Thursday, July 31, 2008
According to Malaysiakini latest news article, Anwar to contest Permatang Pauh, he has returned full circle to where he had started his political career as a prize recruit for UMNO.
In my post just 10 days after the last general election, Where will Anwar Ibrahim stand for Parliament? I averred that Khalid Ibrahim would be the one likely to surrender his seat to him because Khalid would have a full time job as MB of Selangor.
I mentioned that Anwar Ibrahim could ride home easily on the ‘halo’ effect of the Pakatan’s tsunamic win, where goodwill towards the non-BN parties [how about that for a change in the use of that terrible word ‘non’ ;-) ] was still very strong.
However, I did mention that he might be considered too precious an asset to the Pakatan to test the voters in Bandar Tun Razak, because we could be sure the BN would pour every resource and propaganda gimmick, including the kitchen sink, into the by-election.
Yes, what if the BN succeeds? It would be a mortal demoralizing blow to the PKR-DAP-PAS bloc, something they may not wish to incur, and hence not tempt the possibility by standing him there.
Indeed, subsequently (just not too long ago) Khalid Ibrahim mentioned that Bandar Tun Razak would be the most dangerous place for his de facto leader to attempt in a by-election.
In that earlier (post general election) post I also raised the (2nd) possibility of Permatang Pauh, where Dr Wan Azizah roamed home with a staggering 13,000+ majority (as compared to her slim 2004's 500+ majority). The ethnic composition would be, for Anwar, a comforting 67.6% Malay, 26.3% Chinese and about 6% Indians.
… with Balik Pulau as a 3rd choice with more or less the same ethnic mix.
Since then Anwar had toyed with a few seats for his re-entry into parliament, including Makcik’s as well as Khalid’s seat again, and recently, Kulim where he gave the impression he was 100% sure he would contest there, should an election be ordered following a court challenge.
Why then this sudden almost overnight abrupt change, from Kulim to Permatang Pauh?
He gave the reason as a counter to the possibility of a (deliberately) delayed court decision over the Kulim case to frustrate him.
But kaytee thinks, really, how long can the court delay the decision when afterall Anwar himself hasn’t seen any urgent need to get himself into parliament (I had put that reason as Anwar’s hope to rejoin UMNO and recontest for parliament as an UMNO candidate rather than as a PKR member).
Besides,it's not as if he just thought of that (delaying) possibility after annoucing his intention to contest in Kulim!
Then I read another Malaysiakini article He may be arrested 'in next 48 hours' following the Home Affairs Minister’s statement that the police investigation into the alleged sodomy allegations has concluded – see Malaysiakini article Cops wrap up sodomy probe, up to AG to act
… and believe that could be the reason for Anwar’s abrupt decision to contest Permatang Pauh by getting his wife, Dr Wan Azizah, to resign, which officially she already has, rather abruptly too.
Anwar Ibrahim is a master of such brinksmanship manoeuvres. By putting himself as a candidate for a federal parliamentary by-election just before his possible arrest, he is ratcheting up the political stakes as well as his international profile.
PM AAB will be more embarrassed by the action of arresting a parliamentary candidate for a by-election than just a political party advisor.
The international press and politicians, especially those from America will feel more compelled to protest than they would if Anwar has just remained as an advisor to PKR or even de facto leader of the Pakatan.
There is more political pressure to bear on AAB if the ‘victim’ is a political candidate for a by-election. The accusations will be that AAB is directly and actively preventing Anwar's return to parliament.
The already popular conspiracy theory of Anwar being fixed by the BN will be even more strengthened.
Pak Haji has proposed that the 2-party union be brough about by acceptance of Islamic hudud (and qisas) criminal laws for Malaysia.
I am not sure about UMNO’s reaction but MCA has, in the person of Wee Ka Siong, its MCA Youth sec-gen, objected like hell, stating: "I am disappointed and gravely concerned with Nik Aziz's statement to implement hudud and qisas laws as it would mean the creation of a theocratic Islamic state.”
My dear Wee, for Allah’s (swt) sake, don’t tell me you weren't aware that the creation of a theocratic Islamic state has long been the political aspiration of PAS?
Anyway, Wee said: “I urge Umno to object against PAS' proposal as it is a matter of principle."
Malaysiakini advised us that 'under Islam, crimes classified under hudud such as murder, theft and adultery carry severe punishment including the amputation of limbs and stoning to death.'
Jeez, we’ll become a nation of reduced population led mainly by cripples, theoretically assuming that the hudud will be applied to all and sundry, regardless of religion, ethnic group, rank, station or political affiliations.
But usually in such cases, as in the tragedy of the notorious Cambodian ‘killing fields’, the ‘prosecutors’ and ‘police’ and ‘executioners’ would remain the only group safe from the 'wrath of God’s will'.
But suppose UMNO accepts Pak Haji’s proposal? And we mustn't deny such a possibility, frightening as it may be for non-Muslims, for afterall AAB does possess strong Islamic pedigree, and 'Malay unity' is supreme in UMNO's political consideration.
Hypothetically speaking, or perhaps even practically forecasting, will the outcome of such a merger on the platform of hudud and qisas laws, see an alignment of MCA, Gerakan, MIC with Pakatan or what's left of it, (assuming that non-Muslims would even be permitted equal rights to participate in politics in an Islamic State?) versus a Malay-Muslim unity bloc of PAS-UMNO.
And will Charles Santiago ask of MCA's Wee Ka Siong: “Are you challenging Islam?”
And where will Anwar Ibrahim and his core chummy coterie in PKR stand in such a terrifying non's versus Melayu schism?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Grandeur aside, we've seen what can happen, with the "social democratic conscience" of the Barisan Nasional, how corrupting proximity to power can be, even at its fringes. It would be sad indeed, if democracy were merely a cry of the excluded.
* I was informed by a learned sweetie that Chan Chee Khoon is not a Malaysiakini columnist. Professor Chan is the Convenor, Health & Social Policy Research Cluster, Women's Development Research Centre (Kanita), Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Aiyoyo, my thousand apologies to the Prof, and sweetest kamsiah to the learned sweetie
One said the ‘tunnel’ could be seen if one were to look higher up the short skirts of an AirAsia stewardess – read Malaysiakini news article Wanita delegate sees red over AirAsia uniform.
Another said a woman bocor (leaks) every month – read Malaysiakini Vox Populi 'Repent, you shameful man' for his identity.
A third said “… a hooker her high-traffic, yawning v[censored].”
Which is most graphically vulgar? Which doesn’t depend on euphemism, crude as that may be?
Yet the authors of the first two were condemned resoundingly, whilst the 3rd, the one who described the hooker with her high-traffic karng karng v[censored] has been described as the ‘salt of the earth’.
I think I hear whispers of ‘reformasi’ in the background.
In 1994 we condemned the subversion of the Sabah State elections, where Pairin’s PBS won with 2 seats majority but ended up as the opposition - all thanks to UMNO’s successful katak-isation.
In 2008, katak-isation by the same sifu has been rationalised as ‘correct’ and ‘necessary’ – “Oh, bugger it, we just can’t wait for that silly event called a general election in 5 years time!”
Did I hear faint echoes of ‘reformasi’?
A medical report or notes or whatever one may wish to term the Pusrawi doctor’s assessment of whether a patient had been sodomised, a confidential document, has mysteriously found its way into the public arena.
What? No complaints of violation of doctor-patient confidentiality from this side of the fence? No need to respect the privacy of a patient?
Read Malaysiakini report Hospital: It wasn't sodomy-related for more!
Would those mutterings behind us be about a strange creature called ‘reformasi’?
UMNO-PAS secret talks are condemned as insidious to the voice of the people (and I have been one of the critics) but PKR secret talks with some BN parties are cheered on (but not by me - hey, you know that already).
Now, what was that about 'reformasi'?
Malaysiakini reports that Anwar gives statement at religious dept. Rather than accept the challenge of the alleged sodomised victim to swear an oath on the Quran as to his innocence, Anwar has instead resorted to the Syariah Courts to complain about Saiful’s allegation of sodomy against him, a legal process called a qazaf.
The qazaf will require Saiful to front up with 4 male witnesses to the allegations of sodomy or face severe punishment if he is unable to.
Now, where are those Lina Joy’s supporters when you need them?
And Mukhriz Mahathir had opined of the Anwar’s resorting to the Syariah Court by asking: “There are leaders over there who are demanding for four witnesses (to the alleged act of sodomy). How can there be four witnesses? They would have sinned if they saw the commission of the act but did not do anything to stop it!”
I don’t know about the Lina Joy’s supporters but Charles Santiago demanded of Mukhriz: “Are you challenging Islam?”
Wait, was that a wail of ‘reformasi’ in the wilderness?
As Chan Chee Khoon has succinctly stated in Malaysiakini: “Grandeur aside, we've seen what can happen, with the "social democratic conscience" of the Barisan Nasional, how corrupting proximity to power can be, even at its fringes. It would be sad indeed, if democracy were merely a cry of the excluded."
Indeed, and as Lord Acton advised us more than a hundred years ago: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
I dread if ‘absolute power’ occurs, because we have seen what was done before.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I went over to the blog of my good friend Susan Loone and read her interesting post.
Susan wrote: "You may also read another opinon about the medical notes by Dr. Mohd. Raffick Khan and decide if Raja Petra had gone overboard in his interpretations of the medical notes”.
Dr Raffick wrote (only extract - for full post use link above):
"I would like to say that RPK has misinterpreted the facts. He has also exaggerated the interpretation of the doctor writings. I think who ever has been advising him, has not given a fair opinion. His writings have come to such a skewed conclusion and now his writings is being politicised. Overall, I think this medical note has not proved or disapprove anything."
Susan asked: "Will Raja Petra’s 'evidence' stand the legal test, and absolve Anwar from all these allegations? We are yet to know."
What do you think? [anwaristas - I know your response liao!]
They also questioned the police continuing investigation into the matter, lambasting in particular deputy IGP) Ismail Omar for stating that media reports on the doctor’s findings were aimed at confusing the people.
The MCA branches said: "Such statements by the DIGP only serve to further the perception that the police is pulling out all the stops to withhold evidence crucial to prove Anwar’s innocence while at the same time fabricate or attempt to fabricate evidence against a fellow citizen of our country."
"We urge the police, the attorney-general and the government to treat all our citizens fairly, with transparency, without withholding crucial evidence and with the proper application of the rule of law."
In Penang, we would either cheer them or sarcastically compliment them with the local phrase “chay bah” (wow, what bravery!) ;-)
Not to be outdone, Dr Toh Kin Woon, a former Penang Gerakan state exco also called on the government to promptly disclose the findings of the medical examination on Saiful.
He told Malaysiakini: "I call upon them to do so as quickly as possible in order to clear the air over the case but the contents of the first medical examination to be revealed must be as originally written by the doctor who conducted the investigation.”
Toh asserted that based on the Pusrawi medical report alone, Anwar should be exonerated of this charge of having committed sodomy.
He concluded: "There is no reason for any more delay as justice delayed is justice denied."
Looks like those MCA and Gerakan blokes may have finally re-discovered their bor gor lee (marbles).
If you can’t, do read Malaysiakini Vox Populi columns such as 'Repent, you shameful man' and 'Suspend Kinabatangan MP'.
Well, he isn’t alone out there as I blogged in Super Pariahs, Super Pious & Super Poked!
There was also another UMNO bloke, namely the tebuan keeper, Badruddin Amiruldin, otherwise known as the AirAsia ‘tunnel’ man – read Malaysiakini news article Wanita delegate sees red over AirAsia uniform for details about his ‘tunnel’ vision.
But it seems sadly that even one of the DAP’s MP has been ‘Kinabatangan’-ised.
I learnt about it from an outraged sweetie who wrote to me about the ‘Kinabatangan’-ised person.
When he started with ‘desperate housewives’ I wasn’t yet that outraged as my friend; in fact being a bit of a [blush, blush] MCP I admit to then having a few politically incorrect chuckles because it was a clever pun on a popular TV series - a harmless political jab without any indecent insult as such.
Then when it went to ‘superpoked’ as I had blogged in Super Pariahs, Super Pious & Super Poked! I was greatly disappointed.
I thought to myself, surely this isn’t the DAP?
There was no excuse to be crude, rude and outrageously insensitive to a person who had claimed to be a victim of an alleged though serious crime. Whether he was a real victim or not wasn't yet ascertained at that time , so it was a terrible terrible inexcusable description.
At best it was utterly tasteless.
I had hoped, and consoled myself, the questionable puerile language might be just a temporary salacious exuberance, influenced perhaps by the fact that Saiful Bukhari Azlan had compromised Anwar Ibrahim, and ‘twas naturally the typical harsh words for a perceived political ‘enemy’.
But alas, the Kinabatangan Doctrine of Dismal Disposition seems to be deep rooted, as we read of more appalling language such as “… and a hooker her high-traffic, yawning v[censored].”
"... high-traffic, yawning v[censored]”?
I suggest the DAP better pull up its socks ... or feet from the grubby grim gutter it has somehow descended into, or soon we'll hear of "bocor-ing from the result of the high traffic kapuk-ing of karng-karng tunnels".
Monday, July 28, 2008
In reality the sodomy issue has been a distraction to the real issue about Anwar Ibrahim. This has been a man who claims to champion democracy and who preaches reformasi (political reforms) but who has been arrogantly open about enticing BN MPs to defect over to PKR, a la Sabah State elections 1994, so as to seize federal rule.
Raja Petra Kamarudin has been right about the fanatical hordes who idolize Anwar Ibrahim, to the extent many of those reformasi disciples had actually attempted and still do to rationalize, justify and even promote the subversion of the ballot box through enticing BN MPs to defect.
This man will not respect the people’s decision made on 08 March 2008, yet he has the brazen gall to coin such words as ‘ketuanan rakyat’.
Now perhaps you may understand why I have held the view Anwar Ibrahim is a political hypocrite.
While Lim Guan Eng and his father questioned the UMNO-PAS talks as sinisterly ethno-centric and divisive, Anwar’s party man Mohamad Fairus Khairudin, deputy CM of Penang, openly voiced his desire for PKR Malay leaders to be invited to join the Pan-Melayu behind-closed-doors talks.
I find it unlikely that Fairus would dare to express such a desire without sanction from PKR’s top leaders.
In the Malaysian context, what is the objective of Malay unity other than at the expense of Malaysian unity.
‘Malay unity’ is such a well-known clarion call of the faithful to group together against (no, not against Eskimos or Martians, but) the Chinese & Indian Malaysians and other non-Malay Malaysians.
Of course it is also an equally well-known ploy of those attempting to distract from their own weakness or marshal support for their embattled positions, but it does appeal to those who cannot escape from their racist mentality, even those who profess to uphold the teachings of their so-called supra-nationalistic religion.
Malay unity but Malaysian solidarity - it’s the Sun Tzu classical strategic dictum of "make a noise in the East and attack in the West."
Winston Churchill put it more brilliantly: "In war, truth is so precious, it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies."
So PKR and PAS appease the DAP and the PKR's non-Malay members, whilst UMNO does the same to the others in the BN.
Regrettably, after giving so much respect to PAS for their puritanical honesty, I lament the reading of Malaysiakini news article Saari: Some PAS leaders keen on pact with Umno.
We are informed by an honest-enough Saari Sungib, the PAS Selangor information chief, who pulled the carpet right from under the feet of PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa and the party’s commissioner for Terengganu Mustapha Ali, who both had denied that PAS would countenance cooperation with UMNO.
Saari told Malaysiakini that in fact those two leaders were keen to gabung with UMNO because they reckoned that if PAS leaders can hold some key ministerial posts in the UMNO-led federal government, it will be possible to initiate changes from within.
Hey, haven’t I heard this one before?
Yes, someone who claimed he would change UMNO from within but spent 16 lovely years within UMNO wallowing in power, luxury and hubris, but who suddenly remembered his so-called aspiration ONLY AFTER he was expelled from UMNO – wakakaka.
Karpal Singh has been spot on (as usual) in questioning PAS’ loyalty to Pakatan. The Lion of Gelugor said PAS had acted in bad faith by having covert talks with UMNO without telling DAP and PKR.
He asserted: "The assurance by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to Pakatan Rakyat partners that PAS will not abandon the alliance to join BN is not bona fide and not supported by past events."
The DAP lies among a nest of vipers.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
10 days after the general election I had posted Where will Anwar Ibrahim stand for Parliament?, where I wrote:
I mentioned in Khalid Ibrahim to give way to Anwar in Bandar Tun Razak? of the likely possibility of Khalid Ibrahim vacating his Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat for Anwar to contest in an by-election. Khalid has plenty on his hands as MB of Selangor.
The voters in Bandar Tun Razak comprise 52% Malays, 39% Chinese and 8% Indians, a nice rounded multiethnic makeup.
With the coalition of PKR-DAP-PAS currently enjoying immense popularity in FT and Selangor, Anwar Ibrahim will in all probability ride on that goodwill to victory if he stands there.
It’s called the ‘halo’ effect – the ‘feel good’ euphoria about the new political alliance that will rub on to his by-election advantage despite any non-Malay suspicions, if any, of him.
Since then, some of the lustre of the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor has lost its shine due to a couple of issues - (i) Khalid Ibrahim’s obvious (initial) reluctance in involving himself with, and the poor handling of, the Bandar Makhkota Cheras scandal and (ii) some hints of dodgy-ness in the new State administration which blogger What a Lulu blogged in her post Lulu Is Concerned That There Are Those In PKR But Forget They're In PKR And Behave Like It Was The Good Ol Umno Days.
But thanks to UMNO’s unchangeable behaviour, there’s still plenty of goodwill for PKR or more correctly, plenty of bad will towards UMNO.
I had also suggested … the Balik Pulau seat in Penang Island, Anwar’s home State. The victorious PKR candidate there is Mohd Yusmadi Bin Mohd Yusoff, who had in a pre election campaign mentioned he was willing to surrender the seat to Anwar Ibrahim. I recall Anwar, who was then with him in the campaigning, didn’t reject that offer.
But in the latest news report on Anwar Ibrahim by Malaysiakini, the man himself hinted at standing in the Bandar Tun Razak constituency.
He wooed the nearly 2,000 strong multiracial crowd at his ceramah
In Anwar begins by-election 'campaign' Malaysiakini noted that while he did go through a wide range of topics, his main agenda of the night was obviously to sound out the reactions of the crowd to his contesting in the area.
“Sokong, sokong, sokong” rang through the surau and its compound, as the crowd gave Anwar the nod when he asked if he could contest the seat.
But as I said, Anwar wasn’t 100% committed as he man man lai into a qualified "I want to say that maybe, I might contest here. But if I contest here, hundreds of millions would be poured in (to buy votes). Can you resist (the temptation)? If you cannot, please tell me beforehand."
Malaysiakini didn’t report what the response was, but we can make an intelligent guess.
Then Anwar said he and the Pakatan Rakyat alliance was not keen on seizing power just for the sake of it but it was a bid to save the economy from jahanam (being destroyed). Malaysiakini reported him saying that the weak economy and country's leadership require immediate change and thus motivated Pakatan to make its push towards Putrajaya.
Wow! Such sacrifice and sheer courage - just like his overnight ‘road to Damascus’ reformasi in 1998 after nearly two decades of silence in cozy comfy UMNO?
He warned [who? ;-)] that the move to contest in a by-election was necessary as Sabah and Sarawak MPs (meaning the frogs) had stressed that he should do so.
Aha, new condition from his earlier (numerous) boasts that they were on the verge of crossing over. But nonetheless, a final warning!
What is kaytee’s take?
As I have always unwaveringly said, I believe Anwar Ibrahim wanted (and still wants) to rejoin UMNO because that’s where the power is. Please read my post Why Anwar isn't interested in a by-election?
Why then has he chosen Bandar Tun Razak for his by-election candidature, which I alluded to as the strongest possibility, when in an earlier Malaysiakini (or was it Star Online) article, Khalid Ibrahim had discounted his own constituency for Anwar because he said it would become the most dangerous seat for his de facto leader, implying perhaps that the BN would pour in everything including the kitchen sink to make sure Anwar loses.
And Anwar anticipates that as he mentioned it in his man man lai speech.
While Anwar has now come to realize that his chance of getting back into UMNO has diminished gloomily, it could well be he's still giving the party leaders a 'final warning' (by his posturing to stand in a Bandar Tun Razak by-election) and their 'last chance' to invite him to 'come home'.
Malaysiakini just reported late this evening that "Opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim said today that he aims to return to parliament for the first time in a decade later this year if a court orders a by-election near his home town ...", namely Kulim Bandar Baru. Sorry lah to penyokong penyokong di Bandar Tun Razak.
Perhaps earlier, someone had ‘chong-ed’ him into believing that he would be welcomed back provided he gave Najib hell? And mind you, he had been cozy in his speeches about AAB, where one I saw on Aussie TV had him even complimenting AAB as ‘compassionate’. Earlier, only Najib was targeted.
During the JB-Singapore bridge fiasco, in A Bridge Too Far - Anwar Ibrahim I had written:
However, Anwar added a sweetener for PM AAB by expressing full support for the latter’s decision to abandon the project, as a commendable decision.
He crooned gently: “It takes a lot of courage and wisdom ... after weeks of massive campaigns against Singapore ... (for Abdullah) to suddenly say that the decision (to build the bridge) was faulty and that we have to scrap the project...it’s commendable.”
“I support the decision taken by Abdullah because any responsible leader cannot proceed with a project affecting another country without that sort of arrangement being made.” […]
Anwar has offered assistance to the government, saying he could draw from his experience in the government, including as finance minister between 1993 and 1998. That’s a fantastic CV, man.
Anwar continued: “I would not discount any possible meeting with Abdullah if he were to ask my views on the issues ... like the negotiations with Singapore on the bridge and even information on the negotiations with Indonesia on border issues.” […]
And he explained his motive for offering himself to AAB: “I will not be serving the government. But I am a Malaysian and very loyal to the country and will do my best to serve.”
Thank you Datuk.
But a smart man like him would have realized by now, even with his chummy core coterie being able to offer AAB that extra 8 MPs to let the BN have its 2/3 parliamentary majority again, AAB has remained cool, aloof and distant to his ‘waiting’.
I am guessing but I reckon his hope to rejoin UMNO, perhaps even as No 2, had porpoise-d from an initial 75% to 95% immediately after the general election, and now to 5%.
Yes, I believe he hasn’t totally abandoned the aspiration completely - while there’s political life, there’s always political hope.
A successful by-election for him as a PKR MP would of course Ku-Li-ise him with all the attendant disadvantages, but won't permanently eliminate a future 'reconciliation'.
Yes, that old story of 'he told me, she told me, he told me, she told me' ... not unlike Balasubramaniam's Stat Dec ;-)
The tabloid went on to claim the pilot said: “Qantas outsourcing maintenance to Malaysia is certainly worrying a lot of us pilots. There has been aircraft coming back with dodgy staples to secure wiring.”
In my blogging response in Aussie blame game against Malaysian aircraft maintenance I questioned The Daily Telegraph’s accusation – in fact I termed it as bull - stating my reasons for doubts as follows:
(1) the same accusation involving ‘dodgy staples to secure wiring’ was made against maintenance in Singapore a couple of months back.
Now it's Malaysia, ... and maybe next month it may well be India or Hong Kong or South Korea?
(2) the worries of Aussie aircraft (Qantas and other airlines) maintenance engineers about losing their jobs as their airlines shift maintenance work offshore to keep cost down, particularly in the current oil price crisis.
Thus there has been a scare campaign about ‘shoddy’ Asian aircraft maintenance quality – would anyone who is familiar with Singapore's engineering quality ever believe that? And to be fair to our own country, MAS is not far behind in terms of excellence in aircraft maintenance.
(3) quoting a ‘senior anonymous Qantas pilot’ blaming Malaysian maintenance standards has not been even remotely plausible, as this sort of concerns lies in the specialist domain of engineers, and therefore would normally be expressed by aircraft maintenance engineers rather than pilots (who don't go looking for signs of ‘dodgy staples to secure wiring’).
(4) it hasn’t even been confirmed yet that that particular Qantas aeroplane was serviced in Malaysia (or Singapore).
(5) The Daily Telegraph is a politically conservative tabloid which tends to pamper to Aussie parochial nationalistic feelings.
I made the analysis underlying my doubts about that wild allegation against Malaysian aircraft maintenance standards even before the Star reported in MAS denies Qantas senior pilot’s claims.
MAS senior general manager Mohd Roslan Ismail said that MAS only handled the engineering and maintenance of Qantas’ Boeing 737 aircraft and not the 747. The Qantas aeroplane that suffered the incident is a B747.
… and as I said, I doubt that the ‘anonymous senior Qantas pilot’ was even what he/she had been reported to be ... a pilot!
Well, today the Sydney Morning Herald, a newspaper that I find more balanced, reported that Aussie safety experts believe a faulty oxygen bottle as the likely cause of the minor explosion suffered by the Qantas B747, or perhaps even a pressurized container inside a piece of luggage, like say, a can of deodorant or hair spray.
Qantas CEO, Geoff Dixon, on being interviewed, immediately dismissed the original allegations of corrosion (which had been scurrilously attributed to poor Malaysian maintenance inspection). He said that a preliminary check of the hole in the fuselage had found no sign of corrosion.
He went on to detail what checks that particular aeroplane had undergone just prior to the incident, stating: "This was an absolutely serious incident; we do not downplay this. Our team has not had access to the aircraft as yet. We cannot speculate at this stage the cause of the accident but we can say that we've had a preliminary look at the records of the aircraft involved.”
"It did a D check in Sydney, which is the major check for aircraft, in 2004. Subsequently it did a C check at Avalon in 2006 and another C check in 2008. They were routine checks and nothing untoward was found."
All above checks done in Australia were designed to look for corrosion. None was detected nor any discovered in the just ruptured section of the fuselage.
Then he said the words we Malaysians (and Singaporeans) knew but still wanted to hear: The plane had never been serviced overseas.
One lesson - don't always take reports by Western press as the gospel truth - some are certainly far superior to our mainstream media but some are just as bad, if not worse.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The Sydney-based tabloid The Daily Telegraph, of conservative (rightwing) proclivity and I believe more parochial, quoted an anonymous senior Qantas pilot attributing the incident to the company’s outsourcing of maintenance to Malaysia.
What had occurred was a part of the aeroplane fuselage panel broke off, causing rapid decompression. Some said the rupture could have been due to corrosion of that portion of the fuselage. Usually the ones near the toilet would suffer most from corrosion – you know, urine!)
Sydney Morning Herald photo
However, the Sydney Morning Herald reported a source saying "While it is too early to say what actually caused the hole, we will be looking at two possibilities ... something exploded in one of the bags or a panel came loose on the fuselage."
The same SMH source said that a bomb was unlikely but the rupture in the fuselage could have been caused by a pressurised container inside a piece of luggage. The hole due to the rupture would in turn cause the rapid decompression.
Rapid decompression means there was a significant leak in the fuselage, thus affecting the ability of the plane to maintain the required level of pressurisation for economical cruise at higher altitude, usually in the region of 30,000 feet or higher.
The fault would force the pilot to make an emergency descent to below 10,000 feet, the normal highest altitude for unpressurised flight.
Mr Anon Pilot (and it could well be anyone, not necessary a Qantas senior pilot) claimed that there had been a lot of talk among pilots about the poor checks on aircraft being performed overseas.
He said: “Qantas outsourcing maintenance to Malaysia is certainly worrying a lot of us pilots. There has been aircraft coming back with dodgy staples to secure wiring.”
For a start, no one could even confirm if the plane had ever been repaired or maintained in Malaysia.
A few months ago, the Singaporeans were blamed for some other problems. And it was related to the issues raised by that anonymous pilot in the Telegraph who said: “Qantas outsourcing maintenance to Malaysia is certainly worrying a lot of us pilots. There has been aircraft coming back with dodgy staples to secure wiring.”
' ... dodgy staples to secure wiring ...' was precisely the blame directed at Singapore maintenance, which is why I suspect the attribution wasn’t by a pilot, but rather by an Aussie maintenance engineer or a creative reporter. The ‘suspect’ nation in Aussie newspapers at that time was Singapore – now, it’s Malaysia – you get the idea?
Besides, it’s usually the engineers who would be pushing the campaign against Qantas or any Aussie airlines subscribing to overseas aircraft maintenance, rather than an ‘anonymous’ pilot.
What we need to know as background information is that Qantas and many Australian airlines have been shifting their maintenance work offshore to cheaper locations like Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
But cheaper maintenance doesn’t necessarily mean a lower standard of work. The cost has to do with Australian wages and loading (working during non standard working hours or on weekends). By comparison, Asian wages are far lower.
There has been an ongoing scare campaign by the Aussie airline maintenance staff’s unions for obvious reasons, because they fear losing their jobs. Every single loose screw would be magnified into the ‘inevitable shoddy outcome of Asian backyard sweat shops’ as a result of offshore maintenance.
In fact, Qantas aircraft maintenance engineers, until recently, had gone ‘slow’ on a ‘rolling strike’ which ensured that not enough people were there at the line at any one time to keep the airline flight schedules on time.
Qantas has finally managed to settle the pay claims.
Apart from the maintenance people, the air traffic controllers have been subtly pushing their claims as well, with some incidents of scare publicity, ’showing’ there isn’t enough air traffic controllers in Australia,
We cannot accept the Australian Telegraph innuendoes on the bull basis of an anonymous pilot, but if one were to read the Australian newspapers on a daily basis, one would be able to place that unsourced allegation in full context, a picture of industrial unrest dominated by Aussie aircraft maintenance engineers' fears of losing their jobs to overseas workers.
Friday, July 25, 2008
A day or two ago, none other than Condoleeza Rice, the US Secretary of State also voiced her support of Anwar, ominously warning the Malaysian government that the sodomy charges against Anwar has been viewed with suspicions by the Yanks, insinuating the criminal process wasn’t ‘transparent’ enough for her – see Malaysiakini Rice urges 'transparency' in sodomy probe.
Rejecting the Malaysian ire that the US has been meddling in Malaysian internal affairs, Rice warned: "The United States doesn't recognise this very firm barrier that it is simply internal affairs when a case of this kind comes up, but we are going to continue to work with Malaysia."
"One of the things that we have said is that we want to see transparency and for rule of law to be completely followed here", implying dodgy-ness on the part of the Malaysian authorities.
By contrast, the US tolerance of and silence over police brutalities in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and once upon a time, in the Shah's Iran with its American trained Gestapo-like Savak, can only highlight US' hypocrisy and obvious political preference.
Before Rice, there was a US Senator who voiced his concerns over the police investigation of Anwar. And Malaysiakini told us in Syed Hamid: Anwar a US 'snitch' that a spokesman of the US State Department also cautioned Malaysia that US would oppose any politically motivated investigation or prosecution of Anwar.
By Western standards, the Malaysian authorities would by now be fairly chastened in the alleged persecution of Anwar Ibrahim.
Alas, by Malaysian standards, these US and IMF (a notorious and disliked name to Malaysians) support for Anwar Ibrahim are in reality sweet music to the ears of the UMNO ministers (much as they pretend outrage) because the foreign support of Anwar would prove to the ‘heartland’ that the UMNO insinuations and accusations against Anwar a la Syed Hamid's allegations have been 'true'.
Western logic doesn’t work here. Malay Machiavellian court intrigues demand a different mindset which the West has time and time again failed to comprehend, consider and counter.
Now a ‘nugget’, as one sweetie likes to term a juicy piece of information.
Not many were aware that in 1998, when Anwar Ibrahim faced sodomy charges, a World Health conference was by coincidence held in KL (or was it Singapore), where many Western ‘gay’ groups attending the conference were furious at the homophobic charges against poor Anwar, and wanted to lend their unequivocal support of him through vociferous protests.
Again, by Western standards that would have been most encouraging and welcome, but do you think it would have helped Anwar’s case in 1998 for gay groups to make noise over his criminal charges?
Though my good friend Dean Johns revealed to us in his
“Not all male homosexuals practice sodomy, of course, whatever the sexually-uninformed may believe. But in any case, it’s nobody’s business but their own. And I’d rather my country was run by an honest and public-spirited sodomist, or even an entire coalition and cabinet of sodomists, than by a bunch of homophobic hicks, crooks and serial ‘sodUmnists’.”
While I agree completely with him, I believe that in 1998 Anwar would have been politically ‘murdered’ through the gay groups' kind support as it would have confirmed to the ‘heartland’ he was a sodomite.
Unlike Dean Johns, but probably more like the muddled mind of a certain Mufti of a Malaysian State, a 'gay' would be perceived as equal to an evil sodomite. Afterall, that Mufti wanted to banish those inflicted by HIV-AIDS (even if the disease was contacted through blood transfusion) to a deserted island.
In fact I doubt Anwar himself would have welcomed those well meaning but unwanted support.
It was only through the explanations and urgings by a well-known Malaysian personality that those Western gay groups were dissuaded from worsening the situation for Anwar, as well as not to make life worse for the covert gay communities in Malaysian.
The consequential waves of gay bashing in Malaysia would have been terrifying if those Western gay groups had naively voiced their support for Anwar Ibrahim.
My matey, Dean
* apologies to Dean and thanks to Crankshaft for noticing my 'deliberate' mistake wakakaka
I rate Dean as one of the hardest-hitting columnists in Malaysiakini, but the best part of his writing has been his tongue-in-cheek humour, jolly good play on the English words and puns, the last of which make me suspect he was a Chinese in his previous incarnation, and no doubt of the Cantonese variety too ;-)
Cantonese are renowned or notorious for their love for and use of puns, especially saucy and sexy ones. In fact a sweetie once told me that one could hardly swear in Mandarin, where t'a ma ter & wang pa tan would exhaust the northern Chinese's entire repertoire of obscenities ...
..... whereas by contrast the Cantonese dialect offers an ultra rich lexicon with exciting arithmetical pemutations in the use of obscenities, vulgararisms, saucy puns, sexy innuendoes and terrifying curses … whereby she convincingly demonstrated that evident truth to blushing me, yes, even a bloke who has dodgy comprehension of Cantonese.
Sure as hell Cantonese makes verbal intercourse more sizzling and titillating. And I do wonder at the karmic coincidence of Dean's parents-in-law living in Cantonese-speaking Ipoh.
Now, a secret – and I hope I am not compromising the confidentiality of Dean’s discussion with me. He’s actually pissed off with Malaysiakini changing the title of his article into what has been published, namely ‘Land of the rotten, home of the gullible’.
Married to a Malaysian and one himself at heart, Dean cringed at the very thought that Malaysians may find the title of his article insulting as those words would seem to imply that we are greedy and gullible, which he assured me were not his thoughts at all. The title has misrepresented his true views.
And to make it worse, ‘Land of the rotten, home of the gullible’ appears to paraphrase the well-known phrase 'Home of the brave, land of the free', perhaps even suggesting the article is about the US – God forbid!
In fact I would say Dean’s quite distressed with the Malaysiakini editor’s 'sense of creativity', though mind you, he didn’t mention anything about Malaysiakini editors.
I did ..... as I used to be a regular contributor of letters to Malaysiakini, I laughingly told Dean about my own experience with the Malaysiakini butchers of my masterpieces - wakakaka!
Dean’s original title for that piece was 'Sodomy beats sodUMNy', perhaps with the letter 'U' best read twice ;-)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
No prize for guessing which country he has written about in his inimitable style, and on what (current) issue. I even merit a kind mention in his column, though Dean, unlike me, believes that Anwar Ibrahim, warts and all, may yet be Malaysia’s best hope
This is the beauty of our ‘civilised’ friendship, where we as friends can agree to disagree on political or other issues without needing to throw punches at each other, as Yang Berhormat, MP for Kelana Jaya, PKR’s Loh Gwo Burne had frighteningly discovered when he was bashed in the face by another PKR bloke.
Another of my good mates is blogger Susan Loone. She told me that she was once selected by PKR to stand as the party's candidate in an election (which I had blogged on) but which she declined for reasons of principles.
Obviously Susan and I don’t share (exactly) common political allegiance though both of us have strong socialist streaks, but we continue to be good mates and have on numerous occasions discussed politics without rancour.
When the day arrives in Malaysian politics, where there is no more personality cult or ethno-centric followings, then that will be the day Malaysians will enjoy a two party system.
That will be the day when an UMNO PM can provide fair federal funding to a non-BN controlled state because of the needs of Malaysians in that state.
That will be the day when UMNO, PAS and PKR will talk about Malaysian unity rather than Malay unity. (UPDATE: wakakaka - UMNO has now changed the theme of the UMNO-PAS 'Malay unity' talks to 'Islamic unity', as those 'protest voters' against the BN have been made to feel they shouldn't be just 'protest voters' in next election but confirmed voters for the Pakatan).
That will be the day when we can criticise politicians without being accused of 'hating' so and so! wakakaka!
NOTE: This one is dedicated to you, Crankshaft ;-)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Today Anwar Ibrahim said an opposition plan to seize power remained intact despite a series of secret talks between one of its partners with the ruling government.
Seize power? Anwar Ibrahim’s reformasi – wakakaka – this man has such thick skin he has no shame at all in showing the true colours of his so-called reformasi.
From Malaysiakini - Local fishermen unamused by Batu Puteh claims.
Malaysian fishermen are pissed off with Singapore's claim for exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around Batu Puteh.
If one were to look at the map, one would see the outrageous nonsense of the Sings. Those Sings think Malaysia doesn’t have an EEZ rights too? Sheeesh!
Reminds me of an Indian story – elephant stood under a coconut tree; lil’ mouse was on elephant’s back, attempting to screw elephant – the cheeky lil’ sod. Coconut dropped on elephant’s head; Mama pachyderm cried “ouch”; mouse said: “Sorry dahleeeng, I didn’t mean to be so rough.”
F* Sing tikus at its bloody height of impertinence!
From Star Online - Kit Siang: Why Malay unity and not Malaysian unity.
Uncle Lim asked AAB this question regarding the once-secret UMNO-PAS' 'Malay unity' talks. I too ask the same question of PKR’s Mohamad Fairus Khairudin (Penang’s Deputy CM) – see PKR leader wants in on UMNO-PAS 'Malay unity' talks!
From Star Online - Rulers have special roles.
Highly admired Regent of Perak, once (prior to the March 08 election) touted as the ‘silver bullet’ to kill off the BN werewolf, told us yesterday that Malay Rulers are not decorative symbolic monuments who merely carry out ceremonial duties. Rather, they have roles in society, which means their views should not be taken lightly.
He then gave several examples of the royal righteous roles, one of which caught my eye.
HRH said of Nizar, the new MB, who sacked the state religious director without getting the Ruler's assent first.
HRH justified (or in kaytee’s reckoning, attempted to do so) his humiliation of Nizar, stating: “That is why the state government was asked to withdraw it!” because, according to his HRH, Nizar contradicted the principle of basic justice as the director had not done any wrong and was not given an opportunity to defend himself.
If you read my Supremacy of the people's voice in democracy I brought out HRH’s initial reason for rebuking and forcing Nizar to back down, on the grounds that the dismissed chap was a director of a State religious department, and the Sultan, as the State’s head of Islam, has his royal prerogative on all matters of State religion, including deciding who should be sacked or not sacked involving State religious issues.
And on those (religious rights) grounds, he revoked the MB’s decision in the dismissal.
Apart from the needless public humiliation of Nizar, and thus undermining his MB’s authority, I pointed out that Karpal Singh had been absolutely correct for speaking out against royal interference with politics and political management decisions.
Even though the man was the director of a State religious department, his sacking was not related to religious matters but rather his political behaviour as a State public servant – he was insubordinate to the PAS MB.
Certainly insubordination would then be within the rights and powers of the MB to dismiss him, even without consulting the Sultan as it has nothing to do with a religious issue.
Yes, I noted that there were the usual politically motivated calls, no doubt from BN, to charge Karpal with lèse majesty.
But, was Karpal Singh right? Let's see what HRH said yesterday of the case.
HRH did not bring out the Sultan’s right as the head of Islam in revoking the MB’s decision to dismiss that insubordinate bloke.
That's right - that reason was totally absent! What HRH said was that MB Nizar contradicted the principle of basic justice as the director had not done any wrong and was not given an opportunity to defend himself.
So it has now been admitted by HRH that it was an administrative issue and not a religious one!
A case of basic (administrative) justice! And so, according to HRH, he had (on behalf of Papa) intervened to ensure there was basic justice.
What about the unacceptable issue of insubordination to the MB? And the subsequent public humiliation of a MB? Was there basic justice for MB Nizar?
Quite frankly, by raising the case again and changing HRH’s reason for revoking the MB’s administrative decision, the Regent has made his justification worse.
If I were to draw any consolation from this sorry saga, I can only say HRH has at least indirectly heeded Karpal Singh’s admonition on royal interference with politics and political management decisions.
I saw the whole series of royal interferences (Perlis, Terengganu, and Perak) as opportunities for flexing of their once-absolute-but-neutralised royal muscles after Dr M left the stage.
The royal humiliation of MB Nizar left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Silver bullet?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
As Malaysiakini shows us in its news article Umno 'opportunists' causing friction in PAS, racially oriented politics would be the only news that could kick sodomy on its arse out (excuse the deliberate pun)
But of course, a combination of the two, salacious sleazy sexual misdemeanour involving racist politicians would certainly be top news ;-)
Mazlan Aliman, PAS Johor information chief said UMNO opportunists were attempting to sow discord among PAS leaders by deliberately revealing the two Malay-dominated parties had covert meetings to forge a power-sharing arrangement when there actually wasn’t any such pact – you know, the old (orang putih) colonial strategy of ‘divide and rule’.
Hmmm, I reckon Mazlan was mouthing the views of PAS spiritual leader Pak Haji Nik Aziz, because I would imagine PAS president, Pak Haji Hadi Awang possibly having a different opinion. That’s where the potential PAS schism may be.
Mazlan said: "I support the call by PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat for all PAS leaders to unite and avoid being divided by the machinations of opportunists. Umno must put its own house in order before meddling in PAS' affairs."
Of course now that PAS has revealed the UMNO lack of success in seducing PAS over to its side, Khir Toyo, being one always to see a half glass as half full, decided to rubbish Anwar Ibrahim as a consolation prize.
We are told by Malaysiakini article Umno-PAS rule in S'gor - 'Anwar ruined it' that Khir accused Anwar Ibrahim of ‘Malay disunity’, by influencing PAS not to cooperate with UMNO in forming a joint government in Selangor after the 08 March elections.
Khir had deliberately ignored the truth that it was PAS spiritual leader, Pak Haji Nik Aziz, who has virtually fatwa-ed PAS not to have any form of cooperation with the UMNO snake.
So Khir exploited the PAS rejection of a wooing UMNO to lay it on thick against Anwar, saying the PKR de facto leader was not supportive of 'Malay unity', as evidenced by the backing he enjoys from the 'extremist' Chinese party DAP and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).
He stated: "Unfortunately the influence of Anwar in PAS through the party's secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaafar blocked the initiative."
"As long as Anwar is important in Pakatan Rakyat, the muzakarah will not succeed. Anwar does not want to see Malays unite and that is why he formed Pakatan that thrives on the ideals of equality to the extent of elevating other religions on the same par as the primary religion in this country, Islam."
Obviously Khir wanted to destroy Anwar’s image in the eyes of the faithful in the heartland.
But Pak Haji Nik Aziz is not one to believe in UMNO’s offer of ‘Malay unity’, for he (most astutely) reckoned that any government formed through the proposed Pan-Malay coalition would only be for the interest of UMNO rather than Malay interests.
Now, this is something that PKR’s Mohamad Fairus Khairudin (Penang’s Deputy CM) should know, if not would know, but alas, he still had begged UMNO to invite PKR's Malay leaders besides those from PAS.
Given Mohamad Fairus Khairudin’s proclivity for an ethno-centric political alliance, I wonder whether PKR can continue to be a reliable member of the Pakatan Rakyat, as a PAS (under Pak Haji Nik Aziz) has surprisingly proven to be.
I dare not dream, yet must, of two ideologically puritanial, earnest and honest parties forming a 'clean' coalition, yes, the yin and yang of Malaysian politics, for a non-corruptible, transparent and totally accountable Malaysian government in the future.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Today Malaysiakini confirmed the UMNO-PAS (Hadi faction) talks in Hadi: Yes, we had talks with Pak Lah.
I had highlighted Pak Haji Hadi Awang’s political difference with his party’s spiritual leader Pak Haji Nik Aziz's. The latter prefers to have nothing to do with the UMNO ‘snake’ but I think he's under pressure from his Terengganu counterpart to show PAS' 'unity' on this Pan-Malay talks.
Malay-Muslim unity is big to some people, especially in times of trouble affecting their taken-for-granted political-social-economic-cultural supremacy.
I recall immediately after the 08 March 2008 general election, when UMNO realized to its shock that it had lost Kedah, Perak and the really big kahuna (the powder keg that led to the May 13 riots in 1969), Selangor, the UMNO man in the (ironically) Bandar Tun Razak constituency called for 'Malay unity', and proposed talks with PAS and the Malay elements of PKR.
He must have obviously been sh*t scared of the very idea of ketuanan Melayu being imperiled, and f* those MCA, Gerakan and MIC
Since then there have been repetitive UMNO calls for Pan-Malay unity, with the (rancid) cream going to the Crown Prince of Kelantan, who in a speech on ketuanan Melayu had virtually slapped the face of his 2nd class non-Melayu subjects.
For more, read Kelantan Crown Prince 'slapped' non-Malays in face! where HRH claimed that Malays had been coerced into giving non-Malays citizenship, and therefore the latter should not seek equality or special treatment.
Anyway, on the call by UMNO Bandar Tun Razak for 'Malay unity', and proposed talks with PAS and the Malay elements of PKR, I suspect someone would have been smiling at the thoughts of having ‘talks’ with UMNO. But alas, PAS was the preferred partner for UMNO’s Malay unity gambit.
In fact Pak Haji Hadi Awang confirmed that talks between PAS and UMNO were held immediately after the elections, as called for by that UMNO bloke from Bandar Tun Razak.
Pak Haji revealed to Malaysiakini: "The first meeting held immediately after the elections was participated by Nasharudin, PAS central election director Mustapha Ali and Shah Alam parliamentarian Khalid Samad."
Wow! They certainly know the modus operandi of UMNO.
But Malaysiakini tells us that Husam Musa, PAS vice-president and obviously in Pak Haji Nik Aziz camp, slammed AAB's claim of having high level talks with PAS leaders.
Husam said AAB revealed that to "plant seeds of destruction in PAS."
Malaysiakini said Husam was pissed off with AAB’s use of the term ‘top leaders’. Husam was obviously reclaiming high grounds for Pak Haji Nik Aziz, perhaps in the shadow of a quietly creeping attempted coup d'état by the Hadi Awang camp?
Husam said that PAS is not owned by any leader no matter how high their positions may be.
We can see the Nik Aziz camp’s political preference in Husam’s criticism of AAB: "He is also trying to tempt the people to lose confidence in Pakatan Rakyat, hindering the post-12th general election agenda, and trying to distant non-Malay voters away from PAS (like the scenario) 40 years ago."
Malaysiakini reported that Husam stressed PAS will announce any political opinions/suggestions openly without keeping the people out of the loop, and UMNO may then accept or decline that suggestion.
Husam sure as hell doesn’t want UMNO to exploit the dearth of information on the two-party talks to UMNO’s benefits.
Husam stated that any suggestion shall be made "…without PAS being tied down to power sharing (arrangement) that indefinitely leaves PAS as the second fiddle."
… precisely the same feelings Pak Haji Hadi Awang has vis-à-vis Anwar Ibrahim and PKR.
Now, in my previous post I also commented that PAS is a political party that sometimes can’t make up its mind as to whether it’s an Islamic Party or a nationalistic (Malay) party.
Well, I can say the same for PKR, because yesterday I read in the Star article titled Open dialogue with all Malay groups, Umno urged, that Mohamad Fairus Khairudin of PKR and Penang’s Deputy CM, urged UMNO to invite all Malay organisations if it is serious about holding muzakarah (discussions) on Malay issues and Islam.
In fact he pointedly said that UMNO should be inviting PKR's Malay leaders, besides those from PAS.
Note his "PKR's Malay leaders" as opposed to 'PKR leaders', or even 'PKR's Malaysian leaders'.
He reckoned it would be an interesting development if all parties representing the Malays were able to gather at one table for discussion.
Interesting only? In fact I would dare say someone in PKR would be totally ecstatic, rapt, and in blissful nirvana.
Fairus of course chanted the agama dan bangsa mantra: “It is a big issue of finding common ground for the betterment of all Malays and Islam.”
And Fairus said these ethno-centric 'Malay unity' stuff at the same time as Penang CM Lim Guan Eng was asking PM AAB whether he was the PM for all Malaysians or only for Malays when he promoted secret PAS-UMNO talks?
Indeed, like Lim Guan Eng, I must ask PKR to make up its mind as to whether it’s a multi-ethnic party as it claims, or a nationalistic (Malay) party as demonstrated by an ethno-centric enthusiastic Mohamad Fairus Khairudin.
As I said, you can take the blokes out of UMNO but you sure as hell can’t take UMNO out those PKR blokes!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Pak Haji Nik Aziz, the MB of Kelantan, has urged the media to stop highlighting the alleged sodomy case involving Anwar Ibrahim. He said they were unwittingly humiliating Anwar even though he has not been charged yet nor proven guilty
I agree with him that we Malaysians have an unhealthy obsession with the salacious, whether it’s the MSM digging it into Anwar and his alleged sodomy, or the alternative media, the blogosphere, giving free rein to insinuations, and even Statutory Declarations against Najib.
In the latter, the murder case of the Mongolian woman, Altantuyaa Shariibuu, despite the fact that there are already two accused undergoing trial for her murder with a third and high profile person being accessory to the crime, these haven’t satisfied a certain camp, or rather its political agenda.
No, not until Najib is implicated, and mind you, not just implicated as an accessory to the crime, but preferably as the principal suspect.
And if he can’t be directly dragged in, then he must be implicated through the alleged or ‘surat-layang-ish’ involvement of his wife as the mastermind behind Altantuyaa’s murder.
I believe the ‘long bow-ish’ attempt to join the rather haphazard dots of circumstantial evidence until they lead towards Najib has been and still is politically motivated, and certainly pushed by a certain segment of politics.
I find the above no different to the condemnation of Anwar’s sodomy allegation by the Anwar camp.
Pity Pak Haji didn’t raise this as well.
Anyway, bugger (sorry, pun not intended) all the above, because this post is about Pak Haji.
Mark my word, this man is now the only one who can hold the Pakatan Rakyat together, hopefully until the next general election.
Certainly Anwar Ibrahim was the man who first brought the three ideologically-diverse parties of the Pakatan Rakyat together pre and immediately post 08 March 2008 general elections, but in this role, he has passed his ‘use by’ date.
A major problem contributing to his diminished status as the principal cohesive force for the three parties has been his obsession with the destabilisation of the AAB government, when he should have been focusing instead on building up one solid component of the two-party system everyone has been hoping for, and even believed has arrived.
Alas, far from it!
I have already explained my belief on why Anwar Ibrahim has been ‘destabilising’ the government – principally to threaten and pressure UMNO (even with frogs and lots of other ‘kacau’) until (he hopes) the old party recalls/invites him back into the UMNO fold.
Besides, the strength of the PKR is not what he likes or even feels comfy with – the formation of the Selangor exco exemplifies his dilemma.
Thus, I reckon Anwar hasn’t really been interested in a permanent tenure in Pakatan Rakyat, which may explain why he didn’t/couldn’t be bothered with building up the opposition parliamentary strength and know-how. He’s the one (probably the only one) in PR with the experience of governing at federal level, yet he has not bothered to even form a shadow cabinet.
Since 09 March 2008, he has indulged in nothing except an unending campaign of destabilising the Malaysian government, hogging the limelight with his antics and his boasts of seizing government, until he must have pissed off the other PAS bigwig, Pak Haji Hadi Awang.
Pak Haji Hadi Awang isn’t the sort of bloke who is prepared to play second fiddle to a man like Anwar Ibrahim who has been running around loose with his actions as if he has an open Pakatan cheque book and the imprimatur to use it as and when he likes, without the need to consult PAS or DAP.
The DAP has played along with Anwar’s personal agenda, seemingly like an indulgent brother, because it knows it still needs PKR support if it is to continue to have a role in State governments. Even the rule of Penang is dependent on the support of a couple of PKR ADUNs because DAP has only a total of 19 ADUNS in the State.
But PAS is a different mob. And Pak Haji Awang has a strong nationalistic streak too.
Hadi Awang believes it’s more preferable for PAS to play footsies with UMNO – after all, both are Malay-Muslim parties, and to some, there is no difference between a Malay and a Muslim, or a Muslim and a Malay. Besides the DAP is a socialist secular and thus satanic party. A case of agama dan bangsa.
There have already been extensive talks between PAS (the Hadi Awang faction) and UMNO, and if those bear fruits, then even Anwar Ibrahim can’t prevent the disintegration of the Pakatan Rakyat, with Selangor and Perak as the first two Pakatan-ruled States to go to the proposed BN-PAS pact.
But Pak Haji Nik Aziz will have no bar of UMNO. He had exclaimed succinctly what he thought of PAS working with UMNO (words to this effect, that): “Surely no one is so stupid as to be bitten twice by a snake from the same hole?”
Though PAS is a political party which sometimes can’t make up its mind as to whether it’s an Islamic Party or a nationalistic (Malay) party, Pak Haji Nik Aziz alone has the prestige, power, position and personality to impose his political preference, including working with other opposition parties (inclusive of the secular DAP), on PAS members …
… which is why I believe he is the only man to hold the Pakatan Rakyat together. I hope he does.
I did likewise, putting my feet (virtually) on the table and a stubbie in my left hand, with cashew nuts by my right, to read Malaysiakini at leisure, and was delighted to find it telling us glad tidings, that Anwar hits the road again.
Malaysiakini reported that “… Barely 48 hours after being released from police custody, Anwar Ibrahim is back on the road again to continue his whirlwind tour throughout the country.”
It’s wonderful to know that his ‘hurt’ back is no longer troubling him after a horrendous night in police custody. My faith in the surgical skills of that one-only German surgeon, who operated on Anwar’s back, has been restored.
But of course, in his ‘man man lai’ regaling of the crowd at Cheng, Malacca, we learn from Malaysiakini that Anwar repeatedly stressed on his ‘ordeal’ during the arrest such as sleeping on the concrete floor and how he was stripped naked during a medical examination and almost photographed in the nude.
As I said earlier, I am glad his back has improved, almost miraculously as to enable him to travel not only to just Malacca, but as Malaysiakini described it, “…his whirlwind tour throughout the country.”
But on the other hand, maybe he might still be experiencing some pain even as he continues his nationwide campaign. What a brave man!
But then in another Malaysiakini news article Hospital: He was not stripped naked, Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain, the director of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), confirmed that Anwar Ibrahim was not made to strip naked.
She stated: “At no time throughout the examination was his decency violated.”
This was what Malaysiakini published:
Zaininah said that prior to the examination, two specialists had explained in detail the examination procedures to Anwar in the presence of his lawyer.
“Only after having obtained his written consent did they proceed with the examination,” she said.
After signing the necessary documents, Anwar was examined by two specialists whom Zaininah described had “adhered to proper clinical procedures during the whole course of the examination”.
But after he was released from overnight police custody and again at Malacca, Anwar told a different story, that he was stripped naked during the medical examination.
Only one of them can be telling the truth!
Anyway, while you undoubtedly will decide who has been fibbing, let's get back to the 'man man lai' speech.
Anwar promised the audience: “When I refused to be photographed, they said I was not cooperative. Well, when we take over and arrest Najib, let's see if he is willing to be photographed.”
Wow - “… when we take over …”! But when?
Malaysiakini also commented that in his 'man man lai' speech, Anwar has very little new material to his repertoire (what an apt word!), but he focused on casting doubts on the investigation of the sodomy allegations, which kaytee acknowledges is his basic right.
However, he also stoked public anger at the government's decision to raise fuel prices, which kaytee believes is mere political sh*t-stirring, admittedly the role of the opposition in a democracy, but considered as cheap and at times economically-irresponsible shots. A responsible opposition has to draw the ethical line somewhere.
I read that in 1974 when Anwar was in Abim, he was arrested and incarcerated under the ISA for political activism in support of farmers for their poverty (and hunger) in Baling. I admire such commendable stand for justice.
But when he was in government, even when in charge of Agriculture (1984), and then Finance (1991) and as DPM (1993), I wonder what happened to his outside-the-government stand for the Baling farmers?
Did he use his high & mighty UMNO-government offices to translate his Abim championship of the farmers into something solid for those petani petani? Or, did he forget completey about them?
Aiyah, it’s easy (and cheap) to make all sorts of promises or to act charitable and compassionate when one does not have the responsibility of accounting for the cost, affordability and economic management.
As an example., when Anwar was Finance Minister, the Sarawak State government begged him for a bigger slice of the 5% oil/gas royalties, BUT he said no. Now, outside the UMNO-led government, he says he would give 20%.
As I has blogged in The Haunting of Anwar Ibrahim more than 2 years ago:
… in the recent  campaign in the Sarawak elections, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah put herself and her husband, Anwar Ibrahim, in a highly vulnerable position when she raised the issue of petroleum royalty given to Sarawak in its campaign to the run-up of the May 20 state elections.
Wan Azizah said the people of Sarawak should not be paying more for petroleum products because the state produced the commodity. She claimed that since Sarawak was a large petroleum-producing state, it should be paid more than the five percent royalty it is now receiving.
But her remarks ricocheted adversely on Anwar Ibrahim, who was former deputy premier and finance minister.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister George Chan Hong Nam seized on her statements to sarcastically say (words to the effect) it was rich of Wan Azizah to grandstand on the issue when it was Anwar as finance minister who had rejected a request for a bigger petroleum royalty for Sarawak - see Malaysiakini Deputy CM: 'Why didn't Anwar give us more?'.
Chan revealed: "When he (Anwar) was the finance minister, I myself asked for an increment in the petroleum royalty but he didn't give. Why is his party talking about it now?”
"I asked for more development for Sarawak because we don't have enough (development) and he also did not want to give (allocations). Why is PKR talking about it now? Why didn't he give us more when he was in power? Now he is no more in power, he can talk." […]
Chan said PKR had no right to manipulate and misrepresent the issue to the people as it was Anwar who had rejected Sarawak's request for the oil royalty increment.
Yes. … Former Bar president Zainur Zakaria said this of Anwar, 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.
OK, be all these as they may be, I can't do much about his nose but at least I can wish him well that his back won’t trouble him too much.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
She had been frustrated by the pervasiveness of racial politics, corruption, the economic situation and the ketuanan Melayu dominance of UMNO in the BN. It took her 20 years to come to this realization but I suppose it's better late than never.
PKR wants her, and has enticed her entry into the Anwar Ibrahim’s party by dangling the carrot (or ch'ai t'au) that she will be made chairperson of the Klang Municipal Council.
Dr Tan Yee Kew, who was a former deputy Wanita chief, was a three-term MP for Klang, and needless to say, she would be bloody miffed at being dropped from the candidates list in the 2008 general elections.
But I urge her to look at the silver lining, where as a non candidate for the election, she was spared the public humiliation of the 08 March 2008 massacre.
I would also recommend for her to join the DAP instead – it’s safer because if you read the Star Online, you would discover that the '14-minutes' (from photographer to parliamentarian) man, PKR MP for Kelana Jaya Yang Berhormat Loh Gwo Burne was bashed by a PKR man.
The alleged assailant was said to be a personal aide of an Anwar ‘insider’, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, ADUN for Seri Setia.
Loh was selected personally by Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR de facto leader, immediately after he joined PKR one week before nomination date (and also on the personal urging of Anwar), to stand in the parliamentary seat of Kelana Jaya (effectively meaning he was the ONLY party nominee). He was swept into parliament on the political tsunamic wave.
In this one-sided kungfu fighting episode, Loh had attempted to intercede for some residents who weren’t happy about the construction of a place of worship at Desa Mentari.
He was bashed in the face by allegedly his fellow PKR member.
Being the soft spoken gentleman he has been reputed to be, he even apologized to his alleged assailant for having to report the matter to the police.
But Loh added that PKR should really do something ‘comprehensive’ against his alleged assailant.
Aiyoh, ‘comprehensive’ – such a big word, man, and chillingly so too!
But anyway, perhaps in the light of such intercourse (the verbal type lah) hazards for PKR people, Dr Tan should seriously consider my suggestion to join the DAP. Guaranteed no internal black eye - at most you would be bored to death by the DAP members' prim, proper and prudish mannerism.
Bahasa Mělayu - a letter to Yang Běrhormat