Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Malaysia has long track record of religious, cultural harmony

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia had a long track record of being a peaceful nation, in which people from different races and religions live harmoniously with each other since gaining its independence. 

KUALA LUMPUR: While Malaysia will never claim to be the perfect Muslim nation, its history of having peoples of different religions and cultures live in harmony is one it can take pride in.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia had a long track record of being a peaceful nation, in which people from different races and religions live harmoniously with each other since gaining its independence.
“While the majority of Malaysians are Muslims, we have a substantial minority who are from different faiths, cultures, customs and ways of life.
“We will never claim to be the perfect Muslim (nation) or the model of a good Muslim nation, but we can attest that we have been able to live with our non-Muslim citizens in peace and harmony for decades.
And, this tradition has existed since our independence,” said Dr Mahathir at the welcoming dinner hosted for delegates of the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019, here, this evening.
The opening and launch ceremony of the summit will be graced by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah tomorrow.
Dr Mahathir said although there had been minor racial and religious conflicts in the country, such incidents were rare and insignificant.
“To our mind, that is what Islam enjoins us to do – to live peacefully with our non-Muslim citizens and work together to build a nation that is prosperous, peaceful and harmonious.
“We share the bounty and Alhamdulillah (praise God) it has been bountiful,” he said.
On the summit, Dr Mahathir said the event would serve as a platform for delegates to discuss and deliberate on the state of affairs related to the Muslim ummah (community).
“We have endeavoured to hold this summit because we feel that we have to do something to improve the lives of Muslims the world over.
“We feel that we need to overcome Islamophobia.
“We need to find a way to address our shortcomings, our dependency on non-Muslims to protect ourselves against the enemies of Islam,” he said.
Malaysia, said Dr Mahathir, hoped that the summit would result in the formulation of initiatives that could be the catalyst to bigger things for Muslim countries around the world.


Shirtless man climbs signage, causes jam in Bukit Bintang amidst drama

A Bangladeshi man who climbed on top of a road signage near Royal Chulan Hotel in Jalan Bukit Bintang caused an hour-long traffic jam in the city today. 

KUALA LUMPUR: A Bangladeshi man who climbed on top of a road signage near Royal Chulan Hotel in Jalan Bukit Bintang caused an hour-long traffic jam in the city today.

The shirtless man, believed to be high on inhalants, even fought with rescuers as they attempted to coaxed him down.
It took the police and Fire and Rescue Department personnel more than 30 minutes to apprehend him.
    A video of the "rescue effort" has also gone viral on social media this afternoon.
It was learnt that the drama unfolded about 1.30pm, when passersby spotted a shirtless man standing and "parading" on top of the metal frame of the signage.
Fearing for his safety and motorists below, authorities were called in to handle the situation.
Police and firefighters arrived at the scene a few minutes later and tried to persuade him to come down but he turned violent by kicking at the approaching rescuers.
As a large crowd started to gather to watch the "drama", several patrol cars arrived and cordoned off the area to allow for the "rescue effort" to commence.
A Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said after several failed attempts, rescuers finally managed to bring the man down to safety.
"Firemen initially tried to calm him down by asking him to come down but the man started to behave violently.
"He started attacking and kicking the rescuers when a ladder was mounted nearby but after much effort, we brought him down safely," he said when contacted.
The spokesman added that the man has been handed over to the police for further action.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Let’s do away with insignificant public holidays

Good Friday, Christmas and Chinese New Year are of no significance to those of other faith or race. 

COMMENT | This is an issue which I have taken up in the past. Talking about too many public holidays may seem a trivial matter but it isn’t.
If you look at it holistically, it becomes an issue which cannot be ignored nor brushed aside in a nonchalant manner.
It is said that Malaysia has the most number of public holidays in the world. If this is verified (which I believe is not way off), it is not exactly something to be proud of. 
It is a serious issue which warrants a thorough study and review by the government, the sooner the better.
In 2010, there are a total of 48 national and regional public holidays, according to the official almanac. These are gazetted by Putrajaya or the respective state governments, meaning it is mandatory to observe them.
Examples of regional holidays are Isra and Miraj on March 22 in Kedah, Negri Sembilan and Perlis, Declaration of Malacca as a historical city on April 15 in Malacca and Georgetown Heritage Day on July 7 in Penang.
Sabahans and Sarawakians will enjoy an additional long weekend holiday from May 31 to June 2 because of the Harvest Festival celebrated by the native communities.
Come next year, as is the case in almost every year, there will not be a single month without a national or regional holiday. Somehow, somewhere, Malaysians will be observing a holiday.
It seems that we, Malaysians, just love public holidays.
But talk to any businessman and he will surely be sighing that having too many public holidays is an extravagant practice that could become a big issue in economic management.
Why did I decide to pen my thoughts on this public holiday issue again?
It was prompted by the announcement two days ago by Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal that Dec 24 has been declared an additional public holiday in conjunction with Christmas, starting this year.
“I hope the additional holiday would benefit those celebrating the occasion. It will also enable those celebrating Christmas to return home earlier,” he said.
Upon receiving this report in a chat group, I responded: “What? Another public holiday! An extra Christmas holiday in Sabah. This is absurd and unnecessary.
“Even as a Christian, I do not support such a declaration of an additional public holiday over Christmas. I have written about this matter in the past - there are already too many public holidays in this country. We can surely do without another one.
“Sabah CM Shafie Apdal is probably using the public holiday as a feel-good factor for Sabah Christians ahead of the Kimanis by-election. This can be likened to an abuse of power by the chief minister.
“I don’t recall Shafie declaring Dec 24 as an additional public holiday last year. I’m concerned about the underlying political motive to suddenly do so this year.
“I do not condone this perceived abuse of power by the Sabah CM, even though it is just a matter of a public holiday.
“When it is wrong, it is wrong!”
As a Christian, I should be happy for my fellow Christians in Sabah that they have an extra day off from work to enjoy Christmas. 
Of course, I am glad that the Sabah government has decided to accord Christmas as an important religious occasion worthy of an additional holiday. My key question – is that so vital and necessary?
Making sacrifices
I will not enter into a serious discourse on this issue purely on the viewpoint of a Christian. It will be a biased opinion if I were to do so.
Apart from my suspicion of Shafie Apdal’s motive in view of the impending Kimanis by-election in Sabah, my concern stays on “too many unnecessary public holidays”.
My point is this. As a Christian, if I am prepared to forgo public holidays on an important date related to my religion, will those of other faith do likewise?
There are just too many religious occasions in a year cycle which are considered sacred and important in our respective faiths.
Religious holidays take up a chunk of the gazetted national holidays with cultural festivals in second place.
We have to take steps to reduce the number of such national holidays, many I deem insignificant, for the sake of our nation’s economic growth and the welfare of our workers.
Firstly, can we all agree to a maximum of two of the most important religious occasions and one cultural festival in a calendar year to be observed as national public holidays?
For example, as a Catholic and a Chinese, I will be very happy if Good Friday and the first day of Chinese New Year are national holidays. I am prepared to forgo even Christmas.
Good Friday, Christmas and Chinese New Year are of no significance to those of other faith or race. Similarly, the sacred religious occasions of Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists hold little meaning for me.
So why should I be observing an occasion which is of little or no significance to me? Thus, it makes sense for me to be at work.
Let us not forget that most of us, whether in the public or private sector, are also entitled to annual leave of between 11 to 21 days. We should make use of our leave if we need to take an extended holiday.

This is a sacrifice which we, as citizens, will have to make if we earnestly wish to see our nation progress and prosper.
Also, if we are genuine, faithful souls who abide by our religious teachings, we must surely be exhorted too by the Almighty to live with the spirit of give-and-take and make sacrifices for our fellow citizens in the greater interests of the country.
If I were a Sabahan, I will be telling Shafie Apdal this today: “I don’t think we need an additional public holiday, sir. Workers are more interested in how to improve their income with better wages than public holidays”.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.


Want to keep your mind sharp? Read newspapers every day, says Dr M

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reacts during an interview in Putrajaya December 10, 2019

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has advised Malaysians to read newspapers every day to help keep the mind active.

In his column published by the New Sunday Times today under the heading “Here’s my recipe for staying healthy”, he says when talking or making speeches, memory of words and phrases and the alternatives would spring to the mind easily with regular reading.

And if one does not read or seldom reads, the words do not come spontaneously when talking or making a speech.
“Reading newspapers every day also helps to keep the mind active and improves the capacity to form words and phrases. 
“It is normal for an old person to remember incidents in the past than recent incidents. But even this can be improved with reading and talking,” writes Dr Mahathir.
The 94-year-old prime minister devotes much of the column to answering the one question people repeatedly asked him about — his ability to function at this late age.
“I feel obliged to explain about my experience even if it is not based on scientific study. Frankly, I don’t know how I am what I am. All I can say is that, I have been fortunate in not suffering from the diseases that shorten one’s life,” he said.
Dr Mahathir says he did have a heart attack 30 years ago but he survived, adding that heart attacks are not as fatal as they used to be.
He points out that certainly many things are within our control and we should do our best to control ourselves so that we stay healthy and probably live to a ripe old age.
“Self-discipline or the ability to control what we can do in life, is life-saving. We must always try to control our desires,” he explains.
Good eating habit is Dr Mahathir’s first recipe to stay healthy, saying people should eat to live and not live to eat.
The body really does not need a lot of food except when one is young and growing. For them the food is needed to ensure good bodily growth. Still, the amount of food must not be more than what is needed.
“Obesity often follows overeating even among children and the young. And obesity is not good for health and longevity.”
He says children grow fat because doting parents insist on them taking a lot of food which they should not.
Instead parents should teach their children to eat more fruits and vegetable and less rice or carbohydrates and certainly less sugar.
Elaborating on obesity, which afflicts a very high percentage of Malaysians, Dr Mahathir says the problem usually begins at the age of 40 as the tendency at that age is to eat as much tasty food as available and when food is tasty, more of it would be taken.
The stomach responds to the bigger intake by becoming bigger and when this happens, more food is needed to assuage the feeling of hunger and this results in weight gain while obesity is bad for health.
And with such a big body, the heart has to work harder to deliver blood. To cope with the heavier work, the heart enlarges while the blood pressure goes up, bringing with it all kinds of related symptoms and diseases.
“So in order to avoid blood pressure diseases, eat less and don’t grow fat. Besides the heart, the other organs of the body ie.the liver, kidneys and pancreas will all be overstressed. Any one of these organs may fail and shorten life,” he says.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas-decorated trains started running on the North East and Downtown Lines on Dec 9, 2019.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

Christmas-decorated trains started running on the North East and Downtown Lines on Dec 9, 2019.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Christmas decorations will be brightening up trains and buses over the next few weeks.
The festive season theme - Tropical Beach Christmas - will involve a colourful blend of tropical elements mixed with the usual Christmas decorations so watch out for sandy snowmen, starfish, palm trees and transport-themed ornaments.

Christmas-decorated trains started running on the North East and Downtown Lines on Monday (Dec 9) with more to come on Dec 16 on the North South, East West and Circle MRT lines
Bus services 5, 7, 14, 61, 65, 197, 857, 972 as well as some MRT stations, including the Dhoby Ghaut North East Line station concourse and Dhoby Ghaut Circle Line platform, will also be decorated.
Commuters can also expect murals at Bugis, Bukit Panjang and Newton stations.
The Land Transport Authority said in a statement on Tuesday that the aim of the decorations was to "liven up the commuting experience during festive seasons, and foster positive commuter culture".

Cred- straitimes

Friday, December 6, 2019



Sunday, 3rd November 2019, the ever-bustling city of Kuala Lumpur stood still for one of Nigeria’s finest writers and entrepreneur, King Evans. It was the official presentation of his book, 'spells of irresistible allure' and the unveiling of a new range of fragrances from his company, ‘d'majestic fragrances’ in an event that was said to be ‘An exercise in ‘mixology’.

The event which took place at the Double-tree BY Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, which is situated at the heart of the city attracted the major players in academia, entertainment, business and major movers in the society.

Nigeria’s ambassador to Malaysia, Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed was on hand to represent the Nigerian government in this very auspicious occasion.

There were representatives from the New Zealand embassy and other countries. The host country of Malaysia was not left out as they were ably represented by people from the education ministry.

The speakers on the launch; Professor Dr Patrick N.Okechukwu, Barrister M.tharuma Ratnam, and Pastor Paul Mandor Bassey (MITG), highlighted their views on the book and why they recommend that everyone should grab a copy because of the inherent lessons and knowledge to be learned from the book which story-line is such a thrilling, moving and motivating one. They also encouraged Nigerians to become innovative and move up beyond their comfort zones.

In his remark, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed, after unveiling the products, called all Nigerians to emulate King Evans in thinking out of the box. He said he was delighted to grace the occasion, hinting that such is the news he wants to hear about Nigerians living in that country. He also informed Nigerians living in Malaysia that the embassy is ready and willing to support all Nigerians who are making positive impacts in that region. He encouraged King Evans and pledged the support of the consulate.

The chairman of the occasion, Chief Francis Njoku admonished all Nigerians to live up to their billings by being good ambassadors of the country where they came from and desist from everything that gives Nigeria a bad name . he thanked King Evans for standing out and being a good representative of Nigeria in Malaysia.

He spent his time researching each of them and knew what their personal habits were. He charts them in this book. He outlines what works. If you want a quick, easy read, If, however, you are willing to take your time, plot your coarse and take full guidance from Evans himself, then use this as a guide and develop your own Mastermind Group and thrive.

The chief host, King Evans was delighted to have people from all works of life converge to witness that epoch-making event and thanked God for making it a huge success.

King Evans who has been described as an intellectual introvert has been a scriptwriter, song writer, film producer and an innovative entrepreneur with awesome leadership skills.

Popular Posts