Murder, Massacre, Mayhem…Misery


For a couple of weeks now, I have been unable to blog.

Yeah yeah. Bitch…bitch, rant, whine. 75 million blogs in the world. Who bloody cares if you don’t write?

Sorry, alter ego escaped.

Anyway, the reason I’ve been unable to blog is that I’m speechless. Marinate that in dumbfoundedess, add a fistful of shame, and lastly, stir in a dollop of futility. Coat it with a sprinkle of sadness and deepfry.

Voila! Abject misery, ready to serve.

Why?

Too much misery in this world. Contagious. Late last month, some Pakistani blokes decide to teach Mumbai a lesson. Jihad is fashionable these days and these GPRS-toting gunslingers wanted to check out of life while making a big statement. Death to the infidels of the west, the filthy Jews and idol-worshipping Indians!

I have loved ones in Mumbai. Even if I didn’t, I still would have been aghast at the impunity with which some people kill and maim their fellows.

Nothing new. Murder and mayhem has formed the piquant sauce that greased the mill of human civilisation through the ages.

That battle-weary, desert kingdom that was Iraq was trampled to the ground under the guise of “Freeing the people from the despot that was Saddam Hussein”. Yet the Nisour Square massacre of last year proved that an average Iraqi’s life matters even less to the occupiers.

It is interesting to note that it is the five trigger-happy Blackwater employees that were indicted couple of days ago, but not Blackwater Worldwide. Not the company.

This outfit must have serious clout remain unscathed despite mounting criticism and calls for oversight, even from the ranks of the US military that it claims to support.

This is a company that won USD1billion contract from the Pentagon to render security and logistics services related to postwar reconstruction in Iraq.  Erik Prince is one of the many pigs feeding at the huge war trough made possible by the Bush administration featuring cowboys like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremer and their likes.

While I join the Iraqis and a lot of people around the world in welcoming the news, I wonder if in the end, all the legalese and the manoevring by the defense lawyers will get these murderers off, scot free.

After all, there is that interesting CPA Order 17 that reads

Contractors shall not be subject to Iraqi laws or regulations in matters relating to the terms and conditions of their Contracts, including licensing and registering employees, businesses and corporations; provided, however, that Contractors shall comply with such applicable licensing and registration laws and regulations if engaging in business or transactions in Iraq other than Contracts. Notwithstanding any provisions in this Order, Private Security Companies and their employees operating in Iraq must comply with all CPA Orders, Regulations, Memoranda, and any implementing instructions or regulations governing the existence and activities of Private Security Companies in Iraq, including registration and licensing of weapons and firearms.

Sure. They are charged in the United States now. But hell, I don’t have much faith anymore in authorities doing the right thing.

Meanwhile, it is business as usual for Blackwater and the rest of the hyenas for whom the heightened security concerns in post 9/11 world has presented a capital opportunity.

I mean, the dogs of war has gone private in a big way.

On the other side of the coin, people who will bomb everybody else to kingdom come, so they check into the heaven of 72 virgins a little early.

Both parties have guns and bombs.

God help this world.

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman: Umno’s Neo Nazi?


This guy is the MP for Pasir Salak. For those who read Sejarah Malaysia, Pasir Salak is a proud symbol of Malay pride in “menentang penjajah.”

This was purported where British Resident J.W.W Birch was killed by local hero Maharajalela, for screwing around with local chicks. If this were true, I’d say good riddance to guys who can’t keep it in their pants.

Back to present time. Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is a first term MP from this Perak constituency who somehow managed to hang on to his seat despite the PAS onslaught of March 8.

This Six Million Dollar Man (his nomme de guerre) seems to have bonded well with the Kinabatangan canine Bung Mukhtar Din to form some kind of tag team in Parliament.

What makes this guy different from the former Jasin and Jerai MPs is that this guy is far more virulently nationalistic, and I don’t mean nationalistic in a flattering way.

He refers to the non-Malays in Malaysia as “pendatang,” as in all Mon-Malays in this country are “pendatang asing”. He apparently said so on July 1 in Parliament.

If that is indeed what he said, then I must say he is mistaken about many things. Firstly, I’m a second generation Malaysian. My grandfather was a migrant, yes, but my dad and later me, were born here. That makes me a legitimate Malaysian citizen. So how am I a pendatang?

Secondly, he must define what he means by Malay. Every other Malay friend I ask says he/she is Bugis, Mendahiling, Jawa, Aceh, Minang, Penang Malay (Jawi Peranakan).. hell, even Boyan. A lot of them are mixed.

And if you bother to check, you might find that Khir Toyo’s dad was an Indonesian and Khir himself is a first generation Malaysian. Khir Toyo was the MB of Selangor, cos you guys just lump all the Melayu-looking fellas under the Bumiputra title. Why? “Kita kan serumpun” goes the reply.

He has said before that the Bumiputera students’ scholarship quota should not suffer just because JPA wants to increase the percentage of non-Bumis to get scholarship.

He wants to mollycoddle students like Saiful Bukhari who had gone to the DPM’s house ostensibly to get help regarding scholarship, when he only managed 1.69 GPA, and has since dropped out of Uniten?

In the meantime, some high-achieving but poor student has his dreams destroyed because of his name, or colour.

When we go out of the country, we are called Malaysians…that’s it. When some Malaysian makes good overseas, he is still known as a Malaysian, not a Malaysian Chinese.

I have long stepped beyond this stupid categorisation. Many of us have.

I just think in Tajuddin’s case, it would take a frontal lobotomy for him to see the multiracial reality of Malaysia and embrace it.

Goodbye, May 13


Today: Wednesday, May 13, 2008, marks the 39th anniversary of a black day in Malaysia’s young history as a sovereign nation.

Have we come a long way to distance ourselves from the bloody nightmare of 1969? I believe that we have. Why? Because on March 8, Malaysians took a bold step away from the status quo.

Reverberations from what local pundits love to to call a political tsunami are still being heard. The full compendium of effects is yet, i’m sure, to be seen.

The balance of political power is rather precarious right now. However, this has not translated into the angst among a certain race or another.

Malaysians are gradually stepping beyond racial and religious demarcation and towards common ground. I see this a lot. The only ones who are left behind are the race-based political parties and the petri dish of segregation that the civil service (with its largely Malay population).

Lessons learnt? We have to embrace each other as Malaysians. We have to learn about each other’s norms and sensitivities. Learn to respect these differences. It is usually the minorities that learn these things in order to assimilate and survive.

Maybe it is time that the majority learnt to, as well.

Last night I talked to my Malay housemate B about respecting another’s sensitivities. I told her that my other housemate AL and me made a point of not having pork or other non halal stuff in the house so that she (B) can cook and eat with us.

I said she could return the understanding by not cooking beef in the house, which I don’t touch. She didn’t know these stuff. I told her and she took it very well.

Maybe our eventual cohesion as Bangsa Malaysia may not come as easily….but it will have to start with mutual understanding and respect.

But I have great hopes.

And for those who gave their lives in the May 13 bloodbath, may their souls rest in peace.

 

Feeding Monkeys in the Jungle…


Kera di hutan disusukan, anak sendiri mati kelaparan. So said a friend while discussing the Sufiah issue, especially in the light of the report that the Malaysian govt gave her scholarship.

Now everybody, including the who’s who in the government wants to save Sufiah. Who is Sufiah?

Prodigy turned Prostitute according to news reports. There are some salacious pictures purportedly of her, floating around on the Net. I don’t want to capitalise on this sudden interest in this girl who went from one extreme end of society approval to the other in 10 years. I want to state my thoughts.

I can understand the how and the why. Before we begin though, some basic information about Sufiah Yusof to put you in perspective.

Sufiah is a British subject. Her link to Malaysia is that her mother is Malaysian Muslim woman from Johor. Her father is a British subject of Pakistani descent. Sufiah is today reported to be 23 years old.  She was a Maths prodigy who gained a place in Oxford when she was 13. She received a Malaysian government scholarship in 1997.

What is less known is that this hot-housed child made two suicide attempts when whe was 11. Behind that facade of an educationally-advanced family, lies this disturbing insinuation.

Two years later she fled her home and ended up finally in the care of social services. Refusing to return to her family, she blamed her father for making her life hell.

In 2004 she married fellow Oxford undergraduate Jonathan Marshall. They split in 2005.The guy was shocked by the press reports. But these quotes tell you certain things.

“I can’t fathom why she would do it – especially someone in her situation. Despite the problems with her family she had many advantages, which other people don’t have,” he said.

“It’s a particular shock – her coming from a Muslim background. To see pictures of somebody doing that – somebody I knew very closely – it makes me think, how did she get to that stage. Quite frankly she knows well enough what she should and should not do.”

And here’s more…

Marshall went on to say: “My view is that people can blame childhood to a certain extent, but there also comes a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

“She had her advantages: she had someone willing to support her while she was at university. One newspaper told me that it had offered a substantial amount for her story. Personally, I’d rather sell my story than sell myself.”

Here’s a little about how they met and how/why the marriage ended.

The two fell in love and married in 2004. Marshall, a law student, had already converted to Islam. He was 24 and she was 19. The marriage lasted less than two years.

“The reason we split was that I became more observant and Sufiah became less so,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Marshall as saying.

“That took her in the wrong direction, away from the direction in which I wanted to go. The teachings of Islam are fundamental to your everyday life, so when paths diverge in that respect it is a major issue.”

She seemed to have suffered through her childhood. Maybe didn’t have a childhood. I can empathise there. I didn’t either. Her marriage at 19 seemed to be to a decent enuff guy. That wasn’t enough to heal her? I don’t know.

Maybe she was too scarred? Sometimes, when you are scarred at such a young age, it changes a lot of things. Hell it can screw up your entire life. When your spirit or sense of sense is so badly broken, your sense of value and values can be pretty fucked up.

What is one’s body worth, people like this may think, when your heart is blasted to smithereens, your soul is wretched? Yeah. She must have suffered a lot, but that descent into selling her body was a voluntary one.

Back to the question of why everyone in Malaysia is up in arms; expressing shock, and immediately after, making plans to “save” her? Just because she is a Muslim girl? Just because she is half Malay?

To Zahid Hamidi I’d like to say this, “You have no locus standi, macha!” What if you guys approach her and she tells you to F**k Off? Mana nak letak muka? By the way, whose money are you using for this Save Sufiah Campaign? Taxpayer’s money?

Already, I’m sore (many of us are, I’m sure) that this Malaysian govt gave this British girl scholarship to study in Britain when many deserving Malaysian students can’t even continue their studies to local public universities because there are not enough places.

Lulu is right when she wished Malaysian govt would show more compassion to its own people. I am more cynical. I know it is things like these that made the tide shift against the BN government. It festers inside when you are made to feel like anak tiri in your own country.

You want to save Sufiah? Why don’t you start a campaign to save the many young girls in Malaysia prostituting themselves in their teens. That Putera Umno fella Abdul Azeez Rahim who were so concerned about the Mat Rempits, should perhaps try to help the bohsias who are given away are prizes.

They are right here in Malaysia. They are part of the social problem.  So jaga tepi kain sendiri lah.

This Harian Metro report says Persatuan Melayu UK is bringing an Ustaz from here to help the girl. I see no problem with that. Pretty laudable of them to help their fellow citizen. However, this paragraph in the article made me gag with disbelief.

berdasarkan perbincangan dengan Trimizi dan beberapa petunjuk, pihaknya percaya Sufiah di bawah pengaruh tertentu terutama ilmu hitam.- Harian Metro

The assumption that this girl was under the influence of black magic, and that’s why she is selling herself, beggars my comprehension.

By that score, is it to be inferred that women who sell themselves are under some hantu influence? Then we must send score of religious people to help rehabilitate the teenage prostitutes in Chow Kit and Bukit Bintang who are slashing prices like crazy. We must use these religious people to cure those Bohsias and Bohjans in the streets then.

What a farce!

Hasn’t it occured to anyone that the people mentioned here might just like to F**k? Those bohsias apparently charge nothing.

Sufiah at least does.
 

PAS Supporters Club?


First I’ve heard of of such a thing. Is it because non-Muslims can’t become members of Parti Agama Islam Se Malaysia?

Whatever it is, to my wee knowledge of my surroundings, this is the first such reported incident of an entire MIC branch “crossing over” to the other side.

But then the March 8 Elections Tsunami (I’m using this cliche for the first time here) aftermath has yielded some really strange stories.

This I guess, is just another slap in the face for Samy Vellu, who until now still doesn’t get it that MIC lost so badly because of him.

What is more important is the MIC grassroot mindset that “voting PAS will mean you will be forced to convert to Islam, and kena sunat (get circumcised), is changing.

I will choose to see it as a herald of times to come when people of all racial and religious backgrounds get the assistance they need, without their colour and faith being brought into question.

Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shaharom is making the right noises so far.

 Don’t assume that without (MIC president Datuk Seri S.) Samy Vellu and the MIC, your welfare will be neglected.

“We will take care of you because any problem affecting the Indian community, will affect members of other communities too,” said Roslan.- The Star

This would be a bonus for the Indians in the constituency, because I doubt many received any help at all in the past.

Let’s hope for more people in politics to come and not just bridge the racial/religious divide, but one day make this divide non-existent.

It is a hope. It is my right to be romantic and hope for a nicer future for Malaysia. And I’m not alone.

We’re justified, and we’re ancient….


Remember the song? Tammy Wynette did that inane but very catchy song with KLF back in the early 90s.

I started singing this song after reading of the multiple arrests this week of the Bersih folks, the lawyers last Sunday, and of course the Malaysian Government’s justification of it. Rajin rajin lah membaca. Here.

Why don’t they just charge these people in court? We have a legal system. Hell! We have two. But Nooooooo. The spectre of ISA is brought up just so we think this backbone-less squid of a Prime Minister means business.

You think the foreigners buy your reasons, Mr Kodomo Lion? With your use of ISA you have just lost the moral right to say anything about Bush and his “war on terror”.

Here, I reproduce part of a commenter’s remarks, that should tell us what people really think of Malaysia. Mr Rajan, I hope that was an honest tale.

HINDRAF and BERSIH is the talk of the town in new york. I was there last week and i returned yesterday. Those guys whom i met are, in fact, Generals of industry, are well informed about discrimination and marginalisation of chinese and indians in malaysia. They are well versed with the NEP and malaysian politics. Not a good word they spoke.Malu betul i !

I proposed the setting up of a joint venture between my co and theirs, this is what they had to say ,”Thats a great idea but not in malaysia, how about doing it in singapore, indonesia or thailand.”Then i knew why FDI is sinking in malaysia.

 Among other negative statements, they said that the officially 30% and unofficially 40% equity requirement , appointment of directors, corruption at all levels,education system is very inferior and stinks, and that they will have to bring in ICT people from india.That will involve headaches with the powers that be.

They are also aware of the perks given but are not the least interested but in singapore, indonesia or thailand, they are game.Out of curiosity ,i asked how they knew all this, they said “Man ! NETWORKING MAN! NETWORKING !”

They read MT. MT is their “official” newspaper on malaysian affairs. They too said that our stock market is not doing well,though the index rises , it is mostly shored up by” loyal” fund managers.All in the family type,you know what i mean !

 They informed me that most US fund managers are down sizing their exposure in the booorsaaa”with the aim of exiting the market and taking up fresh positions in singapore,indonesia ,thailand, china and india.
What can i say ?

What can you say indeed! People are not blind and deaf.

Clueless in Malaysia


It is Human Rights day. A concept that is largely amorphous in Malaysia, at least for the Malaysian government. What rights do you and I have today, I ask you? Not much.

This is a country where the Prime Minister says no one is above the law, and yet Khairy Jamalludin gets away with shouting anti-American rhetorics during Condi Rice’s visit to Kuala Lumpur in the recent past, just because “Dia Menantu Saya”.

This is a country where 31 people who attended the Hindraf rally on Nov 25 were denied bail pending a ridiculous charge of attempted murder. Gani Patail probably came up with that fucked up rationale thinking, if I were to charge them with illegal assembly, their lawyers would say the law is unconstitutional.

But then, this is Gani Patail who made a pathetic case for Pulau Batu Buteh at the ICJ in The Hague using a doctored photo, probably the son’s idea, whadaya think?

Pathetic or Patail-tic?

In the meantime, the Hindraf trio who organised these fellas to rally that day, were still not charged. Kepala biar, ekor kasi potong. WTF?

Today Jeff Ooi dropped by the Commercial Crime Investigations Department in Jalan Dato Onn for a “friendly chat” with the cops. The guy went with lawyers Gobind Singh, Lim Lip Eng and K.A Ramu.

He was asked a series of questions,  some of which doesn’t need his presence to be answered. This was based on not the three Mamak reports, but a fourth report by someone allegedly offended by Ooi’s remarks on Aljazeera TV.

These cops are very very hardworking when it comes persecuting those they want to “get”. I get that feeling increasingly, as everyday dawns. Just last night I was heading towards Central Market to get some books at a book rental there, and I was stopped twice by cops asking me where I was going. Racial Profiling? Probably…last night was supposed to be the candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka for the 31 Hindraf marchers behind bars. And I’m a local Indian chick.

This is just one of the many signs of the authorities being the blind pit bulls of a government that fast losing credibility in the eyes of its own people. If the government was so concerned about its tarnished image, then how come we have blatant cases of abuses of power and privilege today that goes unchecked.

I’m talking about how the old man said in an interview last year that Kamalludin Abdullah, his son, does not get his business from Malaysian government, but overseas. Remember that statement? It is my pleasure to remind you if you don’t.

In the light of that, tell me, how do you justify Scomi Group getting the plush Scomi Monorail job? If Pak Lah was interested in keeping his word and his image unsullied, how do you explain this?

Everyone tells you, yeah Scomi is Pak Lah’s son’s company and all that. But it is interesting to know how much stake he has. Go check it out here. It’s public information. Might give you perspective.

With all these walks and rallies happening these days, one can be forgiven for not noticing the continued rape of Malaysia on other fronts.

In the meantime, the plight of the poorer Malaysians; Malays, Indians, Chinese and other ethnicities, get swept under the carpet.

Samy Vellu today gave statistics I never heard of before. I’m sorry, old man. It still doesn’t absolve you. What do those statistics mean in real terms? I wanna know.

Black Sunday: Search Your Soul


Ok, so Hindraf rallied thousands of people to the streets on Sunday. Many who marched had reasons of their own. Disillusionment and a sense of having been wronged and neglected fuelled many of those present.

The Hindraf trio of Uthayakumar, Waythamurthy and Ganapathi Rao were discharged by the court of any charges, for now at least.

There were a lot of allegations on how the policies of the government have resulted in the Indians being an oppressed, downtrodden bunch.

Now, Malaysian Indians, take a good hard look at yourself. 

How far have we come as a community? True, the downtrodden are still that way, but not all of them. Many of them broke the poverty trap, by getting an education. Those who bothered, could see education as the means of breaking the chains.

My dad saw it. So he pushed his children. My sister became the first doctor to come out of that minority Indian community in my little hometown. I know how hard my parents tried to educate their kids. We are not rich today, but my father’s inclination for books and learning rubbed off on all of us. We read, and our mindsets changed.

I had an ex-colleague who just lost his dad a few days ago. He hailed from the estates, from a family of rubber tappers. He went to university, worked for a Malay language newspaper before moving to and English one, furthered his studies even more (was a Chevening scholar) and today he works in Jakarta. His family too, broke that poverty chain. (If you are reading this BP, my condolence on ur loss).

I’ve a friend who had to leave school and take take of four siblings and mother, when his passed away. Today, all three of his children are engineers and his nephews and nieces either graduated as engineers and accountants or are aces at school, with 4-flat CGPAs. He hailed from the estates, drawing less than minimum wage as tappers at one time.

And take that gutsy engineer chick S. Vanaja who became one of the three shortlisted ones for the Angkasawan bid. We all know who was chosen, but she made it that far didn’t she? Now she may have a future in aerospace, thanks to her current job with the National Space Agency.

I have stated my case on the issue of temples and stuff in the previous posts so I won’t go there again.

I have received some SMSes about people injured and people dead at the rally, in Ampang/KLCC, and without proof, I would like to say it is very irresponsible to make that allegation.

And this letter to Gordon Brown posted at Rocky’s, made me think, has Hindraf leaders’ antics set us back 50 years in the natural racial integration process that made me look at my fellow Chinese, Malay, Kadazan, Punjabi, Bidayuh Malaysians as brothers and sisters?

That letter makes a mockery of the efforts of people like Harris Ibrahim, Malik Imtiaz and Edmund Bon who walked on Sunday just to observe/assist people there.

It makes a mockery of Uncle Zorro, who walked in solidarity with downtrodden folks.

Some of the grievances Hindraf brought up was genuine, so it is a shame really that their outlandish talk and outrageous antics has slashed their credibility.

Malaysian Hindus and a Class Action Suit: Some Thoughts


So there is meant to be a gathering of Indians at the British High Commission this weekend.

The Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf), which had begun a class action suit against the British government in August, is a grouping of individuals whose avowed goal is to fight for the rights of Hindus in Malaysia.

 The main grievance of Hindraf (ostensibly)  is that too many Hindu temples and shrines are being demolished in Malaysia and this is in contravention with the right to one’s own religious practices enshrined in the Constitution, pardon the pun.

  Continue reading