Monday, August 30, 2010

UMNO 'self interest' rather than 'self respect'

Dato' Mohd Ariff Sabri bin Hj. Abdul Aziz, an UMNO blogger better known as Sakmongkol AK47 is in my opinion one of the more balanced political bloggers. However, don’t be mistaken that he is ‘neutral’ in his political views. He is a true UMNO bloke who blogs for UMNO’s interest, and there's nothing wrong with that. I have in general respected his views.

However, in his latest post titled ‘Leadership & Malay self respect’, I have to disagree with him in the general thrust of his message. He wrote:

… what Malays feel is no longer just about getting 30% share in listed companies or that Malays control 30% of certain industries. I think, Malays expect much more than just digits and numbers.

I think the fixation with the NEP is the idea behind the NEP. What could be the idea?

The NEP is a symbol of Malay power. it's a symbol of Malay self respect. The NEP represents the Malay amour propre (amoor proper) hence when Malays demand 30% of this and that, those are symbols of Malay self respect. Take that away from a Malay- he flies off the handle.

Today what they see is that this self respect is being denuded with wanton contempt.

Incidentally, amore propre means ‘self respect’ or ‘self esteem’, or what an individual believes he is worth.

The part which Sakmongkol says that frightens me, and of course on which I disagree has been his statement (note in particular the highlighted phrase):

Today what they see is that this self respect is being denuded with wanton contempt. They see their self respect being ridiculed. Malays can accept that as Malaysian citizens we are all equal, but we are first among equals. Whether Malaysians think this is unjustifiably so, is immaterial. The Malay public thinks so and expect the world of others to adjust to it. I am merely stating it as it is.

First among equals or primus inter pares!

In a cabinet, the PM is the primus inter pares. In a political alliance like the Barisan Nasional (BN), it’s acknowledged that UMNO is the primus inter pares.

There was a recent write-up by a journalist who obviously didn’t understand the term when he described PKR as the primus inter pares. This assertion is patently nonsense because PKR is the weakest of the three main component parties.

I am prepared to accept Anwar Ibrahim as the first among equals in the Pakatan leadership but that’s quite different from saying PKR is the primus inter pares in Pakatan.

Anyway, while there can be a primus inter pares in an alliance of parties (coalition like BN or Pakatan), committee (cabinet) or group (party leadership) there shouldn’t and mustn’t be such a creature in a group of races.

Preeminent personality or leader is recognizing the top leader in, say Najib Tun Razak among the BN leaders or his counterpart, Anwar Ibrahim in Pakatan. Preeminent race as what Sakmongkol alluded to in his statement “Malays can accept that as Malaysian citizens we are all equal, but we are first among equals is virtually equivalent to the Aryan concept of the Nazis or the white Afrikaans, both of whom admittedly took it to the extreme.

But that’s precisely my fear, that some UMNO Malays want to take it to the extreme. And it’s already manifested in its incessant and aggressive ‘ketuanan Melayu’ assertion. The Army and Police are already under UMNO's control so all it needs is just that frightening extra step, and we have a de facto Afrikaan-style State [we are not fully there yet].

Sakmongkol claims the Malays are disenchanted with the current ‘weak’ Malay leadership (meaning Najib) who is seen as allowing the nons too much leeway, as reflected in his statements like “...when the Malay leadership, especially by those in power coming out with stupid nebulous policies and its over-compromising actions ...” and worse “...they see Malay leadership goes around bowl in hand begging for the support of non Malays ...”

He concluded that “... all these combined to lead to a general distrust on the capability and resolve of the Malay leadership ...” and thus “This is why Perkasa has become the spokesman for the alienated and disenchanted. UMNO has forfeited its legitimacy as the custodian and guardian of the Malay soul.”

Basically, Sakmongkol sings the same song as Dr Mahathir, namely the weak Malay leadership in Najib, the joke of a 1Malaysia, the greedy and/or arrogant Chinamen, and UMNO leaders bloody well listen to Perkasa (or him), etc.

Regretfully Sakmongkol said nothing about the real truth behind the current divisive politics of hate that have been ramped up by someone using Perkasa as a front, namely the prevalent avarice (greed) that underlines the bigotry and racist chants of UMNO. Its mainstream media lying mouths and of course the tool of some UMNO big shot, Perkasa and Jabba the Hutt are mere supporting actors.

Malaysia is viewed as one luscious gravy train, thus whoever gets to be its chief engineer and conductors gets the first shot at putting their snouts in the rich trough.

That’s why there is money politics in UMNO. Please lah, don’t tell me people pay to get elected as division leaders so that they can have the privilege of serving their members? They want to be division leaders because that may lead to a ministerial position, a lucrative position, a contract (RM700 million for selling a couple of submarines) or some goodies.

That is why there are two main objectives for UMNO leaders, namely: (1) step over each other or stab each other (including Najib in necessary) to be in a position to jump first on the gravy train, and (2) win the election to be government at all cost (whatever it takes) to have control over the Malaysian gravy train.

And Jabba the Hutt wants to be one of UMNO leaders in time for the next election for precisely this. That’s also what some once UMNO–then PKR–and now UMNO again people want – maybe then one will get his RM2 company to run a Penang golf club.

The concept of NEP is all about that, and not because of what Sakmongkol wants us to believe, in the arty farty concept of amore proper or Malay self respect.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Muddled brain minister

In a previous post Najib Tun Razak - To be or not to be? I wrote:

… Rais Yatim frets over the heightened Machiavellian stench within UMNO and has moved swiftly to assert (and exert) his Malay-ness, as seen in his recent attacks against Chua Soi Lek for supposedly undermining the Constitution (Article 153) on the 30% equity for Malays.

Of course Rais knows that there is no such provision for 30% equity in the Constitution but who the f* cares – he was merely establishing his ‘credentials’ as an ethnic warrior in UMNO and the heartland in readiness for a possible bloodbath in the party. Hey ho UMNO, moi numero uno.

He continues to build on his Malay-ness credentials for his party as reported in Malaysiakini - Rais warns of stern action on racial slurs.

F* deafeningly silent on the various blatant statements of racism from Utusan, Perkasa, and the two notorious school principals, he now wants to take actions against Wee Meng Cheng, better known as Namewee, for producing a video about one of the principals for her seditious slurs against her school.

Rais disgusts me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

UMNO abusing raja, agama dan bangsa

A couple of days ago I posted UMNO made Chinese vernacular education popular. To continue my series of disproving popular socio-political myths, my new post talks about UMNO, yes, UMNO (and not others) abusing raja, agama dan bangsa.

It has also been published as a letter to Malaysiakini titled less pointedly as 'Agama, bangsa dan negara' - Umno-style.


A clarion call or a cry to rally the faithful to battle is made particularly so when a group is under siege. For years, UMNO used agama, bangsa dan negara (religion, race and nation) as the battle cry to marshal the Malays to its banner. It was UMNO’s polemical postulating that no other factor could be more important than the protection of the Malay’s religion, race and nation, which of course could only be assured by UMNO.

But in reality the rousing ethno-religious alarm was exploited more to hide, gloss over or excuse away the UMNO-led government’s lack of accountability, poor governance, indiscretion and plain corruption, proving Samuel Johnson’s warning in 1774 that false use of the term ‘patriotism’ would be the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Another word used in recent times by the same people with similar base intention has been ‘Malay institute’. The current Facebook support of school principal Siti Inshah Mansor, despite her outrageously vocal bigotry against her pupils, is a prime example of blind defence of a Malay institute.

In this notorious incident, we witness Muhyiddin Yassin’s absurd call for a committee to investigate a simple case of clear cut bigotry, so obvious it’s best left to the police to resolved (as was the issue of Penang mosque sermons). Additionally, the integrity of the committee has started off tainted when it included the Education Director who had already cleared Siti Inshah of any racist polemics. So don’t blame cynical us if we see it as a heel dragging tactic to avoid arriving at the truth that a seditious crime had been committed.

And it’s precisely this refusal to act promptly and decisively, or to allow the police to act on it without political interference, that has given rise to the partisan speculations now raging on Facebook, only further inflaming the racist speculations. Even UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin has mentioned the lack of prompt resolution as the cause of the Facebook war.

Other examples of rallying blindly to the defence of Malay institutions have been the automatic support given by some quarters to the questionable, worrying and indefensible conduct of the police force, MACC and some senior civil servants. The Chief Secretary to the cabinet was instrumental in defending the indefensible in a shameful case involving the last.

Then one day Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made a stunning statement that required an immediate amendment to UMNO’s battle cry. He declared himself a Malay first and a Malaysian only second, which effectively put paid to the relevance of the last component.

Perhaps to retain the nice ring of the tripodal mantra, the silent consent must have been to replace negara with raja. So we have seen lately, perhaps coincidentally perhaps not, a spate of UMNO accusations of lèse majesté against Pakatan-led state governments of Penang, Selangor, and once the Pakatan-ruled Perak. Even Pakatan in Johor was not even spared as the Barisan Nasional must be fearing Chua Jui Meng influencing the Chinese voters in the next election.

Raja, agama dan bangsa!

But if we carefully examine events and facts, the revelation would be that UMNO leaders, past and present, have collectively been the exclusive abuser of royalty, religion and race.

Let’s examine the first, raja. One may accuse Karpal Singh of committing lèse majesté against the Perak Sultan but the DAP chairperson did not show any disrespect to the royal person. All he did was to lodge a legal suit based on a constitutional disagreement with the Sultan's action, a legitimate pursuit ironically made possible by Dr Mahathir Mohamed when he was PM.

But what about this one - on 10 December 1992, Dr Affifuddin Omar, an UMNO man from Padang Terap, no doubt given the imprimatur by his party leaders, asked in Parliament:

"How can we continue to uphold rulers who are known to be robbers, adulterers, drunkards and kaki pukul (thugs)?" [...]

"They (the rulers) must be made to realize that they do not own this country. They are not Superman but placed on their thrones by the people. "The real power did not lie with them, but with us - the representatives of the people."

Which ‘non’ could have said that and got away? None! Only UMNO and UMNO alone could have gotten away with its abuse of the raja whom they claim to defend today. Francis Bacon once said:
The zeal which begins with hypocrisy must conclude in treachery; at first it deceives, at last it betrays, but obviously UMNO has done it the other way around.

Then we come to agama. Let’s not worry too much about corruption and un-Islamic practices over the last three decades. During the current and most holy month of Ramadan, we have already witnessed an astonishing series of lies emanating from some UMNO-linked Malay institutes. There was also a sinister attempt by a Muslim leader allied to UMNO to sell us the lie about a so-called ‘new’ constitution that will disadvantage the Malay community, a man already notorious for his lying ways. And not too long ago we read of wild boar heads being cast into a mosque to ferment religious conflict. They had to be wild boars because only non-Muslims could openly purchase a pig’s head.

And finally on bangsa we have Dr Mahathir, a man who served as PM for more than two decades with one singular aim, to build self esteem and confidence in the Malays to be competent and competitive. His noble obsession has been like the burden of Sinbad when he had the Old Man of the Sea sitting on his shoulders.

Yet in one fell swoop he inexplicably destroyed his life’s efforts, when he declared that the ‘merito-crats’, the ‘nons’, are racists. Did he realize that his in-your-face message to the ‘nons’ carried along with it another far more painful and devastating message?

He was essentially saying to the Malays that they weren’t up to meritocracy. Was he suggesting they are inferior and cannot compete against non-Malays on a level playing field? Perhaps he has implicitly suggested they ignore the examples of Malays like Razak, Dr Ismail, Hussein Onn, Ghazali Shafie and a host of other Malay giants. I wonder whether he excluded himself.

Yes, the man who would be the Moses of the Malays, leading them from the wilderness into a new Promised Land, he who wanted to remove the psychological ‘crutches’ from them has changed his mind, no doubt implying to them to hang on to those props.

I am reminded of Marcus Antonius words about Brutus:

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart.

Raja, agama dan bangsa? Yes, the raja had been resoundingly vilified, the tenets of agama totally and disrespectfully ignored, and the hearts of bangsa torn apart with the most unkindest cut of all - all by UMNO!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

UMNO made Chinese vernacular education popular

I like Helen Ang very much, indeed as much as I like her articles, though of course I don’t always agree with her. Helen has one invincible redeeming quality – she’s absolutely fair. Yes, sometimes she’s blinded, obsessed or just plain stubborn with an issue but she’s always fair, and very scrupulously fair.

Today she has an article in Malaysiakini titled Education and fragmented kin.

It’s about racism in schools – well, read that as racist principals. I wonder what factors could have produced such wonders?

It’s also about migration to a non racist environment which obviously is important for kids.

And her article talks about the racism that has extended into a call to abolish vernacular education, or to be more specific, Chinese vernacular education.

Perhaps many people aren’t aware that the strong support of the Chinese for Chinese education became so because of UMNO. Yup, Chinese educationists should say terima kasih (thanks) to UMNO leaders, especially the past Education Ministers.

Education and the post of Education Minister were then politically hot. In the old days (according to my uncles – hey, Suzheng, don’t be overwhelmed by jealousy that I have wonderful uncles wakakaka) Chinese education in Malaya-Malaysia faced extinction, well, at least in Penang.

First to go was a Hokkien language school (can’t remember what Unc told me, but I wonder whether it was Shang Teik, somewhere along either Macalister Road or Perak Road).

There was even a Buddhist school for girls called Phor Tay, which taught in some Chinese language (either Hokkien or Mandarin). One of my aunts was a student there. No, she didn’t graduate as a nun ;-)

But gradually Chinese parents, being the pragmatists they were/still are, sent their kids to English language schools (unlike blogger Shuzheng who hates banana type Chinese wakakaka). They believed their English-educated kids would stand a better chance in their career progression.

Soon enrolment numbers for Chinese schools started to shrink like the reserves in the kitty of our treasury. Only the prestigious Chung Ling and the Lim Lean Theng-supported Han Chiang withstood the siege from the preferred English medium schools.

Yes, there was a sister school to Chung Ling called Peng Hwa (pronounced in Hokkien). Apparently it started life as a Hokkien school but fortuitously transformed itself into a Mandarin one.

I once knew a sweetie from that school (my neighbor) who was very beautiful. One day she perm-ed her hair. As Penangites would say, ai sooi or she wanted to look pretty, when she’s already dead set gorgeous – some people would never be satisfied. Her perm led to her immediate suspension by Peng Hwa who told her to stay suspended until she either straightened out her tresses to look again like an Amoy from the Yangtze basin or shorn them off like some of the nun-teachers from Phor Tay.

Understandably for someone who ai sooi, she refused to go botak (bald) and thus remained suspended for a month as she strove to uncurl her hair. Being a neighbourly sort of bloke I offered to iron them for her and earned myself a glare and a sweet rebuke, like “Lu k’ee see lah, kaytee” (Go and die lah, kaytee) wakakaka.

Anyway, because of UMNO politics, the education system was treated like a football, and a never ending experiment. Unc said that in those days, for an UMNO bloke who aspired to be PM, he (sorry, no Rafidah-like personality yet) must take up the Education Ministry which provided him contacts with Malay teachers. Those teachers were the leaders of the Malay political grassroots. Controlling the teachers ensured power in UMNO (today of course it’s controlling the source of easy money).

Obviously, to show oneself as a true Malay nationalist, an important credential to be Education Minister, one has to ‘experiment’ with education one way or another to demonstrate one as a literary warrior in the likes of Abdullah Munshi, with the end result of a Malaysian education system totally f* up. The next Education Minister piled on the sh*t, and so it went.

Now, as I have often written, education has been and continues to be a central pillar of Chinese culture/society. So what do Chinese parents do when the national education system started to resemble a basket of fish left out too long under the Malaysian sun?

In the meantime, coincidentally, the Chinese educationists were fighting for their survival in the face of parental preference for English education for their kids. Whether they realized or not that at that time that the standard of English education was plummeting as a result of ministerial ‘experimentations’ they were at least smart enough to jack up their teaching standards.

To cut a story short, they (Chinese educationists and Chinese parents) ‘fell in love’ with each other. And as they say, the rest is history.

In other words it was UMNO which provided a vital lifeline to Chinese language schools, mind you, not directly but as a consequence of the monumental f* up in our national educational system. Ironical, wasn’t it?

But alas, the once-mighty English educational facilities in Penang which attracted thousands of overseas Chinese from Indonesia, Thailand and a few from other nearby countries suffered and gradually faded from the scene. Only Chinese education continued to attract Chinese Indonesians to Han Chiang.

Today the preference or love for Chinese education is not about racist proclivity for things Chinese. It is and always has been about educational standards.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Overcompensating publicly for personal trials & tribulations

Years ago my workplace buddy, born of mixed ethnic parentage (Dad a Malay and Mum a Chinese), was always under personal 'trial & tribulations' and indeed stress to prove he was more Malay than a Malay without his type of parentage.

He was one of the nicest blokes I have had the pleasure to know – in fact he was one of my three top mateys. So I felt quite free to tell him that his internalized ‘trial &tribulations’ appeared rather racist to someone who didn’t know him. He confessed he was suffering from a fear of not being accepted by the Malays because of his Mum.

I wonder whether that’s the same bugbear a certain DNA-Denier is suffering from, and who reckons he has to chase the Chinese out of Malaysia to enhance his acceptance in his adopted community wakakaka.

There are various forms of such bugbears. One variant that I suspect had happened recently to my hero Karpal Singh was his atypical (note: not typical) outburst in calling for the death sentence for the school bus driver who went mad and attempted to rape a lil’ sweetie on his bus, right in front of all the other kids.

Karpal is one who has been against capital punishment so his unusual demand of such a draconian penalty against a ‘mentally sick’ person was startling. But I am glad to say he has recovered from that aberration as he had recently cautioned Pak Haji Nik Aziz against introducing the penalty of stoning women to death for abandoning their babies.

As a wannabe-Freud I suspect Karpal could be embarrassed by the rapist being an Indian and wanted to lash out at the culprit of the heinous crime for bringing disrepute to an Indian community already under social siege for ownership of a majority of crimes.

Now I see perhaps this same internalized ‘trial & tribulation’ in Loh Seng Kok of the MCA.

Malaysiakini reported in its 'Strip the surau vandals of citizenship' that Loh stated: Those found guilty of vandalising the surau in Negri Sembilan should have their citizenship revoked ... The attack violates the basic tenets of the Rukunegara and the culprits, if ever apprehended, should be stripped of their citizenship.”

Maybe Loh thinks those teenagers caught vandalising a surau are Chinese, and he is overcompensating?

On the other hand, I could be wrong where Loh has been merely rubbing it in for UMNO because those kids are Malays?

Prior to 05 March 2008, Loh was the federal MP for Kelana Jaya and had annoyed the Malay pollies (both UMNO and PAS) for speaking out the truth in Parliament in 2006 against our BTN-rised ‘imbalanced’ history textbooks, new prayer recital guidelines and the problems faced by non-Muslims with regards to places of worship.

My 2006 posts on him are as follows:
(1) MCA MP warned by UMNO and PAS!
(2) 50 UMNO Youths Threatened MCA MP!
(3) For & Against MCA MP Loh Seng Kok.

Following the incident, MCA did not select him to stand in Kelana Jaya on 05 March 2008, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he avoided the humiliation of being trashed by PKR’s last minute candidate, his clan man Loh Gwo Burne wakakaka.

Loh Seng Kok has just gone overboard in calling for the citizenships of the young surau vandals to be stripped off, in the way that YouTube rapper Namawee was threatened.

As a MCA leader, he should realize that stripping someone of his or her citizenship is restricted to very serious crimes against the nation, like serving in a foreign army and waging war against one’s own country (which incidentally is different from an insurgent who fight against a political establishment but not the country).

But my dear Loh, stripping citizenship off someone most certainly doesn’t apply to perpetrators of petty crimes like vandalizing or rapping out a political song, or for that matter, even serious crimes such as murder.

Let’s have a more civilized political debate and balanced policy proposals instead of the usual grandstanding, overly dramatic and draconian calls of stoning people to death or stripping them off their citizenship or stinging them with trained tebuans (hornets).

Monday, August 23, 2010

'Tis the nature of the beast (2)

Malaysiakini - Karpal to PAS: Don't rock the boat.

Yesterday I posted 'Tis the nature of the beast where I pointed out a couple of innate characteristics of UMNO and MCA.

Today it’s PAS’ turn. Don’t worry, I’ll blast DAP as well, just to be fair to every party.

The recent tragedies of babies born out of wedlock being abandoned by their mothers and dying unattended, known notoriously as ‘baby dumping’, have caused immense shock and anger.

Pak Haji Nik Aziz has called for the death sentence for the irresponsible mums and then shocked us by demanding that illicit (unmarried) lovers be stoned to death.

Stoned to death?!

In Malaysiakini’s Karpal locks horns with Nik Aziz over baby dumping, Karpal Singh said that the Pak Haji was too harsh - Bhai you're telling me. F* I can't get over it, proposing such a medieval punishment such as stoned to death!

It's bad enough to have capital punishment without that Middle-Eastern atrocity, which is best left to the Israelis (remember “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her”?) and Arabs.

Instead Karpal proposed that this social problem be studied to understand its root cause.

Karpal said: “I am somewhat disturbed by the statement of Nik Aziz, who not only supports the use of capital punishment for those found guilty of dumping babies but has also asked for those committing illicit sex to be stoned to death."

"Nik Aziz should realise we do not live in primitive times. In the present time and age, the punishment of stoning to death, which is a cruel and unjust punishment, does not, and cannot have a place.”

But Karpal is a fine one himself – didn’t he demand the death penalty for child rapist, following another earlier shocking case where a school bus driver with numerous children on board the bus, stopped by the roadside to sexually assault one of his lil’ passengers.

I wonder whether Karpal had overreacted because the driver is an Indian? But I trust I never have to hear my hero make another irresponsible call for the death penalty. My esteem for him has been severely shaken.

But okay, Karpal must have subsequently returned to his senses in chiding Pak Haji for proposing brutal punishment for women who are actually victims, the ones who have the misfortune to bear alone by themselves the burden of unsafe sex.

We should be placing emphasis on education, guidance and counselling rather than stoning people to death. And if society has been more understanding, and parents or families of the unfortunate young women provide support in accepting and caring for the unwanted babies, we would have less of ‘baby dumping’.

Then shortly after that, as reported by Malaysiakini’s Valentine's Day blamed for baby dumping PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan blamed celebrations on Valentine's Day and New Year's Day as the root cause, where these celebrations encourage free sex that has led to ... yadda yadda yadda ... culminating in baby dumping.

Nasrudin claimed: "It's an indication that the 'mating season' occurred during the New Year's Day celebrations."

New Year Day and Valentine’s Day are celebrated all over the world, yet we don’t have our kind of baby dumping in those countries. Why?

'Coz their societies are far more humane, compassionate, caring, supportive and most important of all, less misogynistic.

Misogynistic? Please read my 2006 post Wives not satisfying husbands are abusive!

And incidentally Nasrudin, what about those numerous cases of incest which occurred more frequently in Kelantan and Terengganu than any other states? Have you yet backtracked them 9 months to either New Year Day or Valentine Day (or more likely, Budu Day wakakaka - see Has Aphrodisiac Budu Been Responsible?)

Stoning women to death, blaming western celebrations on baby dumping, blaming women for everything, wanting to punish women – really I dread to think of such leaders for our nations. But ‘tis the nature of the beast in PAS.

As if the above unspeakables were not enough, Pak Haji Nik Aziz then boldly claimed that only Karpal in DAP was against the implementation of hudud laws which would solve the world’s problems.

Two issues here – (a) by stating Karpal is the sole DAP leader against the implementation of hudud laws, he’s actually asserting that every other DAP leader has supported it, which of course is just hopeful nonsense, and (b) hudud laws exist also in, as one example, Pakistan for years yet they have atrocious tribal laws such as revenge rape, with the lower caste group usually being the victims. Read my two posts from 2005:

(1) The NW Frontier – Sharia vs Lust! (3)
(2) Musharraf: "Get Raped & Become a Millionaire"

Don’t give the excuse that those were cases involving tribal laws. They happened in Pakistan, a land where the hudud has been implemented for years, and where Islamic knowledge are far far superior to that in Malaysia. And I could go on to show the misogynistic bias of Saudi syariah judges too.

The point is hudud laws won’t mean diddly squat if the clerics, leaders and people are biased or lustful shitheads (or dickheads).

In asserting the DAP minus Karpal is for hudud, Pak Haji had been dreaming, or hopeful or has high expectations, the last in many ways encouraged by Penang’s Lim Guan Eng in over-praising the caliphate of Umar bin Abdul Aziz as a model for good government and Perak’s Nga Kor Ming for frequently quoting from the Quran.

Thus, is it any wonder that Penang Muslims have been praying for Lim Guan Eng to 'open up his heart' to embrace Islam soon - wakakaka!

I reckon Pak Haji in averring DAP’s almost-unanimous support for hudud, must have decided to give the issue an extra nudge, to get Karpal out of the way so the DAP ‘pro-Islamic progressives’ wakakaka can get on with their support of PAS’ ultimate dream, the implementation of syariah laws and hudud*.

* The latter codifies the bounds of acceptable behaviour and the punishments for serious crimes such as theft, fortification (gulp), yamseng-ing (gulp again) and apostasy.

Lim and Nga must watch out on the quantum of their support for Islamic governance and Quran quoting. It’s one thing to be respectful and indeed to show the respect, but it’s another to support the implementation of hudud.

They must be mindful of the nature of the beast, in PAS.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

'Tis the nature of the beast

Malaysiakini - MCA's Chua changes tune on bumi equity issue.

Hardly surprising to read of Chua Soi Lek backing down from his earlier call for the 30% bumi equity to be gradually removed - which actually had been a right call. But alas, as they say, it’s in the nature of the beast, where the MCA beast is that of a lap dog called to heel and swiftly obeying.

I have always believed in affirmative action to lend a hand to the weak and less fortunate, to take them along with us down the road towards a better life. But it should be based on a 'needs basis', to be determined by a number of criteria including asset testing.

It's terrible that one should only benefit from favoured treatment on the basis of skin colour rather that of needs.

The recent call by Tony Pua for the abolishing of the housing discount for Malays for purchases of residence above a price tag of RM500,000 was an excellent example of indirect ‘asset testing’. If a Malay can afford a house of above RM500,000 why the hell should he or she require a discount other than by the sick argument that he/she has the correct kulit-fication (skin colour).

The discount is meant to enable poorer Malays to be able to afford and acquire housing and a fair examination of Tony Pua’s call will show clearly his proposal didn’t extend right down to the less costly houses. In other words, Malays purchasing houses of not more than RM500,000 will continue to enjoy the legislated discount.

But trust UMNO to ignore this fact and attack Pua for wanting to do away with the policy of housing discount for Malays completely. Talking about the nature of the beast, the UMNO one has this modus operandi, that of telling deliberate lies designed to either frighten or anger the heartland against political competitors, who could actually represent the Malays more sincerely, effectively and respectivefully without treating them like convenient political tools to be used when needed and discarded when not - picture the FELDA settlers.

A fair and colour-blind affirmative action will still ensure the less fortunate Malay would deservedly receive assistance and support from the government to ensure they may better their lives. And the fewer but equally impoverished Indians and to a lesser extent, Chinese, will similarly enjoy the ‘needs basis’ government support.

The non asset-tested 30% equity is nothing more than an open cheque for the UMNO elite to plunder the nation’s wealth while the poor Malays in the heartland continue to be poor, and then be told lies that their poverty has been due to the avaricious rapacious Chinamen.

By his cowardly belakang pusing, Chua Soi Lek has shown the real character of MCA, namely its eternal subordination and cringe to UMNO, which has long being despised by the Chinese community - recall the paltry 9% Chinese support for Chua as a community leader.

Chua made even worse the adverse impression of his back down by his sycophantic crooning to the PM. MKINI reported: Chua said the party thanked the prime minister for the advice, which he said was in line with the BN's vast experience in dealing with issues of common interest.

Indeed the so-called ‘BN's vast experience in dealing with issues of common interest’ has always been consistent in: U Must Not Object to its policy, whims and fancies, in this case to the 30% bumi equity, even if it’s well known that some bumis will immediately sell off the equity (shares etc) the moment they have been handed that.

The elitist and self-interest rule of UMNO, abetted by its subordinate cronies like MCA and MIC, has been made more apparent by the example of the current Penang State government which has taken pains to be thrifty and more efficient so that some of the savings could be translated into financial subsistence for the more senior citizens (of all ethnic groups) to enjoy, and recently, also to the Muslim state civil servants as special Raya bonuses to ameliorate their Raya expenses in these hard times.

No doubt the last action must have driven UMNO mad with jealousy and worries about a DAP-Pakatan government becoming more and more acceptable to the Malay community that they have launched into an insidious campaign to demon-ize Lim Guan Eng in the eyes of the Malays, using lies about untoward mosque sermons involving Lim.

It shows that UMNO is so desperately bankrupt with policy ideas that once again it has resorted to religio-racist bigotry, using its sinister formulaic mantra of raja, agama dan bangsa against Lim. 'Tis the nature of the beast.

And sadly PM Najib, for all his 1Malaysia talk, has subscribed to the evil campaign by calling for an investigation into allegations fabrications that mosque sermons in Penang had replaced the Agong's name with that of Lim Guan Eng.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Najib Tun Razak - To be or not to be?

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

- Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

Najib Tun Razak is in turmoil, no doubt with Hamlet’s immortal soliloquy occupying his mind. Then he recalls another Shakespearean play, Henry IV (Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1) and its apt words:

Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

He has inherited a dysfunctional system, a corrupt party and political system of which it must be stated, he was part of since the early age of 21. Yes, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown' applies to him.

Not a stupid man he knows the future is gloomy for UMNO (and no doubt himself). Should he just bank on his so-called 'fixed deposit' of Sabah and Sarawak? But that would just be putting all his eggs in one basket.

UMNO by itself cannot win the next general election unless something happens.

' ... unless something happens ...'?

... unless the Chinese swing back to supporting BN as they had traditionally done?

He has tried hard to assure the Chinese they would be okay under his PM-ship but alas, he has been constantly undermined by his own party people, with Dr Mahathir being the No 1 rebel rousing spoon* - read my The Malaysian Old Man of the Sea (Perkasa is just a noisy tool).

* an implement best at stirring shit

The Chinese voters aren't his only problem. He watches his back far more often now, what with Muhyiddin Jasin suddenly becoming more optimistic that he may after all have a chance at the PM position if the younger Najib is ousted a la AAB. Somewhere in the background, Ali Rustam is hovering with sharpened teeth.

Najib knows that, despite the popular boast of Malay loyalty to the community’s leaders (and which Malay leader is better positioned than the president of UMNO?) there is no such quality in UMNO. He had witnessed how UMNO members treated the far more influential Dr Mahathir during AAB’s reign – read my Et Tu Baharom and
The UMNO Interdiction of Dr Mahathir!

And AAB fared the same on his way out – read my UMNO's Hang Tuahs!

Thus he knows there are a number of hungry (cannibalistic) sharks circling around him in UMNO, who are more than keen to discredit his 1Malaysia.

Even his matey, Rais Yatim frets over the heightened Machiavellian stench within UMNO and has moved swiftly to assert (and exert) his Malay-ness, as seen in his recent attacks against Chua Soi Lek for supposedly undermining the Constitution (Article 153) on the 30% equity for Malays.

Of course Rais knows that there is no such provision for 30% equity in the Constitution but who the f* cares – he was merely establishing his ‘credentials’ as an ethnic warrior in UMNO and the heartland in readiness for a possible bloodbath in the party. Hey ho UMNO, moi numero uno.

Najib must be thinking, as a proverb goes: God defend me from my friends; from my enemies I can defend myself.

And it’s all about being the chief engineer and conductors on the UMNO gravy train. Thus he cannot offend the heartland in his overtures to the non-Malay Malaysians (mainly Chinese as he believes the Indians have returned to the BN fold).

He is in the classic dilemmatic position that once the Homeric warrior Odysseus found himself in, between Scylla and Charybdis (between the devil and the deep blue sea or between a rock and a hardplace).

According to Greek myth, Odysseus opted to brave the dangers of Scylla as the peril which would inflict the least loss of his men. What about Najib?

So we're back to that important survival issue, namely, re-enlisting the once-traditional but now-lost Chinese votes. Najib realizes that his allies MCA and the more compliant Gerakan are politically finished. Chua Soi Lek is now behaving like a cornered rat who knows he has to fight or die. Personally I am not convinced he has taken the Damascene road.

As for the other Chinese, Koh TK is like a zombie-rised lap dog who has virtually given up the struggle, so it’s rather puzzling that no one in Gerakan has seen fit to remove him for his uselessness … unless of course those Gerakan people don’t want to disturb the odd cookie crumbs that fall their way wakakaka.

Najib arn chnua choe ah (now, what to do)?

... unless he takes up the suggestion of well-known pro-UMNO blogger Sakmongkol AK47 that UMNO dumped MCA and woo DAP – read my
Will UMNO jilt MCA and woo DAP?

Just like his dad did to the once powerful Gerakan Party.

I don't think DAP will play ball as Gerakan once was foolish enough to - look at the well-trained Gerakan now, nothing more than a submissive sycophantic subordinate slave to its UMNO master.

... unless the following frightening suspicion happens?

Being nasty suspicious Malaysians, we have heard talks of a possible Ops Lalang II where UMNO and MCA are currently suspected of tango-ing in their choreographed dance towards that.

And the purpose?

I suspect if Ops Lalang II is being contemplated (and who can say it isn’t) it’s to buy time for UMNO if not Najib. MCA has nothing to lose after all and could do with some time lifeline too.

Only the rakyat will lose.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I work for the rights for the dead

My letter to Malaysiakini titled I work for the rights for the dead was published yesterday. I am sharing it with you here as well as over at my other blog KTemoc Komposes.

You see only a very dead man
Just a clammy lifeless corpse
Perhaps decomposing badly
To return home to Mother Nature

But I see in him a devoted son,
A dear brother, loving husband
We’re definitely different, ‘coz
I work for the rights of the dead

You claim he had given all up
Absconding from his life duties
Now lying on a cold marble slab
Body broken up in your eyes

But his scars confides to me
He went not of his own volition
His sad face tells me a story, ‘coz
I work for the rights of the dead

You avoid touching his cold hands
And cringe at the sight of him
A gruesome inconvenience for you
Just another statistic to file away

However I sense a glow still in him
The love of a man, the joyful pride
Of a father to be, I know these ‘coz
I work for the rights of the dead

His opaque glassy eyes terrify you
You look over your shoulders
At midnight you cower in groups
Fearing the ghost from your guilt

I feel his body and he whispers
To me pleas to tell the whole truth
Of his life stolen away, I will ‘coz
I work for the rights of the dead

Dedicated to Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why Malaysia has gone to the dogs (1)

When Nik Ali, the Penang SDO made not only an outrageous biadap speech against Lim Guan Eng, a people’s representative elected by the rakyat, unlike him an employed civil servant who is nothing more than unrepresentative swill, but made that vile speech at an UMNO forum, he should have been chastised if not sacked for violating the Civil Service code of conduct by the Chief Secretary.

Instead Mohd Sidek defended him.

Given that this is Malaysia, it was not totally unexpected, but nonetheless the brazen disregard by Mohd Sidek of Nik Ali’s breach of the civil service code of conduct in his unprofessional politically partisan behaviour was still breathtaking.

The subtext was: Fuck you Chief Minister, what can you bloody do – siapa raja!

Tun Ghazali Shafie, one of the luminaries of the MCS would have turned in his grave in shame and despair at the current pathetic and unprofessional standard of his once-proud service.

No wonder that unprofessional biadap product of the BTN is still in the thick of sabotaging a lawfully elected state government – read MIKINI’s New BN move ruffles feathers in Komtar penned by my Penang larng Susan Loone.

Not only is the wicked man sabotaging the functioning of the state government, he has introduced a procedure where the state government has to get the approval of ‘coordinators’ when applying for housing and local government allocations.

It so happens that the ‘coordinators’ are all BN politicians, some of whom were defeated in the last general election.

So a little Napoleon has now introduced a procedure where the representatives elected by the rakyat have to go with begging bowl to those rejected by the rakyat. I suppose he’ll be promoted eventually for his subversion and perversion of the democratic process.

Penangites, just remember this in the next election. Please remember this has been allowed, perhaps even encouraged by Najib's government, and indeed remember also that both MCA and Gerakan have remained complicitly silent.

This shameful unsavoury outcome is not unique but has been a recurrent nightmare in the dealings of a Malaysian Civil Service allowed to run out of control.

The chief culprit is the Chief Secretary, with the IGP a close second.

We just read about a brash belligerent brutal MACC prosecutor Abdul Razak Musa yesterday who brought unbelievable shame and disgrace to our nation as he made a fool of himself in front of a foreigner.

When he was demonstrating his art of self strangulation to Gobind Deo it’s a pity that he didn’t continue the demonstration to its absolute completion. That would have definitely improved the gene pool nurtured by the insidious BTN. But I wait to hear of his undoubted promotion, perhaps even as the next Chief Justice or if he chooses to come out as a politician, a future AG.

We have also seen the appalling racism of Siti Inshah Mansor, a school’s principal in Kulai Johor, who was immediately defended and cleared by the Education director-general Alimuddin Mohd Dom. Alimuddin dismissed the seditious crime as a mere misunderstanding (then why did she apologise?) and even lied that the issue of racism was settled.

Well, I'll leave out Lim Kit Siang for this one but suffice to say that parents of the students vilified, MIC and even BN Youth have all disagreed. They want the head of Siti Inshah because posting her away to another school means cursing that school with the bile of this vile creature.

The great Chua Soi Lek only asked for her to be counselled - sweet of you, Chua.

Let’s not forget the government employed clergy, for example the Perak Mufti who nearly caused a religious-racial riot a few years back for his seditious lies, and then lacked the balls to accept responsibility for that very dangerous fiasco but instead blamed it on a woman (p’tui, malulah, mana anak jantan).

He amazes us (but then again, perhaps not) for being elevated from Datuk to Tan Sri after committing such a sin (both religious and legal) – is there a immoral lesson somewhere in his honorific promotion?

Isn’t the Mufti afraid of Allah swt for lying in the name of religion? Silly question, I suppose not.

These are the people manning our Civil Service – frightening isn’t it? And we wonder why the nation has gone to the dogs.

Kurang mampu, kurang profesyionel, kurang jujur, kurang bersopan santun. Tetapi penuh dengan tindakan dan tingkah laku malu. Wakakaka.

And when Chua Soi Lek criticised Lim Guan Eng for his problems with that SDO, I accept that a MCA chief would always try to find fault with a DAP leader and vice versa, because that’s part and parcel of politics.

But the sad and disappointing thing about Chua, during his criticism of Lim GE, was that he failed to mention one single word about the biadap-ness of a feral defiant and disgraceful public servant, Nik Ali, and his equally shameless boss, Mohd Sidek.

Therein in Chua’s cringe lies the answer to why today only 9% of Chinese see in him as a credible leader of the community. And where was Koh TK?

F* them, I'm gonna grab a beer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Malaysian Finest, Funniest or Fuckup-est?

You know, I’m just about to go to Bangkok, and I cringe to identify myself as a Malaysian because of one moron.

You want to know who he is? If you read Malaysiakini’s 'Have you ever jumped off a building?' you will initially be flabbergasted by the most inane and stupid questions you’d ever have the misfortune to hear a Malaysian prosecutor ask in court.

Then your emotions will change as you cringe in embarrassment (malu sajalah) after realizing that idiot had asked a foreigner such moronic questions.

The scene was at the judicial inquest where renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand was giving expertise evidence on the disputed cause of Teoh Beng Hock’s unexplained death after a night of interrogation by MACC ...

... mind you, Teoh was just a witness. I shudder to imagine how a suspect would have fared?

The Thing from the Swamp made a pathetic puerile attack on Dr Pornthip’s professional credential [warning: get ready to cringe in embarrassment]: "Did you know that the university that you graduated from is not recognised in Malaysia?"

Pornthip answered gently: "But it is in the top five in Asia."

Thank heavens Dr Pornthip didn’t ask: “Hey, any Malaysian university up there or close by?”

That idiot doesn’t even know that Malaysian tertiary education has become a sorry joke for the last couple of decades, yet he had the brazen effrontery to say what he disgracefully said. But then, he is a moron.

MKINI reported that the Crypt Keeper “... next had the gallery groaning in disbelief when he suggested that Teoh had strangled himself and was depressive.”

When challenged by Gobind Deo, the fool actually attempted to demonstrate the art of self strangulation - wow, what a Towering Malaysian. So dont worry Tun, all's well with your concerns.

Read the following MKINI report to wonder where he crawled out from with his law degree, when he accused Dr Pornthip that: ... her report was "based on her imagination". In an effort to make his point, he asked if Pornthip has any experience jumping off a building.

Zillion of eyes must have at this moment rolled towards heaven, imploring the respective gods for salvation, from the fool.

And at this advance stage of gross imbecilic questioning by the prosecutor, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar who represented Pornthip and the Selangor government made the required rescue. He stood up to say: “With questions like these, we would all want to jump off a building.”

Indeed, and well said Malik!

But this one takes the cake – an indictment on our educational system and public service recruitment standards. The Ghoulish Goliath of Gonnawanna averred to Dr Pornthip: "If (Teoh) was unconscious, his body would be heavier."

Holy Newton, Archimedes and the Deva of Gravity! Everyone in court cringed, crumbled and cried for Malaysia.

I hope that ethnic hero Jabba the Hutt, another one called Dr DNA-Denier, the Director of BTN and Gonnabe Partial the Magician (producer of magic letter) have read or are reading what had transpired at the judicial inquest.

If they haven’t, don’t wory – it’ll be all over the Thai media, on how Dr Pornthip had to endure a marathon moronic-thon in a Malaysian court.

Now, do you know why I'll be cringing to identify myself as a Malaysian in Bangkok.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Will UMNO jilt MCA and woo DAP?

A couple of weeks ago, noted UMNO blogger (one of the rare sane versions) Sakmongkol AK47 wrote that neither the MCA nor the Gerakan Party has any more credibility with Chinese Malaysians [I am paraphrasing Sakmongkol’s words to the best of my memory].

What Sakmongkol didn’t mention of course was that these two Chinese-based parties lost their credibility with the community they claimed to represent for two main (and related) reasons, namely, their passivity and/or timidity in the face of UMNO aggressive accusations and ethnocentric abuses against the Chinese (pre and post 2008 general election) and their preference to preserve their self interests ahead of those of the Chinese community by remaining silent.

One has now crawled out to support Najib assert how magnificently he and the Chinese have benefitted from the NEP – hullooooo, were you speaking for us, those you no doubt considered as the hoi polloi?

Well, why don’t you f* read the story of Loo Moy Shan which I blogged on in June 2005 in a post titled
The Lotus Will Not Bloom For One Man and then come tell us again that Chinese like Loo and his daughters have 'benefitted' from the NEP.

Sakmongkol advised UMNO to dump MCA and the Gerakan and engage with DAP as a far more productive venture for its (UMNO’s) political future.

Ironically, this was what Lee Kuan Yew was angling for when Singapore was part of Malaysia in the new Federation’s early days. Lee wanted the PAP to replace MCA as the Chinese component of Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Perikatan (Alliance Party), but Tunku would have none of that. Tunku was of old world charm where courtesy and loyalty to friends such as MCA leaders mattered very much to his personal values. Compare Tunku’s values to those of contemporary UMNO leaders like Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mind you, not that we (independently of Sakmongkol's views) weren’t aware of the pathetic situation the MCA and Gerakan are in, but nevertheless today proves the first part of Sakmongkol’s words in a poll survey that must have dismayed, demoralized and destroyed Chua Soi Lek and the MCA.

Glump gloomy Godzilla – The Malaysian Insider reported that according to a Merdeka Centre survey,
only 9% of Chinese Malaysians consider Chua Soi Lek as a capable leader (of the Chinese community).

And I’ll be merciful and compassionate to my Penang larng Koh Tsu Koon, president of Gerakan and world renowned ‘Headmaster for Report Cards’ for Najib. His leadership rating is best kept a national secret because relatively it would make Chua look so popular (Reminder: ‘relatively' of course wakakaka) that some may be mistaken into believing Chua is the Nelson Mandela of Malaysia [with apologies to the real one in South Africa] ;-).

The second part of Sakmongkol’s advice, for UMNO to engage with DAP, remains on the surface doubtful but as they say, everything in politics is possible. Necessity is the mum of all inventions, and the greatest necessity of all that’s now facing UMNO is no doubt its political survival, namely, to remain as the ruling party after the next election.

Watch out for signs that the federal (UMNO) government is showing chumminess to Lim Guan Eng’s state government, like Najib putting his arm around Guan Eng's shoulders or Rosmah serenading Lim Kit Siang with her fave Chinese song,
The moon represents my heart wakakaka.

But I can’t say what the DAP will do should that happen – ask Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, who knows everything including telling Malaysian citizens to bugger off from Malaysia wakakaka.

Another letter from Teoh?

Malaysiakini - Pornthip arrives amidst tight security.

Current rumours, for which we Malaysians are renowned since the days of May 13, have it that, coincidental with the arrival of Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand in KL this afternoon, a new letter has been discovered in the sling bag belonging to the late Teoh.

It was written 10 months ago in the Thai language and addressed to Dr Pornthip. Renowned Thai linguist kayteemoc (f*, isn’t that me?) revealed only a small portion of his erudite translation, but it was a very important portion.

Translated, that part states: Doktor, sawadee krap (greetings), mai pen rai (no worries), I committed suicide. Yes it’s true! Hulloooo, I am writing this letter, am I not? Don’t believe me? Alamak, ask Gunny Pariah Tale lah. Karp barn (go home ler).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheah par boe eng see boe - have you got f* all to do?

Case No 1 – Compulsory Patriotism Exercise

Ipoh mayor has achieved a first in the world, in ‘legislating’ compulsory patriotism. The Star Online reported that:

All businessmen in the city must fly the Jalur Gemilang on National Day Aug 31 and the state flag during the Sultan of Perak’s birthday on Apr 19 at their premises if their want their business licences renewed.

Ipoh Mayor Datuk Roshidi Hashim said those who failed to comply with the new regulation would also be compounded or blacklisted.

Roshidi said the regulation was part of the effort by the Ipoh City Council to inculcate patriotism among city folk, especially the business communities [...]

Chinese would say “Cheah par boe eng see boe” (have you got f* all to do?)

Case No 2 - Naming Exercise

Someone wants to rename Sibu.

“Cheah par boe eng see boe”

Case No 3 - Money Exercise

Kelantan government wants to introduce the use of the gold dinar and silver dirham. WTF for? Why introduce this distraction?

“Cheah par boe eng see boe”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yong Vui Kong - soon to die in Singapore

I have always been and still am against capital punishment for a variety of reasons which I won’t repeat here ad nauseam. Thus the article ‘A justice that heals by Josh Hong* in Malaysiakini struck a chord with me.

* Ultra über ulcerated Chinese, blogger Shuzheng would go ballistic on hearing me mention his ‘fave’ punching bag, Josh Hong again wakakaka

Josh's article is about the tragedy of Sabahan Yong Vui Kong, who has been sentenced to death by a Singapore Court for trafficking in 47 gm of heroin. He was only 18 when caught for the offence.

Currently there is a Malaysian campaign to secure 100,000 signatures to appeal to the Singapore President for clemency for Voon, to commute the death sentence to a life sentence.

Last month Malaysiakini reported:

He was only 18 years and 6 months old when arrested on June 13, 2007 at a hotel in Singapore for having the drug in his possession.

Raised in a broken home, Yong was forced into back-breaking manual labour when only 12, moving oil palm fruit on his grandfather's estate, as his mother could not support her six children on her meagre salary as a dishwasher.

Their poverty was also the reason why he did not complete his Year 6 education.

When he turned 15, Yong moved to Kota Kinabalu in search of better opportunities to help his mother, who suffers from chronic depression.

While there, he realised the potential for even greater opportunities by moving to Kuala Lumpur, which he did after saving up enough money

Arriving with just the shirt on his back, Yong worked at odd jobs - in the process, getting to know “friends” in secret societies.

The situation back home did not get better, especially after one of his sisters was involved in an accident. The trauma pushed his mother over the edge and she attempted suicide.

The last time he was with his family was during a short holiday to celebrate his mother's birthday in Sandakan between May and June 2007, before a “friend” in Kuala Lumpur made him an offer he could not refuse.

Given the promise of a big payout for simply delivering a “gift”, he took up the offer in the hope that he could finally help his ailing mother.

He was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The Singapore courts found him guilty and sentenced him to death on Jan 7, 2009.

I hate to say this to demoralize the good-hearted and compassionate campaigners, such as campaign coordinator Ngeow Chow Ying, co-sponsors the civil rights committee of the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and human rights NGO Suaram, that the Singaporean authorities will not be moved, especially in a case with Vong's background (read on to see what I meant by this).

Apart from arguing that its draconian laws, including the mandatory death penalty for the trafficking of even small amounts of illegal drugs, help keep crime and social disorder down, the Singapore government probably believes that clemency would be a sign of weakness, …

… unless of course when there have been (are) strategic implications for its national interests, as Josh succinctly pointed out in his earlier Malaysiakini article Must Yong Vui Kong die? (extracts follows):

If the PAP government is as colour-blind and judicious as it claims, how would one explain why Shanmugan Murugesu, a Singaporean citizen of Indian origin, was hanged for smuggling marijuana while
Julia Bohl, a German national, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, of which she served only three?

Under Singapore's strict drug laws, capital punishment is mandatory when one possesses more than 500g of marijuana. Bohl had 687g of the stuff with her when she was caught. But she was more than just an innocent consumer, for she actively sold drugs - supplied by a Malaysian syndicate - to her peers in order to sustain her glamorous lifestyle in Singapore. It is widely believed the authorities caved in and reduced the charges against Bohl under Germany's "economic muscle" (in Shadrake's* words).

Furthermore, Michael McCrae, a British national, was implicated in two gruesome murders in Singapore. Having escaped to Australia on a fake passport, he confessed to the crimes. Requests for extradition by Singapore were rejected because Canberra is opposed to death penalty.

McCrae was finally brought back to the island state to face trial after the Singapore government promised not to resort to the ultimate punishment. Thanks to Singapore's strong economic interests with Australia, he cheated the gallows and was sentenced to 24 years in jail.

* Alan Shadrake, a former British journalist, is the author of the book 'Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock' which is highly critical of the Sing’s judicial system. Shadrake was arrested in Singapore on 18 July 2010 on charges of 'criminal defamation', a day after the publication of his book.

Though not officially banned on the Island, it cannot be found in any of its bookshop because (according to the Asia Sentinel) the Singapore Media Development Authority admitted sending a letter to some bookshops warning them about the legal implications of selling it.

The Asia Sentinel previewed the book as follows (extracts):

Having re-examined a wide range of drug trafficking cases over the last two decades, Shadrake claims that the likelihood of offenders being sent to the gallows is dependent on their socio-economic background and, in the case of foreigners, Singapore's economic and political relationship with their government.

Compare the fates of Julia Bohl, a German student believed to be part of a high-society drug-dealing ring in Singapore, and Amara Tochi, a young Nigerian hoping to carve out a career in football who unwittingly became a drug mule. Bohl was arrested in 2002 in possession of 687 grams of cannabis, well over the 500 gram limit above which a sentence of death by hanging is mandatory. Her predicament generated a lot of press coverage in Germany, an important trading partner for Singapore, and her government came under pressure to try to save her from the gallows. Fortunately for Bohl, before her trial began, further laboratory testing revealed that the drugs in her possession only weighed 281 grams. She was eventually sentenced to five years in jail and released after three years because of good behavior.

Tochi was not so lucky. He was arrested at Changi Airport in possession of more than 700 grams of heroin but insisted that he thought he was carrying African herbs. Tochi did not attempt to flee when told by airport staff that the police were coming to talk to him and the trial judge accepted that there was no evidence that he knew he was carrying drugs. But he was executed nevertheless in 2007.

Shadrake argues that the judiciary and the police offer a sympathetic ear to members of the domestic elite or overseas citizens from key economic and political allies while showing a disturbing eagerness to expedite the execution of suspected drug mules from poor or marginalized backgrounds, sometimes in highly questionable circumstances.

The author quotes an anonymous former officer from Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau, who says that zealous undercover police often encourage traffickers to transport larger amounts of drugs so that they cross the mandatory execution threshold.

Undercover officers also played a key role in the demise of Vignes Mourthi, a young Indian Malaysian hanged in 2003 for trafficking 27.65 grams of heroin despite his insistence that he believed he was carrying incense stones. One key piece of evidence against him was an unsigned, undated statement from an undercover officer who claimed that Mourthi had admitted to him that he was carrying drugs.

Yet just two days after Mourthi's arrest, the same undercover officer was arrested on suspicion of rape and was subsequently convicted of corruption for attempting to bribe the alleged rape victim to withdraw her complaint against him. Although such behavior ought to have cast serious doubt on the quality of his testimony, the officer was not tried until a year after Mourthi's execution and no mention was ever made at Mourthi's trial of the severe question marks surrounding the officer's conduct.

Shadrake argues that Mourthi's execution is "arguably one of the most appalling miscarriages of justice in Singapore's history" and the publication of his book has provided new impetus to the Mourthi family's campaign to clear his name posthumously.

The case of an Australian, Nguyen Tuong Van, also caught at a very young age, being hung by the Singapore authorities had been an odd case to the above accusations of Singapore's double standards, but I reckon that's only because the Australian PM at that time, John Howard was not sympathetic enough to push a clemency appeal full-heartedly for Nguyen as did the German government for Julia Bohl, for reasons ... well ... only known to Howard himself.

By contrast, Howard showed more caring concerns for another Australian, Schapelle Corby who was caught carrying quite a lot of marijuana (more than 4 kg) into Bali. The Howard government even engaged a couple of QCs to help Corby in her defence. For more on Schapelle Corby see my previous post Schapelle Corby - Truly Bad Feng Shui.

Howard also watered down his appeal for Nguyen Tuong Van by stating (words to the effect) that regardless of the Singapore government’s decision on his appeal for Nguyen Tuong Van, it won’t affect the two nations’ relationship – which was virtually saying to the Singapore government to go right ahead with the execution. And indeed, the Sing government did so.

Read this to have an insight into John Howard’s feelings (or lack of) towards the execution of a young Australian. He disgusted many Australians when he showed he was more interested in a local game of cricket than the life of an Australian citizen being terminated at that moment in a distant land - see my Cricket at Dawn.

By contrast to Howard's pathetic lukewarm appeal for a young Australian on a date with the Singapore hangman, Australia's neighbour, Kiwi PM Helen Clark showed a by far more caring compassionate nature when she made a personal appeal to Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong to grant clemency for Nguyen.

I truly feel sad and depressed thinking of Yong Vui Kong's eventual death by execution for I don't think he'll escape the Singapore hangman. For man to kill another man in the name of society's law is no less an evil than murder.

When Nguyen, who lived in Richmond in Melbourne, was executed in 2005, I penned a number of poems about and for him (or at least his soul) - see the 'Related' links. I dedicate them to Voon in anticipation of his likely execution, despite the campaign of clemency for him.

The one which follows expresses my deep disappointment with Singapore's cruel law and cruel rejection of Nguyen's mum for a last hug for her son:

In a Perfect Country!

a perfect country
of immense wealth;
wants for nothing,
save compassion

a perfect country
spick and span;
no dirt! not even
messy feelings

a perfect country
financial centre,
shipping Mecca,
Darfur of mercy

a perfect country
of resolute leaders;
articulate, brainy
but missing a heart

a perfect country
of rules and laws;
OK to do this that
but mustn't hug

a perfect country
of rugged people;
fit, strong, healthy
but without a soul

(1) distant bells & distant chimes
(2) Home and Free
(3) The Door

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The horror of Musa Hassan continuing as IGP

In The Malaysian Insider we read that Lim Kit Siang has called for a referendum on the IGP's extension, following strong speculations that the Najib Administration will (I’m utterly gobsmack-ed f*) renew Musa Hassan’s contract, yet again.

For that to happen, as we fear it will, would be the absolute f* pits for many Malaysians! It’s the most demoralizing piece of news to hit us in recent times, just when we believe we would be rid of Musa Hassan once and for all.

This man is so tainted with the worst forms of allegations that it staggers me the government still wants him to remain as IGP - and alas, allegations they have to remain (at least for now) for the reason he as UMNO’s IGP would never be investigated other than by those parties who will and had cleared him – recall MACC clearing him, and the Police clearing MACC - cosy, no wonder Parliament under the leadership of and insistence from UMNO had reduced the sentence terms for incest – see my August 2009’s post
Lawmakers too easy on incest!

An official who is in a special position of high trust, like the nation’s IGP, must not only be ‘clean’ but be seen as snow-white ‘clean’. Regardless of the validity of those allegations against him, there is no good reason to retain this man who had demonstrated thuggish insubordination to the government, and thus against the will of the people.

In an earlier posting
Hishamuddin must now sack the IGP!, I noted that Malaysiakini reported the IGP defiantly and unbelievably declared: We can pull cops off the streets if that's what you want following public criticisms over the reckless unjustified police shooting which killed 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah.

I had then written that his unacceptable statement tells everything about the puerile ‘blackmailing’ mentality of the Malaysian police chief.

It’s utterly pathetic that an IGP would resort to childish petulant sulking nonsense. The tax-paying public doesn’t have to take this unacceptable rubbish from this public servant. He’s not entitled to do any of that. The police force is not his private property, to hold as ransom over the heads of the true employer, the Malaysian public.

For too long the Home Minister (one after another) has been negligent or cowardly for not taking firm steps against such rebellious threats from a police chief.

In 2006 the previous IGP, Mohd Bakri Omar, had threatened retaliation against AAB’s agreement to establish the IPCMC.

AAB did nothing against that IGP's threat for police to work-to-rule and resign en bloc if the IPCMC was established!

Sorry, my bad – in fact AAB did something - he obeyed that IGP by not establishing the IPCMC, when he should have sacked that blackmailing bastard.

See also my previous posts
GANG WAR? - but within Police Force and AAB - keep your eyes on Police.

Meanwhile in a Malaysiakini report, a frustrated and equally gobsmack-ed f* Lim Kit Siang has demanded a referendum on whether Malaysians want Musa Hassan to continue as IGP.

We shouldn’t dream of that, a federal referendum, happening at all, not when a decision has to be made soon as Musa Hassan’s term as IGP ends next month. Furthermore, why in the world would UMNO hold a referendum to work against their (speculated) intention to extend Musa Hassan's contract.

But there is a danger that the Najib Administration may take up Lim’s alternative proposal, for the referendum to be held only among the Police’s 2000 senior officers, because UMNO and its pro-UMNO police cabal will conjure up a favourable outcome for Musa Hassan.

And why wouldn’t this be possible when they had easily conjure up a so-called suicide note recently, 10 months after Teoh Beng Hock was buried, 'coincidentally' just when Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand is due to present her expert testimony to the Judicial Inquest on Teoh's death.

Additionally, when you have the worst performing IGP in Malaysian history with crime rates shooting through the roof (affecting UMNO members and their families as well), you would, nay, should be excused for wondering why his contract may be extended, again and again.

Could it be:

(a) There is no other talent among the senior police echelon?
(b) UMNO (the party, not the government) needs him and only him for their next 'battle'?
(c) or more likely, he has a death grip on someone's balls?

On 22 January 2008, one and a half months before the political tsunami that swept Malaysia, I posted
Why we are angry? where I concluded as to the cause of our bad UMNO-led government:

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

Vote wisely.

And we did on 08 March 2008.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis said: Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man [including the police] to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

If the UMNO-led government extends the contract of Musa Hassan again, it’s more than ample reason, yes, even for BN members, to vote against the BN in the coming general election, that is, if you want your families to be safe and protected by a police force (one we used to have) under clean and exceptional leadership.

(1) IGP - ‘Thou shalt not question me’
(2) Extending IGP's contract will be a crime!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

UMNO's race card in Penang - worthwhile?

As we’re all too well aware, UMNO and its henchmen (whether civil servants of unprofessional caliber or plain politicians or wannabe politicians) have been tearing into Penang CM Lim Guan Eng, accusing him of oppressing Malays in Penang. Even the DPM and Utusan Malaysia have taken part in UMNO’s racist labeling of CM Lim as being anti-Malay.

For example, the Komtar issue regarding Malay hawkers being prevented from setting up stalls at that location during Ramadan has been identified as a plain case of the wannabe ethnic hero, who had blamed Lim for penalising Malay hawkers, not paying up the stall fees to the Komtar management even though he had collected the fees from the hawkers.

Yes, poor CM Lim was blamed as being anti-Malay for the bloke not paying up the fees collected from the hawkers.

As they say, UMNO’s apparatchiks would never allow facts to stand in the way of a good racist labeling, to either frighten the heartland or to make them hate the Paktan people, in particular the DAP.

Given all these incidents of UMNO and its mouthpiece Utusan playing the race card, UKM’s Professor Agus Yusoff told The Malaysian Insider that UMNO should instead focus on winning the support of the non-Malays that it lost in Election 2008.

He said: Penang is a non-Malay-majority state. If UMNO wants to hold weekly demonstrations, for example, it will backfire.”

What he was pointing out was that UMNO has been thrashing the very people they should be wooing. He believed there’s no political profit for UMNO to continue singing out Lim as being anti-Malay, because most Malay voters are already committed supporters of either UMNO or the Pakatan Rakyat parties (PKR and PAS). Thus, why waste time singing and dancing to the converted.

He summarized: “The Malays have made up their mind who to vote for. They are very compartmentalized. There will be no significant swing to the other side. The real issue for BN is to win back the support of the non-Malays. They have to find ways to get their support, fanning racial sentiments would not help.”

Upsetting the non-Malays – shades of 2008? It seems that some don’t learn from history, and history may repeat itself.

Indeed, Prof Agus noted: “But looking at the current development it is still very hard for BN to get back their support.”

Thanks to UMNO’s racial gambit, MCA and an already dead-in-Penang waters (and land) Gerakan may yet be resoundingly walloped in the next election as they were in the last (which incidentally they have UMNO to thank for too).

However, unlike the politically astute Prof Agus, his colleague Prof Samsul Adabi Mamat, no doubt an UMNO man, supports UMNO's 'Malay unity' call, despite PAS rubbishing it as sheer chicanery.

Instead of providing good advice to UMNO as Prof Agus did, dear Prof Samsul insisted that the issue of ‘Malay unity’ must continue as the aim is not so much to win Malay votes but to alert PAS members. He believes there is a strong basis for this concern [ie. lack of Malay unity] as bumiputeras only form about 56% of the Penang population, where an UMNO-PAS division would affect the Malays.

Essentially he supports UMNO in continuing the racist card game.

Excuse me, but on Malay unity I seem to recall one Chinaman going to jail for fighting for the rights of an under-aged Malay sweetie who was (statutorily) raped by an UMNO man. I also recall the parents of that sweetie stating they’d always be grateful for the Chinaman’s willingness to stand up for their daughter. Did any UMNO bloke or woman stand up for the Malay sweetie?

I wonder who that Chinaman is?

Now, who do you think woudl be the professor who benefits the UMNO Emperor more, the man who offers the naked Emperor at least a cawat (unpleasing but correct analysis and useful recommendation) or the man who praises the Emperor's 'no cloths' as beautiful (to continue the useless political tactic of playing the racist card)?

Poor quality seeds invariably produce poor crops. So UMNO has to reap what it sows!

The Malaysian Old Man of the Sea

Below is my letter to Malaysiakini published couple of days ago – thought I would post it here as a record. I wanted to title it ‘The Malaysian Old Man of the Sea’ but MKINI put it instead as ‘Appreciate why Mahathir cried’ wakakaka!


I have always admired Sigmund Freud, not so much that he was the 'Father' of psychoanalysis (oh, don't we Malaysians just love to describe people as 'Father' of this and that) but he, as a Jew, daringly put pen to his belief that Moses, the greatest prophet in Judaism, was not a Hebrew but an Egyptian who introduced the Hebrews to the religion of monotheism and led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land, but alas, along the way was murdered by them in the wilderness.

In the introduction to his last book Moses and Monotheism he wrote: 'To deny a people the man whom it praises as the greatest of its sons is not a deed to be undertaken light-heartedly.'

I wonder whether I dare to paraphrase Freud in stating: 'To deny the Malays the man whom they praise as possibly the greatest of its sons is not a deed to be undertaken light-heartedly.'

I am of course referring to Dr Mahathir Mohamed, the man who has been constantly chipping away at Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia and undermining the PM's various avowed but now back flipped policies, like doing away with the NEP and its economic quota system.

Now you must be wondering whether, like Freud did in averring Moses was a member of a race the Hebrew most hated, I am about to reveal Mahathir is actually a Chinese [smile].

No, but I would just go as far as saying he is not unlike a certain very senior Chinese in a nearby land, who believe he alone can guide his nation to his vision of the Promised Land.

Both undeniably have been giants in Asian politics, where their political astuteness, dynamism and outstanding intellect, so admired and valued during their heyday, have now metamorphosed into lamentable and obstructive malaise.

The effect of his still considerable and very vocal influence for PM Najib is not unlike the Old Man of the Sea sitting on Sinbad's shoulders. Coincidentally Richard Burton, the translator of the Arabian Nights alluded to the possibility of the Old Man being an orang-utan, thus of Malaysian origin.

Except for our hero Sinbad, all the victims of the Old Man would eventually die from misery and debilitation – ask Abdullah Badawi [this calls for a round of maniacal laughter].

Ironically, his recent criticism of PM's 1Malaysia, sycophantically endorsed by Muhyiddin Yassin, may perhaps testify indirectly to Najib's sincerity in seeking a new Malaysian societal polity.

The Old Man … er … sorry, I mean Dr Mahathir had excoriated Najib for failing to explain his 1Malaysia slogan convincingly. He lambasted: 'They (the public) do not know which is which, which ones are for the Chinese and which ones are for the Malays. If I were to explain, how should I know? I was not the one who created the slogan.'

From his statement above 'which ones are for the Chinese and which ones are for the Malays' it's obvious Dr Mahathir's personal vision of 1Malaysia would be more like 0.65Malaysia (M) + 0.35Malaysia (NM).

This brings me to the psychoanalytical component of my wannabe-Freud theorising.

Why is the 'Father' of Bangsa Malaysia (told you we Malaysians love 'Father' of this and that), who wanted to create an inclusive national identity for all Malaysians so they may be able to identify themselves with the country, speak Bahasa and accept the Constitution, so concerned about the 0.65Malaysia?

To answer this, we need to return to the roots of his political thinking, to wit, his seminal work The Malay Dilemma in which he asserted his four convictions, namely, (a) the Malays are the indigenous people of Malaysia, (b) Malay is the national language and all races must learn it, (c) the tolerance and non-confrontational nature of the Malays has allowed them to be subjugated in their own land by the other races with the collusion of the British, and (d) a program of affirmative action is required to correct Chinese Malaysian hegemony in business.

The last two are the ones which may explain what have been driving Bapak Bangsa Malaysia into saying the things which undermine PM Najib's 1Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir cannot bear the thought that under Najib's administration, O horror of horrors, the Malays may no longer be the masters, the tuan of their ancestral land. His very despair of such an abhorrent possibility torments him greatly and ironically has become his personal Old Man of the Sea.

For him, 0.35Malaysia is acceptable provided 0.65Malaysia is flourishing and well ahead. During his 22-year term as PM he had ensured that, even tolerating those little Napoleons exceeding the boundaries of his policies, and corrupting the implementation of most.

For example, the indoctrination programs of the Biro Tata Negara was meant to uplift Malay confidence in themselves, for them to seek and strive for excellence, to excel, and to be vigorously and robustly competitive, but as Robert Burns put it: 'The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft agley', where the general's most brilliant and well-meaning strategy was, alas, let down by him not foreseeing the incompetence of his staff.

Worse, the indoctrination programs instead degenerated negatively into what they are now notoriously known to be.

If rent seeking can produce more Malay millionaires, all the more power to that. But alas, that has in itself become a new Malay dilemma.

Thus we should appreciate why he cried (and I believe he was sincere in that) when he was leaving his post as both PM and president of Umno.

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
– Robert Burns