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From The Star 14 Jan 08:
PM to tell how KL bridged racial-religious gaps
MADRID: Malaysia will get to share with other world leaders its experience as a successful moderate Islamic country with a multi-racial society and serve as an example to other nations.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, specially invited to the First Alliance of Civilisations (AoC) annual forum here from tomorrow will explain how Malaysia was able to bridge the religious and racial gaps among its people.
The two-day forum, to be opened by the President of Spain, Josi Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, will be attended, among others, by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Portugal President Jorge Sampaio, who is also UN High Representative for AoC.
Malaysian ambassador to Spain Datuk Naimun Ashakli Mohammad said the Spanish Government had cited Malaysia as a successful Muslim country, which practised a democratic process that could be emulated by others.
Naimun said the forum organisers had invited the Prime Minister to be one of the panel members in a plenary session to discuss the topic The Alliance of Civilisations: Managing Diversity in the era of Globalisation.
Abdullah, who arrived today, is also expected to hold bilateral discussions with Zapatero and extend an invitation to the Spanish leader to attend the third International Conference on Islam and the West in Malaysia.
The conference to be held on June 9 and 10 is in line with the Malaysian government’s aim to create an alliance among civilisations through the involvement of governments, scholars and civil society.
The two leaders are also expected to touch on the situation in Myanmar and West Asia.
On trade ties, Naimun said trade volume amounted to RM3.7 bil, in Malaysia’s favour, between last January and October. Malaysia exported telecommunication equipment, electrical goods, vegetable fats, textile and rubber gloves.
Phew! What a howler!
When you’ve caught your breath, wiped your coffee off your monitor, and taken a nausea pill for that convulsive vomiting, refresh yourself on the bridge over Malaysia’s racial-religious gap.
And democracy? O RLY……..
Lina Joy Loses Her Appeal For Religious Freedom (Lina Joy – on paper a Muslim, but in her heart a Christian – yet not allowed to convert and marry a Christian man)
The Star: Man Switched at Birth Reunited With Biological Parents and The Star: Switched At Birth Follow Up – The Chance to Choose Own Religion? (He is Chinese but got switched at birth, growing up a Malay Muslim. Can he thus choose to convert out of Islam, since he never chose to be a Muslim? Especially when the vast majority of Muslims were such from birth and never chose to be Muslim either…)
The Parable of Kampong Kayukayu (A what if scenario: How would Muslims react if people were not allowed to convert to Islam, instead of vice versa?)
Baptism SMS Case in My Ipoh and Datuk Azhar Mansor Updates (Untrue rumours of Muslim children being converted to Christianity leads to near riot at church, and the grilling of Datuk Azhar Mansor based on that rumour)
Bobjots: Orang Asli Church Demolishment – A Chronological Narrative (Malaysian offiicials tear down church on a whim)
Youtube Video Warning For Namewee (Negarakuku) (Extremist jihadi over-reaction to sarcastic media reaches Malaysia)
The Lidless Eye-S-A (Humour on Malaysia’s detention-without-trial Internal Security Act)
Wikipedia: Internal Security Act (Malaysia) (Dead seriousness on Malaysia’s detention-without-trial Internal Security Act)
May 13 1969 Incident (the Malaysian race riots)
Malaysian New Economic Policy (in response to the May 13 incident, allegedly to ensure more ‘fair’ distribution of wealth)
Ketuanan Melayu (Malay dominance)
Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia (which safeguards the special rigths of Malays)
Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia (defines what a Malay is – not at all related to racial lineage or genetics, but he or she must be a Muslim)
Internal Security Act of Malaysia (used to detain without trial for anything deemed a ‘security threat’ to peace and stability)
Sedition Act of Malaysia (prohibits any discourse deemed to be seditious - where ‘seditious’ can be defined however those in power wish to define it)
While Badawi blabs, boasts and bellyswaggers about the close-your-eyes-and-keep-on-dreaming fairness of relations in Malaysia, how long before the lack of maintenance or progress causes the bridge to go all Tacoma Narrows on us?