Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bagan Pinang:Implacable Mahathir Hits The Wall

Hantu Laut

The race is on....Bagan Pinang will be Isa Samad's political resurrection.

Negri Sembilan is too close for comfort.UMNO can't afford to lose this one.

This one down ?... discomfiture for Najib...death throes for UMNO.

Pakatan has the dream, UMNO still has the strength.

MIC, MCA, Gerakan, gone case, should not campaign in Bagan Pinang, bad karma.

Implacable Mahathir hits the wall.

It's time he stop his vitriol and give Najib a chance to prove his worthiness.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UMNO Picked Isa Samad

News image

Hantu Laut

UMNO picked Isa Samad as its candidate for Bagan Pinang. PM Najib made the right decision not to be swayed by external sources of free advices.

More to follow...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is Isa Samad Beyond The Pale?

Hantu Laut

To err is human.We all make mistakes.Some, make mortal mistakes and pay heavily for their crimes.

Should a man be condemned all his life for crime which he has served his punishment?

Michael Jackson was condemned in life but revered in death.His narcissistic lifestyle,frailties and alleged child molestation have been largely forgotten.The whole world have forgiven him for his alleged paedophile and perverted behaviour, which has not been wholly proven by any measure of the rules of justice.Michael Jackson has redeemed himself for his remarkable talents and lifetime achievements.

On 21 December 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 blew in mid-air over Lockerbie in Scotland killing 259 passengers and crew members.Eleven more killed on the ground by falling debris.

In 2001, Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, a Libyan, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.On 20 August 2009 the Scottish Government released him to return to Libya on compassionate grounds as he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer.

Are our moral grounds so high up that we can only see things on the same plane and oblivious to sense of fairness and compassion or are they just hypocrisy dressed in moral values.

In the world of dirty politics are there any spotless leopards? Certainly, we want untainted characters in politics, to lead this nation, to get respect from the world community, but how many have immaculate background to pass with distinction and how many have skeletons in the closet and lead a life of deception?

In this country, at least, one can safely bet the later outnumbered the former.Majority of our politicians, both in government and the oppositions, are not cream of the crop.

The big debate now is whether Isa Samad should be allowed to stand as UMNO candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election in view of his some what inglorious past, a practice of money politics, common in UMNO, including those at the top echelon, to buy favours.Those, like Isa Samad, who got caught were either brazenly indiscreet out of arrogance, or just plain simpleton entrapped by other contenders which I assumed must have been the case.

Corruption is well-entrenched in the party and has become a way of life, none of those vying for party positions can claim being spotless and holier than thou character, they were just lucky. There are many Isa Samads still roaming free in the party.

The recent case of Khairy Jamaluddin and Ali Rustam, caught for giving bribes, but let off the hook, is a penny for your thoughts.The party disciplinary committee's bark is worse than their bite.Their decision on the matter was not guided by measure of morality but a 'pick and choose your victim' policy.

Is Isa beyond the pale? By Mahathir's version he seemed to be.He has paid for his mistake.Shouldn't he be allowed to start afresh? Isa may not be the 'creme de la creme' but he seems to be the favoured candidate of the constituents with dyed-in-the-wool supporters.

Even Pakatan admitted it's an uphill battle to dislodge UMNO from Bagan Pinang or is it self-effacing strategy to misled UMNO to becoming over-confidence and let the shit flies.

Will UMNO try to be righteous this time? Will Najib go the whole nine yards and choose Isa as the candidate?

It's foregone conclusion that Pakatan would love Isa Samad to be nominated, they will use him as the punching bag and epitome of corruptions and will try bomb Najib and UMNO to smithereens.

This time they may be wrong.

Also read:
American Hypocrisy:Come Hell Or High Water

Friday, September 25, 2009

Is This True of Zorro-Unmasked aka Bernard Khoo?

Hantu Laut

I am not sure whether to give credence to the article below.I have met Bernard Khoo once and had few beers with him and other bloggers when they came over here.He was friendly,unassuming and showed great determination in what he was doing.We got along well as fellow bloggers and blogrolled each other until one day when Raja Petra attacked one of my articles that I wrote against Pakatan Rakyat and in a flash my seemingly friendly blogger removed my name from his blogroll.Didn't bother me at all, it is his prerogative, but as a human being I must admit my disappointment.

I still have Zorro on my blogroll, didn't bother to remove it as I consider it too petty to do so. Friendship should not become casualty to our political affiliation.Friends taking different political paths are common all over the world but that doesn't mean they should cease to be friends.

We all have experienced school bully, there is nothing uncommon about it. I have class mates who used to bully me in school but become good friends in our adult lives.Discipline should not be mistaken as bullying.

I'll give Zorro benefit of the doubt.

Below is the unmasking of Zorro.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Indonesia’s Answer to Islamophobia: Fun

By Farish A. Noor

As the centre of my universe has moved to Central Java, I find myself traveling to the cities of Jogjakarta and Surakarta quite a lot. The last time I was there was during the celebration of Eidul Firtri (or Lebaran) as its called in Indonesia, just in time to catch the celebrations that customarily take place on the last night of Ramadan and on the eve of the month of Shawal. On that night, I set by the road in the middle of Jogjakarta, camera in hand, to watch hundreds of kids from their respective schools and mosques parade in the streets in a myriad of funky and funny costumes: There were Pokemons and Doraemons, Sponge Bobs, Devils and Angels, Dragons and monsters galore. I watched as the bands marched past blaring their horns and drums, and as the floats made of paper and plastic rolled past. As this colourful parade marched past, I wondered aloud about how and why there seems to be so much fun in this country, and so little elsewhere in the Muslim world today…
Spongebob Lantern

Like all Lebarans in Java, its all very funky and ecumenical. Spongebob and Doraemon were there to join the celebrations too.

Now of course it is a well known and well established fact that Muslims celebrate Eidul Fitri all over the planet. Indonesia is not unique in this respect and one can make the rather facile point that celebrations are celebrations, wherever they may be. But one qualitative difference has always distinguished Indonesian Muslim celebrations from other celebrations I have seen elsewhere in the world, and it lies in one subjective factor that has to be seen and felt rather than theorised: Indonesian Muslim celebrations are fun. Yes fun. Remember what it was like, to actually have some real fun during Eid?

I throw this question to the readers for the simple reason that in my own accounting I have suffered a deficit of fun over the past two decades or so.

As a child in Malaysia I recall celebrating the end of Ramadan with fireworks, oil lamps, music and a jolly dose of cake-eating, which kids are wont to do. Ramadan and Eid were fun then, during those days in the 60s and 70s when the entire month of Ramadan was spent cleaning the oil lamps, filling them with kerosene, lighting them up every evening, buying (and hoarding) fireworks and having firework fights with my neighbours. Things however began to change as soon as the tone and tenor of normative Islam in Malaysia took a turn for the political and the Mullah-wannabes began to preach from the pulpit about the evils of fun and happiness.

Needless to say, Jogja kids dont sleep much and on the night of Lebaran they hardly sleep at all. Im always taken by the fact that in Java kids dont fight or cry, or make a nuisance of themselves. Thats largely because from an early age they are taught to fend for themselves and be independent. These kids were out for the night on their own, without their parents. My mom would have a fit at the thought of that.

Needless to say, Jogja kids dont sleep much and on the night of Lebaran they hardly sleep at all. Im always taken by the fact that in Java kids dont fight or cry, or make a nuisance of themselves. Thats largely because from an early age they are taught to fend for themselves and be independent. These kids were out for the night on their own, without their parents. My mom would have a fit at the thought of that.

By the 1980s, as Malaysia went into full swing in the spirit of an Islamisation programme that witnessed little fun but rather the rise of more and more conservative types in mosques and the Parliament, the element of fun was slowly but surely stamped out. We were told that music was haram, that the oil lamps were Hindu, that the fireworks were decadent and corrupt. Tell that to a seven-year old and you kill his love for fun for the rest of his life.Read more......

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shape Up Or Ship Out: The Lame Ducks Of Barisan

Hantu Laut

Shape up or ship out.That should have been the clear message to both MCA and MIC if UMNO do not want to be left high and dry in the 13
th General Elections.Both parties have become liabilities to the BN.

The leadership crisis in MCA, resolved or not, is not going to make any different, they have lost the entire Chinese support.No amount of political gimmickry could help bring back the Chinese votes to BN.

Unless some form of miracle happened that changed the political scenario both MCA and MIC are just debris floating in the vast ocean of uncertainty.

Instead of making amends to the harm they have caused in the last elections they are more concerned about status and self-glorification, a leadership tussle that should have been avoided at this critical stage of the party political existence. It shows the selfishness of the leaders, motivated only by personal gains, rather than looking after the interests of their community.Just as well they are rejected by their own people.In the world of dog eat dog the weak must die.

Those in UMNO are kidding themselves if they think these two lame ducks can be of any help to bring back the Chinese and Indian votes, which is critical in all racially-mixed constituencies.Even in Malay majority areas UMNO may have problems winning because of the runaway Chinese and Indian votes, gone in favour of Pakatan.DAP has become the strongest voice in Pakatan Rakyat.

The Chinese and Indians have now realised what's the end product of the power of unity. They can now play king maker and power broker, a role they never had before, not even in their wildest dream. Penang, Perak and Selangor are examples of the united stand taken by the Chinese and Indians to reject the BN and vote the oppositions en bloc. Without their votes PAS and PKR wouldn't have a chance to rule these states.Record shows that in all three states UMNO still have strong showing, they are brought down by the poor showing of MCA and MIC. If the Chinese and Indians votes have stayed with the BN the split in the Malay votes would become insignificant.

Unless the present leaders in both parties disappear from the scene there is very little likelihood that they can recover.Even with infusion of new blood there is no guarantee that the situation would change.

UMNO should now face the reality that they would have to do without MCA and MIC.Their best bet is UMNO in Peninsula Malaysia, so they can concentrate on the Malay votes only and BN in Sabah and Sarawak.

Bagan Pinang will be most crucial for UMNO, the loss of which would be the bearer of more bad news for the BN.

For UMNO,in Bagan Pinang, it's do or die.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hari Raya Special: Malaysia Boleh or Malaysia Bodoh?

Hantu Laut

Watch out the Kancil tailgating behind you.With only 850 cc under his hood this moron thinks his car can out run a Porsche or Ferrari.

Yes, you see it every day on the roads, the ugly side of Malaysians, the maniac turning his machine into a weapon of destruction.

I have come to the conclusion that we may be the worst kind when it come to civic consciousness and courtesy.Malaysians could be one of the worst drivers in the world.The death tolls on our roads speak for itself.For a country with a small population the death to population ratio is too high. Malaysians are more likely to die on the roads than in any other places.It's a shameful tale of stupidity.

In spite of the government effort to bring awareness to Malaysians to drive safely and avoid the risk of getting killed or killing other road users, the situation hasn't changed, the tragedy remains.The widespread apathy among Malaysian drivers are shameful.There seems to be feeling of invincibility among Malaysians when they are behind the wheels of their cars and a feeling that the steel-plated vehicles they are in are indestructible.

The next time you are on the road watch closely how good Malaysian drivers encourage and help bad Malaysian drivers to break the law.Every time there is a long queue many of these bad drivers will jump the queue by overtaking illegally using the road shoulder and more often than not those in the queue would give these morons space to move in.

Not only stupidity rides with the moron in the Kancil, it also rides with the guy in the sleek Mercedes Benz, to him that's road courtesy when he actually helped the moron to break the law.

You see it every day, drivers jumping the queue, making illegal U turn, jumping the red light, speeding, tailgating and other traffic offences and we actually participated in helping them to break the law.

Many years ago while driving to the south of England I encountered a queue on the motorway half way through the journey due to road repair being carried out where one lane had to be closed for repair work, ample signs have been placed at strategic points to warn motorists to switch to the left lane and almost every one complied except for one idiot who decided to take his chance and overtook the long queue using the right lane.The guy must have regretted it for the rest of his life, ten minutes later when I arrived the bottleneck, he was still there, no one has allowed him through.

Here, letting queue jumpers through is seen as road courtesy. Even my wife get profusely mad with me when I consistently refused to let these morons go through.

Certainly, road courtesy is giving your right of way to help others but, certainly, not to help lawbreakers.

Malaysians never seem to learn until it is too late, when they are already dead.The dead may feel no pain but the loved ones left behind are the one that suffered the most.Just imagine how many grieving families are there left behind this Hari Raya.

It is sad that in spite of the government effort to reduce the fatalities, the death toll on our roads continue to climb.

Latest report put the death toll at 79 since Sunday 13thh September.

This is not Malaysia Boleh but Malaysia Bodoh showing its best.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Borneo is calling

SEPT 17 — To East Malaysians, with Malaysia Day being yesterday, I offer my unreserved apology. Putrajaya has always given hell, quite literally, to the good people of Sabah and Sarawak.

Critics have insisted that the 46 years of “Malaysian-ness” has actually been colonisation by the peninsula over the former British colonies in Borneo. Cynics would add that if not for negotiations by Britain with the Netherlands in the post-Napoleonic War period leading to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, they’d be in Indonesia or the Philippines now.

They’ve got a point. I’m for the sustained shape of the Malaysian federation, but it can’t morally go on just on the terms set by the boys from the 12 states land-linked to mainland Asia.

Sitting in an Indian restaurant in Bintulu two years ago, I was embarrassed.

The local paper related how Penan students, living away from their families, cope with things many of us take for granted, like schooling. One student had only one change of clothes other than her school uniform. The girl could only wash one set of clothes when she was wearing the other.

In a nation with an administrative capital built from ground up for the vanity of “he we will not mention”, not giving basic care to all Malaysians first is offensive. Did I tell you about the grotesquely large Ferrari showroom in KL, the biggest one outside Italy?

I may be old school, but countries should not be competing — using a national car company built on the financial sacrifice of car buyers for decades — in Formula One until they can provide tap water to all its citizens.

Where did it all go wrong?

Malaya courted Sabah and Sarawak, mind you. With full British withdrawal from Asia by 1960 with the exception of Hong Kong, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo (Sabah), the masters only fancied keeping Hong Kong. Singapore had already self-governing status, and union with Malaya was inevitable.

Lands had to be disposed of and Malaysia was mooted.

The Borneo leaders saw Singapore and Malaya to a lesser extent as means to improve things in their states. Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman saw in Borneo a chance to increase the overall number of “natives” in lieu of Singapore joining and the non-Malays already in the peninsula. He sent Umno minister Suleiman Abdul Rahman to Borneo to assess if the “natives” could be made into Malays.

Umno already had firm ideas on what was to become of the “natives” over there, and how its interest could be served first.

The people of Sabah and Sarawak, they never had a chance.

Sabah made Kuala Lumpur sign a 20-point agreement to safeguard its interest, but all the parts impeding the federal government were torn up in record time. Point 1 — no state religion for Sabah. And the rest which ebbed away; English as an official language without a time limit, constitutional reconciling on equal terms, Borneonisation of the civil service and British subjects holding the fort until the "natives" were ready and jus soli basis for citizenship post-union.

The socio-political developments of the two states are complex and lengthy, however the summary direct and telling. The politicians in East Malaysia may prosper as long as they submit to the federal government’s directions.

The rise and fall of Tun Datu Mustapha Harun and the continued reign of Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud underlined this Machiavellian attitude by the powers in Kuala Lumpur.

It was a skewed game all along.

There were dissenters to absolute federal rule, those who boldly pointed out there are state prerogatives, and without them they cease to be equal partners inside the Malaysian federation.

They were put down enough times that Borneo’s people and leaders came to a tautology — it is: Borneo had to remain backward enough to enable the simplistic “support if you want development” politics by both federal and state leaders.

The Batang Ai (Sarawak) by-election earlier this year is telling. Despite the clamour for change in Peninsular Malaysia, in Borneo elections are all about resources, because between elections a minority hoards it. Principles come second when you are asked to risk the ire of those quite unforgiving, and ready to abandon you. The stakes are too high for the voters to choose on principle. Read more...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Panggong Wayang India.

Hantu Laut

The placard should read "Samy Velu, President For Life".

Samy should have declared himself perpetual dictator of MIC and change the party constitution to make himself the glorious and till death do us part leader of the Indian community in Malaysia. He should cast himself in the mould of Kin Il-sung of North Korea or Fidel Castro of Cuba.

This is the same sycophant that used to carry Mahathir's balls (excuse my language) when Mahathir was the great giver.He now thinks the members of UMNO are fools not to know who instigated the delegate to insult Mahathir by garlanding him with the dirtiest human footwear.A garland befits the harijans.

Wait a minute! Can he claimed to be the glorious leader of the Indians in this country? Didn't he lose in the last election and his party badly trashed?

Mahathir wasn't wrong to say that MIC will not get the supports of the Indians if Samy is still allowed to helm the party.

The near decimation of the party at the last general elections was a clear sign that the Indians do not want Samy leadership any more.They have had enough of his political antics and his misguided notion that the Indians still hunger for his leadership.The Indians wanted him out yesterday but Samy is not getting the message.Even after Hindraf's massive display of Indian's support for the oppositions, he still implacably thinks he is irreplaceable.

Getting voted in as party president doesn't necessary reflect popularity with the masses.Malaysian politics are also known to be riddled with money politics, the higher the position the bigger the money, and the top leadership are no exception to this dirty and demeaning way of getting elected.

With Samy still as President of MIC and MCA in turmoil Mahathir's prophecy might come true. The BN will have a tough job ahead unless it can find alternatives to replace these two fallen angels of Malaysian politics.

A garland of slippers for Mahathir proposed by a delegate at MIC meeting is an excoriation of the former prime minister by his former protege. An affront for Mahathir.UMNO members have taken umbrage to what they see as an insult against a Malay leader, more so against Mahathir, the longest serving prime minister.

It is nothing but the usual wayang kulit which the Indians have a propensity to display with great exaggeration.

Does Samy Velu know before hand what the delegate is going to say? Were they coaxed into making the proposal to shame Mahathir and send a message to him not to interfere in MIC internal politics and that he was wrong about Subramaniam and even more wrong about Samy.

Samy has proven Mahathir wrong, he won, but can MIC win the next general elections?

The end of MIC is foreboding.

It has now become Najib's dilemma, two lame ducks in the BN stable.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Petty Indonesians

Hantu Laut

Whether you are Malaysian Malays or Indonesian Malays, you are the same, you came from the same roots, as far as ethnicity is concerned and you speak the same language.The culture itself is not far divided. Many Malays in Malaysia inherited a big part of themselves and their culture from Indonesia.

Malays were largely Hindus before the 15th century, before they were converted to Islam.That's why there were still remnants of Hindu cultural practices in the Malay culture.Peninsular Malaysia was the confluence of the merging of the Malay race from all parts of Indonesia.

The difference is, in Indonesia the world 'Bangsa Melayu' or 'Malay race is rarely used. Indonesians prefer to use 'Bangsa Indonesia' and 'Bahasa Indonesia' to reflect nationality rather than race.In Malaysia it is 'Bangsa Melayu' for Malays and the rest according to their ethnicity.There is no 'Bangsa Malaysia' here. Anwar and Pakatan were trying to peddle the term to make the non-Malays happy knowing it wouldn't last the 100 meter race, the Chinese and Indians wouldn't want to give up their origins and be called by any other names.

Many Malaysian Malays are of Indonesian origin, whether it be Bugis,Achenes,Minangkabaus or Javanese there is no escaping the links with the lands of Nusantara.

The recent rash action taken by some Indonesians against Malaysians in what they say was the hijacking of their culture, a Balinese dance used for a promotional campaign on Malaysia, not sanctioned or approved by the Malaysian government but was an erroneous part of a documentary production by a private company shown on Discovery Channel was most appalling.The rumpus goes to show the pettiness of the Indonesian minds.The same way they have reacted to the isolated cases of abuse of Indonesian maids in Malaysia which, unfortunately, has, by the misdeeds of a few bad apples, thrown Malaysia and Malaysians in a bad light.

Not unlike Malaysia, some of the cultural heritage of Indonesia had come from the same oldest living religion, Hinduism and needless to say, the Malays animistic past.Can Indonesia claim propriety rights to such endemic cultural practices?

Although the Balinese dance is not part of Malaysian culture per se, should Indonesians be so emotional,irrational and uptight over such trivial issue and resort to calls of 'crush Malaysia' and deploying overzealous vigilantes to prowl the streets of Jakarta and other cities looking for Malaysians to be kicked out of the country?

I believe not all Indonesians share this irrational behaviour.

There are probably close to a million Indonesians in Malaysia seeking better lives that their home country could not provide.Malaysians have been robbed, raped and murdered by some of these bad hats from Indonesia but we have kept our cool and did not generalise that all Indonesians are thieves,rapists or murderers.

Malaysians did not resort to uncivilised manner to vent their anger.

To err is human.Let's hope the Indonesians would err on the side of caution.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Surprise At Teoh's Inquest

Hantu Laut

Big surprise at Teoh Beng Hock's inquest.Whether it is relevant and can help in finding the cause of his death is not apparent yet.

A witness, one T.Sivanesan claimed he, while under interrogation, was manhandled and tortured by MACC officers.A torn underwear was exhibited as evidence.

The coroner must have good reasons to allow such witness to be brought in to share his experience at the hands of MACC officers.

The question? Is this an inquest or a trail?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Investigate The Deaths Of Lawmakers

Hantu Laut

How many lawmakers have dropped dead for no apparent reason in less than a year? This is unprecedented in the political history of this nation, lawmakers dropping dead like flies.

Most of the mortality were in the Pakatan's camp and they have won all by-elections in these areas with the exception of Batang Ai in Sarawak, which was caused by the death of a BN assemblyman.BN won back the seat.

Did they died of natural causes or something more sinister were behind their deaths. Fellow blogger Pasquale of Barking Magpie has also raised the same issue here.

No post-mortem, none that I have heard of, been carried out to determine the actual cause of death of this young and seemingly unhealthy lawmakers.Malaysia would soon go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the greatest number of lawmakers dropping dead for no apparent reason in the shortest period.

I have actually lost count how many have died, my rough estimate would be around 6 0r 7 over less than a year.

I do not want to sound like an alarmist but the government should investigate these deaths and should from now on ensure that a proper autopsy is carried out in each and every death of lawmakers to determine the actual cause of deaths.

When BN was in almost absolute power very few lawmakers have died in office.I do not have the numbers but looking back the past two decades there would have been less deaths for that whole period than in the first year after the 12th General Elections where the oppositions have gained greater foothold in the politics of this nation.

Was it a mere coincidence that Pakatan Rakyat were not only bad administrators but also have a pool of very unhealthy lawmakers designed to drop dead to keep the oppositions always in the limelight.

The latest death is BN assemblyman for Bagan Pinang Azman Mohammad Noor apparently of blood poisoning.

It will be the biggest test for BN. If they lose this seat to the oppositions than their fates are sealed.

Najib must at all costs win this by-election or it would the beginning of the end of the BN.

DAP has become the most powerful element in the Pakatan coalition using both PAS and PKR to push their political agenda.Perak is a show case of how powerful is DAP influence over the other two coalition partners.The continuing saga in Perak is the instrumentation of DAP power brokering.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why Do Muslims Fast During Ramadan?

Like more than a billion fellow Muslims around the world, Sulley Muntari began the monthlong fasting ritual of Ramadan on Aug. 22. Abstaining from food or drink during daylight hours is challenging enough for the average person, but for the Ghana-born Muntari, a professional soccer player with Italy's Serie A team Inter Milan, running more than six miles per game on an empty stomach might have proved to be too much. In his first match after the start of Ramadan, the midfielder was removed from the game after just half an hour of play. (See the top 10 most colorful religious festivals.)

Milan coach Jose Mourinho cited Muntari's "lack of energy" on the pitch as the reason for his removal, suggesting that "Ramadan has not arrived at the ideal moment for a player to play a football match." Mourinho hinted that he may keep Muntari out matches for the rest of the month, angering Muslims and troubling Inter Milan fans.

So what is this ritual for which Muntari is jeopardizing his season? One of the five pillars of faith for Muslims, Ramadan is the the ninth month of the lunar calendar and the holiest period of the Islamic year. It's thought to be the month that the Koran was first revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad in the year A.D. 610. (Read "Soccer Star Benched for Fasting During Ramadan.")

The rules of Ramadan are fairly straightforward: for one month, all practicing, able-bodied Muslims over the age of 12 are forbidden to eat or drink from sunup to sundown. Muslims believe that during this month the gates of hell close — meaning the devil is unable to tempt them during a month of discipline, charity and self-control. The objective of the fast, which also prohibits participating in "sensual pleasures" such as smoking, sex and even listening to music during daylight hours, is to diminish believers' dependence on material goods, purify their hearts and establish solidarity with the poor to encourage charitable works during the year. It's as much a period of self-growth as of self-denial: Muhammad reportedly said, "He who does not abandon falsehood in word and action in accordance with fasting, God has no need that he should abandon his food and drink."

The first Ramadan is thought to have occurred during the middle of summer, explaining why the root of its name translates into Arabic as "the scorcher." A typical day starts as early as 3 a.m. with the predawn meal called the sahur, usually rich in protein and carbohydrates to get the faster through the long, foodless day. The rest of the day is spent reciting prayers, abstaining from bad deeds and reading the Koran. Fasters are expected to read the entire holy book within the month, and many mosques have taken to splitting it into 30 even portions recited in daily sermons. The fast lasts until sundown — or until it's too dark to "distinguish a white thread from a black thread," according to the Koran — and is broken with a small meal called an iftar which is followed by the Magrib prayer before the fasters join their families and invite the poor for a larger celebratory meal.

The breaking of the fast is often a decadent affair in wealthier Gulf countries like the United Arab Emirates, where well-to-do Muslims gather in air-conditioned tents, cruise ships or five-star hotels to feast on meals with multiple courses. In some countries, the fast carries the force of law: in Algeria, six people were jailed last year for failing to observe the fast, while in Iran authorities have shut down restaurants for not closing during the day. Other places have their own unique requirements: when Ramadan falls during the summer months, as it does this year, Muslims living in northern countries face fasting through as many as 19 hours of daylight; Muslim scholars have suggested that worshippers in these climes follow the daylight hours of the nearest Muslim-majority nation.

The end of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the new moon that signals the start of the next lunar month; it's celebrated by a huge festival called 'Id al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast-Breaking) where entire villages celebrate together. While Muslim leaders in Italy who criticized Mourinho's decision to pull his player argued that the "mental and psychological stability" achieved through the discipline of Ramadan outweighs the physical strain of the fast, for Muntari, 'Id probably can't come soon enough.

Source:Time Magazine

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Delusion Of Grandeur ?

Hantu Laut

A recalcitrant that hangs on to his whimsical belief that he is still the legitimate speaker of the assembly and that Pakatan is still the government in Perak. He continues to mock the Sultan's constitutional decision
.This kind of 'wayang kulit' has become a trademark of Pakatan Rakyat.

Perak is literally under the control of DAP.

Former Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS was an accidental menteri besar because of requirement under the state constitution that a menteri besar must be a Malay and must be of the Islamic faith. DAP, initiallly, protested but relented after they realised that their coalition partners were both Malay dominated parties and if they don't back down there wouldn't be any DAP government in Perak.However, due to majority members they have in the house they virtually control the menteri besar and the speaker. Without the provision in the constitution no where would the DAP have allowed Nizar to be menteri besar.

His 'tilting at windmills' are not only amusing but is becoming a torn in the flesh. His behaviour has reached quixotic proportion making even the man from La Mancha seems less delusional.

After being disallowed to enter the assembly by the police he decided to go to a hotel for the assembly sitting that he had called for earlier.A quixotic decision was made.

Pakatan assembly orders Ganesan, Hee jailed and fined over May 7 fracas

First, under the tree, than in a hotel.Where next ? Mr Speaker?

With 23 other recalcitrants he tries to show the world that he is still the boss and the fate of all the assemblymen are in his hands.

I believe the only civilised way out of this problem is for Pakatan to wait until the next general election to prove that they have the full support of the people of Perak.

I am sure two years from now the people would have grown tired of their 'wayang kulit' and realised what power crazy maniacs they are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lost In Translation:Anwar Ibrahim's Merdeka Day Speech

Before the chickens come home to roose LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE.

Think twice before you trust any translator, be it Google or others and,


here is,

a gibbering electronic monster spewing nonsensical English.
A pretty messy job.

Translated by GOOGLE translator.

Anwar Ibrahim's Merdeka Day speech.

When approaching date of 31st August, we will scan your memory back a string of events and people who struggle with berkemuncak Independence. This date was revealed as a sacred date, promising freedom from colonial grip and protect the dignity of living.

Menerjah question that we all are: how we understand the meaning of this day. Pergulatan this to be a question of determining the meaning of ourselves as people Malaysia.Tekad new meaning to understand themselves as a nation independent India also demanded us to understand how we are not independent; how we lost before we obtain independence back.

More than two thousand years ago, Brutus asks the citizens of Rome "who is so humiliated that want to live as slaves?" Caesar did not want to have limited powers. His lust so great and want to ensure that the Roman genggamannya.

Contradiction between Brutus and Ceaser are some contradictions between freedom against the desire not power limited. Since independence our country is still struggling with this contradiction. Freedom - freedom of speech, media freedom, freedom of judiciary institutions always want to be blocked by the authorities. Therefore we realize the only nation through the dark occupation will never understand the meaning of the independence light. Bagitu also, who had only themselves freedom diragut will appreciate the value of freedom.

Lectures by Professor Dr. Prime. Syed Muhammad Naguib al-Attas is called in Islamic History and Culture Malay also describes the long axis of the role of faith wide berth as the beliefs that reject the new confidence and understand the divinity of slavery, becoming a platform for thinking rooted in tradition and aqliyah digest fresh culture with language Malay as a spoken kepustakaan (lingua franca) region. Hundreds of years passed, add the appropriate strengthen and reinforce the spirit of confidence and the new.

Very beautiful princess Palembang,
Bersunting pudak love interest;
How hard dilambung wave,
Kucacak pillar, kulayar whatsoever.

While beyond half a century of independence, our people have proper awareness of how Malaysia malay language is not just market, colloquial language of communication for buying and selling. Malay is the language of knowledge, civilization and language of language to reveal the most profound human experience and noble. Malay language has become the intellectual and spiritual for Muslims, therefore malay language should be also intellectual and spiritual nation Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other confidence.

Malay that I mentioned here is not owned by the Malay language only. Malay are owned by the people and the nation descended Malaysia Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Dayak, and others. Malay is owned by all Malaysians.

Independence must not be trapped by Bahana from a dark and narrow political parties certain. Independence must be viewed from the perspective of the people as a whole; many people struggle, using various platforms, and involves various streams of thought. History teaches us it appears that the struggle for independence against the spirit of unity publish colonial imperialism and the West at that time.

Generation earlier the same struggle for independence, and they embarked on a period in the early independence of youth testify to the diversity of flows and platform struggles of the people. But writing history is presented to the independence generation today is still not justice for the fact that mixed propaganda. This is a burden and responsibility to historians because without pensejarahan fair, we will not be able to view and find meaning and appearance of the nation we are actually. Name of freedom fighters such as Dato 'Onn Jaafar, Ustaz Abu Bakar Baqir, Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy, Ahmad Boestamam, SP Seenivasagam, Tan Chee Koon, Mat Salleh, Rosli Dhobi Chief Rentap and should not be darkened from the history of independence.

Independence is for freedom and justice. This is what we promised in the August 31, 1957. If we want to continue seen remnants of feudal remnants, or want memperkokohkan institutions otoritarianisme system, we will surely become a nation that marginalized. Bangsa Malaysia is not poor, with human resources. Dengan paras pembangunan yang telah dicapai dan kekayaan yang kita miliki Malaysia boleh menjadi negara yang besar. And we need to believe that Malaysia can become a great nation. But we can not become a great nation if its people are not free and independent.

Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition, Parliament of Malaysia

Below is his speech in Bahasa.

Apabila mendekati tarikh 31hb Ogos, ingatan kita akan mengimbas kembali rentetan peristiwa dan perjuangan rakyat yang berkemuncak dengan Kemerdekaan. Tarikh tersebut terungkap sebagai tarikh keramat, menjanjikan kebebasan daripada cengkaman penjajah dan menyelamatkan martabat hidup rakyat.

Persoalan yang menerjah kita semua ialah : bagaimana kita menghayati makna tarikh tersebut hari ini. Pergulatan ini menjadi penentu kepada persoalan makna diri kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia.Tekad baru untuk memahami makna diri Malaysia sebagai bangsa merdeka juga menuntut kita untuk memahami bagaimana kita menjadi tidak merdeka; bagaimana kita hilang kemerdekaan sebelum kita memperolehinya kembali.

Lebih dua ribu tahun yang lalu, Brutus bertanya warga Kota Rom “siapakah yang begitu hina sehingga mahu hidup sebagai hamba ?” Ceasar mahu memiliki kuasa yang tidak terbatas. Nafsunya sebegitu besar dan mahu memastikan Rom dalam genggamannya.

Pertentangan antara Brutus dengan Ceaser adalah pertentangan antara kebebasan menentang nafsu kekuasan tidak terbatas. Sejak negara kita merdeka kita masih bergelut dengan pertentangan ini. Kebebasan – kebebasan bersuara, kebebasan media, kebebasan institusi kehakiman sentiasa mahu disekat oleh penguasa. Oleh itu kita menginsafi hanya bangsa yang pernah melalui gelita penjajahan akan mengerti makna cahaya kemerdekaan. Bagitu juga, hanya diri yang pernah kebebasannya diragut akan menghargai nilai kebebasan.

Syarahan Perdana Professor Dr. Syed Muhammad Naguib al-Attas yang berjudul Islam Dalam Sejarah Dan Kebudayaan Melayu juga menghuraikan dengan panjang lebar peranan paksi tauhid sebagai aqidah menambat keyakinan baru yang menolak faham tahyul dan perhambaan, seterusnya menjadi pelantar kepada pemikiran yang berakar dengan tradisi aqliyah dan mencernakan budaya segar dengan bahasa Melayu sebagai pertuturan kepustakaan(lingua franca) rantau ini. Ratusan tahun berlalu yang sewajarnya tambah memperkukuh dan memantapkan semangat dan keyakinan baru tersebut.

Cantik sungguh puteri Palembang,
Sayang bersunting bunga pudak;
Betapa keras dilambung gelombang,
Kucacak tiang, kulayar jua.

Manakala melangkaui separuh abad kemerdekaan, kita rakyat Malaysia sewajarnya mempunyai kesedaran betapa Bahasa Melayu bukan sekadar bahasa pasar, bahasa komunikasi basahan untuk berjual beli. Bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa ilmu, bahasa tamadun dan bahasa untuk mengungkapkan pengalaman kemanusian yang paling mendalam dan luhur. Bahasa Melayu telah menjadi bahasa intelektual dan kerohanian untuk umat Islam, makanya Bahasa Melayu juga seharusnya menjadi bahasa intelektual dan kerohanian umat Buddha, Hindu, Kristian dan lain-lain keyakinan.

Bahasa Melayu yang saya sebutkan di sini bukanlah bahasa milik orang Melayu semata-mata. Bahasa Melayu adalah milik rakyat dan bangsa Malaysia yang berketurunan Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan, Dayak dan lain-lain. Bahasa Melayu adalah milik semua rakyat Malaysia.

Kemerdekaan mestilah tidak terperangkap dengan bahana dari politik sempit dan kelam sesebuah parti politik tertentu. Kemerdekaan perlu di lihat dari perspektif rakyat keseluruhannya ; perjuangan pelbagai kaum, menggunakan pelbagai wadah, dan melibatkan pelbagai aliran pemikiran. Sejarah ternyata mengajar kita bahawa Perjuangan Menuntut Kemerdekaan menerbitkan kesatuan semangat untuk menentang penjajah dan imperialisme Barat ketika itu.

Generasi terdahulu yang sama-sama berjuang untuk kemerdekaan, dan mereka yang menempuh zaman mudanya di masa awal kemerdekaan menjadi saksi kepada kepelbagaian aliran dan wadah perjuangan rakyat. Tetapi penulisan sejarah kemerdekaan yang disampaikan kepada generasi hari ini masih belum berlaku adil kerana fakta yang bercampur propaganda. Ini merupakan beban dan tanggungjawab kepada ahli-ahli sejarah kerana tanpa pensejarahan yang adil, kita tidak akan dapat melihat dan menemui makna dan rupa diri bangsa kita yang sebenarnya. Nama pejuang kemerdekaan seperti Dato’ Onn Jaafar, Ustaz Abu Bakar Baqir, Dr Burhanuddin al Helmy, Ahmad Boestamam, S P Seenivasagam, Tan Chee Koon, Mat Salleh, Panglima Rentap dan Rosli Dhobi tidak sewajarnya digelapkan dari sejarah menuntut kemerdekaan.

Kemerdekaan adalah untuk kebebasan dan keadilan. Inilah yang dijanjikan kepada kita pada 31 Ogos 1957. Sekiranya kita mahu berdegil untuk meneruskan saki baki peninggalan feudal, atau mahu memperkokohkan lembaga-lembaga sistem otoritarianisme, sudah pasti kita menjadi bangsa yang terpinggir. Bangsa Malaysia tidak miskin dengan sumber daya manusianya. Dengan paras pembangunan yang telah dicapai dan kekayaan yang kita miliki Malaysia boleh menjadi negara yang besar. Dan kita perlu yakin bahawa Malaysia boleh menjadi bangsa yang besar. Tetapi kita tidak boleh menjadi bangsa yang besar sekiranya rakyatnya tidak bebas dan merdeka.

ANWAR IBRAHIM, Ketua Pembangkang, Parliamen Malaysia

It will be a long time to come, or never will, before the computer can think like the human brain.

Never use E-translator if you can avoid it especially if you have little comprehension of the other language.