Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Head of research at Corston-Smith Asset Management, Lim Tze Cheng, recently did a tour of South East Asian countries and came away sufficiently impressed that he feels Malaysia may soon be found lagging behind its neighbours that it was once ahead of.
He cited a recent visit to the Philippines, a current major supplier of maids, where he visited a company, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and he drew comparisons to local port champions Westport and Port of Tanjung Pelepas.
He said that ICTS now draws 50 per cent of its revenue from eight profitable ports outside the Philippines, and noted that no Malaysian port company can boast of similar achievements.
“I give it a 70 per cent chance that Malaysia will be exporting maids in 20 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens unless we get our act together,” he said.
Click HERE for the rest of the article
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
electronics shop gift voucher.
2. We had an unusually cold spring so not enough sun and warmth and too much wind and cold making it hard for the plants to spring forth from the seeds and when they do, they struggle to grow. Ah ... now I understand :-)
Of course I also messed up by using the wrong kind of soil for my seeds - a bit too harsh.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Hone Harawira got me thinking about Malay rights and Maori rights, their similarities and differences?
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia publicly fronted over Hone Harawira's inflammatory email for the first time yesterday, saying his behaviour had been "unacceptable" and had prompted a flood of racist and abusive emails to the party.
She said neither she nor Pita Sharples would be attending a hui in Kaitaia today at which the party is due to decide on any disciplinary action against Mr Harawira. They would instead leave it to the party president and council members.
Mr Harawira had expected the co-leaders to attend and did not know they would not be until the media rang. He told the Herald it was disappointing that they would not be attending. He had understood today was chosen because it was the only day on which the co-leaders could attend.
It was to be the first time the co-leaders had met him since his email to Buddy Mikaere referring to "white mother f******" was made public.
It has resulted in at least 365 complaints to the Race Relations Commissioner. Both Mrs Turia and Prime Minister John Key expressed dismay at the impact the email and public reaction was having on race relations.
Click HERE for the rest of the report and related news links.
Of course there are numerous differences as I think the parallel to begin with ought to be more accurately "Orang Asli" rights and privileges as opposed to Malay rights and privileges since the the argument for these rights and privileges seems to based on indigenous people of the land. It seems to me that the many different Orang Asli tribes both from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak were certainly the earliest settlers in the current land called Malaysia, that can be traced historically.
Anyway, history politics, race relations and stuff like that are beyond my expertise so I won't even attempt to fool myself into pretending I understand in great depth the intricacies of the matter at hand.
Just to say that while many people in NZ are treading carefully so as to be as PC as possible, it is heartening to know that people of all races are not condoning this maverick Maori politician's words. Not just that, it would seem too that leading politicians from all the major parties, including the Maori party are united in condemning such words. Not a perfect country I know but it is to me something positive (I will not second guess the motives).
And also to say I wish that such sentiments are shared by Malaysians of all races and leaders of all the major political parties. We have too easily let off the hook leaders and people who make blatant hurtful racist remarks (and even worse, racist based threats)!
BTW, I actually do think there is a place for race based special rights and privileges in order to help give more opportunities to those from certain races who have been for generations neglected and are poverty stricken in order to help them break the poverty cycle. I guess my own issue or concern is how race based policies are implemented. Still thinking about this ....
Updated 13th Nov:
Maori Party leaders give Harawira the message - jump or be pushed
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Why the Hulk should be red not green (Spirtual Formation on the Run) and some not so spiritual ramblings too
WHY THE HULK SHOULD BE RED, NOT GREEN
The fictional comic book character, the Incredible Hulk, was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962. The Hulk is the alter ego of a mild-mannered physicist, Dr Bruce Banner, who is accidentally irradiated by gamma radiation. Whenever he gets angry, he will turn into the Hulk, a creature of pure rage that is invincible and incredibly strong. The angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger and bigger he becomes. I guess he is green because of the gamma radiation. Why green and not red? The English expression for becoming angry is "seeing red." A red Hulk will be more appropriate.
Many of us are aware of the beast within us. And of the thin veneer of civility that makes us respectable citizens. Occasionally, someone snaps and the beast breaks out. Then we are horrified by the violence done to persons and properties. Sometimes, it is not a person but a mob or a nation that rages. In the aftermath of the carnage, we are again reminded of the evil that lurks in the heart of human beings. In our hectic, chaotic and stressful lives, anger is a constant emotional companion. While some of us are aware of it, others are not. Many try to repress their anger. In doing so, they become impatient, irritable and aggressive. Repressing anger does not make it go away. Like energy, emotions can be converted into other forms. Repressed energy is converted into hatred, bitterness and anxiety.
"Please don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" are well-known words from the Hulk television series. They turn up in every comic, TV programme and movie involving the not-so-jolly green man. What makes you angry? Could it be social injustice, exploitation of the poor, religious intolerance, and maybe abuse of political privileges? My reasons for getting angry are often not so righteous. I get angry because I do not get my way: Why do people not behave the way I expect them to? Why do projects not go the way I plan? Why does the universe not happen the way I want it to? I get angry and then I feel guilty. I remember what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:26-27). Paul was referring to Psalm 4:4, "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent'
I also remember an old Cherokee story named "The Two Wolves.' An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me;' he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego:'
He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too:'
The grandson thought for a minute and asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed:'
As I reflect on this story, I draw out some wisdom. The psalmist, the Apostle Paul and the old Cherokee did not deny the existence of anger or being angry. In fact, they all acknowledged it. They also taught me that the only way to deal with anger is not to feed it. The only way to deal with anger is to starve it of attention and other emotions. The Hulk is pure rage - violent raw energy - and red is an appropriate colour. Green reminds me of leafy meadows, peacefulness and calm. Methinks the Hulk should be red. Or even better, blue...
Reflecting on the subject matter of this chapter is not easy for me as I have a problem with anger. However at the same time has also been an encouraging time of reflection as while I am still an angry person by nature, there I can see by the grace of God that there has over the years been a clear positive difference in my life in the area of anger.
In a "tensed" counselling session last week, it was interesting that this person reacted in surprise when I mentioned that I have an ongoing struggle with anger. Made me realize when I had time to think about the reaction that it is nice to know that by God's grace, people notice!
I do agree that repressing our anger doesn't help. So one way I deal with my anger is to talk about it or let it out quickly so that it can be a controlled anger release. Another way is to try to tackle an issue that is making me angry quickly so that it doesn't build up. As the Hulk would say "You wouldn't like me when I am angry". Not that I destroy things but it is not a nice look for me :-)
But I do think it is okay to get angry for certain reasons. Of course the Ephesians 4 passage is an important reminder and guide that unless carefully managed, anger leads to sin. (BTW, it is another interesting coincidence that in 2 weeks time, my sermon text is Psalm 4). Over the years (as part of my very long term on-going life reflection :-)) I have come to the realization that God has used my anger (in response to certain situations) to help mold me into who I am today. For example, some incidents during my secondary school years that made me angry (soci-economic and racist attacks by a certain teacher against some students) became seeds of a dream to help build and pastor a multi-racial, socio-economically diverse church community. It encourages me that even outbursts of anger can be used by God for some good.
I also like that old Cherokee story. It has remained with me from the first time I read it umpteen years ago - sure fire sign of a good story. One great lesson I learnt from Henri Nouwen helps. it is to focus on the lovely (i.e. Jesus) and everything else will fade away in comparison. For me, counting my blessings too is a related helpful way that eliminates or at least reduces any anger build up.
But proper rest too seems to play a big role in how I manage anger. If I am tired, I find it harder to keep my anger in check. Reminds me that as a human being, I cannot separate my physical, emotional and mental condition from my spiritual.
One aspect that I disagree with Dr. Alex is ....
... the Hulk should not be red but remain green. LOL.
The Green Hulk may get angry and smash things but essentially he is violent not because he is evil and wants to destroy things. He has the mind of a child and just wants to be left alone but everybody except a handful of people do not understand or respect his wishes and keep trying to imprison or hurt him out of fear. The only time he was deliberately evil was in the World War Hulk storyline when he was driven by rage and wanted revenge for the death of his wife (yup, he actually fell in love and got married).
BTW, if you are truly bored and have loads of time on your hand, and you want to figure out the HULK storyline, click HERE. Be warned, it is confusing as there are many manifestations of the Hulk. I have scanned though the article before but wasn't that interested as I hated the Grey Hulk story lines.
The Red Hulk on the other hand is maliciously evil and selfish, deliberate in his wanton destruction.
Let the poor original Bruce Banner Hulk remain green. Though the various story lines may at times be questionable in quality, he at least is essentially a character I can feel sorry for :-)
I had a good laugh yesterday when I watched an episode of ENTERPRISE that I taped the other day. It introduced a new race, the Orions, evil to the core (they deal in piracy and the slave trade). Their skin colour? Green! Their features? Ogre like. Their temperaments? Nasty and violent. But the funny part was seeing the huge almost 500 lb wrestler, Paul Wight, a.k.a. THE BIG SHOW as an Orion slave trader.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Been a while since I highlighted some Malaysian news. Very depressing. Malaysia Boleh One Malaysia policy???
CFM CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF 15,000 BIBLES
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) calls for the immediate release of the 15,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia currently being withheld by the authorities.To withhold the use of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles is an infringement of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which gives every Malaysian the right to profess his/ her faith as well as to practice it.
This has been going on for years!
For the full statement by CFM, click HERE
For the news report, click HERE
Spat over qualifications Ex-mufti faces another controversy
PETALING JAYA: New controversy has emerged over the arrest of former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul with the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) now questioning his qualifications.
Jakim claims that Dr Mohd Asri did not major in Syariah law, but in Arabic Studies, and that there was no dual elective from the University of Jordan previously attended by Dr Mohd Asri.
Click HERE for the full story
And here's something interesting to add to the mix ... RPK's related article!
On a related note, I think it is good that its more and more coming out in the open (in Malaysia that is) that in Islam, most of the Hadith is disputed and only a small percentage is considered authentic. Back in Malaysia, I grew so weary having to politely explain this fact that is hidden from most Malaysians (Muslims and non Muslims alike). Weary because it is a standard and unfair "tactic" to attack the Bible as full or errors, argue that the many versions we have show that the Bible is corrupted etc while at the same time declare the Quran and Islam is perfect and has no such issues(and it cannot be challenged or it is deemed to be insulting to Islam, and hurtful to the feelings of Muslims). It is tiring to hear that that there has only ever been one version of the Quran from the very beginning (all copies in history were exactly word for word the same, which is historically untrue) and that historically there is only one united true Islam in terms of practice backed up by the thousands of Hadiths.
And of course then there is the attack on how Biblical scholarship in the area of textual criticism to sort out authentic Scriptures from inadvertent copyist errors, proves that the Bible is full of errors but at the same time conveniently hiding the fact that Muslim scholars of integrity do something similar in order to determine for themselves which of the Hadiths are authentic. But In Malaysia, we are not allowed to know such things!
Okay ... even rambling on that ... but a little more on this :-)
I found this report by the Nut Graph very interesting... in terms of how the largest Indonesian Muslims group views Islam and the Islamic state concept (and there's an interesting related comparison with new Zealand as well ...)
Overriding the religious state
A POPULAR former state mufti has just been arrested by the Islamic religious authorities. A Muslim woman who drank alcohol must be whipped. Those who question the sentence on her must be silenced. The proposed relocation of a Hindu temple was met by a Muslim-led protest threatening bloodshed. Christians must not use the word "Allah". These are, sadly, the headlines that contemporary Malaysians would associate with discussions on religion.
And so, it was a humbling experience listening to Malaysia's regional neighbours sharing their experiences at the Fifth Regional Interfaith Dialogue, organised by the Australian government and held in Perth from 28 to 30 Oct 2009. For example, a plenary session, "Faith and education: preventing the radicalisation of vulnerable youth", was led by none other than Indonesia. And Indonesia brought no less than the top leaders of its two biggest Muslim movements — Dr Sudibyo Markus of Muhammadiyah and Dr Ahmad Hasyim Muzadi of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
Muzadi said, "NU has more than 10,000 pesantren (religious boarding schools) and 40 million members in Indonesia." This might sound like bragging, but the point must be placed within context — Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world, and NU is the planet's biggest Muslim organisation. And just what is NU's stand on issues such as the Islamic state?
For the rest of the report click HERE.
PM asked to clarify mixed-race bumiputra status
KUCHING: Sarawak has sought the help of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to address the issue of children of mixed parentage in the state who have supposedly been denied bumiputra status.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said he wrote to the Prime Minister on the issue several days ago.
He highlighted the case of SPM top scorer Marine Undau, whose application for a place in a matriculation programme was rejected because of her mixed parentage.
So the double standard policies have new further sub divisions based again on race?
For the story, click HERE.
UMNO claims it is not racist ... but I tend to think Malaysian politics is about the primacy of one race (and with it one religion). I like this other Nut Graph article ...
Umno, not racist?
3 Nov 09 : 8.00AM
By Ding Jo-Ann
DATUK Seri Najib Razak's assertion over the weekend that only "one or two Umno leaders" have made racist comments and that they do not represent the party's views belies belief.
Umno's top leaders have in fact publicly and repeatedly championed the Malay agenda over the legitimate interests of other Malaysians. In some instances, intimidation and fear have even been used in their rhetoric to uphold "Malay rights".
Hence, Najib's exhortation for Malaysians to ignore and forget the racism that Umno is capable of is problematic, to say the least.
Not just a few
It was at the opening of the Gerakan national delegates conference on 1 Nov 2009 that the prime minister reportedly said that people should not pay too much attention to the one or two party leaders who make racist remarks. He added that every party had such leaders. Najib, who is also Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairperson, urged people to instead look at Umno's policies from "Day One", saying they have "always been fair, inclusive, democratic and open".
Click HERE for the rest of the article if you are not too depressed today...
One last thing ..... (for now), more news on the Kartika caning issue..
Cops query SIS over Kartika issue
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — Two representatives of Sisters in Islam (SIS) gave their statements to Bukit Aman’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today on a police report lodged against SIS in Kuantan over the Kartika Sari Dewi Soekarno issue.
SIS executive director Hamidah Marican and its board member Zainah Anwar were called in to give their statements for an investigation under Section 4(i) (a) of the Sedition Act by the CID at 10.35am.
The two, accompanied by lawyers, spent almost two hours at the CID’s legal prosecution division, according to SIS Programme Manager (Research and Publications) Masjaliza Hamzah.
“SIS hopes that after recording these statements, the police will recommend that no further action be taken against the organisation. We would like to reiterate that within the framework of a democratic society, there must be an open, responsible, rational and respectful dialogue on Islam and its impact on our lives both private and public,” she said in a statement here.
Click HERE for the rest of the report.