Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Kris or The Broom? Who cares!

It's a clear case of who-more-evil than the other. Who's badder - Keris-Man or Broom-Guy?

Keris-Man played on words and did a apology-no-apology stunt and Broom-Guy is making sweeping statements that make everyone (except himself) look bad.

According to Khir Toyo as reported on Malaysiakini:

The keris-waving incident that sparked an uproar among non-Malays may have contributed to the poor performance of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the March 8 polls, said former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Source: Malaysiakini
"May have contributed"? I think it was a cause of defeat especially for the MCA and Gerakan who failed to listen and stand up for the Chinese community

In both cases of the Keris and the Broom - BN embarrassed themselves. UMNO showed themselves to be pompous, thinking that being the biggest political party; they were the government. UMNO forgot that the government comprises of Malaysians who are not just Malays and Malaysians replied in kind to deny them total victory.

So now that Khir has thrown the ball into Keris-Man's court, what will Keris-Man do now? Would the UMNO whipping boys come out in force and smack Khir Toyo silly?

I'm also quite curious as to the reason Khir Toyo is very vocal of late. Would all this lead up to something major? To date, there has yet to be a strong handed response by UMNO leaders. If Khir Toyo was from another political party, criticizing an UMNO lad, then I'm sure we would have heard a lot but here we have an UMNO guy calling Samy Vellu almost a liar (in the face), pointing his finger at Keris-Man and saying, it's your fault and he seems to be getting away with it.

Maybe while he's at it, Khir can enlighten us on Selangor's poor environmental record? I remember a whole mountain being stripped of it's trees and he had the cheek to say, I did not know about it when all he needed to do was look out his office window.

So is The Keris or The Broom? Actually, there's nothing wrong with the objects but the problem lies with the men holding them.


Two thumbs up for Jeff Ooi - could we all give him a new car?

I admire Jeff Ooi and since my better half is from Penang, I am happy that Pakatan Rakyat leads the state and we've got people like Jeff running the ship. So I give him two thumbs up for drawing no salary and getting no perks for doing his job as reported by Malaysiakini:

He is the chief of staff of the Penang chief minister’s office. Although it is a powerful position, it is a voluntary job for him.

“I draw no salary. I wasn’t given any perks. There’s not even a chauffeur-driven car,” quipped blogger-turn-politician Jeff Ooi.

Source: Malaysiakini

Yup, Jeff doesn't even have an official car and had his wife's car towed away (by the police) after the first parliament sitting.

When Anwar Ibrahim made a stop over in Kuching, Sarawak; there was quite a number of people who waited for him at the airport. The traffic police were really happy that day as their summons quota for the month was met.

This raise the question, "When Pak Lah came to Kuching, nobody got summoned for illegal parking, so when Anwar comes kena samanlah?"

So Jeff is not alone here. It's interesting the way The Star paints Jeff:
AN opposition MP had an unpleasant start in Parliament when his car was towed away by the traffic police for parking outside the Parliament house.
Still haven't learn their lesson. For once can MSMs stop labeling people and just address everyone as MPs (regardless of political affiliations). In parliament, every MP is equal. They are a representative of the people and this is up and above party affiliations or political divides.

Freedom of the press should be the next thing to be reformed.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The broom sweeps both ways - Khir Toyo vs Samy Vellu

Khir Toyo flung some dirt at Samy Vellu according to reports by Malaysiakini:

Presiden MIC Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu meminta bekas Menteri Besar Selangor Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo supaya berhenti membuat tuduhan tidak berasas berhubung kekalahan Barisan Nasional (BN) di negeri itu dalam pilihanraya umum lalu.

Source: Malaysiakini

Things are heating up with Khir Toyo saying that it was Samy Vellu who ordered the demolition of the hindu temple at Kampung Rimbajaya.

New broom sweeps very clean and the dirt is smacking on everyone. I wonder if Khir would say anything about Pak Lah? And are we going to see someone dishing out the dirt on Khir Toyo especially going on the tune of RM9.9 million?

Hey, Samy...just start a blog of your own and spill the beans and let the blog wars begin. After starting your own blog, get an interview with Malaysiakini and dish out more dirt on everyone. I'm sure you have a lot of stories to tell us.

It's really amazing, in January of this year it would seemed impossible to get UMNO guys blogging or talking to Malaysiakini. Suddenly, it seems to be the in thing for any would be politician who needs to be seen as close to the rakyat.

Irony of ironies; they are all following in the steps of Anwar Ibrahim who has been the star of the new media since 1997 and now the BN dudes are desperately trying to play catch up and the best way to get noticed in cyber-world is to fling dirt at each other.

Khir Toyo is really picking things up and using it to his advantage. So what next Khir?


The new pak nujum - Khir Toyo; so where's the money?

Khir Toyo is really making noise for himself. In an interview with Malaysiakini he cited that UMNO had lost touch with reality. Maybe this is due to the fact, he has found enlightenment as a blogger? It's funny that one can say something in the real world and after defeat can change his/her tune at a whim without remembering what they said before.

But that is the state of politicians in Malaysia, they are free to say whatever they want as long as they are part of the ruling government even if they contradict themselves shamelessly.

Worst still, Khir Toyo claims first digs as a soothsayer;

Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said he knew it all along that Barisan Nasional (BN) would suffer heavy losses in the March 8 polls, long before the date arrived.

Source: Malaysiakini

So he's saying a lot of things and clearly, trying hard to make himself likable. A complicated man this Khir Toyo.

If he knew that BN was going to lose big, why did he not make noise then? He could have started blogging about the impending doom of BN way before March 8th. That would have gathered some attention. Why did he take to blogging after the elections and not before? A clear case of "Knee-jerk reaction".

Welcome to the new reality, Khir Toyo and when you play in this world you need to know certain things. So if anyone happens to know Khir Toyo, I have some friendly advice for him concerning this new reality that BN lost touch with:
  1. Not everything you say, people would believe. Latching on to new media (blogging or even and having your say, does not mean people would instantly take to you. People will comment (note: some dude called me a m*****F***** for supporting Wan Azizah for PM) and flame your balls off. Be prepared.
  2. You will be put on public trial. Whatever you do in this new reality (cyberspace) would be put on public trial. People will try best to match it with your world-reality. It doesn't help that your so popular, giving out brooms and all.
  3. Its all about perceptions. People perceive, assume and gather facts and if perceptions are strong enough they never bother about gathering facts. So we walk around with mere perceptions and assumptions on a given matter. The MSM was really good at this, they create perceptions and assumptions, which the general public took to heart but somewhere along the line these perceptions and assumptions did not tally with real events. Logic kicked in and people start searching for facts and the facts spoke for themselves. With correct facts, people build mind-sets. So now, what are you going to do to reverse people's mind-sets on BN because the facts speak for themselves - BN failed the people.
All this brings me to another point. Where is the money? Khir Toyo speaks so much about right and wrong; nothing wrong with that unless you want to replace Nostradamus, but people have built a mind-set about Khir Toyo. And it doesn't help if you wife is suspected of running off with RM9.9 million.

So give us the facts, don't you think it's wrong that your wife could simply disband an organization and transfer RM9.9 million to another organization? I told my mum about this and she asked me, "So what happened to the treasurer?" Good question.

So come clean and just admit the fact that your wife did wrong and throw yourself at the mercy of the people and maybe they will pity you. Be a gentleman and admit your faults.



Monday, April 28, 2008

A New Malaysia but we are afraid of pig farms and footballers

Fuel prices hit a record high today USD120 per barrel and it nowhere close to coming down again. Food prices are soaring all over the world, causing concern for most nations.


We're still still bickering over what went wrong in the previous election, more than a month ago. Scan through Malaysiakini, The Star, NST or The Sun and the news seems to be apologising kris-kissers, Balkis runaway money, hopping MPs and angry anti-pig farming picketers or and don't forget the 21 Muslim NGOs protesting the Chelsea team visit because they have two Jews in the squad.

Football is football and professional football is a career, a job and it is given to the player who has merit regardless of race, creed or religion. So why are the 21 NGOs protesting against Chelsea making a visit to Malaysia?

Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel but is that an obstacle for Jewish travelers to stop by in Malaysia. Go to Penang and you will find Jews buried there. These Jews called Malaysia home and chose to be buried here.

What then are these people harping on and why is the current government not telling them to hush it? Wait because people are too busy analyzing the 12th GE results!

In the mix is also the blow-up over the RM100million pig farm in Selangor. We have people picketing against this and also the current BN government pointing fingers at the Pakatan Rakyat government for what they say is a horrible decision. But wasn't the decision to have the pig farm made before the 12th GE by the UMNO led government? So why the out-cry now? Shouldn't all the crying have been done, way back before the 12th GE?

Folks, it's a case of politics super-imposed over pigs and football. When the real issues are hidden behind a smokescreen of angry picketers and lame government responses.

Fuel prices, as of today was at USD120 a barrel. Can the current government bear the weight of subsidizing fuel for any longer? Will we see another rise in local fuel prices, which would mean rising cost of living. Rising cost of living would then be compounded by the shortage of food that is slowly gripping the world. Thailand has asked that its citizen not eat rice but rather switch to bread. Thailand is saving up reserves for its citizens and I believe they will lower if not stop exporting rice. Bear in mind, Malaysia imports rice from Thailand. Thailand's move would hurt Malaysia and what are we doing about it?

It's time to stop all the politics and move on to living life. The people have given their vote and we would like to get on with living life in a world that is struggling and we need those that we voted into parliament to start leading the way.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Malaysia is stuck in the moment

Reading through Malaysiakini and the MSM, we have to agree that for the moment. Malaysia is stuck in the moment and that moment is March 8th. We're still there and we have not moved on any further.

It is amazing that the sandiwara of forming a government is still playing out for us. We're still talking about counts and recounts; take for instance Malaysiakini's apology to Khairy or the apology by Kerisman for showing off that weapon during the UMNO meeting.

While all this is going on, Malaysia is stuck in no-man's land.

Before the election, so-called corridors were set up to generate jobs and business for several states. What has happened to those corridors now? A food crisis is enveloping the world, so is Malaysia ready for this silent tsunami?

Instead what we have are wary politicians throwing abuse at each other over the media. Name-calling and low punches are the norm for politicians in Malaysia. It is still a massive case of "Wakil Party", rather than "Wakil Rakyat".

If all this jittery post-election withdrawal is not address sooner than I fear that Malaysia would be stuck in the moment, of which she may never be able to recover from and while the rest of the wrold moves on we are still living on March 8th.

So sad for Malaysia.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Wan Azizah for PM? A good idea indeed.

Wan Azizah for Prime Minister of Malaysia?

Could be a good thing if you ask me since almost all the likely candidates have baggage to bring into the office. Wan Azizah could be the best there is to offer.
Dr Wan Azizah Ismail berkata beliau bersedia menjadi perdana menteri Malaysia jika Pakatan Rakyat berjaya mendapat majoriti dua pertiga susulan peralihan sokongan wakil-wakil Barisan Nasional.

Source: Malaysiakini
Honestly speaking, I think it is a good idea. Why not? We are a democracy (to borrow BN's tag-line) and in a democracy anything can be made possible.

If Anwar Ibrahim can gather enough MPs to jump the fence and form the Pakatan Rakyat government then the best candidate for Prime Minister would be Wan Azizah. She could bring to Malaysia a different dimension in leadership and I believe the people would accept her.

She doesn't have baggage like the rest. A commentator on Malaysiakini mentioned that if Najib were to become PM then he rather Pak Lah remain cause Najib is worse off than Pak Lah. I would agree with that statement. The Altantuya murder case is close to nowhere to being solve and Najib is tied to that case in subtle ways.

The reaction from the Pak Lah government, as I suspected, has been tame towards Anwar Ibrahim's statement that by September he would be able to form government. Najib went merely stated that Anwar can say anything he wants. Najib seems to be waiting for stuff to start flying about. 
In fact, if everything blows up in Pak Lah's camp  (you don't need C4 for that), Najib stands to gain the most from it all.

If Anwar could form government than by right Wan Azizah should be PM since she has been the leader of the opposition for the pass few years. Since Pak Lah is head of the largest party in BN and automatically became PM, then the same treatment should be given to Wan Azizah too.

But would PAS have anything to say, since the issue would be raise; can a woman lead a country? True, a Muslim is to lead Malaysia but it did not state whether it must be a man or woman. It is open. 

Can a Muslim woman lead Malaysia?

To me, aside from constitution matters, as long as the person is credible and trustworthy; they have my vote for Prime Minister and right now, my vote goes to Wan Azizah.



Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Art of (An)War

Malaysian news is ablaze with Anwar Ibrahim's statement that in 3 years time he would step up and become Prime Minister and he peppered that statement with the indication Pakatan Rakyat has enough MPs (Opposition and BN Leap-Froggers) to form government.

In Malaysiakini, The Star and NST the date to watch is September 16 aptly known as Malaysia Day - the date Malaysia was formed with the inclusion of Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore (at that time) with Malaya.

Startling news to the ruling government if everything holds true. Anwar has brought out into the open a timeline and a dateline. 3 years to premiership and September 16th for government formation.

If you were playing poker and you had the Ace, would you show it in the first round or would you keep it until the bets have piled up?

This is what puzzled me when I first got wind of the announcement by Anwar Ibrahim. Why show your Ace in the deck at this time?

I see several scenarios to this announcement, so indulge me for a moment of your time and see if it all makes sense. I'll take a page from Sun Zi's - The Art of War

1. When you are weak, appear to be strong
Say you are up against a strong opponent, how would you misguide him/her into a state of completency. You mask your real strength. In this case Anwar makes out to be the stronger person in order to hide the fact that they are weak. Harp about the fact that you are strong in order to force your opponent into retreat. Creating confusion and disarray while you gather your strength.

2. Mis-information
Tell your opponent what you are going to do and send him in the wrong direction. By telling Malaysia what he intends to do, Anwar Ibrahim is in fact taking us for a ride. He may have other things up his sleeve and most surely it would startle some people. He doesn't have to do much since the current establishment was already reading the wrong signs in the run-up to the previous general elections.They are a gullible bunch who rather follow their own ideas then to listen to the thoughts of others.

3. Force of hand
This added ingredient in the mix would actually force Pak Lah to act. The ball is in his side of the courts and he cannot ignore it. He now has a dateline to match. Come September 16 he may be out of a job and Pak Lah would be the person to totally blame for it. He has to act and this would be interesting. Would Pak Lah hasten the transfer of power? Or would he stick his thumb in the mix and hopefully it won't get burnt?

4. It's all sandiwara!
It's just a ploy to keep us interested in the politics of Malaysia and forget that there is a food crisis looming and a recession in America. Heck, we need to keep up with the American presidential race so conjuer up our own drama and invite the world to see. I bet half the world is waiting to see if Anwar Ibrahim can make good his word.

So what about you? These are my thoughts on the matter. Personally, I'm going to sit back and see what Pak Lah, Najib and the gang have to say about Anwar Ibrahim's statement.



Anwar Ibrahim for Prime Minister

Malaysiakini has reported that Anwar Ibrahim has thrown down a time frame for him to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. Is this something that we all want? Would that really be good for Malaysia?

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today confidently predicted he would be prime minister within three years, sketching out the first rough timetable for his dramatic political comeback.

Source: Malaysiakini
Given the circumstances, I think Anwar Ibrahim could be the next PM.

For starters, Anwar is shrewd. By making this announcement now he has decisively pushed Abdullah Badawi into the corner. Three years time is just in time for the 13th General Election and 13 could be the unlucky number for UMNO and BN. If BN loses big during the 13GE then Abdullah's Badawi is totally responsible for the failure - provided he is still PM and that is the catch.

With this announcement, what would Pak Lah do? Would he upgrade Najib before December or would he hold on to power and hopefully gain enough steam to prove Anwar wrong? I am sure his 4th floor boys are crunching the numbers as we speak. Of course, if Pak Lah upgrades Najib then it would be Najib who would have to deal with the Anwar-headache. Come 13thGE, if BN fails then it would be on Najib's head.

I would say Pak Lah would dismiss this announcement by Anwar and the MSM would get comments from pro-BN people to say that Anwar has lost his rocker. They would play it down and dismiss it as merely someone speaking rubbish. But the people would have picked up the message that Anwar is sending.

Anwar is not addressing the limping BN government, Anwar is sending this message to the rakyat. He telling them that they were able to do it on March 8th they can do it again come 3 years time. In fact, they can start doing it now.

This announcement is a signal for the rakyat to start making waves and the rakyat will reply in kind.

So here's another poll for everyone. Would you like to see Anwar Ibrahim as PM of Malaysia in 3 years time? You can vote on the right hand side of this blog.



Monday, April 21, 2008

Malaysiakini - Nazri calls some people stupid and those guys are ministers...

I am totally amazed that this Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz is still in the government. This was the guy who said a lot about bloggers, putting bloggers down and putting up an arrogant attitude towards the people at large. Here he's defending the PM from his distractors and going to the extent of calling them bodoh or stupid.

Worse still he says, "Not all ministers are intelligent." So who chose these un-intelligent ministers in the first place?

"Saya fikir apa yang rakyat mahukan sekarang ialah bagi kami untuk mula mentadbir negara.

"Mereka sudah bosan diberitahu mengenai apa yang nak dibuat, kini mereka mahu kami mentadbir, bukan Umno memberitahu mereka yang Pak Lah tidak layak menjadi perdana menteri," katanya.

Ditanya pendapatnya mengenai beberapa menteri yang turut meminta Abdullah meletakkan jawatan, Nazri berkata: "Hanya kerana mereka menteri, ia tidak bermakna yang mereka tahu segalanya. Bukan semua menteri cerdik.

"Tetapi kenapa anda terkejut mengenai apa yang menteri berkenaan katakan. Bekas perdana menteri juga berbuat perkara yang sama.

"Ini mungkin menyebabkan saya tidak popular tetapi saya fikir apa yang saya katakan adalah betul," katanya.
Source: Malaysiakini
Nazri should just keep his mouth shut primarily because he seems to be shooting off statements that contradict each other. Can anyone please tell me what this fella has done for the rakyat?

He was the de-facto law minister and what has he done to reform the courts in Malaysia? When the Lingam-gate tapes were released, who did the Chief Justice involve run and hide behind? What the heck is his place in the government?

It's a waste of public funds to keep this guy in office when all he does is comment. Can't he just leave that to bloggers? I think we do a better job than him.


My apologies: bad internet connection

I've to apologize for not posting the pass few days. I normally post from my workplace but in recent days the internet connection has been really bad. The guys over at network already know my thoughts on this matter, I was polite in my email to them, and it seems they are working hard to keep the connection up to speed.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Goodbye....Uncle Ballang Lasung

I got a text message yesterday morning at 8.50am to inform me that a family friend, Ballang Lasung, had just passed away at the Sarawak General Hospital. I managed to talk to Sarah (daughter) at about 12 noon and she asked that I help put together a slide presentation for the funeral.

I was at their house at 8pm and stayed till 1.30am, looking through their family photos as we decided on the images to include in the slide presentation. The family is strong and I admire their strength.

I've known Uncle Ballang for as long as I can remember and I will always remember him as the healthy man who made my church members take an exercise test. He was a four time Javelin gold medallist at the South East Asian (SEA) Games which he won in 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983. He is a champion in all respects, never complaining and always knowing where he stood in his faith and beliefs.

I know he is in a better place and forever a champion to all of us.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Najib watches the fireworks

Malaysiakini reported:

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim last night said he has the support of enough defectors from the ruling coalition to seize power, although he will not act until he has a bigger majority.

Source: Malaysiakini
Anwar is free to take part in elections and Pak Lah just had another headache to contend with. He should have left earlier.

Timing is a crucial element in politics. Moving too slow would mean you missed out on the opportunities and moving too fast could alert your enemies to your plans. At the moment everything seems to be going off-beat for Pak Lah.

Anwar is now around to cause extra headache for Pak Lah. Tun Mahathir alone is enough to cause a nose bleed and now he has to contend with Anwar and standing (smiling) in all this is Najib Razak. All Najib has to do is keep clear and watch the fireworks.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ommission too late or merely trying to win brownie points?

On Malaysiakini:

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today admitted that he was among the factors which caused the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition to suffer heavy losses in the March 8 polls.

Source: Malaysiakini
"I admit I was one of the causes for these losses. I also understand that there are many things that need to be done. There are many reforms and changes that need to be done, such as reforming the judiciary, fighting corruption, reducing crime and improving the public delivery system.

"There are also other issues that need to be tackled that are related to inter-racial relations and religious freedom.

"These are some of the promises I made in the 2004 BN manifesto and I must implement them," Abdullah said after a meeting with Johor Umno leaders here.

Source: NST
Is the admission too late or will his critics do a turn about? Will those who have called for his resignation suddenly change their tune and work with him?

Segalanya sandiwara.

While we all play spectator to this play, the real issues are not being tackled. Crime has reached a critical stage, the economy seems to be going south and people in Selangor are arguing about pigs.

All this talk about blame and transition power from Abdullah Badawi to Najib Razak sounds nice. Great spin material and we wait (pop-corn in hand) to see the next chapter unfold and while all that happens we stop the business of running this country. We are in danger of looking too much inwardly that the real issues get passed over.

Can Malaysia last this year, for we seem to be stuck in general election mode for too long. It's like a prolong tooth ache that we refuse to pull out. Instead we go around telling people we are in pain, gain some pats on the back by concern people and fail to do the one thing we should have done in the first place. Pull the tooth out. Save us all the trouble.

So Pak Lah wants to pass the baton over to Najib Razak. The question now is how long must we wait and for how long must Malaysia remain in stand-by mode until the next PM is truly a leader who would lead us on?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Michael Johns Eliminated from American Idol

Ok, I'm gona move away from politic bashing, cause it's freaking bad that my favorite rocker in the American Idol contest is OUT!

Michael Johns is OUT! 

Yes folks, the Aussie was sent home. 

I can name a few others who should have been shown the door... America clearly got it wrong this time - much like the Iraq war and having Miley Cyrus singing more than ONCE on the show. Don't they get bored of her? She's everywhere...

This guy is old-school rock, much like Bono or Sting. He's has that cool factor when singing, which I believe every singer should have.

Note: That 17 year old will win American Idol 2008.


Malaysia crashed and burnt - who's picking up the pieces?

The reports from Malaysiakini clearly paint a different picture than what we hear from the main stream media. It is a sham that the MSM is hiding the true situation from the public that voted the BN into power.

Malaysiakini reports show that several UMNO divisions are mooting the idea the Pak Lah step down and allow someone else to take the helm. Johor and Kedah has voiced their stand. Both seemed to want Najib Tun Razak to take over the helm.

The pressure on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi went up another notch today with Kedah Umno leaders criticising his stewardship.

Source: Malaysiakini

Najib did not get the votes of the readers here when I conducted a poll to see if he was someone we all could see as PM of Malaysia. A resounding "NO" from the readers of MalaysianSentinel shows that even Najib would have a tough time if he was to be PM. Remember the Altantuya case is still unresolve and his name is connected to that case.

Many on Malaysiakini seem to want Pak Lah to leave but if he does who then is the most suitable candidate to rake over? Leave your comments if you feel you know someone who could take the helm.

Another thing that you may notice is the amount of mis-information the is going around and all of it seems to be coming from the BN camp. A week ago Pak Lah in a rather odd gathering (the 1,000 not really 1,000 crowd) mentioned that saboteurs were the reason UMNO lost.

Today we hear that bad choice of candidate was to blame for BN's lost. UMNO being the largest contributor of candidates must have had a mega-saboteur at the head since obviously they fielded the wrong candidates.
Umno made the mistake in selecting wrong candidates for the general election and that had caused the humiliating defeat for the party.

This hard-hitting verdict was delivered by Umno divisional leaders in Kedah to party deputy president Najib Abdul Razak in a meeting today.

Source: Malaysiakini
But BN should admit that they got really cocky during the 12th GE. That cockiness was permitted to run for 4 years and the people punished them and now BN seems to be going at each other's throat.

Watch the statements from Pak Lah and Najib in the next few days. Pak Lah is dishing promises to "win" over the people while Najib seems to be listening to what his party members are saying. Everyone is focus on replacing the PM and his number is up but he seems to be the last person to notice anything.

And while all this is happening, our economy may be heading to the rut...again. In 1997, Tun Mahathir managed to pull Malaysia out of it but Malaysia took blows that remain till today. America is in a recession and Asia will feel the effects of that.

With our political scene in a state of mis-managed chaos, would we survive the next global economic downturn?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Enough commissions - we want actions from decisions!

Reading letters on Malaysiakini is rewarding to say the least because from there you can gauge the thoughts of those who are serious about seeing this country lift itself from the rut. Yet I cannot help comment on certain things being thought of as a solution. Rather I think they themselves are the problem.

It is time we consider a royal commission with powers to sentence and enforce be set up to investigate all these cases. The confidence of the people in the police, the ACA, the Attorney-General's Chambers and the courts has been shattered by the Lingam Tape case.

Source: Malaysiakini
How many times must we call for a Royal Commission? How many times must we have reassurance from the current establishment that all things would be looked into yet until today where are the decisions that can be turn into action? Seriously, what came about from the Lingam gate investigations? Where is the verdict now?

What about the Hindraf 5? Malaysia is probably the only country that has an elected MP sitting in prison without trial. He's the people's choice yet he's deemed a threat to the country. It's not only ironic it's darn right moronic.

Where's the so called commission to look into the reasons BN stumbled at the 12th GE? All I know is that just last week everything was blamed on saboteurs. So Pak Lah announces that he would setup a commission to look into why they stumbled and then before the commission even is form, he has the answer to why they stumbled.

Should we now form a commission to find out why Tourism Ministry MOUs signed under the previous state government cannot be honored under the current Pakatan government? The MOUs were signed by the country government to benefit all and last I checked the MOUs were not signed by a political party (but we all know who really benefits from these MOUs).

Commissions here and commissions there. All about the commissions yet no action. So why not forget about commissions and make decisions and turn those decisions into actions?

Oh...I forgot. You may need to wake up the leader of this country cause he leaves the decision making to those jokers over on the 4th floor.

So shall we setup a royal commission to help make decision as to decide the direction Malaysia should be heading towards?


Power to The People-Malaysia should be a Direct Democracy

Scan the media, be it Malaysiakini, The Star, New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, The Sun; you would noticed the word "democracy" being mentioned over and over again.

It has been used pompously to justify most of what has happened in the aftermath of the 12th General Election. A dejected looking Pak Lah, upon hearing about the massive winnings of the opposition, used it to tell the world that "democracy" was being practice to the fullest in Malaysia.

(So if the BN won all the seats in Malaysia would that be a sign that "democracy" is not practice to the fullest?)

Both camps (opposition and government) claim their take on democracy. Both camps have their own idea what the democratic process should be like. We are a democratic country, one can argue. For 50 years we have been a democratic country but in truth, only in the 12th General Election do we get a real taste of democracy.

The brand of democracy practiced in Malaysia is a mix of Representative and Parliamentary democracy. Representative democracy involves the selection of government officials by the people being represented. Parliamentary democracy is where the government is appointed by parliamentary representatives. What's the danger in these two brands of democracy? Power tend to sway away from the people into the hands of the elected thus creating a dictatorship model.

It has been a case of over-saying the word. Say "democracy" long enough and you would get the idea that you know so much about it yet you actually do not know the real meaning of the word. Sometimes we overuse a word to the point that it becomes meaningless. It becomes cheap and it's true value is lost in the swirl of media spin and collective idiotic consensus.

Yes, sometimes we all decide to be stupid at one time. It has been like this for Malaysia for the pass 50 or so years. Yes, we have progressed from a backwater country to one that is a champion among the developing world.

But have we truly practiced democracy?

Everyone from those who walk the corridors of power to the guy making my teh-tarik has an idea of what democracy is in their own context. But in order to truly know what democracy it, we have to take a step back into history.

First and foremost, democracy is a Greek idea. Democracy is not western but rather mediterranean. One of the greatest legacy the Greeks left the world besides hot baths and the names of planets.

Secondly, there were no political parties in the original democratic practice. The people elected Senators who then made up the senate and from the senate was elected a man to lead the state. The senate moved as one body for the good of the nation. It was a simple arrangement.

Note that the people elected the senators not the PM.

Note too that there were no party affiliation. In fact the senators stood for the people. It was the earliest form of representative democracy. Further more, slaves could lead a revolt and effectively change the government, this almost happened during the time of the Romans by a slave called Spartacus. Poor fella got stopped by the Roman army but he sure created havoc along the way. Anyway, back to my take on democracy.

The Oxford Dictionary gives us a clue to the origins and meaning of the word "democracy":

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French démocratie, via late Latin from dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule.’
So democracy can basically be translated as "the people's power or rule". Folks, it is the people who rule, it is the people who has the "kratia". It is the people's will that the Senators have in mind. They were Wakil Rakyat and not Wakil Party.

Fast-track to present day Malaysia and we see a totally different picture. We have Members of Parliment who kow-tow to party rules. They have to keep the party stand rather than what the people within their constituency want. The party leader runs the show, whether or not the people agree. In short, the focus is more on the "kratia" and everyone forgot about the "demo".

We tend to remember the "demo" when it comes to demonstration, which leads to arresting of the people whom the government should be listening to.

The beauty of democracy was lost during the era of the Romans. The Romans believed in a Caesar to rule the empire. Yes, there were still Senators but absolute power belonged to Caesar. Sounds familiar?

The democracy Malaysia practice is this form of democracy. The draconian-Caesar-like kind cloaked over by a blanket of terms that suggest we practice both representative and parliamentary democracy.

But all that is about to change. The people have risen to take what rightfully belong to them and all elected members of parliament should understand this. There should not be any grumbling or murmuring from the elected or dejected ones. Instead they should humbly bow to the will of the people upon whose hands rest real power.

Each time the word "democracy" is mention, it is an endorsement of "The People's Power/Rule". So when the people demand change, then that demand should be respected regardless if you win or lose. This should be drummed into the minds of all Malaysians. The elected government needs to respect and appreciate the role the people had in empowering them for service. The people chose to hand down authority to a select few. Power to serve the state and country and not to be a means for their personal gains.

It is the people who rule and hold real power in Malaysia. So it is very democratic to call for the a leader to step down. This form of democracy is called Direct Democracy where the citizens participate in decision-making personally contrary to relying on intermediaries of representatives. Such decision making comes in the forms of referendums for instance Switzerland has on national referendums and initiatives two to four times a year.

So lets ask that out government (whether Pakatan or BN) to practice your Representative/Parliamentary Democracy but add another element - Direct Democracy. Remember, it is demokratia - The People's Rule and power".


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Replace Pak Lah with who?

Malaysiakini was brave enough to report the following:

Umno has received a timely advice from an unlikely source as the powerful ruling party’s internal crisis intensified after Barisan Nasional’s unprecedented electoral defeat on March 8.

Giving his unsolicited suggestion, PAS vice-president Husam Musa said Umno members should show embattled party chief Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the exit before the party is shown the exit from the government.

Source: Malaysiakini
Timely indeed and probably it is the opinion of many. But throw the party chief out who would assume the role? Would the replacement be better than the latter? Would deadwood be replaced by another deadwood of a leader?

Sound advice but what is the alternative?

Almost all the Malaysian politicians that we know of have skeletons in their cubboards and this doesn't help the cause of proper governess in Malaysia. Rather it merely shows how screwed up the political scene is in Malaysia. How we have totally depended on a system that merely gave a resemblance of governance but lack the function.

Throw out the chief and we'll settle for another chief who might blow up the whole country.


The Politics of Revenge : Tourism Ministry leads the way

Malaysiakini highlighted the comments by the Chief Ministers of Penang and Selangor on the statement by the Tourism Minister, Azalina Othman, and she did issue a reply. But it is a weak one, riddled with illogical points.

Politics is as old as man itself, in fact since the days when humankind first lived in caves, politics was already a force to reckon with. Those were the days when the leader was chosen based on the size of his stone baton and the ability to bash your enemies into pulp.

Politics has progress beyond the size of the stone mallet one carries around but size still plays a major part in everyday politics. In the case of Malaysian politics it is the size of ones ego that plays a huge part. It doesn't really matter if you win or lose, as long as you get to cut down your opponent; the rest doesn't really matter.

So it was no surprise to me when our (new) Tourism Minister issued a statement saying that federal funding for the opposition states would be withdrawn.

Tourism is a national matter and in itself a-political. It is neutral and involves that livelihood of the nation. We pride ourselves are being Truly Asia (only because it sounds nice) but not truly in the real sense. So by desolving the state tourism committee, which she highlighted as being chaired by BN reps because the states are now "Opposition" run, is she actually saying that the job will not be done well?

How can she truly be sure tourism would flop under the Pakatan government? She herself is a new-comer to the post of Tourism Minister.

Heck, if the BN could have second thoughts about the allocation of mega-projects, what more to say tourist dollars? So five states would be without tourism support from the federal level. How ironic...if tourism dollars cannot be channel into your own banks then better not at all. Tourism dollars are easy picking if you are in the right place at the right time. How many cronies stand a chance to earn from all those Tourism Expos? How many cronies stand a chance to travel overseas to promote culture?

Yes, Malaysia is Truly Asia minus the cultural heritage of Penang, Perak, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan. Look closely and you'll see that the five states govern by Pakatan are also the bastion of historical and cultural influences for Malaysia.

A few days ago, Pak Lah spoke on saboteurs being the reason UMNO lost in areas deemed white-areas (sure win areas). Well, if you look closely at this whole issue of tourism monetary allocations you will notice that it is blatant sabotage and the saboteurs are the federal government themselves.

They are bent on sabotaging the Pakatan state governments and in turn sabotaging the choice of the rakyat. In short, they are sabotaging the rakyat. Taking revenge against the people who vote. In the bigger sense, they are sabotaging the livelihood of Malaysia.

This is in truth political revenge - BN style.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Of defections and the Malaysian leaping politician.

Reading a readers letter on Malaysiakini, I couldn't help but agree and disagree on his statement:

I would prefer to give the BN crossovers the benefit of the doubt. It would be totally unrealistic to assume that everybody who enters politics does so to serve his or her community. Every creature is programmed to seek optimum advantage for itself.

The more intelligent ones know their self-advantaging activities have to align and coincide with what benefits the greater community, otherwise they will soon be curtailed. Let's envision this: if 30 BN crossovers allow Pakatan Rakyat the option of taking over the federal government in 2008 instead of 2012, there will be far less likelihood that we will all be dragged down with the sinking BN.

Perhaps the price isn't such a high one? Some of these crossover politicians are doing so primarily because they feel their leadership potential hasn't been appreciated and cannot be realized within BN. Why not give them a chance to prove their worth as Pakatan Rakyat MPs?
Politicians in Malaysia are in it for themselves. It's a career choice. It has nothing to do with servicing the community or the rakyat at large. In parliament, they are not acting as Wakil Rakyat (People Representative) but rather Wakil Party (Party Representative).

So if the said politician wants to jump party, leap-frog or defect (whatever terms that makes you smile) let him do so. There should not be any law that stops them from doing this. Let them leap to fulfill their nature borne instinct to protect themselves. Because leaping politicians are merely jumping political parties. It's akin to changing organizations. You may still be a lawyer just that your law firm changes. People do it all the time - change jobs, change cars, change wives...come on all because you change a car doesn't mean you become a different driver?

So let the politician jump. Let the 30 or so BN fellas switch over to the Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Rakyat (again, whatever you feel fit) because if they don't do a good job, come next election they will have to find a new job.

And since it is a career change, let them buy each other out. Let the money flow. If Pakatan can buy BN assembly men, then BN can also do the same; right? It's all a money game, which really shows the state of maturity for politics in Malaysia.

We're not democratic. No! Our politics is money-centric. Who ever has the money, that is where the vote may swing. But again, this may be untrue since the BN had lots of money yet still lost - blame that on the saboteurs who ran off with the piggy bank.

It's all a number's game, the number of assembly men, the amount of money, number of postal votes, etc... At the end of the day, in the name of Malaysia Boleh, the state of politics would have destroyed Malaysia. 

So who's to blame?


Another round of rhetoric-Lah

Just yesterday we were treated to the PM telling the nation that the reason UMNO did so badly in the previous GE was due to sabotage of it own members (read my previous post).

Today, Malaysiakini reports a slightly different story:
Umno deputy president Najib Abdul Razak today said that the party had no definite proof as to the identity of its members who had sabotaged the party during the recent general election.

Article: Malaysiakini
No definite proof?

So what was Pak Lah babbling about to the 1,000 UMNO supporters? 

Plus, we get commentaries from the MSM that these 1,000 supporters were satisfied with the explanation from their party leader. How easy it is to satisfy these people even when you tell them fibs?

This is clearly a case of I will say whatever I want and you just believe it. It is amazing that the person to break the news that there is no definite proof of the identity of the saboteurs should be the PMs deputy. Something to look out for in the coming month or so.

Another thing that should be observed is the fact that Tun Mahathir is now openly being criticized. Nothing wrong with that since it is a democratic country. It is what he is criticize for that makes it interesting. Tun Mahathir (TM) is criticized for the measures he put into placed in the 22 years he was in power, measures that ensured he had absolute power over what happens in the country. As PM he could stick it up to the Rulers, control the media, put people into prison without trial, be voted party president without any contest, etc. Now, all these things are being brought into the open and criticized by the ones that benefitted the most from it.

If Pak Lah really want to do something good for the nation, here are a few things he needs to do besides merely giving us rhetoric nonsense:
  1. Abolish the ISA. Everyone has the right to trial.
  2. Have open UMNO elections. Anyone can via for the presidency as long as they enjoy popular support.
  3. An independent media - abolish party owned media. This means newspapers and television.
  4. Abolish race-based political parties and install a two party system in Malaysia. Call them the Government and Opposition or Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, whatever that sounds nice.
  5. Abolish any form of quota system. Could we actually have a Malaysian dream where anyone can make their fortune in Malaysia?
Just my list. What about yours? Feel free to tell me what would your list be like.


Monday, April 7, 2008

The Media Wars - Pak Lah fires back via media

Some time ago I remember it being reported in the Main Stream Media (MSM) that dirty linen should not be aired via the media. If two politicians were to argue or two government departments were at odds, they were not to do it via the media. All things should be solved in an amiable way behind closed doors to keep the peace.

Well, like all things done in the pass month; the government decides to play out this drama via the MSM.
PM fires back at Dr M, Ku Li and Anwar

Abdullah Answers Dr Mahathir And Tengku Razaleigh's Criticisms

Abdullah hits out at his critics

Sabotaj punca prestasi buruk - Kalau bukan kerana faktor itu, BN tidak hilang majoriti dua pertiga – Abdullah
All MSM. All showing support for an ailing leader. It's a witch-hunt now. Unable to answer his critics effectively, the PM has initiated a witch-hunt to weed out all the saboteurs that denied them victory in the previous general election.

We are made to believe by the MSM that all are in agreement with the PM's speech and "so-called" advice to the masses that everyone who has done harm to UMNO must be brought to their knees. All except the very person who should step down - himself.

This "everyone is wrong, I'm right" attitude will only spell doom for him. I'm amazed that his so called advisors did not advice him against making such silly remarks in front of the MSM. The MSM will spin it but the masses only see it as a vain attempt at clearing himself from all responsibilities and divert attention to other issues. It's a time-buying tactic. Instigated to preserve whatever semblance of power he has over the situation. The sad thing is, the more the MSM spins it, the worse it makes him look.

So ironic, the people he is hitting out against were really masters of the media spin.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Moral Malaysia - Khalwat for non-muslims

A seminar on Syariah Law review wants non-Muslims found committing khalwat (close proximity) with Muslims to also be held liable.

This was among the proposals made at the two-day seminar organised by the Islamic Institute of Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) and the Syariah Judiciary Department Malaysia.

Syariah Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Asri Abdullah said the seminar had proposed that non-Muslims committing khalwat with Muslims should also be sentenced accordingly, but in the civil courts.

Article: The Star
In a multiethnic nation like Malaysia, such decisions have to be made in view of the 'neighbor'. Khalwat is a religious matter and imposing ones religious ideals onto another person, who does not adhere to such views, would cause much trouble to all parties.

There are several problems I see if this issue:
  1. Defining what is khalwat to the non-muslims. Close proximity is a subjective matter since what constitute close proximity really depends on the individual and on social norms and practices. Culture plays a part too, so this must be spelt out.
  2. Enforcement. This is a touchy one because the enforcer must be fair. There must not be a hint of bias but this is furthest from the truth. Another thing, where would this law be enforce?
  3. Human Rights. What guarantee do non-muslims have that such laws would not contravene basic human rights to association with one another? Would this law in fact broaden the rift between the muslim world and the non-muslim world?
In the end, we can clearly see that the agenda of an Islamic Malaysia is not championed by PAS but instead by the government of the day. I have no problem with all these amendments but I seriously worry that in an ever-changing, where more freedom is given so people could move forward, whether in Malaysia we are actually taking steps backwards? 

If that is the case, I really pity the generation after me who would have to live with the genius of this generation.


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