Monday, October 18, 2010

JMM wants Malaysian Insider to shut down



Azwanddin Hamzah making a point at the peaceful protest in Bangsar this afternoon.

Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) wants local news portal Malaysian Insider to vanish off the face of the earth -- and plans to hold regular peaceful protests to drive its point home.

"Malaysian Insider has betrayed Malaysia and its people," says JMM head Azwanddin Hamzah.

He was referring to, among other things, the news portal's relationship with Indonesian nationalist group Bendera.

"I have the documents to prove it," says Azwanddin, adding that he had passed them on to the police for action.

JMM is also upset about Malaysian Insider's recent reports which it said "insulted the Sultans and Malay royalty".

Azwanddin said this after JMM had staged a 30-minute peaceful protest against the conduct of the news portal this afternoon.


The group had chosen the premises of the LRT station in Bangsar as the venue for the public meeting.

Many commuters lingered for several minutes to absorb the points raised by Azwanddin.

As in the first rally last Friday -- when Azwanddin was arrested for organising the event without a permit -- today's peaceful demonstration was also carried out illegally.

Azwanddin was adamant that JMM would continue to express its disapproval until Malaysian Insider shuts down.

See also this report.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When life was all gloom

I met her in Ipoh -- my hometown -- when she begged for money two years ago.

Nini -- my niece in Ipoh -- called me a minute ago to say that she had died.

She had been infected with HIV for many years but the details of her death are sketchy.

I, like many in Ipoh, don't know her name.

She had approached me at the Central Market in Ipoh on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr in 2008 and asked for money. I gave her RM20; she thanked me profusely and went away.

That was my first and last encounter with her.

She was a beauty in her teens but her tragic life turned her into a demented soul, by all accounts.

Apparently she was raped repeatedly as a teenager.

Some allege that the perpetrator of the crime was her father; it is unclear whether he was her biological father or stepfather.

The disappointments and betrayals in her life later forced her into prostitution.

It appeared that everything had conspired to make her life a misery.

I don't know if she had sought medical help for her condition.

According to the Malaysian AIDS Council, an average of 10 people are being infected daily and there are some 87,000 HIV-infected people in Malaysia.

I believe that life's not all gloom and despondency but how do you describe hers?

The brevity of human life. It's a terrifying thought.

But Rumi reminds us that "everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannises their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl".

Al-Fatihah.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Satisfy your curiosity


Did curiosity kill the cat?

It appears that the Union of Concerned Scientists does not believe that to be true.

Instead, it argues for "scientific curiosity" because that "is the key to solving our world's most crucial environmental, health and security problems -- such as global warming".

The grouping of scientists accuses those with "a vested interest in denying global warming" of "trying to kill the public's curiosity and thus squelch the truth".

"Scientists are curious for life," states the Union and it pleads the cause of supporting curiosity and urges us to start by being members of the grouping. 

We should take a leaf from Union's book.

"Curiosity killed the cat" is an idiom meaning to tell somebody not to ask questions or try to find out about things that do not concern them.

That is appropriate for personal affairs but in all other matters we, like the children in our midst, should show curiosity about everything.

Why should it ever stop? When my niece was four she wanted to know "why her shadow was following her?" I was amazed at her ability to notice things around her. She is now in her early twenties and she continues to ask the "shadow"-type questions.

Many questions about life remain unanswered. It is time to dig up the truth. "Curiosity about the world is the beginning of knowledge -- and science", notes Union.