Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Post GE13 Reform Agenda: in search of a win-win scenario (repost)




Repealing all draconian laws and returning state institutions back to the rakyat

Posted on October 23, 2011 by 
5

Najib, UMNO and BN will not do this.
We need a new non-BN government post the 13th GE to do this.
Repeal the ISA, the OSA, the PPPA, the UUCA, the Sedition Act.
All the laws that we’ve been asking to have taken off our statute books and from around our necks for so, so long.
Return the judiciary back to us.
The AG’s office.
Election Commission.
MACC.
PDRM.
And every other institution that ought to be protecting the interests of the rakyat, not UMNO and BN.
And to do all of this early on in their term of administration at Putrajaya.
[Read the rest here.]
Hercules flushing out the Augean
stables and fertilizing the land
I posted a comment to the above which warrants reproduction here, as I've long pondered how any new administration can best approach the Herculean task of cleaning up the Augean stables of moral filth and bureaucratic incompetence left behind by 54 uninterrupted years of Umno/BN mismanagement...
It may not be premature to contemplate an alternative scenario to what RARA proposes. Imagine you're a young Penan asked to choose between two developmental packages. The first involves clearing the forest and urbanizing your ancestral lands (so you and your kids can enjoy better schools and medical care); however, there will be no turning back, your way of life will be destroyed and your children will be forced into the rat race...
If you were a young Penan, would you trade this natural splendor for a Carrefour and a few 7-Elevens?
The second leverages on technological advances such as free (or affordable) helicopter and hovercraft services that bypass the necessity to build destructive highways through the rainforest ecosystem; and broadband internet access via satellite that provides access to the modern world, without destroying the serenity and majestic beauty of your natural environment; plus the benefit of cross-cultural volunteer programs wherein enthusiastic young professionals from all over the world can live amongst the Penan for a while, and impart various skills while documenting their traditional knowledge and wisdom - thereby creating a win-win scenario between traditional and modern cultures.
Let's say Pakatan Rakyat is now the federal government. For sure, oppressive laws must go pronto. The Umno Polis have, for too long, abused archaic laws like the ISA, OSA, Sedition Act, UUCA, PP&PA and the Police Act that outlaws public assembly without permits to browbeat, harass and thwart all political dissent. Twice, PDRM have used the 19th century laws against oral and anal sex to neutralize Anwar Ibrahim as a threat to their deadly stranglehold on power. What does it take, a parliamentary majority? The Agong's assent? 
However, overhauling corrupt and complacent agencies and institutions involves human beings and requires a lot of lateral thinking. Allow me to toss a few scenarios in the air for further contemplation, discussion and elaboration...
PDRM: do we really need such an unwieldy force? Quality over quantity is best, so we sack a few hundred irredeemable senior officers (Khalid Abu Bakar and Wan Bari will top the list, I'm sure) and streamline the police force to one-quarter of its present size. Those that remain in uniform will be given salary increases and refresher courses in how to serve and protect the public; while those who opt for re-education will continue to receive wages for at least 3 years while the new administration sponsors their acquisition of new skills in any field of endeavor or assists them to launch their own modest enterprises - whether it's opening a warung in their kampung, becoming a pasar malam trader, or studying a foreign language and upgrading their personal resumes. Some (particularly retrenched Special Branch officers) may opt to offer courses on self-defence and investigation skills to the public - so that the public will learn to look after themselves instead of relying on outside help to solve minor dramas like petty misdemeanors in the neighborhood.
MACC: assuming new brooms sweep cleaner and the new administration is far cleaner than its predecessor, we won't require an "anti-corruption" agency, as such. By abolishing the OSA and protecting, and even rewarding whistleblowers, every institution would have a built-in mechanism by which it can regulate itself and ensure minimal transgressions and infractions. Those currently employed by the MACC will probably have to be "disinfected" before being released to rejoin the community-at-large. Once cleansed of BTN contamination, these personnel can be offered jobs in any other government department - or opt to go on state-sponsored further studies.
EC: do we really need a massive organization to conduct polls? With existing digital tech it's feasible that public referendums and elections can be digitized. Every citizen that turns 18 becomes eligible to vote and can cast a vote from home, or from a cybercafe, or via the mobile voting service that may be necessary pending nationwide access to the internet. Electoral fraud can be easily prevented using available security software akin to what online banking entails (voter IDs, passwords, captcha, IP tracking, and so on). Election Commission top brass will be assigned to 6 months coaching by prominent comedy troupes like the Instant Cafe Theatre, Comedy Court or the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians - and then given their own TV sitcom series. If they refuse to cooperate, they face the prospect of 10-year exiles on the moon or the ocean depths.
As for the Attorney-General's office.... well, everyone serving the present BN regime will have to be retrenched, of course, as unusable bent nails - along with the entire top ranks of the judiciary. Once we have somebody straight and honorable appointed to the offices of AG and CJ, the overhaul can proceed with relative ease and minimal pain to all concerned.
Without the protection of Umno, the 9 rulers will quickly realize their fate lies in their own hands. If they wish to be acknowledged, respected and supported as symbolic monarchs, they have no choice but to discipline themselves, rein in their excesses, reassess their own track record - and resolve to serve as the conscience and spiritual cores of their respective states. 
Failing which, even Ibrahim Ali cannot save their skins. Their crowns and jewels can be placed in a public museum for posterity to gawk at and shake their heads in disbelief; their toy cars can be auctioned off; their palaces converted to boutique hotels like Carcosa.

[First posted 23 October 2011, then reposted 27 March 2014]


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Talking the Not-So-New Age Blues (Once Again!)

An epic freestyle poem by Antares



"What's truly funny is that something momentous is happening, and it's so real that the media can't see it. Here it is, the biggest story of all time, and it goes unreported. If you're continually focused on this and that media event, the latest celebrity scandal, the scattered wars of duality, the deceitful maneuverings of selfish politicians, and the shifting state of a false world economy, you just might miss the greater story. And this greater story is why we are here and what gives our lives meaning."

- Solara, How to Live Large on a Small Planet, 1996



Here are a few questions you could ask

(If you haven't already done so ages ago):
How old is the New Age?
Is it really NEW?
Huh? WHAT New Age?
Isn't it always "A New Age" every time a century turns?
How about a stiff shot of HISTORY (while it lasts)?
Because serious rumor in the mystery circles says
History ends when we break through the Veil of Time
And find ourselves (our True Selves, I mean)
Beyond Euclidean Space.


TWENTY TWELVE, the Daykeeper nods, consulting his cosmic
Calendar, the Mayan Tzolk'in. (Turn the world around and you'll
See Linear Time's expiry date: 21 DECEMBER 2012.)
And then what? GALACTIC SYNCHRONIZATION!
We reconnect to the core of the Milky Way,
Though what that means I cannot say.

"Excuse me, Sir, I am begging to differ," declares Mr Thambyvelloo,
"Actually our Tathu Year will be TWENTY FOURTY-THREE."
But Mr Gopala Das interjects: "Nonsense! MY calendar says 5113!"
"FOURTEEN THIRTY-THREE is how WE put it,"
smiles Professor Haji Abuhasbin.
"Nevertheless we conduct business by the International Calendar."
"In other words," Pope Gregory grins, "you mean 2012 A.D."

Doesn't matter WHEN, it's happening NOW!
Though it may not be happening to everybody
At the same time.
Or in the same way.
But as the Beatles say:
"Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all."

[A QUICK SCROLL DOWN THE SCREEN
TO SEE HOW LONG IT'S BEEN...]


A New Age might have been in sight
When Pharaoh Akhenaton ruled Egypt,
Thirty-three hundred and seventy-nine years ago
(If historians are correct) in 1370 B.C.
But alas it was not to be,
For the King was poisoned in his palace
By ruthless generals and greedy priests
Before his mission was complete.
Akhenaton's task was to prepare the world
For the arrival of Lord Sananda,
The Cosmic Christ foretold.


And so, fourteen centuries down the line,
Another attempt was made in another land
To restore Love as Law and the Path of Light
Upon this Earth: Palestine under Roman rule,
Where corruption and hypocrisy reigned supreme.
Some middle-class Jews were put to shame
When the Messiah came and castigated
The merchants in the temple.
"Oy vay, don't rock the boat!" they pleaded,
And as their pious petitions went unheeded,
They charged him with subversion and
Crucified him with unholy haste.
And once again all hope of a Golden Age
Was brutally laid waste
(Even if, as some aver, the Crucifiction was
Just a Catholic joke in very poor taste).



However, the Christ Seed had been planted
In the human gene pool - though it must have felt unwanted.

Rewind the tape of time five centuries or so
To ancient China, where "Old Boy" Lao-tze
(Archetypal wild sage of the mountains)
Successfully summed up reality in 81 verses
Called the Tao Te Ching.

While in Greece Pythagoras held the Beam
With his mathemagickal mystery school,
Using tools like the Golden Mean
And hypotenuse rules, even as he danced
To the Music of the Spheres.


In India Queen Maya bore a Prince:
Siddhartha was his name. Instead of fortune and fame
He sought enlightenment and freedom from the game
Of personal karma. As Buddha he taught us the dharma,
That this illusory world is just 4D melodrama.

Rather than beat an ignominious retreat
Sweet Socrates (that old pederast)
Took his hemlock neat (and his die was cast);
To his health we shall drink eternally.


All these heroic individuals have been named
As Keepers of the Sacred Flame
That came through the Sun
From beyond the stars: they were
Beacons of truth and harbingers
Of an approaching New Aeon.

Bold troubadours in post-Arthurian tales
Sang to us about the Quest for the Grail:
How the valiant Knights of the Table Round
Sought the greatest treasure to be found -
That pot of gold at the Rainbow's End -
The descent of the Dove
And the Rule of Love,
As enemies turn to friends.


The most fleeting glimpse was all we were shown
As we drew the sword of intelligence from the stone;
And then the vision of the Holy Grail
Vanished behind a misty veil
Of nightmarish mayhem and massacre.
Rival factions plunged the world into bloody war,
Screaming, "Dominion over others by fang and claw!"

Meanwhile in the Middle East the stage was set
For yet another crusade on this poor planet.
The portals of belief saw heavy traffic.
As images of love turned pornographic.
The Spanish Inquisition was thrown in purely for luck,
To ensure that the status quo didn't come unstuck.
"Nine Hells have arrived," Aztec priests cried,
"Exactly as Quetzalcoatl prophesied."

Came the Renaissance, a brilliant flash
Of inspiration, giving rise to a dream
Of a world reborn through Alchemy, Science and Art.
The Word now passed from ear to eye
As scriptures were read instead of heard.
The past age of spiritual darkness and doubt
Gave way to Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo -
Who advocated logic, reason and laboratory testing
As the most reliable method of finding out
What Life on Earth was all about.


Angels and demons filled the atmosphere,
And spoke to Michel Nostradamus the famous seer.
They told him of the long dark night
Of humanity's soul in its headlong flight
Towards the final Apocalypse.

Mountebanks and sorcerers, mystery men and mages,
Took their turn upon the stage of history:
Cagliostro and Saint-Germain,
Eliphaz Levi, Messrs Kelly and Dee
Held sway in the courts of Europe,
Hinting of a New Jerusalem and the
Rebuilding of Solomon's Temple.

Christian Rosenkreutz published the Rosicrucian Manifesto,
Heralding the advent of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality;
While in 1776 Adam Weishaupt of Ingolstadt
Founded the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria -
Whose illustrious members, apparently,
Included the likes of George Washington, Tom Jefferson,
And Ben Franklin - progenitors of the American Dream
Of Novus Ordo Seclorum - a New World Order, no less:
A New World for a New Age -
Governed by a global Freemasonry!


Another page turns in the Book of Changes:
America the Dream goes to Hollywood,
Gets hijacked and featured in National Geographic,
Serialized in Reader's Digest;
And now the movie rights are owned by Walt Disney,
While the Bill of Rights waits at the Gates
of Heaven.

In Persia the Bab was born: and in May 1844 proclaimed
The imminent approach of the Imam Mahdi,
Ultimate prophet of God - but the Shah had him shot
For disrespect towards Worldly Authority.
Then his followers established the Baha'i movement,
Which advocates world government on a Unified Earth,
And a new age of Universal Justice.

Newton, Darwin, and Faraday were an ad agency for
Progress through Science: understand how the universe works
And a New Industrial Age begins.
It all started with a Big Bang and everything since
Has been winding down like a clockspring.


At the height of our collective infatuation
With Machines and Automation,
Blavatsky, Leadbeater, and Olcott - NOT your typical firm of
Chartered Accountants - went to India and Tibet where they met
Ascended Masters of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood,
And were assigned the task of introducing
Ancient wisdom to the modern world.
Proclaim the advent of a New Aeon, they were told,
And groom Jiddhu Krishnamurti for the role
Of planetary savior.


Their Theosophical Society was inaugurated
In 1875 and found an eager following in the West,
While in the East the Sun still rose
And shone upon the sleeping millions.

Secret Societies sprouted like mushrooms
In the moldy moral ground of Victorian times, and
Ritual magic enjoyed a fairly brisk trade.
Messages from the Spirit World
And all varieties of psychic phenomena
Caught the fancy of bored housewives and
Wayward intellectuals.


The Who's Who of arcane knowledge and esoteric lore
Included names like W.B. Yeats and Claude Debussy,
Victor Hugo and Conan Doyle, Bulwer-Lytton and Liddell Mathers,
Aleister Crowley, the Marquis de Sade, and many more.
"Practitioners of Evil, Satanists, Lucifer's Friends, and
The Antichrist" were epithets flung at some of these pioneers.
But the tide of evolution was rising fast:
It spawned the glamorous Order of the Golden Dawn
And magickal offshoots like the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) and
Argenteum Astrum (the Silver Star).


Some followed Rudolf Steiner into Anthroposophy,
And joined the tug-of-war between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman.
Others were captivated by G.I. Gurdjieff and his school
Of Modified Sufi Dance, but found themselves bewildered
By his Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson: a rambunctious and
Somewhat Rabelaisian dissection of the human experiment
Seen through the extraterrestrial eyes of a former
Colonial Administrator of Earth.


Adolf Hitler and Company had their ill-fated Third Reich:
Hoping to govern the world by high-tech voodoo and
A fanatic belief in Aryan supremacy.
But the Fourth Reich (propounded by Wilhelm,
Psychoanalyst and discoverer of Orgone energy
Who authored Function of the Orgasm)
Might have been a lot more fun
If Dr Reich hadn't been hounded out of Europe
By his erstwhile colleagues in the psychiatric profession,
And finally assassinated in a US prison by
What he called the HIGs - Hoodlums In Government.


(We're not talking ancient history here:
This happened in the 1950s!)

Anyhow Reich tried to alert the US Air Force
To the suspicious activity of UFOs - only to be subjected
To intense harassment by the FBI and the MIB
Who, for some reason, wanted to see Reich discredited or dead.
In retrospect, it appears that Reich was perceived
As a threat to the Military-Industrial Complex's covert program
Of "scientific collaboration" with the Zeta Reticulan Greys -
A technically advanced but spiritually retarded race,
Desperately seeking a cure for terminal infertility
Before their species became extinct.


Which brings us to the era of Star Trek, Star Wars,
Close Encounters, ET, X-Files and Virtual Reality.
Also crystal gazing, holistic healing,
Wheeling and dealing gurus,
Group meditations, Earth activations,
Celestine Prophecies and TM levitation,
Swift mutations and transmutation...
Hey, are there any experts left with reputations?
When there are more Channels than TV sets,
You find more confusion than the United Nations.
What you believe is what you get;
Anything goes these days.. who knows?
Anything can happen yet!


"Oh, the Sirians will save us!" some Brethren shout.
"No, only Jesus Christ can!" the Born-Again spout.
Others laugh: "It's the Pleiadian Plan - a total rout!"
"Save our streams before there are no more trout!"
The angelic anglers scream.
So is the New Age just a dream
From which Old Age awakens
With a terrible hangover?

Wait and see, nothing will change -
That's what the so-called Realist thinks.
Life will always be unfair,
You gotta be quick and grab a chair
(Let the rest drop dead, it's their affair!)
Money, not love, makes the world go round -
Excuse me, can I convert my ringgit to pounds? -
Gotta ride that crazy merry-go-round
Till you're six feet underground.
Let me ask you: is there any proof at hand
That God can also be a Man?
You say every woman is the Goddess,
But all I care about is the size of her bodice.
And I wanna know just how many Harmonica Virgins
Blew their minds at Harmonic Convergence!


Don't talk to me about Tectonic Plates,
Electromagnetic Grids, Pole Shifts, Zionist Plots,
Precessioning Equinoxes, Photon Belts, and
Why your paternal grandma was a Celt.
Do you wanna know when I last cried?
It was the day my pet canary died.

Well, well, well, what have we here?
Keep your mind and heart open
And have no fear.
The worst that could happen is...
NOTHING.


What the New Age really means is a Quantum Leap -
From Global Village to Local Galaxy at the sound of a beep.
Better get ready or go back to sleep...
Carry on, Mr Accountant,
Count your sheep.


[Written in June 1996. First posted 2 August 2009]

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why Robber Barons Love Building Dams... (repost)

The accursed Bakun Dam (brainchild of Mahathir and Daim) is doomed to fail.

Imagine we’re gathered in some holy place. An architectural wonder. Like St Paul’s Cathedral in Rome or the St Sophia Mosque in Instanbul. Or perhaps the Gateway of the Sun in Peru or the Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt. And we’re here to knock this whole place down and build a megamall right here because it would make better economic sense.

Let's have Wal-Mart and McDonald's at this popular tourist location.

Imagine the tremendous outcry against such an outrage. We’re talking about demolishing a cultural and spiritual artifact – a monument to a whole religious tradition. We’re talking about trading in our prophets for profits. Absolutely unthinkable, right?

Now: imagine you’re living in a small house you built yourself, beside a clear stream in a beautiful, forested river valley. Your ancestors have lived here for a hundred generations. According to your folklore, the landscape is the living flesh of divine progenitors whose essence condensed to form familiar features - like the mountains, the rivers, the rocks and the trees - and who are integral aspects of a Great Spirit inhabiting all forms, a unity in astonishing diversity. To you, the fact that the land is sacred – endowed with meaning, significance, and intrinsic spiritual value – is so obvious, no one needs to put it into words.

Imagine we’re here to log this magnificent forest, blow up the hills, dig up the rocks, turn a green sanctuary into a giant construction site, seriously pollute the water basin, cause massive erosion in a water catchment area, and dam up one of the few remaining free-flowing rivers in the country. Why? Because economic growth demands greater water consumption - and water supply is a growth industry. And because we have been grossly insensitive in the way we use and manage our water resources.

Sungai Luit by Doreen Ong

A CLASH OF PERSPECTIVES


We are born into cultural perspectives that become imperceptible to us - until we find ourselves outside of them. Like fish that never wonder what water is, we grow up with assumptions about reality we rarely question. For instance, we rarely question the need for governments... or armies... or landlords... or caste systems (whether hereditary or monetary).

When we hear the word “development” we assume we know what it means. We experience the flow of time as linear, just as the world looks flat to a lowlander. When conversing with people from a different cultural and linguistic background, we assume they aren’t as clever as ourselves – because they’re not very fluent in our language.

When urbanites encounter country folk, they unconsciously assume an air of superiority. Surely our sophisticated way of life is far better than theirs! Surely they’re better off becoming more like us (no way they could ever become just like us, of course, since we have too far a headstart on them!)

Civilization creates art, it’s true, but art creates artifice and artificiality. Industrial man sees the wilderness as a vast resource that can be converted into private wealth. Recklessly, ruthlessly, we go about building our national aspirations by tearing down our natural heritage.

Morally, this is no different than a cannibal eyeing an infant as a delicious and convenient source of protein. The wilderness, like a baby, has only beauty and innocence as its defences. When Darwinian notions of “survival of the fittest” form the basis of modern society, the total extermination of entire species becomes justified in terms of Them or Us.

CONVERT OR DESTROY THE SAVAGES!

Unfortunately, some of us don’t truly appreciate anything until it’s gone forever. Hardwoods can be converted into hard cash. Ignorant savages can be converted into consumers, taxpayers, mindless believers, obedient slaves of the System.


Filthy heathens have no souls and feel no pain - unlike us civilized God-fearing folks.


Some of us have tried to warn the others about the folly of such shortsighted behavior – and the dangerous consequences lurking ahead. For the most part we have been ignored.

The Earth fights back by getting feverish. When her flesh is torn apart by man’s rapacious machines, she shudders and quakes and sweats profusely, releasing a deluge of mysterious plagues upon us.


The Earth coughs and we realize we're living on the back of a gigantic whale.

At the fountain of knowledge, we drank too thirstily, only to become drunk with a false sense of power. We thought we could manipulate the masses with fear and greed. But the fear and greed enslaved us instead. Now we find ourselves powerless to alter our destructive course. We’re on the fast track and can’t stop the mindless runaway train of economic growth. Our materialistic definition of growth has limited us to the physical world, and excluded us from the limitless realm of the metaphysical. This growth has now taken on the form of a cancer that is about to kill us all – unless we redirect our attention to growth in mental and spiritual terms.

Cash crops bring fast bucks - and fast bucks is what drives "progress."

For a start, we can apologize for the hideous damage we have inflicted on the wilderness and indigenous ways of life. Then we could focus our efforts on helping the wounds heal. Only in a quest for renewed wholeness can we find our collective way home. And only through the heart can we know the universal love that redeems tragedy and transforms it into a higher truth.

Damnation is the fate of those who would turn the Earth into a living hell where everything is measured in terms of buy and sell. Our salvation can only come from regaining our lost innocence and restoring the beauty of our wildernesses.


We don’t really have a choice: win-win or lose-lose are the only options left.

[
Written in June 2001 in response to the Selangor Dam project; but still topical in view of all the destructive dams currently under construction, or under consideration. First posted 3 November 2009]


Paean to the Pleiades by Enra



Published on 27 Dec 2013

Performamce & Choreography :Saya Watatani , Maki Yokoyama
Director : Nobuyuki Hanabusa
Animator : Seiya Ishii , Nobuyuki Hanabusa
Music : Nobuyuki Hanabusa
http://enra.jp



Published on 13 May 2014

Director: Nobuyuki Hanabusa, Yusaku Mochizuki
Performer: Yusaku Mochizuki
Animator: Minoru Kusakabe, Nobuyuki Hanabusa
Music: Nobuyuki Hanabusa, Yusaku Mochizuki
http://enra.jp

Live at the Oxford Union Debating Society ~ The Man England Used To laugh At



[Brought to my attention by Hock Soh]

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Divide-and-Rule ~ It's All About the $$$ (another timely repost!)



Believe it or not, I sat through the entire 2-hour recording of this forum convened by Hindraf and the KL Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee. It's taken us more than 42 years since 13 May 1969 to arrive at a point where the once-taboo topic of institutionalized racial inequality as embodied in Article 153 of the Malaysian Constitution can be publicly discussed. Most certainly an important step in the right direction!

Public Forum on Institutionalized Racism in Malaysia
by HINDRAF and KL Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee

Forum venue: Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, KL
Date: 17 January 2012 at 7.30 pm.

The speakers were:
1) Mr N. Ganesan - National Advisor to Hindraf

2) Dr Kua Kia Soong - Director of Suaram

3) Assoc. Prof. Dr Azmi Sharom - Law Lecturer and Activist

Chaired by: Dr Lim Teck Ghee - Director, Centre for Policy Initiatives

Malaysia is plagued by a subtle, pervasive and increasingly aggressive form of racism. What started as a defensive affirmative action program has now degeneratied into an aggressive form of institutionalized racism. This is sapping the potential of Malaysian society. The future on this trajectory is disastrous for all Malaysians. It will bring ruin to all of us.

The political, legal and administrative structures of our country - the anchors and sources of this institutionalization need to be fundamentally revamped. For this to happen, the public view of what is truly happening must become sharper. This is not an easy task - given the resources at hand for the beneficiaries of this racist system.

Public opinion must first be aligned with this developing reality, before any change can happen.

This video was presented by the Green Party of Malaysia.

[First posted 22 January 2012]