Friday, November 28, 2008


I read this Blog "From Malaysia to Scandalasia" last Sunday and commented:

The birth of an impactful blog for sure. Welcome comrade. With your craft our job will be more easy and effective.

24 November 2008 05:22

Two minutes later I informed "The MAN from PAS"

Sir, you are already on my blogroll.

24 November 2008 05:24

Yes 05:24am in the morning, but it was a spontaneous decision. I cannot miss his future threads. I do not know this Man from PAS, but have you to know him to KNOW him. Sufficient to say that my MAN from PAS writes from the heart. Go read him HERE.

Below is his latest posting:

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

After Malaysia, Turkey "bans" Yoga

In a surprise move, Turkey followed Malaysia in banning yoga. However, the move by Turkey's Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (The Presidency of Religious Affairs) or Diyanet as popularly known in Turkey, was more of an answer on yoga than an official position that contradicting it lands one in trouble as the case in Malaysia. Furthermore, the Diyanet has no enforcement power and it is decisions are neither binding nor enforceable in most instances. The Diyanet handles all religious matters in Turkey and gets an annual budget of more than what 12-15 combined ministries get.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi clarified that "the physical regime [of yoga] with no elements of worship can continue" adding that "it is not banned. I believe that Muslims are not easily swayed into polytheism." More on Malaysiakini. While that should be applauded, one needs to know why does the PM interfere in the works of National Fatwa Council? Does that mean the Council isn't independent and Umno uses it to confuse the people during Umno's crisis? Methinks that's the case.

Anyway, if the Council is truly independent, then it should issue a Fatwa against ISA today and not tomorrow. The Council should explain to Muslims if Islam allows detention without trial. There are some prisoners who are languishing in Kamunting for almost one decade and their loved ones tormented. There are men who are detained and their wives subjected to untold suffering. They are neither freed nor judged. The Council will have no credibility whatsoever if it keeps its deafening silence on this matter and only comes to the fore to confuse people during Umno's crisis.

Before we look for a panacea to a certain problem, or take a decision on a certain matter, we need to know what ails the society. I want to ask: is yoga what ails the Muslims in this nation? Does yoga constitute a grave danger today that we need to sap the energy of the nation and cause confusion so much so that the Royalty screams in disagreement? Fatwa on yoga faces opposition from sultans-Malaysiakini

What about ISA and injustice? What about the legalised corruption and the looting of state coffers in the name of commissions and Ketuanan Melayu? What about the Muslim men who derelict their marital duties and torment Muslim women? When will the Council issue a fatwa so that they are ISA-ed? What about the misuse of Islamic aothing? What about the total collapse of the judicial system and the appointment of ghost judges to issue ghost judgements? Doesn't Islam encourage only impeccable people to be appointed to positions of influence? What about all other pertinent issues that threaten the dignity Islam and human beings?

The Counil's sweeping condemnation of yoga and smallness reminds me of the sad story about the grandson of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)- a person from the region where the terrible atrocity occurred, was discussing the Shariah ruling of the blood of a mosquito with a scholar, and was told something like: "You, who comes from the people who brutally tortured and murdered the beloved of the beloved of God, now while the blood of the Prophets grandson is still flowing in the streets, you are more concerned about the blood of a mosquito!" Now, don't we have other crisis when we are dealing with an issue like this?

Just few days ago in my first blog post, I quoted celebrated Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul who 50 years ago said:

'While the world is reaching for the moon,
We remain too busy,
Thumping through the Quran,
Debating fatwas about Talaq'.

50 years down the line after he recited that poem, India landed on the moon. In Malaysia, we are arguing about issues that don't pose any danger while ignoring the root cause of Muslim collapse. Sir, our problems revolve around injustice, oppression of fellow Muslims and human beings, remember, it is not part of God' creation order to sustain an unjust nation. That's why Al-Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said: "God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim."

Dear Council, our problems and "un-Islamness" revolve around corruption, dead hearts that are fed on lies and hatred, mismanagement, pettiness, laziness, jealousy and many other greater ills. If the Council can't face these issues and stand up to the powers that be, then there is no need for it to confuse the people about "mosquito blood."

This hullabaloo reminds of a young Egyptian Muslim man who wanted to stab an Azhari Imam who was supposed to deliver the Khtubah on a given Friday last year in Cairo. The young man had a sick mother. He sought help from Muslims but no body cared. Later, his sick mother was ejected from the hospital after he couldn't pay the bills. He went around begging but he was looked at with utter disdain. Defeated and demoralized, he went to the mosque and sought help but there was no help.

When the Imam stood up to deliver the Khutbah and started talking about Taqwa (God's fear), the young man who was wielding a dagger stepped forward and menacingly rushed to the podium. He was overpowered and made to sit and the dagger taken from his hands. He screamed that the Muslim Imams of today are the ones who are destroying Muslims.

The young man narrated his ordeal. He said his sick mother who is in coma needs help. However, fellow Muslims who are obliged to help him have ignored him. He said the Imams don't tell fellow Muslims that they should care for one another. That the sick should be visited, that the wayfarer should be helped, that the poor should be attended to, that the meek should be lifted up. He said they talk about God's fear while not telling people the real Taqwa which is helping one another and attending to each other's needs and understanding the higher purpose of life.

Everyone who was in attendance agreed with the young man. Now, the National Fatwa Council ignores the government's oppression, misappropriation, ISA, injustice, inequality, misuse of Islam by the government, oppression of Muslim women by some Muslim men and they concentrate on petty issues. I want to tell the National Fatwa Council that it is you who will chase people out of Islam if you continue with this approach. Talk about the real Taqwa. (Allahuma Fashhad)


Anonymous said...

The Fatwa council can live in Turkey.
All great pretenders.

Anonymous said...

Uncle, how r u? Of course the Sultans are going to be up in arms over the yoga ban, after all so many of their wives, daughters and relatives are doing it. Can't they focus on bigger issues like ISA and corruption..Aiya uncle, Royalty and the government are just different sides of the same coin...all just a bunch of crooks...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece. Straight from the heart. Fantastic. Exposes the fatwa men for what they are. Exposes the hypocrites for what they profess.

bn haramjadah said...

WHY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS RESPECTED, when they talk about their religion they talk about facts and reality instaaed of those govt appointed morons who are only sidestepping the real issues by creating non-issues and nonsensee edicts in the name of islam. A normal human being is able to see the corruption around him and judge in a second without a thought, all these umno so called religeous people do not fear god but UMNO, so the continous betrayal of the muslims and malays in keeping them ignorant and stupid, its all about mind control, brain-washing of the great unwashed, ignorant and eassily wayled malays. WHY? TO KEEP THE STATUS QUO OF THE UMNO WARLORDS IN POWER, an overloaded branch will break in the end if it is fed on by termites, as in this case the termites being umno, who told themselves we will only feed on the core and not the outer ring, well as time has gone on there is no more core to feed and the offsprings have no choise but to feed on the outer rings, who cares as long as i get fed, 'WELL THE DAY OF RECKONING HAS COME FOR UMNO, there is no more going back, there was a loud clap of thunder, the overburdened branch gave its warning, all it needs is a small storm or mild wind, and away goes the branch from the main tree, will the termites abandon the branch and climb back on the band wagon of the main tree, well its up to us whether we want to see the whole tree collapse, so PEOPLE PREPARE YOUR PESTICIDES TO TERMINATE THE TERMITES BEFORE THEY CORRUPT THE WHOLE TREE, we have had enough of mumbo-jumbo stupid FART-WAS-WAS, we need to make this country strong again with the remaining right thinking people, I do not insult islam, like the saying goes'its not guns that kill people, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE', same here it is not us who insult iISLAM, it is UMNO who insults ISLAM, WITH STUPID, half baked and confusing fatwas, SWEARING ON AL KORANS, corruption, drunk fondling of womens buttocks, and a whole other shebang of nonsense, either wake up and smell the coffee, or for ever be left behind by the rest of us. IT WON'T BE US SENDING OUR CHILDREN OFF TO FAR LANDS TO WORK AS MAIDS BUT YOU, THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN YOUR GOD UMNO.

Anonymous said...

Mr Zorro, you are in the news!

There is a very interesting piece in Malay Mail today (Friday 28 Nov) titled: SOPO BLOGOSPHERE Rocked, slashed and splintered

It is about one of your posts, and the troubles with Rocky Bru. But there is more inside the article... the important thing about bloggers now split. And also about RACISTS at the blogs.


Anonymous said...

sultans : " give us back the immunity !"

Anonymous said...

PKR is quick to work out getting 'royal immunity' = support from sultans = take over 2moro or day after or week, bulan or tahun after = pada GE13 or 14 = SURE satu hari one !!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bernard,

You have to understand role of the fatwa council. Failing to understand their role will lead you to make wrong assumptions on their decision and action.

A fatwa council is aim to deal with matters that are unclear to the Muslim, particularly new arising issues that are off the concern of the Muslim.

Corruption, moral degeneration, marital torment are the issues that is clear cut, which does not need any fatwa council to tell them that they are haram. What we need is more education and enforcement.

Dealing with the isu of Yoga is one example, when there is unrest in the society as a result of the on yoga. So the fatwa council will have to deal with it.

You see, many of the non-Muslim do not understand these matter, therefore they unjustly putting the wrong blame to the fatwa council. That is also the reason why we Muslim asked the non-Muslim not to interfere with our religion matter.

artic turban said...

Bernard came across this interesting article, how the smart bankers from singapore make their deals unlike our brilliant bankers from malaysia who go buy useless banks. even when citigroup makes loses THE SINGAPORE GOVT has contingency plans built in just to safeguard their investments, unlike our umno bankers, who always lose money.

Rise and fall of Citigroup
By Zhen Ming Boston Brahmin

November 30, 2008

YOU could almost sense that nervous, somewhat uneasy, almost palpably put-on calm among staff when you walked into any Citi Singapore branch last Monday morning.

CUT: Citigroup is shedding 52,000 employees after suffering massive losses. (Above) A man walks out of a Citibank outlet in Hong Kong. --PICTURE: AP
But staff at the Singapore unit of Citigroup soon heaved a huge sigh of genuine relief on news of the US government's enhanced bailout package costing up to US$288 billion ($435 million) in capital and guarantees.

Privately, some staff, fretting over the prospect of 52,000 job cuts across Citigroup's worldwide operations, had spent a sleepless weekend wondering if they were next on the chopping block - even though it was announced that no more than 250 jobs (out of a total of 9,100 in Singapore) would be affected.

Calming ads

Citi Singapore had, in fact, gone to great lengths on all fronts to restore calm in recent days - taking out full-page newspaper advertisements to reassure its clients and sending e-mail updates to encourage its staff.

And now that Citigroup will live to fight another day, what lies ahead for this 'Citi that never sleeps' - a financial conglomerate that still boasts some 200 million retail account holders in 106 countries (roughly, one in every 32 people on this planet)?

An appropriate answer to this nagging question later on, I promise.

Changing fortunes

But first, let me retrace Citigroup's swiftly changing fortunes by tracking the highs and lows of its share prices during the past couple of years.

Towards the end of 2006, barely two years ago, Citigroup was, by far, the world's largest bank by market value. Not even ICBC, the world's current Number One, could come anywhere close to Citigroup in asset size and geographical reach.

Citigroup's share prices achieved an all-time high of US$57 apiece on 28 Dec 2006 - giving the bank an assumed market value of US$311 billion (assuming it had the same number of shares then that it has today).

Singapore investment

Earlier this year, on 15 Jan, when the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) announced its decision to invest US$6.88 billion in Citigroup, the bank's shares were still worth US$26.94 apiece.

On Wednesday, Citigroup shares were US$7.05 apiece - giving it a market value of about US$38 billion.

Based on Wednesday's US$38.4 billion total market value for Citigroup shares, if the GIC were to convert its perpetual convertible securities into an estimated 4 per cent stake, then these shares would be worth a ballpark US$1.54 billion - that is, a paper loss of roughly US$5.34 billion.

Thankfully, Singapore's investment in Citigroup has built-in safeguards that allow the GIC to hold on to its interest-bearing 'perpetual convertible securities' until the day Citigroup share prices could hit the (publicly unknown) conversion price.

Meanwhile, the GIC will still get to collect a dividend of 7 per cent on the value of original sum invested for as long as we choose to do so. That 7 per cent works out to a fairly handsome payout of US$482 million a year.

Pain is not over

But Citigroup's sufferings aren't over yet.

When its shares tumbled last year on the bank's subprime mortgage woes, angry investors sued for fraud.

Now, stockholders are due to file a new version of their lawsuit as their losses have become much more stark.

A consolidated shareholder complaint in the case is scheduled to be filed in the US District Court in Manhattan by Monday.

An earlier version accused Citigroup and several individuals, including former CEO Charles Prince, of violating securities law by artificially boosting the bank's stock price by concealing its exposure to subprime-linked debt.

Citigroup believes the lawsuit 'is without merit, and will defend against it vigorously,' company spokesman Mike Hanretta said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, how big do you think is the US$272 billion lost to date?

It is 1.8 times the size of Singapore's GDP for 2007. It is almost 1.4 times the worth of Coca-Cola and Google combined.

Zhen Ming, a Harvard-trained economist based in Singapore, is a freelance contributor.

Anonymous said...

zhen ming SIR, interesting BUT complicating lah = pls ringkaskan, tq !

Argus Eye said...

I just did. Its on the sidebar, finally.

Over weeks I've tried but failed to upload it on my blog. Some sort of error message pops up.