfish and want some kind of reciprocation in understanding, or I unnecessarily attach too much political baggage to the idea of adopting aspects of the dominant culture and religion. I do agree, however, that it is important to step into the shoes of the other. And maybe the value of fasting and breaking fast with Muslim friends is to at least remember that despite the prevailing national rhetoric, there are still pockets of hope where genuine interfaith friendships exist.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Philips
21 August 2010
In the light of the latest, in an increasing line of provocative racist remarks, this time by a principal of a school in the state of Johor, MCCBCHST calls upon the authorities to take prompt, and appropriate action to demonstrate that such dastardly acts and words perpetrated by government servants regardless of their rank is not and will not be tolerated in Malaysia.
The Johor school incident occurring as it did in the runup to the coming National Day celebrations casts a sombre shadow over the nation’s commitment to a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society where all citizens can be guaranteed a shared destiny in Malaysia as Malaysians based on peace and justice.
The time has passed whereby mere platitudes and words from the national leadership and enforcement authorities in themselves will be enough. The nation needs just and fair actions rather than just words.
MCCBCHST calls for its component religious communities and all other Malaysians regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation to join together to pray that the sitting government will take responsibility to take appropriate action to stop blatant racist acts and utterances.
At the same time, let all peace-loving, fair-minded Malaysians join together to raise an unignorable chorus of disapproval against racism in all its forms.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.