Friday, September 13, 2013

Misuari’s final gambit?


Old, forgotten and hounded, the once-great Nur Misuari, founder of the once-formidable Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), is now dealing his last card in Zamboanga City.
Zamboangueños woke up last Monday to his latest and what I imagine is his last caper as time and the tides of history dealt him an insurmountable blow a long time ago when he failed miserably as governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Sidelined in the recent negotiations for lasting peace in Mindanao, he has resorted to the thing he knows best to get attention: blow his way into the national headlines.
His timing could not have been more impeccably suspect as protests against the scandalous multi-billion peso misuse of pork barrel funds is mounting and inching towards the doorstep of Malacañang. It does not take a rocket scientist, hence, to wonder if this Misuari misadventure in Zamboanga has been staged, complete with unlimited funding, to divert attention—and heat—from the capital. Even a lowly taxi driver told a friend and colleague of mine who rode with him, “When Misuari needs money, he goes to war.”
The question to ask therefore is this: Who is funding this little war that Misuari has foisted on the helpless people of Zamboanga? While Misuari may have some following in Sulu where his popularity among the older generation of the MNLF remains, I do not think those followers will risk whatever money they have to this caper that everyone knows will only end in pushing Misuari and whatever cause he is espousing further into the back-burner to be judged later by history. Old men tend to grumble when the latter and younger generation fail to notice what they want. But they do not go to war for it, not unless they have the guns and the bombs. And those cost money.

Read more: 

Also read:

Nur Misuari’s last scream

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Philippine Pork and its Many Bedfellow

Written by John Berthelsen and A. Lin Neumann   
Pork no more
Pork no more
The current scandal over patronage funds exposes deeper truths about the country's feudal ways
The Philippines' multibillion dollar Pork Barrel, the center of a massive and growing scandal, is a river of money that enriches those most at its confluence but then flows down to mayors and other local political leaders, corrupting the democratic process as it goes, with a trickle eventually reaching impoverished voters in the form of favors and benefits intended to buy loyalty for the local congressman.

The Pork Barrel, formally known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), provides each of the country's 24 senators with P200 million (US$4.8 million) per year, or P1.2 billion for an entire six-year term. Congressional representatives receive P70 million per year, or P210 million for their three year terms.

For months, attention has been riveted on the activities of Janet Lim Napoles, who made herself and her family massively rich after she set up a series of phony NGOs that were the recipients of PDAF funds that were then apparently recycled back to the lawmakers in cash after Napoles took a 30 percent cut. That story has been told extensively and is the subject of an official government audit report; at least six senators and 28 congressmen could be liable for criminal charges.

Mother's Milk 
But the other part of the story is how these funds even when "properly" used perpetuate an almost unbreakable system, helping to create a long chain of political dynasties. In effect the PDAF has been a government-funded way to sustain a corrupt and feudal system.

The way the funds are used illustrates the enormous difficulty of ending or reforming a system that makes a truism of the phrase that money is the mother's milk of politics. The funds were intended to finance rural development projects for constituents but investigations have shown that while many districts benefit from them, more often they are used as a method of delivering patronage and furthering the business interests of powerful local families.

The poorly audited PDAF funds and other sources of money that flow down from lawmakers to district officials or mayors are sometimes used to fund outright illegal operations including smuggling of drugs or weapons and munitions sales, according to a former military officer, virtually unstoppable by an outmanned, outgunned and often corrupt customs service trying to police an archipelago of 7,100 islands, about 2,000 of which are inhabited.Read more.

It's "Bandh" Day,Happy In The East

Hantu Laut

Here I am, completely immobilised, eating dust instead of breathing fresh mountain air.

Kathmandu is highly polluted with dust particles due to many of its unpaved roads.

It's an old civilisation that had grown backward.

Today is bandh day in Kathmandu. There is bandh every other day in this city, but today is a big one that virtually lock down the city. 

Most schools, shops and offices are closed and many major roads in the city are closed to traffics and almost all public transports will came to a grinding halt, I was told.

Yesterday, the government raised fuel prices and angry student unions affiliated to various political parties have said that they would close down all petrol kiosks across the country for three days from Sept 14 to protest the price hike. 

'Lo and behold' I wonder how they are going to do that, but in Nepal, I was told, by hook or by crook, it will happen.

I am not very clear what today's big protest really about, nothing much in the newspaper to tell the true story. 

Of little that I know, being told, it is about protest against elections to the Constituent Assembly, which comprises many political parties including a communist led 33-agitating party alliance led by the CPN-Maoist party. 

Hahaha! These communists are serious about democracy and the right to demonstrate freely on the streets.

This is a wonderful country for people who like to protest, demonstrate, or just go walkabout. 

However, nothing have ever changed in spite of the frequent demos, protests, rallies, marches and whatever name you wish to give it.It's the only growth industry here.

Most protests are peaceful and accompanied by the police, but once a while, some ended up in bloody clashes with the police.

Well, if you are bored we can always go to Freak Street where its squalor and beauty are no more irresistible of days bygone the Flower Power. 

The freakish madness of the time had passed into the dustbin of history.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's A Joke: Obama Should Return His Nobel Peace Prize.

Hantu Laut

Will Barack Obama bomb the hell out of Syria?

Obama should return the Nobel Peach Prize as he is no more fighting a leftover war, but himself into war. 

He never did deserve the Nobel Peace Prize anyway. I have written here some time ago why he didn't deserve the Nobel Prize.

He says America is not the world's policeman, why than is he trying to get involve in an area of conflict that has nothing to do with the U.S?

The American never seem to learn their lessons, poking their noses in every area of conflicts whenever they think American interests are at stake.

Syria, for no viable reason, do not fit the picture of danger to American interests, but there is more to it than chemical weapon of mass destruction to justify U.S involvement.

The Syrian war if left unchecked can destabilise the region.

That's the only reason the U.S. wanted to exert its military power in Syria......... to shield Israel and protect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia from a spill over of the war, where a motley mix of dangerous rebels forces, including Al Qaeda are fighting to topple Bashar al-Assad. 

More than 100,000 people have been killed and 1.7 million forced to flee to neighbouring countries since the conflict started 30 months ago.

The U.S. have closed its eyes to what had happened in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda where millions were slaughtered by murderous dictators and the American never bat an eyelid.

Why than is the U.S. keen to get involved in Syria? 

Why Syria, where Assad is fighting rebel groups as atrocious, cruel and murderous as Assad is ? 

The Middle East is the most important region for the U.S and for the security of Israel and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. 

The U.S. doesn't give two hoots about human lives. If sincerely so, why wait until over 100,000 lives have been lost before it triggers the American conscience.

Obama says if they do proceed, it will be limited war, no ground troops.

Aren't aerial bombings the most destructive to human lives and properties and more often than not do not hit the intended targets, resulting in gross destruction to civilian lives and properties?

How many people have Assad killed using chemical weapons and how many more will Obama kill with his indiscriminate bombing of the country?

I am no fan of Assad, I think he is reincarnation of the devil itself and should be taken out, but not the way the American want to do it. 

The American with all the sophisticated weapons that they have are not known to be dead accurate hitting their targets and many civilians would become collateral damage if the U.S.military resorted to aerial bombings using drones or manned flights.

The rebels atrocities and cruelty are not less than what Assad is doing. Can Obama explain to the world his reasoning of supporting the same kind of evil that he is trying to stop, this war of baddies against baddies.

The video below was smuggled by a rebel disillusioned with the atrocities inflict on the enemies and civilians who do not support their cause.

Rebels have also reportedly killed 123 civilians in Assad's home province of Latakia and Assad's Alawite sect that controlled the military and have kept his family in power for over four decades. The massacre could have been retaliatory.

Among the rebels are opportunistic terror groups like Al Qeada and freedom fighters from other Muslim countries. 

America's next biggest headache is if the rebels succeeded in taking over Syria, there are no visible leaders align to the U.S. who can take over the running of the country.

Between the two evils, which one is Obama going to play ball with?

Obama is now looking for an escape tunnel where he can escape  from attacking Syria.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Rogue Chief Minister And Rogue Loan Defaulters

Hantu Laut

Away on holiday somewhere in the Himalayas. 

Haven't posted anything the past two weeks, bit tired writing about Malaysian politics, which is fast sliding down the gutter.

Badasses from both sides of the political divide giving the country a bad name.

When you have chief minister of a state going overseas running down his own country, you know what kind of fuck head you have heading a government and one who thinks his state is a separate entity and another sovereign power.

Now, I would like to ask Lim Guan Eng where his allegiance lies, here or in Timbaktu?

No matter how much you are against the government, as an elected member you can only denigrate or ridicule the government within the country or in parliament, but doing it overseas in an international forum is outright treachery and should not be condoned by any patriotic Malaysian. 

To be fair to him, the government must get a transcript of his speech to determine whether the complaint is true or not and whether the nature of the speech is treasonous. The transcript should also be published in the media for the people to judge.

From a chief minister who thinks he is an emperor of an island nation to a government losing sense in good governance, using soft approach to loan defaulters depriving others of the opportunity to further their studies

I read this with great concern concerning PTPPN loan defaulters. What kind of signal is the government sending to the Malays and Bumiputras. 

Hutang, tak payah bayar balik kah?

A mind-boggling sum of RM2.3 billion in unpaid loans by 400,000 defaulters of the PTPPN study loans of mainly Malay/Bumiputra students. 

Now, you know why the other races rejected the BN government. This is the kind of nonsense they do that riled up the other races. 

A proposal to denounce and blacklist the name of defaulters was opposed by UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and accepted by the Cabinet.Blacklisting may not be the answer. PTPPN must use legal action to collect the debts from adamant borrowers.

We, businessmen, would be severely punished if we failed to repay our debts, not only our own loans, but personal guarantee we gave to financial institution for third party's debt, which can be your friend, relative, or your own company where you may be one of the directors.Failure to repay would end up in bankruptcy.

Debt is a debt and must be repaid. If the borrower is not able to repay on time than the loan should be rescheduled to ease the borrower's burden.

Politicians should not set bad example by defending these rogue borrowers, who, obviously, have no intention of repaying the loans from the very beginning.

Legal action should be taken against the loan defaulters.