Monday, 16 March 2015

From Longitude 101 East to Longitude 1 West

It took all of 13 hours flying time to complete the journey of 6572 miles ( 10,581 km) from East (Kuala Lumpur) to West (Leicester).   In bridging the gap between these two compass points Rudyard Kipling had this to say in 1889.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgement Seat,
But there is neither East nor West, Border nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!

Here is Kipling extolling the belief that Asian and European are equal.

This statement was put to the test on the 13 hour flight from KL to London on 10 March. We were seated behind a Malay family made up of the father, a well-built man sporting a goatee beard (which seems to be increasingly a trade mark of  Malay-Muslim men in Malaysia), a hijabed mother and two children - a little girl of about 5 and a boy of 7-8.  I reckon the parents were in their mid to late thirties.  Mother was sitting comfortably as the two children perused the Flight Safety document and happily chatted away about the parts of the plane - all in English.  Father was reading a newspaper.   It was a lovely picture of a normal family.

Soon the stewardess handed round the headphones and the Flight Entertainment System was switched on.     Suddenly, this sweet, normal family was transformed into something quite different.   From then on, we felt we'd been trapped in the living room of a gang of electronic barbarians, with mother and father engrossed in their "grown-up" movies (Hollywood soaps for wife, exploding bodies, spraying bullets, and car chases for hubby), while their two offspring went almost berserk playing electronic kiddy games - over and over and over again.

 "Mummy how do you start this game?" "Press the Y," said Mummy.  "Daddy, teach me to play this".  And Daddy would lean over, click something. and go back to his blood and guts.  There were constant outbursts of jubilant screeching and jumping on the seat  from the boy-child (which spilled my drink as I was seated behind him) when he made a 'hit': "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!", "Gotcha!",  "Kill the bad guy! Kill the bad guy!"   These exclamations went on for six or seven hours - the kid's favourite game was set in a jungle clearing, and he must have wiped out all living creatures ten times over.

The little sister eventually got to sleep although her "High Five" programme (made in Singapore) was never switched off.     We had Aussie teenage-entertainers doing a half-hour bobbing-up-and-down routine for the kids repeated six or seven times during the flight.   After about six hours, the boy-brat gave us a breather of about an hour.    When he woke up, the fun and games started all over again and by the 10th hour of the flight, Iain had to ask the father (who was seated just in front of him) if he could please tell his son to stop shouting.  Daddy was quite taken aback because he was seemingly unaffected by his son's antics!  He was otherwise glued to his screen watching his endless series of movies.   It was also obvious that the word "sorry" was not part of his vocabulary even though the two parents spoke only English to their children.

Finally, three-quarters of the way into a 13 hour plus journey, there was peace and quiet.   Finally, we had escaped from the hell of being confined in the living room of this hi-tech-savvy English-speaking Malay middle class family.

Is this an example of the outcome of the meeting of East and West?  In this one Malay-Muslim (or Muslim-Malay?) family, the children spoke to each other and to Mummy ( not 'mak) and Daddy (not Abah or Ayah) only in English - although Mummy and Daddy did, now and then, speak to each other in Malay.    But it was not just the choice of language - it was the tone, the attitude, in how it was used.

The English spoken by the children did not include words like 'please' and 'thank you'. They were chiefly "Daddy, show me this".  "Mummy, I want ......".    If it is their desire to bring up their children in a language which is not their mother-tongue, they have to make sure that they are  also conversant with the language of courtesy, of discipline and  acceptable behaviour.     In choosing the English language for bringing up children, parents have to be competent with the whole gamut of the language in communicating social relationships between parent and child, child and child and with other adults  and institutions outside of the family.  Parents should be aware for example, that competency with techno-language for games and computers are  not good indicators for the social development of children.  What I saw and heard from these English-speaking Malay children consisted mainly of expressions and nuances that were demanding, aggressive, competitive,  and very 'me-me-me-istic' , very self-centred.

I suppose such children would do their parents proud.    Imagine the approving comments.  "Pandai betul budak- budak ni. Kecik- kecik lagi dah pandai cakap orang putih!!"    But when the stewardess asked the little boy "What drink would you like?".  The little boy merely said, "I want lemonade."   And he didn't even look at her because his eyes were glued to the screen.

Unlike my generation, post-Merdeka Malays are well educated, well taught in both  asohan ugama and bahasa ibunda .  Thousands were sent overseas  ( USA, UK, Ireland,  France, Germany, NZ, Australia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Japan, Indonesia) by the Government .   They came home to good jobs,  holding responsible posts - savouring the opportunities that their parents and grandparents were denied under British colonialism.  They became part of Malaysia's middle class and upper middle class.

Some decided to remain living abroad for reasons like  "I do not think I can settle down to working in Malaysia - no work ethics - you have to 'know people' to get anywhere."    Fair enough.    I made the same choice to leave  the Singapore Education Service because I was 'getting nowhere' - all because of my skin colour.  But there was one difference - I had served out my five year bond for the Bursary I received from the Government.  I also carried on working for another six years because I felt I owed it to my people - to the Malay, Chinese and Indian kids - especially those whose milieu was not middle class and privileged.  But never mind - all that is cerita lama.

Resting here in Leicester. nursing my gammy leg I reflect on my Nusantara maritime forefathers.
They would shunt around the Malay Archipelago in their prahus and sailing ships moving and trading (and fighting too!)  from island to island, from coast to coast and setting up riverine and coastal settlements, trading posts and sultanates. Their sense of belonging was drawn out in the embrace of land and water throughout the Malay Archipelago - in their Tanah-Air.   

Today our Malays fly from city to city, from peninsula and island to continents, from tropical to temperate and desert climes. from East to West and South to where ever they reckon the grass is greener.  In a way it replicates the nomadic jalan-jalan and kembara of their ancestors but their choice of destination is a far far 'alien' world which requires the Malay to dilute and subdue their cultural identity to that of the host's.    Integrate or be damned!

When the Boyanese moved to Singapore and the Bugis to Selangor, they did not feel like they'd moved to an alien country.  Even Chinese from China and Indians from India were not subjected to strong conditioning into the host culture.

When the British FARELF ( Far East Land Forces) left in 1971, Abah was called to the CO's office.  The CO told him that Inche Hamid bin Jala would be given the right to migrate to Britain when ever he is ready.  My father did not take up the offer.  The reason?  He told my brother Mus that he did not want his children and grandchildren to turn into dysfunctional Malays in a foreign land.  Hujan mas negri orang.........  Of course there would be some 'enterprising and ambitious' gung ho young Malays  who would regard him as a scaredy cat,  a frog under a coconut shell,  Where ever he is, and if he can see how his cucu and cicit  are getting on today with their culture and identity intact as well, I am certain Abah knew he made the right decision.

And I am so glad he kept us where we belonged.

Below is a map to show where we belonged.  Abah 'migrated' to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur and he built us a home at Pasir Panjang. Being the Malay that he was, he chose a riverine location. Our kampung house in Kampung Abu Kassim was situated on a river bank, the banks of Sungai Nipah.. That river was un-named in our school geography textbooks and it was not until many years later when I was rummaging through some old books and maps that I discovered the name of this water feature that had been a part of our 'playground'.  I include Sungai Nipah  in my hand-drawn map - my tribute to a kampung life that has disappeared forever in Singapore.  That river made so many contributions to our  happy family life.

Tempat jatuh lagi di kenang, ini kan lagi tempat bermain.

Victoria Park, fish and chips, daffodils and roses, canals and steam trains, second hand bookshops and charity shops - I love them all.  But my heart and spirit and soul belongs to my Tanah Air.  Thank you dear Abah, for not transplanting us, for keeping us home.

Maznoor's Map

Speaking for myself, from a generation whose asohan ugama  and (written) bahasa ibunda is not as polished as the post-Merdeka generation, I could not ever bring myself  to dilute and emasculate my Malayness for the ways  and wherefores of the West and the Middle East.  Yes, today's young families may face many different and daunting pressures.  It's not for me to pontificate because the young have to face many more long years than I have left to sort out their Malayness - assuming they still have pride in it.  But it saddens me to observe the ways of that young Malay-Muslim family on that journey by plane from East to West.

Kipling expressed a laudable belief.  But he made one misjudgement,  Between East and West there will only be one 'strong man' - the one from the West.  We of the East, we Malays have to be brave and dignified. Do ponder on the poem "Belonging" by G. Adali-Mortty on my side-bar.

But it must be stressed that a Malay can be emasculated even when he remains on Malaysian soil.


On the second day of our return, my right leg gave up the ghost.

AsH's new Apps - a walking stick and a hot water bottle.

No walks in the park, no shopping at Leicester Animal Rescue, no bag of chips at the market.  But the spouse cooked me a yummy nasi goring kampung with ikan  bilis  for lunch yesterday.

We found this in our backyard when we got back a week ago - by courtesy of our dear friend Jack.

A Tub of Snowdrops.

It was the snowdrops that helped my nephew Shah to perk up after an attack of asthma in Hull, where his father was doing his degree in the 1980s.  These white beauties are doing the same for his ole ma'ngah and hopefully her leg will soon perk up too.

Finally a few lines for our sleepwalking Malays.

Who's gonna tell you when it's too late?
Who's gonna tell you things aren't so great?
You can't go on, thinking nothing's wrong.
Who's gonna drive you home  tonight?

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Gentle on my mind

By today I should have got over the jet lag.    By today I should be wandering to my favourite shopping mall .....

Leicester Animal Rescue

... and I should be writing this posting from my den.

The snowdrops would have come and gone.  Jack as usual would have crocuses and daffodils planted in our little back garden.

Jack at his best - mucky gloves and jumper and little seedlings in his arms.
Spring has sprung!!

If only .......................

Four days before our flight to Leicester  last week we were both hit by a nasty stomach flu.   First I came down.   After a few days, we still thought we could just make the journey.  But then the spouse got the brunt of it for another few days, and so the journey was put on hold. And as if to justify the change in our travel plans - dear, lovable, soppy ole Rusty ......

....... had to be 'hospitalised' - again - at the Vet - for the same colon problem.  We were advised that his diet had to be strictly monitored.  A free range cat he may be - but his ranging days are over.  He usually stays out at night - but no more karaoke for him.  He has to be bound to quarters .

Our two cat-sitters and house sitters, Osman and Aisha looked at Rusty's pad and they suggested that he would need padding for the resting shelves.  So off I went to buy two cushions and sewed  on straps to keep them secure on the shelves.  I put my foot down at carpeting when Osman mentioned a little luxury for that little, fat  black blob.

So, InsyaAllah we'll take off in a few days' time for Leicester - leaving behind scenes like this at our LRT Station .....
A scenic view from Setiawangsa LRT Station
.. and our car battered by motorbikes and a neighbour who has not  mastered the art of reversing a car.
"Sikit saja"

Brushes with the ubiquitious motorbikes in KL.  Loads more on the other side.
But ... especially for this Malay Peninsula ....

It's knowing that your door is always open
And your path is free to walk.
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag
Rolled up and stashed behind your couch

And a big thank you to my nieces Maria and Hidayah for sorting out our tickets on the Internet and for arranging our departure for KLIA.  But like Uncle Iain said, " It's a small price to pay for getting rid of us."  Ha ha!!   See you all later .. InsyaAllah.

..... that you're waiting from the back roads by the rivers of my memory, ever smiling, ever gentle on my mind.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stepping Out in Singapore

Exactly a week ago, we were in Singapore.  Our dear host Jailani took us for a tosay and teh tarik breakfast at Tek Kah - a must-stopover for us whenever we cross the Causeway to Temasek.  We were given a special treat - a Saturday morning car ride to MacRitchie Reservoir.

I've always remembered MacRitchie as a venue for P. Ramlee's movies.  This video was taken from the 1957  'Bujang Lapok'.

 It was also where we were taken by our Guide Captain to undergo the Trekking test -  to earn our Second Class Badge.
My very own Second Class badge.

 Miss Lam would lay out the trail of sticks and stones and leaves for us to translate into directions for our route through  the Reservoir's forest.

Here's a 1961 map of Singapore - the red arrow points to MacRitchie Reservoir.

This map was extracted from Collins-Longman's World Atlas for Malaya - part of my Secondary School's Geography Textbooks .

Jai had a surprise for us.  He took us for a walk around the northern periphery of the reservoir - something we could only dream about all those years when we went for hikes at this most popular 'water feature' .  I do take off my hat to the Singapore authorities.  They are certainly short of land space and natural greenery.  But they do so much with the little they've got.  Furthermore, with a population of 5.5 million within a land area of 718.3 sq km which means a population density of 7,615 per sq km - they have done a remarkable job in training their  citizens to be proud of their country, by keeping the environment clean and tidy.   All I can say is "Wake up Malaysia!!"

On that walk of nearly an hour - we have these to 'show and tell'.
A trefoil of three rubber seeds in a pod.
To think; when Ridley brought these seeds to Singapore for trial-planting, it marked - for the Malay Peninsula - the beginning of an industry and an economy that brought wealth and development (for some - mainly non-natives) and chaos and lopsidedness to the Malays who were left on the fringe.  It was a boom for some and bust for others.

As we were walking on the wooden platform along the edge of the reservoir, we heard this very slight movement of water.  We turned and this was what awaited us!

All in all. we observed 3-4 terrapins in the water and just at the edge there was a little notice informing members of the public not to release their unwanted terrapins in the Reservoir!

We have a similar problem up here.    Where we live in KL a number of  domesticated cats have been 'released' in our neighbourhood - leaving us and our neighbours who care for cats with more strays to look after.

Whenever we get to Singapore, Jai will always be available to help us  get to Pusara Abadi at Yio Chu Kang Road to  'menziarah'  the graves of my father and brother.  This time, we also visited the grave of Jai's mother - arwah  Macik Alimah who passed away 3 months ago.

Al -Fatihah to the three beloved.

You see, going back to Singapore is very much like visiting an abode where the furniture is being moved about ever so often.

Up to 2008, this was my father's grave .........

........ and my brother's at Pusara Aman.

As of 2009, this is what we ziarah....
My sister and family at Pusara Abadi.
....... downsizing of the previous plots at Pusara Aman.
Eight to a plot - if the families claim the remains.

I cannot resist saying this again - Wake up Malaysia and Malaysians!   Do you know how fortunate you are? You all have a choice in the size and location of a piece of Malaysia for your dear departed!

Dear Jai,   remember this at our Oxford Avenue house in Leicester 1995?

And you have now become our host at your house since 2005(?).
Irene and the two septuagenarians, 2015.

Finally here's a beautiful song for three beautiful people in Singapore - Jai, Irene and Lely.  This is my favourite concerto, it's so sweet and longing - just how I feel about the ones who have left me forever - in Batu Pahat and Singapore.

                                 Martin Frost playing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto Part 2

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Love or Respect ?

In the context of all the war and bloodshed and violence since the end of the Second World War, it is heartening that the United Nations undertook to adopt the 2010 proposal of King Abdullah II of Jordan to commemorate a World Interfaith Harmony Week for every first week of February.

The 'harmony'  desired is for  " Muslim and Christian leaders to engage in a dialogue  based on two common fundamental religious Commandments :  Love of God, and Love of the Neighbour."  These two commandments they say, are also part of another monotheistic religion - Judaism.

TWIHW added two more commandments  " Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour", so as to include "those of other faiths and those with no faith".

Of course Malaysia is a participant in TWIHW and it was officially launched  on 5 February by Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the Minister in charge of unity in the Prime Minister's Department.

However the celebration has been clouded by the photograph of an apparently Muslim woman ;  a representative of YIPCI  (Young Interfaith Peacemaker Community of Indonesia) carrying a placard " I'm Muslim, I love Hindus" at Batu Caves during  Thaipusam on 3 February.

ISMA (Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia) "took issue", questioning the source and the motives of YIPCI's 'campaign' at Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

The Minister however put a positive mark on this foreign-based  YIPCI's 'campaign' in Malaysian territory.  He regarded it as "proof of positive interfaith ties and how people of different religions can respect each other".


Call me stupid.  But I'm perplexed.  What made this  Muslim (?) from Indonesia decide to come to Malaysia, to make a special trip to Batu Caves during Thaipusam  to demonstrate and publicise her message - which on the surface seems positive and moderate - but which carries the imputation that Muslims in Malaysia are 'neglectful'  about 'loving' Hindus and so a Muslim(?) representing an interfaith NGO from overseas has to make amends on behalf of the  'uncaring' Muslims in Malaysia?  Was she called upon to push and enforce this unnecessary and unsolicited (?)  plea?

I understand that YIPCI was set up by two students, a Christian and a Muslim.   This being an Interfaith Peacemaker Community, was there also a Christian there with a placard " I'm  Christian.  I love Hindus."  Maybe not, because we all know that when Christians "love" you, they carry other connotations.

And if it is really "interfaith" was there a "I'm  Hindu.  I love Muslims." placard anywhere?


Somehow for a cynical person like me, the use or rather the over-use of the word "love" sounds phony, misplaced and worse of all,  smacks of condescension.   I remember seeing this  logo as from the 1980s ( at least from my wandering experience) on T-shirts and baseball caps.

The copycats came along with "I love pink", "I love Cappucino" etc. etc.  When this logo which began as an advertising campaign to promote tourism in New York  was used  for " I love Islam",  "I love Allah" , "I love the Prophet", - sometimes substituting the word "love" with the heart symbol,  my heart sank.   Over 1400 years of Islam !  Why should ANY Muslim - from over 1.6 billion of them - resort to this kind of pseudo-Christian pop culture icon to parade their devotion to their religion?

Let's get back to basics - away from the language of advertisement and pop social media.

From the Concise Oxford  Dictionary:  love means ....

  • warm affection, attachment, fondness
  • sexual affection, passion
  • beloved one, sweetheart
  • no score - as in games.

If someone comes up to me and and says "I'm a Christian (or Hindu, or atheist or sun worshipper).  I love Muslims."   I have to ask if they could please not 'love'  Muslims.  Could they  'respect' us Muslims instead?

From the Concise Oxford Dictionary : respect means .....

  • pay heed to
  • relate to, be concerned with
  • regard with deference, avoid degrading or insulting or injuring - to treat with consideration and honour
Of course 'respect' - as they say - has to be earned.  But even if you don't love someone or some belief system, you should still respect them.

Love without respect is dangerous.

In response  to Isma's opinion about  YIPCI, the Minister for Unity, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup  asserted that "moderation, toleration and unity is the key for the country to progress further."  Where's the place for "respect"?

I found this interesting quote by George Sheehan :

If there is a solution to racism, religious persecution, and the evils of nationalism, I think we can be assured that it is not love.  I recall some decades back when the churches were breaking the color barrier, a Southern priest wrote of the waves of nausea he felt when he gave communion to a black person.  Incredible, you might say.  But our antipathies towards others have deep and stubborn roots.  To ask that we love may well be an impossibility.  To ask that we show respect is not only attainable, it helps us attain our own happiness as well.

When (Edward) de Bono speaks of respect as the basis of happiness, he is not breaking new ground.  Respect is no less than justice.

I like de Bono's ideas.  Respect myself, respect others, respect society.  This is a manifesto I can live with.

But above and beyond our theory and practice of Love and Respect - the ultimate yardstick is our NIAT.  And only Allah Knows.

Abah taught us this song "It'a a sin to tell a lie" in the 50s and we used to belt it out with our Abah in the kampung house, much to my mother's amusement.

Friday, 30 January 2015

The Second " R "

Reading, 'Riting and  'Rithmetic  - they make up the basic three " Rs "  which form the foundation of modern education.  That was the makeup of my English language colonial education in the 1950s as well as the beginning of my training as a school teacher during the latter half of the 1960s.

Just the other day, the spouse and I were ruminating about the approaching demise of one signifier of our self as an individual :  writing - our handwriting!

This one .............

...... belongs to her.

This quaint handwriting  ........

.... was done by this quaint little nerd.

Oh dear, I am noticing signs of rebellion.


Nowadays we appreciate and take pride in all things that are hand made and we are willing to dig deep into our pockets for items made by human hands!

But more and more we are losing the one art that can be created only by us - our handwriting. Just think, there are millions of us (those who were lucky enough to go to school) able to scribble and identify themselves by their handwriting - each one distinct and unique, just like our fingerprints.
However, we now take to the keyboard and indicate ourselves less and less by our handwriting ( and signature) - but by passwords, codes and pin numbers.  Welcome to the digitised world!

We don't write letters anymore.  We do not keep envelopes in the house and neither do we buy stamps.  We only send e-mails!

Part of my primary school education included subjects like "Writing" and that was included as an examination subject.

A 'Writing' Examination - 1957, PPES.

'Letter Writing' was always part of the English Language Examination.

'Letter Writing' for a Primary Six examination, 1957, PPES

A few days ago, I received a comment - a very touching note - from Kalsom Taib -  from my cohort group, so to speak.

Kalsom, I hope the above images will bring a big smile to your face - and to remind you of our good (and at that time it seemed horrible), old days.

So, I thought I'd like to sit down and write you a letter - to overlay an electronic page with a letter written with a fountain pen  -  to thank you for the content and kindness in your message.

We, Kalsom and I,  are blessed to be able to observe and live the present life we have.  Materially and technically we have gained so much.  But the price we pay is too awful - at times - to bear.

Here's my 'Dictation' Examination - ideas still as valid - if not even more today - as  58 years ago.

The greatest honour is the honour which men give to you in their hearts. 

A song we heard on the radio in our kampung house in 1954/1955.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Appropriation - Ayam Hitam Terbang Malam.

" Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ".

When you  dress, behave, and talk  like your favourite celebrity or your  hero or role model - then that imitation is regarded as flattery.

It is fascinating to discover so many other words that are synonymous with 'imitate'   and which provide so many different shades of meaning and interpretation.  This list is by no means comprehensive but here they are: words like copy, use, adopt, adapt, fit, employ, duplicate, reproduce, take, convert,  pilfer, purloin, filch, plagiarize and appropriate.

You may notice how towards the end of the list the words begin to mean more and more negative and unpleasant.

For instance;  this one of Madonna in Burqa cannot be designated as imitation-cum-flattery, it's just an ageing rock star desperately seeking attention and publicity.  Mama mia!  She did quite a lot of cultural appropriation in her younger days to boost her career , so you can't expect better of her.

From The Independent, 25 June 2014.

If there are are Muslim hotheads - young and old - seeing this out there, please do not start a je ne suis pas Madonna!

There are also other 'desperately-seeking-attention' pop stars like Beyonce.

Beyonce - Daily Mail 14 Nov.

Okay, no more flippancy!

Dr Wafa Sultan, another ex-Muslim female darling of the Islamophobes (See Comments page of my previous posting   'Pointed Views'),  describes herself as a  'Muslim' even though she said she does not follow and practise the teachings of Islam.  I was quite confused.  It's like claiming to be a vegetarian while still consuming meat!

I found her rationale when I was sorting out my files last night.

1.  From "Doors into Christianity / Christianity Today"  :

Here are a couple of pertinent extracts from the above.

Here I reckon,  is where ex-Muslim islamophobes find their ploy to  abuse and confuse   Islam's Muslims by claiming they are 'Muslims' as well.

The above is not imitation or adapting.  It is simply purloining and filching - another appropriation, like Madonna.


There's the proverb - ' a rose by any other name smells just as sweet'.   The rose  is named rosa (Italian),  roos (Dutch), ruzica (Slovak),  gulaab (Hindi), bunga mawar (Indonesian and Malay), warda (Arabic) whakatika (Maori)  -  just to name a few.  Consider this; would an Italian desire to substitute the name of his rosa to bunga mawar, or would Hindi speakers pick warda instead of gulaab?

In the same vein, the word God and Allah are both as fragrant and sacred whatever name one chooses.  In the case of East Malaysia (where the conversion to Christianity was a more widespread, and rather different, process to that in Peninsular Malaysia),  'Allah'  has been used in their Bibles right from the start.  As for Peninsular Malaysia (where Christians make up just 3% of the population) the word 'God'  was the choice word in the Bible like in all  European countries.  'Allah'  is the word for Muslims in Southeast Asia and for all 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.   In the same vein, please note, the word 'Muslims' refer only to the adherents of the religion Islam, just as there are specific words to apply to Christians (Christianity), Hindus (Hinduism), Buddhists (Buddhism), Atheists (Atheism), Pagans  (Paganism) and Agnostics(Agnosticism) and even Satanists (Satanism)!

Why are certain Christians in Malaysia so adamant, and so evangelical in wanting to take the word for the Supreme Being in the Quran to be used in the Bible?  This may provide the key.

Extract from "Doors into Christianity"

This is "contextualized"  evangelization.  This is dressing up the wolf to look like sheep. This is conversion and plagiarization - the clearest example of the end justifying the means.

This is from the horse's mouth itself.

The means applied for achieving the ends are "to remove 'westernized ideas of what it means to follow Christ' ", to translate into  'the local language'  and 'adapt' the music as well. 


By Joshua Lingel, Jeff Morton and Bill Nikides, eds. i2 Ministries Publications.

Warren Larson's review included this:

Two institutions responsible for translating the Bible for the purpose of conversion are Wycliffe Bible Translators and its sister organisation the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) - a Christian service agency..  Look up SIL's Website and you'll be hard put to find explicit indications of their  commitment to evangelization.  Of course they profess not to be directly involved  in  'building churches' and proselytizing.  But they have other objectives  - even though they claim they  work only to preserve 'ethnolinguistic identity'.  Is there much difference between the arms- manufacturer and the people who utilise their products?

There's just a little hint (note the underlined) to refer to  providing expertise, training or consulting  to  ' ....... or local organizations involved in education, development or Christian service.'

If any one can issue 'Muslim-friendly translations' for saying "Son of God",  SIL and Wycliffe will find the "loophole large enough".   After all, the word 'Allah' is well on the way to being appropriated - with the support of some Muslims and Muslim clerics here and abroad.  They, I'm afraid, have been outmaneuvered and  'contextualised'.

Next on the menu will be Chrislam, non-followers or ex-followers of Islam - converts to Christianity -  who claim to still calling themselves 'Muslims'.  According to their strategy; it  seems that they have the right to do so because  the term  'Muslims'  means 'those who submit to God' .  Consequently the term 'Muslim' would also be subjected to appropriation, away from the believers of Islam!  Hallelujah.

I reckon our Islamic experts, clergy and Islamic academics had better put on their thinking caps and figure out how to protect the  word "Muslim"  for the followers of Islam before the pseudo-'Muslims' start hammering at the gate

This is indeed scary, almost predatory  -   SEPERTI  AYAM  HITAM  TERBANG  MALAM 


3.  And now for another insight into   'Black Hens Flying in the Night'

All Hijabed and Kopiaked  - and with so many places to go !!!!  They managed to beat Madonna in this charade.  And oh my gosh!  Even the  'tikar' on the floor looked like they had just finished a 'kenduri' and 'baca doa selamat'.  Bravo, bravo!

Could you guess that the picture above is not of a group of Muslim ladies and gentlemen in Bangkok?  They are  'contextually'  dressed in Muslim garb but they are Thai pastors, leaders, Bible college students and professionals taking part in a Kairos Course in 2006.

One Thai pastor was so pleased and said,  "We praise God that he has opened our eyes through this course.  We have been receiving many missionaries in Thailand but we have failed to see our part in bringing the gospel to the nations.  It is time we stop making excuses and do our part."  ( Maybe their outfit will play a large part in their missionizing.)

The report further added, " The team in Thailand aims to continue mobilizing the Thai church for missions, i.e. to reach the least-reached people groups within Thailand and beyond."

For all you know, by now, they are already hard at work in  the predominantly Muslim Provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun - where some of the "least-reached people groups" are located.  Dressed like this they would be welcomed with open arms.  Throw in a couple of 'orang putih' in kopiak and hijab, the 'least-reached peoples' would be ecstatic!

Read :

Turun ka-sawah memakai tudong,
Padi di-huma layu lengkesa;
Sa-ekor sawa (1)  sa-ekor tedung,
Bersama2 mengadu bisa.

(1) Ular sawa tidak berbisa; senjata-nya kuat membelot dan mencherut sahaja.

The above pantun is taken from "Kalong Bunga"  Buku 1 - di-pileh dan di-susun oleh Z'ABA, DBP 1964.

That ends my case of serial pilfering, purloining, filching, deceiving, plagiarising and appropriation in our neck of the woods,  conducted by evangelists from the world's largest and most powerful  religion.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Pointed Views

AsH - as you may have noted - practices freedom of speech and has given any comment received in my blog (except the inflammatory and vulgar) the oxygen of publicity. Ash will respond, whether they come from the pens (or rather, the mice) of  serious thinkers or serious cretins.

I am quite taken by 3 comments from my last posting.  They prefer to focus on the tendency for violence on the part of Muslims, and also  their impotency  and stupidity.  They also reflect a common belief that  Muslims have only got themselves to blame.  This is exactly the same argument when non-blacks decry the 'backwardness' of the blacks in UK and US.

As I have prepared quite a detailed riposte for the second and third comments, I think it deserves a posting of its own.  These comments  typify the usual  brickbats : made up of generalizations, snide innuendos and crooked thinking  thrown at Muslims - by non-Muslims  (and insecure Muslims) both in Malaysia and abroad.


Thank you Anon 11 January 2015 at 02:06

( Quotes from the comments are in italics.)

1.  You may be right but remember these are the immigrants from Islamic countries to a non-Islamic country which received them wholeheartedly.

Well, there are also many non-Muslim immigrants who migrate to Muslim countries and who not only prosper, but are allowed to maintain their culture with very little hassle from the host-people e.g. Malaya and Indonesia.
Name me the non-Muslim countries that "received them (Muslims)  wholeheartedly",  that is unless they bring in lots of dosh and gold bars?   Have you read carefully Gai Eaton's piece in my last post? 
As a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country  (UK)  I have received more than my fair share of abuse from my non-Muslim white hosts and officials and non-white, non-Muslim British residents.  By the way, are you making this comment from personal experience?  If you are, then it must be because you look like an 'honorary white' and you're not a Muslim.

2.  ...... yearning the help from powerful secular countries specially the US and Europe.

If  your homes, schools, hospitals, libraries, transport and sewerage systems have been blown apart by missiles and bombs and AK 47s etc  by 'secular' USA and European countries wouldn't you pack up your bags and go to  countries that are safe simply because they are powerful?

3.  As for your mention of the Sunni-Shite conflict, of Saudi Arabia colluding with Israel : if only Middle East politics were that  easy to understand.   I recommend Andre Vltchek's article "Who should be blamed for Muslim terrorism"  in Counterpunch January 9-11, 2015.  

Of course you may not agree with it but it should help to clear some of your naive and over-simplistic interpretation.

Furthermore Muslims do not have a monopoly of in-fighting.  I hope you have read enough history to figure out other examples (take only the 20th century) like the long drawn out conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland (thousands killed) and between the same two groups in Rwanda (hundreds of thousands killed).  What about the 'secular' in-fighting like the Civil wars in pre-Mao China and the North vs South  Civil War  in what is USA today?

4.   Muslim should not be so stupid to counter the threat with violence. Allah do not need  those stupid extremist Muslim to kill to protect his name.

Ask the Iraqis, Afghanis, Gazans (Palestinians) and Bosnians and Chechnyans and Rohingyas if they suffered merely 'threats'  and tell them off for being "extremist" and "stupid"  when they refuse to turn the other cheek?    Ask any non-Muslim  believer or country how they would react  if they were subjected to the same terror.

Just a little correction here :  It's not Allah's name that is being protected.  Both the right-wing and  'liberal'  fascists are intent on making fun (and profit) out of the Prophet of Islam.

5.  The Jews are killed in millions ........ they use their brain to ask others to fight the Arabs as their proxy.

Do you fully comprehend the ramifications of your "suggestion"?  Firstly, it was the
European Jews who were killed in millions (and who hardly had the opportunity to ask anyone to be their 'proxies'), but it was the Israeli Zionist Jews who 'asked others ... as their proxy'.  To follow through your argument, should the  'stupid' Muslims 'use their brains' and get others to be their proxy?  Now, while the few suicide bombers and 'terrorists' do their own dirty work, the rest of  the Muslim population and Islam are punished and reviled on account of them.

Do listen through the Video attached and you may learn a  thing or two.

Okey dokey, that's one comment dried and dusted.


Now for the next one:  Thank you "Said".

If the verb for referencing a comment  used the word "wrote"  instead of "said" ,  the commentator would have to find
a Malay-Muslim name that sounds close to "wrote".  Any suggestions anyone?  

1.  'Muslims have nobody to blame but themselves"  Only a non-Muslim would have the temerity and churlishness to believe that the Middle Eastern situation is the fault of Muslims alone.  A "Syed" certainly wouldn't.

2.  Middle East conflict is an Arab conflict that most Muslim mistaken it as a Islam vs the world conflict.  If the mahzabs can't even agree..... what do you expect.  World peace? 

According to your  interpretation  the bloodshed in the Middle East is an entirely Arab problem and construction and  should not affect the rest of the Muslim world.  In choosing  to separate issues of Muslim integrity and sovereignty  in the Middle East from the rest of  other Muslim countries and communities, you seem to imply that Muslims have no right to a sense of brotherhood with their suffering co-believers.   Shouldn't that also apply to HRH Prince Charles (and many others) who moan about the plight of  Christians in the Middle East?

Read :

What have the attacks on Gaza, the invasion of Iraq (twice by father and son) and Afghanistan, and  conflicts in  other non Arab Muslim territories, such as the razing of Bosnia and Chechnya, the Muslim struggles for autonomy in Southern Philippines, Pattani and the persecution of Rohingyas in Burma have to do with Muslims making a 'mistake' 

 Western countries do not  restrain their intervention when their Judaeo-Christian brethren are under threat or attack.  Most of the time they do not have to send in suicide bombers and undercover "liberators" - they have other means to teach these nations a lesson - and in the case of  Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others in South America, they simply send in their boys and their bombs. 

Read : 

You must be familiar with  the First and Second  World Wars - tribal  wars in Christian Europe which dragged non-European and non-Christian countries outside of Europe into the line of fire - often as unhappy "proxies"!!

How grotesque! - to argue that the disunity of mahzabs  gets in the way of World Peace. It's tantamount to attributing the  present carnage in the Middle East to only the Muslims and absolving the Judaeo-Christian world of any culpability.

"World Peace"  is just a slogan for fluffy thinkers who are caught in the aura of John Lennon's 'Imagine' - a convenient tool that the powerful use to whitewash their "policing" of the rest of the world.  During the Cold War, the slogan was "The Free World".   

This reminds me of this interesting image/article from the Mail , on how the advertising world makes food look good.

Today the magic slogan is "World Peace" - and other 'look good, feel good'  concoctions like human rights, freedom of expression, multiculturalism, democracy,  free speech, free press - all used as vehicles for nefarious objectives. 

Liberal Political -Stylists  and Food- Stylists certainly have a lot in common!

3.  Like you I despair at the disunity of the Muslim world and closer to home, the Malay-Muslims of Malaysia.   Muslim brotherhood,  the unity of the Ummah, exists in  Islam and all the texts.  I leave it to our Islamic scholars, academics and professionals to chart the journey - to guide Muslims to maintain an equilibrium between our duties for  'Dunia'  and  'Akhirat'.

4.  As for the floods on the "East Coast of Malaysia" -  I think the people and authorities are doing a splendid job -  'kafirs' and  'non-kafirs' alike.   Surely, giving a hand to someone in need does not depend on the religious belief of the givers and the receivers.  Although sometimes one has to be careful of the hidden agenda of the givers who are out for 'saving souls for Jesus'.

By the way there is no "East Coast of Malaysia" - you must mean the east coast of Semenanjung/West Malaysia.  A true blue Anak Malaysia should know the difference.

Sorry to sound schoolmarmish - when you refer to 'harping on Free Palestine' - the verb 'harping' is an unfortunate choice of word.  To 'harp' is to talk or write persistently and tediously, to  nag, to complain.  Or maybe you are expressing what you actually mean - that the issue of a free Palestine for you  is tiresome and boring.   According to Mr/Ms Sai - "These people only have themselves to blame".


I would have loved to use these comments when I was teaching Critical Reading in USM many years ago.  

                                                    The Power of Words and Knowledge.