Monday, June 29, 2009

Hindraf's hubristic huff & puff

Today Malaysiakini published 'High Chaparral': Mexican standoff between Hindraf, DAP, developer.

But the suggested ‘Mexican standoff’ is grossly incorrect because someone will win – namely Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd, the UMNO-linked developer.

The land on which Kampung Buah Pala stands was given to the ancestors of today’s Tamil residents by the original owner David Brown. The residents and their families have lived there for nearly 200 years.

But after independence in 1957, trust the Perikatan (or the predecessor of Barisan Nasional) state government to take over the village as the land trustee and collect temporary occupational licence (TOL) rents until 2005.

In 2005, the land office alienated the land to the Gerakan-BN state government. Huh, mana boleh?

Gerakan Party’s Koh TK was the CM at that time. His state government then sold the land for a mere RM3.21 million to a civil servants cooperative society, the Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang. The cooperative engaged Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to develop a housing project called the Oasis.

Hey, what about the rightful owners, the descendants of the Tamils who were given the land by David Brown?

Can Koh TK please explain?

Don’t hold your breath, which may be what Hindraf is doing. It has instead turned its fury on the DAP, the new ruling party (in alliance with PKR) of Penang.

Waynamoorthy and his brother Uthayakumar believe that with a stroke of a pen, Lim Guan Eng can re-possess the land by evoking some provisions in the National Land Code and Land Acquisition Act, and give it back to the current distressed residents.

If that was the simple case I have no doubt that Lim would have done that already. But assuming Lim as CM of Penang could, what else would be involved in such a re-possession?

I am thinking compensation, yes, what would the compensation involved - RM300 mil? Maybe ..... but does the State government have that sort of money to give away?

Let’s also not forget that our wonderful Federal Court has ruled in favour of the cooperative.

In fact, one Mr. CH Ong wrote a letter to Malaysiakini tiltled 'High Chaparral': No relief from National Land Code, where he stated:

Is it possible that there are unscrupulous people including opportunistic politicians who are misleading the villagers and giving them false hopes that it is very easy for the state government to take back the land which had been legally alienated without having to pay adequate compensation at current market value?

To the sympathisers of the villagers, it may be worth noting that if it was that easy for the state government to simply acquire the 'Tamil High Chaparral' land on the cheap or for free to give it to the villagers, then it will also be equally easy for the state government to acquire any other citizen's land with ‘political will’ and by using some ‘administrative way’, to use Sugumaran's words.

Then no Malaysian property owner will be able to feel secure with the tenure of their property.

I am not sure if Malaysians are funny or just plain stupid. For 50 years they continuously voted in the same government of their choice.

When they finally voted for a change of government, they expect the new government to commit illegal acts in order to undo what the previous government had done.

But has the DAP been ignoring the issue as claimed by the Hindraf brothers?

In fact Dr Ramasamy, DCM2, has advised the villagers that while the state government would do its utmost to preserve the village for them, the villagers must in turn
be open to negotiations. In other words, like all situations in life, have a contingency or fallback plan.

During the dialogue, Ramasamy assured the villagers that the state government would exhaust all means to assist them in their aspiration.

Malaysiakini reported that: He [Dr Ramasamy] said the state government was prepared to explore the possibility of preserving the village as the state's human cultural heritage and compensate a state land for the developer.

The state government will also explore its legal means to caveat the land to facilitate its land scam probe.

If all these failed, the state government will then negotiate a hefty monetary package to compensate the villagers, added Ramasamy.

Be open for negotiations.

But alas, maybe they have been swayed by Hindraf’s 'no negotiation, no quarters will be given' attitude, because the villagers rejected any compensation plan. They told Dr Ramasamy in no uncertain terms that they want to retain the land for their village.

Looks like those poor villagers have painted themselves into a corner, and no small thanks to the aggressive leadership of the Hindraf brothers.

In fact more than a week ago, Uthayakumar had started off by attacking Lim GE on the issue, and I can tell you he was very rude and arrogant in his admonishing of Lim.

This display of hubristic anger has been followed up by his brother Waynamoorthy, who in turn warned the DAP-led state government ... not to push Indian Malaysians to a corner, like what BN had done all these years or face face Hindraf’s wrath in the next election.

Apart from the DAP as the party where Indians have blossomed on merits, I don’t believe that’s the way to go about eliciting the help of the Penang government.

And why didn’t these two harass Anwar Ibrahim who had
promised the Tamil villagers he would get the land for them?

In the videoclip, an elderly man claimed that Anwar had sworn on his head (by placing his hands on his head) that he will never abandon the villagers and preserve the village for them. Great stuff by the Great One.

I suggest to both brothers to go see Anwar Ibrahim ... or better still, Koh TK.

But unfortunately, Uthayakumar, having recently being ‘promoted’ to the status of a demi-god, has this divine belief in himself that the Pakatan politicians will tremble at and kowtow to his threats.

He has warned Pakatan, especially the DAP, that Hindraf will withhold its support from them in the next general election. They also plan to burn an effigy of Lim GE.

And indeed if Hindraf does, as he threatened, who then will its members and followers give their votes to?


Or Gerakan, the very party who in 2005 allowed the land of Kampung Buah Palu to be given away in the first place, for a mere song?

Today there is an unfortunate, unbearable and unforgiveable arrogance in the Hindraf brothers’ attitude.

By their aggressive and antagonistic arrogance, they have provided bad example to the villages in closing off the option of negotiations for monetary compensation in the event the law doesn’t permit the land to be re-possessed.

As Dr Ramasamy had wisely advised: "We are behind the villagers and fully back them to find an amicable solution. But one must be open for negotiations.”

Otherwise it will be a dead end!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Zambry's government undermining not just Pakatan but MCA!

See Malaysiakini Perak BN gov't scorches Pakatan policies.

According to the online news report, Zambry Abdul Kadir, the Court-appointed MB of Perak, had in February promised that his BN state government would continue the people-friendly policies implemented during Pakatan’s 10-month rule.

Well, that was a case of cakap ta’serupa bikin, because Zambry’s government has now scrapped (or put on the back burner, meaning that’s as good as scrapped) many of the Pakatan Rakyat’s people-friendly policies. I shall only point out a few in this post, as follows:

· 3,000 applications from residents of new and planned villages to convert their land titles from leasehold to freehold cancelled.

Looks like the MCA and Gerakan Party will be very very dead in Perak in 2013. I feel sorry for these two Chinese-based parties. As we all know, the MCA has been continuously undermined by UMNO, sometimes deliberately (inclusive of the 'divide & conquer' use of Gerakan in some cases) and sometimes indirectly (as in this issue), but in each and every case totally without any regard for MCA’s political credibility in the latter’s constituencies.

· The open-tender policy for approving government contracts, land and logging concessions reverted to the old system of closed tenders.

Wakakakakakaka – why should we be surprised?

· The giving state land to religious schools and Chinese independent schools also scrapped.

Alamak, MCA kena kicked in the groin again.

· The process of legalising the 134 new villages put on hold.

As Samy would cry: aiyoyo, MCA, arn chnua choe ar (apa nak buat sekarang?)

Note: I have identified MCA as the real political loser. The relationship of the Gerakan Party (with Koh TK as its president) to UMNO may be considered as the equivalent of PAS non-Muslim branch wakakaka (with apologies to my friend Darren Hsu who is an atypical Gerakan person, a good bloke).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dr Mahathir tells Najib to revive 'crooked' bridge project

Last Sunday when I posted Najib's 3rd bridge not too far for his true intention I suggested that PM Najib was doing an Edward de Bono to please everyone (or save their faces) – Dr Mahathir, AAB, the Singaporeans – by side stepping the issue of the ‘crooked’ bridge.

Dr Mahathir was the man who, incensed by the Singaporeans recalcitrant response to his original ‘straight’ bridge proposal, did an Edward de Bono as well and conceptualized the ‘crooked’ bridge to have, at least on the Malaysian side of the border, a bridge.

He probably said to himself (as speculated by kaytee wakakaka): “F* those Sings” or “Shaft this curly bridge up yours, Lee”.

The ‘crooked’ bridge is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually quite a bit of clever (lateral) thinking, where Malaysia’s bridge would ‘meander’ (in order to gain height because of the short span, in order to enable vessels to sail safely under) to join the Singapore part of the Causeway, providing a continuous physical link (inclusive of water supply) between the two nations – the Malaysian part being the bridge and the Singapore part being the old Causeway.

The purported benefit to Malaysia was that the Malaysian part of the Causeway would be removed/dug up to allow sea vessels (on the Malacca Straits side) access to the part of Johore currently blocked by the Causeway.

And in spite of what the AAB government had been at pains to suggest, there's legally nothing Singapore could have done, for the reason the modified physical link would not have denied Singapore any of the facilities it currently enjoy, nor incurred any cost to the tight-a$$ed Sings.

When AAB became PM, there were hints that Singapore had an ally or allies within the Malaysian government who convinced the then-PM to cancel the ‘meandering’ bridge project. Could this have explained the so-called constraints, including suggestions of legal barriers, that the AAB government was sprouting in defence of its decision to abandon the project.

Well, they must have succeeded because many Malaysians believed and still do, the bridge to be a waste of money, and praised the cancellation of the project.

The so-called savings proved to be a furphy, where the cancellation in fact became far more costly than its completion - memang Malaysia Boleh! No wonder the Grand Old Man was livid with rage - lost lots of moolah for nothing as well as lost face (the chess game of ones-upmanship) to the Sings.

The unsubstantiated accusation against Singapore was that the Island State preferred to see the Causeway continuing to limit access from the Malacca Straits to the shores of southern Johore … perhaps for economic/commercial advantage. But I believe the reason would have been a question of "What's in it for us?"

Years ago, when South Africa was ruled by the racist Apartheid government, the white supremacists declared Japanese as ‘honorary whites’ wakakaka (also implying that classification could be removed when the SA government felt like doing so – apparently white supremacist Rhodesia followed the SA's nonsense).

Hmmm, why this non sequitur of white supremacist SA and Japanese in the saga of the ‘crooked’ bridge?

Well, it has to do with Sing.

White supremacist SA and Rhodesia made Japanese ‘honorary whites’ for the sole reason they needed to trade with Japan.

Quite frankly, the Japanese didn’t give a damn about the ‘honorary white’ bull because they considered themselves to be already the Chosen Ones*, descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, superior to all, especially ‘white trash’.

* incidentally it’s amusing the Christian book ‘Handbook of Today’s Religion’ by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart said of Shinto: "The religion of Shinto is in opposition to Christianity. The fact that Shinto in its purest form teaches the superiority of the Japanese people and their land above all others on earth is diametrically opposed to the teaching of the Bible.”

Now, get a lot of the next sentence said, and you may then understand why the Americans would always support an evil oppressive neo-Nazi Israel in its genocidal adventures against the Palestinians. The ‘Handbook of Today’s Religion’ continues:

“According to the Bible, the Jews are God’s chosen people through whom He entrusted His words.”

... basically saying Japanese aren’t God’s chosen people and not entitled to their feelings of superiority, but Jews are, and thus superior - wakakaka!

But the Japanese, being the reputed ‘economic animals’ they were (and probably still are) would trade with anyone, including ‘white trash’ – business is business, and a rand is still a rand.

Back to our bridge story – well, the Sings are like those Japanese, economic animals. They don’t give a sh*t about neighbourliness, muhhibah or kamcheng. The question about Dr Mahathir’s bridge that they would ask themselves would have been, as I've mentioned, “What’s in it for us?”

Malaysian sand? Malayan railway land? Malaysian airspace (for its air force to train in)? Malaysian cabotage (removal of same for the benefit of SIA, Silk Air or Tiger Airline)?

These are languages the Sing government understands. So minus these, Dr Mahathir’s ‘crooked’ bridge was his best response to our uncooperative neighbour.

A wee digression here - in many ways, Tunku Abdul Rahman was right, that our best neighbour was/is still Thailand (regardless of its internal politics, even in the south), because nations like Singapore and Indonesia treat us with less-than-friendliness and sometimes much disrespect, the former with an ruthless eye on economic gains, the latter wanting to be Taiko because of both its size and its inferiority complex, the latter brought about by years of economically erectile dysfunctionality (in comparison with Malaysia).

OK, so in The Malaysian Insider today, Dr M wants Najib to use 'crooked bridge' as bargaining chip.

The news online reported: Dr Mahathir said that since Singapore would only agree to a straight bridge to replace the Causeway if the ban on selling sand was lifted and that considering Johoreans were against the sale, the government’s only option was to build the crooked bridge. […]

Dr Mahathir cited the package of outstanding bilateral issues, including Singapore’s refusal to release CPF contributions to Malaysians, the railway land issue and the low rate in which the island republic pays for water from Malaysia.

“All these issues are in Singapore’s favour and not negotiating better terms because the Johore people refuse to sell sand is like cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face.

Leaving out the rhetoric, he’s actually right, and I like to see Najib come up with another of his de-Bono-ish proposals, wakakaka.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

75% Malaysian mongrels?

On 27 November 2008 I posted Some people shouldn’t have maids! where I said ‘Unfortunately some Malaysians cannot handle hired domestic help in a civilised manner.’ I also mentioned my unfortunate personal experience.

Yesterday my matey Dean Johns penned Refugees from reality for Malaysiakini.

Now, tell me why I wasn’t surprised or shocked when he revealed that in a recent survey conducted by the Star, 75% of Malaysians (in a sampling of 769 respondents) ‘expressed the opinion that maids should not be given a day off every week.’

Of course I wasn’t surprised or shocked because I was reminded of an a$$-h*le relative of mine who uttered 'Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau chuoi chnea' – and if you want to know what those really nasty words mean, please refer to my last year’s post Some people shouldn’t have maids!

My cousin and his family weren’t uniquely nasty – they belong to the c^&t!$h 75% of Malaysians.

On 15 August 2007 I posted Are some Malaysian employers mongrels?, where I lamented the terrible way we Malaysians treated foreign maids.

Then I wrote: Irene Fernandez, director of Tenaganita, a migrant workers rights group based in Malaysia, said such incidents were ‘happening too often’. She accused the Malaysian and Indonesian governments of being indifferent to the plight of Indonesian maids who were getting a raw deal compared with Filipino domestic helpers.

Today Malaysiakini published Abuse of maids threatens to harm bilateral ties where it reported that a ‘senior Indonesian diplomat warned that such incidents could hurt bilateral ties unless Malaysia protects Indonesian workers.’

Can it be that, following Irene Fernandez’ contemptuous remarks, the Indonesian government has finally woken up to the plight of its citizens working as maids here?

Or, is it merely the current Indonesian presidential political campaign, which makes it obligatory for politicians south of the equator to brandish the Sang Merah Putih while threatening Malaysia over the maid abuse issue, but with the pretend-anger to be forgotten once its presidential election is over …

… thus justifying Irene Fernandez’s contempt some 2 years ago.

And it’s not just Indon maids who received our worst – in 2006 I posted a case of a 15-year old Cambodian sweetie who was physically abused – see Maid Abuse Again!

Hey, brothers and sisters - People become maids because they have no choice – they need to earn a living, even if the Malaysian job is menial, mean and bloody mafulat.

Of course some have taken the plunge to become prostitutes (or sex workers, as Australians seek to dignify the prostitutes’ circumstances), but not everyone (say, a wife of a poor farmer in Bali and the mother of 3 kids left at home) would want to be a sex worker ... though one wonders, after seeing and hearing of the draconian abuse they received from Malaysian employers, whether they would be better off as sex workers.

In Are some Malaysian employers mongrels? I wrote that we need to ask ourselves: what sort of abuses would have driven some of these maids, working in a strange land for pittance, to such desperate measures to escape their employers?

But equally important, we need to ask ourselves: what sort of people are we Malaysians to treat our servants so cruelly as if we are some medieval feudal lords with sway of death or life over our 'slaves'?

Which section of our Constitution is on chattel?

Are we no better than plain mongrels - pariah dogs - to ill-treat a maid in such a draconian way because she so happened to be a foreigner who is financially at our mercy?

Related: 1st World but with Z-th World mentality! where Singaporeans are equally a$$h*les like us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two Malayans killed British officers - one is a villain, the other a hero

Henry Gurney

Henry Gurney was the British High Commissioner to Malaya (before Malaysia), who was assassinated in 1951 by communist insurgents. Chin Peng as the top communist in Malaya/Malaysia is today still blamed for the evil act of murdering Gurney.

Additionally the Malaysian government has, in refusing to allow the 85 year old man to enter Malaysia [to return to his home town of Telok Intan (Anson) to die], reneged on the terms of the peace agreement it signed with the communist party, as the quid pro quo for the insurgents to disvow any further armed struggle against the government

J.W Birch

75 years earlier in 1875, J.W Birch was another senior British official in Malaya (advisor to the Perak Sultan) who was assassinated by Dato Maharajalela.

Unlike the fate of Chin Peng, Maharajalela is today a Malaysian folk hero.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Village ghost busters

No politics today for kaytee. Instead I refer to the Star Online’s ‘Mysterious spirit’ haunting housing estate.

The article reported:

Residents of Taman Helang Jaya, Nibong Tebal*, have been living in fear over the appearance of a “mysterious spirit” in the area for the past month, Malaysia Nanban reported.

* presumably that’s the one in my home state of Penang

Residents claim they have heard of the sighting of a headless body** dressed in white, usually appearing around midnight and making noises like a crying baby.

There were occasions when iron gates of the houses were shaken during the night. One resident said he heard this mysterious spirit had knocked on doors and bitten the hands of the house owners.

There has also been an increase in the number of soothsayers in the area hoping to appease the spirit.

** Sounds as if it’s the other component of a hantu penanggalan. In Penang we call it hantu tengelong. The hantu tengelong would usually be a woman who could, through black magic, detach her head from her body to go flying around for blood, especially those of women who had just delivered.

The typical hantu tengelong has a slight baggage problem. Her inner organs (including and especially the intestines) would still be attached to her head as she goes hunting.

When she returns to her body, it has been said that she has to dip her entire appendages (except for the head) into a vat of special fluid, usually jampi-ed (occult incantations) vinegar, in order to shrink them so she could re-insert her innate into her body.

‘Twas often claimed, if one was able to remove the vat of vinegar, the hantu wouldn’t be able to resume her human form. But that's only possible if you know the witch. I have to say I knew a few when I grew up but they were all too pretty and hot for me to bother about their intestinal aspects, when I was far more interested in their other anatomical properties.

I recall as a small boy (age around 10 - 12), whenever there were claims of a hantu tengelong around our village, I would join the local vigilante corps in a hantu-tengelong-hunting exercise. Unsurprisingly, the mob would be a dozen youngsters of my age group.

Come dusk, we would arm ourselves with bamboo poles which would be adorned with barbed wire strands at the attacking ends. The logic then was that we could snarl up the hantu’s intestines with the barbed wires. What we proposed to do after that wasn’t very clear – I bet no one thought through on that possibility wakakaka.

Those who could ‘borrow’ their fathers’ torch lights became instant heroes. Others brought along pathetic oil lamps. We patrolled the village throughout the night (coincidentally a Saturday) and while our time away speculating wildly on who the witch could be - usually the meanest woman in our village, the one who seemed to be able to successfully catch us raiding her rambutan or papaya trees.

The only damage we inflicted was that on the following morning many (adults) neighbours would wonder why some parts of their barbed wire fencing were cut ;-)

Hmmm, I wonder whether the headless hantu in Taman Helang Jaya, Nibong Tebal could be the hantu tengelong sending out its other half to confuse the ‘enemy’, no doubt boys like I once was, and who would be armed with barbed wired bamboo poles.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Najib's 3rd bridge not too far for his true intention

Refer to Malaysiakini A bridge too far from JB!

When Najib Razak proposed the 3rd bridge I wasn’t interested in blogging on it, for the reason I suspected (I still do) that he was trying to please everyone, mostly Dr Mahathir, his mentor/sponsor and suspected éminence grise - but in reality, without any intention to build anything ;-), a case of janji kosong.

He didn’t want to return to the issue of the ‘crooked bridge’ because that would be seen as undermining and insulting the decision of his predecessor AAB. Though Najib is in many ways a westernised and sophisticated man, he is still steeped in his adat Melayu, where he doesn’t want to be noted by the heartland as being disloyal to his retired boss.

He also doesn’t want to re-invoke the touchy subject of doing away with the Causeway, or at least the Malaysian part of it, as threatened by the Grand Old Man. Najib wants a far more friendly relationship with our rich neighbour than had previously existed, perhaps for the purpose of encouraging greater Singaporean investments so vital to boosting a now near moribund Malaysian economy.

He decided to do an Edward de Bono by proposing a 3rd bridge – a quite interesting concept for the distant future, but hardly a feasible project in the current or intermediate climate.

Really, I suspect he doesn’t give a sh*t if it takes off or not, for he has already in one fell politically ingenious de Bono-ish stroke, mollified (somewhat if not totally) Dr M, honoured the prime ministerial decision of AAB, and spared the Singaporeans the problem of an Arnheim-ish stoush.

I suspect the principal target of his appeasement has been his mentor, whom he feared could turn into a difficult Old Man of the Sea* if his (mentor's) 'big picture' policies (whatever these might have been) and desired development were ignored.

* incidentally, according to Richard Francis Burton, the noted 19th Century explorer, soldier, writer and translater, the Old Man of the Sea in the tale of Sindbad was probably from (Borneo) Malaysia wakakaka.

Even Lee Kuan Yew might have fallen for Najib’s proposed nonnever-to-be-event because the Singaporeans, being the economic animals they are, have quick as a flash aired their quid pro quo for the 3rd bridge, namely Malaysian sand, (indirectly) Malayan Railway land in Singapore (our only grip on Sing balls, and boy, what a delightful grip wakakaka), and Malaysian whatever, etc.

Najib must be laughing away as he sips his teh-o-peng with a slice of buah limau while reading the many frenzied and pontificating analyses on the non viability of his proposal. And when the Sultan saw fit to leave his constitutional perch to voice his dissatisfaction with the 3rd bridge, Najib would have gone into hysterical giggling, a state of quasi-latah wakakaka.

Mind you, I don’t support constitutional monarchy intruding outside their terms of reference, no matter how trivial the issue may be, no, not one iota.

* In this matter of recent unconstitutional intrusions, the only silver lining had been the unexpected but serendipitous selection/appointment of PAS Nizar Jamaluddin as the MB of Perak. That HRH had believed he would bear his royal claws, fangs and (in Justice NH Chan’s words) pretend-power to override an inexperienced Pakatan Rakyat by dismissing the Pakatan’s choice and appointing ‘his royal choice’ – wakakaka, history has a way of exploding in the face of those who thought they were too clever by half! Padan muka!

Talking about silver lining, here's one more, this time for Dr Mahathir. In the Malaysiakini news article, both Skudai assemblyman (DAP) Boo Cheng Hau and Pulai MCA division chief Low Teh Hian, unusually for pollies from these two party, arrived at a confluence in their conclusion on the 3rd bridge, that it would be far better to build a new bridge to replace the 86-year-old Causeway.

Mind you, they did try to distinguish their proposal from Dr M’s, by insisting it should be a straight bridge instead of a 'crooked' bridge that Dr M proposed after the Singaporeans refused to play ball.

But Dr M had of course wanted a straight bridge in the first place, with only the meandering shape thrown in to show the Singaporeans that Malaysia would have a bridge on its part of the border, regardless. In that, Dr M was also de Bono-ish wakakaka!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Manohara Odelia circus about to start

The saga of the Kelantan Princess continues as Malaysiakini published US$2mil offer: Blog claims model 'concocting' tales.

Yesterday sweetie Helen Ang penned an article in Malaysiakini titled No room for double standards where she posed pertinent points about the police’s double-standard use of kid gloves when (non) handling the accused rapist, by Godzilla-ish contrast to far less serious cases, especially those involving (doomed) young Indians.

However, I note that sweetie Helen appeared to be very sympathetic towards Manohara Odelia Pinot, when she wrote:

"I'm inclined to believe Manohara's story as there is a ring of truth to her description, such as how she didn't tell her ambitious mother about the alleged rape (behaviour congruent with confused and conflicted teen), and how she was more frightened by the helpless condition due to the temporary drug-induced paralysis than by the sight of a razor slicing her (a rather astute psychological insight for a young person to be credited with)."

But I wonder whether her conclusion that Manohara possessed ‘…a rather astute psychological insight for a young person to be credited with …’ kinda discredited her support of the Princess?

Anyway, we are all speculating one way or another, based in large part on our suspicion, prejudice and, to a very large extent, our experience of how our police and royalty might/would have behaved.

I am far more interested in the news that Manohara has obtained the service of a Jakarta lawyer by the name of Hotman Paris Hutapea. Hotman Paris was one of the lawyers for Australian Schapelle Corby when she was on trial in Bali for drug smuggling some 4 years ago.

Read my previous posts on the Corby case below where Counsellor Hotman Paris Hutapea had appeared. Tengku Muhammad Fakhry can relax lah, ‘coz with Hotman Paris (and based on the Schapelle Corby defence proceedings) we may expect more gimmicks than points of law. ;-)

One of Hotman Paris' rather bizarre action in Corby's defence was to engage Indon sweetie actress Anisa Tri Hapsari, though millions of Australians still haven't fathomed what her role was supposed to be? wakakaka.

Hotman Paris Hutapea & Anisa Tri Hapsari in the Schapelle Corby defence

(1) Schapelle Corby Story - Paris Defends Helen of Troy!
Schapelle Corby Defence - 'Home & Away' Appeal *

* ‘Home and Away’ is one of Australia’s most popular soaps, which has been running for donkey years.

Schapelle Corby Defence - Face That Launches a Thousand Doubts?
Schapelle Corby Defence: Alas, Again!
Schapelle Corby Defence - One Confession Too Many

Related: Manohara Odelia Pinot - Once I was a princess

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remembering a great Malaysian - Sudirman Arshad

I am blogging this for one of my uncles, who rang me up just now to chit chat.
He persuaded me to write about one of his fave signers, Sudirman Arshad. To Unc, Malaysia has only 2 top notch singers, P Ramlee and Sudirman.

According to Unc, Sudirman started his singing career whilst still a law student. He won a Malaysian talent time contest on RTM.

A wee digression here - capturing as much of Unc’s rant as possible wakakaka - Unc said in his time, there were only 2 TV channels, RTM 1 and RTM 2. Though the second channel showed Chinese and other language programs he stopped viewing that channel because of the 'weird' (his words, today we would have just blaste them as ‘incompetent’) programming.

For example, right in the middle of a Chinese movie, the program would switch over to a compulsory viewing of the news (or government propaganda, and worse, delivered in a long monotonous boring way), ‘Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah’ snapshots, and of course prayers.

While prayers and ‘Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah’ were short and sharp, the news report weren’t, so by the time the Chinese movie resumed, it may well be more than an hour down the line, by which time almost everyone had lost interest or patience with the way TV 2 viewers were treated with disdain and disrespect by the TV programmers.

To add to the chagrin, frustration and resentment of Chinese viewers he said that when a good soccer game was on TV 1, the so-called compulsory news bulletin wasn’t allowed to intrude on Mokhtar Dahari weaving his magic, with prayer times only advised by a tape caption.

OK, that was his rant on the double standards and the torture perpetrated by RTM on Chinese viewers. Back to Sudirman.

Unc remembered the winning song by Sudirman,
Cabaret, made famous by Liza Minnelli (daughter of Judy Garland) in the movie of the same title.

While most local singers at that time would resort to pop songs, trust the late Sudirman to do the unprecedented and pick a Broadway song like Cabaret to make his mark, and what a scintillating statement it was. He was the most outstanding Malaysian artist, an international mega-star until sadly, his early demise.

Unc said Sudirman was a great Malaysian with a love and respect for multicultural and multiracial mores, practices and tastes. He would make the effort to sing Chinese, Indian (Tamil) and other ethnic songs, and did them well too. And his performances were always uniquely choreographed.

Unfortunately that didn’t put him in the good book of the bigoted rednecks.

Unc said there was an incident when Sudirman and his (at that time) best singing/performing sidekick Noor Kumalasari were dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes for a performance, but they were harassed by the ultras into not appearing in China-pek dresses. Unc remembered Noor was reduced to tears by the feral brutality of the harassment.

Sudirman & Noor

There was another encounter with ultras and Muslim fundamentalists at UKM. Aparently the student unions and academic staff, including the dean of the Islamic faculty, were all against his performing at the Uni. Anonymous threats were made that if he dared to front up for the concert, he would have acid thrown in his face.

The story went that Dr Mahathir, then PM, stepped in to ensure Sudirman performed, because of the bigger picture at stake for Malaysia. Dr M didn’t want the fundamentalists to derail Malaysia’s modernization programs in any way.

Sudirman was also supported by many thousands of his fans in that showdown at UKM, which fortunately didn’t eventuate. But Sudirman was also careful not to provoke the ultras, choosing sensitively to dress himself up with the Malaysian flag and singing mainly Malaysian and folksy songs.

If he was alive today, he would be 55. Sadly, he died of a heart attack in 1992, just aged 37.

HRH Sultan of Pahang has just honoured this son of Pahang posthumously with a Datukship – see Malaysian Insider's
Sudirman conferred Datukship...17 years too late

A truly great Malaysian and probably Malaysia's greatest artist.

Requiescat in pace, Bung Sudirman.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pak Haji Hadi Awang berputar a la Inul Darista

As people say, it takes two hands to make a clap.

UMNO wants to drive a wedge into Pakatan, especially between PAS and DAP because when these two parties of diverse ideology mutually support each other, UMNO is the main loser.

But it would require PAS to be a willing captive if not a proactive wannabe partner of UMNO. Pak Haji Hadi Awang fulfils this role in his advocacy for 'unity talks' with UMNO.

His hubristic obsession to be the primus inter pares among Pakatan leaders has been his Achilles heel, where his failure to be so has motivated him towards seeking a political rapprochement with UMNO as a means of crawling out from under the shadow of Anwar Ibrahim/PKR.

And he probably hasn’t been the only advocate of ‘unity talks’. In my previous post
One and one-half PKR blokes for PAS? Mustafa Ali, then PAS elections director and now the new PAS sec-gen, had said of the covert ‘unity talks’:

“During the talks that Hadi, Anwar (Ibrahim) and Haron Din (PAS deputy spiritual leader) had with Tok Guru Nik Aziz on the issue of unity government… maybe it was assumed that this message was relayed to DAP, but it was not. It may be true that they are unaware of the issue.”

I also commented that Anwar Ibrahim had not denied nor rejected Mustafa Ali’s revelation that he had a tête-à-tête with Hadi Awang, minus the DAP, on the proposed ‘unity talks’.

Anyway, back to the frenetic attempts by UMNO to split the Pakatan - Bukit Gantang was a prime example of how the Chinese voters marshalled by the DAP had tipped the odds over for the PAS candidate, in an electorate where UMNO had actually obtained 53-54% of the heartland votes. Kuala Terengganu was an earlier case of such collaboration.

Of course the DAP will similarly benefit from PAS support in marginal seats. Thus the PAS-DAP collaboration, cooperation and cum-cheng have terrified UMNO-BN.

For the last 40 years, UMNO-BN had benefited from the erstwhile PAS-DAP's dislike, suspicion and even contempt for each other, but the 08 March 08 experience demonstrated the old UMNO ‘divide & rule’ no longer worked all that well. The BN has since been trembling because 2013 could possibly see a new ruling party in Putrajaya.

But alas, thanks to the personal ambition of Pak Haji Hadi Awang, UMNO saw a delightful glimpse of a wee fissure in the Pakatan coalition. Needless to say they have invested in expanding it, hopefully into a Grand Canyon.

Facing very strong disapproval from his own PAS rank & file, Pak Haji Hadi Awang was forced into flip-flopping on the ‘unity talks’. Recently, to mitigate his very unpopular proposal, he started to berputar (gyrate) like Dangdut icon Inul Darista, by appending ‘conditions’ to such talks, which was echoed by Anwar Ibrahim.

Inul Darista

Now, Pak Haji Hadi Awang has continued his Inul-Darista-tic gyration by claiming the talks would be limited to administrative issues like reforms of the EC. And finally, confronted by both his spiritual leader and a majority of party members, he has outdone Inul's sensual vortex thingy, dismissing the talks as just an academic discussion – for more read The Centre for Policy Initiatives’ Academic Discussions or Umno Stooges.

PAS spiritual leader Pak Haji Nik Aziz had been so livid with rage (no, not about Inul, but) about the ‘unity talks’ advocated by the party president’s men that he told deputy president Nasharuddin to leave PAS for UMNO if the latter was so keen on ‘unity’ with UMNO – see Malaysiakini
Nik Aziz to Nasha: 'Quit PAS, join Umno'.

Needless to say, Pak Haji Nik Aziz had also been waiting for an opportunity to shoot Nasharuddin down since the deputy president’s unprecedented insult to him a couple of weeks ago, when Nasharuddin so arrogantly and publicly dismissed the spiritual leader’s exhortation for PAS members to stay away from UMNO.

PAS new sec-gen Mustafa Ali, who had appealed to Pakatan leaders last week to drop the embarassing issue of 'unity talks' was in serious damage control today when he (also) spun: “However, let me reiterate that we are committed to Pakatan. We will not be traitors. If Najib is not agreeable to having talks with PKR and DAP, then there will not be any unity talks."

"The concept of unity is where all political parties should be involved in resolving national issues. It is a misconception that the unity talks will only include PAS and Umno.”


Looks like UMNO is the only one benefitting from the PAS fracas, but let me tell you, there are few tears or sympathy among Pakatan ranks for Pak Haji Hadi Awang or Nasharudin.

BTW, DPM Muhyiddin has been so confused by Pak Haji Hadi Awang's non-stop evolution of how the 'unity talks' would be, that he complained of PAS continuously changing the goal-post.

Aiyah Tan Sri, think Inul Darista lah, ta'kan sweetie saperti kayu ma? wakakaka!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Manohara Odelia Pinot - Once I was a princess

Somehow I am not so convinced of the story by Manohara Odelia Pinot, published in Malaysiakini today. Also, bear in mind that besides the two news articles carrying only her side of the story, they were written by an Indon journalist. Malaysiakini published them with permission from Jakarta Globe.

Besides, kaytee is one cynical bloke, Even though I am not particularly impressed by Malaysian royalty, or for that matter any royalty, I like to question the thus far one-sided stories wakakaka.

First of all, in Teen model claims she was raped during boat trip she said at the age of 14 she was raped by Kelantan Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra. She related to the reporter:

“We were cruising from Singapore to Lombok, to Bali. In the boat, he just grabbed me. At the time I was just in the room, sitting there to wait for my mom. Basically, it just happened. But after that, I just kind of shut down. I didn't know what to think about myself.”

Well, it didn't matter whether it was consensual or not, because if it did happen, according to Malaysian civil law it would be statutory rape as she was allegedly only 14.

But what was the prince doing in her room?

Hey, where was her mum? Didn't she say "At the time I was just in the room, sitting there to wait for my mom"?

And why were they (sweetie + family & the Kelantan Tengku) travelling together on the boat?

Then reporter Armando Siahaan asked her: "If he raped you before you went to Malaysia, why did you accept his invitation"? [presumably to go to Malaysia]?

She replied: “Because, (a) I just didn't want to believe, so I just tried to completely block that out, and (b) after that he was really nice to me. He was extremely sweet and gentlemanl
y. I didn't know what happened, actually.”
Hmmm ...

In the other article, also by Armando Siahaan titled Manohara - up close and personal she was reported as saying:

“We went [to Malaysia] on Aug 17, 2008. [My sister, my mother and I] hung out for a couple days before meeting his parents. When we met the parents, [his] mom was like, "OK, I agree with you the wedding is on the 26th."

This was after the ‘rape’! And her family went all the way to Kelantan? And her mum and sister were with her!

And apparently, according to her own admission, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra’s mum said "OK, I agree with you the wedding is on the 26th."

Agree with you? What did this mean?

Perhaps journalist Armando Siahaan summarised the case best by his opening lines: “ … a 17-year-old girl who has travelled the world, married a prince and run away, and whose face is now famous across Indonesia. Her story is so extraordinary that it is hard to believe. Her fairytale-to-nightmare claims of a whirlwind marriage, kidnapping, abuse and escape have gripped the Indonesian public.”

Could it be she (and her family) were initially enamoured of her marriage to a prince (gasp) but subsequently things turned sour when this western cultured sweetie found herself like a caged bird, ...
... and that her expectation of the life of a Malaysian princess fell flat as the reality of her princess status proved to be far too boring and restrictive?

As people say, there are two sides to every story.

photos from Malaysiakini

Revisiting Kampung Buah Pala

I blogged the following over at Ktemoc Komposes on 09 October 2007. Perhaps it's time to re-look at the poem again in light of the land grab of Kampung Pala (allegedly initiated during the rule of the previous BN State)

... inspired by a malaysiakini article titled 150-year-old village loses out to development ... it's also the story of David Brown

Gratefully he gave land to build a temple
For Chor Soo Kong, He who had appeared
In his dreams, having cured him of an ill;
So was raised Penang's Temple of Snakes

Now the Temple survives, barely, as snakes
Gave way to highways and the diesel trucks,
Big motorcycles of shattering decibels; their
Noxious fumes replace jasmine scented joss

He was a generous man, was David Brown,
Bestowing upon the people of the Island too
Land for games, frolics and evening strolls;
That’s the Padang in Jalan Dato Keramat

Now, unfinished laksa soup & lok-lok sauce
Poison the Padang with pollutants of spices,
Turning green lawns into dry brown patches
And his name passes unrecognised by most

Then there is Kampung Buah Pala, where
Gorgeous 20-metre high Myrista frangrans
Shade a 150-year old village in tranquillity
Where fragrant nutmegs would easily grow

A land bestowed by Brown to the Tamils
A gift for their toil, tears, sweat & hopes
For them to raise tambis and tangachis
Sweet youth with smiling dark doe eyes

Thaipusam with annual firewalks of piety
Deevapali where light triumphed over evil
Technicolour saris, luscious curries, apom’s
Not forgetting murukku's of myriad spices

All these marvels of Hindu Tamil culture
Will soon be gone, vanquished, stolen by
Avarice, an insult to David Brown’s legacy
An affront to lovers of heritage & decency

Monday, June 15, 2009

Zaid Ibrahim - Opportunity lost for DAP?

In The Malaysian Insider’s news article Zaid on a mission to make PR a strong alternative to BN Zaid Ibrahim was very diplomatic. The article reported:

Zaid had also toyed with the idea of joining PAS or DAP but in the end decided that as PKR was younger, he felt he could contribute more.

"The other parties are more mature. PKR is easier to change and the potential is a lot more," he said.

I must say I am very disappointed by his decision, that he didn’t join the DAP instead, for a number of reasons:

(a) The DAP's strict discipline and socialist ideology is more aligned with his political proclivity.

(b) The PKR legacy of frogs and bullsh*t would be insulting to his political credentials.

(c) The DAP could well do with a Malay of some prominence in their ranks.

(d) By joining the DAP, his contribution to multiracial (or non-racial) politics would have been immense, a watershed in Malaysian politics!

Well, he didn’t. Perhaps the gap was just too wide, even for Zaid Ibrahim, to join the DAP.

And perhaps what he had meant by the ‘other parties’ (DAP and PAS) being 'more mature' has been that PKR is far too immature wakakaka and therefore requires his guiding hands!

One of my disappointments prior to this was the absence and non-candidature of Zulkifli Mohd Noor in the March 2008 general elections.

Zul was the DAP candidate in Bukit Bendera in 2004 when he won a very credible 18,000 votes out of 47,000?

Remember this was at the height of AAB's Bao Gong-ness, and that Bukit Bendera was and still is a predominantly Chinese federal constituency, where the demographics had 73.97% Chinese, 13.82% Malays, and 11.07% Indians plus a sprinkling of 1.14% Thais, Eurasian, etc.

I had attempted to analyze why he lost the Bukit Bendera seat in 2004 in Gerakan & DAP - the missing songkok factor!.

Then I had written: The sum of it was that Zulkifli did well in a Chinese majority seat, and that's because of the DAP brand.

Under a program of continuous political investments (and not just campaigning on the eve of the election) Zulkifli could be a winning candidate.

Thus I was deeply disappointed to see Zulkifli completely missing from the recent March 2008 general election, when without doubt he would have won and made history as the first DAP Malay MP, giving the DAP its multi-ethnic credentials and legitimacy.

I have nothing against Liew Chin Tong – in fact I think he’s great – but how nice it would have bene for DAP if Zul Mohd Nor had re-contested Bukit Bendera in 2008. I have no doubt he would have ridden on the crest of the tsunami into parliament.

Thus you may understand why I have been disappointed in more than one way when Zaid Ibrahim joined PKR.

Twitter-ing live from Parliament

I used to label the Dewan Rakyat as the Monkey House because of the simians within (one of whom, thank goodness, had left) – see my earlier posts Cyclops in Monkey House and MP's menstruation mesmerized motherless monkeys.

But now it seems it has become the House of Birds going a tweeting.

The Malaysian Insider reported that
While MPs shout, KJ and Kit Siang tweet.

Both Uncle Lim and leng chai SIL used the Twitter social networking site to publish live their views of what was going on inside the Monkey ooops I mean Bird House. Sounds like Jeff Ooi's lil' birds wakakaka.

I congratulate Uncle Lim for keeping abreast with technology but call me old-fashion if you like because I am not sure I support it - for 2 reasons, one, what was and will be twittered won't be an unbiased view, and two, I feel it’s not doing the reputation of the House any good (not that there’s much of its reputation left anyway).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zaid Ibrahim joining PKR - Turning point for MCA?

The Malaysian Insider headline cheekily suggests Zaid could pave way for MCA defections to PKR. Leslie lau is the news portal's consultant editor who penned the provocative article.

It alludes to potential MCA defectors scrambling over to PKR as they see Zaid Ibrahim as a moderate Malay leader in that party, in contrast to some UMNO ultras. What is kaytee's take on Leslie's suggestion?

I wouldn't be surprised by a few MCA members defecting to PKR, but to visualize mass droves of MCA appartchiks joining Anwar Ibrahim's party is a wee too radical a possibility, let alone being a probability.

On the likelihood, well it's true that 75% of MCA members are by now pretty pissed off with the selfish leadership of UMNO, and why would anyone be surprised by that given UMNO's treatment of the Chinese based party ... though I doubt there'll be any mass defections.

For the last 40 years, since MCA was almost wiped out in 1969 by the loose pact of DAP-Gerakan-Seenivasegam Brother's PPP (and even PAS), UMNO has viewed MCA as a necessary hanger on - its usefulness being a combination of multi-cultural window dressing and a canvasser for some Chinese votes ... notwithstanding MCA's role in 1999 ... a case perhaps of Dr M's oft-stated Melayu mudah lupa?

Of course UMNO had been at the same time actively undermining MCA through a combination of ketuanan Melayu policies (which have invariably driven Chinese voters into the arms of DAP) and the insidious use of Gerakan as a divide & conquer strategy to split pro-BN Chinese support. Penang State was a classic example of how UMNO had de facto ruled the State through the puppet Gerakan CM.

On MCA's side, while the party accepts that UMNO is the primus inter pares (first among equals) in BN, it seems to them that UMNO has always been all primus but failed abysmally to remember MCA should be one of the pares in BN.

But ... the current political landscape has turned Chinese voters into the deciding factor in a number of heartland federal constituencies, eg. Bukit Gantang. I read that Bukit Gantang is typical of some 30 other federal seats. Imagine PAS gaining another 30 seats in 2013 with Chinese support - Inshaallah!

This political evolution has actually escalated MCA's chargrin because where it could be playing an important, nay, vital role for the BN, it now lacks the ability and political credibility to do so due to the Chinese disdain for its 'yes man' image vis-à-vis UMNO. Where it used to command around 30% of Chinese voters, it would now be hard put to gardner even 15%.

Yet we see UMNO on a seemingly endless (and apparently suicidal) crusade to demonise or threaten Chinese through a campaign which included:

... stirring up ethnic suspicion and even hatred in the anti Chin Peng return, a basically anti Chinese stirring which Anwar Ibrahim has cleverly exploited for PKR's political gain to UMNO's loss,

... the inexplicable resurrection (coming out of the f* left field) by Rais Yatim of a possible prosecution against Namawee, a case long closed and deeply buried after MCA had organized a public apology by the Chinese rapper for his negarakuku song,

... and if I may be so bold as to suggest, HRH warning non-Malays against questioning scholarships for Malays, when what had actually happened had been Chinese asking scholarships for their children rather than questioning scholarships for Malay students.

Yes, even after Tuan Primus had repetitively kicked MCA in the groin, can you blame the Chinese-based party for still wanting to squeeze its own balls?

Anyway, I suspect the public publishing on Ong TK's website of the statistical demand by MCA members for the party to leave BN could well be the party's strategy of reminding UMNO that the time has come for Tai Koh not to take MCA for granted.

Besides, based on the Chinese winning factor in the Bukit Gantang by-election (UMNO obtained 53 to 54% of Malay votes yet PAS won by a significant majority due to Chinese votes), the Chinese showed they have been so pissed off with UMNO that they preferred to cast their lot with PAS (admittedly a fantastic candidate in PAS pinup boy Nizar but I suspect they would have still done the same for any PAS candidate), ...

... showing that UMNO's disrespect, disregard and disdain for Chinese interests (and thus the political future of MCA) could be suicidal for UMNO in those federal seats where Malay votes are split 50-50 between UMNO and PAS, and the preference of the Chinese electorate becomes the deciding factor ...

... unless of course PAS and its 'unity talks' comes to the rescue - incidentally Anwar hasn't denied it though he has hastily adopted a belated damage-control spin by Pak Haji Hadi Awang on conditions for such talks, that UMNO “stops all the cruelty, reforms the judiciary and the Election Commission". Hadi Awang must have realized his 30 seats in 2013 may be f* up by his ethno-centric proclivity wakakaka.

In reality, while Zaid's joining of PKR is a coup for PKR (and hardly a surprise), he was hardly a big personality when in UMNO (unlike say, the Big Kahuna himself, Dr M) and thus unlikely to be an inspirational mover for MCA members to emulate politically.

Secondly, MCA has always been about MCA, and a defection to PKR can only put them at the bottom of the heap. If MCA does defect to PKR I suspect it will undoubtedly turn out be a case of déjà vu wakakaka ...

... therefore, why bother when they are now No 2 in BN, yes ... a small No 2 but nonetheless No 2.

And finally, PAS has shown that while it may be an important element for Pakatan, it could well turn out to be a liability instead.

To be continued ...

Friday, June 12, 2009

One and one-half PKR blokes for PAS?

Why my title of ‘One and one-half PKR’?

Well, we know our dear Kulim Wonder, who became notorious for his thuggish barging in on a Bar Council organized forum on an inter-faith issue, is far more PAS than PAS members.

The Kulim Wonder has now not only publicly undermined his PKR Deputy President’s stand against PAS' call for a fatwa to ban SIS, but went even further than PAS, in making puerile derogatory remarks against SIS.

The Kulim Wonder would be better off in PAS than PKR, but then who would want him other than Anwar Ibrahim?

I want to remind Kulim voters to take note of his bigotry when 2013 arrives. And if he is still in PKR (makes you wonder why Anwar Ibrahim has thus far refused to expel him?), wherever he stands, vote for BN!

So ... that’s one PKR bloke standing with PAS (the faction in its true misogynist ethno-centric colours).

But who’s the remaining one-half?

Read Malaysiakini Mustafa: Cease all talks on unity gov't where Mustafa Ali, PAS elections director, had appealed to Pakatan Rakyat’s party leaders to stop harping on Pak Haji Hadi Awang’ proposed unity talks with UMNO (‘unity talk’ is just an euphemism for ‘unity government’ or power-sharing).

An extract of the Tuesday news article reads:

Apart from causing concern among PAS members, the matter has also prompted
questions from leaders of Pakatan component parties including DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Mustafa conceded that the issue has led to confusion among Pakatan colleagues.

“During the talks that Hadi, Anwar (Ibrahim) and Haron Din (PAS deputy spiritual leader) had with Tok Guru Nik Aziz on the issue of unity government… maybe it was assumed that this message was relayed to DAP, but it was not. It may be true that they are unaware of the issue,” he explained.

So our dear de facto, reformasi-deformasi, Renaissance-Man, Paul-Anka-loving, with-a crush-for-Natalie Wood, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim had a tête-à-tête with Hadi Awang, minus the DAP, on the proposed ‘unity talks’.

Or had he? Can someone advise me please whether The Great Leader has rejected Mustafa Ali’s revelation?

That’s why I am being fair wakakaka in allocating (at this stage) only a one-half PKR bloke.

Hmmm, if I recall, former DCM1 of Penang Fairus was very keen for PKR to participate in the ‘unity talks’ too.

So I wouldn’t be exactly surprised if Anwar had wanted (and maybe still want) to participate too in a sort of home-coming cozy conversation with UMNO.

But I await eagerly his rejection, dismissal, denial, etc of Mustafa Ali’s revelation that he Anwar Ibrahim had quietly, and behind DAP's back, chit-chatted with PAS on 'unity talks' with UMNO.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Observations on PAS

Embracing the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) multi-ethnic multi-religious doctrine (even secularism) is akin to, for some PAS conservative members, drinking from a poisoned well in the middle of a large desert - damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Tolerating the PR multi-religious or secular beliefs would be against its very ideology, which is that of making Malaysia an Islamic State. In truth there is basically no room for other religion in an Islamic State, much as PAS may assert otherwise.

Yet, PAS has seen its greatest political renaissance since it became a partner of Pakatan Rakyat, albeit an informal one. Kuala Terengganu and Bukit Gantang demonstrated the advantage of being in Pakatan Rakyat.

So as I said, it’s a case of damned if it is part of PR, damned if it isn't ...

... unless it has another option. That’s where the ‘unity government’ comes in.

The attractiveness of the ‘unity government’ (with UMNO-BN) is that it sees its principal potential partner as a mainly Muslim organization (and bugger those non-Muslim organizations like MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the other mosquito parties).

That would be so unlike its current partners, the secular (and thus kaffir-like) DAP and the rozak-religion PKR.

PAS would have a powerful and prominent national role with UMNO as its partner in the proposed ‘unity government’ – and that’s what Pak Haji Hadi Awang wants, which has been why PAS No 2, the more street-wise Nasharudin, has been in full damage control in an attempt not to burn all bridges, though in trying not to undermine his Boss at the same time, he did the unbelievable and insulted his spiritual leader.

Pak Haji Hadi Awang lusts for political prominence, thus he fears being overshadowed by PKR or worse, the DAP.

His obsession (or lust) for political prominence has been to an extent he was prepared to bull about the so-called agreement of DAP and PKR in his secret pet project, the ‘unity government’ with UMNO.

Mind you, he is interested in talks with UMNO, but PKR and DAP don’t have a place in his political fantasy because in ruling partnership with another Muslim orgnaziation he sees PAS emerging from under the shadows of the other two PR component parties.

An additional plus in having UMNO as a partner is the common ethno-nationalistic denominator. PAS under the direction of Pak Haji Hadi Awang is in the final analysis a Malay rather than an Islamic political party.

Pak Haji Hadi Awang and his henchmen cannot see themselves or their brand of politics above ethnicity, despite Islam being a supra-nationalistic religion (unlike Judahism). Already we hear calls from PAS members for a review of PR seats allocation to be in accordance with racial quota.

What about integrity quota, or ethical quota?

In its recent party convention it has also allowed us a peep at its true colours (not that we weren’t aware of them ages ago), that it habours, among its many intolerances, a misogynistic proclivity, with a Taliban-ish attitude towards Sisters in Islam.

The UMNO sharks are already circling PAS re the Hadi Awang proposed ‘unity government’ (or its euphemism, ‘unity talks’). Both Mukhriz Mahathri and Khairy Jamaluddin have been strongly advocating political engagements with PAS. Thier real aim is of course the breakup of PR.

In many ways Pak Haji Hadi Awang is not unlike Anwar Ibrahim, in having an Achilles heel in his political impatience.

But the greater challenge would be for its PR partners to review their strategy with an overly ambitious and nationalist PAS, one whose allegiance must surely now be in doubt.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Some comments on Malaysiakini columns

Today I will comment on the articles of three of my fave Malaysiakini columnists, Bakri Musa, Eric Loo and my matey Dean Johns.

First with Bakri Musa who wrote Incompetence at all levels.

Bakri who, like George Lee, resides abroad [George in Australia, Bakri in USA] but continues to comment on Malaysian affairs and sometimes showing by contrast the way the authority of his foreign domicile governs in a democratic, transparent and accountable manner.

George Lee has recently been severely criticised for his remote 'armchair' comments of Malaysian lack of provenance; Bakri too had been so criticised, where I recall he was labelled derogatorily as NATO (no action, all talk). Bakri provided a good riposte to that intolerant criticism.

In his lastest article Bakri blasted the IGP. While Malaysian crimes have been soaring, the Police No 1 was more interested in going after Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) and interrogating Lim Kit Siang for alleged sedition.

I love in particular two of his paragraphs:

The chief function of a police force is to maintain public safety. No sane Malaysian would consider Raja Petra or Lim Kit Siang posing a threat to public order. The only threat they pose is in exposing corruption and dereliction of duty at the highest levels of our government. [...]

Musa Hassan's calling in the Interpol is a particularly egregious example of his incompetence.

And he didn’t spare Hishamuddin, SIL, Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin too.

I agree with most of Bakri Musa’s article. However, I do disagree with the last sentence of one of his paragraphs, namely:

Raja Petra's many articles pertaining to Najib Razak contain numerous specific facts, named many individuals, and cited precise locations that they could easily be corroborated or denied by resorting to physical forensic evidences. Raja Petra's allegations are not of the ambiguous ‘he said, she said' variety.

I’m afraid RPK’s notorious Statutory Declaration about Rosmah’s alleged turn padang to witness (or supervise?) the C4-demolition of Altantuyaa Shariibuu’s corpse was dominated by his qualification of “I have been reliably informed …” which we have to admit has been nothing more than a case of ‘he said, she said’.

Next, we come to Eric Loo who wrote'You'll be right, mate,' so says the Aussie to foreign students, about the alleged racist attacks against Indians in Melbourne.

I support fully his comments: Just in case Malaysian families are worried for their sons and daughters, don't be. Media reports do not often tell the whole story. While foreign students in Australian universities are generally perceived to be isolated close-knit groups and ‘socially shy', Aussies are generally hospitable, samaritans, and happy to give anyone a ‘fair-go'. Racist remarks inevitably do crop up in some places in Australia - just as they do in unexpected places and situations in Malaysia and India. As Aussies say when they face a problem ‘We'll be right, mate!"

I have also seen on TV the way some Indian protestors had (mis)behaved – sure as hell didn’t do their cause any good; I wouldn’t be surprised if some Aussie TV viewers were to comment nastily against them.

However, I disagree with Eric’s statement: Ah, the Aussie penchant for raw wit. You see it on Australian television all the time - those hilarious irreverent caricatures of puffed-up celebrities and populist politicians - even the Queen. Indeed, there are no sacred cows in the Australian public space.

Aussies do have sacred cows – please read my last year’s post Priority 1 - free RPK & Hindraf 5 where I described the 3 Aussie sacred cows (and one of Malaysia’s as well).

Finally, on to my matey, Dean who wrote Tanks for the memory, China.

For me, the pun in the title was a giveaway that my fave Malaysiakini columnist has again written another savoury piece to be relished.

Let me start off by stating I agree with Dean 101% on his lambasting of the Chinese authority’s 1989 slaughter of its own citizens.

A wee digression at this stage - The actual event behind the picture of the man attempting to stop the column of tanks rolling into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square (which gave rise to Dean’s usual witty pun in his article’s title) was quite a poignant moment.

Malaysiakini photo

Amidst the senseless and inhumane massacre of Chinese students, that event brought out two rather moving points – (a) the sheer courage of the man in his attempt to stop a column of tanks, and (b) the unusual streak of humanity and perhaps empathy in the tank commander’s attempt to manoeuvre (repetitively) around the man rather than just roll over him.

However, I must comment against Dean’s criticism of China’s involvement in the Korean War.

Dean did not mention that China was forced into the war when the hubristic General Douglas MacArthur attempted to occupy the entire Korean peninsula in a bid to unify both Korean States. Incidentally the political and military division of the peninsula was brought about by a WWII pact between the USA and USSR, with both agreeing on the 38th parallel as the boundary of their military occupancy of the previous Japanese colony.

Despite repetitive Chinese warnings to the USA (through Indian Ambassador Panniker) not to move its US-led UN military forces into North Korea or face Chinese intervention, principally because of the Chinese fears of American proximity to its own territory, the USA ignored the message conveyed by Indian PM Nehru, in the latter's plea to the USA for caution.

When hubristic MacArthur, knowing he possessed superior military firepower and a superior air force to the Chinese’ peasant army, advanced to the Yalu River (very near the Chinese border), the Chinese army startled him by effecting (one of) the very principle of war that the Americans upheld, namely ‘Manoeuvre’.

The US Armed Forces’ Principle of Maneuver has an offensive aim, to put the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the use of unexpected attacks. The Chinese army moved with secrecy, lightning speed and in mass among the mountainous terrain of northern Korea, astounding the Americans who were sent reeling by the Chinese blitzkrieg.

Dean has also been incorrect in stating “…however, the ‘People’s’ forces and their allies lost the war, though China and its North Korean cronies have never conceded defeat.”

The Chinese actually pushed the Americans and the UN forces back to the 38th parallel, where a stalemate was reached, lasting till today.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

PAS ruling faction - more ethno-centric than ethic-centric?

This morning Malaysiakini boldly published Husam ousts Nasharuddin for PAS No 2 though with a qualification that the result was unofficial. Then, Husam had won by a 65-vote majority.

I thought 65 votes was not to be sneered at as that represented slightly more than 6% of the PAS party voters, but Malaysiakini just had to state the PAS deputy presidential race was 'close'. I suspect that since 08 March 2008 the expectation for election wins (whether of intra or inter party contest) requires majority of avalanche-like or tsunamic proportions. Malaysia Boleh ;-)

Alas, when the official result came out, it was a case of Nasharuddin retains PAS No 2 post.

Nasharuddin obtained 480 votes while Husam and Mohd Sabu had 281 and 261 respectively. I have to be cruel and say that Malaysiakini's earlier report of Husam’s victory, unofficial as it might have been labelled, was wild and rather unacceptable, akin to Erdogan-ic wishful thinking.

But did the reporter learn a lesson?

No, because in the second news report which carries the official results, the statement “Nasharuddin's sizable margin of victory of 199 votes over Husam indicated that the conservative ulama faction is still very much dominant in the party” fails to indicate that the total votes for a non-negotiable anti-UMNO stand (as propounded by Husam and supported by Mat Sabu), and thus against Pak Haji Hadi Awang, his running mate Nasharudin and the ulama faction was more than 50%, a total of 542 votes against Nasharudin 480.

Husam and Sabu split their camp’s votes and the story is the usual one, 'first past the post wins', and that’s Nasharudin.

But the Malaysiakini news report has been incorrect in suggesting through its statement 'the conservative ulama faction is still very much dominant in the party' that there hasn’t been a sea change in attitude within PAS vis-à-vis working with non-Muslims and kaffir-like socialist parties like the DAP, when the majority of voters (542 of them) wanted the party to continue support for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, without flirting with UMNO.

Despite Nasharudin stating bravely that “I still won” with less than 50% of the votes (and he’s right in this respect) I am sure he knows the lie of the new PAS political landscape …

… which has been why, when interviewed by reporters, he was more diplomatic than his bulldozing ethno-centric President and tap danced around, as reported by The Malaysian Insider as follows:

On the unity government proposal, he said that the idea had to be put on hold as the party needs time to explain it to the members. “It is not a one man show party, especially on policy matters, it has to be endorsed by the muktamar,” said Nasharudin.

Elaborating on Hadi’s remark yesterday that he had received the support of Pakatan Rakyat leaders for the unity government idea, Nasharudin said the discussion did not reach policy level. Other Pakatan leaders have denied discussing the subject between them.

The deputy president also promised to work towards strengthening Pakatan but said PAS has never intended to dominate the opposition coalition and said the leadership council is sufficient. “There is no need to appoint one party to lead,” said Nasharudin when asked whether PAS is interested to lead the opposition pact which controls 82 parliament seats and four state governments.

But regardless of whether the Ulama or Erdogan faction has won, let’s not ignore an undeniable truth ….. that both PAS factions continue to pursue their party aspiration, for Malaysia to become an Islamic State with syariah laws with the medieval hudud code of punishments as the law of the country.

We also need to be aware that the party’s president and his ulama henchmen much prefer an ethno-centric pact. Yes, call it ‘unity government’ if you like, which the PAS ulama faction does, and which the PAS president was so enamoured of (such a relationship with UMNO) that he had the shameless gall to suggest DAP and PKR had both agreed to his preference.

Pak Haji Hadi Awang, unlike PAS spiritual leader Pak Haji Nik Aziz, seems more interested in an ethno-centric than an ethic-centric alliance …

... which means UMNO would undoubtedly exploit this chink (f* it, it’s more of a humongous cleft) in the PAS armour.

In a way, I am glad that Husam Musa didn’t win because as I said, the Erdogan-ites have the same ideological aspiration as the ulamas, to bring about an Islamic nation with syariah laws for Malaysia.

While a Husam Musa victory would have given a morale boost to the Pakatan’s aspiration, that in 2013 the pact may assume majority rule, there will be the worrying but now-swept-under-the-carpet issue to deal with, that of PAS wanting to turn Malaysia into an Islamic nation.

How will PKR deal with that is easy to explain, so long as someone gets to be PM! wakakaka!

But how will DAP be able to deal with that?

But at least with the ulama faction in control, WYS-(in PAS)-IWYWG!