29 October 2021

Kepala MB penoh dengan ayaq acaq...

Depa nak jaga anak cucu depa saja.
Anak cucu kita depa peduli apa?... - dr.ts

When Kit Siang stood up for PAS...

Trouble blew up in Kelantan in 1977 that would severely affect relations between PAS and Umno for a long time afterwards. It had its roots in 1973, when PAS joined BN. It was agreed then that Kelantan would remain under PAS control while it gave up some of its traditional seats there to Umno and the MCA for the 1974 general election. This caused many PAS members to feel disgruntled.

Also, not well-received was the appointment of the menteri besar for the state after the elections. PAS president Mohd Asri Muda wanted Wan Ismail Wan Ibrahim for the post, but his choice was overruled by Prime Minister Abdul Razak who preferred Mohamed Nasir. PAS began to feel that being part of the BN coalition was making it lose its effective control over Kelantan.

To make matters worse, Mohamed Nasir went after allegedly corrupt PAS members and cancelled projects that benefited the party, thereby aggravating his own party’s resentment towards him. Many of his party colleagues began to accuse him of being more aligned to Umno than to PAS.

In mid-September, the party gave him an ultimatum to resign as MB or face a vote of no-confidence in the state assembly. He refused to resign. So the party moved the no-confidence motion on Oct 15, and it was passed with the support of 20 PAS assemblymen. But Umno’s 13 assemblymen and the MCA’s sole representative walked out in protest.

Even so, Mohamed Nasir still refused to step down. He instead called for a dissolution of the assembly but the Kelantan head of state did not respond to his request. This prompted supporters of Mohamad Nasir to protest in the streets, resulting in violence and looting.

Kit pointed out that in one of the public protests, “no less a person than the Kelantan chief police officer, the guardian of law and order, was there to open the door of Mohamed Nasir’s car to welcome him to a rally held without a police permit”.

This showed that Mohamed Nasir (pix,above) had been encouraged by Umno leaders to stand up against PAS, and that the public protests had been allowed and even encouraged by those in authority in Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur. “It raises the question as to whether some other motives are at play involving highly placed and influential personalities at the national level,” Kit said.

In November, Prime Minister Hussein Onn called on PAS’s leaders at federal level to discuss a proposal mooted by his deputy, Mahathir Mohamad, to impose a National Operations Council (NOC) type of government in Kelantan like the one headed by Razak in 1969. PAS rejected the proposal. Hussein’s government then decided to table a bill in Parliament seeking approval for the declaration of emergency in Kelantan in the interest of “public security”.

Kit commented that it was deplorable for security to be used in this instance as political blackmail. “Either a grave emergency exists or it does not exist. If a grave emergency exists, then the proclamation of emergency should have been made earlier, and not dependent on acceptance or rejection of Mahathir’s proposal.”

He asserted that there was “in fact no constitutional crisis or deadlock in Kelantan” because “the most democratic and sensible solution” to the problem was to hold elections in the state and let the people decide whom they wanted to govern them. If this constitutional solution had not yet been exhausted, there was “no moral or constitutional justification” for the imposition of NOC rule in Kelantan.

He asked if the prime minister and his deputy knew for sure that the Kelantan situation was not being exploited to justify an emergency in order to benefit Umno at the expense of PAS. He called the bill “the most draconian measure” that had ever been taken against a state, warned against “using democracy to destroy democracy”, and urged all BN MPs who could still discern between national interest and party or personal interest to vote according to their own conscience.

PAS kicked out of BN

Despite his plea, the bill was passed with 118 votes in support and 18 against. Twelve of PAS’s 14 MPs and all six of DAP’s opposed the motion. The state of Kelantan thus came under the rule of the federal government. Because of how the PAS MPs had voted, the BN supreme council expelled the party from the coalition.

PAS would indeed turn out to be the big loser in the whole affair. In March 1978, after the emergency rule had been lifted and state elections were held in Kelantan, Umno won 22 seats and the MCA one, which meant that BN got to rule the state for the first time.

PAS, on the other hand, managed to win only two seats. It was even outdone by a new party called Barisan Jemaah Islamiah SeMalaysia (Berjasa), formed a short while before the elections by none other than Mohamed Nasir. It won 11 seats and joined BN, and Mohamed Nasir was made a minister in the federal government.

This episode created a deep wound in PAS. It felt betrayed by Umno and would shun any potential cooperation with the latter again for a long time to come. On the other hand, it was appreciative of what Kit did. He was the only political leader outside of the party who spoke against the declaration of emergency in Kelantan.

[Lim] Guan Eng says former PAS president Yusof Rawa, who was a deputy minister in the federal government at the time of the crisis, mentioned his party’s appreciation, and another PAS president, Fadzil Noor, told him personally that the party was “really thankful to Kit Siang for standing up for them”.

Hadi Awang and LKS

Even 36 years later, Kit’s deed would be remembered positively by Abdul Hadi Awang, who was a member of PAS’s Central Working Committee in 1977. At a DAP rally in 2014, he reminded the audience of what had happened during the Kelantan crisis and earnestly declared, “Only DAP defended us that time and we are grateful to them.”

Kit was there when the PAS man said it. He couldn’t have received a more gratifying testimonial.

Furthermore, Khairil Azmin Mokhtar was to write in ‘Constitutional Landmarks in Malaysia’, published in 2007, that the justification for the emergency in Kelantan was criticised by experts and observers sometime after the event.

They variously said that the crisis “had not degenerated into a state of civil disorder” to warrant a proclamation of emergency, that it could have been resolved through the operation of the state Constitution, and that the use of the emergency measures had been “a purely political manoeuvre”.

It vindicated what Kit had said in his speech in Parliament on Nov 8, 1977, rejecting the “draconian measure”. Above all, it reinforced what his political opponents had always known him for – a man with judgement, perspicacity and the ability to articulate clearly the legal and constitutional aspects of a complex issue. - Kee Thuan Chye,mk


27 October 2021

Menteri ngaji tak abih...

Memang tak faham atau buat2 tak faham... - dr.ts

Panglima Ludah UMNO jadi Senator... - dr.ts

BN/PN/UMNO and Malay politics are no 
longer useful for the people of Sarawak...

The politics of "Malay supremacy" or the concept of "Malay supremacy" is no longer valid in Sarawak - or anywhere.

More than the Melaka PRN, the Sarawak PRN will determine the political direction of the country and distribution of the country's political power. And believe me, the Sarawak PRN decision will affect politics in Sabah once and for all.

Without GPS, UMNO and BN cannot contest alone in Sarawak. GPS now has a greater chance if they stay away from UMNO and BN in the Sarawak PRN.

For too many Sarawakians, any involvement or cooperation with BN and UMNO is seen as treason. Time has changed.

Only UMNO and BN have not changed. They are still living in la-la land. La-la land is a state where the people spend time running and jumping while singing the song 'la la la, la la la ...' - Syed Akbar Ali 

How Lim Kit Siang met his 
high school sweetheart...

“Kit was of average height, fair and skinny with thick, heavy-rimmed spectacles and a slightly pock-marked face. He sported a unique hairstyle, combed straight backwards without a parting, and had short spiky hair protruding on both sides of his head.”

That is how Kit’s long-time friend Michael Ong described Kit’s look in the second half of the 1950s when he was at High School Batu Pahat. 

Kit chose to wear that combed-back hairstyle because, as he himself says, it was “easy, not bothersome, and you don’t have to divide your hair”. He still sports it to this day. “It’s a very simple hairstyle,” remarks another old buddy, Tan Tik Seng. “And he wasn’t the sort to follow fashion.”

Kit didn’t fancy being in the limelight either. “Many of the things that he organised for classmates, he would do by staying in the background. He would suggest the idea, do the work, contribute his effort, but he would let others get the attention,” explains Tik Seng.

“At school, we engaged in a lot of activities, like putting up concerts and sketches, and he was very actively involved. But for the work he put in, he would not take the credit. I know this very well because I was also involved.”

Kit affirms this. “I think I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert. Extroverts are those who enjoy meeting people. I don’t really enjoy that. I prefer to be on my own,” he says.

“I’m not much of an outgoing character, the sort who could meet a total stranger and make it appear as if we were the closest of pals. It’s difficult, it would take some time for me to warm up, to get to know the other person. Not that I’m averse to meeting people, it’s just my character.”

Even so, he got into debating at school and was chairman of his class’s debating society as well as vice-chairman of the school’s Debating and Literary Society, but that, he maintains, “doesn’t make you an extrovert”.

“It does call for a bit of extrovert attitude, but I became a debater and a student activist, leading the class in various activities and getting involved in numerous societies because I wanted to express my ideas. I wanted to get the student voice heard,” he says.

He was also not into parties. “I didn’t attend parties with dancing and so on. There weren’t any at school. Outside of school, those were for people with influence and connections,” he says.

“We had one or two dinner gatherings with the Temenggong Ibrahim Girls’ School. That was our sister school. In Forms 4 and 5. But that was all there was to it.”

Comic books...

Introverted though he was and hardly interactive with girls (Tik Seng attests “he never talked about girls”), Kit nonetheless got close to one in his night class at Cheng Siu Chinese School. Her name was Neo Yok Tee.

She was Chinese-educated, formally up to Standard 6 before joining the night class at secondary level. She didn’t go to day school because being an orphan, she was living with her elder sister and the latter’s husband and helping their family with the housework. When she first knew Kit, they were in Secondary 3.

They were drawn to each other by their interest in wu xia comic books featuring chivalrous sword-fighting heroes who usually stood for honour, justice and righteousness. They bought them for a small fee from roadside vendors and exchanged with each other the volumes they had voraciously consumed.

Before long, Kit would go out cycling with Yok Tee on weekends, usually in the company of their friends, and also make regular visits to see her at her home. His good friend Pek Teck Soon sometimes tagged along.

“I met Yok Tee many times,” he says. “After school, Kit would ask me to cycle with him to her house. I came to know her family members.”

Teck Soon even has a story to tell about Yok Tee’s brother, Neo Chin Hwa, who was a teacher in the Chinese High School Batu Pahat.

One day, Chin Hwa came across one of his students sitting on the pavement during recess time while other students were buying things to eat. He asked the boy why he wasn’t eating anything and the latter said he had no money to buy food because his family was very poor. Hearing this, Chin Hwa gave him some money, and continued to do so regularly after that.

The boy eventually went on to become a wealthy business tycoon. In 1995, he donated RM1.2 million to the school to build a new multi-purpose hall that could seat 2,000 people. In appreciation of the kindness that Chin Hwa had shown him, he asked that the hall be named after the teacher. The poor boy who became the tycoon is Lee Kim Yew.

‘Perfect couple’...

Another of Kit’s classmates, Lim Jin Siew, got to meet Yok Tee when Kit occasionally brought her along to gatherings with his friends.

“She was a demure, dignified, cheerful young lady whose hair was braided in twin pigtails, a hallmark of Chinese high school students in those days,” says Jin Siew. “We conversed with her mostly in Hokkien as many of us knew only a smattering of Mandarin. We found her quite endearing because she didn’t mind being teased.”

Jin Siew could see that Kit and Yok Tee were “a perfect couple, made for each other” and that they were “deeply in love”. Kit would spend most evenings with her before meeting up with his friends in their favourite haunt – Michael’s room in the house on Jalan Mohd Akil.

On one of those nights, Jin Siew was slightly taken aback when Kit asked him to cycle with him to Yok Tee’s neighbourhood after he had just come from there. “I asked him why. He said he wanted to see if his girlfriend had gone to bed yet. He would know if her room light was off. I said okay.”

They duly set off, got to the place, saw from outside Yok Tee’s house that her room light was off, and then rode back to Michael’s house. Jin Siew was gratified to see that his friend was now in a happier mood. “This incident, though small, showed Kit’s deep feelings for his girlfriend,” he says.

These feelings and the amount of time Kit was spending with Yok Tee soon caught the attention of people other than his friends. As Batu Pahat was a small place and word spread easily, even Kit’s teachers came to know of the relationship, including Kit’s form teacher in Form 5, KK Perambulavil.

“That time, Perambulavil and the school’s headmaster expected Kit and Bobby Tjoa to break the school record by scoring eight As in the School Certificate exam,” relates Teck Soon. “Later on, they began to lose hope, especially Perambulavil. When I saw him, he told me, ‘Very, very hard. I had high hopes for these two, but now I think it’s going to be very difficult.’

“I asked him why. He said, ‘You didn’t see ah? Aiyo! One of them, Bobby lah, has no time to do anything except spend his time in church church church. The other fella, every day after school, girlfriend’s house. Every day not interested to study. I think these two won’t achieve the results.’

“True enough, they didn’t. Bobby got six As, and Kit got five.” - Kee Thuan Chye,mk


25 October 2021

Lobai senang2 saja lobi utk Phd...

The Malays are an 
easily confused people...

The religious zealots want to ban the use of Timah as the name of a whiskey because alcohol is haram and Timah can be easily confused with Fatimah.

There is a hospital in Ipoh run by the Christian Brothers called Fatimah Hospital. Maybe they should be made to change the name. We can’t have a Muslim name in a building where crosses hang and the Bible quoted and where probably haram food is served or at least the kitchen is not halal compliant. What would good Muslims think? That we encourage Christianity? It’s confusing isn’t it. But the Malay mind wasn’t just confused yesterday.

Remember the threatened jihad because roof lines bore a semblance to the cross? Remember the banning of the cross on buildings even if they are churches because that might influence us weak minded Malays? Remember the removal of all crosses in Mission Schools in case Muslim students are contaminated by the sight of the cross?

Just asking...

And what about the word “Allah” which is Arabic for God which Christians in the Middle East have been using for centuries and which Malaysian Christians have used for a long long time. We forbid the kaffirs to use the word in case we are confused as to their religion and accept them as brothers.

It is an insult to us Malays that our leaders (both religious and political) think so poorly of our intellect. But truth be told, it’s not about symbols and words which offend. I studied in a Mission School, I was not offended. I sang hymns and enjoyed Christmas carols; yet I have not converted. Najib went to a Mission School (it hasn’t broadened his outlook) and he is still a Muslim, even more zealous it would seem. Many of our young studied in the West in universities where Christian symbols abound. They have not converted.

We are not a confused people. If there is any confusion then it has to do with our leaders and imams who shout from the roof tops how holy they are but continue to steal and lie and cheat. We are confused why the self proclaimed champions of Islam behave in an unIslamic fashion.

Timah Whiskey is another red herring like all the others; cast so that we forget that they have stolen from us and are still doing. They accuse the others of trying to turn this country into a Christian state.. They scream that Islam is being threatened and declare that they are the only people who can save Islam and the Malay race. They are the ones causing confusion because the Malays know it’s not the Nons we need saving from but crooked politicians and goateed charlatans in kopiah and Arabic robes.

Timah should be congratulated for producing a medal winning whiskey. Think of the foreign revenue its export will bring the country;  and the money we save with this import substitute; and of course the honour.

Whether alchohol is haram or not is not the issue here. I leave that spirited debate to Islamic scholars. However, according to Khaled Al Gendy a famous Islamic cleric and member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Egypt, drinking liquor without getting drunk is not sinful.

During a talk show on DMC TV, Al Gendy said that getting drunk is haram, sinful and forbidden in Islam – not drinking liquor. But that is a debate best left to scholars of Islam. My gripe is with those zealots who intrude into the rights of non Muslims using the excuse that the actions of these kaffirs will confuse the Muslims and contaminate their minds.

How far do we take this? Do we stop Malay air stewards from serving alcohol. Or stop alcohol from being served on our national carrier? Jakim has allegedly raided some night clubs and arrested those Muslims who were serving alcohol. Is there a law on this or is the Religious Gestapo stomping on the rights of others not under their jurisdiction? From religious symbols to Arabic words and now the name of a drink.

While we are at it the government should ban the import of the following:

01. Aisha – a white wine from Italy. Aisha (“to live” in Arabic) is the name of one of the wives of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
02. Aman – in Malay meaning ‘peace’. This is a tequila from Mexico. We don’t want confused Malays finding peace in a bottle.
03. Amira – a common Muslim name. It is also a red wine from Spain.
04. Ayam – surely a great accompaniment for KFC or Ayam Penyit – it is a wine from Egypt. I don’t blame us poor Malays for any confusion here.
05. Bintang – the best selling beer in Indonesia. One way to get to space.
06. Omar - If you want to flourish and live long, drink Omar (a whiskey from Taiwan) because that is what it means in Arabic.However if you feel poetic drink Omar Khayyam (U.K). You can’t go wrong as the great mathematician wrote poems on wine after consumming it. 
07. Cap Tikus - is a traditional arak from Sulawesi. There should be no problem here no one wants to drink rat piss.
08. Cinta – a sparkling wine from Italy. We don’t want confused Malays to take this bottled love to bed do we? 
09. Sayang - If you don’t want Cinta take Sayang (a wine from France)..
10. Dara - If we are fed up of Cinta or Sayang then go for ‘Dara’ (Virgin in Malay)- a Spanish Red. Why wait for the 72?

11. Tanya - If none of the above please you, you can Tanya (a wine from Israel) “Apa lagi?”
12. Jiwa - For those who worry about their soul they can take Jiwa (soul) which is a star fruit based wine from India.
13. Mata Hari - For those who want to see tomorrow, take Mata Hari (an alcoholic beverage from Austria).
14. Muaddi - Will our Religious Gestapo allow Muaddi from Palestine? The money is for a good cause. 
15. Ramallah - Alternatively drink Ramallah also Palestinian and also for a good cause.
14. Raya - How about Raya to celebrate? This is an excellent wine I am told, from India – goes well with Nasi Mamak.
16. Yahya (God is gracious) a wine from Germany will settle all this confusion. Because God is truly gracious and has given us brains to discern what is good and what is bad. We don’t have to be whipped into submissive obeisance.(The above names courtesy of Coconut)

If I have been flippant then forgive me. How else to deal with this nonsense about confusing us Malays. Sometimes we have to laugh at the stupidity of some of these people, the alternative is to cry and I don’t feel like crying.

In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, other religions show off their symbols proudly yet no Indonesian has complained of being confused. They have Hindu symbols on their rupiahs yet no one has complained.

Our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was known to consume alcohol. When questioned he replied that he is only answerable to Allah. If drinking is a sin then Tunku’s sin is nothing compared to those leaders who lie and cheat and steal from the people. Ordinary Malays know that many of the Malay elite drink (there was a video of an ex-minister’s son drinking and cavorting with scantily clad women) but Jakim dare not knock on their doors.

We can find a thousand and one things to confuse us if we are so minded, each one more absurb than the last. No, Malays are not confused, Allah has given us good brains to tell  the difference between a munafik and an honest man, whiskey or no whiskey. Do what you want but don’t use us to stomp on the rights of the non-believers. Allah will judge them, not you.

In my opinion Malays are not easily confused and that if anyone is confused, it is our leaders and imams who claim to be holier than thou but continue to steal, lie and cheat. - Multatuli Murtadi

Covid-19 - Global Ranking of Vaccines...

US has grudgingly accepted the best vaccines are from China. America's New York Times reports that the TOP 4 Covid19 vaccines are all from Chinese manufacturers.

While many purported  Pfizer to be the best in the initial rollout of vaccines, its long term efficacy and safety ratings have dropped the much lauded vaccine to only sixth in the global rankings.

The safety rating of vaccines currently injected in Thailand - Sinovac and AZ are 2nd and 5th, while the demanding Pfizer is 6th. Report by The New York Times on Feb 5, 2021

In the safety ranking, the top four are all Chinese vaccines:

1. Sinopharm (China)
2. Sinovac (China)
3. Kexing (China)
4. Can Sino (China)
5. AstraZeneca (UK)
6. Pfizer (United States and Germany)
7. Modena (United States)
8. Johnson & Johnson (United States)
9. Novavax (United States)
10. Sputnik 5 (Russia)
Sinopharm has two vaccines, ranking first and second respectively.

China has exported more than 500 million doses of vaccines to more than 50 countries around the world, and it is estimated that over 200million people have been vaccinated with their vaccines.   Critically, China's vaccine accident rate is much lower and therefore making them safer.

As reported by Western media, many wealthy people in Britain actually fly to the UAE to get vaccinated with Chinese vaccines. The Chinese vaccines have collectively proven to be highly effective because they use the same old time tested methods of vaccine production for the last 50yrs. There are no long-term side effects as a result.

Unlike Western vaccines  that may likely display long term adverse effects in 10 to 20 years because of their unproven mRNA composition.


24 October 2021

Yang ni tentu lobai2 ok punya...

 A Red wine from Piemonte, Italy.

Lobai ingat buat undang2 tu cam tulis surat cinta saja...- dr.ts

Timah Whisky – Why are certain Malay muslims so easily confused than Arab muslims?...

Google says the Malay word “Timah” means “tin”, a chemical metal or an element with a symbol of “Sn” (Stanum), which any science student will find on the periodic table during their chemistry lesson. The silvery metal, with an atomic number of 50, is resistant to corrosion hence it had become one of the most valuable commodities in Malaysia (then Malaya) in the 19th century.

Under the British Empire, Malaya became a crown colony as it emerged as the largest tin producer in the world by 1883. Tin was so valuable that in 1885, 12.8 km of railway – the first railway in the country – was constructed connecting Taiping to Port Weld in Perak. Even close to 100 years later in 1979, Malaysia produced almost 63,000 tons of tin, accounting for 31% of the world’s output.

In 1871, an English explorer during the Victorian era, Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy, also known as Captain Speedy, sailed to the Straits Settlements in Malaya and became Superintendent of Police of Penang. Born in India but educated in England, Captain Speedy was said to be fearless and a brilliant linguist, having served in a number of capacities in India, New Zealand, Sudan and Penang.

When Sultan Ali died in 1871, the third Larut War erupted when Raja Abdullah fought with Raja Bendahara Sultan Ibrahim for the throne. Chinese tin miners, numbering a whopping 40,000 and divided into two rival clans – Hai San (comprising mostly Hakka and Hokkien) and Ghee Hin (predominantly Cantonese) – was dragged into the civil war over control of the tin mines in Perak.

Ngah Ibrahim, Chief of Larut district, approached Speedy to restore order with an offer of a salary and one-third of the revenues of Larut. Speedy resigned, left for India in 1873 to raise Indian troops, came back and successfully completed his mission. The next year, he was appointed as an assistant British resident of Larut. Mr Speedy was also the man who founded “Thai Peng” (today’s Taiping), which means “Everlasting Peace”.

So, when Puchong-based producer Winepak Corporation combined the 6-foot British Army officer with tin as inspiration to produce Timah Whisky, it was a brilliant idea. After all, it was Captain Speedy who introduced whiskey culture to Malaya. Established since 1982, alcoholic beverage manufacturer Winepak finally hit the jackpot when Timah became the first Malaysian whisky to win awards in a global competition.

In August 2020, Timah Double Peated Blended Whiskey grabbed the silver medal at both the annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and the International Spirits Challenge 2020 (ISC). According to the San Francisco World Spirits Competition website, silver is awarded to “outstanding spirits” that display “refinement, finesse and complexity”, “among the best examples of their categories”.
Abu Nuwas Arak

The global whiskey market was about US$62 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$96 billion by 2026. That’s a huge market and would be a great source of revenue for Malaysia. Leveraging on an image of Captain Speedy and a mind-boggling history of a metal that was once the most valuable commodity, Timah Whisky is on its way to become a global brand.

However, when the award-winning Malaysian whiskey was launched officially worldwide on October 7, some radical Malay-Muslims went ballistic. Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM), said that using “Timah” for a whiskey brand was insulting Muslims, claiming Timah was short for Fatimah, who was Prophet Muhammad’s daughter.

But neither Google nor any dictionary in the world refers “Timah” to the Prophet’s daughter. It was the hallucination of the narrow-minded extremists who had nothing better to do, but to spin and twist that Timah refers to Fatimah. Based on such twisted logic, can we punish former PM Najib Razak for having anal intercourse with Mongolian Altantuya, known as Aminah, the name of the Prophet’s mother?

If Timah Whisky was insulting Muslims, certainly screwing Aminah the way Najib did is a bigger insult to Muslims, no? Hilariously, the MAPIM president also argued that the image of the bearded man on the bottle resembled a Muslim man in a kopiah. Mohd Azmi said – “More insolent is the liquor advertisement uses the image of a man in kopiah with a long beard as if showing someone with Muslim image promoting liquor.”

The fact that Mohd Azmi automatically assumed any man with kopiah and beard to be a Muslim speaks volumes about the ignorance and stupidity of certain Malay Muslims in this country. Religious Affairs Minister Idris Ahmad, vice-president of Islamic party PAS, has gone as far as accusing Timah Whisky as “provocative” and can cause confusion, demanding the name to be changed.

The silly fake holy man has lodged complaints with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry, two ministries under the control of Malay-Muslim ministers. It appears that Minister Idris has forgotten that the current government is a Malay-Muslim government. Is he admitting that the Ismail Sabri government has deliberately insulted the Muslims?
Metal Product - Tin Milo P**

Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor joined the bandwagon for a 5-minute fame, calling on the government to order the company to change its branding and the image used to maintain racial harmony in Malaysia. Exactly how could the whiskey threaten racial harmony when it was meant for non-Muslims, and Timah is directly translated as tin while the image was a British man?

Nobody asks Malay-Muslims to go into a “non-halal” shop to buy liquor. If you have no intention of consuming alcohol, whiskey or brandy, no amount of advertising could lure you to buy and drink Timah Whisky. But if you already have the desire to drink, there’s absolutely nothing – not even the authorities or God – that could stop you from quietly getting any brand of alcoholic beverages.

Fortunately, the manufacturer did not sell the Timah Whisky in the female body shaped bottle. The dirty-minded extremists will certainly scream that not only the whiskey producer was insulting Muslims with a name that sounded like the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, but also promoting sex – or even lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and whatnot – to Malay Muslims.

If naming the whiskey as Timah is a provocation that will cause anger and confusion, why only Malay Muslims are the only one affected? The news about Timah Whisky has spread all over the world. Why Muslims elsewhere, especially the Arab Muslims, have not expressed their displeasure through protests? Is it not incredible that only Malay Muslims are offended?

Let’s imagine there’s a new number forecast operator called Timah Toto that joins existing players Magnum, Sports Toto and Damacai. Will the same Malay ministers, muftis and critics condemn the new betting company for using a misleading name that insults Muslims and encourages Malays to gamble? So, Timah Toto cannot be allowed, but Sports Toto is perfectly alright?

In truth, Muslims around the world were quite amused with the idiocy displayed by some Malaysian Muslims in bullying and interfering with the rights of non-Muslims. Foreign Muslims do not understand why Malaysian Muslims were upset over a new brand of whiskey, especially made for non-Muslims. Besides, it’s not entirely true that Muslims do not drink alcoholic drinks.

In Turkey, for example, alcoholic drink “Raki” is the international drink in the Muslim country. In fact, the Turkish favourite drink Raki consists of up to 45% alcohol content – more than Timah Whisky’s 40% alcohol. Called the “Lion’s Milk” due to its white appearance after it mixes and dilutes with water or ice cubes, Raki is a favourite drink at most social gathering.
Turkey Signature Drink - Raki

But Raki is not the only alcoholic beverage in Turkey. The best-selling Turkish beer – 84% of the country’s market share – is Efes Pilsen (5% alcohol content), which is brewed in İzmir. Founded in 1966, Efes also produce Efes Draft, Efes Dark, Efes Light, Efes Xtra, Efes Ice and Efes Dark Brown, arguably more variants than Carlsberg, Heineken, Asahi, Anchor or Tiger.

Alcoholic beverage in Turkey did not stop with the Efes Beverage Group, which recorded US$3 billion revenue in 2020. With between 600 and 1200 indigenous grape varieties, the Muslim country is also a paradise to wine drinkers. There are at least 60 types of both white wine and red wine produced by Turkish winemakers. Turkey’s wine expert Levon Bağış once said – “Wine is the most democratic drink.”

For those who have lived in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Stella Artois is perhaps the best beer one can get in Dubai. The beer, produced in 1921 by two oldest breweries in Egypt, can be traced back more than a century ago when separate Belgian businessmen founded Crown Brewery in Alexandria in 1897, and Pyramid Brewery in Cairo in 1898.

Stella remains not only the most dominant beer in Egypt today, even after more than a century, but is also the most popular brand of local beer in the Arab world. In fact, after Heineken International became a major shareholder in both breweries in 1937, it Arabized the name to Al-Ahram Brewery. The Stella brand was later unified under the Egyptian government ownership and continued to be mass-produced.

Beer and other alcoholic drinks are also widely available in Tunisia, another Muslim country. With the exception of Friday, alcoholic drinks can be purchased at hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets. In addition to locally produced Celtia beer, Tunisia, known as the vineyard of Rome, also produces wines such as Magon.

In Jordan, beer has existed since its first introduction in the region thousands of years ago. Even though Jordan is largely a Muslim country, drinking alcohol is not a social taboo – it is readily available in restaurants and hotels. Amstel remains the most consumed beer in Jordan, followed by Petra (8% alcohol content). And there’s “Abu Nuwas Arak”, produced by Haddad Distilleries.

While a bottle of 750-ml Timah Whisky costs RM190, a bottle of Abu Nuwas Arak with the same capacity is available for only RM80 – with Arabic or Jawi scripts proudly printed and decorated on the bottle as part of branding. The alcoholic beverage was inspired by Abu Nuwas, a classical Arabic poet, who appeared several times in “One Thousand and One Nights” popular tale.

Palestianian Taybeh Beer 

Instead of making a mountain out of a molehill of Timah Whisky, which has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims, should not “munafiq (hypocrite)” Malays organize a nationwide demonstration at the Jordanian embassy to protest against Abu Nuwas Arak? Why must the Malays protest against tin and Captain Speedy, but accept the use of holy Arabic or Jawi and the image of a Muslim, Abu Nuwas, on alcoholic beverage?

Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, Qatar and Oman are some of Gulf countries where you can consume alcohol. Muslims from Saudi Arabia would travel to Bahrain to drink or indulge in other pleasures forbidden in their own kingdom, the same way some Brunei Muslims travel to Miri, Sarawak for exotic entertainment. Even Palestinians drink alcohol.
Taybeh is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, 15 kilometers northeast of Jerusalem and 12 kilometers northeast of Ramallah. But in this remote holy land, Oktoberfest celebration has been held since 2005, where celebration offers beer competitions and other performances. And Taybeh is where you can find the only Palestinian beer brewery.

Obviously, the Arab Muslims are not so easily confused compared to Malay Muslims. Will the Malays dare to claim they are better Muslims than the Arabs? The funny thing is that the Malay Muslims who scream till foaming at the mouth against alcohol are the same Malay Muslims who love to holiday in Turkey and Dubai, and secretly indulge themselves with Raki and Stella Artois.
Actually, Winepak, the alcoholic beverage manufacturer of Timah Whisky, should be given a medal for promoting Malay language, using “Timah” rather than Captain Speedy in the branding of Malaysia-made whisky. The strangest thing about the whole fiasco is that when Timah Whisky won its awards in August 2020, not a single Malay Muslim was outraged.
About 14 months later today, the extremists suddenly whine, moan and bitch about a bottle of whisky that has absolutely nothing to do with the Malay-Muslims. The reason – the munafiqs pretend to be Muslim heroes as Melaka state election and 15th General Election are around the corner. But their extremism and stupidity has provided free advertising for Timah Whisky. - FT

Nur Sajat – Fleeing Malaysia to live free...

It was reported recently that Nur Sajat had landed safely in Australia and was granted political asylum by the Australian government. An obviously pleased and relieved Sajat said, “Now that I’m free, I can carry on with my life… For me, I’m happy being in a country that accepts who I am, and that’s what I really want.”

No doubt, all Malaysians who value human rights and human dignity will be pleased that Sajat, a highly successful entrepreneur, is now free to live her own life and chart her own destiny. That she had to take the agonizing decision to flee her homeland to live free surely speaks volumes about the kind of country we are fast becoming.

Sajat, a transgender, had run afoul of the religious establishment for dressing as a woman at a religious event some years ago. She was charged under section 10(a) of the Syariah Crimes (Selangor) Enactment 1995 which provides for a maximum fine of RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, if convicted. Sajat was also wanted under the Penal Code for obstructing a public officer and using criminal force to obstruct a public officer. She had pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Whatever the allegations against her, it is clear that this was always about her transgender identity.

In January this year, she was called in for questioning by religious officials apparently in response to reports that had been lodged against her. She complained that she was kicked, groped, and then placed overnight in a male detention facility. Fearing that the worst was yet to come – a not unreasonable fear given the attitude of religious officials towards transgenders – she fled to Thailand.

State religious officials reportedly deployed 122 personnel and enforcement officers to find and arrest Sajat. After she fled to Thailand, Malaysian immigration authorities voided her passport in an effort to force her to return home. Now, thanks to the Australian government, Sajat will be free from harassment and intimidation. Thank you, Australia, for giving sanctuary to another Malaysian in need of refuge.

For Malaysians, the Sajat affair is another reminder of the heavy hand of the religious establishment. The gentle, caring and tolerant culture that once defined Malaysia is being twisted into a rigid and intolerant one that frowns on diversity and is unaccepting of anything outside its own narrow framework. It is driving Malaysia’s ethnic communities further and further apart and making life impossibly difficult for people like Sajat.

Many in Malaysia very likely have strong views about Sajat’s so-called “lifestyle choice” but regardless of whether we approve of her choices we do have an obligation to respect her right to live her own life. As well, our Federal Constitutions confers on all Malaysians certain inalienable rights irrespective of gender; when those rights are trampled upon, our collective freedom is imperilled. And for that reason, if for no other, we must stand up for Sajat.

Our nation is facing so many challenges – rampant corruption, a dismal education system, institutional decay, fraying inter-ethnic relations, religious extremism, and mounting economic problems and here we are, pursuing a citizen who just wants to live free. And when we are not doing that, we are fussing over the name of some brand of whiskey or insisting that the name “hotdog” is inappropriate or that some cross somewhere is too high. What is wrong with us?

The Sajat affair also comes soon after Malaysia was elected to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024. In welcoming Malaysia’s election to the council, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah declared that Malaysia will continue to advocate strongly against human rights violations and prioritise the rights of vulnerable groups. He added, “As a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and democratic society, we believe Malaysia will be able to share the values of inclusivity, acceptance and understanding as captured under the Keluarga Malaysia concept.” Share the values of inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding? Empty words.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri, for his part, declared that “Malaysia will work closely with the UN Member States to advance the global human rights agenda, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” More smoke and mirrors.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms… without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. Article 18 even declares that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance”.

If the Prime Minister is really committed to advancing “the global human rights agenda as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, he ought to start at home. And he can begin by respecting the rights of citizens like Sajat so they will never again have to flee their homeland to live free. - Dennis Ignatius


22 October 2021

Walaun2 dah mula kencing lobai2 ostad...

Haddad Distillaries - Arak Abu Nuwas

Sajat-'Saya diraba pegawai agama'...

I was groped by religious officers, says Nur Sajat. In February 2018, on her birthday, Nur Sajat put on a demure hijab and attended a Muslim prayer session at a new building she was inaugurating near the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Three years after that sartorial choice, the Malaysian authorities have charged her with “insulting Islam” and wearing female attire.

On Monday, Ms. Nur Sajat, a transgender entrepreneur and social media personality, announced that she had fled to Australia to escape the threat of prison in her home state, Selangor. “When I received refuge in Australia, I felt protected to be my true self, to be free,” Ms. Nur Sajat said in an interview with The New York Times. “I felt trapped in my own country, where I was born, because of the laws there that criminalize me and consider me a man.”

Ms. Nur Sajat’s dilemma — having to flee home in order to be herself — broadly reflects a national division in Malaysia between more conservative Malays and a coalition of liberal Muslims and minority Chinese and Indians who stress the Southeast Asian nation’s multiethnic, multifaith heritage.

Malaysia is bound by a hybrid legal system when it comes to personal or family matters. Muslims, who make up more than half the population, must follow Shariah law. Non-Muslims are bound by civil law. While some of the stricter Shariah laws are rarely enforced, the governing coalition, which draws support from the nation’s Muslim Malay base, is tightening legislation targeting transgender and gay people.

“The government is serious about the issue of L.G.B.T. people in the country, as Malaysia is a country that adheres to the religion of Islam,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said last month, shortly after he was sworn in as Malaysia’s new leader. “Any individual who violates the law must face action. Nevertheless, at the same time, they need to be guided and be made aware so that they can return to the right path.”

Guiding Ms. Nur Sajat would mean, at the very least, placing her in a rehabilitation camp for transgender people, Islamic officials said. On Tuesday, Idris Ahmad, the minister for religious affairs in the prime minister’s department, offered such a camp as a more palatable option for Ms. Nur Sajat than imprisonment.

It is not clear why the charges against Ms. Nur Sajat were made three years after she had presided over the prayer ceremony while wearing female religious clothing. Ms. Nur Sajat, who has a large following on social media, said she had regularly conducted such events and donated part of her earnings to charity, as is the Islamic custom.

“When I received refuge in Australia, I felt protected to be my true self, to be free,” Ms. Nur Sajat said. “When I received refuge in Australia, I felt protected to be my true self, to be free,” Ms. Nur Sajat said. “I was born and raised as a Muslim person so I was taught to do things in an Islamic way,” she said. “I conducted a halal business.”

In January, Ms. Nur Sajat received a summons from the religious department of the state of Selangor, where her wellness and lifestyle business is based. It was the kind of missive that strikes fear in transgender people in Malaysia. With several friends and family, Ms. Nur Sajat went to meet the officials at the Islamic department, who said they had received public complaints about her.

While inside, Ms. Nur Sajat said that at least three men kicked her and pinned her down. They groped her breasts, she said. The same day, she was handcuffed, arrested and officially charged in a Shariah court. She was placed overnight in a male detention facility.

Ms. Nur Sajat’s mother, who witnessed the assault, confronted one officer, asking how pious Muslims could do something like that. He responded that Ms. Nur Sajat was a man so it was OK. (Her account of the assault was corroborated by an activist who spoke to her mother.)

“They think it is justified to touch my private parts and my breasts because they perceive me as a male person,” Ms. Nur Sajat said. “They didn’t treat me with any compassion or humanity.”

After the incident, Ms. Nur Sajat made a police complaint, and a few days later the authorities said that a religious department enforcement officer was called in to give a statement. Since then, no further action has been taken. The religious department refused to comment.

Panicked, Ms. Nur Sajat escaped in February to neighboring Thailand, where she was later convicted of illegal entry. That crime could have merited extradition to Malaysia, and the Malaysian authorities made it clear they wanted her back. But Ms. Nur Sajat quietly left Thailand this month and ended up in Australia, where other transgender Malaysians have been resettled through the United Nations refugee process.

“I’ve always been scapegoated to distract from larger issues, and my case has been sensationalized because of my social media presence,” Ms. Nur Sajat said.

The targeting of transgender people has intensified under the current governing coalition, which displaced an opposition force last year. A top religious official encouraged the nation’s Islamic authorities to arrest transgender people. In September, an Islamic council in the state of Perlis issued what amounted to a prohibition on transgender people entering mosques.

Through the middle of this year, more than 1,700 people were forced to attend a government-run “spiritual camp” meant to counter “unnatural sex,” according to government statistics.

Legislation in Malaysia targeting gay and transgender people is rooted not only in religious courts. British colonial-era prohibitions outlaw “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Shariah courts have the power to order caning for Muslims engaging in same-sex conduct, but for years the punishment was not meted out. Then, in 2018, two women were subjected to the brutal form of corporal punishment for having sex in the conservative state of Terengganu. A year later, five men were sentenced to caning in Selangor for the same offense, a ruling that was partly overturned by a higher court this year.

Ms. Nur Sajat released a video on social media earlier this year questioning whether she should give up her faith. She later deleted the video and said in the interview with The Times that she was in an anxious state because of the assault by religious department officials. Renouncing Islam can be considered a crime in Malaysia. “Islam is a holy religion,” Ms. Nur Sajat said. “It is a personal matter, and I have a right to privacy.”

Mr. Idris, the religious affairs minister, said last month that should Ms. Nur Sajat “plead guilty” and “return to a natural self,” there would be “no problem.” He referred to Ms. Nur Sajat by the full name she was given at birth. “We do not seek to punish, we are more toward educating,” Mr. Idris added.

Ms. Nur Sajat runs a skin care, wellness and clothing business, and her appearance on a reality TV show placed her in the firmament of Malaysia’s social influencers. Last year, she went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and documented the trip on Instagram, courting controversy from some Malaysian clerics. One official deemed that she had “marred Islam” by wearing female prayer attire.

In 2019, the religious authorities tried to make Ms. Nur Sajat undergo physical tests to determine her gender. She refused.

“She has no protection in Malaysia and the state is hellbent in not only prosecuting her but also using this event to impose wider restrictions against all L.G.B.T.Q. persons,” said Thilaga Sulathireh, a co-founder of Justice for Sisters, a transgender advocacy group in Malaysia.

Other transgender Malaysians said they were worried about the zeal with which the nation’s religious authority, which recently received a surge of funding, had pursued Ms. Nur Sajat. - Hannah Beech and Hadi Azmi,New York Times

Tuan Idris Ahmad promised 
Nur Sajat “counselling” if she returns... 

When the de facto Religious Affairs Minister, Idris Ahmad, said he would provide counselling services to the transgender and cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat, what did he have in mind? When news emerged that Nur had sought asylum in Australia, Idris urged her to return to Malaysia, and said that the government would offer her “counselling services”. The definition of counselling, in particular the religious authorities like Jakim, is different from what most of us refer to as counselling.

For many transgenders and those in the LGBT community, counselling means that they are forced to attend boot camps, where it is alleged that effeminate males are subject to beatings and cruel taunts. Don’t they realise that the use of physical and mental violence will not cure anyone with LGBT traits?

Apart from the alleged use of violence, they are forced to pray harder and more frequently, in the hope that divine intervention through concentrated prayer, will compel the transgender to be what the authorities perceive to be a “normal” person. When arrested, many transgenders are groped, abused and some are allegedly raped.

In 2016, when Nur first publicly identified herself as a woman, many conservative Malaysians claimed that she had tarnished the reputation of Islam. Ever since then, she has been the target of cyber-bullying, hate mail and death threats from sections of the community, including from the religious authorities.

In 2018, Nur was charged in the Syariah High Court, for dressing as a woman at a religious event. When she failed to appear in court, an arrest warrant was issued, and the immigration department subsequently revoked her passport. Many people will wonder why crossdressing is considered a crime. Some of us do wonder if we will also be charged for dressing as a pirate at a fancy-dress party.

The authorities have failed to prioritise the nation’s needs. People are targeted for the manner in which they dress. When will more focus be placed on getting rid of corruption and abuse of power, instead of focussing on trivial issues like one’s garments?

Why should Nur return to Malaysia and face endless persecution and harassment? She will be vilified because she has a strong following on her social media sites. The idea is to humiliate her and bend her to the wishes of the authorities.

Nur has admitted that she does not feel safe in Malaysia. She has sacrificed being with her family and given up on her cosmetics business, to remain in a country where she is happy and free, and more importantly, will be accepted for who she is. So, why are some Malaysians, and especially the religious authorities obsessed with the LGBT community, whom they treat with contempt?

Members of the LGBT community have to be careful with whom they mix because of rising intolerance and ignorance. The religious authorities and conservative Malays/Muslims have perpetuated the claim, that they are deviant. They are not!

They cannot conduct their lives as normal as is possible, without having to look over their shoulders. They face intense scrutiny, threats and humiliating treatment at the workplace. They are subject to violent attacks and discrimination. Many have died. Their community is often targeted by the moral police. Stiff sentences are dispensed by the courts.

After Pakatan Harapan won GE-14 in 2018, many members of the LGBT community had hoped for reform and protection after years of discrimination. They thought that they may have been accorded equal rights, but many of its former leaders, like Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim, reneged on their promise of equal rights for the LGBT community.

For decades, members of the LGBT community have been deprived of adequate and affordable healthcare, opportunities in education and jobs. Many of them recall their time at school, when their own teachers would call them names in front of the class, and the subsequent loss of friends who reject their friendship.

Their community suffer from high rates of depression and suicide. It is not just the conservative Muslims who target them because as one gay person told me, the Christians can also show intolerance. Members of the LGBT community are often treated as normal people when they venture to the west. They feel liberated when overseas, and express sadness that they shoulder a heavy burden.

If Islam is a religion of peace, compassion, kindness and justice, and if Islam teaches us that every person has been created with dignity, why are some of us very intolerant and fearful of the LGBT Why have we forgotten that “Every human is equal. I am not better than you, nor are you better than me”?

Nur describe her fears of returning to Malaysia. As we are aware, she will face persecution and will be targeted by the authorities. Sadly, her possible treatment at the hands of the authorities is a reflection of us, and how we treat others to whom we object, solely because they refuse to conform to our rules. – Mariam Mokhtar