Friday, April 30, 2010

Anwar Ibrahim's Stench Warfare Backfired

Hantu Laut

'Sapandai-pandi tupai melumpat akhirnya jatuh ka tanah jua' the Malay would say if you are too smart for you own good.

At last the Western world waking up to Anwar Ibrahim's hypocrisy and political doublespeak.

Read the article below.

The Reversal of Anwar Ibrahim

by Rachel Motte

This week, Barack Obama reached out once more to the Muslim world. Following his promise last June in Cairo, President Obama hosted a Summit on Entrepreneurship, “to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.” Bringing together 250 participants from 60 countries, the Administration once again tried to build bridges between East and West, and even brought Secretary of State Hillary Clinton along to close the summit on Tuesday evening.

Yet it remains as hard as ever to figure out who are America’s real friends and allies in the Muslim world, aside from the good King and Queen of Jordan, a handful of emirates, and the Saudi royals. Take the strange case of Malaysia, for example. The Malaysian state and its ruling party are broadly constructive and cooperative with the United States — but its political opposition is another story. And that’s the reverse of what often gets portrayed in Western media.

The present Malaysian leadership is pro-business, pro-American and prepared to stand up and be counted in the Muslim world as a strategic U.S. ally. During the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged to assist Washington on numerous fronts, and even shut off petroleum supplies to Iran within hours of returning home to Kuala Lumpur.

Though Malaysia isn’t quite as far along as Muslim nations such as Jordan or Egypt with respect to Israel — it refuses to recognize the Jewish state or its passports — its official anti-Israel position does not come from a societal wellspring of anti-Semitism. Though Malaysia used to have a small Jewish community of its own, it dwindled as a consequence of the Second World War rather than, as in most of the Muslim world, as vengeance for Israel’s founding.

Malaysia’s reputation as a majority-Muslim nation known for moderation and stability is hard won in this decade, and a result of the leadership of the present Prime Minister and his immediate predecessor.

Prior to October 2003, Malaysia’s position as a responsible member of the community of nations was less certain. This was thanks to the country’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed. Even in power, Mahathir was a well-known anti-Semite and anti-American.

This past January, Mahathir declared that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States were “staged as an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world.” He didn’t stop there. Speaking at that same month’s General Conference for the Support of Al-Quds (that is, the Arabic name for Jerusalem), he declared that Israel was created to solve “the Jewish problem” in Europe after Hitler failed to complete the Final Solution. “Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany,” said Mahathir, the Jews “survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”

The case of Mahathir isn’t merely one of a has-been politician with a penchant for vile Jew-baiting. He still retains influence with hardliners. And the man whom he mentored, and then repudiated, is now leader of Malaysia’s political opposition — and he’s showing the world how well he learned under Mahathir’s tutelage.

Anti-Semitism is now resurgent in Malaysia thanks to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a charismatic firebrand of a politician who collaborated with Mahathir — as a deputy prime minister and top aide— for nearly a decade in a relationship that Ibrahim described as being one of “father and son.” In 1998 Ibrahim got impatient about taking over from Mahathir, embarked upon a power struggle, and lost. For his troubles, Mahathir put him on trial for corruption and sodomy: and Anwar Ibrahim ended up in jail at the hand of his mentor.

Anwar  Ibrahim

Upon his release, Anwar Ibrahim came to Washington, D.C., and has spent the past decade cultivating a genteel, enlightened image in the West. Otherwise informed American observers of foreign affairs have adopted him as an exemplar of liberal Southeast Asian and/or Muslim democratic governance. Just a few years ago, he was invited to teach for a year at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, from which he cultivated the acquaintances of eminent Jewish Americans like Paul Wolfowitz — as a means of showing just how far behind him was his own militant Islamist past.

Indeed, as recently as 2008, Al Gore — usually a savvy and perceptive man — could be found posting on his blog in defense of Ibrahim’s dignity in the face of criticism. That’s big-name Western approval one can’t buy — but one can work hard for it with the right enemies and media outreach inside the Beltway.

It also helps if one knows what to tell Western audiences who tune in to Western media outlets. This past March, in an interview with CNN World, Ibrahim told Wajahat Ali, “Stoking the flames of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism is a good distraction from the stench in [Muslim societies’] own backyard, namely rampant corruption, denial of basic human rights, abuse of power and the suppression of civil society.”

The reality is that if you’d asked a well-informed American who the liberal democrat was in Malaysia between 1999 and 2009, he or she might well have said, “Anwar Ibrahim.”

But does Anwar Ibrahim’s portrayal of himself outside Malaysia match Anwar Ibrahim’s actions within his own country? Unfortunately, Ibrahim has decided to make his mark in domestic Malaysian politics — away from CNN, Al Gore, and Johns Hopkins — as an anti-American, anti-Semitic demagogue.

The proximate cause of Ibrahim’s descent into the foul rhetoric of anti-Semitism was his decision to exploit the government’s hiring of a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, APCO, to do minor communications work within Malaysia. Like many international firms, this one has done business within Israel, and even counts among its senior personnel persons of the Jewish faith.

Ibrahim has now effectively trashed his old friends in Washington and has used this PR contract as an excuse to spin a dark conspiracy theory of Jewish control, Zionist plots, and subversion.

Ibrahim’s lieutenants have charged, among other things, that the Malaysian government has “engag[ed] a company that has a close tie with the Zionist regime in Israel. Its advisory panels consist of former security chief of the Israeli government, and many of their staff are formerly from the Israel Security Agency,” and that “its operators in Tel Aviv have close links to the Zionist regime.”

Ibrahim himself has delved headlong into anti-Semitic theorizing, publicly alleging that there are “Israeli intelligence personnel in the Police IT unit.” Worse, he connected his anti-Semitism to his anti-Americanism, when he angrily denounced the Malaysian Prime Minister’s politically courageous decision to stand with President Obama and cut off oil supplies to an Iran seeking nuclear weapons. Ibrahim stood in the legislature to charge that the supposedly “Jewish-controlled” PR firm hired by the Prime Minister was, in fact, working to manipulate Malaysian policy on America’s behalf.

Ibrahim angrily demanded: “How can our foreign policy have changed dramatically,” unless Jews were controlling Malaysian affairs for America’s benefit? “Our policy on Iran shows how weak we are. Unprecedented in the history of our country, even Mahathir Mohamad himself never shifted in Afghanistan and the Palestinian question.”

Remarkably, Ibrahim closed his statement with oblique praise for Mahathir — the man who shaped Ibrahim’s core thinking on things Jewish and American. Read more..

Disgraceful !

Hantu Laut

Not everyone in the police force are bad.I am sure there are many good cops.The shooting incident that killed a young boy was accidental but reading this I am not sure whether the IGP was misquoted, if he wasn't than I am utterly shocked with his statement.

Public outcry is normal with such tragedy where a healthy young boy life was snuffed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.The IGP must not forget that some young people are very frightened of the police and easily panicked.

What do I think of the IGP statement? Well, I think he needs some serious lesson in public relations.

Let's wait and see whether the police 'Internal Affairs' is as good as Hollywood's.

Twice a week, Friday and Monday, I will post my favourite music video to wild away the weekend and drive away the Monday morning blues. Here, is the first one, which I think is brilliantly made.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trigger Happy Cop,Uncouth And Uncultivated Politicians

Hantu Laut

We should never laugh at other people's misfortune and it is morally wrong to politicise other people's grief.

The accidental shooting of 15 year old Aminrulrashid by a trigger-happy cop is regrettable and a full-scale commission of enquiry should be held to satisfy the family of the deceased.

The police is a branch of government.The government should take full responsibility for the unfortunate incident.

The cop who shot the young boy could have taken other evasive action if he had been properly trained to handle such situation.Most law enforcement personnel are trained to use firearm only if confronted with a do or die situation which means the other party is also armed with a deadly weapon.Under no other circumstances firearm should be discharged at unarmed civilian, criminal or otherwise.

I strongly believe our police force needs a general overhaul. The deteriorating code of conduct, incompetence and lack of discipline among some personnel in the force is endangering members of the public.

conversation: 'there's been a police shooting, woman and baby  reply let me guess, they found a machete in the car afterwards?
From the Nutgraph.

Although, the cop might have felt a clear and present danger and reacted in such a manner, it should not absolve the police force of its responsibility.

Lastly, if there were worst politicians in this country I would give the medal of honour to Pakatan leaders for their lack of social etiquette, unashamedly politicising the incident to their own advantage without giving due consideration to the feelings of the family members of the deceased.It's about time these uncouth and uncultivated politicians learn to differentiate what politics and what are acceptable social behaviour. How we should react in time of grief and bereavement, particularly other people's grief.

Those who visit the family or attend the funeral should keep their conversation as brief as possible, the least said the better it is.There is no need to go into details or incite the bereaved family to make unnecessary statement.

All this can be done in good time after the period of bereavement.

MAS, Why Are You Afraid Of Competition?

Hantu Laut

Competition pushes you to become better.It pushes others to become better.The world has become a better place because of competition.

Competition is good for everyone.It improves quality of products and services.It brings down costs. It gives cheaper alternatives. It increases volume of business. It spares those who are competitive and kill those who are not.Most of all it benefits consumers, people like you and me.

Without competition the world's economy would have stagnated.There wouldn't be any kind of sports, no new inventions, no new technology and absolutely no advancement of the human race.

The breakup of the Soviet Union is proof that communism and monopolistic policy can't survive the competitive world.China, opened its doors to capitalism and the free market economy because they knew without competitiveness they wouldn't survive the world's competitive markets.Anti-trust law introduced in the US and some Western countries was to ensure that competition stays for the benefit of consumers.

Why is it that when the rest of the economically vibrant world are in competitive mode Malaysia regress to outmoded economic practices? Isn't it against the very spirit of NEM (New Economic Model) purveyed by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to make this nation competitive.

Why must MAS be shielded from competition that is in collision course with Najib's new economic policy.Isn't the PM involved in the construction and decision making of the economic policy or was it left to the civil servants and political leaders who put a blind eye to fair trade practices simply to protect themselves.

At whose feet the ball stops? The PM,the Cabinet or some nitwitted minister?

Let me tell you why I agree with Air Asia here.

Before the advent of Air Asia we have no choice but to travel all domestic routes with MAS.The airline has the monopoly and screwed its costumers with high fares and bad ground services.Delays were commonplace those days and there was nothing one can do as there were no other choice.In spite of being given monopoly MAS kept saying they were losing money as they have to subsidise the fare.That is now proven untrue.How come, now in stiff competition with Air Asia they are making money on this sector?

Air Asia came on the scene with its no frills and cheap air fare that gave air travel a new meaning....affordable fare for the common people and hence its slogan 'Now Everyone Can Fly'.
The airline was transformed from a one plane airline to become the most successful rag to riches story and a household name in Asia, true to it name.The rest is history.

On the other hand, MAS, the spoon fed sick baby, in spite government protection, was sliding down the hill gathering mosses and losses that needed government bailout with massive injection of fresh capital and the appointment of an oil man to lead the company.

The first thing the new management did was to go on asset stripping exercise, selling its building and all aircraft to a new GLC company with a lease back agreement. The exercise cleaned up the balance sheet giving the impression that MAS has become a profitable concern in its first year under the new management.A closer look at the balance sheet in the first year revealed that the profits were not from its operations but extraordinary profits from sales of assets.

I started using Air Asia about 5 years ago but since MAS introduced its cheap fare I have switched back to MAS and have been using it for the past one year.

Kota Kinabalu(BKI) to Kuala Lumpur LCCT(KUL)
Wed 12 May 2010
0725 0955

193.00 MYR1 Guest @ 193.00
6.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees
Kuala Lumpur LCCT(KUL) to Kota Kinabalu(BKI)
Sun 16 May 2010
0650 0920

193.00 MYR1 Guest @ 193.00
6.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees

398.00 MYRTotal


  • Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu ECONOMY
  • From MYR399ReturnBook now
Book: 11 Feb 10 - 30 Jun 10 Depart: 18 Feb 10 - 31 Dec

Both airlines offered very competitive fares as shown above but MAS has the added attraction of full frills services.

What Azran Osman said about MAS being profitable in the domestic and Asean sector is true.MAS, introduced the low fare to hit Air Asia below the belt.I am sure there are many like me who switched back to MAS, paying low fare and found the benefits of full frills.... free baggage allowance and free meal.It was competition that gave MAS that increased volume of business and profitability, not the monopoly that it is used to in the past.

MAS like most other GLCs such as TMNet, Proton, Tenaga and so forth are spoiled by government protection and monopoly.It kills enthusiasm, loses the competitive edge and makes those managing the company lazy.

TMNet, the sole fixed line Internet provider has not improved its services much since the Internet first introduced to this country, selling broadband that ain't broadband, fleecing costumers and not giving what they paid for.Its broadband speed and coverage is a shame.

Countries like South Korea which used to be behind us in the seventies now has the highest broadband coverage per capita and the fastest connection, at an astounding 14.6 megabits per second, better than many areas in the US.

Compare to Malaysia which has a bigger land mass, tiny Singapore has four Internet Service Providers namely Starhub, Singnet,M1 and Pacnet and some can deliver up to 100 Mbit/s.

I need not go into more details the misfortunes of Malaysians because of our government fear of they say if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.Government has no business to be in business if they can't run it properly and without protection.

Many of us are victims of false promises and misrepresentation. TmNet Streamyx fastest package is the Streamyx Corporate ADSL promising 2 Mb/sec.You have to pay a whopping RM1188 per month.Can it deliver the speed?

I have Streamyx Basic at 1 Mb/sec and it can hardly deliver half the speed.If any of you have bought so-called Celcom 3G wireless broadband you might consider throwing it in the rubbish bin.I have done exactly that and will be informing Celcom to cancel the service.It's a pain in the ass and money for nothing.

Why are the government giving protection to all these companies run by incompetent and non-competitive minded people who can't spell the word competition let alone pronounce it.

So, who flies to Pyongyang, Peshawar in Pakistan, Dili in East Timor, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Mahe in the Seychelles and Darwin, Australia?

Here, is a typical run of the mill crappy response from a politician.

I think it's about time Najib tells his boys what he promised the people.

As Mahathir says he doesn't need protection from the government on the controversial book written about him.

MAS, should select the men between the boys, tell the government it doesn't need protection.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who Will Take Sibu?

Hantu Laut

This is Foochows' country.

This town was founded in 1900 by a Foochow from China, a Mr Wong Nai Siong who was given the right by the White Rajah to set up settlement for his clan.It has the highest concentration of Foochows in Malaysia and predominate the population in Sibu.

The parliamentry seat is presently under BN.The late Robert Lau has held the MP seat since 1990 defeating DAP's candidate at every elections since then.The chart below shows the results of past elections.

Parliament of Malaysia: Sibu, Sarawak[5]
Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
Opposition Votes Pct
Robert Lau (SUPP) 11,914 54%
Ling Sie Ming (DAP) 9,906 45%
Robert Lau (SUPP) 15,317 56%
Wong Ho Leng (DAP) 10,472 38%
Robert Lau (SUPP) 23,227 60%
Wong Sing Nang (DAP) 14,085 37%
Robert Lau (SUPP) 20,501 54%
Wong Ho Leng (DAP) 17,161 45%
Robert Lau (SUPP) 19,138 53%
Wong Ho Leng (DAP) 15,903 44%

DAP many attempts to wrestle the seat from BN failed.In March 2008, while the wind of change blew profusely in Peninsula Malaysia, the political storm did not reach Sarawak.

BN's Robert Lau polled 19,138 votes giving him a majority of 3,235 votes against DAP's Wong Ho Leng. Both DAP and PKR from Pakatan Rakyat fielded candidates and lost.DAP last won the seat in 1982.

DAP will be announcing the name of its candidate today.The BN has settled on Robert Lau Hui Yew, a cousin of the late Robert Lau and son of the wealthy and influential Lau Swee Nguong, Chairman of KTS group, a conglomerates headquartered in Sibu.

With backing of the KTS group, its influence and business tentacles, DAP would have to put up a good fight to capture the seat once again.

BN has the edge.

Also read:
By-election Defeat for Malaysia’s Opposition

The Truth Is Out Why PKR Failed Hulu Selangor

Hantu Laut

I am not against change if there are better alternatives to chose from.I cannot foresee Pakatan Rakyat as the alternative to a better government.

I have never wavered in my stand when it comes to the strange alliance of PKR, DAP and PAS.They have so far managed to hide their incompatibility. How long more can they go hiding behind this wall of self-deception.It is only a matter of time before the fireworks implode sky high.

When things go wrong blame it on others. Intimidation,character assassination,Election Commission stooge of ruling party and so forth.Typical of Anwar's excuses when he fails.

His letter to supporters here.

The truth is out, why PKR lost the Hulu Selangor by-election.

So why did PKR lose in Hulu Selangor? — Syed Jaymal Zahiid

APRIL 26 — It was rather anticipated that Barisan Nasional would snatch the Hulu Selangor seat yesterday from right under Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) nose and without giving too much credit to the former, two factors contributed to this somewhat predestined outcome.

First, the notoriously poor and inefficient machinery. The second is the candidate factor itself.

PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim lost to MIC information chief P. Kamalananthan by a 1,725-vote majority. The former law minister garnered 23,272 votes while his opponent, a public relations practitioner whose qualifications were subject to tactical scrutiny by Zaid and Co, bagged 24,997 votes.

Yes, there were strong intrinsic statistical factors that led to Zaid’s loss as reflected by past voting patterns. After all, the sizeable constituency of 64,500 eligible voters has been opposition-proof up until the unpopular Datuk G. Palanivel, a four-term incumbent, was dethroned in Election 2008.

But let us not allow this factor give PKR the convenience of an excuse.

In politics, no fight is impossible to win. Did the opposition not prove this axiom right when boasting of its unprecedented success in Election 2008?

In his short and simple tweet, Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago noted that Pakatan (what he intended to say is PKR, I presume) had lost out to its rivals in the machinery battle. Now exclude the “money” and the “intimidation” part, without devaluing its merits, the veracity of the Santiago’s concise assessment on Pakatan’s defeat hit the bull’s eye.

Anyone on the ground throughout PR’s eight-day campaigning trail would, without a doubt, concur.

PKR’s Hulu Selangor election machinery was phenomenally hopeless. It was frayed, uninspiring, shoddy. Too many “egos” were involved. To be straightforward without revealing too much, there were “three” egos involved.

Ground reports and observation showed PKR’s machinery was slow to move. Complaints were ever loud of how campaign materials arrived only after the third day of campaigning.

They lacked co-ordination. The string-pullers on the ground were too busy busting and nurturing their local image as low-level leaders and instead of co-operating, they engaged in a popularity contest among themselves. The PKR machinery was divided into many camps. This paralysed them.

And it is no exaggeration to say that PKR campaigners were arrogant. They refused to work hand in hand with their PAS and DAP counterparts. If there was any collaboration at all, it was half-baked. Read more..

Monday, April 26, 2010

Money Speaks Louder Than Words?

Hantu Laut

Is it glorious victory for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak? Has his perseverance paid off? A win is a win, but UMNO must take stock of the slim majority.

Pakatan is not yet a pushover. For UMNO, it would still be a long bumpy ride on the road to recovery.Depending how they conduct themselves from now on, recovery can be like the receding horizon, they'll never get there.

The result of the Hulu Selangor by-election shows that PR is still a force to be reckoned with and still have its tenacious claw on the people. The BN bigger war chest smoothed the rough edges.Pork-barrel politics with poor pay back.With so much goodies offered the return was minimal.

The Chinese voters are still solidly anchored to DAP giving Pakatan the bulk of the vote pool.MCA and Gerakan looked like sick dogs, unable to revive the Chinese support.Samy and other MIC leaders should eat the humble-pie.With hindsight, the result would have been different if Najib had caved in to Samy's demand. The return of the Indians has nothing to do with Samy or MIC.Credit should be given to Najib's direct foray into the Indian community and his insistence of a new face as the candidate.

He may have to do the same with the Chinese community rather than flogging the dead horses in his stable.

He may have to woo the various Chinese clan associations to get his message across to the Chinese community.The massive dose of anti BN venom injected by DAP into the community need a special antidote to cure.MCA and Gerakan have absolute zero credibility making them paraplegics.

There have been cases where MCA campaigners were told not to come to certain Chinese areas and were told to screw themselves if they dare come.

Loss of the seat to BN would further erode the confidence of members of PKR.More exodus of its member should be expected including elected representatives who are not happy with the treatment they get from the top leadership.PKR, is the weakest link in the coalition and the most likely to implode. UMNO, should up the ante toward the disintegration of PKR.

Prime Minister Najib said there was no vote-buying but pork-barrel politics obviously had pulled the fence sitters and alms seekers to sway to the carrot on a stick.Najib needs to find
a better formula to bring the people back to the fold.Pork-barreling is not the right tool.

UMNO leaders should not rejoice from this victory.It's too close for comfort.It is more a reprieve rather than a win based on shifting of supports.

The BN is not out of the woods yet, but it's a start.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hulu Selangor:Is Providence Always On The Side Of Big Battalions?

Hantu Laut

It is typical of many constituencies in Malaysia, representative of the racial composition of the population of the nation.The winner of this hotly contested, do or die by-election, would very likely be the winner of the next general elections.

Hulu Selangor is the final test ground that decides the political future of Barisan Nasional (BN) as well as Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

If majority of Malay votes swung to PR, the BN is doomed.No amount of pork-barreling can save the party from now on.The same goes with PR, particularly PKR, it would be the beginning of its slow and painful demise.

In politics, anything can happen, a major last minute change of heart can put all political punditry in the waste paper basket.A straw poll is not conclusive of the final result.Malaysian Insider did one here, not as honest-to-goodness poll but more an attempt to turn the tide in favour of PR.

Below is an opinion of a regular commentator to this blog.How accurate is his prediction of the outcome, one may ask is 'Providence always on the side of the big battalions'?

Man plans,God decides.

Blogger eddy said..

Pity the Chinese votes are not going to the BN, my take is at best it would only be 30% in this by-election. The MCA and Gerakan are not very enthusiastic partners in the BN coalition any best their performance lacks luster no ooommpphhh no spirit. Dr Chua looks dispirited in most photos taken of him in Hulu Selangor, the new MCA President should project confidence working with their other BN partners.

Whatever happens after the HS by-election it looks like if Dr Chua and Dr Koh do not get their respective parties up to speed in respect to Chinese support of the BN, PM Najib will have to do what he has done to the MIC and actually reaching out to the Chinese directly via the NGOs and Clan Federation etc. MCA and Gerakan just have to stop trying to pin blame on UMNO for their electoral misfortune or would find themselves having to fight head on with the DAP in mixed electoral constituency only, in the next GE. In the last general election, the MCA and Gerakan and MIC were saved from annihilation because many who actually won, won in Malay majority areas courtesy of UMNO/BN spirit of cooperation and give and take.

Ultimately we must acknowledge that BN is not without its flaws but if we take out the cases of abuse,corruption,wastage etc...a BN Government actually stands for an inclusive Government participated by all races and ethnic background very necessary in a Multiracial Malaysia and a track record of successful solid short term and long term Development for all Malaysian.

Compare to Pakatan which pounds their chest about being multiracial but when push comes to shove puts a Malay candidate in a Malay majority(Hulu selangor) constituency, typical chakap tak serupa bikin of their leader, Anwar bin Ibrahim. Besides Anwar and Kit Siang's rhetoric, Pakatan is but a coconut shell seemingly hard to crack but all soft and watery in the inside..a lot of internal conflicts brought about by the different party agendas and most of all Anwar's maddening obsession to become the PM of Malaysia.

Having said that I think the HS parliamentary by-election has been a good campaign for BN overall. It was planned and it was quite well coordinated, I still predict a majority win by BN of about 3000 could be more if the Chinese support shift to 50%.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who Will Win Hulu Selangor?

Hantu Laut

Majority Malays and some Indians on one side - possibly BN.

Majority Chinese and some Indians on the other side - possibly PR.

They say 'a miss is as good as a mile' and 'a win is a win'.Either way, it doesn't matter what's the margin of defeat or victory, most important is to win.

Ask former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad who won by the skin of his teeth against Razaleigh for the UMNO presidency and to everyone's surprise became the longest serving prime minister of this nation.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American philosopher and poet said “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses” It is only learning what our weaknesses are than we can find the right solution to overcome them.Najib, has probably found the solution.

BN should have the edge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Are You Man Of Democracy?

Hantu Laut

With his close friends and party members leaving in droves can Anwar claimed he is a man of democracy?

Were there truly widespread persecution and oppression in Malaysia or was it one man suffering from persecution complex?

The answer lies below whether Anwar and his US type democracy can survive in Asia.

A nation that professed and preached democracy, liberty, human rights and world peace but waged wars against defenceless nations and killed hundreds of thousand of innocent civilians in the name of democracy and world peace.

A nation that truly believe in the history of the Bible.....the United States of America.

Can You Teach Democracy?

Ben Bland

Ben Bland reports that at last week’s assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, in Jakarta, it depends on who you ask.

Photo Credit: Flickr/LukeLuke

Joseph Yu-shek Cheng approached me in the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, proffered his business card and thrust a leaflet into my hands.

‘People think everything is good in Hong Kong but we have to fight for our democracy,’ he said.

The bespectacled professor of political science, a member of the executive committee of Hong Kong’s Civic Party, was among more than 600 delegates from 110 countries who were in town last week to attend one of the world’s largest gatherings of democracy activists.

Like many of the attendees at the sixth bi-annual assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, a non-partisan initiative funded by the US Congress, Cheng was keen to draw attention to his particular cause: the lack of genuine democracy in Hong Kong since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

But, with many delegates from countries in much more dire straits than Hong Kong (Burma, Haiti, Iran and Zimbabwe, to name a few), Cheng accepted that he might struggle to be heard above the democratic din.

At a time when democracy, particularly of the variety promoted by the Unites States, has increasingly been called into question, the four-day conference, entitled ‘Solidarity across cultures: working together for democracy,’ sought to renew a sense of hope among those engaged in the often lonely struggle against human rights abuses and dictatorial rule.

Yet beyond the closeted world of Washington’s drawing room democrats, does such solidarity exist? What can a Hong Kong professor learn from a Congolese human rights campaigner or a Burmese journalist from a Zimbabwean student leader? And if, as the protracted Iraq and Afghanistan expeditions seem to suggest, democracy is best grown from within rather than imposed from outside, what can such cross-border gatherings hope to achieve?

In the keynote address, Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, made an impassioned defence of democracy in a region where it’s the exception rather than the rule.

Sceptics had argued that Indonesia would break up after the fall of Suharto, buffeted by a ravaging recession and torn apart by social, racial and religious tensions. But, Yudhoyono said, the advent of democratic rule had helped Indonesia to weather the storm, with the separatist conflict in Aceh resolved and the old question of a choice between democracy and economic growth proven to be a false dichotomy.

‘We have shown that Islam, democracy and modernity can grow together,’ said the president of the world’s largest Muslim nation, which is also the world’s third-largest democracy and the third-fastest growing economy in the G20 (after China and India).

However, he also warned over the limits of democratization, echoing the standard line adopted by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) about non-interference in other countries’ affairs: ‘democracy cannot be imposed from the outside. Ours is democracy from within.’

Anwar Ibrahim, the charismatic Malaysian opposition leader, was more optimistic about the potential for cross-border democratization.

He attacked the promoters of ‘Asian values’ who say ‘democracy is not meant for all or that it’s not the best system because it’s a Western invention’ and called on ASEAN member states to do more to support democracy, for example by sending observers to Burma to monitor the upcoming election.

‘The shared history of oppression is an imperative for solidarity. We must remain resolute in our commitment to fight for democracy,’ said Anwar, who is currently on trial for the second time over sodomy charges that he insists are politically motivated.

Alongside the rhetoric of the main speakers, the organizers, the National Endowment for Democracy, had put on a series of practical workshops focused on regional issues or technical skills such as online advocacy.

Some found them more helpful than others.

‘These events are of little use in terms of knowledge but are good for promoting your cause and making contacts,’ Cheng said.

Seelan Palay, a young political activist from Singapore, was more upbeat. ‘I’ve been to many similar conferences before and have learned at least one thing each time, whether it’s a new skill base or approach,’ he said. ‘Things like how to bend the rules or go around them and using video and the internet to further your cause.’

In a city-state such as Singapore, where the ruling party dominates politics and the media and an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship pervades, democratic and social activism can be a lonely pursuit.

Palay said he took strength from meeting others engaged in the same battle. ‘It’s good to know other people are going through similar struggles elsewhere,’ he said.

It was certainly rousing listening to people like Tapera Kapuya, a former Zimbabwean student leader who ‘was abducted in the middle of the night from my student hostel, electrocuted, made to stand in a bucket of acidic water, beaten and dumped on the outskirts of Harare’ before being exiled from university at the age of 21 and continuing his fight in South Africa and Australia.

‘My story is the same for many young people struggling for democracy across the world,’ he said. ‘But young activists are finding creative ways to organize themselves without violence.’

For delegates such as Abdi Suryaningati, a board member of Indonesia’s Civil Society Alliance For Democracy, the benefits of these sorts of gatherings are less spiritual than technical. She said that her organization, which promotes political education and empowerment, had learned from Brazilian NGOs about the practice of ‘participatory budgeting,’ where activists help citizens to hold local governments to account over their budgets. Now her organization assists other NGOs from around Asia.

Elsewhere, the attempts to foster cross-border links sometimes seemed like a dialogue of the deaf. During a session on the wider lessons that could be learnt from Indonesia’s transition from military dictatorship to democracy, Khin Maung Win, deputy director of the Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based broadcaster, rose to quiz the panel of eminent Indonesians.

Many of Burma’s neighbours, he said, accept at face value the junta’s argument that a strong military is vital to keep the country together given the profusion of separatist conflicts. But didn’t Indonesia’s experience show that a democratic government was actually better placed to resolve such issues?

One of the panellists was Agus Widjojo, a former general who was at the forefront of Indonesia’s drive to take the military out of politics. Having been sent by Yudhoyono to Burma to speak to the generals after they crushed the anti-government protests in 2007, he seemed the ideal person to answer this question. But he responded obliquely.

‘We can’t export democracy, it has to have self-ownership,’ he said. ‘Although we’d like to see democracy flourish, we understand this limit.’

Source:The Diplomat

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rebel Without A Cause

Hantu Laut

Lim Kit Siang said "Let us have higher standards in politics and elections, as it is the avenue to serve to people and nation and not to indulge in personal attacks and character-assassinations."

He further reiterated "We can do the same but we refuse to do so. Zaid has regretted his drinks in his youth. But he has gone one step further to declare that he will not follow the gutter politics of the Umno leaders."

I am pretty sure there are some Muslims in UMNO who are boozers,if not publicly, at least discreetly, in the closet.However, they are not the one standing for election, therefore,for now, they are out of the limelight.

The rabble-rouser Lim Kit Siang asking those in UMNO to stand up to identify themselves as drunkards is nothing but a cheap shot and sign of desperation.

Zaid Ibrahim, like it or not, has, by his candidacy opened himself to public scrutiny of his character.Anyone running for public office would have to bear the embarrassement of being exposed for their ethical,religious or moral transgressions. Zaid has admitted to his sins.

If he can prove that the smear campaign is untrue and done out of malice, than he has the right to take legal action against those who slander him.

That may be water under the bridge now because he has admitted to consuming alcohol and the love for race horses.

I am not sure whether Islam is against keeping race horses.There are horse racings in some of the Middle Eastern countries.The Dubai World Cup is 11 of the world's thoroughbreds racing and is now worth US$10 million.Maybe, Zaid should send his horse to Dubai.

Politics, the world over, more so in a democracy, is a dirty game.Those who stands for public office should make sure they have a clean slate or be prepared to be ridiculed and shamed if their dirty linens are washed in public by their enemies.

Personal attacks and character assassination is not something unfamiliar to politics, it happened everywhere, even in the most advanced democracies.

Obama, was branded a closet Muslim by his rivals during the campaign for the US presidency.The American voters didn't buy it.The beer-bashing of Zaid may end up the same way.The folks in Hulu Selangor might not care about his boozy past and his love for race horses.

If you have skeletons in the closet and someone caught you with your pants down than it's just too bad, it becomes fodder for the cannon.

I personally think Zaid drinking habit should not make him a lesser person and should not be an issue.

However, what I think is not important or crucial to Zaid winning the by-election.It is how the majority of Malays in Hulu Selangor view his indulgence with alcohol and race horses that would decide his fate.

In the West, casual and social drinking are acceptable but alcoholism are frown upon by society.In the Muslim worlds alcohol is completely tabooed and punishable under Sharia.

Zaid could just be a social drinker, but than Islam does not differentiate between social drinkers and alcoholics, it carries the same sin and punishment.

In the West, alcoholics and drug-abusers are considered as patients that need help.In Islam they are considered as sinners and criminals that must be punished.There is a distinct difference between Muslim and non-Muslim view of alcohol.

That's besides the point.The point I am trying to make here is why do people like Lim Kit Siang and Raja Petra, who can attack others in wild abandon, suddenly become averse to personal attacks, an art they have perfected and are very skillful at. Najib has been in worse scatching attacks by Pakatan leaders and pro-Pakatan bloggers than people like Zaid Ibrahim and Anwar Ibrahim.When others played the same game they blow a fuse and decried of being hit below the belt.

The privilege to smear or sling mud at others is not theirs alone, others can do the same.There is 'quid pro quo' for everything.Pakatan leaders seemed to think they are holier than thou and only they have the privilege to attack others and not the other way around.

Raja Petra in his blog here in critical response to my article 'Anwar's Can Of Worms' thinks loyalty to a leader is not important.He prefered loyalty to a cause.How can you be loyal to a cause if you have no loyalty to a leader that believe in the cause.Just like captain of a ship, whether they like it or not, the crew must obey his orders, no matter how wrong he is, such orders must be executed.Without a leader there would be chaos and anarchy.

Even in organised chaos you need some kind of a leader let alone a revolutionary political cause that have been organised to topple a regime.

That's why you need a captain to helm a ship, a general to plan and lead in a war, a prime minister or president to lead a country, a CEO to head a company and umpteen more.

In everything we do there must be a leader to lead a group with common interest and objective. Without dedication and loyalty of the followers no leader or cause can be successful.

Anwar Ibrahim like Najib Tun Razak is a politician and public figure.Likewise, he has no immunity against public criticism.Anyone, can criticise him so long as such criticisms are based on facts and the truths.

Anwar, without loyalty from his people would become a "rebel without a cause".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Anwar's Can Of Worms

Hantu Laut

The exit of Dr Halili Rahmat from PKR to join UMNO shows Anwar Ibrahim doesn't care or value loyalty.He prefers sycophants, apple polishers, those with fame and fortunes and those likely to serve his personal agenda.

Zaid Ibrahim was parachuted in as candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election, ignoring and by-passing local leaders in Hulu Selangor that have been with PKR and loyal to him for many years.Those who were sidelined must have felt insulted,unwanted and undeserving.Zaid, has done nothing for PKR, but he has fame and deep pockets.His can bankroll his own campaign trails.

Over the past two years PKR has lost many of its leaders including assemblymen and members of parliament due to disappointment with Anwar's leadership.The ominous dark clouds hanging over the party were results of Anwar's arrogance and dictatorial ways.All he cares about is himself and how to get to Putrajaya, by hook or by crook, it does not matter, anyone in the way would be ridiculed and ostracised. Those who do not see eye to eye with him would be on the chopping board.

Not only has he lost party members, even his so-called close friends and aides have abandoned him.Over the years, there were his dear friend and former PKR Deputy President Chandra Muzaffar, his 30-year old friend and tennis partner Nallakaruppan, his trusted lieutenant Ezam Mohd Nor,Anuar Shaari,Fairus Khairuddin,Zahrain Mohd Hashim,Zulkifli Noordin and many more that would have filled up Anwar's rogues' gallery.

Today, Anwar has taken on a completely different image.He is in serious courtship with the non-Malays and promised them to abolish the NEP if he gets Putrajaya.This heavily baited campaign are well received by the non-Malays and strongly opposed by Perkasa, a champion of Malay rights organisation that wanted the NEP to be retained.

Can a leopard change its spot?

When he was education minister he changed the nomenclature from Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu and brought more confusion to the education system.

In 1987, he was responsible for appointing non-Mandarin educated administrators to Chinese schools that led to a political crisis and government use of the ISA under 'Operation Lalang' and the banning of two major newspapers, the Star and Sin Chew Jit Poh.

The 1987 vernacular Chinese school controversy almost led to another racial riot if not for the government quick action to nip it in the bud.Anwar was holder of one of the most important ministries at that time.The education ministry was the source of the trouble that led to ISA arrests of 106 people including elected representatives from the oppositions as well as the ruling party.

Remember, the clash between Hindus and Indian Muslims at Kampong Jawa in Penang.Anwar was reported to have said that the temple bells would not ring again if his dictum was not accepted.

How can so many that left him be so wrong?

Anwar is a clever and engaging orator, mind-boggling and spellbinding his audience is a natural talent, which he dispenses with ease.He has the canny ability to disorient the prudish and uninitiated.

Is the support for Anwar centered mainly out of sympathy for him, the perception of injustice against him by the powers that be? The few years he spent in prison for crime he purportedly did not commit.Many, are bought lock,stock and barrel in his art of casuistry.

Many Malaysians believe this to be true and have developed intense hatred for the government and its leaders.Nowhere else is the hatred more pronounced than in the non-Malay community, whom, have been copiously told of marginalisation and racial discrimination of their races by the Malay majority.

Anwar has also developed an international network of buddy system and sell the same sob story to his circle of friends overseas.They have become lobbyists asking for his exoneration from his sodomy trail accusing the government of conspiracy of trump up charges and unfair hearing by the judiciary should he be brought to trail.He makes it appears that the Malaysian judiciary is the most corrupt and subservient to the executive.

A 2007 survey by Transparency International set Malaysia at No.9 out of 62 countries surveyed for judicial corruptions, ahead of Hong Kong, the UK and the US.Not bad for a country being accused of judicial webs of corruption.

Hulu Selangor, is a make or break it, for PKR.Anwar has made a lot of his own people unhappy with his decision to field Zaid, who is considered as an opportunistic carpetbagger due to his relationship with Anwar and his deep pockets.

Zaid will get solid Chinese votes and only need to worry about the Malay and Indian votes, which looked good on the surface but can be very dicey.

Is Zaid liberalism going to get him significant Malay votes? How many Malay liberals are there to support him in Hulu Selangor?

Going by Jema Khan's Facebook on his Agenda Liberal Melayu of which Zaid Ibrahim seemed to be the only prominent name that have joined the cause, it appears that liberal Malays are few and far between.