Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Por qué no te callas?*

I met Cameron Highlands MP S.K. Devamany in Ijok during the run up to the April by-election (read my blog, here) and I am glad that he had the balls to break ranks in the august assembly to speak up for his people in reference to the Hindraf rally. I believe it didnt go down too well with his peers especially loudmouth Nazri Aziz who had the gall to call the marchers penyangak. Maybe Nazri should learn to put his brain in gear before he opens his big mouth. Or maybe he should just shut up.

The Sunday walk was, to my mind, for whatever reasons right or wrong, simply a cry for help. This government would be making a grave mistake to just ignore this or to pretend it didnt happen. Already many Indians in India and elsewhere are up in arms over this incident. (Read Malaysians Unplugged's report, here).

The Sun in its editorial yesterday said: "In this age of open communication on the internet and instant replays on TV, it would be prudent for the government to adopt progressive methods of engagement and democratic dialogue, lest it is perceived as an inflexible regime that is out of sync with the masses."

So why is the PM telling us all to shut up or else he will use the ISA on us?

And why don't I shut up?

Well, el tougho shito** mi compadres, it will be a cold day in hell before this old salt will pipe down and call it a day.

*"Why don't you shut up?" - King Juan Carlos of Spain to Venezuela’s President Chavez at a recent meeting, sparking a deep rift between the two countries.

Mexican marine for 'tough shit' (?) ...

Monday, November 26, 2007


(Source: The Sun)

Yesterday, some 20,000 Malaysians of Indian origin descended in downtown Kuala Lumpur, in defiance of a ban to join a rally organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF). They were determined to hand over a memorandum to the British envoy, to urge the Queen to appoint a QC to argue Hindraf's US$4 trillion class action suit against the British government for "neglecting the community's welfare after bringing their forefathers to Malaya as indentured labourers 150 years ago". On hand to meet them was the police and other para-military units armed with tear gas and water cannons equally determined to stop them in their tracks. (Read The Sun's report, here).

Although I had misgivings earlier about the rally and thought that perhaps the objective was a bit wishy-washy, I truly respect their right for freedom of assembly etc., and I do believe that some of their grouses are pretty legitimate. I also thought that their Gandhi-style peaceful 'civil disobedience' was a bit of a master stroke and they have indeed made their point loud and clear.

I am not a great fan of British writer Salman Rushdie, but in an article called "In Defense of Multiculturalism" soon after the October 2005 riots or 'civil unrest' by Muslims in France, he wrote: "The French riots demonstrate a stark truth. If people do not feel included in the national idea, their alienation will eventually turn to rage." Yesterday's demonstration was, to my mind, the second successful mass 'people power' rally in this country in recent months. So Pak Lah, Sammy Vellu and their ilk should perhaps wise up, take heed and be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Horsburgh - Malaysian version (Source: Singapore Straits Times)

I dont usually like to comment on an ongoing court proceeding but I am rather disturbed by news reports that the Malaysian legal team headed by our Attorney General has resorted to cheating at the International Courts of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The Straits Times of Singapore has reported that Malaysia, " in an attempt to convey a subliminal message of proximity between Pedra Branca and the coast of Johor, produced a (plagiarised) photograph which was not an accurate reflection of what visitors to Pedra Branca would see if they were looking towards the Johor mainland ". (Screenshots also has the story, here).

Pedra Blanca or Pulau Batu Putih, we mariners have always referred to this tiny island in the middle of nowhere sticking out like a sore thumb, as Horsburgh - after the lighthouse built on it. I have sailed past Horsburgh many times and I dont recall seeing the Johor mainland up close as in above photograph.

It would be a crying shame indeed if we were to lose Pulau Batu Putih due to cloak and dagger chicanery and ineptitude of our team.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


(Poster courtesy Michelle's blog, The Meesh Experience)

At Tok Mommy's MRT (Mee Rebus Tuesday) yesterday, Rocky gave me a gratis copy of the above latest bumper issue of TELL (News Unglossed) magazine. It is a very interesting magazine started by friends and fellow bloggers and meant for you and me. It costs only RM8.90 (Semenanjung) and RM9.90 (Sabah and Sarawak).

Its now available at newsstands, so get yours today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mayday for Justice

This morning I attended a press conference given by the long suffering* former DAP MP for Bukit Bintang Wee Choo Keong (photo) at his Malaysian Democratic Party (MDP) office in SS 2, Petaling Jaya. Also in attendance were about 30 members of the local media and bloggers.

The conference was held to make public two police reports made earlier in March this year by one Thirunama Karasu a/l Kandar Velluppilai, who is now believed to be in hiding fearing for his life, against his own brother lawyer VK Lingam of the now infamous 'Lingam tapes' affair. The shocking reports gave names and allege mind boggling corruption and abuse of power by top figures in the country's judiciary and police, past and present, which would have made a truly incredible Bollywood movie script since the main characters in the plot also involved other siblings in the Lingam family. (For details of the police reports and press statement, read fellow bloggers Rocky and Haris' reports on the press conference, here and here. Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored also has the full reports, here).

It was emphasised by Mr Wee that there was no connection between the police reports and the video tape as revealed by the former DPM Anwar Ibrahim. To date, however, no action have been seen forthcoming by the police and/or ACA.

It is good that Pak Lah has finally given in to the mounting pressure to appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the 'Lingam tape' affair and the panel should be given all the powers and TOR it may require. This should be a good start since it has been many years and there is indeed a dire need to restore confidence in our much maligned** judicial system. So lets not dilly dally but go full speed ahead, as we mariners say, and steady as she goes ...

* Read why, here.

** "If by definition a judiciary means an independent, incorruptible and neutral judiciary, then we don't have one" - former Lord President Salleh Abas in today's Malaysiakini.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On the Run

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang wrote in his blog, here, that he had posed a question in Parliament on Monday – “Why is the government-on-the-run on the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal?”. He did not get a satisfactory answer from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Ministry, who had asked that he be allowed to answer by way of written reply, but no firm date was given.

Personally, I have no quarrel with the PKFZ project if it had cost only between RM1.8 to 2 billion. But RM4.6 billion I simply cannot accept. I believe it is terribly important to hear the Attorney General's take on this sordid affair. After all, it was AG's chambers and the Treasury who had objected strongly and recommended that the land be acquired at RM10 psf instead of RM25 psf. Why they were ignored is something I am sure everyone is keen to find out. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have surely got their work cut out for them.

But we will have to wait. I believe the AG is now still in Europe trying to get back Pulau Batu Puteh from the Singaporeans.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Yellow Wave

Yesterday afternoon I was part of a 40,000 strong rally of the people, many dressed in yellow, who marched to the palace in the rain to hand a memorandum to the King to demand free and fair elections. I had started early by LRT to Pasar Seni to meet fellow bloggers. There were all there, young and old, makciks and pakciks with walking sticks and even the handicapped in wheelchairs who were not at all intimidated by the presence of thousands of riot police in battle gear and equipped with water cannons and helicopters circling above.

It was a very peaceful march and the only violent incidents I hear occurred near Masjid Jamek where dozens were tear gassed and pepper sprayed by the police, including foreign journalists covering the event. A number of people have been arrested. (Read fellow bloggers' take on the march here, here and here.)

It was basically a case of the rakyat exercising their right to freedom of assembly to petition their sovereign and a lame duck prime minister trying his damnedest to stop them. Sheeesh.

(Above photo with blogger Anu Radha a.k.a. Galadriel, who upon noticing the letters 'KL' on my cap promptly dubbed me 'Kepala Lanun"...!)

P.S: To "Melayu Lelaki" who has been trying to rile me for the last couple of days: Go get a life. I wonder if your mother knows what you do for a living.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today's the day.

In solidarity with today's march for free and fair elections organised by BERSIH at 3pm, I wanted to paint my blog yellow but just couldnt figure out how. Sheesh.

Er, folks, me old sea legs are really meant for pacing the decks of ships and certainly not for city streets or hills and vales, but will try to make it this afternoon if I can get a ride.

See you all there.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


To all my Hindu friends, near and far: A very Happy Deepavali or Diwali.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Is he or isnt he

"Court of Appeal President Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed has been named as Acting Chief Justice following Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim's retirement /STAR". Many thanks, Zorro for the Star's SMS news alert. (My friend and fellow blogger Rocky also has the story, here.)

It is interesting to note that Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad was also head of a three-judge panel that overturned the former Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction on 2 Sept 2004.

As a former Anwar classmate, many people have asked me,"Is he or isnt he?". Now let me put this to rest. Since we grew up together as 12 year olds eating the same nasi kawah and bathing naked together in the open shower stalls of the Big School, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) more than 40 years ago, we his friends would have noticed or known if he had such 'tendencies'. You cannot really hide these things at that age unless you are an Oscar winning child actor or something. And besides, we sailors can usually smell these types a mile away.

Next question.