Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hope For Lina Joy?

Lina Joy is Christian. However, she was born a Muslim, Azlina Jailani. And in Malaysia, she is facing a problem. She cannot change her religion (or at least in name). Because of that, she cannot get married.

She is fighting the courts to have her religion stated on her national identity card changed from Muslim. The National Registration Department refuses to do so because it is a "religious matter for the syariah courts". The government has washed their hands of this matter and said that it is a syariah matter. One of the judges ruled that: “As a Malay, the plaintiff exists under the tenets of Islam until her death.” In the same article to quote: "in the Quran, the act of apostasy -- or abandoning the Muslim faith -- is punishable by death. "

The reason why the Malaysian government doesn't do this is political. If they allow one person to change religion, the political fallout from the Islamic religious leaders would be fatal. There could be demonstrations or riots. The Islamic parties would use this as an opportunity to topple the current government because it isn't protecting the "interests of Islam".

The fallout of the Pope's remark caused a signed reply on the matter from many national Islamic religious leaders that contained this remark: "There is no compulsion in religion... was a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe."

Can Lina Joy use this in her defense?

Can she use this very document in court that was signed by Mufti's and the top religious leaders from Saudi Arabia to the UK and even the Islamic University of Malaya?

Is there freedom of religion in Malaysia?

Or will it be a case of hypocrisy, saying one thing but the opposite being done?

Links to Lina Joy:

Google search.

Muslim Scholar's response to Pope's remarks here.

Wikipedia article on apostasy in Islam.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Workout 24 Oct 2006

Workout 24 Oct 2006

Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

Workout on 24 Oct 2006 using guest pass at True Fitness Sri Hartamas.

The treadmills only allow a maximum of 30 minutes workout each time, so I used the same treadmill twice to get my 60 minute training.

Total mileage: 9.44km

Total time: 64 minutes

Total calories: 648 calories

39 days left to the Singapore Marathon!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Google Story

The Google Story is light reading and doesn't reveal too much in business secrets. One of the reason is the relatively young age of the company.

The interesting things to gather from this book is that:

  1. Larry & Sergey (the founders) managed to pit Sequioa Capital & Kleiner Perkins, two of the biggest VC's in Silicon Valley against one another so that they could retain majority ownership.

  2. They share characteristics like other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Jobs and Gates:
    • They're smart... really smart.

    • They are brash in their opinions and would argue with other people.

    • They're excellent businessmen and know how to cut a deal or sense a business opportunity or partnership.

  3. No one sets out to be rich in a startup. Though they do know that you need to survive, the vision was to provide value and a great product, something better than what the market offered.

Sergey's father used to work for the USSR and would come up with "statistics" to show that life in the Soviet Union was better than the United States. This reminds me of the current debacle in Malaysia of the Malaysian government insisting that their survey results are superior than ASLI's independent analysis.

It's an easy read and can be read in one week.