Monday, January 31, 2011

The Other World - Hysterical Moments

For three days in a row, a group of students and a teacher of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Tasek Utara 2, Johor Bahru had bouts of hysteria.
Last year, from Wednesday April 28 and 30, 15 Form Four female students and a female teacher, who were from separate classrooms went hysterical.

On Wednesday, the mysterious hysteria attacked three students from separate classrooms.
They were seen crying and having shouting fits.
But on Friday, another six students and a female teacher suffered the same fate.

Those who witness the incident on Friday saw a chain reaction as students were being possessed one after another.
One of them had to be held to the floor, with face bloated of anger.
The situation was at its worse on Friday when a female Form Four student, who seemed to be possessed by a spirit, threatened to jump from the third floor of a classroom block.
A group of male teachers had to hold the student down as she tried to jump off the building.

So intense was the hysteria that the school administration had to call healers from the Skudai Darussyifa' Islamic healing group to help calm the students.
The healer spoke with the spirit through one of the girls.
It said that its home had been disturbed.
They were calmed down within 90 minutes.
Fortunately none of the students or the teacher suffered any injury, as they were all pacified with the help of the Darussyifa' healers.

The hysteria was said to occur again on May 3.


In July 2009, a group of 20 students at SMK Taman Daya 2, Johor Bahru, became hysterical that created panic among those at the school.
They claimed to see apparitions which looked like pontianak (vampire) and pochong (floating ghost in white burial shroud).
They screamed in fear after seeing 'something' in the classroom.
Their screams created a domino effect and soon, other classmates also screamed in panic.

Those apparitions had been seen by some of them since April, after a group of students returned from a dance competition at a shopping mall in Kulaijaya.
The sightings usually occurred at the fourth floor of the school which housed the classrooms of Form Four students.
Staff members were quick to act to calm them down.

That was not the first incident and it makes the other students uneasy.


What causes hysteria that these students and teacher lose self-control?
What causes the mind to be unmanageable?

For the above incidents, hysteria at schools were due to the school being home to spirits, be it apparitions or other forms.
Or the reason students or teachers were susceptible nature of to be 'disturbed' or possessed by these unseen beings.
Those lacking spiritual strength make them susceptible to such intrusions.

For female Muslims who are unable to pray during their menstruation period, they are likely to be spiritually weakened during these time, thus this makes them an easy target for possession.

Sign of headcover worn by girls does not reflect spiritual strength.
To be spiritually strong, internal strength needs to be work on.

There are other causes too.
Hysteria maybe caused by humans who trespass on the spirit's or spirits' turf.
Occasionally youngsters, who liked to play outdoor late into the evening, collide with spirits or accidentally trespass into their 'home' during the few minutes before sunset.
Their homes could be disturbed.
Or these youngsters could accidentally be hitting and hurting these unseen being family members without them knowing it.

At best, try to avoid spending time outdoor, during the fifteen minutes before Magrib prayer call because that's when spirits roam around.
But the best solution is always to strengthen oneself spiritually with prayers and practising good values.

For those who believe, Al-Qur'an is the best remedy.
Aayatul Kursi, the last two verses of Surah Al Baqarah and the first ten verses of Surah Al Kahfi need to be explored.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place (3)

Serial Killing: Victims’ Bodies Lay Unclaimed
YANBU: The bodies of two Asian housemaids who were raped and murdered by a serial killer three years ago are still at a hospital morgue in Yanbu while the authorities await the consent of their relatives to bury them.
The body of a third housemaid, who was also raped and murdered by the same man, was buried some time ago.
Yanbu police arrested the man, who is of African origin, last September following his son’s arrest.
The man has admitted to the rape and murder of the three women over the last four years. The Prosecution and Investigation Commission is currently completing paperwork to begin court proceedings against the man.
Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Saturday quoting Dr. Abdul Rahman Saeedi, director of the Health Affairs Department in Yanbu, that one of the three bodies was buried and the remaining two bodies were still at a morgue.
“We have yet to receive any letter from the concerned authorities with regard to consent from their relatives to bury them,” Saeedi said.
Ibrahim Al-Abadi, a prominent lawyer and former head of investigations at the Prosecution and Investigation Commission, said keeping dead bodies at morgues indefinitely is a violation of rules.
“With regard to unidentified bodies, forensic experts should carry out post-mortems to determine the actual causes of death. Bodies should be photographed and fingerprints should be taken, in addition to DNA samples. All these procedures should be completed within a period of two months,” he said.
“Then the body should be buried once clearance is received from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Health. If a relative claims the body or identifies it through the data the authorities have then they are entitled to exhume the mortal remains,” the lawyer said.
According to Al-Abadi, the murderer, called Auda Ahmad, should be handed the death penalty.
Ahmad has confessed to kidnapping runaway housemaids to avoid being detected. He would then torture the women, rape them and dump their bodies in desert areas after disfiguring them.
Yanbu police had been searching for the man for around four years before finally arresting him on the basis of information received from his son who was arrested for begging.
Ahmad was arrested on Sept. 1, 2010, while attempting to lure another housemaid who would have been his fourth victim.
The bodies of the three maids were so badly disfigured that police were unable to identify them. One of the bodies was found buried on Yanbu Corniche in a plastic bag. The body of another had been found with stab wounds and acid scalds over her face.
The third body was found already decomposing in a remote area close to a rest house near the town of Umluj.
Police found the serial killer with several forged ID cards and pictures of housemaids on his mobile phone, including a photograph of one of the three women.
None of the women’s relatives or sponsors have so far come forward to claim their bodies.

Source: Arab News - Saturday, January 22, 2011


The attorney general has presented the file to the court and will seek the death penalty for 45-year old Owdhah Ahmad.
The man should be beheaded under Shariah if the charges that he had allegedly killed, raped and burned the bodies of the three women are proven.
The case is expected to be looked at by a panel of three judges.

"Thug" kills 3 women after being tortured and having sex with them
The arrest came after a four-year manhunt involving officers from Madinah and Yanbu.
Police investigators had detained and interrogated a number of suspects.

After a four-year search, security services arrested the thug who confessed the torture of three Indonesian maids, maiming the bodies, mutilating and burnt them after sex to rid evidence.
The bodies of the victims were then dump in remote areas, in different locations in the city.

After months of relationship started in Cornish, the culprit claimed his first victim on Sept. 20, 2007 (Ramadhan 8, 1428H).
He helped the victim escaped from her employer and heavy workload, after promising the maid of getting her transferred to another household with attractive salary.
He hit the victim on the head, and burnt her.
The remain was placed on dirty road among palm trees and with strewn stems in an uninhabited area.
Yanbu police found the badly mutilated maid's body in an area in Al-Nakheel Road in 2007 close to a rest house. 
Authorities were unable to determine the deceased identity.

The second prey was found in Yanbu Corniche.
The killer succeeded in luring and taking her to a remote area before raping her.
He then struck her head with a big rock, killing her instantly.
He committed his second murder on June 26, 2008 (Jumadil Akhir 22, 1429).
The victim's head was shaved.

After mutilating her body, she was put into a bag and buried under the sand at the beach. 
Foul smell led the discovery of the disintegrated body by a group of children playing at the beach near Corniche of Yanbu Industrial City.

The picture released by the Yanbu police shows officials moving the body of Owdhah Ahmad’s third victim, who was killed on Aug. 10, 2009. (AN photo)

He noticed his third victim in the market nearby his home. 
While she was walking along the roadside in Yanbu, he followed her in his car until they reached a secluded area. 
He approached her and revealed his desire to have sex with her. 
She refused and tried to run away, but she was caught and stabbed her several times that left blood splattered around. 
He raped her as she was dying, poured acid on her body to disfigure it. 
She was burnt and left it on the road to die on August 10, 2009 (Shaaban 19, 1430).  
The body was later buried in a remote area along Al-Shimal Road near Amlaj town.

He told the police that he was picking housemaids, especially those who are not known to others and he had already identified his fourth target as she has similar specifications.

The killer was detected by accident.
The nabbing of a network of beggars helped uncover the serial killer's crimes.
A private driver guided the police to the beggary network.

When his son, Marzouq, was arrested for begging, he disclosed of his father not a normal person as he used to beat and torture him and his brothers, and forced them to beg.
The father would burn him with fire.
The suspect allegedly deformed his own children by burning them with fire to make them beggars.

In another statement, his wife had earlier submitted an official complaint that her husband had forced her to beg.

The police started monitoring the man after Marzouq told them that he saw his father brought Asian nationality women to their house, even in the presence of his mother.
And, he even saw his father stabbing an Indonesian housemaid to death on the street.
Marzouq admitted to investigators that he saw the maid run from their old house at Al-Ossaili District in Yanbu after she and his father had an argument.
The woman ran toward Al-Nami Souq and his father, brandishing a knife, chased her, caught her, stabbed her to death.

Police searched the house and among his possessions, police found many forged identities and false identity papers.
In memory cards of the serial killer's mobile phones are pictures of maids, including one of his victims.
The discovery opened the door that leads to past unresolved issues.


Owdhah Ahmad was arrested on the first days of Eidul Fitr in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu.
The man is now being held on charges of murdering three foreign housemaids.
He hunted his victims at local markets and was caught red-handed on September 1, while allegedly attempting to lure another housemaid who would have become his fourth victim.
He was seen luring the housemaid at a commercial market in Yanbu.

He allegedly tried to mislead police by claiming he was trying to recruit the maid to work for him during Ramadhan.
But the woman told police that Owdhah was persuading her to flee from her sponsor's house and have illicit relations with him.
He would always sit in markets to attract victims.


Owdhah Ahmad had confessed in September while in detention in Al-Balad Police Station in Yanbu, before a panel of judges in Yanbu reenacting of his alleged sexual assault, disfigurement and murder of three Indonesian housemaids in 2007 and 2008 at locations where the incidents took place.
He admitted the rape, and murder before mutilating the housemaids' bodies and burying them.

The man is being held in the general prison after he was examined at Yanbu General Hospital for the state of his mental health.
Preliminary investigations show that the serial killer falsely claimed that he killed a fourth housemaid in July and hid her body in a flood culvert near Yanbu Al-Nakhl but authorities did not find a body there, which led them to believe the mans story about the fourth murder was not true.

But a day later, he denied murdering the maids when brought before a court in Yanbu to authenticate his confession.
Court sources played down the retraction, saying they had enough evidence to convict the man without a confession.


The killer used to pick housemaids without any legal identification as his victims to avoid detection.
He would subjected them to torture, burns and rape before killing them.
He disfigured the victims and hide them.

Investigators believe that the accused was mentally ill. He might be suffering from psychological disorders, especially as sex and torture were the common denominators in all of his crimes.
The court will take this into consideration during the trial if he is found to be mentally sick.
But psychiatrists are certain that he knew what he was doing when he allegedly committed his crimes.

A relative of the killer said the man was under stress because his wife was mentally ill, the citizenship of his father and uncle had been withdrawn, and one of his children had run away from home.


Son Can't Kill A Chicken Says Father Of Suspect In Yanbu Serial Killings
The father of the man suspected of being the Yanbu serial killer defended his son and said, “I can’t believe that my son has slaughtered three people because he can’t kill a chicken.”
The father described his son as alert, but a little bit unstable and described him and his grandson, Marzouq, as troublemakers.
“Thy both love to save pictures of any thing on their mobiles,” he said.
He, however, expressed sympathy for to the slaughtered housemaids and said authorities should investigate the crimes and issue a sentence against his son if he was really convicted of committing them. 
“If the investigations prove he is guilty, he deserves to be punished,” the suspect’s father said.
The father said he lived in Khamis Mushayt, southwest of the Kingdom, before moving to Yanbu and had two wives, Umm Owdhah, the suspect’s mother, and a second wife. The man said his Saudi nationality was withdrawn 20 years ago.
He said had traded in goats he brought from Sabya in the Jizan region, but a pelvis fracture forced him to leave the job so he asked his wives to beg for money. He said he would only send his sons out to do so when there was an urgent need to pay for rent and other necessities.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette also interviewed Ahmad Hassan, the Saudi uncle of the suspected serial killer, who was found in the district looking for Marzouq, the suspect’s son. Hassan said he was looking for Marzouq because he is sponsoring him and his brothers.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette joined Hassan in his search, but he did not find any trace of Marzouq. He thought that the landlord kicked the family out of their apartment after he had learned of the crimes their father is suspected of committing.
When the suspect’s wife was contacted, she said she had lied about her husband as having no relatives because she wanted to protect them because many of them were illegal residents. She said this would also explain her commitment to her husband.
“I have no place to go to with my children,” she said.
Her brother said they cannot stay with him.
“We are living in a very miserable condition so we can’t receive my sister and her children,” he said. “I have 10 children of my own, my wife, my sister and her six children.”
The suspect’s wife said his second son, Ahmad, 10, disappeared because of his father’s cruelty and abuse. She said he was last seen during Ramadan, playing in the street with children. Zare’ Bin Awwad Al-Sayyid, district chief of Al-Balad District, where the suspect worked in a shop, said there was nothing strange in the suspect’s behavior that drew his attention and there were no complaints from businesses that had employed the man.
Al-Sayyid has praised the Al-Balad Police, especially its Criminal Research Department, for dismantling a network that forged national identities, which led to finding the man suspected of killing the three foreign housemaids. – Okaz/SG __

Source: Saudi Gazette - September 18, 2011


Despite the difficult living conditions being experienced by the suspected serial killer’s brother-in-law, Ahmad Hassan offered his house to his sister and her six children after their landlord expelled them from their home. The woman and her children had been homeless for days.
The brother said he would ask the charitable society in Yanbu to secure an appropriate house for his sister and her children and urged authorities to help them, regardless of her husband’s case.
The suspected serial killer’s second son, Ahmad, is still missing. There have been reports in the last few days that he was seen roaming on the streets near Al-Shawam Market in Yanbu.
Other reports indicate that Ahmad is staying with relatives in Makkah who have reformed his attitude and convinced him to stop stealing.
Meanwhile, an official from the committee that sponsors prisoners, ex-convicts and their families told Arab News that the committee would consider extending financial support to Ahmad’s wife and children if he is convicted. Circumstances of the family will be looked into for care and support providence, after a final verdict is passed. All needy inmates and ex-prisoners and their families are to be extended with support, regardless of their nationalities, nor the nature of their crimes, under the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques


Owdhah Ahmad was released from a Yanbu prison in 2007 after serving a jail term for harassment and acid attacks on his sons.
The man, who has four sons and two daughters, had been selling fruit and vegetables for a living.
The 45-year old Yemeni national has been living in Yanbu illegally for several years.

Meanwhile, Madinah police had arrested six relatives of the alleged Yanbu housemaids’ serial killer, who were allegedly involved in forging identity cards and impersonating Saudi nationals.
Those being held are said to be of Arab origin.
All documents of the arrested persons have been seized and their involvement in the killing of the housemaids are yet to be proven.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sorry Wives, For Laughing At Your Husbands' Blunders

Lies, Deceit Not Enough For Many To Hide Their Multiple Marriages

JEDDAH: Most husbands find it hard to announce the news that they have taken a second wife, despite the fact such marriages are a way of life for some Arab and Muslim families. They try their best to hide them for as long as possible. Some succeed. Others fail.
Hiding the second marriage requires planning and an ability to lie. Luck is also important. There are stories of couples who have been affected by second marriages where some husbands were not clever enough in covering their tracks, while others simply did not have enough luck.
Abdullah, a 40-year-old Saudi who did not want to reveal his last name, is married to three women. The first wife lives in her villa, while the other two live in apartments in buildings adjacent to each other.
"I got married to my second and third wives within a short time. I found a perfect apartment in a high-rise building that I rent out for my second wife,” he said.
“When I got married to my third wife, I rented another apartment in a different building close by so I could move easily from the second to the third wife. None of my wives knew about my multiple marriages."
He said that one day he asked the building watchman to call the shop and bring two water gallons for each of his apartments.
“The doorman did not tell the shopkeeper to keep my marriages secret. The shopkeeper brought the two water gallons to the second wife and asked her where my third wife’s home was,” he said.
"My second wife was shocked and exploded in anger when she learned that she was not my first wife. She went and fought with the third wife, who was shocked that she was not even the first or second wife. To make matters worse, they found the address of my first wife and decided to pay her a visit and expose me."
Abdullah said that the second and third wives demanded equal treatment and wanted him to buy a villa for each of them before they accepted the marriages.
Abdullah Al-Zahrani, a Saudi teacher married to two women, said his daughter inadvertently exposed his second marriage to his first wife.
"I was married to my second wife secretly for three years. My second wife is a peaceful woman,” he said, adding that because he sometimes had to leave her alone in her apartment for a long time, he decided to get a mobile phone just to call her.
“That mobile was hidden in my car. One day, I took my first wife and daughter for shopping. My daughter was playing in the backseat when she discovered that there was a cell phone underneath the passenger's seat. She gave the phone to my wife who looked at the contact and found only one name, my second wife’s.”
The first wife browsed the messages on the phone and found out about his second marriage.
“She threatened to divorce me if I didn’t leave my second wife.” He said that he has been trying to bring his first wife home and persuade her to accept that he is married to another woman.
A Saudi woman who works at King Abdulaziz University and did not want her name mentioned said that she discovered her husband’s second marriage by accident.
"During the last rains, my husband phoned me to say that he was unable to pick me up. He told me to come back with one of my friends. One of my students saw me waiting and decided to take me back home,” she said.
“She was recently married and in the car she started talking about her husband. I realized he had many similarities with my husband.”
When the woman started talking about her husband and mentioned his name and work, the student suddenly looked as if someone close to her had died.
“I too was shocked when I discovered that her husband was my husband and that he had married one of my students." She said that when she confronted her husband, he had nothing to say.

Source:  Arab News - January 14, 2011


Old Man Forgets Teen-Wife's Name In Court

DAMMAM – A man in his seventies seeking a divorce from his 18-year-old wife was sent away from a court in Dammam last week after he was unable to recall her name.
Al-Madina Arabic daily reported that the man, who had brought a group of acquaintances with him to the courthouse on Wednesday to bear witness to the divorce, left all in attendance perplexed when he was unable to recall his wife’s name.
Testing his luck, Al-Madina said the man began mumbling various names in the hope that he would hit upon the right one, until the exasperated judge eventually ordered him out of his office and to return only when he was able to provide his wife’s name and “other information.”
A court source told the newspaper that most divorce cases heard by the court were brought by foreign women seeking to end the burdens of “travel and living costs” incurred by the distance between them and their Saudi husbands in the Kingdom.

Source: A1 Saudi Arabia - March 6, 2010  

When Pacific Mall Becomes A 'Landmark'

32 Lifts Stolen From Mall

JOHOR BARU: The abandoned RM300mil Pacific Mall near Bukit Cagar is not only an eyesore, but also the scene of a bizarre theft where 32 of its escalators were stolen.
Owners who purchased individual lots at the shopping centre are crying foul over the loss as they are still servicing bank loans for the failed project.
Eyesore: The RM300mil Pacific Mall comprising of a five-level retail podium and a 24- storey office tower in Johor Baru.
Tan Poh Lai, a pro-tem committee member representing the buyers said the escalator theft increased the building's restoration cost from RM10mil to RM50mil.
She said the mall's construction was stopped eight years ago due to management issues.
The bank that financed the project could not be reached despite much effort, she added.
“To make matters worse, those who purchased the lots are fighting a legal battle with the bank to prevent their lots from being auctioned,” said Tan.
Singaporean Irene Ling, 31, who took over one of the lots from her late father, said the matter caused much frustration to those committed to the project.
Tan said the majority of the buyers faced hardships as their life savings and retirement funds were used to finance their purchases.
Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad, who took up the case, said the rights of Pacific Mall's owners should be protected and given priority.
»I will look into the matter and meet local authorities to straighten out the issue immediately« DATUK SHAHRIR SAMAD
“I will look into the matter and meet local authorities to straighten out the issue immediately. We should throw light on the situation quickly to prevent repetition of such events,” he said.
Pacific Mall, located between Jalan Storey and Bukit Cagar, comprises a five-level retail podium block and a 24-storey office tower.

Source: The Star - Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I used to shop there in late 80s or early 90s when the mall operated its business.
But, for just a brief period.

A couple of years ago, on the ground floor, a small corner was opened selling handphone accessories, VCDs and DVDs.

Huge Mess: Ceiling Boards Missing At The Mall.

Stolen: Policemen From The Johor Baru (South) Mobile Patrol Unit Inspecting The Remnants Of An Escalator, Which Was Stripped Of Metal Parts. Photos: The Star

The building, which was 90% complete, was abandoned in 1997.

Now, all kinds of remarks were heard about Pacific Mall in Lorong 1, Jalan Storey, Johor Bahru:
Awesome Mall
With Awesome Big Hall!  
Awesome Interior
With Awesome Escalators! 
The Best Shopping Centre In Town

Is The Most Dangerous Building Around!!

Reason Why There Are Many Abandoned Shopping Spaces Is Caused
By Johoreans Who Do Not Like To Shoppp!!!

In Johor Baru, Larkin, Plentong, Permas Jaya and Skudai, there are around 10 abandoned big buildings.

Every time on my way across the Causeway, although an eyesore, I had never fail to look at the almost stripped down Pacific Mall.
Pacific Mall, currently in a dilapidated condition is stripped to almost bare.

The rundown building is barely 500 metres away from police station, yet the property was vandalised.
It pose safety and security concerns for the public
Public safety is compromised since more than ten years ago.
It is very dangerous as the peeled glass piece may fall down anytime.

The eerie feeling whenever I passed by the fenceless, the non-barricaded Pacific Mall can't be helped as it is near Bukit Cagar.

And, Bukit Cagar is best remembered with its burst rooftop water tank in 1993.

The problematic building of the shopping arcades and car park, which began in 1995 could not be completed.

It seems the building is left to rot.
The abandoned project is strategically in an extraordinarily quiet location, not nearest to any main road, needs overdue attention.
Its shop lots and office spaces had once attracted buyers from Singapore and Hong Kong.

But last September, the abandoned building had attracted evil hearted being.
Pacific Mall had become a disposal ground of a man whose body was burnt.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Children - Who's Answering?

Father Suspects Baby Swapped At Hospital

NAJRAN: A Saudi man wonders if he and his wife were given the wrong baby after his son was born almost seven years ago.
Jaber Nasser Salim Aal Rizq said his wife delivered their fourth son in the King Khaled Hospital in the Najran area and at the moment of delivery, wristbands were placed on the mother and baby boy and he was taken to an incubator.
Aal Rizq pointed out that seven hours after the delivery, a female Saudi nurse came to check his wife, compared her medical file and the data on her wristband and found differences in the information.
The nurse changed the data without bringing the baby boy, who was in the incubator, to verify it.
“I met the doctor supervising my wife’s case and he informed me that I was blessed with a baby boy and said he would remain in the incubator due to a fracture in the left shoulder and dislocation in the left arm,” he said.
“The doctor informed me that a specialist was following up my son’s case.”
When he wanted to move his wife and son to another facility, he learned there were problems with the medical records.
“I got the release of my wife and son on my responsibility and I took the baby boy to a private hospital for treatment, but the hospital where he was born took three hours to give me a release for the mother and infant because they said the boy’s file was lost,” he said.
Aal Rizq’s doubts about the boy’s lineage led him to visit the hospital’s administration and ask for a detailed medical report on the boy’s case.
“I was shocked to find that the medical report mentioned only the time of birth and date of discharge from the hospital, without any other information,” he said.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette tried to contact the director general of Health Affairs in Najran to ask about the case and his office’s role in these matters, but he did not respond.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette __

Source: Saudi Gazette - Monday, January 24, 2011


Woman’s Stares Led To Reunion With Biological Parents
JOHOR BARU: Eight years ago Zulhaidi Omar noticed he was getting frequent stares from a particular Chinese girl at a supermarket in Batu Pahat where he worked.
To his bewilderment, the girl later came with an elderly Chinese couple and all three of them checked him out together.

Striking resemblance: Teo and Zulhaidi listening to questions during the press conference in Johor Baru.
But things took a serious turn when the couple turned out to be his biological parents. “They came to look for me three times and from our conversations, they were convinced that I was their son,” Zulhaidi, 29, told a press conference.
“I agreed to go for a DNA test and the results confirmed that they were indeed my biological parents.
“The girl who was always looking at me was actually my elder sister who suspected that I was her brother because of my striking resemblance to our father.”
Yesterday, the family highlighted their plight to the media because they wanted to change Zulhaidi’s name to a Chinese name, as well as his religion on his identification card to Buddhism instead of Islam.
As a child, Zulhaidi said, he had always felt out of place because he was teased about his Chinese-like features and never did seem to feel part of the family. When he was 13, Zulhaidi decided to leave his family in search of the truth.
“My Malay father had left us when I was three. My mother remarried, but I could not get along with my stepfather so I left,” he said.
“I took on odd jobs such as waiting at tables and working at a car wash to support myself throughout my secondary school.”
Zulhaidi, now a sales executive, has a diploma in Business Administration.
His natural father Teo Ma Leong, 66, revealed that among his six children at home, his fifth child Tian Fa has dark features.
He suspected that Tian Fa, now 29, had been switched at birth and thus ended up growing up with the family.
Tian Fa is married to a Chinese girl and now, despite the emergence of Zulhaidi, he has no intention of looking for his biological parents.
“We did not notice anything when the baby was brought home but one month later, we sensed that something was amiss because the baby was darker and did not look like any of us.
“A check with the hospital gave us no clues, so we brought him up as one of our own, although we knew our actual son was out there somewhere,” said Teo, a former mechanic.
Teo added that his wife Lim Sik Hai, 62, had to endure a lot of slander and gossip that the baby was born of an affair but Teo knew his wife better and trusted her.
“When our daughter found Zulhaidi, I knew this is the son we had been looking for. Three months after DNA tests confirmed that he is our son, Zulhaidi agreed to come and live with us,” said Teo, adding that it took another six months before Zulhaidi called them “mum” and “dad”.

Source: The Star - Saturday, February 3, 2007 


Going His Own Way Since He Was 13

JOHOR BARU: At 13, he was supporting himself, washing dishes after school to pay for his books and rented room.
Zulhaidi Omar, 29, said he had never been tempted to take the easy way out by dropping out of school or straying into a life of crime. Instead, he worked at restaurants until midnight and washed cars to put himself through secondary school.

Zulhaidi: Wanted to taste a life of independence
Now a sales executive with a diploma in Business Administration, Zulhaidi said he was neither abused nor disowned by his family but he wanted to be independent. Unknown to him, he had been swapped at birth during a mix-up at the hospital in Batu Pahat.
“By the time I was in primary school, I knew I was different from the rest of my family members as I could tell the difference between their features and my obviously Chinese appearance,” he said at a press conference.
After a chance meeting that reunited him with his biological family eight years ago, Zulhaidi now wants to change his name to a Chinese one.
Zulhaidi is hoping the authorities would allow him to state his religion as Buddhism on his MyKad.
Bandar Baru Tampoi MCA branch chairman Michael Tay said Zulhaidi was never given the chance to choose his own religion because of a mistake made at birth.
“Under the Federal Constitution, everybody is allowed the freedom to choose his own religion, but Zulhaidi was never given that chance.
“We will try the diplomatic method first through negotiations with state officials and the hospital where he was born. If that fails, then we will have to seek legal recourse,” he said, adding that might even include a suit against the hospital for negligence.
State religious officials were unavailable for comment.

Source: The Star - Monday, February 5, 2007

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place (2)

Two female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia who are suffering permanent injuries are currently being treated in their hometowns in West Nusa Tenggara.

60 more housemaids from Dompu in West Nusa Tenggara are awaiting to be sent home.

25-year old Yanti Yusepa from West Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara went to Saudi Arabia on August 29 and returned to Indonesia on October 6, paralysed from the waist down after jumping from a second-story window to get away from what she called chronically abusive employers.
She is waiting for her insurance payout: If there is.
Within the short period, she worked for three different families in Saudi Arabia, fleeing from the first two after they starved and physically abused her.
The third family was most cruel - the daughters would burn her with a hot iron while their mother would beat her.
The abuse on her drove her to jump from second floor window.
“Not a single person was willing to help me when they saw me fall.”

According to her, at least 26 more have also been abused by their employers, in some cases sexually.

27-year-old Selvia from Sumbawa, a district of West Nusa Tenggara, returned home in July 2010.
She worked for her employer as a domestic worker in Nabuk.
But the employer made her doing a back-breaking work.
She did just that: Lifting heavy gas canisters.
It broke her back.
It takes her a great effort to bend, or to walk.
And, Selvia is unable to walk properly.
She is partially paralysed since 2007.

Warni Binti Mahrip, a domestic helper, died after she fell from the upper floor of her employer’s home, also in Tabuk, on June 4.

And Nurul Binti Muhtar Lano, died four months later in October, due to illness.


Such stories are common, but only receive sporadic attention.
The recently discovered horrific abuse of Sumiati, from West Nusa Tenggara too, let others knew that now, more than 350 domestic workers from West Nusa Tenggara are currently stationed overseas and may be facing abuse or inhumane working conditions.

About 52 workers from the province were living under a Saudi bridge, awaiting repatriation.
Sumiati, an 18-year old girl led an unusual protest.
It even made Saudi Arabia's labour ministry bowed to say a very rare sorry.

West Nusa Tenggara, is the second biggest district to send workers abroad after West Java.
But in terms of percentage, it is the biggest.

Many women in West Nusa Tenggara, especially in remote areas, are still unaware of their rights as housewives, and the condition is concerning, a local family welfare activist said.
They are in a weak position in the family and had no choice but accept their husbands' ill treatment.
Many had been used as 'capital' by their husbands who send them to work abroad as migrant workers as house maids in Saudi Arabia and use their wives` monthly income even to get married to another woman.

Some, after all the money sent home, they were divorced by their husbands.
They are often defenseless.
They are unaware of their rights as housewives, or not courageous enough to take actions.

Now, West Nusa Tenggara, one of the 33 Indonesian provinces, had banned recruitment of its residents for work in Saudi Arabia following Sumiati's high-profile abuse case.
Meanwhile, it is in the process of providing halfway house to shelter abused maids hailed from West Nusa Tenggara.
The house will also serve as a pre-departure centre for future domestic maids.

The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration is likely to ban parents with children under the age of 5 from working abroad, unless they can show proof that their children’s nutritional needs would be taken care of.
It was noted that children suffering from malnutrition tended to come from the families of migrant workers.

These migrant workers mothers left their children in the care of elderly relatives who often failed to provide adequate nutrition for the children.
The kids were more likely to be fed the same food that the elders were eating themselves, which is lacking in the nutrients required for growing children.

Last year, data collected from 10 districts in West Nusa Tenggara recorded 756 cases of children suffering from malnutrition, including severe forms of protein-energy malnutrition.
25 have since died.
There were 926 cases recorded during 2009 and 1,207 in 2008.

United Nations Children’s Fund report in January 2010, found that at least 7.6 million Indonesian children suffered from stunted growth, a primary manifestation of malnutrition.
Worldwide, Indonesia ranked the fifth largest number of children under the age of 5 suffering from stunted growth.


On November 26, An Indonesian maid of two weeks had suffered broken bones after jumping three floors down from her employer's house in Al-Salam, Northern Jeddah.
Then she hid herself under a parked car.
In a police report, her employer had, two days earlier, intended to return her to the agency for her unsatisfactory work performance.

A 29-year-old Indonesian maid is currently in intensive care after jumping from the third floor of a building while trying to run away from her sponsor of three months in the Al-Kakiya district of Mecca.
She is thought to have fractured some bones and suffered internal bleeding.

On December 3, a maid, said to be Indonesian, fell to her death from the window of a third-floor apartment in Jeddah.
She had attempted to escape using a rope of knotted clothes.
The maid's body is currently at the Forensic Medicine Administration for further forensic examination.


Maid Abuse Rampant In Region, Says Magazine

JEDDAH: A Saudi women’s magazine has published an article highlighting the abuse of maids and the need to find solutions to the problem, not just in the Kingdom but across the region.
According to the article in Sayidaty magazine (a sister publication of Arab News), many housemaids across the region are abused in a variety of ways from physical abuse to not being provided with food. It also adds that such maids have no rights and that they hardly see justice except when a major development occurs.
“Local newspapers have recently been publishing a lot about maid abuse in the Kingdom and this is where we decided to not just write about the horror stories but also find solutions to the problem,” said Mona Siraj, managing editor of Sayidaty magazine in Jeddah.
“Our responsibility as a magazine that cares for social issues is to give our readers the perfect and real picture … in addition to allowing the authorities and human rights’ bodies to respond,” she added.
According to the article, there are some 2 million housemaids in the Kingdom, 660,000 in Kuwait and 79,000 in Bahrain. In the United Arab Emirates, housemaids outnumber families. It said in Egypt there are 177 recruitment offices, of which only three are legal.
“Until now, there aren’t any regulation that protects both the maid and the employer and we are demanding this to assure security for both sides,” said Siraj. “I believe that these problems should be out in the public to spread awareness in society. We are giving the opportunity through the magazine to both sides to know their rights.”
In Saudi Arabia, a maid had her lips cut out and abused in other ways for misbehaving. Maids are beaten with electric cables for breaking cups in Egypt, thrown out in the streets in Bahrain and locked indoors in the Emirates, reports Sayidaty.

Source: Arab News - January 19, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Re-Examining Godly Respect And Livelihood

Celebrating God As Their Harvest Provider

Crops are carried on Sunday from Pasir Eurih village to Sindang Barang village, Bogor, West Java, to celebrate the Sundanese annual tradition of Seren Taun Guru Bumi or thanking God for the harvest.

 Seren Taun: Seren Taun---People march during the Seren Taun traditional ceremony at Oasir Eurih village, Bogor, on Saturday. Celebrating Seren Taun in respect of God as their harvest provider, has been avoided due to bad weather and pests.(JP/Nurhayati) 
Seren Taun: Seren Taun---People march during the Seren Taun traditional ceremony at Oasir Eurih village, Bogor, on Saturday. 
Celebrating Seren Taun in respect of God as their harvest provider, has been avoided due to bad weather and pests.(JP/Nurhayati)

Source:The Jakarta Post - January 23 And January 22, 2011

Seren Taun - Varities of harvest of farmers in Pasir Eurih to Sindang Barang Village in Taman Sari, Bogor.
Source: Surya - January 23, 2011


Nepal's "Living Goddess" Passes School Leaving Exam

The living goddess ''Kumari '' Chanira Bajracharya, 15, is worshipped by her parents after she passed her high school leaving certificate examination at her residence in Patan July 3, 2010. The Nepali girl revered by many as a ''living goddess'' has become the first sitting deity to pass the high school leaving certificate exam, setting her on course for a career in banking. REUTERS/Shruti Shrestha

KATHMANDU (Reuters Life!) - Perhaps divine intervention helped.
A Nepali girl revered by many as a "living goddess" has become the first sitting deity to pass the high school leaving certificate exam, setting her on course for a career in banking.
Chanira Bajracharya, 15, called Kumari, was among nearly half a million children who took the exams in March. The results were declared late on Friday.
"She scored 80.12 percent marks in the exam," said Abha Awale, a teacher who gave private tuitions to the girl in her temple as she is not allowed to mingle with outsiders.
"This is a distinction (top grade)," she said.
Bajracharya has already scored high marks among devotees in the ancient town of Patan, south of Kathmandu, where she rides in decorated chariots 18 times year during Hindu and Buddhist festivals. She has been Kumari of Patan for nine years now.
Relatives and friends gathered outside Bajracharya's red brick house on Saturday to greet the Kumari with folded hands.
Bajracharya, who has a third eye painted on her forehead, told Reuters in a rare interview in April she wanted to study commerce or accounting and work in banking.
Former Kumaris, considered incarnations of the Hindu goddess Kali, have gone on to work or got married after they retired, which is usually at the onset of puberty.
Girls from Kathmandu's Newar community are chosen by Buddhist priests to serve as "living goddesses," and confined to temples in the three ancient cities of the Kathmandu valley.
Critics say the centuries-old tradition denies them a normal life and leaves them unprepared to face real life after retirement.
Two years ago, Nepal's Supreme Court ordered the government to ensure basic healthcare and education for the Kumaris.
Early this week, the Nepali government raised by a quarter the maintenance allowance provided to the Kumari and said it would bear the expenses for her education. 

Souce: Reuters - July 3, 2010 

Read More: Nepal's "Living Goddess" Gets A Pay Rise 

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Children - Classroom Shortage, Graveyard Will Do

Students Spend Only Four Hours In Class Daily

MANILA, Philippines — Due to the crippling shortage of classrooms and teachers, public school students are spending too little time in actual learning sessions, and this explains their dismal performance in National Achievement Tests (NATs), Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said.
"The reality in the ground is that students are actually spending only four to five hours in class every day, when they should be spending all day for thorough and complete sessions," Barzaga said.
Barzaga was reacting to the Department of Education's release of a discussion paper on the administration's proposed Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program, or kindergarten plus six years of primary and six years of secondary schooling.
The paper cited the low NAT scores of students and a "congested curriculum" as key rationales for the administration's push to add two years to the existing four-year high school program.
Owing to the severe lack of classrooms and teachers, Barzaga said many schools have been forced to adopt a three-shift strategy -- the first from 6 to 10a.m,. the second from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the third from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- to accommodate the swelling student population.
He cited the case of Dasmariñas's Pintong Gubat Elementary School, which has three four-hour shifts every day at 50 students per section, and that of Dr. J. P. Rizal Elementary School, which has two five-hour shifts daily at 60 students per section.
Barzaga likewise cited the case of five public secondary schools in Dasmariñas that have two, six-hour shifts with an "excessive" number of 80 students on average per section. They are the Congressional National High School, Dasmariñas West National High School, Dasmariñas East National High School, Dasmariñas North National High School, and the Paliparan National High School.
"Students are spending too little time in class. This is the problem that has to be fixed by government first, before it experiments on a six-year high school program," Barzaga said.
He urged the Aquino administration to spend more to quickly address the lack of teachers and classrooms, and then adopt an intensive single-shift strategy that would enable every student to stay in class from 7a.m. to 5 p.m.
"The only reason this can't be done now is because we don't have enough classrooms and teachers, not to mention textbooks, desks, chairs, etc," he said.
"Of course the school system's curriculum is congested. Because teachers are being forced to compress in four hours the lessons that ought be taught in eight. Because we are packing students in class like sardines, which would not be the case if we have enough school facilities and personnel," Barzaga said.
He also cited the need for government to reinforce existing public day care centers to help prepare toddlers for elementary school, in the absence of a formal kindergarten system.
"Fortunately for us in Dasmariñas, we have ample public free day care facilities because the city government has enough financial resources. But what about the cities and municipalities that do not have the extra funds?" Barzaga said.

Source: All Voices - January 21, 2011


A First Pakistan School Runs In Graveyard

Islamabad: Believe it or not, a government primary school in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city is run at a graveyard. And the school shuts whenever a body is brought for burial.

The school has no toilet and no facility for drinking water, the News International reported Tuesday. So students go to neighbourhood houses if and when they feel thirsty.

District education officer Naseem Akhtar said the Government M.G. Girls Primary School could get no other land where it could be located.

"We have to give holiday to the students whenever a body is brought here for funeral prayers," she said.  

Source: Ummid - October 21, 2010


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sleeping Malays In Mighty Singapore

Dr M Provokes Singapore Malays

Dr Mahathir said recently that the Malays in Singapore were marginalised and lagged behind the other communities. — File pic
SINGAPORE, Jan 20 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is at the centre of a storm after he stirred up the Malay community here with his comments on their position in the republic. Many readers of the Singapore Berita Harian resented the former Malaysian Prime Minister for saying that the Malays on the island were marginalised and lagged behind the other communities.
The paper has been publishing the response of readers to the comments that it published, and some of the letters expressed real anger.
One reader, Sallim Ahmad, said that it had become Dr Mahathir’s theme that “the Singapore Malays are being marginalised until the end of world.”
But the Malays here are progressing without subsidies and the position of Islam is protected although it is not the official religion, Sallim said.
Another reader, Kamariah Lim Li Hwa, hoped that Dr Mahathir would “investigate first our condition” before making any statement on the Singapore Malays.
“We the Malays of Singapore feel at ease and are grateful that the Singapore rulers execute our trust with transparency,” she said.
A letter from Eusope Musawa asserted that Singapore Malays lived in comfort and as equals with the other communities.
“Tun Dr Mahathir should advise Malaysian Malays to learn from Singapore Malays how to progress,” Eusope said.
Other readers were far less polite, using insulting phrases to refer to Dr Mahathir.
But one reader who called himself Walid Jumblatt Abdullah differed from them.
Walid said he was very happy to see Singapore Malays react with such alacrity to refute Dr Mahathir.
“How wonderful it would be if the Malay community (in Singapore) were to react with similar speed to handle such problems as dysfunctional families, moral decay and academic performance that is unsatisfactory and below that of the other races,” he said.
He said that Dr Mahathir had his weaknesses but the former Malaysian Prime Minister, whom some readers called “a senile old man”, had turned Malaysia into one of the Asian economic tigers.
He is the only Malay leader known throughout the world and is highly respected in the Islamic world, not least for his championing of such causes as Palestine, Bosnia and Somalia, Walid said.
Walid said that four non-governmental organisations, two of them Christian groups, nominated Dr Mahathir for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“As far as I know, he is the first Malay leader to be nominated for the prize,” Walid said. — Bernama

Source: Malaysian Insider - January 20, 2011

Ridhuan Tee: Singapore’s Might Will ‘Eat’ Us Up

Lee said Singapore needed a strong defence to be able to stand up to its neighbours. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Singapore will “eat” Malaysia if the government does not prepare its military defence to face the “Jewish protégés”, Utusan Malaysia columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah claimed today. In his column today, he suggested that Singapore would use its military might to create a “second or third Singapore,” while pointing to the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang state government as potential contenders.
“The time of good faith and playing with them is over. Now is the time to work to face up to them. If they can prepare RM35.5 billion for defence in that small country, surely we must spend more than that. If not, we will be ‘eaten’ one day, believe me,” the senior lecturer at the National Defence University of Malaysia wrote.
He called on the government to take the best steps to face “the little Jews before the rice becomes porridge,” using the Malay proverb that means something regrettable that cannot be undone.
“The enemy is watching us. They are waiting for the chance to ‘enter’ at the right time.
“At that time, it will be too late to fight back. Can weapons made of stone match fighter jets and tanks as what is happening in Palestine? Allah wants us to learn from these events of the past.
“We need to remember, the leaders of Penang are always going there to look for ideas. Will there be a second or third Singapore, or more?” he said.
Tee was referring to a Singapore Sunday Times interview with the island republic’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who said that without a strong armed forces, it would be vulnerable to pressure from Malaysia and Indonesia.
“Without a strong defence, there will be no Singapore,” Lee said in the interview. “It will become a satellite, cowed and intimidated by its neighbours.”
“If we do not have this strong SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), we are vulnerable to all kinds of pressures from both Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said.
“We are not vulnerable? They can besiege you. You’ll be dead,” Lee said.
“If we are not vulnerable, why do we spend 5 to 6 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) year after year on defence,” he continued. “Are we mad? This is a frugal government.”
Although Tee acknowledged that this was true from a strategic and security standpoint, he said that the statement was “arrogant” as “without the help of Malaysia, Singapore would not exist.”
Tee pointed out that Singapore was once a Malay island and if Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had arrested Lee, who later became Singapore’s first prime minister, and ordered a curfew before the two countries parted ways in 1965, the island would still belong to Malaysia.
He claimed that if our leaders then were not Muslims, or were communists instead, “Kuan Yew would have long ago been thrown into prison.”
Tee said that “we should have been as cruel as Kuan Yew, who throws those who oppose him into prison because he says they disturb the peace and planning of Singapore.”
In his column, he wrote that “in just over five years, Singapore spends what we have spent in the last 23 years” on defence, or RM180 billion.
This is despite Malaysia’s defence budget rising by more than five times from RM2.09 billion in 1987 to RM11.01 billion last year, making up for six per cent of the total government budget, said Tee.
“This amount is still small compared to our neighbour that is the actual threat to us. Are we not afraid of this new threat? Was losing Pulau Batu Putih not a lesson to us?” he wrote, referring to the dispute over Pedra Branca between Malaysia and Singapore.
He said that he was certain that the island would still belong to Malaysia had our military been able to defeat Singapore’s.
“Unfortunately, we continue to act in good faith and give ‘free service’ such as water to that ‘evil’ nation. Have they ever remembered our good deeds?” he asked.
He said that Malaysia was now afraid of “a small nation that depends on us for water. They win even that. We still appear to have lost, even though it belongs to us.”
Tee suggested that all our profits from oil and gas be used to develop our defences, claiming that if the RM50 billion of profits from national petroleum company Petronas were used for defence spending, “I am certain that in five years, Malaysia will emerge as a great nation in Asia and maybe globally.”

Source: The Malaysian Insider - January 20, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place

The three-year jail sentence given to Zanuba Farooq As-Shawaf, a Saudi woman for brutally torturing her 18-year old maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa was "too light".
It did not fulfill a sense of justice.
She was sentenced to three years jail two Sundays ago by a judge in Madinah from maximum verdict of 15 years.

Sumiati was hospitalised in November with severe injuries.
Indonesian consulate will be filing an objection to the judge's verdict and pressing for a harsher sentence considering the extraordinary consequences that the victim suffered.
Saudi Human Rights Agency had thrown its weight behind Sumiati demanded Islamic Shariah punishment towards the Saudi woman.

The 53-year-old widow employer, first claimed  that the wounds on the maid’s body were the result of a suicide attempt.
She insisted her innocence, denied inflicting the injuries on the maid, and intended an appeal.
But the judge said everybody knows from pictures that the maid must have been beaten by someone.

After her son who had earlier told the truth to the police, she later retracted her statements and admitted to torturing Sumiati with a hot iron.
Earlier, she even accused police of improper arresting of her - during the last three days of mourning period - four months ten days - of her husband's death.

Sumiati's parents were unable to support her and her four siblings after she graduated from high school.
So on July 18, with US$112 in her pocket, she left Dompu in West Nusa Tenggara with promised monthly salary of 800 Saudi riyals (US$213) for Saudi Arabia.
She intended to send money home for her family in a small fishing village.

But four months later, November 8, she landed in a private hospital in an unconscious state before being transferred to King Fahad Hospital in Medinah on Dec. 29, 2010 in a very serious condition.

Saudi newspapers then showed Sumiati's badly scarred face, her disappeared eyebrows and a cut near the eye, a burn and missing part of her upper lip.
She was frequently beaten with wood that had effect on her front teeth too.
There were scattered wounds on her cheeks, chin, forehead and nose.
Some parts of the skin on her head were removed.
She lost a lot of blood and suffered from malnutrition.

Sumiati is unable to understand Arabic or English.
Mother and daughter of her sponsor treated her very badly - the mother frequently beat her severely and burned her with a hot iron.
Sumiati had suffered "torture of an extraordinary nature" which left her with external and internal injures.
After underwent plastic surgery, her lungs needed operation too.
She was wounded from head to toe with body burned on many places, marks of old wounds and fractured pelvis.

Her health is vital as she is the key witness.
The girl made her first appearance in court to show the Saudi judge her scars from the assault.
Her middle finger was fractured and her legs were hardly moving.

Traditionally, the Philippines has been a stronger advocate for its workers.
But Sumiati had led an unusually high-level protest by outraged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
He  ordered the Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, to go to Saudi Arabia to handle the case.

Sumiati had underwent plastic surgery, and she will have to undergo further plastic surgery as she was acted on savagely - bone breaking, hot iron put on her face, mutilation and being stabbed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs picked her uncle in Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara and the presence of an Indonesian doctor to lift her spirits.


Similar cases of abuse had repeatedly happened.
Many knew about abuse cases as they happen many times.
Another two female migrant workers are currently being treated in their hometowns in West Nusa Tenggara with the help of an NGO returning from Saudi Arabia.
Both suffered permanent injuries and have not received proper treatment.

The case has been deeply shocking and embarrassing for Saudis, all the more so because it has been seen to be part of a deeper problem.
60 more housemaids from Dompu in West Nusa Tenggara are awaiting to be sent home.


More Harrowing Tales Of Maid Abuse From Saudi Arabia

A young Indonesian woman died two months after starting work in Saudi Arabia in 2007, but her parents did not find out about her death until August this year, local newspapers reported Monday (November 22).

In another case, 27-year-old Selvia said her Saudi employers nearly worked her to death during the three years she was with the big family, the Jakarta Globe said.

The back-breaking work, which included lifting heavy gas canisters, left her partially paralysed, said Selvi, who returned to Indonesia in July.

Indonesian women who were maids or their families have been stepping forward and telling local newspapers about hardships and abuse in the Middle East kingdom since two maid abuse cases were reported here last week.

A crowd of about 90 people protested outside the Saudi embassy here Monday over the recent death of 36-year-old Kikim Komalasari, whose body was found in a dumpster.

Fourteen maids who had gone to the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah to seek redress told the English-language Saudi Gazette that their employers made them work for nothing for as many as 13 years, the newspaper reported Monday.

Sumiati Mohammad Badri, 67, started work with a Saudi family in Makkah in 1993. For nine years, her employer did not pay her any salary.

“Whenever I asked to be paid, he used to say, ‘Your money is in the bank’,” said the maid from Cilacap in Java. All she got was food and a place to sleep.

She was then sent to work for her employer’s mother. When the latter died about seven years later, the family paid her 50,400 Saudi riyals, the report said.

She is now seeking the consulate’s help to get back 64,800 riyals, the total amount she said she is owed for the first nine years of work.

The Saudi Gazette also reported Monday that the woman accused of inflicting serious burns and cuts on 23-year-old Sumiati Salan Mustapa had been charged and sent to a prison in Medina.

The Saudi woman, who is in her 50s, claimed Sumiati was “reckless” in doing her work and reportedly admitted using an electric iron to burn the young woman, the report said.

Sumiati would need plastic surgery for the injuries to her face.

About 1.2 million Indonesians are working in Saudi Arabia, most of whom are women working as maids.

The radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Monday threatened to conduct sweeping raids against Saudi nationals in Indonesia, if the Saudi government did not properly punish the culprits responsible for the abuse.

Most Indonesians choose to show their anger online and in the media. Many want the government to stop sending, at least temporarily, women to work as maids in Saudi Arabia.

Jakarta has already barred its women from going to Jordan, Kuwait and Malaysia after a spate of maid abuse cases.

Source: .anytimesnews November 23, 2010
More to follow...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why The Nose And Ear?

Crazy World: Man Cuts Off Wife's Ears, Nose... 

Husband slashes wife's ears, nose
MAHARASHTRA, INDIA: A retired soldier slashed the nose and ears of his wife as he suspected his spouse of committing adultery. The gruesome case of domestic violence spread shock among the people in the Indian state of Maharashtra, reports television channel NDTV.
The victim, a school teacher, was badly beaten up by him as well. She has been admitted in a hospital.
The husband has been arrested after a case was registered against him.
Police say the husband suspected the victim of adultery, and hence, resorted to 'drastic measures'.

Source: Emirates 247 January 17, 2011


The crime is stated to be common in areas where centuries-old tribal and feudal traditions exist. 

Is it being carried out by Asians only? Definitely not.

It's not only when affair of the heart matters, but livelihood too.

This is definitely not any religious order, as assumed by many. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ain't Leaving The Gold Behind

The wife of Tunisia's ousted ruler has fled the country with 1.5 tonnes of gold worth more than £35m, it was revealed today.
President Zine El Abidin Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi - dubbed the Imelda Marcos of the Arab world - is said to have ordered the Tunisian central bank chief to hand over the gold bars last week.
When the bank boss initially refused, she begged her husband to authorise the release of the bullion, and he gave in to her
demands, French daily Le Monde reports.

After taking possession of the gold, Trabelsi, 53, flew first to Dubai then on to the Saudi capital Jeddah to join her husband, who had escaped there on  Friday.
A senior French intelligence source told Le Monde: 'It seems that the wife of Ben Ali is the person who left with 1.5 tonnes of gold worth 45 million euros.'
The amount equates to an estimated quarter of Tunisia's gold reserves - and would take up roughly 2.6 cubic feet in gold bars.

Read more:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Uprighting The Law

Autopsy Proves Foul Play In Defendant’s Death: 
Interior Minister Offers To Resign

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 13: The Minister of Interior, Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, resigned on Thursday after suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a Kuwaiti citizen, while in police custody, were discovered. 
Autopsy Proves Foul Play In Defendant’s Death Interior Minister Offers To Resign “I have submitted my resignation, bearing my responsibilities and duties and implementing what I have previously stated in Parliament. It does not honor me to remain in a ministry that tortures citizens,” he officially said.

Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan said late Thursday the Interior Minister had been asked to stay in his post until the probe had been completed. There were also rumors the resignation had been rejected.

The minister was severely under fire from members of Parliament for the torture of the victim, Mohammed Al-Mutairi, who was caught trading in alcohol and drugs. Most have threatened to grill him and have called for his resignation.

Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled reportedly was not aware of the recently discovered evidence as his earlier statement at the parliamentary session on Wednesday contradicted the recent findings. He also referred a high-ranking MoI official to the investigations unit as he was responsible for the data contained in the interior minister’s initial statements.

Prior to the announcement of resignation, opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak accused the interior minister of hindering investigations by intimidating witnesses to the police brutality of Mohammed Al-Mutairi, who allegedly died due to severe torture early Tuesday morning.

Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled had officially stated that the victim was found in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh on Jan 8 with 24 bottles of alcohol and that he had died due to chest pains. He had denied his torture at the hands of detectives because the victim was said to have confessed to his crimes.
Meanwhile, according to a forensics report obtained by Al-Barrak, Al-Mutairi was bleeding from his hands, feet, thighs and stomach and a stick was inserted in a sensitive part of his body, indicating torture.

Al-Barrak revealed on Thursday that the Criminal Investigations Department brought in a witness to the death, a man named Sayah Al-Rushaidi, after they’ve failed to fabricate a charge of vehicle theft against him. The MP also said that another witness to the police brutality, an Egyptian building watchman named Abdulaziz Abdulsatar, is allegedly currently detained at the Abdullah Port and the MoI is planning to deport him.
“The minister need not bother to fabricate evidence because we have the certified copy of the forensic doctor’s report from the oil company hospital before it was pulled,” said Al-Barrak, speaking to the press.
He further added that the report initially identified the deceased person as an ‘unknown’ because the five people who were with the victim when he was delivered to the hospital had fled “like cowards”. Two hours later, two of the runaway men bought the victim’s identification card to the hospital, Al-Barrak said.
The parliamentary panel assigned to investigate the death and torture of the Kuwaiti citizen while in police custody held its first meeting on Thursday and decided to call in all those involved to testify in the case on Sunday. MP Ali Al-Omair was assigned as the committee’s chairman while MP Marzook Al-Ghamin was assigned as the rapporteur.

Al-Barrak added that the doctor who compiled the forensics report regarding Al-Mutairi’s death was taken by a senior forensics officer to meet Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Thursday morning. This indicates that the minister is putting pressure on the doctor until the forensic report matches his statements, Al-Barrak predicted.
The MP warned the interior minister of interfering in the case and manipulating its details to match his statements as well as threatening and pressuring the witnesses. He said that grilling Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled has become inevitable and urged the committee to hurry investigations to find out the truth.
The MoI subsequently released a statement admitting that there are suspicious circumstances to the death of Al-Mutairi and has referred all parties involved to the Public Prosecution.

A number of Parliament members welcomed the interior minister’s resignation. MP Faisal Al-Muslim praised Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah’s for resigning and urged His Highness the Prime Minister to immediately accept it and hold all those involved in the torture and death accountable. Al-Muslim had also previously doubted cooperation from the former minister during the investigations.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior announced Thursday that the post mortem report proved that Al-Mutairi was murdered.

The entire case, including the ministry’s staffers involved, has been referred to the Public prosecution, the ministry said in a press release here.

The ministry, out of full commitment to the principles of transparency, will show all facts to the public opinion, the statement said, reiterating an earlier statement issued soon after the death.
Sheikh Jaber promptly ordered investigating the death of the defendant thoroughly.
The ministry renewed resolute to take the necessary legal and punitive measures against any of staffers who proves to commit any irregularity.

An Interior Ministry-appointed Forensic Commission found on Thursday that the death of Mutairi at a police station was a suspected Criminal Act, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also referred the case along with the suspects to the public prosecution service to take any necessary legal action, it said.

Source: Arab Times Online - January 13, 2011


Tunisian President Resign

Tunisian President Zine El-Abedine Ben Ali who had been in power since 1987 had left the country on Friday.

His plane was said to have landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

The president left Tunisia amid violent anti-government protests that drove him from power after 23 years.
Tunisians in the Gulf generally welcomed the veteran leader's departure, as anger over soaring unemployment and corruption spilled into the streets.

Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi took over as president and would remain as caretaker leader until early elections. Read More Here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Prison - For Better? Or Worse?

Islam In American Barrios & Prisons: Converts Reclaim Moorish Spain, Reject Church 

by SpearIt
[Image by SpearIt]  
[Image by SpearIt]
For those in the US typically designated as “Latino” or “Hispanic,” the historical legacy of Islam plays a role similar to that in the African-American context. As the term “Moor” was embraced by various African-American leaders to unite poor, disenfranchised blacks with the glory of Islam, the connection to Moorish Spain provides a powerful tool to re-imagine Latino identity. Converts learn that popular Latin American terms like ojala (“may God will”) derive from the Arabic allah and that their African ancestors used to chant “Allah, Allah, Allah,” which in Spain became “Ole, Ole, Ole.” Such connections offer evidence of Islam’s influence on Spanish pedigree, regardless of what etymologists might conclude. Like many African Americans, Latino converts reject the notion of “conversion” altogether and instead embrace the notion of “reversion” to denote not merely a turn to the faith, but a return. The importance of Moorish Spain, then, is of special relevance to both Latinos and African Americans for reclaiming their lost Muslim and African heritage. Islam can also become a foil to critique their previous affiliations with Christianity and a way of distancing themselves from the most recent Catholic church sex scandals. But more specifically and perhaps importantly, Islam provides African-American and Latino converts a way to reject the long history of Christian church associations with the missionary ventures in Africa and Latin America that were anything but holy. Thus, the very act of converting within a predominant Christian community might itself represent a radical proposition, and in some cases may facilitate the cultivation of extremism.
The case of Jose Padilla, who was arrested in 2002 and accused of plotting a “dirty bomb,” brought to the world stage an unfolding drama in the American religious landscape. Primarily, it provided a first-hand glimpse of conversion by one who was once a member of the Latin Kings. For Padilla, gang life led to prison, and prison to Islam, which eventually led him to jihad. His story raised questions about the role of prisons in conversion, radicalization and terror recruitment, including speculation as to whether he first found God behind bars. Since Padilla, there have been at least two other high-profile terrorism cases involving Latino converts—a seemingly disproportionate number considering the relatively tiny number of Latino Muslims in the United States. This makes the involvement of Latino radicals all the more intriguing and worthy of critical attention.
Reports and studies show that Latinos in America are indeed turning to Islam, with current estimates ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 in the United States. In general, obtaining an accurate census for Muslims in the United States has proved elusive, with figures ranging from two to eight million adults. The entire number of Latinos is thus an approximation at best. Islam first appeared in the barrios of the American Northeast in the early 1970s with converts entering Islam by affiliating with African American mosques or with the Nation of Islam. The question of Latino conversion to Islam seemingly indicates that Islam is making inroads, especially among jail and prison populations. US penitentiaries foster a major interface between Muslims, usually African-Americans and Latinos who, when combined, make up a disproportionate size of the population. In places like California and Texas, home to two of the largest incarceration operations in the world, the majority of inmates are Latinos.
No reliable statistics exist for the total number of Muslim prisoners held throughout American institutions of imprisonment. Nationwide it has been estimated that fifteen percent of the prison population is Muslim; elsewhere this has been quantified as roughly 300,000 - 350,000. At the federal level, the Office of the Inspector General has reported that approximately six percent of the 150,000 federal inmates seek Islamic services. Despite the lack of reliable figures, scholars, chaplains and some prison officials have claimed that Islam is the fastest growing religion behind bars, and one study revealed that at one particular research site, one-third of African-American males converted while incarcerated.
Islam’s appeal to Latinos is enhanced by the force of hip hop culture, and Islam’s success in prison is matched only by its influence in music. Islam is dubbed the “official religion” of hip hop, while Muslim rap artists have helped spawn “raptivists” and “blastmasters”; in turn, hip hop music has been like a loyal ambassador for the faith. For many young Americans, the music affords their first encounters with Islam and race politics. Although some listeners may not be aware of or interested in the religious underpinnings of the music, rap is an outlet that has brought Islamic themes and symbols to mainstream America. The most radical strains of this music, called “godcore” or “jihadi” rap offer some of the most militant voices of Islam in America, perhaps second only to those heard behind bars. Sometimes they are one in the same, like Latino rapper Immortal Technique, an ex-prisoner who represents the most hardened core of rappers on the underground circuit, “a suicide bomber strapped and ready to blow.”
For Latinos, as with African Americans, the influence of hip hop culture, and increasingly prisons, are common vehicles for spreading radical Islam. This point suggests that religious radicalism in the United States has a strong root in American culture itself. Although many would point to foreign influences as a primary culprit for Islamic radicalization, the evidence points to actors on the homefront. The case of Daniel Maldonado is illustrative. Maldonado was an outspoken convert who radicalized to the point of moving overseas to Egypt and plotting attacks in Somalia. For Maldonado, it was American culture and foreign policy that drove him to jihad, not the persuasion of foreigners. Such is the case of the Baltimore-based Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, who recently was charged with attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction: he did not have any solid foreign connections, rather, his radicalization was homegrown and, as some have charged, homecooked by FBI sting operations.
The weight of empirical data seems to suggest that foreign influences are not primary vehicles of religious radicalism in the United States. Rather, the catalyzing forces have to do with perceived systemic unfairness and oppression of Muslims at home and abroad. Although homegrown radicals may eventually seek to work with foreign interests in the name of Islam, they need little help from abroad to reach this point. For prisoners, the prison experience itself may serve as a radicalizing factor, and an inmate who serves as “imam” at his prison is a more likely suspect for igniting individuals than organizations abroad. Perhaps more than anything else, these cases, along with Padilla and others, reveal the United States as a producer and exporter of jihadists. Thus, although alarmist voices have raised red flags about the influence of foreign Islamic organizations, especially in prisons, the more likely threat is from indigenous influences, as the Kevin Lamar James case also exemplifies. For Latinos, conversion to Islam is already a radical posture when coming from a Catholic background. Thus, this demographic may provide a fertile field of a priori radical converts already dissatisfied, dismayed and disgruntled, some of whom can be cultivated to violent extremes. 

Source: Jadaliyya - Jan 7, 2011