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Speaking at the inaugural launch of the United Nations’ International Day for Tolerance at Lim Kok Wing University in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said that the silent majority in the country must stand up and protest against religious extremism and bigotry.

“Today, religious differences are perceived as the most profound source of division among our people. Religious bigotry is in our news nearly every single day,” he said.

On November 11 last year, during his keynote address at the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council/ISIS Malaysia: Dialouge on Diversity, Diplomacy and Peace held in Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib called on the country’s “silent majority” to drown out the voices of extremism. He said diversity should be celebrated and the right to co-exist should be defended.

Malaysians will agree that extremism , whether religious or racial , must be totally rejected. But the question that many Malaysians have been asking is why have the Prime Minister and his Cabinet not been leading the battle against extremists and extremism.

Why has the Prime Minister who has spoken so much about the concept of moderation and the need to reject extremism, failed to walk his talk?

In response to his speech last year, I had immediately cited three examples where Najib had failed to speak up or take action against extremism.

Firstly, Najib kept silent when Utusan Malaysia carried irresponsible, provocative and racist articles for months after the May 5 general elections.

Secondly, he again kept quiet when the former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah had warned the Chinese to prepare for a possible backlash from the Malays for their alleged “betrayal” against the BN. Mohd Noor has even said: “The Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship – that is true. Because they plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power”.

Thirdly, what was done against Ibrahim Ali who made provocative remarks?

On October 18 last year, Perkasa Chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali had said the Christians’ fight for the right to call God “Allah” conveyed that they have no name for their deity. He had also,  at the Perkasa Selangor Conference 2013 held on October 17, urged the Prime Minister to ban the Malay bible the Al-Kitab from Malaysia in retaliation for the Christian community’s “ingratitude”.

Last month when defacto law minister Datuk Nancy Sukri revealed in Parliament  the Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn the Bibles , there was massive criticisms and outrage against the decision , yet till today the Cabinet has failed to take a clear stand on this issue.

The Prime Minister and Jospeh Kurup must not stop at calling on the silent majority to drown out the voices of or stand up against extremism. Najib himself must walk his talk and lead the fight against extremism.

Teresa Kok

 

MalaysiaKini 16 Nov

DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong today flayed the PAS-led Kelantan state government for considering the use of the 18th century guillotine punishment to amputate limbs under the propose hudud law in the state.

Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Nik Amar Abdullah reportedly said that the state’s hudud technical committee will consider using a ‘mini-guillotine’ to amputate limbs according to the hudud law, instead of relying on surgeons.

But Liew, in a statement flayed the idea and said that the idea itself should be “guillotined immediately”.

“The obsession with such inhumane methods of punishment on the part of Nik Amar is disappointing,” he said.

Liew said that Malaysia did not need an added form of cruel punishment at a time when human rights proponents are pushing for reduced usage of punishments such as the death penalty and judicial caning.

“The reasons for opposing such cruel and irreversible methods in principle have been explained time and again,” he said.

“I fail to understand Nik Amar’s obssesion. He would do the nation a great service by focussing the public discourse not on the graphic descriptions of a particular way to amputate limps but to return to the core issue of justice,” he added.

Attempts to convert non-Muslim Sabah and Sarawak students studying in peninsula schools have been going on for years, claims a former student. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 16, 2014.

When Doris R read a report of a Christian student from Sabah who was forced to wear a “tudung” (headscarf) by a primary school in Negri Sembilan and to join a nasyid group, it brought a wry smile to her face and a flood of unwanted memories.

“Those things are nothing new. Attempts to convert non-Muslim Sabah and Sarawak pupils (here) and those studying in the peninsula have been going on for years,” the 40-year-old Iban mother of one from Kuching, Sarawak, said.

Reading The Malaysian Insider report yesterday of the 12-year-old Sabah student who was also forced to join a Muslim prayer session reminded Doris of her own experience as a student at SK Dato Haron in Tanjong Karang, Selangor, from 1985 to 1989.

She was there as part of a student exchange programme under the Sarawak Foundation.

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umno2

FMT – Nov 15http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/11/15/umno-ass embly-for-ferocious-chinese-bashing/

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP elder statesman, Lim Kit Siang, fears that given certain emerging trends, the Umno Assembly later this month can be expected to degenerate as usual into “another round of ferocious Chinese-bashing”.

The clearest signal came from Umno vice president and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, thinks Lim, when he announced on Tues that the relevance of maintaining the Chinese school system will be one of the “hotly-debated topics” during the Umno annual general assembly this month.

“Already, there have been other statements in the media that ‘if Umno loses, the Malays will never rule again’ and that ‘Malays are not welcome in a state up north ruled by the Opposition’,” pointed out Lim, also DAP Parliamentary Leader and Gelang Patah MP, in a speech carried in his bloghttp://blog.limkitsiang.com

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DAP today questioned Sabah’s entry ban on Negara-Ku patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, calling the move a travesty of justice and urging the state’s immigration authorities to lift it.

Secretary-general Lim Guan Eng warned that if the ban was not lifted, the people of Sabah would speak loudly and forcefully at the next general election.

“In what way is she a threat to national security? She is a lawyer, a former chairman of the Malaysian Bar Council.

“If we start banning lawyers and former Bar Council chairmen, it shows not only (that there is a) siege mentality by the Barisan Nasional government but also that they have lost their power of reason and their sense of what is right and wrong,” he told reporters in Penang.

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The handing back of the 351 copies of the Bible seized for containing the word ‘Allah’ to the Christian community today includes conditions that must be abided by, said the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais).

“The return of these holy books containing the word ‘Allah’ is made with the strict condition that the Bible containing the word ‘Allah’ is not to be distributed in Selangor.

“This is especially so to the people of the Muslim faith as the Bible containing the word ‘Allah’ is only for the usage of Christians in Sarawak,” Mais chairperson Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said in a statement.

The holy books were handed over to the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) during a courtesy call on the sultan of Selangor at Istana Alam Shah in Klang this morning.

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In January this year, it was reported that according to sources news, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has directed mandatory media training for his ministers to prevent more missteps that have made his administration a laughing stock among Malaysians.

It looks like now the Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai will have to take up an “Effective Communication” course to make sure he can communicate messages clearly and accurately to civil servants and the media.

In response to an internal RTD circular dated Nov 12 which said said that the Transport Minister has directed the immediate suspension of the crackdown on number plates till further notice, Liow said that his message has not been correctly understood.

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Many Pakatan MPs were at a press conference this morning at Parliament building with the family members of Abu Sayaf hostage Chan Sai Chiun.

A few minutes earlier Chan’s wife Chin Pek Nyuen received a call from Abu Sayyaf operative who repeated his demand for RM3 million for her husband to be released. She has been receiving such calls up to a few times a day. It was so torturing for her.

I understand the position of the government for its refusal to pay ransom to the terrorists and kidnappers. However, as such kidnappings are regular events even after the government has set up ESSCOM at the East Coast of Sabah, it is time for the government or ESSCOM to declare what steps have been taken to safeguard the residents and tourists at the East Coast area of Sabah.

We urge Abu Sayyaf to release these innocent hostages. We pray for divine intervention upon these hostages.

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