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Archive for July, 2008

Eeerrrr…..my pent up feelings on this whole Anwar Ibrahim fiasco is boiling over as I am exhausted from taking care of my mum in hospital. Alhamdullilah she has been discharged and is now convalescent at home. I tell you trying to sleep on a chair by her bedside for nearly two weeks does havoc on your physical and mental health. My personal aches and pains aside, my mental anguish is compounded further by this never ending slugfest in the media and cyberspace centred around who else – DSAI. I can’t escape even in hospital because everyone is talking about it, from the taxi drivers to patients and their visitors and even to the doctors and nurses themselves, especially with the medical checkup of the protoganists of this latest saga right there on the premises! And I heard some good ones mind you! Who cares what stupid stuff government topplers and takeovers obsessed souls post on the internet!

Now that I’ve had a good night’s sleep and am eating decent food with some taste again, I am catching up on why the hell is the United States so interested in DSAI? I blogged my wonderment before here and my incredulity grows with the recent statements made by some prominent US politicians. I mean whoa,…. no Muslim politician in the world ever got this much “positive” support in favour of one individual to the detriment of the country’s freely elected government of the day! Having been a journalist, I wasn’t satisfied with the press, mainstream or otherwise, interpretation of the statements but when I was in hospital tending to mum’s needs I didn’t have a chance to go look up the real story. Much as I hate politics, all this ruckus has made it impossible for anyone, whether you are a citizen or not, not to worry about what the hell is going on in this country!

This recent article by James Hookway in the Wall Street Journal “In Malaysian Politics, Fighting Dirty is the Norm” really puts Malaysian politics on a new plateau of sleaze. Sodomy allegations aside, this particular point Hookway raised really strikes home and something I have always wondered myself      

Mr. Anwar was in the National Front government himself for 16 years in the 1980s and 1990s and backed many of the policies he now criticizes.

Unlike the idealistic youth of today so enarmoured by the utopia promised by DSAI and his brand of politics, I am concerned with this undue interest in Malaysia from such a powerful nation as the US. I mean, what the hell is the big deal about a small country with 27 million people and majority Muslim at that? If we believe the politicians and the excitable media, it would seem like people here in this backwoods country have nothing better to do than persecute, suppress, oppress and repress for any darned reason. It would seem the imaginative media, conventional or alternative, are bent on a political collision course, even if it is just in their written pages. Having witnessed Tun M’s powerful stance in defence of Malaysia against disrespectful foreign countries, I always felt we Malaysians could conquer the world. After all, we scaled the highest mountain, sailed the seven seas and even sent a man into space. What can’t we not do? Suddenly to have one politician capture the sympathies of the United States is more worrying than flattering. I certainly do not want any Malaysian Prime Minister kow-towing to any foreign power whose sympathy lies not with Islam. Really, if DSAI is so important to the US, I hope they will consider adopting him. Frankly, DSAI’s stature has grown far too big for this puny country. Sodomy allegations aside, just read the comments by DSAI friends so far.

Well, on Condaleezza Rice, she was just responding to a question posed by a Malaysian representative at this roundtable discussion in Singapore and an excerpt of the transcript of the press briefing below. Frankly, she sounded pretty respectful. It seems the worry was more a criticism of past handling of the case but what the hell, I am wondering why human rights get dragged in whenever it is about some other country than the US of A?:

QUESTION: I’m from Malaysia, so I hopefully (inaudible), I support this relations, (inaudible) sense that the U.S. has been interfering with domestic criminal case of — from Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. So Washington seems to make (inaudible) remarks against the case. To us, Malaysia – it’s just local, domestic, criminal case.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, the United States has long spoken and will continue to speak about cases that we think need to be thought about in terms of the political circumstances. We are always going to speak about human rights cases, about political cases. But again, we do so in a spirit of respect for Malaysia, and it’s — the United States doesn’t recognize this very firm barrier, but there are certain things that are simply internal affairs when a case of this kind comes up. But we’re going to continue to work with the Malaysian Government. And I’m going to see my Malaysian counterpart in a little bit.

QUESTION: But Mr. Anwar is going through all the local due process of law.

SECRETARY RICE: And we look for — one of the things that we’ve said is that we want to see a transparent and — rule of law to be completely followed here, and that part of the comfort level or the confidence that states need to bring to the international system is that their systems are — their judicial systems are, indeed, responsive to rule of law and transparent and fair. That’s been (inaudible).

QUESTION: But you must remember the — our police and our —

SECRETARY RICE: I think I’ve answered your question.

QUESTION: Majority of them are trained by the Americans and the British.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes, yes.

QUESTION: (Inaudible).

SECRETARY RICE: No, no — but the evenhanded application of rule of law is very important.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: Mm-hmm.

Of course, the “Letter of Support” (LoS) from some old friends that really tells how influential the man is. Considering Tun M refused to take IMF handouts during troubled economic times brought on by the global financial crisis, this letter sends shivers down my spine. Seriously, the spectre of my beloved country being mortgaged to foreign super powers suddenly looms in the horizon. When you are indebted to anyone, they call the shots!!! 

Letter in Support of the Honorable Datuk Seri Dr. Anwar Ibrahim

NEW YORK, July 24, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The following Communique is sent to you for immediate release:

As many of those who have had the privilege to work with him or under his leadership in international institutions, we have heard with deep concern the charges filed against the honorable Datuk Seri Dr. Anwar Ibrahim, in spite of the fact that similar unsubstantiated charges filed ten years ago against him were overturned by the Supreme Court.

We would like, in such circumstances, to reiterate our full confidence in his moral integrity, as a man who has demonstrated, in the discharge of his national and international responsibilities, the highest ethical standards of leadership, fighting for international justice, peace and development.

We want also to express our confidence that whatever the present political circumstances, the Government of Malaysia will exert a particular restraint in the handling of this case and will demonstrate, by dropping the charges introduced against Dr. Anwar Ibrahim, an exemplary sense of respect for the rights of the individual which are so important to the international standing of Malaysia.
Signed by,
— Paul Martin, Former Prime Minister of Canada and former Chairman of the G20
— Michel Camdessus, Former Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of the International Monetary Fund
— James Wolfensohn, Former President of the World Bank
SOURCE Paul Martin; Michel Camdessus; James Wolfensohn  

What I found even more intriguing is that handsome Senator Joseph Biden from Delaware who, as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has pointedly dragged Tun M’s name into the fray with the following statement that shows American political posturing at its best!:  

BIDEN Issues Statement on the Arrest of Malaysian Leader Anwar Ibrahim
July 17, 2008

Washington, DC – Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today on the arrest of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim:
 
“I am shocked and disheartened by the arrest yesterday of Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  This action appears to be motivated by political considerations: it comes less than a day after Mr. Anwar’s announcement of his intention to stand for election to Parliament, and three months after Mr. Anwar’s party made the strongest electoral showing by an opposition party in Malaysian history.

“The charges against Mr. Anwar closely mirror those levied against him in 1998: then, too, politically-motivated allegations were made against Mr. Anwar at the precise moment when he seemed poised to challenge a sitting Prime Minister.  He spent six years in prison before a court finally overturned his conviction.

“A decade ago, the spectacle of Mr. Anwar’s mistreatment and imprisonment on transparently political grounds greatly discredited Malaysia in the eyes of the world community.  The action tarnished the reputation of then-Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad.  I certainly hope that the current Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, does not repeat the mistakes of the past.  I urge him to drop this political attack on a respected opposition figure, and commit himself to rule of law and good governance in Malaysia.”

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Just to inform that we rushed my mum to the emergency room due to a sudden onset of uncontrolled hypoglycemia. When your life is on the line, you realise how precious life is. So don’t sweat the small stuff!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

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She got the men all excited in Parliament yesterday at the mention of goats (Read story below. Source of photo here). The Deputy Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim was of course referring to goat breeding but I am not sure what all the table thumping and chest beating male MPs were thinking but they seemed to be saying they could outperform the goats at “stud” duties! 

Merriam-Websters online dictionary defines “stud” as a group of animals and especially horses kept primarily for breeding. Having studied animal behaviour in college, I can tell you when it is breeding time, the male animals just go berserk, or as the Malays say “naik minyak”, and they literally ram into anything that moves. Goats in heat are just so testosterone driven, they can’t think what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. They need to do it or else! Hhhmmmm……come to think of it, that just sums up the behaviour of our men at this moment in our nation’s history. They ram into anything, thump tables, make lewd hand gestures, flash boxer shorts, give fiery yet meaningless speeches, file SDs and more SDs etc, etc, etc…floundering about like goats in heat! 

From the standpoint of physiology, in comparison, do human studs compare to their goat counterparts? From the remarks thrown by the male MPs (mostly from the testosterone challenged senior ones) at the Deputy Minister, our boys in Parliament fancy themselves to be stud muffins and God’s gift to women? No kidding!!! (As baby goats are called kids, pun intended!). No wonder the country is going to the……eeerrrrrr…..goats?   

WOMAN DEP MINISTER HAS HOUSE IN STITCHES WITH EXPLANATION ON STUD-GOAT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) — Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim had members of the Dewan Rakyat in stitches today when she told the House of male goats being fed with “tongkat ali”, honey and chicken eggs to turn them into studs. She said each stud could “service” 80 does every breeding season and that they were crucial in determining the success of any goat breeding project.

Rohani was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent- Pasir Mas) who wanted to know the progress of goat breeding projects carried out by the ministry. She said the studs were expensive as they served as the “starter” or “hero” for the animal breeding project. “After a stud has ‘serviced’ 80 does, it will be left to rest for a week during which it will be fed with tongkat ali, chicken and honey before it is brought out again to carry on with its task,” she added.

Rohani also told the House that they (studs) were also lent or leased to other goat breeding farms, adding that it was for this reason that the ministry was mulling starting a stud farm for the purpose of goat breeding. “If we can produce a good breed of studs, our goat breeding industry will be a success,” she said.

Earlier, to the original question by Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (PKR-Bagan Serai), Rohani said the National Boer Goat Breeding Centre was progressing with 50 acres of the alienated area been developed for fodder crops while another 450 acres would be developed for the purpose this year. She also said there were 3,710 goat breeders nationwide and the number of goats being reared totalled 403,592.

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Try as I might to avoid politics and for lack of any interesting news, I did a search on Carburetor Dung and was I surprised at the fame these normal looking bunch of guys have achieved from their recent infamy. I can imagine that their brand of music and the statement they were trying to make did not go down well in the crowd the lead singer was flashing his behind to in Kelana Jaya, but interestingly even the more liberal newly enthroned Chief Minister of Penang seems to give them a no go. According to the New Straits Times here, the younger Lim was quoted as saying:

“It is a happy occasion for everyone in Penang, and also a rare honour for us all. Therefore, we have to celebrate. And it will be done on an appropriate scale,” said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. No rockers will be invited to take part in the celebrations, he joked, referring to the controversy surrounding punk band Carburetor Dung after the lead singer displayed his boxer shorts at a recent anti-fuel price increase rally in Petaling Jaya.

Wooo hooo, now the Dung boys are labelled as “inappropriate” entertainment! Unapologetic, the punk rock band gave media interviews to explain their side of the notorius performance that put them in the bigger spotlight. This report by the New Straits Times was carried in Asia One News “Band: Why should we say sorry”   

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Local punk rock band Carburetor Dung claims that its performance at recent anti-fuel price increase rally in Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, was “non-partisan”. Therefore, said the band’s leader, Joe Kidd, there was no reason why the band should apologise over the antics of its vocalist Alak during his rendition of Mari Nyanyi Jilat. Alak had caused a ruckus after he pulled down his pants and displayed his boxer shorts before the 10,000-odd audience attending the rally. “I don’t see the reason why the band should apologise. We aren’t partisans. We have shared concerns about what is happening in the country, but we are merely free agents.” He also added that Carburetor Dung was known for its punk-tinged songs which are hinged largely on satires about human values and social issues. “Our songs are very satirical because that’s what Carburetor Dung is all about.” Mari Nyanyi Jilat, he stressed, is “merely a song about integrity”. Asked about allegations by several parties that the band members were high during the show, Joe Kidd laughed them off. “It is really up to the audience to judge. A lot of people are taking it differently but if you had attended our performances in the past, you would be able to connect with us”. Formed in 1991, Carburetor Dung released its debut album, Fun Songs For Friends, in 1993.

Well, in keeping with the current politically charged climate, there is even an analysis about the unholy implications of their performance and the ensuing chaos and subsequent censure of the band by all who hold protest dear to their hearts. Read this interesting report posted on Asia Times Online.

Different Drums for Malaysia’s Opposition By Ioannis Gatsiounis

KUALA LUMPUR – A rally over the weekend against the Malaysian government’s recent decision to raise fuel prices turned ugly when the lead singer of the rock band Carburetor Dung exposed the top of his boxer shorts to the crowd.

Rowdy members of the estimated 5,000 audience at Kelana Jaya Stadium where the rally was held hurled bottles at the band and kicked and punched the singer as he climbed down from the stage. It would be tempting to pass the incident off as just another rock show gone haywire if not for what it reveals about the health of Malaysia’s fledgling democracy.

The rally brought together mainly activists and supporters of the loose coalition of opposition parties known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR), which won control of an unprecedented five of the federations 13 states at March general elections. The coalition is visibly led by the multi-racial People’s Justice Party (PKR), with the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the conservative Islamic party Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) serving as flanks.

The rally’s organizers told Asia Times Online that more than just being about fuel price hikes the event was meant to stress the need for greater accountability, plurality and freedom in a country ruled for five uninterrupted decades by the oppressive Barisan National (BN) coalition.

But, as with a number of ostensibly pro-democracy rallies within the last year here, PAS produced a strong, if not dominant, presence on Sunday. That presence was felt in the vendor tables leading to the stadium with their pirated jihad and anti-Semitic videos amid trinkets featuring the PAS logo, Koranic passages, and images of the party’s spiritual leader, Nik Abdul Aziz.

In the past the party had vowed to institute sharia law for Muslims, including the draconian hudud (criminal) code, should it come to power and has also supported the death penalty for Muslim apostates. Earlier this week Nik Aziz announced plans to introduce a new law forcing government workers to pray five times a day in the northeastern Kelantan state, where he is chief minister.

In the bleachers was a small but noteworthy presence of Middle Eastern attire – men in turbans and robes, women with head coverings with only slits for their eyes. These are, here, the zealous manifestations of those bought and sold on the eventual establishment of an Islamic state and whose inclinations sway instinctively toward PAS, the only party in Malaysia promising to deliver that dream.

(Not only here on earth, but also in the hereafter: Nik Aziz said before the 2004 elections that Malaysians who vote for PAS will go to heaven.)

Yearnings for an Islamic utopia void of haram (forbidden) elements apparently played a role in Sunday’s fracas. According to eyewitness accounts, most of the instigators during Carburetor Dung’s performance appeared to be PAS supporters, angry with the loud and perceived anti-Islamic music, vulgar lyrics and suggestive gyrations of the long-haired lead singer, Alak. PKR youth wing members in blue T-shirts were seen whisking the band to safety. (Click on title for more analysis)

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No, I am not on strike because I don’t understand what the hell there is to strike about! Not being a “celebrity” blogger, I just blog for myself and to share an insane thought or two. If you find my blog not updated, it’s usually because I am either busy, lazy, bored or have a real emergency to attend to. Really, I don’t care to spread lies, slander, demean or shame anyone through my blog or any other channels of human communication known to man. Unless you are blogging for money, I thought blogs was a means for personal self-expression or to speak out against issues that matter to you….errr…but not for toppling governments. Unless there is something rotting there already that is, so I am not sure what the fuss is all about. The rule is if you post crap on your blog, you attract flies who love the rot and the stink! Same goes for anything rotten in Denmark, or Malaysia, for that matter!

But sometimes, I do use the blog as a way to flash my middlefinger salute using words just to show my likes or dislikes. I suppose we all need to let out our aggression, especially with the exasperating political scenario and the frustrating rising cost of living whether using hand gestures or otherwise. So, with the latest uproar in Parliament caused by an MP flashing what was perceived to be an obscence hand gesture as reported in The Star here, I think a bit of education on do’s and dont’s of gesticulating is called for right about now. I found an interesting post on the Language Trainers Blog that lists “The top 10 hand gestures you’d better get right“. I’m not sure what the hand gesture made by Bung Mokhtar meant but take a look  at some good versus bad gestures below and guess which is which?:

Mork and Mindy

              

             Mr Spock

 

 

Political hand gestures

      

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I just added a front page photo from Utusan Malaysia that shows that the lead singer got mobbed by an incensed crowd at the event. See caption here.

That’s the name of their album “Allure of Manure” and I know I’m getting old but I never heard of Carburetor Dung (aka Dung), not until their lead singer was caught with his pants down at their most recent performance that is! (See The Star report below) I know a little bit about Indie bands as my son aspires to be as famous as “Pop Shuvit” but his own Indie band keeps disbanding! Sighs! Anyhow, Dung is a punk rock band (official website here and Myspace here) that caught my attention as they dared to poke fun at some unholy manure that stinks, ie. the DSAI probe!! I’m not quite sure how a protest against fuel prices has anything to do with all this political conspiracy and toppling  the Government crap which is not very amusing whatsoever, but at least Dung got their jab at it just for fun! Worst case scenario would be for us to try using dung produced methane gas for cooking. Studies have shown that generating methane gas from manure is highly feasible and there is enough hot air emitting from old farts in Malaysia that there’ll be natural gas to keep our fires fueled for ages. Maybe we shouldn’t tell these politicians to cut the crap after all!!!     

Rocker strips pants and bends down at audience
By LISA GOH

PETALING JAYA: A singer stripped his trousers and showed his boxer shorts during a concert at the anti-fuel price increase rally in Kelana Jaya stadium Sunday. The lead singer of rock band Carburettor Dung was halfway through a song at about 7pm when he dropped his pants and exposed his boxer shorts. His antics resulted in the audience hurling abuses and throwing bottles at him. Security volunteers had to escort the singer and his band members off the stage while event organisers tried to calm the crowd. It is learnt that prior to his strip performance, the singer was singing a song that included lyrics poking fun at the sodomy allegations against PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. A member of the audience who did not want to be named described the act as inappropriate as there were children present at the event. Another man, who also wanted to be anonymous, said it was very unprofessional of the singer, adding that he was very upset because many VIPs, including Anwar would be present. As the situation came under control, event coordinator Hishamuddin Rais came out to apologise for the incident. The organisers then called for a break for Maghrib prayers.

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What else can explain the recent behaviour of grown men calling for hasty press conferences to announce questionable statutory declarations with unproven facts as though it was God’s truth come to zap everyone in the brain? With this recent retraction of the aforementioned explosive SD by the now infamous PI (certainly a far cry from Tom Sellecks Magnum PI) as reported in The Star and NST, I am really thinking Sheikh Muszaphar brought some alien virus back from outer space that turns men’s brain into pulp. My second Space Cadet award goes to Private investigator P.Balasubramaniam!      

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