Friday, February 17, 2012

In Response to the lovely Lisa Lee (updated)

Early one morning three years ago, a very charming blogger left the following comment on my blog after I had gone to bed. She made some pertinent statements about Malaysian politics that prompted me to respond at length. I feel this exchange deserves to be upgraded to a blogpost in its own right rather than left in the comments section... (thanks for inspiring this post, Lisa :-)...

Lisa Lee said on Jan 17, 2009 @ 4:32 AM MYT:

Honestly, I do wonder if BN will ever lose control? Because the livelihood of many will be affected. Peace and harmony is my hope for Malaysia.

The thought of BN losing may impact so many people and for this reason, I hope peace prevails. Desperation sets in and who knows what may happen.

Having said that, I hope that Pakatan Rakyat would be a strong cohesive Opposition. Maybe not take over in this sitting but next election, consolidate their hold in Malaysia.

I do hope that Malaysia will be like USA (Democrats vs Republicans) and England (Labor vs Conservative) - in a sense that we will have a strong two party system to have the check and balance there.

Can you share your views on this? I like to learn from you. TQ :)

My dear Lisa,

Imagine you're a princess adopted as a baby by pirates who slaughtered your parents, ransacked the palace, and set themselves up as the new government of the land. They spared your life because you were cute and harmless and posed no threat to them (even pirates must have some vague memory of almost-forgotten human feelings). In fact, the pirate king saw that you were destined to blossom into a true beauty and fancied he could acquire royal status by marrying you once you were of age.

In other words, you grew up knowing no other authority apart from this band of brigands who began to dress quite well and were soon able to pass themselves off as "respectable folk." Nobody dared inform you who your real parents were and as time passed you came to regard the pirate king as a beloved uncle and trusted him implicitly. After all, he did possess a sort of rakish charm and was actually quite a clever chap (though some might call it "rat cunning"). He told you stories about how he had heroically rescued you from the evil clutches of an ogre and now you owed your life to him and were duty-bound to wed him.

One day, walking through a forest, you chance upon a humble cottage and out of curiosity decide to find out who lives there. As you approach the cottage, the front door swings open and a smiling old man steps out to offer you a cup of tea. You accept and soon find yourself engaged in deep conversation with this mysterious hermit of the woods, who reveals the truth of what happened to the land when you were just a newly born.

The old man shares with you a secret that forever changes your destiny. He was the loyal adviser to your biological parents, the King and Queen of this land, who were cruelly murdered by the marauders. He managed to escape the massacre and fled to the forest along with a handful of others who have long awaited the day you were old enough to rule the land as the rightful Queen. For years this band of survivors have lived in hidden caves, dreaming of the day when they would be strong enough to reclaim the land and liberate it from pirate dominion. He concludes by asking you if you are ready to take your place as the leader of these true patriots who desire to see the end of pirate misrule and justice restored.

Now, this is your current dilemma, Lisa. Having known no other form of government apart from the piratic (and parasitic), can you remember what true leadership is all about? Pull the wool from your eyes and you will see that for decades the Barisan Nasional has attracted mostly those who seek to aggrandize and enrich themselves at the expense of the land and of the people. They care little for the sufferings of the common folk and even less for the health and well-being of the land itself, having inherited the rapacious tendencies of their pirate ancestors who understood only rape, pillage and plunder.

In the name of greed, these self-serving parasites continue to destroy the landscape through mining, logging and insensitive "development." They support those who share their own destructively uncreative urges - namely, ruthless businessmen with megalomaniacal tendencies - while suppressing, through barbaric and repressive laws, all those who desire to see the wealth of the land equally and wisely shared.

In effect, dear Lisa, the simplistic scenario I have outlined is a parable for the sort of misgovernance we have been subject to on this planet for countless generations - a top-heavy Humpty-Dumpty sort of power structure wherein the most aggressive and unprincipled amass the greatest amount of wealth and then proceed to hijack the processes of government via almost absolute control of the mass media, education and financial systems, even religious institutions (I mean especially!).

However, the time has come for those who truly love the land - and I mean Planet Earth - to reclaim our sovereign power as conscious individuals, liberating ourselves from generations of inherited robotism (living our lives according to factory defaults) and fatalism (believing it is our lot to suffer in this "vale of tears").

We must think globally (nay, universally) and act locally. So in Malaysia our foremost duty as true patriots is to remove Barisan Nasional completely from power - because they have abused the power entrusted them for too many generations.

In the most basic terms, BN must not retain control of the police force, the national purse, and the mass media. Those are the mechanisms by which they have ruled us through fear and greed - a powerful combination of intimidation and bribery. Any population subject to such misgovernance eventually becomes infantilized, demoralized, and dehumanized.

Ultimately, we shall be turned into a nation of human robots while our energy and spirit are vampirically depleted by an elite cabal of demonically possessed humans devoid of compassion and empathy... UNLESS we succeed in booting out these piratic and parasitic entities and replacing them with open-minded, open-hearted leaders who genuinely believe that being a public servant means precisely that - you serve the public, not private interests!

There isn't a single individual in Umno/BN I can name as somebody I love, respect and trust.

On the other hand, there are many in the various component parties of Pakatan Rakyat I wholeheartedly applaud and support in their candidacy to lead and govern. Among these I would unhesitatingly name Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah, Mat Sabu, Azmin Ali, Syed Husin Ali, Sivarasa Rasiah, Tian Chua, Chegu Bard, Elizabeth Wong, Khalid Ibrahim, Guan Eng and Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Teresa Kok, Teo Nie Ching, Charles Santiago, Tony Pua, Hannah Yeoh, Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Abdul Hadi Awang, Husam Musa, Mohammad Nizar, Mohd Prasad Hanif, Dr Nasir Hashim, Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, and S. Arutchelvan (I may have omitted a few others but these are the ones that immediately spring to mind).

Apart from the professional politicians, we now have the Barisan Rakyat - a loose coalition of public intellectuals and true patriots led by none other than Raja Petra Kamarudin consisting of popular figures (mostly bloggers and columnists) like Haris IbrahimBernard KhooMalik Imtiaz SarwarArt Harun and Azmi Sharom; and politically aware citizens like Vijay Kumar Murugavell, Duke ChengEe ChiaDanny Chua, Boom and Rodi, and countless others (including myself). And, don't forget, there are outstanding political figures like Zaid Ibrahim and Din Merican who will certainly play a significant role in reshaping the new Malaysia once the country is free of this stubborn and debilitating disease called BN.

Lisa, the only people who will be terribly upset when BN loses control of the police and Petronas are an overfed coterie of fat-cat capitalists who have enjoyed more than 30 years of monopolistic access to the nation's resources and established huge empires based on political patronage. The competent managers amongst them will be able to adapt and continue doing well under a new government - so long as they genuinely serve the public good. Those who have corruptly made their money as crony rent-seekers will either be allowed to retire in comfort (if they donate a fair portion of their ill-gotten gains to charity) or face a therapeutic spell in prison.

When Pakatan Rakyat takes over as government, it will not exactly be a one-party management. Since Anwar invited DAP and PAS to join PKR as equal partners, there will effectively be at least three different political ideologies - many more if you include a few independent parties from Sabah and Sarawak, plus the remains of Gerakan and PPP - working together (preferably in perfect harmony and hopefully with minimal friction) towards one common goal - the rescue of Malaysia from the economic and ethical doldrums and the creation of a healthy national ethos in which every citizen regardless of skin color, culinary preferences and creed can at last feel a sense of belonging - and therefore a sense of authentic pride.

It remains to be seen whether Umno will survive as the Opposition. Without its reactionary and dangerous Ketuanan Melayu agenda - and suddenly deprived of the chance to carry on robbing the nation - these descendants of pirates will almost surely disintegrate as a political party. Those individuals amongst them with any intelligence and ability whatsoever will swiftly realize that the horse is DEAD - kaput, finito, expired - and proceed on foot till they reach the next oasis where they will rest and reassess their lives and, insyallah, come to their senses and become decent human beings.

No, Lisa, we don't want Malaysia to become like America or Britain where the illusion of democracy, not the real thing, prevails. We don't want a Tweedledum and Tweedledee type of two-party system (like the Donkey and Elephant parties or the Tories and Whigs). In fact, we don't want to be obsessed with government and politics any longer than we need!

What we want is a clean, efficient administration that will work quietly and with minimal histrionics to ensure that everyday life just keeps getting easier and pleasanter for more and more of the population. Ultimately, the government of a country ought to be just like the plumbing in your house - we don't want to be distracted by it or even notice it. A properly designed plumbing system carries out its functions unobtrusively, without complaint, and with negligible maintenance problems. Indeed, the plumbing in a well-built house ought to last at least a hundred years!

With government out of the way and internalized, we will at long last become a nation of self-governing individuals with nothing to stop us from each fulfilling our true destinies as free citizens and achieving our maximum potential as evolving humans.

And, take my word for it, Lisa dear. It's NOT going to take another two generations. Perhaps two terms under a new, enlightened government!

[First posted 17 January 2009]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Every prophet is despised and persecuted in his own land

Portrait of an intellectual fugitive
Look at this young man's face closely. Hamza Kashgari is only 23, way too young to die - but some clerics in Saudi Arabia are demanding that he be put to death.

What did Hamza do? As far as I know from reading a bit of background on him, his only crime is that he can think and feel.

Hamza worked as a columnist for al-Bilad, a Saudi Arabian daily, but was fired at the end of 2011 for refusing to conform to orthodox views.

Mabahith, the Saudi Arabian secret police, had Hamza on their radar when the Arab Spring started and young thinkers in Saudi Arabia were inspired to organize public forums in support of the people's freedom movement blossoming around the planet. Hamza was part of this eruption of youthful optimism, this promise of genuine transformation, this glimpse of a new world free from the shackles of cruel tradition.

Sheikh Nasser al-Omar: shedding crocodile tears
Sheikh Nasser al-Omar, an influential cleric, wept on TV while demanding the young man's execution for apostasy. What a pathetic performance, using sentimentality to camouflage ruthlessness; playing the unpopular role of Public Inquisitor and at the same time hoping to be loved!

We have seen too many reptiles in human  guise heading too many cruel and bloodthirsty institutions - too many hanging judges who kiss their wives and mothers when they return home from work, and hug their children. And yet they relentlessly continue their gruesome work - sentencing to death other people's wives and mothers, and other people's children.

Look at this Sheikh's face closely. What do you see? I see a closet pervert, an evil priest who secretly enjoys ripping throbbing hearts from sacrificial virgins and calling it religious devotion; a covert pedophile or pederast who would publicly condemn others for homosexuality. I may be wrong, of course. Sheikh Nasser may once have thought and felt the same way as Hamza Kashgari - but, lacking the nerve to be a public rebel, he opted for a safe career as an establishment cleric. In so choosing he became an accomplice of profound evil - just as the Vatican was complicit in the tyranny of Hitler's Third Reich, and all who continue to endorse the Barisan Nasional are complicit in institutionalized corruption.

Every messiah was labeled a rebel and heretic
Look closely again at this young rebel's face. What do you see? I see a poet's deep and sensitive intelligence, an idealist and defender of justice, freedom and truth.

I see a young Kahlil Gibran... or a Jesus... or another Muhammad. It isn't so difficult to see those qualities in his eyes. I also see the anger of a young man who has seen right through the greed, the hypocrisy, and the brutality of an utterly corrupt power structure which uses religion to subdue and control the masses by keeping them ignorant and superstitious.

What got Hamza Kashgari into trouble with the Saudi Arabian government was a series of gentle, contemplative but indiscreet tweets he posted on 5 February 2012, the prophet Muhammad's birthday...

“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you,” he wrote in one tweet.

“On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more,” he wrote in a second.

“On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more,” he concluded in a third.

The late great Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran
These sentiments are to me entirely reasonable and they represent the way any intelligent young person brought up in any religious tradition might be expected to think, once they begin to question the roots of their own faith. Is that a crime punishable by death? Is it even a crime to ponder the irony of deifying long-dead prophets whilst exploiting, enslaving and exterminating living human beings?

Apparently, in Saudi Arabia, it is. Which, to any sane and reasonable person, is symptomatic of a virulent form of psychopathology. A mind virus, no less. Such outrageous manifestations of patriarchal tyranny can only be described as atavistic, reactionary, absolutely barbaric. I would consider it the moral duty of every sane and reasonable human being to oppose this abhorrent form of institutionalized evil, and to ensure that any political regime espousing such cruel and antiquated laws be overthrown without delay.

Tragically, Hamza Kashgari's flight to freedom included a stopover in Kuala Lumpur - where he was arrested by the Malaysian authorities and handed over with unholy haste to Saudi Arabian law enforcement agents - despite a timely court injunction against his deportation obtained by his local lawyers.

In bowing to pressure from the Saudi Arabian government, Malaysia's home minister has revealed himself to be shamelessly spineless and lacking in any compassion or nobility whatsoever.

Malaysia, as a sovereign nation, has every right to refuse to be complicit in such grotesque barbarity. The fact that it acted against Hamza Kashgari without hesitation just to appease Saudi Arabia puts the Najib regime in the worst possible light. That's right, folks, it's all about the money.... again! Saudi Arabia has massive investments in Malaysia, particularly in the colossal Iskandar development project.

Considering the Barisan Nasional's abysmal track record in human rights, it would have run against their grain to defend intellectual freedom against the heavy-handed, jack-booted encroachment of international power politics.

Will America remain silent in the face of such outlandish tyranny? Most certainly, considering its equally abysmal track record in geopolitics. After all, Saudi Arabia is a valued trading partner and favorite ally of the influential oil families.

Hamza Kashgari's young life hangs in the balance. Whether or not it is spared, he has already won his place in history. The Arab Spring will shortly activate in Saudi Arabia, the world capital of tyranny.

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri,
Hamza's brave & beautiful defender
I feel profound admiration and gratitude for Lawyers for Liberty, particularly Fadiah Nadwah Fikri, who has valiantly taken on Hamza Kashgari's case. LFL's courage and dedication represent the silver lining on an extremely dark cloud hanging over our bleak national karma.

This is why I would never choose a career in television

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


As a hologram of Prime Creator I have easy, natural access to all that Life has to offer, without struggle. So it is!

As Divine Love manifest I have the power to dispel darkness, doubt and misunderstanding wherever I go, bringing joy and clarity and enlightenment to all around me. So it is!

I choose to serve my Core Self through utmost compassion, loving allowance and readiness to forgive. All that exists, exists within my Greater Being. Until and unless I love myself completely, I will not know love at all. So it is!