Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I'm sure we know what's happening to the people of Gaza right now. In case you don't, be aware that Israeli armed forces deputy chief of staff Brigadier General Dan Harel has boasted to the press: After this operation there will not be a single Hamas building left standing in Gaza, and we plan to change the rules of the game.
But Australia’s award-winning journalist, Paul McGeough, who specialized in Middle-East political affairs, warned that such Israeli tactics would be in vain. He penned in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Hamas is not a bricks-and-mortar organization. Virtually its entire leadership was underground for the attacks, and a good number of the dead would be better described as suburban policemen desperate to earn a few dollars than as the hard-core, ideologically committed men of Hamas's Al-Qassam military wing.
Also clouded in the dust of war is the state of Hamas's arsenal of rockets, some of which have been reaching more than 30 kilometres into Israel. Likewise the tunnels from Egypt which Hamas uses for supplies. Israel claims to have bombed about 40 of them; most reports talk of more than 100 such tunnels.
Hence the caution when Mark Regev, spokesman for the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, told reporters: "The Hamas military machine is still there. It is still formidable. This is not a time for any kind of euphoria. This could get worse before it gets better."
McGeough went as far as to predict that:
The risk for Israel is that Hamas will emerge from this engagement much as Hezbollah did in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 2006 - seen by many as the victor, if only because it withstood Israel's 34-day onslaught; and more powerfully placed politically in the aftermath of the war.
McGeough also quoted renowned analyst on Middle-East military affairs, Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, where the latter expressed doubts on whether Israel has learnt from its own history of frustration.
Cordesman told The Washington Post: By now Israel should have realised that [this kind of attack] rarely has any decisive effect.
At best you get another faltering ceasefire, and then the whole thing begins again. Both sides have been escalating to nowhere. Every time this kind of violence breaks out, it becomes harder to move forward.
In fact al Fatah spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi - winner of the 2003 Sydney peace Prize (objected to like sh*t by Australian Jews but rebuffed by former Labour NSW Premier Bob Carr, husband of former Malaysian Anne Helena John Carr) - warned:
This will enhance the standing of Hamas. People are sympathising with Hamas as the people who are being ruthlessly targeted by Israel. They are seen as victims of ongoing Israeli aggression.
The leadership of Israel know that historically such Israeli attacks on Hamas had been unproductive, and as Anthony Cordesman said, with very little effect on the Palestinian organization, apart from endearing Hamas more with the Palestinians.
Why then would the Israelis re-commit such an error?
The official reason given for the disproportionate air attacks, with even a threat of a ground invasion, has been the rocket attacks across the Gazaan borders.
Now, that’s true, but those rockets attacks have been no different to what had been conducted before, prior to the ceasefire and even before that. So why the current show of feral and disproportionate aggression?
The true answer is obscenely perverse – yes, obscenely perverse!
It’s all to do with the coming Israeli election, where the leading prime ministerial candidate (as predicted by the polls) is Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party. The Likud is the offspring party of the old terrorist group, the Irgun, which had among its members, the bigoted father of Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff for Barack Obama.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak of the Labour Party and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of Kadima (a splinter party of Likud), are both also vying for the PM post. It wouldn't do for them to be seen as 'soft' or 'complacent' in comparison to the jaguh on steroids, Netanyahu.
So the launching of the current Holocaust against the Palestinians of Gaza, with its wanton and criminally indiscriminate killing of women and children as well, and senseless bombing of civilian populated areas, have been a show of ‘siapa jaguh’ to the Israeli voters.
Methinks, secondary to the political directives (and secret objectives), the armed forces also want to recover its badly dented credentials after the pathetic showing against the Hezbollahs in the last war against Lebanon.
Thus both politicians and the military all want to, need to bash the Palestinian punching bag for their self interests.
But Ehud Olmert (in a last hurrah of hopeful glory before he leaves his PM post in ignominy), Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are all guilty of obscene grandstanding murder of Gaza Palestinians in a Holocaust where this time the Israelis are the neo-Nazis.
So ... we see the regional superpower with its massive American equipped armanents endeavoring to annihilate the Palestinians with their primitive home-made rockets ... all as warmup entertainment for the Israeli elections.
Their conduct has been collectively made easy by two factors, (1) the Israeli racist disdain for the Palestinians (viewed as untermenschen or subhumans by the Israeli, ironically as the Nazis considered the Jews as untermenschen - it's like slaughtering sheep, so what's the big deal) and (2) the blind backing of the US.
Don’t be mistaken that the Israelis are like your ‘turn the other cheek’ lovey-dovey Christians. These people are Taliban-ishly feral and racist, as they always have been since the biblical days depicted in the Old Testament.
As 1 Kings 11:15-16 tells us:
For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom;
For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off* every male in Edom.
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the rightful heir of Isaac. He was cheated of his inheritance by his younger brother Jacob. Jacob, the father of all Jews, lied to and deceitfully cheated his father so as to steal his brother’s inheritance and his father’s blessing (meant for Esau).
King David, the Israelis’ greatest hero, inherited his ancestor's conduct of stealing by deceit, and stole his general’s wife while the general was at war for his king. David then deliberately sent Uriah, the cuckold general into battle to die so as to cover up the adulterous pregnancy of the general’s wife.
Today the descendants of Jacob and David continue to deceitfully steal from their Abrahamic cousins, the Arab Palestinians.
Alas, the change of guards in the White House is unlikely to bring about any fresh hope for the Palestinians, not with a biased neocon Zionist Chief of Staff influencing Barack Obama as had the neocon Zionist (1st and 2nd) Bush Administration led George W Bush by his nose* to do Israel's bidding.
* so just where the f* is Bush's promised road map to peace for a Palestinian State in 2008?
There was a time when many sympathetic to the long suffering Palestinians like me would have accepted an Israel within the 1967 borders, but after witnessing the current neo-Nazi like conduct of the Israelis in killing Palestinians indiscriminately as their ancestors did the Edomites, maybe it’s time to accept that the Middle-East would be better off without the Israelis there.
There won’t ever be any peace but more senseless killings on both sides so long as the Israelis insist on denying the Palestinian their identity and land (apart from continuously stealing them in Jacob-ite deceitful fashion). No Palestinian will ever accept an Israeli imposed Bantustan, which has been the reason for the Hamas’ and indeed Fatah’s struggle against the children of Jacob.
Come to think of it, in the USA (perhaps somewhere in the Nevada desert or Utah salt lakes) there could be a good new ‘Israel’ for those neo-Nazis. Let the Yanks deal with the new ‘Hebrews’ they love – after all, America can easily absorb 6 million Israelis into their already thriving 5.
And following that biblical quote from 1 Kings, let’s end with another quote from 2 Kings 8:21-22
So Jehoram went to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke by night; his army, however, fled back home.
To this day, Edom has been in rebellion against Judah. Libnah revolted at the same time.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Bloke has left UMNO to join PAS. He was the former division leader of Umno Petaling Jaya Selatan.
Would he be considered as a frog? kaytee opines a definite 'no' as Zahar doesn't hold any parliamentary or DUN seat.
One would only be considered a frog if one deceives the voters into voting for one's candidature as that from Party A, but subsequently absconding with that mandate to party B. Slimy deceitful a$$h()le.
Well, Zahar doesn't fit into this category. In fact he has done the correct thing to change political party now (for whatever reasons, which are for him and only him to decide) when he is neither a MP or ADUN.
PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa has been rapt with Zahar's enlightened jump. Nasharuddin said: "He is with us now to defend the race, religion and nation."
Alhamdulillah, bangsa, agama dan negara sekarang tambah selamat kukuh.
And it's noteworthy that of UMNO's (hitherto monopolised) 3 cornerstones, PAS has adopted the first one, bangsa over the agama and the negara.
Indeed, Alhamdulillah! Praise be to the Almighty that once again, PAS has shown to us its true
At least with UMNO, WYSIWYG warts and all, but with PAS, now you see it (the supranationalistic supra-ethnic Islamic principles), now you don't - wakakaka.
I had also blogged on Zahar’s attack against the Eurocopter deal some two months ago in Eurocopter Cougar deal - Malaysiakini's pre-emptive 'clawing'?
I had then written:
This evening Malaysiakini publishes Letter questions 'shady' chopper deal, with PKR and pro PKR bloggers happily swarming the blogosphere with accusations that Najib had signed a shady deal ... again?
Needless to say, G.A.N would be ecstatic!
And the chief accuser of the alleged 'shady' deal has been Capt (rtd) Zahar Hashim, chairperson of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the company which didn’t succeed in its bid to supply TUDM with the replacement aircraft for the Nuris.
Needless to say, as the loser in the bid, he has cause plus the legitimate reason to challenge the Defence Ministry’s decision to opt for the Eurocopter’s Cougar. In the USA and Europe, aircraft companies which lost aircraft bids would raise Cain because the loss would be quantified in terms of billions of dollars. […]
I believe that Malaysiakini has been too quick to describe the purchase of the Eurocopter Cougar with words and phrases like ‘shady’ and ‘another scandal appears to be hovering over the Defence Ministry’, based on just the complaints of the chairperson of the losing company.
No doubt Mentari Services Sdn Bhd has a legitimate business reason to voice its grouses, but nonetheless they have been the complaints of an unsuccessful bidder to supply the TUDM with the Kazan 172, a Russian designed helicopter.
But in Malaysiakini's most recent report on a man who complained about the Eurocopter saga I did wonder about the online news' use of the term ‘whistleblower’.
According to the dictionary, a whistleblower is (usually though not necessary) an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer or other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency …
But should Zahar Hashim as a (undoubtedly disgruntled) loser in a competition to sell military helicopters to the Malaysian military be termed a whistleblower?
It undeservedly provides him with a righteous crusading sheen which I feel is yet to be proven, and thus yet to be earned.
And who’s to say that there was anything wrong in the selection of Eurocopter over the Russian designed Kazan 172?
As I had blogged in Eurocopter Cougar deal - Malaysiakini's pre-emptive 'clawing'?: "I believe that Malaysiakini has been too quick to describe the purchase of the Eurocopter Cougar with words and phrases like ‘shady’ and ‘another scandal appears to be hovering over the Defence Ministry’, based on just the complaints of the chairperson of the losing company."
Unfortunately the term ‘whistleblower’ prematurely implies there was.
Sure, Zahar as a business competitor has every right to complained as I wrote in my post. But I believe the more appropriate term, if at all Malaysiakini needs a catchy term to describe him in a news headline, would be ‘sour grapes’.
And in the world of military purchases, which may run into billions, (if I may be allowed to paraphrase William Congreve in his play 'The Mourning Bride'), hell hath no fury like a sour grape loser in a tender.
Of course there’s nothing wrong in being a sour grape loser and to whinge and whine over the competition but we need to recognize that probability, thus I would say Zahar has yet to merit the title of whistleblower.
I trust the journalists at Malaysiakini can see the difference, and avoid repeating their preemptive attack on the choice of the Eurocopter, this time through the inappropriate employment of the term ‘whistleblower’.
And congratulations to PAS on their prize catch - mudah-mudahan, inshaallah, Zahar Hashim will play a sterling perwira-ish role in defending PAS' ideology of (yang diutamakan) race, and then religion and nation.
Friday, December 26, 2008
It started its alternative Christmas broadcast in 1993 and since then, have had personalities like Jesse Jackson, Brigitte Bardot and cartoon character Marge Simpson among others deliver the message of peace.
This year it invited Iranian president President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad began his Christmas Day address (speaking in Farsi of course) by congratulating Christians and the people of Britain on the anniversary of the birth of Christ.
Like other politicians or world leaders, he of course had a political message, stating: "If Christ were on Earth today, undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers."
Do you see anything outrageously wrong with that?
Then, continuing, he said: "If Christ were on Earth today, undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over."
Aiyah, maybe I am just a simple-minded person, but quite frankly I do not any ominous subtext or aggression in his statement of Christ as a personality of peace. Surely what he imagined Christ to be, would be agreed by most righteous-thinking (and unbiased) Christians
In his message, Ahmadinejad blamed society's problems on humanity's rejection of religion but predicted Christ would return ‘with one of the children of the revered Messenger of Islam and will lead the world to love, brotherhood and justice’.
You may disagree with his specifics but do you sense or read anything wrong in his statement where he hopes ‘Christ would return ‘with one of the children of the revered Messenger of Islam and will lead the world to love, brotherhood and justice’?
Then he concluded with "I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity, peace and brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success and happiness."
Once again, I fail to see anything wrong in his conclusion to his speech, even if he is Ahmadinejad!
Whitehall (Britain's Foreign Office) saw fit to condemn the speech. Why, you may well ask?
... because the Israel's ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, called it a "scandal and a national embarrassment", while some Jewish groups criticized it.
Ta'makan cabai, ta’rasa pedas, kan?
Whitehall attempted to explain why it had condemned Ahmadinejad. It said: "President Ahmadinejad has during his time in office made a series of appalling anti-Semitic statements. The British media are rightly free to make their own editorial choices, but this invitation will cause offence and bemusement not just at home but amongst friendly countries abroad."
Yet ... everyone knows Israel (OT version or current one) had been and is the most racist country in the world.
Let’s not describe any of those racists in Israel - admittedly not all Israelis are racists but many of their leaders are, for example like, Uzi Cohen – please read my older post Heil Uzi Cohen! Sieg Heil! blogged at BolehTalk.
(1) President Carter on Israeli Supremacist Racism
(2) What happened to British 'Freedom of Expression'?
(3) Jewish Goose, but no Arabic Gander
(4) Israel & Palestine - a study in western hypocrisy & bias
(5) None So Blind!
Let’s just look at an American (or I think he is one) - Barack Obama’s newly appointed White House Chief of Staff (Democratic Congressman) Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel was born in Chicago and the son of a former Israeli. The father of Obama’s Chief of Staff is a pediatrician who was a member of the Irgun, the Jewish resistance group in Palestine, before the War of Independence in 1948.
That’s the religious-racist-terrorist party from which Likud sprang from, and which Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon (before he formed his own Kadima), Benjamin Netanyahu and Olmert Ehud belong or belonged to.
Unlike all other Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, Rahm Emanuel (together with a US Jewish senator, Joe Lieberman) supported the joint resolution authorizing the war in Iraq.
... I suspect, for dear old Israel's interests (so what, and who cares if that wasn't in US' interests).
Rahm Emmanuel’s father, with his Irgun background, couldn’t help being racist even till today. When asked about his son’s influence on the incoming US President, he stated arrogantly to the Israeli newspaper Ma'Ariv, “Obviously, he’ll influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to be mopping floors at the White House.”
… compare all these Israeli racism to Ahmadinejad’s Christmas message.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
But will he?
Afterall, this man has still hutang the public his promised disciplining of Zul Nordin, the Kulim Wonder, so how dare we expect him to publicly commit himself on this far more serious matter?
Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a Penang-based academician, opined that the Pakatan Rakyat is in danger of a break-up if the PAS-DAP imbroglio over PAS' insistence on implementing Hudud laws in a PR Islamic state continues ..... naturally to the immense delight of UMNO and the rest of BN (particularly MCA and Gerakan).
Dr Siva may well be pissing into the wind when he urged the PKR de facto leader to intervene.
And Dr Siva certainly hit the nail on the head when he stressed that the Pakatan premier-designate cannot afford to sweep the contentious issue under the carpet.
Er … he hit the nail on the head in stating Anwar cannot afford to act dunno.
As for ‘premier-designate’ … wakakaka ... for one frightening moment I though Dr Siva was the MP for Padang Serai, Gobalakrishnan of PKR, who let us know he stopped millions of buses carrying billions of phantom voters for his 'beloved leader' during the Permatang Pauh by-election (see Malaysiakini 'phantom' buses stopped, MP and sons arrested), and ...
... who during the PKR general assembly called for a round of applause in praise of Anwar Ibrahim even after Mr Man Man Lai couldn't explain his vain boast of 916 – wakakaka.
Watch out lah, Koh Tsu Koon, you have a PKR clone of you liao wakakakakakaka.
Dr Siva said the PAS-DAP public stoush over an Islamic-state and hudud laws would not have occurred if the Pakatan leadership had defined and agreed on the coalition’s common causes and objectives.
He lamented that Anwar had failed to establish a common policy on political governance and social-economic development in Pakatan-administered states.
Well, my dear doctor, Anwar has been rather absorbed in his frantic attempts to wrestle rule through party defections that he has naturally ignored the development of good coalition policies.
Even in Parliament it had been left to Lim Kit Siang to perform magnificently as the de facto opposition leader, as Dean Johns, Malaysiakini columnist had observed.
Alas, Anwar couldn’t even be present at Parliament recently to receive Jerit’s memorandum, whereas Lim KS was there to lend morale support to those intrepid cyclists.
The poor cyclists had pedalled hundreds of kilometres to deliver the symbolic message to him and the PM, yet he couldn't even make the short journey to Parliament.
Despite my criticisms of Anwar Ibrahim for his lack of focus on good opposition political responsibilities (unlike Uncle Lim), I still hope he can do something to stop the PAS-DAP public stoush, or we might as well kiss the concept of PR goodbye.
But I have my doubts about this so-called leader who certainly has the talent but lacks the commitment to be opposition leader (because he has his own agenda).
If he has been truly serious about the PR, he would have immediately disciplined the thug in his party but he has shown thus far he lacks the balls or the inclination to do that.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Kamaruddin B Omar, who moved from Selangor to Sabah in 1972 after marrying a Sabahan, has been so pissed off with the rampant illegal migration into Sabah by workers as far away as India that he lodged his third, yes, third report yesterday in Kota Kinabalu, ...
... about the ridiculous increase in the number of illegal workers, who were able to secure Malaysian personal documents illegally.
He said: "I lodged the police report so that the police, National Registration Department, Immigration Department and the Home Affairs Minister will conduct investigations and arrest all the Indian immigrants and other illegal immigrants who have obtained ICs illegally."
"I was threatened with bodily harm after my first two police reports and shifted my business to Lahad Datu because there were too many illegals in Telupid."
Kamaruddin made his report after an incident less than 2 weeks ago when he found the locks to his restaurant in Lahad Datu had been changed without notice by the owner of the premises to deny him entry. He believed he is being harassed for whistle-blowing (making ‘noise’) about the illegal immigrants.
Abdul Mutalib B Mohamed, a blogger and an anti-illegal-immigrant activist, who has written six books on the issuance of Malaysian personal documents illegally in Sabah, commented on Kamaruddin’s chagrin at the ease of the 'illegals' in obtaining official identification documentations, saying:
"Kamaruddin is frustrated by the fact that despite being Malaysian and married to a Sabahan (for more than 35 years), he was unable to obtain permanent residence status in the state while he saw with his own eyes how foreigners from India were issued with MyKads."
According to the Malaysiakini chart on Sabah’s population boom, the numbers in the State in the last thirty years went ballistic, from a mere 637,000 to 2,450,000, a Godzilla-ish growth of 285%.
Tongkat Ali? Jamu cap Jayanegara (Kala Gemet)?
But hang on, you ain’t seen nothing yet, because Sinchew has just reported in its China, Indonesia, Korea: Millions Face Job Losses In Asia that Indonesia is expecting to lay off at least 1.5 million workers due to the global recession.
Forget about China and Korea – their 'iilegals' won’t get in to Malaysia in large numbers, but those 1.5 million Indons and more from India will.
I bet you those millions (from Indon and India and of course, southern Philippines) will be swarming into what they believe to be still a thriving Malaysia.
I dare say most Malaysians won’t be able to compete with them in their willingness to work for a pittance. And I just dread to think of the crime rates, not just from these illegal immigrants but from the Malaysian jobless.
Will we have the strategy, policies, plans and tactics to deal with this expected influx of illegal immigrant workers.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
What a f*-up decision!
In case you don’t know, the IJN (Institute Jantung Negara) is the National Heart Institute.
Currently the Finance Ministry owns and finances the IJN. And if Malaysia does well in anything, it’s in the IJN and its services. It's the leading medical heart centre in the region.
But DPM Najib, who’s also Finance Minister, has given the green light for its privatisation. Sime Darby is the conglomerate which will acquire a stake in IJN …
and undoubtedly … and eventually ... swallow it up completely!
… which means the publicly owned IJN will be PRIVATELY owned.
And in the private sector, its services will be provided at more than cost recovery. Aiyah, bizness lah, gotta make a ringgit or two … more likely three or more.
In making the privatization announcement Najib stressed that Sime Darby must ensure high priority for the poor.
Yea right, everyone knows that Sime Darby is just a charitable organization!
Malaysiakini also reported that Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, echoing the future PM, said that the government would continue to regulate fees at IJN even if it was to be privatised, to ensure patients would not be overcharged.
What poppycock, just like they regulate the highway toll fees!
What Lim Guan Eng, the Penang CM, said of the government's announcement is true, that the privatisation of the IJN will eventually deny the poor affordable access to the facility.
IJN, the Heart Institute will become a ‘heartless' organization.
As reported by Malaysiakini, Lim wasn’t unconstructive as he proposed that:
… there was nothing wrong if the government considered generating revenue from the IJN or tried to run the institute like a private enterprise. The main thing was that the specialist hospital must remain under the government control ..… the public would want a medical centre ‘that is filled with love’ and ‘should continue to be a centre with a heart for the people.
Spot on, Lim!
I feel that there are certain facilities the government must never privatize …….. such as:
... water (watch out for those huge French and British water conglomerates),
... armed forces (no Yankee Blackwater please),
... emergency services (we certainly don’t want ambulance people checking our wallets for documentary evidence of private health insurance before accepting our badly injured bodies for transfer to hospitals),
IJN should be one of these non-negotiable public institutes.
Now, here's a good cause to protest for ..... to ensure future generations of poorer Malaysians with congenital heart problems won't be denied access to this public institute.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Malaysiakini reported that Selangor CPO, Khalid Abu Bakar, said “the police stopped a team of more than 50 riders in Jerit's ‘Ride for Change' campaign in Rawang yesterday in order to save under-aged cyclists from being exploited.”
'... in order to save under-aged cyclists from being exploited ...'? wakakaka
Apparently 28 out of the 50 cyclists apprehended were under the age of 18 – hey man, for f* sake lah, when I was 17 I had already started working to support my family. At this age we shouldn't be considered as kiddies anymore
Leaving aside my personal experience (and probably those of zillions of teenagers like me who were from families which needed cash badly to survive) this revelation would have under normal circumstances sounded rather terrible, where we learnt that teenagers have been involved with political rallies (no doubt of a cycling kind) instead of studying … but
… no one really gives a sh*t about what the CPO said … because the bloke is so deeply distrusted, disliked and despised by many people.
But put that antipathy for the CPO aside too ..... in truth, I notice that there has been a growing tendency to use (or take along) very very young ones to political rallies and other including young kiddies in some candlelight vigils [eg. the one in Penang recently], following a rally or sending a subteen sweetheart to present the PM with bouquets of roses and whatnot.
I personally don’t approve of putting such tender sweeties in harm’s way, especially more so with the known notoriety of our dear police.
I believe the parents of those kids so ‘assigned’ or taken along have been either very naïve or quite irresponsible.
While I support protest rallies including candlelight vigils on principles of freedom of expressions, I don't the misuse, unwitting or otherwise, of children for political posturing.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Harris in this case is Harris Salleh, former (6th) CM of Sabah, and current proponent of Ketuanan Melayu.
You want to know more about him? Read this and this ;-)
So what did this man say?
Malaysiakini reported: Former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Mohd Salleh said he believes in retrospect that Umno lost its moorings in 1987 when under party president and premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
When he was the CM he was bodek-ing Dr M (then PM) like hell, Mount-Kinabalu-ishly ampu-ing the Old Man up so high until the latter's two feet couldn't even reach or touch the soils of Sabah wakakaka; and now he criticized Dr M?
Then according to Malaysiakini he said: More than this, there is public perception that money politics, corruption and mismanagement are rife in Umno and the federal government.
Harris Salleh piously pontificating about the evils of money politics?
There's more on what Malaysiakini has reported on Harris Salleh's recommended 'reforms' for UMNO, but I better stop lah before I die of laughing.
Oh, 'reforms'! Now where was it I heard this word before?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The last witness of that day of British infamy, 77-year old Tham Yong, said of how the Malaysian My Lai occurred. Malaysiakini reported:
"The soldiers came in the evening as we were preparing our meal," said the elderly lady, who because of surgery for her throat cancer has to press closed a hole in her throat in order to speak.
"They rounded us all up and we were terrified," she said.
"Even though we said we were not communists and we had no weapons, they killed one of the young men in cold blood in front of my eyes because he had a permit to collect durians, written in Chinese."
"I think the British soldiers must have thought it was a communist document," she said.
"The soldiers then told him to run away but he didn't want to, but they pushed him and when he did run, they shot him from the back."
Tonight I am not going to blog on the well-known massacre, already acknowledged by some of the Scots Guards participants themselves and the British press, but ignored by the British (conservative government and subsequent) government, and sadly even by our own Malaysian government.
It’s that statement by Tham Yong about the British troops killing one of the young (unarmed) men in cold blood in front of her eyes just because the victim had a permit to collect durians, but fatally for him, written in Chinese.
She thought that the orang putih soldiers murdered him because they thought the durian picking permit being in Chinese must be a communist document.
... all because of a document in the Chinese language.
Guilty until proven until otherwise, that was, if he could even survive the on-the-spot execution a la American frontier style vigilante mob.
… which brings us back to my previous post A central pillar of Chinese culture.
Many, even Chinese, do not realize that the written word (books) was so sacred (to Chinese society) that the more conservative Chinese would never step over a book or allow a book to be so positioned that it’s at his/her foot. That would be totally disrespectful.
In the broader sense that respect has been and is about education and learning that Chinese hold in high esteem, where the poor could have, through meritous education and achievement, the chance of rising above his/her station, or as the poetic would say, rising like a lotus.
In my post A central pillar of Chinese culture I mentioned that: where their children's education are involved and the government is oppressive and hostile to vernacular education …, Chinese parents would be prepared to sacrifice much, including mortgaging their homes off to pay for their children's education abroad, by hook or crook.
.. and what do I mean 'by crook'? For a very sad example, please read what I wrote more than 3 years ago, The Lotus Will Not Bloom For One Man - that’s how far a Chinese would be prepared to go to support his children’s education.
I posted A central pillar of Chinese culture on Thursday; today in his Sunday column ‘On the Beat’ at the Star, Wong Chun Wai pointed out more or less the same thing as I did, in Children caught in the middle.
He confirmed my post, that once the Chinese Malaysians had preferred English medium education and the vernacular schools were then in peril of becoming extinct. But he was far more diplomatic than I had been in my post. He wrote:
Chinese schools then paled when compared to English schools. The Han Chiang High School in the 1970s had to depend on Thai and Indonesian students to survive and was almost on the verge of shutting down because of falling attendance.
Parents, especially Chinese, sent their children to English schools because they had good teachers and, of course, it helped that England was a powerhouse then. It had nothing to do with history or heritage.
But now, many English-educated Chinese parents are sending their children to Chinese primary schools because they want their children to acquire the ability to speak and write Chinese. They do this because of the emergence of China as the economic superpower.
… whereas I gave the reason for the resurrection of vernacular (Chinese) education as the disastrous (politicking) tampering by successive (UMNO) Education Ministers which saw the plummeting of standards in national type schools.
To Chinese parents then, the language of the learning/teaching itself was irrelevant. The Chinese just wanted and still want quality education for their children. The belief that Chinese Malaysians have been/are chauvinistic in supporting vernacular education is incorrect.
If so, why would most Chinese Malaysians in the 50s and 60s send their children to English medium schools?
But tonight’s post is not so much about education per se but about Bahasa Malaysia and its use.
It’s our national language. Let me rephrase that – it’s our language, the language of Malaysians.
The term 'national language' gives the impression we only use it for official purpose.
Look, we became a nation in 1957. Allowing for some teething problem in the endeavour to get all citizens to use Malay as their language, that would of course take several years, preparing books, lessons, adult classes/tuitions, curriculum, etc.
In this regard, the TAR government wisely instituted the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka as the engine to promote, publish, propagate, lead and regulate the use of Bahasa.
My uncle told me he enjoyed the dirt cheap (highly subsidized) books of such outstanding quality that he bought tons and tons of DBP publications. I benefitted quite a few from his generosity.
Let’s give that Bahasa-isation process, say, 25 years. So we could argue that by 1983, we would already have a mature and rich Bahasa system. Then 11 years after that, by 1994, school children finishing school should be able to speak Bahasa to the same degree of fluency that my father, uncles and their peers could in English.
It’s now 15 years after – let me ask, how many Chinese and Indian Malaysians born, say, since 1976 and completed schooling in 1994 or later, used Bahasa fluently, widely, regularly and in private conversations among their (non-Malay) selves?
Being fluent in Bahasa is not good enough. Do you use it like your dad or mum would use English, almost as second nature?
Whether English is important is a separate issue which I will blog in another post.
This is about Bahasa Malaysia or as Anwar Ibrahim insisted on calling it when he was Education Minister, Bahasa Melayu, or if you wish, just our Bahasa.
The Malay lingo!
This is not about asking you to give up English, Chinese, Tamil, Punjabi, or/and whatever mother-tongue. This is about you using your language, our language, the language of our nation, society, community - Bahasa!
Apart from UMNO, PAS and PKR (the Malay or principally Malay parties), how many political parties conduct their meetings, congress, get-togethers in Bahasa?
I am addressing this to the Chinese and Indians (and any other non-Malay Malaysians), that if we are Malaysians, at least those born since (as an arbitary figure) 1976, then we must be
Food for thoughts.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
He advised Chinese and Indians to give up use of mother-tongue language in education.
He gave his reason as "… Chinese and Indians, being minority races in the country, should give up the use of mother-tongue language as the medium of instruction in their schools to be out of the racial box and stay competitive.”
He said that one school education system will favour peace in the country.
Needless to say, his comments drew severe criticisms from the usual suspects, the praetorian guards of Chinese education in Malaysia, Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers Association) and Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association).
No doubt Prof Khoo offered that advice following the brouhaha evoked by Mukhriz Mahathir’s comments in Parliament, that vernacular schools promote disunity and polarisation, and therefore the solution would be to integrate the vernacular and national schooling systems to eliminate polarisation and to promote unity among Malaysians – for more, read Malaysiakini Mukhriz was misquoted: Hisham
Alarm bells went off and sirens wailed in the Chinese educationist camp as what the MP from Jerlun had proposed would mean the disappearance of the vernacular system, currently considered by many Chinese Malaysians not only as the source of good quality education but the preserver of Chinese language and culture.
Poor Mukhriz was attacked left, right and centre by the DAP, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, NGOs, Chinese educationists and even/especially those in the blogging world, a few of whom frequently quoted Voltaire to defend, for example, the Kulim Wonder (hmmm, as if that thug had said anything intelligent other than to physically barge into the Bar Council forum).
Double standard? Or defending the rights of the Chinese and Indians to have mother tongue education.
Well, certainly in the case of those so-called Voltaireans, it had been the worst case of hypocrisy and unmitigated double standards.
Now to be fair to Mukhriz – leaving aside his completely incorrect identification of vernacular schools as the cause of why school children are so ethno-polarized; they would be the national schools and ethno-exclusive institutions like UiTM - he didn't propose that mother tongue education be done away with completely. In fact he said that Mandarin and Tamil be made available in the national type schools.
But the issue of vernacular education is particularly sensitive for both Chinese and Indian Malaysians.
As I had said in my Thursday’s post on sweetie Helen Ang's 'Di mana bumi ku pijak' (in Malaysiakini column) that at one time in the late 50’s, the Chinese medium schools were actually going out of ‘business’ because Chinese parents were abandoning them after assessing that their children would have better career prospects with an English education.
Of course there were a few Chinese philanthropists like multi-millionaire Lim Lean Theng in Penang who contributed enormous sums to make available vernacular education (Han Chiang in Penang) but those were the exceptions to the general educational preference within the Chinese community.
According to my uncle, Han Chiang catered to large population of foreign students from Asia particularly from Indonesia and Thailand – I’ll come back to this shortly.
But since Merdeka, thanks to the political ambitions of successive (UMNO) Education Ministers who used their ministerial portfolio to play nationalistic politics so much so that the once renowned quality of our national schools plummeted to such depths that the Chinese medium schools by comparison, began to assume the only reliable schooling with decent standards in Malaysia.
Thus it was UMNO (the various Education Ministers and their silly nationalistic politics) which eroded the once-glorious standards of Malaysian national schools and by default injected new life into the then moribund vernacular schools.
’Tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good. The Chinese educationists then saw their golden opportunity to strengthen their position by working damn bloody hard and dedicatedly to win the confidence of the Chinese parents. And they did so.
As sweetie Helen Ang observed astutely: "[The Chinese education] boat has left the harbour and sailed too far to turn back now.”
And may I add, at super top notch speed too, and equipped with GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) to ensure their directional accuracy. Who then would want their children to board the comparative national sampan?
In other words, where once Chinese parents were prepared to abandon the Chinese language schools (as the Hokkien medium school in Penang which perished in the mid 60’s – uncle believes it was called Shang Teik???), today Chinese vernacular schools have their complete confidence as the only assured source of affordable quality education for their children ...
... in large part due to the dedication and to some extent, the educational fanaticism of both Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers Association) and Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association), collectively known as Dong Jiao Zong.
Today, Malaysiakini publishes Minister dismisses education group's street protest threat which reported on the Education Ministers rejection of Dong Jiao Zong’s demand that the government’s directive for schools to teach Maths and Science in English be revoked.
Many Chinese believe that the policy has been officialdom’s underhanded and sinister intention to dilute the vernacular schools prowess in teaching those subjects (done through the vernacular languages), that the decision was made for the teaching of those two subjects to be switched to English under the ‘guise’ of improving students command of English.
Frankly I personally do not believe one can learn English effectively through Science and Maths where the vocabulary or linguistic expression used would be limited to technical terms – perhaps those suspicious of the government’s intention have assessed likewise.
Apart from English language lessons per se, the best subjects requiring wide linguistic expressions and extensive employment of vocabulary would be history, literature, morals, social sciences, economics, and even religious studies - but certainly not Maths and Science.
There is great unhappiness among the Chinese for what they perceive (correctly or incorrectly) as a deliberate sabotaging attempt to hamstring their renowned traditional prowess in the teaching of Maths and Science.
Uncle told me that many years ago, an UMNO MP had proposed to control the outflow of non-Malay students going overseas to foreign universities because that bloke was alarmed that the non-Malays were still increasing their numbers in professions such as doctors, engineers, etc.
His idea of affirmative action was two-prong, promote the Malays and suppress the advance of the nons.
Was that mean mentality unusual? Read on.
Just two years ago, an UMNO Minister went to Ukraine to visit the Crimea State Medical University where many Malaysian students were studying there. He was reported to have said (words to the effect) “So many blacks here”.
Next, before we can say “Aiyoyo, black is beautiful lah”, our MMC issued a de-recognition of the Crimea State Medical University, just barely 4 years after it recognized it. Furthermore Ministers (then) Samy Vellu and Chua Soi Lek were dragged into the controversial de-recognition.
Malaysiakini reported that: Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek cited rape and threat incidents as grounds for the de-recognition but failed to furnish any details till today.
Chua said the government will not entertain appeals from CSMU as the university had not bothered to reply MMC’s earlier queries.
The university has since denied all the allegations and provided malaysiakini copies of a series of correspondence with the MMC since last August (2006).
So? Who’s bullsh*tting?
But the MMC couldn't explain why the de-recognition was not across the board. Certain parties’ degrees from the medical university were recognized whilst others (who came latter) weren’t.
And what was the difference? Well, many suspected it was just pre and post “So many blacks here”.
For more, read Samy to meet CSMU students.
Can you see why very few non-Malay parents trust the government with their children’s education.
Now recall what I wrote earlier, that Han Chiang catered to large population of foreign students from Asia particularly from Indonesia and Thailand.
Those examples indicate that, where their children's education are involved and the government is oppressive and hostile to vernacular education (as Indonesia once was notorious for such draconian attitude), Chinese parents would be prepared to sacrifice much, including mortgaging their homes off to pay for their children's education abroad, by hook or by crook.
If large mobs of Chinese Indons and Thais could be sent here to study Chinese, so could equally large mobs of Chinese Malaysians to places like Taiwan or China. I would not be surprised when this eventually happens.
Next I’ll discuss the non-Malays' command of the Malay language …
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
A sad tale of tragic death, accusations of callous, apathetic and unhelpful rescue personnel, and looting of a damaged house in the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.
In a frantic attempt to save his wife, a 31-year-old executive was forced to dig through the earth with his bare hands until his fingers bled.
He felt a sense of relief when rescue personnel arrived at the scene. But to his horror, they refused to help him, apart from throwing him a spade. […]
Naturally, the Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar rejected the accusation, explaining that it might well be that some rescue personnel (those who were alleged to have thrown the spade to the frantic husband) were untrained and thus not allowed to conduct certain rescue operations.
He averred he found it hard to believe that rescue personnel would have acted in such a cold-hearted manner.
He said: "You don't expect an ambulance driver to save a buried victim. He is not trained, so if we request untrained personnel for help and they refuse, we shouldn't blame them.”
"This is because their lives are in danger too. I think we should respect their decision. To dig and save someone, one has to be trained. For an untrained person, it's a very dangerous task."
The father in law of the victim claimed that when he returned to the house on Sunday morning, he was shocked to discover several men in uniform lying on his bed, smoking and drinking his wine. He said he lost 80 bottles of expensive wine worth RM160,000 and six watches worth RM180,000.
He lamented despairingly: "One of them had even asked me whether I still wanted these things, if not I should give it to them. Later, my wife and I examined our safety box and found it opened. Several branded watches and jewellery were missing."
Just last night a sweetie and I were talking about how well our soldiers have responded to the emergency, perhaps even risking their lives in the rescue operations.
I am not in a position to verify the accusations of the victim’s family but those have left a sour taste in our mouths.
I hope the Selangor CPO will conduct a thorough inquiry – that’s all we can hope for. The police can’t bring back the dead but we hope they will at least bring closure for the victim’s family by a fair, frank and fearless investigation.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I disagree completely. If not for my name being misused ;-) I wouldn’t have even looked at the article to see what has been written.
If UMNO wins I am sure the party will crow the return of the faithful. If PAS wins it's equally certain PAS and of course PKR will do likewise (ie. the crowing), with the latter even making a 916 boast again.
Ask this yourself: Will the numbers in Parliament change significantly? It's just a sideshow of little relevance.
I am more concerned about what Uncle Lim has been angry about, the tragic outcome of the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa. That it has been a repeat of a 15-year old tragic history is all the more infuriating, and criminally negligent.
Malaysiakini in its Lim: Too much resignation, too little outrage tells us that Uncle Lim lambasted both the PM and DPM for just wringing their hands in sympathy but not taking any action against the authorities responsible for approving the hill-slope development.
Lim roared in anger: “(There has also been) criminal negligence in failing to learn the lessons of the Highland Towers collapse, which claimed 48 lives 15 years ago.”
“Apart from wringing their hands in despair and spouting the usual platitudes about a halt to hill-slope development, which no one believes in, there is even no political will to set up a royal commission of inquiry.”
Now, note that Uncle Lim sneeringly said “…which no one believes in …” of the government’s promise to halt the lucrative hill-slope developments, because obviously the lessons of the Highland Towers disaster 15 years ago, where I believe Musa Hitam lost his son, have not been learnt.
Why has history, and a most tragic one, repeated itself?
In the Malaysian Insider, columnist Baradan Kuppusamy explained in his article Lessons from Highland Towers lie buried in Bukit Antarabangsa rubble.
Cutting to the chase, his article said:
But the lessons are not learnt and the tragedy is repeated, said lawyers involved with the Highland Towers case.
"People, policymakers, local authorities and developers did not learn the lessons," said a retired lawyer who was briefly involved in the case. "The reason is the huge profit that is to be made."
"The profit in upscale hillside development is enormous all round and everybody — officials, developers and lawyers — are willing to close an eye," he said.
"The structures look strong and they are strong but unless you manage the surrounding area of a hill and control all the development activities, damage would be done over time leading to a tragedy," the lawyer said.
"A hill is a holistic structure… you cannot develop one side and ignore the other sides. Geologically, everything is inter-connected on a hill," he said.
The shocking part of the Highland Towers tragedy is that local councils were absolved for their failures and held not liable for losses suffered by anyone should a building collapse.
Coming as it does from the Federal Court, the matter is decided unless it is reviewed by the same court. As such the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council then and now is absolved and not liable because the decision still stands.
In the Highland Towers case the council was held not liable for losses suffered by the 73 residents of Block 2 and 3 and in the deaths of the 48 when Block 1 collapsed.
The 2-1 ruling held that local authorities like MPAJ were given full immunity under Section 95 (2) of the Street, Drainage & Building Act 1974 (Act 133) from claims for the pre-collapse period.
The majority decision delivered by Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad said that if the local councils were made liable, it would open the floodgates to further claims for economic loss, and this would deplete the council's resources meant for the provision of basic services and infrastructure. He held that it was unfair for rate payers' funds to be used to pay negligent suits.
Even kaytee knows that in Malaysia the local councils were not elected, thus whoever appointed the councillors should be vicariously liable.
Yes, if there is one word I've learnt in an introduction to law course which could be applied here or even 15 years ago on the Highland Tower case, it’s ‘vicarious’.
Our learned judge (I believe now retired) had stated: "In my view, the provision of basic necessities for the general public has priority over compensation for pure economic loss of some individuals, who are clearly better off than the majority of the residents in the local council area."
I believe his learned lordship was wrong on two aspects, where (1) the Selangor government should have been held vicariously responsible (because the State government had appointed the responsible councillors) and made to pay the damages, and ....
..... (2) it would be irrelevant whether those individuals in the Highland Tower case (or now at Bukit Antarabangsa) were better off than other residents on the local council areas because they suffered irrecoverable losses due to the MPAJ approving development of the Highland Tower on a hill-slope when it shouldn't have.
Therefore the victims and families deserved damages from those responsible or vicariously responsible. Additionally the MPAJ should have been slapped down ... and hard!
Who knows, if they had been (with some heads rolling), their successors would have been more aware that the MPAJ wasn’t immune to liability and their members from criminal prosecution for irresponsible land development approvals which could lead to (and which has again resulted in) more deaths.
Alas, the old concept of responsibility going hand in hand with authority was allowed to wither away by the Federal Court’s decision. Its 2-1 ruling is no comfort to the survivors and the relatives of the victims of the recent landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The Sun tells us that in Malaysia, 'More housewives get HIV than sex workers'.
What have been the hubbies doing? Couldn’t they take basic precautions? I am sure this news will be to the despair of well-known Malaysian AIDS campaigner, sweetie Marina Mahathir.
And far more worrying is that Malaysia has one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the East Asia and Pacific region, apparently rating an average 12 Malaysians testing positive for HIV each day - that's approximately 4,400 per annum!
Tunku Puteri Safinaz, chairperson of the Sultanah Bahiyah Foundation, said that as of December 2007, one in 6 new infections has been a woman, whereas 18 years ago only 1 in 86 was a woman.
Then she delivered the bombshell: “Shockingly, surveys show that in 2006 more housewives tested HIV-positive than sex workers.”
This fact has become a real concern because women (housewives) and children are particularly vulnerable to HIV, not just medically but (within our conservative Malaysian society) from the social stigma of such a tragic affliction.
HIV-AIDS can be kept under control for many years with effective treatment, but because of the social stigma, women whose families are affected by HIV and AIDS are terrified of the social ostracism, even from friends, extended family, colleagues and their communities.
Tunku Puteri Safinaz cited the case of a shopkeeper in Kedah who refused to allow a woman with HIV to enter his shop.
Hence they won't seek medical assistance for fear of revealing their family 'shame'. Sometimes the idiot of a husband refused to permit the wife to be treated.
The Sun reported Tunku Puteri Safinaz as warning: “Stigma can cause a woman to be so ashamed that she does not seek treatment – meaning an early death and young innocent child left without a mother.”
What more, and the most tragic of all, the poor children can be cruelly shunned by their teachers and friends.
As author Terry Pratchett said: "Cats are nasty cruel bastards but that's because they are cats. As far as we know, they have no grasp of the concept of not being nasty cruel bastards. Humans, on the other hand, do.”
But it's hardly surprising there's such a cruel attitude amongst Malaysians when there's a bloke, in fact a mufti in a state, who openly stated he wants to exile Malaysians afflicted with HIV to an isolated island, but far more shameful than his cruel pronouncement, he was allowed to get away with such a draconian statement.
Allah swt may be compassionate but this guy sure isn't.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
The title of her article comes from the Malay proverb ‘Dimana bumi dipijak, disitu langit dijunjung’ which means literally ‘Where one stands on (the land), that's where one should hold up the sky (above)’.
What the proverb moralizes is that ‘Wherever we live, we must observe the local custom’ but I think it's a bit more than just that. The nearest equivalent in English would be ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.
Helen Ang is of course a Chinese Malaysian and she wrote the article, I dare say, for and at Chinese Malaysians.
Helen has this habit of socking it to you right in the guts, or between your eyes, whether you are a Chinese, Malay, Islamist, mainstream media and God knows who else. Sometimes (a wee too rarely in my opinion) she has even gave it to the people she sympathizes most with, the Israelis.
Many have been the times I have disagreed wit Helen, in varying degrees, but I have to say, Di mana bumi ku pijak is one of the best articles I have read for a long long while.
It's brilliant, reasonably comprehensive and most of all, honestly truthful - and suck it if you (a Chinese Malaysian) don't like it.
Her article pontificated (and I hope she’ll forgive me for allocating her such a verb - wakakaka) on the hullaballoo following Mukhriz Mahathir’s alleged call for vernacular schools to be closed or absorbed into mainstream (national) schools, so as to avoid polarization among school children and in that process, to strengthen Malaysian unity.
Mukhriz has denied he mentioned wanting to close vernacular schools, and the Education Minister has backed his denial, saying Mukhriz had been misquoted – see Malaysiakini Mukhriz was misquoted: Hisham
Sweetie Helen Ang started off by lambasting Mukhriz for wrongly identifying the source of polarization among kids. She suggested that the MP for Jerlun should visit national schools to see the obvious ethnic segregation already existing there.
Even his sister, sweetie Marina, had pulled her own children out of these schools for picking up some undesirable learnings (of an ethnocentric nature).
But having chided Mukhriz, Helen stated “Mukhriz may be guilty of posturing but he is nonetheless echoing a genuine sentiment and outlook of the Malay grassroots.”
Helen is also acutely aware of the feelings of Chinese Malaysians when she wrote “Chinese on the other hand will ‘riot’ if ever mother tongue instruction was to be withdrawn. An integrated system of education could have been implemented at an earlier point in time but this is water under the bridge; the boat has left the harbour and sailed too far to turn back now.”
I have written on this before, that education has been a central pillar of Chinese culture for thousands of years, so don't f* around with that as it's an immensely emotional issue for them.
However, at one time in the late 50’s, the Chinese medium schools were actually going out of ‘business’ when Chinese parents were abandoning them for English medium because of their children’s improved job prospect – bloody bread & butter issues.
But thanks to the successive (UMNO) Education Ministers mucking up the standards of our national schools that by comparison, the Chinese medium schools began to assume (relatively) the academic excellence of Oxbridge - wakakaka.
Yes, it was UMNO (the various Education Ministers and their silly nationalistic politics) which eroded the once-glorious standards of Malaysian national schools and by default injected new life into the then moribund vernacular schools.
As Helen wisely commented: "[The Chinese education] boat has left the harbour and sailed too far to turn back now.”
If I have time tomorrow, I’ll continue discussing what Helen wrote, very brilliantly in her Di mana bumi ku pijak, but suffice to say, it’s worth a subscription to Malaysiakini just to read it, especially if you are a Chinese Malaysian.
Ah Check, Ah Cheem, Ah Hneah, Ah Soe, bloody time to look in the mirror at your Malaysian(?) selves.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I am not surprised by the news and I bet so wouldn't be many others. After all, a ruling party's politician attending opposition parties' (mind you, not State or public) events is not exactly de rigueur.
But Zaid Ibrahim might have deliberately done so to prove a point or instigate a reaction that he had wanted. Only Zaid would know why he has attended both the PKR and DAP functions.
His ejection from UMNO is bad on one hand but good on the other!
It’s bad because UMNO does need a decent man like Zaid to put a moderating hand on many of its excesses and lend an enlightening voice to guide UMNO towards a better future.
It’s good for the opposition because it’s UMNO’s loss and their gain.
Will Zaid Ibrahim join one of the opposition party?
… or will he ‘retire’ from the political arena for a while, to await his recall by UMNO? Remember a bloke by the name of Dr Mahathir Mohamed?
… or to make ‘senior statesman’ comments from the sideline? Remember another bloke by the name of Tuanku Abdul Rahman?
It’s difficult to contemplate Zaid retiring for good to focus just on his law business, considerable as this may be, because when there’s politics in his blood, he just can’t (bear to) divorce himself completely from the ‘game’. What more, this man has a brave social-political conscience.
Let’s hypothesize that he joins an opposition party – remember, just hypothesizing because like Dr M, he may well be recalled by UMNO.
Should he join PKR or DAP?
If he wants to join the opposition, on the surface, the odds are that he will join PKR.
But PKR is a one-man party so Zaid may wish to consider whether he wants to become a member of a cult group?
Consider this – when Malaysiakini published PKR caught in a royal dilemma, one of its readers, Marty Lee was given to write in, saying:
Reading this report makes me really wonder whether Anwar is another flip-flop politician. So far to date, he has promised us (the rakyat) a lot but has yet to deliver and has never really given us a straight answer.
On why Sept 16 failed, he has flip-flopped saying first the PM would not meet him. Then he said he can't reveal the names.
Now he says people have signed a crossover list but don't want their names revealed. Once again no solid answers, just a lot of ‘ifs' and ‘buts'.
On the issue of PAS wanting to ban alcohol in Selangor, he said it couldn't happen because it is a state matter but then said it might be good because it will stop teen-drinking. Once again he flip flops.
He can't give us a straight answer. PAS has said that they will try this new law in Shah Alam so why isn't Anwar putting out a firm statement that says ‘No!'?
Now on the issue of the royals, he says, that they should be given immunity but subject to our constitution and laws. What does that mean?
It is another flip flop answer that can go either way. It could mean they have full immunity or that they have immunity but it depends on our laws.
Anwar, why are you trying to appeal to either side? That is not the way of a leader. A leader makes decisions, even ones that people may not like, because it is the right thing to do.
A leader should not make decisions based fear of losing popularity. DSAI is riding on a high of public support but the wave will crash if he does not start acting like a leader should.
Well, Marty has consigned him to the dubious rank of flip-floppers, like AAB. Man man lai.
So … should a man like courageous social-politically conscience-pricked Zaid join such a man man lai flip flopping party?
Really, the obvious choice is the DAP where Zaid Ibrahim can play a far more meaning role.
Yes, the DAP is a party of ascetic monk-like Spartan politicians but which badly needs an injection of Malay-ness (no worries about their Malaysian-ness as they are good upright Malaysians though they should learn to smile a bit more and perhaps even samba sedikit lah).
Zaid Ibrahim should have a leadership role in the DAP where he can transform its non-Malay image into a multi-ethnic one to support the DAP’s already multi-ethnic ideology.
Zaid joining the DAP will be a sea change for the party and for Malaysians.
As I said, the sacking of Zaid Ibrahim is UMNO’s loss and the opposition’s gain.
We wait eagerly to see whether it’s possible for the PKR or DAP to be blessed by his membership.
Monday, December 01, 2008
(A fair king is a king to obey, a cruel king is a king to fight against)
About three weeks ago I posted Bismarck: The king reigns but does not govern, in which I commented on Malaysiakini news article Raja Nazrin: Rulers will not act on wrong advice.
Some people had actually rejoiced that on HRH's promise we may be getting some so-called royal ‘check & balance’, but I was filled with dread for I fear royal interference in politics after witnessing the unnecessary humiliation of Perak MB Nizar.
I was not impressed at all by that episode, made worse when the reason given for chopping the MB off at his knees was wrong!
Only Karpal Singh had the constitutional knowledge, conscience and guts to speak out loudly against the wrong against Nizar, even at the risk of being accused of lèse majesté.
In my post I stated that the democracy of Malaysia, warts and all, already has a system of ‘check & balance’, which admittedly didn’t work too well until recently, but then, I asked pointedly, when it didn’t work well, where were the royalty?
I posed the rhetorical question: Why then is our democratic system of the tripartite ‘check & balance’ (executive, legislative and judiciary) beginning to awake from its Rip-Van-Winkle-an slumber?
Maybe AAB has loosened the shackles, maybe Anwar Ibrahim has provided the leadership, maybe the people have been sick of the arrogance of unfettered racism and the rampant exploitation of politics for reasons of individual avarice, and thus are more prepared to exert their voice, etc?
Whoever, whichever, whatever, our political reawakening and enjoyment of a more liberal political environment have been attained without any help from royalty! Not an iota! None whatsoever!
They were deafeningly silent when they should have spoken out, but now, like us they too are flexing their own Mahathirised-atrophied muscles in the changed socio-political environment, and reinventing their role in and relevance to society, to enhance their personal status and claw back their stripped down power.
Hardly surprising, soon after, Malaysiakini published March 8 emboldens monarchy in which Negeri Sembilan Regent Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaffar stated:
Royal immunity has been lost for 15 years. It needs to be reclaimed and reinstated so that the constitutional monarchy can be restored its full sovereignty so as to play a more fitting and effective role in the 21st century as guardian of the constitution so that the endeavour to safeguard the interests of all communities, to promote peace, prosperity, economic security and good governance can surely be fulfilled.
The fact has been that we, the public, have achieved all that followed from 08 March 08 by ourselves without any help from royalty, for none was forthcoming from them.
In fact, we have been enjoying better protection from some feral members of royalty since Dr M clipped their fangs and claws.
If there is one thing we can thank Dr M, it would be his putting a notorious and feral member of the royalty in his place. Thank goodness the tyrannical days of Sultan Mansur Shah of the Malacca Sultanate is no more, and let’s keep it that way.
Royalty still has a unifying role to play without their direct dabbling at the coal face of democratic politics ..... though, mind you, many of us were utterly disappointed by the less-than-unifying pronouncement of the recent Rulers Conference.
Today I read in Malaysiakini a letter written by WDS27Z titled Malay rulers have neglected duties as protectors.
WDS27Z essentially asked what I had – when democracy didn’t work too well in Malaysia, where were the royalty?
It’s only now, when they sensed a weak PM, they have begun to ‘act tough’.
WDS27Z wrote (extracts): Tunku Naquiyuddin compares Malay rulers to monarchs in other countries and laments that the Malay rulers are the only monarchs who do not enjoy the immunity their peers around the world enjoy.
Dear esteemed regent, monarchs in other countries did not (at least, not in civilised times) shoot at drivers who overtook their cars.
Yes, I’ve heard of this one from many sources. I've also heard of a member of the royalty assaulting a caddy very seriously or fatally. The caddy's brother, a soldier, was so incensed by his caddy brother's injuries (or death?) that he ran amok in the Chow Kit (?) area in Kuala Lumpur, shooting a couple of civilians dead.
Should legal immunity be restored to royalty? Maybe Dr Wan Azizah should re-think her PKR publicly stated policy. Please don't just think of ingratiating your husband into the warm embrace of their Royal Highnesses.
WDS27Zcontinued: Neither did their royal children go to schools where teenage students were playing hockey and demand that "No 2 and No 18 be brought to the palace tonight" …..
Yes, we all know this, the final straw that led to Dr M’s action, and may Allah swt, God and Lord Krishnan bless him (Dr M, that is) for castrating the bane of the frightened public. No one else had the guts and the personality to do what he (Dr M) did.
And Dr Wan Azizah, I believe the family of the hockey coach, the late Douglas Gomez, may have more than a few words to say about restoring legal immunity to royalty. Why don't you consult them?
Then WDS27Z shocked us (or at least me!): ….. or go to nightclubs and have their bodyguards tell a man that his wife needed to spend the night at the palace for the ruler's pleasure.
I have been shocked because I haven’t heard this one before, so I wouldn't know who was the ruler, but more importantly, tell me what you would have done if you were that man told that the ruler wanted your wife at the palace that night (let me put it graphically) for him to fuck?
In an almost similar situation (but not involving wives or sex, but sheer unmitigated tyranny) my uncle told me about his Malay friend in the Armed Forces who openly stated that if a ruler (fond of bashing officers in public at his whims and fancies) were to so much as touch him he would immediately retaliate and bash the ruler and f* the consequences.
Obviously the bloke was so mad at the tyranny (maybe he saw what were terrible tyrannical injustice perpetuated against his brother officers) that he threw caution to the wind.
The military big brass were so convinced of his voiced resolution and thus terrified that they neutralized the possibility by keeping him away from any encounter with you–know-who.
WDS27Z concluded: Immunity has its immense privileges but, unfortunately, along with it comes responsibility. Rulers need to display that they are able to act responsibly before they can ask for immunity to be re-established and they need to show that they will collectively take responsible and appropriate action when one of their brethren acts in violation of the inherent expectations of this freedom.
Yes, where were they then?