Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running Dogs

Malaysiakini - MCA action 'barbaric' say Malaysians for Beng Hock and Teoh Beng Hock's sister arrested in Galas

MCA Senator Heng Saie Kie went to campaign in the Galas by-election. Teoh Lee Lan, the sister of Teoh Beng Hock and her hubby Sor Cher Hai also went there to seek MCA’s help in calling for a Royal Commission to investigate into Teoh Ben Hock’s unexplained death while in MACC custody. Lee Lan and party had to use the Galas opportunity because they could never get hold of MCA politicians under normal circumstances.

While attempting to present a petition to the senator, her minders rough-housed Sor, shoving him aside but with such force he fell down and hurt his knee.

As if Sor’s bleeding bruised knee caused by the MCA people wasn’t enough, Teoh Lee Lan has now been detained by our remarkable police for ‘campaigning’ in Galas. Our remarkable police had acted swiftly on such a complaint – guess from whom?

Our remarkable police is all the more remarkable because they claimed to have acted on the complaint that Lee Lan’s group was campaigning despite the well publicised announcement by Teoh Lee Lan and party much much earlier that she intended to seek MCA and other BN politicians at Gua Musang for help in calling for a Royal Commission into Teoh Beng Hock’s unexplained death. How could this be considered as campaigning for either the UMNO or PAS candidate?

And the stench of the police double standards reeks to high heaven when we consider that Sor hah earlier lodged a police report for the assault on him, but of course thus far merited no police action, whereas a report by ‘someone’ sees Lee Lan being detained within 24 hours of that report.

Senator Heng is of course one of those BN back-door senatorial unrepresentative & unelected swill, appointed deputy minister for whatever on the good grace of her Tuan. She doesn’t care whether the Chinese disapprove of her deliberate snub of Lee Lan, or her minders behaving like thugs, because she owes her position not to voters but her UMNO Tuan.

She now has the gall to issue a bullsh*t willingness to see Lee Lan in KL but not in Gua Musang. The claimed preference of a different location is nothing more than an excuse, because Lee Lan could never get hold of any MCA leaders in KL.

And Heng's rotten excuse is all the more pathetic and implausible when the opportunity was there in Gua Musang for her to shine and show her concerns for a member of the constituency her party claims to represent? It merely demonstrates MCA’s far greater concerns for UMNO's feelings than that of Chinese Malaysians.

She and her MCA colleagues most deservedly earn the most shameful label of chao kow (running dogs).

If MCA leaders think March 2008 had been a tsunami, we'll show then they are wrong, because comes GE 13, we'll teach MCA kau kau and eliminate the party for good like Gerakan - sorry to those MCA mates of mine but we'll have to punish you as collateral damage for Senator Heng's cruel cowardly and callous treatment of the family of Teoh Beng Hock, an unforgiveable act.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hated by Indra

Yesterday when I was in a barber shop waiting for my turn, I read bits of an old book lying on the magazine table. The barber gave it to me as he saw me so engrossed in its pages. It's a 1993 novel by Martin Booth titled ‘The Iron Tree’.

The story centred around an Irish Catholic priest in China of yonder days (1900). I came to the page which described the priest strolling along a road beside the river that flowed past Wuchow, the village he was stationed at. He saw Chinese coolies (labourers) hauling blocks of stones from a barge to the town. These were the lines I was drawn to:

The blocks were several feet square and each took two men with a substantial bamboo pole slung between their shoulders to lift it. These pairs of men struggled up the steep bank with the blocks, their breath coming in starved gasps by the time they reached the road, their horny bare feet kicking up dust as they staggered off into the town.

Pausing for some minutes, I watched the procession, wondering what life expectancy might be of these near-slaves. They could not be able to look forward to long lives and it was of no surprise to me the British had found it so easy to addict the Chinese to opium. Anyone with such an existence would want frequent release into a better world.

Opium has always been associated with the Chinese. But not many people, especially westerners, are aware that it was the British who forcefully brought large quantities of the drug (from its Indian colonies) into China, leading to two wars with China, appropriately called the Opium Wars, when the Chinese authorities attempted to bar the imports of the dangerous substance.

The Chinese lost both times and were heavily punished by the British with severe bank-breaking amounts of monetary compensation. Naturally British supplied opium continued flowing into China, and the rest is history.

The British Parliament, British merchants and the Royal Navy were collectively the world's original drug cartel.

But I return to Martin Booth’s most observant two sentences of “They could not be able to look forward to long lives and it was of no surprise to me the British had found it so easy to addict the Chinese to opium. Anyone with such an existence would want frequent release into a better world.”

Nearly five years ago I wrote The Toddy Syndrome where I stated:

Probably the most deprived and marginalised ethnic group in Malaysia, a land of bountiful plenty, is the Indian community. […]

The typically hardworking but unskilled Indian struggles at the lower scale of employment, earns enough to live from hand to mouth day to day, has no or little after-hours amenities, has many children as a result of their sole entertainment (not unlike Chinese farmers in remote rural areas), at the end of work dashes off to the local ‘pub’ for several tin mugs of watered toddy, gets himself pissed drunk to blank out his agonizing frustration, apprehension, worries, physical/mental pain, hopelessness and anger at his-fate-decided-by-the-gods, ... [...]

The evil toddy ... has become the straw to hang on for many socially-drowning Indians. Its devastating effect produces the syndrome, but the disease is hopelessness in an increasing competitive world that is rapidly leaving many Indian Malaysians behind.

Their children are born into immediate disadvantage. Their community is looked down upon. They are assigned ownership of Malaysian crimes which cannot be attributed to foreign migrant workers. They have become the debris, flotsam and garbage of Malaysian society.

Such is the unhappy lot of the chronic poor, impoverished people who would be exploited for the economic and sensual gratification of the ruling class and the rich.

These unfortunate people include Filipino or Indonesian maids in Malaysia and the Gulf countries, (once) poor Vietnamese in the old USSR and East Germany, underage Thai prostitutes, semi-naked Chinese women demeaned into cavorting with hundreds of snakes in glass cages in restaurants in southern China, illegal migrant prostitutes in Malaysia, and as for India, the world’s biggest democracy, one only needs to read Aravind Adiga’s Man Booker Prize winning book ‘The White Tiger’ to realize the evils of class-caste exploitations and persecutions in India.

We can bet 100% that when society has a class system, whether this was determined by religion as among Hindus and orthodox Jews (Cohanim, Leviim, and Israelites), or social strata as among the English and (earlier) Japanese, the culprit who developed and propagated the system would undoubtedly have come from an upper Brahmin class.

As French philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss said: “The only phenomenon with which writing has always been concomitant is the creation of cities and empires, that is the integration of large numbers of individuals into a political system, and their grading into castes or classes. It seems to have favored the exploitation of human beings rather than their enlightenment.”

But thousands of years of (religious or/and societal) indoctrination have convinced the lower class, despite their modern education, to accept their man-assigned positions. I recall an Indian friend, a Dalit, who lamented he couldn’t marry the woman he loved (and who loved him too) because she was from a higher caste.

I looked at him in shock and asked why in today’s world he and his sweetheart would even accept such social discrimination. All he did was to moan and groan and cry out in despair that it was impossible to break free from the shackles of the Hindu caste system. Of course with such an attitude, he didn’t marry her.

There is no greater evil than the caste-class system, especially one instituted by so-called religion:


He gained possession of the Sun and Horses, Indra obtained the Cow who feedeth many. Treasure of gold he won; he smote the Dasyus [dark skinned people], and gave protection to the Aryan color - Rig Veda III.34.9

Blowing away with supernatural might from earth and from the heavens the swarthy skin which Indra hates - Rig Veda IX.73.5

Related: Malaysia's Economic Pariahs?

Friday, October 29, 2010

TUDM - Tentera Unlawful Di Malaysia

The Malaysian Insider - RMAF says ex-airman’s lawyer helping him go AWOL.

A lawyer representing ex-airman N Tharmendran accused of stealing two F5-E jet engines has been served a letter by the air force advising him that he risks opening himself up to criminal charges for allegedly aiding a deserter.

N Surendran of Lawyers for Liberty was today served at his office with a letter from the Royal Malaysian Air Force RMAF claiming Tharmendran was still on active duty until May 28 next year … […] … the air force chief demanded that Surendran advise Tharmendran to hand himself in to armed forces personnel within seven days or face potential criminal proceedings under Section 135 and 136 of the Penal Code … […]

… the letter said: Your failure to do so will expose you to offences under Section 135 and or 136 of the Penal Code which we believe you are more knowledgeable about. The punishment for abetting or harbouring a deserter under either section is a two-year prison sentence or a fine or both.

Lawyers for Liberty said in a press statement that the letter amounted to serious and unprecedented interference with the duties of a lawyer defending a client in a criminal matter. Members of the Malaysian Bar do not take instructions from the armed forces as to what to advise their clients. This unlawful threat and demand against Surendran must be immediately withdrawn and the Minister of Defence must answer for the actions of the air force chief to the public and the Bar …

Lawyers for Liberty further claimed that the air force’s own documents showed that Tharmendran’s service ended on May 28 and that he has not been paid wages since June.

When contacted, Surendran told The Malaysian Insider that the letter was a naked threat aimed at preventing him for doing his best to help his client.

“No lawyer can be said to be abetting a person if he is merely rendering legal advice and representing him in court. Whatever the dispute is they cannot threaten me with criminal proceedings because I’m just doing my job.

Unfortunately the TUDM has a well recorded notoriety for gungho conduct. Some years ago, one of its previous Chiefs, a man by the name of Abdullah, instructed his men to vote for the BN. In doing so he violated a basic code of conduct by a military man (a Chief at that), by becoming involvced in politics!

The TUDM has had many controversies over the years where the most troubling were two incidents (separated by years) relating to its officers (one Indian and one Malay) being killed by fellow officers during hazing (ragging).

Son of Adorna

The Malaysian Insider - Court dismisses Thai man’s suit over Adorna ruling.

How can a gross injustice resulting in a bono fide owner losing her property, which was not only condoned but legitimised by a Malaysian (so-called) court of law, be ever allowed to be time barred from just redress.

Injustice lives on in Bolehland!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our education system has been and will be history!

Years ago when I was in Britain studying, I saw a quiz show on TV. It was a light weight quiz series as the sponsors of the show wanted the participants to walk away with some prize each.

The participants were in mixed family pairs, hubby & wife or father & daughter or mum & son, etc. There was a mum & son pair when I switched the TV on. The scene went like this (as far as I can recall):

Quiz Master (QM): Who is the president of our neighbouring country, France?

Mum & son: [looked at each other in embarrassment]

QM: Never mind, here’s another and better question about our neighbour. What is the capital of France?

Mum & son: [again looked at each other in embarrassment]

QM: Oh, who in the world would be interested in France anyway. Here’s the real question, what was the score in the Arsenal versus Chelsea match last Saturday?

Mum & son: [both smiling, with son saying] 3 – 1.

QM: Correct, you're both winners [amidst an appreciative applauding studio audience].

Of course my mates and I had a good laugh, and discussed the insular outlook and narrow interests of many Britons. Without saying anything, we were of course (automatically) comparing them with us and our globally-orientated education.

Fast forward to today – Malaysiakini’s headlines No to compulsory history lessons.

The author of the article, renowned AB Sulaiman, wrote a scathing criticism of DPM and Education Minster Muhyiddin’s policy to make history a compulsory subject, a policy pronouncement that will have a major impact on the future of your youths but one which emerged in cavalier fashion, not unlike an UMNO cowboy shooting off from his UMNO hips immediately post-UMNO general annual assembly.

AB Sulaiman warned us that with Muhyiddin’s policy statement, a student has no choice but to take history as an exam subject, and pass it or else, as a fail in history means he/she fails the entire crucial exam.

Everyone knows the compulsory history curriculum will be nothing more than an extension of the sinister Biro Tatanegara’s (BTN) propaganda indoctrination, now to penetrate into the schools' classrooms.

No doubt Muhyiddin believes that by indoctrinating our youths on UMNO-BTN’s propaganda, these same youths in future won’t raise questions on issues such as the UMNO-rised ‘social contract’, Malay (but in actuality, UMNO’s) supremacy and various other snouts-in-trough gravy train matters.

Let me tell you something - as a graduate of the Methodist Boy’ School, I can quite confidently confirm that a very insignificant number of my hundreds of non-Christian schoolmates and cousins ever converted to Christianity after 13 years of Christian education with compulsory chapel services every Friday (except for Muslim pupils).

Those few who converted (you could count them on the fingers of one hand) did so because of other reasons than classroom indoctrination. And not one of my female relatives (sister and cousins) who went to Catholic convent schools became a Catholic.

It’s what was at home and in our social grouping that influenced our thinking. The school only trained and stimulated us to think. But our schools today are hardly into that line of education (of teaching students to think).

Furthermore, AB Sulaiman wrote: Not too long ago I read through the history textbooks for Forms Four and Five students. About 10 percent (at most) of the text was for early world history. The bulk I remember was concentrated for Islamic history amply supported by an account of the history of the Malay civilisation. [...]

The point that struck me hard was it was as though the present modern Malaysian life today has been mainly the result of the strength and achievements of the Islamic and Malay civilisations.

This must surely be a distortion of the truth and the probable reason for the concern of parents. I was brought up with a much wider vista of world history.

He continued: The present Malaysian civilisation is one end-result of the sum total of the generic human civilisation. A minor one at most.

It's not difficult to substantiate this quick observation. I look around me as I write this article: I see a table, chair, computer, hand phone, ceiling fan, a box of tissue, books, electricity, TV, by the corner.

These are products of the generic human ingenuity, brilliance and experience translated into modern tools and appliances. In these examples none of them are the direct products or influence of Islamic or Malay civilisation!

Looking elsewhere in my neighbourhood too would reveal very little direct Malay and Islamic influence or contributions save for the mosque some distance away and my neighbours wearing headgear or tudung.

The only direct contact I made today with the Malay 'civilisation' is the nasi lemak I ate this morning.

Please read his most erudite and educational (excuse this deliberate pun) article.

As I had written in an earlier post A central pillar of Chinese culture:

... since Merdeka, thanks to the political ambitions of successive (UMNO) Education Ministers who used their ministerial portfolio to play nationalistic politics so much so that the once renowned quality of our national schools plummeted to such depths that the Chinese medium schools by comparison, began to assume the only reliable schooling with decent standards in Malaysia.

And as I had written before, I now write again, that the UMNO-occupied Education Minister continues, without any pause since independence in 1957, on his politicized destruction of our education system.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uthayakumar going too far

Malaysiakini - Help Indians, Human Rights Party pleads to Manmohan

I used to support Hindraf so much that I once disliked Haris Ibrahim for it, well, admittedly for a very wrong reason. I thought Haris was unkind to Hindraf. My blogger matey Lucia Lai chided me for being unaware of what a great bloke Haris was (still is).

Then one day I read one of Haris’s posts in Malaysiakini, called Jambuism which touched me enormously. I realized then I was wrong about Haris and my matey Lucia was right.

If you wish to know why I was moved by Haris’ article, feel free to read my Omnia Vincit Jambuism posted on 22 June 2008.

So for Hindraf I had incorrectly disliked Haris (for a while). Then around the same Jambuism time, much to my great disappointment I saw Uthayakumar for the person he really was/is – an arrogant bully-boy making threats to Lim Guan Eng to get what he wanted (or so he had hoped), and being inexcusably biadap to Dr Rama, the DCM of Penang. Chinese would describe him as ‘peh boe boe kar see’ (his parents failed to teach him manners or civilities).

Let me make one distinction here before I continue – it’s not Hindraf I was disappointed in but Uthayakumar himself.

After Uthayakumar’s no doubt very trying spell under the draconian ISA, during which time DAP had made several appeals on his behalf, he emerged to bizarrely attack DAP with such ferocity, arrogance and offensive insolent incivility, all because he had, very hubristically, DEMANDED that Lim Guan Eng must save Kampung Buah Pala at any cost, regardless.

With equal insolence, impudence and unmitigated effrontery he also abused Dr Rama of being a mandore. Such a boorish oaf cannot be unforgiven without proper apologies.

That’s the unreasonableness of Uthayakumar. That’s the biadap-ness of Uthayakumar. That’s the arrogance of a man who had thought all should kowtow immediately to his royal dictates.

Next to his insolent arrogance I dislike him for referring the problems of Indian Malaysians to foreign leaders, with his latest nonsense being to get, of all people, the PM of India, Manmohan Singh to INTERVENE in a Malaysian domestic issue regarding Indian Malaysians - how f* insensitive, how most un-Malaysian.

While there’s no doubt a need to uplift the lot of Indian Malaysians, should Uthayakumar coopt the PM of India to intervene with the PM of Malaysia? How would India like it if foreigners interfere in its internal affairs?

And using his logic (or lack of), should Chinese Malaysians also appeal to Chinese President Hu Jintou to intervene and force the Malaysian PM to introduce asset-testing in the NEP programs? Sheeesh! I cringe at the very thought of inviting foreign intrusions into our domestic affairs!

For a start he will only succeed in riling PM Najib and most Malaysians. So how would that really help Indian Malaysians? It’s not as if he isn’t aware of this likely outcome, so we really need to ask what his grandstanding agenda really is?

I don’t believe the Indian Malaysians have been, are or will be well served by this person.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rakyat as a 3rd Force?

One of my visitor-commentators raises the issue of the rakyat as the Third Force. But I ask: who’s the rakyat?

We cannot marginalize anyone, say, an UMNO member or supporter (and vice versa), from being a member of the rakyat – nay, far from it in a democracy, shaky as this political structure in Malaysia may be.

Therefore, talks about the rakyat rising up to form a 3rd Force gives the impression the entire Malaysian public is battling two foreign political forces, the 1st and 2nd Forces, from maybe Mars and Orion respectively?

No, my dear friend, in a democracy the (voting) rakyat is the one deciding who shall/should be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or umpteenth Force – there can be no other political force without the backing of the rakyat, or at least a segment of it.

As an example, note the political demise of the PPP*, once a powerful force in the Ipoh-Perak region.

* note: prior to its last breath in March 2008, the moribund PPP was only represented in the BN by a back door senator who, after being disowned by the PPP, became a MIC member, and only because he was personally sponsored by his godfather, Najib.

Another example of the rakyat deciding who would be or not be a political force has been the sad turn of fortune for the Gerakan. Once touted as the alternative ruling party, the Gerakan today lies mortally wounded because the rakyat decided so. That’s people’s power!

Thus, political parties exist as political forces but only for the express purpose of representing the rakyat. The politicians are the representatives of the rakyat, and only exist on our sufferance.

Of course in a non-democracy it’s a different story.

Having said that, unfortunately in Malaysia, many politicians, once elected, forget those who elected them, believing they are, by their own birth rights, maharajas lording over their personal kingdoms. This delusion is not exclusively those of UMNO or BN politicians. Try and think who would not walk with the hoi polloi, but would 'arrive majestically' in a limousine only after his 'subjects' have been nicely positioned to await his magnificent entrance?

The other side of the Malaysian coin is that many of our voters (especially those who voted BN) think they’re the subjects of these pseudo-maharajas, willing captives of the latters' delusions.

A simple example of this feudalistic relationship shows in the way supporters present our political leaders on visits with giant leis and corsages, apparently the bigger the more respectful, some so monstrously humongous that all the creatures of the Garden of Eden could easily exist within.

Some leaders have their hands and feet kissed (and like it too), when such Malaysian-style respectful adulations should really be for our parents, grandparents or usually aged elders* and of course rulers.

* yes, kids do kiss the hand s of older adults out of respect but we aren’t talking about kids here.

So in Malaysia, democracy and its practices only appears before each election but disappears soon after (perhaps eclipsed by the brilliance of the maharajas), reappearing only before the next election. It’s in our feudalistic culture, where the majority of our rakyat really don't quite understand their rights, believing every menteri or ketua this or that deserves due obedience and homage, at the risk of incurring those leaders' wrath.

Democracy is theoretically about people’s power! But then, what to do if the people don’t have any idea of democratic concepts and embrace those they elected as maharajas and tengku bendahara’s?

In the end, it's for some worthy NGOs and righteous political parties to explain to the rakyat that in a democracy the rakyat, the voters decide who represents them, and that every citizen has an equal vote.

Nonetheless, let’s be clear as to who decides which shall be a political force in a democracy, and that is the voters. So, don’t go talking the rakyat as a 3rd Force – it’s ridiculous on several counts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

UMNO - 100-storey building yes, school bus fare no!

Malaysiakini - PSM: 70% Malay support vital for Putrajaya win.

PSM's sole MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj revealed that in his Sungai Siput constituency, some Malays can't even afford to pay their electricity bill and some can't send their children to school because they can't afford the bus fare. Thus he warned Pakatan that an issue like ‘meritocracy’ frightens rather than impress these people. He advised Pakatan to back off from promoting the meritocracy issue because it's meaningless to the poor.

It reminds me of a lecture on the Vietnam War where the USA talked about democracy and freedom to a deaf Vietnamese population who were more interested in the basic 3 bowls of rice each day.

As a real socialist, Dr Jeya knows what he’s talking about, though of course it doesn’t mean Pakatan shouldn’t continue promoting meritocracy; however Pakatan should also highlight more effectively its affirmative action programs for the needy, especially the poor Malay peasants and fishermen.

The state of such extreme poverty among Malay in Sungai Siput is also a terrible indictment on UMNO. After 53 years of its rule, it's a disgrace for UMNO and a repudiation on its nonsensical claims of being a party for Malays when there are still Malays who can't afford bus fares for their childrent to go to school or to pay for their electricity.

Yet UMNO talks about the importance of building 100-storey tall building, while in the past it had squandered billions building Petronas Tower, Putrajaya, bridge to nowhere, sending astronauts into space, adventure jollies to the Poles, Mt Everest and god knows where else, and generally wasting billions and billions of soon-to-be-depleted petroleum revenue. The list of UMNO profligacy goes on and on, while the poor Malays fell through the cracks left behind by UMNO's high rollers.

Unfortunately most of those Malays in Sungai Siput Malays and elsewhere will continue voting for UMNO because they believe UMNO's propaganda that it's the party to protect Malays, when the truth of course is UMNO is a personal profit (profiterring) club, of UMNO members for UMNO members by UMNO members - or why else would there be such heavy corrupttion of money-politics in UMNO party elections?

And regretfully, nothing will ever change in UMNO, based on what Najib, Muhyiddin and the UMNO crowd have said at their annual meeting. It's going to be business, UMNO business, as usual!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

'Third Force' in Malaysia?

There is currently a clamour in Malaysian politics for a ‘Third Force’. While I haven’t investigated and determined its origin, I suspect RPK to be the ‘promoter’ of such a movement. Of course I may be wrong but I’m sure Peter won’t mind me pointing my finger at him, for after all, what is kaytee’s mere suspicion in comparison to the government’s draconian persecutions against him.

I’ve heard RPK has even become a registered member of the British Liberal-Democrats, the vogue Third Force in that country’s political landscape. With RPK you will never know what he is up to, but you can bet he doesn’t do things like joining a British political party without a good reason connected with politics back here in Malaysia, or to be more precise, PKR politics and Anwar Ibrahim the politician.

Anyway, my humble opinion (naturally very insignificant when measured against those of blogging giants like RPK) is that it’s way way way too early to talk about a ‘Third Force’ in local politics, for the express reason we need to have two political forces or a two-party state for a considerable time, so that we may tire of both of them before we would, out of frustration with the policies of the two principal parties, visualize, suggest, promote, and embark on forming a ‘Third Force’.

In the UK, the voters have been so dissatisfied with both Labour and the Tories for so long, that the Lib-Dem’s political fortune has benefitted enormously from the voters' frustration. In Australia, the Democrats used to be the ‘Third Force’, a party which vowed to 'keep the bastards honest' ('bastards' being the Labour Party and Liberal-National Coalition). Alas, the Democrats has vanished from the Ausssie political scene.

But in the demise of the Australian Democrats lies a lesson, that there's danger in a ‘Third Force’ getting into political bed with one of the two main parties, as did its leader Senator Meg Lees when she became involved with John Howard's GST. It wasn’t the only reason that started the Democrats’ downfall but it certainly was the principal one (I'm simplifying the explanation here).

Because the numbers in the Senate were nicely balanced between the two main parties, John Howard’s ruling Coalition needed a couple of extra votes in the Upper House to pass legislations, like the GST. Prior to the GST, Independent Senator Brian Harradine was in a position with his single vote to twist the arms of PM John Howard for funding etc for his constituency whenever the PM wanted his support to get a few pieces of legislation through the Upper House. Harradine's disproportionate power must have led Meg Lees to believe the Democrats with its pack of senators would/should be in a far stronger position than Harradine to extract from the PM what the party wants for its constituencies.

She forgot one important factor – her party’s supporters wanted the Democrats to continue keeping the bastards honest, but with her involvement with Howard’s GST, she and her senators joined the Coalition 'bastards' as well, which spelt the beginning of the end of her party.

OK, back on track - so, please tell me, where’s the evidence Malaysia has a stable and mature two-party political system?

Yesterday I posted
Quo Vadis Pakatan, to illustrate the illusion of this loose coalition as a cohesive block of political ideology, policies and personalities ready to offer itself to Malaysia as an alternative government.

Yes, it’s recognized that despite its lack of cohesiveness, Pakatan has done well in the last general election and in a number of by-elections, but its victories have been more the bonus of public disenchantment and frustration with the BN. Thus Pakatan has gained numerous seats by default of voters using their ballots against BN rather than for Pakatan. Even Pakatan leaders weren’t expecting their 82 seats victory in March 2008.

I just wonder how a Pakatan government would have been formed or progressed from that point, had it gained another 31 extra seats?

No doubt, after several days of shock and disbelief at their unexpected political fortune, the Pakatan squabble would have set in, letting loose the centrifugal forces of ideology and political avarice. Who knows, maybe even ‘Malay unity’ might have been realized (and I don’t have just PAS in mind). That’s the frightening possibility, given the unexpected election tsunami vis-à-vis an unprepared and as then, an un-unified Pakatan.

Even after two and one-half years, the Pakatan is still shifting and shaping to become a credible alternative government in waiting. Lamentably, it’s one without the consensus and nerve to form one of the fundamentals of an alternative political party, namely, a
shadow cabinet. It evades this vital responsibility for no other reason that it fears the fallout of disagreement over power sharing among coalition members, its disintegration as a coalition.

Thus why talk about a ‘Third Force’ when there is not even a meaningful ‘Second Force’. And even if there is a ‘Second Force’ why would we require a ‘Third Force’ if we haven’t yet given fair opportunity for its policies to become mature – 2.5 years is hardly a fair spell to evaluate Pakatan’s policies and the success of their implementation against our humongous 52-years-deprived expectations.

To wit, there is no such ‘two party’ system in Malaysia yet – there is only one, namely UMNO and its non-Malay branches, with a scattering of smaller opposition parties like PAS, DAP, PKR and the even smaller PSM, SAPP, unless of course you want to consider PAS as the 2nd, DAP as the 3rd and PKR as the 4th Forces.

Don't forget those zillions of wannabe parties like kimmia, cinta Malaysia, etc wakakaka, all formed for no other reason than their respective leaders hoping to be a senator or deputy minister or even a parliamentary secretary in the BN government.

Then there's HRP or the remnants of Hindraf which believes it can become the dreaded powerful 'Third Force', holding the balance of power and being able to thus threaten its political bête noire, the DAP. Its leaders believe they can still marshal the once powerful force of Hindraf, not realizing most of their erstwhile supporters have returned to the BN banner.

OK, maybe HRP will lose for the DAP a few seats but it'll turn out to be another mosquito party. And the reason for its fall may be traced to the hubris of Uthayakumar who imagined he was a major mover and shaker, and is now more of a vindictive political spoiler.

The only party that could have been a credible ‘Second Force’ was the 1969 Gerakan Party. Quite frankly, Gerakan could have been the ruling party by 1980 if May 13 didn’t occur – which was why May 13 occurred!

Thanks to the cold brilliance and ruthlessness of Tun Razak, and the threat of withholding development funding for Gerakan-ruled Penang, he emasculated Gerakan’s potential by absorbing it into the (at that time) new Barisan Nasional. Look at how pathetic Gerakan is today, and that's the political brilliance of UMNO.

But with the formation of BN in 1972, which initially included PAS wakakaka, the DAP became the main ‘Second Force’ by default, but one which couldn’t progress beyond the image the BN propaganda had painted it as, a Chinese party. Even today, some so-called anti BN people are vehemently anti DAP. I suspect it’s because those DAP leaders are uncompromisingly disciplined like Spartan ascetics, refuse to be ethnocentric in their policies and generally incorruptible – bugger the DAP, they have very un-Malaysian traits, wakakaka.

Talking about the DAP, I have always lamented about, and been puzzled by Dr Syed Husin’s decision when he took his PRM into an incongruous merger with KeADILan. These two are hardly compatible ideologically, because PRM is democratic socialist while KeADILan, basically a splinter party of UMNO, is conservative Malay nationalism or central-right (of course today UMNO is far right!).

Additionally, some former PRM members in PKR have not been happy with Anwar’s cozy relationship with arch Zionist neocon Paul Wolfowitz. As I said, PRM and KeADILan were the most incongruous ideological pair for a merger.

The logical choice of a merger partner for Dr Syed Husin’s democratic socialist party would have been the PRM’s ideological twin, the secular, multi-racial, social democratic/democratic socialist DAP. Such a merger could have the potential to become a very credible ‘Second Force’.

Why Dr Husin or Karpal Singh-Lim Kit Siang didn’t see this possibility and thus seek a merger remains a puzzle. The nation missed a major opportunity for the emergence of a credible second main party in Malaysian politics a la the 1969 Gerakan.

Today, with PKR reverting back to its UMNO nature, I wonder how those former PRM and ex Suaram members in PKR feel.

Anyway, the existence of a ‘Second Force’ remains more of hope and optimism than a reality. So why bother to talk about a ‘Third Force’?

Maybe RPK has his reason to provoke discussion in that direction. He should (but of course he won’t) tell us why. Instead he has aired his outlandish (no doubt pretend) declaration to join Gerakan as a ‘Third Force’ if only it leaves the BN!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quo vadis Pakatan

The Malaysian Insider’s Pakatan still green despite looming polls, say analysts stated:

…political analysts have said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) remains at best a work in progress. While the federal opposition is expected to pose a serious challenge to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), ill-defined policies and a vague common platform provide few clues to voters as to what a PR administration will look like they said.

There is some truth in this report, in that there is no common Pakatan platform yet (other than to topple BN), nor indications on how a Pakatan government would rule in the event it comes to power.

As a coalition which claims to be the alternative government in waiting, it has for a start failed in the simple matter of establishing a shadow cabinet, as I posted in Shadow Cabinet.

I then wrote (extracts): The real answer why it hasn’t done so is the coalition fears the component parties won’t be able to agree to a distribution of ministerial portfolios. […] Quite frankly, I don’t consider you fit to take over the business of the government of the day if you cannot even resolve this power sharing now!

The reality is Pakatan is a very loose coalition, with each political member a sovereign political party and only two having some idea of where they want to politically go. There is strength is a loose coalition but at the same there would be weaknesses.

The weaknesses are obvious and collectively the subject of The Malaysian Insider’s article.

However, the strength is that such a coalition does not function like the BN, where UMNO is ‘THE’ only real sovereign party and the rest mere ‘subordinate’ branches of UMNO.

Take a simple example - the MCA has to submit its list of election candidates to the UMNO president for approval. While UMNO is no doubt the BN's primus inter pares (first among equals), for MCA to seek UMNO's approval would be going beyond the understanding of primus inter pares. Only subordinates seek approval from a superior.

MCA members live under the sad illusion or dream that their party stands as an equal or even junior partner, instead of the reality it is nothing more than a ‘subordinate’ of UMNO (and not a partner). I hope MCA members understand the difference between a ‘junior partner’ and a ‘subordinate’.

So, what kind of coalition is this other than a one-party (UMNO) conglomerate with Indian and Chinese-based ‘branches’, not unlike PAS’ non-Muslim supporters.

OK, back to our subject, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition. Notwithstanding the criticism of its ‘ill-defined policies’, two of Pakatan’s component parties do have clear visions as to what they are politically striving for.

PAS obviously aims for an Islamic State. However, since 2008 and a series of subsequent by-elections it understands that non-Muslim support is crucial to many of its candidates winning the election, so there is political profit to make themselves acceptable to non-Muslims in order to gain their backing.

Today, even UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin made the unpopular message (to his Youth camp) about the importance of the non-Malay voters – see Malaysiakini’s Khairy: Relying on the Malay vote alone will lose us seats. Khairy believes 50 federal seats hang on the support of the 'sepet mata - kaki botol' sector while I was informed PAS hopes to gain 64 seats through the same targeted voters.

Though there is always a (not at all discounted) fear that PAS will eventually renege on its promises to the non-Muslims, because theocratic states, especially Muslim ones, don’t have a good record of being tolerant to other religions or non-Muslims, let me tell MCA about recent worrying news for their members and wannabe candidates which I learnt from a sweetie who has just returned from Malaysia.

She recounted how Chinese Penangites and Kedahans have openly expressed to her their scorn for MCA members as only caring for their own pockets while neglecting the interests of the Chinese community, and their preparedness to vote for the traditionally feared party, PAS, to bring the BN down. Isn't this feeling similar to the case of many non-Malays rallying around the original Anwar Ibrahim's reformasi banner even though they knew of him as one of the most unpleasant and aggressive UMNO leaders?

I have my views about the long term reliability of PAS as a Pakatan partner but I shall hold them back for a wee while.

Meanwhile, the DAP continues on its track for a secular government of good provenance, accountability, and meritocracy, though without ignoring the requirement for affirmative action but one which should be based on needs rather than ethnicity. This explains why the well-off (and of course wannabe well-off) in UMNO are against asset-tested access to the largess of the NEP. The DAP is not perfect, but like PAS, it does have a vision, platform, policies and clear cut objectives.

We finally come to PKR. The main weakness in Pakatan lies not so much in PKR as a party but in its (former UMNO) leadership.

As many of my anwarista detractors know, I have for years lamented quite regularly about PKR (and its earlier incarnation KeADILan) and its non-reform single-issue objective, namely, to secure the release of an incarcerated Anwar Ibrahim. For credibility and public support it claimed political reforms as its policy, though its KeADILan leaders including and especially Anwar Ibrahim (right up to the moment when he was booted out of UMNO) had shown no credible record of political reforms whatsoever.

But nonetheless a frustrated public, weary of decades of increasing BN corruption and arrogance and thus ripe for political proselytizing, eagerly adopted its battle cry and claimed cause. Today the non-Muslim element of the frustrated public has now included supporting PAS as part of its cause to topple BN.

Just a question, did any remarkable reforms from PKR happen since Anwar's release or even post March 2008? Just recall 916 and its shameful frog d’etat.

Obviously for Pakatan’s 82 to defeat 140, Anwar claimed he had the jump-over numbers, and he wasn’t even embarrassed by that most non-reformasi cheating of the voters.

Just imagine how a voter would feel, if after voting for Party X, sees her representative changing allegiance to Party Y? C’mon, you know that feeling because you too felt it when the Perak DUN changed hands. Didn’t you curse the Whore of Jelapang and her erstwhile PKR fellow defectors? Yet you have the hypocrisy to condemn those frogs? Only Karpal Singh and kaytee have that right wakakaka!

Though Anwar wasn’t able to change his UMNO spots, as explicitly demonstrated by 916, far too many still believe in his pseudo-reformasi.

Today Anwar Ibrahim is in trouble again and the party (perhaps minus the PRM component) has very comfortably reverted to its original raison d’etre, that of struggling for just Anwar Ibrahim (and his favourites) but quite frankly, never for or about the rakyat. It’s a familiar, comfortable, convenient and simplified struggle because it avoids or delays the difficult job of evolving good higher policies for the interests of the nation and rakyat, and to show it has become a party quite different from its mother party, UMNO!

Zaid Ibrahim succinctly brought this PKR problem to the surface when he said, as reported in The Malaysian Insider’s Zaid says ‘unworthy’ to focus solely on saving Anwar where he wrote:

Our coalition partners deserve better from us. Whilst we need to secure justice for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim there are so many more injustices facing the people of this nation that require our attention. […] The party needed to pay attention to those they sought to represent. […] The people were clamouring for economic and social justice and the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

It is unworthy of us to reduce this party to a one-issue party. It is unworthy for those we seek to represent. […] We are not merely the party of reformasi but also of reform. My interest is in that future.

While other candidates harp on their ability to protect Anwar, I believe he has mustered the best legal team to protect him.

I too care about him and his family but above all it is the struggle and interests of the people that is paramount. And I know that the party members will be able to make that distinction.

I don't know about his hope that '... party members will be able to make that distinction', because I have no doubt that right now Zaid is being excoriated by the anwarista pack for making the above statement - a most statesman-like advice for the future of the PKR party, but alas, obviously one which didn’t recognize the exalted position of the anwaristas' demigod.

But as I've said, the anwaristas can’t help it because if we recall, PKR has its political genesis as a single-issue (cultist) party. It was never about reforms. Obviously Zaid sees what most non-anwaristas see as well, that the commitment of a political party cannot be based on, nor confined only to the interests of one single personality.

Just as a reminder that, very unlike Anwar Ibrahim who was thrown out of UMNO, screaming and taking to the streets to show his petulance at being denied his UMNO ‘inheritance, Zaid Ibrahim resigned as a minister and left UMNO voluntarily – for more see my post Do you truly know Zaid Ibrahim?

Zaid wants to change PKR’s pseudo-refomasi cause. It’s just telling what he advised party members:

… PKR needed to be consistent in its policies together with its PR partners of PAS and DAP. Leaders in both PKR and PR must always place the nation’s interest above all else. There needs to be a consensus on what we stand for as a group ...

Can Zaid change PKR’s UMNO-ish mentality and save the coalition for its due place in Putrajaya, or will he fail because of PKR sectorian interests, for Pakatan to be let down by that party in its blind obedience to Anwar Ibrahim's personal interests, his single burning obsession, to sit on the high altar of the Malaysian PM-ship, regardless?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Absence of trust

Trust – noun

- Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

- Confidence in a person on whom or thing on which one relies

- The obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed

- Charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone's trust.

- Something committed or entrusted to one's care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.

The trust of most Malaysians in public institutions such as the Judiciary and the Malaysian Civil Service including the police and MACC is at an all time low. In fact one could argue that such a trust no longer exists today.

I read in The Malaysian Insider’s news article
Five shot-dead by Kuantan police that police shot 5 robbers dead in Kuantan. It states:

Pahang CID chief ACP T Narenasagaran said … […] … based on a tip-off a patrol team intercepted the robbers’ car at the Jalan Kuantan By-Pass … the men ignored police’s orders asking the driver to stop and that the car accelerated away … after a high-speed chase the car was cornered near the entrance of the EPF builing in Indera Mahkota … the men also ignored orders to surrender and instead came at the policemen with parangs and sickles … Police had no choice but to shoot the men in self-defence.

But I was more attracted to the comments section, not because it makes for illuminating reading, but by the observation that most commentators didn’t believe the police had opened fire in self defence, so much so one pro police reader virtually cried out in frustration that the public who condemn the police for the high crime rates would also condemn the police for killing robbers.

I won’t bother to debate that killing robbers does not mean the police had been efficient in keeping a lid on crime rates from soaring through the roof or for that matter, will achieve that. The former (killing alleged robbers in scenes such as this as well as suspects in police custody) had happened before but the latter (high crime rates) has been and continues to be a worrying fact.

To compound their suspicions of, and disdain for police, there have also been the troubling allegations that the former IGP had dodgy company.

We may safely conclude that the trust we once had in our mata mata is no longer there. Of course it’s not fair to many of the men in blue because the police in this Kuantan case (mentioned above) could have been forced to take the drastic actions in self defence, but at the same time it’s also not fair to us, the public, when the police have frequently betrayed our expectations of their non-partisan obligation as neutral guardians of the law.

I don’t need to provide examples raging from the sinister deaths in custody to the police shameful partisan conduct in the Perak State Assembly (DUN) imbroglio.

Insofar as relationship between the PDRM and the Malaysian public has fared in the last decade or so, it has been a lamentable lose-lose situation.

The sad absence of trust extends to other public institutions such as the MACC. I won't bother to even explain why the public now believes the MACC to be indeed what Utusan said it is, a Malay an UMNO institute rather than a public one.

But the most wretched of all has been the Judiciary.

This is not say, as in the case of the police or some departments of the Malaysian Civil Service, everyone in the organization/department plays to the political tune. There are/have been very professional civil servants and I'll provide an exceptional example shortly.

But unprofessional civil servants may be likened to a drop of ink in a jar of milk, spoiling the entire content, thus bringing disrepute to the good names of those who have been thoroughly professional and apolitical.

Take for example, the original ruling on the infamous Adorna case. The judicial ruling deserves a place in the Hall of Shame for endorsing duplicitous scams for nine infamous years. Legitimate owners of properties in Malaysia were rendered unprotected and helpless by the unjust nonsense.

I bet Madame Boonsom Boonyanit who unjustly lost her property because of Eusoff Chin’a ruling must have cursed him and the Malaysian courts before she passed away. The poor lady was never ever to know that it took nine long years before a modicum of justice would reassert itself.

And those who had legally endorsed her loss of property through an obvious case of fraud deserved/deserve every curse in her damnation. It just beggars belief that a Malaysian court ruling had not only caused such blatant injustice but perpetuated and abetted the same shameful fraudulent practice.

The injustice of the Adorna case ruling was so flagrant that (now-retired) Justice Gopal Sri Ram, sitting in the Court of Appeals, did what the catchphrase in Star Trek claims (paraphrased): Go where no judge has gone before by boldly ignoring legal precedence.

Though criticised by many, Justice Gopal's amazing defiance of stare decisis (legal precedence) to rule in favour of the Au brothers in 2007 was eventually vindicated when the Federal Court sat early this year to overturn Eusoff Chin’s ruling of infamy.

And that’s not all with our once hallowed and much respected Judiciary. Today it suffers no shame in saying white one day and then black the next, as shown in several cases involving the sorry saga of the Perak State Assembly, in stark contrast to its (actually correct) ruling in favour of Dr Mahathir as PM for sacking Anwar Ibrahim.

To cap all these, the Chief Secretary proved to be no better in demonstrating the once-apolitical nature of the Malaysian Civil Service and their observance of the Civil Service code of conduct have indeed been mortally wounded since more than a decade ago, when he supported the most biadap Penang State Development Officer who had the unprofessional temerity to launch his politically inclined diatribe at an UMNO forum against a people’s representative, the Chief Minister of Penang.

As head of the Malaysian Civil Service, Mohd Sidek should have known better to instead counsel, if not sack, that errant and most unprofessional (so-called) public servant.

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property - Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Budget boosts bloated bureacracy

I only wish to make three comments on Najib’s new RM221 billion budget, which incidentally is the biggest for Malaysia since 31 August 1957.

No 1 and the most troubling – 75% of the humongous allocation goes to operating expenditure, which means we have a bloody bloated bureaucracy. Looks like the Malaysian Civil Service is just another system for dispensing out the monthly dole, signifying our welfare state status for the last thirty years, since Ops Isi Penuh in 1981.

More worrying is there’s only a wee portion left for major infrastructural development, which leads us to comment No 2.

No 2 and I have to ask, why we are into the largest, longest and laughable nonsense again. Why are we wasting precious funds (of only 25% of budget) on more white elephants, like the RM5 billion 100-storey building?

Yet the government has a nerve to tell the public to tighten their belts, warn them of more reduction and eventual removal of subsidies, which incidentally I support but which becomes untenable to justify when we waste money on useless projects.

The PM and his ministers and advisors should snap out of their standard mentality and stop treating the country like their own houses, requiring awe-inspiring decorative pieces or attempting to keep up with the Joneses.

What the public need is a major infusion of public-function infrastructures like mass transit system (to reduce public over-dependence on petrol-thirsty motor vehicles), toll-free highways, safe bridges and walkways for the remote kampungs, safe and modern bicycle paths from urban centres to schools and public facilities (to promote health, reduce road traffic and to save on petrol), a modern system of water reserves including massive underground reservoirs (for a very arid future when water becomes more valuable than gold), schools, health facilities, etc.

No 3 – finally I couldn't but help notice that the lion’s share of the budgeted development goes to the Klang Valley region. The government must be thinking Malaysia is only Selangor and only Selangor is Malaysia, congesting the majority of its budgeted projects in Selangor (including KL).

It’s f* time it allows Selangor (& KL) to consolidate on their (many half-past six type) projects and considers instead greater regional development in, for example, Seremban, Malacca, Ipoh, the Teluk Intan-Sitiawan stretch, Penang Island, the Bukit Mertajam-Sungai Petani-Baling-Gerik region, Alor Setar, KB, Kuala Terengganu , Kuantan, Termeloh etc. I would love to see more settlements (inclusive of industries) in the beautiful green region along the East-West Highway.

Then there’s the equally beautiful KK–Kota Belud stretch, the coastal region from Sandakan-Sempurna-Tawau and all the interior regions in Sabah and the vast distances of Sarawak as well.

Finally, it should begin trimming off the excessive fat on the public service very obese body.

Friday, October 15, 2010

'Mister Professor Doctor' revisited

The Malaysian Insider’s trivia for today tells us that “In Malaysia, surgeons use the title Mr, not Dr.”

Well, it is not really such an astounding revelation because many Malaysians are aware of that. Furthermore, it’s not something unique to Malaysia. In fact the practice originated from Britain, where our surgeons who trained and graduated from there adopted, continue and spread that practice locally.

A surgeon friend explained that the rather common title of Mister remembers their history when the original surgeons were barbers – for more, read my June 2006 post Mister Professor Doctor.

If the Nobel Peace Prize cap fits

Josh Hong’ new article for his Malaysiakini column, China's Nobel prize dilemma, discussed the Chinese authorities’ concerns over the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a dissident currently under detention.

The best passage in Josh’s article is:

... the outrage over Liu's Nobel honour only betrays the Chinese government's façade of confidence eagerly presented in the past decade. For all its pretence of stability and a peaceful rise, the communist regime is psychologically more fragile than it would have the world believe ...

How true, how true – and you know what, all we need to do is to transpose the same description to someone local and gosh, golly gee, they fit him wakakakakakakakaka!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shadow cabinet

The Malaysian Insider - EPF’s proposed Plus takeover like ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, says Pua

Tony Pua has pointed out how the government has been paying PLUS nearly a billion ringgit per annum in a highly questionable lop-sided contract where the Malaysian public has been the real loser.

Excuse my pun but it’s highway robbery ...

... which brings me to my controversial but apt recommendation, that Tony Pua be appointed by Pakatan Rakyat as the shadow Finance Minister.

I believe Pua is a fitting choice as I have observed how he has been keeping a beady burning brilliant eye on the BN government’s profligate spending on such contractual atrocities and dodgy defence acquisitions.

Pakatan Rakyat presents itself to the Malaysian voters as the alternative government in waiting, yet it has been decidedly evasive about its alternative leadership in government, namely the shadow cabinet, giving mealy-mouthed excuses why it hasn’t ... or more correctly, won’t, can't, dare not!

The real answer why it hasn’t done so is the coalition fears the component parties won’t be able to agree to a distribution of ministerial portfolios.

My question to them is, if you can’t now, how would you be able to when you win the next general election?

And if you fear an inability to negotiate and compromise then aren’t you just delaying the inevitable, the disintegration of the coalition on its very moment of victory?

Shouldn’t it be far safer to sort this unavoidable issue NOW rather than delay its inevitability? Quite frankly, I don’t consider you fit to take over the business of the government of the day if you cannot even resolve this power sharing now!

Here's my choice, and yes, it's a f* compromise:

PM = Anwar Ibrahim (I am sure this is agreed – do I hear murmurs from Pak Haji Hadi?)

DPM = Pak Haji Hadi (I am quite happy for him to occupy this)

Home Affairs = Lim Kit Siang (who has the Kamunting experience)

Defence = Khalid Ibrahim

Health = Pak Haji Nasharudin

Finance = Tony Pua

Foreign Affairs = Zaid Ibrahim

Works = Nizar Jamaluddin

Education = Teresa Kok Dr Rama (just keep it as one ministry) - Dr Rama is better qualified

Youth = Nurul

Agriculture = Salahuddin Ayub

Teresa Kok = Trade

Sivarasa = Law

Mahfuz Omar = Energy & Oil (no more worries about royalty for Kelantan)

So on so forth ... Azmin Ali can be the Minister in the PM’s Department wakakaka

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do you truly know Zaid Ibrahim?

Malaysiakini - No 2 race: Zaid outlines seven requests.

Zaid Ibrahim’s requests to the PKR election committee chief, Dr Molly Cheah, were directly related to the party’s election procedures such as:

- transparent ballot boxes
- ballot slips with serial numbers
- candidates may appoint their own polling and counting agents
- agents are required to sign voting result slips
- proper electoral roll be prepared to ensure that the electoral list held by the candidates tallied with those of the election committee.
- voting time strictly adhered to - election officers cannot shorten or extend voting time
- new members who renewed their membership during voting day should be allowed into the electoral roll

Can anyone see anything sinister in his requests? Au contraire, they appear to be all for greater transparency, accountability and integrity of an election process.

Presumably if the PKR election committee refuses his reasonable and excellent requests, and questions will certainly be raised as to why they would deny these transparent and accountable procedures, Zaid Ibrahim will withdraw from the contest.

He would then be on high moral grounds to claim that the committee does not intend to be fair, transparent or accountable, as was raised in accusations against the recent party division elections where some candidates were denied access to the counting process, which if true, would be a damning indictment on the integrity of the PKR divisional polls.

At this stage I am not sure whether Zaid is manoeuvring for a face saving exit from the contest for No 2, or he really wants to be treated fairly in the party polls as he reckons he has a chance.

If the party election committee fails to accept Zaid’s reasonable requests, then even for non PKR observers it will be clear there is indeed mischief afoot.

I have also not been impressed by Azmin Ali’s advice to Nurul that ‘people’ would question her participation in the contest for the party’s deputy presidency, nor his exclaimed surprise and whining at Khalid Ibrahim’s entry into the tussle for the party’s No 2 post. Didn’t he undermine Khalid’s position as the Selangor MB?

Does Azmin believe his candidature should not be challenged as he is the anointed heir to the PKR throne, bestowed by his godfather?

It doesn’t help when there had been badmouthing conducted (by whom???) against Zaid Ibrahim in the notorious mode of “20 dalils kenapa Zaid tidak boleh menjadi ...” in the early stages of the campaign.

There are currently accusations against Zaid that he’s from UMNO and probably a mole out for mischief and disruption, but have these accusers forgotten that Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin too were from UMNO? But OK, yes, there are differences between them.

The differences are that Anwar was expelled and Azmin followed suit, while Zaid was a senator and full minister who resigned on his own dignified terms.

Zaid had on assuming his ministerial post bravely called for the government to extend a public apology for its shameful handling of the 1988 Judicial Crisis, which ended up in the sacking of the then Lord President of the Supreme Court, Tun Salleh Abas.

From Wikipedia, Zaid stated: "In the eyes of the world, the judicial crisis has weakened our judiciary system." However, he rejected the idea of reviewing the decision: "I am not suggesting that we re-open the case. I am saying that it’s clear to everyone, to the world, that serious transgressions had been committed by the previous administration. And I believe that the prime minister is big enough and man enough to say that we had done wrong to these people and we are sorry." […]

Just in case you guys have forgotten, Wikipedia said Zaid is known for his criticism of the government's handling of legal issues such as the judiciary, human rights and Islamic law. He supported the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip, criticising the government's initial response to the clip, which allegedly revealed fixing of judicial decisions and graft in the judiciary. [...]

Zaid Ibrahim urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to appoint Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as Prime Minister of Malaysia, and instead appoint someone else from UMNO. He pointed out Najib has been linked on the internet and by political rivals to the brutal murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Zaid also cited the RM400 million in commissions reportedly paid by the Defence Ministry while Najib was minister for the procurement of submarines, and pointed out that Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib's friend, was an agent in the deal. […]

One of the anti-Zaid sneering complaints has been his loose cannon behaviour, and as the above paragraphs evidently demonstrated his loose cannon stand as an UMNO minister against the UMNO-led government, then quite frankly I am all for more of his loose cannon-ness.

Then, he showed his moral superiority and statesmanship over Anwar and Azmin when he voluntarily resigned from his ministerial position over the questionable ISA detention of DAP’s Teresa Kok, Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK), and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.

OTOH, Anwar as an UMNO minister (in various ministries) had never stood up for anything on moralistic or principled grounds of the magnitude exhibited by Zaid. Anwar miraculously became a reformer overnight ONLY AFTER he was booted out from his once formidable position in the establishment.

I have never disguised my lack of respect for or belief in his so-called reformasi, and I was proven right when he reverted to his UMNO frog hunting days in the sordid scandalous shameful 916 episode.

OK, so Anwar has changed as many would vow, but then why is Zaid with far greater (and demonstrated) moral principles is considered as dodgy and untrustworthy?

And let’s not even bring chico Azmin Ali into comparison because he has owed his entire limited reputation as PKR leader on only one reason, his closeness to the ‘Great One’.

The campaign against Zaid has been dirty and typical of those seen during UMNO internal party election campaigns. At the risk of overusing a cliché there’s truth that one can take some people out of UMNO but one can’t take UMNO out of them.

Related: to see Richard Teo’s views on who, Zaid or Azmin, should be the superior person for PKRs’ No 2 position please read my earlier post PKR's immature childish leader?

Story of a very 'rich' Chinese Malaysian

In recent times we have read of how the rich, greedy and only-want-more-&-more Chinese may well take over this country. So, do have a read of my new post The rich char koay teow boy at my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok.

First Chilean miner brought back

Amazing, just saw on TV the first of the 33 Chilean miners, Florencio Avalos, brought back to the surface, to be met by his father, wife and son, and also the President of Chile and the First Lady. He and his workmates have been trapped 620 metres beneath the surface for 69 days.

Earlier, together with the descent of the rescue cage, a very brave rescue expert, Manuel Gonzales, had gone down to check on the miners' health, briefed them on what to expect on their 20 minutes ascent and prepared Florencio for the ride back to the surface of the earth with a compression suit.

It was a very emotional moment which even I, a non Chilean, shared. Have to admit my eyes did tear up a wee bit at that historic and wonderful moment.

3 quickies (2)

(1) Malaysiakini - Nurul Izzah fails to qualify for PKR No 2 race.

She received only 1 nomination and thus failed to qualify as a candidate for party election to the No 2 spot.

Though I did mentioned in a previous post Nurul Izzah Anwar - PKR deputy chief? that I thought her perhaps a wee too young to be a deputy leader of a party, I find it hard, in fact ridiculous, to believe she, the much reverred Putera Reformasi (of many PKR members & supporters), couldn't muster a mere two nominations.

This is the ultimate BBB (brains-baffling bullsh*t).

I wonder ...?

(2) Malaysiakini letter by Padmanathan Ramanair - Whatever happened to the Indian postman? stated:

I have never seen an Indian postman employed by Pos Malaysia for the last 20 or more years. [...]

In Seremban, I have never seen an Indian clerk at the post offices. The list goes on and on.

Me too, Padma. In the days of my youth, almost all postmen were Indians. What happened?

(3) The Malaysian Insider - Chief Sec says to follow rules in disciplining principals, BTN man.

It reported: Mohd Sidek Hassan said today that the government will follow proper procedure in dealing with two school principals and a Biro Tata Negara (BTN) official for making racist remarks

But the Chief Secretary did not say whether the three had been found guilty or whether they had already been disciplined.

Translated: We’re not going to do anything but instead heel-drag these issues until you are too weary to raise it again.

Well, what did you expect anyway? Remember that biadap civil servant who ranted against a State’s Chief Minister in an UMNO forum? Well, it sure as hell demonstrated the Chief Secretary’s questionable 'allegiance', a very worrying issue for Malaysians.

See my post Why Malaysia has gone to the dogs (1) to anticipate how Mohd Sidek would act, and the related Who is biadap?

Sometimes I feel desperate enough to invoke the spirit of the late Tun Ghazalie Shafie to rescue Malaysians from the pathetic top echelon of the Malaysian Civil Service

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Recently I have added The Nut Graph, blogger Caravanserai and Sakmongkol AK47 to my blogroll.

Monday, October 11, 2010

MCA - dare to say, dare to do?

Malaysiakini - MCA: We are loyal but won't blindly follow

... so said MCA President Chua Soi Lek. At the party’s 57th AGM he stated: "There will be occasions when MCA will take a different stand from Umno. MCA needs to be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the rakyat, so that we continue to be their voice in the government."

"We have to overcome the negative perception of the Chinese towards MCA. We have been perceived as a party that has been unable to voice out the aspirations of the community."

Well, let’s see. As a start what do MCA MPs say about the Dewan Rakyat’s Speaker saying there’ll be no debate on the 'racist' principals as they’re already disciplined.

All of us including the Speaker himself and Chua know that’s not true.

Besides, the debate is more than just about the disciplining. It’s about the nature of official indoctrination of public servants by the Biro Tatanegara (BTN), which has already been reported by many participants as having a sinister racial content, and the DPM's staggeringly stupid statement that he couldn’t do anything about the slow pace of bringing the racist duo to heels, and of course the inordinate heels dragging to discipline the two publicly-paid bigots even until now, yes, up to the very instant when the House Speaker brazenly claimed they are being disciplined.

There there is the question of how PM Najib's various policy statements, namely 1Malaysia and zero tolerance towards racism, etc stand in the face of such defiant public servants.

I take this opportunity to also advise the MCA and indeed the Gerakan and MIC to bear in mind that the Barisan Nasional is a coalition and not UMNO with several non-Malay affiliates or branches. Therefore MCA (and Gerakan and MIC each) should stand up as a sovereign party that is a full partner in a coalition or alliance. Don't behave like a subordinate branch of UMNO.

What does this entail then?

While the BN as a party should of course, as far as possible speak out together on policy issues, the operative term should be ‘as far as possible’, meaning there may be times the MCA should be able, and indeed dare to speak out differently on an issue of interest to the community or constituency it represents.

When there is an general or state election pending, the seats should be allocated not just as per a coalition formula BUT through meaningful negotiations among the parties. In other words, there is no such thing as the BN chairperson (meaning UMNO) dispensing seats out like Father Christmas and MCA and Gerakan keeping mum.

Also and very importantly, the selection of candidates to seats assigned to MCA shall be only at the discretion of the MCA leadership and should never ever be subordinated to approval by the BN chairperson (eg. Hulu Selangor where the MIC president was humiliated as being no more than a mere UMNO branch leader).

It’s an insult that MCA candidates have to be approved by an UMNO man.

Finally (for now), where an agreement or consensus cannot be arrived at between, say, MCA and Gerakan, these two BN parties should be permitted to fight it out. For example, in Australia, the Liberal and National parties, both partners in the Coalition, are allowed to compete against each other in some seats.

An added advantage in this is to prevent UMNO from employing its old tactic of divide and rule over MCA and Gerakan. Fighting it out is better as it will weed out the Chinese based party least supported by the voters. Better still, the MCA and Gerakan should merge into one single party.

Let’s see how determined Chua and the MCA (and Gerakan) will be.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

3 quickies (1)

(1) Lee Chong Meng quits MCA and joins PKR.

PKR is obviously in taxi-sapu mode again, picking up even MCA rejects. Is it so hardup? Sure as hell, the party still hasn’t learned anything at all from its past mistakes, has it?

(2) Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Razali Ibrahim said today he'll be holding talks with the Malaysian Weightlifting Association over gold medalist Aricco Jumitih’s decision to wear a vest with a Sabah flag on it during his event in New Delhi.

Aiyah, Aricco was only emulating Muhyiddin in being Sabahan 1st, Malaysian 2nd lah.

(3) Zaid Ibrahim said he will pull out if sweetie Nurul goes for PKR No 2 position. Many Azmin supporter decry the statement as Zaid leading Nurul into a trap.

I believe Zaid doesn’t want Azmin to be No 2 at any cost, even if it means both No 1 and No 2 positions are to go to the Anwar family.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Old farts syndrome

General Douglas MacArthur in his farewell speech to a joint US Congressional session in 1951 said the immortalized "… old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

Alas, in Malaysia old politicians obviously haven’t heard of them for they've not only refused to fade away but continue to exert their influence in direct proportion to the period of their so-called retirement.

We of course have our Dr Mahathir whose influence is not only considerable but has already deposed one prime minister, his successor, one personally appointed by him. Dr M's recent ethnocentric politicking has set the current prime minister for a similar fall or, at best for PM Najib, a discrediting of his new 'inclusive' policies. Making Mukhriz a deputy minister is not good enough. But the deposing can of course be averted if Najib pays strict obedience to his ‘advice’.

Dr Mahathir’s advice to Najib is very straightforward, to ensure the old NEP favouring the Malays continues. Najib's 1Malaysia has to be correctly translated into 0.65Malays + 0.35Nons, or f* else!

Then there is Lim Keng Yaik, the former president of an already moribund party acting as if he is still the president and merajuking (sulking) in his resignation as the party’s advisor (as if this post means anything within the greater scheme of Malaysian politics).

But the internal factional dynamics of this near-dead party have fortutiously provided some pseudo-credence to his posturing and thus some comfort to Lim for whatever secret agenda he has in mind. He’s not known as an old fox for nothing. And indeed, as a conciliatory placating gesture, Koh Tsu Koon has appointed Lim as the chair of whatever-council Gerakan has, but apparently an important one within the party as it has the final say in party nominations for elections. As chairman, Lim will be in a position to ensure his supporters are selected as Gerakan election candidates.

As for MIC, I am sure Samy has been encouraged by the antics of his former cabinet colleagues. So I won’t be surprised to eventually hear of him, after or IF he retires, doing either a Dr M or a Dr Lim. No wonder Malaysians say a doctor is not good for your (political) health wakakaka.

MCA? Strangely, they don’t suffer from the old fart syndrome. Maybe those Chinese Ma Hua people know how to bury their retired leaders well and good. ;-)

But the one who gets the cream in the annoying old codgers brigade has to be a neighbouring old man. He just has to show off how smart he was, and he has done so again, by using his eulogy for his recently deceased wife to remind us he was a First Class from Cambridge.

But worse than the ego trip, he also poked Malaysia in the eyes, reminding us he has us by our balls because his wife astutely penned in a water-tight (excuse the pun) separation clause to ensure our compulsory supply of water to the annoying neighbour. Of course he also nicely inserted into the praise of his wife’s drafting astuteness as one prompted by his personal instruction – now, would that constitute self praise?

Then ungraciously, he used the eulogy to badmouth the Barisan Socialis. Well, maybe he needed to do this to salve his conscience over the brilliant but unjustly maligned Lim Chin Siong?

But among all these, his idiosyncrasies, the one which has been annoying for us Malaysians is his perpetual need to talk down to us, to show us his cleverness, his superiority, his amazing astuteness – I wonder whether he is overcompensating for something?

Unfortunately unlike Douglas MacArthur, these old farts won’t just fade away.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Nurul Izzah Anwar - PKR deputy chief?

I wonder how old she is?

She is certainly sweet looking!

But as PKR's deputy president?

Quite frankly I had thought VP was already too high a position for her. Maybe a central committe member but VP or DP?

But Zaid Ibrahim backs her. We have read that, unlike her father's commitment to Azmin Ali, she has been supportive of Zaid, indicating a split in the family perception of who in the party should go up. So there appears to be some reciprocity and mutual support between them.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

PKR's immature childish leader?

Tonight we’ll have a quick peep at the PKR turmoil between Azmin Ali (backed by Anwar Ibrahim) and Zaid Ibrahim.

Anwar so loves Azmin that he once (pre 2008) told his erstwhile good mate Nallakarupan (then in PKR) not to stand for one of of the VP positions in order to allow/ensure Azmin secure that position.

At that time there were so many Indian members of PKR that Nalla would have been a virtual shoo-in, and with that, would probably have advanced by now to become the deputy president of PKR ... and probably one day, the party president – not an implausible outcome considering the number of Indian members in PKR at that time.

Itu ta’boleh lor (no can do) for a variety of reasons, so he (Anwar) was prepared to offend his matey Nalla, a man who was charged together with (and because of) him during Sodomy I, where Nalla had frighteningly faced the gallows for 'possession' of gun and ammo. Ignoring this 'bond under fire', Anwar told Nalla to withdraw from the VP race.

Naturally Nalla felt so betrayed that he left with a huff and puff. And not to be unexpected, the anwaristas condemned Nalla as a traitor and a BN running dog etc etc – ‘tis the nature of the anwarista beast lah!

However, what Nalla did out of revenge, like badmouthing Anwar etc at periodic intervals, was unfortunate because it merely justified the anwaristas’ claim that Nalla was the bad bloke while Anwar was of course pristinely pure and never at fault.

I saw the same happened to Khalid Ibrahim a year back, and now I see it happening to Zaid Ibrahim. Anwar has recently chided Zaid indirectly for giving an interview to Utusan - obviously the Great Leader supports Azmin.

Zaid has responded most appropriately, stating he would not boycott any media seen to be attacking the party or its coalition Pakatan Rakyat’s PR leadership. He asserted he didn’t ask who owns this or that paper nor did that matter. Finally he stated: No other newspaper has attacked me more than Utusan but when I was invited by Utusan I did not say boycott them.

These have been words of a mature politician – for more, please read The Malaysian Insider's Zaid Ibrahim says will not boycott Umno papers.

Meanwhile, Anwar’s blue-eyed boy, Azmin Ali, just can’t make up his mind whether he wants to be MB of Selangor (which means Khalid will be sabo kau kau, and indeed poor Khalid was for a while) or a federal minister (maybe Finance?) especially now when Putrajaya could possibly be within reach. I think he must have finally decided on Putrajaya because Khalid is currently off the hook, well at least for now ... but Zaid isn’t.

No doubt Azmin Ali will be the deputy president of PKR and the behind-the-scene de facto leader of that party. That’s probably the way Anwar wants it, whether according to his own preference or according to the demands of Azmin.

Now, what if Anwar is invited once again to makan nasi kosong at Kem Kamunting, and Azmin Ali becomes virtually El Supremo in PKR, what then for (a) Zaid, (b) Pakatan?

I'll leave Zaid to fend for himself, but let’s talk about Pakatan. As I mentioned in my article Ride the Islamic tiger, risk becoming cat food:

Apart from the obvious need to expand its Malay-Muslim base, there have been other compelling reasons for DAP to expedite its wooing of the Malays via the Islamic avenue. The party has been concerned about the future of Anwar Ibrahim as well as the politics of PKR.

Anwar has served a vital role as the bridge and glue for the new coalition, Pakatan Rakyat which has PAS and DAP with antipodal ideologies. If Anwar is forcefully removed from the Malaysian political landscape, it is unlikely that PKR will be able to provide a substitute of equal stature and charisma. Thus DAP has decided on the worst case scenario where it will be required to work directly with PAS. What better time than to start now, ...

In other words, Azmin ain’t no Anwar, and is unlikely to be accorded the same stature, respect and coalition leadership by PAS or DAP ... whereas Zaid might possibly be, much as PAS dislikes him for his liberal manners, though of course today a much older Zaid has already voiced his repentance.

Richard Teo, one of Malaysiakini’s more serious and prolific letter-writers, wrote Why Zaid must be elected PKR's No 2, where he stated:

... it is fait accompli that the government is hell bent on incarcerating the opposition leader before the 13th general election. That, of course, will be a fatal mistake of the BN government. But taking out Anwar from the equation of being able to lead Pakatan after the capture of Putrajaya simply means someone has to fill the vacuum left by the departure of the de facto leader.

That explains why the person who fills in the position of deputy president of PKR is of vital importance because that person could, in most probability, become the next prime minister of our country.

Zaid has proved his mettle. He relinquished his ministerial post from the government on a matter of principle. His vision and articulations on national issues resonate with people of different race and religion. On issues of vital importance he was not afraid to be vocal and candid. That is a mark of a great leader.

To deprive this man of serving this nation is not only a loss to PKR but a catastrophic loss to the nation at a time when our nation is in dire shortage of charismatic leaders.

I do not wish to disparage his opponent's ability to be a deputy president and I do not wish to undermine his ability to lead the nation if there are calls to do so. Azmin Ali's loyalty to Anwar and the party is without question. He is young and has tremendous energy to garner support from the grassroots but when it comes to articulation of national issues I cannot remember a single occasion when he has made a stand.

A leader who lacks the ability to articulate important issues publicly cannot be expected to lead. A person without vision cannot lead a nation because of his impairment to discern the path and route he has to take.

As a concerned citizen of this country, I humbly appeal to those who are empowered to elect the next deputy president of PKR to make your choice wisely because your choice could possibly determine the next elected prime minister of our country.

Sorry Richard, please permit me to somehow defend Azmin’s record, well ... at least on one specific stand – he was personally instrumental in removing Rosmah Mansor from her position as chancellor of UNISEL wakakakakakakakakakakakaka, and folks, that had been Azmin Ali’s major/sole visionary contribution – for more, see my Mean-spirited Malaysians.

The tussle between Azmin Ali and Zaid Ibrahim has been dirty, as to be expected, but it doesn't help when Anwar chose to chip in by chiding Zaid indirectly.

Even Anwar’s last minute-appointed candidate for Kelana Jaya, Loh Gwo Burne (wakakaka) was wont to condemn Azmin Ali in a letter to Malaysiakini titled No place for immature, childish leaders.

Loh said: I read with great disappointment the words used by Azmin Ali, a leader which many of us PKR members look up to, when the PKR deputy president hopeful, or deputy president-elect according to some of our friends, took a personal swipe at Zaid Ibrahim.

I read both the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia that covered Azmin's speech at the PKR Gombak AGM, in which Zaid was portrayed as a novice in the party. Not only that, Azmin also referred to Zaid as a 'desperado' in an interview with Berita Harian.

As a candidate for the senior position of deputy president of the party, I am saddened and disappointed if Azmin has decided to conduct himself in this manner. Personal attacks are unnecessary and uncalled for. Name-calling is childish at best and I read with disbelief that a veteran and mature leader like Azmin would say something like this.

Azmin Ali - that’s Anwar Ibrahim anointed future leader of PKR, so in some ways, much as I don’t feel comfy with the DAP and PAS making eyes at each other, I can understand why these two parties have been playing footsie-tootsies beneath the Pakatan table, when Azmin Ali is hardly in the league of the Pak Haji's from the East Coast and the Lim's (father & son).