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.


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: 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


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…”