Apr 17, 2009

No Force in Religious Believes, Please!

Freedom of religion in Malaysia is a controversial issue. Islam is the official state religion and the Constitution of Malaysia provides for limited freedom of religion, notably placing control upon the 'propagation' of religion other than Islam to Muslims, a fundamental part of a number of other religions. However, questions including whether Malaysia is an Islamic state or secular state remain unresolved. Now it’s easy to convert to Islam but it is so difficult to return to non-Islam religions. Is this the freedom of religion means in Malaysia?

A non-Muslim person who wishes to marry a Muslim person must convert into Islam before the marriage can be recognised as legally valid. A marriage between two non-Muslims (civil law marriages), however, will not become void after one spouse subsequently converts into Islam. Here are some victims of the limited freedom of religion in Malaysia:

T Saravanan/R Subashini

In 2006, T. Saravanan, a Muslim convert, sought to dissolve his marriage with his non-Muslim wife via the Syariah Court. His wife, R. Subashini, applied to Kuala Lumpur High Court for an injunction against her husband seeking divorce in the Syariah Court. The High Court dismissed her application. This was affirmed in the Court of Appeal, where the court also ordered Subashini to take her case to the Syariah Court. As of September, 2007, their case is pending in the Federal Court after an appeal by Subashini. Subashini is also seeking to stop or declare void the conversion of their children.

Revathi Masoosai

Revathi, an ethnic Indian woman, has been held in a rehabilitation center run by Islamic authorities since January 2007 because she wants the State to acknowledge she is a Hindu and not a Muslim. Revathi was born to Indian parents who had converted to Islam before her birth. She claims she was raised by her grandmother as a Hindu. She and Suresh were married according to Hindu rites in March 2004. Revathi was advised by the Malacca Islamic Religious Department to make an application at the Malacca Syariah High Court to confirm her status as a Hindu. She did as she was told.

However, the Syariah Court ordered her detained in a rehabilitation centre in Ulu Yam, Selangor under Melaka’s Syariah criminal laws for 100 days. This detention was extended in Revathi’s absence for a further 80 days supposedly because she had not “repented”. In the meanwhile, Revathi’s Muslim mother obtained a Syariah Court order granting her custody of Revathi and Suresh’s 15 month old baby. That order was enforced on Suresh’s Hindu family with the assistance of the police. The family is now torn apart - with the mother in detention, the child with the grandparents and the father in limbo without his family.

Lina Joy

In fact, Many Muslims who have converted to Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and other religions lead "double lives", hiding their new faith from friends and family. The Lina Joy case challenged this view of the situation by taking the problem of apostasy to the Federal Court in 2007. Lina Joy lost the case and was denied conversion to Christianity. This cleared the situation about the overlapping areas of jurisdiction between the Islamic and the secular courts in Malaysia. Also it is now clear that renouncing Islam is very difficult although not impossible in Malaysia.

Wong Ah Kiu

Legally known as Nyonya binti Tahir, was a Malaysian convert from Islam to Buddhism.Of mixed Chinese and ethnic Malay descent, she was taken in by her grandmother, a Malay Muslim married to a Chinese of Hainan origin who had converted to Islam; however, she was later adopted by a Chinese family and raised as a Buddhist. Her husband died in 1989 at the age of 87; knowing that she would be unable to be buried next to him as a Muslim, she filed two further applications for recognition of her change of religion in 1991 and 1998; these too were rejected. She left behind a written declaration that she was a Buddhist and wanted to be given a Buddhist rather than an Islamic funeral.

Maniam Moorthy (A member of the first group of Malaysians to successfully climb Mount Everest)

A Malaysian Indian born and raised Hindu, a controversy about his religion arose after his death; he was buried as a Muslim against the wishes of his wife in accordance with a Syariah Court ruling that he had converted to Islam without the knowledge of his family. Despite his conversion to Islam, Moorthy remained uncircumcised, still took part in Hindu festivals, ate pork, and drank alcohol; he appeared on television on 31 October 2005, being interviewed about his celebration of Deepavali. On 11 November 2005, he fell from his wheelchair, injuring his head and entering into a coma from which he would never recover.

And the latest case:

Indra gandhi’s three young children were forcefully converted to Islam by her estranged husband. Indira's marriage is now is a limbo after her husband, K Patmanathan, 40, converted without her knowledge on March 11. She claimed that her husband, who has since assumed the name Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had also converted their three children - aged one to 12 - on April 12 without their presence and using only their birth certificates. Now Indra Gandhi fearing that she could not reconvert her children to Hindu. Read here- Anguished mom knocks on PM's door and here- Conversion row: Hindu Sangam turns to new cabinet.

And if you argue freedom of religion in Malaysia, they will reply "YOU TAK SUKA, YOU KELUAR DARI MALAYSIA!" Watch here:

Apr 16, 2009

One Malaysia?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Naib Tun Razak promised that he will a PM for all Malaysia by emphasising on One Malaysia concept. But are other UMNO leaders sincere for this cause, and give up their race based struggle?
  • “PM – I am Prime Minister of all communities. Urges people to break race barriers to foster unity.”

“Bangkitlah Melayu – Bersatu hadapi tuntuan kaum lain yang semakin terlaluan” - Utusan Malaysia front-page headline which carried the following three quotes on the front-page:

  • “Dalam keadaan sekarang ini, orang Melayu berhadapan banyak cabaran semasa dan kita perlu mencari cara untuk memastikan kaum itu tidak berpecah-belah” – Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad, Timbalan Presiden Gabungan Pelajar Melayu
  • “Penyatuan UMNO dan Pas perlu menjadi batu loncatan untuk mengeratkan semua rakyat berbilang kaum di negara ini” - Osman Abu Bakar, Ketua Umum Badan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu
  • “Kita tidak boleh biar sebelah pihak sahaja menang. Kalau kita nak penuhi apa yang mereka nak, jangan pula kita lepaskan apa yang jadi hak kita” – Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Toyo
These sickening racist statements hurting non-malays severely. Do we need such politicians to fight for "One Malaysia" agenda? the leaders like Ibrahim Ali and Ahmad Ismail, is above the law on sedition. On the other hand, Karpal Singh was charged for sedition for merely saying that the Sultan of Perak can be sued in court which is a fact.The selective enforcement of laws is something which sickens all Malaysians.

The racists have been known to show blatant arrogance. It is my personal hope that the non-Malays do not resort to such childish acts. We would hard to "survive" after that. These people won’t change because they’ve the constitution to back them up. Sorry to say that "One Malaysia" failed with a bad start!

Apr 15, 2009

Malaysians Proud of Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim is one of the candidates of The 2009 TIME 100 Finalist. He is shortlisted along American President Barack Obama, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tibet Buddhism religious leaders Dalai Lama, Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin and many more. Vote for him here- The 2009 TIME 100 Finalist

During the 1990s, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and a group of U.S. Senators organized a forum to exchange views among East Asians and Americans. Asked at one session about the role of Islam in politics, Anwar replied, "I have no use for governments which call themselves Islamic and then deny basic rights to half their population.

This devout Muslim leader was an impressive and eloquent advocate of tolerance, democracy and human rights. So we were shocked by his arrest and trial in 1998 on charges of corruption and sodomy. I felt his real "crime" had been to challenge Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose impressive record will be forever stained by his treatment of Anwar. The world leaders speak out in Anwar's defense.

When he was finally released from prison in 2004, U.S. policy on Iraq was unpopular in Malaysia, and Anwar was harshly critical. It would have been easy for him to disown our friendship, but he is not that kind of person. He kept the channels of dialogue open, even while making clear our disagreements.

Anwar, 60, was back in the center of Malaysian politics. The coalition led by his wife Wan Azizah has become the main opposition bloc. His future role can be determined only by Malaysians. One can hope that they will embrace his brand of tolerance, valuing dialogue across political differences, and that this courageous leader will continue to play a leading role on the world stage.

Apr 14, 2009

Black 14, Decade ago.....

On April 14, 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and, on August 8, 2000, nine years in prison for sodomy. The sentences were to be served consecutively, and Anwar was given no credit for the six months he spent in jail during the trial. The following year, Anwar's corruption conviction was upheld by Malaysia's Court of Appeal. In July 2002, Anwar lost his final appeal against the corruption conviction in the Federal Court.


Two years after April 14 1999, on 14 April 2001, several social activists and reformists were detained under Internal Security Act. The Free Anwar campaign on that day lead to the detain of Tian Chua, Saari Sungib, Ezam Mohamad Noor, N. Gobalakrishnan, Abdul Ghani Harun, Hishamuddin Rais, Raja Petra Kamarudin and others.

Apr 13, 2009

Poor Malaysian Indian was Much More Well-Managed under British Colonial Rule

After more than 5 decades, majority of Malaysian Indian never experienced real meaning of the independence. Poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, religious oppressions, policy discriminations are nothing new for them. Well, let me tell you the truth that Malaysian Indian was more comfortable and independent under the colonial of British. UMNO colonial are very much discriminating malaysian Indian. The reason why I mentioned UMNO as colonial is they are always championing the “ketuanan Melayu” policy in Malaysia. So If Malays are “Tuan”, can you tell me who that “Kuli” is?

Double standard policy such as “New Economic Policies” which bias towards certain races is not logical and relevent for future Malaysia. Bumiputra and Bukan Bumiputra verse are the simplest example that the Malaysian Indians are under discrimination. This is the Malaysia state of denial in reality, the government is arrogant, refuse to listen Minority’s plight.

During the British colonial, Malaysian Indian was brought as labours in rubber plantations. The ethnic was given houses, schools, fields, temples, and all the basic facilities. But what’s happening now? The plantation estates are being removed, they are abandoned and some of them jobless and homeless. The conversion of rubber plantations to housing estates and golf courses has displaced plantation workers who have drifted to urban centers. As a result, urban Indian ghettos have emerged and crime escalated.

Let me prove you how Malaysian Indian are abandoned by UMNO colonial, Malaysian Indians feature highest in all of the negative statistics.

  • The second highest infant mortality rates
  • The lowest life expectancy rates- 67.3 years compared to national average of 71.2
  • The highest school dropout rates best seen in the data that only 5.0 percent of Indians reach the tertiary level compared to the national average of 7.5 percent. [And to top it all, just recently we have openly declared to the world that our students cannot make the cut under the newly introduced system of meritocracy for tertiary intake
  • The highest incidence of alcoholism, that cuts across all classes. Alcohol it seems is the greatest leveler of class distinctions
  • The highest incidence of drug addiction in proportion to population. - The highest number of prisoners in proportion to population
  • And we are told that the largest number of gangs is now Indian gang and that 60 percent of serious crimes are committed by Indians
  • 14 percent of juvenile delinquents, 20 percent of (Malaysia's) wife and child (abusers) and 14 percent of its beggars. They (also comprised) less than 5 percent of successful university applicants
  • Indians have the lowest share of the nation's corporate wealth: 1.5%, compared to 19.4% for the Malays and 38.5% for the Chinese.
Until now, there are no proper action taken to solve this social problem. So who should we blame?

An Indian Malaysian can find it difficult to become a doctor or lawyer in Malaysia. Local university seats and scholarships are all awarded under a racial quota system. Even after getting a degree, many say that discrimination is commonplace. Indian doctors, for instance, complain that they are often excluded from lists of approved doctors whom civil servants or company employees can patronise. This might not happens if we are still under control of the British.

The Malaysian authorities’ even refuse to provide the birth certificate and Identification certificated (IC) even though the ethnic Indian already here for fourth generations. These once again deny them to enter schools to receive education and hospitals to receive proper medical treatment. Don’t you feel pity of them? There are thousand s of Malaysian Indian still no document to prove that they are the Malaysian citizen. Hey! What’s going on men? They are human! They are Malaysian! Why don’t you recognise them as rightful citizen?

Some Malaysian Indians forced to convert to Islam, denying their rights of religious freedom. These kind of cases reported always in Malaysian media. In fact, British colonials did not force them to convert into Christian in fact. Most of the temples in plantation estates were build before 1957, but most of the temples demolished after the 1957. The something happens to Tamil schools in Malaysia, before independence there are exactly 888 Tamil schools with only 55 766 pupils in our nation, but now? 523 schools around with more than 110 000 pupils receiving primary education in terrible conditions, some of them studying under tree, shop lot, open air class rooms and even sit on the ground. This is 2009! Please!

My father always tell me that when Malaysian Indians were in plantation estates, they where lived very happy life. With the daily earning as low as RM3 they enjoyed a peaceful life. The men would "lepak" in the toddy shop after the whole day tired of working. They kids and teenagers play football in the field after school while women cook and clean the house. They no need to pay any bills, no rent for houses, no fees for schools, free for medical. Even the estate authorities will put Tamil cinema movies with big screens in estates at least once a month. Once in a year, the estate authority will provide them school uniforms.

There are successful professionals such as lawyers and doctors produced from estates. Usually, after finish standard 6 in primary school, they go secondary English schools, which it was normally in town. Students with good results able to continue their education to secondary schools, estates authority provide bus for them to town to receive education in secondary schools. Then if family was affordable, they will send their children to overseas to further education.

Although Malaysian Indian was economic slaves of the British, British colonial did not abuse them by ignoring the basic needs. Education opportunities, job opportunities, freedom of religious and I confident that they would have delivered much compare to today's UMNO. I can feel they pain of minority Malaysian Indian while writing this, and I hope my messages will reach the concern citizens and social activists. Save poor Malaysian Indian from permanently colonised!

Watch these videos please!: