Thursday, 25 February 2010

Vilifying The Chinese

I am incensed.

Not because some ultra-religious wannabe has identity issues.

Not because this sanctimonious fool tries to push his brand of religion down everyone else's throat.

Not even because he is insensitive enough to rub salt in the wounds of a grieving family.

I am furious because this sick son-of-a-b!tch attempts to vilify the entire Chinese race by cementing what the PM's aide Nasir Safar first claimed - that the Chinese are merely drunkards, gamblers and prostitutes.

Now, as every self-respecting Malaysian knows, there are heaps of derogatory Chinese jokes out there.

And the Indians and Malays do complain about the Chinese drive and ambition - some valid and some misplaced. I personally have complained that the Chinese in DAP are too sinocentric.

But I have a friend who is a journalist for the mainstream media. She has been involved in a lot of donation drives.

She tells me that some of the most generous people out there are the Chinese, a huge faction of which have donated requesting anonymity.

These Chinese are not doing it for publicity or political mileage. They are genuinely nice individuals concerned about the welfare of others.

So if anyone else tries to make the Chinese look like immoral people, may the fleas of a thousand Afghan camels infest his crotch and may his arms grow too short to scratch it.

Monday, 22 February 2010

What's With The Caning?

If you're anything like me, you must have wondered why the UMNO government is overzealously portraying itself as one that upholds Islamic values.

After all, UMNO is rife with corruption and debauchery and is notoriously avaricious and profligate (yes, I really couldn't resist all those big words that so aptly describe UMNO).

Yet, UMNO falls over itself to cane those who fall short of Islamic rules.

Interestingly, the victims of their suddenly acquired religious zeal have all been women, and they have been and will be caned for having extramarital sex and drinking beer, respectively.

Now I am aware that most religions frown on these less-than-immaculate activities.

But to be caned for these is a bit extreme, methinks. For one, I believe that these are personal issues to be resolved by the individual, and neither the business of any religious body nor the State.

It is even more shocking perhaps, that it is not PAS (the Islamic party of Malaysia) who is calling for these punishments to be meted out, but UMNO, the organisation that has gained a reputation for elevating those two aforementioned activities into an artform.

Did UMNO suddenly turn religious?

That is about as possible as a zebra losing its stripes. Or Rosmah becoming a submissive wife. But I digress.

I think this whole matter is about Anwar Ibrahim. These shenanigans have been orchestrated since they were hankering to put him behind bars again.

It's a wild shot, but I think UMNO is willing to risk a reputation for being religious fanatics in order to frame Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, which is probably the worst crime any Muslim can think of.

Not for the first time, it makes me wonder how low they could stoop.

It's already so low that I've lost my bearings.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Representing The Rakyat

Recently, I stated my dissatisfaction with DAP and PKR in a blog.

I felt that for the most part, DAP has the interests of the Chinese in mind.

The response I got was:

which non Indian-based party has so many Indian leaders, and not just now but since its inception - starting with founder Devan Nair to Patto to Peter Dason to Karpal Singh (chairperson) to his sons Gobind Deo & ?, Perak speaker Siva, Kula, Dr Rama (Penang DCM), Dr Xavier, Sivanesam, Manogaran, Charles Santiago, John Fernandez, Gunasegaran etc etc

I do not deny that DAP has many politicians of ethnic Indian origin, and some of them are the country's best.

But it is not about ethnicity. Merely having an Indian in a position of authority within a political party does not automatically mean he/she has an Indian's best interests at heart.

Heck, look at the multitudes of parties, falling over themselves to represent the Indians as described in Who speaks for Indians?

Indeed, Malaysian Indians are the smallest minority with the largest number of political parties (groups) representing them.

Given the state of a huge number of Malaysians of Indian descent, obviously someone isn't doing a good job.

Now on the surface, DAP appears to be very fair and equal in its treatment of all races.

The DAP logo, for instance, has all the 4 main languages embellished on it - supposedly to be all-inclusive. Of course, what it does is exclude those who don't come under the category of Malay, Chinese of Tamil.

While Mandarin is representative of all Chinese, Tamil is what the majority of Indians speak. The rest speak Malayalam, Telegu, Hindi, Punjabi etc.

The move to be inclusive fell flat on its face.

Theoretically, it's noble, but in practice, this sort of symbolism does not mean anything.

The Rakyat need people who can cater to their basic needs. In many cases, it is the need for education, jobs and even basic human rights.

Sometimes, it is forgotten in light of reaching to the majority of voters - a fine line, a tricky balance, but an important one nevertheless.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Water Conservation Initiative

Water is precious, yet it is being wasted or poorly managed. You can help promote water conservation by sending on this meme. If you do, simply follow these rules:

1. Create a blog entry entitled "Water Conservation Initiative".
2. Post the Water Initiative Network's Water Facts in your post.
3. List 3 things YOU will do to save water.
4. Add in the photo above, or any photo you have taken of a waterfall, river or lake.
5. End with the line: "Find out more about water conservation and good governance by joining the Water Initiative Network on Facebook!

Tag 5 or more blog/FB friends. Be sure to copy the rules, okay?

1. Of every 100 drops of water on earth, 97 are too salty to drink, 2 are locked in ice and snow, and 1 is fresh water.
2. The daily requirement for sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, as well as for assuring survival, is about 50 litres per person.
3. Reducing shower time from 20 mins to 8 mins saves up to 360 litres of water per shower.
4. A small drip from a faucet can waste as much as 75 litres of water a day.
5. Two thirds of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom. To flush a toilet, we use up to 9 litres of water.
6. Water-efficient toilets and washing machines are good ways to save water.
7. A low-tech way to save water is to form the habit of turning on the tap to low flow and turning it off when the water is not needed.
8. Non-revenue water (i.e. stolen or wasted water) constitutes 36% of water 'used' in Selangor, Malaysia, and this raises the cost of water for everyone.
9. Water supply infrastructure cost billions of ringgit. This money could be spent in more useful ways.
10. Large areas of forests are cleared to make way for water supply dams to accommodate our soaring demand for water. These forests and their wildlife represent our natural heritage.


1. I will fix the faulty taps that leak drops of water.

2. I will not let the shower run while I lather myself.

3. I will recycle the water used for washing to water the plants.


1. Think & Create
2. The English Cottage
3. I Am Malaysian
4. As Zewt As It Gets
5. O.B.E

Find out more about water conservation and good governance by joining the Water Initiative Network on Facebook! Visit us AT THIS LINK.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Malaysia Suffers More Bad Press

I did wonder how much more damage the ruling coalition could possibly inflict on our nation.

Our ratings are down, and our once stellar reputation is steadily going down the drain.

From The Malaysian Insider:

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Events since New Year’s Day have given the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) the impression that the situation in Malaysia is becoming increasingly unstable.

In a blistering report on Malaysia released at the end of January, PERC also asserted that a group of elite minorities were dominating the national agenda to the extent that it was hurting Malaysia’s attractiveness to investors.

The consultancy, which also publishes reports on the risk ratings of other Asian countries, said it is “probable” that no other Asian country is suffering from as much bad press as Malaysia.

You'd think the government would know when to slink away quietly and lick its wounds in silence.

But no.

They issue a feeble response (albeit with plenty of posturing) that only serves to reiterate what PERC claims, what investors have long suspected and what we, unfortunately, already know.

On my drive back home from work yesterday, the newsreader almost sounded apologetic as she announced the government claims that someone out there has a "hidden agenda", which according to Muhyiddin Yassin is the reason behind this report.

"I think they must be talking through their nose," he said.

Yes, someone is talking through their nose indeed, but it certainly isn't PERC.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Caution Series

I stumbled across Loyar Burok a while ago.

Most of the contributors are members of the legal profession who, rest assured, do not take themselves too seriously.

Some of the postings are informative in a lawyerly way, some entertaining and some thought-provoking.

I've always liked the thought-provoking ones - they fulfil a need in me for discourse and disagreement.

The Caution trilogy appears to be a singular effort by one Aston Paiva, who promptly manages to offend me in his 3rd line of introduction by patronisingly encouraging readers "to keep an open mind".

As if everyone else walks around with a closed mind to amuse himself.

But I consoled myself with the notion that I had every right to be offended as had he every right to offend me. And proceeded to read on.

I discovered that all three of them are astoundingly articulate and spectacularly brilliant. You would do well to read them in their entirety:

Caution: Easily Offended!
Caution: Easily Shocked!
Caution: Easily Disturbed!

Do not expect to agree with everything he says.

For one, I anticipate the Christians and Muslims frowning at the verses he has - in some cases - taken out of context.

Interestingly, the Christian verses that he finds offensive are in fact, the very ones that have once prompted me to question the veracity of the Christian faith.

Like him, I believe nothing is above and beyond question.

And being humans, the least we can do is to conceed that not everyone shares our beliefs and values.

..being offended is a good thing. It encourages you to assess yourself. To ask yourself why you feel offended? To inquire into the root of your distraught. To locate the source of your distress. You are forced to think..

-Aston Paiva

In light of the Asian mentality of not wanting to offend, particularly the Malaysian brand of refraining from broaching "sensitive" issues, I can agree with feeling.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Malaysia, Not Anwar, Is In The Dock

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial beginning of this month.

Guess who responded today? Check this link to find out: Malaysia Upholds the Rule of Law

Like someone once said, if you shine a beam of light through this imbecile’s left ear, it travels unimpeded and exits through the right.

The Outcome Of The Trial

I am always impressed when the big time journos like the Washington Post sit up and pay attention to Malaysian politics.

This is no exception: Why the prosecution of Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim matters to the West

I think this would be something you might like to read for yourself - it is probably Malaysia's most famous trial.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Sorry About That, Perak!

I'm not a lawyer, but my sister is. I know what a tremendous embarrassment it must be to have such low-down scum in one's industry.

It has been suspected that the judiciary was tainted since ages past. Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy I, VK Lingam's judge-fixing and now the Perak MB's "rightful" appointment merely serve to confirm that.

But it's not just the concern of the lawyers. This sham of a judiciary is our personal problem as well!

How could we sit calmly and read the news, make some suitably disapproving noises with our respective tongues and go on with our lives??!!

Is it because we think we are too insignificant to ever undergo recourse to the courts of justice?

Will our lives be blissfully unaffected by the putrid stench of a tainted judiciary?

This issue should never have made its way to the judiciary in the first place.

If BN had just a remote drop of courage in itself, it would have called for elections so that the people could rightfully determine who they want in office.

Of course, you and I know that it would have flown into the hands of the Pakatan Rakyat, which is why they did not attempt it.

It saddens me (not for the first time) to note that people in high office could so easily be bought out by those who are obviously pure evil.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Finally, Something To Be Proud Of

Of course, I'm not very pleased that the Indians say even Malaysia puts women on warships - as if Malaysia is the lowest standard possible.

But yes, at least in the military, there are no (or little) glass ceilings for women.

From The Times Of India:

PORT BLAIR: At first glance, Lieutenant Farah al Habshi presents a demure picture, with a hijab around her head, even though she dons the white and blue Royal Malaysian Navy uniform. But appearances, as one learns, can be extremely deceptive.

An engineer by training, a naval officer by profession, young Farah is the deputy weapons and electrical officer on the spanking new Malaysian warship KD Perak. And she is quite articulate to boot, not at all deterred by journalistic questions, some quite personal. "I have no problems serving on a warship with men," says Farah, in her early-20s.

Her presence, and of some other women officers on board foreign warships during the ongoing multilateral Milan exercise here, is a stark reminder that Indian armed forces are still to shatter the glass ceiling for women. Indian women, after all, are not allowed on seafaring warships, cannot fly fighters or serve in combat arms like infantry, armoured corps and artillery.

A predominantly Muslim country, Malaysia has left India far behind in this regard. "We even have a woman fighter pilot, who flies F/A-18s, apart from helicopter pilots," says Farah.

Does it feel claustrophobic to be part of the 91-member crew of KD Perak since there are only two women on board? "No. I have been in the Navy for over two years now. There is no problem. The other women officer and I share a cabin, with an attached bathroom," says the religious Farah, who wears the hijab "by her personal choice".

"Its a good experience just as long as there is no physical contact and bad language. When someone talks funny, I just walk away," she says. Her commanding officer, Captain Ismail Bin Othman, adds, "Our new warships are designed keeping the future in mind to give privacy to women. From deploying them in supporting roles in warships around five years ago, we are moving towards women in purely combat roles."

Recently, five women were commissioned as seamen lady officers.

Some other of the 13 navies taking part in the Milan conclave, like Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also allow women on warships. "Three-quarters of our warship crew have women on board. They serve in all roles, right from being cooks to commanding warships. A woman at sea can do exactly the same as a man can do," says Lt-Commander Shane Doolin, the captain of Australian warship HMAS Glenelg.

This completely destroys the argument of the top Indian military brass, which holds that there are "operational, practical and cultural" problems in having women officers with permanent commission or deploying them in combat roles.

While women officers have been inducted into armed forces since the early 1990s, the government only last year approved permanent commission for them and that too in only the legal and education branches.

Those in other wings like ordnance, engineering, air traffic control, logistics and the like can even now serve a maximum of only 14 years in uniform. Women, of course, constitute a minority in the predominantly-male environs of the over 13-lakh strong armed forces.

There are just about 1,100 women officers in the over 35,000-strong officer cadre in Army. Similarly, there are 750 women among the 10,500 officers in IAF, with Navy having 180 out of 7,000 officers.

While there are over 60 women pilots in IAF, they fly only transport aircraft and helicopters as of now. IAF top brass believes that in order to have women fighter pilots there will have to be certain pre-conditions like not allowing them to have children till a specified age since it takes Rs 11 crore to train a pilot and tight flying schedules cannot be disrupted. Even if one buys this argument, what about allowing women on warships?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Q&A With Azmi Sharom

"Asking the Syariah court to have jurisdiction on the Lina Joy case is wrong because she is not a Muslim," Azmi Sharom postulates.

"It would be like asking me to resolve a personal dispute I may have with Jaya (sitting next to him on the panel) in a military court. Impossible! Because we're not in the military - he's too old and I'm a hippie!"

Azmi had us in stitches but nodding with feeling at his logic.

Azmi Sharom At The Ipoh Roadshow

Now this guy is a hoot.

But behind all the humour, he knows his stuff. He is, after all, a law professor.

He took us through Article 8 of the Constitution which provides that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection.

An often quoted (or rather, misinterpreted) bit is Article 153 that safeguards the special position of the Malays and other indigenous peoples of Malaysia.

Proponents of the Ketuanan Melayu ideology claim that this gives the Malays the right to special privileges like housing and positions within the civil service.

The Malay supremacists have forgotten Article 136 which states that it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone in the government service because of their race.

Our civil service today is not reflective of our nation.

Jahaberdeen Yunoos At The Ipoh Roadshow

I didn't attend the KL roadshow, so this is the first time I'm hearing Jahaberdeen.

Of mixed parentage (he is part Malay, Indian and Burmese), he exposes the racial injustices practised by the UMNO government.

Jahaberdeen led us through how UMNO claims to be Islamic and yet shamelessly practises cronyism, tribalism, elitism, nepotism, landlordism and racism without batting an eyelid.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Fahmi Reza At The Ipoh Roadshow

My apologies as the sound quality on this clip isn't the best.

Ipoh Roadshow: Come And Register Now

We're waiting for you!

SABM Roadshow At Ipoh

Hi folks! We're already in Ipoh!

I'll be uploading stuff as they come on, so stay tuned to CRANKSHAFT if you want the latest updates.

The event starts at 2pm and I'll be uploading videos around then.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sawmill Worker Becomes Latest Death In Custody

Grief usually overwhelms.

It does not give advance notice.

It does not ask for permission.

It hits you right in the solar plexus and watches with casual disinterest as you crumple to your knees.

The loss of a loved one, the aftermath of a natural disaster, the end of a relationship - they all usually leave you grieving.

So it is with a heavy heart that I wonder - does anyone grieve over the death of the orphaned, 28 year old sawmill worker who was found dead in the police lock-up in Jempol, Negeri Sembilan?

P Babu was under remand since Jan 24 after he surrendered himself to the police over a robbery case.

Today, they say he committed suicide.

Like many others before him, he is now a statistic in the long list of deaths in police custody.

And no prizes for guessing that he was of Indian descent. We have almost come to expect it of the authorities.

Perhaps a few politicians from the Opposition raise hell.

I hope the police Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan would investigate how custodial deaths happen and why it is more prevalent among the Indian suspects. He has to explain.

- PKR Negeri Sembilan deputy chief M Ravi

But not enough to impact anyone - not you, not the government and certainly not the police.

From Francis Udayappan to Kugan Ananthan, over a thousand deaths have occured, but every single incident has been brushed aside to make way for "more important" news.

Which makes me wonder again who grieves for these men who die needlessly because they were not important people, and their lives mattered so little to the rest of the world.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Project Irrelevant

Now this project is closer to home, because it requires active participation from you.

You won't get tear-gassed or sprayed with chemicals for this, I can assure you. But making a stand - walking the talk - can be a little intimidating, especially if it involves bureaucratic government servants.

It's about those pesky little forms we've been filling out since the dreaded UPSR exam. I presume it started prior to that, but my parents did the dirty deed for me back then.

You know the questions that those forms ask? The questions that really don't need to be asked? About sex, race and religion?

They've irked me for so long. Evidently, they irritate my friend Pat, as well. Pat is quite a character and if we had more people like her, we could really get this ball rolling.

Now Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament has a suggestion on how to end this sort of racial profiling - by putting into action Project Irrelevant.

Refuse to answer those questions, folks. Don't let the government intimidate you into doing what we have done for over 52 years.