Manufactured consent, false democrats and other disturbing stories.


Governing a country is a complex thing. Somebody’s always bound to be unhappy. In a democracy, that somebody too has a right to be heard. In mature democracies, with a system in place that respects individual liberties, he would be heard.

In a country that gives democratic practices the barest lip service, that guy is often dismissed. Such is the case in Malaysia. One guy can be safely ignored.  Even ten, or a hundred. But when thousands of people take to the streets in a gesture of defiance, that too in an Internet age where there are more Malaysians wired than there are voters, it takes a very different resonance.

It has to be dealt with in a more effective way. The bumbling bureaucracy that was the Malaysian Government was slow to wake up to the Internet reality and it cost at least one prime minister his job. But our present PM has woken up to this rude reality.

Witness the “cendawan lepas hujan” proliferation of the cybertroopers. Some serious money exchanging hands there, though even the smartest of these cybertroopers can’t convincingly defend a flawed system put in place by a political outfit hell-bent on preserving its hegemony. 

The public opinion that Dr M so totally silenced is now no longer silent. To quiet the cyber activists, one has to shut down the Net, and is that possible in 21st century Malaysia? Nak mampus?

So the war has undertaken in a more subtle manner. Subvert the people’s thinking via cyber propaganda. That’s happening now. Has been for a few years. The bogeymen have been identified.

1) Bersih

2) The LGBT Community

3) The Chinese turning Malaysia into Singapore

4)  Jews/Israel

5) Anwar Ibrahim

These bogeymen are essentially fear-inducing social control mechanisms that the powers that be uses to   keep its citizens in check. Outward show of brute force and intimidation is counter productive and for a PM allegedly committed to “reforms”, no longer tenable. Every time, they arrest somebody for a politics-related offence, vigils and support groups emerge. Civil disobedience is bloody tiresome isn’t, fellas? Now you thugs actually have to earn your pay…hehe.

So they have to go the “cheong hei” way of influencing opinions. That requires brains. Money can buy some brains.

Now some of you may contend that the fear mongering is too ridiculous to even work. Lemme tell you this; if you feel that way, you are NOT the target audience. Anyway, if you are an urban, middle-class, private sector employed voter, their messages are not for you.

The messages of fear is directed at the heartland; the traditional vote bank that Umno/BN had always retained. The rural vote is important, never mind that a majority of Malaysian voters now are urban. Malapportionment and gerrymandering happened through the decades we gave BN continuous mandate to rule.These measures ensured that your one urban vote is worth just one sixth a rural vote.

They sweet-talk the kampung, Felda/Felcra folks, kow tim the tuai rumah in the longhouses of Sabah/Sarawak and they are set. While delivering the goodies, the veritable poison is poured into the ears.

If that is not enough, form 30 NGOs. Throw a press conference or two. Threaten and shout some half-hearted right-wing drivel. These days, hatchet jobs are better when outsourced. Hence your Perkasa, Pekida, Petty Traders Association, KIMMA, P***mak…and other garden variety mofos.

Whether they win this campaign or not, depends on how well Malaysians are informed, and how badly they want change. The signs are all there.

Even the PM has been labelled a false democrat in Canadian journo Mark Mackinnon’s scathing indictment of world leaders. Wisma Putra is predictably apoplectic.

“What??!! All this GTP,ETP  bla bla bla and he dared say we are a false democracy?” must be the refrain on that hill in Putrajaya.

But tell me, what do you call an administration that:

- Dismisses Bersih as just a political move to unseat the government despite the clearly stated claims of the movement for electoral reform
- Turns a blind eye to countless custodial deaths and allegations of police brutality 
- Denies the public its freedom to assemble in a place where Merdeka was first shouted.
- Ignores allegations of impropriety in public spending by govt institutions despite consecutive Auditor General’s report.
- Conducts selective prosecution and prosecution via two arms of the law (MACC and Attorney General’s Chambers)
- Denies the public access to information that is of public interest via the Official Secrets Act.
- Scraps the much-reviled Internal Security Act and still continues to keep ISA detainees in Kamunting, deprived of their right to fair trial.

I could go on…but you readers perhaps have your own list. Bottomline here is, accountability and a respect for the citizenry is sorely lacking. And its not about to change unless the citizenry itself starts to get down n dirty, and fix this flaw-ridden boat that is Malaysia.

That’s the only boat we have. 

Bloody Sunday


You think it was just another lazy Sunday in Kuala Lumpur? Well it was, up until this evening at the vicinity of the Amcorp Mall.

Four weeks of candlelight vigils in support of those detained under the infernal (well, draconian is a word that that’s been flogged to death don’t ya think?) Internal Security Act. They largely passed unnoticed by Malaysians getting increasingly desensitised by the spectacle of civil disobedience.

Even the cops left it largely alone. Until tonight. The Star has parts of the story.

This was two occasions that coincided. An event commemorating the first anniversary of the ground-breaking Nov 5 BERSIH rally and the continuation of the anti-ISA candlelight vigil.

The dogs came out. You know what I mean.

And they started the abuses (verbal and physical). There seems to be a special lookout for Indian looking men. Targets. So if you were an Indian-looking (read: Hindraf) guy who just came after shopping at Amcorp Mall, you’re f*****d.

Oh, not that the women and kids were spared. There were some accounts of women being roughed up. Some hit on their head with the FRU batons, left bleeding. Kids with scrapes and scratches.

I hope the cops, SB and FRU folks realise they have wives and kids too. But wait, I heard that some of these folks looked like caged animals, with that barely controlled rage waiting to be unleashed, when they were gearing up.

Meth? Your guess is as good as mine. But then again, some testosterone junkies do not need any other drugs. They feed and thrive on aggression and violence.

I guess tomorrow you will hear more about the injured women.

Neither was the press spared. Shukri Mohamad of Malaysiakini was hauled up. Last tally, 24 people arrested and brought to the Petaling Jaya police hq. They include PJ Utara MP Tony Pua, Lau Weng San (Kampung Tunku Assemblyman) and Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu, blogger Gus Gan and many more.

Nice.

Early this year, the people who were pushed beyond endurance, pushed back, resulting is appalling losses for the ruling coalition.

I guess they still haven’t learnt.

But, you know what, fellow Malaysians? There will come a time that the worm will turn in a big way.

When the day comes, God help us all.

Block


Yeah. Too many things have happened.

Too many promises broken.

Too many betrayals by the who’s who of this country.

Too many things gone wrong.

Too few care enough to step forward and be counted.

I feel helpless.

In the meantime, the prisoners of conscience are growing in numbers.

I dunno what else to say….words fail me.

Another normal day…in Malaysia

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.

The Moment of Truth Is Here


Whoever you are out there, if you are Malaysian, read this.

Today, September 12, 2008, should be a day you remember. The purge has begun.

This is the day they detained Raja Petra Kamarudin, and TWO OTHER WOMEN; Theresa Kok (Seputeh MP), and  REPORTER Tan Hoon Cheng from from Chinese language daily, Sin Chew Jit Poh, under that sword-of-Damocles; Internal Security Act.

You can say anything you like. But the truth is, this is a government that will put writers and women into jail. DETENTION without trial.

There are hundreds of journalists in this country. If they choose to, they can make their feelings known. Instead of “being concerned” I think this is the time Norilla Daud (National Union of Journalists chairperson) must get off her ass and for once, do justice to that post she held since God knows when.

It’s about time the Syed Nadzris and Wong Chun Wais and Citizen Nades of this country justify their lofty titles.

It is time MCA and Gerakan comes out and ask “What the fuck is going on” loudly.

It’s about time Anwar Ibrahim justifies the faith of the thousands of Permatang Pauh voters.

ISA is the coward’s way of putting down dissent. This is 2008. Well into a new century.

All of you Malaysians with a shred of honour left, ask yourself, what have you done to deserve your citizenship. Claim this country before it’s too late.

A Fearful Government Turns Bully on RPK!


Update 6.30pm

Pls send this message via SMS to all your friends around Malaysia. And yes, let’s all turn up to show our solidarity with RPK. What better day than Malaysia Day.

“RPK di-tahan bawah ISA. Sebagai tanda bersatu hati, anda di-jemput menghadiri perhimpunan di-stadium Kelana Jaya pada 8 mlm 15hb Sept 2008. Sila edarkan”

‘RPK detained under ISA. Pls come to Kelana Jaya Stadium 8pm 15th September, 2008 to show solidarity for RPK’.
——————-

So this is what old Shaziman meant when he said there are “harsher” laws to deal with the websites who criticise it. Yesterday, the Cabinet issued a directive to MCMC to unblock access to online socio-political portal Malaysia Today.

According to Malaysiakini, Raja Petra Kamarudin got arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) at 1.10 pm today.

RPK, seen here with wife Marina.

Raja Petra is considered a threat to national security while a loose cannon like Ahmad Ismail and his like are given a slap on the wrist.

I think the government are grossly underestimating the people. They got this guy to the police station, questioned him on all kinda things…but could not find anything to properly charge him in a court of law, and so haled him up under one of the few laws that allow for DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL.

Listen Malaysians, every time one of us is detained under ISA it is a violation of our fundamental right as human beings.

Last year it was the HINDRAF boys, this time, it is RPK, tomorrow it could be me, or you.

So, make your stand people. Say no to a police state. Say no to a bully government.

Watch what RPK said after a visit to your friendly neighbourhood police headquarters, here.