Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Swadaya Foundation Pontianak: Reflections on the Post-1999 Sambas Ethnic Conflict

The Swadaya Dian Khatulistiwa Foundation is going to organize the 2008 end-of-the year reflection on the 1999 Sambas ethnic conflict. Entitled, “Status Quo; Proses Rekonsiliasi Menjelang Sepuluh Tahun Pascakonflik Sambas 1999.”
The discussion is organized by the Centre for Research and Inter-religious Dialogue (CRID), Jalan Putri Candramidi, Pontianak. According to the co-ordinator of the CRID programme, Aris Bahariyono, the main purpose of the dialogue is to discuss the condition, problems and opposition to the process of reconciliation ten years after the 1999 Sambas ethnic conflict.
The proposed dialogue intends to discuss local norms which can substantially help to foster good relations and goodwill for an everlasting peace among the conflicting parties. It is the CRID’s aims to reach several agreements on the strategies to be implemented to help the process of reconciliation and reconstruction amongst the ethnic groups involved in the 1999 Sambas ethnic conflict.

Ehsan/Courtesy of the Pontianak Post Online Wednesday, 31 December, 08:25:00

The Regent of Perak's New Hijrian Decrees: Eradicate Corruption and Social Problems

Raja Nazrin seru perangi rasuah, gejala sosial

Ekmal Yusoff Tue Dec 30, 08 1:41:25 am MYT

IPOH, 30 Dis (Hrkh) Raja Muda Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah menyeru supaya para pemimpin dan rakyat sama-sama berusaha memerangi rasuah yang semakin berleluasa dan gejala sosial yang semakin parah kini.

Baginda menyampaikan titahnya itu ketika Majlis Maal Hijrah 1430 Hijrah di Dewan Bankuet Bangunan Setiausaha Kerajaan (SUK) yang diadakan pagi semalam.

"Sempena tahun baru 1430 Hijrah ini pemimpin-pipimpin politik dan ketua-ketua masyarakat harus menyelesaikan masalah kemelut ekonomi dan kehidupan sosial rakyat bukan untuk bercakaran dalam perjuangan kemelut politik," tegas Baginda.

Raja Dr Nazrin mengulangnya lagi supaya pemimpin dan rakyat bersama-sama dapat memerangi rasuah dan gejala sosial lainnya di negeri ini khasnya.



Ehsan Harakah Daily.Net


Blogger'ss comments: The Regent of Perak's call to the leaders and people of Perak to work together to eradicate corruption and social problems underscores the serious nature of the two issues confronting contemporary Malaysian society. If left unchecked th two issues could slowly and ultimately destroy Malaysian society just as the issue of rampant corruption within UMNO as alleged by their own leaders had totally destroyed UMNO's image and credibility amongst the generally hard-working and honest Malaysian plural society.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Uncles Don't Listen To Those Anthropological Myths...

There's nothing wrong with cousins getting married, scientists say

Risk of babies having genetic defects 'has been overstated'

By Steve Connor, Science Editor Wednesday, 24 December 2008
The Independent

The risk of giving birth to babies with genetic defects as a result of marriages between first cousins is no greater than that run by women over 40 who become pregnant, according to two scientists who call for the taboo on first-cousin families to be lifted.

Women in their forties are not made to feel guilty about having babies and the same should apply to cousins who want to marry, said Professor Diane Paul of the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Professor Hamish Spencer of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Although first-cousin marriages are legal in Britain, there have been calls to ban the practice because of reports that it has resulted in a higher-than-average incidence of birth defects in certain immigrant communities where it is common and culturally acceptable.

However, Professors Paul and Spencer said that the risk of congenital defects is about 2 per cent higher than average for babies born to first-cousin marriages – with the infant mortality about 4.4 per cent higher – which is on a par with the risk to babies born to women over 40. "Women over the age of 40 have a similar risk of having children with birth defects and no one is suggesting they should be prevented from reproducing," said Professor Spencer, whose co-authored study is published in the online journal Public Library of Science.

First-cousin marriages were once quite common in Europe, especially among the elite – Charles Darwin married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood – but that changed in the late 19th-century as people, especially women, became more socially mobile and the risks became more evident. The stigma attached to first-cousin marriages was supported by early studies into human genetics suggesting that "recessive" versions of a gene (which are not expressed unless there are two of them, one from each parent) are more likely to be expressed in the children of genetically related parents, as well as more likely to be defective.

Most states in America have either outlawed or restricted the practice, as has China, Taiwan and both North and South Korea. Professor Spencer, an evolutionary zoologist, said these laws should be repealed, especially in America, where he said they were drafted in a way that discriminated against the rural poor and immigrants: "Neither the scientific nor social assumptions behind such legislation stand up to close scrutiny. Such legislation reflects outmoded prejudices about immigrants and the rural poor and relies on over-simplified views of heredity. There is no scientific grounding for it."

In the UK, the issue came to the fore when the MP Phil Woolas, now the Immigration minister, claimed earlier this year that first-cousin marriages within Asian communities in Britain resulted in an increasing number of children with health problems. "A lot of arranged marriages are with first cousins, and that produces lots of genetic problems in terms of disability [in children]," Mr Woolas said.

Peter Corry of St Luke's Hospital in Bradford estimates that among people of Pakistani descent in the city, 55 per cent of whom marry first cousins, the risk of recessive genetic disorders – the type due to related parents – is between 10 and 15 times higher than in the general population. A 2004 study found that 13 out of 1,000 Asian children born in the Bradford area had inherited recessive disorders, which can lead to disabilities.

A family affair: Cousins who tied the knot

Jerry Lee Lewis

The rock 'n 'roll star infamously married his 13-year-old first cousin once removed, 10 years his junior, in 1957. His popularity initially fell but recovered when he began performing country and western music.

Jesse James

The Missouri outlaw married his first cousin Zerelda "Zee" Mimms in 1874 at the height of the James-Younger gang's reign. They had two children and remained together until Jesse's death, aged 34, 12 years later.

H G Wells

The science fiction author of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds married his first cousin Isabel Mary Wells in 1891 but left her after three years to marry one of his students, with whom he had two children.

Edgar Allan Poe

The American gothic poet secretly married his 13-year-old first cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm, in 1834. She died of tuberculosis in 1847.

Johann Sebastian Bach

In 1707 Bach married his second cousin Maria Barbara Bach and had seven of his 20 children with her.

Khalid Mahmood

The Birmingham MP married his first cousin, Rifat, when he was in his twenties. They had a child – now a teenager – but separated in 1992.

Charles Darwin

The naturalist, whose work forms the basis for contemporary evolutionary theory, married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1839. They had 10 children, to whom he was a devoted father.
Source: The Independent On line

Pak Djangan Dicurigain: Ini Bukan Revolusi Gender, Para Ibu Hanya Ingin Membantu Famili

Pontianak Selasa, 23 Desember 2008 , 08:58:00

Perempuan Jangan Takut Eksplorasi Diri

PONTIANAK—Hari Ibu 22 Desember 2008, harus dijadikan momen bersejarah bagi kaum perempuan, khususnya yang sudah menjadi ibu. Patut diacungkan jempol, saat ini kaum ibu sudah mampu membangun image sebagai perempuan kuat dan mampu menyerukan aspirasinya dalam bentuk keterlibatan membangun daerah, tanpa melupakan kodratnya sebagai seorang istri dan ibu.


“Ibu memiliki peranan ganda. Baik dalam kehidupan keluarga yang menjadi panutan dalam keluarganya, maupun jadi panutan dalam keterlibatnnya dalam lingkup pekerjaan,” papar Wakil Sekretaris KNPI Kota Pontianak, Wati Susilawati, kepada koran ini, kemarin.Mereka (kaum perempuan, red) sangat kuat dan mau berjuang untuk memajukan kelompoknya dalam kesetaraan gender. Kendati, persamaan gender itu sebernarnya masalah lama yang mulai dimunculkan kembali di era globalisasi ini. "Kenapa saya bilang gender itu masalah lama. Ini karena sejak zaman kemerdekaan sudah banyak kaum perempuan terlibat urusan gender,” ujar Wati sapan akrabnya.


Wati Susilawati yang juga wartawati salah satu harian ini memberi contoh, seperti dalam urusan bela negara dan mempertahankan NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia) ini, sebut saja Cut Nyak Dien. “Jika sekarang muncul lagi masalah gender, saya tak akan terkejut. Pasalnya, di era ini sudah saatnya kaum perempuan unjuk gigi memperlihatkan kemampuannya yang sama di segala bidang, tanpa ada tekanan, intimidasi maupun keterpaksaan dari orang yang masih belum menerima persamaan gender itu sendiri," papar dia.


Namun, menurut mantan model ini, untuk mencapai pengakuan itu perlu kerja keras bagi kaum perempuan untuk dapat dianggap pantas sejajar. Untuk mengimbangi itu, perempuan dituntut memiliki kemampan. Artinya kemampuan untuk bisa diakui. "Jangan malu untuk belajar menjadi pintar, ekspolasi diri, lihat kemampuan yang ada dalam diri, kemudian kembangkan,” tegas dia seraya menambahkan, kaum perempuan jangan takut memulai sesuatu untuk kemajuan. “Karena kaum perempuan akan lebih kuat, jika berani tampil berani dalam setiap keputusannya. Dan jangan takut gagal.”(mzr)


Source: Pontianak Post Online

So Not Everything is OK in The Land of Kiasus: Singapore Flyer's Worst Glitch

Power disruption left 173 passengers stranded above ground in the Singapore Flyer – the world's biggest observation wheel - for about six hours yesterday. The stoppage – which occurred at about 5:00 pm – was caused by a small electrical fire. It was the Flyer’s fourth since it began operations early this year, but was by far the worst. Shocked passengers spoke of the ordeal of being stuck in stuffy capsules when the air-conditioning went off. Some among those trapped reportedly resorted to urinating in plastic bags while they were hanging in the air. Ten passengers were rescued using sling-like harnesses while the other 163 walked out when power was restored at about at about 11:11 pm. A spokesperson for the Flyer said investigations are ongoing, and the wheel would remain closed at least until Thursday.


Source:MSN News

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

For Malaysians Who Believe: Some Islamic Principles on Inter-faith Relations

Understanding Islam and the Muslims

Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?

The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran, 60-8 )

It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world.
History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.

Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.

The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. Above is the mosque built on the spot where Omar did pray.
Courtesy of IslamiCity.com

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

For Whom The Gift of All Gifts in the Gulf of Arab is Hurled: Fitting Farewell Present For A Foul-Mouthed Warmongering Fuzzy American President

From Times Online
December 15, 2008
Iraqi who threw shoes at George Bush hailed as hero

Philippe Naughton


The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush during his farewell visit to Baghdad was hailed a hero in the Arab world today as thousands marched to demand his release.

Muntazer al-Zaidi tore off his shoes and flung them at Mr Bush as he stood beside Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, during a press conference in Baghdad's Green Zone yesterday.

"This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq," he shouted before being overpowered by security guards and bundled out of the room.

Mr Bush tried to laugh off the row - he told reporters aboard Air Force One last night that he had seen his assailant's "sole" and was collecting other shoe jokes. But al-Zaidi's friends and employers expressed concern for his fate given the embarrassment his action had caused the Government.

Al-Zaidi worked for the independent Iraqi television station al-Baghdadia, which is based in Cairo. Colleagues said that he "detested America" and had been planning such an attack for months.

The Iraqi government however branded al-Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his Cairo-based employer, which in turn called for his immediate release from custody.

“Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntazer al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people,” it said in a statement. “Any measures against Muntazer will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime."

The journalist's exact whereabouts were unclear, although one Iraqi official said that he was being held for questioning at Mr al-Maliki's residence, his shoes having been kept as evidence.

Throwing shoes is particularly insulting in the Middle East, as was shown when crowds of Iraqis used their shoes to whack a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion.

Al-Zaidi is a Shia Muslim in his late 20s who was kidnapped by an unknown insurgent group in November 2007 and held for more than two days. He said at the time that the kidnappers had beaten him until he lost consciousness, and used his necktie to blindfold him and his shoelaces to tie his hands together.

Among those leaping up to support al-Zaidi today was Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam's former lawyer, who said he was forming a team to defend the journalist and that around 200 lawyers, including Americans, had offered their services for free. “It was the least thing for an Iraqi to do to Bush, the tyrant criminal who has killed two million people in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
There were demonstrations in support of al-Zaidi in Sadr City, the bastion of the radical anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, where protesters threw shoes at passing US military vehicles. The footwear was also flying In the holy Shia city of Najaf, where crowds chanted “Down with America".

“All US soldiers who have used their shoes to humiliate Iraqis should be brought to justice, along with their US superiors, including Bush,” said Ali Qeisi, head of a Jordan-based Iraqi rights group.

“The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East,” said Asad Abu Khalil, a popular Lebanese-American blogger and professor at Stanislaus University in California on his website at angryarab.blogspot.com.

An Iraqi lawyer said that al-Zaidi risked a miminum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for the television channel, described Zaidi as a“proud Arab and an open-minded man,” saying he had worked at Al-Baghdadia for three years. “We fear for his safety,” he said.
Courtesy of Times Online

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Itulah Ahli Politik Kita Ini Cakap Tidak Serupa Bikin: Are Local Students intellectually Weak?

Inspite of what some members of the public say about them most former students and lecturers of local universities could tell when some of our leaders speak the truth, less than half of the truth, sometimes utterly nothing let alone the truth and a few times quite twisted and heavily manipulated truth. Why have we been able to tell when our leaders tell us the truth? Well quite a large number of Malaysians are endowed with exceptionally good grey matters or to be precise they have got good brains but because of our culture we prefer to remain quiet and let people who are paid to talk to the public do the talk.






I do not really know where this backbencher who says, "local students are intellectually weak" was trained for his early and teritiary education. But most Malaysians like myself obtained our early education in local schools and also from local universities before we decided to go abroad for our post-graduate degrees. After all are we not supposed to be patriotic and supportive of our local academic institutions and in the process also save the country a large amount of foreign exchange? I suppose our backbencher certainly knows why we build many universities in the country nowadays. If our honorable backbencher knows, then there are the more reasons for him to be extra wise and careful with his political remarks because foreign students could miscontrue his baseless and emotional remark and take their money back home to Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, China and most of all Indonesia for safe-keeping rather than for the pursuit of education in a country like Malaysia. Why would the foreign students in Malaysia do that? Simply because our own government official and a government back bencher had just announced and pronounced to every Malaysian citizen and aliens in the country that the products that we are producing in our local universities are low quality and these products are "local students [who] are intellectually weak". Of course people in Malaysia knows which private or government "factory/factories" produces/produce these low quality local academic products or students every year. The honorable back bencher should know too, because he is part of the whole system that determines how many universities we should have, what kind of courses we should offer and how many universities should be called or labelled research universities, national in status and international in outreach or just local and regional in outlook.






In the early 1970s Malaysia only had a few universities in the country: they included University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia and many of the present Universiti Malaysia in Sarawak, Sabah etc. However, times have changed, there are many Malaysians who thirst for knowledge - who are keen to go for tertiary education because they had performed well in schools either at the SPM or the STPM levels. Our honorbale back bencher should know this because every end or early part of the year our Minister of Education would announce to all Malaysians the tremendous achievements that we have made in terms of the number of students who had acquired As at the SPM and STPM levels. And quite a large number of these Malaysians are not really that rich; in fact quite a few are really too poor to even afford to send their children for tertiary education in the country, let alone send their children to universities abroad for what is supposed to be "a better education and living experience".



This blogger belongs to that category of Malaysian students who came from a poor family. I could not have gone to a university had the Sarawak government through the Sarawak Foundation not granted me a scholarship to pursue my higher education at a local university. I acquired two degrees locally: a Sarjanamuda Sastera (Kepujian) and a Sarjana Sastera from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. When I was asked to prepare for further academic training abroad I had only applied to two commonwealth universities which were supposed to have good anthropological schools at that time: the Department of Anthropology at the School of Pacific Affairs, Australian National University and the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. I was offered places in the PhD programmes of both universities without any prerequirements. The only requirements that I was asked to fulfill by both distinguished universities were to audit or sit-in for some relevant papers in sociology or anthropology that I had never had the opportunity to do in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. This blogger was not even asked to resit for MA or do an MPhil before being accepted into ANU's or Cambridge University's PhD programmes. Nobody at ANU or Cambridge in England queried me about the quality of my BA and MA in Anthropology from UKM. There was no need for them to do so because both universities which accepted me into their PhD programmes were already aware of the academic quality of the courses offered by UKM even in the 1980s. I was not the first and the last product of a local university who had little difficulty in being admitted by foreign universities for post-graduate courses. Many other local graduates from our humble Malaysian universities have similar experience too because generally our local graduates are of sufficient academic standing and intellectual ability to be accpeted by any top universities in UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, Russia, Japan or China.




Our honorable Backbencher who has passed this ugly and most unkind remark about the intellectual capability could have done a better back-benching job of trying to discover the root cause of why local students rely on notes from their lecturers, why our local students do not read enough books written either in Malay, Chinese or English rather than just English and why our local students are lazy to do research. For our honorable backbencher's information it is almost compulsory for most of our local students to conduct research as part of the requirement to obtain a degree in certain disciplines. In my former programme or department of Anthropology and Sociology in UKM it was compulsory for all sociology and anthropology students to carry out research, collect data during the research, analyse the data collected during the research and submit what is written about the research to qualify a sociology and anthropology student for a BA with an honours degree. Of course some do well and some do not that well at this BA level research because the amount of time given to do the research and write down the research is too short - only three years. The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia used to pride itself in this BA level research when UKM had the four-year system of education. That is history now because under Dr Mahathir UKM was also one of the earliest to do away with the four-year system of education in order to quote Dr Mahathir to "save costs". People in the other sectors especially the construction and the engineering sector should know what happens to quality when you decide to use less concrete or less steel to build your bridges right? Well, you have seen many of these things in our beloved country called Malaysia-Boleh. When you cut down costs, reduce concrete and steel to build mega bridges then you will bridges are very soft, that easily collapse right on top of every fragile Malaysians heads. You will get "planta margarine" bridges - bridges that melt with the changing Malaysian seasons. The same thing also happens in the academic world when the government or the state decides to reduce grants, reduce the duration of tertiary education and cut down corners - you get poor quality teachers and poor quality students!


There is no way a student who wants to get a degree from my former department of anthropology and sociology can avoid doing research even at the level of BA. It is already part and parcel of the course. Now I wonder where does the Back-bencher get his information about local students not having to do research even at Bachlors's level. In fact, even students studying at private universities like UNITEN have to do research for their bachelor's degree in engineering and what not.




Now about lecture notes. It is already common knowledge that amongst local university students that most students rely quite a lot on their lecturer's notes for their courses. There are many reasons for doing this. One of the main reasons and the most logical is if you are already in the lecture theatres most of the day, what is a better thing to do playing, talking, telephoning SMSing, or note-taking? Do you think lecturers like seeing their students sitting idle in the class room? No definitely not and a wise Malaysian student would always take down notes because lecture notes are something that you can always fall back on to prior to exams or when you have intellectual disagreements with your lecturer. Your lecturer notes could be used for many things including serving as the main course of the menu or the only source of your exam material. Why can't local students write their own notes? One of the main reasons why our local students don't write their own (additional) notes is because of time constraint. The semester hours are really packed and they have only few minutes to rest before they have to rush to another lecture or tutorial class to attend. Time your honorable Back-bencher, time is a luxury that most local universities do really have. And even in Brunei you don't have that luxury. Why? You know in the Malay world you have such a long list of festivals and celebrations - this hari, that hari until finally you are left with no more matahari to even finish your lectures or your whole syllabi. Does not the Backbencher's brother, sister, sons, daughters, nephews and nieces tell you about this. Our country has so many Perayaan - Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban until there is no more hari to do anything else or moe seful extra-things.




As to why the students don't or cannot read that much? I used to ask the same question when I was in my third year in UKM at jalan Pantai Baru in 1975. In UKM history the year 1975 was special because it marked the period of change from the British three-term system to th American two-semester system. What is the difference between the two systems in Malaysia. In Malaysia the three-term system was inherited from the British and the semester system was claimed to be from America. Those who were trained in England would know that under the British three-term system there is an ample lot of time for browsing and reading books that youo borrow from the library. When UKM converted to the semester system, students of my generation in 1975 suddenly realized that they did not have the luxury of the extra time to read books from the library anymore because there were so many courses to completed in a single and every semester and what you have learned from first semester would easliy disappear from your memory next semester because there was simply not sufficient time to digest and reflect on what you have learned in one single semester. Just conduct a national survey on every government university campus around Kuala Lumpur and the honorable Back-Bencher would know the heavy work load that local academic and students have to endure locally compared to their foreign colleagues overseas. So that's why our local students do not do much book-reading. Instead, they only have enough time to read or catch-up on local gossips and scandals from our local Malay or English dailies. In the weeked they have to attend co-co courses or activities and if not these they have to go to the famous BTN courses held in Melaka, Selangor or Alor Setar.

A Typical Malaysian Back Bencher: Just Blame The Victim and Never Bother To Explain The Root Cause of The Problem

thestar online Friday December 12, 2008

Backbencher: Local students are intellectually weak

At the Dewan RakyatReports by LEE YUK PENG, ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN AND LOH FOON FONG

LOCAL university students are intellectually weak, not because they get involved in politics but, because they are too lazy to study, says a backbencher.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN — Pasir Salak) said the students did not read books but merely relied on notes from lecturers.

“They are lazy to do research and also can’t be bothered to read anything in English,” he said when debating the Universities and University Colleges Bill yesterday.

“This is because it is difficult. A headache for them to do so.”

Meanwhile, amendments to the University and University Colleges Act 1971 were passed after a lengthy debate, despite attempts by Opposition MPs to make their own amendments to the proposed Bill.

Tony Pua (DAP — Petaling Jaya Utara) had earlier submitted 10 proposed amendments to the Speaker.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the amendments would give students a wider form for expression of speech.

He said although they were not allowed to join political parties in universities, the Government was making the first progressive step by allowing students to be exposed to the activities of these organisations.

“The only organisation that they cannot join is the Al-Qaeda,” he said in winding-up the debate on the amendments at the committee stage.

Khaled said students would be exposed to the viewpoints and activities of non-governmental organisations and they would not need approval from education authorities.

Khaled said students would be allowed to organise activities with politicians and political parties on issues related to education.

He refuted the assertion by Pakatan Rakyat MPs that the Act itself was against freedom of expression as provisions in the amendments were in line with limits outlined under Article 10 (iii) of the Constitution.

Student leaders, however, rejected amendments to the Act.
Ridzuan Mohammad, 22, an Undergraduate Movement for Abolishing University and Colleges Act secretariat member said Tajuddin should retract his statement, adding that those who were lazy were only a minority.

Courtesy of thestar online

Friday, 12 December 2008

Malaysia: PM Admits Corruption Hurts The Country

Agence France-Presse - 12/10/2008 9:48 AM GMT
Malaysia harmed by 'corruption is king' reputation: PM
Malaysia's reputation for being ridden by corruption is harming the country's prospects, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Wednesday as a new anti-graft body was tabled in parliament.
Abdullah also tabled legislation that will appoint a nine-member panel to advise the premier on the selection of judges, in a bid to address criticism that the judiciary is corrupt and incompetent.
"It will give a level of confidence in these institutions, higher than before, and negative perceptions will hopefully be reduced as much as we can," Abdullah said of the two proposals.
"We have to deal with the perception by businesses and industry that corruption here is king, and the judiciary is unsatisfactory and is not credible as all of this will affect our competitiveness," he told reporters.
The Anti-Corruption Agency which is being replaced has been criticised as toothless, and the new version is being promoted as having more independence and greater accountability.
However, activists say that the new commission should be also given the power to prosecute corrupt activities, currently the responsibility of the government.
Abdullah has been forced to agree to stand down in March and hand over to his deputy Najib Razak, after the government was punished in general elections this year over his failure to introduce promised reforms.
The premier came to power in 2003 with grand plans to revamp the police and the justice system, and root out corruption from the ruling party, but his failure to act earned him a rebuke at the March polls.
The Barisan Nasional coalition which has dominated Malaysian politics for half a century lost control of five states and a third of parliamentary seats in its worst-ever electoral performance.

A Really Sick, Heartless and Inhuman US Defense Secretary: Rumsfield Responsible For Detainee Abuse

Agence France-Presse - 12/12/2008 3:42 AM GMT

Rumsfeld responsible for detainee abuse: Senate report

Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top administration officials are responsible for abuse of detainees in US custody, a bipartisan Senate report said.
"Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there" and "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques... in Afghanistan and Iraq," the report concluded.
It said Rumsfeld authorized harsh interrogation techniques on December 2, 2002 at the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, although he ruled them out a month later.
"The message from top officials was clear; it was acceptable to use degrading and abusive techniques against detainees," said Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee that produced the report.
"Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low-ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable."
The committee focused much of its nearly two-year investigation on the Defense Department's use of controversial interrogation techniques, including stress positions, forced nudity, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, or simulated drowning.
"Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies and compromised our moral authority," said the report, most of which remained classified.
The coercive techniques first originated from a memo President George W. Bush signed on February 7, 2002, that declared the Geneva Convention's norms for humane treatment of prisoners did not apply to Al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees, according to the report.
Top administration officials, including then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, participated in meetings on the harsh interrogation techniques as early as that spring, the report said.
The Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training techniques, designed to teach US troops how to resist enemy interrogations, were the template for detainee interrogation.
The report, approved unanimously by voice vote last month in the committee, found it "particularly troubling" for senior officials to have approved the use of techniques "modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese to elicit false confessions from US military personnel."
The adoption of SERE techniques was "inexcusable," said Senator John McCain of Arizona, a ranking Republican on the committee and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam.
"These policies are wrong and must never be repeated."
McCain lost the US presidential election last month to Barack Obama, who has vowed to close the Us "war on terror" prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top administration officials are responsible for abuse of detainees in US custody, a bipartisan Senate report said.
"Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there" and "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques... in Afghanistan and Iraq," the report concluded.
It said Rumsfeld authorized harsh interrogation techniques on December 2, 2002 at the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, although he ruled them out a month later.
"The message from top officials was clear; it was acceptable to use degrading and abusive techniques against detainees," said Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee that produced the report.
"Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low-ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable."
The committee focused much of its nearly two-year investigation on the Defense Department's use of controversial interrogation techniques, including stress positions, forced nudity, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, or simulated drowning.
"Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies and compromised our moral authority," said the report, most of which remained classified.
The coercive techniques first originated from a memo President George W. Bush signed on February 7, 2002, that declared the Geneva Convention's norms for humane treatment of prisoners did not apply to Al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees, according to the report.
Top administration officials, including then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, participated in meetings on the harsh interrogation techniques as early as that spring, the report said.
The Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training techniques, designed to teach US troops how to resist enemy interrogations, were the template for detainee interrogation.
The report, approved unanimously by voice vote last month in the committee, found it "particularly troubling" for senior officials to have approved the use of techniques "modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese to elicit false confessions from US military personnel."
The adoption of SERE techniques was "inexcusable," said Senator John McCain of Arizona, a ranking Republican on the committee and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam.
"These policies are wrong and must never be repeated."
McCain lost the US presidential election last month to Barack Obama, who has vowed to close the Us "war on terror" prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Malaysian ex-Minister Zaid Ibrahim: Ruling Party Jeopardising Racial Unity

Agence France-Presse - 12/4/2008 5:52 AM GMT

Racist and provocative sentiments from within Malaysia's ruling party are jeopardising the stability of the multiracial nation, a former cabinet minister said Thursday.
Zaid Ibrahim, who was sacked from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) this week after attending the opposition's annual assembly, raised concern over the state of race relations in a country that has seen ethnic violence in the past.
He took aim at "provocative" statements by government lawmakers, including one who referred to ethnic Chinese citizens as "squatters" and another who proposed dismantling Chinese and Tamil schools.
"It is as if we don't want unity," he said. "If the party is not inclusive, cannot accommodate the views of many, then it will carry on with this narrow, very communal struggle," he told a press conference.
"I think it's not just race relations but the stability of the country," he said when asked whether ethnic tensions will worsen if there are further racist outbursts from UMNO figures.
Zaid, a maverick figure tasked with cleaning up the judiciary and police force, quit the cabinet in September after complaining he was blocked from carrying out the promised reforms.
He was sacked from the party after attending the annual assembly of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Keadilan party, but quashed speculation that he was planning to join the opposition ranks.
"I have always been very... tolerant of people with different views, I didn't do anything to cause me to be expelled," he said. "They resent my views, my more accommodating approach to other people," he said of UMNO.
Zaid said that the ruling party, which has dominated Malaysian politics for half a century but suffered its worst-ever showing in March elections, had to restore relations with minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.
He urged the party, which represents ethnic Malays who dominate the population, to go back to its roots as an institution that brought unity to a diverse country.
"UMNO has become more ethnocentric, more communitarian but that is not our role," he said.
"UMNO's role is to be the provider, the one who takes care of everyone, the one who has the trust of all the communities. That's how we started, that's our achievement."
"We have to do everything possible to maintain good relations, harmony in the country and stability, because there is no economic stability if there is no political or social stability," he said.

Why the German Army Must Return to Germany: Too Fat and Drunk to Chase and Run After the Taliban


They drink too much and they're too fat to fight, that's the damning conclusion of German parliamentary reports into the country's 3,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan. While British and U.S. troops in the country face a strict ban on alcohol, their German comrades are allowed two pints a day.

The stunning statistics reveal that in 2007 German forces in northern Afghanistan drank 1.7million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine. The troops also downed 896,000 pints of beer in the first six months of this year, the Times reported.

The statistics only add to the embarrassment of the country's federal army, Bundeswehr, after a report earlier this year found troops to be too fat, smoked too much and didn't exercise enough.
It showed they lived on beer and sausages while shunning fruit and vegetables. The parliamentary report claimed that some 40 per cent of all German army personnel are overweight - a higher percentage than in the civilian population.

At the time Reinhold Robbe, the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, stated: 'Plainly put, the soldiers are too fat, exercise too little, and take little care of their diet.' The Times also reported the damning allegation from a senior officer that Germany is failing in its main mission to train the Afghan police. He descibed the efforts as 'a miserable failure'.

Since 2001, 28 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

Originally published on www.khalifah.com

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Former Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chief Gen Toshio Tamogami: Japan not "aggressor nation" in '30s and '40s

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008

Tamogami says views shared in Diet, SDF

Staff writer

Ousted Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Gen. Toshio Tamogami stuck to his revisionist historical views Monday, saying his justification of Japan's wartime acts is shared by many lawmakers and Self-Defense Forces personnel.

I see it my way: Former Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff Toshio Tamogami speaks Monday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.

"I don't think my opinions are particularly militaristic or of a rightwing nature," Tamogami said during a news conference in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, adding many of his supporters are merely keeping their views to themselves.
Tamogami was sacked as ASDF chief Oct. 31 after winning an essay contest with an entry that defended the nation's wartime past and colonial rule. He upheld his revisionist views during unsworn testimony before an Upper House committee last month, maintaining his opinion that Japan was not an "aggressor nation" during the 1930s and '40s.

"Freedom of speech in the SDF is being suppressed, but there are many who support" such views, Tamogami said. The now-retired general criticized the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force, on Monday, saying the DPJ is wrongfully blaming the government for allowing someone with views like his to head the ASDF.

"The DPJ is demanding that a person who speaks ill of Japan (by being apologetic about the war) should lead (the ASDF). That is absurd."
In explaining the backdrop of the essay, Tamogami said Japan cannot protect its allies without engaging in collective self-defense and must enact a special law to allow the SDF to contribute to international antiterrorism campaigns such as the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

"This all stems from an erroneous history education" that taught that Japan was an aggressor, he said, reiterating his view that the government must get back on track and again become capable of defending the nation.

While the essay accuses the United States of "trapping" Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor, Tamogami told the press briefing that he does not intend to criticize Washington for past acts.
"I don't have any antipathy toward America. I like America very much," he joked.

"I am being touted as a dangerous figure, but it only takes five minutes with me for anyone to understand that I am kind-hearted." But asked how he would have acted when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Tamogami said he would have retaliated in kind had Japan had that capability.

The unapologetic ex-general did acknowledge he blundered, saying he never expected his essay to cause such a Diet or media stir. "Some say I was a fool for misjudging that," he said. "I have to acknowledge that I am."
courtesy of The Japan Times on-line

Monday, 1 December 2008

And Now The German Army Also Admits Afghanistan is Going to Be a Lost Cause

Several armies had fought many big battles in the past. They won some, and they lost some too. The German army had fought two world wars. They lost the first one in 1918 and the lost the second one in 1945 and badly too. The British were always lucky when they fought their wars in Europe. Apart from getting help from Belgium, France and various British Commonwealth countries the British had UNCLE SAM to help them. The Germans were not so lucky in Europe. They were not so lucky in Africa. Now after so many years after the demise of Nazi Germany, modern Germany seems to be keen in rebuilding their Aryan pride by sending their army to Afghanistan. They should have learned some valuable lessons from the British experience in Afghanistan. The British lost their wars in Afghanistan and against the poor Pashtun tribes. Recently, one superior British officer just stopped short of admitting that the British neo-colonial army is going to suffer a shameful defeat in Afghanistan. Now, another high ranking commander of a very powerful German Army (Deutsches Heer) is indirectly telling the whole world and most of all the Muslim world that Germany is not going to win their war against our Muslim brothers in Afghanistan. Didn't our Muslim scholars tell many Western leaders and nations in the past that the American-led modern Crusade against the Muslim world is not going to work and succeed? Now, Great Britain, Gemany and many other western countries are going to join Russia in coming out of Afghanistan with a shaken, broken and flattened military EGO and perhaps economically bankrupt.

German General Breaks silence on Afghanistan

Monday, 01 December 2008 01:49
IHT
By Judy Dempsey

BERLIN: Breaking with a military tradition of keeping silent about policy, a top German general has branded his country's efforts in Afghanistan a failure, singling out its poor record in training the Afghan police and allocating development aid.

The comments came from General Hans-Christoph Ammon, head of the army's elite special commando unit, or KSK, whose officers are in Afghanistan fighting alongside U.S. forces against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Germany was responsible for training the Afghan police, but the German Interior Ministry, led by the conservative Wolfgang Schäuble, has come under repeated criticism from the United States and other NATO allies for providing too few experts and inappropriate training.

The training scheme was "a miserable failure," Ammon told DPA, the German press agency, after describing the German record in Afghanistan to a gathering last week of a reservists' association. The government had provided a mere €12 million for training the Afghan Army and police while the United States has already given more than $1 billion, he said.

"At that rate, it would take 82 years to have a properly trained police force," he said. More damaging for Germany's reputation, Ammon said, was that its police-training mission was considered such a "disaster" that the United States and EU had taken over responsibility.
The Defense Ministry said Ammon was expressing his personal views. Even so, because such views are rare, security experts said they showed the level of frustration building among senior military officers over German reluctance to provide adequate financing for Afghan mission or even explain to the public why Germany has 4,500 soldiers there.

Neither Chancellor Angela Merkel nor her conservative defense minister, Franz-Josef Jung, have been willing to debate the issue publicly. For the first time since German soldiers were sent to Afghanistan six years ago, Jung referred in November to the "Gefallene," or fallen soldiers, who had died there. Until now, any German soldiers killed in Afghanistan were referred to as casualties. In addition, the word "Krieg," or war, has been banned from use in any Defense Ministry public statements or speeches, say advisers to the ministry.

"I keep saying that it is time the public was told why we are in Afghanistan, what is happening there and what we are doing there," said Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, general secretary of the Christian Social Union, the allied party of the Christian Democrats led by Merkel.
Merkel, who has visited Afghanistan just once in three years in office, said in an interview with the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that she was prepared to defend the mission in Afghanistan in the national election campaign next year. That could be a high-risk strategy given that the mission is highly unpopular with the public. The foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat who will run against Merkel to become chancellor, supports the mission.

But as foreign minister, he has to strike a balance between defending the war and taking account of the unpopularity of it. The pacifist wing in his party opposes keeping German troops there, particularly given the increasing attacks. Two Afghan civilians were killed Sunday by a suicide bomber after he had strapped explosives to his body, targeting a vehicle used by German military attachés, the Afghan police said. No Germans were wounded.

Merkel, who will give a major speech Monday at the congress of her Christian Democratic Union party, is coming under pressure from a small group of defense and foreign policy advisers inside and outside her party to address the subject of Afghanistan. The matter is considered urgent because President-elect Barack Obama has made Afghanistan a foreign policy priority. NATO officials said last week that they were expecting the incoming U.S. administration to ask NATO allies to contribute more troops and experts in order to beat back the Taliban and train up an Afghan Army and police force.

Only then, Obama has said, can the Afghan forces take responsibility for the security of their own country.
Article was originally on http://www.khilafah.com/

Thursday, 27 November 2008

'Merenjis, bersanding juga ada unsur agama lain'- Mufti

Harakahdaily Thu Nov 27, 08 9:29:44 am MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Nov (Hrkh) - Mufti Perlis Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin. telah menegur pihak Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan supaya memberi alternatif pada fatwa yoga dengan membuang unsur yang bertentangan dengan agama Islam.

Beliau menasihatkan agar Majlis Fatwa tidak terlalu kaku dalam mengeluarkan fatwa dan memberi alternatif yang memisahkan amalan yoga yang mengandungi unsur agama dengan amalan yoga untuk kebaikan kesihatan. "Saya bukan kata fatwa itu salah. Memanglah apa saja perlakuan yang menyerupai agama lain itu haram. Kita sepatutnya pisahkan bacaan atau mentera dalam senaman yoga itu sendiri. Jangan ada sebarang unsur-unsur syirik yang menyamai agama lain. "Majlis Fatwa jangan hanya mengharamkan saja tapi berilah alternatif," katanya yang dipetik daripada laman web.
Katanya banyak lagi amalan-amalan sukan yang diambil dari budaya lain seperti tai chi, judo, taekwando dan semua sukan tersebut bukan asal usul Islam tetapi diamalkan kerana ianya baik untuk kesihatan. Katanya seseorang perlu meningggalkan yang bertentangan sahaja, samada pergerakan, bacaan atau kepercayaan namun boleh mengekalkan pergerakan yoga yang baik untuk kesihatan.
"Semua sukan ini bukan asal usul Islam tetapi diamalkan kerana ianya baik untuk kesihatan. "Kenapa tak kaji amalan-amalan lain yang ada unsur Hindu seperti tepung tawar, bersanding, merenjis. Semua ini boleh dibahaskan...," kata Dr Asri -Harakah

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Malaysia's yoga ban faces opposition from Royals

Agence France-Presse - 11/25/2008 7:47 AM GMT

A ban on yoga by Malaysia's highest Islamic body is facing opposition from royal state rulers, who are considered the guardians of Islam in the country, reports said Tuesday. 

Two states in Malaysia -- Perak and Selangor -- are delaying gazetting the fatwa, which would make it state law, saying that their royal rulers should first give their consent. 

Devotees of yoga and moderate Muslim groups have criticised the weekend ruling by the government-backed National Fatwa Council, which said that the ancient practice could erode Muslims' faith. 

In an unusual intervention, Selangor's Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah reportedly said the yoga ban could not be implemented before his state's fatwa committee had a chance to consider the matter. 

Sharafuddin said the issue had to be investigated "in greater detail so that a decision is not made hastily," according to the Star newspaper. 

The Islamic religious department in northern Perak state has also revoked an earlier decision to adopt the ruling, saying that the Perak sultan's consent was not sought. 
Norhayati Kaprawi from prominent civil society group Sisters of Islam said the sultans were exercising their right to be heard in such cases. 

"The danger is when a fatwa is elevated as if it was something divine and cannot be challenged, when in fact all it means literally is just an opinion," she told AFP. 
Sharafuddin also said that future religious decrees should be approved by the council of state rulers before being announced, to avoid "any confusion or controversy." 

A vociferous Islamic religious leader from the northern state of Perlis, Asri Zainul Abidin, also spoke out against the yoga decision and said Muslims could follow a non-religious version of the popular exercise. 

"The fatwa council should not be so rigid and should instead consider allowing Muslims to practise it solely for health benefits instead of issuing a blanket ban on the practice," he told AFP. 

Sisters in Islam's Norhayati said that the edict also rang "warning bells" about a "regressive trend" in Malaysia, where the population is dominated by Muslim Malays, who live alongside ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities. 

"It has been escalating lately and this reflects a larger issue of growing conservatism," she said. 

Courtesy of MSN News 11/25/2008 7:47 AM GMT

Friday, 14 November 2008

The British Army Knows From History They Will Never Win in Afghanistan & The First Not So Clever Choice by American President Elect Barak Obama

UK may send 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan: BBC
Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:56pm EST

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain could send up to 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan if U.S. President-elect Barack Obama asks allies for more help in the fight against the Taliban, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown would find it hard to refuse a request from Washington to boost NATO forces there, the broadcaster said, citing unidentified ministers and officials.

The BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins said British officials had told him there would be negotiations with the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, "and more than one has told me to expect agreement for between 1,500 and 2,000 extra British troops."

Britain, which has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, has urged other countries to make a bigger contribution.

Obama has pledged to send more troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has more than 30,000 soldiers, and he is expected to put pressure on European members of NATO to do more.

A Defense Ministry spokesman in London said no decision had been made whether to deploy more British troops.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said more foreign troops were needed to help fight the Taliban and to control the illegal drugs trade.

"Bring more troops, deploy them properly," he told the BBC in an interview conducted during a visit to London...

from
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE4AC9CW20081113

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Why Mahathir's Friends and Foes Love Mahathir

Watch the Latest Video on Malaysian Politics by YAB Tun Dr Mahathir, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia

http://www.malaysiakini.tv/video/16417

Former Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad forewarned Umno leaders involved with money politics - that they are compromising the party’s chances in the next general election.

Full story at Malaysiakini.com

Camera: Mohd Kamal Ishak
Editing : Ng Kok Foong

Friday, 7 November 2008

A Better Future for America and the Rest of the World

Essay: Obama's transcendence is beyond race

By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The elevation of Barack Obama to the White House is a transcendent moment, for what this election says about a nation where blacks were once considered property.

And that might be the least of it.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. At odd intervals — 1800, 1860, 1932, 1980 — the nation reaches a "pivot point," an election that draws the line between the past and the future. And 2008 appears to be just such a line in the shifting sands of our convulsive times.

Reagan-style conservative supremacy? Over. The era of baby boomer leadership? Waning.

And maybe, just maybe, something new has arrived: a post-partisan approach to governing, founded on the Obama Coalition, fueled by young and minority voters, powered by the 21st century technologies that helped turn a first-term senator from Illinois into a historic lodestone.

From the beginning, Obama had his sights on something bigger than the "50 percent plus one" approach championed by Karl Rove. He wanted a larger statement.

"Even if other candidates are able to eke out a victory, I think they are less likely to pull in independents and Republicans and new people who are currently not voting," Obama told The Associated Press 15 months ago.

"I think what people are looking for right now is somebody who can bring the country together and maybe shape the kind of majority that will actually deliver on health care, that will actually deliver on a bold energy strategy, that can actually do something about serious education reform."

On Tuesday, he received the huge wave of support he sought. But will he be able to do all that he promised? Will his ecstatic supporters be satisfied with anything less?

And did Obama really receive a mandate, or was he the beneficiary of the nation's disgust with President Bush, and its unease with America's course?

These are the questions that will be answered over the next four years. But for the moment, some astounding things are certain:

Our next president will be a man who identifies himself as black, but was raised by his white mother — a man who reflects the multiracial society America has become.

He was born in the 1960s, and was too young to experience the Vietnam era that left scars on the nation's psyche for decades. And his lack of experience, central to his opponents' campaigns against him in the primaries and general election, means that he is not necessarily invested in the way things have always been done.

Exit polls indicated that Obama's triumph was built on his overwhelming success with blacks, Hispanics, 18-to-34-year-olds and new voters.

This is the future of the U.S. electorate.

History shows that once a young voter casts ballots twice for a given party, he or she is unlikely to ever turn away. Hispanics are the nation's fastest-growing voting bloc. Indeed, the government recently reported that white people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2042, eight years sooner than previous estimates.

About one in 10 voters said this was the first year they had cast ballots, and 70 percent of them backed Obama. To cap it off, Obama won the female vote.

"From this day forward," says historian John Baick of Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., "politics, politicians and the people they serve will never be the same."

Obama takes over after 16 years of leadership by presidents born in the thick of the baby boom. In this fast-moving society, the worlds in which George W. Bush and Bill Clinton governed are so out of date they seem almost quaint.

Consider this: There were just a few hundred Web sites when Clinton took office and virtually no blogs when Bush entered the White House in January 2001.

Obama, of course, raised millions of dollars via the Internet. He tried to announce his selection of Joe Biden as his running mate with a text message. One of his favorite platforms, YouTube, did not exist when Bush began his second term.

When Obama needs help on Capitol Hill, the world's largest lobbying shop — millions of supporters strong — is a mass e-mail away. His campaign Web site, a virtual community, could evolve into the 21st century version of a political headquarters — the place you go to help the party or ask it to help you.

To some degree, Obama succeeded by turning the concept of micro-politics on its head. Founded by Clinton and perfected by Bush, micro-politics relies on the dark arts of data mining, voter segmentation and polling.

Micro-politicians divide the country into like-minded groups, then peel off their rivals' votes — a few from here, a few more from there — to cobble together narrow victories. They divide — or polarize — and conquer.

While Obama borrowed micro-targeting tactics from Bush and Clinton, the Illinois senator used them to find and motivate unregistered voters rather than to slice and dice the traditional crop.

"This is a realigning election because folks who are going to vote from here on out are people who don't have a strong partisan connection," says political scientist Natalie Davis of Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, Ala. "They don't see things in terms of red and blue. They see things more in terms of solving problems."

But parties still matter, and with gains in the House and the Senate, Obama takes office with more political capital than perhaps any president since Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964. That landslide produced a House with 295 Democrats and a Senate with 68 Democrats.

In addition, many Democrats who won seats in U.S. statehouses Tuesday night will play a role in drawing the next decade's political maps, a process that can cement the power of the ruling party.

Obama will need all the help he can get, as an inexperienced chief executive handed the burdens of a recession, a trillion-plus dollars in new government debt, an aging society, rising health care costs, failed energy policies and two foreign wars.

After a generation of politics based on promises of less government and lower taxes, Obama will ask Congress to expand government's reach and tackle the nation's massive problems. He even ran saying he would raise some people's taxes.

Again, those are tomorrow's tasks. For now, we can marvel at this moment, when we can look back and see the past, and look forward at a sharply drawn future.

Baick, the Western New England College historian, likens 2008 to 1960, and the victory of John F. Kennedy.

"He managed to convince Americans through popular memory and myth that we are good again," Baick says, "that we are different and young."

Echoes of Obama.

In 1960, the question that loomed over the campaign was whether a Catholic could get elected president. Voters answered yes. Nearly five decades later, that milestone is a mere footnote to the Kennedy presidency.

The question this time was whether a black man could win the presidency. Forty percent of all white Americans hold a negative view of blacks, according to polling by The Associated Press, and two-thirds of white Democrats express racial misgivings.

Yet on Election Day, Obama won more than four of every 10 white votes. Americans said yes, we can overcome our original sin.

Fifty years from now, President Obama will be remembered for more than the color of his skin.

And this moment will never be forgotten.

___

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ron Fournier is Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press.

Courtesy of Yahoo!News http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama_the_moment 11/5/2008

A Happy Friday Gift from Allah the Almighty: Most Popular Malaysian Social Reformist Raja Petra Released from Kamunting

From Malaysiakini Nov 7 2008

Court frees ISA detainee Raja Petra

Hafiz Yatim | Nov 7, 08 9:46am

Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was released from his Internal Security Act (ISA) detention at 3.20pm.

The editor of the popular Malaysia Today website was brought to the Shah Alam High Court just five minutes earlier.

Expressing surprise with the decision, Raja Petra said: "Not many people have challenged the act (ISA) so much and I did not have much high hopes (of being released).

"This application allowed under Section 8 is a special prize. I am tired."

"This showed ISA cannot be used. I hope this is not a political decision. I don't want to be the prime minister. I want Anwar to be the PM," he said.

"We have to fight all-out and get the ISA abolished," he told reporters.

Raja Petra was greeted by his wife Marina Lee Abdullah and two daughters. Some 50 supporters and friends clapped and cheered when the blogger appeared.

He later left the courthouse with his family in a red Rolls-Royce.

Looking haggard and dressed in a brown T-shirt and jeans, Raja Petra was garlanded by dozens of supporters outside the court before stepping into the vehicle.

This morning, the Shah Alam High Court ruled that the detention of Raja Petra under the ISA was illegal and ordered his immediate release.

Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad said that Raja Petra's detention was unconstitutional.

He said the home minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA to issue the detention order against Raja Petra.

The judge also ordered that Raja Petra be produced in court by 4pm today after which he should be immediately released.

Raja Petra was being held at the Kamunting detention camp in Perak.

"Now is about 10.30am, and I think there is enough time for Raja Petra to be released. I do not want this matter to be prolonged as the weekend starts tomorrow," said the judge.

"I thank the prosecution for their cooperation in handling this case and require your assistance to ensure that the order would be carried out."

Senior federal counsel Abdul Wahab Mohammad said he would make the necessary arrangements by 4pm.

The release comes more than a month after Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar signed the ISA detention order on Sept 23, although Raja Petra was initially arrested under the Act on Sept 12 at his house in Sungai Buloh.

courtesy of Malaysiakini
© 2007 Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd. All rights reserved.



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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Happiest Moment In America's Race Relations and a moment of Great Hope for the rest of the World

Our heartiest congratulations to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America and America's first African American President! May this victory bring America back to its senses and the great ideals of the American Declaration of Independence. Hopefully, with an African American President, America will focus more on its own internal problems. America had spent billions of dollars to launch wars on so many nations. Of what good or benefit have these wars been for America and the rest of the world. America had lost thousands of its precious sons to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Have the world become a much better place to live in after America (and Great Britain under America's lackey Tony Blair) managed to get rid of an Arab dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein? Have George Bush managed to introduce democracy in Iraq after he successfully pulled down Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad? Have both George Bush (and Tony Blair) managed to discover what both claimed to be "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that Saddam Hussein had built whilst he was alive?

So far America had never won any of its great wars against many poor countries and nations. In fact history had clearly shown that America had even failed to defeat and crush a poor Asian country like Vietnam that cleverly used indigenous tricks and weapons to defeat a far more superior fighting machine called America. Sadly America never learnt any valuable lesson from its bitter experience in Vietnam. Instead, after the fall of socialism in Europe, America started to create enemies amongst many Muslim countries. It spent billions of dollars just to ensure that Muslims do not become too serious with their religion, Islam. It spent millions to destroy madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It also spent millions of dollars to make sure that the traditional curiculla in Muslim schools from Indonesia right up to Saudi Arabia are modified and diluted in terms of its spiritual content. The world has never been told how much money America had spent in Iraq to get rid of their scholars and scientists immediately after the American-led illegaal invasion of the country.The world has also not been told of how much of Iraq's precious treasures had been illegally smuggled out of the war-torn country after the American invasion. The billions of dollars that America had spent in trying to check the growth and spread of Islam should be best spent to help the needy Americans in the United States. The money should be used to improve the life and welfare of the Blacks and other minorities in America. Unfortunately, America had used this money to kill or destroy more and more Muslims whom America had conveniently described or labelled either as "fundamentalists" or as "terrorists". For so many years America had spent billion of dollars to kill the poor Afghanistanis, Pakistanis, Iraqis or Syrians in their tents, huts, houses and madrassas.The world could not do anything to stop innocent Muslims from being bombed or destroyed by America. A simple experience in human interaction will tell a sober, humane and thinking American president that blowing and bombing innocent poor people and their countries is not the best way to win friends, human respect and precious loyalty. Hopefully, the killing and bombing of innocent Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria will end with departure of George Bush and his war mongering advisers. It is fervently hoped that with this historic change in America's leadership, the American perspective of the world will slowly improve. Under its previous presidents, America's perspective of the world was that of America's pre-civil war period. For hundred of years America had looked at itself and the rest of the world in terms of only two simple colours - Black and White. This vision of the world is clearly expressed in President Bush's infamous ultimatum to the world, "You are either with us or against us".

For so many years many people in the developing countries, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, have observed that America's understanding of the world is too naive and simplistic. It is a phenomenon which Malay-speaking Malaysians and Indonesians would describe as very juling - "squinted" or to be more precise extremely "prejudiced" and blinkered. It is an extension and projection of America's understanding of its own people who are sadly polarised into Whites and Blacks. This is a seriously simplistic and dangerously naive view of human beings either in America or in the rest of the world. It is hoped that with this change in American leadership and with the help of so many highly distinguished sociologists and anthropologists that America have produced, Barack Obama and the rest of his presedential team should hve a better grasp of the world inside and outside America in the years ahead. We sincerely hope that under its charismatic and blessed (Mubarak) Black president America will make more serious and sincere efforts to really understand and respect other societies and cultures so that the world can become a much better place to live in. We greatly hope that America's President elect Barack Obama will be the first American president who will have a human heart and sympathy for fellow human beings who live in countrues that are not as powerful and wealthy as America and who probably do not share America's creed or ideology. We sincerely hope that under its first Black president America will once again become a truly good and great friend of many nations - regardless of their size, colour and creed. Best wishes to the brave and patriotic people of America!

Friday, 10 October 2008

News From Japan Times

Friday, Oct. 3, 2008


U. of Tokyo sold rice tainted with illegal chemical
Crop went to public, school cafeterias in '90s
Kyodo News
The University of Tokyo, the country's top academic institution, revealed Thursday that a banned agrochemical was used to grow rice at its research farm in a Tokyo suburb for three years through 1999, and that around 3.6 tons of the harvest was sold to faculty members and consumers.

The rice from the farm was reportedly sold to the university's co-op and served in campus cafeterias in the late 1990s. While most of the 3.6 tons in question was sold to people living near the farm, some was sold to faculty members. The remaining details were not clear.



The banned chemical was phenylmercury acetate. No injuries have been reported so far from its use, the university said. The substance has been banned from use in agriculture since 1973.

The university said an employee at the farm in Nishi-Tokyo used a solution of tablets chiefly comprising phenylmercury acetate once a year as a disinfectant. Rice seed was soaked in the solution for about five to six hours, it said.

The employee told the university that he was aware it was a banned substance but used the chemical because diseases were spreading.

The incident was exposed by a whistle blower on Sept. 18, the university said.

The university said it has set up an investigation panel to check if any mercury residue remains in the rice or soil, and that it will also brief residents near the farm.

The revelation by the country's top academic institution may worsen public concerns over food safety, which were recently heightened by the scandal over melamine-contaminated milk products imported from China. Melamine can cause kidney stones.

Last week, Osaka-based Marudai Food Co. revealed that four commercial food products were tainted, but said no health problems were reported.

In China, melamine-tainted powdered infant milk made by several major dairy firms has already killed four babies and made thousands ill and in need of hospitalization.

Some food suppliers in China mixed melamine into milk they diluted with water to make the milk appear to be rich in protein.

On Wednesday, major trading house Kanematsu Corp. said that toxic melamine has been detected in Chinese-made frozen cakes it imported, marking the second case in which the substance has been found in food products sold in Japan.

The industrial chemical was detected in Macau Egg Tart Kanematsu marketed via JTB Trading Inc., a subsidiary of major travel agency JTB Corp.

Kanematsu said the quantity of melamine detected is extremely small — 1.4 parts per million — and that there have been no reports of health problems being caused by the cakes.

Nevertheless, the company has decided to recall the 289 packages that were sold.

The product was sold via JTB Trading's Web site as a package containing 18 pieces of tart for ¥5,460.

Kanematsu became the second company to announce that it had sold food products contaminated with melamine in Japan, after Marudai Food Co.

On Saturday, public health officials in Osaka Prefecture said they have detected melamine in food products that were recalled by Marudai due to fear they may contain Chinese-made milk tainted with the chemical.

Melamine is a chemical synthesized from urea and ammonia and is usually used for adhesives, paints and dishware.

coutesy of The Japan Times Online
Recd: Friday, 3 Oct, 2008 12: 02 AM

Friday, 1 August 2008

SARAWAK KEPADA SIAPA HENDAK DISERAHKAN

Ulasan Buku/Book Review
SARAWAK KEPADA SIAPA HENDAK DISERAHKAN
Oleh
Syed Hussin Alattas, Al Nujum Press, Jun 1979 ($4.00)

Karya S.H. Alattas yang berjudul Sarawak Kepada Siapa Hendak Diserahkan adalah sebuah buku kecil mengandungi 136 halaman. Karya ini berupa spekulasi dan ramalan mengenai siapa bakal pengganti Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman Ya’kob di Sarawak. Di dalamnya beliau telah meninjau perkembangan sejarah politik Sarawak sejak mula pemerintahan Brooke sehingga penyertaan Sarawak ke dalam Malaysia. Beliau juga mengisahkan perkembangan parti-parti politik Sarawak sebelum Malaysia hingga kepada penubuhannya. Turut diceritakan ialah pergelutan antara parti-parti politik setelah Sarawak menyertai Malaysia, perubahan yang dilalui oleh SNAP pada 1974 dan perkembangan seterusnya. Dalam membicarakan siapa pengganti Tun Datuk Patinggi Rabman beberapa orang tokoh politik Sarawak telah dikemukakan, sambil meneliti kelayakan mereka untuk jawatan tersebut.

S.H. Alattas juga membincangkan kaitan politik Sarawak dengan tindak-tanduk tokoh-tokoh politik Semenanjung dan juga Sabah, terutama sekali dan segi kedudukan Tun Datuk Patinggi Rahman sebagai Ketua Menteri Sarawak. Turut diketengahkan ialah peranan Abdul Rahman Hamzah dalam pergolakan parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu.

Tindakan A.R. Hamzah dinyatakan sebagai sesuatu yang melambangkan adanya perkara yang tidak kena yang sedang berlaku dalam pucuk pimpinan PBB. Ini telah ditonjolkan lagi oleh penyertaan Haji Alli Kawi dalam arena politik Sarawak. Penubuhan Parti Rakyat Jati Sarawak atau PAJAR oleh Haji Alli Kawi adalah manifestasi rasa tidak puas hati sebilangan orang Melayu Sarawak terhadap apa yang didakwa sebagai penyelewengan dalam PBB.

Buku ini menarik perhatian kita kepada beberapa isu pokok yang menjadi minat seorang akademik. Di antaranya ialah masalah yang kerap dihadapi oleh para pengkaji dalam usaha memperolehi data. Ini menyentuh masalah red tape, kekurangan bahan dan juga kurang kesanggupan pihak yang dikaji mengeluarkan apa yang tersimpan untuk dirakam dalam buku atau artikel. Selain itu, buku ini juga menarik semangat penulis yang begitu berani dan gigih untuk membukukan sesuatu dalam masa yang sebegitu singkat. Lebih menakutkan ialah kenyataannya bahawa sejarah politik bumiputra belum pernah ditulis, dan persoalannya ialah salahkah

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beliau sebagai seorang bumiputra mengisi kekosongan ini? Memang banyak persoalan yang ditimbulkan oleh S.H. Alattas yang menarik perhatian terutama kepada seorang pembaca yang berasal dan bumi Kenyalang.

Adalah adil kiranya saya membetulkan beberapa kesilapan yang terdapat dalam buku tersebut. Pertama, terutama kenyataan pengarang bahawa sejarah perjuangan bumiputra belum pernah ditulis oleh bumiputra. Dalam hal ini saya rasa tuduhan beliau kurang tepat. Kalau beliau lebih teliti seperti yang dinasihati oleh Datuk Amar Taib Mahmud (hal. 11), mungkin beliau akan menyedari bahawa memang sudah ada kajian dan penulisan seperti yang dimaksudkan itu. Sila lihat Ongkili: 1967; 1974; Bujang: 1960; Gramong: 1970 dan Sanib: 1976. Malangnya ada juga hasil-hasil kajian dan penulisan mengenai aspek ini yang tidak diserahkan kepada Muzium Sarawak. Oleh itu hasil-hasil ini tidak termasuk di dalam senarai tesis yang ada dalam simpanan Muzium Sarawak. Ada juga yang tidak diterbitkan. Mungkin lingkungan masanya tidak seluas yang diliputi oleh S.H. Alattas, kerana kerja seperti ini memerlukan masa dan belanja yang tidak ada pada pengkaji dan pelajar bumiputra dan universiti-universiti tempatan.

Selain daripada itu, usaha pengarang untuk mengaitkan maksud perkataan Sarawak dan tajuk bukunya adalah suatu usaha yang saya fikir tidak perlu. Sepanjang yang saya ingati, perkataan Sarawak tidak terdapat dalam bahasa atau kamus Iban. ‘Berpisah’ dalam bahasa Iban bukan sarawak tetapi besarak atau selara (Howell & Bailey 1900: 152; 155).

Kenyataan beliau mengenai Pangeran Muda Hashim sebagai pemerintah atau autokratis dan zalim adalah tidak betul. Sebenarnya bukan Pangeran Muda Hashim yang memerintah Sarawak semasa awal kedatangan Brooke. Yang mentadbir Sarawak ketika itu ialah Pangeran Mahkota. Pangeran Muda Hashim telah dihantar oleh Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin untuk mententeramkan keadaan politik di Sarawak. Di Sarawak pada masa itu telah berlaku pemberontakan oleh penduduk Melayu Melanau serta penduduk pribumi yang lain ke atas pemerintahan Pangeran Mahkota yang zalim (Irwin: 1955; Tarling: 1971; Runciman: 1960).

Analisis yang dibuat oleh pengarang mengenai anti-cessionists sebagai kelompok yang menentang penyerahan Sarawak kepada kerajaan British tetapi sebaliknya ingin mengekalkan pemerintahan Brooke adalah suatu yang kurang tepat. Dalam hal ini kita perlu melihat tindak-tanduk anticessionists dan perspektif yang adil. Sebenarnya tindakan anti-cessionists menentang British dan ingin bertahan kepada Brooke adalah suatu gamble yang perlu. Memang mereka tahu antara kedua-duanya tiada beza— samasama kulit putih. Tetapi kerajaan British adalah suatu kuasa yang lebih besar, lengkap dengan jentera-jenteranya. Sementara kuasa Brooke adalah kuasa sebuah keluarga yang mungkin boleh digugurkan andaikata tiada bantuan dan kuasa besar. Oleh kerana bilangan penduduk Melayu

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yang begitu kecil dan tidak semua pula bersama pihak anti-cessionists, maka mempertahankan Brooke adalah suatu keperluan strategi. Bagi orang Melayu ketika itu, Brooke laksana suatu yang pahit namun dibuang sayang.

Di samping apa yang telah dinyatakan, kesilapan-kesilapan lain sebenarnya boleh diatasi andainya buku mi telah disemak dan disunting dengan betul. Terdapat banyak kesalahan dan segi ejaan dan pentarikhan. Misalnya perkataan Bidayuh (hal: 27) dieja dengan huruf D sehingga menjadi Disayuh. Mission Road menjadi Mission Rood. Nama Dato’ Stephen Kalong Ningkan juga telah dieja dengan salah hingga menjadi Ningkhan dengan tambahan huruf h. Nama Inggeris sebenarnya tidak perlu ditukar walaupun buku ditulis dalam bahasa Melayu. Sepatutnya nama Duncan Stewart dikekalkan dalam bentuk asal bukan Dunken Stewart (hal 46). Di halaman 51 dikatakan bahawa SCA telah ditubuhkan pada tahun 1972. Saya harap kesilapan ini tidak disengajakan, kerana Sarawak Chinese Association telah ditubuhkan pada Julai 1962 bukan 1972 (Leigh 1974: 22; Roff 1974: 70).

Dalam hal tarikh in saya dapati juga bahawa S.H. Alattas cuai dan segi menerangkan pentingnya sesuatu tarikh. Misalnya dalam memberi sedikit ringkasan latar mengenai Robert Jitam ada dinyatakan bahawa Robert Jitam telah ditahan oleh British pada tahun 1962. Seorang pembaca sejarah tentu ingin tahu apa dosa seseorang itu sehingga dipenjarakan. Tarikh dalam sejarah ditulis dengan tujuan menyatakan sesuatu yang bermakna yang ada hubungannya dengan fakta sejarah yang lain. Ini suatu perkara yang telah diabaikan oleh S.H. Alattas. Untuk makluman, Robert Jitam telah ditahan kerana disyaki terlibat dalam pemberontakan di Brunei pada tahun 1962 (Leigh 1974: 33; 1970: 216).

Saya rasa, dalam keghairahan pengarang untuk bercerita mengenai tokoh-tokoh politik bumiputra beliau telah mengabaikan peranan yang dimainkan oleh tokoh politik dan pergolakan politik bumiputra. Ini nyata sekali dalam kes Dato James Wong. Peranan beliau hanya disentuh secara sepintas lalu walaupun dalam konteks perbincangan mengenai SNAP. Kedudukan Dato James Wong dalam Sarawak National Party atau SNAP adalah penting kerana beliaulah di antara sumber kewangan SNAP yang utama. Inilah sebabnya apabila beliau ditahan pada tahun 1974, SNAP terpaksa memikirkan semula kedudukannya sebagai sebuah parti pembangkang. Oleh kerana Dato James Wong dan wangnyalah SNAP tidak dapat menjadi se-Iban yang diharapkan oleh kalangan pemimpin muda Iban. (Sila lihat Straits Times, 5 dan 6 Disember 1981). Penyertaan SNAP dalam Barisan Nasional serentak dengan pembebasan James Wong dari tahanan pada tahun 1976 menunjukkan hakikat ini di samping memperlihatkan juga perubahan dari segi strategi SNAP (Milne & Mauzy 1978: 209-210).

Dan peranan Cina memang tidak dapat diketepikan dalam sejarah

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politik Sarawak. Penyertaan Sarawak United Peoples Party atau SUPP dalam kerajaan menunjukkan betapa pentingnya sokongan parti Cina untuk pemerintahan yang diketuai oleh PBB. Begitulah juga pentingnya SNAP bagi kestabilan Kerajaan Campuran Sarawak yang mula-mulanya hanya dianggotai oleh PBB dan SUPP. Penyertaan SUPP dalam kerajaan sedikit sebanyaknya telah membantu dan segi mengawal tentangan kaum Cina terhadap dasar-dasar berhubung dengan pelajaran, keamanan, keselamatan dan pembangunan Sarawak masa kini.

Secara umum buku SR. Alattas hanyalah satu tambahan saja kepada senarai buku-buku yang pernah ditulis mengenai sejarah politik Sarawak. Tidak banyak yang baru dalam buku tersebut kecuali bab-babnya yang berhubung dengan A. R. Hamzah, seorang non-con/àrmist dalam PBB dan Haji Alli Kawi dan PAJAR. OIeh kerana AR. Hamzah orang dalam, mungkin tindak-tanduknya tidak mendapat publisiti dalam media-massa seperti tokoh-tokoh lain dan parti-parti pembangkang. Dan tidak seperti di Semenanjung. publisiti bagi orang yang membangkang di Sarawak memang sukar diperolehi kecuali bagi yang balik ke pangkal jalan’.

Senarai penasihat-penasihat Tun Datuk Patinggi Rahman juga menanik perhatian saya. kerana ini memang jarang disentuh oleh mana-mana penulis sejarah politik Sarawak. Latar belakang mereka sangat menarik. Datuk Haji Noon Tahir, misalnya, pernah mendapat didikan Cina dan Melayu. Pendidikan Melayunva tidak begitu menghairankan. Latar belakang pendidikan Cinanya mungkin dapat menerangkan kenapa tindakan PBB ke atas lawan krap begitu pantas. tegas dan keras. Datuk Ahmad Boestamam termasuk dalam senarai pengarang buku in Beliau mungkin telah memben Tun Datuk Patinggi banyak tips berdasarkan pengalamanya yang banyak di Semenanjung terutama dan segi memperjuang dan mempertahankan kepentingan bumiputra, khususnya Melayu. Dalam hubungan ini kedudukan Sdr. Subkhy Latif sangat aneh kepada saya. Dan segi manipulasi politik. saya tidak nampak langsung kenapa Tun Datuk Patinggi memerlukan Subkhy kerana saya rasa anak bumi Kenyalang seperti Tun Datuk Patinggi lebih arifdan handal dalam hal ini.
S.H. Alattas berjaya mengenengahkan kedudukan AR. Hamzah dalam pergolakan politik PBB sehingga berlakunya perubahan dalam pucuk pimpinan sekarang. Tetapi analisis beliau terlalu sensational daripada yang dijangkakan terutama bagi seseorang yang ingin menulis mengenai sesuatu yang serius seperti sejarah politik Sarawak. Bagi pemmnat yang serius, sejarah politik Sarawak tinjauan S.H Alattas adalah terlalu simplistic, Beliau hanya melihat politik Sarawak dan segi pergolakan antara Melayu-Melanau dan sedikit-sedikit Iban. Sebenarnya keadaan tidaklah semudah itu.
Dalam tindakan yang diambil oleh tiap-tiap parti politik Sarawak memang ada pertimbangan tertentu dan segi kuasa dan pengaruh vis-a-vis parti dan kaum lain. Di kalangan Iban pun ada perkiraan tiap-tiap pihak

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yang terlibat samada dan SNAP atau Pesaka. Dalam SNAP ada golongan tuanya; ada juga golongan muda yang lebih mahu SNAP seperti UMNO kepada Melayu. KaumBidayuh dan SNAP pula mahu SNAP memperjuangkan juga nasib Bidayuh. Banyak lagi kaum-kaum lain yang menumpang nasib seperti mi dalam parti-parti besar seperti SUPP dan PBB. Mereka terdiri dan Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit dan sebagainya. Dan menumpang mi bukan perkara yang enteng bagi yang memberi turnpangan dan yang menumpang sendiri. Untuk mengharapkan Iban bertindak secara consensus terhadap pentadbiran Tun Datuk Patinggi Rahrnan seperti yang diragui akan berlaku oleh S.H. Alattas adalah suatu overestimation. Masalah primordial sentiment di Sarawak masih begitu menebal untuk perkara seperti itu berlaku. Ketiga-tiga Rajah Putih Sarawak memahami masalah mi. Dan mereka berjaya mentadbir Sarawak walaupun ada sedikit tentangan di sana sini. Kejayaan Tun Datuk Patinggi Rahman juga adalah hasil dan pengetahuan dan kesedarannya tentang masalah ini.

Saya tidak nampak apa-apa yang kontroversial mengenai isi kandungan buku S.H. Alattas sehingga beliau boleh dihalau dan Sarawak. Pihak di Sarawak sebenarnya telah membantu S.H. Alattas memasarkan buku beliau dalam hal mi. Penghalauan beliau dan Sarawaklah yang telah digunakan oleh S.H. Alattas sebagai isu sensasi (hal. 16-17). Inilah juga yang menarik banyak rakan-rakan saya dan Sarawak untuk membeli buku tersebut. Mereka kepingin untuk tahu apakah yang ditulis pengarang yang dihalau dan bumi Kenyalang i. Sebagai orang yang perlu membaca buku, saya tidak nampak kenapa buku mi tidak boleh dibeli dan dibaca. Sekurang-kurangnya setelah membacanya saya faham pendapat orang lain mengenai perkara yang turut saya minati.

Awang Hasmadi Awang Mois
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

RUJUKAN

Bujang, Mohammed, “The Cession of Sarawak to Great Britain 1946”. Singapore: University of Malaya, 1960.

Gramong, Juna, “The territorial expansion of Sarawak under its first and second White Rajahs”. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya, 1970.

Howell, William (Revd.) & Bailey, D.J.S., A Sea Dayak Dictionary. Singapore: American Mission Press, 1900.

Irwin, Graham, Nineteenth-Century Borneo. Singapore: Donald Moore Books, 1955.

Leigh, Michael Beckett, ‘Party Formation in Sarawak”. Indonesia. 9, 1970. The Rising Moon. Sydney: sydney University Press, 1974.

Milne, R.S. & Mauzy, Diane K., Politics and Goverment in Malaysia. Singapore: Times Books International, 1980.

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Ongkili, James P. The Borneo Response to Malaysia. Singapore: Donald Moore Press Ltd, 1967.

—, Modernization in East Malaysia. 1960-19 70. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Roff, Margaret Clark, The Politics of Belonging. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Runciman, Steven, The White Rajahs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960.

Sanib, Said, “Anti-cession movement, 1946 to 1951: The Birth of Nationalism in Sarawak”. BA. (Hons) Thesis. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya, 1976.

Tarling, Nicholas, Britain. The Brookes and Brunei. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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* Ehsan pengarang NUSANTARA Bil. 9, Julai 1982, 120 — 125. Jurnal terbitan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka yang sudah diberhentikan penerbitannya.

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