Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dr Ismail Merican, you sir, are a liar.

Dr Ismail Merican, D-G of the Health Ministry, in "evil mamak" mode
Sree Sudheesh | Apr 8, 09 4:27pm

The 10-man committee headed by Malaysian Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican which was formed to investigate the ‘differences in post-mortem reports of A. Kugan’ has concluded that “all body injuries noted on the deceased were insufficient, either individually or collectively to cause death directly.”

Firstly, on what basis did the committee perform their task, considering that the two post-mortem reports were diametrically opposed to each other? It was one report against the other and the body was already buried. And yet without doing another autopsy, how can this committee make a conclusion on the cause of death?

The second autopsy report had concluded that the first report was erroneous and did not state the correct cause of death, but the committee overruled this report in favour of the first. On what basis was this call made? It is an insult to the Malaysian public’s intelligence to have a sham 10-man committee formed just to exonerate the guilty police officers who have senselessly murdered a 22 year old.

I am appalled at Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican’s cheek to state that blunt force trauma could have led to acute renal failure which aggravated acute myocarditis, resulting in acute pulmonary oedema and then in the next sentence claim that death was not ‘directly’ caused by body injuries. Without further examination of the body, the committee overruled the cause of death stated by the second report. Even ignoring this, he essentially says that Kugan was brutally beaten repeatedly to the extent of causing his kidneys to fail which then caused his death and yet claims that the death was not a ‘direct’ result of the injuries.

I ask Dr Ismail Merican this: “You said that blunt force trauma caused acute renal failure. Isn’t this by itself a life threatening situtation? A person with acute renal failure inevitably dies. And according to the doctor who performed the second autopsy, this was indeed what happened. How on earth do you have the guts to stand up and make the claim that death was not caused directly by injuries?”

Are you playing with semantics here? This is a person’s life we are talking about. If kidney failure and pulmonary oedema resulted from the blunt force trauma, does that make the death ‘indirect’ and as a result exonerate the police from the crime of their deed? If one were to cut off a person’s hand and the person dies of bleeding, would we say that he died from lack of blood in his heart and he did not die directly from the injury but an indirect cause? Plainly put, this is clear (pardon my usage of the term) bullshit.

Dr Ismail, it is evident from your semantic play of words and unconvincing overruling of the second postmortem without valid reason that you and your 10-man committee are acting to protect the interests of those who walk in the corridors of power. It is clear that you have no conscience, no soul and no moral principles. By trying to avoid bringing to justice those involved in this murder, you have become an active participant in this crime.

You are clearly acting under fear of those higher up or clearly for personal rewards. By acting in such a cowardly manner, you have lost all moral authority that the Hippocratic oath had bestowed upon the noble profession of a doctor.

Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, you sir, are a liar.

I challenge the new prime minister Najib Tun Razak to walk the talk and bring transparency and accountability to our public service and bring those involved in this vile crime to justice. If not, this will count as the first failure of your administration, the first nail in the coffin.

Sree Sudheesh

From Malaysiakini: At a press conference held at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre at the Jalan Duta court complex this afternoon, Kugan’s visibly emotional father G. Ananthan (right) pleaded for the return of the samples.

“If a further post-mortem needs to be conducted, I will personally dig up my son’s corpse. I will lift up my son’s corpse,” he said.

“His killers are still running free. There is no need to find his killers. They are all in the police station. There is enough evidence, all we want now is justice.”

Reuben Sher | Apr 7, 09 4:26pm

In the aftermath of the horrific death of A. Kugan when he was in police custody, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai reportedly asked the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to examine the two post-mortem reports on the car theft suspect. He said this in view of a complaint lodged by Kugan’s mother N. Indra with the MMC.

The very next day, almost in knee-jerk fashion, the Health Ministry director-general, over whom the MCA minister has zero control, stated that the Malaysian Medical Council has acted against 13 doctors — including striking the names of two of them off the medical register — for various offences last year.

MMC inquiries go on for ages. Why make a statement regarding their status within 24 hours after Liow’s well-intentioned statement?

The DG either appears to have taken Liow’s request as an affront and published the names of these ‘errant’ doctors for the public to view. Or maybe he just wanted to show Liow who really is the boss.

But Merican coming to the defence of the beleaguered Indonesian pathologist Karim Tajuddin whilst running down University Malaya’s expatriate pathologist Prashant N Samberkar even as the MMC hearing is ongoing is nothing short of disgraceful.
His media statement on the pathological features that caused Kugan’s death is clearly designed to get the government off the hook by trying to hoodwink the very public whom he thinks can be fooled, by rehashing and re-categorising the quantum and extent of the battered boy’s injuries.

He blatantly tries to cover up the cause of death by shifting the primary etiology of trauma as the precipitating factor causing Kugan’s death to underlying acute myocarditis as the predisposing factor that hastened the boy’s eventual renal shutdown and ultimate pulmonary edema (‘water in the lungs’).

The timing of the Kugan statement means that the director-general of health sees it convenient to make use the supposedly independent Malaysian Medical Council of which he is puzzlingly president.

With a health DG more interested in playing politics, is there any wonder why we have a relentless mosquito-borne epidemic with almost half of this country’s population hypertensive and diabetic? Forget about Sabahans in Kota Kinabalu who don’t even have a general hospital anymore.

With this DG’s reckless disregard compounded further by his lack of attention in providing quality healthcare access for the Malaysian public, Merican should perhaps take his mask off and instead do what he really aspires to be… stand as an Umno candidate in the very next by-election.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hey, Mr Pink Lips, have a nice cup of tea...

... and a great big bearhug!

Smug arrogance and supercilious pomposity bring out the nasty streak in me. Try as I might over the last 28 years, I have never been able to look upon Mahathir Mohamad with the compassion and empathy all living beings deserve.

Same goes for Najib Razak and his dad, Malaysia's second prime minister. Thirty-three years ago when I read that Tun Razak had died of leukemia in London, I felt an irrational surge of joy. At the time I wasn't at all interested in politics and had no personal reason to dislike Razak - but on the subconscious level I must have detected his inherent racism and his fascistic agenda to institutionalize repugnant, reactionary doctrines like Ketuanan Melayu.

Indeed, evidence has since emerged that reveals it was Tun Abdul Razak who masterminded the 13 May 1969 coup d'etat - camouflaged as a post-electoral outbreak of racial violence - which forced Tunku Abdul Rahman to resign, thus paving the way for Umno's young turks to implement divisive and destructive social engineering agendas like the New Economic Policy and the National Cultural Policy. But all that is blood and water under the bridge.*

I remember recoiling in disgust the first time I saw Najib's face in the newspaper. Never actually met the guy but his energy just put me off big time. Call it a visceral reaction if you like, or an instinctual response to negative stimuli. I have always trusted my cellular wisdom.

To be fair, local politicians weren't the only ones who triggered in me an irrational repulsion. International figures like "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Augusto Pinochet, Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto, George H.W. Bush (and, later, his chimpanzee-faced son Dubya), and Dick Cheney had pretty much the same effect on me. I felt predisposed to loathe them. Guess I'm essentially tyrannophobic, having myself played such unsavory roles in early incarnations.

Since 8 March 2008, a large section of the population has been focused on preventing a nightmare scenario from happening: the rise to ultimate power of high-profile murder suspects Rosmah Mansor and Najib Abdul Razak.

Most people have gotten used to tolerating a certain amount of financial hanky-panky from those in public office. But cold-blooded, gruesome murder is too macabre to accept, particularly in view of the desperate lengths to which the entire Umno/BN regime has gone to protect their blue-eyed boy Najib and his ruthlessly acquisitive Lady Macbeth from investigation.

Indeed, the incumbent government of Malaysia has become vulnerable to accusations of being accessories to Altantuya's murder. After all, only the home minister can order the deletion of immigration records; and only the defence minister can authorize the unscheduled use of C4 plastic explosives - not to mention the gross abuse of power involved in recruiting his personal bodyguards to commit a capital crime.

Najib can swear a million times on the Who's Who, the Guinness Book of World Records and the Greater London Telephone Directory that he never met "that Mongolian woman" - but he can't wriggle out of accepting ultimate responsibility for the misbehavior of his uniformed staff.

If it turns out that Najib had absolutely no foreknowledge of what his aide-de-camp DSP Musa Safri had instructed Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar to do to "that Mongolian woman"... then he should immediately step down, for this failure alone reveals an utterly incompetent leader.

On 3 April 2009 the nation's worst nightmare materialized. It's not our personal nightmare and we refuse to lose any sweat over it. But the Najib nightmare serves to protect a handful of corrupt Umno bigwigs and their corporate cronies from what could be for them an even bigger nightmare - Anwar Ibrahim as PM.

As the newly installed "crime minister" of Malaysia, Najib Razak has promised drastic reforms. How drastic we don't know yet - though many feel Najib's idea of "drastic reforms" may simply mean equipping his new cabinet with government-issue jackboots and ordering the ISA arrests of all opposition leaders and loudmouthed critics of Umno/BN.

Well, I'm not opposed to genuine reforms. I hereby solemnly promise I shall make Mr Pink Lips a nice cup of tea and give him a great big bearhug the day he...

1) sacks Musa Hassan and Gani Patail (along with 500 or so corrupt senior police officers);

2) releases all political detainees and abolishes the ISA, OSA, PP&PA, UUCA, the obsolete Sedition Act and the stupid Police Act that forbids public assemblies without a permit;

3) implements the IPCMC and instructs the new Attorney General to take decisive action on the abominable Lingamgate affair;

4) replaces the idiotic chief of the MACC with someone intelligent, impartial and honest;

5) drops Zaki Azmi as Chief Justice, replacing him with a senior judge of impeccable integrity who will dismiss all politically motivated charges against Raja Petra Kamarudin and Anwar Ibrahim;

6) appoints an Opposition MP, preferably Elizabeth Wong, as Minister of Information;

7) assigns Syed Hamid Albar to political oblivion;

8) gives Khir Toyo the option of transmigration to Java or castration;

9) divorces Rosmah Mansor and turns her in for questioning on her role in the disbursement of the submarine commission and Altantuya's gruesome murder;

10) fires himself and hands over the PM's job to Anwar Ibrahim, Nizar Jamaluddin, or Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

But I doubt Mr Pink Lips can fulfil these entirely reasonable conditions and accept my very generous offer.

Najib Razak: Umno's savior, shortlived prime minister and political leper?

*In recent months I have heard from at least four different sources a gruesome bit of gossip I am loath to repeat in print, lest I end up in RPK's predicament. If only one person had told me this story, I'd be reluctant to attach any credibility whatsoever to it. However, coming from so many different people, I'm inclined to give the report some credence. And the fact that I do is already a damning indictment of Najib's public image. What is this malicious bit of gossip that has reached my ears from so many different sources? Brace yourself for this: apparently, the late Umno warlord Zakaria Mat Deros was summoned to the DPM's office after the electoral debacle of 8 March 2008 and instructed to stir up some racial trouble in Klang. Mat Deros either failed - or refused - to carry out this mission - and ended up dead because he knew too much. The coroner recorded Mat Deros's death as a heart attack. Now that we have witnessed the glaring discrepancies over A. Kugan's two post-mortem reports and the obscene attempt to cover up the whole thing, it's much easier to believe that in Bolehland "semua pun boleh" or "bisa diatur" as the Indonesians would say. Now, I'm not sticking my neck out and stating this as the truth. I have absolutely no way of verifying the story, but the fact that such grotesque and vicious gossip - which make insinuations about some PKR leaders' sexual peccadilloes pale in comparison - is going around does not augur well for Najib's premiership and Umno/BN's future.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


pic courtesy of Knights Templar





You can run but you can't win, bub.
Your dad wasn't such a good guy as the spin-doctors say he was.
Kuan Yew described him as "an evil genius."

Turns out you're ten times worse.
You're no genius - just pure evil.
Like your party and all those who appointed you
Chief Hate Absorber.

Take my advice, bub...
pack your bags, grab that fat witch who has you by the balls,
and get the fuck out of the country.

Oh yes... and don't forget to take your Yemeni pet poodle with you!

Arf arf!

Don't Worry, B-B-B Happy! PR 3 - BN 0?


Pic courtesy of Jedi Knight


Live updates from Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau, and Batang Ai

Go, Nizar! Go, Manikumar! Go, Jawah!
Beat the shit out of Barisan Najis!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Incurable Dr M exacerbates the Umno Malaise, hastening the abrupt demise of the patient...

Newly anointed Umno emperor Najib and BN's instant mentri besar eclipsed by their own propaganda

For me the BN ceramah in Simpang with featured guest speaker Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (who had applied to rejoin Umno 24 hours earlier) was a tiny glimpse of hell on earth.

It was a blisteringly hot morning and all the shady spots were spilling over with betudunged Wanita Umno, diehard Umno grassroots veterans, listless civil servants, and inveterate bootlickers from BN component parties.

BN ceramah at Simpang: not exactly an enthusiastic or inspired audience

In fact, it appeared that the majority of the estimated 2,000 odd crowd consisted of government servants who had been instructed to make up the numbers for the return of the Mean Old Man of Ketuanan Melayu politics.

Pamphlets demonizing the evil traitor, that closet Communist Nizar Jamaluddin, the Mentri Besar who refused to resign when the Sultan instructed him to, were handed out by a platoon of paid workers. No one in the Pakatan Rakyat leadership was spared. Well, if you can't win the argument through sound reasoning, resort to unmitigated calumny.

Cultural dancers from the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts & Heritage

A heady mix of wax culture and brownneck politics

Like all Umno/BN sponsored events the atmosphere was oppressive and claustrophobic in its stagnant mediocrity. This particular ceramah offered free food and entertainment in the form of cultural performances arranged by the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts & Heritage (don't bother filing a complaint with the Election Commission, this sort of hanky-panky is par for the course with a political party that regards itself as the permanent, unremovable government of Malaysia).

Getting ready to welcome the Mahafiraun with muhibbah drums

Just for fun I attended the ceramah wearing a PKR cap while another member of the Barisan Rakyat support group went in her NO-TO-ISA T-shirt. Naturally we were the recipients of suspicious looks, though at no time did we encounter outright hostility - except when an SB guy pointed his camera at me. I could sense his ingrained xenophobia oozing through every pore; indeed, I could almost see his hackles rise.

Musuh dalam selimut (enemy in the blanket) at the BN ceramah

What immediately struck me was the sheer predictability and tedium of the entire exercise. The ceramah was to mark Mahathir's return to Umno and the hoped-for rejuvenating effect on Malay voters of seeing the Grand Old Patriarch realigned with the party's "new" management. Umno's traditional power base has always been the culturally insular rural Malay. During the Mahathir era a huge proportion of Malays were urbanized and became instant millionaires (and even billionaires) by venturing into construction. His Vision 2020 involved a great deal of expensive infrastructure.

Suspected Special Branch officer's car with disarmingly honest sticker

In fact, if I can encapsulate Mahathir's greatest failure as the nation's godlike leader for 22 years, it was his gross overemphasis on the purely physical and superficial aspects of development, to the detriment of aesthetical, ethical and spiritual evolution and maturity. The result, sadly, is an entire generation of Malaysians who grew up craving the outward trappings of success, but without a clue about their own abysmal lack of intellectual depth and range - and without any authentic moral core apart from subscribing to petty notions of conspicuous piety, shallow religiosity, and sheer hypocrisy.

An oversupply of Little Napoleons in flak jackets

Since 1970 Umno has deliberately fostered a national culture of conformity and unquestioning loyalty to emblems of authority. This is what spawns mediocrity and the copycat mentality. And this was the energetic emanation of the docile and uninspired crowd that gathered under white tents to greet the prodigal Malay hero, Tun Dr Mahathir. It was the same sort of dead, depressing psychic atmosphere one might expect to encounter in any fascist, totalitarian culture held together by a doctrine of racial supremacy and topped off by chronic communal angst and ego insecurity.

Nizar Jamaluddin and his DAP state exco: ardent fans of the Marx brothers?

This particular congregation of well-behaved, authority-revering folk was not entirely unlovable nor were they without charm. I saw them essentially as descendants of countless generations of humble rice farmers, fisherfolk and itinerant traders. They had been fed a whole lot of propaganda about their unquestionable claim to indigenousness and the divine right of their rulers to continue bamboozling them unto forever.

Umno stalwart's car sticker: "Malays will lose power if too complacent..."

All that's required to reprogram and upgrade their neural circuitry is exposure to funkier music, more adventurous art, and a generous dose of intelligent discourse in the mainstream media - once they are unfettered by repressive laws.

Ah, but that would inevitably signal the abrupt demise of Umno. When its grassroots power base begins to awaken from generations of cultural stupor and throws off its tempurung, Umno members will defect to the much sexier Pakatan Rakyat.

Excitement ripples through the crowd as the "popstar" puppetmaster arrives

A clamor of Malay, Chinese and Indian drums signaled the arrival of featured speaker and Umno "secret weapon" Tun Dr Mahathir. The air turned fetid with the sweat of secret policemen and an absurd clutter of video cameras and photographers. Perfunctory cries of "Hidup Mahathir!" added to the obnoxiousness of the situation. People, this is the 21st century. Makes my flesh creep to hear people yelling stuff like "Hail Caesar!" or "Heil Hitler!"

The habitual sneer I shall not miss when the geezer finally goes

I made a half-hearted attempt to get up close enough to snap a picture of the past master of Machiavellian politics - but gave up when I realized I'd have to force my way through a dense thicket of frenzied adulators. In any case, we've all seen more than enough images of the incurable Dr M during his seemingly interminable reign as the Great Pharaoh of New Egypt aka Bolehland.

From a cartoon poster I drew in 1984 titled "The Incurable Dr M"

I couldn't bear the oppressive heat and diabolical mundanity of the ceramah a minute longer. The others in the party felt the same way too, so we all left before Dr M's speech. When we got to where our van was parked, we found the entire street doubleparked and there was no way we could squeeze out of that mess. None of us could endure the thought of staying till the whole circus act was over. Imagine our joy and relief when a couple of cabs showed up magically to transport us to the cozy familiarity of our makeshift media center at the Cherry Inn.

A Rousing Ceramah at Simpang

Photos by Shanghaifish

On the spur of the moment I decided to poke my nose into the by-election festivities in Bukit Gantang instead of leaving it glued to my computer screen. It so happened that a couple of really cool friends were heading up to Taiping in the evening, so I hitched a ride with them. I'm now reporting from the Cherry Inn where the Barisan Rakyat Bloggers led by Haris Ibrahim and Bernard Khoo are holed up on several floors. We just returned from a massive ceramah hosted by the DAP in Simpang where the entire Pakatan Rakyat pantheon was present. We arrived minutes after Nizar Jamaluddin left, but were just in time for Anwar Ibrahim's soon-to-be-famous Tun Perak speech.

Photo by Antares

At the main table were Zaid Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Ronnie Liu, Teresa Kok, Karpal Singh (accompanied by Gobind Deo), Liew Chin Tong, and several others I didn't recognize. There were more than 5,000 seated by some estimates and a non-dining crowd that spilled over the entire area. Thunderous applause greeted Karpal when his wheelchair was lifted onto the stage, and another tumultuous eruption of spontaneous welcome signaled Tok Guru Nik Aziz's turn to address the receptive crowd.

"Nizar is a modern day Tun Perak whose actions serve the public good, not self-interest." (Photo by Antares)

Photo by Shanghaifish

It's a very different feeling to be in the thick of the action instead of just reading other bloggers' reports. The noise and confusion in the inostentatious Chinese restaurant where the ceramah was held, the sea of expectant faces, the palpable sense of solidarity in the air. And the sheer incongruity of seeing clusters of skull-capped PAS members mingling so easily with the predominantly Chinese crowd, focused on and united by a common goal - regime change in the immediate future, not one generation from now!

Photo by Shanghaifish

But for now it was enough to ensure a massive victory for Nizar Jamaluddin, even if his winning the Bukit Gantang seat may make it more complicated for him to return to being the one and only legitimate Mentri Besar of Perak, unless he manages to clone himself.

Photos by Shanghaifish

The energy at the ceramah was electric. Making our way through the throng who had paid RM300 per table to show support and listen to the featured speakers, I could sense the quiet resolve in their hearts and the warm camaraderie of souls conjoined in a shared determination to, once and for all, liberate our beloved country from unjust laws and outlaws in high office.

Photos by Antares

Earlier, as we entered the Bukit Gantang district, we were greeted by the surreal sight of dozens of police trucks and riot squad vehicles parked along an entire stretch of road and in the middle of roundabouts. Totally unnecessary. An efficient contingent of traffic police plus a couple dozen uniformed officers would have been more than adequate to ensure peaceful proceedings. In any event, the police were well-behaved tonight - as they ought to be every night.

Photo by Antares

My Sony CyberShot failed to perform (it only works properly in the day) so I've borrowed a few shots snapped by Shanghaifish. Thanks, bro!

Photo by Antares

The groundswell of optimism I felt just before the 12th general election was very much alive at the Simpang ceramah. It's a glorious experience to be surrounded by friendly faces aglow with the passion of their desire for a Malaysia renewed and transformed, cleansed of tyranny at last and free from the disease of dishonorable misrule.

Photo by Shanghaifish

There was much talk of BN's underhanded tactics. When you have access to a bottomless purse, you automatically assume everybody has a price and can be bought. The millions dangled before Pakatan MPs (in Kedah, Perak and Selangor) in a desperate attempt to induce them to switch sides... absolutely obscene!

Photo by Shanghaifish

It's truly heartening to know there are still some politicians committed to serving the people who voted them in; who will not betray the rakyat's trust. I salute all the Pakatan MPs who have resisted temptation and emerged with their conscience clear and their honor intact.

All right, people, let's roll up our sleeves and finish what we started on March 8th, 2008....