Anwar tells Iban poor it's time for change
Terence Netto | Apr 2, 09 11:13am
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was on a two-stop swing through Batang Ai yesterday, hoped to raise the consciousness of the Iban of their need for redemption from poverty.
Anwar’s first stop was Kampong Nanga Kesit, located at the end of a bumpy 7km ride over a gravel road that leads off the main Seri Aman- Lubok Antu artery, about 25km from the latter one-street town.
Nanga Kesit has two longhouses, one situated on a knoll that meets visitors immediately after they have crossed the muddy Sungai Lemanak by using a wobbly 100-metre plank bridge; and the other longhouse is located in a drop behind the hill.
The first longhouse has tiled floors and brick walls while the second is all wooden poles and planks. Almost inevitably, the tuai rumah (village chief) of the upper longhouse declined to host a PKR ceramah but did not stop residents from flocking to the ceramah at the lower longhouse.
By the time Anwar arrived in the early evening, the upper longhouse was empty of residents except for Ran, the frail looking chief. Ran’s wards were waiting with residents of the lower house to listen to the man whom they hope would be prime minister someday.
After the tuai rumah from the lower longhouse and Jimmy Donald, the former Barisan Nasional parliamentarian for nearby Seri Aman, had stirred the crowd with the ex-MP pumping up the adrenaline to a crescendo, Anwar took over, delivering a 15-minute speech that essentially told the poor Iban that it was now or never for them to change their fate of poverty.
“You are ruled by people who do not want you to call your God Allah,” he told them, subtly playing on their resentment of the ban on the Iban term for God.
“They want you to change your name for God, they want to change the ownership of the title to your land,” he said, adding, “Who do they think they are?”
Warming quickly to his theme that insolent powers were ranged against poor Iban peasants whose only recourse to salvation was the party he leads, Anwar deftly played to his audience’s perception that he was no ordinary opposition leader who will sell out to the powers-that-be.
“Just the other day I was in Bangkok and the Thai prime minister asked me if I could get the PAS leader Tok Guru Nik Aziz (Nik Mat) to come to southern Thailand and together help the government resolve their problem with Muslims.
“The people who take your land, who keep you in poverty, don’t have much respect for me and the Tok Guru, but the Thais appear to have a higher regard for us. Perhaps the Thais know something about us that these people don’t,” he said sarcastically.
Can the Iban vote be bought?
Anwar at this point put in his plug for Jawah Gerang, PKR’s candidate for the vacant Batang Ai seat: “I know enough about Jawah to tell you that if you vote him in, he will join in the overall Pakatan Rakyat effort to lift every Malaysian - Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak or Kadazan - up in this country that you all call yours.”
By this time the crowd of some 200 was beginning to perspire from the heat of being pressed within its thatched walls but they had heard enough to laugh at his subtly admonition against supposed Iban fecklessness.
“Back in Kuala Lumpur they tell me that the Iban vote can be easily bought through food and strong drink. But I told them that this time the Iban are ready to change 46 years of getting nothing but robbery of their land and their rights in return for their vote.
“It is time for the Iban to change their fate and to vote that change by choosing Jawah as their man in this election which will then bring a big change to Sarawak and the rest of Malaysia,” he thundered as a finale.
Then he was off to Kampong Melayu in Lubok Antu for evening prayers before another stirring speech at Kampong Kutai in Lubok Antu town where he addressed a slightly more educated crowd on whom he pressed the need for change in a verbal register a note higher than he did at Nanga Kesit.
Malaysia Christians Fight for Allah
By IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
KENINGAU — Malaysian Catholic are sticking to their guns on their right to use the word "Allah" in reference to God, threatening to punish politicians who think otherwise in the next election.
Christians say they have used the word Allah for more than a centaury. (Reuters)
"Our worship of Allah is so natural, it is part and parcel of the Kadazandusun people here," Bishop Cornelius Piong told Reuters on Wednesday, March 11.
"The government of West Malaysia has an infection of religious hatred. We have to fight back so it does not spread."
The use of the word Allah in Christian publications in the local Malay language has triggered a controversy in the Muslim-majority southeast Asian country.
The crisis began after a local Catholic weekly, The Herald, used the word is its Malay-language edition.
The government threatened to revoke the weekly's license if it continued printing the word.
It later allowed Christian publications to use some Muslim words, including Allah, as long as the phrase "For Christians" is printed on the cover.
However, the government backtracked after scholars warned that this might offend the sensitivities of Muslims.
"Allowing Christians to use the word is dangerous because it's attacking the sole religion of the Malays," believes Yusri Mohamad, president of the influential Muslim Youth Movement.
"We have to question Christians' motive for wanting to use this obviously Muslim word. It appears to be for conversions. All Muslim Malays in Malaysia are against this."
Muslim Malays constitute about 60 percent of Malaysia's 27-million population.
Christians, including a Catholic population of nearly 800,000, make up around 9.1 percent of the population.
Christians say Allah is the only word in Malay for God.
"Allowing Christians to use the word is dangerous because it's attacking the sole religion of the Malays," warns Mohamad.
They claim to have used this word for more than a century and that it is allowed and widely used in Indonesia and by Christians living in Arab countries.
The weekly, run by the Catholic Church, is already suing the government for the write to use Allah.
Christians are also threatening to punish those who oppose their use of the word in the next election.
"If the government wants to be nasty and stop people from using Allah, it can. But it may not work here. It's God's country here," Teresa Palikat, 28, a tailor, told Reuters in the eastern Sabah state.
"If the elections happen, we will show them we are serious about Allah."
The Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak, home to majority of Christians, have voted solidly for the ruling coalition since the start of democratic rule in Malaysia.
That hegemony is now under threat after the opposition scored its best-ever election result in 2008, depriving the ruling coalition of its two-thirds parliament majority and control of five of the country's 13 states.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is now targeting the voters of the two states in an effort to keep up pressure on the government and the first test will come in a state assembly by-election in Sarawak in early April.
Bagaimana? Anda faham senario sekarang? Aqidah dan politik sudah dicampur adukkan oleh politikus. Apakah gerakan Islam yang bergerak dalam wadah demokrasi boleh membisu tatkala rakan sepakatan sendiri sudah mula jadi Machiavelli (halalkan saja demi undi!)
I don't think DSAI is stupid and ignorant in this issue, after all he is THE MAN. He should know very well as he was an Islamist for real! A leader who is well read and theologically aware in this matter.
Or is he confuse just like other PAS ulama' who has no background in kalam jadid when it comes to giving opinion in this matter?
Saya akan masukkan satu entri minggu hadapana bagaimana Syakh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi, Ulama' tawassuf agung zaman Islam di Andalusia menjawab permasalah aqidah umat Islam dengan agama Kristian -dalam negara jajahan umat Islam di Granada.
Melihat apa yang berlaku, kalau beginilah perjuangan kita, pejuang Islam tak lama boleh bertahan. Agama pun boleh digadaikan. Ya, nama Allah itu, dalam konteks di atas bukan boleh main-main. Saya dah jelaskan panjang dalam entri-entri sebelum ini.
Saya juga mahu lihat si penzalim dan balaci kapitalis ini tersungkur dalam pilihan raya ini. Tapi janganlah sampai semua benda jadi halal. Politikus kena fikir jauh sikit. Jangan jadi dangkal. Simplistik.Semua nak cepat letihla.
Kita semua tahu DSAI adalah seorang pemimpin yang tidak sabar. Dari zaman ABIM sampai zaman Katak 16 September.
Anda kena ingat, kalau sekarang para politikus naik lori yang bawa bagasi seperti isu kaum, penyama rataan (equality), agama, apakah bila sudah berkuasa nanti para politikus ini tidak akan bergantung sokongan daripada yang terdahulu?
Saya lihat, kes Nizar ini, dari sudut yang lebih dalam, berpotensi jadi begini. Fikir-fikirkan.