Perak Speaker Ngeh: I’m richer than what MACC says

Editor’s Note:

This of course references the proclamation that Ngeh had declared the highest amount, according to the MACC asset declaration list.


By John Bunyan

IPOH, Nov 23 — Perak Speaker Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham corrected today his asset declaration listed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as RM82 million, not RM75 million as stated.

The Beruas MP from DAP, who currently heads the MACC’s list of Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs’ asset declarations, said the RM82 million included RM2 million for his children.

“I did not know how MACC valued my worth at RM75 million. There must be some mistake.

“So, do not be surprised if my assets increased another few million next two years down the road,” he told reporters.

The Perak State Legislative Speaker also said he had another two assets which could not be valued at the moment.

“One is my insurance and the other my law firm, Ngeh and Co, which I will pass to my partners as I don’t practise law anymore. The value on both the assets are yet to be evaluated,” he added.

Despite topping the MACC’s list ahead of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has accumulated assets worth RM32 million, Ngeh said he was not the richest MP.

“I want to be transparent and I have declared my assets, but I’m not the richest MP. There are a few Pakatan Harapan MPs and also all Barisan Nasional MPs who are yet to declare their assets.

“Based on previous reports, I think most of them have billions or hundreds of million in assets. So if you compare me with them, my assets are not much,” he said.

Ngeh also said he could show accounts for all the assets he declared.

“I must say that God has been kind to me. I must say that my life has a series of blessings. I have been a lawyer for 32 years. But for the last 20 years, I wasn’t solely working for money after I got my first RM2 million. The investments I made gave me a huge return.

“I’m quite detached from money, it did not dictate how I live my life. I still have my RM6 hair cut near my legal firm and often have roadside meals. I also train my children to have a simple life too,” he added.

Ngeh said that his success was due to the pledge he made during his younger days to be free from corruption.

“My youth adviser to Methodist Church Youth Group, who is also a graduate teacher, failed her driving test six times just because she refused to agree to pay for a guarantee-pass driving licence.

“She always reminds us as Christian young men we should be a blessing to the society. I also failed my driving test several times as I followed her advice. But that resolution since young has kept me away from all corrupt practices,” he added.

First published in malaymail.com

Frustrated Indira remains clueless about daughter’s whereabouts

Editor’s note:

Muhammad Riduan, a Muslim convert, abducted Prasana in 2009 when she was 11 months old and converted his three children to Islam without their knowledge and without Indira’s consent, before going to the Shariah court just a few days later to obtain custody rights for them.

This sparked a court battle for nine long years, as Indira, a Hindu, fought to gain custody of her three children — Prasana; Karan Dinish, 19; and Tevi Darsiny, 20 — and to quash their conversions.

(See Indira Gandhi refuses to forgive ex-husband after nine-year court battle)

The battle finally ended in January 29, 2018, when the Federal Court nullified their conversions and ruled that consent of both parents was needed to convert a minor.

(See also Tinge of sadness as Indira waits to see her daughter)

Now, 10 months later, the child is still missing. Let us uphold this woman in prayer, that God will intervene on the behalf of one who is helpless and in anguish because of her love for her child.

“I would also like to plead and beg to the religious groups to help me in this matter.” — M Indira Gandhi

 


PETALING JAYA: M. Indira Gandhi, the mother who successfully challenged the unilateral conversion to Islam of her three children still remains in the dark about the whereabouts of her youngest child.

In an open letter addressed to the govt and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, and shared with a local English daily, Indira expressed frustration at the lack of progress in finding her youngest daughter, Prasana Diksa.

”It has been many, many years now, and I am yet to see Prasana, let alone hear any updates about efforts to locate her and my fugitive ex-husband,

”Where are they? Is Prasana alive? Is she well? As her mother, I do not know these things which I rightfully should. Why? Because the authorities are yet to tell me anything about her,” said Indira.

She then expressed doubts if she will ever be able to see justice on the matter, noting that she voted for the Pakatan Government.

”What happened to the Federal Court’s order? Is it not sacred anymore? No one needs to heed it? Isn’t rule of law observed today? When will it apply to my case? Will I see justice?

”I voted for Pakatan Harapan. The party which supported my fight when the coalition was still the opposition,” she said.

She then expressed hope that the new government will support her cause to reclaim her daughter

”I do hope that the same volition which was present when the party was fighting with me to claim Prasana back, is very much present now.”

She also pleaded to religious groups to put aside religious scrutiny and help her.

”I would also like to plead and beg to the religious groups to help me in this matter. Especially the right-wing ones.

”What would you do if Prasana was your child? Take off your religious lenses for just once, and help me. My daughter was unfairly snatched away from me. What would you do if you were in my shoes?” she asked.

First published in thesundaily.my.

Islam must be known foremost for its gentleness, kindness and mercy

MAY 9, 2018 was a very special day for Malaysians. For those of us who voted for a change, it meant waking up to a renewed sense of pride.

Because let’s face it, for the longest time, so many of us have been feeling quite embarrassed by our own country. For so long, Malaysia has made international headlines for all the wrong reasons; corruption, fraud, misappropriation. It had become difficult to face the international community without feeling a bit of shame for allowing such exploitation to fester in our country.

So during this election, we changed that, because truly at the core our love for this country speaks louder than our urge to just run away from it. And so we did.

And we thought that given the questionably low bar set by the previous government, where connectedness with the community was concerned, it would be pretty hard for a political party that claims to be people-centric to let us down.

So excuse us for feeling disappointed that it has come to this, because we voted for a progressive new Malaysia that is eager to be recognised by the rest of the world for all the right reasons. A Malaysia that we can be proud of.

We did not vote for a Malaysia that condones oppression, silencing and fundamentalism. We did not vote for a Malaysia that wishes to travel back to medieval times of public cruelty and torture.

It is appalling that not only are videos of the public caning circulating via social media, but also that there are people encouraging this to be normalised in the country to a point where caning should not be something that people are shocked by anymore, according to the Terengganu executive councillor (exco).

It is indeed a disturbing sign of times when a state government actually wants people to be desensitised to seeing other people get publicly humiliated and hurt.

It is even more troubling that Islam is being used to justify such conditioning of the community.

In the Holy Quran, Allah s.w.t. tells us that, “those who love (to see) scandal published (and) broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous penalty in this lifetime and in the Hereafter” [24:19]. In fact, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said that it is wicked for someone to demean a fellow Muslim (Bukhari).

Every human being, by virtue of being descendants of Prophet Adam (peace and blessings be upon him), has been granted dignity and honour (karamah) [17:70] and this is something no one can deny. We are obligated to recognise that all humans are Allah’s vicegerents (khalifah) on this earth, for even when questioned by the angels, Allah tells them that “I know what ye know not” [2:30].

To be respectful of each other’s dignity is so sacred, that Allah tells us that it is wrong to defame and be sarcastic to each other or call each other by offensive nicknames because we can never know if they could be better people than we are [49:11]. Surah Hujurat goes on to explicitly tell us to avoid suspicion because to even be suspicious of another person can be considered a sin and this includes going out of the way to spy on each other behind their backs [49:12].

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) himself tells us not to search for each other’s faults, “for if anyone searches for the faults of others, Allah will search for their faults,” (Hasan Sahih [Al-Albani]). Even in doing so, the hadith goes on to say that, “If Allah searches for the fault of anyone, They will be disgraced in their house,” – such is the grace and mercy of Allah who dislikes public humiliation and mockery [104:1].

It is about time that we stopped using Islam as an excuse to exert oppression onto others, and accept that Islam is and must be known foremost for its gentleness, kindness and mercy.

Some of the most sacred names of Allah are Al-Ghafoor (The Most Forgiving: mentioned over 70 times in the Holy Quran), Al-Rahman (The Most Merciful: mentioned 57 times in the Holy Quran) and Al-Raheem (The Most Compassionate: mentioned 115 times in the Holy Quran). So mighty is Allah, that They can forgive every (other) sin from whomsoever They will [4:116] and Allah, in fact, loves to forgive (At Trimidhi and Ibn Majah).

This is the beauty of Islam, which must prevail over everything that we do as a people and as a country. This is what our country must be known for. This is the country that we want to be proud of.

Majidah Hashim
Communications Manager
Sisters in Islam

Right to freedom of religion

THE Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is deeply concerned with the most recent crackdown on a Shia minority group in Kelantan for practising their religion, a right guaranteed in the Federal Constitution. The arrest of 50 individuals including children, in Suhakam’s view, indicates a severe intolerance for minority faiths, including Muslims, and can be construed as a move towards extremism.

As a result, a population of Malaysians have been deprived of their basic constitutional right to freedom of religion. Suhakam believes that the constant threat of raids, arrests, and detention by religious authorities acting with the police amounts to a government-led persecution of Shias despite Malaysia having a constitutional framework to guarantee all citizens the right to freedom of religion.

The glaring inequality facing religious minorities has not changed since Pakatan Harapan came to power and despite the government’s promise to end discrimination in a moderate, progressive and tolerant Malaysia.

Suhakam would not want to see a situation where religious intolerance, discrimination, social hostilities and incitement to violence based on religion or belief reach a new depth in our new Malaysia and believes sensitivity of the subject matter can no longer be a barrier to a firm resolution.

The government must immediately take steps towards guaranteeing legal protections and rights for all religious minorities and to reinforce peaceful and sustainable coexistence among Malaysians.

Therefore, Suhakam advises the government to take immediate steps to strengthen the enjoyment of the fundamental human right to freedom of religion, as opposed to restricting this constitutional right. Suhakam stands ready to play a facilitative role and hopes that the government will take fair and constructive steps towards providing equal rights for all religious groups in Malaysia.

Therefore, Suhakam advises the government to take immediate steps to strengthen the enjoyment of the fundamental human right to freedom of religion, as opposed to restricting this constitutional right. Suhakam stands ready to play a facilitative role and hopes that the government will take fair and constructive steps towards providing equal rights for all religious groups in Malaysia.

Suhakam believes that the Council of Rulers has a responsibility towards sections of Malaysian population victimised on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Tan Sri Razali Ismail
Chairman
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam)

Eye-opening experience at hospitals

By Dharm Navaratnam

JUNE 14 — Last weekend was an eye opening experience for me. It started off on Friday night when a few of use gathered at a friend’s house to load drinks and food to be supplied to the staff and caregivers for sahur at University Hospital and Serdang Hospital.

On Saturday, there was a request to help deliver cartons of water to Serdang Hospital and I decided to help out. The plan was to drop off the water and come back but once I got there, I decided to just see what was going on. I had no plans to take part in anything but to just listen in.

There were about 30 people there, all volunteers. The coordinator at Serdang was none other than Syed Azmi. He explained that this effort was basically to provide food for sahur for the nursing staff and also those families staying at the hospital to act as caregivers. All the food and drinks were supplied by volunteers and donors.

This effort was actually started a number of years ago by Tiara Shahrani Shahrom who mooted the idea of holding a Picnic In The Park (PITP) for medically and physically challenged children who may not otherwise be able to get outdoors.

The first PITP was for cancer patients, held in an indoor hall and fake grass was fitted to have the semblance of a park. The patients and their parents had a picnic there along with other fun activities. Many more PITP events followed, even an event to teach physically challenged children how to ride bicycles and skateboards.

This evolved to the PITP sahur event where it was found that during the month of Ramadan it is especially difficult for those staying over at hospitals, to look after their loved ones, to get food for sahur. Many times, these caregivers would go without food. Many of the nursing staff and even doctors, especially those attending to emergency cases, did not have access to food for sahur either.

A noble idea indeed.

The food was simple, with a main meal of fried rice, some cupcakes or cream buns, mineral water, Yakult yoghurt drink and an apple. The hospital staff came down with trolleys and the volunteers stacked the trolleys with the necessary amount of each item.

One volunteer would then accompany the trolleys to the ward and distribute the food. It was pointed out that the food was only for the nursing staff and caregivers and race and religion was NOT a barrier. Patients of course were not to be given any food.

As I stood by, trying to stay out of the way, I was suddenly called on to accompany one of the trolleys up to the ward. I had become an accidental volunteer!

En route to the ward, I asked the nurses accompanying me where they would be celebrating Raya. Two were working during Raya — a fact that most of us do not realise and often take for granted. On reaching the ward and distributing the food, it was immediately obvious that the caregivers were extremely grateful to be given the food packages.

Some were sleeping on the floor beside the beds and some were curled up on chairs. Some even had their heads resting on the bed rails and you knew that they would have gone hungry if not for this effort.

One of the nurses related a story of how last year there were two emergency cases in the Neo Natal ward. The nurses and doctors attending to this case had not eaten anything since they broke their fast and if not for this PITP sahur event, the doctors and nurses would not have had anything for sahur.

It was probably then that I realised how a simple idea like this could have such a large impact.

Then there was the immediate friendships formed. It was pretty amazing. Most of the people there were, for me, strangers. The rest had only really communicated over a WhatsApp chat group but yet the camaraderie was evident.

Everyone had a word of encouragement and a warm smile for everyone else. The tasks were carried out efficiently and with good spirit and humour. It was like working with friends you had known for a long time.

All this was happening at the wee hours of 1am in the morning. Once the food distribution in the wards was completed, it was off the the Accident and Emergency Department to give out extra food. This was another critical area as some of the families were waiting there for a long time and the food was most welcomed.

For me, it was truly an amazing experience and indeed an eye-opener to see so many Malaysians doing volunteer work just to make a difference in someone else’s lives. They are not there to gain fame or any rewards but it is done purely out of care for someone else.

The words of one of the staff nurses rings clear in my head. “This is the Malaysia I know. Everyone coming together and everyone getting along so well. Tak kira bangsa.” Indeed, Malaysian regardless of creed, colour or religion gathered together to help people in need.

And you know what? Most times it has always been that way. When we choose to see ourselves simply as Malaysians, great things can be achieved. This is proof of it.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Malaysians.

This article was first published in MalayMail

Beyond Ubah 23 June 2018

This event is organised by GCF Malaysia in collaboration with SSMC as part of GCF Beyond Headstart (BH) Ministry to encourage working adults who have overcome the transition stage (Headstart) and ready for the next step to be agents of transformation in the marketplace, where the daily business and economics of life take place. GCF plans to organise a monthly talk and fellowship for graduates to learn and engage with experienced speakers on various issues that working adults are facing

Do join us for Beyond Headstart: Beyond UBAH on 23rd June 2018. Click to register here.

CFM deeply concerned over recent acts of escalating tensions

15th January 2014

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with deep concern the recent acts of escalating tensions on the part of certain groups in respect of the use of the term “Allah” by the Christian community in Malaysia.

In particular we refer to four incidents: the continued singling out of Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of The Herald, for criticism and threats of “mega demonstrations” against him; the advertisement placed in The Star on Saturday 11 January 2014 by the head of the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor attempting to justify the raid by the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia on 2 January 2014; the demonstration near Shekinah Glory AG Church, Klang on Saturday morning 4 January 2014; and the demonstration by a group of approximately 100 people outside Metro Tabernacle Church in Gombak on Sunday morning 12 January 2014.

We are of the view that none of these incidents was either helpful or prudent in the current environment.

The 10-point solution announced by the Government in April 2011 should have resolved the usage of Bahasa Malaysia and the term “Allah” in the Al-Kitab, the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia. Regrettably, the Government that devised the 10-point solution is now silent about it.

As such, in the absence of any clear direction from the political leadership of our country, what we are witnessing is the mad scramble by any and every group to grab media attention for themselves. It is a sorry reflection of the declining state of affairs. We regret that these groups have felt it necessary to undertake these actions.

The CFM on behalf of the Christian community in Malaysia remains undaunted in the face of these and no doubt future incidents of this nature.

We stand firm and united in our understanding of the principle of the freedom of religion and the equal protection of the law, both of which are guaranteed in our Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

We look to the courts of this land to protect, preserve and defend these cherished principles of our Federal Constitution.

We stand by individuals such as Father Lawrence Andrew and churches that have been singled out to be recipients of unwarranted and undeserved protests, and with the many Christians in this country whose only offence has been a heartfelt desire to worship and address God in their own language.

We bear in mind that 64% of Christians in Malaysia have no other language for their Bible, prayer and worship except for Bahasa Malaysia.

We thank friends and neighbours from other faiths who understand this history and who are standing with us and by us in these dark days.

We call on all peace-loving people in Malaysia and throughout the world to continue to pray for the peace and security of individual Christians, churches and communities, and for justice to prevail in our beloved nation.

Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee, Christian Federation of Malaysia

JAIS raid violation of constitutional right and Cabinet’s 10-points solution

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT

The Christian Federation of Malaysia strongly condemns the raid conducted by officers from the Selangor State Islamic Department (JAIS), accompanied by the police, on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) on Thursday afternoon 2 January 2014.

They seized 320 copies of the Al-Kitab, the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, and 10 copies of the Bup Kudus, the Bible in the Iban language. The President of BSM and the Office Manager were also arrested during the raid and brought to a nearby police station to have their statements recorded. Both were subsequently released on police bail but have been told to make themselves available to be interviewed by JAIS.

The raid, the seizure of copies of our sacred Scriptures and the arrest of two of BSM’s officers are clear violations of our constitutionally-mandated right to freedom of religion, as set out in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. The unwarranted actions on the part of JAIS, aided and abetted by the police, are in absolute breach of the Cabinet’s 10-points solution announced in April 2011 which stated that Christians can import, print and distribute the Al-Kitab under certain conditions, all of which have been complied with by We call upon the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet to uphold the word and commitment of the Federal Government to ensure that the rights of the Christian community under the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, are not violated and trampled upon by state-level religious officers with the complicity of the Federal police.

This unconscionable conduct on the part of JAIS and the Federal police is not just an authoritarian abuse of power and an act of harassment against Christians in Malaysia. It is also a blatant and aggressive attack on the moral and multi-cultural fabric of our society which values inter-communal harmony and utmost respect for the sanctity of each other’s religious beliefs and books. To allow one religion to be able to monitor and regulate how another religion is to be practiced is a distasteful recipe for disaster, and a contradiction of the moderation of which the Prime Minister speaks so frequently abroad.

JAIS, or for that matter any Muslim religious body or department, must not have any authority over another religion. It is as simple as that. Otherwise, the constitutional protection of freedom of religion will mean absolutely nothing. We are disturbed by the fact that the actions by JAIS and the police yesterday are but the latest episode in a continuing saga of repeated violations of the freedom of religion of the non-Muslim community in Malaysia.

We are also deeply concerned and disturbed by the numerous reports of threats that have been made in both mainstream and alternative media that indicate protests and demonstrations will be organised outside churches in Selangor. We welcome the police statements warning Umno Selangor that their protests would contravene the Peaceful Assembly Act and that the police in Klang would be present to ensure the safety and security of church members and the sanctity of the church as a place of worship.

We call upon the police and the relevant authorities to do their sworn duty to protect and defend the rights of the Christian minority in Malaysia and to ensure that the sanctity of our places of worship and the safety of our members are not in any way violated. It is incumbent on the police and the relevant authorities to ensure that our places of worship are not desecrated or defiled and our worship services not disturbed by these protestors and their threatened actions.

Finally, we call upon all Christians to be vigilant both in standing up for their constitutional rights and in prayer, and to remain calm in the midst of these trying times. We call on Almighty God for good sense and wisdom to ultimately prevail in this beloved land of ours.

Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
Christian Federation of Malaysia

Press Statement by Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur

PRESS STATEMENT

The recent judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal against the Herald newspaper has raised serious concerns to many Malaysians, especially the Christian community. As President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, I hereby state that that the three Judges were grossly misinformed when concluding that the word ‘Allah’ was “not the essential or integral part of the religion of Christianity”.

The 1st Article of Faith in the Catholic Creed and for all Christians is: “I believe in ONE GOD, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”. Any Christian who denies or modifies this statement of faith, incurs excommunication and would be considered a heretic. It is to be noted that for centuries the Bahasa Malaysia translation and the Arabic equivalent of the ONE GOD, is the sacred word ‘Allah’, which the Christians have been using peacefully.

Hence, to conclude that the word ‘Allah’ is not essential to the Christian faith would be a grave denial of the fundamental right of the Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christian community to use this word in prayer, worship services, prayer books, the Alkitab and other publications. This would be tantamount to signalling a form of persecution.

There are thousands of Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christians from Sabah and Sarawak in Semanunjung Malaysia: students in institutes of higher learning, armed forces personnel, police personnel, civil servants and others in the private sector, many of whom reside here with their families. Already more than half of our Parish Churches and Chapels in Semanunjung Malaysia conduct at least one worship service or catechism lessons weekly in Bahasa Malaysia. As committed religious leaders, we have to ensure that we respectfully minister to them in the national language. For this reason then, we do not accept the statement of these judges and stand in solidarity with other Church leaders who have also emphatically voiced their objection. We are heartened that other religious leaders and organisations have echoed similar sentiments.

We, together with all peoples of goodwill, invoke the good sense of the thousands of Malay brothers and sisters, many of whom have greatly benefitted from the education offered in our Mission schools and are familiar with our belief in God, to allow us to continue peacefully with our use of the sacred word ‘Allah’. We urge the Prime Minister to take positive steps to stop the indoctrination of unwitting Malays by individuals and organisations from swinging towards a divisive radicalism.

We continue to pray that God will bless and enlighten all Malaysians to accept one another in unity and diversity.

Most Reverend Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam
President
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia

Dated this 20th October 2013 in Kuala Lumpur