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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

SARAWAK VOTES 16 APRIL

THIS is going to be very interesting. Am predicting BN to win again though it may lose more than eight seats, especially in the urban areas. I hope no untoward incident will happen. And at the end of the day, the real victors are the people. From the people, by the people, for the people.

SARAWAK VOTES APRIL 16

KUCHING, March 23 — Sarawak will go to the polls on April 16, while nomination day is fixed for April 6, the Election Commission (EC) announced here today.

The state assembly was dissolved on Monday to pave the way for Sarawak’s 10th election.

Barisan Nasional (BN) currently controls 63 of the 71-seat assembly after Engkilili assemblyman, Dr Jonical Rayong Ngipa, who contested on an opposition Sarawak National Party (SNAP) ticket during the May 20, 2006 election, joined the ruling coalition last year.

The DAP controls six seats while Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM), through an independent representative, control a seat each.

The vote in the sprawling, resource-rich state is seen as a barometer of the strength of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government, and is expected to influence the timing and outcome of the general election which could be held this year.

Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, is a bastion of BN. The state provides the ruling coalition with one-fifth of its 137 members in Parliament and the outcome in local assembly elections will provide a reading on where the BN now stands.

The coalition suffered record losses to the opposition in Election 2008. But analysts say record commodity prices and strong economic growth have boosted the BN’s chances at national polls that must be held by 2013.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Najib said a good showing in Sarawak would help assess the public mood and perhaps provide a pointer to bringing forward the date of the general election.

The ruling coalition is unlikely to lose control of the state but voters could show their displeasure with long-serving Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and deprive the BN of its two-thirds majority in the state assembly.

Many of the mainly ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities abandoned the government in the 2008 elections due to increasing concerns of marginalisation, hollowing out the ruling coalition’s smaller parties. Many remain weak and unable to regain momentum. Sarawak will show whether Najib has succeeded in winning them back.

The last Sarawak election in 2006, which saw the opposition increase its tally in the 71-seat state legislature to eight from two, was followed by a two per cent drop in the benchmark stock index.

If the government loses its two-thirds majority in Sarawak, this could heighten political uncertainties for investors in the state, which include power-generation firms Aluminium Corp of China Limited, State Grid Corp of China and Tokuyama Corp.

These companies are mainly involved in aluminium smelter projects in the state and their investments contributed to making Sarawak the top choice for investors in Malaysia in 2008 and 2009, according to government data. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Friday, 18 March 2011

IN UNITY

CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA (PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)

Address: 10, Jalan 11/9, Section 11, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457

Email: cfmsia@yahoo.co.uk

17th March 2011

CFM MEDIA STATEMENT

HOLY SCRIPTURES DESECRATED

The Christian community in Malaysia is deeply hurt that the Government has desecrated and defaced the Bible.

Initial news that the Government had agreed to release copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia which had been impounded in both Port Klang and Kuching was greeted with joy.

However, this joy soon turned into grief and mourning when it was discovered that the release was subject to certain conditions. Each copy has to be stamped with a serial number, the official seal of the relevant department of the Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan Dan Teks Al-Quran, and the words “by order of the Minister of Home Affairs”.

This means that the Bahasa Malaysia Bible is now treated as a restricted item, and the Word of God has been made subject to the control of man. This is wholly offensive to Christians. Any person who respects the Holy Scriptures of any religion would be appalled by this action.

The Christian community in Malaysia has always acted in good faith and with great patience to find amicable solutions without compromising our fundamental beliefs. But that good faith has not been reciprocated by the Government. It is the Government that has moved the “goal posts” over the years through a systematic imposition of unreasonable conditions and restrictions.

We have never agreed to any wording to be endorsed on Bibles to say that it is only for Christians. The 1982 order issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 did not state that any form of words had to be endorsed on any copy of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

The latest letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 15 March 2011 is therefore a set of new conditions imposed on the release of the impounded Bibles which is wholly unacceptable to us. We will never accede to any desecration of the Bible since the Word of God to us is sacred.

We also wholly reject the Government’s contention that the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia is prejudicial to the national interest and security of Malaysia, and treated as a subversive publication.

As Christians we wonder how our Holy Scriptures can become a national security threat where countless number of us find it helpful in bringing hope and healing to broken lives and homes which we can testify to. Besides it commands us to be better citizens of our beloved nation.

We therefore insist that the Government withdraw the conditions imposed on the release of the Bibles impounded in Port Klang and Kuching. Given that copies may already have been endorsed, we will NOT take delivery of those endorsed copies.

We call on all Malaysians, from Semenanjung and in Sabah and Sarawak, and from all walks of life, to come together in unity to reject any attempt to restrict the freedom of religion in our beloved country.

We invite all Christians in Malaysia to remain calm and to continue to pray for a dignified and respectful resolution of this issue. As Sunday 20 March 2011 marks the 2nd anniversary of the impounding of the Bibles at Port Klang, we call on all those in Malaysia and elsewhere to dedicate themselves to a day of prayer and quiet reflection.

Yours sincerely,

Bishop Ng Moon Hing

Chairman and the Executive Committee,

Christian Federation of Malaysia