Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mahathir shocked by Race and Religious intolerance in Malaysia

US President Barack Obama on Thursday said the "acts of intolerance" experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi."Michelle and I returned from India - an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity - but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs - acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation," Obama said in his remarks at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast.he touched upon religious tolerance was a "parting shot" aimed at the ruling BJP.

File photo of US President Barack Obama next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they leave after giving their opening statement in New Delhi. (Reuters Photo)

Politics gets its revenge on Najib

The career trajectories over the last few years  we are back to old-style electioneering and politics.

 Politics is an essential but often maligned profession. However, it has some saint-like and egalitarian qualities. It is affected by no one. No one can change it. In the end, it changes everyone. Honest and well-intentioned individuals, social activists, teachers, lawyers, bureaucrats and many others jump into politics claiming to transform it. Alas, politics paints them all with the same brush and makes them look alike. It is the only profession that believes in and practises the dictum “all human beings are created equal”.
The stand taken by the Prime Minister’s Office on Ismail Sabri Yaakob to former Perkasa leader Zulkifli Noordin’s election stunt.On one side, the West seems to be more emboldened in defending freedom of speech while being oblivious to the ferocious uproar that may arise out of the abuse of such freedom. On the other hand, the “provocative” arts affirm the conviction of some hardliners in the Muslim world that the West is hell-bent on assaulting their way of life, and that they ought to stand up for it, even by raising arms.
With this mutual demonizing and self-righteousness, the greatest tragedy of all is that it might only be a matter of time before another inflammatory piece of art explodes into violence.Our way forward is to draw up robust definitions of ambiguous terms contained within the article, such as “protection of public order”, “advocacy of religious hatred”, “incitement to discrimination” and the “special duties and responsibilities” one must bear in exercising freedom of expression. The Camden Principles might be one of the references to deliberate this matter. For instance, the principles define incitement as “statements about national, racial or religious groups that create an imminent risk of discrimination, hostility or violence against persons belonging to those groups”.
Judicial decisions can also shed some light on responsibilities entailing the freedom of expression. For example, the European Court of Human Rights deems that such rights entail “an obligation to avoid as far as possible expressions that are gratuitously offensive to others”. Unambiguous definition to differentiate genuine exercise of freedom of expression from incitement to religious hatred is vital to ensure that laws against hate speech cannot be misinterpreted for ill purposes, such as imprisoning journalists and political opponents.
Restraint from ridiculing faith should not be considered as bowing to extremism, but rather seen as an act of respect, wisdom and maturity. The last thing we want is to stifle constructive interfaith dialogue, or stand in the way of healthy discussion of religion
 Ismail Sabri? Until his true colors were known recently, he is just a mediocre UMNO Minister in Najib’s cabinet who is there to make up the numbers. He got his attention by being a racist. People who know him think he should have been out of the cabinet long ago.It is plain to see that Sabri was chosen by our Prime Minister to do his bidding not because he is competent. Sabri’s latest snafu confirms that you do not have to have special skills to be a member of Najib’s team. All you have to do is to hone in your ampu bodek skills and you can and, indeed, prosper and are protected.Is it any wonder why Najib defends him with the endorsement of his cabinet colleagues. Paul Low, who is Minister in the Prime Minister, should be able to tell you how to be a Minister and survive. We know that  it is now part of the UMNO culture to be self-serving and corrupt. Even MACC has to think many times before investigating an UMNO Minister.
‘Is Ismail Sabri so important that the PM has to do his bidding?’

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