Thursday, July 31, 2008


S.O.S.- Ship of Shame. Thats what Barisan Nasional is now. And it is sinking, so I say let it sink and good riddance.

I dont need to see a medical report to convince me that he didnt do it. I have known the guy for almost half a century for crying out loud.

Isnt there any integrity left amongst our so called professionals in this country? Read Din Merican's "Integrity: Where art thou in BolehLand?", here.

No, I am also not on strike, just pretty much fed up and disgusted with whats happening on the political scene.

Update at 1700hrs: Malaysiakini reports, here, that PKR and Opposition leader Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has submitted her resignation letter to the House speaker today. This will pave the way for her husband Anwar Ibrahim to contest a by-election for her Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

Update 2 at 1730hrs: It was also reported, here, that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has ruled out any form of cooperation with UMNO, including the possibility of forming a joint government at state or federal levels.

Now that about makes my day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Playing Footsies

I do believe it was sincere, from the goodness of his heart and not merely tongue-in-cheek when the venerable Kelantan MB Nik Aziz suggested that both PAS and UMNO be dissolved to preserve the so called "Malay/Muslim unity" and a new party formed. He probably also knew that this was not going to happen, not until hell freezes over, that is. He said this in response to reports of post elections clandestine meetings between some PAS and UMNO bigwigs which turned out to be just desperate moves by the latter to cling on to power.

Blogger Rocky was wary and saw this coming about a week ago when he wrote "A New Party called Pasumno?", here. Perhaps also Raja Petra Kamarudin was more forthright when he wrote "The Malay unity sodomy conspiracy", here.

Like the Tok Guru, I was very skeptical about this. I am also pretty sure it is not going to happen. After all, good Muslims should not even be seen to play footsies, which is tantamount to bersubahat or in cahoots with a bunch of thieves.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fauzi to the Fore

(Source: Malaysiakini)

Malaysiakini today reports, here, that former deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department and ex-Kuantan member of parliament Fauzi Abdul Rahman (photo) has left UMNO to join Anwar Ibrahim's PKR.

Like Anwar, Fauzi was one of my MCKK contemporaries. He is also the son of the late Abdul Rahman Talib, a former minister of education during the early years. At a packed press conference organised by Anwar today, he said he quit politics in 2003 but decided to make a comeback after witnessing recent events in the local political scenario. "I think it is time that Malaysians wake up and form a tangible two-party system where UMNO and Barisan Nasional's loss is the people's gain. So I thought I wanted to be a part of it," he said.

Fauzi was also instrumental is exposing improprieties in the issuance of logging permits during the tenure of former Pahang mentri besar Khalil Yaakob between 1986 to 1999. For reasons which passeth all understanding, Khalil, who was also an UMNO secretary general, is now governor of Melaka.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Weep for Malaysia !

My former colleague Capt. Abdul Aziz Abdullah, who is back after many years as a working expat in a neighbouring country, sent me this heartfelt comment on the state of the nation which I thought I'd publish in toto:

Who would have thought that we would be heaped into the present quagmire that we are truly ensconced with now? With no apparent clear direction as to where we are going, politically and economically, we are further threatened with having to bear the constant possibility of public mayhem causing great unease in our normal daily routine. One would have thought that after the 12th. General Election (GE), a clear message would have been delivered to both, the victors and the vanquished, as to what was expected of them. The victors are deemed to have been provided a chance to prove that they are worth the trust accorded them and, hence, commence governing with fresh vitality and competence. The vanquished, on the other hand, were expected to take heed of the apprehensions of the rakyat on the way they were ruling previously, and, hence, do the necessary to identify the causes of their malady, discover ways to rectify these and prove that they are worth being given a second chance come the 13th GE.

But, sadly, today, 4 months down the road, what do we see?

I perceive a country, once the pride of the region in terms of political stability and economic prosperity, now quite unsure of its future direction in both aspects. There is an absence of a distinct political leadership, something that is a must when a governing party that has been in power for 50 years lost is 2/3 majority in the Federal Parliament and 5 states to boot! In my mind, the day that “political tsunami” occurred on March 8, it behoves upon the top leadership of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to come out with greater vigour and prove their mettle as true “leaders” in every sense of the word – grab the message delivered by the rakyat, conduct a closed-door “no-holds-barred” post mortem to identify the causes of the mass rejection, identify the remedies, formulate solutions and, commence putting them into effect whilst maintaining its right to govern the Federation – as wished by the majority when 140 seats were given to the BN.

Instead, what do we notice?

Endless blame-throwing and in-fighting within the component parties, both intra and inter, trying to outdo each other in very public screaming of the onus that “You are unfit to govern because I am better than you. You are to assume total responsibility for our failure at the polls!”

Yet, when offered a Cabinet post by the same individual they vociferously claimed to have been the sole cause of the “disaster”, these same accusers were more than keen to accept them! What an anomaly!

Over on the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) side, one could expect that they would accept the mandate given them to govern the newly delivered 4 states competently and prove the decision of the voters to be a wise one and, hence, do their utmost to commence doing just that, i.e. to govern wisely.

Instead, even before displaying their political acumen of being THE government in these states, they choose to manoeuvre and manipulate the downfall of the party ruling the Federal government! Have they forgotten that, had the rakyat wished them to be taking over the Federal reins, then, such a mandate would have been delivered by the majority during the polls? The fact that it was not provides ample evidence that the PR is being “tested” in the 4 states before a final assessment is made on their suitability to actually govern the country. Alas, if only this message gets into the minds of PR stalwarts heading the 4 states, I am quite sure that they will spend more time in ensuring good governance of their respective charges rather than opt for wasting valuable resources and time in trying to unseat the Federal Government.

On the economic front, the spiraling rise in the global oil price is unstoppable. This has to be accepted. It will seriously affect Malaysia’s planned economic growth. This, too, has to be accepted.

So what do we do?

Simply dish out piecemeal solutions (some of which had to be retracted later due to it being not thought out properly beforehand) and pray for the best?


I say, let’s go on a war-footing to address and issue that affects each and every Malaysian! Just as in war-time, we should harness whatever expertise and acumen available in Malaysia and get all of them to confer and deliberate – coming out with the best options to face the crisis heads-on. In this regards, party-affiliation ought to be set aside – we need the very best, the most articulate, the pedigree of economic planners – to sit down and try come out with beneficial and well thought out “do-able” policies acceptable to Malaysians for the country’s continued prosperity.


Not so, in my books, for, when a “war-footing” is triggered, then all else becomes subordinate to the national interest. What good is there for BN and PR to be at loggerheads with each other when the country is crying for solutions to a very pertinent aspect of its survival – her economic well being!

Unfortunately, instead of addressing and finding amicable solutions to all the above, our power-wielders prefer to opt for a confrontational stance. Accusations and counter-accusations of criminal wrongdoings, with sordid details of misbehaviour by political adversaries still continue. Blatant abuse of instruments of governance meant for securing public order in time of national crisis is invoked to cause public inconvenience. Propriety in respecting the rule of law is thrown to the winds with ministers commenting on on-going investigations, whilst, in the same breath, claiming that they are not interfering in the process.

Prior to March 8, almost all power holders assumed that the Malaysian lay-public are ignoramuses who cannot differentiate between an untruth and a sworn statement; between fact and fiction; between news-propaganda and information-plausibility.

Gladly, Malaysians have passed that stage! We are now more well-informed, thanks to the advent of the Internet and its associated knowledge dissemination facilities. We are more judicious in making decisions that affect our own well being and that of our children and their children’s children. We care for the betterment of our beloved nation and resist the temptation to simply migrate and say farewell to the place where we were born!

It is for all these that I weep for my country. A nation that once stood tall amongst her peers in the region is now deemed to be the “laughing stock” of the world! Our leaders are castigated not only by the opposition, but, more vocally by their own “supporters”. In trying to pacify and placate these dissatisfied groups, the will to take charge and move the nation forward appears to have been put on the back burner!

I plead to all – please, please do the right thing! Pick up the reins and commence governing. Do not attempt to justify your weakness by pointing fingers at others; instead prove your mettle as a leader by actions compatible with such an acknowledgment. Lead and do not be swayed. Rest assured that should you do what is right; the rakyat will be with you. But, if you prefer to opt for what is “popular”, than the reverse will surely occur.

Enough of castigations and humiliation; enough of thumb-twiddling and procrastination.

Others are moving forward at a faster pace than us. We need to pick up the pieces and catch up with them.

I know we can do it – provided the innate will to do so is there!

I wish to stop weeping – is there such a possibility?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"No Award" Birthday

No one made it to the sultan's birthday list in oil rich Terengganu state this year. Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who is also the current Yang di Pertuan Agong, has decided that his birthday bash this year would be carried out “in moderation”. In contrast, the state government is coughing up RM3.43 million for 14 units of new Mercedes 200 Kompressor for their exco to replace their 4 year old Proton Perdana V6s. (Read Rocky's Bru and Tok Mommy's take on this, here and here). If HRH's decision had anything to do with this, only God knows.

When I was in the service, I used to pore over each royal birthday honours list in the hope of finding my name that the powers-that-be may have somehow neglected to inform me ... but no such luck. Although I served for almost three decades as a senior government servant and a pioneer in my line of work, a very grateful government failed to reward me even with a lowly PJK. Perhaps here my lawan taukeh stance during my long term involvement with the trade union movement may have something to do with this.

Nevertheless, I do get very pissed off every time I read about young people barely out of their teens whose only qualifications are that they are the sons and daughters of national leaders, mediocre businessmen and third rate politicians being awarded datukships and what have you. Perhaps I should be grateful just being addressed as "captain", thank you very much.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

While the cat's away ...

My jovial friend and fellow mariner Capt. Leibbrandt (you may have seen him playing colonial mat salleh types in some local made-for-TV movies) was mugged and robbed while on his way home a couple of nights ago. He was also slashed with a parang at the back of his neck. My Dutchman friend is a tough nut to crack but bleeding profusely, it was fortunate that his neighbour was just reversing his car to go out for dinner with his wife. They drove him to a nearby clinic where he was given 7 stitches and an anti tetanus injection.

The assailants were four mat rempit on two motorcycles. They had shouted "Mati!" when they attacked him. The captain regrets having had to report that they were Melayu for fear the case will just be treated NFA ... no further action.

What is happening to our beloved country?

Battle of Balaclavas

As a young ship's officer, I often wore a balaclava to protect myself from the biting cold during "anchor stations" in bad weather. A balaclava or ski mask is essentially a form of woolen headgear covering the whole head, exposing only the face and often only the eyes. It was first worn by soldiers at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854, which was also the scene of the famous Charge of the Light Brigade where an entire section of British cavalry was almost wiped out after a reckless and foolhardy sabre charge at Russian artillery. It later transpired that the fiasco occurred chiefly due to faulty intelligence reports, miscommunication and deep animosity between two aristocratic battlefield commanders, the Earl of Lucan and Lord Cardigan (who also had a piece of woolen clothing named after him) out to impress their boss.

Nowadays, the balaclava is usually worn by Alpine skiers, covert security forces to prevent identification and very shy criminals out to rob a bank or something.


PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested yesterday by balaclava-clad police commandos (photo) in 15 cars in a scene reminiscent of a similar arrest 10 years ago, but was not charged and has subsequently been released on police bail. The manner of this high handed police action, one hour before the stated deadline he was to report at a police station was absolutely amazing and has been described by his wife Dr Wan Azizah as an overkill and "absolutely unnecessary". This is now a subject of much discussion in the blogosphere. Read Rocky's take, "The Bala-clavas are back!", here and Lim Kit Siang's "Police Black Eyes", here.

In another development, fellow blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was also reported to have been arrested and charged in court for criminal defamation earlier today (read the Malaysiakini report, here), but he is now believed to have been released after he posted bail.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Great Debate

The long awaited TV debate between Parti Keadilan Rakyat's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka was aired live on a few channels last night. Meanwhile, NST online reports, here, that "there was no clear winner" but I believe it all depends on which side you are on.

I was quite amused that the minister insisted on getting personal and taking political digs even after being gently chided repeatedly by Anwar. To my mind, what happened in the past is history, which we can learn from, especially since Anwar wasn't the top dog and the buck didnt stop with him. But we have to give credit where credit is due and kudos to Ahmad Shabery for letting this debate take place, and having the balls to take on Anwar especially when his taikohs are all inclined to go on a denial mode.

Last night was probably the first time in a decade the rakyat get to see Anwar speak on TV where words, gestures and body language will not fool the masses. The issue debated upon i.e., “Form a government today, fuel prices will decrease tomorrow” now seem pretty academic unless Anwar's opposition Pakatan Rakyat really get to form the government soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fuel Duel

(Source: Agenda Daily)

My hometown blogger friend Desiderata a.k.a. YL Chong, who is also an editor for the Centre for Policy Initiatives, writes:

The initiative by web portal Agenda Daily to organise a debate between PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek on the recent fuel price hike issue is to be applauded. We also welcome TV3's commitment to telecast the debate live on July 15, at 8.30pm from the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka auditorium.

Since Ahmad Shaberry assumed the information portfolio, he has stated on several occasions he would engage with various groups in public discourse on national issues, and indeed, RTM has since then launched a special "Blog" programme for several Sundays now, featuring thus far interviews with leading bloggers such as Raja Petra Kamarudin, Ahirudin Attan aka Rockybru, Tony Yew and Capt. Yusof Ahmad aka Ancient Mariner.

We believe such efforts to expand democratic discourse through the various media -- both print and electronic, old and new media -- is to be welcomed by all Malaysians consistent with a national agenda towards realising Vision 2020, which encompasses promoting and creating a civil society befitting the status of a first world nation.

We look forward to this debate, and the acceptance and willingness by the two debaters, Anwar and Ahmad Shaberry, to engage on behalf of the Government and the Opposition respectively, marks a stride forward for Malaysian democratic practice. It is the hope of many Malaysians such initiatives will be continued and expanded by both the ruling Government and the opposition parties, later to include civil society groups and prominent individuals perhaps, as they are all stakeholders in nation-building, with a common goal of achieving a better Malaysia for all.
-- YL Chong, Editor, CPI

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Loony Fringe

As a blogger, I have never fancied myself as an "online journalist" and unlike some of my "ex journo" peers, I do not have access to mysterious "Deep Throats" who will feed me with juicy tidbits or the latest rumours. I can only comment on news reports now available gratis online. Perhaps I am just part of the "loony fringe" as mentioned yesterday in NST's pompous editorial, here, which I thought was rather too holier-than-thou for a rag fast losing its readership. I have stopped buying this New Shit Times many years ago.

The editorial had some biting if not bloated comments on Information Minister Shabery Chik's offer to bring us bloggers in from the cold and induct us into his hall of fame via the RTM1 weekly program "Blog", which was dismissed as amounting to little more than a "sideshow and diversion". I take umbrage to this comment since I was one of the bloggers featured in the program recently. The minister was also described as trying to rationalise the role of the alternative media, which were seen to have played "a decisive part in not just the build-up to this year's general election but the continuing socio-political turbulence since then".

Some of us bloggers may indeed be "frauds and charlatans" who shoot our "rabble-rousing mouths off or engage in slanderous badinage with the cybermasses", but you will ignore us at your own peril.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Anti-fuel hike rally

The changed venue for the day-long anti-fuel hike rally, the Kelana Jaya stadium, is just behind the condo where I live so there was no excuse for me not to join a few of my blogger friends* (photo) to attend the rally this morning.

There was a carnival like atmosphere and my estimate was there were only about 10,000 protesters instead of a million, which was hardly surprising considering the various threats issued by the government, police road blocks, military presence and a police helicopter circling overhead around the stadium. Even our cellphones were mysteriously jammed for long periods which prevented calls and SMS messages. (We could see people on the roof top of an adjacent building where the antennas are located). Dirty poker, indeed.

I left early and on the short walk home, I bumped into a young cousin of mine who happens to be the local chapter head of a BN main component party. He was truly convinced that we Malays are finished if Anwar Ibrahim becomes prime minister especially since he is a "US lackey". I told him that we Melayu akan hilang di dunia under the present government and if he believes that bit about the US lackey thingy then he must also believe that I am his fairy godmother.

* (Photo from left to right: Lokeman the Flyer, Melvin the Taffer, Bernard the Zorro-Unmasked and Gus the Fisherman).

Friday, July 04, 2008

I Smell a Rat

The speed with which private investigator Balasubramaniam made an about turn, less than 24 hours, was mind boggling to say the least. Read the Malaysiakini report "PI retracts stunning statutory declaration", here.

I attended a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana Merchant Square, Petaling Jaya today, where Balasubramaniam's lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu (photo, left) reiterated that Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration filed on July 1 was made voluntarily.

Malaysiakini also reports, here, that earlier today Balasubramaniam had in another PC, retracted his earlier sworn statement which stunningly implicated DPM Najib with the murdered Altantuya Shaariibuu, which he said was made under duress. However he did not reveal as to who forced him to sign that statement. In place of that sworn statement, Balasubramaniam released a new statutory declaration which removed all mention of Najib in it! Sheeesh.

I smell a rat.

It is rather daunting to consider what some people will do for apom and thosay.

In view of all the above, I believe only a Royal Commission of Inquiry can remove all doubts and suspicions which have been planted, to decide once and for all who is lying and who is telling the truth.

A real hoot

(Source: Malaysiakini)

Well, if it didnt knock your socks off then it must have been a real hoot, the current political situation, I mean.

Our boy Najib hasn't been very truthful, has he? He had denied any links with Saiful Bukhari, when the case blew up, saying the 23-year-old came to his office and met officials some months ago looking for a scholarship. But he admitted yesterday, here, that he had met Saiful at his house recently because the latter was so "traumatised" about the sexual assault and came looking for help. I believe they only call this "withholding information" or something. Sheesh.

Najib has also repeatedly denied any links with murdered Mongolian beauty Altantuya. But his credibility is now wearing thin especially after the "explosive" claims made by Razak Baginda's former private investigator Balasubramaniam at a press conference organised by Anwar Ibrahim, here, yesterday. (I had made my way to the PC but got sidetracked and lost in the rain). At the PC, Anwar said that he will "adduce further evidence soon." O boy.

Perhaps as pointed out by a commentator in my blog, we don't need to wait longer for Najib to self destruct before his competitors come for him.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A question of credibility

Take a gander at today's news headlines in the Star online:

PM: Anwar has no reason to fear.
Yeah, right. You believe this guy?

Syed Hamid: Police probe will be fair.
Yeah double bloody right. The IGP himself now has a police report lodged against him!

Rosmah: I am only a politician's wife.
But in the same breath she says she had other bigger things to attend to for the people and for the nation ... Eh?

Dr M: I am not surprised by sodomy allegation.
Why should you ... You showed 'em the way!

Now you will understand why I cant stand politicians. Or their wives.