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Friday, December 21, 2007

Religious and noise pollution,any solution?

Religious is one thing that I normally will avoid to touch. However, this is a bit different.
I live near to a mosque for over 25 years. So I assume myself immune to the 5.30am morning call. Three years ago, the new mosque, which is about 4 times larger than the old mosque, is built on a previously children playground. The old mosque which accordingly the second oldest mosque has been renovated and reburbished. Whether it is a government plan to make it a tourist attraction is unknowned. What I noticed is the loudapeaker of the mosque produce a much higher decibels than before. It was shocking loud when I first heard it. Then i slowly get used to it.
On this Thursday morning, supposed a one minutes pray has extended to 3 hours. Although I knew i was a big day for Muslims, but suffer a 3 hours noise pollution with high decibels is just annoying. Mind you, times by times, there will be religious seminar in the mosque that I can listen very clearly through loudspeakers.
Here come a question, if I respect muslims has the right to pray 5 times, the mosque can use high decibels loudspeakers, who will respect the non muslims has the right as well to get rid of the noise pollution especially the morning prayer at 5am to 6 am?
Due to this I have made soem searching in google.
I found that some country such as India has a law regulation to control the loudspeakers to a under 65 decibels during 10 pm to 6am.
Islamic Voice
Indonesian opinion
UK opinion

I used to remembered there is a quarral in somewhere around PJ (forgive me as I can not recall clearly) because of a chinese funeral that generate noise at night. On the night before funeral, monks will pray for the person that passed away before the body is buried. Due to this customs, it will generate some noise at the night. And that quarral that published in the newspaper is another ethnics that don't understand the culture.
However, just the same case as the mosque, we are not living in a same village with all the same ethnics anymore.Time is changing.It is not the same now especially in a city like Kuala Lumpur.
Your neighbours could be Malay, chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Vietnamese or even an expatriate from Europe. Right, we should respect other culture, but in this society which is more complex and complicated, it is important that you don't disturb others while you practice your culture or minimised the disturbance.
It would be a better living place if 10pm to 6am any noise that produce must be in a acceptable level as this is the rest time for most of us. Some practice in the old days must be adjusted to the current lifestyles.
P/S: I respect all the religious, no offence to Muslims but truth is truth.I welcome you to examine the whether the loudspeakers is really too loud. The mosque is in Jalan Pahang.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hindraf and government, don't over the line

When I stucked in the traffic jam arund 6.30pm on Friday at the road towards PWTC, a police traffic has open the road to a black Proton Perdana which I supposed a minister was inside the car. About the same time same area on Thursday, several Mercedes Benz with Royal family members inside the car were opened road by several police tarffic. I don't know whether some people has misused the privillge to ask the police traffic to open road for them. Give ways when there is no emrgency like ambulance or police perform their duty, just make the road more congested and moreover it is in the peak time when everybody is rushing back to their home. No wonder Kuala Lumpur traffic jam and public transport never improve as the 'big flights' always smooth on their way to destination.

Hindraf and government are going too far
The same also apply to Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). Hindraf has claimed that Malaysia practising 'ethnic cleasing' and demolished Hindu temple at a rate of 3 weeks once in an e-mail to Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister. This is a big wrong step for Hindraf leader P.Uthayakumar which I think he has gone too far. To claim Indian has been marginalised in Malaysia is acceptable and this will get more sympathy from international. Faking the truth to get more attention just bring more harm, even to Hindraf itself and local community which is neutral may turn their stand. Of course, to tarnished the image of Malaysia as the multiracial and multicultural country that live in harmony, Hindraf can consider they have succeeded.

On the other hand, police claimed that they believe that Hindraf is funded by terorist in oversea. Many would have think this is an action from government to stop the public to support the Hindraf action due to sympathy. However, how true it is? There is no evidence to Hindraf has done so and Hindraf has asked Police to show the evidence. Government till now has no sction to look into the matter the Indian community problems but put more effort to deny Hindraf claimed and bring the 31 Indians taht were caught during the demonstartion assembly to court and accused them of being attempt to murder.

Three scenarios but all is going too far of the line. Traffic Police should opened road when it is needed and not for a royal member or minister to attend a dinner. Hindraf should make a claim that reflects the truth so does the goverment.

Most importantly, New Economic Plan (NEP) that should be finished at 1991 was not execute to benefits the needed people and until today, the most beneficial people may be those holding a high post in the society (business, politics and etc).The facts is after 50 yeras of independent, we are not even equal. We have been born here and we are devide to Bumi and non Bumi after you born. Base on the constitution, you will have no privillege if you are non bumi. For foreigners to understand this, this is mean the people is devide to first class and second class in terms of the country privillege. I knw the world in unfair and so did many people in Malaysia. However, please name a country that in the constitution has automatically classified the people to be a second class residents, which he or she will not given discount to buy a house, less opportunity to enter local univerity as well as getting scholarships, no getting government tender or bidding projects, and many more?

And the solution for all this chaos is just euqality, help to solve the poverty with no racial issue. Everybody has an euqal chance and if you not appreciate the chance and continue to live in poverty, it is their own choice .
To see what Bangkok Post said of our racial problem, please click here

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hindraf and Bangkok Post

I get to read this columnist in The Bangkok Post while I was on the flight back to Malaysia from Bangkok on Friday. So I registered the website version in The Bangkok Post website to let you all reas the full version of the articles. Below is the full text article.
Malaysia's biggest liability is racial discord

The rise of China and India is forcing Malaysia to discover new sources of competitiveness; in such an environment, the policy of race-based discrimination is increasingly untenable. /


For a country that abhors public protests and suppresses them with strict rules against illegal assembly, Malaysia has had two big demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur just this month.

With elections expected to be held next year, a certain rise in political temperature isn't surprising.

However, two large street rallies within a month may also be a sign that the 50-year-old code defining the rules of engagement between the state and the three main ethnic groups _ the ''social contract'' of Malaysia _ is fraying.

The biggest source of discontent is race, a four-letter word in a country where three-fifths of the 27 million people are Malays, about a quarter of the population is Chinese and 10% is Indian.

Many in the minority Chinese and Indian communities are disenchanted with economic policies that favour the Malays.

And while privileges granted to the Malay Bumiputras _ or ''sons of the soil'' _ can't be taken away abruptly, the case for separating entitlements from racial identity is building.

There are, of course, limits to how far Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may be prepared to go and how soon.

To the extent that affirmative-action policies make Malaysia unattractive to foreign investors, Mr Abdullah has already shown a willingness to respond. The government has said that companies setting up tourism or logistics businesses in the Iskandar Development Region of Johor won't need to comply with a rule requiring foreign companies to have at least 30% ethnic Malay ownership.

This is a welcome step because Malaysia received just US$6 billion of foreign direct investment last year. Thailand got $10 billion and India received $17 billion.

Ending preferential treatment for Malays in lucrative government contracts is going to be more problematic.

Free-trade talks with the US and Australia have been delayed and the ones with New Zealand have had to be suspended primarily because Malaysia's policy of discouraging non-Malays _ including foreigners _ from bidding on government tenders is unacceptable to these countries.

The same issue might also jeopardise a free-trade deal between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations _ of which Malaysia is a member _ and the European Union.

The Federation of Malaya's 1957 Constitution, which was drafted as the British were leaving, recognised that the indigenous Malay community needed special help, including quotas in government jobs, business permits and university places, to improve their abject economic standing.

The acceptance of this arrangement by the minority Chinese and Indian communities _ ''foreigners'' in the land of the ethnic Malay Muslims _ was seen as the basis of their citizenship and participation in a grand political coalition that has ruled Malaysia uninterrupted since independence.

Following bloody race riots in 1969, the New Economic Policy of 1970 made it an avowed goal of state policy to lift the share of corporate ownership for the Bumiputras to 30% from just 2%.

There was an uproar last year when a Malaysian economist argued in a study that the goal may already have been more than met and it was time to dismantle economic policies based on race. The political rhetoric is still staunchly against any such dilution of affirmative action. At his party's annual congress this month, Mr Abdullah described Malay interests and the social contract between communities as ''sacred''.

However, the economic reality is different. Malaysia's annual per capita income has jumped an impressive 26-fold in the past 50 years to 20,900 ringgit (87,984 baht). But the decades of sustained, rapid growth in prosperity are now history. The rise of China and India is forcing Malaysia to discover new sources of competitiveness; in such an environment, the policy of race-based discrimination is increasingly untenable.

The area where Malaysia has paid the heaviest price is education. In the 1980s, government policy reduced national schools to ''Malay enclaves'', in the words of University of Sydney political scientist Lily Zubaidah Rahim; as a result, the Chinese opted out in large numbers. Thus, the ideal place to integrate the races became the starting point of segregation. While ethnic quotas in higher education were removed in 2002, university entrance norms for non-Malays are still significantly tougher. Talent that Malaysia badly needs to build a knowledge-driven economy is forced to migrate.

The Nov 10 protests called for an improvement in the electoral process so that the next polls are free and fair; the second rally, however, had an overt racial tone. The Hindu Rights Action Force, which organised the demonstration, is suing the British government for not protecting the rights of the minority Indian community at the time of independence. The colonial rulers had brought in Indians as indentured labour to work on rubber plantations.

The real purpose of the protesters is, of course, to draw attention to the unfairness of the 1957 constitutional arrangement and to show that the Malays aren't the only underclass in Malaysia.

The Tamil-speaking Malaysians, not counting the very wealthy businessmen such as pay-TV and telecommunications czar T Ananda Krishnan, remain rather poor as a community.

A renegotiation of the Malaysian social contract so that entitlements are realigned with real economic needs will be a slow, challenging process, though nothing short of it can really heal the wounds festering for half a century.

Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.