Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The euphoria that swept across the nation one day after the 12th general election created a ripple effect of unmitigated optimism that carried us through Anwar Ibrahim’s triumphant return to Parliament as Opposition Leader right after he trounced Arif Shah at Permatang Pauh on August 26th.

However, the road to Putrajaya appears perilously booby-trapped.

September 16th came and went and suddenly the political atmosphere just got denser and duller and heavier. How did I feel about 916? As an unabashed and unapologetic admirer of Anwar Ibrahim’s extraordinary intelligence, political savvy, oratorical skills, effortless charisma and, above all, his amazing wife Azizah and their lovely children (though I’ve only met Nurul Izzah thus far), I would have rejoiced wholeheartedly at Pakatan Rakyat’s successful takeover of the federal government – along with, I think, at least 25 million other Malaysians.

The actual date was immaterial. I believe Anwar came up with September 16th to emphasize and include our brothers and sisters in Sabah and Sarawak. As a meme, 916 has undeniable power because of its association with 22-karat gold, the purest form in which it can retain its solidity; the number also reads the same upside-down.

It’s been a little more than a month since the mammoth Malaysia Day Rally at Kelana Jaya stadium on the eve of 916. The seeds of hope and a powerful desire for genuine reform were undoubtedly planted amongst the 30,000 who attended – and the millions more who viewed the speeches on YouTube or read the blog reports. Anwar says he requested a private meeting with Abdullah Badawi to negotiate terms of a peaceful Pakatan Rakyat takeover but was refused. Instead we witnessed a spate of ridiculous and infuriating ISA arrests. Raja Petra, Anwar’s most outspoken ally, was forcibly removed from the scene, while 50 Barisan MPs were shipped off to Taiwan to experience earthquakes and typhoons.

Anwar then requested, as Opposition Leader, that the incumbent PM convene a special parliamentary session to establish if the Pakatan Rakyat had enough MPs to form the next government. Again, Anwar was rebuffed. All hopes now revolved on Anwar being granted an audience with the Agong. That didn’t happen. Instead, there was talk that the Agong was doing an umrah in Mecca.

October 13th was the day Parliament reconvened after a long break. We waited to see if anyone would propose a vote of no-confidence against the PM. Nobody did and Anwar himself opted to focus on Badawi’s 2009 Budget, criticizing it as irrelevant in the face of ongoing tectonic shifts in the financial world. At a press conference, Anwar insisted he still had the numbers to form a new government, but added that the Pakatan Rakyat had decided to move slowly rather than risk triggering a violent reaction from Umno loyalists who have mastered the martial art of pre-meditated mengamuk (running amok).

Anwar’s detractors would like us to believe “the moment has passed,” and that the window of democratic opportunity is once again shut tight. Just ban Hindraf and Makkal Sakthi will fade away. Arrest RPK and resistance to tyranny will wilt. This is the first time I’m doing it in print but I just have to go bwahahahahaha.

Meanwhile, things that resemble overfed maggots have been stirring within Umno. The hidden hand of Mahathir can be seen behind fractious factional splits (he’s not exactly a subtle despot). Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin is rumored to be quietly funding Najib’s bid for Umno presidency. Indeed, it’s safe to speculate that the Umnoputera billionaires’ club has rallied behind Najib, to protect their own vested interests.

And, going by the inscrutable utterances issuing from the Conference of Rulers, the monarchs, too, appear to be wary of radical change. After all, apart from having some of their constitutional powers pared down by Mahathir’s amendments, they have all been fairly comfortable under Umno/BN. Most of them have directorships in a variety of businesses and they never have to pay a single phone bill. Even so, they aren’t entirely immune from the vicissitudes of life. One was recently faced with bankruptcy proceedings.

The fact that the Agong meekly confirmed Zaki Azmi’s appointment as Chief Justice hardly reassures reform-minded Malaysians that any significant changes are about to occur. After all, Zaki is up to his eyeballs in Umno business - which doesn’t necessarily disqualify him from doing a laudable job as CJ, but given the murky circumstances surrounding Lingamgate and the absolute refusal of the grotesquely compromised Attorney-General to hang his head in shame and resign – this is yet another indication that “business-as-usual” is the only reality some folks know.

In effect, it would appear that the crumbling Umno Empire has struck back, and that the future is now bleaker than ever.

Is it? I’m not buying that perception at all. I’ll concede that the joy of witnessing a national rebirth and transformation may have been delayed somewhat – and the most painful aspect of this postponement is having to endure our feeling of helplessness and frustration over the fact that the ISA detainees and their families will be unable to celebrate Deepavali this year, perhaps not even Christmas, who knows about the Lunar New Year?

In our jubilation at the prospect of seeing a Pakatan Rakyat government with Anwar Ibrahim as PM, we have overlooked a particularly influential segment of society – the moneyed, privileged class (in effect, the Sadduccees, for those biblically inclined). These are the ones who live comfortably insulated from the nitty-gritty world in their gated cities and superluxury condos. Most have benefited from lucrative contracts or clever investments made during the Mahathir era – so they were never too bothered about silly things like the ISA and police harassment and water cannons. So why should they bother now? One despot behaves pretty much like another – whether his name is Herod Antipas, Constantine, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, or Najib Razak. In any case, despots are known to throw lavish parties – they’re certainly funkier hosts than semi-ascetic leftwingers like Nik Aziz, Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang.

No doubt, most despots have blood on their hands (or they wouldn’t qualify as despots, would they?)

You and I may rankle and rant at the idea of a moral degenerate ascending to power as PM – but morality, as the privileged class knows full well, is all so very... relative, isn’t it? No vegetarian, non-violent contemplator-of-navels ever attained the world-conquering status of a Genghis Khan, as far as I know. So why make such a big fuss about a few billion ringgit vanishing into this or that offshore account, a few troublesome mistresses snuffed, a dozen greasy Indian heads bashed in by police truncheons, and a few hundred loudmouths locked away in dungeons of iniquity?

Well, I see these turbulent days as the build-up to a quantum shift into a whole new octave of being wherein our hardwired survival programs and reptilian fear conditioning will no longer apply. If you’re a devout Muslim or Christian you’ll probably call it Khiamat or Judgement Day. A Hindu might think of it as the end of the Kali yuga and the arrival of Maha Avatar Kalki (or perhaps the conclusion of the 7th manvantara); while a Buddhist may anticipate a Maitreya incarnation that will facilitate planetary enlightenment.

The more eclectic and esoterically inclined will call it the dawning of the Aquarian Age, the advent of the Water-Bearer - who symbolizes dissemination of true knowledge, leading to the decentralization and democratization of sovereignty and power.

In short, Ketuanan Rakyat as preached by Anwar Ibrahim.

Astrologer Stella Woods reports that Pluto moved into Capricorn on January 26th, 2008 – and will remain there until 2024. She believes “there will be a backlash and rebellion against [authoritarian] control, with people refusing to conform, leaving the system and insisting on the ethical use of power. Scandals and corruption in government and large corporations will come to light and the reputation of many of our cherished institutions will be tarnished. In fact many old forms of government and ways of doing business are likely to disappear altogether.”

Go on, Pluto, move your ass, good dog!


de minimis said...


This is a good post. Strong prose all the way through. Plus, you weaved in some of your favourite topics in the area of astrology and edgy New Age stuff. It's an enjoyable read. The message is loud and clear, bro.

Anonymous said...

Well said my soul bro.

Indeed there is life after RPK and Hindraf.

Makkal Sakti is still alive and kicking.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is an absolute pleasure to read. The backlash and rebellion against authoritarian control, climatic upheveals, the $$turbulence are to me a deeper cleansing than the planet has ever known. Good people like you, Raja Petra, his Marina, Haris, Malik, Bernard and the hundreds of others are our beacons of hope!!! You are a blessing :)

Anonymous said...

Nice one Ant...and a very timely reminder not to loose faith in the future of this country. We are the future of this country not the morally decrepit and comfortably numb. I freely admit to feeling frustrated that change is so slow in coming but have begun to realise that actually most people are still not ready for it as witnessed by the amount of fear some people have expressed over simple things like demonstrating against RPK's detention. Until attended the candle light vigil last Sunday I hadn't factored in how challenging that was for many people and that speaks volumes to the amount of damage that Mahathir wreaked during his interminable reign. What we are seeing now is the backlash of that. I, like you, am pretty fearless and can't really understand the bone-chilling terror some people experience when speaking their mind but it is real and it isn't their fault and the fearless warriors have to do everything in their power to reassure and support these awakening souls, then we will see real and lasting change. So keep up the good work mate!

Starmandala said...

CT - are you a late-night owl or an early bulbul? My phone line went dead shortly after I posted this piece, so I'm responding to your kind comments from a cybercafe. Sometimes I wonder, when this world finally gets overhauled and fine-tuned and every day becomes a celebration of life in all its infinite glory... will bloggers have anything to blog about?

Bangmalaysia - always a pleasure to read your comments, thanks!

Anonymous - what you said is music to my soul, if only I could give you a hug right now :-)

Mabuaya my dear - how delightful to find your very first comment on my blog, made my day, thanks! Looking forward greatly to leaving comments on YOUR blog ;-) Muuuaaaaah! xoxox

Anonymous said...

Just a brief question bro. I read some of the New Age/Esoterc stuff and that the End of Days or hari kiamat as one would call it is popularly believe to fall on December 2012 coinciding with the Mayan calendar. Many believe that 'the big one' will occur with the visit of Planet X or Niburu makes its elliptical orbit around the sun causing massive planetary upheavals with a possible pole shift. I need your comment on this bro. Thanks

Starmandala said...

Bangmalaysia - about 2012, someone asked me the same question recently and this is what I said: "The end of the Mayan calendar apparently falls on 28 October 2011. Then we have just over 13 months to integrate our evolutionary experiences on the cellular level so as to be ready and open to perceptions hitherto denied us over the past 26,000 years. I can't explain something that's essentially experiential - what more via a blog comment! Imagine a 5-year-old girl asking you to explain what an 'orgasm' means! :-) I recommend setting aside about 3 hrs to view Ian Xel Lungold's lecture, which I uploaded on my blog last year.

TheWhisperer said...

Brother Ant,

You have been churning out explosive articles of late. Tried post my comments but failed many times.

Am i blacklisted?

Keep up your good work.

Just hope this one gets through.

chapchai said...

I have never lost faith in Anwar and PKR. I reckon the promised takeover did not take place because, as you said, the road to Putrajaya was booby-trapped. The govt. gave examples of the type of booby traps they have in the form of the ISA. At this point in time the Opposition cannot afford to have Anwar and Lim Kit Siang sharing the same address with Raja Petra in Kamunting. The takeover will happen.

de minimis said...


I wish I could tell you that I'm an incurable insomniac or an alien Watcher that is awake 24/7 to monitor Mankind. Sadly, the truth is a little more basic than that I can assure you. ;)

Starmandala said...

Hi Whisperer - my comments feature isn't moderated and I hate having to type silly code so I also disabled that. If you have trouble submitting comments it could be that Blogger's servers occasionally get jammed. When that happens I make another attempt 30 minutes later and it usually works. You are DEFINITELY not blacklisted... in fact, you just reminded me, I had intended to whitelist your blog, but forgot! :-)

Chapchai - What you say resonates with me. Apart from Botak & his caveman ISA club, I have heard rumors that a handful of top generals have expressed their unwillingness to accept any government that does not have more Malay MPs than non-Malays, and I suspect the same atavistic sentiment may apply to the Sultans.
Looking at the sort of MPs who populate Umno, I'm not sure many are capable of crossing over on principle - they would demand hard cash or a glamorous post, and we really don't want such Scumno types in Pakatan Rakyat, do we?

nstman said...

Malaysians in general and the Western media in particular would make a hero out of Anwar Ibrahim even if he is defiant of the law.

Is Anwar above the law or does he thinks he is above the law? Is he to be treated differently from other ordinary Malaysians? What makes he thinks he has immunity from being issued with an order to present himself at the police station for questioning? Are they not just excuses to provoke the police to arrest him so we Malaysians can make a hero out of him.

He is no Nehru,Ghandi or Mendela. If he had been selfless and as noble as those three gentlemen I would have great respect and sympathy for him, but he is not.His thirst for power has passed the threshold of decency, it's pure greed and self-glorification.

Many Malaysians still can't see through this man and where he is taking this country to.His dramatic and dreadful display of playing the victim to rile up his supporters into a frenzy has been his trade mark since his ABIM days.He has no respect for the democratic process, he glorifies demonstrations,intimidation and coercion as the right process to demolish an elected government.

The government may be corrupted,useless and led by a lame-duck prime minister but, what's the hell, the people had made their choice.

We have rightly or wrongly, put our fate in a government we chose and change if we had to, must be through the democratic process, unless Anwar Ibrahim sees it fit to start a rebellion against the government, which he is trying hard to do by arousing the sentiments of his supporters, to create civil disorder, which may and can lead to general chaos or even rioting.

Just go to any of the popular blogs in this country and see for yourself the kind of comments his supporters and blogs that support him make.He has become a cult figure to them. Any negative comment on Anwar would turn them into wild animals ready to jump on you and tear you to pieces.These are people who speaks about democracy and clean government but can only behaved in most uncivilised manner.It wouldn't be my wild imagination how scary it would be to put thousands of his diehard supporters on the streets.

Does Anwar cares whatever going to happen to this peaceful nation.I think he wouldn't give a damn as long as he can gain power, by hook or by crook.

Anwar's deleterious way will be his downfall again.

Richard Loh said...


You wrote it so beautifully.

Time will tell, we have to ge patient, right?

Justin Choo said...


Today I go Botak for RPK.

Take a look:

backStreetGluttons said...

A very straight thinking, readable , relevant , insightful and intelligent posting , making you certainly one of the best ( Top 5 ) reality political (?) bloggers in Malaysia and the best suspense storyteller thus far !

Which emphatically makes some other high hits wannabe blogs ( what a joke ) look like sound like feel like kampung and new village dropouts

Anonymous said...

excellent piece, Antares...
catch up soon


Starmandala said...

Richard, Backstreetgluttons & delCapo - thanks very much for the encouraging feedback. It means a zillion times more to me than seeing my byline in glossy lifestyle magazines who offer a pittance and take 3-6 months to pay up!

Justin - Good on you for going bald as a gesture of support for RPK. But how can people tell whether it's for Pete or Hamid Albar? Guess if you take it all off it's for RPK; leave a bit on the sides, it's for the potatohead Gestapoman.

As for you nstman - I have a treat in store for you. I'm going to dedicate an entire blogpost to YOU... yes... YOU!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha, No my spiritual, esoteric bro, I can't imagine a 5-year-old girl asking me to explain what an 'orgasm' means!

Thanks for the link.