Thursday, October 18, 2018

Political lesson from Australia

Guardian (Australian Edition) - Wentworth byelection: Liberals in danger as vote slumps to 32.7% – poll:

Exclusive: ReachTel survey shows Dave Sharma’s primary vote falling, suggesting independent Kerryn Phelps will take the seat.

Protesters outside the Wentworth byelection forum at Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving club this week.

Photograph: Carly Earl for the Guardian
The Liberal party is in serious danger of losing the seat of Wentworth this weekend according to a new ReachTel poll that shows Liberal candidate Dave Sharma’s primary vote has slumped to 32.7%. The vote of high profile independent and local GP Kerryn Phelps has surged to 25.8%.

Labor’s Tim Murray has also increased his share of the primary vote to 21.6%, compared with 19.5% in a ReachTel poll two weeks ago. The Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak has 9.1% while independent Licia Heath has 5.6%.

The poll commissioned by Greenpeace did not attempt to calculate the two-party preferred result but did ask about preferences. Ominously for the Liberals, the result is in line with their own internal polling reported in the Australian this morning. [...]

The Australian report on the Liberal’s internal polling showed Phelps would have a thumping victory of 55% to 45%, two-party preferred. [...]

The responses showed 61.2% of those sampled had voted Liberal at the last election, which is in line with the actual primary result in 2016 for the former member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, who won 62.2% of the vote.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific also asked how much climate change policy would impact on a person’s vote – particularly in light of the recent IPCC global emissions report

local GP Kerryn Phelps (Independent)
Kerryn Lyndel Phelps, AM (born 14 December 1957) is an Australian medical practitioner and politician. She was the first woman and first LGBT person to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

In 2003, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to health and medicine. In 2011 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to medicine, particularly through leadership roles with the AMA, education and community health, and as a general practitioner.

She is a pioneer in the field of health communication and integrative medicine in Australia, and is a Conjoint Professor in the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the Western Sydney University.

Phelps was elected to the Council of the City of Sydney on 10 September 2016 as a member of the Clover Moore Independents Team, and was then appointed as Deputy Lord Mayor of the Council. She resigned as Deputy on 27 June 2017 and is now an independent politician.

On 16 September 2018, Phelps announced she would run as an independent candidate in the 2018 Wentworth By-election.

It found that more than 40% of Wentworth voters list climate change as being the biggest issue for them in this election, eclipsing issues including immigration (15.3%), the economy (19%) and health and hospitals (8.4%).

A total of 64.8% of voters surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the recent statement of John Hewson that: “A major party without a credible climate action plan should forfeit the right to govern.”

The federal constituency of Wentworth in New South Wales, Australia, is what would be described as a Liberal Party's "blue ribbon" seat.

Its equivalent in Malaysia would be, for example, Permatang Pauh for PKR, Sri Petaling (or originally Seputeh) for DAP, and wakakaka, Pekan for UMNO - in short a party's fortress or stronghold.

But it may be won by Kerryn Phelps, an Independent, who BTW is also a gay and once-married to a Jew; since her once-marriage she converted to Judaism.

As I suspect, the main reason for the voters' disenchantment with the Liberal Party has been its treacherous intra-party backstabbing. The right-wingers have just deposed Malcolm Turnbull as their leader, and he decided to quit parliament as well which has been why Wentworth is having a by-election a la Port Dickson.

Malcolm Turnbull

very capable person but lacked the support of his party's right-wing warlords

Australian voters, in this case particularly Liberal Party supporters, have been disgusted with the party's serial backstabbing.

12.5% of the Wentworth voters are Jews which has been why the new PM, Scott Morrison, a very staunch Christian of the evangelistic variety, has announced his proposal to move the Australian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a combination of his own evangelistic proclivity and his populist action for his party to win Jewish votes for the by-election.

He places the reason on the "advice" of the Liberal Party's candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, a former Aussie Ambassador to Israel. Dave Sharma is of Indian extract - his full name is Devanand Sharma - and a very brilliant scholar who was educated in Cambridge University graduating with 1st class honours in law. He has other degrees as well. At 37 he became Australia's youngest ambassador and the second person of Indian extract to be appointed as an Aussie envoy.

Devanand Sharma 

But green awareness is a very sensitive issue among some Australians and it seems the more upper middle class voters in Wentworth including the affluent Jewish community are very conscious of that ecological issue. The Liberal Party warlords have been pro-coal so have been less than enthusiastic about the factor of climate change.

The lesson for us Malaysians, bearing in mind of course that there is undeniably a vast cultural-political-social gap between us and Aussies, is that Australian voters are more keen on issues such as climate change and ethics in political party (they hate backstabbing), while racial-religious populist baiting may not attract Jewish votes in Wentworth the way that agama-raja-bangsa do in Malaysia.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Guan Eng - Chinese bull in a Malay china-shop

MM Online - ‘We don’t want to be like BN,’ Guan Eng says of DAP's stand over honorary titles.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — DAP leaders must distinguish themselves from those in the former ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Lim Guan Eng said today.

The DAP secretary-general and finance minister reiterated a reminder to party colleagues to prioritise public service instead of state or federal awards that confer honorary titles like “Datuk”.

“We should not be seen as how BN was then, where many had chased to become a ‘Datuk’.

“This culture in the party has to be maintained, where our value is based on our service to the people. Don’t be like the leaders in MCA and others,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here

The Datuk-ship (eg. Datuk, Datuk Seri, Dati\uk Wira, Datuk Panglima, etc) is a title that comes with an honorary knighthood awarded by the Malaysian King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong), or the sultan of a Malaysian state, or the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri (YDN) (ceremonial governor & representative of the Agong) in non-sultanate states, namely Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak. 

It's usually awarded as an annual and (sometimes)  special honours.

Malaya-Malaysia borrowed this award-honours system from the British and their royal honours award system. The Pommie example gave our founding fathers the idea of honouring citizens who have made significant contributions or sacrifices to the nation.

Incidentally, talking about 'significant contributions or sacrifices' by citizens in this post, I will not discuss gallantry awards like the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) or the Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB) which are very light-years different from datukships.

The British honours award process, where the Pommie Queen (and previously, Kings) awards knighthoods to high achievers in various sectors of the (once) British Empire (now reduced to the parts of the British Isle and minor islands in the Caribbean and Malvinas, wakakaka, and some former colonies which still subscribe to the British award system) is not a bad system per se.

The system serves to publicly recognize and acknowledge the nation's leading contributors, such as exceptional captains of industry (eg. Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Charles Dunstone), those in the arts or entertainment (eg. Cliff Richard, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirrin), sports (eg. Sebastian Coe, Stirling Moss, Bobby Charlton), etc.

Sir Cliff 

But the Malaysian state has overdone such awards by giving it to undeserving people, some mere young chicos who have not done an iota of service for the nation.

Nonetheless, such awards are bestowed by the King or state Sultan or YDN.

On this aspect, Lim GE in his seemingly pompous process of reminding his party colleagues not to chase after awards and to focus on due service to the nation, has been unnecessarily insensitive to the feelings, pride and status of Malaysian royalty.

He could have done it more discreetly, by circulating a party internal memo without publicly offending the royals and Malay sensitivities. He has made the DAP look like being anti-Malay rulers even though his message has noble intentions. But he has behaved like a Chinese bull in a Malay china-shop.

Unilateral conversion to Islam - the cynical factor

MM Online - Buddhist dad wins court bid to cancel ex-wife’s unilateral conversion of kids to Islam (extracts):

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — The High Court here quashed the unilateral conversion to Islam of two young children born to a woman who later embraced Islam and her Buddhist ex-husband.

In her decision, High Court judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi said she is bound by the Federal Court’s landmark ruling in the M. Indira Gandhi case.

Noting that it was not in dispute that the children in this case were converted without the consent of both parents, the judge said: “Therefore the court is bound by the decision in Indira Gandhi case”

the traumatic saga of M Indira Gandhi 

Naturally such problems involved Indian and Chinese couples, where one erstwhile partner converted to Islam whilst the other remained as a Hindu or Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, atheist, etc.

And in the general case, have you noted that for Indian couples, it would usually be the husband who converted to Islam, whereas for Chinese couples, the wife would be the one converted to become a Muslim.

Why have there been such a pattern? Could that be because Indian wives have been the more conservative partner, faithfully steadfast to her religion and extended family, whilst the Chinese wives were more assertive-aggressive and perhaps even religiously adventurous or more enlightened?

What I am going to say next does not apply to every instance of conversion but I have come to notice, or rather suspect a general denominator I don't particularly like. You may say that perhaps I am a suspicious guy, but I reckon in many cases (not that there have been many by nature of my suspicions) the conversions were not sincerely religious-motivated (or Islamic-motivated).

Mind, there had been one exception, the case of Susie Teoh. Dear Susie eloped to Kelantan with her Che'gu who married her at the age of 15. She of course converted to Islam.

Her aggrieved and saddened father Teoh Eng Huat sued the Kathi of Pasir Mas Kelantan and Majlis Ugama Islam for converting her daughter, a mere minor, without her father’s permission. But the High Court in KB unbelievably held that the conversion was valid, as the girl (despite being a minor) had the right to choose her own religion, provided that she did it according to her own free will.

The court then cited section 75 of Kelantan Council of Religion and Malay Custom Enactment 1966 to show the Kathi, if he was satisfied a person was a major according to Hukum Syarak, could register the person as a convert.

This ruling failed to recognise that the girl in question was (1) a minor who would be too immature to make sound decisions, and (2) a Chinese, so how could, for example, the Malay Custom Enactment apply to her. As a non-Muslim, how could Kelantan Council of Religion and the Hukum Syarak also apply to Susie Teoh, a Chinese minor?

It was inevitable the KB High Court's decision was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court. But sadly for Mr Teoh, the Supreme Court declined to make the declaration as the issue became a moot point since Susie Teoh by then was no longer a minor.

Thus the crime of kidnapping of a non-Muslim minor and her conversion to Islam were conveniently erased by the passage of time.

I raised the above case only to show that it did not fall under what I am about to say, to wit, the cynical issue of questionable conversion to Islam.

At this stage I thought I might remind my readers that the issue of unilateral conversion by ONLY one of the parents became a problem only because the likely mistake (or ...) of the translator (or drafter) of the relevant law into the Malay language.

In the original English language, Section 107 of blah blah blah states 'parents' which means both dad AND mum (must agree to the conversion), but in the translation of that law into Malay, the translator wrote 'bapak ATAU ibu'. I am sure you understand what that implies and its significance to unilateral conversion by one of the parents.

Anyway, I am not going to revisit that law and its consequences because that is not the topic I am writing on and posting here.

My issue has to do with my suspicions, that what I observe and suspect is that one of the non-Malay-Muslims partners of an unhappy marriage who wanted sole custody of their children, might have 'used' Islam as his or her escape clause to win. Such has been the sensitivity and ketuanan-ness of the religion of Islam and Malay custom that it was a sure-victory for the Muslim convertee, well, UNTIL recently in the recent landmark decision by the Federal Court ruling in M. Indira Gandhi’s case.

I recall a case in Penang some years ago but definitely NOT before 2008, where the ex-wife just walked into her former husband life one day and took away the child who was looked after for years by the father since their breakup. Then-CM Lim Guan Eng was struck into silence because it involved a Muslim - that woman had converted to Islam prior to her seizure of a confused child.

I don't blame Guan Eng for his helplessness even though the unfortunate father was (is?) a non-Muslim Chinese and probably a supporter of the DAP. Until the recent Federal Court ruling in M. Indira Gandhi’s case, there was NO way a non-Muslim parent had an microscopic chance to win custody of the child(ren), such was the best-forgotten cowardly abdication of civil courts to syariah courts.

Another variation to this 'convenient conversion' kowtim-risation for the suspected unscrupulous ex-partner involved, and I suspect will involve, inheritance.

Picture a scenario: A bloke, say Hindu, died and immediately on his decease, his (Muslim) brother claimed the dead brother had secretly converted to being a Muslim. No one knew that except the Muslim brother who of course would be strongly supported by the overeager ulamaks. The Hindu wife could only grieved in helplessness as the remains of her late husband (a Hindu-surprisingly-discovered-to-be-a-Muslim on his death) was taken away for Muslim burial.

But who would have gotten his property according to Malay-Islamic inheritance laws?

It's not for me to advise Muslims to be more discerning on accepting convertees, especially if a convertee has or is about to suffer a broken marriage, but has children.

The sad truth is that not every convertee would necessary be a sincere asset to Islam.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New post at my other blog Kongsamkok

Just posted Village memories 9 - Sardines over at my other blog Kongsamkok, wakakaka.

Mahathir & Singapore

FMT - Johor MB hopes Mahathir will revive crooked bridge project:

Wakakaka, we can guess where Osman Sapian obtained his "bright idea" from, considering he is a Pribumi Party member.

Back in April 2015, Today reported:

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak broke his promise to construct the “Crooked Bridge” linking Johor to Singapore’s side of the Causeway, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed.

The former prime minister told blogger Din Turtle in an interview, which was uploaded on the blog yesterday (April 11), that Mr Najib had said to the media at one time that Malaysia would build the bridge, with or without Singapore’s agreement.

“I was a little bit unhappy that he didn’t do it; he’d promised,” Dr Mahathir said. “It’s not like I wanted to get the contract (for the bridge). I didn’t want to get the contract.

“But my attitude is, I don’t want to ‘kow tow’ to Singapore,” he added, using a colloquial term that means “submit”.

Dr Mahathir also criticised Mr Najib for asking for Singapore’s agreement in the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail link project.

“Are we independent or are we colonials of Singapore? I’m a little proud lah; I have my national pride. I don’t want to bow down to anyone,” said Dr Mahathir.

He also claimed that Mr Najib had told him once at dinner that there is an agreement on the Causeway connecting Johor Baru and Singapore that prohibits projects involving the road link unless both Malaysia and Singapore agree on them.

“There’s no such agreement. We can do things on our side and it’s up to them to do whatever they want on their side,” said Dr Mahathir.

Mr Najib told TV3 in a televised interview on Thursday that Dr Mahathir had wanted the BR1M policy scrapped and the “Crooked Bridge” to be revived, two issues which he said could have been part of the reason why the former PM increased his criticisms towards him

at least Maddy beat LKY in the longevity race

And Malaysia cancelled several big projects because the Finance Minister said we are broke, yet our PM talks about National Car No 3, a man-made island at Middle Rocks (to kacau Sing?) and who knows, we may possibly see the resurrection of the Crooked Bridge.

As Mahathir said back in 2015: “But my attitude is, I don’t want to ‘kow tow’ to Singapore.”

“Are we independent or are we colonials of Singapore? I’m a little proud lah; I have my national pride. I don’t want to bow down to anyone.” 

There have been rumours about his relationship with Sing, wakakaka, which stemmed back to his young university days.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Israeli court bullies foreign critics a la US extraterritorial jurisdiction

Guardian (Australian Edition) - Israel fines New Zealand women $18,000 for urging Lorde concert boycott:

Lorde cancelled her Tel Aviv concert in 2017

Photograph: Jess Gleeson

An Israel court has ordered two New Zealand women to pay damages for harming the “artistic welfare” of three Israeli teenagers after the pop star Lorde cancelled a planned performance in Tel Aviv.

Judge Mirit Fohrer ruled that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab of New Zealand must pay damages to Israeli teenagers Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel totalling more than NZ$18,000 for writing a letter urging the singer to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reports.

It is believed to be the first effective use of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits of anyone who encourages a boycott of Israel.

Lorde cancels Israel concert after pro-Palestinian campaign 

The Israeli teenagers claimed their “artistic welfare” was damaged because of the cancellation and that they suffered “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”.

It remained unclear whether the claimants would be able to collect the cash. Legal experts said the judgement was not automatically enforceable under New Zealand law, and the chance of the women being compelled to pay damages was unlikely as they were not in Israel when they wrote the open letter and did not participate in the court process in any way.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs said it would be up to the courts of New Zealand to decide whether the claim for damages was enforceable.

In December 2017 the Grammy winning New Zealand pop star Lorde cancelled her planned June 2018 concert in Tel Aviv after a social media campaign sparked by an open letter from Sachs and Abu-Shanab.

The lawsuit argued that Lorde’s response on Twitter after receiving the letter showed her decision was directly influenced by the New Zealand women’s plea.

“I have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show,” Lorde wrote at the time, adding: “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Shurat HaDin NGO, who filed the suit called the ruling “precedent-setting”.

“This decision makes it clear that anyone who calls for a boycott against the state of Israel could find themselves liable for damages and need to pay compensation to those hurt by the boycott call, if they’re in Israel or outside it,” Darshan-Leitner told the Jerusalem Post.

“We will enforce this ruling in New Zealand and go after their bank accounts until it has been fully realised.”

In a joint statement on Friday, Sachs and Abu-Shanab said they had been flooded with offers of financial assistance from around the world to help pay the damages, but had no intention of doing so. Instead, the women have started a crowdfunding page to raise funds for The Gaza Mental Health Foundation.

“Our advice from New Zealand legal experts has been clear: Israel has no right to police the political opinions of people across the world,” the statement read.

“They also continue to believe that this is a stunt of which the sole intention is to intimidate Israel’s critics ... We’ve contacted the relevant people in our government in the hope they can make it clear that New Zealand will not stand by and allow Israel to attempt to bully its citizens.”

At the time that calls for the boycott began, Lorde said she had received an “overwhelming number of messages and letters” regarding the issue.

“Dear Lorde ... we’re two young women based in Aotearoa, one Jewish, one Palestinian,” wrote Sachs and Abu-Shanab in their open letter.

Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.

“We can play an important role in challenging injustice today. We urge you to act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy.”

The cultural boycott of Israel through the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched in 2005 and has gathered momentum in recent years even if its economic impact remains negligible.

Lorde has been contacted for comment.

Racists since c. 1450 BCE

Malaysia wants Instant Mee & Instant Football Success

Sun Daily -Lim's dismissal may have been done in haste:

Lim Teong Kim was the National Under-16 football coach.


I feel compelled to write this given the controversy over the sacking of Lim Teong Kim as football coach for the national Under-16 team.

The sacking came within hours of the team failing to qualify for next year’s Under-17 World Cup in Peru.

Malaysia lost 2-0 to Japan last month and was eliminated in the group stages of the AFC U-16 Championship.

As Malaysia’s ambassador to Germany (1999-2003), I got to know Lim quite well.

He was living in the Munich area when I first met him in 1999, soon after arriving in Germany.

He was closely associated with the Munich-Malaysian Society. He was introduced to me as the coach of the Bayern Munich Youth Team. Imagine my surprise that a Malaysian could become the coach of the Youth Team of the leading German professional football club!

Berlin, where the Malaysian embassy is based, is in the north and Munich is in the south of Germany, and Lim and his colleagues served as the “doorway” to other Malaysians for me. Suffice to say, my friends in the Munich-Malaysian Society were invaluable to my work.

I had, of course, known of Lim’s exploits in Malaysian football. I had witnessed him as a player on our national side.

To me, Lim was a hero of Malaysian football, in the mould of Ghani Minhat, Soh Chin Aun, Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh, and other greats of Malaysian football.

I was delighted when I read that Lim became a successful professional footballer in Germany, playing for Hertha Berlin, now in Division One of Germany’s Bundesliga. I believe he is the only Malaysian to have a successful professional career in Germany.

After I retired from the Foreign Service, I often returned to Germany and met Lim. He, too, came home to Malaysia often and never failed to visit me.

Several years ago, Lim told me he was asked to consider coming home to Malaysia to coach.

He told me that he would only consider coaching our youth, for he felt that youth development held the key to Malaysia’s revival as a footballing nation.

He felt that we needed to rebuild our football at the youth level if we wanted to reach the kind of heights that our national team once reached.

I was most encouraged that a coach of one of the most successful clubs in the world was willing to put his future in our youth.

I felt Lim could do much by transforming our young to be world-beaters.

Lim had successfully trained players like Thomas Muller and Emre Can, and a host of others for the club and country; to have him train our young would be ideal.

Here was a man whose professional career had taken him to Germany, first as a player, then as a coach for 12 years for one of Europe’s top sides.

I know for a fact that Lim is, first and foremost, a Malaysian patriot; that is why he decided to forgo a lucrative career in Germany.

I have known him to be driven by a passion for his country and by his love for football. It is my hope that Lim would get a fair hearing from our new Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

It is also my belief that the FA of Malaysia’s decision to dismiss Lim may have been made in haste.

I cannot imagine that it is money which drew Lim home.

It is a grave injustice to the man if the Malaysian public is left with the impression that Lim is “only here for the money”.

Former Malaysian ambassador to Germany

Sunday, October 14, 2018

35% drop in Chinese tourists - Why fewer Chinese tourists are coming.
  • Travel operators claim that the local tourist industry has been suffering since GE14.

Sin Chew Daily

During the October 1 Golden Week in China, there were some seven million Chinese outbound tourists traveling out of the country. However, compared to the corresponding period last year, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia this year fell by a whopping 35%, a far cry from what the tourism ministry had anticipated.

Malaysia has always been one of the most favorite destinations for Chinese outbound tourists, and the drastic drop in tourist arrivals is anything but alarming.

The tourist industry is Malaysia's third largest foreign exchange earning contributor, after manufacturing and primary industries. Unfortunately we have missed the golden opportunity to woo the enormous army of Chinese tourists to our shores.

According to local travel industry operators, this is the first time we have seen a decline in the number of tourists from China during their Golden Week holidays. During the same period last year, some 180,000 Chinese nationals came to Malaysia for vacation, remarkably boosting the local hotel, retail and transport sectors.

It is a worrisome trend given the fact Malaysia is among the top ten holiday destinations for Chinese nationals and the number of Chinese outbound tourists is steadily increasing over the years.

If we are unable to grab a sizeable share of this lucrative pie, our tourist receipts as well as related industries will take the brunt, and this does not augur well for the country's economic development.

According to international media analysis, there is a strong correlation between China's diplomatic relations and the number of tourists in a particular country. For instance, fewer Chinese nationals are visiting the United States in the height of the Sino-American trade war, while Japan has emerged as the top destination for Chinese tourists this year following a warming of ties between the two countries

The decision by the new Pakatan Harapan government to cancel or review major Chinese investment projects has put a brake on the healthy growth of bilateral relationship, and this has probably suppressed the willingness of Chinese tourists to come to this country.

Despite the fact the government has anticipated a surge in the number of Chinese tourists to spearhead the local tourist industry, and the relevant operators have readied themselves for the influx, including stationing of airport staff well versed in Mandarin Chinese at KLIA, the arrival number remains disappointing. The tourism ministry needs to find out the reason for the stagnant growth.

Travel operators claim that the local tourist industry has been suffering since the 14th general elections, while the newly appointed tourism minister fails to introduce new strategies to stimulate the industry and lure foreign tourists. The government has also not provided new incentives to the related industries.

Lack of new elements in our tourist attractions is also to be blamed for a lack of returning tourists. Although Chinese tourists love Malaysia's diverse cultural heritage, gourmet food and natural scenery, we fail to come up with novel ideas and themes to woo them back.

The tourism ministry should seriously look into foreign tourists' needs and experiences instead of taking a passive stance to wait for them to come back.

Anwar: Not yet end of the road

Anwar Ibrahim's victory might have pleased him, his family and ardent supporters but it demolished the hopes and sinister wishes of his detractors, ill-wishers and musuh dalam selimut, wakakaka.

There were many doubts about and opposition against him contesting in Port Dickson with even more accusations hurled against his candidature, including the so-called immorality of forcing a by-election for his own political status, deemed as an unnecessary ambitious impatience.

It should be noted that the forced by-election was legal and conducted constitutionally and fairly. We need to ask, if not for a by-election to send Anwar to the Dewan Rakyat, how will he be able to fulfil the Pakatan-agreed role of an incoming PM in 2020?

Nonetheless, the abuses and detraction came - a gay with Saiful Bukhari Azlan thrown into the electoral competition for visual and (im)moralistic impact. That was followed by the wicked demand that his majority in a win in the by-election must signify the voters' (vicariously the rakyat's) confidence in his leadership and his future as Malaysia's 8th PM. A simple majority would have doomed him to eternal jeering,

A miscellaneous group of competitors were mysteriously pitted against him with Isa Samad (former UMNO standing as an Independent) and former TUDM officer Mohd Nazari Mokhtar (PAS) being the two more serious ones.

In the results of the by-election, Anwar secured 31,016 votes. His majority is 23,560-vote.

That majority was not only more than the majority achieved by the former PKR representative for PD, Danyal Balagopal Abdullah (majority 17,710 votes), but was remarkable in a far lower turnout of only 58.25% (turnout in GE14 was 83.16%).

Thus Anwar's by-election victory has been doubly won in the face of the proverbial kitchen sink being thrown at him, wakakaka.

While his future is now brighter than it had been in his past 20 years, most of which were spent as a prisoner, he must be careful to avoid the circumstances in 1997-8 that led to his 20 years of misery.

There are still many obstacles and dangers for him between now and 2020. I wish him good luck.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Anwar's 'Non' Brigade

As my visitor 'Unknown' wrote:

"Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s victory in a seven-man fight for the Port Dickson seat is virtually in the bag with non-Malay voters’ supporting him, think-tank Ilham Centre said today."

Indeed, with the support of the 'Non' brigade, Anwar is so far ahead of the pack. PAS nearest behind him but at 7.29 pm, still only a quarter of what the future DPM has secured. BTW, Saiful has won 81 votes.

There is no way and no miracle achievable for any of the other competitors to overtake him. PKR can now break out the Sarsi and celebrate the incoming new DPM.

Syabas, t'was a long arduous journey for DSAI but it's sweet at the end.

Pakatan at its height of political mendacity

Was it true that Pakatan Harapan had previously accused Rosmah Mansor of being the owner of Grab and Uber? I heard Uber exited Malaysia’s market early this year.

Former PM Najib grumbled: “If she (Rosmah) is the owner of Grab and Uber, she would be the most successful businessperson in the country."

Najib's sarcasm was made in the wake of the Pakatan government proposing to use Grab to replace feeder buses for MRT and LRT, that after accusing Rosmah of owning it, wakakaka.

FMT reported: Earlier this week, Damansara MP Tony Pua said the government was “in discussions” with Grab but did not provide further details. Grab has not commented on this proposal.

Chicken Little 

According to Najib, some taxi drivers believed such e-hailing companies would be banned if PH took over but alas, they must be disappointed by now.

Well, Commander (rtd) S Thayaparan, a Malaysiakini columnist wrote recently in his article titled The Harapan manifesto is worthless:

Is the Pakatan Harapan manifesto worthless? Yes, it is.

Most manifestos or campaign promises are suspect but now we know that the Harapan manifesto was void ab initio (void from the beginning).

too much of UMNO blood 

Politicians who make campaign promises make an attempt to fulfil them and would make excuses if they could not. What they never do is say: “We made a bunch of stuff up to get your votes which we knew we could never fulfil.” This is exactly what the old maverick has said.

Claiming that you made promises while actually believing that you could not win is really dumb. I mean, the people who voted for you had faith in the movement and obviously thought you could take Putrajaya. [...]

Mahathir is not some neophyte political operative. He is a seasoned political operative who managed to get people to vote for his coalition even with the systemic corruption, systemic discrimination and race-based ideology for decades. Granted he was operating in unfamiliar terrain with the then opposition but even in this marriage of political convenience, surely he must have believed in some parts of the manifesto, right?

Surely there must have been Harapan political operatives who did believe in the manifesto and did not just say things because they believed they could not win.

Was that really the strategy? Make a bunch of stuff up and then if victory was miraculously achieved, claim that they could not fulfil those promises?

Moving forward, how can people ever trust anything Harapan officials say when it comes to policy?

Bersatu’s Rais Hussin claimed that a lot of thought went into the manifesto but apparently the prime minister does not think it means all that much. All these people that Rais talks about, who put in the hard work of drafting the manifesto, did they not have access to the facts when they promised they could abolish tolls, for instance?

We always get this horse manure that the manifesto promises cannot be kept because new information has been “discovered” but really, the Harapan political elite had been claiming that we were reaching failed-nation status, hence whatever “new information” that has been discovered could not be possibly worse than the apocalypse they believed would happen if they did not win.

Remember that they claimed that the government was bankrupt at one point. Surely all this must have gone into the number-crunching done by Rais' so-called experts when they were formulating the well-thought-out manifesto, no?

If you buy this “new information” excuse, you do understand what this really means, right? That Harapan operatives were talking without having full access to the facts. They were making promises while ignorant of the facts and either they knew it or did not care. Claiming the discovery of new facts that make certain promises unworkable is the height of political mendacity.

Do you know the meaning of the word 'mendacity'?

The dictionary defines it as:

1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness; tendency to lie.

2. an instance of lying; falsehood.

And the adjective is (as above) 'mendacious which means:

1. telling lies, especially habitually; dishonest; lying; untruthful: (a mendacious person)

2. false or untrue: (a mendacious report)

I hope my FB friend would be able to read the definitions and Commander Thayaparan's accusation of Pakatan as at the height of political mendacity. and know what that means.

My FB matey claimed that Pakatan in making promises thinking it NEEDN'T fulfil them (as it thought it won't win GE14) and then as the new government went about capati-ing those 'promises',  did not make pre-election lies, wakakaka.

I have to admit I was unable to get him to see the picture of sheer arrogant mendacity, and so gave up against his persistent insistence that those Pakatan reckless manifesto promises (with no intention on the part of Pakatan fulfilling them because Pakatan thought it wouldn't have won) were not lies.

Sadly, I realised I was banging my head against a brick-wall, and decided to end the discussions by saying politely "Maybe my English is dodgy".

I was surprised when he grabbed on that straw and agreed that my English might not be good enough and that also he studied some aspects of law which convinced him false promises were/are not lies, wakakaka.

I gave up on that discussion because I value our fellowship more. But I dare say he is the typical Pakatan supporter who is suspicious, speculates and insinuates I must be, as an example, an enemy of so and so because I criticise that person.

Anyway, let's leave that and return to Mahathir's refusal or reluctance to remove road tolls. I realise by then he was the person who started the tolls so I shouldn't have been surprised that he is behaving like former MB Selangor Khalid Ibrahim who showed he was more interested in protecting the interests of tolls owner rather than the rakyat who voted for him.

Khalid Ibrahim was seen to be very pro BIG business, and this, his very pro big business attitude, was first witnessed in 2008 in the Grand Saga new tollgate in Cheras.

Sadly then, Khalid Ibrahim as the first non-BN MB of Selangor, abysmally failed the people of Cheras who had supported and voted him in also as their federal MP for Bandar Tun Razak.

He refused to take action to prevent the erection of the illegal barrier on state land and we'll soon learn why in my July 2014 post My 3 strikes out for Khalid Ibrahim.

The height of political mendacity, wakakaka. But then again, it's not a laughing matter when it describes the current Pakatan government.