A chance for UM to prove its worth — Mariam Mokthar

Source: FMT News

BY MARIAM MOKHTAR

University Malaya - file pic

University Malaya – file pic

In deciding to investigate an allegation of racism against one of its associate professors, Universiti Malaya gives itself an opportunity to prove to the Malaysian public that it upholds a high standard of decency.

We await the findings of the five-member investigation panel and the university’s follow-up action.

However, one wonders whether Universiti Malaya would have bothered to look into the matter if it hadn’t received a directive from the Education Ministry. Indeed, it did not have to wait for the directive. It should have maintained an alertness to issues that might affect its reputation and it should act speedily.

The allegation came in a Facebook posting by a student. The article, titled “Voice of an Indian student”, has gone viral.

The student said the lecturer, in reprimanding her and another student, dispensed with the courtesy of calling them by their names and instead called them “India”. Read more

Lives can be ruined by religious-tinged racism – Mariam Mokhtar

Source: FMT News

BY MARIAM MOKHTAR

The claim that Islamic law affects only Muslims does not ring true.

As the conference on overcoming racism, organised by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, gets underway in Melbourne, some people may be wondering how to counter the racism in Malaysia, which is tinged with religious undertones.

My Filipina and Indonesian friends say that during Ramadhan, they have been embarrassed when religious officials question them for eating in public in the daytime. My Catholic friends from Sabah and Sarawak have often been mistaken for Muslims.

They also claim that on a few occasions, they have not received a warm reception from restaurateurs who serve non-halal food. They say the proprietors want them to finish their meal quickly and leave because they want to avoid unwanted attention from religious officials, who may barge into the premises and accuse them of serving non-halal food to Muslims. It’s not good for business.

Religious officials forget that Ibans or Kadazans may look Malay, but they are not. The same goes with some Malaysians of mixed Indian and Chinese parentage. Read more

Consultant claims trial to insulting PM

Source: The Star Online

Facing the law: Syarul Ema Rena leaving the Sepang Sessions Court. Pic taken from The Star Online

Facing the law: Syarul Ema Rena leaving the Sepang Sessions Court. Pic taken from The Star Online

SEPANG: A construction consultant has claimed trial to insulting the Prime Minister in a foul-mouthed Facebook rant over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agree­ment.

Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah, 35, was accused of posting the insulting comment on a Facebook profile, Ratu Naga, on Oct 6 last year.

The comment mentioned Najib Tun Razak and the members of parliament for signing the agreement, saying it amounted to selling out the country.

The post, reproduced in the charge sheet, featured a slew of slurs, even quoting Langkawi ­legend Mahsuri, “kami rakyat Malaysia sumpah 7 keturunan tau!”.

According to the charge sheet, the comment which had the intent to insult another was picked up by Malaysian Communi­cations and Multimedia Commissions (MCMC) monitors on Jan 28.

MCMC deputy public prosecutor Faizah Mohd Salleh confirmed that the complainant in the case was an MCMC officer. Read more