Goodbye, Bernard

Bernard Khoo aka Zorro Unmasked (1941-2014)

Bernard Khoo aka Zorro Unmasked (1941-2014)

This morning, our blogging-brother Bernard Khoo of Zorro-Unmasked was called to be with the Lord after a long illness. He was 73 and leaves behind wife Karen, daughter Patrina and son Kevin.

Retired teacher Bernard “Zorro” Khoo and I became acquainted when we came together hand-in-hand when our blogging brothers Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan and Jeff Ooi were sued by then NSTP Supremo Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan and four others. The January 2007 peculiar action by a respectable media company became a landmark case. We were introduced at the High Court in Wisma Denmark, the day the case was mentioned.

That formed the first bloggers’ comradeship.

There on we became friends. At one point of time, we became close friends. We met almost everyday and drink and shared food and be merry over stories and jokes.

Once a week, we would converge for ‘Mee Rebus Tuesday’. Although we had political differences and opposing affiliation, we had a common desire to see then PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abullah Ahmad Badawi leave the soonest opportunity presented itself. We were steadfast in attacking a regime which wanted new media voices be leashed.

National Alliance of Bloggers, formed at the National Press Club

National Alliance of Bloggers, formed at the National Press Club

We got together to form National Alliance of Bloggers, All Blogs, on 12 April 2007. That brought us even closer.

So, at times we tolerated each other’s political opinion especially in the kinship of being blogging brothers. We organised and attended meetings with political leaders, from the different sides of the political divide.

Bernard even supported a campaign that I was staging for my alma matta alumni. That was the sort of respect we forged together. In the mood of celebrating the nation’s 50th Kemerdekaan, he helped to organise “Bangsa Malaysia” forum.

Then the 12GE came> We found ourselves deep in opposing political divide. 8 March 2008 was decided and there on, we started to drift apart. Bernard and likeminded bloggers formed a loose coalition known as ‘Barisan Alternatif Bloggers’. Later they called themselves ‘Barisan Rakyat Bloggers’.

Our political position drifted us further. We see very little of each other, taking also the consideration that all of us had more and more things to do. Bernard was deeply involved in many of Pakatan Rakyat especially PKR’s activities.

I was more focused on UMNO’s party elections.

Our political standing wedged even further apart. Bernard is never shy about what he felt and even blogged about it.

Zorro Unmasked posting about Big Dog, 10 May 2011

Zorro Unmasked posting about Big Dog, 10 May 2011

More of how Zorro felt about BigDog

More of how Zorro felt about BigDog

Never the less, we remained as friends. Not as close as before, but friends. Occasionally, we chatted over Facebook and catching up how each of us are getting along. The pipe-totting blogger never fail to talk about his grandsons, who lives in the Carribeans and asking about my daughter, whom he often expressed his fondness of her.

The last probably we met was at a common blogger’s wedding in Kelana Jaya. We sat and talked but time was not permitting. We promised to get together for all times sake but never got around of doing it.

Then I heard Bernard started to fall ill and had medical condition. In our occasional chats, he would briefly talk about it.

One of our occasional FB chats

One of our occasional FB chats

More of chats

More of chats

And more between friends

And more between friends

Comforting assuarnces

Comforting assurances

Concerned about a friend's state

Concerned about a friend’s being

In opposing sides, still manage to be friends

In opposing sides, still manage to be friends

In the heat of the Red Rock Hotel controversy, many pro-opposition bloggers shred me into pieces in their postings. So did Bernard. But he knewwhere  the borders were. Someone asked him about I in one of the social media platforms, “Isn’t Big Dog an enemy?”.

“Adversarial, maybe. An enemy, no. We are friends”.

I cannot express how it was comforting and appreciative that was. I did raise this with him. And Bernard coyly responded, “Yes, we are friends”.

Today, my friend has departed. I shall sorely miss him. Goodbye, Bernard Khoo. May you rest well, in eternity. May the memories of you etched in the hearts and minds of everyone, whom you call as ‘My friends’.

The wake for Bernard Khoo at St Ignatius Church, Petaling Jaya

The wake for Bernard Khoo at St Ignatius Church, Petaling Jaya

Published in: on April 5, 2014 at 03:33  Comments (4)  

Appreciating history for the love of God

History is all about understanding the past. It is important to understand what happened in the past, who were involved, how is their involvement and the outcome of the decision made, stand they took or structures they build or landscape the changed. It is an important guide for everything to move forward. Its the best basis where anything could be measured and benchmarked from.

Lessons could be learned from history. Like American philosopher George Santayana’s immortal words for everyone to understand and learn from history.

However, the Saudis don’t seem to appreciate history.

Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam’s history

Authorities are building a mosque so big it will hold 1.6m people – but are demolishing irreplaceable monuments to do it

Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site. Work on the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, where the Prophet Mohamed is buried, will start once the annual Hajj pilgrimage ends next month. When complete, the development will turn the mosque into the world’s largest building, with the capacity for 1.6 million worshippers.

But concerns have been raised that the development will see key historic sites bulldozed. Anger is already growing at the kingdom’s apparent disdain for preserving the historical and archaeological heritage of the country’s holiest city, Mecca.  Most of the expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi will take place to the west of the existing mosque, which holds the tombs of Islam’s founder and two of his closest companions, Abu Bakr and Umar.

Just outside the western walls of the current compound are mosques dedicated to Abu Bakr and Umar, as well as the Masjid Ghamama, built to mark the spot where the Prophet is thought to have given his first prayers for the Eid festival. The Saudis have announced no plans to preserve or move the three mosques, which have existed since the seventh century and are covered by Ottoman-era structures, or to commission archaeological digs before they are pulled down, something that has caused considerable concern among the few academics who are willing to speak out in the deeply authoritarian kingdom.

“No one denies that Medina is in need of expansion, but it’s the way the authorities are going about it which is so worrying,” says Dr Irfan al-Alawi of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. “There are ways they could expand which would either avoid or preserve the ancient Islamic sites but instead they want to knock it all down.” Dr Alawi has spent much of the past 10 years trying to highlight the destruction of early Islamic sites.

With cheap air travel and booming middle classes in populous Muslim countries within the developing world, both Mecca and Medina are struggling to cope with the 12 million pilgrims who visit each year – a number expected to grow to 17 million by 2025. The Saudi monarchy views itself as the sole authority to decide what should happen to the cradle of Islam. Although it has earmarked billions for an enormous expansion of both Mecca and Medina, it also sees the holy cities as lucrative for a country almost entirely reliant on its finite oil wealth.

Heritage campaigners and many locals have looked on aghast as the historic sections of Mecca and Medina have been bulldozed to make way for gleaming shopping malls, luxury hotels and enormous skyscrapers. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of the 1,000-year-old buildings in the two cities have been destroyed in the past 20 years.

In Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam and a place where all Muslims are supposed to be equal, is now overshadowed by the Jabal Omar complex, a development of skyscraper apartments, hotels and an enormous clock tower. To build it, the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on. Other historic sites lost include the Prophet’s birthplace – now a library – and the house of his first wife, Khadijah, which was replaced with a public toilet block.

Neither the Saudi Embassy in London nor the Ministry for Foreign Affairs responded to requests for comment when The Independent contacted them this week. But the government has previously defended its expansion plans for the two holy cities as necessary. It insists it has also built large numbers of budget hotels for poorer pilgrims, though critics point out these are routinely placed many miles away from the holy sites.

Until recently, redevelopment in Medina has pressed ahead at a slightly less frenetic pace than in Mecca, although a number of early Islamic sites have still been lost. Of the seven ancient mosques built to commemorate the Battle of the Trench – a key moment in the development of Islam – only two remain. Ten years ago, a mosque which belonged to the Prophet’s grandson was dynamited. Pictures of the demolition that were secretly taken and smuggled out of the kingdom showed the religious police celebrating as the building collapsed.

The disregard for Islam’s early history is partly explained by the regime’s adoption of Wahabism, an austere and uncompromising interpretation of Islam that is vehemently opposed to anything which might encourage Muslims towards idol worship.

In most of the Muslim world, shrines have been built. Visits to graves are also commonplace. But Wahabism views such practices with disdain. The religious police go to enormous lengths to discourage people from praying at or visiting places closely connected to the time of the Prophet while powerful clerics work behind the scenes to promote the destruction of historic sites.

Dr Alawi fears that the redevelopment of the Masjid an-Nabawi is part of a wider drive to shift focus away from the place where Mohamed is buried. The spot that marks the Prophet’s tomb is covered by a famous green dome and forms the centrepiece of the current mosque. But under the new plans, it will become the east wing of a building eight times its current size with a new pulpit. There are also plans to demolish the prayer niche at the centre of mosque. The area forms part of the Riyadh al-Jannah (Garden of Paradise), a section of the mosque that the Prophet decreed especially holy..

“Their excuse is they want to make more room and create 20 spaces in a mosque that will eventually hold 1.6 million,” says Dr Alawi. “It makes no sense. What they really want is to move the focus away from where the Prophet is buried.”

A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs – and endorsed by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz al Sheikh – called for the dome to be demolished and the graves of Mohamed, Abu Bakr and Umar to be flattened. Sheikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, one of the 20th century’s most prolific Wahabi scholars, made similar demands.

“Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical,” says Dr Alawi. “The recent movie about the Prophet Mohamed caused worldwide protests… and yet the destruction of the Prophet’s birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism.”

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We have already seen the site of Muhammad S.A.W.’s first wife’s house near Haram Al-Shariff in Mecca been ‘erased’.

How do we teach younger Muslims to appreciate historic sites for personalities that were the pioneers in the initial spread of God’s religion have been systematically erased?

Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 14:30  Comments (5)  

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha 1433H

Over two million Muslims are assembled in Arafah at this moment.

Between today and the end of the day on 10 Zulhijjah, its a very defining moment for Muslims for the submission to Allah S.W.T., especially those who are in Arafah to perform the Wuquf at this hour. It is a moment where every man is him or herself and everyone is equal, in the eyes of Al Mighty God Rab-ul-Jalil.

Islam means ‘Peace’. Amongst Muslims, they greet others with ‘Assalamualaikum’ which means ‘Peace be upon you’. Islam teaches Muslims to be tolerant and fair. If it is unjust, then it is not Islamic.

Muslims strive in their worship and submission to The One to earn their place of eternal sanctuary in the after life. In the same note, Islam requires the believers to strive in the quest to be the best in everything; educated, productive, prosper, trustworthy, reliable and honest. The first verse of God’s word which Arcangle Jibrail made Muhammad S.A.W. recite is “Read”. Reading is the key for Muslims to successful now on earth and later in the after life.

In short, Muslims are commanded to strike the balance between the quest for a success in their undertakings and getting the blessing from Allah S.W.T. It is a model of the insan which Muhammad S.A.W. keeps on reminding in his 23 years of teachings as the last of God’s prophet.

In that principle and philosophy of all that, Muslims should be defined as ‘Moderate’.

However, Muslims have been misunderstood and misrepresented, for all the wrong reasons. The West demands the Muslims to be ‘moderate’. Worse than that, the West themselves don’t apply the same definition of moderation to themselves.

Someone who is born in the West debated on this. To quote the latest The Mole columnist Iain Buchanan innaugral piece on the arguments on ‘Whose Moderate Muslim?’, “And yet it is mandatory, these days, for Muslims to define their “moderates” in terms of Western-derived conceptions of democracy and free elections, free speech, religious “tolerance”, sexual equality, children’s rights, and so on”.

It is time for Muslims and Non Muslims alike to be fair. Fair amongst themselves. Fair to each other. Fair to all. Fair to the environment. Fair to Mother Earth. Fair to be the ‘moderate beings’ that God created to be the mainstay of the ‘Third Rock From The Sun’.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha 1433H.

Published in: on October 25, 2012 at 20:42  Comments (2)  

Remembering Sabra and Shatila

Thirty years ago today, after a long bloody and brutal campaign in Lebanon Israeli Forces opened the gates to two refugee camps Sabra and Shatila for heavily armed Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia to enter and started a bloody and brutal massacre of Palestinian refugees. All were non combatants and most of them were old folks, women and children.

British journo Robest Fisk from The Independent was one of the first western journos who entered the camps after the massacre and estimated 2,000 Palestinians were butchered although some estimated 3,500 lives were lost.

SABRA AND SHATILA

By Robert Fisk

What we found inside the Palestinian camp at ten o’clock on the morning of September 1982 did not quite beggar description, although it would have been easier to re-tell in the cold prose of a medical examination. There had been medical examinations before in Lebanon, but rarely on this scale and never overlooked by a regular, supposedly disciplined army. In the panic and hatred of battle, tens of thousands had been killed in this country. But these people, hundreds of them had been shot down unarmed. This was a mass killing, an incident – how easily we used the word “incident” in Lebanon – that was also an atrocity. It went beyond even what the Israelis would have in other circumstances called a terrorist activity. It was a war crime.

Jenkins and Tveit were so overwhelmed by what we found in Chatila that at first we were unable to register our own shock. Bill Foley of AP had come with us. All he could say as he walked round was “Jesus Christ” over and over again. We might have accepted evidence of a few murders; even dozens of bodies, killed in the heat of combat. Bur there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies – blackened babies babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24-hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition – tossed into rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army equipment and empty bottles of whiskey.

Where were the murderers? Or to use the Israelis’ vocabulary, where were the “terrorists”? When we drove down to Chatila, we had seen the Israelis on the top of the apartments in the Avenue Camille Chamoun but they made no attempt to stop us. In fact, we had first been driven to the Bourj al-Barajneh camp because someone told us that there was a massacre there. All we saw was a Lebanese soldier chasing a car theif down a street. It was only when we were driving back past the entrance to Chatila that Jenkins decided to stop the car. “I don’t like this”, he said. “Where is everyone? What the f**k is that smell?”

Just inside the the southern entrance to the camp, there used to be a number of single-story, concrete walled houses. I had conducted many interviews in these hovels in the late 1970’s. When we walked across the muddy entrance to Chatila, we found that these buildings had been dynamited to the ground. There were cartridge cases across the main road. I saw several Israeli flare canisters, still attached to their tiny parachutes. Clouds of flies moved across the rubble, raiding parties with a nose for victory.

Down a laneway to our right, no more than 50 yards from the entrance, there lay a pile of corpses. There were more than a dozen of them, young men whose arms and legs had been wrapped around each other in the agony of death. All had been shot point-blank range through the cheek, the bullet tearing away a line of flesh up to the ear and entering the brain. Some had vivid crimson or black scars down the left side of their throats. One had been castrated, his trousers torn open and a settlement of flies throbbing over his torn intestines.

The eyes of these young men were all open. The youngest was only 12 or 13 years old. They were dressed in jeans and coloured shirts, the material absurdly tight over their flesh now that their bodies had begun to bloat in the heat. They had not been robbed. On one blackened wrist a Swiss watch recorded the correct time, the second hand still ticking round uselessly, expending the last energies of its dead owner.


On the other side of the main road, up a track through the debris, we found the bodies of five women and several children. The women were middle-aged and their corpses lay draped over a pile of rubble. One lay on her back, her dress torn open and the head of a little girl emerging from behind her. The girl had short dark curly hair, her eyes were staring at us and there was a frown on her face. She was dead.

Another child lay on the roadway like a discarded doll, her white dress stained with mud and dust. She could have been no more than three years old. The back of her head had been blown away by a bullet fired into her brain. One of the women also held a tiny baby to her body. The bullet that had passed into her breast had killed the baby too. Someone had slit open the woman’s stomach, cutting sideways and then upwards, perhaps trying to kill her unborn child. Her eyes were wide open, her dark face frozen in horror.

“…As we stood there, we heard a shout in Arabic from across the ruins. “They are coming back,” a man was screaming, So we ran in fear towards the road. I think, in retrospect, that it was probably anger that stopped us from leaving, for we now waited near the entrance to the camp to glimpse the faces of the men who were responsible for all of this. They must have been sent in here with Israeli permission. They must have been armed by the Israelis. Their handiwork had clearly been watched – closely observed – by the Israelis who were still watching us through their field-glasses.

When does a killing become an outrage? When does an atrocity become a massacre? Or, put another way, how many killings make a massacre? Thirty? A hundred? Three hundred? When is a massacre not a massacre? When the figures are too low? Or when the massacre is carried out by Israel’s friends rather than Israel’s enemies?

That, I suspected, was what this argument was about. If Syrian troops had crossed into Israel, surrounded a Kibbutz and allowed their Palestinian allies to slaughter the Jewish inhabitants, no Western news agency would waste its time afterwards arguing about whether or not it should be called a massacre.

But in Beirut, the victims were Palestinians. The guilty were certainly Christian militiamen – from which particular unit we were still unsure – but the Israelis were also guilty. If the Israelis had not taken part in the killings, they had certainly sent militia into the camp. They had trained them, given them uniforms, handed them US army rations and Israeli medical equipment. Then they had watched the murderers in the camps, they had given them military assistance – the Israeli airforce had dropped all those flares to help the men who were murdering the inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila – and they had established military liason with the murderers in the camps

***************

This came a few days after recently elected President Lebanon Lebanese Christian Kataeb leader Bashir Gemayel and followers were killed by a bomb attack assassination. Kataeb members, took their revenge against these Palestinian refugees mainly consisting helpless and non combatant women, children and old folks.

Western witnesses saw the massacre went on by the Lebanese Chritisna militia for days, under the watchful eyes of Israeli Forces. The blamed Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon for the responsibility of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre.

No one was ever taken to face any form of trial for the horrific massacre of these non combatant refugees. It was a horrific tragedy of crimes against humanity which the world failed on these Palestinian refugees. Ariel Sharon later became Prime Minister of Israel and further exercised his thrist for atrocities and genocide in the Palestinian West Banks and Gaza settlements.

It is typical of ‘Israeli Justice’. The mandate to form the State of Israel for the Jews, were justified for those who survived the horror and tragedy of the World War II Nazi Holocaust. They unlawfully and immorally took Palestinian lands for  creation of their new Zionist state 64 years ago. There on, the Zionist Israeli butchers took millions of Palestinian lives to justify their existence and expansion.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre was a demonstration of that brutal mentality which the Zionist Jews put in practice, in their justification to remain as invaders. Even when Sabra and Shatila was about non combatant refugees. mainly consisting of old folks, women and children.

Published in: on September 17, 2012 at 15:00  Comments (4)  

Muhammad S.A.W., in current summary by the West

Muslim revere Muhammad, son of Abdullah who was born on 12 Rabiul-Awal on Year of the Elephants (The year Abarahah from Yemen tried to come to Mekkah valley and destroyed the Ka’abah with his elephants backed army).

He never knew his father. Grew up as an orphan, taken in by his paternal grandfather Abdul Mutalib after his mother Aminah died. When Abdul Mutalib died, his include Abu Talib took the charge of raising the boy. He was a typical playful and jovial boy, and illiterate, just like boys in that era. As he became a young man, he was taught the trade to become merchants and was entrustedB to carry on the merchant trips.

By the age of forty, Muhammad seeks solace in the Hira’ caves, to be alone and ponder on his deep philosophical thoughts.Then Archangle Gabriel appeared with specific instructions from God, antagonized Muhammad and instructing him to read!

That experience was Muhammad being’ baptized’ as a Prophet. He preached in Mekkah for thirteen years before migrating to Medinah. He came back to reclaim Mekkah and destroyed all the pagan worship activities around the house of worship (Masjid-il-Haram) which was built by Abraham.

Through the years, God’s words where communicated to Muhammad S.A.W. via archangel Gabriel. Then the ‘journey of the night’ or Isra’ Mikraj happened, where he was taken on the Buraq to the heavens to be presented to God al Mighty. The journey ascended from Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.

Muhammad S.A.W. also referred by Muslims as Rasulullah, is a model businessman, husband, father, leader, diplomat, military strategist, teacher, communicator and mediator.

This article is uploaded from Associated Press

Key Questions, Answers About the Prophet Muhammad

By AYA BATRAWY Associated Press
September 14, 2012 (AP)

An overview about the Prophet Muhammad:

Who is the Prophet Muhammad?

Muslims believe that God revealed the Quran to Muhammad starting in the early 6th century through the Angel Gabriel. Muhammad is not only considered part of a long line of major prophets, including Moses and Jesus, but Muhammad is also considered the last prophet.

Muhammad was married to Khadija, a wealthy woman who inherited her family business and was 15 years older than him. She is considered the first follower of Islam after the prophet. The prophet did not marry again until after her death. Among the women he married after are Aisha, who is revered for transmitting to his followers after his death his way of life and habits, and Maria, a Coptic Christian who converted. The revelation of the Quran began in what is celebrated by Muslims around the world as the month of Ramadan. Muslims believe the Quran is a continuation of the core values of the Torah and Bible.

What is the Prophet Muhammad’s role in Islam?

Muslims consider Muhammad both a spiritual and very human figure who is a model of how they should behave in all aspects of life. The Muslim declaration of faith, or shahada, is: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This declaration is recited often during the five daily prayers as a way of glorifying God and sending blessings to Muhammad, as well as cementing one’s faith in the declaration. Muslims do not worship Muhammad but honor him by trying to emulate his ideals.

Why are depictions of the prophet seen as heretical by most Muslims?

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt US Prophet Film.JPEG
AP
Sinai Bedouin protest as part of widespread… View Full Caption

Among Sunni Muslims in particular, depictions of any prophets, whether it be Muhammad or Jesus or Moses, are shunned to avoid worship of a person or figure rather than God. God is the absolute in Islam and shares no partner and has no associates. Throughout history, there have been some depictions of the prophet in Islamic art, and it is common to find his name in the form of calligraphy. His name as God’s messenger and as part of the Islamic declaration, shahada, is drawn in Arabic and hung in homes and mosques. Shia Muslims are less opposed to depictions and images of Islamic leaders, but drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, positive or not, continue to draw ire by Muslims around the world.

In what ways does the prophet’s life impact Muslims today?

In mosque sermons, Muslim homes, Islamic studies and literature on the religion, the prophet’s way of life and his words are studied and repeated as examples to live by. While Muslims do not believe the prophet to be perfect, as perfection is believed to be reserved only for God, they revere his relationship with his companions, followers, enemies, wives and neighbors as the ideal that humans should aspire to emulate.

The verbal sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad are key elements of Islam that Muslims often refer to when interpreting Islamic law or answering questions that may not be fully addressed in the Quran. A saying or action by the prophet, known as a “hadith,” has been studied in great detail by scholars for centuries to establish its validity. This means the reliability of its transmitters and the accuracy of its lineage back to the prophet must be authenticated.

What is an example of a hadith?

The Prophet Muhammad and his followers were often subjected to mockery, abuse and torture in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by those opposed to Islam and its message during its early years. It is said he remained patient and did not return insult for insult. This is further exemplified by one his teachings or hadith, in which he states; “Should I inform you about the best characteristics of the dwellers of this world and the hereafter? They are: keeping a relationship with one who cuts it off with you, giving to the one who deprives you, and pardoning the one who oppresses or wrongs you.”

———

Associated Press religion writer Rachel Zoll contributed from New York.

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That came after massive Muslim world anger against the insult they felt based on Sam Bacile’s “Innocence of Muslim”

14 September 2012 Last updated at 22:33 GMT

Anti-Islam film protests escalate

Violent protests have continued across the Middle East in response to a film made in the US seen as insulting to Islam

At least seven people were killed on Friday in demonstrations over a film made in the US that mocks Islam – as protests spread around the world.

Three people were killed when the US embassy in Khartoum was attacked, Sudanese state radio said.

In Tunisia, two people were killed after crowds breached the US embassy compound in Tunis. There was one death in Egypt and one in Lebanon.

Protests began on Tuesday against the film, Innocence of Muslims.

The film depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and leader of a group of men who enjoy killing. Clips were distributed online with an Arabic voice-over.

The film’s exact origin and the motivation behind its production remain a mystery.

Islamic flag

In Khartoum, a crowd of several thousand attacked the US embassy. State radio said three people were killed.

Continue reading the main story

At the scene

Leana HoseaBBC News, Tunis

As soon as Friday prayers were over, hundreds of men streamed out of the mosque in Tunis and started marching to the US embassy. They appeared to be ordinary Muslims angry that their religion had been insulted. As one told me: “Allah and the Prophet are more important than my life.”

Most of the protesters were men, but there were some women, too. When I put it to them that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had apologised and the film had nothing to do with the US government, they all said it was not enough. “We want a proper apology and for the filmmaker to be arrested,” they said.

The embassy was heavily guarded by riot police, an army tank and the access roads were shut. But this was not enough. Clashes soon broke out. The air was thick with tear gas, but people have learned from the revolution that a bit of Coca-Cola in the eyes will take away the burn.

Just opposite the embassy, the American School was looted by young men and boys, who walked off with musical instruments and computers.

The crowds gathered first outside the German embassy, setting it partially alight and causing extensive damage.

The UK embassy nearby was also targeted by protesters but escaped major destruction.

The controversial film has no known links to either Germany or the UK.

Both countries confirmed all their staff in their Khartoum embassies were safe.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s attack and call on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that those involved are brought to justice,” said UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Later, US Vice President Joe Biden called his Sudanese counterpart Ali Osman Taha to express concern over the security of US and other diplomatic missions in Khartoum, the White House said.

In Tunis, hundreds of protesters entered the embassy compound and set fire to several vehicles in the car park.

Earlier reports said three people had been killed but this was later revised down to two.

Police fired shots, but it was not clear whether these were rubber bullets or live rounds.

Demonstrators raised a black flag bearing the Islamic proclamation of faith: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

The American school in Tunis was looted and set on fire.

Tunisian Prime Minister Rachid Ghannouchi said the attacks were unacceptable.

All the dead are believed to be protesters. There is no indication that any diplomatic staff or members of the security forces were killed.

At least one person was killed in Cairo as protests raged for a fourth day.

Police firing tear gas pushed about 500 demonstrators back from the US embassy. Streets nearby were blocked with barbed wire, concrete and police vehicles.

President Obama : “Their sacrifice will never be forgotten”

Islamist groups and others had called for a peaceful “million-man march” in the city, but a number withdrew those calls on Friday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, said it would organise marches and sit-ins in front of mosques – but none outside the US embassy in Cairo.

After talks with Italian leaders in Rome, Mr Mursi reiterated his government’s determination to protect foreign diplomats on its soil. He also condemned the film as unacceptable.

Later on Friday, Islamic militants attacked an international observer post in Egypt’s restive Sinai region.

The base is not far from the border with Gaza and Israel. It houses some 1,500 members of the multinational force, including US troops.

There were also protests in the northern city of Alexandria.

In other developments:

Continue reading the main story

Protest timeline – main flashpoints

Map

11 September

1. US embassy in Cairo attacked, flag torn down and replaced with black Islamist banner

2. Mob attacks US consulate in Benghazi, US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed

13 September

3. Protesters break into the US embassy compound in Sanaa, Yemen, amid clashes with security forces

14 September

4. Sudanese protesters attack German and British embassies in Khartoum, and clash with police

5. One person killed in Lebanon in protest at a KFC restaurant

6. Protesters in Tunis attack the US embassy, with a large fire reported and shots heard

  • In the Yemeni capital Sanaa, security forces fired warning shots and water cannon to disperse protesters near the US embassy
  • The US is sending a fast-response team of 50 marines to Sanaa to boost security
  • In the Lebanese city of Tripoli, protesters set fire to a KFC fast-food restaurant, sparking clashes with security forces
  • In Bangladesh, thousands of demonstrators demanded harsh punishment for the film’s makers, and burned the American flag
  • In London, about 200 protesters gathered outside the US embassy, burning the US and Israeli flags but there was no violence
  • About 1,000 people joined a protest in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, burning an effigy of US President Barack Obama
  • Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem
  • In Nigeria, police in the flashpoint northern city of Jos fired live rounds at a protest outside a mosque
  • There were also protests in eastern Sri Lanka and in the Maldives

The protests against the film began on Tuesday in Cairo.

They spread to the Libyan city of Benghazi, where demonstrators stormed the US consulate, killing the ambassador and three other Americans.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have attended a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base for the return of the remains of the Americans killed.

Mr Obama said the US would “stand fast” against the violence at its diplomatic missions.

The US has said it is stepping up security at its missions globally in the wake of the attack.

The BBC has been told that the US consulate in Benghazi was not given the standard security contract offered to most US diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

The allegation came from Western private military contractors.

A White House spokesman has said there was no “actionable intelligence” in advance about the Benghazi attack.

President Obama has now ordered a review of security at US diplomatic facilities around the world.

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The search is now for “Sam Bacile”:

  • EXTRA
  • September 14, 2012

Who is ‘Sam Bacile’?

New intriguing leads on the man who made the world’s most deadly movie trailer.

By BRET STEPHENS

U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya, Egypt and Yemen have come under violent assault in recent days, all ostensibly on account of an online trailer for a film nobody has seen called “Innocence of Muslims.” The 14-minute clip, almost comically badly acted, depicts the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in a, well, unflattering light. The actors in the clip have insisted they were duped into thinking the film was set 2,000 years ago in (pre-Islamic) Egypt, and that the Muhammad character was named “George.” The anti-Islamic thrust of the clip appears to have been added later by way of some crude overdubbing.

Since then questions have swirled about the identity of the film-maker. On Tuesday, the Journal spoke to a man who claimed to be the director and called himself Sam Bacile. He described himself as a 52-year-old Israeli-American real-estate developer, called Islam a “cancer,” and said the film had been funded by Jewish donors to the tune of $5 million.

But as the Journal reports, there are no records of a “Sam Bacile” either in the U.S. or Israel. The Journal also reports that “Sam Bacile’s” phone number was traced to an address in Cerritos, Calif., which appears to be the home of somebody named Nakoula Bassely Nakoula. Along with a “Sam Basselley,” Mr. Nakoula is listed as one of the film’s producers. In a conversation with the Associated Press, he denied being Sam Bacile but claimed to be a Coptic Christian and the manager of the company that had produced the film. Records indicate that a man named Nakoula Nakoula recently served a prison sentence for bank fraud. Among his known aliases are Mark Basseley Youssef and Youssef M. Basseley.

With help from a tipster, I’ve done some sleuthing myself and come up with a few intriguing leads. Until the page suddenly vanished yesterday, someone named Sam Bassel had a Facebook page in which he identified himself as a male “Movei [sic] maker” in Hollywood, California. Also promoted as a “Favorite” on the page is a movie called “Innocence of bin Laden,” which seems to have been the original title for “Innocence of Muslims.” Most of the written exchanges on the page are in Arabic, and most of Sam Bassel’s Facebook friends appear to be of Arab origin as well. Also listed as a Favorite on the page is a link to a Facebook group called “I am Egyptian.”

The “Sam Bassel” Facebook page abruptly vanished yesterday. But I caught a screen grab of the page before it disappeared.

Note the name under the “Work and Education” tag: “matthew mtta dba,” in Norwalk Calif. A Google search finds that a legal notice for a Fictitious Business Name Statement was posted in the Nov. 4-10, 2010 issue of the San Gabriel Valley Examiner, on page B11. It reads: “The following person(s) doing business as: MATTHEW MTTA” and gives the registrant’s name as “Abanob Basseley,” along with an address in Norwalk.

So who is Abanob Basseley? Yesterday I called a number listed to that name with an address in Cerritos, CA—the same town in which Nakoula Nakoula apparently lives. The number was no longer in service, so the hunt goes on. But a few tentative conclusions:

Sam Bacile/Bassel is not an Israeli-American, and his attempt to pass himself off as one is a potentially deadly slander. His film—if there really is any footage beyond the 14-minute clip—did not cost anything like $5 million to make. There is no cabal of Jewish donors who put up the money. Sam Bassel, or whoever used that name as a Facebook alias, speaks and writes fluent Arabic and likely has an Egyptian background. The name Abanob Basseley is, as one Egyptian friend tells me, as typically Coptic as, say, Mohammad is Muslim or Shlomo is Jewish. (St. Abonoub is a Coptic saint named after an Egyptian child martyred by the Romans.) The fact that the film was publicly promoted by Morris Sadek, the head of the National American Coptic Assembly, also suggests a Coptic connection to the film.

No doubt we’ll learn more about “Sam Bacile” in the days to come. What effect, if any, an accurate account of the video clip’s true origins will have on the protesters rampaging in Arab capitals remains to be seen.

Mr. Stephens writes Global View, the Journal’s foreign relations column.

Published in: on September 15, 2012 at 06:32  Comments (7)  

Selamat Menyambut Kemerdekaan

When UMNO was formed on 11 May 1946, its initial objective was to get Malayan Union to be withdrawn. Later, UMNO was an integral part of the ‘Tanah Melayu Treaty’ dated 1 February 1948, which laid the fundamentals of statehood what we now know as Federation of Malaysia.

In 1951, UMNO started its active campaign to fight for Independence. During the first general elections to elect the consultative council to Federation of Malaya in 1955, UMNO partnered with MCA and MIC and as Alliance Party, swept 51 out of 52 seats contested. With that mandate, UMNO President Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra was appointed Chief Minister of Malaya and formed a team to negotiate for Independence.

The wisdom and capability of Tunku won the trust and agreement of HRH Malay Rulers in a ‘Social Contract’ to opt for a Constitutional Monarchy democratic system and enshrined specific Malay and Rulers’ rights  and Islam as the religion of the Federation in the Federal Constitution. In return, the Non Malays were accorded with the rights as citizens where in the 1948 treaty, the ‘subjects of HRHs’ were only for the Malays.

Whitehall gave Malayans their sovereign nation on 31 August 1957. The Federal Government consists of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong elected and rotated between the nine HRHs every five years and a Parliament consisting of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, where a Prime Minister of the majority mandate sits as the Executive. The civil service, armed forces and judiciary is also styled  after the Commonwealth system.

At the stroke of midnight on 31 August 1957  at the Selangor Club Padang, ‘God Save The Queen’ was played on Malayan soil for the last time and the Union Jack was officially reeled down the flag pole. Moments later, hoisted up came the new Malayan flag and the shouts of ‘Merdeka’, three times by the cheering crowds of Malayans. The next morning, at the newly built Merdeka Stadium an official handing over of the interments of independence from Queen Elizabeth Ii’s special envoy, Duke of Glouscester to Prime Minister of Federation of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman.

“Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!”, was Tunku’s immortal proclamation. The Negaraku was played for the first time as the Malayan flag was hoisted up. A new sovereign nation was born.

Tunku promised peace. Tunku promised harmony. Tunku promised progress. Tunku promised development. Tunku promised transformation. Tunku promised Federation of Malaya would be a better nation for all, with better opportunities and economic development programs for the rakyat.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra’s legacy lives on. After 55 years from what and where Tunku started, struggled, nurtured and left behind, the nation is brought to much different level. Malaysia has progressed and transformed so far ahead. Tunku’s promises were kept. His work was continued and carried on by streams of Alliance Party and later, Barisan Nasional leader.

The economy grew by 4000%. Malaysia today is the 17th largest world trading nation and foreign reserve of RM 430 billion, which could sustain ten and a half months of imports. The market capitalization of the listed companies stand at over RM 1.3 trillion. The assets of Malaysian banks are aggregated at over RM 1.4 trillion.

Malaysia aspires to be a developed and industrial nation status, high value economy and a high income workforce. The nation’s transformation process is still at play.

Janji DiTepati. Selamat Menyambut Kemerdekaan for the 55th time.

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 00:01  Comments (8)  

Kadir Jasin, Supremo Journo

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin presenting the MPI Tokoh Wartawan Negara to Dato’ A Kadir Jasin

Former Group Editor in Chief NST and now a blogger Dato’ A Kadir Jasin has been named by Malaysian Press Institute as Tokoh Wartawan Negara. It is a befitting award indeed for the forty odd years veteran journo. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin presented the award this afternoon.

Like so many people, I have a great admiration of the man.

He is a bold opinion maker. He never mince his words. And he is never shy to express his views no matter how painful it may sound at the receiving end, be it in the print media when he was still the NST Supremo, his column in the Malaysian Business or now via his infamous blog, The Scribe. In the mid to late 90s when I was still a twenty-plus-years-old  regular manager in the commercial sector, his editorial column in the English daily or “Other Thots”  twice monthly premier business magazine was something of an eye opening into a new perspective.

He held the fort when Anwar Ibrahim was sacked in September 1998, and the mob street politics of hatred ‘Reformasi’ was born. It was the time where part of Anwar’s propaganda to win the imagination of many is to attack the NST. For the next few years, Dato’ Kadir demonstrated examplary leadership when NST was under streams of test. Once the premier Malaysian referral point in English language, at that moment NST has then became “A tool of Government’s lies”.

Through my involvement in the political arena of cybersphere, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the man. Then, we were on the same side of a very unpopular group of dissenters, openly going against the poor and weak leadership and administration of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Even though I was never a journo, Dato’ Kadir easily accepted an oddball like yours truly to be someone he was willing to share his thoughts with.

By then, I was also actively involved in events that were blatantly critical of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah and his notorious ‘Level Four Boys’. The small group of us was all over Semenanjung Malaysia, organizing or attending events. Kadir, was kind enough to be a panelist in some of these events.

Every now and then, he would round some of us up for teh tarik or his roti canai breakfast and persons like me would benefit immensely from his thought process, analysis and personal views on things, especially issues involving UMNO, the Malays and Bumiputra Agenda. His account of personal wealth of experience was like gold to us. He never failed to encourage us to carry on and stingy to part his deep-rooted Malay values.

In third quarter of 2008, Dato’ Kadir published Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘Blogging to Unblock’, a collection of the first few articles which appeared on then  chedet.com. It was the time where the small group of us was so unpopular that many of our own friends ‘feared’ to be seen in our company, even for a quiet and harmless teh tarik.

Dato’ Kadir is still a fighter through his writings. So much so, former Justice Minister turned PKR politician Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim took him to court for his writing “Zaid: Hurricane Hattie of PR”.

I am very certain many of his friends and former subordinates are very proud of the award bestowed on the Pendang-born Kedahan. Please read his brief but amazing side of story as a jouno. Congratulations, Dato’ Kadir. A true Malay Warrior. An inspirational bi-lingual writer, indeed.

Published in: on July 17, 2012 at 03:40  Comments (3)  

Semangat nasionalism terus membara

Enam puluh enam tahun dahulu, Dato’ Onn Ja’afar, Pendita Za’aba dan beberapa nasionalis Melayu dalam Kongress Melayu ketiga berjaya mengumpulkan 29 NGO Melayu dan menubuhkan United Malay Nationalist Organisation di Istana Besar, Johor Bahru, Johor. DYMM Tuanku Sultan Johor memberi perkenan Kongress Melayu Ketiga ini dianjurkan dalam Istana Besar.

29 NGO Melayu ini bersatu dengan tujuan pada masa itu untuk menolak Malayan Union, yang ditubuhkan dengan bertujuan menyatukan semua negeri negeri di Tanah Melayu dibawah satu pentadbiran pasca Perang Dunia II dan menarik balik semua kuasa Raja Raja Melayu. Setelah tertubuhnya UMNO, majoriti orang Melayu berjaya disatukan dengan meniup semangat nasionalism dan makin mampan menjadi desakan politik yang begitu utuh.

Akibatnya, Malayan Union dibubarkan. Pasca Malayan Union menyaksikan pentadbiran British berunding dengan Raja Raja Melayu dan UMNO bertindak sebagai pemerhati. Hasilnya, Perjanjian Tanah Melayu ditanda tangani pada 21 Januari 1948 dan berkuat kuasa pada 1 Februari 1948.

UMNO semasa ditubuh di Istana Besar, Johor Bahru, Johor pada Kongress Melayu Ketiga 11 Mei 1946. Ditengah tengah barisan hadapan ialah Pemangku Sultan Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim

Semangat nasionalism yang ditaja dan semarakan oleh UMNO ini menjadi asas bagi orang orang Melayu yang pada masa itu rata rata tidak mempunyai pelajaran, harta dan apa apa kuasa itu bersatu begitu padu dan bangkit menentang British. Bermula Mac 1950, slogan ‘Hidup Melayu’ ditukar kepada ‘Merdeka’ dan semangat baru perjuangan untuk membebaskan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dari jajahan British mula dijana secara aktif dan bertruktur.

Desakan makin jitu dikalangan rakyat jelata dan segenap masyarakat Melayu makin lantang menyuarakan aspirasi mereka untuk menguasai kuasa politik. Dsakan ini makin intesif dan UMNO mula berjinak jinak untuk bekerjasama dengan parti bukan Melayu, MCA mewakili masyarakat Cina dan MIC mewakili masyarakat India. Kesefahaman dan kerjasama mula dijana dan capai dan lahirlah Parti Perikatan. Apabila British menerima desakan pilihanraya umum bagi memilih anggota Majlis Perundingan Persektuan Tanah Melayu pada tahun 1955, UMNO berjaya menang di 35 dari 51 kerusi yang dimenangi Parti Perikatan. Ini berbanding 52 kerusi yang dipertandingkan.

Kejayaan menerima mandat yang luar biasa ini berlaku tatkala Persekutuan Tanah Melayu masih lagi diancam keganasan komunis yang mahu menubuhkan kerajaan komunis secara kekerasan dan tanpa mereka sokongan majoriti.

Rundingan Baling, 28-29 Disember 1955

Mandat ini digunakan Ketua Menteri Persekutuan Tanah Melayu pertama Tunku Abdul Rahman untuk bertemu Chin Peng mewakili Parti Komunis Malaya pada Rundingan Baling 28-29 Disember 1955 dan meminta pengganas ini menerima suara aspirasi majoriti rakyat dan meletakkan senjata. Sebagai balasan, mereka diampunkan tanpa syarat dan dibenarkan kembali ke pangkuan masyarakat.

Namun, mereka menolak tawaran itu.

Rombongan merundingkan Kemerdekaan di Whitehall, yang diterajui Presiden UMNO dan Ketua Menteri Persekutuan Tanah Melayu Tunku Abdul Rahman

Mandat ini juga, membolehkan Presiden UMNO dan Ketua Menteri Persekutuan Tanah Melayu mendapat perkenan sekelian baginda Tuanku Raja Raja Melayu menerima cadangan corak pentadbiran ialah demokrasi dengan sistem Raja Berpelembagaan. Seterusnya, beliau mengetuai rombongan ke Whitehall pada 1956 dan beroleh Kemerdekaan dari jajahan Empayar Britain.

Persekutuan Tanah Melayu merdeka sebagai negara yang berdaulat dan berpelembagaan pada 31 Ogos 1957. Antara komponen penubuhan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ialah seorang Raja Melayu dipilih dikalangan sekelian baginda Tuanku Raja Raja Melayu setiap lima tahun sebagai Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, Islam menjadi agama Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dan hak istimewa orang Melayu dijamin.

Kemerdekaan, 31 Ogos 1957

Hari ini, semangat nasionalism itu masih relevan apabila ujud anasir anasir dalam dan luar negara yang cuba secara sistematik dan berstruktur untuk mencabar peruntukan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia, kuasa dan keududukan Raja Raja Melayu, kedudukan dan pentadbiran perlaksanaan Islam dan hak keistimewaan orang Melayu. Tidak kurang juga perlbagai pihak terutama parti politik yang berfahaman ekstremis dan songsang dan NGO yang mendukung perjuangan ini, menggunakan pelbagai peluang dan helah untuk terus mencabar dan menguji agar dapat dijadikan isu yang boleh dijana dan manipulasikan sebagai kepentingan minoriti diketepikan dan lebih buruk lagi, ditindas.

Ini termasuk mencabar peruntukan undang undang dan kesabaran majoriti dan pelaksana penguasaan undang undang. Cabaran ini sebenar bertujuan untuk menimbulkan kekacauan dan peluang ini digunakan mereka yang berkepentingan dan berstrategi ‘politik kebencian’ ini menjana satu revolusi agar golongan minoriti beroleh kuasa keatas majoriti.

Namun, setakat ini ianya gagal.

Rakyat Malaysia harus bersyukur kerana mereka yang semangat nasionalism masih lagi mampu menguasai keyakinan dan sokongan majoriti dan kestabilan, harmoni dan semangat muhibah dan tolernasi masih lagi utuh. Ianya elemen penting bagi pembangunan, kemajuan dan kemakmuran terus berkembang secara produktif dan progressif sehingga dinikmati oleh Malaysia pada hari ini.

100,000 ahli UMNO melimpah ruah berhimpun di Stadium Nasional merayakan Ulang Tahun Penubuhan UMNO, 11 Mei 2012

Perhimpunan aman, teratur dan terurus 100,000 orang Melayu melaungkan semangat nasionalism dengan begitu menggegarkan di Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil malam ini memberikan nafas baru bahawa majoriti orang Melayu masih lagi mendukung perjuangan nasionalism sebagai asas wadah pemerintahan negara.

Ucapan Presiden VII UMNO Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak:

Ucapan Najib membakar semangat anggota UMNO

KUALA LUMPUR 12 Mei – Ucapan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak malam tadi di hadapan lebih 100,000 anggota UMNO, dianggap sebagai bekalan dan peringatan penting kepada anggota parti itu sebelum pilihan raya umum ke-13.

Ucapan Presiden UMNO VII pada Ulang Tahun Penubuhan UMNO 11 Mei 2012

Masing-masing menganggap ucapan Presiden UMNO itu sebagai pembakar semangat untuk semua anggota UMNO berjuang habis-habisan untuk merealisasikan isi perjuangan parti itu.

Naib Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Mohd. Shafie Apdal berkata, ucapan itu mesti difahami dan diterjemahkan dalam bentuk tenaga dalam memastikan UMNO terus relevan dan kekal dalam perjuangannya.

“Seperti apa yang dikatakan oleh Presiden kita mesti bersiap siaga dalam menghadapi pilihan raya akan datang, UMNO merupakan parti yang amat berjasa kepada rakyat dan ia perlu kekal,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas perhimpunan ulang tahun ke-66 UMNO di Stadium Bukit Jalil di sini malam tadi.

Shafie menarik perhatian berkata perhimpunan itu memberi gambaran bahawa anggota parti sudah bersedia berjuang untuk mengembalikan kegemilangan sebagai parti Melayu terunggul.

Sementara itu, Naib Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi berharap agar semua anggota UMNO memberi komitmen yang penuh untuk melaksanakan apa yang diucapkan oleh Presiden parti.

“Apa yang disampaikan oleh Presiden terbukti bukan sekadar retorik, kita harus bekerja dengan lebih keras lagi,” katanya.

Bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pula menyifatkan ucapan Najib penuh dengan semangat dan jelas menunjukkan bahawa perpaduan bangsa Melayu semakin kukuh.

Dalam pada itu, Ketua Puteri UMNO Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin mengingatkan semua anggota parti khususnya Puteri UMNO supaya menghayati amanat daripada Presiden parti agar bekerja keras bagi memastikan kemenangan berpihak kepada UMNO pada pilihan raya akan datang. – BERNAMA

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Dalam amanat Presiden, Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak amat yakin semangat ahli UMNO seluruh negara begitu membara dan bersedia untuk bertemu rakyat, bagi mendapatkan sokongan dan mandat dalam Pilihnraya Umum ke 13 yang amat dinanti nantikan itu.

Kita sudah bersedia – Najib

Oleh ZULKIFLI JALIL
dan SAIFULIZAM MOHAMAD
pengarang@utusan.com.my

PRESIDEN UMNO, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dengan aksi tersendiri ketika memberikan ucapan kepada ribuan ahli dan orang ramai pada Sambutan Ulang Tahun UMNO Ke-66 di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, malam tadi.

KUALA LUMPUR 11 Mei – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menjadikan Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil gegak gempita malam ini apabila seakan-akan telah membuat keputusan mahu membubarkan Parlimen.

Ketika menyifatkan Sambutan Ulang Tahun UMNO Ke-66 itu begitu hebat dengan kehadiran kira-kira 120,000 orang dan akan diingati dalam lipatan sejarah negara, Presiden UMNO itu berkata, beliau seperti merasakan mahu menghadap Yang di-Pertuan Agong esok.

Ketika hadirin yang terdiri daripada ahli UMNO termasuk ketua-ketua parti komponen, badan-badan bukan kerajaan serta para perwakilan asing dan wakil media bersorak mendengar ungkapan beliau, Najib kemudian ‘meredakan’ keadaan dengan menarik perhatian hadirin supaya menafsir tujuh sebab sama ada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 perlu diadakan dalam waktu terdekat atau tidak.

“Baik…nak ada pilihan raya esok, bulan Jun ke…bila-bila bulan…tahun depan…tak boleh (tahun depan)? kita dah bersedia! kita dah bersedia! kita dah bersedia!, boleh menang! boleh menang! boleh menang!.

Najib Tun Razak bersama isteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor diberi sambutan hangat oleh ahli-ahli UMNO ketika tiba di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil.

“Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, saya bagi tujuh sebab…sebab tujuh dekad UMNO dah berjasa pada negara.

“Kalau kita nak pilihan raya nanti bila sampai masanya, kita perlu buat perhitungan. Ada tujuh prinsip yang kita boleh buat pertimbangan,” kata beliau ketika berucap menyempurnakan majlis sambutan tersebut.

Pada majlis yang turut dihadiri Timbalan Presiden UMNO, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dan veteran parti termasuk bekas Presiden, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad itu, Najib mengungkapkan satu persatu tujuh prinsip berkenaan yang perlu direnung oleh rakyat Malaysia sebelum Parlimen boleh dibubarkan, iaitu:

1) Antara Barisan Nasional (BN) dan pembangkang, mana satu kepimpinan yang boleh dipercayai dan janjinya ditepati. Siapa sudah bagi BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia), Baucar Buku 1Malaysia kepada mana-mana sekolah, siapa sudah beri (bonus atau durian runtuh) kepada peneroka Felda.

Ahli-ahli UMNO menadah tangan berdoa pada majlis sambutan ulang tahun UMNO.

Siapa sudah buat Klinik Rakyat 1Malaysia, Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia, jalan luar bandar dan dalam bandar, siapa sudah buat sekolah. Siapa sudah buat segala-galanya…bukankah BN.

Namun, sebelum saya (Perdana Menteri) pergi ke prinsip kedua, saya nak tuan-tuan nyatakan siapa yang ‘pegang kepala’ Kampung Buah Pala (di Pulau Pinang) yang janji pakatan pembangkang, kalau mereka menang, mahu kekalkan kampung berkenaan.

AHLI-ahli Pemuda UMNO mengibarkan bendera gergasi di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil.

Siapa pula buat 22 janji di Selangor tetapi sebahagian besarnya gagal ditunaikan. Siapa yang gagal uruskan soal air?

2) Yang kedua, kalau tentu (parti itu) nak dipilih, tentukan kita pilih hari esok lebih baik dari hari ini. Siapa yang boleh beritahu ini?

3) Siapa boleh pelihara kedaulatan undang-undang, kesucian Islam, keluhuran Perlembagaan, institusi raja-raja serta hak-hak kaum lain.

4) Siapa boleh uruskan ekonomi kita yang sangat baik ini serta membawa pertumbuhan yang memberangsangkan?

5) Siapa yang boleh menjamin keharmonian dan perpaduan (kaum) berkekalan?

6) Siapa yang boleh membuat pembaharuan secara tersusun. Siapa yang membawa transformasi kepada negara ini?

7) Siapa yang boleh tentukan kemakmuran negara sehingga hari ini dengan izin Allah boleh menjadi negara yang berpendapatan tinggi?

Dalam hal ini, Presiden UMNO itu menarik perhatian hadirin pada sambutan itu supaya menjadikan Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil sebagai saksi di mana semua mereka berkumpul untuk bersama-sama memupuk keyakinan menghadapi pilihan raya umum.

Najib Tun Razak bersama timbalannya, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin menyampaikan anugerah Tokoh Melayu Terbilang kepada Adibah Amin dan Tan Sri Dr. Arshad Ayub (gambar kanan).

“Siapa kata dokongan orang Melayu pada UMNO sudah menurun sedangkan hari ini kita menyaksikan sokongan kepada kita semakin meningkat.

“Saya nak tanya, apabila kedudukan orang Melayu dipersoal, Islam diasak, bila institusi raja-raja diketepikan, siapa yang pertahankannya.

“Sesungguhnya UMNO sudah berjalan begitu jauh, setiap inci tanah sudah dimakmurkan. Jangan sesekali kita biarkan kita dibinasakan. Biar putih tulang, jangan biar rakyat dan bangsa dibinasakan, kelak anak cucu terbangsat hidup mereka,’’ katanya.

SEBAHAGIAN daripada 120,000 orang yang hadir pada Sambutan Ulang Tahun UMNO Ke-66 di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil, malam tadi.

Kepada hadirin dan ahli UMNO seluruhnya, Najib berpesan: “Jangan terpalit damak beracun, sandiwara lawan yang tempah kegagalan.

“Ayuhlah, jangankan gerimis, hujan pun kita akan redah, ribut taufan kita akan harungi, jangankan air bah, gelombang pun kita akan harungi… jangankan gerhana, gelap gelita pun kita harungi. Biar berdentum guruh di langit, hidup UMNO untuk Barisan (Nasional),” tegasnya.

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Semoga, semangat nasionalism ini terus berjaya disemarakkan dan menjadi asas dan bekalan agar Malaysia terus maju dengan resipi dan komponen yang berjaya selama ini dipertingkatkan.

DULU, KINI dan SELAMANYA

*Perkembangan dikemas kini 1100hrs

Published in: on May 11, 2012 at 23:55  Comments (6)  

RM 1,000 per month ‘extra allowance’?

Is this the culprit?

Another Brick in the Wall published a series of two shocking stories about a particular ‘Press Secretary’, which seems to be ‘terrorising’ a particular state to a point where a bureau chief was ‘transfered’. There are more shocking rumours about this person’s practices.

Some ‘friendly parties’ been talking about a rumour this person provides a RM 1,000 per month ‘extra allowance’ for journos in the state who are playing ‘in tandem’ to his game. Although this is an unbelievable practice but then again, it cannot simply be ruled out as impossible. More over when his Boss has often been thought of as a politician who is unable to deliver, despite the attention and support been placed towards him and his administration.

On top of that, this so-called Press Secretary also been said to have been pitting politicians with vile issues against each other within the state.

This must not be a healthy practice. More over the close political associates of this particular Press Secretary are also been seen as practicing cronyism and cornering all the projects which have been dished out by the state agencies and GLCs. He is also been said as ‘taking care’ of the close associates of a certain Youth Chief, always seen as being controversial.

Regardless, this must be stopped.

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 02:01  Comments (2)  

Paradise at our doorsteps

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We would like to share these bakers’ dozen first hand photos with our readers. These photos shall justify the title of this posting:


We hope we need not narrate any bit of these photos as the splendour spoken for itself, a thousand times over. Probably it befits the address of the thousand acres, all within our God blessed Malaysia. If paradise could be pre-paid, probably this would be the closest.

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 09:01  Comments (4)  
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