Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stop Gutter Politics!

It has been a long time since I updated my blog. My apology, to be honest I am getting very tired and sick of commenting on the Malaysian politics. In the upcoming Sarawak state elections, I hope that all parties can stay away from gutter politics and focus on real issues faced by the people of Sarawak.

Stay away from personal attacks e.g. sex video, DNA campaign and others which are going to make Malaysia a laughing stock on the century. With changes taking place in the Middle East and North Africa, we might be the highlight of international press looking for some silly and humorous jokes about governance, society and politicians.

We have read and seen enough stupidity!

1) Pahang MB Adnan Yaakob told the Atomic Energy Licensing Board to set up an office at the side of the Lynas rare earth plant to allay fears. Why don't he set up his own office next to the plant to allay fears? It is not about fears or cosmetic steps but actual, factual and scientific data.

2) Nazri Aziz suggested a RCI to be set up to investigate the recent sex video controversy. What is the role of RCI? Punitive? A tool of the ruling regime to thumb down their opponents? What about RCIs for to investigate corruption in high profile cases involving PKFZ, Sime Darby and now Iskandar? Nazri said Wan Azizah is not qualified to judge the sex video. Who else if not a woman who is mother to six children with the accused? Who is better qualified? Actor/producer Yusry of KRU? Nazri should help the PM by keeping his mouth shut. He should look at his own backyard before talking about others.

3) Dr Chua Soi Lek wants the government to consider the use of dual language e.g. English & BM or mother tongue to teach Maths and Science. The whole discourse on education system should not be limited to just language of instruction but the quality of education to create skilled workers.

We have had enough of gutter politics. Stick to serious issues in Sarawak.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Subtle Insults & Serious Comments

Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi was rather upset that the media had failed to discern between his “subtle insults” and serious comments over the Penang free WiFi issue which recently caused a storm in Penang.

Ooi, who is state telecommunications task force chairperson, refused to clarify the matter further when asked how the media had twisted his words as he claimed.

Malaysiakini had obtained the audio recording of the press conference where Ooi made the controversial statement.

Ooi was found to have indeed uttered those words when he explained the difficulties of implementing access points in Penang.

At the end of the media event, a reporter was heard asking Ooi to clarify his comment about WiFi coverage in non-Pakatan constituencies.

“It is not even considered for (the) second phase... no resources, if (they) want WiFi then vote PR (Pakatan Rakyat),” Ooi had replied.

Yes, it is subtle insult. It is an insult for Jeff Ooi to suggest that he media needs to be able to discern between his insult and serious comment. Why is there a need to insult in the first place? His party used to criticize the Barisan for saying or doing the same thing.

Second, the media did take him seriously because it is the role of the media to do so. If Jeff wants to insult or tell a joke, he should do a stand up comedy show like what we did in Penang, the MACC: Internal Affairs.

Jeff's attitude and reaction towards the media is not going to make him the same 'superstar blogger' like in 2008 when he stood for his maiden parliamentary election.

It is best for Jeff to wipe his arrogance and serve all Penangites.

For a record, he has yet to apologize for his accusation again me and my company in 2008 when he mistook us for another company which had helped the state government to organize a merdeka celebration. What can we expect from Jeff? - This is a subtle insult.

Reader's Feedback on the Recent Sex Video

PKR, PR AND THE SEX VIDEO

Just like the current sodomy trial, this latest Anwar sex video episode shows how polarised and close-minded people are along political lines and beliefs.

It is both amazing and amusing how so many people are incredibly and unbelievably quick to condemn and vilify the video without so much as a glimpse of it. The most sorry of this lot are the PKR and other PR politicians. Surely good sense and prudence dictate that they withhold any comment about the video’s authenticity until and unless they themselves had seen it.

But, no, sirrreee. They rushed in with denials which can only be explained by a belief on their part that their leader is a person blessed with infallibility and thus sheltered from the usual human frailties to commit any form of sin. On the planet that they dwell, Anwar Ibrahim is a chaste saint, truly a gift from God to the people from Malaysia. All their critical faculties go out through the window and there is no space within their sensibilities to ponder that maybe, just maybe, their leader may not be what he seems or claims to be. Because of this ingrained attitude, just as the sun can be predicted to rise from the east, they too can be predicted to meet any accusation of wrongdoing against Anwar with their own unsupported, unsubstantiated and increasingly wild conspiracy theories of how their saintly leader is being unfairly targeted. It’s beginning to sound like the droning of a broken record – and getting tiresome.

The crucial point here is not the video itself, the veracity of which is unknown until it is seen by a wider audience. The point here is the manner in which the PR politicians are responding to this latest challenge. In being so blindly and stupidly devoted to the line that ‘Anwar Ibrahim can do no wrong’ and so blinkered by their hatred by Umno that they cannot think objectively any more, they risk disenchanting the voters, even the ones who are not necessarily pro-BN.

Yes, government leaders at times insult the people’s intelligence in justifying their actions. PR politicians too, as it is becoming clearer now, are not immune from doing the same thing in their efforts to defend Anwar’s reputation. They may just end up damaging the opposition more than any sex video could. After all, governing a country is much too important to be left to unquestioning and uncritical devotees of a personality cult.

ZHARRIF AZRAI

via (zharrifazrai@gmail.com)

Readers who want their views to be published can send them to kpkhoo@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

X-Rated Malaysia

An opposition politician is being linked to a new sexual scandal. His political opponents, namely minister Nazri Aziz, have challenged him to swear by the Quran that he was not involved in the new video.

This new allegation, whether it is true or false, is set to damage Malaysia's reputation especially the image and credibility of our politicians. Malaysia's political scene is probably more sensational than the latest action/fictional drama on the local TV. There is a mixture of alleged sexual misconduct, sodomy, conspiracy and murder. Some are real but some are lies...

The people are left wondering who they can really trust to help address the multifarious issues faced by the country.

I have a few issues & questions with the recent development:

1) Why is there a need to swear by the Quran?
2) Is the alleged act an offence under the Malaysian law?
3) Can the 'messenger' refuse to pass the video recording to the authority?
4) Should a special police unit be formed to investigate the video? Aren't there are more pressing issues which should be investigated?
5) What is the real intention of the 'whistle blower'? Should we encourage the use of such tactic to bring down a personality or a politician?

However, I would like to be consistent with my stand here. If the video is authentic, it is a moral obligation for the alleged person to step down from all public offices.

If the video is not authentic, the same call goes to the perpetrator(s).

Malaysia needs something healthier and positive. We need to change our political culture and politicians.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Malay Bible Controversy Needs Cool Heads to Defuse Ethno-Religious Tensions

Thirty thousand Malay Bibles seized by Home Ministry officials from the port here were stamped today with the government’s seal without the importer’s consent despite Putrajaya’s assurance that the holy books for Sarawak Christians would be left untouched.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had defended his ministry’s stamping of 5,100 Malay-language Bibles in Port Klang with its official seal, saying it was standard protocol and not done to “deface” the Alkitab.

“As for the serial numbers on the Bibles, the reason why it was done to the specific Bibles is because they are subject to the particular seizure in Klang,” he added.

Hishammuddin’s Cabinet colleague Nazri Aziz had also said the 5,100 copies in Port Klang remain illegal due to a prohibition in Selangor Islamic laws.

However, the de facto law minister had told The Malaysian Insider that the 30,000 Alkitab in Kuching could be released immediately as there was no enactment in Sarawak against the use of the term “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

The Sarawak importer, James Redas, said that local Bumiputera Christians are highly upset at what they see as a desecration of their holy book and will make their feelings felt at the ballot box.

Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria has warned the release of the previously impounded 35,100 Malay-language bibles could lead to Malay anger and fearsome consequences.

The Malay Bible controversy should be carefully managed by all parties. Malaysia is already a polarized country. Division between ethnic and religious communities is quite pronounced. We must be prepared to address this issue with a sense and sensibility.

There are two major issues here:

1) Ego. Malaysia's diverse ethno-religious communities should learn to accept and respect the existence of all religions in the country. We should compete for exclusivity of any religion. All religions profess good spiritual and moral values to their followers.

We should address the issue of ego. Harussani sounds egoistic when he claimed that the release of Malay-language bibles could lead to Malay anger and fearsome consequences. Why should and why would the Malay react in such hostility? Personalities such as Harussani should be refrained from making a false representation for the Malay. Let our Malay Muslim brothers and sisters speak for themselves.

I am confident that most Malay Muslims are confident of their Islamic faith. Islam is a major religion in the world. Muslims would not leave the religion just because they can get access to Malay-language bibles. I was a student of Islamic history and had read the Quran but instead of converting to Islam I had gained valuable knowledge about Islam and its virtues.

We should get rid of EGO if we want to achieve a real solution.

2) Second is the issue of confidence. I believe that a lack of communication and mutual understanding had led us to this controversy. Silly as it may sound there is no need for the government to react so negatively towards the Malay-language bibles. I believe the PM is a sensible and moderate leader. But it is not easy for any moderate leader to lead effectively in such a political environment. We should refrain from using the Bibles as a political pawn in the next Sarawak state elections. Unfortunately, the issue is expected to take a centre stage in Sarawak, risking further rifts amongst the Christian and Muslim communities.

The government, religious bodies, council of churches and eminent individuals must come together to put a stop to incessant and unnecessary politicization of the religious book. There are many things which can be politicized but not this BOOK not the BIBLE.

Malaysia must focus on bigger issues.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Silly and Insensitive Zoy



Berita Harian apologises over the publication of the caricature regarding the tsunami and the earthquake in Japan in today's Berita Minggu.

"We never meant to make fun of the disaster which has struck the country, and we deeply sympathise and share in sadness with the people of Japan," it said.

Berita Harian's group editor Mior Kamarul Shahid also wrote on his Twitter account, reiterating their regrets and apologies over the oversight.

OVERSIGHT? Should we get Mior a new pair of spectacles?
Japan's death toll could climb to more than 10,000 and this newspaper can still afford to find some humour in one of the biggest tragedies in the 21st century.

INSENSITIVE is the word.

Stupidity is what best described Berita Harian's attitude.

As a Malaysian, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences and apology to the Japanese people.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Malay Bible & Dirty Politics

The Malay bible controversy highlights a serious problem of deep social insecurity, unnecessary politicisation and political arrogance in this country.

It is sad to note that although a slew of feel good slogans had been introduce to promote Malaysia's ambition to become a fully developed country by 2020, this country is far from achieving this target.

It does not take rocket science to tell us that Malaysia embodies everything about a third world country. We are still bickering over something very basic - religion, race, constitutional rights and a host of other menial and petty political issues.

Our politicians are simply too good at setting targets they are not sure how to achieve. Politicians should start with some fundamental questions e.g. what does Malaysia need to become a true multiracial and progressive country? How can Malaysia compete and thrive in the ever changing global economy and market dynamics?

Zaid Ibrahim says “Different quarters have been allowed to abuse this issue for political gains. Must it come down to political parties fishing for votes based on promises of religious freedom? Isn't this already guaranteed in our constitution?”

Zaid is right to warn different parties not to abuse this issue for political gains. However, this is Barisan Nasional's self-inflicted damage. As the ruling regime, the leaders of Barisan Nasional should uphold the sanctity of federal constitution and not trying to impose their political will according to their own whim and fancy.

It is ridiculous for the Home Minister to suggest that their (Malay Bibles) release had been delayed pending advice from the Attorney-General.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein claimed the detention of 35,000 Malay-language bibles in Port Klang and Kuching port had been due to its pending court appeal over Catholic newspaper The Herald’s use of the word “Allah” in its publications.

In the first place, the government should not have restricted the use of the word "Allah" for fear of confusing Muslims in the country.

Abim demands PM Najib to clarify his stand on the Malay Bibles. PM Najib made the right decision to call for an immediate release of the bibles and all parties should respect his decision.

Abim's fear of apostasy among Muslims if Malay Bibles are made available is hilarious and shallow. It undermines the faith of Muslims of their Islamic faith. Many Malay Muslims are proficient in English too. How many have left the religion so far due to the Bible?

We should not succumb to our own inferiority complex and hurt the rights of others. Christians are Malaysians too. If the government and national language proponents are serious about their effort to encourage more to use the language they should act consistently.

Language alone cannot cause apostasy. It is not so simplistic.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Alkitab & National Language = Malaysian Hypocrisy

This is a very odd situation. Malay proponents including Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali & ex-Berita Harian editor Ahmad Rejal Arbee have accused the non-Malays for not being able to converse in the national language.

Here, the government is banning the use of Bahasa Malaysia on Christian Bibles. Christians in Malaysia say they are angry and fed up with the Najib government for what they see as a systematic move to deny their religious rights enshrined in the country’s highest law.

Spurred by the Home Ministry’s latest seizure of 30,000 Malay Bibles that cost US$26,000 (RM78,000) from Kuching port, the churches rallied together and issued a stinging rebuke today against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

They demanded he “prove their (the government) sincerity and integrity in dealing with the Malaysian Christian community on this and all other issues which we have been raising with them since the formation of the Christian Federation of Malaysia in 1985”.

“The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) is greatly disillusioned, fed-up and angered by the repeated detention of Bibles written in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia.

“It is an affront to them that they are being deprived of their sacred scriptures. Many are wondering why their scriptures are considered a threat to national security. All these actions in relation to the detention of the Bibles continue to hurt the Malaysian Christian community,” it said in a statement today signed by its chairman, Bishop Ng Moon Hing.

It appears to me that the use of Bahasa Malaysia can be hypocritically judged. The use of Bahasa Malaysia is not welcomed if there is a perceived threat to the Malays and Muslim interest.

If Ibrahim Ali and Ahmad Rejal are consistent in their stand to urge all Malaysians to use the national language, they should stand up and speak up for the Christian community.

However, I do not think the two individuals are really so passionate about the use of Bahasa Malaysia. Most of us would perceive their stand as a mean to ridicule the non-Malays more than really defending the use of Bahasa Malaysia.

Why is the government so afraid of the Malay Bibles?

The insecurity is also being practiced and magnified by leaders such as Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin and others on the position of the Malays. If really the Malays were so easily threatened and overwhelmed, can anyone explain to us why these leaders, especially Taib Mahmud, and their children are so successful and filthy rich?

It shows that Melayu Boleh!

Now, get straight to the point. Mahathir, Muhyiddin, Taib, Ibrahim or Ahmad are not exceptional Malays. We should agree and accept that the poor Malays are most likely being suppressed and marginalised by the powerful federal government than the Chinese or non-Malays.

This country will remain where it is today if leaders still do not see the big picture.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Durian FM


Yo folks, I am hosting the "Tell It Like It Is" programme at the Durian FM on every Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 1pm.

You can listen to the programme through Facebook/durianfm.

If you want me to discuss any issue(s), please post your request on this blog. If you have a burning desire to join the programme, do let me know too. I will invite you as a studio guest.

Remember to tune in next Thursday, a special guest will be at the studio. Dr Hsu Dar Ren, an ex-Gerakan leader who resigned from the party citing racist overtone from UMNO will be on the show to talk about his struggle to change from within, his disappointment and his quest for a better Malaysia post-Gerakan.

You can join us live on Facebook too and write in your feedback.

I am sure the operator of Durian FM will make phone call in available very soon!

Check out the website here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Malaysian Dilemma - Mindset & a Lack of Finesse

It is a shame to note that Malaysians, from both sides of the political divide, are not able to engage in a meaningful and civilised debate.

Some Malaysians tend to equate name calling/harsh language/profanity to a discourse/debate. If we cannot even learn how to agree or disagree rationally how are going to expect this nation to progress or move forward even if there is a regime change?

A Pakatan Rakyat blog, which is probably run by a supporter, has reacted harshly to both Dr Malcolm Puthucherry and my post defending Malcolm's right to criticize PR's defacto leader on his less than convincing justification for not establishing a showdow cabinet.

The post called Malcolm a "smelly drunken beggar" and me a "prostitute" for giving Malaysian voters nightmares.

First, the voters are not stupid and they are not the ones having nightmares but the same cannot be said for PR leaders/candidates if their supporters continue to behave this way.

I expect the blog to take down the post as a courtesy and a good example.

Invincible MCA?

The cheating charges brought against Chan Kong Choy (and Ling Liong Sik) will have no impact on MCA, its party president Dr Chua Soi Lek proclaimed.

Dr Chua’s remarks come as Chan, also a former transport minister from MCA, was charged today with three counts of cheating over the scandal-hit PKFZ trans-shipment hub project and faces up to five years’ jail for each count.

Chan pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Dr Ling, a former MCA president, was also charged on July 29, 2010 of knowingly deceiving the Cabinet to approve a land purchase for PKFZ, which resulted in wrongful losses for the government.

"Anybody who has committed an offence, they should face the music.” He added that the charges showed the government is serious about good governance.

Soi Lek must be politically naive to claim that there is no impact on MCA. This is perhaps the most tumultuous period for the party. Ling and Chan were the top leaders of MCA. It is irresponsible and insensitive to suggest that their prosecutions do not affect the party. Both of them were nominated by the party to helm the transport minister position.

What Soi Lek must do is to order the current transport minister, Kong Cho Ha, to clean up the PKFZ mess. I am sure he knows that Kong has been criticized for doing the exact opposite by refusing to renew the tenure of a few independent directors.

MCA, to be relevant, must own up to the mess and alleged wrongdoings of both Ling and Chan. If the government is as serious about good governance as claimed by Chua the position of transport minister should not have been given to a MCA nominee.

A new transport minister from another component party would be more proper and suitable to continue with the probe on irregularities. A non-MCA transport minister could act more impartially and not try to protect former comrades and party members.

Chua's claim of good governance is a long shot. MCA's leadership crisis and credibility deficit is at its worst in the party's 62 years history.

I would be surprised if he claims that the Chinese voters have returned to the party. Return for what? To join in the current circus act in the party?