Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is Lim Guan Eng 'communist-minded'?

Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character - Calvin Coolidge

The story of PKR is a sad one. Eons ago we were already aware it would turn out to be the weakest link in Pakatan Rakyat. Now, almost everyone, save the hard core members and the true believers, has acknowledged this truth. Anwar Ibrahim himself has also admitted to this some weeks ago.

The current crisis in Pakatan is that the implosion of PKR has led to significant collateral damage to the other component parties, both PAS and DAP. We have recently witnessed PKR’s Kulim Wonder savaging Khalid Samad and inexplicably, as if he was an UMNO member, reporting the latter to the police. Then we have PKR sour-grape Zahrain Hashim bad mouthing Lim Guan Eng, way over the top by grubbily labelling Lim as ‘communist-minded’.

The problem within PKR started with the expulsion of Anwar Ibrahim from UMNO. His followers left UMNO as well; some were true believers whilst others were just opportunists in his faction but were placed in untenable position with Anwar’s exit from the party. The more enterprising ‘survivors’ of this pack have managed to worm their way back into UMNO again, and one even managed to become a Minister in the inner cabinet wakakaka.

Nonetheless the core of PKR has been and is essentially made up of former UMNO members (note I didn’t use the term ‘ex UMNO’ wakakaka), people who had been indoctrinated with the UMNO-ish attitude and ‘expectation’.

Relax Kulim Wonder, I believe you’re from PAS so this doesn’t apply to you wakakaka.

I am not insulting all UMNO members but let’s be frank, many (though not all) UMNO members join the party to benefit from it – business opportunities, government contracts, official appointments, positions, etc.

This is what I mean by the ‘expectation’ of (most) UMNO members.

Many of those PKR members who were formerly from UMNO carried this ‘expectation’ across with them into KeADILan (predecessor to PKR). They had expected Anwar Ibrahim to be swiftly reinstated back into his rightful position as No 1 in UMNO.

Alas, their dream, hopes and indeed ‘expectation’ were well and truly screwed by Dr Mahathir and of course the other anti-Anwar factions in UMNO who successfully blocked out Anwar. I understand there were many in UMNO who were terrified of Anwar’s fierce and feral faction, so it won’t be surprising if they were the true architect behind Anwar’s downfall.

Anyway, KeADILan-PKR (excluding those well-meaning people from originally PRM who joined PKR) had only a single objective, to get Anwar back into power, preferably via UMNO or if necessary by their new party, of course in order for them to realize their ‘expectation’.

And that has been why many termed KeADILan as a single-issue party, namely, to get Anwar Ibrahim back into power. Gerakan Anti Najib (G.A.N) had been part and parcel of their manoeuvre, for between Anwar and the No 1 position (initially just No 2) in UMNO stood Najib Razak.

Then surprisingly, 08 March 08 happened - shock initially but followed swiftly by ecstatic jubilation. Even though it wasn't yet in full control of the federal government, a State here and there (and there were 3, Selangor, Perak and Penang – sorry, can’t touch those held by PAS) could partially, nay, actually substantially fulfill many of their (UMNO-ish) ‘expectation’.

This time it’s not Dr Mahathir who blocked their aspirations but blokes like Lim GE, Nizar and Khalid Ibrahim wakakaka!

Of course the cake goes to tight-assed Lim GE who won’t even countenance giving away State honours of datukship wakakaka, so how could he ever play footsies by rewarding Pakatan-PKR leaders with ‘guaranteed’ contracts.

Lim is like a Himalayan sadhu (ascetic) who has reincarnated into a Spartan-like accountant wakakaka, with a pedantic penchant for tightfisted proper accountability and transparency. He has a thrifty lifestyle like … well … almost like Mother Teresa and detests corruption, profligacy and wasteful spending and is so proper with his State ledger book that sometimes his staff scream … silently, wakakaka.

And on those rare occasions when he treated his staff out to dinner (with his personal allowance), he was said to go into a post-dinner traumatic shock for several days ;-).

If his frugal habits are deemed as communist-minded, wakakaka, then I have to concede maybe Lim is ;-)

Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty - Samuel Johnson

Friday, January 29, 2010

Penang PKR Zahrain Hashim: "Lim GE communist-minded"

What do (Malay) ex servicemen and Penang PKR leaders have in common?

This is what The Malaysian Insider wrote in its news article Dr M: Perkasa popular as UMNO appears incapable:

Umno began in May 1946 in Johor Baru as an umbrella group for all Malay groups and parties opposed to the Malayan Union proposed to consolidate the Malay states after World War 2. It fought for Malay rights and later independence with allies MCA and MIC as the Alliance.

But a section of Malays, who form some 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million population together with the natives in Sabah and Sarawak, think Umno has strayed from its founding ideals and is “pandering” to the non-Malays.

Among them are ex-servicemen who have defended the nation and expect some rewards on retirement, such as taxi permits and business opportunities, which they see as rightful entitlements.

OK, let’s see what a Penang PKR leader said in The Star Online news article Zahrain: Lim is a dictator:

Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim verbally attacked Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Describing the DAP secretary-general as a “dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”, Zahrain who is the former state PKR chairman, said Pakatan should stop compromising with the leader who is from Malacca as Lim had failed to deliver its general election promises. […]

Zahrain said among the election promises that were not kept were the introduction of local council election and an open tender system.

“Lim may be reluctant to push for local council election because it will diminish his power if Penangites use that as an avenue to pass verdict on the state’s performance.”

Puh-lease lah, stop bullsh*tting about local council elections, because what Penang PKR really wants is for a couple of its leaders to sit on some local councils (without any elections of course), acting as if they are UMNO apparatchiks.

If you read my 03 July 2009 post DAP needs to watch out for some treacherous PKR members you will find I wrote:

We know that some Penang PKR members believe they are entitled to positions and prestige – so, on top of Lim’s no to Datukships, they were further pissed off when Lim GE decided to do away with appointing pollies to head local councils, a position badly abused in the past to the detriment of the rakyat's benefits. He and the Penang exco decided on professional administrators to head (note: not ‘helm’ wakakaka) the councils.

When one PKR bloke thought he could show his anger by boycotting an event that he was required to be present at, Lim sacked him. We’re of course referring to PKR’s Johari Kassim.

Note the difference in the leadership quality between Lim and Anwar, where one puts his foot on down on indiscipline while the other allows the Kulim Wonder to get away with shameful thuggish behaviour, treacherous criticism of his own PKR colleague Eli Wong (a victim of puerile pariah politics), demonstration of his medieval misogynist mentality against SIS, etc etc etc.

That is something for Anwar Ibrahim to answer to, and for his party’s deputy president, Dr Syed Husin to explain why there’s no disciplinary action taken against the Kulim Wonder as had been promised.

Anyway, Zahrain decides that it’s payback time for Lim GE.

Seizing on a tragedy, that of Kampung Buah Pala, he twisted the misguided Hindraf knife further into Lim’s side, accusing Lim for attempting to resolve the crisis through media statements, rather than working out a proactive action plan ...

... of course ignoring at the same time that the Hindraf brothers had been the ones using the media to shout down and threaten Lim … as if they were avenging immortals wakakaka.

And the irony about 'negotiating through the media' is that in the runup to the March 2008 general election, PKR set a notorious track record of pre-empting talks with the DAP by releasing their views on PKR-DAP seat sharing allocations to the press rather than discussing those views or desired positions with the DAP in confidence. That party did the same underhanded and undermining tactics in 2004.

It's obvious that Penang PKR wants to sabotage Lim GE, because earlier we saw PKR state youth chief Yusmadi Yusoff leaping in to join the pack of braying anti-Lim attackers over the Kg Buah Pala saga.

With allies like that, who needs enemies?

Ho hum, yawnnn so what's new, Zahrain has done it again (Lim GE is communist-minded? wakakaka) because he has been pissed off that Lim GE and the Penang exco had decided on professional administrators to head local councils, which left his PKR buddies without any spoils of the March 2008 win.

Lim GE can’t help nor share their ex UMNO mentality that the winning party should share the spoils of war.

Now, my question was what do (Malay) ex servicemen and Penang PKR leaders have in common?

None whatsoever!

While ex-servicemen who have defended the nation and (quite understandably) expect some rewards on retirement, such as taxi permits and business opportunities, and Penang PKR leaders also expect such entitlements (even without serving the State yet in any damn thing), at least the ex servicemen had defended the nation.

Zahrain, pordah!

(1) Biadap-ish arrogance of PKR towards Lim Guan Eng

(2) PKR thinks it's the UMNO of Pakatan Rakyat - hey, I was earlier than Zaid Ibrahim in stating this – wakakaka!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Year of the Tiger

I’m fed up with the politics and fallout from the issue surrounding the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the Catholic Herald and the Anwar Ibrahim cringe in his reluctance, again, to decisively take action against an indiscipline and unrepentant Kulim Wonder, so tonight, for a break I’ll blog on a non-political matter.

On 14 February this year we usher in the year of the Tiger, one of the 12 animal symbols in the Chinese calendar. It’s a symbol which has never been popular with Chinese astrologists or feng shui masters. The Tiger year is likely to be volatile and fearsome. Not unexpectedly it is associated with wars, disasters and disputes. It is also said to be a year for massive change but which may bring out the best.

Apart from the 12 animal symbols in the Chinese calendar, there are also 5 elements to consider, namely, fire, earth, wood, water and metal.

This coming year (14 Feb 2010 to 2 Feb 2011) will be the turn of the Metal Tiger. People born in this year will be aggressive, attractive, diligent, but mainly motivated by self interest and thus selfish. I am reminded of a couple of sweeties ;-)

However, the worst of the Tigers is the Fire Tiger, which fortunately we only experience once every 60 years.

You’re safe for a while because the last two occurrences were in 1926 (13 Feb 1926 to 1 Feb 1927) and 1986 (9 Feb 1986 to 28 Jan 1987). It will come next in 2046, by which time I will be either too old to be bothered or safe in the happy hunting ground chasing after phoenixes and unicorns, and perhaps a few sweeties as well wakakaka.

While Tiger years in general are feared for their potential for violence or nastiness, the Fire Tiger year takes the cake for this notoriety.

In 1926 (Fire Tiger), a couple of hurricanes caused havoc in Miami and Cuba, and Mount Vesuvius erupted. The unfortunate item in 1926 was the beginning of the Japanese Showa era, where Emperor Hirohito reigned to give us WWII as well as the genocidal Rape of Nanking.

60 years later, in 1986, humongous hail stones, each around 1 kg, fell on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92 unfortunate people who weren’t exactly expecting ice. That same month (April) the Chernobyl disaster occurred. In Cameroon, a crater lake called Nyos suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2 gas, suffocating 1700 people and 3500 heads of livestock. An earthquake in El Salvador killed 1,500 people.

I suppose we could say for Germany that year was also a monumental disaster when it was beaten by Argentina 3-2 in the FIFA World Cup in Mexico City.

However, it doesn’t explain why it was during the Wood (not Fire) Tiger year of 1914 when WWI happened.

Then in 1938 in the nasty prelude to WWII, when Japan was raping China and invading (or attempting to anyway) the USSR, it was an Earth Tiger year.

The Russian defeating the Japanese at the Battle of Lake Khasan and again in Mongolia was to have devastating fallout. With the Japanese Army in disgrace, Japan’s military dictatorship opted for the Navy’s plan of striking south against the Europeans’ colonies in SE Asia (instead of north to occupy Siberia and its natural resources), and consequentially at the Americans at Pearl Harbour.

Chinese Malaysians and no doubt overseas Chinese will be avoiding weddings in this coming feline year. Superstitious Chinese would also avoid marrying their sons to women born in the year of the Tiger.

Mind you, I had a (Hongkie) ex who is a Tiger sweetie, and she was sweet and rather fun to be around with, but too full of yang energy (bossy and domineering). Hardly surprising that the sweetie went on to become a millionaire in her own rights.

Though Tigers are believed to be highly compatible with Dogs, alas she married a Hongkie millionaire :( Each coming Chinese New Year I would receive an expensive looking greeting card from her, with an invitation to visit and stay with her (and hubby of course). Probably she wants to show me she has done bloody well without me wakakaka!

But jokes aside, if you want something very sad, please read my new post
Dreaming of Tiger Lily over at my other blog, KTemoc Kongsamkok. It’s a true story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anwar man man lai with Kulim Wonder

Man man lai in Mandarin literally means ‘slowly slowly come’.

More correctly, it says ‘take it easy, don’t rush’ or even ‘we'll get there eventually’, etc.

It’s one of Anwar Ibrahim’s fave phrases to his Chinese audience. He would tease them with an introduction to a supposedly scandalous story, usually about Najib, the man he sees as blocking either his ascendancy to the PM position or his return to the chair of UMNO’s No 1, or both, ...

... and when his audience clamoured for more, for the entire story, Anwar would say ‘man man lai’ as an excuse for not completing the tale because he either didn’t have the goods or he dared not tread the libellous path.

We now come to the Kulim Wonder and his complete disrespect for the PKR gag order imposed on him which I posted yesterday in PKR heels-dragging over disciplining the Kulim Wonder. Bloke has virtually given Anwar and the PKR leadership the 'bird'.

Anwar’s glaring reluctance to take immediate disciplinary action against the Wonder (man man lai?), and this would be the second time he has allowed the Wonder to get away with ill discipline, has so disgusted Zaid Ibrahim who predicted that, unless PKR leadership sacks the Kulim Wonder, PKR could become a ‘poor man’s version of Umno’ that was incapable of defending its principles and bringing reform – see The Malaysian Insider’s Zaid slams PKR over Zul’s case.

In fact many has compared the gutless way PKR has been and is heels-dragging over disciplining the Kulim Wonder with that of UMNO’s immediate suspension of Ahmad Ismail for making racist comments against the Chinese.

What a shameful disgrace for Anwar when AAB, the Sultan of Somnambulance, is now seen as decisive while he, the so-called Renaissance Man, appears gutless and indecisive.

Man man lai!

Zaid Ibrahim has accused a minority of the leadership in PKR (only two out of 23, according to Terence Netto in his MKINI article Minority view prevails in PKR over Zulkifli) of fearing to take action against Zulkifli because these two felt the Kulim Wonder is popular among the Malays for his Islamic issues.

Those 2 leaders, and you can make an intelligent guess as to who they are, are obviously doing what the Chinese would say 'each leg (or foot) on a separate boat', meaning they want the multiracial votes but also want the exclusively Malay-Muslim votes, and are waiting to see which is more likely (or greater) before committing themselves to the majority side.

Zaid is correct – PKR under Anwar and his inner core group just want to be the 'new' UMNO.

And because of this, Zaid predicted: “Many feel that PKR is not serious in taking action. In fact, there those who predict it won’t take strict action within the time given.”

Yup, man man lai. I’ve to confess I am one of those who believe Anwar will close one eye to the Kulim Wonder’s nonsense again.

Then Farish Noor wrote in The Malaysian Insider’s The Maharaja wears no clothes:

Such positive developments, however, are set back by the lame and insipid developments on the political front; most notably the turgid pace of reform in some of the political parties of the country, including those parties that claim to be founded on the basis of reform itself.

Most recently we have witnessed the pathetic spectacle of political parties totally unable or unwilling to undertake the task of reform in their own ranks, and failing to admonish errant members whose actions and speech seem to contradict what the parties stand for. […]

… consider this: If there was a Capitalist party that discovered one of its members to be a Communist, the Capitalists in the party would simply lay down an ultimatum to the member and tell him/her to make one of two choices: Either conform to the ideology of the Capitalist party or leave and join a Communist party. So would it be with a Communist party that harboured an errant Capitalist member. So would it be with any other party on the planet, for heaven’s sake.

Yet the failure of PKR to deal with issues of ideological consistency and conformity with/to party principles leaves the mind boggling …

All of this points to the now evident weakness of the man who has become the emblematic leader of the PKR himself, and who was the icon and idol for so many. Not least an entire generation of first-time voters who saw in him a new hope for the future.

The ‘New Politics’ that was bandied about in March 2008 was meant to be a departure from the old mode of patronage-clientelist personalised politics and the ‘buddy-buddy’ network of the past.

However as some senior PKR leaders themselves have come to admit, it appears that not everyone is equal in PKR and that some are more valued and protected than others.

The damage that this has and will cause to PKR cannot be gauged at the moment, but the lustre has begun to wear off.

Perhaps the first blow came when the much-lauded and over-hyped ‘takeover’ of the country scheduled for September 2008 never materialised; akin to standing in the heat waiting for the space shuttle to take off and only to be told that the darned machine won’t fly because the astro-toilet system cannot flush.

A series of similar letdowns and non-shows have disappointed us all, and with that so have the admiration and respect waned.

I am not the first and only one to say this, but others have noted too that the party now seems to be a case of all ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing’ — to quote the leader’s favourite playwright. The Maharaja has lost his charm. The mojo has gone. And the party stands naked, exposed for what it is.

Man man lai?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PKR heels-dragging over disciplining the Kulim Wonder

Terence Netto has gone for the jugular, ….. yes, that of the Kulim Wonder.

In Malaysiakini’s Emboldened Zulkifli derails PKR Netto voiced his suspicion that the Kulim Wonder may be "acting from a script where he is not the sole author".

Netto asked us to recall what the Wonder had told the (so-called, wakakaka) PKR disciplinary committee when he was facing it the first time (for thuggishly barging into the Bar Council forum). Apparently the Wonder informed the (so-called, wakakaka) PKR disciplinary committee that he was the son of a policeman and has an elder brother in the Special Branch.


Then Netto saw something that gave him (& me) goose bumps. He wrote:

Yesterday, Zulkifli was present at the national mosque to pay his respects to former minister Ghazali Shafie who died on Sunday. He was seen to be on amiable terms with a top-ranked police officer.

Now any attempt to impute guilt by association would be contemptible, more so when inferred from behavior at occasions when the requisite solemnities demand a general forgetting of political differences in the face of mortality.

But judging from his actions over the past year-and-a-half is it unreasonable to surmise that Zulkifli may be acting from a script where he is not the sole author?

F* whoaaaaaa again.

Netto lamented that PKR lacks the balls (my word, not Netto’s) to ever deal with the Wonder appropriately, because he was actually recommended to be sacked for the original behaviour of hooliganism, but PKR leadership kept silent.

But to be fair, I recall its deputy president Dr Syed Husin being very angry with the Wonder and asserted that he would be disciplined. Alas, the point remains tha the Wonder was never disciplined, with Azmin Ali declaring he was ‘satisfied’ with the Wonder’s explanation, whatever that f* means!

That’s right, he was allowed to get away scot free for his thuggish behavior, based on WTF he told Azmin Ali.

Netto wrote in utter disgust:

More urgent now is the case of the problematic Kulim Bandar Bharu MP Zulkifli. For the better part of a year and a half, Zulkifli has publicly lashed out at friends and foes alike.

We do not know what Zulkifli would have done in isolation if the PKR politburo had endorsed the decision of its disciplinary committee in 2008 that he be
sacked for intruding on a Bar Council meeting called to discuss the question of religious conversions.

The sacking recommendation was instead held in abeyance, with
no action taken so far.

There followed two events: one, Abdullah Yeop Sani, a former Malaysian ambassador to Spain, resigned his chairmanship of the PKR disciplinary committee; and two, Zulkifli went on to supply further proof that he is not restrained by the mores that govern the public deportment of elected representatives of PKR, or for that matter, Pakatan Rakyat.

I suppose we can safely assume that Abdullah Yeop Sani must have resigned his chairmanship of the PKR disciplinary committee in sheer disgust when the PKR leadership (Azmin Ali? With Anwar’s approval?) refused to sack the Wonder.

Today, when the latest case of his sheer inexcusable indiscipline demands swift action by PKR, what do we get?

The title of the Malaysian Insider news article is self explanatory -
Zul’s fate to be known within a month

Again the PKR leadership is beating around the bush and avoiding the issue, hoping everything would be forgotten by then, or at least the sense of seriousness ameliorated by time.

Even as PKR put a gag order on him, the Wonder went public to accuse his critics as
Little pharoahs calling for my head.

Obviously he doesn’t give a sh*t what PKR says.

You may wonder why, but remember Netto has said about him and the police: But judging from his actions over the past year-and-a-half is it unreasonable to surmise that Zulkifli may be acting from a script where he is not the sole author?

Monday, January 25, 2010

King Ghaz

In its news article No-nonsense Ghazali feared, respected The Malaysian Insider states:

Former Home Minister Tun Muhammad Ghazali Shafie who died at his home in Subang Jaya yesterday was known to be so strict in his work that it earned him the nickname, 'King Ghaz'.

Malaysiakini in its news article
Former home minister Ghazali Shafie dies also states:

He was called 'King Ghaz' as he was very stern in carrying out his tasks.

While it’s true that Tan Sri had been very impatient with reporters who didn't do their homework before interviewing him, or asked silly/stupid question, it’s nonsense to aver that he was called 'King Ghaz' because he suffered no fools.

If Tan Sri was alive he would have lambasted the reporters of both the above online news portal (or could it be the same person?) for not doing their research properly.

Ironically, the much disregarded Star Online, which has been in the doldrums for the last number of years because of its meekness in reporting, carried more accurate information about the late Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie.

How do I know this wakakaka because my uncle who actually knows Tan Sri told me.

In its
King Ghaz, 88, dies in his sleep the Star reporter Ng Cheng Yee wrote very correctly:

Ghazali, nicknamed ‘King Ghaz’ for his commanding personality, will be laid to rest at Masjid Negara after Zohor prayers today.

That’s right, he was called 'King Ghaz' because of his commanding personality and not because he was stern with reporters. In fact, it was an affectionate nickname, and according to my Unc, Tan Sri just loved being called 'King Ghaz'. He would beam benevolently from ear to ear when he heard that.

'King Ghaz' was a play on the name of 'King Guz' of the kingdom of Moo, a character in the comic strip of 'Alley Oop' which was very popular years ago.

In another Star Online news article
The long and illustrious road of a no-nonsense minister reporter Paul Gabriel wrote, again very correctly:

He was an expert in international affairs, known for his flamboyance and dashing style. “Ghazali had style, verve, intellect and confidence verging on arrogance,” wrote one observer way back when Ghazali was at the peak of his life.

My Unc said that would be the correct descriptions of Tan Sri – flamboyance, dashing style, verve, intellect, confidence – but he said the observer was too kind with the phrase “… confidence verging on arrogance …” because the Tan Sri was actually very arrogant. but it was an arrogance that wasn’t in a sombong (haughty) sort of way. He was arrogant only because he knew he was damn bloody good, and he was right too ;-)

As for fashion style, Tan Sri and his wife, even when he was still in the Civil Service, set the trend with their dressing. Unc said one could be forgiven if one had mistaken the pair for models wearing the latest fashion right out of a Parisian modelling show.

This was the man that the late Tun Razak had plucked from the civil service to groom for higher political office. Tan Sri was selected by no less than the 2nd PM to be his successor.

But fate and his two faults prevented that from happening.

The fate was the sudden and early demise of Tun Razak.

His first fault was that he was too much an intellectual and too westernised for the conservatives in UMNO, which didn’t surprise political observers when, after the death of Tun Razak, he was bypassed by the new kids on the block, Dr Mahathir, Ku Li and Musa Hitam, who were more acceptable to UMNO conservatives.

His vision, ideas and style were too futuristic for the Malays to accept or tolerate.

His second fault came immediately after his plane crash. Probably because of his pride and no doubt arrogance, he overdid his survival story a wee too excessively (I won’t say anything more because my Unc doesn't want me to) but in doing so he alienated a large number of people, including many supporters.

But there’s no doubt he was truly a giant in foreign affairs with a powerful grasp of both the essence and subtle nuances of international relations. A truly Towering Melayu.

If Tun Razak didn’t die so early, and subsequently handed the reins over to 'King Ghaz', I wonder what sort of Malaysia we would have?

Memang gaya betul lah - stylish for sure ;-)

May Tan Sri rest in peace. Al Fatihah!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Former RMAF pilot, newscaster passed away

The Star Online reported sad news in its Ex-newscaster dies of cancer.

Robert Lam passed away early this morning at the University Malaya Medical Centre, after suffering from skin cancer for some time.

My uncle knows Robert Lam as a casual acquaintance, but has only very good words for the late Robert. He said Robert was an absolute gentleman, very soft spoken and in excellent English too. Unc told me the following:

Many didn’t realize that Robert was a RMAF pilot in the air force's early days. He flew an aeroplane called the Single Pioneer which apparently could land, as my uncle probably exaggerated, on a postage stamp. It was a short takeoff and landing aeroplane used by the RMAF during the Emergency period to fly into very short jungle airstrips, to supply jungle forts or transport personnel in and out of those forts.

It was just as well that Robert left the RMAF early, as the Single Pioneer eventually proved to be a flying coffin for the RMAF in the same manner that the jet fighter, the F-104 Starfigher, proved to be so for the Luftwaffe.

The Single Pioneer’s wing spar was breaking up in flight but unfortunately both the RMAF and RAF (which also used the same plane) weren't aware of the structural defect.

A number of RMAF pilots died when that happened. After flying out, those pilots didn’t return, ever.

Initially the crashes were unexplained, with planes disappearing while flying over deep almost impenetrable jungle. The air force could only classify the missing flights, which obviously had crashed somewhere along or nearby their routes, as accidents due to unknown causes. The term the air force couldn't used was 'missing due to mysterious circumstances'.

It was much later when a crash in a more accessible location showed that part of the aeroplane's wing was some distance behind the wreck that the RMAF realized the cause of the accident.

It's possible that Robert survived into his 60’s because he left the Single Pioneer squadron and the RMAF for good. But it’s sad that we have lost him now, though his suffering has finally ceased.

Vale Robert, requiescat in pace.

Anwar Ibrahim must expel the Kulim Wonder

Malaysiakini news article Zulkifli goes ballistics against Khalid, lodges police report informs us that the Kulim Wonder is pissed off with Khalid Samad for the latter’s support of the Catholic Herald in using the word 'Allah' in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

He accused Khalid for insulting both HRH Sultan Selangor and the National Fatwa Council.

The Kulim Wonder of course conveniently forgot that in a democracy and as a Pakatan-PKR member he himself insulted democratic principles and freedom of expression by barging, like a hooligan, into the Bar Council forum on inter-faith talks.

While he might have disagreed with Khalid Samad, as a member of the Pakatan he could and should have addressed his dissatisfaction within the Pakatan leadership circle. Instead the Kulim Wonder had to grandstand by making a police report against his Pakatan colleague.

He wants Khalid to be investigated under four laws, the 1988 Non-Islamic Religions Enactment, the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995, the Sedition Act and Section 298A of the Penal Code, and for the authority to take action against his bête noire. Additionaly he wants PAS to expel Khalid.

OK Kulim Wonder, we note (after your earlier thuggish barging in on a public forum) that you have once again in selfish grandstanding manner, totally against the discipline expected of a Pakatan member, demonstrated your Islamic credentials for all and sundry to see, by badmouthing a Pakatan colleague. Bravo!

But it goes to show that the Kulim Wonder has very little, if not zero, tolerance for any views that don't agree with his. I hate to be under the administration of such an ayatollah-ish person. WTF is he doing in Pakatan then when he could have joined up with the likes of the Perak Mufti to form another political party?

I know Anwar Ibrahim has a lot of things on his mind right now, apart from his notoriety for being reluctant to take disciplinary action against indiscipline mavericks in his PKR. But really, the Kulim Wonder has been given far too much space to wreck the reputation of, not just PKR, but Pakatan - not once but repetitively.

It’s high time to sort out the loose cannon once and for all. And since the Kulim Wonder isn’t one to be reined in, certainly not with his proclivity for big-headed grandstanding as he has demonstrated time and time again, there is only one course left for PKR.

Expel him!

Anwar Ibrahim, let’s see some backbone from you and quality control for your party. Besides, the Kulim Wonder won't be the Kulim Wonder anymore in the next election. We're going to make sure if he dares to stand in Kulim, that he loses.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pakatan Rakyat's future - what if Anwar is jailed?

Much as I don't like him, kaytee has never deny* denied that Anwar Ibrahim is the glue holding the Pakatan Rakyat (very loose) coalition together.
* I need an editor lah

Mind you, being a 'loose coalition' is not necessarily a bad thing as it means there is no Tai-Koh factor which, alas, we see in the BN.

No one, not even Anwar Ibrahim, dares boss any component party around - any wannabe dictator acts tough and an unhappy but independent component party will go its individual way, and the coalition becomes no more ...

… which has been what UMNO and its sidekick parties have been trying to bring about for the Pakatan Rakyat.

But the BN hasn’t succeeded because each of the Pakatan component party knows 'the family that prays together (for victory in 2013) stays together'.

DAP needs PAS to win the Malay votes, PAS needs DAP to win the Chinese support, and even Pak Haji Hadi Awang has finally realized this.

And of course PKR needs both PAS and DAP to attain majority rule, and enable Anwar to become PM.

But Sodomy II looms near, and Anwar ending up again behind bars has been upgraded from a possibility to a probability.

So what will happen to Pakatan ... if its 'glue' is enjoying the government free 'rest house' inclusive of nasi kari lunch and dinner?

Assuming the evil Empire gets its way, and Anwar is jailed, I believe his replacement as Pakatan’s leader has to be someone acceptable to both PAS and DAP, and I can think of only Zaid Ibrahim of PKR.

malaysiakini photo

Read Zaid’s penetrating recommendation to support Lim Guan Eng’s plan to capture ‘Middle Malaysia’ in Malaysiakini’s Zaid fleshes out Guan Eng's idea. There's intellectual merit in Zaid's proposal without any pompous man man lai words.

In concert with Lim’s campaign, Zaid proposes a core curriculum in our national education system so that we can build common values, drawn from the great civilisations, to promote understanding of citizenship with corresponding rights and obligations, respect for civil and rational debate, and understanding to reject supremacist or exclusivist thinking.

I believe he has it in him to be a national leader. Thus we may be looking at a probable future PM, assuming there will be no ‘dirty works’ to also neutralise him.

Ironically, while he is likely to be accepted by PAS and DAP as Anwar's replacement, as leader of Pakatan, he may face problems from within his own PKR party. There is an ambitious man from Gombak who may not want to have Zaid Ibrahim as the new Pakatan supremo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

5 years jail for RM70 theft

The Star Online reported in its news Jobless man gets 5yrs for stealing some beer that an unemployed man Zulhaidi Hamzah was sentenced by the Magistrates Court in JB to 5 years jail for stealing 11 cans of beer worth RM70 from a mini mart in Pasir Gudang.

The loot apparently was 4 cans of Guinness Stout and 7 cans of Tiger Beer.

That’s an over-the-top heavy handed judgement by the Yang Ariff. It’s monstrously out of proportion to the seriousness of the crime, more so when you consider heavier shit being committed by 'heavy metal' ar$eh#les in this country, none of whom has thus far been found guilty.

But I suppose Zulhaidi ought to be at least grateful for not being slapped with a whipping sentence by the Syariah Court for the haram items.

I am not f* impressed by the justice system.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aceh 'vice and virtue' police is more about their own vice

An article picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald about Aceh’s so-called ‘virtue police’.


Aceh 'vice and virtue' police accused of raping student

January 16, 2010

JAKARTA: Three members of a newly formed civilian patrol to enforce sharia, or Islamic law, in Aceh province of Indonesia have been accused of gang-raping a 20-year-old university student.

The attack allegedly occurred this month at a police station after the patrol members, known as the sharia police, took the woman into custody. Two men, aged 27 and 29, have been arrested and one is still being sought, authorities said.

Activists say the accusation deals a blow to the credibility of the controversial sharia police patrols.

''They don't have the authority to detain people; their role is to give moral advice, that's it,'' said the director of Aceh's human rights coalition, Norma Manalu. ''They misused their power.''

Aceh recently created ''vice and virtue'' patrols to enforce religious codes across the only province in the nation to employ sharia for its criminal code. Sharia was introduced in 2002 after the province was granted autonomy as part of efforts to end a decades-long guerilla war. Supervisors say the sharia police consider themselves the community's public conscience.

In September, Aceh's parliament passed a law saying people who commit adultery can be sentenced to death by stoning.

The law, which must still be approved by the province's governor, has outraged human-rights groups, which say it will be used unfairly against women.

The suspects allegedly stopped a couple by a road. The victim's father said his daughter's friend was beaten by the suspects and the two were then taken to a nearby sharia police station.

The suspects later returned while off duty and raped the woman, investigators said.

''She was treated like an animal; they suffocated and raped her - it was inhumane,'' the victim's father said. ''She is in deep trauma.''

The head of the 1500- member sharia police force, Marzuki Abdullah, said the case was not linked to the patrols because any crime the officers committed was while they were off duty.

Activists say the case should bring a review of the patrols.

''Are they really needed to judge our morality?'' Ms Manalu asked.

''We don't have any guarantees that they have a higher moral standard than us.''


And it's bloody obvious they certainly don't.
No worries, Malaysians, we have our very own – see my earlier 2007 post What lies behind City Hall's brutalities? especially the yellow highlighted portions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

MACC intimidating Dr Pornthirp?

According to my uncle there was a time when people cringed in embarrassment, if not shame, when they were investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), then headed by a renowned judge. They knew they were in deep shit for their wrong doings.

Then they prayed that no one would know about it.

Today, when people are investigated by the MACC (the successor of the ACA) they are equally anxious though not cowering in embarrassment or shame, but instead fear. They also know they are in (a different kind of) deep shit though they haven’t done anything wrong.

Then they prayed that everyone would know about it, because they feel they would be miles safer in the public gaze.

Thanks to the press like Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider, we are all too well aware of the sad case of so-called MACC witness, Teoh Beng Hock, and his sad and untimely demise, but at least it was widely publicized, leading eventually to a second autopsy conducted by imported pathologists - such is the disdain, disregard and distrust for local government apparatus and officials.

Through the 'freer' press again we have also heard of the bizarre MACC actions against mainly DAP and in a few cases, PKR politicians, on dodgy 'allegations' of impropriety involving a couple of thousand ringgit – yes, sums not even exceeding RM3,000 (they have been scrapping the bottom of basically an empty barrell for hopeful dirt) - when in stark and shameful contrast, politicians on the other side of the political fence reside untouched in obscenely lavish ‘palaces’ which even the average public member knows are way beyond those politicians’ accountable means.

The MACC, through a regretful combination of its perceived political bias in its unwarranted actions against opposition members while at the same time closing one eye to the obvious unaccountable lifestyles of powerful people in the ruling party, is deemed by the general public as nothing more than a political apparatus, a weapon of the ruling party, not unlike the police and the civil service.

In those latter mentioned agencies, the glaring partial conduct of the Perak civil service and the local police in the Perak Dun case has been a shameful note of notoriety in Malaysian public service history. And may I ask (rhetorically of course): can we trust the judiciary?

But give an unworthy man enough rope and he’ll hang himself, as wise men advise us. So the former MACC chief resigned, or as suspected, was shoved out as his fumbling bumbling stumbling ways became an embarrassment to the government.

His successor emerged with some fanfare and a glimpse of hope for improved and impartial conduct.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa [hysterical fits of laughter at gross stupidity - our gross stupidity]

Yes, we were stupid to believe that the new MACC chief would do the right thing as PM Najib so grandiosely advised, that the public service officers should act impartially.

The following headlines explained our momentary belief in fair play to be plain naïve, nay, utterly idiotic.

(1) Malaysiakini’s MACC chief: Don't talk to media after lodging complaint

(2) Malaysiakini’s Now the MACC wants to muzzle the media

As for Teoh Beng Hock who died under mysterious circumstances while under the custody of the MACC (yes, the MACC said Teoh was only a ’witness’ yet the poor bloke was subjected to interrogation circumstances worse than that of a detainee) and in the premise of the MACC building, what of the coming verdict of the second autopsy conducted by two foreign pathologists?

The Malaysian Insider reported in
Lawyers worry police probe on Pornthip may affect Teoh inquest that (extracts):

Two MACC officers have lodged two police reports – one against Dr Pornthip, and the other against PKR organ Suara KeAdilan – for allegedly leaking contents from the report of the second autopsy carried out last Nov 22.

Suara KeAdilan had published a report in its last issue quoting “sources from the Health Ministry” as saying that Dr Pornthip had concluded that Teoh’s death was homicide.

Gobind, speaking at press conference at his office here, said Dr Pornthip had denied leaking contents of the post-mortem report, which are confidential and can only be revealed in the inquest.

He also said it was absurd for the MACC officers to lodge a report against the forensic expert based on the article that quoted anonymous sources.

“I would like to know, who are these sources? And why is the police report lodged against Dr Pornthip when it quoted sources?” said an angry Gobind.

Gobind, who is also DAP Puchong MP, then explained that the police report may affect the ongoing inquest as Dr Pornthip may feel intimidated by the police probe and not turn up for the inquest.

This will stall the proceeding and deter efforts to uncover the truth behind the mystery surrounding Teoh’s death said Gobind further.

“We have fought hard to find and bring Dr Pornthip here ... I wonder if the witness (Dr Pornthip) will now turn up to aid the inquest,” blasted Gobind.

Asked if the report was a deliberate effort to intimidate their witness, Gobind refused to answer directly but remarked that “it was up to the public to decide,” saying the “evidence is everywhere.”

Malik [Imtiaz] said the two MACC officers’ action in equating the Suara KeAdilan report with Dr Pornthip was inaccurate and wrong.

He also stressed that the Thai expert’s opinion had been acknowledged by Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, which led to his instruction that Teoh’s remains be exhumed for the second autopsy.

Well …..!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some biblical names of God

Adonai-Jehovah - The Lord our Sovereign

El-Elyon -- The Lord Most High

El-Olam - The Everlasting God

El-Shaddai - The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People

Jehovah-Elohim - The Eternal Creator

Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord our Provider

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord our Banner

Jehovah-Ropheka - The Lord our Healer

Jehovah-Shalom - The Lord our Peace

Jehovah-Tsidkenu - The Lord our Righteousness

Jehovah-Mekaddishkem - The Lord our Sanctifier

Jehovah-Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts

Jehovah-Shammah - The Lord is Present

Jehovah-Rohi - The Lord our Shepherd

Jehovah-Hoseenu - The Lord our Maker

Jehovah-Eloheenu - The Lord our God

Genesis 1:1

[Tanakh] "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth ..."

[English Bible - King James Version] "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth ... "

[Arabic transliteration] "Fee al-badi' khalaqa Allahu as-Samaawaat wa al-Ard ... "

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Allah, Elohim or Yahweh?

I do not intend to discuss the legal, etymological or historical use of the ‘Allah’ word in the Catholic news letter, the Herald, which has led to the current ‘fiery’ brouhaha.

High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan has already ruled on the unconstitutional banning by the Malaysian government on the Herald’s use of the god-name. There is now an appeal to be heard. Let us wait for it.

On the etymological aspect, a number of academicians including Muslims have traced its usage to pre Islamic era, and explained that both Arab Muslims and Christians refer to their respective gods as ‘Allah’. Who are we to challenge their erudite clarifications?

Historically, it has been agreed that Dutch Christian missionaries sometime in the 16th Century translated the bible into the Malay-Indonesian language by using the word 'Allah' for God. Why those Dutch missionaries did so has not been questioned but that they had used ‘Allah’ has been deemed by the Catholic Herald as a precedent which must continue to be accepted even today.

Not unexpectedly, the High Court’s decision has brought about lamentable outcomes, from protests against the judicial judgement to reckless accusations that Judge Lau was biased because she is a Christian, to criminal arson attacks against churches, and to the inevitable political conspiracies. I do not also propose to discuss the behaviour or utterances on both sides of the political fence on this issue.

Given the experts’ etymological and historical clarifications on the ‘Allah’ word, I am in no doubt the editor of the Catholic Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, is on strong legal grounds to use it ...

... but I have always believed that religion is about faith and morality and not legality or for that matter, political approval. Thus I find it unfortunate that the Catholic Herald had taken the issue to the courts. Surely on a matter of religious faith and knowledge, there are numerous other names of God it could have use beside ‘Allah’.

So why has Father Lawrence Andrew insisted on doing so?

Let me start off by quoting what he told AFP in April 2009 about the release of a new Malay language bible that does not use the word ‘Allah’. The news item was picked up by the
Free Republic, a conservative American online news portal.

The new Malay-language Bible had referred to God as ‘Elohim’ rather than ‘Allah’. This displeased Father Lawrence Andrew who stated:

"The Catholic bible that the church uses has the word 'Allah' for God whereas in comparison, this one does not."

"The new Malay bible weakens the argument for using the word Allah because some groups are trying to substitute God with a foreign name, whereas Allah is the Malay word for God and has been the accepted translation for centuries."

I find it rather incomprehensible that Father Andrew would assert ‘Elohim’ to be a foreign name for God while in the same breath dare to claim ‘Allah’ is not. I wonder whether he would consider 'Yeshua', 'Isa' or even 'Jesus' as ‘foreign’ names? And as he is from the Catholic Church, may I ask him what he considers 'Mary' or 'Mariam', the name of the Holy Virgin Mother, to be?

Then one just has to ask: (a) why consider the new Malay-language bible as ‘weakening’ the use of ‘Allah’ when it has actually reinforced the original reference to God’s name as ‘Elohim’, and (b) who does the ‘accepting’ of the translation and what are the criteria for that process?

Now consider, hasn’t the Catholic Mass which was originally conducted only in Latin, since been changed to the language of the locals? So why can’t the use of ‘Allah’ in the Bible, as translated by Dutch missionaries hundreds of years ago, be changed to ‘Elohim’?

It seems that Father Andrew is dead set on using ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God, regardless of the superior pedigree (in the Christian context) of God’s other names as revealed in the Bible.

And on the pedigree of God’s names, the first revelation of God’s personal identity is in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) Book of Genesis 1:1 which says: "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth."

So, why did Father Andrew consider it a ‘foreign’ name? Aren’t we talking about the God of the Christian faith?

The second name of the Divine One as revealed to Moses was 'YHWH' or 'Yahweh' (later modified to 'Jehovah') which means ‘I AM WHO I AM’ or 'I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE'.

'Yahweh' is mentioned 6823 times in the Old Testament, while 'Elohim' scores 2570 times. How many times is ‘Allah’?

In fact 'Elohim' is used 66 times in a row at the beginning of the Bible before any other Hebrew word for the English word 'God'.

There are various other names besides ‘Elohim’ and ‘Yahweh’ to describe God and Jesus, with the latter being found in the New Testament.

Really, what is the morality or motivation behind Father Andrew’s rejection of ‘Elohim’, the original name of the Judaist-Christian God, and his insistence on the use of ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God when locally it has always been recognized that ‘Allah’ refers to the God of the Islamic faith.

Ultimately let us also not forget that both Islam and Christianity are evangelistic missionary religions with an obligation on the faithful to convert the so-called ’pagans’, for altruistic reasons of course. But the late A Powell Davies, a minister of the All Souls Church in Washington, advised us that “True religion, like our founding principles, requires that the rights of the disbeliever be equally acknowledged with those of the believer.”

Has Father Lawrence acknowledged the rights and sensitivities of the Malaysian Muslims?

Friedrich Nietzsche reminded us: “Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.”

But I ask of Father Lawrence Andrew: “What is really your goal in obdurately pursuing the use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God in a Malay-language newsletter and Bible when so many other names of your Christian God, with even better biblical pedigree, remain available?”