Saturday, 8 November 2008

TEE Module History and Theology of the Exile : Over

finally finished teaching the 4 days TEE Module of History and Theology of the Exile!. and the reb is pooffed! but still have to preach tommorrow in Canaan Baptist Church Bukit Jalil. thankfully, it is an old sermon (recycled for tommorrow) as the reb won't have the time to write a new sermon after the TEE stretch.

not sure how the students took it all. but reading the students' evaluation, they were very positive. the only one negative comment was that we didn't get to finish the whole syllabus! but as the reb explained, there is even one more module not even included in the original syllabus - diaspora literature e.g. daniel, esther, apocryphal books etc. if only the TEE module was 1 more full day, we can then cover everything. but the reb thinks it was more than enough to 'sock it' to the students. they go back all heady with the extra knowledge of the Jews' creative responses to the Babylonian Exile but the reb hopes that this will be the beginning. they will begin to apply what they have learnt to their workplace, to their churches etc. they will dream dreams and see visions. they will paint imaginative pictures in the minds of their hearers. they will uplift those who are bowed down and in despair. they will help those around to see the 'what if' rather than just the 'what really happened'.

to hear what some students have to say about the course and its contents, read below:

since then, the 4 days have seen so much happening that the reb has no time to blog about - Obama's sensational victory in the US presidential elections and our very own Malaysian news - RPK freed from ISA detention winning his habeus corpus case! below is amnesty international's press statement which the reb received and quoted in full:


Amnesty International welcomed the release today of Malaysia blogger Raja Petra but called on the government to stop using the Internal Security Act (ISA) to control dissent. A Malaysian high court ordered the release of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on the grounds that his arrest, under the ISA was unconstitutional.

A social commentator and the editor of news blog Malaysia Today, Raja Petra was arrested on 12 September for threatening national security and potentially "causing tension among the country's multi-racial and multi-religious society".

Articles published online by Raja Petra were deemed insulting to Muslims and to the Prophet Muhammad and were thought defamatory of Malaysia's leaders. The articles in question were 'Malays, the Enemy of Islam', 'Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell', 'I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim' and 'Not all Arabs are descendents of the Prophet'.

Judge Syed Ahmad Helmy, of the High Court in the state of Selangor, ruled that the Malaysian Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had acted beyond his powers in having Raja Petra arrested.

The Malaysian government continues to use or threatens to use the ISA against people whom they accuse of being threats to national security, including government critics and those allegedly involved in "terrorist-linked" activities. The ISA allows the police to arrest individuals they believe have acted, or are "about to" or "likely to" act in a way that would threaten Malaysian security, "essential services" or "economic life" (Article 73 (1)b).

After an initial 60-day detention for "investigation", the ISA allows for detention without trial for up to two years renewable indefinitely, without the detainee being charged with a crime or tried in a court of law. The Malaysian government has used this law as a repressive measure to control dissent.

Amnesty International calls for the government to revoke the ISA immediately, and to charge with an offence and bring to fair trial, or release immediately, more than 60 people still detained under the ISA.


and the reb fully agres with AI's call for the government to revoke the ISA as it is obsolete and outdated.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

a long weeeekend and a long weeeeek!!

it has been a long weeeekend and another long weeeek ahead!.

last saturday, the reb drove down alone to batu pahat around 3pm in the afternoon. reached there by 5.45pm. used the old road exiting the highway at pagoh and continuing along the coastal road no. 5. at night, the reb had a talk on ISA with gereja grace (presbyterian church). it was a good turnout, around 40 over persons. some came with trepidation, fearing that such a talk would attract undesirable notice from the authorities. others though the reb was speaking on the book of Isaiah (also Isa). some even openly expressed their fear that the reb would come under unneccessary pressures and inconveniences because of the sensitive topic. the reb allayed their fears. so what if the reb is detained under ISA? he'll go to kamunting detention centre and play ping pong with raja petra (rpk)!

on sunday morning, it was sermon time in gereja grace. the reb was asked to preach on acts 24-26 to coincinde with the topic that their bible study groups were studying. to speak on 3 chapters in one morning sermon is a challenge but the reb only touched on acts 26 about paul's defence or apologia before king agrippa. yet, the sermon was the longest the reb had preached! 70 minutes!!!! but the feedback was very posiitve from many people.

then time to drive back to seremban. at night had dinner with the family as it was markus' 15th birthday. so we went to kensington in era square and ordered western food with a starter (which was extremely good!).

monday was another long day. in the morning, drove down with my daughter charis to intec shah alam to clear out her things from the hostel for the long break. and drove back to seremban in time for lunch treat by rev dr joseph komar (in celebration of his succesful acquisition of his phd). then faculty meeting from 3pm till 7.15pm!

today? it is the DMin orientation program where the reb will join in to meet the candidates from the english and chinese departments.

from tommorrow till saturday, it is TEE History and Theology of the Exile where the reb is teaching. still thinking of the various things we will do in class together. it will be a load of fun and interaction together.

P.S. the reb has finished reading Arok of Java! remember that is his toilet reading!! now he has already embarked on salman rushdie's midnight's children (which is thick)!. his wife commented, 'It will take many toilet sittings to finish that book'. never mind. it should be worthed it. after all, midnight's children is the booker of bookers! (best booker prize winer in the last 25 years).