Saturday, December 22, 2007

Re-name Dataran Merdeka

Malaysiakini reported that the Abolish the ISA Movement (GMI) has postponed its planned ISA vigil at Dataran Merdeka.

GMI had planned the vigil to protest the government’s detention without trial of Malaysian citizens under the Internal Security Act. This has been due to the Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman
issuing a stern warning to GMI and the public to stay away from Dataran Merdeka because he wouldn't issue any permit for the event.

We know that in recent months the police had dispersed protestors who participated in assemblies, forcefully and even with the use of water cannons and tear gas. The men in blue had also arrested many taking part in these rallies.

It seems that in recent times, the only opposition rally that emerged reasonably unscathed (except for a contained fracas which didn’t affect the main body) had been Bersih which marched all the way to the Palace to hand over a petition to the King, with the police handling the protestors with reasonable restraint. There was even an uninterrupted press conference with Bersih leaders after the petition was handed over.

By stark contrast, the police suppression of the Hindraf rally, even though it was just marching to the embassy (or rather High Commission) of a foreign country, was fiercely suppressed.

Put a question mark against those different treatments for the two rallies by police, or more correctly, by their political master(s).

GMI president Syed Ibrahim stressed that the planned but now postponed event, like previous GMI events, would have been entirely peaceful, posing no threat to public order and national security.

He scoffed at the police refusal to issue the permit, stating: “It has rather been the actions and deliberate provocation by the police which have caused (peaceful) gatherings to end in chaos.”

But sometimes I feel for the police because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s their political master(s) who set the policy, tone and probably the instructions for their over-the-top SS-type heavy-handed actions.

Look - our dear wonderful PM AAB, who is also the offending Internal Security Minister, has deliberately shut out a significant segment of the Malaysian public by his refusal to take heed of what protestors in peaceful rallies have been unhappy and complaining about, even though this Bapak Islam Hadhari has claimed he possesses Big Ears to listen to our dissatisfaction.

Instead he has buried his head in sycophantic sand while, with rapt attention, poured over a petition of support handed over by a mushroomed-overnight Damai, which claimed to represent nearly 400 NGOs and 1.5 million people.

And those up-to-now-unheard-of-and-unnamed but amazing NGOs, all 395 of them, must have all this while been representing the mute, comatose and very dead, because until post Hindraf we haven’t heard a single peep, squeak or sokong from them. As for the 1.5 million people ... well ...

Dataran Merdeka means ‘Independence (or Freedom) Place’, but it has become a blasphemy that this public Square continues to have a name with the word ‘Merdeka’. Until the Malaysian people, of whatever creed, political persuasion or religious beliefs, can enter and assemble peacefully there, the place should be re-named.

Since we are for all intents and purposes living in a police state, let’s call it Dataran ‘Sembilan Belas Lapan Puluh Empat’ (1984) after the Orwellian model, until we may enjoy true democracy once again.

It's clear that Dataran 1984 is off limits to those who believe in democracy!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What in God's name ...

Virtually everyone knows that UMNO and PAS are perpetually locked in holier-than-thou battles, a combative struggle for the hearts, minds, souls and most important of all, the votes of the faithful.

That had been the one of the principal reasons why Malaysia has jumped the divide from Tengku Abdul Rahman’s secular Malaya/Malaysia across to what it is now, an Islamic Malaysia with the national ideology of Islam Hadhari (plus ‘somnambulant’ governance).

The struggle for Allah and/or* God is never ending.

* use ’and’ if you believe your Almighty is different from the others

Therefore it was hardly surprising when we learnt from Malaysiakini that Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum declared that
only Muslims can use 'Allah'
to refer to their Almighty.

He claimed the word ‘Allah’ can only be used in the context of Islam and not any other religion, because it’s an Arabic word and therefore by default a Muslim word – ‘copyright reserve’ so to speak!

He said that its use by other religions will confuse people. But he didn’t say which people?

For example, kaytee is not in the least confused.

The organ of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, Herald, is published in four languages - English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil - and has a circulation of only 12,000, for Al...God's sake.

Because the Herald had used the ‘Allah’ word in referring to God in its Bahasa Malaysia section, it has been
facing problems renewing its publishing permit.

The publishing permit known locally as the PPPA is a government tool to punish newspapers who haven’t or won’t toe the line. I've heard of one blogger who actually supports the PPPA - can you imagine that?

OK, so the ministry has instructed the publisher of the Herald to remove the entire Bahasa Malaysia section or the publishing permit will not be renewed when it expires in two weeks.

Malaysians have been educated in Bahasa Malaysia for eons, and the minister wants that BM section of the Herald excluded. How in the world will the BM-educated Catholics read the Church’s publication then? Why not just instruct the publisher not to use the exclusive word again instead of such a heavy handed punishment?

Indeed, when Johari was asked why the Herald has been being told to remove its Bahasa Malaysia section - rather than not to use the word ‘Allah’ – he couldn’t comment, saying he wasn’t sure. Hardly surprising – the entire cabinet doesn’t know sh*t.

Johari actually confessed:
“I’m not sure about it, I have to check again.”

And who do you think he’s going to check with? His boss, the Swami of Somnambulation, or his subordinates, the Swarm of Sciolism?

All Johari could mutter was that, as far as he knows (he 'knows'? hahaha) the Herald had naughtily used the word ‘Allah’, and sure as hell (excuse the blasphemy) he won’t allow that.

Look, kaytee wants to be fair so I must ask the publishers and editors of the Herald why they had to use the ‘Allah’ word when an alternative and more commonly used word ‘Tuhan’ exists?

Yes, yes, we can go into semantics and argue that Allah is used by Christian Arabs ... yadda yadda yadda ... but my point is why use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God when we can easily anticipate the claim staking of the Almighty's name?

Some religious names are not unlike protest rallies – some people think they have a monopolistic propriety right to them (names as well as protest rallies).

Then Johari regaled us with his sad knowledge. He said that other publications, such as Buddhist magazines, do not use the word ‘Allah’ when referring to God.

Minister, puhleeeze lah, it would be better for you not to say anything and let people think you are ignorant rather than open your mouth and let them know it!

Buddhists don’t have a ‘God’ which has been why they don’t need to refer to monikers like Allah, God, Tuhan, Krishnan, Siva, Brahman, Thean Kong, Zeus, Manitou, Odin, Jupiter, etc.

But one would have imagine that it wouldn’t matter by what name the Almighty is called, because what is more important should be the piety of the believers.

For example, Minister Johari, have you shown goodwill towards your fellow men? Have you been charitable? That sort of stuff would be what the Almighty is interested in.

In closing I offer you my little piece on
Magic of the 100th name of God:

I had a hundred names
with only 99 known.
Trust Isis and her wiles,
yes, a woman
and a lovely one too,
to pry the 100th out of me.

I now have a new one but
minus an 'L' as if that
would mean someone else,
like Odin, Manitou, Zeus,
rather than ole me, you
know who, don't you?

I call out to them, they
in the red and blue corners.
The names' the same, it's all mine
of course, whose did you think?
Butt out, sneered one;
Yes, the other concurred;

But they're all mine, those
names you're fighting over.
So what, did you patent them
like mapped gerome of langsat
and petai for exclusive use?
No? Then, buzz off!

Why fight over my names
when I am the same Bloke
for all of you guys and gals?
Hellooooo, didn't we say
to butt out of our turf wars,
on exclusive use of THE name.

Only she knew my 100th name
that bestows the most powerful
magic on those who know.
She was privy to my secret (100th)
name called Compassion, sometimes
known as, would you believe,

Also do read my blogging mate Lucia Lai's post herald, allah and the use of BM.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Non's of Malaysia

Once a very erudite journalist commented how terrible that in Malaysia, a large section of its population was described as non’s, as in non bumiputera. He or she (sorry, can’t remember who) was aghast that human beings could be classified with a dismissive demeaning derogatory term.

I am personally not too fussed over the word non as I have used it myself on numerous occasions. For example, I prefer a non-stick pan (Teflon being only a trade name) especially when I have to fry fish or an egg – my efforts would end up with a disintegrating fish (no doubt fried) and an unplanned omelette.

Then there are friends of mine who would only imbibe non-alcoholic drinks. Of course there’s the non-fatty food.

Mind you, so far my use of non describes only inanimate stuff. I suppose I could give the example of non smokers.

But admittedly all my examples aren’t what that journalist had in mind, as the non’s he/she was repulsed by had been in the context of Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution, which as we all know, has been vigorously defended by a ;-) non-UMNO person.

Who? You work it out, but safe to say he/she ;-) had an UMNO connection though he’s now a non but probably wannabe.

Well, while on this allegedly offensive word, Uncle Lim has been pissed off with, according to Malaysiakini, Malaysia’s most well-known Sleeping non-Beauty.

Uncle Lim had wondered aloud whether, apart from Islam Hadhari, PM AAB has conceptualised and created a new form of governance which he (Uncle Lim) termed ‘somnambulant’ governance, or non-awake governance – maybe just non-governance?

Uncle Lim informed us that the Oxford Dictionary defines somnambulism as sleepwalking.

While taking a non non-alcoholic beverage ;-) I did a bit of checking and found out that the original word for sleepwalking was noctambulation but for some unexplained reason, somnambulism knocked out nonnoctambulation.

Somnambulation is derived from Somnus the Roman God of sleep, who in turn was the equivalent of, and probably adopted from Hypnus, the Greek God of the same power. From Hypnus, we get hypnotism. But it’s more appropriate for us to stay with the non-Greek or Roman version, as sleepwalking is what Uncle Lim mentioned.

But before we return to Uncle Lim’s ire, I was told that the Greek playwright Aeschylus once wrote something on love when he had Hypnos saying:

For Nyx* brought me not forth to be the lord of the lyre,
nor to be seer or leech, but to lull to rest men’s souls.

* Night or Hypnus' mum

Yes, we were lulled for four years, but no longer, especially more so now that Uncle Lim has raised the frightening fact. He (Uncle Lim, not Aeschylus) ask:

“Is Abdullah plunging the country to a new depth of shambolic government with his pioneering of 'somnambulant governance'?”

Lim was flabbergasted by various versions of newspaper reports on the prime minister’s reaction to the proposal to set up a Non-Muslim Affairs Department the one which I blogged in MIC in Ops 'Claw Back'.

Non-Muslim ... ;-)

An irritated Uncle Lim described the differing versions of what AAB had actually said as an “utterly befuddling and confusing response”.

'... utterly befuddling ...'! ;-) see, I am not only one with expressive condemnation.

He added: “No one can make proper sense out of it, as illustrated by the contradictory media headlines.”

In other words, basically nonsense!

But what annoyed Uncle Lim most had been AAB’s claim that various ministers in the cabinet have been charged with the responsibility of looking after the interests of different religious groups. Utter bull, though it’s only kaytee’s improvisation on what Uncle Lim must have in mind.

Malaysiakini reported Lim Kit Siang accusing “... the prime minister of making cabinet appointments on-the-run, with the public and ministers themselves completely unaware of the existence of such portfolios and responsibilities.”

Well, the non-Beauty averred that Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Ting is looking after the interests of the Buddhists, Works Minister S Samy Vellu covers the Hindus and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Bernard Dompok covers the Christians in the country.

Lim said that, for example, no one including Ong Ka Ting himself in the past four years of Abdullah's premiership was aware that Ong is also Minister for Buddhist Affairs.

Namo Omi Tor Fu, just in case.

Lim asked: “I do not believe that Ong, Samy Vellu, Bernard or Maximus are aware that they are also ministers for these respective religions - or can they give a report as to how they had been discharging their ministerial responsibilities over these portfolios since their appointment?”

“When did the prime minister make these cabinet appointments and why were they never announced to the public. Were these appointments ever gazetted?”

Sometimes Uncle Lim can be a wee pedantic ;-)

BTW, is Ong Ka Ting a Buddhist or a non? Really, you can’t assume Chinese are automatically Buddhist. They could be, yes Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Bahais, and Christians – the Catholic variety like my blogging mates Susan Loone and Lucia Lai – and of course atheists like ... ;-), yes, the non religious people.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gold at end of rainbow for Hindraf!

Some basic knowledge of physics may be required when reading this post ;-)

al Jazeera said that Malaysian AG, that Patail character, dropped all charges against five Hindraf leaders (accused of terrorism) and 26 others, some of whom were innocent bystanders (of attempted murder charges).

... terrorism and attempted murder ...? Mate, these are f-serious charges, and he just DROPPED them?

He boasted: "I could be very strict but I don't think this is the time to be that strict. Freeing them now would be the best course of action in the public and national interest.”

This is f-revolutionary – the USA should learn something from Malaysia on how to handle terrorists and failed murderers. We Malaysians are Boleh if not anything. We have just come up with a world first, where we know it’s 'in the best public and national interest' to free terrorists and unsuccessful murderers.

Nobel Peace Prize for Patail?

He crowed: "When we exercise the law ... we look at what is fair and just ... and in my judgment this is the fairest thing to do.”

Then WTF are you Patail waiting for – go free those 'Five' from Kem Kamunting.

Yes, why not release P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar? After all you not only saw fit to release those accused of attempted murder but to drop all charges against the ‘Five’.

Oh BTW, can anyone tell me which country arrests (attempted) murder suspects and then without any explanation, other than it’s ‘in the public and national interest’ and ‘the fairest thing to do’, releases them?

That Patail thinks everyone has his IQ.

But alas, according to Malaysiakini, the Cops thwarted Hindraf gathering at Kamunting.

Malaysiakini reported that on Sunday morning, the police set up numerous roadblocks near the Malaysian Gulag, and checked every motorist and passengers of Indian origin.

Just now I had an interesting discussion on this with my blogging mate, ze well-known Mademoiselle Susan Loone, who was kind enough to share with me information she came across.

Apparently, as Malaysiakini reported, the police maintained roadblocks to our Guantanamo Bay and targeted people based on their kulit-fications.

Instead of the traditional ‘red’ for ‘stop’, they were looking for ‘black’ as the colour to effect a halt.

And we all know that internationally ‘yellow’ means ‘prepare to stop’ except in Malaysia where it actually signals to ‘go faster’, thus the police roadblocks indeed did allow passage through for that colour, though they didn’t insist on the ‘yellows’ passing in a speedy fashion.

But the ‘yellows’ minus many 'blacks' went straight to Kem Kamunting to stand vigil for the victims of our deplorable draconian double-standard UMNO-led government.

In this demonstration created by the police prism ‘refracting the Malaysian light’ into its constituent colours, there was a silver lining, an excellent example of ‘an ill wind that blows nobody any good’. More and more ‘yellows’ are showing their support o orthe Hindraf detainees, becoming aware of the Indians' plight. The Indians are no longer alone in their struggle.

What about the ‘browns’?

Good news too, Susan told me the information was that one ‘brown’ claimed 2/3 of the ‘browns’ understand and support Hindraf.

While his heart was obviously with Hindraf, perhaps he allowed his emotions to get a wee carried away, expressing his wish rather than objective fact. But it’s good that he too is indicative of all the constituent colours blending together into a bright white Malaysian light again, as we should be.

F-the government's refractive prism!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hindraf phenomenon still reverberating, ringing & roaring!

VK Chin of the Star Online said that Indian groups should join hands for community ... yadda yadda ...

Nothing wrong with that advice until you read further.

He opined (and that’s all, his opinion) that so far the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), being a key component member of the Barisan Nasional, has been the one carrying the flag of the Indian community for the past 50 years.

Well, Uncle Chin,the MIC was supposed to be ... but alas, it has failed the Indian Malaysian community badly for several decades, as was seen by the spontaneous tidal wave of support for Hindraf. If MIC had been doing what it was supposed to do, the Hindraf rally would have been nothing, comprising only a trickle of its core members.

But no one can deny the amazing 30,000 to 50,000 strong crowd, a Hindraf feat that was staggering by comparison to the mainly PAS-PKR led Bersih which mustered 40,000 people.

Chin disappoints me immensely when he wrote the unbelievable in the face of the Indian rejection of MIC, so evident by their overwhelming switching of loyalties over to a relatively unknown Hindraf.

Chin said: “Being the junior of the Big Three in Barisan, the MIC has actually performed above expectations in exacting more benefits from the Government for the Indians. Much of this credit must go to its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who has become such a political force since he took charge of the party some 30 years ago. He is really the face of the Indian community.”

Uncle Chin, it’s one thing to spin but it’s another to draw such a blooming long bow.

He said exactly what 13 Indian NGOs had the effrontery to say, that the MIC is the proper forum to channel Indian grievances and complaints to the Government for action - see my post MIC in Ops Claw Back.

Please explain why the MIC is the proper forum when it has failed the Indian community miserably.

Chin showed what we all already know what the Star stands for. He advised any new group keen to promote Indian interests, that they must do it together with the MIC. He claimed that “no one can hope to have a meeting with Pak Lah about the future of Indians without the presence of Samy Vellu or the MIC’s representatives.”

Aiyah, Uncle Chin, if the MIC has been and is doing its job, what need is there for any new group to promote Indian interests?

Now, my dear Uncle Chin, please listen to what Malaysiakini published in its article 'Sweat and tears' created Indian professionals.

Malaysian Indian Business Association (MIBA) president P Sivakumar said bull to those who keep harping on the number of Indian professionals in this country as if (1) it was the fantastic work of the government, and (2) there was no poverty or marginalisation problem severely challenging the Indian community.

He stated that it had been the ‘sweat and tears’ of parents, and not the government or others, which are behind the creation of Indian professionals in this country.

“These parents exhausted all their resources to give their children a sound education. There was very little government help in the past. It is the hard work of the parents.”

“If anybody is to take credit for the number of Indian professionals, it must be these parents.”

Malaysiakini revealed that Sivakumar was joined by Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) president A Vaithilingam, who told the PM to focus on the issues affecting the Indian community rather than attacking supporters of the Hindraf.

In other words, Big Ears should stop listening to instigators and keep his Sleepy Eyes on the root cause of the tumultous Indian protests.

Not surprising, Vaithilingam reminded the PM that the large turnout at the Nov 25 Hindraf rally showed the utter frustration of the Indian community with many setbacks for the Indian community including a series of cases where Hindu bodies were buried by Islamic departments (remember M Moorthy?) despite appeals by the deceased families, and most traumatic of all, the unnecessary and particularly cruel demolitions of several Hindu temples.

Now another Star bloke, actually its Group Editor in Chief, my fellow Penang Lang, Wong Chun Wai was more careful than VK Chin in his Star spin. At least he was fair in acknowledging the impact of Hindraf. He said:

“Without doubt the recent massive demonstration by Hindraf to highlight the economic plight of Indians struck a chord among many Malaysians who feel the issues need to be addressed.”

“These are legitimate concerns, particularly on education and employment, for which the Indian community has strong sentiments. Certainly the leadership needs to hear them out.”

Of course being a Star bloke, he had to include some spin in favour of the BN ... yadda yadda ..., but he did chide the MIC, stating:

“But as action is taken against the Hindraf leaders, there are lessons to be learnt from the incident. The Hindraf protest was unprecedented and certainly the MIC must sit up and listen hard.”

“It has been weeks since the party talked about setting up hotlines to listen to the grievances of the community and we have yet to hear details of the plan and the committee set up to analyse the issues affecting the poor.”

Well, Wong, why do you think the Indians, once so beholden to the MIC, have abandoned Samy Vellu for Hindraf – MIC has been and still is all talk and no action.

Continuing: “In the case of the demolition of the illegal temple, it is highly insensitive on the part of the local authorities to carry out the action so close to Deepavali, a religious celebration. All Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers must learn from this incident.”

“Problems affecting the Malaysian urban poor, regardless of their race, need to be addressed. There must be a comprehensive plan to tackle these social concerns. It is not a consolation to use statistics to tell the community that they are not the poorest.”

“Similarly, officials of some public universities must avoid holding examinations just days before the Chinese New Year, which has been a practice at one or two universities.”

It’s all there for Big Ears to take it up or reject same, to start treating some of his fellow Malaysians as ... well ... Malaysians!

MIC in Ops 'Claw Back'

Malaysiakini reported that some Indian NGOs called upon the government to Form Non-Muslim Affairs Dept.

I disagree on principle (to be discussed at the concluding part of this post - so please read on).

The title 'Indian NGOs' is such a generalized term so let’s see who has come out with this ….. (adjective to be filled in after you've completed reading the post) … idea

The coalition of 13 Indian NGOs suggested the formation of the Department after it
met PM AAB on Friday in a session. Unfortunately but predictably the meeting excluded the main players who raised the H-storm about the continuing marginalisation of Indian Malaysians, as well as the series of brutal destruction of Indian temples that provided an alarming picture of a seeming deliberate, incremental and oppressive erasure of Indian religion-culture (perhaps this was the 'genoicide' that Hindraf meant?).

If not for Hindraf, would this meeting have eventuate? So, Datuk, how BIG are your ears really?

Typical of such people to come into play only after the hard yards had been done at considerable sacrifice by the main players, indeed including the readiness to be detained under the draconian ISA.

I have met a few too many such clever people in my career – Johnnies-and-Ginny’s-come-lately who in the first place would be conspicuously noticeable by their kia chenghu* silence and/or absence, but who would subsequently step into shoes far too large for them after the main battle had terminated.

* scared of the government

Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC) president Rajaretnam seemed to be their spokesman. He explained to the press that the NGOs decided to get together (yea, but only after Hindraf had raised the plight of the Indians in dramatic fashion and at great sacrifice) to formulate a strategic action plan to tackle the problems faced by the Indian community (hahaha, where were these people for the last few decades?). They intend to submit the plan to our dear PM.

Here’s the obligatory and expected ampuan tuan ku – he said the NGOs were grateful that the premier had engaged them in a discussion. Yes, to save the MIC’s hide!

Now, this is the part where the NGOs showed their true colour - Rajaretnam said that the strategic action plan will be submitted to the PM via the official channel, MIC president S Samy Vellu.

He whimpered: "We are willing to receive feedback from all quarters in order to work as a team on this issue. But they must agree to go through the proper channel.”

‘Proper channel’ and ‘MIC president S Samy Vellu’???

Hey, I thought they were NGOs? And since when has there been an 'Indian Department' that constitutes an official channel for Indians to submit their problems to?

And what happens if those Indians refuse to process their 'feedback' through Samy Vellu? Will their 'feedback' then be cast aside?

Maybe this nonsense explains why the Indian Malaysians have been right royally screwed for the last five decades of independence.

But the more important point which these so-called NGOs have missed completely, hardly surprising, is that government ministries and departments, other than those for Islamic matters, should not be religion related, and should serve the general public irrespective of the public member’s religious affiliation.

While the Constitution states that Islam is the official religion of secular Malaysia, it is only appropriate that there should be a department or departments (even ministry) for Islamic affairs.

But that’s that! Why the hell do we need a Non-Muslim Affairs Department that’s more suited to Islamic nations like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran?

But of course those NGOs said words to please the Big Ears of our dear pseudo-Sultan and more likely, to salvage the terribly battered image of the MIC which is currently and completely at sea with the unexpected H-force of unhappy Indian Malaysians. The MIC knows it has been blasted by Hindraf into irrelevance - this is its Ops Claw Back.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Con-gratulations, dear PM

KL Loo must have given great thoughts to the letter he/she wrote to Malaysiakini; it's titled Congratulations to you, Mr Prime Minister. I am so caught up with his/her summarisation of recent political events that I feel compelled somewhat to share his thoughts with you.


Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for arresting the Hindraf leaders. With one ingenious move you have solved the 50-year plight of the Indian community. I can’t go anywhere now without seeing a smiling Indian face.

Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for passing the
'Abdul Rashid' Bill with such speed. The right man for the right job, I say. Those who criticise you for being sloth-like now have to eat their words! Even though the people who voted for you in 2004 didn’t think you would do something like this, I am sure they are behind you 500 percent!

Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for promoting
Zaki Azmi to the second highest judicial post. The right man for the right job, I say. It is a move that will be most welcomed by Umno. There is nothing more endearing than seeing your old friend sitting on the judge’s bench when you enter the courtroom. Even though the people who voted for you in 2004 didn’t think you would do something like this, I am sure they are behind you 500 percent!

Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for exposing the truth about the opposition. They are bodoh, goblok, monyet, terowong, bocor and wheelchair-bound.

Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for successfully assembling the most complete collection of brilliant minds in our cabinet. We are constantly in awe of the wit and wisdom of the ministers and BN parliamentarians. Their words are a guiding light in the people’s lives.

Congratulations to you, our prime minister, for winning the 2008 general elections too. Heck, even the man who leads the Election Commission said that
no other regime can run this country. With the judiciary, Election Commission, police force, media and your son-above-the-law firmly behind you, you will sail beyond year 2057!

Congratulations to you, our prime minister for having such big ears. But let me dig out your ear wax, wait a minute, mmm, they are gigantic! Prime Minister, can you let me work for The Star, New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia or Berita Harian? My soul is pretty cheap.


Thanks to KL Loo, I am beginning to appreciate AAB's Islam Hadhari. Con-gratulations once again to our dear prime minister.

Iran - what will Bush do next, for dear Israel?

Paul Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He has been writing a weekly column on global security on openDemocracy since 26 September 2001

Some extracts from Professor Paul Rogers’ latest column
Iraq’s danger signals:


The most striking breach in this evolving story-line was the release on 3 December 2007 of the national-intelligence estimate (NIE), a collation of the most up-to-date assessments on current security situations and threats from the US's sixteen intelligence agencies.

The latest NIE report - Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities - concluded "with high confidence" that Iran had abandoned its plans to build a nuclear weapon in 2003 as a result of international pressure, and was unlikely to have enough enriched uranium to resume its plans until 2010-15.

Its publication was a severe blow to leading US neo-conservatives who had invested so much effort in depicting Iran as an immediate danger.

The unexpected revision of judgment about Iran's nuclear ambitions produced a heated response from hawkish commentators.
There is little doubt, however, that the assessment makes it far more difficult for the more intransigent elements in Washington to persuasively advocate a military assault on Iran in the near future - and perhaps before the end of Bush's presidential term at the end of 2008.

Moreover, the report effectively undercuts the case for increased sanctions on Iran, with Russia and China able to exert influence in the UN Security Council influence to counter any fresh US move in this direction.


(1) Bush's lies about Iran - déjà vu denied?
George Bush's farewell gift to Israel?
(3) Will Bush parcel out Iran toward the four winds of heaven?
(4) Lies & power behind US invasion of Iraq
(5) Anything for dear old Israel
(6) Why President Bush is so against Iran

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hijacking Hindraf H-power?

Malaysiakini reported that following the arrest and detention under the draconian ISA of Hindraf’s top 5 including Uthayakumar, his brother Waythamoorthy who is currently in London to rally international support for the Hindraf movement, announced the usual stuff about remaining calm and continuing the struggle ... yadda yadda ...

What was interesting has been his
warning to Hindraf supporters not to “... let not anyone tell you that Hindraf is without leadership as a result of the police act ...” or to allow any political parties to hijack the movement’s struggle.

He said:
“We will remain apolitical though we are politically sensitive. I know there will be political parties who will try to move in after the arrest of the five key leaders today. My message to our supporters is not to let them hijack our struggle.”


He must have seen what happened to Bersih where the climax of the Bersih march, having reached Istana Negara (King's palace), saw the entire rally waiting a fairly long while for a ‘certain person’ to turn up to hand over the petition to the Palace officials - a 'someone' who was not even among the supporters in the rally itself.

I wonder why Nik Aziz or Lim Kit Siang, or better still an NGO leader or a popular personality like Irene Fernandez couldn’t do that.

Yes, why not a more poignant personality like the brave young laddie who was struggling along the march on crutches - what a more glorious headline that would have made.

Instead, all the valiant efforts of the brave marchers of Bersih were corrupted by that hijacking. Instead of the Bersih march being a people’s rally, as exemplified by the struggle of that physically disadvantaged but brave young laddie, it ended up being the grandstanding platform of one single political personality.

As I blogged in
Hindraf H-bomb blasted veneer off opposition multiracial mask:

Firstly, Malaysiakini reported that Anwar Ibrahim “… urged the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to direct its grievances towards the ‘corrupt’ Umno-led Barisan Nasional government” but not Article 153 of the Constitution.

He also told Hindraf “to consider a more balanced and responsible approach to address its grievances”.

How would Hindraf be not balanced and not responsible in its approach of campaigning against Article 153? Please see
Anwar Ibrahim, Article 153 & Hindraf and Is Anwar Ibrahim backtracking on his policy on NEP?

I wonder whether Anwar Ibrahim said those same words in India?

I also read just prior to the march some so-called activists and staunch supporters of the Bersih rally, criticizing the Hindraf march as ‘chauvinistic’.

Like Anwar, PAS also criticised Hindraf's assertion. PAS leaders should read this letter by Steve Oh to Malaysiakini titled PAS need not worry about Hindraf.

Oh said in defence of Hindraf:
“Surely there must be a situation where it is legitimate for people of the same race, who are common victims of discrimination, to fight for a common cause or for their rights without having to justify their stand or be unfairly accused as racist. We must be careful not to confuse racial discrimination with racial identification.”

I have also read a letter in Malaysiakini by a staunch PKR stalwart, Nat Tan, urging Hindraf to join up with Bersih. Nothing wrong in this – in fact I support Nat's call, but I can fully understand why Hindraf leaders would be suspicious because really, where was Bersih, PKR and PAS when Hindraf was about to commence its historic march.

But I want to put on record here that Nat Tan stood out among PKR and other activists in his walking with Hindraf on 25 November. However, as a loyal Anwar aide he did spin his best to explain his boss' and another so-called activist's lack of sympathetic support for Hindraf. Nat has my admiration for his principles and integrity, but I don't buy his over generous excuses for those two.

But as Momentum M wrote in to Malaysiakini
Vox Populi: "I read with interest the letter on PAS stand on Hindraf. I was also at the forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Dec 11 on the subject of Malaysia after Hindraf. It is amazing how many parties are now jumping on the Hindraf bandwagon on a hundred and one pretexts of giving advice instead of recognising that the Hindraf movement has in one brilliant stroke created a momentum that is changing our political landscape forever."

Yes, Momentum M, you aren’t the only one to notice the hypocritical about-turn of those who had earlier dissuaded, criticised and even condemned Hindraf prior to the H-shockwave the Hindu movement has created.

Momentum M also called on us to back Hindraf to the hilt without any reservation because he (or she) mockingly noted that "neither PAS or PKR has openly done so".

He/she continued:
"If the immediate objective for the next 12 months is to mount an effective challenge to BN, the obvious thing to do is to support this momentum instead of frittering away this advantage. Politics is all to do with momentum and timing. In my 40 years observing Malaysian politics (including standing for elections), I have never seen the impact of an event such as the Hindraf phenomenon on the electorate."

Indeed, and this is the subject of this post

As a general group (excluding the community’s small group of well-educated and/or well-heeled elite) the Indian Malaysians have in recent times gained the dubious reputation of being the ethnic group involved in a very high percentage (said to be 30%?) of crimes – and really, that should have already alerted us to their terrible social-economic problems and disadvantages.

Additionally their so-called representatives, chief among whom has been the MIC, have been shamefully pathetic and are hardly exemplary models of community leadership. The converse has been true where those Indian political leaders in the Barisan Nasional have frequently provided comic relief to the terrible Malaysian political landscape that is plagued with racism.

The Indian Malaysians represent approximately 10% of our population yet own only 1.2% equity, of which 1% is said to belong to only one man, billionaire Ananda Krishnan. And how much of the 0.2% left are owned by MIC leaders?

All in all, the Indians are hardly an influential group but known to be ‘obedient’ to their MIC Brahmin-ic ‘betters’ ..... or so they were thought to be!

Most of those pollies who now lust for the Hindraf H-power had originally sneered at the movement's plans to march to the British High Commission, or even laughed at what they thought was the typical Indian joke of any action, expecting the usual comic relief to follow.

Prior to the rally, some made patronising comments, probably accompanied by a curl at the corner of their mouths or even a smirk, while others dismissed Hindraf's campaign rally as chauvinistic in nature and not to be supported.

Chauvinistic? Please do read Steve Oh's letter to Malaysiakini again (mentioned above).

But the Indians have through the years lost so much that, in desperation and pitiful plight at the very rock bottom of Malaysian society, there was only one way to move ..... upwards ... or at least forward in a magnificent Hindraf rally. They acted because they have lost their fear of, and traditional obedience to, authority.

No slick high profile Renaissance leader to galvanise them - all mainly dads and mums - the numbers in the Hindraf rally on that momentuous day of 25 November 2007 totalled around 30,000, with some even suggesting it was up to 50,000 people.

All they asked for was ... don't leave them by the economic or educational wayside, stop wiping out their religio-cultural base and respect their rights to worship their Hindu religion in 100-year old temples, temples that were erected way before the existence of the political entity of Malaysa/Malaysia, and respect for their equal status as citizens in our community.

Would there be anything wrong in such reasonable demands, whereas to disagree with such demands would in fact be unreasonable.

But back to the numbers in the rally - let’s be conservative – let's say it was just 30,000. And how many were there in a well organised Bersih with high profile personalities?

40,000, most of whom were PAS members fatwa-ed into participation by Nik Aziz. While it was a multi-ethnic rally, let’s not pretend it wasn’t mainly Malays.

40,000 from a possible 65% of the population compared to 30,000 from a possible 10%.

Relatively speaking, the Hindraf rally had an equivalent strength of nearly 200,000 strong, five times greater than the much vaunted, better organised, high profile-led Bersih. Hindraf produced a nuclear fusion that has Malaysian politics still reeling. The energy of the Indian Malaysians demonstrated on that day in November 2007 has been staggering ...

... which has been why Waythamoorthy is damn worried that some political parties may plot now to ‘hijack’ and harness the amazing power of the Hindraf movement.

MIC is worried, PPP is drooling (which has been probably why Kayveas badmouthed MIC) and other parties are lusting after the Hindraf potential.

The Malaysian political environment is still buzzing, yes reverberating with Hindraf news and going-ons of its personalities - we just can't have enough of them. They are the new folk heroes, signalling what can be possible, what can be Boleh!

The ‘traditional clowns’ have become the new much-sought-after ‘towering champions’.

Malaysia's Economic Pariahs?
The Toddy Syndrome

Friday, December 14, 2007

Root of evil in Malaysian politics

Yesterday Malaysiakini reported pro-tem vice-president of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and social activist Dr D Jeyakumar saying our dear government is exploiting the Hindraf issue to stir up communal sentiments among the Malays. For more read Malaysiakini’s Hindraf 'playing into gov't hands'.

Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia-Today also posted the existence of a nefarious intent in
The tried and tested route of history, illustrating UMNO’s modus operandi in exploiting fear, anger and ethnic prejudice to marshal the Malays, this time behind AAB.

As my blogging mate, renown blogger Susan Loone in her post
Malaysia mad with arrests, 23 nabbed including teenager said: “Whenever UMNO is at its lowest and weakest points, instead of tackling business in-house, it diverts attention and attacks others. No wonder the rot in UMNO continues.”

She also concluded that “… someone wants the prime minister to look really bad. And the stupid guy (meaning the PM) just falls into their trap.”

I had similar thoughts in my
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown where I expressed my suspicion that there’s internal strife in UMNO. A creature is at its most dangerous when wounded and cornered.

But my modest post, mainly queries of what could be going on deep within UMNO, pales into insignificance when I subsequently read Raja Petra’s lavishly detailed
Losing the plot, where he mentioned the current undercurrent (excuse the pun) acrimonious struggle between former PM Dr Mahathir and PM AAB.

Raja said what most Malaysians who follow politics closely would say, that the only way for UMNO to fall would be from within. As a near example of that occurring, he quoted the Mahathir-Ku Li schism and the splitting of old UMNO into new UMNO and Semangat 46. He had already alluded to the ongoing chess moves between Dr Mahathir and AAB.

And may I also add to that the 19898 UMNO split which arose after Anwar Ibrahim was chucked out of UMNO. In fact I dare say that caused more than just an UMNO split as it divided the Malay community especially when the anwaristas in UMNO went on to form KeADILan a la Semangat 46.

The only brilliant strategic move in AAB’s reign was his release of Anwar Ibrahim from prison and allowing the latter to go abroad for his spinal surgery, where in one fell swoop, he (AAB) healed the Malay divide and neutralised Anwar’s role as a magnet for opposition to UMNO.

But alas, since then, he has squandered all the goodwill, including those from the Chinese Malaysian community who had believe in him as a modern day Bao Gong.

So, battered from the shockwaves caused by a combination of rotten advice from his closest confidantes, party factionalism, chipping away of his authority from within and coincidentally a renaissance of NGO socio-political activisms (whether hijacked or not, or wannabe), the cornered rat has, as Dr Jeyakumar warned, spied remedy in capitalising on Hindraf’s melodramatic allegations and extreme demands to shore up Malay support. For added measure, he threw the harmful ISA at the harmless Hindraf leaders.

In some ways, AAB has succeeded in arousing his desired ethnocentric reactions. UMNO did get together with PAS for secret talks, though in Malaysia no political secret exists. Some Malay activists who have asserted stakeholder claims in opposition politics demonstrated very little if any sympathies for Hindraf’s struggle, even criticising the Indian-based Hindu movement as chauvinistic in character. Some ironically and most unjustly (or with extreme bias) condemned the Indian protestors as violent even after the latter including some innocent bystanders were bashed by the police.

And of course, kaytee being kaytee, I cannot help but recall Anwar Ibrahim’s advice to Hindraf not to campaign against the ethnocentric Article 153. For more, please read
Hindraf H-bomb blasted veneer off opposition multiracial mask.

Talking about UMNO history of schisms, and my comment that AAB has squandered all the goodwill gained from his release of Anwar Ibrahim and a promise for clean politics (what an obscene word is his ‘clean politics’ now!), I reckon it all boils down to one issue – avarice

Yes, avarice, greed, gluttony, excessiveness, insatiableness, rapacity, esurience ...

The 'cake of power' and all its attendant ‘icing’ aren’t big enough for divvying up to everyone's satisfaction despite a multitude of multi-billion ringgit contracts and deals, because the appetite, thirst and hunger of UMNO members have greatly inflated.

As a nation, we have certainly ‘advanced’ from the days when the Prime Minister, then Tengku Abdul Rahman, would take opportunity of his official trips to Kedah to buy cheaper goat meat there for his wife.

What would he have thought if he were to read my post
Ijok - glimpses of Vision 2020?

while driving somewhere in Port Klang ...

... let alone mention miraculous manna-like multi-million ringgit mergers, modern flashy jet plane, luxurious yacht, ridiculous multi-hundred-million ringgit sports complex in a faraway land, exorbitantly priced screwdrivers and whatnot, highway tolls that lay golden eggs, gleaming palaces including the one in Port Klang, etc.

excessiveness - does one need a room of this size?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Zaki Azmi as Chief Justice - 2 different perspectives

As a Penangite I always have a soft spot for The Star because I look fondly upon it as a Penang newspaper – yes, once as a young kid I was a Star newspaper boy selling copies to adults to earn the odd ringgit or so.

A couple of days ago I read sweetie Chelsea Ng’s write-up on the new top appointments in the judiciary. She wrote:

The Prime Minister brought very good news when he announced the appointment of two respectable personalities to fill the top two posts in the judiciary. This could see a start to a healthier epoch for the oft-criticised institution.

“... brought very good news ...”? "... healthier epoch ..."?

Yes, dear Chelsea was talking about Abdul Hamid Mohamad's elevation to the post of Chief Justice, and get this ... :( ... Zaki Azmi as the No 2 man on the Bench.

OK, forget about Abdul Hamid Mohamad – it’s the No 2 who’ll be No 1 in around 9 months that I want to talk about. Continuing with some extracts of what the sweetie wrote:

Zaki’s unprecedented leap to the Federal Court and, shortly after that, to the number two position in the judiciary has raised many eyebrows in the legal fraternity. While most people agree that he would make a very good judge – he has fortitude and intellect – some thought that his appointment would serve as a clear example of the need for some sort of a Judicial Appointment Commission.

However, we should not be too troubled by this view. The fact that many thought that both these top two judges were the best choice proves that the Prime Minister and the King must have consulted quite a few right people beforehand.

“... many thought ...” that Zaki was the best choice for the No 2 going on to No 1?

Who have been these 'many' so-called thinking people ... other than UMNO? The MCA?

Continuing with Cheryl’s Chelsea's mythology ...

This is definitely a good sign for the judiciary.

“... good sign ...” hahahahahahahhaahhahaha, where did sweetie Cheryl Chelsea come from? Yes, yes, yes, ..... from the Star hahahahhahahahahahahaha

Hey my dear, this was what Kim Quek wrote in Malaysiakini about Zaki Azmi, Judicial rot: From one nightmare to another?, a title that’s surely self explanatory on Kim’s opinion of the new No 2 soon to be No 1 Judge. Extracts of his article are:

In fact, when Zaki was appointed a Federal Court judge in September, he was instantly recognized at home and abroad as the person planted to the highest court to succeed Fairuz, whose request for a six-month extension of service beyond his mandatory retirement on Oct 31 was not accepted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Such instant recognition of Zaki’s mission came from his deep involvement with Umno as a key party player. He was chairman of the party’s election committee, deputy chairman of its disciplinary board of appeal, party legal adviser etc.

As Umno’s legal man, he was involved with the party’s myriad of scandalous financial misadventures that were bailed out by the government in the heydays of Mahathir’s crony-capitalism during the last Asian financial crisis. One prominent example is the RM3 billion loan scam in the disastrous acquisition of Philippines’ National Steel Corp (NS) by Umno’s financial proxy Halim Saad.

When the shares of NS became scrap, four top Malaysian banks were made to stomach the entire RM3 billion losses. And Zaki was then a director of the investment vehicle - Hottick Investment Ltd of Hong Kong – which borrowed the RM3 billion and embarked on the acquisition of NS.

Well, dear Cheryl Chelsea, is Zaki’s entry into the upper echelon of the bench still a ‘good sign’? ;-)

But Cheryl Chelsea shocked, nay, shattered me with what she said next:

Perhaps it is also timely for us to remind ourselves here that independent decisions should not necessarily be those that are anti-government or anti-establishment. Many have perceived judge’s independence wrongly by equating anti-establishment with objectivity. We are not seeking judges who run down the country or its people using court proceedings or judgments.

Fair enough, up to this stage. Now, for the unbelievable:

A retired senior judge, known for his independence and judicial brilliance, once made it clear that the Internal Security Act (ISA) could not be abolished.

How true. It may be a draconian legislation but it is sometimes necessary to bring peace and stability to a country during trying times.

The eminent judge had said that good judges would not resort to using such a law during peaceful time but would not hesitate supporting its use during periods of anarchy.

Cheryl Chelsea oh Cheryl Chelsea, you broke me poor heart by your sad silly and sorry argument for the ISA. Well, apart from that, why don't you name that retired 'eminent judge' instead of no-name dropping all over, or is this the new Star style of journalism?

And then she ended with:
Now with our judiciary looking like it is on the road to recovery, we will be expecting the emergence of more independent judgments.

Hahahhahahaha sob sob sob ........

Did I mention I’ve always had a soft spot for The Star because I look upon it fondly as a Penang newspaper – yes, I did say too I used to be a Star newspaper boy selling the papers to adults - but Cheryl Chelsea has finally destroyed that fond impression of many years standing.

Kim Quek tells us more:

Apart from acting as Umno’s nominee, Zaki also has held directorship in scores of major companies including some of the most well known names such as Berjaya, Metacorp, Pan Global, SP Setia, Malaysia Airports, Hume, Matsushita Electric, Pharmaniaga etc. Zaki was reported by Bernama on April 21 this year to have said that his 58% owned Emrail Sdn Bhd, a railway specialist company, had only the government as employer, and that he was earnestly soliciting contracts in the northern and southern portions of the double-tracking project to turn the cash-strapped Emrail around.

Such political and business background would already have made him a poor candidate for any judicial appointment, Zaki is battered by yet another serious handicap – the question of his moral integrity arising from his controversial marriage and divorce from his second wife Nor Hayati Yahaya, who was half his age.

Now, the second paragraph is the part I don’t like to read about, in the same way I don’t want to read about the salacious sorry sordid allegations of Anwar Ibrahim and his sexual proclivity, because it’s totally irrelevant to my take on who makes a good, reliable and reasonably honest leader. I have been judging Anwar only on his past policies and political track record, full stop.

However, one incident about Zaki’s second marriage caught my eye ‘ere I skipped over the offending paragraphs:

Zaki married Nor Hayati in a ceremony conducted by a kadi from Thailand in a textile shop in Perlis in March 2005. They separated three months later. In the messy divorce that ensued, it was revealed that Zaki burned the original marriage certificate to hide the marriage from his first wife. Further, the marriage was ruled by the Syariah Court as illegal.

Above underlining mine – a person who would go to that extent must be still in love with the original wife ;-) because they say Omnia Vincit Amor (Love conquers all), even unto the naughty act of burning marriage certificate - but we aren’t talking about issues of passion here but rather, Malaysia’s top judicial appointment.

Should such a person, taken to burning his marriage certificate (with his second wife) to hide same from (No 1) wife, be a judge?

Continuing ...

Following the revelation of Zaki’s marital trouble, he resigned as deputy chairman of Umno’s disciplinary board, for which he commented: “Considering that members of the disciplinary board are of the highest integrity, I have made this decision following reports in the media ….” (New Straits Times, 9 Aug 2005)

The question we must ask now is: If Zaki is morally unfit to serve in Umno’s disciplinary board, how could he be considered morally fit to be a federal court judge, not to mention his lightning elevation to the No.2 position, and anticipated imminent rise to the top job in the judiciary?

Now, I know Kim Quek is from the PKR and I normally read articles written by politicians with some caution, but I have to say in Kim’s unfolding of his case against Zaki, it’s a damn good question – a very relevant and important query given Zaki is being fast tracked for the top judicial position.

Yes, if Zaki is morally unfit even to serve on Umno’s disciplinary board, good lord, how could he ever be considered morally fit to be a federal court judge?

Kim asked in disgust:
Is this country so poor in legal talent and integrity that we have no choice but to appoint someone so glaringly unsuited for such important judicial position arising from his multiple conflicts of interests and questionable integrity?

If not, then why did the prime minister make such a move? If it is not to advance the prime minister’s and Umno’s interests, then what motivated such an appointment?

Another damn good question, that is, if Big Ears are listening at all. And P Ramakrishnan wrote a letter to Malaysiakini titled Zaki - no saving grace for the judiciary where he too asked:

We are indeed shocked that a person so junior in rank with nothing outstanding about him should now outrank all the serving senior judges, some of whom are most deserving of this exalted position. It is very disturbing that Zaki is set to become the next chief justice within a year. Is the prime minister telling the entire nation that there are no better judges in terms of seniority, experience, diligence and integrity on the bench that can be considered for this top post? It would be laughable if someone were to answer "Yes" to this question.

The battered image of the judiciary will not be improved by this shocking appointment that goes against the grain of public opinion. It is a pity that good sense has failed to prevail. When the judiciary is low on public opinion, it is a terrible mistake to parachute someone so closely associated with Umno to the top position. This appointment smacks of political intervention to safeguard the interests of the executive rather than to protect the integrity of the judiciary. It is no wonder that many eyebrows were raised when the announcement was made public.

Kim continued: We have already seen in the infamous Lingam video clip how the former chief justice betrayed his oath of allegiance to the country and the Constitution by crawling to serve the parochial interests of his political and business masters, thus confirming the common knowledge of the depth of degradation our judiciary has sunk.

Ouch and double, triple ouch!

I won’t torture you dear readers anymore but to end with these two paragraphs of Kim’s:

Taking cue from this observation, Zaki’s appointment is an unmitigated disaster, as even if he has the superhuman capability to totally severe his umbilical cord to the ruling party and his commercial interests to eliminate conflict of interests, there is still the insurmountable problem of public perception. With Zaki’s questionable background, there is no way he can command complete public confidence, particularly when the interests of Umno or his businesses are involved.

Coming at a time when Malaysia’s competitiveness is fast losing ground, which has been contributed in no small way by its worsening judiciary image, such a daring raid on the sanctimonious ground of neutrality as the judiciary through planting a party stalwart to take over its control is destined to bring ruinous consequences to this country. Not even in the height of Mahathir’s autocracy would such a reckless adventure be contemplated.

Dear Cheryl Chelsea Ng, this is serious, we better have a word or two together on what you have written.

The Dream Team in the Judiciary from BolehTalk.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A tale of two prime ministers

I hope Malaysiakini won’t mind me posting in full the article Duplicity of Pak Liar by its columnist Dean Johns – call it an ad for Malaysiakini’s quality goods and I won’t charge the online news portal for my service too.

I have been following Johns's articles for his tongue in cheek style but this one shows a glimpse of Johns' anger, which we all share.

Following Johns’ article I have posted another article from the Sydney Morning Herald, to show a world of difference in Prime Ministerial style.

When Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s utterances are at variance with the truth, we’re usually inclined to excuse him on the grounds that he’s either misinformed or, as he often claims himself, he doesn’t know the facts.

But there was no doubt about his recent utterance regarding the bringing of charges against citizens who walked in the recent Bersih, Hindraf and Human Rights Day rallies: “We do not discriminate, there are no double standards in enforcing the law.”

A statement that was, by anybody’s standards, a barefaced, outright lie.

If there’s one glaringly obvious fact of life in Malaysia, it’s that there is one set of laws for Barisan Nasional (BN) members, cronies and supporters and another for everybody else.

For example, charges of attempted murder have been brought against 31 people arrested at the Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25, yet no charges have been laid against the member of the police force who shot two PAS members Suwandi Ab Ghani and Muhammad Azman Aziz, during a Bersih gathering on Sept 8 at Pantai Batu Buruk in Kuala Terengganu.

Nor do any charges ever appear to be brought against police responsible for one of Hindraf’s many causes for complaint, the shocking rate of deaths - especially of Indian - that occur among ‘suspects’ in custody.

Then there’s the fact that leaders of the Nov 10 Bersih rally in KL have been charged with threatening the peace and stability of the nation. Yet Umno members who, during the party’s 2006 general assembly threatened to bathe the keris in the blood of fellow Malaysians were not so much as reprimanded.

And following the Hindraf rally, roundly condemned by the government as being racist, ex-Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik wasn’t so much as chided for the incendiary remark that “The Malays have never taken to the streets so do not force us to do so as we will draw our parang to defend the Ketuanan Melayu in this country.”

Perhaps the most frequently mentioned example of the double standard in enforcing the laws pertaining to public assembly has been the denial of police permits for the recent rallies, compared with official approval if not encouragement of an earlier protests led by PM-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin at the Burmese Embassy and at the arrival of the visiting US Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice.

Then there are the contrasting styles of law enforcement against illegal signage and construction. Lawyer Edmund Bon has been charged with “obstructing Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers from performing their duty” in removing a Human Rights Day banner from a building on which it was lawfully displayed, but hundreds of illegally-erected billboards in PJ are permitted to remain in place on the pretext that it’s too expensive to pull them down.

Hindu temples and other places of worship are demolished on the grounds that they’re illegal, while the so-called Istana Impian, built without a permit by Klang assemblyman Zainal @ Zakaria Mat Deros on public land acquired suspiciously cheaply by his wife, is allowed to stand unscathed.

But the falsehood of the prime minister’s “no double standards in enforcing the law” remark gets much closer to home than that.

His very family and in-laws have been suspected of being above and beyond the law. His son’s amazingly successful company, Scomi, has been accused of complicity in the supply of US-blacklisted uranium-processing equipment to Iran.

His former sister-in-law’s name has been linked with the Iraq food-for-oil scandal. And his son-in-law, Khairy, famously received a ‘loan’ of a great many shares in a local company, and then claimed to have sold them ‘at a loss’ after this windfall was embarrassingly revealed.

Some of Pak Lah’s cabinet ministers have come under suspicion too, but somehow spared the inconvenience of legal action against them. S Samy Vellu and Rafidah Aziz, for example, have both faced apparently credible corruption allegations but in the event have proven untouchable.

I could quote a great many more examples of selective application of the law, but I’m sure you can think of even more than I can.

And in any case, as the prime minister well knows despite his repeated denials, the rot in Malaysia’s legal system is much more serious than simple inequity, as the very institution of the law is iniquitous.

The previous chief justice was a symptom of this malaise, hence the walk by lawyers in Putrajaya in October. But now, far from seriously addressing the problem with the royal commission that was called for, the prime minister has presided over the appointment of an even less desirable chief justice-to-be, the former Umno and government-linked company fixer Zaki Azmi.

As Kim Quek wrote recently, Azmi has “not even warmed his seat as a judge, and yet he now looks poised to succeed Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad five months from now when Hamid retires in April 2008 upon reaching 66 years of age”.

Pak Lah has demonstrated a similar level of bias in the face of Bersih pressure for free and fair elections with his plot to pass a constitutional amendment to extend the term in office of the thoroughly discredited chairperson of the Election Commission, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.

Abdul Rashid is so far from independent in the performance of his duties as to reveal in a recent speech that he believes that “there is only one regime in this country that is capable of running” the nation, and that Malaysia would be “in trouble” if he was in disagreement with BN politicians in terms of what the country needs.

So, all in all, as far as free and fair elections and equality under the law are concerned, it’s painfully evident where Malaysia’s future currently lies - in the hands of that master of empty words and paragon of broken promises, the duplicitous and deceitful Pak Lah.


From the Sydney Morning Herald:


The 33-year parliamentary career of John Howard ended today when he finally conceded defeat in Bennelong and congratulated the woman who beat him, Labor's Maxine McKew.

"It was very long campaign and it was a tough campaign and I have no complaints," he told a poll declaration ceremony at Chatswood.

"The Labor Party won the seat fairly and squarely.

"This is a wonderful exercise in democracy. You can count on the fingers of one hand the countries which have remained democracies for over 100 years.

"It is a privilege to be part of that process. And, to see such a seamless transfer of power is a remarkable tribute to the durability of democracy in this country and an example to the rest of the world.

"I wish the new Government well and my own party well.

"I know that in Opposition it will stay true to the ideals upon which it was founded.

"Above all I wish Australia well because, as I have often said, things that unite us as Australians are greater and more enduring than the things that divide us."

Mr Howard had held the Bennelong electorate in Sydney since 1974 and he is only the second serving prime minister in Australian history to be dumped at the ballot box.

Electoral Commission officials formally declared Ms McKew the winner by 44,685 votes to Mr Howard's 42,251.

After the results were announced at the sometimes awkward ceremony, the former ABC TV journalist paid tribute to Mr Howard's years of service.

"I know how much serving in the Australian Parliament meant to you," she said.

"You went to the highest of public achievement and I thank you for what you have done for this country.

"I wish you and Mrs Howard all fulfilment."


Much as I dislike Howard for his obsequity towards Bush and his all too willing participation in the Coalition of the Killing I have to take my hat off to him for his gracious exit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

When I read the headlines in Malaysiakini which tell of All roads to Parliament blocked to prevent certain Bersih leaders from delivering a Bersih memo: Why he (Abdul Rashid) is unfit to continue as EC chief and the eventual but predictable outcome which caused Vexed (Opp) MPs to stage (a) walkout in frustration at the undemocratic and oppressive conduct of the AAB government ...

... I did wonder why AAB has gone to such silly attention-attracting tactics when he could have easily permitted Bersih to deliver the memo (afterall Bersih did say they weren’t going to conduct a rally), get one of his parliamentary staff to accept the memo and say he’d look into it ... and end of story without high drama to entertain or anger the public.

I have often attributed his dramatic but unproductive pronouncements or actions to the poor advice of his moronic sub-mediocre advisors, but I am beginning to wonder in these recent cases of rallies and unnecessary heavy-handed police actions, whether there may be more than meet the eye (well, at least my eye).

I had blogged in Mental makeup of AAB & his harshness towards Hindraf? where a ‘chieftain’ or pseudo-sultan like AAB expects, demands and enjoys the homage, tributes and oaths of allegiance and fealty, as well as the trappings and perks of the office.

But as Shakespeare said in Henry IV, Part II, ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’:

How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

… which of course is hardly applicable to him, because while he has been reported to be slumbering, some of his ‘poorest subjects’ (reportedly the terrori … Indian Malaysians) were steeping their senses (of frustration and hopelessness) with toddy to forget.

But that aside, is there something going on in UMNO?

I read somewhere that while he is expected to win handsomely in the general election, he is also under enormous (internal UMNO) pressure to wrest Kelantan back from PAS while ensuring he doesn’t lose Terengganu in the process …….. plus he must demolish the wretched (to UMNO) PKR in Penang.

... bearing in mind he mustn't at the same time allow Anwar Ibrahim to split the Malay community again which could happen if he were to overreact against the de facto leader of PKR.

Are these draconian-on-steroid oppressions of Hindraf, the lawyers and Bersih part of his manoeuvres to outflank whoever has been posing him the continuous set of problems, from which an early casualty had been his original plans to spring a snap general election?

Are these part of an internal UMNO (no doubt hostile or even malicious) initiation exercise to test his leadership mettle, to show him at his worst?

Has it been because of all these ordeals, that the pretences of democratic process, of so-called independent/neutral civil servants, of his image of Mr Nice Guy, have suddenly evaporated?

This has been a bloke who garnered over 90% of the votes seats* in the last general election. He is guaranteed to win again, this we have no doubt.

* thanks to Lone's correction of my error - he won 60% of votes making up 90% of seats; as someone said, the EC is worth his weight in gold which has been why the Constitution has been amended for one sole public servant ;-)

Yet, suddenly he has become paranoid and muttered of national security and public safety, and regrettably acted in unbelievable draconian fashion. Had he been so ill-advised or ... perhaps he was speaking in cryptic form, that the national security and safety pertain to his position as UMNO head and PM?

There is no nastier rat than a cornered rat ... except perhaps a pseudo-sultan under threat.

But then who has been behind all these, assuming my conspiracy theory even has any purchase ;-) - hey, I am sick of blogging about rallies, arrests and bullsh*t public servants so ........

My 12/1207 morning news reading came across Raja Petra Kamarudin’s interesting (and maybe related) article in his famous ‘Corridors of Power’ titled Losing the plot

Monday, December 10, 2007

Threatening national security with your sneeze!

The bloke who was so obscenely hasty in clearing the IGP and the former head of the ACA was equally swift in objecting to bail for 8 lawyers who were arrested for ‘illegal’ assembly on International Human Rights Day.

However, I believe he hasn’t been so swift in responding to Lim Guan Eng’s demand for him to make public the investigation papers into both (former ACA head) Zulkifli and (IGP) Musa Hassan to prove that a thorough probe was conducted in accordance with the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability.

Best if Lim Guan Eng buys another packet (or perhaps a carton) of kua chee while waiting for Speedy Gonzales.

Malaysiakini tells us that the AG, who was notably absent in the Altantuyaa Shariibuu’s murder case, one of international implications, saw fit to personally descend down to a magistrate court to object bail, not because the 8 accused would abscond from the country or intimidate witnesses, but because he believed they would re-assemble ‘freely’ as they did on a day celebrated by the Free World as one for Human Rights.

Then, our nation’s No 1 Law Officer also objected to bail for lawyer Edmund Bon, charged with obstructing Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers from removing banners (with a Human Rights message) outside the Bar Council Building, because he said the lawyer’s act of defiance would “create the perception that it is okay to defy the authorities”, and will therefore create disorder and threat to the national security.

A bloke who tried to prevent City Hall from removing banners in front of the Bar Council Building a “... threat to national security ...”? How about that bloke who incited Malays to take to the streets with machetes to uohold their Ketuanan Melayu?

If those were the ‘grounds’ for his objections to bail for a small group of peaceful people, it sure as hell reflects on his pathetic, or even absence of, professionalism and intellectual capacity. Even the Sessions Judge, Komathy Suppiah, saw it necessary to reject his idiotic arguments and allow bail for all the accused.

How in the world did he get to be the nations’ No 1 Law Officer?

No, please don’t answer – ‘twas only a rhetorical question, because we all know why.

No wonder the nation is in deep strife when we have sub-mediocre officers like him.

We're a 'clean' nation
Corruption allegations - AG more like Defence Attorney?
AG - millstone around government's neck in election?
What's AAB up to, extending Musa Hassan's service?
The Untouchable Crown Prince