Saturday, 28 February 2009

Post Domination; Friendship

Further to my earlier post entitled "Domination", this is the latest development. Shadow the young Lab is still too frisky to be allowed into the house as he will destroy everything! It is now a daily routine for Prince to hop out every morning to do his "business" and then strut around the porch and irritate Shadow. Other times the two communicate through the semi-opened window as shown in the attached photos. They are now friends.




Thursday, 26 February 2009

Roast Duck At Tea Time

Yesterday morning at about 11.45, I received this sms from Capt Azmi in typical pilot manner that he is:

"4.30pm today. Restaurant is called Loong Foong (I think). Single storey cornershop at the back of the old Paramount cinema at intersection bet Jln 20/13 n Jln 20/14, PJ"

These impromptu sessions are now becoming synonymous with Azmi and he sure knows how to organize great sessions. This time around it was for arguably the best roast duck in PJ and Azmi is a roast duck afficionado. He said the group at Loong Foong consists mainly of his Chinese golf kakis from Kelab Golf Negara Subang.

Azmi's friends were a good bunch but I think the Tiger contingent consisting of Azmi, Mike, KC and yours truly, created an impression. It was another Bangsa Malaysia gathering! Imagine a table of 14-16 multi-racial people mostly in their fifties gorging themselves with plate after plate of crispy roast duck (we had 5 ducks) with nary a concern for cholesterol level and waistline! I can almost imagine the additional doses of statins before or after the meal! The 6 bottles of red wine were the only hint that anyone cared for the blood vessels.

I have been to Loong Foong numerous times but this was the first time at that hour. The duck somehow tasted better than in my previous visits; it must have been the company and way it was served...fresh from the oven!


















Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Notches

Checked my email this morning and saw this:

















A Yahoo reminder for our wedding anniversary, 28th February. It would have been the twenty-third anniversary. I suppose it's time to remove this Yahoo alert; the countdown stopped two years ago.

This song by Don Williams says it for Jeannie and I.


You're My Best Friend by Don Williams


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

My Heart To You

Country & Western singer, Don Williams had been a favorite of Jeannie and I. It all started when we first heard his song, "My Best Friend" together. Rummaging through some of the hundreds of CDs in our collection, I just came across the last CD that Jeannie bought me; Don Williams "My Heart To You"...I am at a loss for words.

"My Heart To You" by Don Williams

You give to me what life should be for everyone.
You're my pepper, you're my salt, my favorite tea.
You're my sunset on the ocean, my desert dawn.
So much of you is now a part of me.

I know a greater power must have noticed me,
And decided I would meet someone like you.
No-one on this planet thought we could ever be,
Till He gave my heart to you, and yours to me.

You've given us our children and a recipe:
For you and I, love comes naturally.
My love is somehow different than I'd have it be,
An' it's workin' on my heart, not into me.

So I know a greater power must have noticed me,
And decided I would meet someone like you.
No-one on this planet thought we could ever be,
Till He gave my heart to you, and yours to me.







Pak Lah...Cukup Lah

When the Preacher Man tabled the MCAC and the JAC Acts in parliament in December last year, this was how I felt: MCAC And JAC. No Thanks Mr Prime Minister; Just Leave OK?

Now, with about a month left to his tenure as PM, he is darn proud of his two babies; the MCAC and JAC. We must also be darn proud of this guy...he has provided each of us with a sense of self-belief; after all if someone like him could become Prime Minister then, nothing is impossible to all Malaysians in Bolehland! Malaysia Boleh!!! He is a regular Forrest Gump...the mental retard of the "stupid is as stupid does" fame. After he leaves to play golf and plant vege & fruits we will also be very nice to the guy as Mukhriz Mahathir says.

But in final analysis, you just have to pity the guy. He was this government servant who probably did not want to be PM to start with. But whatever it is...cukup lah, Pak Lah. Your only legacy is the new idiom; the "Pak Lah Promise" which can be substituted with "bullshit". Silence was supposed to be golden until your elegant silence so forget about the fact that history will curse you and just go lah. I hope you can have a peaceful retirement and wish you bliss with Jeanne Abdullah.

Here was what he had to say to Lorraine Hahn (as reported in the Star today). It makes me want to puke:

Pak Lah proud of judiciary reforms and MACC work

KUALA LUMPUR: Changes in the judiciary and forming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are among the achievements that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is proud of.

“Changes are already done in the judiciary. On combating corruption, the MACC has already been established to further strengthen efforts,” he said during a dinner organised by the Kuala Lumpur Business Club at a hotel here last night.


Milestones: Abdullah at An Evening with The Prime Minister in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With him is moderator Lorraine Hahn.


“It may not be the best, but it is a beginning. I am confident that there will be more amendments to improve the legislations,” Abdullah said, adding that he was happy to have been able to fulfil what he had set out to accomplish.

He said the people must be responsible despite having an increased level of freedom to express themselves during his tenure as Prime Minister.

“I know I have a higher level of tolerance but if we were to allow more freedom, the people must be responsible. The media as well as bloggers should also be more responsible when disseminating information,” Abdullah said.

Asked whether he would follow former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s footsteps and blog after he steps down, Abdullah said: “I’m not going to blog. But I would love to play more golf and plant vegetables as well as grow fruit trees.”

He also urged the public to continue to work hard during the global economic crisis as the nation has weathered many challenges in the past.

“We must also believe in our ability to survive. That is, in fact, my personal philosophy,” he added.

Abdullah said although the private sector was usually the agent of growth during such economic downturns, the Government must be the agent of economic recovery.

“This is because we can execute policies and changes to boost the troubled economy. This is what we have to do and it is what we are doing,” he said.

Asked to divulge the focus of the second stimulus package, Abdullah asked the people to be patient as he would announce its details on March 10.

“The various ministries were asked to give suggestions on what to include in the package. But what is more important is that effective spending is practised,” he said.

“We can have a larger package this time but it must be implemented wisely or else it would be a waste of money,” he added.

Abdullah said the country’s aim to achieve growth this year despite the economic crisis was still realistic if the task was given priority.

“Such effective spending must be targeted at specific projects to improve the country’s performance and growth,” he said, adding that the plan must also ensure that retrenchment is minimised.


Raja Petra sums up the Preacher Man's "reforms" here.

Saudara Anwar Bin Ibrahim...Cukup Lah

Hussein Hamid was a batch mate of Anwar Ibrahim in MCKK and he has a blog called Steadyaku47. Just like what I have with fellow Tigers of KEVII School in Taiping, I suppose they in MCKK can also say whatever they want to say to each other. I saw this in Hussein Hamid's blog today:

What now Anwar ?

ANWAR cukup lah. I do not profess to talk on behalf of our batch – no that would be too presumptuous of me – but I did remember vaguely in some conversation a long long time ago with some of our friends – that we did say that when we think that you have strayed too much off the beaten track, we, as your MCKK batch mates, will take you by the hand (or balls – whichever you prefer) and tell you “Cukup Lah”. I think that point has been breached a number of times – but no affirmative action was taken by any of us. Whether they are not bothered, or simply are leaving you to your own devices is to be debated but I will not wait any longer.

What will it take for you to put politics aside and put the interest of the Rakyat and our country first before self. Did you not learn from what happened under Mahathir? You whipped up the people into a frenzy with your rhetoric’s – and then what? The country was pulled apart by forces loyal to you and forces loyal to the Government. For what? What did it achieve? Now it is happening again. And when all is done what then? You will not be PM because like Najib, your past will catch up with you. If you cannot be king then be the Kingmaker. But do it in a statesmanlike manner, gracious and with responsibility and accountability to the people – and if you do it that way you can be assured that the people will be with you. They are looking towards you because, as I have said much earlier, you are the most capable by default when you look at what is now available – Najib, Pak Lah…etc. But it has been quite sometime since the last election when the people DID give you a mandate to act on their behalf but instead until now you and your Pakatan Rakyat are embroiled in playing politics and posturing to promote yours and their own personal interest. Since you came back on the political scenario I had yet to see you do one meaningful gesture that would indicate to me that you deserve to be leading the country in this renewal process. No Anwar you have not done anything without regard to self – always it is to advance your cause – personal or political – at one time you all had the Rakyat swept on a tide of hope and belief in your ability to deliver what was required to keep those politicians bastards honest. You failed to deliver.

Now what? You are wearing your welcome a bit too thinly. We have had enough of your posturing and your gift of the gab. Stop and think and think hard where you should go from here. Speak to your real friends – those that can speak with you without fear or favor – and let them tell you things you should hear – not what you want to hear. Do it soon before you fall again. If this seems a bit too harsh then think of the times you spent in jail – you do not want to go there again !! You are too old to withstand the physical aspect of being put in jail again…and you know damm well that that is where you will find yourself if you do not deliver the expectations of the people in being their king…and if you cannot be their king…then be the king m
aker.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Labu & Labi

The Labu LCCT Conundrum; if only the legendary P. Ramlee were alive today, he would be tempted to make his Labu Labi movie into a trilogy (the sequel be Nasib Si Labu Labi). Perhaps he could call it, LCCT Labu Labi. The almost comical ding donging in the past few weeks on the Labu LCCT issue is reminiscence of the classic P. Ramlee movies. In this version, it would star, Air Asia as Labu (M. Zain in the original role) and Malaysian Airports Berhad (MAHB) as Labi (P. Ramlee). Khazanah would then be Haji Bakhil bin Haji Kedekut (Udo Omar) and the bone of contentention, the LCCT would be Manisah Haji Bakhil (Mariani).

What began as a "smash and grab" in the style of the now aborted IJN Takeover attempt by Sime Darby or of, as Rocky's Bru puts it, "Midnight Regulations", the Labu LCCT baby looks to become as real as the false pregnancy it was gestated in. PM designate Najib Razak seems to have put the "Haji Bakhil Mansion" under lock and key with this headline in the NST today; "Najib Shuts The Door On Labu LCCT" as follows:

Najib Shuts The Door On Labu LCCT
(click on image to enlarge)

Now that Najib has reiterated his earlier stand that there will be no Labu LCCT, Tun Mahathir, an early objector to the Labu LCCT must feel vindicated. Syabas Tun!!!

I had been following Tun's convincing arguments in his blogposts on the subject; on 17th January, 2009 entitled Labu Airport:

1. Air Asia has done well to explain the justification for the so-called KLIA-East in Labu.

2. Not having the facilities and personnel I can only give my very unprofessional view on the justification:

a) Passenger Capacity

I must congratulate Air Asia on its very remarkable success. By 2014 it will handle 26 million passengers. Present terminal at KLIA is handling about 25 million passengers.

KLIA is planned to handle 125 million passengers. It has 25,000 acres of land to build another terminal and four satellites. It can even duplicate these terminals and satellites. But Air Asia wants low-cost terminals with no aero-bridge, no luxury interiors. This is not a problem for KLIA.

There is enough space in the 25,000 acres of reserved land to build the low-cost terminal to accommodate the 60 million Air Asia passengers in the distant future. MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad) can do this. (Incidentally Putrajaya has only 10,000 acres of land). However, by 2014 the total number of Air Asia passengers would only be 27 million. Accommodating this number should be no big deal for MAHB.

b) Runway capacity

By 2014 Air Asia will have 77 aircrafts. LCCT capacity will still be for 33 aircrafts. Does Air Asia expect all its aircrafts to be on the ground in LCCT all the time?

Usually some would be in the air and many would be at other airports. Expanding the parking area would not be too difficult. There would still be enough land at KLIA.

As for the runways Times Online reports that Heathrow will now build its third runway to be completed in 2020. Presently Heathrow has only two runways and it still handles almost 70 million passengers.

As stated above, KLIA can build another three runways to handle 125 million passengers. If passengers and aircrafts increase to more than presently handled by Heathrow, a third runway can quickly be built.

If KLIA LCCT is not connected by rail and bus, the thing to do is to provide all these. Extension to the Express Rail Link line can be built. Terrain is no problem. We have sliced through higher hills to build roads.

If the waiting time for taxis has increased due to the huge airport layout (I don't understand this), whatever solution for this problem is proposed for Labu, the same solution can also be applied to KLIA LCCT.

c) Number of Gates

Since Air Asia will not be using the main terminal why should the small number of gates there be of concern to Air Asia?

If Air Asia will be putting more than 55 Gates at Labu to cater for its large number of aircrafts and movements, why cannot LCCT at KLIA be expanded to have maybe 100 Gates to avoid any shortages? Will Labu be provided with 100 Gates? If so, when? Again, why be bothered about KLIA Terminal being equipped with aero-bridges etc when Air Asia does not want to use it?

3. The comparison with Dubai and Jackson Atlanta International Airport is misleading.

4. The picture shows four runways (no indication which airport). Multiple runways is common but they are operated by one airport with one control tower. The picture and the layout does not suggest separate towers for different runways. You cannot have multiple runways close to each other but controlled by different towers.

5. Perhaps Air Asia can show documents that separations between different airport runways of 2km are permissible. Is there any example of two major airports operating separately but located 2km from each other? I don't know. Please enlighten me.

6. The problem prompting the idea of a new airport is the allegedly high charges by MAHB for the use of LCCT by Air Asia. MAHB is owned by Khazanah and it is believed Khazanah has a stake in Air Asia. Both are therefore GLCs. The Government can tell them to negotiate fair charges. Or is it the Government that wants this airport at Labu for reasons other than need?

7. Or is it that Sime Darby now wants to go into airport business?


and again on 31st January, 2009 entitled Labu Airport Again:


1. A commentator MoMan who confesses to being a great admirer of mine and is involved in the Labu airport project has tried to explain why Labu airport is necessary.


2. However his reasons for wanting the airport at Labu is mainly because the KLIA is not efficient. Following are its shortcomings;

a. Because of the purchase of the wrong radar KLIA is handling only 35 aircrafts on its two runways when it should be handling 70. This causes delays morning, lunchtime and midnight

b. KLIA's sophisticated conveyor belt is not functioning well because sorting the bags is being done by immigrants who cannot read Malay or English

c. Weak security. Airport operator not investing and managing its people well.

d. Airport operator of the Low Cost Carrier Terminal wastes money building extensions at ridiculously escalated price.


3. Other points raised to justify Labu are;

a. Air Asia needs a permanent home fast.

b. By 2013 Air Asia will need to carry 25 million passengers.

c. KLIA built on swampy land - costly to build.

d. London has five airports. New York has three airports. So has Rome, Paris, Tokyo, Melbourne and Nice.

e. Resuscitate Keretapi Tanah Melayu from the living dead. KTM can make RM62 million a year carrying passengers from and to Labu airport.


4. Now if I may give my opinion; a-d are about inefficiency of KLIA. You don't solve inefficiency by building a new airport. I suspect immigrant labour would still be used at Labu.


5. Air Asia needs a permanent home fast. KLIA can provide that. Klia has 25,000 acres, bigger than Putrajaya. There should be enough space for the 25 million Air Asia passengers and more.


6. KLIA handles 25 million passengers now with two runways and 35 aircraft movements per hour.


7. Labu will have one runway and will need to handle 70 movements per hour in order to handle 25 million passengers. But according to you Gatwick with one runway and great efficiency (busiest runway in the world) handle only 40.6 movements per hour. Will Labu beat Gatwick and handle 70 movements per hour with one runway?


8. All those hubs have as many as five airports. But are they eight kilometres from each other? Heathrow is 40km from Gatwick, Stanstead, Croydon and Luton. All the airports are at least 40km from each other. Labu would be seven kilometres from KLIA. Even Subang is more than eight kilometres from KLIA.


9. It is the same with all the other airports serving the cities named.


10. KTM may not be making money but it is not dead yet if we go by the number of passengers using the commuter. KTM and the Express Rail Link (ERL) will have to invest a substantial sum to carry 6 million more passengers. They may not want to. In which case you will have to rely on road transport or subsidise their development. You have already said you will not do so.


11. Air Asia does not serve most of the long haul routes originating or terminating in KLIA. There will have to be double checking and double handling if Air Asia passengers want to use the KLIA for their travels to or from foreign countries. You need to have dedicated roads or trains between Labu and KLIA.


12. The biggest argument against Labu is its nearness to KLIA. With two control towers uncoordinated control over movements and stacking before landing, with 70 x 2 movements per hour, the possibility of crashes is very real.


13. The government appears to be in control of both Air Asia and KLIA. Why cannot there be negotiations over handling charges instead of spending RM1.6 billion on a new airport?

A bigger question we should all ask is, why was the Malaysian public subjected to this whole Labu LCCT fiasco in the first place? Most of us know that the existing KLIA LCCT was a stop gap measure anyway.

A permanent LCCT was already in the pipeline. According to a Wikipedia entry, MAHB had apparently submitted a proposal to the Transport Ministry to build a new, permanent LCC hub in between the main terminal building and satellite building A to replace the present Low Cost Carrier terminal. This was confirmed by Najib in the above press report.

The new LCCT was to have a capacity for 30 million passengers a year. It was also expected that the new LCCT would be completed by 2011 to 2012. As to the current LCCT, according to the MAHB proposal, it would be converted in to a cargo hub once the new terminal was completed.

The Labu LCCT proposal seemed to have derailed the MAHB plans and upset the timeline.

Another question is; who had the audacity to try the Labu move, given all counter-arguments against its practicality? Perhaps we can put it all down to Rocky's Midnight Regulations postulation.

Whose apple-cart has been upset by Najib's announcement? Wouldn't an enlarged LCCT located at KLIA be the logical and practical choice for travellers and by extention, also Air Asia? After all Skybus, the Air Asia feeder express bus service fare (an affordable RM9.00) is viable enough (by comparision, a normal bus ticket from KL to Malacca cost only about RM8.00).

Maybe Tun's question is spot on; is Sime Darby (or perhaps Tony Fernandez?) now interested in going into the airport business?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Mountains Out Of Molehills?

Politicians also go to the toilet and they fart like all of us; they also are sexual beings and have urges like most (I dare say, including the most pious), they put on and take off clothes...politicians are also human. I therefore think that though Bukit Lanjan adun, Elizabeth Wong should have been more careful as a public figure, those nude pictures are entirely her own business.

I do not think Barisan Nasional was behind this exposé although Toyo Tempeh is trying to gain maximum political mileage from it by making a mountain out of a molehill. Neither have I seen those pictures of Elizabeth Wong nor do I particularly want to, so I would not know for sure whether they are mountains or molehills.

One thing I know though, a loss of all three by-elections in the three bukits (hills) will really be a clear message of mountainous proportions to the ruling BN coalition. So now we wait to see...Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau, and maybe, Bukit Lanjan.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Domination

In the animal world, domination is not necessarily about physical size but strength of spirit. We got Shadow, a year old male Labrador from my good friend and old schoolmate, Jason about 3 weeks ago. Shadow was infested with ticks and that posed a real problem. If not treated properly it could become a long term issue. And so the regime began; leaving him outdoors, spraying the walls and corners outside the house with anti-tick chemical, using anti-tick shampoo and finally, Frontline.

Prince Cheah, the alpha dog was only allowed to interact with Shadow after the Frontline treatment. The first picture shows Prince sneaking up behind Shadow.




















The second shows him giving Shadow a lengthy "lecture" after irritating and tiring out the latter for more than twenty minutes trying to climb on him (short video at the bottom).






















The third and forth show Prince stepping all over Shadow without regard for the difference in size! Prince has been the "top dog" since.








video

Friday, 13 February 2009

Changes; A Shared Life In Boxes...But If Only Time Could Be Saved In A Bottle.

The inevitable thing about moving to another house is the packing and the subsequent unpacking. There was just so much stuff this time around it is amazing how we collected them over the years. Our possessions.

For me it only actually began 24 years ago after Jeannie and I got married; as a bachelor, I "travelled light". For 22 years, Jeannie and I shared a life which I now can only re-live in a memory that will certainly wane with time. Along the way, the possessions we acquired have their own stories to tell. Many seem to serve as "memory recall buttons" as merely looking at them brings back thoughts that I never knew remained. The photos tell the most; a piece of clothing or jewellery; the hundreds of CDs and the particular songs; the letters we wrote to each other and the greeting cards; documents; certain utensils and so forth; and oh! the knick knacks!

For logistic expediency and convenience during packing, I decided that we put everything that could go into a box, into labelled boxes. Deciding what to pack was like deciding what I wanted to still remember or forget and I wanted to remember everything. They were decisions I could still defer till the unpacking so, virtually everything went into the boxes! Twenty over years of a shared life hastily packed into boxes; a shared life that now seems like it was too hastily lived and yet not.

Just as packing brought memories flooding back, so did the unpacking. It is now time to unpack; the time to choose. Though it is possible to keep everything but I do not want to. Thankfully, functionality and usefulness (or otherwise) of those possessions ensure many choices are made by themselves. As time will overtake time, I have left many decisions to the kids...over time, everything eventually becomes memory.

Trying to hang on to memories that seem locked in material possessions is like trying to save time in a bottle as Jim Croce's song goes. That would be foolhardy as memories fade with time and as memories move backwards, time moves forward. Even if things are written down (like a message in a bottle?), the essence will not be the same.




Just some of Jeannie's clothes



Stuff still in boxes







Even Prince remembers the bag Mummy sometimes carried for rugby outings now used to pack some of her Tupperware.




Time In A Bottle: Jim Croce
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Cracks? So Soon? What Else Is New?

The Khalsa Warrior, Sardarji Karpal Singh was Jeannie's lawyer and we have deep respect for him.

It appears the "Lion of Jelutong" has finally said openly what many suspected was brewing inside him...Anwar Ibrahim is not up to the mark!

It brings to mind what one close confidante of Anwar told me about Anwar a few months ago; it was rather disconcerting. According to him, AI is apparently not as capable as he puts himself out to be, and depended on aides like himself to do much of the thinking for him. AI apparently is not such a fountain of new ideas too.

This Malaysiakini report opens up a new front:


Karpal to Anwar: Step down as Pakatan head
Feb 8, 09 5:54pm


In an outburst that could have deep implications for the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, DAP chairperson Karpal Singh today openly urged Anwar Ibrahim to step down as the leader of the alliance.

He blamed Anwar for the disarray in Pakatan which was caused by the PKR leader's continuous rhetoric of forming government with the aid of defectors from Barisan Nasional.

Karpal also had harsh words for his colleagues in DAP, especially party veteran Lim Kit Siang and party secretary general Lim Guan Eng - for their inconsistent stand on party hopping.

But the brunt of his anger was on Anwar, whom the veteran politician said had caused trouble in the opposition alliance.Karpal did not mince his words when he said that Pakatan needed a new leader.

"He (Anwar) has created enough trouble and it is time for him to bertaubat (repent)."

It's time Pakatan got itself another leader," he said in an amazing attack which will surely be picked up by BN leaders to portray the Pakatan alliance as a loose one waiting to collapse.

Karpal's biggest complain was Anwar' support for defections of elected representatives.

The Pakatan alliance took shape after the big victory enjoyed by PKR, PAS and DAP in the last general election. Together they took over four states, retained Kelantan and denied two-thirds majority for BN in Parliament.

After that Anwar had claimed that he had enough defectors from BN to form the federal government. However despite his repeated assurances, the takeover never materialise.

Then on Jan 25, PKR accepted an Umno state representative in Perak, with Anwar beaming in delight that this was to be followed by more defections.

However the tables were turned on Anwar and Pakatan when two Perak PKR state representatives and one DAP assemblyperson left their parties to become independents. Even the defected Umno man returned to his party.

As a result Pakatan lost control of the state government, allowing BN to take over.

He has a lot to answer forTalking to reporters in his office in Penang today, Karpal said that party-hopping can never be justified.

"I am somewhat confounded how Anwar could have openly espoused and encouraged crossovers after the people gave a resounding mandate to the Pakatan on March 8 last year," he said.

"In the public interest, and in particular in the interest of the Pakatan, Anwar has a lot to answer for creating the woes of the Pakatan now," he added.

Karpal also blamed the BN for practising the game of defections - giving examples of how the ruling coalition had pinched DAP leaders in 1979 and 1982, a period when Anwar was still with Umno and BN.

"I only hope Anwar did not learn of the morality, or rather immorality, of political kangaroos hopping form the opposition to the BN during the time he was in the BN."

Be that as it may, the intelligence of the rakyat should not be underestimated by politicians from either side of the divide.

"The trust of the people cannot and should not be taken for granted by elected representative," said the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament.

He added that the mandate to form a government must come from the people and not from crossovers.

He said that it was most unfortunate that there have been crossovers in Perak, resulting in the turmoil in that state now.

He added that the solution for the crisis in Perak lied squarely in the hands of the judiciary, given that the Perak sultan has appointed a new BN menteri besar and is poised to appoint a new exco on Tuesday.

"The predicament faced by the rakyat in Perak is the consequence of political treachery and large scale deception and commission of fraud on the voters by the assemblypersons who have deserted the party, the strength of which placed them in the state assembly," he added.

It is uncertain how other senior DAP leaders would react to Karpal's statement today.

Guan Eng was reported in the papers today as saying that Pakatan will speak as one on matters relating to Perak.

Karpal has for some weeks now been highly critical of the other Pakatan allies. Last month he warned that DAP would leave the alliance if PAS continued with its Islamic state and hudud law policies.

So Canggih?

Something from Malaysians Unplugged, Uncensored Blog:

Deciphering Perak Sultan's Cryptic Message to Mohd Nizar

Mohd Nizar had an audience with His Highness the Sultan of Perak on 4th February to request consent to dissolve the state assembly.

Siasah Blog reported Nizar as saying after his meeting with the Sultan:

"Menurut Nizar, pertemuan itu berjalan dengan baik sekali dan beliau amat terharu dengan cara Sultan Perak mengendalikan hal ini.

Katanya,

"Saya amat terharu apabila di hujung pertemuan itu apabila BagindaSultan berkata kepada saya dengan membaca satu potong ayat Al Quran. Ayat itu yang bermaksud: "Sesungguhnya Allah bersama dengan orang-orang yang sabar."


That is, according to Nizar, at the end of the meeting, His Highness quoted a verse in the Quran that says, "Allah is with those who are patient".

The following day, after his meeting with Najib's delegation, His Highness met Nizar and told him to resign immediately; if not, the MB's post will be deemed vacant. Soon after he swore in the new MB.

Speculation is rife in the blogosphere, firstly, by what is meant or intended by His Highness when he implied that Nizar should be patient, secondly, the speed in which the Sultan took in removing Nizar as MB, and the swearing-in of the new MB from Barisan Nasional.

For many Malaysians who had the highest respect for the Perak monarch as a learned man with wide and long experience in law and as a modern ruler making frequent "pro-rakyat" public statements, the out-of-character action by the Sultan caught them totally by surprise.

For many, they find it hard to imagine the Perak Royal Palace/the Perak Sultan would:

  1. endorse the dubious actions of the defectors (two of them being charged in court for bribery and one of them changing his mind twice in 10 days) to bring down a legitimate elected government
  2. not realise that in reality, BN and PR each has equal number of representatives and the three defectors did not join BN but as Independents
  3. not realise the due process of the law enshrined in the State Constitution that a vote of no confidence in the State Assembly is required before dismissing the MB, since there was a similar landmark case in Sabah
  4. not realise as a former learned judge and Lord President of the Supreme Court that he "acts" on the advice of a sitting head of an elected government
  5. not recognise the impact of the March 2008 on the whole nation and the shift in the mood of voters
  6. not recognise that if he does not agree to dissolve the state assembly and return the mandate to his subjects, he will be acting contrary to what he and his son, the Raja Muda, had spoken out in public about the sanctity of the constitution, the democratic process and the rule of law.
  7. not realise that a BN-goverment (27 UMNO and 1 MCA with three independents)which might be alright for states like Kelantan and Trengganu would be not well represented for a faily multi-racial state in contrast to the representation in the PR coalition in government.
  8. not realise that a BN-government dependent on 3 independents to stay in power is very unstable
  9. not aghast with the sickening money politics and party-hopping aimed at toppling a government whether it is by PR or BN
  10. not realise the negative impact on the palace's esteem and integrity to act against the constitution and the wishes of his subjects.
The question is WHY did the Perak monarch decide what he did?
Could it be the Perak monarch:
  • is telling Nizar relinquish the government voluntarily to the BN so that what he had in mind, whatever it is we will never know, can be put into motion for the overall and long term well-being of the state and his subjects, as wise monarchs always do.
  • was angry that Nizar went against his wishes despite his cryptic advice, so much so he acted immediately to dismiss Nizar and appoint the MB from BN to show his utter displeasure for not understanding his advice.
  • is not too pleased with a non-Perakian ( ie DPM Najib) for having the gall to confront the Palace on the issue and for a non-Perakian getting directly involved in the political affairs of his state and the fate of his subjects
  • is acting out his original plan irrespective of Nizar's decision, to ensure that the BN gets the government it desperatly wants, and gets it quickly through defection, even though the monarch is unhappy about it so that UMNO/BN loses the moral high ground . UMNO/BN had condemned PR/Anwar Ibrahim since the March election for trying to topple the Federal govt through defection, yet it was UMNO/BN which approached PAS and PKR to defect en-bloc to retain power in Selangor and Perak.
  • is opening the door for PR/Anwar Ibrahim to move forward openly to capture the Federal Government through defections since BN/UMNO had done so by capturing the Perak state government by the same means
  • is willing to pay the price for the bigger good of the state and country by laying bare the deceit and hypocrisy of the UMNO-led government on the issue of money politics and defections.
  • in the final analysis, is doing an unspoken favour for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
There are the other rumours of deals done by DPM Najib with the Palace for Perak state's development by the Federal Government if a BN-government is in place, since Federal funding support had been hard to come by since March 2008 election.
Of course, the other rumour surfacing is about the improbable link of the Perak crisis to GAMUDA's future.
Sandiwara on a major scale? So canggih?

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Rukunegara...again.

Almost exactly two months before the day Sultan Azlan Shah decided that Barisan Nasional has the right to form the state government of Perak, I blogged about the Rukunegara (Getting To The Core-The Right Of Belief) and one particular principle therein which I am not comfortable with-it's the first one actually; "Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan" or "Belief In God". Anyway that was not so much about God but the right to believe or not to believe. For most of us who have forgotten, the Rukunegara goes like this:

WHEREAS OUR COUNTRY MALAYSIA nurtures the ambitions of:

  • achieving a more perfect unity amongst the whole of her society;
  • preserving a democratic way of life;
  • creating a just society where the prosperity of the country can be enjoyed together in a fair and equitable manner;
  • guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions; and
  • building a progressive society that will make use of science and modern technology.

NOW THEREFORE WE, the people of Malaysia, pledge to concentrate the whole of our energy and efforts to achieve these ambitions based on the following principles:

  • BELIEF IN GOD
  • LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY
  • THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION
  • THE RULE OF LAW
  • COURTESY AND MORALITY

Today I am reminded of the Rukunegara, back to the days in Taiping, Perak when it made its first appearance in 1970. Fast forward 39 years and we have a Constitutional crisis in my home state. The Silver State is seemingly being bought and sold for a few taels (relatively speaking la) of silver! All this seemingly being condoned by a much revered Sultan of whom Perakians generally claim bragging rights over the other Malaysians. Yeop was proud that he had a Sultan who earned his spurs as Lord President of the Malaysian Judiciary before ascending the throne and who is well known in the international field hockey scene.

Why is Yeop (and other Malaysians) up in arms (here, here, here, here, here, here, ...) now? Why is there widespread protest on the streets and more so on the internet? What is clear is that Sultan Azlan's decision does not go down well with most Malaysians and more so with the majority in the legal fraternity. Just check out SOME commentaries here, here, here, ... .

Perhaps, it was deemed that a former Lord President will not be expected to make an error in law and that Malaysians will respect his decision of sacking Nizar and his state assembly...and not react. In any case, I await his written judgment...but wait a minute! He is no longer part of the judiciary...he is royalty who may have well made an executive decision as royalty. Sounds like schizophrenia huh?

We are generally a nation of law abiding citizens; innocent until proven guilty? It does seem as if we are "hanging" Sultan Azlan before the fact, but certainly the groundswell does mean something to him, and has bearing to the ultimate truth. The fact of the matter is that his decision is debatable and its consequence as a precedence will be recorded for posterity. Being debatable, why the dogmatism? The most equitable solution was surely a rakyats' referendum. Anyway all will be decided in the courtrooms and ultimately, at the ballot box regardless of what the courts decide.

Going back to the principles of the Rukunegara:

  1. BELIEF IN GOD
  2. LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY
  3. THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION
  4. THE RULE OF LAW
  5. COURTESY AND MORALITY

Principle number 1 aside, what the fcuk is happening to our country?

Number 2; LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY?
Number 3; THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION?
Number 4; THE RULE OF LAW?

How do we subject ourselves to rule of law if apparently even the sanctity of the constitution can be disregarded by the act of an authority that is deemed supreme if not legally, at least formally. How does the rakyat follow the Rukunegara if they cannot reconcile loyalty to royalty with the supremacy of a constitution that has been unable to uphold the rule of law when wisdom is sought from royalty?

What about Number 5? COURTESY AND MORALITY? Courtesy seems to have gone out the vista in cyberspace (check out Rocky's attempt to swim against the tide and up the creek) since morality has gone to the Frogs!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Stand Up! If You Hate The French!!...err... Froggies

"Stand Up! If You Hate The French!!!". You will surely have heard this sometimes being chorused around a rugby stadium in a game (if you have been in, or watched one) involving a French (who are also referred to as "froggies") team. This very English tease dates back centuries to the middle ages and depending on the source, the reasons why the English refer to the French as frogs, vary.

One obvious reason is of course French cuisine and the fondness for frogs legs. Then there is another that relates to the French flag during the middle ages which had a blue background and a gold fleur-de-lys on it. The ignorant English, not knowing that the fleur-de-lys was supposed to be a flower, thought that it represented a gold frog. Hence "frog" became a derogatory term for the French.

Anyway, that is the beef between the English and the French. Lately, in Malaysia the frog is getting increasing mention, both in the mass media and also in conversations. Just like the usage by the English, the connotation of the word frog here lately is negative. In Malaysia we now have jumping elected state representatives (Aduns); unscrupulous and unprincipled public servants who give frogs a bad name! The French will surely say it is a bum rap for the frogs since these elected sycophantic political low-life cannot be better than our garden amphibian friend, the frog!

Saudara Anwar Ibrahim started the frog race last year after the March 8th GE and threatened to take over the government through cross-overs by defecting MPs. It was known as party hopping then (back then, the rabbit got the bad rap because of the reps!) but that fizzled after the non-starter on 16th September, 2008. Now that we are seeing the real McCoy, they are called jumpers (leapers?) and my home state, the Silver State (Perak) holds the dubious distinction where the latest made-in-Malaysia political drama is being played out.

Neither Pakatan Rakyat nor Barisan Nasional can claim to hold the moral high-ground. What is
sauce for the goose (is sauce for the gander)! Afterall, this latest episode started out last week with the jumping of Bota adun, Nasaruddin Hashim to PKR.

That was followed by cousins Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Osman Jailu (both of the karaoke, China girls and corruption trial fame) jumping out of PKR before DAP's Hee Yit Foong did the same to her party. Then Nasaruddin Hashim leap-frogged over the three back to UMNO. Could he fit into a John le Carré novel as the classic double agent? Nah! I think he is just an opportunist!

All four look bad and worse still, they and the situation smell like shit! I wonder how many voters knew of them or their names when they voted for the political parties? It tantamounts to outright betrayal of the rakyat and makes a mockery of democracy. The three who hide behind the reason that they are now independents but aligned to BN mocks the rakyat even further! In the next election (bye, buy, general, or otherwise) in their respective constituencies it will be a foregone conclusion that they will lose i.e. if ever their new political masters decide to field them at all!

The three guys with a third leg jumping I probably can understand why but that woman, Hee? Who is Hee? Hee is a she! She must be the champion amongst them; who says polio victims cannot jump?

Whatever their stated reasons I am sure their time in politics is fast expiring. They must know this too, and the label they wear as traitors also marks them as being devoid of integrity. Certainly, if I were them and to have sacrificed public trust, I would demand compensation from the parties who benefit from my pariah label! They deserve to be tarred and feathered; or perhaps battered and deep fried.

I am unclear why former Lord President of the judiciary, Sultan Raja Azlan Shah decided the way he did. Of all the sultans he is most qualified in the law and certainly he was not under duress as claimed by the three who pre-signed resignation letters. Will we ever get a written judgement from Yang Mulia Tuanku? To the Rakyat I say..."Stand Up! If You Hate The Frogs!!!

Here are words from another embattled politician who has been expecting frogs in his garden; the Chief Minister of Sarawak had this to say in Malaysiakini:

Hijack' politics: Pakatan reaps what it sowed

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud today argued that Pakatan Rakyat has reaped what it sowed.

The veteran leader said the political scenario in Perak should serve as a warning and lesson for Pakatan which comprises PKR, DAP and PAS.

In an obvious attack on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the chief minister said previously Pakatan had high hopes of forming the federal government through defections.

Therefore, he added, what transpired in Perak should serve as a lesson for Pakatan about forming governments through party hopping."Do not start this form of 'hijack' politics. This is a lesson for Pakatan. They have suffered the consequences," Abdul Taib was quoted as saying by Bernama.

It's payback time

According to Abdul Taib, the political twist in Perak was expected from the onset and what Pakatan is experiencing now, is payback for what it did to BN

Following the March 8 political tsumani which witnessed the opposition alliance denying the ruling coalition a two-third majority in Parliament, Anwar repeatedly claimed that he would form the federal government on Sept 16 through the defection of BN parliamentarians.

His deadline had created much excitement in the nation but it had failed to materialise.

Since then, Anwar has set his targets on Sarawak, claiming that Pakatan is poised to capture the state in the coming state elections.

However, Abdul Taib claims this would never happen.

In Perak, the 10-month-old Pakatan state government fell into turmoil after three of its state reps, two from PKR and one from DAP, quit their respective parties to become 'BN friendly' Independents.

As for the BN, I like what Tengku Razaleigh has to say in the Malaysian Insider:

Ku Li says BN faces public scorn over dubious crossovers
By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said a large section of the public will be angry if the Perak Ruler does not dissolve the state assembly and invites Barisan Nasional to form the state government on the basis of dubious crossovers.


Writing in his blog, the Gua Musang Umno MP cautioned that taking control of Perak without getting the mandate of the people will spell disaster for BN in the next general election.

'Our taking control without resorting to elections would cement the enmity of the very people we should be trying to win back.

'Come the next general election, they are going to reject both our state and parliamentary candidates with greater vehemence, and not just in Perak.'

The former finance minister said contests in a democracy are not a fight for survival where anything goes but a competition to serve and BN must reform to improve its ability to serve with distinction.

He said this was a long-term goal which required immediate focus, adding that BN did not need questionable victories which he described as distractions but needed to upgrade itself to win elections again, fair and square.

Tengku Razaleigh said this was the only sustainable way for BN to win back the public.

He said Umno was in critical condition because of ethical failures and its biggest challenge was tackling corruption at every level.

'We are under close public scrutiny and unless we implement radical reforms and are seen to be doing so, we are finished politically come next elections'.

However, he said, BN was embroiled in 'winning back' Perak with the crossover of who he described as low-calibre individuals.

'The two assemblymen whose allegiance we have suddenly gained are under investigation for corruption, while the Bota assemblyman's justification for his record-breaking 10-day double-hop is an insult to the public's intelligence and nauseating in its insincerity.'

He said this open abuse, for personal gain, is what caused people to hate Umno.
Tengku Razaleigh also lashed out at the circumstances surrounding the defections.

'The mysterious disappearances, sudden reversals, and weak explanations, show ample signs of illegal inducement.

'No matter what the truth of the matter, let us not fool ourselves. People will not believe that these crossovers were honest. This mistrust will taint any government formed on the back of these crossovers.'

He said the celebrations over the Perak takeover were premature because the defections may or may not topple the state government.

'The Constitution and the role of the Ruler in such crises must be respected because defections are not a basis for the formation of a government. Elections are.'

He said the Constitution spells out a formal process for the formation of a government and the Ruler is sworn to uphold and protect this constitutional process.

'The menteri besar has sought the Ruler's consent for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. The decision now rests with the Ruler.'

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Lunar New Year Gathering At Liz Tan's

Liz Tan's Sarawak Laksa, Popiah and Rojak Buah went absolutely well with the beers and whiskey (KC Heah's 20 year old, 12 year Johnny Walker Black Label and Liz Tan's Glenmorangie single malt) and loads of festive cookies!

Took JJ along and he was bitten in the nose by Liz's Shih Tzu, DeeOhGee (D.O.G.). I am sure he won't forget this too soon!