Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kartika in Malaysia

Now one of the world’s top ten most read topics on the internet is Kartika’s punishment for drinking beer in Malaysia. The Prime Minister realising the international impact this could have requested that Kartika appeal the judgment.

Quite a number thought Kartika’s refusal to appeal was about exhibitionism and wanting to make a statement. According to Nadia Jalil, “I think it’s one of the many examples in which Islam has been distorted and appropriated for selected interests in this country. I also think it’s the muftis-that-be in this case, who lack compassion and intellectual discernment (as always).”
Hazman B quipped, “I just think the back-n-forth decision-making process has made a mockery of Islam — laws are laws and it should be followed

When ones piety depends on the keeping of a set of religious laws, like in this case the Syariah laws it is so disheartening that there is so much uncertainty about the judgment and the punishment for that offense. In this case it is obvious that Kartika as a good muslim wants to be vindicated and as such is willing to be punished for her sin under Islam. Mr. Hazman, a reader is correct..."laws are laws and it should be followed."

However such is the nature of the law or any law, even the 10 commandments of Christianity. Someone has to adjudicate, to interpret and to pass judgment. Unfortunately the person who adjudicates is himself fallible. Often in religious law keeping there is a “self righteous” and over zealousness in keeping the law because his standard of piety becomes the benchmark for the guilty party. However we know even from our experience that there is no one who is righteous or clean completely. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

The law is not perfect but is necessary. It is necessary to tell us what is right and wrong. Where it hurts or affects my neighbor it becomes wrong. As such Isa AlMasih said when asked what is the greatest commandment; “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments".

The greatest motivation therefore in keeping the law is Love. Wait a minute but how do we love God when it is not in our nature. When we are all fallible and naturally tend to sin? We are able only to love God, because He first loved us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent Isa Al Masih as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” “We love because He first loved us.” 1John 4

This is the motivation therefore to love God knowing in our hearts that God first loved us and still love us unconditionally by forgiving our sins and in fact took the punishment upon himself. By taking that punishment He fulfilled the requirements of the law on our behalf. We are vindicated and justified by His death.

Wait a minute does that mean I can go on sinning, now that Christ loves me unconditionally?

That’s for Prt 2..

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Merdeka Gen

A generation disillusioned - Posted in Malaysiakini

Aug 12, 09

I was born after Merdeka and my generation grew up with loyalty and love for the country. We went to Thomas Cup matches to cheer our national team and we were there when the soccer team made their international debut against the best in the region.

A truly multiracial team. I learnt in Tatarakyat how Ali, Ah Chong and Ramasamy would play together and were the best of friends. I even saw it at my home when my father's colleagues would come to our house for Chinese New Year to share a meal together.

When I entered the workforce in the 90s, I realised that there were walls and they were getting higher. I had fewer Malay friends. Our society was getting more segregated. Enrollment into Chinese schools increased and I was told Malay friends wouldn't eat in your home if you cooked the food at home.

Politically, Umno began spewing more venomous and racially charged statements. Words like 'go back to China', 'you can leave if you don't like it' or 'soak the keris in blood' uttered by Malay leaders hurt a great deal. A new level of distrust arose between the races.

After 52 years of Independence, we are still unable to get beyond race and unable to truly work together as one. Umno and BN are oxymorons and contending against each other. Even now, with Najib's 1Malaysia, Umno is championing Malay rights and warning Malays that they may lose this country if they allow the 'Chinese opposition' to take control.

They speak about Malay traitors like PAS and Anwar Ibrahim. Najib's 1Malaysia is not the 1Malaysia my generation is dreaming about. Najib's 1Malaysia is not the 1Malaysia Datuk Onn Jaafar envisioned and not the 1Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman had hoped for.

Najib's 1Malaysia is a sham, a fake and nothing but a easy slogan.

Unity in Malaysia has been destroyed by narrow political agendas. A political party which feels that its existence and continuation is far more important than the nation itself is seeking to be even more divisive by spewing out venomous racially charged words.
Instead of coming together and working as one to compete globally, Umno and BN seek to play the racial game and continue dividing this nation for political selfish gains. This is most irresponsible and an act that will continue the downward spiral of Malaysia.

Malays, Chinese and Indians must unite under a different banner to fight this division and bigotry for the sake of our beloved country. We must return to the spirit of Datuk Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman, who loved Malaysia more than themselves.