Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nostalgic Weekend - Matthew and The Mandarins

I was introduced to this group by George Das who once worked with The Star in the 70s. George had his column where he did record review for the paper. One day, he asked me to listen to a group and guess it's origin without looking at the record sleeve. I only have to listen to one track and I told him it must be a group from Nashville, Tennessee. He said, "Wrong. It's Singapore!" I couldn't believe it because the music had all the works of a country and western group from the States, you know, like singing with a southern drawl, slide guitar, banjo and the whole works. The next thing I knew, I was making a beeline to the nearest record shop to purchase a copy of "Matthew and The Mandarins". That was the group's first release in 1976. Out of the many tracks, the one that stood out was Matthew's own composition, "Singapore Cowboy". In 1979, they released their second album and that too has become part of my collection.

Each time when I was in Singapore on a business trip in the late 70s, I would take a cab, after dinner, and head for the Shangri-la Hotel, to see the group performing live at The Peacock Room. The room would be filled with American oil riggers who would be clapping and dancing to the songs performed by the group. All I can say is, they were simply outstanding.

In 1980, Matthew Tan left the group to go solo and released an album to that effect. However, it is gratifying to note that Matthew and his boys are still performing till today with a large following in Singapore.




A little help goes a long way, for the senior citizens of Penang

Judging from the initial response 'warga emas' (senior citizen) programme in Penang where senior citizens are given an annual RM100 handout got off to an encouraging start this morning.

Some 115,000 residents of the state, aged 60 and above, had registered to receive the handouts in a programme that was launched last year and which drew flak from Pakatan Rakyat's critics in BN, especially Umno.

The latter's broadside that money for the handouts had come from sources of revenue deemed 'haram' from the Islamic standpoint was expected to stymie the appeal of the programme for Muslims.

But the posse of senior citizens, comprising Malays, Chinese and Indians, that turned up at Bukit Jambul in Batu Maung this morning for the event suggested that questions about the legitimacy of the handouts' origins were not a forbidding constraint.

PKR assemblyman for Batu Maung and state executive councilor for religion, Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said he was encouraged by what he saw at the bank outlet in Bukit Jambul where the RM100 vouchers were to be cashed.

NONEHe said he arrived more than two hours before the bank outlet opened at 9.30am and there were already senior citizens milling in the tented area outside.

"The signs are that the response of senior citizens to this year's programme would be better than last year," said Malik, who was at hand to supervise the handing out of vouchers by a platoon of party workers.

For the poor, RM100 goes a long way

According to Malik, some 4,300 senior citizens had registered for the entitlement in the adjoining state constituencies of Bayan Lepas and Batu Maung. The number exceeded the figure for last year which was 2,586.

Buns, mineral water and hot drinks were dispensed while the eligible citizens waited for the bank to open and their numbers to be called.

NONEBy noon some 500 warga emas had already collected their dues.

Eligible recipients have a full month in which to collect the handouts.

"I don't think we are going to have a problem with eligible Muslim recipients," opined Malik after observing the crowds that turned up at Bukit Jambul today.

"The sum may be small but for the poor a hundred ringgit goes a long way," he said.

Uh-oh, this is not good, not good at all

BN's Joseph Mauh has been caught red-handed on a double election cheat. He not only promised a poor Headman RM10,000 to gain his vote, but then the cheque bounced!

In this way, Mauh cheated his constituents twice. Firstly, he cheated them of their right to a free vote by bribing the Headman, which is an exceedingly serious crime. Secondly, he didn't even carry out his promised payment to a poor community.

You could say that a person who takes a bribe in exchange for their most precious freedom, the freedom to choose their rulers and lawmakers, deserve what they get. But, of course, such communities agree to these bribes because the treacherous BN government has kept them so poor and desperate.

The police must act to arrest election criminals

Sarawak Report assumes that now this incontrovertible evidence has been placed before them, the police will move immediately to detain and question Joseph Muah. Likewise, the Election Commission should suspend the result of the election.

In the evidence is proved (and it should be done quickly) then there should be a re-election. In the light of this abuse, other similar claims across the length and breadth of Sarawak should also be investigated. We are not talking about 'opposition troublemakers', we are talking about a respected and appointed Headman, who voted for BN!

Joseph Muah, if found guilty faces the most serious criminal charge of election fraud. This is the testimony of the Headman against him:

"My name is Kuching ak Moyan and I am one of the headmen in Tamin constituency. In the just concluded State election, I was given three cheques, one for RM2,000, another for RM3,000 and the third for RM5,000 by the Barisan Nasional candidate, Joseph Muah. I have cashed out the first two cheques, both for a total of RM5,000 but the last one, for RM5,000 was bounced. So I sent it back to him and he promised that he will bank in the amount instead into my account. Up till today, I have not received the RM5,000. The three cheques were given to me on the 13th of April so that we will give our support to the Barisan Nasional. In the year 2006 State election, each voter here was given only RM20 but in this election, the amount was increased to RM50 per voter. There are 15 voters in this longhouse and all of them were given RM50 each. I think all of us have voted for Barisan Nasional. Of course, I know that the money the Barisan Nasional give to us would amount to nothing if the government grabbed our land. But what to do, we will have to vote for the government as the government has given us the money. Yes, I know we can just accept the Barisan Nasional money and vote for the Opposition but since everybody else voted for Barisan Nasional this time, I decided to follow suit."

This is just the beginning of the evidence about this election. No wonder BN in KL was so worried about the election and so relieved at the outcome. But likewise, not wonder Taib rushed in the middle of the night, in the middle of the weekend to the Governor to get sworn back in before anyone could shout, "Stop Thief!"

But if he hopes this is the end of the matter, the the Chief Minister is older and stupider than even we realised. The cheated voters of Sarawak are not going to take this sitting down. Because the victory of the last election was that despite the bullying, bribes and cheating the Opposition still managed to gather 45% of the vote!

Imagine what percentage would have gone to the Opposition without the rigging and cheating and bribes? The swings across the country were HUGE and they were away from the BN in town and rural areas alike.

Imagine what the percentages would have been if all those half million native voters who Taib refuses to give voter registration to had been able to vote too? This is why BN is worried. They are an illegitimate government who stole the election and they deserve to be investigated and prosecuted and then punished with the full force of the law.

Sarawak Report is currently in Geneva, where this NGO is joining others who have been invited to speak at the UN about the problems over human rights and democracy in Sarawak. We will present the case of this Headman and also the many others who have been cheated in this election.

[Source: Sarawak Report]

Friday, April 22, 2011

Marina Mahathir Reflects

Muslim leaders in Malaysia have been aping the Arabs although they don't as they do since our so-called independence.

Look at how long some of our Prime/Chief ministers have been serving and how corrupted most of them are. Look at how they repress the people of other Faiths while holding up to the world that religious freedom is enshrined in the Malaysian constitution.Look at how even now with the tsunami-changing events in the Middle East they are still so petty minded that they have to stamp the Bible, which is the holy book of Christians, with their officious, senseless "chops". How would they react if we ask the authorities to stamp the Koran to the effect that it's meant only for Muslims?

How foreigners must be laughing at our asinine authorities and our so-called democratic Malaysia. Never in the history of the world has such blatantly foolish and repressive actions being taken by a regime that professes to be a democracy and which recently became a signatory of the Rome Statute of ICC. Muslims must ask themselves why the government is so fearful that they might read the Bible.

I, and many others I know, had classmates who were Muslims. Many, if not most of them, took Bible Knowledge as one of the subjects that they sat for in what was then known as the Oversea Cambridge School Certificate examination or more popularly known simply as Senior Cambridge. Not even one of my Muslim classmates has been converted to Catholicism.

Recently, I met one of these classmates and while talking about the "good old days" he mentioned, without any prodding on my part that he scored distinction 1 in Bible Knowledge in the Senior Cambridge exam. He went on to say that he's so proud of this achievement that he still keeps and treasures a copy of the Knox version of the Gospel of St. Mathew, a slim volume to those of us who studied it. Is he now a Christian? Hardly. He's now a venerable Haji who abstains from alchohol and even cigarettes, although he smilingly acknowledged that he used to indulge in these "vices" in his younger days.

So, I ask again the question, "Why is the government so frightened that Muslims might read the Bible"?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A rebuttal from Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Utusan Malaysia called on Umno today to spearhead a 1Melayu, 1Bumi movement involving all Malay parties — claiming DAP was intent on toppling the country’s Malay leadership. Utusan also added that the Chinese already controlled everything and was now aiming for political power.

Although, I would like to take Utusan’s side on this, I am afraid that Utusan is wrong to make such a sweeping statement. Most people believe that Chinese voted for DAP simply because DAP is a multi-racial party. The Chinese rejected MCA simply because it is the only party that represents Chinese. Many Malays refuse to vote UMNO because of the same sentiment.

“Only absolute political power has not been controlled by the Chinese, everything else has been taken,” pointed out Utusan. But it is inaccurate. To say that everything else is taken by the Chinese is laughable. What did the Chinese take? The Economy? Most Chinese thinks the Malays are controlling the economy through the NEP, and not the Chinese.

Other than the Chinese billionaires frequently mentioned in the press, the rest of the Chinese are not any economically different from the Malays. Are we going to fault the Chinese for being economically better than us? So what has the NEP done except for ensuring that we Malays are left further behind? Also, there are a lot of Malay Billionaires, except some of them do not have audited accounts to track their wealth.

Will the Chinese Malaysians fault us for absolute power in the country’s political administration? Must we Malays have absolute Political Power? What happened to power sharing? Why must we taunt the Chinese? Was it wrong for them to support DAP?

Great slogans

DAP’s great slogans among them, Undi Untuk Ubah (Vote for Change), Enough is Enough and Selamatkan Malaysia (Save Malaysia) were not only a hit with Chinese Malaysians but Malay Malaysians were also charmed by its spell, and don’t you agree that it sounds very appealing?

“In truth, those slogans are aimed at no one else but specifically the Chinese. It is displayed proudly on the chests of DAP candidates and supporters in the Sarawak election so that the Malay leadership of Malaysia is changed,”Utusan added. Very untrue as these statements were aimed at Malaysians of every community and not just the Chinese, Sincerely, the Chinese Malaysians should not be faulted for BN’s poor performance.

In the Utusan column, it was said that the Chinese community was a united force whose “brotherhood” was unmatched by any other race in the country. That they were united, helping each other economically, close and supportive, protective of their language, culture and each other, is a very good observation by Utusan. If that is the case shouldnt we try to emulate the Chinese then?

“In short, the Chinese are actually very fortunate to be in Malaysia. They have controlled everything. The top ten Chinese are Malaysian billionaires,” Utusan wrote.

I would not agree with that, as I think if they could make it here, and if they were back in China they would have been multibillionaires, given their explosive economy. And on no account, should we imply that they are fortunate to be in Malaysia. They are like you and me, born and bred here, and they are Malaysian citizens, and they also contribute to the economy of the country. We have no arguments with them.

Malays disunited?

Zaini, the Utusan editor who wrote the article, also said that while DAP has united the Chinese politically, Malays have so far done nothing in response. They are a race that is quite comfortable, complacent and apathetic. In fact, their thoughts are quite disorganised,” he wrote.

That is a sad fact as Malays are disunited. But the fact that UMNO has not done very much to improve the lot of the Malays, while the Chinese were racing to the finish line is the biggest factor that has caused the Malays to look at greener pastures in PKR and PAS.

Malays themselves cannot see much hope in racial politics and many are secretly hoping for change that will see a clearer landscape and a cleaner government, corruption free, nationalistic and where we can be respected for our beliefs. Utusan and UMNO always seem to condemn our own race. I really wonder why?

I think the last thing we want is to fan the fires of racism. Malaysia is a wonderful place, and it is big enough for all Malaysians, and we should learn to share, and respect each other’s beliefs and culture. Let the Politicians fight among themselves and while we try and douse the flames of radicalism.

Lastly, BN should ask themselves why the Malaysian Chinese are leaving in the first place. Very frankly, I think Chinese and Indians see BN as a lame government, unable to control the fanaticism of certain factions, the bullying tactics, and their unofficial label as 2nd class citizens, the Divide and Rule policy, clinging on to a hopeless Race Based Politics, Rampant Corruption and the erosion of Human Rights. Even Malays have lost hope as evidenced in the last election. What then of the others?

Utusan added that the Chinese component parties in Barisan Nasional (BN) would not be upset with such a move to unite the Malays as the Chinese were already united.

No, they would not be upset, but they will blow their tops at such a suggestion. It is a direct challenge to their loyalty for BN, and it will not go down well with the other component parties. BN should instead transform itself from the beginning, instead of clutching at straws now, because I really fail to see how the Chinese can be a threat to us.

Choose the 1Malaysia route

If BN and the Home Ministry endorses Utusan’s view, which many consider as anti-national, it will only strengthen the people's belief, that our Government is not serious about 1Malaysia.

In the past, religious protests against the Bible and Malay Supremacy were seen as sabotage by subversive elements out to disable Najib’s 1Malaysia. It has also tarnished Najib’s sincerity to promote the 1Malaysia concept.

BN failed to see that Malaysians were ready to embrace and had actually accepted 1Malaysia in the past, but bit by bit, this was chipped away by uncontrolled racist and religious flare-ups until most Malaysians now cannot feel even its shadow.

The RM50 million email fiasco will also not resurrect the faded 1Malaysia image and neither can the mainstream media if it continues to publish everything contrary to what 1Malaysia stands for.

[Source: MC]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Who actually won the Sarawak polls?

Who has won the election?
By votes count per total seats (71) PR has won!!

Total votes caste:672,667

1. BN
No of seats won: 55
Votes : 372,379
Ratio of votes per total 71 seat = 5244.77 votes

2. PR
No of seats won: 15
Votes : 277,329
Ratio of votes per total 71 seat =18,488.6 votes

BN garnered only 5244.77 voter per seat.
PR garnered 18,488.6 votes

PR has won!
Congrtulations to PR.

BUT IN REALITY, BN/PBB/TAIB won PR has lost. Why?

Taib's Chinese Chess strategy:
Long time ago Taib Mahmud regime had redrawn the political constituency landscape of Sarawak in his (PBB) favor such as a typical example is Pending (N10) 29,488 voters with large Chinese electorate and on the other hand Lingga (N23) 7,745 voters with small electorate but with Melanu/Melay majority.
In figure: N10: 1:29,488
N23: 1:7,745
Therefore, the truth and effective tool are obvious: manipulation of the number of voters per seat (constituency) base on racial card.
[Source: MI]

The question of the 58-vote margin in Senadin

I read somewhere that should the margin be within the range of 2% of the total votes cast, a re-count is entitled to the party concerned. The question is, why was it denied in this instance?

Monday Humour

A doctor was addressing a large audience in Oxford,

"The material we put into our stomachs should have killed most of us
sitting here, years ago. Red meat is full of steroids and dye. Soft
drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG.
High transfat diets can be disastrous and none of us realizes the
long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But, there is
one thing that is the most dangerous of all and most of us have, or will
eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most
grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

After several seconds of quiet, a 70-year-old man in the front row
raised his hand, and softly said, "Wedding Cake."
A priest was about to finish his tour of duty, and was leaving his mission in the jungle where he has spent years teaching the natives, when he realises that the one thing he never taught them was how to speak English.

So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest.

He points to a tree and says to the chief "This is a tree."

The chief looks at the tree and grunts "Tree."

The Priest is pleased with the response.

They walk a little further and he points to a rock and says

"This is a rock."

Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts "Rock."

The Priest was really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes.

As they peek over the top, he sees a couple of natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity..

The Priest is really flustered and quickly responds, "Man riding a bike."

The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them.

The Priest goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and be kind to each other, so how could he kill these people in cold blood that way?

The chief replied,

"*My bike*."


Ah Beng was travelling in a crowded bus. He was carrying the passport-size photograph of his son for college admission.
Accidentally, the photograph dropped down from his pocket.
He started searching for it frantically & found it on the floor below the ends of a woman's skirt.
He asked her, "Can you lift your skirt? I wanna take photograph"....

He was beaten so badly that he had to be admitted to hospital. He was suprised to see Ah Quah on the next bed to him in a worse condition.

Ah Quah explained what happened to him.
He had gone to a remote village to work. He finished late & missed the last bus. He couldn't find any hotel nearby.
So he approached a nearby house & asked the owner whether he can stay there for a night.
The owner replied "I have 2 grown-up daughters. Sorry, you can't stay here."
Then he approached the next house and asked the owner whether he can stay there for a night.
The owner too replied "I have 3 grown-up daughters. Sorry u can't stay here."
So he went to the next house & asked "Do you have grown-up daughters?"
The owner asked "Why?" and Ah Quah replied, "I want to stay for a night."
THE REST IS HISTORY... boommmmm..!!!

The moral of t he story is :

It is not what the speaker meant but what the listener understood

A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid.
Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem.
The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you.
If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens."

Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"

No response..

So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Still no response.

Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again no response.

So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away.. "Honey, what's for dinner?"

Again there is no response.

So he walks right up behind her... "Honey, what's for dinner?"

(I just love this)

"Ralph, for THE FIFTH time, CHICKEN!"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chivalry is dead as far as our PDRM is concerned

At a polling station in Miri, police walked in to arrest Elizabeth Wong's aide who had been protesting about some irregularities. As Elizabeth stepped in to prevent her aide from being arrested, the police roughed her up as well in the most unbecoming manner of our men in blue. The aide was bodily carried to the police patrol car shouting repeatedly, "What did I do wrong?" Definitely manhandling a woman is in no way going to improve their image which has been on a down hill slide for some time now.

George Chan blames unjust policies: BN cannot go on like this


Defeated SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan has blamed the state and Federal government’s failure to listen to the rakyat’s grouses as the reason for the party’s unprecedented loss in Sarawak.

Dr Chan, who lost to DAP unknown Ling Sie Kiong by 1,590 votes in Piasau, said Barisan Nasional had also reacted “too little too late” to correct “unjust and unfair policies”.

“I am very sad over what has happened. We acknowledge that some of the policies in place now are unfair.

“SUPP tried very hard to speak up against these injustices and correct them but apparently, it was too little too late.

“Both the governments must listen carefully to the rakyat’s unhappiness and change because election results showed there is widespread discontent over unjust policies,” he said, attributing the party’s loss to “national issues”.

However, Dr Chan declined to elaborate on these issues, adding that these had been “highlighted enough”.

“The rakyat wants a transparent government. I agree with them. The government must change the way they do things and change accordingly in the manner the rakyat wants,” he said, adding that Barisan leaders must also be realistic and not be confident that the Sarawakians would continue to support the coalition.

“One thing is very clear. Barisan Nasional cannot go on like this,” he said.

Accepting SUPP’s losses, Dr Chan, 75, said the party must also change with “new blood” taking charge immediately.

“SUPP will need a complete overhaul. Perhaps we will get some political experts to help make sure this party can remain alive,” he said.

He added that he would ponder his next move after meeting with the other party leaders.

Dr Chan has been Piasau assemblyman for the past six terms before his defeat yesterday.

He started his career as a medical doctor at a clinic here before being appointed as the Miri District Council chairman in the late 1970s.

Ling, 28, a lawyer, was a chambering student in the Kuala Lumpur office of DAP chairman Karpal Singh and only joined Miri DAP as an ordinary member last month.

[Source: MC]

It was an election made to win by the BN

As the dust slowly settle down, politicians on both sides of the political divide must now be busy figuring out the outcome of the election results to decide on their next move. But be as it may, it was one heck of a state election not to be forgotten for a long while. The BN was there with all their machineries at their disposal and the Opposition with their limited resources, had to find ways and means to meet the people. Just to reflect back what the Opposition was up against.

1. It was hand-out galore with RM1,000 to each longhouse and a few hundreds each to the individual occupant. If this is not bribery, I wonder what is the alternate term for it.
2. Local municipal harassment before the start of each Opposition ceramah as they tried to find faults with the organiser even to the specifications and location of the stage for the speakers.
3. Ceramah permits were issued to the Opposition to be held next to a BN candidate who not only had political speakers but guest singers with their speakers blasting away to drown the Opposition.
4. If well known musical entertainers were not enough, they even brought in Umi Hafilda with her sordid story of Anwar.
5. All the msm were having a field day reporting on BN candidates but far in between of the Opposition. Even if they do, they will be mentioned in brief some where in the inner pages of the tabloid.
6. Postal votes by the thousands were just dumped in, so much so that it brought DAP Alice Lau contesting in Bawang Assan constituency to tears. But then despite the injection of 3,000 postal votes, the BN still lost the Kota Sentosa seat.
7. Four NGOs from Semenanjung were denied entry into Sarawak.
8. Muhyiddin's helicopter crashed and the pilot died. Come to think of it, does the BN own any chopper or does it belong to the rakyat? So the Opposition have to make do with the best they could to find transport to the interior while the BN travel with ease.
9. Petrol, according to Shah Alam MP YB Khalid Samad, was denied to the Opposition to travel to the interior. He later remarked that he was like on some kind of TV "Amazing Race" adventure program.
10. Longhouses were threatened to vote for the BN with KEMAS officials watching over them to make sure they do.
11. A BN representative was seen entering a polling station in Satok which consequently caused scuffle with the Opposition.

12. The Returning Officer refused the Opposition copies of Borang 14 (which states the number of voters and votes at each station) in Asajaya and Tedelu. The Opposition is thus deprived the opportunity to cross check and tally the votes.
13. The "timeliness" of the sex video was screened just before the start of the 14-day campaign.

In any election, the odds are definitely stacked against Pakatan - UMNO, MCA, PBB, SUPP, Maybank, Utusan Malaysia, NST, The Star, Berita Harian, PDRM, Election Commission, Pos Malaysia, AirAsia, Immigration, and everything they could think of, er ... including Tupperware parties.

But despite the humongous obstacles the Opposition had to put up with, they still managed to garner 15 seats with a popular vote of a respectable 45%. The BN's popular vote dropped from 63% to 55% . DAP doubled their efforts from 6 to 12 seats and PKR tripled theirs from 1 to 3. Small no doubt, but an increase is still an increase and in the process, this has finally put paid to the SUPP President, George Chan who lost the Piasau seat.

After all the dirty tricks he and Taib could find in the book to win this election, Najib has the gall to say that this election was the most difficult to win with big majorities due to the online media. Can you BELIEVE this man?????? Read here.