Monday, 11 April 2011

Kuala Lumpur Loves a Never Ending Story: Bibles stamped 'Christian Publication' in Malaysia

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 4/10/2011

Bibles stamped 'Christian Publication' in Malaysia

Thousands of Malay-language bibles impounded over their use of the word "Allah" are to be stamped "Christian Publication" in a bid to end a row with Muslims, the government said Sunday.

More than 35,000 bibles have been confiscated in the past two years after objections from Islamic leaders that Allah should not be used by non-Muslims.

The holy books were later offered for release but most of them had already been stamped with serial numbers, government seals and the words "For Christians Only", an act that Christians said amounted to "desecration".

Idris Jala, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said that under a new deal with Christians, bibles headed for Sabah and Sarawak state on Borneo island, which are majority Christian, would be returned without any form of official marking and those already marked would have the stamping revoked.

However, the 5,100 holy books imported by The Bible Society of Malaysia for use on the mainland, will now be re-stamped with the phrase "Christian Publication" and the symbol of the Cross, overwriting the earlier markings.

The society accepted the deal, saying "it deeply appreciated" the government plan.

The holy books were seized by customs officials after the government said the use of "Allah" as a translation for "God" in the Malay-language could encourage conversion, which is illegal for the country's Muslims.

The "Allah" row is one of a string of religious disputes that have erupted in recent years, straining relations between majority Malays and minorities who fear the country is being "Islamised".

Malaysia's Christians, who make up nine percent of the population and many from indigenous groups in Borneo who speak the national language Malay, say they have used the word without incident for centuries.

Source: MSN News

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Men have affairs as wives 'neglect' duty: Malaysian MP's Assumption, Projection or Personal Confession?

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 4/7/2011

Men have affairs as wives 'neglect' duty: Malaysian MP

Malaysian men have extramarital sex because of "wives who neglect their responsibilities" to their husbands, a Malaysian lawmaker told parliament on Thursday, outraging women's groups.

Men have affairs as wives 'neglect' duty: Malaysian MP
"Husbands driving home after work see things that are sexually arousing and go to their wives to ease their urges," said independent lawmaker Ibrahim Ali, according to online portal Malaysiakini.

"But when they come home to their wives, they will say, 'wait, I'm cooking,' or 'wait, I'm getting ready to visit relatives'," Ibrahim said.

"In Islam, wives are supposed to stop everything to fulfill their husband's demands."

Ali heads Perkasa, a right-wing Malay nationalist group seeking to protect ethnic Malay dominance in politics.

His strident comments came as he asked about plans by the government's religious development department to educate wives on their responsibilities.

Wives failing in their duties pushed men to go to "private places to satisfy their urges", he said.

An aide to the lawmaker confirmed the remarks but declined further comment.

His comments prompted fury among women's groups in a nation with a growing sex industry and a problem with human trafficking.

Women's Aid Organisation chief Ivy Josiah said Ibrahim's comments were unacceptable for a parliamentarian.

"I am appalled as he equates women to being a sex toy and what is worse is that he uses religion to try and justify his position," she told AFP.

"The comments not only show that Ibrahim Ali is a Malay supremacist but a male supremacist as well."

Rights group Tenaganita, who monitor issues of human trafficking and abuse, said such sentiments were one of the causes of human trafficking in the country.

"Because people like Ibrahim Ali believe it is their right to get sex anytime from their wives, or otherwise seek it from elsewhere, that's why you have a growing sex industry and we see such human trafficking cases," senior coordinator Aegile fernandez told AFP.

Last March, the government launched a national plan against human trafficking as the country moves to quash its image as a transit point for traffickers.

With one of Asia's largest populations of foreign labour, Malaysia relies on illegal and legal migrants to work as domestic servants, in plantations, factories and to service the local sex industry.

Malaysian lawmakers also clashed with women's groups last month after a government parliamentarian claimed women were "slow" at the wheel and "oblivious" on the roads.

Source: MSN News

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Antropologi dan Budaya: Kamus Bahasa Dayak

Jum'at, 08 April 2011 , 11:27:00

Kamus Bahasa Dayak

BUPATI Kabupaten Landak Adrianus Asia Sidot, Rabu (6/4) bertempat di gedung pastoran Kecamatan Menjalin menghadiri launching Kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn. Buku itu sendiri ditulis oleh tokoh masyarakat adat Dayak Kanayatn, Silverius Mulyadi yang juga mantan Wakil Ketua DPRD Landak. Selain itu, kegiatan ini dipadukan dengan pembinaan fungsionaris adat Dayak Landak.Dalam arahannya, Bupati mengatakan launching kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn ini merupakan suatu sejarah yang sangat berharga bagi warga Dayak. “Sejarah ini bukan berupa candi, tapi berupa buku yang akan digunakan sampai ke anak cucu kita. Apalagi kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn ini mempunyai nilai yang teramat tinggi. Harus diingat juga bahwa tidak semua orang bisa nulis buku, apalagi ini kamus Bahasa Dayak Kanayatn,” ujar Bupati dengan logat bahasa Dayak Kanayatn.

Menurutnya, memang diperlukan suatu keberanian bagi seseorang yang akan menulis buku. Apalagi orang yang dianggap pintar, belum tentu yang bersangkutan mampu untuk menulis buku. “Banyak orang yang bergelar sarjana, tapi kalau dia disuruh membuat buku, entah apa yang ia tulis didalam buku tersebut. Jadi hal ini harus memerlukan suatu kecerdasan tersendiri untuk menulis buku,” katanya. Ia menambahkan, penyusunan kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn ini tentu bukan hanya kecerdasan saja yang dipakai, tapi juga ketekunan, ketelatenan dan kesabaran harus dipakai. “Jadi kita harus sabar menghimpun kata demi kata untuk membuat kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn ini. Apalagi satu kata yang ada di kamus tersebut, dibongkar sampai ke dalam-dalamnya,” ucapnya.

Bupati mengakui bahwa kata-kata dalam bahasa Dayak ini bukan merupakan suatu hal yang gampang. Apalagi di zaman sekarang ini suku Dayak sudah banyak bergaul dengan suku lain dan bangsa lain. “Sehingga kadang-kadang kita juga lebih fasih, lebih nyaman dan lebih pas ngomong pakai bahasa yang bercampur-campur, entah itu bahasa Melayu atau bahasa lainnya,” ungkap Bupati.Ia menilai apa yang sudah dibuat oleh Silverius Mulyadi memang cukup baik. Pembuatan buku kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn inipun merupakan suatu inisiatif yang luar biasa. “Nah, tugas kita selanjutnya yakni mewariskan kamus bahasa Dayak ini kepada anak cucu kita. Silahkan saja lembaga-lembaga Dayak yang ada di Kalbar untuk mengembangkan kamus bahasa Dayak ini,” katanya.

Ia menambahkan, untuk pengembangan kamus bahasa Dayak selanjutnya, tentu diperlukan suatu sumber daya yang bukan hanya manusianya, tapi juga termasuk dana, peralatan, penelitian dan pengembangan (litbang) dan sebagainya.Hadir dalam launching kamus bahasa Dayak Kanayatn tersebut, Ketua DPRD Landak Heri Saman, sejumlah Kepala SKPD dilingkungan Pemkab Landak, jajaran Muspika Menjalin, pengurus Dewan Adat Dayak (DAD) Landak, Camat Menjalin, para Timanggong, Pasirah, Pangaraga, para pejabat adat dan para undangan. (sgg/*)

Sumber: Pontianak Post Online

Hu Ha Hu Ha in fact bukan Malaysia tapi Singapore Boleh: Singapore to conserve historic railway stations

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 4/8/2011

Singapore to conserve historic railway stations

Two railway stations to be returned by Malaysia to Singapore will be conserved as historic sites, officials announced Friday following a citizens' campaign to save the buildings from destruction.

There were fears that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, located on prime real estate on the fringes of the central business district, would be turned into yet another shopping mall or condominium in construction-mad Singapore.

A government statement said the art deco-style terminal would be a national monument, while the smaller Bukit Timah station close to the Malaysian border would also be conserved, in recognition of their "deep historical significance".

Both were built during British colonial rule over the two countries as part of a railway line that serviced Singapore, Malaya and Thailand.

The Malaysian federation retained ownership of railway land and structures within Singapore after the two countries separated in 1965, and the stations became part of a long-running spat that periodically strained relations.

In May 2010, both countries agreed Malaysia would cede ownership of the land in exchange for real estate in two of Singapore's most expensive districts.

The agreement sparked concerns that the Singapore government would convert the shabby buildings to commercial use, triggering an online petition to save the buildings for posterity.

Carolyn Seet, an information technology specialist who started the petition, welcomed the government's announcement on the Tanjong Pagar station.

"Needless to say, I'm very happy. Hopefully, they will keep it open to the public. My wish is basically it will be a transportation museum like the one in London," she told AFP.

She also suggested the station can be "a place for people to reminisce, and see how far Singapore has come, from the humble rickshaw to the modern driverless" train system.

Source: MSN News 4/8/2011

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