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Last week, when prominent opposition parliamentarian Karpal Singh passed away, a couple of politicians from the other side of the aisle decided that even in death, politics must be played. One such person, the MP for Langkawi, Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, posted an inciting post on his Facebook page mocking Karpal Singh’s opposition of the implementation of the Hudud law (where he once quite famously said “over my dead body”).

Needless to say, the post generated a tonnage of negative press both for him and his party. To cut a long story short, he finally apologized for the posting.

Here’s an excerpt. If you would like to read the rest, go to his Facebook page.

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1. I would like to express my deep remorse and regret on what transpired the last two days about my posting on my private Facebook account pertaining to a status of what happened to the late YB Karpal Singh.


2. Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the family of the late YB Karpal Singh and everyone, who I have offended due to a needless and careless posting. Although I have few people or admin to update my status on Facebook, I take full responsibility on what have happened.

3. I have indeed immediately deleted the posting from my private Facebook wall, after more than an hour, when I realised that the status was strongly objected and condemned by Facebook communities.

——–

I picked up three things from his sincere apology:

 

1. He does not know how to use Facebook.

2. When trying to take personal responsibility, you must make mention of who you actually want to blame (other than yourself)

3. His Facebook logic is – if the status update was not strongly objected and condemned by Facebook communities, he would not have immediately deleted the posting.

 

A Skeleton’s Treasure

Last year, I was visiting the Prague Castle museum in the Czech Republic. It was one of the more memorable museums that I’ve visited. The main reason is because of the extensive information that is provided for many of the exhibits. Not only are the significance of various artifacts described, the methods of excavation are described as well. It was one of these “excavation methods” that God probably dropped a profound lesson in my mind…

One of the ways of finding ancient stuff like jewels, weapons, coins, etc. is to excavate ancient burial sites. This is largely because it is common in days past (and today in some cultures) for the dead to be buried with their prized possessions. This might have been done for a variety of reasons – perhaps it is the belief of taking one’s wealth to the next life, or perhaps it is purely for memory’s sake.

Regardless of why possessions are buried with the dead, centuries later, these tombs are opened by curious excavators. What I learnt from a little information box in the museum was that they would remove everything from the tomb, pick out the precious artifacts for further research, then place the bones back in the tomb.

And therein lies the lesson.

We have very little ownership of material things. Even if we buried everything that we possessed here on earth and think it to be secure, it isn’t. A thousand years later, someone can still take it away from us, and our bare bones won’t be able to do anything to guard them and keep them from being taken.  The fragility of this world became too apparent at the thought of that.

One must remember then, that the soul is that which is eternal. And an eternity spent with God or without God is of great concern to me, and those around us. What we are buried with is insignificant compared to where we awaken in eternity.

Been a while indeed

It has been so long since I posted anything about anything here at all. Well, sure, I’ve disappeared from the world of blogging for some time now. Come to think of it, apart from my Facebook updates, I don’t have much of a public presence at all. This is mostly due to me spending most of my words on my thesis (which if you’re wondering, is mostly read by two supervisors and an external reviewer…)

Well, not that there’s nothing to show for it. If you’re interested in reading any of my academic stuff, you can look out for these books. I have chapters in both of them. Both the books are worth getting because of the other chapters in there as well. If you want to read fiction, well, I haven’t written anything in ages. So you can go look up the old stuff.

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Thinking Through Malaysia:
Edited by Julian Hopkins and Julian CH Lee

http://thinkingthroughmalaysia.wordpress.com/about/

Cyberculture Now: Social and Communication Behaviours on the Web
Edited by Anna Maj

https://www.interdisciplinarypress.net/online-store/ebooks/digital-humanities/cyberculture-now

————

Ok I’m done plugging my own stuff.

In any case, the world hasn’t ended yet. There is so much to wonder. So much to hope for.

Still so much to hope for.

So, so much to hope for.

Ah and yes I’ll probably try to clean up the blog a bit.

…one should not just look at cyber-practices without considering the simultaenous reality that is happening – such approach is the equivalent of analysing how Manchester United plays football through the television. While it is not conclusively inaccurate, it is incomplete. It would be more comprehensive to discover the other tangible but publicly unavailable factors that could affect a game, such as pre-game discussions, opposition tactics, morale of the team, manager-player relationships, the diet that they have, the player’s last conversation with a close relative, the fantasical distraction of a recent romp with prostitutes, the weather… all of which could have resulted in the way a game was ultimately played.

Asian Perspectives

It just crossed my mind today that one should come up with textbooks that are driven primarily within Asian contexts. Part of the reason I stay away from sociology textbooks when I teach it is because it’s so… Western. There’s nothing wrong with Western theory, Western examples, or Western case studies, just that they are three dimensional in a way that is different to Asia’s three dimensions.

Random thought.

Questions and Answers

I posted this on Facebook earlier:

Been reading a lot about religious rituals. I’ve changed my view. They’re not meaningless as many Christians like to say they are. But more importantly, a ‘pagan’ ritual that means something, even if it’s pointless, is better than us saying that it is wrong, and not praying/worshipping ourselves. That’s more meaningless. I fall short too.

To expound on it just a little… I’ve been reading several good books that influenced this thought. One is “The Limits of Meaning” by Matt Engelke and Matt Tomlinson; another is “Material Religion” by E. Frances King (There are others, but these two are the notables). And I’ve come to realize that church power structures can potentially be as pointless as a non-church environment (I’m speaking from a Christian perspective here). I know it sounds like a really ‘duh’ thing, but it’s much more interesting than that.

Let me pop some question:

1. We often talk about how the love of the world will lead to an empty life. That’s fine. But have we thought about whether we can live an empty life within the context of church? Must it be a “here or there” scenario?

2. As a follow-up question, I look at standards that are commonly mentioned in Christian environments. I’ll try to lay them out here, then link it together. We often hear that if we over-expose ourselves to certain stuff that is “of the world”, we would eventually be influenced and bla bla bla, not so good stuff happens. We also frequently hear internal chastisement of church members who are pew-warmers, often times regarded as people who have been coming to church forever, yet the faith is meaningless to them.

So here’s the question: If we so readily accept that people can be in church and live their whole lives being unimpacted by God and Christian-ish stuff, is it possible to accept that there is a possibility that Christians can be “out there in the world” and be unimpacted by worldly stuff? Food for thought.

I’m not looking for ways to problematize the church. To be honest, I find that I’m finding my faith more exciting than ever as I uncover layers of meaning that I’ve never considered before.

Back to the earlier quote. Reading Material Religion, I realize that some faiths, as much as I disagree with the premise of their worship, or the stuff I do, have so much built-in faith and discipline that I actually admire them. It does spur me to consider my own personal and church rituals; and I find that I am truly lacking in my daily expression of Christ in me. I suppose it was timely that Pastor Ray Castro, who spoke at my church last Sunday said that being a worshipper “is not what you do… but what you are.”

Striving on, then.

http://www.thinkthere.wordpress.com

For your entertainment.

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