Biadap? I see…


Tangkap! Prison! Biadap!

Loud and strident were the calls for the arrest and punishment of the people who mooned and stomped on the PM’s picture.

I disagree with the act. Personally, I find it uncouth. If I were to meet the PM, I would address him as Mr PM, but I would have some scathing words for him. I have a right to do so, as I am citizen of this country, and the dude has a duty to to me.

Perhaps I’m polite. Some people are too angry to be polite. Can you look into the why first? Has the act of mooning diminished the PM? Is lese majeste as a sanction extended to an insult against a politician? Defacing his picture is a serious crime? Since when did a politician become King?

Now, a certain senior editor of a local daily had suggested that the “biadap” culture has been/is being propagated by the Opposition. Seriously mate…gimme some of whatever you’re smoking that gives you such a hazy, one-sided view of things.

How do you explain the shoe-throwing incident (allegedly by the Perkasa riff raff from Kota Setar)?
That was an aggression too, a bloody rude one, AND inside a mosque. If that isn’t biadap, then you and I are from different planets.

Perkasa of course was quick to disclaim responsibility here, but I think it might also need to quickly lodge a police report on the theft of its T-shirts because, jeng jeng jeng…look at these T-shirts.Image..

Now, compare them to the pictures you see in this group page. Get the drift?

Wanna talk about biadap some more? Let me refresh your memory.

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Did the powers that be give a single f**k on this day, when these flabby posteriors were flashed at Bersih co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan’s house ?

Or this thinly veiled insult to a vegetarian by selling beef burger in front of her house?
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What about this “funeral” for Lim Guan Eng?
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That’s you Perkasa Youth chief Mohd Risuad basically telling the Penang CM that he’s dead. In some parts of the world, that qualifies as a threat. Oh yeah, same fella also offers his shoe in yet another incident.

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So now, can the blame be laid squarely on the shoulders of the convenient bogeyman “Opposition”? Seriously can you? Especially after seeing all these outsourced threats/instigation/general mayhem?
I maintain that all Perkasa is, is just an entity set up so that all the troublemaking that Umno needs to do, can be taken care of without too much blemish on its red/white colours.

Fools no one la. I’m sure even my cats are more sophisticated in their modus operandi than these pea-brains that passes for Perkasa cadre.

Double standards have long been a feature of policing and governance in Bolehland, so long that it’s a cliche. And it has resulted in diminished respect for those in power. Don’t cry foul now. You started this slide. And now you want respect?

Ptui!

Believe me, if Pakatan Rakyat ever takes Putrajaya, the folks who are now up in arms, will be the very ones who’ll be burning posters, effigies and defacing pictures of PR leaders. Not that they are not doing that already…hehe.

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. 

Presana’s Apology…some thoughts


So the girl has apologized.

That’s the end of that I hope, though my Facebook trawling indicate otherwise, sigh. She was interviewed by Malay Mail in which she explained somewhat about what provoked her virulent rant. You can read about it here.

Two separate lessons here. One is, this person has learnt a hard lesson about the pitfalls of social media. These days, practically anyone with access to a wired PC can post anything on any subject.

But, with great connectivity comes great responsibility.  We say anything we want, but if we are not prepared to back it up with some cogent arguments, brickbats would soon follow.

Secondly, the bigger issue of what’s going on in that head of hers. Presana’s frustrated writings betrays a lack of understanding about not only communication but Indians in Malaysia.

Yes, some machas harassed her, and though she related one incident, it could have been something she endured many times. How does a woman deal with threats to self like that? I suggest getting some street smarts .

I was in her place, at different times in my life. Yes, I felt anger against the harassers. But at no time did I single out the ethnicity of the harassers as a target  of my hate. I did not even target the gender.

In my case, it was because the harassment came from males of different races, even foreigners;  Ang Mohs, Latinos, Africans, Pakistanis…you name it. KL after all is cosmopolitan.

Common denominator: Adult Males.

So do I hate guys? NO. I can’t. Cos sexual harassment is no longer about just race, gender etc. It’s about power. Some guys get off on the reactions. Some are just trying their luck. That doesn’t mean the entire male population is suspect.

Or in Presana’s case, that doesn’t mean all the machas are suspect. That is racial profiling. And racial profiling seems to be the reason why many, many machas end up recipients of Police Raja Di Malaysia’s “hospitality”, some of them dead, others languishing in Simpang Renggam under preventive detention (without trial mind you).

You see how one bad thought escalates into violence? So if a bunch of machas are really assholes devoid of a modicum of manners, is it fair to demonise the entire Tamil population of Malaysia?

People of Indian and Sri Lankan ancestry settled in Malaysia have many other issues affecting them. Lack of financial/educational opportunities, poverty, systematic marginalisation, disunity…to name a few.

We are not that numerous. Soon, the influx of foreign labour would/perhaps has been already, dilute the economic and rights pie even further. Thank you, Projek Pemutihan! Can we afford these incendiary words like pariah…among us? Was Interlok not enough of a lesson?

I hope the girls of Presana’s ilk realises the folly of her words. They cannot end well.

Note:  I acknowledge that my previous post on the matter also triggered some serious debate. I received many emails on the matter. Some of them kinda angry too. I will respond in the next post. Thanks.

The great Malaysian burger festival is on!!


Kuala Lumpur: The two Malaysian burger giants, Old Timer Burger and Romly Burger has come together in a rare show of agreement as both lauded the welcome announcement by KL Police Chief, Car Lid Burn.

Car Lid Burn yesterday said that there was nothing wrong with people who want to set up burger stalls in front of anyone’s house, so long as they do not cause trouble.

“We’ve been getting many calls from young men who see a blue ocean market waiting for them at posh residential areas, and frankly, we are delighted,” says Oblong bin Bulat, the marketing director at Old Time burger.

Before this, according to him, residents of such areas as Taman Duta, Bukit Tunku, Bukit Damansara, Country Heights and Embassy Row in Jalan Ampang have always turned up their noses at having the humble burger stall in front of their houses.

“They like their burgers, but they’d rather have it at Desa Sri Hartamas you know, where they can chomp on 10 ringgit burgers and pretend they are slumming.”

Romly Burger is now welcoming franchise partners to open up stalls in such areas at Putrajaya, namely Precinct 1, 10 especially at the entrance of Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s office and Seri Satria.

“These are places where a lot of foreign dignitaries come to visit. Romly Burger might as well be their first taste of real Malaysia. I think Romly Burger has the potential to put Malaysia on the world map for all the right reasons,” its chairman and CEO Ayam Special said.

Meanwhile, the last weekend saw a rather empty street near Dataran Merdeka as the usual Rempit posse stayed home to work on their new business plan.

Petty Trader Association (Ikhlas) however, was adamant that burgers in front of posh houses are an idea of theirs and are planning to sue both the burger giants.

Its head, Muhamed Reezvan Ubaidoolla was apoplectic and went steadily purple as he yelled,”Kita Bantah, Kita Bantah!!”

Attempts to get further reaction failed as Reezvan keeled over, and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital. At press time, his fate was still unknown.

Cultural learnings of Bersih 2.0…


…for make benefit glorious nation of Malaysia. These are things I learnt this past week.

- Bersih Rocks.

- The police was taken aback by the sheer numbers that turned up in the streets despite the weeklong scaremongering and arrests. They were caught unprepared. The best part of the rally was in front of Maybank building on Jalan Tun Perak, where the fearless crowd actually forced the FRU trucks to retreat.

-  It was probably thought by the authorities that the age old strategy of arresting the big names would derail the rally or send the minions running. EPIC FAIL. Read this piece by The Malaysian Insider.

-  The IGP is a pure, unadulterated, garden variety moron. He said rather sulkily yesterday on TV of the protesters,  “Dia bukan jerit Bersih. Dia jerit Refomasi.” His bosses probably didn’t tell him that the whole Bersih rally was about Electoral REFORM.

- You can ban a colour, you can ban a yellow T-shirt, you can even arrest people, demonise a cause, mount a so-call counter rally. But you CAN’T stop the passage of an idea that has taken root. The Star’s front page headline today captures the mood. I can’t bear to link it here though because the rest of the tripe that followed, including the pathetic editorial, was reeking of Stockholm Syndrome.  But yes, the people who stood up to be counted yesterday, was indeed DEFIANT. That was the people’s collective middle finger there.

-  Racism is a bogeyman of the past, that no one but the present government believes, and only it keeps alive though its various vacuous, stale rhetorics. And the people I saw that day paid scant attention to it. Unity was all around. 

 That’s Baru Bian of Ba Kelalan, folks. That’s right, the dude turned up, warrior style.

-  The so called “Patriots” came and went, their scant impact probably apparent to even themselves. Just heard that each of the “patriot” red shirts were paid RM800 each. Sheer waste of money come to think of it. It serves no purpose except to Khairy Jamaludin, who probably thought he got some street credibility by getting arrested.  Yeah man…you and more than a thousand others. Tear gassed? Tough!

7) Barking dog without a bite is Perkasa. After endless fiery rhetoric from that slimeball, all things Perkasa was no show. Apparently Braheng Ali went to attend the Putrajaya Floria. So this self appointed champion of Malay rights turned out to be a Mat Bunga. Good for him. Let him smell the roses while he still can.

8) The Silat dudes and pendekar types. They are the best of the lot. Threatening to save Malaysia from the “dangerous folks” Omar din’s boys were so effective that nobody saw them. They managed the incredible feat of being invisible. Wow! Ghaib terus!

- Polis Raja Di Malaysia. What can I say. Ismail Omar’s boys outdid themselves. Tying arrestees with rope, gassing people unprovoked,  herding the hordes into closed streets and gassing them. Chasing people down, resulting in the death of a PKR member’s husband Baharuddin Ahmad. Firing tear gas into Tung Shin Hospital. They’ve all but convinced people and journalists who recorded the footage, that they don’t give a damn about the sick.

Bersih went global – Korea

- Unit Amal PAS is a shining example of organisation and discipline. They rushed to the aid of many people and this I saw myself, and I have eyewitness accounts too.  There are many positive things going for PAS, but these boys are surely near the top of the list.

-  1Malaysia. Not Najib’s expensive PR exercise, but the reality on the ground. In the middle of the crowd, i saw the old, the young, the purdah clad women, makcik, uncle, aunties, Malaysians of all colour, singing Negaraku when facing down the full riot geared cops. My tears at that time was not because of the tear gas.

- Ruined business? Hahahaha. In the streets where the hotels were, we were hard pressed to find a room, cos they were mostly fully booked. The tau fu far seller packed up early, not because he was afraid, he just all sold out. The same refrain was heard from friends near Dang Wangi, Pudu, Hang Jebat, Petaling Street, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Ampang and Leboh Ampang.

- Tourists? They probably thought this was a nice addition to the holiday package and they too joined, some marched along and others watching the spectacle.

-This dude was my hero. All those who bitched about jams and closed roads, look at this dude,. People in crutches and wheelchairs turned up, but you losers stayed home. Shame on you.

Traffic jams? Solely the fault of the cops. The idea was to stop the vehicles coming in.  But those who slipped in, made their way via public transport, or simply walked.

- I also learnt that the police were raiding hotel rooms on the pretext of looking for “khalwat possibilities”. JAWI must be very displeased that their prerogative of catching people in dishabille was usurped by the men in blue.

TV3 live reports. A reporter on the ground was saying that a parang and other unidentified objects were thrown at the TV3 media team. Tellingly, the parang was not shown on TV, leading to questions in my mind. Oi, mana parang? If you had evidence, you missed the chance to show them on live TV. I guess TV3 is so immersed in fiction that it believes its own stories.

Finally, the Internet and Social Media RULES! This was a rally that was possible because of communications technology. Technology also made it possible to viral out live updates. Twitterjaya was all abuzz, Facebook and the blogs played a key role in dissemination of  information, pictures and raw videos.

This was probably why the strategy of arresting the lead personalities failed to stop the march. The rally dispersed peacefully after 4pm and it was of the participants own accord. Some of them even shook hands with the cops before they left. How cool is that?

In fact, perhaps in testament to the times we live in, Bersih 2.0 went global, with  solidarity gatherings in many cities around the world. I know my friend in Adelaide attended one. Another one turned up at Bersih Melbourne.

Bersih Melbourne. Bravo Malaysians!

Hooligans? Troublemakers? No, just Malaysians with real grievances who were repeatedly lied to, thwarted, and prevented from venting their frustrations. Not a single act of vandalism was carried out, no looting was heard of, no torching of cars or anything.

Just Malaysians wanting to be heard. You didn’t give them a stadium. They took over the city. The People 1 – the Govt 0.

Nuff said.

Bersih 2.0. I Love Malaysia


I’ll let the pictures talk. This was around Petaling Street, Tun Perak, Kota Raya and Puduraya. Not much time to write, but as you can see, Malaysians turned up by the tens of thousands.

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TESTING MALAYSIAN DEMOCRACY: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION


STATEMENT FROM AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL MALAYSIA
28 June 2011                                                                                                                                                        


Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) maintains that the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, Association, Expression and Opinion are fundamental strands to a democracy. Any nation who claims to be a democratic must guarantee the exercise of these human rights.

As we draw closer to 9 July 2011, the date set by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) for its public assembly calling for electoral reform, AIM hopes that the Government and the relevant law enforcement authorities will recognise, respect and uphold their duties and obligations to the rakyat. In 2007, 245 people were arrested during the Bersih rally. We hope the nation will not encounter a repetition of such arbitrary mass arrests again.

Article 10 of the Federal Constitution states that all citizens have the right tofreedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably and without arms and the right to form associations. Article 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights further upholds the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly and association. These rights should be held paramount by States and laws aiming to regulate these freedoms should not result in the banning and restriction of rights.

Government and enforcement authorities had voiced their disagreements over Perhimpunan Bersih. AIM appeals to the police to create a safe and conducive environment for Malaysians to express their views and to play a leading role in facilitating a peaceful assembly. Force should not be used especially when policing non-violent assemblies such as Bersih. Law enforcement officials should differentiate between peaceful and non-peaceful participants. Bersih and its coalitions have repeatedly affirmed its intention to have a peaceful walk. They have also given the authorities notice of their intention to walk within a reasonable time. This period should then be taken by the authorities to ensure the safety of all participants.

Amnesty International’s “10 Basic Human Rights Standards for Law Enforcement Officials” states that the use of force should be avoided in dispersing a peaceful/non-violent assembly. We reiterate that law enforcement officials owe a duty to protect the participants of a peaceful assembly.  UN’s Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials further states that law enforcers may not inflict any act of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment nor invoke superior orders or exceptional circumstances such as national security or political instability as justification for torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights globally, Malaysia needs to recognise and respect the democratic and constitutional right of its citizens to assemble in public. The Malaysian government also needs to acknowledge such assemblies as true indicators of public sentiments. Thus we ask that BERSIH is given fair opportunity to voice its causes

In the struggle for independence which began with the opposition towards the Malayan Union in 1946, Malaysians as one nation participated in peaceful marches to indicate their dissatisfaction of further imposition of colonial rule. Today, Malaysians are calling for indisputable elections, the ultimate validation for a democratic Government. Although not all parties may agree that there is a pressing need for electoral reform within the country, AIM urges the Malaysian government to take a leaf out of Voltaire’s book when he said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Nora Murat
Executive Director