Friday, July 15, 2011

Najib- The Inconvenient Guest

Just imagine you are throwing a party. A daughter is getting married. You have invited everyone. Relatives and friends. You have gone to the village or kampung that you were born in and raised, maybe 40 years ago, and invited neighbours and friends who you played with as a little kid. Your guest of honour is your boss. A famous Datuk Seri. You have even printed his name on the invitation card as the patron of the wedding and you know that his presence and gracing of your child's wedding will be the talk of the town and you will be roundly congratulated for having him grace the wedding you are hosting.

Then two days before the wedding, the newspapers and television news scream with pictures of your boss's wife, all bloodied with face all puffed up from the beating and punches she got. She accuses her husband, your boss, for having done the honours. Police reports have been made and he has been picked up for questioning and subsequently released. The report also suggests that the fight took place over the objections of the wife of him wanting to take on a second very much younger wife.

A day before the wedding, you are reading this. Your whole family is at the breakfast table. Your daughter, who is to be married, is crying. She was so looking forward for the Datuk Seri gracing her wedding. But here now she sees a monster that every last cell in her body detests. Your wife is sitting silent. She understands the dilemma you are in.

He is your boss and you still need the job. You would prefer that you had not profiled him so highly for the wedding, but you have. Its going to be so uncomfortable. You cannot be bringing up the subject matter with him at the wedding, you don't feel you have the right of place. After all you are just a minion in his organisation and not his golfing partner.

But you have the common sense. You know what needs to be done. You are prepared to accept that he may just not come. Or he may call you to excuse him from the wedding and you would be only too pleased if he did that. So you wait. Hoping that you will receive the call. You have a hundred things to do. But you never had a mobile phone and so if a call has to come it has to be at your home. So you wait. You assign errands to your wife, sons and daughter. You call your friends and relatives and assign them jobs to do as well. The call does not come. Past noon, you are getting desperate. You have a flash. You call your immediate boss. Tell him, and ask him in the most diplomatic way if the Datuk Seri would still be coming the next day for the wedding. The boss does not know. And he declines bringing up the subject with the Datuk Seri. You plead, and he says it is none of his business.

The Datuk Seri is also not in the office. You have his mobile number. You stare at the number. Pick up the phone and key in the first 3 numbers. Stop. You put down the phone. You do that a couple of more times. Then finally you make the call.

"Hello, Datuk Seri, good afternoon tuan. This is Thangavellu"

"Hello" Thanga! How is everything going? Your daughter's wedding preparations all going alright? Hey, I am looking forward to the mutton curry from your caterer. He makes the best mutton curry you know. That is why I recommended him to you. Hey, you don't mind if I throw in some political message in my speech eh? I have already prepared a good speech. And oh, by the way, my wife won't be coming la, so you make the necessary arrangements at the main table la. "

"O.k tuan. O.k."

"So, why did you call me? " "Is there anything?"

"Err, just checking to confirm the time of your arrival tuan! Its 7.30 sharp you said"

"Yes. that is right"

"O.k. tuan. Thank You, tuan. Bye. See you tomorrow tuan."

"O.k. See you tomorrow."

You're stuffed. Your daughter has just told you bloggers and social network via Face Book and Twitter are all extremely critical of the Datuk Seri and it is all rather embarrassing because he is the butt of everyone's joke. She would rather not have him at the wedding.

You too would rather not have him attend your daughter's wedding. But he is. You have to play the perfect but hypocritical host. So you start the process of conditioning yourself to play just that. And you plan to ensure no uncomfortable statements are made by anyone, knowing some of your boisterous friends and relatives as well as some old aunties who can be inconveniently vocal.

The day comes. You've already had so many calls from friends and relatives to see if the Datuk Seri is coming. Some have even made such sarcastic remarks that you almost told them not to come. Your wife too is not exactly being very kind in her remarks, promising to snub the Datuk Seri.

The moment comes. Its 7.30pm. You are at the driveway. The chauffeur driven Mercedes arrives. Stops in front of you. You open the door. The Datuk Seri steps out in his most elegant suit!! Your wife, in her yellow sari, looks on frowningly but with a sinister smile on her face, like as if she has made a point!!

Well, just consider this. That is Najib, our Prime Minister, playing guest at our friends and allies, expecting to be hosted in the fashion that heads of states are accustomed to be hosted. Wouldn't it be better for him to not have made this visit at this most inappropriate of times for him? Like your wife, the Queen wears yellow!! And you wonder why?

Trust women to know how to snub in the most quintessential of ways! But then you got to also have the brains to know what's happening!! Now I wonder if the Pope is also going to be wearing something yellow!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anas Zubedy, You' Still haven't Got IT!

I started writing this comment in Anas Zubedy's blog. But it started getting a little too long and thought it would be disrespectful hogging someone else's space. So its become a posting here. Anyway, this is a response to Anas' response to Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan's reponse to Anas' first open letter to Lim Guan Eng.

A number of points on your response, Anas:

The justification for going too much into history to find the pre-eminent role or rights for Malays in Malaysia! How far really do you want to go back? This is why the Middle East muddle will never get sorted. After all the Jews can keep going back to Moses to whom was promised the Land of Israel!!

The Malaysian experience is unique. You are a Malay and yet you are not the same as your brothers from Indonesia. Just as I might be Indian by race and yet I am not the same as my brethren in India, Singapore, Fiji or anywhere else. The same can be said of our Chinese Malaysians. Unfortunately, you can only get to experience this when you are abroad and your Malaysianess is recognised.

You know, I have always found pleasure watching Malay kids greet their elders. As you say, there is a graciousness. Even among friends and relatives when a host at a wedding starts his speech, it commences with apologies for all the shortcomings and he seeks our forgiveness, and there I go wondering what he is talking about because I thought everything was fantastic.

On the other hand when I was being urged to apologise to a brute who was threatening mayhem on me, I got more angry with the so called "friend" who was urging me to apologise. I did not see sense in it. But that is me. Not my ethnic or Malaysian mentality talking. You might call me biadab. So maybe, I should be apologising for writing this piece and making known my thoughts, if that is what would appease you. But you see, that is not how and what I do and who I am. And I know that I can ingratiate myself to any Malay without having to go through this ritual. It is my honesty and integrity that the Malay will have his antenna focused on. Not this ritual. But of course UMNO uses this as another excuse for distancing the Malays from the rest of us. And now you are doing the same.

You see, your Indonesian brethren's expectations, assumptions, aspirations and hopes will all be different from yours only because your experience in Malaysia is different from his. That is what makes you different from him despite you sharing the same language, dress, religion and food. The dilemma faced by one like Khir Toyo must surely be understandable considering his experiences might have still come under substantial influence by his parent's Indonesian experience. Hence he grabs whatever he can when he can. Your fears are not the same as those of your Indonesian brethren although you say you are of the same stock. It has nothing to do with your DNA. Life itself is not about DNA. It has more to do with experience. Your lifetime experience.

All this identification and "ownership" of a country by the ethnicity of its peoples or the ethnicity of the majority of its people is unfortunately a fact we live with. However, in contemporary times, and because we can, there are very few countries left in the modern world where it is inhabited by its original indigenous population. Sweden is no more made up of Swedish people alone. Their new experience is something that would be alien to their ancestors of just a hundred years ago. What countries need to build is a nation. A nation is about the living experience of the people within a political territory, which sometimes transcends into other geographical territories as well. There was a time when one could not tell a Singaporean from a Malaysian. But today, there is indeed a stark difference and you can tell. Its in our respective experience and how our aspirations, expectations, assumptions, hopes and fears are cultivated.

So really, who thanks who? Who should be grateful to whom? Isn't that really a fruitless exercise? Its just like a wonderful pot of chicken curry. Which of the ingredients do you owe your gratitude to most for bringing out this most wonderful aromatic curry? Mind you, when it goes into your mouth, its not just the aroma, there is also flavour, texture, mouth feel and after taste. Do you know which ingredient promotes what? Do you even care? But I can be sure that you appreciate the way they all come together.

The way I see it, all the race based parties whose very existence is dependent on each of the races maintaining that there is a unique heritage to preserve have buggered up everyone's lives. The Malays are told their language, customs or adat, religion, mannerisms, demeanor, behavior, dressing is unique. UMNO's Ketuanan Melayu mentality makes them believe that there is something superior about all of this. MCA does the same for the Chinese and MIC the Indians. But obviously there is this large urban population that ignores their call.

I cannot see me hesitating to make the necessary connections before proceeding on my way. I will do the usual courtesies that have previously got me through to anyone. But I am not going to have to satisfy each and everyone of a community in order to get ahead with whoever from that community wants to walk with me.

Unfortunately for Lim Guan Eng, there is nothing that he can do to ensure each and everyone of you finds him acceptable. He made the ultimate sacrifice, going to jail in defending a Malay girl. So, can you now place a full page advertisement to thank him on behalf of what seems to be an ungrateful community? Now, LGE is not talking about it. I am!!

As to the methods adopted by DAP to gain themselves some level of appeal, wouldn't it smack of hypocrisy or even deception if they were to do what you ask of them? Indeed it would even be dangerous. How and when have DAP or LGE been against the Malays? Asking for any kind of apology even when none is called for can only be turned around by UMNO and its bloggers to then point to it as evidence of DAP's previous "anti-Malay stance." You have to admit that for the ordinary Malay, they continue to see DAP through UMNO's looking glass.

As to who has displayed open disrespect to the rulers, Anas, you have conveniently avoided it lest you are seen to be critical of UMNO. Does not matter, but that is how I choose to see it. But at the very least you could rubbish this claim, allegation, accusation, whatever you want to call it, that DAP has disrespected the rulers. If anything the DAP has done tantamounts to disrespecting the rulers, than what is it that can be said of what UMNO has previously said and done to the rulers? Unfortunately the way UMNO has in the last few years used the rulers, its a wonder how long the rulers themselves will last as an institution that is understood as being part and parcel of the Malay race!

I agree with you that every time DAP or anyone else refuses to wear the songkok or any other attire, it is so rather silly. However, if it is required of me only so that I am seen to be submitting to someone's else's pride or superiority, then maybe I will reconsider submitting to the request. Where I am unsure, I'd just be plain indifferent, just as I would be with my attire on a beach. I actually enjoy skinny dipping!! When taking an indifferent attitude towards something that is called for it irritates even me when DAP makes an issue out of it.

So what is it that is important to the Malays? What makes you think by my reciting peribahasas and pantuns I will ingratiate myself to Malays? I know that despite my rude and sometimes uncouth approach my Malay friends have been been close, trusting and appreciative of me. What you say is almost a repeat of what UMNO tells Malays that this is what they are and this is how they must behave and evaluate and so on. That others should go into their den before they can welcome them with open arms. Well, yes, for political correctness, Ibrahim Ali and his lot will demand that. But why don't you ask Rocky? If I must, I must be an inconvenient acquaintance to him. But I think there is respect and regard, and I think we do look out for each other. I don't have to get into Rocky's den to have a discourse with him. Honesty and integrity are two things people, even those unschooled, easily pick up and respond to. But UMNO has been very successful, I must say, in laying out all the criteria, that Malays must demand of their fellow citizens before they can get into their den. This suspicion that UMNO requires Malays must have of their fellow non-Malay and non-Muslim citizens is what is breaking up this country. I already suggested earlier, we don't have a nation!

Obviously your observations of Lim Kit Siang are prejudiced by images of him, both video and still. And of course you are staying close to UMNO's description of Lim. That he is chauvinistic and so on. But you see, that is your view. I am not smitten by UMNO's descriptions of Lim and certainly completely uninfluenced by how they would wish for all of us to view LKS as. So really, when I read what you have written suggesting Lim resign, in order that DAP will look more appealing to the Malays, I defer. I think the more important task now for everyone, is to help Malays to see people and things for themselves rather than rehashing UMNO's take on everything. You will do well, helping the Malays to not allow Berita Harian or Utusan Malaysia to interpret for them what they see and what they hear.

The problem with Malaysia, including a lot of us who are supposed to be learned and well informed is that we go back to our own race based political leaders when we need to be heard. An Indian might approach an Indian DAP leader rather than a Chinese or a Malay political leader. If your MP was a BN Malay, and you were an Indian, he might refer you to to the local MIC branch leader. He then has to go to the MIC HQ, who then have to approach UMNO HQ, who then probably prompt that Malay MP to attend to the matter. Everyone is made important within the BN circuit.

With the Christian bashing, because none of the political leaders would step up to talk on behalf of Christians, because they know they lack the credentials, the Christian clergy was forced to step up. Personally I am not comfortable with this that the Christian clergy is forced to front up to speak on behalf of their flock. And sometimes they do tread on across political lines that the church, for several hundred years, has kept away from. But there is no one else to speak for them. Is there?

Have you been outed, Anas? I don't know. Your response seems to suggest otherwise. But you still appear to be looking at things through UMNO's looking glass. Maybe another approach should be adopted. History may not help us. Its today's experiences that matter. Unfortunately these get very little airing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I No Longer Believe!! What are you saying RPK?

RPK, you are a wordsmith par excellence. You dabble with words in a way lawyers envy you. And yet here you go contradicting yourself in a way that is disappointing.

Yes, you created, cultivated and nourished a perception. A perception that you believed in that Statutory Declaration of yours. No doubt it may have only narrated what one or more people you had reason to believe in had, according to you, narrated to you a story. You are a big boy RPK, you don't now come and tell us that this or that is what you stated in the SD. So you probably signed off the SD as "I believe this to be a true narration of what was said to me," but you did not add then your own reservations, did you?

RPK is quoted, “I no longer accept the story. I think it's quite impossible...." That suggests that there was a period of time when you did accept the story. So when did that period stop? Just before you signed that SD? Or shortly after it? Maybe you can point out to us when ever it was that you had reservations over this story? I am reminded that not too long ago also you were making references to this story, like as if you believed in it to prop up what ever else it was that you were trying to state. Raja, you have to remember that you are stopped from making excuses or to suggest that for a long time you had held reservations because, being the prolific writer that you are, and one who does not hold back on anything, it is a reservation that would have stopped you exploiting the story a long time ago. And you would have mentioned your reservations too somewhere, anywhere.

Raja, you are reported to have "had made the allegations on the belief that the order came from PKR adviser and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim." You being ordered by anyone to do something that you did not believe in? I am expected to believe that? I'd believe that if you had inadvertently put yourself in a position where you could be kicked around. Have I been fooled or have you been fooling us about your independence and freedom from any encumbrance?

Your timing sucks. And from what has been reported so far, it would seem like as if Anwar is the one who is taking the short end of the stick where he now has to respond to. You have put "confidantes" or should I say, informers or Anwar's henchmen at risk. And surely from such a tale no one would go all out to sign a SD as you have, and as it would seem, recklessly so too. It begs further thought.

Monday, August 23, 2010

BN Leaders Admit to Their Crooked Ways!!

"Gerakan secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow chided DAP......

He is further quoted, “We are glad to know DAP has mastered the art of sweeping dirt under the carpet. We welcome them to the world of cover-up,”

Maybe I read it wrong. Maybe my understanding is all wrong. But I thought you welcome someone to where ever it is you are. Like you welcome someone to your house. You don't go to your neighbour's house and welcome a friend there do you?

So, there is such a thing as a world of cover up. firstly you got to know that such a world exists to even quote it. Obviously this Teng fellow knows of such a world. And he knows what it is. Maybe because he is already there. And to take the onus of welcoming someone who he obviously knows not to have been there, then he obviously does so from the door ways of this world.

He says " we are glad to know that DAP has mastered the art of sweeping dirt under the carpet." Well, Teng, I don't know what that means. I don't know what that is. So obviously I don't know what it takes to master it. Obviously you know. You know what it takes to master this art. And having, as you seem to suggest, met the standards as you and your lot have required, now bestow the welcome to DAP.

Glad to see that BN has the capacity to be honest sometimes. At least you admit to your sweeping things under the carpet. But then before you call DAP hypocrites, you should know that, DAP are new at it. And if this is what has finally qualified them to be admitted to your domain, then surely accusing them of hypocrisy would be wrong. However, now that they are in your domain, then from here on if they were to make those suggestions you deem hypocritical, you can then call them that.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Discount or Subsidy?

Don't play with bumi discount fire, warns UMNO Information Chief Ahmad Maslan. Tony Pua is not supposed to talk about it anymore as he can next be accused of sedition or incitement.

Well, if that is how much Ahmad Maslan wants that discount, honestly as far as I am concerned he can have it.

But let us call a spade a spade and nothing else.

Is that discount? Wikipedia says "Discounts and allowances are reductions to a basic price of goods or services." It further adds:

"They can occur anywhere in the distribution channel, modifying either the manufacturer's list price (determined by the manufacturer and often printed on the package), the retail price (set by the retailer and often attached to the product with a sticker), or the list price (which is quoted to a potential buyer, usually in written form).

There are many purposes for discounting, including; to increase short-term sales, to move out-of-date stock, to reward valuable customers, to encourage distribution channel members to perform a function, or to otherwise reward behaviors that benefit the discount issuer. Some discounts and allowances are forms of sales promotion."

Wikipedia goes on to explain in greater detail the various kinds of discounts offered or one might encounter and i have reproduced its content's page here:


It would seem that only the category "1.4 Discounts and allowances dealing with customer characteristics" would apply to the Bumi discount that Maslan refers to. Even then it would seem like none of the sub sections here would refer to the Malaysian version of Bumi discount. Really no one in the whole world, as it would seem, think there should be such a discount as Maslan imagines.

There is something about the characteristics of a discount that maybe ought to be explained. If we were to take the definitions given above, the discount ought to be the difference between the list or approved price the manufacturer offers and the price actually paid by the buyer.

In the case of a developer of properties his calculations of price of individual units don't matter as much as what he hopes to receive from the sale of the entire development. As long as that global figure is achieved the developer cares little about who buys at what price.

So the developer is now forced to sell to the bumis at a discount 30% of the units. Now let us say that the development is made up of 10 units of identical bungalows. Now, it is not only the individual units that the developer has to build, but he has to also provide common amenities like roads, swimming pool, guard house etc. He may have worked out the entire cost of the project, including land to be, say, RM10 million. He may want to make RM10 million in profit. In which case he would need sell the entire project of 10 bungalows for RM20 million. Therefore, he would need to price each unit at RM2 million.

Now, if 30% or 3 units are to be sold to bumis at a discount of 5% it would seem like the developer will have to sell these at RMRM1,900,000 each. If that were to be all, the developer suffers a loss of RM300,000. Now, if this is what has been happening, we should have a long time ago heard from the developers complaints about their sacrifices. But no. They have been silent. In fact they have acquiesced the implementation of this discount policy quite happily just so that they will be able to get all their necessary approvals. But this is not what happens, is it?

The RM300,000 loss is now added on to the price of the remaining 7 units so that they bear that "loss". The non-bumis have to cough up at least RM42,850 using simple calculations. Sure all you mathematicians out there can work out the more precise figures so that the bumi price is actually 5% less than the non-bumi price. I never claimed to be good at maths anyway.

Unlike the discounts that we see in stores where the seller is making a sacrifice for whatever reason. Here the seller, the developer is NOT making any sacrifice. the seller makes his RM10 million. The non-bumi buyers are asked to pay for and on behalf of the bumis their so called "discount"!! Basically this is a direct subsidy by the non-bumi buyers for the bumis who buy.

As I said earlier, I am quite agreeable about paying on behalf of my bumi countrymen. Just don't call it discount. Call it subsistence. Call it subsidy. Just don't call it discount for heaven's sake.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Kampung Baru land will not be sold to non-Malays

UMNO's Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Raja Datuk Nong Chick Raja Zainal Abidin is quoted saying, "not a single square inch of land in the redevelopment of the Kampung Baru Settlement in Kuala Lumpur will be sold to non-Malays."

The Malay Mail had earlier quoted a 72 year old resident of Kampung Baru swore that they will fight for their land and would not accept any apportioning of the land to non-Malays to buy or invest in.

Holistically looking at it, this affront to the Prime Minister's attempt at redeveloping Kampung Baru would appear enviable to many. The patriotism shown and the willingness to sacrifice is the kind of character that a nation being confronted by outside enemies requires to defend itself.

These posturings are obviously headline grabbing. Who ever heard of one 72 year old Baki Hussin? And until I read the Malaysian Insider article I did not even realise that we had an Urban Wellbeing Ministry. See, the usefulness of brouhaha in Malaysia? If you are an UMNO politician intent on impressing your latest girlfriend, say just about anything and get quoted in the next day's press!! She'd be impressed!! I cannot deny that our Ministers are men of substance, knowledgeable and are indeed smart. How else do they become a Minister? They cannot possibly be making idiotic statements. So, why else do they make it if not for getting media exposure? And of course the media are well trained to make them appear to be fools for the statements they make. But really, beyond impressing local bimbos who don't necessarily have the brains to analyse the essence of such statements, what other value can you put to it?

This redevelopment of Kampung Baru has been on the agenda of just about every administration, I suppose, since Tunku Abdul Rahman. The wealth or the value that is suspended in that piece of real estate is so enormous that, if the entire land is made available to the world to exploit to its fullest extent, the wealth created can potentially amount to a significant proportion of our GDP.

At the same time, it also stands as an icon, or a snub, which ever way you want to look at it. Iconic, because it stands as a reminder of a value system of a race that is proud of its heritage. It stands as an inheritance bestowed by their forefathers. And if, there has not been much change since the time when I drove through it some 30 years ago or so, it provides just about the only insight into an era that has been captured in several of the P Ramlee and 1950s and early 1960s Malay movies. Nostalgic. Earlier this year I went with friends to one of the Nasi Beriani stores. Yes, I felt like I was the only Indian around. And my friend the only Chinese. But we were there with a few Malay friends. There was no fear. I indeed felt welcome.

Reading the Malay Mail and our Minister Raja Nong Chick, however, suddenly Kampung Baru seems a little unwelcoming. The "spite" that you read between the lines when they claim the entire territory, and rightfully too, for the Malay race. The barring of any greed that might drive non-Malays into buying property there would be a snub for the likes of Vincent Tan, Francis Yeoh or the Tongs and other property barons. Unfortunately as a customer, I also view this as telling me that I really have no business there as well. They don't consider me as a potential customer who might want to buy property, produce or services that might be rendered there in the new Kampung Baru. Come to think of it, when I was there for lunch earlier this year, I noticed there were a number of traders and business activities going on that I never realised one could get right there at your door step if you were operating a business in the city centre.

This has got me thinking.

Is this how the UMNO led government ensures the Malay will forever remain undervalued? The Malay, according to UMNO should never realise the full potential of his assets and resources! That is why, what could be worth RM1,500 per sq ft is destined to not gain for the Malay anything more than RM350 per sq ft. And it is ingrained in the Malays' mind that this RM350 is such a windfall that he should be satisfied with it? That he should be proud of the fact that he has just sacrificed RM1,150 per sq ft for the pride of the Malay race, a value that UMNO keeps promoting as one they should die for!

Maintaining the mentality that is there about Kampung Baru and other Malay reserve assets, rights and resources ensures that the market to which these assets and resources are exposed to is confined to only the Malay market. When nasi lemak can be sold for RM10 a packet, confining its access to only the Malays means that same nasi lemak can only be sold for RM4.00 a packet. This is how the Malay is kept poor and reliant on the largesse of the UMNO led government.

Simple economics really. The larger market is not stifling the values and the prices the Malay can potentially obtain for his property and produce. Indeed I don't see any kind of prejudice against Malay assets or Malay produce or services. But because the Malay land, produce and service itself is substantially influenced by the access it usually gives to these, and, therefore, guided by the value the Malay market is prepared to give, and this includes salaries paid in employment, these become naturally undervalued when it reaches the open market. As far as I am concerned, I am fine by that. I do like my nasi lemak. And instead of RM10, if I only need to pay RM4 for it, it tastes all the more better.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In IRAN They Let Apostates Go!

Iran drops apostasy charges against women converts

by Michelle A Vu, Christian Post

Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 8:34 (BST)

Two female converts in Iran were acquitted of all charges and arrived safely in another country on Saturday.

Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh were cleared of apostasy, anti-state activities, and participating in illegal gatherings, according to Elam Ministries, an Iran-focused ministry that has followed the case since the beginning.
Iranian authorities warned the women that they faced serious consequences if they continue their Christian activities in Iran.The founders of Elam Ministries, Sam and Lin Yeghnazar, received the two young women at an airport in an undisclosed country on Saturday. The name of the country was withheld for security reasons.
“It was very emotional when we first saw them,” said Lin Yeghnazar. “Now, we want to see them rest and recover.”

Rostampour and Amirizadeh were arrested in March 2009 on charges of anti-state activity and for “taking part in illegal gatherings”, in other words, involvement with house churches. They were detained in the notorious Evin prison, a facility known for its human rights violations, while their trial took place in Tehran.
The young converts suffered psychological abuse during their detainment, including sleep deprivation and intense interrogation lasting hours. They also suffered from health problems but were denied medical attention.

In prison, they were pressured to renounce their new Christian faith and to return to Islam but they repeatedly refused. During an August 9 court hearing, they reportedly told the judge, “We love Jesus,” “Yes, we are Christians,” and, “We will not deny our faith.” In October they learned that a third charge of apostasy had been added.
They were conditionally released on November 18, but updates on their condition in April revealed that the two women were still in frail physical condition.
“We are most grateful to everyone who prayed for us,” said Amirizadeh in a statement Saturday. “I have no doubt that God heard the prayers of His people.”

Rostampour also thanked Christians worldwide for their prayers, which she credits for sustaining them throughout the ordeal. She said eventually they would like to share what occurred during their detainment, but for now they wanted to pray and “seek the Lord for His will”.
In Iran it is illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity, although Christians are allowed to convert to Islam.

Over the past year, authorities have shut down at least three churches and accused them of converting Muslims. None of the three churches have been given permission to re-open yet.


Have we, in Malaysia, supposedly a more emancipated country, found a solution to apostates?...Ah I hate that word. Would not a Christian converting to Islam also be considered an Apostate? If such persons don't like to be called apostates then maybe, another term or statement should be applied to those converting out of Islam too. Somehow, Apostate carries with it an ignominy that drives one to anger, hate, ridicule and such. ...Oh yes, we do after all have a solution don't we? We have laws prohibiting converting out of Islam and even more, proselytising to Muslims too. Ah, I don't like that word too. It has a negative connotation about it. what would you call Muslims preaching to non-Muslims? Proselytising! No?

Language, linguistics, how these are used to evoke emotions! I guess it is possible to use any language in ways to evoke the desired emotional response. However, being only English literate, I can only say, the English language is just great. It has all the tools and bits, nuts and bolts to express just the right note and tone to prompt the desired result. Knowing how to use it can be such a great asset I'd reckon.