Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Who Is Behind Pakatan Rakyat?

You know how obsessed I am with WWII history, especially the Third Reich?

Well, this is part of a movie that has been subtitled to fit just about every other political situation there is - and it's been tailor-made for the Malaysian scene!

If you speak or understand German, it may not be wise for you to have the speakers on because you will understand what they're really saying. :)

For the record, I don't believe Wolfowitz is behind the Malaysian politicial Opposition.

And the sodomy charge Round II? You gotta be kidding me.

But I like humour.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Walking The Talk

I happened to be browsing. One thing led to another, and I found myself in this blog, As Zewt As It Gets.

There was a post in there with which I completely identified with, regarding collective action.

You know what's wrong with us Malaysians? We talk a lot.

And these days, the jaw-lubricating action has been translated to typing. Heck, Malaysia Today receives over a million hits, and you and I know how many comments are posted every single day.

It's immense. Monstrous. Unbelievable.

But what is even more unbelievable is that we are quite capable of saying one thing and doing another. We wax lyrical about how the government's actions are unacceptable and unreasonable, and earnestly pledge to oppose it in anyway possible.

So what exactly are we doing? Not much I'd say. Zewt gives an example:

Then there was a time when MT was distributing car stickers for a particular reason and comments flooded in to ask where people can get it and how many claimed they will put it up in support of MT.

Until today, I have yet to see a single car with MT car sticker. Heck, I don’t even know how it looks like!

I know what he's talking about. As far as I can see, I'm the only dudette proudly and defiantly displaying the sticker on my car.

My parents have frowned with disapproval. They warned me that my nifty little Toyota Vios was going to get vandalised by pro-government hooligans.

Folks. That sticker has been up for a year, and nothing has happened.

I still remain the solitary display car modelling Malaysia Today. Like Zewt observes, I haven't seen anyone else having it on.

Seriously, folks. What else do we need to motivate us to walk our talk?

The goddamn Pussycat Dolls in a saree???

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Measure Of Our Success

Lulu claims not to be the brightest spark in the room. But she sure makes some of the best observations on the blogosphere:

Our government thinks that the nation's success is measured by the tall buildings we build, our ability to pay someone to go to space, having the longest jalur gemilang on the great wall of china, having the longest pizza, a personal luxury jet for the prime minister, that kind of thing.

Lulu thinks the measure of a nation's success is how they treat the poor, regardless whether they are our citizens or not. All are made in the image of God, all belong to this big-big race known as the human race.

And in this aspect, we have failed greatly.

I'm afraid Lulu is right in her remarks directed at our poor treatment of refugees, as documented by Tenaganita.

Our government is more interested in sweeping issues under the carpet and putting away people like Irene Fernandez (who helms Tenaganita) with a trumped-up charge of “maliciously publishing false news”:

In 1995, Fernandez published a report on the abuse of migrant workers, cataloguing the malnutrition, physical and sexual abuse and the appalling conditions the workers endure, and set out the facts about the detention camps where they end up and where many of them die.

The research included interviews with as many as 300 migrant workers. The embarrassed government admitted that 46 people had died of various medical conditions in their detention centres, but, in March 1996, Fernandez was arrested at home and charged with ‘maliciously publishing false news’.

Her trial became the longest in Malaysian history and many of the witnesses she was relying on were deported before she could make her defence. In 2003 she was finally found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison, having by then appeared in court more than 300 times.

The UMNO government treated her very badly, but it's good to know that she is at least recognised abroad with a Right Livelihood Award.

But we Malaysians are not only mean to our refugees. We discriminate against Africans as well.

Now I'm not going to claim the Africans are perfect either. Some of them can misbehave when in a group, talk loudly and appear more than just a little aggressive.

I've lost count of the number of Africans who have posted notes on my various online social networking sites to inform me that they know that I am "the right one for them" and that they "look forward to a brief relationship before moving on to marriage".

And all this at first encounter! :-) I wouldn't give a Malaysian like that any time of the day, much less a foreigner.

But not all Africans behave such. Some are actually quite funny, witty and intelligent. I like making friends with foreigners, so I've managed to get acquainted with a few.

It hurts me when they're treated badly by my own countrymen.

You see, folks, we tend to complain that we get discriminated against when we work or live abroad.

Only on Friday, my Indonesian colleague (who works with my company on a contract basis) was telling me about the discrimination he and his colleagues faced in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney to be specific).

On different occasions, someone once hurled a bottle at his friend, the bus driver yelled at them for speaking in a foreign language, and Aussies have driven past, screaming, "Go back to where you came from, bloody Asian!"

We Malaysians were shocked.

But it doesn't occur to us, that we treat our foreigners just as badly, if not worse in Malaysia. Very often, it is based merely on their skin colour.

I was reading what Pat wrote about kindness only today and couldn't help agreeing with feeling.

I think the true worth of any nation is its people. And we are a great bunch of people - or we could be, if we just got our act together. Along the way here, some of our good-ness has been eroded away. We weren't always this rough-shod, rude, kiasu, and unfeeling lot. I am old enough to remember when we used to be a lot nicer, you know.

We need to be nicer to our foreigners - all of them, not just the ones who have a lot of money.

And we need to be nicer to each other.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Free RPK!

I miss RPK. :(

I started reading his blog over 2 years ago, stuff which I found highly entertaining, and at times, even informative.

He brought us Malaysians all together.

The irony of being Malaysian is that the really good ones go to jail and the bad ones ... go to the parliament house.

Today RPK is under a draconian piece of legislation which has outlived its usefulness - the Internal Security Act or ISA.

And today is his birthday.

He took a gamble some time ago, and lost. He gave us an ultimatum, and it remains unfulfilled today. I don't like having my back pushed into a corner, but I still like this old bugger.

I want him out. I have signed this petition, have you? I am spreading it to my friends and relatives, will you?

The ISA may have had its uses once upon a time. Oscar The Grouch of The Dandelions gives us a brief glimpse into the conception of it and why it has no place in our political system today.

Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament has some great ideas with Hartal ISA. I can't seem to get into his site for longer than brief snatches, probably due to the high volume of traffic, so I can't read every post.

But I think some of ideas are actually workable, and I'm in!

I'm sure you're aware of what this Hartal constitutes but let me remind you through the words of Fahmi Reza of 'Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka':

Hari ini aku berhartal. Maksudnya dari jam 6 pagi tadi sampai ke 12 tengahmalam nanti, aku ambil bahagian dalam satu tindakan mogok dan general stoppage of work.

Ertinya aku…
…tak keluar bekerja
…tak naik bas
…tak naik LRT
…tak bawa motor
…tak pergi pasar
…tak keluar beli suratkhabar
…tak pergi shopping
…tak beli apa-apa barang
…tak keluar makan
…tak keluar tengok wayang
…tak keluar lepak dengan kawan-kawan
…batalkan semua temujanji aku hari ni
…terpaksa cancel interview dengan media untuk cakap pasal Revolusi '48
…tak pergi acara sambutan Hari Malaysia hari ni
…tak pergi candle-light vigil malam nanti
…tak pergi parti housewarming kawan malam nanti

Aku hanya duduk kat rumah

Now you're wondering what staying at home has to do with making a change in our legislation.

Firstly, it will show how many people are supportive of this initiative. It is sending a message to the government.

Secondly, it is about unity. It remains to be seen whether we can be easily broken down by threats and concern for one's job. I am curious to see who puts one's job first before the best interests of the nation.

That day hasn't been decided yet, this initiative is on standby.

If that day is like any other, there is only one thing I can say: We truly DESERVE the government we currently have.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Identifying The Weeds

The government is going to town with the news that the PKR dudes have been caught with their pants down.

It looks like the Anti-Corruption Agency has suddenly tubo-charged itself into super-efficient mode. Every misbehaving PKR member is getting the limelight treatment.

Of course, some of them really do deserve it. Check out this idiot who had sex with a Chinese woman:

“What is important is we did not ask for the women. He supplied them to us. If people sedekah (give), don’t you want to accept the sedekah?”

Obviously, the baboon has no sense of right and wrong. However, I understand what he means by "we did not ask for the women". The ruling coalition puts in special orders whenever there is a business trip.

Some of the special requests included halal women, believe it or not. How do I know? I have friends who work for ASEAN and other organisations as independent consultants in various fields. Our ministers are a constant source of embarrassment for them.

But regardless of whether these PKR dudes were tempted or not, what they did was very wrong. And they don't deserve to serve us as councillors and elected representatives.

Though I must admit, this Mohamad Imran - ACA officer on overdrive - playing the role of the devil is helping us weed out the bad eggs in Pakatan Rakyat indeed.

How can we ever repay his kindness?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

51 Ideas For A Better Malaysia - #4


I was tagged by Michelle Yoon of I Am Malaysian about a week ago to participate in this blogger initiative started by Nizam Bashir.

The idea behind this initiative is to come up with 51 ideas on how to make a better Malaysia, with one blogger posting one idea per week.

This week, it is my turn to come up with:

IDEA #4: Courtesy On The Road

I am predominantly a socio-political blogger. Most of my posts are dedicated to either criticising the political system or highlighting instances of gross power abuse within the government.

Nevertheless, I couldn't conceive a single idea that was political in nature which hasn't been hashed out in some blog or the other.

And sometime last week, I stumbled upon it. The idea I was looking for, one I could completely identify with, though it wasn't the least bit political in nature.

You see, I get stuck in the traffic jam everyday, going to work, and on occasion while driving home. My commute is approximately a 50km distance one way, so I do spend a lot of time on the road.

I could blame the government for not building or implementing an adequate road system, including traffic lights, the timing etc.

And when they do in fact build new highways, they slap on a gargantuan amount of money on the driver and call it 'toll'. It's rather interesting, we pay a lot of tax, but we also pay for toll.

And with the recent, drastic reductions in fuel subsidy, I have yet to see any improvements being made on our public transportation system, which would ease the number of cars on the roads.

We need a change of government quite badly. The government doesn't even bother to hide the fact that it is steeped in corruption.

But it wasn't my intention to wax lyrical about the government. We need to work on them later, but for now, it's what we can and need to do when we're on the road.

Firstly, we need to follow the rules of the road. Emergency lanes are for emergencies. Two-lane roads are for, well... two neat lanes of cars. But not where I live.

During heavy traffic, the two-lane road miraculously transforms itself into four lanes. I kid you not. People ignore traffic lights and push their way through with no regard for oncoming traffic.

By the time I pass that disorderly mess of traffic, I'm usually in a foul and aggressive mood. I refuse to give way to any car signalling its intention to come into my lane.

And I humbly admit that I hate what I have become.

So if firstly, we need to obey road rules, then secondly, we need to bend our norms. Instead of refusing to let drivers into my lane, I'm going to stop or slow down to let them in.

And if I'm the one allowed in, I will wave my gratitude.

Now I know I'm going beyond the limits of what the Malaysian public, especially those living in Kuala Lumpur are used to.

It is entirely possible that drivers on the road will be so shocked at seeing me wave at them, that they may crash their car into the curb.

I may be singularly responsible for the most number of traffic accidents in one day due to a severe shock reaction from unsuspecting drivers in my path.

Who knows, maybe I might even get thrown under the Internal Security Act for being a threat to public safety (and thereby, achieve international fame). :)

Jokes aside, this whole road courtesy thing has to be give-and-take.

Once in a fit of reckless kindness about a year ago, I allowed a driver who had been waiting for a while at an intersection to turn into my crawling lane, jammed with traffic. I even gestured the invitation like some waiter of an upscale restaurant.

Folks. You have no idea how pleased the dude was. He beamed a smile and waved (I nearly had an accident from the shock of seeing a wave) and after that was so unbelievably courteous on the road with other drivers.

He even let a lady enter into his lane, who promptly smiled back at him. If the situation got anymore sweeter, I'd have had to make a trip to the dentist. ;-)

But I thought it was wonderful that for that day, I had initiated the courtesy and the good feelings that followed.

*Updated: Next nominated for pulling out a great idea is Patricia of The English Cottage, a site which is as cosy as it sounds! :)

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Enforcement And Abuse

This Race Relations Act has got to be the most freaking-stupid-thing I've heard in a while.

One thing's for sure. Pinky and the Brain (or lack thereof) never fail to cook up elaborately asinine ideas.

We have lived together for over 50 years. At some point, we learned to give and take. We've survived through racist policies like the NEP.

And you think we need an Act to keep us in line?

No Act or Law in the world can protect anyone, if it is abused or enforced unjustly.

You and I know how good the BN government is at the 'divide and rule' policy, and abusing every Law in sight.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

To Cover Up

I happened to wander into Lulu's blog when I saw this:

Now Lulu thinks that they're smelling something unpleasant. :)

Somehow, I don't think so.

Some of you know that I am a voracious reader. I read practically everything. When I was a student, it used to drive my parents crazy because unfortunately, rather low on the list of reading priorities were my textbooks.

But something jogged my memory on the topic of psychology as I studied the picture.

They're not covering their noses, though it looks like it. It's actually a subconscious attempt at covering their mouths. You know why?

Those two creeps are lying. Check out How To Spot a Liar:

1. No eye contact. His eyes will look away. If the room has a means of egress - that's where they'll look.
2. Crossing of arms and/or legs (a protective instinct).
3. The pupils of the eyes will narrow. Lying is stressful.
4. Hands on the face, especially the mouth. They are "covering" the lie.
5. Talking fast. A liar wants to get it over with.
6. Sometimes the head will nod a "no" when answering a "yes" question or visa versa. This is a subconcious movement.
7. Mispronouncing the words or mumbling. A liar kinda thinks he is not lying when he pronounces words incorrectly or mumbles.
8. Overstated friendliness/laughing. He wants you to believe and he wants you to like him so you will believe him.

If you're still skeptical, check out this site on behavioural psychology:

They cover their mouth as if to cover the lie. A lot of face touching in general is not a good sign.

I really wonder what they were lying about.

Economic Impact Of PM's Leadership

It's not the first time the Wall Street Journal is commenting on our sorry state of political affairs.

Late last year, there was a piece in response to Abdullah's op-ed regarding the arrests of the HINDRAF 5 under the draconian ISA.

It certainly did not flatter the man. This one doesn't either.


Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced this week that he has enough parliamentary support to unseat the current government, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. If he does, Abdullah’s lacklustre economic management will be largely to blame.

The prime minister has not introduced any substantive reforms during his nearly five years in office, preferring to rely instead on opening up the government purse. Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan announced in 2005, he expanded public-sector spending to RM200 billion annually from RM160 billion. In his Midterm Plan Review this year, he increased this outlay to RM240 billion. The national debt now stands at RM285 billion, up from RM192 billion in 2004. The official fiscal deficit has risen to 4.8% of GDP this year, from 3.2% last year. Revenue is being spent faster than it is coming in.

It’s hard to argue that these outlays have served the broad public interest. Much of the funding has been channelled to elites in the majority Malay community, under the country’s pro-Malay affirmation action programme. That has created discontent with many Malays who don’t see the full benefits of the programme, and among the minority Chinese and Indians, who are excluded from it altogether.

Abdullah’s stewardship has had a real impact on the economy. Capital flight has risen sharply; Malaysian investment abroad now exceeds inward foreign investment. The Kuala Lumpur stock exchange has lost almost one-fifth of its value this year to date. Malaysia’s currency, the ringgit, saw its biggest one-month loss last month since the end of the dollar peg in 2005. Although GDP growth has averaged a robust 5% annual growth under Abdullah, that record is now under threat. Inflation reached a record 8.5% this summer. Job creation has reached record lows, as unemployment, particularly among young majority Malays, remains high. Ironically, only the opposition-led state governments are attracting new foreign investment - and without the federal government’s help, no less.

Abdullah’s 2004 attempts to promote growth and investment - such as through the promotion of the biotechnology and agricultural industries - have failed. He also fumbled discussions with the United States on a free trade agreement, which have now stalled. What Malaysia really needs is education reform and the liberalisation of its labour markets to improve its economic competitiveness.

The political opposition, in the form of Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition, have seized on these issues. They have promised to root out corruption and to implement a new economic policy to address the concerns of all ethnic communities in Malaysia. Their platform aims to move beyond populist spending to introduce structural reforms in government procurement programmes and in the management of government-linked companies.

When Abdullah assumed office in 2004, he inherited an economy in need of structural reform. Malaysians have had to pay for his poor stewardship through higher prices, stagnating wages and growing private sector debt. Soon, Abdullah may have to pay the political price for that record.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Kickdefella Taken In

Pinky and the Brain (or lack thereof) strike again.

This time, it's Kickdefella who has been nabbed. I presume it is over the issue of flying the flag upside down. I would really love to hear what Brain (or lack thereof) has to say this time.

This country has turned into a circus.

As usual, I am unable to see any connection to how an upside down flag constitutes sedition, which is what Kickdefella has been charged with.

Bear in mind, Khir Toyo and Ahmad Ismail who invoked the wrath of Malaysians nationwide by racial and religious accusations still roam free.

It is possible that UMNO has been strategising. But evidently devoid of brain cells (due to lack of usage) the only political action they could cough up, was to switch portfolios.

The Defence Ministry has now come under Abdullah's jurisdiction and Finance Ministry under Najib. It is evident that Abdullah has both the police and military under his purview.

Very, very dangerous. Perhaps Pinky is not as stupid as he looks.

I suspect the final option will be put into play. Emergency Rule.

Limited Options

So it didn't happen. The unconventional change in government, that is.

Not that it won't happen. My gut feeling is that it will.

I'm more interested in seeing the BN goons leave, than the new party coming into government. Of course, there is a lot being said about the desperate need to revive the economy.

Me? I'm not convinced PR can do it though. They have never had experience in the administration of a nation. And I still remember how close we came to being under the strangling clutches of the IMF.

I just detest that we have so few options, at this point. I feel like I'm being perpetually threatened.

Take RPK, who is currently under the ISA, for instance. I like the bugger, but before he was taken in, he gave the country an ultimatum:

Today, I received many phone calls from concerned friends who told me that the government is considering detaining me under the Internal Security Act ‘very soon’. If that does happen, then this could probably be the last article I write, at least until 16 September 2008. So I too need Anwar to succeed. If not I will be in Kamunting for quite some time to come and you will not hear from me over the next couple of years.

Yes, I too have placed, not only my money, but also my freedom on Anwar. And if Anwar fails to deliver his promise on 16 September 2008, not only he but I as well am headed for a fall. But I have confidence he will do it. And I have confidence that my stay in Kamunting will not be for two years but for a mere two weeks.

But if I am wrong…..well, then see you maybe in six or seven years time, because for sure Najib Tun Razak will not release me in 2010 when he becomes Prime Minister. What he would do, instead, would be to rollover my two-year detention another two years, and another two years, and another two years, until I am too old to think and write anymore.

Which is why so few people are very concerned about the remaining two being held over a charge the government can't even legitimately come up with.

Because in their minds, the rakyat expect Anwar to deliver the change in government and immediately release them.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

One Is An Idiot, The Other's Insane

I've lost it. I really have.

I thought I had gone beyond the threshold of livid rage at the unbelievable stupidity of the government to attempt another Ops Lallang simply to remain in power.

But this media statement by the police takes the cake.

It's not the police that I'm angry at. Oh no, they're just running dogs, and severely retarded ones at that.

Two imbeciles - Pinky and the Brain (or lack thereof) - are what drive me up the wall.

Pinky just might have woken up from his slumber, but he still seems to be in a daze. Or denial.

And Brain (or lack thereof)? He's still shooting his mouth off, babbling incoherently and making a complete and utter fool of himself.

Malaysians were recently informed by Brain (or lack thereof) that random citizens can be arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act for their own protection.

I guess when you're busy trying to take over the world at night, your performance during the day takes a beating. After all, they say lack of sleep can cause brain damage.

Some may argue that one must firstly possess a brain before one can suffer brain damage. A good point in question.

The ISA was the last straw. I simply cannot believe that BN has played right into the hands of PR by using the ISA to arrest innocent civilians. It's a whole new level of 'stupid'.

Heck, BN has single-handedly elevated stupidity and self-destruction into an artform.

But with the arrests of RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng, they have incurred the wrath of a nation, and for that they are doomed.

Go, BN. Get lost, mo-fus.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

If All Else Fails, Use ISA

A few people were genuinely upset over Ahmad Ismail calling the Chinese (and by proxy, Indians) "immigrants" and "squatters" in Malaysia. If the truth be told, I found it more amusing than upsetting.

But Ahmad Ismail was given a three-year suspension from UMNO, and no legal punishment, while Tan Hoon Cheng, the journalist from Sin Chew Daily who reported it got thrown under the ISA.

Now I'm upset.

Some people were upset at Khir Toyo making allegations that Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh, had called for the mosque to cease sounding the azan from its loudspeakers because it was "annoying" the non-Muslims.

I found those allegations funny because it was so obviously false - the amplifier was damaged, that's why the azan wasn't sounded. It was even stated in a small, inconspicuous corner of the same newspaper reporting those deceitful accusations by Khir Toyo.

But Khir Toyo, who was so obviously trying to stir up Muslim sentiment is roaming free, while Teresa Kok has been thrown under the ISA.

Now I'm upset.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin had his blog, Malaysia Today blocked from access. I found it hysterical, because it barely impacted us. The clinical precision with which we switched websites and disseminated information is awesome.

But RPK just got thrown under the ISA. They're expecting more bloggers to be taken in.

Now I'm upset.

And this is precisely what the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional wants me to feel. They want a knee-jerk reaction from me.

This action is meant to be unreasonable. The government wants to agitate me and turn me against my fellow Malaysian - the classic "divide and conquer".

They tried to agitate the Chinese by calling them names to get them to riot. It didn't work.

They tried to agitate the Malays with the story that their religion was being threatened. It didn't work.

They haven't bothered with the Indians. The last time the Indians took to the streets for a cause that was to a degree, somewhat selfish and individualistic, both the Chinese and Malays even backed them up! It just won't work.

You know why? We ceased being Malay, Chinese and Indian and simply became Malaysians. To some level, we have lost the distrust we once had for each other.

That's why we're not going to fall into their trap. We're not going to riot or cause chaos.

Because that will only lead to an Emergency Rule, and you can kiss all notions of democracy goodbye when that happens.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Not What It's Cracked Out To Be

'Crack' is the new word in town.

Just a while ago, I thought I'd take a short break from work and read the news.

It was then that I noticed the Washington Post had this report running: Ethnic cracks widen in Malaysia's ruling coalition.

Granted, it's an Associated Press release, written by a Sean Yoong. I have no beef with the article (it appears to be fairly accurate); just with the title.

It's not the first time anyone has used the word 'crack' on the subject of our race-relations. Early this year, John Burton of the Financial Times wrote an article entitled, Cracks appear in Malaysia's multi-ethnic settlement.

All things considered, we don't really have a problem with our respective ethnicities - only our politicians do.

And if one was referring to cracks within Barisan Nasional, that would be highly confusing. There was never any doubt that UMNO was the master, with all other smaller factions as slaves. Nothing much has changed.

You know what causes cracks? Earthquakes.

And since Sean Yoong wrote that particular article on Sept 9, we've had a number of them, starting with the Taiwan quake at a magnitude of 6.1 (though that was probably the rumble of our BN wannabe-defector-MPs making their grand entrance).

That was followed up by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in northern Chile and a 6.1-magnitude one in southern Iran.

Of course, the Pacific Ring of Fire didn't want to be left behind, so both Indonesia and Japan had to do their thing.

In spite of all the shifting that those cracked tectonic plates have been up to, not that many people were injured or killed.

In fact, our undersea cables weren't even damaged, which is why we still have internet access.

But stranger still, is the fact that access to Malaysia Today has been unblocked.

Of course, that very issue of censorship is what befuddles most of us - actually, it cracks me up!

Blocking or unblocking Malaysia Today was an exercise in futility and a stark display of stupidity, because few of us were even affected.

We merely switched sites and passed on the information.

Our interpersonal network, regardless of ethnicity, has no cracks within it.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Malaysians Need More From Government

I wondered when Michael Backman would finally comment on the shenanigans revolving around Malaysian politicians.

His observation on our priorities when it comes to the character and morality of elected representatives while holding office, is a thought I've wanted to verbalise for a long time but not known how.

Malaysians need more from government


In any event, why should sodomy between consenting adults disqualify one from office when allocating millions of dollars in contracts to one's relatives seems almost a prerequisite for high office?

By any measure, one is a personal and a religious matter, whereas the other is quite clearly criminal. It really is a case where those living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, particularly when those houses are worth millions, despite the fact the occupants are only on government salaries.

The bigger problem for Anwar is that in 1998 he was also charged and jailed for asking police to heavy witnesses into withdrawing their statements against him. That any deputy prime minister should have done that is unthinkable. Now, it is this that is Anwar's real crime. By comparison, the sodomy allegations barely matter. But of course people are far more titillated by sex than by matters of governance.

Now that Anwar is back in parliament, he has targeted September 16 — next Tuesday — as the date on which he will attempt to have the Government fall, as Government members switch sides to his coalition of opposition parties.

Malaysia's Government is tired, complacent and out of ideas. It needs some time out. All governments need this, which is why in modern countries, parties take turns at being in government. There is now a quantum gap between the government that Malaysians deserve and need and the government they get. But is Anwar the answer?

If he does come out on top, it would be nice if he doesn't award lucrative contracts to his friends, or manoeuvre his supporters into key positions in the national media, like he did last time. He must reduce the Government's role in business and not exchange one set of cronies for another but get rid of cronyism altogether.

He must make bold, precise statements that he will allow the judiciary to be completely independent, that he will tightly define corruption and adopt zero tolerance towards it, applying this stance most harshly of all to his friends and colleagues. And he must guarantee media freedom.

He might also like to decriminalise sodomy too, not because of all the trouble it's given him, but as part of a push to modernise Malaysia

A worldwide economic downturn is coming and the Malaysian Government really does need to be enthralled by more than the colour of the interior of someone's backside.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Free To Speak, Free To Ignore

Pat chastised me for defiling a previous post with an ugly picture.

I apologise to her and all my other readers, should they, likewise, have been traumatised by the mugshot of the boorish oaf in question.

I should explain.

When I put up that picture, Ahmad Ismail was relatively unknown. Now that he is in the throes of infamy, I figured it could be substituted with one that is less assaulting to the senses.

Like this remarkable likeness of him, complete with the sheer arrogance and no apologies. :)

I know I'm defaming some poor gorilla out in Africa, who is living a life of relative equanimity.

Some poor gorilla which doesn't resort to abusing its fellow primates by calling them squatters - well presumably, since he himself squats in such a pristine fashion.

Now, there are some people out there calling for Ahmad Ismail (the real one, not our cam-whore of a gorilla) to be put away under the ISA.

I know he is a bit of a nuisance.

But firstly, nothing is grounds for detention under the ISA, which is draconian, inhumane and utterly against constitutional freedom. It would just be wrong.

Even punishing him would mean nothing. In fact, it would only make a martyr of him.

I wouldn't gain brownie points for stating this, but I believe he has the right to say whatever he wants. Well, as much as we have the right to ignore him.

His words won't amend the constitution. Let him rail his poor little heart out.

We can in turn, rail a little, posture for the benefit of Pak Lah (watching him sweat is turning into a sport), voice out some dissatisfaction and then leave it at that.

He's just not worth it.

Which of course, brings me to my second point - could you really take him and his recurring UMNO-panic-attack seriously??

Faulty Wing Flaps

So the Spanair crash was caused by faulty landing flaps and not by engine failure, as speculated earlier.

The flaps, which are found on the underside of a plane's wings, are used to reduce stall speed during take-off and landing.

And when those flaps didn't work, the MD-82 couldn't pick up as much speed as was needed to launch itself off and consequently, stalled and crashed.

Worse, an electrical failure also meant the pilots were unaware of the problem.

The flaps on the wing’s trailing edge and slats on the leading edge are essential for lift on take-off, and usually high on the pilots' priority list.

The cockpit voice recorder, recovered from the crash, showed that the crew had confirmed “Flaps OK, Slats OK” during their reading of the check list. The flaps were NOT okay.

That oversight wiped out the majority of passengers on the flight. In fact, it's Spain's worst crash in 25 years.

The aircraft's black boxes, or known in the industry as flight data recorders, are currently being analysed by a specialist laboratory in the United Kingdom.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Who Is The Pendatang?

It looks like our favourite pendatang is back with no apologies.

Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. We are ALL pendatang from some place or another, starting from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

But first things first.

Someone check his legal papers to make sure there's no haram behind the pendatang. If so, we might need to engage in some deportation.

If not, we may need to give him a bit of education - something he is evidently lacking, hardly surprising since he belongs to UMNO.

But before I begin, perhaps I'd like to point out to everyone, that we all came into this world with nothing and we will all leave with nothing.

I believe that nothing actually belongs to us - we're merely temporary custodians of whatever we own, be it land or property. So I really don't see what the fuss is to establish who settled down first in this part of the planet.

And interestingly, the Shanghai Fish (who doesn't come from China) points out that for all the racial classification we do, Malaysia has never had a 'malay' Prime Minister since independence.

China and India have the two biggest populations in the whole of Asia. Ever so often, the two nations get a little crowded. So their citizens (or rather, inhabitants) cheerfully pack up their bags and find a new place to stay.

If you observe closely, the Indians and Chinese are crawling all over the world, in almost every city in every country, in every continent - like a nasty rash. :) Old habits are hard to break.

So, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Malaya, being smack in between those two countries, and strategically on the ocean trade route, would be a place where both Indian and Chinese merchants would meet.

Both originating from very highly populated countries, it also isn't a tall order that they would notice the beauty of Malaya and decide to call it home. In fact, the very word 'Malaya' has its roots in India.

I'd expect the Chinese settled down in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaya and the Indians on the West Coast. The East Coast and West Coast are separated by the Titiwangsa range, but I'm fairly certain the Chinese and Indians would have gone over to explore "the other side".

This is where the trouble starts. I hate to break it to you, ladies, but we're going to have to shoulder the blame for this one, because this is probably what happened.

A nice, well-brought-up but unconventional Indian girl would have probably wandered a little too far off from her Indian village and into a neighbouring Chinese one.

She'd have hidden behind a tree and watched a Chinese man cut down a tree, all the while noticing the outline of his muscular chest, unhidden by hair and his skin light in colour. She'd have muttered, "DAMN!!!"

Similarly, a nice, well-brought-up but unconventional Chinese girl may have observed an Indian man at work, admired his hairy chest and his deep tan, all the while whispering, "DAMN!!!"

Now when a woman has made up her mind, it is next to impossible to try and change it. So the rest, as they say, is history.

And the moral of the story is, men should have been prohibited from walking around without a shirt on. But it's obviously too late to argue over that now.

I realise I have gone off-tangent (and that's nothing new, of course), but what I was trying to say, is that Malays are essentially a cross-product of the Chinese and Indians, because frankly, the whole of South East Asia is.

Forget Malaysia. Indonesia obviously has its roots very deeply entrenched in India, even if you look beyond the superficiality of its name. When I'm at the airport, I still get confused between India and Indonesia. IND or INA?

And the currency? You'd think they'd get a little original. But nope, the 'rupee' became 'rupiah'.

The Indonesians seem to be proud of their Indian heritage - Bali has been so well-preserved. Very fascinating, since Indonesians are actually more Chinese than Indian, as the Bugis are the product of intermarriage between the Chinese and the Arabs!

The nephew of Daeng Kemboja was appointed the First Sultan of Selangor. That makes the entire Selangor Sultanate part Arab, part Chinese! Let's not get into the other Sultanates - Perak, Kelantan and Johor.

Like Shanghai Fish says, history is determined by the lessons taught within a civil society, pre-determined by a select few so-called "scholars".

If it is repeatedly fed to us, it will be interpreted as the gospel truth. If unchecked, this can lead to a total distortion of historical facts and if when a lie is spun too often, we tend to actually believe it as the truth.

Like poor little Ahmad Ismail, who lives in denial.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Silence Over Aberrant Behaviour

This nation needs change. A huge fraction of our parliamentary representation needs an overhaul.

You and I know that.

But the whole purpose of change is to move forwards, not backwards.

Ladies and gentlemen, as a fellow citizen it is my duty to inform you, that we are in grave danger of moving backwards.

This is Zulkifli Nordin. He belongs to PKR.

Now a lot of us don't like thinking about him because he brings up nasty memories of a Pakatan Rakyat that we want to embrace and put into power.

Nevertheless, he is there and will be around for a long time, unless of course, we remove him. And this removal, while it sounds drastic and heartless is absolutely vital in this quest for change.

We live in tough times. And the more I have been thinking, the more I am convinced that our socio-political and economic conditions are very much identical to Germany prior to World War II.

Only a decade or two ago, our economy was booming. Everyone and his cat wanted to invest in our nation. We had relatively cheap labour and low cost of living.

Today, India and China (and to a smaller extent, Vietnam, Cambodia and other Indo-Chinese nations) have taken that role. They have taken our contracts, though we (though I'm more inclined to name our ineffectual leaders) are still to be blamed.

Zulkifli Noordin reminds me of Ernst Röhm.

Ah, but you knew you were going to get your Nazi trivia of the day, didn't you? There was a time when I read everything about World War II - especially Nazi history - so forgive my frequent references to it.

Ernst Röhm co-founded the Sturmabteilung which can be loosely translated as storm troopers, the paramilitary organisation which functioned under the Nazi Party.

The Sturmabteilung, under Röhm's leadership, carried out numerous acts of violence against socialist groups throughout the 1920s, typically in minor street-fights.

This is eerily similar to Zulkifli Noordin who is able to round up a violent and reckless bunch of youth (ironically, including UMNO Youth) to storm a peaceful, open forum organised by the Bar Council.

"There was no question of us stopping the forum. They have already discussed with the police to stop it… it’s not because of us. We were just there to put forward our views… you mean the Muslim cannot stand up and protect their rights?

"We Muslims have been tolerant enough all this while… so many years we have been forced to live under law that is not Islam. It is time for the Muslims to speak up and I would take the lead for the Muslims to speak up.

"If you don’t hear from us at 10am, you should all storm the building!"

I believe in freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully. But there is no remote semblance of peace when people storm in, start shouting and demand that the event end immediately.

Back to Ernst Röhm. Few had affection for the man. In fact, senior members of the Nazi Party themselves often complained to Hitler about the power Röhm wielded, and frequently plotted to have him removed.

Heck, even the conservative industrialists who had supported Hitler's rise to the chancellorship in 1933 were uneasy with the very leanings of Röhm.

But Röhm had a close relationship with Hitler and for that, Röhm stayed in power. In the end, Hitler and Röhm fell out, but by then the damage was done to Germany.

You will agree with me that we need to nip it in the bud when it comes to this disgraceful Zulkifli Noordin - before the damage gets done.

But should you need further reason to share my views, Haris Ibrahim has videos which you may want to check out.

Better still, the man has a plan. Write to Anwar Ibrahim and ask him if he supports Zulkifli Noordin's stance. We have a right to know his stand, especially if we are going to put him in power.

For I am very uneasy as long as there is silence on this matter.

If anyone can draft out a letter template to Anwar Ibrahim, that would be a great initiative I certainly appreciate - in advance!

Monday, 1 September 2008


I once had a discussion with a 29-year-old American over the concepts of "dictatorship" and "democracy" during breakfast at 6am, one Monday morning.

Needless to say, it was an interesting one. I was expecting Kevin to argue to eternity, that democracy is the ultimate form of rulership and government.

He didn't - surprising me intensely. We are poles apart when it comes to personality, but we both agreed that dictatorship and democracy are NOT mutually exclusive as widely supposed.

Democracy is when the majority opinion and desires are exercised. It is entirely possible for minority rights to be trampled underfoot by the tyranny of the majority.

Consequently, it is possible for a democratic leader - backed by a politically-blinded majority - to evolve into a nefarious despot.

But whatever the failings of democracy around the world, what I find most appealing is that theoretically, political independence is supposed to be retained by the citizens.

I believe that a responsible government that takes into consideration the rights of ALL its citizens is one that is moulded by a mature-minded society.

I'd like to think we are slowly approaching that.

The government we will potentially form is not exclusively about Anwar Ibrahim and for Anwar Ibrahim - regardless of what Anwar Ibrahim thinks it is. I see him as just a puppet, and what we should be doing is pulling his strings.

I hope we have learned our lesson from our past mistakes.

Leaders, in my opinion, are not born, but made. Take, for example, Adolf Hitler.

He started off as a charismatic and skillful leader. He was instrumental in the development of the German national car, Volkswagon (which means "people's car") and an extensive network of Autobahn (highways).

Hitler was TIME magazine's Man of the Year for 1938.

Frankly, Hitler earned and deserved the accolades the German people bestowed upon him - until they started giving him their blind support. Then it all went downhill from there.

He slowly proposed anti-semitism, and he wasn't opposed. Not strongly anyway.

And when Kristallnacht happened, few Germans spoke up. By then it was already too late. The Jews were rounded up and thrown into concentration camps.

Popular opinion is that the Holocaust was solely about the Jews. It wasn't. There were awful human experimentations by Josef Mengele - dwarfs, identical twins, etc. It is rather disturbing, so you might want to exercise caution or discretion reading it.

I probably have hard core Anwar Ibrahim fans baying for my blood now. :)

I'm not saying Anwar Ibrahim will eventually become like Hitler. I personally think ANYONE has the potential to become like that.

No, I'm merely pointing out the consequences of:

1. Not dissenting or speaking out against injustice, no matter how slight.
2. Electing a leader and then ignoring him until the next elections.

The Germans appear to have learned from their mistakes. Their Chancellors so far can only be accused of dying their hair and more recently, ummmm... employing weapons of mass distraction.

And while a lot of people think that good governance of a nation is due to its leaders, I strongly disagree - it's the people who deserve the credit.