Showing posts from July, 2009

Historical Road Trip

Finally! I am taking leave from work for one week. It's been a pretty stressful six long months staying in Klang Valley commutting myself between Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and PJ only. So this is really a much needed break indeed. Inspired by the writings of Muhammad Ibrahim Munsyi in his " Kisah Pelayaran Muhammad Ibrahim Munsyi " and Ryszard Kapuscinski's " Travels with Herodotus ", I am off for a week-long historical cum photography road trip throughout Peninsular Malaysia. And am all set to snap thousands of pictures! Hopefully it'll be an exciting worthwhile adventure. I will also see how far DiGi's Yellow Man will follow me everywhere I go. heheh. Lastly, do pray for my safe journey.. :-) Til then, have a good week ahead folks!

Of freedom of speech and hate speech

Julia Klein's article, " The Myths of the Third Reich " (Third Reich refers to the era of the Nazi Germany) in the online version of The Wall Street Journal left me pondering over the question of freedom of speech and hate speech - 1. Where is the boundary between the two? 2. Where does one draw the limit? Interestingly, the article ends with the following sentence: "In Germany today, advocating Nazi ideology is illegal. But in the U.S. and elsewhere, balancing free speech with the desire to silence partisans of hate crimes and genocide remains a vital and troubling concern. The exhibition ends, appropriately, with this dilemma clarified but not entirely resolved. " - Julia Klein. Western nations, by and large have their own standard for freedom of speech - no freedom of speech for holocaust denial or anti-Zionist activism - to the extent that one could risk being persecuted simply by expressing doubts about the holocaust or risk being labelled as an anti-Sem

NST: Remembering Natrah - Interview with Datin Fatini Yaacob

This is an update from my previous blog post. Remembering Natrah (Part 1) Remembering Natrah (Part 2) Remembering Natrah (Part 3) Click on the links above to view the videos. Below are some excerpts from the interview. " ..keputusan mahkamah sebenarnya dihormati oleh semua orang Islam. Tapi yang menjadi rusuhan ialah kerana provokasi suratkhabar Straits Times (yang waktu itu di bawah British). Suratkhabar buat provokasi Natrah tu dengan gambar melutut pada patung virgin Mary..keluar (suratkhabar) berkali-kali, bukannya sekali. Ianya hanya caption story. Orang Melayu marahlah kan. Dah menang (kes mahkamah) fine , kenapa nak provoke . Suratkhabar Melayu seperti Melayu Raya marah. Persoal kebijaksaan pengarang Straits Times. Kisah ini meletakkan Malaya di peta dunia sampai ke Russia, Belanda dan UK. Sebabnya ada banyak pertembungan-pertembungan dalam kes ini. Pertembungan budaya Barat dan Timur, agama Islam dan Kristian. Tapi persoalan sebenarnya ialah soal hak asasi manusia.

Natrah, Nadra, Bertha Hertogh

In 1950, a custody battle over 13-year-old Dutch girl, Bertha Hertogh turns into a violent clash between East and West (source: Monsoon Pictures ). It was only this morning after reading a news report about Nadra (Bertha Hertogh)'s death that I thought to myself, why there is no film produced on this incident. So I decided to search the Net and could only found one documentary, currently in Singapore's national archive titled, ' My Name is Nadra, not Bertha '. Thanks to Facebook, I got to know from a friend that a movie on the Nadra tragedy is to be produced by Monsoon Pictures (poster above), scheduled to be screened next year. Below is an excerpt of my comment posted in Facebook, reproduced here. The issue of Natrah is not just about custody. But the bigger tragedies were the forced religious conversion and the insensitivity of the colonial British towards the local sentiment. First, Natrah was brought up as a Muslim and second, she was legally married to Manso

Netanyahu's version of a Palestinian state

This is an old write up. First posted in my Facebook Note two weeks ago (16 June 2009). "Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu endorses creation of Palestinian state" - New York Daily Times "Netanyahu Answers 'Yes' on Palestine" - Washington Post In a quick glance, the headlines above does sound a little promising. But read on to understand what kind of Palestinian 'state' is Netanyahu endorsing. “Each will have its flag, each will have its anthem. The Palestinian territory will be without arms, will not control airspace, will not be able to have arms enter.” - Benjamin Netanyahu (15 June 2009, Times Online) Funny that of all things, the Israeli PM has to mention flag and anthem first while ignoring the basic and fundamental attributes of a state: sovereignty, territory, authority and population. A future Palestinian state is not fit to be recognised as a "state" - at least in the context of international politics - IF it does not fulfill