Thursday, 31 March 2011

Pembela's Actions Come Under 'Entertainment'

Pembela's Actions Come Under 'Entertainment' - at least by Google's news standards :-)

(Click on image for clearer view)

In fact, it has even trumped Prince William and Kate Middleton, not to mention George Clooney for the top spot!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

SABM's 1st Annual Fund-Raising Dinner

Make a date with us this April!

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) invites fellow anak bangsa Malaysia to celebrate our shared Malaysian identity at its first annual fund-raising dinner, to be held at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Saturday, 16 April 2011. The theme for this year is “’Ngapa Harus Beza?”

The programme promises to be exciting, with entertainment by Jit Murad, Amirah Ali and other notables, including Dr Azmi Sharom who will show that PhDs and rock do mix.

An auction, lucky draws and a delectable, 9-course halal Chinese banquet / buffet for vegetarians are other highlights of the night.

Through this fund-raising dinner, SABM hopes to give new momentum to the activities set in 2009-2010, which included countrywide SABM Roadshows, special events and various interactions aimed at forging working relationships and understanding between distinct groups.

SABM is confident that with your support it will be able to advance its goals for 2011. These include:

* Monthly SABM youth workshops
* Voter-education programmes and registration drives
* Film screenings and photo safaris
* Special lectures, workshops and events, including those for children
* Localised forums and roadshows
* Publications and multimedia material

Tables are available through donations of RM5,000, RM3,000, RM1,000 and RM600.

Dress Code is Malaysiana, the best of our cultural diversity.

For more information, please contact

Farida 016-209 5818
Xian Tze 012-344 5030

For Melaka: Singam ( , mobile number 016-225 6146
For Penang: Richard: ( , mobile number 016-451 2158

Or email your booking with us at:

And please forward this mail to your friends and colleagues too.

Hope to see you.


The SABM Core Group

Monday, 28 March 2011

BN - Without Doubt, They Are Goofballs!

Someone went through a lot of trouble to make that video.

Apparently, this sex video was meant to be among BN's potential weapons for the 13th General Elections.

But what made them dust it off in a hurry and use it now: the Sarawak state elections. You and I know that Sarawak is going to be the Kingmaker in the coming General Elections.

BN’s internal polling revealed that BN could potentially lose far too many seats in the state elections due to anger towards Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister of Sarawak who has indiscreetly hoarded wealth for himself without any regard for the State.

In fact, BN’s internal polling shows that Taib’s party PBB itself is projected to lose about 50% of its seats and SUPP to lose all its seats.

Yet, their projection is that BN will still win, but with a much reduced majority. They figured they would not gain the 2/3 majority and even just win by around 55-60% majority (as predicted by Raja Petra in his video).

BN needs to win Sarawak big time in order to keep as many Parliament seats in 13th GE.

So Najib and Muhyiddin both went to see Taib in Sarawak about 2 weeks ago. Never have the PM and deputy PM ever gone to visit a state together. This suggests they must have been concerned. Very concerned.

They went to pressure Taib to resign and appoint a caretaker CM before state elections in the faint hope that with Taib leaving, the Sarawakians would forget, cool down - be less angry and vindictive when voting.

Perhaps BN hoped it would still win handsomely.

The story is that Taib assured them that he would consider it seriously, but Taib threw a shocker.

He sent off Najib and Muhyiddin at the airport but as soon as the plane took off, Taib called for a press conference in the airport itself.

He announced that he was going to dissolve the state assembly in the next week, and would remain as CM and retire only after the elections - after a transition period to enable the new CM to get up to speed.

Najib and Muhyiddin got the shocking news after they landed in KLIA. Taib had just showed them the finger. Awesome or what??!! :-)

Since the state assembly dissolution was already announced, nothing could be done. What was even more intimidating is that Pakatan Rakyat was getting stronger by the day in Sarawak. Something needed to be done.

So, they resurrected Anwar’s purported sex tape to destroy PKR’s credibility, hoping that people will be wary of the Opposition.

But they didn't let the experts plan the moves. They were in a hurry and made some crucial mistakes.

Talk about dumb-asses trying to frame people without goofing up:

- The room that was used to screen the tape to reporters at Carcosa was booked by of all people, Risda - a federal govt agency!!

- Risda’s chairman is Rahim Thamby Chik, the guy who raped an underaged girl once (but escaped scot-free). He is strongly linked to UMNO.

- The room in Carcosa was actually booked by the Timbalan Ketua Umno Bhg Bukit Gantang, who just happens to be the special officer to Rahim Thamby Chik.

The dude paid for it by credit card and worst of all... are you ready for this...?

He asked for a goddamn corporate discount by using his Risda corporate account!!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Born This Way

Dear Lady Gaga,

Congratulations on the release of your single "Born This Way".

I read somewhere that it has achieved the number-one spot in many countries and was the fastest-selling single in iTunes history - selling one million copies in five days!

It has played on some of the radio stations that I listen to.

Apparently, certain lyrics have been edited to suit Malaysian sensitivities, especially since they revolve around sexuality, which happens to be the prime Malaysian obsession that everyone naturally denies.

More so, when it involves same sex relationships.

The grapevine tells me that you're outraged about the censorship.

'What I would say is for all the young people in Malaysia that want those words to be played on the radio, it is your job and it is your duty as young people to have your voices heard.

'You must do everything that you can if you want to be liberated by your society. You must call, you must not stop, you must protest peaceably.'

- Lady Gaga

Thank you for your concern about our country. However, I am rather intrigued about what you mean by "protest peaceably".

Since recent times, Malaysians have taken to the streets to peacefully voice their dissatisfaction about the governance of our nation and to protest the travesty of justice that is practised by our nefarious government. All in a non-violent manner.

Our gripes fell on deaf ears, but our actions were duly noted and reverted to with tear-gassing and spraying of chemical-laced water.

If our legitimate objections over a draconian law were completely unheeded, I doubt any plea for gay rights would catch the attention of our authorities - peaceable protest or otherwise.

Please do not take it personally, but the editing of your lyrics are hardly something we would risk our health and well-being for.

With that out of the way, I would like to bring to your attention a piece of legislation that has since been applied mainly on political opponents.

It is the Penal Code 377A which is defined as committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature. I do not want to go into details here, but any homosexual would instantly be guilty of this crime.

In this country, to be gay is a crime. The punishment may go up to 20 years imprisonment, and is liable to a fine and whipping.

Freedom of expression is also not a right accorded to the average citizen.

I do however, appreciate that in noticing our predicament, you have widened your horizons to something beyond dance routines, video clip productions, diet/fitness regimes and fan clubs.

Yours sincerely,

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Datuk T - The Bumbling Trio

People in glass houses should not throw stones.

I guess Rahim Thamby Chik isn't aware of that bit of advice or perhaps he assumed that people have forgotten his statutory rape some years back.

Sadly for him, neither I nor a CRANKSHAFT reader Joshua Lopez, had forgotten. I doubt we're the only ones who remember.

We claim to be a conservative nation. We collectively indulge in a lot of moral policing. And yet, sex is always at the forefront of Malaysian politics.

I think there is probably a good number of Malaysians who are very intrigued about whether Anwar did it or not. A bigger number (judging from the people I have spoken to on this topic) don't believe Anwar is guilty of all these sexual accusations.

The rest don't give a rat's ass if he did it or not. After all, each new accusation revolves around an adult male or female.

The last thing I would want to do is to judge someone over his sexual morality, especially among consenting adults.

It would be different if it involved animals (bestiality) or children (pedophilia).

In fact, it is Rahim Thamby Chik who has a very dubious pedophilic past behind him. Not Anwar Ibrahim.

Not to mention Shuib Lazim who should be hanging his head in shame for peddling his shameless rhetoric of racism and bigotry.

I don't know who this Shazryl Eskay is - but he completes the UMNO frame-up task force.

It is a very bumbling and incompetent team that wouldn't be able to convince the nation of their absence of a political motive even if they danced the entire Swan Lake ballet in a pink tutu.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Same Old Garbage Again About Anwar Ibrahim!!

It was a friend living abroad who first alerted me to this fiasco via email. So much for me slinking into the office and thinking it was going to be an uneventful Monday.

Oh no, a scandalous video had to show up.

The said fiasco was unveiled to the mainstream media with much pomp and ceremony - complete with confiscation of cameras and all recording devices outside the room, and journalists made to dress in robes before being allowed in to view the footage.

They had Sodomy I. Then came Sodomy II. But they cannot help but continue to flog a dead horse, in the hopes that it might suddenly get up and start galloping.

Hence, some BN-inspired twit had the lack of creativity to come up with a musical of Anwar Ibrahim doing the horizontal lambada with some East Asian woman (but of course), purported to be a pr0stitute.

"Anwar is not a pious person with high moral value and integrity as portrayed, and therefore he is not fit to be a leader," they said in the statement signed only "The Insider".

Okay, it wasn't a musical, but if they were going to subject us to this same old crap, they could have at least put in some effort.

Anwar, of course denies it. He needn't have bothered - no one worth their salt would actually believe that he was the star of this CCTV invasion of privacy.

Not even his detractors, of whom I am one.

In fact, I am almost inclined to believe it was a plan hatched up by Anwar Ibrahim himself to boost his flagging popularity.

Nothing brings support as much as sympathy for a man much wronged.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Race And Mahathir

I blogged very briefly about Loony Tun's autobiography some time back.

I wasn't aware that his book was going to be such a bestseller among the Malaysian public - looks like this man still has many fans.

It's also evident he has a great number of critics, some of whom have commented on his skill in being a political chameleon.

His race appears to be a bone of contention for most of his critics. In his autobiography he claims his ancestors hailed from Kerala, India, but he claims he is "Malay".

Anyone who has seen Malayalam movies on Astro can tell right away that Mahathir has a typical Malayalee face. This has somehow ended up as a chapter in Mahathir’s memoirs entitled, “I am a Malay”.
- Joe Fernandez

I actually don't have a problem with him calling himself a Malay. In Malaysia, anyone can claim to be a Malay since the definition of "Malay" in the Federal Constitution in itself is very broad and ambiguous.

Old Nyanyuk may have perfected the art of blending into a culture, but Ridhuan Tee and many others have both earnestly and casually followed suit.

And seriously, what does it mean to be "Malay" anyway? The whole of South East Asia is predominantly comprised of a race that is derived of Indian and Chinese parentage.

Malays are essentially Chindians - part Chinese, part Indian and in some occasions part Arabic thrown in for good measure.

So are the Indonesians, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Myanmarese etc. All Chindians.

Going through lengths to prove that a particular Malay has Indian ancestry is an exercise in futility - it is already a fact that he does.

The Malay language and culture is a testament to the Indian heritage and influence.

So I am not interested in debating about whether Mahathir is Indian or Malay. He can be Malay for all he likes - race in this sense is purely semantics coming into play, if you ask me.

But if you go beyond the stereotyping of his looks and ancestry, some of his critics do put across a salient point: If not for Article 153 in the Federal Constitution and the New Economic Policy that favour Malays, would Mahathir claim so proudly to be a Malay?

He has expressed some of his frustrations with the Malay way of life in his book "The Malay Dilemma" which was published long ago.

Perhaps he meant well for the Malays. Perhaps he wanted to associate himself with a group that was superior. Or perhaps he may have wanted to be the big fish in a small pond.

I really don't know because I don't deign to read his mind.

Old Nyanyuk has done much damage to this nation with his divisive, autocratic brand of politics, however, and I do not admire him for that one bit.

Perhaps we could do well to disregard the whole issue of race as being pivotal to our state of mind and intellect.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Shut Up Already, You Bloody Opportunists!

Due to lack of creativity and excess in desperation, most of the UMNO/BN-owned media resort to headlines such as "Najib tells Sibu folks to vote BN for a better future".

I usually feel rather nauseated after digesting too many news articles along those lines, which is why I staunchly avoid coming into contact with any mainstream media if I can help it.

So it came as a complete shock when I read that Pakatan Rakyat politicians had sent out text messages discouraging people from attending the HINDRAF-organised protest.

“Don’t fall for selfish people who are using you for their selfish aims. Go to Merlimau not KLCC,” the text message by DAP Senator S. Ramakrishnan read.

It seems to me that the issue of racism and propagation of tools to Brainwash The Nation is of secondary importance - the utmost priority is that they, Pakatan Rakyat, get voted into power.

Make no mistake, Uthayakumar, the maverick leader of HINDRAF has not played by any party rules, nor has he compromised on his stance. A lot of people regard him as eccentric, some see him as recalcitrant, but on the issue of racism, he appears to be spot-on in his judgement.

This makes him a threat to Pakatan Rakyat. I wager that a substantial number of politicians were more than just mildly curious to know if Uthayakumar still had the mojo and could command an impressive attendance at KLCC.

We never got to know because every Indian who showed up in that vicinity was promptly arrested.

But even the average man on the street is aware of the Pakatan Rakyat politicians' self-serving actions. This commenter on Malaysiakini says:

Anonymous i see some the politicians here are taking advantage in this case and asking the indians not to vote for this party and that party.hello we are talking about our childrens education and well being not your stupid politics.pls for god sake for once think like a human being rather for your own benefit.i find it wrong and very wrong for education ministry to do this to our indian in the service line and i have never discriminated a malay or chinese but whats wrong with this teachers.they seriously need to go for psychiatric evolution before they start teaching in the school.pls withdraw interlok before it causes further damage to this country.1malaysia

Interestingly, the politicians have also been called out by the educated masses as well. In his letter to Malaysiakini, Wong Mun Chee identifies Hindraf, not Pakatan Rakyat as the real threat to UMNO.

In hindsight, the government feels that the grass roots movement of Hindraf is more potent that the politicking of the opposition. Maybe they realise the opposition like them is an endless trail of bickering of who does what and how it has to be done, but how it gets dissipated to the grassroots is a major stumbling block for either the ruling government or the opposition.

The government probably realised that Hindraf is still alive and kicking because they are the voice of the poor, deprived and marginalised who form about 70 percent of the population.

Why and how Hindraf can be the voice for the poor, deprived and marginalised? Naturally if you look at their leaders, they are not people of material substance, no datuks, tan sris, people with connections, and so on, but a movement of people who are genuinely interested in uplifting the society with their own sacrifices for the people within the society.

If you take the trouble to notice, you will realise that this group does not have any support either from the opposition or the NGOs and works solely in their belief with their followers that their path cannot be compromised for political and personal agenda, but what is the best for the community on the long run.

Even now in the by-elections, their arrest for the anti racism forums were well circulated by the opposition to optimise on the sentiment for vote count, yet none has lent a hand for their cause against racialism on February 27, 2011.

Similar to Suqiu, I think we have a genuine movement in Hindraf and their leaders without fear or favour who fight a cause for the voiceless poor, deprived and marginalised in society although they have been branded from hero in 2008 to villains these days.

It is a shame when politicians on both sides of the divide continue to neglect issues on the ground in favour of power.

Related: OK and KO-ed Indian Malaysians - Kulasegaran and Palanivel slag it out.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bersih warns of Egypt-style rally

The electoral reform groups points out that the government in Egypt fell because the people could not exercise their voting rights in a free and fair manner.

From Free Malaysia Today:

KUALA LUMPUR: Electoral reform group Bersih may consider holding a second mass rally ala Egypt’s Tahrir Square uprising to demand for reform in Malaysia’s election system.

The idea will have PAS’ backing, said Mohd Sabu, chief of the Islamic party’s Democracy Driver Committee.

According to him, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has forced voters to resort to such a move.

“The BN government is forcing people to take the streets,” he told a press conference at the PAS headquarters here.

Bersih held its first mass rally in the city in late 2007 which saw close to 80,000 people taking to the streets to protest against the Election Commission (EC) and its alleged biasness.

Two new demands

The protesters marched towards the National Palace to hand over a memorandum demanding the implementation of four key reforms:

The review of the alleged tainted electoral roll, abolishing postal votes, fair media coverage and a minimum of 21 days campaigning period for the general election.

PAS, whose leaders sit on the Bersih Steering Committee, said two more demands have been added to the original – that constituency delineation be done based on social needs and better enforcement to prevent political bribery.

One of the leaders, PAS central working committee member Dr Dzulkelfly Ahmad cited two alleged cases of “blatant” political bribery made by BN chairman and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

One was in the Sibu by-election where Najib was quoted by the media as saying “you help me, I help you” when he promised voters there to tackle the prolonged flood problems if BN won the parliamentary seat.

Dzulkefly said Najib made an almost similar remark at the recent Kerdau by-election in Pahang that saw PAS defeated by BN.

The premier purportedly told Kerdau voters during a ceramah “we do not buy votes but if you support us we will increase your allocation”.

“If this is not corruption, I don’t know what is corruption,” the PAS leader told the same press conference.

There were no concrete discussions yet on the second rally dubbed “Bersih 2″ but Mohd Sabu hinted that a mass demonstration was more than likely.

“Whether or not we take to the streets depends on the leader. If they do not meet our demands (for electoral reform), then the voters will definitely resort to street protest,” he said.

Should Bersih decide otherwise, the former PAS vice-president said the PAS leadership would meet to discuss what path to take next.

Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin had both warned against any attempt by opposition supporters to emulate the bloody Egypt uprising and accused Pakatan Rakyat leaders of intentionally using the upheaval there to instigate their supporters.

However, Mohd Sabu said the rally would not be held to topple BN but to demand what “is inherently the voters’ right to free and fair elections.”

“The government of Egypt fell because the voters no longer can exercise a fair, free election and they resorted to street protests,” he added.

EC deputy chairman must resign

Meanwhile, Syed Azman Syed Ahmad, another PAS central working committee member who sits with the Bersih leadership, claimed that he has evidence that deputy EC chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was conspiring with BN to topple Pakatan state governments.

He made no disclosure of the proof to back his allegation but demanded Wan Ahmad’s immediate resignation.

“He is supposed to act impartially but he has been blatantly open in his support and has acted like a BN stool,” said Syed Azman.

Related: America Is NOT Broke

Thursday, 10 March 2011

In The Eyes Of The World

There is a very fine line between staying credible and becoming ridiculous. But our favourite news agency has tottered over the edge after spinning itself dizzy.

It began with reporting Old Nyanyuk's "woes" as described in his delusional autobiography.

Apparently, Old Nyanyuk finds himself nursing a grudge against Anwar for making him look bad with his internationally publicised sodomy charges.

Now, this is rich, considering Anwar got himself imprisoned for a few years, had his reputation smeared, his eye bruised and bloodied, and his career in tatters.

The charges? The act of sodomy between two consenting adult males? How could that be anything but a personal matter??

Is it not convenient that those charges came at a critical moment when Old Nyanyuk found himself potentially ousted from office by a then strong contender?

With these charges being of such a private nature, could there really be impartial, unbiased rulings with untampered evidence?

The very act of imprisoning Anwar is criminal. And yet, they talk about joining the International Criminal Court.

Mongolian models have been blown up with C4 explosives and no one charged for the crime but two commandos with no clear motives - how could it even begin to be credible?

We have a monstrous record for deaths in custody. Citizens are dying in the brutal hands of the police, the very people supposed to be protecting them. It is truly shocking.

With our human rights record: abusing participants of street protests, tear-gassing them, spraying them with chemical laced water and beating them among other things, how could we as a nation be seen by the world as anything but overrun by despots?

This news agency either has a grim sense of humour or a severe lack of comprehension.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Mahathir's Autobiography

Numerous authors have found this man fascinating enough to write a book on him.

Tom Plate and Barry Wain are two of these authors.

But this man has decided in all his narcissistic splendour that he would write his story in his own words. And thus, the autobiography came about.

It was a bit of a shock to note that the book cost RM100 though! I wouldn't have paid even RM10 for it, and you probably couldn't pay me to place it on my coffee table.

I really don't care what race Old Nyanyuk descended from - what bothers me is that he fuels the flames of racism.

It doesn't matter that he made a lot of blunders when he was in power. What upsets me is that post-departure, he still hasn't learned to keep his mouth shut.

Oh well. Each to his own.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Fear Of Uprising

I've always loved the don't-play-with-fire refrain.

In 2008, I said, "And if I got a ringgit for every instance a random Malay warns, 'Don't play with fire' over some racial discussion he can't win through logic, I'd have Bill Gates polishing my shoes right now."

In some parallel universe, I am currently a billionaire.

But in this universe, heck in this country, I am still dissecting what village idiots say which make headlines.

I have drawn two conclusions from this news article.

1. Muhyiddin and his band of UMNO thugs will not hesitate to act like the middle east despots, i.e. to cling on to power, grab more wealth and massacre their own citizens.

2. We are not a democracy (certainly not a vibrant one, if any adjective is necessary to begin with) since we are not allowed to rise against the government. In all genuinely democratic nations, the people can call for change anytime they choose to, not only during election season.

It shocks me that we have allowed people of this calibre to remain in power.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

What An Australian Journalist Thinks

A tale of two Malaysian aristocrats

This has been a week of Malaysia in foreign policy circles, though you'd hardly know it from the news. We've had both the Malaysian Prime Minister and his most stinging critic here at the same time.

Najib Razak and Raja Petra Kamarudin look like peas in a pod: amiable, worldly and articulate members of an aristocratic elite which has long included Australia in its stamping ground, its tuns and tunkus familiar faces at our racecourses and going off the radar in Kings Cross.

On Thursday, Najib, 57, was getting a 19-gun salute outside Federal Parliament and a welcome from Julia Gillard. Scion of Pahang state nobility and son of a previous prime minister, he has been Malaysia's Prime Minister for nearly two years and heads the dominant United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, in power since independence in 1957.

Petra, 60, has been working smaller, less formal gatherings of expat Malaysians in Sydney and Canberra. He's another Malay aristocrat, from Selangor's royal family, but has been a political exile for two years, fleeing repeated detentions without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act, and running his critical website, Malaysia Today, from London.

Of the two, though, I suspect the Prime Minister lies abed more uneasily.

The dutiful but lukewarm welcome in Canberra, reciprocating a two-day visit by Gillard to Kuala Lumpur, reflects the scandals and political question marks that hover around Najib.

When he was defence minister, signs of huge kickbacks arose from military equipment deals. After the purchase of French submarines, a young Mongolian model involved in the negotiations, Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, turned up in Kuala Lumpur seeking money and was murdered by two of Najib's bodyguards. She was the lover of a senior Najib aide, who escaped conviction in the case.

Petra says he was told by the "No. 2" in Malaysia's military intelligence that Najib's wife was "at the scene of the crime". He filed a statutory declaration about this to the court, but it was not followed up. Instead, Petra himself was arrested. Hit with sedition and criminal defamation charges, he fled when he could. "I am not accusing him of being involved in the murder," Petra said this week. "I do accuse him of not answering a lot of questions that have been raised."

In Canberra Najib would have also been aware that 60 of our MPs signed a petition urging him to drop what they see as a fabricated sodomy charge against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, brought after his coalition sharply cut the UMNO-led government's majority in 2008.

He would know, too, that Malaysian policies do not impress here. John Lee, at Sydney's Centre for Independent Studies, has just written of the "enduring cancer" of the pro-Malay affirmative action instituted 30 years ago by Najib's father, Abdul Razak, after race riots. While lessening the income gap with Chinese Malaysians (25 per cent of the population) and Indian Malaysians (10 per cent), it has created a rent-seeking Malay elite. Public sector jobs and subsidies for Malays add to persistently large budget deficits, funded from oil and gas reserves that will run out in 15 years.

Australian visitors to Malaysia soon get the sense of a dumbed-down country, with insipid media controlled by UMNO or the government, a pervasive fear of the huge Special Branch, a debased judiciary, and mediocre universities where entry is by racial quota rather than by merit.

Hal Hill, an economist specialising in South-East Asia at the Australian National University, wrote this week that Malaysia was now struggling to lift its economy out of low-skill activities, with the difficulty worsened by the pro-Malay policies that have created a "culture of entitlement" and pervasive "institutionalised leakages".

Anwar's challenge to UMNO has renewed fear of unscrupulous politicians stirring racial conflict. Behind the official multiculturalism of "Malaysia, truly Asia" lie suspicions and stereotyping, surveys show – "lazy" Malays, "greedy" Chinese, "untrustworthy" Indians. A lot of parliamentary "debate" is just racial abuse, Petra says: "You shutup-lah, you don't belong in this country."

Record numbers of ethnic Chinese and Indians are leaving, along with vast amounts of capital. In one of the WikiLeaks cables, a senior Singapore diplomat, Tommy Koh, worried about race riots causing a flood of Malaysia's minorities into his small island.

Najib is smart enough to know he has to address the rising sense of corruption and privilege that has diverted support from UMNO and its Chinese and Indian-based coalition partners. A year ago he announced his "New Economic Model", emphasising growth instead of redistribution.

But Lee says actual changes have been "piecemeal" and don't yet amount to significant reform. Najib's UMNO colleagues enjoy the "vast and deep network of rent-seeking and patronage" built up over the past 30 years. Malay voters might hate their cronyism, but not affirmative action itself.

Petra says his ginger group, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, is prodding Anwar's opposition into spelling out its plans for reform. As well as his court case, he says, Anwar has baggage: as a former UMNO minister, he helped build the existing system; he is suspect in the mostly Christian states of North Borneo for his Islamist outlook. "We don't want to remove one monster and find ourselves with a bigger monster," he said.

In Malaysia a Middle East-style mass uprising isn't needed, Petra says. With only half the 15 million eligible voters actually casting a vote, just 300,000 more opposition votes in the right places could have tipped UMNO out in 2008. With 5000 Facebook friends, 20,000 Twitter followers, and half a million unique visitors to Malaysia Today, Petra is hoping to wake up the middle class – "the satisfied class, the ones who live in bungalows and drive BMWs" – and persuade them Malaysia could be doing a lot, lot better.

Najib is expected to call an early election this year, possibly after the likely verdict on Anwar in August, to obtain his own mandate and entrench his power. Petra thinks it will be the last chance for major change for a very long time: "Either we do it this time or we'll never do it."

The Chinese-And-Indians-Getting-Richer Spin Again!

If BTN is the main course and Interlok is dessert, then this is the aperitif.

The six o'clock news this morning was broadcasting this bit of info.

And then the NST took over with its spread.

The Chinese and the Indians are taking over the wealth of Malaysia, it seems to be imploring the Malays.

But while an exclusive group of Malaysians are indeed getting wealthier, the average Malaysian is still struggling to make ends meet - battling the traffic to work every morning and paying off bills and loans.

That is the reality.