A banner with the word ‘Allah’ on it, was reportedly ordered by the police to be taken down at the Gempuru Besai Raban Kristian Jaku Iban Malaysia gathering at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.
Organisers of the four-day gathering, that began on Thursday and attracted about 7,000 people, were baffled when the security chief of the convention centre relayed the police order to remove the banner. The organisers said that no one from the police met with them personally. (more…)
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…)
The term ‘Dayak’ has been pronounced a non-word by state ordinance, on the basis that the tribal people of Sarawak should no longer be encouraged to think of themselves as a nation, but only as groups to be divided and ruled.
Yet, how else to collectively describe the native people, who are surrendering up their vast natural resources to enrich West Malayisan leaders and their agents in Sarawak (Taib Mahmud and his BN cronies)? (more…)
Christopher 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.
The statement by Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais yesterday that the use of the word Allah in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald be stopped immediately needs urgent clarification as it raises concern over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
Hanafisah is reported to have said the statement was released after the Selangor Sultan consulted the Selangor Royal Council on Monday. (more…)
Southeast Asia’s Anglican Archbishop Bolly Lapok said non-Muslims need to ‘hear and see more than just a display of ad hoc benevolence by the Malaysian government’.
A high-ranking church leader has urged non-Muslims and Christians in particular “not to be silent” and reminded the government that these communities want ‘a tangible commitment’ on the assurance of freedom of religion. (more…)
- 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…)
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…)
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…)
The Association of Churches Sarawak has urged Putrajaya to show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak.
The group’s chairperson Archbishop Bolly Lapok said thus far, Putrajaya hads only displayed “ad hoc benevolence” whenever religious freedom cropped up.
“We need tangible commitments from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion, guaranteed by the federal Cconstitution as the supreme law of the nation,” Lapok said in a statement today. (more…)
PAS has demanded that Putrajaya apologise to Muslims for creating an issue over the use of the word Allah by Christians in Malaysia.
PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said statements by government officials have only increased religious tension in the country, following the Court of Appeal’s ruling on October 14 upholding the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of the word Allah by Catholic weekly, Herald.
Mahfuz also took umbrage on the way Putrajaya attempted to blame PAS by claiming that the Islamic party supported the non-Muslims’ demand to use the word. (more…)
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…)
In 2014, Sarawak is expected to contribute over RM76 billion towards Petronas and the federal government’s coffers; in return Prime Minister Najib has offered RM2 billion.
The federal government has been operating on straight deficit budgets since 1998. The latest budget for 2014 as announced on Oct 25 is no different.
Throughout this period there has been no undertaking to adopt fiscal reforms to attain surplus budgets resulting in accumulative national debt to the tune of about RM520 billion as of end June 2013, as reported by the Finance Ministry. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Lim 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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
- 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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
- 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…)
Dr 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…)
- 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…)
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…)
Villagers in Serian claim their water source is being polluted by oil palm plantations and mills operated by Salcra, a claim which it denies.
The Kedup River here is badly polluted and local residents are blaming the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority’s (Salcra) palm oil plantations and oil mills.
The river which runs through the heart of Serian district before flowing into Batang Sadong used to be “very clean in the past” but is now murky.
Many villages are situated in close proximity to the 6,100-hectare Salcra oil palm territory. (more…)
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…)
It was a show of religious harmony by Christians and Muslims in Sarawak yesterday even as the debate over the October 14 court ruling on the word Allah raged on.
The Borneo Post reported that non-governmental organisation Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak and the Islamic Information Centre organised a forum called “Tweeting Up Unity: Social Cohesion Through Social Media”, under the Soul2Soul 2.0 interfaith forum series, at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre in Kuching.
The event’s keynote speaker was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was also a panellist. It was attended by over 200 youths from higher learning institutions and government agencies. (more…)
- Picture: NGO campaigners protest in front of Mr. Sjotveit’s home in Bekkestua, a suburb of Norway’s capital, Oslo (Picture: BMF/FIVAS)
(OSLO / NORWAY) In a surprise move, Swiss rainforest advocacy group, the Bruno Manser Fund, and its Norwegian partner, FIVAS, have lodged an urgent complaint against the state-owned Malaysian power supplier, Sarawak Energy, with Norway’s anti-corruption agency, Okokrim. The complaint is directed against Sarawak Energy’s Norwegian CEO, Torstein Dale Sjotveit, for unduly favouring the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. Under Norway’s tough anti-corruption laws, Norwegian citizens can be held accountable for their involvement in corruption anywhere in the world. (more…)
Over the past few days news has come through from both of the main Baram Dam construction sites that Sarawak Energy (SEB) has beaten a retreat.
However, the local blockades, which are being manned by surrounding communities, remain in place to ward off further moves by the state owned company to re-start the dam building project.
The development represents a solid victory for the local people, who are adamantly opposed to the planned mega-dam, which will drive thousands from their homes and flood vast areas of rainforest.
And it is understood that the local Assemblyman Denis Ngau had urged Sarawak Energy to step back from its aggressive implementation of the project in the face of the swelling anger amongst his constituents. (more…)
Swiss based Bruno Manser Fund claims the Sarawak Energy Berhad CEO has ‘lost his credibility’ and is ruining Norway’s reputation.
Sarawak Energy Berhad’s chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit has made himself a “tool of the Taib Mahmud family’s unrestrained greed and corruption”, claims Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).
Expressing its shock at the latest disclosure that SEB had awarded Sarawak Cable two new contracts worth RM618 million contract, BMF said the “act has passed all levels of decency”.
Sarawak Cable is helmed by Chief Minister Taib’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir. (more…)