Thursday, 6 January 2011

A tale of two "Elegant Silences"??

Since the issue erupted last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak
has not issued a formal statement on the matter.
~In Najib’s silence, priests forced to clarify ‘blunder’

“There seems to be suggestions that Pakiam had relented to the requests
and this is putting him in a bad light. It is not right.
“However, it is true... the damage has already been done.
Many people are very angry that the directive was issued in the first place
and this does will not look good on the government,” he said.

~Fr. Simon Labrooy, In Najib’s silence, priests forced to clarify ‘blunder’

"Contacted for an official response today, the office's media advisor
Jalaluddin Bahaudin said: "I don't want to comment on this matter".....
It is understood that no hymns or prayers took place at the event ...."
~X'mas directive: Likely overzealous officers' fault

She pointed out that she had suggested that guests be entertained by carollers while waiting for the prime minister’s arrival as the latter’s schedule for the day had been packed.“
At no time did I instruct that carols should not be sung or that scriptures should not be read at the function. There was in fact a choral presentation and grace was said,” she said.
~PM’s aide says regrets Christmas ‘request’

"The programme... included a prayer, welcome message and scripture reading...
many carol hymns were sung," CCM Youth secretary Daniel Chai said in a statement.

Chai also expressed disappointment with church leaders for acting like "ostriches with their heads in the sand" for not taking an active role in clarifying the matter,
which has an impact on nation-building.

"It is not just this issue but a lot of other issues to do with social justice and nation-building which are related to the church. (Church leaders) should not be seen to be apathetic," he said.
~Hymns and prayers at archbishop's Christmas do

"As for the other directives, it is relevant to quote Rev Dr Shastri, general secretary of Council of Churches Malaysia as reported in the Sun on January 2.
He was reported as saying, “... no Christmas carols or prayers were sung and recited during the event and grace before meals were recited before Najib’s arrival.”
Referring to an African Christian group which performed a sequence of dances, Shastri poignantly added “it had no relation to the significance of Christmas."
~Two silences must be broken — Old Catholic

There has been much "debate" online with regard to the event which was hosted by Archbishop (don prey, prey - "TAN SRI", okay ...) Murphy Pakiam at St. John's Cathedral - okay, granted ... it was at his residence (... was it the parking lot? Never mind).
Many are criticising him for his elegant silence (ala Pak Lah/Rais Yatim/Najib) after the issue was highlighted in the media.
The person who responded was an aide from the PMO - a certain Hardev Kaur - denying that a directive was made.
So she suggested carols be sung "to entertain the guests",
and Daniel Chai said that "many carol hymns were sung".....
But Herman Shastri said, “... no Christmas carols or prayers were sung and recited during the event...."
Never mind that "carols were meant for entertainment" in Hardev's perspective- but the "elegant silence" of "Mr. 1-Malaysia" & Archbishop ("TAN SRI") Murphy Pakiam just isn't good for both parties, when people expect things to come from the "horses' mouth". The conflicting statements from Daniel & Herman gives room for the argument that somebody sure is spinning quite a yarn to protect "somebody" .... and is only making things worse.
(Even if the church pretends that it cannot get involved in politics- it surely must have been aware that the event being 'graced' by graceless VVIPs and all, sure is a socio-political event and not a religious one.
So it would be wise of the church to bear in mind that in politics, "perception is King").

As for me, I'm inclined to wonder if Herman Shastri was misquoted by the media, was mistaken- or possibly, even "smokin' something funny" in revelry at the event (and missed the "show"). ;-)

Anyways- upon inquiring further with a "certain insider" (from another parish), here's what I got (emphasis, mine) ....

"What happened at St John's?
There was a "party" where leaders both government and opposition were invited. It was also a party for foreign dignitaries. There are three components within the Christian Federation of Malaysia--Catholic Church, Council of Churches and NECF. And each component will take turns in hosting. This year just happens to be the Catholic Church.
The programme was scheduled to start at 3pm. The PM said that he would be late and that whatever that needed to be done, should be done first. And so, there was singing and prayers and when the PM came, all was already done. Remember that the party was not intended for the PM alone. Secondly, the locus of the party was the car park. And there was no need to hang crucifixes in a marquee.
How do we read this then?
In a sense, the AB did not comply because there was no reason to comply. What he did was to give the aide a piece of his mind.
What ought to be stressed is how the 1Malaysia government should be sending out such directives! It truly reflects badly on the government.
What has happened is that those braying for the blood of the AB can see nothing but compliance. And most of the arguments put forward have been nothing less of "ad hominem" arguments. He complied simply because he was beholden for his Tan Sri-ship.
I am not a fan of the AB, but still, one has to be fair in criticising."
"However, a matter crucial to the maturing of governance is the general election that is soon to come. Our concentration today is to ensure that no matter what--no matter how bad the situation may seem (since it's only the Government words we have), we should encourage people to vote alternative.
Thus far, for Malaysians in general especially in the consideration of "bread and butter" issues, the standard modus operandi has been:
Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
And the devil you don't has proven itself to be really diabolical in its craving for power and of course stupidity.
We need to convince people that the devil we don't know, even (if we) know it is really crap, should be embraced, if only to send a message that our tolerance and acceptance of corrupt practices can only be stomached that much. And no more."

Under protest, Khalid attends Khusrin’s oath-taking - The Malaysian Insider

Under protest, Khalid attends Khusrin’s oath-taking - The Malaysian Insider

MB attends state sec's swearing-in at palace - Malaysiakini

MB attends state sec's swearing-in at palace - Malaysiakini

TBH Inquest:- BN Twisting & Turning For MACC

Teoh inquest: Verdict makes no sense - Malaysiakini

'As a former judicial officer - I have heard a number of inquests in the early 90s - I find this ruling hard to comprehend.'

'Teoh's death not suicide or homicide'

Md Imraz Muhammed Ikhbal: Suicide, homicide or natural causes. The cause of death of any living soul on this planet can only be one out the three, or in rare occasions a combination thereof.

Now that the coroner has literally ruled out both suicide and homicide due to lack of evidence, by logical implication he has absurdly and nonsensically concluded that TBH must have therefore died due to natural causes.

Now, if there isn't sufficient evidence to conclude on any of the first two causes, how then can it be that TBH died of natural causes when there isn't even the slightest shred of evidence to suggest so?

The coroner should have just stuck to a plain open verdict and not ruled out anything since either substantiating or at the least circumstantial evidence is required to conclusively determine that he was not murdered or did not commit suicide.

Bekas Umno: The coroner has in his decision ruled that the exact cause of TBH's death is not known. Open verdict simply means that the said coroner has found some facts of a crime but not stating the criminal, or finding the fact of a violent death without disclosing the cause.

As a former judicial officer - I have heard a number of inquests in the early 90s - a practising criminal lawyer and an academician, I find this ruling hard to comprehend. He (judge Azmil Muntapha Abas) ruled out suicide and also homicide but found that TBH was injured by MACC before he died.

He also ruled that TBH was alive when he 'fell' out the window and died due to his injuries. He found not enough evidence to show that TBH was thrown out the window. To me, the judgment is face-saving one, a neither here nor there judgment.

A friend of mine has opined that it is politically safe judgment. Only until we find out the truth, we should at this point of time blame the strong winds or some unrest spirits at MACC for TBH's death.

FairMind: The coroner has ruled out suicide, which is the most important factor. MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) was trying to make it look like suicide to absolve their responsibility.

If it wasn't suicide and TBH was found dead after he was interviewed in the MACC office then that would implicate the MACC. The MACC would be responsible for his death and since that responsibility was not probed in the inquest then a royal commission of inquiry would be the most logical choice to probe into the reasons why TBH was found dead when it was not a suicide.

Now that it was not suicide, the ball is back in MACC's court. The first part (not suicide) is done and the coroner has said that there were questionable marks on the neck. MACC, how did TBH died and why was there questionable marks on TBH's neck while he was under interrogation?

Cala: To return a verdict of no suicide or homicide, two situations were plausible on that fateful morning:

i) TBH (Teoh Beng Hock) did not jump down by himself.

ii) TBH was not pushed down by a MACC officer.

PM Najib Razak's defining moment is here. The coroner is saying that the late TBH did not take his own life on the morning of July 16, 2009. By extension, he was murdered by parties who were working in MACC.

In a situation like this, it would be interesting to watch closely the reaction of the current regime. In fact, it is their moment of litmus test. They will win points if they proceed to charge those involved in the night-long interrogation of TBH for causing his death.

The opposite is true if they choose to remain quiet, hence leaving the public to guess just how far they were involved in the death of TBH. To me, this is the defining moment to show sincerity matters, not exhortation of empty slogans of 'people first, performance now'.

Tired2: Like it or not, it is a fair judgment based on facts, not assumption and presumption. Try to understand, though it is difficult for people full of hatred and enmity of the government and the judiciary, this is an inquest, not 'kedai kopi' talk where everybody can make claims and accusations without the need to proof them.

Many have now demanded a royal commission of inquiry but what make them so sure it will deliver a verdict that they want - that TBH was murdered. The royal commission may also rule an open verdict, then what? Demand for a Thai or British royal commission of inquiry? A commission with Pakatan Rakyat members on the panel?

Today's verdict is a closure, so let's move on.

Changeagent: To date, the whole line of investigation taken by the authorities has been based on the assumption that TBH had committed suicide. The onus had always been on Teoh's family lawyers to prove that the deceased had not taken his own life.

On the other hand, the possibility of murder by MACC personnel had hardly been considered as none of the interrogators have been charged or brought to face the music. I think the authorities should seriously look at this case again but from the perspective of homicide.

Charge the interrogators who were involved in TBH's night-long grilling since they are the most likely suspects of foul play. If they are innocent, surely justice will prevail for them. But as PM Najib said, no stones should be left unturn in finding out the truth and seeking real justice for TBH.

Anonymous_408b: I pray every day incident like this and Aminulrasyid Amzah will never happened to my family. If we let this one pass by with no fight then I am afraid one day it will come knocking my door.

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