Letting off steam.
When my country got its independence from United Kingdom, the parties that negotiated for our independence agreed among themselves that the country will have Islam as the official religion but that it shall not be taken to mean that the country is not a secular state. The Reid Commission was commissioned to draft the country's constitution and in its report dated 27 Sept 1956 at page 19, it says: ”The religion of Malaysia shall be Islam. The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religion, and shall not imply the State is not a secular State". This clearly showed that our country is not an Islamic state. However, since independence, the Parliament has been dominated by the Alliance, a coalition of 3 parties, which now has been expanded to include more parties and is now know as the Barisan. It used its two third majority to make numerous amendments to the original Constitution, one of which reduced the Civil Court's ability to hear cases that involve Islam even when the party involved is a non-Muslim who according to the Constitution, are not subject to the Syariah (Islamic) court. There have been a number of cases where a couple married under the Civil Law, one of them converted to Islam and without discussions or agreement of other half, converted the children who are minors. This is despite the provision in the Constitution that children under 18 cannot receive religious teachings other than their own.
Worst still, the former Prime Minister one day suddenly declared that our country is already an Islamic state clearly contrary to the current Constitution, and this was repeated by the current Deputy Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister is wishy washy on the issue and one day said our country is neither secular nor Islamic, then changed his stance and made the statement that our country is an Islamic state. The mainstream mass media were ordered not to publish any discussions on the issue and can only publish statements from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. It is now left to the bloggers to bring up the issues. But now even that the authorities are trying to control. One Minister issued a threat to use the Internal Security Act, which allow detention without trial, against bloggers. Try googling "crackdown malaysian bloggers" and you will see lots of sites discussing that.
From what I understand of an Islamic state, its citizens are not equal. The people of the Book (Christians, Jews) are dhimmis who have less rights then the Muslims and are required to pay a tax to the Islamic authorities. The others have even less rights. And the supreme law shall be the syariah law and not civil law.
The blog I am going to link to was originally set up to help promote my country, not put negative news, but when crucial issues are involved, I cannot sit idly by and watch:
Candlelight Vigil for Revathi
Candlelight Vigil for Revathi Part 2
Parliamentary Roundtable to reaffirm Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic State Report
Malaysia Parliament House
The Barisan bulldozed its way to reduce the independence of the Judiciary which now have no power to rule against any decision of the Minister, right or wrong. Although the judiciary is constitutionally an independent branch of the government, after the 1988 constitutional crisis, the judiciary was made subject to Parliament; judicial powers are held by Parliament, and vested by it in the courts, instead of being directly held by the judiciary as before. The Attorney-General was also conferred the power to instruct the courts on what cases to hear, where they would be heard, and whether to discontinue a particular case.
The original 1957 Constitution contained a provision limiting the size discrepancy between any two districts to no more than 15%. This restriction, however, has since been eliminated by constitutional amendments in 1962 and 1973 and the worth of a vote is now heavily weighted in favour of the rural areas whose inhabitants are mainly Malay. With this very unfair delineation of the constituencies, there is just no chance of the opposition ever getting the majority to replace the current ruling coalition, probably not even the one third majority to deny the ability of the ruling coalition to make further amendments to the Constitution.
Government machinery, mainstream mass media and Government funds are used by the ruling coalition for election and the opposition have no access to the newspapers, the radio and the TV. In fact, during two by-elections, the Government poured so much fund into the affected constituency that voters must now be hoping for their current Member of Parliament to die so that they too can enjoy the windfalls. The so called independent Election Commission ruled that as long as the funds are not disbursed by the candidate, it shall not be considered bribing the voters.
Huge amount of Government funds were squandered in huge mega projects and so far, no one had been made to account for it. Brand new Government buildings, flyover, and hospitals get falling ceilings, bursting pipes, cracking walls, fungus infected hospital, unusable school computer labs, and no investigation are made as to the causes and no one again made accountable for them. The cost of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) ballooned from an original RM519 million to RM4.6 billion PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone and connections of the turnkey contractor, Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. (KDSB), Chairman of the Port Klang Authority (PKA) and the lawyer who prepared the sales and purchase agreement to politicians in the major component party, yet the Government never consider that as a conflict of interest. The state government originally alienated the land to the Pulau Lumut Development Co-operative (KPPL) which in turn sold it to Kuala Dimensi for RM3 per sq ft. It was shown that the chairman of KPPL at the time of the sale, another politician from the major component party of the ruling coalition, was also a director of PKA. Kuala Dimensi, which originally purchased the land for a total of RM1.81 million then sold it to the Port Klang Authority for RM1.81 billion.
Jafza International which runs the hugely successful Djibouti Free Zones was commissioned to run the Port Klang Free Zone, but pulled out, alleging, among others, political interference and an attempt at tax evasion.
What is the Government whose Prime Minister pledged to fight corruption, transparency and accountability and not bail out any failed projects in the previous election doing about it? Bring those responsible for the debacle to book? No! The government is extending a soft loan of RM4.6 billion to help the Port Klang Authority meet its financial obligations on borrowings from the country's financial institutions, but refused to call it a bail out. No one so far had been made accountable for this huge failed project.
Many citizens, fed-up with the situation and unable to do anything about it, are planning to migrate and many have already done so.
Me? My hope is to be able to retire to Hawaii with its warm mild weather, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, good health care facilities, multi-racial and multi-cultural environment, etc., plus no official racial ore religious discrimination, a wonderful place to live. I can continue to blog from there as there are good 24 hours broadband access available there. Plus I can open a US bank account which will enable me to withdraw funds from my Paypal account, something I am not able to do so at the moment. It is the closest to being a paradise as any other place on earth. Any bloggers want to join me?
If hope ever become reality, obviously I will need a roof over my head. Perhaps I would search for one at Hawaii real estate. The site have a MLS (Multi Listing Service) search engine.
Hawaii is not a single entity, but consists of hundreds of islands and atolls, but only 8 main island, and there are subtle differences between the islands. Maui, the second largest is probably the most pleasant and livable, as shown the the population growth brought about mainly by people who visited the island and decided to settle down there. For people looking for properties to purchase, Maui real estate will be a real help.
Kauai, the fourth largest island, is also referred to as the "Garden Isle" for its luxuriant, tropic landscape encompassing thousands of flower and bird species so much so that Kauai was the filming locations of many movies including South Pacific (Bali Hai), Lilo and Stich, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Six Days Seven Nights, remake of King Kong and many Elvis Presley films. It boasts of the Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, a spectacular canyon, approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep with stunning views. Strict zoning laws govern Kauai’s development, ensuring slow, high-quality growth. Violent crime is very low. The Mahelona Medical Center has special programs for the aged and disabled, making it an attractive place for retirement. For property purchase on Kauai Island, Kauai real estate should be helpful.