Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi: Of Islam, beer cans and the lowercase 't'…


2020-02-17 15:39:00   26   0   0 

Of Islam, beer cans and the lowercase ‘t’


By Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

As Tun Mahathir’s suggestion of changing the language of instruction of science and mathematics in our primary and secondary schools, I would like to draw our attention to the worsening of our understanding of the larger world due to the lack of English language comprehension.

As I have written previously, my support for Tun M’s statement is not the same as his reasons of bettering the two subjects. Mine is more about improving the quality of English and also towards opening the minds and hearts of our students to accept the many different cultures, beliefs and races not only among the 39 ethnic groups of Malaysia but more importantly the many thousands in the world.

I would like to raise two incidents that may look or seem extremely hilarious but have significantly far reaching importance.

The first incident that I want to share with Malaysians came recently to my knowledge that shocked even a season critic of education as I.

A non-Malay volunteer teacher told me when she was teaching in Kedah, she noticed that the pupils would never write the lower case letter ‘t’ and would always capitalize the letter wherever it occurred. She would always point out these mistakes but the pupils would not follow her instruction.

After much questioning, she discovered that the Malay pupils were afraid to write the lower case letter ‘t’ because it looked like a Christian cross, and that was ‘haram‘ for them!

Shocking isn’t it? But really? In Penang, Malay residents once complained of a lighted corridor and lift shaft that resembled a cross that required a mufti to give construction management advice.

That’s how narrow-minded the Malays are in terms of exposure to the English speaking world. With the world at the touch of their fingertips through the smartphone, the Malays are as backward as if in a valley isolated from modern civilization.

Another incident that happened to me was when I was at a local grocery store lining up to pay for my purchase.

Ahead of me was an Indian who bought several cans of beer. While he was counting his money, the cashier who was a Malay girl was putting the purchases in a plastic bag when she stopped and asked, “Boleh tak tolong masukkan tin beer ini sendiri? Saya orang Islam dan saya tak boleh pegang tin ini.

The Indian was surprised and asked why and the girl repeated her statement. I intervened and told the girl that in Islam to drink was haram but touching a beer can was permissible. Anyway, I added, your Muslim colleagues must have put the cans on the shelves and since they handled it, why not you?

The Malay girl was quiet for a few seconds and finally retorted an answer, “Saya tak boleh pegang sebab saya ada air sembahyang.” Although I knew she was probably lying, as I did not want her to get into any more trouble and holding up the line, I held the cans myself and put them in the plastic bag for the Indian customer. I apologized to the Indian man for the girl’s obvious ignorance.

The incidents, though separate in communication and religion, stem from the same fundamental fact of lack of exposure to the Western English speaking world.

Many Muslims live in non-Muslim countries like USA and Great Britain and they have their own interpretation of working and living lifestyle among the non-Muslim community.

The ustaz in Malaysia teaches a narrow brand of Islam and does not speak English in order to compare notes with the counterparts in another country. How are we as a nation and how are Malays as a people going to be successful when they can’t even comprehend basic communication and cultural situations? We live in Malaysia with diverse cultures and race and cannot treat “the other” as an inconvenience to us. Without “the other”, the girl would probably never even get a job.

If teaching science and mathematics can improve the English communication aspect by increasing its contact hours, then I say we must do it.

I know there are studies about the ineffectiveness of the first PPSMI, but the critical point there was that the teachers were unprepared and they were the ones reluctant or unable to cope with the change due to their own ignorance of the language.

I am sometimes amused at people like an ABIM professor who disagreed with Tun M’s suggestion by saying that it is a simple matter of improving and strengthening the English teaching and learning in school. The professor did not outline any strategies toward this end.

I would like the professor to answer some questions. Can the subject of Bahasa Melayu be reduced in its learning and teaching time by 50% and the time given to English? Can the subjects of Sejarah and Geografi and others be reduced also and donated to English? More importantly, can the subject of Ugama Islam be reduced by 70% and give the time to English? I am sure the professor would disagree about reducing BM, as he is a Malay and of course would never reduce Ugama Islam as he is ABIM.

There are of course many methods of improving English without reducing the time allocated to other subjects. This would require the government to spend hundreds of millions of ringgit to hire assistant teachers to divide the English classes to half for reading, writing and speaking practices. More millions will also be spent on the proper reading books for English and more library time be given to students.

In conclusion, I hope Malays can see that it is imperative that English be made the medium of teaching for science and maths as this has already been a tried and successful affair during my generation. To do so, we must give the proper financial support, proper amount of time allocated for English and appropriate manpower planning.

In order to move forward, each race must review its priorities of language preference by asking the question of the bigger picture. Unfortunately, those who insist on their own cultural language be used extensively, have already been successful within the context of a certain period of history or economic and political constructs that benefited them. Those variables have now changed. Don’t gamble with the lives and future of the young ones just because we are sentimental and unnecessarily “patriotic” about our own mother tongue language.

(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)

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Prolink Marketing Sdn Bhd sues OCBC Bank…


Local firm claims OCBC’s actions caused it to lose more than RM55 million

Nicholas Chung – February 18, 2020 6:53 PM

SHAH ALAM: The hearing of a civil suit filed by a local firm against Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) has resumed today, as the company involved in the local trading of rice and commodities seeks more than RM280 million in damages from the Singaporean bank.

Prolink Marketing Sdn Bhd’s managing director Kuganeswaran Chandran took the witness stand over the bank’s alleged dishonesty and negligence in managing the company’s credit facilities.

Replying to questions from lead counsel Jaswinder Singh, Kuganeswaran said OCBC had discontinued two receivable purchase facilities (RPF) while recalling the outstanding amounts. He said the bank also failed to give any reason for the discontinuation.

None of the payments were overdue or past the due date for the settlement, he added.

He was also told that the bank will further recall three other financing facilities totalling  RM69 million if the company failed to comply with the demands to settle the two RPFs.

“The company had no choice. The company did not have any other RPFs and if the other trade facilities of RM69 million were also discontinued and recalled, the company would collapse financially,” he told the Shah Alam High Court today.

Kuganewaran said OCBC also prevented Prolink from obtaining facilities from other banks as it failed to issue a redemption statement to the company although it had paid the RM30 million.

This, he said, led to financial difficulties for the company due to tight cash flow, disabling the company from supplying goods which made them lose business.

He said the company lost more than RM55 million for failing to fulfil contracts due to the discontinuation of facilities.

“The company was clearly in breach of the agreement. There is no legal recourse to recover. The loss is final,” he said when asked about the possibility of recovery from the losses.

t claimed that OCBC had breached the terms and conditions to receivable purchase facilities and even changed the stipulations without the agreement of the company.

The suit was filed in January 2019 and the matter was first heard in the Shah Alam High Court on Jan 23 this year. The trial resumes tomorrow.


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Untitled but worth a read (received via WhatsApp)…



You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is… the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise… How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some in worse shape than me…but, I see the great change… Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant..but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory!
Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s NOT over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have
done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not in your winter yet…let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it timely! Don’t put things off too long!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

“Life” is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”


~Your kids are becoming you……
~Going out is good. Coming home is better!
~You forget names… But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. especially golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed.
It’s called “pre-sleep”.
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”… “what?” “where?”
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry – it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless!?”
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear.
~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all,

Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!” Send this on to other “Old Friends!” and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!
It’s Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind of winter yours is or is going to be. Enjoy life b4 winter or enjoy the winter.


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SUHAKAM inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu…



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The Address, Taman Desa Condominium: Who will take responsibility for this "hot potato"?



Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020 11:34 AM MYT


KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The slew of development problems faced by Taman Desa residents is a result of the many problematic decisions made by former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said today.

Following the partial collapse of condominium construction project The Address there, Kok who is also primary industries minister said she had vehemently opposed the Umno man, also known as Ku Nan, when she was in the Opposition.

“When I was the opposition MP prior to GE14, I have vigorously and vehemently criticised Tengku Adnan and DBKL for approving all these high-density projects,” Kok said in a Facebook post after meeting residents there.

“I have even hit out that he and DBKL has committed a grave sin when this project was approved by him and DBKL then.

“As a result of his intransigence then, today, the residents in Taman Desa are forced to suffer the consequences of the sins committed by the former FT minister and the then mayor,” she added.

Kok had met with the residents committee from One Desa, Desa Eight and Faber Tiara Condominium, as well as Taman Desa Residents Associations yesterday.

General view of Phase 1 of The Address condominium project (right) in Taman Desa February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
General view of Phase 1 of The Address condominium project (right) in Taman Desa February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Some of the complaints she received include the fact that the land The Address Condominium is being developed on was originally earmarked as a TNB reserve and it is very close to a school and other condominiums.

The residents of Faber Tiara had also “been tormented” by the “nuisance and danger” of objects falling into their compound from the condominium’s construction.

Residents also told her that the access roads to the current entrances of One Desa and Desa Eight actually belong to the developer of The Address, rather than the respective developments.

“I fully understand the agony and the fury of all the residents. They are worried about their safety and especially more, after this mishap. I am in full sympathy with them,” Kok said.

On Saturday, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health started an investigation into the partial collapse of a 37-storey condominium under construction in Taman Desa, Jalan Klang Lama on the day before.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the condominium developer’s advertising permit and developer licence was also suspended pending the investigation.

Aerial view of the slab collapse at The Address condominium project in Taman Desa February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Aerial view of the slab collapse at The Address condominium project in Taman Desa February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara


Malay Mail@malaymail

Minister says objected to overdevelopment of Taman Desa back in 2017

Monday, 17 Feb 2020 05:14 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok said she had raised concerns and objections over excessive development around the Taman Desa area back in 2017.

She said together with Taman Desa Residents Association, they had started a petition to protest the building of new condominiums and had called on Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to review all new projects in Taman Desa then.

Kok said the petition also opposed the 37-storey condominium project where part of its structure collapsed last Friday, trapping two Bangladesh workers who were later rescued.

“I was informed by DBKL that the building plan approval was given on June 2017 and the project started work on Feb 2018. I have no say in all of these, I did not approve the project,” she added.

“So, to say that I ran away from responsibility and ignored the people of Taman Desa is definitely wrong. We have opposed the over-development with a petition (back then),” she told reporters when met at the site of the incident here today.

“So, to say that I ran away from responsibility and ignored the people of Taman Desa is definitely wrong. We have opposed the over-development with a petition (back then),” she told reporters when met at the site of the incident here today.


Teresa Kok heckled when visiting site of Taman Desa condo construction mishap

Wong Kai Hui
Published: Feb 17th, 2020  |  Modified: Feb 17th, 2020A+A

While visiting the site of The Address condominium in Taman Desa which had suffered a major construction mishap, DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was heckled by several residents from nearby condominiums.

As the construction of the partially-collapsed condominium was ordered to stop pending investigation and outsiders are not allowed to enter the site, Kok addressed the media outside the site after her arrival.

Kok responded to criticism from MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er by stressing that the project was approved before Pakatan Harapan came into power.

“The development order (DO) of the project was approved by DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) on March 13, 2017, the building plan was approved on June 19, 2017.

“Construction started in February 2018. All these were from before my time (being in the ruling government), I had no say on the approval,” she said.

Kok said that she opposed the over-development in the area together with the residents, citing a petition by her constituency office and Taman Desa Residents Association (TDRA) in 2017.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker stressed that she is not in a position to comment about the incident pending investigation by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Dosh).

Representatives from DBKL and TDRA president Wong Chan Choy were present at the site with Kok.

A few residents tried to interrupt and raised their criticism when Kok spoke to the media. However, they were stopped from asking further questions.

Kok promised some of the residents that she would meet them at a later time before leaving.

Five of the residents told the media later that they had failed to receive any response from Kok’s office when they invited her to attend a town hall meeting organised by the Protect Taman Desa Coalition.

“She should have spent some time with us. We have been trying to have a town hall meeting with her for the past two-and-a-half years,” said Khong KY (photo, right), who identified himself as former deputy chairperson of Seputeh DAP branch.

An aide to Teresa Kok was also involved in an exchange of words with Khong, shouting: “Were you kicked out from the party?”

Yesterday, Khong held a press conference with several MCA leaders including party spokesperson and Seputeh division vice-president Chan Quin Er complaining about Kok neglecting the people’s interest.

Yesterday, the Protect Taman Desa Coalition held a press conference complaining about Kok neglecting the people’s interests as well as urging the government to publish the findings of the investigation into the collapse once completed. 

Also present at the press conference were several MCA leaders including the party’s spokesperson and Seputeh division vice-president Chan Quin Er.

Meanwhile, another Taman Desa resident, Valerie Low told the press that the land on which The Address is situated was planned as a green lung in the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020).

“The construction is very near to Tiara Faber, and sometimes there are things falling into our compound,” she said.

Low lives in Tiara Faber condo which is located adjacent to The Address condo.

Upon completion, The Address will comprise three towers of 30-storeys each on a narrow strip of land which was once Tenaga Nasional Bhd reserve land.

“We have been trying to talk to YB (Teresa Kok), we are the constituents, why doesn’t she give us some time? […] When we started trying to get a dialogue with her, it was not like this, where we are now so antagonistic, (because) we are upset.”

Some residents claimed that some workers are still going in and out of The Address although there is a stop-work order and the main door to the site was sealed.




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It looks like the Roti John joke is fake and has been around since 2018. The Minister is not Mat Sabu…




Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu did not make fun of a senior foreign official’s name, said his press aide Amin Iskandar.

He was responding to speculation that it was the Amanah president who uttered the remark since it was said to have been made during a security meeting.

Furthermore, Mohamad, who is known as Mat Sabu, is also famous for his culinary skills.

“It was not the defence minister,” said Amin.

“If the author (of the article which related the incident) had mentioned the minister’s name, we would have sued him. But he did not name the minister,” he told Malaysiakini this evening.

Yesterday, an article in The Star had mentioned the alleged incident.

According to the author, a diplomat had told him about the minister meeting a high-ranking official in his country.

“Your minister said: ‘Your name is John. In my country, there’s roti John. If you come to my country, I can cook roti John for you’, ” the article quoted the diplomat as saying.

The author, who could not ascertain if the diplomat was joking or being serious, said the invitation had failed to impress the official because the meeting concerned a serious security matter.

Meanwhile, Mohammad’s predecessor Hishammuddin Hussein is hoping that the incident is untrue.

“I hope this story is false. If true, it is most disheartening, what more when it took place during a meeting to discuss global security (issues).

“I have one piece of advice for Pakatan Harapan ministers. If you cannot make the nation proud, at least don’t do things which can soil our reputation in the world’s eye,” he added.

Yesterday, former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin also posted the article on social media, with the question: “Wonder which minister?”

Not wanting to be left out, former premier Najib Abdul Razak also re-tweeted Malaysiakini’s article on the issue, with the question “Mat, you know Roti John?” in an apparent reference to Mohamad.







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The cruise ship Diamond Princess is the largest cluster of Coronavirus cases outside China: 545 (out of 3,700 passengers and crew)…




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M Shafee's lawyer son, M. Farhan, is getting married, so the 1MDB trial is postponed to 2 March 2020…


Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Najib’s hot shot lawyer, a man with three wives…


Suami/IsteriSabera Shaik

AnakMuhammad Farhan bin Muhammad Shafee


Ahmad Naqib Idris/
February 17, 2020 15:52 pm +08

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The scheduled dates for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial set for this week have been deferred to March 2 as lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has to attend his son’s wedding.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib told the press that Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed an application by the defence to postpone the trial, which was previously slated for Feb 18 and 21.
Muhammad Shafee’s son, Farhan Shafee, who is also a practicing lawyer, has his wedding set for this Thursday, Feb 20, in Penang.
The rest of the dates for the trial remain as previously fixed by Justice Sequerah — March 2-6, 9-13, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31, the whole of April, May 4 and the whole of June until October, including Fridays until 12.30pm, with the exception of weekends and public holidays for the 1MDB-Tanore trial.
Najib is facing four charges of abuse of power and 21 charges of money laundering involving a sum of more than RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds.
Former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, the ninth prosecution witness, was being cross-examined by the defence when the trial adjourned on Nov 13, 2019.


1MDB trial postponed as lawyer Shafee needs to prepare for son’s wedding

Bernama -February 17, 2020 6:59 PM454Shares 429

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has deferred the scheduled dates for former prime minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial set for this week to March 2.

This follows an application by the defence, led by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, to postpone the trial, which was previously fixed for Feb 18 and 21, as he has to attend his son’s wedding in Penang.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, when contacted by Bernama, said that judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed Shafee’s application to adjourn the trial when the matter was brought up in chambers today.

“The next trial date will be on March 2,” said Akram.

Shafee’s son, Muhammad Farhan, who is also a practising lawyer and part of Najib’s defence team, is getting married on Feb 20.

Earlier, during Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, Shafee informed the court that he would seek a postponement of the 1MDB trial before Sequerah.

“I did not know that I would be involved in the wedding preparations. It has something to do with Penang Malay culture, ‘tarian semarak’. Luckily I am not the one to perform,” Shafee said in jest.

The rest of the dates for the trial remain as previously fixed by Sequerah — March 2-6, 9-13, 19-20, 23-27, 30-31, the whole of April, May 4 and the weekdays of June until October, including Fridays.



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Hong Kong’s Toilet Paper Robbers!





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In Selayang, the snatch thief who crashed during his escape!


Crime does not pay, and you don’t need us to tell you that, because the reach of the law will always find a way to catch up with those who do bad. And if you don’t believe in that dose of instant karma, then this story from China Press will give you all the reason to take it seriously.Selayang Snatch Thief Gets Instant Karma, Loses His Leg After Snatching Woman's Handbag - WORLD OF BUZZ

Source: China Press

The snatch theft, which happened in the Selayang area, took place when a woman who was walking along a street found herself becoming the target of a thief who sped past her on his motorbike. Grabbing hold of her tote bag, he dragged it out from her arm and sped off with it.Selayang Snatch Thief Gets Instant Karma, Loses His Leg After Snatching Woman's Handbag - WORLD OF BUZZ 1

Source: China Press

But unfortunately, as luck would have it, when the thief tried to escape, he suddenly crashed his motorbike into an oncoming car, before winding up in a ditch. It was understood that the victim of the snatch theft was robbed of RM400, but thankfully wasn’t injured in the incident.Selayang Snatch Thief Gets Instant Karma, Loses His Leg After Snatching Woman's Handbag - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: China Press

The suspect, who is a 29-year-old man, is said to have suffered extensive injuries to his left leg and had to be sent to hospital for treatment. Doctors say that they are uncertain if they will be able to save the man’s leg or not at this point in time, and he has been put under close observation. Preliminary investigations into the thief’s background revealed that he has two previous criminal cases against him, as well as drug charges.

This case will be investigated under Section 392 of the Penal Code, which carries a sentence of 14 years, a fine, whipping, or all three, if convicted.

If that doesn’t show you that karma is real, then we don’t know what will! We hope the thief learns his lesson and knows better than to try pulling another stunt like this again!



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