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Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year Message For Malaysian-Indians

I have blogged a great deal on the plight of Indians in Malaysia. But I thought another message would also come in handy.

Indians must rid dependency syndrome

From R Kengadharan, via e-mail

Is it true that Malaysian Indians have been caught in a trap from which they are finding it difficult to extricate themselves? Or is it true that the government has its own priorities and not keen to resolve the socio-economic conditions and problems of the community? Or is a community left to fend for it self?

Read the rest online.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Using Religious Mambo-Jumbo

I always find it amusing when politicians use religious rhetoric to get their propaganda across to the uneducated fanatics.

Najib is certainly not unique in his approach to Pekida.

But I thought this editorial was spot-on in its analysis of Najib: The pact with the devil

It's a little old, but still worthy of a reread.

Occupy on the 31st!

To mark the end of 2011 and the inception of the 2012 New Year, we are calling ALL to Occupy Dataran Merdeka with us on December 31st, 2011, at 11pm.

This will be a participatory MASS FLASHMOB, symbolically expressing our common indignation against the many injustices and anti-democratic events that happened in Malaysia in 2011, in contrast to the positive significance of 2011 for the rest of the world.

We want to collectively say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH; TIME FOR REAL DEMOCRACY NOW, in 2012!


The objectives for this CALL TO ACTION ON DECEMBER 31st are:

1) To reclaim our public spaces and reclaim Dataran Merdeka as an open and democratic space for all peoples to assemble freely and peacefully;

2) To defend and reclaim the fundamental right to assemble peacefully, protest and to occupy our public spaces;

3) To protest against the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011;

4) To show solidarity with all those who have suffered injustices and violation of their basic rights in 2011;

5) To show our resolve in making 2012 the year of real democratic changes in Malaysia, in all aspects, political, social and economic.

Jom Occupy!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

On cow heads and easily-cowed Malaysians

One very Malaysian trait, besides bringing tupperware to government open houses, is passivity. It has served us well in one regard, though: racial and religious violence.

Rather than participate in civil disobedience, the average Malaysian would prefer to sit at home and complain about poor Astro reception. With the newly-introduced free Astro packages, now everyone can complain.

You see, as a nation, we have become so cowed by our oppressive laws that the very idea of riots like the ones in London would make most Malaysians shudder.

I am sure Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would take that as the proof of the ISA’s effectiveness and its important role in ensuring Malaysians are good, biddable citizens.

Read the rest HERE.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Brave Young Man

Why the hell should he apologise for his actions when there is a legitimate reason behind it?

The 22-year-old Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) student, Adam Adli Abdul Halim, who lowered a flag depicting Najib Abdul Razak at the Umno headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre, said he would not apologise to the prime minister for his actions.

Telling Sinar Harian in an exclusive interview today, Adam said his actions were to drive a point that the present situation in the country was getting worse and hoped his actions would create awareness.

“I will never apologise (to the prime minister). Since the thing had happened till today, now I am asked to apologise. I will never do that. How about my friends and the struggle? ” he asked.

“I do not want my friends to be demoralised if I apologise. It is not that I will never apologise at all, as maybe someday I may have to say sorry to some people for my actions,” he said when asked whether he will apologise to the prime minister.

I'm glad this young man knows to stand his ground.

I can imagine all those fools urging him to apologise are saying what a rude (biadap) thing it is to lower the flag and how Najib's feelings would be hurt.

If you ask me, Najib should apologise.

Profusely.

He should apologise for letting this nation get to such a sorry state.

He should apologise for all the taxpayer money he has used indiscriminately.

He should apologise for the stupid things he has done, like the Scorpene deals and Altantuya.

But I don't hear a word out of him.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

"Falsely Humanizing Muslims"

The world is a strange place.

People are determined to impose their beliefs on others and persecute them over a difference in opinion.

In Malaysia, Muslim groups are outraged that a Malay medical student has allegedly gotten married to another man in Ireland.

Some of the comments he has unwittingly received over his personal and private life are:

"The marriage is a disgrace to our religion, race and country," Norizan Ali, chairman of Kepong Islamic Youth Organization (PBIK).

@DTOTHEZAK wrote on Twitter: “Ariff Alfian Rosli is a disgrace! Rot in hell!” @shkyla wrote: “Looking at those wedding pictures of Ariff Alfian, makes me want to vomit. Blergh, disgusting.”

On Facebook, a group calling itself “The Campaign to Bring Ariff Alfian Rosli Home to Malaysia to Save His Faith” wants to “restore” Rosli to “the true and noble path” of Islam.

Meanwhile, there are a faction of Americans who protest the TLC show All-American Muslim, claiming the show "falsely humanized Muslims in America.”

Consequently, Lowe's Home Improvement recently pulled its ads from the TLC show.

This sort of fear-mongering and intolerance is evidently not going to help the normal peace-loving Muslim who lives in the USA.

If you have watched this video before, you will see the other face of normal people who just happen to be Muslim.

Persecuting them for no reason is just going to turn them into the enemy and push them to the other side.

If you have any comments about this, please go to this website: www.myfellowamerican.us and share what this controversy means to you.

Friday, 16 December 2011

TIME Person of the Year

The protester.

This is so apt for the current times.



Once upon a time, when major news events were chronicled strictly by professionals and printed on paper or transmitted through the air by the few for the masses, protesters were prime makers of history.

Back then, when citizen multitudes took to the streets without weapons to declare themselves opposed, it was the very definition of news — vivid, important, often consequential.

In the 1960s in America they marched for civil rights and against the Vietnam War; in the '70s, they rose up in Iran and Portugal; in the '80s, they spoke out against nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Europe, against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, against communist tyranny in Tiananmen Square and Eastern Europe.

Protest was the natural continuation of politics by other means.

Read more: TIME Person of the Year

Monday, 5 December 2011

Poor Najib

An excerpt from Transform, reform or deform?

Does nobody tell Najib that he is making an ass of himself when he replaces a draconian legislation with another draconian one?

I would have thought that at least Idris Jala would have put his hands up and say, “Excuse me Datuk Seri, but I think we need to go through that PA Bill again.” Or is he too busy plugging up leaks?

Najib seems oblivious to what is happening around him because he lives with the moment. He does not understand that he cannot be all things to all people.

Najib has a blog. I have one too, and I know the amount of work required to make it relevant and interesting to people who you hope will read what you write. How much time does Najib spend on his blog? I think not enough to write even one article a week. And he says he talks to us through his blog. He even sends me emails to inform me about what is happening on his blog.

Should I be grateful for this or should I see it for what it really is: a cheap shot at “connecting” with us bloggers and the rest of the Internet community. It insults my intelligence. It is yet another attempt by the Najib to seen as Mr Cool, and I am sure it costs the rakyat money. No, you are not cool, Mr Prime Minister. You are wasting our time and our money for no gain to you or to us.

Najib is caught up in lies of his own making. He pretends to be a blogger when he obviously is not. He makes himself believe that he is connecting with the young when what he is he truly doing is acting out the instructions of his PR people.

Now this is what really worries me. If what we see are the best of Najib’s efforts –after all, you must put forward your best effort for public consumption—what happens in the Cabinet? Do they take collective responsibility for stupidity?

Related: The Mr Nice Guy Image

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas Turkey

No, I'm not talking about the intellect of a Malaysian politician.

It's the Christmas tradition of eating, and prior to that, carving a turkey, which is a really big bird -- far bigger than a chicken.


If you thought that dealing with food was a woman's job, think again. Apparently carving turkey is a man's job!


Fortunately, eating it is everyone's job.

The Peaceful Assembly at KLCC

An excerpt from The Malaysian Insider:

Today, Wong was told that he needed the permission from KLCC’s management to gather in the park.

But he told reporters later that they will continue to hold protests every Saturday at KLCC until the law is revoked.

The Peaceful Assembly Bill, which bans street demonstrations, was passed on November 29 on BN votes after the opposition Pakatan Rakyat bloc staged a walkout.

“We must have a parliamentary select committee before the Peaceful Assembly Bill becomes law, we want public consultation. All of us want to give our views in a real democracy,” Lim said to the crowd.

The controversial law bans all street protests, imposes far stricter requirements on rally organisers as well as higher fines for more offences and gives blanket powers to the police.

Today, Wong brushed aside any suspicion over the coincidence that the main area between KLCC and the park was closed to the public for cleaning, on both days.

“We are very heartened that for two weeks in a row they have shown their support for us with actions. That counts a lot. They are spreading the awareness of being clean,” he said cheekily.

“We are defying the law because it is unjust, it is unreasonable, it is an insult to our intelligence and common sense and we want to show how ridiculous it is when a security guard says you need to apply for permit before you can read and listen to someone reading poems.

“If the law is passed, we will do it again. We want to get the state to arrest us and charge us in court for holding balloons, for carrying flags, for singing the national anthem without permit, without notifying the police 10 days in advance. The law needs to go, kill the bill,” he said.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Guardian On Malaysia's "Arab Spring"


Malaysia's ruling party has accused the opposition of trying to topple the government by manufacturing its own version of an Arab spring uprising through street protests.

The criticism comes a day after the parliament's lower house passed a law banning street demonstrations and imposing other restrictions on rallies that rights groups have described as a threat to freedom of assembly.

Read the rest at: Malaysia's government accuses opposition of fomenting 'Arab spring'

The Memorial Service

THE MALAYSIAN PARLIAMENT
1957-2011

Age: 54

The Malaysian Parliament passed away on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, at about 4.00pm at its historical home on Jalan Parlimen during the passing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011.

The Parliament leaves behind 28 million heartbroken Malaysians, including the Fisherman, the Postal Worker, the Nasi Lemak Mak Cik, the Kindergarten Teacher, the Retired Old Man, the Teenage Boy, the Unemployed Fresh Graduate and many others of who looked to it as a place where their voices could be heard.

A memorial service for Parliament will be held on 1 December 2011 at 8.00pm just outside its home with a non-religious wake open to all who keenly feel its loss.

We encourage all Malaysians to attend this memorial service to mourn the passing of the Malaysian Parliament. There will be an open session for anyone to read eulogies/sing a song/read a poem in remembrance of the deceased.

Messages of condolences can also be written at this page below.

Your presence in this time of sorrow is much appreciated.

Please observe the following:
-Bring candles and white flowers
-Bring pots, pans, drums or anything that can be part of the STOMP percussion session
-Wear black

Little Trek To Sonning

It took us a while to find the Thames footpath. We had to walk through some fields and wander about.

But we found it, muddy though it was, as could be expected for this time of the year.


The sights were beautiful though. The river flowed calmly, in no particular hurry, as it had been doing for the past thousands of years.


It was cold and crisp, but there were a few people out on their canoes. It goes to show that the cold is only in the mind!


The boathouse wasn't teeming with people though. It's not the most popular activity for December.


And nestled in this enclave in the town of Sonning. This is merely one house. There are plenty more.

However, do note that there are no fast food outlets or news stands available. These people truly defend their privacy.

Masters Of Misinformation

The BN government has tried to pass off its draconian laws as those respectful of human rights and democracy.

Peaceful Assembly: The BN government’s misinformation — Kua Kia Soong


NOV 30 — In justifying the bulldozing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill yesterday, the BN government has said that it is in line with similar laws in the European countries which respect democracy. This is a devious attempt at misinformation which must be debunked.

Debasement of our constitutional right

Firstly, Malaysians should realise how much the BN has debased our fundamental liberties since Independence in 1957. Our Federal Constitution, by the way, was crafted by the Reid Commission set up by our former colonial master and our fundamental liberties enshrined in it were based on international human rights already existing at the time.

Our right to assemble peaceably under Article 10 was severely circumscribed by the Police Act 1967, giving the police wide discretionary powers to the police to regulate assemblies, meetings and processions by requiring a licence to be obtained for peaceful assemblies.

Amendments to the Act in 1987 further extended police powers to stopping and dispersing activities in private places. It also provided the police with power to use force against participants when closing down events, whether in public or private places. This was exactly what the police did in 1996 when they dispersed, arrested and detained NGO activists at the Asia-Pacific conference on East Timor (APCET). I was one of the unfortunate victims of this law.

Since 2007, section 98 of the Criminal Procedure Code allows the government to use court orders to stop public assemblies. The police have the power to arrest individuals named in court orders if they enter the identified areas of planned assemblies.

Through the years, the police have used these powers to selectively arrest human rights defenders while letting off far-right mobsters such as we saw at APCET in 1996, Suqiu in 2000, Kampung Medan in 2001, the Article 11 fora in 2006, the cow-head fracas in 2010, to name but the most salient examples of double standards by the police.

SUHAKAM in its 2007 public inquiry report reiterated the constitutional provision that “peaceful assemblies should be allowed to proceed without a licence.”

Use European Convention on Human Rights model

Whichever European country’s model the government is supposed to have followed in drafting the Peaceful Assembly Bill, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is ultimately the authority on this fundamental liberty.

The right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the ECHR. The police do not need notification of the protest. As long as the public highway is not blocked off completely and there is no threat of violence, there will be no criminal offence. If the police do require conditions, they are obliged to give reasons for the conditions. If they have acted unlawfully, the police can be sued under the Human Rights Act.

As long as the organisers’ intention is for peaceful assembly, the possibility of violent counter-demonstrations is not a reason for prohibiting processions. The state is expected to protect peaceful protestors and to take reasonable and appropriate means to enable lawful peaceful assemblies.

Notification only for police protection

It is only right that the police should be notified if there is to be a peaceful assembly since they are the keepers of the peace and the far-right are the main threats to democracy today. However, it is unconstitutional to criminalise a peaceful assembly or procession simply on the ground that the organisers had failed to give notice to the police.

The Peaceful Assembly Bill is thus an unnecessary restriction on our right to assemble peaceably and out of step with modern democratic societies. Important events are forever breaking out which spur people to protest over particular issues and peaceful protests provide a forum for the peoples’ voices to be heard.

There should be a notice period of 48 hours if only for administrative purposes with provision for waiver in spontaneous demonstrations. Fundamentally, the spirit of Article 10 of our constitution demands that the police should not be given the power to prohibit any peaceful assembly or procession.

Kill the Bill

Under the guise of “reform”, the BN government is attempting to pull the wool over our eyes by introducing old poison in new bottles. Mark my words — they will do the same with the ISA with their new Act “against terrorism”. As for reforming our political institutions to honour the right to peaceful assembly, the government should simply amend the existing Police Act and other laws to be in line with Article 10 of the Constitution. As the perceptive philosopher Uma Thurman coolly put it: “Kill the Bill…”

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Walk For Freedom

In case you're wondering what exactly happened.



This certainly looks like far more than a thousand people on the streets.

"Peaceful Assembly" Bill Passed


The Malaysian parliament has passed a ban on street protests, despite a rally against the bill by crowds of lawyers.

Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote on the Peaceful Assembly Act, which the ruling party says eases regulations.

But critics say it replaces a rule requiring a police permit for a demonstration with one that bans street protests.

Some 500 lawyers marched in the capital ahead of the vote.

Read the whole thing HERE.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Walk For Freedom: From Lake Club To The Parliament

Calling ALL activists and those who are passionately fighting for various rights.

Let us get together as RAKYAT Malaysia and join the #Walk4Freedom!

WHY JOIN THE WALK ? The PA Bill 2011 will affect all the causes we are fighting!

HOW, YOU MAY ASK? It simply denies us the freedom to assemble where we want and when we want to champion our causes... you can't freely protest the environmental issues, or gather on Woman's Day to fight for equal rights of woman, or to stop violence against woman, or to fight for electoral reform, or to let the voices of the indigenous people's be heard, or to hear the plight of refugees, children and migrants, or the cries of those brutally abused by police and the list goes on.....

For all the causes above you would need to apply for a permit and the process would "require a 10-day period so the police can negotiate with the local community to get their views". This is subject to approval. Alternatively you could protest in "designated areas" such as stadiums. (we all remember Bersih and how it was denied Stadium Merdeka).

*IMAGINE* : someone gets raped in your neighborhood..you need to assemble to alert people about it to create awareness...you have to wait 10 days to apply for a permit etc...by then there might be another person raped. AND YES the new PA Bill doesn't have exceptions for this kind of assembly too!

Stripping the right to assemble strips away all our campaign rights!

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Hartal! In 1947 Malaysian did Hartal ( a form of "civil disobedience" where the shops, businesses, offices, etc were closed for a the few hours and the people joined in the demonstration and then went back to work)...calling all Malaysians to join in the Walk 4 Freedom! Let us in SOLIDARITY exercise our right in the Federal Constitution (Article 10 : Freedom of Assembly)!

WHERE AND WHEN IS THIS? Walk4Freedom will be on 29th November 2011 @ 1130 am ...LAKE CLUB...and we will walk at 1230pm to Parliament....

Monday, 28 November 2011

Malaysia’s Government Under Mounting Pressure

Malaysia’s government under mounting pressure to reconsider law that would ban street protests

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government faced mounting pressure Sunday to scrap plans for a law that would ban street protests, despite agreeing to ease other restrictions on rallies that activists have called repressive.

The proposed law to regulate public demonstrations has prompted lawyers, opposition leaders and rights groups to accuse Prime Minister Najib Razak’s National Front coalition of cracking down on freedom of assembly ahead of general elections widely expected next year.

Details of the Peaceful Assembly Bill announced last week included a requirement for rally organizers to inform police about their plans 30 days in advance. Street demonstrations would be forbidden, effectively limiting rallies to stadiums and public halls.

Malaysia’s de facto law minister, Nazri Aziz, said Saturday that the Cabinet has agreed to make several changes to the proposed law, such as reducing the advance notification period to 10 days.

However, there were no changes planned for the ban on street protests and a fine of up to 20,000 ringgit ($6,200) for demonstrators who break the law. Children under 15 would be barred from attending rallies, which also cannot be held near schools, hospitals, places of worship, airports or gasoline stations.

Read the rest HERE.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Malaysians In London Protest Peaceful Assembly Bill

It was an incredibly windy morning at Belgrave Square.

That, however, did not discourage any hard-core Malaysian overseas.


They came with their banners and posters.


There was not a peep out of the Malaysian High Commission while the protesters chanted and waved their banners.


A couple of policemen kept watch at a respectful distance, but did nothing to disperse the crowd. Street protests were seen as a fundamental right.


Making one's dissent heard is far easier in the UK than in Malaysia.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Malaysia Bill on Demonstrations Draws Protests

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Najib on Thursday said the new legislation shows his government is "taking a brave moral stand" and listening to the people of Malaysia.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said opposition parties would argue against the Peaceful Assembly Bill in Parliament, but political analysts said it is unlikely he could stop its passage. A prominent protest organizer, Ambiga Sreenivasan, said the proposed law would only set back legitimate dissent.

Legal activists also were unimpressed. Bar council president Lim Chee Wee described the new assembly law as "restrictive" and expressed his surprise that street protests would be outlawed. The bill would also prohibit gatherings within 50 meters of schools, hospitals and places of worship.

Read the rest HERE.

Free To Assemble Campaign

KEMPEN KEBEBASAN BERHIMPUN (KKB)

Sekretariat SUARAM
433A, 1st Floor, Jalan 5/46,
Gasing Indah,
46000 Petaling Jaya

Dear Friends,

The Committee of Free To Assemble Campaign/Kempen Kebebasan Berhimpun would like to invite you to the Candle Light Vigil to Demand the Withdrawal of the Public Assembly Bill immediately.

Our stand is that this Bill is more repressive, is contrary to Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution and is more severe than the previous act.

Therefore, “Jom Ke Jalan” to reclaim our fundamental rights.

Information is as follows:

Date: 26 November 2011
Venue: Merdeka Square (Flag Pole)
Time: 7.30pm

Spread this to friends, family members and all Malaysians!

Please contact the Secretariat (SUARAM) Heng Lung at 016 4114147 or Nalini 019 3758912.

Thank you.

Released By,

Secretariat of KKB
(SUARAM)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kee Thuan Chye On Malaysian Scams


Are we stupid enough to fall for the same scam?
Kee Thuan Chye
8:34AM Nov 24, 2011
COMMENT I can’t help but wonder if the government really thinks that Malaysians are stupid. So stupid that we can be hoodwinked into believing that the changes they propose to our laws amount to actual reform.

Two months ago, when Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that newspapers would no longer have to renew their publishing licences annually, he might have expected us to go ga-ga and applaud and say that the media would now be freer.

But if we had done that, we would indeed have been stupid. Because we would not have realised that there is really no change.

Even if the newspapers need not renew their licences every year, the fact remains that the home minister still retains the power to suspend or close down any newspaper at any time - if he feels it is too free in expressing its views, or for whatever reasons.

newspaper headlines on the 19th of august 2004

So, whether there is renewal or not, it does not matter. As long as the home minister is still as powerful as before, your newspaper can still get into trouble with him. What’s more, his decision cannot be challenged in court.

Ah! If you now say that stinks like a scam, that the government is actually trying to deceive us, you would be right. But if you still think, like the mainstream media does, that there is actual reform in that licence renewal waiver, then the government would be right in thinking that Malaysians are stupid. Or, at least, some Malaysians.

You may be surprised that there are indeed such stupid Malaysians.

They are the ones who continue to support the ruling party and defend its policies, including its numerous flip-flops. They are the ones who will vote for that party at the next general election and say it is better to go with the devil they know than the devil they don’t know.

They are the ones who don’t know they are being fooled. They might even be people who know they are being fooled, but still choose to go with the devil who is fooling them. Needless to say, the ones who know they are being fooled and still continue to support the party are even more stupid.

Disturbing restrictions

And they will continue to be stupid if they believe that the Peaceful Assembly Bill, which the government tabled two days ago, is a step forward, guarantees more freedom, and will lead to Malaysia being “the best democracy” as promised by Najib.

Their stupidity will not allow them to see that it’s another attempt to hoodwink Malaysians. They will say it’s good because it allows Malaysians to gather in public without having any need to apply for a police permit.

Yes, on the surface, it looks good that a police permit is no longer required. But now consider the other conditions. The most disturbing one is this - although you don’t need a police, permit, your assembly cannot proceed if there is objection by the police.

What? Isn’t that like getting a police permit?

NONE

Let me repeat. You don’t need a permit but if the police object, your assembly can’t go on. So, what does that mean? Your assembly is still dependent on police approval, isn’t it? So what’s new?

If you straight away say, “That police permit waiver is a scam!”, then you’re not stupid. Because there is no change. And you can see it for what it is.

In fact, it has now become worse. You have to give the police advance notice of your assembly 30 days before it is due to be held. Thirty days! That’s a long time to plan.

And what happens if you want to stage a spontaneous assembly? What if the government does something cruel and unfair and unlawful and citizens feel compelled to take to the streets to protest against it immediately?

Well, that will be considered illegal. And if you don’t provide the 30-day notice, you can be fined up to RM10,000!

Youth discriminated

And did I mention the words “streets” and “protest”?

Well, according to the new bill, no street protests will be allowed.

What? Then what’s the point of an assembly? Only for socialising? For merely hanging about in public? No placards? No cheering? No chanting?

NONE

The new bill is obviously designed to protect the government, not to give more democratic space to the citizens. It is designed to prevent people from protesting against the government.

In fact, the new bill transgresses the rights of freedom guaranteed in the federal constitution.

One, if you are below the age of 21, you cannot organise an assembly. Is that fair? Are those below that age not citizens who should enjoy equal rights? Is this democracy? Is this “the best democracy”?

Two, if you are below the age of 15, you cannot take part in an assembly except cultural and religious ones, like funeral processions, or events approved by the home minister. Again, discrimination. Again, power to the home minister.

Three, areas at which public gatherings cannot be held have now been specified. Has this ever been done before?

Bill gives cops more power

And if you were to look at the list of prohibited areas, which include petrol stations, hospitals, mosques, fire stations, kindergartens, schools, etc, you would see that the democratic space - also in physical terms - has become even smaller. Especially since there must also be a buffer zone of 50 metres around each of these areas that public gatherings cannot traverse.

Most districts, especially in city centres, have a few of such areas in close proximity to one another. As such, the interstices between the buffers would be too small to accommodate a mass of people.

How then would a public assembly be able to fill these little spaces? This condition is clearly aimed at discouraging assemblies in city centres.

Four, the police have even more power now. They can decide to arrest any assembly participants they deem a problem, and those arrested can be fined up to RM20,000. Is that providing more freedom or more deterrence? And who is to say the police decisions may not be arbitrary?

NONE

So, my fellow Malaysians, are we going to be stupid? Are we going to accept this bill that discriminates against some of us, throttles our freedom and disregards the constitution?

Are we going to be fools and be thankful to the government and say the bill is providing reform and taking Malaysia forward, and should therefore be passed into law? Are we going to be twice bitten by the same scam and not be aware of it?

Well, there’s no fine imposed yet for taking to the streets. And there’s still leeway to do it without giving 30 days’ advance notice. Once the law is passed, however, it will be too late.


KEE THUAN CHYE is the author of 'March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up', which just won 3rd prize in the Popular Readers' Choice Awards. It has also been translated into Chinese.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Solidarity Rally For MyOverseasVote


Please save Saturday, November 26 free for a solidarity rally in support of the MyOverseasVote campaign and the 8 Demands of Bersih 2.0.

Six Malaysians, who are all based in Britain, have applied to the KL High Court to compel the EC to amend its regulations to allow Malaysians overseas to register as Absent voters.

As the EC regulations stand, only Civil Servants and students who are overseas are allowed to vote with a Postal ballot. All other Malaysian citizens who wish to vote have to return to Malaysia to cast their ballot. The lawsuit aims to put an end to this discriminatory and arbitrary rule.

Permission for Judicial Review was granted by Judge Rohana Yusuff on the 14th November. Constitutional Lawyers Edmund Bon and Edward Saw appeared for the Applicants. The campaign is supported by the MyOverseasVote campaign.

Independent Lawyers from the Bar Council, MyOverseasVote and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism & Human Rights were present to hold a watching brief. The Substantive hearing is fixed for January 3rd, 2012.

The London rally details:

Date: 26 November 2011
Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm
Venue: outside the Malaysian High Commission in London (45 Belgrave Square)

Other Bersih groups around the world will be holding events on the same day:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Bersih-20/182539641800071?ref=ts


Henley On Thames

Henley is most famously known for the Henley On Thames Royal Regatta. It's usually held in summer, around June or July.


So it was somewhat quiet when I was there in late autumn approaching winter.


The River Thames was occupied not by boats, but unassuming little ducks getting their daily exercise in the water.


Most of the leaves had deserted the trees for the winter, leaving them looking a little forlorn and lonely. Those trees, however, would look gorgeous in spring and summer.


It's a nice, quiet village.


With a few rich boat owners.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Implications Of Peaceful Assembly Bill

As far as I'm concerned, this bill is bad news.

1. Those arrested for protesting on the streets can be fined up to RM20,000

2. No one under 16 can attend or participate

3. No one under 21 can organise a protest

4. It cannot be held near certain public areas

5. Appeals go to the Home Minister, not the courts -- this gives the police absolute power as they come under the jurisdiction of the home ministry.

This bill frankly undermines the Constitution.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The ISA Again!

I once asked if they were really listening when it came to oppressive laws, back in Sept 16 this year when Najib promised to abolish the draconian Internal Security Act.

Back then I said, "To begin with, Najib's promises are not something I take very seriously. I believe this is basically posturing for the international scene."

So I was expecting some sort of stupidity but I was still disturbed when I heard that 10 activists were arrested under that very law!

TAWAU: Ten religious teachers and Islamic activists were arrested here under the Internal Security Act (ISA) by a team of police officers from federal police headquarters Bukit Aman.

The counter-terrorism operation by the Special Assignment Team was led by DSP Azman Omar. The police gave no information on the arrests.

The families of the detainees were informed on Tuesday that their relatives were being detained under the ISA which allows for detention without trial. They can be kept incommunicado for 60 days, after which the Home Minister can detain them for two years.

According to sources, those arrested were all PAS members or supporters, including respected religious teachers in the Tawau district.

Sabah PAS commissioner Mohd Aminuddin Aling questioned the arrests which he said were made without warrants, notice or any prior information. He also complained that the police operation was conducted in front of wives and children.

It is utterly bizarre that there would be arrests for no major reason.

Frankly, it seems to me like Muhyiddin is trying to sabotage Najib and make him look bad.

War Crimes Tribunal

Coming from the guy who rendered the Malaysian judiciary impotent, conducting a war crimes tribunal is the epitome of irony.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Check this out: Activists in Malaysia plan symbolic ‘war crime’ trial of Bush, Blair over Iraq War actions

Don't get me wrong -- most people agree that the US and UK should never have invaded Iraq.


I suspect the Americans and British would top the list of war protesters, as the war casualties from both those countries has reportedly exceeded the number of Iraqis.

Most Malaysians (and I wager, most of Asia) are not supportive of the invasion.

So I'm wondering what Mahathir is trying to achieve.

Is he trying to distract everyone from the coming elections with this?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The People's Petition On BERSIH 2.0 Demands

Puan Rosni Malan, the widow of the late Baharuddin Ahmad who died on 9th July 2011 during the Bersih 2.0 rally, and Madam Anne Ooi (Auntie Bersih) launched the Petisyen Rakyat Tuntut Pilihanraya BERSIH this afternoon at KLSCAH.

The Petition highlights the Bersih reforms called for and appeals to His Majesty, the DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, if presented with a request for consent to dissolve Parliament

  • before the PSC has completed its work;
  • before any and all recommendations of the PSC for reforms to our electoral processes have been approved by Parliament, and fully implemented; and
  • before the Rakyat are fully convinced that the next GE will be free, fair and clean.
  • to invoke His Majesty's powers under Article (2)(b) to withhold consent to dissolve Parliament if all of the above conditions are not met.

People, if ever there was a time when we must all pull together and give it all we've got, it's now - Facebook, Email, SMS, Twitter etc. - reach your relatives, friends, neighbours, even strangers.

This is preparing for GE13.

Go to the website: www.PetisyenRakyat.tk

If you have problems, try this: http://www.petitiononline.com/petitions/per2011b/signatures

Friday, 11 November 2011

No To Overseas Malaysian Votes

Says MCA:

Malaysians abroad are not qualified to vote because they are “out of touch” with the current state of affairs in the country, MCA told Parliament’s polls reform panel today.

The ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Chinese party said its research showed most Malaysians outside the country only received information from questionable news sources, which it said may not reflect the “true situation” ongoing in the country.

“What they read about Malaysia may therefore be biased and is the wrong information. It does not give them the whole truthful picture about the ongoings [sic] in the country.

MCA certainly knows that an influx of overseas votes, especially from people like these and these and those from these 24 countries will soundly whack them to never-never land.

And they're afraid. Very, very afraid.

Read the whole thing at The Malaysian Insider.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Pesta PoAM

Click on image to enlarge

Date: 13 November 2011, Sunday
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: KLSCAH

Friday, 4 November 2011

Stateless

According to Al-Jazeera, about 40,000 ethnic Indians born and bred in Malaysia do not have any form of identification.

I have written about this topic a number of times.

Frankly, I've railed about how having no form of identification is a violation of rights, because these children do not get any education. I have also lamented on what a social impediment these stateless people grow up with.

Heck, I've even complained that no political party takes this group seriously enough to correct this situation.

The truth is, ethnic Indians comprise nearly eight per cent of the Malaysian population, yet an inability to obtain the proper documents has rendered generations stateless.

They have never been to India as they don't own birth certificates or identity cards, much less passports. Neither have they been to any other country.

And yet, they are not considered citizens of Malaysia.


Watch the video: Recognizing Malaysia's stateless Indians

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Polls In January??

The nerve of them to even consider having the elections so soon, when they haven't even made any attempt to clean up the elections as per the BERSIH 2.0 demands.

Malaysia can kiss goodbye its hopes of changing the government if the playing field is not level.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bravo UKM4!

The BN government, stupid as it is, has made some good survival decisions in the past. One of them is to silence university students.

Nothing spells firebrand like a young student discarding his teens and embracing his 20s. It's an exciting age, it's a world of revelations.

The Mahathir administration made it illegal for even political science students to be involved in politics. That is tantamount to forbidding an engineering student from undertaking industrial training.

The protest was meek, if anything. So the Act went ahead and the students were silenced.

But no more.

In a landmark decision, Section 15 of the AUKU -- Act disallowing student participation in politics -- was considered unconstitutional. One judge had the moral fortitude and sense of justice.

A lot of people chastised the UKM4 for being on the ground at Hulu Selangor. But they have paved the way for a wrong to finally be corrected.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Bringing Shame

It is impressive that university students have finally discovered and exercised their rights.

But guess who is discouraging them by claiming they bring shame to him?

Would he prefer they go out to some foreign country and protest?

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — The Johor Sultan warned students of Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) in Batu Pahat today that they would be disrespecting him by joining illegal rallies, according to a Bernama report today.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who is chancellor of the university, said that such activities will threaten national stability.

“We will not hesitate to resign as chancellor should any of our students be involved in such activities as it is better than having our name tainted by such acts that also shames the university’s reputation,” the state news agency quoted the monarch as saying at UTHM’s 11th convocation.

Shame is an interesting word. It is something that UMNO and by extension, BN absolutely does not possess, unfortunately.

What brings shame to this country is corruption, waste of tax-payer funds, religious extremism and racist rhetoric. Not an exercise of civil rights.

Why hasn't anyone spoken out or resigned in protest of that?

Overseas Malaysians Sue Election Commission

Now these are a bunch of people that I am proud of!! The good thing about people who have travelled abroad and observed other cultures and lifestyles, is that they wouldn't put up with being bullied.

Malaysians working overseas sue election authorities in attempt to secure right to vote

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A group of Malaysians have sued election authorities in what they described Monday as an attempt to extend voting rights to nearly 1 million citizens living abroad.

Rights activists have long criticized restrictions that prevent most Malaysians abroad from casting ballots. Exceptions include government workers, military personnel and full-time students.

Another law has prevented university students from publicly voicing support for political parties since the 1970s.

A group of Malaysians called “My Overseas Vote” said in a statement that six citizens working in the United Kingdom have asked the Kuala Lumpur High Court to force the Election Commission to register them as voters before the next general elections, widely expected by mid-2012.

“To say that only certain groups of citizens are allowed the postal ballot is nonsense that amounts to outright discrimination,” Teo Hoon Seong, one of the litigants, said in the statement.

Read the rest at the Washington Post.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Malaysian Maturity By Ooi Kee Beng

A very succinct piece, in my opinion.

Did Malaysia mature when we were not looking? — Ooi Kee Beng

October 31, 2011

OCT 31 — The flurry of Malay organisations making the news in Malaysia bodes well for the country, whether or not these group together extreme rightists, opposition voices, concerned students or professors, or green or human right activists.

The matter has now become too obvious to be denied, which is that the Malay community in Malaysia is like any other community anywhere in the world. Its collectiveness, like anyone else’s, is pragmatic and contingent. This is how it should be. They are not an entity whose extremely diverse and individual needs, thoughts and aspirations can be articulated through one single political party.

The myth is broken. What will take its place is a cacophony of noises or a symphony of tunes, depending on one’s politics and disposition.

That powerful party, Umno, is the oldest in the country, founded as it was just one year after the Second World War. It has dominated Malaysian politics to this day, but now rightly fears that it will lose power in the very near future.

When the party started, its slogan was “Hidup Melayu” — Long Live the Malays. Only after changing that to “Merdeka” in March 1951 did it begin to make serious headway into the popular consciousness.

From the very beginning, Malay political consciousness went in many directions. There were pan-Indonesianists, communists and other leftists, monarchists, Fabian socialists and republicans. The British, with their reputation lost through their defeat by the Japanese, favoured conservatives who were willing to work closely with the nine sultanates. This entity was Umno.

The amazing diversity found in the Malay community — as in all communities — was obvious from the onset. Those more concerned about religious values broke away to form PAS in 1951, while Umno itself split around the same time when its president, Onn Jaafar, left with his group of followers to form the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP).

Umno gained the upper hand through co-operation with the Malayan Chinese Association, formed at the instigation of the British to draw Chinese support away from the communists. This coalition managed to gain independence in 1957 for the country after its electoral successes saw the British abandoning the IMP, which they had favoured since its founding.

Even after 1969, when the so-called Malay agenda could be applied fully through the New Economic Policy, internal fighting continued within Umno, leading to outright splits in 1988 and 1998.

Today, when more and more Malays are urban and well educated, and make up an increasing portion of the population, the expression of diversity within that community — the breaking of the collective myth — should be seen as the coming into being of Malaysia’s modern citizen, largely determined by the Malays.

Opposition from other communities since 1969 has been generally weak, and based on the activism of certain individuals. The propaganda that had served Umno for so long, that the Malays are in danger of extinction, does not work anymore.

This became most obvious when the group Himpun recently demonstrated with a cry against purported Christian threats to Islam.

Despite the claim that a massive crowd of one million would turn up, the Umno government granted the permit. Only 5,000 people showed up, indicating quite clearly that Malays in general cannot relate to the old idle logic any longer.

The Malays continue to decide the national discourse, as they have done since the beginning. But most hearteningly, diversity is taken for granted, and a lot of activism is done in collaboration with non-Malays.

The Malaysian citizen has come into his and her own right.

There is no longer any doubt that the Malays will “hidup”; and Merdeka was won a long time ago. What seems to be the problem now is, how quickly will the death of the old myth mean the fall from power of Umno?

Instead of 1 Malaysia, Umno’s latest slogan, to be correctly reflective of the government’s concerns, should be “Hidup Pemimpin Umno” — Long Live Umno Leaders. — Today

* The writer is a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Guess What Happened at CHOGM Perth?

Najib got his ass kicked -- yet again!!!

At this point, I am really beginning to feel sorry for him. Governments around the world meet to discuss world issues and guess which nation brings up their issues which were prohibited from being voiced in their home country?

Yes -- Malaysia!!


In Perth, the police evidently don't brutalise citizens for exercising their democratic right to protest on the streets!


Malaysians around the world have not forgotten the acts of the BN government. And Najib is going to feel the heat wherever he goes.


None of the protesters were handcuffed or beaten up like those in Malaysia were. So it obviously pays to demonstrate and air all grievances in a foreign country. Najib might want to think twice about going abroad again.

He is going to be embarrassed everywhere by good ole Malaysians who have decided that enough really is ENOUGH!!!


Go for it, Chin Huat!!

See the whole set of pictures by Trevor Morgano HERE.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

PAGE Warns BN

If you don't already know who PAGE is, they are the advocates of Science and Mathematics being taught in English.

It is frankly, a good cause. Malaysian school children need to be taught in English, not in Bahasa Malaysia, to be able to compete with the rest of the world.


Besides, when they get to their tertiary education, they will be forced to switch to English as most textbooks are written by scholars and academicians of the English-speaking Western world.

The fact that the BN administration wants to switch back to Bahasa Malaysia is testament of their sheer stupidity.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Barisan Nasional (BN) risks losing votes in upcoming polls if it continues barring students from learning science and maths using English in schools, a parents lobby group said today.

The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) wants the 10-year-old policy of teaching science and maths in English at national schools (PPSMI) to be made an option for students in primary and secondary schools.

“If it is political (decision on PPSMI) give us the PPSMI option in national primary and secondary schools, and we will give you the two-thirds majority, which you are making increasingly difficult for us to do.

“Do not make us give the opposition our vote,” said PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said in a statement to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.

I only have one issue with PAGE: Is the decision to revert to Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of education the only reason why they would say no to BN??

If you ask me, there are already so many reasons, and education is one of the least of them.

Read the rest: PAGE warns BN of polls backlash from PPSMI snub by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

Friday, 28 October 2011

Being A Citizen Journalist

I think it is safe to assume that the US government allows street protests, but within a limited time frame.

After that, they get just as brutal and violent as the Malaysian police.

Any instance or place in which the authorities get violent on peaceful dissenters is wrong. And these instances should be documented for all and sundry to see.


Check out: RAW VIDEO - Cop Runs Over Wall Street Protester's Leg

We can't always rely on the mainstream media, for most of the time, they are owned by corporations that have a vested interest in keeping certain news from public knowledge -- especially if it concerns them.

That's why we need Citizen Journalists.

Gizmodo has given a comprehensive list of things to do and not to do when playing the role of Citizen Journalist.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

And You Claim We Are Conservative??

A bit on the issue of khalwat.

In 2002, the Reformasi website named top public figures and officials who were having relatively public affairs, including Najib Tun Razak, then the defense minister and now the prime minister, who was caught in a Port Dickson hotel room with the actress and singer Ziana Zain. None have been apprehended by the khalwat police.

“It’s in the culture — not that sex is a scandal in itself but that Malays like to aib or cause shame to their enemies,” said an ethnic Malay lawyer in Malaysia. “Khalwat is a tool to eliminate or shame your enemy. It’s partly rooted in perasaan hasad dengki – good old jealousy to bring down the other fella who has more than you. Islam itself forbids spying. That’s what khalwat is.

I wonder why no one in the Himpun rally thought it fitting to rally against Muslims indulging in this sort of thing?

Read the rest in Sex, Lies and Malaysian Politics

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

RM10.89Million Down The Drain!


Perhaps we are not developed enough to be building satellites. Or maybe we're just not smart enough to operate them.

But this is a lot of money to be losing: RM142m RazakSAT faulty after just one year, says federal auditor

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Malfunctions barely a year after the RM142 million RazakSAT satellite was launched caused it to take 1,328 unusable mapping images that were inaccurate by up to 37km, the Auditor-General’s report showed today.

The report made available today said state-owned Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd (ATSB), which operates RazakSAT, lost RM10.89 million in 2009, of which RM7.7 million went towards insurance premiums for the faulty satellite.

“The operational lifespan of RazakSAT is three years. But the RazakSAT satellite failed to function fully on August 30, 2010, a year and sixteen days from launch date,” Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang wrote.

The Auditor General added that the remote sensing satellite was designed to “capture images within 1km accuracy” but “an image of an area in Sungai Buloh and Subang missed by 37km and captured Kuala Selangor.”

As a result, 1,328 high-resolution images could not be used for the project’s stated objective of providing remote information for land development, forestry and fish migration.

Is it too much to ask that my tax money be spent wisely???

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An UMNO Politician?

It was started by Mariam Mokhtar and has some additions (in the multiple choice section) by Bernard Khoo.

Have you got what it takes to be an Umno politician? Take the test and find out.

1. Your special advisor phones you claiming that his foreign girlfriend is demanding money. She threatens to expose him and his dealings with you. What do you advise him to do?

(a) Pay her the money and send her away.

(b) Send her a legal letter saying she is blackmailing your friend, and have her deported.

(c) Get your security police to take her away, shoot her twice in the face and blow up her body in the jungle.

d) Like a good party man, I will diligently seek advisement from my Prime Minister and FLOM. A winnable politician will cover all bases. Sailful did, no?

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2. The opposition has won control in one of the states and you are anxious to wrest it back. How would you resolve this?

(a) Wait for the next general election and in the meantime work on winning over the public’s confidence.

(b) Find a copy of the opposition’s policies, improve on their ideas and then pass these new revised policies as your own party’s.

(c) With a suitcase full of money try and ‘persuade’ the person who confirms the appointment of the menteri besar, that your selected candidate is the best choice for the state.

(d) Visit all the frog farms aka depleted mining pools in Perak, select potential hoppers and send them to Chinese restaurants for complete annihilation.

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3. You are losing the Malay vote and random surveys indicate that your party will lose in the upcoming general election. What will you do?

(a) Go on roadshows to the rural Malay heartlands and show them how your policies will change their lives for the better.

(b) Go on roadshows to the rural Malay heartlands and tell them that the opposition’s policies are rubbish

(c) Make three million Indonesian, Bangladeshi and Filipino migrant workers citizens of Malaysia, then give them jobs in exchange for their voting rights (to vote for your party).

(d) put these new citizens into New Villages for better control thereby creating another base for postal votes.

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4. Your domineering wife aspires to be a politician and you fear she might do a better job than you. She is a determined lady and more importantly, wears the pants at home. What is your course of action?

(a) Tell her to get herself nominated like everyone else, and go through the usual motions of becoming an elected candidate

(b) Explain how hard you’ve worked, going on the road for ceramah and that you need her by your side for support

(c) Give her a suitably large diamond ring and enough Hermes Birkin bags to keep her distracted. Tell her the national airline is at her disposal to fly her on shopping trips abroad.

(d) Arbitrarily declare your wife as live President of COW (Club of Obedient Wives) thus rubbishing Phd sex which will not foster procreation in that chongkat “seeds will not get into the right holes” for successful fertilization (thanks Monyet King)

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5. Your daughter is about to be engaged to the son of a powerful ‘don’ and you want to create a lasting impression. The only problem is that the ceremony is abroad and you do not want to appear to be stingy.

(a) You phone your prospective in-laws and say that you would prefer a quiet, modest ceremony attended by a few close members of the family.

(b) You inform your daughter that she ought to get a job first and work for a few years before setting up home.

(c) You arrange a trade delegation in the country where the ceremony is to be held and you fly your family and 500 close friends to attend the ceremony, on the pretext of attending an official function. You tell the taxpayers that they will be delighted to view the photos of this momentous occasion that you will post on Facebook.

(d) Coax Alex Ferguson to endorse this ManU(factured) coalition and be Guest of Honor at the high table.

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6. The companies bidding for the tender of the multi-million ringgit road project have met your civil servants to discuss the details and specifications. What is your response?

(a) You do nothing but leave it to the technical experts to evaluate their proposals to award the contract to the most suitable bidder.

(b) You tell your office to keep you informed of the outcome because you want to show interest.

(c) You get your girlfriend to phone each of the companies and tell them that to ‘win’ the contract means a tidy sum of money upfront and a share of the profits, once the contract is awarded.

(d) Tell the contractors to go full steam ahead on condition that the tunnel does not pass under a VVIP’s mansion. It will be ok to skirt the mansion.

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7. The Chinese have wised up, after 54 years of your party’s lies. You cannot trust them to deliver their votes. What do you do?

(a) Try and re-engage with them by visiting their communities and arranging talks with their business associations.

(b) Speak to Chinese colleagues in your party.

(c) Tell your staff to spread the word that the Chinese are pendatang and should return to their country of origin.

(d) As a winnable candidate, I will not waste time and resources courting the Chinese voters who have gone over to DAP and PAS. Two males and one female FROGS, all CHINESE is lesson enough.

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8. Article 11 of the constitution ensures Malaysians the freedom of religion. Non-Muslims, are unhappy with temples being demolished and cemeteries being located beside sewage plants. How do you deal with this?

(a) Arrange to meet with the religious representatives to discuss an amicable solution.

(b) Set aside land for temples and cemeteries.

(c) Raid their dinner parties and then organise a march to protest about non-Muslims trying to proselytise the Muslims with the lure of a makan.

(d) This is of great import and as such I will seek the counsel of the Sultan of Perak’s mufti and Hasan Ali of PAS. No! Ibrahim Ali is anathema! This is about religion and not race.

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9. What did your friends think of you at school?

(a) Hardworking and helpful

(b) Good at sports and a team-player

(c) A bully, a racist and a show-off

(d) To be a winnable candidate, a prerequisite is HONESTY! Those who know me know that most often I played truant. Those who are close to me know that I am a winnable lallang and have an innate instinct to play to win! Ask my estranged parents and siblings! Without a doubt they will certify this.

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10. In your opinion, what qualities should a good politician have?

(a) Ability to listen and empathise

(b) Good at problem solving

(c) Ability to tell lies and put on two faces

(d) Run when the going is good. I don’t want to be like that Klang railway gatekeeper who built a mansion and died in 2008 without enjoying occupancy.

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How did you do?

Mostly As: Oops. You are honest, fair and enterprising and should choose another profession.

Mostly Bs: Very good, but you haven’t got quite what it takes to be a politician. You need to brush up on your political awareness. In the meantime, you would make a good political adviser. Try again for GE14.

Mostly Cs: Congratulations! BN need look no further and Najib Abdul Razak will award you a nice shiny medal.

If you perform, there will be a mega-contract or two for being smart enough to know what is required of you, but dumb enough to think your political role is important.

( I will leave my Ds to Mariam’s wise judgement and assessment! Am I forgiven Mariam….forgive lah, I also Perak mali, Taiping lang and an eco-warrior too!)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Didn't Quite Himpun After All

Target: 1 million
Achievement: 5000

A bit off the mark, I'd say -- I guess Harussani Zakaria (who eventually didn't show up, according to some quarters), Ibrahim Ali and Hasan Ali aren't exactly crowd-pullers.

I've been hearing conflicting reports about the purpose of HIMPUN. The overriding sentiment is that it was to protest the proselytisation of Muslims by the Christians, and it was consequently branded as being anti-Christian.

According to a report in FMT, "Many of the younger crowd [] emphasised that they were not out to start a fight with anyone and only wanted to play a part in strengthening their faith."

I personally can't gauge how, but assume we take their words at face value.

Does that mean that this rally had no element of protest at all? Was it the Muslim equivalent of an evangelical revival?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

On The Topic Of English In Education

I like this kid.

She tells Najib exactly what the problem is.

Click on image to enlarge

Good for her. There is no reason why her formal education should be ruined just because of Malaysian politics.

That being said, I do commend her personal education -- i.e. her upbringing by the parents -- as they have evidently taught her to speak up for herself.

That is something to be proud of indeed.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Why HIMPUN?

Got an issue? Then sort it out, folks! Have a walk, have a rally, wave some banners, scream your lungs out if you have to.

That is democracy. Of course, it has no place in this country, because Malaysia is not a democracy.

This HIMPUN has more issues than Lindsay Lohan, frankly.

Like Lindsay Lohan, HIMPUN seems incapable of taking itself seriously. In a country where Muslims are the majority, it seems a little redundant (and bizarre if I may) when they claim to be the victims.

Especially when the world knows what Malaysia is really like. I have blogged repeatedly over the body-snatching incidents by Muslims. It makes you wonder what kind of people would try to grab dead bodies.

It's even on BBC: Malaysia burial row fuels tension

Interestingly, PAS (Islamic party of Malaysia) has distanced itself from this HIMPUN rally. I would have expected that this would be a rallying cry for them as they are the pro-Islamists.

Most of the Opposition politicians have also looked away. This, ironically, seems to be a pro-UMNO movement.

I see sense in the words of AkuMelayuIslam:

Saya cadangkan dua juta umat Islam berhimpun bagi mengatasi masalah perangai orang Islam sendiri, seperti suka fitnah, rasuah, lucah, boros, malas, menipu, hiburan berlebihan, pergaulan bebas, buang bayi, rempit, dadah, berpecah, tolak hukum Allah, dan lain-lain. Masalah ini dihadapi oleh berjuta juta umat Islam.

Ini lah masalah sebenar yang dihadapi umat islam sekarang, bukan dikristiankan yang melibatkan mungkin beberapa ratus orang. Wassalam.

For a moment, it almost seems that Muslims can be level-headed. I wouldn't hold it against them. I suppose when you're distracted and bubble-brained like Lindsay Lohan, you do the strangest things.

That being said, I don't know why Bishop Paul Tan is getting agitated (since he is pretty smart, if a little verbose).

“Judging from the campaign waged by some sections of the mainstream media and blogs you would think Muslims in Malaysia in droves are being covertly converted to Christianity,” Bishop Tan said.

“This is only true in the fevered imagination of the Harussani Zakarias’ of this country and not anywhere else,” added the bishop.

(Harussani Zakaria is the Perak mufti who has periodically raised the alarums about Christianization of Muslims in Malaysia.)

“In all the history of Muslim-Christian relations since independence I have never seen a government so casual and so irresponsible as to allow the fabrications this man has visited on the general population go by with impunity,” lamented the prelate.

One of the speakers at the Himpunan Sejuta Umat this weekend is Harussani Zakaria.

Ah yes :-) Harussani Zakaria -- a man of limited talents and multiple grouses. Watch him incite ill-feelings and racial hatred.

I guess it remains to be seen how many Muslims would take up this "cause".

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Foreign Woman Hurt In Police Raid

A reader alerted me to the news of this foreign national who was bullied by the authorities: Woman: I was hurt in raid

As usual, this goes to show that the police have free reign to do as they please. They evidently violated procedure when:

1. The police were not in uniform
2. The police did not state the reason of the arrest to the suspect as is stipulated in the procedure
3. The police acted violently
4. The police did not give medical attention to the injuries sustained

In my opinion, everything falls neatly and squarely into the lap of this Chinese national. She was wrongly treated -- pure and simple.

However, I see something wrong in this.

Why did the husband pay RM2,000 to have his wife released? Was it legal? Or was it under-the-counter as usual?

Then I see a purpose for these illegal raids. They are to help these policemen make money from bribes.

University Suspends Professor Aziz Bari

There are probably less than 5 decent law lecturers in this god-forsaken country.

I know two of them -- Aziz Bari of International Islamic University and Azmi Sharom of University Malaya.

As of a few hours ago, I apparently only know one, because Aziz Bari has been suspended indefinitely.

He is one of the few gentlemen and civil servants that have the gumption to speak up against blatant government practices and injustices.

According to a source, Aziz is accused of "making statements that run contrary to the interest of the university" as stated in the show-cause letter issued to him.

The issue is pure and simple -- he has given support to the BERSIH 2.0 movement.

So the UMNO government is unhappy, and possibly enraged about that and wants his head on a platter.

But they are picking a fight, not with one man, but a host of angry students that he has worked with.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Italians And Malaysians Are Very Different

You know what? Maybe we should sick some Italian protesters onto the Malaysian police. That'll teach them a lesson or two about violence and brutality.

Even the Australians would never put up with what we Malaysians mildly accept. If a policeman dare abuse or injure any peaceful protester, he'd better have a will drawn up and signed.

Trust me, he would be torn into pieces over a stunt like that in Australia, and most likely in Italy as well.

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Hundreds of hooded, masked protesters rampaged through Rome in some of the worst violence in the Italian capital for years Saturday, torching cars and breaking windows during a larger peaceful protest against elites blamed for economic downturn.

Police repeatedly fired tear gas and water cannon in attempts to disperse them but the clashes with a minority of violent demonstrators stretched into the evening, hours after tens of thousands of people in Rome joined a global "day of rage" against bankers and politicians.

A demonstrator celebrates as a Carabinieri police vehicle burns during a demonstration of the "Indignant" group in Rome on Saturday.

Smoke rose over many parts of the neighborhood between the Colosseum and St John's Basilica, forcing many residents and peaceful demonstrators to run into buildings and churches for shelter as militant protesters ran wild.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Occupy Dataran

Oh ye Malaysians at Dataran Merdeka on 15th October? You rock.


Heck, the gathering in KL may not have been as big as the few thousands in New York, Rome, Auckland or Spain but the spirit was there -- and for that, I salute you!

No prizes for guessing that they were broken up by the police, but it looks like our fellow freedom fighters all over the world didn't have it easy either.

A little bit of police brutality isn't going to stop us. In fact, that is one of the biggest drivers in spurring people to get involved as well. It certainly worked for the Wall Street occupants! :-)

Related: Beautiful humans embodying the spirit of joy and freedom...