Monday, 28 December 2009

The Tiger

This is for the next lunar year: 2010 is The Year of the Tiger. It marks a second cycle since 1986; the year Krystyn Cheah was born.


The Tiger (William Blake. 1757–1827)

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Antares

I have not met Kit Leee @ Antares in person but I see him very often on the www. We appear to have many mutual friends and acquaintances.

Antares has for the last few days been fighting for dear life stricken with malaria.

Judging from the number of well-wishers on the internet, he must have managed to really touch the hearts and minds of thousands with his presence in cyberspace...all this mainly from Pertak, a small little orang asli settlement near Kuala Kubu Baru.

Incidentally, he emailed me a couple of weeks back when he chanced upon
Jeannie's blog and memorial website. I reproduce here with his partial permission some excerpts that show Antare's heart in the right place.

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Comment made in Jeannie's blog:

Antares said...
I only came to know about this inspiring incarnation of the Great Goddess through leaving a comment on KS Cheah's blog. What an amazing lady Jeannie was - and what a loving husband and children she was blessed with! Well, I won't have the pleasure of meeting Jeannie now, but perhaps one of these days I shall meet the rest of her delightful family.

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E-Mail submission from Jeannie's memorial website:

Name: Antares

Email Address: magickriver@gmail.com

Subject Infinite blessings on you and your family

Your Permission To Reproduce Message? YES

MESSAGE

K.S., I've chanced upon your blog a few times and noticed the lovely portrait of Jeannie on the sidebar. But till today I wasn't prompted to explore further. Having read a bit about her life and her early departure from this plane on 12 July 2007, I feel a deep sense of loss for having never met her, for I'm quite sure we would have been good friends. Nevertheless, you and your beloved children are alive and well and the option to meet not only exists but can be quite easily arranged. I'd like to invite you (and any of your children who are interested) to visit me at #21 Kg Pertak -an Orang Asli resort located at the far end of the Selangor Dam lake off the Fraser's Hill road. It's only 75 mins drive from KL and day trips are no problem - and if you like, you're welcome to experience...

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Get well soon Antares...the majick river awaits.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Invictus

I watched live on TV, the dramatic 1995 Rugby World Cup final between the victorious South Africa Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks. It was a fairy tale come true for the Boks and at the time, no country needed to win the Webb Ellis trophy more than South Africa. Mind you, it was indeed a very strong field in 1995; holders Australia had not lost a match in the preceding 12 months, England and France were always a threat and the Jonah Lomu powered All Blacks was the in-form hot favorite!
I clearly remember thinking then that the Bokka story would make a great movie. This morning, 14 years later I found out Clint Eastwood's new movie "Invictus" is that movie. The film is a look at the life of Nelson Mandela after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, during his term as president, when he campaigned to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup event as an opportunity to unite his countrymen.

Invictus, a Latin word meaning unconquerable, undefeated, is also the title of a short poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley. It is the title of the movie because of the fact that Mandela had the poem written on a scrap of paper on his prison cell while he was incarcerated.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Invictus, the movie has it that Mandela gives the "Invictus" poem to Springbok captain, Francois Pienaar, before the start of the Rugby World Cup. In reality, however, Mandela actually provided Pienaar with an extract from Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" speech from 1910. The following is an excerpt:

"...It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat..."

...next is to watch the movie!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Orang Tua Ini Sudah Nyanyok...

Back in November 2003, when Jeannie was still with us, we visited China. The kids and I would not have minded not making the trip if it was because of anything other than curiosity and the fact that our ancestors were from there.

Firstly, we did not speak Mandarin and though daughter, Krystyn was fluent in Cantonese like Jeannie, where we were going (Beijing) the dialect was not in common use. I can hardly speak Chinese and son, JJ was worse. Jeannie of course spoke 4 dialects and Mandarin; she was the perfect interpreter in China! I think we were Malaysians.

Fast forward almost exactly 6 years I read Mahathir's latest senile rant on race, religion, nationality and country of origin (see below). Boy! He sure gave the rakyat a pre-Christmas present! It makes me wonder why organizations still bother to invite him to speak at functions. His latest rubbish is sure proof of his deteriorating mind and his desperation to try preserve his name in Malaysian history.

However, many chose to answer this latest nonsense from the old man in apprehension that there could still be people who took him seriously. I think two of the better replies I read is from Kee Thuan Chye and another from somebody with the moniker Tohkong Mosjid who rather creatively remonstrates to his God (both reproduced below).

Please read:

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Mahathir: Lupakan negara asal, kita rakyat Malaysia

PULAU PINANG, Dis 24 — Setiap orang di Malaysia harus mengetepikan Negara asal mereka dan mesti menganggap mereka adalah seorang rakyat Malaysia bagi menjayakan konsep 1 Malaysia, kata Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Bekas Perdana Menteri berkata mereka harus melupakan negara asal mereka seperti India atau China dan menganggap diri mereka sebagai rakyat Malaysia.

“Mereka harus ketepikan negara asal mereka dan jadilah warga negara Malaysia bagi memastikan gagasan 1 Malaysia berjaya dicapai,” katanya ketika berucap pada majlis makan malam penghargaan Pertubuhan Muslim Kadayanallur di sini.

Beliau menggesa rakyat negara ini supaya membantu merealisasikan aspirasi kerajaan untuk mengukuhkan perpaduan kaum dan keharmonian sejajar dengan konsep 1 Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir berkata rakyat Thailand dan Indonesia masing-masing menganggap diri mereka sebagai rakyat ‘Thai’ dan ‘Indonesia’ tetapi keadaan itu tidak berlaku di sini.

Mengulas dakwaan bahawa komuniti India Muslim di negara ini dipinggirkan, beliau berkata mereka harus memilih sama ada untuk menjadi seorang Islam atau India.

“Negara ini sangat liberal dan saya fikir India Muslim akan diterima oleh semua sekiranya mereka memilih sama ada untuk menjadi seorang Islam atau India,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir berkata tiada perbezaan di antara kaum kerana semuanya adalah rakyat Malaysia.
“Perlembagaan Persekutuan memberi takrifan jelas mengenai Islam. Sekiranya mereka memilih untuk memeluk Islam jadi harus turuti perlembagaan itu,” katanya.


Beliau berkata sekiranya India Muslim di negara ini masih menganggap seperti itu, masyarakat akan berfikiran mereka masih mempunyai hubungan dengan negara asal.

“Masalah yang dihadapi komuniti India Muslim akan selesai sekiranya mereka memilih sama ada memeluk Islam atau seorang India,” kata beliau. — Bernama

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Kee Thuan Chye:

Firstly, most Chinese and Indian citizens of this country consider themselves Malaysians. I certainly do. I have no links whatsoever with China. I am committed to the idea of a Bangsa Malaysia and I gave my children Malay, Indian and Chinese names.

However, we cannot eschew our ethnicity and our roots. We practise Chinese customs but also integrate the best from other cultures, including the Malay culture. Many of us are not like Mahathir, who seems keen to deny his Indian origins. Even the Balinese of Indonesia retain their Hindu way of life.

Secondly, Mahathir is confusing race with religion when he talks of Indian Muslims having to choose whether to be considered Indian or Muslim. This is the great fallacy of this country, and it's shocking that he, a supposedly learned man and former prime minister, does not know the distinction between the two.

He is clearly resorting to his favourite subterfuge to deliberately fool the people. This is patently wrong.

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Tohkong Mosjid:

Dear God, please tell Tun Dr Mahathir..

Dear God,

Thank YOU for bringing Tun Dr Mahathir to Malaysia and giving him a chance to rule this blessed nation for 22 years. During his era, I was thankful to YOU for giving me such a good Prime Minister. I trusted him so much, and I had the utmost confidence that whatever decisions he made, I believed he made for the rakyat so that his plan for achieving his vision of Wawasan 2020 would not be derailed. He promised us that our lives will be much better when that auspicious year arrives.

Maybe I was too na├»ve – I thought his plan would work without any doubt. I believed that he could make everyone on this land march hand in hand towards the year 2020. Hmmm, perhaps I was brainwashed to think that way, as YOU know humans YOU created were yet to discover the Internet then. I only got the news that Tun wanted me to know. Whatever that happened in the background was not known to me. God, sorry to tell YOU this, I actually thought he was YOU in disguise and he could do no wrong.

Dear God,

As I grew older, I started having doubts over YOUR decision to let Tun rule so long in Malaysia. Were there any specific reasons for this? Why? Why? Why? Never mind then, I thought I should have more faith in YOU that YOU’ll reveal the mystery bit by bit.

Tun was spending lavishly in the name of achieving Wawasan 2020. Was it really so, God? From what I see, everything that he was trying to do was just to stay in power and leave behind a legacy of glory of him in the record of world history.

Dear God,

I am really impressed with the confidence YOU gave to Tun Mahathir in making decision for 25 millions Malaysian. How could he possibly be so sure that Najib is the right Prime Minister for us, when the Pak Lah he chose for us was that lousy? How could we trust his decision again? Was it because of his ego, or was it the faith he had in Najib to make sure his Wawasan 2020 plan becomes a reality? God, what is it? Can YOU please tell me why? Or is there another hidden plot again?

How could YOU let someone so tainted become a Prime Minister? How could someone who let 2 Skyhawk jet engines go missing under his nose become a Prime Minister? How could Tun Mahathir, someone YOU awarded with a genius brain fail to see that he is a liability to the nation? God, why? Why? Why?!!!!

Dear God,

The situation in our nation is now very bad. We are not heading towards Wawasan 2020 as planned, we are heading towards doom. Now, we are more divided than ever and rampant corruption and a lawlessness culture has been adopted widely by the government. Good people are being victimized constantly. Evil people are being worshipped.

I have done a summary on how my blessed nation, Malaysia, has reached such a pathetic state today. Please advise me whether my observation below is correct.

Tun Dr Mahathir's motivation during his time was just to rule without opposition. Tun managed to do just that without realizing he had indirectly positioned Malaysia for a great fall instead of heading towards Wawasan 2020.

To stay in power, Tun did a lot of things which are inflicting damage on our country now. He created a hole; but during his time, he knew how to control the hole from getting bigger.

But he forgot that his successors might not have the skill to contain that hole, and the hole grew uncontrollably under Pak Lah. This hole is now a tumour. Instead of curing this tumour, Najib is using this tumour to stay in power which is very sad to Malaysia.

Now Malaysians have to live with this tumour. Because this tumour is so huge, the removal of this tumour may kill all of us at the same time. When PR tries to do anything with this tumour, this tumour will inflict immense pain on us. And the problem is most of us can't stand the pain...... and are therefore still willing to support BN.

Dear God,

If my observation is correct, please kindly help to wake everyone up in Malaysia to remove this tumour together with Pakatan Rakyat. Please give us the strength to endure the pain during the tumour removal process to allow our future generation inherit a cancer-free nation. Please help us.

I have faith that YOU are allowing the nation to reach this pathetic state for a reason. Perhaps YOU want to induce more pain as the situation is yet to be painful enough for the majority of us to be angry enough to start fighting and claiming back our nation from those ruthless politicians. Perhaps YOU purposely arranged that Datuk Seri Najib be our prime minister with the help of Tun Dr Mahathir so that he could help Pakatan Rakyat indirectly rise in power. I hope, I am speculating, but I don’t really know. I guess I just have to trust YOU. I have absolute faith that YOU will not leave us to the dogs.

But if there’s one thing that YOU can do now, I hope YOU can help us to please tell Tun Dr Mahathir to stop deciding for Malaysians in the future. It has been proven over and over again; his decisions hurt us more than it helps us.

Please God, I beg YOU.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Stolen F5E Engine..."Kecik, Kecik, Lembu Jaga..."

The missing RM50,000,000 F5E jet engine apparently disappeared during PM Najib's watch as Defense Minister. So how now?

I am sure Najib did not steal it himself but the confusing disclosures recently about a brigadier general and his 40 thieves...oops! men, add more questions than answers. They were apparently just asked to leave service early! If they were really guilty and managed to sell the engine for even say RM10 million, they would have gladly left. Why a mere slap on the wrist? Read blogger Syed Akbar Ali; he has more pertinent questions.

This reminds me of the parody about our Bhais that is so familiar to most Malaysians; "...kecik, kechik, lembu jaga, sudah besar...bank jaga". In this case, "...kechik, kecik, Defense jaga, sudah besar...Negara jaga". So how now?

Now, another blogger DrRafick talks about 45 missing Skyhawks...so what is one measly F5E engine eh!?! If this is the tip, I shudder to think how big the iceberg is! So how now?

"...kecik, kecik, lembu jaga..."

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Baii Started It With A Joke

I moderate a Yahoo EGroup for members who studied in King Edward VII School Taiping. We call each other "Tiger" because of the school emblem.

Member age ranges from the early twenties to mid-eighties and obviously spans generations; from the pre-WWII generation to the baby boomers, through Generation X and now Generation Y. The common factor was the alma mater and of course also the idyllic town of Taiping.

I am reproducing here a series of exchanges from the EGroup that started with this first one by Tiger Manjit Singh (a fifty-something year old lawyer) entitled, "British Humour.....! !(politically very incorrect... .)"

Police in London have found a bomb outside a mosque..They've told the public not to panic as they've managed to push it inside.
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Two Asian heroin addicts have injected themselves with curry powder by mistake - both are in intensive care...One has a dodgy tikka and the other one is in a korma.
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During last night's high winds an African family were killed by a falling tree.A spokesman for the Birmingham City Council said 'We didn't even know they were living up there'.
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Jamaican minorities in the UK have complained that there is not enough television shows with minorities in mind, so Crimewatch is being shown 5 times a week now.
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I just saw that Harry Potter film. A bit unrealistic if you ask me. I mean, a ginger haired kid, with two friends?
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I had a mate who was suicidal. He was really depressed, so I pushed him in front of a steam train. He was chuffed to bits.
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I was reading in the paper today about this dwarf that got pick pocketed.How could anyone stoop so low?
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I was walking down the road when I saw an Afghan bloke standing on a fifth floor balcony shaking a carpet.I shouted up to him, "What's up Abdul, won't it start?"

This elicited a response from a twenty-something who is apparently a Sumatra qualified medical doctor, Tiger Fazil as follows:

Dear manjit,

i'm really grateful if you can avoid from made any funny/humor regarding the HOLY MOSQUE/ISLAMThank you so much for your cooperation

Fazil

As moderator of the EGroup I was obliged to intervene and I included a comment from a seventy-something Tiger Mike at the latter's request.

Hi Tiger Fazli,

Your concern is noted. To set things in perspective, I cannot say for sure Tiger Manjit did not intentionally post that because he is a bigot; if he did, then he has his own issues. However, his title did state the contents of his post was politically incorrect. Personally I hardly think he was insulting the mosque or Islam for that matter. If anything his was a joke about over-zealous followers and tendency of people to stereotype minorities and others of different ilk. For me, I think he posted the jokes to tickle the funny bone.

While on the subject, Tiger Putra Mike would like share something from his Old Putra (RMC) eGroup which is worth a discourse here. Everyone here has a right to membantah postings that they find personally revolting but one to the reasons we have this interactive Tiger community is to promote constructive discourse. While not all of us are as eloquent to present our views, it would be nice (or even educational) if we each try to elaborate further our views rather risk appearing pertinacious and seemingly a priori. Your vocation as a doctor is respected as you are by no means a plebeian.

The following is from Tiger Putra Mike. I hope you can engage him as Muz did with Fabian on KC Heah’s “Dogs and Pigs thingy:

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Dear KS,

Let's see what Tiger Fazil Ahmad has to say on my posting? Please upload on your elist, at your pleasure.

Hi OP Shazly Khan,

Unfortunately, it was not my original thinking. I wish that I have that perspicacity. In 2002, I read, Dr. Karen Armstrong, " The Battle for God, a History of Fundamentalism" Ballantine Books, 2002. (Pse see attachment) Armstrong who is a great religious scholar, wrote at great length on mythos vis-a-vis logos. This book has been banned in Malaysia for some incredible reasons although the book is pro-Islam. Somebody in the Censorship Board perhaps could not understand English. Despite, some institution invited Armstrong to give a series of lectures which many OPs and I attended. Dr. M. and many VIPs were there too. You can order her book from amazon.com. In any case, am happy to courier service to your home my copy at the drop of my kopiah!! It will help me not to write an extended essay.

Let me summarize as short as possible Armstrong's views to entice you into going further as a typical Budak-Boy:

The people of the past were (more or less) like us, but in fact their spiritual lives were rather different. In particular, they evolved two ways of thinking, speaking, and acquiring knowledge, which in the devotional language, scholars have called mythos and logos. Myth was not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning. The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal. It was also rooted in what we call the unconscious mind. The various mythological stories, which were not intended to be taken literally, were an ancient form of psychology.

Myth could not be demonstrated by rational proof; its insights were more intuitive, similar to those of art, music, poetry, or sculpture.Logos was the rational, pragmatic, and scientific thought that enabled men and women to function well in the world. The West may have lost the sense of mythos today, but the Westerners are very familiar with logos, which is the basis of their society. Unlike myth, logos must relate exactly to facts and correspond to external realities if it is to be effective. It must work efficiently in the mundane world. The Westerners use this logical, discursive reasoning when they have to make things happen, get something done, or persuade other people to adopt a particular course of action. Logos is practical. Unlike myth, which looks back to the beginnings and to the foundations, logos forges ahead and tries to find some thing new: to elaborate on old insights, achieve a greater control over our environment, discover something fresh, and invent something novel.

By the 18th century, however, the people of Europe and America had achieved such astonishing success in science and technology that they began to think that logos was the only means to truth and began to discount mythos as false and superstitious. It is also true that the new world they were creating contradicted the dynamic of the old mythical spirituality. Our religious experience in the modern world has changed, and cos of increasing number of people regard scientific rationalism alone as true, they have often tried to turm mythos of their faith into logos. Fundamentalists have also made this attempt. This confusion has led to more problems.

Khan Shahib, namaste,

May I stir you a little? Do you believe in the following?
* The Archangel Gabriel spoke to Mohammed in the cave in Mt. Hira. There was and is no such thing as Gibriel. I can show you what the early Muslims thought Gabriel looked like. with wings turban and all. Mythos!!

* Mohammed was alleged to have ridden Al- Buraq to the moon and to the seven heavens where He met God, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets. Was it simply a wild imagining?

* Mohammed flew to Jerusalem in a night saw the ramifications of the Town. True or false?

B4 I keluar baris, what if I put it to you that God is a failed hyphothesis. If ther is God at all, God is a She cos females manifest the suffering of humankind!!

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2009/12/17 Mohd SK

Hello Good Morning everyone

OP Mike,


Please, could you share your wisdom and experience to a young father like me and im sure it will also benefit those reading.

Can you elaborate further on what you said earlier regarding the myths - the embellishments of the superstitious propagation of Malay Islam at an early age.

I am interested to understand about this.

Thank you Sir. Much appreciated.

SK


Tiger Fazil replied me as follows:

Please try to understand the others religions rather than to make a ridiculous statements/critics About the Prophet Muhammad's journey...he was assisted by the ALMIGHTY ALLAH SWT...

Anything The God's want it to be, it will be...You can read the meaning of YAASIN verses with it's interpretation in English But please don't behave like some of the Politicians attitude...They tried to become popular by read some of The AL-QURAN verses with it's interpretation, but unfortunately, all that are just for Politics agenda rather than to study the Miracle of The Holy AL-QURANI advice all of you guys...please don't be hesitate to refer to Ustaz Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, uSTAZ Farid Ravi & Tan Sri Harussani for further better explanation about ISLAM...Thank You

Regards,

Dr Fazil Ahmad(please don't call me Tiger anymore)


My subsequent reply:

Fazil, if you do not want to be referred to as a Tiger, it is better you unsubscribe. This is no place for you.

KS


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Another doctor now residing in Australia, fifty year old Tiger Chin replied Fazil:

Dear Dr Fazil Ahmad,

Get real and start living in the real world. Your infantile response to seemingly innocent postings betrays how closed your mind is.

Unfortunately, I have to bring myself down to your level, to respond to your bigoted postings. You are a disgrace to your religion with your intolerance.
How would you expect us to respect your religion if you can't even engage us in an intellectual discussion?

In case this causes any misunderstanding about my position, I would like to point out that I have no problems with Muslim and Islam. In fact 3 of my family members are Muslims, and I have many good Muslims friends. :)

TIGER Chin
(Don't call me Dr - I have no problems with my self esteem)



Fazil's replies:

Thank you Tiger Chin

As mentioned earlier Everybody have their own ideas to be share
Please learn to respect the others Religions So that, we can live harmony ever after in this country

I've never heard any Moslems insulted Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, etc..Because we have been taught by our Prophet, to respect all the others Religions...I would be very grateful if anyone can unsubscribe me from this Group if you think that's better

Thank you again

Fazil Ahmad

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THANK YOU KS CHEAH
I DON'T WANT TO BE CALLED A TIGER AS I AM A HUMAN BEING...SO JUST DO IT...AND LEARN TO RESPECT THE OTHERS

DON'T BE ULTRA KIASU

THANK YOU

Things were warming up. My reply:


Fazil,

A bunch of us are trying to right certain things in the alma mater. I must say you and your bigotry and shallow understanding of human relations are the personification of somethings wrong with KEVII today. My sympathies go to you as a victim of a system that has re-created the kind of mentality that belongs to the Dark Ages. You do not know how to engage constructively and that is an obvious reflection of your hidebound mentality. No one is taken by your sweet "thank yous" and "pleases" that you willfully use to mask your bigotry with false civility. Fazil, there is no point being a good Muslim if you cannot even be a decent human being.

No I won't unsubscribe you; that would only lower me to your level of selfish intolerance. You go ahead and unsubscribe yourself or you learn to engage instead of just making ridiculous demands.

KS

P/S


I honestly think you do not know the meaning and connotation of the word "kiasu" because if you did, you would know it describes you to the "T"

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Fazil's reply:

THANK YOU CHEAH

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My reply:

You are always welcome Fazil.

KS


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Tiger Chin's reply:

"I've never heard any Moslems insulted Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, etc..Because we have been taught by our Prophet, to respect all the others Religions..."

Dear Dr Fazil,

Thank you for your kind reply.

I wonder which planet that you live on. Here on planet Earth, the Muslims and the Christians have been hurling insults at each other for centuries. In case you are not aware, the misguided Taliban have demolished century-old Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and Mr Amorosi has killed 202 innocent people of all races & religion in Bali (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Bali_bombings) - just to name a few.

I would accept the argument that TRUE Muslims will not insult other religions. There is nothing wrong with the religion. It is some of the narrow minded followers. It is the same with other religions. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus have all done injustice to their religions as well.

Yes, we should all respect each other's religion. Similarly, we should all respect a person's right to voice an opinion. Giving an opinion on Islam does not mean that that one is insulting your religion. A great religion like Islam would withstand all scrutiny, so why are you upset when people challenge it?

I am sure you are a good bloke and a good doctor. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

Cheers mate,

Tiger Chin


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You can draw your own conclusions...

Bangsa Malaysia Evening At Colonel Mike's

My good buddy Colonel Mike Naser Taib invited a few of us to a pre-Christmas dinner at his home last night. It was a truly Bangsa Malaysia evening and as usual, the food was great! A Bangsa Malaysia menu with rojak buah and fresh garden salad, miang kham, NZ mussels in Penang curry sauce, fresh oysters, roast turkey, chicken soup ala' Penang, and more! The chilled unfermented (no yeast) toddy was a good first drink. Needless to say, there were many choices for booze.

I don't think there was a Christian amongst us last night! Well, maybe Bernard Khoo. These phonecam pictures tell the story:







































































































































































































Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Aiseh...What Is This Ah?

Two well known bloggers. Dato’ Mohd Ariff Sabri the former ADUN of Pulau Manis, Pekan who blogs under the name Sakmongkol AK47. His latest post, "Who is minding the Store?" describes a looming issue. Also included below is blogger Aisehman’s post on the same issue in his own blog. It appears the country is still exposed to being robbed in big chunks…it also appears that thieves have gotten more sophisticated. Please read:

MONDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2009
Who is minding the Store?

Who is minding the store?

We haven't heard of the 1 Malaysia Development Fund nowadays. Yes, I am referring to the RM5 billion that is managed by the 1 Malaysia Development Board 1MDB. Yes, it's that Fund formerly known as Terengganu Sovereign Wealth Fund. Just who came up with the idea is uncertain. Rumors have it, that it was a young man called Mr. Low from Penang. Mr Joe Low.

Creative ideas are most welcome. PM Najib has said that creativity will be a main element in his coming economic model. Anyway, the Fund started with RM 1 billion. It later became RM 5 billion obtained through the issue of bonds guaranteed by the government. Normally an entity is allowed to issue bonds if it is rated highly by some credit evaluating bodies. Like Moody's Investor Services for example. The accreditation body is satisfied the bond issuing entity can repay the bonds when they mature.


There are cases too, when the bond issue is underwritten by GOD- government of the day. Governments of course can never go bankrupt. The 1 Malaysia Development Fund- just call it the 1 Malaysia Fund will get additional RM6 billion when the oil royalties due to Terengganu will also be directed into it. This means it will have RM 11 billion war chest to play around with.

Just who are controlling the 1 Malaysia Fund? We know it reports directly to the PM. Although 1MDB reports directly to the Prime Minister, the sovereign fund will still have an eight-member board of advisors and a five-member board of directors.8 + 5= 13 members.


But will they be given a free hand to manage the fund? Or are they there just to grace the window? These people are drawn mainly from statutory bodies such as LTAT, Tabung Haji, FELDA etc. I have been informed some have already resigned from the board because they cannot stand excessive meddling.

But you retort- why should we tell you what we are doing? Especially to busy bodies like you people? Then we answer you- because we have been dismayed so many times when public money is treated as a private property. We have PKFZ which is the subject of intensive forensic investigation now and has become a public scandal. We are also disturbed by the customary practice of keeping everything very quiet until it becomes bad and blows off the lid. Most importantly we believed that public disclosure is the best form of accountability. Let it out in the raw and let the people judge. Some of the busybodies out there are pretty smart and perceptive.

The sovereign fund is said to be thought of by a character called Low. He is known among financial circles as Joe Low. He comes from Penang. He takes over where Patrick Lim left. I can imagine him say over a glass of Martini- hi, my name is Low. Joe Low. I prefer my drink shaken, not stirred.


He brought the idea of creating a sovereign wealth fund. It was probably meant as a solution to prevent the dissipation of Terengganu's Oil Royalties.

Now, this is another issue. Why did the TSWF- Terengganu Sovereign Wealth Fund suddenly become 1Malaysia Fund? HM The King seemed to have given his consent to the renamed entity. This federal wealth fund now takes over the money raised by KTIA headed by Shahrol Halmi. HM The King was very much interested when the TSWF was set up as he was royally chagrined over the usage of oil royalties due to Terengganu.

Because I think it's not safe to have the money parked in Terengganu. Warring factions in Terengganu will be fighting all over the place to gain control over the Fund. He must have realized that the previous state government spent the money frivolously. A lot too went missing and unaccountable. Even if the monies are placed under KTIA- meddling politicians can still make life for the managers miserable. And also perhaps, it is wiser to have the money under a federal entity because Mr. Low thinks; BN will not be the next state government.

Anyway- some other states may be thinking to set up their own SWF. Then they will ask the government to guarantee them. If you can do it to Terengganu, you most certainly can and must do for other states.

PM says, if these jokers come up with these equally creative ideas, his government will have nothing to do but issue guarantees and commit resources to ensure the fund is managed properly. He can't afford to, because the majority of his officers in the Treasury are more at home at eating kuacis ( eagle brand preferred) and chewing on chips at meetings. No way Jose, he says- let's have a Federal Sovereign wealth fund. And it's not Jose- its Joe. Joe Low that is.

We are not sure where this Low brought the idea to. To the PM or to his Majesty the King.

He probably brought the idea to both. As both his majesty and the PM are concern about the application of the oil royalties, it is logical that Low brought the idea to both. He goes over to the PM and tells PM, the King has sent him. He then goes over to see the King and says, PM sends him. Nice. Very nice.


I mean, it's not every day, HM the King calls up- Yo DSN, did you send Low over to me to speak on this and that? It's not every day PM calls up the King to say- A thousand pardons Your Majesty- did Your Majesty sent this sinkeh over?

This brings us to the interesting question- just who the heck is this Joe Low? Is he our Warren Buffet? The main stream media says he is a low key person. Well, after he splashed USD170k to fete the PM and his entourage in New York recently, he is not low-key any longer. He is a Big Key now. Which doors is he opening? And last week, he gave a private birthday party to the PM's wife at a leading hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Much has been written about the merits of a SWF as a concept. I shall not repeat the observations made by many commentators. For example the Blogger Analyst at Large has written something noteworthy about this. Forget the fact that he doubles up as economic advisor for the DAP. He has raised cogent criticisms which deserve notice.

I am more concern about the shadowy group of young boys moving behind the scenes and appear to exert considerable influence on the PM. Most prominent is this Joe Low character.

We have seen the debilitating effects such intrusion and meddling on the morale of the officers and the damage caused to the previous PM. He was criticized by being overly compliant with the investment advice of one Patrick Lim. And the treasury people and even ministers were run over roughshod by a group of young highly educated boys infamously known as the 4th Floor boys.


Now and here, we have another shadowy group. Maybe it's not formal. But not less significant. Among them are Joe Low, one young Indian, and the son of a prominent Chinese tycoon. All of them are young and are said to be have unhindered access to the PM's wife.

They are said to have even attended briefings by treasury and Bank Officials. We need to recognize the dangers from the experience of the previous administration.

Obtrusive and incessant meddling into the running and management of the Funds can see our money being dissipated. Already at the inception of the 1 Malaysian Fund, RM 300 million has already leaked. For what purpose? To where?

If credible investments have not been made on account of meddling, we shall have to incur the payment of interest. That means our borrowed capital has not work to earn revenue from which to service interests let alone earn a conservative return of 5%. (That was what Sharol Halmi said) and I hope, this conservative expectation on returns is still adopted by the board members.

Some board members have left or resigned. They say this fund is too hot to handle. It could actually be, they saw the writings on the wall and could see where the Fund could end up. So, rather than being held accountable for something that will eventually be bad, better relinquish the honor of serving in that Fund.


The other cause of concern is why is the PM hesitant to exercise full control over the Fund? I mean, not personally but investing the board with total and unfettered discretion. Let the fund be answerable to Parliament.

Posted by sakmongkol AK47 at 11:06 AM

8 COMMENTS:

Anonymous, 14 December 2009 12:45
Here we go again now this chinese boy who has shaken up the night life in nyc entrusted with billions,well let the party begin at our expense only in BODOHLAND.

walla, 14 December 2009 12:55
If the reason to federate the fund was to move it out of the orbit of group conflicts within the state, then letting it now be externally guided will only deepen the perception that wherever funds are umnofied they will be swallowed wholesale.

To avoid such shenanigans, just make everything transparent. Let's say a fund is federated and the centralizers want to tap new ideas on how to grow and use it. Let's also assume the motivation is to lift up the state to which the fund is assigned, in particular to create jobs for the people and to add value to state activities which can translate to future earnings.

Just do an open tender with broad remits along the lines of the above para. Then more than just one vested party can provide their ideas which may end up even more investible than those submitted in enclosed settings. If this is not tried, how are the rakyat let alone a government to know there aren't better ideas out there?

So doing will put a stop to politicking for carta blanche favours that reek of kleptocratic practices which have sunk bigger governments elsewhere.

After the deadline, post the details on the web. Then after due process preferably with independent monitoring, make the decision with reasons provided.

If this is not done, people will think it's the same rigmarole of creating personal opportunities at high opportunity cost expenses of the rakyat. There has been too many such cases in the past. The olive in the stirred not shaken martini would have shriveled by the time we finish tabulating even half of them.

Always remember what someone had said when asked whether he had fueled cronyism. His reply? "How can i award contracts to people i can't trust?"

That reply cost this country mega-billions.

This post, for the dear old makcik selling goreng pisang by the roadside in Besut.

Anonymous, 14 December 2009 17:46
malaysia under the three spendthrift prime ministers havewasted the oppurtunity to make our country as great as our neighbour down south, which inescapbly will always be the yardstick by which the progress of the country and the achievement of our leadership must be measured.

For 22 years under tdm we were pursuing 'development'agenda which appeared grandiose and visible at the outsetbut in my view wanting in substance. KLCC, putrajaya andsome mega projects are all that we have to showfor something like RM 400 billions of oil money?

The relevant social engineering questions that we need toask would include?

> have we met the objectives of RMP 4,5, and subsequent rmp 's. I believe the gomen have skipped asking whether such objectiveswere ever met? Now we are in 9th mp without realising the effectivenessthe 6th,7th, 9th malaysia plans. Can we say that we have less poor peoplein this country compared to the 1980's?

Statistics indicate that out annual incomes improved tremendously.But would this translate into a meaningful lives of ordinary peoplewho make up 80 per cent of the population? From the terriblestate of 'uncollected municipal rubbish ' in Terengganu I would imagine people in oil -rich Terengganu are among the hard core poor of this country

>Has the ministry of housing met the housing need of the population?We do not know what the declared objectives? But comparing thestandards and quantity of housing with our neighbour's surely is like comparing the pumpkin and the small wild berry found wild.Not having funds cannot be an excuse because we could afford a newairport, a F1 track and fancy putra jaya!

>So far we have build all the grand infrastructure projects with foreign labour. Now can we build future buildings and infrastructureswith our local expertise from our youth? Our social engineering in the youth sector is emphasized with lots of songs/videos on the rakan themewith no visible success in any area. A few years ago menteriAzalina reported that there were a million drug addicts , and probably90 per cent of them were Malays. The story that a deceased toppolice officer left a legacy of rm 47 million fuelled therumours that the assets could be ill gotten -the result of a failure in drug enforcement!

Why in the world did the top leadership spend money for the monsooncup? An investment in goodwill as I cannot see any viable finacialreturns. Spending rm 800 million over 10 years to get a couple of millions a year for the local economy?

Is the local politico thick in the head or plain unashamedly corruptlike the deceased police chief who left a rm 47 million legacy?

Building silly stadiums [which collapsed embarassingly] andfancy cristal mosque where there is no population to use the facilty are the worst crime committed by tun dollah and his highfaluting level 4 morons .

The present pm najib is investing in a Formula 1 which I think isextravagant considering the state of the economy today. It cost Sterling 40 million to participate and another 40 million to run at the lowest levelin a year. This is big money for the whole country. Is the investment going to bring in rm 10million in touristdollars in a year? Possible but a poor strategy for resource allocation. . There areother pressing needs that need to be addressed.

Employment ,crime which are related to the lack of employment need urgent attention.

The free wheeling financial exuberance policies of tdm in the 90's cost all malaysians dearly even today . A sialan that parents whohave childrens overseas have to lived with. No thanks to tdmthe exchange rate for the usd have risen from the wonderful rm 2.20to the 3.60 that we are suffereing now. Why ? We want to sellmore protons? Is selling 30 000 protons or even less with falling exports the reason why parents whose children are studying overseas must suffer the extra cost of exchange rate? notoktok

Non-partisan, 14 December 2009 17:50
Well written and I hope someone in the corridors of power does listen.I have heard of similar 'rumours' within the Chinese corporate circle and they are not happy.Similarly many within UMNO will not be happy too once it is exposed and proven that the Chinese guy Joe Low is given the carte blanche to operate such huge fund. It is the rakyat's money.It doesn't augur well for UMNO/BN.

Anonymous, 14 December 2009 20:19
Singapore put their money into GIC and Temasek which invests their money... to generate more money for generations.We used it to build buildings (that need maintenance) and for pockets and dig more oil for more oil.Now you know we do not know how to run a country?

Peter Chen, 14 December 2009 20:35
Sakmongkol, you now have been appointed by Malaysians (actually just me) to make sure PKFZ twins or lesser do not ever happen again or risk hawking the future of our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.....

telur dua, 14 December 2009 21:03
'A fool and his money is soon parted.' But not quite like the Red Sea.The fool being the Rakyat. They voted in this Government, didn't they? The 4th Floor boys most probably moved up to the 14th. They can make a hasty exit through the windows if the situation warrants it.Bye bye Ringgit, Hello poverty.

Anonymous, 14 December 2009 23:12
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/item_Fu1amZaRx9MOMsr9HCIOzK/0

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Bleeding 1Malaysia
14 December 2009 106 views

It’s kinda intriguing to read about Hair, J Low, 1 Malaysia Development Bhd and a bunch of fuckin’ Arabs.

You would think the characters in this drama couldn’t be more disparate but they all got one thing in common.

One thing to rule them all. One thing to find them.

One thing to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Money.

This from the latest issue of The Edge:

One of the key peopke who had advised the King in establishing Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) was Low Taek Jho, a young merchant banker with strong links to the Middle East. Known as Jho Low to his friends, the young man is also said to have done a few major corporate deals.

His lavish lifestyle in New York was the subject of a feature article in the New York Post last month. Jho, the son of Penang businessman Datuk Larry Low – a former shareholder and director of MWE Holdings Bhd – has however denied that it was he who had splurged on a lavish celebration as had been reported.

Coming back to TIA, the idea was to establish a fund along the lines of Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. In fact, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, still sits on the board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Lots more stuff in there.


Including indications that some dealmakers made a killing in 1MDB’s RM5billion bond issue.

I’d by partying in the Big Apple too if it was me.


So where does Hair come in? I see strands of it all over the wrong places.

Watch this space. You ain’t see nothing yet.

I GIVE fair warning.

I hit the previous PM hard on this blog. Really hard.

It would only be fair if I uphold the same standards for Jibby.

This involves public money. Lots of it.

If you or anyone around you fucks around with our shit, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, I will fuck you in the ass, regardless of whether you are partial to it or not.

I promise.

ALSO READ Sakmongkol AK47: Who is minding the store?

enuff said for now.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Now Will The Fat Lady Sing?

Kudos to the handlers of MACC. This bird is a good start but will it sing if not in captivity? Bail should be set at at least RM10,000,000 for a start.

This from the Malaysian Insider:

Former PKA general manager, two others arrested

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Datin Paduka O.C. Phang, a former general manager of the Port Klang Authority (PKA), and two others were arrested by police today in connection with the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

They were picked up in a joint operation between police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

It is understood that they will be charged in a Klang court this afternoon.

MORE TO COME

As I Was Thinking...

I was just think about the wider implications of the on-going Nazri-Mahathir spat and then I saw the following article in the Malaysian Insider today. It explains why certain UMNO stalwarts are in denial about so many things that are obvious like the BTN racist course content as a prime example. They just cannot afford to concede.

On the flip side, there are others like Nazri (so it seems) in UMNO who accept that nothing is sacrosanct on the Internet; crap will eventually surface. They feel it is better to admit certain past misconducts now and through managing fallout, perhaps regain the trust of the rakyat.

In other words, one group is fearful of opening Pandora's Box while the other accepts that Pandora's Box is already open (and will open wider) and the only thing to do is to manage the consequences to the best advantage of UMNO. Please read:




In Nazri-Dr M spat, a wider struggle


 

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — The ongoing battle between Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is more than just the explosion of personal animosity between the two antagonists.
On the subject at least of the quarrel between the two men — the controversial Biro Tata Negara (BTN) — Nazri represents the more enlightened part of Umno.

They are the ones who believe the genie is out of the bottle and that the old repressive ways of the old Dr Mahathir administration cannot work anymore.

Nazri said as much this week when he kept repeating the point that there was no point in pretending that BTN courses were not a hotbed of racism.

After all, participants of the course — many of them Malays — have been openly listing down examples of racist propaganda spewed by facilitators of the programme.

On the other hand, those who back Dr Mahathir represent the group that believes the relative openness of the Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi years was a disaster, especially for Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).

Many of them have pointed to BN's disastrous showing in Elections 2008 as an example.
They argue that the only way for Umno to regain its stature is by beating down any opposition to its policies.

And for a primer on how to do that, there is no better example than the authoritarian style of Dr Mahathir.

Those who back Dr Mahathir believe that the only way to maintain some order for Umno is to ensure the mainstream press blacks out certain news items, such as Nazri's original remark that Dr Mahathir was a "bloody racist".

Umno-owned newspapers did not initially report the spat, but The Star, the country's biggest newspaper owned by Umno's partner MCA, did.

And for reporting on Nazri's original remarks, The Star has now come under attack from pro-Dr Mahathir blogs.The newspaper is being accused by those who back Dr Mahathir as a Chinese-owned newspaper trying to take advantage of Umno's relative weakness.

The blogs and many of the hawks in Umno are also pushing for Nazri to be removed from Cabinet and the party's supreme council.

The friction between the more enlightened leaders in Umno and the conservatives is probably the last thing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak needs.

Najib is trying to focus his efforts on steering the economy out of trouble. He is banking on a return to robust growth by next year to win back public support.

Rows such as those between Nazri and Dr Mahathir will be significant distractions.

But the BTN issue will be the first of many battles between the more open-minded members and the right wing.

And anecdotal evidence so far suggests that Nazri and his ilk could end up on the losing side more often than not.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Time To Go Buddy...

Having followed Che Det's blog from inception and watching him today, I feel a tinge of pity for the man. I am 50 this year and for the most part of my life, Mahathir has been in the limelight and in the thick of politics in Malaysia. To say that this man affected my life is an understatement. The same can be said for the majority of Malaysians today. That being the case, it is ironic that Mahathir today is a man still concerned about how history will judge him, regardless of how much he denies it!

In this post, I would like to offer my two sen worth of observation about the man since May 2008, when he had no choice but to start blogging. It was the first time Malaysians could see from close up the workings of Mahathir's mind (and heart perhaps); he wrote his own posts unlike other major politician bloggers. His blog has clocked 25.50 million hits since.

Nowadays, he does not blog as much and his style seems getting more and more pedantic. More obviously, he sometimes seems confused and cantankerous. His blogging allows us this closer examination. It is almost as if he has tried so hard since he retired as PM, to hang on to his badly battered legacy that he does not care to realize times are a changing. His dogged defense of anything and everything from his time as PM seems to indicate he feels under siege.

He felt demonized during the later years of Pak Lah's tenure but he certainly did not expect that more uncomplimentary facts about his premiership have surfaced during Najib's watch.

Ironically, the PMship of that village idiot from Kepala Batas now seems a blur in the psyche of Malaysians but Mahathir now appears to be blamed for most ills facing the nation today. From his choice of Badawi to his forced endorsement of Najib; from emasculating the Judiciary to (in Kit Siang's words) "his high-handed and autocratic rule which brook no dissent especially in the public service with his propensity to abuse his powers against all who crossed his path including the abuses of draconian laws like the Internal Security Act and the Official Secrets Act"; from the wanton wastage of public funds (latest estimate USD100 billion) to the crippled education system; from cronyism to engendering money politics; from racially divisive mentality of Malaysians to endemic corruption; the list goes on and on.

Perhaps what is most telling is his latest incredulous act of endorsing the BTN in its current form. This despite so much evidence of racism and of devious attempts at brainwashing. His ongoing childish tirade with Nazri Aziz makes him appear like the very old man he has suddenly become.

So Che Det, it is time to bow out and fade away buddy! Perhaps Malaysians will still celebrate your 100 years unlike Bapak Malaysia whose 100 year anniversary of his birth (February 2003) passed without commemoration and virtually unnoticed into the sands of time. You were still PM then, remember?

UPDATE:

More evidence to show that Che Det is bullheadedly defending BTN just for the sake of defending. This is from Malaysiakini today:

Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) wants former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to admit that the National Civics Bureau or Biro Tata Negara (BTN) programme is racist in content.

mahathir cyberjaya lecture 220409 q&a sessionAt a press conference at Universiti Malaya today, representatives of student groups in the coalition registered their objection to Mahathir's claim that BTN courses have helped promote unity and patriotism.

Rather, they argued, the courses have been used to propagate "Umno Islam" and to invoke racism among university students.

Kelab Rakan Siswa Islah Malaysia president Abdullah Omar Muhamad Fuad said previous BTN directors have conceded that the programme is infused with a political agenda. As such, he said Mahathir should admit the truth as well.

smm boycott btn 091209 shazni munir mohd ithninAgreeing, SMM president Shazni Munir Mohd Ithin said Mahathir should be truthful in keeping with the traits of a good statesperson.

"He should accept our criticism which is valid," added Shazni.

The coalition further called for BTN courses to be abolished, as these are the cause of race-based enmity among Malaysians and are being used as a tool of political propaganda.

SMM, which represents 5,000 students from several public universities, will now boycott courses organised by BTN.

"We urge other students to stop attending the courses as these are conducted in such a way that we have to blindly accept everything the instructors tells us. This restricts our thoughts and intellectuality," said Shazni.

'Stop threatening scholars'
In addition, the groups want the government to stop imposing attendance in BTN courses on recipients of government scholarships.

smm boycott btn 091209 hilman idham"We feel that it is not fair to force the scholars and to threaten us into attending the courses," said Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen president Hilman Idham.

The representatives said they have been told that they cannot graduate if they fail to complete at least one of the BTN courses.

Abdullah said the programme should not be funded with the people's money.

"If a certain political party wants to organise such programmes, they should run it with party funds," he added.

SMM further told journalists that the coalition has a MP3 recording of one of the BTN seminars and that this will be revealed in the near future.

azlan"We will take further action to investigate and expose more of the BTN's racist indoctrination," Hilman added.

The BTN courses have come in for severe criticism in recent weeks, leading the cabinet to issue a directive to revamp the modules.

The Selangor and Penang governments, led by Pakatan Rakyat, have banned civil servants in state-based agencies from attending these courses.