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Archive for September, 2012


Just days ago, Ngeh Koo Ham, Perak DAP chairman had humiliated the Muslims by asking if the Muslims (are) wasting too much time and energy on the protests against the disgraceful  film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in respond to UMNO Youth YB Khairy Jamaluddin’s call for a peaceful protest over the film in Kuala Lumpur. The film which was directed by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (or his pseudonym Sam Bacile) insults the Prophet Muhammad, portraying him as a womanizer, child abuser and a fool, and Islam as a whole.

As you may have recalled, not only did he make such an insulting statement but when first criticized, he refused to apologise saying that, “There is no doubt that I condemn the video but my tweet was a question and not a statement as some have claimed, belittled Islam.”

If the statement isn’t belittling, all that I can say is that it certainly humiliates. The statement had obviously portrayed the Malaysian Muslims to be ‘over-sensitive’ over the film by holding out peaceful protests. But if protests are simply a waste of time, why are the opposition parties so obsessed with the ‘Bersih’ and other demonstrations?

On the 26th of September 2012, Ngeh once again insulted the Muslims by tweeting ‘Pertama kali saya dengar minum kopi mesti ada label halal. Manusia jgn tambah tambah syarat,membebankan. Tuhan membebaskan.’ (This is the first time I’ve heard that coffee needs a halal label. Humans shouldn’t make up more rules, it’s burdening. God liberates) when the vice chairman of the Unit Pidato Pemuda BN asked him why does his white coffee comes without halal certification. Not just that, when the person corrected him, saying that coffee too needs to be certificated as halal, Ngeh retorted by tweeting, “Tuhan tak kata bagitu. Lain negara tak ada sijil halal bagaimana ? Minum kopi haram ?” (God did not say so. How is it for countries without halal certifications? Would drinking coffee be haram?)”

Ngeh chose to ignore the fact given by Armand Azha PJU that the Old Town White Coffee they were referring to also serves food apart from coffee. Ngeh may spin the story but the Quran had clearly stated that Muslims should only eat foods which are ‘halal’. The ‘halal certificate’ acts as a guarantee for the Muslims to consume food which have been examined to be free of any haram substances, as I had mentioned in my previous post ‘Halal Labeling’. When a product had not been proven as ‘halal’ through the certificate issued by a trusted body, there is a possibility that the food may contain a certain amount of non-halal substance. So, the official halal logo will assists the Muslim consumers in buying goods that are compliance to the halal criteria.

I remember that See’s Candies of California only took a few days to respond to my father’s email and they gave him a very detailed account of their chocolate making process as well as the nature of the ingredients used. See’s Candies has a batch of products which were made by only plant-based products and were manufactured separately to protect it from being contaminated by the animal-based product. And they answered the email respectfully, very much unlike what Ngeh said in his tweet despite the fact that my father is a foreigner and Muslims are only a minority in the United States. See’s Candies that produces very delicious chocolates is not owned by a Muslim but although being unlike the DAP leaders who need the votes from the Malaysian Muslims, See’s Candies still care to respect the rights of its Muslim customers.

It is funny to think of how a leader like Ngeh, who lives in a Muslim-majority country does not understand nor respect the importance of halal labelling. Not only that but Ngeh dares to challenge what is right in according to Islam. And it is even fishier when PAS had always claimed that the DAP leaders understand Islam even better than the UMNO leaders do.

I firmly believe that products and restaurants such as the Old Town White Coffee must be avoided by Muslims for three reasons, one is that we have no confirmation on the halal status, secondly is that we as Muslims we need to fight for our rights to proclaim the verification of a halal product and last is to make sure that we only support the companies (either owned by Muslim or non-Muslim) that support and understand our needs and requirements as a Muslim consumer. We should support companies such as Carrefour – who even employs an ustaz or a religious officer for the purpose of controlling the verification of their halal products even for imported goods even despite the fact that the company is not owned by a Muslim. It is our duty to make sure that the foods and drinks that we consume will be good for us.

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Aeshah found this post which had a photo of my mother pasting a miniature sheet onto the first day cover as my sister looked on.

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September 13th, 2012 by Shamsul Ismin Tumin (from Demotix.com)

Pos Malaysia launched its latest series of stamps in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and to commemorate the royal visit of Britain’s Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to Malaysia from Sept 13 to 15, 2012.

The stamps feature two designs, both of which are bordered with silver ink.

One features a “stamp on stamp” design, with an older stamp released on June 2, 1953 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in the centre and the other features a photograph of Prince William and Kate Middleton to commemorate their visit. The stamps cost RM1.50 each.

Folders and first-day covers without stamps are sold at RM5.50 and 50 sen each, respectively.Full sheets of ten stamps each can be purchased for RM15 at all Pos Malaysia outlets while stocks last.Two first-day cover designs is available for sale, the first is at RM3.50 featuring the two stamps, while the other, with a miniature sheet of stamps, at RM2.50 each.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Catherine, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today to begin their four-day official visit. The royal couple are on their second stop of a nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. Malaysia is their second destination after Singapore.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also expected to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, and attend a royal dinner at Istana Negara.

They are scheduled to leave for Solomon Islands on Sunday, to proceed with their tour

My mother (in light blue hijab) trying to wet the glue on the stamps as Aeshah looked on

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The ‘stamp on stamp’ design of one of the stamps featuring the Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation 10 cents stamp of ‘Malaya Selangor’.

Pos Malaysia issued some lovely stamps to mark The Diamond Jubilee of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. My mother who is a great fan of a few series of the old Commonwealth stamps read an article on the launching from ‘The Star’  the day before. She instantly ‘fall in love’ with the ‘stamp on stamp’ design featuring the 10 cents stamp ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation’ Malay Selangor issue. After all, the old Commonwealth issues of the Queen Elizabeth II coronation series is one of my mother’s favourite as well as the colourful Machin stamp series that look so wonderful in her album pages.

The second design of the stamps featuring Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Knowing that the stamps would be popular among stamp collectors from all over the world as well as fans of the Royal Couple and the British Monarch, we left for the post office very early to avoid the long queue. We reached there at 8:30 am but unfortunately, as the door of the elevator slid open, we had a great shock to see that the queue had already stretched past the elevator all the way from the philatelic counter. Those who came just minutes after we did had to stand in the sun as the queue grew longer and longer.

The queue stretched all the way from the philatelic counter…

…to the entrance of the gallery…

…through the corridor…

…past the elevator (where I stood reading ‘The Pickwick Papers’)…

…and into the sun!

I was thankful that I remembered to bring a novel with me, which I read while waiting for our turn to come. My mom on the other hand, made friends with a few wonderful and lively Chinese ladies and a Malay guy slightly older than me behind us and they all quickly launched into a conversation which helps the time to fly by. After about half an hour queueing, Ali noticed that my little sister Anisah was weeping and he asked his big sister if she’s alright. Anisah told him that she felt dizzy and as my mom was taking her to find a seat, she fainted. She soon recovered and she waited for us in the gallery.

Ahmad Ali met his friend, Abang Moza.

When we finally reached the counter almost four hours later, they told us that they had sold out all of their stamp sheets. Imagine my mother’s dismay after we had been standing in the queue for hours just to find out that they were out stamp sheets! So my mother bought lots of the miniature sheets and stamps. However, the nice Pos Malaysia staff urged my mother to buy the folder and my mom, feeling that she’ll have to buy one of everything after such a ridiculously long queue, accepted the advise. Just less than half an hour later, they put up posters saying that they had sold out of folders and my mom was glad that she had one to keep. My mother even bought first day covers which she would not buy during other stamp launch! After another long queue to stamp the first day covers and the folder, we found out that they had received a new stock of stamp sheets which we managed to buy some.

We managed to get some of the stamp sheets at last!

The folders were sold out.

We had a light lunch and left the post office at 3pm, somewhat hungry and tired but contented nevertheless. The stamps, miniature sheets, first day covers and folders are very beautiful. They proved to be a hit and sold like hotcakes. Even fans of the royal couple who are not stamp collectors do not mind to join the long queue. We even met a lady who queued for almost three at another post office when she was told that they had ran out of stock, and rushed to Daya Bumi and had to join another long queue for the memorabilia.

The place was still crowded by 1pm as people rushed in from all parts of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor after some of the post offices ran out of stock.

I hope Pos Malaysia would issue more lovely stamps in the future as it is such a delight to flip through your album and look at the rows of beautiful Malaysian stamps.

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As I mentioned in my earlier post, ‘Malaysia… A Republic Nation?‘, the demonstrators of Janji Demokrasi or Janji Bersih caused a controversy when they caused havoc amidst the Merdeka Day celebration on the night of 30th August.

The group in which most wore the yellow t-shirts were seen displaying and waving red and white flags which they called Sang Saka Malaya instead of the Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang. To add insult to injury, they even distributed pamphlets demanding for Malaysian flag to be changed from Jalur Gemilang to Sang Saka Malaya.

Opinions vary widely on the matter with a few saying that it is the youths’ rights to learn and to introduce to others the so-called historical flag while most insisting that the action is against the ethical values of Malaysians, showing no respect to the country, as well as endangering the harmony of the country.

Now, who is behind the Sang Saka Malaya?

With the obvious association between Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat, most speculated that the Pakatan Rakyat is behind the incident and that Sang Saka Malaya would be the new Malaysian flag chosen by the Pakatan Rakyat if they ever succeeded in their mission to ‘tawan Putrajaya’. A blogger, Serigala Selatan who owns the Singa Selatan blog claimed that he and a friend, ‘Zairi Shafai’ are the ones who were responsible for these flags and that he wasn’t representing any political party. Anwar Ibrahim also denied claims that Sang Saka has got anything to do with Pakatan Rakyat.

“Dia nak kaitkan Pakatan Rakyat, adakah kenyataan saya yang menyatakan kita tidak mahu bendera malaysia? Ada kenyataan Tuan Guru Hadi Awang? Ada kenyataan YB Kit Siang? Tidak ada. Bagi kita bendera Malaysia, bendera Malaysia” (In order to associate (the flag) with Pakatan Rakyat, have I ever made any statement saying that we do not want the Malaysian flag? Is there a statement from Hadi Awang? Is there a statement from YB Kit Siang? There’s none. To us, the Malaysian flag is the Malaysian flag.)

But does anyone still remember what DAP assemblyman, YB Manoharan Malayalam wrote in his facebook last year about our Jalur Gemilang? He wrote that, “Pakatan will come up with a new flag” for the reason that our Jalur Gemilang is ‘too BN than Malaysian’ and “the flag must go” in referring  to the current Malaysian flag.

Ironically, Anwar’s employee Najwan Halimi also wrote a surprising statement on his personal blog, Riwayat Hayat:

“saya persembahkan design terbaru bendera Malaysia bagi menggantikan Jalur Gemilang bernama Sang Saka Malaya” (I present the latest design of the Malaysian flag, Sang Saka Malaya which would replace the Jalur Gemilang)

(please note that the page had since been edited and the ‘announcement’ had been deleted from the post)

And if that is not enough to contradict Singa Selatan and Anwar Ibrahim’s statement, Hishamuddin Rais who is one of the main organisers of the Janji Bersih demonstration even made an announcement on his blog, tukartiub, telling people to bring and wave the Sang Saka Malaya at the demonstration. Hishamuddin Rais is also one of Anwar’s close associate.

“Kibarkan Sang Saka Malaya, Merdeka dari jajahan UMNO” (Wave the Sang Saka Malaya, free (the country) from UMNO)

Hishamuddin Rais, Najwan Halimi and Manoharan Malayam are all members of the Pakatan Rakyat and yet their words seem to be shouting to the world that yes, we are the ones behind all this and we are proud of it. In fact, while denying the fact that Pakatan Rakyat has anything to do with Sang Saka Malaya, Anwar Ibrahim went on to support the actions of waving the Sang Saka Malaya during the Merdeka celebration saying that it is the youths’ rights to bring back the old flag, claiming that it is a good idea to educate the public about our struggle for independence. He went on further to associate the Sang Saka Malaya with the independence fighters hence to justify and to prove that not only there is nothing wrong with the actions but their initiative should be praised by the public.

So are the rumours true that Sang Saka Malaya would in fact be made the new Malaysian flag if Pakatan Rakyat were to win the coming general election? In the first place, why must Malaysia need a new flag? But if it is true that they want a new flag, why must they choose Sang Saka Malaya which was used by the leftist group that was rejected by the majority of Malaysians even before our independence?

What else are they secretly planning to change if they gain the power? And what are their true agendas behind all their questionable actions? Would Malaysia still be a peaceful sovereign country or would our beautiful country be turned into a chaotic republic, breeding rebels with anti-establishment mentality?

Please read the history of Sang Saka Malaya to find out who had use the flag before our independence hence to try to see the light in why this flag was brought out again after more than 55 years. Click here to read a good article written by Professor Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam of University Malaya on the history of Sang Saka Malaya (unfortunately it’s in Malay).

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