Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bangkok terrorist explosions - 3 killed

Thai police investigators examine the site where a bomb exploded at Kong Toey market in Bangkok - Sydney Morning Herald photo (from AP)

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that at least six bomb blasts rocked the Thai capital Bangkok on New Year's Eve, killing at least two people and injuring 12. The culprits and motive were unknown.

But Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said there were at least seven explosions, killing 3 people and injuring 4, and not 12 injured as reported earlier.

PAS' killjoy advice for New Year eve

Over at BolehTalk I posted PAS Youth's killjoy proposals, where I provided alternative advice to PAS Youth's killjoy proposals for our New Year celebrations.

As the self-appointed Mufti of Antarctica ;-) I welcome you to read it to see whether you ought to be enjoying yourself tonight in ushering in the new year.

Anyway, Happy New Year and have fun but be safe!

MCA Puching forced into aping DAP

When the MCA conducted a public protest against government policies, KTemoc always get mighty suspicious. So when MCA members staged a rare* demonstration a couple of days ago against the government’s approval of toll charge hikes at five Klang Valley highways, I try to look beyond their altruistic intentions.

* note malaysiakini use of this adjective

The 50-odd protestors, armed with banners and placards, held a minimal 15-minute-long protest (to comply cosily with police instructions) at the Bandar Sunway toll plaza along the Lebuhraya Puchong-Damansara highway.

The demonstration was led by MCA Puchong Youth division chief Theng Book. Its division chief Wong Hock Aun and MCA Kelana Jaya Youth chief Lee You Hin were also present.

Wah, local MCA big guns lah!

Theng told reporters: “We are not totally objecting the toll hikes if it is a 10 percent hike. A 60 percent (at the LDP) hike or 40 percent at the Kesas highway are drastic, we want it to be reviewed to a moderate level.”

Theng, who is also the MCA public services and complaint department’s legal adviser, said an estimated 100,000 residents in Puchong will be severely affected by the new toll rates since there is no other alternative main road in the area.

“The entire Puchong area is surrounded by five toll plazas and all these toll plazas are almost all the routes that the Puchong residents will have to use.”

It’s now becoming clear why the MCA dares to (in fact needs to) protest against a government approved policy. MCA is looking after its political backside, its election prospect, since most of the people affected by the toll charge hikes are potential voters for MCA, or alternatively DAP (or PKR – Tian Chua must be licking his lips).

As I had blogged often on this issue, I say it again, that UMNO (and not the DAP) represents the greatest undermining factor for MCA. UMNO has frequently made decisions that have been against Chinese Malaysians' and therefore MCA’s interest without ever consulting the latter. For the MCA it's basically an issue of demi bangsa, not unlike that of all ethnic parties, chief among whom is UMNO.

To add insult to injury UMNO expects the MCA to blindly support its decisions, which explains why in the past, MCA candidates have to hide in Malay dominated constituencies to ever get elected to parliament. UMNO OK-ed that because they needed some multi-ethnic window dressing.

Mind you, if I am not mistaken the current parliamentary representative for Puchong is a Gerakan bloke, Lau Yeng Peng. However, I did hear whispers of some exchanges of electoral seats among the BN parties, between UMNO, MCA and Gerakan. I wonder whether the MCA has been assigned Puchong for the next run.

If it hasn’t, then I wonder what MCA is up to, perhaps trying to upstage its old rival, Gerakan?

Photo of Saddam's execution

The photo above was from today’s Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), showing the former dictator of Iraq in his final moments, on one of the holiest dates of the Muslim year.

The SMH reported that Saddam appeared calm and spoke to his executioners just before his death. He then recited a Muslim profession of faith, "There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet," but made no other remark after balaclava-wearing policemen escorted him to the scaffold.

Sami al-Askari, a prominent Shiite politician close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who witnessed the event, said: "One of the guards pulled a lever and he dropped half a metre into a trap door. We heard his neck snap instantly … they left him hanging for around 10 minutes before a doctor confirmed his death and they untied him and placed him in a white body bag."

Of course US President George Bush hailed the execution as a milestone, though we wonder what sort of milestone it was, considering it was state sanctioned murder.

One could argue that Saddam Hussein deserves the hanging but KTemoc is against the death sentence for anyone, because by condoning such a murder (shrouded under the guise of legality and public support) we have descended down to the brutal level of the person executed for his/her crimes.

But it does reflect the sort of mentality President Bush has, though of course he would have to support the execution of Saddam, if not for anything than to mask his illegal attack and occupation of a sovereign Iraq.

We need to recall (quite easily) that the Bush’s casus belli was the absurb proposition Saddam was a threat to global security when the truth was that those allegations of Iraqi nuclear and other weapons were, and have since been confirmed 100%, as US fabricated fibs.

The Vatican condemned the execution as tragic. The execution of Saddam Hussein has also exposed a deep divide between the US and Europe. Italian PM Romano Prodi deplored the decision to execute Saddam, while Renato Martino, the cardinal who heads the Roman Catholic Church's council for justice and peace, warned that "nobody can give death, not even the state."

Denmark, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany have all recorded their opposition though in most cases the criticism is qualified opposition directed at the morality of capital punishment (like KTemoc’s) rather than sympathy for Saddam.

Predictably the other two members of the Coalition of the Killing supported Bush’s hailing of the execution in sycophantic obsequity.

It’s doubly damning for Britain and Australia as the two countries themselves do not have capital punishment. How could their leaders then support any state execution?

Their leaders’ blind and obligatory support of Saddam’s execution demonstrated how those politicians have succumbed to the grubby expediency of using Saddam’s execution as a pseudo-truimph for their illegal actions when they are in reality besmirching their nations’ humanitarian credentials.

Not surprising, as KTemoc predicted, that soon after the hanging, a bomb planted on a minibus exploded in a fish market in Kufa, a Shiite town 160 kilometres south of the capital, killing 17 people, including four children.

How many more innocents must die from the evil let loose by President Bush and his cohorts?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Raja Bodek succumbed to Penang UMNO?

As predicted, it appears that Raja Bodek (RB) has succumbed to relentless pressure from UMNO pressure.

Opposition party DAP has accused RB of forcing Liew Chook San, the CEO of PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB) to resign, to make way for what UMNO Penang wanted, a Malay in the person of Jaseni Maidinsa, who also holds the PBAPP acting general manager appointment.

We have been all aware of the barrage of whining, winching, warring and wishing words from UMNO Youth, during the last several months, on how RB’s government hasn’t done enough for the Penang Malays, even though the deputy CM is an UMNO man and Malay Penangites enjoy a higher standard of living than Malays in many other states.

RB rejected the DAP’s allegation, saying Liew’s departure had nothing to do with politics. He tried to explain that Liew resigned from the company because he (Liew) wanted to spend time with his family and to pursue personal interests.

Yeah, and I suppose I am the Mufti of Antarctica.

RB then went to extraordinary length to explain the chain of events leading to Liew’s departure, to show the poor bloke (Liew) wasn’t pressured to go to make way for Jaseni. But with each detail he tried to put forward his explanation became less credible.

The he tried to pass the buck by saying the PBAHB board of directors had appointed Jaseni Maidinsa as the PBAHB acting CEO and PBAPP acting general manager – oh I see, the CM didn’t have a say and RB’s hands are as clean as the giant keris he held for Hishamuddin.

RB said Jaseni’s appointment was based on merit and the assessment of his capability to fulfil the group’s corporate goals and social obligations.

He cried out plaintively: ”In the special meeting held on Dec 20, the board of directors did not discuss and consider the factors of race and politics at all, because this was a corporate decision related to a public listed company’s future performance.”

"It was a unanimous decision."

"Much as I would want Liew to stay, I still respect and accept his decision because I appreciate him as a good CEO."

No one questioned Jaseni’s qualifications or ability. The accusation was that he forced Liew to resign prematurely in order to give the position to a Malay.

RB admitted he was aware that the timing of Liew’s resignation would not be good for him politically. But WTF, as far as RB is concerned, Ah H'nia* always comes first.

* literally 'big brother' or boss or a superior

Switching our attention to Penang’s UMNO Youth, who had been relentlessly harassing RB for more positions, even demanding the CM’s post at one time, they remind me of what one UMNO old timer said of Anwar’s faction (yes, that Anwar in UMNO).

He complained that unlike the traditional UMNO way of sharing the goodies among the various factions, they (the Anwar faction) were very aggressive in ‘taking no prisoners’ when it came to enjoying the spoils – they wanted it all. He reckoned the aggression and arrogance of that faction so alarmed the other UMNO factions that they went about ….. well, the rest is history.

Is there a lesson there for Penang UMNO Youth? Thus far, UMNO has succeeded brilliantly in the old British strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ by splitting the State (Chinese majority) seats between the two BN Chinese parties, namely Gerakan and MCA, so that UMNO would appear to be the BN party with the largest number of State seats, thus in theory meriting the CM’s position.

But the PMs - Tun Razak, Hussein Oon , Mahathir and even AAB - knew/know that push comes to shove for the Chinese, they would band up in one single Chinese party if UMNO aggravation becomes so seriously intolerable that those normally avaricious self-serving Chinese pollies would forego individual party interests. Remember, Gerakan was once an opposition party.

That has been why the PMs had/have allow the CM's post to stay with Gerakan, which is more malleable than the MCA.

Penangites normally won’t vote opposition parties into State seats (Federal, yes!), but I believe if UMNO Youth keeps pushing and pushing to satisfy their insatiable greed, and in that bullying process pisses off the Chinese Penangites to the extreme, the DAP may even achieve the unthinkable, with Lim Kit Siang (or Lim Guan Eng) becoming CM.

The other opposition party PKR may even have a chance to exploit the unhappiness of the Penangites if they collaborate and coordinate with DAP. 2009 is probably the best opportunity for both DAP and PKR in Penang.

BREAKING NEWS - Saddam Hussein Executed

BBC World reported:

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging at an unspecified location in Baghdad.

Iraqi TV said the execution took place just before 0600 local time (0300GMT = 11 am Malaysian time or 40 minutes ago). It was witnessed by a doctor, lawyer and officials. It was also filmed.

US troops and Iraqi security forces are on high alert for any violent backlash.

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on 5 November after a year-long trial over the 1982 killings of 148 Shias in the town of Dujail.

Two co-defendants, Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former Iraqi chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar, were also expected to be executed.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says the Bush administration will see the act as turning a page in Iraq - a demonstration that Iraq has a sovereign and democratic government.

A US statement is expected. However, the Bush administration will be keen to portray the execution as a matter purely for the Iraqi government and its court system, our correspondent says.

Taxi fee fleecing malpractice

Have a look at my latest posting Dodgy taxi fees - why? over at BolehTalk, where I discuss one possible reason for the dreaded, despicable and self-defeating fee fleecing malpractice.

Saddam's execution imminent!

The Yanks in Iraq are on high alert for the expected outbreak of violence with Saddam Hussein's execution.

The lawyers for former Iraqi president said he will be executed soon. Khalil al- Dulaimi, Saddam's defence lawyer, told Reuters: "The Americans have notified us that they have handed over the president to the Iraqi authorities.

"They told us the president is no longer under the authority of the American forces and they requested us not to go to Baghdad."

Additionally, Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki has signed Saddam's death sentence, and announced that there will be no delay in carrying out the sentence. An Iraqi judge authorised to attend the hanging said the execution will happen within the next 24 hours.

This means Saddam’s execution is imminent, timed for the holiday break which starts today. Even as you read this, Saddam could be already dead.

However, US officials claimed Saddam is still in US custody and has not been handed over to Iraqi authorities. But this could just be a tactical red herring to conceal his exact whereabouts.

The US Government, in an attempt to do a ‘Pontius Pilate’, said the timing of the execution is solely a matter for the Iraqi Government.

But everyone knows that the US Administration wants Saddam gagged forever, to prevent embarrassing revelation of American double-headed Machiavellian manoeuvrings during Saddam’s US-favoured days (when he was provided with all sorts of 'naughty' weapons and political support, and even a warm handshake from Donald Rumsfeld) and the Iran-Iraq war (where the US provided both sides with intelligence).

The Baathist sympathisers have vowed to attack American installations anywhere in the world if (or now, ‘when’) Saddam is executed.

Many Americans have lamented on the mistake of not off-ing the former Iraqi president straightaway when he was discovered by US troops in a hide-hole. It would have spared everyone the current problems and expected outbreak of violence.

On top of it, the Americans by holding and parading him to the public like a wild animal has insulted Sunni Iraqi pride and honour, and martyr-ised him into a unifying rallying figure for the Sunni insurgents.

But I am not surprised the Americans held him as a prized exhibition because it’s the American way. The need to ‘show & tell’ is an American culture, not unlike the movie scenes of King Kong or the Jurassic Park dinosaurs.

In a way, the Bush Administration has ‘built up’ Saddam’s image into a kind of King Kong ('mother of them all') personality when he was already a dictatorial dinosaur.

The urge to use Saddam as a Bush’s ‘show & tell’ was far too compelling to resist, apart from the Bush Administration warmongers' need to reinforce the demon-isation of Saddam when its fabricated cause for war was disintegrating.

Expect some innocent Americans and ‘others’ to die because of this unnecessary execution. The Iraqis would be better off locking up Saddam and throwing the key away. But thanks to the Yanks, it’ll be a bad start to a new Iraq and a blot on their so-called democracy.

Friday, December 29, 2006

UMNO outmanoeuvres 'city slickers'?

Reader Juslo commented in my earlier posting Let's blame women! about the Grand Canyon-ish ‘divide’ in perception between city slickers (including bloggers) and kampong (village/rural) folks.

I enjoyed our thrust and parry on matters pertaining to Malaysian (particularly Malay) politicians/officials making outrageous and demeaning comments about women and getting away with it.

Though I was from the kampong too, he (or she) reckons I am a wee too westernised/modernised/English-educated and think like modern urbanites … which explains why I have been missing the point about those misogynists ar$*h^le$ making idiotic deprecating comments about women.

Juslo said those ugly male macho comments would actually strike a sympathetic chord with kampong folks because the culture is such that they feel women should be put in their bloody (inferior) place.

I have to admit he/she makes a lot of sense, though I don’t accept we should surrender to those attitudes. Education and exposure to careful and fair information can bring about enlightenment, though the process may be a wee challenging like Moses wandering in the wilderness for 40 years (at times, probably lost too, and too proud to ask a Jewish lady for directions - kampong male macho-ness!).

But hey, look at the Chinese Malaysian community today - think their men dare mess around with the dignity and equal status of their womenfolk?

He/she reckoned that those interested in toppling the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional, or at least diminishing its more than 2/3 majority, should focus on the Malay heartland, where the mass of kampong folks have to be wooed on their own terms, bearing in mind their ‘traditional’ and conservative attitudes.

Unless the opposition (I'm assuming he didn’t include PAS) does this, it might as well forget about ever making any inroad into that heartland.

That’s very true, but parties like the DAP has a snowflake’s chance in hell of ever winning the trust of the Malay heartland. UMNO has already successfully convinced most Malays that it's a chauvinistic Chinese party. Even many PAS members believe that as well.

So it’s left to Malay majority parties like PAS and PKR to erode the UMNO dominance in the heartland.

… which has been why UMNO has been striving to outdo PAS in the Islamic department, and how Malaysia became an (UMNO) 'Islamic nation' when the constitution says it's a secular one - part of UMNO's move to outflank PAS.

PKR OTOH is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea – still relying on and hoping for Malay votes in general but realising it can’t depend purely on that because it won’t be able to outmanoeuvre UMNO (or PAS).

Thus PKR has one leg on a Malay sampan while its other lower appendage is on the Chinese tongkang (junk). When provocative ethnic issues are deliberately raised by UMNO, as in its last general assembly, PKR would invariably get its backside split asunder when the two ethnic-oriented boats move in different directions - an UMNO’s tactic to outfox PKR, resulting in a lose-lose situation for PKR.

Juslo also discussed the gerrymandering by the UMNO-led government, which by virtue of its incumbency has successfully imposed on our so-called democracy. In Malaysia the universal franchise of ‘one person, one vote’ translates differently into 5 Chinese Malaysian votes being equal to only one Malay vote in terms of representation in Parliament.

Gerrymandering on that scale is of course not new, and part of UMNO’s repertoire of tricks and tactics to remain in majority power. Compare Putrajaya parliamentary seat representing around 5,000 pro-government voters against some Chinese electorates (usually pro-DAP except in 1999 or in Penang State seats) where a parliamentary seat would usually represent over 100,000 voters. That’s more than 20 to one in favour of UMNO, rather than just 5 to one.

Juslo advised any political party which wants to win enough parliamentary seats in our general or even state election to focus on the rural constituencies. Easier said than done, though of course he/she is correct. The pivotal significance of the rural seats has been in part a consequence of the gerrymandering.

He/she lamented that parties like the DAP (yes) and PKR (hmmm?) gave too much emphasis on the urban areas and 'urban issues' like human rights, corruption, instead of considering more about rural seats and their concerns.

Of course the rural voters or kampong folks are more interested in their ‘pot of rice’ like the one AAB said his world famous SIL needs as well. The kampong voters would be far more interested in government subsidies (or ‘handouts’), adat, kemaruahan sejarah Melayu, bangsa, agama, siapa jaguh atau anak jantan, rather than arty farty namby pamby issues like stats on economic growth, stock market indices or percentile of equity ownership, economy, global competitiveness, FDI, etc.

Again he/she’s right.

Juslo said the latter issues have no direct relevance to those kampong people’s daily lives at all. Well, on this score I disagree on economic technicality because these issues will actually affect them.

But I understand exactly what Juslo had meant, that those kampong people can’t see the direct relationship between those high economic issues and their daily lives and practical needs, and that’s unfortunately true.

Continuing from that, because the rural folks depend a lot on government subsidies (handouts), they invariably feel obligated to support the government – though I note the Kelantanese don’t fit into this general pattern of ‘loyalty’.

Are we ‘city slickers’ with our arty farty human rights, transparency, accountability, public governance and other namby pamby bull then utterly f**ked?

The Rufaqa empire strikes back

Remember Ashaari Mohammed of al-Arqam, alleged by the government to self-style himself as some sort of messiah who had the 'authority' to forgive the sins of Muslims. al-Arqam was officially banned in 1994 on grounds that it was a heretic sect.

It just so happen that Ashaari also heads Rufaqa, which runs multi-million-dollar businesses from restaurants to schools, with operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Jordan.

What a CEO, one perhaps with a 'divine' touch, ... er ... at business I mean!

Recently Islamic authorities in Selangor detained some members of the Rufaqa Corporation on allegations of their attempts to resurrect (pun not intended) the outlawed al-Arqam sect and reviving ‘deviant’ Islamic teachings.

In fact the Selangor Government has waxed hot that it would go all out to purge al-Arqam deviationist practices and ideologies, that it accused Rufaqa Corporation Sdn Bhd of propagating. The state will launch a huge campaign to educate the people in Selangor on the dangers of Rufaqa’ and its deviationist teachings.

State Religious Affairs committee chairman Abdul Rahman Palil said the move
became necessary given claims made by certain individuals, believed to be Rufaqa members, and also circulated by SMS, that al-Arqam founder Ashaari Muhammad possesses 'abnormal' powers.

Just a note on the English adjective he used: Shouldn't the claimed powers be 'supernatural' rather than 'abnormal'?

Abdul Rahman added: “Even I received a call recently telling me that the serious flooding in the country is Ashaari’s doing.”

... 'serious' flooding? Has any flooding of such magnitude as the one we're experiencing not been 'serious'?

Well, back to the subject, KTemoc’s reasoning is that if the alleged Rufaqa members has been so silly as to claim that voodoo bull, as asserted by Abdul Rahman, then one could argue that Ashaari has been, by his mumbo-jumbo, responsible for the deaths of innocent and sufferings of tens of thousands.

Anyway, Abdul Rahman said if the supernatural claims were left unchecked, the reverence of al-Arqam members for Ashaari could develop to such a force that would lead to militancy and violence, which would then threaten national security.

But he reassured Rufaqa members (as if they care two hoots about his assurances) they were free to carry on with their businesses provided that they did not spread Ashaari’s doctrine and teachings through their commercial activities.

The above are common knowledge, though you won’t (yet) see the following in Bernama, the NST, Star Online or Utusan.

From al Jazeera, we learnt that Rufaqa has hit back, legally that is, by filing a RM150 million defamation case against Malaysian Islamic authorities. That means the Corporation is saying the authority has ‘harmfully’ badmouthed it without justification.

Rufaqa filed its defamation case against Mustapha Abdul Rahman, the director of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department; good ole Abdul Rahman Paliliff, and Zabidi Shariff, a former legal adviser to al-Arqam.

Hello, hello … a former legal adviser to Rufaqa? Hmmm, …

Aziz Hashim, the economic and corporate adviser of Rufaqa, said: "Saying Rufaqa is trying to revive al-Arqam is simply not true.”

"As a company we don't have any belief. We don't practise religion. We are a company only. We don't have a religious agenda. If we have religious agenda, we wouldn't register as a business."

How about that?

But Fakrul Azam Yahya, a spokesman for the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais), counterattacked by revealing that a book written by Ashaari's wife, Khadijah Aam, titled ‘My Father Ashaari Muhammad Most Miraculous Leader of His Time’, contained 36 points that constituted deviant teachings of Islam.

Some of those points overlapped with teachings of al-Arqam. Fakrul also said an advertisement for the book had linked Rufaqa to the publication.

He expects that in mid-January 2007 the court proceedings will begin against six members of Rufaqa, charged with trying to revive a banned movement and violating a fatwa (Islamic edict).

... unless said Ashaari uses his alleged supercalifragilisticexpialidocious prestidigitation to inundate the courts?

More 'toll' tales

I've posted Should government buy back tolled highways? over at BolehTalk, where I provided my views on a DAP proposal for the government to buy back those privatised tolled highways, as a measure against inflicting higher toll charges on the public.

More 'talented' ministers - less for our pockets

A week ago I posted Our talented ministers & officials, where we noted Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal warning traders not to raise prices of goods even though road toll charges will be shooting up by as high as 60% on 01 January.

His reason? He couldn't see any reason for such a price hike (with those exceptions for government approved road toll charges, fuel, electricity, water, etc), because the increase in the toll rates would be less than 1% of transportation and production costs, and that many of the routes used to transport goods do not pass tolled roads, but where they do, the toll charges are very very very small.

It would appear that Humpty Dumpty seemed to share his brilliant assessment such toll charges won’t affect the wonderful cost equilibrium we Malaysians are enjoying (except of course for toll charges, fuel, electricity, water, etc).

In fact, Humpty has dismissed requests by transportation companies for toll rates to be lowered.

Jeez, 'lower' toll charges when they have been set to go up? Bloody dreamers!

Now, what was the day dreamers’ concern?

Well, from March 2008 heavy vehicles entering Singapore will be restricted from using the Causeway. Instead, they have to use the Second Link, which unfortunately is further away and (coincidentally) have higher toll rates.

Lorries weighing more than 16 tonnes will have to pay RM160 for a return trip, which is a more than a humongous 600% increase (yes, 600%, not 60%) compared with the current RM22 for a return trip via the Causeway.

Look, it's only a mere 600% hike in toll charges plus the trifling matter of some extra 50 km distance to the 2nd Link.
Jeez, what are those bloody transport companies whinging about?

Humpty said the public did not realise or believe that the rates had already been subsidised by the Government, as ‘invisible help’.

Hmmm, ‘invisible help’ eh? Maybe it’s so ‘invisible’ that not only one can’t see it but one can’t even feel or enjoy it as well!

Humpty was so indignant with the incessant whinging and whining (by the transportees) that he said sarcastically: “I suggested to the Government that we stand by the toll gate and give people 50 sen each time they pass, then they will think that we are a good government.”

There you have him with his firm but 'brilliant' pronouncements, another of those ‘talented’ minister we spoke of in my previous posting.

When contacted, Pan Malaysian Lorry Operators Association president Er Sui See said he was not too concerned about having to pay higher toll charges.

What? No whinging and whining? Amazing!
Maybe ministers Humpty and Mohd Shafie Apdal are correct after all, that increased toll charges will have no adverse impact on the rakyat's pockets?

But wait, I detected a cynical Chinese businessman-speak in Mr Er’s ‘no worries’.

Yes, in fact he informed us that around 2000 lorries, each carrying 20 tonnes, ply the Singapore route daily, and the companies are by now all pissed off with having to ask for toll reductions - well, actually he said ‘fed-up’ but I reckon ’pissed off’ would be a more accurate expression of their sentiments.

Er said that to cope with the higher toll, lorry operators would pass on the extra costs to customers, once the ruling (to stop using the Causeway and switch to the Second Link) comes into effect. He warned clients not to be surprised to see toll fees included in their transportation bill.

He explained: “Yes, the toll at the Second Link is very high. And you have to consider the extra 50 km, as it is further away from the Causeway. But nothing to worry about [i.e. for the transport companies, not us]. We will just pass the costs onto the customers. So we just raise the price. It is much simpler.”

Damn it, this is unacceptable because the public will end up paying more for goods, though admittedly it is sound business practice, that is, if the transport companies are not to suffer economic losses.

Jeez, can’t they operate like …..... er ... what? No public financial bail-outs for them?

Dei, bloody stop splitting economic hairs and don’t contradict our talented and brilliant ministers’ assurances.

As I mentioned in Our talented ministers & officials:

With so many brilliant and talented ministers and officals, I could cry at our most abundant misfortune and banelessings. If I were religious, I would say God has been unkind, indeed unfair to us .. er ... others for bestowing us with a monopoly of such stupidendous leadership.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Malaysian bloggers blocked & buggered!

I posted Taiwan quake dries up Malaysian bloggers over at BolehTalk. Perhaps the reason explains my inability to access Petaling Street Project, alas.

Police: Don't 'rempit-ize' bikkie thugs

Now, this is excellent talk that's full of commonsense from the Police.

North Seberang Prai district OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdullah Tuanku Said advised the public against glamorising illegal motorcycle racers with the title of Mat Rempit. That title has provided them with cheap thrills to the extent of emboldening the thugs to continue perpetrating their anti social activities.

ACP Wan Abdullah told reporter: ”They have taken the name as a compliment. I do not see why we should call them Mat Rempit. They are happy with the newly coined name and they take pride in such attention.”

"A spade is a spade. They are illegal racers and a road menace. They ride their motorcycles dangerously, disregarding the safety of other road users.”

”I feel they should simply be called illegal racers. I do not know how others feel but as a police officer, I am strongly against the name Mat Rempit. It is my duty to protect the public.”

Well said, ACP Wan Abdullah!

Additionally he said the bikkies were becoming more violent and had resorted to crime, like attacking police as I posted in Rempit Rampage.

I wonder what depths will those thugs descend to when their title gets upgraded to Mat Cemerlang by the Prime Minister next month, courtesy of his world famous SIL
. Check out my earlier posting Lord of the Rempits - Fellowship of the Rempits.

... unless of course there is another judicious postponement of the Cemerlang-ization ceremony.

The November ceremony was postponed after those bikkies had cavorted salaciously and scandalously at a mosque in Teluk Muroh, Lumut during a cleanup operations organised by UMNO Putera. For more, read Mat Cemerlang = Mat Cemar = Mabok Cemerlang.

What with the ensuing outrage by mosque officials, the carnal cavorting was too close to the date of the Cemerlang-ization ceremony and thus too embarrassing for the PM and his Islam Hadhari credentials to dare officiate, much as he likes to indulge you-know-who.

But how in the world did the PM ever allow his high office to be sullied by association with those unsavoury bikkie thugs when he agreed to UMNO Putera's campaign to personally glorify and retitle those motorised goons as Mat Cemerlang.

It’s little wonder Dr Mahathir alleged that the nation has been run, not by the PM or cabinet, but by people, very very closed to AAB, on then 4th floor of the PM’s department.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

US-Iraqi kangaroo court confirms Saddam's death verdict

After 3 of his defence lawyers and a witness were killed, Saddam was finally sentenced to the gallow’s by his enemies. Except for the Americans who wanted Saddam silenced for good for fear of him revealing embarrassing details of their dealings with him (hence the trial by a biased Iraqi court rather than the World Court) the world has condemned the lack of due process and fair trial.

In an obscene haste, Iraq's highest appeals court (also staffed by his enemies) has (naturally) upheld the death sentence for Saddam Hussein.

The relieved Americans said unashamedly that the court decision was an important milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.

I would have thought the milestone of rule of law would be the hitherto missing due process and fair trial, but then that’s the Americans clutching at a 'happy' outcome in Saddam’s death verdict as a consolation prize to their general sorry state in Iraq.

And the hallmark of a civilised democracy would have been the total rejection of the death sentence, but regrettably Texas vigilante law has been adopted in Iraq.

In a disgraceful spin to mask their pressure on their client state’s kangaroo court to pass the inevitable death sentence, the American spokeman said: "The Iraqis deserve praise for continuing to utilise the institutions of democracy to pursue justice.”

The whole trial has been a sorry tale of continuous gross violation of fair proceedings.

Maybe Saddam deserves the death sentence but now we would never ever know whether that would be the case in a fair trial without American interference. Experts forecast that Saddam would be executed in secret as soon as possible, maybe even within a couple of days.

Let's blame women!

Remember Melissa Darylene Chow, NST reporter whose thighs were zoomed in on by a Penang City Hall security officer. The scoundrel misconducted himself, when he misused the CCTV to zoom in on and ogle at Melissa's thighs instead of maintaining the security watch – a double misdemeanour of improper voyeurism and negligence in his duties.

Was he ever punished or reprimanded?

But even more disgraceful was Abu Bakar Hassan, the president of the Penang Municipal Council, reaction to the misuse of public property for peeping tom’s activities. Abu Bakar Hassan shocked everyone (perhaps except himself) by
blaming the woman reporter rather than the culprit.

Abu Bakar in his misogynist statement averred that if Melissa's dress was not sexy, the incident would not have happened. I blogged on that in He's sexist, we're sexy!

Then there was Abdul Fatah Harun, the (so-called) honourable PAS member for Rautau Panjang, who
told parliament “If we see women who don’t have husbands and are divorced not because their husbands are dead, it must be because they are ‘gatal sikit’”

* gatal sikit = lustful

When condemned by other parliamentarians and ordered by the acting speaker to withdraw the word, an unrepentant Abdul Fatah grudgingly did so but said: “I only withdraw the word (gatal). But not the fact (as I have said).”

That shameful episode by a PAS member in the Monkey House was posted in Gatal versus Miang.

Not to be outdone, Deputy Internal Security Minister Mohd Johari Baharom has also joined the misogynist gang.

Last Thursday in Dewan Negara (Parliament, otherwise known as the Monkey House), Johari blamed the careless attitude of women for the high number of snatch theft cases.

He said: “Sometimes, women like to carry expensive handbags and wear clothes that invite trouble.”

Maybe he ought to pass a new legislation that prevents women from wearing those criminal-attracting apparel, or better still, make it illegal to sell those handbags and clothes.

An outraged Teresa Kok, DAP Seputeh parliamentarian, said Johari had lost focus on the culprits and had resorted to blaming the victims. But we shouldn’t be surprised because bloke’s responsible for the police who are supposed to prevent those type of crimes, and they aren’t!

In Malaysia, it’s the typical government rule to blame someone, anyone, including victims of crimes, rather than incompetent or erring officers of the responsible department.

Kok said: “This is a classic diversion from an important issue. He should refrain from blaming the victims and look at the causes of the crime.”

Commenting on the same issue, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang described the deputy minister’s reply as a ‘brainless statement’.

Except for the PAS case, I see the examples above as a mixture of misogynist mentality and a reluctance to accept that the responsible departments have erred or were basically incompetent.

Somehow, ministers or senior civil servants would rather ‘die’ (politically) or abandon credibility just to defend the indefensible, when the more appropriate and praiseworthy conduct would be to haul the culprits up for either counselling or disciplinary action.

As for the PAS case, Mr Abdul Fatah Harun has a serious attitude problem. We can only thank Allah (swt) he’s not a syariah court judge.

Singaporeans shy away from investing in Johor

Bloody rotten economic news for us.

Foreign investments in Johor have been abysmal this year, but merely follow the current national economic trend.

According to the 2006 World Investment Report published by the United Nations, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia fell by 14.2%, whereas the region (SE Asia) enjoys a massive 45% leap in FDI. When you look at the total picture for the region, the Malaysian case has suffered a Godzilla-ish drop.

A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) pointed out Malaysia, on the scale of attractive destinations for FDI, has plummeted fron 4th position in 1990 to the current lowly 62th.

We used to sneer at Indonesia for its rampant pungli-ness (pungli = pungutan liar), a deterrent to FDI, but she who laughs last laughs best because Indonesia has now overtaken Malaysia with a shocking increase of 177% FDI, amounting to US$5.26 billion.

Meanwhile, in the Land of the Smiles, Thailand’s FDI receives a 161% jump in its FDI, closing the gap that Malaysia previously enjoyed.

Our neighbours are prospering while we are sliding back into obscurity in the world of investments, with dire consequences for our economy and national development, and we haven’t yet mentioned places like the two giants of China and India, and a fast developing Vietnam.

Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman last month revealed the worrying statistics over the lack of foreign investment in his state, where Singapore’s investment in our southern state has nose-dived to an alarming level.

Don’t forget he was the bloke who insisted that Malays must be the pivotal race in Malaysia. He even twisted the words of the most respectable Datuk Oon Jaafar to suit his supremacist views. For more, read:

(1) Johor UMNO: 'Bangsa Malaysia unacceptable!'
(2) Johor UMNO's Neo-Judaistic 'Super-Race'
(3) Maligning Datuk Onn Jaafar's illustrious name

I wonder whether that would have an impact on Chinese Singaporean thoughts about investing their Sing dollars in Johor?

And then, we have his Royal Loose Cannon insulting foreigners, which include Singaporeans, as ‘dirty’ and calling for the removal of the Causeway. For more of his diatribe, read Mahathir's away, pussy starts to play!

And no doubt the MB, he of the neo-Judaistic 'super-race', must be wondering why Singaporeans have been shy of investing in his 'Promised Land'. Maybe we should send Wonder Boy down south with his magic 'pot of spice'.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Battling wives in Kelantan?

This is one of those love (or hate) triangular story.

30-year old bloke took a second wife. Why? Hmmm, hard to say as different people do it for different reasons.

All was well when No 2 wife resided in Terengganu, while No 1 wife in Kelantan.

Bloke did silly thing by moving No 2 wife up to Kelantan after 7 months of yin-yang bliss.

No 1 wife was enraged by discovery of No 2 wife, so she confronted No 2 and threatened to kill her. She shouted the obvious: "I will kill you because you married my husband."

I don’t know why people wasted so much effort in stating the bloody obvious. Surely it couldn’t have been: "I will kill you because you make lousy ketupat"?

It seems the 29-year-old No 1 held a knife to the second wife’s face. Most fortunately, there was no report of the zorro’s sign being marked out, as in ‘Z’ for zina (in No 1's perception)? Yes, No 1 did not go through with her threat and fled the house after the yelling, leaving the shocked No 2 in tears.

The police in the very important person of State Deputy Criminal Investigation Department chief Deputy Superintendent Suhaimi Chik Noordin revealed that No 2 wife then lodged a police report.

Supt Suhaimi said what I have just discussed: "The second wife has been married to the 30-year-old trader for the past seven months. Previously, she lived in Terengganu, away from the first wife. But recently her husband, who lives in Kelantan, moved her up to Bachok."

For such a mundane matter of family dispute, no doubt a dispute involving the sharing of a single … er … you work it out, why did it have to be the State Deputy CID Chief himself who briefed reporters? Why can’t an ordinary problem such as this be delegated to a police sergeant?

No wonder the police can’t solve the nation's crimes when their so-called ‘brains’ are wasted on briefing the media on grubby issues.

Supt Suhaimi said the police intends to haul No 1 in for questioning. If she is charged and found guilty of criminal intimidation, the woman could face a jail term of seven years. That’s cruel because there are extenuating or mitigatory circumstances in her favour.

However, I fear for her because even if the police found no case for her to answer, her husband being in the State of Kelantan could resort to Section 128 (1) of the Kelantan Islamic Law Enactment 2002, assuming he takes the side of No 2 in seeking some form of punishment for No 1. No 1 could then be subjected to a fine of RM 1,000 or jail of up to six months or both upon conviction.

What is this Section 128 (1) of the Kelantan Islamic Law Enactment 2002?

Well, in August this year, Kelantan deputy mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad
told Berita Harian that wives would be deemed to be unjust and abusive if they cannot satisfy their husbands' sexual needs.

I ask again what I had asked in my previous posting Wives not satisfying husbands are abusive.

How would a woman be deemed to be ‘abusive’ if she can’t satisfy her husband’s sexual needs?

The Mufti explained that in a marriage, it's not always the wives who were abused as it could also happen to the husbands.

He (the Mufti, that is, not the hubby) advised that Islamic laws protect both women and men.

He warned: “Thus wives who do not provide proper care for their husbands, including not fulfilling their sexual needs, can be considered as being unjust and abusive towards their husbands.”

“These women can be charged under Section 128 (1) of the Kelantan Islamic Law Enactment 2002.”

But maybe No 1 could use this Section 128 against hubby, which is also applicable to men even though the Mufti spoke up in favour of them. Additionally she could claim the issue of her ‘not getting enough’ as a mitigatory cause for her lossing her ‘cool’ towards the hot No 2?

Hmmm, who do I blame on this marriage dispute that could possibly involve salacious matters?

Why, I have always suspected the terrible insidious effect of the East Coast aphrodisiac budu, of course – for more on budu, read Has Aphrodisiac Budu Been Responsible?

Monday, December 25, 2006

End of Christmas in Bethlehem?

Today, millions if not billions of Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus son of Joseph two thousand years ago in the town of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem! One visualizes scenes of a bright burning star hanging over the quiet of the night, where beneath in a humble manger, the raison d'être of the Christian faith was born.

While Jerusalem is sacred to Christianity (as well as Islam and Judaism), the smaller and more quiet Bethlehem may be said to be the spiritual beginning of Christianity.

The inhabitants of Bethlehem had lived in reasonable (not perfect, but reasonable) harmony for thousands of years. Christmas has always been a special moment in the holy town, but then even more significant for Christians who made the pilgrimage to be there in the birth place of Jesus Christ on the day of His birth.

Unfortunately in the last few years that inter-religious harmony, between the local Christians and Muslims, has been shattered, probably forever.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, together with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, lamented on what Williams said to be the ‘ignorant’ policy of the British and US governments in launching an unjustified (and indeed illegal) attack, invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq.

Archbishop Wllliams launched an outspoken attack on the two Angle-Saxon governments, saying their ignorant policy in Iraq has put Christians in the region at risk. He said that Christians are being attacked and forced to flee the Middle East because their countrymen see them as supporters of a ‘crusading West’.

Well, didn’t President Bush labelled his invasion as a ‘crusade’?

Williams said: "This Christmas, pray for the little town of Bethlehem, and spare a thought for those who have been put at risk by our short-sightedness and ignorance."

Williams, who is not shy of controversy, has long been a critic of the Iraq war, saying there was no moral basis for military intervention.

He said the consequences of Anglo-American aggression in the Middle East have been the erosion of hitherto good relations between Muslims and Christians, with Christians increasingly becoming targets for Muslim extremists.

He added: "One warning often made and systematically ignored in the hectic days before the Iraq War was that Western military action ... would put Christians in the whole Middle East at risk."

Tough luck, Archbishop, the Brits did it because Tony Blair wanted to suck up to Bush, while Bush was an idiot led by his nose by the pro-Israeli lobbies and pressure groups. And what Israel wanted (and still wants) was the total destruction and fragmentation of the two regional powers with the greatest potential to match its military and fighting might, namely Iraq and Iran.

Sorry, but the local Christians just have to look after themselves because, as far as the Yanks are concerned (just examine the composition of the Bush Administration), Israeli interests must come first.

Ironically, to the Israeli Judaists, people like Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Eli Yishai, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef etc, Jesus was nothing more than, at best a heretic and at worst an apostate.

But will the US induced hatred and acrimony between the locals see the eventual end of Christmas in Bethlehem?

BolehTalk is back

My companion blog BolehTalk (founder, Mr X) is back with its 1000th posting!.

Keep an eye out for its coming postings.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Amaterasu in Cyberspace?

This is an interesting article about the ‘new’ Shinto religious following. It is best exemplified by a question that's being asked in Japan today:

“Does god exist in cyberspace?”

Whoa, tomodachi – don’t ask that when bloggers are around. In fact some bloggers would even claim to be ‘God in Cyberspace’, so the answer from them would be a confident ‘yes’.

Well, it seems the Tokyo-based Association of Shinto Shrines has been pissed off with some websites offering virtual visits to Shinto ‘shrines’. Those sites even sell amulets, online of course.

The Association is so alarmed by the cyber services, that it intends to issue a Shinto fatwa next year on shrines' use of the Internet.

Now, the Association is no small marble because it supervises around 80,000 shrines across the country. Since the cyber issue, it has sent out notices in July saying: "No Shinto god exists on the internet."

That's a wee presumptious. How would they know?

Well, Yoshiya Senoo, chief of the association's research division, said: “Shinto gods are enshrined in a place and space of a shrine, and therefore it's fundamental for worshippers to actually visit the shrine."

KTemoc doesn’t agree – gods (like bloggers) are everywhere and anywhere. A shrine is merely an convenient earthly location to represent the ‘presence’ of a deity. The shrine is, so to speak, an earthly interface (could be anywhere) for the worshipper to interact with Him or Her. Whether it's an online site or a physical location doesn't matter.

To this atheist, the most important shrine is the one in one's heart (or less poetically, in one's head or thoughts).

Some shrines like the Shingu Shrine in southern Japan, however, see no problem with online worshipping.

Its chief priest, Hideo Morikuni, obviously a cool dude, one who moves with the times and technology, said: "Young people in particular use the service and in many cases it leads to them actually visiting our shrine."

On his shrine's website, online visitors are asked to pray as they usually would - by bowing twice, clapping their hands twice and bowing once again - to the sound of beating drums.

Perhaps with 18 selections of drum rhythms?

Visitors can then enter their name, email address and other details and submit a wish for free for the shrine to pray on their behalf. Praying at an actual shrine usually involves throwing coins into a wooden offering box.

Morikuni said his shrine receives 10-20 online prayers per month.

I wonder whether a typical e-mail to the Goddess Amaterasu would take the form of:

ama, luv u, am (:-( :-(*) pse :-)~~~~~<

In case the Goddess seeks your translation help before She downloads the precise response or blessings, has any of you guys got the message?

Excuse the pun (can't resist it), but don't be Lost in Translation.

Demolished ganders, undemolished geese!


The building plan was unapproved yet the bloke has the in-your-face nerve to build a bungalow on a 5,000 sq feet area

Surely it would have been or will be demolished?

But no, the Simpang Renggam District Council in Johor has merely issued a stop work order on the bungalow. A council spokesperson said work can resume if the plan is approved, which undoubtedly it will, in a move known in Malaysia as ZakariaDeros-ization.

Even more amazing, the Kluang Land and Mines Department is NOW studying an application to have the status of the land where the bungalow is sited changed from agriculture to commercial. The spokesperson said only when this application is approved, the district council can process the building plan for the bungalow.

Wow and double wow – how things move when speed is of the essence, and indeed it is moving. The amazing ZakariaDeros-ization process.

Why all this sympathetic responsive treatment, which unfortunately a Taoist temple in Bukit Mertajam sitting on its OWN land didn't enjoy, while dozens of Hindu temples all over the country including their sacred icons were sent to the rubbish heap of Mount Meru?

The bungalow belongs to Machap state assemblyperson Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman.

Truly Malaysia Boleh.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

World's most outstanding mayor!

John So is the mayor of Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia with a population of more than 3 million. He was born in Shunde, a county in southern China and moved to Melbourne when he was 17 years old.

Amazingly for a migrant, in July 2001 he became the first directly-elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne, defeating several high-profile candidates, including Australian Democrats founder, Don Chipp.

As if that was not enough, early this month he has been voted the world's most outstanding mayor – a mere five years after becoming the city's first popularly-elected leader.

Between June and October this year more than 103,000 people from across the globe voted on 677 mayors as part of the World Mayor internet-based project organised by City Mayors, a international organisation working to promote local government.

He said of his award: "I am delighted to be elected World Mayor 2006. The honour belongs to the amazing people of this wonderful city and the hard working team at the City of Melbourne."

Those who voted also were encouraged to provide statements on why their nominee should win.

One young Melburnian wrote: "John So has captured the imagination of the people of this city. He has especially done so with young people. Where else in the world do people under the age of 25 cheer and stamp and shout out the name of the mayor?"

His comments refer to So's surge in popularity during the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games which led to "John So, he's our bro" and "John So for PM" T-shirts.

At the Games closing ceremony, at every mention of his name, there was applause from the crowd, which got progressively louder. It was hardly surprising that So, the only Australian mayor to be short listed for the award, said (naturally) Melbourne is a great place to live.

Any chance of a 4th generation Chinese Malaysian or Indian Malaysian becoming Datuk Bandar of KL, or even the president of a municipality council in Penang or Ipoh?

Virtue of absolute humility!

At a reception to celebrate Nicol David’s success in retaining the world champion title, Raja Bodek advised her to remember to be always humble.

He told her: “If you are not humble, it could lead to your downfall.”

Now, while Jeff Ooi has little birds, I have little cicak (lizards), so a wee cicak informed me he or she (aha, keep guessing) overheard this: "But on the other hand, if you are very very very humble, you know very very VERY, you could become the chief minister one day."

Our talented ministers & officials

During the fuel price increase early this year, Kedah State industry, transport, consumers and foreign workers committee chairperson Chong Itt Chew warned traders not to whimsically (his word) raise prices of food and drinks by using the hike in fuel price as an excuse.

KTemoc's note: the English word 'reason' (a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event ...) differs in meaning from the word 'excuse' (a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise ...)

Therefore the traders might have good 'reasons' (fuel price increase), but they wouldn't be permitted to use those as 'excuses' to ... er ... whimsically raise prices to maintain a viable business

Chong's amazingly brilliant comprehension of the (non) effect of fuel price increase on transported goods was shared by Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who wanted the public to report to his ministry if bus operators raised the bus fares because of the same issue, the fuel price rise.

If they did, he would instruct the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB, who it has been alleged can't tell the difference between a Penang bus and a bullock cart) to revoke their bus permits.

Presumably all bus companies complied with his 'advice', proving beyond any shadow of doubt that fuel price hikes had no effect on the cost of business. The brilliant Chong Itt Chew was absolutely right in his non-whimsical deduction - a potential Nobel Economic Prize laureate!

Mohamed Khaled Nordin also blessed us with his incredible wisdom, in that "There are innovative ways for them [bus compnaies] to deal with the recent fuel price increase and as long as it doesn't involve asking for RM1 subsidised diesel or hiking fares, it's all right with me."

For more of those official pearls of bull .. er .. I mean ... wisdom, read my earlier postings:

2nd-hand Teh Tarik
Fuel Price makes MAS a Goose, but Buses Ganders
'Sweet' wisdom, 'Sweet' actions, 'Sweet' bullsh*t

Well, not to be outdone, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has recently warned traders that he couldn't see any reason for raising prices of goods even though toll charges will be shooting up by as high as 60% on 01 January. According to him, the increase in the toll rates would be less than 1% of transportation and production costs.

Additionally, he observed that many of the routes that are used to transport goods also do not pass tolled roads, and where they do, the toll charges so happen to be very very very small.

There you have it - no worries, all kow-tim*. And if prices do rise, it would have to be the rapacious doings of those unscrupulous transportation companies or food retailers.

* solved

But wait ... maybe there could well be another reason ... communists!

Yes, those sinister Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Maoist-Chin-Pengist's could be anywhere.

Don't believe me? Look, there is a memorial in Nilai dedicated to those pinkos, that could subvert the government's wonderful price controls on essential goods ... unless of course action is taken to smash that monument to smithereens - thanks in large part to the timely warning of Goeb ... er ... Zainuddin Mydin, minister of information, who as he humbly confessed to us, "cannot have made a mistake or misunderstood history".

With so many brilliant and talented ministers and officals, I could cry at our most abundant misfortune and banelessings. If I were religious, I would say God has been unkind, indeed unfair to us .. er ... others for bestowing us with a monopoly of such stupidendous leadership.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Unaccountable UMNO un-votable!

Over at Malaysia-Today blog, Raja Petra Kamarudin posted a news article from The Straits Times (to which I don’t subscribe – too expensive), which stated:

An UMNO minister has refused to apologise for his remarks accusing the Chinese community of building monuments which he claims glorified communists.

Despite protests from Chinese political and community leaders, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said 'only those who feel they are communists would be offended by what I had said'.

He also said he considered the matter to be closed after discussing the issue with a top Chinese political leader.

Well, Zainuddin may considered his racist comments ‘closed’ but not so the Chinese Malaysians, because it's not about those who feel they are communists, but about Zainuddin libelling Chinese Malayan war heroes as communists.

Some Malaysia-Today readers demonstrated their ire at the minister by taking him at his words. They applied his logic (or illogic) of argument, that 'only those who feel they are communists would be offended by what I had said'.

It was open slather, with reference to a 3-letter creature considered rather dirty by Muslims. One stark example of their remarks was:

Yea only those who are communists will feel offended. I totally agree. So it is ok for us to call you a pxx and you won't get mad my dear minister. Why would you get mad then if you are not a pxx? Dig it pea brain?

Each time UMNO has internal problems, it would resort to its usual formula of kicking Chinese Malaysians about like a punching bag, including and especially its so-called partner MCA. They followed Joseph Goebbels dictum that
"propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred."

Chinese Malaysians are not only convenient but natural 'targets' for UMNO leaders because they have already indoctrinated their members to be suspicious of those greedy rapacious Chinese, whom only UMNO leaders could keep in check!

Remember the world's most famous SIL who used a racist attack against Chinese Malaysians to disguise his 9.2 million reasons?
And of course UMNO leaders would never ever apologise to lesser beings.

And every time UMNO bashed Chinese Malaysians for its own interest, the DAP would benefit at the MCA’s expense. UMNO didn't and wouldn't gave a damn about pulling the rug from under the feet of its supposedly ally! Besides, it'd teach those MCA blokes to know their place if a few of them were to lose their seats.

That was why I wrote that UMNO is the MCA’s greatest political enemy and by default the DAP's best friend - see my previous posting
Collaterally damaged MCA in damage control and SUPP & MCA - Mutes stung by hornets.

Therefore voting against the MCA, Gerakan, PPP or SUPP per se wouldn't worry UMNO. But what if we vote for another Malay party? What if EVERY non-Malay voter casts his/her vote against the BN where an UMNO candidate stands?

In this sense, PAS has regrettably let us down by imploding with its extreme policies. But even then, that doesn't mean we still can't vote for PAS.

Santa from Bangalore

We Would Be Hoping That You Would Be Having A Very Nice Christmas!

And may KTemoc adds his greetings too. Be safe!

from a circulating email - cartoon credit to UFS, Inc

SIL's pot of rice vs tempurung rakyat kosong

malaysiakini columnist Bakri Musa wrote:

"Abdullah Ahmad Badawi still does not get it! He is concerned with his son-in-law’s pot of rice, not that of the rakyat. Since he cannot brag about the nation’s economic achievements under his leadership, he is reduced to boasting of his son’s wealth."

"There is no glory if his son and son-in-law were rich but the nation poor. Someone ought to tell him that he was elected to lead Malaysia, not to take care of the well-being of his grown-up family, its friends and cronies."

"His advisers and family members have convinced him that those critics are out to bring him down. If Abdullah persists with his present pattern, rest assured that this belief would be self-fulfilling. Abdullah should ponder the fate of another leader who was consumed with filling in the rice pots of his family members. Suharto’s downfall was ugly for him, as well as for his family and Indonesia."

But what about that English saying that 'charity begins at home'?

Kissing goose and gander

Umran Kadir, malaysiakini reader wrote:

"We all know by now that holding hands or kissing at the KLCC park risks a fine and much tut-tutting. But isn’t it odd that displays of intimacy towards a keris are applauded by the powers- that-be?"

Hmmm ...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goebbels-speak (2)

Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred
- Joseph Goebbels
The following have extracted from malaysiakini:

The ruckus over a monument for slain Second World War heroes in Nilai, Negri Sembilan was a racially-charged and calculated diversion by the ruling party from problems it is currently facing, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

He said the Umno-led government was bogged by a sluggish national economy and party infighting and had made allegations that the monument was glorifying the communist to stir up racial sentiments.

Lim said this after visiting the monument at the Nilai Memorial Park today and told reporters that not a single mention of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) or communism was found among the inscriptions on the monument.

“He (Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin) should come personally to see the site before making wild allegations,” said Lim, who was also accompanied by Lobak assemblyperson
Loke Siew Fook.

AAB's geese & ganders

Under AAB we have SIL making racist statements but now warning Malaysians (at the PPP Youth Wing convention) that there is a limit to free speech.

As a most-insider of the AAB court, where many alleged he is the power behind the throne, he has threaten that the government, of which he theoretically is a most-outsider, could impose restriction if people abuse this freedom.

Then in the most hypocritical puk-ish utterance he warned that UMNO Youth will come down hard on those who ignore racial sensitivities.

Under AAB we have an MP who told Customs to close one eye to his business dealings, but who is still loitering in the so-called hallowed halls of parliament.

Under AAB we have Zakaria Deros unapproved palatial mansion untouched while a Taoist temple on its own land was demolished in full defiance of State Exco orders.

Under AAB some newspapers had been suspended for improper reporting while the government 'mouthpiece' got away with the same improper news.

Under AAB we learnt of Jeff Ooi’s ‘shooting’ saga while UMNO delegates at their recent general assembly could openly urge the Chief Guardian of the UMNO keris to ‘use’ that keris on their ‘enemies’.

Under AAB ……..
(you fill in the blanks)

Ode to fallen but unwanted heroes

The Japanese had long since gone,
their bayonets are no longer drawn;
the long fought bitter war was won
but sadly not for those truly fallen

From the holes emerged ethnic heroes
who had stayed still while others died,
to shamelessly rob victory from others
whose real sacrifices are now denied

Eliminate any hero’s deeds and name,
erase their service from our memory;
don't remind the bigots of their shame,
their absence in defending our country

Smash to smithereens their memorial,
'cause new ‘heroes’ need broken bricks
to build their ethnic wira credential,
complete with keris, hornets & tricks

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fallen Heros to make way for UMNO Ethnic Heroes

As if it was not enough for Zainuddin Mydin to slap the face of Chinese Malaysians! he came out again swinging in obnoxious, obdurate and overbearing manner to declare:

“As information minister, I am part of history - I have seen it and understood it - thus I cannot have made a mistake or misunderstood history.”

His arrogance is such that he dared to claim he couldn’t have made a mistake!

Part of history? Where was he or his father when the Japs were running all over the country while those Chinese were killed defending the nation?

The man’s hubris and shamelessness are unbelievable.

And then Mohamad Hasan, Menteri Besar of Negri Sembilan, jumping on the UMNO racist bandwagon, today urged Nilai Memorial Park, a privately owned cemetery, to demolish the monument commemorating those killed while fighting against the Japanese during the Second World War.

Those two UMNO ministers were oblivious to both KTemoc and DAP Sec-Gen Lim Guan Eng reminders that not all who fought against the Japanese were CPM members. But why let facts stand in the way of a good boost to their ethnic credentials.

Lim also pointed out that such individuals were of races other than Chinese. But do they care!

Like what I had done, Lim condemned the UMNO green-eyed attempts to deliberately obviate those martyrs’ contribution to the anti-Japanese struggle, the ultimate sacrifice in defending Malaya’s sovereignty. He said the move would hurt the feelings of those whose ancestors lost their lives fighting the Japanese invaders.

He condemned particularly the move by MB Mohammad to demolish the memorial (not unlike the way government officials had demolished non-Malay places of worship whenever such actions suit their political agenda).

He said: “Although the Chinese community is trying to prove that the monument is unrelated to the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), he [Mohammad] prefers to believe Zainuddin than the general opinion of the Chinese community.”

Well, what do expect of UMNO ministers?

The stench of UMNO’s racism is just too overpowering. They are more interested in promoting their own image as ethnic heroes than in respecting the nation’s real fallen heroes.

The keris shall be drawn now that the Japanese bayonet had long gone.

Blair the poodle pisses on Palestinians

Can a man who has been tainted with pro-Israeli policies and statements and known to be an obsequious sycophant of President Bush be counted on as an honest broker in the Middle East?

Tony Blair is thick skinned and hardup enough to want to present himself as one!

He plans to channel financial aid directly into the coffers of the Palestinian whom the Israel-USA bloc has now selected to be their ‘temporary’ ally, President Mahmoud Abbas - but of course purely for Israeli interests.

Blair is proposing to beef up Abbas security forces, presumably against Hamas. In other words, he continues his pro-Israeli (and USA) stand in the Middle East.

Ironically Hamas, Israel’s bête noire, was actively (but covertly) sponsored and financed by Israel during Yasser Arafat’s days to weaken Palestinian support for al Fatah. What goes around comes around, and Israel's secret creation, Hamas has now become Israel's nightmare.

So Israel switches its temporary support to Abbas and his al Fatah, to tactically neutralise Hamas. There is no doubt that Abbas' clumsy attempt to hijack powers from the legally elected Hamas by calling for fresh elections has been instigated, pressured and financed by the USA (in turn directed by Israel).

Tony Blair, in the twilight moments of his abysmal political career, wants to have a swan song, no doubt dedicated to the man whose boots he has been licking non-stop, George W Bush.

Leave it to a vain Blair to just butt right in on Middle East politics when he has zilch credibility left with the Arabs, apart from the fact that he is nothing more than a lame duck British PM.

So he unctuously sidles up to the side of the Israeli-USA bloc (but where else?) by voicing his support and military aid for Abbas at a time when the Palestinians are locked in fratricidal acrimony. Who benefits most when Palestinians kill each other?

There’s no accounting for the Vanities of Tony Blair.

But he would be remembered, particularly by the British, as the Subservient Pillion Rider to USA and a PM who betrayed the British people.

But most of all, in the words of Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to the USA, Tony Blair would be known as Blair the Poodle, for being so seduced by what he (Blair) thought to be his close involvement with US power, yet failing miserably to caution President Bush against the latter's imbecilic and gungho behaviour in the international arena.

Blair was far too busy carrying Bush's balls.

In fact, Sir Christopher blamed Blair as the very person responsible for the state of anarchy that is Iraq today.

Zainuddin Mydin slapped face of Chinese Malaysians!

One of Chinese Malaysian scared cows has been the memory of its local war martyrs. Through the deacdes since the war, they make strenous efforts to preserve respectful rememberance for the fallen heroes.

Lest we forget.

By war, the Chinese Malaysians mean the Second World War where they, among all Malayans, bore the blunt of the Japanese brutal atrocities in Malaya and Singapore, not unlike the Jews and gypsies in Europe under Nazi Germany.

I grew up in a village where in the evening its central social meeting place was a cenotaph dedicated to those martyrs. As kids we would gambol around the memorial but always mindful of those who sacrificed themselves for the community against the Japanese military invaders. We showed the greatest respect for them.

However, Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin has been terribly insensitive in callously lumping the anti-Japanese Chinese fighters together with the Malayan communists who also fought against the Japs.

Last Saturday, Zainuddin told Bernama that two war memorials dedicated to the Chinese Malaysian war heroes exist in Sarawak and Nilai, Selangor. But he showed his disrespect by saying, without proper investigation, that erecting such memorials were insensitive and disrespectful as many Malaysians were killed during the communist insurgency. He had implied those memorials are dedicated to communists.

Zainuddin said: “The people must remember that at one time, they were the nation's number one enemy” without even ascertaining whether those remembered for their sacrifices were communists.

It was a very hurtful insult to Chinese Malaysians to have their anti-Japanese heroes, who fought for the country and community, labelled as the nation’s number one enemy by a thoughtless minister. It made it even worse when the minister is one supposedly in charge of so-called information.

Organising committee chairperson of the monument Quek Jin Teck invited Zainuddin to visit the war monument in Nilai so that the insensitive minister can see for himself whether indeed the memorial is dedicated to communists.

Quek said the monument, written in five languages, was to commemorate heroes who fought against the Japanese invasion between 1941 and 1945.

Quek explained: “There was no mention whatsoever on any memorial service to communist. We will do our very best to brief and explain to the minister so that any misunderstanding can be clarified and cleared.”

Frankly, that (to brief and explain to the minister) is besides the point as the onus should be on the minister to find out what’s what before he opened his big fat bloody ugly mouth, just because the memorials are dedicated to some fallen Chinese Malayans.

Quek also added that several MCA politicians, such as Deputy Education Minister Hon Choon Kim, Deputy Tourism Minister Donald Lim, Deputy Domestic Affairs Minister Tan Chai Hoe, had attended a memorial service for those fallen heroes against the Japanese invasion.

Quek said: “We humbly urge the minister to refrain from blatantly treating those who fought against the Japanese aggression and invasion during the Second World War as communist.”

I believe that in the minister’s disgraceful, disrespectful and deplorable conduct there has been an element of racism as well. The very thought of acknowledging Chinese Malayan martyrs as national fallen heroes would be just too much for an UMNO minister to ever swallow. He had to rubbish that very idea.

Look minister, there is another side to the old Japanese coin. An unpleasant perception among the more elderly Chinese Malaysians, particularly those in Peninsula Malaya, has been that Malays in general collaborated with the Japanese invaders.

I don’t share such a view because I reckon the Malays being anti-British were unlikely to view the Japanese as hostile or invaders, least of all an enemy of the Malay States.

To the Malays, they reckoned the British deserved to be humiliatingly defeated, and if the Japanese were the ones to do that, all the more power to the men from Nippon. Thus if the Malays helped or weren't hostile to the Japanese, it was along that anti-British path.

The Japanese military overlords were also more tolerant of the Malays, though that's only in a relative sense to their main targets of abuse, the Chinese Malayans.

The Chinese were targeted by the Japs because of their ethnic affiliations. The Japs hated the Chinese with a vengeance and went about wantonly slaughtering them. During and after the war, the Chinese returned those feelings of hatred, an acrimonious emotional frame of mind that exists till today.

It was thus natural for the Chinese Malayans then, as the principal victims of the Japanese war crimes and oppression, to provide the main resistance against the Jap invaders. But there was no doubt the Chinese community weren't too impressed by the lack of Malay enthusiasm or support in their anti-Jap movement.

But Zainuddin’s insensitive and clumsy attempt to diminish the Chinese role in mounting virtually the main anti-Japanese resistance, while typical of the general UMNO attitude, has been an insulting slap in the face of today's Chinese Malaysian community.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Humpty Dumpty kicked our groins at the toll

Here’s an example of how a BN minister has insulted our intelligence.

Humpty Dumpty dropped a few pearls of wisdom to us lowly swine (in his eyes), that the toll increases were inevitable, unstoppable and undeniable because those increases have been stipulated in concession agreements even if the expressway companies meet their projected revenue.

What kind of concession agreements would those be if the companies are still permitted to increase toll levies even if they meet their projected revenues? Even when projected traffic volume has tripled?

Humpty Dumpty has insulted not only our intelligence but the very concept of commonsense.

What then would be the bloody point of defining projected revenue targets in an agreement?

He then changed his goalposts. He said that as the companies had taken huge bank loans the toll should be allowed to be increased to support a more expeditious re-payment.

Again, I ask what’s the bloody point of having a concession period and projected revenue targets, if those weren’t to balance the re-payment issues against the burden on public users?

Humpty told us little children: “So whatever they have earned, they have to repay the banks, and banks do not allow any extension of the repayment period.”

Repayment period? Again, I ask …….. have you guys got the idea what I am driving at, and what Humpty is bull-ing and bulldozing his way through?

F**k it, why do I bother. We deserve him, all ye suckers (BTW, that’s us)!

The toll on our pockets - for what?

The general rule on toll charges is that it has a sunset clause, meaning that at some stage, after the cost and profit have been recovered, the road becomes toll-free.

In other words, the toll is purely to recover the financial outlay in the highway’s development, its maintenance and with a reasonable profit for the investor. The maintenance then falls under the government routine maintenance budget, to be recovered from the highway users through car registration fees or petrol taxes.

In fact, another normal feature of a road toll is for the charges to be reduced, or indirectly, not increased as inflation rises through the years.

The amount of a toll levy is based on expected traffic flow. In some Malaysian roads, the word is that the surveyed traffic has actually tripled, meaning jolly good news for the toll collectors.

Why then have the tolls for five Malaysian highways been raised by as much as 60%? Especially in a time when every damn thing has gone up.

But as usual, our government is non-transparent, so there’s no way of knowing how much has actually been collected?

It seems that it is treating the toll collection as a convenient cash cow, to be milked for extra cash. I wonder whether it is being used to subsidize stuff like:

(1) the questionable RM600 million for UMNO constituencies, which AAB demands that must be used up in three months!
(2) the RM400 million Istana project
(3) the RM220 million Agricultural Expo project
(4) the RM3 billion Penang bridge project

(5) the RM500 contribution to Cambridge university
(6) the sports complex in UK,
(7) ........ (fill in the blanks)

What is going on?