Friday, 30 January 2009

When People Think The Police Are Doing Their Job

I don't know why I'm surprised. After all, they say there's an idiot born every minute. I guess while I accept that fact, perhaps I don't expect the idiot in question to thrust his sorry self to my face - not once, but twice!!

So of course, I had to look through his site, where I saw him declare confidently, that the "police are doing their job"!! And I thought I had seen it all.

The truth is, Crankymaddog is not unique. There are hundreds of Malaysian Chinese like him, who believe that they "make the best of [their] lives". This paragraph sums up his outlook on life:

We work for our living, we don't cause trouble, avoid crime and make the best of our lives in Malaysia. Not like Indians. Get involved in crime, have massive protests and threaten the government and the police.

You'd think he'd know when to shut up, but evidently not.

I think suspects shouldn't be "dead" after questioning. But I think the police have to be tough against criminals.

You see, the last time I checked, the job of a cop was to go out, collect evidence, take down statements, interrogate the suspect and present all evidence in court to put criminals behind bars.


Believe it or not, I don't like having my car stolen, especially since I paid big bucks for it. I want the police to do their job.

But I don't believe that a *suspect* of car theft should ever be tortured to the extent of those injuries. It's not an Indian issue, it's a humanitarian one.

No one deserves that.

I honestly don't believe Crankymaddog means any malice. He's just simple-minded. And like so many other Chinese, he suffers severe shortsightedness as described in this brilliant article that just hits the nail.

One just needs to read the denials in the form of enraged comments to know how true it is. But it's probably written by a Chinese man, because it takes an insider (even if he calls himself Michael Chick) to have that kind of spot-on observations.

Michael Chick somehow bucked the system. The sorry education system that is destined to keep us perpetually short-changing ourselves by making dumb ah-lian remarks like "Bersyukurlah, HINDRAF…Look At The “Slaves” In India…".

Yep. Be thankful, Malaysia, that we are also better than Burma. The less intelligent members of the Chinese community would have applauded with pride, but unfortunately, the attendees of that particular forum were highly educated.

But why do I bring up short-sightedness as the Chinese' greatest weakness? Because they live for the present and genuinely expect that life would never change. People like that almost fascinate me.

Crankymaddog justifies the murder of suspected criminals by police, saying, "what do you think of the victims, the ones that got raped, murdered, and beaten up - do they not deserve mercy? What if they are your kids? your wife, your parents? yourself?"

It's a good question, except Crankmaddog doesn't have enough insight to get to the root of the problem.

Fortunately, Azly Rahman does, as he speaks of justice and compassion for those who are driven to crime.

Solve the plight of Malaysian Indians, politics and rhetorics thrown aside.

Poverty, alienation, marginalization, criminalization, dehumanization, degradation, and oppression of the Malaysian Indians must stop. We cannot continue to Palestinize them.

The problem with minding your own business is that eventually, someone else's business becomes yours when times are bad. When people are driven to crime. In good times, your wealth is yours. In bad times... need I elaborate? Forget about petty criminals, the governments are worse.

But that's the whole big picture. Do you know why Asians flock like a herd of cows to migrate to western countries?

Because they have a system of right and wrong - not necessarily perfect, but they don't allow their governments to dictate terms to them. They stick to their beliefs, and they care about the next person instead of watching out solely for themselves.

They are outraged when their fundamental rights are violated. They riot if the police brutalise their citizens.

Now if we could provoke a better sense of outrage, regardless of race or creed, then we can see this nation going somewhere. Don't start thinking this post is dedicated to bashing Chinese.

There were a bunch of (presumably highly educated ones) folks who, after their New Year reunion dinner, went out to protest police brutality, ISA and Palestine at a candlelight vigil.

Now that's a whole new level of dedication and civic-mindedness which I'd never have expected from Malaysians. That's like ... DAMN!!!

Moments like these are when I'm proud to be Malaysian, even if I'm aware that there are fools who think the police are doing their job.

Related: Of it is not about defending a criminal; it is about rule of law - Maddruid

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Support Paula Khoo!

I'm impressed to note that there will be a candlelight vigil even tonight, when most Chinese would be having their reunion dinner.

This vigil will protest police brutality, the ISA and the Israeli-Palestinian violence in Gaza.

But there's one person I'd like to bring to attention, and that is Paula Khoo.

I first met Paula in person during one of the candlelight vigils at the field opposite Amcorp Mall. Actually I met her before that as I picked her up at another location and we drove together to attend the vigil.

Not one for being passive, she had a dream which she pursued in spite of her fears.

Paula went back to Penang (where she comes from) and helped organise one there. She led the crowd with a freedom song, which evidently gained her recognition in the eyes of the police.

She was arrested quietly, right after the crowd had dispersed.

Since then, she has been harrassed by the police and even hackers on her blog.

They want her to report to the Pattani Police Station on the 3rd day of Chinese New Year. I emailed her recently and this is what she wrote back:

My case is coming up on Jan 28th wed morning at 8.30am. hope it will be dropped cos it has been most stressful...
do pray for me...

I'm certainly praying for you, Paula. I wish I could do more than that, by coming out to support you.

But I'm abroad again. Too far to come back.

I beseech you to support Paula on my behalf.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Dealing With Hostile Passengers On Malaysia Airlines

I don't know why they market themselves as "Living Malaysian Hospitality", because what it should really be is, "Exhibiting Malaysian Incompetence".

Ms Radhika Iyer-O'Sullivan was one such victim of poor service by MAS when she was seated next to a hostile passenger during a flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur.

The cabin crew were unfortunately nonplussed (and I'm being kind here) as to what course of action to take, in what I would personally regard as a reasonably simple situation.

Someone who writes in as 'Former MAS Frequent Flyer' agrees with me. In fact, his assessment of the situation was identical to mine.

MAS royally screwed up when they didn't immediately remove the hostile and aggressive passenger from his seat immediately upon the first signs of a temper tantrum.

They went on to exacerbate their mistake when they eventually moved the victim instead of the aggressor. And not to Business Class, which they claim was full on that flight.

Business Class was full?

That's something I wouldn't believe for even a second because on an international flight (say, Dubai to KL) I deduce that the aircraft would probably have been an Airbus A330 which has over 40 seats in Business Class.

Let's be conservative and assume it was the smaller variant, an Airbus A330-223 which has a seat configuration of 0 First Class, 42 Business Class and 187 Economy Class. Ref: 229 (-/42/187)

Frankly, I find it rather hard to believe that all 42 seats would have been taken, and you would too, if you only knew how much Business Class costs.

So they didn't relocate her to Business Class. Instead a flight attendant took her to "the kitchen", of all places!!

Now there are no kitchens on airplanes; what she was referring to is probably the galley.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is no place for a traumatised passenger. And neither is coke and water the solution for soothing frayed nerves.

I think this situation occured because the cabin crew were not adequately trained on what to do in situations like this. As the victim was non-confrontational, they insensitively opted to "resolve" the matter by the easiest way possible: sending her away.

I am surprised there was no sky marshall on board. Such a hostile passenger should have been handcuffed to his seat for the safety of ALL other passengers on board, not just Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan.

Evidently, MAS does not have much regard for its passenger safety. It should because it is, afterall, a national carrier and Malaysian reputation is at stake.

I checked its blog and found only a whinging response saying that the aggressive and hostile passenger was a Malaysian and describing how shocked the cabin crew were at his behaviour.

Read further and you will find even more disturbingly lame excuses.

Do you know what Malaysia Airlines offered as a service recovery? A miserable 25% discount off her return flight. At this point, I just had to send them a piece of my mind.

I am appalled to hear of such poor service by MAS. At no point in time should Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan have been removed instead of the hostile passenger. In fact, the situation should never have been allowed to escalate to such a point.

You obviously have poorly-trained staff with a severe lack of quick-thinking and problem-solving measures. I am even more disturbed to hear that the only measures being taken are a miserable apology and a 25% discount on the return flight ticket.

Do you seriously expect Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan to patronise MAS after such deplorable service? I have flown MAS a number of times for business purposes when I had no say in the booking of the ticket, but you can be assured that the next time I am booked on MAS, I will flatly refuse to travel on it.

I don't know if they will publish it as they do moderate their blog. Probably not, if they want to maintain the pleasant facade of a stream of satisfied customers.

But do you know what I really think Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan should do?

While I'm not a fan of legal action because so many lawsuits have reached the threshold of frivolity (especially in the USA), I personally believe she should sue their pants off for causing such trauma through their insensivity and incompetence.

Perhaps being relieved of a substantial amount of cash would spur them to provide better service to their customers in future.

Friday, 23 January 2009

See What They Did To My Son

I saw this yesterday. Couldn't bring myself to think too deeply about it - too disturbing.

But that's the Malaysian police. I probably don't have to elaborate how very low my opinion of them is. They are a waste of taxpayer funds and an insult to humanity.

The extent of the brutality on the man - criminal or not - is shocking. The man truly suffered before he died; no doubt about that.

I'm writing this as I sit in the UK. This would never be tolerated here.

But it happened in Malaysia, and heck, we have low standards and morals. There would be a brief outcry, nothing more.

It has come to a point where nothing else can be done.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Have They Learned Anything?

After one general election and two by-election trouncings, have they learned anything?

Let's see:

Malaysia's deputy prime minister Najib Razak Tuesday said the ruling party's negative image and the perception that its leaders were unfriendly caused its defeat in a key by-election last week.

Guess not.

UMNO boleh!

On The Loss And...

Wall Street Journal interprets the situation down at Kuala Terengganu, and by extension, the rest of Malaysia.

Winning in Malaysia

Malaysia's opposition coalition won another parliamentary seat in a by-election Saturday. It's yet another warning to the ruling United Malays National Organization that voters want a change.

Saturday's poll in Kuala Terengganu was held in Terengganu, a Malay-majority region and traditional stronghold of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS). That party lost the seat in 2004, but regained it in Saturday's by-election. The candidate, Mohammed Abdul Wahid Endut, campaigned on a platform promoting Shariah law and fighting corruption. The ruling UMNO campaigned on a more secular platform and promised old-style UMNO populist spending to create jobs. PAS won Saturday's election by 51.9% to 47.7%.

The victory can be seen as a referendum less on Islamic law than on the ruling party, which has lost popular support over its perceived corruption and handling of the economy. It is a blow, too, to the aspirations of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, who campaigned heavily for the UMNO candidate.

The win also exposes the tensions inherent in Anwar Ibrahim's coalition, which includes his People's Justice Party, the mostly Chinese Democratic Action Party, and PAS. Although all parties pitched in to help PAS win on Saturday, Mr. Anwar has said repeatedly that the opposition supports moderate Islam. That rubs uneasily with PAS's pro-Shariah platform.

The opposition coalition is still 52 seats short of a majority in Parliament, though Saturday's win brought it one seat closer. In Parliament and in future polls, Mr. Anwar would do well to focus his efforts on the broad-based issues that mattered in Kuala Terengganu -- corruption and economic liberalization -- rather than PAS's Islamic bent. That's a winning formula for all of Malaysia.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Kuala Terengganu And Politics

So UMNO got resoundly thrashed again.

After 51 slothful years of apathy and indifference, UMNO (and by extension, Barisan Nasional) is not quick to learn its lessons.

Instead of ditching its old policy of divide the races and conquer - which, evidently has not gone down so well with Malaysian citizens of late - it has continued to perpetuate it.

It has insulted the citizens of Kuala Terengganu by pulling every trick in the book. By offering journalists money. By giving free food, lucky draws and offering other enticements to potential voters. All at the taxpayers' expense, of course.

It didn't work.

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

When it comes to UMNO, I believe in that saying. Which is why we need to retire the old dog to green pastures (and I'm being kind here), far away so it can do no more harm.

The by-elections in Kuala Terengganu was a step towards that.

I think the good citizens of Malaysia have finally come to realise that once the administration of a government goes wrong, the people who can afford to, will migrate elsewhere.

When the brain-drain occurs, there is only is much development that can happen.

For one, it will cost more to get foreign expertise. Subsequently, higher expenditure from hiring too many foreigners (and it doesn't matter whether they come from India, Europe or America) will result in either higher taxes or poor amenities and infrastructure, which affects citizens directly.

If you have no clue what I'm on about, take Petronas for example. A lot of experienced Malaysian engineers have gone abroad, seeking greener pastures. So Petronas hires foreigners.

I once came across a job recruitment site for expatriate engineers. The client was Petronas Carigali and they were offering USD20,000. Sure, it was on a contract basis, but convert that and check out how much that translates into MYR.

That's a lot of money going into foreign pockets. With the current economic downturn, people can no longer afford to stand around and smile benignly.

Sadly, people only act when it affects them directly. Malaysians are no exception.

But at least something is happening on the Malaysian political forefront. I was beginning to lose hope.

I reckon if by-elections were our only shot at choosing our government, then we all have a role to play in getting Barisan Rakyat into Putrajaya.

First things first, we'll have to get voodoo dolls fashioned after the Barisan Nasional MP of our constituency. If your MP is from Barisan Rakyat, then you may either sit back and relax or help a friend who lives in a BN constituency.

Now three times a day everyday, take some time out to stick pins into your BN MP voodoo doll. Hopefully, this will cause your BN MP to obligingly keel over and croak so that the BN government will be forced to hold a by-election.

If this happens about 30 more times, I wager we have enough MPs to send Barisan Rakyat to Putrajaya.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

You Know Whom To Vote For

Kuala Terengganu, do your thing.

You've seen the blatant cheating that happened in the short span of time. Trying to bribe journalists is just stooping so low, that it makes the Mariana Trench in the pacific seem like a puddle in a football field.

There are obviously no limits to what BN would do under desperation.

It's about time you ended the corruption, the swindling and the lack of development in your state.

It's your chance now. If not your first, it's your second chance.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Winter In The UK

It's actually beautiful in the winter.

It's just that there's so little of the sun during that season. It shows up at about 8am and gracefully and almost apologetically makes its exit at about 4pm.

That's after I start work and before I leave the office. I see so little of the sun. I guess that would be one of the few things I really miss - the scorching hot sun that is plentiful in Malaysia. We used to constantly complain about it.

I've gotten used to the cold and I'm hardly even bothered by it anymore. The subzero temperatures have deserted us for a bit though the blistering wind appears to have taken its place.

I like this season. I like this place.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Role Of Children?

Malaysian children are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

You see, when they voluntarily decide to cycle around the country on a mission to deliver a memorandum to parliament for better civil rights, they get arrested and intimidated.

And then, when they're busy minding their own business trying to get some semblance of an education, their education minister tries to mobilise all five million school children AND their teachers to start some sort of a "peace demonstration" in protest of Israel's role over in the Gaza strip.

Apparently public demonstrations are only okay when the ruling coalition suggests it.

At least Spanish children seem to have it better. My colleague sent me this video of his daughter.

I watched it and thought it was the epitome of kids just having a good time.

Every year, the Spanish organise a parade called 'Three Wise Men' or Cabalgata de Reyes focusing on children and the receiving of gifts by the Three Wise Men.

It's just after Christmas, after all, so they're not far behind time. :)

Europe's biggest parade for children. Just for children.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival

I believe there are very few people in the world who can claim to have descended purely of one particular race.

The fact is, our ancestors have been on the planet for quite a while now and there's no way we could collectively have existed without finding someone of another race appealing.

Possibly appealing enough to make babies with.

For the most part, we Malaysians are routinely denoted by our races - Chinese, Indian and Malay, and of course the pribumi in Sabah and Sarawak - even though most of us are products of a mixed marriage.

Our government is racist. You and I know that.

But here's something interesting.

Have you heard of Mildred and Richard Loving? They were the first couple in the USA to win a landmark United States Supreme Court case in defense of their interracial marriage.

Once upon a time, it was illegal to marry someone of a different race.

But they're celebrated every year on the 12th of June in what is called Loving Day.

To complement that, there's a celebration of people with mixed roots in the USA. They're having a Film & Literary Festival which is an annual event celebrating films and literary works exploring racially and culturally Mixed heritages.

The largest west coast Loving Day celebration kicks off the 2nd Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival on June 12, 2009. The Festival celebrates storytelling of the Mixed racial and cultural experience and brings together innovative artists, film and book lovers, and families for two days of writing and film workshops, readings, film screenings, a special family event and live performance by talented comedians, musicians and actors. All events are free and open to the public.

Anyone is welcome. That includes Malaysians.

And if there are any amongst you with talents - either literary or film (and I know there are plenty of you in Malaysia), send in your submissions! Make us Malaysians proud, dammit!

God knows I'd be infinitely more thrilled about it than the mere notion of sending a man up in space to make roti canai.

Beyond Board Games

When I was a kid, my cousins and I used to play Monopoly.

To be quite honest, it may be a bit of a fallacy to say we played; we cheated more than we actually played - bless our little black hearts.

My eldest cousin brother and my sister used to team up together and collaborate to steal various chips or move the existing ones on the board, usually by having one divert attention while the other did the deed.

Another cousin used to discover their trickery and a war usually was to ensue in the house.

Needless to say, all three are now lawyers.

But I digress. I meant to mention Liverpool station, which was a prominent train station in the game of Monopoly.

This is the modern-day Liverpool station at Lime Street.

I have come a long way from those days of board games.

But it's strange. It really is.

P.S. My friend Tim pointed out that "the train stations in Monopoly are actually all London train stations. Liverpool Street station is in (wait for it) Liverpool street in London, not in Liverpool".

Saturday, 10 January 2009

The Blackpool Tower

I keep mistaking Blackpool Tower for the Eiffel. But in reality, it was inspired by the huge steel tower near the Bir-Hakeem metro station in Paris, which I once visited in 2006.

While the Blackpool tower is smaller, it is located in the beautiful seaside town after which it is named. It was designed by two Lancashire architects though, and opened in 1894.

Check out the old-fashioned taxis parked at the curb. It almost gave me a nostalgic feeling.

Malaysian Pretensions

There was a news article that irritated me to the bone when I read it some time back. For various reasons, I chose not to comment on it publicly.

But here it is: Malaysia Willing To Offer Help Where Malays Are A Minority

Obviously, even the Malays in Malaysia are beyond help - they have been given special privileges for about 30 years now and yet nothing much has improved - so what makes our government think it will be making progress in helping a bunch of insipid foreigners?

Most of us probably took it in a light vein.

Philip Bowring is evidently not as nonchalant. In his Opinion piece, he implies that our Malaysian Pretensions are worthy of criticism from human rights groups and other governments.

Malaysian pretensions could be dismissed as hot air. But official discrimination against non-Malays in the country was eventually going to attract criticism from human rights groups and other governments. It is hard to argue that the numerically dominant Malays, who control most of the political, judicial and bureaucratic levers of power and many of the country's major corporations, need help. Yet Malaysia's leadership continues to claim that the Malay race and religion would be threatened by removal of privileges.

I don't know if China and India would intervene.

But we've tried to fight this battle on our own and failed.


Perhaps as Bowring says, it's time for the outside world to speak up in support of equality for non-Malay Malaysians as well as for Malay minorities elsewhere.

Do You Know...

... who these two little boys are?

You don't?


Well, neither do I. They came up to my colleague who was busy snapping shots of the general area and asked him to take a photograph of them.

He evidently obliged.

And well, they disappeared just as suddenly as they materialised. You can't blame them - they're British - it's hardwired into their genetics to be rather strange.

But hey, here's to their few minutes of fame on the other side of the planet! :)

After 100 Years Of History

I was browsing the web and I came across this career recruitment for Woolworths. If you've been following the news, you'd be aware that just a couple of days ago, the group closed down the last of over 800 stores in the UK.

For some reason, even my mother thought it fit to inform me of the demise of Woolworths after about 100 years. The first store was apparently opened in Liverpool in 1909.

The irony of it all. It says:

Congratulations! You've just taken your first step towards your career adventure with Woolworths, the UK's largest general merchandise retail group.

Here at Woolworths we never lose our sense of adventure. We love a challenge. And we’re determined and tenacious enough to make new ideas work. It’s that unique team spirit that has led to us becoming one of the UK’s market leaders.

It's obvious that no one is going to be hiring anyone to work at Woolworth's. Team spirit or not, they've obviously failed at being market leaders.

Look at the empty store.

It just reminds me that life is fleeting and oh so temporary.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

I Have No Confidence Too

Haris is a man on a mission. He says:

If we fail to stop Najib, at least we can look at the next generation of Malaysians in the eye and say, ‘God knows we tried to end the rape of this country’.

To at least attempt to end this rape of Malaysia, go and sign this.

Black Or White?

There's nothing that grabs my attention more than an argument about race.

A lot of the arguments of late can be blamed on the USA as usual - or to be more specific, Barack Obama.

Now I have a friend with a long-running severe obsession over the man. Any less-than-gushing remark about Obama could potentially spark off a rant and more.

I tried once to gauge the source of her enthusiasm for Obama. Between various torrents of emotion, I gathered that she was excited about him being the "first African American man to become the president of the USA".

Frankly, I beg to differ.

He is not an African, a Negro or a Black man alone. He is also White, something that the rest of the world seems content to dismiss.

Exceptions exist, in the form of Jason Haap of Cincinnati, USA who (rightly, in my opinion) protests the "one drop rule" - that old racist theory that claimed one drop of black blood made someone forever black.

Haap is a White man who is married to a Black woman and has two multi-racial sons. But not everyone in the same situation agrees. My friend, Ax is also a White man married to a Black woman.

He, however seems to be fixated on the notion that Haap is claiming being Black is less than an ideal condition to be in. Or in his words, "offensive".

But that is the USA. What do other people around the world think?

David Aaronovitch is half Jewish. He writes for The Times. His children are also multi-racial or in his words, "who are not black and are not white, or who are both".

He makes an observation that I have, in the past, put forward before as well: "To say that Mr Obama is black is to say, in effect, that his mother had no race or that her race was somehow obliterated by her choice of husband."

It is interesting to note that in the UK, the fastest-growing ethnic category is that of mixed race.

That can never be a bad thing. I note with approval that Britons in general have become better looking in recent times, evidently a positive side-effect of miscegenation.

On another note, take a look at this two-tone miracle, repeated yet again.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Checking In

Hey folks.

Some of you probably know that I'm a few thousand miles away from home. On business, as usual.

I'm sitting in my hotel room in the wee hours of the morning, unable to sleep because I'm still running on Malaysian time. I know I should force myself to stay awake til it's late and then settle into the routine.

But well, the spirit is willing; it's just that the flesh is weak. :)

Anyway, BBC news on TV tells me that this is the coldest winter they've had in 10 years. I'm hardly surprised. It's just me - I bring the cold. They've had 2 soft winters, the last time that it was pretty cold was in 2006 when I happened to be there!!

The weather channel tells me it's about -9 degrees Celcius out there.

I believe them.

When I got home from work yesterday, the puddles in the carpark were frozen. Obviously, driving is rather treacherous, and I keep having to tell my colleague to take it slow.

You know how Malaysians drive.

But anyway, I'm bundled up in multiple layers and keeping warm. I hope it snows soon, since it usually gets warmer then - based on my previous experience.

My nocturnal habit are probably going to see me awake and online during Malaysian time, so while I miss not being able to join in with campaigning (especially for the Terengganu by-elections), I'll certainly be rabble-rousing from here. :)

I see the MSM perverts are back with their dirty tricks. Haris Ibrahim has some ground zero news on what ACTUALLY is happening with the Pakatan Rakyat issues.

Go kick some BN ass on my behalf.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Chaser's APEC Conference

It's no secret that the Malaysian government and law enforcement are screwed three ways to Sunday.

When it comes to adminstration of this country, they have no aim, goals & direction and wouldn't be able to acquire one even if you gave them a map, a compass and a GPS system.

And they are spectacularly incompetent.

You just know it by the way they randomly establish roadblocks, brutalise protestors at peaceful demonstrations and more recently, arrest young cyclists to intimidate them.

But there are also other governments, who need some work on their erm... skills.

A stunt like that would be a hoot in Malaysia, except that if we saw Osama bin Laden, a whole bunch of people like PEWARIS and the mamak boys from Penang will be rushing to embrace him.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Rows In Pakatan Rakyat

If you've been following recent Malaysian politics (in spite of the festive events of late), you'd be aware of the political bickerings and tantrums being thrown rather liberally.

The MP of Kapar, S. Manikavasagam has decided to throw in the towel over his relationship with PKR, the party with whose affiliation helped win him his seat in Kapar.

Now a lot of Indians in Malaysia believe that they - through HINDRAF - were personally responsible for upstaging the ruling coalition, BN, during the March general elections.

I hate to break it to them, but no.

HINDRAF's Makkal Sakhti banner did come into play, but the rest of Malaysia probably thought that if the black brothers could go to the streets with ludicrous demands, then they (other Malaysians) had more credible issues to sort out with the government.

HINDRAF probably started the ball rolling, but they sure as hell aren't completely responsible for it, and taking the full credit is nothing short of being LAME.

Of course, our guy here Manikavasagam, having cut his political teeth via the HINDRAF movement tends to veer quite sharply into the group ideology of promoting Indian rights above all.

There's something wrong with that. While I'm a great believer of standing up and speaking up for one rights, I'm not for doing it at the expense of others. This is what UMNO has been doing for years and look what the country has turned into.

We're a bunch of asinine racists, who would run over a little old lady at the side of the road just to get ahead of the queue. We may not speak up for our rights for fear of "rocking the boat", but we express our priority for self in other ways.

As an MP, this fellow Manikavasagam at least does a good job in representing the people's views. Among some of the issues which have cropped up in Kapar, Klang are:

1. Moving the bus station to Meru. Traders at the old station say their income would be badly hit if the station is moved but the state government would have to pay compensation to the developer if the station is not moved because a whole new housing estate and shopping lots have been built around the new station.

I personally think the aforementioned traders should read a book called "Who Moved My Cheese" which is all about dealing with change. Their business may even boom in the change of location.

2. Demolishment of a temple in Ampang.

I think we have way too many Hindu temples built at the dodgiest locations.

3. The relocation of squatters.

Now that's a whole can of worms. Sometimes, squatters just love living where they've always lived, in spite of all the filth and squalor. Then again, I don't know the whole story.

4. Assisting flood victims in Kapar.

Again, I don't know the whole story, but perhaps more could have been done for the flood victims.

5. Favoured positions. He alleges PKR remains Malay-centric and campaigned for the Malay agenda, pointing out that Indians had not been offered positions in GLCs, state agencies and senior positions in local councils.

6. Resident representation. “Even in Kampung Sentosa where 95 per cent of residents are Indians, Khalid appointed a Malay as the ketua kampung,” Manikavasagam said.

I'm pretty clear on this. I don't need a representative who is of my race as long as he does his job. The problem with issues 5 & 6 is the blatant ethnocentricity. Why offer positions if the candidate in question has inadequate credentials anyway?

Now, what surprises me is the desire to keep all these carrying-ons under wraps.

Apparently, it will "hurt" the party image if the media ran too many reports on them.

Now, I don't know about you, but I find it oddly satisfying that for once, Malaysians are communicating even through their conflicts.

I have lived in this bloody country for a LONG time and I know for a fact that a lot of Malaysians say 'yes' when they actually mean 'no'.

And by watching PKR have their arguments and disagreements, do I feel compelled to disassociate myself with them or withdraw my support?

Hell no.

If YOU do, it's only because you're a bimbo.

And I say that without malice, only because I know you can't help being a bimbo, regardless of whether you're male, female or hermaphrodite.

Have a great year ahead.