Friday, 28 September 2012

Fix US

American readers of CRANKSHAFT may find this intriguing:

In the own words of these citizen journalists, "Fix*us is a campaign about giving you the platform to weigh in on some of the biggest issues."

No country is perfect, be it Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, UK or the USA. The problem with democracy, in spite of it being possibly the best political system there is, is that the politicians are always trying to run it their way.

The responsibility is on us as citizens to remind them that they serve us and not themselves.

This is something Malaysians can take on as well. Actually, it has been done -- we have our very own UndiMsia!

But do take a look at this concept by LiveCitizen.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Scorpene Never Dies

It sounds like a Bond movie.

Aside, Tomorrow Never Dies starred Michelle Yeoh, and Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

But the truth is, no Bond movie could potentially be as scandalous and licentious as the Scorpene story of Malaysia.

The Scorpene story involves plenty of sex, sharing of women between at least two high profile men, corruption of a monumental scale, the sale of highly confidential naval information to the French, the dramatically explosive (no pun intended) murder of a Mongolian woman.

Like I said, no Bond movie could come close to that sort of filth, and Bond movies are generally not known for child-friendly scenes.

Along came SUARAM, who hired French lawyer Joseph Breham to unearth the facts. He came up with a lot of worms. Read a summary of it HERE.

Now the Malaysian officials involved, namely the BN government, are livid with rage as this will no doubt affect the way people vote when they hit the polling booths soon.

The best way to get rid of this mess is to silence SUARAM. And what better way than to harass, intimidate and bully SUARAM with bogus probes.

There was a time when Malaysians could easily be intimidated. A time when the rule was not to rock the boat as long as the economy was going fine.

Times have changed. The “Scorpene Never Dies” Action Team is determined to help SUARAM keep the Scorpene issue afloat and to get the Najib administration to stop its obviously politically-motivated investigation against SUARAM.

A candlelight vigil is on:

Date: 25 Sept 2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 8:00PM
Venue: Dataran Merdeka

As usual, the authorities will deem it illegal.

As if anyone cares. Malaysians who care about their country will be there.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cycling In Big Cities

About four years ago, I went to visit a good friend in Australia. While we were cruising along on a freeway, I noticed some signs on the side.

They were warnings to car drivers, to watch out for cyclists. And indeed, there was a lane on the freeway, dedicated to bicycles.

I thought that was brilliant.

But Australia is not alone in recognising the importance of various types of transportation.

I recently discovered that London has introduced the concept of renting a bicycle to get you to your destination.

These bikes are rented out using an Oyster card (the main form of transaction for London transportation -- trains, buses etc) from any available stand and dropped off at the stand of your destination.

Apart from the fact that these bicycles reduce the number of cars on the road, which means there is less congestion, there is no fuel needed to power them apart from leg power (fuelled by fish & chips, maybe?).

And if you've had too much fish & chips, this is going to break down the build-up of cholesterol in your arteries.

Now, the weather can get a bit overwhelming in Kuala Lumpur especially at mid day, but this isn't a bad idea for getting around.

After all, we don't have a water shortage. It is always possible to have a shower at the end of the day.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Najib's Shambolic Government And The Topic Of Journalism

I don't know where to begin. There is so much to refute in Najib's speech at the National Press Club awards.

Journalism in Malaysia is open in practice? Accountable?

What is he smoking?

Does he remember all the street protests and demonstrations that went unreported in the news? That were either completely ignored or unobtrusively mentioned in a 2 by 2 inch column?

Does he remember how the media reported the police claiming that they had used minimum force when photos around the web proved otherwise?

Is that open or accountable journalism?

Related: Najib’s annual insult to the press — carry out fearless, open journalism - Uppercaise

Friday, 14 September 2012

There Are Good Australians

From Malaysiakini:

Australians join Malaysians in opposing Lynas TOL
1:10PM Sep 13, 2012

Two members of the Western Australian Green Legislative Council have joined together with the large number of Malaysians who oppose the imminent shipment of radioactive ore from Mount Weld in Australia, to be processed at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Kuantan.

NONELynn MacLaren from the South Metropolitan Region and Robin Chapple for the Mining and Pastoral region, in their joint statement, said the history of the Lamp plant has been fraught with difficulty and opposition from Malaysians.

“They are unwilling to be recipient of Australia's contaminated wastes and have consistently protested the plant in various gatherings of up to 15,000 people. Despite the widespread concerns on the plant and its disposal of its radioactive wastes, a two-year temporary licence has been issued,” they said.

Chapple further added this approval seems like the sanctioning of an Australian mining company making use of lax environmental controls and governance arrangements in a developing country.

“To my mind it has not gone through a rigorous environmental process and should not have been issued. This is a poor representation of Australian notions of ‘fair play’ and good corporate citizenship and one that it seems our state government is paying little mind to,” he said.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Jailing The Whistleblowers

When the going gets tough, UMNO jails the whistleblowers

Suaram, the human rights NGO that hired French lawyers to investigate bribes and kickbacks surrounding Malaysia’s controversial purchase of French submarines, will be charged for violations of the country’s Companies Act sometime during the next two weeks, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Saturday, according to the state-owned Bernama news service.

Some 66 Malaysia-based NGOs are expected to give a press conference tomorrow at 11 am expressing their support for Suaram, an acronym for Suara Rakyat Malaysia, or Voice of the Malaysian People.

Suaram in 2009 asked a French investigative law firm headed by William Bourdon in 2009 to look into what appeared to be huge bribes and kickbacks paid to Malaysian politicians by the French state-owned defense company DCN and its subsidiaries for the 2002 purchase of two submarines and the lease of a third.

The probe resulted in a raid on DCN’s headquarters and other company offices that exposed nearly 150 million euros in questionable funds paid to a close friend of then-defense minister Najib Tun Razak, now Malaysia’s prime minister. The documents indicated that the bribes had been paid with the full knowledge of Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, Mahathir Mohamad, then the prime minister of Malaysia, and Najib, who had negotiated the purchase. The evidence detailed a host of other sleazy dealings.

Some 133 documents listing the alleged criminal dealings were obtained independently by Asia Sentinel and posted here on June 25 on the Internet. Two Asia Sentinel stories detailed the allegations against French and Malaysian officials.

Suaram, accused of being “Anwar’s NGO” because of the presence of opposition members of its board of directors, has come under unprecedented attack by pro-government bloggers, party-owned newspaper and UMNO lawmakers who questioned its status as an NGO rather than a company and accused it of receiving foreign funds.

“Yes, they are going to try to charge us,” Suaram Director Cynthia Gabriel said in a telephone interview Sunday. We have no details yet, the first charge will probably be in a couple of days, we will see what happens.”

Gabriel said the first charge apparently involves allegations of money-laundering, although she said the NGO had voluntarily opened its books to investigators and that she felt there had been no wrongdoing.

Malaysia’s government-owned newspapers have blared headlines that Suaram received funds from the German government, and indicated that that the German ambassador would be called in and asked for an explanation.

The Chinese probably hold the record for jailing those who point out corruption, violation of environmental laws and other shortcomings. But Malaysia could be catching up. The Barisan Nasional has a considerable history of going after whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing by government officials, and particularly of leaders of the United Malays National Organization.

Read the rest HERE

Sunday, 9 September 2012

God Bless Germany!

SUARAM got funding from the Germans for a workshop on migration.

And so the Malaysian government is angry :-)

From the Washington Post:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities have summoned the German ambassador to explain why his country provided funds for a project linked to a Kuala Lumpur-based human rights group.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman says the funding could be “seen as interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state” because the Malaysian government considers rights group Suaram to be politically biased.

Suaram often criticizes government policies on issues such as detention without trial.

A German Embassy official said the ambassador was meeting with Malaysian foreign ministry representatives Friday.

The official said German authorities approved a “small amount” of money two years ago to support a workshop on migration that involved participants including Suaram.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.

The Malaysian government considers anything that doesn't brown-nose up to them as being politically biased.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Rock On, Activists!

From New York Times:

KUALA LUMPUR — Activists who have waged a lengthy campaign against a rare earth refinery in Malaysia refused to back down Thursday after the authorities gave the Australian company behind the project the green light to proceed.

One group, Himpunan Hijau, has vowed to blockade the port in the Malaysian town of Kuantan, near the plant, if the company, Lynas, tries to import the raw earth materials from Australia.

"We are prepared to paralyze the whole port until the raw materials leave our port," said Wong Tack, chairman of the group. "The world will witness one of the biggest civil disobedience events in this nation."

The Lynas plant has had several regulatory and construction delays as opponents and local residents have held protests and taken legal action because of their concerns that the plant could produce harmful radiation. Lynas has denied that there will be any radiation hazards.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board of Malaysia said Wednesday that it had decided to issue Lynas a two-year, temporary operating license because the company met all technical and regulatory requirements.

Read the rest: Opponents of Malaysia Rare Earth Plant Promise to Protest

P.S. Do you still remember why this project is being pushed ahead in spite of all the public discontent? Now you know why.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Block Kuantan Port, Dammit!

Finally, someone with testicular fortitude is willing to teach the greedy UMNO politicians who have sold out the nation a lesson.

Environmental action group Himpunan Hijau has vowed to blockade Kuantan Port if Australian rare earths miner Lynas starts to ship ores into the country for processing at the controversial Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp).

"I will guarantee that their ore shipments will not slip past our blockade. We will mount the biggest civil disobedience event ever seen in the country and get all the groups together.

"The port of Kuantan will not be operational as long as the ore is there," vowed Himpunan Hijau chairperson Wong Tack.

Good on you, mate. You have my support.

The nerve of the politicians to bypass the courts and issue licenses!!

Shameless, greedy, profligate, avaricious bastards!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Jangan Ketawa -- Moon And Pee

Apparently UMNO has taken great offence at the demonstrators' acts of stepping on the Prime Minister's face and mooning him and his wife.

Great offence to the extent of publishing the photos on Facebook!

KUALA LUMPUR: Police through Facebook has highlighted 11 photographs which were recorded at the "Janji Bersih" gathering at Dataran Merdeka on Aug 30.

City CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said members of the public who recognised any individual in the photographs were asked to come forward to provide the information.

He said they could do so to any police officer, police station or the Royal Malaysian Police hotline at 03-20319999 or KL Police's Hotline at 03-21159999.

"They can also directly contact ASP Azmi Abd Azizi at 019-2602344," he said.

Several participants of the gathering were seen trampling on pictures of national leaders, bringing a new flag to replace the Malaysian flag and showing their buttocks in public.

There is even a police hotline for it!!!!!!

Can you believe it, ladies and gentlemen, when Malaysian children were kidnapped and murdered, there were no hotlines. But for those who show disdain for a nefarious government, a dedicated hotline!!

What a brilliant government.

The same government that has the loyal support of this bunch below:

Yes, just in case you have any doubt whatsoever, they are peeing on the image of the opposition leaders.

But hey, since those leaders belong to the wrong party, no action shall be taken against them, no hotline dedicated for people to snitch on them and get them arrested.

Ah well. Malaysia boleh.

I am posting this picture in my blog because when I was young, my parents always told me that Malaysia is a morally upright country, far more than the evil west.

I just want to tell them that they don't have to go abroad to see people of low morals.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Strange Happenings In "Post-Independence Malaya"

Firstly, the national laureate A. Samad Said is being investigated for reading poetry at a public place.

Never would one have thought that poetry recital would be a criminal offence, but hey -- Malaysia Boleh.

Secondly, a Barking Magpie claims that the "Kaum Chauvinis Pendatang Cina Makin Berani Hingga Memijak Gambar Perdana Menteri kita....Bangun!"

Guess who is trying to incite violence.

That might be a bit of a task though, as the number of Malaysians needing emotional crutches and wheelchairs and other UMNO handouts have decreased. The average Malay is beginning to think for himself.

Speaking of which, I saw the videoclip showing the demonstrators stepping on the picture of the Prime Minister. Some of them were clearly Malay.

Not that it matters whether they were "chauvinistic Chinese immigrants" or anything else for that matter. They are all angry Malaysians.

We did not elect the Prime Minister nor his government, for that matter. UMNO forced themselves upon us by illegal means: cheating and deception.

And you wonder why we have so little regard for them.