Monday, 28 February 2011

Nipped In The Bud

It is very evident that the crisis in the middle east - democratic reforms in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya - has the Malaysian government quavering in their seats.

I went down to the HINDRAF Solidarity Against UMNO Racism with full expectations of being tear-gassed and sprayed with chemical-laced water.

Nothing of that sort happened. It was a non-event.

Instead of the violence in previous demonstrations, this time the participants and even suspected allies like citizen journalists were arrested on sight.

The government does not want any publicity. Not now.

In fact, Najib has been caught whining about how HINDRAF has cruel intentions :-)

Hindraf deliberately creating bad publicity for Malaysia, says PM

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 16:03:00

TEMERLOH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regards the action by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) members of holding a demonstration in the federal capital today as deliberately creating bad publicity for Malaysia through the international media.

He said the group was actually hoping the police would use force on them so that the Malaysian government would be seen as a brutal and autocratic regime.

"We don't want to use force, but they are hoping we will do so as they want to exploit the situation by painting a bad picture of Malaysia through the international television channels," he said after attending a gathering with Felda Jengka 25 residents, here, today.

The prime minister was referrig to the incident where more than 15 people, believed to be Hindraf members, were arrested by police for holding a demonstration protesting against the novel "Interlok", at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) grounds, here, this morning.

In my personal opinion, Najib could have avoided the bad press entirely by allowing the protest to go on as planned.

But the bigger fear was that it would evolve into the crises in the middle east. I don't think the BN government will step down as easily as Mubarak of Egypt did, and even that was no easy feat, mind you.

This is not a good setting to call for the general elections.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Translate This Into Votes

For all the ruckus that the Indians have been whipping up over the 'Interlok' issue, it looks like the Chinese have been insulted far worse in the novel.

And yet, they appear to be quite unruffled.

The writer of 'Interlok', Abdullah Hussein has attempted to depict the Chinese in all sorts of ways - greedy, fat (yes, even that), evil, heartless (they sell their kids), cunning, desperate (no future in their own country that they had to go to the extent of being a nightsoil carrier), rapists, drug-users etc.

And the Indians are complaining about 'pariah'.

That being said, the Chinese have always had a high sense of self-esteem, some justified and others not.

I can imagine the average Chinese thinking smugly, "Say what you may about us, but we own the economy." Which is true.

But there are other issues involved.

This whole exercise of using an obviously inferior book as examination material is for a subtle exercise known in psychology circles as "priming".

Priming is a way of conditioning the human mind to think in a certain manner and even behave as such.

Wikipedia says: The effects of priming can be very salient and long lasting, even more so than simple recognition memory[2]. Unconscious priming effects can affect word choice on a word-stem completion test long after the words have been consciously forgotten.

This is precisely the effect the BN government wants in the minds of young, impressionable Malaysian children.

They want to establish the underlying notion that:

a) All Chinese are out to get the Malays
b) Indians are low class
c) Malays have been wronged and deserve better (creating a sense of entitlement)

Perhaps the effect may not be seen immediately. But I assure you that the effects will be seen a few years down the road.

In fact, our current generation of Malaysians are unable to think for themselves, preferring instead to have other make decisions for them.

The Chinese may feel that the general elections are the best place to sock it to the government.

I hope the Indians remember this too, and when the next elections come round, not a single one should vote for BN.

Interlok: Sex scene, rape scenes, suicide by hanging
Interlok: Cunning Chinese swindles Malay, evicts him like a mangy dog
Interlok: Chinese immigrants came here to carry shit buckets

HINDRAF Racism Rally - Report From KLCC

Someone told me that this was supposed to be a citizen's rally.

Perhimpunan orang ramai, my @$$!!! It was more of a perhimpunan polis!! When I got there a while after 9am, the place was crawling with blue shirts.

I got off at the Ampang Park station just in case the KLCC station was closed. As I exited, I ran into at least 3 cops.

Feigning innocence, I asked, "Why are there so many policemen here?"

"An illegal assembly," he muttered apologetically. I thanked him and walked on.

Cops and trucks amidst the normal traffic

When I reached KLCC, I saw them in full force. They stopped me and asked to see to see my IC. I happily complied. They asked me what I did for a living.

I promptly replied.

"Where did I work?" they also wanted to know. I had no qualms about providing them with the answer.

"Why are you here?" they asked.

"Shopping," I said, with my best butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth look.

They looked at me disbelievingly. Finally, since it appeared that there was no conclusive evidence that I was there for the rally, they let me go. "If I see you out here again, I'm going to arrest you," the cop warned me as I departed.

We'll see about that, I thought.

The cops were getting weary

Those cops were sitting there at 9:30am. They were still there when I left at about 12:30pm. They looked weary. :-)

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Some of the cops sought shade under those trees. I counted at least 5 trucks in the area. There was even a canine unit there, for some reason. I also caught sight of a unit bergerak - don't have a clue what that was for (it looked like a first aid centre).

Tourists gawked at the fire power in the vicinity

Tourists were happily snapping away. I guess this is not a common sight in their country.

I had trouble getting around because of my race. Judging by some of the reports from other witnesses, it looks like I was super-lucky not to get arrested.

At 6:30am, they were busy arresting any Indian who was visible in the KLCC region.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

February 27 - A Big Day For Malaysia And Racism

On the 25th of November 2007, a bunch of relatively unknown activists took to the streets of KL.

They were severely abused as the government went no-holds-barred on trying to quell their voice of dissent.

I lost count of the number of times they were sprayed with chemical-laced water, much less fired with tear-gas.

I had mixed feelings about this group; unable to decide if they were extremist or if they had legitimate concerns.

This time, their cause is straight forward and legitimate. It is a walk against RACISM - not specific to any race or creed.

And tomorrow, on the 27th of February 2011, people from all walks of life will come together again to speak out against the use of the novel 'Interlok' for school examinations and also against government-propagated racism in general.

It won't be a walk in the park, I assure you. The government is understandably nervous.

Protests in the Middle East have toppled regimes so they will take no chances. Instead, they will come down hard on the planned gathering.

And yet, coming down hard on these peaceful protesters in 2007 led to widespread international attention and managed to fuel the anger of otherwise apathetic citizens.

Even now, Human Rights Watch has issued a statement to the home affairs minister to allow the march to go on as planned.

"Malaysian government opposition to peaceful marches results in three big losers: the rights to free expression, freedom of association, and peaceful assembly," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The home affairs minister should respect Malaysia's international legal obligations and permit the march to proceed, and the organizers should ensure that the march is orderly and peaceful."

It would be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow, since it is expected that Perkasa and other deplorable elements of UMNO will also be present to cause trouble.

Friday, 25 February 2011

First Najib, Now Muhyiddin

Najib had an injured expression.

"How could you even suggest that we will get overthrown like Mubarak?" his puppy dog eyes seemed to say.

Now his deputy is doing his solo bit.

I wonder when they will unleash the chorus.

SINTOK, Feb 24 — Attempts to link the political situation brewing up in several Middle East countries to Malaysia and the assumption that this country would also face a similar development are unrealistic, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the claim that a government chosen by the people would collapse was an assumption that was not substantiated by concrete explanation.

“I’m sad that there are disgruntled voices attempting to link the political developments in the Middle East with the political situation in this country.

“Politics in our country is totally different from the politics in several countries in the Middle East because our government is chosen by the people in a democratic and competitive general election,” he said in his speech at a Special Gathering with the DPM in conjunction with the 27th Anniversary of the Founding of the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), here today.

Muhyiddin, said the competitive general election made the government in this country more responsive.

He said the traits of a responsive government were that national wealth was distributed fairly, public interest was given priority and every individual, regardless of race or religion, received equal opportunity to succeed.

He said if the government ignored the problems of the people and did not discharge its responsibility properly, the people would then make the appropriate decision during the general election.

"Our government is chosen by the people in a democratic and competitive general election"?? Really? By delineation, gerry-mandering, postal votes, phantom voters etc?

I wonder if he could possibly convince a tadpole (in the drain outside my house) of his sincerity. That would be quite a feat to witness.

And this is hard to beat, "..national wealth was distributed fairly, public interest was given priority and every individual, regardless of race or religion, received equal opportunity to succeed".

Whoa! I did not see that coming!

Someone hand me a barf bag.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

PKR: Join Party To Contest

According to this dude Rafizi Ramli, any MCLM candidate wanting to contest in the upcoming elections will have to become a member of the party first.

The reason: He doesn't want a repeat of Zulkifli Noordin, who "acted according to his own instincts".

It may have escaped his attention that Zulkifli Noordin was a PKR member to start with. Just as Wee Choo Keong also was.

Party membership did not stop them from acting out of their own accord.

The whole intention of having MCLM-selected candidates is to put up for elections those with integrity and a heart for the people. PKR evidently did not do a good job of weeding out their own frogs.

So if there are obligatory excuses for not fielding MCLM candidates, can we at least skip the lame ones?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lapdog Of UMNO

The problem with having all these draconian laws that suppress freedom of speech is that those on the mightier side of the political divide have no clue on how to deal with succinct points.

Hence, every other politician and his running dog are getting a shameful trouncing in the hands of John Malott.

I did wonder what Johan Jaafar had done to be indirectly called the lapdog of UMNO.

Now I know :-)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Long Live BN



After all, BN is ingenious enough to dupe the Rakyat for over 50+ years.

Oh wait. The Rakyat are still in a drunken stupor and continue voting for them.

BN's Achievements To Date (just to name a few):

1) PKFZ White Elephant 14 Billion
2) 7.6 Billion Scorpene tin can - the submarine had trouble submerging!
3) 500 Million commission on Scorpene
4) 810 Million palace balloning to some 1.2 Billion
5) Maltrade II land grab by Naza, costing taxpayers some 2.2 Billion
6) Limbang off shore blocks L and M giveaway to Brunei of 320 Billion
7) Maminco.... cornering the tin market 2.2 Billion
8) Bank Negara Forex fiasco costing ? Billion
9) Perwaja Steel 15 Billion
10) Naval support ships to cost 2.5 Billion so that we can indulge in some humanitarian service to Indonesia or Philippines. You know, since earthquakes and volcanoes erupt every month.
11) 60,000 APs worth 2.4 Billion given to a few UMNOputras
12) 810 Million new Parliament house.... believe it or not, the Westminster in the UK and the White House in the USA are still standing even after hundreds of years
13) BMF scandal 4 Billion .... and it's not just about the money. The BMF manager was murdered!
14) 6.75 Billion to PSC Bhd for locally made naval vessels which were never delivered
15) 12.5 Billion for economically senseless double tracking railway from Ipoh to the Thai border
16) Altantuya, picked up a stone while walking in KL which turned out to be C4
17) Teoh Beng Hock - fell out of the room "accidentally"!
18) Kugan Ananthan - death in custody
19) Aminulrasyid - shot by trigger-happy policemen
20) Nasir Safar's "Chinese prostitutes & Indian beggars"
21) Khir 'The Toyol' Toyo's 24 Million Palace
22) Missing F5 jet engines.... what a joke. Aren't you ashamed to be a Malaysian?
23) PI Bala's flip flop on the Statutory Declaration
24) Perak coup d'etat - unlawful grab of the state.
25) Sodomy I & II
26) MAS shares - Govt bought at RM8 when market price was RM3.50
27) School classrooms and computer labs - 10 Billion, direct negotiation. How much did the Government actually get?
28) Halal Hub - 2 Billion spent, nothing done, only 200 Million left
29) Armoured carriers - 8 billion going to be spent. By industry standards, a good armoured car will only cost half a million. Mindef will spend 30 Million for each armoured carrier!
30) UEM PLUS highway contract.

Yes, it does appear long but it is by no means an exhaustive list of scandals.

And yes, because of all this money going into someone's pocket, we are forced to pay extra taxes in the form of GST and do away with fuel subsidies.

I just LOVE BN so much that I just cant wait to vote BN in GE13 for another 50+ years of corruption and mismanagement.

Wasn't Me Again!!

Ladies and gentlemen: Bring out the popcorn. The Punch & Judy show is on again, starring The Loony Tun and his running dog.

The first episode began with Ops Lalang and the mastermind behind it. Unbeknownst to the world (much less the nation) the mastermind had had his powers usurped by the cops.

Oh yes, only in Malaysia.

Today, we discover that the draconian Internal Security Act, popularly known as the ISA was almost scrapped, except the damned cops beat the crap out of The Loony Tun and left him crying in a corner.

Someone ought to do something about these cops.

Seriously, I heard that The Loony Tun was in the process of eliminating poverty and famine in Africa. But guess who stopped him in his tracks?

You've guessed it! It was the damned cops!!!

The Loony Tun was just about to stop the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which caused massive damage and widespread disease in the region. But it was the damn cops at their dirty tricks again.

In fact, The Loony Tun was on his way to receiving his Nobel Peace Prize award for creating peace between Israel and Palestine when he was stopped. No prizes for guessing by whom.

Oh wait. Israel and Palestine didn't quite work out. But it was only because The Loony Tun was held up in a traffic jam caused by the cops who set up a police blockade. Otherwise, peace was just around the corner, I'm telling ya!

Those damned cops - what a menace to every self-respecting, God-fearing, mother-loving citizen of this nation!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

When Racism Affects Our Kids

I blogged about the bizarre Malaysian notion of "helping your own", which is frankly a politically correct way of practicing racism.

"Helping your own" implies that we have a responsibility limited only to our kind and that the needs of everyone else is of secondary importance.

This is bad enough when it affects adults, but when it is applied on a child, it makes one wonder how low we human beings can actually stoop to - as in the case of my friend's nephew.

"Tonight, at dinner, Mom asked me why I wasn't going for extra class with the rest of my classmates. (Extra class for Phys, Chem, AddMath and English started a week ago.) I told Mom that the program was offered only to Bumiputeras..."

In this case, the racism is institutionalized in our government policies. I cannot begin to express how disturbing it is that a select group of students get privileges because of their skin colour.

How can we preach unity or teach it to our young when one child is excluded in this manner? This is a prime example of a Malay government looking after its own.

Yet, while this is the most rampant form of racism, being institutionalized, it is not the only one.

I stumbled upon this letter by one Umar Mukhtar to Malaysiakini: Malott painted only half the picture of racism

I can't help but feel that he has a point too. In many ways, it is the other side of the coin.

The writer feels that the segregation of the school system causes the racial polarization that we see today. I personally don't think this is merely about the education system.

I think it also has a lot to do with perpetuating stereotypes. Chinese are regarded as greedy while Indians are "not to be trusted". Malays of course, are "lazy".

So each race looks out for its own.

The Chinese build their vernacular schools, the Malays give additional classes to the "bumiputera", and the Indians .... well, I'm not quite sure what they do. I suppose they have taken to marching against UMNO (not a bad thing at all).

If we only started caring for our fellow human beings purely because they essentially have every right to be alive - just like we do, the world would be a far different place.

It would be so much better.

Monday, 14 February 2011

This Is What's Wrong With Malaysians

I was browsing through Malaysiakini when I saw this comment by an anonymous commenter (and yes, I would welcome anonymity if I regularly made stupid comments like he/she does):

"What have you all done to help your own countrymen?" he asks.

I wonder if he is referring to the citizens of India or to Malaysians of Indian ethnicity.

If it was intended for the former, he is using the wrong channels as Indians don't generally read Malaysian news sites.

However, I suspect he was referring to the latter, in which case he completely misses the point that as Malaysians, ethnicity should be of no significance when it comes to championing the rights of the downtrodden.

I ask him in return: What have you done to help your own countrymen?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

All Students Abroad May Vote

A while back, MyOverseasVote brought to light the issue of voting rights for Malaysians living abroad.

Now the election commission has reversed their stand under pressure (I have trouble believing that the embassies and high commissions acted on their own initiative).

However, this does not include Malaysians living and working overseas - only students.

PETALING JAYA, Feb 11 — The Election Commission (EC) has instructed the Foreign Ministry to allow all full-time students abroad to vote at overseas missions, said its deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today.

Wan Ahmad said today that Malaysian embassies and high commissions had not acted legally in only allowing government-sponsored students to vote as there is no law barring privately-sponsored students from registering and casting their votes.

“Under the constitution, we cannot deny the rights to vote by eligible Malaysians. So, our number one focus is our students abroad, no matter whether they are students [sponsored] by the private sectors or government-financed students. We have informed the Malaysian embassies,” he said.

Read the rest HERE

Thursday, 10 February 2011

It Wasn't Me

In November 2000, an up and coming American artiste called Shaggy, released a song that became a number one hit in both the US and the UK.

Since then, I have observed that "It Wasn't Me" has become the most popular refrain of politicians and other scoundrels worldwide upon being caught red-handed.

Our very own Tun Dr Mahathir is no stranger to this bizarre little attempt to extricate oneself from hot soup.

In a very amusing twist of events totally lacking in credibility, he claims that the massive crackdown on his political opponents was not his decision, but that of the police.

"Well, I would have handled it differently, except that the police wanted to do these things because they say it is necessary...

"I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone," he said.

"You must have been furious!" retorted Tom Plate, the interviewer and author of the book, 'Doctor M: Operation Malaysia - Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad'

"Yeah, but what can I do? You see, I have to accept that they are the people on the ground that makes a decision. I give general authority to them," continued Mahathir, who was known as a strongman who brook little dissent.

I nearly died laughing.

Some of you political stalwarts may have read an old publication by Ahmad Mokhtar Hj Mohamad called NEVER FORGET: The Mahathir Blunder.

It summarizes almost every single scandal and scam that Mahathir has ever been involved in. Whenever he landed himself in trouble, Mahathir always looked for a distraction or directly removed the voice of dissent.

It was a steady and consistent pattern with which he fashioned himself. He has managed to repress our freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of press and nearly everything else that would aid him in controlling the masses.

In the case of Ops Lalang, he desperately needed to buy himself time. There were heaps of problems:

a) The UEM scandal with which opposition leader Lim Kit Siang was hounding him.
b) Internal politics within UMNO - many did not agree with his unethical ways and opposed him. His win was very narrow. He proceeded to make UMNO illegal and then set up UMNO Baru.
c) Unemployment, recession and other socio-economic issues.

Bear in mind people, Ops Lalang wasn't the only measure he took. He also sacked judges who opposed him - even the Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas!

The Mahathir administration also amended the Constitution to redefine jurisdiction and powers of the Court and that of Legislators. He toyed about with the highest authority, our Federal Constitution!!!

Did he have the motive to deploy Ops Lalang? Hell yeah!

So I really don't give a hoot about his account of the events in 1987 - very little that comes out of his mouth is not a lie.

Haris Ibrahim appears befuddled as to why the former IGP corroborates his story - "why is Hanif jeopardising his own reputation for this past-the-shelf-life politician?"

The intricacies of I-scratch-my-back-you-scratch-mine don't overwhelmingly interest me, to be honest.

Perhaps Hanif Omar wanted a loaf of bread, and Mahathir Mohamad gave him one.

Or perhaps Hanif Omar took a loaf of bread when he thought no one was looking. Who knows.

It could even be admiration for the man.

If you ask me, the world has handed more accolades to Mahathir than he deserves - numerous books written about him by Tom Plate, Barry Wain etc.

And you have to admire his ability to raise a ruckus even after "retiring". Nothing about this man is graceful.

Whatever it is, I am confident that it was he who ordered Ops Lalang. You are free to think what you like.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Price Of Malaysia’s Racism — John R. Malott

A former ambassador's (to Malaysia - from 1995-1998) observations:


FEB 8 — Malaysia’s national tourism agency promotes the country as “a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony.” Prime Minister Najib Razak echoed this view when he announced his government’s theme, 1 Malaysia. “What makes Malaysia unique,” Najib said, “is the diversity of our peoples. 1 Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity, which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future.”

If Najib is serious about achieving that goal, a long look in the mirror might be in order first. Despite the government’s new catchphrase, racial and religious tensions are higher today than when Najib took office in 2009. Indeed, they are worse than at any time since 1969, when at least 200 people died in racial clashes between the majority Malay and minority Chinese communities. The recent deterioration is due to the troubling fact that the country’s leadership is tolerating, and in some cases provoking, ethnic factionalism through words and actions.

For instance, when the Catholic archbishop of Kuala Lumpur invited the prime minister for a Christmas Day open house last December, Hardev Kaur, an aide to Najib, said Christian crosses would have to be removed. There could be no carols or prayers, so as not to offend the prime minister, who is Muslim. Hardev Kaur later insisted that she “had made it clear that it was a request and not an instruction,” as if any Malaysian could say no to a request from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Similar examples of insensitivity abound. In September 2009, Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein met with protesters who had carried the decapitated head of a cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism, to a Hindu temple. Hishammuddin then held a press conference defending their actions. Two months later, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament that one reason Malaysia’s armed forces are overwhelmingly Malay is that other ethnic groups have a “low spirit of patriotism.” Under public pressure, he later apologised.

The leading Malay-language newspaper, Utusan Melayu, prints what opposition leader Lim Kit Siang calls a daily staple of falsehoods that stoke racial hatred. Utusan, which is owned by Najib’s political party, has claimed that the opposition would make Malaysia a colony of China and abolish the Malay monarchy. It regularly attacks Chinese Malaysian politicians, and even suggested that one of them, parliamentarian Teresa Kok, should be killed.

This steady erosion of tolerance is more than a political challenge. It’s an economic problem as well.

Once one of the developing world’s stars, Malaysia’s economy has underperformed for the past decade. To meet its much-vaunted goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia needs to grow by 8 per cent per year during this decade. That level of growth will require major private investment from both domestic and foreign sources, upgraded human skills, and significant economic reform. Worsening racial and religious tensions stand in the way.

Almost 500,000 Malaysians left the country between 2007 and 2009, more than doubling the number of Malaysian professionals who live overseas. It appears that most were skilled ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians, tired of being treated as second-class citizens in their own country and denied the opportunity to compete on a level-playing field, whether in education, business, or government. Many of these emigrants, as well as the many Malaysian students who study overseas and never return (again, most of whom are ethnic Chinese and Indian), have the business, engineering and scientific skills that Malaysia needs for its future. They also have the cultural and linguistic savvy to enhance Malaysia’s economic ties with Asia’s two biggest growing markets, China and India.

Of course, one could argue that discrimination isn’t new for these Chinese and Indians. Malaysia’s affirmative action policies for its Malay majority — which give them preference in everything from stock allocation to housing discounts — have been in place for decades. So what is driving the ethnic minorities away now?

First, these minorities increasingly feel that they have lost a voice in their own government. The Chinese and Indian political parties in the ruling coalition are supposed to protect the interests of their communities, but over the past few years, they have been neutered. They stand largely silent in the face of the growing racial insults hurled by their Malay political partners. Today over 90 per cent of the civil service, police, military, university lecturers, and overseas diplomatic staff are Malay. Even Talent Corp, the government agency created in 2010 that is supposed to encourage overseas Malaysians to return home, is headed by a Malay, with an all-Malay board of trustees.

Second, economic reform and adjustments to the government’s affirmative action policies are on hold. Although Najib held out the hope of change a year ago with his New Economic Model, which promised an “inclusive” affirmative action policy that would be, in Najib’s words, “market friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based,” he has failed to follow through. This is because of opposition from right-wing militant Malay groups such as Perkasa, which believe that a move towards meritocracy and transparency threatens what they call “Malay rights.”

But stalling reform will mean a further loss in competitiveness and slower growth. It also means that the cronyism and no-bid contracts that favour the well-connected will continue. All this sends a discouraging signal to many young Malaysians that no matter how hard they study or work, they will have a hard time getting ahead.

Najib may not actually believe much of the rhetoric emanating from his party and his government’s officers, but he tolerates it because he needs to shore up his Malay base. It’s politically convenient at a time when his party faces its most serious opposition challenge in recent memory — and especially when the opposition is challenging the government on ethnic policy and its economic consequences. One young opposition leader, parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has proposed a national debate on what she called the alternative visions of Malaysia’s future — whether it should be a Malay nation or a Malaysian nation. For that, she earned the wrath of Perkasa; the government suggested her remark was “seditious.”

Malaysia’s government might find it politically expedient to stir the racial and religious pot, but its opportunism comes with an economic price tag. Its citizens will continue to vote with their feet and take their money and talents with them. And foreign investors, concerned about racial instability and the absence of meaningful economic reform, will continue to look elsewhere to do business. — The Wall Street Journal

Sunday, 6 February 2011

1Malaysia Hypocrisy

It couldn't get more retarded than this.

They think unity can be achieved merely by posing for shots of them tossing yee sang together.

From NST

This is the very height of the 1Malaysia hypocrisy.

Spare us the public relations shots. Good governance and eradicating corruption would impress me more.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Egypt Solidarity Rally In KL

A bunch of Malaysians held a solidarity rally outside the US embassy today and also demanded that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak do as most of Egypt says: resign.

As with all public rallies and protests in Malaysia, a police helicopter hovered inconspicuously over the rally participants.

But the helicopter was the mildest thing there. The despotic BN regime, wishing to quell any form of democracy, sent in the heavily armed FRU complete with batons, shields and tear gas rifles.

The whole shebang.

It didn't intimidate the rally though. Apparently there was the obligatory memo to hand over to Washington to tell Mubarak to quit immediately, which they did.

"The Egyptian people deserve a regime change. Egyptians deserve their freedom, the right to self-determination and the right to build their own future."

So do Malaysians, actually.

True to Malaysian form, it was a peaceful protest. But for good measure, the riot squad sprayed their Chinese New Year blessings of chemical-laced water from the water cannon on the rally participants just as the crowd was breaking up.

The Star, being the political slave that it is, had to claim, of course, that the seven men were arrested for unruly behaviour - apparently they had thrown bottles and hard objects.

What lies. Eye-witnesses like PSM's Arul have reiterated that the police violence was unnecessary. "The people were going home after a peaceful rally when police fired the water cannon."

I also wonder what The Star is trying to imply with the "bottles" comment. It has not escaped my notice that there are very few bottles in Malaysia. Soft drinks come in cans and plastic bottles these days.

Only liquor tends to come in bottles. Is The Star trying to imply that the PAS-organised rally was full of drunkards? Is The Star stooping so low by attempting to tarnish the conservative Muslim image?

"TAKE BEER" (a mockery of "takbir") is such a UMNO-BN trademark.

Oh yes. Malaysians deserve a regime change and everything else the Egyptians deserve.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Progress By Pakatan Rakyat

I don't know why my company bothers to pay my salary. I barely do much work anyway ;-)

Instead, I spend most of my time discussing politics via email with my friend, Kenneth.

As a political-activist type, most of my mates think like me and have access to the same sort of information. So it's refreshing to get views from people like Kenneth.

He was relating how the average citizen would react in the current political climate.

He said, "With things getting more expensive at home, do you think people will take the risks and vote in an Opposition team, knowing that BN might starve their constituent from funds? People have seen this happen in the papers, so they'll be wary."

I have heard this before from many people who have been disillusioned about what Pakatan Rakyat can do for them. And these are actually very valid concerns.

The mainstream media goes on overdrive to report about how some eatery owner did not get his license renewed and now bears a grudge against the Penang state government.

But it does not report this:

The 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have beat the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53% of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010.

For the first time in history, Penang is now the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010.

Penang replaced the previous 2009 champion Sarawak by recording RM 12.2 billion in 2010 as compared to Sarawak RM3.9 billion. Penang was No. 4 in 2009 with RM 2.1 billion but shot up 5 times to No.1. On the other hand Sarawak went down from No.1 in 2009 with RM 8.5 billion to No. 4 with RM3.9 billion in 2010. Penang's success in drawing in RM12.2 billion is an extraordinary vote of confidence by both foreign and local investors in the PR state government of Penang.

The No.2 state after Penang is another PR state of Selangor with RM 10.6 billion in investments. In fact the 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan combined comprise RM 25 billion investments or 53% of the total investments in Malaysia of RM47,177 million in 2010. These 4 PR states alone can beat the remaining 10 states of BN Malaysia combined!

Despite the financial constraints and limitations imposed by BN, PR has shown good governance.

Penang was mentioned in the Auditor-General Report for being the best financially managed state with record surpluses of RM88 million in 2008 and RM77 million in 2009. Penang became the first state government in history to be commended by Transparency International for CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) governance in establishing integrity in leadership.

Penang has wiped out hard-core poverty, the first state to do so in Malaysia. They give their senior citizens RM100 every year and when these seniors die, their beneficiaries get a one-off RM1,000/-. All partially assisted schools - Chinese, Tamil and Sekolah Agama Rakyat are given a fixed sum of at least RM11.3 million every year.

They are working towards a wifi state, offered free of charge.

Penang is going green and leading in green practices such as "No Free Plastic Bag" campaigns and waste treatment through 3R of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Penang enjoys the cheapest water rates in the country. Penang is also the Silicon Valley of Malaysia and selected as the most livable city in Malaysia on par with Kuala Lumpur.

Pakatan Rakyat has done more in 3 years what Barisan Nasional failed to do in 51 years.

So who says that PR can not govern? They may not have the experience but neither do they have the experience to cheat or be corrupt. PR has proven that a clean government can outperform corrupt governments.

Penang once used to be renowned only for tourism. Today, it is moving beyond that.

Those of you who have friends who doubt Pakatan Rakyat's capability, please forward this and let them read what the mainstream media would never dream of publishing.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Freedom Of Expression And Communication In Egypt

The Egyptians finally had enough after about 35 years.

They told their President to get lost.

He didn't want to resign, however. He enjoyed being in power - kinda like BN, I guess.

I suppose he also liked the corruption, nepotism and cronyism that go along with political and economic power.

So like all despots, he played dirty. He pulled the plug - got rid of the power. Internet and mobile cellular power of the average citizen, that is.

The scale of Egypt's crackdown on the internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts have said.

US President Barack Obama, social networking sites and rights groups around the world all condemned the moves by Egyptian authorities to stop activists using mobile phones and cyber technology to organise rallies.

"It's a first in the history of the internet," Rik Ferguson, an expert for Trend Micro, the world's third biggest computer security firm, said.

Julien Coulon, co-founder of Cedexis, a French internet performance monitoring and traffic management system, added: "In 24 hours we have lost 97 per cent of Egyptian internet traffic".

Despite this, many Egyptians are finding ways to get access, some using international telephone numbers to gain access to dial-up internet.

According to Renesys, a US Internet monitoring company, Egypt's four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 GMT on Thursday.

Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

"In an action unprecedented in internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.

It's good to know what despots can stoop to though. One day we will be prepared for the worst, when BN refuses to admit defeat and all hell breaks loose.

But when that happens, I hope we will have supporters on the other side of the world. For now, it's our turn to spread the word and pressure the service providers by signing this: STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT

Related:Egypt, Tunisia, Malaysia: A quick comparison