Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No News unless its political

There is hardly any news in Malaysia unless it's political. Don't you agree?

It can be said that Malaysia is a land of the politician. Almost every aspect of life is controlled by the whims and fancies or statements of our politicians. Our politicians dictate what we read, hear, see and almost to a great degree, what we eat, drink and indulge in. Not to mention that funny fella who stated that those with AIDS should not be given the choice to marry (he has since retracted that statement).

When there is nothing political to report, our news becomes really boring stuff. Our whole economy is driven by political news. The local mamak store or kopitiam would not thrive if we did not have those "professional political analyst" who sit around, all day, drinking their coffee. Business as usual if there is political news floating about.

So come 2009 and we are in for a great 3 months of sensational political news. Namely, the row within PKR would be exaggerated while the tranquility of the UMNO change of guard would be carved into legendary status. Politics in Malaysia is a contrast of the evil Opposition versus the eternal BN-Government. This epic struggle is great for newspaper vendors, helps sell papers and keeps local television relevant. Hopefully they don't plaster news in the cinema, even if they feel it would add value now that there is this idea to bump up the price of a movie ticket.

Where are the human stories? What is Malaysia, without the politics? I'd like to know.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

One Malaysia?

After 50 years of independence, we still need to find a way to gain a One Malaysia. This is what the BN Youth wing is saying. They will be discussion this matter and are hoping to move some initiatives to have a One Malaysia. Does this mean all this while Malaysian were never one?

In fact, the real Malaysia is indeed united. The people are united in living a simple life without strife or controversy. But it is the politician who turns any other matter into an issue that is highlighted on the national scene and this is the cause all our problems in Malaysia. The politicians are the ones causing the issues which seem to be big-time issues in Malaysia. Even the little things can be blown out of the water by our "good" politicians.

It is high time, the people should be asked on what would make a One Malaysia. What do you think? What makes a One Malaysia, lest we allow politicians to decide what they think is good for us.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sum of Many Parts

Malaysia is not about a particular group nor is it only one ethnic class. Unlike Japan or Korea where the Japanese can proudly call themselves Japanese due to a majority ethnic class (bar the indigenous groups), Malaysia is a sum of many parts. Malaysians are made up of dozens of ethnic groups all striving to irk out a living.

So for one group to claim "lordship" over others just sounds wrong when, politically, this group needed the help of those from outside their party to stay in government. It is wrong to assume they have total say in everything Malaysia without a thought for those who help keep them in power. Now, we are seeing a jostling for position in the said party. Position in the largest political party in Malaysia comes with much perks. It is an open secret that these top party officio live off government projects and what-nots. In fact, by being the largest stake-holders in government, they continue to enrich themselves.

But here-in lies the problem. The people of this fair country are automatically forgotten by those in power when in truth it was these people who put them into power. And when the public speaks out via street demos or blogs, the government is quick to clamp down on them. Arrests are made in the name of "doing the public a favor" (I thought favors are asked for?), media is twisted to spin lies and corruption on the highest level is sugar-coated to hide the truth.

It is the people who make up this fair country and the government is a servant to the voice of the majority - the people of Malaysia. And the people of Malaysia is a sum of many parts. The people of Malaysia sweep across political, religious and racial lines. Malaysians are Malaysians and is known by no other name. So why do our politicians seem to think other-wise?

Ministry watching blogs playing up controversies

The Home Ministry is monitoring blogs to check if bloggers are posting comments that confuse the people on controversial issues.

At the moment, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the ministry was merely advising bloggers against the misuse of blogs.

“So far, we are only telling them not to use their blogs as a mechanism to confuse people or as a weapon against those they don’t like.”

Source: The Star Online

We the people of Malaysia are a greedy bunch, just ask Shahrir Samad.

Shahrir says Malaysians are greedy

Datuk Shahrir Samad, the minister who has faced the brunt of criticism over oil prices, courted even more controversy today when he suggested Malaysians were greedy if they expected subsidies to continue.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, whose job is to regulate prices, said subsidies are meant to only cushion the burden of high prices.

"When prices come down it will just be greed on the part of consumers to insist that they be subsidised," he said.

Source: Malaysia Today

Sometimes you just sit and wonder...


Friday, November 21, 2008

Auto Pilot Administration (APA?)

I must apologize for my in-frequent blogging these pass week. I've been caught up with work and have not found the time to sit down and churn out my thoughts on what is happening in Malaysia. To a few friends, I must state here, "No, I've not been detained under ISA!" I was just busy with work and also editing my second novel, which I hope to send to a publisher come the new year.

For the record, I've not received my royalty for my first book. The recession seems to have hit the publisher of my first published novella. Sad but well, I'm writing not for the money but it would be nice to see a fat check come Christmas.

Sometimes I wish I could just go into autopilot mode. Get all my work to work themselves out. Get my blog to write itself, posting out articles that spurn and turn your minds. Get my iBook to write all my books, while I sit and merely think about the plots and twists to the story. Autopilot is the best thing since chocolate ice-cream waffles.

But Malaysia is run like that. Our leaders love to leave things to autopilot while they frolic elsewhere. Take the statement by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak who mentioned that politicians need a strong civil service. It doesn't matter if the politicians are bad, as long as the civil service is strong.

In a world that is heading towards recession and what-nots, we need leaders with enough balls to lead us through it. The civil service of Malaysia is only as good as the leaders it has. Lead by example. The politicians should lead the way in showing a good example for others to follow. They are wakil rakyat - people's representative. If the leaders are stooges then can we infer that the people they represent are equally stooges?

Herein lies the deepest problem in Malaysian politics. The politicians leave things in auto-pilot mode.

Where clear leadership is needed, we are left with hapless officers who merely tell us, "I have to refer to boss.."


Monday, November 17, 2008

Separate Race, Politics and Religion

Malaysia is multi-racial and steps need to be taken to ensure that Malaysia would be known as such for the life-span of the nation. To be multi-racial means that all citizens would be called MALAYSIAN and nothing less. Thus, the government of the day should be looking into ways to ensure that our children would identify themselves as MALAYSIAN first and foremost and then secondly by their ethnic background.

I say ethnic background because, the MALAYSIAN of today may not be from a singular ethnic group. Their parents may be from different ethnic groups thus they themselves are a composite of various groups. A testament to the roots of our Malaysia.

But this is not reflected in the minds of those in top governance. Again and again we hear statements that imply the supremacy of one ethnic group over another.

Why are we still talking about the elevation and supremacy of a particular ethnic group over others? Does this mean, the said ethnic group has never been able to attain any standing in Malaysia?

Why is it that after more than 50 years of independence and control over government, the leaders of this country still talk about the supremacy of the Malays? And why is it that criticism of UMNO be equated as an attack against the Malays and in turn a criticism against Islam?

In the minds of those in governance, UMNO = MALAY = ISLAM and any criticism or comment against these three would mean you criticism the three as a whole.

Thus, would this also mean, if UMNO has failed than the three has failed in unison?

There should be a separation in the minds of the country leaders, who are almost all from UMNO, that any criticism of the establishment is to the role of the elected leader in government.

If the Finance Minister has failed in sustaining national economics, then the role of Finance Minister has failed and not the Malay person or the Muslim who held that post.

So when statements uttered by other leaders from other political parties are leveled at the Malays, UMNO should be gracious to accept such statements because UMNO itself makes statements that also tickle their friends in Barisan Nasional. UMNO should be the model of tolerance as this is commanded in Islam.

If UMNO is tolerant then the Malays would be seen as tolerant which is good because a Muslim is called to be tolerant. Instead, we have UMNO leaders using the racial card at every juncture and worst still, it becomes a religious card too and saying things that imply the Malays have little tolerance to live in a multi-racial nation.

Such inability to be tolerant shows how UMNO has de-matured (if there is a word) over the years. Malaysia's founding fathers were able to carve out a nation that was home to various ethnic groups and people (in those days) lived together in harmony. But come today, we have politicians who seemed to like contesting the racial card.

UMNO leaders of today should read their statements standing in the shoes of those who are not Malays and tell me if they don't feel anything.

Separate race, politics and religion and I believe the state of governance in Malaysia would be better.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Government wants CONTROL over media

From Malaysiakini:

Top editors and media interest-groups have been invited to meet government officials tomorrow for a fresh round of discussions on the proposed - and much contested - National Media Council.

Source: Malaysiakini

Why a need for a council in the first place?

The Malaysian public is wise enough to determine for themselves what they would believe and what not to believe. I see this council as merely another layer for the government to use against independent voices that highlight the government's failings. This is something the current political-party-owned newspapers would never do. Open criticism in Malaysia is frown upon, deemed as a threat to the powers that be.

It seems a fallacy for the government to say that they encourage an atmosphere of openness while at the same time seeking to maintain an iron clad grip on all things.

In the end, all news is sugarcoated to hide the truth. Much like the way the North Korean government controls all news reports concerning its top officials. Everything seems fine and dandy with the government while millions starve and die in the country side.

This divide between the fantasy and reality is beginning to show itself in Malaysia. The government seems to be living in a world of fantasy, created by its own denial of their real state while at the same time, the citizens of Malaysia suffer in the real world.

This move to hide the truth to me is purely STUPID!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Anybody can become Prime Minister of Malaysia...if...

I am over-joyed that RPK is free from ISA. But I would not be too over-enthusiastic about the matter because I think the judiciary is testing the waters, to see how far they can stretch as the government shifts and turns to re-establish itself under new leadership. So don't count your eggs until they hatch, we never know what lurks in the minds of those bent on keeping their power over this fair country.

Last thursday, Pak Lah said something, which made me want to roll over and laugh. It was funny because it came out of his mouth and yet, also mind-blowing, it it ever happened.

He said, "Anyone can become Prime Minister."

This was in response to the news that Barack Obama had just been elected as President of USA. I wonder if Pak Lah really knows what he just said and what it really imply. For in order for anyone to become Prime Minister of Malaysia, they need to consider the following things:

1. The people do not choose who becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The PM come from the leader of the biggest stake-holder in BN, UMNO. Traditionally, the PM is the President of UMNO. Who chooses the President of UMNO? The people of UMNO. Even then, the choosing process is not a direct members-cast-their-ballot process. Instead, divisions nominate candidates for the post which will then be decided at the UMNO General Assembly. But in recent years, there has only been a single nomination for President and he would just need to be endorsed. In effect, the people of Malaysia do not choose who becomes PM.

In fact, not even the Malays can choose who becomes PM. It seems the choice is passed down from President of UMNO to President of UMNO.

Unless, a direct vote is taken. No-one outside of UMNO can ever be Prime Minister of Malaysia.

2. Racial based parties.

Will we ever see a minority-group individual become PM? It's an idea as crazy as expecting to see a Penan sitting in the seat of government. As it goes, seats in government are divided out among the parties and the political parties in Malaysia are race base. Let's use another term here, Ethnic-Group-Based (EGB).

The notion of race is a fallacy. Genetically, there are only three (3) races of humans. Caucasian, Mongoloid and Negroid.

We, in Asia, belong to the Mongoloid race. From this root we are then divided into Ethnic-Groups. It is these ethnic groups that band together to form the political entities we see now. But as society becomes more lax towards each other, we find more individuals crossing their ethnic lines and the border of differences between ethnic groups become blur and non-existent. If that can happen on a human level, why can't it happen on a political level, especially in Malaysia?

Unless, political parties stand along non-ethnic lines, we will never see a minority becoming PM of Malaysia.

3. Pleasing the minority at the cost of the majority.

The majority here is the rakyat. The minority are those who sit closest to the seat of governance. It seems the trend in Malaysia is to keep those closest to you or at least those upon whose shoulders, you stand on, happy. You award contracts and whatever to keep them happy. At the expense of the Majority.

It amazes me, that Malaysian taxpayers (90% who are Chinese) are paying for a dis-service. Taxpayers money is being used to fund the pockets of the minority that sit within the confines of those in the seat of governance. Unless this is dealt with, there will be no-way just anyone can be PM. Cronyism and Nepotism need to be dealt with if ever anyone has a chance to become PM.

So those are my thoughts on this matter. It is something I hope for, maybe not in my generation but I hope possibly in my children's generation. What do you think?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack Obama's Victory Speech - inspiring!

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didnt start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didnt do this just to win an election and I know you didnt do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Acquitted but not innocent.

Razak Baginda has been acquitted by the courts for abetting in the murder of the Mongolian, Altantuya. Acquitted because the persecution failed to put together a case to show his involvement. Fault lies with the persecuting team. But acquittal does not mean innocence. One may be guilty as hell but if the persecution fail to put a case together against you then there will not be any case at all. The courts cannot hold you accountable to any crime if it cannot be proven. And this is the case with Razak Baginda.

Yes, he admitted to having an affair with Altantuya and this is (thus far) his involvement with the Mongolian but did he kill her? That's the bigger question. Is he innocent? It is open to debate. Acquittal merely means there is no court case against you.

So now the case will shift to the two accused, who must now enter their defense for the murder of the Mongolian.

A certain Incoming Prime Minister is sighing a relief. The one connection he had with this murder is now set free. It would fair to say that this case is closed and would only be looked upon as another murder case. Suffice to say, Malaysian's will move on to other matters and whatever shadowy dealings that conspired to bring about the demise of the Mongolian will never be brought into the light of day.

This is the real tragedy of this case. The suppression of truth. We will never know how C4 was obtained. We will never now how immigration records can be deleted. We will never know who gave the order to terminate the Mongolian's life.

Too many questions are left unanswered. The so called police investigation only points to the fact that two police officers stepped out of their way to shoot and blow up a helpless Mongolian woman.

The truth is definitely still out there.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When public money is taken for a spin.

Malaysiakini has the latest juice on the eurocopter deals. The whole deal was brought into the public light when letters, complaining about the purchase of the helicopters appeared on Malaysia-Today.

The purchase of the helicopters have been shelved and the money to be allocated to more public interest projects, thus says Pak Lah in his capacity as Defense Minister. It must be noted that the whole affair was initiated by the former Defense Minister, Najib Razak, and if followed through would have made some people really rich. Instead, only after public outcry, has the whole project been shelved.

The main question is, "Why pay double for the helicopters?" Of course the government's reply was that the helicopters cost more because of customization works but that answer still cannot satisfy the public.

As a tax payer, I really want to know (besides paying double for it), why the tender board should choose an expensive product when there was a cheaper quoted helicopter on the list? This act alone goes against the general order for purchasing, which is set out by the government itself. So the government is actually side-stepping its own requirements for purchasing by selecting an expensive product over one that is the cheapest.

So rather than explain themselves, the government shelved the project and the money (public money) would be use elsewhere. Smart. In the end we never will get the answers to our questions.

It's high time the government showed they are more responsible towards the people. Their dealings should be more transparent and the public should be in the know with what the government is planning to do with their money. It is the role of our elected Member of Parliament to scrutunize every project that involves the rakyat's money. Yet we do not see this.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Money Politics is Money Politics

The longer campaign period leading towards next year’s Umno polls could actually help reduce money politics and not worsen it, said Perak Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohammad Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

“The longer the campaign period, the fewer chances there are for money politics as it is not easy to ‘look after’ people for months.

Source: The Star

Reading through this report by The Star, I can safely say that money politics is alive and well in UMNO. It seems to be the normal practice and part and parcel of climbing up the ladder of the political tower.

So the longer period would mean it will cost more to 'look after' the people; making it a non-viable way to gain support in UMNO but what happens when we have candidates who have war-chest that are limitless? Mind you, career politicians are ready for the long haul and their war-chests run into the millions. Money is not the issue to them and neither is buying or selling out one another. So really, the length of time till the party elections is not an issue here.

In short, money politics should be irradicated.

Wasn't this one of the promises of Pak Lah when he came into office? It seems he has forgotten or merely given up. It is not an easy thing to rid off when the whole structure of the political party basically survives on who can pay off the most. It is not only during nomination time that money is passed around. Even during the lull moments, money is passed around through the awarding of contracts and favors. This is the ROI for money passed during nominations.

So what is a few million when you can make back billions?

So money politics is money politics and nothing will change in the way politics is done in Malaysia. The fact that statements like the above make it into prime time news just shows how real the matter is and how deep it is instilled into the very fabric of UMNO itself.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Much ado over Bollywood

Is it really a big deal? Or merely our politicians trying to raise a storm in a teacup?

Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) getting a datukship can be a good thing taken in a positive note. The guy does have influence and that influence can be turned into tourism ringgit. So why the sudden call for Malacca to retract when not only Malacca but the whole of Malaysia can benefit from the influence of SRK?

I like what Tun Mahathir wrote about this matter in his blog. It's clear and simple to grasp, clearly showing why Tun initiated this move to attract Bollywood to Malaysia. Tun had vision and a far-sight strategic plan to put Malaysia in the eyes of the world. Sadly, none of the current MPs share this ability to see into the future for the good of this nation. Yes, we may not like Tun but you can't help notice, he is a statesman above all the rest. His mind still clear even when he walks in his 80s.

So give SRK his datukship and encourage more people to visit Malaysia. The tourism ringgit would help move the nation's economy, translating into income for those in the cottage industries (souvenirs) and local eateries. Isn't that what the government should be doing - spurring the growth of our nation's economy?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What is Justice in Malaysia?

It's great to receive comments on your blog. You feel like you have contributed to the bigger body of knowledge by allowing people to post their views and (hopefully) generate meaningful discussions. There have been times in my blogging life (since 2003) where some people have not been happy with my postings and even at one time a reader threatened to sue me for a comment posted by another reader.

But I must say something to arjun who graciously commented on my post "ISA for Crimes of Opinion". He made a reference to my post "Khairy Jamaluddin in ISA?" where I mentioned that KJ would never be caught under ISA. KJ will not be caught under ISA, not because he did not have an opinion or stuff to say but rather because he is the SIL to the current PM. arjun should read the article again and see the angle I am writing from.

KJ will never be caught because he is UMNO. KJ will never be caught because he is not Opposition. So KJ will go on saying whatever he wants to say and nothing will be done to him. Make as many police reports as you want against KJ, yet no action will be taken. Remember, KJ is KJ and the rising star of UMNO young turks. His veil ambition to be the next prime minister at the age of 40 is an open secret so do you honestly think this bastion of UMNO young blood would be caught under ISA?

So arjun, read my article again and hopefully you will see my point. The hope now is for KJ to not be elected as the UMNO Youth head. Stop his rise and let's see justice take its place. It is only just that the one person who has had influence in the dealings of this country be made to pay for his misdeeds.

What is Justice in Malaysia?

Justice is when we have a government that returns back to what it was destined for - to care for Malaysians. But over the years, this BN government has set out to enrich a select few and elevate their own into positions of power. They ship-wrecked the economy by hiking up the fuel prices and then asking that we all change out lifestyles while they live off our tax-money.

Now, will I be caught for a Crime of Opinion? I don't know, ISA is a funny tool that seems to be selective in its implementation.


ISA for Crimes of Opinion

It seems the ISA is being used to detain and question any person who holds an opinion which goes against the current (insecure) government. Reporters, Bloggers, Opposition MPs and even Innocent Citizens are placed under this draconic act. What was their crime?

The Crime of Opinion.

Opinions deemed able to incite the populace to rebel or to induce fear among the populace. The latest case is another weird incidence where the ISA was used to question a SUARAM activist, Cheng Lee Whee, for making a report on the Johor Police website concerning the arrest of 27 people at Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah. Her report on the police portal was deemed able to caused worry among the populace and thus, the writer questioned. The odd thing was, why use the ISA? Isn't there a Sedition Act that can be used or is this simply a case of no case?

I believe Lee Whee did not commit any crime and thus she is uneligible to be questioned nor arrested under any law. So the police (wise folks these people) decided to use the ISA which can be used as long as the Home Minister sees it fit. The only crime Lee Whee committed was a Crime of Opinion. Whatever she wrote did not go down well with the Johor police and they decided to take action.

This is a worrying state of affairs for Malaysia. If the citizens are not allowed to voice out their opinions then why have a nation in the first place? The basic component of any nation is the citizen. It is the citizen who works and earn a wage which in turn is used to pay taxes that support the government. Those same taxes are used to provide wages for the police force and Ministers in office. Yet, the establishment seems to have forgotten that they are suppose to safe-guard the interest of the populace rather than their own interest.

What is wrong with a citizen reporting on the perceived abuse of power by the police force via official channels? It is not as if Lee Whee is going to organize a rally to drum up local support to criticize the arrest of these 27 individuals. Instead she posted her opinion on the Johor Police portal for all to see and evaluate. For that she was brought in for questioning under the ISA. This in itself is abuse of power by the Johor Police and Home Minister.

If there was a crime committed than please use the available laws and not the ISA. Allow Lee Whee her day in court to defend her report and seriously look at why people are not happy with the arrest of the 27 individuals. Why shoot the messenger? Read the message and allow the court of law to decide.

In this regards, the government (via the Home Minister) has seriously lost its case in the Court of Public Opinion.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Khairy Jamaluddin in ISA?

A MCA youth delegate called for the detention of Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) under the ISA and the fella is sticking to his guns. Alas, it may only be a call, small talk which would make the headlines now but forgotten tomorrow.

KJ would never be caught under the ISA, in fact it is near impossible for anyone closely associated with Pak Lah to be detained under the ISA. Look at Ahmad Ismail, he is still walking about with a 3 year ban from UMNO, when Najib was asked why ISA was not used on Ahmad Ismail, Najib replied that Ahmad had been punished already. So, all this MCA fella could see, if disciplinary action is taken against KJ, is a 3 year ban from membership and a lame excuse for not using ISA against KJ.

Understand that the ISA has now become a tool for those in the corridors of power to shut up whoever they deemed "too noisy". Take into account the SUARAM girl that posted the report on the PDRM portal. She was caught under ISA for making a report against the police. The police deemed it a danger to public order - yes, a report against the police is destructive to public order, only in Malaysia folks!

So the Incoming UMNO Youth Leader would never be caught under the ISA and he would have the liberty to spill out more words that are destructive to public order and peace. My hope is that Mukhriz would beat KJ to the post and put an end to KJ's narcissistic rise. And from the looks of things that may happen but we will never know until March 2009. KJ may just pull our the money bag and roll out the dole in order to gain the post.

So this MCA youth delegate can go screaming for as long as he wants, KJ will never be caught under ISA.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Irresponsible (incoming) Prime Minister

Will this get me into trouble? I think it will because going by track record, most people who written critically about him have been put into prison. ISA and all have been used and well I may even be strapped to C4 and made into fireworks.

The person I'm talking about is our Incoming Prime Minister (IPM). When asked about the accusations concerning the Altantuya case especially in light of the SMS messages that appeared on Malaysia Today, he merely replied by pointing out that Abdullah Badawi has commented on it.

"Was there any abuse of power?" The reporter asked.

"Oi, my boss already say, he thinks I am not the kind of guy to abuse my power," was the reply.

Having Abdullah Badawi answering for you is kind of cute in a way because then you are cleared of every charge without having to acknowledge or deny anything. How convenient, we all should do that or at least work for bosses like Abdullah Badawi. In truth this reply by IPM is really irresponsible. It clearly shows a leader who would wash his hands clean of any fault and point it at another guy. Childish behavior like this have no place in the highest office of Malaysia.

Abdullah Badawi believes he is incapable of abusing his power. This is what Abdullah Badawi believes in but it may not be the truth of the matter. If what we read in the SMS are true and if they show a non-abuse-of-power, then surely the state of our governance in Malaysia is so, so poor. Minister's can and will be involve in court cases or police investigations if it is detrimental towards them. Abdullah Badawi's statement and IPM affirmation of that same statement suggests that the actions of IPM in the SMSes should be expected of all our high-ranking ministers.

Why can't IPM answer for himself? Deny the allegations and tell the truth. Stop trying to hide behind other people or abuse the laws (ISA) and make your problems disappear (literally).

I see trouble times ahead with IPM in power. There will be increased persecution of people who bring out the truth in governance. Bloggers may end up cell mates with RPK and anyone speaking up against the establishment may find themselves turned into impromptu Roman Candles of the exploding kind.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Race Based Business Politics

Something our incoming Prime Minister said just makes you roll your eyes:

"Kerajaan tidak mahu perniagaan diuruskan berdasarkan soal perkauman," kata Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Oleh yang demikian, katanya, kerajaan sentiasa menggalakkan semua syarikat di sektor swasta supaya memainkan peranan membangunkan vendor tempatan, termasuk vendor bumiputera.

Source: Malaysiakini

On one hand you say do not manage business along racial lines yet you also ask corporations to give more incentives to bumiputra companies. So what are you really saying here?

In fact, business in Malaysia is so skewed it's almost impossible to run away from race based management. The way tenders are supposed to be awarded speak volumes to this fact. Bumiputra companies are given priority and this is the way things are done in Bolehland. And if one was to follow the rule book then these are the rules, one need to follow.

So if Najib does not want businesses to be managed on a race base platform then he has to remove all form of preference to a particular race. This way, the business scene will be open and the best business-man wins. In turn, only the shrewd and best in their area of expertise will survive and wouldn't this be good for the nation? But is Malaysia prepared for this?

In the same statement, Najib also asked corporations to help build up local vendors meaning Bumiputra vendors. So no management along race-based lines yet please help the Bumiputra vendors. See the contradiction?

It'll be interesting what would happen when Najib Razak is PM. We can only hope that this "British trained economist" would be able to bring a revival in the way business is done in Malaysia. As such we see, abuses and enrichment of a select few in the Malaysian business world. Projects are tendered and awarded in dubious ways (helicopters anyone?). Yet, the man at the centre of dubious military business scandals is now telling us how to do business.

Hey, if we pay attention we may learn how to gain millions in kickbacks without lifting a finger. So folks, listen to your incoming PM.


Our Leaders do not seem to be able to talk right.

Singapore announced it's anti-recession measures and just across the cause way our PM (Pak Lah) announced, "Hey, we're ok. We're fine. Everything is going to be alright!" Ok, he didn't say it that way, but it was to the same effect.

It was funny because I was expecting something along the line of, "The leaders are concern and are monitoring the situation. We will have the best interest of the people in mind and would put measures into place if the situation worsens. For now Malaysia is fundamentally strong...."

Hence, the problem with our leaders is that they lack communications skills to reach out to the masses. Instead, they probably only know how to talk to one another but not to the people who voted them in. So we get rather crude statements that are insensitive to the general populace. By right, there is something wrong in the economy, if not why would so many governments (richer than ours) prepare for the worse? Yet, our leaders seem to have care-free attitudes when it comes to real pressing issues, which affect the nation.

Instead, our leaders attention is focus on party elections and nothing else. Their own squabbling become news (we read this daily) while the whole world brace for a recession. Everything our leaders talk about is skewed for their own political millage. They lower themselves to say anything that would garner those votes, which would set them up for a lucrative life as a career politician. Honestly, would any of our leaders work for free? Working for the sake of the people of this nation, literally taking no pay but merely giving service to the people of Malaysia? Would they be willing to serve and only to serve?

I doubt it.

In times like this we need leaders who can motivate and encourage the populace. Leaders who can reach out with words that inspire and calm. Yet, we have slapstick comedians who stumble and flop over their own statements and at the end of the day people wonder whether their vote was really worth it. Don't you think so?


Monday, October 13, 2008

Utusan Malaysia is not equal to Islam.

Teresa Kok is suing Utusan Malaysia to the tune of RM30 million. It is a legal process when one feels that one's reputation has been tarnished by what has been written in a newspaper which commands a large readership. The newspaper can chose to defend itself or admit its mistake. In this case. Utusan Malaysia is putting up a fight and it's got backing from UMNO. Nothing wrong in that because UMNO is the owner of Utusan Malaysia (not directly) and has huge influence on the news reported in the said newspaper.

Today, it was reported in Utusan Malaysia that they (Utusan Malaysia and UMNO - Cheras Division) have set up a Tabung Azan to collect funds to help local mosques to acquire audio systems to facilitate the call to prayers. Nothing wrong in that because it is an initiative for the betterment of society. What doesn't make sense is the statement that it is also to help Utusan Malaysia counter Teresa Kok lawsuit because "the act of suing Utusan Malaysia is similar to an act of suing Islam."

Don't believe me? Read the front page of today's Utusan Malaysia.

Selain itu, tabung tersebut turut mendapat sumbangan sebanyak RM12,000 daripada individu-individu yang menjadikan keseluruhannya berjumlah RM32,000.

Jelasnya, setiap bahagian UMNO diminta memberi bantuan kepada tabung itu.

‘‘Ini pendekatan yang dibuat untuk membantu akhbar orang Melayu. Semua pihak seharusnya tidak mempertikaikan, malah menghormati perbezaan agama masing-masing.

‘‘Kita terpanggil apabila timbul isu ini. Tindakan Teresa yang mengambil tindakan kepada Utusan Malaysia sama seperti dia menyaman agama Islam,” ujarnya.

Source: Utusan Malaysia Online.

The Star reported on the same matter but they seemed to have watered down the said statement:

Kicking off the fund with a RM20,000 contribution, division head Datuk Syed Ali Al Habshee said the Tabung Azan would also be used to assist mosques and suraus that needed money to buy loudspeakers for the purpose of the azan (call to prayer).

“Teresa has challenged the honour of Malays by suing Utusan Malaysia as it is a newspaper owned by the Malays.

“Challenging the Malays is similar to challenging Umno,” he said in urging other divisions to contribute to the fund.

Source: The Star

So is Utusan Malaysia equal with Islam? If so, then does this mean any newspaper which is Malay owned is above the laws of the land? So a citizen who has been victimized by the writers of Utusan Malaysia has no means whatsoever to counter Utusan Malaysia.

It must be noted that Teresa Kok has denied her involvement in the allegations by Utusan Malaysia and the surau in question has also issued a statement which backs her up. So why does Utusan Malaysia and UMNO continue to pursue this matter? Why has this matter been turned into a Teresa against the whole Malay community when initially it was the (false) reporting by Utusan Malaysia that stated it?

It is clearly an attempt at inciting anger among the populace and one which is glaring. So where are the police in this? Why hasn't the writer of the article Azan, Jawi, Jais, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya, Mohd. Zaini Hassan, not been called in for questioning or better still put under ISA for reporting on a sensitive issue? Remember, the ISA was used against a reporter from Sin Chew last month. What difference does it make here?

Utusan Malaysia is not equal to Islam. Statements such as above, spoken at the UMNO Cheras division meeting and reported in Utusan Malaysia, does not help heal racial hurts. Instead, it continues to propagate the "Us and Them" mentality which stands to further fragment Malaysian society. Utusan Malaysia should be sensitive (themselves) to the feelings of Malaysians, plus division head himself should show more respect when making remarks during his speech.

The right to take to a fair trial in a court of law is for every citizen and should not be turned into a political banner by UMNO to garner the Malay vote. If the report is true, then let the court of law decide, if not then grant Teresa Kok what she demands and let it serve a lesson to Utusan Malaysia.

A lot has been said about bloggers spreading lies and half-truths but here we see a clear case of Utusan Malaysia not practicing Reponsible Reporting.


Friday, October 10, 2008

With all eyes on the UMNO elections, whose eyes are on the nation?

Do we give a dipstick on who would be the next UMNO president or VP? Does it really matter except the fact we kind of know, who the next PM and DPM would be since by pure default it has to come from UMNO? Does it really matter who gets the nominations to vie for the post (up for offer) in the coming UMNO convention?

In fact, if you really look at it; it doesn't really matter at all. When all eyes are turned to the squabbling of career politicians looking to secure their positions in UMNO, the state of the nation is not addressed.

Who is looking into the state of the country's economy? Who's going to put into place, safeguards to protect the populace when the recession hits Malaysia? While all these UMNOputra folks are squabbling over position and status, who is looking after you and me?

The American DOW JONES tumbled to its lowest level in 5 years yesterday. Governments in Europe are preparing bailout plans to save their financial institutions and these same governments are watching Asia. Markets all over Asia (and the world) are taking a tumble, Malaysia included. A few years back, Pak Lah used the KLSE as a barometer to gauge the health of the nations economy (that time we were riding high) and commented that Malaysia was moving along strong. Well, take a look today at our KLSE and with the current slide, the economy is headed for a heart-attack.

The economy is sliding down-wards yet the cost of living is going up. Why? Because the current BN government raise the price of fuel so drastically it took everyone by surprise. The populace cried foul but our BN MPs rubber-stamped the decision and told us to change our lifestyles. Was there not a decent brain in parliament at the time they debated the bill to increase the fuel price?

Raise the fuel price and traders will raise the price of goods. Simple logic, you don't have to be a "British trained economist" to know this. Then we get the announcement, the government will review the price of fuel on a month-to-month basis. They have since reduced the price of fuel twice and I'm expecting another price cut at the end of this month because the price of crude is hovering below USD90 per barrel.

Reduce fuel price but has the price of goods been reduced? No.

Even if the price of fuel returns to a point below RM2 per liter, the price of goods will remain where it is now. It makes pure business sense to keep it there. Business is about making the highest return on your investment, no business minded trader would want to lower the price of their goods when they are already making huge profits now.

So the BN government, in saving their subsidies, placed stress on the populace. Where is the rational in that? Did the BN MPs have that in mind when the bill was tabled in parliament after the fuel hike? So with Najib as Finance Minister and PM in waiting, will we see a reversal of all these "smart" economic decisions?

It seems a trend in Malaysia in recent years; if a Minister express discontent with a particular group then the police would investigate. This can happen even after the incident, then the police would step in, do some questioning and arrest a few people, and Minister happy, BN happy and people confuse.

HINDRAF would be investigated for unruly behavior at the Raya event the PM had last week. Question-why weren't any arrests made at the time of the offense? The police were there, the press was there and the PM was there, yet no arrest for "unruly" behavior. Why only now, a week after the incident, there is a call for the police to investigate HINDRAF and since when was "unruly" behavior at a Raya gathering threatening to national security?

This is a trend that needs to be checked and countered. It clearly shows the police agency under the influence of those in government positions and the directive seems to flow from these ministers. It should not be this way, the police have to investigate when there is clearly a crime committed and not on the perceived pretext that a crime was committed.

In the wake of all these things happening to our nation, the limelight is on the UMNO elections. Reading about who gets the highest nomination from the divisions is better than watching paint dry but what relevance does that have to me? I want to hear news about policies the government will put into place to counter the global crisis hitting our economy, which in turn will affect whether I can put food on the table. I want to know whether next year I can afford to put my kids into school as the cost of education steadily rise.

With all eyes on the UMNO elections, whose eyes are on the nation?


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Would a change in leader fix anything?

I'm being pessimistic. I don't really think a change in leadership would bring any good for Malaysia, if the leader comes from the same political affiliation as the past leader. Reason being? Same baggage.

Najib Razak will carry into his term the same old stuff Abdullah had to deal with and probably have the same support team also. Would this change anything? The same old gang is running the palace and the same practices will still be in place. Nothing has change. Everything is just as it was before. So whether Pak Lah leaves today or in March makes no difference. The same state of affairs will still be dominate over Malaysia. Our economy will be heading south, the people would still be facing bleak times and there will still be political chaos. It doesn't really address the root problem - poor governance at large.

The MPs should be allowed to lead by conscience and by party lines. The MPs should highlight the problems of the citizens living in their areas. Government policies should strive to better the lives of the people of Malaysia rather than enrich a certain group of people or party members. What is really needed is a change in governance style.

Can Najib bring about this? I really do not know. With the Altantuya case coming to conclusion, the results will no doubt haunt Najib not to mention the stigma that case has brought onto the Prime Minister in waiting. It will be Najib that has to face a bleak 13th General Election where the BN may finally be tumbled from its pedestal. At the rate the current government is going, BN may just be opposition after the 13th General Election.

Can Najib handle Anwar Ibrahim? Another case to watch for in the coming months after March 2009. It would be interesting if Anwar Ibrahim can install his government before March 2009 then all this wondering if Najib is capable can be put to rest and at least we know, RPK would be set free from ISA. I do not think Najib can handle Anwar Ibrahim. Left to his own devices Najib may be as weak as Pak Lah.

What we need is a leader who has fire in his belly. Someone who would grab Malaysia by it's collar and say, let's move on. Someone who can tell off the parliament. It should be a leader who inspires the populace to step forward and be counted. This is the leader we need and currently, I don't see that in UMNO.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Raya visiting by Hindraf and Anwar's "Idol" Image

It's been an interesting Raya week, to say the least and its incredible how the smallest of things can be turned into an issue akin to the countries economic woes.

Firstly on the cards, Hindraf paying a visit to the PM's open house over at PWTC on the first day of Raya. Government Main-Stream-Media (MSM) has spun the incident into something way beyond what it should be. Utusan Malaysia even called for stern action against Hindraf for creating a ruckus at the gathering. The RPK fellas also where there along side their Hindraf brothers and they too took a lot of slack from the MSM. It is reported that various individuals and bodies have asked that sterner action be taken against these people, who are deemed as disruptors of a grand celebration.

So this whole issue has been blown out of proportion. Why can't, for the sake of national peace, this incident be downplayed? Raya visiting can also make the news and this incident with Hindraf has further cemented people's opinion that these guys are mere trouble makers.

Secondly, someone in Batu Caves decided to erect a large poster of Anwar Ibrahim and this has made headlines. Yup, a poster (for lack of a better name) can also make news. Apparently, it hit the news when the Mufti of Perlis called it an idol. PAS was quick to come out to say it is perfectly alright to have the poster and it's not an idol or carved image.

So the nation is heading for a hard time economically and we have our leaders fighting over Raya visiting and a large poster of Anwar. All these are mere smokescreen to the true state of the nation. The KLCI tumbled 14 points yesterday, markets around Asia are reacting to the US financial crisis which is underway now. If everyone is watching all these sensational news, then who is watching Malaysia?

Scanning through the news MSM is feeding the populace, it seems clear that they are trying hard to win back the trust of the people. News, nowadays, seem balance; just that BN gets all the front portion of the paper while news on PR gets a place close to the obituary.

Not all things are bad and should be politicized. Yes, I bet you the Hindraf folks would have never made the news if they did not identify themselves as being from Hindraf. The huge poster of Anwar may not have been an issue if it was an image of Pak Lah. So what really is the problem? Would a visit by Hindraf to a public open house be detrimental to the nation's security? Would a poster be detrimental to the believers of various faiths in Malaysia? So what is the issue?

Only in Malaysia!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Is Pak Lah leaving?

Everyone is looking forward to Thursday (9th October 2008) in expectations of Pak Lah making an announcement on his decision to defend is post as president of UMNO. Most analyst think it is very likely, Pak Lah would opt to not contest the presidential post, giving way to Najib Razak to assume presidency and eventually to take over as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Not all choose to believe Pak Lah would step down unless they see it happen for sure, Tun Mahathir is one of the "seeing is believing crowd" and to be honest, I count myself in that camp too.

Too much talk has been flying about these pass few months and nothing to show for. A lot of hot air yet nothing substantial that can really be attributed to walking the talk by those in high office of governance. To be fair this stance is also adopted by the PR camp too but then they are already up to their necks learning to govern five states and having the full brunt of the BN smear machinery going against them.

So the biggest question now - Is Pak Lah leaving?

It would be something Anwar Ibrahim would be watching for as long as Pak Lah stays in power the better it is for him. The case may be different if another person is in charge but for lack of better candidates, Anwar may have to contend with Najib Razak. But troubled men tend to gravitate to one another, I suppose. Both Anwar and Najib have skeletons out of the closet and in public view. Anwar being the worse of the two yet the big suspicion hanging over Najib over hte Altantuya case may tip the scale Anwar's way.

A friend said something to me, "I prefer a sexually weird person than a (suspected) murderer as PM."

Yet others may want to have Pak Lah stay on because rather than choose between a (suspected) Sodomite and a (suspected) Murderer, they rather have a Sleepy Leader.

Would it make any difference if Pak Lah leaves or stays? The same team is in place regardless of whether Pak Lah or Najib Razak is in place. The same policies and management norms would be carried through under the BN governmental style. In truth, we will still be stuck with the same problems with or without a new PM. Unless a radical change happens within the ruling BN, nothing good is in store and all this is purely a political play being stage out so there's something interesting to talk about over coffee.

Is Pak Lah leaving? We can only be sure until it happens.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Open Letter by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to Pak Lah - Abolish ISA!

For those who have not read it yet, there is an open letter from Datuk Zaid Ibrahim addressed to Pak Lah asking the latter to abolished the ISA. I find Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's reasoning on the matter well thought out and an eye opener. It is very clear, the ISA has been abused by those in government in order to remain in power.

Here an excerpt of that letter that I find very interesting:

Pada 2001, aktivis-aktivis 'reformasi' Keadilan telah ditahan dalam satu tindakan yang kemudiannya diisytiharkan sebagai dibuat secara tidak betul dan tidak sah oleh Mahkamah Persekutuan. Penahanan berterusan mereka yang tidak dibebaskan lebih awal di pusat tahanan Kamunting hanya dibolehkan kerana ISA telah dipinda dalam cara yang meragukan pada 1988 bagi tidak lagi membenarkan semakan kehakiman dibuat ke atas arahan Menteri untuk menahan. Rakyat Malaysia dimaklumkan bahawa tahanan-tahanan ini telah cuba menggulingkan Kerajaan melalui cara-cara militan dan demonstrasi-demonstrasi liar.

Tujuh tahun telah berlalu sejak kejadian ini berlaku tetapi hingga kini belum ada sebarang bukti bagi menyokong dakwaan ini dikemukakan. Menambahkan lagi kekeliruan rakyat, salah seorang daripada mereka yang dikatakan "ganas dan militan" itu ialah Ezam Mohamad Noor. Inilah orangnya yang baru-baru ini disambut kembali ke dalam UMNO dengan sambutan besar-besaran, seolah-olah ianya merupakan satu kejayaan besar.

Source: Malaysiakini

Obviously, the BN government can decide how to label you depending if you are for or against them. Take the case of RPK, who claims trial yet is caught under ISA for being the most vocal blogger against the current establishment. What's worst according to Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the courts have no say in ISA detentions. Instead, the guy with all the power is the Home Minister. This minister can determine who gets detained and who goes off free. Yes, folks. The executive that is in charge of ISA is part and parcel of the government. Now, would this strong hand of the government ever use ISA against their own?

This is partly why, Ahmad Ismail, the joker that called Chinese "immigrants" was never detained under ISA for threatening the nations peace. It's an un-written rule - NEVER use ISA against our own people. You can use it against the opposition MPs, reporters and bloggers but NEVER against BN (or UMNO) guys who spew racist comments left, right, front, back and center.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is a brave man and I have gain immense respect for him. He made a stand and is now addressing Pak Lah and asking him to abolish this cruel tool of the government. Bear in mind, if Anwar Ibrahim comes into power and PR becomes government, this tool should still be abolished. It is a cruel tool that has no place in a modern democratic country.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, you have this bloggers two thumbs up!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When the ship loses its captain.

Its idiotic to think that at this very moment, Malaysia is still very much in the docks. Who is running the country? There is no clear firm image of leadership and this reeks of instability and confusion in the top management.

Abdullah Badawi seems to have called it a day and is only bidding for time. The right time to move along and pass the baton to Najib Razak and Anwar Ibrahim seems adamant he would snatch power cleanly in the very near future. What is in store for Malaysia is either men take the highest office in Malaysia?

The first priority now for the BN led government is not the UMNO elections but rather the failing economy, hasten by the problems America is having with its financial sector. If America cannot fix its financial problems, the whole world goes into a nose-dive. Things get shaken up and everyone stands to suffer. Yet in Malaysia, our top leaders do not seem to bother about this. Instead we get the normal, "We are fine" statements. But all is not fine. The UMNO leaders who effectively head the major offices in government are more interested in safe-guarding their own rice-bowls in the coming party elections.

Several component parties in BN are contemplating leaving and Pakatan Rakyat are having hiccups of their own especially the mess in Selangor over the Hindu temple demolition. The whole seat of government, the bridge where the ship is commanded is in chaos. The captain has left the bridge and everyone had no idea what they are suppose to be doing or they are simply doing whatever they choose.

In recent events it is a tragic comedy to watch several ministers stumble over themselves when issuing statements. Some contradict themselves or each other and some are made tactless. Mud-slinging is common place in Malaysian politics and it's no surprise for MPs to call each other names in parliament. All hot air and the real issues are lost in transition.

I believe the people are getting fed-up and worn out by all these shenanigans and would just want to get on with their lives. We just want to know when the next meal is coming and that we are able to have enough to get us through the month. It is time the captain gets back to what he should be doing and that is to captain the ship and let everyone know he is in charge.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A fallacy of composition - the immaturity of Malaysian politics

fallacy of composition

noun - the error of assuming that what is true of a member of a group is true for the group as a whole.

Humans are creatures of habit and though change is constant, not everyone would welcome constant. Worst still if change would disturb the established norm and destroy any form of benefits or rewards one would have enjoyed when change was not present.

This is the situation facing the Barisan Nasional government. After 51 years of governance, this group of politicians do not know any other form of life. For those holding the highest position in government, the feel of power is indeed so good, they refuse to let it go even when prompted to do so. Desperate to hold on to power, they use every known apparatus at their disposal to protect their hold on power. The police, courts of law and media are all instruments used to create an image that all is well with the government. While the government goes along the notion, everything is going along well in this country, the discerning public knows better.

In their desperation to stay in power the BN government has lost touch with the very people who voted them in. I am sure, we vote the government of the day because we want to be taken care of. We want a government who looks into the welfare of its people, a government that is interested to see the betterment of its people.

Instead, what we get is totally the opposite. We have a government running scared, detaining people who voice out discontent against them, bent on pulling strings to keep friends and foes at bay, we have politics in our face but no solution for the woes striking the general populace.

Switch on the tele or read the UMNO owned newspapers and what we get is a fallacy of composition.

It may have been a strategy which worked ten years ago but this is 2008 and Malaysians have woken up to the realities of the ruling government. In the 12th General Election, people voted for CHANGE. The people has had enough of talk from politicians only interested to remain in power for financial gain.

We have woken up to the realization that Pak Lah is not all he is cut out to be. All because he has the image of Mr. Clean, does not mean that the whole government is such but the picture is painted in the mass media that everything is dandy and good. The statements coming out of Main Stream Media seems to show that Pak Lah has great support among the UMNO base yet that is not what is evident on the ground.

Only yesterday, we had a collection NGO leaders coming out with resolution warning people not to question the transition plan between Pak Lah and Najib Razak. Looking at the news clip, it is evident that all who were present were UMNO members who were pro-Abdullah Badawi. Where were the Chinese or Indian NGO leaders? Why weren't their views taken into consideration? Even if this group, who say that they represent all NGOs in Malaysia, pass such a resolution, I believe it is not reflective of all NGOs.

Main Stream Media is also painting a picture that if Anwar Ibrahim is flawed then the whole Pakatan Rakyat bunch is flawed. They pump up the image of Anwar Ibrahim as a sodomite yet down play any wrong down by an UMNO member say for instance Ahmad Ismail.

Ahmad Ismail, mind you, has done more damage against race relations in Malaysia than any article Raja Petra Kamaruddin has ever written.

This is the state of Malaysian politics. We are so bent on painting fallacies of composition, all over the place in order to win a vote. There is no consideration of policies that would move the country forward. We elect leaders base on image rather that capacity to deliver. We base voting on a logo rather on the ability of the person to serve his/her constituency. At the end of the day, we have a parliament of career politicians and the sad thing is that we are paying them for sitting in parliament.

It's a fallacy of composition when the idea that only BN can assure us of fair treatment as citizens of Malaysia. Look at the spate of arrest under ISA, where RPK gets sent to detention when Ahmad Ismail is scot free, why? Because UMNO has already slapped a three(3) year ban on him.

It's a fallacy of composition to think that everyone is united behind the idea of detention without trial (ISA) when our everyone knows it is a cruel tool of the government.

It's a fallacy of composition to say this democratic government is mature and on par with other democracies of the world. By saying we practice "Guided Democracy" is akin to saying that Pol Pot's regime was the best government to rule Cambodia.

This government is immature and unable to meet the aspirations of those that voted them in and thus, it is high time for change.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Malaysia's bravest blogger, RPK, sent to Kemunting

The powers that be cannot keep a good man down and so they hit him with the most unjustified form of detention imaginable - detention without trial, the ISA. I hope the Home Minister and every BN member of parliament sleep easy for they have sent an innocent man to jail for the act of speaking out. Sending him to two (2) years of confinement for exercise his right as a free citizen of Malaysia. For speaking out against what is unjust and wrong.

They justified the act by saying RPK had insulted Islam and the government of the day. What else is new? Why can't they charge him in a court of law where the infamous Sedition Act can be used? Or maybe it was because there was nothing to pin RPK with, all charges against could not pin him. Why? Because RPK was telling the truth and had too much up his sleeve for them to counter in a right and just way. The government reverted to throwing a jab under the belt. The more the need to for a change in government. The more the need to restore the rule of Law and not the rule of Lone Nepoleons who sign detention orders and order the use of C4 on people.

What then can the rakyat do? We do what we do best, vote for change. Come the next election or if a miraculous snap-election gets force, vote in a new government. Vote for change. Vote for a system that rids Malaysia of racism and xenophobic politicians. Vote for people who are for the people and not out to fatten their own pockets.

RPK was sure of his fate long before today yet he had faith in the people who believe that change is coming to Malaysia. He trust that this change would be the one that would release him from detention under ISA. It would be this change that would rid Malaysia of ISA altogether.

Something is really wrong when people are detained for speaking out against injustice. Something is really wrong with Malaysia and we can make a change. Remove this government, the people should not be afraid of their government instead it is the government which should be afraid of its people.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Remember the 16th September 1963

The 16th of September came and went and this year it would be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Most eyes and ears were waiting for news of a government take over by the opposition coalition lead by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. It came and went and everyone went about their lives.

16th September came and went and all the people remembered was the politics of the day. Yet for Sarawakians, 16th September is the day Sarawak joined Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula to form Malaysia.

16th September came and went and it was not even a public holiday. Instead, even the whole issue of a public holiday was turned into a political argument between the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. My humble opinion, it should have been a holiday because on that day a nation was born. A nation we call Malaysia which has been steadily making it’s mark on the world state. There should be no argument whatsoever on the status of the 16th of September, neither should it be turned into a political trump card.

16th September should be remembered as the day Malaysia was born and it came with a price. For when wind of Sarawak’s decision to join the collection of independent states to form Malaysia reached Indonesia, they retaliated with an armed response. An episode in history called The Confrontation. Lives were lost on Sarawakian soil to protect the decision to form Malaysia and this fact seemed lost to most Malaysians. Sacrifices were made and great deeds were sown in order for Sarawak to partner along side Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula, to form Malaysia.

Many in Sarawak feel that 16th September should be given equal standing as the 31st August. Commemorated for the fact it was the day Malaysia made its debut onto the world stage. The whole process of fighting for independence is alien to a normal Sarawakian for Sarawak in those days did not take part in protesting against the formation of the Malayan Union neither did we take part in an arms struggled against the British. In fact if examined properly, Sarawak was ruled by an Englishman but never was part of the British Empire. Sarawak could be called an independent state much like the city states of ancient Greece. Thus, the decision to form Malaysia along with Sabah and Singapore was made with the understanding that Sarawak would still retain a fair amount of autonomy. This is a fact, in most cases, relegated to a mere footnote in history books.

Sarawak has been in Malaysia a good 46 years and most still remember life before the formation of Malaysia. The remnants of the White Rajah are evident in those above the age of 46 years. I have met pensioners in their 60s who speak impeccable British English. Walk through Kuching city and you will find colonial buildings and mission schools dating to 1843. Fort Magrita still stands guard over the Sarawak River overlooking the Waterfront and alongside the new August House.

46 years of being a partner in Malaysia and Sarawak still has kept it’s identity. Bahasa Malaysia is spoken alongside Sarawakian Malay, Iban, Bidayuh and Hokkien. It is a known fact that Chinese shop-owners plying their trade to the locals can often time be heard speaking Malay, Iban or Bidayuh. This is typical Sarawak where communal respect is very much woven into the fabric of living in Sarawak.

16th September came and gone and this year it was remembered for all the wrong reasons. Focused for political matters and not for the fact it was the day a nation was born. It is the birthdate for Malaysia and it should be commemorated as such. Give credit to the ordinary Sarawakian who is not mindful of the the politics of the day but instead only knows the simple fact, that on the 16th of September our fore fathers decided that for the interest of all communities living in Sarawak, we should join Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula to form Malaysia. It was a wise and good decision.

Hopefully, due credit will be accorded for the 16th of September in the coming years as we all mature towards a unified Malaysia.

p/s: My article that came out on MySinChew.com and Malaysia-Today.net


Friday, September 19, 2008

A weird week in Malaysian governance.

I had network problems from where I normally connect to blog and this has been a point of frustration to me. But that should not keep a good blogger down, so I have found another location where access to my blog is permitted. It seems, the organization I work for has been running some filtering software across the network with some rather queer results. My workplace seems to be practicing selective blocking where Blogger.Com seems to be unaccessible yet just down the hall at another location, access is super-fast. So its a mystery to me, much like the events of the pass week in Malaysia.

16th September came and went and all we have is a bunch of politicians calling each other liars and the sorts. At the rate we are going, all the members of parliament are liars. Since the 12th General Election, the country has been caught in a stalemate and I think the tortoise overtook the rabbit in the race to normalcy. Our economy is headed for hard times as mentioned by Tun Mahathir in his latest posting on Chedet.Com and I agree with him. I have stop watching local news and instead prefer that abomination of networks - CNN. Yet, at least I can get an almost non-bias look at what's happening in the work unlike the spin on our local main stream media.

The American's having a bad financial crisis with several bail-outs initiated by the government. Much like what happened in Malaysia in 1997 but at a larger scale. A scale enough to send the world into the dumps with Malaysia included. We are heading for a time of high inflation rates as already reported sometime in August which lead to the lowering of the fuel prices in time for the Permatang Pauh by-election. Still, I hope there will be another reduction before the Raya celebrations as the price of crude has dropped below USD100 per barrel.

Abdullah Badawi has swapped portfolios with Najib Razak. Now, Najib has to contend with the headache of reviving a sagging economy. I agree with Tun Mahathir's opinion that if anything goes wrong with the economy at this time, Najib would be blamed. Smart move by Abdullah Badawi and as expected his friends in UMNO all lauded the move as wise or a step up for the transition plan to have Najib Razak as Prime Minister by July 2010. Typical UMNO stuff. Divert attention from the root cause of all our problems. In short Abdullah Badawi needs to take responsibility (Japan style) and resign. Call for fresh elections and get the people to choose who they want in charge. Mind you, not many people are keen on Najib Razak.

Anwar Ibrahim needs to get his act together. If he wants to seriously make a charge to Putra Jaya then do it or wait till the 13th General Election. Honestly, just play the waiting game. Anwar has nothing to lose, since by then the people's trust in Barisan Nasional would have gone south and anything either than BN would be good enough for Malaysia. In the pass few years, BN has really been wrong-footed by their own people. They have no-one else to blame except themselves for all the problems hitting Malaysia now. Anwar should just sit back and watch the show. Maybe whisper a little here and there, point out some funny dealings here and there and just allow BN to implode. Come the 13th General Election and Pakatan Rakyat can safely claim that the rakyat has voted them in.

Yet, if Anwar really wants to claim the government now then push for fresh elections. I'm no politician but I think that is a better move. Get the people's backing and BN would have nothing to say about the matter. The people would have decided and made their voices heard.

RPK and Theresa Kok are still under ISA. In Theresa Kok's case, I find it funny that the police reports were lodge after she was caught under ISA for the very things the police reports were made against. It's as if the whole thing is an after thought. Catch the person first and then settle the procedure later. Catch Theresa Kok and then make police reports base on why she was arrested under ISA. What use is the police investigation now, if she is under ISA which means detention without trial.

It's ironic that the ISA has been compared to the Patriot Act of America by our leaders in Malaysia. Clearly a move to justify the ISA but their comparison is flawed to the max. The Patriot Act's main function is to capture terrorists and to date cannot be used against an American citizen. The ISA is used to capture bloggers, reporters and opposition MPs for stuff that can be charged under the Sedition Act.

So what gives?

Our leaders must get their facts straight and don't simply try to justify when they have no idea what they are talking about.

Yes, it has been a weird week for Malaysia and it will get even weirder in the coming weeks. Things to watch for, reduction of fuel prices, Anwar pushing for a parliament session, UMNO or BN's slandering of Anwar as he deals with his court case, the American financial crisis hitting the Malaysian stock market and more calls for the amendment to the ISA. Something for everyone and the day is still young.


Monday, September 15, 2008

The blame game begins in arrest debacle.

Now a comedy of shorts has begun.

The government via the statement from the Home Minister is saying that the arrest under ISA against the Sin Chew Reporter, RPK and Theresa Kok was purely the decision of the police. The Home Ministry did not make the decision, it was purely and surely only the police. Now, the BN government ministers have jumped up to point fingers at the ISA, obviously sensing that they can now be seen as champions of the people.

I pity the police. They have been left high and dry and are now living to take the blame.

Political Milage is the name of the game and in times of political trouble, such as now, everyone needs any measure they can obtain. Be it the BN or PR, all politicians need to gain it in order to ensure their own political survival. I pity the jokers in Taipei, they miss the party and instead they themselves have been turned into jesters and pawns for the bigger political game to claim the Malaysian government.

This spate of arrest has created ample opportunity for the rakyat to stand up and be counted. I hope the palace sees the injustice being leveled on the citizens of Malaysia and take action. It would be a slap in the PM's face if the palace where to call him in and give him the riot act and I think they should. A leader needs to take charge and if the PM is unable to maintain control over the actions of the agencies under him, then we all have cause to worry. Because there lies the bigger problem.

The government has lapse into a state of internal chaos. Communication between agencies have broken down and I bet you, the PM doesn't know much of what's going on unless someone tells him. I suggest he starts looking around and making sure his advisors are channelling him the correct information because he has no-one else to blame but himself, if anything goes wrong.

The blame game would continue and the matter of running this country would be lost in a swamp of politics. Who is looking after our economy? Who is looking after the needs of the people? Who are raising the issues close to the people's hearts? How to raise, when all this while the politics in the land has be in a state of near-death? Everyone looking out for their own interest and not of the people.

I pray that all Malaysians remember that Malaysia should NEVER be sacrificed as a pawn in a political game.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The BN government is running scared

It is amazing to watch the BN government lead by Abdullah Badawi stumble over and over again. The recent exercise in arresting a DAP MP, RPK and a journalist is not going to score points with the populace. At a time when they should be busy building bridges with the very people that have kept them in power, the BN government instead has instilled a sense of dread and fear in them. Who would not be outrage at this spate of arrest?

The US government has called the Malaysian ambassador and Anwar Ibrahim will bring up this matter with Abdullah Badawi. International eyes are now focus on Malaysia for all the wrong reason. The BN government has given more proof that a government lead by Anwar Ibrahim is far credible than them. Anwar Ibrahim does not have to do much, the government lead by Abdullah Badawi will do it for him. Anwar does not have to lead a campaign to point out the misdeeds of the current administration, Abdullah Badawi and company will do for Anwar.

It is a mark of a government that is running scared and confused. Instead of nation building, they instead choose to blow up all form of unity. The people are increasingly loosing trust in the administration. How can we trust them, the reporter that reported on Ahmad Ismail's racist comments is imprisoned, the DAP MP is caught on a charge that has not been investigated and RPK is imprisoned for speaking for the people.

The BN government in arresting them, has done them a favor. These three people (minus one, for the reported was released) will become folk heroes, simple folks who stood up against a government bent on maintaining power through whatever means possible. They are not criminals in the eyes of the people, rather as of today, these three have become heroes. Heroes who dared speak the truth and paid the price for it.

I say, Anwar Ibrahim make swift your promise to take over by 16th September. For the rakyat cry out for justice, for a government that is people-centric and a government for the people not one against the people.

Let September 16th be a reality. Let it be!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The fantasy of Malaysian Unity

MCA and Gerakan has severed ties with UMNO Penang. Not a shocker considering the aloofness of Ahmad Ismail who called for Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional and continues to play the racial card. I am surprise no immediate action by UMNO has been imposed on him, instead they have chosen to meet him talk to him about his allege remarks that have fractured the support of the chinese for the Barisan Nasional.

This incident clearly shows the rhetoric of the ruling government when they talk about Malaysian Unity. In fact, such a term is a fantasy. It doesn't exist as long as we have leaders who think they deserve to lead and should lord over the citizens of Malaysia.

May I remind such leaders that the non-Malays are the people who are paying for the wages of government servants. 90% of government servants are Malays and tax money paid by non-Malays are support he livelihood of these government servants. We should instead be thankful that the non-Malays contribute towards nation building.

Ahmad Ismail is both dumb and deaf and horribly ignorant to the role of Chinese in Malaysian nation building. To utter statements that undermine the support of the Chinese community is equivalent to hara-kiri. The Chinese hold the economic pulse of the nation and it through their efforts the Malaysian business scene has prospered and bloom. The rewards are enjoyed by all Malaysians and it has been so for the pass 51 years, Malaysia has been around. The typical Malaysian Chinese know no other home yet this Ahmad Ismail calls them immigrants.

Its a sad thing, for this man, a leader within UMNO, clearly does not know what it means to live in a multi-racial country.

The Barisan Nasional who has held on to governance all this while is now living in its twilight days. Pakatan Rakyat is looking more attractive by the day and I hope 16th September would change everything.


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