Thursday, October 29, 2009

Believe it or not, our police can't tell time!

I was feeling a little down today due to my thyroid problem and decided to visit some blogs to cheer me up. It was not until I popped into Patrick "Niamah" Teoh's blog that I had a good laugh. Actually, I wanted to post it in my next Monday's Monday Humour column, but since it is so good, I thought it would be nice to round up our hard working week with this video clip and comments.

The incident took place on May 27 2009 in Ipoh when some of the Pakatan ADUNs were arrested for illegal assembly.

Malaysiakini reported that "Eight Perak Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives and six others were arrested by the Ipoh police about 11.25am for alleged illegal assembly. They were arrested while walking in a procession from the DAP headquarters to the High Court to observe a suit being filed against the BN state government over the sacking of elected village heads."

Forward to the
03:40 of the video and listen to the policeman with the loud hailer.

"Ok, saya bagi 3 minit untuk bersurai. Kalau kamu tidak mendengar ini merupakan perhimpunan tanpa sebarang permit. Saya akan tangkap. Okay, satu-dua-tiga...TANGKAP!"

Remember, he said 3 minit ya? Now you count for yourself la. Satu...dua...tiga...did that take 3 minutes? But to a Malaysian policeman that IS 3 minutes or tiga minit. Maybe their time goes by faster than ours.
"Oh my goodness! This is f**king hilarious!" [In the words of Patrick Teoh]

Geronimo's take : And the way, the "Tangkap!" was said, repeatedly in a screachy voice, gave the impression that the person had gone berserk. Now what had our Pakatan ADUNs done to this poor fella for him to lose his mind and sense of timing?

The Perak Assembly that was ...

Observe the following video, and to think that our men in blue were supposed to be a neutral party when coming to maintaining law and order. Even though one is an elected representative of the people, to them Pakatan ADUNs are the "bad guys" and BN, the "good guys". On the other hand, you have an unelected bloke like Ganesan given all the VIP treatment and calling the shots too? What the heck???? Just look at the thuggish way they roughed up the Pakatan ADUNs. Such blatant actions by our mata-mata only goes to show that they
are pro-BN henchmen. No two-way about it.

How about this simple analogy? Pakatan ADUNs is like a soccer team with 11 players playing against BN of 14 players, the referee being Ganesan and the two linesmen, the judiciary and the polis. The referee was picked by the BN team to referee the game knowing very well that he was not even a member of the referee association, but who cares, said the captain, Zambry. Now, this referee who is persona-non-grata to referee the game even went to the extent of changing rule book. With such a backdrop, how to win, dah??? However, the stadium (the state) is filled with 70% Pakatan supporters rooting for them.

Here are some of the comments by Malaysiakini's readers :

Spokenthots: Another successful, BN project - capture Perak at all cost. The people are expendable and don't worry about the Perakians, they will get over it. After all, Malaysians are very forgiving. Give them a project and they will forgive you. Superb training over the last 50 years. Don't worry about all the technicalities, BN can resolve them to stay in power. Pakatan wake up, you don't rule anymore and your Perak assembly is no more sacred. The sanctity of that institution is no longer visible. Neutral bodies are roped in to do the unthinkable. What to do but vote Pakatan at the next general election. Enough of this nonsense by BN. Perakians will awaken from their peaceful slumber and there will hell to pay for all that is taking place today. A true and great Perakian son, Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin will bring back justice to this proud state. Stand fast Nizar, for you stand at the threshold of history as a true son of Perak. Fighting for her abandoned people. Chipmunk: Truly another new chapter by Malaysians for Malaysians (or is it for BN by BN)? Never in history did we have double dose of laughter, sadness, resentment as in this Perak state assembly episode. BN seems to have been prepared with their 'gangsters' and cronies but one can never take away the hearts of the people, the rakyat. I guess it's countdown for Perakians and BN. As long as their so-called elected reps don't bother to practice self-restraint and continue to be arrogant, BN will only lose the battle. Chan Kong Art: The sultan allowed this to happen and now it is not going according to plan so the only right thing to do now is to end it. BN was given his 'blessings' to take over, and nothing has come of it. And after BN 'seized the chair' they have not managed the state assembly. So morally, the sultan must end it. Call PM Najib Abdul Razak in, like the last time but this time do the correct thing. Let the rakyat decide. Jefferson76: If you need 20 'guards' to protect you as you sit on the speaker's chair, then you don't belong there! Lim Chong Leong: The whole Perak state has been taken over illegally and by 'gangsters' using brute force. We may have to learn from history and from countries like France or Russia to regain the people's rights. Rise, Perakians. Gk: Seriously, the Perak sultan needs to do something concrete to end this fiasco. We cannot ignore how foreigners look upon Malaysia now. With this fiasco prolonged, not only Perak is affected but the whole of Malaysia too. Please do something, sir. Chee Hoe Siew: I am following the development with much concern. While both parties fight, those who suffer are the people. I think it is time for both teams to sit down and talk, remove their party lines and think of the welfare of the people. John Smith: Pakatan Rakyat, you are being unfairly treated by people who are not following the rules. I suggest you all resign today in protest. You cannot get the Perak assembly dissolved; but at least by putting almost half the seats up for by-elections together, you dissolve half of it to seek a clear fresh mandate. Fly Emirates: I have given up on Malaysia. Najib Razak - you can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool them all the time. Bet you Lee Kuan Yew is laughing his socks out how stupid Malaysia has become lately. Seems like foreign and local investors are agreeing with him too with the poor foreign investment figures. National Sucks: The people of Perak have been deprived of their fundamental rights as a citizen. This state has been placed under politicians and their cronies who have no fear or love for God. This will turn out to be the biggest joke of the year. Najib Razak preaches '1Malaysia' but the things that he does and condones simply tells you he is a hypocrite. Louis: Why not settle the issue once and for all and call for a fresh election? I hope the sultan hears our plea. We, as the rakyat, feel so ashamed of BN highhandedness and we do hope His Highness sees it the same way.

Torture for beer drinkers

During the recent U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman painted a picture of Malaysia that many like to see -- a multiethnic mosaic of religions, races and beliefs. "The Malaysian government has introduced the One Malaysia concept," Aman said. "It aims at fostering appreciation and respect for all races, seeing diversity as a source of strength. It envisages unity that arises from true acceptance instead of mere tolerance."

Yet the same day that Aman extolled the virtues of one Malaysia for all, a judge's ruling back home conveyed an image of the Southeast Asian nation with a two-track justice system that unfairly punishes Muslims.

The chief Islamic law judge of the eastern state of Pahang upheld a religious court's verdict to cane a Muslim woman for drinking beer. There is debate here over whether the state law under which Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was convicted and sentenced violates provisions of federal law. The question underscores the challenge that individual state governments -- which have sole authority over Islamic issues -- pose to the federal government, and the fairness of a legal system that applies only to Muslims, whose personal offenses are tried under "sharia," or religious, law.

After Kartika, 32, pleaded guilty to drinking, the sentencing judge threatened to jail her for three years if she didn't pay a fine of $1,400. Kartika paid the fine and came close to being caned in August before an uproar in the media and among rights activists earned her a temporary reprieve. She would be the first Muslim woman to be caned in Malaysia if the sentence is carried out.

Kartika's case is just one example of the increasing harshness of Malaysia's separate justice system for Muslims, who make up about 60 percent of the population. Last month an Islamic court sentenced an unmarried couple to caning for trying to have sex in a car. An Islamic court in another state ordered an Indonesian Muslim man to be whipped six times and jailed a year for drinking liquor at a restaurant.

Ten of Malaysia's 13 states impose fines on Muslims who are caught drinking alcohol -- though the Muslim holy book, the Koran, does not stipulate a punishment for this transgression -- while three states have recently ordered caning. Such punishments apply only to Muslims; non-Muslims must abide only by civil laws, so they are free to drink or engage in other behavior forbidden under Islam.

This dual system of justice amounts to state interference in Muslims' private lives. State efforts to "protect" Muslims from sin include a government attempt to ban Muslims from a rock concert because it was sponsored by a beer company. (The government eventually backed down.)

Although Malaysia has long prided itself on being a role model of a "moderate" majority-Muslim nation, politicians have taken to brandishing their conservative and punishment-focused Islamic credentials to attract the votes of Muslims drawn to "purer" leaders. Many Muslims are afraid to challenge the Islamists for fear of being labeled as anti-Islamic or ignorant of Islamic tenets. "This is definitely not the Malaysia I grew up in, which was far more relaxed and tolerant. This has really been a political development over the last decade or so where political parties have used Islam in order to win the Muslim vote," Marina Mahathir, a writer and a blogger, told me by e-mail.

And contrary to the One Malaysia theme, the politicization of religion has even led to hostility against non-Muslims. In late August, for example, a group of Muslims paraded the severed head of a cow, the most sacred animal in Hinduism, to protest the construction of a Hindu temple. A Malaysian civil court charged 12 protesters with criminal offenses.

Hamidah Marican, executive director of the group Sisters in Islam, whose request for a review of Kartika's sentencing was recently rejected, seeks to challenge the image Malaysian officials present of a tolerant country. Harsh punishments such as caning, she says, actually violate Islamic principles.

"Islam is compassionate. There are 107 verses in the Quran that talk of forgiveness," Marican said. "Personal sins are between you and God, not for man to judge. Sharia laws are in fact often the result of juristic activity involving human beings; hence they're fallible."

Malaysia plans to again seek a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council next year, but members of the council should know that caning is a humiliating punishment that violates international conventions against torture, to which Malaysia is a signatory.

The Malaysian government must acknowledge that interfering in people's private lives and sentences such as caning are the antithesis of a "moderate" Muslim state. Malaysia must make clear what kind of country it wants to be. Is it the nation of the splendid Kuala Lumpur skyline, blending the traditions of its mosques and temples with the modernity of the dazzling Petronas Towers? Or is it a judgmental, moralistic nation that obsesses over the private lives of its citizens?

[Mona Eltahawy is an Egyptian-born writer and lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. ]

While on the beer topic, here is a letter from a Malaysiakini reader, "Chanting Yes", rationalising the issue why it is impossible for a ban to be imposed.

I refer to the letter Hasan Ali 'a beacon of light for Islam'. Politics aside, I would like to express my concerns 'openly and uninhibitedly' - as the writer suggested, on a few points raised in his letter.

The recent charade about the sale of canned and bottled beer in Shah Alam is telling in many ways. I can still recall a series of pictures of Chinese PAS supporters drinking canned beer and posing before the press at their operations centre in Terengganu. It was the height of the 2004 general elections, and subsequent criticisms of the matter were duly reported in the New Straits Times.

I suppose there is a difference in behaviour during courtship and after.

In Malaysia, retailers are required to obtain a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. However, a license is not required for beer sold in bottles and cans. The liquor license in Malaysia is subjected to a myriad of laws and regulations, differing in degrees by the awarding local authorities and all kinds of considerations are made prior to its issue. However, there is an existing procedure.

If Hasan Ali is keen to regulate the sale of canned and bottled beer, he should call for the regulation of such goods under the liquor license (or motion for a new license). It is immature of our politicians to frame it as a religious and cultural tussle, when no such conflict exists.

If our argument is on the easy access to intoxicating beverages like beer near residential areas, then a restriction on sales through licensing is the answer. Why make arguments along a divisive path of religious sensitivities - thus pitting the Muslims against the non-Muslims?

Malaysia is still a civil society built on the foundations of a constitution. There wil no end to the demarcation of public spaces if we are to accommodate everyone's 'sensitivities'. It will end up with mob rule, where the majority will impose their supposed 'right' where and when they can. Already, commentators the writer saying that Hasan Ali is right to call for an alcohol ban for Muslims.

I am totally confused - aren't alcoholic beverages already off-limits to Muslims in Malaysia? I thought Muslims will only consume products with a 'halal' certification in this country. So why are non-Muslims punished for Muslims who fail to uphold their Islamic principles?

It is thus interesting for the writer to come charging about the non-Muslims' failure to understand Islamic principles. Sure, we know that alcoholic beverages are not only 'haram' for consumption, but every Muslim involved along the production and distribution of the product is committing a sin.

In that case, the writer should recommend that no Muslim should be allowed to work on such products, from advertising to sales, and any tax collected should be reinvested only for non- Muslim interests.

You see, there are people making a living from both cigarettes and liquor. Some of them also actually enjoy wine, beer and vodka. Claiming that 'alcohol-drinking is the mother of all evil and vices', and adding that 'this is a fact', would surely persuade a lot of alcohol-consuming Malaysians to change their ways.

I don't drink, my grandfather does. He enjoys the occasional rice wine, although we do worry about his liver at his age - he is in his eighties. If Muslims want non-Muslims to respect Islam, they should show some of the same. In the writer's case, insults and logical fallacies won't get you very far.

I think many right-thinking Malaysian citizens agree that we need to regulate gambling, drinking and smoking. There is a reason why they are dubbed 'sin taxes'. There is a lot of justification for the regulation of beer sales and I know many countries regulate drinking hours and venues.

But instead of making rational and logical arguments on the basis of the common good, our politicians are only quick to seize on regressive arguments, appealing to the audience by their religion and race. Rational citizens must not only resist to respond in kind and allow such individuals to dictate the basis of an argument, but we should also understand the underlying issues at stake.

Any talk of banning alcoholic beverages in our country is doomed to fail. What we can do is regulate it, just like how we should regulate gambling and smoking. If we cannot control the demand, at least we can tighten the supply. At the same time, we must be strict in our enforcement, and keep a look out for black market activities that might come in to fill the void.

I welcome proper rules and regulations that will control the sales of alcohol and tobacco (including Lotto tickets) in the form of licenses, but I forbid any decision to award such licenses by ethnic ratio alone. A

s a rule, all sales of alcohol and tobacco should be limited to licensed restaurants/pubs (limited quantity and hours of sale), convenience stores (in limited number and away from residential areas, places of worship, schools and hospitals, just to name a few) and other specialised stores.

Existing prohibition to sell alcoholic beverages to Muslims and cigarettes to underage buyers should be enforced more thoroughly instead of taking the products off the shelves of law-abiding licensed operators and cutting off their revenue stream.

The instruments of the law is there for a reason. Nobody is above the law, and unless Hasan Ali and his colleagues in office have made the necessary amendments to the rules and regulations, seizures of beer stocks from local convenience stores remains illegal.

I know some operators have voluntarily removed such products from their shelves in certain areas, but that is made out of Pakatan Rakyat politeness, if not outright intimidation. I know some policymakers are already keen to regulate the sale of condoms to curb illicit sexual activities, but I suspect we need to weigh the risks and benefits before doing something that silly.

Stop selling a cigarette and that's one less being smoked, stop selling a condom... well, let's just say mankind have a long history of sex prior to the invention of polyurethane sheath.

I would say that gambling, smoking and drinking are the concern ot all Malaysians and not just the Muslims. The sooner we can get on the same page to regulate such behaviour, all the better. On gambling and drinking, the solution seems straightforward for the Muslims, via restricted sales and prosecuted public consumption.

I wish we can just ban all three like chewing gum in Singapore, but there are arguments that one has the right to gamble, smoke and drink to your own folly in this country, just like how people actually have the right to be stupid. The only thing we can do then is damage control.

And a quick note on Hasan Ali being the 'beacon of light for Islam in a world that has succumbed to corruption and immorality' - lets' just say that I feel sorry for the man to have to shoulder such a heavy responsibility. May he be bright always.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The alternate alphabetical guide to Perak

Who said Perak was boring?

It manages to catapult itself onto the political scene with gusto, with as much preparation, excitement and anticipation as a good tennis or badminton match.

However, it would be better if it does not emulate wrestling matches where the wrestlers are acting out some predetermined script and where the outcome is a foregone conclusion because of deals done behind the scenes.

It would also be good if it does not progress to some football matches in the west which have descended into chaos with rival fans having a go at each other.

But then who said Perak politics was a case of being fair or just? It is more a case of who can twist the other person’s arm most. If it was fair, then the illegal punters would be making money hand over fist. But then others, it seems, are.

As the political drama unfolds and I hurry away to the pasar to get my provisions before this or that road is blocked off, I reel off my alphabetical guide to amuse myself. Oh yes, I had better check what colour clothes I am wearing ...

Azlan Shah, the allegedly beleaguered Sultan of Perak who misjudged the mood of the nation either because he was misinformed or misadvised and whose actions have reduced Perak to a pariah state.

Black is the “in” colour and a means of making a political statement. To be clothed in black however risks arrest. Baking cakes was once an offensive act, and can lead to time behind bars.

C is the crisis of confidence that plagues Perak. The reputation of our constitutional monarchy is at its lowest ebb and our government is crippled. The High Court declared Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful mentri besar, a decision which was swiftly overturned by the Court of Appeal, leading to the public’s contempt and condemnation of the judiciary.

Democracy, currently on trial in Perak, although many are convinced that it has already died. Despondency and despair best reflects the mood of Perak folk. Those at the top are denying the people their rights; they do not sense the depth of anger felt by the masses.

Economic growth in Perak is seriously affected, with foreign investment and productivity at an all-time low. Perak folk feel they are being punished for daring to break old taboos. The longer this “debacle” continues, the more severe the backlash. Many are repeating the mantra “Elephants never forget and cannot forgive” in the run-up to the general election.

Frog is the derogatory and damning term used to describe the greedy, despicable and self-serving politicians who swopped party affiliations and started this horrid chain of events.

Ganesan is the current Speaker of the Perak assembly whose official stationery has been hijacked and used by the ex-Speaker and who we are told is going to enter the assembly early so that he can “bag” his chair and lay claim to it before the other pretender does so.

Hee Yit Foong, the Jelapang assemblywoman, allegedly the most despised of the “three traitors” and who mistook pepper spray for a perfume canister, or something like that. It gets curiouser and curiouser…

Ipoh, the capital of Perak, where this circus portrayal of people denied the chance to exercise their democratic rights is being played out on the stage of real life. With apologies to Nero, Perak’s own also reads “While …. fiddled, Ipoh burned.” (Fill in the blanks with what or who you wish.)

Judiciary comes out perfumed like the pong of Rafflesia, or so some people claim. Its questionable reputation makes it just as tarred as the allegedly illegal developments in the governance of Perak.

Key figures to solve this crisis are certainly not the people of Perak.

Leadership, or rather lack of it or possibly even the so-called existence of two “leaders” (depending on which camp you speak to), is confusing the electorate.

Malaysians the world over are following the Perak dilemma with much interest and sadness, that after 52 years, we have regressed rather than acted with maturity.

Nizar Jamaluddin, the ousted mentri besar of Perak who has stood his ground with the backing of the nation and has seen a meteoric rise of popularity with his sincerity, integrity and steadfast dedication to duty.

One Malaysia, a slogan with little relevance in Perak as we have 2 mentri besars, 2 speakers, 2 state governments jostling for power and 3 villified defectors.

Police force is needed, NOT brute force. People are arrested for wearing black, for holding candle-lit vigils, for holding peaceful protests and for being lawyers. The police are much the problem as they are the solution. They have undergone a metamorphosis into a political force rather than a body which enforces the law.

Questionable moves by the judiciary in Kuala Lumpur have only increased people’s scorn and contempt for them. The ordinary Perak folk have no wish to quarrel but are queasy about how the authorities have reacted to quash the rumours and quell the dissenters.

Respect is a rare commodity. It is something the authorities demand and conveniently choose to forget that it is earned, and cannot be forced at will. Protestations will never endear the people to those who doggedly demand respect, even if it is for their speeches. Respect functions much like trust. Once people lose respect for us or lose their trust in us, it is akin to losing your virginity. Once it is lost, it can never be regained.

Speaker V. Sivakumar, shamefully bundled out of the state secretariat by thugs. If nor for the social networking sites like Twitter and media-sharing facilities such as YouTube, the whole world would have been blissfully ignorant off the sickening and shocking scenes of Sivakumar’s eviction. His latest crime is to be accused of stealing some official notepaper of the office he once held, or still holds. Confusing this!

Tree of Democracy where on March 3 Speaker Sivakumar convened Perak’s first open-air and extraordinary emergency sitting of the assembly under the rainforest tree outside the state secretariat. Sadly, Tourism Perak may not be able to take advantage of the people flocking to this place, by charging them a small fee, or selling them tree souvenirs — it may help with the depleted coffers of Tourism Malaysia as a whole.

Unity is mirrored in the voice of over 91 per cent of Perak folk wanting free and fair elections to decide whom they wish to govern them and who should be at its helm.

Verdict of the court of public opinion states that the victims of this debacle are the citizens of Perak and democracy.

Wong Chin Huat, political activist and lecturer who was jailed for initiating the One Black Malaysia movement. Like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, armed police then arrested his students who were merely protesting against their lecturer’s arrest. In the years ahead, will this Perak debacle be whitewashed from the history books?

“X”-traordinary scenes eclipsing this dilemma have ranged from women and children being tear-gassed outside the Ubudiah mosque in Kuala Kangsar to the assembly session under the Tree of Democracy, the dismantling of plaques under this tree by city council workers, the coachloads of people from other states wanting to savour the historical significance of this tree, the shambolic treatment of the speaker, the euphoria of Nizar being declared the mentri besar followed by the shock sudden announcement of the one-man Court of Appeal in overturning this decision.

YouTube. Brilliant for capturing and broadcasting the scenes that many would not want us to see.

Zambry Abdul Kadir, the current mentri besar who in his own words compares himself with the world’s “greats” like Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King. He has his work cut out for him as the clock is ticking. The countdown to zero hour on Nov 7 has begun.

[By Mariam Mokhtar]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Credit cards - if you have not already heard

Came across this letter written by a "PH" to Malaysiakini :

I refer to the Malaysiakini report PM slashes spending in Budget 2010.

I do not know why the government loves to anger common Malaysians like me. Do they get a kick out of it? I wonder.

I have been using my credit card for years and I do not pay a sen in fees or subscription for their usage.

I use my credit card to make life bearable - I pay my utility bills using the auto-pay facility.

I invite Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to use his lunch time and queue up at the post office to pay his utility bills to see what I mean.

Now Najib wants to make RM550 million annually by charging each credit card user RM50 when banks do not charge us anything at all.

I do not know why they need to make us struggling income earners struggle with yet another fee.

If the government wants to curb bad credit card users, then they should tighten the rules so that banks cannot offer credit cards to just any Tom, Dick and Harry.

I call upon all Malaysian credit card users to surrender their card/s on Friday, Jan 1 2010 as a way to protest this most unfair tax on us.

Let's us start this campaign and send the loudest message to Najib.

Geronimo's Take : Like they said, there is a sucker born every minute and that is why people like Najib and gang continue to be in office to make hell for us all. God bless Malaysia!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday Humour

Since I shall not be around on Monday, here are a couple of rib-rubbers posted in advance for Monday Humour.


Sex is the only activity where you start at the top and work your way to the bottom, while getting a raise.

Friends are like condoms; they protect you when things get hard.

Without nipples, breasts would be pointless.

Masturbation is like procrastination, it's all good and fun until you realize you are only screwing yourself.

Without a doubt, women are the foundation stone of society; but always remember who laid them.

Men play the game. Women know the score..

Whenever you feel low, depressed or useless, remember that you are the same sperm that won a battle against a million others.

Here is the definition of divorce... She gets the ring and the man gets the finger!!!


My name is ALICE , and I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist.

I noticed his DDS Diploma on the wall, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my High School class some 30-odd years ago.

Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?

Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought.

This balding, gray-haired man with deeply-lined face was way way too old to be my classmate.

After he examined my teeth, I asked if him if he had attended Anderson High School.

"Yes, Yes, I Did. I'm a Andersonian," He gleamed with pride.

"When did you graduate?" I asked.

He answered, "IN 1970. Why did you ask?"

"You were in my class!", I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely.

Then, that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled faced, fat-arsed, grayed-haired, decrepit, son-of-a-bitch asked,