Wednesday 27 November 2013

Why The All Blacks?

8 reasons you wish you were a New Zealand All Blacks fan

THE NEW ZEALAND All Blacks — if you’re from New Zealand, you probably need no encouragement whatsoever to stand behind them. But as for everyone else, well, you might think about whose side of the fence you’re standing on the next time you find yourself in a discussion of sporting excellence.

For over 130 years, this has been the club to measure athletic success against — and here’s some evidence why.

1. They’re arguably the most successful professional sports team in history. They’ve won an astonishing 85% of every match they’ve ever played, and hold a 75% win rate in tested matches (officially sanctioned matches). By comparison, the New York Yankees have a winning percentage of just 53%.

2. They’re one of the oldest professional teams still in existence. The New Zealand national rugby team was founded in 1884. So…make sure you wish them a happy 130th birthday next year. (Oh, they also went undefeated in their first year.)

3. They’ve won the Tri Nations / Rugby Championship 12 times. This is an elite tournament in which New Zealand competes against Argentina, Australia, and South Africa. The championship has only existed for 18 years.

4. The population of New Zealand is 4.4 million. The All Blacks Facebook fan page has 2.1 million followers. You do the math. (Or don’t, and just realize that All Blacks fans pretty much make up their own nation.)

5. They’ve had 17 sets of father-son player combinations, and 34 sets of brothers. Needless to say…rugby’s kind of in their blood.

6. They competed in what’s considered the greatest game of rugby ever played, a ridiculous come-from-behind victory against Australia. And they won.

7. Rugby has been argued as the “surrogate religion” of New Zealand. Multiple professors have written theses on rugby’s prominent place in Kiwi life — and the conflicts that can arise out of what happens when a rugby fixture is played on a Sunday. Which, thinking about it, kind of makes the All Blacks the country’s unofficial spiritual leader.

8. And, of course, the haka. Probably the most badass pre-game warmup ritual in the history of competitive sports, it’s the same ancient war cry that Maori have done for hundreds and hundreds of years. And exactly the kind of thing that makes opponents think, “I’ve just made a huge mistake…”

Haka Tribute

Monday 25 November 2013

Ireland 22 All Blacks 24

This was a game the All Blacks did not deserve to win. Alas, the Gods of Rugby ordained that this would be a perfect season for the All Blacks as the luck of the Irish ran out at the end. The Irish forwards outplayed their NZ counterparts and there were just too many handling errors from the men in black.

The last play of the match was cruel for Ireland.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Making Waves Down Under

It appears that Haris made waves down under with the ladies too. The following comment in Malaysiakini was written by his new found admirer, Mary O'Donovan but the way she writes about him makes her sound like the PR handlers of Najib. Nevertheless, I agree with most of what she said about Haris. Keep it up bro!

A dangerous man called Haris

COMMENT I've just spent the last five days staying with Haris Ibrahim in Melbourne and from the moment I met him, I became aware of how dangerous he could become for the Malaysian government.          

Yes, in the world of activism, I am the greatest cynic. I don't trust anyone on face value. I don't believe most of what I hear and even less of what I see. 

I've interacted with many activists both in Australia and overseas, and there are those of which I am quickly dismissive. They are the ones who are just angry with their lot in life and wave a banner for social reform irrespective of the cause. I say that these people would even turn up for the opening of a paper bag.

There are also those who are driven by ego. They just love being in the spotlight and if offered a chance for change, they won't accept it because it removes their platform. I am always bemused by the altruism derived from an ulterior motive. 

Then there are those whose motives are real, they have the backing of the public and they have the composure, nous and the ability to convey the social reforms to the people and consequently, see it happen. They are always highly intelligent, extremely affable, have attained much in life both professionally and personally, but have decided that the cause isn't about them, it is about the people.

NONESo, I asked Haris many, many questions, because I just didn't trust him. I had no reason to. I didn't know him. Sure, I'd read his blog. I'd seen his videos. I knew his ideology. But I wanted to test him. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know why this man calls himself an activist, what motivates him, if there was there a contributory factor that made him choose this path, and I also wanted to know who he was. Haris, the person.

Thus, what did I deduce from our time spent together? This man is dangerous for the Malaysian government and there isn't a thing the government can do to stop him. Haris has them in a corner. If they put him in jail or have him killed, ABU and the people now have their martyr, further inciting anger; but if they don't stop him, they now have a revolution.

Being Malay made him different I went in search for the very essence of why he is an activist. To me, there is always one defining factor as to why people are activists and in response to my question, Haris said there wasn't one. But in fact, there is. It is the fact that he was born Malay of interracial parents in Malaysia. Just by being born, Haris was already an outcast, and this has defined him over the years.

Haris grew up in a government house with a Malay father and Ceylonese mother. As a child, he would sit on the steps listening to tales from family members about law and his passion for social justice was fostered. He told me that although these stories were possibly embellished, the seed had been planted. 

The first time Haris realised that being Malay made him different to his friends was after an incident with his closest childhood friend. His friend was Chinese and although he received a higher mark than Haris, he was not eligible to further his education, whereas, Haris was. As a consequence to this, his closest friend never spoke to him again, leaving an indelible imprint on his psyche. 

As such, the inequalities within Malaysia led him to turn his back on his beloved country to become educated in England. He hoped that his law degree would now mean something to his fellow Malaysians. He told me about the client who initially refused to see him as soon as he saw the Malay surname. He also told me why he eventually walked away from his beloved career as a lawyer.

Haris had a very successful career as a lawyer, working many pro bono cases regarding religion, but eventually, his conscience wouldn't allow him to continue. 

"In 2010, there was an increasing sense that the judiciary, which in every jurisdiction is supposed to be final bastion that preserves the fundamental rights of the citizenry, no longer served the purpose. I could no longer, in all good conscience, bow and say, 'Oh, wise one'." He consequently deduced that change had to be a political process.

Naturally, Haris is angry. The government and their policies have encroached on every aspect of his life. They have violated his dreams, his friendships, his character and his career. He has the anger, but does he have the ability to be powerful within Malaysia? Anger will only go so far to stir up trouble, for someone to become really powerful, they must have the ability to convey the message and more importantly, have that message heard by the people.

Witty and intelligent
Haris does. I watched him interact with the people. He is affable, he is witty, he is intelligent and people were drawn to him. As he spoke at the forum in Melbourne, people were leaning forward in their seats, hanging on to his every word and he left the people hungry for more. Someone said the next day that they were yet to sleep, as they had spent the night in deep thought.

Another quality of Haris is his ability to listen. He wasn't constantly telling people his views, he wanted to hear what other people thought and as he sat and listened, I could see him thinking and digesting what they said. He was never dismissive of a person, he made the people feel like they were heard and it didn't matter what was said, they were made to feel important. 

And as I said, this man is dangerous. He is dangerous due to a myriad of reasons. He won't stop until he sees the change he wants and the more the government attempts to stop him, the more passionate he will become. 

He is dangerous because this isn't a man aimlessly running amok. This is a man whom I would consider to be a genius, carefully strategising change. He has decided that Bersih is no longer conducive to his cause. "What does one mean by being non-partisan? They say that ABU is pro-opposition, this is not true. I am partisan, but I am pro people and it is for that reason, when the need arises, to slam the opposition if the position they take does not auger for the interest of the people."

He is dangerous because he has a soul. He spoke to me about walking from the law courts to lunch one day and seeing a woman without any limbs, begging on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and as he sat in the restaurant, he realised that the ringgit he had given her, were useless. So, he bought her some food and sat beside her, feeding her. As he spoke, his voice broke with emotion. He told me that she gave him more than he had given her. 

He is dangerous because he isn't ego driven and he has the ability to articulate what people are thinking, on a grand scale. He is giving the people a voice. People want change. They are angry at the lack of democracy in Malaysia. They are angry with the inequality found within the races. They are angry at the crime and corruption which is rife within Malaysia. They are angry at so many things, especially with the outcome of GE13. 

Will he just walk away disheartened? I have no doubt that his unwavering conviction won't allow this. He has already given up his lucrative law degree and sold his family farm to dedicate his life to change. He has already turned down a copious amount of money to just go away. So, he isn't going to stop now. 

He wants change implemented and he has the means to do it. He has a lot of support and ironically, each time he was arrested, the donations to ABU came flooding in. Unwittingly, each time the government attempted to stop him, they have actually created a situation far worse than imaginable. 

Are his strategies plausible? Definitely! He is working with a team who are doing their research and they have realised the areas which need to be addressed and have started to go out and educate these people about their rights. With every lie proffered by the government, he counteracts them with an educated response filled with facts and figures. He wants accountability.

Ironically, the man is only dangerous to the government because the government has created the need for change. If so many people weren't looking for change, they wouldn't be looking for someone to lead them to the answers and as I said, Haris has the intelligence, the passion, the unwavering conviction and the strategies to do it. 

Paradoxically, as the government attempts to silence him, they are only creating a greater platform for him to be heard, both in Malaysia and internationally. His visit to Australia is proof of this. By charging him with sedition resulting in his first visa to Australia being declined, they actually created a greater platform for him to be heard internationally. 

The media in Australia wanted to know why he had been denied entry over here and although there was nothing sinister about this, it gave him the podium to speak about the corruption within the government, the gerrymander which is in place, the 40 percent poverty that exists, the indelible ink which wiped off within 10 minutes and the list continued, and as he spoke, I'd glance across to the people listening to him and I could see how much they liked him and the effect he had on them. 

I almost laughed when I saw Jim Middleton, a reporter for the esteemed ABC, inadvertently smile as Haris spoke. I could see that even as a seasoned reporter, Middleton liked what he was hearing. Haris is a brilliant orator and people want to hear him speak.

Right man for the job
Although finding himself inadvertently at the forefront of the movement, to me, he is the right man for the job. Malaysians want change, and with his intelligence and his unwavering conviction, he has the passion and the heart to get it done.

Upon telling him that many would see him as some sort of idol, he dismissed this by saying that this isn't what he desired; Malaysians need to believe that they themselves can do it. He wants to empower the people, not lead them and I believe that change is imminent and the only people who should be afraid is the government and anyone else involved in the corruption within the Malaysian society.

Malaysia, Haris wants a revolution. "I don't want a Bersih rally with grandparents and young children all going home at six, I want people who are ready to never leave until we get what we want." Malaysians are becoming increasingly frustrated. They have tried the court system to initiate change, but to no avail. They have demanded through rallies a democratic system and weren't heard. 

As Haris said, "They won't give us the demands, because if they do, the government will lose." The people have finally had enough and through Haris and ABU, they won't stop until they are heard.

Malaysia created Haris and now the government wants to silence what they created. It won't happen.

MARY O'DONOVAN is law graduate from Australia who is well versed in Malaysian politics. She has recently completed an internship at the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights. Her passion is human rights

Wednesday 6 November 2013

The Pathan Wars?

This article in today's Malaysian Insider is interesting as it may seem that things are boiling to the surface in the very convoluted and complicated world of seedy Malaysian politics. If it is agreed that there is no smoke without a fire, then this MI article is not mere smoke but the first flames that are appearing on the surface of what is covering a conflagration raging below. It has been smoking for some time now. Though not mentioned in the MI article as yet, it probably will impact Sabah UMNO politics with the pathan at the helm. It appears "The Land Beneath The Wind" holds much history and many conspiracies. Please read: 

Attorney General’s position under threat? Reportedly in Dr M camp’s sights


NOVEMBER 06, 2013

Abdul Gani Patail's alleged misconducts were reportedly discussed in the meeting attended by Dr Mahathir, Mat Zain and Shafee. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 6, 2013.Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's position as the Attorney General appears under threat as reports and sources say former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has met several people to discuss the top government lawyer's misdeeds.

The speculation is based on a meeting attended by Dr Mahathir, former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim and prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that three months ago, Mat Zain received a surprise phone call from Shafee to attend the meeting.

The report revealed that Mat Zain met Shafee at the lawyer's office-cum-residence in Bukit Tunku on August 10, three days after Hari Raya.

The two was said to have discussed Gani's alleged “misconducts”, as well as the highly-publicised case on Pulau Batu Puteh - the island off Johor which the International Court of Justice awarded to Singapore following a legal dispute in 2008.

The news portal said Mat Zain and Shafee later met Dr Mahathir at his residence in Country Heights, Kajang, on the same day.

Present at the meeting were Dr Mahathir's former political secretary Matthias Chang and former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director, Datuk Ramli Yusoff, who briefed the former premier over his run-ins with Gani.

Their discussion also touched on other alleged wrongdoings by the AG, including fabrication of evidence in the famous "black eye" case of 1998 involving former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Mat Zain, who was the investigating officer in that case, had informed Dr Mahathir of fabrication of evidence allegedly committed by Gani, then a senior deputy public prosecutor handling Anwar's first sodomy and power abuse case, following his dismissal from the government.

The alleged fabrication took place when Gani was said to have brought in pathologist Dr Abdul Rahman Yusoff to accuse Anwar in court of self-inflicting his injuries, contradicting medical reports.

As a result, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the black-eye incident, resulting in the admission by former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor that he had beaten Anwar hours after his arrest on September 20, 1998.

In 2008, Anwar filed a police report against Gani and former police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who was involved in the first sodomy case thrown at Anwar.

The accusations of fabrication and misconduct on the part of Gani and Musa were however dismissed by a three-member committee comprising retired judges formed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

It was reported that in the meeting with Mahathir, Shafee (pic, right) agreed that the appointment of the MACC committee to clear Gani and Musa was illegal.

Two months after the meeting, Mat Zain on October 7 made a statutory declaration on the matter, with copies sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, solicitor-general Datuk Idris Harun and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

In August, Gani appointed Shafee to lead the prosecution team in its appeal against Anwar's acquittal in the Sodomy II charge.

Gani, 58, joined the Attorney General's Chambers in 1980 and was appointed AG in 2002.

He had come under heavy criticism from the opposition and non-governmental organisations over his handling of several high profile cases, including the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and the cheating case involving former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik.

Dr Mahathir is also said to have pressured Gani and called Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for a discussion. During the meeting, Dr Mahathir claimed that the AG's Chambers employed two CIA agents. Ahmad Zahid had agreed to probe into the claim. - November 6, 2013.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Is Religion About Its Followers Or Are Followers About Their Religions?

UPDATE; 5th November 2013

That Effing Show replies Perkasa:


The following are followers of the same religion:

Ezzra Zaid and the "That Effing Show" Gang

Dr Reza Azlan, Islamic Theologian. BFM interview:

...compared to *ahem*. Decide for yourself.

UPDATE 3rd November 2013. The following was in Malaysiakini:

Perkasa finds no humour in YouTube parody, calls cops
12:44PM Nov 3, 2013
There was no humour for Selangor Perkasa in a parody video on the ‘Allah' issue - it was so offended it lodged a series of police reports against the makers.

NONEAccording to Utusan Malaysia, Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya (right) said the YouTubevideo entitled: ‘That Effing Show #95: Allah, Apa Lagi?' was an insult to a Court of Appeal ruling which banned a Christian publication from using the word 'Allah'.

"This matter must be scrutinised to avoid discontent and disharmony in the country," he was quoted as saying.

Abu Bakar, whose movement had made nine police reports throughout Selangor, added that the relevant authorities should take action against the video makers.

The six minutes and 31 seconds video uploaded on the PopTeeVee channel featured two separate groups with one claiming the word ‘Allah' for themselves.

Subsequently, the other group then began claiming various Malay language words originating from Sanskrit such as ‘bumiputera'. ‘raja' and ‘negara'.

Producers to cooperate with cops

They cited that this was to avoid people from being "confused" by Hindu influences, to which the other group became offended and said they would call for Perkasa to aid them.

Perkasa spoof popTVHowever, it was pointed out that the word ‘Perkasa' was also from Sanskrit, causing one of the group members to react in rage and imitating Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali's infamous reaction on international TV: "Don't talk S**t!".

The video was hosted by Ezra Zaid (left in photo), who previously had a run in with religious authorities over the publication of a book entitled ‘Allah, Liberty & Love' by liberal Muslim author Irshad Manji.

Meanwhile, the company responsible for the producing 'That Effing Show' said that it will cooperate with the authorities.

"With regards to Perkasa's comments on our videos, we believe we share an equal passion in building a better Malaysia: which is further proof that there is even more in common between PopTeeVee and Perkasa besides the four points already raised in Episode 96

"Perkasa works for what they believe makes for a better Malaysia. We believe in following the footsteps of our experienced and passionate leaders in doing the same," said Hardesh Singh, the company's founder and executive producer.

Saturday 2 November 2013

A Typical Jeannie And J.J. Moment

Camping with the usual gang of families in Port Dickson, 2000. I am glad that they shared this type of mother and son relationship right to the end...

J.J. Evolution

How did this

...become this?

Must have started with this:

Or is it because of Prince Cheah?

Friday 1 November 2013

Taiping Mali

When Taipingnites visit Taiping with non-Taiping spouses and children. The following video clip was in the Panorama Hotel suite in 1998.