It was with some measure of incredulity that I read today's headlines that former deputy premier and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim (photo) is being investigated again on sodomy charges, a repeat performance by the police after exactly 10 years.
Malaysiakini had reported yesterday, here, that a report was lodged by the 23-year-old alleged victim, a former Anwar aide, at the Jalan Travers police station. Anwar has since dismissed the report as a "complete fabrication". Earlier, PKR had sent out an SMS message stating that the police had detained Anwar's special aide Saiful Bukhari and forced him to lodge a police report.
"The report has been organised by interested parties to attack me in retaliation for evidence I have recently obtained implicating IGP (inspector-general of police) Musa Hassan and the AG (attorney-general) Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999. This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public," Anwar said.
A pretty reckless move by the men in blue and a desperate attempt by the government to silence him, I think.
Update:Malaysiakini reports, here, that a police report is expected to be lodged against the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General this morning over their alleged misconduct during Anwar Ibrahim's trials in 1998-1999. Lawyers acting for the PKR de facto leader are expected to lodge the report.
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah also said that Saiful joined to help the party during the general election period. She added that little was known of him and that no background check was done on him as he was just a volunteer.
I laughed aloud when I first watched the TV advertisement showing a bunch of schoolboys in a bus giving directions to a Caucasian tourist. One of them tells her to "Just go straight aje and don't belok-belok" and it hits me hard that this isn't really funny. Its a disaster of sorts.
My youngest sister Rashadah, a teacher about to retire soon, calls them the "Lost Generation". This is especially so when many new teachers in our schools cannot even string together a decent sentence in English. In a rapidly globalising world, I am quite convinced that it is time now for us to hit the panic button.
I have noted that some young commenters of my blogs have also appeared not to quite fathom my writing and often missed my drift completely. The fact that I have always abhorred verbose prose, often use nautical terms and do not believe in membebel doesn't really help, of course. I can only blame it on our educational system which seems to gohead and gostan even on the language to be used in teaching science and mathematics in schools, for example.
Perhaps the powers-that-be need to stay focused. Don't belok-belok.
I am off to Langkawi tomorrow with my fellow committee members of Friends of Kelana Jaya Park for a bit of R&R and back to nature hikes. We are going by bus, having bought one-way tickets (single fare KL-Kuala Perlis: RM32.90) before the fuel price hike and we now wonder how much it will cost us for the return journey. Be back Friday.
Meanwhile, my friend Capt. Leibbrandt sent me this delightful piece:
There was this old sea captain who retired from the sea. He bought a little white house on top of a hill overlooking a small seaside village and lived there all alone. He converted the windows to portholes and the stairways to ladders, scraped the rust off everything and had it ship-shape in every way. Out in the yard he mounted a small cannon, which he fired off to sea every day at precisely noon. He associated with nobody except the lad who brought him groceries and other things from the village, and even then he mostly hauled the basket up to his window with a rope and pulley. He had a peg leg, of course, but didn't make much of it, since he wore good long canvas pants at all times.
He spent much of his time with his glass, looking out towards the horizon for passing ships, and sometimes studying the village, too. He got to know all the streets and shops, and even many of the people as they passed in and out: those who bought pork chops and those who bought lamb and what kind of hats and gloves they bought and where. One shop in particular was important to him, the shop of the watchmaker, who sold clocks and repaired them, and had a large clock hanging outside (a real one, showing the time, and hanging from two heavy chains) as his sign. It was by this clock that the sea-captain set his own watch, for in the days of which I tell, radio and television had not yet been invented.
So that while the villagers did not know the sea captain, he knew them, and one day he decided to go down and have a closer look. He went to the butcher, the shoemaker, the baker and the dry-goods store. Nobody knew him and he didn't tell. When he went to the watchmaker's he spent some time looking at the displays and asking some technical questions about the tools and such. Then he asked how the watchmaker set the time on his clocks, and the man said, "Well, there's this crazy old sea captain who lives up on that hill there, and every day exactly at noon he fires off this cannon. . . ! “
P.S.: My blogger friend Dalilah Tamrin a.k.a. Raden Galoh, a breast cancer survivor (and still fighting) who tells all in her popular blog "One Breast Bouncing", here, is one spunky lady. She will be featured next and will share her personal experiences in tomorrow's (Sunday) live interview on the RTM1 program "Blog" at 8.40 p.m. Don't miss it.
Beh Lih Yi reports in Malaysiakini late today, here, that well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has alleged via a statutory declaration signed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's wife Rosmah (photo) was at the scene with two other individuals when Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered. (Read the statutory declaration, here. Read also fellow blogger Big Dog's take on this, here)
RPK was called in for police questioning early last month over an article titled ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell’ in which he implicated Najib and Rosmah in the high-profile murder case. A close aide to Najib, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and two police special operations force personnel have been charged with the murder of the Mongolian national who was blown to bits with military explosives. All three have pleaded not guilty in an ongoing albeit slow moving trial and face the death sentence if found guilty.
This shocker, if indeed true, will certainly put a monkey wrench in the works to Najib's and Rosmah's ambitions. In his statutory declaration, RPK has also named the two other individuals as one acting colonel Aziz Buyong, who is described as ‘a C4 bomb expert’ and the latter’s wife, known only as Norhayati, who is also said to be Rosmah’s ADC. He further alleged that he has also been ‘reliably informed’ that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and "one of the (Malay) Rulers" know of Najib's wife alleged involvement.
Najib is now believed to be mulling action over this explosive allegation.
This is for those who missed the RTM1 program "Blog" on Sunday night - courtesy of Hisham, my youngest boy who had to painstakingly decode the video format. I was interviewed "live" by host Hasshim Abu Hanifah in the 20 minute program which I thought was a tad short for me.
I was the eighth blogger to be interviewed in the series. Complete video recordings of earlier programs featuring fellow bloggers Raja Petra Kamarudin, Datuk Kadir Jasin, Ahirudin Attan (Rocky), Nuraina Samad et al can be found in the Ministry of Information website, here.
Suddenly waking up to the economic reality facing millions of poor and working-class Malaysians, the main stream media are now full of “helpful” suggestions for those feeling the squeeze of rising costs of living and food prices. While we can make sacrifices and cut back on many "non-essentials', like roti telor minus the telor and char kuay tiau minus the extra see ham, how will this affect the very people in dire need of help: the farmer and the fisherman?
There are news reports that some poor parents have begun to substitute expensive infant formula with diluted condensed milk, rock sugar, coffee and tea to feed their growing toddlers and infants. Granted that there are many people worse off in poorer countries, but here in Malaysia?
Bloody depressing, if you ask me.
I believe the government has a lot more to do than just resort to dishing out rebates on road taxes etc. For the austerity drive to work, enforcement agencies must also be beefed up to prevent profiteering so that the rakyat do not have to suffer more. The recent announcement, here, that the the government will slash its expenditure to save RM2 billion is a good start but there must be absolute transparency and accountability on where the money will be spent.
Slashing ministers' holiday and entertainment allowances by a mere 10% is not enough. Najib's plea for the rakyat not to begrudge them this is rather lame considering the circumstances. Much more must be done since street protests fueled by hungry stomaches are what people power revolutions are made of.
Last week, India also saw steep hikes in fuel prices. Petrol in Mumbai now cost Rs 52 a litre, while diesel prices are up to Rs 36 a litre. (Rs 10 = MR 0.76)
My old friend Capt. Gian Singh Sehmi emailed me this:
I filled up my car's fuel tank, and I thought fuel has become really expensive after the recent price hike. But then I compared it with other common liquids and did some quick calculations, and I felt a little better. To know why, see the results below – you'll be surprised at how outrageous some other prices are ! !
Diesel (regular) in Mumbai : Rs.36.08 per litre
Petrol (speed) in Mumbai : Rs.52 per litre
Coca Cola 330 ml can : Rs.20 = Rs.61 per litre
Dettol antiseptic 100 ml Rs.20 = Rs.200 per litre
Radiator coolant 500 ml Rs.160 = Rs.320 per litre
Pantene conditioner 400 ml Rs.165 = Rs.413 per litre
Listerine 100 ml Rs.45 = Rs. 450 per litre
Red Bull 150 ml can : Rs.75 = Rs.500 per litre
Corex cough syrup 100 ml Rs.57 = Rs. 570 per litre
Evian water 500 ml Rs. 330 = Rs. 660 per litre (Rs. 660 for a litre of WATER !! And the buyers don't even know the source. Also Evian spelled backwards is Naive!)
Cup of coffee at any decent business hotel = Rs. 500 per litre
Old Spice after shave lotion 100 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1750 per litre
Pure almond oil 25 ml Rs. 68 = Rs. 2720 per litre
And this is the REAL KICKER...
HP DeskJet colour ink cartridge 21 ml Rs.1900 = Rs. 90476 per litre!!! (Now you know why computer printers are so cheap ? So they have you hooked for the ink !)
So, the next time you're at the pump, don't curse anyone – just be glad your car doesn't run on cough syrup, after shave, coffee, or God forbid, printer ink!
The Star online yesterday reported, here, that deputy prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is now in London, has said that Malaysians must change their mindset and seek alternative sources of energy and not just rely on petrol. "They could consider electric cars," he said.
Electric cars? He must think that these would be cheap now and can almost run on love and fresh air. Typical of a blue-blood, I think, born with a silver spoon in his mouth unlike us peasants born with plastic spoons up our bloody arses.
Shades of Marie Antoinette here, old bean.
Najib has also said that the "government is willing to share the burden in facing price hikes along with the people". And all this while we thought that this has always been a "people's government". Sheeesh.
Perhaps a poor old retiree like me will have to resort to the above (photo) now, although there is a dearth of real donkeys in this country.
But we certainly have no shortage of them in the government.
The Star online today reports, here, that Selangor MCA is proposing to the Government to slash or abolish road tax and do away with tolls on roads in the state altogether, especially with Selangor having the most number of tolled roads in the country. State party chairman Datuk Ong Tee Keat said this would help ease the burden of the public as a result of the petrol and diesel price hikes.
This is good start. The first sensible thing I hear from the mouth of a BN leader thus far. We can then go on to abolish toll on all roads in the country and get the toll operators to bare all. Next we can get Petronas to account for the MR600 billion it has made through the years. The 10% cut in entertainment and holiday expenses for government ministers does really mean zilch to the rakyat who have to kiss goodbye to holidays and entertainment for his family now.
BTW, a little bird told me that Minister of Transport Ong, who was on a visit to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) recently was aghast when told that his predecessor, who was rewarded with a Tan Sri-ship by the King a few days ago, had never even set foot in the place! Sheeesh.
Meanwhile, there is this SMS joke making the rounds:
My wife complains that I never take her to expensive places ... so last night I took her to a petrol station!
Like everyone else, I am still reeling from the double whammy of the massive hike in fuel prices and yesterday's increase in electricity tariffs. I suppose all hell will now break loose with other major increases: price of food, transport fares, crime rates, etc.
And they want us to "change our lifestyles". Sheeesh. Have they ever stopped to think what will happen if many people leave their vehicles at home and go to work in buses and trains today? Or even bring home-cooked food for lunch?
This old sea dog who served many years for God, king and country and trying to survive on a pittance is now sufficiently pissed off to want to go shoot somebody.
Finally, to those of you who voted in this government: Go Eat Shit and Die.
My blogger friend Tony Yew was featured in a live interview by Datuk Chamil Wariya on the RTM1 program "Blog" on Sunday night. He gave a jolly good account of himself in particular and about bloggers in general and I must say I am rather proud of him.
Also check out Tony's blogs Can You see It, here and his Myblog-TV which we have jokingly dubbed as "Yew Tube", here.
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