Hornbill Unleashed

December 15, 2013

‘Allah’ banner not allowed at Kuching Christian meet

Dukau Papau

A banner bearing the word ‘Allah’ was asked by police to be brought down at a gathering of some 6,000 Iban Christians at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.

“The participants were surprised. We were embarrassed,” said Patrick Sibat organising secretary of the gathering which was put together by the Gempuru Besai Kristian Jaku Iban (GBKJI).

He added that they complied with the directive as it came, according to the police, ‘from the top’.

“It was even more embarrassing for us when observers from Christian natives groups from Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, India, Mongolia and Taiwan witnessed the whole thing”, he said. (more…)

November 17, 2013

Concern rises Allah ban is Umno’s SINISTER PLOY but it may lead to a M’sia without Sarawak

Concern rises Allah ban is Umno's SINISTER PLOY but it may lead to a M'sia without S'wakChristopher Fernandez, Stan Lee

Now that the issue of restricting or prohibiting the Catholic weekly newspaper “The Herald” from using the word Allah is set to go to the apex court in the country, there are more puzzling questions that have arisen over what is seen as a “non-issue” that now threatens to disrupt and divide the fabric of the nation.

How on earth and for what good reason should this issue drag on and become a protracted crisis when it should not have erupted at all in the first place? While the home ministry has the right to impose restrictions and prohibitions on a publication if it is deemed necessary, in this event it appears to have gone overboard.


November 15, 2013

Sarawak church SNUBS Najib’s hazy Allah assurance, hints of Taib’s support, wants CLARITY

S'wak church SNUBS Najib's hazy Allah assurance, hints of Taib's support, wants CLARITYBolly Lapok

The Bumiputera Church will continue to use the word “Allah” as it is the fundamental to all aspects of our profession and practice of our Christian faith.

As we have heard from the public forum today, and has been stated numerous times to the media by church leaders from both East and Peninsula Malaysia, the word “Allah” has been used or spoken by the native communities of Sarawak and Sabah for generations. “Allah” has been used long before the formation of Malaysia and is part of our native language. It is used in all aspects of Christian faith and practice by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christian and other native speaking including in services, prayers praise, liturgy, worship and religious education. As such, it is reasonable to expect that the word also be used in our Christian publications and multi-media resources.


November 14, 2013

Issue a betrayal of Malaysia Agreements – ACS

Churchill Edward

  • UNITED WE STAND: (From left) John Ha, Bolly, Steward, Dr Su, Lawrence, Ng and Ambrose.

Churches in Sarawak yesterday affirmed in front of about 1,500 forum participants their stand on the recent ban of the word ‘Allah’ in the Catholic weekly bulletin ‘The Herald’.

Association of Churches (ACS) in Sarawak chairman Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said the Bumiputera Church would continue to use the word ‘Allah’ as it is fundamental to all aspects of their profession and practice of the Christian faith. (more…)

Motion to review Sabah, Sarawak agreements rejected

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Ram Anand

An emergency motion tabled by PKR’s Penampang MP Darell Leiking for a special commission to review the 18 and 20 points agreements made with Sabah and Sarawak for the formation of Malaysia was rejected by Parliament today as it is “not urgent”.

While acknowledging that the matter is “definite”, deputy speaker Ismail Mohamed Said rejected the motion raised under Standing Order 18(1), even though a review has been overdue for 50 years.

Darell said he was perplexed by the reason Ismail gave and argued that the recent Allah ruling by the Court of Appeal, which resulted in conflicting statements from the prime minister and several of his cabinet ministers, as well as several long-standing issues, such as oil royalty, merited a review. (more…)

In East Malaysia, Christians stand with Catholic Church in appeal against Allah ruling


Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak have vowed to carry on using the word Allah even if it meant being prosecuted under a Home Ministry directive allowed by a court ruling.

They also accused Putrajaya of trying to mislead Christians from East Malaysia into believing that the Court of Appeal ruling was only applicable to the Catholic weekly, Herald.

They said they will speak up on this issue as this is what their respective congregations expected them to do. (more…)

November 13, 2013

Realignments brewing for 2018

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Tan Jooi Long

Notwithstanding a bitter and maligned Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Umno has just emerged from long-postponed party elections seemingly unscathed. Nevertheless, the question of whether challenges will come from within the party itself is just a matter of time.

For now, bitter internal rivalries have boiled to the surface of its major partners in Barisan Nasional (BN).

Struggling to get their own succession battles behind them, MCA is hard put to survive its incendiary leadership elections, while it is going to be sooner rather than later that things will come to a head between MIC president Datuk Seri G Palanivel and his deputy Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam. (more…)

Time to address our ‘security’ dilemma

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Khoo Kay Peng

After the high-profile robbery-cum-gruesome murder at the Ambank branch in USJ Sentral, Subang Jaya, a number of robbery cases involving security guards took place around the Klang Valley. At the point of writing, the armed killer guard is still on the loose.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has warned about the possibility of more copycat robberies even as the police have promised to step up random checks on security guards. (more…)

Can constituency redelineation process be stopped?

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Wong Chin Huat

IN THE layperson’s term, constituency redelineation – consisting of “apportionment” and “districting” simply means two questions.
Think of the nation as a big family staying in a big house with many rooms and the parliament (or legislative assembly for state, for that matter) as a group of servants serving the entire family. Sharing Lawmakers
“Apportionment” means “how many people should you share your parliamentarian (or state assemblyperson) with?” while “Districting” means “who should you share your parliamentarian (or state assemblyperson) with?” (more…)

Citizens must fight malapportionment and gerrymandering

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'Now everyone can fight malapportionment and gerrymandering,' says columnist Wong Chin Huat.

Wong Chin Huat

  • ‘Now everyone can fight malapportionment and gerrymandering,’ says columnist Wong Chin Huat.

SHOULD the Election Commission (EC) commence the redelineation process before cleaning up the electoral rolls despite public outcry, citizens must organise themselves to reclaim the process.
As we know, any group of 100 or more voters affected by the redelineation can submit their representation (objection) to the EC and force the EC to hold local inquiries. (more…)

November 11, 2013

Character-building for a better nation

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Julian Leicester

The writer shares his character-building methods in hope for a better tomorrow.

Many years ago, when our National Service was started, I remember closing my office for two months to volunteer as a character building trainer for the programme. It was pioneer days and starting the first auspicious day of National Service at my allocated venue in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi was such a memorable challenge.

The teenagers didn’t know what to expect, many reacted with resentment, frustration, tears in their eyes and even missed classes. Yet, we trainers persisted with these budding young generations of Malaysia. (more…)

Pre-school teachers: Leaving before they’ve even started

Filed under: Education,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Trisha Craig

Over the past year, the Government has announced new measures and sources of funding to improve pre-school education in Singapore.

In addition to incentivising operators to hire more qualified teachers at better salaries, proposing schemes to keep pre-school affordable for low- and middle-income families and offering more scholarship money for prospective teachers, the creation of 16,000 more pre-school places is envisioned by 2017. (more…)


Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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A money changer counts Malaysian ringgitLim Sue Goan

The GE13 is now half a year behind us and since then we have also seen two by-elections. However, it appears that neither BN nor Pakatan has been able to deliver itself from the “election setback.”

Although BN has succeeded in holding to power, it has failed badly in urban constituencies while receiving only 47% of all popular votes, while the opposition pact has failed to wrestle the federal administration, and lost the state of Kedah as well. (more…)

Native Customary Rights violated in Murum, Baram dam construction

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A blockade staged by unhappy villagers recently along the route to the Baram dam site

Damn the Dams Action Group

  • A blockade staged by unhappy villagers recently along the route to the Baram dam site

THE Malaysian Civil Society regards with great indignation the violation of Native Customary Rights of the Orang Asal (the Indigenous People) of Sarawak in the construction of hydroelectric power dams in Bakun, Murum and Baram, Sarawak.

The Violation of Native Rights (more…)

Sarawak minister asks for probe against police inaction and intimidation of local landowners

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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A Sarawak minister has admitted that plantation and logging firms in the Borneo state have hired thugs and gangsters to threaten native landowners while local police remain idle and ignore the complaints.

Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic, left) has said that the threats against the native customary rights (NCR) landowners in Melikin, Serian, has prompted him to submit a “detailed account” to the federal police in Bukit Aman and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to enable them to investigate further. (more…)

Pakatan, wake up!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Selena Tay

Some wonder whether Pakatan leaders are suffering political fatigue – the ‘strong opposition watchdog’ seems to be in slumber and acts too slow.

It is high time Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders stir themselves back into action. Why so?

Consider recent events: a hike in RON95 petrol price from RM1.90 to RM2.10 in early September, announcement of the GST (Goods & Services Tax) implementation in April 2015 and re-delineation of electoral boundaries beginning end of this year. (more…)

Teachers’ union wants Education ministry to abolish school-based assessment system

Filed under: Education,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has urged the Education ministry to abolish the school-based assessment (SBA) system which it claimed was a burden for the 400,000 teachers in the country.

NUTP president Hashim Adnan said the system introduced in 2011 had added to the workload that teachers were already encumbered with.

“The teachers are also evaluated in their performance through the SBA and data access system. (more…)

November 10, 2013

DAP slams S’wak MACC’s ‘target achieved’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Winston Way

The opposition gave the anti corruption commission an ‘F’ and demanded to know the status of investigations into Taib Mahmud’s alleged corrupt practices.

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) announcement that it had achieved its target in Sarawak has left opposition DAP here stunned, particularly since the alleged “corrupt perpetrators are still free”.

Responding to a local Chinese daily report, Sarawak DAP declared the MACC statement as  ”outrageous” , considering the fact that corruption involving cronies in Sarawak was widespread. (more…)

The poor’s conundrum

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ranjit Singh

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yesterday maintained its stance on interest rate and economists have predicted a rise in interest rates in Q4 2014. However, the central bank cautioned about creeping inflationary pressure.

What are the implications to those who are in the lower middle income group and in below the poverty line class?

Budget 2014 included measure to undertake fiscal consolidation measures including subsidy rationalisation and cutbacks in government spending. This measures are primarily aimed at slasing the federal debt which currently stood at 54% of gross domestic product (GDP) and is nearing the threshold of 55%. (more…)

The headscarf is not the issue, freedom is

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Harun Yahya

Recently women’s rights as to wear a hijab or burqa in public spaces have become a matter of discussion in many countries of the world: Turkey is one of them.

In the last weeks, for the first time in the history of the 90 year old Turkish Republic, three female MPs entered the parliament wearing headscarves, and they did not face any reaction from the opposition parties. In this way, a very deep-seated problem was solved through political consensus. (more…)

Being Malaysian first, then a businessman

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The Malaysian Insider

If today’s Utusan Malaysia report is true, AirAsia Bhd’s new executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun has reportedly apologised to the newspaper for his colleague’s remarks about its racist coverage in Election 2013.

This comes months after everyone in the long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X withstood pressure to apologise for chief executive Azran Osman-Rani’s courageous tweet about the Umno-owned newspaper. (more…)

With Education Blueprint, M’sia aims to be in top three

Filed under: Education,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Nurulhuda Che Das, Bernama

The Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is capable of putting Malaysia within the top three countries in term of performance in international education assessments, said Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said it would place the country at par with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Students Assessments (PISA) by rigorously adhering to the ideals enshrined in the National Education Philosophy. (more…)

Lawyers to protect Sarawakians’ rights if Herald appeals to Federal Court

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The Advocates’ Association of Sarawak, concerned with the constitutional rights of Christians in Sarawak to practise their faith freely in any part of Malaysia, said it might hold a watching brief for the people of the state during the hearing of the Catholic weekly, Herald, if the case goes on appeal to the Federal Court.

It also said it would act as amicus curiae (friend of the court), which means it will be present to assist the court. (more…)

Murum blockades: Were reporters blind?

Filed under: Dams,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Winston Way

  •  Penan lawyer activist Abun Sui Anyit is baffled at the ignorance of the journalists and the impossible claim that ‘there was no blockades’.

An activist familiar with the ground situation in Murum is baffled as to how journalists visiting the Murun Dam and the Tegulang native resettlement area had not seen  Penan blockades leading into the project site.

Said lawyer-actvist Abun Sui Anyit: “I was shocked to know when they (the journalists) said the Penans were not there (at the blockade site), and that the blockades had disappeared. (more…)

November 9, 2013

‘Allah ruling does affect Sabah, Sarawak Christians’

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Despite government assurances, the Advocates Association of Sarawak has insisted that the Court of Appeal judgment on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by a Christian publication will affect Sabah and Sarawak.

Its president Khairil Azmi Mohamad Hasbie said this is because the government’s assurance is not an “actual legal position” as the judgment does not differentiate between Christians in the peninsula and in Sabah and Sarawak.

“The common finding of the Court of Appeal that the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity, and that such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community, is not stated to be confined to the Christian community only in peninsula Malaysia… (more…)

Najib, are you taking us towards disaster?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

It is quite normal for anyone to ask this question: Where are we going and where are you taking us? Since you took over the reins of government, we seem to be moving neither here nor there. Most people are baffled because you seem to enjoy life while the country is facing innumerable critical problems.

Even as these problems are left unattended, more problems are being added. Your words have no meaning whatsoever as your cabinet ministers have been acting to dismantle what you had promised the people before you were given the mandate to run the country. (more…)

Who started the ‘ALLAH’ ban: To gain Malay favor, save his political skin?

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It was DR M who started the 'ALLAH' ban: To gain Malay favor, save his political skin?Stephen Ng

To many Malaysians, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is the root cause of the key problems ailing the country, from disgusting racism and religious bigotry to breath-taking corruption and alleged grand theft of the nation’s wealth.

Like it or not, this is the view of many people and has been so for decades. Even in the raging hot Allah controversy, Mahathir can be traced as one of the original sources that created this contentious issue, which has since gained weight and now threatens to permanently divide and scar Malaysia. (more…)

Do not confuse rewards with favours

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Francis Paul Siah

I have received several emails in response to my article “DAP’s internal strife big slap on Lim’s face” published in this column last week.

I’m always happy to receive reactions to what I’ve written even if they come in the form of rebuttal, disagreement or criticism. Columnists must be able to appreciate that they have a forum to write and share their views and thoughts on issues close to their heart. Many others do not have such an opportunity. However, many news portals, theantdaily included, have now introduced the Comment Section to give readers a similar platform. This is a move in the right direction as public participation in issues brought up by the media should be encouraged. (more…)

Any pressure to be Christians, Herald editor asks leaders educated in Catholic schools

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Rev Father Lawrence Andrew rejects allegations that the Catholic Church uses the Malay language to spread Christianity among Muslims. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 7, 2013.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Rev Father Lawrence Andrew rejects allegations that the Catholic Church uses the Malay language to spread Christianity among Muslims. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 7, 2013.The editor of the Catholic Herald has one question for two of the most powerful Malay-Muslim personalities in the country: was there pressure on them to convert to Christianity just because they studied in Catholic schools?

Herald editor Rev Father Lawrence Andrew posed this question in an interview with Projek Dialog, an online social website. (more…)

Chinese community is not stubborn

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Sin Chew Daily

The BN has not only successfully reduced the majority votes of PAS in the Sungai Limau by-election, but the result also showed that 70% of Chinese votes have returned to the BN, even more than the expected 45%. It was a morale booster for the BN and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak also said that the result was encouraging.

During the general election in May this year, despite the BN had offered various friendly policies to the Chinese community, it did not receive the expected support rate but this time, it finally got a positive return. Of course, a by-election result reflected only the voting trend of the constituency instead of the Chinese community as a whole. After all, there were only 1,837 Chinese votes in Sungai Limau. (more…)

November 8, 2013

Financial leaks to plug

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Michelle Brohier

Here are some ways your money may be leaking out from your wallet and how to plug it.

With the rising cost of items and other financial burdens to worry about, it’s easy to believe that there is little you can do about the dwindling amount of money you have at the end of each month. But there are actually a number of expenditures that can be avoided. So if you’re determined to make each and every ringgit you spend count, here are some ways your money may be leaking out from your wallet and how to plug it.

Anxiety spending (more…)

Politicising God?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Selena Tay

As the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak can use the word ‘Allah’, we now have a bizarre 1Malaysia. Is this the Utopian 1Malaysia as mooted by our Prime Minister?

The saga concerning the use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God is still continuing as the Catholic Church has indicated that it will appeal the court decision barring The Herald (the Catholic weekly published by the Catholic Church’s KL Archdiocese) from using the ‘Allah’ word in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its publication which caters to the native Christian Bumiputeras.

In the meantime, the debate continues. (more…)

November 7, 2013

Syariah for Malaysia

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Narinder Singh

  • Malaysia is ready for syariah laws with the condition that the various enforcement bodies must be seen executing the basic tenets first among Muslims here.
The official religion of Malaysia is Islam as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. As a Malaysian, born, bred and educated here without once leaving the shores to gain formal knowledge, it has dawned upon me that it is utmost important to self-educate in issues pertaining to Islam.

The triggering and motivating factor stems from the fact that only in having an open mind can one stretch his tolerance and acceptance to others in terms to their religion, culture and beliefs. (more…)

Any chance of a meaningful solution in Allah furore?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Herald AllahDr Ronnie Ooi

Malaysia’s Allah controversy is fundamentally a political issue about how different communities relate to one another. It is not a legal issue. The Catholic Church needs to take account of the Malay community’s majority view before deciding on the next step.

If unrestricted use of the word Allah is not acceptable to the moderate Malay community, then the Church, together with others, should search for a compromise that will preserve the religious practices of Christians in East Malaysia as well as that of the Sikhs, who also refer to their God as Allah. (more…)

PRS, SPDP eye ‘more’ in cabinet reshuffle

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FMT Staff

  • Both parties which collectively delivered 10 parliamentary seats to Barisan Nasional’s coffers were short-changed in the post-election federal cabinet.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) which were shortchanged in the post-election federal cabinet are hoping to re-instate themselves in the next reshuffle expected to be after MCA’s annual general meeting in December.

PRS which was allocated one full minister and one deputy in the federal cabinet, currently has only filled one post. The deputy post is still vacant. (more…)

Ignorance on formation of M’sia worrying, says Masing

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing has urged Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia to learn about how Sabah and Sarawak helped form the Federation of Malaysia, so as to avoid potential misunderstandings.

In an interview, Masing said those in Peninsular Malaysia need to understand the needs, rights, religious beliefs and unique position of the two East Malaysian states.

“If we are really serious about 1Malaysia, we must do it as there is a growing gap of understanding between Peninsular Malaysia and the Borneo states (more…)

November 6, 2013

Budget 2014: Wake up call for Sabahans

Jude Wang

Whilst an eminent Sabah economist claimed that Budget 2014 is a rip-off of Sabah and Sarawak, former state secretary Simon Sipaun wants Petronas accounts to be made accessible.

A week after Budget 2014 was announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, a raft of questions continue to bother ordinary taxpayers in Sabah.

Put simply, if the government is expecting to “make” or “save” more money by imposing a new tax system on us, what’s in it for us? (more…)

November 2, 2013

Desire, Allah & Trinity

Herald AllahAlwyn Lau

The name of God is like desire. If someone has a bad case of Horny, demanding that he becomes a purity angel will only make him grow horns. Try to tell people they’re not allowed to love in a certain manner and you may as well try to put out a fire by drowsing it with Ron 95. Police the erotic and you’ll end up eroticizing the policing.

Isn’t this why virtually all attempts to stamp out the gay “problem” tend to back-fire? If you judge my sex you’ll not only generate more heat than light, you’ll get me and my partner in heat faster than you can say LGBTQ.

On the Sunday right after the Court of Appeal’s unappealing decision on October 14, most non-Malay speaking churches in PJ/KL proudly defied the law and used the word ‘Allah’ for (probably) the first time in their worship services. (more…)

October 29, 2013

ALLAH: Assurance from BN govt NOT GOOD ENOUGH – SIB warns East M’sian Christians

ALLAH: Assurance from BN govt NOT GOOD ENOUGH - SIB warns East M'sian ChristiansJerry W A Dusing

Greelings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not be misled by the assurance uttered by certain quarters that we can use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in Sabah and Sarawak. It is more than just about a word; it is about the fundamental right to worship God in the way we have been doing for generations without hindrance.

The decision of the Court of Appeal against the Herald puts new restrictions on our human and constitutional right to freedom of religion. Nevertheless, we urge you to continue your friendship with your Muslim brothers and sisters and to extend love to them as you have always done’ We want to assure them that our court action is not against them or Islam but against the wrongful conduct of the Federal government and its officials. (more…)

Court action on Allah issue is not against Muslims and Islam, says Sabah church


Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), Sabah’s second largest church, has assured Muslims that the Catholic church’s appeal against the Allah ruling is not against them or Islam, but against the wrongful conduct of the Federal Government and its officials.

In a communique to its leaders and members today, SIB said the church has never undermined the position of Islam as the religion of the federation.

However, by the same token, Christians also expected their constitutional right to profess, practise and propagate their faith to be respected by the courts and the government. (more…)

October 28, 2013

Herald released in Sabah after Archbishop seeks BN politician’s help

Herald AllahLEE SHI-IAN

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) had sought the intervention of a Barisan Nasional MP in Sabah while questioning an order from the Home Ministry to stop the distribution of the latest Herald publication in Sabah.

Tuaran MP Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said, in a Facebook posting today, that he had interceded with the Home Ministry on behalf of the Catholic Church to obtain approval for 2,000 copies of Herald to be released in Sabah.

Wilfred, the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) deputy president, said the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur had sought his assistance last night. (more…)

Sarawak BN leader wants home ministry officers to stop acting on their own accord


Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic)  has put the stop order on the distribution of Catholic weekly Herald in Sabah to Home Ministry officials making decisions in haste without consulting their political leaders.

“They have obviously taken matters into their own hands. I suggest that political leaders must be consulted first before taking action on matters which has negative socio-political impact.

“It is us, the politicians, who will bear the brunt of criticisms, not these government officers,” Masing, a senior Christian minister in the Sarawak cabinet and also president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), pointed out. (more…)

October 27, 2013

Putrajaya stops the distribution of latest Herald in Sabah


Putrajaya has stopped the distribution of some 2,000 copies of this week’s edition of the Catholic weekly Herald in Sabah, raising tension between the Catholic Church and the Barisan Nasional government.

Herald editor Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew told The Malaysian Insider that the forwarding company was informed by the Home Ministry that the copies were not to be distributed.

“As always, the Home Ministry will pick up a copy for vetting purposes when it arrives in Kota Kinabalu.

“But this time, after picking up the copy, the authorities informed the forwarding company on Friday morning that the consignment cannot be distributed,” he said. (more…)

October 23, 2013

Playing God, the Umno way?

Charles Santiago

The only person who does not seem to be observing what’s happening in the country is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Malaysia seems to have developed a mania for negative publicity. The latest is of course the recent court ruling, banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah.

Or that’s what I understood until some cabinet ministers mouthed confusing statements, saying the ban is only binding on non-Muslims in West Malaysia. Then others joined the chorus by adding it was only meant for the Catholic publication, The Herald. (more…)

October 20, 2013

Court decision on ‘Allah’ will affect us, says Sarawak PKR

Dukau Papau

Sarawakians should not trust Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and members of his cabinet on their claims that the Court of Appeal decision on the use of the term ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims will not affect them, two Sarawak PKR leaders have warned.

“If we trust them, we will be in for a big shock, because they do not have power to override a court decision,” Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said today.

See (left), who is Batu Lintang assemblyperson, was commenting on the assurances given by the Najib administration that the Borneo states will not be affected by the decision to ban the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians. (more…)

After ‘Allah’ ban, Isma warns of ‘opportunist’ evangelists


Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) has warned Sabahans and Sarawakians of certain evangelist groups out to sour relations with penisula Malaysia by stirring up discontent in the two states following the Court of Appeal decision banning the use of ‘Allah’ by Christians.

Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman (left) urged  bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak to defend unity and not to be taken in by certain groups, particularly Christian evangelists, who he said were taking the opportunity to sour East-West relations.

“We question whether these groups uphold the social contract as enshrined in the federal constitution. Or, do they have other agendas that go beyond the constitution?” Abdullah Zaik asked. (more…)

October 18, 2013

One country, two interpretations of Allah – it’s awkward, say politician and lawyers


“Why do we have one country with two interpretations of the use of the word Allah?” Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) asked this when commenting on the Cabinet decision yesterday that the Court of Appeal ruling, which banned the word Allah in the Catholic weekly, Herald, does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak.

“I’m not comfortable with this interpretation. The assurance by the Cabinet that Sabah and Sarawak can use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles, and other religious publications and in worship, but not in West Malaysia, is not satisfactory,” Masing told The Malaysian Insider, adding that he still thinks that the court ruling is faulty. “It means one nation with two religious definitions of what is acceptable. I feel awkward.” (more…)

If Sabah, S’wak had known, would Malaysia exist now?


If the recent Court of Appeal judgment on the use of Allah had been in effect 50 years ago Sabah and Sarawak might not have joined forces to form Malaysia, mused DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

“What would have been the reaction of the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak to the findings of the judgment prohibiting the usage of the word ‘Allah’ in The Herald and that the usage of the name ‘Allah’ is ‘not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity’?

“Or would history have been overturned and Malaysia, as we know it today, comprising of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak not be in existence?” asked Lim in a statement today. (more…)

After the Allah decision, Putrajaya in futile bid to salvage Malaysia

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with Christian leaders during Christmas last year. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 17, 2013.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with Christian leaders during Christmas last year. 

There is irrationality and irony in the Cabinet’s decision that the word Allah can be used in worship and in the Bahasa Malaysia bibles in Sabah and Sarawak – because one cannot compartmentalise religion by regions.

Nor can the Cabinet override the court’s decision.

Or the fact that the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, the Herald, is actually meant for East Malaysians where most of the Catholics speak and read the national language more than anywhere else in the country. (more…)

September 17, 2013

Najib: We’ll never leave Sabah and Sarawak behind


As Malaysia marks the 50th year since its formation, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today vowed that the development of Sabah and Sarawak, the first and third most poorest state in terms average household income, is the nation’s priority.

In his Malaysia Day message, he said that this, however, does not mean that the two Borneo states were ever sidelined by the federal administration.

“As prime minister, I have always strived to ensure that equal development for all states…. Our efforts to develop Sabah and Sarawak’s economy will always be the government’s priority. (more…)

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