Saturday, 8 March 2008

election results

the people have spoken, syabas to the people of penang, kedah and kelantan. the BN must learn that they cannot bulldozzle the voice of the raykat.

out goes samy vellu!
out goes the BN information minister zanuiddin maidin!
sorry dr koh tsu khoon but the people of penang have spoken.

and thank you for voting in anthony loke to the rasah parlimentary seat and lobak state seat.

btw, did you vote for this fella?

Friday, 7 March 2008

vote for this fella

Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace :

written by cwy, March 07, 2008 | 00:35:56

My... so many problems to be solved in Malaysia!
I hear the word, CHANGE, everywhere I go!
Are we going to change for the better or the worse?
Tomorrow is the day to cast my vote!
Well, I've to 'weigh' which candidate I shall vote.....

Abdullah Badawi?........Sure continues sleeping!
Najib Razak?..............Mongolian woman missing!
Khairy Jamaludin?.......Samseng handbag snatching!
Pirdaus Ismail?...........Rampant corpse snatching!
Adnan Yaakob?..........Middle finger showing!
Ali Rustam?...............No pig rearing!
Khir Toyo?................More temple demolishing!
Zainuddin Maidin?.......Poor English speaking!
Hishamudin Hussein?...Get Kris stabbing!
Rafidah Aziz?.............AP cronies benefiting!
Ka Ting.....................Just ball carrying!
Samy Vellu?...............All Indians cursing!

OMG! It is really sickening! I'm not going to vote for 'dacing'. but vote for this fella!

time for change

'it's now or never' - so goes the song. now is the time to make a difference. go out and vote. every vote counts, especialy with the delineation exercises and gerrymandering by the election commission.

What is gerrymandering?
Gerrymandering is a term that describes the deliberate rearrangement of the boundaries of congressional districts to influence the outcome of elections.

Where did gerrymandering come from?
The original gerrymander was created in 1812 by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, who crafted a district for political purposes that looked like a salamander.

What is the purpose of gerrymandering?
The purpose of gerrymandering is to either concentrate opposition votes into a few districts to gain more seats for the majority in surrounding districts (called packing), or to diffuse minority strength across many districts (called dilution).

when one looks at the way constituencies are constantly re-delineated after each election, one can see how biased they are created. one can have a urban parlimentary constituency of 80,000 people and elect only 1 parlimentary representative cf. one small little rural constituency of 20,000 and also get one elected representative. by the way the constituencies have been constantly re-delineated, there is no way the BN will ever lose (unless people power rally rise up). the opposition can get 40%of the popular votes yet their representation is not 40%! hence, every vote counts in the crucial areas.

don't be fooled by the government's offer: "Stronger Voice In Parliament Or Bigger Representation In Cabinet". why must it be either one? Why can't it be both???

Thursday, 6 March 2008

the people of God and the State

with the elections just around the corner, one question that christians would ask is this: 'what is the relationship between the people of God and the State?' should we support the state? the NT has something to say in Romans 12. but what about the OT? below is an excerpt from christopher wright's article that can help to explain this relationship:

excerpt from Christopher J.H. Wright, “The People of God and the State in the Old Testament,” Themelios 16.1 (Oct/Nov 1990): 4-10.

III The institutional state; the monarchy period

By the time of Samuel, the strain of living as a theocracy was proving more than the people felt able to bear in the face of external pressures. They opted for monarchy, survived Saul, served David, suffered Solomon, split in two and finally sank respectively into oblivion and exile. During this period (from Saul, or at least David, to the exile) the people of Yahweh were unmistakably an institutional state, with central leadership, boundaries, organized military defences, etc. Yet the identification of people of God with political state was never wholly comfortable. Within the OT itself there are hints of conscious distinction between the two realities, even while there is formal and apparent identity. So there is the problem of the relationship of people of God and state internally to Israel itself. This is further complicated by there being two markedly different evaluations of the monarchy, even within closely related texts: pro and anti. Then, if we see the monarchical states of Judah and Israel as at least notionally the people of God, we should look at their relationship and attitude to the external states of their day―especially the dominant empires.

The origins of monarchy in Israel are laid before us in a narrative which subtly and
intentionally interweaves two understandings of the process (1 Sa. 8-12). On the one hand the demand for it arises from a retrograde desire of the people to be like the other nations by having a king. Their reasons at first sight seem unexceptionable: leadership against their enemies and the protection of justice (8:3-5, 19f.). Samuel (and Yahweh) interpret the request as a rejection of direct theocracy. But their explicit objection to monarchy is not so much theological as practical, and fundamentally economic. Samuel predicts that if a king is accepted, it will result in the characteristic forms of royal slavery: confiscation, taxation, military and agricultural conscription (8:10-18). The portrayal of Solomon’s later reign is an
unmistakable ‘I told you so’. All very negative. So much so that Brueggemann can speak of the whole spirit, ethos and accomplishment of Solomon as a reversal of the Mosaic alternative, a return to the values and management mentality of the empire, a countering of the counterculture of Sinai.14 (fn14 In The Prophetic Imagination, ch. 2, Brueggemann lists the characteristic features of the Solomonic era as ‘an economics of affluence (1 Ki. 4:20-23), politics of oppression (1 Ki. 5:13-18, 9,15-22) and a religion of immanence and accessibility (1 Ki. 8:12-13)’.)

On the other hand, it is Yahweh himself who gives Israel a king, choosing, anointing and (for a while) blessing him. It is Yahweh who goes on to exalt David, embarrassing him with the multiplicity of victories, gift of a city, rest from his enemies, and a covenant for his posterity. ‘Solomon in all his glory’ suffered no embarrassment, but his greatness is still attributed to Yahweh’s generosity. In other words, Yahweh takes the human desire and resultant institution and makes them fit in with his own purposes. Indeed, he goes further, and tries to mould the
monarchy, for all its origins as rejection of theocracy, into a vehicle for theocracy by subsuming the reign of the king under his own reign. And so the royal theology of Jerusalem is absorbed into the transcendent rule of Yahweh and given a covenant framework which harks back to Sinai in its call for loyalty and obedience.

If the monarchy thus stands in a position of ambiguous legitimacy before God, neither totally rejected nor unconditionally sanctioned, it likewise had to struggle for legitimacy at a human level. This is how South African scholar Gunther Wittenberg interprets the texts of the Davidic-Solomonic era, seeing in them both attempts at theological legitimizing and also theological resistance to the claimed legitimacy of the Davidic house.15 (fn 15 G. H. Wittenberg, ‘King Solomon and the Theologians’, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 63 (June 1988) (special issue on church and state and the problem of legitimacy), pp. 16-29. Brueggemann also finds implicit criticism of the golden age of Solomon in the texts themselves which catalogue it, texts which he claims conceal a social criticism designed to lead the reader to enquire exactly what kind of shalom it was under Solomon which brought the people such satiety. See ‘Vine and Fig Tree―a Case Study in Imagination and Criticism’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 43 (1981); ‘The Bible and Mission’, Missiology 10.4 (1982), pp. 397-411; ‘Trajectories in Old Testament Literature and the Sociology of Ancient Israel’, Journal of Biblical Literature 98 (1979), pp. 161-185.) The legitimizing texts, of course, are those which related to the Davidic covenant, the temple, Zion, and the relationship of the king to God. Resistance was crystallized in the secession of the northern tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam. The presenting cause of this was the social and economic oppression which had developed during Solomon’s reign, and which Rehoboam, though offered the chance of a change of policy, deliberately chose to continue and intensify. But there are hints also of a theological refusal in principle to accept the legitimacy of the glorious Davidic ‘new thing’. The prophet Ahijah, who accosted Jeroboam to launch him on his secession from Judah, came from Shiloh. Shiloh was an ancient cultic centre of the premonarchic tribal federation, former resting place of the ark of the (Sinai) covenant and all its links with Israel’s historical, exodus traditions. Above all it was closely associated with Samuel, whose denunciation of monarchy must have echoed loudly among northern Israelites in the later years of Solomon. Furthermore, there are echoes of the cry of the Israelites in their Egyptian bondage, in the plea of the northerners to have their burdens lifted. Had Solomon become a pharaoh? Noticeably, in setting up the religious foundations of his own state, Jeroboam recalls the exodus liberation: ‘Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt’ (aside, ‘not to mention, out of Jerusalem’) (1 Ki. 12:28).

What we have seen, then, is that the transformation of the people of God into an institutional state generated both approval and rejection, in the heat of the process itself, and also in theological and canonical assessment. It seems that the institutional state, like certain other human conditions of life which the law permits but never wholly approves, such as divorce and slavery, is a concession to human ‘hardness of heart’: permitted but transient.

The prophets reinforce the conditional and qualified nature of God’s acceptance of the monarchy as the political form of his people. One could summarize the view of the prophets towards the monarchic state of Israel (in both northern and southern forms) by saying that they accepted its God-givenness, but refused its God-surrogacy. For example, at the point of the secession of the northern tribes away from Judah, one and the same prophet, Ahijah, both acknowledged that Jeroboam’s rebellion was divinely willed as judgment on the house of Solomon, and also later severely criticized him for the idolatry into which he had led the Israelites (1 Ki. 11:29-39; 14:1-16).

That idolatry of the northern kingdom was focused on the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. But from 1 Kings 12:26ff. we see that Jeroboam did not apparently intend the worship of false gods as such. The calves represented the presence of Yahweh, who brought Israel up out of Egypt. The real thrust of Jeroboam’s idolatry lies in the motives of his action, and the additional cultic action which he initiated. His intention was clearly the political protection of his own nascent kingdom from any hankering after the splendour of Jerusalem (vv. 26f.). To make completely sure, he elaborated an alternative cultic system for the northern kingdom, designed, appointed and run by himself, to serve the interests of his state (vv. 31-33). In
effect, ‘Yahweh’ had become a figurehead for his state. The state in itself was idolatrous.

This is clear from the ironic angry words of Amaziah, the high priest at Bethel under
Jeroboam II (nearly two centuries later), against Amos: ‘Get out, you seer! ... Don’t prophesy any more at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom’ (Am.7:12f., italics mine). Amos, however, refused to be silenced by the usurped divine authority of the political regime. God may have permitted it to come into existence, but that did not bind him to serve its self-interests. The prophets refused to allow the authority of God or his prophetic word to be hijacked to legitimize human political ambitions. Sometimes they paid the cost of that role―as must the church if it chooses to exercise a comparable prophetic
stance today.

One prophet who certainly could not be hijacked was Elijah. His ministry took place in the ninth century BC in the northern kingdom during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, when the whole state became virtually apostate. Nevertheless there were a faithful 7,000 who had not capitulated to the palace-imposed worship of Baal (1 Ki. 19:14,18). The origins of the idea of a faithful remnant probably go back as far as this. It was not the state of Israel itself that constituted the true people of God, but a minority of ‘true believers’ within it.

We are then given two opposite responses to this dichotomy. Elijah represents the voice from outside. He denounces the king and queen for their apostasy and their socio-economic vandalism (Naboth, ch. 21), predicts divine judgment, and even arranges the anointing of the avenger, Jehu. But there was a presence on the inside of the state system also―that of Obadiah, who meets Elijah in 18:1-15. He is described as a loyal worshipper of Yahweh (his name means that, and he had managed to preserve it, even under Jezebel) from his youth. Yet he was also the top official in the palace―actually employed in the civil and political service of the apostate king and queen. Not content with surviving in such a dangerous position, he was actually using it for the protection and maintenance of a hundred of the prophets of
Yahweh, at a time when Jezebel was exterminating them. The text does not comment on
Obadiah’s stance (though Christian commentators through the centuries have both condemned and commended it). Probably, in my view, we are invited to regard both stances―Elijah’s on the outside, and Obadiah’s on the inside―as equally valid. God had room for both and used both.

In the southern kingdom of Judah, in spite of all the theological legitimization of the state and its monarchy, the prophetic voice of Yahweh could still stand out in conflict with it and challenge the moral validity of any given incumbent of the throne of David. And the criterion of assessment was the covenant law. Unequivocally the prophets subordinated Zion to Sinai.

The law in Deuteronomy which permitted (note, not commanded) monarchy laid down strict conditions for it, including the requirement that the king should know, read and obey the law. He was to be, not a super-Israelite, but a model Israelite among his brothers and equals (Dt.17:14-20). As one entrusted with the law, the king was committed to the maintenance of justice in a spirit of compassion (e.g. especially Ps. 72). Jeremiah could proclaim this strong tradition of the legal, covenantal requirement on the king, at the very gates of the palace in Jerusalem. His words are really a statement of the Davidic monarchy. Zion must conform to Sinai, or face ruin.

‘Hear the word of the Loan, O king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne―you, your
officials and your people who come through these gates. This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been
robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not
shed innocent blood in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace.... But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin’ (Je. 22:2-5).

On this basis, Jeremiah then goes on, on the one hand, to commend with approval the reign of Josiah, who lived by the standards of covenant law, which is what it means to know Yahweh (22:15f.), and on the other, utterly to reject Jehoiakim, whose actions and policies included forced labour without pay, personal aggrandizement, dishonesty, violence and oppression. The legitimacy or illegitimacy of the two kings is evaluated respectively on the grounds of their treatment of the poor and needy, the workers, the’innocent’―i.e. precisely the dominant concerns of the Sinai law.

Thus, even when the socio-political contours of the people of God had changed radically from the early theocracy to the institutional, royal state, the controlling paradigm was still that of the law and the covenant. This meant that royal theocracy could never be rightly regarded as ‘the divine right of kings per se. Being ‘the Loan’s anointed’ was not an unconditional guarantee. The king was subject to and correctable by the covenant law.

The same moral criterion applies in the prophetic perspective on the authority of external, secular rulers. For they too rule by Yahweh’s authority (19:15). In the eighth century Isaiah regarded Assyria and its tyrannical sovereigns as no more than a stick in the hand of Yahweh (Is. 10:5ff.). Jeremiah could announce, in a seventh-century international diplomatic conference hosted by Zedekiah in Jerusalem, that Yahweh had delegated to Nebuchadnezzar supreme, worldwide authority and power―for the foreseeable future (Je. 27:1-11, especially vv. 5-7).

Now if Israelite kings as Yahweh’s anointed were subject to evaluation by the moral
standards of Yahweh and his law, so too were the pagan ones. The clearest example of this is Nebuchadnezzar again. Daniel had clearly absorbed the point of Jeremiah’s assertion about Nebuchadnezzar, for he repeats it, almost verbatim, to his face (Dn. 2:37f.). Nevertheless, on another occasion Daniel warned Nebuchadnezzar that unless he repented of the injustice on which his boasted city had been built, by lifting the oppression of the poor and needy in his realm, he would face inevitable judgment. The boldness of Daniel’s prophetic word in Daniel 4:27 should not escape us, hidden as it is in the midst of an otherwise somewhat weird story. The one to
whom Yahweh had given all authority and power, far beyond what any Israelite king had ever wielded, is here weighed in the balance of God’s justice and found wanting (to pinch a metaphor from the following chapter).

This must have some bearing on interpretations of Paul’s view of state authority in Romans 13. The Hebrew Bible would wholly endorse the view that all human authorities exist within the framework of God’s will. It would wholly reject the view that gives them a legitimacy regardless of their conformity to God’s justice, as revealed in the covenant law.

So then, the historical experience of the people of God in actually being a state generated enormous tensions. There was never complete ease with the monarchy, even in Davidic Judah, as the continuing existence of a group like the Rechabites in the late monarchy showed (Je. 35). There was always the feeling that Israel was really meant to be something different. Nevertheless it is from the prophetic critique of the kings and institutions of this period (in both narrative and prophetic books) that we learn most in the OT concerning God’s radical demand on political authorities.

The influence of the model of Israel as an institutional royal state can probably be seen most comprehensively in the ‘Christendom’ idea, in the centuries during which Christians seem to have collectively considered that the best way to save the world was to run it. The Constantinian transformation of Christianity and its dubious effects have often been compared to Israel’s adoption of monarchy and statehood.16 (fn 16 Goldingay has some perceptive comparisons between the various stages of Israel’s development and the history of the Christian church, from its familial origins to its present ‘post-exilic’ (post-Enlightenment) tensions. See Theological Diversity, p. 83.)

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

will the elections be fair?

Mafrel workers 'withdraw' as election observers
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Mar 5, 08 8:07pm

Several leaders of independent polls watchdog Mafrel thumbed their noses today at the Election Commission (EC) over its decision to scrap the usage of indelible ink by partially handing back their status as observers for the March 8 polls.

Led by their chairperson Abdul Malek Hussin, they announced their withdrawal as EC-accredited observers as a mark of protest against the commission’s perceived failure to implement the usage of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting, fraud and voter impersonation.

EC’s accreditation - granted earlier this year to about 333 Mafrel volunteers - means they are allowed to be present and observe the voting process in polling stations in order to deter or record any incidence of irregularities or violations..

Abdul Malek said as the decision to withdraw as observer is his own and not that of Mafrel as an organisation, no one else in Mafrel who has been approved by EC to observe the voting process in the polling stations are obliged to follow suit.

Following Abdul Malek, Mafrel deputy chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and four other Mafrel members today also handed in their EC-issued observer tags.

Abdul Malek said his decision was on the basis that he does not want to be seen as legitimising EC’s decision not to use indelible ink, which goes against Mafrel’s own recommendations that have been submitted to the commission on the matter.

He described his move as being based "on the principle of defending (the need to) conduct a free and fair election and for the sake of protecting Mafrel’s integrity."

Goes against Mafrel's recommendations

"As long as the decision to scrap the usage of indelible ink on voters’ fingers is not reviewed, I take the decision to withdraw my status as observer," he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

"Mafrel strongly protests the decision (by EC) and stresses that Mafrel will not legitimise a decision that clearly goes against (its own) recommendations ... pertaining to the use of indelible ink," he added.

Explaining their 'partial withdrawal', Abdul Malek said they would be carrying out all their other duties as observers except for being present in the polling stations.

The EC said yesterday it would not introduce indelible ink as planned because it had uncovered a plot to sabotage the polls by using smuggled ink to mark unsuspecting voters before they cast their ballot, which would cause confusion.

Deriding this today, Abdul Malek said such logic would mean all currencies within the country would have to be taken out due to the presence of counterfeit currencies.

He also said many countries such as Afghanistan and the Philippines practice the use of indelible ink without any problems of so-called counterfeit ink disrupting the elections there.

Abdul Malek further said that EC’s argument that current laws do not provide for making the constitutional right to vote conditional upon voters’ having their fingers marked with indelible ink does not hold water.

Recounting the ‘speedy’ amendment earlier this year to the Federal Constitution to extend the retirement age of EC members to allow its chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman to oversee this year’s general election, Abdul Malek said provisions for the usage of indelible ink could have been put in place if EC was serious about it in the first place, he said.

Disappointed with EC chief

Citing a meeting held earlier today with Abdul Rashid, Abdul Malek also expressed disappointment that the EC chairperson had resorted to arguing on the basis of citizens’ constitutional right to vote as a basis to reject the usage of indelible ink.

"There’s a big question about the (government’s protection of citizens’) right to assemble, the right to association and the right to express one’s views as guaranteed in the Constitution.

"But when it comes to the implementation of indelible ink, they come to the trivial argument of the Federal Constitution, and constitutional rights and guarantees. Where are all the other fundamental rights which are part and parcel of democracy?" asked Abdul Malek.

He also described the representation to EC made by the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to scrap the plan to use indelible ink as amounting to interference in a matter that is within the power of EC to decide.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

now we know why

now we know why EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman's tenure as Elections Commission chairman was extended after his retirement last year. opposition parties were already not happy with abdul rashid for his alleged biasness in conducting the electoral process in the past. last year some changes were announced to the voting process like the use of indelible ink. this raised the hopes of some people that there might be a fairer election in the future. with today's announcement that the EC will not use the indelible ink (even though it has already been purchased from India), it looks like the euphoria for the possibility of change and fairness has died down quickly.

one cn now see why he was retained so that he could be around for this election. the barisan nasional needed a guy to do the dirty work. with elections just a few days away, the EC made a U-turn on the use of indelible ink. some guys seems to have no conscience or backbone nor inner moral authority. rather, they bid to do the wishes of their paymasters rather than be a genuine government servant who serves the whole rakyat. but he is not alone. note who was with him at the press conference. no prize for the correct guess.

read on from malaysiakini:

U-turn on ink: A black mark for EC
Mar 4, 08 6:32pm

Opposition parties today slammed the Election Commission for the last-minute reversal of its plan to use the indelible ink in the coming general election, which they claimed could have stopped the menace of phantom voters.

In an immediate reaction, PKR’s deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali did not mince his words when he charged that the cancellation of the use of indelible ink was clear proof that the “EC is colluding with BN to allow cheating in the coming general elections”.

“Despite all assurances and false gestures, it is now clear the (EC chairperson) Abdul Rashid (Abdul Rahman) is content to conduct the 12th general election in an atmosphere completely bereft of integrity,” he said in a statement.

“Citing 'public order' and 'security' is also nonsensical reasoning that is perfectly consistent with the language of forces around the world who seek to supress democratic freedoms,” he added.

Syed Husin said that polls reform group Bersih, which represents not just political parties but a wide swathe of civil society, has campaigned tirelessly for indelible ink to be used to battle the scourge of phantom voters.

He also said that candidates have observed irregularities in postal voting, and revealed "hundreds and thousands" of false addresses, dead individuals and voters over 100 years old in the electoral rolls.

“At a moment where the eyes of the entire world are upon us, the EC has now conclusively and irrevocably shown that any overtures towards reform that it had made previously were in bad faith, and that in decisive moments, the EC will yield to every demand of its political masters,” Syed Husin decried.

He however said that the PKR noted one positive outcome of this development - that the BN intelligence must clearly be showing a swing towards the opposition, thus forcing them to resort once again to phantom voters and other forms of cheating.

Under protest

Meanwhile PAS leader and member of Bersih's steering committee Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad also similarly expressed his outraged with EC's stunning reversal today.

"This means that none of our demands are getting through. We thought it would at least go through with (using indelible ink)," said the director of PAS Research Centre.

"We want to make it clear that we are entering this election under protest," he said.

"We could foresee this coming. Now, our concerns and anxieties are immensely vindicated."

Despite his outrage with the EC's move, Dzulkifli urged opposition candidates and sympathisers to remain calm and focus on the task at hand - winning the upcoming polls.

"We will not be provoked. We will remain resilient, calm and relentless. We will maintain the due process of the elections. We will not destroy our chances of victory and will not do anything untoward."

After the polls, however, Bersih would "surely" file a petition on this matter, Dzulkifli said.

DAP looking at legal avenues

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also said that the decision today would only benefit BN as it amounted to the EC sanctioning the ruling party’s "cheating and abuses" in the election.

He said that the EC must also explain as to how the use of indelible ink can threaten public order and security issues.

“It is ridiculous that the use of indelible ink can put the whole country into chaos and ruination,” he said.

He also said that the decision to cancel the use of indelible ink meant that the EC was wasting the RM2 million spent on buying 47,000 bottles of indelible ink.

“The EC has also destroyed its credibility, integrity and independence by cancelling the use at the last minute when it had earlier touted the use of indelible ink as a sign of its commitment towards ensuring free, fair, clean elections,” he said.

He warned that the people might not accept the results of the election on March 8 if it was tainted by abuses, cheating and vote rigging.

Lim also said that DAP was exploring legal avenues to see how it can prevent the EC from abandoning the use of indelible ink.

Mafrel PC tomorrow

PKR vice-president R Sivarasa, who is also the candidate for Selangor's Subang parliamentary seat, matched the indignation unleashed by Dzulkifli.

"I am completely shocked by this decision. It is tantamount to perpetuating a fraud on the elections," he said.

"From last July to just recently they told the Malaysian public that they were using indelible ink. And the reasons they give for cancelling the ink are nonsensical. How can marking someone's finger have anything to do with national security?" he asked.

Election watchdog Mafrel, when contacted, said that it would be commenting on the matter through a press conference tomorrow.

Earlier today, EC chairperson Abdul Rashid announced the cancellation of the use of the indelible ink for this general election, citing public order and security issues.

funny videos from comedycourt

if you have been watching the videos from the comedycourt in some of my previous entries, you will agree that the talented duo hits it on the mark each time. here is their website and you can view their videos which include the following:

lingam's devil curry - about the infamous lingam video

check three times - about government ministers' sordid affairs based on the song 'knock three times'

rough little indian boys - about the hindraf movement based on the nursery rhyme '10 little indian boys'

elections blah lah lah - based on the hit song 'shah lah lah' on the coming elections in malaysia, the PM Pak Lah and others.

the family tree - the latest offering on the coming elections where family members are entering into the political fray. based on the hit song 'we are family'

browse their website for other videos based on their live plays. i like the one on 'who wants to be a billionaire?'. made in 2001 by spoofing the hit TV game show 'who wants to be a millionaire' in the light of the APs controversy (approved permits), this video still speaks out on the abuse of the APs and how billionaires are made overnight. who don't want to be a billionaire if the government literally gives it to you? (of course, to only a few people based on their skin colour). Indi nadarajah plays the rich Datuk of a certain race to perfection! catch the last part of the clip when allan perera who plays the game host Jalah Takmo Kalah (pun intended) says 'murtabak!'. i won't spoil it now if you didn't catch the pun immediately.

watch it and enjoy. now, if only our national elections are that fun!

Monday, 3 March 2008

straight from the mouth of the old man himself

if you have not heard it yet or seen the clips, here is it: mahathir finally admits he sets up anwar ibrahim! also more mud-slinging in the clips about pak lah and who operates from the 4th floor. see the clip yourself.

thanks to bobkee

Sunday, 2 March 2008

a prime example of eisegesis (and why proper theological education is important for preaching)

dr claude mariottini has this on his webblog about a baptist preacher preaching on the kjv text of 1 kings 14:10 which reads:

Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

the kjv uses the phrase 'him that pisseth against the wall' while every other newer modern version just translates it as 'male'. i can understand the preacher's use of the example of people in germany sitting on the toilet bowls to piss. i experienced that in uk too when i go to people's houses. but the reason behind the practice is simple: there are 2 reasons. firstly, it is not nice to be making all the noise inside the toilet when one shoots into the toilet bowl. secondly, too many cross-eyed guests miss the toilet bowl and shoot all over the place! to avoid such embarassment, one is expected to sit on the toilet bowl. there are urinals in toilet places where one can shoot standing up so this particular practice of sitting down is confined to the homes. but this baptist preacher begs to differ!

see the youtube video below and have a good laugh:

man, this piece of exegesis has got to be a strong contender for a prime example of eisegesis (reading into the text) and also the 'what not to do in preaching' award!

The value of OT studies

dr tony siew, future lecturer in trinity theological college, has this to say about the value of OT studies as well as doing OT studies before embarking on NT studies!

He says , 'As such NT scholars that know too little of the OT has led to many disastrous results in biblical scholarship. Can I suggest to potential NT scholars to first learn Hebrew before you learn Greek? Having learned Hebrew and Jewish exegetical methods first will help avoid many pitfalls and rid NT scholarship of assumptions that NT books must follow some Graeco-Roman rhetoric rule-book.

In fact Peter Williams' suggestion that students do 2 Masters (one in OT and one in NT) before PhD study has much to say, for only if we know the Old, then New will make (more) sense, and conversely only if we know the New is the Old truly understood. Jesus and the apostles were interpreters of the OT par excellence and it is ridiculous for OT scholars to think (at least within the faith community) that they know the OT texts better than the early interpreters and authors of the NT Gospels and Letters.'