Friday, 31 October 2008

Razak Baginda Acquitted

We just got our Halloween present from our esteemed government.

Not that it was unexpected - not by a long shot. Masterwordsmith says, "[it] comes as no surprise to me."

Did anyone actually NOT expect Abdul Razak Baginda to be acquitted?

Sometime back, I posted something on Razak Baginda's outburst in court which was never reported in our newspapers for political reasons.

I think Razak Baginda was the fall guy for someone higher up.

But considering this "higher-up" is in such a prominent position of power, all it takes is some pressure on prosecution to drop the case and not investigate too thoroughly.

This situation is repulsive.

There have been some dodgy SMSes flying around. A lot of questions unanswered. Private investigators going missing 'til today.

You know what's going to happen?

This case is going to get dragged on until everyone loses interest.

Malaysia boleh.

Is Caning Still In Use?

My colleague from Spain sent me this link about the dude who put centipedes in his neighbor's bed.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian man has been accused of trying to hurt his neighbor with a dangerous weapon — centipedes. Prosecutor Mazri Mohamed said Wednesday that R. Prabakaran has been charged with attempting to cause harm with a dangerous weapon after allegedly unleashing four centipedes and bugs in his neighbor's bed last week following an argument.

Prabakaran, 21, allegedly climbed on to the roof to enter his neighbor's house where he committed the offense, Mazri said.

Prabakaran pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a court in the southern city of Johor Baru and has been released on bail, Mazri said.

It was not clear what species the centipedes were. Some species are poisonous.

If found guilty, Prabakaran faces up to three years prison and a caning.

My colleague wants to know if caning is still in use in Malaysia. I told him it was, but now I'm not so sure. We still employ that form of punishment, don't we?

When I was in Madrid, I made it sound like Malaysia was the greatest country on the planet. Every other colleague listening to my passionate oratory vowed to visit this country some time soon.

But with the way things have been going in the socio-political scene, I'm wondering if I have been guilty of misrepresenting Malaysia. Of stretching the truth.

But that's that about us Malaysians. Famous for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Caught Lying!

A lot of things in life are uncertain.

The economy, for one, is purportedly responsible for various cases of indigestion and insomnia.

The weather, too, is rather unpredictable.

But I'll tell you one thing with confidence and certainty - this dude lies fluently.

On 27 May 2008, The Star carried this report by Syed Hamid Albar concerning claims by Waythamoorthy Ponnusamy, exiled HINDRAF leader, that his passport was revoked.

This is what Syed Hamid Albar said:

“If the passport is still active, it means that the Government has never made any cancellation to his travel document.

“Hence, his allegation that we have revoked his passport is baseless,” Syed Hamid said in a statement.

He added that Waythamoorthy was free to travel internationally as his passport was still valid.

We now know that is a blatant lie.

Based on this document, the Malaysian authorities notified the British High Commission that they had cancelled Waythamoothy's passport on 14 March 2008.

More than 2 months prior to that news report.

Malaysiakini has the story HERE.

How Much Longer Can The Govenment Lie To The Malaysian Public? - Malaysia Today

Waste Of A Life

"It was such a waste of a life. All my daughter was trying to do was help others."

Read more to find out who this woman was and why she was killed.

I feel angry, too.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Cross-Dressing Cash Cow

In a twist of words and awards, Shah Rukh Khan is being seen as a cash cow who will boost tourism in Malaysia and "act as a 'bridge' for more movies to be shot at the historical city."

Apparently, our on-screen pretty boy "could also help us get other actors and directors to come to the state for this purpose".

Someone is smoking something very potent and is high in the vapours of delusion.

Someone is also very inconsistent in his policies - religious or otherwise.

Because only recently, the religious authorities have firmly denounced girls who dress like boys and boys who dress like girls.

But maybe someone hasn't done his homework.

Check THIS out.

It's not safe for work though. Be warned. :)

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Of Acting Like A Woman

It's a really good thing I'm not Muslim. Otherwise, my very existence would be the reason for lots of overtime on the part of the Malaysian religious authorities.

In their latest spate of brilliance, Islamic clerics in Malaysia have ruled to ban tomboys:

Malaysia's main body of Islamic clerics has issued an edict banning tomboys in the Muslim-majority country, ruling that girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam, an official said Friday.

The National Fatwa Council forbade the practice of girls behaving or dressing like boys during a meeting Thursday in northern Malaysia, said Harussani Idris Zakaria, the mufti of northern Perak state, who attended the gathering.

Harussani said an increasing number of Malaysian girls behave like tomboys, and that some of them engage in homosexuality. Homosexuality is not explicitly banned in Malaysia, but it is effectively illegal under a law that prohibits sex acts "against the order of nature."

Harussani said the council's ruling was not legally binding because it has not been passed into law, but that tomboys should be banned because their actions are immoral.

"It doesn't matter if it's a law or not. When it's wrong, it's wrong. It is a sin," Harussani told The Associated Press. "Tomboy (behavior) is forbidden in Islam."

Under the edict, girls are forbidden to sport short hair and dress, walk and act like boys, Harussani said. Boys should also not act like girls, he said.

"They must respect God. God created them as boys, they must behave like boys. God created them as girls, they must act like girls," he said.

Now I'm really not the authority on how girls should act.

My ex-colleague Lisa and I once made a pact to wear a skirt to work on one day of the year. We got a kick out of seeing the facial expressions of our male colleagues. :)

Alright, maybe not that particular skirt. :) Something more proper. *ahem*

Those are Mastercard moments, I'm telling ya!!

But seriously, more often than not, I'm seen wearing what our esteemed religious authorities would refer to as "men's clothes". I wear slacks to work and when I'm chilling out with friends, I'm usually in a comfortable pair of jeans.

Not only that, I'm nearly always spotted wearing lipstick (frankly, because I like looking hot) and high heels (well, because if the truth be told, I'm vertically challenged *sniff*).

You and I know what other Muslim authorities feel about lipstick and high-heeled shoes.

It's confusing how they can't get their edicts straight. And sometimes, you just can't win.

But it reminds me of the chorus of this old Blur song:


Monday, 20 October 2008

Me And You And An Underdog Named HINDRAF

I happen to think that Rocky is a pretty good journalist when it comes to breaking news. But an opinion piece? Spare me. This one about HINDRAF is so very much spun on one side that it's almost dizzying.

It's incredible how Rocky and his faithful stalwarts consistently ignore the reason for HINDRAF's uprising.

No one wakes up one morning and decides to go on a march to demand one's rights. HINDRAF is no exception.

HINDRAF used to write very polite but grammatically incorrect letters to the government since 3 years ago.

I once joined a Malaysian Indian yahoogroup and I used to read with torrid fascination (at the grammar - these guys are supposed to be lawyers, afterall) the protests they made (and posted online) over the injustice of the government against the marginalised Indians.

Those letters were addressed to some place in Damansara - that I clearly remember.

Frankly, when they started out they were actually quite civil, but their pleas went to deaf ears. I think those letters to Damansara made a beeline for the trash can.

I don't know when, but at some point, their language started to get more aggressive. Maybe it was brought on by the "diligence" of various authorities in systematically tearing down temples.

Maybe it was the body-snatching. There have been more than a few cases where a particular Indian had allegedly converted to Islam. Upon his death, the religious authorities were quick to grab the corpse and bury it according to Islamic rites.

Personally, I see no justification in strangers burying the body. A funeral, in my opinion, is for the family to pay their last respects. But the religious authorities, backed by the government, showed absolutely no respect for the dead or his living relatives.

It may not have been the blatant discrimination, denying them of birth certificates that drove them down this path. Not the lack of opportunities to get an education. Not poverty.

I think it was that assault against their religion that was the final straw.

A wise government of a multiracial country will walk the path of moderation when crafting and exercising policies affecting all. In this country, and for that matter any other plural one, poverty isn't just the province of one race.

All suffer collectively and so the solutions should apply collectively. For lorry drivers, newspaper vendors, estate workers, housewives and shop assistants to suddenly come together and walk peacefully even in the face of water cannons and tear gas, something must have reached its limits.

In its zealous haste to bring the Malay citizens into the fold of development to stem their marginalisation, Umno as the linchpin of Barisan has marginalised the Indian citizens.

Knowing how many of them have been silently suffering for decades from towns to farms, it is not benign neglect. It is malignant neglect.

If Barisan was honest about wanting to improve the lot of the Indians, would there have risen a HINDRAF yesterday that they are quick to suppress today?

Now the political posturing is on the roll - don't say it isn't. But where was the government when the dirt poor Indians needed them?

Now HINDRAF is not perfect. Far from it. They do silly things and have the tendency to be myopic.

But are they relevant?

More than ever, I'd say. I believe in their cause to improve the rights of the marginalised Indians, but I also believe it should be inclusive of all races, and not just the Indians.

In fact, I've newly discovered that the Penans are being abused as well.

But as for HINDRAF, I have read most of their memorandums and heard their speeches. They have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to rhetoric, but I'm yet to be convinced it incites hatred towards others.

Besides, the last time I checked, they haven't been flinging molotov cocktails around, burning establishments or going around killing people. The worst they have inflicted on a fellow human being are what ... a bunch of roses and a teddy bear?

Malaysians thrive on exaggeration. And drama.

Teresa Kok was unfairly detained under the ISA. She had the sympathy of a lot of people, all fully deserved. But she wasn't served dog food, regardless of what she may claim, unless of course I can now claim to having eaten dog food before.

Am I offended? Hardly. More amused than anything, but if she continues on that vein, she's going to lose credibility, just like HINDRAF.

But was it exaggeration? Hell yeah, with a capital E! We're the drama mamas of Asia. The police report on behalf of the egg drives home my point.

And if I got a ringgit every instance a random Malay warns, "Don't play with fire" over some racial discussion he can't win through logic, I'd have William Henry Gates III polishing my shoes right now.

In fact, for the next Olympics due to be held on 2012 in London, someone ought to compose a song entitled "Don't Play With Fire" to be played while the torch is passed on, courtesy of the Malaysian delegation.

But that's the Malaysian mentality for you. And the sorry situation of the Indian.

The authorities don't think twice about bullying an Indian because he has no political or economic clout whatsoever. There are heaps of Indians with no birth certificates, no education and no one to stand up for them.

You think that's spin? Then read someone else who has been to ground zero.

Just one thing worries me. The Indians, under the banner of HINDRAF have finally lost their fear of dissent. Arresting their leaders barely does anything to quench their spirit.

Heck, they've been heckled, punched, tear-gassed, sprayed with chemicals, and you think a bunch of cops, who are afraid of being based in Lorong Haji Taib will intimidate them?

I fear violence. But HINDRAF has learned, unfortunately, that it is not civil politeness that gets them widespread attention, but excessive demands. The meek Indian is no more, today he boldly exchanges insults with policemen.

I wish they would put aside their differences and come together under one banner. But their cultural and socio-economic differences draw a huge chasm that is difficult to plug. I wouldn't know how to engage them - sometimes I feel I can barely even relate.

I was at the anti-ISA candlelight vigil yesterday. While chatting with Walla, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a couple of HINDRAF supporters viewing me with mild suspicion.

Interestingly, in Malaysia, it is the average Indian who is most repulsed by his fellow brethren within HINDRAF. I've trawled the web and I see many making apologies on behalf of them.

Personally, I think HINDRAF goes overboard often and some of their juvenile temper tantrums do merit a proper bitch-slapping.

But their cause, and the other side of their story deserves to be told, if not purely for factual accuracy.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigil

Guys, don't forget:

Venue: Padang in front of Amcorp Mall, next to A&W Restaurant, PJ
Time: 8pm
Date: Sunday, 19th October, 2008

Please bring along your own candles (red & yellow) and don't forget to wear your RPK t-shirts.

Indrani Kopal - AYA Awards

It was some time back when I was messing around with my Friendster account that I stumbled upon an old classmate from secondary school.

We decided to catch up for old times sake.

And I discovered that in spite of our typical Malaysian education, both of us had developed an intense desire to make this country a better place.

Today she is a video journalist with - the only independent news channel we have.

About a year back, a mutual friend of ours invited me to the KOMAS FreedomFilmFest, incidentally, the same one Fahmi Reza won for his 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka.

Fahmi's piece was timely and very succinct, especially with our rather turbulent political undercurrents. He thoroughly deserved his win.

Indra's documentary “She’s My Son”, is still very controversial for our society to accept. She came in second place after Fahmi.

Back then, Indra gave me a copy of this documentary on a CD which I still have today. I found it disturbing then for various reasons, and still do now.

But as with a lot of her work in, she digs up some very nasty but pertinent stories which need to be told.

She was recently nominated for The Asian Youth Ambassadors (AYA) Dream Malaysia ‘Most Outstanding Youth’ Award.

AYA seeks to give recognition and to reward young individuals (aged 18 – 33) who have overcome and may still be overcoming obstacles in their lives to be where they are today.

I think Indra deserves to win this time. If you can spare RM0.80, please vote for her.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

SUARAM Activist Under ISA

Pinky and the Brain (or lack thereof) are at it again.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - One Is An Idiot, The Other's Insane

I suppose they've lost all credibility among the educated Malaysians that nothing matters anymore, except for votes from the sampah masyarakat of Malaysia.

So they make more arrests in the name of internal security.

A 26-year-old activist has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) tonight following a report she made accusing the police of abuse of power in yesterday’s controversial eviction of a squatter colony in Johor.

Cheng Lee Whee, a self-employed programmer who is a volunteer for human rights group Suaram, lodged the police report at the Permas Jaya police station in Johor Bharu at about 3pm yesterday.

The report was made in response to the forced eviction of squatters in Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah - a predominantly Malay village akin to Kuala Lumpur’s Kampung Baru - and the arrest of 27 individuals for attempting to stop the demolition of the settlement.

Cheng was summoned by inspector Azman Mustafa to the state police headquarters in Seri Alam at around 8pm so that her statement could be taken relating to her police report.

Four of her friends accompanied her to the police station, among them were Suaram Johor Bahru coordinator Nyam Kee Han, Parti Socialis Malaysia central committee member Choo Shinn Chei and Suaram volunteer See Siew Min. The three were arrested yesterday at the forced eviction.

At around 10.45pm, after Cheng had her statement recorded by the police, she was informed by Criminal Investigation Department chief DSP Mohd Nor Rasid that she had been arrested under section 28 of the ISA for "spreading false information".

Section 28 of the ISA involves the dissemination of false reports.

According to the section, "Any person who, by word of mouth or in writing or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular or other printed publication or by any other means spreads false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm, shall be guilty of an offence."

According to lawyers, section 28 does not empower the police to detain a suspect without trial. The suspect must be brought to court within 24 hours either to be charged or be further remanded to facilitate police investigation.

Of course, I'm wondering if the Brain (or lack thereof) will explain it all away as being for her own protection. It's entirely possible he could get original - and more ludicrous.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

What HINDRAF Means

Malaysiakini tells me that HINDRAF has been banned:

The government today declared the Hindu Rights Actions Force (Hindraf) an illegal organisation with immediate effect.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the decision was made after the ministry was satisfied with facts and evidence that showed "Hindraf had and was being used for unlawful purposes and posed a threat to public order and morality".

Only our government is capable of turning wild speculation into "facts and evidence".

Now it's no secret that I'm ethnically Indian. Malaysian at heart, but still genetically Indian. It's something I'm very proud of, and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

But being Indian doesn't mean I have to agree with everything HINDRAF does. I sort of lost it when HINDRAF lodged a police report over something offensive that they read in a personal blog.

Heck, there was a time when I thought they were a class act with their infamous lawsuit against the Queen of England.

Even today, I airily end a few arguments (in particular, the ones I'm losing) with my non-Indian friends, saying, "You cheap jerks just wait. One day you'll be eating the dust from the wheels of my new Ferrari once I get my cheque from the Queen." :)

Of course, some of those spoilsports do try to prick my bubble with mere technicalities. "Crankshaft," they say, "You'd first have to pass off as a poor, underclass, oppressed and suppressed Malaysian Indian."

It was a popular refrain within the petition. That, and near-slavery conditions.

Since then, it's almost been a year. I've seen more things, been more places and suddenly, I'm not laughing anymore.

I don't know what exactly HINDRAF meant by near-slavery conditions, but some of those hovels that the slum-dwelling Indians live in, are so deplorable that I cannot believe that the Malaysian government turns a blind eye to them.

I promised Pat that, I would one day blog about the life of slum kids in Malaysia. I haven't got round to it.

To be honest, it's too painful. And I keep asking myself if I should be doing more, and if so, what?

In one sense, I'm glad that HINDRAF opened my eyes. It pushed me out of my sterilised, bubble-wrapped, comfort zone into the harsh realities of life.

And it was about time the Indians stood up and started fighting for their rights. I have a friend who often tells me, "Ignore your rights, maybe they'll go away." She has a point.

But how HINDRAF "fights" for their rights has to change to a more inclusive approach. It's time to come together as one, as Haris Ibrahim says.

HINDRAF needs to change its stance.

And for the rest of us, it's time to, as Lulu says:

1) End Hindraf by ending their reason for existence.
2) Put a stop to discriminatory practices against the Indians, or any other race for that matter.
3) Give opportunities to who need that extra push in life.

Though seriously, you really think this ban has an impact on the movement? On makkal sakhti, a phrase even I wasn't quite familiar with prior to their emergence?

Check out The Facts of Life, Now That Hindraf is Illegal. I have a safron 'Free RPK' t-shirt and I plan to wear it to death!

Malaysia bans ethnic Indian protest group - International Herald Tribune

Monday, 13 October 2008

Bapak Demokrasi

Anti-ISA But Love Is In The Air

It rained pretty heavily in PJ during the evening. But sometime after 7.30pm, it ceased completely, making the air crisp and fresh - just in time for the candlelight vigil.

There was a pretty good crowd, considering the announcement was only put up 2 days ago. Most of us wore our 'Free RPK' t-shirts.

Don't say we Malaysians don't know how to have fun.

We lit our candles, formed our 'NO 2 ISA' inscription (using candles on the ground), made jokes, took photos. Really had fun. Those of you who didn't turn up, you don't know what you've missed.

We missed our Malay brothers and sisters, because most of them apparently had their Raya open house functions but it was really good to see Boom & Rody and their family. :)

While we were gathered at the field, there were a bunch of cars driving past and they blared their horns in support of the vigil. Those of us participating in the vigil, cheered and waved in response.

At that moment, it seemed like we were one with all, regardless of race, creed and religion.

Haris asks, "I just want to ask if it was just me, or did the rest of you also feel love in the air at the Jalan Timur padang at PJ last night?"

That's precisely what it was, bro.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigil

Venue: Padang in front of Amcorp Mall, next to A&W Restaurant, PJ
Time: 8pm
Date: Sunday, 12th October, 2008

Please bring along your own candles (red & yellow) and don't forget to wear your RPK t-shirts. T-shirts will be available for sale on-site subject to stock availability.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Window To The Outside World

When I was 15 years old, and where the most pressing issues in life were how to get more As in exams, a friend approached me with a pen-pal programme.

She was recruiting half the class, and had managed to make them all cough up the application fee.

After some brief hesitation, I was suckered in. :)

A couple of months later, I got a letter from my new pen-pal in Poland. And that opened up a whole new window to the other side of the world.

Don't start thinking that we wrote to each other of the important world issues surrounding us. There was no mention of politics, economy, philosophy or even social issues.

She could barely speak English, so that limited our conversations. But we discussed the latest movies in the cinema (and naturally, the celebrities involved), perfume (she liked Joop and Kookat, brands I had never heard of prior to meeting her) and festivals.

I discovered that New Year's Eve is called Sylwester in Poland. Enlightenment only happened after a bunch of exchanges later. :)

Poland - being a Catholic country - celebrates Easter in a big way, in addition to Christmas. I don't know why that bit of news astounded me back then.

So we wrote letters and made empty promises to visit each other in the future. I say "empty" because on my side, I never really believed I would ever visit her in person.

I was your average Malaysian kid, and about as common as a garden snail.

But I did. I visited Gosia in her home in Swiebodzin, located in the beautiful Lubuskie province of West Poland.

The 10th of October is my pen-pal's birthday. I sent her a card and I hope she's received it. Even with the advent of email, both of us have not stopped writing to each other using snail mail.

There's something just so personal about seeing ink crafted on paper by handwriting, that we mutually agreed to spurn technology.

That's her best can-you-stop-taking-photos-of-me-for-the-hundredth-time impression. :)

The photographer in question was her boyfriend, and I have a lot of pictures of her (for which I'm very grateful) and Polish scenery, that he burned into a CD and presented to me, just before I left Poland.

If you know me well enough, you'd be aware that I don't actually own a proper camera, and I've never carried one to any of my trips abroad.

But that's Polish hospitality and thoughtfulness.

When I arrived, evidently some of the neighbours had caught a glimpse of me from their windows.

A day later, there was a knock on the door. A neighbour dropped by to pass a package and left quickly. But before leaving, he/she mumbled, "For your visitor".

I never got to see that neighbour. Never got to thank him/her.

But when my hosts opened the packaging and I discovered it was a traditional Polish pastry - made with love and care for the 'visitor' - I knew I would always have fond memories of Poland.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

On Matters Of Economy

I dropped by Masterwordsmith's blog yesterday to find a rather interesting post on the subject of GREED. It was also about the global financial crisis.

Masterwordsmith's anonymous commenter is saying what I've been telling people for quite a while now. The rich are becoming richer and the poor have never been poorer. Heck, there is no middle class anymore.

What happened to the bell's curve of wealth distribution?

Some blame it on globalisation. Others on technology.

Technology has enabled us to travel faster, communicate through tele and video-conferences and email. It's ironic, really, because the more advanced our technology, the more we hurry and chase after time.

Globalisation, on the other hand, has opened up so many options and opportunities. But also many pitfalls.

After all, globalisation gave us China and India, the two most populated countries in the world, where human labour is vast and almost limitless. And of course, smaller Asian countries like Malaysia as well.

What Anonymous says about the situation is true. I just don't like the slant in which the rich are portrayed. You see, I'm a firm believer in capitalism. The harder you work, the more rewards you reap.

It sounds fair to me. Blaming them for all the ills of the world is not just unfair, it's naive and illogical.

Of course we do have the greedy businessmen whose life mantra is reduce cost, increase profit - under all circumstances.

This is why the Americans and Europeans move their factory and manufacturing operations to China - because labour is cheap.

This is why Americans and Europeans outsource their IT and customer service operations to India - because labour is cheap.

But this is at the expense of their own people. When they have no jobs, they rely on their government to provide for them. They get food stamps and dole. And to buy the necessities (and sometimes luxuries), so many rely on loans and credit cards.

In the last 5 years, even jobless and homeless people had their loans and credit limits approved in the USA, which of course led to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and subsequently, the collapse of so many financial institutions today.

Most of the jobs went to the cheap labour. In other words, us Asians.

Zewt happened to blog about life in his multinational company and their salary scheme. He said, "If you think working in a big foreign multinational company means you will get a fat pay; well, think again. Those getting the fat pay cheques are those sitting in the headquarters."

That's right.

So now you're bursting with righteous indignance against all those "rich people" who sit in their fancy offices, the ones so big you could get lost in them if you forget to bring your handheld GPS.

Not so fast.

We ARE part of the problem. We're willing to work for peanuts. We delude ourselves into thinking that if we work longer hours, we will get that promotion and a ticket to the paradise of careers.

We forget to take a breather and enjoy life before it's too late.

I took this picture on the way to Fraser's Hill last year. While driving up, I just had to stop and admire the breathtakingly spectacular view of that lake.

It's these simple moments that we miss in our pursuit of career, wealth and power.

By the time we realise what has passed us by, it is too late, and we're bitter - very much like Anonymous, who blames everything on rich people.

Life is fair though. If anyone has accumulated wealth through unethical means, it doesn't belong to him and he will lose it anyhow.

And in this coming economic downturn, I suspect there will be a reshuffle of wealth.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

March 2009

So Abdullah says he will step down in March, four years before his term ends.

It's not the first announcement. But with each announcement, the time limit draws closer.

Pak Lah is slowly but surely stirring in his sleep. One of these days, he may even stretch and yawn.

Frankly, I've never met anyone so out of touch with reality. How important it is, to surround oneself with the right company (and advisors) when one is in a position of power.

The calls to step down have been relentless since BN got so badly trounced in March 2008.

Abdullah will not defend his post as party president in March to "save the party from splitting". Instead, he will nominate Najib Razak as president.

Oh goody. I can't wait to embrace Najib as our new leader.


We're also going to run out of dinner conversation.

No longer will we be able to debate on what Jeanne Danker does to Pak Lah at night that he can't stay awake in the day.

Our Crumbling Government

Guess it's pretty obvious.

DELMONICO'S, near Wall Street, is a bit like The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in Douglas Adams' book of the same name. Get a window seat there right now and you can watch the universe end while you await your steak. But if you fancy tamer fare then try a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Get a window seat there now and you'll be entertained by the end of the Malaysian Government.

The death throes of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's Government are fascinating. Like someone who cannot swim but who has just been thrown overboard, Abdullah is grabbing at anything to try to save himself. So far, he's gone for that developing-world tool of choice: jailing dissenters. That's a pity because these days Malaysians are more sophisticated than that.

Read the rest of Michael Backman's take on how Malaysia's Government is crumbling, but the Opposition is stumbling.

I must disagree with the notion, however, that the Opposition is all about one man.

Monday, 6 October 2008

RPK's Trial At PJ Sessions Court

I just got back from there. When I left, his trial for sedition was in full swing.

RPK was brought down from Kamunting this morning at about 8.30am. He looked down in spirits. Looks like the psy-ops might be working. :(

There were only two witnesses brought in today. The judge appeared indignant. "The court has been booked for the entire day, and all you have is two witnesses??" she demanded from prosecution.

Of course, it was all the more amusing that our "expert" witness from SKMM had some trouble defining what a website was. Some sources claim that he couldn't quite remember the Malaysia Today website address!

Guess he's not an avid reader. :) Obviously not big on homework, either!

The turn-out was a little bigger than I'd personally expected. The usual suspects were there - Haris Ibrahim, Zorro, Shanghai Fish and Lulu. I also met The Whisperer who introduced himself upon hearing I was the bad-ass C!

Lulu was such an angel. She'd baked toblerone cupcakes which tasted just heavenly. I hadn't had my breakfast yet, so it was a much appreciated gesture. Love ya, girl!

A bunch of Australians were covering the trial, if I'm not mistaken, it was ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corp.

I heard from the grapevine that this trial is going to last for the next 3 days, so people, please show up and lend your support. Seriously, I can't make it everyday. I work in Cyberjaya.

It cost me RM9.50 using the ERL and then RM1.60 connecting from KL Sentral to Taman Jaya station, so both ways had me poorer by almost RM25.

But if YOU live thereabouts of PJ, please try and make time to make your presence felt. We need to make a statement, and no time like the present.

UPDATE: Haris has a whole bunch of photos.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Handling Freedom Of Speech

I've obviously had my head buried in other pressing issues because I completely missed this whole fiasco about the now infamous Sammy Chan, bloggerus racimus of Malaysia.

I won't comment much about her. I think her words speak volumes about her own intelligence and exposure to the world at large.

Her opinion that all Indians are thieves, is like me thinking all Chinese are illegal VCD peddlars and ah longs.

I suppose in the same vein, we could start thinking that all Chinese exorcise their 5-year-olds to death or that they make a practice of the kidnap and murder of 16-year-olds before demanding a HUGE ransom.

But I'm not that stupid. I know the both the Indians and Chinese have their token idiots who do dumb stuff.

And I'm quite aware, that the moment I point one finger at someone, I have three pointing back at me.

So, I'm not going to do what everyone else is doing and slam Sammy Chan.

Besides, there is a part of me that feels sorry for the loss of her handphone. I have heaps of information in mine, so I can understand how that would be a huge blow.

I also fully defend Sammy's right to free speech as much as my right to respond to her.

That's not what I'm blogging about, however. My beef is with HINDRAF.

So listen up, you asinine fools of the highest order!

We ALL stood behind you, even though you came up with the most bizarre, lame-ass petition to of all people, the Queen of England!

Now I admire your guts to stand up to authority and demonstrate your disatisfaction. I admire that you are working to establish some semblance of equality for the Indian community. That is worthy of my respect.

But running to the police like snivelling, constipated mosquitoes makes you look not just stupid, but confused as well. The police and their masters, the UMNO government, are not our allies.

They are the enemy.

When will you get that into your numb skulls, you imbeciles?

If you have a problem with your fellow Malaysian, you talk it over calmly.

Best, just ignore the insult! Personally, I felt Sammy did herself an injustice and disservice by making those sweeping statements and consequently, that grudging apology.

But you had to honour her statements, by taking it to heart.

Next time you feel compelled to make police reports, demand the use of the ISA, or anything like that, find the nearest public toilet, insert your head into the bowl and flush.

It'll cool you down (and save me from getting heated up).

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Why Say No To ISA

This is where I was on Friday night:

It actually took me awhile to get a write-up on this thing though, because my thoughts are still jumbled.

I guess it's no secret that my biggest political passion is not the fuel subsidy, Pakatan Rakyat, or HINDRAF (though I believe they all are worthy causes) but abolishment of the Internal Security Act known to Malaysians simply as ISA.

Not that I've never had any reservations over calling for this act to be repealed.

There was a reason for its conception - and that was during the days of communism, where guerilla warfare required quick action.

That included arresting suspects without full evidence, because at the end of the day, it IS preventive detention.

We still have terrorists in this day and age. Both Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Ma'unah were known to thrive in Malaysia at one point, though to date, they are lying low.

The latter, in fact, were responsible for trying to destroy a Hindu temple at Batu Caves, the Anchor and Carlsberg breweries in Shah Alam, and an electric tower.

Not only that, they were responsible for the deaths of Corporal R. Sanghadevan of the Special Branch and an Army commando, Trooper Mathew anak Medan. Both men were painfully tortured before they were killed.

These Al Ma'unah guys are nasty. Are they a threat to national security?

You betcha ass.

So are they under the ISA at this point?

That's the million-dollar question, really. From various news sources, 4 were sentenced to death, 15 released because "they had repented" and no solid news about the rest. There were originally supposed to be 27 altogether.

Which brings me to another question. Why should they be held under the ISA instead of being charged in court with evidence and witnesses?

I think you know the answer as well as I do.

The current UMNO government cannot afford a thorough investigation, because it will show up their links with these terrorists. This is something they must hide.

And what better avenue than the ISA to hide nasty bits of humans and information?

This has to end.

We simply cannot allow people, even if they ARE the government to continue abusing the laws of this nation to suit their personal interests.

And for that reason, the ISA has to be repealed and abolished.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Of Babies

I guess there are lots of things in life that I don't understand, and probably never will.

Reborn babies are one of them.

Perhaps, I have never developed the maternal instinct in me. I never particularly liked dolls when I was a kid, either.

My Barbie™ dolls usually had their arms and legs mutilated not too long after they came into my possession. (Lego™ sets were more my thing - assembling and disassembling - which is probably why I ended up being an engineer.)

The truth is, I think I've never really figured out why women like babies, though I can understand why most women like men. :-)

Men make great companions. They like to:-

1) argue all the time,
2) fix stuff and find solutions,
3) protect women,
4) buy gifts for women,
5) make women laugh,
6) be taken care of (men are the biggest babies in the world),
7) eat up women's unfinished meals,
8) drive the car,
9) put a comforting arm round the waist

.... among others.

One day, I'm going to find a truly annoying man and decide I want to spend the rest of my life being irritated by him.

But in spite of the exceptional genetics that I possess - my obvious intelligence and my stunning good looks (ahem) - I'm not all that inclined to breed.

In fact, the only reasons I would consider having a baby, would be firstly, to appease my parents who cannot wait to display a grandchild to all and sundry. (I apologise in advance to people who know my parents.)

And secondly, because I'd want to clone my other half - the above-mentioned annoying man - because I think it would actually be emotionally fulfilling to also care for a miniature version of him.

Unfortunately, I'm very aware that the baby would also share my genetics.

Possibly not the (overstated and overestimated) good ones, but more of the smart-ass attitude that was obviously not mentioned in the instruction manuals my mother received at the UH maternity ward when I made my grand entrance.

Now that is truly scary.

My mother once cursed me, in a fit of apoplexy. She said, "I hope you have a child that turns out EXACTLY like you."

So that's why I'm staying off kids for now.

But what befuddles me, is why women who would like to carry, play with, and take for a walk, what looks like a real baby but isn't real at all.

A baby that doesn't bear any reason for emotional attachment.

It's like how the Vikings are taking over the world.

Scary shit.

Related: Women who collect lifelike dolls

The Car Sticker

For Zewt: The Malaysia-Today car sticker!

I was planning to use a better camera than the 2M-Pixel one on my HP iPAQ rw6828 PDA phone.

But this is basically how it looks.