Religion/Politics

[Politics] An Act to Amend

Now if you’ve been following Twitter in the past 12 hours, you would have seen the #PPPA term trending on most Malaysian timelines. The PPPA in this case means the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, which is the same act that regulates newspapers and magazines in Malaysia.

This was the same Act used against the Catholic Church newspaper Herald. In case you were wondering, yes I’m talking about the Allah issue. For the record, this is also the same Act that is used to ban books.

Now they are proposing to expand the Act to cover online news. At a glance, this means they are looking to censor or take control of online publication. After all, places like The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini and the Nut Graph are websites dangerous to national security.

The part that you really SHOULD be worried about is the part where the Home Minister’s Secretary General says that they are looking whether they should expand this to cover Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums and everything else. At best? This would mean that everyone would have to get a license to even think of tweeting. At worst?

We might go to jail because we called each other jakun.*

Having said that, now read this. I like how he says that they will ignore the Bill of Guarantees because it is a national security issue. My only question is, national security in what sense?

I can only wonder if by “national” security they meant political security. They always fear what they cannot control.

While some people will point out that no one knows what the proposed amendments are and that we could actually be looking towards seeing regulations loosened, this statement makes me think that they are looking to tighten it instead.

“We hope the amendments will be tabled in Parliament by March this year because we need to overcome weaknesses, especially those involving multimedia content,” he (Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam) said after presenting appointment letters to members and associate members of the Film Censorship Board and Film Appeal Board today.

If you’re looking to loosen regulations, you wouldn’t use the word weakness. Especially not in this context. But then again, you have to wonder.

Who’s the weakest one?

[MKini] Hymns and prayers at archbishop’s Christmas do

Ganked this from the Mkini site. Make of it what you will. I’ve got a post inspired by this whole debacle and Dina Zaman coming up.

There were hymns and a prayer during the Christmas event hosted by Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, eyewitnesses from the Council of Churches Malaysia’s youth wing have declared.

This comes in response to claims of ‘orders’ from officers in the Prime Minister’s Office banning hymns, prayers and crucifixes for the Dec 25 event which was attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“The venue was the car park of the archbishop’s official residence, to create a marquee garden party atmosphere… an unlikely place to find a cross (sic).

“The programme… included a prayer, welcome message and scripture reading… many carol hymns were sung,” CCM Youth secretary Daniel Chai said in a statement.

However, when contacted, Chai clarified that this was not to say that no directive was given by the PMO officer. Neither is CCM Youth saying that the directive was made, but ignored.

“We are not sure exactly (and) we don’t want to get into the debate of whether or not there was a directive (to remove crucifixes),” he said.

Instead, Chai said, CCM Youth was merely detailing what had happened that day to provide a clearer picture and to speak against the “political hijacking” of what was intended to be a “celebration of goodwill”.

‘Stop using it to attack Najib and church’

“The issue… has been used to make political comments, mostly against Najib or his aides but also against church leaders, and this is because of the confusion.

“If there was a lesson to be learned from this, CCM Youth believes that no part of society should be intimidated into tailoring their cultural, religious festivals or events to suit the whims and fancies, or preferences, of another group.

“It is not the prerogative of the invited group to dictate terms to the host. If the invited guest does not feel comfortable, he is not obligated to attend. Never mind the tradition,” he said.

Chai also expressed disappointment with church leaders for acting like “ostriches with their heads in the sand” for not taking an active role in clarifying the matter, which has an impact on nation-building.

“It is not just this issue but a lot of other issues to do with social justice and nation-building which are related to the church. (Church leaders) should not be seen to be apathetic,” he said.

All the same, Chai urged disgruntled Christians to “stop throwing stones at glass houses”, reminding them to follow the Bible, which calls for everyone to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”.

[Review] Detective Dee

Yes, I know that almost everyone has seen this “must-watch” movie based around the time of Wu Zetian’s coronation (the only female Emperor in the history of China). Someone gave me a free pass to watch the movie only just now and of course I went to catch it! I can see why people are raving over the movie. Here’s some details:

This movie stars big names. Like really big Hong Kong film star kind of big. Tony Leung, Andy Lau, and Carina Lau were some of the principle actors. Produced and directed by the great Tsui Hark. With action scenes from Sammo Hung. FREAKING SAMMO HUNG.

Yes, I used to love all these old actors, and seeing them again made me fall in love with the Hong Kong movie scene all over again. Oh, and did I mention that the movie was in Cantonese? YES! It’s a dialect I actually understand!

And now, for the actual review… Read More »[Review] Detective Dee

Blood donation question

This darling little question came up while I was half-asleep yesterday (followed by one hell of a nasty nightmare).

How do the major religions with food rules deal with blood donation? Hindus don’t take beef, Muslims don’t take pork etc. In a country like Malaysia, how do you deal with the blood donation issue? Are Muslims only given blood from Muslims? Hindus only blood from Hindus?

Just curious about this. Links and discussions welcomed!

PS: Twitter friends, please reply here and not on Twitter. Easier for me to keep track of things. 😀