Is There Anything Wrong With This Picture?

RapidKL

Last Saturday, I was on my way to renew my road-tax at the Post Office at the Giant Mall in Kinrara BK5.

As I stepped out of the LRT Train, this banner greeted me warmly “Selamat Berbuka Puasa”.

The management of RapidKL was inviting its Muslim patrons to a breaking-fast treat.

Suddenly I spotted an emblem of a Christian “cross” right on top of the banner.

Of course it’s a coincidence… but it’s rather unusual and it made me think!

Muslims and Christians share the Abrahamic faith (roots) with the Jews.

While sharing many common beliefs and values, there are also areas of different interpretations.

Take the “cross” for example. Let’s examine this for mutual understanding of our religions.

 

* TO THE CHRISTIANS

Some people wear the “cross” as an ornament around their necks.

This is to stand out, to be different, or to make a fashion statement.

But to some Christian denominations (*not all), the “cross” is more than just a symbol.

It is an object of devotion, an article of adoration, being an expression of worship.

To wear the “cross” is to identify one-self as a Christian, as belonging to Christ.

 

* TO THE ROMANS

Do you still remember your history on ROME? The ROMAN EMPIRE lasted from 753 BC to 1453 AD.

Some conspiracy theorists say that the ROMAN EMPIRE had been revived, resurrected and kicking today.

But this “coming-back-to-life” story will be for another article for another day. Soon, I promise.

Coming back to the main point, the “cross” is the ROMAN EMPIRE’s most painful method of execution.

Those who dared defy the ROMANS, such rebels were to be nailed on the “cross”. It’s a gruesome death machine.

 

* TO THE JEWS

The Jews have an overwhelming aversion and antagonism to the “cross”. It is somewhat an anathema to them.

This is based on the Torah, which Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says,

“If a man have committed a capital offense, he is to be put to death. If you are to hang him on a tree (cross), do not leave his body hanging overnight. Bury his body on the same day, for he who is left hanging (overnight) is cursed of God and thus defiles your land.”

 

* TO THE MUSLIMS

As some Christians (*not all) worship the “cross”, this may be perceived as idolatry to the Muslims.

The Bible also gives an account of the ROMAN crucifixion of JESUS CHRIST on the “cross”.

However this is described differently in the HOLY QU’RAN which Muslims believe in.

Hence Muslims will usually avoid any association with the “cross”.

 

# THIS IS MY CONCLUSION.

Multi-religious harmony is a very precious commodity in our community.

Once the goodwill is lost, it may never be recovered again.

Having some basic knowledge in each other’s religion (and sensitivity areas) is one way of fostering our mutual respect and building bridges.

Our young people do not have to speak provocative words or react in fear.

Problems may occur – but an amicable solution can always be found – when goodwill exists.

THERE IS MUCH MORE THAT UNITES US than divides us.

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Meet My New Muslim Friend Arif

Moses n Hafiz

I just parked my car and checked-in at the LRT Station in Sri Petaling. I was heading to Giant Mall at Kinrara BK5.

There was this young Muslim boy probably 15 or 16 years old.

He just arrived at Sri Petaling LRT and was looking at the location signboard.

I smiled and greeted him, “Selamat Berpuasa”. He responded to my friendliness and continued the conversation.

He told me that he was from Cheras and he was headed to Masjid Sri Petaling. He asked me how far away was it located from the LRT?

I said that if he was to walk his journey, it would probably take 30 minutes.

He said that he would have to take the cab. It was around 12.30 afternoon.

I sensed his anxiety, either he was fasting or because he didn’t have much money.

* This was my observation of ARIF.

(1) By the way he dressed, I knew that he was training to be a HAFIZ. The meaning of the HAFIZ title; a Muslim who is well-versed or had completely memorized the HOLY QU’RAN in the Arabic language. Aspiring Hafizs are usually enrolled in TAHFIZ Islamic Centres or sometimes called Sekolah Agama Rakyat.

(2) He was wearing a white turban and simple robes which signify his desire to be pure and righteous in this journey of life – according to the example set by the prophet of Islam.

(3) Not many people know that kings of Islamic nations wear turbans in the olden days. This signifies that he wants to walk in kingly authority when he has memorized the Word of ALLAH in his heart. This gives him the wisdom to apply the HOLY QU’RAN in his life situations.

(4) His desire to spend time in prayer and fasting in the holy month of RAMADHAN. Having fellowship with the faithful at the masjid. After all, it was a Saturday, a rest day when others are sleeping.

(5) Arif was well-mannered, respectful, humble and has nobility in his character. I believe that he will become a pillar in our society if he is well guided by his mentors.

After doing some research on the Internet, I discovered the following.

# MASJID SRI PETALING, MARKAZ TABLIGH.
An Arabic term meaning; communicating the message of Islam. Dawah, propagation of faith.

# MIFTAHUL ULUM, A COMMUNITY HUB.
An Islamic education and missionary center. Guiding others to the right path.

According to its website, TABLIGH is guided by QU’RAN 2:256 which says, “There shall be no compulsion in the religion.”

My concluding words.

There are a majority of Muslims who are progressive, peaceful, prosperous and participative in nation-building.

Just like the rest of us. Having mutual respect in a multi-religious and multi-cultural soceity.

Let us not be overly over-shadowed, distracted or alarmed by the tiny 1% who hijack the religion to commit violence or other crimes.

We are Malaysians.

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Happy Father’s Day Daddy Dearest

Father's Day

Thank you for your love and the sacrifices you made.

Thank you for everything that you have done for me.

I will thank GOD for you every day of my life.

I will love you forever Daddy Dearest.

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I am inspired to share some words from the Bible with you.

 

Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16

Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God have commanded you;

so that your days may be prolonged on this earth, and that it may go well with you,

as you enjoy the inheritance which the LORD your God have given unto you.

 

Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honour your father and mother; (which is the first commandment with a promise;)

That it may be well with you, and you may live long on this earth.

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Is Religion To Be Blamed For Terrorism?

Manchester bombing, London Bridge knife attacks, Marawi takeover by gunmen, Baghdad suicide bombings, Afghanistan suicide vehicle, Egypt bombing.

These are lawless acts committed by criminals who murdered more than 100 innocent lives. All done in the holy month of RAMADHAN.

These dramatic acts seized the world news headlines in part because the violent perpetrators so happened to be Muslims.

BUT REALLY, RATIONALLY, REALISTICALLY – WHY SHOULD RELIGION EVEN BE BLAMED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Let’s turn the clock back to year 1994, starting April 6th, for 100 days.

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IT’S TIME TO REVISIT THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE

RWANDA is an east-central African state surrounded by Zaire, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

RWANDA’s population was at 7.3 million people as at April 1994. Racially comprising of Hutu 85 %, Tutsi 14 % and Twa 1%.

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In 1994, RWANDA’s official religion of the populace was Roman Catholic 57 %, Protestant 26 %, Seventh-day Adventist 11 % and Muslim 4.6 %.

Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide

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The RWANDAN bloodbath claimed as many as 800,000 lives. Some say it was instigated by racist and extreme elements within their own RWANDAN government and military.

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Innocent victims were murdered in the 100 days of orchestrated violence. Rape survivors were infected with AIDS.

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300,000 more became refugees.

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Their perpetrators’ weapons of choice – clubs, knives and machetes. You don’t really need guns to kill.

Almost two thirds of the Tutsis population were decimated and ethnically cleansed.

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If Moderate Hutus spoke against the genocide, they were similarly eliminated.

If Moderate Hutus were discovered hiding or helping Tutsis, they too were not spared.

If Moderate Hutus refused to participate in the violence and gang rapes, they were also killed by the para-military force of Hutu extremists.

Frightening!!! It was the Moderate Hutus (the ordinary people) who were stirred up – or instigated – or forced – to be part of the gigantic killing-machine and rape-machine.

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http://unictr.unmict.org/en/tribunal

The United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for RWANDA (ICTR) to prosecute persons responsible for the genocide committed in RWANDA.

The ICTR opened in 1995 and had indicted 93 individuals responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in RWANDA in 1994.

The offenders included high-ranking RWANDAN government and military officials, politicians and businessmen.

Also indicted were religious leaders, militia leaders, radio station operators and media owners.

But the horrors and the dread of darkness that descended on RWANDA will never be forgotten or never ever to be erased.

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IS CHRISTIANITY TO BE PARTLY BLAMED FOR THE RWANDA GENOCIDE?

At the ICTR, witnesses say there were church leaders who resisted the killings at the risk of their own lives.

At the same time, there were also some church leaders who participated or supported the killings of the Tutsis.

HOW COULD IT EVEN BE COMPREHENSIBLE THAT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE PROTESTANT CHURCH LEADERS HAD BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS?

4 Wenceslas-Munyeshyaka

Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka (born 1958) was found guilty of rape and genocide. A military tribunal in RWANDA sentenced him in absentia to life in prison.

At the Holy Family Cathedral where he was the head priest, he herded his own congregation of adult Tutsis and children to the death squads, which brutally slaughtered them.

4 Seromba

Father Athanase Seromba (born 1963) was charged with the deaths of around 2,000 Tutsis who took refuge in his parish church.

He ordered his church to be bulldozed (with the refugees inside) on April 6 1994, and then shot some survivors.

WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG FOR THE HOLY SEE TO APOLOGIZE?

The Vatican maintained that the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH bore no institutional responsibility – although her priests had committed terrible crimes.

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Only recently in March 2017, Pope Francis asked forgiveness from RWANDAN President Paul Kagame – for the surreptitious role played by CATHOLIC priests during the RWANDAN genocide.

The Pope’s ‘apology’ took almost 23 years since 1994. However, the RWANDAN government felt that it didn’t go far enough.

A considerable number of the faithful had already left the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH in RWANDA.

It was an open secret that a CATHOLIC network helped implicated priests and nuns to escape to Europe and evade justice.

Father Munyeshyaka took charge of a CATHOLIC church in Gisors, France. While Father Seromba changed his name and became a parish priest in Florence, Italy.

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WHAT LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNT?

The violence, murders, rapes and plunder by lawless groups do not represent any religion.

These are common criminals who have succumbed to hatred and evil degeneration in their hearts.

Today, the world is experiencing waves of violence and terror attacks against innocent civilians.

But we can win this ideological war against the terrorists who at times hide behind a religious facade.

The war against terror is definitely not a war against any religion especially ISLAM.

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CALL TO ACTION

The RWANDAN massacre averaged 8,000 deaths every day for 100 days. Totaling an estimated 800,000 murdered souls.

In comparison, the September 11 terrorist attacks had a death toll of almost 2,996 human lives and injured 6,000 others.

Let’s stop identifying terrorism by the religion of its terrorists. Though they may be Muslims or of any other religion.

But this doesn’t mean that the world will compromise its commitment to bring the violent terrorists to justice.

Let us join our hands – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – to uproot this ideology of hatred.

CHRISTIANITY IS A RELIGION OF PEACE.

ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE.

#religionofpeace

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Ariana Grande Concert, Terrorist Attack

ariana-grande

I am deeply saddened by the bomb explosion at a music concert in Manchester, UK. My heart and prayers goes out to them.

22 music fans were robbed of their precious lives. The youngest being an 8 years old girl.

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20 more are in critical care. Metal nails and screws propelled by the bomb blast pierced their organs and heads.

50+ survivors mostly young girls will have to live with disfigured faces and bodies for the rest of their lives. They could have been your daughters.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? WHAT DID THEY DO TO DESERVE THIS HORRENDOUS HATRED?

Lightscreen.27

The 23-year-old singer Ariana Grande tweeted, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

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ISIS had promptly claimed responsibility for the bloody attack.

To some people, ISIS may be EX-MUSLIMS who had abandoned their faith.

To others, ISIS are MUSLIM extremists who have misinterpreted the true teachings of ISLAM.

Yet to a minority carried by ISLAMOPHOBIA, the name-calling and insult starts, some bordering on blasphemy.

I APPEAL TO YOU ALL, PLEASE DON’T BLAME YOUR MUSLIM FRIENDS. THIS VIOLENCE DOES NOT REPRESENT ISLAM.

I have many MUSLIM friends myself. I found that they have a genuine sincerity in their friendships.

They are also richly cultured, well-mannered, kind-hearted and often forgiving when offended by hurtful words.

Our MUSLIM friends are equally grieved by these senseless killings and violence. They are sincerely searching for answers, as we are so doing.

As a Christian, I will highlight a passage from the book of Matthew 7:17-20

“You shall recognize them by their fruits. Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

If the good tree of ISLAM – bearing good fruits – represent our MUSLIM friends in MALAYSIA – who are peaceful, tolerant and moderate – then I can confidently say that ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE.

Why have a tiny minority of 1-2 % of the good fruits turned diseased by external factors?

As we know, the QU’RAN and the HADITHS are in the native Arabic language which is intricately and inherently complex.

Not all MUSLIMS can master the rich Arabic language and apply the correct interpretation of the sacred text which have a fair share of similes, nuances and hidden meanings.

Hence at times, especially through the social media, foreign preachers who unknowingly spread false interpretations are one of the unfortunate triggers of violence.

We all know the analogy of the “half-empty” or “half-full” glass of water. Hence the question – should ISLAM be represented by the peaceful 98 % or the violent misguided 2 %?

MALAYSIA is fortunate to have nine righteous SULTANS who are head of the religion of ISLAM in their respective states.

By their benevolence, wisdom and positive guidance, MALAYSIA have been richly blessed with peace and prosperity by the ALMIGHTY.

Let us all join our hands with our MUSLIM brothers and sisters to support our KING THE YANG DIPERTUAN AGONG AND OUR SULTANS in defining the governance of ISLAM in MALAYSIA.

Let us stand united to confront and uproot this radical extremism which does not represent any race or religion.

Let us focus on our shared human values, our desire for peace and creating a brighter future for our families.

Let us also make a commitment to reiterate the message, to our generation, that ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE, as it is in MALAYSIA.

I will continue to share my thoughts on this subject in further postings. Your kind feedback is very valuable to me.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mummy Dearest

Mummy Day

No matter how young, how old.
We will always be your child, your gold.

We will remember your sacrifices of old.
Giving that came from your heart of gold.

Mummy heard our heart beat when we first cried.
Mummy sang in delight when we first smiled.

Now that you are filled with years and old,
You have become our moments of gold.

No words can describe your devotion.
No challenges can unravel your love.

No matter how wide is the widest ocean.
Mummy is so close, you are the one we love.

Thank you Daddy for choosing Mummy.
You are both the reason we are here in this world.

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Just how old are you, Umno Baru?

Umno

Pic credit The Malay Mail Online.
JUST HOW OLD ARE YOU, UMNO?
MySinChew.com 2017-05-11 09:28

By Mohsin Abdullah

Usually people tend to claim to be younger than their actual age. But not the people in Umno. No not individually but as a group.

They have been at it for years. This year, they are saying their party is 71 years old. Hence, today being Umno Day, the party is celebrating its 71st birthday.

Going by history that Umno was formed on 11 May 1946 by the late Datuk Onn Jaafar, the Umno folks are right.

But wait, wasn’t that Umno of ’46, pardon the expression, “dead and buried ” back in 1988?

A quick throwback.

Older readers would surely remember. But I’ll write it anyway, for the younger readers who might not be familiar with the story. And even for those who knew, well, take a trip down memory lane all the same.

On 24 April 1987, Umno held its annual general assembly and triennial party election after a vicious and bitter campaign.

Fighting for power was Team A led by then president Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his deputy Ghafar Baba, against Team B headed by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah aided by Musa Hitam as number two.

Mahathir and Ghafar won.Two of the three vice presidents elected were from Team A, and the supreme council made up of 16 Team A members compared to nine from Team B.

Then allegations of irregularities, said to be hurled by Team B supporters, surfaced.

On 25 June 1987, an appeal was made by 12 Umno delegates (one pulled out subsequently) to have the Umno assembly and the 24 April election declared null.

In short, the issue was brought to the court. After a series of interlocutory hearings over the discovery of documents that took more than seven months, the matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 4 February 1988.

The judge ruled that under existing law he had no option but to find the party, Umno, to be an unlawful society due to the existence of several unregistered branches which contravened the Societies Act of 1966.

Hence, the question of the assembly itself being illegal (sought by the 11 Umno delegates) became academic.

So, based on the High Court decision, Umno the party “died”, again pardon the expression, on 4 February 1988. And it was not revived. Never resurrected.

Instead, Dr Mahathir put into motion the machinery to form a new party, a surrogate party, so to speak, and in due course registered it formally calling it Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (Baru) or United Malays National Organisation (New), meaning the new Umno registered by Mahathir back then, which is the current Umno led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was born in 1988.

Which makes the party a youngish 29 years old instead of the 71 years presently trumpeted all over the country.

Umno must have its own reasons for wanting to be known older than its present age, perhaps to show credibility, longevity and sustainability?

Or perhaps because of this — the suffix “Baru” was eventually dropped and Umno (Baru) became both the de facto and de jure successor of Umno (with the old Umno’s assets handed to them).

Maybe that’s why Umno now calls itself simply Umno and not Umno Baru anymore.

The fact remains although the Umno of Datuk Onn is long gone. What we now have is a replacement. Not a or a resurrected version nor a reincarnation of the Umno formed in 1946.

Anyway, Selamat Hari Ulang Tahun Umno!

(Mohsin Abdullah is a freelancer who writes about this, that and everything else.)

http://www.mysinchew.com/node/117594?tid=12

The Crooked Politician

Welcome to the dark side of the politician who holds the rein of power.

When new politicians are voted into power, voters tend to be mesmerized by their honest-to-goodness public image.

But there is a saying that says “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

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So there is a real possibility that, at some point of time, this saying can become true.

Our politicians can become crooked if the ‘governmental powers’ that they wield is left unchecked.

Without accountability, without checks and balances, our honest politicians can mutate into rascals and rogues.

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The lure of temptation is just too great. The ego of being a multi-billionaire. The trappings of power and wealth.

Like our famous politician who once said, “Just close one eye”.

But we are answerable to our conscience and our children – when our country’s resources are plundered and raped.

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To the non-atheist who believe in the Judgment Day, in the Last Day, how will you answer to your God?

Will you say – “I had to protect my rice-bowl.” “I couldn’t jeopardize my job promotion.” “They could unfriend me on Facebook.”

I do hope that God has a sense of humour, to laugh off our human weaknesses.

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The 14th General Elections in Malaysia is just around the corner.

If you suspect that your politician had turned crooked, it’s time to vote wisely. The Member of Parliament whom you call “Yang Berhormat”.

Just send the crooks into the wilderness. It’s the best favour that we can do for our children.

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Wake-up Call From Water Disruption

Just a week ago, there was a burst pipe in Jalan Sierramas Barat, Sungai Buloh. This required emergency repairs for major water piping.

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This water disruption lasted some 48 to 72 hours in the Klang Valley which is in the heart of the nation.

More than 280 areas in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang and Shah Alam were seriously affected.

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It riled up than a million users in households, business premises, restaurants and factories.

There are some hard questions which urgently need to be asked – especially when heated emotions were pouring out in the social media.

Will the government, water authorities, think tanks and citizens learn some vital lessons from this “ACT OF GOD”?

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* HOME CONSUMERS. Access to uninterrupted clean water for homes, flats and apartments is the right of every citizen. Most homes have water tanks which provide a limited buffer of 1 to 2 days of family usage.

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* RESTAURANTS. Access to uninterrupted clean water for restaurants and eateries is crucial. Food hygiene is of utmost importance for the health of consumers.

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* INDUSTRIES AND FACTORIES. Any disruption to water supply would cause a halt in businesses’ and factories’ operations. Thus uninterrupted water supply is mission critical and cannot be taken for granted.

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* WATCHDOG AUDITOR. How are we managing our river resources, water purification facilities, water treatment plants and pumping stations? Who audits the water authorities who monopolizes the processes? The state of Selangor alone have three water authorities, namely Syabas, Puas and Splash.

* WATER SECURITY. Is our water collection from the rivers and distribution network vulnerable to a terrorist attack? Who has access to the data of our water supply grid and infrastructure?

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* WEB TECHNOLOGY. What level of web technology are we incorporating into the processes? What is our level of readiness compared to the best practices of Singaporean, European and American water authorities?

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* GRID NETWORK. How will the three water authorities in Selangor mutually support each other in the event of a water disaster? Taking it to a higher level – can backup plans for water supply from neighbouring states be implemented within 48 hours at any given notice?

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* IN EVENT OF A WATER DISASTER. A water disaster is defined as a “large-scale” breakdown in water treatment plants or “poisoning” of our water resources by terrorists. During the Syrian civil war, water supply was shut down indefinitely after ISIS terrorists poured massive quantities of oil or petrol into the rivers.

An “ACT OF GOD” is designed to send a “WARNING FROM GOD”. To ignore this wake-up call – is to do so at our own peril.

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