A meeting place to exchange views, no matter how different or diverse these may be. Keeping these civil and courteous would be appreciated
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Should the nation allow a MCA man near a port again?
The 'Bisa Diatur' Factor
He lamented that MCMC* shouldn’t have given YTL the 700 MHz band for free when that facility could have been auctioned for a large sum. I agree with him.
* MCMC subsequently claimed YTL was only permitted hybrid communications (whatever that means)
However, where I disagree with him or, to be precise, where I need to call a spade a spade lies in his unhappiness with Lim Kit Siang for stating that if the Chinese dominated the economy it was the Malay leadership who allowed that to happened.
Datuk Ariff stated: This state of affairs is the result of those in power mostly Malays giving Chinese hongs the opportunities. But there’s the added twist. In the hands of these people, so claimed the triumphalist, they can become more competitive etc. The Chinese triumphalist is so oversensitive when criticized.
Datuk, while I’m not a smart person like you who knows lots about politics, economics and modern communication issues, I am aware of two pieces of locally-known knowledge, social-political-business folklore if you wish, that may be related to the 700 MHz spectrum controversy you raised as well as many other lucrative businesses that have gone to Chinese. For this discussion, let's leave aside those Chinese truimphalists. We can discuss that another time.
Yes, I still do recall one Chinese developer, Datuk or Tan Sri Liew (at that level, those Chinese towkays are usually Datuks or Tan Sris) who trumpeted openly, presumably to support PM Najib’s 1Malaysia and new economic policies, that the Chinese have benefitted humongously from the NEP or whatever.
Much as I want to inform Datuk or Tan Sri Liew (hope I have his name correct) I am not one of his Chinese who have benefitted humongously and he had no right to claim so on the behalf of Chinese Malaysians, I have to put my angry temptation aside and just say here, that therein in this Liew’s grandstanding broadcast lies the real story of the relationship between UMNO leadership (including Tun Dr Mahathir when he was PM) and Chinese towkays. The nasty word, I believe, is called cronyism. That’s the first known local folklore that I mentioned.
The second, still a popular, prevalent and pervasive folklore, though like most laypeople I can’t or don’t have the means and time to prove and thus must leave this to (no, not the MACC wakakaka) Raja Petra Kamarudin to expose for our knowledge, is the ‘Bisa Diatur’ factor.
‘Bisa Diatur’ is a beautiful Indonesian term that is even more powerful than our Malaysian 'Boleh', as it is endowed with characteristics that may be described as cheeky (or sinister, depending on our individual perception), and mysterious (or shady, again depending on our individual take). I suppose our local Chinese (Cantonese) would call it 'can kowtim one'.
What is it then? Think Vincent Tan and his recent failed (maybe only temporarily) attempt to secure a monopoly on sports gambling, and in the face of strong public opposition especially from the Penang (Pakatan) State government, his readiness to donate RM500 million to set up some kind of scholarship foundation. RM500 million is certainly no small lolly, but indirectly providing us a glimpse of the staggering and lucrative potential to be harvested from sports gambling.
Anyway, the point is he was provided the no-tender okay from the federal government (how? why?), before Najib found it politically too hot to handle and (temporarily?) withdrew or denied the licence was even promised to Vincent Tan.
We know that the lotteries and 4-Ekor business, apart from other monopolies or near monopolies with goldmine-like profits, have gone to Chinese cronies of UMNO leadership.
What I want to say is I support Lim Kit Siang’s erudite summarization of the unhealthy relationship between UMNO leaders and their Chinese cronies. It's not that UMNO leaders love the yellow skin a$$ of those Chinese towkays. In this world, nothing is free. There is a price or a ‘bisa diatur’ factor to consider. I’ll leave it at that.
Incidentally I heard there is a Chinese towkay nicknamed Datuk Roast Lamb who has been waiting patiently in the corner for Anwar Ibrahim to become PM wakakaka.
At the end of the day, it’s UMNO top leaders who want the relationship.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Did my son beg for mercy before being shot?
Malaysiakini’s 'Did my son beg for mercy before being shot’ reported (extract):
Norhafizah Mad Razali just cannot help thinking of her son's last moments before he was shot dead by police.
"I keep thinking what he was thinking, how he felt before the fatal shot. Did he plead for mercy? Was he crying in pain?" she said in tears, while her husband, Shapiei Zainal Abidin who in spite of his own wet eyes tried to offer comfort.
What can I say? How could I ever comfort you?
How would I even imagine your sorrows, the sorrow of a mother whose son was cut down in the flower of his youth, taken away from her without warning?
What does it matter to her who’s right or who’s wrong!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Gerakan & PKR - 40 years of Darkness?
Gerakan Party and its DAP, PPP and PAS allies (yes, PAS was part of the bloc that had an election understanding, though it was not a coalition in the mode of today’s Pakatan) overturned the Malaysian political world, where people saw the vulnerability of the Perikatan just a mere 12 years after Merdeka, perhaps in the same way many Asians saw the less-than-invincibility of the British after it was trounced drastically by the Japanese during WWII.
May 13 had to occur for a very shaken UMNO. Both Selangor and Perak were slipping through its hands. The inevitable, for these two states, as well as a Gerakan-turned-BN controlled Penang, to slip from BN hands had to wait for another 40 years.
Note: I have not mentioned much about Kelantan and Terengganu as control of these two states were generally within PAS’ reach and have certainly changed hands. As many suspect, the politics of Sabah and Sarawak had more to do with the UMNO central government keeping them out of Catholic hands and the threats of secession. Sabah’s Donald Stephens converted to Islam becoming (the late) Fuad Stephens but Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Sarawak’s (the late) Stephen Kalong Ningkan remained Christians.
The 1969-Gerakan and its allies DAP, PPP and PAS won handsomely on 10 May 1969 for two reasons, namely (no, it had nothing to do with Hindraf leading the way as hubristic Uthayakumar, bro & supporters would constantly us, wakakaka), namely:
(1) The voters (not just Chinese and Indians but Malays as well) were thoroughly fed up with the UMNO-led coalition of Perikatan, and ready for a change.
(2) The opposition had a no-split vote understanding. This was slightly different from the current vote ‘anyone except BN’ which developed into ‘vote Pakatan’, a frightening prospect for UMNO and its kutus.
After Lim Chong Eu took Gerakan into BN, the 1969 political supernova was followed by 40 years of weak opposition, played mainly by DAP and PAS.
Today, it’s easy to criticise Dr Lim for his action with the advantage of 40 years hindsight, as Terence Netto of Malaysiakini had done in his article He read the tides well, but not deeply. Dr Lim had to consider the well-being of Penangites in the wake of a horrendous May 13 and the very likelihood of a Perikatan federal government (running the emergency NOC) sabotaging his fledging government, as today’s UMNO is attempting ceaselessly to do to Lim GE’s Pakatan state government of Penang. The only difference is that today Lim GE has the advantage of living in a more globalised and ‘internationally smaller’ world and thus indirectly enjoying its ‘protection’.
OK, back to the last 40 years of Malaysia – The BN government with increasing oil revenue, profligate spending and unexplainable and obscene lifestyle by many BN leaders (leadership by terrible example) led to unfettered and deep rooted corruption. Everyone, from politician to policeman, wants not only to get rich but obscenely rich, and pretty pronto too. And why not for the poor mata-mata, when they could see plainly some fat cats living in palatial mansions, like a once railway gate keeper or a dentist?
When the law was found to be not suitable for UMNO’s requirements, it raped the Constitution at will, changing its Articles as and when it liked. Then, Lim Kit Siang’s greatest wish was humble, to only deny the BN its 2/3 majority so as to stop the violation of the Constitution. Today, Lim’s ambition has grown beyond the magic 2/3 majority.
The inevitable consequence of the 40 years of Dark Interregnum since 1969 witnessed continuous and increasing UMNO avarice, arrogance and aggression. Their political leaders rode roughshod over everyone including their non-Malay allies. Ketuanan
Thus the voters wanted to change the government.
At the same time, the opposition were ready with a political memorandum of understanding a la 1969, namely, not to split votes. The difficult job of seats sharing was nonetheless achieved, though recently doubts have been raised as to PKR’s real membership numbers.
08 March 2008 was exactly like 10 May 1969. Pakatan was the equivalent of Gerakan and its ‘friends’ of 1969 (DAP, PPP and PAS).
But what about the coming 13th general election? Can Pakatan maintain the two following factors, namely:
(1) The voters will be ready and want to change the federal government.
(2) The opposition has a no-split vote understanding.
Let’s discuss the second factor first. I believe it is achievable. In fact, it’ll be more than just not splitting votes as the several by-elections since 08 March 2008 have shown that the Pakatan allies could actually marshal votes for each other from their respective supporters.
The only spoiler to the no-split vote strategy will be mosquito parties like Uthayakumar's HRP. Yes, I believe they may deny Pakatan (especially DAP) a few seats. Mind you, HRP does not have the sort of numbers they imagine to be commanding as many Indians have already returned to the BN fold, wakakaka, so its deliberate intention to damage DAP's prospects may not be that effective or significant.
What about the first factor? Obviously we have been aware of Najib’s campaigning, though UMNO has been careful to assure its heartland it hasn’t abandoned its ketuanan Melayu policy by frequent spurts of bigotry, through its (pretend) maverick politician-leaders, civil servants and the insidious seditious Utusan and other mouthpieces.
On the Pakatan side, I see its Achilles heel, lamentably the fallout from the PKR's shameful scandalous party polls, where complaints against vote rigging were blatantly ignored while complainants were labelled as traitors. It took no meaningful or sincere actions until eons later for Anwar Ibrahim to come up with a promise to deal with each complaint, a promise of action grudgingly brought about by the very serious threat from the damage done to PKR unity, though I believe like his reformasi call, it’s nothing more than just lip service, again.
If one can forgive the second terrible trio of Dr Wan Azizah, Dr Syed Husin and Dr Molly Cheah, can one the principal terrible trio of Anwar, Azmin and Saifuddin?
Today PKR is a house divided, very very much divided. As Jonson Chong warned Dr Wan Azizah: If the president still does not take some serious action to remedy this situation, then I’m afraid the party’s days may be numbered with or without a new line-up. And let me unequivocally state that I am not addressing the de facto leader on this matter because I no longer recognise the validity of that position.
And as I wrote in my previous post: Jonson's last paragraph requires urgent attention but I doubt Dr Wan Azizah has the will, willingness and wibawa (authority) to take action.
Alas, PKR has proven itself to be nothing more than a cult party. I fear its effect on Pakatan will be the same as Gerakan joining BN in 1972. It may bring upon us another 40 years of Dark Age.
De facto, my foot! What about de facts!
From the continuing horror stories, centered around the unbelievable denial mantra of its secretary general Saifuddin Nasution and the ‘ask me not, ask the Secretariat, 'coz I don’t know anything, I’m just a deer caught in the headlights of a car’ reenactment of Pontius Pilate by Molly Cheah, it would seem PKR is determined to show, at all costs, it is indeed the weakest link in the coalition.
In my last post PKR without Anwar Ibrahim & Azmin Ali I wrote: I reckon the scandal, complaints and questions over the recent PKR party polls have been a blessing in disguise because it means a significant number of PKR members and supporters might have woken up, realizing their messianic icon is not so reformasi-inclined as they had blindly and foolishly believe. This may spell a nascent willingness among PKR members to consider their party as one minus Anwar and Azmin.
We now have a serious complaint, out in the open, written by Jonson Chong and published in The Malaysian Insider as Lies, damn lies and stupidity. The article is produced in full below:
After my polite final appeal to the president of KEADILAN was ignored … No … actually she told us that the central election committee would carry out thorough investigations and that all candidates should stop using the media to criticise the party. Although that did not sit well with me I respected her wishes so much so that even when I withdrew from the contest for a vice presidential position. I did it quietly.
Indeed, I know some shrewder politicians ridicule me for not taking the opportunity to make a public statement. Well the rationale for me is simple. I quit because I found the entire party election to be such a disappointment and it completely lacked credibility. And it gave me neither profit nor pleasure in making the party look worse than it already was (For your information I tried contacting the president directly before I wrote my open letter to her).
Now I share my true feelings not because I want to embarrass the party but because I sense the presence of foolish arrogance in the voice of the party’s secretary-general. And I simply cannot remain silent in the face of bold-faced lies because I know it will eventually bring the party to its knees. Yes I am talking about his statements vis-à-vis the sacking of Jenapala.
Before I proceed, let me confess one thing I am no fan of Jenapala’s. At one point in time we were both deputy secretaries-general of the party and I came to realise that I did not like the way he expressed himself which is probably due to the way he thought. Anyway I digress.
Back to the current sec-gen of KEADILAN. He said that he welcomes the police to investigate the forgery of a letter sacking Jenapala purportedly signed by the previous sec-gen. For those who are unaware I served as the deputy to the previous sec-gen. Apart from opening the doors of the party HQ and computer servers to the friendly PDRM the current sec-gen also says that, “All we did was open our files and found the letter that Salehuddin signed. How am I supposed to know if his signature was forged?” Does he expect members supporters and the public to just accept this lame explanation and conclude all is well in the party.
Please allow me to share how the previous sec-gen would have handled things if this matter cropped up, i.e. whether Jenapala was actually sacked from the party. One. he would have asked the membership officer to check Jenapala’s membership status. Two, he would have asked me to scrutinise the central leadership council meetings’ minutes for the relevant decision. And three, he would have asked whether we issued a letter to inform Jenapala if indeed such a decision was made.
For me, just the stupidity of how this Jenapala issue was handled is enough to tell me that the judgement of the people who are purportedly in charge of the party are seriously impaired.
But what really sickens me to the core of my being is that I know for a fact that someone in the party HQ knows that the letter is a forgery. It was created to cover up an initial honest mistake made by somebody when they said that Jenapala was sacked in February 2009.
For your information, I was the deputy secretary-general charged with the responsibility to assist the disciplinary board in handling cases referred to them by the MPP. When the Jenapala matter first came up during the party election someone from the HQ called me to ask whether there was a letter sent to Jenapala to sack him. I said there isn’t such a letter and there never was such a decision to sack him. There was only a decision to sack him in principle if indeed it was found that he was involved in the formation of a new political party.
Then before I knew it I saw a letter with the previous sec-gen’s signature which was purportedly sent to Jenapala to sack him way back in February 2009. I was speechless.
I was speechless because there is no doubt in my mind that the letter is a forgery, and I am dumbfounded that they could resort to such a thing to cover up an honest mistake, for which they could have just humbly informed the media and move on.
Now, in light of the police report lodged by the previous sec-gen, this matter cannot be swept under the carpet anymore, especially not the way the current sec-gen attempted to do it. I’m amazed that he doesn't see the gravity of the situation.
I know, in politics perception is everything. But I also know, in a court of law evidence is everything. And when the judiciary is not on your side, it doesn’t even matter if they don’t have the evidence. All they need is a good reason to put you away.
If the president still does not take some serious action to remedy this situation, then I’m afraid the party’s days may be numbered with or without a new line-up. And let me unequivocally state that I am not addressing the de facto leader on this matter because I no longer recognise the validity of that position.
Jonson's last paragraph requires urgent attention but I doubt Dr Wan Azizah has the will, willingness and wibawa (authority) to take action.
It also took me a while to think of a title for this post! I hope Jonson doesn't mind my wee creativity wakakaka.
Related: Haris Ibrahim's Shielding fraud behind a Mahathir ouster clause?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
PKR without Anwar Ibrahim & Azmin Ali
Questions have been raised about PKR’s real membership figures, especially as only 10% of the claimed 400,000 voted in the recent party’s election.
Prior to this MKINI report, a reason tossed about was that PKR had deliberately inflated its membership numbers to justify/stake its large share of the seat allocations among the three Pakatan component parties.
If that has been the case then PKR had fibbed to its Pakatan allies; if that wasn’t, then PKR has had an abysmal turnout for its party election, raising doubts about the legitimacy of Azmin Ali’s election as the new deputy president of PKR.
Out of 10% of the claimed 400,000 members who voted, Azmin only received slightly less than 20,000, a mere fraction (5%) of the total numbers. Is 5% of membership support sufficient to justify his No 2 position in the party. With Dr Wan Azizah a known reluctant politician and a passive president (only in name), Azmin Ali is now virtually the leader of PKR, on the basis of the 5% members' support he received. And even that 5% is questioned for being not kosher.
However, my post is not so much about the numbers per se, but the longevity of PKR as one of the Pakatan trio. In this, naturally I have to raise questions about Anwar, and since Azmin Ali is so closely tied in with Anwar, him as well.
Actually I didn’t plan to write my letter What of Anwar's less than admirable history in Umno?, to Malaysiakini, where I listed my reasons for not supporting Anwar Ibrahim. But I was compelled to by Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad's letter to Malaysiakini in which he responded to Dean John's criticism of the sad state of affairs in PKR. I was mentioned, which forced me to reply.
My main point in my letter to Malaysiakini was that I do not believe Anwar’s reformasi credentials or promise. Au contraire, I pointed out his 916 nonsense, that: To boast of an invisible force of 30 BN MPs defecting to his side was not only an outrageous affront to the supremacy of the Malaysian voters' decision but a hideous insult to democracy, exposing his reformasi as nothing more than a lip service sham.
The questions and complaints over his involvement in the recent party polls – see Zaid Ibrahim - suffers no fool gladly and PKR party election - the horror stories continue - have further fortified my poor impression of him, and now Azmin Ali as well.
Anwaristas and most of his supporters have been deceiving themselves by arguing that anyone, anything would be better than further enduring the UMNO-BN sh*t. Let me ask: aren’t Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali also UMNO sh*t?
Changing an Anwar/Azmin-led PKR for UMNO is just changing sh*t. Then, some anwaristas, not accepting their icon is not deserving of our support, came along to say: Anwar sh*t is better than UMNO sh*t, and so the arguments continue on, along the line that Anwar, regardless of his faults and weaknesses, is better than any UMNO leader.
Having said all the above, I believe PKR can still be a good party, and Pakatan is worth voting for ... provided ... much as PKR anwaristas and other PKR supporters will undoubtedly condemn me, I have to agree with Zaid Ibrahim that for the good of PKR, Anwar and Azmin should leave PKR.
Of course that is unlikely to happen now because Anwar is so consumed about being PM, or failing that, to see Azmin as PM. They have a symbiotic relationship, which means they both see themselves as PM in the event of a Pakatan victory.
I am not sure I want to see either Anwar or Azmin as PM. Just imagine what they can do. It frightens me.
I reckon the scandal, complaints and questions over the recent PKR party polls have been a blessing in disguise because it means a significant number of PKR members and supporters might have woken up, realizing their messianic icon is not so reformasi-inclined as they had blindly and foolishly believe. This may spell a nascent willingness among PKR members to consider their party as one minus Anwar and Azmin.
The challenge to the Anwar-Azmin leadership have to, must come from within PKR, so as to save the party and preserve its useful role in Pakatan. PKR must and shall survive (better) without Anwar and Azmin. I’m really glad that Dr Syed Husin has left voluntarily; next should be Dr Wan Azizah as the poor long-suffering lady needs a good break. And so should the others like 'all complaints solved' Saifuddin, deer-like Dr Molly Cheah and the inner coterie of Anwar and Azmin.
The daughter Nurul seems a decent sort of sweetheart, honest, bright and promising as a politician. Maybe one day she’ll be the leader. Yes, PKR can survive, in fact better, as a party of young members and leaders – Nurul, Chegubard, Tian Chua, Eli Wong, Jonson Chong, etc. Maybe it's time to recruit people like RPK and Haris Ibrahim into the party fold.
It’s all up to you PKR members. Don't exist under the unfounded belief that Anwar Ibrahim (and symbiotically, Azmin Ali) is indispensable.
Perhaps it may not be remiss of Pakatan to put the trek to Putrajaya on hold and just focus on winning more federal seats and the new States of Perak, NS and Sarawak.
The next term, even in federal opposition, will provide the Pakatan leaders with more experience in being State ruling governments, and more importantly, the Malaysian civil service with sufficient time and exposure to an enlarged and enhanced Pakatan presence to realize the Malaysian political landscape has significantly and irreversibly changed, and to adjust to real Westminster democracy (and thus the possibility of a new federal ruling party, without harbouring any ethno-centric fears) and a return to its impartial professionalism.
And hopefully by then, Anwar and Azmin will no longer be in charge of PKR.
Don’t be dragged in by Anwar-Azmin’s obsession to race to occupy Putrajaya, regardless. Slow and steady wins the race.
Monday, November 22, 2010
PKR party election - the horror stories continue
Chegubard told Dr Wan about Kota Marudu PKR Youth chief, Dr Jurin Gunsalam, who was informed by his division chief Anthony Mandiau that Anwar had instructed him who to vote for.
Chegubard also revealed that some candidates were allowed to contest even though their names were sent in after the deadline.
He stated: “When a verbal complaint was made to the election officer, the complainant was asked if he was a supporter of Badrul Hisham. A written complaint has since been ignored.”
He added that though the Tampin division had nominated him and running mate Chang Lih Kang, somehow that nomination went to their contenders, Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Khairul Anuar Zainuddin.
As with other polling complaints, his report too has thus far elicited no response.
His election agents reported the same mystery we've already heard, that the number of counted votes at a station were more than the actual turnout, which led Chegubard to remind us that in Kubang Pasu (see my earlier post Zaid Ibrahim - suffers no fool gladly), the number of counted votes was almost 3 times more than the actual turnout – UMNO, eat your hearts out!
Chegubard told us the same story, that the phantom votes were actually (indirectly) admitted by the election committee when they had to call a Zaid Ibrahim’s representative to negotiate on how to split the total votes wakakaka.
Indeed, Chegubard, I asked the same question too, namely what kind of solution was this? In fact let's go one step further, what kind of poll was this?
He gave us more horror stories about the polling in Teluk Intan and Sabah, where the actual turnout at Sandakan and Libaran was only about 200, and not the official figures of 898 in Libaran and 456 in Sandakan. Incidentally Azmin Ali was the winner where he ‘swept’ virtually (almost) 100% of the votes at Libaran, Sandakan, Tawau and Tenom.
Chegubard said the votes for Sandakan and Libaran were not tallied at the polling centre and, like at Kubang Pasu, the candidates' agents were not allowed to be present during the counting process wakakaka!
Remember in my previous post Zaid Ibrahim - suffers no fool gladly, I mentioned Jonson Chong writing to Dr Wan to audit just the Libaran polls. Now we know why. But I doubt Jonson is still holding his breath waiting for the okay from the party president.
Sabah party deputy chief Christina Liew said: "I checked with the headquarters and was told that they are currently investigating...I understand that the majority of the (complaints) have been lodged with the headquarters, although I don't know how long the probe will take."
Meanwhile at headquarters, Dr Molly Cheah, head of the JPP, the so-called central election committee was reported by Malaysiakini as reluctant to say yes or no to Christina Liew’s report that HQ was investigating.
But when MKINI pressed her, she said: "If Christina Liew says it's under investigation then it is under investigation." Wow! HQ investigating eh? No wonder Terence Netto (of Malaysiakini) described her llike a deer caught in the headlights wakakaka.
Chegubard said Dr Molly Cheah refused to confirm whether the number of complaints was 162, as claimed by Liew and deputy president hopeful Mustaffa Kamil Ayub. I wonder whether she pleaded doctor-patient confidentiality? Or just that she didn't know!
Chegubard sighed: “I am adhering to party discipline by using internal means to make this complaint (but) it is as if I have been pushed to the wall. As a member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, I am seeking keadilan (justice).”
Keadilan (justice)? Hmmm, well-known journalist and lawyer Art Harun did ask in his post what does the ‘K’ in PKR stand for? I have an answer for Art, but why don't you guess! wakakaka!
Art wrote: I don't know about how they feel and think. But frankly, in my perception, PKR is so full of crap than it would even dare to admit. And if the farce that PKR calls and labels as party elections is to be a yardstick of its ability to govern this country, I would rather vote for the Siberian Husky in front of my house. And by that, I don't mean to insult the dog.
Meanwhile, at Haris Ibrahim’s blog, we hear and see more of the PKR party ballots arriving in Haris hands, leading an exasperated Haris to ask Is it pink ballot papers' week?
Well, then you wouldn’t allow these pink ballot papers into a surau, would you?
For more, see Haris latest post titled A Gopeng PKR member’s report on voting day which complements Chegubard’s horror stories.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Zaid Ibrahim - suffers no fool gladly
To PKR supporters, criticizing Anwar Ibrahim, let alone asking the great one to leave PKR, is not a done thing. It’s akin to blasphemy.
Alas, instead of understanding why Zaid had gone super ballistic in his disdain of the de facto PKR leader and in general the PKR leadership clique, so as to be able to take stock of possible pre 13th GE weaknesses, no, Zaid was straightaway labelled as an UMNO mole, a Trojan horse, a snake, a frog, a running dog and every conceivable mammalian or reptilian creature that lives under the Malaysian sun, and beyond. These harsh, hostile and irrational treatments are reserved for anyone who dares to criticize the PKR icon, Anwar Ibrahim.
Anyway, what’s wrong with Zaid, as seen from my non-anwarista’s eyes wakakaka?
Years ago my class was taught by Mr Pillai, English teacher extraordinaire, about the idiom "don't suffer fools gladly". And another teacher, Miss Ong, our religious knowledge teacher revealed to us that the Mr Pillai’s idiom was a derivation from the sarcasm of the Apostle Paul as expressed in 2 Corinthians 11:19 (King James’ Version): “For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.”
I suspect this to be the feelings of Zaid Ibrahim in his recent struggle with vested interests among some members of the PKR leadership. He was appalled by what he came to know of the PKR party polling process, that it was rigged, the polling officials lacked impartiality, and ballot papers were mishandled. He made his complaints, calling for the polls to be aborted and for the polling system to be reviewed. He wasn’t the only candidate to do so.
Despite hundreds of complaints from other PKR candidates and branches, the JPP, PKR election committee remained bizarrely silent. When Haris Ibrahim of the People’s Parliament blog, handed over a PKR ballot paper for the party's deputy presidential contest to Dr Molly Cheah, the chair of PKR JPP, she responded that was the first she knew about. But what has she done about that?
RPK praised Dr Molly Cheah as an honest person. I’m sure everyone agrees with that, but Malaysiakini journalist Terence Netto wrote about Dr Cheah’s cluelessness and lack of know-now in her role as the principal monitor of the PKR party elections. Her personal honesty was not enough. She should have taken a more assertive participation rather than (as we understand from Haris) leave it to the party secretariat to do her job.
Netto asked: ... what plans are there for the re-education of Dr Molly Cheah, the PKR lead election monitor, who was plucked from obscurity and named to her important role rather like one Fairus Khairuddin, who was similarly hoisted from nowhere and made deputy chief minister of Penang in March 2008.
... Her only qualification for the important post of chief election monitor seems to have been her friendship for Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR president and fellow doctor. Cheah has no known track record in anything except general practice medicine.
In the event, when complaints about irregularities in the election process began to sweep in from the Zaid Ibrahim camp, Cheah was like a deer caught in the headlights: she simply had no clue about what was happening, not a very reassuring spectacle for a party with pretensions to take over Putrajaya.
Perhaps fence-sitting voters see in the saga of Cheah an uncanny prefiguring of what a PKR-led Pakatan government could be about: an apparition that wafts in and wafts out.
Anwar Ibrahim claimed that PKR had answered Haris Ibrahim’s query on the ballot papers. But Haris pointed out that the explanations by the party secretariat (mind you, not the JPP) did not answer how he (Haris) came to be in possession of the PKR ballot paper, regardless whether the ballot was 'old' or not. It was frighteningly available to Haris, a non-PKR member!
taken from Haris Ibrahim's blog
Yet PKR continued its blatant disregard for complaints and either dismissed them or claimed to have solved most.
It drove a PKR member, Jonson Chong, to write a personal letter to Dr Wan Azizah, the de jure president of PKR, appealing to her to at least allow an independent audit of a small sampling of the party electoral process, those of the Libaran branch, but alas, to no avail.
The PKR top leadership seems hell-bent on bulldozing the polls through to its conclusion, as planned, regardless of complaints from candidates (Zaid and Mustaffa Kamil), party members (Jonson Chong and other branch leaders) and independent observer (Haris Ibrahim).
In the face of such stonewalling, Zaid Ibrahim, the type who suffers no fools, had probably become more riled by the nauseatingly noxious noisome jeers from the anwarista praetorian guard. Did that egg him on to greater and more daring insults of the so-called refomasi icon? Who knows? It was the inevitable cycle of mutual insults which developed into a beautiful but highly destructive vortex.
So Zaid left PKR. What did you expect? To roll over on his back and accept the haram nonsense?
This was a man who resigned his ministerial post in protest against the use of the ISA against Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamarudin and a sweetie reporter, not one who had to be chucked out of UMNO screeching, screaming and taking to the streets. Zaid does not suffer fools gladly.
Of course it was to the relief of the Anwar-Azmin camp, and as the anwaristas would have exclaimed, good riddance to bad rubbish.
But everyone knows the PKR polling process was tainted. Haris Ibrahim questioned the party’s secretariat for running the show instead of the JPP. It would be akin to UMNO running the general election process instead of the Election Commission. Free-Malaysia-Today reported phantom voters in PKR’s Kelana Jaya division early last month. There was more, please read on!
Haris Ibrahim wrote in his post Indeed, who is lying of his informant telling him the PKR returning officer attending an election could manipulate the list of members, where if voter turnout was low, the numbers could be adjusted upwards with additional ballot papers dropped into the ballot box.
Haris also was informed by Rashid Azad Khan of phantom voters in Kubang Pasu, where Zaid’s polling agent reported that the voter turnout in Kubang Pasu was only 84, yet the result mysteriously showed Azmin winning with 80 votes while Zaid obtained 76, a total number exceeding the actual turnout by 72 votes. Shades of the phantom voters that PKR had blamed UMNO for!
Rashid also pointed out that there was a 30-minute blackout immediately after the election ended but candidates’ agents were not allowed into the polling room, at a time when the ballot boxes were still not sealed. He also mentioned an election officer was caught on camera wearing Azmin’s campaign badge, raising questions over the officials’ impartiality.
The gravest indication of the questionable polling process came to light after Zaid’s agent lodged a complaint on the extra 72 votes as well as his exclusion from the polling room during the blackout. Rashid Azad Khan said the party election monitor decided, probably in the face of such damning complaints, that the Kubang Pasu result should be a tie of 81 to 81.
Undoubtedly, in the annals of Malaysian election experience, it was an amazing, bizarre and unprecedented decision, where the election official not only raised the total votes cast to 78 above the actual turnout (instead of the earlier extra 72 votes), but could rule arbitrarily on a fairy tale result, from the earlier dodgy 80 to 76 to an outrageous fabricated nonsense of 81 to 81.
According to Haris Ibrahim, Rashid Azad Khan also confirmed that the Zaid team have evidence in hand of the fraud in Kubang Pasu and had communicated this to Saifuddin, the party's secretary general. Rashid says that Saifuddin promised to see them but has reneged on the promise to this day. Well, Saifuddin needn’t worry about his broken promised anymore now that Zaid has left!
The result of Azmin Ali becoming the new deputy party president is no doubt inevitable. But technically at this moment he isn’t yet as the polls hasn’t concluded. He’s only a party VP, yet at the Selangor party rally last night his face beams from the most prominent position in the giant poster on the main stage of the Shah Alam City Council auditorium. VP Azmin Ali occupied the central premier position, flanked by Anwar and I believe, Khalid Ibrahim.
Tell me, which political party in the world provides the leadership positon in a group poster to a mere vice president? Yes, only PKR!
It’s clear who
will be is the real power in the party, and Anwar and Azmin don’t believe in being subtle anymore.
Impatient, arrogant, power crazy - harsh words – ask yourself who deserves them!
As blogger Aizuddin Danian, the blogger of Volume of Interactions wrote: ... the whole purpose of the elections was to reinforce the charade that PKR was not UMNO. In the perfect irony, the elections have shown everyone that PKR and UMNO are actually very much alike. From the heights of GE12 in 2008, the darling of the electorate everyone expected to make further inroads in GE13 is now being spoken of in cautious tones. The turnaround is almost complete, and instead of GE13 being the litmus test of BN's rule (as it should be), the people are now wondering instead if it would be better to use the next elections to show their displeasure at how poorly PR in general and PKR in particular have performed. How the tide has changed.
So ... was Zaid Ibrahim’s departure from PKR a case of good riddance to bad rubbish? Or, was Zaid Ibrahim the one who exclaimed “Good riddance to bad rubbish”?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
How to cure the rot in public institutions?
* thanks to visitor Cadraver who wised me up as to the organizational identity of the security personnel holding Tian Chua back
The photo is 3 years old. It accompanied yesterday’s news that Tian Chua, Gobala and 15 others were acquitted by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court from participating in an opposition (Bersih) organized rally on 10 Nov 2007, deemed by the BN controlled police as illegal assembly.
One may safely assume the cops looked upon Tian Chua and company as the enemy rather than just members of the Malaysian public in an, well okay, illegal assembly.
There has been this unfortunate lack of professionalism by the police in treating members of the opposition as such. Some MPs like Tony Pua were even manhandled by the police. Such treatment of the people’s representatives would have shocked any western democracy but here in Malaysia, it seems to be okay. The police don't even realize the serious enormity of manhandling MPs or ADUNs. They think they are above the law and only answerable to UMNO.
The reason is obvious, where the police and other public institutes consider themselves to be employees of UMNO rather than the public. 22 years of this indoctrinated impression have been the evil outcome of UMNO brainwashing of the public services. As the public services comprise in general personnel from only one ethnic group, the brainwashing has been fortified by disinformative propaganda designed to exploit ethnic fears.
I would not be at all surprised that most of the lower echelon police and pubic service staff aren’t even aware of their (suppose to be) impartial roles. We have witnessed the lamentable pro-UMNO conduct in the police, MACC and civil service
Do you remember that most biadap Penang State Development Officer who wasn’t even ashamed to attack CM Lim GE, at an UMNO gathering. Who in the democratic world would ever imagine the likelihood of a civil servant attacking an elected people's representative at a political gathering? Well, it happens in Malaysia!
He should have been sacked for violating at least half a dozen of the civil service codes of conduct, but disgustingly, the Chief Secretary defended his biadap-ness and instead blamed CM Lim. Both the Chief Secretary and that SDO aren't poorly educated lower echelon public service members, thus their civil service 'sins' have been all the greater. Their shameful lack of professionalism in their all too obvious political allegiance have been horrendously irreparable. The late Tun Ghazalie Shafie would have turned in his grave at their chowkana behaviour.
The so-called independent third branch of a democratic government, the judiciary, is also one of the most despised Malaysian public institutes, if not the most despised (since it is the last recourse for members of the public).
Thus when Malaysiakini released the news that the 17 protestors were acquitted by the court, the news portal’s column Vox Populi has this headline One swallow doesn't make a summer.
Obviously the readers reckoned such judicial decision would be the exception to the rule, a rarity. One reader wrote: The court is invariably under the thumb of the corrupt elites but in any organisation there is always a few noble characters. But in a system corrupt to the core, you can rest assure that judges like Jagjit will never make it to the Appeals Court and above.
While readers acknowledged the fairness of judge Jagjit Singh Bant Singh in dismissing the frivolous but potentially punitive charge for Tian Chua, Gobala and colleagues (for more of his judgement, see Malaysiakini’s Bersih rally: Two MPs and 15 others acquitted), the reference to his impartial judgement as a 'swallow not necessarily making a Malaysian summer' summarises the public general loss of confidence in the impartiality, integrity and professionalism of public institutes like the police, judiciary, MACC and the civil service.
22 years of rot will take a long time to cure.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Loh Gwo Burne & Gobala - one-term MPs?
That Loh Gwo Burne became the PKR candidate for Kelana Jaya and eventually its MP had been a brilliant example of how Anwar Ibrahim treated (and seemingly still is treating) PKR like his personal fiefdom.
Can Anwar Ibrahim justify how he came to nominate Loh for the federal seat when there were more qualified and senior PKR members, more so when Loh was nominated just a week or so after he became a party member?
In February 2008 I wrote in PKR's Kelana Jaya sweetheart deal? (extracts):
Loh’s only fame (If you can term his coming to public notice that) was a Malaysiakini revelation of him as the bloke responsible for recording the controversial phone conversation of VK Lingam.
Here’s a person, who until the Lingam tape, was a PKR nobody but now suddenly being rewarded with the party's nomination for a parliamentary seat while hardworking, dedicated PKR member and a human rights lawyer, Elizabeth Wong, gets a state seat.
Yes, Elizabeth has been denied a parliamentary seat unlike HRH the Crown Princess and the Royal Video Cameraman, thanks to the de facto leader.
Now, Haris Ibrahim, PKR about Loh Gwo Burne’s nomination in PKR, why, why, why? He wrote:
I’ve had e-mails from Kelana Jaya registered voters asking this time and again. Why Loh Gwo-Burne?
He was unheard of until just before the Royal Commission proceedings began. There’s talk now about giving a protest vote to the independent, Billi Lim!
Have we missed something? Pray tell, PKR.
Indeed, but Haris should ask Anwar Ibrahim, not PKR because there are decent people in that party who are still furious with Loh’s nomination.
Tough luck for them in having a
Fortunately for Pakatan, Loh won. As they said, the tsunami would have swept a monkey holding a froggy toy into Parliament if it wore a PKR badge.
Strangely for a political nobody, Loh had recently supported Zaid Ibrahim rather passionately, to the extent of writing a letter to Malaysiakini lambasting Azmin Ali.
Now that Zaid has left and Azmin is about to become PKR deputy president and the real power, Loh is likely to find himself a one-term MP. Gobala is also at the short end of the stick for supporting Zaid. In these two, I feel Zaid has not done the right thing by them and his other supporters in not discussing with them his intention to quit.
Additional reading: Bahasa Mělayu - a letter to Yang Běrhormat
Lim GE konk-ed Kong CH
Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha criticised the Penang government today for its U-turn in lifting the stop work order on the Ipoh-Padang Besar Electrified Double Track Project (EDTP), blamed for the worsening floods in northern states. [...]
Kong said the state government should not have used the stop-work order as a cheap publicity tool, but instead should work with the federal government on mega projects that benefit the state and the country as a whole.
Isn’t that typical of an MCA minister towards governance and public accountability? Isn’t the PKFZ mess an outcome of a MCA minister’s poor monitoring?
All Lim Guan Eng wanted from MMC Gamuda was a letter of guarantee that it would reduce the impact of flooding caused by the rail double tracking (after the horrendous kedah experience) and that flood damage to the properties of Penangites must be compensated.
Kong should have insisted on that letter of guarantee in the first place and not leave it to Lim to do the necessary hard yards. But alas, Kong is MCA and that’s what you can expect of an MCA minister (probably with the sole exception of Ong Tee Keat).
Thursday, November 18, 2010
UMNO to control MCA directly?
Liow Tiong Lai would probably support it; after all Najib is his ‘beloved PM’ and had together with Muhyiddin saved his MCA bacon wakakaka a couple of times. Yes, Liow is the deputy president of MCA but in actuality he's more or less in the same boat as Murugiah, very dependent on UMNO's protective blessings to survive.
Poor Ah Koon (Koh TK) may have mixed feelings; no doubt he will benefit from it as an UMNO fave but at the same time as the president of the Gerakan Party he may harbor some trepidations; anyway, as I often wrote about the once-(in 1969)-mighty Gerakan Party, it's so dead it's only respectful for me not to disturb the dearly departed.
Oh, what's all the above? I am of course referring to the UMNO-proposed Changes to BN's constitution (see Malaysiakini for more) which will transfer over to the BN chairman, effectively the head of UMNO, the hitherto-rights of the leaders of each BN component party to select their party candidates for the federal and state elections.
This is a far greater insult to the non-UMNO parties than what has been happening thus far in the BN process for selecting candidates for elections.
What’s the current process?
I wrote of this in many previous posts, of which the last was MIC fights back at UMNO, MCA ...? where I mentioned (extracts):
Basically all parties in an alliance or coalition [like the BN and Pakatan] are ‘equal’ though of course the bigger or more powerful party is accepted as the primus inter pares or ‘first among equals’ – note the term ‘among equals’.
… the federal and state seats are negotiated and then allocated – sure, there’s the usual pre-emptive strikes (like what PKR tried to do against DAP just before the 2008 general election), tradeoffs, stealing, cheating etc etc, but once a seat is allocated to Party X, Parties Y and Z have to butt out and mind their own business.
Unfortunately (for MCA, MIC, Gerakan – no point mentioning the mosquito parties) in BN, UMNO vets and approves the other parties’ candidates.
It’s such a shaemful indignity for MCA, MIC and Gerakan to submit themselves to this process where the UMNO chief has to give his nod. Look across to see how Pakatan manages it (mind you, not that Anwar wouldn’t love to exercise such control wakakaka).
A coalition is what it is, a grouping together of independent sovereign parties. For MCA, MIC and Gerakan to submit their nominated election candidates to the UMNO chief for his ‘yes’ indicates subservience. That’s why I have frequently pointed out that the BN is NOT a coalition but merely UMNO with several smaller branches having non-Malay members.
Now, as if that process was not enough, UMNO wants more. It doesn’t just want to okay the component parties’ choices but to select the candidates DIRECTLY.
As I mentioned above, the happiest bloke will be Murugiah because his recent acceptance as a MIC member (after being expelled from PPP) was only on the personal orders of Najib to Samy Vellu. Muruguah fears being left out by MIC in the party’s selection for the 13th GE. With Najib as UMNO chief and concurrently BN chief, Murugiah can be more assured of his nomination, if not as senator, then as a federal MIC (wakakaka) candidate.
Mind you, there’s precedence in UMNO directly picking a MIC candidate for an election. Remember the recent Hulu Selangor by-election where Muhyiddin directly picked Kamal (or Nathan, whichever name he prefers) over MIC’s choice of Palanivel as its candidate?
Then, the spokesman for Selangor MIC divisions, A Saktivel, bravely stated:
“It has never happened in history that a candidate not chosen by the party president is fielded. We don't want a candidate who is allowed to contest for the seat through the back door. This is about party dignity.”
"If MIC has no say in the choice of candidate, there's no point having MIC around. We will lose our face. We won't be able to face grassroots members."
Some lower echelon MIC leaders like K Alloo Pillai also warned that if Palanivel was not chosen as the BN candidate, fundamentally a blatant show of disrespect to MIC and its leadership, they would not go out to vote but instead boycott the by-election. Hulu Selangor MIC information chief Raily Muniandy threatened that all the party branches in the constituency will be closed.
I then wrote: Even though MIC is an @r$eh*le party he’s right. […] Accepting this as an UMNO prerogative would be the most shameful indignity that MIC will have to suffer in its 50 over years of history.
But in the end, what happened? MIC capitulated. That Kamal (or Nathan) won the by-election was not the point. The point is MIC was humiliated kau kau but, unlike Zaid Ibrahim, rolled over and quietly took the UMNO hefty kick to its party dignity and so-called sovereignty … proving the MIC is just a minor subordinate, not a coalition partner, of UMNO.
[Hmmm, I was wondering whether I should borrow Uthayakumar's most biadap word to describe MIC in its relationshp with UMNO?].
Anway, I had then suggested to Chua Soi Lek that the occasion (where UMNO usurped MIC's sovereign rights) should be an opportunity for MCA to demonstrate it has balls by showing solidarity with MIC and say, words to the effect, “If MIC’s preference is not respected, MCA will not support the BN candidate.”
I warned: Dei Chua, today it’s MIC, tomorrow it may well be MCA, and by the way, have a read of my other but related posts below - wakakaka!
(1) Liow Tiong Lai's godfather coming to save him?
(2) Najib and Muhyiddin fighting for Liow Tiong Lai
Well, it is about to happen to MCA too with the new BN proposed constitution.
A Malaysiakini source in BN (not UMNO of course wakakaka) lamented: "What's the use of being a party president then? It doesn't make sense. In that case, the president should just dissolve all the component parties and make BN one party.”
"The existing practice is for the party presidents to suggest their candidates, although the final decision is with the BN chief. But now this right is being taken away and all the power is given to one person."
Not just ‘one person’ but an UMNO person.
There are two sayings I wish to mention here as my ‘I told you so’:
“A stitch in time saves nine”, and
“Give him an inch [or centimetre] and he'll take a mile [kilometre]”.
and perhaps the famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemöller:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Pakatan in Putrajaya?
The party merely modifies its single Anwar-centric objective, this time to put him in the Prime Minister’s chair, full stop!
The revised intent was in all likelihood initiated by Anwar's coterie, if not by himself. Dramatically denied the No 1 political position in Malaysia on the very eve of his ascendancy, he has over the years been tormented to maddening levels by the saying, there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.
But incarcerated or otherwise, his reformasi was only a sham, a pretend battle cry to mask his less than admirable UMNO credentials and the current real intent of PKR.
Ask yourself really, how could a man who openly promoted party defections during the shameful spectacle of 916 be ever considered as a political reformer. By claiming a coup d’état with an invisible group of 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) defectors, he was even far more creative than in his UMNO mode of 1994 when he turned Pairin from being the elected CM of Sabah into an opposition leader with just a few froggie croaks up his sleeves?
However, such was the power of his mesmerizing silver tongue that even DAP Hannah Yeoh, a law graduate from the University of Tasmania, Australia and one I have great admiration for, was wont to write in defence of Anwar’s outrageous 916. Only Karpal Singh retained his sensible composure to dismiss Anwar’s mathematically-challenged argument that Pakatan’s 82 MPs entitled him to take over the 2008 government from BN’s 140 MPs.
916 - There was no greater audacious bullsh*t.
And what greater humiliation could there be to Anwar Ibrahim than for an intellectual pigmy like Abdullah Badawi to laugh scornfully at his desperate ambit claim!
Then there was the scandalous chasing of BN MPs all the way to Taiwan by a group of PKR politicians including Tian Chua. Was there no lower limit to PKR’s political immorality?
This brings me to my next point, that, perhaps it has been a blessing in disguise that Pakatan didn’t win federally in the last general election.
Just look at Pakatan today, daring to claim itself as an alternative ruling party for Malaysia, when it couldn’t even settle on the simple fundamental issue of a shadow cabinet. And let’s not pretend the reluctance to do so have nothing to do with sectarian interests more than anything.
While the PM-designate of Pakatan has been unambiguously agreed to as Anwar Ibrahim (not that I support him), the rest of the cabinet positions will represent significant, nay, acrimonious bones of contention among PAS, PKR and DAP. It’s not just the division of ministerial positions among the trio per se that is difficult but a whole host of sensitive factors that are haunting the respective leaderships of PAS, PKR and DAP.
One is instantly reminded of how the difficult the new Pakatan Selangor State government came to form its exco and its cowardice (and party parochial vested interests) in failing to strongly insist, on democratic principles, for Teresa Kok to be the deputy MB.
We also need to bear in mind the balance of powers within the Pakatan coalition is unlike the BN with a domineering UMNO. PKR is never going to be in a position to dictate terms to PAS or DAP. If Anwar Ibrahim is re-incarcerated, Azmin Ali should not imagine he will automatically assume Anwar's PM-designated position.
So, if in the relative calm of the interlude since March 2008, Pakatan can’t even arrive at a mature and comprising consensus to form a shadow cabinet, just imagine the chaos that would have reigned in the immediate aftermath of a Pakatan federal victory on that evening of 08 March 2008 as the three component parties fell upon each other in their scramble for choice ministerial positions. The centrifugal forces of sectarian interests would have led to the immediate disintegration and demise of the coalition.
Thus, Pakatan’s failure to win federally was a blessing in disguise. It also provided a Pakatan which was inexperienced in running a country much needed on-the-job training in the States they won.
Apart from the pathetic lack of a shadow cabinet, there is no overarching strategic vision of a Pakatan government, and please spare us the meaningless mealymouthed cries of reformasi. The way I look at it, PKR should adopt deformasi as a far more appropriate slogan.
PAS wants an Islamic State while DAP wants a nation where every citizen considers him/herself a Malaysian rather than of his/her ethnicity. Whatever pros and cons of these two political ideologies, with their warts and all, at least these two parties have a bearing for them to aim their political direction at.
But PKR? Alas, it’s only about Anwar Ibrahim becoming PM.
After that, then what? And that’s the frightening part!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
To understand what that could be, we need to return to the religious icon which is defined as a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, especially one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church.
From that, some modern use of the term embraces a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement, or even (degenerating further from a religious point of view) a sex symbol or as a symbol of the latest fashion trends.
Thus icons are adored, adulated and (not necessarily in a religious sense) revered.
Probably the western world's greatest icon at one time (I repeat, ‘at one time’) was Princess Diana. Since the so-called inquiry into her death, to confirm or reject allegations that her death was ordered by her father in law, her iconic status took a battering when her so-called secret lover, a Pakistani doctor in London by the name of Hasnat Khan, revealed very grubby salacious details of their sexual congress to the inquiry.
The private sex life of Diana was not crucial nor even relevant to the inquiry so the doctor’s revelation was a surprise and conducted for some inexplicable reason (but explained away as a chance to probe into Diana’s ‘state of mind’). Hasnat Khan is now ‘safely’ in Pakistan.
What it achieved was for Prince Charles and his new wife Camilla to be better accepted by the British public, once Diana had been presented as a slutty lover of a dark-skinned Pakistani, unworthy of British love or respect. It’s a remarkable achievement for Charles considering at one time the Queen was thinking of omitting (then unpopular and hated) him from the succession line and having instead his son William as the next British head of state. He and Camilla will now have no great objection from the British people when they ascend the throne of Britain as king and queen.
As in poor Diana’s case, icons besides being created could also be destroyed.
For me personally, my two icons worthy of respect and admiration are Nelson Mandala and Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom I believe to be the world’s greatest symbols of heroic, dignified and tranquil resilience (without rancour) against oppressions.
Wakakaka, no no no, if I know what you’re thinking, definitely not the man man lai man ;-).
Before I come to our local boy, I may mention in passing other notable icons - I use the term ‘icon’ without necessarily agreeing to the personalities being deserving of respect, adulation or admiration.
Mao Ze Dong continues to be an icon for some Chinese, though he was one of the world’s worst leaders, being responsible for the deaths of millions of Chinese – for a brief description of his ‘sins’, please see my post Dreaming of Tiger Lily over at my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok.
I suppose the present Chinese authority still has some use for him.
You’ve all read about the iconic Hang Tuah, the very epitome of Malay heroic loyalty ..... well, at least until the 1950’s when a man by the man of Kassim Ahmad wrote his doctoral thesis titled Perwatakan Hikayat Hang Tuah. Dr Bakri Musa commented on Kassim’s thesis as follows:
In it he challenged the traditional interpretation and made the hitherto hero Hang Tuah as nothing more than a palace hack, and elevated the anti-hero Hang Jebat as the true hero, willing to kill even the sultan in defence of honor and principles.
The destruction of Hang Tuah as a Malay iconic hero took a wee while longer, and only became more pronounced and accepted when Dr Mahathir ripped into Malaysian royalty and de-fanged them. Hang Jebat was then rehabilitated and hailed as the new Malay hero.
But now that the current government finds use again of royalty, Hang Tuah has slightly regained his original iconic status.
What about our dear reformasi icon then?
He became an icon only after he was first incarcerated in 1999, initially for corruption and then for what is known today as Sodomy 1 [because there is now a Sodomy 2].
Prior to his ‘beautification’ as an icon he was DPM of Malaysia from 1993 to 1999. In 1994, as has been traditional with all DPM, he was BN election campaign director in the Sabah state elections. The BN lost and PBS won.
When the head of PBS, Pairin, went to see the State Yang Di Pertua to claim he had the majority in the Sabah DUN and thus the constitutional right to form a cabinet to rule the state, he found he couldn’t meet the strangely missing Sabah head of state ….. but by the time he was able to, he found to his astonishment that he had become the opposition leader instead of the CM-elect of the winning PBS party.
The winning PBS party was no winner anymore because Anwar Ibrahim had engineered sufficient number of defections from PBS over to BN to make the latter the winning party. By a wave of his magic wand the Anwar
During his political career he had told Chinese Malaysians to ‘balik Tiong Sun’ and threatened Indians that he might stop their temple bells from ringing. Under him, the Education Ministry forced non-Muslim school children to compulsorily perform the doa a la Islamic style. His ministry’s appointment of non-Mandarin educated principals and headmasters to SRKJ(C) was the cause of the inter-ethnic brouhaha that led to Ops Lalang. And as acting PM (Dr M was away in Ghana) he boasted of UMNO Youth physically wrecking the APCET II forum in Kuala Lumpur like hoodlums, stating: “Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that.”
Then when he was kicked out of UMNO, he claimed he had a falling out with Dr Mahathir because he refused to support the bailout of the latter’s son. What he didn’t tell was his UMNO faction in the person of Zahid Hamidi (yes, our current one & only ‘most patriotic’ Defence Minister) had impatiently attempted to nudge Dr M out of office by badmouthing the PM of his cronyism and corruption. The wily old fox turned the table on Anwar and Zahid by revealing publicly a list of shares and assets to show that the two were in fact the ones in UMNO practicing (no, not reformasi but) corrupt cronyism.
When UMNO opened its headquarters in Penang, you should have read what the newspapers published, of Anwar’s effusive tribute of sycophantic adoration for Dr Mahathir who was the guest of honour opening the building. Alas, Dr M's hatred for his gross treachery was by then too great, and Anwar's attempt to angkat the old man was a case of too little too late. Anwar by then had no future in UMNO.
If UMNO was that bad as Anwar subsequently claimed, then he should have left long ago to conduct his reformasi. Did he? He was in fact asked this question on a western TV but he was embarrassingly silent, failing to answer why he didn't leave UMNO.
No, unlike Zaid Ibrahim, he did not resign from UMNO with dignity but rather clung on for dear life, screeching, screaming and shrieking as he was dragged away, virtually leaving claw marks at the UMNO door sill.
Yet, on the day he went to jail his so-called reformasi, created virtually overnight, caught the people’s imagination, despite the afore-going facts showing he was hardly the person to have intents of political reform.
Why then was he beautified as a refomasi icon?
Time, threads and opportunity!
At that time a confluence of several factors made that incongruity possible. People were by then well and truly fed up with Dr Mahathir and his brand of confrontational politics and profligate administration; their sense of fair play believed Anwar, notwithstanding his UMNO character, was hard done by, they were waiting for a leader, preferably a Malay one, to lead them out of the Mahathir wilderness, and Anwar of course had the oratory skill and prowess to present himself as the man of the moment, the reformasi messiah so to speak, the Moses who could split the roiling sea of Malaysian politics for his followers to walk through, etc.
As Chinese would say, ‘twas all gnam gnam for Anwar Ibrahim and his reformasi. The moment in time was ripe and receptive, just perfect for messianic promises, they wanted to believe, yes, they've waited for such a leader for a long long time. And Anwar so happened to be there at that point in time. They didn't double check the goods, nor the track record of the salesman, buying his reformasi promises on the basis of the glossy packaging.
He became a convenient rallying point for many, driven to his reformasi banner by their years of accrued frustration. He provided the avenue for them to vent their years of suppressed fury.
Even today, we have some of his adoring fans preposterously claiming he went to jail for us, in some ways similar to the reverence with which Christians would say Christ died on the cross for us. It’s sad they can’t see he went to jail because he was fixed by his former UMNO colleagues in a tussle for power (of greed versus greed) in which he lost. He basically fell on his UMNO keris in an UMNO factional stoush.
Of course it’s not right for him to be jailed for intra party factional fighting, but to claim or believe he was incarcerated for our political salvation would be the most preposterous outrageous nonsense.
OK, leave aside his pre-reformasi days. Let’s examine his post UMNO days.
Let me cut to the chase. Did his 916 reek of reformasi or deformasi? To boast of an invisible force of 30 BN MPs defecting to his side was not only an outrageous affront to the supremacy of the Malaysian voters' decision but a hideous insult to democracy, exposing his reformasi as nothing more than a lip service sham.
Did his frog hunting all the way to Taiwan signal his reformasi? I shudder at the embarrassment of such a shameless gambit.
Was his (initial) praising of a revolving door ADUN in Perak the stuff of reformasi? Much as I hate the BN's thieving manipulation, I have to say PKR sure as hell deserved that padan muka sneer.
Earlier in his party intra affairs, was his instruction to Nallakaruppan not to contest against Azmin Ali in a PKR VP post the soul of reformasi? So it was hardly surprising that Nalla left and, yes, he was verbally crucified, as was every person who left PKR out of disgust for Anwar automatically labeled a traitor, mole, Trojan horse or musuh dalam selimut. But Anwar on the other hand, regardless of his actions, was the pristine one, the teflonised leader, the impeccable icon, the one who's never ever wrong.
In those events of blind support of Anwar and his treatment of erstwhile members as if they were only provided the privilege of being in his personally owned party, PKR as a political party shows its inability to weigh issues democratically, fairly and rationally, proving it was just a cult movement, devoted to the worship of their icon, Anwar Ibrahim.
And currently on the PKR party polls, why should we be surprised by an outraged Zaid Ibrahim throwing in the towel in what has become a shameful PKR party election process. Of course the adoring anwaristas have condemned Zaid in every which way. But look, even the other DP contestant, Mustaffa Kamil Ayub had been similarly outraged as to publicly issue a 48-hour ultimatum for the party leadership to review the polling process, though he was subsequently persuaded to continue, only as he asserted, 'under protest', which means he's doing so just for the party’s face.
Then there's Jonson Chong, a leading light in PKR, who wrote a personal letter to the de jure party president, Dr Wan Azizah, to address the questionable party election process - see his letter at Malaysiakini titled PKR polls: Please audit Libaran results. Alas, his appeal, like the other 169 complaints against the PKR polling, has been ignored. Perhaps sensing this likelihood, Jonson made his letter to Dr Wan Azizah an open one, published in a number of places like Malaysiakini and the People's Parliament blog of Haris Ibrahim so that we all may be aware that not everyone in PKR is blind to what's going on.
After this PKR fiasco, will Anwar be like Mao Ze Dong, still revered as a reformasi icon even though his records show otherwise?
Why not, when some of his followers can even believe he went to jail for us, which I mentioned was in ways similar to the reverence with which Christians say Christ died on the cross for us.
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not – Jeremiah 5:21 KJV
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Dr Wan Azizah ignores Jonson Chong's plea?
I hope you understand what the term ‘de facto’ means. Well, if you don’t it means that whoever is elected leader of PKR it shall still be Anwar Ibrahim who lords over the party. Very Mugabe-ish.
But when Anwar Ibrahim owns the party, it actually means (de facto-ly) Azmin Ali owns the party. It belongs to Azmin, the real de facto leader, or to be more precise the de facto de facto leader. The current party poll is just a bloody sham, like the party's battle cry of reformasi.
162 complaints about polling irregularities in the party race for the deputy president's position, and nary a twitch from the JPP PKR, the party body which is supposed to manage the party polls but which seems to have surrendered the management to the party secretariat. The party secretariat is the de facto JPP.
Jonson Chong, one of the leading lights in PKR, was so alarmed by the reported naughty happenings that he gave a diplomatic opening to Dr Wan Azizah the de jure party leader, for her to amend the less than kosher proceedings.
Jonson in an open letter to Dr Wan wrote (essential extracts only):
Dear Madam President,
Please allow me to make one final plea to you for the sake of our Party's future.
Keadilan's current state of affairs, to say the least, is profoundly disturbing and sad. Indeed, not only party members but all our supporters are extremely disappointed by the manner in which our party election is conducted. […]
Now, whether we like it or not, the credibility and image of Keadilan is at an all-time low. This is nothing less than a crisis for the Party. […]
Currently, there are many doubts about the integrity of our Party's electoral process. I believe that if we can show the public that we are sincere in rectifying whatever irregularities, perceived or otherwise, then we will have taken the first step to salvage Keadilan's tattered reputation.
Hence, I humbly suggest that we take the most dubious incident as a litmus test to show, once and for all, that our Party election is free from irregularities. I am referring to the Libaran results, which shows an impressive but incredulous 60 percent turnout of voters.
If agreed by you, Madam President, I will personally help raise the necessary funds to engage an independent and professional audit firm to scrutinise the polling results of Libaran. With the large number of generous Keadilan supporters who are still hoping that we will do the right thing, I am confident that resources can be arranged to carry out this important task.
If the Libaran results are certified to be free from irregularities, then I will unequivocally accept the Party's overall election results. I believe all other contestants will do the same. However, if the audit results show otherwise, then a resolution must be passed at the upcoming National Congress to nullify the results of the Party election.
We are now at a critical point in our Party's history. We must show that Keadilan is true to its own name. Not only must justice be done but it must also be seen to be done.
Madam President, right now, the Party needs you to take charge and lead us through this challenging period.
Have you heard anything from Dr Wan Azizah?
I have. She said:
"We had a meeting yesterday and we leave it to the central elections committee (CEC) to address the complaints. It is all a misconception that the CEC is not taking the complaints seriously, but they are."
She doesn’t seem to understand or don't want to understand that the CEC is the one not doing anything about the 162 complaints. She has not answer Jonson Chong’s offer.
Looks like Jonson's plea was like pissing in the wind. No wonder Zaid Ibrahim threw in the towel.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Patriotism - a useful UMNO word
Their [UMNO] favourite whipping boy has been (usually) the Chinese Malaysians - to them, a suspicious group of Non’s who still need to prove their Malaysian credentials despite 50 years of citizenship and more than 200 years of domicile. And UMNO leaders had/have thus far done very little or even nothing to correct that impression. […]
Patriotism - remember this dangerous word? Samuel Johnson instructed that 'Patriotism is the refuge of the scoundrel' while Oscar Wilde sneered at it as '... the virtue of the vicious'.
But Aldous Huxley said of it best:
"One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous." […]
And indeed on 09 Nov 2010, predictably as to be expected for UMNO ‘patriots’, Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi stated in response to a question in Parliament that the low number of Chinese and Indian recruits in the military could be due to the Chinese and Indians [being] 'not patriotic enough'.
Zahid Hamidi, once a very close ally of Anwar Ibrahim and the man who accused Dr Mahathir of corruption and cronyism in an apparent impatient move by the Anwar faction in UMNO to nudge then-PM Dr M out for Anwar’s final ascendancy to the PM’s post, but who has since abandoned his allegiance to Anwar to be allied to Najib, is hardly an appropriate person to talk about patriotism or loyalty. But Zahid is certainly the very model of treachery in UMNO or, if one really wants to be kind to him, a mercenary unprincipled opportunist.
The reality is Malays and others, whether Chinese, Indians, Sabahans, Sarawakians or Eurasians, join the Arm Forces not because of patriotism [puhleeeze lah], but as a career or job opportunity. A number of my uncles were in the Malaysian Armed Forces because of the (initially perceived) career prospects. They have never denied the enjoyment of their jobs as military officers. They left because they wanted something more than just holding the rank of captain or major until they retire. Some other Chinese and Indians stayed back, quite contented at being that. It was not a bad life if one was prepared to remain at the middle ranks (staff sergeants, warrant officers, majors, lieutenant colonels].
But trust Zahid Hamidi to take a cheap uninformed shot at the non-Malays as would any wannabe ethnic hero in UMNO. I suppose it’s good for his ethnocentric credentials during UMNO party elections ... unless of course he's completely ignorant about the armed forces, for all the advantage of his ministerial position or the academic doctoral title he claims as his own.
In my above 2007 post, I continued:
And just where were these young punks [people like Zahid Hamidi] when Chinese servicemen were serving the nation on the fields of combat, and recognized for their sacrifice (the real type) by being awarded Malaysia’s highest gallantry honour, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP)* – people like Superintendent Paul Kiong and Deputy Superintendent Sia Boon Chee, whom the nation owes incredible debts for their sheer and unsurpassed bravery in infiltrating and living for years with the communist terrorists in order to break the insurgents apart.
Then there were those awarded the Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB)* - the late Lt Choo Yoke Boo (awarded posthumously), late Lt Chang Tatt Min (awarded posthumously) of the RMAF, and 2nd Lt David Fu Chee Ming of the Rangers.
* Indian Malaysians had also been awarded the SP and PGB for combat
This was the citation for David Fu. He was the Platoon Commander of 8th Platoon of C Company, 4th Battalion Royal Rangers. He was tasked and placed in the Tanah Hitam area of Perak to track and destroy the enemy in his sector of operation.
On the 27th August 1970, his platoon of 24 men made contact with a group of about 70 enemy combatants. The enemy unknowingly had entered his sector. Thus started a heavy and intensive battle lasting 7 hours. Under his unwavering leadership, the men fought on, successfully killed 4 of the enemy. His patrol did not suffer any casualties.
For his outstanding gallantry and bravery in the finest traditions of the Ranger Corps he was bestowed with the Pingat Gagah Berani, by the King. He left after exemplary service as a Captain.
But alas, the Chinese can continuing ‘proving’ themselves for the next 500 years, but will never achieve acceptance by UMNO …
… for one simple reason ...
The Chinese must continue to serve UMNO as its whipping boy so that its leaders or wannabe leaders can use the fabricated threat, questionable loyalty and insinuated ingratitude of Chinese as convenient mounting steps to the top of their party.
In this regard, maybe one day in the future, 500 years from now, the Chinese Malaysians may collectively be awarded the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa for their ‘sacrifice’ to the well-being of [past] UMNO leaders ...
… but then, shall still be required to prove their ‘loyalty’ … as the [UMNO greed requiring Chinese] 'sacrifice' never ends.
In fact, one of my granduncles, a police special branch person, was assassinated by the MCP. We have never demanded recognition of his 'patriotism' or go around boasting of his duty to the nation, because his being in the Special Branch was a career path he voluntarily chose, and with it came both the career prospects and consequences.
Admittedly it was less safe and most certainly less well-rewarding than that for a Defence Minister.