Saturday, January 31, 2009
Chua Soi Lek: Lu kok-eye ah!
Star Online - Go online and register as a voter says Election Commission (EC)
Star Online - Umno starts online recruitment
Star Online - Not the time to be choosy about jobs, says Abdullah
… hey, I’ll be looking for one next month - wakakaka
Star Online - My people support me: Nasarudin
Bloke said: “Many of them agree with my decision (to defect to PKR). I will go down to Bota to give them an explanation.”
If they've agreed with your defection, why do you need to go & give them an explanation? wakakaka
And was that why your people 'supported you to lost' in the contest for the division head post of Parit Umno, two months ago - wakakaka - see Malaysiakini Perak Umno who defected to PKR
Star Online - MIC to defend deputy ministers over mortuary incident
… after ensuring Jakim was not involved in body snatching - wakakaka
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
... so says Tony Fernandez, the AirAsia man.
Fernandez said his airline's sponsorship of Malaysian potential football talent, involving Khairy Jamaluddin's MyTeam, had unfortunately and unjustifiably led to rumours that Khairy, the noted SIL, owned a 40% stake in AirAsia.
Naturally Fernandez repudiated those wild rumours, and went on to show how he had lost out to MAS on two separate contracts (one with DRM-Hicom and the other, Defence), adding graciously, in a proper and fair competition ... which he asserted AirAsia shouldn't if he really had the contacts or association with the Fourth Floor, as alleged.
Leaving all the above aside, kaytee read something in his interview with Malaysiakini that had me nodding my head ;-)
Fernandez lamented that the result of all the wild allegations and irresponsible rumours have been due to a 'vicious' community of bloggers who merely hentam him without checking out facts or appraising his company objectively, (presumably) based on the allegation of his 'association' with SIL.
He said: “It's guilt by association. I'm ‘collateral damage’, aren't I? There's just a vicious community of bloggers out there who just spout hate. I've tried to engage them. I've even invited them here.”
“They're willing to bash me and use racial slurs. There's one good thing, though, and that's they've called me fat. So now I'm motivated to be thin! When I read the blogs, I see, ‘Hey Fatso!' But I'm going to show you I can be thin!”
... with Fernandez laughing at his own 'resolve'.
Aiyah, Tony, I saw Kenny Sia getting the same 'vicious' treatment.
Thus, I agree with Fernandez's description of that particular community of bloggers as 'VICIOUS'. He has used a most appropriate word to label their mindless mentality.
If you want to witness their particular brand of vile vulgar viciousness, just read the comments in places like Malaysian Insider and the website of my good blogging mate, Susan Loone.
Admittedly not all comments at Susan's or Malaysian Insider's have been vicious, with some being rather constructive and enlightening. But those who commented in the manner that Fernandez and Kenny Sia had experienced, had been like bloodlust-driven piranhas, posting nasty comments as if they were in a feeding frenzy. I even suspect that they might have been trying to outdo each other in their viciousness.
Once I discussed this with Susan and ..... wakakaka ... sorry, our conversation has to be classified ;-)
There's no brain power involved in their vile comments ... just mindless vicious reactions to anyone they don't like or whom they see as against their political views or ideology. Those piranhas disgust me with their guttersnipe remarks.
In the blogosphere or even a kopitiam kongsamkok (omong kosong), it's perfectly alright to disagree, debate, argue intellectually, even heatedly, but piranha-ish mob-rule mentality shouldn't be allowed to prevail.
It's the sort of mad mob mentality that saw the derailing of Apcet II. Maybe Dr Syed Husin can still recall (assuming now he still wants to) the frenzied shameful hooliganism demonstrated at that international event. For more, read my Who was in charge when Apcet II was attacked by thugs?
Penangites would describe their remarks as 'cheen chnea tork' (extremely poisonous)
You know something? I am glad the pollies those piranhas are supporting aren't the ruling party yet. It's frightening that these people can be worse than even the current mob in power.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
... as in the case of Bota assemblyperson Nasarudin Hashim a member of Perak Umno who defected to PKR, as reported by Malaysiakini on Sunday.
The Malaysian Insider had written:Every Umno president has been forced to “respect’’ the wishes of the 2,000 Umno delegates and reward successful candidates at party elections with Cabinet positions.
So it did not matter if you were corrupt, incompetent, average or a chauvinist. If you snared a senior party position, you were a shoo-in for a Cabinet seat.
Shaken by the results of Election 2008, Abdullah flirted with the idea of loading his Cabinet with at least four or five top Malay professionals.
He finally buckled to pressure from the party and only selected Amirsham A. Aziz and Zaid Ibrahim. He loaded the Cabinet with politicians, considered heavyweights in Umno but average by the rest of the country.
Najib has drawn up a list of credible individuals who have the brainpower and stature to be ministers but is already being told that he should not be too adventurous.
In short, stick to the old formula of promoting Umno politicians who bag the most number of votes at the party elections.
Tarnation, there's gold in them darn divisions' votes!
UMNO has become a monster that is eating itself up ... but unlike the story of Cronus eating up his children, UMNO is the story of its 'children' eating up the parent Party.
Malaysiakini reported that “...There had been talk that Nasaruddin might quit Umno after he lost in the contest for the division head post of Parit Umno, two months ago.”
But of course Anwar Ibrahim pretended it’s otherwise and claimed the Nasaruddin’s defection “... reflected the sentiments of his voters, namely the Malays in his constituency ... as the beginning of a new wave.”
One thing about Anwar, you can alway rely on him to make a grandoise case out of nothing more than a man who was a sore loser and who knows it would be most unlikely for him to be re-nominated as UMNO candidate for the Bota State seat in the next State elections because he didn't succeed in becoming Parit UMNO Div head.
Nasaruddin’s froggie stunt is no difference from that by another former UMNO man Zahar Hashim, who lost the bid in the now abandoned military helicopter deal. See my post Zahar Hashim - whistleblower or sour grape or frog?
In the post I wrote: Bloke has left UMNO to join PAS. He was the former division leader of Umno Petaling Jaya Selatan.
Would he be considered as a frog? kaytee opines a definite 'no' as Zahar doesn't hold any parliamentary or DUN seat.
One would only be considered a frog if one deceives the voters into voting for one's candidature as that from Party A, but subsequently absconding with that mandate to party B. Slimy deceitful a$$h()le.
So while Zahar wasn’t a frog, Nasarudin Hashim definitely is, because having won the Bota State seat under the UMNO banner he has taken the ADUN position over to another party.
But of course - as I believe, recalling only from memory thus apologies in case my memory has failed me - Haris Ibrahim wrote (words to the effect), just what sort of people do we think are frogs (quick, wash your hands) and may kaytee add, just what sort of party accepts such frogs - wakakaka!
UMNO accepts frogs, so does a splinter party of UMNO, namely PKR. The acorn sure as hell didn’t fall far from the oak tree.
But Anwar Ibrahim is jubilant, as he sees resurrected possibilities of his half-past-six 916.
In Malaysiakini report Don't be too sure, Perak MB tells Najib Perak MB Nizar Jamaluddin warned DPM Najib that there may be other BN state representative hopping across to Pakatan Rakyat.
Nizar virtually confirmed what I have written, that defectors haven’t been the noblest of pollies, as they looked after their own interests while hypocritically claiming they did it for their constituencies.
Nizar said there could be 3 more UMNO ADUNs, adding that the trio were disappointed with UMNO, stating:
"But it is only one of the reasons, as they were supposed to contest for the divisional chief posts (in the Umno divisional elections last October) but were ordered not to, while some lost in the elections. It was Umno's internal problem. Nasaruddin said his joining (PKR) was due to disappointment, internally."
;-) ain’t it always that way, all about the interests of numero uno.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
She is now all alone.
Put your money where you candle was!
Don't abandon Paula Khoo!
For more details, read Where is the support for Paula Khoo?
Those are nice words. And if he did it, that would be fine. But there isn’t any indication that he means it … in fact, according to reports I just received from Israel—I can’t give you a source—they say that the radio news this morning has been reporting steadily that Amos Gilad, who’s the go-between between Israel and Egypt, notified the Egyptians that Israel is not interested in a ceasefire agreement, but rather an arrangement to stop the missiles and to free Gilad Shalit.
OK, I presume that will be in the newspapers later. So, yes, it’s nice to say, “Let’s open the borders,” but not avoiding the conditions that are imposed, in fact, not even mentioning the fact that the borders have been closed for years because the United States has backed Israeli closure of them.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Apart from the disgusting Police harassment of protestors who are not BN members or supporters, it’s worrying that Tony Pua, a Member of Parliament, and I believe ADUN Ronnie Liu too, was rough-housed by Police during the authority’s attempt to disperse the peaceful protestors.
But leave this aside, the opposition people being charged are reasonably high profile pollies, and those supporters who will be charged together with them can at least lean on the pollies' strength - there's comfort in groups.
Yes, I am not so worried about them as they can look after themselves.
What I am more worried about is a sweetie in the north,
* thanks, Crankster for correcting me
Apparently she was a member of the team that organized the anti-ISA candlelight vigil in Penang a couple of months back.
The Police are now harassing her, making her report to the police station during the Chinese New Year celebrations. She may well be charged too.
Unlike the KL/PJ people, she isn’t high profile, but alas, no one seems to care about her plight or have offered any support. Everyone has been focussing on the high profile people. Poor
So, where are those intrepid anti-ISA people now when
I direct my question particularly to those who were praised for taking along their lil’ sweeties to the candlelight vigil, and those who had praised them. Where are they who then had made lots of noises but are now so silent?
Not everyone is a Raja Petra Kamarudin who has the personal bravery, experience, royal connection and indeed the adoring public support to handle such oppressions. In fact
Yes, I do question the authority’s motive in harassing this peaceful ‘civilian’ who exercised her democratic right to protest against the ISA, and in peaceful fashion. Don’t those men in blue have crimes to attend to? Or, why don’t they go and harass that Kulim Wonder who had behaved like a thug.
The MCA had helped Namawee when he was in trouble, so how about the MCA now putting its shoulders on to the task of relieving
Gerakan? Dear Koh Tsu Koon - here's your opportunity to show us you have some care for a Penang lassie.
But most of all, I ask those who were involved in the Penang candlelight vigil, to go and support/help
Put your money where you candle was!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Khalid Ibrahim’s cerita lembu was reported by Malaysiakini in its news aticle Corruption report lodged against S'gor MB, …
… where of course Khalid Ibrahim repudiated the allegations by anti-graft watchdog Gerak, that organization once headed by Anwar’s former right hand man, Ezam. Hell hath no fury ...!
But today when I read a news article, again by Malaysiakini titled Cattle issue: S'gor MB had nothing to do with it, where PKR’s Bandar Tun Razak division chief Azman Abidin attempted to play the party hero ...
... by claiming full responsibility for the messy business of the 46 cattle slaughtered for Hari Raya Korban, which were paid for by Selangor State funds but benefitting the constituency of another state ...
... which coincidentally (and lamentably, a humongous 'conflict of interest' issue) happens to be Khalid Ibrahim's own federal constituency.
Azman loyally rejected the accusation that Khalid Ibrahim had issued a directive for the cattle distribution.
While I salute Azman’s brave act of shielding his boss from the allegation of corrupt practice, I cannot but help noticing in the two Malaysiakini news reports, both under the pen-name of Rahmah Ghazali, ...
... that there were at least a couple of discrepancies between what Khalid Ibrahim said and what his subordinate and supporter had stated ...
... that have now challenged the credibility of Khalid Ibrahim.
For ease of reference in my post I shall call the earlier Malaysiakini news article ‘A’ and the second one (today's) 'B'.
In news 'A', in response to Gerak’s allegation that it received documents (pertaining to the alleged corrupt misuse of Selangor State funds) from an individual working in the Selangor Industrial Corporation Sdn Bhd (SIC), which was involved in the lembu transaction, Khalid had retorted:
"SIC? I don't know about them. Why did SIC pay? Who insisted SIC to pay? I only know that PKNS organised the cattle to be distributed to Bandar Tun Razak."
Today his denial of any knowledge of SIC was unwittingly thrown overboard by his political secretary, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, as reported in news ‘B’.
Nik Nazmi acknowledged that SIC had paid the Agriculture Development Corporation (PKPS) for the cattle. SIC later sent out debit notes to the other six companies.
Well well well …
Now, in news ‘B’, PKR wannabe hero Azman had asserted that “the question of Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim issuing a directive for the cattle distribution does not rise at all".
But in news ‘A’, Khalid himself acknowledged he had 'guided' PKNS. He was quoted by Malaysiakini as stating:
"(But) we had sufficient cattle for Selangor and that is why when the associate company of PKNS wanted to donate more cows to the state, I suggested that they should instead donate the cattle to mosques in Cambodia or Bandar Tun Razak as I am the MP for the area.”
I think Khalid has brought this on his head by himself. Has he been so naïve or arrogant that he was't aware UMNO would be watching his every move?
Yesterday I was willing to give him a lot of leeway, by merely alluding he was skating on thin ice … but today, after Malaysiakini news ‘B’ and its inconsistencies with news ‘A’, .....?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breaths. Completely destroy them ... as the Lord your God has commanded you - Deuteronomy 20:16, NIV
Malaysiakini - Final toll of Gaza war: 1,330 dead, 5,450 wounded
Malaysiakini reported that: Israel's war on Gaza killed 1,330 people, at least half of them civilians, and wounded 5,450 others, Palestinian medics said on Thursday in a final toll of the offensive.
One-third of the death toll were children.
The Israelis have certainly lived up to the words of their God.
As I listened, he said to the others, "Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, ... Then he said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!" So they went out and began killing throughout the city - Ezekiel 9:5-7, NIV
MALACCA, Jan 22 — A contractor, Johari Ibrahim, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to giving a RM200 bribe during the Alor Gajah Umno divisional election on Nov 1.
Johari, 46, from Kampung Panchor, Durian Tunggal, is charge with bribing one Nadiah Roslan as an inducement to vote for Datuk Abdul Kadir Daud for the post of division chief.
The former publicity officer of Perbadanan Ayer Melaka, who is also Kampung Panchor Umno branch chief, was charged under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.
He faces a maximum jail sentence of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.
Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, an education officer who is also a senior assistant at a primary school in Raub pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court today to two counts of giving bribes during the Raub Umno divisional election.
Junaidi Abdul Hamid, 46, is alleged to have given RM200 each to two Umno members, Noranizah Abd Hamid and Adnan Samad, as an inducement to vote Datuk Mustafar Kamal Abdul Hamid for the post of Raub Umno division chief and Datuk Abdullah Bakar as the division's deputy chief.
kaytee’s comment: We know these alleged crimes better as ‘money politics’, which apparently runs rampant in UMNO party election (far more than the general election or a by-election).
‘…maximum jail sentence of 20 years …’? Wow!
Malaysiakini - Corruption report lodged against S'gor MB (extracts only):
Anti-graft watchdog Gerak has lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim for allegedly misusing state funds.
According to Gerak chairperson, Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus, Abdul Khalid had used state funds to sponsor 46 cattle to be slaughtered and distributed to Bandar Tun Razak residents in Kuala Lumpur for the Hari Raya Korban last December.
Abdul Khalid is also the member of parliament for Bandar Tun Razak.
kaytee’s comments: Is it okay for a Selangor pollie to use Selangor State funds (owned by Selangor-eans) to celebrate a festivity in a constituency of a different State (Territory), benefitting not Selangor-eans but people in another State (Territory) - 'coincidentally' Khalid happens to represent the non-Selangor constituency as its Federal MP?
The allegation of corruption is that Khalid Ibrahim has allegedly misused Selangor funds to promote himself in the non-Selangor federal constituency.
Khalid Ibrahim has denied the accusation.
Malaysiakini reported that Khalid asserted no state funds were used by him for this purpose, and that the cattle were donated by six subsidiary and associate companies of state development agency PKNS.
He said: "(But) we had sufficient cattle for Selangor and that is why when the associate company of PKNS wanted to donate more cows to the state, I suggested that they should instead donate the cattle to mosques in Cambodia or Bandar Tun Razak as I am the MP for the area."
I think Khalid is skating on thin ice here because as the MB of Selangor he has enormous power and influence and shouldn’t have proposed the two options of ‘mosques in Cambodia’ or ‘Bandar Tun Razak’.
It’s a no-brainer which option would be selected for a variety of reasons, one of which would have been the practicality of despatching the cattle to the named location. If you were a PKNS staff officer, would you have sent the cattle to Bandar Tun Razak or Cambodia (yeah, right!)?
Such a proposal by the State MB places him in an awkward position of ‘conflict of interests’ - on two counts, (i) as MB of a State which controls the PKNS, and (ii) as the Federal MP of Bandar Tun Razak, the beneficiary of the donated cattle.
Malaysiakini - Pakatan duo lodge report over KT 'corrupt acts' (extracts only):
Two Pakatan Rakyat MPs have lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over alleged corrupt practices by Barisan Nasional during the Kuala Terengganu by-election.
The report was lodged by Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) and Loh Gwo Burne (PKR-Kelana Jaya) at the Federal Territories MACC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
In their report, the duo cited four instances of alleged corrupt practices and attached four newspaper clippings to support their claims. The four articles touched on:
(1) RM1 million fund for fishermen.
(2) RM23.8 million allocation for SJK (C) Chee Wen.
(3) RM15.8 million projects for Class F contractors.
(4) RM300 each for journalists covering the by-election.
Speaking to reporters later, Loh said the funding announced during the by-election appeared to be a method used to fish for votes using the government machinery.
kaytee’s comments: Loh Gwo Burne, famed instant pollie and reputed producer/director of instant short video documentaries and also instant martyr when he was punched by his own PKR bloke a few months back, seemed to have taken to instant politics like duck to water ;-).
But I wonder what he would have made of Khalid Ibrahim’s cerita lembu.
Loh who pledged to learn instant Bahasa (see Bahasa Mělayu - a letter to Yang Běrhormat) is likely to say:
Aiyoh Lartoh, ta’usah berpuli-puli
Hal ini bisa saya senang selesai
Tepat tahun ni Lartuk derma sapi
Sebab Lembu punya Gong Xi Fa Cai
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Truly, an amazing event!
After 233 years as a nation that practiced black slavery, and 53 years after a black woman, Rosa Parks, was ordered to get to the back of a bus to vacate a seat at the front for a white man (which she refused to), the USA now has a black man as its Head of State, equal in status to Emperors and Empress, Kings and Queens.
And by his side stands a black woman as American’s 1st Lady, the Harvard educated lawyer, Michelle Obama.
Black indeed is beautiful and President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama make a lovely and august looking couple.
The greatest and last hurdle for black Americans has been surmounted. While Obama rode into the Oval Office on the promise of ‘change’, I wonder to what extent had low brow moronic warmonger George Bush and his abundance of follies helped White America’s acceptance of Obama.
But good riddance to Bush. The world has suffered humongously from that dangerous dumbo.
Many Malaysians looks at Americans with admiration and envy, yes, envy, for we now wonder, with such a phenomenal acceptance by White America of a black man as its 44th President, will a Chinese or an Indian ever become the PM of Malaysia?
Hmmm, I reckon not, so long as the so-called ‘social contract’ is defended every millimeter of the way, not least by Malaysian royalty.
Maybe the PM's position is too ambitious a dream considering that even the position of Deputy MB of Selangor had been too high a mountain for Teresa Kok to reach, so let's mull over other lesser positions like:
(a) DPM? - hardly likely but hope springs eternal in our breasts ...
(b) Finance Minister (once held by Tan Siew Sin) but again unlikey as this is a crucial and juicy post ...
(c) Home Minister? - can a Chinese be trusted? Before Hindraf I was quite willing to hope for an Indian but alas ... now, forget about it lah ...
(d) Defence Minister? - maybe ...
(e) Foreign Minister? - maybe too ...
YDP of the 4 non-royal states
(a) Malacca? (once held by Leong Yew Koh) but alas, there have been too many ketuanan Melayu Hang Tuahs down there defending the fort ... besides, the Datukship factory ;-) is doing well ...
(b) Penang? – once I proposed that PG Lim, a prominent Penangite and lawyer, and sister to her better known brother, Lim Kean Siew, be made the first non-Malay YDP of Penang.
PG Lim’s impressive CV reads:
Director of the Regional Centre for Arbitration, Kuala Lumpur from 1982 to February 2000. Member of the National Consultative Committee set up to establish a New Economic Policy after the 1969 racial riots and a Member of the National Economic Consultative Committee 1 (NECC1) set up by the Government to draft a National Development Policy (NDP) for Malaysia.
1971, Malaysia’s First Woman Ambassador to the United Nations and thereafter Yugoslavia, Austria, Belgium and the European Economic Community.
She has published many papers and addressed several international conferences on international arbitration.
... well, we can hope, can't we ... and I wonder which non-Malay Penangite (other than yours truly ... no no no, am a socialist wakakaka) may have a stab at this position?
Don't make me scream by proposing Koh TK ;-) I don't mind Lim Chong Eu or someone with the distinguished personality and impressive qualifications of the current Deputy CM, Professor Rama.
(c) Sabah? – preferably a Sabahan
(d) Sarawak – preferably a Sarawakian
Chief Secretary – has any Chinese or Indian ever held this top position? I guess no and unlikely as a future apppointment too ...
(a) IGP? Nope ...
(b) Chief of the Armed Forces? Hmmm, maybe ... provided the Army Chief is (and will definitely be) Malay ...
(c) Chief of Army? No blooming way ever ...
(d) Chief of Navy? Thanabalasingam was its first chief, but only because two Malay Army generals declined the post. Maybe ...
(e) Chief of Air Force? Maybe ...
Will we see ‘change’ too? Well, let's hope for some crumbs, but perhaps in the meantime we can work on the appointment of Teresa as Deputy MB of Selangor ;-)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well ..... the predictable right on schedule!
PAS Youth has called for a boycott of the mid-February concert featuring Rihanna, which it claimed, to protest against the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Then Kamaruzaman Mohamed, the FT PAS Youth chief, decided to have two bites of the cherry, stating, ‘ere his voiced support for the Palestinians has even faded, that the Rihanna concert “does not match with the local culture”, and that by having Rihanna in Malaysia would be a “disgrace to Asian culture”.
Wow, from politics to culture! What next? The economy?
It seemed Kamaruzaman couldn’t quite make up his mind because he then switched the reason to being against Rihanna (currently living in California) paying tax to the USA, a strong and generous Israel’s ally.
Hmmm, a bit of finance there (in income tax) sprinkled with populist politics.
Switching back (from anti-USA) to culture again (and social problems), he emphasized that “PAS youth wing will consistently protest against concerts that does not portray the positive Asian culture and which might create social problems in the country.”
So what about Inul Daratista? Isn’t she Asian? And isn’t her songs of the dangdut genre?
In fact the Indonesian dangdut originates from a mixture of Arabic and Indian music, and was developed some 35 years ago among working class Muslim youth.
Hmmm, the development of the Argentinian tango was also of working class origin and puts the dangdut together with it as dances of the ordinary people instead of the upper strata of society.
So why did PAS objected to Inul when her dangdut act has both Arabic and Muslim pedigree ...
... and of a working class origin too! Aiyah, PAS snobbishly sombong already?
And talking about Asian Culture, why did PAS object to the muhibbah Kongsi Raya celebrations? Hasn't it been a tradition and culture of Malaysians to celebrate their festivals together as muhibbah (rather than religious) events?
The answer to all these rhetorical queries is that PAS is still hanging on to its age-old and unchanging misogynist and parochial attitudes.
But no worries lah, nowadays PAS has become so popular with many non-Muslims that some Christians have abandoned the cause of Lina Joy in favour of PAS and its hudud, when they know fully well that under the hudud, Lina Joy may face capital punishment for apostasy.
And would Lina have said as did Steven Dietz: "One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though ... betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope."
O ‘Principle’, thou unfaithful self, failing to stand steadfastly firm. Thou hath hopped across the divide (like a frog) to sleep with the enemy.
Thus, after reading Malaysiakini Herald defies gov't ban on 'Allah' where Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic Herald newspaper, said he intends to use the banned word of ‘Allah’ until the courts rule on the issue next month, I feel that may be an appropriate decision as afterall, one can embrace Allah swt as much as one has embraced hudud.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Fought for God and country
They burnt her at the stake
T’was a Christian thing to do
Initially disowned, a heretic?
Then heroine, a sweet saint
Ha, a useful name for pollies
To brandish for patriotic votes
She fought for her liege King
but who abandoned the Maid
To the English from beyond
Oh, such disloyal royalty
Jailani d’Azalina, a mere 26
Saw God in a wrong country
Wanna burn her at the stake?
Just the fate for an apostate
Initially embraced, a heroine
A sweet 'saint' of Christianity
Crusaders fought for the Maid
To the last drop of her blood
But she was soon abandoned
Along the path of expediency
Her usefulness is hudud-ised
No more memory of Lina Joy
(1) Kuala Terengganu - politics & strange bedfellows
(2) Lina Joy - Victim of religion or Votive offering to religion?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
A predictable victory for PAS in the wake of the March 08 political tsunami that swept Peninsula Malaysia, which I had blogged 2 weeks ago in Divine revelation for Kuala Terengganu.
No doubt with PAS win, many souls in KT have been divinely saved, and a place in heaven guaranteed.
In my earlier post, I had written: The BN or UMNO will be blooming lucky to retain the seat. If it wins by just one single vote it can crowed as much as it likes because that will be truly be a Mt Everest-ish achievement. […]
Yes, on the basis of what had happened since 08 March 08, PAS should win easily, so UMNO will be very very lucky to win Kuala Terengganu. […]
Not only does the tsunamic force still have momentum, which the BN has thus far done buggerall to check or neutralize, some swaying voters (Chinese, Indians and others = 11.7% = over 9,000 votes) are seeing a post 08 March 08 situation where the lie of the political landscape has changed unbelievably. This may influence/alter their decision for the coming by-election.
One week ago Ong Kian Ming wrote an analysis on the likely outcome of the by-election in a Malaysiakini news article titled KT by-election: Voting estimates where his prediction, based on factors such as split voting, voters’ turnout by ethnicity and age, percentage of BN voters by age, estimates and effect of non turnout (by ethnicity), postal votes, the effect of an independent candidate, etc etc, led him to an estimate for PAS winning by a 3290 majority.
That’s amazingly almost spot on. Undoubtedly he is a political analyst to watch, and probably will be Malaysia’s No 1 political pollster. I have admired top Aussie political pollsters/analysts like Rod Cameron, Anthony Green, and Malcolm Mackerras and I believe Ong will be the Malaysian equivalent.
Ong did make a second forecast at the last minute, where he doubled the majority for PAS, but in mitigation he based that on a couple of surveys by Merdeka Centre. His original was very accurate.
The election result indicates that the PAS hudud intention, which the Islamic Party was provoked by Khairy Jamaluddin into admitting, hadn't concerned the non-Muslims as once it would undoubtedly have – thanks to DAP continuous support for PAS in the campaign which had lent credence to PAS assurance that hudud will only apply to Muslims. Of course Anwar Ibrahim added his voice of assurance as well.
If Husam Musa had not confessed to PAS hudud intention, I would have continued supporting the Islamic party as I would a candidate from a member party of the Pakatan Rakyat (despite my dislike for one particular person wakakaka).
But once PAS has shown it still wants to bring in an Islamic code of punishment that’s deemed as draconian in today’s world and its values, I couldn’t in all conscience morally support such an intention and thus its candidate anymore.
The only leader from the Pakatan Rakyat who was knowledgeable, courageous and principled enough to shoot PAS' and Anwar Ibrahim’s assurance down as fallacious was Karpal Singh, proving he is DAP’s ‘spiritual’ leader in neither compromising on secular principles nor accommodating constitutional acrobatics.
The voters in the state constituency of Bandar (not under any by-election at this stage) apparently went for the PAS candidate, when previously the voters (mainly Chinese) had voted BN. Thus the Chinese had placed their belief in Anwar Ibrahim’s fallacious assurance, buttressed by DAP’s uncompromising support.
While, as they say, politics make strange bedfellows, the most disappointing were those observed in the blogosphere, where they who were most vociferous against Islamic intrusions into the domains of non Muslims, such as the issue of body snatching and the Lina Joy apostasy case, were deafening by their complete silence about PAS avowed implementation of hudud.
Nary a single teeny weeny itsy bitsy squeal could be detected from those so-called loud and intrepid crusaders for Lina Joy and various other anti-Islamic issues. Worse, they even explained why it was okay to vote for PAS despite its publicly declared intention to implement hudud.
Particularly for those who had 'crusaded' for Lina Joy, supporting the PAS candidate (whether morally or by voting for him) implies accepting PAS' hudud intention, which in turn implies accepting that Lina Joy, who's considered by Islam as an apostate, could and would be tried under the hudud. The penalty for apostasy is death!As I blogged nearly two years ago in Lina Joy - Victim of religion or Votive offering to religion?:
Sometimes, the way things are going, with the attempts to oil the hinges of the constitutional stable doors after the horse has already bolted (let alone close it), I do wonder whether she was not only a victim but also a votive offering – to the high altar of proving a point.
I worry her personal aims have been subordinated to other aims. I fear she has been unnecessarily turned into a cause célèbre who is feared/hated by conservative Muslims. How would that help her win sympathy and leniency from the Syariah Court?
Maybe her aim doesn’t matter; yes, maybe we should fight valiantly for correct interpretation of constitutional laws to the last drop of her Christian blood.
I have been proven correct, that the people who championed Lina Joy had only wanted to turn her into a cause célèbre for their own agenda.
Just read the comments in that post of mine and see how attitudes, beliefs and principles regarding Islam and its effect on the Malaysian Constitution have undergone a sea change since.
Where's that same passion in the current issue of PAS' avowed hudud?
Or, shall I be less euphemistic and say ‘what happened to that bunch of self-serving hypocrites?’
If the more common saying is that ‘politics make strange bedfellows’, then I would like to amend it to read ‘politics make strange bedfellows and whores’.
Friday, January 16, 2009
In her Will the An-wow factor tip the scales? Maybe not I read the first paragraph which said:
Last night, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim supped with some 600 voters in a seaside restaurant here famous with the local Chinese community for its porcine fare.
Yessirree, I was utterly gobsmacked!
... because 'porcine’ means 'something of or pertaining to swine, or resembling swine, or hoggish, or piggish'.
Of course she meant it as a backhanded compliment for Anwar Ibrahim, because she followed up that opening paragraph with:
He ate no pork. The VIP table, where he was seated alongside Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and ex-minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, were served with halal dishes catered from outside.
But in religiously-sensitive Malaysia, where one man's meat is easily another man's poison, the former deputy Prime Minister's willingness to eat in a non-halal joint scored him brownie points with the majority non-Muslim dinner crowd.
But I thought the reference to pork was totally unnecessary and in poor taste (pun not intended).
Much as I am anti Anwar Ibrahim, and I make no bones about, where my good mate Dean Johns had also alluded to that in passing in his Malaysiakini article Even madder about Malaysia, also the title of his latest book*, I wouldn’t associate Anwar or any Muslim with the piggy word.
* BTW, don’t forget to buy a copy of Dean's latest book, where its Foreward is written by another good mate of mine, Antares, who (sob) doesn’t like me anymore (sob) ;-) Good olde Dean will give you good value for money.
Already we see the poor pig being used as a symbol of utter disrespect, implied insult or even as a message of hate in another Malaysiakini news article Pig head in surau at UM, where UM students discovered to their horror a pig's head on the floor of the surau located in the Islamic studies academy. The pig’s head was chopped into two portion and placed on a PAS flag.
This is mischief at its most outrageous, and could have instigated a nasty jihad (in the worst sense of the J-word), or worse, get some poor innocent blokes bashed up or murdered.
I find this act totally irresponsible just as I find the 'porcine' word in Debra's article totally unnecessary.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Surrounding politicians and trailing them to their graves (we’ll all end up there too) are their bitter enemies and their bitterness.
It was well known that Tunku was bitter towards Tun Razak, Najib’s dad, whilst Mahathir too has his bitter feelings towards AAB.
And of course the late Gaafar Baba must have been bitter towards Anwar Ibrahim, then a young upstart who humiliated him by ousting him from the deputy presidency of UMNO.
Anwar Ibrahim … well, it’s hardly classified information that he has been and is of course bitter towards Mahathir who sacked and denied him his dreams of ascending to the highest political position in the country, and on the eve of his succession of Mahathir.
Who was right, who was wrong – only Allah swt knows – yes, not even those antagonists because they (those still alive) will see the others as the respective party which has wronged them.
Former right hand man of Anwar Ibrahim, Ezam Mohd Noor, faithfully followed Anwar out of UMNO when his boss was sacked from the party in 1998. Then Ezam was jailed under the ISA and OSA, perhaps for his persistence in supporting an outcast Anwar Ibrahim.
Hate hath no fury like a woman scorned, the saying goes – but in the Anwar-Ezam relationship we need to replace ‘woman’ with 'confidante’.
It was reported that right hand man Ezam left PKR with a huff and apuff because he was chagrined by Anwar’s left hand man Azmin Ali for that bloke's alleged control over Anwar Ibrahim.
Since then, Ezam had rejoined UMNO and campaigned against Anwar in particular.
Yesterday , as reported by Malaysiakini, Ezam revealed a letter written by Anwar to Dr Mahathir after the former DPM was booted out.
And (I haven’t changed the paragraph as penned Andrew Ong of Malaysiakini) Ezam read out the entire letter which began with Anwar seeking for ‘space' to fight against a ‘conspiracy' against him and also sought Mahathir's protection for his family.
Anwar wrote: "Myself and (Dr Wan) Azizah (Wan Ismail) do not forget the love, mentoring and opportunities that you have given us. Even though our relationship is strained, I cannot forget your deeds."
Anwar dismissed the letter as nothing, saying what’s wrong with him wanting to make peace with anyone. Ezam countered that it is a reflection on the hypocritical nature of Anwar. Did Ezam mean that Anwar would do anything to remain in power, even re-bodeking Mahathir?
Of course Anwar had been correct in acknowledging that Mahathir had bestowed upon his former political heir much love, mentoring and opportunities, but …
Now what did I say about "Hell hath no fury ….."?
Please read my earlier post The Master & The Disciple.
Well, I heard another story like Ezam’s … but not as far back as 1998. In fact it was as recent as 2007. But in this story, the principal parties, Anwar and Dr Mahathir were not directly involved.
2007 meant that it was obviously before the 08 March 2008 political tsunami, so we need to put the story in context.
It seems that a person who claimed to be an emissary of Anwar approached another person who knew Dr Mahathir quite well, asking whether Anwar could meet up with Dr Mahathir.
But as I said: "Hell hath no fury ….."!
If that futile attempt to re-establish contact with someone publicly denounced as an enemy was true, it seems, at least on the surface, to fortify whatever Ezam has been trying to achieve.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Stanley was referring to the MCA ‘playing up’ on the hudud issue when Husam Musa of PAS acknowledged that the Islamic Party still wants to implement the Islamic legislation of punishments for specific crimes.
Anwar Ibrahim had assured the non-Muslims that the hudud isn’t applicable to them but as we read in Malaysiakini news article Karpal: Anwar's statement on hudud misleading good olde Karpal Singh, chairperson of the DAP, said Anwar’s claim is bull.
Karpal also warned that it’s unconstitutional for PAS or PKR to implement the hudud.
Anyway, Stanley Koh had sneered at the same MCA whom he said had barely whimpered in protest when former PM Dr Mahathir declared in September 2001 that “Malaysia is already an Islamic state”.
But Stanley also (fairly) wrote Dr Ling (former leader of the MCA) had asserted that, whatever name Mahathir had chosen to describe the country, the federal constitution has not changed.
I have always said that Dr Mahathir's declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic state was a political manoeuvre to outflank PAS, by out-Islamising the Islamic Party.
But the hudud is a completely different ballgame altogether. As I had posted in The Fatwa of Khalsa warrior Karpal Singh, there are prescribed (mandatory) and very severe punishments for ‘crimes’ such as ‘zina’ or illegal sexual intercourse, where the offenders, if they happen to be mature, married Muslims, will be stoned to death – yes, death because that’s what ‘capital punishments’ mean.
Muslim bachelors or non-Muslims get flogged instead. Did you get that, about non-Muslims getting flogged? So I wonder whether Anwar Ibrahim knows what he has been talking about …. but then he’s Anwar!
Now, some non-Muslims hate UMNO so much that they have dismissed the hudud issue as a BN scare tactic to sabotage the PAS candidate, and will, regardless of PAS hudud, still vote for Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS.
So far so good – a case of either believing or disbelieving Anwar Ibrahim’s assurance that the hudud will NOT affect non-Muslims.
Like Karpal Singh, I don’t ;-) wakakkakakakaka, not because he is Anwar (admittedly I never did trust Anwar Ibrahim ever since he was Education Minister) but because once the hudud genie is out, we can never ever get it back into the bottle.
But alas, thus far it has all been about non-Muslims, hasn’t it?
(A) Anwar said hudud won’t apply to ‘us’ non-Muslims – we believe him, or
(B) Anwar said hudud won’t apply to ‘us’ non-Muslims – we don’t believe him!
But what about the Malays?
Are we assuming every Malaysian Muslim (Malay and non-Malays) automatically support the implementation of hudud?
Have we even asked any of them?
No, not according to Hafiz Noor Sham who wrote an articulate piece in the Malaysian Insider titled Time to kill it, meaning the idea of implementing hudud should be ‘killed’. He wrote:
The problem with the argument that hudud affects only Muslims assumes that all Muslims are for the implementation of hudud.
I definitely would not mind if hudud is implemented as long as individuals, and not communities, can choose between hudud – and truly, sharia – and secular civil law.
Under the current proposal, I and many others do not get that choice.
I have also mentioned this but, just to stress it again, the argument that non-Muslims need not worry with the implementation of hudud also builds unnecessary walls among Malaysians, further dividing an already divided society.
Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how the minority will be left unaffected if there is great development within the majority community.
If the non-Muslims are prepared to buy that argument set forth by Pas and PKR that hudud only concerns Muslims while ignoring the fact that under the proposal, Muslims who prefer a secular environment instead would be forcefully subjected to religious laws, well, perhaps we all should turn blind eyes to each other’s problems.
If my problem is not yours, then the discrimination that the non-Malays suffer is not my problem either. Each time you suffer injustice, too bad because it shall not be mine. Those are non-Muslim problem and so, why should I care at all?
Is that the new arrangement you prefer? Shall we make that the basis of our social contract, our new Constitution?
If the answer is no, then Pas must lose in Kuala Terengganu. It is regrettable that the implication is victory for BN, especially when it is becoming clear that BN has learned nothing from March 8.
Nevertheless, I am unwilling to sacrifice my ideals for too much political expediency. There is such a thing as a limit and this whole issue on hudud, and especially the argument brought forward by Pas and supported by PKR, has gone over and beyond mine.
Hafiz considers a vote for PAS as a vote for hudud, as well as a total disregard by non-Muslims for the considerations of Muslims who do not want hudud.
What say you to his appeal ... and let's have a bit of intelligent debate instead of the usual fanatical mauling of him (or anyone who disagrees with or does not support Anwar Ibrahim) as an UMNO stooge ;-)
... unless of course you are not up to it wakakakakakakakaka
Monday, January 12, 2009
Jordan's Princess Haya, a UN messenger of peace, warned on Sunday that growing Arab anger and frustration over Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, could spiral out of control. […]
Haya, who chairs the Amman-based Tkiyet Um Ali charity organisation, said 300,000 Palestinians in Gaza are "facing death and frustration."
"We are supposed to send 15 trucks of aid to Gaza every day starting today," she said, adding that each truck carries 5,700 food packages.
"But I have just heard that the Israelis are reducing the capacity of each truck by 10 percent."
"Why would they need to take 500 food packages of each truck? One package can feed three people for a month."
She's being diplomatic - she should have said 'The Israeli military STEALS food from Palestinians'!!!
"I am frustrated like the people that nothing is being done. It's nearly impossible to operate and the world needs to stand up and say this," she said.
Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, is sending daily aid shipments to Gaza, where the 16-day-old war has so far killed around 880 Palestinians.
According to Malaysiakini Hadi, Guan Eng grilled over hudud, Lim Guan Eng firmly asserted:
"If any problems occur, we will resolve it through musyawarah, that is through discussions. All three parties must hold discussions and if a consensus is not reached, it must be discussed again.”
"This means, should PKR and PAS agree to implement hudud and DAP disagrees then it cannot be implemented. Everything must be discussed until all three parties agree.”
But Malaysiakini Andrew Ong pointed out, that as Lim GE prattled on this line for about five minutes, Pak Haji Hadi Awang was noticeably uncomfortable [squirming or rolling eyes or sneering?]
Andrew said the obvious body language forced Terengganu PAS chief Mustafa Ali to leap in to salvage the situation. Mustafa stated that hudud was not an issue in the Kuala Terengganu by-election as the results would not have any impact on the state or federal government.
As I have blogged in Anwar Ibrahim misleading on PAS hudud intention DAP chairperson Karpal Singh was less than impressed by Anwar Ibrahim’s assurance to the (non-Muslim) voters in Kuala Terengganu that there was no need to reject the hudud proposal as it was only applicable to Muslims. He had also glibly dismissed Karpal’s remark that the PAS proposed legislation was unconstitutional.
But as we had read in Malaysiakini news article Karpal: Anwar's statement on hudud misleading Karpal shot down Anwar’s statement as a fallacy!
The BN has seen this as an opening to drive a wedge between the Pakatan Rakyat coalition as well as to persuade non-Muslim voters not to vote for the PAS candidate (through the MCA of course with UMNO tap dancing niftily away from the hudud question).
Well, it’s obvious that the BN’s attempt to divide and conquer hasn’t found traction as Lim GE is still there campaigning for PAS, and had even loaned a giant two-metre tall lorry-mounted television to PAS for the campaign period.
But the stress of the divergent ideology re the hudud was apparent on the two Pakatan Rakyat members.
What is the hudud?
According to Wikipedia, hudud deals with offences defined as ‘claims of God’, as opposed to other offences which are ‘claims of His servants’. This means the ruler has a responsibility to punish hudud offences and cannot, like the offences classified as ‘claims of His servants’, be left to the parties involved to settle among themselves (by way of compensations) or for them to have a say in the punishment.
In other words, state punishment according to prescribed punishments is mandatory.The term hudud means ’limit’, implying the defined bounds of acceptable Islamic behaviour and the respective punishments for serious crimes.
Hudud offenses include drinking alcohol, theft, highway robbery, ‘zina’ or illegal sexual intercourse, false accusation of illegal sexual intercourse, rebellion against the ruler, and apostasy (which includes blasphemy).
Apparently not all jurists consider apostasy to be a hudud offense, but I wonder what position PAS and UMNO and indeed PKR holds regarding this ‘offence’?
Anyway, Wikipedia tells us that the classes of punishments under the hudud are:
(i) Capital punishments - by sword/crucifixion (for highway robbery with homicide), by stoning (for ‘zina' when the offenders are mature, married Muslims)
(ii) Amputation of hands or feet (for theft and highway robbery without homicide)
(iii) Flogging with a varying number of strokes (for drinking, ‘zina' when the offenders are unmarried or not Muslims, and false accusations of zina')
I must confess the cruel streak in me is attracted to sub-paragraph (ii), when I think of the highway toll. Could we classify a la hudud that those fat cats having the concessions to the toll highways are highway robbers without homicides, unless the conditions of the highways had led to fatal accidents which would then bum their culpability upstairs to sub-paragraph (i) punishment ... gulp!
But on the balance of it all, I tremble at the capital punishment of stoning to death for illicit sexual intercourse - I believe that our first prime minister had once retorted that if we were to implement this particular law, we would soon run out of stones to build our roads.
How can PAS them question DAP for resisting the hudud by arguing that since the latter had accepted civil laws, what's then was the big deal about hudud?
Just consider the example of zina, where a vast difference in punishment exists between the two systems on 'bonking on the sly'. Under hudud, one will be executed through stoning whilst under civil laws, it’s not a crime to 'curi makan' (though in some circumstances, provisions exist for the injured party to sue the othe party).
Indeed, spiritual leader of the DAP, Karpal Singh asked succinctly (assuming a case of zina between a Muslim and a non-Muslim): "What would happen if there are two co-accused, a Muslim and a non-Muslim with the Muslim opting for hudud law and the non-Muslim for civil law? How would the courts get out of this dilemma?”
Under those circumstances I doubt very much the Muslim would opt to be tried under hudud.
Karpal said, as reported by the The Malaysian Insider that DAP was prepared to cooperate with PAS and Pakatan Rakyat on condition that both PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) do not insist on the introduction of hudud laws.
He fatwa-ed: “It has been said in politics there are no permanent enemies or friends, but the need to have permanent principles must remain sacrosanct for any political party worth its name to be acceptable to the rakyat.”
As we can see, the ‘spiritual’ leader of a secular political party upholds principles rather than the teachings of a holy book
Karpal also called upon PAS and PKR (wakakaka - aiyoh Anwar Ibrahim, mana lu punya Kulim Wonder lah?) to cease from further clamouring for the impossible and accept that hudud laws had no place in the statute books.
Karpal warns that the point which should not be missed, but which regrettably had been missed by both Anwar and Hadi, was that the Federal Constitution provided for one uniform law, namely, civil law for both Muslims and non-Muslims across the board.
He said: “The call by both PAS and PKR to have hudud laws applicable to Muslims with an option given to non-Muslims to choose between hudud law and civil law would, and must, mean the introduction of an Islamic state which would mean destruction of the basic structure of the Constitution.”
Karpal said though the Federal Constitution could only be amended through a two-third majority in Parliament, the amendment cannot include destruction of the basic structure of the Constitution, as this would go beyond amendment.
I say Amin to that.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The establishment of the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials were aware at the time of the grave injustice perpetrated by one-sided American support for the Israelis.
On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to foreign secretary Ernest Bevin that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment is too harsh; but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the George W Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question. [...]
The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza strip in the aftermath of the war of June 1967 had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish "greater Israel" through permanent political, economic, and military control over the Palestinian territories.
[note: the terrorist group Lohamei Herut Israel (LEHI) or more notoriously known as the Stern Gang, but honoured by Israel in 1980 despite, among its many terrorist crmes, the murder of a neutral UN mediator, Swiss Count Folke Bernadotte, massacre of 120 innocent civilian villagers at Deir Yassin and the most shameful act of all for Jews, the application to Nazi Germany to work with the Nazis during WWII, had posted among its 18-principles ideology, principles No 2, 3, 9, 10 and 12 as:
2 - The homeland: The homeland in the Land of Israel within the borders delineated in the Bible Genesis 15:18 which said "To your descendants, I shall give this land, from the River of Egypt to the great Euphrates River." This is the land of the living, where the entire nation shall live in safety.
3 - The nation and its land: Israel conquered the land with the sword. There it became a great nation and only there it will be reborn. Hence Israel alone has a right to that land. This is an absolute right. It has never expired and never will.
9 - War: Constant war against those who stand in the way of fulfilling the goals.
10 - Conquest: The conquest of the homeland from foreign rule and its eternal possession.
18 - The temple: The building of the Third Temple as a symbol of the new era of total redemption. which implies an intention to eventually destroy the Al Aqsa mosque.
Ending nore: Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli prime minister 1983-1984 and 1986-1992 was a member of the LEHI]
... it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people - because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agreed to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.
The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election in Israel is scheduled for 10 February 2009; as it approaches, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army's commanders had been eager to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hizbollah in Lebanon in July-August 2006.
Israel's cynical leaders could also count on the apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire, and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.
As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim.
This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath, but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless, and overbearing Israeli Goliath.
The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim ("crying and shooting").
Almost four decades of Israeli control did enormous damage to the economy of the Gaza strip. With a large population of the refugees from 1948 and their descendants crammed into a tiny sliver of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright.
Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic underdevelopment but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. Israel turned the people of Gaza into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods.
The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.
In August 2005, an Israeli government of the rightwing Likud headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they left behind. [...]
To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution.
[Note: We know that Gaza was not an independent State but, like the West Bank, an Israeli create Bantustan - in all practice, a prison based on racism which the Israelis learnt from their colleagues, the former white supremacist regime of South Africa]
But in the following year, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peacemaking are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace. [...]
In January 2006 free and fair elections for the legislative council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically-elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation. [...]
America and the European Union shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed - where a significant part of the international community imposed economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.
As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than anti-semitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics, and that Islam is incompatible with democracy.
But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity. […]
To be continued ...