Saturday, December 19, 2009

At the 1st Pakatan Rakyat Convention

Political speech-making can impose a heavy weight on multicultural politicians in Malaysia but the principal leaders of Pakatan Rakyat at its historic inaugural convention in Shah Alam today bore theirs as easily as hand luggage.

With a 1,500-strong audience drawn from all fragments of the Malaysian racial mosaic assembled in the plush auditorium of the Majlis Perbandaran Shah Alam, PKR's Anwar Ibrahim, DAP's Lim Guan Eng and PAS' Abdul Hadi Awang made an admirable effort to convey their coalition's embrace of the universal ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in multicultural accents that immediately endeared them to their listeners.

No doubt, years of practice has helped Anwar switch with suppleness from Bahasa Malaysia to English and back, sprinkling some Mandarin and a modicum of Tamil along the way.

pakatan convention 191209 anwar guan eng hadiBut Lim's use of Islamic tropes is a fairly recent – and an Umno frowned upon – practice which, judging from the laudatory reaction of PAS members of the audience who consider themselves better judges of things Islamic, the DAP secretary-general brings off with increasing dexterity.

His use of “amar maaruf nahi mungkar” (Arabic for enjoining the good and forbidding the bad) was deftly threaded into the text of his largely Bahasa excoriation of the Barisan Nasional that he topped with a 'pantun' which reached a climax with the Islamic admonition nicely woven in as motif. It brought down the house.

Not to be outdone was Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi, the third speaker after Anwar. He had framed the day's discourse in characteristically free-ranging intellectual tones, with Lim weighing in with an adrenaline-boosting speech.

Hadi's valiant effort in Mandarin, Tamil

Showing slight, residual effects of the stroke he suffered some time ago, the PAS president took his time warming up to his theme – true Islamic rule is rule of the blessed – before reaching an expertly calibrated climax in which his trotting out of parables culled from Islamic history depicted caliphate rule as quintessentially non-sectarian.

Thus when he implored the audience not to equate Islamic rule with inferences they are wont to draw from Umno's example of it, the ripple of laughter that ran through the crowd boded willing assent.

Usually, Anwar Ibrahim's blend of high-flown intellectual speculation with street-level vernacular makes his speeches on occasions like today's the standout performance.

But Abdul Hadi's deceptively mundane warm-up where he made a valiant effort at miming a Mandarin greeting and the Tamil word for welcome was followed with a subtly worked finale, representing the morning's best effort.

pakatan convention 191209 anwar 02If Hadi's speech was magisterial, Anwar's was cautionary.

He warned that Pakatan's determination at ridding the Malaysian polity of BN's race-based politics would always be in danger from reactionary tendencies among its cohort. As such, he pronounced watchfulness against this potential for regression a cardinal plank of his leadership.

It was a transformative leader's salutary call that his side should not replicate the faults it abhors in its opponents.

Dec 19, 2009, may well go down as the day in history when a substantial part of Malaysian political society decided that race-based politics is horribly passé.
[Source: Malaysiakini]

Well spoken, Nazri!

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz condemn Utusan Malaysia for its “outdated” racist propaganda, saying the Umno-owned newspaper must accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country.

“They should stop it because how would we (the Malays) like it if people say that Malays are lazy and stupid? We would also get angry. Don’t do to others what we don’t want others to do unto us,” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider.

Nazri had earlier castigated the Malay daily for defending the controversial National Civics Bureau, or Biro Tata Negara (BTN), for its courses which he said were racist.

“And more so now, under the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and 1 Malaysia, we must accept that Malaysia is a multi-racial country,” he added.

“I have reiterated that we must learn from Nicole David and other athletes. It is not acceptable to be a racist in 2010. It does not matter if we keep saying that we are not racist if our actions show otherwise. Enough with racism already.

“50 years after Independence, where are we headed to? Are we still going to deny that the Chinese and Indian community have any right to stay in this country? I think it is outdated,” Nazri added.

Nazri added that Malaysians can longer accept categorising minorities with derogatory names.

“Malaysians, including the Malays, can no longer accept calling Chinese as immigrants and Indians with derogatory terms like ‘keling’.

“I think that if we want to act on a few that question Malay rights, then we should attack them only but not the whole community. If there are one or two individual Chinese or Indians that question Malay rights then we attack them only. We should not label the whole community as anti-Malay.

“As an elected representative, I know that that all the races are enjoying good relationships, so we should not take one or two bad examples as a basis to attack the whole community. I cannot agree with that. I am very much against racism. I hate racism,” he explained.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our men in blue blundered!

I am fortunate that I am no longer in the tourism industry as otherwise I would be spending most of my time at police stations trying to bail out our foreign guests rather than showing them the sights of our beautiful country.
On one hand, you have Ng Yen Yen going to China to induce the Chinese to come here for holidays. When they finally turn up at our doors, our hospitality was extended to the police lock-ups. It's time the tourism ministry
and the home ministry get their act together or stop promoting our country all together. One of the first things the police need to do is to come out from their tempurong ands stop strereo-typing the tourists. It would be a waste
of public fund.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where are you fellas In Pakatan??????

It was so frustrating to learn that the Supply Bill [2010] was passed with a slim majority of 66:63 in Parliament yesterday. If the remaining 21 PR MPs had turned up, the bill would have been defeated and according to the Westminster model, it basically means a motion of no confidence in the government and thus pave the way to the formation of a new government. Even though the turnout of the PR MPs constituted 78% to BN's 50%, it still did not explain the absence of the 21 MPs from PR.

By the way, this is Najib's first budget since becoming prime minister early this year. BN was lucky this time as the earlier count was at 63:63 but was saved by Tapah MP, Saravan, who appeared at the last minute to make it 64.

DSAI, being the party whip, had better review the attendance of his men as such block voting does not come often! We would also like a list of those PR MPs who failed to turn up for this crucial vote.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Local journalists practise good journalism???

When I came across the following news report in The Malaysian Insider (and also Malaysiakini), I wasn't sure whether Hisham was referring to the independent bloggers or those pro UMNO bloggers. But knowing this UMNO fella, I am sure he was referring to the former. Be that as it may, then he had better take a good look at where his other three fingers are pointing. All the msm, especially Utusan, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of good journalism, so they spin and spin and spin so as to curry favour from their political masters; and if this was not bad enough, they write articles that incite hatred towards the non-Malays. If one was to follow the law, the reporters, editors and printers of Utusan would now probably be spending a total of "100 years"in jail under the ISA. Local journalists adhere to ethics? Puhleeeezz lah!

KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 15 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said some bloggers, unlike local journalists, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism in their bid to garner popularity.

“The local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what set apart journalists from these bloggers,” he said at the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards here last night.

Hishammuddin said journalists in the country would have nothing to fear so long as their reports adhered to the ethics of journalism, adding that they would be accepted by the people.

He said journalists who reported the truth would not be penalised and those who spread slander would not be successful.

At the function, two Bernama journalists were among those honoured. Wan Affandi Wan Mahadi of Bernama TV was awarded the second prize (RM1,000 cash) in the audio visual category while Ibrahim Abu Bakar won the third prize (RM750) in the sports writing category. — Bernama

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mariam Mokhtar - a day in the life of a Malaysian

I wake up and retrieve the newspaper lodged in the letter-box. My “Keling paper” has delivered it faithfully, come rain or shine.

I go to the kitchen and make breakfast. Into the toaster goes the bread sent to my home, the previous afternoon, by my “Keling roti”. It has been made by the local bakers, the FBI — Federal Bakery Ipoh — owned by a mamak.

But if I am out for breakfast, it is usually a roti canai at my local Indian’s. Followed by achar koi snack from “auntie”, a Chinese lady.

Halfway through the morning, the sound of a horn alerts me that Ah Fatt, our “grocer on wheels”, has arrived. He brings me fresh vegetables, fish and the usual dried condiments.

Once a month, our local “Keling botol” comes round to collect our empty bottles. Our “Cina paper” too comes to collect the old newspapers.

My neighbour comes round with some pisang grown in her garden. She is Indian, married to a Chinese policeman. I am grateful for his tips on how to keep my house secure. When my ubi kayu harvest is plentiful, I’d go round and return her kind gesture.

I have a gardener. His name is Velu. From the name, you can guess he is Indian. He is much adored by my children. If my son is not in his room, I know where to find him — under the mango tree, in the garden, sharing chapatti, dhall and “tapau” teh tarik with Velu. I told my son off for demolishing Velu’s packed breakfast, but Velu was happy to share his meal. Both were sporting toothless grins — Velu has no teeth and can’t afford dentures. My toddler has just lost his two front teeth. I’ve no idea what they chat and laugh about. Sometimes not a lot of gardening gets done. But who cares? At least they're happy. When Velu died, my son was distraught. He had been with our family for decades and refused to be pensioned off.

My general practitioner for the usual coughs and colds is Chinese. All women have a gynaecologist — mine is Indian. And my dentist is Chinese. These people provided services to my parents in the past, and I simply carried on with them. No complaints. Good service. Reasonable fee.

I did go to a Malay doctor once, but he was more interested in “tackling” my younger sister. I dismissed his lack of professionalism as testosterone driven. He was still a bachelor then.

And on the second visit, years later, he was fishing for information about other members of my family. One personal question might be excusable. But twice is too much of a coincidence. I never did return to him. In my eyes, his professional conduct was compromised by these intrusions. I know I shouldn’t be generalising, but this was my personal experience.

When I had to be admitted to hospital, the surgeon who operated on me was Indian. The nurses were either Chinese or Indian.

I once had to use the services of a lawyer — an Indian.

The person who supplies me with stationery is a Chinese woman married to an Indian man. She once supplied my father’s business with his office stationery needs.

When I once had a leaky water tank, the plumber who successfully mended it was an Indian. He now takes care of all the house’s plumbing repairs. He was my parents’ plumber too.

When my house needed new electrical wiring, the electrician was a Chinese person. When I needed outside electrical work to be done, the electrician was Indian. Both had provided long-term services to the family.

Before Raya, I would go to my Chinese tailor to make my baju kurung. My hair is cut by a Chinese woman. As before, these people once supplied my mother, all her tailoring and hair-grooming requirements. My father’s barber is an Indian.

Again, before Raya, my mother’s Chinese friends at work would send tins of “love letters”, kueh kapit, for us to enjoy and serve at our open house. And early on Raya day itself, several plates of pie tee would arrive and my father’s Indian colleagues would send a big pot of chicken curry and putu mayam. The dining table groans with our rendang and the contributions from our friends, of all races and religions.

For several decades, until my parents were too old and infirm to receive guests, we would have an open house that was a riot of people sporting various national costumes. A real melting point — a true reflection of Malaysia.

These people once provided my grandparents and my parents essential services. Either that, or they were colleagues at work, or friends from their younger days. They, who have grown old alongside my grandparents and parents.

And now, people are telling me that these non-Malays whom I have grown up with and who have remained friends, through thick and thin, are second-class citizens? That they do not deserve to be Malaysians? That they are far inferior to me?

So am I to believe that should my neighbour’s husband, a Chinese, make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, that his life is not as valuable as a Malay policeman’s?

Who are these self-serving, self-righteous bigots kidding?

[Source: The MalaysianInsider]

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monday Humour

Want to know the difference between the police and the Ah Longs. Check it out here.


Several men are in the changing room of a golf club.

A mobile phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and began to talk.

Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello"

WOMAN: "Darling, it's me. Are you at the club?"

MAN: "Yes"

WOMAN: "I am at the shopping centre and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $10,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"

MAN: "Sure,..go ahead if you like it that much."

WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new 2010 models.. I saw one I really liked."

MAN: "How much?"

WOMAN: "$500,000"

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."

WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing ..... The house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking for $2,500,000"

MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $2,250,000. ... They will probably take it. If not, we can go for the extra amount. It really is a pretty good price."

WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!!"

MAN: "Bye! I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the changing room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths agape.....

He smiles and asks: ............ "Anyone knows who this mobile belongs to?"


A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience. He Said: "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn't my wife!" The audience was in silence and shock. The speaker added: "And that woman was my mother!"

[Laughter and applause]

A week later, a top manager trained by the motivational speaker tried to crack this very effective joke at home. He was a bit foggy after a drink. He said loudly to his wife who was preparing dinner, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife!"

The wife went; "ah!" with shock and rage. Standing there for 20 seconds trying to recall the second half of the joke, the manager finally blurted out "....and I can't remember who she was!"

By the time the manager regained his consciousness, he was on a hospital bed nursing burns from boiling water.

Moral of the story:



What makes a Malaysian

1. A typical young Malaysian can name all the players from a top English Premier League club, but ask him to name one football player from Malaysia, he cannot!

2. Wh
en StreamyX come, you complain StreamyX too slow. When Maxis Broadband come, you complain Maxis Broadband always disconnects. When WiMax come, you complain Wimax too expensive. In the end, you say StreamyX still the best lah.

3. When highway toll price increase, you complain. When petrol price increase, you complain. When you go Starbucks buy RM10 coffee, NO COMPLAINTS.

4. When you cannot find parking in a shopping mall and have to walk very far, you complain. When you go inside the shopping mall and there's SALE, run from one end of 1Utama to the other, that one NO COMPLAINT.

5. You are always late. And the excuse you give when you're late is always either: (a) traffic jam (b) no transport or (c) cannot find parking.

6. You have a parent who forces you to take science stream in high school, study engineering in Uni, then when you graduate, they ask you to forget everything you learnt in Uni and do commerce.

7. You know someone who can specially develop an angmoh accent when speaking to an American / British / Australian.

8. You complain against the government in kopitiam, you talk loud loud. Leave anonymous comments on blogs, you also talk loud loud. Attend ceremah by DAP, you shout loud loud. Then when Opposition organise a protest and ask you to go, you dun wan. Scared later kena tangkap by ISA.

9. Every year on the 30th April, you are one of the people below queuing up last minute to submit your tax return at the IRB.

10. When you pay RM10 for something that costs RM1, you blame the Chinese.

11. When a government service is too slow, you blame the Malays.

12. When a building is not good and collapsed, you blame the Indians.

13. When a Chinese student won a scholarship, you say 'Wah! Very clever hor?' When a Malay student won a scholarship, you say 'Aiya! Of course lah! He Malay mah!'

14. When an angmoh stranger kisses you on the cheek to say hello, you very happy. When a Malaysian guy kisses you on the cheek to say hello, you slap him in face.

Muhyiddin, now that's interfering!

Before I go any further, let me say that I am no MCA fan. I always view them as a bunch of old Kuomintang supporters and chauvinists rather than hard core Malaysians. Just like UMNO and MIC, it is always the me, me, me, me thingy. I have refrained from commenting on the current crisis involving the party as I just simply do not know where to start with the kind of mess they are in. But recently, things have started to happen in a most unethical way which they hope will bring the crisis to an end (or so they thought). When everyone seems to think he is smarter than they others and the poor party is being pulled into three directions with no referee overseeing the fiasco and all seems lost, have no fear. Here comes someone. Not an old stalwart of the party, not some respectable Chinese educationalists, not some influential Chinese trader, not some bigwigs from the Chinese chamber of commerce, but from ..... ta daaa ... Muhyiddin of UMNO! Why, why may I ask have this fella got to come in to settle scores for these bunch of Chinamen. The big question is, does the MCA constitution allow such an act to take place? So MCA is no longer the Malayan Chinese Association, but the Malay Controlled Association, because OTK, CSL, LTL, WKS and CMF have to take the cue from Muhyiddin? Since I am only conversant in the Cantonese and Hokkien dialects, this is what I have to say - moh min or boh bin (both means "no face" in Cantonese and Hokkien respectively).

UMNO and MCA It is an open act of meddling in the affairs of others by Umno for asking all MCA central committee (CC) members to step down to pave way for fresh party elections.

This is a clear cut case of open interference on the part of the big brother on its other component parties.

Like it or not, the so called advice given by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently smacks of direct poking of his nose in the affairs of MCA.

muhyiddin-yassin-6.jpgMuhyiddin who is on a special investment mission in Tokyo had told reporters there that the best solution was for the CC members to resign en-bloc to enable for a fresh election.

So far 13 CC members including MCA deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek had expressed their willingness to resign to pave way for fresh party elections. However at least 20 of the 30 elected members would have to resign to make up the two-thirds required by the party constitution for fresh elections to be called.

What's your vested interest, Mr DPM?

Muhyiddin went further to say that : “Everybody has got their vested interest but the most important is the vested interest of MCA as a party.”

I sincerely hope the Umno deputy president has a heart for MCA and does not have any vested interest himself by telling all elected CC members to resign.

If you trace back the problem which triggered off the interference of Umno in MCA, it started shortly after the truce plan between party president Ong Tee Keat and his estranged deputy Chua Soi Lek had buried the hatchet and came up with the Greater Unity Plan.

And instead of accepting the plan as a solution to the party crisis, vice-president Liow Tiong Lai and his two allies, Youth chief Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Chew Mei Fun embarked on a crusade to stir up problems which eventually opened the doors to Umno to have an excuse to come in to resolve the long outstanding problem in the party.

With the exception of these three rebel leaders, the rest including vice presidents Kong Cho Ha, Dr Ng Yen Yen and the majority of the CC members gave their blessings to the plan.

With Ong and Chua each commanding almost half of the 2,380 delegates support, it would be hard for Liow to ever dream of surviving his quest for the No 1 or No 2 slot in the party hierarchy, if he so wishes to contest.

mca-ong-chua-liow.pngThen it is best that Liow state his stand now whether he would be contesting any of the top two positions since he appears to be grappling for power.

Or else it would be an exercise in futility if fresh elections is called and there are no contenders in the end. Unnecessary energy, time and expenses would be wasted, not to mention the inconvenience of the party delegates having to travel to Kuala Lumpur.

Must be a clear distinction

A party delegate said Muyhiddin’s statement tantamount to telling another family what to do to resolve its own problems within the family unit.

He said there should be a clear distinction of what Umno can do and not do and that they should not be allowed to poke its nose with regards to party matters.

The delegate said Muyhiddin’s directive was an outright infringement of the fundamental rights of the party by another within Barisan Nasional.

He said whether Umno sees it right or wrong or in the name of the Barisan Nasional that it is giving such advice, MCA members must not sit still and allow such dominance by an outside force.

If this is allowed, the Chinese race will be reduced to mere puppets. If you have seen puppets strung up by strings, you know what I mean. Just one jolt, and the puppet will move accordingly. It will do whatever you so wishes.

The delegate asks: “Where will be our credibility and standing in society, if MCA were to be puppets and the strings are in the hands of outsiders.”

Do the Chinese want to succumb to be the slaves or puppets of others?