Friday, 28 December 2007
Monday, 24 December 2007
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Friday, 14 December 2007
Lemas ke masjid
Oleh Ahmad Fitri Che Musaam@hmetro.com.my
“Saya terharu dan sebak terkenangkan kata-kata arwah bahawa dia terlalu rindukan masjid selepas dua hari tidak bersolat di rumah Allah itu sehingga sanggup mengharung banjir walaupun tahu air bah belum surut sepenuhnya.“Dalam dua hariitu, arwah resah dan tidak senang duduk kerana selama ini dia tak pernah terlepas untuk bersolat Subuh di masjid kerana itu rutinnya setiap hari,” kata Shamsiah Chik, 66, isteri kepada warga emas, Madin Mat Kilau, 75, yang lemas diKampung Mempateh, Lanchang di sini, semalam.Difahamkan, arwah Madin dalam perjalanan ke Masjid Kampung Mempateh sebelum dihanyutkan air deras selepas cuba mengharung banjir yang menenggelamkan jalan sepanjang 300 meter dari masjid berkenaan.Banjir itu berpunca daripada air Sungai Semantan di kampung berkenaan yang melimpahi tebing selepas hujan lebat tanpa henti sejak beberapa hari lalu.
Menurut Shamsiah, pada pagi kejadian, arwah mengejutkannya untuk memberitahu dia mahu melihat keadaan banjir di kawasan masjid kerana hujan sudah berhenti dan mendakwa dia mendengar desas-desus banjir sudah mulai surut.Katanya, arwah juga menyatakan hasratnya untuk bersembahyang Subuh di masjid jika banjir sudah surut kerana sudah lama tidak ke sana dan sangat rindukan rumah ibadat itu.“Walaupun tahu keadaan banjir masih teruk, saya tidak dapat menahan kemahuan arwah kerana faham perangainya dan tiada sesiapa menghalangnya ke masjid.“Saya tidak nampak perubahan pada arwah dan dia kelihatan biasa, kecuali beria-ia benar mahu ke masjid sedangkan waktu itu baru jam 5 pagi,” katanya.Shamsiah berkata, dia mula tidak sedap hati apabila suaminya tidak pulang ke rumah seperti kebiasaannya walaupun sudah jam 7 pagi lalu menyuruh menantunya mencarinya di kedai makan di kampung itu.“Kami mencarinya di dua kampung berhampiran dengan harapan dia mungkin mengikuti rakannya bersarapan atau menjaring ikan. Kami turut meninjau parit besar sekitar jalan kerana bimbang dia terjatuh ke situ, tetapi gagal menemuinya.“Hati saya semakin gusar apabila ternampak motosikalnya diletakkan di bawah jambatan dan ketika itu, hati saya mula mengesyaki sesuatu tidak baik berlaku padanya,” katanya.
Difahamkan, sebelum kejadian mangsa meletakkan motosikalnya di bawah jambatan tidak jauh dari tempat dia terjatuh dalam arus air deras ketika cuba memeriksa paras air di situ.Jenazah Madin ditemui jam 9 pagi, 150 meter dari masjid Kampung Mempateh oleh jirannya, Roslan Mohd Dani, 38, yang meredah air bah itu menggunakan bot untuk mencari mangsa.“Sebaik melihat Roslan membaringkan arwah di atas jalan, saya tidak dapat menahan air mata, namun berasa lapang kerana pemergiannya ke rahmatullah ketika dia dalam perjalanan ke untuk melakukan ibadah.Sementara itu, Roslan yang menunjukkan tempat dia menemui jenazah Madin kepada Harian Metro petang semalam berkata, dia segera meminjam bot daripada rakannya dan bergegas ke tempat kejadian sebaik mendapat tahu penduduk kampung sedang mencari arwah.“Saya bersama rakan mendayung bot untuk mencari arwah. Kami berharap dia selamat kerana tak sanggup kehilangannya yang sudah lama berjiran dengan saya sekeluarga.“Apabila melihat seliparnya terapung, saya sebak sehingga menitiskan air mata kerana berasakan sesuatu tidak diingini berlaku,” katanya.Menurutnya, dia terpaksa menyelam ke dalam air banjir sebelum menemui arwah di dasar di bawah seliparnya yang terapung.“Jenazahnya dalam keadaan sempurna dan kelihatan tenang walaupun beberapa jam di dasar air,” katanya yang mendengar cerita penduduk kampung arwah ada memberitahu dia terdengar azan di masjid sebelum ke sana.Jenazah Allahyarham Madin dikebumikan di Tanah Perkuburan Kampung Chempaka, Lanchang jam 4 petang semalam.
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Thursday December 13, 2007MYT 3:41:43 PM
'Silent majority has spoken'
By ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN
PETALING JAYA: Damai Malaysia, an umbrella body comprising 395 non-governmental organisations representing nearly 1.5 million members, handed over a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The memorandum criticised recent illegal street demonstrations, which Damai said had caused problems and created tension among Malaysia's multiracial population.
Upon receiving the memorandum, Abdullah said that illegal street demonstrations were not part of our culture or way of life.
"We have progressed because we have been able to maintain democratic institutions which respect the law, while the people have enjoyed the fruits of peace and political stability.
"If freedom cannot be respected and used in a responsible manner, the people themselves will be at the losing end.
"As can be seen from today's memorandum, the people who remained silent have now stood up to make their stand.
"They want peace to be maintained," he told reporters after receiving the memorandum.
Damai Malaysia representatives also included those from 75 Chinese-based and 20 Indian groups and associations.
In the joint-declaration read by Damai chairman Mohd Saiful Adil Mohd Daud, members expressed their disgust at street demonstrations, and the use of religious and racial issues to create hatred among Malaysians.
They also condemned individuals and groups who used lies and slander against the country and asked for foreign intervention into Malaysia's internal affairs, he said.
Damai advisor and Bukit Bintang MCA chief Senator Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said the Bersih and Hindraf illegal demonstrations last month had caused tourists to avoid Malaysia.
Cheras Hindu Youth Organisation vice-president S. Ariivazhagan expressed disappointment that Hindraf had used religion to protest.
Thursday December 13, 2007MYT 3:59:19 PM
Five Hindraf leaders detained under ISA (2nd update)
PETALING JAYA: Five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders have
been arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The five are P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V.
Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar. They were picked up at various locations in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Seremban.
It is learnt they were detained under Section 8 (1) of the ISA after Internal Security Minister Datuk Seri Abdulah Ahmad Badawi signed their detention order.
Their detention is for two years.
Uthayakumar and two others namely Ganabatirau and P. Waythamoorthy were charged under the Sedition Act on Nov 23 in Klang 23 for allegedly making speeches to incite hatred at a gathering in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, on Nov 16. Waythamoorthy is currently overseas.
Under Section 73 (1) of the ISA, the police can detain any individual for up to 60 days without a warrant, trial and without access to legal counsel if he was suspected to have “acted or is about to act or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof."
After 60 days, the Minister of Home Affairs can extend the period of detention without trial for up to two years, without submitting any evidence for review by the courts, by issuing a detention order, which is renewable indefinitely.
NO SINGLE episode in Malaysian society in recent years has had such a negative impact upon Indo-Malay ties as the actions and allegations of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). Its reckless, scurrilous allegations have hurt and angered a lot of Malaysians from all walks of life.
It is utterly ludicrous to accuse the Umno-led government of embarking upon the “ethnic cleansing” of the Indian community. Is there an organised, systematic attempt on the part of the state to eliminate the Indian minority which is what ethnic cleansing is all about? Do Hindraf leaders even understand the term and what it implies?
By the same token, how can one talk of the marginalisation of the entire Indian community? While it is true that 2.9% of Indian households live below the poverty-line – the national average is 5.7% – aren’t Indians well represented in the middle and upper echelons of society? They constitute 11.5% of the professional and managerial class, which is above the percentage of the Indian population in the country of 8%.
For a community which does not command a majority in any parliamentary or state constituency in the country, Indians are not only members of parliament and state assemblies but also occupy places in the federal government and in most state executive councils. They are executive council members even in those states where the Indian component is less than 5% of the population. Would a government that is bent on marginalising and cleansing Indians accord such a significant role – in relation to its population percentage – to the community in national and state politics?
If the government pursued a goal as diabolical as ethnic cleansing, would the principal language of the Indian Malaysian community, namely Tamil, be a medium of instruction in the government managed national primary school system? Would Tamil be a language medium in the public broadcasting system? Would Deepavali, the main religious festival of Hindus, be observed as a national holiday? Would a community that has been completely marginalised and is threatened with ethnic cleansing be able to practise its religion and its culture in relative peace and harmony? If Hindus are facing annihilation, how does one explain the glaring fact that in Selangor, on a per capita basis, there are more Hindu temples than mosques and suraus put together? The total Hindu-Indian population in the state is about one quarter of the total Malay-Muslim population.
At this juncture, we should ask why Hindraf leaders and certain politicians have chosen to dramatise specific – sometimes legitimate – grievances via wild allegations about ethnic cleansing and marginalisation? Dramatising the alleged “oppression and suppression of a people” through exaggerated claims is a technique which unscrupulous individuals and groups resort to in order to win popular sympathy. They also serve to smear and shame one’s target – in this case the Umno-led government and perhaps indirectly the MIC leadership. What this suggests is that there may also be a political motive. Of the three communities in Peninsular Malaysia, it is the Indian community which has, in the course of the last three decades, provided near unanimous electoral support to the Barisan Nasional. With the 12th general election just around the corner, certain politicians linked directly or indirectly to Hindraf are perhaps seeking to weaken the BN’s electoral strength by exploiting genuine Indian grievances against the Government.
Whatever the motives, the genuine grievances of the community should be addressed in a sincere and rational manner. Some of them I have alluded to. Others are linked to the ethnic approach to nation-building, the camouflage of the underclass in society, the limited scope for democratic protest, the role of Indian political leadership and the long-term debilitating consequences of a plantation culture upon a segment of the community. To resolve these and other challenges, there has to be a truly national effort that goes beyond ethnic perspectives.
How can one expect the nation to commit itself to such a mission when Hindraf’s communal pronouncements and postures have poisoned the atmosphere?
Dr CHANDRA MUZAFFAR,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.