Apology? Not Accepted

At the Shah Alam Convention Centre today, the Pakatan Rakyat announced its manifesto for the upcoming General Elections that covers the socio-economic as well as political plans should it succeed in wrestling power from the Barisan Nasional. Among the points included inside this manifesto is that “the Federal Government to release and apologize to all ISA (Internal Security Act) detainees from the past to the present.”

This seems to be the thing Lim Guan Eng has been pushing for all this while. First, we need to understand that the ISA was an Act that served its purpose for the time it was appropriate for. It gave the authorities the time needed, or to curb clear and present dangers that threatened the public morale, security and the economy of the country. In short, the ISA was without which would not have allowed us to prosper the way we do now, draconian or not.

Among those detained under the ISA included communist terrorists and their agents, potential terrorists who are only potential terrorists by virtue that they had not managed to blow something up yet when they were nabbed; foreign agents, counterfeiters who would have sabotaged our economy. And most importantly, it was used during the “Ops Lalang” of 1987 in order to diffuse a potentially explosive racial riot where a fair share of people from both the Barisan Nasional and the Opposition got held under that Act, and the nation was once more saved from disaster.

Apologising to former detainees is a form of exoneration from all wrong-doings for the former detainees. Maybe this fits the agenda of allowing communists abroad home, like what the elements in DAP and their stooges inside PKR and PAS have been championing. There must be more than meets the eye here as Chin Peng’s origin is Setiawan, Perak. Anyhow, this is probably the reason some quarters from the Opposition have ben seen frequenting the Peace Villages of Yala. Freeing potential terrorists with known connections would also be detrimental not only to our security, but also to our neighbours’ security. Perhaps, there is a camaraderie between them that terrorist acts will only be conducted abroad. Hey, I’m on a roll here, but I know I am warmer than warm! But face the fact, releasing these people would do more harm than good.

The irony is, the Prime Minister, whoever that would be, will also have to apologise to Tun Dr Mahathir, arch-nemesis of the Prime Minister-designate, or so the latter thinks he would be. Tun Dr Mahathir was once held in detention under the same Act for criticising the government of Tunku Abdul Rahman in his book. Mind you, the Tun was the last person to be held under that Act for political conflict with the government. Lest we forget that the same Prime Minister-designate also had both Ummi Hafilda Ali and Azizan Abu Bakar nabbed under that Act to try get them change their statement concerning an act of sodomy by the Prime Minister-designate. Would the latter apologise to them as well having abused the ISA to serve his political interest?

To sum it all up, this latest manifesto by the Pakatan Rakyat is not a feasible one. In its point on releasing and apologising to ISA detainees and former detainees will do more harm to everyone than good. Having a manifesto is good, but I see a lot of missing points in this new manifesto. For example, the 15 percent oil royalty for Kelantan and Terengganu have not been included, so we know how important the welfare of these two states is to the Pakatan Rakyat, taken or a ride. Or whatever happened to the RM500 assistance to teachers as promised in the infamous Buku Jingga?

In the end, a Pakatan Rakyat manifesto, in my opinion, will remain just another unrealistic and unachievable manifesto like the one issued before the previous general election. Of course, the Pakatan Rakyat already has a script ready for that in case anyone asks…

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The Case For God – Jesus Must Win

When I started writing this (The Case For God) series, I had in mind the difference between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak in the acceptance of the use of “Allah” in the Malay Bible, or in any other material of Christian origin. To refresh, whilst the peoples of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak were British subjects as they were under direct British rule and were therefore subjugated, the people of the Peninsula (Malaya), save for the Strait Settlements, were not. Therefore, the British dared not influence especially the Malays of Malaya to convert to Christianity.

Today, I read with alarm Helen Ang’s posting. There clearly is a call by Reverend Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Datuk Rev. chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia and the Bishop for Anglicans of West Malaysia, for Christians to “rise during the next general election, and vote in a government that will allow Christianity to flourish”,and in his own words:

…to…propagate one’s religion is allowed, without undue curtailment from the law, restrictions or even prohibition…

No, I did not make this up. In fact, you can view it yourself in Helen Ang’s posting above, or see it for yourself below:

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What Bishop Ng is seeking is for the amendment to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, and in a blatant challenge to Article 11(4), the sanctity of Islam as the nation’s religion as specifically guaranteed by Article 3(1).

And among the reasons for the call to Malaysian Christians to rise is to prevent “a government which plays God or a government which exclude God“. According to him, “It is very dangerous and bad for the nation.” The former is a veiled reference to PAS, while the latter is the Barisan Nasional that they are eager to kick out.

Evangelism, my friends, cuts across the board and knows no boundaries. Traditions die and families get broken up. I have a family friend, an octogenarian Taoist, almost paralysed by a stroke, and whose daughters have all converted to Christianity. Two out of three daughters have migrated with their husband. His concern as life ebbs away is: which daughter would burn joss sticks and incense for him when he dies? It may seem a small thing for some, but a last grasp at salvation for others.

Maybe the people of this nation was not ready for the immediate openness introduced by the Abdullah government , which Abdullah later backtracked on with dire results for Barisan Nasional. The consequence of that is gutter politics and a more polarised Malaysia. And that has nurtured disrespect, even for the very law that has held this nation together.

The Barisan Nasional may not be the best legally-registered coalition around, but in the slightly over 55 years of existence, this nation has come to be a hero from zero. Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvements. And I mean A LOT!

But to vote in the alternative, in my strong opinion, is even worse.