Thursday, November 22, 2007

Got alternative or not?

My receptionist(S) told me yesterday that while she was buying keropok lekor the other day, the makcik selling it asked if she were an UMNO supporter because "kalau sokong UMNO hidup senang dik". She replied that she was not really a supporter of anything she termed "political" so she was not technically a supporter of UMNO. The only thing which stopped the keropok lekor aunty from snatching the keropok lekor back from the clutches of my receptionist and pelt her with the lekor dough was probably because S said "tapi mak saya penyokong kuat UMNO la makcik".

I then asked her if and when she decides to vote, will she vote for UMNO or well, the coalition BN?She hesitated and then said, "Saya beritahu mak saya kalau saya undi pun undi Keadilan kot." When asked why she replied, "Entahlah. Saya cakap je lah. Tapi bila saya betul betul pergi undi tentu undi UMNO/BN."

Hmmm...did the "hidup senang" propaganda the keropok lekor aunty spew hit home? Does UMNO/BN indeed give us citizens a "hidup senang"?

Now, my thoughts on these issue is quite simple (to me anyway). I attended a talk last friday where the likes of Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Salleh Abas, Sivarasa Rasiah and some other people of importance were in attendance. They all stood up at the podium and basically trashed the government, past and present (during Mahathir era to present day Badawi era)labelling the government "corrupted" as evident from the V K Lingam fiasco, and the ex and current PM having no respect for the separation of powers as they were "not lawyers like the earlier three PMs" and that the Government were basically hoodwinking us into believing they are DOING something for us when instead they are taking us for a ride.

So I nodded along with the rest of the crowd, interjected every once in a while with whooping and loud applause and the conversation of a very stupid chinese man who kept his mobile on the whole time which rang with his ah beng tunes and picking it up with "WEI? HAI? AH, HAI"- like seriously uncle. Have you no civic consciousness? (what made it even more frustrating was the fact that he raised his hand and clapped with enthusiasm when the talk ended- AS IF you heard anything!You were on the mobile the whole damn time!)

Anyway, I digress.(Stupid uncle in psychedelic shirt)

So, while I agreed with the undeniable fact that the current government (and the previous one too) was corrupt and running the country in their own interests, I ask the question in my head- "what alternative do you, as an opposition party, have to offer us?"

Many people tell me (which I agree wholeheartedly) that the reason why we vote for the oppposition is not because they GIVE us an alternative, but because we need to reduce the 2/3 majority that BN currently has. Of course, by reducing the majority of BN we can in fact keep the government on its toes, and remind them to pluck their noses out the air and actually SERVE the people and not their own interests.

But if the Opposition parties were created YESTERDAY, then perhaps we can forgive them for not coming up with an alternative. But has it not been too many years passing for opposition parties to say "Government= corrupt, Government= bad, but we dont really have an alternative but let us concentrate on GOVERNMENT BAD!GOVERNMENT CORRUPT!BAD GOVERNMENT BAD GOVERNMENT!!*spank*"

I think more has to be done by the opposition. Yes. I know you do not have the money. Yes, I know to HAVE the money you have to be in power. So it is a chicken and egg situation. But still? Come on, throw us a line here.

Got alternative or not?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Want to hear a joke?

"There must be a middle ground somewhere in this country. It is very easy to be radical(for one interest group or another) but it takes courage to occupy the middle ground and sell that middle ground." - UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Now, this statement came from the man whom I remembered very vividly, smiling SMUGLY when his Chief waved the keris and cried for blood. Yes, he did not wave the keris, but you see, UMNO only had one that day, so they "one-two-jus" and the Hishamuddin man managed to kill his bird with the stone, so he got to wave the keris around. Anyway, back to more important things, now, what is this PM's son in law going on and on about?

You see, he was speaking at a seminar themed "Fearless" and he fearlessly(and shamelessly I must add) said,
1) "I want to start with small conversations across the country with young people of different background and races and talk about what it is to be Malaysian..."

What it is to be Malaysian? Who needs to go all across the country(probably in a rakyat's money sponsored trip) and speak of things which we all know about but the Government refuses to acknowledge? Well, I for one know what is it to be Malaysian. No racial discrimination, and that includes "positive" discrimination and how outdated it is now. Telling the Education Department that memos sent out on the necessity (nay, the obligation) to give work only to Bumiputra vendors, is nothing short of crap and the denial based on "miscommunication" is BS to say the least. And at first the Bumiputra discount was 5% and now its 7%? (I dont get this whole Bumiputra discount thing).

2) "Talk about why Malays feel strongly about Malay rights, about Islam, the syariah court, about a certain decision involving a woman named Lina Joy..."

Why Malays feel strongly about Malay rights? Why not? You have everything served to you on a silver platter. Want to get into university? No problem, just dont fail too bad, and just by ticking "Melayu", you're so in! Want to get a big contract job? Bumiputra? No problem-la. How about a scolarship? What? You only have 6As and the other chinese/indian/lain-lain got 10A1s? No worries, you're malay!No quota on the number of Malays!Quota only applies to you know, the "others". Lina Joy wants to convert out of the religion? What rights? Freedom of religion? Islam trumps EVERYTHING!Do you hear that?Let me repeat that, Islam trumps everything.

3) "why non-Muslims feel insecure and afraid because they feel the syariah court is infringing on the civil courts, they feel the Lina Joy case was a watershed case that will curtail freedom of religion, that the Malay rights are outdated in a globalised world."

Why oh, why would we be insecure? Could it be because freedom of religion means jackshit? The constitution is an illusion. We hear it may exists, and every once in a while, someone whispers it, but we dont really practise it. Could it be because the Government practises "positive discrimination" for the past 50 years since independence? Or could it be because the whole 9MP is based on Islamic principles? OR maybe because our top people have boldly and proudly declared Malaysia as an ISLAMIC COUNTRY eventhough the last we checked, its a secular one?

Mr. PM-is-my-father-in-law, why dont you stop making all these "middle ground" statements and " I-represent-all-races-in-Malaysia-hear-me-roar" BS? None of us have forgotten the keris waving episode. In fact we wait with bated breath for the next one, perhaps this time around, you may win the one-two-jus and get to wave your OWN keris (with ketchup for effect).

We dont need statements. We dont need all these rubbish. If we want to hear something positive and intelligent, we listen to Sultan Azlan Shah or his son Nazrin. At least they know what they are talking about. At least they dont go around doing something clearly against some people and then turn around and say "It would take a lot of courage to enter this national conversation but if we dont understand each other then its clear to me we wont reach wherever it is we want to go".

You see, I know where you're going. And I dont like it one bit. The only courage you ever need, is to admit your mistakes. Own up to your Islamic radical thoughts. Profess your inner most thoughts and where the Non-Muslims actually stand in this country and shout out your true loyalties.

That's the only courage and bravery we ever need from our leaders. If you wont acknowledge the state of affairs in this country, then you're nothing but a mere coward.

Fearless my ass.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Suck up the dirt!Suck it up!

So many things have happened these past few weeks. We sent our first Malaysian to space and eventhough he is quite good looking, he said "I send my regards to all Malaysian." Hence we can be sure English is not his first language but then again, what chances do we have that a Chinese man or an Indian girl would have been sent to space under the Malaysian flag?Then again, who said the Chinese man or Indian girl would have included an S after Malaysian.I digress.

Many things have happened over these past few weeks, our first cosmonaut/astronaut/whatevernaut made it to space, his brother somehow bumped into a pole, knocked himself unconcious, landed in a coma and subsequently passed away(how?why?we will probably never know), our Prime Minister denounces the Malaysian Bar march for justice, Nazri did not show up at the Malaysian Law Conference probably for fear that the conference goers will pelt him with something, our own police force are fighting between themselves, getting themselves killed in a so called botched anti drug operation(how the Commercial Crimes Chief Inspector somehow got roped into fighting drugs is beyond me) and the ACA is being attacked from every direction there is for well, investigating corruption allegations.

Ok, now let us examine the reason why the ACA is set up. Anti Corruption Agency. So, what they should be doing is of course to investigate into corruption allegations. Correct? Now, when a policemen somehow has RM27 million to his name, a windfall through a lottery ticket is probably not the first thing that pops to our minds. Obviously, we think, hhhmm...something smells fishy here. Could it have been...corruption? So when the RM27million-gate scandal broke and made front news, the ACA acted swiftly. They investigated and the deeper they went, the more they found out. Apparently money was given, people released and in between all these investigations, the name of informants somehow leaked out. So Mr.RM27 million became angry and had a press conference denouncing the ACA and their rough handling of him and his people and how he had genuinely made the disclosure of his assets and how unhappy he is that it was leaked to the public (like HELLO!? Policeman RM27million? Hell yeah it has to be made known to the public! and yeah, its confirmed, our policemen are wusses,whining about "rough handling by ACA officers"? COME ON!)

Now, while I agree that the names of informants should be kept secret, I disagree that the ACA should be faulted for investigating into corruption. I applaud their bravery for bringing those policemen to court for falsifying witness statements. I applaud them for finally doing something about the illegal funeral parlour on Jalan Gasing that the MPPJ refused to act on because well, lets not get started on that man...

Ok, so someone somewhere messed up a little in the ACA. But we need this. We need the clean up. We have to support the clean up of the government. Transparency has to mean something.

Honesty and integrity have to mean something in this country.