Thursday, May 30, 2024

Warp & Woof ~ an unpublished chapter from "Tanah Tujuh" (repost)

The Orang Asli are certainly not alone in “remembering” that many of the imbalances in the world today stem from a series of cosmic-scale catastrophes in the planet's traumatic past. Nor are they the only ones who portray the guardian at the portal of death as a dog. The Egyptians depicted their guide to the underworld as a dog-headed god, Anubis. (And the Greeks called their god of the dead, Pluto, which Walt Disney turned into a cartoon canine).

Speaking of dogs: Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, is in the constellation Canis Major. Now: why would a West African tribe called the Dogon (a contraction of Doggone, perhaps?) residing near Timbuktu, in the Republic of Mali, know so much about the Dog Star? Dogon starlore features prominently in The Sirius Mystery, a 1976 study by Robert Temple, which reports that the gods of Dogon legends originated from Sirius.
Temple was amazed to learn that the Dogon chiefs were able to sketch star maps showing the orbital paths of both Sirius A and Sirius B (its dwarf companion whose existence was first reported in 1844 by the German astronomer Friedrich W. Bessel but wasn't “officially confirmed” until as recently as 1970).

According to ethnographic studies conducted with the Dogon, their tribal elders had known about their Sirius connection for at least 700 years. Their explanation was simple: a Sirian spaceship had landed in the desert, dug a deep hole, and filled it with water. Out of the ship had emerged some dolphin-like beings - who jumped into the artificial lake and began trading cosmic gossip with the Dogon witch doctors.

My own theory is that Nibiru was once a planet of Sirius B - before the star imploded and became a dense dwarf, Somehow the Nibiruans managed to steer their planetary spaceship out of harm's way - but found themselves “gatecrashing” our Solar System. Captured by the Sun's gravitational field, Nibiru bumped into a few other celestial bodies (causing unimaginable havoc) before ending up in a highly elliptical 3,600-year orbit (which takes the 4th-dimensional planet far out into Deep Space and back into the Solar System every 1,800 terrestrial years).

The Flower of Life – a modern mystery school founded by Drunvalo Melchizedek in the Hermetic tradition - teaches that Sirius A and Sirius B are linked to our Sun by an interdimensional portal or Stargate carrying a heavy traffic in cetacean intelligences. (Ea – also known as Enki, Poseidon, and Neptune - has traditionally been associated with the dolphins. The plot thickens. My own research indicates that the Earth connects Sirius with the Pleiadian Family, of which our Sun is a vital component. Tiamat - our planet's original name before the Catastrophe - means “Maiden of Life.” This is a significant clue to the ultimate purpose and destiny of Gaia, our beloved “Mother Earth.”)


Sirius - known to the Egyptians as Sept and to the Greeks as Sothis - was sacred to the great goddess Isis. When her husband-brother Osiris was murdered by their brother Set and despatched to the Underworld where he became Lord of the Dead, Isis managed to extract semen from her deceased husband (with a little help from ibis-headed Thoth, the Keeper of Arcane Mysteries) and conceived a son, the hawk-headed Horus. Osiris thence became the symbol of fertility and resurrection, while Horus took on the role of the Divine Child, personifying the New Aeon.

Thoth was known in Sumeria as Ningishzidda (“Lord of the Artifact of Life”). He was the younger son of Enki. (The controversial Zecharia Sitchin, for one, is convinced that Thoth was also worshiped in Peru as Viracocha, and in Mesoamerica as Kukulcan/Quetzalcoatl. This belief is supported by a very ancient document smuggled out of Peru in the 1920s, which has since been translated and published privately as The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean by Doreal of the Brotherhood of the White Temple. Its contents are far too fantastic for it to be a forgery.

In Egypt, Thoth was sometimes called Tehuti (“Master of Balance”), son of Ptah. He is credited with the design and construction of the Great Pyramid (which he materialized from the 4th Dimension with the help of his brother Ra and a High Adept and former Atlantean King named Araaragot*). In Greece, Thoth was venerated as Hermes Trismegistos (“Thrice-Greatest”); he initiated Pythagoras into the mysteries through sacred geometry and the Kabbalah.

Isis and the Ape of Thoth
The Egyptians depicted Thoth with an ibis head to signify his patronage of precise knowledge and esoteric wisdom. They also associated him with the baboon - symbol of the genetic union of Dog and Ape (Sirius and the Earth). I have reason to believe that Thoth was actually the Adamic progeny of Enki/Ptah - pioneer god of primate gene-splicing - and perhaps the first human Adapa (Adept) to attain the secret of Immortality.

Thoth became Divine Archivist and Chronicler of Tanah Tujuh (The Seventh Planet) after he retired from an illustrious career as “Headmaster of the Enki'ite Mathemagickal Mystery School.” In the light of this, Drunvalo couldn't have found a better mentor than Thoth the Atlantean. Thoth had made initial psychic contact with him in 1972 and then “disappeared” - after scrutinizing his candidacy. Drunvalo and Thoth established a two-way communication link on November 1st 1984, which was operational till May 4th 1991, when Thoth finally departed Earth with a group of Immortal Masters - having served as a tutelary god to humanity for 52,000 years (which is, after all, only 14.44 Nibiruan years).

_______________

* Ra (the Sun God) subsequently seized power in Egypt, displacing his brother Thoth (the Moon God), who then went into South American exile and became a cult figure. Meanwhile, Araaragot was preoccupied with establishing the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood in Shamballa. The Age of Aries was heralded by Ra's disappearance from Egypt (where he became known as Amen-Ra or “Ra the Unseen”) and subsequent re-appearance in Babylon as its national god, Marduk (“God of Gods”), circa 2024 B.C. This power struggle between the younger Enlilite and Enki'ite gods precipitated an atomic war that effectively wiped out Sodom, Gomorrah, the Anunnaki spaceport in Sinai, and millions of people and livestock. Marduk decreed that Nibiru be henceforth called “Marduk” in all Babylonian texts.

[First posted 6 July 2012. Reposted 26 May 2020]



Megalomania, Hubris & Tyranny (revisited)

The Family of  French monarch Louis XIV by Jean Nocret

Along with neocortical brain functions and “higher intelligence” comes a more acutely defined sense of individualized ego and self-importance.

Add to this an obscenely bulging bank account with which to buy political clout... and you begin to get a glimpse of the sort of megalomania that embarks upon Master-of-the-Universe programs spanning generations - the ultimate aim being to exercise absolute control over the brainwashed masses, whose very existence is tolerated insofar as it serves as a source of energy and entertainment for an exclusive and privileged elite.

Does this sound like a description of the Olympian Gods of Greek mythology? Well, consider the distinct possibility that these so-called gods were not at all “mythical” - that they, in fact, operate as a secret government of unseen puppetmasters behind the visible governments of the world and that they have mastered the art of molding public opinion and perceptions by manufacturing and packaging The News for planetwide consumption.

Here in Malaysia we have our own wannabe Masters of the Universe too (Malaysia Boleh lah). They can skim any amount of cash off the national treasury without being held accountable and create colossal megaprojects from which gigantic "commissions" are generated. When questioned, a simple denial is good enough - since nobody dares to investigate and those with the authority to do so are already in their pockets.

RM800 million commissions from murky multi-billion ringgit arms deals? RM42 billion slush fund scam exposed by the Zionist press? No problem. If Lim Kit Siang demands an explanation, just get a lackey in a monkey suit to say, "Everything aboveboard! You try to topple the government, we arrest!"

Problem arises with one of the partners in some shady business and she comes knocking on your office door? Rosie will ring for service and get the messy situation taken care of by loyal servants expert at disappearing problematic individuals.


The riff-raff who read Malaysiakini raising a huge stink? No problem, convene a press conference and declare: "Nothing happened!" Then quickly buy enough nominations to put Pink Lips in the lead as party president and soon... ha ha... semua kautim!

In one elegant move, the dangerous mass movement towards Ketuanan Rakyat can be nipped in the bud (or zapped in the butt) and everything will go back to business-as-usual.

The Retired Despot will escape serious investigation for all his terrible crimes against decency and good governance... and Tun Daim Zainuddin can go shopping for a healthy young sexy body and become immortal!

But therein lies the rub. Immortality isn't something that can be bought, stolen or accomplished through advanced technology.

Immortality is bestowed upon those with molecular integrity and nobility of consciousness - unique qualities in harmonic resonance with Source Energy. Nobody can fake this. Usurpers of kingly or queenly thrones cannot activate their own crown chakras unless their genetics carry specific chromatic frequencies - and so they settle for fancy headgear embedded with sparkling jewels. Who are they fooling - if not, ultimately, themselves?
 

[First posted 2 December 2008, reposted 18 July 2015, 12 July 2019 & 29 May 2020]

Monday, May 27, 2024

ANWAR IBRAHIM'S KEYNOTE ADDRESS IN SINGAPORE, 20 MAY 2008

(Courtesy of anwaribrahimblog.com)

MALAYSIA’S DEFINING MOMENT AND THE NEW ECONOMIC AGENDA

Keynote address by Anwar Ibrahim on 20th May 2008 at the CLSA Corporate Access Forum in Singapore, a high-profile gathering of corporate decision makers of the region’s most interesting companies and investment bodies.

Ladies and Gentleman.

On the 8th of March, with fortitude and conviction the people of Malaysia sent a clear message to the powers that be they would not continue to tolerate a corrupt and incompetent government. With resoluteness hitherto unseen they voted the Barisan Nasional out of office in four states and terminated their stranglehold two-third majority in Parliament. In the final toll, the Pakatan Rakyat, that is, the People’s Alliance, now controls five states accounting for about 60% of the nation’s GDP. Additionally, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is almost entirely represented by Pakatan representatives in Parliament. After being in power for five decades, the Barisan Nasional meanwhile is still in comatose under this knock out defeat while its dominant and dominating anchor party UMNO is in utter turmoil.

In this defining moment of Malaysia’s history, the courage and singularity of purpose of the people has been extraordinary. Having suffered the slings and arrows of an outrageous regime that had become very cozy with the culture of corruption, wastage and misuse of power, the people marched headlong into the battlefield and took the bull by the horns.

To my mind, the 8th of March, 2008 is the metaphor for the birth of a new era where the millstone of race and religion which had been our burden to bear for the last fifty years has finally been shattered. With one stroke of the mighty pen, notwithstanding the overwhelming forces of electoral fraud and collusion of the organs of state, the people transformed the political landscape of the nation.

This will be a new chapter indeed for Malaysia indeed as it was for Indonesia not too long ago when the waves of reformasi swept the country taking it out of dictatorship to democracy. In a way, it was also for Myanmar though tragically the iron hand of military oppression proved far stronger than the earnest cries for justice and liberty.

A New Economic Agenda has been crafted borne of a long-term strategic vision to develop Malaysia into a prosperous and dynamic society competitive not just in the region, but in the world. We are not talking about knee-jerk reactions or strategies calculated to gain political mileage. This Agenda is a comprehensive program that we earnestly believe is sustainable in the long run.

According to a recent survey, young Malaysians are now open to more multi-racial socio-economic policies as opposed to race-based ones. The general consensus is that affirmative action should be given to the poor and the marginalized regardless of race or religion. Notions of social dominance and racial superiority find no resonance among the people except for those diehards still bigoted over ancient and archaic forms of political ideology.
Anwar at the Freedom Rally, 14 April 2008, moments before the police interrupted his speech 
(photo courtesy of BigO)

That is why our New Agenda is not purely economic. Its viability depends very much on observing the principles of democracy, socio-economic justice, equal economic opportunities and religious freedom. There is no contradiction in talking about affirmative action while waving the banner of equal opportunity because a level playing field can never be level unless and until the poor and the marginalized are taken out of the vicious cycle.

The broadest platform that forms the bedrock of this New Malaysian Agenda rests on policies formulated to bring maximum benefit to the people across as broad a spectrum as possible in order to uplift the living standards of the ordinary Malaysian. Ostentatious projects will be shelved. Public expenditure will be focused on infrastructure such as transportation, health and education. There is no doubt that we will be pro-business but the New Agenda will redress the social inequities unleashed by the forces of the free market. Rent-seeking activities, for example, must be kept at bay. Predatory marketing will be outlawed. A more comprehensive regulatory structure will be crafted with the bulk of the input from people actually in the business. All this may raise the alarm that this is populist agenda which encroaches upon free market principles. On the contrary, the New Agenda aims at taking Malaysia to the status of a developed nation that is built on the people’s trust with accountability, transparency and good governance.


Let us first of all answer the question: What is Malaysia’s status today? We hear for example politicians talking about how rich Malaysia is compared to some of her neighbors and how we have recovered so well since the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The truth, however, says otherwise: South Korea and Taiwan were much poorer than us in the 1970s but today their per capita income is US$19,200 and US$15,270 respectively. Our per capita income is only US$6,240. And we haven’t begun to talk about Singapore, a city-state of four million inhabitants. At US$30,810, it is five times that of Malaysia’s. The enormous difference becomes all the more glaring if we consider that just 30 years ago, Malaysia was neck and neck with Singapore.

If we analyze deeper we will realize how even more troubling the numbers are. The per capita income scenario paints only a partial picture. What we don’t see is the gross inequality in income distribution. In 2005, Malaysia registered the most glaring GINI coefficient in Southeast Asia, worse than Indonesia and Thailand. As you know, being the most effective measure of income disparity, at 0.47, Malaysia was number two in Asia losing only to Papua New Guinea.

This is a devastating indictment of the failure of the New Economic Policy, crafted almost four decades ago. In the area of the urban-rural gap, this policy has also been a complete fiasco. In 1999, income in rural homes was 55% that of urban homes with the highest poverty in mostly Bumiputera majority states such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis, Sabah and Sarawak.

Of course there has been some development in the country but we do not see anything impressive in the numbers unless we still want to compare ourselves with African countries. Incidentally, Malaysia’s poverty reduction statistics are unreliable because our base rate is unrealistic.

By far the most damning case against the NEP is that it has been hijacked by the ruling elite to satisfy their lust for wealth and power. No doubt this was a multi-racial rip-off of the most systematic kind: the leaders of the component parties of the ruling coalition working hand in glove with UMNO to deprive the deserving Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans of the benefits that were to be derived from the NEP.

Tender procedures, transparency and independent evaluation in privatization issues, equity distribution, all these were swept aside in the name of the NEP on the sacred ground that this was all for the benefit of the Bumiputeras. But the numbers stack hard against the hype. Just compare the money spent on scholarships with say the tens of billions expropriated by the select few in equity awards, Approved Permits, contracts to companies controlled by families and cronies, and the billions in profit reaped on account of privatization projects and schemes. There is also a high economic cost to this gross abuse of the policy. The people have to pay higher costs for energy, water, highway tolls. The people’s protest falls on deaf ears.

The decline in FDI as well as private domestic investment is serious. This collapse has led to serious underperforming by Malaysia in the region. India in the last five years saw its investment/GDP ratio rise from 22% to 34% and Brazil’s ratio shot up from 15% to 27%. Malaysia’s ratio, on the other hand, plunged to 9% last year from 30% in 1996. In terms of FDI over GDP, Malaysia plummeted from 8% to 4% for the same period. This is one of the steepest declines anywhere in the world. What these numbers signify is the plunge in the level of competitiveness and the degree of profitability of companies and there is no reason to imagine things will improve for the better barring a drastic change in circumstances. As a matter of fact, for the World Competitiveness Index for 2007/08, Malaysia dropped two notches from last year’s standing.

Yet the authorities are touting Malaysia’s so called impressive current account surplus which increased from 8% in 2002 to 14% in 2007. But what it means really is that investments have fallen and hence a decline in the import of capital goods. Even Malaysia’s growth rates for the last five years will show that private consumption is the main driver for the increase. What has not been highlighted, however, is the fact that our economic growth is essentially fuelled by borrowings to such an extent that individual indebtedness is now the highest in the region. Just last year, I spoke about the lessons of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Once again, the question is: have the Malaysian authorities learned anything?

Malaysia lags behind other emerging economies in spite of a diversified economy with commodities and manufacturing and a relatively good physical infrastructure. Our competitiveness suffers because of the failure to develop and keep innovative human capital. Our brain drain problem is legendary. This reflects foundational weaknesses in our educational infrastructure as well as a policy of mismanaging the vast human resources. The traditional mindset of bolstering the manufacturing sector as a key driver for economic growth must also be changed in an age where information and knowledge provide the bedrock for growth and competitiveness. We suffer also because of the high cost of doing business, a cost which is reflective of the failure to observe the basic standards of good governance and to fulfill the demands of accountability. At the end of the day, these principles will continue to be compromised when those who hold the trust of the people succumb to the temptations of power and fall victim to the cancer of corruption.

The report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V.K. Lingam scandal has fully vindicated our earnest efforts to expose the corruption that has beset the highest institutions of power. The Malaysian judiciary once touted as one of the best in the world has been severely compromised. Judge fixing, ghost written judgments, horse trading in judicial appointments, these are the symptoms of a judiciary ravaged by executive influence and interference and corruption by the rich and the powerful. We cannot overemphasize the importance of an independent and competent judiciary to realize the objectives of the New Agenda because bereft of such an institution, the rule of law itself hangs in the balance. When justice can be bought and sold, the economic implications are extremely far reaching. Foreign investors want impartial and fair hearings in trade and commercial disputes. The fact that most international contracts executed in the region choose Hong Kong or Singapore rather than Kuala Lumpur as the forum for arbitration speaks volumes about the level of confidence of the international business community in Malaysia’s judiciary.

From one corridor to another, with pledges of billions of ringgit to be poured into infrastructure and other projects, the Federal government is still trying to foist on the people undertakings of such a gargantuan scale that make the mega projects of the previous administration look rather tame. This lavishness in spending is symptomatic of the Barisan’s conventional responses to the economic woes of the nation. They have given supply-side economics a new meaning, predicated on the assumption that the supply of money has no limits.

History has already shown what dire consequences such a philosophy can bring. Forged on the anvil of greed and self-interest, these projects can only see the light of day if and only if the main beneficiaries are cronies, family members and conglomerates connected with the ruling elite. Hence, projects which were in the pipeline before the elections suddenly become unviable now that they would be in the States governed by the Pakatan. Perhaps this is the silver lining to the clouds that hang over the Pakatan-controlled states because we want no part in the plundering of the people’s wealth by the UMNO-controlled Federal government. They must be held accountable.

In spite of these concerns we will honour commitments already made, excepting for gross abuse and corruption, and will seek new ways of engaging with the international investor community under the principle of responsible competitiveness that would encompass conservation, sustainability and fair labour practices.

The New Economic Agenda recognizes the multi-ethnic composition of Malaysia and therefore is fortified with a policy to foster and nurture a plural and tolerant society. After all, that was the catalyst for the formation of our nation pursuant to a social contract to build a nation that is harmonious, just and fair. That cannot be realized without a New Agenda relevant and just to all. The Bumiputera community is ready for this change because it will continue to be firmly grounded on affirmative action to help the poor and the marginalized.

The fear that such an agenda will erode the rights of the Bumiputera is but the consequence of the racist chanting of some UMNO leaders who will stand to be the biggest losers in the new agenda. So, fearing the prospect of their corrupt sources of income being reduced if not altogether eliminated they resort to stoking the fires of racist sentiments through the mainstream media controlled by them.

Our policy is simple and straightforward enough. We do not intend to do away with the affirmative action principles outlined in the NEP, but we will apply them across the board making them available for all races on a needs basis. The question is: Should we condone the abuses of a policy which make the rich richer and the poor poorer or should we not support a policy that provides equitable assistance to all needy Malaysians?

Again, to the detractors who will continue to distort the new agenda as an anti-Bumiputera policy, let me reiterate that the interests of the Bumiputeras will never be compromised because we are committed to building a new system that is just and fair. In this new order, no one will be left behind on account of race or religion. Unlike the current scheme of things, the New Agenda will put in place mechanisms to ensure that economic aid goes to those who most need it. For example, small traders who form the bulk of the Bumiputera community in business enterprises will therefore be better off than they ever were under the NEP.

Certain detractors have pointed out the road to a more deregulated free market economy will lead to the abandonment of social instruments. We would answer this by saying that we have no intention of abandoning of our electoral promises among which is the promotion of social justice. We advocate no doubt Hayekian free enterprise but we don’t think Adam Smith’s invisible hand will be that responsive to the changing times. Hence, whenever necessary, to paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith, we temper free market with an appropriate dose of state intervention to rectify the social inequities attendant on the interplay of pure market forces. We don’t think that we need to apologize for advocating a policy on fuel, health care and education which is calculated to ease the burden of the rising cost of living. We call this humane economics.

Bearing in mind our diagnosis of the Malaysian economy and the state of our nation, the New Agenda will set in place the drivers that will take the country out of the doldrums to greater heights.

In other words, measures will be in place to ensure that private investment as well as FDI will return with a vengeance. The conditions precedent for Malaysia to regain its status as an attractive destination for investors must include the rule of law, a regulatory framework, and incentives to develop our human capital. At the same time, with the implementation of more prudent macroeconomic management, growth will be stimulated without getting out of hand. The State economies under the control of Pakatan Rakyat will become more robust and vibrant. In spite of the efforts of the Federal government to derail development projects, we are confident that these state economies will be able to forge ahead. The SMEs too will benefit from a policy that recognizes the role that they play in an economy that will be increasingly more globalized. Take care of the head and the tail will take care of itself. With transparency and accountability in place, cronyism and corruption will die a natural death thus immediately lowering transaction costs while enhancing improvements in service delivery.


If I may conclude with an apology to Shakespeare: Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by the sun of Pakatan’s New Economic Agenda. Victory lies in courage and conviction to replace the old with the new, the obsolete with the functional. Without this paradigm change, Malaysia will be adrift in an ocean of uncertainty at the risk of being marooned on the island of oblivion. We must take the current when it serves or forever lose our venture.

Thank you.

[First posted 20 May 2008]

Sunday, May 26, 2024

World's Most Adorable & Desirable Woman (updated)


Every time I think of her my soul lets out a long bittersweet sigh. Why bittersweet? Well, bitter because it's unlikely I'll ever get to meet her - what more woo her? - so I'll just have to live in perpetual hope that someday through pure serendipity she'll stumble on my blog and leave a friendly comment (and her email address :-).

Sweet, of course, because she never fails to make me smile from ear to ear like the village idiot. Her earthy - yet somehow ethereal - beauty is almost too good to be true, but I know it's absolutely real. No botox, no photoshop, nosirree. On stage she moves like a cat, her grace so natural it almost hurts to watch. She's SEXY without even trying. She's one of a kind, in a class of her own, incomparable.

Sade Adu is a natural-born incarnation of Aphrodite. I've adored her from the very first moment I laid eyes on her video image, singing Smooth Operator. That was way back in the 1980s, when she first burst upon the scene from out of nowhere.



Born Helen Folasade Adu on 16 January, 1959, in Ibadan, Nigeria, to Bisi Adu (a Nigerian economics lecturer) and Anne Hayes (an English nurse), Sade moved to England at age 4 with her mother and brother after the marriage broke up. She studied fashion design in London between 1977 and 1980, and opened a men's boutique with a friend, Gioia Mellor, who still designs many of Sade's stage outfits. She also worked part time as a photographic model during that period, which explains her amazing posture and poise. Friends asked her to do a bit of singing with a Latin-soul group named Arriva - and that's when Sade's talent as a songwriter first emerged. Smooth Operator was among her first attempts and I bet there's hardly a person on Earth who hasn't fallen in love with her slinky, sultry vocals on this unforgettable tune.


Sade subsequently joined a group called Pride - where she met Stuart Matthewman (saxophone, guitar, programming), Paul Spencer Denman (bass), and Paul Anthony Cook (drums). They got on really well and decided to form a splinter group called... Sade. Keyboardist Andrew Hale came aboard in 1983, Paul Cook was replaced, and this has been the core band that propelled Sade Adu to worldwide iconic status overnight.

In 1986 Sade moved to Madrid, Spain, and three years later she married Carlos Pliego, a Spanish filmmaker, but the partnership proved shortlived. She moved back to London for a few years before relocating in the mid-1990s to Jamaica, where she moved in with a producer named Bob Morgan. A daughter, Ila, was born to them on 21 July 1996 - but domestic bliss eluded her, and Sade once again returned to London, where she shares a Victorian mansion with her older brother Banji. It would appear that the world's most adorable and desirable woman has never been lucky in love, even though she's adulated by millions - men as well as women. However, Sade recently met a former British soldier named Ian Watts and love blossomed again for her, leading to a new album release (Soldier of Love) in early 2010.

Sade seems indifferent to her celebrity status, rarely granting interviews ("I'm not shy or reclusive... I just spend my time with people rather than journalists."). Rumor has it that she became depressed and dropped out of the music business. However, in September 2001, Sade thrilled her loyal fans by going on tour with her Lovers Live concert, backed by veteran musician friends from the old days - and she was in absolutely superb form, winsomely fetching in a gold cheongsam, every inch the fully mature diva. Lovers Live is my all-time favorite concert DVD, impeccably directed by Sophie Muller. You can view a few numbers from this exciting tour on YouTube (just search Sade Adu and run through the list of offerings). Sade performed at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 December 2004, when she sang a new song, Mum, specially written for the "Voices For Darfur" charity concert. Then she disappeared again, re-emerging only in early 2010 to promote Soldier of Love. Well, Sade, if you ever chance upon this... pop me an email, please. I promise you, I'm not like any man you've ever met... I'll give you THE Kiss of Life!



Muuuaaaaaaaah! (How can you put up with such unmitigated ADUlation, Sade?)


[First published 30 March 2007 ~  forgot to repost on Sade's birthday, 16 January!]


[First posted 1 February 2012]

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Magical Fireflies ~ by Vincent Brady (repost)

Vincent Brady is a Missouri-based photographer who has magnificently captured the essence of what is so beautiful about the firefly. He has created a world, using long exposure photography, that unveils the comet-like trails of these luminous creatures...















With thanks to Olivia de Haulleville


[First posted 18 May 2014]

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

In Memoriam: ALTANTUYA SHAARIIBUU (reprise)

(From Asia Sentinel)

The Altantuya Murder Trial has dragged on aimlessly for a whole year with the anticipated effect that most spectators have dozed off in their seats. To anyone with more than half a brain cell in their skulls, it certainly appears that Malaysian Justice is as elusive as the legendary Big Foot. Especially in view of the latest postponement of the trial on the very day Dr Shaariibuu Setev, the murdered woman's father, arrived in Kuala Lumpur to look in on the so-called trial's progress (or lack thereof). As a result, Dr Setev has decided to return to Mongolia - after giving a press conference at which he stated that his government is on the verge of severing all ties with Malaysia. The fact that the Malaysian Prime Minister has failed to acknowledge and respond to a formal letter addressed to him from his Mongolian counterpart is an utterly deplorable and disgraceful lapse in manners and reflects very badly on all Malaysians.

As a Malaysian I'm absolutely embarrassed and appalled that such a blatant charade has been permitted to drag on and on for so long while everybody pussyfoots around the thorny question of the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister's involvement in the whole sordid affair. A man who has long been under a thundercloud of suspicion - not only over spectacular irregularities in defense expenditures but also over the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu - has been anointed as the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. This same man is on record as having unsheathed a keris during an Umno assembly in 1987 and called for Chinese blood! And yet the Malaysian media remain mute on the obscene grotesqueness of the situation.

By way of sincere apology to Dr Shaariibuu Setev and the Mongolian people, I dedicate this blogpost to the memory of a brave and beautiful woman who had the misfortune to fall into very bad company.

ANWAR TO NAJIB: "Nothing personal!"

(Courtesy of MalaysiakiniTV April 25 2007)

ANWAR TO NAJIB: "Explain photo with Altantuya Shaariibuu!"

(Courtesy of MalaysiakiniTV 29 June 2007)

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been asked to explain the claim made in a court testimonial today that he had been photographed with murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu. PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said it was all the more compelling for the deputy premier to explain since he had previously denied having met her.

THE MONGOLIAN PM WROTE TO THE MALAYSIAN PM BUT NEVER GOT A RESPONSE...

(Courtesy of MalaysiakiniTV 24 April 2008)

All ties established between Mongolia and Malaysia may be severed if the courts do not reach a fair decision in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial. Altantuya's father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, told a press conference that this has been communicated to the Malaysian government.

UITM student Adli Syahril's "modern issues" assignment - the murder scene (28 April 2007)

NAJIB'S DENIAL

Day 10 of the Altantuya Trial (29 June 2007)

Altantuya Shaariibuu's cousin told the High Court here today that in August 2005, Abdul Razak Baginda and Altantuya were still having a relationship as they traveled to "Europe, France and Italy" together. Burmaa Oyunchimeg, also known as Amy, 26, in reply to a question from the prosecution, said Altantuya had shown her a photograph of her with Abdul Razak and Malaysian government officials. Later, when asked by Karpal Singh, who is holding a watching brief for Altantuya's family and the Mongolian government, Burmaa said the photograph was shown to her in Hongkong, on Altantuya's return from France.

Burmaa: There was a picture of Altantuya having a meal on a round table. Altantuya having a meal with Razak Baginda and Malaysian government officials and other people.

Karpal: Who were the government officials in the photograph?

Burmaa: Najib Razak. I remember the name Najib Razak. I remember Razak is the same name. I asked her (Altantuya) 'are they brothers' because they have same name.

[Originally posted 25 April 2008]

Sunday, May 19, 2024

BLACK EYES ALL AROUND (repost]

EX-CID BOSS CRIES 'BLACK-EYE' CONSPIRACY
Malaysiakini | 28 May 2009, 6:40pm

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim, who was declared a bankrupt, has claimed that several 'powerful hidden hands' wanted to destroy his credibility.

And their reason for doing so - "to paralyse my capabilities and prevent me from giving evidence against Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan for fabricating evidence in the Anwar Ibrahim 'black-eye' case."

In a statement emailed to all media organisations today, Mat Zain said his friends and relatives were wondering why his case, which is a non-issue and not worthy of publication, was given tremendous prominence by the media.

The issue was reported in the media today.

"I was just a common retired senior assistant commissioner II who went on optional retirement some eight years ago. I am not a member of any political party and have no intentions of being one.

"Surely you too are curious to know the reasons why the news on me had to be played up as such," he said.

"No ordinary person can influence the entire media (radio and TV) to run this sort of news simultaneously. I say with certainty there are very powerful hidden hands that wanted it so," he added.

The former CID chief was the investigating officer of the black-eye incident, and pledged that the probe was done "professionally without fear or favour."

On July 7 last year, Anwar filed a police report accusing Gani, Musa and one Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof and Mat Zain of falsifying a medical report.

The matter was also investigated by the then Anti-Corruption Agency (now renamed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency).

Commenting on the corruption watchdog's probe, Mat Zain said: "My detailed statement was recorded no less than five times by the investigating officer."

"I made full disclosure and provided the MACC with documentary evidence which I believe,was more than sufficient to proof criminal wrongdoings on the part of Gani in particular," he added.

MACC board clears Gani and Musa

On March 1 this year, MACC chief Ahmad Said Hamdan (left) announced that a three-member independent panel appointed by the solicitor-general to scrutinise the investigation papers had cleared Gani and Musa of any criminal wrongdoings

"Ten days later, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Aziz repeated that Gani and Musa are both cleared of any wrongdoings except with regards to Gani, where one of the panel members dissented, leaving Dr Rahman’s and my position in jeopardy," said Mat Zain.

"In view of this, on April 15, I submitted my appeal to the chairman of the advisory board of MACC and extended copies of the same to all committee members as well as to the chairmen of the other panels, including all members of the select committee to review the above findings.

"I provided the members with detailed arguments and attached supporting documentary evidence that I believe would be sufficient to proof that Gani and Musa were involved and/or abetted in the falsification of the medical reports on Anwar and that they should not have been cleared.

"I have yet to receive any response from the board but believe it is still under their consideration," he added.

On May 5, Mat Zain said he followed up on his appeal and extended copies to the solicitor-general as well as to the solicitor-general II.

"Once again, I provided them with arguments and submissions which I believe could show that Gani not only falsified one medical report as alleged by Anwar, but three, with Musa believed to be involved in at least two of them. I hope this too is being looked into seriously," he said.

Pak Lah was not told the entire truth

Mat Zain also believes that former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was never told the truth or the entire facts concerning the case.

Should the truth have been told, the former police officer was certain that Abdullah would have taken the appropriate action.

As for his bankruptcy case, Mat Zain said the notice was issued on April 21, 2009 while the order was issued on May 14.

"Why was it only publicised yesterday?" he asked. "I have reason to believe that the notice was obtained about a week after I filed my appeal to the MACC board on April 15 after Anwar vowed that he would provide a tough defence in the sodomy charge against him fixed to be heard beginning July 1."

"I have reasons to believe that the prosecution team anticipated that Anwar would certainly raise at a certain point of his trial the issue of fabrication of evidence in the black-eye case. My evidence would be vital at this stage. Their only option was to destroy my credibility," he said.

Although conceding that the news about his bankruptcy would affect him and his family, Mat Zain however said that he took it as a blessing in disguise.

"It would only enhance my resolve to disclose the whole truth of the 'black-eye' episode. Believe me, that this is not the only case the duo (Gani and Musa) had their fingers in. There are others which are as sensational. The truth shall prevail," he added.

With regards to the bankruptcy matter, Mat Zain said he has instructed his lawyer to look into the matter which came as a surprise to him "especially when I was never served personally of any notice of the hearing."

[First posted 28 May 2009]

Saturday, May 18, 2024

MY DAUGHTER, THE ORIENTAL GODDESS (repost)

Li Qin poses for her Goddess-loving father Li Zhuang Ping



















These iconic paintings are by Li Zhuang Ping, a romantic-realist artist born 1948 in Szechuan, China. Though technically flawless, Li's compositions can be said to be mostly derivative, borrowing heavily from the work of well-known European masters like Raphael, Renoir and Velázquez. What has brought this particular collection - popularly known as the "Oriental Goddess" series - to international attention is the fact that Li used his beautiful 23-year-old foster daughter, Li Qin, as his model.

"Qin's perfect form and her natural beauty are what I had in mind for the image of a goddess," Li told an interviewer. "I created the 'Oriental goddess' series with her. She serves as both my model and muse. She inspires as well as lends form to the work. In that sense the paintings are a collaboration between us."

"And, yes, my wife approves," added Mr Li with a smile.

Li Qin, herself an artist, said she began modeling for her foster father five or six years ago, and worked closely with him to create the 'Oriental Goddess' series of oil paintings on canvas which instantly gained notoriety in the Chinese art world.

As to be expected, murmurs of disapproval were soon heard amongst the more conservative. Some critics aver that, while there might be no biological relationship between Li and Qin, the paintings constitute a form of "artistic incest."

My personal take on Li Zhuang Ping's "Oriental Goddess" series? I think the paintings are too kitsch to qualify as "high art" but Li Qin's exceptional beauty certainly deserves to be celebrated. And who better than a doting father (albeit a foster father) to do justice to such distinctive feminine beauty? Transmuting paternal affection, aesthetic ardor and erotic desire into art is the most sublime expression of a father's love I can imagine. What a delightful way to mark the end of the long, dark patriarchal era - when fathers traded off their daughters for social or political advantage, sold them to the highest bidder, intimidated, raped, humiliated, mutilated or impregnated them... or murdered "wayward" daughters to save the "honor" of the family.

Li Qin with her proud and doting grandfather

[First posted 14 March 2009, reposted 16 January 2015 & 16 May 2016]