Random Links 302 (First 2009 Edition)

Home Ministry bans Herald’s Malay supplement

My comments to Anil clearly stated below marking a disappointing start for the year!

This move by the Home Ministry on the Malay-Language section is disappointing. It’s like denying the National Language’s ownership to Christians especially in the light of many of our brothers and sisters who use it as their first language or main language of communication.

As for the “For Christians only” label . well, to me if it’s news or even views, it’s meant to be read and reflected by all. I believe my Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and even Atheist (or Agnostic) friends would want their publications to be read by all. If not how can we even understand each other .

What a way to start the year . :-(

The Alleged Indian Mutiny In Pakatan Rakyat

After being away in the mountains, I’m slowly catching up with the news in the mud! Interesting lessons on propaganda . . .  Thanks Bob for the new year education:-)

Personally, I would have thought the spin obvious. In all my years with PKR, there’s been a very deliberate and intentional undermining of a communal agenda and the promotion of a pan Malaysian perspective and agenda. To claim that there are significant communally minded people in the party who are influential enough to rock the polity seems quite incomprehensible – at least to me as a semi-insider.

Then again, the Malaysian press and their political masters have been adept practitioners of the Nazi era Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbel’s Principles of Propaganda for many decades. The Pakatan Rakyat ought to be a bit more aware of that, particularly this principle :

Propaganda must be carefully timed.

a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda

b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment

c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

SABEEL’S REFLECTION ON GAZA

One Christian reflection worth some time . Please allow me to pick out some excerpts:

. . . A word about tahdi’a (the period of calm or truce). It is important to note that among the terms of tahdi’a was the understanding that Israel would lift the siege of the Gaza Strip, and gradually extend the truce to the West Bank. This Israel did not do. It only partially lifted the siege and allowed a trickle of vital commodities into Gaza which kept the people at the level of mere survival. Israel’s raids into the West Bank continued on a daily basis and scores of Palestinians were arrested or assassinated.

. . . So long as Israel holds the Palestinians in general and the Gazans in particular under occupation, they (the Palestinians) have the right, according to international law, to resist the “seemingly never ending” belligerent occupation and struggle for their liberation.

. . . We believe that the Arab governments could have contributed much more towards a resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict through nonviolent means. Tragically, this did not happen.

. . . Although Sabeel wishes that Hamas and other Palestinian factions had chosen a nonviolent way to resist the Israeli siege, we feel that the disproportionate use of military force against the Gaza Strip and the number of casualties that it produced must be strongly condemned. It is a shame that once again many western leaders have failed to see the deeper issues that are involved. They chose to stand with the occupier rather than with the occupied, with the oppressor rather than the oppressed, and with the powerful rather than with the weak. It is important to continue the resistance against the belligerent occupation. But we call on our Palestinian people to abandon the armed struggle and to choose a more potent and effective way – the way of nonviolence. We can do it and we can win. The Palestinians are capable of setting an example for the rest of the world. This is what we must do; and this is what can restore to us our human pride and dignity.

. . . We believe that the real message of the Palestinians to the world is a genuine cry for freedom and liberation. The Palestinians did not initiate the violence. The prolonged illegal Israeli occupation is the real cause for the violence in our area. Israel has shut the door on justice. The only way that can guarantee a lasting resolution of the conflict is for the United States’ new administration to dare and open the door of justice. We believe that it is the narrow gate of which Jesus Christ spoke. It is the gate that leads to a life of peace and security. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” This is the narrow gate of justice. This is the basis of international law. The way of military domination, occupation, violence, and wars is the wide gate that leads to destruction; while the gate that seems narrow and hard is the one that leads to justice, peace and security for both sides. We have tried the wide gate and it has only brought us destruction. It is high time to try the narrow gate of justice so that we might find life.

Israel, Gaza, truth?

Israel, Gaza, truth? Cont’d

Thanks Brian for two good leads and the memorable quote below.

Maybe we should start 12 step programs for nations with too much military power.
"Hi. My name is Israel. I am powerless over my own strength and domination of Arabs."
"Hi. My name is America. I am powerless over the rhetoric of my war on terror and my 700 foreign military bases."
"Hi. My name is Hamas. I am powerless over belief that violence can repay violence."

Welcome – have a seat. Now, let’s start with the serenity prayer.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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