Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BN Cybertrooper Posting on Malaysiakini?

I couldn't resist responding to this patently spurious letter published on Malaysiakini today.

Chin Chai Ho? Is that a bona fide by-line, I wonder - or one of Azalina's legendary cybertroopers out on an anti-Anwar spin? Sorry, Chin Chai Ho. You'll have to do better than that. Your opinion piece looks like an opinion; it even reads like an opinion piece; but when I hold it against my nose, I smell styrofoam. And perhaps a whiff of cincalok.

Take this paragraph for example:

"Anwar Ibrahim and his associates in the DAP and PAS want the people to believe that the country is coming apart due to massive corruption and mismanagement by the Barisan Nasional government. Yes, there have been some corrupt practices by certain quarters in the government; no one condones them. One Zakaria of Klang does not make all the 500-odd state assembly persons in the country corrupted too. There are other cases of corruption but definitely the country is not riddled by these corrupted officials nor the country is coming apart. Our officials and civil servants are generally a dedicated and honest lot."

Hello, Mr Chin (Or is it Mr Ho?)! I've lived here since I was born a very long time ago and I don't need Anwar, Kit Siang or Nik Aziz to tell me BN has mismanaged my country for as long as I can remember. The only reason why I chose NOT to migrate is that I am a warrior at heart - and I decided 20 years ago I would grow a deep root here and live to see the demise of fear-and-greed driven politics and the passing of the Age of Corruption. We're almost there now... if not for the unfortunate fact that the BN still retains control of the federal government apparatus. Which means they can choose to maintain repressive laws and retain well-trained goons like Gani Patail, Musa Hassan and all the wet-bummed hacks running the mass media. Indeed, many of us don't need any convincing that BN actually LOST control of Malaysia on March 8th. If it hadn't been for the massive cheating and unfair advantages at BN's disposal, right now they would be crushed beyond recognition, blown to smithereens like some Mongolian Mata Hari.

In their hearts BN know they have no business forming the federal government anymore. But it's scary to find yourself suddenly vulnerable and liable to prosecution for gross abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds. Doesn't matter if you're already retired. As Param Cumaraswamy rightly says, "There is no expiry date on crime." That's why you would cling by your fingernails to the last vestiges of power and, with your last ounce of strength, try to push your political foes down the stairs or trip them as they walk by.

The day Anwar Ibrahim (or Wan Azizah) becomes PM, many in the BN will shit their pants and quite a few will do a Zakaria Mat Deros. Anwar returns from the political wilderness of his 6-year imprisonment like the ghost of Altantuya Shaariibuu or Jalil Ibrahim (the conscientious auditor who was murdered in Hong Kong while investigating the BMF scandal). To be publicly humiliated and privately beaten up, poisoned, and punished for being ambitious - and since when has ambition been a crime? It's no secret that Anwar was already in line to become PM, having been given the post of Finance Minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister. But Mahathir is one of those aberrated egos who cannot tolerate being overtaken on the road to immortal glory - he is the original source of road rage! Not that I believe the Pakatan Rakyat government will be vindictive. But just for them to do their job honestly and efficiently would be punishment enough for all the arrogant and greedy cacing that have had their heyday under the dacing.

Mr Ho Ho Ho says: "For goodness sake give us a break. Surely the people can see his true intention. All he wants is the prime minister-ship and the power that goes with it."

My friend, whoever you are, we all know that. Everybody knows that. Anwar Ibrahim would like to be the PM because he has been training his whole life for the job, since he was a kid, probably. I've watched him address the crowds at ceramahs. I've studied his every move and raised my cap in admiration of his stamina and strength-of-will. I know he wants to be PM and I would very much like to see him get the job. In fact many of us have been waiting since 1998 to see justice done and destiny fulfilled. And you know what quality Anwar Ibrahim has that makes me name him our best candidate for PM? Natural intelligence. That's one quality that has been conspicuously absent in politics for a very long while. And don't point at Mahathir and tell me he's even more intelligent. Mahathir is indeed cunning - but that does not equate with true intelligence or he would have apologized, shut up, and relocated to Mauritius years ago.

So what the dickens are you talking about? Chin Chai Cakap ah?

Monday, April 7, 2008


ONG KIAN MING is a PhD candidate in political science at Duke University and OON YEOH is a writer and new media analyst. You can listen to both of them discuss this topic in their Realpolitik podcast. Read the original post at Malaysiakini.

I can understand and, in principle, agree with Ong Kian Ming and Oon Yeoh's prescription of choosing the moral high ground over the political expedient of accepting crossovers to the Pakatan Rakyat from a disintegrating BN. However, much as the strategy of accelerating the Pakatan Rakyat's takeover of the Federal government through negotiated crossovers is fraught with uncertainties and ethical ambiguities, I would applaud - and even encourage - such a move.

One month after the tectonic shift of the March 8th elections, it is clear to all observers that the BN sadly lacks professional ethics and dedication to the national good. Instead of quickly regaining their dignity by openly and willingly cooperating with the new Pakatan Rakyat state governments, BN diehards like Azalina Othman and Mohd Khir Toyo are actively focused on sabotaging and punishing what they perceive as the enemy. They are unable to see that the Pakatan Rakyat represents the will of an overwhelming majority of Malaysians. By declaring war against the Pakatan, BN has effectively become the enemy of the people and, as such, cannot be trusted to act in the public interest rather than its own narrow party interests.

Each day the Federal government continues to be under BN control is another day of momentum lost in the direction of genuine reform. There is no political will within BN to address urgent issues like judicial rot and a less than professional police force. Abdul Gani Patail stubbornly clings to his position as Attorney-General and nobody has resigned from the ACA. Police reports filed against members of the former state excos in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor for illegally removing or destroying official documents and records have led to absolutely no action - or at least none that I'm aware of. THe BN-owned media obstinately persist in their ingrained habit of partisan reportage, and all Umno can think about is its own survival as a no longer relevant monoethnic political party in a new transethnic political landscape.

One thing we can be sure of: every move the BN makes from now on will be aimed at undermining the Pakatan Rakyat instead of seizing this historic moment to genuinely reform itself.

So, even though it will spawn a measure of ethical ambiguity, the pragmatic wisdom of dealing the BN government a death blow NOW - before they have time to drag us deeper into irreversible ruin - holds a strong appeal. Many of us, like Ong Kian Ming and Oon Yeoh, are wary of sudden, radical change. Ong and Yeoh are academics and theoreticians with no dirt on their hands. Seasoned politicians like Anwar Ibrahim, Nik Aziz and Lim Kit Siang understand that no movement is possible without a little bit of zigzagging - indeed, that's how bipeds move in an apparent straight line, by swinging from left to right and back again. Instead of fearing contradiction, let us embrace it as the only way to organic truth.

I would prefer to give the BN crossovers the benefit of the doubt. It would be totally unrealistic to assume that everybody who enters politics does so to serve his or her community. Every creature is programmed to seek optimum advantage for itself. The more intelligent ones know their self-advantaging activities have to align and coincide with what benefits the greater community, otherwise they will soon be curtailed. Let's envision this: if 30 BN crossovers allow Pakatan Rakyat the option of taking over the Federal government in 2008 instead of 2012, there will be far less likelihood that we will all be dragged down with the sinking BN.

Perhaps the price isn't such a high one? Some of these crossover politicians are doing so primarily because they feel their leadership potential hasn't been appreciated and cannot be realized within BN. Why not give them a chance to prove their worth as Pakatan Rakyat MPs? Take a closer look at the illustration of a frog above. If you lean your head to the right you'll see it turns into a horse - and right now the Pakatan Rakyat requires more horsepower to outrun the vicious BN dogs snapping at its heels.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hey, Let's Start A Hand Fart Orchestra!

While sitting in front of your computer watching the BN implode and disintegrate, here's something to entertain and inspire you. Yes, just like the filler programs TV stations broadcast on election night while you're waiting for the results to come trickling in. Who knows, some of the BN ministers who suddenly found themselves jobless after March 8th may turn out to be closet musicians - now they have so much time on their hands!


His name is Gerry (Jerry) Phillips and he has been playing songs on his hands for 40 years. This is Jerry's interpretation of Dragonforce, Through the Fire and Flames.


Jerry Phillips: "This goes out to all my nieces and nephews in Australia and New Zealand (yes, you too, Elliott!) Merry Christmas! I love all of you (yes, you too, Elliott!) I used a digitech whammy pedal and a boss digital delay pedal on this song."

Fart of The Bumblebee by Jerry Phillips.


Jerry Phillips: "My wife, Queen Elizabeth, wanted me to play this song. so, happy sweetest day honey! I used a digitech whammy pedal, a boss auto wah, and a boss digital sustain pedal."


Jerry Phillips: "My mission (if i choose to accept it) is to stop Ernst Blowfart and his organization S.P.H.I.N.C.T.E.R. from gassing the world! I used a digitech whammy pedal, a boss metal zone pedal and a boss digital delay pedal on this song."


Jerry Phillips: "This song put jazz on the charts. It's always been a favorite of mine. a very hard song to play on any instrument because of the 5/4 time signature. I used a digitech whammy pedal on this song."



Christopher Grubb does the overture from Star Wars.

Grubb performs the Marine Corps Hymn as a tribute to American Imperialism.

Bruce Gaston accompanies himself on Love Me Tender.

[Thanks to Richard Lau for alerting me to this phenomenon :-)]