Thursday, October 8, 2020

Abducted, raped, robbed, tortured & C4ed (reprise)

These are indeed extremely troubled times. I don't recall any other era in Malaysian politics when the situation felt so hopelessly mired in a morass of moral murk - apart from the May 13 period, and just before Mahathir launched his cynical Ops Lalang on 27 October 1987, effectively turning Malaysia into a rogue police state.

More and more I find myself struck dumb, numb and speechless by the sheer audacity of those who cling desperately to power. The vicious cruelty and sheer wickedness that have insidiously crept into the national psyche and taken possession of our collective soul, holding ransom our public conscience, our sense of decency and justice.

The horror stories wafting like the stench of putrefaction from our refugee camps.

Human beings routinely and arbitrarily forced to endure hellish conditions - even painful and meaningless death - when their only crime is to be driven by economic necessity to find employment as domestic help in a foreign country seemingly inhabited by wannabe tinpot despots.

There is no way we can escape the conclusion: a land where even a market vendor displays such ruthless tyranny and inexcusable cruelty must have had a long history of raksasa rule. What are raksasa? Wikipedia defines raksasa as "supernatural humanoids who tend toward evil. Powerful warriors, they resort to the use of magic and illusion when unsuccessful with conventional weapons."

Magic and illusion, otherwise known as voodoo and media spin.

I'm at a complete loss for words, seeing what has become of our once promising nation, and utterly appalled by the fact that - going by the percentage of pro-BN comments left on blogs and news portals - some 50% of the population remain blind to the evil nature of the power structure they prop up with their ethnocentric ego insecurities. Below are some snippets gathered from news portals and forwarded emails that amply demonstrate that "peace and stability" are unsustainable and illusory in the absence of justice and freedom...

Posted on ArtisProActiv, 28 Oct 2009:

Unbelievable! All within a week...

Unbelievable #1 - Tian Chua sentenced to jail because judge was convinced cop who admitted punching Tian Chua told the truth about his biting.

Unbelievable #2 - Lingam case dropped because no evidence of judicial interference notwithstanding the Royal Commission findings.

Unbelievable #3 - Anwar Ibrahim's case against Tun Dr Mahathir thrown out because filing was not in Bahasa.

Unbelievable #4 - Gobind Singh Deo's challenge against suspension denied because court has no jurisdiction although the opposite was said in the Perak fiasco.

Unbelievable #5 - Local pathologists completely overlooked body injuries that point to homicide as revealed by Thai forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand.

Unbelievable #6 - At Najib's instigation Ong Tee Keat and failed porn star Chua Soi Lek shake hands suddenly after months of bitter fighting.

Unbelievable #7 - Loss of over RM 1.4 billion in Rawang-Ipoh double-tracking project.

Unbelievable #8 - Mara paid RM84,640 for two units of Acer notebooks plus millions for other overpriced computer equipment.

Unbelievable #9 - Government guarantees failed Prasarana bonds of over RM 7 billion.

Friday, 30 October 2009 11:44

BN must make up its mind once and for all. Does it still want to put up the pretence that Malaysia is a democracy? If it does, should it continue to bombard our senses with such disgusting scenes and bare to the world the ugly truth of what Malaysia truly is?

By Kim Quek

After the nonsensical assembly sitting in Perak on Oct 28, Barisan Nasional should deeply reflect whether it is worthwhile to prolong its farcical rule in the Silver State.

To say the least, the session was a complete wash out.

First, police control and intervention inside and outside the assembly was so heavy and so overpowering that it has completely destroyed the image of our legislature as an independent and the highest institution in our system of government.

Second, the slipshod manner with which BN’s budget motion was rushed through makes us wonder whether the budget was legally approved.

Let us start with the budget approval.

BN’s Mentri Besar Zambry Kadir started his budget speech at 1120 hrs, and thirty minutes later, he had not only completed his speech, but had moved his budget motion through three readings, each time approved by the BN assemblymen present, under vocal protests from Pakatan assemblymen. There was no debate and no one seemed to have heard any detailed figures – if figures were read out then, these were not carried in many newspapers the next day anyway. Pakatan assemblymen walked off the assembly immediately after the approval of the third reading.

A budget proposal is a statement of revenues and expenditures as well as major policies that encompass the entire government which is made up of many departments. So, it is normally a lengthy speech, followed by debates that take place during each of the first, second and third readings. It is hence a real marvel how the assembly could have compressed such elaborate process of proposal, deliberation and decision in all the three stages in the short interval of half an hour.

Through such shotgun approval, the voices of the people who speak through their representatives are muted. Isn’t this a mockery of our democratic process and betrayal of the trust of the people?

Was the budget legally approved?

On top of that is the questionable legality of Ganesan’s position as speaker. His election as speaker on May 7 was deemed a fake, as the assembly session on that day was so chaotic and violent that it was not possible to conduct any business except the delivery of the opening speech by the Regent. Compounding this now is Ganesan’s breach of the Perak Constitution Article 36 A (5) which stipulates that a speaker must relinquish his private practice immediately or in any case not later than three months after his appointment, failing which he shall be disqualified. So, even if Ganesan’s appointment on May 7 was legal (which is not at all the case), he was already disqualified on Aug 7.

With an illegal speaker presiding in the assembly, can any business be conducted legally, least of all the all important agenda of the state budget approval?

No doubt, BN may be least worried about matters of illegality, confident of its iron-grip on the entire government machinery to serve its parochial interests. After all, isn’t BN Mentri Besar Zambry, who was appointed while incumbent Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin was still serving, also illegal if the courts have been upholding the constitution? Isn’t the entire state cabinet, which was selected by Zambry, also illegal?

But can BN afford the massive loss of popular support every time the police manhandle and bully elected representatives from the opposing camp or judges dishing out blatantly unconstitutional rulings?

Barbaric police intervention

According to PR assemblymen, the scuffle was violent and turned into a fist fight as some in the group of 28 attempted to protect Sivakumar from being harassed. Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai was dragged on the floor when two policemen grabbed on to both of his hands and tried to pull him away. (The Malaysian Insider, 29 Oct 2009; image from

Take the ridiculous scenario of the Perak assembly of Oct 28. The entire assembly compound was turned into a virtual war zone, with the entrance being protected by the kind of barbed wire seen only in war time. Hundreds of policemen and riot squad who had been milling inside and outside the building manned the five checkpoints stretching from the gate to the door of the assembly hall. Pakatan assemblymen complained of harassment every inch of their way to the last check point where they were subjected to the humiliation of a body search and metal scan and their personal effects of hand phones, laptops, cameras. etc., being forcibly removed before they entered the hall.

On his way to the assembly hall, Speaker Sivakumar was lured to an area not visible to reporters and the public where he was pounced upon by scores of police personnel who forcibly disrobed him. In the melee, he was punched and strangulated with an arm lock, and his colleagues roughed up for trying to protect him.

Image from

Pray, where in the world can you see such barbaric acts? Not even in the pariah state of Zimbabwe!

The picture inside the assembly hall is not any prettier. Scores of police personnel were there to man the entire assembly, with twenty of them forming a protective wall in front of the BN speaker Ganesan. And video cameras were transmitting live the activities of Pakatan assemblymen to the state police headquarters and the national headquarters at Bukit Aman, according to a Malaysiakini report.

Now, isn’t this the ultimate humiliation and insult to the highest and the most sanctimonious institution of a democracy, with the police contemptuously treating our Pakatan law makers as a bunch of criminals?

BN must make up its mind once and for all. Does it still want to put up the pretence that Malaysia is a democracy? If it does, should it continue to bombard our senses with such disgusting scenes and bare to the world the ugly truth of what Malaysia truly is?

[First posted 30 October 2009]

Monday, October 5, 2020

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


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.


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, reposted 30 June 2014 & 30 May 2019]