Saturday, September 13, 2014

'Tis the season

I was told this trivia by an old family friend (of my uncle) who was in the military.

In the early 80's, during the hey-days of the 2M Administration, DPM Musa Hitam, who was also deputy president UMNO, was on the general election campaign trail which took him to East Malaysia.

While there, and transiting through air force bases, he remarked apologetically to the military officers who waited to greet him on his arrivals (and departures) as a military mark of courtesy, that (words to the effect) "'Tis the season", an excellent use of words that politely explained away the election campaigning for indirectly bothering those officers.

I would like to use his "'Tis the season" to refer to what I have been alluding to my readers in many of my recent posts, that 'tis the season for hunting nons.

Yes, the nons are being hunted down to prove a point (whatever that may be). Even sweetie Susan Loone wasn't spared for just reporting what she was told.

Zaid Ibrahim has also taken to issuing this advice to the nons. In the Malay Mail Online, Zaid said: Non-Malays beware, this is the age of sedition in Malaysia. In the news article, the Mail reported:

The country's non-Malay and non-Muslim communities must exercise extra restraint when speaking in public or on social media today, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim warned, saying Malaysia has entered "the age of sedition".

The former de facto law minister suggested a racial bias in the current sedition crackdown, claiming that Muslims who utter derogatory terms about those of other faiths are less likely to face charges.

But non-Malays and non-Muslims must be "very careful" with what they post on Twitter or Facebook as they may find themselves thrown behind bars, he said.

"That's the way the cookie crumbles in this country," Zaid wrote in his blog yesterday.

"The loyalty of non-Malays and non-Muslims are (sic) being questioned all the time, as is the loyalty of those in Sabah and Sarawak who are unhappy with the treatment they have received since the formation of Malaysia.

"So do not say or write what you feel, unless you are prepared to spend time in (the) Kajang (prison)," he said.

"I know it’s tempting," he added, "... to exercise your freedom and express your views, especially since you are exposed to the world through social media, but please exercise restraint."

Well, we have the first casualty in 36-year old Chow Mun Fai, a site supervisor who had admitted to posting offensive comments in his Facebook which mentioned eating pork during Ramadan, bah kut teh and insults to the Prophet.

He was jailed for a year under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multi­media Act 1998, which was the MAXIMUM prison sentence for that crime.

look at the shock on his face

While Chow had been naughty, what shocked many lawyers was the sentence which as mentioned above was the MAXIMUM possible under the crime he was found guilty of.

Considering that he was a first offender, and had demonstrated his repentance by pleading guilty, the sentence handed down by the judge was considered extremely harsh and unbelievably excessive. It's most unusual for a judge to pass the MAXIMUM sentence on a first offender who had pleaded guilty to the charge.

Recall that Kiki-what's-her-name who in a road rage case, had threatened the victim with implied violence with an iron bar (car steering wheel locking handle), apart from banging the bar on the Ah Pek's car. She was only fined and ordered to do community service. Even her Ah Pek victim pleaded leniency for her.

I personally believe Chow should have been fined and ordered to do community service (eg. cleaning mosques' toilets for, say, 3 months). Jailing him for one year for his stupidity will effectively destroyed a major part of his life.

And far worse, it does nothing to rehabilitate him, au contraire I suspect, will only breed discontent and resentment.

Yet we have judges who allowed a rapist to get away scot-free because he was deemed to have a "bright future".

Well, what does Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 tell us about Utusan Malaysia behaving arrogantly in June this year in a most insolent way to HRH Johor.

As I had posted in an earlier post, TMI had reported in its Utusan says will snub Johor palace over criticism on new bill the following defiant Utusan statement to HRH Johor:
Utusan Malaysia today said it would not answer any royal summons to appear before the Sultan of Johor, following the paper's criticism against a controversial plan to include the ruler in the state's administration. […]

The Umno mouthpiece said if the Johor palace was unhappy with the criticism and wanted to reprimand or clarify, it could send a representative to meet the daily's editors.

It's like telling HRH to f.o and yet Utusan had gotten away with it. It makes us wonder at the disparity in treatment.

And I could go back to 1992 to recall how UMNO members demonstrated the ultimate in abusing the royals and suffered not an iota-fraction of what Chow Mun Fai now experiences.

Then we have some unbelievable blokes like Ustaz Shahul Hameed Seeni and Ustaz Ann Wan Seng who insulted Hinduism and Buddhism respectively, etc.

As we railed silently in frustration at the hunting down of (lower case) 'malaysian' nons, their plights seen in stark contrast to the (upper case) Malaysians who have gotten away with far worse, please do spare a thought for that 36-year old first offender who has been too harshly punished.

'Tis the sad season.

those ducks ain't got no "bright future"

One can only hope that the PM will advise HM the Agong to pardon him.


  1. Shhhhh best democracy in the world

  2. Sense something bigger, more shocking and unexpected is going to take place !

  3. So, vote who next election?

    No more opposition party also? All also hopeless.

    It's time to migrate to East Malaysia? Maybe Australia, Singapore if rich enough.

  4. Won't be surprised that Zaid himself may be the next on the list, judging from his comments, and with the racial sentiments on the rise. Even your sweetie The Muppet is doing a good job fanning the flames (she is quite influential in getting others to adopt the names she coined like Dapsters, Pakatoons..., and once in a while she pay homage to you in her blog as 'fanboy' over the tudung issue)

  5. The decision of the court is a powerful indication of the degree of subservience to the law, and to signal the seriousness of the transgressional threat to the public order. (Never mind, my dear friend Rhan may opine that this is a clear indication of the domination by the superior powers.)

    On my first day of work, my boss who is a Melayu told me, I can talk about anything in his office except for three things - race, religion and family. That has been my guiding principles until today. Thus, I can agree that one should not talk bad about any race, any religion and the royalty. Unfortunately, the process, which created the conventions of literary freedom in a democracy, directly militates against this point. Thus, it is understandable that the democratic electorates want the courts to be supporting as little suppression as possible to matters in regard to the freedom of expression.

    However, secular democracy demands a knowledgeable citizenry. Regrettably, from all the present clamours over the seditious issues, I do not really think some have the knowledge to comprehend beliefs that they do not behold; that they do not believe to be true; and that they doubt they should tolerate? No, some are not as knowledgeable as they thought they are. OTH, inaccurate, partial information built upon on their ignorance is taken for knowledge and on which they would rely and give their comment and of which they would take for granted as a fair and well-intentioned opinion. They want to bring this perception of theirs to a liveable reality regardless of whether their words could inflict genuine pain and palpable vilification that have to be endured by the besieged citizens.

    Their perception is too naïve. I can live with secular democracy and secular politicians: I can live in a multi-racial society. Still, blasphemous sedition of my religion, vilification and ridiculing of my race and royalty, can make me capable of breaking someone’s knee, which I may (or may not) later regret.

    When I was in Pulau Penyengat, I visited the grave of Engku Puteri (Raja Hamidah) who was the consort of Sultan Mahmud Shah lll (1761-1812) – the 16th Sultan of Johor-Riau-Lingga - and whose grave I visited too which is contiguous to the Daik Mosque in Pulau Lingga . Makam Engku Puteri is just next to Raja Ali Haji (Pujangga Melayu Lama). On the four walls inside Makam Engku Puteri, I read the Gurindam 12, a ‘puisi lama’ written by Raja Ali Haji. It has 12 sections and the last section reads as follows:

    Raja mufakat dengan menteri,
    Seperti kebun berpagarkan duri.
    Betul hati kepada Raja,
    Tanda jadi sebarang kerja.
    Hukum adil atas rakyat,
    Tanda Raja beroleh inayat.
    Kasihkan orang yang berilmu,
    Tanda rahmat atas dirimu.
    Hormat akan orang yang pandai,
    Tanda mengenal kasa dan cindai.
    Ingatkan dirinya mati,
    Itulah asal berbuat bakti.
    Akhirat itu terlalu nyata,
    Kepada hati yang tidak buta.

    As CMF is a first time offender and by virtue that he has apologized, I would support KT and would subscribe to his appeal that the punishment on CMF should perhaps be reduced to a non-custodial sentence.


    1. When insults to race and religion take place, are punishments meted out fairly ?

    2. Well, a trial by jury may result in a different outcome. This is expressed by Lord Devlin: "A jury can do justice, whereas the judge, who has to follow the law, may not." I would think there should always be opportunity for legal redress.

      - hasan

    3. The impression is that only insults to a particular race and religion
      is being punished !

  6. In today’s Utusan interview, Mahathir repeats his disparaging (seditious?) remarks about Malay’s lack of honesty, and gives a lesson on binary language in CDs, and technological improvements in productivity.
    As usual, he is immune to prosecution, somehow he must have got himself inoculated from this.

  7. KT,
    It has been like that for as long as I can remember....'Its the season alright but 'cos they'll be gathering at the big hall.....all try to be the "macho" men.......Sigh!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Based on the "Dhimmi formula" one non-Muslim is worth about 1/3 of a Muslim.

    So Chow Mun Fai getting 1 year jail sentence for a non-violent Facebook posting, and Kiki physically threatening just only an Ah Pek with an iron bar getting fined and community service, is about right.

    As someone else here wrote before, accept it, or go live in Oz, like Ktemoc.

  9. Itu melayu curi 2 ringgit kena 2 tahun penjara ada adil ka? Ada sapa2 sini mau tolong.

  10. What to do ?
    PR has been exposed as worse than usual a well.
    Might as well just accept BN to rule forever...look for some "Cari Makan" opportunities.

  11. This Chow case is a bit stupid actually. Not sure if u have read what he said in FB. But it is actually pretty bad - as in even Perkasa or Isma wouldnt go that far. Also the charge against himwas actually amended to a lesser charge - from sedition (3 years max) to the one under CMA (1 year). So maybe the judge did take this into account. Also note that most of the peeps arrested in the current blitz are Malays. So maybe its not merely about targetting nons but something broader.

    1. You may be right. Kiki, the person involved in the road-rage case, was fined a rather shocking Ringgit 4,000. Considering that she had already apologised and seemed contrite, she should not have been fined such a high amount. The point of the punishment is to convey the message that what she did was unacceptable in civil society. A lecture on the inexcusability of her behaviour coupled with a small fine would have been a more humane disposal of this case. Justice with mercy is a worthy concept.

  12. En Hasan
    I would not deign to feel sad on your behalf, but I do grieve for the greater part of humanity : that there are some who, would, and will, inflict violence on their fellow beings when offended. You have, however, demonstrated admirable restraint. Others of your persuasion, and similarly ensconced in the conviction of your beliefs, do not stop at mere injury and physical incapacitation.....

    1. Teach our children to hate the wrongful acts of a doer but not the doer.

      - hasan

  13. There is a significant difference in degree between an offence which may threaten general public order, and an offence which is a threat to an individual.
    Judges tend to view the former much more seriously, especially in deciding on the sentencing.

    Chow Mun Fai's Facebook post had the potential to cause dangerous public unrest. What if Muslims incensed by this insult against their religious practices went on a rampage against the Chinese ?
    Therefore the punishment meted out must be sufficiently severe to be a deterrent.

    Kiki threatened a specific individual, but did not actually cause any injury. She received an appropriate penalty, so we should leave it at that.

  14. The Chinese formed the overwhelming majority of those who supported the Communist insurgency during the Emergency.
    Whether directly as armed guerrillas, or the large and pervasive network of Min Yuen acting as supply collectors, informants and communications couriers, or sympathisers who provided "aid and comfort" to the Enemy. All Chinese.

    It is not surprising that , to this day, the loyalty of the Chinese community is frequently questioned, and those who appear to be acting disloyally will be prosecuted under the Sedition Act.


    57 years after Merdeka, it seems we're going back to printing Exam papers in England, after the fiasco of the UPSR leak.

  16. To avoid disharmony, it needed to be done. It could have been worse. Remember Salman Rush To Die. Death sentence.
    You also need to remember the Malays mostly can't afford to travel the world to see and experience political and sociologial cultures of other matured countries. Unlike your kind.