Friday, July 8, 2011

Kuala Lumpur, 9 July 2011: Rally for Clean & Fair Elections...




Bravo, boys! You recaptured the city from those yellow-bellied traitors
without spilling a single drop of blood! Now what???

The all-new Mr Clean... after the Pope hands him some free advice?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Darkest hour before a new dawn

Baggage on his back, blood on his hands, Altantuya albatross around his fat neck

Things have never looked so ugly since the May 13 massacre of 1969 orchestrated by an ambitious Malay supremacist faction of UMNO led by Razak Hussein, father of Najib Razak.

It is now clear that Malaysia has further deteriorated from a kleptocracy (a nation run by thieves) to a kakistocracy (a nation mismanaged by the vilest, most vicious, most venomous and violent elements). With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how the Polis Di Raja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Police) was systematically co-opted (especially during Mahathir Mohamad's 22-year reign) to serve the narrow interests of the ruling elite rather than the general public. Those of cynical bent will say, quite correctly, that all police departments on earth exist primarily to protect the vested interests of the ruling elite - not the ordinary citizen, whose function is to fund the scam by paying involuntary taxes - but it's time to clean up the police, perhaps even delete the concept from the human imagination!

Muscle-brained Gestapoman
Arbitrarily arresting anyone promoting the concept of Clean and Fair Elections - even charging a handful under the dreaded ISA for "trying to revive Communism and for waging war against the King" - the recently appointed deputy Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, has conspicuously taken over from Ismail Omar, who appears more of a bureaucrat than a bully. When Khalid Abu Bakar was Chief Police Officer of Selangor, a large number of people died under gory circumstances.

Take the case of A. Kugan, a 22-year-old arrested on suspicion of involvement in a car theft sydicate, who was cruelly beaten to death in a police lock-up in January 2009. Khalid Abu Bakar immediately began lying about the circumstances of Kugan's unnecessary death at the hands of uniformed sadists. A gentleman would have publicly apologized for this glaring instance of police misconduct and resigned - especially since the police subsequently issued, without any sign of regret or remorse, a statement that criminal charges against Kugan had been dropped.

Khalid Abu Bakar, 
shooting for Top Cop
A few months later, there was a high-speed car chase in Shah Alam, which ended in 14-year-old Amirulrasyid Amzah getting a bullet in the back of his head for the crime of driving without a licence and panicking when he saw a police patrol car. Within months there was a spate of unexplained teenaged deaths at the hands of the police, all accused of being armed criminals, and all summarily executed with bullets through their heads fired at point blank range. Khalid Abu Bakar wasn't asked to resign in those instances either.

Obviously, he was earning himself brownie points with the top crooks in UMNO as a potential high-ranking Gestapo Officer. They appreciate tough cops without moral scruples who know which side the bread is buttered.

There were many other alarming reports of citizens being harassed at roadblocks, arrested, robbed and beaten black-and-blue by police officers - and not a single case has been brought to justice. The big bosses in UMNO have covered the cops' arses in every instance. Even in a case as gruesome and sensational as the cold-blooded abduction, torture and murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006, the two policemen assigned to the dirty deed by Najib's security chief were protected from public view because they were allowed by the judge to conceal their faces throughout the long-drawn and ludicrous trial.

Malay supremacy club
So the signs have all been there, ladies and gentlemen. Indeed, they have been there since the days when the Internal Security Act was abused, even by the generally benign Tunku Abdul Rahman, as an all-purpose weapon against political dissent. It may be argued that in primate politics, a savvy and strong leader must be prepared to don jackboots from time to time and stomp on serious threats to his leadership. That's how Lee Kuan Yew retained control of his party and remained at the helm of Singapore for so many decades - indeed, many say he still has the final say from behind the scenes.

The use of police and army to suppress angry populations is nothing new - but there is a growing sense around the world that such repressive measures reflect negatively on those who wield them. It reveals that they have lost their legitimacy to lead.
HINDRAF 25 November 2007: fearless in the face of the FRU

Like a tyrant father who cannot control his kids without brutally beating them, any state that succumbs to the temptation to unleash violence upon its own people has declared itself a rogue nation - unfit to be invited to the feast.

As we transit from one evolutionary cycle to the next, the rule of Might-Is-Right will rear its ugly head one final time before it falls into the fiery abyss of transmutation.

40,000-strong BERSIH Rally, 10 November 2007

The time is upon us now as we brace ourselves for the BERSIH showdown on July 9. Will the police lockdown the entire city so that a virtual curfew is declared? Or will they allow enough people to assemble "illegally" before whacking down hard on them - round up a few hundred to scare the rest? Whatever the outcome, one thing is obvious:

UMNO's secret weapon Saiful, the infamous anus
Najib (grime minister in charge of organized crime, dirty tricks and salacious sex scandals) and his cousin Hishammuddin (home minister in charge of doublethink, nonsensespeak and the keystone kops) can no longer pretend to be urbane and savvy leaders of a harmonious, stable and mature nation. They have only two options - voluntarily step down because nobody respects or trusts them, or lash back petulantly at their critics.

Despite my eternal optimism, it's hard to envision either capitulating at this juncture - not when they still control the PDRM and Petronas. In effect, it appears they are on the verge of running amok and cracking a few skulls.

Can we the people afford to back down at this juncture? This is a moment of destiny when we each have to decide: whether we love our nation enough to overcome our fear of jackboots, truncheons and obscenely oppressive and archaic laws.

Ugly jingoist display by UMNO in Penang after GE12

If I were in a position to consider migration, I must admit I might be seriously looking into the options available to me. However, I swore many years ago that I would live to see the dark age of Mahathirism fade away like a vampire caught in the first rays of the morning sun.

I will stay and I will fight - not with weapons but with clarity, a sense of purpose, and fearless resolve. People like Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Lim Kit Siang, Irene Fernandez, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Lim Guan Eng, Haris Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Fuziah Salleh, N. Surendran, Mat Sabu . Chegu Bard , Hisham Rais and a large army of idealistic young men and women who constitute Lawyers for Liberty, Sisters in Islam, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement are my inspiration, and I thank them for having courageously stood up and be counted.




Samad Said (photo: Wazari Wazir)
All the youngsters who have produced inspirational videos on YouTube, exhorting their compatriots to rise to the occasion and reclaim their land from the pirates and parasites in UMNO/BN; everyone who has "liked" a Facebook group advocating openness, justice and truth; and all those who have quietly served as mouthpieces for the downtrodden - heroes like Dr Michael Jeyakumar and his colleagues in Parti Socialis Malaysia - there are so many out there who have been doing exactly what they were born to do, simply because they have consciously chosen, like national laureate Samad Said, to cari makna (seek significance and meaning) - not just cari makan (make money).

Saturday, 9 July 2011, will be the day the tide turns. UMNO/BN have had more than 3 years to get used to the idea that in politics, as in sports, nobody gets to hang on to a trophy forever. If they insist on being sore losers and resorting to violence, may their violent intent boomerang back a hundredfold on themselves and hasten their extinction.





Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Save Malaysia arrives at Lynas's doorstep!

Feisty Dozen stage protest at Lynas head office in Sydney, 5 July 2011.
56 Pitt Street, Sydney: Lynas head office located here.
Lunch hour crowd wonders what the protest is about...
Telling Sydneysiders what Lynas intends to do in Malaysia...
Expert opinion against the rare earth processing plant.

The Australian media takes note of the event...



Tuan Haji Ismail came all the way from Kuantan to stop Lynas.
Better pro-active than radio-active!
Lots of pedestrians were curious about the event...
It's always a question of what we value most...
Malaysians resident in Sydney helped coordinate the event.
A plain and simple message...

On Tuesday, 5 July 2011 the Save Malaysia Committee, with the help of an Australian NGO and Malaysians residing in Sydney, demonstrated at the Lynas head office at 56 Pitt Street. Staged during the lunch hour to attract maximum attention, six representatives of the group then attended an hour-long meeting with Lynas CEO, Nicholas Curtis. 
On Wednesday and Thursday (6 & 7 July), Save Malaysia will be meeting Australian MPs and senators in Canberra.



A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR ALL WHO MADE THIS EVENT POSSIBLE!
[Photos courtesy of Save Malaysia Campaign]



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our affairs Down Under have never been cozier

Bribe probe hits former Malay PM
Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker
July 5, 2011

The Reserve Bank of Australia's banknote firms are suspected of attempting to bribe former Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Badawi in order to get his help to win a $31 million currency contract.

Mr Abdullah is one of a several highly influential Malaysian political figures whom anti-corruption authorities believe Securency and Note Printing Australia— firms respectively half and fully owned and overseen by Australia's reserve bank— allegedly sought to bribe using part of $4.2 million in commission payments made to two Malaysian middlemen.

Malaysian sources confirmed to The Age that the Australian Federal Police have gathered information about attempts to bribe Mr Abdullah by Securency and Note Printing Australia, which are respectively half and fully owned and overseen by the RBA.

The Age sought comment from Mr Abdullah last night.

Read more here.

[Brought to my attention by Henry Cheong]

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yup... anyone can turn into a Hitler!

Every wannabe dictator started out trying to "cari makan"...
No matter how thick their hide, deep down they're just missing their dear Mama...
Let's spread the love, people. Let's be kind to wannabe despots. But don't forget to...


VOTE THEM OUT FIRST!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A PRAYER FOR THE LAND I LOVE

Dear God or Whatever You Prefer To Be Called These Days:

I'm not in the habit of publicizing my private thoughts,
But times are such that habits must be broken.
And so I will utter my innermost feelings
In the form of words,
Even though I know
That words are what imprison us
In mindsets of No Escape.

For I remain steadfast in my belief
That words spoken from the heart
Have the power to free us from
The evil clutches of political expediency.

It saddens me to see such beautiful, graceful beings
Caught in the deceit of cosmetic piety,
Enslaved by the ugly dictum - "Money Talks!"
Enfeebled by the lame excuse - "What to do?"
Disempowered by the abject fear of False Authority,
And disenfranchised from their own glorious destinies.

Grant unto us the clarity and wisdom
To understand that we have no grander gift
To bestow on our children than the freedom
To speak their heart's truth
Without fear of punishment.

Grant unto us the courage and the fortitude
To truly embody the lofty ideals we hold so dear;
Let us not falter in our inner struggle
To throw off the mental shackles of Greed and Fear,
For those are the twin towers of Tyranny.

Grant unto us a Vision of the Real.
Let us not be misled by cunning projections
From the debased minds of "economic experts"
Who advise us not to "rock the boat" of Status Quo;
And whose dire warnings are couched in grave tones of
"Security and Stability."

Remember: DIGNITY and INTEGRITY
Are the keys to the Divine Sanctum of the Self!

And since each Nation is but a collectivity of Selves,
My greatest duty to the land I love
Is to always seek to be true to myself;
And my true self tells me:
Bear not the yoke of feudal despots
A moment longer than you need.
There's room and board enough for everyone,
Once you cast the Vampires of Vitality
From their vacuous palaces erected by the sweaty toil
Of half-wit slaves, who know not half their worth.

This beautiful, gracious land is YOURS -
Not THEIRS! (Well, it COULD be theirs too,
If they'd only see themselves as YOU).
The Reality of Heaven on Earth will soon be here,
And to that we are ALL heirs.

Antares
24 October 1998

[First published 26 August 2008. Cartoons courtesy of LAT]

THE CRUMBLING EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In short, Ketuanan Rakyat as preached by Anwar Ibrahim.

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

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

[First published 22 October 2008]