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Month: March 2017

Mahershala Ali’s win shines a light on Ahmadis’ plight

Published in Malay Mail Online

Earlier this week, American actor Mahershala Ali bagged the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his critically-acclaimed role in 2016’s Moonlight.

Immediately he was celebrated across the world as “the first Muslim to win an Oscar.”

But not everybody saw it that way. As covered by several news outlets, there were scores of Muslims online who denounced the honour.

Their reason? Ali is a member of the Ahmadiyya community, a much maligned religious movement that mainstream Muslims count as infidels and apostates. Ali, to them, is not a real Muslim.

The most public of this response was by the Pakistani envoy to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, who deleted her tweet moments after she wrote “That’s a first” celebrating Ali’s win.

Lodhi was perhaps only protecting her reputation. After all, despite having the largest population of Ahmadis in the world, Pakistan is perhaps their worst hell. In 1984, Pakistan implemented Ordinance XX, effectively barring Ahmadis from practising their faith.

The ordinance kicked off decades of persecution against Ahmadis, and forced the community to move its headquarters to London in exile.

Public hospitals don’t stock every kind of medicine — here’s why

Published in Malay Mail Online

By Zurairi AR and Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The unexpected termination of an online dispensary system earlier this week caused alarm among hundreds of thousands of federal government pensioners who had been using it since 2012 to collect their free medicines and medical supplies from private hospitals.

The government responded quickly to assuage their fears that they can now get their prescriptions filled out at medical facilities managed by the Ministry of Health (MOH). But one question arose: why couldn’t they have got them all from public hospitals in the first place?

The answer is not as simple as one would expect, as we found out after speaking to several doctors familiar with the issue.