Merry Kerismas! Samy Gets a Big Cheer

25 12 2007

Below: the Seminator ain’t gettin’ the love this Christmas but he did get his own reality TV show on live ASTRO broadcast at the Aatam 100 Vagai talent show in Penang on Sunday night (23 Dec). A salute to the audience who finally decided they’d had enough, and told Samy to vamoose in no uncertain (and I hear, some unprintable) terms.


So much for continuing to fool the people regarding the real status of MIC. I’m guessing it’s no presents for Minister for Misinformation Lord Zam Zam Alakazam bin Maidin either, because this is one he didn’t see coming and it was live.

1 down, 196 more BN MP’s to go.

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Yes, The Chinese Are Short-sighted and Selfish: The Difficulty with the Chinese Vote

22 12 2007

This was originally posted as my comment in response to the post “Are the Chinese Short-sighted and Selfish? Pt. 1” on Sagaladoola‘s blog. Sagaladoola hits the nail on the head with his frustrated post, making reference to this article. I strongly recommend reading Sagaladoola’s post before this to better understand the difficulties facing the Malaysian opposition and civil society in overcoming the paranoia, inertia and apathy of Malaysian society in general.

The following is my reply to Sagaladoola (with a few new insertions):

I’m Chinese myself, and with much frustration, I’d have to agree with you: the Chinese community are by and large, fundamentally selfish and shortsighted. More than any other community, the majority of Chinese are driven more by personal fears and incentives than by the greater issues – the result of pragmatism tending towards the mercenary.

The Malaysian Chinese are basically divided into 3 camps: the dedicated opposition camp; the BN government sycophants and mercenaries; and the kiasi/kiasu/kiachenghu/bochap (afraid to die/afraid to lose/afraid of the govt/just don’t care about anything outside their ricebowl) paranoid-apathetic camp – which makes up the majority.

As the article mentions: while there is widespread discontent amongst the Chinese, it is still an open question whether this will translate into opposition votes at the next election, especially if there is a danger that some foolish auntie’s shopping trip might be jeopardised by ‘instability’. This chronic myopia (willingness to sacrifice their rights for false short-term promises of stability) is what allows UMNO to keep playing the race card to bully the docile Chinese back in line.

I run into enormous resistance in the form of paranoia, inertia and apathy when trying to raise political awareness even amongst my own family and friends (who mostly fall into the paranoid-apathetic camp).

In this coming election, I believe the Chinese vote will be decisive. From my observations: PAS and Keadilan together will be able to secure a significant block of the Malay vote – at least 33% = 20% of total votes by proportion. The Indian vote is gone to the opposition I’m sure, which gives another 8%. That’s a min. 28% in the bag, with potentially more from the Malay bloc.

That leaves the Chinese with a critical 25% vote block.
From this, at least 5% are hardcore opposition and can be relied on to deliver the votes. 5% are mercenaries and will vote BN.

The remaining 15% will decide the popular vote. Unfortunately, this is the paranoid-apathetic camp.

The Chinese vote will be decisive in the upcoming election. We must capture this block, or risk losing the reform momentum built up so far.

No more sitting on the fence, my Chinese compatriots. Wake up, it’s time to make a choice.

The activists and citizens out there on the streets are fighting for the rights of all Malaysian citizens. Last I checked, ‘Malaysian citizens’ means you and me too. The street protests are happening because there is simply no other way to get through to a regime so bloated on its own corruption and hubris that it cannot or will not hear any dissenting voices. And I will point out that every single recent street protest has been well-disciplined and peaceful right up to the point when the police initiated unprovoked attacks on the peaceful protestors. The real criminals and ‘terrorists’ are the ones in uniform, not the civil protestors.

Statements like ‘Indian grievances are none of my business’ and ‘the BERSIH protests are inconveniencing me’ are criminally stupid and selfish things to say. Nobody WANTS to protest on the streets; they protest because they have no choice. If you truly believe the BN propaganda then you deserve to live under the boot of UMNO-BN.

You can decide to vote for the BN menagerie and live on under the false pretence of stability, hoping every day that your UMNO masters will deign to throw you another table scrap, while your rights are slowly torn away from you and cancerous corruption consumes the country;

OR, you can decide to throw out the whole festering, irredeemable mess that is the UMNO-BN regime. Cut down the BN regime at the next election, and rebuild a country where all are equal, and the institutions of the country exist to protect, not oppress, the people. Bring in fresh, honest blood to rebuild and reinvent the country. Malaysia is a country rich with talent, it’s just not in UMNO-BN;

The choice is literally in your hands, and you need to decide, NOW.

What’ll it be?

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Police to Block Solidarity Vigil for ISA Detainees, Again

22 12 2007

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Malaysiakini reports that the police are cordoning off Dataran Merdeka and have issued warnings to prevent citizens from attending the above silent, peaceful candlelight vigil for the 5 HINDRAF leaders now under ISA detention. The vigil is scheduled for tonight, at 8 pm.

The UMNO-BN government’s response was to be expected, of course.
Well, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, this is what I have to say. Make sure you pass the message to your attack dog Musa Hassan and your lapdog Johari Baharom.

It is our fundamental and inalienable RIGHT as free citizens to peaceably assemble and to voice our concerns without interference from the state. We as citizens have never relinquished the right to public assembly; instead, the state has illegally misappropriated our right by ‘giving’ the police the power to ‘approve’ public assembly.

Listen well, Abdullah.

I do not recognise the authority of the police or the state in this respect. And neither do an increasing number of citizens in Malaysia.

In every single one of the previous civil protests, the violence was instigated and initiated by the police, not the citizens who participated in the protest. In fact, I am glad to see how disciplined the civil protestors have been, whether they be from HINDRAF, BERSIH, the Bar Council or otherwise. It is the PDRM that has proven to be lacking in discipline and professionalism, shirking their professional code to act as the thugs and enforcers of your shoddy regime.

And now you send your attack dogs in uniform to once again bar the people from peacefully assembling in solidarity with the HINDRAF leaders you unjustly detained under the ISA, an obsolete and draconian law that should have been expunged from the Constitution decades ago.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, I have no respect whatsoever left for you. To address you by your birth name is a courtesy I do not intend to maintain much longer.

You are a failed leader of a failed government, trying desperately to protect a festering mess of failed policies.

I no longer recognise you as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. You are not fit hold the post. Nor do I recognise your Cabinet of fools, imbeciles and bigots.

You forget, Abdullah, that *I* am your boss. I am one of the rakyat, and the rakyat are very angry.

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(click for larger version)

[ some components of the poster above were sourced from The People’s Parliament. ]





Merry Kerismas! Greetings from Bolehland

20 12 2007

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Seasons greetings from Bolehland! Above: Santa Dollah takes a break from doling out the Kerismas goodies.

Another quality product from Ghostline Industries Tidak Berhad, inspired by the brilliant poster below from Malaysiakini:

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HINDRAF Leaders Detained Under ISA

13 12 2007

I am in Ipoh, by chance. 5 HINDRAF leaders have just been detained under the ISA, a number of them reportedly detained right here. There is clearly an increased police presence here.

Early this afternoon, the High Hypocrite Abdullah Ahmad Badawi invoked the ISA against 5 HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force) leaders, detaining them without trial for 2 years and denying them access to legal representation, trampling on their civil rights and making a mockery of The High Hypocrite’s baldfaced lie (not that he needs any additional help) that Malaysia is a functioning democracy.
These are the HINDRAF leaders detained:

1.  P. Uthayakumar

2.  M. Manoharan

3.  R. Kengadharan

4.  B. Ganabathi Rao, and

5.  Vasanthan

Shortly after we received the news of the ISA arrests, I passed 2 police checkpoints along the Jelapang-Chemor road and also received independent reports of a significantly increased police presence in and around Ipoh. The police manning the checkpoints were heavily-armed and appeared to be mainly stopping motorists of Indian origin.

My assessment is that the police operation was part of a police net set up to : (1) catch HINDRAF leaders, or (2) pre-empt a community response against the arrests of the HINDRAF leaders. I am trying to verify this conclusion, though events seem to be bearing out my assumption.

Still believe Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s baldfaced lies and pretence at being a “kinder, gentler, moderate, honest and fair ‘Prime Minister of the people'”?

Still think that Barisan Nasional is ‘okay lah’?

Still think that ‘let’s not rock the boat lah?’

The only way to save Malaysia is to rid it of the cancer called UMNO-BN.

People, your rights as citizens are being violated upon right in front of you. We no longer have the right to say, “We are not happy with the government, and it is time to change.”

This is real, it’s happening now.

Take back the country. Do not stand by while fellow citizens are being persecuted for the ‘crime’ of expressing their unhappiness with the way things are going in this country.  

Vote BN out.  

——————————

The situation is still developing. More reports and responses:

Reuters is the first international news network to carry the reports.

http://www.jeffooi.com/mt32/mt-tb.cgi/2198

http://elizabethwong.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/ops-selamat-pak-lah-dah-bermula/

http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/uthayakumar-4-other-hindraf-leaders-detained-under-isa/

www.malaysia-today.net

http://www.youtube.com/malaysiakini 

http://whatalulu.blogspot.com/2007/12/lulus-trying-not-to-cry-in-office.html 

http://www.darnmalaysia.com/2007/12/13/2-years-many-things-could-happen/





Take Back The Streets; Take Back the Government; Take Back the Country

11 12 2007

[ UPDATE ] 

Seen on Elizabeth Wong’s blog: photos and videos of opposition leader Tian Chua being assaulted, dragged out of his car and taken away by PDRM-Gestapo thugs near Parliament this morning. According to (independent) reports, the car he was in was later found torched. Draw your own conclusions from that.

http://elizabethwong.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/tian-dragged-from-car/ 

Fellow citizens of Malaysia, this is your government.

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[ poster by mob1900 ]

Friends and fellow citizens,

You must have seen the heavy police presence on the streets of KL this morning.

You may even have seen the ‘news’ on Rangkaian Televisen BN (RTBN, a.k.a. ‘RTM’, ‘TV3’, etc) or God forbid, the New Straits Times or The Star.

On the order of The High Hypocrite Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, roadblocks were set up and several top opposition leaders and human rights lawyers and civil society activists were arrested while trying to exercise their democratic rights: attempting to submit a memorandum to Parliament opposing the term extension of the current Election Commission chief, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who doesn’t even try to pretend he isn’t an UMNO lapdog.

Over 20 BERSIH leaders have been detained this morning (some have been released), plus 8 lawyers arrested on Sunday (Human Rights Day), plus several opposition and civil rights lawyers arrested yesterday in a nationwide sweep.

———————

If, confused by the propaganda mill of the UMNO-BN regime, you still don’t know what BERSIH is, or believe govt propaganda and think that BERSIH is a terrorist organisation linked to Al-Qaeda, the CIA, Mossad, Tamil Tigers, etc, let me tell you:

BERSIH is a coalition of over 70 NGO’s and civil rights organisations campaigning for free and fair elections in Malaysia, for we all know that UMNO-BN is such a good government, even dead people come back to vote for UMNO in this wonderful country.

http://elizabethwong.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/why-pak-lah-wants-to-crush-bersih/

HINDRAF is a group speaking for the Indian people, who have been sold down the river by Samy Vellu and the MIC for decades.

See the video of the lawyers’ march and subsequent arrest on Human Rights Day last Sunday near the Central Market.

We want our rights back. As citizens, as human beings.

The past month has seen an unprecedented and increasingly desperate assault by the Badawi administration on the civil liberties of the people of Malaysia.

If by now we still cannot see, or worse, refuse to see the ugly truth of what is happening in this country NOW; the fact that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, UMNO and the PDRM-Gestapo are turning Malaysia into a fascist state, where the slightest dissent is tantamount to ‘treason’, then we may as well go to North Korea and start singing praises for Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, for that is what we will become if we do not make a stand now.

Of course, the very fact that we refuse to subscribe to UMNO-BN’s ‘reality’ and Rangkaian Televisyen BN’s ‘truth’ makes us ‘criminals and terrorists’ in the feeble mind of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a gentle monster who is well on his way to becoming the next Nikolai Ceausescu and Kim Jong-il.

Contrary to the propaganda mill, in every instance of the past few street protests, the violence was instigated and initiated by the Polis diRaja Malaysia and the FRU, firing tear gas and chemical sprays without provocation into a gathering of peaceful protestors who wanted nothing more than to demonstrate their discontent at the inequalities and discrimination they have suffered for decades.

You don’t need to to take my word for it; If you haven’t already seen it, just go and see the evidence on YouTube and search for ‘BERSIH rally 10 Nov’, ‘HINDRAF rally 25 Nov’, ‘Al-Jazeera HINDRAF report’, ‘Human Rights March Malaysia’ etc.

The judiciary is such a joke that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail (another unapologetic UMNO lapdog) was mockingly laughed down at a press conference packed with lawyers. The fact is that the government has declared war on the Bar Council, along with all of us who refuse to submit.

How much more abuse must we suffer before we say that “Enough is enough!”?

The government serves us — the people — not the other way around. When the government of the day fails, it is our right to throw it out and replace it. When the government manipulates elections and suppresses the media, it tramples on the rights of the people.

Exercise your democratic right. Reclaim those rights that the govt has taken away from you. Throw out this rotten government.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal.

I’ve made my choice.

Make your choice. Now.

Take back the streets, take back the government and take back the country from the criminals that run it. Or, submit quietly and live as slaves of a fascist regime.


M for Malaysia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY-ZfuYSJx8

Independent reports:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m96FCTKHNA8&feature=related
http://malaysiakini.tv
http://bersih.org
http://www.malaysianbar.org.my

http://tonypua.blogspot.com/2007/12/incredulity.html

http://whatalulu.blogspot.com/2007/12/lulu-song-dedication-to-our-promise.html

http://elizabethwong.wordpress.com

http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com
http://malikimtiaz.blogspot.com
http://rockybru.blogspot.com/2007/12/malaysia-blacklists-former-dpm.html





SAVE BURMA; Day of Action 5th Oct

5 10 2007

Dear readers,In support of the Burmese people’s struggle for freedom in the face of a violent crackdown by the Burmese junta:

This blogger and fellow SG-based Malaysian blogger Satya will be staging a two-man satyagraha (peaceful demonstration) outside the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on Tanglin Road, Singapore later this morning (Friday 5th Oct) from 11am -2pm.

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[ Mahatma Gandhi – pioneer of the satyagraha (‘Gandhigiri’) philosophy; photo from Wikipedia ]

Due to the great difficulty in obtaining official approval for public protests in Singapore (the SG government is equally as uptight about public protests as Malaysia is, they’re just less triggerhappy) and the extreme urgency over the ongoing violence in Burma, we have decided to circumvent the problem of the permit by staging a very small but (hopefully) high-impact two-man protest instead.

We have prepared a short memorandum to be submitted to the Chinese Ambassador and local media, if they show up. Download the memorandum here: save-burma.pdf

Why target the Chinese Embassy and not the Burmese?

Simple: the Burmese military junta is very similar to North Korea right now: isolated, paranoid, delusional and violent. International expressions of revulsion… are unlikely to have any effect on the Burmese government.

However, the Burmese military junta is still heavily dependent on China for political, military, economic and ideological support; Burma is virtually a client state of China (as is North Korea). Chinese support (in conjunction with petrodollars) is propping up the junta as part of a new ‘Great Game’ between China and India to assert strategic influence on Indochina. Despite attempts in recent years at hedging the country’s dependence on China, the Burmese government would probably collapse if the Chinese abruptly withdrew their support.

In other words, China has a great deal of leverage over Burma if it wishes to exercise it.

Obviously, China is highly reluctant to do so, but this is where international attention and pressure can be strategically brought to bear with the greatest effect. China is vulnerable to negative publicity right now because it MUST maintain a squeaky-clean public image for the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics. Therein lies our leverage.

By linking the violence in Burma to China’s own human rights record and the upcoming Beijing Olympics, we can gain some leverage over China. Bluntly speaking, I believe that we – the people of the world – can conceivably press the Chinese government to take meaningful action against the Burmese junta. I do not think they can afford to have the glamour of the Beijing Olympics ‘tainted’ by association with the blood of the Burmese protestors.

It is not desirable to politicise the Olympic Games; that statement notwithstanding, the Games have always been politicised to some degree, and I believe that this is the only way to force China to take real action.

ASEAN, as we have seen, is about as useful as having an extra toe growing out of your forehead. And, short of a military action, even the United Nations has very little influence over the Burmese junta.

Which leaves China.

Avaaz, the NGO that is organising the worldwide petition and newspaper ad campaign for the Burmese people, has also identified the same strategic issue, i.e.: to move Burma, we must press China.

Press hard. Burmese lives depend on it.

—————————————-

Just received the followup email from Avaaz, organiser of the worldwide petition to China and the UN Supreme Council to take action against Burma over the violent crackdown. The email is reproduced below, (red highlights added by me):

——————-

Dear friends,

Today, our petition to China and the UN Security Council to stop the brutal crackdown on peaceful Burmese protesters is being delivered to the world in a full page ad in the Financial Times worldwide — but the ad was rejected by other newspapers like the South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. Our message is an invitation to China to do the right thing in Burma, not an attack — yet even that seemed too much for media that fear Chinese reprisals.

We won’t let our voice be silenced like this. We’re taking our message to the streets, in an international day of action on Saturday — details are on our petition page, and below. And we’re redoubling our efforts to make our voice louder: our petition is approaching 600,000 signatures, closing fast on our 1 million goal.The petition link is below – send this email to all your friends and family and help us reach 1 million voices by Saturday!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/w.php

To organize an event for the global day of action, just follow the steps below. To attend an event, scroll down our petition page at the link above for a list of events around the world. Here’s some simple steps for organizers:

  • Choose a public place or landmark in your town, and organize friends to go there all wearing the same maroon red clothing as the Burmese monks. Tell local media about your plans, and email the details and contact information to dayofaction@avaaz.org — we will try to advertise your event on our petition page.
  • Ask people attending your event to share their feelings on this crisis and the need for action, and then tie a red ribbon or piece of cloth around fences or trees to leave a more lasting sign of your support for the Burmese.

The worldwide outcry to save Burma’s peaceful monks and protesters is one more sign of how the world is getting closer, feeling increasingly responsible to each other, and for each other as human beings. We’re bringing a voice of humanity to this desperate situation, and we must not be silenced.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul, Graziela, Ben, Sarah, Iain, Galit, Pascal, Milena and the whole Avaaz Team.

PS – Here are some great links for local reporting on the current situation in Burma:

http://www.irrawaddy.org

http://www.mizzima.com

Avaaz.org is staffed by a global team of campaigners operating on 3 continents. We have administrative offices in London, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. Please direct mail to our NY office at 260 Fifth Avenue, 9th floor, New York, NY 10001 U.S.A.