Saturday, June 30, 2007

A brief glimpse at a relationship in the Altantuya Shaariibuu case

malaysiakini has a news article about the prosecution star witness, Lance Corporal Rohaniza Roslan who took the stand in the murder trial of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

But the Star Online revealed extra, that Rohaniza admitted to the court, and all and sundry, that she has been the lover of one of the accused, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri.

I quite admire her frankness in acknowledging the special relationship especially more so at a time of particular great distress for both of them. It must have been traumatic for her to be dragged in as a prosecution witness to testify against her lover.

I am not going into the in and outs of the court proceedings itself as I haven’t been keeping track of the proceedings. My only blogging contribution to the murder case thus far has been to dedicate a poem to Altantuya, to express sympathy for her tragic and cruel death – please see my posting
Remembering Altantuyaa Shaariibuu at my other blog KTemoc Komposes.

My PABS co-founder, Susan Loone is the blogger who has been dedicatedly monitoring the case from Day 1. Kaytee being the lazy bloke that I am, especially with court proceedings, I’ll just wait for the verdict.

But two KPC* items sprang to my mind, namely:

*kay poh chnee (busybody)

One - She is a lance corporal, an ‘other rank’, whilst her lover is a Chief Inspector, an officer. Wouldn’t that make their relationship a case of ‘fraternization’, that is, discouraged or more correctly, prohibited personal relationship between officers and the other ranks.

In this context, the dictionary defines ‘fraternization’ as: To associate on friendly terms with an enemy or opposing group, often in violation of discipline or orders.

In the armed forces (perhaps the police may be more lenient), ‘fraternization’ carries that same meaning for 'personal' relationship between officers and the other ranks (even among men and men, or women and women), like being lovers or drinking buddies or mahjong kakis.

Unusually, in the armed forces the burden of avoiding ‘fraternization’ lies on the shoulders of officers as the onus would be on them to demonstrate exemplary leadership and uphold expected conduct.

Officers and ranks cannot ‘fraternize’ for the reason that close ‘personal’ relationship may compromise discipline and order which are vital to the unquestioning command and control and thus good conduct of the men and women in the other ranks.

There have been cases where an officer had been probihited from marrying an ‘other rank’ unless one of them resigned. If they had married without permission, they would be discharged from the service.

Two - At a religious level, wouldn’t that unmarried relationship which has been, in her words, rapat (very close) be a very dicey admittance?

If so, it would appear that in both service protocol and religious rules, the two had pushed at the boundaries of the permissible social envelope.

I am not judgemental but merely making an observation. But I have to once again salute, this time, her courage in daring to admit so much of her personal life in such a conservative society as ours.

Flagrant Fallacious Fable of a Freedom Fighter

This letter to malaysiakini is what I would term as a flagrantly fallacious fable. It is obviously an exercise in damage control (and to the author’s credit, a sophisticated one) for a party that’s racked by abandonment, not just by Nallakaruppan and ‘those’ Indians, but by some of the core Malay members including one of its founding fathers.

The coup de grâce was when Ezam Mohd Nor left in disgust and with a parting shot of an accusation of 'dictatorship' against his once-revered leader, mortally wounding the world’s ‘greatest’ political reformer.

In attempting to put a positive spin on a meltdown situation the author of the letter has stepped into the realms of fable-making when he extolled the so-called virtues of the de facto dict.... leader. Read this following extract, which is sheer unadulterated nonsense.

“He later turned politician, not at the behest of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but because after establishing intrinsic power in himself as a freedom fighter, he saw the political opportunity offered by Mahathir as a broader theatre to establish his truth. The real freedom fighter in Anwar surfaced when he chose to go prison instead of politically tacking when confronted by Mahathir.”

I was caught between wanting to laugh aloud at the author’s naivety and secretly admiring his brilliant gyroscopic vortex of bovine dust – yes, bulldust as it may be but of such pseudo-magnificent cyclonic proportion. According to the author of the damage-control spin:

(1) de facto leader did not desert Abim for UMNO, but because he saw the UMNO membership as a, get this,
‘broader theatre to establish HIS TRUTH’ how noble, how Buddha-like, indeed how creative!

* bolding of words 'his truth' are mine

And the greatest fable of all,

“The real freedom fighter in Anwar surfaced when he chose to go prison instead of politically tacking when confronted by Mahathir.”

“... chose to go to prison ...”?

Get real – he was dragged to prison screaming and wailing. He didn’t have a damn choice. That he was probably framed would be a good argument in his defence, but to spin that he chose to go to prison instead of ‘politically tackling’ Dr Mahathir (whatever that means) is contemptible, loathsome, and despicable rubbish.

And didn’t he send his followers out on to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, in a scene frighteningly reminiscent of May 13? Yes, come to think of it, it was more than just screaming and wailing.

This is the sort of fable making that not only have some naïve people thinking he’s a political reformer, but even the man himself believing he’s all that, and perhaps beyond. And most of all, Anwar is no martyr by any measure so let's not attempt to spin him into one and perpetuate such a lie.

Well, here’s something about the so-called intrepid ‘real freedom fighter’ that I blogged on one year ago in Anwar Ibrahim - Pot Calling Kettle Black

Anwar Ibrahim told malaysiakini that the MCA, Gerakan and MIC ministers have no balls to dare speak up for Chinese or Indian interests in the cabinet.

[…] read my posting for the full article

He said: "My experience in the cabinet, the non-Malay leaders unfortunately don't take the issues up ... even if the issues are not very sensitive to the prime minister. They won't say: ‘We consider whether this brilliant Chinese academic could head this public university’. They wouldn't dare! But what will they ask for? (They ask) can we participate in the Klang Port privatisation?”

But when malaysiakini asked him what about decisions he had made when he was at the Treasury, he replied:

“Even at the Treasury, sometimes with the best of intentions, the Treasury gave strong advice but I was not able to do it, like the airport you said I was appointed chairman of the (Kuala Lumpur International) airport, but only because the prime minister appointed me”

Should we be surprised that he blamed someone, especially Dr Mahathir?

Reminded he was then in charge of the Bakun project, he explained: “And the Bakun dam project in Sarawak - I said that it would proceed after the evaluation by the EIA (environmental impact assessment) but Mahathir announced it before the evaluation was made.”

Again Mr Faultless didn’t have anything to do with that project. T’was that evil Mahathir again.

Finally he said
“Some said that I should have been more firm but I wasn’t. But if I had done that, I would have been sacked in 1993.”

"I would have been sacked in 1993"! Poor frightened little Anwar.

But well, here’s an admission of being afraid for his own position from someone who had just criticised MCA, Gerakan and MIC ministers for not having the balls to speak up.

But then, he’s Anwar Ibrahim, isn’t he?

So what happened to him establishing 'HIS TRUTH' when he was in the 'broader theatre' of UMNO?

Here’s another recollection on what former Bar president Zainur Zakaria said of the so-called freedom fighter, when the ex-deputy premier had claimed to have been helpless to make changes while in government. He asked (of Anwar):

“But look, you were there (in government) for 16 years. Then, what were you doing all those years? What did you actually do when you claimed you couldn’t do anything?”

As I blogged in
Zainur Zakaria Zapped AAB & Anwar Ibrahim, Zainur then showed Anwar the honourable example.

“(Former deputy premier) Musa Hitam resigned on a matter of principle because he couldn’t agree with Mahathir. If Anwar doesn’t agree with Mahathir, why didn't he resign?”

He stated that the option to quit the cabinet could be taken by any member of the cabinet if they disagree with a decision. Therefore Anwar Ibrahim cannot simply shrug off his participation and responsibility in the old Mahathir cabinet. I had blogged that every time Anwar condemns Mahathir, he cuts off a slice of his own nose.

For the full posting, please read The haunting of Anwar Ibrahim

As I wrote in the posting:
Unfortunately Anwar Ibrahim has too much baggage from his previous political life as one of UMNO ‘high & mighty’. It’s not just his [former] membership in UMNO per se that’s eroding his credibility as a political reformer, but his policies and decisions as [Education] minister and then DPM that many like KTemoc still remember with anger and contempt.

He has made that record worse by blaming everyone else except himself, making him sound like a sore loser,
only bleating reformasi (reformation) when he’s no longer in the position of power.

And the fable-maker concluded with:

Until Anwar decides, Malaysians will have to put up with poor governance, mostly exemplified by weak management, corrupt enforcement, incompetent prosecution and suspect judiciary, to name but a few.

“Until Anwar decides …”! By this stage of reading I was hysterical.

Until His Majestic Magnanimous Magnificence descends Mount Mera to bless us lowly mortals with his presence, politics and participation – indeed, as if we haven’t been pummeled enough already by the defective de facto dissemblance.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Usual UMNO underhandedness

malaysiakini provided us with another sickening piece of news, that sort that makes you go real grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr .....eram.

On Tuesday, around midday, 25 officers of Jakim, the government religious department, arrived at Restoran Aiswaria in Lorong Maarof, Bangsar. They demanded to see certification that the eatery was halal. (kosher by Islamic standards).

The halal-ness of a restaurant is certified by an official document issued by an approved Islamic authority, but the restaurant staff couldn’t produce one, which meant the eatery’s kosher status at that stage was in doubt.

Wouldn’t one then expect those Jakim officer to demand some explanation or clarification from the owner or manager, such as why wasn’t a halal cert obtained or who the restaurant was serving – for example, the customers could be non-Muslims.

Nah, due process wasn’t exactly on the zealot minds of those Jakim officers, remembering they had gone to the restaurant in a 25-man squad, indicating they had already made up their mind that, barring a sneaky miracle by the Mamak (Indian Muslim) owner, it would be Terminator time.

So seeing there was no official halal documentation, the officials ripped into the restaurant, taking down framed Quranic verses and a picture of the Kaabah from the restaurant's walls.

Those Jakim wonders took down the Islamic paraphernalia to prevent the restaurant from misleading, presumably, the customers, according to one of Restoran Aiswaria's workers. Yes, Jakim officers implied that since the restaurant was not certified halal, Islamic items could not be placed on its walls. And I thought the halal cert was only to do with the food being served?

The picture and verses were taken by the officials and not returned to the owner. Why? Even assuming those Jakim blokes could demand the removal of the paraphernalia, why weren’t the restaurant staff instructed to remove them? Why the confiscation?

Mohammad Jehapar Ali Hussaien Kader (another Mamak), the outraged shop owner said he’s a Muslim so why was his shop raided and his possessions seized.

Compare this with a coffee shop in Terengganu which was alleged to be serving iced milo at RM1.80, purportedly 20 to 30 sens above the so-called usual price, at a time when the government awarded a pay rise to the public servants.

Enforcement officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry confiscated hundreds of dollars of goods, fined the owner RM22,500 (yes, that’s twenty plus thousands ringgit) and get this, tore down the
shop’s signboard

… all because one glass of the shop’s iced milo was alleged to be 20 to 30 sens above whatever price the enforcement officers had claimed to be the norm.

In fact, the shop owner disputed that, saying the price was already RM 1.80 way before the government officers had a pay rise. Besides, is milo a controlled item?

But the Terengganu Mentri Besar Jusoh Idris sort of gave the game plan away when he said the over the top compound fine would
send the right signal to other operators from indiscriminately raising the price of food items.

What he meant was the signal was meant for the voters of Terengganu. Likewise, we may suppose the Jakim raid had a similar motive.

Now is time for IPCMC

Once again I surfed the malaysiakini roundup of headlines from the mainstream papers.

The one which caught my eyes was the New Straits Times stating that the IGP, Musa Hassan, has provided only a feeble response to allegations in a website concerning links between the Chinese underworld and the police.

It also gave the usual warnings about defamation, slander and libel to bloggers, who according to a minister, are mainly unemployed female liars. Looks like I am fairly safe then,

Wasn’t the IGP honoured recently with the title of Tan Sri?

And I believe the rushing of extra police personnel plus equipment to Johor to deal the appalling epidemic of crimes in Johor has been nothing more than bandaid treatment at best, and cheap publicity in general.

Besides, deploying those extra resources from other states to Johor would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The problem is deeper than lack of resources, though this could be one of the contributing factors.

... which is why we badly need the IPCMC.

But our incompetent IGP (not forgetting his predecessor) had/has been resisting the watchdog organ because of fear of retribution.

My letter to malaysiakini proposing a solution a la ‘half a loaf of bread is better than none’ was published a couple of months ago – maybe it’s time to dig that up again, and revive the call for the IPCMC.

... because I have no confidence the IGP or his senior management will be able to solve our disgraceful state of crimes.

Amnesty for IPCMC - unpalatable but necessary tradeoff

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who was in charge when Apcet II was attacked by thugs?

Last week malaysiakini carried a news article on a former UMNO Youth thug, now PKR member, who boasted he was even treated by the police to a nasi kandar lunch when he was ‘held in custody’ for his thuggery at the Aptet II conference that was held in a KL hotel.

If you refer to this
malaysiakini news item, you will read Dr Syed Husin Ali telling the court how the 300-strong BN angry mob broke down the doors and invaded the conference hall carrying sticks and chairs in their hands.

He revealed:
“One of them who had in his hand a food-container half-filled with water, emptied the contents all over me. He shouted at me saying, ‘Get out! Get out!’. It was mayhem.”

“I was personally assaulted by three persons. They used force and pulled my hands and body. They kept insisting that I should leave the hall.”

I had previously blog about the Aptet II disgrace last year in
Apcet II Disgrace - He who cannot be named! where I wrote:

“… Saifuddin, who was then No 3 in the UMNO Youth leadership hierarchy but now a PKR member, it was all an UMNO orchestrated attack on the conference. And he puts the blame on (1) Megat Junid, at that time deputy Home minister, (2) Zahid Hamidi, UMNO Youth Chief, and of course the bete noire of PKR, Dr Mahathir.”

Pity Saifuddin didn’t reveal that Dr Mahathir was out of the country on a visit to Ghana in Africa when the thugs, under instructions, went rampaging to disrupt the conference on East Timor.

So, if the PM was out of the country, who then was in charge?

Remember this was in 1996!

In that posting I said:
Strange [or should it be] that Saifuddin didn’t mention his name.

Yes, let me ask again - if the Grand Olde Man was in Ghana, who was left at home in charge of the country when the mob raided and disrupted the conference?

I posted:

This has been what Saifuddin said of the people in authority responsible for the disgraceful mob affair:

"I called up Zahid (about the plan) and he consulted Dr Mahathir who gave his support. Hishammuddin also supported the action. I then organised a 1,000-strong team with the order to stop the conference."

Guilty, so according to Saifuddin were thus Megat Junid, Hishammuddin, Zahid Hamidi and of course Dr Mahathir.

Then, when Dr Mahathir arrived home from Ghana, Megat Junid and Saifuddin met him, where Saifuddin related
"Megat told Mahathir that it was all orchestrated."

Now, isn’t it just strange that, according to Saifuddin, Dr Mahathir who gave the approval for the disruption of Aptet was informed by Megat Junid that, again according to Saifuddin, “it was all orchestrated.”

Why would Mahathir who gave his approval in the first place needed to be so informed?

And who was in charge at home when Mahathir was away in Ghana? Was it possible for this person not to be aware of affairs that Zahid Hamidi and Saifuddin were up to? Aren’t we also aware that Megat Junid had been accused as the architect of one person’s fall from UMNO's grace?

This was what that bloke, the one who was then in charge of the nation, said of the UMNO thuggish disruption of Apcet II:

“Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that.”




He said that as acting Prime Minister. So you think he wasn't aware at all, or had no part in condoning, if not approving that shameful thuggery? In case you missed it, read this again "
OUR MISSON ...", not 'their' or 'his' but "OUR MISSION".

And why was that allowed to happen where Malaysia’s good name was dragged down into the gutter, all for a foreign nation?

Was it because of someone’s solidarity with the ICMI?

But the lack of honour and lack of backbone had/have led to a convenient blaming of Dr Mahathir.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

He wins who dares

malaysiakini has a month by month or is it week by week section called 'Headlines' where it samples headlines from other online news portal. But I think it could do to improve the headlines of its own.

For example, a Churlish State of Affairs’ should be the more appropriate malaysiakini headline for the government immature marginalisation of the DAP in a Merdeka funding ceremony, instead of the prosaic ‘DAP: No info, invitation, cheque...’

Opposition MPs, particular those from the DAP were livid with rage when they were not invited to a function last Wednesday where the allocation of RM30,000 per constituency for the Merdeka celebration had been handed over to (only) Barisan Nasional representatives. Basically, the DAP MPs were ignored.

A DAP MP asked:
“Isn’t it true that Merdeka Day celebrations are for all citizens regardless of their race, religion and where they live? Should it matter whether they live in an area that is represented by the BN or the opposition?”

Indeed, and let’s not forget that even in DAP held constituencies, many voters there had actually voted for the BN (and of course vice versa) - food for thoughts.

malaysiakini should employ me as editor – I’ll promise to liven up the news headlines for them. Hmmm, I predict outraged protests from certain quarters ;-) and a short tenure as editor before I am shipped off to Kem Kamunting.

For example, the lamentation of the marginalised Indians as depicted in a malaysiakini letter by Narayasamy is not strong enough - just look at the weak
‘Indian M’sians planned to be forgotten by 9MP’.

Narayasamy wrote (just an extract): The answer given to a query in Parliament recently on allocations to uplift under-privileged Indian Malaysians sums up the position of the community in this country. Apparently, there is no specific allocation made in the Ninth Malaysian Plan - probably because nobody thought that it was a matter of any importance.


More than a decade ago, a foreign journal had mentioned that the Indian Malaysians are 'the forgotten community' of this nation. As far as the Ninth Malaysian Plan, it is indeed the forgotten community. But the disturbing fact seems to be that it is planned to be forgotten.

Why not a more bold headline like ‘Indians Betrayed by Samy Vellu’ or ‘Just rule of Islam Hadhari not for Indians’?

And I mustn’t forget our de facto leader – how aboutKD (Kapal Defacto) PKR sinking in Malaysia, Captain on land in Europe’?

Oh, and on his blue-eyed boy, Azmin Ali, who dismissed Ezam Mohd Nor’s condemnation of Anwar Ibrahim as a dictator because he (Azmin) 'knows Ezam’s game plan' whatever that is, I reckon it would merit ‘We were once secretaries’ or perhaps ‘Once secretaries, now rivals’.

I am now open for calls from Steven Gan or Premesh Chandra.

Abe Lincoln: "You can fool some of the people ..."

I’ve said it, he has now said, namely:

De facto leader = Dictator

Yes, in malaysiakini Ezam Mohd Nor called Malaysia’s only de facto leader a dictator.

Please recall, Ezam was the right hand man of the de facto leader. Like Abdul Rahman Othman, the PKR erstwhile treasurer and presidential candidate who resigned in disgust recently, Ezam was with the single-issue party of KeADILan from Day 1.

So ........, well, there are those who would still resist the truth, deny the undeniable, and fantasise their de facto leader as a long awaited political messiah, who was in cold reality a mere UMNO reject – rejected not for his righteous views or reformed policies but for his (and his faction’s) hasty avaricious impatience to sit on the de facto throne of Malaysia. They had lived by the sword and they died (their UMNO lives) by their swords.

As the saying goes, there’s many a slip twixt the cup and lip. And if KTemoc was religious, I would exclaim Hallelujah, T’nee Choo Tniah and InsyaAllah Alhamdullilah*, for saving Malaysia from the de facto man by keeping him as de facto leader of a small political party rather than the scary thought of de jure leader of our nation.

* correction with thanks to Marina M

And indeed the very term ‘de facto leader’ is a democratic blasphemy. How can a democracy, whether a nation or a political party, tolerate a de facto leadership?

Indeed how?

Abraham Lincoln had said:
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

“You can fool some of the people all of the time ....”

Sad isn’t it? And we continue to hear some PKR members cried out defiantly that people like KTemoc should stop criticising the de facto leader who, get this, is trying to do something against the corrupt UMNO; that he is the best hope for us ... blah blah blah.

I have never failed to be amazed at the gullibility of such people, their unrealistic hopes, beliefs, and such unsupported convictions. And the sad part for the believers is that their hopes, beliefs and convictions are sincere. If only I could parcel such emotional devotions and commitments, foolish as they may be, and sell them off as 101%-proof FAITH, I would be a very rich man, reputed for my sterling goods, unlike some snake oil salesmen.

The news report by malaysiakini on Ezam’s disgust with the de facto leader of PKR has delivered a heavy mortal blow to that false image of reformasi:

Ezam had
stepped down as Youth chief and Shah Alam PKR chief four months ago, but yesterday he told malaysiakini he has decided to quit the party.

The 40-year-old politician, who was Anwar’s former political secretary prior to the latter’s sacking as deputy prime minister in 1998, declared that he had lost faith in the leadership, including in his mentor and the party’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

PKR is truly in meltdown condition, and as I said, it has been the conduct of the de facto leader which has seen several members and leaders
quitting recently.

Olde Abe’s “You can fool some of the people all of the time, ...” surely applies to those ‘some’, but we may only hope that we'll witness the beginning of “... but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No food for Penan, food for thoughts for Sarawakians

Changing landscape a bit – am losing too many PKR friends ;-) liao lah – obviously these ‘former’* buddies are like George ‘either-you’re-with-us-or-against-us’ Bush.

* ‘former’ is a word very vogue with PKR

Anyway, malaysiakini has an editorial on Abdul Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak

Editor Steven Gan provided the analogy of vultures circling a politically moribund CM, at the twilight of his 26 long years in power.

He reckoned that Taib, aware of the vultures, is either so spooked by corruption allegations of a
timber kickbacks scandal, that he had even taken to suing an UMNO newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, or he has brought about a clever ploy by virtue of the lawsuit to bar everyone, especially the fledgling (principally DAP) opposition in the Sarawak state assembly from bringing up the matter.

Taib had issued a
10-page personal statement in the state assembly last month to deny his involvement in the scandal, following which the speaker not only refused to entertain any question on the matter but warned that any discussion on subject would be considered sub-judice during the eight-day sitting, because Taib filed writs of summons in the High Court against malaysiakini, Utusan Malaysia and two opposition leaders.

Check, though not yet checkmate!

But my posting is not so much related to those corruption allegations but more to the state scandalous management of timber logging.

It has been noted that Sarawak is undergoing the highest rate of deforestation in the world. Al Jazeera reported that as logging companies (licensed by the State government of Sarawak) moved further into Sarawak's interior, the primordial jungles have fallen catastrophically to their chainsaws and bulldozers.

Penan - al Jazeera photo

Those once-pristine forests have also been cleared for plantations. Worse, the humongous deforestation has affected over 70% of land the Penan used to roam to eke out a living.

Since the unmitigated avaricious vandalising the Penans have struggled to cope with a destroyed landscape that once teemed with wild boars and other flora and fauna that the natives require for their living and livelihood.

The Penans stated that the forest made them feel safe and peaceful, and when the loggers came, their lives fell apart.

Well, for those Sarawakians who always complained about Peninsula Malaysians as foreigners coming in to deprive Sarawakians from their jobs, rights and whatnot, as Chong Chieng Jen, the MP for Bandar Kuching had done, suck on the fact that your rich timber assets aren’t managed properly (by Sarawakians and not Peninsulaans) for sustainability, both to accommodate nomadic natives such as the Penans or for your future generations.

I have always been annoyed by people like Chong, who, after 43 years of being Malaysian, still considers Malaysians from other states of our nation as FOREIGNERS.

I also wrote Proud Sarawakian, Proud Penangite, Proud Malaysian? early last year to reveal/remind something to blogger Kenny Sia, who commented in my earlier posting
Malaysians divided & conquered! to let us know why, as a Sarawakian, he thinks being in Malaysia sucks, or rather, that Malaysia is sucking Sarawak’s resources without a commensurate return for his State.

I raised the subject of Konfrantasi, when Sarawak was one the main state threatened by our southern neighbour. I wrote:

Many Peninsula servicemen and police, alongside with Commonwealth forces, served in Sarawak to resist the Indonesian intrusions. After Konfrantasi, the Malaysian communist insurgency that was still prevalent in Peninsula Malaysia was also experienced in Sarawak. A number of Peninsula servicemen and police died in those two conflicts in Sarawak.

If we hadn't resisted with many sacrifices, even of Malaysian lives, today we would be addressing Kenny as bapak Sia - ya dong?

'Twas not an easy stretch of period for any development to take place in Sarawak! Lots of money were thrown into the counter-insurgency campaigns which we won after years of effort and many sacrifices. Also, it should be noted that Sarawak has generally been keeping the central government out except on matters which they couldn’t, like defence and internal security.

However, I have many Sarawakian friends over in Peninsula Malaysia who have benefited from the total lack of restriction for Sabahans and Sarawakians seeking employment or domicile in Peninsula. And to rub it in our faces, many married beautiful Peninsula women - yes, lots of nyeh nyeh nyeh from those blokes.

On matters of oil and gas, these are national resources that come under the control of the national government with royalties paid to the state. It would be unreasonable for states to demand total control and benefits of such assets while the central government remains responsible for national defence and security arrangements and miscellaneous services such as health.

And this was what I also wrote:

The perception of being cheated could well lie in the ... the consequences of corruption including those perpetrated by Sarawakian officials themselves - the benefits haven't drizzled down sufficiently.

General election & Malay-majority constituencies

malaysiakini provided in an article an overview of the general election prospects for the main parties in Peninsula.

The news item by Nash Rahman and Muda Mohd Noor talked of a supposedly united UMNO being assertively confident, comfortable and combat-ready for the election which may be as early as August.

Nash-Muda went as far as to suggest UMNO on its won will garnered the necessary number of seats to maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament.

I have also read another malaysiakini article that suggested the GE may well be held, say, a couple of weeks before the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence, all designed for a resounding victory and a sweet celebration on 31st August and of course the consolidation of AAB’s by-then unbreachable position as UMNO president - obviously marvellous for the projection of his enhanced power and then-undeniable credentials as supreme party leader into UMNO's future which will ensure the smooth ascension of SIL.

In fact, I recall reading a malaysiakini (or another news portal’s) article which did (unwittingly or otherwise) a positive PR on SIL as a force of, I think the term used was, ‘light’ (as in illumination) - can you believe that?

I believe there was even a spin that the RM9.2 million gained from some 'heavenly manna’ was used to build up a solid network/support for dear old FIL, who was then a wee shaky within his own party. How touching.

Two-thirds majority in parliament on its own? How about the other parties that will (or should be) contesting in the Malay-majority constituencies?

The Nash-Muda article discussed a besieged PAS which would be forced to focus on holding on to its precarious position in Kelantan, to the neglect of its candidates elsewhere. This prediction means that PAS’ uncomfy position and Kelantan-inward looking strategy would leave the doors wide open elsewhere for a currently united, focused and hungry UMNO – unless of course (journalists always have a caveat in case their analyses bombed) UMNO suffers a party top leadership crisis.

Hmmm, I wonder whether PAS will be praying to the Almighty for that to happen?

I have a slight, only slight, mind you, (KT learning about caveats) disagreement with their analysis on PAS, because I recall that in 2004 PAS could have done well in Kedah, if not for a jolly bit of gerrymandering, and I just wonder whether there may be a little discontent among UMNO Kedah in the wake of the sabotage of Dr Mahathir’s attempt to get himself elected as a divisional delegate to the last party general assembly?

So PAS may yet demonstrate a significant showing in Kedah. But yes, I anticipate the counter arguments against KTemoc's 'could have' and 'if'.

However, if the Nash-Muda analysis is well founded, this could spell doom, nay, annihilation for PKR, as UMNO will undoubtedly bring the whole weight of its mighty election machine to bear on the splinter group of 1998.

As the Chinese Penangites would say, charm ch’au tnooi keen or, to remove the grass for good, dig out its entire root – 'root' in this political sense would be PKR's leadership.

Also PKR is, as we know, currently facing a monumental crisis as its members, or more correctly erstwhile members, have abandoned KD (Kapal Defacto) Reformasi by the droves.

And it’s not just ‘those’ Indians or some youth members aligned with out-of-favour Ezam, or even some UMNO sleepers within PKR, but its original No 3 member, with a membership card of No: 003, Abdul Rahman Othman.

I suspect former PKR treasurer Abdul Rahman to be an obviously unhappy and perhaps disgruntled presidential candidate who mysteriously (like Nalla?) ‘had to withdraw’ at the last minute from the party polls, which action automatically made Dr Wan Azizah the party president in an uncontested election.

For more on resignation of Abdul Rahman read Members abandoning PKR ship.

Next, the Chinese-majority constituencies ........

Friday, June 22, 2007

Members abandoning PKR ship

Today’s malaysiakini news article tells us that Abdul Rahman Othman, a former PKR treasurer and a presidential candidate for the recent party election has abandoned the PKR boat.

He was nominated to contest for the president’s post in the party national congress last month but pulled out at the eleventh hour when Anwar Ibrahim announced he couldn’t stand in the contest because of a warning from the Registrar of Societies.

Abdul Rahman’s inexplicable withdrawal automatically allowed the de facto leader’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah to become de jure leader. I wonder whether Abdul Rahman had received a ‘quiet word’ like Nallakaruppan did, to withdraw?

Abdul Rahman has applied to join PAS last night. This is a man who had joined Keadilan (PKR’s predecessor) since its inception in 1999 following the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim from UMNO and his DPM post.

You would wonder, wouldn’t you, why he left, especially in the sudden wake of his strange last minute withdrawal from the party's presidential election, after Anwar was barred by law (with a dire warning) from contesting.

Abdul Rahman maintained a tight lip when pressed for reasons why he has left a party he had helped found.

Meanwhile, another bloke has abandoned boat too. Former Kedah PKR chief Akashah Ismail has also quit the party and will join PAS soon. Hmmm, looks like there are a number of 'former' PKR this-and-that.

He said: “I have sent a letter to the party headquarters and Kedah PKR two weeks ago informing them of my decision. PKR is no longer a party for the ordinary people.

my underlining above

malaysiakini added that there have been complaints Anwar was allegedly favouring corporate figures over grassroots leaders in the party. Well, we heard too from Nallakaruppan he (Nalla) was told by Anwar to not contest in the VP election, and he (Anwar) had allegedly meddled with party polls.

The PKR meltdown because of the Anwar Ibrahim factor, that I had previously blogged on, continues.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

PKR - Grandstanding Truth or Truth of Grandstanding?

The dictionary tells us that the word ‘grandstanding’ may be used as a noun, adjective or verb. Let’s have a look at its verb form.

One dictionary is quite pithy in its definition: To perform ostentatiously so as to impress an audience – I like this one.

Another says: To conduct oneself or perform showily or ostentatiously in an attempt to impress onlookers – eg. The senator doesn't hesitate to grandstand if it makes her point – basically the same point but a bit wordy.

In other words, the motive or objective of 'grandstanding' would be to impress an audience - basically all put-on show to promote oneself more than with the intention of following through with the issue raised.

Now, look at the headline for a malaysiakini article, which screamed: 'Probe May 13 riots, police told'.

And who told the police to investigate into an event that occurred some 38 years ago?

'Twas lawyer N Surendran who was accompanied by none other than a PKR supreme council member, S Manikavasagam!

Surendan was the one who lodged the report with the Brickfields police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He wanted the police to probe into the alleged criminal actions that were revealed by Dr Kua Kia Soong’s book 'May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969'.

In the book, Dr Kua had extracted information from recently declassified British documents that indicated that UMNO, the police, military and the government, including the late former premier Tun Abdul Razak all played a major role in condoning, allowing or even instigating the riots.

Surendan (naturally accompanied by PKR supreme council member Manikavasagam) stated firmly:
"The parties must be implicated, brought to court and charged, no matter how old they are."

Fortunately he didn’t say “... no matter how dead they are ...” because quite a few of those he’s after, including Tun Razak, are no longer with us, and if guilty and believers in God, probably had already faced a ‘Higher’ court.

Mind you, don’t mess around with Surendran, no, not when he was accompanied by none other than a PKR supreme council member (‘supreme council’ – wow, powerful title), because he warned that should the police fail to act, he would take the matter to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia or even obtain a court order.

Now, this is the most prized portion of the entire article - PKR’s Manikavasagam averred:
"Since the book is not banned, the contents must be true."

Yes, malaysiakini reported that the said opposition politician also called for a police investigation.

Hmmm, I suspect he may be a Catholic though I have to admit he doesn’t seem to be one because, as been reported by malaysiakini his name is S Manikavasagan. But what do I know, because the 'S' in his name perhaps stands for Sebastian or Sergio or Saturnino, all good Catholic names.

I only make this little digression about his possible Catholic faith purely based on his assertion that
"... since the book is not banned, the contents must be true."

You see, many Catholics around the world actually believe that the story in Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ was true, so much so that it had the Vatican worried. Many Catholic churches (overseas) condemned the book as sinful to read – kid you not. And that’s why I did wonder whether S Manikavasagam, a believer of 'truth' to be found in books, could be one.

Wonder what my good friend Lucia Lai would say?
adoi Luce, mai sakai wah ay tau k'ak hoe boe

So, back to Surendran - he said the new information in Dr Kua’s book was the reason behind his decision to file the police report. He declared:

"For the first time, Malaysians are looking at these documents. Now it is time for the truth to come out.”

I thought the ‘truth’ had already emerged because of Dr Kua’s book.

Now, this is really touching - Surendran also urged the government not to be frightened by the documents. He calls for the government to uphold transparency since it is a matter that affects all Malaysian citizens.

'... affects all Malaysian citizens ...'? How?

Then he claimed: "People have been speaking in whispers since 1969. This is important for nation-building. We cannot be an united nation until things like this are brought to light."

No, people haven’t been speaking about it in whisper because, just as a humble example, I had blogged on it in The Real Cause of the May 13 Riots on 09 January 2006 – that’s last year.

It’s not quite up to Dr Kua’s standard but I wasn’t far off.

But most certainly it’s hardly
"People have been speaking in whispers since 1969.”

That same year, on the anniversary of the ill fated day I also posted May 13th - Best Forgotten!

Maybe Surendran should reconsider his digging up an old wound. I don’t see what value could be derived from that other than for academic interests.

Besides, any objective probing should be done by qualified researchers rather than the world famous Malaysian Police who, apart from being beholden to the UMNO-led government, are struggling (and really failing miserably) to contain the everyday crimes occurring in our country.

Oh, what about my opening mumbling about ‘grandstanding’?

Now, what was that bloke’s name again, the guy who believes in ... er ... was it the ‘Da Vinci Code’?

The PKR must be truly desperate to try to extract every little bit of attention from stale news and such useless action - if that was not 'grandstanding', then what should I describe that report to the police demanding for an unlikely probe into the alleged complicity of certain players, including the late Tun Razak, in a 38-year old event.

Hmmm, just like a chip of the old dazzling dancing de facto deacon of dodgy democracy, who titillated us with salacious tales but never completing same, escaping with a unfulfilled promise of 'man man'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mega billion oil pipeline - bonus for Brutus?

In the malaysiakini article on the RM23.9 billion oil pipeline project awarded to Trans-Peninsula Petroleum Sdn Bhd, Lim Guan Eng of the DAP searched and found records (filed with the Companies Commission of Malaysia) that revealed that the company has only a paid up capital at RM150,000.

The company also reported accumulated losses of RM155,376 as at June 30 last year.

Lim asked:
“This must be a record for a company with a RM150,000 paid up capital to carry out a RM23.9 billion project.”

“Can a company of that size take on such a big project?”

Yes, why not? I too can do it, with one ringgit, provided I am assured of government (read that as taxpayers') rescues and bailouts if I ball it up and perform the work badly. Why worry and who cares – it’s only public money.

However, whether it is wise or proper governance by an elected government to allocate a mega billion ringgit project to a such a pathetic (loss) performing company, who incidentally hasn’t even conducted any environment impact study yet, is the question we are all wondering and fuming about though hardly surprised at all.

After all, this is Malaysia, or rather UMNO’s Malaysia.

And read
Who benefits directly from PORR? and bloody weep!

Lim also brought out the names of the directors of the loss-making company, one of whom is Osman Aroff, the former Kedah Menteri Besar.

I remember him as one of the three Kedahans who not only deserted but stuck it deeply into Dr Mahathir when the Grand Olde Man attempted to stand for party election as a delegate to the UMNO general assembly recently.

I said of him in a previous posting
Et Tu Baharom:

Former Kedah Menteri Besar Osman Aroff, for whom Dr Mahathir had created a special post when Osman was ousted as the state MB, told delegates in his speech that Mahathir had a track record of causing disarray in UMNO and thus should be rejected as a delegate.

He said: “We must remember it was because of Dr Mahathir that Umno was de-registered in 1987. It was also he, who chose to fight with his deputy (Anwar Ibrahim) in 1998. Such is Mahathir's record.”

Osman averred that if the delegates elect Mahathir to represent them, it would indicate that UMNO Kubang Pasu was against Abdullah.

Well, looks like he has been rewarded by AAB.

Is there a moral somewhere here?

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel. Judge, 0 you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him. That was the most unkindest cut of all.

- Julius Caesar: Act 3, Scene 2 - William Shakespeare

Maybe it ought to be rewritten as:

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel. Judge, 0 you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him. That was the most unkindest but most profitable cut of all.

Bocor business - AAB misses the whole point

malaysiakini carries a news item about AAB lambasting Lim KS and gang for harping on the case of the two Bocor MPs.

He advised ‘irresponsible’ parties (meaning Lim KS and the DAP) against politicising the issue of two MPs uttering sexist remarks in Parliament. The subtext was ‘for heavens sake, shut up, will you, we are already bloody embarrassed so stop harassing me’.

Well, AAB, it's the job of the opposition to make you squirm.

Anyway, though he launched a counter-attack against Lim (best form of defence being an attack) he grudgingly admitted that he wanted the incident to be a lesson for everyone.

He conceded that the government regrets the incident and has reminded everyone, especially MPs and those in high positions, to be more responsible.

Then, PR-ing a wee for himself and party (he’s a politician afterall), he said the Cabinet always takes justice into consideration. And the example of that was his instructions for the two idiots to be referred to Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.

But where was the justice when those two baboons only apologised to women in general but pointedly refused to extend their regrets to the victim fo their remarks?

Also, AAB misses the point. But before I explain why, let’s remind ourselves of what a malaysiakini reader write in to explain why such clowns like those shameless salacious simians, Cyclops and his terrible twisted twin keep getting elected by their respective constituencies.

As an old visitor ali allah ditta once told me, all those clowns need in order to get re-elect would be just to give out the odd kain pelikat and an angpow of 100 ringgit.

Well, the malaysiakini reader (can’t recall his name) said it less flamboyantly than ali – he explained that those monkey MPs have constituencies who don’t give two stuff about modern values like political correctness. They want the usual ‘3 bowls of rice’ plus their traditional values (basically women should know their places). So the occasional dosage of sexist comments won’t go amiss.

Now, this isn’t a uniquely Malaysian or Malay characteristics. Chinese and Indians have them too except the Chinese are more exposed to new values. Their dragon ladies make sure they do ;-)

Besides, Chinese history is so full of their own Amazons, like Hua Mu Lan and the womenfolk of the Yang (Yeoh) family, so invariably there has been thousands of years of positive brainwashing for Chinese men to accept women as equals.

Even in Australia, there are such sexist MPs – most have to be covert types or they won’t get elected. A former opposition leader of a state (New South Wales) had to resign because he made a ‘pass’ at a reporter (what an idiot) while he was under the influence. Another, a senator in Western Australia, was reported to have told a woman that he would ‘squeeze the hell out of her tits’ – this idiot still survives his political career.

But AAB misses the whole point. It’s about parliamentary conduct. Just channelling those two barbarians (no matter how popular they are in their own constituencies) to a face-saving session with the Woman Minister has not been the correct and necessary prompt action for such parliamentary misconduct.

He should have, at that time, demanded the two apologise straightaway. How good would he have looked in the eyes of the public, well at least those who are more exposed to modern values.

Though he has indicated he’s aware of the wrong, perhaps there’s more to the whole affair than meets the eye. Probably a case of UMNO internal party dynamics – there are vested and sectional/factions’ interests at play, where some MPs mustn’t be touched.

AAB said:
“We hope that this incident will be a good lesson to everyone.”

Yes, we the outsiders learnt that some idiots can get away with stupidity, where narrow political interests cannot be subordinated to human decency. Or, hmmm, maybe stupidity is one of the vital qualifications to be an MP or a politician?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Power grab in UMNO?

malaysiakini reported that it’s possible in the next general election that UMNO will drop several current big names from its list of candidates while moving some from state to federal, not so much as a promotion but a curtailing of their local feudal power. UMNO HQ wants to prevent uncontrollable warlords from becoming a future problem to the party top echelon.

Several menteris besar (MB) will not be contesting, with some retiring because of age. It has been remarked that Selangor MB, already targeted for some time, will see his state wings clipped as he has become “too strong in the state” and therefore “difficult to control.”

Apparently one of those to receive the chop is Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman, he of the pivotal race notoriety – hmmm, maybe that explains his typically UMNO pahlawan bangsa posturing in recent times. He must have realised the impending move against him.

Now, this is the most interesting part because behind all these is the big power grab.

The vacant MB posts will be filled by younger leaders. Whoever controls the allegiance of these young bucks will enjoy immense power within the party because several of the states have large numbers of party divisions.

For example, Johor has 26 divisions (which may explain why Datuk Pivotal Race has to make way for ‘someone’ from Camp X). Perak has 24 and thus Tajol Rosli Ghazali may go too.

Dr Mohd Khir Toyo currently lords over Selangor’s 22, Mahdzir Khalid with 15 in Kedah, Adnan Yaakob with 14 in Pahang, have all been kicked upstairs to federal parliament.

The number of divisions translates into party delegates - 13 from each division - who will vote during the UMNO elections. The number of delegates from these states where their MBs will be retired or kicked upstairs will make up at least two-thirds of the total delegates attending the general assembly.

It’s also interesting that the party has postponed its polls until after the general elections.

As I commented earlier, the big power grab comes when control over the states via the MBs’ posts is firmly secured by whoever selects the new MBs. That person will determine the hierarchy in the party.

Observers said it’s all SIL’s work. He’s not only holding on to his golden pot of rice but sticking his fingers in every others’.

I suppose this would be part of his strategy to be PM by his mid 40’s. I am waiting to see whether any counter-manoeuvres would be forthcoming.

Lots of rice ... hmmm, here’s pulut in your face ... but don’t get choked because more than a decade ago there was such another overly-ambitious UMNO man who thought he could achieve overwhelming power by putting his people in strategic posts and dominate the party. The rest, as they say, is history.

There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip!

Remembering Altantuyaa Shaariibuu

In sympathy with the family and in memory of Altantuyaa* Shaariibuu, I've sent the poem to malaysiakini.

I am the Golden Beam*, from
The land of steppes, come to
The South Seas to Malaysia
called the Mountains of Asia

‘Twas no Shambula as promised
But of evil Gehanna, sent there
By C-4, 1.34 times more powerful
Than C6H2(NO2)3CH3, or TNT

In that shattering blast, in a tick
Golden Beam* I was no more
But thousands shattered shards
Of tears, blood, and deep regrets

Never to see my children again
Where I am I have met Erlig Qan
But I am not yet ready to submit
To his reign until I taste justice

Oh, if only I can quench my thirst
To drink sweet requital, my due
Against unimaginable evil cruelty
Just a wee sip from across the Styx

Will the Heavens sense my sorrow
My wail of uncompromising pain
At the loss of not just my young life
But treasured sight of loved ones

O, Sulde Tngri, Dayicin Tngri and
Gesar Khan, I offer thee, Holy Triad
Votive arca or juniper branches &
Berries, & kuji the sweetest incense

I pray, let they who judge be brave
Resolute and just, and not render
My tormented soul to wander in
Perpetual odyssey, sans retribution

I yearn to return home soon to rest
Among the elm-trees and willows
To hear the larks trill their sweet
Songs among the endless steppes

Please, let me gaze once more at the
White snow cap of Nayramadlin Orgil
Then I'll know I'm home once again
To close my tired eyes as Golden Beam*

Monday, June 18, 2007

Some things may grow back, others won't!

Last week, malaysiakini reported the sad issue of Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Rashid, an award-winning actress being severely criticised by muftis because she shaved her head for a film role.

The clerics said a woman saving her head bald is forbidden in Islam and sinful, because the act would be considered as part of the prohibited repertoire that could indicate men or women acting or behaving like the opposite gender.

Now, the muftis want authorities to issue guidelines to prevent Malay Muslim artistes, especially actresses, from extreme behaviour or dressing.

Though I don’t normally like to comment on Islamic taboos, I was riled when the seditious Mufti of Disgrace (you know who, don’t you) chipped in to declare that Muslim artistes were becoming increasingly daring. He then warned them against being influenced by the actions of foreign actors, saying:

"As Muslims, we should not sacrifice our religion for the sake of wanting to be popular."

This man has the hide of an elephant and the brazen gall to talk down on people for ‘sacrificing’ the good name of Islam when he, as a Mufti, supposedly representing all the good and holy that are enshrined in Islam, lied, yes, bloody lied about a non-existent Christian conversion of Muslims at a church – an evil act that could have brought about inter-religious inter-ethnic violence, where innocents would have been hurt or even killed.

And then most disgustingly, after he was proven irresponsibly wrong, he didn’t even have the backbone of his religious conviction because when it was a case of accountability's push becoming shove, he blamed a woman, yes, the coward did that, so as to avoid answering for his own evil lie. He lacked the balls to take some responsibility for his own action.

That’s what got my goat – what an utter hypocrite. And that's also unIslamic on both counts, the second being his moral self-castration which undoubtedly would be part of the Islamic prohibited repertoire that could indicate men or women acting or behaving like the opposite gender

Now, some time ago, when the Gerakan Party of FT passed a resolution to petition HRH the Sultan of Perak to sack that seditious rumour-mongerer for inciting religious agitation and hatred, with potential dire consequences, PAS went into high action, demanding the Gerakan Party retract that resolution with an apology.

I blogged on that two months ago in
PAS: Gerakan biadap over at my other blogsite, BolehTalk.

The core message from PAS was about the damn nerve of the non-Muslim Gerakan to touch on Muslim affairs, namely the sacking of a wayward Mufti.

I also remarked in
PAS not seeing wood for the trees? that it was only the UMNO Taikoh telling Gerakan to back down, even with the ‘sorry’ word, because the BN didn’t want PAS to hijack the issue for political gains, that poor Gerakan FT chairperson Dr Tan Kee Kwong had to eat humble pie and apologized, claiming the proposed petition to HRH was only his personal view.

This was what I had blogged:

Now, this is where PAS showed its double standard, [PAS FT acting youth chief] Kamaruzaman, with great irony that he obviously didn’t realise, remarked [in malaysiakini]:

“This is a sensitive issue among Muslims that can stir discord among various groups.”

"... stir discord among various groups ..."?

Yes, but what about that Mufti who nearly caused a racial riot with his irresponsible rumour mongering?

Why shouldn’t he be sacked for seditious agitation? And why hasn't PAS initiate the demand for that to preserve the whole matter within the Muslim community?

In the end, PAS is no better than UMNO, exploiting religion for its own grubby political benefit instead of seeing to the justice that Allah (swt) intends for the Muslims to practice.

If I am kind, I would just say that PAS’ stand is a case of not seeing the wood for the trees. But if I want to be nasty, I would declare it as not unlike the moral in my poem Magic of the 100th name of God, where God is incidental, but Man’s interest reigns supreme.

So, I ask PAS once again – what have you people done about this man who has brought unmitigated disrepute to Islam and HRH? Yes, what!

Anyway, Sharifah Amani was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times:
"I have no regrets. My hair will grow back."

But the reputation of the Mufti of Disgrace as a holy man of Islam won’t!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

PKR dwindling into the ethnic party it was/is

malaysiakini reported Nallakaruppan, once a buddy of de factor leader, saying that his once-good pal had not been forthright with him on several matters. Nalla was just being polite in his choice of words.

He lamented: “I have been a friend of Anwar for more than 30 years but he had not been honest with me, especially on matters relating to the Ijok by-election and the contest for the party’s vice presidency.”

Well, Nalla, that's better - Anwar has not been honest with you. So stop pussyfooting around with words like 'not being forthright etc'.

Thank goodness you have woken up. Anwar Ibrahim has been, is and will be about Anwar Ibrahim. Consider, this is a man who would shamelessly preach to the world about democracy and at the same time meddle with the party polling, as he had been alleged to do, not once but twice, by two different people in the PKR.

Then, he couldn't care two hoots about his own wife's de jure status or about democratic elections, even in the party that was formed to fight for his release from prison.

Mind you, there are others in PKR still mesmerized.

But since Nalla left in hurt anger, more than
300 Indian PKR members nationwide are believed to have officially quit the party in support of him. There’s more on the way out with some already gone without even bothering to submit a resignation letter.

The latest to join the exodus are some 200 members from Gombak in Selangor.

Nalla told malaysiakini: “I know they are eager to know what my next plans are but I hope they would give me a little bit of extra time for me to think this thoroughly. Whatever decision I make, it will be for the good of the Indian community. It will be a decision which my supporters would support. Just bear with me and I will soon be making an important decision.”

But he refused to comment if he was in talks with any political parties regarding his political future.

The DAP could do with his group as members but I wonder whether that would present a problem for the incongruous alliance between DAP and PKR?.

What I like to see is Dr Syed Husin also taking his PRM people out to join the DAP or the PSM. PKR can then revert back to being KeADILan, a loser-clone of UMNO, but a splinter group of UMNO nonetheless.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Penang's Population Puzzle

In an earlier posting Lina Joy & the 'cane toad' phenomena I recollected what I had heard some years ago – a rumour that years back the Chinese in Malaysia had become the majority ethnic group.

In that discussion I mentioned that many suspected the true demographic statistics weren’t released. The story told of the high level strategy to encourage mass illegal immigrants from Indonesia (by at least 1 million) to restore the ethnic ratio to its original split.

Then blue IC's were handed over nilly-willy like ad pamphlets at super shopping malls.

malaysiakini has just reported a new set of alleged dodgy statistics in the Penang population.

The malaysiakini headline is a rather catchy
Riddle of Penang’s population statistics.

Penang is, or was a State with the Chinese comprising the ethnic majority. The malaysiakini article discussed how over a period of 15 years (1990 to now) the population percentage ratio of Chinese to Malay went, nay, flashed from 70:20 to 43:40.

But, even in the saga of statistics the Indians are again marginalised, remaining stagnant at 10%.

The UMNO-led government and its official organs are so distrusted that rumours and speculations abound on possible fiddling of the stats and of course the sinister reasons behind the fiddling – namely the planned takeover of the CM post by UMNO.

Malaysians always love a good rumour, but with a twist, where rumours would eventually and usually become (though not always) truths.

Well then, is this true, namely the intended appropriation of the CM post by UMNO, a post that has been traditionally held by a Chinese, from the BN of course? DAP and PKR, stop salivating!

The argument for it has been the example of Sabah - apart of course from the recent incidents of some local UMNO leaders making ambit claims, in many ways agitated by young Turks from HQs who wanted to flash their party or ethnic credentials.

Sabah has seen UMNO dominating the CM appointment, much to the chagrin of other component parties.

However, the way KTemoc sees it is that Sabah and Penang have totally different political and security characteristics, and shouldn't be equated.

The former is a state fairly remote from KL control and has majority Christian Kadazans who aren’t happy with federation, and which undoubtedly worries the Federal government in terms of secession, autonomy, etc.

The latter, Penang, is a small state (including an island) next to Kedah and Perak, and peopled in the majority by Chinese who haven’t shown any political inclination for autonomy, let alone breaking away from Malaysia. They're only interested in business and the economy, and yes, vernacular education.

Then what would be the 'sinister' scheme?

While certainly local UMNO leaders do aspire to be the next Raja of Pulau Pinang, I personally doubt that UMNO HQs would countenance that, unless of course the Chinese Penangites swing dramatically over to the opposition, and breaking the so-called unspoken social contract.

UMNO HQs knows that, if an UMNO bloke were to take over the CM place from Gerakan, the different groups of Chinese Penangites supporting Gerakan, MCA and DAP would be driven together against UMNO in future elections.

Rather, UMNO has a superior strategy by its ‘arrangment’ for the two BN Chinese component parties to be split up in power, such that the Gerakan and MCA each won’t have more seats than UMNO. This way, while UMNO pretends to be in the background to the Gerakan CM, its Deputy CM is actually pulling the strings, because UMNO knows that Gerakan hates and fears MCA , and vice versa, and the two Chinese-based parties would never cooperate. Very gnarm sai( just right) for UMNO!

The classic British colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’.

Some years ago, the incident of two MCA ADUNS taking an independent stand against the State government (Gerakan) whip in the case of PORR was a case in point of mutual dislike and hatred, and really, a MCA’s sweet sneaky strategy to erode Chinese support away from Gerakan back to Mother (or Daddy) MCA.

So, why would UMNO destabilize a ‘happy arrangement’ where it is already the de facto power in Penang –
oh, by the way, the de facto word is used here without permission from Malaysia’s only declared de facto leader.

The DAP argues that UMNO wants the CM post. Well, OK, but we need to distinguish between local UMNO aspirations and that of UMNO HQs'. The DAP may be correct in the local consideration but I would be very surprised if UMNO HQs would go to that extent.

It sounds reasonably plausible as Penang is the only State that does not have a Malay-UMNO political head.

But really, if UMNO wants a turn at the CM post, all it had to do is to just say the word, and there’s buggerall that Gerakan could do – and very much to MCA’s delight because it would mean MCA would eventually get a go at it as well.

And, look at the Datuk Bandar of KL, or the Municipal boss of Ipoh - no doubt appointed and not elected, but nonetheless appointed Malay heads in Chinese ponds. UMNO can do what it wants without going to such an extent if it wants to have a Malay CM, wherever, whenever, however.

No, I believe it may be something more than just that – I admit I don’t know yet – yes, am thinking, but not in time for this post.

There’s also another possibility, that a combination of modern day mobility (for jobs and a better life style and/or education in Penang from nearby regions), migration by Chinese Penangites overseas and inter-state and perhaps an influx of transplanted (blue IC-ed) imports have brought about the new composition.

At the end of it all, it’s rather sad when we should really be considering ourselves as Malaysians rather than Malays, Chinese, Indians etc.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

DAP's elusive Pearl of the Orient

In my previous posting Penang UMNO's "2 for me, 1 for you"? I mentioned that there were 22 Chinese-majority state constituencies in Penang, with 15 Malay-majority seats. Since there are a total of 40 state seats to be contested and won, this means 3 constituencies have a balanced ethnic mixed.

The poor Indians again do not have a seat where they can form the majority even though a couple of Indian politicians had lamented this was possible in a couple of areas, but that the EC has avoided creating these.

However, according to DAP vice chairperson Zufliki Md Nor, what we will have for the next state election is a slightly different setup, namely 14 Chinese-dominated, 10 Malay-based and 16 racially balanced seats.

malaysiakini also tells us that the DAP will be going for at least 25 seats with a hope to win more than 14. To form a government it must win at least 21 seats, which means then it is expecting to do so through a coalition with the PKR, whom it hopes will pick up at least 7 of the Malay-dominated seats.

Very neat maths, except for a few inconvenient facts, as follows:

It assumes PKR will have a chance. Even if the party (PKR, that is) were not disintegrating as it is right now, it will still face insurmountable odds.

Do rest assured UMNO will pour in extraordinary resources to finish it off, even if this means neglecting some seats that PAS will be contesting. It may be just a KTemoc guess but I reckon for UMNO the Islamic Party’s victories may be strategically more preferable than PKR's.

UMNO's special target will be the Permatang Pauh federal seat. I predict its next representative to parliament will be an UMNO person.

It’s not KTemoc wishing ill towards PKR but a predictable and inevitable political outcome - a case of what Chinese Penangites would term cruelly as 'charm ch'au tnooi keen' (to get rid of the grass permanently, dig out all its roots), and that's what UMNO will be gunning for, for once the snake has its head cut off, its non-poisonous 'tail' will wriggle its way back to the 'fold', with tails (pun not intended) behind their hind legs.

I would also go as far as to predict Anwar Ibrahim won’t be the PKR candidate. His barring from standing for political office, should the general elections be held before April 2008, will in fact be a face-saving outcome for him. But if he could contest, I believe he himself will avoid Permatang Pauh.

Meanwhile ... the DAP once again dreams of winning big in the Penang state elections despite several successive failures. But much as I wish the DAP people well, they will have to be contented with just an increase in federal representation.

Looking at Penang's Chinese-dominated seats (with attendant gerrymandering and all) I predict the DAP will win at most a couple more federal seats or so, but should be really happy to pick up 3 to 4 of the state seats, if at all it can.

Generally, throughout the world, governments are voted out rather than an opposition voted in. This happened in 1969 when Penangites booted out Wong Pow Nee’s Perikatan government and by default, allowed opposition Gerakan to slip in as the new Penang government.

Additionally, Penangites practise the time honoured (uniquely Chinese Penangites) formula of 'sending the DAP to KL to make noise, whilst keeping BN (Gerakan and MCA) at home in Penang to ensure funding for local developments'.

No, the Chinese Penangites aren’t prepared yet like the Malays to take to the streets to suffer for someone (for whom they do not respect anyway).

Call them mercenary, running dogs or cold calculating Chinamen, but that’s what they’ll do – the olde story of '3 bowls of rice' and screw your arty farty namby pamby bull of democracy and people’s voice.

Should you attempt to condemn them for political inertia or cowardice, they would just retort, 'hey, just look at 1969 and the current sorry heir of that accidental legacy, so what's the big deal in changing something old for something new'.

Then, we are also assuming that Tian Chua will be sitting still while the DAP stakes claim on all Chinese-dominated seats while leaving only the Malay ones to the Malay (principal) sector of the PKR.

Remember, the 16 racially balanced seats are a boon for people like PKR's Tian Chua and his Chinese/Indian cohorts, because in such mixed seats, the PKR is theoretically, yes lah, theoretically (only) better positioned to win than the DAP.

But I reckon there won’t be any compromise by the DAP because it would argue that PKR has been allocated the Malay-based seats and that’s that, for the PKR to win those and not mess around with the DAP’s staked areas. There’s going to be some backstabbing, sabotaging and wailing weeping (hands) wringing dramas, or even an irreconciliable split in the 'Coalition of the Convenient'.

My bold assessment is that the next general election will see the death knell of the PKR if it continues to depend on and use Anwar Ibrahim as a rallying figure.

The once-icon is in fact now a liability rather than an asset when the campaigning begins in Penang. This is especially so in the Chinese and Indian areas. You can bet that both ethnic communities will be reminded repetitively by the MCA, Gerakan and MIC about what the former Education Minister and former DPM had done for them and especially ‘to’ them, and of DAP's alliance with such a bloke.

While the DAP may withstand collateral damage despite its association with Anwar, poor Tian Chua and his non-Malay mates won't, and will suffer most from the taint, which was why I had suggested that the PKR needs to think outside the Anwar-centric box.

As for the DAP, I think the Lion of Gelugor may just scrap by, for sentimental reasons if not anything, as the next election will probably be Karpal’s last election because his health hasn't been too flash. But it’ll be close even for such a great and very popular man. I hate to see him lose in what may probably be his swan song.

Unlike the journalists in malaysiakini where they have a lot to lose for making poor analysis or wild assessments, thus their tentative dipping of their combined toes in the Penang water, KTemoc will be extraordinarily daring in my summary (and screw the consequences of being incorrect), which is:

(1) Some small losses at the federal level for the BN with a couple or so seats for the DAP;

(2) BN will retain state government, with perhaps, if the DAP is lucky, some losses in state seats for the ruling party;

(3) No federal or state seat for PKR - sorry.

(4) Penang will continue to fly the dacing banner.

(5) If, at the federal level, the BN wins comfortably with lots of or pivotal support from the Chinese, Penang will continue to have a Chinese CM.

(6) Poor Lim KS will be denied realising his wish of denying the BN its two-thirds majority - hey, what has this got to do with Penang ;-)

Israeli Doctrine: 'Israel = No Palestine; Palestine = No Israel'

Just before he stepped down as the UN's Middle East envoy, Alvaro de Soto, the highest-ranking United Nations official in Israel, wrote a damning report of gross American interference in the Middle East which negated the UN’s impartial role there. That had effectively killed off any prospect for peace that could have been brokered by the UN.

His words were that American pressure has "pummelled into submission" the organisation's role as an impartial Middle East negotiator.

The US interference pampered Israeli interest, like boycotting of the democratically elected Palestinian Government, just because the Israelis didn’t like the choice of the Palestinian people.

de Soto condemned the Americans for their bias against the Palestinians.

He also condemned Israel for
setting unachievable preconditions for peace talks. He also didn’t spare the Palestinians lambasting them for for their violence.

It’s hardly surprising that Israel did not want peace talks with the Palestinians, any Palestinians. This has been their modus operandi for eons. Former Israeli PM Golda Meir had once told a British newspaper that there was no such people as Palestinians.

The reason is obvious. Acknowledging the Palestinians, or even worse, allowing a Palestinian State would actually call into question the legitimacy of Israel as a nation. That has been why Ariel Sharon had deliberately sabotaged Bush’s road map to peace. Had that been given a chance, Palestine would have become a State in 2008, just next year.

The Israelis would do anything to prevent Palestine from ever emerging, and the culprit behind its Machiavellian strategy has been, is and will be the USA, willing or unwitting. Where necessary, the Israelis will sabotage any genuine US efforts (as was Bush’s road map) towards recognizing Palestinian Statehood.

de Soto said that because of the US gross interference (and bias, and Israel’s manoeuvring), any Western-led peace negotiations had become largely irrelevant. He averred that the quartet of Middle East negotiators - the US, the EU, Russia and the UN - had become a "sideshow".

As an example of American interference in favour of Israeli interests, he criticised the US instigated (even through diplomatic, economic and financial threats) international boycott of the Palestinians, introduced after Hamas won elections last year, which was, in his words, "at best extremely shortsighted" and had "devastating consequences" for the Palestinian people.

He condemned Israel for adopting an "essentially rejectionist" stance towards the Palestinians. As I stated, this was hardly surprising as the sole objective of Israel was to prevent Palestinian Statehood.

In fact, the Islamic caricature scandal in Europe was believed to be instigated by pro Israeli sectors, with the objective of alienating the previously generous Europeans who were funding the Palestinians to around 600 million Euros per annum.

Many weren’t aware that the caricatures of the Islamic prophet (pbuh) were actually published twice, first in Denmark in the Jylland-Poste where there was very little reaction other than a visit to the Danish PM by several Arab diplomats, and then (to ensure the desired predictably violent Muslim outrage which the initial publishing failed to achieve) re-published in Norway in a rightwing church magazine, undoubtedly with 'adequate publicity'.

I have no doubts that if the second publishing had failed, there would have been a third, fourth etc until the desired results of Muslims going bonkers and predictably violent, and alienating the Europeans (the last bastion of support for Palestinians) was achieved.

But the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians are the Palestinains’ worst enemies – all Israel had to do was pull the strings, and the puppets would predictably dance to the haga navila.

Another issue of gross US interference (under Israeli guidance) was the financing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ al Fatah to neutralize Hamas. It should be noted that originally Israel had financed Hamas to dilute support for the late Yasser Arafat’s al Fatah, but obviously with Hamas now more dangerous than a corrupt al Fatah, Israel has swapped sleeping partners.

In fact, a couple of years back, the US, accepting Israel's claim that Arafat should be shunned as a sponsor of terrorism, had pressured the Palestinian authority into creating a new beefed-up post of prime minister to take over most of Arafat's functions. Obviously the PM post was designed for a friendlier more moderate (to the US) Abbas.

It was embarrassing for the US who had been preaching democracy to the Arabs when a democratically elected Hamas defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections last year. Under US encouragement (and direction) Abbas had sought to overrule the Hamas cabinet by exercising direct control over the security forces.

American and Israel openly supplied al Fatah with arms, training and finances to such an obvious extent that Hamas accused Abbas and his Gaza strongman Mahmoud Dahlan of collaborating with Israel and the US to overthrow Hamas and reject the results of a democratic election. It is well-known that Israel allowed equipment and weapons to be shipped to the Dahlan controlled Presidential Guards through its territory

But al Fatah’s power may be coming to an end as the Presidential Guard and the Preventative Security Force have fared poorly in direct clashes with Hamas's better trained and highly-motivated religious fighters in Gaza. It’s nearer to
complete defeat in the Gaza Strip following a series of damaging setbacks in clashes with its Islamic fundamentalist rival Hamas.