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Negara Kita Tanggungjawab Kita – From Conviction to Action

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Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Launched!

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It was one heavenly Up Close and Personal and memorable Malaysia Day celebration EVER with all the wonderful Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia advocates and supporters. This is where we felt truly One People One Nation.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, read all about the historic event here:

View: SABM Launch Presentation [ PDF format ] | View Photo Album

Stay tuned and watch this space: Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 18, 2009 at 5:50 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

New Nationalism: Freedom with Empowering Peace

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We the undersigned civil society organizations believe that Malaysia must renew our national independence after Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak were brought together to become a new nation 46 years ago.

Following a series of saddening and outraging developments since the last Malaysia Day, we feel strongly the need for a new discourse of nationalism that denounces political violence and pursues empowering peace.

Diversity and dissent are signs of real independence.

We fully appreciate the complexity of Malaysia in ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, regional, socio-economical, gender, lifestyle and physical terms. We therefore do not pretend that there is a single Malaysia that would meet the expectation and aspiration of every Malaysian. We are proud with our own vision for the nation and at the same time respect those of others.

We see the differences in preferences and opinion of how this country should move forward as both inevitable and desirable – inevitable because we are free to choose; and desirable because we have plenty alternatives to consider. Diversity and dissent in public opinion are beautiful signs of real independence.

We believe, however, every Malaysian, politician and voter alike, must sign up to one common position: the elimination of political violence.

Political violence threatens our independence

Political violence refers to actions that aim to achieve certain political goals by causing harm to others or subduing them with violence. This must not be confused with legitimate exercise of freedom of speech, assembly and association where violence is not preached, threatened and executed.

More than violation of peace, political violence is exploitation of the physically weak and outnumbered. It deprives the victims of political violence their right to participate in public affairs and prevents the emergence of an inclusive outcome through the use of reason.

In fact, political violence is at the core of colonialism as it was the very means how colonial rule was imposed on us. National liberation is in this sense meaningful only when all citizens are free from further colonization of violence and may exercise freedom and reason in running their public life.

Four principles of Empowering Peace

In this regard, peace associated with fear that inhibits us from full participation in public affairs is but pseudo peace.

True peace must be empowering and inclusive to allow all Malaysians to contribute to and enjoy the national life. True peace requires rule of law and protection of human rights. It is therefore political, but in no way partisan.

We call upon every Malaysian citizen and organization, especially the politicians and political parties, to sign up to the following principles:

1. Zero tolerance for violence as a political means

Civilized life requires restrain and self-control. Conflicts should be solved through dialogues, deliberation, debates or litigation. There must be zero tolerance for the use, threat or incitement of violence as a political means, regardless of circumstances or subject matters.

In this sense, the perpetrators of the cow-head protest should be charged for incitement of violence, not sedition or illegal assembly. The thugs who threatened to rape Rodziah Ismail and to murder Khalid Samad, the elected representatives in Shah Alam, must be investigated and prosecuted for criminal intimidation. The threat of sexual violence, a common trait in many communal conflicts, is especially alarming and absolutely intolerable.

2. Fighting Hatred with Reason

Hatred exists in every society and can only be effectively eliminated by reason, not law. Given a vibrant public sphere, the flaws of hate speeches can be exposed and the perpetrators shamed. Legal suppression only weakens the society’s resistance to hatred by removing the need for intellectual rigour and moral courage to confront bigotry.

The latest harassment of Malaysiakini by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for featuring video-clips of the cow-head protest and the Home Minister’s press conference justifying the act is not only violating freedom of expression, but also protecting violence from public shaming.

3. The State’s Duty to Protect Political Participation

The state which monopolizes the legitimate use of violence should exist only to protect citizens from private violence, not to inflict more violence than necessary. The state’s coercive power therefore must never be used against peaceful political activities. Instead, the state has the duty to protect political participation.

Instead of arbitrarily arresting over 160 1BLACKMalaysia protesters, lawyers on duty, 589 Anti-ISA protestors and bystanders, the anti-PPSMI, Kampung Buah Pala and Hindraf protesters, and using unnecessary violence, the police should have only controlled traffic and maintained order. After all, the validity of the protesters’ causes should be judged by the citizen, not the police or the Executive.

4. Upholding Elected Government

The threat of political violence is greatest when political elites resort to means other than elections to attain power. Democracy is the only guarantee for political stability and peace. Politicians and political parties must therefore do their best to win elections honestly, not usurping power after elections. Otherwise, democratic breakdown may lead to coups or revolutions.

The Perak coup has seen an elected government being overthrown by a host of unelected institutions including but not limited to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Election Commission (EC), the Judiciary, the bureaucracy and the police. The partisan investigation of MACC in Selangor amidst the Barisan Nasional’s express wish to takeover the state had led to the death of Teoh Beng Hock, the first of a state official in the custody of a federal agency. If there is no firmed commitment from both sides of the political divide to democracy, the next election may see the military being the next unelected institution dragged into political struggle.

On the auspicious birthday of Malaysia, which should have been made a national holiday 46 years ago, let us all vow to make empowering peace the basis of public life of our nation so that all of us may enjoy real freedom.

The signatories:

1. 1BLACKMalaysia Facebook Page and Group
2. Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
3. All Women’s Action Society Malaysia (AWAM)
4. Amnesty International Malaysia
5. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
6. Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI)
7. Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS)
8. Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
9. Civil Society Committee, LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG-CSC)
10. Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI@Parliament)
11. Council of Churches of Malaysia Youth Network
12. Durham Malaysian Scholars
13. Gabungan Bertindak Mahasiswa Utara(GBMU)
14. Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
15. Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD)
16. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL), Sibu
17. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
18. Jaringan Orang Asal Semalaysia (JOAS)
19. Jawatankuasa Penduduk Zon 23 MPSJ
20. Justice for Beng Hock Facebook Page and Group
21. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section (KLSCAH-YS)
22. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
23. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
24. Malaysian AIDS Council
25. Malaysian Indian Development Association
26. Middle Eastern Graduate Centre (Magc)
27. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
28. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
29. National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI)
30. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
31. Pahlawan Volunteers
32. Partners of Community Organisations, Sabah (PACOS)
33. Penang Du Zhong Education Society
34. Penggerak Belia Zon 23 MPSJ
35. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor
36. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
37. Persatuan Meditasi Projan KL & Selangor
38. Persatuan Penduduk Taman Muhibbah Seri Kembangan
39. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
40. Sarawak Central Region Friendship Association
41. Semparuthi Iyakkam
42. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
43. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
44. Tenaganita
45. The Micah Mandate (TMM)
46. The People’s Parliament
47. TONIBUNG (Friends for Village Development), Sabah
48. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
49. Women’s Candidacy Initiative (WCI)
50. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
51. Awal Nahdah Resources

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 17, 2009 at 7:31 am

Posted in Accountability

Happy Malaysia Day!

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One People One Nation

One People One Nation

Pre-Fast Meal together on Malaysia Day, 16 September 2009. More than  60 Anak Bangsa Malaysia turned up. It was a JOY meeting old friends and an event to remember. View Photo Album

Stories

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

Fast and Pray for Malaysia

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It’s time we made room for peace. Lets pray and fast for our nation. Together as MALAYSIANS, One People One Nation.

In conjunction with Malaysia Day
Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia 2009
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Time: 5:20am – 7:25pm
Location: Wherever You Are
RSVP @ Facebook | Sign the Petition

Lets say this PEACE PRAYER together
by St Francis of Assisi on Malaysia Day…

God, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O, divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia

RSVP, click on image

In a related event, ALL are warmly welcomed, together with your family and friends….

Launch of Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
Date: Wednesday, 16th September, 2009
Venue: Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia
66, Lorong Setiabistari 1
Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur

Programme:
6.00 pm – Registration
6.30 pm – Welcome Remarks & SABM Presentation
6.45 pm – Media Conference
7.30 pm – Majlis Berbuka Puasa, Fellowship and Entertainment

Why September 16? On that day 46 years ago, a new nation, Malaysia, came into being, comprising Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore today treads a different path but Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak continue to share a common destiny.

Let us make time to come together on September 16 at Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia to take ownership of Malaysia Day. As we are all aware, “Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita”. Lets take it to the next level positively and constructively together. Everyone can participate in their own special to heal our land. May we move forward together as One People, One Nation. From conviction to action.

SEE YOU AT THE LAUNCH. Please RSVP by Monday, 14 September with the number you are bringing and the names of your family members and guests. And to confirm that you are REALLY attending, please email Pat Lu with contact numbers and guest list at pahlawan.volunteers@gmail.com

With love by Pahlawan Volunteers
“Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita” – From Conviction to Action
– JOIN Pahlawan Volunteers @ Facebook
– JOIN the Cause: Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 12, 2009 at 4:30 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

Race? What’s that?

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United Colours of Malaysia

An eloquent statement of our common humanity by Tunku Abdul Rahman’s great granddaughter…

Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan, 24
Conservationist

“Both my parents are Malay. My mum’s heritage includes Chinese, Thai and Arab, while my dad is Minangkabau. Due to my skin colour, I am often mistaken for a Chinese.

“I’m happy that I don’t have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up: “Are you Chinese or Malay?”

“Like, why does it matter? Before I used to answer ‘Malay’, but now I’m trying to consciously answer ‘Malaysian’ instead.

“There’s this incident from primary school that I remember till today. Someone told me that I will be called last during Judgement Day because I don’t have a Muslim name. Of course, I was scared then but now that I’m older, I realise that a name is just a name. It doesn’t define you as a good or bad person and there is definitely no such thing as a ‘Muslim’ name. You can be named Rashid and still be a Christian.

“I’ve heard of the 1Malaysia concept, but I think we don’t need to be told to be united. We’ve come such a long way that it should already be embedded in our hearts and minds that we are united. Unfortunately, you can still see racial discrimination and polarisation. There is still this ethno-centric view that the Malays are the dominant group and their rights must be protected, and non-Malays are forever the outsiders.

“For the concept to succeed, I think the Government should stop with the race politics. It’s tiring, really. We grew up with application forms asking us to tick our race. We should stop painting a negative image of the other races, stop thinking about ‘us’ and ‘them’ and focus on ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘Malaysians’.

“No one should be made uncomfortable in their own home. A dear Chinese friend of mine said to me once: ‘I don’t feel patriotic because I am not made to feel like Malaysia is my home, and I don’t feel an affinity to China because I have never lived there’.

“I know some Baba Nyonya friends who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years. I’m a fourth generation Malaysian. If I am bumiputra, why can’t they be, too? Clearly I have issues with the term.

“I think the main reason why we still can’t achieve total unity is because of this ‘Malay Rights’ concept. I’d rather ‘Malay Rights’ be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity.

“For my Merdeka wish, I’d like for Malaysians to have more voice, to be respected and heard. I wish that the Government would uphold the true essence of parliamentary democracy. I wish for the people to no longer fear and discriminate against each other, to see that we are one and the same.

“I wish that Malaysia would truly live up to the tourism spin of ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’.

More at http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2009/8/29/lifefocus/4522906&sec=lifefocus
____________________________________________________

We have a long way to go with the current set of politicians and civil servants that we have today; but I felt a strong sense of hope and optimism for the future reading the thoughts of young Malaysians such as Sharyn’s based on universal truths and values. It’s people like Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan that I’d like to see lead the nation one day.

Happy Malaysia Day.

► Fast for the Nation, Peace for Malaysia 2009
In conjunction with Malaysia Day
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Time: 5:20am – 7:25pm
Location: Wherever You Are
– RSVP, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=143844823232
– More details, visit http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=33559455073&topic=12140

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 11, 2009 at 3:34 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

One Rule for All Malaysians

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THERE MUST BE ONE RULE FOR ALL MALAYSIANS
Media Release of MCCBCHST

MCCBCHST (Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taoism) notes with deep concern that the cowhead incident in Shah Alam is not an isolated case. Another recent example of this kind of insensitivity was when the Holy Eucharist was desecrated when certain persons went to a church, took the consecrated bread and spewed it out.

Such irreverent and sacrilegious conduct should not be condoned and allowed to be repeated with impunity. In seating the organisers of the recent demonstration in Shah Alam to his right and left during his press conference, the home affairs minister seemed to have bestowed honour to the perpetrators of a gravely offensive and dangerous event whereby seditious speeches accompanied by the stepping on the severed head of the cow were made. What signals would this send to the people?

Not surprisingly, therefore, the same disrespectful, unruly and unwilling to listen behaviour on the part of some rendered the town hall meeting between the Menteri Besar and Section 23 residents to discuss the issue on September 5 2009 unmanageable and unproductive.

The same rules must apply to all.

MCCBCHST is concerned that wheareas in the August 28 2009 Shah Alam incident the police had stood by while the demonstrators desecrated the cow head and made seditious speeches, the police acted strongly against would-be candlelight vigilers in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka on September 5 2009. Also, Malaysiakini has now been warned by MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) not to make the video showing the terrible acts in the Shah Alam incident available for viewing to their readers.

Thinking Malaysians will rightly raise the question: Which comes first- the act or the video which exposes the act? How do we as a country go about resolving our problems? In this case, stopping the video of the act will not unmake the act. We must surely first prevent the act and the video would not have existed.

For the sake and good of all Malaysians and peace and order in Malaysia, consistent, fair, just and rational measures should be applied regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture, gender or political connection.

There must be one rule for all Malaysians.

All who incite ill feelings amongst religious communities, denigrate any religion, desecrate the religious symbols of any religion or threaten to commit violence against others must be promptly deterred and held accountable. They must face charges and given a fair trial in a court of law.

Sacrilegious acts committed by adherents of any one religion upon another religion must never be condoned. We hold to the principle that all human beings and communities have a sacred right of freedom of choice as far as their religious belief and practice is concerned.

We stand with Malaysians of all religious and political persuasions who were outraged by the flagrant disregard for the sensitivities of others shown by the Shah Alam demonstrators.

We welcome the partnership of all Malaysians of goodwill. Together we can weather the mischief and bigotry of those who seek to drive a wedge between us and divide rather than unite the people of this land.

We Malaysians live in a pluralistic society and accordingly we must respect our neighbours and endeavour to learn about their beliefs, customs and sentiments. It is upon such understanding of others and what is dear to them that our nation can be firmly rooted and grow strong and united.

The way to manage our differences is not by creating enclaves whereby Malaysians will be segregated and separated from one another but through understanding and respect. Let us live together next to one another rather than to live apart. Each succeeding generation of Malaysians should grow closer rather than to be pulled apart.

The site chosen in Section 23 of Shah Alam for the Hindu temple to be relocated to complies with local government conditions. It is over 300 meters away from any housing area, six times more than the 50-meter requirement. If the authorities accept the objection to it by certain quarters, the social dynamics of Malaysian life will be affected and the consequence on national integration will be very serious indeed.

We must not subscribe to the view of thinking about Malaysians as majorities and minorities, and majorities versus minorities.

MCCBCHST therefore calls upon all Malaysians of goodwill to be in earnest prayer for the peaceful and just resolution of the issue. Those in authority at the community, religious and governmental level must be firm to unequivocally reject unreasonable, unfair and anti-social behaviour and demand.

Rev. Dr Thomas Philips, MCCBCHST President

What the People Say:

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

September 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Accountability