Friday, 31 January 2014

Skewer The Fools In Kajang!

It's probably a very good thing that I don't live in Kajang because I would be up in arms and baying for blood.

I was first alerted to this fiasco by a friend on Facebook.

"Here we go again," he complained as he attached a link.

Another friend commented cynically, "Let the games begin."

So the games are being played out, from a plot that has been long hatched.

In spite of the huge costs that this move is going to incur, PKR appears to regard its internal politics as being paramount to all other internal issues.

The Kajang assemblyman was merely an obedient little ma chai who chose to risk the wrath of his constituents than go against the forces behind PKR.

This is a tiny but significant clue as to how powerful a small, select group is within this party.

The excuse is that the political games by UMNO will be stepped up soon and therefore, invoking the necessity to raise Anwar Ibrahim to the post of MB, while at the same time toppling the man who has an exemplary track record, fairly decent management skills and capability in leading the State of Selangor.

Khalid Ibrahim's only "weakness" lies in his inability to get along with Azmin Ali, who unfortunately happens to be Anwar's blue-eyed boy. I must admit that his is a weakness shared by many -- Azmin Ali has a sizeable number of enemies.

So Khalid Ibrahim is being forced out at the behest of someone's political ambitions: possibly Azmin Ali, and not for the first time, Anwar Ibrahim's.

I just see red when I hear how they attempt to spin it, especially Rafizi Ramli who has volunteered himself for the blame (given his high popularity ratings, he thinks he will escape unscathed but is going to be skewered eventually):

Good political leaders will never be popular. It pains me that we have to drag Anwar Ibrahim through this and subject him to public anger, yet his willingness to be a part of the bigger picture is the mark of the man.

Now this man is no martyr. Sure, he may have suffered at the hands of The Loony Tun and the police, and his reputation may have taken a bashing, but that is the extent of his torment.

In all other respects, he is a classic back-door man -- unscrupulously manipulative in his personal quest to become Premier.

It angers me that I have been subject to chemicals from tear gas and water cannons when I have put my neck on the line at street protests and demonstrations to get the Opposition in power. That has yet to happen, and possibly for good reason.

It is entirely possible now that Kajang might be tempted to teach Anwar Ibrahim and the rest of his minions at PKR a lesson by voting for someone else. I only hope that some other party from the Opposition (like PSM) fields a candidate.

Otherwise, the seat may go to BN. Failing that, there are another set of possibilities that could occur.

With the same end result.

Someone skewer them!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Civil Obedience

In tribute to Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010).

Howard Zinn is simply an amazing man. I've never met him personally, but I've read his books and absorbed his ideas.

If you've never heard of him before, here is a brief biography of him from Wikipedia that sums up the kind of man that he was:

In 1964, Zinn accepted a position at Boston University, after writing two books and participating in the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

His classes in civil liberties were among the most popular at the university with as many as 400 students subscribing each semester to the non-required class. A professor of political science, he taught at BU for 24 years and retired in 1988 at age 64.

"He had a deep sense of fairness and justice for the underdog. But he always kept his sense of humor. He was a happy warrior," said Caryl Rivers, journalism professor at Boston University.

Rivers and Zinn were among a group of faculty members who in 1979 defended the right of the school's clerical workers to strike and were threatened with dismissal after refusing to cross a picket line.

No one could bully Zinn. He had a mind of his own and he used it to inspire progressive young minds.

He saw laws for what they were. He understood that they could be manipulated. He knew that constitutional law -- and freedom of speech, in particular -- was and is a very difficult, ambiguous, troubled concept.

He exhorted his fellow human beings not to be limited and paralyzed by them. And he spoke out against civil obedience, the act of merely bowing to authority without questioning if it was wrong or right.

Excerpts from The Problem is Civil Obedience:

And our topic is topsy-turvy: civil disobedience. As soon as you say the topic is civil disobedience, you are saying our problem is civil disobedience. That is not our problem.... Our problem is civil obedience.

Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war.

Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty.

Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem.

We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong. They should have challenged, and they should have resisted; and if we were only there, we would have showed them.

Even in Stalin's Russia we can understand that; people are obedient, all these herd-like people.

My countrymen: do not be cowed, or fooled or intimidated by the force of power and authority. Stand up and be counted.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Twits In Office

Almost 6 years ago, I blogged on British politics, marvelling how they were able to field such high calibre candidates like Screaming Lord Sutch and Mad Cow-Girl (who passed away in 2010, God rest her soul) from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and Lord Biro of the Church of the Militant Elvis Party.

The OMRLP, despite the death of both its prominent candidates Sutch and Cow-Girl, has still continued to thrive, possibly thanks to the "invaluable assistance of Secret Squirrel" who is the mastermind behind the one-man rodent think tank.

Malaysians who despair of the religious issues in Malaysian politics: banning the word 'Allah' for non-Muslims, the calls for banning open sale of pork and making it illegal for Muslims and non-Muslims to intermarry -- do not feel disheartened.

You are not alone. Malaysia is not the only country that has imbeciles for politicians. There are two prominent ones in the UK, and no, they don't come from the OMRLP.

The first was a glass-eyed twit who did not believe that the holocaust had ever happened. Nick Griffin of the BNP went on to become an MEP (member of the european parliament) but recently, he has gone bankrupt, much to the amusement of many Guardian readers.

But one other nut remains. His name is Nigel Farage. Yes, it's pronounced exactly in the same way we refer to a woman's vagina in Malay. He possesses precisely the same amount of intelligence as that particular part of the female anatomy as well.

For instance, he recently disowned the manifesto of his own party Ukip, saying it was "drivel". Now I wouldn't dream of disputing that.

Some of the plans include capping the number of foreign players in football teams, bringing back "proper dress" to the theatre, scrapping paid maternity leave, allowing corporal punishment in schools and holding referendums on new places of worship such as mosques.

These are obvious blights on minority rights, but then again, he is an established racist and misogynist.

The more wacky plans were to enforce a compulsory dress code for taxi drivers, and to repaint trains in traditional colours.

Those sort of ideas would resonate very nicely with BN/UMNO (with their teh-tarik and roti-canai in space), if you ask me. They obviously share the same intellectual wave-length.

But that's not what I have a problem with; it's that he is backing a manifesto that he hasn't even bothered to read! Does he seriously aspire to run the country?

It would require a whole personality/image overhaul, and not just because he (as the media delicately puts it) "likes his beer", which to the uninitiated is a euphemism for "he's a drunk".

And who, in their vacant minds would support and/or vote for this fool?

The bigots, that's who. Or as Guardian readers reverently refer to them, the "idiots".

These are the people who blame everyone else but themselves for their failures. Insular and parochial, they subscribe to paranoia of ludicrous levels. They don't only hate the Asians and Africans, they even hate the Eastern Europeans.

One reader made an astute observation, and pointed out something that I have been trying get through to people in the Malaysian scene. He says:

Mass immigration? You mean the 30-odd people who've come from Romania and Bulgaria? Your premise of mass immigration is a bigoted lie, designed to divide the non-ruling-class to prevent us from tackling the real foe, the extremely tiny elite (the ruling class) who pay no taxes and contribute nothing but steal our services and rip us off.

I've had enough of these lies and misinformation you rightwingers put out, reported as if fact by the rightwing media. The barrage is constant.

It's not just us that have to put up with racist and misinformed crap, folks.

It's not just us.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Himpunan Hijau Is Focused

I am, as ever, proud of Himpunan Hijau. They are true patriots of Malaysia, and they are aware of how dangerous Lynas Corp is to this nation. They sacrificed their time and energy, braved security, and voiced out their dissatisfaction.

My only regret, from watching the video covering their protest in KiniTV, is that they were too soft in their approach. But what can I say? They are Malaysian.

Believe me, the rest of the world aren't anywhere as subtle as this when they protest an issue.

The Italians burn cars. The Egyptians blow up buildings. The Indonesians burn flags. The Irish throw molotov cocktails. The English loot electronic equipment stores. The Americans throw rocks.

Malaysians just gingerly push past security.

Ah well.

I am disgusted by Australia. Utterly repulsed by the fact that Lynas Corp was one of the main sponsors of the Australia Day function.

And shame on the politicians -- especially those from Pakatan Rakyat who merely boycotted the function instead of protesting alongside the environmentalists.

But that's not what makes my blood boil. This article in The Guardian does.

In the battle that is gripping my community this coming Australia Day, my fifth generation farming family and I are siding with the underdogs against Big Coal. Or rather, they’re siding with us. The forest which bears our family name, our farm and our community are all under threat of devastation from open-cut coal mining.

Coal miner Whitehaven is rolling in the bulldozers to clear thousands of hectares of the Leard State Forest at Maules Creek in northwest NSW. The company has approval to build a new 13m tonne per year open cut coal mine, the largest new mine in NSW.

Out here at Maules Creek, we face a make-or-break fight to defend the core things we value: our forest, land, water and air, our community, and our ability to farm the land. Having exhausted all official avenues, we are rising up as a community this Australia Day weekend and putting ourselves on the line to blockade the mine site.

The Maules Creek coal mine will drop the water table we depend on for our livelihood by five metres. It will dump thousands of tonnes of coal dust on surrounding farms each year. It has divided our once close community, and some environmentalists say the mine will damage the last remaining bushland left on the Liverpool Plains, a biodiversity hotspot with an important koala habitat.

Apparently the writer has issues with "Big Coal". And so he and his kith and kin are going to blockade the mine. "Putting ourselves on the line," he says. So they are physically protesting this invasion (I'll give them that), it seems.

Now coal-mining is nothing compared to rare-earth mining. NOTHING.

This little freak is having a whinge about pollution, deforestation and biodiversity.

But thanks to Lynas Corp, we have all those things to worry about, and ALSO the threat of deformed children, high risk of cancer, and all sorts of other diseases.

What is coal compared to radioactive rare earth? Seriously.

Lynas is using Malaysia as a dumping ground, and because our avaricious politicians don't care about anything but lining their pockets, they have sold this great nation to the wolves.

Are our lives less meaningful than that of the Australians? Are we worthless? Are we inferior?

We are in serious threat of having really bad things happen to us. But why are we so apathetic?

Are we distracted by the cost of living, crime and the 'Allah' issue?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Being Radical

Some of you reading this blog may possibly be one of the pioneers of the Malaysian political blogosphere.

I personally started blogging in 2006, when I finally couldn't remain silent upon seeing and hearing of the injustices and stupidity perpetrated by the ruling coalition, BN.

I was by no means, the first to "pick up the pen", figuratively speaking, but back then, speaking out against the government was an absolute no-no.

People lived in fear of being arrested under the Internal Security Act -- being locked away for years and years and tortured behind the veils of prison.

But yet, that didn't stop some people from blogging anyway. They were unafraid.

They were radicals.

I don't think I can begin to describe what role radicals play in the scheme of life.

Having seen the changes that have happened in Malaysia, because a few people were brave enough to blog, to attend candlelight vigils, to show up for rallies and protests, and to lead these people who stood up to be counted, I can attest to the fact that none of these would have happened if not for the radicals.

And yet, being radical is not considered a good thing. It has somewhat negative connotations. Not only here in Malaysia, but around the world.

From The Guardian:

America has a propensity for dismissing people and ideas with labels. Terms like "socialist" and "communist" are frequently hurled at those who dare to promote substantial programs that address poverty, or suggest that government provide what many other "developed nations" deem fundamental services – like universal healthcare. Anyone who openly identifies with such positions is assumed to have nothing legitimate to contribute to public debate, irrespective of the plausibility, merit, and true ideology informing their arguments.

It's a similar scenario with "radical" – a word often used to evoke associations with extremism, instability and an absolutist approach to politics. But the popular usage belies the important role many radicals have played in promoting democracy and justice throughout history, not to mention the continued role radical ideas and activism have to play in unfinished projects.

Once upon a time in Malaysia, voting for an Islamic party was a ludicrous idea. Coming out on worker's day (a public holiday) to support the Socialist Party of Malaysia in demanding minimum wage for poor people was considered a waste of time.

More disturbingly, it was considered radical, as if a normal person would not consider doing something like that.

Andy Fitzgerald continues:

Indeed, it was "radicals" who were responsible for sowing the seeds of two of America's most important social movements: worker rights and racial justice. The labor movement, in its nascent days, was a radical movement. A confrontational approach to management was necessary to win many of the concessions now sorely taken for granted: the minimum wage, the eight-hour day, even the very possibility of forming a union.

Prior to the American civil war, "radical abolitionists" occupied the fringe with the seemingly absurd and absolutist demand that people should not be property. Perhaps its most infamous member, John Brown, attempted to lead an armed slave uprising in the south. His failed raid on an armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia and subsequent execution for treason are portrayed historically as the act of a madman – an idealistic extremist with delusions of grandeur, despite the fact that it inspired greater opposition to slavery – a portrait sociologist James Loewen properly skewers in his book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.

Brown's message of (what was then considered) radical equality was carried forward by activists in the 20th century, many of whom struggled at the intersection of economic and racial justice, and were, like Brown, labeled radicals by much of the status quo in their time, from Martin Luther King to Cesar Chavez. Contrary to Brown however, many (King most explicitly) have been subsumed into the natural arc of American history, minimizing the role radicalism played in their movement's disruption of entrenched practices. They are now "mainstream".

Read the full article here: Being labeled a 'radical' is meant to be an insult. History tells us otherwise.

I am proud to be radical. Not everyone can be.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Key Word Is "Distraction"

Read this article by Azmi Sharom: Allah issue a distraction


I have a feeling that in a way this Allah furore is a similar tactic being used by the government. Nothing is more emotive than religion and it is a useful tool to be used in order to get people to react as opposed to reflect.

Just for the record I want to say here that I believe that there is absolutely no theological reason to prevent anyone from using Allah to describe God. The Quran is full of verses where the word Allah is used to describe God, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Quran recognises that the concept of God differs from faith to faith, but at the end of the day God is still God and the term used to call God is Allah.

There is also no legal justification in Malaysia that can be used to ban a people from practising their faith in peace. The propagation of religion to Muslims can be controlled, this is true, but if you are simply practicing your faith peacefully, and you are not propagating your religion to Muslims, then no one should be allowed to bother you. That is your right and it is guaranteed by the Constitution.

So this ban on Christians using Allah to describe god is ridiculous theologically and unlawful constitutionally.

You might want to think twice before you allow yourself to be distracted.

Friday, 17 January 2014

"Ethnocentric Sentiments"

I was going through some articles on the Allah issue and came across one by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar written back in October last year. It's still relevant.

An excerpt:

Rather, the decision of the government appears to have been a strategic appeal to the ethnocentric sentiments of a Malay, and as such Muslim, majority voter base in a move that Malaysians have come to recognise as a leaf out of the playbook of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the political party which Najib heads and which has led the coalition government that has ruled since independence.

The UMNO-led coalition suffered a setback at the 12th general election in 2008, when it lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and the popular vote in peninsular Malaysia. Persuaded by the meritocratic rhetoric of the opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, more Malays were voting against UMNO. UMNO placed the blame for this state of affairs at the feet of Najib's predecessor, Abdullah Badawi, whose attempts to reduce the emphasis on race and religion in the politics of the coalition that he led were characterised as weakness.

Ratcheting up racial and religious sensitivities was, in the minds of influential members of the party, the way to go. Reactions to the initial ruling point to that having been a factor in the decision to appeal the first ruling, as does government rhetoric surrounding the decision to appeal.

Read the rest at: Of Allah and the state of Malaysia, Al-Jazeera

Thursday, 16 January 2014


Gerry who?

Seriously. Have you ever tried explaining gerrymandering? Or figuring out how it works?

This is the bane of Malaysian politics, and the main reason why 51% of the country voted for Pakatan Rakyat but BN still won.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Kangkung Saves The Day

I assumed that all the kangkung jokes had been exhausted, but after being proven wrong repeatedly, I'm not holding my breath.

To be honest, I really thought the average Malaysian had been suckered in by the Allah drama that the BN government has been peddling to the masses to distract them.

But there's hope. Ironically, the clueless Prime Minister made a gaffe by trying to convince Malaysians that the quality of their lives would improve due to the drop in price of kangkung.

It's spectacular.

The BN government has hiked up assessment rates, reduced petrol subsidy, introduced GST, implemented toll booths -- all of which are actions that cause the cost of living to skyrocket.

To even imply that the price drop of a vegetable -- and not one that is eaten everyday or in huge quantities -- could even remotely offset the burden of the above-mentioned, is plainly ludicrous.

It is evident that the tensions are simmering, but beneath the surface.

Kangkung has restored some balance to the motion of Malaysian life. People are no longer distracted by petty issues like what you call your god.

All thanks to kangkung.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Press Freedom Around The World

Malaysia is in a "difficult situation".

Go here for the original from Journaliste Sans Frontier which allows you to zoom in up close.

And what's the verdict on Malaysia? Go HERE.

Friday, 10 January 2014

"Allah, Minions and Fried Bananas"

I found this online and it was too good not to share.

By Brian Gomez*

It is not often that you will find me defending The Church.

My own brief dalliance with Christianity came to an abrupt end when, at the age of 12, I was instructed to "throw away those metallic (sic) tapes. They promote evil". Even though Def Leppard can hardly be considered Metal and the most evil thing they ever promoted was hairspray.

But I find myself drawn to defending The Church on this occasion simply because they clearly haven't done what they've been accused of doing, which is using the word Allah for proselytisation purposes.

Before we get into that, however, let's be clear about something:

I hate proselytisation. For one thing, it's damn hard to spell.

More importantly, the people who proselytise are often annoying nitwits - the Christians who interrupt your meal with their "Hello there, have you accepted Christ into your life?" and the Muslims with their "Wah! Pandai cakap Melayu ah! Kenapa tak masuk Islam?"

But my own hatred for proselytisation aside, I do believe that everyone should have the right to proselytise. Muslims should have the right to proselytise to Christians. Christians should have the right to proselytise to Muslims. And Other People should have the right to punch proselytisers in the face if they can't take a hint when you politely tell them to fuckoff. But enough about my own feelings about proselytisation. Because I'm sick of typing the word. Geez, what an asshole of a word.


With that out of the way:

Let us now, you and I, Malaysia, take time out from worrying about how the heck we're going to pay the bills, and devote substantial brain-time to the important questions surrounding this Allah Issue.

Here we go:

1) Are Christians using the word Allah to confuse Muslims with the aim of converting them into Christianity?

I'm going to go with a No on this one.

It seems to me that that would be a very strange and unproductive tactic. I'd be more worried about the other evil things Christians are supposedly doing to convert Muslims, such as offering them food and shelter. Also, if Christians are indeed using this tactic, how the hell would they justify that to their god:

"Dear God,

today I converted a Muslim into Christianity! I hope you're proud of me. Just one thing though: He doesn't really know you're the Christian Allah. He thinks you're the Muslim Allah. I confused him. Ha ha! But whatever. A convert's a convert, what. Right? Anyway, if he prays to you, just pretend you're the Muslim Allah. He'll be none the wiser.


2) Has anyone, ever, in the history of the Universe, converted into Christianity because they were confused by which Allah is which?

Again, I'm going to have to say No.

Christians in Malaysia have been using Allah for 300 years (or something. I'm too lazy to look it up). In all that time, there has not been one documented case of a Muslim converting to Christianity out of confusion. That means, between the year 1714 to 1814 - not one case. Between 1814 to 1914 - nada. Between 1914 to 2014 - zip.

So what we have here, is basically a Preventive Law, that assumes people will get confused sometime in the future, say, I dunno, in the year 2114, when presumably human beings will be way more stupid than they were in 1714.

At least you can't accuse the government of not being proactive.

3) Speaking of the government, does the Kementerian Dalam Negeri know that Sabah and Sarawak are also terkandung "Dalam Negeri"?

I'm going with No again.

Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia. As are Johor, Selangor, Kelantan yadda yadda yadda. I cannot, personally, vouch for Perlis. Because let's face it, no one knows a damn thing about Perlis. They might have secretly seceded for all anyone knows. But enough about Perlis. We're talking about Sabah and Sarawak. Specifically, Sabahans and Sarawakians.

Don't look now, but some of them are ... here!
That's right. Right here in West Malaysia.
They could be sitting next to you as you're reading this, secretly judging you. You would have no way of knowing. They blend right in, the sneaky fuckers.
They're in our offices. Our apartment buildings. In our Mamaks.

And in our churches.

If my memory serves me right, church services in BM started in the 80s to cater to the Sabahans and Sarawakians (and Indians who didn't speak English but were too few in numbers to justify having a Tamil service). And those East Malaysian Christians called their god Allah. And so the churches here used Allah as well because you can't expect people from your own country, who called god Allah all this while, to suddenly start calling him, I don't know, Fred or something.

But the government, apparently, expects exactly this. How would that even work? Should there be in-flight announcements?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have now entered East Malaysian airspace. The No-Allah sign has been turned off. Feel free to no longer be stupid.

4) Should there be a compromise?


I have read opinion pieces by well-meaning people who have said that there should be a compromise on both sides. This is great and all kumbaya and all, but the opinion pieces failed to say what that compromise should be. Christians use Allah from Sunday to Wednesday, and Muslims from Thursday to Saturday?

These opinion pieces also asked Christians to give in and emulate Jesus by "turning the other cheek".

Listen. I've never met Jesus. From what I've heard, he was a patient guy.
But, if someone had told Jesus "Yo, Jesus. My dad's name is Jesus too. And I'm all confused and shit. And emotional, man. This shit's emotional. What if I called "Jesus!" and I meant to call my dad but then you show up instead and I get confused and think you're my dad (he's a long-haired Caucasian too). What then, huh? What what what? You gotta change your name, man. Or at least only use it when you're not in the vicinity."

Now, if someone had told Jesus that, I'm pretty sure Jesus would have told him to Go Forth And Fucketh Thyself.

But like I said. I never knew the man.

5) So how did this whole mess start? Is the government stupid or what?

It appears so. This whole mess started when the government conducted an in-depth study, the results of which are contained in a detailed report. Here is an excerpt:

Kajian terperinci telah dijalankan oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri (Bahagian Kajian Terperinci) dan hasil daripada kajian ini menunjukkan bahawa penggunaan Kalimah Allah oleh orang Kristian bakal mengelirukan umat Islam, seterusnya menyebabkan mereka terpesong akidah dan memeluk agama Kristian. Satu fokusgrup telah diadakan di Bilik Mawar di mana 10 peserta beragama Islam telah didedahkan kepada kedua-dua Allah. Didapati 6 daripada mereka memilih Allah yang salah. Tiga peserta lagi didapati mengalami gangguan emosi sampai mengamuk dan membaling-baling cekodok.

I'm kidding, of course! The government doesn't do in-depth studies! About anything! They just do whatever the fuck they want without thinking about either the causes or consequences! Ha ha!



6) Stop kidding la. How did this whole mess start? Seriously.

Okay-okay. Serious:

Our Mess begins, as all Messes do, with a Minion. The Minion receives a copy of The Herald. He sees the word Allah. He is bewildered.

"Ini tak boleh, ni," he says. "Eh takboleh-takboleh-takboleh. Ish ish ish ish ish ish. Takboleh-takboleh-takboleh."

He shakes his head.

He allows himself one more tak boleh.

He has The Chop.

Our Minion chops TIDAK DILULUSKAN on the paper and goes out for tea (it is 2pm). As he eats his Goreng Pisang, his mind is blissfully unaware of the shitstorm he is about to cause, preferring instead to occupy itself with more important thoughts, like Why Is It Called Goreng-Pisang and Not Pisang-Goreng?

He doesn't know that later, The Minister will seize the opportunity and use this to present himself as The Champion of the Malays and Islam in the eyes of the PAU delegates. He doesn't know that The Prime Minister will use this to present himself as the same in the eyes of the voters. He doesn't know that churches will be set on fire, and mosques desecrated.

No. Our Minion doesn't know anything.

Even though he has The Chop.

7) Are you making this up even though it's probably exactly what happened?

Yes. But if the government can just make shit up, then so can I. Fair's fair.

8) Actually, why the hell is it called Goreng Pisang and not Pisang Goreng?

Actually, I also dono. Grammatically, it should be Pisang Goreng. But I grew up calling it Goreng Pisang. Where I come from, we've called it Goreng Pisang for godknows how long. So that's what I call it. And will continue calling it.

And if anyone tells me otherwise, I will tell them to Go Forth and Fucketh Thyself.

* I've been told by my mate Antares that Brian Gomez wrote this piece. Brian, says Antares, is among the most brilliant young novelists, singer-songwriters & anecdotalists on the scene. Should you feel the compulsion to stalk him, he can be found at Merdekarya in Jalan Gasing. I'm not supplying any GPS coordinates (anyway they purportedly lead you to Sungai Buloh) but there's an address and directions on the website. Also go to the Facebook page, there's Free Kangkung this coming Friday.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

No Free Lunch

No free lunch; we've gotta pay either toll or tax, Najib says.

Which is really ironic because we're also paying for him (and also his wife's diamonds and step-son's fancy apartment in New York) to drive around in his fancy new ride.

And of course, he's been jetting around in a luxurious new plane. An airplane!!

An Airbus ACJ320 leased from Comlux Aviation. That, my good Malaysian friends is not a cheap thing. Bearing in mind that it has been refurbished for a very luxurious flying experience, not what you experience on your AirAsia flight.

While you sit in your cattle class seat with your legs cramping from lack of space, you're paying for good ole Najib to flex his legs about and have a very pleasant flight. And I haven't gotten started on the fuel yet.

No free lunch, Najib says. For you and me, that is.

For him, it's all free.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

"More Political Than Religious"

I just came across an article that corroborates what I've said in a previous post, Losing Focus And Getting Distracted. An excerpt:

The fact that certain Malay groups, including a number of Umno members are actually lauding Jais for their action and calling for more tough measures adds fuel to the political theory. These groups are also questioning Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) for not supporting the ''cause''.

Also, our deputy prime minister, who is also the Umno deputy president seems to be in agreement with this group's plan to protest in front of churches in Selangor this Sunday as they were allegedly ''acting in accordance with a royal decree banning the usage of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims in the state.

Could this be Umno's way of trying to gain lost ground in Selangor. A big no if you were to ask any of them. The reply you would probably get is that they were defending Islam and this has nothing to do with politics.

To DAP's Hannah Yeoh the Jais raid was a "clever diversion" as "the authorities don’t have to worry about explaining the strong turn out at TURUN as the media focuses on the raid".

TURUN as we know is the anti-price hike movement's protest demanding the government to lower the cost of living, held on new year’s eve at Dataran Merdeka.

Read the rest: "More Political Than Religious"

Monday, 6 January 2014

"The Greatest Stumbling Block Is The Moderate"

Martin Luther King wrote an open letter to his critics when he was locked up in Birmingham jail, Alabama, USA for pickets and demonstrations against racism and inequality. Here is a brief excerpt:

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

I was struck by the logic that MLK puts forth. I marvel that he manages to articulate in words what I grapple with in thoughts.

The problem with this world in general, and our country, in particular, is that we want to be "moderate" even at the expense of evil and injustice.

Like the slaves, we passively accept our unjust plight. We allow UMNO leaders to do as they may, spend our money at their will, and then make us pay for it.

As MLK says, law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice. When that crumbles, fellow Malaysians, the laws -- the Peaceful Assembly, the Internal Security Act, and the rest of them that only curb our freedom -- become useless and even dangerous.

This is when you and I need to become the law-makers. For even blogger and social activist Haris Ibrahim has a quote on his site that goes:

We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers
– Emmeline Pankhurst

There is equality in the United States today only because MLK and his fellow activists in the Civil Rights Movement had the gumption and perseverance to stand up for themselves and say, "Enough."

Related: LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL, April 16, 1963

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Losing Focus And Getting Distracted

It's not easy being Malaysian these days. The economy was never very good to start with, and now the government is implementing GST and reducing the fuel subsidy.

The government sure knows how to kick a man when he's down and out. The increase in the fuel price will only cause everything to also increase in price. And the goods and service tax will mean no one can afford to spend anymore.

Bearing in mind that the main reason the country is low in its finances is because BN went on a spending rampage to bribe, bring in illegals to vote for them, and basically cheat their way back into power. We are paying for that now.

To add salt to injury, the government is timing the racial and religious conflicts to distract the bulk of the citizens from the real issue at hand: incompetence, corruption and just poor management/spending.

So it's hardly any surprise that people are asking, "Where is the Prime Minister?" but he is conspicuously silent.

He has orchestrated the whole fiasco; does anyone really think the village idiots claiming to be a garden variety of Islamic organisations are genuinely upholding the best interests of Islam?

Muslims: We will demonstrate! Don't play with fire! We will strike down anyone who comes in our way! Apologise!!
Christians: We will pray for you.

It just makes Muslims look very, very bad.

Of course, you're now going to remind me that there were Muslims who came out in solidarity with the Christians.

Fair play. They have redeemed their religion and their reputation, but the fact remains that the religious posturing by the extremists (or rather those paid to act in such a way) is going to go on for as long as it takes to get people's mind off the real issues.

Real issues like the economy.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Leadership Workshop

Now this is non-political a post as it gets but I thought I'd get the word out.

It's for Malaysian young professionals, leaders, students and forward-thinking Malaysians, aged between 20-45 years old; to have the opportunity to learn from Harvard-trained workshop facilitators and local leaders.

For more details, go to Facebook