The Micah Mandate: One Week Later

The most current posts coming soon, but first goodies from last week. 🙂

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Reflection
Are our Governments “Governing” Well? How Can We Tell? by Tricia Yeoh
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A second prominent component of good governance is engaging in a participatory process. This means viewing the whole of society as equally important and holding a stake in the decisions being made. In a given society, the stakeholders (for any major decision) are usually considered to be: residents (and resident associations), rukun tetangga, the media, policy makers (legislature and executive branches), academicians, civil society and non-governmental organisations, religious groups, political parties, and researchers/think tanks. Each person should belong to at least one of these categories.

Whenever an important decision is to be made, it is essential that all necessary parties are given an opportunity to be part of the process. For example, residents in Kuala Lumpur have done an excellent job in critiqueing the draft Kuala Lumpur Plan in detail, ensuring that this is given media coverage, and attempting to engage with the very policymakers that have discretion in altering its details.

While it is not clear as to the process by which the Federal Government incorporates the views of its public stakeholders, it is true that they have attempted to conduct wide public consultation meetings during the Pre-Budget Process. Views from NGOs and a host of groups are called upon to submit policy proposals. However, one criticism is that the list is highly selective and there are numerous groups – most obviously those working directly on civil and political rights – that are left out of consultation. There is also to date, no criteria by which Government decides on how they include inputs.

Reflection
HOW WE USE SACRED BOOKS by Goh Keat Peng
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To swear an oath placing one’s hand on the bible as such does not guarantee that one is necessarily telling the whole truth. The more important reality to stress and insist upon is that my oath (say of marriage) is made in the presence of God who is present as a witness and who will hold me to my pledge. Thus the degree of honesty of any oath-taking is dependent on personal sincerity and a person’s fear of God rather than our hand on a mere book. By the mere act of my swearing on a bible, those who have legitimate grievances against me could draw little comfort or assurance since my swearing on a bible is a very easy thing for me to do.  All it requires is a functioning limb rather than a functioning conscience.

Community
Legalising illegal immigrants in Sabah by Rev Lidis Singkung
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My basic premise in responding to this deportation exercise is to first pose the question: is it sinful to eke out a living in a faraway land that provides hope and opportunities? I would not imagine that their sole intention upon arrival here was to create problems to this country or rob locals out of their jobs. They came because they knew this country is full of “milk and honey” and here they can build roofs over their heads and to chart a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

Community
Dialogue as Muslim Duty by Sherman Kuek
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Community
Inter-Religious Roundtable Dialogue by CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY STUDIES
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Commentary
Signs of Disunity by TK Tan
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Commentary
Weekly News Monitor: 28 July, 2008
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Reflection
7 SEEKING HEART-FRIENDS By Koichi Ohtawa
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About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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