Friday, 14 September 2007

free copy of pradis 6.0 and f.o.c electronic books up to us$25

Free Copy of Pradis 6.0

Zondervan Software offers a free download of the latest Pradis 6.0, as well as electronic books via download. All you need to do is visit this site and register. Once you have created your personal account, you can download up to $25 worth of electronic books (use code AVZCS8 at checkout) for free. Obviously, you can buy any number of books and build your own custom-made electronic library, but you will receive a $25 credit regardless of your sum total. At the end of the process you will be directed to your personal download link. Click on that link to get your book(s) and the program.

one example of getting your us$25 worth of e-books, you can download the third edition of "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" and "Today's New International Version".

Keep in mind that this offer is good through September 17, 2007 (thanks to Michael White, of Rejoice Christian Software, for the heads-up).

for us$25, i downloaded 2 e-books: the bhs hebrew text and 1001 humourous illustrations. not bad for a free offer. try it before the dateline is over

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

ISA Op Lalang 20th Anniversary (con't)

as i mentioned in the previous post, this year is the 20th anniversary of the infamous Op Lalang in Malaysia in 1987. somehow, it is surprisingly 'quiet' in malaysia. there have been no mention from the opposition groups and ngos or even church groups about commemorating the 20th anniversary. either it is a 'hot potato' topic or people are still scare of the effects of the Op Lalang. my guess is there will be something organized but to be announced at the last minute in order not to pre-empt or jeopardize the event.

we had a turn-out of 31 people for the seminar since it was not 'official' or compulsory. i took about 45 minutes to share on the background of the ISA in Malaysia and using Op Lalang as the best known example to illustrate the (mis)use of the ISA. It is important for Malaysians to remember that the ISA was originally drafted to supercede The Emergency Act (1948) which was used by the colonial British masters to combat the communist insurgency after WW2. The ISA (1960) had the same aim - to detain people without trial suspected of threatening national security in order to extract vital information. while the intention seemed to be 'good' at that time, many today feel that the ISA has outlived its usefulness.

why? firstly, the communist threat is already long over. the communists have already laid down their arms and given up their strugle to take over Malaysia. secondly, we have other preventive laws in place which can be used instead of the ISA. thirdly, there has been too many cases of the ISA being blatantly misused on people who could be arrested and detained under other laws e.g. some involved in forging the national identity cards were also detained under the ISA.

since its inception in 1960 till 2006, there has never been a year where there were no arrests made under the ISA. from 1960 till sept 5th 2001, a total of 10,504 persons were detained under the ISA (out of that number, 4,218 persons were given detention orders while 2,061 persons were given restriction orders). after Op Lalang in 1987, the total arrested from 1987 to 2006 were 1,709 persons. If we were to add up the total number of persons arrested under the ISA since its inception in 1960 to 2006, it is a staggering 12,213 persons!

if we thought that some prime ministers were not party to the use of the ISA, we are wrong:

Under the premiership of Tunku Abdul Rahman (1960-69), 1,199 persons were detained (averaging 120 a year).
Under Tun Abdul Razak (1970-January 76), 574 persons were detained (averaging 95 a year).
Under Tun Hussein Onn (Feb 1976-80), 1,245 persons were detained (averaging 249 a year)
Under Tun Mahatir Mohammad (1981-2003), 1,304 persons were detained (averaging 60 a year)
Under the present premier Dato' Seri Ahmad Badawi (2004-06), 82 persons were detained (averaging 27 a year).

we must remember that all the prime ministers also served as the Home Affairs Minister (the one who issues and signs the ISA orders).

well, one may ask 'what is this topic about Op Lalang doing on an old testament blog?' those who know me personally will know that i am a student of the old testament prophets, especially the great prophet Isaiah and his disciples, second isaiah and third isaiah (those responsible for isaiah 40-55 and 56-66 respectively).

i am an isaianic disciple standing in the long line of the great master who thundered forth rebuke and judgment on sinful Israel and Judah. like the ot prophets, my concern is also for social justice and righteousness to flow down like rivers in our land (amos 5:24). one cannot keep quiet when one sees such great injustices being perpetuated. learn to speak out or God's word will burn like fire in our bones (jeremiah 20:9)

Monday, 10 September 2007

20th Anniversary of ISA Operation Lalang in Malaysia

This Monday afternoon (in another hour away while I am typing this post), i will be doing a seminar in the seminary on the ISA in Malaysia and Operation Lalang 1987. We have not disseminated any publicity about this seminar due to its highly sensitive nature in Malaysia. the seminar is also mainly for our own internal audience.

this year 2007 is the 20th anniversary of the infamous Operation Lalang in Malaysia. 'Op Lalang', as it is often called, is the codename for the extensive use of the ISA (the Internal Security Act) on 27th October 1987. The operation lasted until 14th November 1987. In that nation-wide swoop, a total of 106 Malaysians were detained without trial under the ISA for various offences. This was one of the darkest episodes of human right abuses in Malaysia.

Politicians, human right activists, academicians, Chinese educationists, social activists, ngo and enviromental activists and Christians were detained. the ISA, since its inception in 1960, has been used without fail every year to detain people under various offences. what was different for 1987 was that even Christians were detained, either on trump up charges of being marxist supporters or muslim converts to christianity or involvement in active evangelism to the muslims. the Church in Malaysia for the first time had to wake up from its age-old slumber - she was not immuned to arrests under the ISA!

together with brother hilmy noor, one of the ISA detainees in 1987, I will present the history and background of the ISA and the run-up to Op Lalang while brother Himy will share about his 14 months experiences under detention in Kamunting prison in Taiping. a little more in the next post.