Pete…


Pix curi from The Star

Good to see the guy, albeit with more hair. Went hunting for my No-ISA T.shirt over the weekend. Supplier was out. I guess i’ll go again tonite.

They took him to the court for his Sedition trial today. I wonder though, even if he wins this case, he’s still be behind bars thanks to Albabu and Dol Keropok who just kena keropok by his fellow Umno brethren.

What goes around comes around.

Till then, take care, man!

Theresa Kok’s Statement on Her Detention


This is police intimidation coupled with knee-jerk reactions.

I guess the dogs in PDRM was just following orders from their political masters.

Teresa Kok’s press statement

I have been released after being detained in solitary confinement in a 6-by-8 holding cell for seven days under the Internal Security Act (ISA). I was informed by the police that they detained me under section 73(1) of Internal Security Act 1960, which means I have incited racial and religious tension and conflict.

After being detained for seven days under the guise of so-called investigations, the police failed to produce any evidence or proof of me being involved in the activities of causing racial and religious tension. They were only able to ask me few questions based entirely on the false and malicious article written by Zaini Hassan under the topic ‘Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya’ that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10, 2008.

The three main questions that the investigation officers asked me were:

1. whether I have mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose to the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;

2. whether I have made a statement that 30 percent of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islam religious bodies; and

3. whether I have opposed to the Jawi-wording road signages in Kuala Lumpur.

Read the rest of her statement here.

Now ask yourself, don’t you think Utusan Malaysia should be made liable for their rabble -rousing, erroneous reporting? I think Theresa Kok has a case here. She already sued them by the way.

Theresa Released, What About RPK?


Malaysiakini reports that senior Selangor Exco Theresa Kok was released from her ISA detention at 1pm today. Thank God. I could not imagine what she must have undergone in the past week.

Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was arrested at the same time and day last week, is still there. So are the other 60-odd people who are still in detention. Detention without trial is in all violation of human rights. Should not happen in Malaysia, not anymore.

Long past time we accept whatever the authorities tell us. I say we join the signature campaign to let justice be finally done.

You can start with the signature campaign that is making its way through blogosphere and the online world in general.

Sign your name, not across my heart as Terence Trent D’arby once sang, but here at Petition Online. I am signatory no 7473. What number are you?

Also read how to help RPK.

And here’s a list of the ISA detainees still languishing in our prisons.

Blocks and Blockheads


Someone please enlighten me about this blocking of access to Malaysia Today .

Th government has according to this report from The Star,

All 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country have been ordered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the controversial Malaysia Today website…

Reason given? Read the rest of the story that quotes “industry source”.

I did some checking and found that Sec 263 of the COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA ACT 1998 says this:

Section 263. General duty of licensees.

(1) A licensee shall use his best endeavour to prevent the network facilities that he owns or provides or the network service, applications service or content applications service that he provides from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law of Malaysia.

(2) A licensee shall, upon written request by the Commission or any other authority,assist the Commission or other authority as far as reasonably necessary in preventing the commission or attempted commission of an offence under any written law of Malaysia or otherwise in enforcing the laws of Malaysia, including, but not limited to, the protection of the public revenue and preservation of national security.

So I gather from this that:

1) Malaysia Today is used to commit offences.

2) blocking Malaysia Today is to prevent the commission of offence.

3) blocking Malaysia Today is in line with preservation of national security.

LOL! The sheer insecurity of this government is apparently boundless. This is like equating Malaysia Today with the Anarchist Cookbook.

Granted, there is enough of Malaysia Today’s content that is controversial, but isn’t there already enough laws to deal with that without blocking? In this day and age, banning something or in this case, blocking access, will only create more curiosity.

Pissing off Netizens is counterproductive, dear BN government, because they are now going to paint you guys as the devil itself (if they haven’t already). Wasn’t March 8, or indeed Permatang Pauh earlier this week, enough for you guys? Tak sedar diri lagi ke?

To imply that Malaysia Today is a threat to national security is just plain stupid. There are enough people out there who read and think and reason. They don’t believe everything they read there, just like they don’t believe everything they see in the papers or TV. To block Malaysia Today is tantamount to insulting the people of Malaysia.

If Malaysia Today is “inciting” then don’t you think the same could be said of the insensitive reporting of Utusan Malaysia and a few other newspapers?

I’ve said this again and again, if Raja Petra Kamarudin libeled and slandered people, the aggrieved party should bloody sue him! It is not fair to intimidate a small bald David with Goliath’s might just because they can. The NST sued bloggers Jeff Ooi and Rocky last year, didn’t they? Till now it is dragging its way through court, but it is a civil process.

Draconian laws like the Seditions Act, Official Secrets Act, Internal Secrets Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act all have elements of “discretion” where the authority has the power to order detention, can arbitrarily decide what is considered seditious, breaching permit conditions, or what’s considered official secret.

ALL OF THIS WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF JUDICIAL INTERVENTION! They specifically excluded judicial review in amendments that your moron MPs actually voted into law, way back in Dr Macchiavelian Mahathir’s time.

No wonder the government is considered cruel and outdated, and hated so much.

On the practical side, how do you enforce this blocking order thingie? Say all 21 service providers comply with this. All it takes is for a change of name of domain for Malaysia Today to resurface in some other form. Which it already has for a few days now. Here’s the new link.

On another note, you all know about the performance guarantees by the Mahathir govt in the early days of Multimedia Super Corridor right? One of them was that Internet won’t be censored in Malaysia. That, like so many assurances by politicians, are just like a drunkard’s promises.

This is not the first time a website is being targeted in Malaysia. It started years ago. Even as late as last year Jeff Ooi blogged about it and lots of angles came up for discussion.

Now, I wonder, if Malaysia Today is blocked, how long before they restrict blog hosts like Blogger or WordPress. You start with one justification like morality. Soon, it will be racial harmony and then national security. And of course the yardstick for definition of these justifications will be decided by those fellas in authority.

And we all know what pillars of wisdom, morality, ethics, integrity and political correctness they are, don’t we?

100 Days bla bla bla


It was kinda insane. Blog House in Damansara Heights played host to the 100 Days with the Yang Berkhidmats event, which doubled up as a fundraiser night for the fledgling organisation called All Blogs.

Since Blog House set up, it has apparently done some good for the posh neighbourhood. Crime rates went down, citizens there feel safer, simply because of the increased police patrols in the area. Heh Heh!

Last night saw the get together of quite a number on newsmakers in that not so little house, and many, many Netizens.

I’ll let the pictures speak some.

More pics by the ubiquitous Minaq Jinggo at his photo blog.

The YBs? Mukhriz Mahathir (Jerlun), Jeff Ooi (Jelutong), Loh Gwo Burne (Kelana Jaya), Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju), Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai) and Selangor State Assemblyman Ronnie Liu.

The corporates contributed. Heheh! This was kinda funny. This same time last year, bloggers were not very nice words to say, and the socio political bloggers were satan incarnate.

Post March 8, I’m afraid we have all become rather mainstream. Boring, isn’t it, this new-found, rather dubious respectability. Respectable enough that the folks from LG, Air Asia, Scomi, Celcom wanted to join. Air Asia’s Aziz Bakar turned up for a mock check moment and I believe he stayed food and some interesting conversation.

Still the usual suspects were there last night and the food was pretty good. RPK of Malaysia Today had an afternoon date at the Sentul Police Station but still turned up with his lovely wifey Marina.

Marina Mahathir turned up as a blogger while her brother Mukhriz was there as a YB, with the “bodyguards” Big Dog and A Voice. Erra Fazira turned up with her AMP husband as part of the corporate support.

The camera-shy Ewoon was there. So was a boisterous Harris and his more subdued sidekick Helen Ang, Peace Hill permanent representative to Blogosphere Shar 101, pirate turned landlubbler Ancient Mariner, A little Taffer, Danny the Kerp, Yati and Vijay of KL Confidential, Uncle Ron of Kuda Kepang, the incorrigible TV Smith, Gus Gan the Fisherman of Taman Desa, Li’l Crankshaft, and also the lovely lady from Madagascar, Gobloking. Tony Yew was as usual, the keeper of the Royal Seal and also Public Order; Nuraina Samad came from Jalan Sudin. Also seen in the thick of action was Mob 1900, Shanghai Fish, Wattahack, LuLu and the Malay Male.

100 Days with the YBs


Yup. It’s happening.

28 JUNE 2008
AT
BLOG HOUSE
66 LORONG SETIABISTARI 2
DAMANSARA HEIGHTS.
8.00PM

RM30 Per Kepala (If you are a blogger) and RM35 (Non Blogger)

REGISTER /PAYMENT TO:
YEW WEI KEAT (012-2138257)
514011899314 (MAYBANK)

LUCKY DRAW AND AUCTION. FOOD AND DRINKS

After that, please send off a quick email tonyyew@gmail.com informing him of the date of deposit and the name(s) of the person(s) registered. If need be, please contact Mr Yew at + 6 012-2138257. On June 28th, 2008, please bring along your bank receipt.

SEE JEW ALL THERE!!

Walking on the wild side with Zaid Ibrahim


Lawyers must have evolved from eels. They can be both aggressive and slippery. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Zaid Ibrahim was largely slippery this morning as he dealt with a barrage of questions and demands from both the media folks and the bloggers.

Zahid addressing questions from the media at the National Press Club Malaysiakini\'s Steven Gan interviewed by journalist Bradadan Kuppusamy

The police missed their dose of laxative and as such were their usual constipated selves when a group of media folks and bloggers wanted to march (walk, rather) to the National Press Club in Jalan Tangsi. They were restricted to single and double file for fear of disrupting traffic. This was early Sunday morning when KL-ites are still in bed. Go figure. 

 Well-attended event, this. Saw lots and lots of familiar faces. Put some of them up here. Run your cursor over the pictures for captions.

Wong Chin Huat, chairman of the Writers Alliance for Media Independence and Ahiruddin Attan (Rocky), All Blogs chairman outside the NPC before the walk to Dataran Merdeka. The crowd spills from NPC, heading to Dataran Merdeka

This event was The Walk for and Talk on Media Freedom is organised by media activists, including Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Writers Alliance for Media Independence (Wami), National Alliance of Bloggers, and BENAR. It is hosted by the National Press Club (NPC) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

 Blogging Lawyer Harris Ibrahim of People\'s Parliament takes some furtive shots with steady hands Walk...never mind if the scalp burns

The usual lot of bloggers were there. Ungker Zorro, Rocky, Ewoon, Shanghaifish, Jalan Sudin, Little Taffer, Wattahack, Harris Ibrahim and the People’s Parliament regulars Helen Ang and Paul Warren, Sinister Shar, KL Confidential‘s Yati and Vijay, the experienced Meesh, Tony Yew who played MC.

Too many cameras never spoiled Dataran Merdeka Birds of a feather. Journos M.Krishnamurthy, Nuraina Samad and Shahanaz Sher Habib

But what was even more heartening to see were the mainsteam media folks. Spied at the sardine-packed NPC was Norilla Daud (UtusanMalaysia and NUJ chair since forever) and her sec, Hong Boon How.

Seen AND heard was Shaila Koshy and group chief editor Wong Chun Wai from The Star. Lurking somewhere was journos M.Veera Pandiyan, A. Asohan,  journalist/playwright Kee Thuan Chye, Shahanaz Sher Habib, Hariati Azizan all from The Star, A. Gayathry from CIJ, Malay Mail’s Baradan Kuppusamy, Claudia Theophilus from Aljazeera, columnist KJ John and Malaysiakini folks, among others.

Some of these folks have been part of the push for a freer Malaysian media way before “blog” was a word. Some weren’t there today. But for once, there was a show of cohesion today, even if there was no MSM head honcho there from NST, The Sun, Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia. In fact, their absence is rather conspicuous.

Chun Wai asked if to start with, the govt would be open to the idea of issuing KDN (publication) license on a one-off basis as opposed to the annual renewal practiced presently. Zaid passed the buck to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar and said he would support whatever his cabinet colleague’s take on the matter. Lame!

Zaid plays politician and lawyer quite well. He responds to calls for freer media by saying, “Are you saying there is to be no control on the media whatsoever? Who is going to regulate it?”

He knows the answer. There are enough laws in place and even a media watchdog comprising industry seniors could be formed to regulate the media. Misinformation can be helped. Disinformation must be stopped.

Rocky hams it up for YewTube 

Shaping public opinion is a huge responsibility. Maybe the govt doesn’t trust the media to self-regulate. But what it had done for decades now, is worse. It had used the media that was to help the public make informed choices, as a disinformation tool.

So, who really needs control? The media? Or an irresponsible govt whose many gaffes are crawling out of the can everyday, these days?

You tell me.

The show\'s over folks. Now, balik...balik...BALIK!

So, was today a success? Naah, it is a gesture of some kind, it was a show of another kind, but whether something more will come out of it depends on whether this kinda coming together of the mainstream media, advocacy groups, civil society groups and bloggers can be sustained.

The stakes ultimately are the repealing of draconian laws. Does Zaid have the guts to throw himself behind this cause? Is today’s meet worth anything?

Let’s wait and see.

So the Malaysian government finally takes us bloggers seriously…


My morning perusal of the local news headlines brought forth an involuntary giggle that burst into a long, satisfied laughter. My neighbours raised eyebrows. I don’t care.

This is why. The newly appointed Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Chik gave an assurance that bloggers will not be controlled. Instead they will be engaged by the government.

I’m not so arrogant as to think that we bloggers were the reason Barisan Nasional lost so badly for the first time in 50 years. No. That would be presumptuous and stupid.

But we were part of that information revolution that shaped public opinion. It cannot escape the public notice that most of the seats lost were in urban areas. The only exception is the Malay heartland that is part of Perak, and Kedah. Even they must have had access to virtual information too.

Judging by the traffic report generated by this blog’s site traffic controller, lots of people accessed this site from lots of rural areas. Many are keyword search visitors while most, I have to admit, constitute cascade traffic from the more popular, high volume blogs.

Vive la Broadband! Vive la Internet! What IMHO is the greatest technological invention of the 20th century, has helped to make a move for change.

When I first heard Raja Petra Kamaruddin say at the Bloggers United Malaysia gathering last year, that there are more Malaysians online than there are Malaysian registered voters, I had a mild jolt as I considered the implications.

Less than a year after that, the old world politicians of Malaysia are forced to come to terms with a harsh truth. You can’t censor information on the Net.

Not that they didn’t try to. In the early days of Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, the cops used to come and cart away the the hardware from the offices. The dimwits did not realise the virtual and viral quality of online information dissemination then. So they ran down all alternative media sources as “BAD”.

Zainuddin Maidin was certainly one of them. He paid dearly for his ignorance. In one month, he has gone from Information Minister to a nobody. That he was once a journalist makes me wonder, just how he managed to be so willfully ignorant.

Ahmad Shabery begins his tenure with some encouraging noises, but then, coming at this time, after the the near crippling of the Barisan Nasional government, it seems a little forced.

Indonesia has shown many that it is a superior nation and civilisation to us where talent, national pride, civil liberties and intelligence are concerned.

What Shabery said yesterday can hardly be construed as as you take into account the Indonesian government’s engagement of New Media and Blogs.

They went as far as to declare Oct 17 as National Bloggers Day last year, Unspun Malaysian blogger in Jakarta alerted us.

Elsewhere in the world, blogs have been well-recognised as valuable source of public feedback, engaging citizenry into participatory governance etc.

Last year I had the opportunity (thanks to taiko-blogger recently turned MP Jeff Ooi and the National Alliance of Bloggers) to meet David Sasaki of Global Voices Online, who related blog-related happenings around the world.

From then on I discovered that Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a blog.

This site has a list of soldiers who blog from all over the world, and some of them bringing first hand account of the battleground. Five of them were chosen by Time magazine as the Riveting Soldier Blogs .

In Argentina, blogs became a tool of communication between elected representatives and the public which again, invites the man in street into the process of governance.

These are simple ideas. They work because people recognise it to work and make it work to their purposes.

What stopped our politicians and government from doing the same? We Malaysians have brains too, don’t we?

I guess it was the arrogance of Ketuanan BN.

You reap what you sow.

Go Yellow


I’m yellow today. Heheh…no, doesn’t mean that i’m a coward. I’m just wearing my yellow top a day earlier in kinship with the effort by the Bersih collective that’s organising the walk tomorrow.

 yellow.jpg Poster by Mob

 I spent sometime reflecting on this peaceful march last night. This morning, I read my thoughts translated into Uncle Zorro’s hopes.

Yes, this is a peaceful march. We’re going to see the King of Malaysia, or if you prefer it, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. We have a right. We are his subjects, and this is a constitutional democracy, last I checked.

I’m not a member of a political party. I was told that the Bersih coalition has some political party signees. I don’t care. I’m not affiliated with any of them.

I’m a voter. I can walk with my fellow Malaysians in a peace march to convey our thoughts and misgivings about the state of our country, to our ruler.

What else could we do? The mainstream doesn’t listen. The executive is sleeping. The judiciary is fixed or shall I say f*****? Who’s left then?

CID Chief Zulhasnan najib Baharuddin said there is no permit given for the Nov 10 rally? Not that the Bersih guys didn’t apply.

He said a non-governmental organisation sent in an application on Nov 3 for permission to hold the gathering but the application was rejected on Nov 6 by Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abd Rahman.  

He refused to elaborate on the reasons for the rejection. Earlier reports said that Parti Keadilan Rakyat was the main organiser of the rally. – The Star

What else do they do?

I just hope the Opposition party people who attend this gathering won’t hijack this for their own ends. This is to be a non-violent march.

No talk, just walk. The silent march alone will speak volumes.

Saturday. 3pm. Dataran Merdeka.

I want some changes for the better. Do you?

Let There Be Light


light.jpg 

Pix from a talented Flicker member.

Tomorrow, Malaysians celebrate Deepavali, or these days, increasingly called Diwali.

Here’s the generally accepted rationale for this festival that Hindus around the world celebrate.As a Malaysian though, my Deepavali wish would be to bring the light to this country and its people.

The light of knowledge to the ignorant who continuously allow the unscrupulous to pillage the country.

The light of fairness and justice to prevail despite many attempts to ignore it.

The light of magnanimity so we can forgive the the ones who wronged us.

The light of realisation so that the sinners who manipulate Malaysia and Malaysians for their own gain would know what they have done.

The light of foresight that allows the powers that be to ensure long term plans that benefit the country.

The light of humanity to ensure kindness doesn’t become extinct and needless suffering is a thing of the past.

The light of patriotism that keeps the passion and love for this country alive in all Malaysians.

The light of unity that bring Malaysians of all colours, faiths, cultures together as one entity.

And most of all…THE LIGHT OF LOVE… so we Malaysians see and love each other as brothers of the same motherland.Happy Deepavali to all. Om Shanti !