Monday, 30 November 2009

What Do You Think?

Time out from politics.

I saw this article about straying men and busy career-women yesterday.

Today, there is some sort of response to it.

The main reason this has caught my attention is that both Ivy Josiah and Vicky Alahakone are from Women's Aid Organisation and yet both have differing views.

I generally don't read mainstream media, but I'm curious to know what everyone else thinks - both men and women - so please leave a comment.

Feel free to remain anonymous if you so wish, but using a pseudonym would help identify who is who.

1. Sex and the hubby, NST 29 Nov 2009
2. Don't pin it on the working wife, says WAO, NST 30 Nov 2009

Saturday, 28 November 2009

International Year of Reconciliation 2009

The year 2009 is the International Year of Reconciliation. It aims to promote the concept of reconciliation worldwide.

Go HERE to read what SABM is up to.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Crystal Clear Focus

Muhyiddin Yassin made it to the forefront of politics, not by sheer intellect, a heart for the citizens or good looks.

He rose by barking suitably loudly at the grassroot levels and maintaining the appropriate silence at international levels.

It is thus unfortunate that at the national level, he has lost his ability to conceal his stupidity - thanks to the mainstream media:

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 24 (Bernama) -- The fickleness of Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat in making decisions is proof that the party leadership is weak, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He observed that Nik Aziz was selective in making decisions, especially when it involved his personal interests, and was not firm, inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory on many matters.

"It is clear that the PAS leadership is inconsistent, vague and not transparent at all. To me, it shows a level of weakness in the PAS leadership," he told reporters after chairing the 7th meeting of the National Mineral Council, here, today.

Now I have gained the reputation for being a PAS basher.

If the truth be told, I have a low tolerance for people who dictate what women should wear, what people should or should not drink and where they can or cannot go.

But I have come to accept that Nik Aziz, the spiritual leader of PAS while eccentric (in my opinion), has one glaring characteristic - he is sincere to a fault.

I have the utmost respect and conviction that this old man is not swayed by money, popularity, pride or even family.

And direction?

Since he has nothing to distract him, his focus is crystal clear and he couldn't be more purposeful in his direction.

The mainstream media has attempted to cloud my opinion of Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat on the issue of his son-in-law's alleged misappropriation of funds. It has failed miserably.

For I am reminded that this man is:

1. Humble enough to admit that he made a mistake in appointing his son-in-law to the position of power.
2. Sincere enough to reverse that mistake (at the risk of offending family members).
3. Consistent and transparent enough to do what is right without being intimidated by UMNO politicians and the mainstream media, who naturally had a field day with this issue.

Muhyiddin Yassin can call him a "flip-flop". The mainstream media may attempt to ridicule him.

But I am not gullible enough to believe them.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Social Impediment

I watched as the young, barefoot Malaysian boys battled it out in their game of football.

With the exception of a few tufts of grass, some stray, misaligned tiles, and a manhole, it was largely a level playing field. All the boys were about of the same height and build even.

To some, it may look like a bleak situation - the boys lived in a run-down rumah panjang meant to be temporary housing. It was located just on the outskirts of the city that is host to the majestic Petronas Twin Towers.

Their ignorance is bliss.

For alas, when they grow older, they will discover (if they haven't already) that they possess a little but not insignificant impediment: they are of Indian descent.

It is no longer a level playing field.

In this country, there are countless deaths in custody, the majority of them being Indian men.

More recently, 5 Indian men were shot dead by the police - merely under suspicion of being involved in criminal activities.

Helen Ang, in her bold but exceptionally relevant article Why we haven’t thrown that slipper pierces my conscience for being part of the motley crew of Malaysians that does nothing to stop this violation of human rights.

In Malaysia, some dark-skinned men are deliberately made to be less equal than others. Malaysian authorities who shoot to kill do not believe that ‘suspected criminals’ possess any unalienable right to life, never mind the too hopeful “pursuit of happiness”.

Successive BN governments have not addressed the root problem of the Indian community’s chronic socio-economic ills – why the gangsterism and involvement in criminal activities. It’s not just Indians who are neglected with no opportunity for social mobility; the itinerant pirated DVD seller – almost always Chinese – is also on the wrong side of the law.

It's not just the Indian men who suffer and die, but somehow the entire community is affected as well.

In the case of R Surendran, his sister Seetha, overcome by grief, ingested weedkiller and offered it to her 4 children as well. She has since died.

Again, Helen in Sad road to Seetha's suicide observes that:

For most of us, we lose our loved ones to old age or they succumb to natural causes. For the Tamil underclass like Seetha, death can visit a male sibling in a hail of bullets or occurring in the police lock-up. This comes about due to the chronic socio-economic deprivation of the community.

So, no, those comfortable armchair critics of Seetha can't even begin to comprehend her anguish and the perennial dark cloud hanging when one is mired in poverty. Her father is a security guard; her husband a lorry driver. Both are low status and low pay jobs.

In other words, the Indian community is finding itself unable to cope.

Seriously, what do we need to open our eyes and that of our fellow Malaysians?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Why We Have Regressed

I'm not going to say much today.

I would just like to point you to an excellent post that echoes my sentiments exactly:

IGP - ‘Thou shalt not question me’

It's no secret that our nation has greatly regressed and deteriorated. In that post, you will find one of the major reasons why.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

When It Comes To Corruption, Malaysia Boleh!

As I sat in my car drearily watching the line ahead of me snake towards the traffic lights, a fake, chirpy voice announced that we had dropped in the corruption index.

"Unbelievable," I muttered to myself as the lights turned. Could we possibly be less corrupt than we were last year?

It turns out that it was just an attempt to fool the Malaysian public as usual, by insinuating we had improved instead of regressing.

“A fall of 0.6 from 5.1 in 2008 to 4.5 in 2009 is alarming not only to the people of Malaysia but also the government of the day,” said Datuk Paul Low, the country president of the local branch of TI.

Let's not even consider Singapore's lofty position. It's too embarrassing.

Related: A Sinking Corrupt Nation

Monday, 16 November 2009

Will Malaysia Ever Be Colour-Blind?

Will Malaysia ever be colour-blind?
In Malaysia, a promise to continue a race-based affirmative action policy will only entrench racism

By Nazry Bahrawi

After South Africa and Rwanda's harrowing experiences, it might be expected that no country would want its citizens governed racially lest it be torn asunder. But Malaysia considers itself an exception. Its leaders just gave race-based policies a renewed stamp of approval.

Last month, prime minister Najib Razak vowed to continue an unpopular affirmative action policy that favours the nation's Malays (who make up for slightly more than half of its population) over the Chinese and Indian minorities, who account for about 26% and 8% respectively.

The New Economic Policy (NEP), as this racialised national programme is known, was introduced nearly four decades back to raise the Malays' share of the nation's wealth from a meagre 1.5% to a more equitable 30% and create a Malay middle class. To this end, the government imposed racial quotas in such spheres as education and business.

Read it all HERE.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Mr Nice Guy Image

Some of you may remember that back in July, we learned that Najib had employed a Public Relations firm called APCO Worldwide to promote his image within the country and also worldwide.

A lot of money was spent. Our taxpayer money, of course. It was confirmed in Parliament quite recently.

But it looks like APCO Worldwide may be responsible for successfully duping a lot of Malaysians and possibly some foreigners as well into thinking that Najib Tun Razak is a nice guy.

Najib suddenly has a wonderful image. He appears to be the 'change' that the nation sorely needs.

He shows up with the 1Malaysia concept, claiming to champion equality and unity.

To date, there has been no evidence to suggest that it will actually happen.

and I'm not holding my breath waiting.

And then he claims to abolish racist policies or "dilute the system of ethnic preferences" as the New York Times calls it.

I didn't buy it and none of my friends did either.

Recently, there have been calls by civil initiatives like Anak Bangsa Malaysia to recognise September 16 (Malaysia Day) as significant, since it has generally been ignored by previous administrations.

But Najib swoops in to seize the day by declaring September 16 as a public holiday.

What a kind, reasonable man, you think. But this is the man who couldn't care less about Sabah and Sarawak. Beyond the oil & gas, timber and tourism that those two states provide, that is.

He doesn't stop at that.

Najib steps back and watches the debate between proponents of vernacular and national type schools respectively. And then he walks in and says that the government will maintain vernacular schools as this is what the rakyat want.

BN cannot survive without the divide and conquer rule. They cannot afford to have the Malays, Chinese and Indians thinking alike and feeling contented to be equals.

Once the races start integrating and communicating, they will inevitably unite and give BN a solid kick on its behind.

So Najib comes up with pseudo-unity speeches to UMNO delegates like "Work for the people".

During the last few UMNO general assemblies, key delegates started waving the keris around while breathing threats. That culminated in a tsunami of disapproval, observed through crushing results during the 2008 General Elections.

APCO Worldwide must probably be dishing out plenty of advice to Najib about refraining from stupid stunts like that.

He is obviously taking the cue.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Good Ole RPK Evades The Gestapo

From Al-Jazeera: Malaysia blogger in hiding

A court in Malaysia has temporarily dropped the trial of a prominent blogger accused of sedition, because they do not know his whereabouts.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who runs the Malaysia Today website, is believed to have gone into hiding, possibly outside of Malaysia.

The trial which began in October last year stems from an article he wrote last year that allegedly implied the involvement of Malaysia's prime minister in the high-profile 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman.

Two policemen were sentenced to death in April for the killing, although the trial never established any motive.

Speaking to the Associated Press on Wednesday, Raja Petra said he would remain in hiding saying he still believes authorities are determined to put him behind bars.

"I think I'll continue from where I am in my attempts to bring down the government," he said from an unknown location.

The 59-year-old blogger has infuriated Malaysian authorities for years by publishing numerous claims of alleged wrongdoing by government leaders.

The government has denounced his allegations as lies.

If convicted of sedition, Raja Petra had faced up to three years in prison.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

What Leads To A Dull And Rigid Environment?

A colleague of mine at work recently put up a sign that said, "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

The Labour Department director-general is precisely that sort of stupidity personified.

The introduction of a sexual harassment statute could lead to a dull and rigid environment in the workplace.

-Labour Department director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim

Ah yes. Stupidity has no limits.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Getting Away With Murder In Malaysia

People in developed countries find our stories hard to believe. Only we Malaysians know that what goes on in our country is real.

I am aware that many deaths are politically motivated but even I was stunned to discover the staggering number of them that are simply swept under the carpet.

It especially irks me when they mysteriously get classified under the Official Secrets Act.

You'll have to read this article from Asia Sentinel. And then cry for what we have become.

Monday, 2 November 2009

SABM Penang Roadshow

Those of you in Penang will be pleased to know that the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia initiative will be coming down to you!

You'd be a fool to miss something like this.

There's an excellent line-up of speakers - I've listened to them before and they know their stuff!

For more details, get yourself down HERE to check it all out.