Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reposting THE BARD IN MANGLISH ~ Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene 2)

Who said kennot? You orways tink defler Shakespeare wankain hard to understand, so waffor you bodder to read de bladibarger? No ploblem lah – now oridi terangslated into Proper Manglish, so seemple oni. Got no space to print de hole ting, eggcerpt enough lah. Dis one from Julius Caesar. Vely famous one dis play  - got murder, got politics, but sorry lah, no sex (becos in Italy ah, got Mona Lisa but no Mona Fandey, remember her ornot, Rosmah’s infamous step-aunty?) Wen people see you reading dis dey weel tink you got cowture wan. Orait man!

Shakespearean                            Manglish
Caesar: Let me have men about me that are fat; sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’ nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.
Caesar: Aiseh betayuall fatty bom-bom makan all de taim one; Brylcreem your hair lah, and at night sleeping like a pig oni. Defler Cassius orways looking so skeeny like one year never eat; orways tinking too much. Aitelyu ah, dis kain of fler helluva dangerous.
Antony: Fear him not, Caesar, he’s not dangerous; he is a noble Roman, and well given.
Antony: Aiyah, Caesar, no nid to skad him one, hauken defler dangerous? He got class one, orways spik nicely and wearing stylo one.
Caesar: Would he were fatter! But I fear him not, Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid so soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much. He is a great observer, and he looks quite through the deeds of men.

He loves no plays, as thou dost, Antony; he hears no music, seldom he smiles, and as if he mock’d himself, and scorn’d his spirit that could be mov’d to smile at anything. Such men as he be never at heart’s ease whiles they behold a greater than themselves, and therefore they are evry dangerous.

I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d than what I fear; for always I am Caesar. Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, and tell me truly what thou think’st of him.
Caesar: I oni weesh we can call him fatso! But ackchwurly I not skad him. Say oni lah, sahposing I am a takut fler, I woon go near dat bamboo-stick Cassius. Orways reading book, see everyting wankain oni, aitelyu nobody can blarf de bladibarger one.

Never fool araun, not like you lah, Antony; he never lissen music. Seldom oni smailing, and wen he smail, like buaya oni, tweested lah, I tink maybe defler doan like himself or wat, as if oni stoopid ijiot like to smail one. Flers like dat ah, kennot relak one – until dey bekum Nombor Satu. Dat’s why aiseh very dangerous.

Oni telling you why you must wochaut lah – not to say I am skad of any barger; hauken Caesar skad, I arsk you? Eh, you come over here, my left ear got lobang kennot hear properly. Den you tell me frankly spikking wat yuting of defler.
[Sennet. Exeunt Caesar & his Train.]

Casca: You pulled me by the cloak. Would you speak with me?
[Kompang. Caesar & his Member semua keluar.]

Casca: Why you catch my sarong? You wan to tok, tok lah, doan pull my baju ok?
Brutus: Ay, Casca; tell me what hath chanc’d today, that Caesar looks so sad
Brutus: Ya, Casca; wat happen just now ah, why Caesar looking wankain teruk oni?
Casca: Why, you were with him, were you not?
Casca: I thot you saw oso wat, waffor you arsk me?
Brutus: I should not then ask Casca what had chanc’d.
Brutus: No, man, dat’s why arsking you.
Casca: Why, there was a crown offer’d him; and being offer’d him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.
Casca: Aiyah, people gif him chan to wear de Agong’s hat, but defler push away with his hand, like dis; and den de people bising lah.
Brutus: What was the second noise for?
Brutus: Seckand taim why dey shout?
Casca: Why, for that too.
Casca: Same ting lah.
Cassius: They shouted thrice; what was the last cry for?
Cassius: Shouting tree taims wat, I hear; so wat happen ah?
Casca: Why, for that too.
Casca: Same story lah, yutingwat.
Brutus: Was the crown offer’d him thrice?
Brutus: Wah, tree taims ah, dey awfer him Agong’s hat?
Casca: Ay, marry, was’t, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting by mine honest neighbours shouted.
Casca: Yala, no joke, man; and defler say dowan tree taims, everytaim more slowly lah, tarik harga lah; and ofcoslah everytaim he do like dat, our rakyat setia bising oni.
Cassius: Who offer’d him the crown?
Cassius: Who awfer him de Agong’s hat?
Casca: Why, Antony.
Casca: Who else, Antony lah.
Brutus: Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
Brutus: Plis gif us blow-by-blow akaun, saudara Casca.
Casca: I can as well be hang’d as tell the manner of it; it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown – yet ‘twas not a crown neither, ‘twas one of these coronets – and, as I told you, he put it by once; but for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it.

Then he offer’d it to him again; then he put it by again; but to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offer’d it the third time; he put it the third time by; and still as he refus’d it, the rabblement hooted, and clapp’d their chopt hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refus’d the crown, that it almost choked Caesar; for he swooned and fell down at it. 

And for mine own part I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
Casca: Aiyah, wasting taim oni, all for show one lah, yuting I doan know ah. Dat barger Mark Antony gif him see de Agong’s hat –ackchwurly not the real ting lah, fancy baseball cap oni – and like aiseh, first taim he push aside lah; but look like secretly ah, defler wannit lah.

Den again he awfer him; den again he push aside; but frankly spikking ah, defler dam reluktan to let go, man. And den de turd taim he awfer; and still de barger refuse. So de stoopid rakyat start bellowing like kerbau, and clapping like bladifools lah, and dey all chuck their smelly songkoks in the air, and bising like baboon kena belacan until Caesar awmos kennot stand; defler pengsan, man, and fall down lah. 

I myself ah, I dare not to open my maut and laugh oso – arfturds I kena sial punya angin.
Cassius: But soft, I pray you. What, did Caesar swoon?
Cassius: Alamak, you min de barsket Caesar pengsan ah?
Casca: He fell down in the market-place, and foam’d at mouth, and was speechless.
Casca: He collapse infrun of KLSE, boy, his maut got white-white ting coming out, and kennot spik oridi.
Brutus: ‘Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness.
Brutus: I am not surprais lah. Defler got weak heart wat.
Cassius: No, Caesar hath it not; but you, and I, and honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.
Cassius: Aitelyu frankly one, not Caesar lah; but I, and you, and our goodfren Casca, we are de bladibargers who got weak hearts.
Casca: I know not what you mean by that, but I am sure Caesar fell down. If the rag-tag people did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleas’d and displeas’d them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.
Casca: Doan tokkok lah, I doan booshit you, aitelyu Caesar conked out, boy. Aiyo, dose bladi peasants tink it’s all wayang kulit show, cheering and booing like chewren see cartoon oni, you doan belif me you can tell me to go and fark spaider.
Antares © 1995-2014

Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! | Pukimamak! Mukhriz dan Muh.... mampuslah!
[First posted 5 October 2012. Reposted 5 March 2014]

Friday, April 17, 2015

Some funky indie music videos for your weekend viewing,,,

That Effing Show Crew (Malaysia)

Swami Baracus (UK)

Vivek Rajagopalan (India)

Ze! (Malaysia)

Sheezay (Malaysia)

Bettina D'Mello (Germany)

Airport Radio (Indonesia)

Up Dharma Down (The Philippines)

Thanks to digital tech and YouTube, indie bands the world over (including Malaysia) can now create funky music videos on hardly any budget and still reach a global audience. I found these well crafted music videos produced by the MTV generation invigorating and very watchable. You're doing a great job of claiming your planet, all of you!

[Cheers, Free Malaysia Today, for alerting me to these cool vids! First posted 8 June 2012]

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

FLASHBACK TO MAY 2011: Intense US diplomatic interest in Altantuya murder trial revealed by Wikileaks

10:07AM May 18, 2011                                          (from Asia Sentinel courtesy of Malaysiakini archive)

Wikileaks releases cables on Najib and Altantuya

The US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur closely followed the trial of the accused killers of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu and frequently discussed whether current Prime Minister Najib Razak was involved in the killing, according to diplomatic cables supplied to Asia Sentinel by the WikiLeaks website.

The diplomats, like much of the public, also speculated that the trial was being deliberately delayed and feared what one cable calls "prosecutorial misconduct" that was being politically manipulated. The embassy officials based their concerns on sources within the prosecution, government and the political opposition.

najib pc in parliamnet on altantuya murder case allegations 030708The cables also draw attention to an intriguing allegation that then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may have attempted to use the proceedings to implicate Najib, a claim that was quickly hushed up in the Malaysian press.

Altantuya was murdered in October 2006 by two of Najib's bodyguards, chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 30 and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, who stood trial and were pronounced guilty in April 2009.

Abdul Razak Baginda, one of Najib's best friends and Altantuya's lover, was accused of participating in the murder but was freed without having to put on a defence.

The murder has been tied closely to the US$1 billion acquisition of French submarines by the Malaysian Defence Ministry, which Najib headed during the acquisitions. Altantuya reportedly acted as a translator on the transaction, which netted Razak Baginda's company a 114 million euros (RM534.8 million) "commission" on the purchase.

altantuya and son 050309Reportedly she had been offered US$500,000 for her part in translating. After she was jilted, she vainly demanded payment. A letter she had written was made public after her death saying she regretted attempting to "blackmail" Razak Baginda.

French lawyers are investigating whether some of the 114 million euros was kicked back to French or Malaysian politicians. Despite the scandal, the US government has not publicly backed away from Najib.

In April 2010, Najib visited the White House and was praised by President Barack Obama for the Parliament's passage of an act allowing Malaysian authorities to take action against individuals and entities engaged in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The cables are replete with accounts of a long series of meetings with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who repeatedly told the Americans that Najib was connected to corrupt practices in the acquisition of the submarines as well as the purchase of Sukhoi Su-MCM-30 Flanker fighter jets from Russia. Anwar also called attention to Najib's connection to the Altantuya case.
Prosecution ineptitude by design?

A Jan 24, 2007 cable, marked ‘secret', wrote that "Perceived irregularities on the part of prosecutors and the court, and the alleged destruction of some evidence, suggested to many that the case was subject to strong political pressure intended to protect Najib."

abdul razak baginda pc 201108 04In a Feb 1, 2008 cable, embassy's political section chief Mark D Clark wrote that a deputy prosecutor had told him "there was almost no chance of winning guilty verdicts in the on-going trial of defendants Razak Baginda (left), a close advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, and two police officers. She described the trial as interminably long." (That, of course, turned out to be wrong. Sirul (below, right) and Azilah (below, left) were ultimately convicted and have appealed their sentence).

Clark called the trial a "a prosecutorial embarrassment from its inception, leading many to speculate that the ineptitude was by design. On the eve of the trial, attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail dropped his lead prosecutors and replaced them with less experienced attorneys.

Similarly, a lead counsel for one of the defendants abruptly resigned before the trial 'because of (political) attempts to interfere with a defence he had proposed, in particular to protect an unnamed third party.'"

altantuya razak baginda murder 050707 sirul azhar umarThe protracted nature of the case, Clark continued, led "at least one regional newspaper to speculate that ‘the case is being deliberately delayed to drive it from public view'. Malaysia's daily newspapers rarely mention the case's latest developments, and it is unprecedented in Malaysian judicial history that a murder trial could drag on for seven months and still not give the defence an opportunity to present its case.

"Such an environment has led many to conclude that the case was too politically sensitive to yield a verdict before the anticipated general elections."

altantuya trial 160707 azilahA January 2007 cable called attention to Razak Baginda's affidavit confirming that he sought the help of Musa Safri, later identified by reporters as Najib's aide-de-camp, in ridding him of the jilted woman, and in other cables pointed out that Musa had never been called for questioning.

In another cable, dated May 16, 2007, Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, a then aide to former prime minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi, told US Embassy officials that he was "certain that government prosecutors would limit their trial activities to the murder itself and the three defendants; prosecutors would not follow up on allegations of related corruption or other suspects."

In a Jan 27, 2007 cable, marked ‘Secret', embassy officials wrote that "In December we heard from one of (Anwar's) lawyers that Razak Baginda's wife was in contact with Anwar and Wan Azizah, suggesting one possible source for Anwar's information."

altantuya razak baginda mongolian murder 190607 wifeRazak Baginda's wife (right), during one of his first appearances in court, screamed that her husband "doesn't want to be prime minister." That was taken by observers as a reference to the fact that Najib reportedly had been having an affair with Altantuya, but passed her on to Razak Baginda because it would be unseemly to have a mistress when he succeeded Abdullah as premier. Najib has offered to swear on the Quran that he had never met the woman.

However, in July 2008, P Balasubramaniam, a former police officer and private detective who had been hired by Razak Baginda to protect him from Altantuya, filed a sworn statement saying he had been told by the accused man that Najib not only knew the murdered woman but had an affair with her and introduced her to him.

parliament 2008 first day 280408 sharibuu setevIn a telephone interview on May 9, Anwar, however, told Asia Sentinel that Razak Baginda's wife was not the source of his knowledge of Najib's connection and that instead he had been told of the connection by Setev Shaariibuu (seated right in photo), Altantuya's father, who said he had wished to present evidence of Najib's involvement, but was not allowed to do so. Multiple attempts to contact Setev by Asia Sentinel have been unsuccessful.

Almost immediately after he made the statement, Balasubramaniam was picked up and driven to a police station, where he was forced to withdraw the statement and write a new one saying Razak Baginda had told him nothing of the sort. Balasubramaniam fled Malaysia for India.

He later said Najib's brother, Nazim, and wife, Rosmah Mansor, had met with him and that he was offered RM5 million to forget his statement connecting Najib to Altantuya.

Balasubramaniam displayed a flock of checks drawn on the account of an associate of Najib's wife. The former private detective has made a series of statements from outside the country about Najib's involvement.

'You can die, Pak Lah'

A February 2008 cable from political section chief Clark gives a hint that Abdullah Badawi himself may have been trying to get rid of Najib by forcing Razak Baginda to implicate him in the murder.

"In the latest turn of the ongoing Altantuya murder trial, accused political insider Abdul Razak Baginda, who has remained calm and composed through most of the proceedings, unleashed an emotional tirade shortly after the Feb 20 noon recess on the trial's 90th day," Clark wrote.

"Referring to the prime minister by his nick-name 'Pak Lah', Razak reportedly exclaimed: ‘You can die, Pak Lah! (in Malaysian - Matilah kau, Pak Lah!) I'm innocent!' according to unpublished journalist accounts.

Last day of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Najib Abdul Razak takes over as prime minister in Putrajaya"Local newspapers and the government news service Bernama reported the fact of the outburst, but did not print Razak's statements. The short-lived exception was the English language newspaper The Sun, which included the quotations from Razak in its early morning Feb 21 edition.

"Sources at newspaper confirmed to us in confidence that the Ministry of Internal Security compelled The Sun to withdraw and recall thousands of copies of their first run paper in which the original quote was included. Prime Minister Abdullah serves concurrently as Minister of Internal Security."

During the trial, Clark wrote, Razak Baginda, "appeared uneasy throughout the morning session of court on Feb 20. Razak's father, Abdullah Malim Baginda, had whispered something to him shortly before the trial had begun for the morning and apparently upset the accused.

Razak had remained quiet throughout the morning hearings, but just after the noon recess was called and as he was leaving the courtroom he kicked and banged the door and yelled, ‘You can die, Pak Lah! Die, Pak Lah! I am innocent. I am innocent.' He was later seen crying before his lawyer while his mother attempted to comfort him.

razak baginda acquitted 311008 06"Speculation is rife in Malaysia's online community concerning what it was that set off Razak Baginda outburst, including conspiracy theories alleging the Prime Minister's Office had urged Razak to implicate Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak ... in return for sparing Razak a guilty verdict and its mandatory death sentence," officials wrote.

The cable goes on to write, "Regardless, the Internal Security Ministry would want to limit any possibly inflammatory reference to the prime minister at the trial, and particularly at this juncture due to the proximity of Malaysia's general election to be held on March 8. Any connection between the prime minister and the murder trial would be scandalous.

"The GOM (government of Malaysia) reportedly has worked hard to ‘drive (the case) from public view' ... and is not about to allow the case to influence the coming elections."

Asia Sentinel

Monday, April 13, 2015

De Mockery of Democracy (revisited)

[My young friend Kamil sent me the following assignment question, asking for some viewpoints from me. I figured my response to Kamil was worth blogging, so here it is...]

It has been said that democracy may not be the perfect form of goverment but it is better than the alternatives. To what extent do you agree?

Certain assumptions are being made here that may be inaccurate or incorrect, So before we can answer the question, let's examine what these assumptions are.

Assumption #1: Democracy exists and is practised in certain countries.

In truth democracy is purely theoretical. Even in old Athens where it was invented, there was only democracy up to a point - beyond which one could get arrested for subversion, imprisoned, and end up drinking hemlock. The state is forever jealous of its authority and power, and will not hesitate to use force if persuasion fails. In so-called democratic countries, we find that the public is led to believe it has freedom of choice - but in actuality that freedom does not extend beyond the most trivial matters (like the make of car you drive or the scent your date prefers). In all crucial areas decisions are made by "backroom boys" acting on behalf of a tiny handful of plutocrats (people who own banks, newspapers, TV stations, bomb factories, armies, spy agencies, and governments).

The machinery of political power is driven by popular votes. However, elections can be rigged, conducted on an uneven playing field, and stolen outright. Voters can be bought, hoodwinked, disenfranchised or overlooked completely. Because "majority opinion" is measured quantitatively, human destiny can be jeopardized or hijacked by a corrupt and dishonest clique willing to take extraordinary risks. The proverbial man-in-the-street doesn't stand a chance against a cartel of well-funded criminals, who obtain their money through illicit means and buy up all the airspace. He can't be heard against a well-coordinated media blitz.

In effect, scratch a modern democracy and you'll find mobster rule. Robber barons and pirate kings now come with a slick corporate image and very expensive tailoring. But gangsterism is gangsterism, and privilege actually means "private law." So when even the law is privatized, is it any wonder that justice is blind?

Democracy originally meant "popular rule" - in effect, government of the people, by the people, for the people. Which sounds pretty similar to Marxist/socialist ideals. However, you only have to have the means of influencing the collective psyche to make the people believe they are exercising their democratic rights when all they can do is predictably react to pre-programmed stimuli.

Assumption #2: Though imperfect democracy is "better than"...

"Better" is a very vague term and begs redefinition. This dish is good but that one is better... in reality the other dish is simply different. You cannot compare pheasant-under-glass with a hamburger. Each recipe works in a specific context. In other words, a fair comparison is hinted at where none is possible.

Assumption #3: The word "alternatives" implies Communism.

A popular misconception is that the opposite of democracy is communism. Actually, it's dictatorship we're talking about: what's antagonistic to popular rule is state despotism - whether the despot is a single individual or a faceless committee. The alternative to democracy might also be monarchy - or various spin-offs like aristocracy, meritocracy, or plutocracy. Nevertheless, there are no clear-cut categories of power. If we have an absolute monarch who is approachable, open-minded, empathetic, humble, friendly, and wise - let's take as an example the notion of a "King of Kings" like Jesus the Christ, or Aragorn of Arathorn in J.R.R. Tolkien's ringlore - the public may actually enjoy great freedom and security, prosperity and success under such benevolent and enlightened rule. As opposed to the situation where a supposedly democratic government functions under the secret orders of an invisible brotherhood of black magicians and decadent junior gods: people would endure increasing oppression and never know who exactly is taking away their freedoms and rights, life just seems to get rougher and tougher all the time.

The concept of government itself needs to be reassessed. An individual with sufficient inner discipline can be described as a Self-Governing Individual who does not subscribe to or support any form of external government. When enough such individuals emerge in a community, it's possible that anarchy will blossom in a wholesome and workable way where each member of the community cooperates with the others consciously, willingly, and wholeheartedly. Imagine the amount of creativity generated by humans no longer engrossed in destructivity or obsessed with conformity and homogeneity.

One can view government as an unwelcome intrusion - akin to a high fence built around the crest of hill to prevent people from rolling down through carelessness. In trying to ensure "public safety" what government effectively does is disempower and desensitize.

After a few generations, people would become incapable of taking any initiative whatsoever, in a sure-footed way. They will NEED official guidelines, clearly-marked trails, and instructions at every turn. In effect, people would no longer be able to sit quietly atop the hill and gain divine inspiration from the beauty around them – because the man-made “security” fence mars the view and is ugly, that is, a violation of the natural environment and the unwritten laws of harmony. This may suit those in power very nicely, but it invariably incapacitates the masses from independent and original thought. They will become blind and allow themselves to be led around by ravenous wolves disguised as professional seeing-eye dogs.

What would be much "better than" democracy would be an evolutionary quantum jump that would effectively upgrade Consciousness and Intelligence and realign them with Compassion. No amount of theorizing can make this happen. Those of us who realize this simply have to embody our ideals and break free of semantic traps such as the question above. No statistics are required. It only takes ONE individual to crack the code - and before long, not only the entire species, but all lifeforms will regain their primordial freedom.

[First posted 19 March 2007]

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Abrahamic Agenda (revisited yet again)

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to appease Yahweh.

I have pondered long on the history of the Abrahamic Agenda on Earth.... how one human being implanted with receptors to receive commands from a different dimension was able to spawn three major belief systems that have had such contradictory consequences (inspiring both great art and miracles as well as endless conflict, ecocide and genocide).

In the 15th Century CE, the Roman Catholic Church was at its most hideous and malignant - actively ferreting out "deviants" and "heretics" and arraigning them before the bloodthirsty Inquisition (actually an ancient cabal of "priests" who were secret practitioners of human sacrifice and energy vampirism). The cruelest tortures were inflicted on those whose property was coveted by these perverse agents of the Roman Church - and after a mock trial, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) were burnt at the stake, drowned as witches, or left to rot in foul dungeons.

Well, ironically, the current era happens to be Islam's 15th Century... and we witness the same bunch of power-hungry fiends preying on humanity by pretending piety. Today, the pervert priesthood is mostly found in decadent regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Malaysia and whether they call themselves ulama, ustaz or ayatollah, they seem addicted to the psychological stranglehold they wield over unquestioning believers.

Like their Roman Catholic predecessors and counterparts, these psychic predators trade mainly in fear (of hell) and guilt (usually sexual). I'm sure the majority of so-called Christians were decent human beings capable of reason and common sense - and yet, why were they afraid to speak out against the diabolical Inquisition? Why did they not revolt against the clergy? Simply because the clergy had convinced the masses that they (the priestly caste) represented God's Will on Earth - that's what is claimed by the Pope, hence the regality and splendor of his professional raments.

The same applies to the so-called Muslims in Malaysia. I have absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of Malaysian Muslims are completely reasonable and even compassionate human beings - yet why do they keep quiet and allow a few self-appointed "religious" fanatics to inflict the cruelest, most barbaric forms of punishment and mind-control on the ummah?

Ultimately, these issues have little to do with spiritual experience or religious practice - they are essentially political black ops designed to keep the masses constantly in a state of anxiety, self-doubt and moral cowardice. Imagine if a cabal of ulama were to decree that anyone caught masturbating would have his or her genitals surgically removed - would the ordinary mosque-going Muslim burst out in whoops of uncontrollable laughter and tell these crazy ulama to get a life or eff off? Or would they react by keeping a deadly silence and lowering their eyes, hoping nobody would single them out for questioning?

Meanwhile, truly outrageous crimes committed by the ruling elite pass unchallenged, uninvestigated and unprosecuted...

This is precisely the strategy UMNO is using in their desperate attempts to thwart Anwar Ibrahim's political destiny. Little do they realize, in so doing, they are only strengthening Anwar's mythic status as a folk hero - in the tradition of erstwhile messianic figures like Moses, Yeshua (Jesus) and Muhammad!

I have no vested interest in any particular belief system - whatever resonates within my cellular consciousness as "true" I will accept as inner guidance, inner teaching (intuition)... and having observed the power of semantics and semiotics on the mass psyche, I can only conclude that all humanity would be far more integrated and harmonious were it not for the divisive effect of religious dogma.

[First posted 15 October 2011. Reposted 13 December 2014]

Friday, April 10, 2015

Statement on the Selangor Dam (revisited)

Selangor River rapids (Antares)

I issue this statement on my own behalf, and not as a representative of any group or organization. I am resolutely against any attempt to solve our serious environmental problems - of which recurring smog and water shortages (despite worsening floods) are merely symptoms - through heavy-handed bureaucratic schemes and club-footed technological ploys.

Never mind the goddam EIA. These multi-million-ringgit "professional" reports are a wordscreen for a lot of nasty unspeakable projects that I prophesy will soon be totally banned from this precious planet, as more and more of us awaken to the terrible truth.

What an EIA does is to soften the crushing impact of reckless "development" projects. The EIA is very much like an inventory of potential damage caused by warfare: you might lose a few toes, half your brain, most of your vision, your hearing, your sanity, etc - BUT if you follow certain SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, you might escape with only half the above injuries!

The point is: WE DON'T WANT TO GO TO WAR AT ALL! What industrialization has done to the environment is essentially a declaration of war against natural beauty and simple, honest values. That way lies a dead-end future of merciless grey grimness unfit for organic lifeforms, only state-owned androids.

Building yet another colossal dam to feed our insatiable appetite for "growth" is definitely a sign of derangement. We have been forcefed - and a few have greedily swallowed - Mahathir's "vision" of unfettered industrial development and economic expansion. But how many have dared to publicly question the sanity or wisdom of this management policy? And when a few voices in the wilderness cried out in warning, were they heeded or even heard amidst the clamor of the stock exchange and the growing traffic jams?

When water catchment areas have been rudely denuded and despoiled, and hills carved up for high-rise housing, do we expect to live happily after on this earth? Surely Mother Earth will seek ways in which she can rid herself of this terrible infestation called humanity, surely she will find ways to alert us to the grave errors of our perception, so that we can return to a loving, cherishing relationship with her (instead of exploiting her and robbing her of resources meant for all living things, and seeing her beauty as no more than booty for our taking).

KL flash flood, March 2009 (Ahmad Asmadi/The Star)

My friends, the inclement weather changes - wet months getting wetter and hot months getting hotter and cold countries getting colder - are part of the phenomenon called Global Warming. It is largely caused by human insensitivity to the miraculous spectrum of life that constitutes our biosphere. "Modern Man" suffers from acute anthropocentrism - a viewpoint focused exclusively on human need and greed - and acute anthropocentrism will eventually destroy the whole earth. Our needs are amply provided for by Mother Nature, as the wise ones say, but not our greed.

So our recent plague of environmental problems is basically an indicator of our excesses. To further abuse and exploit the environment certainly will not help - no matter how clever or inventive or EXPENSIVE the technology may be.

What will help is to reassess our management policies and national aspirations with complete truthfulness. We would immediately recognize that we have reached the point where national ego pride could ruin us and genuine humility just might save us.

Humility means acknowledging how little we know about the universe; and humility comes from realizing that nature's beauty and mystery are worth infinitely more than our perverse obsession with illusory fame and fortune.

Being able to breathe clean, fresh air and admire the distant hills every day may not get us into the Guinness Book of World Records or the Who's Who of the Banana Republics- but it will certainly get us closer to regaining heaven on earth.

Road to Heaven by Emily Mueller
So stop midway through this frantic and futile feast of fools and look up at the ethereal clouds in the sky, and remember why we chose to be born on this exquisite and unique gem of a planet. Was it to puff ourselves up with toadish pompousness and amass a hoard of dragon's gold we could never bequeath to our grandchildren? Because our grandchildren would be too busy turning into cockroaches, rats, and other lifeforms that can survive or even thrive in ugly and polluted environments.

Or did we come here to experience the separation of matter from spirit, and to learn how they can be harmoniously fused again? For this lesson would teach us that the outer reflects the inner. Where there is drought in the external reality, it means our souls are parched of feelings, love has dried up. Where there are landslides and flash floods, it means our integrity is decaying and our emotions are murky and raging out of control, bursting the banks of tranquility. And where the air is thick with greasy crud and black with factory soot, it means our thoughts are indecent (i.e., mechanical, pornographic) and our spirit is exhausted.

These are not - as an official propagandist might have you believe - the essential hallmarks of progress, the few broken eggs of omelette-making. Material comfort and spiritual distress are not the sine qua non of success. If truth be told, these are the unmistakable symptoms of acute mismanagement pulling the wool over the eyes of - or, rather, shearing the wool off - a woefully disinformed and misguided citizenry.

Don't be fooled or bullied by businessmen and politicians into believing that ideals and principles are for lily-livered dreamers and bleeding-hearts. Ideals and principles are our navigational beacons through the foggy night of never-knowing-for-sure. Businessmen and politicians prefer to bandy about FACTS and FIGURES. They call it being REALISTIC, being PRACTICAL, being LOGICAL, being RATIONAL.  "Hey, don't be so emotional," they're fond of admonishing individuals like me.

Well, my friends, if you think the world is run by walruses and carpenters... oops, I mean, busynessmen and appalliticians... and there isn't much you and I can do to change the situation - you're dead wrong! In the first place, they are not running the world - they're RUINING it! And in the second place, every bit of POWER they appear to wield they STOLE from YOU.


We no longer desire to be permanent debt-slaves of an inaccessible power elite ("Boss ada meeting!"). We shall no longer pick up the bill for your deadly sins. We are prepared to give you ONE LAST CHANCE to admit your mistakes (go on, say "Sorry lah!" just once with feeling) and then call for suggestions from the public as to what needs to be done about everything: our air, our water, our legal system, our police force, our news media, our housing policy, our hideous track record of moral duplicity, and our utter contempt for truth, never mind the environment!

I'm absolutely sure the very first suggestion will be: DO AWAY WITH OBSOLETE LAWS FROM THE DARK AGES LIKE THE ISA AND THE OSA. Then we can feel free at last to discuss decent, intelligent, eco-friendly and non-destructive ways to resolve our problems without being harassed by zomboid goons.

In fact, you may find we actually have very few problems in this country. I'd venture that they can all fit into a single courtroom and be tried for conspiracy to befuddle and bamboozle the public! And the most fitting "punishment" would be for the entire cabinet to live for two whole years in an Orang Asli village on RM500 a month. They will each be issued a 20-year-old 80 c.c. motorbike - and no petrol allowance.

The Orang Asli, of course, will be paid ministers' salaries during the exchange period to make up for the inconvenience of having to teach a bunch of back-biting batik-shirted baboons the basics of honest living.*

Magick River
6 March 1999

*Twelve years have elapsed since I wrote this. Regrettably, I have had to revise my earlier, overly romantic view of the Orang Asli and their role as guardians of "indigenous wisdom." This may have been true of past generations, raised on grandmothers' stories instead of low-grade TV. However, the new generation of Orang Asli - and I refer specifically to the Temuan of Ulu Selangor - are hardly in a position to teach anybody "the basics of honest living." Indeed, I'm inclined to think only a tiny handful these days have any grasp of the notion of honesty. The rot from Putrajaya has spread all the way down to the roots. To rehabilitate BN ministers we will probably have to outsource the contract!

[First posted 6 November 2011]

Monday, April 6, 2015


COMMENT This is the first time in 34 years I have actually found myself in agreement with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his recent, although rather belated, queries in respect of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder saga.

These questions make sense. These are the same questions a very large portion of the Malaysian population has been asking for over eight years now.

Khalid Abu Bakar (right), our beloved inspector-general of police (IGP), has in the meantime, been performing backward somersaults trying to avoid the entire issue and instead, appears to have dedicated his entire career to tracking Twitter messages on social media.

'Twitter Khalid' has even had the audacity to threaten (which he is very good at) anyone who dares to bring up the issue of 'motive' in the grisly murder of an innocent female foreign national at the hands of two of Malaysia's best trained commandos.

The excuse Khalid has given is that the Federal Court has made a decision and any questioning of the reasons behind that decision would be tantamount to contempt of court.

What Khalid has failed miserably to appreciate is the fact that no one is 'questioning' that decision. Everyone agrees the decision is correct.

However, it is the question of motive which has never been addressed in any of the three courts this murder trial has progressed through. In fact, evidence in respect of motive was never tendered by the prosecution.

Therefore, as far as I (and Mahathir) are concerned, it is still open season on motive.

So instead of terrorising twitterers, perhaps Khalid may see fit to revisit this issue with a little more fervour than he has shown in the past.

Despite the press releases being launched from the IGP's office, none of them detract from the fact that convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar has categorically said no officer from the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM) has visited him in Sydney to interview him.

If Khalid disputes this, all he has to do is release the names of those officers who ostensibly attended to Sirul (left) and the exact date and time they clocked in with the detention centre authorities. Inspector Tonny Luggan (the investigating officer in Altantuya's case) says he was not sent to see Sirul in Sydney, so who was?

Khalid is also reported to have said that "Sirul's remark showed the fugitive was doing his utmost to bring disrepute and cast doubt over the investigations into the murder case, his involvement and the criminal justice system".

Yes. That is correct, because it is obvious to everyone that your investigations are incomplete.

As the current series of events appear to translate, Sirul is not disputing his involvement in the murder. All he is saying is that others were involved and they haven't been brought to book so why should he take the rap?

One need not have successfully completed an in-depth course in criminal investigation at Pulapol (Malaysian Police Training Centre) to be able to decipher the glaring holes in this entire saga.

A cursory viewing of a couple of episodes of Miami Vice or CSI New York would suffice in providing a clue as to how the matter ought to have been professionally addressed.

The established facts

Azilah Hadri and Sirul have been convicted of the murder of Altantuya by the highest court in our land. This has therefore been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the circumstances, there can be no question that these two gentlemen were in fact responsible for lodging two bullets in this poor lady's head and thereafter detonating some military grade explosives placed on her body causing it to be dissipated in the vicinity of some secondary jungle on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Sirul, who has, rather astutely, sought refuge at the Villawood detention centre on the outskirts of Sydney, has candidly admitted he was acting under orders and that he has been made a scapegoat for others who had not been brought to court.

In other words, he has tacitly admitted to the crime and confirmed that there may have been others behind it.

The question is why would Sirul and Azilah (right) have done this for no apparent reason? The courts have been interested only in whether an offence of murder had been committed and not why it was committed.

The prosecution failed to seek or put forth an explanation.

This is really the question which the IGP can provide an answer to if he is so inclined. He certainly has the resources. As long as he possesses the will, he most certainly will find the way.

Khalid, for goodness sake, please, just do your job. At the moment the general public perceive inactivity on your part as yet another ubiquitous and notorious Malaysian cover-up.

May I suggest you simply haul up the following characters and ask them these simple questions:

Azilah - Why did you and Sirul kill someone you didn't even know?

DSP Musa Safri (left) (then aide de camp DPM Najib Razak) - What exactly did you tell Sirul and Azilah to do to that poor Mongolian lady and who exactly asked you to engage their services?

Nasir Safar (Najib’s special officer) - What were you doing driving around in front of Abdul Razak Baginda's house on the evening of Oct 19, 2006, watching Azilah and Sirul abduct Altantuya?

PM Najib - Did you know that four of your staff were involved in this? If so, then why were they?

Deepak Jaikishan (businessman with close ties to Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor - Who asked you to shut private eye P Balasubramaniam up and get him and his family out of Malaysia immediately after he released SD1 (first statutory declaration)? (This should be easy as Deepak has already confessed to all of this).

Rosmah - Was it you? If not, then who?

Johari Razak (Najib’s younger brother) - Did you telephone senior lawyer Cecil Abraham on the evening of July 3, 2008 and ask him to prepare SD2 for Balasubramaniam to sign? If so why, and on whose behalf?

Cecil - Did you receive a telephone call from Johari Razak on July 3, 2008 to prepare SD2? If so, did you?

Sunil Abraham (Cecil’s son, who is also a lawyer) - Did you or did you not, assist your father in preparing SD2 and did you then personally deliver it to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on the morning of July 4, 2008?

Zainal Abidin Muhayat - Were you a commissioner for oaths in 2008 and did you have your office at Zul Rafique and Partners, Lorong P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur? If so, who sent you to the Hilton Hotel, KL Sentral on July 4, 2008 to attest the signature of one Balasubramaniam on SD2?

Nazim Razak (another brother of Najib) - Were you and your wife at the Curve, Mutiara Damansara late in the night of July 3, 2008? If so did you meet one Balasubramaniam (right) next to the VW showroom?

And if so, did you or did you not, threaten Balasubramaniam to follow the instructions of one Deepak Jaikishan and leave the country with his family immediately, otherwise his family's safety could not be guaranteed?

Najib - Did you instruct Johari and Nazim to arrange, respectively, for SD2 to be prepared and Balasubramaniam's subsequent departure from Malaysia? If so, why was that necessary?

Hamzah Zainuddin (Umno MP for Larut) - Did you, in 2011, offer Balasubramaniam safe passage back to this country and a cash inducement if he pleaded guilty to affirming a false statutory declaration (SD1). If so, why and on behalf of whom?

Khalid, may I also suggest that you contact a senior investigation officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) by the name of Abdul Rahman Bachok. He is a very diligent officer and has the entire file on investigations into the circumstances under which Balasubramaniam affirmed SD2. I am sure he will lend you his file and assist you in any way he can.

I believe he is a little annoyed that his file has been closed by the Attorney-General's Chambers. He had put a lot of effort into his investigations.

You may also care to contact the Brickfields police station and ask them why they have not followed up on the police report I lodged on July 8, 2008 in respect of Balasubramaniam's disappearance. I have sent them reminders but there has been no response.

All the above 'persons of interest' and their answers to the questions posed may possibly assist in revealing a motive for the crime. Is there any reason why you, Mr IGP would be disinclined to pursue the matter further and if so what are those reasons?

AMERICK SIDHU is a senior lawyer and counsel for late P Balasubramaniam and his widow,  A Santamil Selvi. Reproduced courtesy of Malaysiakini.