Saturday, September 12, 2009


Started off as doggerel poetry salvaged from my late teens, ended up as a quirky song. Recorded on my scenic veranda while my jolly joy boy Ahau was dancing and yelling in front of a Walt Disney cartoon...

Walking down the street
Suddenly you meet
Policeman on the beat
Chairman on the cheat
Don't do it in your seat boy
What you need is...

Presence of mind and
Essence of being
The essence of being
In the presence of mind
Makes you feel so fine

Standing on the hill
Another day at the mill
Shopping for some thrills
Caught with your hand in the till
Let it hang out the window sill boy
You're never alone with...

Presence of mind
And essence of being
The essence of being
In the presence of mind
Makes you feel sublime

Now run to the mirror
Look into your own face
See the error of your terror
You're a living disgrace
Nobody gives you a dime but you don't give a damn for...

Presence of mind
In the essence of being (you're one of the blind)
The essence of being
In the presence of mind
Is a very fine line

Dancing down the line
Looking for some sign
Must be the end of time
Because heaven's on my mind
Well any minute now you'll be getting it
Because everyone is divine...

Presence of mind
Essence of being
The essence of being
In the presence of mind
Makes you feel sublime


7 LIFETIMES ~ by Antares

Love song inspired by a beauty named Xandi. Written in 1987 and never recorded. This is just a no-frills version taped on my scenic veranda while practising for a gig on September 27th...

You dropped in on me
Right out of the sky
I just wanna thank you girl
For getting me high
Just wanna thank you beautiful angel
For helping me fly
All I wanna do is thank you baby
Thanks for making me cry

Thanks for seven weeks in heaven
Seven weeks in heaven with you
Seven wonderful weeks in paradise

I don't know how this whole thing started
But I know I don't want it to end
Though you and I we're parted now
I hope we'll get together again
Even though you hardly call or write to me
You know I'll always be your friend

After seven weeks in heaven
Seven weeks in your loving arms
Seven weeks in paradise
Let's try for seven lifetimes

Living in this crazy world
Makes me feel I'm in hell
But loving you pretty baby
You know it makes me feel so well
Wo-oh I'm so in love with you
Darling can't you tell

Seven weeks in heaven
Is better than seven years in tears
Seven wonderful weeks in paradise

They say heaven is having fun
With that special someone
You can stay a week you can stay a month or even a year
And if you never leave me we could stay in love forever
What else can we do?

Antares & Xandi in the Dangerous Kitchen of the Rt. Hon. Armpit (1986)

Friday, September 11, 2009





Media Statement of the
on the

11 September 2009

In September 2008, news broke out that Penan girls, some as young as 10 years, were being sexually abused by logging workers in the Middle Baram area of Sarawak. However, local politicians and the police were quick to dismiss these as mere allegations without any basis.

Such lackadaisical attitudes compelled the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to establish a National Task Force comprising ministry officials and women NGO representatives to investigate the ‘allegations.’ Aided by local activists in Sarawak, they were able to meet with some of the victims and their families in November 2008.

Ten months later, on 8 September 2009, the report was finally made public. The findings, however, were not surprising – the rapes and sexual abuse did occur and the Penan girls are still vulnerable because of the lack of policing and development in their area.

The police, it appears, are still in denial. Or at best, are ineffectual.

The Associated Press reported that Huzir Mohamed, the head of Sarawak's police criminal investigations department, probed three complaints last year but found "nothing with proper evidence for us to proceed in court." Huzir also insinuated that this was due in part because “the activists did not give specific details to support their claims.”

We take offence to this statement and perception. We maintain that it is the police who have dragged their feet in this matter before back-pedalling on their earlier willingness to work with NGOs on this matter.

For the record, it should be stressed that it was the police who invited us to the meeting with the IGP and other senior police officers at Bukit Aman on 2 January 2009. The police knew they were unable to get the victims and the witnesses to come forward to give information and statements simply because the Penans did not trust the police. Instead, they trusted the NGOs more.

At this meeting, the IGP pledged that Bukit Aman would give its fullest support to a Police-NGO joint investigation mission.

Towards this end, Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin (left), the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), together with senior police officers from Sarawak, met with Sarawakian NGOs on 20 January 2009 in Kuching. The purpose was to discuss logistics and terms of references for the joint investigation mission.

As requested, a draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the joint investigation mission and a proposed itinerary for a week-long mission were subsequently submitted for their approval. The Sarawak NGOs gave an assurance that the police team would be able to meet the Penan victims and witnesses, but in neutral venues that were acceptable to the Penans.

It took the police seven (7) months to respond. At another meeting on 17 August 2009 in Kuching with SAC Huzir Mohamed of the Sarawak Police, the Miri Resident Officer and some others, we were told that the RM100,000.00 allocated for the joint-investigation mission by the Sarawak Police Contingent was only for their use and not for the NGO’s participation.

In short, we got the impression that they did not want the NGOs to be involved in the investigation. Our role was only to make sure the Penan victims and witnesses turned up at the place and date of interview as appointed by the police. The official written reply from the CID Director dated 27 August 2009 suggested that this was so.

It was also clear from the meeting on 17 August 2009 that the police and the authorities were incapable of appreciating the fact that the crux of the whole issue at hand is the distrust the Penans have for the police and the authorities, let alone the loggers.

So, to entrust the Resident's Office to provide personnel such as interpreters and to depend on the logging companies for transport, as suggested at the meeting, is as good as saying you are not interested in getting to the truth of the matter.

The police may cite procedure and laws for not going ahead with the IGP’s pledge to have a joint Police-NGO investigation mission, but their willingness to work with parties that are a part of the problem, leads us to suspect the sincerity of the police in their handling of the sexual abuses cases among the Penans.

The Penan Support Group considers the long-occurring sexual abuse of the Penan girls a hideous crime. It is also a distressing symptom of the overall situation the Penans and other vulnerable indigenous groups in Sarawak are facing today. We are committed to seeking justice for the victims and to expose and correct the wrongs being committed in Penan society.

For further information, please contact:

See Chee How
: 019-8886509
Colin Nicholas: 013-3508058

for the Penan Support Group
11 September 2009

(The Penan Support Group is a loose coalition of 35 non-governmental organisations in Malaysia.)

Is it really so surprising in a land where the top cop and attorney general are known to have falsified evidence to please their political masters... ministers and their minions have stolen billions... and the prime minister and his wife are under strong suspicion of complicity in cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder?

Who cares about a few poorly educated Indians and a handful of underaged Penan girls? Collateral damage! 1Malaysia Boleh!
BAKUN'S SOCIAL RUIN ~ Mariam Mokhtar

SEPT 10 — The Bakun dam reservoir project is expected to start soon, possibly next month and an area the size of Singapore will be flooded.

It is not just the environmental damage resulting in the loss of flora and fauna, or the undiscovered species of animals and plants with possible cures for the world’s major diseases that we will grieve over.

Rather, it is the terrifying and regrettable social ruin faced by the people who belong to this region that we will mourn.

These people have previously been hounded by logging companies or the intrusion of oil palm plantations. The hunting grounds and their rivers have all been severely depleted. The forest products which they gather and sell, and the traditional medicines which they derive from the jungles have also been drastically reduced.

As an environmental scientist, my work experience in Sarawak has left me with fond memories of the wonderful people and the place.

The massive changes will adversely affect the water levels, sedimentation, silting, water-borne diseases and the micro-climate. The ecology of the virgin rain-forest is very susceptible to changes that are man-made. There will be permanent damage to fisheries, water quality, fertility of farmlands and forests.

The heart of Borneo belongs to the noble and proud indigenous peoples who comprise the Kayans, Kenyahs and Penans as well as other various Orang-Ulus. These are their homelands. Their history started here. Their culture, kingdoms, traditions, battles, way of life all originated from here.

Some may have been subsistence farmers while a few led a nomadic way of life. Others were expert in the art of boat making, a skill shown in how they can hew a boat from a single trunk of belian. Many showed extreme artistic traits in carving and weaving.

Nevertheless, the chase for progress should not be at the expense of these people. Gone will be the various historical artifacts, their burial grounds, the “totem-pole” equivalent and other treasures that have made up much of their history. Gone will be the longhouses decorated with murals and intricate carvings.

It is a tragedy when the stories, myths and legends that have been passed down from father to son and that can normally be traced to particular locations, trees or rivers will soon be wiped out. Landmarks with significance will be obliterated.

It is a tragedy when there is little connection between their methods of farming, fishing, rituals or methods of hunting, with the way they now live. Their place of relocation has little meaning or sense of belonging.

It is disastrous that man’s desire for modernity and hunger for energy strips others of their rich history.

It is dreadful that Malaysians have always to think in being the “greatest”. In this case, Bakun being the biggest dam outside of China, the dam with the tallest concrete rockfill dam in the world, the one with the largest lake in Malaysia by storage volume or that the Bakun submarine power cables will be the longest in the world.

Progress without culture is a tragedy; but culture without progression, is unforgiveable.

[Source: Malaysian Insider]

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RPK SPEAKS HIS MIND (courtesy of C4productionhouse)

RPK explains how his statutory declaration with regards to the murder of Altantuya intended for the Prosecutor's eyes only was published without his permission by those who looked to undermine its contents.

The SD can be read online here.


RPK renews attacks over Altantuya allegations on Youtube

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — After absconding from his sedition and criminal defamation trials, fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin appears to have begun his own defence through the first in a series of video interviews of him on the Internet.

Hosted on Youtube, RPK, as he is popularly known, renewed his attacks against the police and the Attorney-General for deciding to prosecute him over allegations he made regarding the prime minister and his wife’s involvement in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

He also compared his case to the vigour shown in the investigation of alleged corruption by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.

“The government raids the offices of a Selangor exco based just on Internet reports. Somebody publishes a story accusing an exco member of taking money and they raid the office.

“The source of the information and the allegation is anonymous but it is enough for government to spring into action,” he said in the short video clip of just over six minutes.

Speaking about his own troubles with the government, he pointed out that he did not make an anonymous declaration about the Altantuya murder, but signed a statutory declaration.

He claims the information was given to him by a senior officer in the Military Intelligence.

In the video RPK repeats the allegations, which has been denied by government officials, that military personnel with links to Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, were present when Altantuya was killed.

[Read the rest here.]


MalaysiakiniTV 3 July 2008

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today denied allegations that he had links with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu as claimed by a private detective.

Reading out from a prepared statement at a packed press conference in Parliament this evening, the embattled deputy premier reiterated that he had never met or knew Altantuya.

He dismissed the statutory declaration filed by private eye P Balasubramaniam, who was hired by Najib's close associate Abdul Razak Baginda to deal with the Altantuya problem, as "concocted" claims.

MalaysiakiniTV 24 June 2008

Veteran DAP politician and lawyer Karpal Singh wants Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail to immediately initiate an investigation into the fresh explosive allegations over the Altantuya Shaaribuu murder.

MalaysiakiniTV 3 July 2008

Private investigator P Balasubramaniam made shocking claims on 3 July 2008 that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had links with murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. The next day, after meeting a police inspector at the Brickfields Police Station, Balasubramaniam held another press conference at a hotel, accompanied by a new lawyer, and retracted all parts of his original statement referring to Najib. A day later Balasubramaniam and his family disappeared and they have not been heard from since.

Azmin Ali speaks at a PKR Dinner, Melaka 15/03/2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MACC: Malaysia's very own Gestapo?

Jack Ooi/The Malaysian Insider

Graft busters beat me up, says new witness

SHAH ALAM, Sept 9 — He was handcuffed and taken into a dark room where he saw a tall man with spectacles wrapping an iron ceiling rod in newspapers.

He was told to strip. Several men assaulted him. He was hit with the metal rod, punched, kicked, slapped and caned on his genitals and the soles of his feet until he passed out from the pain.

Sivanesan Tanggavelu, 22, who stepped into the witness box at today’s inquest into the death of political secretary Teoh Beng Hock gave a highly-graphic account of his experience at the hands of the Selangor graft busters.

The assistant manager of a Kuantan-based company recounted how he was met at home on Sept 4 last year by three men who said they were anti-graft officers and requested his help in an investigation.

He followed them to their office on the 14th-floor of Plaza Masalam here and tried to get him to sign a document admitting guilt.

When he refused, one of them, whom he called “Mohan,” told him in Tamil: “If you don’t tell the truth, this place will be hell.”


The 22-year-old was introduced today as a new witness into the inquest of Teoh Beng Hock who fell to his death on July 16 after being interrogated overnight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office on the 14th-floor of Plaza Masalam here.

Lawyer for the MACC, Datuk Abdul Razak Musa had objected strongly this morning to admitting Sivanesan’s testimony as well as police report on the assault.

Abdul Razak who had objected to the testimony yesterday when it was to be put to the MACC’s own man, Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, for questioning, maintained his stand.

He said Sivanesan’s report “is not relevant” to Teoh’s inquest because it was too long ago, before the anti-graft agency became the MACC.

[Read the full report here.]

Teoh inquest: Witness recounts MACC torture [from The Edge]


District Officer alleges BN men abused state allocations

By Neville Spykerman | The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Sept 8 — A district officer today revealed that Barisan National (BN) assemblymen under his jurisdiction had misused their state allocations ahead of the March 8 general elections last year.

Gombak District Officer Huzaini Samsi, who testified before the special select committee for competency, accountability and transparency (Selcat), also admitted that there was even a ‘possibility that the annual allocations were used for campaigning.”

He admitted it was morally wrong and extraordinary for the state lawmakers and exco members to spend their entire annual allocations in just two months.

BN state lawmakers received RM500,00 while state executive councillors received an additional RM100,000.

He said normal monthly expenditure only amounts to between RM20,000 and RM50,000 but during the general elections the lawmakers maximise their expenditure.’

“They try and spend as much as possible before the general elections.”

Huzaini, who became the Gombak District Officer in 2007, gave a candid account of how there was virtually no accountability and safeguards on how previous BN assemblyman spent their annual allocations.

He was the second witness to testify at the first of the public inquiry into how state allocations are spent by state law makers by the previous and current administrations.

Huzaini, who is in charge of overseeing allocations to six constituencies, said it was his personal opinion that lawmakers were entitled to the allocations while his office merely tried its best to ensure applications are approved with minimum delay.

He said assemblymen would call his office to expedite applications for funds but he initially denied there was any direct pressure to approve.

"We usually just approve all applications because we want to avoid confrontation," he said, adding that they were frequently caught in a difficult position.

“We are wrong if we approve and wrong if we don’t.”

Huzaini said normal applications for funds are approved within two weeks but state lawmakers would often asked for applications to be processed and funds to be issued earlier.

However he was stumped when shown the spending patterns of previous BN assemblymen whose constituency are under his jurisdiction.

The previous Batu Caves lawmaker for instance made 90 applications amounting to almost RM500,000 on February 12 last year and all the funds were paid out within 9 days.

“Fantastic, I did not know my staff could work so hard,” said Huzaini.

He also could not explain how RM70,000 in cash was paid out to one individual.

Another example shown was that of the Paya Jaras state constituency, where 165 applications amounting to RM504,500 were made between January 17 and February 1, 2008.

The entire amount was paid to a single individual.

Huzaini also confirmed that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had recently raided the Gombak land office but said he did not know if they were checking only on the files of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers or the previous BN assemblymen

Earlier Petaling District Officer Datuk Zulkepli Ahmad was at a loss to explain how approval for state allocations for BN lawmakers was given even after the state assembly was dissolved and even after the new PR state government was sworn-in.

Both Huzaini and Zulkepli requested for time to check their records. Huzaini is scheduled to return on Friday while Zulkepli requested two weeks.

Meanwhile Selcat chairman Teng Chang Khim said all nine District Officers will be called along with other necessary witnesses during the inquiry which will continue until September 14.

He said any current and previous state lawmakers who wish to clarify or dispute the testimony of the officers can come forward and testify during the public inquiry.

“They can contact the secretariat of the state legislative assembly and arrangements will be made for them.”

Now we know why Najib wants Selangor back in BN hands!

[Selcat pics courtesy of Hannah Yeoh, sourced from Malaysiakini]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I was very impressed by Eric Loo's opinion piece published in Malaysiakini.
That's why I'm reposting it for those who have yet to subscribe
(sorry lah, Prem and Steven :-)...

No end to cow-crap politics
Eric Loo
Sep 7, 2009 

With a ludicrous home minister mouthing absurdities, we should be concerned about his capacity to mediate in future inter-communal discord or ability to engage intelligently with his counterparts on the international stage.

The minister and his apparatchiks might want to refer to this resource site at the University of South Africa on political conflict resolution.

Any student in Conflict Resolution 101 knows that in mediating, you don't take sides. You avoid justifying the furore of the conflicting parties. You listen. You ask questions of both parties. You try to understand the context and source of the conflict. You do not pass judgement on who's right and who's wrong.

But, no, we have a home minister - whose job is to ensure public safety and goodwill among racial groups - who exacerbates the situation. He has told the public not to blame the Section 23 protesters, when obviously their hyperbolic and berserk claims to religious territorial rights are blatantly offensive and downright threatening to rational thinking Malaysians.

From the outside looking in, the fundamental differences in religious dogma, moral values and worldviews that separate the Section 23 clowns from the wider community are insoluble in a staged meeting. The prejudice, arrogance and dogma are so entrenched in the minds and hearts of the protesters as members of the dominant racial and religious group - and likewise in the minority Hindu community. History tells us that these fundamental differences are like oil and water, insoluble, except to disperse with time and outgrow each other.

Minority Malaysians have since May 13, 1969 resigned themselves to the political realities of being subjects of Umno-dominated rule. Live and let live, as my grandparents and parents used to say.

We may not have outgrown many of our frustrations and angst caused by government-sanctioned discriminatory policies in the public service, in the tertiary education sector, commerce, in building permits to churches and temples, and in 'equal' access to socio-economic opportunities that would see every citizen realise their full potential regardless of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

I often wonder how many high achievers out of high school - who could be significant contributors to the country's progress in the hard sciences, medicine, technology, education, research and development, culture and arts - were denied those opportunities.

Those from families who could sacrifice and afford it have long left - and are continuing to leave - to study abroad and remain there to the benefit of places like Australia, Canada, US, New Zealand and, ironically, Singapore.

Those who do not have the financial means are left to rely on their resourcefulness to make it good in their country of birth, governed by bureaucrats whose worldview is limited to what they can see through the eyes of their apparatchiks.

From the outside looking in, I see this in the home minister's ridiculous attempt to mediate in the Section 23 cow-head incident. Instead of saying to the mob 'there is no excuse for your actions', he gave the cow-head stomping clowns 'respectability' by meeting with them, thus adding credence to their hyperbolic protests.

They wanted headline attention and they surely got it - this time as posers with the former keris-wielding Umno Youth leader.
See the 'cow-head' stomper standing smugly, suited sans the tie, behind the minister (2nd from right in photo). Just about a week ago the stomper had gone quite mental stomping on a severed cow-head. That's 'cow-crap' politics for you.

Multiple standards displayed

Hishammuddin Hussein could learn a thing or two from President Barack Obama on how to seize the day and morally lead on issues of race and religion.

On July 30 in the Rose Garden of the White House, the US president met with a black Harvard professor and a white police sergeant who had arrested the professor for attempted burglary and disorderly conduct. The professor was actually trying to break into his home because he forgot his keys. After a neighbour's 911 call, the Massachusetts police rushed to the scene - the professor's home.

Perceived racial profiling from the wrongful arrest unleashed public angst over the covert racism that still divides American society. The president mistakenly said on national TV that the police sergeant had “acted stupidly” - to which, understandably, the police objected.

To contain the tit-for-tat situation, the president invited the black professor and white police sergeant to the White House for a “friendly thoughtful conversation” over a few drinks and snacks. Commenting on the teachable lesson from the incident, Obama said after the chat, "I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart.”

In our case, the minister took the opposite road. Discussions on the Internet point to complete disbelief at Hishammuddin's double - or rather multiple - standards, total lack of integrity and the protesters' feigned ignorance of Hinduism's sacred animal.

As Martin Luther King Jr once said in his struggle against the evils of racism and segregation in 1963: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

What if the minister had arranged a session of thoughtful conversation between the stompers and the priests of the Hindu temple at a mamak stall in Shah Alam over mugs of teh tarik? That would have been moral leadership by example.

But, in an entrenched culture of politics that's built on patronage, racial ties and religious dogma, in the end it boils down to keeping supporters on side. Hishammuddin is more Machiavellian than we think.

The affected parties have continued to talk about it - albeit with the inevitable batty outcries and flaring temper at the first town hall 'dialogue' at the Shah Alam City Council last Saturday. It's good to see that the temper was not extended to violence on the streets. We have learned our lessons from 1969 that there are no victors in racial riots.

Unfortunately, it's one step forward and two steps back in our governance with politicians practising multiple standards backed up by inconsistent policing of race-related events. Sixteen Hindraf members were arrested in a candlelight passive protest at Dataran Merdeka on Sept 5.

The Section 23 bellicose stompers were exonerated by the home minister and at this time of writing, remain free. How far back we have regressed with each change of political leadership and politicians of a questionable past, and who seem untutored on the principles of natural justice.

The mainstream media unsurprisingly have given short shrift to the 'cow-crap' politics and inconsistent policing - all caught on Malaysiakini videos.

As readers know, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has ordered Malaysiakini to take down its videos of the 'cow-head' protest and Hishammuddin's press conference after meeting the stompers.

We hope it will not come to that stage. Does the MCMC not know that the horse has bolted? Thank god for YouTube.
Meanwhile, we shall keep the wheels of civil discourse turning, exposing the hypocrisy, ignorance and stupidities that still govern the country.



Monday, September 7, 2009

15Malaysia: 'SLOVAK SLING' by Woo Ming Jin


A comedic re-enactment of how one politician tries to entice another to switch party allegiance as DVD pirates look on.


Principal Cast
Patrick Teoh, Harith Iskander, Wong Chee Wai

Supporting Cast

Hariry Jalil, Ken Foong, Bee Seow Wei, Sue Liew

Executive Producer ~ Packet One Networks
Producer ~ Pete Teo
Director ~ Woo Ming Jin
DOP ~ Wan Chun Hung
Editor Woo Ming Jin
Sound ~ Lee Sim Lian
Post Video ~ Woo Ming Jin
Post Audio ~ The Ark Studios
Translation ~ Copyleft Studio

My gratitude and admiration to the producers of 15Malaysia, especially Pete Teo, for a supremely successful and most timely project!

David Yeoh on the Future of Malaysia

Courtesy of Media Rakyat

David Yeoh, former senator with BN, speaks at the forum, The Future of Malaysia, in Ipoh on 5 September 2009.