THE normative story of Malaysia goes something like this: in 1961, the newly independent Federation of Malaya’s Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, suggested the formation of a wider federation. This would consist of Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah. Malayans and Singaporeans agreed, but Sabahans and Sarawakians were not wholly convinced. Neighbouring Philippines objected, asserting […]
Umno’s tangle over “Allah”By Jacqueline Ann Surin
YET again, in the tussle over “Allah” and Malay-language Bibles, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government shows how unclear it is about what it means to respect the religious rights of non-Muslims.
“Not Malays full stop”By Deborah Loh
PLANTATION Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok is one of the more outspoken federal government leaders. On a few occasions, especially when it comes to issues affecting Sabahans, he’s spoken up against cabinet positions. The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president supports the use of “Allah” for Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians. He […]
Utusan Malaysia and Teoh Beng HockBy Ding Jo-Ann
HOW far can a newspaper go in presenting its version of the truth? Yes, it has become generally accepted in Malaysia and internationally that newspapers don’t necessarily print “The Truth” and have their biases. After all, a recent Merdeka Centre survey revealed that almost six out of 10 Malaysians don’t trust the traditional media. But […]
The parade of “Muslim sensitivities”: Where is it taking us?Shape of a Pocket by Jacqueline Ann Surin
AND so Perkasa has made the news again. And this time by its own doing, not because a media bent on sensationalism tried to cultivate the Malay nationalist group in order to increase readership. In the latest of Perkasa moves, its Petaling chairperson, Zainal Abidin Ahmad, lodged a police report against a Protestant church in […]
Still unclear about “Allah”By Ding Jo-Ann
THE home minister expresses “regret” over the “Allah” ban. But any attempt to rationally address the issue of protecting the legitimate rights of all Malaysians is quickly shut down by the Umno-led government.
Hisham’s doublespeakBy Gan Pei Ling
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussien glibly declares the Barisan Nasional’s commitment towards diversity for all. Is that the truth of the matter?
Why freedom of expression?By Jacqueline Ann Surin
(pic courtesy of theSun) WHEN Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak first came into office, he declared that under his administration, there would be greater freedom of expression and the press. Regrettably, “little concrete action has followed” his promise, according to an annual review of freedom of expression in Malaysia in 2009. Indeed, according to […]
Perils of questioning IslamBy Shanon Shah
“If Muslims themselves do not respect the decision by the syariah court and offer contradicting views on the matter, how do we make non-Muslims respect our laws[?]” SELANGOR mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid, on why Muslims shouldn’t question the caning of Muslim women. (Source: Don’t question syariah caning sentence on women, New Straits Times, […]
Islam’s special positionBy Ding Jo-Ann
(Corrected at 12:35pm, 1 Feb 2010) THE Home Ministry’s ban on the use of “Allah” by the Catholic Herald publication has once again raised the issue of Islam’s position in Malaysia. “The special position of Islam is enshrined and protected under the constitution,” said senior federal counsel Mahamad Naser Disa during arguments in Herald’s suit […]