Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wind of Change

As we celebrate our 51st National Day, we don't really have much of a choice. Its either Anwar or the same old shit. He has been called all sorts of names, but the fact remains that after he had served his time, rightly or wrongly (and there are many others still getting away with murder), he has been brave enough to want to consign blatant racism in this country into the dustbins of history.

To those who still harp on what he did (or didn't do) when he was in government, go suck a duck. He wasn't the captain and the buck didn't stop with him, so stop pointing fingers at the wrong man.

I still love my country right or wrong and I'll be damned if I am going to let her go to the dogs with the morons now running the show.

Time for change, shipmates, so lets whistle for a wind.

To all my Muslim friends: Selamat Berpuasa.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Stifling the Voices of Dissent

Malaysia Today Homepage

Truth be told, I have never even heard of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) until it ordered all 19 Internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block the Malaysia Today (MT) news portal of Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) a couple of days ago, which must be a signal for the start of a crackdown of the blogosphere. The biggest joke must surely be the fact that as of this morning, MT is still up and running via a mirror site, here.

Home Minister Syed Hamid has defended the blocking of access, saying MT had ignored warnings against publishing "libellous, defamatory and slanderous" articles and comments by its readers. Sheeesh. Coming from a trained lawyer, this must surely be the stupidest shit among the drivel originating from this man's mouth. RPK has a democratic right to operate his website and there are enough laws in this country to charge him if he steps out of line.

Stifling the voices of dissent will surely prove to be this government's downfall. Don't they ever learn?

Update at 1500hrs: Malaysiakini reports, here, that former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today himself condemned the government for reneging on its long-held promise of not censoring the Internet - a policy in which he was the architect. He said the government's action shows "a degree of oppressive arrogance worthy of a totalitarian state".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Next Target: Bloggers

After running out of excuses for their demoralising defeat in Permatang Pauh, the BN government is now expected to bring their heavy guns to bear on more convenient scapegoats: bloggers.

The Malaysian Insider yesterday in an article "Government to target blogosphere next", here, said the government reached a sober assessment that it could all end in tears for the Barisan Nasional at the next general election if tough action is not taken to counter allegations on the Net and hold owners of blogs accountable. This conclusion was reached during a meeting last week involving several Cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

With the recent arrests and subsequent release of bloggers Bakaq a.k.a Penarik Beca and Raja Petra Kamarudin, it is believed that the government has begun a crackdown and will now come down hard on bloggers. This follows a disturbing worldwide trend as reported by a World Information Access (WIA) study project at the University of Washington, here, that since 2003, 64 citizens unaffiliated with news organizations have been arrested for their blogging activities in several countries which include Malaysia and the United States. The WIA report also predicts more arrests in 2008. (See table summarizing global blogger arrests below).

(Click on table to enlarge)

Anwar to Swear

"All this controversy of oath will be resolved because I have now decided to take the oath," he quipped in referring to his oath-taking ceremony as a parliamentarian in the Parliament soon. Read the Malaysiakini report, here.

Official EC tally - Anwar Ibrahim got 31,195 votes, Arif Shah Omar Shah, 15,524, Hanafi Hamat, 92. Anwar won with a handsome majority of 15,671. The official voter turnout was 81.01%.

To the people of Permatang Pauh: Thank you.

Update at 1630 hrs: Malaysiakini reports, here, that Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia announced this morning that Anwar Ibrahim, the new member of parliament for Permatang Pauh, will be sworn in tomorrow. He is expected to be the new Opposition leader.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Swear

(Source: Malaysiakini)

When we were children, I remember my parents used to chastise my siblings and I whenever we used the words "aku sumpah" (I swear) during arguments. Perhaps this was simply because to "sumpah" also means to "curse" in Malay and should not be used lightly.

So it is with utter contempt that I have for BN leaders and their stooges who lately have begun to use this, i.e., swearing by the holy Koran in a mosque to "prove" their innocence. After hundreds of years of "Islamic civilization", the juries are still out on the validity of this act and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why the so called ulamas now being paid good salaries by the BN government are mostly "pro" this juvenile practice. Thank God that Anwar has not fallen for this too.

Therefore it was like a breath of fresh air that I read in Malaysiakini today, here, that an obviously more God-fearing Ustaz Ramlang Porigi (photo, right), the Imam who had "officiated" at Saiful Bukhari Azlan's recent oath taking at the FT Mosque, has revealed that he was "ordered from above" to do so. On whether he thought that the timing of the swearing was a political conspiracy, Ramlang said: "For me it is, as it was done on the eve of nomination day."

Of course there will be charges that the man has been "bought over" by PKR, but I seriously doubt this. With less that 24 hours to go, its now up to the people of Permatang Pauh to help us rid of this "cursed" government for using imams and mosques to further their evil ends.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Far Too Many Coincidences

Once is happenstance.
Twice is coincidence.
Three times is Enemy Action!
(from Goldfinger by Ian Fleming)

Thank you, Anwar Ibrahim.

The enemy is now running scared. Petrol is suddenly now down by 15 sen per litre (and bananas at this morning's pasar tani in Kelana Jaya was up a whopping 100%!). But Pak Lah still says its just a coincidence and not a populist move aimed at shoring up his flagging popularity, nor was it intended to help swing votes in the Permatang Pauh by-election. (Read the Malaysiakini report, here).

But its just too many bloody coincidences of late and I have lost count how many. He must think we are stupid.

And Najib says the government might reconsider issuing rebates if the people do not appreciate its initiatives to help reduce their financial burden. Sheeesh.

Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate soared to a new 27-year high of 8.5 percent in July, way above analyst forecasts for 7.8 percent in a Reuters poll, and sharply up from 7.7 percent in June.

Pure coincidence, old bean.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Least Favourite Child

The Singapore government has always prided itself on maintaining racial and religious harmony in Singapore. But has this outward appearance of tolerance translated into true inclusiveness for all races? During their recent National Day celebrations, the Straits Times on 10th August published an article by one of their journalists, a young "tudunged" Malay/Muslim woman, about her thoughts and hopes on being a Singaporean.

In her article, Nur Dianah Suhaimi poignantly concluded, "Each year, come Aug 9, my father, who never had the opportunity to do national service, dutifully hangs two flags at home - one on the front gate and the other by the side gate."

"I wonder if putting up two flags is his way of making himself feel like a better-loved child of Singapore."

Read the full article, here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now or Never

The battle for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh is heating up and DPM Najib was reportedly having said that the government has specifically agreed to approve scrap metal collectors' licences for the long marginalised local Indian community, numbering some 3,500 voters. As if they are not good for anything else. This is going to piss off my friend Alex for sure.

While Anwar has on record said that "Anak Melayu anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?”, this twit is still mouthing his racial agenda.

To the people of Permatang Pauh: Its now or never.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Alex joins DAP

Only about five hundred supporters turned up for a brief ceremony at the Dewan Hamzah in Klang this morning to watch my friend Alex Thiagarasan (photo, left) hand over membership application forms to DAP leader Ronnie Liu (photo, center), the Selangor state Local Government and Research Committee chairman and also ADUN for Pandamaran.

Former MIC Klang division chief Alex was expecting at least a thousand Klang MIC members to join him en bloc today but claims that SMS messages went out late last night to inform members that the ceremony has been postponed to a later date after the Permatang Pauh by-election. Alex vows to find out the culprits behind the hoax and to organise a bigger turnout at a future date.

Alex is undeterred after being expelled from MIC recently. He is also facing a RM10 million defamation suit by Samy Vellu after he had lodged reports with the police and ACA alleging that the MIC boss had misappropriated huge funds meant for the Indian community. Samy has also obtained an injunction barring him from making any statements relating to the issue.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tok Bali

Tok Bali

I am off with a few fellow warga emas (lit. "golden citizens") early tomorrow morning to a Tok Bali beach resort in Pasir Putih (lit. "white sands"), Kelantan on the east coast - the land of warrior Tok Janggut. We are going to be beach bums and will be strictly incommunicado for the next few days ...

So eat your hearts out, ya poor sods.

Be back Friday.

Beach Bum

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sham Trial

Former deputy premier and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim expects to be charged in court for sodomy today, a non bailable offence punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Read the Malaysiakini report, here.

Anwar holds prime minister Abdullah personally responsible for the damage that is about to be done to the nation and to the integrity and dignity of the Malays. He claims that his sources in the AG’s Chambers had told him that the office was against preferring any charge. However, he said the police and Abdullah’s close associates were allegedly keen on pursuing with the trial.

Abdullah has dismissed Anwar's suggestions that the impending charge was meant to sabotage the latter's campaign for the Permatang Pauh by-election, which has been set for August 26, on a weekday which is quite unprecedented and obviously meant to reduce voter turnout. "How could I insist that he be charged? If there is no evidence, the police are not stupid to charge, just because so-and-so have said ‘charge'. I'm not one to say charge," he said.

Well, I've got news for you, Pak Lah. The police are stupid indeed to proceed with what is not going to be an open and shut case, especially when you will get your deputy, the IGP and even the AG himself all fighting to salvage their careers and maintain the respect of their families and friends.

Meanwhile, Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today has yet another shocker, "What the IGP and the AG do not know... yet". Read it, here.

Update at 1600hrs: "This is a malicious and treacherous slander, I'm not guilty," Anwar told Sessions Court judge SM Komathy Suppiah today. Read it here. The prosecution did not oppose bail and he was later released on a RM20,000 personal bond without surety.

(Poster courtesy Mob's Crib)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How Old is Old?

My friend Raj a.k.a. Capt T. Rajkumar in Chennai sent me this interesting editorial from The Times of India:

There's no stopping good old music, they thought. Until the electricity supply went kaput and bailed them out. It happened one night when a retro session was in full swing.

An eclectic middle-aged bunch of golden-oldies aficionados congregated at a flat and soon yesterday's nostalgia-generating melodies hit the airwaves: Green Door to Besame Mucho to Sugar, Sugar.

That was fine for almost everyone. The 'seniors' in the apartment complex — retired defence personnel, public officials, schoolteachers and such — reached out to the relaxed, easy feel of the old hits. The younger residents, like IT professionals, were equally inclined to lend their ears.

And so on Saturday evenings windows were flung open to let in Julie London or Nat King Cole or the balladic Beatles, so good was the music.

Things got out of hand though when a teenage guitarist was allowed to bring friends and play a few interludes of 'old music' on their nifty little system. A big mistake. Sauce for the old goose isn't always sauce for the GenNext gander.

For soon, the building complex started to reverberate with amplified heavy metal. Trouble multiplied when Jagger's Satisfaction exploded into Metallica's audio signals. Its raw energy and raucous chords sent cold shivers up the neighbourhood, got street dogs howling and catapulted roosting crows noisily up into confused dark flight.

Outside, the Nepali watchman clung to his Gita. Some residents plugged their ears with cotton wool or pulled pillows on their heads while a quick-acting middle-aged lady raced to the police line only to find that a top cop was part of the music ensemble. One neighbour swore she saw her septuagenarian spouse knock back two stiff ones and dive under the cot with a razai — not just for the duration of the ear-splitting Creeping Death but for a good part of the night!

Finally, it was unscheduled load-shedding that brought matters to a grinding halt, and some order was restored.

Downstairs that night, the collegian music-makers hauled their gear and themselves into their vehicles. Even as the residents, and the old Gurkha tried to calm their nerves and get some shut-eye, the young guitarist wondered, "Dude, I just don't get it. People just don't seem to have respect for old music anymore!"

And an old MCKK buddy Hussein Hamid in Adelaide sent me this:

I went over to the TNB office at Jln Masjid India to pay my bills. As usual there was quite a Q so like any good citizen I got into line. Just as I settled myself for a long wait, the security guard came up to me and said "Tok (not Datuk...just Tok") and politely ushered me towards the next lane - which was empty.

I felt quite flattered that the Guard was thinking that I was a VIP Datuk and important enough not to have to spend too much time waiting in line to pay his electric bill...surely there are more pressing national matters I have to attend to. But being a humble guy, I said no, I will wait in line just like everybody else but now even the people in the line with me were telling me to go to the other lane. So I told myself if all these people think I am that important...I better humour them. So I got into the other lane and went straight to the counter and that was when the cashier told me, "Pak Cik lain kali ikut lane ini" and pointed to the sign on top of the counter: "Warga Emas".. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A bridge too far

(Source: The Sun)

The Sun reports, here, that thousands of motorists were caught in near stand-still traffic yesterday when the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) flyover in Kepong was abruptly closed by police. Fragments had started raining on passing motorists after cracks appeared on Pillar 28 of the flyover. This is the third time the 1.7km flyover had to be closed. It was first closed in August 2004 and then for the second time in February 2006 for repairs.

The government has to date spent more than RM70 million on repairs to the flyover and previous inspections by engineers have revealed flaws in the design of the elevated expressway. More taxpayers' money is expected to be spent to get the Kepong MRR2 flyover repaired and safe for motorists.

The then Works Minister Samy Vellu at first maintained that it was not due to any design flaw. But a consultants' study later found that design deficiencies and improper anchoring at the crossbeams were responsible for the cracks.

I expect massive jams this morning on the LDP expressway near where I live. Thank you, Samy Vellu.