Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Karpal – please leave the rotten apples alone

Also posted in Malaysia-Today
(Last edited 30 April 2008 8.52am)

As our respected Raja Petra Kamarudin said – there were rotten apples in the basket. I would like to add that if something is rotten, warn others about it, but otherwise leave it alone and let it rot quietly - least it stinks up the whole place.

Karpal should concentrate on solving the many burning problems that we all are facing – or about to face. Suing the royal family is not something the rakyat needs now. It is not about being right or wrong in principle. It is just that no matter from what angle I look at it – I could not see a positive outcome for this action. Instead it will stir up a lot of shit and provide ample opportunities for unscrupulous people to exploit.

Karpal – please understand that DAP victory in GE 12 was mostly due to our disgust with Barisan Nasional’s corruptions and racism, not so much because of our love for DAP leadership and ideology. Yes – DAP struggle has it time and place, but we are in a different era now.

Truly, there is nothing much left worthy to fight against nowadays. The whole of Barisan Nasional is imploding, collapsing under the cumulated weight of 50 years of corruption. Just take a look at the Ku Li/Badawi/Mukhriz saga, the Khir Toyo vs. Sami Velu, Lim Keng Yik vs. Gerakan, Donald Lim vs. MCA saga - the whole lot can rot in hell for all that I care. But what I do care very much that Pakatan Rayat is not anywhere near the rotten scenes.

What we need most urgently now is not somebody to fight for us – but somebody who can provide a strong leadership to ride through the impending global crisis. We need good, efficient, rational governance – and more importantly we need compassionate leadership to bring the races back together.

Is is not even that the rakyat will vote DAP out in 5 years time if it doesn't perform accordingly. It is more that if the parties as well as the rakyat don't assume a position of unity and cooperate with each other on that basis, there may not be much left to be cherished after the worst recession in 30 years hit us in full force.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hisham: I apologize for my apology??

I have to say - the article Hisham apologises for keris act that appeared in Malaysiakini got me very confused. I must have read it at least three times and I am still struggling to try to understand it. And then the following article Najib: Keris apology won't derogate Malay dignity came out today – oh man, that got me utterly confounded.

At first Hisham made an apology to the non-Malays, and then almost on the same breadth, was an apology to the Malays about having to make the apology. Sorry I am a computer geek, but something just doesn’t compute here. I mean – doesn’t the second apology nullify the first?

In the first place, what was the intention of waving the keris anyway? I am by no means a historian or a scholar, but my perception of the keris is that is a symbol of justice, courage and dignity. These are universal virtue that transcends race, religion and ideology. But the way the keris was being waved, the forum, the context, the intention, the radical stance – was every bit in contrary to the virtue that the keris represents. It was the subjugation and perversion of a sacred symbol for political means.

The waving of the keris was the act of derogation of human dignity. So Hisham apology should be to the whole of humanity, plain and simple. But the way the apologies were made, one apology to the non-Malays, and another apology to the Malays, was as if it was a matter of one race against others.

We have to put a stop to these racial bullshit. All Malaysians, regardless of race, should cherish and honor the virtues represented by the keris. We have to say no to racial politics. We have to stop the keris and other cultural/religious items from being hijacked for political means.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What? Ali Rustam a Blogger?

(Also posted in Malaysia-Today)
Something very significant happened on 8 March 2008. It was like the burst of lightning that awakened everybody from their slumber. All of a sudden the whole country is riveted to the political process, and we have unprecedented number of mamak stalls, kopitiam politicians and whatnot.

The level of participation from the rakyat on the political process is truly astounding. For example when YB Lim Kit Siang made a wrong move, within the first couple of hours hundreds of messages have already appeared all over the web condemning his move. The same thing happened when Sivasubramaniam threatened to quit. Similarly when Mohd Ali Rustam made some truly stupid remarks regarding the pig farm project in Selangor he was bombarded with hundreds of very unflattering comments in his blog.

But this is where the similarity ends. While YB Lim made a public apology and Sivasubramaniam reverted his decision promptly, Mohd Ali Rustam chose to delete the offending comments and locked down his blog to prevent further comments. I almost fell off my chair when I read about it in Malaysiakini. Was he trying to control the internet like how BN controlled the mainstream media? Was he in denial mode, sweeping the dirt under the carpet and pretend that everything was hunky-dory? I could not believe that 50 years of BN rules has produced leaders of such colossal stupidity and arrogance. The way he is going – I don’t think he will last another election. I will do my part to see to it that he doesn’t last another election.

This simple incident illustrates a dramatic difference between Barisan Nasional politics and Pakatan Rakyat politics. In Barisan Nasional politics, the leaders say and everybody listens. The leaders are high above; they cannot be criticized, beyond criticism and untouchable. And UNMO expects this bunch of arrogant idiots to run their personal blogs?

Blogging is very much about coming face to face with the readers and subjecting oneself to be judged by all. Nobody cares about your Tan Sri title, your personal palace, your Mercedes Benz, your police escorts, and there is no secretary to filter out unwelcomed guests. Everybody is on equal ground, and only one’s integrity and intelligence matter. It was never a one sided conversation. Even our respected Raja Petra, whom everybody listens to, would read the reader’s comments and change his writing style accordingly.

Today is a very sad day indeed, because Makal Osai is being shut down. No reasons were given, and no reasons need to be given. I felt a wrenching pain in my heart as Makal Osai is one newspaper that was not subjugated to being a mouth piece of the ruling party. I don’t read Makal Osai, but I strongly believe that politics should not interfere with the media. The people should be the judge. The people as a collective gathering have infinitely more wisdom to decide what is right and true than a bunch of self-serving politicians.

Yes, I am still boycotting the mainstream media. I will continue to advocate it until the mainstream media learn to uphold its sacred duty with true integrity or die a natural death. I am but one humble voice answering the call to straighten our media. If the calling is true, the number of voices will multiple and before we know it we will have another tsunami. This is how the collective process works.

If you believe in the urgency of the matter, please add your voice here: Boycott the newspapers!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

MCA – please wake up to what the rakyat is demanding

I have family members, relatives and good friends who are MCA members. I always despised politics, especially the Barisan Nasional politics, but I had reserved a soft spot in my heart for MCA, even volunteered to help out in the 1999 election. But whatever feelings I had for MCA has all but gone now.

I never thought much about politics, but I had been able to close an eye on it. I was annoyed by the ultra-radical rhetoric of UMNO youth, the keris waving etc, but I never quite believed in it. For me it was only a song and dance for some silly people to move up the rank in a crazy game called politics. I see that the politicians, the warlords and the Chinese tycoons and Ali Baba’s are so dependent on each other in minting their money and robbing the country that nobody really wants to rock the boat too much.

But the recent antics of some MCA leaders have got me fuming mad. I am referring to the PAS/Islam bashing announcements, calling DAP the traitor of the Chinese for going to bed with PAS etc. I don’t think many Chinese would take statements like these seriously, as everybody can see that the Chinese was never so well represented in the new government. But our Malay brothers and sisters are in a much more precarious situation. The welfare of the ordinary Malay – in fact any ordinary nobody regardless of race – was never really looked after by BN, and now all of a sudden they are faced with a new government with even less Malay representations.

I am not sure whether MCA is so dumb to not see this, or whether it is just a bunch of bankrupt politicians looking for cheap publicities. But statements like these that incite religious and racial tensions are downright irresponsible and dangerous in the current delicate situation. I consider these to be infinitely more sinister and dangerous than UMNO’s keris waving antics.

MCA – please wake up. The rakyat have spoken loud and clear in GE 12 that we don’t want race politics anymore. DAP and PAS, and indeed the whole Pakatan Rakyat has demonstrated their willingness to listen to the rakyat and made tremendous progress in finding a middle ground where all race and religions can cooperate and live in harmony. Please work with the rakyat to build a better tomorrow for all.

The Three Christs of Yipsilanti (2)

(Posted in www.malaysia-today.net 16 March 2008)

I want to reiterate that the letter I wrote yesterday (The Three Christs of Yipsilanti) was not meant to condemn any groups or individuals. The opposition parties are born out of the resistance to the constant threats, intimidations and instigations from the BN racial politics. In the case of DAP, historically, it took the role of Robin Hood, the underdog hero that fought to uphold the identity and welfare of Chinese population. Of course this is a form of chauvinism for it gained the support and sympathy from the Chinese at the expense of exclusion of other races.

To be fair we have to give credit to the DAP leaders, as without their persistence thorough the think and thin of it, going in and out of ISA detention and prison we would not have the vehicle and the grass root support to see the victory now. The underdog hero role is a baggage that need to be shed. But DAP is also under a lot of pressure, and they have to make a lot of very difficult adjustments. It is going to take time for its leaders, let alone its grass root support to understand and comprehend the new role that DAP has to take on. And worst of all is that its arch rival MCA has been busy fanning the fire from behind.

A few MCA leaders made some statements regarding the Perak Chief Minister issue that appeared in the Chinese newspapers on Friday. The statements read like “Chinese are betrayed by DAP conceding chief minister to PAS”. When I read statements like these I fume with anger. These bunch of sore losers has no sense of social responsibilities. They do not care how dangerous it is to instigate racial sentiments in a delicate time like this. So much for being the elected or aspire to be elected statesman or representative of the rakyat. For them every damm thing has to be sensationalized. This is their political chip. One criticism of Ong Ka Ting is that he was too quiet, and that is equivalent to being politically bankrupt. This the dirty nature of politics. Oh man, I do hate politics. I really want to give the whole bunch a good spanking, especially the self-proclaimed devout Buddhist Ong Ka Chuan.

I generally have been very upset by the coverage of the election in the mainstream newspapers. The incident I related above got me fuming mad. And when I saw the cat fight cartoon referring to the Perak MB issue in the front page of Friday Sun I slammed the paper down, and swore that I will not put up with any of these bullshit anymore. When I received an SMS calling to boycott of the mainstream papers last night, I promptly forwarded it to every single contact in my SIM card, even to names that I can’t remember. Guang Ming Daily is the only paper that I buy now.

I don’t want to second guess Raja Nazrin Shah’s intention on his choice of Perak’s Chief Minister. But my first impression is that it is a stroke of genius. It is going to stir the pot big time. It is going to force DAP face-to-face with PAS. It will force DAP to work closely with PAS – the one single party that DAP sworn no allegiance with. If DAP can pull it through it will demonstrate to all that DAP is mature enough to accommodate other races.

I am generally very happy with how things are unfolding. The news that the Perak’s chief minister will be sworn in tomorrow is a big relief. My salute to YB Lim Kit Siang for making a prompt apology and giving a very balanced explanation of it in his blog, and kudos to PAS youth for openly supporting the new government in Penang. This is the type of cooperation that will move us forward.

For me the greatest significance of GE 12 is not the birth of a two party system in Malaysia. The greatest victory is that we, the rakyat, are no longer helpless, isolated individuals that are subverted and manipulated by the power mongers. We have found our collective voice. It is voice that transcends religion, race and ideology, and it is powerful enough to cause a political tsunami.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Three Christs of Yipsilanti

(Posted in http://mt.m2day.org/ 15 March 2008)
This is how the story goes. There were 3 mentally ill patients who harbored the illusions that they were Jesus Christ at the Ypsilanti State Hospital of Michigan. One day a researcher psychologist by the name of Milton Rokeach had a bright idea. He decided to place the 3 self-proclaimed Messiah in the same therapy group. He thought that by exposing the three to similar delusions of the other he could bring them back to reality. To cut the story short - no - Rokeach did not managed to provoke any lessening of the patients’ delusions. The amazing thing is that the three ended up accommodating each other, and set up the very first ‘Society of Christs’, in order to persist in their delusions. The result of his experiment was a hugely insightful study into the basis of delusional belief systems.

Since the advent in communications that brought the whole world together we have seen this absurdity being played out time and again with disastrous consequences amongst the religious, national, racial, tribal etc groups. And now this absurdity is being played out by our beloved Saviors – DAP, PAS, and PKR. The way they have been behaving these few days – each asserting its ‘absoluteness’, each asserting its ‘rights’, even using underhand tactics to get an upper hand on each other, was completely stupid.

I always hated politics. I despised it. And that was why I abstained from voting until this year, my 48th year in life. I detested the hypocrisy and the one sided chauvinism being played out on both sides. Yes, I am talking about Barisan Nasional as much as DAP, PKR and PAS. Hardly one week had passed since the windfall victory and we are already seeing the ugliness raising its head in each of the respective parties. The anti-Islamic chauvinistic stance of DAP, and the hypocrisy of PAS…. I don’t want to elaborate any further here. If you want to find out more please read Raja Petra articles.

This is for the record – the first ballot that I cast last weekend, was not for any political party or parties. What I voted for is Barisan Rakyat. My vote is my declaration of solidarity to the silent movement of awakening spearheaded by Raja Petra, Haris Ibrahim et al. It is a vote of confidence for the high moral standards and selfless service demonstrated by these remarkable individuals. My vote has nothing to do with race, religion, and definitely not about any political parties.

I am not writing to condemn any particular groups or individuals, but to point out that race, or religion or ideology based politics has no relevance anymore. It is not even that the parties have to get together to come to some amicable power sharing agreements. No – that would only result in an absurd “Society of Christs”. The whole damm thing about racial, religious and ideological differences simply has to be dropped. And it can happen. The last weekend was nothing short of being a spectacular demonstration of it. The whole event was simply magical. If the Malays had known that DAP is going to win this big many would not have voted the rocket. If the Chinese had known that the 3 richest states are going to fall they would have opted for the safety of BN. I can only use Divine Intervention to describe the unfolding of events.

Winning the election was the easy part, as we are fighting a big, bad, stinking, rotten something that everybody wants to get rid of. But moving forward from here is going to be much more difficult. We have to face up to our own evils - personal ambitions, the petty differences, not to mention the soaring crude oil and commodities prices, the looming recession and sabotage from the BN stooges. Makhal Shakti has to continue. It is going to require active participation from all, and it has to continue in a much more organized and efficient manner. The collective voices of everybody has to continue to demand rightness. It has to heal the mistrust brought about by decades of misgovernance. It has to bring back to balance the distributions of wealth and opportunities. It has to wash clean of all differences and prevent any willful efforts to create separation.

I have absolutely no idea how to proceed from here, except that to pledge my 100% support and participation. The rest I will have to take it one day at a time.