Thursday, May 19, 2016

Confused Muslims

confused Muslim, yet again

 | May 19, 2016
A heated debate on the alleged extremism Islam promotes, gets Fa wondering if being a self-professed moderate but willing to tolerate "nonsense" makes her just as bad as an extremist.
I found myself sucked into a debate while having breakfast at a mamak restaurant recently. It all started with a friendly chat about the call by Penang Opposition Leader, Jahara Hamid to remove a Taoist shrine from Armenian Park in Georgetown.
“You are a Muslim. Tell me why Muslims do this?” asked an uncle who joined me for my morning nasi lemak.
“Apparently they are confused,” I replied with a chuckle.
“I don’t think so. This is something they are doing on purpose. You should know – you are a Muslim.”
Getting somewhat defensive, I blurted, “Not all Muslims are the same.”
“So you don’t practice your religion?” the uncle shot back.
Realising the conversation had taken a serious turn, I tried explaining: “I do practice my religion to the best of my ability. But that is not what we are talking about here.”
“It is precisely what we are talking about. The lady who wanted the shrine to be removed; the man who wanted ‘No Pork’ signs to be banned, the group who wanted the cross taken down – you all have the same faith. You all read the same Holy Book…”
“I disagree. You can’t judge everyone based on the conduct of a small group of Muslims. I do not go around persecuting people. I do not go around telling people how to live their lives. I support freedom and human rights. I am no extremist. Most Muslims are not extremists.” I was clearly upset by now.
“Girl, you follow your Holy Book and so does the confused Muslims and the extreme Muslims. If all Muslims accept the one and only Holy Book and live by it, they are no different from one another. They are all extremists – including you.”
“I disagree. I do not condone discrimination, violence and terrorism. Islam is not a religion of violence. Islam is a religion of peace,” I argued, as the uncle had gotten on my nerves with his blanket judgements.
“Your Holy Book promotes violence. There is even a verse saying: ‘Go and kill.’ Now how can a religion which promotes killings be a peaceful religion?”
“There are more than six thousand verses in our Holy Book – why emphasise on the negatives? Why aren’t you talking about the messages of kindness, love and compassion in most of the verses?” I countered, not realising that I had raised my voice in the process.
The uncle laughed, “Girl, religion is not like a plate of mee goreng you order at a mamak shop. You don’t get to tambah pedas or kurang pedas; tambah taugeh or takdak taugeh; tambah telur or tambah ayam. You can’t be selective of which content suits you and drop those you disagree with.”
The uncle got me thinking. If a good Muslim accepts every single verse in the Holy Book without any argument, does that make me, a cherry-picking liberal Muslim and a moderate, a bad Muslim?
I went home that day, quite confused.
There are approximately 30 million people in Malaysia, 60% of whom are Muslims. If a mere 1% of Malaysia’s 18 million Muslims are extremists, why is it that we haven’t witnessed violence or crime perpetrated by some 180,000 extremists?
Clearly, that could mean only one thing – extreme Malaysian Muslims don’t even make up 1% of our Muslim population. That makes me wonder – why then did the uncle get so worked up over a tiny number of people?
More importantly, if 99% of Malaysian Muslims are non-extremists, why haven’t we seen even 1% of the 17,820,000 non-extremists fighting against extremism in our country?
Maybe that’s what makes us – the non-extreme, moderate ones – bad Muslims. We do not fight injustice and cruelty. We are after all, moderates – in thinking and behaviour. We can talk for hours about Arabisation, Islamaphobia, Zakir Naik, Zionist and Shariah law. But when it comes to fighting extremism and terrorism, we hide behind our moderate robe. That’s the problem with being a moderate Muslim. We tolerate nonsense.
Perhaps that is also why we moderates like to insist that Islam is a peaceful religion – it allows us to justify our laid back attitude. In response to any extreme movement, we, the moderates peacefully make a peaceful statement, clarifying how peaceful Islam is, so we can get back to our peaceful lives, sipping kopi O at Kedai Kopi Ahmad.
In conclusion, although I do not agree with the uncle on most counts, I believe he got one thing right – we are not good Muslims. As long as we tolerate nonsense, the moderates are equally as bad as the extremists.

 Wan Zaharizan ·

Do understand Jahara is the state opposition chief she also represent her constituents which is majority Malay. She is voicing out many Malays misgivings . The State must be able to explain better. It is the same with the no pork issue. Both I do not agreee with but I emphatise that many Malays are doubtful of these things. I said Malays not Muslims for muslims would have understand that the shrine has been part of the park since eons ago. It was move back to the original position inline with the heritage status. It was a JV between Think City and the State Government. Think is wholy own by Khazanah thus the federal govt is involve.If the Muslims who stay aeons ago at Acheh street and Malay Street do not protest it so how come we should protest it. Now there is no Muslims who stays in Malay Street and many who stays in the mosque area and to me these are the people that is of concern. The park has been rehabilitated to what it was originally. The shrine occupies a mniscule space. We all can enjoy the park and aren't we thought to live in harmony? As a Muslmi we do not condone but we accept that everyone has right and these is proscribe by our prophet. As for no pork issues enough to remind muslims that certain religion forbade the eating of pork like Sikhism certain Christian sect and Jewish religion etc. These is a cosmopolitan city and a tourist area so we serve those who wants to eat no pork no problem. It is not meant for Muslims anyway butit does not stop Christian Sikh Jews or Muslmis to eat at that place. I don't think the Malays Muslims are confuse maybe the YBs are! Perhaps we can import in kosher chicken from Singapore or Australia for then the Muslims can eat too! I also want to ask the YB TGIF, Victoria Station and the ship use to have halal certificate, They never serve pork and TGIF the owner is Melawar group a well known Malay company. One of the reasons because they serve alcohol. What if they put a sign that the food is halal but the restaurant is not or better no pork serve!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Chetty Needs help

The Indian Chetti of Malacca is unique. It is fast losing her people. The Village was said to be establish in 1414 and is given a heritage status sadly nothing is done to save this community. Unlike the Babas ans Nonyas and the Portuguese in melaka measure are made to preserve them but sadly for the Chettis no concerted were made. i suppose to write about them a long time ago but sadly lack of funds hinders me. Now the problem is acute thus let's preserve what can be glean before it is too late. In the history book during my time. A book written by joginder Singh Jessy caught my eyes especially the fact that the first Bendahara or Chief Minister during the Portuguese era in Melaka was a Chetti! It fascinates me up to now. So here are some news and articles that i need to share


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Total population
c. 2,000
Regions with significant populations
Malacca · Singapore
Malay · English · Tamil
Related ethnic groups
Tamil Malaysians · Indian Singaporeans
The Chitty are a distinctive group of Tamil people found mainly in Malacca and Singapore, who are also known as the Indian Peranakans. As of today[when?], their population stands at 2,000.


Sri Poyatha temple, Malacca
Like the Peranakans, the Chitty speak a Malay patois, which is mixed with many Tamil loan words. Many of the Chitty are unable to communicate in Tamil fluently.


Historical records stated that the Tamil traders from Panai in Tamil Nadu settled down in Malacca during the sovereignty of the Sultanate of Malacca. Like the Peranakans, they later settled down and freely intermingled with the local Malays and Chinese settlers. However, with the fall of the Malacca Sultanate after 1511, the Chitty eventually lost touch with their native land.
Under the administration of the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonizers, the Chitty eventually began simplifying their culture and customs by adopting local customs. This can be evidenced in the architecture of the Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple, which was built by Thaivanayagam Chitty, the leader of the Chitty people, in 1781 after the Dutch colonial government gave him a plot of land.
The traditional Chitty settlement is located at Kampung Tujuh along Jalan Gajah Berang, which is also inhabited by a small number of Chinese and Malays as well. Many of the Chitty have since found jobs in Singapore and other parts of Malaysia.
The ethnic identity of the Chitty is nearly lost. As many of them are assimilating into the mainstream Indian, Chinese, and Malay ethnic communities culturally, this small but distinct group of people that has survived for centuries is now on the brink of extinction.


The Chitty are a mixed people. Although they ethnically consider themselves to be Tamil, who have a Dravidian appearance and dark complexion, the Chitty appear to have varying degrees of Southeast Asian and Dravidian looks.
This resulted from the fact that the first Tamil settlers took in local wives, since they did not bring along any of their own women with them. Over time, the Chitty gathered physical features that were less Dravidian, and more Malay-looking.


The Chitty community are Hindu, worshipping in their three temples. Gods such as Ganesh and Shiva are worshipped in full gaiety. Hints of Taoist and Islamic influences are also evident in their religious rituals. As staunch believers of the Hindu faith, the Malaccan Chitty community still upholds their religious ceremonies. They observe Deepavali, Ponggal, the Hindu New Year, Navratri and other traditional Hindu festivals that are celebrated by Hindu groups in Malaysia. However, the Chitty do not participate in Thaipusam in at a grand level like most Hindu groups. During the month of May they have a similar festival to Thaipusam in their local temple called Mengamay. One celebration that is unique to the Chitty community is the Parchu festival. It is celebrated twice a year with Parchu Ponggal (Bohgi) observed the day before Ponggal in January and Parchu Buah-buahan during the fruit season between June and July.


Culturally, the Chitty have largely assimilated into the Malay culture with some Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese influences, although certain elements of Indian culture do remain. This is especially true in the case of marriages, where offerings of fruits and burning of incense are used. In the case of food, Malay spices, ingredients and the way of cooking have largely supplanted the Indian style.
Chinese cultural influence is also evident, especially in the case of ancestral worship. Religious objects used for conducting rituals were also used by the Chinese. The Chitty are also influenced by the Chinese to some extent in their ceramics works of art.
Simplification of Tamil architecture among the Chitty is also present. Distinct from the Tamil, who have a complex Dravidian Temple Architecture in the Pallava style, that displays beautifully carved out sculptures of the Hindu gods in many rows, the Chitty temple tend to only have one row of these, or a picture of one single god in each of the three rows, as evidenced in the Sri Poyatha Moorthi Temple, built by Thaivanayagam Chitty in 1781.

Dress and lifestyle

Most of the Chitty have adopted the Malay costume. In the case of men, a comfortable sarong and Malay shirt may be worn, although a songkok may also be worn, especially for a Muslim. Women, on the other hand, wear a similar costume that are similar to the Peranakan Nonya.
Alongside their Chinese and Malay neighbors, the Chitty live in Kampong houses. Pictures of Hindu gods and Indian names can be seen just outside their houses, as their descendants tend to adopt Indian, rather than Malay surnames.
A typical Chitty home is distinctly marked by mango leaves arranged in a row, dangling from above the front door. Chitty temples are also adorned this way.

Kampung Chetti begs to be saved

K Pragalath | December 30, 2013
Kampung Chetti residents want heritage and culture departments at state and federal levels to stop current development project.
PETALING JAYA: State and federal government agencies have been called on to save heritage site, Kampung Chetti in Malacca and stop a development project that threatens to destroy the heritage of the community.
T Sithambaram Pillay, who heads the action committee opposing the development project said in a press statement .
“We want the Tourism and Culture Ministry, Melaka Museum Corporation (Perzim) and the National Heritage Department to intervene and stop this project which is located at the site known as Lot 93,” he said.
Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron has also been asked to make his stand clear in relation to the heritage village of the Malacca Chettis.
“We are begging the Malacca government to end the project. We also want Idris to make his stand to save our village,” said T Sithambaram Pillay in a press statement.
On Dec 17, there were reports that the state government had approved construction of two condominiums with 22 floors each, a 12 floor hotel and a six floor parking lot at the heritage site.
The project was stopped by the former Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam last year but has been revived and given the green light by the current state administration after the 13th general election in May.
Since the news broke various groups such as Hindraf and Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy have voiced their objections over the development project.
Waythamoorthy has questioned the silence of Heritage Commissioners on the matter.
Kampung Chetti in Malacca has existed since 1414. Both the state and federal government have given the village national heritage status. In addition, the village is also Unesco World Heritage site.

Jangan hapuskan Kampung Chetti

Uthaya Sankar SB | December 17, 2013
Kampung Chetti sudah wujud sejak tahun 1414 – iaitu jauh sebelum kedatangan Portugis.
Pada 15 Disember 2013, Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan) mengadakan Kunjungan Perpaduan Kavyan ke Kampung Chetti di Gajah Berang, Melaka.
Kunjungan ini adalah sebagai susulan kepada beberapa kunjungan sebelum ini yang bertujuan menghayati warisan kaum Chetti yang amat unik dan seharusnya menjadi kebanggaan Malaysia.
Walau bagaimanapun, pada kali ini, Kavyan dikejutkan dengan berita projek pembangunan yang sudah dimulakan di kawasan Lot 93 yang terletak di tengah-tengah perkampungan ini.
Kampung Chetti sudah wujud sejak tahun 1414 – iaitu jauh sebelum kedatangan Portugis. Malah, kampung ini serta para penduduknya berjaya mempertahankan hak, identiti dan maruah walaupun negara pernah dijajah Belanda, British dan Jepun.
Malangnya, kini pembinaan dua blok kondominium 22 tingkat, hotel 12 tingkat dan tempat letak kereta 6 ringkat sudah diluluskan Kerajaan Negeri Melaka di atas tanah Lot 93.
Menjelang Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (Mei 2013), Ketua Menteri waktu itu, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam dilaporkan mengarahkan projek pembinaan itu dihentikan. Akan tetapi, kini projek itu diteruskan walaupun mendapat bantahan penduduk Kampung Chetti.
Pihak Kavyan diberikan taklimat lengkap mengenai perkara ini oleh Yang DiPertua dan AJK Persatuan Kebajikan dan Kebudayaan Kaum Chetti Melaka pada 15 Disember 2013.
Kavyan yang menjalankan aktiviti bahasa, sastera, seni dan budaya di seluruh negara sejak diasaskan pada Ogos 1999 merakamkan rasa kecewa dan melahirkan bantahan terhadap sebarang projek yang boleh menjejaskan kedudukan Kampung Chetti yang sudah diwartakan sebagai Perkampungan Warisan.
Menurut laporan media, Pemuda MIC segera bangkit “berjuang” apabila candi Lembah Bujang di Kedah dirobohkan baru-baru ini. Dalam kes Kampung Chetti pula, Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden MIC sudah ditemui wakil penduduk tetapi tiada sebarang reaksi positif.
Sekiranya perlu, Kavyan mencadangkan wakil Pertubuhan Pelajaran, Sains dan kebudayaan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu (Unesco) dipanggil untuk membuat tinjauan serta mengemukakan saranan dan laporan kepada Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah (MBMB) dan Ketua Menteri, Datuk Wira Ir Idris Harun.
Tambahan pula, Kampung Chetti mendapat pengiktirafan sebagai Perkampungan Warisan dan tentu sahaja ada enekmen yang menghalang pembinaan bangunan tinggi di sebelahnya.
Tinjauan Kavyan mendapati bahawa beberapa kuil lama di Kampung Chetti yang dibina menggunakan batu kapur (limestone) berdepan masalah besar berikutan projek pembinaan ini.
Misalnya, Kuil Sri Anggala Parameswari yang digazetkan sebagai Warisan Negara terletak sekitar 300 meter dari tapak pembinaan; Kuil Sri Kailasanar (sekitar 400 meter) dan Kuil Muthu Mariamman (100 meter).
Harapan dan gesaan Kavyan adalah supaya cadangan pembinaan di Lot 93 dihentikan segera. Rundingan patut diadakan dengan Persatuan Kebajikan dan Kebudayaan Kaum Chetti Melaka mengenai cadangan tanah Lot 93 digazetkan sebagai sebahagian daripada Kampung Chetti.
Sambutan “Ponggal” (pesta menuai) secara besar-besaran bakal berlangsung di Kampung Chetti pada pertengahan Januari 2014. Semoga akan ada berita baik daripada pihak berkuasa sebelum tarikh itu.
Biarlah insiden Lembah Bujang menjadi pengajaran kepada kita supaya lebih bertanggungjawab dalam memelihara dan memulihara warisan negara. Sesal dahulu pendapatan, sesal kemudian tiada gunanya.

Malaysia may lose world heritage status

K Pragalath | December 31, 2013
Malaysia as a whole will lose its Unesco heritage status if Kampung Chetti in Malacca is developed.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia risks losing its world heritage status by allowing a development project to take place at the Unesco heritage site in Kampung Chetti, Malacca, said an Indian writers group.
Kavyan Writers Group president Uthaya Sankar said Unesco’s world heritage status was awarded to Malaysia as a whole and not to individual sites in Penang or Malacca.
“Hence the development project will result in Malaysia losing its world heritage status.
“Construction of buildings more than four storeys are not allowed at heritage sites by Unesco,” said Uthaya Sankar SB in a press statement.
On Dec 17, there were reports that the Malacca state government had approved construction of two 22-storey condominium blocks, a 12-storey hotel and six of levels parking space on a plot of land in Kampung Chetti.
The project was stopped by the former Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam last year but has been revived and given the green light by the current state administration after the 13th general election in May.
Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy has objected against the project.
Kampung Chetti has existed since 1414 and both the state and federal governments have given the village, national heritage status. In addition, the village is also a Unesco World Heritage site.
Uthaya said Malaysia would be portrayed negatively in the international community if it lost the world heritage status and that would affect tourism in the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign.
He had also called upon the DAP-led Penang government to state its stand since the island’s world heritage status would be affected.
“Unesco has the right to rescind the world heritage status enjoyed by Georgetown if Kampung Chetti in Malacca is developed,” he said, adding that Penang is maintaining its heritage sites.
He also called upon the federal and state governments to issue a written guarantee to protect the national cultural site
Published: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 7:55:49 AM

Malacca CM steps in to solve Chitty village row

by r.s.n. murali
Piling works being carried out at the high-rise condominium project site at Kampung Chitty. Piling works being carried out at the high-rise condominium project site at Kampung Chitty.

MALACCA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron has stepped into the controversy at Kampung Chitty in Gajah Berang here, ordering a probe into the approval of a high-rise condominium project at what is arguably the oldest settlement in the historical city.
According to a state government source, Idris wanted a thorough investigation to identify those responsible for the approval of the project in 2009.
The project is within the buffer zone of an area recognised by Unesco as a heritage site.
The village was gazetted as a heritage village in July 2002.
The project, involving two 22-storey condominium blocks, a 12-storey hotel annex and a six-storey car park, was believed to have been shelved but was later found to have been approved.
The developer is said to have resumed work six months ago.
The source said Idris was upset as the settlement of “Indian Perana­kans” was part of the city’s heritage.
It was learnt that the state government might have to fork out about RM30mil in compensation if it re-acquires the land.
The source revealed that Idris had told his officers to look into solving the issue immediately as it was causing a major “headache” to the administration.
“My boss wants to re-examine the documents pertaining to the project and see how it can be resolved without affecting the heritage site.
“He is serious about resolving the matter but he has to manage it carefully as the approval was granted before he was appointed as Chief Minister,” the source said.
Kampung Chitty’s Welfare and Cultural Association’ president K. Supramania slammed the state government for reneging on its promise made during a Deepavali open house in 2012.
He said former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had told the community the project would not go on.
“Despite feeling disappointed, we still have trust in the state government to resolve the issue,” he said.
Supramania said the settlement preceded other ethnic enclaves in the city, adding that the state government should not neglect the welfare of one of the earliest communities in Malacca.
“There are many ways for the state government to acquire the land, including getting funds allocated under the National Heritage Act 2005, if it really wants to save the village from development.
He said the approval of the project should be re-evaluated based on the principles of Operational Guidelines for World Heritage by Unesco, ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and Icomos (International Council on Monuments and Sites).
He said three Hindu temples, dating back to more than 300 years, were at risk if piling work begins.
“Our only hope now is that the Chief Minister will intervene and stop the project,” he added.

Along The Watchtower

Published: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday January 1, 2014 MYT 1:18:41 PM

Chitty's last refuge under threat

by m. veera pandiyan
Swift action is needed to protect and conserve the sole bastion of one of the country’s smallest communities.
HAPPY New Year! Will it be a better one? Malaysians polled by the World Independent Network of Market Research (WiN) and Gallup International seem to think so.
About 41% of respondents felt that 2014 would be better than last year while 28% reckoned it would be the same.
On the negative side, 29% expected it to be worse while 2% didn’t know or chose not to answer.
The WiN/Gallup poll, published on Monday in collaboration with the BBC’s Today programme, surveyed the hopes and fears of people from 65 countries around the world.
Apparently, about half were more upbeat about 2014 than they were for 2013.
I can’t speak for the rest of the world but the results of the tiny sample of 300 Malaysians aren’t quite convincing, especially when the Powers That Be seem to be constantly promising one thing and doing quite another.
Our policy-makers and implementers seem to be fixed in a cycle of repeating the same insensitive blunders over and over again.
The furore over a massive condominium project in the ancestral village of the Malacca Chittys – one of the smallest minorities in the country – is the newest example.
For those who are not familiar with the community, it is the Indian version of the Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan Chinese.
They should not be confused with the Chettiars, the clan of merchants and money-lenders who hail from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, India.
The Chittys are descendants of traders who came to Malacca in the early 1400s from the Coromandel Coast.
Coramandel is derived from Chola Mandalam or Land of the Chola, a Tamil dynasty which lasted from the 9th century to 1279.
Their ancestors were among the pioneers of the spice trade who married local women.
They spoke Malay, adopted both Malay and Chinese Peranakan cultures, cuisines and garments but remained staunch Hindus.
It has been speculated that the place where they settled, Gajah Berang (angry elephant) was called “Kanja Pidam”, a corruption of Kanjipuram, a city famous for its silk where some of the Chittys originated but historical records show that there was indeed an enraged jumbo there once.
The community played a big role in the early development of Malacca and after its fall to the Portuguese.
The most prominent of its leaders was Naina Chatu or Naina Chitty, a trader credited with minting the city’s first Portuguese coins.
The community lived in Campon Chelim (Kampung Keling), in Upeh (present day Tranquerah).
Its influence, however, waned during the Dutch era when they moved out from the richer areas to various places including Bachang and Balai Panjang, before eventually settling down in Kampung Tujuh to become padi farmers.
They built several historical places of worship, including the Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple in Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith Street) in 1781, which still stands as the oldest functioning Hindu temple in the country.
Around the village they built the Muthu Mariamman Temple (1822), the Kailasanathar Temple or Sivan Kovil (1887), the Kaliamman Kovil (1804) and the Angalamman Para­meswari Temple (1888).
They also built several smaller shrines amid the padi fields, including the Linggadariamman Kovil, Amman Kovil, Dharma Rajah Kovil, Kathaiamman Kovil and Iyenar Kovil.
Today, there are only about 30 Chitty families in the village.
Ten years ago, a census showed that there were only 325 members of the community left in Malacca.
The condominium project – which is just metres away from the village houses and temples – was first proposed seven years ago by a Singaporean developer.
It was originally meant to be a 33-storey condominium and adjoining 12-storey hotel with a six-storey car park on a 2.25ha plot next to the village. The height of the condominium blocks was later revised to 22 storeys.
The then mayor of the Malacca Historic City said it was on private land and located outside the World Heritage Site zones although the village was already gazetted as National Heritage site in 2002.
When Malacca and Penang were inscribed as Unesco World Heritage sites in 2008, about 63ha of the historical city were listed under the core heritage zone and about 175ha in the buffer zone.
In meeting Unesco’s guidelines, the Department of Town and Coun­try Planning commissioned a Special Area Plan to study areas covering the core and buffer zones.
In 2009, the developer was told to submit a more suitable development plan for the area.
Three years later, the then Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rus­tam declared that the project had been shelved.
In February last year, he directed the Melaka Tengah District Office to acquire the land and convert it for public use.
But in spite of all these developments, work has resumed and the sales of the units – priced between RM259,400 to RM373,295 – are being marketed aggressively.
The reasons remain a mystery but it is appalling that a project involving three high-rise, high-density towers in a vulnerable heritage site was even considered by the council.
Surely, the authorities must know that the village and surrounding historical temples are the last refuge of the Chittys who have been squeezed out of their ancestral homes over the years because of their poor economic standing.
But it’s still not too late for both the state and federal governments to act swiftly to protect and conserve the unique minority’s only bastion of culture, heritage and faith.
The right thing for the Malacca Government to do is to cancel the project and for National Heritage Commissioner Prof Datuk Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid to declare it a heritage site.
Will it be done? It’s a brand new year and hope springs eternal.

  • Associate Editor M. Veera Pandi­yan likes this quote by Confucius: “Study the past, if you would divine the future.”
  • The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.
Piling works being carried out at the high-rise condominium project site at Kampung Chitty.

Sebelum Chetti masuk muzium

Uthaya Sankar SB | December 29, 2013
Solidariti Kampung Chetti diadakan untuk memberikan “ilmu” dan “kuasa” kepada kaum minoriti yang berdepan masalah besar.
Salah satu pengisian “Solidariti Kampung Chetti” pada 29 Disember 2013 adalah membincangkan cara-cara menjadikan sambutan Ponggal (pesta menuai) pada pertengahan Januari 2014 sebagai medan mengumpulkan seramai mungkin warga prihatin di perkarangan Kuil Sri Muthu Mariamman.
Langkah itu bagi menyatukan suara orang ramai – pelbagai kaum, agama, etnik, ideologi dan latar – sama-sama membantah projek pembinaan dua blok kondominium 22 tingkat, sebuah hotel 12 tingkat dan tempat letak kereta 6 tingkat di atas tanah “Lot 93” yang terletak di tengah-tengah perkampungan warisan berkenaan.
Asal-usul keturunan Chetti adalah daripada pedagang (lelaki) dari Kanchipuram, India yang datang ke Melaka seawal abad kedua dan berkahwin dengan wanita Melayu tempatan.
Mengikut peredaran zaman – serta akibat penjajahan Portugis, Belanda, British dan Jepun – kaum Chetti, khususnya di Kampung Chetti, bertukar daripada pedagang yang mewah kepada petani miskin.
Atas sebab itulah juga sambutan Ponggal amat penting, signifikan dan diberikan keutamaan sejak zaman-berzaman oleh kaum Chetti. Malah, sebagaimana di Tamil Nadu, India, sambutan Ponggal adalah jauh lebih diutamakan berbanding perayaan Deepavali.
Saya berpeluang mengunjungi Kampung Chetti di Jalan Gajah Berang, Melaka buat pertama kali bersama-sama penulis buku “Peranakan Indians of Singapore and Melaka” (2006), Samuel S Dhoraisingam.
Pada Januari 2007 pula, rombongan Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan) pergi khusus untuk menyaksikan serta menulis artikel mengenai keunikan kaum Chetti dan sambutan Ponggal bagi majalah Dewan Budaya dan Dewan Bahasa terbitan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).
Beberapa hari sebelum Ponggal, masyarakat Chetti akan menziarah kubur nenek-moyang, khususnya di Jelutong dan Batu Berendam. Misalnya, pada hari Solidariti Kampung Chetti (29 Disember 2013), beberapa keluarga pergi ke kubur.
Selepas membersihkan kubur, mereka mengadakan upacara sembahyang. Walau bagaimanapun, makanan tidak dipersembahkan di kubur berkenaan. Hanya bunga rampai ditaburkan dan amalan ini jelas menunjukkan pengaruh budaya Melayu.
Sambutan Ponggal menyatukan masyarakat

Sehari sebelum Ponggal adalah sambutan Boghi. Biasanya dalam tradisi Chetti, upacara sembahyang khas diadakan bagi arwah nenek-moyang. Masyarakat Chetti sentiasa akur pada hakikat bahawa mereka perlu berterima kasih kepada generasi terdahulu yang banyak berkorban bagi memastikan kesinambungan hidup mereka.
Upacara sembahyang yang diadakan ini dinamakan “parchu”. Segala masakan tradisional Chetti disediakan untuk dihidangkan kepada arwah nenek-moyang di atas daun pisang. Selepas upacara sembahyang, juadah berkenaan akan dinikmati oleh anggota keluarga berkenaan sahaja.
Pesta Ponggal disambut secara besar-besaran oleh penduduk Kampung Chetti. Inilah masanya anak-anak muda yang merantau jauh pulang ke kampung untuk meraikan pesta menuai bersama-sama keluarga, rakan-rakan dan jiran-tetangga selama empat hari.
Hari pertama adalah Boghi, hari kedua adalah Thai Ponggal, hari ketiga digelar Maatu Ponggal manakala hari keempat merupakan Kanni Ponggal. Setiap hari mempunyai keistimewaan tersendiri dan disambut penuh meriah oleh kaum Chetti.
Upacara memasak nasi manis pada pesta Ponggal tidak dibuat di rumah. Sebaliknya, seluruh penduduk Kampung Chetti berkumpul di Kuil Sri Muthu Mariamman yang juga dikenali dengan nama Kuil Datuk Chachar. Ketua kampung yang juga pemegang amanah komuniti Chetti akan mengetuai upacara memasak nasi manis (ponggal).
Selepas itu, amalan kunjung-mengunjung diadakan untuk mengucapkan “Selamat Hari Ponggal” kepada jiran-tetangga. Amalan ini juga membezakan masyarakat Chetti daripada kaum India secara umumnya.
Malam persembahan turut diadakan untuk memperagakan pakaian tradisional, tarian dan muzik yang unik. Antaranya adalah dondang sayang dan ronggeng yang menunjukkan pengaruh Melayu dan Baba Nyonya dalam budaya Chetti.
Persembahan juga dianggap tidak lengkap tanpa tarian bagi lagu “Chinna Maamiyea”. Walaupun rata-rata kaum Chetti yang saya temui tidak memahami maksud lirik lagu itu – yang sebenarnya berasal dari tradisi Sri Lanka – mereka tetap menganggapnya sebagai “milik” mereka.
Masuk Hindu sebelum kahwini orang Chetti

Umum mengetahui bahawa masyarakat Chetti berpegang teguh pada agama Hindu. Sekiranya berlaku perkahwinan campur dengan masyarakat luar, maka individu berkenaan perlu memeluk agama Hindu dan mengamalkan budaya Chetti.
Semasa Kunjungan Perpaduan Kavyan (15 Disember 2013), saya berpeluang bertemu Teo Ha Lee (gambar), seorang wanita berketurunan Cina. Sebelum berkahwin dengan K Supramania Pillay, beliau menjalani upacara khas untuk mempelajari ajaran agama Hindu dan seterusnya memeluk agama Hindu. Sejak itu, beliau dikenali sebagai Valli.
Malah, kini Valli menjadi antara individu yang terlibat dalam memulihara dan memelihara warisan Chetti menerusi tarian, nyanyian, pantun, masakan dan pakaian tradisional kaum itu.
Memandangkan komuniti Chetti adalah minoriti, perkahwinan dengan individu dari luar tidak dapat dielakkan. Apa pun, generasi tua sentiasa mengingatkan anak-anak muda bahawa pasangan hidup mereka perlu bersedia untuk “masuk Hindu” serta mengamalkan adat-istiadat masyarakat Chetti.
Sementara golongan wanita Chetti mengenakan pakaian baju kebaya seperti wanita Melayu dan Nyonya, golongan lelaki pula boleh dikenali melalui pakaian baju Melayu serta kain sarung yang dipakai. Mereka turut memakai kopiah yang dipanggil talapa.
Bagi lelaki Chetti, mereka turut mengamalkan adat menindik telinga pada usia muda. Amalan ini sebenarnya terdapat dalam budaya India secara umumnya tetapi sudah kurang diamalkan. Sebaliknya, masyarakat Chetti memberikan keutamaan terhadap budaya tindik telinga bagi anak-anak lelaki.
Masyarakat Chetti ternyata mampu mengekalkan identiti yang unik dan tersendiri sejak zaman dahulu. Tahap kesedaran dan semangat untuk meneruskan tradisi nenek-moyong cukup menebal dalam kalangan masyarakat ini tanpa mengira usia.
Kewujudan sebuah muzium khas di Kampung Chetti juga secara tidak langsung mampu menguatkan semangat masyarakat ini untuk memelihara dan memulihara jati diri. Malah, hasil kunjungan, saya mendapati bahawa setiap rumah di perkampungan warisan ini umpama muzium hidup (live museum).
Beri “kuasa” dan “ilmu” untuk pertahan tradisi

Sejak hampir sedekad lalu, terdapat usaha mengeratkan hubungan antara masyarakat Chetti di Melaka dan Singapura. Malah, penduduk Kampung Chetti Melaka diundang membuat persembahan dondang sayang dan ronggeng, serta demonstrasi majlis perkahwinan sempena pelancaran buku “Peranakan Indians of Singapore and Melaka” di Singapura pada 2006.
Namun begitu, saya perhatikan bahawa sejak belakangan ini, hubungan itu agak renggang. Wujud perbezaan kedudukan ekonomi dan sosial yang agak ketara antara kaum Chetti di Melaka (Malaysia) dan Singapura.
Untuk makluman, tentu sahaja masyarakat Chetti akan kecil hati jika masih ada pihak yang tidak dapat membezakan antara kaum Chetti dan kelompok Cheetiar (ceti; peminjam wang). Percayalah, kekeliruan itu masih berlaku.
Kesilapan yang dilakukan dalam mengenal pasti kedua-dua kelompok ini menunjukkan betapa masyarakat pelbagai kaum di Malaysia – termasuk politikus, ilmuan dan pemimpin masyarakat – mengambil sikap lewa terhadap kewujudan masyarakat Chetti di Malaysia.
Masyarakat Chetti telah melalui perjalanan hidup yang cukup panjang sambil terus mengekalkan identiti tersendiri yang lain daripada yang lain. Keunikan ini dapat diperhatikan dalam segala aspek kehidupan seharian mereka: bahasa, pakaian, makanan, adat-istiadat, kepercayaan, sistem keluarga, perkahwinan, gelaran, upacara agama, seni bina, muzik, permainan dan seumpamanya.
Segala keunikan masyarakat Chetti bukan sahaja perlu dipelihara dan diteruskan; malah perlu didokumentasikan secara penuh sistematik. Peluang yang lebih banyak perlu dibuka kepada masyarakat Chetti untuk tampil mempersembahkan seni dan budaya mereka kepada umum.
Semasa Solidariti Kampung Chetti, Setiausaha Kavyan, Kughan Nadarajah membimbing penduduk tentang cara-cara mengumpul bahan dan menulis makalah budaya. Jawatankuasa Khas Kavyan, Shahrul Nizam Abd Hamid dan Perzeus James pula mengendalikan aktiviti merakamkan foto dan video untuk mendokumentasikan keunikan perkampungan warisan ini.
Saya pula membimbing penduduk cara-cara menulis berita, surat pembaca, memorandum, mengadakan sidang media, membuat wawancara, berkomunikasi dengan media dan sebagainya.
Semua ini dilakukan bagi memberikan “ilmu” dan “kuasa” kepada kaum Chetti – khususnya generasi muda – bangkit berjuang secara kendiri, profesional dan terancang dalam usaha murni mempertahankan hak dan warisan.
Jika tidak, pembangunan dan kerakusan yang sedang berlaku di “Lot 93” mungkin akan menyebabkan kaum Chetti dan segala warisan kebudayaan mereka hanya tinggal sebagai barangan antik berhabuk di suatu penjuru sebuah muzium uzur yang tidak dikunjungi orang.
Orang ramai boleh melayari untuk mendapatkan maklumat berkaitan Solidariti Kampung Chetti anjuran Kavyan dengan kerjasama Persatuan Kebajikan dan Kebudayaan Kaum Chetti Melaka.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It is not about rights but it is about educating the malays

That subject matter above is how I feel on the matter of Allah. it is morally wrong for a pakistani Cleric to voice his displeasure on the issue. He should advice the Malays Muslim Cleric on that matter and also the Sultans on what is right. I do not want to revisit this issue but it has gone far enough. It is wrong For the priest Father Lawrence to insist the use of Allah although under the constitution he has the right. But the Malays who are the majority and majority of them cannot accept it thus being right is wrong in this case. He is inflaming the flame which he should not although I blame this issue on the politician and the Malays Muslim Clerics, we should not add to the flame. In the Surah alhajj Chapter 22 Verses 40 it is mention that Allah was use in the temple and churches etc. So if it was mention it does not proscribe a ban. We should return to the status quo of old which until Tun Mahathir the usage was limited to the church compound. I can't deny the Islamic studies which was taught and made compulsory in the Higher Institution now has warp the mind of the Malays. They were told since young of the crusades and the Christians Inquisition in Spain. But that was history and like all history told by men it is always lopsided according to whom you are.This must change. Below are some articles for your perusal

Quran 22:40 " (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah.. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will)."$FILE/k2240.jpg

For some Muslims and Christians, no row over ‘Allah’


For Mujahid, the hardest part was heading home and trying to explain to his constituents the 'complexities' surrounding the usage of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims. — Picture by Choo Choy MayFor Mujahid, the hardest part was heading home and trying to explain to his constituents the 'complexities' surrounding the usage of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Vocal demands of Muslim exclusivity over “Allah” were not unanimous, as an interfaith forum here last night illustrated a willingness among followers of Islam to share the Arabic word for God.
Titled “Polemik Kalimah Allah dan Rampasan Bible — Antara Undang-Undang dan Sensitiviti Agama” (The Allah polemic and bible seizures — between rule of law and religious sensitivities), the PAS-organised event drew a crowd of more than 150 people who were largely Muslims and Bumiputera Christians from Sabah and Sarawak.
“Whosoever prays and holds steadfast to the truth should not worry about the strength of his or her faith. There should be no compulsion in religion.
“We cannot tell or dictate to other people how they should pray or refer to their own God,” PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said, adding that he strongly disagreed with how the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had carried out last week’s raid and seized over 300 Malay and Iban language bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
The Parit Buntar MP was one of the panellists in last night’s forum, along with constitutional law expert Prof Dr Aziz Bari as well as National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia (NECF) secretary-general Eugene Yapp.
“With regards to how the bibles were seized, I do not believe that it fulfils the precepts of Islam, only the wishes of certain parties,” he said.
For Mujahid, the hardest part was heading home and trying to explain to his constituents the “complexities” surrounding the usage of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.
But even this was not as intractable as the issue is made to appear in the media, he noted.
“When I explained to my rural constituents why Christians wished to exercise their right to use the word ‘Allah’...they did not find it a problem. Rural, Malay constituents tell me that it’s okay if Christians want to use the word for the purpose of their own worship.
“So, why are we in the city even arguing about this if even kampung people are not confused?” asked Mujahid amid claps and laughter from the audience.
After the flashpoints of bible seizures and threats to protests outside churches last week by pro-Malay rights groups, yesterday’s gathering was a stark contrast to recent events.
There, many of the Christian members of the audience took turns and pains to explain why the word “Allah” resonated with them and was integral in their daily prayers.
One Sabahan Christian, who identified himself only as Phillip, said that he grew up understanding the word “Allah” to mean “God” ?even before he understood a word of Malay or anything about Islam.
“I grew up understanding that Allah to me mean my God, without knowing at that time what Allah means to Muslims. But the word has become such a part of my life and prayer, why can’t I carry on using it? Is it not my right? I am just practising my own faith,” he said.
NECF’s Yapp reiterated that Bumiputera Christians have used the word “Allah” for decades and that the religious knowledge was passed down from one generation to another.
“If you take the word ‘Allah’ away, they feel as though their hands, legs will have been taken away from them as well,” Yapp said, adding that Christians in Malaysia were currently at a “loss” and “despair” over their constitutional rights to practice their religion freely.
Temperatures have risen of late over the so-called “Allah” row that remains unresolved four years after it shocked the nation and led to the worst religious strife in the country’s history.
The ongoing legal dispute between the government and the Catholic Church over its right to print the word “Allah” in the Herald’s Bahasa Malaysia section is still pending before the Federal Court, which is set to hear arguments from both sides on February 24 before deciding on whether it will hear an appeal by the Catholic Church.
Christians make up about 10 per cent of the Malaysian population, or 2.6 million. Almost two-thirds of them are Bumiputera and are largely based in Sabah and Sarawak, where they routinely use Bahasa Malaysia and indigenous languages in their religious practices, including describing God as “Allah” in their prayers and holy book.

Kami mahu damai

January 12, 2014

12 JAN — Keluarga saya adalah penyokong kuat parti kerajaan terutamanya emak saya, juga emak mertua saya. Sehingga segala apa yang dihidangkan oleh pembangkang itu tidaklah ada yang manis melainkan yang  pahit-pahit belaka adanya.
Saya faham situasi emak saya itu, kebanyakannya sama dengan orang-orang tua kita dulu. Mereka setia kepada yang satu. Kesetiaan mereka seperti Laksamana Hang Tuah yang setia kepada rajanya tanpa berbelah bagi.
Tapi percayalah, emak saya orang yang baik hatinya, begitu juga dengan emak mertua saya. Kebanyakan orang-orang tua kita dulupun saya percaya punya sikap seperti emak saya.
 Saya dibesarkan di pekan Bruas, sebuah penempatan kecil yang punya simpang jalan ke Lumut, Ipoh dan Taiping. Di tempat tinggal saya itu masyarakat berbagai kaum tinggal bersama dalam suasana yang aman dan damai. Itulah yang kita perlukan dalam hidup ini, aman dan damai.
Kehidupan dan taraf pendapatan penduduk terutamanya golongan Melayu, Cina mahupun India adalah di tahap sederhana. Rumah banglo adalah satu dua yang terdapat di pekan kecil tersebut. Tapi kami boleh mencapai erti keamanan dalam istilah mensyukuri nikmat yang Tuhan beri ‘seadanya’.
Sebab utamanya adalah kerana sikap saling hormat menghormati antara satu sama lain.
Jika tiba perayaan Thaipusam atau Deepavali, semua bangsa turut sama memeriahkan upacara yang dijalankan. Begitu juga apabila tiba musim perayaan raya Cina, kita saling kunjung mengunjungi, apatah lagi jika kita menyambut hari raya.
Keluarga saya biasanya mengambil barang-barang keperluan dapur di sebuah kedai runcit milik peniaga berbangsa Cina, namanya Sum Yew. Ini cerita tahun 70an dulu. Bapa saya waktu itu seorang pesara polis. Jadi biasanya barang-barang diambil secara hutang, maknanya cukup bulan baru bayar.
Perhubungan antara bapa saya dan towkay kedai runcit itu memang baik. Emak saya pun sering memuji towkay tersebut walau di pekan tersebut, banyak lagi kedai runcit milik peniaga berbangsa Melayu juga mamak.
Tahun 1974 dulu, saya pernah menonton ceramah politik yang dianjurkan parti BN (Barisan Nasional)  di kampung saya. Perdana menteri yang ke dua waktu itu, Tun Abdul Razak turut hadir memberikan ucapan.
Ramai yang hadir malam itu. Saya tidak faham apa itu politik waktu itu, pun hadir juga kerana mengikut emak saya yang memang penyokong kuat parti kerajaan dari dulu sampailah ke hari ini. Emak saya adalah contoh terbaik jika kita mahu bercerita tentang makna ‘kesetiaan’.
Katalah apa saja tentang Umno dan Barisan Nasional, dia tidak pernah goyah dan goncang pendirian. Apabila emak saya marahkan parti pembangkang di hadapan saya berpandukan teorinya, ia buatkan saya ketawa lucu walaupun saya tahu dia tidak maksudkan. Tapi itulah emak saya, dan saya percaya kebanyakan ibu-bapa kita juga sama pendirian mereka dengan emak saya itu.
Yang emak saya tak suka adalah pembangkang, bukan orang Cina, India ataupun lain-lain bangsa sekalipun. Ini kerana tahap kesetiaannya kepada pimpinan kerajaan zaman kemerdekaan lagi.
Saya tidak pernah menganggap politik itu suatu yang serius kerana namanya pun ‘politik’. Ia bagi saya hanya sebuah pentas bagi mereka yang berkepentingan dan kita semua adalah sebahagian dari alat untuk mereka melengkapkan misi dan agenda mereka saja.
Mungkin kita hanya askar sahaja seperti dalam permainan catur dan mereka adalah King atau Queen. Pun askar penting juga kerana tanpa kita, siapalah mereka. Jadi walaupun politik itu bukan suatu yang serius, mahu tidak mahu kita juga adalah pelengkap kepada cerita kejayaan dan kegagalan mereka.
Saya hadir menonton ceramah kerana waktu itu demam pilihanraya sedang melanda. Pilihan raya berlangsung pada Ogos 1974. Tun Abdul Razak (menjadi PM pada 1970-1976) menjadi Perdana Menteri yang ke dua selepas Tuanku Abdul Rahman (1957-1970).
Waktu itu apabila tiba musim pilihanraya,  suasana dan sambutannya sangat meriah, umpama menjelang perayaan dan sambutan. Bendera dan sepanduk parti dipasang merata-rata, di seluruh pelusuk kampung juga bandar.
Muka wakil-wakil rakyat yang sebelumnya tenggelam timbul akan muncul semula untuk satu tempoh dan mereka memang merakyat waktu itu bersempena pilihanraya. Selepas habis, batang hidung lenyap entah ke mana...
Pernah satu ketika seorang wakil rakyat dari sebuah parti datang menziarah satu majlis perkahwinan jiran sekampung saya. Kita boleh lihat betapa terharunya jiran saya itu sehingga menangis kegembiraan dek kehadiran wakil rakyat yang hadir mungkin atas dasar kepentingan kerana waktu itu adalah musim pilihanraya.
Berbalik pada cerita di kampung waktu dulu, kalau nak tempah baju atau seluar, kita akan ke kedai jahit milik peniaga Cina juga. Kalau nak beli surat khabar, itu kita beli di kedai mamak berhadapan dengan stesen bas Ipoh.
Jadi kesimpulannya masyarakat kita waktu itu memang saling perlu memerlukan, hormat menghormati di antara satu sama lain, apatah lagi bila ianya melibatkan hal-hal agama yang memang sensitif untuk dibangkitkan terutamanya di zaman ini.
Saya rindukan suasana itu, seperti saya sukakan sajak Usman Awang yang judulnya ‘Anak Jiran Tionghua’. Ceritanya sama seperti apa yang masyarakat kita lalui, dari segi praktikalnya.
Saya sedih dengan perkembangan yang berlaku hari ini, apabila mereka yang di atas suka berbalah antara sesama terutamanya apabila ada hal yang melibatkan politik dan agama. Mengapa kita suka rumitkan keadaan sehingga ianya menjadi berserabut dan kusut?
Mengapa tidak ada sifat rasional dalam diri kita dalam menghadapi dan menangani hal-hal yang biasa kita lalui sejak merdeka dulu?
Memanglah kehidupan ini adalah seperti permainan catur. Kita pun faham peranan kita masing-masing. Dan memanglah juga King dan Queen itu perlu menang untuk sesuai dengan sifat mereka. Tapi segalanya perlu berjalan dalam suasana yang rasional, bukan kelam-kabut dan emosional. Kalau yang atas dah kelam-kabut, susahlah...
Saya percaya semua agama utama di dunia ini menuntut umatnya menjadi baik. Tak ada agama dalam dunia yang menggalakkan umatnya menjadi jahat. Kebanyakan agama juga menggalakkan umatnya berbuat baik untuk hasil yang baik. Sudah-sudahlah dengan babak-babak yang penuh dengan nafsu dan dendam, kerana ia tidak akan mendatangkan untung pada sesiapapun, tak kira samada kepada yang kiri mahupun yang kanan.

Should issues of law be left to lawyers?

James John @ James Ligunjang

James Ligunjang was a former elected assemblyman for Petagas in Sabah during the PBS era.

Someone emailed us his Facebook posting below and sought advice as to the accuracy of the contents thereof:

Let us take a very brief course on constitutional law:

Firstly, Article 73 provides that the Dewan Rakyat enact laws for the federation while the Legislative Assemblies for the states.

Secondly, Article 74 (2) provides that State Legislative Assemblies pass laws mentioned in the State and Concurrent Lists.

And in Article 76 (1) (c) the Dewan Rakyat can only interfere in the enactment of laws mentioned in the State List when specifically asked to do so by the State Assemblies.

Thirdly, Article 76 (2) prohibits the Dewan Rakyat from passing laws relating to Islam in the states unless the state governments are agreeable to it.

Fourthly, the State List clearly provides that Islamic laws, conduct of Muslims, Islamic organizations and authorities in the states are within the exclusive purview of the State Assemblies.

Fifthly, the Concurrent List does not mention anything about Islamic laws and/or pertaining to the conduct of Muslims, Islamic organizations and authorities which arms the Dewan Rakyat with joint jurisdiction to enact.


The National Fatwa Council can issue edicts but it is entirely up to the state religious authorities whether they wanted to adopt or ignore the same.

The 10-Points solution proposed by the federal government is nothing more than a Memorandum of Understanding with no real legal force of law.

By reasons of the matters aforesaid, it is clearly understood that Islamic affairs and matters arising therefrom are under the control of the state governments and not the federal government.

In this regard, we find that James Ligunjang is confused and his Facebook posting contents totally wrong.

In the same breath and based on the interpretation of the above-mentioned constitutional qualifications and restrictions, we recognize that there are no express or implied stipulations that non-Muslims could be curtailed within their own religions.

Wherefore, the controversial 1988 Selangor enactment barring non-Muslims from using certain words undoubtedly contravenes constitutional guarantees that allow for freedoms of religion, speech, and expression.

Effectively, these inconsistent provisions in the Selangor enactment are unconstitutional, ultra vires the Federal Constitution, null and void; the seizure of the Bibles containing the word Allah is therefore illegal and criminal in nature.

Lastly with Sultans now joining in the fray, who or what should the people listen to - Sultans or the Federal Constitution?

Our answer is the Federal Constitution because the Sultans are actually constitutional monarchies; without the constitution, the Sultans will cease to exist...!

Pakistani cleric slams “ignorant” Allah ruling

 | January 22, 2014
Pakistani Muslim cleric Younos AlGohar says the Court of Appeal ruling on the use of 'Allah' by non-Muslims implies that there is another creator.

PETALING JAYA: A Pakistani Muslim cleric Younos AlGohar said the Malaysian Appeals Court decision that the word ‘Allah’ is exclusively for Muslims, is syirik.
“The Malaysian court said, don’t use the word Allah. It is our God. Use your God’s name. This sentence is syirik,” said Younos, the co-founder of Messiah Foundation International in a 16:12 minute video recording by Alra TV.
“When you say this, you mean you believe that there is another God? Can you understand how ignorant and short sighted they are?
“It is deplorable and condemnable,” he said.
Younos who currently resides in Manchester, UK, gave his view of the Court of Appeal judgment prohibiting Catholic weekly, The Herald, from using the word Allah in reference to God in its Bahasa Malaysia section.
The decision was made in mid-October 2013 by three judges – Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali and Appeals Court judges Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim.
The unanimous decision was made by them on the grounds that the word Allah is not an integral part of the Malaysian Christian’s faith.
Zawawi said that usage of the word Allah would only serve to confuse the Christians as well as the Muslims due to the Trinity concept practiced in Christianity.
The judge had also said that Christian Bibles in the Indonesian, Middle Eastern and Malay languages had erred by using Allah when referring to God in the Bible.
Younos however said that the judgment only served to show that “Muslims today do not have any understanding of the Quran”.
“It is so clear that the word Allah can be used by any human being just because everyone is the creation of Allah.
“There is no other creator. So why must you ban people of other religion from using God’s name?” he said.
He criticised the three judges and the authorities as being “highly ignorant, shortsighted and prejudiced.”
Wrong mentality
In November 2013, Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah decreed that ‘Allah’ could not be used by non-Muslims in the state.
Recently, various states have also started to enforce respective state enactments barring non-Muslims from using ‘Allah’ and a list of other Arabic words deemed to be Islamic.
This led to more than 300 translated Malay and Iban bibles being seized by the Selangor Religious Department (Jais) from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) premises on Jan 2, 2014.
Younos said the judgment is a form of “tyranny” and represents the wrong mentality of Muslims worldwide.
He added that the perception of some Muslims that Allah is equivalent to the Muslim god is untrue.
“Putting limitations on God to be God for Muslims is wrong.
“Arabic is not the Islamic language. Some people who are ignorant think that it is the language of paradise,” said the cleric.
He explained that the reason the Quran was revealed in Arabic was because it was the language that Prophet Muhammad understood.
“Allah is referred to as God to all mankind. This is personified in the term ‘Rabb al-Amin’ instead of Rabb al-Muslimin (God to Muslims),” he explained.
Not the first to condemn the judgment, Younos is joined by others, including the American Muslim theologian Reza Aslan who described the Malaysian court judgment as “a tragedy”.
An appeal has been filed against this judgment and the Federal Court is scheduled to hear the leave application next month.
Younos AlGohar’s video:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Apa Cina mau?

I am dismay at the non Malays in Malaysia. I can empathize with them but i cannot accept blatant prejudices.  I embrace racism if it goes back to the true definition of the word that means loving one race or one community. But I am against the blatant prejudices that colour the emotion of Men. I am a humanist and a Muslim. I don't see anything wrong in it.But it is wrong when we deny others their right be it in wealth or opportunities. I am all for NEP if it means helping the poor regardless of race. I believe social engineering is needed so identification of economic activities is not by race but by abilities. These 2 were the main thrust of the NEP. On poverty it has been successful but on the social engineering part it has fail. The Government has become more Malays than Malaysian. Private Sectors own by the Chinese mostly still would not employ Malays although a law was pass that 30% of the employees of all division whether Management to workers must be reserve for Bumiputras but this is not happening. Yet they complain the Government is only for the Malays. They forget to achieve NEP they too must sacrifice. Even in Singapore any advert for workers must not include the ability to speak vernacular language although we know in Singapore racism is there but regulated not blatant. Here in Malaysia if you open the papers you can read that Chinese language is a must sometimes they make it clear only Chinese is preferred. I do not support Vernacular Schools even Dr Khoo Kay Kim agree. Vernacular School should be abolish in fact better to have a hybrid Malaysian school  like it was before 2979 where Sciences and Maths were taught in English.

Sadly, for political reason both would never be done. The leaders are weak to bulldoze this idea through.Funny, in Singapore the mother of DAP, PAP government decides to do away with Vernacular School ever since 1965. Those that oppose it Lee Kuan Yew put them in Jail. ISA is still use by Singapore. Yet the prodigal son for political reason fought for these school and the abolishment of ISA in Malaysia.In Singapore 75% Chinese 14% Malay and the rest others while Malaysia has only 60% Bumiputra 32% and the rest Indian and others. Singapore should not be afraid but yet Singapore Chinese Government has ISA while we should be more afraid but we don't have ISA. Think! We are much more better off as a country then what people think. We have minor hiccups here and there but on the whole democracy is still alive here.By and large we do not enforce the rule that emphasize 30% employment to be given to the bumis.I smat a loss Apa lagi Cina Mau?

Don't test my patience, says Nazri

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 08:42

by SJK (C) Chin Woo to reject a government offer to pay a nominal rental fee for 15,000 sq feet of land has not gone down well with the Tourism and Culture Ministry.
The RM1,000 rental fee had been agreed upon by both parties in December after the school refused to surrender the land, which presently houses its basketball court.
The ministry had initially proposed to acquire the land for the Kota Warisan building and restaurant project.
"I don't care what decision they make. This is government land and the school's decision is not important," the minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, said.
He said the school had, in a letter dated Dec 24, acknowledged the land belonged to the government and agreed to pay RM1,000 in rental for 20 years.
"We had agreed on the terms and now I am informed that the offer has been rejected by the school during their recent AGM," he said.
"I'm not concerned with what they say. If they do not accept my offer, they can get out. I don't care!"
It was reported on Jan 12 that the school decided it would only pay RM10 annually instead of RM1,000.
"Asking for rent worth RM10 instead of the standardised government rate of RM1,000 is an insult," Nazri said.
He also challenged the school authorities to bring the issue to court.
However, Chin Woo school chairman Oo Tin Fuan told The Malay Mail the AGM was illegal.
"I did not approve the AGM as those organising it failed to adhere to the 14-day notice period which must be given to the board before a meeting is held," he said.
"The meeting was organised by one of the board members who was against agreeing to the government's terms.
"As far as I am concerned, we have no qualms on the offer made by the government.
I'm disappointed with certain quarters for damaging the school's reputation by making misleading statements."
Oo gave an assurance the school would comply with the terms set in the Dec 24 agreement.

Former Sodomy II investigator cries foul after barred from Bar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Former police investigating officer Jude Blacious Pereira is unhappy with the Bar Council for objecting to him practising law.
He said he had received a letter from the council in November withdrawing its objection against him being admitted as an advocate and solicitor.
However, he was surprised the matter was brought  up on Wednesday in  the High Court, which allowed the council’s  objection.
“It is not fair for the Bar Council to go against me and judge me based on the Brickfields case,” said Pereira, who was the investigating officer in the second Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy case,
“I did not act on my own accord but acted while I was under the police force.
“I will appeal and leave this to the court. Let them decide.”
Pereira questioned why he was allowed to go through seven months of chambering without any objection from the council.
“Up to my third call they did not object, so why is it that at the last minute they are the pulling the carpet under my feet?” he asked.
Pereira said he failed the first time he sat for the Ethics and Professional Standards examination organised by the council but passed when he sat for the paper again and obtained a certificate.
“I was looking forward to practising law. It is the only thing I am good at,” he said.
High Court judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof, who struck out the petition by Pereira to practise law, allowed the Bar Council’s notice of objection and notice of caveat against admitting him as an advocate and solicitor.
After retiring from the police force as a superintendent, Pereira had applied to practise in Ipoh where he completed his chambering.
Lawyer Pavendeep Singh,  representing the Bar Council, said the Bar had the right to object to Pereira because he was found “not to be a credible witness” during a human rights case last May, based on the Human Rights Commission inquiry.
The case involved the arrest of five lawyers at the Brickfields police station on May 7, which was later found to be in violation of human rights due  to mala fide (acting in bad faith).
Pereira was one of the two top police officers responsible, along with OCPD Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid.
-Published: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM Updated: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 7:42:23 AM

Move to avoid speculation and hoarding of fuel, says Ahmad

Published: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 19, 2013 MYT 7:42:23 AM

Move to avoid speculation and hoarding of fuel, says Ahmad

by mazwin nik anis AND yuen mei keng




THERE is no need to announce the reduction of fuel subsidy early because this will avoid speculation and hoarding of fuel, says Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
He added that an early announcement would also be difficult because the market price for petroleum and its products could not be predicted.
Their prices are based on global crude oil prices, which fluctuate daily, he added.
“We do not want people to hoard fuel because this is also a form of wastage. The rationalisation of fuel subsidy needs to be done carefully, especially in these challenging economic times.
“This is necessary so that the rakyat, especially those in the low-income group, will not be burdened,” Ahmad said in response to a question by Datuk Chua Tee Yong (BN-Labis).
Ahmad said subsidy rationalisation was implemented in stages from awarding it in bulk, which had led to leakages, to awarding it directly to target groups.
On a separate matter, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said not all Malaysians who migrated left the country due to social injustices under the New Economic Policy as claimed by William Leong (PKR-Selayang).
He said there were also other reasons, such as lack of career opportunities, significant salary differences, currency exchange and quality of life, that had spurred some to move abroad.
“While we do not intend to take away people’s rights, we do not want economic activities to be dominated by just a certain race. The New Economic Policy is aimed at boosting business and employment opportunities that are fair to bumiputras,” he stressed.
Abdul Wahid also said that according to a survey, the percentage of bumiputras holding decision-making posts in government-linked companies (GLCs) was much higher than those in the private sector.
According to the survey, 60% of those in high management posts in GLCs were bumiputras while Chinese and Indians made up 30% and 5% respectively.
Abdul Wahid said that in the private sector, bumiputras holding senior positions only constituted 20% compared to 70% Chinese while 5% to 10% of them were Indians.

When stupidity reigns supreme

January 17, 2014
Faridah Hameed

Faridah Hameed, MM
Just how much ridiculousness can a country tolerate before it becomes unhinged? Why does it feel like when the subject of faith is on the table, we speak in forked tongues and stand on ‘hollowed’ rather than ‘hallowed’ ground?
Right now, it feels like our screws have come loose and all that’s standing between the peacemakers and the mad men at the gate is a wobbly door.
So, when it all got too much for me, I took refuge at my neighbourhood ‘spa’ for some pampering. And there, in the story of a young Vietnamese girl called Lina, I learned just how much silliness has seeped into our so called tolerant culture.
Lina is a 20-something extremely bubbly girl from Ho Chi Minh city. She fits the comedic stereotypes of Vietnamese manicurist you find on YouTube — in a good way. In under five minutes, she convinced me to do a full mani-pedi (manicure and pedicure) and by the end of the hour, had even pre-sold me on another product.
All this from a girl who didn’t speak a word of English before she came to Malaysia five months ago. But it is her experience with her Malay-Muslim roommates that embarrassed me on how we continue to speak with such insensitivity to those of other faiths.
As we talked about her experience in Malaysia so far, she tells me that she has a good boss and stays in a house with two Malay-Muslim girls. What she says next, just makes my toes cringe.
“I cannot cook in the house,” she says. “You don’t know how to cook?,” I ask. “No,” she answers animatedly. “The girls say if I cook, they cannot eat.” I look surprised. “But why?” I ask in surprise.
“They say I’m not Muslim. They cannot eat food not cooked by Muslim.”
Oblivious to my rising anger at the ridiculousness that she’s been fed, she continues. “But it’s OK, I cut the vegetables and help them prepare the meals and I wash up.”
Though I tell her what she’s been told is absolutely wrong, my words sound hollow even to me. All I can hope for is that she realises we’re not all a bunch of idiots hell bent on showing just how silly we sound to the rest of the world.
Like many Malaysians who grew up in the 1970s and 80s, I have experienced nothing but kindness and understanding from my non-Muslim friends. During Chinese New Year or Christmas, they would ensure that they didn’t serve pork in our presence and would even go so far as cook in a separate pot.
In college, in the US, the cafeteria management cooked eggs separately for Muslim students so that it wouldn’t mix with the bacon and eggs served to the rest.
When others go out of their way to show us respect, why is it that some reciprocate with abject disrespect?
This led to my searching of whether there was such a thing as a ‘Stupidity Index.’ Are human beings truly becoming more stupid or are we simply hearing a lot more stupidity spewing in the media and the airwaves?
This is what I found. Research shows our intelligence as a species is diminishing. The first such known study was done in 1976 in the aptly called ‘The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity’ by Italian economist Prof Carlo M. Cipolla.
He made four key observations but two hit home:  Always and inevitably, everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation; Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.
More recently in 2012, a study by Dr Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University and Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, concluded that we no longer need intelligence to survive unlike our ancestors.
Within the last 3,000 years or about 120 generations, they estimate that we have sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability.
Nobel prize winners psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger found that people tend to have “overly favourable and objectively indefensible views of their own abilities, talents and moral character.”
“For example, a full 94 per cent of college professors state that they do ‘above average’ work although it is statistically impossible for virtually everybody to be above average,” said Dunning.
So it comes to this. Science tells us that the universe abhors a vacuum. Unfortunately, in human terms it tends to be filled with a lot of hot air.
It’s time for the Non-Stupid people of the world to unite. We may all have a few screws loose, but like it or not, it’s in our hands to ensure that what intelligence we have doesn’t go the way of the dodo bird.
* Faridah Hameed is the creator of the Language of Power for Women training programmes. Connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website