Monday, April 30, 2007
I won’t go into who’s crying out for justice and who’s boasting of the people’s support. Those aren't as important as what I've discovered, much to my immense distress.
The most shameful issue that has arisen has been the vilification of the Ijok Indians. Those poor rubber tappers are seen by certain losers as the cause of the PKR defeat, while the Chinese (this gives me a bit of a laugh) have been praised because they swung slightly to the opposition, though I wonder where the Chinese had swung from? Were the Chinese previously (in 2004) 50% for the opposition?
Anyway, some very very angry PKR supporters turned their venom on the Indians, because those voters chose to vote BN.
One went so far as to tell the Indians that from now on, they should not waste the time of the average Malaysian, especially Lim Kit Siang, with issues like baby Rayappan, Subashini and Hindu temple demolition.
The bloke even went on to vindictively suggest that the education ministry should now immediately endorse this win by excluding all Indians from universities. How pathetic, and how cruel!
But wait, according to the angry PKR supporter, it’s not all Indians but just the Tamils. Keralites (he meant Malayalam) and the Ceylonese (I wonder whether Singahalese or Panamkottai Tamils?) do have some principles, but Tamilians (he meant Tamils) “are driven by greed and hero-worship in direct contrast to the substantial numbers of Malays and Chinese who voted the PKR at a certain risk.”
Apart from his effusive praise for the risk-taking Chinese (Manjit Bhatia, eat your words ;-) just joking, matey), I wonder how Mr Angry was able to distinguish Malayalam (& Singhalese) from Tamils, let alone the noble characteristics of the Malayalam and Ceylonese (still not sure whether Singhalese or Tamils) versus the villainy of the Tamils.
He ranted: “Do you really think after this anyone in Ijok can look at an Indian in the eye and trust him? These guys just sold out Malaysia because of they wanted material goods” and so on so forth, covering military affairs and murder crimes and building maintenance, etc. It was a fairly broad landscape he covered.
I asked Aneh (hope he doesn’t mind me calling him this) whether it was appropriate or correct to vent his vile on those poor rubber tapper Indians. For a start, at the risk of sounding like an educated snob, I said that those poor Tamils (or Indians – I could never tell the difference between a Tamil or Malayalam unless she’s a she, with the lovely hue and complexion of a ripe Alfonso mango) aren't as well informed as angry Aneh.
In fact, most don't even understand high concepts of democracy and stuff like that. So it's not surprising and indeed natural they went for the material rewards and the local boy made good.
It’s not unlike Vietnam in the late 60’s with the Yanks preaching useless concepts of democracy and various western ideas to a group of blank-face Vietnamese farmers and their families, fretting away listening to irrelevant bull, while chaffing at the reins to just return to and resume their ploughing and planting of their padi fields to ensure they would get their 3 bowls of rice each day, assuming they weren't about to be blasted to smithereens by Yankee artillery when unannounced/unpublicised US military decision turned their farms into free fire zones.
Instead of spewing venom on the hapless Tamil rubber tappers, PKR should be thinking about and developing a strategy to tackle this. Those Indians ARE voters, and if PKR wants their votes, it has to go to them, not berate them.
After all, isn’t 'choice' (no matter how bad, like the Yanks voting twice for a moron) the cornerstone of democracy. Who the Tamils voted for has been and will be a 'choice', THEIR 'choice'. And I don't blame them for voting for material benefits - why would a struggling rubber tapper care for anything other than immediate benefits.
The onus is on PKR to convince them to vote for the party, therefore blame PKR and not those kampong Tamil voters.
But you know what, after reading those unmitigated racist and petulantly vindictive comments, maybe those less fortunate and less educated Indians might have the sort of prescient wisdom we city slickers don’t.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
She's off to greener pastures and feels that she needs to focus on her new job, so regrettably her blogging has to go.
I hope that once she has settled down, she'll find a way to combine/balance both her new career and blogging.
So don't be late in coming back, Jed.
Of course a win and a loss are still that, a win for the BN, particularly for Parthiban, and a loss for PKR, particular for its supporters. This would now be played up by the BN.
It was claimed to be a proxy war, between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak, allegedly for the No 2 spot in UMNO and thus the DPM appointment, but really an alleged 'war' promoted by an agenda set outside of UMNO, though there had been allegations of UMNO insiders involved. Nonetheless it had to be dealt with ruthlessly, for in Malaysia, rumours left unchecked takes on a frightening life of its own.
Because of this, the usual BN pork barrelling (using government resources and the dispensing of public monies as if those belonged to the BN), had been unprecedentedly obscene - for crying out loud, 200 sewing machines!?
Yes, it was not just a case of the BN fighting for Parthiban but more of one to crush Anwar Ibrahim and thus discrediting his iconic status as an opposition leader. It was 'total war'.
Thus, I wasn't surprised that AAB emerged at the final moment to campaign and at the same time, gave his publicly announced support for a slightly beleaguered Najib, perhaps to kill off those rumours of Gerakan Anti-Najib having UMNO insider support.
On that same score, it was hardly surprising that the electorate witnessed ugly scenes of violence, mainly by BN supporters but certainly a few cases from PKR members – a case of territorial stoush between a tiger and a leopard which elderly Chinese would tell you are brethrens born of the same tigress*.
* which explains why the famous Aw brothers of the Tiger Balm fame were named Aw Boon Haw (tiger) and Aw Boon Par (leopard)
Both sides resorted to salacious smearing campaign, a speciality of UMNO and those (previously) nurtured under UMNO.
In fact, everything was unprecedented, what with bloggers of all description and leanings pouring into Ijok during the campaign, either by taking up temporary residence there to blog with more ground credibility, or in spirit only but relying on information sources.
The Anwar Ibrahim factor attracted significant foreign media into a state by-election that would normally be ignored by the international press. The opposition parties worked together as if it was 1969, though with some ‘pretend-I-don’t-&-can't-bear-to- see-you’ tension between PAS and the DAP.
This was an election where ironies abound. The BN, known for its racist politics, policies and practices took a humongous risk by putting up an Indian candidate in a Malay-majority electorate, when local Malays (supporters of BN) had voiced loudly their preference for a BN Malay candidate, mainly because the previous (late) MIC ADUN, Sivalingam, lost their confidence in his poor performance in representing them.
I term the risk-taking ‘humongous’ because of huge stakes involved, that of Anwar Ibrahim’s candidate winning. I believe the BN has won more than Ijok because of its risk taking.
One can spin it any which way or resort to hair splitting, that of multiracialism versus power-sharing, but the bottomline was the BN put up an Indian candidate, whilst PKR, who claimed to be a multiracial party opted for a play-safe ethnic-based approach in Malay-dominated Ijok.
As Dr Chandra Muzzafar and malaysiakini editor Premesh Chandran had advised, this is something PKR must now evaluate seriously. As I had said from the very beginning of my posting on Ijok, the PKR would lose more than just Ijok.
Another difference to the typical Malaysian politics of David versus Goliath was that in Ijok the BN put up a Davidic candidate whilst PKR a comparative Godzilla.
But unlike the movie Godzilla, size didn’t matter because Khalid Ibrahim’s high profile in fact turned out to be a liability. He has been unfortunately remembered by Indians with a decided lack of fondness or respect. An unhappy PSM had reminded most local Indians of Khalid as an unfriendly Guthrie towkay. This has been another departure from the typical opposition versus BN scenario, where the opposition candidate is usually the underdog hero.
Predictably Anwar Ibrahim made a play for the crucial, and ironically 'pivotal', Chinese votes by promoting himself as a champion of everything for multiracisialism, particularly vernacular language education. Despite being supported by Lim Kit Siang and one Chinese educationist, he was already tainted on this issue by his past conduct as the Education Minister.
Needless to say, the MCA and Gerakan milked his past record to its last bitter drop, with Ong Ka Ting stating (unusually) in a Chinese aphorism, that Anwar would speak in human language to humans and spirit language to spirits, meaning he (Anwar) is an untrustworthy political chameleon.
However, there were some light moments coming out from the campaigning, with probably Najib Razak taking the prize for his promotional description of Parthiban to the local Malay electorate. Najib quipped (KTemoc’s words to the effect) that after the election, there should be a search for a bride for bachelor boy Parthiban, and that he should enjoy his current status while he can, because he (Parthiban) doesn’t know what he’ll be into (the marriage) and in for. Was Najib talking from experience ;-)
Some lessons, mainly for the opposition parties like the DAP, PSM and PKR (particularly the PRM component), ought to be considered:
(1) Is Anwar Ibrahim an asset or a liability?
(2) Is Anwar Ibrahim worth supporting?
(3) Can there be a Barisan Alternatif without Anwar Ibrahim?
As I remarked to a friend, the result in Ijok has been a sweet & sour dish for me (hu lam snui) – sour because BN has won again, but sweet because it allows me to raise the above three questions for DAP, PKR, PRM and PSM.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
By any other word would smell as sweet."
- William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Specially for freelunch2020 and desiderata
What’s in a name?
A rose is still … but alas,
I’m not one, but a thorn
Prickly or some'd say
Just a damn prick ;-)
A prickly thorn?
Protect the fragile rose
Or, just to prick
Bubbles of euphoria
POP! Who’s that prick?
Who art thou?
Maybe a loose cannon
Or a silly Don Quixote
Tilting at spinning icons
Or icon who spins
Out, damn'd KTemoc! out, I say!
I cringe, it’s an angry world
In Ijok, and like a Dalmatian
Left, no longer barking
At dark shadows, meow!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Let em start with myself. As a number of visitors remarked, why I have been ‘hentam-ing’ Anwar Ibrahim?
I didn’t start with Ijok. In that perhaps I am consistent, but certainly Ijok has made me put in more effort in blogging against Anwar Ibrahim. Therefore it can be said that Ijok has perhaps brought out the worst in me where my blogging has become neglectful of other equally important issues – for example, I haven’t posted anything recently on Palestine happenings or the nefarious Bush Administration.
To me, Anwar Ibrahim, based on his record as an UMNO minister, is a very dangerous man to support, He may not be the candidate for Ijok but he has imposed his presence on us. Who wins in Ijok is up to the residents, but I need to reveal the nature of this man.
Many said we have no choice as there isn’t anything else with his charisma, leadership and standing. The Devil has all that too, so should we be making a Faustian pact?
Why then can’t we forgive him?
Helmy Haja Maidin answered that in a letter to malaysiakini (extract as follows):
Whilst I condemned the misuse of the judiciary in the disposal of Anwar’s political career, I dispelled the hubris that he ‘rose up against the government’ for the altruistic purpose of promoting truth and justice. My friends and I had a simple question – why had he not walked this talk back when he was in power?
Why wait until he (or his supporters rather) lost a political coup that was instigated in the midst of an international economic crisis? If he had started (in his various capacities as education and finance minister) the ‘reformasi’ before being kicked out, he would have been held in much higher stead.
Helmy also said what I have blogged before, as to why we can’t forgive the man’s past or work with him for the future: Anwar has not shown a single bit of remorse for his very dark records during his UMNO days, by at least acknowledging his various mistakes.
Instead, he blames everyone but himself as if he was lily-white all the while. He has been unrepentant for his conduct during his days in UMNO. A man who is unrepentant for his actions may be taken to still believe in those actions and likely to re-commit them.
For example, in his attempt to subvert the standing of vernacular schools, in sending non-Mandarin speaking principals and assistant principals to Chinese schools in 1987 which led to near racial riots and Operation Lallang, he has come under the campaign microscope of the Gerakan and MCA. What has he said to this?
His response to the matter was to cite ‘limitations imposed by UMNO then', but would not apologise on the matter. See what I mean, that this man is totally unrepentant over his nasty policies as an UMNO minister, and would always be blaming everyone else.
Najib has just struck back at Anwar and asked: "If you now say that you fight for Chinese rights, tell us what exactly did you do when you were education minister?"
And he might let us know too what he had done for us as Finance Minister and Deputy PM?
If Anwar didn’t have the backbone in UMNO to stand up and be counted, how then could we expect him to have the necessary backbone now (to fight for everyone) when he resumes power, assuming he becomes a future BA PM or worse, an UMNO PM?
And please don’t argue that he sacrificed himself in prison for years. He didn’t! He lost in an avaricious power struggle with a fiercer and more powerful tiger, and didn’t have any option but to remain locked up in prison. It wasn’t justice but the fact has been that there wasn’t a choice for him, so the argument of him sacrificing himself did not exist.
Has Ijok brought out the worst in you too? Did you succumb to double standards? Did you preach what you so freely and readily advocate?
‘Tis a time when our ‘world’ is in turmoil, yes, a time not unlike the biblical creature which will attempt to crawl to
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), blogger of Malaysia-Today, posted a tale of Gerakan Anti Najib (GAN) or Get Najib Movement.
I consider RPK as a super-brilliant politico-strategist because on the surface he would at times appear to be against or even attacking Anwar, but I reckon in actuality he’s not - that’s why I deem him as super brilliant strategist-blogger, perhaps even a practicing student of Sun Tzu’s dictum of ‘all war is deception’.
According to gossip, GAN is a scheme to restore Anwar Ibrahim back to his old position in UMNO prior to his expulsion from the party. Apparently, SIL is complicit in the conspiracy.
The final objective for Anwar Ibrahim (according to RPK) is obvious - He wants to be PM. But remaining as president of PKR, his likelihood of become PM would be the same as that for Lim Kit Siang. So he wants to go back to UMNO but right at the top as No 2 (at least for a while until he swamps all over AAB and his pots of rice).
Part of the scheme involves his (Anwar’s) challenging of the legality of his expulsion as DPM by then PM Dr Mahathir.
However, assuming the court rules in his favour and restores his status quo in accordance with his constitutional rights, there is still a slight inconvenient matter, that of Najib Razak being the current incumbent as No 2.
Therefore, to clear the Via Sacra for the greatest triumphant Return of all times, the scheme requires Najib to be ousted or forced into retirement beforehand.
That has been why the targeting of Najib has been so intense, even resorting to unethical throwing of Mongolian poo.
And in that, I was somewhat disappointed that some non-aligned bloggers have been supporting, nay, abetting (unwitting as they might have been) Anwar’s rubbishing of Najib, because in doing so, they have in fact been facilitating the world’s greatest political reformist (who saw the light only after his expulsion from UMNO) return to a party they (the bloggers) abhor.
But of course the strategy requires Najib and AAB to be at each other’s throat on RPK’s revelation that there is a GAN plot. We know Najib won’t, and do you believe that AAB or even SIL feels more comfortable with a returned Anwar instead of an incumbent Najib?
Sometimes the illogic of the scheme implies these professional schemers who make such party-politic manoeuvrings their bread and butter are complete idiots.
But of course you never know what can happen when one throws the golden apple of discord into UMNO, like Eris did during in the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. That ancient act led to the decade long Trojan War and the total destruction of Troy and many thousands of lives. Maybe UMNO might destroy itself in like fashion too?
However, all may seem moot because the Court of Appeal has just found Anwar Ibrahim’s dismissal as deputy prime minister and finance minister was lawful.
Anwar intends to appeal. Well, for a man who claims he won’t go back to UMNO, he’s spending an unusual amount of time and resources contesting his dismissal as (UMNO’s appointed) DPM as unlawful.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Chinese Malaysians saw it as an Anwar Ibrahim move to undermine the foundations of Chinese education, because the cornerstone of a Chinese vernacular school hs always been the principal.
Many considered the Education Ministry decision to appoint ‘unqualified’ principals as a malicious move to subvert the standing of Chinese vernacular schools. His ministry had also issued a proselytising policy where non-Muslim students (Chinese, Indians and Eurasians) had to hold their hands up in Muslim fashion during school weekly prayers.
Even leaders from the BN’s component parties, the MCA and Gerakan were so shocked by the Anwar Ibrahim policy (and politically undermined) that they were compelled into joining opposition leaders and Dong Jiao Zong Chinese educationists to call for the resignation of Anwar Ibrahim.
The minister's policy was so revolting and threatening to one of the central pillars of Chinese culture (education) that the MCA and Gerakan did the unexpected - they found their backbone.
In a not-unexpected UMNO response, the party of Anwar Ibrahim led by its brownshirts proposed to retaliate to that insult to their hero with a show of force, by holding a mass rally of 10,000 at the TPCA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur under the pretext of celebrating its 41st Anniversary. UMNO claimed (threatened) that the rally would eventually see the attendance of half a million members.
There was a strong perception (even by police) that, had the rally been held, racial riots would have been a strong probability, given the typical UMNO bigoted speeches and keris waving at such UMNO rallies. The racial tension was so high it was positively crackling.
Given the rising racial tension caused by Anwar Ibrahim’s insensitive move to undermine the foundations of Chinese vernacular education in Malaysia, the Inspector General of Police did a preemptive ops called Operation Lallang, where Chinese politicians and educationists, including some token UMNO small timers like Ibrahim Ali (Pasir Mas) and Fahmi Ibrahim (UMNO Youth), were rounded up by police and incarcerated.
The opposition bigwigs were opposition leader Lim Kit Siang and his deputy Karpal Singh (DAP) and social activists Chandra Muzaffar and Kua Kia Soong. The MCA also contributed to the populating of Kem Kemunting with MCA Vice President and Perak Chief Chan Kit Chee.
BN leaders quietly told MCA Youth leader Lee Kim Sai to disappear overseas for a timely holiday, though Lee eventually had his Datukship revoked by the late Sultan of Selangor on the instigation of UMNO Youth.
All this, thanks to Anwar Ibrahim and his education policies.
So forgive me for puking when now I hear him talking about his championing of the right to mother tongue education. In criticising his former UMNO colleagues, Najib and Hishammuddin Hussein, the latter for the Education policy on Science and Maths to be taught inEnglish, he screamed out to a largely Chinese crowd in Ijok:
"I am Malay, so I want Maths and Science to be taught in Malay. But it should also be taught in Chinese and Tamil."
Those Chinese lapped up his recently dicovered support for Chinese vernacular education.
Oh, his honey-sweet talk (which wasn’t ever 'walked') has been amazing.
But the Ijokian Chinese ought to be mindful that his brand of honey isn’t made by bees but by highly poisonous hornets (tebuans).
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Being rude to one’s elders would be ‘kurang ajar’ (lacks proper upbringing), one of the most shameful insults to one’s parents. Chinese also have the exact same saying, ‘boh kah see’ indicating a common ethical value of Asian society.
Therefore, the alleged BN's misconduct is likely to be counterproductive.
Mind you, it may be worth bringing up the fact, based on the results of the last election, that Bukit Badong is a PKR stronghold. PKR won just short of 2/3 of the total votes for this area. Would this be the reason that UMNO has cast caution and politeness to the wind, thinking as it would be losing votes here anyway, it might as well go for broke and apply threats and misinformation, to their supposed (in their eyes) advantage?
Does this act of reported UMNO bullying change my mind about rooting for PKR to win? Much as I’m lukewarm to PKR for reasons already explained in my previous posting, I would most certainly welcome an opposition victory.
However, on this aspect, two issues still grate on my nerves:
(1) Anwar Ibrahim – PKR winning would of course boost his standing which annoys me greatly. I think of him as a charlatan, but unfortunately, one gifted with incredible oratorical prowess, which, as I have said before, can talk the hind quarters off an ass. Anwar has a Rasputin-like magnetism which draws people looking for a political saviour. His silver tongue does the rest to marshal them to his banner.
The magnetism of Anwar was greatly (and undeservedly) enhanced by a gargantuan leap because of his enmity to Dr Mahathir. The Grand Ole Man was so disliked that his enemy (Anwar) by default became most people’s friend.
However, his once-shining star faded away rapidly when Mahathir left. The plummeting of Anwar's popularity rating was also expedited by the fact he frequently tap-danced away from committing himself to PKR and the opposition.
But the recent excesses of the AAB government have unfortunately rekindled Anwar’s standing as an opposition idol.
The saddest thing for his PKR followers (minus his inner circle) is that Anwar, unlike Lim Kit Siang or Dr Syed Husin, has no intention of remaining in the opposition.
For such an ambitious man who had tasted sweet nectar at the pinnacle of UMNO's hierarchy, and one probably with a super-ego, he wants to be, and reckons he ought to be PM, and the only way one can get to be a PM is to be president of UMNO. Poor PKR is nothing more than a mere convenient bargaining tool for him to pry his way back into his former political party.
(2) Abraham Lincoln said that “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time”.
It would appear that we need to bear this saying in mind when dealing with Anwar Ibrahim. I say this because it’s not so much the belief some lay people have in him that grates on my nerve, but those of bloggers!
I am not including PKR or pro-PKR bloggers (that's their decision and for them to find out the truth one day), but non-aligned bloggers who have been known to write erudite pieces (indicating their discerning minds), yet blindly jumped on his bandwagon to join him in making unsubstantiated scurrilous allegations of a scandalous salacious sleazy nature against Najib Razak.
It’s not that we shouldn’t attack Najib but why not use issues of corruption and others of a verifiable nature instead of resorting to dirty tricks smear campaign.
Another thing is that, apart from the Altantuya case being completely irrelevant to Ijok, I don't believe for one moment that Anwar is in the least concern about justice for the murdered Mongolian. Like PKR, Altantuya is just a convenient tool for him to ‘use’.
Anwar Ibrahim is always about Anwar Ibrahim. He attacks Najib not to win Ijok, but for his covert objectives [I’ll blog on this tomorrow].
I dare say that whether Ijok is won by PKR is irrelevant to his scheme of things. It’ll be a bonus if Khalid Ibrahim does but Anwar is more interested in rubbishing Najib. His people have been touting it as a Anwar-Najib battle, rather than a PKR (Khalid Inrahim)–BN (Parthiban) fight.
Coming back to bloggers, as I said in the comments section in another posting, if we do what Anwar did (i.e. resort to dirty tricks smear tactics using unsubstantiated allegations or gossipy rumours to attack/harass Najib), then we have dropped down into the gutter with UMNO.
But then, if anyone argues that we are merely doing what the Great Anwar does, we need to remember that he was forged in the cesspool of UMNO.
And don’t forget, Anwar didn’t leave UMNO to become a political reformer. He was expelled forcibly (probably leaving claw marks on the door sill of the UMNO building). Only after his eviction from the party, did he miraculously metamorphose from a dung beetle (or UMNO tebuan) into a reformist butterfly.
Also, don't buy the bull that he sacrificed himself in prison for several years because he refused to compromise on a principle - the fact was he had no choice; they locked him up and threw away the key.
But let's get back on track - on ethical behaviour, let UMNO/BN do their worst, but we ourselves must jaga standards as we demand the BN does. Yes, we must jaga our standards from imitating UMNO tactics (including those of ex-UMNO but wannabe UMNO again)
Jangan biar kita mempunyai double standards and join the devil - then, how would we be different from them (BN and ex-BN)?
Let's not be lemmings blindly rushing to plummet off the cliff of decency into a filthy cesspool.
If a newspaper like the BBC could carry such a scandalous piece of unsubstantiated news, what do you think would be in the minds of ordinary folks in the kampongs – and never mind Ijok.
Thanks to a suave, smooth, smart, sophisticated, sweet and (media/politics) savvy Anwar Ibrahim, Najib Razak is now, in many people's eyes, guilty until proven innocent.
PKR supporters (including some blogger friends) have written in to criticise my several postings against the tactics of Anwar Ibrahim. Their messages to me ranged from the abusive to those who attempted to split hairs by saying Anwar only asked Najib to explain, to some who expressed surprise that I, KTemoc, known for bashing the BN, would even defend a bloke like Najib.
But the effect, the desired outcome, of dirtying the reputation of Najib Razak has already been achieved.
As a blogger who has sympathies for the opposition - though I admit I am suspicious of Anwar Ibrahim because I have never considered him to be just ‘suave, smooth, smart, sophisticated, sweet (good lord, oh no) and (media/politics) savvy’, but also slimy, which may explain why I've tepid feelings for PKR, but may I just say how much I admire and respect Dr Syed Husin – I’ve found myself actually shifting my sympathies towards Najib since the scurrilous attacks on him started in concert.
The by-election in Ijok has been touted as an Anwar Ibrahim versus Najib Razak battle rather than a PKR (Khalid Ibrahim) versus BN (Parthiban) contest.
Apart from the handy and convenient but disgraceful Mongolian poo available for throwing, Anwar Ibrahim and his inner circle of strategists saw mileage in the repulsive tactics – and the way I see it, it’s more of political mileage for Anwar Ibrahim rather than Khalid Ibrahim or PKR. If the latter two picked up collateral benefits, well they’re lucky.
I’ll continue this piece tonight. Bread and butter issues await, unlike for the Chosen. But as you are aware that KTemoc fancies poems, here’s one by Yeats. It’s only a portion of his poem that I’m posting here. Enjoy till this evening:
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Monday, April 23, 2007
I attempted a poem to describe a subject of brazen hypocrisy, a changeling, chameleon, and of clever manipulation of lemmings for the person's own interest. Tactics used were unethical for a person who preaches ethics.
But alas, a poem in less than 10 minutes would be a bit of a dog's reakfast, so I decided during lunch time (30 minutes) to edit and even repharse certain verses. Still not satisfactory but a lot improved from this morning's mess. Here's the revised version:
I was Darth Vader yesterday
But now I am Luke Skywalker
Tho’ tomorrow, you’ll see me
As I ought to be, the Emperor
Activist in a forgotten history
Then Minister of Parachuting
Yes, I can metamaphose easily
From black, white to anything
Catch me if you can, I am the
Entertainer of the salacious,
Then like a flash of lightning
Becoming Mufti of all pious
My syrupy honey tongue, ten
Metres long – all the better
To catch you common lalat’s
With words sweet and tender
* lalat = Malay for houseflies
Of many hue, size and shape
Yes, I am indeed a chameleon
Breaking bread with an Islamist
Or bosom buddy of a neocon
Once I wallowed in a cesspool
'ere I was driven out by a tiger
Now I am your white Paladin
Not many can detect my odour
Like a mischievous Eris I flung
Into the anagrammatic KOJI
A Mongolian apple of discord
A word meaning ‘to the fairest’
Why, that’s me, aku, I, wah
Sweet words, all ye lemmings,
For your Most Majesty, Moi
The original and now-deleted version
I am now Luke Skywalker
But tomorrow, you’ll see me
Emperor as I ought to be
People’s activist you once saw
Then Minister of Parachute
But I can flip to bright Yang
Faster than even poor Yin
Entertainer of the salacious
Then, Mufti of all pious
Catch me if you can, for
I’m a rainbow changeling
I have a sweet honey tongue
Ten metres long – all the
Better to catch and swallow
You lot, mere lalat’s to me
Yes, I can be a chameleon
Of many hue, size and shape
Ain’t no vegetarian so better
Watch out, for here I come
From the cesspool of yesterday
When the Dark Force was me
Now I am your white Paladin
But darkness will come soon
Like Eris I threw the apple
Of discord from Mongolia
in anagrammatic KOJI ;-)
Aku, saya, watashi, woh, ich
Just great words, lemmings,
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Can you see the disconnect between the Altantuya murder and issues confronting the Ijok residents. Obviously the visitor couldn't! He might have wanted Najib strung up on a raintree by a vigilante corp but why should he criticise the Ijok residents for not throwing themselves into an issue raised mainly by PKR on its anti-Najib campaign - a campaign based at this stage on sheer allegations.
If, according to Lim Kit Siang, Machap was a dishonourable victory for the BN because of its disgraceful pork barrelling, then regardless of the results in Ijok on Saturday, PKR has regrettably conducted a dishonourable campaign based on allegations of DPM Najib Razak being involved with the Altantuya murder, without even waiting for the court case or due process.
While there has been an orchestrated operation to fling enough Mongolian poo around so that some would stick on Najib regardless of his involvement, far more disappointing has been the fact that many bloggers, without keeping a balanced and reasoned conduct, have leapt too eagerly on to the anti-Najib band wagon without even knowing the covert insidious campaign to blacken Najib’s reputation, not so much for claimed justice but for cynical and Machiavellian politics.
One lady blogger demanded that Najib answer to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to PKR allegations that he was involved with the Altantuya case. When Najib did just that, saying he hadn’t even met the late lady before, another blogger immediately jumped in to allege that Najib ‘doth protest too much’.
We can see that the campaign has been to blacken Najib’s reputation regardless, and shamefully, many bloggers who participated had no clue they were being used. Yes, used!
If Najib is alleged to be guilty, let the courts decide. In a western justice model it’s called due process, that very process we have been crying out for the BN government to apply. So aren’t we being little hypocritical slugs?
And it’s certainly not for an ‘interested’ party, PKR to pronounce Najib guilty as charged, nor to sentence him to immediate political death a la the Iraqi model for Saddam Hussein.
Anwar Ibrahim has been touted as a fair dinkum politician, a reformer, but his incessant relentless campaign to attack Najib re the Altantuya case, an issue that’s to be decided by the Malaysian courts, has done him discredit and shown his true colours of nastiness.
It would seem that to Anwar and PKR, the outcome of the Ijok election is not as important as rubbishing Najib.
KTemoc speaks out fairly, in this case, for Najib Razak. Call me what you like but I can’t stand bloody unfairness and underhanded tactics. And I call upon those bloggers who aren't PKR members to be aware of being used by a man who has a reputation of talking the hind quarters off an ass.
malaysiakini reported that on Friday night, PKR held a dinner in support of the PKR candidate. The PKR-hosted event at a Chinese restaurant attracted more than 200 people who showed up after the party handed out dinner coupons during their house-to-house visits earlier in the day.
Two observations here!
One – would the handing out of dinner coupons to a PKR free dinner in a by-election constituency [ignoring the inclusion of titillating exposé of a scandalous murder for entertainment] be considered as bribery by a political party to influence voters?
I only ask because the opposition has been condemning the BN for the latter’s well-known pork barrelling.
This is an example where the opposition must be very careful not to only walk their own talk, but be wary of (no doubt hypocritical) accusations from the BN because of the latter's ability to prompt swift official actions. In other words, two wrongs doesn't make one right, especially when one is dealing with a system that's controlled by the ruling party.
Two – this is the far more important and interesting one. The existence of such a dinner, where the attendees had been mainly Chinese including DAP bigwigs (and very few Indians) seem to suggest that PKR is focusing on the Ijok Chinese as the crucial voters and might have given up on most of the Indian voters (30%).
I had blogged on this possibility in Ijok - candidates' plus & minuses where the political proclivity or even voting preference of the Ijok Chinese (20%) has remained thus far ‘inscrutable’. The Chinese voters could be the ‘pivotal’ voting bloc – what irony a la 1999.
But malaysiakini also reported that after the dinner, Anwar campaigned at a ceramah in Kampung Jaya Setia, a Malay-majority polling district believed to be a PKR stronghold:
Anwar’s speech, punctuated with Quranic verses, appealed to the locals to defend Jaya Setia as a “fort of the people’s struggle”.
However, despite the considerably good turnout at the ceramah, most of those in the crowd were not locals, and this has caused considerable concern to the party.
Out of 10 people malaysiakini approached last night, only two confirmed they are locals while the others came from Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Seremban.
From the above we may speculate and comment as follows:
One – it demonstrated the versatile and cosmopolitan characteristics of Anwar Ibrahim.
He first thrilled the Chinese crowd with a sexy ‘who’s dunnit’ [the Altantuya Shariibuu murder and its alleged association with Najib], cleverly sprinkled with Cantonese (or Mandarin) words such as a teasing man man (which context may be loosely translated as ‘slowly, be patient, wait a while for the more juicy bits’) to avoid telling the gossipy tale to its completion. Truly the hallmark of a good story teller, or a salesman.
Then in an hour or so later, Anwar was able to switch seamlessly from the salacious to the pious use of holy Quranic verses in his speech while attempting to imbue the locals with a heightened sense of stakeholder-ship in the election outcome, coupled with a challenging …. perhaps we can call it … siege mentality, via his call for them to ‘defend’ their district as a "fort of the people’s struggle".
Two – The worrying news for PKR has been that the crowd were mainly, from a malaysiakini’s quick sampling, 80% outsiders. I wonder whether the locals had stayed away or had been crowded out by supportive or curious outsiders.
This seemed to support what the BN had sneeringly commented in Machap when it dismissed the so-called magic of Anwar despite the huge crowd in the Johor state constituency. The BN said the majority of the crowd were ‘brought’ to Machap by Anwar - as supporting proof of sorts, they pointed out to the unusually extra number of cars and other vehicles seen at the rally. See my previous posting Machap - Mana magic Anwar? - Ijok? - macam mana Anwar?
Anyway, the following is KTemoc’s brave or foolish (and very amateurish) attempt to summarise my personal sense of the forces at play, and the possible outcome for PKR in Ijok.
PKR could possibly grab a good bundle of votes from the Malays – if so, to what extent this could be attributed to Anwar Ibrahim or local boy and heavyweight high profile personality Khalid Ibrahim is something that’s beyond me. But can it take 30 to 35% of the possible 50% votes from this ethnic group? Let’s hope for PKR’s sake and assume so. And it must!
The Indian bloc seems to be a lost zone for PKR but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has lost all Indian votes. The issue of PKR not fielding an Indian candidate, in sharp contrast to the BN, hasn’t been good for its credentials among the Indians despite some excellent damage-control explanations (or spinning) by Indian leaders of PKR. Undoubtedly the MIC would be milking this issue to the last drop among the Indian voters. And what of dissatisfied Indian PKR members?
Notwithstanding the serious damage here, compounded by PSM's disdain of Khalid Ibrahim as a former Guthrie bigwig who wasn’t ‘friendly’ to poor Indian tappers, PKR must get at least 10% of the potential 30% Indian votes, but realistically speaking, it should be ecstatic with anything between 5 to 10%.
Adding up thus far, that’s somewhere between 35 to 45%, a fairly wide range, so let’s say 40% as an optimistic compromise.
Now, we come to those 'inscrutable' Chinese [not counting over-enthusiastic bloggers], whom the PKR must rely on to make up the difference for a 51% total. Can the combined forces of PKR and DAP deliver 11% of the potential 20% Chinese votes?
On the surface it’s do-able. But I worry the Chinese may decide to ‘abstain’.
Why? OK, idealistic fuzzy stuff like responsibility to democracy, exercise one’s right, freedom of speech … blah blah blah … won’t do. Perhaps the Ijok Chinese might rationalise (rightly or wrongly) their votes won’t make a diddly squat of a difference, that the battle is between a Malay and an Indian, or even some poor excuse like 'I won’t reveal my hand now, but man-man-lai Datuk Seri Anwar, wait for our humongous tsunami support at the general election’?
So we may be talking about a typical by-election turnout of 75% (tops) for the Chinese [look, I don’t have a good sampling of all by-elections, but going by the last couple, 75% would be very good].
If, say, 70% of Chinese turn up (that’s around 14% total votes), PKR requires 11% of that, a little over 2/3 to make Khalid the victor.
'nuff of silly political maths. I wish Khalid Ibrahim and K Parthiban the best.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Hello to thy Name
Thy vote is welcome ...
Omi-Tofu, Jesus loves you, Om Mani Padme Hum, Aum, Shalom and As-salaamu Alaikum to all!
Tomorrow is The Day in Ijok, and malaysiakini reported that there has been a noticeable surge in religious fervour in that constituency lately.
While the government has been pouring in resources to patch up, renovate, enhance the mosques and their surroundings in Ijok, Anwar Ibrahim took the opportunity during his campaigning to perform Friday prayers at a local mosque. Meanwhile, BN candidate Parthiban prayed as well at a Chinese temple in Ijok.
I wonder if those pollies had included a wish or an appeal in their respective prayers to the Almighty? Hmmm, let me speculate, and I won’t restrict myself to just the political parties. In fact, I'll start with bloggers.
There has been a clarion call (or prayer?) by Susan Loone for all bloggers to rush down to Ijok. She had suggested to The Alliance of Bloggers that all-Blogs must go to Ijok and present a petition to the two candidates, Parthiban and Khalid.
She wants the candidates to support the bloggers' right to freedom of expression, and to respect their blogging. And, for her, the candidate who supports the petition should receive the bloggers’ support. Many bloggers agreed to her call.
If this is taken up, it'll effectively rope in The Alliance of Bloggers as a political lobby rather than a federation with the sole issue of protecting bloggers' right to free speech on the Web.
However, Jun-E of June x 2 has disagreed. He (or she) has been alarmed by the comments on Loone’s blog, which had strayed from Loone’s point on free speech to attacking people with political affiliations different to the commentators'.
June-E reckoned we bloggers ought to be neutral (and seen to be so). Our balanced and fair (most times anyway) comments would more effectively bring about the desired change in the authority's attitude towards bloggers and their right to free speech on the Web.
He (or she) advised that “strategically speaking, it is suicide, for All-Blogs to campaign, during the clash of the titans. To be there, to be waving the (not yet existent) flag of All-Blogs, will just increase the government’s apparent paranoia towards bloggers”.
The various BN component parties would probably pray for victory to crush, nay, stamp out convincingly Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR. The consecutive victories of the by-elections in Pengakalan Pasir, Batu Talam and Machap must be maintained to confer a beneficial Halo Effect on the BN in the coming general election.
Hmmm, just speculating (OK?) that maybe, just maybe, there could be one possible exception – perhaps the MCA could see some value in PKR winning, mind you, by just a very slim razor-sharp margin, for its Chinese section to struggle along in terminal illness, but nevertheless posing problems for the DAP when those two opposition parties squabble for seats in the coming general election to avoid a 3-corner fight, and then subsequently sabotaging each other, if not splitting the non-Malay votes where there is disagreement over the seat.
Well, they did say, politics make strange bedfellows. Mind you, I was just conspiratorially theorising. Richard Ben Cramer, an American Jew who authored 'How Israel Lost', a book which criticises Israel losing its morality and soul through its unmitigated brutalities towards the Palestinians, remarked that in the Arab world, conspiracy theory is even more popular than Islam. Well, I suppose he hasn't been to Malaysia yet.
The general PKR members would of course be praying for a win and a good one too, to gain a vital lifeline for continuing meaningful life as a political party. A loss would be crippling for its morale and raise questions not only about its own viability and status as a political party, but its idol's credentials to lead them into the political Canaan. An unambigious clear-cut resounding victory in Ijok is important especially after its abysmal showing in Sarawak and for its relevance in the coming general election.
Did I say ‘the general PKR members’? Yes, because I believe there is an inner circle which may have a slightly different agenda. Oh, of course a win in Ijok would undoubtedly be good for Anwar’s standing but the witch hunt against Najib Razak, as witnessed by the numerous PKR or pro-PKR bloggers posting virtually non-stop allegations of Najib’s involvement in the Mongolian murder, has alerted some that there could well be another objective sub rosa.
Anwar Ibrahim continues to and in fact has increased his attacks on Najib. He even threw in a couple of Cantonese words to add on to his demonstration of cosmopolitanism.
Is Najib then the weakest link in the BN setup? KTemoc doesn't thinks so, nor is the weakest BN link being attacked. If I were hired as a consultant, I would advise 'wooing' the weakest link. Maybe targeting Najib is part of that wooing?
Oh, on witch hunts, just a quick digression for a KTemoc idiosyncrasy. Christians know the story of John the Baptist and how he was beheaded by King Herod, because his wife Herodias hated John for condemning her incestous marriage (she was married to, and divorced Herod's brother). She wanted the Baptizer very dead.
But Herod was reluctant to touch John, a holy man, so Herodias used her own daughter (by a previous marriage), Salome, to seduce (woo) Herod through her dancing (of the infamous, but probably most enjoyable, sexy and sinuous dance of the seven veils). The reward for performing the dance was that she could ask for anything that she wanted. Since we are on the subject of praying, a quick reference to the Bible (Mark 6: 24 – 25) tell us what happened after she dropped off the last of the seven veils:
And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the baptizer." And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
Hmmm, such a sexy titillating story. It could be a movie winner (which I am thinking of writing the script for), but I want to jazz it up a bit more so I wonder whether we could well have a more lusty version.
OK, say Herodias was chucked out of the palace. She wanted in again. So she got her daughter, Salome, to woo Herod to re-admit her (Herodias); afterall Herodias was a Hasmodean princess with all the pedigree. I'll script the play so that Salome, willingly and unsolicited, danced up to Herod with John’s head on a silver platter. There would be an expected quid pro quo, namely the re-admittance of Herodias to the palace, to resume her place as No 2.
I may throw in a few Malaysian cultural words, just as part of my contribution to Malaysian celluloid culture. Yes, when I write of a Salome wriggling her way unsolicited into a subtle sweetheart strategy, by offering the head of … er … John the Baptist, I'll term that as a kind of bunga emas.
Oops, excuse my wee digression, I have a naughty habit of wandering off – now back to the present and Ijok and politics.
There is no doubt that Lim & son are working and praying very hard for Khalid to win. Lim senior has this obsession of denying the BN its 2/3 majority, hopefully before he leaves politics for good. It is his remaining dream after over 40 years of politics. He had long since come to his senses and abandoned the impossible idea of becoming Malaysia's PM. He knows the DAP can’t achieve that 2/3-denial-of-majority by itself so he hopes an alliance with a winning PKR may one day allow him to realise his sole political wish. But regardless, as usual, the DAP leadership overcompensates in any alliance.
But some of its members have been less than impressed with the PKR. They reckoned the PKR hasn’t been fair dinkum in the latter's contribution in Machap, with Anwar making a campaign visit only on the eve of the election and PKR troops less than enthusiastic on the ground. They asked: what’s the use of a campaign visit that late, as Malaysians know that the majority of voters would have made up their mind long before polling day, and just take in last minute campaigning as entertainment.
PAS will be praying very hard for PKR to win because it sees its hope being installed as the government of an Islamic Malaysia dependent on PKR winning seats to complement its own, and thus to support its Islamic aspiration.
I read in a blog by a PAS member just a day ago, who lamented on the cold reality of Ijok having, in his words, only 50-ish percent Malay/Muslims. If that composition was typical of the general composition of voters in Malaysia, that would make it rather difficult for PAS to achieve its aim of an Islamic Malaysia.
After posing that rhetorical question, he answered it by suggesting that PAS' strategy for gaining power would be to use PKR as a sort of ‘branch’ (my word, not his) for securing the non-Muslim votes. In other words, PAS intends to use PKR as a non-Islamic proxy to gain power, in the way the USA has been using Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other small Gulf nations to control the Middle-East oil.
It’s not easy being the Almighty when the prayers could contain so many different wishes and hopes to grant and support.
Well, KTemoc prays for a nice sunny day tomorrow with a cooling breeze, though bearing in mind it’s April, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone would be just transiting northwards through Malaysia, and thus some thundery showers may be possible in the late afternoon – see what I mean, the Almighty sure doesn't have an easy job.
But get your votes in early on Saturday if you want to avoid being wet, though this time, not by the US$40 per bottle Bling H2O.
STOP PRESS: No sooner than the Bling H20 was mentioned, when Jeff Ooi of Screenshots was reported in malaysiakini as saying PKR acting Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar had been hit in the face (specs broken) by a flying bottle of water in an incident allegedly involving some blokes in the uniform of BN Pemuda. Apparently those blokes had tried to prevent Khalid Ibrahim's car from leaving a function.
Friday, April 20, 2007
In the PKR’s campaign for the Ijok by-election there seems to be a concerted effort to attack the target - no, not Partiban, the BN candidate but – Najib Razak.
The issue of murdered Altantunya Shariibuu has been raised continuously, nay, relentlessly in attacks a la witch hunt against the DPM.
As one disgusted blogger, Aput of Vox, put it, personal insults are uncalled for in elections.
As much as I love our Alternative Front, bringing up personal issues from the opponent's leaders which have no connection whatsoever in the administration of the country, or even the district, is uncalled for.
In this case, the PKR's insistence of bringing up the case of bringing up the case of Altantuya Sharibuu.
There were so many other issues to bring up:
Aput gave several examples of more relevant issues like (1) the calculation of the Bumiputera equity percentage, (2) the amount of money going into the compensation of the companies involved in the Customs complex in Johor, (3) health, education, social ills in Ijok, toll concessionaire agreements, (4) oil and diesel prices, (5) improvement of public transportation. Has Ijok seen such improvements? (6) education and welfare - has Ijok been given it's fair share of such?
He continued: There are a million and one issues to be brought up. I can see no reason why PKR went on a witch hunt to go and attack our DPM. It's ridiculous.
I suspect also the voters in Ijok couldn’t care two stuff, and the Altantuya issue won’t influence their voting. So why has PKR hounded Najib, and in such coordinated effort that one wonders what is their motive?
In my posting Primary Target – Najib Razak! one month ago, I referred to Raja Petra Kamarudin’s posting about Najib's days being almost over.
In my posting I questioned RPK’s suggestion that there could be a SIL’s conjured conspiracy to get rid of Najib, by covert threat or overt criminal prosecution. I brought out a number of issues that demolished RPK’s theory [please read Primary Target – Najib Razak! for more]
As I had said/posted, all the anti-Najib noises thus far have come mainly from Anwar Ibrahim [and the PKR people], and speculations about sticky problems for Najib are posted on Malaysia-Today.
This was what I suspected:
Recently I have blogged on lots of Trojan Horses but there are other equine activities too – like horse trading. I could argue that I have detected signs of ‘overtures’ to AAB and SIL, but whether those attempted equine bartering ‘gestures’ have been perceived as ‘overtures’ … well … I can’t answer because I don’t have the connections that former insiders seem to have in abundance.
But this I can tell – that with election date just around the corner, someone’s getting frantic … for remember what I’ve said, it’s no bloody fun being in the Opposition, unless you’re Lim Kit Siang & Co.
Is the PKR campaigning more than about winning Ijok? Why has the witch hunt for Najib (and not other ministers or even AAB himself) been so relentless?.
After the nomination period ended at 10 am, supporters of BN’s K Parthiban and PKR’s Khalid Ibrahim decided to flaunt their V-2020 credentials by ‘exchanging’ bottled water, a traditional though modernised Malaysian custom.
In the old days, any handy loose chairs would do as piloting aspirants air-tested the furniture’s aerodynamic properties. But today, that’s really déclassé.
1st World affluence demands that only bottled water would do, and bearing in mind science’s advice that 1 litre of water weighs 1 hefty kilogram, flying missiles of 375 ml or even 750 ml unopened bottles could have devastating effect.
A supporter of one of the candidates was heard to have said “Take my Evian, you …. (censored) …”
The response was shockingly provocative: “Cheapskate – here’s my Glacia Nova … nah nah nah!”
Mount Franklins, Abbey Well, AQA, Adonis Heilwasser and our local Alpine were among many brands shown off and exchanged by wannabe test-pilots from both BN and PKR.
I heard those el-cheapo DAP blokes and lassies who were there stuck to JKR-juice in imitation Tupperware and refused to release the containers for launching, whilst PAS also refused to let go of their Al Ghadir (imported from Saudi Arabia). It would have been most disrespectful to fling away stuff imported from the Saudi nation.
The top find from the post-exchange debris was a Bling H2O (at US$40 for 750 ml, the most expensive bottled water in the world) but no one wanted to confess to ownership. A few Chap Tiga Kepala were also discovered, evidence to Najib Tun Razak’s glocalisation, but again, like the other end of the range Bling H2O, there were embarrassed reluctance to admit to their ownership.
Some shouts of “Korrupt” and “So-domee” were also offered but I was advised those were brands yet to be on the market. Again I was informed the third called “Al-Tan-toonya" (sounds like it’s from a joint Arab-Chinese company) wasn’t an East Asian or Middle-Eastern brand - yet anyway.
Hmmm, some blokes had the bloody nerve to cash in on the nomination day with early advertising for their wares.
Congratulations on your vision, Doctor, we certainly are 1st World Boleh even in our fracas.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Are you referring to the race in Ijok?
Yes, the whole cursed subject has
been nothing than about the race.
But why wouldn’t it, as you have
just said, that the race is on in Ijok.
Yes, but why raise race in a race,
when it shouldn’t be about race?
Kawan, you’ve gotten me confused
about the race in Ijok, that shouldn’t
be raised, as if it’s not a race at all;
if not, then what’s the race, pray tell.
My point is not to raise the race
in a race when we aren’t about race,
more so when we are beyond race.
We must erase any mention of race.
Besides, race shouldn’t be ‘pivotal’
as had been touted before in Johor.
Johor? So Machap was ‘pivotal’?
No, not Machap – that’s all over.
A bloke in Johor claimed his race
must be ‘pivotal’, no compromise!
OK, so is the race in Ijok ‘pivotal’?
Didn’t you say it’s a must-win race?
Yes, winning Ijok will be ‘pivotal’
for us, our future, but as for race,
no way, no - no race should ever be
‘pivotal’ – blast, now I’m confused too.
Er, OK then, race you to the kopitiam?
Mind you, they are not as virulently vitriolic as some at malaysiakini who have been tearing into me since I wrote a letter to rebut one part of Manjit Bhatia's article in malaysiakini which had lambasted the Chinese and Indians for not having the guts to be more visibly or even physically ‘committed’ to opposition politics.
I welcome those opposing opinions (in one case, a diatribe). I responded to their mauling of me (uhhh, Maidin, a little to the left please … uhhh, that’s it) in my follow-up letter to the online news portal.
Strangely enough (or should it be), it’s all about our favourite topic, ‘race’ and racial issues, with some people who have been concerned about and exploited the race factor claiming they’re above it. For example, there have been letters and comments criticising Indians members of PKR (or political observers) for turning the PKR candidate for the Ijok by-election into an issue of race.
Mind you, I was not spared as well though I am just an ikan bilis (small fry) of no significance in the general scheme of things.
OK, let's leave the issue of ‘race’ out of a constituency that’s split roughly 50:30:20 - see, just arithmetical ratio and no mention of the ‘R’ word ;-)
On the BN side, the plus and minuses:
- candidate is local boy made good
- humble beginnings (rubber tapper parents), blooming like a Chinese lotus by raising itself out of the muddy waters of his early years
- still politically untainted
- hugh BN resources behind him (money, government apparatus, media - yes, dodgy stuff but cold reality)
- big guns with cohorts in relentless campaigning, with (shameless) pork barrelling (of public money) to sweeten and motivate the voters
- some parts of electorate can’t tell difference between ruling party and government
- inexperienced, perhaps too young in some's eyes
- BN not popular in some sectors
- predecessor’s lacklustre performance (big problem here - the late bloke had his 4000 winning majority slashed to only one grand in last election)
- internal component party’s strife (sabotage?)
- unknown impact of Subramaniam and Thirumoorthy factors
On the PKR side, the plus and minuses:
(generally we can take the minuses of BN as plus here, and vice versa)
. high profile bloke
- PAS and DAP supporting, so cornering a wide range of political proclivity
- BN unpopular in some sectors
- Anwar Ibrahim factor
- Guthrie background raised by PSM (could be huge minus in eyes of some rubber tappers)
- internal party strife (see, no race mentioned)
- Anwar Ibrahim factor (yes, he’s both a plus and minus)
So, there you have the benefit of my amateurish appreciation of the situation. I feel that the ‘50’ could be split evenly in best case scenario for PKR; the ‘30’ would by logic go to the BN, but there are unhappiness in the BN just as there are in PKR – so perhaps 20-ish to BN with ‘10’ to PKR.
Now we come to those bloody uncommitted inscrutable factor, the ‘20’. I don’t know because I can’t read them. But Manjit Bhatia and his brigade would undoubtedly know, surely! ;-)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I have to admit I struggled a bit before I arrived at my final choice – too many wonderful places to go to, like Machu Picchu (for its mysterious temple), Egypt (for the pyramids and the temples and a cruise on the Nile during a full moon night), Turkey (for the ruins of Ilium or Troy), Nepal for a trek, etc.
Anyway, I finally decided I like to go to Mongolia first, to ride a powerful bike with a good mate across its virtually featureless flat steppes. We would start off in the East and cut across the world’s 2nd largest landlocked country, until we reach its highest mountain at its western border. Nayramadlin Orgil is 4374 metre high.
First thing first, we would have to pack our bikes with the basic necessities, like several cases of beer, half a dozen bottles of whiskeys (Cragganmore, hopefully), plus many bars of choc-ies (Cadbury of course) and a few kilos of wasabi-ed macadamia nuts.
here kitty kitty ... er ... I mean ... here dolly dolly (our dinner on the steppes)
Then we zoom off. To many, riding across the steppes may be boringly monotonous but we are a pair of whiskey/beer swilling ascetics, relishing the wide quiet immense open space with no concerned girlfriends to caution our imbibing - hah, no sound except the roars of our bikes which soon merge into the greater silence.
Here and there we see horses. They look wryly at us, but only momentarily, as we are just two noisy asses. Apparently, Mongolia has the most number of horses per head of population in the world. Then there are the typical animals of the desert/steppe people – sheep, Bactrian camels (two humps), yaks (I wonder how they taste?), the occasional eagle or hawk floating in the blue all-too-bright sky, assessing us as potential carcasses (marinated with alcohol and cocoa beans).
Two-thirds of the year, Mongolia enjoys or suffers from cloudless skies.
Perhaps after a week or so into our ride, we too, like the roaring of our bikes (the loads much lighter by now as some fluid in the bottles had ‘evaporated’ over the days), merge seamlessly into the deep silence of the seemingly endless steppes. We must be at ONE with the universe, the yang and the yin in perfect harmony and becoming the TAO.
Then, in this metaphysical state, it may well be that a slight shimmering occurs, giving me a mild but brief sensation of prickliness as if I have been affected by some kind of electronic flux – and without realising it, I appear to have passed through some form of invisible gate into a new dimension - a gate not unlike Stargate but related to time rather than space.
Suddenly I sense someone beside me, and glancing to my left I see him, a warrior on his horse galloping just beside my bike. He carries a bow slung across his back, while a sword nestles by his side. But a few seconds later, there are two of them, the second rider a smaller figure.
I stare rudely at them, but focussing on the second rider as I become more and more aware of the lovely curves beneath, and despite, the thick sheep skin clothing. Immediately KTemoc slows down, allowing Ray to shoot ahead oblivious to my new companions from a different time. Soon I bring the bike to a halt and the man rides up to me and leaps down from his steed.
He starts talking to me in Khalkha Mongolian. Strangely I can understand him. He says: “Welcome to Mongolia, stranger on strange noisy steed.”
Being shy (as well as dumb) I remain silent with my mouth wide agape like a landed fish in a landlocked country.
Then, she too walks up to me and smiles: “I am Sarantsatsral.”
“Sarantsatsral?” I coo like a lovesick yak! “What does it mean?”
Musically she responds “Moonbeam”
Oh, her smile lights up even the already bright Mongolian day.
“This is my uncle, Temujin. Some call him Chinggis.”
Gulp! Genghis Khan! Good grief, this man murders, loots and plunders all the way to the Rhine in Europe. And I am making eyes at his niece!
Chinngis glares at me and says “KTemoc, stop bloody dreaming and let’s move on or we won’t make the village before nightfall.”
I snap my head around and there’s Ray impatiently revving his steed … er … I mean bike.
I whip my head back but they are no longer there.
“Hey Ray, the steppe’s immense silence and vast emptiness are getting to me. I thought for a while I went back into time, you know, sort of like what-his-name, that Michael Fox character …?”
Ray smiles and says “Those moonbeams from last night getting into your head, mate? You need some fluid? Yeah, get yourself rehydrated”, and he roars off.
Moonbeam … hmmm … Sarantsatsral …!
Yes, Mongolia sounds just perfect for my next holiday.***
photos (except for Moonbeam) from someone who emailed them around to show off his or her Mongolian holidays - boy, was I envious ... grrr
Proposition : Where do you want to go Next, OUTSIDE OF YOUR COUNTRY, for tourism, work, study, whatever.
You must register for MyBloglog so we can blogwalk … (I must still get Lucia to explain this bit to me)
Quantity : FIVE PEOPLE.
Tag Mode : Chain Link. 15 of them.You leave 15 people and their DEEP LINK of their Blog Name and TAGGED POST and hit out for five more. So it will look like:
Lucia Lai likes to go to Perth
adam likes to go to mecca
Doris for the Carribean Islands
Azrin going Down Under
MaRLinda in Disneyland Paris
Athira Baby and her Balamory Antics
Msau to Japan
*Add in the blog you get the tags from and tagged post*
I will tag - no obligations, as Lucia said ... but of course if you do take it up, thanks - if you don't, I may have to send Lucia to kill you ;-) or I'll sob ...
I pick for this writing exercise - am leaving this blank until they respond
But as I mentioned, PKR is now striving for survival, credibility and renewed morale, the last of which is at an all time low, after its pinup boy had failed to make any impact in three elections, namely the by-election in Pengkalan Pasir while campaigning for PAS, the Sarawak state elections and recently the by-election in Machap in his campaign for the DAP.
Therefore it has abandoned its claimed ideology and principles for expediency in selecting a high profile Malay to capitalise on the Malay majority in Ijok.
Most visitors to my posting Ijok Indians racially marginalised by PKR? seemed to agree with my assessment that the principal aim, the urgent priority of survival, for PKR is to win, and if fielding a candidate at the expense of putting its multiethnic credentials into question, and offending its Indian supporters, so be it – that seems to be the higher policy.
But PKR is now in serious damage control. Its president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail unfortunately made it worse by saying that “race was not a factor in the decision to field party treasurer Khalid Ibrahim”.
Of course it has been!
I would have omitted that and just focused on her second explanation, which was “Khalid was chosen based on eligibility and the party believes that he is the best person to represent the people in this constituency.”
PKR bigwig and a personal buddy of Anwar Ibrahim, Nallakarupan had also been touted as a possible PKR candidate. He put on a brave face to hide his personal disappointment and did the honourable thing by supporting Khalid’s candidacy and pledged to campaign for him.
Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who was also present at the ceremony of naming the PKR candidate, endorsed Khalid’s candidacy and promised his party president Abdul Hadi Awang and spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat will come to the ground to campaign.
But Dr Chandra Bose accused the PKR of giving in to PAS in selecting a Malay candidate because he alleged that PAS had warned it would only support PKR if the latter fields a Malay.
Why is the party not keen on fielding an Indian candidate? Is it because the party cannot locate a capable Indian leader or is it because it does not want to disappoint PAS? Apparently, PAS has made it known to PKR that it would only support a Malay candidate and not a non-Malay one. This kind of attitude on the part of PAS clearly reveals the hypocrisy and contradictions of PAS, a supposedly universal champion of Islam.
If PKR prioritises winning in Ijok by placing a Malay candidate, then there is no strong evidence to indicate that a Malay candidate fielded would be able to win. Furthermore, there is no evidence to indicate that an Indian candidate would lose the election. Given this, it appears that PKR and some of its leaders have succumbed to the cheap thrill of racism at the expense of its multi-racial slogan. The possible decision to deny an Indian candidate seems to represent the continuing practice of PKR to deny Indians an opportunity in the party to contest in elections.
That feeling of ‘marginalisation’ that I alluded to in my previous posting!
[…] blah blah blah so on so forth
He ended by stating: Ijok will be another tragic event for the party if it does not address the problem of Indian participation and contest.
PKR must now win or lose more than just Ijok. Maybe it already has!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Paul Wolfowitz has been the man (or one of them) who insisted on invading and occupying Iraq, even long before President Bush (junior) entered the White House. He has been a principal member of an American rightwing think-tank, Project for the New American Century, which had advocated the full exploitation of America’s sole superpower status (after the former USSR collapsed) to dominate and control various things, including the world’s reserves of oil.
The US Senate Committee on Intelligence found that when 9/11 occurred, Wolfowitz called for the attack and invasion of Iraq. 9/11 must have been the excuse he had been looking for to convince a new and fairly clueless president to launch Gulf War II, but this time all the way to Baghdad to occupy it.
It did take a little while for his wish to happen but there we have it today, the present chaos of Iraq. Political analysts said when the Iraqi occupation went sour, he was quietly promoted out of the Bush Administration into the powerful position of World Bank president. Cronyism doesn’t exist only in Malaysia Boleh.
By tradition and reality of who’s providing the most cash for the World Bank, the appointment of the organisation’s president is always an American nominee of the US government. But his appointment encountered many opponents in the bank, including American bank officials, because of his role as the major proponent for the war in Iraq. They feared that Wolfowitz would implement the Bush Administration's policies on aid, rather than represent the views of the World Bank's members.
His performance thus far has been under severe crticism because he was more hellbent on countering corruption related to World Bank loans than to facilitate loans for needy nations.
But Mr Anti-Corruption had no hesitation in ordering a very hefty but dodgy sweetheart pay rise and promotion for his own sweetheart partner, Shaha Riza, a senior World Bank employee. The promotion and pay rise were not approved by the relevant Bank committee. ‘Twas a case of what Malaysians would term ‘cakap ta’serupa bikin’ or not walking his own anti-corruption talk.
The Bank’s top officials want him to show some decency and resign but he has refused, knowing President Bush would continue to support him.
He was asked whether he could still effectively force the bank's big borrowers to tackle corruption as a pre-condition for them receiving funds. But instead of answering that, Wolfowitz insisted he would not resign.
The bank's development committee issued a statement, which said it was crucial for the member nations of the bank to "ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate and maintain its credibility and reputation as well as the motivation of its staff"
What many of the bank's finance ministers' are saying is that Wolfowitz should resign or be sacked.
It's like saying (very much in vain) that Bush and his cohorts, or Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon, should be tried for war crimes in the same way as they had tried Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milošević.
Power sucks and absolute power sucks absolutely.
Monday, April 16, 2007
PKR is likely to nominate a Malay candidate, Khalid Ibrahim, for the Ijok by-election. The PKR Youth vice-chief S Manikavasagam has expressed his unhappiness, pointing out a couple of things to the PKR top echelon, namely (1) notwithstanding that Ijok is a constituency with 50% Malay voters, the Barisan Nasional (BN) is fielding an Indian candidate, so why not PKR? and (2) Khalid Ibrahim is a political ‘parachutist’, having just joined the party less than a year ago while there are capable PKR Indian members who have been in PKR for years and could well be the nominated candidate for the by-election.
So, is PKR nothing more than a clone of the BN playing ethnic politics, or perhaps even worse because the BN will be putting up an MIC nominee?
On the surface I would say yes, and even point out that the PKR is afterall a splinter disgruntled branch of UMNO.
However, while there’s no doubt the PKR leaders are relying on Khalid Ibrahim’s ethnicity to win over the majority of Ijok’s voters, there may be more reasons, in fact with the urgency of a ‘survival’ matter.
(1) PKR has fared bloody badly in both the last general election and last year in the Sarawak state elections, by comparison to its now-convenient ally, the DAP.
(2) Its Wonder Boy hasn’t achieved anything notable in three campaigns, namely Pengkalan Pasir for PAS, Sarawak for itself and recently Machap for the DAP. Anwar Ibrahim’s political attractiveness is now in serious question.
(3) To shore up its supporters' morale and to gain some leverage for seats bargaining with the DAP soon, it must win the Ijok seat or it will see its terminal illness becoming final.
(4) It has decided that the same formula used in the 2000 Lunas by-election, that is, putting a Malay candidate against an MIC candidate in a Malay majority seat, would be the best and perhaps only option.
But perhaps it may be worthwhile reminding ourselves of what Premesh had written about the Lunas by-election:
Some suggest that the key factor for PKR’s win then was the fielding of a Malay candidate against MIC’s S Anthonysamy which brought a crucial swing of Malay votes.
However, as the then deputy president of PKR, Chandra Muzzafar wrote, it was no single factor but several that came together to produce such as dramatic swing.
These included strong dissatisfaction among the Chinese as they watched BN backtracking on 1999 election promises and anger against then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad among the Malays.
However, the victory did have its price, especially among Indian voters. As Chandra noted, "… in wake of the squabble over the Lunas seat, a serious mis-perception has developed about PKR's commitment to the interests and aspirations of the Indian minority. As a multiethnic, multireligious party devoted to justice and dignity for each and every community, PKR will have to address this issue".
Well, will the Chinese in Ijok play ball? Let’s see what Tian Chua and the DAP (which has offered to help campaign) can do? But I don’t suppose Dr Mahathir will oblige by making 'noise' prior to the Ijok day of election.
But already, dark thoughts are looming in the Indian section of the PKR. Those poor Indians feel marginalised not only by the government and the Gerakan, but now in PKR also.
The only silver lining for PKR is that over in the MIC, the pre-nomination squabble has also begun.