Vegetation like Malaysia. In fact, that is what the Singaporean observed .. lumping us with Indo and even Vietnam. whatever.
Vegetation like Malaysia. In fact, that is what the Singaporean observed .. lumping us with Indo and even Vietnam. whatever.
Local north tribesmen weaving and her child / daughter. she looked very young.
Not sure if this is a normal wear or a costume. But these guys worked hard to earn the living.
Under Kamariah’s* photo on her Malaysian identification card is her ethnicity. Right under that her gender, and to the left: Islam. But the 28-year-old woman with the angular eyeglasses and the broad smile is Christian. She belongs to the largest ethnic group in Malaysia—the Malays. According to the official census, Malays number 65 per cent of the population. In Malaysia, Kamariah says, a Malay is a Muslim by definition. “A Malay is a Muslim. Full stop,” she says. Few dare to go public if they convert to Christianity.
One man who has publicly converted is the well-known yachtsman, Azhar Mansor, who in 1999 sailed around the world in 190 days without the aid of an engine. The main mast of his yacht broke around Cape Horn. He managed, nevertheless, to reach the Faulkland Islands to repair the mast. What happened on the way between the cape and the islands is subject to speculation. The internet is full of questions by Muslims as to whether Mansor – who no longer lives in Malaysia – is really converted. And there is much discussion among Christians as well. Kamariah’s version is that Mansor, about to drown in the sea, was saved by a dolphin, and that Jesus appeared to him soon after.
Lina Joy did not intend to become famous when she requested officially to leave Islam in 2001. She succeeded in changing her name, Azlina Jailani, to Lina Joy, but the government’s National Registration Department refused to delete ‘Islam’ from her identification card. For such decisions, it is not the government departments that are responsible, but the Syariah Court – the court in Malaysia which supervises Muslims’ adherence to Islam. To the disadvantage of Lina Joy, the judge ruled, ‘As the plaintiff is a Malay, she is subjected to the laws of Islam until she dies’.
She has appealed the decision several times, and her latest appeal will appear soon before the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. Then it will be determined whether the Syariah Court has jurisdiction over those people who want to convert out of Islam. Article 11 (of the Malaysian Constitution) promises freedom of religion. “It is true for all the other faiths, but not for Muslims who want to leave Islam”, says Kamariah.
She and the 34-year-old Natasha* are the only ethnic Malays in the international church they visit. “Many Malay Christians hide themselves and meet secretly”, explains Kamariah. They are still registered as Muslims. In two months, Kamariah will start a business which plans weddings. But the business intends to do much more: it will also offer free pre-marital counselling. The counselling will be based on the principles of the Bible. Kamariah had to negotiate this plan with the relevant authorities - and the plan was approved. The identification card of converted Muslims becomes a problem when they want to marry, because by Islamic law, a Muslim can only marry another Muslim.
“The only way to get legally married is to marry a Malay Christian who is also still on paper a Muslim”, says the young woman. “But then our children will also be Muslims on paper, and their children, and the circle is never broken. But if we want to change our identification cards, it won’t happen without problems.” The Syariah Court can decide to put me in prison”, explains Kamariah. Therefore she does not think now of marrying or of changing her identity card, and she lives – like most single adults in Malaysia – with her Muslim parents. They do not know that their daughter is a Christian. “Here I must be careful whom I confide in”, Kamariah says. “Some Malays are tolerant, but others would not hesitate to turn me in to the Syariah Court. If they didn’t turn me in, then others might think that they were cooperating to hide me – and that is not good at all in Islam.”
Kamariah became a Christian in 2000 after being in a two-year relationship with a Chinese Christian. “I was always envious; he had a relationship with his God. My God was far away, unattainable,” she remembers. “His prayers were answered. Mine were not.” So Kamariah decided one day to entrust her life to Jesus. Since then much has changed. Even though she does not speak with her parents about Christianity, she prays in her house. “Suddenly my mother took the Koran verses off the wall and instead hung up a picture of some flowers”, she says happily. One day, she hopes, she will not have to hide her faith any longer. “I wish that more Malay Christians would come out publicly and go to church and not meet secretly. That would be a break-through in our society.”
Ho hum... Another day, another amok.
Perhaps it is no longer possible for us to wish for an UMNO General Assembly where the delegates would refrain from uttering the same lamentable slogan of ‘Malays in danger’. Perhaps it is too late for us to imagine of an UMNO assembly where the keris would not be unsheathed in public, accompanied by the familiar rhetoric of blood and belonging. Perhaps it is too late for us to hope that one day the leaders of UMNO would grow up and leave behind the colonial construction of the Malays of the past.
The recent UMNO General Assembly proved to be the predictable let-down that many had expected it to be. Despite the appeals of the leader of the party, and his reminder that Malaysia’s struggle for independence was a collective effort on the part of all communities, the baying echoes of the Malay heartland resonated time and again. The keris was unsheathed and stabbed heavenwards; and all talk was of insidious ‘threats’ and ‘conspiracies’ against the Malay race.
Forgotten was the simple fact that the category of Malayness itself was a colonial construct in the first place. And likewise forgotten was the fact that the racialised politics of exclusive communitarianism dates back to the bad old days of Empire. ‘Melayu mudah lupa’ was the old adage, though how true the saying is is questionable considering how some Malays have never forgotten how to play to the gallery whenever it suits them.
In the midst of this, the reproduction of the Malay archetype goes on in earnest. As the UMNO delegates bemoaned the fate of the Malays, every conceivable stereotype and cliché was brought out of the closet and put to work. Our former colonial masters would have been proud: After a century of colonial indoctrination, the Malays (of UMNO at least) have finally internalised the myth of the irrational, backward and lazy Malay as never before. One is reminded of the words of Frank Swettenham who described this as the land of the amok. In his words:
‘Malaya, land of the pirate and the amok, your secrets have been well guarded, but the enemy has at last passed your gate, and soon the irresistible juggernaut of Progress will have penetrated to your remotest fastness, ‘civilised’ your people, and stamped them with the seal of a higher morality’1.
Former UMNO leader Mohamad Rahmat was among the first off the starting post when he uttered the dreaded A-word: “Don’t test the Malays, they know ‘amok’”. Melaka delegate Hasnoor Sidang Hussein added more blood to the feast when he bluntly stated that “UMNO is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood in defence of race and religion”. UMNO Youth Exco member Azimi Daim added that “when tension rises, the blood of Malay warriors will run in our veins”. (Prompting the obvious question: What happens when there is no tension? Whose blood is running in their veins then?) But the first prize for grandstanding has to go to Perlis delegate Hashim Suboh who directed his question to UMNO leader Hishamuddin Onn: “Datuk Hisham has unsheathed his keris, waved his keris, kissed his keris. We want to ask Datuk Hisham: when is he going to use it?”
The threat of going keris-waving bloody amok has become so commonplace by now that we have grown accustomed to it. Ranked alongside other familiar threats like the recurrence of ‘May 13’ or yet another ‘Operasi Lalang’, the ever-present threat of the Malays going amok is now seen as part and parcel of the political vocabulary of Malaysia and Malaysian politicians in particular. Blood and violence have become part of our political language.
Yet how many of these great ‘defenders’ of the race, who are willing to spill blood (whose blood, one wonders?) in defence of their race, are aware of the long-term implications of their words and deeds? How many of these great communitarians are aware of the simple fact that with every reiteration of the threat of amok, the stereotype of the irrational Malay is being sedimented and hegemonised? During cheerless times such as these it would pay to take a trip back down memory lane and to look at how the ideology of racialised politics and racial stereotypes were first introduced to the Malaysian imaginary.
The phenomenon of amok is and has been seen as something particular and specific to the peoples of the Malay archipelago. Indeed, writings on the phenomenon date back to the 16th century, beginning with the first European encounters with the peoples of the region. From the start, it was argued by many an Orientalist scholar that the Malay people were essentially an irrational, emotional and highly-strung race. The introduction of the pseudo-scientific concept of ‘Race’ (a crucial tool in the ideological construction of the colonised Other which justified the divisive and hierarchical politics of Empire) was made possible with the attribution of certain essentialist traits to the colonised subjects themselves. In the case of the Malays, the phenomenon of amok was seized upon as that all-important debilitating factor that subsequently justified paternalistic colonisation of this weaker, irrational and emotional ‘race’ of human beings…
During the British colonial era, colonial functionaries and administrators in Malaya conducted their affairs with the Malays according to their own decidedly jaundiced understanding of Malay culture, politics and history2. To further reinforce the general observations made about the Malays, the colonial authorities also relied upon pseudo-scientific instruments like ethnographic studies and the population census which were employed to help locate and identify the different native groupings and rank them according to the violent hierarchy of colonial discourse. Alongside the claims of the governors and architects of Empire, the eurocentric theories of racial scientists and social Darwinists added scientific credibility and justification to the policies of divide et impera that were being implemented in the colonies and were translated into political realities through the creation of a racially segregated and stratified plural society.
As Alatas (1977) and Winzeler (1990) have shown, colonial studies of Malay characteristics and cultural practices were often used to provide the basis of justification for the paternalistic attitude towards the colonised Malay subjects. Malay cultural traits such as amok, latah and others were superficially studied and documented, with undue emphasis on the more sensational aspects of the phenomenon3. Such studies were also used to further consolidate the belief that the Malays, as a people, were culturally and genetically inferior to their western rulers due to their weak character. The stereotype of the child-like, unstable and unreliable Malay was thus developed on all possible levels and in all possible spheres: from orientalist literature to ‘serious’ academic studies, from the field of health and welfare to public housing and town planning. So pervasive and influential were the beliefs regarding the culturally and environmentally-determined defects of the Malays that they would endure even up to the postcolonial era in the perceptions of Europeans and Asians alike4.
So when UMNO leaders of today reach for their kerises and mouth their slogans of blood and defiance, are they aware of the fact that their very rhetoric bears the stains of a colonial anthropology and ethnology which were part and parcel of the colonial construction of the Malays?
Having accepted the simplified colonial construction of the Malays as a fixed, static, essentialised ‘race’, are these leaders prepared to perpetuate these colonial fictions just a while longer? It is ironic, to say the least, that the very party that claims the right to wear the mantle of anti-colonialism in Malaysia should be the one that protects and preserves the colonial heritage the longest. Every time a Malay leader utters the threat of yet another bloody amok in the streets, one cannot help but hear the scornful laughter of the colonial administrators of the past, trailing away in the distance, harping back to the days when the Malays were cast as that irrational race, going amok at the drop of a hat…
1 See: Frank Athelstane Swettenham, ‘Malay Sketches’. The Bodley Head, London. 1895.
2 See: : S. H. Alatas, ‘The Myth of the Lazy Native: A Study of the Image of the Malays, Filipinos and Javanese from the 16th to the 20th century and Its Function in Colonial Capitalism’, Frank Cass Publishers, London, 1977.
3 See: Alatas (1977) and Robert Winzeler, ‘Malayan Amok and Latah as ‘History Bound’ syndromes’, in ‘The Underside of Malaysian History : Pullers, Prostitutes, Plantation Workers’, Edited by Peter J. Rimmer & Lisa M. Allen 1990.
4 As late as the year 1960, European social scientists and academics would still be lamenting the fate of the ‘disabled’ Malays. In his survey for the Fabian Society the socialist leader John Lowe described the Malays as ‘an unsophisticated, technically underdeveloped rural people’ (pg. 1) As far as the Malay race was concerned, Lowe’s condemnation of them was a blanket one: ‘The mass of the Malay peasantry are traditionalist, suspicious and often superstitious, offering formidable resistance to change’ (pg. 22). [See: John Lowe, ‘The Malayan Experiment’. Fabian International and Commonwealth Bureau. Research Series no. 213. The Fabian Society, London. 1960.]
Anyway, kudos to our de facto Minister of Law
When asked how Wee had insulted the national anthem, Nazri said the song was supposed to be sung in a proper way, otherwise it would mean insulting the song, especially when the lyrics were changed.
“Malaysia Negaraku ku. Ku ku can also mean ‘cuckoo’, so it was insulting. I don’t think this was done out of ignorance. He was a university student and he meant to insult the national anthem,” he said.
So, the whole big issue is the word of Ku Ku. Aiyah , that is an ISA item. Minister Cuckoo sure got his priority right. To have a whole cabinet meeting for this important national agenda is laughable. Under My Umbrella la la .... duh...
Read the real translation of Wee's rap and you will know that this is not an insult to the song our country, but the injustice of the political and social system. U can call him Chinese centric, but definately he is patriotic. Dare to face the truth?
A friend of mine is going there for a teambuilding session. So , i checked out the official website. Qingdao International Beer Festival :: Aug. 11th - 26th 2007 -that should be fun. Then I notice that the place is as hot as Malaysia and people there smokes a lot... Hope nothing is burning and that they will put out the fire before Olympic starts. Feel like Malaysia when choked by Sumatran fire.
It had been only 3 days since the first bomb, a uranium bomb, had decimated Hiroshima on August 6, with chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the fascist military government and the Emperor had been searching for months for a way to an honorable end of the war which had exhausted the Japanese to virtually moribund status. (The only obstacle to surrender had been the Truman administration’s insistence on unconditional surrender, which meant that the Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese regarded as a deity, would be removed from his figurehead position in Japan – an intolerable demand for the Japanese.)
The Russian army was advancing across Manchuria with the stated aim of entering the war against Japan on August 8, so there was an extra incentive to end the war quickly: the US military command did not want to divide any spoils or share power after Japan sued for peace.
The US bomber command had spared Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kokura from the conventional bombing that had burned to the ground 60+ other major Japanese cities during the first half of 1945. One of the reasons for targeting relatively undamaged cities with these new weapons of mass destruction was scientific: to see what would happen to intact buildings – and their living inhabitants – when atomic weapons were exploded overhead.
Early in the morning of August 9, 1945, a B-29 Superfortress called Bock’s Car, took off from Tinian Island, with the prayers and blessings of its Lutheran and Catholic chaplains, and headed for Kokura, the primary target. (Its bomb was code-named "Fat Man," after Winston Churchill.)
The only field test of a nuclear weapon, blasphemously named "Trinity," had occurred just three weeks earlier, on July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The molten lavarock that resulted, still found at the site today, is called trinitite.
With instructions to drop the bomb only on visual sighting, Bock’s Car arrived at Kokura, which was clouded over. So after circling three times, looking for a break in the clouds, and using up a tremendous amount of valuable fuel in the process, it headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki.
Nagasaki is famous in the history of Japanese Christianity. Not only was it the site of the largest Christian church in the Orient, St. Mary’s Cathedral, but it also had the largest concentration of baptized Christians in all of Japan. It was the city where the legendary Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier, established a mission church in 1549, a Christian community which survived and prospered for several generations. However, soon after Xavier’s planting of Christianity in Japan, Portuguese and Spanish commercial interests began to be accurately perceived by the Japanese rulers as exploitive, and therefore the religion of the Europeans (Christianity) and their new Japanese converts became the target of brutal persecutions.
Within 60 years of the start of Xavier’s mission church, it was a capital crime to be a Christian. The Japanese Christians who refused to recant of their beliefs suffered ostracism, torture and even crucifixions similar to the Roman persecutions in the first three centuries of Christianity. After the reign of terror was over, it appeared to all observers that Japanese Christianity had been stamped out.
However, 250 years later, in the 1850s, after the coercive gunboat diplomacy of Commodore Perry forced open an offshore island for American trade purposes, it was discovered that there were thousands of baptized Christians in Nagasaki, living their faith in a catacomb existence, completely unknown to the government – which immediately started another purge. But because of international pressure, the persecutions were soon stopped, and Nagasaki Christianity came up from the underground. And by 1917, with no help from the government, the Japanese Christian community built the massive St. Mary’s Cathedral, in the Urakami River district of Nagasaki.
Now it turned out, in the mystery of good and evil, that St. Mary’s Cathedral was one of the landmarks that the Bock’s Car bombardier had been briefed on, and looking through his bomb site over Nagasaki that day, he identified the cathedral and ordered the drop.
At 11:02 am, Nagasaki Christianity was boiled, evaporated and carbonized in a scorching, radioactive fireball. The persecuted, vibrant, faithful, surviving center of Japanese Christianity had become ground zero.
And what the Japanese Imperial government could not do in over 200 years of persecution, American Christians did in 9 seconds. The entire worshipping community of Nagasaki was wiped out.
Read on at http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/kohls8.html
Of course, me was the BESTer MAN. Drove an Alpha Romeo 164 Silver. yummy car.
1) Love the sinner , not the sin.
2) This is the end time where "every man is right is his own eyes". ( esp. if u are American called Bush :) )
3) Homosexuality is not in God's approved list.
4) Homosexuality is not the main source of AIDS epidemic.
5) Describing your sexual encounter with boys in a book- gross.
6) Is there something funny with Sin Chew Jit Poh?
A friend just sms Ou Yang's protege and here is his reply---
sms-es fr:Irene: pls don't have gay churches in msia. God made adam n eve, not adam& joe
Joseph: u got d wrong ppl, pls fwd ur concept of church to oyoung wenfeng017-49504950, u shld remain in d church 4 adam & idiots
Irene: i'm sorry. but how is it that you number is circulated?
Joseph: M only responsible 2 tell direction n time, not gay, no gaychurch, but like 2 help ppl in need 2 know God, anyone.
No reply from Oyoung.
Btw, we are not the same Joseph. I dun call women as idiots.
Dear Pastors, Bro & Sis,
Gay Church in Malaysia?
I write this mail to you with a grieving spirit. Some of you may have known about a Malaysian gay being ordained as pastor in USA. His name is Oyoung Wen Feng, a journalist as well as a columnist for Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia.
Oyoung have been wrting articles on Homosexuality since 5 years ago. He spoke on behalf of the homosexuals as well as the lesbians. He claimed that the bible did not say homosexuality being a sin. If you think it is a sin, then you have actually misinterpreted the bible! Over the past years, some writers, including myself, have written several articles to refute him, and were published by Sin Chew. But unfortunately, for the past 2 years, Sin Chew refused to publish our articles!
At first the readers thought that Oyoung was a hero speaking on behalf of the weak. But about one and a half years ago, he openly admitted in his column that he was a gay. And at the same time he published a Chinese book entitled "God Loves Gays". In his book he revealed his story for having sex with a few guys.
Last year, Oyoung divorced his wife of 7 years, claiming that it was a mistake to marry her since he was a gay.
We christians have no platforms to speak against him when Sin Chew refuses to allow us to voice out. Could you believe me? The boss of Sin Chew, Zhang Xiao Qing, is a christian!!! What will be the boss' fate for condoning such an evil? Only God knows!
Could any organization please pressurize Sin Chew? Believe me, evil is looming large in Malaysia if churches in Malaysia ignored his deeds!
Because Oyoung is bringing his senior pastor, Rev. Troy Perry, over to Malaysia to launch a gay church!
On Aug 11 is Q & A time for people who are persecuted as gays and lesbians. On Aug 12 is Sunday Worship. Venue: Grand Olympic Hotel, KL. Co-ordinator: Joseph, 012-2087 949. News about the meetings was published in Sin Chew on July 29 & 31.
Oyoung thinks this is America, and we could do everything freely like America. He wants to turn Malaysia into another Sodom & Gomorrah. The reason that he is so bold to confront the Malaysian churches because our leaders usually don’t want to be so-called “busybody”!
The consequence is: more people are getting HIV, and souls won by them would head for hell!
A few of us are trying to do something to stop the 2 meetings. You can do your part in these manners: 1) Praying for us. 2) Send an sms to Joseph. 3) Give a call to Sin Chew and speak to the Executive Editor: 03-7965 8888, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you. God bless you.
Rev Allen Tan
Check it out and enjoy
“Transparency International Malaysia believes that the public would like to see the full report of the investigations and basis for the decisions made on all these allegations,” said the organisation’s president, Ramon V Navaratnam. Last Friday, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail (left) cleared both Zulkipli and Musa of a litany of corruption allegations for lack of evidence. Zulkipli was probed by the police over 28 allegations of corruption and abuse of power, while Musa was investigated by the ACA for allegedly receiving RM2 million in return for the release of three underworld figures under the Emergency Ordinance, which allows detention without trial. In addition to the two, a senior police officer at Bukit Aman is also currently being investigated for abuse of power and undeclared assets worth about RM27 million. He has neither been suspended from duty nor had his assets frozen.