Friday, October 17, 2008

Ménage à trois at The Ritz?

[This rather curious comment was posted 17 Oct 2008 on Malaysia Today at 14:45 hrs. I wonder if it's just a prank...]

Paris. 8:44 am, French time. After a long train ride I'm back in Paris again. It's a nice cool morning and I head straight to meet Mr Louis at Hotel Ritz situated at Place Vendome. He was there already when I arrived and we proceed straight to the lounge. He shows me exactly what I expected: 3 rooms that Altantuya and entourage were [occupying] at [the] Ritz.*

The carbon copies of the invoice were signed by Altantuya to acknowledge the total amount before paying. It was paid [for] with [an] American Express Platinum card. This rich Mongolian beauty must have good back up to hold this charge card. I ask Louis how many were staying and by going through the invoice he said there were 3 people altogether.

I ask him how sure are you and how did you come to the conclusion that there are 3 persons. His answer is very simple: just look at all the initials on the bills that these guys signed when they ordered their individual food. Great!

I have to rush to Hotel La Concorde for another appointment late in the morning. Meanwhile, I thank Louis for all the trouble in helping me to get all these documents. I insist on buying him a breakfast and in the end he reluctantly agrees. After [going] through all the documents to make sure [I have] the correct ones, I bid him goodbye. I jump into a Mercedes taxi and I'm off to my hotel. Lovely morning! C U guys.

* A double bedroom at The Ritz costs between €1,500-2,100 (depending on the season)

Postscript (posted 17 Oct 2008 on Malaysia Today at 20:07 hrs): Paris. 2:07 pm, French time (6 hrs behind M'sia).... Tomorrow will be the highlight of my trip to France. I will be meeting a French lady who works at the MAS office in France which is quite near my hotel, situated at Boulevard Des Capucines. My contact with her was through Mr Francis Evion and [owing to] her hectic job, I [haven't been able to] have an appointment with her for quite sometime.

But luck was on my side when she called me and said she will meet me tomorrow for lunch. I was in seventh heaven when she called me. I will be hearing from her about all the trips Altantuya made to Paris with her boyfriends, etc. I hope she can furnish me with some documents regarding [excess baggage] and arrival and departure times. So, ya, still a few more nites in Paris before I wind up my trip. Tonite I will be going to attend a film show titled If I Did It starring Najis O.J Simpson. I was told it's a true story. Going for some snacks. Bon Appétit. C U all guys!


BN 'detrimental to peace and security'

ULU KANOWIT (Thursday, October 16, 2008): Sarawak Headhunter today declared the Barisan Nasional (BN) an illegal organisation. In a statement to Cyber Jungle News today, Sarawak Headhunter said that the facts and evidence showed that the government was, and is, being used by the BN in a manner detrimental to public order and national security.

Labelled a threat to national security, the BN has been banned by Sarawak Headhunter, Home Minister of the pro-tem government of the Republic of Sarawak (ROS).

Sarawak Headhunter yesterday issued a statement declaring BN, which has been advocating racial and racist agendas since its inception, an illegal organisation. The declaration, he said, was a result of monitoring and investigations by the ROS going back to the formation of BN.

"As a result of the investigations, the Home Ministry, as per its authority under sections 35 and 55 of the People's Government Reform Act 2008, has declared BN unlawful and detrimental to peace, public order, political, economic and social security and the moral values of Malaysia," he said in the statement.

"I feel that if we don't rein in their activities, they will continue to jeopardise security and public order, and our country's sovereignty, as well as upset the harmony among races."

Sarawak Headhunter said the decision to ban the movement was not made based on only one or two misdemeanours committed by BN, but covered the entire gamut of activities the group had been involved since its organisation.

"These included subversion of the economic policies of the government, thereby causing losses of hundreds of billions of ringgit, economic injustice and instability, subversion of the judiciary, large-scale electoral fraud, including but not limited to vote-buying and ballot-box tampering, gerrymandering and general abuse and manipulation of electoral, legislative and administrative process, corruption, favouritism, nepotism, cronyism, abuse of power and position, misuse of government machinery, abuse of the law, waste, mismanagement, misallocation or wrongful allocation of resources, racial and racist agendas and policies, exclusion and marginalization of entire communities, discrimination, improper control and manipulation of the mass media, registration of illegal immigrants as citizens, coercion, pressure, force, threat and intimidation of the public through illegal police action, terrorism and gangsterism, conflicts of interest, breaches of trust and much more."

"They exploited all manner of racial issues to remain in power and which caused an uprising by the people and created hatred between them and all races."

He added that BN had tried all ways and means, illegal, dirty and underhanded, to support their attempts to get the people to bow to their demands, actions which have tarnished the country's image.

"Considering all the facts and evidence we have, I am satisfied that BN was and is being used in a manner detrimental to public order and national security and the well-being of the nation."

"We advise the public not to involve themselves in any way with the activities of this unlawful organization."

Cyber Jungle News, Thursday, 16.10.2008

[Images from Sarawak Headhunter]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Words of Wisdom from the Golden Jackass

The Heat Death of Capitalism

By Jim Willie CB (edited by Antares)

The events of the last few days continue to be remarkable, alarming, chaotic, surreal, and desperate. The globe is slowly realizing that the United States is careening toward a probable financial death experience...

Nothing has worked to date, and nothing will work in the present - not bailouts, not liquidations, not nationalizations, not papered-over fraud. The stark reality resembles a massive locomotive derailed, having run over the mountain ledge, heading downward in a freefall, subjected to the force of gravity, and ripping through a gigantic paper safety net designed to halt its crash.


Incredible events are occurring behind the scenes, the details of which would shock most people, even those who deal with the underworld.

Recall Wall Street propaganda this summer? That the US will be first to emerge from the carnage? Such lunatic promotional nonsense should be recalled when it becomes clear that the United States cannot emerge from its broken condition. The game is over, and only the enlightened realize it! What lies ahead is the tragedy of distintegration!!! That includes the nation and its very governmental structure.

As the US Economy and US bank system continues its death spiral, the US Dollar rallies, doing unspeakable ruin to US fundamentals. Recall that the tide went out along the shores in Indonesia and Thailand right before the great tsunami hit on December 26, 2004. Ditto here! The banking crisis and extreme distress that remains stubbornly unfixable in the United States urgently motivates foreigners to quickly assemble, implement, and announce a replacement world currency basket. Watch for a euro currency split soon, where Nordic version will compete viciously against the dead US Dollar.


In the last month, numerous emergency weekend meetings took place to work toward bailouts, mergers, recapitalization, slush fund grants, and government action. The deadlines struck me as odd, that they must resolve before Sunday night when Japanese markets opened. Why? Without any doubt, the Bank for International Settlements ordered the corrupt American Trillion-dollar Conmen to clean up their banks, let some fail, merge others, and agree to bailouts using government money, just get it done! Without any doubt, creditors have been pulling the lines to Wall Street firms. The grapevine has provided some new juicy information.

What option do defrauded banks, big financial firms, and big hedge fund firms have when they are victims of mega-fraud, when US regulatory bodies are in the Wall Street hip pocket, and when US law enforcement is more interested in sex charges for prosecutors than actual enforcement of laws on the books against fraud?


That is what! The list of objects for murder threats might easily include a dozen Wall Street CEOs, CFOs, and their salesmen UFOs. Threats might even come from Sovereign Wealth Fund managers. One name cited was the Blackstone CEO, extended from Chinese losses. Be sure to know that any sudden death would be called a heart attack. You know? The type of heart attack that occurs after a bullet enters the cranium. Few tears would flow.

Imagine a man whose bones are turned into mush, trying to walk. That is the economy with insolvent banks. The man becomes a body without a heart and blood circulation when short-term credit is absent. The commercial side requires it for supply of food, gasoline, housewares, hardware, building materials, and more. Imagine riots for toilet paper, let alone gasoline and food! The financial side requires it for supply of ATM cash, credit card usage, and even payroll income. A heart attack is not a proper analogy. More like a science fiction movie where the victim is vaporized, or is burned suddenly into a heap of plasma.

The problems from debt collapse due to debt-related ills inside banks cannot be solved by more debt instruments, plain and simple. The solutions must, if they are legitimate, involve new income sources, like manufacturing returned to the US soil, like a national grand initiative for infrastructure betterment, like better agriculture management of ethanol solutions, like broader export successfully landing abroad from US firms. The dumbstruck fools running US bank policy are forced to resort to their own failed toolbag. How effective will lower interest rate be, if only another attraction to a debt device? Not much! And the failure to revive and resuscitate will shock the system very soon.


Each week contains its disaster. Each week has included its own deadline timetable to reach agreement on resolution of this or that. Each week is replete with new signals of contagion or breakdown. Recall US Fed Chairman Bernanke, the smartest idiot on the planet, who claimed a year ago that no contagion would result from the spark of the subprime mortgage lit fuse. Expect such braindead calls from a university professor, burdened by the limitations of his credentials. Absolute contagion occurred instead, in total defiance to his orthodox heresy. Yesterday the big news saw the United Kingdom nationalize almost their entire banking system with $50 billion, including the venerable Lloyds TSB. Regard these moves as firm evidence of the death of the Anglo-Sphere. Today's big news is that Iceland collapsed, rescued in part so far by $4.5 billion from Russia, not Europe. As time passes, the financial structures weaken further, certain to break in central connective tissue, as well as in extended sections.

My analogy of the giant locomotive train hurtling down over the mountainside ledge fits here. Apply gravity as the acceleration force, and inertia to administer pain. A bright friend, not the least bit in the dark on current events, claimed that stupid American officials believe the runaway locomotive can actually fly.


Few in the United States seem to realize that what is happening is the magnificent unstoppable event whereby an inevitable shift of tectonic financial plates is underway. The result will be that the entire system called the United States, financial and commercial, will suddenly find itself tragically lodged in the Third World. The chief traits will be major shortages, high prices, absent capital for credit, diverted supply of commodities, poor investment opportunities, massive flight of capital, corrupt law enforcement, widespread violence, despair among the public, horrific loss of wealth, and a severe brain drain as intellectual talent abandons the nation. Oh yes, carpetbaggers will arrive soon, and perhaps even an historically unprecedented wave of colonists from Asia, Russia, and Arab nations. Those who own the failed credit during default make ALL THE RULES.


The revived short rule restriction has contributed to yet another severe black eye to the reputation of the United States. Its financial markets are already considered the playground for Wall Street syndicates, with criminal behavior protected by the system. Foreigners mock our markets for their grotesque unfairness. Insider trading, 3pm rescues, program trading, naked shorts, controlled news sources, conflicts of interest between news networks and advertisers, justification of fraudulent accounting under pretense of national security, these all contribute to the cesspool image.


It was planned, calculated, designed, and executed like a criminal act. The Wall Street criminals needed to test the system on credit default swap risk, needed a sink hole from which to hand $138 billion to JP Morgan on a reloaded. It was carried out pre-dawn on a weekend before a hapless bankruptcy judge who found no objection. He probably did not look hard, was maybe bribed. The criminals were able to observe the consequences from senior bond holders who were illegally denied due process in the bankruptcy procedure. The event was a failure called a merger, complete with a huge handout given to JP Morgan so it can continue its illegal enterprise.

JP Morgan headquarters on Wall Street, New York City (photo: Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates LLC)

The real big deception is that JP Morgan was probably within a hair from its own bankruptcy , and therefore required a sacrificial lamb to feed from elaborate entrails. The sad fact is that the Wall Street consolidators need another Lehman-type event soon, since more reloads will be required. The French finance minister publicly decried the Lehman bankruptcy, saying letting it go was a major error. He might not be aware of the Wall Street crime syndicate need to cover up evidence, or the need to create a sink hole for a concealed JP Morgan reload, or the need to illicitly pack printed money into the massive credit default swap crater. Recall that numerous boxes of documents were hurriedly removed from Lehman offices that crucial fateful weekend. No watchful eye by police, no cordon of yellow tape to protect a crime scene, nothing. Another Fascist Business Model privilege that does not make America strong.

The US banks are destroyed, and that should kill the entire US Economy in the foreseeable future. Few seem willing to accept this stark ugly fact. Housing prices continue down, and that assures continued lethal pressure on bank assets. That keeps the destructive process relentless and very powerful, like deep knife cuts to a patient lying on a hospital gurney, while being shuttled from room to room for futile treatment. Much more destruction lies ahead, like with at least two more Wall Street firms, many regional banks, and a few insurance companies. Few seem willing to accept this stark ugly fact. Instead they look like idiotic children gazing upon the wrong traffic lights, as truck after truck runs them over in the middle of the road. Little do they realize, PEOPLE ARE ROADKILL.

If you had purchased $1000 of Delta Airlines stock one year ago, you would have $49 today. If you had purchased $1000 of AIG stock one year ago, you would have $33 today. If you had purchased $1000 of Lehman Brothers stock one year ago, you will have $0 today. However, if you had purchased $1000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling, you would have received $214 today at redemptions. Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-KEG Plan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


[This post was inspired by a long comment an anonymous poster left on my blog last week. I had read about a courageous High Court judge named Hishamudin Mohd Yunus who awarded former ISA detainee Abdul Malek Hussin RM2.5 million in damages and declared his 1998 arrest and detention under the ISA unwarranted and mischievous. Lim Kit Siang reports that the Barisan Nasional MP for Jerai, Badruddin Amiruldin, openly attacked Justice Hishamudin Mohd Yunus from the floor of Parliament during his speech on the 2008 Budget, denouncing Hishamuddin as a “problem judge” for his decision on the Malek Hussin case. Well, folks, it's high time we banished the mediocre and medieval BN from misgoverning the country. They're what stands in the way of our getting all political detainees released, abolishing the malicious ISA, and demolishing the Kamunting Detention Center.]

(Courtesy of, uploaded October 21, 2007)

MALEK HUSSIN: My ISA Detention Horror

People often forget incidents of the past but for former ISA detainee Abdul Malek Hussin, one horror event will forever be etched in his mind - his 57 days of living hell in detention.

Abdul Malek Hussin, 51, was this week awarded RM2.5 million in damages against the government over his arrest and torture in 1998. This was the result of a civil suit he filed in March 1999, naming special branch officer Borhan Daud, the then Inspector General of Police Abdul Rahim Noor and the government as respondents.

It has been nine years since the chairperson of polls watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) was detained under the obnoxious Internal Security Act and he recollects every moment of it in an interview with Malaysiakini.

Here are some excerpts:

Can you relate to us what happened then - what did they do to you and how you felt?

When (former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim) was expelled by the government on allegations of immoral activities, there was widespread dissent among the people against the injustice of (Anwar’s arrest) and as a private citizen, I undertook to support the cause of justice for Anwar. I was among the many who were unhappy with how the government under Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) used and abused powers to expel Anwar, and I decided to show my support.

I was involved with the reformasi movement from the first day - on Sept 4, 1998. After the arrest of Anwar Ibrahim, I took the initiative to organise another massive gathering to demand the release of Anwar and the resignation of Mahathir and Inspector-General of Police Abdul Rahim Noor then. I led the gathering at Masjid Negara on September 25, five days after Anwar was arrested.

(Later that day) I was arrested at my home. It was about 10-11pm and I was staying in Ampang. I returned (home) in a car driven by a friend who dropped me (off) about 200 metres from my house and the police arrested me at the gate. I was handcuffed and forced to open the gate of my house by the arresting party led by ASP Borhan Daud.

First, he forced me to open (my house door) and of course I asked him, “Why are you handcuffing me?” and he said I was being arrested under the ISA. I asked, “Why do you need to handcuff me?” He said, “ISA” - and I asked him, “What's the reason for my arrest?” (and he said) “ISA.” He mentioned it like some mechanical and robotic answer that everything was (under the) ISA.

He then said he wanted to conduct a search in my house and I asked him where was the warrant. In fact, I asked for the warrant of arrest under the ISA. He said it was not necessary and I asked him why and he said well, ISA, and he said I should know that.

He wanted to search my house and I asked him where was the warrant of search and again, he said it was not necessary, and I asked him why, and he said (again) ISA. I called my kids and my family to open the door and the policemen went in with their shoes, straightaway to the ground floor and the first floor of my house.

Then they went to my study room and ransacked and checked all my documents. He entered my master bedroom where my wife and children were sleeping. My wife was shocked and asked me what was happening and I showed her the handcuffs and when she asked me why, I said, “ISA.”

They confiscated some documents and they also recorded the documents. After 40 minutes in my house, they told me to leave with them. I was then asked where was my car. Borhan forced me to show him my car and I said I was driven by a friend and I was dropped about 200 metres away. I showed Borhan exactly the spot where I was dropped.

My friend had just left the scene. (Borhan) became so angry and irritated by my response that he slapped me there and then - the pain I can feel until today. There is this drizzling sound I am still hearing it now, until today. I think I have got more than 40-50 percent hearing loss in my left ear. When this was brought up in the courts, Borhan denied it.

After that, he forced me into the car, it was not a police car, it was an unmarked car. I was told to wear a certain (pair of) spectacles with blurred vision but then I realised that the frame here (on the left) was broken and I told them that it was broken and they told me to (take off) my specs, and one of the officers (took) off his black T-shirt and wrapped my whole head (inside it).

You can imagine the smell from the T-shirt which he must have worn from early morning and it was then midnight. It was so smelly. The worst thing is the smell of a Special Branch officer's T-shirt. They forced me down inside the car. I knelt down and was told not to look anywhere because they did not want me to know where I would be taken.

They drove, and about a few minutes later the car stopped at a location. I didn't know where. They then carried me up a staircase of a building which later turn out to be the IPK (Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters).

They brought me to a room and I was told to sign a certain (piece of) paper which stated that I was arrested under the ISA prepared by Borhan - so Borhan was the arresting officer.

After that they told me to undress - to take off my shirt and my trousers. I thought that was okay because I knew ISA detainees would be given a special detention uniform - blue in colour - so I thought I would be given a new uniform.

(After) I undressed myself completely, suddenly an officer handcuffed me very tightly from the back and there were about six to eight officers in front of me in a small room on the first floor. I was handcuffed and they blindfolded me with two (pieces of) black cloth and I was completely disoriented. I did not know who they were so I guess they were all the arresting officers led by Borhan.

Then Borhan kicked and punched me, and I can hear his voice right in front of me... I can recognise his voice. One officer took a hard object and hit me on the right leg, another officer hit me on the left leg and then they started punching my face. Then I was given a flying kick, a side kick...

Soon I fell unconscious for the first time, and they poured water and forced me to stand up again and I fell unconscious again - all in all a total of five times. And I also counted how many times I was hit by using my fingers - altogether it was 63 hits. After that I could not withstand it and I passed out. That was what I could recall consciously.

In one of those moments, I was hit by a very powerful punch and suddenly my blindfold dropped down and right in front of me was (Abdul) Rahim Noor who was wearing a red (boxing) glove. He was wearing an Indonesian batik (shirt), dark trousers and brown polished shoes. I could remember and I described that in court in detail.

And because the (blindfold) had fallen, I was shocked and he was also shocked because I could recognise him and he just ran away behind the door, and the officers all fled the scene because they did not want to be recognised. Then they turned me to the wall and blindfolded me again and the beating went on until I passed out.

When I regained consciousness, it was still before 4am. They told me to go to another room with the air-cond in full blast. I was still stripped naked and my body was aching from the beatings. The air-cond was right in the middle of the room, and for every couple of minutes they poured cold water on my head... I was shivering. They asked me whether I was cold and I said yes, and they poured more cold water until about 4.30 am. Then they stopped, no questions asked.

During that ordeal, Borhan asked me if I was thirsty after all the beatings and I said “Of course.” Then suddenly one person would be holding me from the back and another opening my mouth wide open with his fingers. They then poured this dirty, rancid tasting liquid into my mouth. It was urine and they told me it was urine. Their urine, not mine. They just peed between them and they forced into my mouth two cans of their urine.

When they asked if I was hungry or not, I said, “Of course, I am hungry.” Borhan told his officers to prepare tahi anjing (dog faeces) for me. It was near to my mouth, I could smell the stench.

And he threatened me that he wanted to use the syringe which contains HIV virus to be injected into my body because I told him, “You better kill me. What's the point? What are you trying to prove? What are you doing here? Why are you so cruel?” I asked them. (He said) “Oh you wanna die, oh then we'll kill you slowly, we'll put the HIV virus into you”. Of course, they didn't do that.

After about 5am, they stopped the beatings. I think they were also tired and went home.

On September 26, by mid-afternoon, I was taken to Bukit Aman and placed in solitary confinement only to see sunshine on the 28th day of my detention. So if you ask what's my feeling about that, (it was) very cruel and inhumane. (The police) are not human. I feel even animals have compassion. Even dogs know their masters and even dogs don't bite any other people. They are worst than dogs. If people say they are anjing kerajaan (government dogs), I think at that time they were worse then dogs.

How were you treated there (in Bukit Aman)?

I wasn't allowed to contact anybody. A couple of days later, before the 28th day, they asked if I wanted to see my family. Of course, before meeting the family they would arrange a special session for me not to mention anything about what happened to me, not to give any hint that I was tortured and to show to the family that everything was okay, and to convince my family (not to file) a habeas corpus (a court application challenging the detention) or else (I) will not be released. So the threat was there.

And I told my investigating officers in Bukit Aman that I was tortured in IPK (Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters) and I want to make a police report against Borhan, they said, “No, you don't need to - we have already taken action against Borhan”. Which was, of course, not true.

I was not given any opportunity to lodge any report, not given any opportunity to meet my lawyer, no access to my family and I was only given medical attention a couple of days later in Bukit Aman.

I told the doctor and he checked me and it was confirmed in the medical report about the bruises on the left leg, the right leg, the abdomen... I complained to Dr Vasantha Ponniah about what happened to me and she had testified in court about my condition based on the bruises that I sustained.

(The) Special Branch (police) methodology is (to) give harsh treatment on the first day as a very strong reminder to the detainees that things are going to be worse if we fail to give our cooperation. It's more psychological in nature. And of course in Bukit Aman it is already more institutionalised in terms of how they handle the detainees.

I was under solitary confinement, there was no sunshine, I did not know whether it was the morning, I did not know at all. On the 28th day, on the (day of) family visit when I was taken to IPK from Bukit Aman - I really appreciate the sunlight, it was wow, the beauty of the sunrays. I tell you, it was beautiful.

What was interrogation like?

I was subjected to interrogation for 17 days on the third floor of the (Bukit Aman) building. They would ask me questions from the morning, afternoon, until evening and then sometimes, late in the night. Once when they were dissatisfied with what was going on outside where people were still gathering on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (and) in Kampung Baru, they were unhappy so they call me very late in the night for further interrogation until early morning.

During the course of the interrogation by Bukit Aman officers, the questions they asked day in and day out - questions about the reformasi movement, on Anwar Ibrahim, his relationship with this person and that person.

Then Nurul Izzah was meeting (deposed Philippines president Joseph) Estrada in the Philippines and (former US secretary of state) Madeline Albright. I was inside and the activities were outside, and they were asking me what was this Gerak (reformasi coalition) and that was formed, and about political reform, on PAS, on whether ISA should be abolished or not.

They deprived me of utensils if they found I was not cooperative enough. (They would) pull out the mattress or take away the pillows. After the family visited, they told me I would only be detained for a month and they would release me. (They said) if I do not get the recommendation to release me, then they would extend it until the end, and it went on until the 57th day.

There were also days when they (did) nothing. They would send the food and at that time, I got food it was like packed rice and fish with maggots. That means it was done on purpose. I mean we were detainees and this food was supposed to be provided by the government ... this means the state had provided me with rotten food.

What happened after your release?

I was released on November 21 and subjected to some kind of monitoring... appointed by the Special Branch to monitor my activities. I have to report to them and they even threatened me that I could even be re-arrested.

I must cooperate with them and the psychology was that they have the power to re-arrest me. So there was that constant fear in me of being re-arrested. It took me quite some time to gather the strength and courage to lodge a police report, and I arrived at that decision in March (1999).

What influenced me much more was when the government decided to form the royal commission on (Anwar’s black eye incident) when we read about the testimony of Dr Vasantha Ponniah. Then I remembered “Well, that's the lady who treated me.” I thought that was some help. I thought that with the formation of the royal commission there will be some space to make a complaint.

From then on (during the trial), when I was cross-examined in the court, they asked me why I took such a long time. Well, this is not a road accident. This is something you have been tortured, subjected to. You need to rebuild that courage back.

Were you scared? Did you ever feel like giving up?

I tried not to look scared although I was very scared. I feel the Special Branch (officers) are almost everywhere. (I felt) intimidated but to regain that, you have to meet people, and you have to talk to people. Slowly, I started to tell people (about) what (had) happened in detention.

They were really surprised. Then friends convinced me - why not I speak out, and in February I spoke at an event organised by (opposition alliance Malaysian People's Movement for Justice) Gerak by (the late former PAS president) Fadzil Noor in Kuala Lumpur's Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in February 1999.

I regained my courage and you have to make the most of the (police) report. And you have the understanding that you (would) be accused of making a false report. I have to prepare a very lengthy police report and very detailed and an affidavit to file for the civil suit.

How does your family feel about all this?

They are used to what I have been doing. They are very supportive of my activities. The fact that my children and wife knew that I’ve already resolved to report (on) activities for the rights of the people, political activities or social activism.

They've been very supportive in the sense that there has been no resentment from my family.


Ground Control to Major Disaster: A leaked SMS exchange

Wednesday 8/11/2006

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 8/11/2006 02:59:31

--> Dato Seri, The Razak Baginda thing is troubling me. Can I help? Salam, Shafee

Najib to Shafee (N2S) Date: 8/11/2006 03:45:05

--> I will speak with u later tonight.

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 8/11/2006 03:45:31

--> Thank you

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 8/11/2006 06:28:56

--> Met the investigating officer today. Position is serious for RB. The 3 are highly implicated. RB's case can be fought. There are redeeming features for him. But we need to meet Dato Seri as there are other looming issues at large. But not to worry. Salam, Shafee

Najib to Shafee (N2S) Date: 8/11/2006 21:06:11

--> I have spoken to IGP. U can represent n meet RB in court.

Thursday 9/11/2006

Najib to Shafee (N2S) Date: 9/11/2006 12:45:30

--> If RB's remand is up to Sunday, does it mean that he has to be charged by Fri or be released? i hope it is looking better for him.

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 9/11/2006 13:11:23

--> 3 things can happen. Firstly, they can ask for more time for detention. We will resist. Second, they have to release him by Friday or thirdly charge him by Friday. Police took him to his office for document search. Nothing incriminating found. Now they are recording stmt from him. Later search in house. Under control so far Dato Seri. Salam, Shafee

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 9/11/2006 14:09:03

--> Dato Seri, Re RB need to meet up with you today. Shafee

Najib to Shafee (N2S) Date: 9/11/2006 14:17:47

--> 630 pm at my house in PJaya this evening.

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 9/11/2006 14:18:21

--> Thank you

Friday 10/11/2006

Najib to Shafee (N2S) Date: 10/11/2006 15:14:31

--> Any news about RB ?

Shafee to Najib (S2N) Date: 10/11/2006 15:19:40

--> Dato Seri, Negotiating for conditional release. If not police need 2 or 3 more days extention. I suspect its an exercise in public relation as they do not want public to think a VIP was given an easier time. Being a vip under these conditions is a liability. Otherwise we are on track according to plan. Salam, Shafee.


Hmmm... looks like the Backroom Boys have been working overtime...

51 Ideas for a Better Malaysia ~ #7


Nizam Bashir initiated a blog project called 51 Ideas for a Better Malaysia on 30 August 2008. He then tagged Walski of MyAsylum to follow-up with #2 in the series; Walski tagged Michelle Yoon of I Am Malaysian, who passed the baton to Crankster of Cranskshaft, who tagged Pat Goh of The English Cottage. Pat tagged Paula Khoo who passed the poison parcel to me... and I just tossed the steaming package to Lulu of What A Lulu. Watch out for her post next Sunday...

I'm doing this not so much for Nizam Bashir - a young lawyer based in Malacca with whom I have had zero contact and with whom I beg to differ when he says: "If the voters wanted the Opposition to form the Federal Government, they would have given them sufficient votes." Come on, Nizam, don't be naive! If it weren't for the gerrymandering, phantom voters, postal votes, and the blatantly partisan EC, Umno/BN would have become the Opposition after March 8th.

Nor am I doing this for Malaysia - a fictitious country in Southeast Asia where I was born and in which I've lived my entire life apart from the year I spent in the U.S. as an exchange student. I'm doing this mainly for Paula Khoo because she's a real sweetheart and I’m touched by her faith in me.

A lifetime ago I worked in advertising and from that experience have learnt to avoid using meaningless words like "better" (except in reference to those who habitually place bets on everything). When an adman says "We've got a BETTER deal for you!" he rarely specifies better than whose deal. Similarly, the idea of "working towards a BETTER tomorrow" conveniently leaves it to your imagination as to what might constitute "a better tomorrow." Why not focus on being more contented and fulfilled TODAY? I mean, if you're cynical and grouchy now, what makes you think you'll feel otherwise next week?

I love living in this land called Malaysia and calling myself a Malaysian (especially when I'm abroad) - even though I know these are only ephemeral terms of reference. After all, when I was born there wasn't a "Malaysia" on any map. This country was called Malaya; and before that, in the time of Ptolemy, it was known as the Golden Khersonese. If you're into esoteric studies you might even regard this blessed and bountiful land as the westernmost outpost of a long-lost continent called Lemuria.

From the paleontological perspective, the Malayan Peninsula was once part of a gigantic mountain range, the lower parts of which became submerged at the end of the last glacial period, disconnecting it from neighboring peaks that now form the islands of the Malay Archipelego.

Contrary to Umno propaganda, Malaya wasn't named for the fictitious Malay race, but was inspired by the Tamil word for mountain, malai. Interestingly, the Sanskrit name "Himalaya" comes from hima (snow) and alaya (abode) - but it could also mean "snowcapped mountains." In other words, the fact that my country of birth was once called Malaya doesn't actually mean it belongs to the Malays, whom the Orang Asli regard as pendatang or dagang (migrants or itinerant traders). Indeed, a thorough study of history reveals extensive Hindu and Buddhist influence when it was part of the Srivijaya - and later the Majapahit - empires.

The fictitious Malay race was supposed to have originated from Jambi, Sumatra, but you won't find any tribe called “Malay” there - although there is reportedly a river called Melayu that runs through a tiny village of the same name in the vicinity of Jambi.

A Singaporean friend once joked that the word melayu means "to flee or migrate" - suggesting that Sumatrans who fought tribal wars and lost had to flee across the Straits of Melaka and henceforth were called Melayu (fugitives or migrants). I have yet to find any confirmation for this. According to my tattered kamus (dictionary) layu means "to wither, droop, or dry up." So even if I were born Melayu, I'd prefer to be called Malaysian, fictitious though the name be (at least it has fewer negative connotations).

I remember once chatting with a couple of Filipinas whom I had earlier overheard yakking away in Tagaloq. The word malaya came up a couple of times, so I asked the girls what it means in their tongue. “Free,” one of them said. “Malaya means free in Tagaloq.” My ears perked up. “You mean free as in free gift... or free as in not owing the bank any money?” The girls laughed and said malaya means free as in having no master. Now that’s a very nice meaning of Malaya, I thought.

It’s quite possible that the Tamil word malai (mountain) became associated with the Tagaloq malaya (freedom) because lowlanders have traditionally been subject to institutionalized religion, government and taxation - whereas highlanders are usually safe from the grubby, grasping fingers of priests and princes, owing to the inaccessibility of their habitat. In any case, I’d be very happy to be called Malayan – a free spirit.

My point is: it really doesn't matter what fictitious name we choose to call ourselves. What truly matters is whether we feel a soul connection to the land we have chosen to call home. Because it is precisely how profoundly we love the land that separates true people from pestiliential lifeforms.

All indigenous peoples have a psychic and emotional bond with the land where their ancestors' bones are buried. They feel a powerful sense of belonging to the land - not so much a claim of "ownership" through legal or illegal means.

Then there are those descended from piratic tribes who have yet to grow a real root wherever they roam in search of plunder - for they feel no spiritual affinity with the land and are only there as opportunists, to rape and steal and ultimately destroy. These are the ones who wouldn't think twice about clear-felling an entire mountain range just to build a few condos, or poisoning the waterways with their relentless search for precious metals.

For the descendants of pirates it's eat, drink and be merry - before we get caught and sent to the gallows. Can you imagine the scenario for disaster when descendants of pirates end up marrying indigenous princesses and elevating themselves to public office? With no real love for the land they see everything around them as a chance to enrich themselves - and so they behave like greedy caterpillars, gorging themselves off the fat of the land, and stopping short of metamorphosing into butterflies.

Being a pirate is a state of mind. You can be a scion of ancient "nobility" like the Bushes, Clintons and Rockefellers - and still fly the Skull & Bones. After all, traditional aristocracies were really just a bunch of brigands and buccaneers in fancy costumes. Those who fought well and brought back lots of booty for the local warlord were rewarded with parcels of land and titles and named Orang Kaya or Baron or Duke.

During the Mahathir era, the entire machinery of state propaganda was harnessed to indoctrinate the masses with a spurious notion of "development." It was indeed a false glamor, a grand illusion of "success" copied & pasted from the pages of glossy lifestyle magazines.

What our Great Leader Dr M sold us was a false vision - a nicely giftwrapped Pandora's Box of environmental, social and moral problems. But it paid big fat commissions to his family and to his Umnoputera cronies; and it entrenched corporate piracy as a way of life.

So... what bright ideas can I contribute towards "a better Malaysia"? First of all, nothing will change "for the better" until Umno/BN is no longer in power. If the new Pakatan Rakyat government is genuinely open to feedback, it will be our task to reassess our priorities and make our wishes known to them. Do we desire to be truly happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise? Or do we keep going for the Monopoly money and the glitter of fool's gold, enthralled by flickering neon signs and colorful festoons of flashing lights?

What the global financial meltdown offers us is an opportunity to wean ourselves off our addiction to crass consumerism. We can then redirect our attention to the mental and emotional aspects of our development, for so long neglected as we set our focus on the purely physical meaning of growth. We will as a nation regain a sense of perspective wherein we can once again feel a soul connection to the land, and learn to love what's natural and real and truly aligned with life.

A whole generation of unmitigated Malaysia-Bolehism has inflated the national ego to colossal proportions. Look at the phallic skyline of Kuala Lumpur and the gargantuan architecture of Putrajaya – it speaks volumes about a massive inferiority complex, a cultural cringe for which we have been overcompensating.

The Orang Asli have survived for millennia and can show us how to be humble. Our Mahathiritic attempt to “conquer” Mother Nature is like ludah ke langit (spitting at the sky). We end up with spittle in our own eye. Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, take note, and abandon your 13 dam projects in Sarawak. Inviting Chinese contractors to rape the ecosystem isn’t such a clever thing to do – no matter how much money your family can skim off these environmentally disastrous projects. Remember, when earthquakes hit Szechuan, the Chinese had to evacuate millions of people downstream because dangerous cracks appeared in hundreds of large dams.

Abdullah Badawi recently made a big fuss over the upside-down Malaysian flag on Sheih Kickdefella’s blog and used that as an excuse to get the blogger arrested. The flag is only a symbol of the fictitious Malaysia. Why get worked up over mere symbols?

If you really love the land that supports and sustains you, you wouldn’t ever pollute the rivers or denude the mountains.

It’s very easy to mistake the map for the territory. You may destroy as many maps as you want – we can always make more accurate, more detailed ones – but don’t destroy the only thing that’s real, the land where your ancestors’ bones are buried.

"Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." ~ Ogden Nash