Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saudis dismissed US and warned Israel

For years, being a client state of the USA, and under American protection, Saudi Arabia under the rule of the Saudi monarchy has kept its mouth pretty shut about a host of American-Israeli injustice in the Middle-East.

That didn’t mean that Saudis weren’t pissed off as was evident by the 9/11 attackers being mainly Saudis.

And talking about 9/11, remember Anwar Ibrahim’s dear American buddy, Paul?

That’s Paul Wolfowitz, the mastermind of the Project for the New American Century Project, who then became the mastermind for the Defence Department’s plan to invade Iraq when he joined the Bush administration.

For his Iraqi nonsense, Wolfowitz was quietly removed from the Bush Administration and shoved upstairs to become the president of the World Bank, where he has been described as an utter failure in the Bank's role in meeting the needs of poor countries.

Well, the US Senate 9/11 Report clearly spelt out Paul Wolfowitz’s urgings that Iraq be attacked for the 9/11 incident when no such evidence of Iraqi involvement existed. Furthermore it stated that there was “no credible evidence” supporting Paul Wolfowitz’s argument that Iraq was involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre.

We know what hell hole Iraq is in today, thanks to people like dear Paul, the wonderful friend (on first name basis) of Anwar Ibrahim.

Anyway, back to the Saudi. King Abdullah has not publicly criticised the US-led military intervention in Iraq before with severity, but in a remarkable about turn, he has told Arab leaders that the US occupation of Iraq is illegal and warned that unless Arab governments settle their differences, foreign powers such as the US will continue to dictate the region's politics.

That’s heavy, coming from the usually obedient Saudis.

Observers said his latest remarks suggest that his alliance with Washington may be on a downward slide.

Then Abdullah opposed the US and Israel embargo of the Hamas led government by calling for an end to the international boycott of the Palestinian Authority. The Saudi King also got the two main Palestinian factions together. This was something that Israel and the US didn’t want because they found that the Saudi-forged coalition of the Palestinians added to the power of Hamas rather than the more compliant Abbas-led Fatah group.

The Saudi King has just cancelled his appearance next month at a White House dinner in his honour. According to political observers, the Saudi official reason of heavy scheduling was bullsh*t. They said the Saudis were saying to Washington that it bloody well listen to its Arab allies rather than merely imposed decisions on them and always taking Israel's side.

A combination of the horrors in Iraq, the Israeli unmitigated war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, aided by a biased US, has finally sunk into the Arab heads that the US cannot ever be relied upon to be a fair broker of peace in the Middle East. Even most of the Europeans are resuming their traditional pro-Palestinian stand.

The Saudis have also told Israel in no uncertain terms that unless the Jewish state withdraw to the 1967 borders, there won’t be another chance for peace. It was an ultimatum - take it or leave it, at your peril.

The Israelis are caught in a dilemma of its own making – to refuse to withdraw means it would, despite its regional superpower status, suffer a war of attrition for the next 20, 30 or 50 years, making its survival (economic, financial, social and political) virtually untenable, especially if a future US president like Hilary Clinton may be less supportive than Bush – to withdraw means acknowledging the existence of the Palestine State and Palestinians, thus bringing its own legitimacy as a nation (on Palestinian land allocated by a colonial power) into question.

They say "give a man enough rope ..."

Well. we'll certainly be living in more interesting times vis-a-vis the Israel-Palestine question.

Parliamentarian snouts in public trough

The expression “sticking their snouts in the trough” means those people (with the snouts) are enjoying free goodies, made available to them through privileged access (to the ‘trough’).

And “sticking their snouts in the public trough” means the same thing, but with the long suffering taxpayers footing the bill.

Examples of “sticking their snouts in the public trough” would be having a jolly good all-expense paid outing to an exotic place like the North Pole, or Mount Everest, etc, or members of vaious municipal councillors going on all-expense paid ‘study tours’ to examine public housing projects and achievements in European countries (with a totally different weather condition or environment for housing) or China (which has bloody useless public housing) but not to neighbouring Singapore which has probably the best record for public housing.

Then, you could also have state Excos on an all-expense paid trip to study parliamentary procedures in undemocratic dictatorships like, say Egypt, which could include a look at the Egyptian unique culture of belly dancing. I am just waiting to hear about a proposed trip to Tahiti to study coconut and taro (ubi kayu) agriculture while taking in the local culture of Tahitian hula hula grass skirt gyrations.

All paid for by you and me, who have been told to tighten our belts in order to cope with the increased fuel, oil, sugar, toll, you-name-it prices.

Well, according to a Sin Chew Daily report yesterday, since the opening of the new Parliament session last week, a series of ministerial briefings have been held at luxurious 5-star hotels in KL, all complete with door gifts.

For example, each participant to the ministerial briefing by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry received a free mobile phone.

While it is a common practice for ministries and departments to brief BN MPs (eat your hearts out, DAP, PAS and Dr Wan Azizah) when there is a new bill being tabled in Parliament, such events were mostly held in the Parliament House.

But I suppose with so much tax and toll collected in recent times, the government must have decided to upgrade the process of such mundane duties, facilitating those ‘hard working’ BN MPs to stick their snouts further in the public trough.

Afterall it’s all bloody hard work, as demonstrated by the monkey who fatigued himself through posing sexist questions to DAP MP Miss Chong Eng, like asking her whether she would like it ‘hard or soft’ – see my posting Cyclops in Monkey House.

However, to be fair to some other BN backbenchers, who wisely prefer to remain anonymous, they have criticised sub rosa the recent ‘phenomenon’ of holding ministerial briefings in hotels complete with door gifts.

Does ‘recent phenomenon’ mean it’s all happening under the current administration? Damn, now we can’t get to blame Dr Mahathir.

The Sin Chew report which quoted those ‘unnamed’ BN MPs stated the bloody obvious, that the extravagant troughs for greedy snouts were a waste of public money.

They provided examples of our Boleh extravaganza.

A ministry booked 10 tables for the briefing, each of which cost at least RM 1,000. Sometimes at such briegings only a handful of MP turned up. Maybe that’s why door gifts were added to motivate attendance?

Those backbencher whistle-blowers pointed out that the door gifts could have been sponsored by the corporate sector, but the practice was nevertheless ‘inappropriate’, meaning it’s bloody corruption!

The Sin Chew report also featured a letter dated March 21 signed by BN Backbenchers Club acting chief Ahmad Zainuddin Omar informing backbenchers to attend a briefing held at the Seri Pacific Hotel on Tuesday.

The briefing was organised by the Employees Provident Fund (EFP) to explain its move to buy the debt-ridden RHB Bank.

But defiant (and couldn’t care a stuff) BN MP for Pontian Hasni Mohamed
defended the move to hold briefings in hotels:

“After a whole day in Parliament, it is important we get a small break and change of environment. I don’t think it involves exorbitant spending.”

“It (the cost) is a small amount compared to the benefit we gain from it (the briefings) because the MPs get a comfortable place to listen to the briefings and gather their thoughts.”

… meaning Parliament was uncomfy, which was not what I heard, about the lavish kueh-mueh's and hot steaming kari kambing kurma with ayam kunyit goreng and various other delicious dishes readily available for more sticking of snouts in the public trough.

But c'mon lah, let’s be fair, Parliament House may not have the char kuat facilities that 5-star hotels have, certainly much needed after “after a whole [damn tiring] day in Parliament” of ‘hard and soft’ issues.

Puchong MP Lau Yen Pheng also averred that the briefings were necessary because they helped backbenchers prepare for their debates in the House. He didn’t explain why that couldn’t be done in a briefing room in Parliament House itself. He advised us that the door gifts were “nothing to worry about.”

Maybe he meant that part wasn’t part of the public trough?

Hmmm, I visualise someone preparing and rehearsing for the parliamentary debate at one of those 5-star hotel (of course after the essential briefings):

Kawan, olang Malaysia dan
saudara (kelas 1 dan ke-2)
oi, pinjam lu punya telinga
boleh ah? Saya ... er ... ah
kiri sedikit, sayang... oooh
ya, ya, itu dia .. uuuh ... best
BEST, amboi sedap lah ... er...
mana saya tadi ... ya ...
ahhhh ya ... aku .. cum ..
cummin' ... ahhhhhhhhhh
ya ........ sokong menteri,
ya sokong, memang sokong

Thursday, March 29, 2007

DAP versus PKR in Machap

In my posting at BolehTalk yesterday I queried whether there could be a secret war in Machap?

Of course I was talking about the by-election as one between the DAP and the Chinese element in the PKR, rather than between the DAP and the MCA.

Since 2004, where the Chinese component of PKR, led by Tian Chua, vigorously sought a greater role in Malaysian politics, they inevitably came up against the DAP. ‘Twas a case of two opposition parties (comprising mainly Chinese members) struggling to position itself as the voice of the Chinese constituency dissatisfied with the policies of the ruling party, the Barisan Nasional (BN).

As the Chinese said, there cannot be two tigers on one mountain.

Though both claim to be multi-racial parties, and no one disbelieve them to be so except those taken by BN propaganda, the reality is both depend heavily on Chinese supporters.

If we ignore for one instant that we are discussing the Chinese section of PKR, certainly PKR as a party has more Malay (former UMNO) members led by Anwar Ibrahim and some socialists by Dr Syed Husin.

DAP has very few Malay members but on the plus side to its multi-racial claim, has a history of many Indian Malaysians holding prominent positions in the party. Malays shunned it for the reason of BN propaganda. Even some Malay bloggers who are anti BN are equally anti DAP.

There was already bad blood between the Chinese section of PKR and DAP in the 2004 elections because they were scrambling over only so many constituencies favourable to their Chinese candidates. DAP could only support PKR by surrendering its hold over what it considered to be its traditional or potential strongholds.

Regarding Machap, PKR had voiced the possibility of Tian Chua standing there, but as DAP felt it was their traditional area, it quickly declared its candidature despite opposition policy to avoid costly by-elections in order to husband their meagre resources for the Big One.

DAP knows that if it doesn’t stake its claim in Machap now, even if it faces defeat, it can kiss that constituency goodbye comes the general election. PKR gave in reluctantly and ungraciously, demanding that it should be given the seat to contest when the general election is held.

Basically, both know they would face defeat in this by-election but had to run a furturistic red ribbon around Machap to say, “Hey, this seat is ours”, not unlike a doggie (or a tiger) peeing around the peirmeter of its territory to delinate its claim.

True enough, before I could say 'Machap', malaysiakini reader Umar Mukthar (whom I suspect to be a PKR bloke or at least a supporter) wrote in to say that DAP is damn selfish to present itself as the opposition candidate in Machap. Despite knowing it “will be rolled over by BN, [it still] … does not care for as long it can appear as the champions of the Chinese.”

Umar claimed that through the action of the DAP, “… the racial divide gets more and more cemented.” He stressed that this “is no way to build a country for our children.”

He lambasted the DAP every which way, making me wonder whether he was from the BN … or … yes, the PKR!

He sneered at the DAP getting a total of 1,285 votes in 2004 in an electorate where 4,518 Chinese votes were available [now who's the racist?]. He exclaimed that that’s pathetic, considering all of DAP's communal rhetoric.

OTOH, he declared that, sayang saja, it’s such a pity multi-racial PKR [though we know comprises mainly of UMNO rejects] is not contesting in Machap. This should have been the case because the PKR in 1999 had done better than the DAP in 2004.

Alas, Umar Mukthar conveniently didn’t mention that in 2004, the PKR was virtually annihilated nationwide, save for a few crucial votes in Dr Wan Azizah’s constituency of Permatang Pauh, while the DAP surged forward when it discarded the association with PAS.

In other words, today, like now, the DAP is way way ahead of a moribund PKR. Oh, incidentally, who's the current Opposition Leader? Not surprisingly, Umar forgot to mention this.

Nonetheless, Umar pursued on, voicing his pity for those voters of Machap because with the absence of most wonderful PKR in the by-election, those Machap-ians have been deprived of an opportunity to at least peer beyond the wall [meaning racist walls like the DAP’s] and enjoy a wonderful marvellous view of a colour-blind Malaysia for their children.

Wow! But then, what happened to the colour-blind PKR in 2004? Could it be because of its blindness it lost its way when it abdicated its party's independence to TaiKoh from Kelantan? Why would the voters' lack of sympathies for PKR be any different today?

Didn’t I say there’s a secret [cold] war going on – expect more sabotage against the DAP from PKR.

Cold war in Machap?

MCA in Machap, please stand aside, as there may be a Secret war in Machap?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Muslim converts - the true test!

In my earlier posting Ball in civil courts, but balls were missing? I discussed the rather sad case of a husband converting to Islam and consequentially presenting the Hindu ex-wife with a host of legal problems vis-à-vis their children. Abandoned by the civil courts, she has lost her kids to the now-Muslim husband.

Pro-Quality, a malaysiakini reader wrote in to ask Malaysian Muslims whether they really want a man such as Muhammad Shafi Saravanan Abdullah, formerly T Saravanan.

Pro-Quality said that this has been a man who married (entered into a contract) under the civil system. OK, sadly somewhere down the marriage path, things went sour and the marriage broke down.

Bloke converted to Islam. But Pro-Quality asked what we all asked – was it a genuine conversion (i.e. without the ulterior motive of pre-empting a struggle with his wife over child custody and property division) or a conversion of convenience.

Only Allah (swt) and Muhammad Shafi Saravanan Abdullah, formerly called T Saravanan, know. But Pro-Q said that the manner in which Saravanan tried to convert their two children to Islam without his wife's consent has raised questions as to his motives.

Pro-Q reckoned that while Saravanan has every right to convert to Islam, the only honourable course was for Saravanan to divorce Subshini, settle child custody and property issues under civil law (the original contracting law) before converting into Islam, especially before converting their children into Islam.

Pro-Q said Malaysian Muslims should ask themselves whether they just want quantity at the expense of quality, that is, any converts regardless of their motives, which might well be less than of genuine faith.

He quoted AAB who had pointed out that in Malaysia, we have first-class infrastructure but third-class mentality, meaning that the Islamic authorities should jaga standards* and not simply grant access to those converts who might be exploiting Islam for personal conveniences.

* maintain standards

Pro-Q said: “If we want switch the focus to quality, then Muslims would want this government-created loophole in the legal system closed to potential opportunists who use conversion as a means to their own ends.”

“It is also a reputational issue: The good reputation of Islam, its noble Prophet (pbuh) and its adherents are being called to question, both here and abroad, thanks to its latest convert in Malaysia and the way the case has been handled so far.”

Do you agree with Pro-Quality’s opinion? Should the Islamic authorities in Malaysia insist on wannabe converts sorting out their outstanding issues, especially on broken marriages, children and property, including a will, before they be allowed to embrace Islam?

Maybe that could be the test of true faith?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Magic of the 100th name of God

malaysiakini published my poem – with the news portal titling it In the name of God ;-) just KTemoc's little indulgence.

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,

I’ve published it as well over at KTemoc Komposes.

(1) My God, your God, whose God? Good God!
(2) Why 'Allah'? Why not 'Tuhan'?
(3) God and the letter 'L'
(4) Walking on waters of ignorance

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ban harmless film, but won't ban harmful cancer sticks

There was no hesitation.

The government (call it by any name but it’s still a silly government agency) has irrevocably banned Amir Muhammad latest work, Apa Khabar Orang Kampung. His earlier film The Last Communist was also banned.

Good Lord (spelled with only one ‘L’), it’s 2007, and the communists had long since gone. Today we have films like Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima being shown. That’s a film portraying the human side of the inhuman WWII Jap military, the scourge of Asia and the evil brothel owner of their sex slaves, the euphemistic ‘comfort women’.

Bet you it won’t be banned from Malaysia, one of the Jap’s occupied territories where locals suffered enormously from the jackboots and samurai swords of the Jap Kempetai.

Yet our government, through their censors, still chases non-existent Chinese communists, while having accepted Malay members of the same Malayan Communist Party back into society as rehabilitated citizens.

The government censors rejected Amir’s appeal, reminding (or rather, threatening) him that under Section 23 (2) of the Film Censorship Act, any decision by the appeal committee is final.

Though Amir is disappointed by the silly-bugger behaviour of the Malaysian censors, he said that virulently anti-communist Singapore will screen his film next month, apart from the movie been booked for nine other festivals.

The censor said the “film is not approved for viewing”.

But compare the government’s care for the sensitivity of Malaysian citizens, as it claimed, with its care for the health of the same citizens.

By contrast to the unduly harsh action against Amir’s harmless film, the health ministry is soft on tobacco companies, those merchants of death and peddlers of cancer sticks.

The ministry thinks it may (what bloody wimps!) impose retail floor prices for cigarettes to discourage smoking and stop from luring buyers with cheaper products.

Health Minister Chua Soi Lek groaned and moaned as if his hands were tied, saying a price war had made cigarettes cheaper despite the annual increase of levies for tobacco and liquor.

Obviously manufacturers cut prices to boost sales. Afterall, the production cost is virtually zero when compared to the hundreds of billions it can harvest from suckers smokers.

He whined: "The ministry is disappointed by the actions of multinational tobacco companies, which of late have launched a price war to increase their sales. This goes against the government's wish to see a reduction in smoking among Malaysians."

"... disappointed by the actions of multinational tobacco companies ..." ? I am sick of his bullsh*t when such a health hazard exists to threaten, nay, imperil Malaysians, especially its youth!

Then he allowed us a glimpse of his action, namely that the government would continue to review taxes on tobacco products to ensure their prices remained high to reduce demand.

Wow, we should be grateful for such tough actions and such sense of priority for the benefit of the citizens!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Police Story Unfulfilled

He wanted to be like his hero Jackie Chan in the movie Police Story, but as a real life police officer in the RMP.

Alas, his BSc wasn’t recognised and thus his dreams was frustrated.

A heartbreaking tale of a degree that’s good for the Malaysian private sector but isn’t good enough for the government sector.

SIL - world's greatest but 'moderate' strategist

In the Machap by-election, the BN (UMNO) has sent in its most powerful and worst-kept secret weapon, the amazing SIL, the world's greatest strategist!

Dear SIL predicted that the evil DAP would be exploiting the Kayveas-Lim KY quarrel to drum up support during the campaign in the by-election.

I suppose the naughty DAP would be saying something along this line: "See what is happening to the once powerful and respected PPP. Once the BN has no further use for those PPP members, it will cast them out to the streets."

And SIL said this would be so for the DAP to hide its own weaknesses. In other words, wash the dirty linen of others to mask one’s own smelly sweaty dirty rotten clothing.

Well, I suppose I have to believe SIL because he’s an expert on this tactic. If we recall, when he was confronted with an unbelievable RM9.2 million loan (for a young 31-year old with no whatsoever collateral required of him) in a dodgy merger involving his FIL’s ministry, he accused the Chinese Malaysian community of attempting to exploit the spat between Dr MM and FIL.

The old Sun Wu strategy of "When you've sh*t in the East, fart towards the West."

Then he said: “We all know that the DAP will contest in Machap, but PKR has announced it will pave the way for DAP to field a candidate in this by-election on condition the PKR is allowed to contest in Machap the next time around.”

“This showed there is no understanding and cooperation among opposition parties while we [have] in the BN although there are some bickering, they’re resolved amicably.”

I wonder whether he was talking about Taiping? But he’s right in a way, about the BN, because after UMNO threatened the other component parties with keris and a “we’re UMNO, we don’t apologise when we fight for agama & bangsa", all problems were immediately solved, full stop.

Remember the scandal of school officials misappropriating maintenance funds, where the MCA deputy minister whistleblower (but not the UMNO minister responsible for the schools) was chastised by the cabinet for revealing the corruption, whilst Datuk UMNO Education Mnister received an apology from the MCA bloke’s boss (minister)?

And talking about apology, did SIL ever apologise to the Chinese community for his insulting words? Of course not, not when agama & bangsa were involved!

Commenting on UMNO Youth’s preparations for the Machap polls, SIL pronounced that several areas in the constituency had already been identified for campaigning. He promised: “We will campaign ‘moderately’ because we want to ensure that this win would be with a bigger majority than before.”

“… campaign moderately …”?

I suppose he’s making some sacrifices, like just waving one keris instead of two.

Hmmm, I wonder whether the shock troops on bikes would be there. Probably they won’t wear their leather jackets but batik shirts instead.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why 'Allah'? Why not 'Tuhan'?

I gather from the ongoing debate over at malaysiakini about the use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, that there's an underlying current in vortex flow, eddying here, there and then rushing forward at a furious pace.

I did ask two questions:

(1) Why are some Christians so insistent on referring to God as ‘Allah’?

(2) Why have some Muslims been equally insistent that non-Mulsims may not?

Maybe the two questions could be answered with one possible and common scenario, namely that party A wants to use ‘Allah’ as a means to subtly proselytise Muslims, while party B are damn worried that’s precisely what could happen.

It would be a case of Allah (swt) being 'invited into' a Muslim's house, and before the host could serve tea, he/she turns around and suddenly finds Jehovah sitting comfortably on the living room sofa reading the Christian Digest - Amen (or should it be Amin?)

That’s why some Muslims have stated that by referring to God with the word ‘Allah’, there may be confusion among the Malaysian Ummah, while the other party (and the more confident Muslims) scoffed at the insulting suggestion that Muslims could be confused on who their ‘Allah’ (or should be it ‘God’?) is.

But is their 'fear' legitimate?

From that debate (and worries), some ludicrous suggestions such as using one or two L’s in the word ‘Allah’ (versus ‘Alah’) to separate the Muslim divinity and non-Muslim one were offered.

Amidst this Islam-Christianity jostling, Buddhism, though having no God and indeed offering no submission of faith to any such entity, suffered collateral damage. Maybe there was a fear by malaysiakini writer, myopic (ironically) Teropong Negara, that Malaysian Buddhists would rush out to talk about Gautama ‘Allah’ (or should it be ‘Alah’) of the Sakya clan and his 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold Path – see my BolehTalk posting Walking on waters of ignorance.

But to be fair to everyone, especially to innocents like the Buddhists ;-) (this one’s for my mum) I need to ask those non-Muslims who have been insisting on using ‘Allah’ to refer to God, why? Why not use ‘Tuhan’? Or, Jehovah?

Please explain!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

God and the letter 'L'

Over at BolehTalk, I’ve posted Walking on waters of ignorance which discusses ridiculous hair-splitting nonsense over the name of God, even to the extent of the English spelling of ‘Alah’ (only one ‘L’) versus ‘Allah’ (2 x ‘L’s), as if one letter of the English alphabet woudl make the difference between the right of non-Muslims to use God’s name or not.

Ball in civil courts, but balls were missing?

Predictably, when the Court of Appeal dismissed (by a 2 to 1 decision) the appeal of a Hindu woman seeking to stop her converted-to-Islam husband from also converting their son to his new religion, there was outrage (or quiet content, depending on whether one sympathises with the wife or husband).

Muhammad Shafi Saravanan Abdullah (that’s the new moniker of the man who embraced Islam last year) also commenced proceedings at the syariah court to dissolve the marriage to his Hindu wife.

an astonishing judgement, Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar said it "made no sense" for the wife, Subshini, to argue that, according to the constitution, the syariah court was only for Muslims.

Isn’t it? I must say I have always been under that impression, that the syariah court would be only for Muslims on Islamic issue, but what the hell do I know, not being a judge. And why did his honour say that a Hindu’s refusal to acknowledge the authority of an Islamic court "made no sense"?

Was he implying that Sharia has been declared as the only legal code governing the legal system of Malaysia? If so, then he would be out of a job.

But Justice Gopal Sri Ram, in a dissenting minority decision, said the syariah court only had jurisdiction where all parties were Muslim. In the Subshini case, the wife was Hindu.

Sympathisers of the wife fear she won’t stand a snowflake’s chance in hell with the syariah court. Invariably, the judges were accused of abdicating their responsibilities for cringing in cases involving a non-Muslim wrestling with an Islamic issue.

The usual calls were voiced to remind male members of the Malaysian civil judiciary not to forget they have balls. Last year, former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman (now Suhakam Chairperson) made the same testicular reminder in the case of M Moorthy, which I blogged in
SUHAKAM Chairman: "Civil Court Judges Lack Balls".

Abu Talib said he saw the problem of any civil court abdicating its responsibilities as that of those judges lacking the courage to act independently of the Executive (ie. PM & Cabinet). He averred that the judges failed to apply the relevant provisions for non-Muslims with initiative, justice and more guts instead of waiting for a political nod from the PM.

Abu Talib even accused the judges of civil courts of worrying about their promotional prospects as the possible reason for lacking the courage. He said:
“The courts have failed to do so (interpret boldly) for the slightest unreasonable reasons in many cases where Islam is merely seen on the surface.”

In other words, what he said was the moment those civil court judges detected the faintest whiff of any Islamic element, even though the Islamic connection wasn't the core issue, they would freeze into gutless abdication of their legislative juridical responsibility.

That had been what human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz said too. When he told Abu Talib about judges who admit to being Muslims first rather than civil court judges, the latter advised him to report the matter and if there was evidence, those judges should be removed.

He said:
“They are unfit to be judges, then. Judges should remember their constitutional oath to protect and uphold the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”

malaysiakini reader JC Francis accused the Appeals Court of human rights violation, by denying Subshini, a non-Muslim of her fundamental contitutional rights when it passed a judgement that effectively imposes on her the eventual judgement of the Islamic syariah courts.

Apart from the current controversy of a civil court (by a 2 to 1 majority) despatching a Hindu to be judged by a syariah court, presumably because such a proselytising move of earth-shaking constitutional significance “makes sense” to his honour, I also wonder a number of times why such traumatic split marriages as a result of religion usually happened to Indian Malaysians.

Or am I wrong?

Death threats against apostasy lawyer

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Amnesty for IPCMC - unpalatable but necessary tradeoff

My letter to malaysiakini published today:

I refer to the malaysiakini report Reveal revised IPCMC bill, Pak Lah told. Though 24 NGOs have urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to put his money where his mouth is, I bet the PM will continue to drag his heels on the matter.

The embarrassing fact of his deputy internal security minister having the brazen, shameless, nerve to aver that the Attorney-General's Chambers was finalising a report containing some imaginary feedback from the NGOs must surely be an indication of the length to which the PM and the Internal Security Ministry have been willing to go to in order to put off public queries about the IPCMC.

I suspect that the real source of the delaying tactic would be the Royal Malaysian Police. Consider this scary statistic - according to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), there have been 80 custodial deaths between 2000 and 2004 while only eight inquests were carried out. Has anyone heard of any police personnel being punished since then, except for the bloke who revealed the scandal of the Squatgate abuse?

P Uthayakumar of the Police Watch and Human Rights Committee said: “Monitoring the police force 'from within' has not worked all these years and neither has the Public Complaints Bureau, Disciplinary Unit in the police headquarters, Police Services Commission and Suhakam helped.”

The reality is the police have accumulated so much filth on their records that they have already passed the point of no return. They would now resist at any cost the establishment of an IPCMC. We may take it they would not allow anyone to peep into their conduct for the last 15 years or so, let alone investigate it.

One of the police excuses has been the claim that the IPCMC would not provide them with the necessary due process where a member of their force under investigation would not be able to appeal. However, when DAP’s Lim Guan Eng informed the inspector-general of police (IGP) that he would revise the IPCMC bill to make this process available, according to Lim, the latter made a studious effort to evade the issue.

The police have been so terrified of the IPCMC to an extent that the previous IGP, Mohd Bakri Omar, had the unmitigated nerve to exceed public service ethical boundaries in a private briefing for Umno members of parliament where he 'persuaded' those ‘Yang Berhormats’ into rebelling against the PM on the IPCMC bill.

But we all know that when Bakri retired he did so with full honours and thanks from an effusively grateful PM. Undoubtedly the police resistance has succeeded with a weak PM who is beholden to them.

I believe there may be only one way to cut through the police manipulative barricades against the establishment of the much-needed IPCMC, unpleasant and unpalatable to many of us as this would be.

We have to agree, and inform the police, that the revised IPCMC bill will not only contain a due process for appeals but a clause where the IPCMC will not investigate any alleged police conduct prior to the gazetting of the bill.

In other words, there will be a general amnesty for all police misconduct prior to the establishment of the IPCMC - yes, even those 80 deaths in custody.

That may assure the police that the IPCMC will not be an apparatus to seek vengeance for past misdeeds, and may help persuade them to come to the party for a modern police system.

Unless we trade that off, the IPCMC will never see the light of day, no, not with a PM who lacks the backbone to do the necessary. Yes, some damn rats will slip through but we will at least have the IPCMC for the future, and most importantly, for our children.

It is not a perfect world, but half a loaf would be better than none.

Saints galore in PKR

It seems Tian Chua is not the only martyr Malaysia has. We have been blessed with another and more prominent one- dear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Wonderful Anwar informed the BBC that he has no choice but to return to politics where he had once ruled at the apex of the UMNO juggernaut.

He said Malaysia was ready for a change (and presumably he represents that 'change'), because Malaysia has lost its competitiveness, corruption is endemic and racial tension is far worse than before (presumably 'than before' referred to a time when he was the anointed heir to Dr Mahathir).

“…racial tension is far worse than before …”?

Well, I won’t deny that overt racism had been prominently displayed during the recent UMNO general assembly, but as for the “… worse than before …” part, I do wonder, because I am reminded of what Saifulbahri Kamaruddin, a malaysiakini reader, and self-confessed former Malaysian journalist wrote regarding the
ethnic credentials of Anwar Ibrahim.

Saifulbahri wrote that letter after a malaysiakini reporter
Luk interviewed Anwar Ibrahim, where the world's greatest political reformer and acclaimed mediator of inter-ethnic problems, accused Dr Mahathir Mohamad of using subtle racist tactics when the latter was in power. According to Saifulbahri, Anwar was less subtle.

This was an extract of his letter which I posted last year in Anwar: "Wei, Cina balek Tiong Sun lah"?

I was a journalist in the mainstream media for over 20 years, and very often I covered Anwar's functions, especially involving Umno, its youth wing and Abim (Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia). I had never heard of one speak with so much disdain of the Chinese before. We, the journalists, knew that Anwar was trying to be all things to all people, so when he addressed ‘kampung’ people with a skewed view of inter-communal affairs, he would tell them what they wanted to hear.

The reporters would duly file their stories to the editors, who then would mangle the reports to make Anwar look good, even if that meant less accuracy. Yes, indeed - Anwar appointed most of the editors in the mainstream media, and he certainly did not mince his words when it came to relations with Singapore or the ethnic Chinese. At one Umno youth rally in 1987, he ranted and raved, urging Chinese Malaysians to ‘go back to China’ if they were not happy in Malaysia. But, of course, that was not published for fear of damaging his image.

So, now the former deputy prime minister is trying to be an angel, supposedly innocent of everything that occurred when he was in power. It was the same with his accusations of the government being corrupt, the very institution of which he had been part of for 15 years and had enjoyed its largesse and dispensed patronage in a way typical of Umno even now.

It insults my intelligence to read of him accusing his former compatriots and colleagues of being what he himself was wholeheartedly.

all above underlining are mine

Hmmm, maybe I better not grouped Anwar Ibrahim with Tian Chua, much as they both belong to the same political party.

One is an absent-minded saint, and the other an admirable-masochistic saint - you decide who is which!

ST Tian Chua or S&M Tian Chua

Monday, March 19, 2007

Does Allah (swt) care about one's name?

Over at BolehTalk I posted Bend the ethnic belief - Bin the 'bin Abdullah' where some PAS members have not supported the Perlis mufti’s pronouncement that newly non-Malay converts to Islam may retain their original family name.

The mufti’s advice is not unique in the world of Islam, save in Malaysia, where some Malays might have actually viewed Islam as an ethnic-proprietary religion.

Najib Razak Strikes Back!

My blogging mate wakski69 said that we bloggers shouldn't blog or spread rumours. I agree, but I believe we are entitled to comment on those who did, have done or do.

Thus in my Saturday’s posting Primary Target - Najib Razak! I commented on what another blogger has posted. After reading his postings, past and recent, in conjunction with malaysiakini reported news, I opined that a certain political camp has been sole targeting DPM Najib Razak.

I did wonder why it has been targeting the No 2 man when it would be more logical and easy to target No 1, who represents, both symbolically as well as the responsibility for, the bad policies and dodgy governance of his government.

Selecting No 2 as not only the primary but the sole target for attacks, coupled with comforting ameliorating words for No 1, smells of a subtle sweetheart strategy, as if it was offering Mr Zig Zag’s head as a kind of bunga emas*.

* a tribute to a superior or as a sign of dependence/subordination

You work out what the desired outcome of that strategy is, but there have been rumours that a cosy deal exists between two supposedly enemy camps to rid Mr Zig Zag to make way for ‘someone’, who will subsequently make way for another ‘someone’.

Yes, it has more spin than a gasing Kelantan (Kelantan top) because I suspect that the 'overture' has been what it is, an 'overture' – but no, in this ‘story’ poor PAS is not involved (nor its offer of the Kota Baru parliamentary federal seat to Mr Reformasi taken up).

And the questions the blogger's posting evokes are far more numerous than what a little boy used to ask of me (that I blogged in Was Lilith a Virgin? - unrelated to this posting)

But the Empire DPM strikes back! Najib Razak slashed down (with a laser wrist sabre) those rumours of differences between him and PM AAB - remember the story that AAB told Daim he preferred UMNO VP Muhyiddin Yassin as the DPM?

It’s all just bull, according to Najib - of course he didn’t actually utter that ‘B’ word; it’s just KT blogger’s licence.

Najib asserted he enjoys a close and strong relationship with AAB in steering the country’s development. He urged us: “Don’t listen to the stories in the Internet ... they are all a myth.”

‘Myth’? Given the circumstance, I would have recommended a far more appropriate word like ‘bull’, or at the very least, ‘spin’ - hmmm, I wonder what would be the Malay word for that (‘spin’ I mean) – putar keliru raykat, or rakyat (di)putar (sehingga) keliru?

Najib also released a few hi-energy bolts from his Star Wars’ E-11 blaster rifle at ‘certain groups’ who held ceramah (political talks) in Pekan to discredit him.

Coincidentally (by a probability factor of 1 to several billions), according to malaysiakini, Anwar Ibrahim visited Pekan on 09 March and spoke for an hour at a ceramah.

malaysiakini revealed that in Anwar’s speech, he made reference to Najib when he spoke about several issues including the Altantuya Shariibuu murder trial and the alleged swindling of funds in defence procurement. Amazingly (again, by a probability factor of one-quadrillionth to several quattuordecillion), the murder trial has been what RPK’s article discussed.

Then, even stranger than the (Jewish) biblical tale of Lilith, another coincidence of coincidences (this one has a probability factor of one-septillionth to several trecentrillions), the Pekan seat so happens to be the one held by Najib, who had a frightening experience in the 1999 general election.

OK, will he be facing a possible Rumsfeld-ish 'shock & awe' Baghdad-ish attack this time?

It's the war of Malaysian political 'stars', of movers, shakers and wannabes.

You know how the Star Wars movie series go – at a frantic frenzied furious pace, especially when the Death Star of a general election is fast approaching, and time, tide and voting wait for no man. Another five years of waiting, withering and wilting in the wings as a nobody would mean a demoralising, debilitating, and disastrous (political) death.

George Lucas re-numbered his first movie in the Star Wars series as No 4 after his second trilogy so that that the complete series could be chronologically numbered. He retitled that original (but now No 4) movie as ‘Star Wars – A New Hope’.

Maybe I should have titled my previous posting Primary Target - Najib Razak! as the Malaysian political ‘Star Wars – a New Hope’ (for a ‘someone’)?

… which then makes this one ‘Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back’.

And stand by for the next episode, ‘Star Wars – Return of the Maha... Jedi’.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Malaysia's Soviet style media control?

There is a joker man from Putrajaya
who's most pissed off by female liar,
women bloggers, no job, 80% deep
can't even their bloody mouths keep
shut like clams, as women ought to;
So call in Beria, or even the Gestapo,
Govt's on to Soviet style control
to keep a lid on a joker's crime sexual.

Primary Target - Najib Razak!

You know, I have always asserted that Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), blogger supremo of Malaysia-Today, is an Anwar Ibrahim supporter – mind you, not just an ordinary supporter but I suspect, in the innermost circle.

RPK is not only an interesting, entertaining and brilliant writer but a very very very clever strategist of the pen – all for Anwar of course. That's what I believe.

When he criticises Anwar Ibrahim (and he often has) or posts anything unfavourable to the former DPM (and indeed there were some), very much to the great consternation of Anwar’s most ardent supporters, I believe (criticise me for bull if you wish) RPK had cleverly positioned those articles to Anwar’s strategic interests.

I bet too when those naïve but earnestly alarmed Anwaristas wrote in to beg RPK to cease and desist from posting adverse comments about Mr Reformasi, RPK would be chuckling quietly away at their lack of perception of his strategic intentions. It’s all brilliant smoke and mirrors stuff.

OK, go ahead and call me an unmitigated suspicious conspiracy-theorist ;-)

But read my earlier posting Raja, thou doth protest too much! to understand why I am convinced RPK does it all for Anwar Ibrahim.

The recent RPK posting is about the pending trial of Razak Baginda in the murder case of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu and its, oh woe and doom, consequential dire impact on DPM Najib Razak.

According to RPK, Daim Zainuddin met AAB recently at the latter’s request. RPK claimed that when Daim asked the PM why the trial of Razak Baginda had been brought forward by a year, from 10 March 2008 to 4 June this year.

RPK’s article has AAB revealing to Daim that it was not his (AAB’s) decision but someone else in his office. RPK averred that ‘someone in his office’ can only mean one person, the world’s most famous SIL.

Then, taking the matter further, RPK shared with us even more juicy titbits, that AAB confided to Daim that he (AAB) would be more comfortable and could work better with Johorean UMNO VP Muhyiddin Yassin rather than Najib.

Then, to lend credence to his amazing revelation, RPK said that “Muhyiddin’s house, which used to be deserted, is today packed with Umno people who already detect that this is the man who is going to replace Najib as the Deputy Prime Minister and they want it known that they are amongst the first to rally behind him even before he gets the job.”

Then (but predictably) RPK asserted the Razak Baginda murder trial will not be good for Najib because incriminating evidence against Najib is likely to be brought out.

To cut the story short, the advancing of the trial to June this year is, according to RPK, a coded warning for Najib to ‘retire’ soon or face the prospect of being incriminated with whatever, which according to RPK, would be “… if he [Najib] resists [voluntary early retirement], this evidence can be adduced in court and Najib may risk more than just his job as Deputy Prime Minister."

So, we take it from his juicy article that SIL has planned the move (by bringing the Razak Baginda trial forward) to oust Najib, confronting the latter with the legal Sword of Damocles.

This tends to tie in with the discussion in my earlier posting Prince Anwar ‘Hamlet’ Ibrahim where I had rejected an earlier notion that there was an Anwar Ibrahim–SIL nexus to oust Najib.

In that posting I stated I had had second thoughts about SIL’s complicity, and believed Anwar’s sole targeting of Najib could be a unilateral decision.

A couple of days back I saw another piece of Anwar’s gesture to the AAB camp when Mr Reformasi, in an interview with the BBC, soft-pedalled his criticism of AAB by stating that poor AAB "has inherited a [corrupt] system …”. Anwar then stated that AAB appears not to want to change the system, and also added the PM is "a very decent, placid man" – now, wouldn't that be excusing AAB’s lack of action for his “decent placid” attributes?

But leaving that aside, RPK’s article raises many questions.

I am not an UMNO person nor do I have the sort of connection that RPK has. But I do wonder whether in the first place, AAB as the PM would even confide to Daim that it was not him but ’someone else in his office’ who brought Razak Baginda’s trial forward, assuming it was indeed ‘someone else in his office’, and then again assuming that indeed 'someone else' had instructed the trial be brought forward.

Yes, the blazing question is, would AAB ever confide to Daim on such matters in such self-depreciative fashion? Would a PM say, "It's not me, it was him"?

Then, would an UMNO VP house be ever deserted. If Muhyiddin Yassin’s house is today packed with UMNO people, then I would say it’s normal and business as usual, as to be expected at an UMNO VP's place.

And why couldn’t the fast forwarding of the trial be due to other reasons?

Now here is a fact, which RPK might have forgotten to mention, that it had been Razak Baginda’s own lawyer, Wong Kian Keong, who sent a letter to the Shah Alam High Court requesting the trial be brought forward.

Wong said the case was of public interest and should be heard as soon as possible.

“The third accused (Abdul Razak) had also filed an affidavit to help
expedite the trial ... I have strict instructions from my client to seek the earliest possible trial date.”

Karpal Singh, who has been holding a watching brief on behalf of Altantuya’s family, sought further clarification because he wasn’t satisfied with the fast forwarding, and that the originally nominated judge, Justice KN Segara won’t be presiding at the rescheduled trial. There's widespread suspicion that the experienced Justice KN Segara was conveniently removed from the case.

All these demolish RPK’s suggestion that there could be a SIL’s conjured conspiracy to get rid of Najib, by covert threat or overt criminal prosecution.

All the anti-Najib noises thus far have come mainly from Anwar Ibrahim, and speculations about sticky problems for Najib are posted on Malaysia-Today.

Besides, there are two other considerations: (1) do we for one instant believe Najib Razak would be sitting still while there’s a possible conspiracy against him? – this bloke may appear to be wishy-washy, but he isn’t exactly a spring chicken in UMNO politics, and he's notorious for his amazing survival instincts, and (2) RPK’s theory presupposes that AAB and thus SIL are as powerful as … well … Dr Mahathir was during his PM’s days to bring about such a shadow play? – the fact is AAB himself is uncertain of his own party presidential position.

Recently I have blogged on lots of Trojan Horses but there are other equine activities too – like horse trading. I could argue that I have detected signs of ‘overtures’ to AAB and SIL, but whether those attempted equine bartering ‘gestures’ have been perceived as ‘overtures’ … well … I can’t answer because I don’t have the connections that former insiders seem to have in abundance.

But this I can tell – that with election date just around the corner, someone’s getting frantic … (Oh, my Kingdom for a bloody horse!) ... for remember what I’ve said, it’s no bloody fun being in the Opposition, unless you’re Lim Kit Siang & Co.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

ST Tian Chua or S&M Tian Chua

In Lim KS: "AAB launching Ops Lalang II?" I wrote:

15 anti-toll hike protestors outside the IOI shopping mall in Puchong were arrested a couple of days ago. Among those arrested were PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, Tian Chua and PKR former Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor.

Tian Chua was of course right in his favourite element, that is, of being ‘arrested. I get the feeling he has a wee inclination towards martyr-dom.

Yes, Tian Chua seemed to be a martyr wannabe. He first came to my attention when I was watching TV with a girl some years ago (yes, the programme was actually worthwhile), when there was a report of Tian Chua being hauled away by the police.

malaysiakini photo

She sneeringly commented on Tian Chua as a hopeless bloke who might even be a closeted masochist, always putting himself into harm’s way with the police. Bloke had been water-cannoned, shoved, elbowed, dragged, bashed etc. I did feel sorry for him but alas, the girl's disdain steeled my heart against any sympathies. I knew where my ... er ... priorities lie.

Does Tian Chua have a death wish? Dr KT Freud would love to study his childhood experience.

Does he want to be a martyr or is he, as my friend suggested, a closeted masochist?

This is what malaysiakini just wrote on him, with a headline saying Tian Chua - Bold or reckless?

He has lost count of the number of times he has been arrested. He was also detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for two years for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government through militant means.

malaysiakini chart

Some admire his boldness, others say he is reckless. Meet Tian Chua.

Unlike other opposition leaders, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) information bureau chief has a tendency to attract media coverage for all the wrong reasons.

Recently, the 43-year-old politician added another ‘feather to his cap’ when he was arrested over an attempted murder charge.

Media reports alleged that he had ploughed through a barricade with his car, nearly running over a worker, during a demolition of squatter houses in Kuala Lumpur.

But Chua denied this and is mulling a law suit against the police and media for defamation.
I have no doubt that he is sincere in a martyr-ish way. Actually I fear for Tian Chua that one day when he wakes up from his bruises and aches, he realises that all along he has been used by unscrupulous people. That realization, that it had been all for nothing, will be the biggest blow to this wannabe Saint activist or wanton S&M acolyte.

Adoi Mak Cik Rafidah!

Read about the Worst Insult to Rafidah Aziz over at BolehTalk. I bet she's like a kera kena belacan by now, unless she has Kevlar skin.

My God, your God, whose God? Good God!

A malaysiakini reader, Thomas Cranmer, joined the current word-battle between those non-Muslims who insisted on using the ‘Malay’ word ‘Allah’ (swt) to describe God (sometimes I wonder why the insistence!) and those Muslims who said nay (predictable!).

Then Hardial Singh, another malaysiakini reader, chipped in as well, asserting his right as a Sikh to refer to God as 'Allah' (swt), because that very divine name is enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book - and he quoted from Kabir, SGGS pg 1349-5 to substantiate his claim.

In my opening paragraph I said "sometimes I wonder why the insistence" on the part of some non-Muslims (Hardial Singh with his precise quote excepted), because I am not sure whether they really want to use the word 'Allah' (swt) to refer to God in the Malay language (when another Malay word 'Tuhan' exists) or they are just char koay-teow-ing (stirring) ;-), but I won’t go into the two antagonistic groups' respective arguments because as I have said, in such a 'battle'
no one can be proven the victor.

But Cranmer (whoever he is) opined that it’s not appropriate for non-Muslims (except Christian Arabs) to use ‘Allah’ (swt) when referring to God.

He reckoned a more fitting word would be the Latin ‘Deus’, the Hebrew ‘El’ah’ or in the language of Jesus Himself, the Aramaic ‘Elâhâ’.

Well, he was certainly going off at a tangent, because the argument was about referring to God in the Malay language, and not about any other language like Latin, Hebrew or Aramaic.

Besides, I disagree with the Hebraic appellation for God because the Hebrew God, like it or not, was only for the Hebrews, period! He was the God of only the Chosen People, and the 'Chosen People' weren't the non-Judeans (or non-Jews). Therefore ‘El’ah’ would not serve as a God for Christians and non-Jews.

To be fair to God ;-), we know that the Old Testament Bible with its assertion of God and his 'Chosen People' was written by, surprise surprise, the Judeans* (ancient predecessors of Jews) during their stint in Babylonian captivity, around 597 to 537 BCE.

* I prefer to distinguish between the racist intolerant ethno-centric 'Judeans' and todays's Jews, most of whom (excluding the ultras) are decent people.

Those Judeans were hardly going to write into their Bible that ‘El’ah’ (or YHWH) was also the God of the Babylonians or the Persians or anyone else's.

To illustrate the Judeans' biblical-writing licence, recall firstly that it was the Cyrus, King of the Persians who freed the Judeans from their captivity in Babylon.

So the grateful Judeans wrote that into their Bible, backdated of course by 150 years as if it was a prophesy by Isaiah.

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." - Isaiah 45:1

Could it be that the Jewish God was OK with non-Jews, like, say, the Persians if He considered Cyrus as his 'anointed'?

Now now, let's not get carried away with that wee 'anointing' of a Persian King - it's nothing more than a little recording of Jewish gratitude for Cyrus after he released them from Babylonian bondage, and even allowed them to go back to Judah - well, weren't we talking about biblical-writing licence?

But alas, trust them not to leave that well alone as a sincere gesture of gratitude. Those Judeans, being the racist Judeans they were, made sure there’s no mistaking whose God YHWH was, even as HE spoke to Cyrus.

"And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel" – Isaiah 45:3

"… am the God of Israel" - now don't forget, that was written by the Judeans, but it explains why I have averred, apart from the central issue of use of the Malay langugae, that ‘El’ah’ isn't a good term for the God of the non-Jews, including Christians.

Then the Judeans probably thought - perhaps they ought not to give too much credit to the damn Persian King, much as Cyrus was magnanimous to them in freeing and then mitigating the trauma of their first Diaspora.

They decided to write in a sort of MCA-type Ops Claw-Back, averring that Cyrus was 'anointed' by their Judean God but only for the benefit of the Judeans.

"For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have called thee by thy name" – Isaiah 45:4

Jacob, second son of Isaac and also grandson of Abraham, also named 'Israel', was the eponymous 'father' of the ancient Israelites. Yes, you've got it right, he was that bloke who cheated his own blind father, Isaac, his twin (elder) brother Esau the rightful heir, and his father-in-law Laban.

Hardly surprising, his Judean descendents wrote their Bible to badmouth Esau as unworthy of his birthrights as well as given to idolatry while father-in-law Laban was a cheat and a practitioner of witchcraft too, but the biggest cheat of all, Jacob was an AOK sort of bloke, in fact YHWH's beloved, as would be his usurping adulterous murderous descendent David - ah, the power of the pen over mere swords!

But the above sentence from Isaiah tells us ‘nons’, whether Persians and any non-Jews, who the Judean God favoured, or whom he considered himself as God of - or more correctly, what the Judeans themselves claimed.

So, how can we accept Thomas Cranmer’s suggestion to refer to God as ‘El’ah’, unless of course you're a Jew?

Back to square one on the name of God in the Malay language!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hear no evil?

I’ve posted ACA Head's corruption case - 3 Yg Berhormats not interested over at BolehTalk.

Bliar's weapons of mass DECEPTION

Is there a difference between the following two sentences?

(1) Saddam has WMD?

(2) Saddam has WMD!

Note the question-mark in the first, which makes the sentence a query (yet to be answered), while the second has an exclamation-mark, asserting strongly a situation, as the ‘truth’.

The two examples above illustrated a typical approach by Tony Blair in his fabricated case for war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, leading to the hell-hole the Middle-Eastern country is today.

Read the story of Tony Blair’s (or more appropriately, bLIAR's) secret evil
Weapons of Mass Deception by Hans Blix, former UN chief weaposn inspector.

Blix said Tony B-liar deliberately replaced “question marks with exclamation marks" in British intelligence dossiers, that were used to justify the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Had B-liar not fabricate the case for war, including his bullsh*t ’45 minutes’ for Saddam’s missiles with WMD warheads to hit London, Blix’s team would have successfully confirmed that there was no WMD in Iraq, avoiding the illegal US-UK attack and invasion, and the terrible aftermath.

Tony B-liar’s hands are dripping with the blood of Iraqi children, women and men, even until today.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

First names, last names and in-between names ...

I’ve blogged What’s in a name? over at BolehTalk.

This time, no worries, it’s not about God’s 99 names or the mysterious 100th that Isis was the first to discover zillions of years ago!

Prince Anwar Hamlet Ibrahim

Looks like poor Anwar Ibrahim is in a second situation where he’s caught between Syaitan and the deep coloured sea, which in Anwar’s case, has turned from blue to green and now to …? Maybe it’s only natural for Malaysia’s political chameleon.

What had happened started with Anwar’s lawyer asking the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to recommend a royal pardon for Anwar Ibrahim for his corruption charge.

Recall (as if we couldn’t) - Anwar was convicted some years ago for corruption and sodomy leading to his tumble from the pinnacle of Malaysian political power. Though his sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004 due to lack of evidence, the corruption conviction stuck, resulting in a five-year ban from active politics, which only expires in April 2008.

Malaysian political observers believed that the ruling party (effectively UMNO and bugger the rest) will call for an election prior to April 2008 to deliberately keep him out of the process – unless a cosy deal has been or would be struck between Anwar and you-know-who.

About three weeks ago I blogged on Anwar Ibrahim + KJ versus Najib, where I pondered over political analysts’ query on Anwar singling out DPM Najib for criticism, but not AAB or KJ. They believed that Anwar’s selective GPS-enabled targeting might have been an outcome of a sweetheart deal between him and KJ to oust the deputy premier.

Since then, I have had second thoughts; I am more inclined to believe that that sole targeting of Najib could be a unilateral decision – you work out what I mean.

This seems more plausible! Yes, why would someone who (thinks he) holds all the cards bother about co-opting a has-been, or more precisely, an UMNO has-been because outside of UMNO Anwar is still a force to be reckoned with, provided he puts his heart into his claim of being an opposition politician.

Anyway, the IPU has refused to intervene on behalf of Anwar for a royal pardon because that would be procedurally incorrect. The IPU said Anwar has to submit the pardon appeal himself, before the IPU can even lend their moral support.

Additionally, the IPU stated that only a prisoner or a member of his family may petition the king for a pardon, therefore the petition by Anwar’s supporters in May 2005 does not count.

This has put Anwar in a dilemma because by appealing for a pardon, he would be contradicting his declaration of innocence, and probably jeopardising his high profile defamation lawsuit against Dr Mahathir for alleged libellous statements.

Alas, as Anwar has claimed to have a love for Shakespeare, which he averred was one of the two books that sustained him in prison [see my posting Anwar Ibrahim sustained in prison by Quran & Shakespeare] maybe it’s time to paraphrase the Prince of Denmark - don't forget too he mentioned Hamlet as full of political meaning:

To appeal or not to appeal, that is the question—
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them.

The IPU, aware of Anwar’s legal quandary, still recommended that Anwar seek to be pardoned despite any reservation about the legal or moral implications.

It said: “[IPU] notes that there is nothing to prompt it to change its conviction that Mr Ibrahim’s trials and conviction were based on a presumption of guilt, and that he should therefore be granted a pardon so as to enable him once again to fully participate in the political life of his country.”

Poor Anwar, as bloggers would paraphrase Marcellus in Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Malaysia”.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Anwar Ibrahim - between Syaitan DAP & the deep Green sea

Dear Anwar Ibrahim - for a man not even permitted by law to stand as a candidate in Malaysian elections until the end of April 2008 – is under political siege, nay, not from UMNO or the Barisan Nasional (BN), but from the DAP and PAS, his main allies in the sometimes-on sometimes-off so-called Barisan Alternatif.

PAS has now dangled the Kota Baru carrot in front of Anwar, asking him to contest in Kelantan in the next general election while allowing his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to defend her Permatang Pauh seat.

Either PAS or the Star Online referred to his wife’s Permatang Pauh constituency as his stronghold, which may be misleading as the last election had shown.

Yes, one could argue that the narrow escape by Dr Wan Azizah had been due to the BN’s naughty whatever, but that’s exactly what will happen again especially if Anwar were to front up as a candidate for Permatang Pauh.

Tengku Razaleigh had also advised Anwar that he will lose Permatang Pauh the next time he contests there.

So will Anwar take up PAS’ offer?

Kelantan Legislative Assembly speaker Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah said of Anwar contesting in KB: “He has a good chance of winning in Kota Baru because the three state seats under the parliamentary area are held by PAS assemblymen.”

The Kota Baru incumbent is Zaid Ibrahim (BN). So we may ask Wan Abdul Rahim why the KB seat is held by BN if the three state seats under the parliamentary area are held by PAS assemblymen.

On Anwar’s call for PAS and DAP to cooperate with PKR in the polls, Wan Abdul Rahim, who is known as a party strategist, said: “Our relationship with PKR is very clear. It is our sole partner in the Barisan Alternatif.”

“… sole partner …” – guess that makes it plain.

... hardly surprising when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP would not work with PAS “under any circumstances” unless it dropped its Islamic state ideology.

"... under any circumstances unless ..." - well Lim, bloody make up your mind, because your “under any circumstances” excludes "unless".

Lim said: “I confirm that DAP is working with PKR but maintain the stand that we are not working with PAS.”

DAP chairman Karpal Singh drove a stake into the heart of Anwar’s call for a united front when he chided Anwar, saying the PKR could not have the “best of both worlds” and must choose either the DAP or PAS as its ally.

“…could not have the best of both worlds …” – but that’s Anwar Ibrahim’s speciality!

The Lion of Gelugor warned that DAP would not collaborate with PKR as long as PAS was in the picture, though he did affirm his party’s willingness to work with PKR.

Now, firm commitment has not been a noted feature in Anwar Ibrahim’s pronouncements thus far (unless it’s for or against UMNO).

So now, we await with abated breath for his decision or more likely, his renown Houdini-ish elegant evasive escape from the PAS & Parti-tindakan-demokratik political Panzer-like pincer attack.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The name of God

Over at malaysiakini, for the last week or so or even longer, there has been a ding dong argument over the use of Allah or Tuhan for non-Muslim reference to God.

I suppose malaysiakini must have received hundreds, if not thousands of letters on the subject to continue that debate. Nothing conclusive of course came out of the argument but then how can such a topic be ever conclusive, apart from my personal recall that I once saw an Islamic book (in English) titled ’99 names of Allah’.

What I have sensed from the debate has been a reluctance (nay, even refusal) by some Malaysian Muslims to allow non-Muslims to refer to their (non-Muslim) God as Allah, whilst the other party insist that it’s OK, drawing on examples from Arabic and Indonesian sources.

Does it matter? Does Someone Divine and Omniscient care what you call Him or as Western women nowadays insist, Her?

Him & Her? Whoa, that’s the start of another debate.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Food for thoughts - International Womens Day

Inspired by sweetie sistah (Wal)-ski ;-) and marvellous Marina M (their sites linked here), I dedicate this posting to an important global community, women, particularly Malaysian women on this very special day, International Women’s Day.

When I think of women, I immediately recall the saying ”The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.

Now, many would immediately zoom in on the phrase “rules the world” but pause, my dear readers, and read that part that “rocks the cradle”.

International Women’s Day

Mums are the greatest creatures with love unconditional. Using my mum as an example, they don’t ever take sick leave as those Wonder Women perform their motherly duties, come rain or shine, day or night, etc.

There’s a Chinese saying (and if there isn’t, there ought to be one) that a mother’s love is so powerful that even the gods must bow before it.

Yet, strangely, for the devotion that women have shown their sons, they (the female-folk) continue to be suppressed in many parts of the world.

In a place like Sharia-ruled Pakistan, there’s disgraceful victimisation of women, resulting in the most disgusting oxymoron of all, honour rape. Women in many parts of Pakistan are viewed as nothing more than chattels.

This disgraceful disgusting disrespectful attitude towards the gracious gentler gender is not unique to Pakistan because it is also prevalent in India and many Western nations and, looking towards home, in Malaysia too.

Some of us treat our Indonesian or Filipino maids as despised slaves, and our women as sex objects or baby factories. We hear frequently of misogynist comments referring to chastity belts for women, female body-hugging tight jeans, sex-arousing lipstick and perfume, gatal (lecherous) single women.

We see UMNO MPs like Cyclops making disgusting sexist comments to a lady MP in the supposedly hallowed Dewan Rakyat (Parliament).

Why has there been this contradiction, where the object of our greatest love also belongs to a despised group?

Did this start with the saga of Lilith, the original wife of Adam?

Jewish legend has her being expelled from the Garden of Eden after refusing to obey her husband. It was even said she had the nerve to demand to be on top of Adam during their sex.

Old cranky men couldn’t countenance such an independent-minded woman who had the feminine impertinence to demand for equality, so they demon-ised her in their writings, and she subsequently became the mother of demons.

Have men inherited their patrimonial ancestry’s disdain, disrespect and disregard for, and probably fear of, women's rights?

Food for thoughts on this very important day.

Mirror, mirror on the wall ... for the USA

Being hypocritically thick-skinned, the US State Department had the brazenness to issue its annual assessment of human rights in more than 190 countries. It attacked one of its favourite political target, China over the latter's human rights record.

Is the US correct? I would say so – yes, China does have a human rights problem.

But then, how can a country that operates Guanatanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Bagram (this one is really bad), and many more worse terrifying torture holes throughout the world through its extraordinary rendition programme (outsourcing torture – read Stephen Grey’s new book Ghost Planes), have the effontery to issue human rights report?

The USA is a terrorist state that has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan etc, and which supported and supplied cluster bombs to Israel and condoned (nay, even collaborated) in the wanton destruction of Lebanon and the murder of its people, as well as the continuing neo-colonial subjugation of the Palestnians.

Hardly surprising that Beijing dismissed the US report as a joke, and said: "We would like to advise America to care more about its own human rights issues and stop interfering with other nations' domestic politics."

And in a tit for tat response, China will issue a report today on US’ human rights records.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Horse here, horse there, equine poo everywhere?

My blogging bosom buddy Howsy sent me an article written by the world’s most famous SIL in his most favourite newspaper, who reciprocally considers him its most favourite pinup wonder boy.

SIL expounded on the effects of the US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Malaysians.

Much to my surprise I found myself agreeing with him on … well … most things except the part where he spoiled it with a bit of official propaganda which no non-UMNO Malaysian (even MCA, Gerakan, MIC) would believe. He started off by saying:

"2007 has been set up as a splendid celebration of half a century of nationhood and sovereignty, with Malaysia emerging as a successful, modern democracy that has succeeded in avoiding any encumbrances by over-dependence on other nations, especially those which wield considerable strategic strength."

“… emerging as a successful, modern democracy …”?

Well …..… anyway, then,

“…avoiding any encumbrances by over-dependence on other nations …”?

Hmmm, remember my worries about the Trojan Horse …… but WTF, nobody cares about Greek mythology. Besides, I may well end up like Laocoon who tried in vain to warn the Malaysi ... Trojans:

Do not trust the Horse, Trojans
Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts

OK, forget his brains baffling bull for Daddy. One item that struck my attention was his correct identification of an important issue that might have escaped many’s attention. He wrote:

"The patent provisions will also mean that US drug companies will be able to establish property ownership on plants indigenous to Malaysia that we have used in alternative medicine. This may eventually mean that our farmers have to pay a US drug firm for even the right to cultivate these plants … ".

Akin to this ridiculous US-centric patenting has been the patenting of DNA sequencing etc which then requires licence fees from medical tests using the patented mapping of the DNA-whatever.

I won't try to explain this mind boggling medical stuff. It's way over my head other than one bit I learnt from a doctor - that DNA sequencing can be used in medicine to identify, diagnose and even develop treatments for genetic diseases.

The only DNA I know has been DiaNA who used to take me around on her Vespa. She's a bit of a road hog and frequently terrified me with her speeding that I was forced to cling on very tightly ... er ... with my arms around her wonderful willowy waist. Yes, I know nuts about DNA sequencing but alas, I have to confess I had terrifying experiences with DiaNA squeezing.

Anyway, back on track - many international medical companies are rebelling against this 'first in best dressed' patenting system (first to map the DNA sequencing puts in a patent and gets all the lollies).

The argument against patenting of the mapping of human genes or those of plants (the latter of which Australia is also doing) etc has been that the patenting should only apply to human ‘inventions', and not something that nature has provided. Mapping the DNA, geromes or whatever is not an 'invention'.

To cut the discussion short (actually to accommodate my own limited understanding more than anything), countries like Canada and France are saying "enough is enough – you Yanks haven’t discovered anything, you just patented something that nature had already blueprinted, so bugger off, we ain't gonna pay".

This is apart from an ugly (typically Bush) incident just post 9/11 where the USA showed its Big Power arrogance and total disregard for the patents of other nations. When there was an anthrax scare in the States and the Administration was desperately looking for the remedy, it discovered that the drug was patented by the Germans.

President Bush told the Germans to give the production rights to the States for free (or perhaps at a wee fraction of the cost) or the USA would just take over as it pleased.

Compare this arrogant piracy with its selfish inhumane refusal for years to allow poor-suffering nations like (black) South Africa and many African nations to produce a cheaper version (lower licence fees) of the drugs for HIV-AIDS.

I dion't know how true this is, but I heard that even Thailand has gone down that avenue with the cheaper production of the drug (obviously by ignoring fees to the patent holders).

So the above is just an example of how the FTA will benefit the USA rather than Malaysia.

Maybe that’s why the Americans have been so keen, anxious and urging of our government to sign up. Maybe they are the ones offering a Trojan Horse too?

Can we cope with so many equine intrusion, bearing in mind horses would poo everywhere?

The other point we are dying to ask is of course, 'did SIL's article signal Malaysia having second thoughts about signing up an agreement that will principally advantage the USA?'