News from Home, World and the Vatican

News selected by Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) for Catholics in Malaysia concerned about social justice and peace.

Includes CLS Internal News | CLS in the News | CLS Press Statements

Peres: Pope Francis Only Leader Respected Enough To End Today's Wars

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres asked Pope Francis to head a parallel United Nations called the "United Religions" to counter religious extremism in the world today.

"In the past, most wars were motivated by the idea of nationhood. Today, however, wars are incited above all using religion as an excuse," Peres told the Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana, ahead of the papal meeting Sept. 4.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed that Peres, who ended his presidential term in July, had requested the meeting and told the pope about his idea. Read more »

Viewpoint: Women Can Be MBs Too – By Dr. Prema Devaraj

The recent upheaval in Selangor over the post of Menteri Besar (MB) has suddenly led the country to a situation where we might soon be witnessing a major breakthrough for women in politics.

Over the years we have seen women slowly occupy positions in the political arena.

Data from the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development shows that in 2013 women made up only 13.1% of local councillors, 28.8% of senators, 11.3% state legislative assembly members, 10.4% members of parliament and 12.3% of cabinet ministers and deputy ministers. Read more »

The Right Perspective On 1963 Federation

Two leaders from Sabah and Sarawak, one from the Opposition and another from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), found common ground on the Sept 16, 1963 Federation of Sabah and Sarawak with the peninsula.

Sarawak Minister of Land Development James Masing and Penampang MP Darell Leiking told a book launch at a university in Petaling Jaya on Fri that the celebration of the independence of the peninsula on 31 Aug, 1957 should not take precedence over Malaysia Day. Read more »

Viewpoint: Merdeka Is Coming But How United Are We? – By Mariam Mokhtar

Are Malaysians aware of the significance of Aug 31? Are they puzzled that Sept 16 is also an important milestone in Malaysian history? So, which day carries more weight for Malaysians?

There is rising discontent among both Sabahans and Sarawakians over several issues, such as freedom of religion, allocation of funds for infrastructure, and the provisions for education and medical care.

We think Selangor has a problem with its menteri besar sitting on a RM3 billion stockpile. Read more »

Singapore Urged To End ‘Barbaric’ Punishment

Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged the Singapore government to “immediately and unconditionally” abolish caning as a punishment for crimes.

The call came just hours before the Singapore Court of Appeal was to hear the case of Malaysian national Yong Vui Kong. Yong was found guilty of drug trafficking in 2008.

His death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and caning. His lawyer is in court today to challenge the caning part of the sentence. Read more »

Judges Slam Islamic Authority For Premature Raid On Borders

A panel of judges at the Court of Appeal today lambasted an Islamic authority for raiding a bookstore for a book that only got banned weeks later, with one judge labelling the action as self-indulgent.

In a high profile case, the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) prematurely raided a branch of Borders bookstore in May 2012 for Irshad Manji’s “Allah, Liberty and Love”, a book banned by the Home Ministry three weeks later. Read more »

Faith, Prayer Sources Of Strength For Slain U.S. Journalist, His Family

In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son who, at that time, had disappeared in Syria.

Before Diane and John Foley had confirmation that spring that their son was missing, Diane said she just felt it -- he had missed one of his usual phone calls home -- and once they knew for sure, the couple said they were relying on their Catholic faith to cope and leaning on prayer to bring him home. Read more »

Pope Francis Backs Intervention In Iraq To Stop 'Aggressor'

Pope Francis supports international intervention in Iraq and is willing to go to there personally if it will help end the violence against Christians and other religious minorities.

“In these cases where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor,” Pope Francis told reporters.

“I underscore the verb 'stop.' I don't say 'to bomb' or 'make war,' (but) 'stop it,'” he said in response to the question posed by CNA and EWTN News Rome bureau chief Alan Holdren. Read more »

Malaysia Sacrifices Talent To Keep One Race On Top, Says Lee Kuan Yew

Malaysia is prepared to lose its talent through its race-based policies in order to maintain the dominance of one race, said Lee Kuan Yew in his new book which was launched tonight in Singapore.

And although Malaysia has acknowledged the fact that they are losing these talents and is making an attempt to lure Malaysians back from overseas, such efforts may be too little too late, he said.

"This is putting the country at a disadvantage. It is voluntarily shrinking the talent pool needed to build the kind of society that makes use of talent from all races. Read more »

CLS Retreat 2014

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society held its annual retreat in the city of Kuching in Sarawak from 29th August to 1st September 2014.

The venue was the peaceful setting of the Home for Retired Priests situated in a suburb of Kuching. 

The members (and spouses) who attended the retreat were privileged to have as their retreat director the Archbishop of Kuching, Most Rev. John Ha. Read more »

AOHD & CLS Co-Organise Women Empowerment Symposium

The Women’s Desk of the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development and the Catholic Lawyers Society organised the inaugural ‘Women’s Empowerment Symposium’ at Premiere Hotel, Klang.

The symposium began with Mass which was celebrated by Fr. Jestus Pereira.

After a brief tea break, the first session of the symposium entitled ‘Am I a Malaysian by law?’ took place. Read more »

Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah: Papar “Mamangis”

It is by God’s grace that we are gathered here today, to continue raising our “Mamangkis” as Anak Negeri of this land.

We thank God for the unity of the churches in voicing out our common concerns.

Indeed, we are at the crossroad of many internal and external challenges to us as a multiracial and multi-religious society and as a Christian community. Read more »

Saints Mary, Martha And Lazarus: Christian Examples Of Friendship And Hospitality

The Church universal celebrates the liturgical memorial of Saint Martha today.

However, for those who live the Benedictine charism, the ordo (notes for Mass and the Divine Office) is much more expansive by observing the feast of Saints Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

Even though these holy siblings predate Benedict and his blessed Rule, they are easily considered Benedictines. Read more »

Not NRD’s Place To Query Religious Status Change, Lawyers Say

Lawyers are disputing the National Registration Department’s (NRD) requirement of a Shariah court order before it will remove the status “Islam” from the records of Malaysians, contending that the rule was arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Although acknowledging a Federal Court decision that says the NRD has the right to impose the requirement, the lawyers stressed that bureaucracy should not prevent anyone from exercising their constitutional right to religious freedom.

Read more »

Pope Francis Meets Meriam Ibrahim At Vatican

Pope Francis has met with the young Sudanese who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for marrying a Christian.

The Holy Father met with Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 27, at 1 p.m. in Casa Santa Marta at the Vatican, reported the Sismografo.

Ibrahim arrived in Rome this morning on an Italian government plane. Meriam was accompanied by her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two young children, Martin, 18 months old, and Maya, born in prison two months ago. Read more »

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