Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hartal sweetie caring or catty?

Helen Ang, columnist at Malaysiakini is once again off on her hobby-horse of boycotting the mainstream media (MSM).

But she has a point in that the MSM has been bullsh*tting big time. She also lashed out acerbically at local reporters for not challenging the government’s fairytales. Aiyoh, cari makan mah.

I see her frustration in people not supporting her current campaign because they reckoned her call to boycott the MSM as impractical and a wee too drastic and dramatic.

Glory be folks, for Helen, there’s no shade of grey on tolerance for overly creative MSM news reporting; she demands a rather severe black & white approach – like, boycott those bastards if they can’t spell T-R-U-T-H.

She wrote pungently of her detractors against her hartal call:

When we first started our ‘Boycott the Newspapers!’ campaign at The People’s Parliament, the effort drew both supporters and sceptics. Detractors say although MSM has admittedly bad and ugly pages but nonetheless it’s a daily dose that goes with their morning teh tarik, plus newspapers remain a convenient package and featuring apolitical sections like sports and entertainment, etc. which remain readable.

They claim discerning readers will be able to distinguish MSM’s politically-motivated lies from the truth, so caveat emptor but no need for boycott. I will ask those people this: If they can discern the falsehoods, does it not bother them at all that such dangerous distortions of reality are being freely disseminated by MSM?

Hmmm, “…If they can discern the falsehoods, does it not bother them at all that such dangerous distortions of reality are being freely disseminated by MSM?"

I think I better keep my mouth shut, because my primary school teacher, Mrs. Khoo, once told me while she had me by my tender ears when I was just a tad ... er ... 'indiscrete' in her class: “kaytee, discretion is the better part of virtue.” ;-)

Yes, I am actually quite intimidated by her (both Helen and Mrs. Khoo's) passionate intensity.

But I have to be bold and criticize Helen for spoiling her article with a nasty catty introductory paragraph, as follows:

Bolehland is replete with superlatives, such as the world’s (once) tallest towers, biggest ketupat, sleepiest premier, prettiest ‘space flight participant’ and busiest bodysnatchers.

Can you spot it? If you do, you are ‘it’, man, not me! Don't bloody get me involved! Yes, I may be bold enough to criticise her but I am not that stupid as to dwell on the issue for too long.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chairman of EC should resign

This post is based on a Star report obtained from Malaysiakini corner for Berita Malaysia.


This is the civil servant that a BN or rather UNMO-dominated Parliament changed the sacred Constitution in order to allow him an extra year or two to serve - the chairman of the Election Commission, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.

Now, he has the damn cheek to want the power to sue critics who make allegations against the EC. Basically he wants to silence anyone who raises complaints against him and the several unexplained decisions and actions of the EC.

He winched: “There are those who take to the streets (telling lies) and getting the publicity, and we (the Election Commission) suffer.

“If we have the power to sue, we can take action against those who spread lies without evidence.”

For all the trouble Parliament was dragged through to extend his service above the mandatory retirement age, he still hasn’t a clue about the duty of the public service.

The public service is the servant of the public. Any citizen or even a foreigner served badly or otherwise (meaning even if the service provided is fair) by the public service has the right to criticise and even make accusations against a serving public servant, provided the accusations are related to the official duties of the public servant.

The public servant has the right of reply, producing where necessary evidence to refute the accusations, allegations or even lies as this so-called Tan Sri had the nerve to whinge about.

The onus shall always be on the public servant to demonstrate that the accuser has been incorrect, and not for the accuser to defend his or her accusations.

That is the convention of public services in democracies.

The fact that Abdul Rashid has asked for the power to sue, indicates that the public service has not been provided the power to sue anyone, for a damn good reason - that is not within its rights or terms of reference as a public service. More importantly it is to deny such public service the powers to intimidate the public into silence.

As a public service, the burden is on the institute and its officers to demonstrate to the public that it is not incompetent, corrupt or has deviated from official government policies. It must always be transparent, accountable and responsive to public concerns, queries or complaints.

If Abdul Rashid is so thin skin, then I recommend that he should retire, resign or just get out of the Election Commission and indeed, out of our face.

As if that was not enough, the bloke even has the nerve to make a political statement by criticising his accusers who complained of vote-rigging: “These people are traitors (for hurting the image of the country).”

Whether those accusers are traitors or not is not for you, Abdul Rashid a public servant, to open your big mouth to say. You should immediately apologise for your reckless slandering of members of the Malaysian public.

And ominously he spoke of his own organisation’s 'incompetency', by advising that 17,000 people who registered during the last quarter of last year may not be able to vote if investigations could not be completed before the elections. How difficult is it to confirm a mere 17,000 people?

Bloody Balfour Betrayal

Stuart Littlewood is a businessman-turned-writer from Norfolk, England. He recently published a book entitled Radio Free Palestine about the plight of the Palestinians under occupation - see details on This article appeared in Redress Information & Analysis.

He comments on the cowardice of those who fear and obey supporters of Israeli human rights abuse. He argues that these Israel lobbyists have grown so arrogant that they ‘are lecturing us about what we should and should not say’.


A few evenings ago the BBC World Service broadcast a discussion featuring three people from Gaza and three from the town of Sderot on the Israeli side of the border.

If the programme hoped to bring about a meeting of minds, it fell a long way short. To start with, the BBC failed to set the scene or put the discussion into proper context. The Israeli team argued that the Gazans were given the chance to build their economy after Israel had “withdrawn”, and if the Qassam rockets would stop, they could all live in peace. What might have been an interesting exchange of views degenerated into a boring confrontation. I was left wondering how a calm, constructive conversation would ever be possible.

One of the Gaza team remarked afterwards that their Israeli neighbours showed no empathy, didn't want to hear the truth and had claimed "God gave us this land". To an outsider like me, it seemed that the two sides were as far apart at the finish as when the broadcast began, and on different planets entirely.

Listeners were invited to phone, text or email. I sent two messages:

(1) Why are 3,000 Gaza fishermen not allowed to put to sea and earn their living?
The siege has nothing to do with Qassam rockets. Palestinians in the West Bank don't fire Qassams but the Israelis are still in occupation after 40 years and still stealing the land and water.

Of course, they were consigned to the wastepaper basket. I say "of course" because these days I am deeply suspicious of the BBC's integrity and willingness to handle uncomfortable issues concerning Israel.

The first point, about fishing, needs to be raised more often. The second was mentioned by the Gaza team later in the programme but was quickly lost in the hubbub.

Qassams are a “gift” to Israeli propaganda. There is no getting away from the fact that they are indiscriminate weapons and instruments of terror. Westerners will always condemn their use against civilian targets. My own family lived under the onslaught of “Doodlebugs” launched by the Germans against London in World War II. You could hear them coming, and when the motor cut out it was truly terrifying. The unrestrained use of Qassams loses Gazans their moral high ground and it’s time they realized it.

The plight of the Gazans is blamed on Hamas. "All they have to do is stop firing the rockets towards Sderot and other places in Israel, and immediately there will be no problem with the border crossing," says an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Oh really? Let’s test the truth of that. Islamic Jihad, or whoever deploys the Qassams, would be smart to cease rocketing communities like Sderot for at least two months to test the claim that the siege of Gaza is simply in response to the "rain" of rockets. Then let's see if the borders are allowed to operate as any other nation's borders.

Here in the UK a church newspaper has published a chilling report from Fr Manuel Musallam about the cruel conditions in Gaza under siege: “Gaza priest decries Israeli blockade”. Fr Manuel pulls no punches and the editor has received emails, calls and letters from the Jewish lobby objecting to the story and saying how deluded he was to print it. You can send messages of support to the editor by email.

This country’s leadership is now so spineless that supporters of Israeli human rights abuse are lecturing us about what we should and should not say. The sad thing is that they are feared and obeyed by our politicians.

One can perhaps understand how Zionism seemed attractive to the likes of Balfour and others in the corridors of power in London a hundred years ago. The big question today is the sanity of Western leaders who perpetuate Lord Balfour’s catastrophic betrayal of the Arabs and who are bent on pushing the biggest political cock-up of all time to its bitter end. These mad dogs are now snarling and yapping at Egypt for showing a spark of humanity and opening their border to the beleaguered Gazans for respite.

Balfour, would you believe, studied Moral Sciences at Cambridge. Explaining his infamous Declaration of 1917 he said:

In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now occupy that land.

The House of Lords was unhappy with his lunatic scheme. Lord Sydenham warned:

The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country may never be remedied. What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.

above underlining are mine

Well, it extends all the way to 2008 and goes to the very heart of world peace. And it's an angry, septic sore with little prospect of healing while mad dogs tear at it.

Anwar Ibrahim complained Royal Commission controlled by unseen hands

Once again we are blessed by the wisdom of Anwar Ibrahim. Malaysiakini reported Anwar telling us of 'Unseen hand' manipulating inquiry. He was referring to the Royal Commission on judicial issues relating to the Lingam videotape.

In Malaysia, what Anwar has revealed does not constitute a shocking revelation at all, so excuse me while I yawnnnnnnnn.

But anyway, why was he grumbling about something that’s not newsworthy, and which no doubt would have sent everyone into stifling a yawn too?

OK, so he complained that the Lingam tape inquiry’s decision not to include him as a witness was the manipulation of an ‘unseen hand’.

In fact, in a previous post I had asked How may Anwar Ibrahim shed light on Lingam tape affair?

I stated: But other than Anwar being the person ‘used’ by the informer to reveal the existence of the various segments of the videotape, what would be his role in the affair of alleged dodgy judicial appointments and alleged corruption of judges?

How may he contribute, or as he had claimed, ‘shed some light’ on the alleged scandal. Surely the videotape is self evident?

Thus I read rather greedily at what Anwar might reveal when he restated that he can provide evidence of judicial corruption if called as a witness.

He said: “I am certain that the evidence that I can give will be a significant assistance to the Haidar Commission to get the truth behind this dark patch in Malaysian judicial history.”

“Instead ... the commissioners (in particular Haidar) have chosen to fetter themselves with procedural legalities and restrictive interpretations as to what they can do and what they cannot do.”

I see! Aiyoh, those judges are terrible for following the legalities of procedures instead of taking the word of the World’s Greatest in Everything. Tsk tsk tsk, how dare they!

Reading on excitedly, I discovered the Great Man saying his ‘evidence’ was a integral part of the video as several prominent court cases, including his own, was mentioned by Lingam.

;-) well, that’s Anwar, isn’t he! (no question mark here as it’s a rhetorical question).

As for ‘unseen hands’ manipulating whatever, it’s a bit rich for him to raise such an issue when he … (to know more, read my following posts):

(1) PKR's Sepoy Mutiny?
(2) The Rise & Fall & Fall of ........
(3) PKR meltdown - the Anwar Ibrahim factor?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

PKR pre-emptive strike against DAP in Perak

A couple of days ago Malaysiakini reported that Anwar Ibrahim declared Opposition will do well in Sarawak.

I then blogged on that in Anwar Ibrahim re DAP - cakap ta'serupa bikin? where I questioned the sincerity of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR in his party’s demand to contest in the federal seat of Ipoh Timur, which is currently held by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.

Lim is already severely confronted by the Election Commission’s redrawing of the electoral constituency’s boundaries which will favour the BN. Additionally there is the unexplained but significantly increased in the number of postal votes, in a place where there is no nearby army or police camp. As I had described – a powerful phantom army awaits to deal Lim Kit Siang a terrifying blow to his chances of being re-elected.

So the PKR’s demand for Ipoh Timur reeks of equine poo, the Trojan type, a gross betrayal to Lim Kit Siang.

Now, I read in the Star Online that PKR introduces state candidates in Perak. However, to be fair I note also in the Star a modicum of back-pedalling by PKR's Dr Lee regarding the Ipoh Timur seat. He would be wise to do so as the Perak Chinese are already disgusted by his disrespect for Lim Kit Siang.

The Star continued:

The DAP-Parti Keadilan Rakyat seat talks in Perak have yet to be concluded but PKR has started introducing potential candidates for the general election.

Making their rounds at the Kampung Simee market here yesterday, Ipoh Timur PKR division chief Vincent Chun was introduced as candidate for the Canning state seat while his vice-chief Lee Sing Long was named the potential contestant for the Tebing Tinggi state constituency.


Dr Lee said PKR had asked to fight in three of the nine state seats under the Ipoh Timur, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah parliamentary constituencies.

On whether his party was preparing for three-way fights, Dr Lee said they were hoping for the best but were preparing for the worst.

It’s the typically despicable PKR style of negotiating with DAP, through the press before the party-to-party negotiations have even been settled, and probably without informing the DAP as well. I don’t think PKR is a party which knows the meaning of confidential party-to-party negotiations.

And let's not forget that the party's self declared de facto head is none other Mr Silver Tongue who has been strangely tongue-tied on his party's Perak preemptive pronoucements, other then to claim a glib but meaningless Opposition will do well in Sarawak.

That the federal seats of Ipoh Timur, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah are currently held by three DAP MPs, Lim Kit Siang, M Kulasegaran and Fong Po Kuan, doesn't seem to elicit some respect from a so-called DAP ally, where surely the state seats within those parliamentary seats should by logic go to the DAP, unless of course if it's a Malay-majority seat which, as agreed between the DAP and Anwar, would be contested by PKR.

If the PKR has so pompously claimed it is a multiracial party, why then should Dr Lee fight with the DAP over Chinese-majority seats. The party nominees for elections should contest in those Malay-majority seats like Ijok - if you ask Nallakarapan, he would still agree.

And afterall, hasn't the DAP been accused of being just a Chinese-based party, even by some sneering PKR members - don't believe me that the DAP is considered as just a Chinese-based party? - please ask Karpal Singh, Kulasegaraqn and various previous DAP federal and state representatives whose names didn't start with Tan, Lim, Lee etc.

Or is the PKR is just like the BN with its 'UMNO' (very 'yes' here), 'MCA' (hahaha) and a depleted 'MIC'?

Monday, January 28, 2008

How may Anwar Ibrahim shed light on Lingam tape affair?

Malaysiakini tells us that Anwar Ibrahim today released a ‘third segment’ of the Lingam video.

Apparently the new five-minute clip was given (but by whom???) to Anwar Ibrahim, whom Malaysiakini termed as the ‘opposition leader’.

Excuuuuuse me, I was under the impression that Lim Kit Siang IS the ‘opposition leader’, while Anwar Ibrahim does not hold a position in Parliament. Is Malaysiakini confused or has one of its reporters been a wee too anxious?

Anyway, Anwar said: “This clip adduces additional evidence that the conspiracy currently being investigated by the royal commission extends beyond the attempt to fix the appointment of (former chief justice) Ahmad Fairuz (Sheikh Abdul Halim) to the Federal Court.”

Wow, but I heard rumours from BN personalities that UMNO occasionally leaks ‘inside info’ to Anwar via a certain PKR leng chai who continues to ‘liaise’ very closely with UMNO. The gossip I’ve heard has been that an UMNO group is using the de facto leader of PKR to keep another UMNO group on the back foot.

If that is true, then the Lingam videotape could form part of this Sun Tzu manoeuvre. I recall Sun Tzu saying “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”

Threatening, isn't it! Surely that would put (let's call it) Team B on the back foot, and perhaps on best beholden behaviour!

Mind you, I am not sure I know who is ‘using’ whom? But undoubtedly Anwar must be joyful with such a titbit to appear in the news – he has to or he’ll fade into political obscurity.

Anwar pontificated: “While the creation of the commission gave the public some hope that the credibility and integrity of the judiciary might be restored, we are unimpressed with the proceedings and the procedural decisions made by the commissioners thus far. The royal commission must operate with the highest level of integrity and transparency so as not to be seen as feeding the rot which has tarnished the Malaysian courts.”

Blast! How uncooperative is this Royal Commission – they should seek instructions from Anwar Ibrahim on how to proceed lah!

He continued: “I submit this new piece of evidence to the public, and extent my full cooperation to the commission’s ongoing proceedings.”

“I submit this new piece of evidence to the public ..." Hmmm, would that be a grandstanding action of a bit of ‘motivation’ for the RC? I suppose 'revealing any evidence to the public' would possibly be the best way to get called by the RC?

Anwar has on a number of occasions revealed that he could shed some light on the scandal. I was also informed by a friend that Anwar’s lawyer did not carry out his (Anwar's) instructions to pose certain questions during the RC when Dr Mahathir was called to testify. If that is at all true, I wonder why? Maybe the lawyer had forgotten or even didn't have the time to carry out his (Anwar's) instructions? Maybe the story wasn't even true.

Anyway, despite Anwar Ibrahim's most generous offer to 'shed some light' on the issue, the RC decided
not to call him as a witness.

Tell me something because I am not very clear on this Lingam videotape issue – I haven’t been following it for the reason (only my personal opinion) I reckon not much will come out of it – you work out why I think so.

But other than Anwar being the person ‘used’ by the informer to reveal the existence of the various segments of the videotape, what would be his role in the affair of alleged dodgy judicial appointments and alleged corruption of judges?

How may he contribute, or as he had claimed, ‘shed some light’ on the alleged scandal. Surely the videotape is self evident?

Oooooooo, it’s so mysterious.

Israeli writer: "Gaza blockade worse than war crime."

Uri Avnery, an Israeli writer and peace activist, founded the Gush Shalom movement. He had served three terms as an MP at the Knesset. This article was published by Gush Shalom.


It looked like the fall of the Berlin wall. And not only did it look like it. For a moment, the Rafah crossing was the Brandenburg Gate.

It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of oppressed and hungry people break down the wall that is shutting them in, their eyes radiant, embracing everybody they meet - to feel so even when it is your own government that erected the wall in the first place.

The Gaza Strip is the largest prison on earth. The breaking of the Rafah wall was an act of liberation. It proves that an inhuman policy is always a stupid policy: no power can stand up against a mass of people that has crossed the border of despair.

That is the lesson of Gaza, January, 2008.

One might repeat the famous saying of the French statesman Boulay de la Meurthe, slightly amended: It is worse than a war crime, it is a blunder!

Months ago, the two Ehuds - Barak and Olmert - imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, and boasted about it. Lately they have tightened the deadly noose even more, so that hardly anything at all could be brought into the Strip. Last week they made the blockade absolute - no food, no medicines. Things reached a climax when they stopped the fuel, too. Large areas of Gaza remained without electricity - incubators for premature babies, dialysis machines, pumps for water and sewage. Hundreds of thousands remained without heating in the severe cold, unable to cook, running out of food.

Again and again, Aljazeera broadcast the pictures into millions of homes in the Arab world. TV stations all over the world showed them, too. From Casablanca to Amman angry mass protest broke out and frightened the authoritarian Arab regimes. Hosny Mubarak called Ehud Barak in panic. That evening Barak was compelled to cancel, at least temporarily, the fuel-blockade he had imposed in the morning. Apart from that, the blockade remained total.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid act.

The reason given for the starving and freezing of one and a half million human beings, crowded into a territory of 365 square kilometers, is the continued shooting at the town of Sderot and the adjoining villages.

That is a well-chosen reason. It unites the primitive and poor parts of the Israeli public. It blunts the criticism of the UN and the governments throughout the world, who might otherwise have spoken out against a collective punishment that is, undoubtedly, a war crime under international law.

A clear picture is presented to the world: the Hamas terror regime in Gaza launches missiles at innocent Israeli civilians. No government in the world can tolerate the bombardment of its citizens from across the border. The Israeli military has not found a military answer to the Qassam missiles. Therefore there is no other way than to exert such strong pressure on the Gaza population as to make them rise up against Hamas and compel them to stop the missiles.

The day the Gaza electricity works stopped operating, our military correspondents were overjoyed: only two Qassams were launched from the Strip. So it works! Ehud Barak is a genius!

But the day after, 17 Qassams landed, and the joy evaporated. Politicians and generals were (literally) out of their minds: one politician proposed to "act crazier than them", another proposed to "shell Gaza's urban area indiscriminately for every Qassam launched", a famous professor (who is a little bit deranged) proposed the exercise of "ultimate evil".

The government scenario was a repeat of Lebanon War II (the report about which is due to be published in a few days). Then: Hizbullah captured two soldiers on the Israeli side of the border, now: Hamas fired on towns and villages on the Israeli side of the border. Then: the government decide in haste to start a war, now: the government decided in haste to impose a total blockade. Then: the government ordered the massive bombing of the civilian population in order to get them to pressure Hizbullah, now: the government decided to cause massive suffering of the civilian population in order to get them to pressure Hamas.

The results were the same in both cases: the Lebanese population did not rise up against Hizbullah, but on the contrary, people of all religious communities united behind the Shiite organization. Hassan Nasrallah became the hero of the entire Arab world. And now: the population unites behind Hamas and accuses Mahmoud Abbas of cooperation with the enemy. A mother who has no food for her children does not curse Ismail Haniyeh, she curses Olmert, Abbas and Mubarak.

So what to do? After all, it is impossible to tolerate the suffering of the inhabitants of Sderot, who are under constant fire.

What is being hidden from the embittered public is that the launching of the Qassams could be stopped tomorrow morning.

Several months ago Hamas proposed a cease-fire. It repeated the offer this week.

A cease-fire means, in the view of Hamas: the Palestinians will stop shooting Qassams and mortar shells, the Israelis will stop the incursions into Gaza, the "targeted" assassinations and the blockade.

Why doesn't our government jump at this proposal?

Simple: in order to make such a deal, we must speak with Hamas, directly or indirectly. And this is precisely what the government refuses to do.

Why? Simple again: Sderot is only a pretext - much like the two captured soldiers were a pretext for something else altogether. The real purpose of the whole exercise is to overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza and to prevent a Hamas takeover in the West Bank.

In simple and blunt words: the government sacrifices the fate of the Sderot population on the altar of a hopeless principle. It is more important for the government to boycott Hamas - because it is now the spearhead of Palestinian resistance - than to put an end to the suffering of Sderot. All the media cooperate with this pretence.

It has been said before that it is dangerous to write satire in our country - too often the satire becomes reality. Some readers may recall a satirical article I wrote months ago. In it I described the situation in Gaza as a scientific experiment designed to find out how far one can go, in starving a civilian population and turning their lives into hell, before they raise their hands in surrender.

This week, the satire has become official policy. Respected commentators declared explicitly that Ehud Barak and the army chiefs are working on the principle of "trial and error" and change their methods daily according to results. They stop the fuel to Gaza, observe how this works and backtrack when the international reaction is too negative. They stop the delivery of medicines, see how it works, etc. The scientific aim justifies the means.

The man in charge of the experiment is Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a man of many ideas and few scruples, a man whose whole turn of mind is basically inhuman. He is now, perhaps, the most dangerous person in Israel, more dangerous than Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu, dangerous to the very existence of Israel in the long run.

The man in charge of execution is the Chief of Staff. This week we had the chance of hearing speeches by two of his predecessors, generals Moshe Ya'alon and Shaul Mofaz, in a forum with inflated intellectual pretensions. Both were discovered to have views that place them somewhere between the extreme Right and the ultra-Right. Both have a frighteningly primitive mind. There is no need to waste a word about the moral and intellectual qualities of their immediate successor, Dan Halutz. If these are the voices of the three last Chiefs of Staff, what about the incumbent, who cannot speak out as openly as they? Has this apple fallen further from the tree?

Until three days ago, the generals could entertain the opinion that the experiment was succeeding. The misery in the Gaza Strip had reached its climax. Hundreds of thousands were threatened by actual hunger. The chief of UNRWA warned of an impending human catastrophe. Only the rich could still drive a car, heat their homes and eat their fill. The world stood by and wagged its collective tongue. The leaders of the Arab states voiced empty phrases of sympathy without raising a finger.

Barak, who has mathematical abilities, could calculate when the population would finally collapse.

And then something happened that none of them foresaw, in spite of the fact that it was the most foreseeable event on earth.

When one puts a million and a half people in a pressure cooker and keeps turning up the heat, it will explode. That is what happened at the Gaza-Egypt border.

At first there was a small explosion. A crowd stormed the gate, Egyptian policemen opened live fire, dozens were wounded. That was a warning.

The next day came the big attack. Palestinian fighters blew up the wall in many places. Hundreds of thousands broke out into Egyptian territory and took a deep breath. The blockade was broken.

Even before that, Mubarak was in an impossible situation. Hundreds of millions of Arabs, a billion Muslims, saw how the Israeli army had closed the Gaza strip off on three sides: the North, the East and the sea. The fourth side of the blockade was provided by the Egyptian army.

The Egyptian president, who claims the leadership of the entire Arab world, was seen as a collaborator with an inhuman operation conducted by a cruel enemy in order to gain the favor (and the money) of the Americans. His internal enemies, the Muslim Brothers, exploited the situation to debase him in the eyes of his own people.

It is doubtful if Mubarak could have persisted in this position. But the Palestinian masses relieved him of the need to make a decision. They decided for him. They broke out like a tsunami wave. Now he has to decide whether to succumb to the Israeli demand to re-impose the blockade on his Arab brothers.

And what about Barak's experiment? What's the next step? The options are few:

To re-occupy Gaza. The army does not like the idea. It understands that this would expose thousands of soldiers to a cruel guerilla war, which would be unlike any intifada before.

To tighten the blockade again and exert extreme pressure on Mubarak, including the use of Israeli influence on the US Congess to deprive him of the billions he gets every year for his services.

To turn the curse into a blessing, by handing the Strip over to Mubarak, pretending that this was Barak's hidden aim all along. Egypt would have to safeguard Israel's security, prevent the launching of Qassams and expose its own soldiers to a Palestinian guerilla war - when it thought it was rid of the burden of this poor and barren area, and after the infrastructure there has been destroyed by the Israeli occupation. Probably Mubarak will say: Very kind of you, but no thanks.

The brutal blockade was a war crime. And worse: it was a stupid blunder.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim & DAP - cakap ta'serupa bikin?

Malaysiakini reported that Anwar Ibrahim declared Opposition will do well in Sarawak.

Yes, surprise surprise I agree with Anwar Ibrahim that no surprise, no surprise the DAP ;-) will indeed do well! The DAP has already proven that recently in the Sarawak State election, by contrast to PKR.

The world’s greatest _________ (fill in blank), otherwise known as the PKR dict…. de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said he was confident that any PKR-DAP disagreement on seat allocation in Sarawak will be resolved in the end.

In response to reporters’ suggestion that local PKR leaders would not be able to agree even on a single seat out of the seven Chinese-majority parliamentary seats with the DAP in Sarawak, he pronounced "I don't buy it!"

Well, I like to see him put his money where his silver-tongued mouth is – that is, for the PKR de facto leader to sort out his party's publicly announced act of treachery on the Ipoh Timor federal constituency, where the PKR has threatened DAP Lim Kit Siang with a 3-corner fight in a constituency that is already rife with gerrymandering allegations!

And the PKR's abject arrogant atrocious impertinence had been to demand that Lim Kit Siang vacate his seat for the nothing-PKR to contest in, or face a sabotaging 3-corner fight which ensures a BN victory! What (Trojan) equine-ity iniquity!

If Anwar can’t even resolve that, then he’s just talking cock about a far more complex and complicated issue like seat allocations among the opposition in Sarawak.

… which has been why I yawnnnnnnnn-ed when he claimed PKR and DAP have established a format for discussions to resolve the seat issue nationwide. Come on, what about Ipoh Timor?

He asserted that if there remains any disagreement among state leaders of the two parties, the matter would be referred to national leaders. Hahahahahahahahahaaa

Though he did state that the national leaders will decide with the agreement of state leaders, I would advise him not to ‘berangan-angan’ (daydream). He’s wallowing in his own fantasy if he believes that state leaders will toe the line set by national leaders, meaning himself and the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng.

Sarawakians, whether in DAP or PKR or even the BN, have minds of their own that party national leaders (except the world’s greatest daydreamer) have discovered aren’t quite that receptive to their (national leaders’) proposals, let alone directives.

In fact I am amazed that the DAP has succeeded thus far in Sarawak and Sabah, as the only Malaysian political party to have national representation in both Peninsula and the two eastern States. UMNO has only in recent years penetrated Sabah, happily with help from the ‘return’ of the missing or Diaspora-ed 10 tribes totaling some 1 million people.

The Sarawak DAP leaders have refused to concede even a single seat in the Chinese-majority areas, stating that Anwar himself said that such seats actually are to be contested by DAP.

Anwar admitted he had made such a statement, and in damage control to mollify his forgotten Chinese section in PKR, spinned that the DAP had taken it out of context, as what he had meant has been the 'traditional DAP seats'. He pleaded: “If we are to say all Chinese seats will go to DAP, then it is to say there are no Chinese members in PKR which is not true at all."

Two questions arise out of his too-clever-by-half declaration:

(1) We aren’t talking about just the Sarawak DAP leaders. Lim Guan Eng himself has often reminded PKR of Anwar’s promise. Do you believe that a man like Lim Guan Eng, or for that matter his father, would ever take Anwar’s promise out of context?

(2) If Anwar had claimed his promise as limited to just the 'traditional DAP seats’ then what the hell is going on with PKR claims on Ipoh Timor, a federal seat already contested, won and occupied by Lim Kit Siang?

Let’s see him do the rightful thing in Ipoh Timor, or we would be forced to say that he and his PKR are, to borrow Raja Petra Kamarudin’s term, the Trojan Horses devised by the BN to destroy Lim Kit Siang.

Is PKR the BN's Trojan Horse in Ipoh Timor?

Look out for missing Sharlinie

As thousands of police and soldiers are currently looking for Sharlinie, I feel I would let this post take its place with the rest of my posts from today, Sunday 27 January 2008. My prayers continue to be for her safe return.

US government abets neo-Nazis in human rights abuse

Over at Malaysiakini foreign press corner, I read the BBC reporting Egypt watches Gaza traffic go on.

This relates to my previous posts The Great Escape - from Nazi brutalities and Nazi type group punishment versus liberty.

Then I had written of how the Israeli government instituted oppressive 'group punishments' on innocent Gaza Palestinians a la Gestapo/SS atrocities. Apart from bulldozing down houses belonging to families of suspected insurgents or shooting/bombing/rocketing indiscriminately at civilian Palestinian population, the Israelis have sealed off Gaza, which in reality is an Israeli prison for Palestinians, the largest prison in the world.

In short, the Israelis are doing exactly what the Nazis did to their forefathers, punishing the innocents for the actions of insurgents, because they are either incapable of catching the guilty or just plain too arrogantly lazy to do the hard yards. I wonder what the souls of those murdered in the Holocaust would say to their descendants and fellow Jews behaving like Nazi war criminals?

So the Gaza Palestinians, suffering from acute hunger, cold (it’s bloody winter there) and lack of medicine, broke out of that prison into Egypt to source the vital necessities to sustain lives.

Regrettably some pro Israeli people/bloggers have been disseminating articles to trivialize the death-threatening situation the Palestinians was facing, which had forced them to break out of their death concentration camp into Egypt. For example, I received such an article where those terrible blindly pro-Zionist people had claimed the Palestinians went into Egypt to buy televisions. They should be ashamed of themselves for stooping so low as to promote Israeli rightwing propaganda.

Initially there were reports of Egyptian police attempting to stop the Palestinians, using the world-famous Malaysian FRU tactics. I asked myself why would the Egyptians do that when they know damn well the Israeli oppression in Gaza? Besides as BBC had reported, such an action “… would enflame domestic and Arab public opinion and severely undermine Egypt's credibility as a regional leader and peacemaker.”

Then I read this - [words below in different coloured highlights are mine, added to give context, emphasis or bring up to date]:

Al Jazeera's Amr El-Kahky said: "[Egyptian] Security forces aim to seal two of the three crossings ... one will stay open, but will direct one way traffic - out of Egypt.

"Tension seems to be rising ... because the prospect of the borders closing again, and the Palestinians going back into the so-called prison that is Gaza, is very frightening for them."

He said: "The government took heavy criticism from the West over the border opening.

"The United States congress has already suspended $100 million of aid to Egypt due to the border breach."

David Chater, reporting from Jerusalem, said he believed the [attempted] closure was a result of Washington putting pressure on Egypt.

He said: "Hosni Mubarak [the president], says that the crossing will be closed today

"He has come under pressure as to how he dealt with this situation, and I think that the attempt to push the Palestinians back into Gaza is a direct response to US pressure in particular."

Fortunately and perhaps because the threat of adverse domestic public pressure was far greater than the thirty pieces of ... US$100 million for Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian government has backtracked from closing the border openings. The BBC reported:

... the governor of the Egyptian border province of North Sinai said that Egypt would continue allowing Palestinians to come across the border, and that it would help them stock up on supplies.

He said the security forces had been instructed to facilitate the Palestinians' passage and that he was co-ordinating with ministers in Cairo to have fresh stocks of commodities sent to the border area.

The BBC's Heba Saleh, in Cairo, says it is clear that Egypt is now making a virtue of necessity.

... Cairo knows that any use of force against the Palestinians would come at a very high cost.
It would enflame domestic and Arab public opinion and severely undermine Egypt's credibility as a regional leader and peacemaker, our correspondent says.

But, as we can see, the Bush Administration and US Congress, in its attempt to twist the arm of the Egyptian government are supporting the neo-Nazis in punishing innocent Palestinian civilians through oppressive deprivation of victuals and the basic means for those Gaza Palestinians to survive a winter period.

And this is a government who year after year has the brazen nerve and shameless effrontery to talk down to the rest of the world about human rights?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Is PKR the BN's Trojan Horse in Ipoh Timor?

In an earlier posting Two tigers on one Opposition mountain I wrote that PKR (the DAP so-called ally - hahaha) had argued that it also wants seats in Chinese-majority areas apart from running in Malay-majority areas - seats in which DAP has traditionally contested, effectively reneging on a ‘seat allocation’ agreement reached between Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim.

Then to add insult to avarice, PKR demanded Ipoh Timor, which so happens to be Lim Kit Siang’s own constituency. Don’t be shocked because the PKR idea of friendship or alliance with the DAP is merely opportunistic, and if it means sabotaging or back stabbing the DAP, it would do that with neither conscience nor scruples about honouring an agreement made by its, admittedly de facto, leader.

Malaysiakini has reported in its news article Three-way battle for Ipoh Timur?</a> that:

PKR veep Dr Lee Boon Chye told Malaysiakini today that “if his party and DAP are unable to reach a compromise on seat allocation in Perak, then we are prepared for three-cornered fights, including in Ipoh Timur”.

“If there is no settlement, it’s a free for all scenario. PKR is free to contest any seat in the state even if it means slugging it out against DAP and BN,” Lee declared.

Asked why the two parties were unable to come to a settlement, the PKR vice-president declined to comment.

As I had blogged in May last year in a post DAP & PKR - blood brothers? (2)
“the DAP should carefully rethink whether it's in its own interest to be so close with the PKR. In the same way UMNO is the single greatest undermining factor and thus the real 'enemy' for the MCA, the PKR will be exactly that for the DAP, especially come the next election. There cannot be two tigers on one opposition mountain.”

PKR has this dirty underhanded habit or tactic of ‘negotiating’ with the DAP by publicly announcing their version of seat allocation to the press without the DAP even knowing (the public announcement) until the latter reads it in the news.

Pre-emptive strike, presenting the DAP with a fait accompli, stabbing in the back, showing the DAP in a bad light – that’s the de facto modus operandi of the PKR.

Hardly surprising when the PKR would even stoop as low as to threaten another opposition party, the PRM, from using its (PRM) own party title, principally for fear of some PKR members returning to a true socialist party instead of one which serves the personal interests of only one man; alamak, mana confidence lah? Please see my post
Is renaissance reformasi PKR scared of tiny little PRM?

Malaysiakini reported that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng responded to the PKR regrettable conduct by stating: “If PKR wants to contest in Ipoh Timur, then we say it is a democratic country and they have every right to do so. But we are prepared to face them".

It must be doubly disappointing to Lim Kit Siang who had supported one so-called de facto leader during his time of needs to have that de facto person’s party stabbed him in the back. This is worse than Ops Lallang which had Lim Kit Siang incarcerated by the government for two years, because now there is the added putrid odour of gangrenous treachery.

As Ipoh Timor is already under siege by alleged gerrymandering (see my post Clear & Present Danger for Lim Kit Siang) where a phantom army apparently waits at the gates of that electoral constituency, the PKR entry into Lim’s seat for a three-cornered battle shows the real Trojan Horse that Raja Petra Kamarudin has been ranting about in his oblique criticism of the DAP.

Well, Raja, who’s the de facto BN Trojan Horse now?

But in some ways, I am glad that it has come to such a confrontation. As I have mentioned earlier: “... In the same way UMNO is the single greatest undermining factor and thus the real 'enemy' for the MCA, the PKR will be exactly that for the DAP, especially come the next election. There cannot be two tigers on one opposition mountain.”

One pseudo-tiger must go!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fighting for the corpse or soul?

Malaysiakini tells us that a dead 74-year old man considered by his family as a Buddhist has been buried as Muslim amid conversion row.

His eldest son, a Muslim, had informed Islamic religious authorities that his late father had converted to Islam, thus his (the late Mr Gan) fate was sealed or shall we say, buried deep.

After his Muslim son reported of his father’s conversion just last year, the full force of the State kicked in with great alacrity, with police seizing his body.

His other family (meaning all minus the eldest son) were left flabbergasted because they stated that the old man couldn’t have converted as he was senile and paralysed for the last two years after suffering two strokes. They should know as he was in their care, and of course not the eldest son's.

His other son criticised the conduct of the state Islamic authorities who buried his father with undue haste in a Muslim cemetery yesterday on the orders of a religious court, without investigating into the matter properly.

He said: "He could not even move his arms or talk. It is shocking that Islamic authorities say he recited some Islamic words when he was being converted last year."

Indeed, how could a paralysed man, looked after by his Buddhist family, convert to Islam? And all just on the say so of a Muslim son!

This sounds similar to the Moorthy case, where the late and paralysed soldier, looked after by his Hindu wife, was also seized by the Islamic authorities on the say so of his military (Muslim) colleagues and a Muslim brother, and buried. I suppose that the old legal adage of 'possession being nine points of the law' guarantees his eternal Islamic status - likewise with the late Mr Gan.

The parallelisms in circumstances are rather striking – a paralysed man, cared for by his non-Muslim families, not the Muslim ones, but on death seized by Islamic authorities for burial without proper and fair investigation, with the words of the Muslim relative taking precedence above all other family members, in given circumstances that raise doubts as to his actual conversion to Islam.

Sadly, the authorities were so cruel in their indecent haste to bury the late Mr Gan that they didn’t even allow his family to see his body for a final farewell parting.

If I may I would like to send condolence to the Gan family, and remind them that as Buddhists, they should take comfort in the words of the late Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera who said:

… Buddhists do not believe that one day someone will come and awaken the departed persons spirits from their graveyards or the ashes from their urns and decide who should go to heaven and who should go to hell.

The consciousness or mental energy of the departed person has no connection with the body left behind or his skeleton or his ashes. Many people believe that if the deceased is not given a proper burial or if a sanctified tombstone is not placed on the grave, then the soul of the deceased will wander to the four corners of the world and weep and wail and sometimes even return to disturb the relatives. Such a belief cannot be found anywhere in Buddhism.

Buddhists believe that when a person dies, rebirth will take place somewhere else according to his good or bad actions. As long as the person possesses the craving for existence, he must experience rebirth. Only the Arahants, who have gone beyond all passions will have no more rebirths and so after their death, they will attain their final goal Nibbana.


Nazi type group punishment versus liberty

Extracts from the Middle East Online:

Amid the hustle and bustle, with shouts of people intermingling with the noise of goats and car horns, 40-year-old Fawsa al-Jisha stood out as she stood gazing around surrounded by her nine daughters.

"I just came here to smell the liberty," she said. "I haven't left Gaza for a really long time."

The exodus came a week after Israel imposed a full-scale blockade on Gaza in response to persistent rocket and mortar fire from the territory ruled by Hamas, a democratically elected group pledged to liberating Palestinian land from illegal Israeli occupation.

"There is no justification or basis to demand that we allow the residents of Gaza to live normal lives, while mortars are fired and missiles are launching from their streets and courtyards of their homes toward... communities in the south" of Israel, said Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, who is accused by many international observers of applying “collective punishment”.

The Great Escape - from Nazi brutalities

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Great Escape - from Nazi brutalities

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks, neither shall ye walk haughtily; for it is an evil time.
- Micah 2:1-3

One of my favourite films is The Great Escape, an oldie (1963) movie showing the indomitable spirit of men who wanted to be free from the clutches of Nazi brutality.

Today a sweetie who knows that I care for the long suffering Palestinians (Muslims, Christians or adherents of one of those very old pre-Catholic Church Christian religions) sent me an article showing me a new Great Escape from the same evil clutches of those Nazis redux.

The article in the form of a letter from which is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.)

Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

The article follows:


Dear friends,

This morning after years of blockade and war, 350,000 desperate Palestinians poured through breaches in the Gaza-Egypt border. The crisis is out of control, the world must step in –- let's urgently call on the United Nations, European Union and Arab League to stop the siege, oversee the opening of borders and help broker the ceasefire which civilians on all sides desperately need. Please click below to sign the emergency petition--we'll deliver it when we reach 150,000 signatures–-so sign now and forward this email to your friends and family:

The border blockade of Gaza by Israel has finally hit crisis point. This week's power blackouts caught the attention of the world; now militants have blown open Gaza's southern border with Egypt, and Israel could act by force to close it.

The international community can end this crisis, and help save civilians on all sides. This isn't about taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it's about 1.5 million human beings locked up in the biggest prison on earth. The unsustainable blockade must be lifted and the border opened properly, with external controls to prevent weapons smuggling. Meanwhile, the missile war between Israel and Gaza will only be stopped by a reciprocal ceasefire which Hamas says it would negotiate.

While Israel and the US remain committed to the failing siege, the UN, European Union and Arab League can step in to end this blockade, oversee open borders, and help broker a ceasefire to save lives on all sides -- sign the petition and spread the word today:

The humanitarian crisis of Gaza is only getting worse, as patients die in hospitals for lack of care, and clean drinking water runs low. Palestinian militants are still launching missiles at the Israeli town of Sderot, and Israeli missiles claimed 37 Palestinian lives last week -- many of them civilian.

No genuine peace talks will be possible while this crisis continues. In the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, we saw how global pressure and assistance can stop such a crisis and protect civilians from harm -- we cannot stay silent about the crisis in Gaza. Please add your name now at the link above, and forward this message widely.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul, Galit, Esra'a, Pascal, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

PS In a global interactive poll on the Middle East, tens of thousands of Avaaz members helped to set our direction for this campaign -- addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and achieving a reciprocal ceasefire were each supported by over 90% of respondents:

For more about the crisis:

Article by UN agency chief: "There has never been a more urgent need for the international community to act to restore normality in Gaza",,2245299,00.html

Border breakout, 350,000 Palestinians cross into Egypt:,7340,L-3497673,00.html

Former Clinton official calls for ceasefire, ending siege:

Several Israeli cabinet ministers also want to negotiate ceasefire:
Jerusalem Post article

UN reports on the humanitarian crisis, including background to the blackouts:§ion_id=11&static=0&format=html

Deepening medical crisis in Gaza (UN):

I know what I have to do. You decide what you can do for those long suffering Palestinians. If we complain about racism affecting us, then we need to look at the racist persecution of the (Muslim and Christian) Palestinians by the rightwing Israelis. For those few Malaysians who actually enjoy seeing the Israelis oppress the Palestinians and trivalise their breakthrough into Egypt as some sort of smuggling scam, dont' ever complain that you yourself are victims of racism.

Previous kaytee's posts on Middle-East Nazi-ism:

(1) President Carter on Israeli Supremacist Racism
(2) What Hitler's SS used to do
(3) War Crimes in the Middle East
(4) Tel Aviv Nazis targeted 10 Red Cross ambulances
(5) World's Biggest Criminal

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two tigers on one Opposition mountain

Today Malaysiakini announced Electoral pact: DAP, PKR hit impasse in Perak where the two opposition parties have come to a hardly surprising ‘no deal’ stalemate in Perak.

Perak has sizable Chinese and Indian populations which would be the natural arena for a party like DAP which boasts both Chinese and Indian MPs, but the Tian Chua minority section of PKR also wants a slice of the same cake, and a huge slice at that, or it fears it will diminish into mere office boys for the PKR Malay majority section which leng chai* Azmin Ali administers as head honcho for the de facto leader.

* even Chinese women think so

I had already blogged on the incompatible pair in May last year – see my previous posts:

(1) post Ijok - Quo vadis DAP?
(2) DAP & PKR - blood brothers?
(3) DAP & PKR - blood brothers? (2)

So I am not completely surprised – au contraire. But let’s examine why the DAP cannot sacrifice anymore seats in Perak for a nobody PKR.

Malaysiakini said: In 2004, DAP won three parliament seats (Ipoh Timur, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah) and seven state seats (Sitiawan, Pantai Remis, Pasir Bedamar, Menglembu, Pasir Pinji, Jelapang and Keranji). On the other hand, PKR emerged empty handed.

Well, that's one major reason PKR has been so jealous of the DAP and is demanding more and more of what the DAP has won through struggling years of political investment. If PKR can't understand that, it can go wank itself.

Now that the BN has been reeling from a number of scandalous setbacks, the DAP hopes to deliver a few more knockout punches to the MCA and Gerakan.

There's the DAP expectation that, just because the Malay heartland may be happy to accept UMNO at face value, it doesn't mean that the Perak Chinese are equally accepting or forgiving of the MCA and Gerakan. The DAP hopes the expected backlash against the two BN component parties will allow it to pick up three additional parliament seats - Bruas (held by Gerakan), Taiping (PPP) and Teluk Intan (Gerakan).

But PKR (Chinese section) also sees the same opportunity. It argues that apart from running in Malay-majority areas, the party should also be given the opportunity to fight in Chinese-majority areas - seats in which DAP has traditionally contested.

Isn't it a bit rich of a PKR with zero presence in Perak to make such bully boy demands? Well, why stop there? Why not ignore the Lim-Anwar agreed formula (afterall, it was by Anwar mah!) and ask the DAP to surrender all its traditionally contested seats?

Then to add insult to avarice, the PKR has actually demanded Ipoh Timor, which so happens to be Lim Kit Siang’s own constituency. Lim Kit Siang was so disgusted with the PKR claim to his own seat that he remarked:

“If Perak PKR leaders are so insistent in wanting to contest in Ipoh Timur, let there be an agreement where a three-cornered fight is allowed for Ipoh Timur involving DAP and PKR, provided full agreement on a one-to-one fight against the Barisan Nasional for all other parliamentary and state assembly seats is immediately reached for Perak.”

When I remember the alleged disgusting behavior of PKR towards PRM which I posted in Is renaissance reformasi PKR scared of tiny little PRM? I hope the DAP will not give in an inch.

Leaving the Islamic PAS aside, only one tiger may stay on Mount Opposition.

When the West is frustrated ........ - frightening!

Here's a frightening article from The Australian which shows the neocons are on the rise, even in Europe.

We know that right wing governments have replaced left wing ones in Germany and France in recent times. Looks like their generals led no doubt by the terrible Anglo-American twins are out gunning for countries like Iran. One of the five mad men is from the puny country called The Netherlands but its aggression is as monstrous as that of the USA.

Their declared motive is to protect 'Western values and way of life'. No doubt the non-Western nations of China, slavic Russia, India, Pakistan and Iran (and perhaps even Japan and Korea) will be sitting up right now at this declared Western aggression.

In reality the five NATO nations are frustrated at their lack of progress in Afghanistan, the first venture by NATO out of their domain, Europe. In recent years NATO has changed its original role, the defence of Western Europe against the old Warsaw Pact forces, into supportin US-UK forces in Afghanistan. They are doing very poorly against a resurgence of Taliban activities.

A number of these NATO countries have refused to increase their military presence in what may be another possible 'Vietnam', with the Dutch thinking of pulling out after considerable loss in troop lives. The Australians who are in Southern Afghanistan (the most troubled region) with the Dutch have also threatened to pull out if the Dutch go because the latter have been and still are providing vital support to the Aussies.

When frustrated men with nasty weapons cannot fight successfully in the conventional way, they raise the ante. Read and tremble at the mad men's proposed mayhem.


The West must be prepared to carry out pre-emptive nuclear strikes to halt the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new NATO by five of the West's most senior military officers and strategists.

Calling for reform of NATO and a new pact drawing the US, NATO and the European Union together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and The Netherlands insist a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world".

The document had been presented to the Pentagon and NATO's Secretary-General, The Guardian reported yesterday.

The manifesto is likely to be discussed at a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, in April.
The authors include some of the top defence minds in the West, including General John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and NATO's former supreme commander in Europe.

The others are General Klaus Naumann, Germany's former top soldier and ex-chairman of NATO's military committee; General Henk van den Breemen, a former Dutch chief of staff; Admiral Jacques Lanxade, a former French chief of staff; and Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defence staff in the UK.

The Guardian report said the manifesto had been written following discussions with active commanders and policy-makers, many of whom were unable or unwilling to publicly air their views.

"The risk of further (nuclear) proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the authors wrote. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

The five commanders argued the West's values and way of life were under threat, but the West was struggling to summon the will to defend them.

It identified a number of key threats to the West's values and way of life, including international terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

It also cited the weakening of organisations such as the UN, NATO and the EU.

The five senior figures at the heart of the Western military establishment also declared NATO's future was on the line in Afghanistan's Helmand province. "NATO's credibility is at stake in Afghanistan," said General Van den Breemen.

General Naumann delivered a blistering attack on his own country's performance in Afghanistan. "The time has come for Germany to decide if it wants to be a reliable partner."

To prevail, they said, NATO's decision-taking methods must be overhauled, moving to a majority rather than a consensus model, putting an end to national vetoes.

A new "directorate" of US, European and NATO leaders must also be established to respond rapidly to crises.

The five also proposed the use of force without UN Security Council authorisation when "immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings".

Ron Asmus, head of the German Marshall Fund thinktank in Brussels and a former senior US state department official, described the manifesto as "a wake-up call". "This report means that the core of the NATO establishment is saying we're in trouble, that the West is adrift and not facing up to the challenges," he told the paper.

General Naumann admitted the plan's retention of the nuclear first-strike option was "controversial" even among the five authors.

But he said proliferation was spreading, and NATO needed to show "there is a big stick that we might have to use if there is no other option", he said.

Lord Inge argued that "to tie our hands on first use or no first use removes a huge plank of deterrence."

The 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of Western military strategy and structures has been presented to the Pentagon in Washington and to NATO's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, over the past 10 days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why we are angry?

I couldn’t get on to Malaysiakini, let along access the news as a subscriber. Despite my annoyance, In a way I am glad for Malaysiakini because it means the online news is getting more popular as probably the sole independent source of news.

But I hope Steven Gan and his team will remain impartial and not get too cozy with any particular opposition party even as they provide much needed space for these opposition parties to voice their policies. Those damn mainstream media have all been brought up by the BN parties.

But, having failed to access my favourite news medium, I decided to look at the Star Online as the next available option. Did I tell you I was once a Star Newspaper boy, selling hardcopy editions for a sen or two each?

So, I had a peep to see what Group Editor in Chief of the Star is saying. I visited his column On The Beat.

Wong said “it is the three main issues of inflation, crime and foreigners that affect ordinary voters the most” even though salacious issues like the naughty DVD, Lingam tape etc may be interesting and good for kopitiam kongsamkok.

He did a fairly good piece on how inflation worries the average providers, though I am disappointed he didn’t mention that the government ministers should set good examples at a time when the cost of living has hit the pockets of the ordinary voters.

Skiing holidays in South Korea, executive jet, luxury yacht, bullsh*t balls-bearing bodek-ish ceremonies to award the new ‘1st Lady’ (RPK gets into a tizzy at this incorrect designation) with Datukships of all descriptions, definitely with more to follow.

On crime, Wong said quite correctly that:

“Another issue that cuts across all races is the rising crime rate. Malaysians do not feel as safe as they used to feel any more. They are not interested in listening to politicians who tell them that crime rates are not as bad as reported in the press.”

“Such argument does not hold water because most Malaysians have had personal experiences or know someone who has. Politicians who think the security issue is being exaggerated must be out of touch with reality or they simply refuse to accept the fact.”

But Wong stopped short of pointing out where the buck should stop, namely the Minister of Internal Security at the political level, and the IGP at the operational level. Both have failed miserably in their role as the twin guardians of Malaysian security. By any standards of managerial accountability or performance, both should be immediately sacked.

I only half-agree with his statement that “The deployment of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and the general forces on our streets would make Malaysians feel more secure.”

The FRU is a special force to cope with civil disorder and commotion, namely riots. I don’t want to see them on the streets unless there is a problem for which they have been roled. Peaceful political rallies like the Bersih and Hindraf campaigns are not civil disorder by any means. In fact, the FRU had been in many instances the provocateur.

It’s the general mata-mata (and not bloody RELA please) that we want, that is, when they aren't busy with their pungli (to borrow an Indonesian word)

Of course, much as we don’t want to blame foreign workers, the reality is there are far too many of them, especially illegal ones. But powerful political and industry forces want these cheap and unaccountable (no EPF or health benefits) labour force for their own benefits.

Unfortunately Wong spoilt his general informative and fairly accurate analysis with his cari makan ending, namely:

"Seemingly non-issues have created discontentment among some section of Malaysians and the result is that our leaders have to put out these fires, taking away their precious time, which should be devoted to more pressing concerns of the nation. "

"Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is a good man. The Prime Minister deserves our support and even as he takes time to meet our expectations, we cannot deny that he has allowed greater democratic space, after 20 years of authoritative and uncompromising rule."

Wong should not have allowed AAB to get away with his silence on the worst bigoted comments made by UMNO leaders or flagrant cases of copruption that either go uninvestigated or unpunished (eg. the Raja of Port Klang).

And it's a bit rich of Wong to attribute public discontentment to non-issues. While allowing for the expected criticism from opposition parties, with some merely of grandstanding nature (and that, incidentally, is called democracy), there are genuine complaints that the AAB government has failed, at best, to resolve or worse, ignored. The higher education system is a national disgrace yet we get no real action but mere superficial glossing over.

AAB is not the good man he wants to be seen as, and expects his supporters to proclaim. He already has 4 years of tenure as the PM, where we see increasing clampdown on democratic rights and practices. He uses the mandate we gave him, on promises he had failed miserably to deliver (eg. Where is the IPCMC? Why aren't hugh projects tendered openly?), to mangle the laws to suit his personal interest. This is a man who had unashamedly and publicly voiced his (PM) concerns over his family's 'pots of rice'.

If his predeccesor was seen to be more authoritarian, at least he delivered some material benefits.

In the end, the unmitigated feral avarice of politicians, and their sickening examples to public servants on how to become rich el pronto, is the root cause. Many politicians in the ruling party and even a few in the opposition would not survive a proper test of reconciling their style of living with their declared income.

Vote wisely.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is renaissance reformasi PKR scared of tiny little PRM?

I wonder whether a letter from Koh Swe Yong, VP of the Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) has been received by Steven Gan, editor of Malaysiakini? Koh wrote to a select few.

In it, to cut the story short, Koh told Tian Chua of PKR to f* off when a news report had the latter (allegedly) having the cheek to say
"… dari segi undang-undang, ahli-ahli PRM yang tidak menyertai parti baru (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) tidak dibenarkan mengguna nama PRM untuk bertanding dalam pilihanraya.*"

* translation - "... legally, PRM members who didn’t join PKR won’t be permitted to use the name PRM for their candidates in the general election ..."

Needless to say, if I were Koh, a VP of PRM. and someone from PKR impertinently told me that, I would have said worse things, but Koh being a gentleman, counselled Tian Chua “…supaya tidak berlagak angkuh dan sempit fikiran apabila berkomen,sebaliknya perlu bertindak sebagai pekerja politik yang realistic, praktikal dan jujur, seperti objektik cogan-kata politik baru yang dilaung-laung oleh Parti Keadilan Rakyat*.”

* loose (and bloody liberal) translation by kaytee, with apologies to Koh – “… get off your blooming high horse and narrow-minded thinking when you open your big mouth. KNN, as a politician, you should in fact be realistic, practical and honest, and hey man, live up to your bloody party slogan lah, the slogan you have been f* bleating constantly …”

Hey, BTW, what is the PKR party slogan ;-). Perhaps the Intellectual Giant has it in Latin like “De Facto Demokrazee De Seetfool & De Fektiv”

Apparently it all started when someone asked Tian Chua about the appeal made by the President of PRM, Hassan Karim, to the opposition parties to give some leeway for PRM candidates to contest in the coming general election, so as to avoid a three-corner fight which naturally would only benefit the BN.

Aiyoh, Saudara Hassan Karim, don’t you know PKR has through the back door (front door no guts mah) threatened to screw things up for the DAP in Perak and Sarawak if the DAP does not surrender some of its traditionally contested seats to the PKR. I wonder what Raja Petra Kamarudin would say of PKR and Tian Chua’s behaviour?

Yes, what about Tian Chua’s nerve in attempting to copyright reserve the PRM brand from the PRM party? Aiyoyo, it seems PKR is so scared of PRM shadows?

Koh was so incensed that he ‘advised’ Tian Chua to reserve his words to himself until he (Tian) becomes Minister of Internal Affairs and Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister, or the stupid statement would become the nonsensical farce that it is, good only for kopitiam kongsamkok.

Koh also said:
"Selain itu, kata-kata Tian Chua itu juga menunjukkan ilmu pengetahuan Tian Chua dan Keadilan sungguh cetek, sampai tidak mempunyai ilmu asas undang-undang. Jika Keadilan diberi mandat untuk memerintah negara ini kelak, macamana mereka dapat memerintah dengan baik dan berkesan, macamana mereka dapat membawa keadilan (justice) kepada rakyat jelata, sebagaimana nama Partinya?*"

* loose brief translation – “Additionally, Tian Chua and PKR shows they know sh*t about basic law. Imagine if PKR rules the country, there ain’t gonna be any justice as his party’s name suggests.”

Ouch and bloody de jure and de facto ouch.

In fact PRM is properly registered with the Registrar of Societies as a legal party. Since Dr Syed Husin left for PKR, the members who refused to join PKR has reorganised their party machinery and office bearers blah blah blah.

When this happened, it has been alleged that dear brave Tian Chua and the PKR leaders went into overdrive to obliterate the PRM label. Kniasu kah, knia hami lah?

F* man, Koh said the reality is the PRM is a legal party under the Akta Pertubuhan Malaysia, and that the PKR leadership demonstrated their narrow minded arrogrance. Well, if true, then kaytee would put it bluntly as ‘pathetic pitiful pariah-ness’.

And Koh ended his letter by sneering at PKR with this statement
“Jika Parti Keadilan Rakyat hendak memghapuskan PRM, silalah tunggu sehingga Keadilan menjadi parti pemerintah negara ini.*”

* loose translation – “If PKR wants to get rid of PRM, wait till PKR becomes the ruling party.”

But as I have often said, PKR has been bud-grafted with the UMNO virus of dictatorship and intolerance. PKR is in reality nothing more than an UMNO branch, no doubt an unwanted one but still an amoeba from the same cesspool. Look at such events as a self proclaimed ‘defacto leadership’, in a democracy? Is there no shame?

Then there was former PKR VP Nallakarupan who was instructed by PKR de facto leader not to contest. Yes, Nalla was told not to contest – de facto democratic principles?

And PKR Youth secretary SD Johari accused Anwar Ibrahim of meddling in the last party elections. Johari claimed that Anwar asked acting Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin to ‘find ways’ to ensure that Johari loses. Read Anwar Ibrahim interferes with PKR polls?

He also resigned out of disgust at the de facto leader’s interference. I ask again, is this a party that practises democratic principles?

And don’t miss this one PKR meltdown - the Anwar Ibrahim factor?

But the most terrifying thing I heard fromm a reliable source is that Keadilan is going all out to kill PRM through various activities, including allegedly attempting to threaten Koh Swe Yong into withdrawing from contesting.

As one former supporter of PKR said in utter disgust, why don’t PKR take on someone their own size, like the DAP instead of PRM.

Alas, it’s the way of a coward, one cloned from the uterus of an UMNO miscarriage.