- Ku Li: Perdana Menteri Jelas Tersimpang
- Kerajaan Harus Ambil Iktibar Dari Bantahan Dunia
- Zaid: Perkasa Bawa Politik Primitif
- Petronas had planned for future generations...But somebody stole the money!!!
- 3-Day 2-Night at Taman Negara Pahang
- BN just as ambitious to rule, no? BN is not only ambitious but desperate
- I understand and accept that Anti-Semitism is correctly made a crime in Europe but why did Islam bashing still legal there with the lame excuse of ‘Freedom of Speech’?
- Dr M to Open Malay racist group Perkasa's Assembly
- Malaysian Leader Targets Affirmative Action
- Kenapa SPRM Tak Dakwa Fairus?
- Isu arak di parlimen: Rembau terpaku, Pasir Salak, terduduk!
- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah : Petronas discovered probably the biggest oil field, in the world”
- Umno-BN Sorok Perjanjian Royalti Minyak Nak Tipu Rakyat
- We all belong to the human race, yo
- Preview Geert Wilders’ Koran movie made to provoke Muslim reaction
- One insulting blog on Islam supporting the Bigot Geert Wilders
- Grand Mufti of Syria: a single civilisation unites us all
- Joslyn James taunts Tiger Woods by warning: 'Payback time has only just begun.' - www.sextingjoslynjames.com
- Red Alert !!
- It is Geert Wilder’s right to eat shit on the ground or rubbish from the dustbin
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 09:18 AM PDT
Demi laba politik, kerajaan Datuk Seri Najib Razak menyimpang dari matlamat membantu negeri-negeri miskin di pantai timur melalui hasil khazanah petroleum seperti yang dirancang oleh bapanya Perdana Menteri Kedua, Tun Abdul Razak.
Hakikat ini didedahkan dalam Forum Royalti Minyak Hak Perlembagaan? hari ini oleh Pengasas Petronas, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah yang membentangkan bagaimana Tun Abdul Razak mahu Petronas ditubuhkan demi membangunkan Pantai Timur.
"Tun Razak berkata, walau apapun, kita perlu wang minyak itu untuk Pantai Timur. Jadi saya pun cuba lakukan apa yang dianggap mustahil dan saya siapkan draf (undang-undang Petronas) dan menhantarnya ke Jabatan Perdana Menteri untuk dinilai," katanya.
Beliau menerangkan konsep asas perjanjian minyak antara Petronas dan kerajaan negeri ialah pemberian royalti 5 % kepada kerajaan negeri kerana menyerahkan hak pengurusan hasil minyak kepada Petronas.
Malah Akta Pembangungan Petroleum 1974 ditulis sebegitu rupa untuk memberikan lebih peluang kepada anak-anak negeri di pantai timur mendapat manfaat hasil bumi negeri mereka.
Tengku Razaleigh berkata, pada semangatnya amalan pengagihan hasil petroleum di Terengganu sebelum ini tidak menghadapi sebarang masalah ketika di bawah pentadbiran Umno-BN.
"Akhirnya semua negeri bersetuju memberi hak petroleum kepada kita tetapi sebagai ganti mereka dapat 5% atas hak untuk petroleum di luar pantai yang mereka beri kepada Petronas . Mudah. Saya tak faham kontroversi ini kerana berdasarkan keadaan ini, Terengganu dibayar berbillion dollar. Tetapi bila tahun 99, PAS menang, bayaran dihentikan. Kerajaan Negeri diberi wang ehsan duit itu disalurkan pada agensi kerajaan. Saya pelik kerana tiada apa dalam peruntukkan undang-undang ini yang megatakan kerajaan Persekutuan boleh campur isu negeri," jelas beliau.
Cubaan Kerajaan Umno BN ini dilihat sebagai tindakan menghalang usaha pembangunan kerajaan Negeri yang tidak 'sehaluan politik' dengan mereka.
Tengku Razaleigh juga mempertikaikan mekanisme kewangan yang cuba digunapakai di Kelantan berhubung isu royalti petroleum kerana ketelusan dan keberkesanannya seperti apa yang berlaku dalam amalan 'wang ehsan' di Terengganu.
"Tapi kita lihat apa yang berlaku di Terengganu, penyalahgunaan, korupsi, kerana ia tidak bertanggungjawab. Hampir 20 bilion dibelanjakan dalam wang ehsan. Kerajaan Negeri Terengganu walau telah disambung pemberian wang ehsan tidak bersetuju memerima baki royallti kerana tidak mahu bertanggungjawab dengan penyalahgunaan wang ehsan selama 5 tahun ini. Buat stadium, runtuh, bus stop, runtuh, swimming pool, bocor," katanya.
Seorang lagi ahii Panel, Tommy Thomas, yang juga peguam dalam kes royalti minyak Terengganu mendedahkan bahawa perkara ini hanyalah penderaan politik oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional dengan memberi contoh pengalaman Terengganu.
"Nov 99, selepas pilihanraya umum, Pas telah menang di Terengganu tapi selepas Mac 2000, tiada bayaran royalti diberikan. Kita boleh pergi kepada September 2000. Tiada asas undang-undang untuk hentikan bayaran tetapi ia keputusan politikal yang dibuat oleh Mahathir sebelum itu untuk halang PAS dari dapat bayaran," jelasnya. -TVS
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Posted: 20 Mar 2010 09:14 AM PDT
Kerajaan diminta mengambil iktibar dari bantahan Ahli-Ahli Parlimen United Kingdom mendesak Umno-BN menghentikan penderaan politik terhadap pembangkang.
Pelbagai pihak berpandangan bahawa maruah negara dan rakyat Malaysia telah diperjudikan di mata dunia oleh pemimpin-pemimpin politik yang menghalalkan apa sahaja cara demi kepentingan politik sempit.
Badan hak asasi manusia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia mengulangi gesaan masyarakat antarabangsa mendesak Umno-BN untuk tidak memperkudakan aparatus kerajaan untuk menghancurkan seteru politik mereka.
Penyelaras Suaram, E Nalini berkata pihaknya telah melihat dan menerima pelbagai aduan berhubung salahguna kuasa pemerintah yang menghalang pembangkang dari merapati masyarakat.
"Ceramah-ceramah yang dianjurkan pembangkang, misalnya yang dianjurkan oleh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, selalu dihentikan oleh polis. Polis adalah di bawah institusi kerajaan. Mereka menerima arahan daripada IGP dan ini menunjukkan memang ada diskriminasi kepada pembangkang," jelas beliau.
Baru-baru ini, Ahli Parlimen Tian Chua dan Nurul Izzah dipanggil ke Balai Polis Petaling untuk diambil keterangan berhubung ceramah mereka di Taman Seri Sentosa. Mereka dipanggil atas alasan melanggar syarat permit dan menyentuh isu perkauman.
Pada malam 8 Mac lepas, program memperingati Kemenangan Dua Tahun Pakatan Rakyat terhalang selepas Unit Simpanan Persekutuan merempuh masuk premis Kelab Sultan Sulaiman dan menyerbu pentas yang menempatkan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat.
Modus operandi seperti ini tidak terhenti di lapangan, bahkan terlanjur sehingga ke Dewan Rakyat.
"Di Parlimen juga kita boleh nampak sebarang resolusi yang dibawa oleh pembangkang selalunya akan ditolak. Walaupun resolusi yang dibawa bermanfaat kepada rakyat tetapi akan ditolak atas alasan tidak ada masa," kata Nalini.
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Posted: 20 Mar 2010 08:47 AM PDT
Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Pusat KEADILAN Datuk Zaid Ibrahim membidas Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) pimpinan Datuk Ibrahim Ali yang didakwa sengaja mencetuskan ketakutan di kalangan orang Melayu sambil menyifatkan bentuk politk yang di bawa pertubuhan itu sebagai 'primitif'.
Bercakap pada persidangan Kepimpinan Anak Muda 2010 anjuran Jawatankuasa Tetap Belia dan Sukan Negeri Selangor, Zaid menyelar pertubuhan bukan kerajaan tersebut yang berulang kali menyuarakan kebimbangan terhadap kehakisan hak keistimewaan orang Melayu seperti yang diperuntukkan dalam Perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
"Dalam wawancara Ibrahim dengan Malaysiakini, beliau berkata kita mesti pertahankan hak-hak dalam Perkara 153. Saya pun Melayu. Siapa yang hendak ambil hak kita yang dia hendak lindungi sangat tu," katanya.
Sehubungan itu, beliau menggesa peserta persidangan supaya tidak terpengaruh ke atas ketakutan yang direka oleh 'orang politik' tertentu.
"Di Malaysia Bumiputera jumlahnya besar. Di Sabah dan Sarawak, Iban sahaja sudah 60 peratus. Itu belum campur Melanau.
Mustahil hak kita akan diambil oleh sesiapapun. Jadi tak betul lah kalau dia cakap ada orang nak rampas hak kita," ujar beliau lagi.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 08:43 AM PDT
By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Petronas founding chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) revealed today that the national oil company had planned to preserve the country's petroleum wealth for future generations.
The Gua Musang MP said Petronas had planned to set up a heritage fund to which a certain percentage of its oil revenue would have been channelled.
Speaking at a forum on oil royalty here, Razaleigh also said that Petronas had wanted an advisory body to plan the exploitation of petroleum.
"The national petroleum advisory council to advise the prime minister on how petroleum ought to be exploited or whether we should leave the oil underground, that is for the petroleum council to consider and suggest to the prime minister before Petronas decides what to do with the oil resources," said Razaleigh.
He was responding to another panellist at the forum, law professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi who suggested a trust fund be set up to keep about 25 per cent of the oil revenue for future generations.
Shad was of the opinion that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 "is quite weak" in terms of ensuring the protection of oil revenues for future generations.
Earlier in his presentation Razaleigh reiterated his stand that the Petroleum Development Act was meant to channel some of the oil revenue to the poor East Coast states.
"It is not for us to hoard or to build another Twin Towers or another city like Putrajaya," he said referring to the two mega projects under the administration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Razaleigh also continued his attack against the Federal government's plan to only pay the Kelantan government a goodwill payment, or 'wang ehsan', rather than the five percent royalty as provided for under the agreement with Petronas.
"Wang ehsan is for beggars, like 'sedekah' (donation), you can see what has happened to Terengganu," said Razaleigh.
He cited the case of the collapsed roof of the one year old Sultan Mizan Stadium in Terengganu, built with the goodwill payment, to prove his point on the mismanagement of oil revenue.
"All this is because of bad management. But the real story is somebody stole the money," said Razaleigh.
While Shad described the goodwill payment as highly questionable and urged the Federal government to use existing laws if it wish to continue making the discretionary payment.
Kelantan is currently demanding from the Federal government a five per cent royalty for oil extracted off its shore.
But Putrajaya has maintained that the East Coast state is not entitled to the payment as the oil and gas are extracted from waters that are beyond the three-nautical mile limit prescribed as the state's territorial waters under Malaysia's Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) No 7 1969.
The Federal government has instead promised to pay goodwill payment or 'wang ehsan' through Federal government agencies in the state.
Terengganu also suffered a similar fate in the year 2000, when the Federal government stopped oil royalty payments after PAS took over the government a year earlier.
Royalty payments to Terengganu were reinstated early last year.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 08:24 AM PDT
I am going to start a pretty long story about my trip to Taman Negara Pahang. Maybe you guys can plan a trip there too! :)
We departed at around 11.30am from KL due to Laily's flight from Penang being cancelled. We were supposed to depart at 10-ish. The trip was a 3-day 2-night package (approximately RM400 per person - inclusive of all activities, meals and accommodation). After a 3.5 hour drive, we finally reached Taman Negara and checked in at Agoh Chalet. A very nice chalet indeed! We lepak2 and cam-whoring while waiting for our guide to come see us.
We met Azli & Abang Zam the guide later in the evening for our Insect Safari Walk. It was so dark! You better bring your own torchlight. We found so many interesting insects and tiny creatures. Sempat kacau a scorpion also. And guess what? We were so lucky! During our walk, we saw a sambar deer!
The next morning was our trekking activity to Teresek Hill. I gotta say we've always been lucky. We saw a couple of hornbills on the way up! The trekking wasn't that difficult but since all of us aren't fit, penat jugak la nak panjat2 bukit nih. We cheated though. We went half way and terus pegi Canopy Walk! Hahahah. The Canopy Walk is the longest in the... world kot?
Straight after that, we went on a boat to Gua Telinga for cave exploring! Giler ko. Aku tengok entrance pon dah kecut perutr sebab tak nampak macam entrance! Ayark..! We had to duck, dip, dodge, dive and dodge! Seb baik bontot sumer muat masuk. Again, we were very lucky. We saw a rare snake when were in the cave. The guide was so excited. Bats are everywhere and by the time we went out, we were all covered with guano = bat poo! Ewww~
On the way back, we stopped by at the Orang Asli village where they showed us a few demos. One of the elder ladies was making a tangguk for catching fish. Another guy showed us how fire was made with wood and rattan (it was so hard!) and then showed us how to use the sumpit. Agak horror jugak aku masukkan mulut dalam sumpit tuh.. but it turned out to be easy after all! Oh, do remember to bring RM5 for donation to these villagers yea!
After lunch, we were all set-up for Rapid Shooting. Be prepared to get wet! Best giler kot.. I wrapped my camera dalam plastic je. heheh. We love love love this activity because after that, Azli (one of the guide) stopped the boat at a quiet place where we all terjun and mandi for hours! It started raining but we didn't care. 15 boats came and go passing us by and we were still mandi-manda like the river is all OURS! My fringers got all wrinkled up macam orang tua. Haha.
After dinner, we went for a Night Safari. With a 4WD, we all went to one of the palm oil estate to search for nocturnal animals. One of the most interesting thing we witnessed was a fox up in a tree, catching and eating a rat! Fancy that! How lucky were we? :D
Today is quite a relax day. We went on a boat to Lata Berkoh, enjoying the beatiful river sceneries and animals on the way. We saw wild boars, and owl, some otters and beautiful birds. We had to trek for about 750m to the waterfall and guess what we found the whole way there? FRESH elephant poo! The guide is horrific. Elephants are very dangerous, he said. Oh oo.. but we went on anyway and have a dip at the waterfall.
On the way back, we stopped at the Kelah Sanctuary area. OMG, the fish are so so big and gemok! And I got to swim amongst them! Laily and I went to follow on the canoe. Azli was so mean. He deliberately capsized the boat when nearly reached the tebing. Nasib baek aku pakai life safety jacket. Hampas..!
Alas, it was time to go home. After lunch, we bid goodbye to Abang Zam & Azli and drove all the way back to KL... leaving the rain forest behind...
There, told you it's gonna be long! Hehehe.. well, you can go to tahan.com.my for more info about the package. I have the guide's personal number too. You can probably get more competitive rate! Hehe...
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 08:12 AM PDT
Two days ago, independent Bayan Baru member of parliament Zahrain Mohamed Hashim revealed in the Dewan Rakyat that Anwar had convinced opposition MPs that the Agong was waiting to confirm the number of BN MPs joining the opposition.
The prime minister said he believed the people were now aware of the lies being spread by the opposition and their huge ambition to rule the country.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 06:53 AM PDT
Dear Jew brothers and Christian brothers,
I agree with some of you who have a legitimate fear of unscrupulous bombing and killing of innocent unarmed civilians by (mis) using the name of Islam and now infamous Jihad. I understand that although the silent majourity of Muslims dislike those killings but failed to denounce those activities openly and some of them had even (ignorantly) show some (wrong) pleasure on these atrocities.
As I am a Medical Doctor, a minority oppressed Muslim, a Sunni Hannafi and because of our peace-loving family back ground, I not only love and respect Christian and Jews but love my fellow Burmese Buddhists.
I hope that we all could slowly understand each other and live a more peaceful and prosperous life harmoniously.
SOURCE: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews, often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, or religion. In its extreme form, it "attributes to the Jews an exceptional position among all other civilisations, defames them as an inferior group and denies their being part of the nation[s]" in which they reside. A person who practices antisemitism is called an "antisemite."
Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from individual expressions of hatred and discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs or even state police or military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Extreme instances of persecution include the First Crusade of 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various pogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, and perhaps the most infamous, the Holocaust under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
While the term's etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass ("Jew-hatred"), and that has been its normal use since then.
Antisemitism in Europe
Antisemitism has increased significantly in Europe since 2000, with significant increases in verbal attacks against Jews and vandalism such as graffiti, fire bombings of Jewish schools, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. In Germany and Austria, where antisemitic incidents are highest in Europe, physical assaults against Jews including beatings, stabbings and other violence increased markedly, in a number of cases resulting in serious injury and even death. The Netherlands and Sweden have also consistently had high rates of anti-semitic attacks since 2000.
Antisemitism, or a fear and hatred of the Jewish people, has experienced a long history of expression since the days of ancient civilizations, with most of it having originated in the Christian and pre-Christian civilizations of Europe. While having been cited as having been expressed in the intellectual and political centers of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, the phenomenon received an upsurge of institutionalization within European Christianity following the dissolution of the ancient Jewish center of power in Jerusalem, resulting in the restriction and forced segregation of immigrant and native Jewish populations residing in various parts of the continent from participation in the public life of European society.
The Renaissance, Enlightenment and imperialist eras led to a series of increasingly non-religious expressions of anti-Semitic phobias and outrages in the continent, even as much of the continent had experienced significant political reformations; by the time that a number of republican and other non-monarchial systems were established, romantic ethnic nationalism and labor movements had begun to provide a main conduit and motivator for expressions of anti-Semitic incidents and violence. This was most evidenced in the anti-Semitic acts pursued by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in the early-to-mid 20th century. Throughout the 20th century, anti-Semitic violence and institutionalization spread beyond Europe to the Arab world and other predominately-Muslim countries. By the 21st century, labor-left anti-Semitism remained the primary conduit and motivator for anti-semitic expressions in Europe, even as the ethnic nationalist conduit has rapidly declined in government endorsement, and risen in illicit activity, in most of Europe since World War II and the consolidation of the European Union.
Further information: History of the Jews in Denmark
Anti-semitism in Denmark has not been as widespread as in other countries. Initially Jews were banned as in other countries in Europe, but beginning in the 17th century, Jews were allowed to live in Denmark freely, unlike in other European countries where they were forced to live in ghettos.
In 1813, Denmark had gone bankrupt and people were looking for a scapegoat. A German anti-Semitic book, translated into Danish, provoked a flood of polemical articles both for and against the Jews.
In 1819 a series of anti-Jewish riots in Germany spread to several neighboring countries including Denmark, resulting in mob attacks on Jews in Copenhagen and many provincial towns. These riots were known as Hep! Hep! Riots, from the derogatory rallying cry against the Jews in Germany. Riots lasted for five months during which time shop windows were smashed, stores looted, homes attacked, and Jews physically abused.
However, during World War II, Denmark was very uncooperative with the Nazi occupation on Jewish matters. Danish officials repeatedly insisted to the German occupation authorities that there was no "Jewish problem" in Denmark. As a result, even ideologically committed Nazis such as Reich Commissioner Werner Best followed a strategy of avoiding and deferring discussion of Denmark's Jews. When Denmark's German occupiers began planning the deportation of the 8,000 or so Jews in Denmark to Nazi concentration camps, many Danes and Swedes took part in a collective effort to evacuate the roughly 8,000 Jews of Denmark by sea to nearby Sweden (see also Rescue of the Danish Jews).
Further information: History of the Jews in Sweden
Sweden has a relatively small Jewish community of around 20,000.
Jews have been permitted to immigrate to Sweden since the late 18th century, at first only to Stockholm, Göteborg and Norrköping, but this restriction was removed in 1854. In 1870 Jews received full citizens' rights and the first Jewish members of parliament (riksdagen), Aron Philipson and Moritz Rubenson, were elected in 1873. However Swedish non-Protestants, most of which were Catholics and Jews, were still not allowed to teach the subject of Christianity in public schools or to be government ministers (statsråd); these restrictions were removed in 1951. Yiddish has legal status as one of the country's official minority languages.
There have, however, been a number of antisemitic incidents in recent years, and after Germany and Austria, Sweden has the highest rate of antisemitic incidents in Europe. Though the Netherlands reports a higher rate of antisemitism in some years. A government study in 2006 estimated that 15% of Swedes agree with the statement: "The Jews have too much influence in the world today". Five percent of the entire adult population, and 39% of the Muslim population, harbor strong and consistent antisemitic views. Former Prime Minister Göran Persson described these results as "surprising and terrifying". However, the Rabbi of Stockholm's Orthodox Jewish community, Meir Horden claimed that "It's not true to say that the Swedes are anti-Semitic. Some of them are hostile to Israel because they support the weak side, which they perceive the Palestinians to be."
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 06:36 AM PDT
By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will open Malay nationalist group Perkasa's inaugural assembly on March 27, replacing the Sultan of Selangor who had decided not to attend the meeting.
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said the former prime minister will be given a warrior's welcome.
"Tun Mahathir will be given a grand warrior's welcome in accordance with Malay custom," said Ibrahim in a statement to The Malaysian Insider.
Dr Mahathir who once made Ibrahim a deputy minister had also officiated the Selangor Perkasa launch on Jan 30.
Yesterday Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said that he would not attend the Perkasa assembly.
However the Sultan hoped that the Perkasa meeting would proceed and the organisation would carry on its agenda to safeguard the sovereignty of the institution of rulers, Malay and bumiputera rights and the sanctity of Islam as the country's official religion.
He also clarified that Ibrahim should not be blamed for naming him as the guest of honour on the Perkasa assembly invitation card as the palace had on early last month agreed to the organisation's request.
Meanwhile Ibrahim hoped those who wish to attend the assembly to arrive early at the Putra World Trade Centre.
"As of now, more than 8,000 members have confirmed their attendance and some 2,000 invited guests are also expected to attend," said Ibrahim.
"Because the attendance will be more than 10,000, so I am asking for cooperation from everyone to come early to avoid traffic congestion," he said.
Ibrahim added that the assembly will debate motions on religion, economy, education and security.
Perkasa was formed soon after Election 2008 and has turned into a strong pressure group representing those seeking to defend the constitutional position of the Malays and the social contract.
It has been at the forefront in lobbying the government to retain the affirmative action policy favouring the Malays and in the New Economic Model (NEM) scheduled to be announced at the end of this month.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 06:24 AM PDT
By JAMES HOOKWAY
KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysia's dilemma over whether to end some of the world's most entrenched systems of racial-preference laws is coming to a head.
Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to outline this month plans to revitalize how the country's export-driven economy is run, with details to follow in June. The program might mean a push to change a decades-old system of preferential treatment for the country's majority Muslim-Malay population, which has often economically lagged behind its ethnic compatriots.
People familiar with his plans say he might move to liberalize some sectors of the economy, giving nonethnic Malays a larger role. He also is expected to give more non-Malay students access to scholarships. He already has made it easier for foreign business to invest in areas such as Islamic finance, and last week warned Malaysians to prepare for an end to state subsidies on various commodities, including sugar.
Malaysia's race-based quota system, in place since the early 1970s, gives ethnic Malays special treatment—from cheaper housing and loans, to advantages in securing university places and government jobs and contracts. The aim is to boost the economic power of the Malay population, which represents 54% of the country's 28 million people, but which typically doesn't do as well in business or high-earning jobs as Malaysians who are ethnic-Chinese or, to a lesser extent, ethnic-Indians. Those ethnic groups make up about 35% of the population.
Many think the affirmative-action system is too rigid for global competition for markets and investment. Business leaders such as Nazir Razak, Mr. Najib's brother and chief executive of banking concern CIMB Group Bhd., have called for the so-called bumiputera, or indigenous, rules to be revised. An opinion poll conducted by the independent Merdeka Center in 2008 found that 71% of Malaysians surveyed—and 65% of Malays—agreed the laws needed to be overhauled. Trading partners such as the U.S. and European Union have singled out government procurement policies that ensure contracts go to Malay-owned business as stalling free-trade pacts.
"I don't think there's any question that we need to commit to reform, although we'll still have to help Malaysians according to their need," says Khairy Jamaluddin, a top Malay politician with Mr. Najib's National Front coalition and leader of the United Malays National Organization's youth wing.
Still, some analysts doubt Mr. Najib will be able to take his overhauls far. Voluble opponents have emerged recently, led by a charismatic activist named Ibrahim Ali, who holds rallies and lobbies government officials. Last year, he founded the group Perkasa—the Malay word for warrior. He counts former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and royal rulers such as the sultan of Selangor among his 30,000 or so supporters.
Mr. Ibrahim argues that the social stability ensured by giving a leg up to the Malay population far outweighs the benefits of opening more of what was once one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic economies to the nimble and capital-rich ethnics in Malaysian—particularly the Chinese, but also the ethnic-Indians.
"The playing field can be leveled sometime in the future, but it's only 2010," says the 59-year-old Mr. Ibrahim, in his Kuala Lumpur office amid pictures of Fidel Castro, Che Guevera and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "But we've got to be honest and say we can't compete."
Mr. Ibrahim is focusing on what political analysts say is Malaysia's defining quandary: How and when to dismantle one of the world's most comprehensive systems of preferential treatment, in an ethnically and religiously diverse nation.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, right, expresses his good wishes to local Chinese people prior to the Chinese Spring Festival in Kuala Lumpur's China Town on Feb. 11, 2010.
The analysts say Mr. Najib is trying to win back ethnic-Chinese and ethnic-Indian voters to the ruling National Front by adopting some of Mr. Anwar's policies. The risk is that Mr. Najib might lose the support of some Malay voters, especially with Mr. Ibrahim leading the charge in support of Malay supremacy. The premier didn't respond to requests for an interview for this article.
The roots of the issue go back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, when British colonists encouraged workers from China and India to go to Malaysia to toil in the rubber and tin industries. In 1969, deadly race riots killed more than 100 in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. Malaysia's rulers then adopted the quota system in the early 1970s to help ethnic-Malays.
The goal: Build up the economic clout of the Malay community to control at least 30% of Malaysia's economic output. Malays now control about 19% of the economy—up from 2.4% since the program began, according to government figures. Some independent analysts say the actual figure is higher.
Mr. Najib may be well-positioned to demand change. He is a son of Malaysia's second prime minister after independence from Britain in 1957 and is perceived as a strong defender of Malay rights.
Mr. Ibrahim reckons Mr. Najib is misreading the depth of anger many Malays feel toward any change in a policy that has given many a leg up and helped to build a large middle class.
"People like Perkasa, they can derail the prime minister's plans. They do resonate with a segment of the Malay community," says Mr. Khairy, the UMNO activist. "But this is a time for leadership, not a time to pander to Malay insecurities."
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 08:08 AM PDT
Ahli Exco Angkatan Muda KEADILAN Pusat Amizuddin Ahmat mempersoalkan tindakan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia Pulau Pinang menutup siasatan kes rasuah terhadap bekas Timbalan Ketua Menteri I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin walhal agensi itu sebelum ini mengakui terdapat asas untuk meneruskan kes tersebut.
"Adakah kerana antara pemimpin yang dimaksudkan sudah berhenti memegang jawatan dan masuk Umno, kes ini lalu terhenti dan ditutup?
"Adakah kes ini akan dikatakan tidak cukup bukti untuk meneruskan pendakwaan hanya kerana yang terlibat sudah melompat parti?" tanya Amizuddin.
Semalam SPRM Pulau Pinang memanggil Amizuddin yang juga Ketua AMK Kepala Batas berhubung surat yang dihantar kepada Pengarahnya Datuk Latifah Md Yatim.
Surat tersebut bertanyakan mengenai status siasatan penyelewengan kes kuari di negeri itu yang membabitkan bekas Mohammad Fairus.
Amizuddin merupakan pemberi maklumat dan pernah dipanggil SPRM untuk memberikan bukti berkenaan kes rasuah melibatkan bekas Timbalan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang 1 itu.
Pada 27 Februari 2009 beliau mendedahkan penyelewengan dua pemimpin KEADILAN negeri kerana menerima rasuah daripada syarikat kuari di Seberang Prai.
Beliau yang ketika itu Ahli Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Prai (MPSP) mendakwa memiliki bukti berbentuk sistem pesanan ringkas (SMS) dan slip bank berkaitan kemasukan wang ke akaun peribadi mereka.
Ketika dihubungi Suara Keadilan Amizuddin berkata beliau ke kompleks SPRM Pulau Pinang dengan ditemani Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Pusat KEADILAN Badrul Hisham Shaharin dan Ketua AMK Pulau Pinang Amir Ghazali.
SPRM dalam responnya kepada Amizuddin berkata siasatan di peringkat SPRM Pulau Pinang telah selesai dan kes itu telah dirujuk kepada ibu pejabat di Putrajaya.
Menurut Amizuddin, Latifah memberitahu beliau kes berkenaan bukan lagi di bawah bidang kuasa SPRM Pulau Pinang.
"Beliau kata kes itu bukan bidang bawah kuasanya lagi kerana kes itu telah diserahkan kepada SPRM Putrajaya. Jika mereka kata siasat, akan siasat, jika kata tutup (kes itu) maka tutup," ujarnya.
Amizuddin berkata Latifah berjanji untuk memberikan jawapan bertulis berhubung isu yang dibangkitkan dalam surat beliau dalam tempoh dua minggu.
Suara Keadilan sebelum ini menyiarkan kenyataan Ketua AMK Pusat Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin yang menyifatkan tindakan Mohammad Fairus menyertai Umno mengesahkan persepsi rakyat bahawa wujud kompromi di antara beliau dan SPRM supaya tidak meneruskan pendakwaan ke atasnya.
Ini terbukti apabila beliau menyertai Umno hanya dua minggu selepas pengumuman SPRM dibuat.
Pada 12 Februari lalu SPRM telah menutup siasatan lapan kes berprofil tinggi termasuk kes rasuah Mohammad Fairus. -SK/TVS
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Posted: 20 Mar 2010 05:15 AM PDT
Cubaan Ahli Parlimen (AP) Rembau yang juga Ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin memainkan isu arak dan judi di Dewan Rakyat ibarat meludah ke langit, terpercik di muka sendiri sebaik MP Machang, Saifudin Nasution diberi laluan untuk berucap.
Saifudin yang hanya menyatakan berhubung judi arak secara umum membuatkan beberapa MP Umno berasa kurang selesa termasuklah AP Pasir Salak yang kelihatan marah-marah dan hampir-hampir keluar dari tempat duduk asalnya.
Berikut ialah transkrip penuh ucapan Saifudin yang juga Setiausaha PKR sehingga membuatkan MP Umno tertekan di Dewan Rakyat.
"Dia (Khairy Jamaluddin) tak sukar kita memahami keberanian Rembau kebelakangan ini untuk dilihat berani mencabar Ketua Pembangkang.
"Sifirnya mudah, menang pemilihan parti (Umno), tak dapat jadi menteri, itu sahaja," katanya.
Maknanya, tambah Saifudin, perbahasan ini sekarang, diikuti oleh Perdana Menteri (Najib Razak) jadi keberanian itu akan diberi markah dan peluang untuk dilantik jadi menteri, itu sahaja.
"Jadi, itu fakta. Adakah Permatang Pauh (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) bersetuju, tak susah kita memahami budaya dalam politik Umno.
Maknanya dosa besar dalam Umno, ialah menegur dan berkata benar kepada pemimpin Umno itu berdosa besar. Parti agama, bangsa, Negara. Judi ok, arak ok.
Jangan cabar kita, kita boleh tunjuk berapa kerat dalam (Dewan Rakyat) ini.
Berapa banyak botol Arak dia togok dalam lawatan-lawatan pemuda Umno dulu.
Jangan sebut, kita boleh sebut, Jangan cabar kita, kita boleh sebut.
Jangan cabar, kita tahu, pejabat pemimpin Umno mana yang ada tong arak dalam pejabat.
Jangan cabar, waktu Wedding Anniversary, pemimpin pemuda Umno dihidangkan botol arak, jangan cabar kita," kata Saifudin.
Ketika ini, beberapa pemimpin Umno merah padam walaupun Saifudin sekadar menyebut perkara itu secara umum sehingga Timbalan Yang Di Pertua (TYDP) Dewan Rakyat menegur sikap pemimpin Umno itu.
TYDP : Sudah lah Pasir salak, Pasir Salak duduk dahulu, Rembau, Rembau duduk dahulu, saya pun mahu dengar apa yang Machang nak cakap.
Saifudin yang dibenarkan berucap menyambung;
"Apakah Permatang Pauh bersetuju kalau saya katakan bahawa, dalam satu forum beberapa tahun lalu, selepas MP Permatang Pauh di pecat (dari parti dan kerajaan), di University John New Hopkins Amerika Syarikat, Pemimpin pemuda Umno itupun ada di sini, Bendahari Umno Malaysia pun ada di sini. berapa banyak botol arak dia togok, kita tahu, jangan cabar," katanya.
MP Pokok Sena yang terkejut dengan pendedahan itu turut sama menggamatkan Dewan apabila berkata.'
Mahfuz : Tu dia, baru kami tahu. Allah Akhbar, apa pasal teruk sangat ni.
"Sebab itu, jangan sampai kita sebut di mana, Hai kenapa marah (Khairy dan Tajuddin), kenapa marah, sebab apa marah, bersungguh marak kenapa, duduklah.
YDP saya bagi fakta ini, Bagan Datoh tak marah, Batu Pahat tak marah, Pontian tak marah. Rembau terpaku, Pasir Salak yang lebih, kenapa, kenapa, kenapa?
Sebab itu, jangan… jangan sebut," katanya.
Ketika ini Pasir Salak yang sejak tadi diam, tiba-tiba menyinga dan menyalak dan dilihat cuba keluar dari kerusinya sebelum MP Machang berkata;
"Kalau nak suruh saya ulang diluar dewan, saya ulang, namanya siapa, tarikhnya bila,berapa banyak botol arak dia togok." kata Saifudin.
Sebaik ungkapan itu diucapkan Saifudin, MP Pasir Salak yang sebelum itu marah-marah ke kiri kanan, terduduk sambil mencebikkan bibirnya..
"Sebab itu saya tidak boleh terima amalan ini. Dalam satu lawatan Umno ke Amerika Syarikat, ada pemimpin Umno yang tertidur dalam mesin judi. Kita tahu.
Jangan tanya saya pemimpin Umno mana. Bila semua orang dah naik bas, ada tiga lagi pemimpin Umno tak naik bas. Bila kita turun cari, rupanya pemimpin Umno ini tertidur dalam kasino judi. Nak sebut apa?
Pengerusi, cukup, untuk pusingan pertama kali ini. Adakah MP Permatang Pauh bersetuju tentang perkara ini, sekian untuk pusingan pertama," jelas Saifudin. -erapakatan
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 05:13 AM PDT
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today claimed he was told that the national oil company, Petronas, has made a "very big discovery of an oil field, probably the biggest in the world".
This discovery, he asserted, meant that Petronas would have a very good future. However, the founding chairman of Petronas declined to go into details.
"I was told… no announcement (was) made (about) a very big discovery of oil. I was told there was a big discovery… which could depress the oil price.
"I was also told it is the biggest oil field or oil well (not only) in this part of world but also in any part of the world.
"I cannot disclose the (location)… I cannot tell you," he said when asked repeatedly about the discovery, which he mentioned in his talk titled, "Oil Royalty: A Constitutional Right?" organised by the Malaysian Bar here today.
He also did not identify who had told him of the developments in Petronas.
Meanwhile, Petronas, in a brief statement, denied any such discovery.
"Petronas would like to clarify that it has not made any such discovery and any statement alluding to such a discovery is not true," the national oil corporation said, when contacted by Bernama.
Tengku Razaleigh had recently spoken against the federal government's stand that the Kelantan government had no right to demand royalty for the oil extracted from the state's offshore area.
Tengku Razaleigh, a former finance minister, said a large oil find means Petronas had a good future but added, it must be properly managed.
"I hope Petronas will be managed well…no leakages, so that money will come back to the people," he added.
He also said that he was very happy to note that despite Petronas having to spend money for the construction of the Petronas Twin Towers here and the development of Putrajaya, the federal administrative capital, the national oil company "is still in the black, with money and had some reserves left".
Petronas contributed about RM75 billion annually to the federal government, which is equivalent to about 42 per cent of the country's revenue.
Since it was founded on Aug 17, 1974, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 31 countries.
Petronas is ranked among Fortune Global 500's largest corporations in the world. Fortune ranked Petronas as the 95th largest company in the world in 2008 and 80th largest in 2009.
It also ranks Petronas as the eighth most profitable company in the world and the most profitable in Asia.
Oil prices have fallen in the last two weeks by up to 2.8 per cent to below US$80 (RM272) a barrel early yesterday.
London Brent Crude for May fell US$1.60 a barrel to US$79.88. — Bernama
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 04:28 AM PDT
Bekas Menteri Undang-undang Datuk Zaid Ibrahim mencabar kerajaan mendedahkan isi kandungan perjanjian royalti minyak yang dibuat antara Petronas dengan Terengganu dan Kelantan.
Beliau berkata langkah ini perlu bagi menerangkan kepada rakyat kedudukan sebenarnya berhubung isu tuntutan royalti minyak yang dibuat oleh Terengganu sejak 2001 dan terakhir oleh kerajaan negeri Kelantan.
"Tuan-tuan pernah lihat ke perjanjian tersebut? Kenapa perjanjian tiga mukasurat itu tidak boleh dipamerkan kepada umum? Kenapa? Kerana mereka hendak tipu. Jadi, mereka boleh buat sesuka hati.
"Bayangkan bagaimana pemimpin kita sanggup berbohong sehingga menggunakan peguam-peguam kelas 'C' semata-mata kerana mereka tidak mahu rakyat tahu hal yang sebenar," kata beliau pada
Persidangan Anak Muda Kebangsaan 2010 di Dewan Sivik Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya.
Tambah Zaid perjanjian royalti minyak itu juga menetapkan kerajaan persekutuan layak memperoleh hanya lima peratus sahaja daripada jumlah pengeluaran minyak disesebuah negeri.
"Ia tidak ada sebut tentang jarak berapa batu nautika (sebagaimana yang dipertikai kerajaan persekutuan). Ia kata, aku dapat seringgit, engkau (kerajaan negeri) dapat lima sen.
"Yang ini dia tak bagi tahu rakyat. Niat asal Petronas ialah supaya duit itu disimpan oleh Petronas dan dilaburkan untuk kepentingan generasi akan datang," katanya.
Sehubungan itu beliau menyeru anak-anak muda membuat daftar pemilih dengan segera dan mengundi sebelum kerajaan persekutuan memutuskan untuk memansuhkan pilihan raya.
"Tak lama lagi pilihan raya mungkin akan dimansuhkan. Tetapi kerana BN yakin dia boleh menang sebab itu dia tak mansuhkan lagi. Hanya dengan kuasa dua hingga tiga juta pengundi baru insyaAllah kita akan berjaya dan mustahil pemimpin yang menipu ini masih boleh bertahan," tegas beliau lagi.
Menurut Zaid isu tuntutan royalti minyak Terengganu/Kelantan adalah antara contoh pembohongan pemimpin Umno-BN kepada rakyat yang dianggap beliau sebagai budaya politik kotor yang bukan sahaja merugikan rakyat tetapi Bumiputera khususnya.
Pada persidangan itu Zaid yang juga Ahli Majlis Pimpinan Pusat KEADILAN membentangkan kertas kerja bertajuk 'Kepimpinan Abad Ke-21'
Beliau berkata seorang pemimpin yang baik ialah pemimpin yang boleh memberi keuntungan serta sumbangan kepada perkembangan tamadun selain berani dan sanggup berkorban apa sahaja secara telus dan bukannya meneruskan penipuan sepertimana yang dilakukan pemimpin kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional. -SK
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 02:39 AM PDT
Ethnic relation remains one major issue that still baffles the leaders of many countries around the world. Tension between people of different ethnic backgrounds in a country has erupted into conflicts, some leading to mass massacres.
The world has witnessed the 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosnia, a term synonymous to massacre of the worst kind, during the aftermath of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union.
What is the root cause of ethnic conflicts and what is the solution? The word, 'ethnic' comes from the Greek word, 'ethnos' which means a distinctive nation or a people, with their own language, cultural and religious backgrounds, living in a particular environment.
As the adage goes, 'birds of the same feather flock together,' it is not unusual for people of the same ethnic background to stay together. This is not unusual, and should not be frowned upon, as even within the same community, there is bound to be polarisation.
In countries like Australia, the ethnic population of immigrants has increased over the past half -century. Today, the Australian citizenship comprises of people from some over 180 countries around the world.
The Vietnamese and Cambodian populations have their own favourite townships there. As one walks the streets of Springvale in Victoria, for example, it is hard to believe that in Australia, nearly every shop in Springvale is now owned by a Vietnamese family.
Like their Greeks and the Italians who have also built their own communities, the Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrations work hard to build themselves, and created not only material wealth for themselves, but also jealousy amongst a minority of the White Australians.
In the 1990s, a Queensland politician, Pauline Hanson rose to fame with her anti-Asian sentiments, by exploiting racial issues and winning herself a parliamentary seat. She was seen as championing the cause of the White Australians.
The other Asian communities, including the Malaysian and Singaporean populations in Melbourne and Sydney, also felt the heat resulting from anti-Asian sentiments that often surface in Australian politics.
According to Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, director of Institute of Malay World and Civilisation at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the Caucasians in countries like Australia can be magnanimous, but, closer to home, he said 'we believe in multi-ethnicity in that we recognise the diversity of races and cultures, and each race is treated with respect as an entity of its own'.
This means politicians have to be more careful in not playing up racial politics. Often, the people of two races are still friendly to each other, even though political and racial tensions may erupt. During the May 13, 1969 incident, for example, there were Chinese families who were being given protection by their Malay or Indian friends.
My late father, who worked in Pahang during the May 13 incident, said ethnic relations was normal in Kuantan during the racial riots in the federal capital. The Chinese and the Malay folk in Kuantan were still enjoying their cup of coffee at the 'mamak' stall.
Racial politics, which cannot be avoided in a multi-ethnic society, must be reduced. There is a need to respect each other's ethnicity and a learning to appreciate the diversity of cultures in Malaysia which explains why the Higher Education Ministry has formulated a module recently on ethnic relations which will be taught in tertiary institutions.
Such efforts are noble, especially when it is not usually done in other universities around the world but one cannot help but to ask, can ethnic relations be taught in the classroom or does it take more than just a textbook to improve ethnic relations between the three major communities in Malaysia?
Take 'Moral Education', for example, a subject that is taught in schools. How many students pick up their moral values from the classroom?
With ethnic relations, is there too much emphasis given on spelling out the differences in ethnic and social backgrounds, only to teach 'tolerance' for each other's cultural and religious values in the process of building national unity?
At the core of ethnic relations is the fact that we all belong to the human race. An Australian biologist at Monash University Malaysia, Dr Catherine Yule, took offence whenever she had to fill forms, which asked for her race.
'I often put it as 'Human race' because I belong to the human race,' she said. 'Is my blood green or white or am I supposed to behave more superiorly than the other races just because I am a Caucasian?'
Being colour-blind is also an advantage when it comes to improving ethnic relations, especially as the world is becoming a global village. In Malaysia, since the 1990s, we have seen many Africans visiting and studying in our local institutions of higher learning. Are we able to relate to them or do we see them as 'different'?
When studying in Australia, I was among the few Asians who could relate well to the White Australians without any difficulties. I believe it is mainly because at the core of it, I realised that all of us, whether Caucasian or Asian, are all but human beings.
Apart from our cultural values, which dictate the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the way we conduct ourselves, every human being has two eyes, one nose and one mouth. Beneath the coloured skin are the same blood types ie, A, B, AB and O.
This perception has helped me break through ethnic barriers and created bonds with people of different nationalities.
Shouldn't an attitude like this also be adopted by every Malaysian? Not only at the tertiary level but from as young as four or five years old especially in the new millennium where we are talking about the increasing trend of globalisation now entering into every phase of our lives?
While it is good to teach ethnic relations, it is far better to create opportunities for people of different ethnic backgrounds to mingle with each other in the spirit of friendship where we can learn to appreciate diversity of cultures in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society to defuse any social tensions between races that can be easily exploited by any dirty politician.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 02:37 AM PDT
Today Geert Wilders told newspaper Telegraaf some details about his movie. I will give an translation:
"The movie is not just about the Koran but also happens inside the Koran. The edges of the book remain visible all the time. Inside these edges will be shown images of what the Koran verses prescribe." says Geert Wilders.
The openings shot of the movie (see picture above) shows on the left side a Koran and on the right the text; "Warning: this book contains shocking images". "This Koran", Wilders told the news paper, "I bought on a recent trip to Israel in East Jerusalem".
After the openings shot, Wilders explains, the book opens. The viewer will be shown images from different sources. A beheading in Iraq, a stoning in Iran or an execution in Saudi Arabia under the sharia law. "Who thinks that's shocking, shouldn't blame me, but the people who perpetrated such things" says rightwing Geert Wilders. "We just show the different Koran verses and illustrate it with examples". Geert Wilders does not want to give a release date of the movie. "The movie is still not finished. It's so much work. It will at least take a few more weeks". He did not show a preview to the newspaper either. Wilders says he can only show 'something' in February. The movie will be broad casted begin March. That's two months late on his original schedule.
By the way, all those nice previews of the movie you find on You Tube are all part of a big hoax. Geert Wilders did not yet release any video material.
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 02:33 AM PDT
American Muslim spokesman:
"violent protests" to Dutch film on Qur'an would be "natural"
Bob Crane, the former Nixon aide and convert to Islam, says so in a revealing new piece. He's against such violent protests, mind you, and he thinks Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who is making the film, is just trying to provoke such reactions (Wilders explains himself XXX.) But he does think they would be "natural." "Challenge and Response: The Case of Islamophobic Wilding," by Dr. Robert D. Crane of The Center for Understanding Islam at The American Muslim (thanks to Freedom4Expression):
In other words, not only would violent protests from Muslims be "natural," but if non-Muslim authorities do anything to put them down, they'll just get worse. That is, shut up or else, and if you won't shut up, back off — or else.
And in light of Crane's remarks, don't be surprised if, after Wilders's film comes out, Muslims start once again doin' what comes naturally.
Crane also backs attempts at censorship:
…It is important to note that Brother Yusuf did not directly debate the rabid preacher, because such a debate would not be conducive to intelligent discussion. This was the reason I backed out of a "debate" on a national hook-up scheduled with Robert Spencer last fall on November 8. On November 6th, I concluded that we were on the same side in warning about and trying to counter the radicals who pose as Muslims, such as Osama bin Laden, who are using religion as a political tool to vent their hatred on everyone who disagrees with them. I told the producer of the show that I would join a two-man panel with Spencer after he had had a chance to read my latest book, which the IIIT is bringing out under the title The Natural Law of Compassionate Justice, more than a hundred pages of which directly expose almost line for line Spencer's biased reliance on extremist Muslims as source material in his current book, The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion.
While this may be true, if anyone had ever scheduled a debate between Crane and me, I was never told about it. That doesn't mean that it wasn't actually scheduled. One very, very early morning, I got the call for what I thought was a routine and low-key radio interview, only to find myself half-asleep and coffeeless in a debate with Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. So these things happen. But not only did I not know about this purported debate — also, I never received word from anyone that Crane wanted to debate me, or be on a "two-man panel" with me, after I read his book. Not from Crane, not from the producer of any show, not from anyone. In fact, I didn't even know he had written a new book, much less that a large part of it is devoted to refuting mine, until I read this article.
It's also worth noting at this point, however, that Crane has, in earlier criticism of my work, directly misrepresented the content of Islamic texts. He has even done so in the process of accusing me of doing so. Details . That makes it difficult for me to muster any anxiety over his alleged demolishing of my book The Truth About Muhammad — if Crane plays as fast and loose with the facts in his book as he did in those earlier articles, then his farrago may fool the credulous and those who really, really want to believe him, but objective observers will be able to find out the truth. For in reality, as I'm sure Crane himself knows full well, I did not rely on "extremist Muslims as source material" for the book, but used instead the earliest material written about Muhammad by pious Muslims. If this is a "biased reliance on extremist Muslims," then other biographers of Muhammad, including Muslims such as Tariq Ramadan, Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Safi ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, and Yahiya Emerick, as well as non-Muslim Islamic apologists such as Karen Armstrong, are guilty of the same thing, since they use the same sources.
But anyway, I'll see if I can get hold of a copy of Crane's book, and am of course happy to debate him anytime, despite his only glancing acquaintance with truth and accuracy, and his indulgence in the familiar tendency to defame my character and motives rather than actually to refute what I'm saying. It's interesting, finally, to note that ol' Bob got it published by the IIIT — the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The IIIT was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum (pdf here) as part of the Brotherhood's "organizations of our friends" dedicated to "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands … so that … God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."
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Posted: 20 Mar 2010 02:23 AM PDT
Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun addresses MEPs in Strasbourg
In a speech to MEPs on Tuesday on the subject of intercultural dialogue, the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, stressed the value of culture as a unifying rather than a dividing force. Dr Hassoun was addressing a formal sitting of Parliament as the first speaker in a series of visits by eminent religious and cultural leaders in 2008, which has been designated European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.
Opening his address, the Grand Mufti stressed that "really there are no separate cultures, there is but one single culture" in the world, namely "the culture of mankind". Indeed, he said, "we, in our region, do not believe in a conflict between cultures".
If a clash did exist, it was "where there is ignorance, terrorism and backwardness". Stressing the universality of culture, he said that the Soviet and American space agencies, in sending men to the moon, had built on the civilisation founded by Europeans before them. In addition, "those who built the pyramids are our great-grandfathers". These examples showed that "civilisation is one".
No such thing as holy war
The Grand Mufti then asked "Does civilisation have a religion?". His answer was that there is no Islamic, Christian or Jewish civilisation. "Religion gives civilisation its moral values but culture is something that we built", he stressed, adding that religion "is the work of god" whereas civilisation is created by mankind.
"We do not believe, in our region, in the multiplicity of religions", said the Grand Mufti. "Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohamed came with one single religion". Therefore "there is no holy war, because a war can never be holy: it is peace that is holy." Later he said it was wrong to use religion to justify killing.
Separation of religion and state
Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said, "Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator". If we want peace, starting for example with Palestine and Israel, he suggested that rather than building walls, "let us build bridges of peace". He also argued that "we must create states on a civil basis, not a religious basis", adding "I don't impose my religion on you, nor do you impose your religion on me".
The Grand Mufti also spoke on the subject of women, saying that in his country women were valued and respected, though they may face injustice because of the actions of men. Still, he maintained, women participate in all fields of society in Syria.
Closing his speech, Dr Hassoun praised Europe today as embodying a "miracle" in overcoming two world wars and bringing down the Berlin wall without bloodshed. Seeing the European Parliament as a model, he called on the EP "to help us build a universal parliament". And since Damascus is this year the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, he asked the EP, as a practical gesture, to agree to hold "a meeting for cultures" in Damascus "to say that the world is at one".
EP President Pöttering sees tolerance as the cornerstone of dialogue
In his introductory speech, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering said "peaceful coexistence between cultures and religions, both in the European Union and in relations with peoples in all parts of the world, in particular on the other side of the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, is both possible and essential". He added "we must build an intellectual and cultural bridge across the Mediterranean, one founded on mutual enrichment and shared values". He stressed that "Tolerance is central to intercultural dialogue. But tolerance does not mean indifference. Tolerance means defending one's views, hearing out others and respecting their convictions."
Lastly the president said "The fact that the Grand Mufti has been accompanied here today by senior religious leaders offers clear evidence of that successful coexistence". Before starting his own speech, the Grand Mufti took the hand of Bishop Antoine Odo, President of the Chaldean Bishops of Syria, and together the two men faced the assembled MEPs, who responded with a warm round of applause.
External relations – 15-01-2008 - 14:05
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 01:57 AM PDT
Latest Woods' woe:
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 02:05 AM PDT
Era smsed me a short while ago. Hear this shocking incident at the TTDI mosque last night.
Era: Salam anyone who has old, unused golf stick, pl pass to me. Thx.
Me: Untk apa oi?
Era: Golf stick 4 'self defence!' Yesterday at taqwa mosque, masa jemaah ladies
tengah solat ishak, ada intruder meraba ladies' bag. Tak cukup raba pulak
punggung ladies tgh sujud!! He is not going to be lucky bcos ladies dah macam gajah gila..Wslm
Me: Ya Allah! Teruknya!
Era: Good stuff 4 yr blog kot?
Era: Ada 5 pubs at ttdi. Lebih dari punggung bole raba. Ladies v v angry sbb
org nak buat ibadat dia nak buat maksiat. Tempah 'package maut' le.
Me: Crazy bastards! Kalau dapat tangkap bantai punggung dia
puas2 dengan kayu golf! Biar terkencing dia! Hopefully sekor je!
Posted: 20 Mar 2010 01:48 AM PDT
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