A meeting place to exchange views, no matter how different or diverse these may be. Keeping these civil and courteous would be appreciated
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Anwar Ibrahim evading formation of shadow cabinet?
Some months ago, my matey Kian Ming, a political science PhD candidate and a regular columnist at Malaysiakini, wrote of the need for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to form a shadow cabinet, an alternative government so to speak.
In a shadow cabinet individual opposition MPs would be assigned specific portfolios to monitor his/her opposite number in the government.
Like a fullback in a soccer game, the shadow minister for a portfolio tackles his/her assigned minister and the ministry’s policies, plans and implementation, and not only to challenge these but also to counter offer the opposition policies and plans.
Only in such practice would an opposition party have legitimacy in presenting itself as an alternate government.
Just making grandiose but nonsensical promise (rather than sound policies), such as the mythical 916, is not good enough, well, at least for people who can think and see through the nebulous bull.
I vaguely recall that in Kian Ming’s recommendations, the ethnic equation in the formation of the shadown cabinet was of vital importance. It was not just a simple case of PKR:PAS:DAP ratio-lizing.
Certain key ministries had to be allocated only to the Malay parties, namely PAS and naturally the Malay component of PKR.
I can't recall Kian Ming's exact recommendation but I would imagine the key ministries, sensitive to ethnic pride, fears and strategising, would be (i) PM, (ii) DPM, (iii) Home, (iv) Defence, (v) Finance, (vi) Wismaputra, (vii) Information, and a jolly good No 8 for luck, (viii) Education.
Apart from Kian Ming, a number of NGOs had recently told Anwar to get on with the formation of a shadow cabinet, which incidentally Anwar promised to do so prior to the Permatang Pauh by-election.
But like most promises Anwar Ibrahim had made, including the disciplining of the PKR Kulim Thug, reformasi, 916, etc, they have not been fulfilled.
Now, his own PKR members are yelling for such a shadow cabinet.
Why has Anwar Ibrahim been so politically negligent in not forming such a shadow cabinet. If Uncle Lim had been the Opposition Leader he would have done so immediately after 08 March 08.
My matey Dean Johns, had remarked in his Malaysiakini column Pakatan is failing the rakyat:
But what about the shadow cabinet that any opposition worth its salt is supposed to form?
A shadow cabinet performs two vital functions. One, it affords the leading lights in the opposition the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their abilities in designated portfolios in preparation for when they come to power. And two, it puts pressure on incumbent ministers to do their jobs properly.
But Pakatan has made no apparent attempt to select a team of shadow ministers, thereby allowing itself to look to the voters like a rabble that can't get its act together, let alone ever be trusted to run the nation, and letting BN government ministers run as much riot as ever.
It's not as if Pakatan lacks an example of everything a shadow ministry should be. Lim Kit Siang is a world-class exponent of the art of opposition.
Take a look at his latest inquisition into government criminality and incompetence: a barrage of intelligent and incisive questions to Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said about the scandals surrounding the Pempena Group of companies.
It's a copybook example of parliamentary opposition at its best. But as unrelentingly watchful and outspoken as Lim is, he can’t be expected to do the job of an entire shadow cabinet. He's only one man, after all, and he's not getting any younger. So it's high time Pakatan started building a team in his image.
Since 08 March 08, it is the very person of Uncle Lim Kit Siang who has demonstrated his political responsibility, competency and professionalism in performing as the de facto Opposition Leader while the PR appointed de jure Opposition Leader … well … God knows what he does, apart from 916-ing, while his wife worries about the UMNO leadership transition plan
It seems someone prefers to be the de facto this and that rather than the de jure that and this. He doesn’t even want to be President of PKR, just the de facto leader only.
And there would not have been a Permatang Pauh by-election with Anwar Ibrahim as a candidate if there was no sodomy charge against him. Fortunately for him, wifey was there with her ‘support’ as usual – she surrendered her PP seat for the by-election.
Maybe Anwar just likes the title of de facto too much.
Other than lompat-ing into Permatang Pauh secara terdesak, why has he avoided being a PKR this-or-that. And to take this question one further step, why has he neglected the formation of a shadow cabinet?
kaytee offers a range of speculations:
(a) Waiting to return to UMNO so why bother with a shadow cabinet?
(b) Waiting to have 31 BN MPs join PKR so that a PKR with 61 MPs against DAP’s 28 and PAS 24 will have the lion share of the cabinet positions?
(c) Avoiding the hard call to divvy up what Kian Ming posed in his article about key ministries, and disappoint both DAP and PAS? Once the key portfolio has been allocated they become very difficult to withdraw, at the risk of the PR breaking up.
(d) Avoiding the key appointment of DPM? Should it go to PAS' Pak Haji Nik Aziz (or Pak Haji Hadi Awang) or DAP’s Lim Kit Siang?
But as Dean Johns said: But what about the shadow cabinet that any opposition worth its salt is supposed to form?
… and that Lim Kit Siang is a world-class exponent of the art of opposition.
Man man lai?
Anwar Ibrahim torpedoed his KD Reformasi!
When Dr Syed Husin Ali, the deputy president of PKR, opened the annual congress of the party's Youth and Women’s wings, he said Anwar and Wan Azizah would explain on the abject failure of Anwar’s 916 boast.
I recall also the same Dr Syed Husin informed the press that PKR would take disciplinary action against the Kulim hooligan for behaving like a thug at the last Bar Council forum on interfaith issues.
Yes, like 916 the non-event, nothing happened – PKR pandai cakap ta’serupa bikin.
No 916, still no disciplinary action against the Kulim Thug, no explanation for the 916 non-event which we may safely surmised as pure grade Anwar bullsh*t.
Neither Wan Azizah or hubby offered any explanation at the annual PKR congress.
If you examine PKR’s political promises, chief among which had been the much touted political reforms or reformasi, the rallying call of the anwaristas and PKR supporters, what have we seen of that reformasi?
Not only zilch but in fact the exact opposite.
Firstly and most damaging of all, the so-called Great Reformer boasted of recruiting slimy frogs (political defectors) as his first action after the 08 March 08 general election.
Yes, the first thing he did was to resort to his UMNO-days modus operandi of subverting the ballot box - recall Sabah 1994 where Parin (PBS) went from should-be State CM to State Opposition Leader, thanks to then BN campaign director for Sabah State, DPM Anwar Ibrahim, and his success in breeding frogs.
And straightaway after 08 March 08 he showed his true colours, his harimau stripes, his craze for power (rather than democracy or reforms), by resorting to a shameless insidious attempt at subverting the ballot box.
Reformasi or Deformasi of democracy?
KD Reformasi was torpedoed and sunk by her own captain.
Then the 916 package by his camp – we witnessed their grandstanding boasts after boasts, lie about Muhyiddin Yassin being on the list of defectors, oblique appeals to HM the Agong to intercede, even a so-called professor of law attempting (twice, mind you) to convince us (or HM) that it would be proper for HM to intercede on behalf of a party with 82 MPs to take rein of the government from a party with 140 seats - for more read Don't misuse the King!.
The Deformasi spirit continued with Dr Wan Azizah promising to restore immunity to the royals and 20% petroleum royalties to Sabah and Sarawak.
It’s a wonder the pair didn’t promise Malaysians the sun would rise in the West tomorrow.
Yesterday I lambasted Dr Syed Husin in Dr Syed Husin defending the indefensible! and advised him:
… let that 916 bull rest. If Anwar had f* up his unwarranted (deformasi, not reformasi) boast, let it be. Let that embarassing bull fade away.
Your de facto leader's attempted deformasi subversion of democracy's ballot box had been an abject failure, so why perpetuate the shameless concept of an underhanded seizure of power with your shameless “If the power transfer is not tomorrow, it will be the day after tomorrow"?
Why defend the indefensible? Why don't you wait until 2013 to claim your political victory in a legitimate manner?
I would have respected Anwar Ibrahim more if he did what the Malaysiakini headlines suggested, that is, not offering any explanation for the 916 bullsh*t.
We know he had hoped for a self-fulfilling prophesy but tough luck for Anwar, AAB didn't buy his bluff ... so ... just let the embarrasing bluff fade away and wait democratically for 2013.
But alas, like Dr Syed Husin he had to spoil it by leaving claw marks on the sill with the unnecessary and most pathetic excuse: "Despite all the sabotage and plotting (towards the Sept 16 plan), our desire to bring about a new dawn for Malaysia will never be quashed."
"Despite all the sabotage and plotting (towards the Sept 16 plan), …”?
For a man who had planned (and boasted) to have his 916 through frogs, he has the brazen cheek to accuse others of sabotage and plotting.
But sadly his adoring lemmings believe him. Some even rationalized Anwar's abject failure of 916 had been a brilliant tactic - wakakaka. I've never witnessed such blind idiocy.
As Abrahim Lincoln said: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Guess who’s still buying the Deformasi bull even today (sigh), and in which group of Lincoln’s fools do they fall under?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Dr Syed Husin defending the indefensible!
Malaysiakini - PKR: There will be change of gov't
Dr Syed Husin made a pathetic attempt to defend Anwar Ibrahim’s half-past-six '916'.
Much to my immense disappointment (because I used to respect Dr Husin so much) he shamelessly dug in to embrace-defend Anwar's proclaimed (but failed) power through political frogs.
Syed Husin said BN MPs had indeed planned to defect to PKR but - get this - he blamed the powers-that-be (meaning the government formed by the ruling party) for using - and man oh man get this also - underhanded tactics to forestall the party defection.
Dr Husin, aren’t you aware that political party defectors are cheats, who campaigned as Party A candidates, and once elected, would jump across to be Party B representatives?
It doesn’t really matter whether the defectors are from the opposition or ruling party, when defection is defection, and the defectors are cheats!
And the party encouraging, enticing and egging defections and welcoming those cheats is a cheat too, in fact a far bigger cheat because it ought to know better.
So who had been indulging in underhanded tactics?
Just remember how the saying goes, "When looking for faults use a mirror, not a telescope"
So, Dr Syed, you go & take a look in the mirror to see who's the most underhanded of them all! Reformasi my bloody foot!
If Pak Nik Aziz is the spiritual leader of PAS, then I would consider the Lion of Gelugor as the DAP's spiritual leader (of political principles).
... because thank goodness the DAP has a man like Karpal Singh to pull those enamoured by the man man lai bullsh*t of frogs, back from the brink.
But it took a while for the other DAP leaders like Kulasegaran to echo Karpal Singh's resolute stand against embracing slimy frogs. In this respect I have been very much disappointed with Uncle Lim and Lim GE for not being more proactively vocal against party defections.
Anyway, (for all his intellectualism) like a lemming, Dr Husin continued Anwar Ibrahim’s man man lai nonsense, saying its failure to take over as promised on Sept 16 did not mean it will fail to do so forever.
He boasted meaninglessly: “If (the power transfer) is not tomorrow, it will be the day after tomorrow; if it is not in the near future, it will be in the 13th general election (due 2013).”
Dr, why don't you let that 916 bull rest. If Anwar had f* up his unwarranted (deformasi, not reformasi) boast, let it be. Let that embarassing bull fade away.
Your de facto leader's attempted deformasi subversion of democracy's ballot box had been an abject failure, so why perpetuate the shameless concept of an underhanded seizure of power with your shameless “If the power transfer is not tomorrow, it will be the day after tomorrow"?
Why defend the indefensible? Why don't you wait until 2013 to claim your political victory in a legitimate manner?
Yes, you may be thinking you were defending Anwar's monumental bullsh*t of unmitigated proportion and justifying his reckless braggadocio by blaming the BN for its (I still can't believe your brazen nerve) underhanded tactics, but are you aware that in that process you have insulted the intelligence of both your PKR members and supporters?
I am disgusted with you. To think I once respected you so much.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Some people shouldn’t have maids!
Malaysiakini - Maid abuse: Housewife gets 18 years.
It’s the lamentable case of former air stewardess, Yim Pek, who brutalised her Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat. Some of the criminal acts she perpetrated on her employee were to press a hot iron on Bonat's back and breasts, and pour hot water on her legs.
* I re-read the above paragraph and (apart from my grammatical & syntactic errors which I hope I have corrected) couldn't justify, and won't allow such a despicable crime to merit a 'reason' - evil cannot be a 'reason'
The Session Court found Yim guilty of grievously hurting the maid, and sentenced her to 18 years in jail.
I remember this case even before I started my own blog, Ktemoc Konsiders. The emotions expressed at some blogs over the unmitigated brutalities regretfully assumed a racial hue.
Yim had committed criminal acts, the authority prosecuted her, and based on evidence the Malaysian court found her guilty and sentenced her to a just term.
There’s no need to assume any racial denominator. Yim did a bad thing; she will now pay for her crimes.
I don’t feel in the least sorry for her; rather my sympathies are with Nirmala Bionat. I hope there is some form of financial compensation for her sufferings. Perhaps she can sue her agency and Yim (her husband).
Unfortunately some Malaysians cannot handle hired domestic help in a civilised manner. Asian maids (Filipinos) have been treated like sh*t if not sex slaves by some unscrupulous Gulf employers. Even in Malaysia there have been reports of the male employer sexually abusing his maid. The abuses have not been confined to any single ethnic group.
Recently I came across a sad case. Though there was no incident of sexual abuse, torture or any untoward conduct by the employer, I couldn’t tolerate the family’s attitude towards the maid.
They treated her like a nonentity at best and a robotic machine at worst. OK, I know the family very well – bloke is a distant cousin of mine.
The maid was working herself to her bones (this was already 2:30 p.m. and the maid still hadn’t had her lunch) when the 15-year old daughter chucked her plastic cup to the maid and ordered her in an overbearing voice to wash it up.
My blood pressure went the way our only astronaut had gone, right through the bloody roof into space. I couldn’t help but to put on my sternest-angriest ‘uncle’ voice and ordered the teenager to get up from her lazing on the sofa to wash the cup herself.
She was stunned by my strange departure from my normally friendly tone, and I even detected an attempt to argue with my instruction until she saw the black look on my face. Boy, she was really scared and rushed off to wash the cup. And I wasn’t acting, but truly furious at her lack of consideration for another human being.
Obviously my cousin and his wife weren’t happy with my reprimanding of their daughter. When I reminded my cousin that it was already 2:30 p.m. and the maid still hadn’t had her lunch he replied (in Hokkien): “Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau choi chnea.”
My blood pressure which was already up there in space went interplanetary.
“Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau choi chnea” translated would be “This type of people – they know how to look for food”.
F*ing sh*t – Chee harng ay larng!
It’s unmitigated racism with a total lack of acknowledgement or acceptance that the maid was a human being.
I stared at him, showing my shock and disgust at his attitude as expressed by that term “Chee harng ay larng!”.
Needless to say, I haven’t ever been back to his house, though I have been, am still invited on several occasions. That pathetic idiot has been so oblivious to his appalling attitude that he even asks relatives why I have been shunning him.
Some people shouldn’t have maids.
Monsterous Murders in Mumbai - who's behind it?
The terrorist attacks continued until early this morning – for more read Mumbai terrorist attacks: gunmen go on rampage.
kaytee wonders whether the murderous carnage in Mumbai had been at the directive of parties in Pakistan who are unhappy with President Zardari’s declaration of no (nuclear) ‘first strike’ at India just 2 days ago?
For more read Asif Ali Zardari delights India with 'no first strike' policy.
Some Pakistani military strategists have not been happy with Zardari’s unprecedented policy statement on Pakistan's nuclear weapons employment as they consider the ‘first strike’ option vital to a Pakistan lacking strategic depth in space. They couched that in terms of Pakistan's "… open borders and its status as a smaller nuclear power".
But new President Zardari seems set on developing rapprochement with its No 1 enemy, perhaps even at the expense of the 60-year old Pakistani obsession with Jammu-Kashmir – see my previous posts:
(1) The True Obsession of Pakistan!
(2) Pakistan short changing US
No sirree, that won't sit well with the Pakistani military. Accepting the Jammu-Kashmir status quo would be akin to blasphemy at the very roots (creation), ideology and soul of Pakistan.
Regardless of whether the wanton killings in Mumbai had been at the instigation or directive of some parties in Pakistan, last night's terrorist carnage will certainly set Pakistan-India relationship very much back.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
More lok lok's
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee rejected an emergency motion by Puad Zarkashi (BN-Batu Pahat) to debate the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Puad said it was important to discuss yesterday’s decision by the Israeli government to seal off the Gaza Strip again, after Palestinians launched rockets over southern Israel.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim later told reporters that he was disappointed with the decision, as Muslims have a special interest in the issue.
kaytee comment: I support Puad and Anwar ;-)
Malaysiakini - Why I defend migrant workers
“Migrants are human beings. They have the same rights as all of us,” so said Irene Fernandez when asked why she has dedicated her life to helping foreign workers whom Malaysians have invited into our country, and for some, into our homes.
“They are here for the good life we have and we have a responsibility to protect them while they are in our country. We are accountable for what we do to them."
kaytee comment: … which has been why I love this fantastic lady!
'Reduce dependence on foreign labour'
MCA deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek today slammed the government for not having a clear policy on foreign workers in the country.
According to him, the government should take immediate measures to reduce the more than 400,000 foreign workers in the country by 2010, as announced by Deputy Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his Budget 2009 RM7 billion stimulus package.
kaytee comment: good advice, Chua!
Alcohol ban: Trouble brewing in Pakatan
It seems PAS is pushing for the ban. DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua reminded PAS that Selangor was ruled by a joint government and the Islamic party only controls eight of the 36 state seats won by Pakatan Rakyat in the March 8 polls.
"Therefore, any attempts by Selangor PAS to flex its muscles without due regard to its fellow coalition partners would be deemed as arrogant and uncooperative," he said in a statement today.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP also warned that such a move would move would only serve to weaken the governing coalition.
kaytee comment: hoe liao, Tony!
PM: Yoga for exercise can go ahead
kaytee comment: well said, Datuk
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday night special - lok lok!
kaytee comment: ;-) am not surprised; if he has his rathers, he wouldn’t have even stood as a PKR candidate in Permatang Pauh; but alas, the sodomy charge stampeded him into becoming a by-election candidate, facilitated by Dr Wan Azizah.
Malaysiakini - 13 years lost ... leaves no room for gratitude
The High Court judge acquitted migrant workers activist Irene Fernandez from 13 years of bullsh*t persecution.
kaytee comment: This lady is fantastically courageous, resolute and full of compassion for migrants.
Irene I salute you!
Malaysiakini - Perfecting PKR
Author Stanley Koh wrote: PKR continues to face inherent organisational weaknesses, despite having garnered 1.5 million votes in 2008 - almost three times more than in the previous polls in 2004.
“Every major decision on party matters seems to need Anwar’s tacit approval and frequently his indecisiveness has stalled or delayed the party’s progress,” an insider said of the Anwar-centric syndrome in decision-making.
In fact, there is a general consensus among staunch supporters that, as a political organisation, the party lacks an infrastructural network at the branch, division and state levels.
“We agree that the BN took more than half a century to build its branches in every nook and corner of the country, but PKR must do this quickly,” a supporter noted.
Anwar, who is in the driver’s seat, seems oblivious to this, prompting concern that a clear-cut strategy is not being readied for the next general election.
“All decisions emanate from Anwar,” said the insider, who opined that this is not a healthy practice.
kaytee comment: It's not that Anwar is indecisive. It's just that he considers PKR as nothing more than a mere stepping stone.
Despite the merger with PRM, PKR is still like its political predecessor, KeADILan, just a convenient but nonetheless necessary platform for Anwar Ibrahim to leverage himself back into the ‘fold’.
See above Wan Azizah to remain as PKR president and the frogs, 916, etc to understand why Anwar has not been serious about developing PKR.
Malaysiakini - Vocal duo axed from S'gor PAS posts
Dr Hasan Ali has removed two senior PAS party leaders from their posts following their criticism of his handling of religious and race issues.
His victims were Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad and party information chief and Hulu Kelang state assemblyperson Saari Sungib.
And what was the issue?
Dr Hasan had objected to the appointment of a Chinese acting general manager, Low Siew Moi, to head the Selangor Development Corporation, as well as the state allocation of RM10 million for places of worship.
Khalid and Saari were said to have pissed off Hasan because they held the view that racial matters involving non-Malays should not be the state party’s top concern and that its leaders should not play up such issues.
kaytee comment: Super-bigot wins over supranationals. Alas for PAS!
Heard on the grapevine – Balasubramaniam has been reported as no longer in Kolkata … er … was it Bangkok?
Anyway, he was sighted in Punjab.
kaytee comment: He’s just Relax Singh in the land of the 5 rivers - wakakaka!
Note: 'lok lok' is a famous Penang dish, consisting of a variety of satay-ed seafood, meat and vegie where one self-cooks the stick of food in a pot of boiling water (or stock) before dipping same in satay or chillie sauce. That's what I tried to give you in this post ;-)
Monday, November 24, 2008
The most common outrage they expressed has been the National Fatwa Council quoting Singapore as another country with fatwa against yoga when Singapore isn’t even an Islamic nation. Or has Lee Kuan Yew and son converted?
They commented that the Fatwa Council must be terribly desperate to dig up Singapore as a precedence for the fatwa. As one sweetie would put it, de-si-pe-late-one!
Malaysiakini Bouquets, brickbats for yoga fatwa sadly brought out the general consensus that “the fatwa is likely to be observed more often in the breach since it isn’t legally binding on Muslims despite carrying the great weight of religious authority”, and in that process, would discredit the Fatwa Council.
But all those organizations starting with a 'JA--' would have a gala time, peeping at yoga centres and eventually raiding them.Why have the religious departments (both federal and states) and the Fatwa Council been targeting such peripheral issues instead of crucial matters such a corruption, compassion and competency?
No one would dare say corruption in Malaysia hasn’t reached epidemic proportions. So why hasn’t there been a fatwa on corruption?
Please, can the Fatwa declare that officials found to be corrupt will be whipped. And the punishment shall be pro rata in accordance with rank/positions, with ministers each getting 250 severe lashings with a cat o' nine tails, while the office peon gets one symbolic teeny weeny stroke with a cute little cane used on small naughty kids.
Likewise, there have been an appalling lack of professional and official competency, and general lack of compassion.
Maybe a fatwa on professionalism may be a bit too far to reach but what about compassion?
How many Malaysians, other than some Christians, have donated to the victims of Darfur?
Fatwa’s aren’t always bad. For example, many Muslims don’t even know that, just three years ago, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (yap, a Shiite) issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. He certainly took the high moral grounds compared to Taliban-ish Israel or ar$eh*le Bush who wanted to renege on the Treaty against tactical N-weapons.
Then (also 3 years ago) the Spanish Muslims issued a fatwa against Osama Bin Laden on the basis he had abandoned his religion. That makes him an apostate but no worries, Lina Joy is still better looking.
Incidentally, for those Malaysians who hero-worship Osama but hate Lina Joy for her apostacy, would do well to know the Kahuna of all terrorists is an apostate too.
But in Malaysia, fatwa’s have been usually the nays and negatives rather than something uplifting and caring like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's on N-weapons.
It appears as if the subtext underlying the recent fatwa, given its lack of support by many Muslims because of its silly suggestion that the Muslims would convert to Hindu through yoga exercise, is about tighter control of the ummah and basic territorial fangs baring.
Surely the time has come for the mullahs to have confidence in Islam as a great religion, without fear that Muslims would swiftly abandon the religious boat.
Look, Christianity used to be like this – with a "can’t do this – can’t do that” mentality. They even burned Joan of Arc at the stake just for having visions.
Then they forced Galileo Galilei to recant his heliocentrism which taught that the planets circled the sun, rather than the Church's position that the sun and planets circled earth, based on Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 stating that "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved."
The Church literally upheld Psalm 104:5 saying "the LORD set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
It didn’t help Galileo that the Book of Joshua (10:13) claimed the sun and moon remained unmoved for three days to allow a victory to the Israelites.
Poor Galileo was then forced to spend the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition.
But Christianity has since moved to a very open and confident stand, and there has been no loss of faith. If anything, the Church has become even more popular and powerful with the recent Popes enjoying virtually rock star status.
But not everything is gloom as it’s heartening to hear HRH the Sultan of Selangor laying a royal cautioning hand on the recent fatwa.
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah declared that the Selangor Fatwa Committee would meet to deliberate the matter "in greater detail so that a decision is not made hastily.”
The Star reported that HRH said the state committee would then have to forward their recommendation to him for approval. HRH also chided the National Fatwa Cxouncil for not referring the issue to the Rulers Conference especially when such an issue has affected the general public. He wants this done in future – for more, see S'gor yet to bar Muslims from practising yoga.
I would love to ajak HRH to "off with the National Fatwa Council's heads" via a royal initiated fatwa of course - wakakaka.
UPDATE @ 9 p.m.
Early today when I posted Fatwa and zealots! I mentioned:
Malaysiakini also reported that, despite the National Fatwa Council being an enormously influential body, rulings (or fatwa’s) by the Fatwa Council are not legally binding on the country's Muslims, and there are no laws to punish those who ignore Council decisions.
Maybe Datuk Jamry hasn't read this? So, hopefully someone (perhaps HRH) should remind Jamry not to exceed his authority.
Looks like HRH (Perak) has just slapped Jamry on his wrist for usurping the royal prerogative on religious issues - wakakaka.
Jamry has now backtracked so fast he fell over backwards into a new yoga position (body bent backwards until head in arse?), and officially withdrawn his earlier over-eager declaration to slam a ban on yoga exercise. He was right royally (excuse the deliberate pun) slammed instead. ;-)
Fatwa and zealots!
Yes, the usual protests were lodged.
Meanwhile, in Perak, Religious Department director Datuk Jamry Sury (yes, that civil servant sacked by Perak MB Nizar for being insubordinate to the Perak-ians' representative who is also his political master but alas, rescued by HRH … ‘nuff said of that) pounced on the Council’s fatwa to declare that Muslims in Perak will be barred from practising yoga.
As I understand it, fatwa is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. Now this is the interesting part. Apparently in Sunni Islam, a fatwa or for that matter, any fatwa’s, is non-binding.
That’s right, non-binding!
It’s only in Shia Islam that it could be binding and then, that would also depend on the status of the Islamic scholar.
In fact, Islam jurisprudence is so far sighted that it has instituted a fine system of check and balance on fatwa (alas, sometimes not followed by a few over-zealous followers), where there is a binding rule (yes, this time it's binding) that prevents fatwa pronouncements from creating judicial havoc, especially when we have seen in the Silver Kingdom, the frightening spectre of a foaming-at-the-mouth mullah.
Muslim scholars and experts have unanimously agreed, regardless of whether a fatwa was issued within a Muslim country or internationally (presumably by Sunni Islamic scholars – and can this be practically achieved?), a fatwa is only binding on its author. ;-)
Yes, the fatwa is obligatory only on the author of the fatwa – so, nak cakap, perlu bikin juga!
None other than Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan, vice-minister of Justice of Saudi Arabia, reminded Muslims of this Islamic insightfulness while discussing misyar marriages with Asharg Al-Awsat.
When asked by the Asharg Al-Awsat on what would be the point of Islamic authorities like the Islamic Fiqh Academy issuing fatwas when those would not be binding for the member States, the Minister said
“There is a difference between a judge and a mufti. The judge issues a verdict and binds people to it. However, the mufti explains the legal judgment but he does not bind the people to his fatwa. The decisions of the Islamic Fiqh Academy are fatwa decisions that are not binding for others. They only explain the legal judgment, as the case is in fiqh books.”
So those in Malaysia who normally have a cultural cringe towards things Arab, especially more so more when these are from Saudi Arabia, please take note of Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan’s pronouncement.
But alas, despite such an determination in Islamic jurisprudence, some 'zealots' would misleadingly present a fatwa as obligatory.
… which has been why we get blokes in Malaysia announcing the ‘banning’ of the practice of yoga.
Mate, ‘banning’ indicates that Jamry has decided a fatwa is obligatory when the figh books say it is not!
Malaysiakini also reported that, despite the National Fatwa Council being an enormously influential body, rulings (or fatwa’s) by the Fatwa Council are not legally binding on the country's Muslims, and there are no laws to punish those who ignore Council decisions.
Maybe Datuk Jamry hasn't read this? So, hopefully someone (perhaps HRH) should remind Jamry not to exceed his authority.
… which has been why Norhayati Kaprawi of Sisters of Islam told the Sunday Star newspaper that her group's staff had been holding yoga classes for the past year and that they would continue.
Norhayati said: "I don't think it had caused any Muslim to convert to Hinduism, neither has it weakened their faith. It is just an exercise like tai chi, which has its roots in Buddhism."
Well, the sweetie is just a wee incorrect on one small issue - in the history of Chinese martial arts. Tai Chi did not originate from Shaolin. The Shaolin martial arts didn’t and don’t include the internal martial arts of Taichichuan (Tai Chi), Baguachuan, and Xingyichuan, which were more associated with Taoism.
Incidentally on the powerful Xingyichuan, historically it had three developmental branches, in Shansi, Hebei and Henan.
According to Wikipedia, the Henan branch is known as the Muslim branch because it was handed down within the Muslim community in Luoyang. The founder of this amazing branch of renown martial arts was Ma Xueli from the famous Ma family of the Chinese Muslim community.
Obviously there was no fatwa then, or if there were, the Ma family, confident and strong in their Islamic faith, not only knew any fatwa would be non-binding but unnecessary for them.
But back to the fatwa on yoga and the zealots – how can a non-binding pronouncement be enforced as a ban?
… unless … no ... could it be that the Islam of Malaysia has adopted the Shia practice?
Maybe we should ask this of the Kulim Wonder. Since Anwar Ibrahim has refused to discipline him, we may assume that bloke has enormous insight on things Islam so much so that he cannot be touched.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Syed Hamid wants code of ethics for bloggers
Unlike one Tengku whoever ;-) a former minister who accused bloggers of being chiefly (80%) female liars who were mainly unemployed, Syed Hamid acknowledged that:
“Blogging is touching the lives of more and more Malaysians. With such a powerful tool, bloggers are able to influence their readers and shape their perspectives. They can unite communities and they can divide them. The dangers of distortions and inaccuracies in blogging are very real and it is capable of destroying lives.”
He said: “Blogging and reporting on the Net is no longer a past time done after midnight by people in pyjamas or kain sarung.”
No Minister, you're right, sometimes we are absolutely naked or even sitting on the throne while posting sh*t articles … or more correctly … articles about government and opposition sh*t-ness.
Syed Hamid said that bloggers 'must ensure their write-ups are balanced, accurate and information verified and not based on hearsay ... yadda yadda yaddda.'
What?!! We are now elevated to the status of journalists and reporters? ;-)
Then he also referred to the King of bloggers as Dr M.
Wah, Syed Hamid now wants to bodek Dr M.He said: “Blogging is indeed coming of age. These are exciting times and even the king of bloggers (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad is enjoying it.”
But he ‘hinted’ that the time has come for a bloggers’ code of ethics to help preserve peace and prevent incitement of hate or racism. He said the code of ethics will be merely a guideline and not a legislation.
OK, Minister, but get this – don’t be taken by the belief that any blogger represents all of us, though a few might want to lay claim on that right to represent.
About 2 and one-half weeks ago, I posted Racial signs against road signs? based on a Malaysiakini article titled Malay NGO sues Penang over signboards.
Then, Malaysiakini tells us that Gabungan Graduan Melayu Muda (GGMM) or Young Malay Graduates Federation, a newly-formed Malay graduates non-government organization (NGO), launched its first action by filing a suit seeking a High Court injunction against both the state government and the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) from erecting multi-lingual signboards for heritage-listed thoroughfares in old Georgetown.
GGMM claimed that the Penang State government in implementing the list of Penang heritage names on road signboards, has violated Article 152 of the federal constitution, which upholds the official status of Bahasa Malaysia.
If the GGMM has been so concerned about Bahasa Malaysia, maybe it ought to remind the biggest Kahuna of all, UMNO, to discard its Mat Salleh name.
Doesn’t UMNO stand for United Malay National Organization?
GGMM should insist that UMNO sets a good example, by changing its party name to Petubuhan Nasional Melayu Bersatu (or whatever)!
But kaytee is not asking UMNO to do so because I appreciate the acronym 'UMNO' has heritage significance.
So I hope GGMM and those other ethnic warriors will similarly appreciate the importance of preserving heritage names.
But if GGMM has buggerall to do, maybe they can ponder over this road sign that a mate send to me – wakakaka.
BTW, isn’t postal code 47800 in Bandar Utama or Kota Damansara, both in PJ?
Friday, November 21, 2008
PI Bala in Bangkok or Kolkata?
Then in a related case, Home Minister Syed Hamid (currently without doubt the most hated and abused minister in the Malaysian blogosphere) replied (in written form) to PKR’s Tian Chua on the whereabouts of Private Investigator (PI) Balasubramaniam.
Recalling Subra’s involvement in the Altantuyaa case, he was a PI for Razak Baginda.
His fame or notoriety (depending on which side you’re on) was his first Statutory Declaration about a ‘Najib told Razak Baginda, and Razak told me’ allegation of a very serious but hearsay nature against DPM Najib, with the inclusion of a salacious titbit thrown in, namely a graphic description of Najib’s preferred sexual position – coincidentally the same as the allegation and charge against Anwar Ibrahim (though Najib’s was with a woman).
Significantly, it was Najib’s nemesis, Anwar Ibrahim, who starred at the press conference to reveal Bala’s Stat Dec.
Then even more significantly, when Bala was asked by the police to report to a police station regarding the Stat Dec, he was NOT accompanied by a lawyer, any lawyer – he went alone!
Some said this was a serious but very significant omission of care and protection (of Bala) by the PKR who organized the press conference to reveal the first SD.
I didn’t (and still don’t) consider it as an unfortunate omission; I thought it was most significantly suspicious, given that Malaysians especially opposition parties have been intimately familiar with what could happen in a police station.
So how could he have been allowed to go alone? It’s not as if no one was aware of him going.
I consider this fact highly significant!
Then after his visit to the police station he made another Stat Dec reversing all he said in the first Stat Dec. Then he disappeared.
Given these high dramas, who had looked bad? Who would look bad? So I could only but ask ‘cui bono’?
I even heard on the grapevine he was paid half a million (what? ringgit or dollars?) and is now residing in splendid retirement in Kolkata!
Dakhshineswar Temple Kolkata - Wikipedia photoToday Home Minister Syed Hamid add on to the case by responding to Tian Chua on the whereabouts of Balasubramanian - see Minister: Cops met PI Bala in Bangkok where Syed Hamid indicated the last meeting with Bala was in Bangkok in July. Syed Hamid added that Bala may be charged for making a false Stat Dec.
However, some Malaysiakini readers who have written in the high opinionated 'Razak, don't tell us who's not involved' has already decided who the murderer is - and the person remains guilty until proven innocent.
And who does kaytee believe is the murderer? I can make a wild guess at best, but as I don’t have the facts and evidence which many Malaysiakini letter writers have been blessed with, I shall just listen ... for, would you believe, facts and evidence to be revealed.
But no more "I have been reliably informed" Stat Decs please ... or fabricated photos of French dinners.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Malaysians and political graciousness
He cited the post election speeches of John McCain and Barack Obama, and how these two Americans, once the electioneering was over, had America and unity in mind - when one made a gracious concessional speech whilst the other an equally gracious victory speech.
John also brought out two examples of local graciousness. He said:
“Grace is also when the government pays the ex-judges an ex-gratia payment for their wrongful dismissal and an error of judgment of the past leadership. The government of Malaysia showed grace and let us leave it at that.” […]
“It was graciousness, for example, for the Penang government to recognise the opposition leader in the state assembly and to pay that person a monthly allowance.”
Unfortunately we haven’t for we have continued debate on the ex-gratia payments. John also opined that the Penang opposition leader has, by refusing the legislated allowance for him, rejected his party’s role as the shadow/alternative government of Penang.
An unfortunate lack of graciousness but more importantly, an ignorance and neglect of the opposition role as a shadow government to challenge, check and counter the government plans, policies and practice.
kaytee must ask the UMNO opposition leader a question – where then would be your party’s obligation to your constituencies (the people who voted for you) and their (the voters') representation in the DUN?
Unless we show some graciousness in our own conduct towards politics, we shouldn’t dream of good democracy, let alone a 2-party system, where the politics can be robust yet without degenerating into hostility and ethnocentric animosities.
But with our ‘black or white’ mentality and proclivity for aggression, I don’t have much hope for a mature sense of balance in our political discussions and interactions.
Generally by adopting a take-no-prisoner approach to politics and the opposite side, we ourselves have become the prisoners of our own mental limitations and lack of graciousness.
Selangor DAP being prosecuted, and persecuted?
The authorities have even brought in the heavy guns to get Ronnie for a small charge of 'abetment in obstructing a Subang Jaya Municipal Council enforcement officer in closing down a hotel last year'.
Uncle Lim said: "The fact that they have assigned a senior DPP to (handle) this menial case reflects the kind of (political) weight they have placed on this case."
… and on an issue that’s one year old – sheeesh!
This has been on top of the harassment and ISA-detention of Teresa Kok, and on a slightly different issue, the bashing of Lau Weng San, ADUN for Kampung Tunku, who was assaulted and then arrested by the police in a recent anti-ISA rally - see Malaysiakini DAP duo allege rough handling by police.
The Selangor UMNO is certainly behaving like, to quote a Malay saying, a worm on hot ashes. As State opposition it’s squirming and wriggling because it can’t stand the thought of the PR ruling Malaysia’s premier State, Selangor - though of course the real 'premier' State, as almost everyone knows, is Penang ;-)
I am convinced there is a campaign and even conspiracy to destabilize and topple the current ruling PR – with a mix of attacking/harassing DAP members, enticing PAS’s ones (via the siren calls for pan-Malay solidarity) and a combination of both against PKR.
Mind you, these campaign nastiness' are comparatively mild to what they did in 1969 to prevent the DAP + Gerakan (loose coaliiton) from forming the State government – read The Real Cause of the May 13 Riots
Ku Li warned of May 13 again
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Anti-ISA Candlelight Vigil 15 Nov 08 - Penang Esplanade
The junior mufti who claimed he was not political but yet, went on an extensive PKR campaign for Anwar Ibrahim against Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the alleged sodomy victim.
And what was Ramlang’s main point against Saiful?
My answer lies in what I had posted as Ustaz - Saiful's dodgy Arabic renders oath dodgy - wakakaka!
I wrote: During the swearing, Saiful mispronounced one of the Islamic words because he had it written down in Malay instead of Arabic.
Now, I would be hilarious over this point if I can be sure I won’t offend my Muslim friends. But I need to ask: would Allah (swt) have cared one iota if one of his creations had mispronounced an Arabic word in a supposedly serious undertaking, a sumpah laknat (swearing in the face of divine retribution)?
This is precisely the sort of irrelevant hair-splitting arguments which ignored the solemn religious nature of the oath-taking that trivializes the majesty of Islam – and, alas, it’s by a cleric.
I also asked in that post: Ramlang admitted he wasn’t the Imam Besar of the mosque or an ulama, yet he raised an issue of a mispronounced Arabic word, which we note that even the PAS ulamas didn’t raise ..... which has been why I reckon the ustaz has trivialized an oath taking.
But this seemed to be the straw PKR was looking for, given that Anwar Ibrahim had (embarrassingly for PKR) refused to take an oath he didn’t sodomize Saiful as alleged. If I recall correctly, the oath challenge was thrown into the arena by none other than the former Mufti of Perlis.
Do you think he would have done that if oath-taking wasn't allowed in Islam?
I had also wrote in The influence of the 'Oath' in Permatang Pauh:
I did a bit of research on the taking of oath by the Qu’ran, and these are what I have obtained:
(1) Scholars, looking at the fact that the Qur’an is also an attribute of Allah, considered an oath taken by the Qur’an to be valid.
Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him), said in his Durr: “Kamal (ibn al-Humam, the great Hanafi Mujtahid) said: “Let it be known that the taking of an oath by the Qur’an is something that has become customary, thus it would be considered a valid oath.”
Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explained the above by stating: “This is based on the fact that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, thus it will be considered to be one of His attributes.” (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 3/712)
Of course there are other scholars like Gus Dur who disagreed. And he has a PhD from Iraq.
(2) Swearing in the Quran as taught by Surah An-Nur is to swear 4 times in Allah's names, with the fifth invoking the curse of Allah if they tell a lie.
However, the surah specifically states that this kind of swearing is only when a husband is accusing his wife of adultery but can't find 4 witnesses; the oath is also used by the wife to defend herself.
Does this mean that the oath is a substitute for the 4 required witnesses?
But as I mentioned, even with a win and a seat in parliament, Anwar has to live with this accusation for the rest of his life … unless of course he becomes PM … or
…… now this has nothing at all to do with legality or law, but it’s about perception of morality through the eyes of the religious kampong people in the heartland, and in politics, perceptions are everything
…… he takes the oath to neutralize Saiful’s declaration to Allah (swt).Malaysiakini was obviously right there when Ustaz Ramlang criticized Saiful and his imperfect Arabic pronunciation. The Ustaz said all these in a PKR press conference news, and Malaysiakini published the news item Ustaz puts BN campaign in tatters at the amazing time chop of 3:33 a.m!
That wasn't unlike private detective Balasubramanian revealing to the press his SD, also at a PKR conference.
… and strangely, unlike Anwar Ibrahim who would have been accompanied by a battery of lawyers when he visited a police station, the day following the SC, Bala went alone, yes, alone to a police station (can you believe this was allowed to happen?) at the request of the police, where he submitted another SD reversing his original SD, and subsequently disappeared!
So, when Bala disappeared, who was blamed? Or, who would be blamed for Bala’s disappearance? Mind you, not just him but his entire family – that’s a whole lot of expenses, man. How can Bala maintain such an expense account without any income?
… and following Bala's mysterious disappearance, the question we must ask is cui bono?
PABS gossip memo
Protem President, PABS
I have come across a rumour currently doing the rounds. Some bloggers are grumbling about a certain blogger, one who likes to present himself as representing Malaysian bloggers ... wakakaka!
Oh, don't mind my guffawing - I am just tickled by the ludicrous thought of one individual representing all bloggers.
Mind you, to be fair to this blogger, his supporters used to think he did ... but now, many are having disquiet about his affiliations. You can catch drifts of this at Malaysiakini.
As one sweetie lamented, it had to take them so long to come to that realization - wakakaka!
On a separate matter, I heard on the grapevine that at this year's Bum night, roast lamb will be served again ... free of charge again ...
Hmmm, kaytee sedar ya dong, gratis adalah gratis, but can't we have a lil' imagination in the menu setting?
... or, maybe the kambing that'll be roasted could be the one sembelih in anticipative thanksgiving for a future leader's safe and comfy keeping and hopefully, ascendancy?
I suppose it makes good sense not to waste. In the current economic climate, one must save, save and save ... and invest, invest and invest in anticipation ... ;-)
Oh, on Bum night, I heard there'll be a word (or several) from the
PABS lil' birdie ;-)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Dr Mahathir a Malaysian Obama?
… especially Malaysian opposition supporters. They want a Malaysian Obama.
Well, noted Malaysiakini columnist Dr Musa Bakri has penned his usual erudite column titled (hardly surprising) Note to a Malaysian Obama …
… in which he commented that our Malaysian society in many respects are far more accommodating of people who don’t look like you – for example, Obama whether he was called by his unusual (to Americans) name or 'George Washington', would still be to most Americans a black man.
… whereas (as Dr Bakri said) “… There are many children of Malay-Caucasian as well as Malay-Chinese and Malay-Indian marriages exhibiting very 'un-Malay' features. "
"Yet Malay culture has been very welcoming of them, unhesitatingly embracing them as Malays. This is not a recent phenomenon. I had many childhood friends and classmates who had distinctly Chinese or Indian appearances because of adoption or mixed marriages, yet they were all considered and treated as Malays."
"Why the children of mixed marriages between a member of the majority and a minority are not regarded as the majority in America, but they are in Malaysia, is an observation worth pondering. I am certain this is related to an underlying obsession with ‘racial purity’."
"On this point, as a Malay I am heartened that my culture is very welcoming of those who are adopted, from mixed marriages, and do not look like us, whatever that presumed ‘Malay appearance’ might be. We are, thankfully, not consumed with maintaining our ‘purity’.”
At this stage, do you agree with Dr Bakri?
Continuing, Dr Bakri said: “My view is that Malaysia already has her Barack Obama in Mahathir Mohamad. We do not recognise him as such because unlike in America where its Obama is considered a member of the minority, Malaysia’s majority Malays warmly and quickly embrace their Obama as one of their own.”
“Nor is Mahathir alone; earlier leaders like Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman also had mixed ancestry.”
“By biological heritage, Obama has equal claim to being black or white. Yet because of his unalterable physical characteristics, Obama is labeled black. Even if Obama were to resort to the miracles of plastic surgery, skin-whitening cream, and hair coloring and straightening a la Michael Jackson, which Obama does not, he would still be labeled black.”
“For contrast, examine the group portrait of Umno Supreme Council members. If they were to dispense with their songkok and Baju Melayu and instead put on modern attire, some of them could easily be mistaken as delegates from MCA or MIC, that is, until they open their big mouth and chant their chauvinistic slogan of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’!”
Of course when I hear the usual suspects disparage Dr Mahathir I feel sad that people attack the mamaks again a la Chinese saying: "Sweeping everyone down with one single bamboo pole!" – I have some very good friends who are mamaks so of course those insults against mamaks have been very hurtful ... and bloody racist.
Anyway, do you reckon Dr Bakri has been right, about Dr M being our Obama?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
No, Anwar, not yet!
Can you imagine SEVERAL very brave police officers arrested DAP ADUN Ronnie Liu yesterday, based on nothing more than a report filed against him for allegedly obstructing Subang Jaya Municipal Council enforcement officers from carrying out their duties during an anti-vice raid on a hotel in Puchong LAST YEAR, yes, LAST YEAR.
Poor Liu was on his way to attend a state exco meeting when he was accosted. Despite his explaining to the officers that he would report to the nearest police station or to the Puchong police station after the exco meeting, the amazing men in blue couldn’t agree to the ADUN’s request ...
... no sirree, it was not possible to agree to an ADUN reporting to a police station on the same day after the exco meeting, though they could wait one blooming year to raise a dormant allegation against Ronnie to take him into custody.
Wish the police could be as diligent in the still-unsolved cases of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin and Preeshena Varshiny. Maybe their diligence in their persecutions of opposition MPs and ADUNs haven't left them much time to solve those two murders?
But Ronnie has been lucky he wasn't punched in the face by the police like his DAP colleagues Lau Weng San, ADUN for Kampung Tunku ... whilst Tony Pua, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara had his shirt torn and kicked in his stomach and leg (again by police).
As I blogged in Malaysian opposition politician's purple heart our police have shown abysmal disrespect for our elected (opposition) representatives, while the rare UMNO blokes who had been hauled in were pampered with nice nasi kandar.
Meanwhile, MCA continues in its usual centrifugal suicide as we have been told by Malaysiakini article Don't bluff me, Soi Lek warns. Team A and Team B are at it again, and we can only leave them to their post March lunacy.
Then I was delighted to read Death to capital punishment, written by my mate Dean Johns, hard hitting columnist at Malaysiakini.
My delight is more so after I had just posted State sanctioned slayings on Saturday. How can God fearing civilized people ever condone, let alone support the murder of another human being? Surely this must be one of the mysteries of humankind's f*ups.
OK, on to Penang - CM Lim GE has persuaded the Penang DUN to pass a bill which entitles the Opposition Leader to receive a salary of RM1000 (no chicken feed in these hard times) but alas, the bloke who is likely to be the beneficiary will be none other than Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga).
In Malaysiakini Quit if appointed, 'shoot the reporter' Azhar told we are reminded that the bloke had been the bigot who suggested shooting Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng for reporting Ahmad Ismail's 'Chinese are immigrants' remark just prior to the Permatang Pauh by-election in August.
Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Datuk Keramat) said the Umno politician should resign as he has tarnished the image of the position. That Azhar would heed Jagdeep is as likely as kayteemoc becoming an anwarista wakakaka.
Oh yes, I should say a few words about Anwar Ibrahim too. On Sunday Malaysiakini reported Anwar: Judicial renaissance? Not yet.
He was asked this after the court had ordered the release of RPK from detention under the ISA, and another court ruled in his (Anwar’s) favour, that his sodomy trial needn’t be transferred to the High Court.
Well, we need to understand his refusal to give an unqualified answer or approval because … wakakaka … his own sodomy trial isn’t over yet … but we may expect his judgement on the court after the court judges on his charge.
Incidentally, on the question of ‘not yet’, I suppose we can use his qualified statement on his so-called reformasi too.
As if his attempts at subverting the ballot box through his hype of 31 and the half past six’es 916, classic but shameful cases of boastful brazen bare-face hypocrisy, weren’t bad enough, he has persistently refused to take action against the Kulim thug.
There had been some 30% non-Muslims in Kulim who bought the PKR's campaign promise, as Haris Ibrahim pointed out to us. Hope they will remember what Zulkifli Noordin had done, and what Anwar has refused to do!
Surely Anwar's cakap ta’serupa bikin on his promise to discipline Zulkifli Noordin must demand from those of us who have been asked to believe his as-yet-to-be-evident reformasi a resounding “NO, not yet!”
Monday, November 10, 2008
Malaysian opposition politician's purple heart
The award fell into disuse until it was revived in the 1930’s before WWII, where it was awarded to soldiers who were wounded in combat. The Purple Heart carries the image of George Washington as a mark of respect for the US President who established the award.
Apparently 500,000 Purple Hearts were prepared in anticipation of the expected casualties in the planned invasion of Japan. But due to the Japanese capitulation after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, those were obviously not required.
Even allowing for all the Purple Hearts awarded in the horrendous wars of WWII, Korea and Vietnam and all those grotty wars that Americans got themselves into since WWII, more than a hundred thousand medals are still available.
It is the only US military medal that doesn't require a recommendation for a soldier to win it; that soldier merits it by virtue of his or her wounds in combat.
In Malaysian politics, particularly opposition politics, a pollie is not considered kau liao (cukup mampu) or blooded ‘in combat’ unless he or she has been arrested by our dear men in blue, and preferably assaulted, or better still, detained for a decent period under the ISA.
Probably the DAP contributed most to such bloodying and ISA detention, with virtually its entire top echelon having makan nasi kari kosong kerajaan (ate government’s curry rice ... ;-) with or without eggs).
Now, Malaysiakini in DAP duo allege rough handling by police informs us that Tony Pua, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara and Lau Weng San, ADUN for Kampung Tunku, have both joined the ‘exalted’ ranks of politicians who have been arrested and assaulted by the police.
Apart from having his shirt torn, Tony was kicked in his stomach and leg. Lau was punched in his face despite informing the policeman he was an ADUN.
Our police have shown abysmal disrespect for our elected representatives. The IGP should explain the thuggish conduct of his officer, especially calling to account the responsible officer, the CPO Selangor. Assaulting a Member of Parliament or an ADUN, the rakyat's elected representative, should be made a serious criminal offence.
Lau Weng San - Malaysiakini photo
But our Tony and Lau have been bloodied ‘in combat’. They deserve the equivalent of the Purple Heart …
… which set me thinking – hmmm, what shall we call such an award, and should we have an equivalent of a George Washington type of image engraved on the medal?
I wonder whether you would agree with me if I title it Pingat TC (PTC) and adopt the face of a well-known personality in Malaysian politics as the iconic image to be set in the medal.
To know what is TC, please look at photo below - wakakaka!
photo from TC's blog
"Let it be known that he who wears the Malaysian Political Opposition order of the PTC has given of his/her blood in the defence of his/her constituency and shall forever be revered by his/her fellow countrymen."
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Bismarck: The king reigns but does not govern
(The king reigns but does not govern)
On Friday Malaysiakini published Raja Nazrin: Rulers will not act on wrong advice.
Instead of rejoicing that we may be getting some so-called royal ‘check & balance’, au contraire I was filled with dread. I have not been impressed in the least by HRH's speech.
The democracy of Malaysia, warts and all, already has a system of ‘check & balance’, which admittedly didn’t work too well until recently, but then, when it didn’t work well, where were the royalty?
Why then is our democratic system of the tripartite ‘check & balance’ (executive, legislative and judiciary) beginning to awake from its Rip-Van-Winkle-an slumber?
Maybe AAB has loosened the shackles, maybe Anwar Ibrahim has provided the leadership, maybe the people have been sick of the arrogance of unfettered racism and the rampant exploitation of politics for reasons of individual avarice, and thus are more prepared to exert their voice, etc?
Whoever, whichever, whatever, our political reawakening and enjoyment of a more liberal political environment have been attained without any help from royalty! Not an iota! None whatsoever!
They were deafeningly silent when they should have spoken out, but now, like us they too are flexing their own Mahathirised-atrophied muscles in the changed socio-political environment, and reinventing their role in and relevance to society, to enhance their personal status and claw back their stripped down power.
Prior to the March election I believe the rakyat had actually lost confidence in the power of their own voices and votes (not daring to dream of the political tsunami to come), instead resorting in desperation to appeaqls and votive offerings to both God and any local messiah for political salvation.
Some saw the royalty as our political saviour, and went about promoting and egging the rulers to intrude into the political world to ‘rescue’ the people from Darth Vader. Alas, we should have been familiar with the story of Darth Vader, shouldn’t we?
Those royals were even considered as the ‘silver bullets’ to kill the UMNO werewolf.
Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) had been one of those ardent promoters of royal political interventionism. I wasn’t all that surprised that RPK had done so, he being a member of a royal family. In his writing, we read frequently of his (coincidental of course) slipping into exaltations of his granddad being Tun Raja (Sir) Uda, and boasting of his cousin the Sultan and his kinship with this and that royal house.
But where were the royalty when we needed them?
Some years ago the Perak Mufti had nearly caused an ugly incident of seditious proportion? Now that was a State religious issue, unlike this year's sacking of an insubordinate Director of JAIP by the Perak MB. So .....?
The general public in desperately clamouring for a political messiah had indicated their approval, prior to the general election, of royalty assuming a greater and more direct role in politics. I felt then the blog Malaysia-Today had promoted the royals beyond their constitutional role.
I have no doubt that those promotions of the royalty as potential political saviours had encouraged the royalty to begin exerting their powers, and in many incidents, in clumsy unconstitutional manner.
Their post election interferences by some Sultans were prime examples which regrettably many supported in glee, revelling in the embarrassment of an UMNO PM without realizing the more constitutionally-dangerous significance of those royal manoeuvres. I hate to use cliché but those silly sycophantic supporters couldn’t see the bigger picture.
In The dangers of royal political activism I wrote:
We shouldn’t rejoice that AAB had his ass whipped nicely by royalty because those royalty must not interfere with the decision making of the PM, the people’s choice of a national leader selected in accordance with our democratic process.
It’s hypocritical to talk about democratic process when we cheer processes that haven't been politically correct just because those processes have gone against a disliked person.
Another lamentable example had been the Perak Sultan's undermining of Perak MB Nizar’s authority by rescinding the latter’s sacking of the State religious director.
MB Nizar sacked the bloke because of his insubordination, his refusal to cooperate and work with the State elected government. How could a MB work with an insubordinate State civil servant, who incidentally has been a member of UMNO Parit Buntar, and no doubt been UMNO appointed and obviously UMNO-affiliated?
Nizar said: “Bagaimanapun kerajaan negeri terpaksa mempertahankan hak dan dasar yang diperjuangkan sepertimana yang disuarakan melalui manifesto Pakatan Rakyat pada pilihan raya lepas. Sikap tidak menghormati pendirian kerajaan oleh kakitangan awam sememangnya satu sikap yang tidak profesional, sedangkan semuanya telah termaktub dan ditentukan oleh Allah SWT.”
Publicly chopping the MB’s authority off at the knees, in a show of unnecessary but raw royal power play, the Prince (acting on behalf of the Sultan) justified his action on the fact that the Sultan as the religious head of the State had the royal prerogative on State religious matter.
That's true but unfortunately the sacking didn’t have anything to do with any religious issues or policies but rather a case of a civil servant demonstrating sheer insubordination to the MB by refusing to implement the State government’s directive.
Though the word ‘sacking’ had been used, in fact the MB had merely returned the civil servant to the State Secretariat, from where he had been on loan to run the State religious department.
But regardless of whether it was a case of insubordination by a civil servant or a MB committing a faux pas with a State religious issue, was there really such a need for HRH to publicly humiliate the new MB and undermine his authority as the State’s CEO? Surely a quiet royal word to Nizar and the MB would have been right royally apologetic (even if he wasn’t incorrect).
In Supremacy of the people's voice in democracy I wrote:
Karpal Singh had been absolutely correct for speaking out against royal interference with politics and political decisions and management. Even though the man was the director of a State religious department, his sacking was not related to religious matters but rather his political behaviour as a State public servant - certainly that would then be within the powers and right of the MB to dismiss him.
The MB and his exco has been elected by the rakyat and in a democratic constitutional monarchy, the voice of the people (expressed through their elected representatives) is supreme.
There were the usual politically motvated calls, no doubt from BN, to charge Karpal with lèse majesty.
But any royalty who brings him/herself incorrectly down into the political arena must be prepared to accept political criticism. Lawful political dissent and criticisms are the supreme right of the rakyat.
The royal person who wants to play politics shouldn’t expect to enjoy royal immunity from the laws (including a legal suit) or claim that those who criticise him/her have been guilty of lèse majesty, treason or affronting his/her royal person.
Yes, it was only the Lion of Gelugor who thundered against the royal interference, against their unconstitutional meddling in State politics. As mentioned, Karpal Singh was threatened for lèse majesty by the usual suspects. UMNO, already smarting after the March election, saw a malicious opportunity to attack Karpal and vicariously the DAP. Led by AAB, UMNO leaders demanded of the AG to charge Karpal Singh for sedition.
But the saddest part was that Karpal was alone in his courageous, constitutionally competent and correct chiding of improper royal interference in the state non-religious political management.
The normally verbose and bombastic Opposition Leader was strangely (perhaps not) silent, but more shamefully none of his DAP MP and (Perak) ADUN colleagues supported him. They must have been intimidated by sensitive issue of the position of the Sultan.
In the Malay world the Sultan holds a special place. If we remember the story of Hang Tuah and Jebat, Tuah was the quintessential loyal subject who remained loyal even to a tyrannical ruler, whilst Jebat the loyal friend of Tuah took up the cudgel of justice on behalf of a passive Tuah (passive to the Sultan’s unjust dictates) and became the notorious traitorous rebel, the wannabe Faisal bin Musa'id bin Abdul Aziz of the Malay world.
Mythical Jebat was deemed such a traitor that the first PM and ardent monarchist, Tunku Abdul Rahman, refused to have the Royal Malaysian Navy’s 2nd frigate named KD Jebat. He changed it to KD Rahmat.
I wrote 2 years ago in Hang Jebat lives again, but ...! (extracts follows):
Dr Azy Rahman has expounded in his article Neo-feudalism of the cybernetic Malays on the influence of the legendary Hang Tuah on the Malay psyche. I posted that in Malays' neo-feudalism hypermodern inner construct - excuse me while I untie my tongue.
Dr Azly said: “The concept of a hero in Malay society is enshrined in Hang Tuah, the most popular symbol of the warrior-class in Malay history; the good ‘polyglot’, the magical-mystical Malay hero who pledged blind loyalty to the Sultan. The image of the warrior-blind loyalist is well-inscribed into the literature and consciousness of the Malays”.
Note the word ‘blind loyalty’ and its derivative ‘blind loyalist’.
Dr Azly continued: “Today, enshrined, is the modern-day doctrine of allegiance to the ruler in the form of the Rukunegara or the ‘Principles of the Nationhood’. The myth of Hang Tuah, arguably, together with his friends Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, and Hang Lekiu has been inscribed into the consciousness of the Malays and forms the foundation of the master-slave narrative”.
Well, yesterday, Dr Mahathir has in his lecture A dialogue with Tun Dr Mahathir organised by Malaysia-Today blog, stated the same thing. He said:
“Let me quote the story of Hang Tuah: Whenever the King gives an order, Hang Tuah and his brethrens would say, ‘mana titah, patih junjung’ (whatever you command, I shall obey) ….. That is why Hang Tuah killed his friends. He was too loyal …”
What Dr Mahathir meant of course was the ‘blind’ loyalty of Hang Tuah, who on the orders of the Sultan killed his best friend, Jebat. The story of Hang Tuah has not only been controversial but deeply disturbing because many readers, including myself, wondered how Tuah could kill Jebat, the very man who had defended him against a tyrant. And to make matters worse, Tuah did so on the orders of the tyrant.
But to an earlier generation of Malays - or according to Dr Azly, they had been brainwashed to believe - Tuah had been the epitome of that highly valued Malay characteristic, unimpeachable loyalty, whereas Jebat was the exact opposite, the treacherous rebel.
Tuah killed on the orders of his Sultan, no questions asked. Jebat, on the other hand, was pissed off with a tyrant who wanted to kill a loyal subject, but regicide, particularly of one's own, was a no-no in Malay culture. Therefore Jebat was a traitor and to be despised.
It first took Malaysia’s foremost Malay intellectual Kassim Ahmad to smash the conservative mould of thinking in his university thesis “Perwatakan Hikayat Hang Tuah” (the characters in the story of Hang Tuah).
As Dr Bakri Musa, a Malaysian who's a regular columnist in Malaysiakini and one of my favourite writers, said:
“Kassim frontally challenged the orthodox Malay thinking on authority, and royalty in particular. According to Kassim, the real hero is not Hang Tuah, rather the hitherto presumed renegade, Hang Jebat. To Kassim, Tuah is the typical palace sycophant who willingly sells his body and soul to the sultan, a loyalty conveniently reinforced by whatever largesse the sultan could bestow.”
“Jebat is the rugged individualist, not awed by those who wield power. His loyalty is to institutions, not individuals. To Kassim, Jebat is the true hero, not the prodigal son, Tuah.”
“It is a conflict of commitment to principles and institutions represented by Jebat, versus personal loyalty as presented by Tuah. It is this universal conflict, concretized in the setting of a traditional feudal society, which makes Hikayat Hang Tuah such a powerful and enduring piece of literature.”
And it was during Dr Mahathir’s PM-ship that Jebat was properly ‘rehabilitated’ as a heroic Malay warrior, where the RMN finally named a ship after the mythical admiral.
I heard also (please confirm if anyone knows, because I haven’t seen what was told to me) that in UMNO’s headquarters, the biggest room, the place of honour, is named after Jebat whilst the smallest room was allocated to the memory of Tuah.
If true, surely all these must have alarmed the Malay royalty. Furthermore, the growing republican movement around the world, manifested in dramatic fashion in Nepal, the last bastion of the Hindu God-King, must have added to their concerns.
So the recent royal ‘power surges’, in the face of a weak PM and the unjustified adulation of the Brigade of Lost Hopes, have been Ops Claw-back by the Malaysian royalty.
And guess what happened after MB Nizar succumbed to such traditional Malay royal psy-war and reinstated an insubordinate State civil servant?
The Prince Regent in a subsequent speech (3 months later in late July) attempted to change (by stealth) his justification for his royal interference from that of religious matters to administrative fairness.
I again blogged on that in Miscellanous - from reformasi to royalty based on a Star Online news article titled Rulers have special roles where I stated:
Highly admired Regent of Perak, once (prior to the March 08 election) touted as the ‘silver bullet’ to kill off the BN werewolf, told us yesterday that Malay Rulers are not decorative symbolic monuments who merely carry out ceremonial duties. Rather, they have roles in society, which means their views should not be taken lightly.
He then gave several examples of the royal righteous roles, one of which caught my eye.
HRH said of Nizar, the new MB, who sacked the state religious director without getting the Ruler's assent first.
HRH justified (or in kaytee’s reckoning, attempted to do so) his humiliation of Nizar, stating: “That is why the state government was asked to withdraw it!” because, according to his HRH, Nizar contradicted the principle of basic justice as the director had not done any wrong and was not given an opportunity to defend himself.
If you read my Supremacy of the people's voice in democracy I brought out HRH’s initial reason for rebuking and forcing Nizar to back down, on the grounds that the dismissed chap was a director of a State religious department, and the Sultan, as the State’s head of Islam, has his royal prerogative on all matters of State religion, including deciding who should be sacked or not sacked involving State religious issues.
And on those (religious rights) grounds, he revoked the MB’s decision in the dismissal.
[3 months later] HRH did not bring out the Sultan’s right as the head of Islam in revoking the MB’s decision to dismiss that insubordinate bloke.
That's right - that reason was totally absent! What HRH said was that MB Nizar contradicted the principle of basic justice as the director had not done any wrong and was not given an opportunity to defend himself.
So it has now been admitted by HRH that it was an administrative issue and not a religious one!
A case of basic (administrative) justice! And so, according to HRH, he had (on behalf of Papa) intervened to ensure there was basic justice.
What about the unacceptable issue of insubordination to the MB? And the subsequent public humiliation of a MB? Was there basic justice for MB Nizar?
Quite frankly, by raising the case again and changing HRH’s reason for revoking the MB’s administrative decision, the Regent has made his justification worse. [...]
I saw the whole series of royal interferences (Perlis, Terengganu, and Perak) as opportunities for flexing of their once-absolute-but-neutralised royal muscles after Dr M left the stage.
The royal humiliation of MB Nizar left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Silver bullet?
And since when has royalty assume the role of an administrative court in deciding State management fairness?
I had warned time and time again that the royalty had been the problem rather than the solution, and true to my words, the Kelantan Prince confirmed that by slapping the faces of his father’s non-Malay subjects, and his hurtful warning had recently been confirmed by the recent Rulers Conference, namely, the so-called ’social contract’ …
… which Royal Prof Ungku Aziz had already described as a non-existent ‘fantasy’ by some politicians. Well, the ’social contract’ has now been given real life by their royal/political imprimatur.
While the Sultans have a place under the Malaysian Constitution, they should be careful not to step down from their royal pedestal onto the grubby world of politics where they then draw justified criticisms unto their political (and not royal) persons.
And may I leave you with a statement by Ben Jonson in Explorata: Illiteratus Princeps ..
They say Princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a Prince as soon as his groom.