My Anthem

Monday, July 31, 2006

No Brainers ...

If Donald Trump were to be on the panel to judge Malaysians, we would be right UP THERE!

... and if you think this is NO compliments,
DON'T THINK TWICE, II's ALRIGHT. It's the NST that's responsible or irresponsible, your choice, Desi's Place is 100% democratic.

Now all of a sudden we are told that maybe it is time to consider having another Malaysia-Singapore link, the bullet train link. The RM 8 billion bullet link has been proposed by YTL Corp. A news item reported that Francis Yeoh, YTL's managing director, said the Malaysian and Singapore governments have been informed of the plan.


A NST report had the following to say regarding the advantages of such a high speed rail link ::

"Every single fund manager loves this project and a lot of consumers want it. The industries want it. It’s a no-brainer. It’s the perfect alternative to air and land transport between the two hubs and will integrate them," he said.

And from an up-and-coming Barisan Nasional Youtgh leader with Prime Minister-ial ambitions ...


Khairy Jamaluddin claimed last Friday the Umno Youth got an e-mail about an international coffee shop chain allegedly supporting Israel and sending funds to the Zionist regime.

He wants the rakyat to know. "I will suggest that we distribute a list of the companies which are clear Israeli supporters according to their profits so that we are aware of who are helping Israel," the Umno Youth deputy chief was quoted by Bernama.

With that information, the members of the public can decide whether to boycott these companies or remain as their clients. Umno Youth itself won't bother with a boycott campaign , its deput chief said; such campaigns have proved ineffective in the past.


DESI: Yeah, before you patronise any of the Fast-FOOD joints or any MEDICAL CENTRE, please ask for their authenticity for non-Israel shareholders. "Please be seated at the AC Very Patient Lunge while we check, Sir!"

And from his MCA counterpart, aspiring to be a miniSTER, a blast from 1997/98 if you still remember, the kind of September...


All the local media, especially the Hua Ren-ciontrolled or linked ones, were abuzz with news the past few days of one (Ding-a-ling) 27-year-old youth -- with the help of some corporate friends, especially Bankers and Daddy's cronies -- obtained enough banking facilities to take control of at least four listed conpanies on the KLSE (and I don't know how many more overseas ... They welcomed our Ringgit! Even the Jews!)

Come, Y&A, if you want to be a millionaire-by-30, don't take part in The Apprentice -- you don't even know if The Donald One has got any Jewish bloodline! -- JOIN OUR EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY PARTY.

And drum roll, finally from the Innovative Minister of Youth and Sports ~~~~~~~

No, it's NOT that Sports Centre costing RM490 only in England in Howsy's neighbourhood, Ooops, I dropped 6 zeroes, try again...

RM490,000,000 ...
Don't Think Twice, It's Alrite now2.

I always stop at 4, you know why?
"4" in Chinoserie sounds like "sui" which can mean water, which means money, or can sound like "See", which can mean Open your eyes wide two, can realise the wisdom of Youth, or can mean Die-lah. I think always of the lust. Sorry, bro Mave SM, Anak Merdeka and Helen, a li'l DDC on bluesy Monday.
Don't Think THrice, It's Alrite 3.


The Innoovative Minister has come out with this latest Brainer:

From The Star. page N22, July 31, 2006 ~~~~

Mapping system to know more about youths.

Desi: Did I say No Brainer?
So it's thus left accidentally/incidentally/intentionally/unwittingly



Go figure... BYE.
See you next week.:(
Many of my ER have tired of Desi's speak. Better take a Break-away. I'm feeling tiored and weary nowadays. And nowanights2. NO more current brain cells. Theels, where art thou? Can arrange for Desi some transplant?

Ooops, you're in medsin farming, not brain trans-plant.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sabah has a Humpty Dumpty too!

Today's Inter:Lude is a logical conclusion of the past two days' imcomplete rumination, so please try to chew on the starters before joining Desi for today's CON BF, will you? And that's a rhetorical question -- no need to answer Desi-lah, I'm not even your CM yet.

Lewis Carrol is his fabled Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass has entertained many of us, including desi, through happy hours in the Library. Frankly our acquaintance started at primary school (hardly any kindie then) when kids used to sing

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...
But we did not realise the implications of those rhymes...

So the fantasy escapades continued at secondary school, later transmiited via the TV medium so that thge memories became more vivid.

The past two days I saw some glimpses of local, modern versions of Humpty Dumpty and I wonder if the subjects had read Lewis Carrol's works.
Does one Musa Aman ring a belle?
Or one ZAM guy?

When UMNO entered Sabah, it smartly introduced the conecpt of ROTATING THE CHIEF MINISTER'S POST.
After some time, the two-yearly terms were stopped, when conveniently UMNO fielded the CM and the term, was extended to a FULL TERM for the whole duration of te newly elected State Assembly.

See the ingenuity of great minds -- UMNO must have updated George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM -- certain BN species are more equal than others, of course, in due course.

Then the CM engages in private language, speaking for himself and UMBO breed, and a "very angry" Prime Minister over Sipadan island development was "pacified" within 48 hours or less.

Wow, how eficient is the Sabah (UMNO) government under Musa Aman. All peace, all calm waters.

But does he speak the same language as the rest of the State's citizens, humbly called Sabahans? (Sounds close to Sabar-hans, full of patience.

But I urge Sabar-hans to drop the sound of "r", follow the example of the Sarawak script and tell Musa Aman and his UMNO cronies they not only have to "explain" to the PM, but also to the people.

And I spied this item via, there is hope yet for Sabahans without the "r"!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

PM also urged to stop the Malua-Ulu Segama logging

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) hopes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will act to halt the planned logging of the Malua and Ulu Segama forest reserves just as he had expressed concern for Pulau Sipadan.

Its Sabah Deputy Chairperson, Christina Liew, feels Sabah stands to lose even more in tourism from the planned logging in the two forest reserves between now and mid-2007 than from the patch of corals that a barge had scraped at Sipadan earlier.

She said the potential losses in terms of extinction of many species of Bornean wildlife such as orang-utans, sumatran rhinocerous, sun bear, pygmy elephants, tembadau, sambar deer, bearded pigs, muntjacks, clouded leopards and civets, among others, would be colossal compared with the coral damage, even though what happened at Sipadan was regrettable.

In this context, she said it was ridiculous for State Forestry Director, Sam Mannan, to claim that wildlife thrived very well in logged areas.

"Don't take Sabah people for fools. If he still insists on this theory, I can show him a copy of the findings of a study conducted by environmentalists in the world.

"Don't bully the orang-utans just because they can't speak up and are defenceless," she said, adding that the decision-makers involved must be made accountable for their actions, even after they have left the scene. The Malua and Ulu Segama forest reserves are seen as the last strongholds for about 5,000 wild orang-utans on Borneo.

The Forestry Deaprtment had earlier assured that the logging would be according to sustainable methods.

Liew was commenting on Abdullah's concern for Sabah's environment, particularly the construction activities on Sipadan. Welcoming Abdullah's call to Malaysians to learn to appreciate the environment "as it was a gift from God", Liew said it was time for Malaysians to develop greater respect and reverence for the natural legacy that God had bestowed on us.

"And this respect should not only remain in words alone but translated into action," she said in a statement.

While acknowledging that preservation and eco-tourism are popular catchphrases these days, she said it is, however, useless when efforts at conservation are compromised by arbitrary decisions "that would result in the destruction of the very elements we seek to preserve."

Liew stressed that it is time for the relevant Sabah departments and agencies to take concrete steps towards conserving the environment "if we are truly serious about preserving our environment for the future generations."

She said Sipadan, Mt Kinabalu, the Maliau Basin and Danum Valley, to name a few, are all Sabah treasures beyond price.

"However, these treasures cannot survive any mistakes made through unwise decisions on the part of the administration involved. What has happened to Sipadan and Mt Kinabalu where the construction of another RM5 million resthouse project had been abandoned at 9,000ft are not only tragic mistakes but crimes against nature."

To prevent further tragedy, she said, the Government should call off the logging in the Malua and Ulu Segama forest reserves.

"When the areas are ravaged, there will be nothing left for the orang-utans."

On July 16, the Star daily broke the news when it reported that the State-owned Yayasan Sabah Group had contracted companies for new logging operations to start in a month or two.


When Humpty Dumpty engaged in private speak only he himself understod,nobody could help him.

When Musa enages in gobbedy-talkcock, nobody will understand him for his nonsense. The people will finally have to dump the Humpty Dumpty.

All the king's soldiers,
All the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again

It was only in upper secondary school after greater acquaintance with Orwellian poiltical education that Desiderata understands that Politicians are a special breed. Malaysian politicians, especailly from the OLIGARCHY rulers within UMNO since the 1980s, coinciding with the birth of Big Money Politics, have graduated to being masters in their own right. Yes, there are many local Politikus who outshine even the Americans in double- and triple-speak.
We may yet get to Developed Nation status yet -- because you can alays follow Selangor's example to adopt your own parameters of what Developed Nation status are.
Just like what the Sabah CM defines what he rules are in the "best interests" of the state. No need to listen to the likes of Christina Liew. What is Keadilan?
George Orwell's Napoleon and Snowball must be mighty proud, eh? You pigs! Stop dancing in the grave.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Charity begins at home...

Similar Demonstrations at the same venue by hundreds on common citiznes FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE FRIDAYS protesting the 30-sen petrol price rise DID NOT GET A SINGLE LINE MENTION in mainstream newspapers. But the Star frontpage today amplified the Role of UMNO Youth deputy chief -- also Barisan Nasional deputy! -- Khairy Jamaluddin with a royal circle around the head. WoW, a son-in-law of the Prime Minister gets page 1, if that's what pays, "We'll do it, SIR!" (That's visualising some Monkeys speaking at a certain newsdeask.)

Friends, Malaysians, countrymen: Lend Khairy your ears!

From the NST, a columnist with many inches to spare:

Out of the Cage: Do the right thing, Condoleezza
29 Jul 2006
Khairy Jamaluddin

Madam Secretary:

YOU were and remain unwelcome in Malaysia because you really should have been elsewhere. You should have gone straight from Rome to Beirut and then to Damascus in order to secure an immediate ceasefire to Israel’s brutal attacks on Lebanon.

But then, you’re not interested in a ceasefire, right? You had a chance a few days ago in Rome to agree to an immediate cessation of violence, but you were having none of that.

Two weeks ago, at the United Nations, Qatar sponsored a Security Council resolution that demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza, another killing field that you have encouraged your ally to create, but you had to exercise your first veto in almost two years. In fact, you were the only country in the Security Council to exercise the veto.

It seems clearer by the day and as more innocent Lebanese and Palestinian lives are obliterated by weapons made in your country and supplied on a fast-track basis to Israel that you are not interested in peace in the region.

It is, therefore, not surprising that your inaction is regarded as acquiescence to the murder of civilian populations and wanton destruction of property, infrastructure and livelihoods.

Your continued refusal to call for a halt to the violence and intervene in the crisis is tantamount to giving Israel the green light to continue butchering its way to an end no one quite knows.

Israel’s own Justice Minister said, "We received... at the Rome conference permission from the world to continue the operation."

I cannot begin to tell you how offensive that statement is. Are you and your ally, Israel, so delusional as to think that the world supports this destruction of Lebanon and attack on Gaza? Do you think we are stupid enough to buy the spin that Hizbollah and Hamas are to be blamed for the escalation in violence?

What about decades of neglect and disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people, who are denied a sovereign nation and driven from their own lands?

What about 18 years of the brutal and bloody occupation of southern Lebanon by Israeli forces? What about US foreign policy in the Middle East which has continued to abet and support Israeli intransigence and violence?

What the world sees is a massively disproportionate response by Israel to the capture of one Israeli soldier in Gaza and two in southern Lebanon.

What about the 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli jails or the thousands of Lebanese who suffered unspeakable torture at the prison in Khiam?

If they respond for every Palestinian or Lebanese captured and tortured with the same ferocity that the Zionist regime has shown over three soldiers, Israel would be flattened and Israelis will cease to exist.

That is how disproportionate Israel’s response has been. The atrocious and dastardly attacks, especially on the Lebanese people, are acts of state terrorism. There is nothing that separates Israel and al-Qaeda, no fine distinction between Osama bin Laden and Ehud Olmert.

As far as the Malaysian people are concerned, Israel is a terrorist state with its hands stained with the blood of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians. Israel is responsible for severe war crimes, committed in cold blood without mercy and without differentiating enemy combatants and civilians. There is no other way to describe such an evil and despicable country that commits indiscriminate murder in front of the entire world than as a terrorist state.

As an ally of Israel, the US was presented with the moral obligation of stopping these atrocities. And yet you have not.

You have implied in your silence and stalling that Israel must be given the time to achieve its aims. But what are its aims? The world is told that Israel’s brutal bombings are to take out Hizbollah’s installations. But the world can smell your bulls... from a mile away. Are convoys of Lebanese families fleeing their homes, enemy installations?

People running for safety have been killed by American-made Israeli bombs. Are people rushing to safety with babies and young children considered enemy combatants? Are they?

But I know this does not trouble you. You have become so desensitised to seeing innocent people butchered. You even have a cold, heartless term for those who die at the hands of this brutality — collateral damage. The people who have been killed are not collateral damage. They have been murdered by a country that you continue to protect and support.

You know that Lebanon is just emerging from decades of civil war and rebuilding a better future for its people. Israel’s obliteration of Lebanese homes, bridges, airports and other infrastructure has taken the country a decade back in terms of development.

It has successfully radicalised a new generation of Lebanese youth for whom revenge is now a categorical imperative. In short, Israel has done your dirty work in leaving behind another failed state in the region to join the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The extent of your hypocrisy is sickening. You claim to want to support the spread of democracy in the Middle East. But when election results throw up leaders whom you find unacceptable, you punish the very people you have supposedly liberated with elections.

You announce to the world that you are alarmed by the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon but you continue to deliver weapons to Israel to inflict the very suffering that you supposedly decry. Is it any wonder that so many people in the world hate your Government? You have absolutely no sense of integrity let alone a commitment to justice.

You want the world to fight terrorism with you. We sympathised with the people of the US in the aftermath of 9/11, but with your invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and now with you abetting the murder of the Lebanese and Palestinians, you have not just depleted any goodwill you had but you have also sunk to the level of terrorists yourselves.

You cannot possibly expect billions of youth around the world watching this massacre on their TV screens to subscribe to the war against terror.

What Israel has done and what you have condoned will be responsible for a wave of Muslims who will cross the lines and rationality and tolerance and want to see your destruction. This is your doing. You are pushing so many into the arms of the extremists because of your immorality and absolute disdain towards the sanctity of innocent lives.

As you probably heard during our demonstration outside the conference hall yesterday, those who are angry with you and despise Israel are not just Muslims. Malaysians regardless of race and religion gathered to protest this senseless violence. The entire world — and not just the Muslim world — is against you.

One day, and I pray that day will come soon, the majority of nations will gang up against you. You strut around the world like a big, fat bully with a couple of snotty sidekicks making life a living hell for the rest of us. But one day, we will realise that there is safety in numbers.

One day the majority of kids being bullied in the playground will turn against you and no one will come to your defence because you have no real friends. One day, we will all rise to teach you a lesson that is long overdue — that the injustice, discrimination and double standards must stop. We will build a newer world order based on justice and equality of nations. Until that day arrives, you will be despised. Make no mistake about it. In the meantime, please take your blood-stained hands back to the region and do the right thing.

You have the power and influence to save the lives of the Lebanese and Palestinians. Repent now and atone for your sins. For if you do not by the grace of God you will get what you deserve, in this life or the next.

Yours sincerely,
Khairy Jamaluddin

The writer is an investment banker and deputy head of Barisan Nasional Youth.


Ah, back to The Star frontpage -- the very obedient and law-abiding People's Paper --gladly and humbly at Thy Royal Servbice -- we the People's Paper are proud to amplifly for the EsteemedReaders' attention the VIP Role of Khairy with this historic picture of many heads but this special head was CIRCLED in yellow so you won't miss it. Momentous history in the making at the KLCC, See? WoW, royal treatment for the famous son-in-law, eh?

Next, graduate to a Yellow Halo
? Did I mispell Hello, I dunno man, because in NegaraKu, I don't know who really is Emperor now. One in Putrajaya, another in Sabah, one more hiding maybe in Sarawak...I don't know if there is one in Pulau Pinang; for sure, I know there's one in 15th century Melaka!

The Petronas Twin Towers is trukly a landmark Malaysians can be proud of. But similar demonstrations to the one yesterday at the same venue by hundreds on common citizens FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE FRIDAYS protesting the 30-sen petrol price rise DID NOT GET A SINGLE LINE MENTION. Ah, who are these men-in-the-street, no pentential PM among them! That was the vantage point From the 3 Monkeys -- See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil
But these Monkeys suddenly woke up from their slumber this blessed Friday! Yes, miracles do happen in NegaraKu.


I sighted him speaking wise words -- which I borrow with pride, Okay, H J Angus, you're my spokesman temporarily, conscripted whether you agree or knot! --

"HJ Angus Said:
July 28th, 2006 at 22: 28.55

Considering that Malaysians do not even know what transpired over a simple thing like the Crooked Bridge Project and the billions lost through BNM’s currency speculations, it is surprising that we want to try and force a settlement in Lebanon.

That was a really peaceful and beautiful country considered the Switzerland of the ME as it was a financial centre in 1967. My plane had to refuel in Beirut on the way to London.

Then the country got undermined by illegal but well-armed groups that wanted to destroy Israel which will remain unbeatable as long as the USA is their ally.

So what if 10,000 rallied and created havoc in KL? Do you think the USA will blink?
If anything foreign investors would have probably withheld a few hundred million in direct investments as it seems the government is being very selective on who can and who cannot protest.

I’m not surprised about his UK training and the street protests. The UK is one of the places in Europe where Malaysians get indoctrinated by zealots."
Thanks HJ, I owe you two golden goblets of tettarik, tambah manis, tambah Ms Sunthi juga!:):) -- Desi

Sermons by the Si...

Datuk Musa Aman -- good boy that he is! -- did not follow Desis' advice yesterday to seek an audience with Sabahans. Instead the State UMNO people sought his audience -- now we know who the Emperor of Sabah is and where he stays. Maybe Sabahans are patient ones, will wait until August 31, 2006 and gather at ... Or Sabahans are super-patient ones, and wait for the next State Elections and follow the Sarawak script, you electors, hear me? Ear me?

"Friends, Sabahans and countrymen, lend me thy ears ...

From The Star, page N3,

Saturday July 29, 2006

Musa: No decision yet on when to resume project

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman has not made any decision yet on when to resume construction of the RM4.5mil clubhouse project on the environmentally-sensitive diving haven of Pulau Sipadan.

Musa, however, brushed aside calls to scrap the Sipadan project and stop the logging at the Malua and Ulu Segama forest reserves which had been bequeathed as Malaysia’s biodiversity gifts to the world.

He said everything that needed explaining on both controversial moves affecting the environment had been done.

“As long as we don’t have to hide anything, we don’t have to worry,” he said after chairing a two-hour monthly Sabah Umno liaison committee meeting.

Musa, who briefed the committee on his meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over the Sipadan project, among the other matters, said the state Umno leaders accepted his explanation.
And now the second sermon -- by the Si-fool?

I'm reproducing the report in full because precisely it deserves fool coverage.

"Friends, Malaysians, countrymen, don't say I did not perform my duty to bring this important sermon to your attention...

Page N16, same newspaper, yes The People's Paper.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here starts the ZAM's item ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zam: Don’t create issues

KUALA LUMPUR: The media should not create “unnecessary contentious” issues when the situation in the country is peaceful, and the market for newspapers is seldom threatened by media-related laws, said Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin.

He said the media should not be used as a tool for so-called *“freedom fighters,” adding that media practitioners knew that their daily operations would not be affected unless they flouted the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

Zainuddin: ‘The Government means business in this matter’
“The Cabinet has been informed that **certain newspapers are inclined to exploit certain religious and racial issues and create unnecessary contentious debate,” he told a press conference at Angkasapuri here yesterday.

He cited the recent issue on Universiti Putra Malaysia’s “Ethnic Relations Guide Book” as an example where some reports had not been based on facts and were biased.

Zainuddin said the Government had obtained proof that ***certain local newspapers had published news, articles and interviews that were meant to question the status of Islam as the country’s official religion.

He said the newspaper organisations should learn from the country’s history which showed that they were involved in creating instability which resulted in the May 13, 1969, tragedy. Following this, the Government had to take action again against the media firms, launching “Ops Lalang” in 1987.

He reiterated that the Government would not compromise with any media organisation which incited religious and racial sentiments.

“The Government means business in this matter and will be guided by the country’s way of resolving problems to ensure +ethical newspapers.”

Zainuddin said the Prime Minister’s directive to the media to stop the publication and printing of sensitive issues relating to religion and race was not a gag order but a continuation of the Government’s policy, which had been ignored by certain media companies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ends ZAM's new item ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DESIDERATA: Pre-, during and post-Da Vinci Code, it looks like many Malaysians -- not excluding Desi and some Ministers, see the ppower of writers by association! -- are still speaking in CODE.
Or sisdar Helen, am I or da minister speaking tongue-in-chic?
(My APologies to the likes -- almost used 'ilk'! -- Mave SM and Anak Merdeka (she's gone MIA for sometime, in Kota Baru reporting LIVE, isIT?) and Howsy, whose exuberance in editorialising theSien blog truly aMACEs Desi!)

I have a good reason for using code-ine, as I stated that the motive is to try to work some of my lazy ER' brain cells getting stale through affluent living and Sodamn and Gomerpylic indulgence, that they know the meaning of Da Rationale when engaging this demanding DesidERRATIC one.

See you, say no more but caution that yopu note the asterisks *, **, *** and ah, that cross +. Try to desi[phere why I did that, will you, lazy bummers who make good my Saturday. Now I'll pass the collections bags around so my flock can show their love for Desi to help sponsor my trip to Kota Kinabalu come Hari Merdeka...

Now go Obedient ones, Say: "Si, si" to the two Sermons by the Si.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bravo, theSUN shines!

After a full day -- tired and weary -- I was glad I surfed my daily Blog called Screenshots (If you have to ask who's this, please get outa here!) which led me to this important Editorial.

The Fourth Estate still has some hopes yet if more mainstream media are of the same wavelength, or even just close to it, to what theSUN espouced.

Bravo from a fellow journalist here!

SPEAK UP! :: theSun Says

What people expect of newspapers

When people pick up their newspaper in the morning, they have one thing in common - no matter what their personal interests and views may be. They want news and views.

They want to know what happened in the community they call home, and the larger world which the community is inextricably a part of.

They want to know about the decisions that are being made that could affect them, and the community and world they live in.

They want to know about the different views that exist and are being debated out there.

They want to have a say in these because they would be affected, directly or indirectly.

Even if they are not going to be affected, a vital part of the growth of an individual and society - a lifelong journey - is to have access to information and views that would help shape opinions and thoughts.

A newspaper's role then is to report the news, to recognise that there is a plurality of views on many of the issues that matter to society, and to present these different views in a balanced manner - not with any sinister aim to instigate trouble, but with the recognition that the press has a role to play in informing and empowering readers to form their own opinions and make their own decisions.

That is the role that this newspaper tries to do day in day out whether in our news pages or in our opinion sections - including this space.

We are very much aware that as no one society is homogenous, it is inevitable that some quarters will disagree with one another.

Any sincere effort to negotiate a common space respected by all would entail rational dialogue between all parties, with an openness to consider the different views out there before arriving at any conclusion.

It does not have to be a zero sum game. History has shown that trouble begins when the dialogue breaks down.

Any newspaper that wants to keep its finger on the pulse of society would need to be aware of this and report on all the different views - and not just on one view - and ensure the dialogue does not break down.

The task can be akin to treading on eggshells at times, especially in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society where race and religion are deemed to be sensitive and at times, contentious, issues. And where, despite education, people often still act emotionally when it comes to race and religion. Newspapers and journalists are mindful of that and we know where the limits are. But it is no easy task. And we know there are some people who would prefer less discourse and less disclosure and want the government to have a tighter grip on the media. We therefore find comfort in the assurance given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at a mass media conference (organised by the Internal Security Ministry that regulates newspapers) on Tuesday that the government will not rush to act against the media everytime there is a complaint from a particular group. In return, he asked that the media use the freedom we have responsibly and accept that that freedom is not absolute.

That's a fair deal.

This newspaper will continue to play our part in reporting the news and articulating ideas and opinions that can help shape the direction of our country for the well being of all Malaysians. We will do this at the right time and to the best of our ability, which unfortunately is not limitless. And we will do so in a constructive and responsible way. We will lose some battles in our pursuit of more public discourse of the issues that affect us all but we know that this endeavour has no shelf life. Indeed, it is an endless struggle with its fair share of ups and downs.

Updated: 10:10AM Thu, 27 Jul 2006

Now Musa must seek an audience with Sabahans...

After getting a rebuke from his superior, Sabah's Chief Minister quickly flew to Kuala Lumpur to seek an audience with the Prime Minister. According to the version given by Datuk Musa Aman, Pak Lah had accepted his (Aman's) explanation regarding the development on Sipadan island -- and all is peaceful again.

Page 30, of the NST, seems to suggest calm waters as far as Aman's vantage point is CONcerned.

Musa briefs PM on Sipadan
28 Jul 2006

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman flew to Kuala Lumpur post haste yesterday to tell the Prime Minister that development on Sipadan island had been put on hold.

He met Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the latter criticised him for going ahead with plans to construct a RM4.5 million clubhouse on the island.

Musa said he told Abdullah that physical work on the island had stopped on May 24.

Musa also informed Abdullah that a joint committee on the management and monitoring of Sipadan had decided that development on the island would only involve basic resting facilities for divers, staff quarters and environmentally friendly sewerage and sanitation systems.

The committee, under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, made the decision at its meeting last month.

However, Musa said all development must be approved by the State Cabinet.

Abdullah was quoted as saying on Wednesday that he had told Musa not to proceed with the project as it would damage the corals.

Musa said the Prime Minister had accepted his explanation.

During the meeting, Musa showed Abdullah a comprehensive report on the status of development on the island.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said whether or not construction work would restart would depend on the outcome of a review of the project by the Sabah Parks.

He was speaking to reporters after representing Musa at the launching of the State-level Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Day at Tanjung Lipat here.


But now Musa must seek an audience with the people, especially the Sabahans to whom he's ultimately the Servant to -- no, not Pak Lah alone, but the Rakyat of Sabah who put him as the state's CEO for five years alone. And he must account for ALL HIS ACTIONS. Not just on the Sipadan island issue.

The Prime Ministeer must also direct this Chief Minister to furnish a comprehesnive report of the litany of complaints against Aman as documented in Raja Petra Kamarudin's chest of gems, as I extracted yesterday, and I shall reprise again here partially, FIVE items only on Aman's plate for STARTERS, the full menu is


1. Putting the fox in charge of Umno Sabah’s henhouse

2. Sabah Housing Board Scam

3. What’s going on in Sabah?

4. Why is Pak Lah protecting Musa Aman?

5. Umno Sabah: Talk a lot but say nothing

Parting greeting to fellow Malaysians in Sabah. But your CM thinks the people's status is way too low for Aman -- only the PM's level is good enough for him --
in which case, how about the Rakyat plan a gathering in front of the CM's office to celebrate the coming 49th Merdeka Day birthday?

If some generous Sabahan who has a slice of Aman's cake will sponsor Desi, I'd gladly fly over to have an self-invited audience with Aman. I'll come with a white flag.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Elegant Silence's First Leo-nic Roar

Was I glad to read the Star this morning -- I ordered a second Cuppa of tehtarik kurang manis to celebrate a milestone.
Finally the one termed by former DPM Tun Musa Hitam as keeping an "elegant silence" since the Dr Mahathir challenge broke a few months ago -- Mr Nice Guy -- awoke and not too loudly let out his first Leo-nic roar.

Lay off

'God gave
us such a
beautifukl gift.
Why are we
destroying it?'

~~ Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lashed out at Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman for going ahead with the RM4.5mil clubhouse project at Pulau Sipadan despite his objection.

“I was very angry with Musa. I told him not to build it. I said so many corals are dying and he promised that he would look into the project,” said Abdullah, who openly expressed his disappointment and frustration with Musa.

Visualise this lah ~~ DAMAGED CORAL: A photo taken on May 14 showing the damaged area caused by a barge bringing construction materials to Pulau Sipadan.
He said the corals would attract tourists and divers from around the world but they would not visit the country if the corals were destroyed.

Abdullah was referring to the construction of a clubhouse, toilets and sewage facilities that started on the island two months ago. It caused serious concern among divers when there was gradual destruction of the coral reefs.

On May 14, a barge from the construction fell onto the seabed and flattened 372.94 sq m of coral reef at the island’s drop-off point in the north.

Musa ordered construction of the project stopped but later allowed it to continue, provided environment-friendly building materials were used.


I believe Pak Lah in the quiet of the night has been researching Raja Petra Kamarudin's ARCHIVES, as rich as the forests and shores of Sabah, which has a l;ist longer than Desi's fingers and toes you must count, just a sample:


Putting the fox in charge of Umno Sabah’s henhouse

Sabah Housing Board Scam

What’s going on in Sabah?

Why is Pak Lah protecting Musa Aman?

Umno Sabah: Talk a lot but say nothing

We have nothing 'to hide'

The Umno Sabah building scam perpetuated by Musa Aman

Musa Aman caught with his pants down

Mengapa Pak Lah Terus Melindungi Musa Aman?

Umno Sabah: Cakap Banyak Tetapi Kosong

Musa Aman dan skandal bangunan Umno Sabah

Musa Aman Terjerat

Has Pak Lah been goaded to finally find his bites/bytes?"Very angry..." yes, it's high time, also soon High Noon.
Or is it Gunfight at the OK CorRal?

Yesterday he advised mainstream media not to go the way of the blogs and Internet.
Today he bit at a State Chief Napoleon -- and someone is not going to continue sleeping peacefully from tonight.
And one stewpid deputy minister was today reported to enhance the stifling PPPA 1984 to rope in the Internet media as well -- to level the playing field in line with the print media like the NST, The Staraand Nanyang Siang Pau and Utusan Malaysia, ad nauseum ... oh, RTM and Bernama too.

But Dy Minister Fu ... man ... fool, hey, you might as well bar Google from touching the airspace over Malaysia Boleh eh?

Hey, mGf, Howsy, have you re-newed the Annual Licencing for SENsitrovert, Nyet? (Doing some weather forecasting for coming in 2008...?)

Meanwhile, I am leaving for the KLIA to try hitch a ride on Petronas Executive Lear jet to sneak into that London casino to say Hello to an ex_Chief Minister to see whether his luck has changed. Won enough to recoup the millions he LOST -- now Pak Lah has not told the Rakay whether the LOst Millions came from, has he? Maybe I missed the story from the Lion's mouth. My dear EsteemedReaders, update Desi...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bonus midday reflection: Anwar Ibrahim's Agenda...

Desiderata has spelt out his grounds on the PKR Option plus Anwar Ibrahim's Role.
From the start, I wish to reiterate what I'm promoting holds for me personally at a certain point of time -- the present -- based on the information, intelligence and the feedback I have gathered, and from personal interaction with certain parties, so my dear Readers should be advised they read such "political" pieces with both their eyes wide open lest Desi be accused of being guilty of leading peiople up the garden path. I am open to other perspectives -- nay, I am even open to persuasion that my path is wrong and misleading, but you tell me! -- so give me your views generously. Nothing you say here will be used against thee -- I am foremost a poet-aspirant, remember, now trying out some acting-politicking appearances.

I'm now reproducing, in full, one Anwar's action programme Down Under received via Email (sent by someone who knows my mind inside-out, there's nowhere to hide!) because I feel it's good to put you in the know, and let you gauge what the former DPM is up to, and the future of this man obviously trying to be a COME-BACK KID. I think the United Nations detour is just another Nicole Kidman's diversion ... if you don't know where's the relevance, go get The Interpreter and enjoy 2 hours instead of wasting time following the ongoing
Epic Play on the PWTC Stage.

July 26, 2006
Anwar campaigns Down Under

BRISBANE - YOU cannot blame Malaysia's former deputy prime minister for running for office. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a politician. Running is what politicians do. The only thing that seems unclear is what office he is running for - prime minister of Malaysia or, as some supporters have recently suggested, United Nations secretary-general.
Last week in Australia, he appeared at a Shakespeare World Congress in Brisbane, on many national radio and TV programmes, at seminars on 'Islam and Democracy' at universities in several cities and in newspaper interviews.

Sample from a Brisbane newspaper: Datuk Seri Anwar's portrait emblazoned with a line from Shakespeare's The Tempest: 'As you from crimes would pardon'd be/ Let your indulgence set me free.'

The Straits Times
caught up with him at ABC TV's Brisbane studios as he posed beside an iconic riverside Australian eucalypt, and at a seminar at Queensland University. Excerpts from his range of messages:

On future plans - prime minister of Malaysia or UN secretary-general?

I'm not presumptuous about my role. I'm committed to the reform agenda. This applies to both Malaysia and the international community. I've been moving around. I've done nothing at all to plan or strategise on my role as a so-called future secretary-general or prime minister of Malaysia. But I'm just moving on, getting people to understand the reform agenda.

On some advice from his wife:

My wife tells me that I should leave out talking about having been deputy prime minister. 'That was a long time ago,' she says. 'They've forgotten about you.' I say: 'I have to remind them.'

On reports that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed could be planning to return to power:

I know for a fact that Tun Dr Mahathir and his supporters are conspiring to put him back for one to even three years before they decide on another anointed successor. This is to my mind certainly not feasible. Not good for the country. For now, I think, (his next anointed successor) would be (Deputy Prime Minister) Najib (Razak).

On what, in Datuk Seri Anwar's view, Tun Dr Mahathir accomplished while in office:

I would give him credit, without hesitation, for the initial change and reform that he attempted to implement in Malaysia, in terms of diligence, work ethics, promoting industries, getting Malays, Indians and Chinese and other Malaysians to work together to ensure that Malaysia succeed as a model developing nation, and move towards industrialisation, better education and health services. This was his initial programme and it was quite impressive.

And the Mahathir legacy's downside?

Tolerance for corruption and cronyism (that) hurt Malaysia. He has destroyed completely all civil society's major institutions. The media was completely controlled under him. The judiciary has been completely under the thumbs of the executive. In constituencies, the outrageous plunder of votes, phantom votes. These are major crimes.

On the need for economic reform:

I helped promote the New Economic Policy agenda in the 1970s - affirmative action, poverty alleviation, of getting the bumiputeras involved in commerce and industry. But clearly, generally - seen in the context of the present - it has failed. We have used that policy to allow for the squandering of billions of dollars by the Umno elite and their cronies. We have seen the policy being abused in the awarding of contracts, privatisation, without tender, all in the name of affirmative action. So it is time we dismantled that policy and had a new programme where we encourage and treat all Malaysians as equals, while not ignoring the plight of the marginalised and the poor. A lot of Indians, particularly on the estates, are in a deplorable socio-economic shape.

On why Tun Dr Mahathir does not seem to like certain groups - for example, Australians and Singaporeans:

There has always been a subtle racist tinge in his views, first against whites. For no other reason than that he comes from that (older) generation. But I would have thought that you would grow beyond that. I'm not suggesting that our neighbours are always reasonable. I don't think Singapore has reciprocated responsibly (to signals from Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi). But notwithstanding that, Prime Minister Abdullah must be really committed to enhance good relations with our neighbours.

(Regarding Chinese), Dr Mahathir has been grossly inconsistent. Many of his cronies are Chinese. Many of his children have been working for or are being paid by Chinese conglomerates. But when it comes, for example, to enlist the support of the Malays, then he will use a subtle message that this Chinese enclave in Singapore must be taught a lesson.

On handling Proton's continuing losses:

Well, Dr Mahathir says they've got a lot of cash. And my response to that is: 'Well, yes, you have a lot of cash but you have four times (that in) liabilities.' They will have to have a real re-look at that entire policy because you are talking about issues of retrenchment, of competitiveness. I think we have to have a working synergy with some other parties overseas.

On what Datuk Seri Anwar says to the charge that he took too long to conclude that the system in which he was a major figure was corrupt:

I introduced the Anti-Corruption Act, in 1997 when I was acting prime minister. But I was chairman of a government committee on management, which covers anti-corruption, etc, five or six years earlier. What I did is on record - strong recommendations, strong rebuke against even ministers in the committee. But there was a limit to what I could pursue. If I had been tougher earlier, I would have been sacked earlier.

On whether he would rejoin Umno, given what he says is its corruption record:

I have taken this position that I'm against the corrupt leaders. I'm not against members of the party. Some of them share the idealism and agree on the need for reform. So I don't think we should preclude the possibility of continuing this engagement with the grassroots Umno members or the divisional leaders of Umno. But I must say that the issue of rejoining Umno does not arise, is completely irrelevant and I'm not prepared to accept that.

Having accepted an apology from the police chief who assaulted him while he was held on corruption and sodomy charges, would he accept an apology from Tun Dr Mahathir?

Yes. (If I met him in the street), I would say: 'How are you? How's the family?'

And his response would be?

Knowing him, I'm not too sure.

On any extremist threat in Malaysia:

You can see a lot of contentious debates between Muslims and non-Muslims, between the so-called liberal Muslims and the more committed Muslims. The undercurrents are worrying. I have suggested that Prime Minister Abdullah not allow this to drag on. From the issue of conversion to the issue of amendment to some of the provisions in the Constitution, the debates have been rancorous and bitter. It would be disastrous for the country to allow this to continue unabated.

On the so-called 'clash of civilisations' and Osama bin Laden's demands for a New Caliphate from southern Spain to the Philippines:

Osama does not have any meaningful support among the majority of the Muslims. They would like to listen to somebody who would just blast Washington because of clear frustration over some major Washington policies. (But) Osama is given undue credit and influence. If the question is: 'Do you agree with him for criticising America?' Across the board they would agree with him. 'But do you support his actions?' No.

On the 'war on terror':

We should confine our attack to those who are perpetrators of this crime of terror. You have to clearly espouse a message of moderation, the authentic version of Islam, and at the same time appeal to the international community, including the United States, not to provoke, not to make things worse.

On following Malaysia's anti-terrorism lessons:

How did the British colonial army with the Malaysians fight militant communists? With this massive campaign to win over the Malays and Chinese, give them development and say, 'Look, this is what we're doing.' And then confine the terrorists. Narrow the net. We don't include all Chinese radicals or even Chinese militants. We pick up only those Chinese terrorists who are with arms. So the people are convinced that this is a real battle against the militant communists.

On his friendship with World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neo-conservative proponent of Washington's current 'war on terror' policies:

Paul has been a friend for decades. I say: 'What's the harm?' I agree with him on some issues. I very strongly disagree with him on the war in Iraq, and think that it's a major blunder, if not a crime. And he knows that. But to his credit, as World Bank president, he is passionate about poverty alleviation efforts. He is committed to the reform agenda on the issue of governance and accountability. And he does not discriminate against Muslim societies and Muslim countries. On the Umno website you can see them attacking me as pro-Jew, pro-West, pro-Christian. My friends in Washington say you seem quite liberal, moderate, democratic, but we hear that you're talking to PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia) and we hear you've had a long session in Doha with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (an Islamist scholar banned from the US since 1999). I said: 'Look. I discuss with the neo-cons. I'm a friend of Paul Wolfowitz. So why can't I discuss with fellow Muslims? Who are we to take such a strong position that you can't even speak and engage?'

Desi: I thank the lady mGf for forwarding the report to me in such good time. I am not making further comments except for the Intro as I feel it's best left to my EsteemedReaders to input their views first, and if I have anything to add, I would. But remember, it's okay to disagree with this Host or with the subject Anwar, for that's the essense of what civilised discourse is about -- The Clash of Ideas that we may continue to learn, and progress...

Politics, Anyone?

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book

-- Ronald Reagan


See, I am located just next to a former US President. Writers are Great people by association.

I agree with the former actor-President of the greatest nation on earth (ITHO - In their humble opinion). He, like Estrada, made a success of acting and politicking. But actuall;y, you need to be a good actor before becoming a politician, so their career in Hollywood and Pollywood did help lots.

I'm just about to begin acting lessons. Anyone willing to spunsor?

Dr M refutes


Frontpage of theSun today.
Do I need to elaborate? No neeed-lah, you know the 'hole story,
already, before Desi.

Desi's sole comment: Between a fromer PM's word against a corporate's,

My answer lies in the following pome~~

Words -- BIG or small

Words big or small
Simple words to say
Small words to receive
Like "I love you"
Or "Go fly a kite"

Big words, like "misleading",
Difficult words like "trust me"
Sometimes they cause misunderstanding

But if given in sincerity
With no ill intent
Big or small words
We both understand
Only if you're an actor
And I a politician be.

So beware sweet, rambling words
Coated with honey and wine outside
Loaded with arsenic and bile inside.

An actor's words are to entertain
A politician's words are to mislead

But a Malaysian Corporate's words?
Like the UMNONO-MCAA-MICC politikus'
Leave DAAP, PASS and PKRR alone
Untested on the Stage
They entertain
They also mislead

But most insiduous of all
They subtly copulate you

Until you are Soul'd.


Just as you are encouraged to THINK ALLOWED, THINK ALOUD,
Desi's encouarging some after-thought; so he's reproducing
the similar report today, but from another source, The People's Paper~~

"Wednesday July 26, 2006

Dr M: I did not direct Tajuddin to buy MAS

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied he had instructed former MAS chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli to buy shares in the national carrier shares to bail out Bank Negara.

“I don’t remember instructing him to buy the shares,” he said.

He said it was former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who had told him that Tajuddin was interested in MAS shares.

Dr Mahathir: ‘I never asked him to do national service’
“We were privatising everything at that time. When he wanted to buy the shares, we told him we wanted cash,” he added.

He said Tajuddin had earlier proposed to the Government to buy MAS shares through the exchange of Celcom and Naluri shares. Dr Mahathir said he did not agree with this proposal.

“I said if he had no money, we were not willing to sell him the shares,” the former prime minister said, adding that Tajuddin borrowed RM1.8bil to pay for the MAS shares.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on Tajuddin’s claim that he was asked by the Government to acquire a 32% stake in MAS in 1994.

Tajuddin had made this claim in his counter suit filed on June 29 against the Government and 24 other parties over his purchase of MAS shares.

This followed the suit by Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd and its subsidiaries, Danaharta Urus Sdn Bhd and Danaharta Managers Sdn Bhd, against Tajuddin, filed on May 11 seeking RM589mil as the balance of a RM1.79bil loan given to him in 1994 to buy MAS shares.

“I did not force him to buy MAS shares. I never asked him to do national service,” Dr Mahathir said after launching a book entitled The Chinese Maaysian Contribution, which featured the accounts of Chinese migrants in the then Malaya, and how they contributed to the building of the country.
Desi: Don't say I did not pamper some of you lazy-bummers who also stinch (right word?) on RM1.20 for the people's paper. I think the 4th Estate is going to die...
ESPECIALLY when the PM asked people not to rely ion BLOGS but more on the maionstream media for infomration, because, knowing Malaysians, THEY WILL DO JUST THE OPPOSITE! IMHO-lah, but what am I versus Pak Lah's, yes?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

RM490million price tag for a CONcept?

From out of the blue yonder, theSun, July 25, 2006 page 4:

Sports centre only
a concept: Najib

PUTRAJAYA: The propoasal to set up a
sports centre at the Tun Razak Rubber
Research Centre (TARRC) in London is just
a CONcept and NO BUDGET was allocated.
(Emphasis is knotty Desi's,
not theSun, not my secretary's)

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak,
who is also the cabinet committeee chairman for
sports, clarified: "It has not been approved by the
cabinet committee, we have just approved the concept
first ... the detail and everything else we will have
to be worked out later."

Najib was responding to reporters' questions if it was
true the cost will be RM490million, after opening a
two-day seminar for Felda information officers and
the launch of Felda Youth Award 2006.

>> the Sun says: Why not
Nairobi, ASccra, Addis Ababa
Page 15


Yes, why not Addis Ababa, Accra, Nairobi?

If something was at CONcept stage, how did a figure of RM490million POP OUT?
One of those irrating POP-OUT AdVERTS that suddenly appear on our PC screens?
The last time I saw a David Copperfiled show, he made a Boing aeroplane disappear.

Did this magician sit in at THAT Said committee meeting, and suddenly, on MalaysiaBoleh inspiration,
blurt out: "RM490million"?

Now, next item of the national agenda: Our mission to drape the Malaysian flag and many other flags over the Pyramid in Egypt...

Desiderata has a conCEPT for a new BLOG which will earn all participants fast buck.All those interested, guaranteed 1,000-fold profit within one leap year.
Please send Desi a cheque for RM1,000 AC Pub'ic Bank No. 999c888o777n6 on Feb 29, 2007 ONLY THIS DATED cheque is accepted!

Please read two related sightings which are self-explanatory.


SPEAK UP! :: Letters

Sports centre tells tale

Thanks R. Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez for doing an investigative report with the UK councillors pertaining to the RM490 million proposed Brickendonbury Sports Centre in the UK (theSun, July 17).

I am an avid follower and admirer of your articles and I have blogged about them a lot in my blog, The Sensintrovert (

I happened to search Google Map to see what other sports recreational centres would there be nearby, and guess what? I'm not surprised to find a golf club. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that the proposed centre would be a base for ministers to play golf rather than the acclimatisation of our athletes. I have blogged it at 2006/07/rm-490-million-brickendonbury-sports.html.

theSun is one of the "not-so-mainstream" media which I enjoy reading because some of the articles, interviews, views and opinions are hard-hitting and frank. Keep up the good work to let more rakyat have the informed choice and not more brainwashing.

via email

NOTE: Howsy is NO reklation of mine. I hold no responsibility
for what he writes, I'm reproducing what I sighted at
theSUN's letters column.
Please do due diligence on what ytou eat, drink and raed everyday because there are too many


Letter from a conCERNED Malaysian sighted at Malaysiaklini's Letter column:

Brickendonbury R&D centre invaluable
Tan Sri Dr BC Sekhar
Jul 14, 06 8:41pm

Many conflicting and erroneous statement have appeared in the press regarding the proposed RM490 million sports academy at Brickendonbury in the UK vis-a-vis the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC) situated there now.

Let me clearly state the situation of TARRC in relation to ownership of the land restrictions clearly laid down in the Memorandum and Articles of the Association under which TARRC operates, the control of Lembaga Getah Malaysia (Malaysian Rubber Board) on the R&D programme and perhaps state categorically the R&D value of this unit in the UK for Malaysia.

As I have been associated with this outfit since 1949, I am clearly aware of the history and geography of this entirely Malaysian association.

1. The memorandum and articles of the association registered in 1938 clearly confines the objectives to R&D related to natural rubber and related materials. They have for 68 years enjoyed tax free status.

2. Consequent to the name changes from BRPRA to NRPRA, then MRPRA and in 1977 to Tun Abdul Razak Research Center, amendments made were consequential to name changes with restricted objectives of R&D clearly maintained, including ownership of assets.

3. The land of Brickendonbury was brought with the reserves, the association (TARRC) accumulated by 1971. The annual R&D activities budgeted for was funded by the Malaysian Rubber Research Development Board (now LGM).

4. The association (TARRC) owns the land not LGM. LGM obviously has full control on the R&D programme of TARRC and related activity.

5. The existence of some recreational facilities for the staff at TARRC is perhaps more modest than what we have in R&D institutions in Malaysia including Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (LGM).

6. The question of spending RM490 million on the sports academy is irrelevant to the issue of TARRC’s R&D activity. The R&D operations and expertise have been built over 67 years and even expending RM4 billion ringgit cannot generate such a centre of excellence in a decade or more. Their (TARRC) expertise and contribution over the years are given in summary form below:

The laboratory is a unique window to Western science and expertise which Malaysia can tap at will and the reputation of the laboratory has been established in elastomer science and fundamental science across the globe, not only as outstanding but one of a kind. Many of the researchers can be found as professors in Ivy League Universities in the US and the United Kingdom.

The laboratory developed fundamental information in oxidation chemistry, sulphur vulcanisation mechanisms, the basis of tyre abrasion and measurement, rubber crystallisation, rubber modification, latex technology, latex biochemistry and biotechnology, thermoplastic natural rubber, epoxidised NR and many more.

The laboratory spearheaded the developments of earthquake isolation devices, bridge bearings and vibration buildings and heavy machinery. The laboratory is recognised by the University of London and by working in the place, several RRIM officers have received their PhD from the University of London.

They have always operated at the cutting edge and continues to enjoy close relationship with researchers and research companies all around Europe, US and Canada. They are certainly equipped to meet the challenges posed by the development of biotechnology relevant to Malaysia.

I do not wish to pursue this issue any more in public. I stand by all I have said in this letter.


Parting shot from this head-shaking conCERNED Malaysian, Desi:

How many "I.S.Amens" need we ordinary folks have to say before
these sopcalled leaders stop CON-ning us?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Joining the RACE!

My Merdeka Day wish for the impending 49th birthday of NegaraKU is to see our beloved Prime Minister Pak Lah do one symbolic act of unity -- Give a directive to all Government departments to DELETE with immediate effect the small column or space where any applicant has to fill up in official forms: RACE/KETURUNAN.

There is justicicatyion for NATIONALITY to distinguish between a Malaysian and foreigners.

So you will give me demerit or merit points?

From Day 1 of my Blogging, I have averred that the New Economic Policy -- slated for 20years from 1970 -- has served its original stated objectives, namely:

* To bridge the gap of the haves and haves-not;
** To disengage the identification of any ethnic group with particular occupations, service functions or professions.

We have largely achieved that.
I have called on the Government to replace the "divisive" NEP with NEEDS-BASED POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES, so that thopse in greatest need receive the maximum aid, and those well-to-do receive less or nothing at all.
What else can be more fair and sensible? You tell me if there is another better option!

(NO, not that PKR or Anwar Option! Mave SM and Helen have overdosed/zed on that madsin!) Just a wee, little bit of DDC, K!After one long week of abstinence, like S'X, ...self-censored, after reading Howsy's and Anak Merdeka's mind.

But by continuing the NEP -- and looks like perpetuating it until eternity
under the mysth that the 30% Bumiputra equity has not been attained -- I contend that
from 1990, NegaraKu has not progressed -- nay it has regressed! -- along the route to unity. The main stumbling block is the revival of the NEP, under various guises.

I said that as much and to similar effect to a certain "comrade" member who is a member of the National Unity Panel who invited my INPUT a year ago to address this issue. I posted my collated views expressed in various articles -- especially a series in conjunction with several civic-minded BBlogger frineds, across race and colour and creed, also across gender and greed -- we coordinated to mark Malaysia's 48th birthday.

Look around you -- assuming you stay at all these Taman-taman, and tyou still see BILLBOARDS at startegic locations promoting new house, condominium sales. Yes, even condos priced at above RM250,000 and what is staring at you?

DIFFERENTIATED HOUSE PRICES, with 7-15% discounts for Bumiputras.
Like an old record replaying, Desi says this is the MOST DIVISIVE
encounter we meet in routine daily living in Malaysia. WE ask, and

I submit such Malaysians who have ALREADY ARRIVED -- be you blardy Chinoserie, Indiamen or Melayu, or Iban or Kadazan -- if your icnome capacity can accord you the capacity to but a quaerrter-million property, you should pay a SPECIAL GRATEFUL
CITIZEN TAX to go into a FUND FOR LOW-COST HOUSING to help the less-privileged fellow Malaysians.

Want to talk about scholarships?
Waarded to those from VVIP, well-connected, already well-to-do families?
OR to INGRATES -- ask Health Minister Datuk Dr CHUA SOI LEK,
who informed us that some RM100million spent on 70 Malaysians studying medicine in the UK who refused to come back to serve their scholarhsip bonds -- what's happening to these cases. OR HAS THE NUMBER DOUBLED?
We, the tax-payers, have a right to know.

Reading the following article in the New Sunday Times gave Desi a chance to re-visit the topic of ETHNIC RELATIONS. This of course followed the infamous UPM textbook produced in "three weeks" (has theat blardy GuinNURSE Buku Rekod-Rekoder alloted this buku a place o'lay?) that rightly so caught the nation's attention. Oh, the secondary act of the horde of 50 hooligans bullying seven fellow students ... is it the same notorious -- oops, take the word back, substitute, less than favourable" mention in the media the past week -- in case I'm accused of running down the whole campus fraternity whose alumni include some BIG WIGS, yes?

Sunday Interview: We still have room to find solutions
23 Jul 2006

He’s a soft-spoken man who has been given a big responsibility — getting Malaysians closer together. National Unity and Integration director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan, who has been in service for 30 years, speaks to ABDUL RAZAK AHMAD about the root causes of ethnic conflict in Malaysia.

Q: What’s the current state of unity and integration in this country ?

A: As someone whose job is to protect and enhance our unity and integration, I’d say that on a scale of zero to 10, Malaysia stands at 6.5. We don’t have planned racial conflicts. We feel safe to move about freely.

There’s also good co-operation between the races. But we need to do a lot more. We do have occasional cases of fighting, and because they occur between a Malay and an Indian, for example, they get classified as a "racial" incident. But if you look at the root cause, you’ll find that not all are caused by race or religion.

Q: If race and religion aren’t the root causes of ethnic incidents, what are?

A: Sometimes it’s the dissatisfaction of the poor. A rubber estate is cleared for a housing project. The residents are displaced. This creates pockets of discontent among these poor people. The resentment builds up.

And when a minor incident involving a person from another race happens, things explode. The root causes are mostly socioeconomic, or related to laws and calls to amend certain regulations that affect people of different faiths.

There are also grievances due to "demolition" of places of worship. Those affected say they can’t understand why they have to move for a housing project when their temple has been there for 20 years. These potential tensions exist in this country. But it’s important to note that we still have ample room to discuss and find solutions.

Q: Every minor quarrel seems to have the potential to explode. Is unity in Malaysia so fragile?

A: When I look at every incident, I find there are always early signs that we missed. After an incident, we tend to say the situation in this country is not good because very minor misunderstandings can still blow up so easily.

In truth, most of these incidents are retak menanti belah (cracks waiting to shatter the container). It’s like a fire. There’s the spark that starts the fire, and there are also the conditions that cause the spark.

Q: Can you give an example?

A: Take the Kampung Medan incident five years ago. The root cause was socioeconomic. The residents were promised new homes. They waited for years, but the homes were not completed. If you saw the conditions they lived in — houses with cement floors and zinc roofs, in a neighbourhood with a drug and prostitution problem — you’d have seen how the socioeconomic plight of the community connected to the whole episode.

The "spark" was a minor incident involving people from two races. One group acted, another reacted; the trouble spread. But the root cause and original grievance and dissatisfactions of the community were longstanding and deep-rooted.

Q: What struck you most about Kampung Medan?

A: I was then director of the Department’s Rukun Tetangga (RT) programme. I commuted from Subang Jaya to work using the KTM Komuter service. I passed Kampung Medan every day and I would observe the people who got on and off the station; I’d look at the area. Something was not quite right.

On the morning of March 8, 2001, I casually remarked to the director-general, Ainon Kuntum, that I suspected something could happen in Kampung Medan. We pulled out the file on Petaling Jaya. But we did not have much to go on: there was no RT programme in the area, no grassroots network reporting to us.

I got a call that very night from Ainon telling me that a terrible incident had happened in Kampung Medan. We felt utterly frustrated.

We had been promoting unity all this time — and this happened.

Ainon made some right and quick decisions in dispatching a team to the area quickly. And one of the first things done was to set up an RT. I was there every night. The first six nights I saw many families sleeping outside on the verandah. They were afraid that mobs would torch their houses. It took us quite a lot to persuade them to go inside.

But I realised things were going to be okay when the RT team, made up of Malays and Indians, said they were willing to patrol their neighbourhood. They were united and committed to keeping outsiders from coming to create more trouble in their neighbourhood. It was a relief, because we had other concerns at the time.

Q: You have witnessed the ravages of ethnic strife. But is it hard to convince the general public about the importance of an intangible thing like national unity?

A: Many people view incidents like Kampung Medan mainly as a quarrel between people of different races. Apart from that, unity isn’t really as important to many as economic indicators, for example.

I wish I could quantify the financial losses due to racial incidents.

If I can total the amount spent on hospital bills for the victims of Kampung Medan, the cost of deploying extra policemen, the amount of business lost in the area, and the number of foreign investors who cancelled plans to invest or pulled out, then I can say this is how much the Kampung Medan incident cost Malaysia.

The Fire and Rescue Department puts a ringgit estimate to damage caused by a fire. Why can’t we do the same for damage caused by incidents that threaten national unity? We’ve never quantified such damage before. It’s time we did.

Maybe, then, more people will open their eyes and appreciate how important unity really is.

Q: How important is the upcoming National Unity and Integration Action Plan?

A: It’s Malaysia’s first five-year unity plan. We were operating on annual plans and in some aspects we worked in isolation. Last year, for example, the department organised 35,000 specific activities geared towards national unity, involving the participation of three million people.

But even that’s not enough. Ministries like Education and Information have their own programmes, but there are still a lot of groups and parties out there that need to be roped in, including the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

The plan is a more systematic approach to national unity. It outlines what each sector, Ministry and agency can and should do in the next five years.

Q: How will progress be monitored?

A: I suppose we will become the policemen of national unity in Malaysia. We’ll be looking at whether a particular ministry is carrying out the plan and what its initiatives are.

The ministers will have to report to the Cabinet Committee on National Unity and Integration that will be set up. We’re also developing instruments to objectively measure unity, called a national unity index. A higher index number means that unity in a particular area is good. A lower figure means the opposite.

We need something concrete, because for many, unity is a very elusive thing. It’s so important, but not something you can hold in your hand.


I have given two key points to the issue which I think lie at the centre of a national conundrum.
Today I wish to appeal to my EsteemedReaders, please share your views -- NegaraKU is yours too in all equality and Equity, don't let anyone bully you into thinking any less! -- on what the good Datuk Datuk Azman Amin Hassan, has spent a long weekend giving you his thoughts. You owe it to him and yourself, and future generation. Don't rely ion Desi as your Echo-Chamber-lah, sometimes Empty Vessels Maketh the Greatest Din.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Concluding part of Anwar's rumination on Da Bard

THis Sunday's Inter:Lude is a journey within a journey -- Reflection on Someone's Rumination.
That Someone is no ordinary person but a fromer Deputy Prime Minister. But today's journy is not on account of him being a former VIP but that he's one human who in his trial and tributions can sit back and share with us that in the darkest hour, he fcould find solace in the Quran, and in the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

So don't leave home without IT; neither deprive your home with a spare set of these tomes. You can spend your entire life reading these works, and with every reading, you learn something new about the human nature.

So I conlude the relection on Anwar's treatise delivered at the Brisbane's Congress on Shakespeare, following the previous two days'partial extractions.

"We could say, like Harold Bloom, that with King Lear we are at the very centre of canonical excellence just as we would be as we traverse the cantos of the Inferno or the Purgatorio. But above all, it is in the harrowing barrenness in the final scene that makes it particularly compelling for me to read the play, over and over again, in those long hours of solitude and read it with intense attention. Yet it is in defeat that we find victory as we can gather from Lear’s speech to Cordelia after they have lost the battle:

Come, let’s away to prison;

We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage:

When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,

And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live,

And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh

At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues

Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,

Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out,

And take upon’s the mystery of things,

As if we were God’s spies; and we’ll wear out;

In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones

That ebb and flow by the moon. V, iii, 8-19

Needless to say, depending on your state of mind at any given time, with Shakespeare, you could be anyone you choose to be. When Keats was suffering from his bouts of depression, he wrote to his friend, the painter Benjamin Robert Haydon, who chided him. In reply, Keats says “I never quite despair and I read Shakespeare – indeed I shall…never read any other Book…” (4) And this leads us to Hamlet.

According to Eliot’s doctrine of the “objective correlative”, the finding of which is the only way of expressing emotion in the form of art, Hamlet is a failure. Hamlet (the man) is dominated by an emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as they appear. It is a feeling which he cannot understand; he cannot objectify it, and it therefore remains to poison life and obstruct action. In conclusion, Eliot says, we must simply admit that in Hamlet Shakespeare tackled a problem which proved too much for him. (5) With all due respect to the poet whose Four Quartets I continue to quarry whenever I am short of a quote or two, in my view, Hamlet needs no “objective correlative”, and this is what happens when we keep hoping to be wrong about Shakespeare in a new way. Coleridge, perhaps having foreknowledge of the self-induced intellectual conundrums that might be caused by Hamlet, had summed up the situation as follows: “It had been too much the custom when we could not explain anything that happened by the few words that were employed to explain everything; we passed it over as beyond our reach: they were looked upon as hints which Philosophy could not explain: as the terra incognita for future discoveries; the great ocean of unknown things to be afterward explored, or as the sacred fragments of a ruined temple, every part of which in itself was beautiful but the particular relation of which parts was unknown.” (6) Indeed it is this terra incognita in Hamlet which, in the language of transcendence, will remain hidden to those who are not initiated in the mysteries but not being unknowable, it is but a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. It may be more accurate to say therefore that in Hamlet, Shakespeare tackled a problem which proved too much for the audience at large to handle.

This calls to mind the observation made by the late Martin Lings that to be present at an adequate performance of King Lear is not merely to watch a play but to witness, mysteriously, the whole history of mankind. As Shakespeare matures he becomes more focused on the question of religion, not in the narrow sense of a mode of worship but in its most universal aspect, which is man having the right attitude of the soul towards God. He places himself at the very centre of the ancient world. For him Apollo is not the god of light but the light of God. Character after character is developed to a state of virtue which is pushed to the very limits of human nature. King Hamlet is purified in Purgatory but he is also a symbol of man’s lost Edenic state spoken of by young Hamlet in the following terms:

A combination and a form indeed,

Where every god did seem to set his seal

To give the world assurance of a man (III, 4, 60-62)

The pious man looks at the story of the Garden of Eden objectively but imagines the devil to be harmless, unaware of the extent of his own subservience to him. The mystic, on the other hand, looks at it subjectively and knows that most of what seems neutral is harmful. Hamlet transcends the idea of salvation, that is, simple piety in the conventional sense, and shows that Shakespeare, having drunk from the fountain of esotericism, knew where to ‘take upon us the mystery of things, as if we were God’s spies’ and tread the path towards sanctification. (7)

Whether it is Islam, Christianity, Judaism or other religions, faith reinvigorated could lead not just to bigotry, but may, when compounded with the elements of political and social discontent, cause us to express ourselves through violence and bloodshed. But if molded under the hand of the universal wisdom it could be a force to free us from ignorance and intolerance, injustice and greed. To use the language of the Gospel of Saint John, this perennial wisdom is the light that “shines in darkness,” although “the darkness comprehends it not.” It is also alluded to in the Qur’an with striking imagery: the light of a lamp “lit from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touches it.”

Shouldn’t this be the light to illuminate our path by imbuing us with ideals that are universal: a message of truth, justice and compassion, and above all, of the liberty and dignity of man? We talk of globalization and the end of history, but we remain a world torn asunder by the practice of polity identified solely with the exercise of power, and leadership that is increasingly divorced from ethical concerns and morality. Enduring peace and harmony of the world must be built not upon hegemonies but on mutual concern, trust and respect. We must discard our loyalties for the parochial and break free from the chains of outmoded mindsets; we should, like Hamlet, be “a little more than kin, and less than kind”. For more than a century, Kipling has had his say. Let us forswear “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, and instead, like Prospero, proclaim a “fair encounter, of two most rare affections”.

I see that The Tempest is not in the list of performances; so let me throw caution to the wind and seize this moment while I still have the podium, to recite, as my parting words, the last few lines of the Epilogue:

Gentle breath of yours my sails

Must fill, or else my project fails,

Which was to please. Now I want

Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,

And my ending is despair,

Unless I be relieved by prayer,

Which pierces so that it assaults

Mercy itself and frees all faults.

As you from crimes would pardon’d be,

Let your indulgence set me free.

Thank you.



1. Santayana, G., Three Philosophical Poets – Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe, Cambridge Harvard University, 1910, pp 106-7
2. Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr John Milton For the Liberty of Unlicenced Printing, To the Parliament of England, 1644 p 107
3. Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, 1946, p 214
4. Dorothy Hewlett, Adonais – A Life of John Keats, The Bobbs Merrill Co, New York, 1938, p 110
5. T.S. Eliot, Selected Essays, London, Faber & Faber Ltd, 1932, pp 141-46.
6. The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lectures 1808-1819 On Literature I, ed. R.A. Foakes, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Princeton University Press, 1987, p 316
7. Martin Lings, The Secret of Shakespeare – His Greatest Plays Seen in the Light of Sacred Art, 3rd edn., Quinta Essentia, 1996, pp 5, 10-13, 22-25, 29-31; He is better known in the Muslim community as Shaikh Abu Bakar Siraj al-Din, the writer of the highly popular modern biography of the Prophet, Mohamed, his life based on the earliest sources.

DESIDERATA: Having spent two days of reading, and re-reading, I have highlighted (THUS BOLDED)these two sections towards the end of Anwar's treatise which I deem highly relevant to the "interesting" times Malaysians find ourselves. Worth our reflection on this Sunday of undivided focused, holy worship for some, of wholly or partial wantonness for others; I'm living out my own Comments at the moment as I feel "wearY and disaffected" by certain events surrounding me, so I'd postpone my innermost thoughts lest the expressions betray the the mind's truest inetntions. For between the individual's verbal expression sometimes a gulf between his real motives, be the gult intentional or unwitting. We must avoid committing such giefs, or at a deeper level, sins.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

UPDATE on Anwar Ibrahim's rumination on Da Bard

Today I\at leisure I re-visited Sdr Anwar Ibrahim's lecture at the Shakespeare conference in Brisbane, Australia, and I expanded the quotation of his thoughts to which I'm adding my Comments later as I fleshed out some connections with current issues in NegaraKu. ~~ Desi at 1.00PM, Saturday morn.

"Ucapan saya di Kongres Shakespeare Sedunia VIII Ahad 16 – Jumaat 21 Julai 2006 di Brisbane City Hall, Queensland, Australia

Our answer is that those who hold positions of power also carry a moral responsibility to listen to the people. To interfere with individual freedom is to rob individuals not just of their freedom, but of the right and responsibility they have to reason. No one has a right to take away that liberty, not a single despot and not even a duly constituted legislative majority.

Teks lengkap seterusnya…

Between Tyranny and Freedom: A Brief Voyage with the Bard

Plenary paper by Anwar Ibrahim at the VIII World Shakespeare Congress Sunday 16 – Friday 21 July 2006 at Brisbane City Hall, Queensland, Australia.

Anwar Ibrahim is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and Honorary President of Accountability, London.


"Ten years ago, I addressed an audience at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. I began with the following lines:

Midway in the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight path was lost. Ah, how hard it is to tell what that wood was, wild, rugged, harsh; the very thought of it renews fear! It is so bitter that death is hardly more so.

While I do not intend to sound like an antique drum, I do want to remind ourselves of our inter-connectedness in the face of the forces that threaten to separate us. It is said that throughout its history, the West has defined itself in opposition to the East, in terms of the rational against the irrational, the superior against the inferior, or as Edward Said puts it, the Orient is the West’s great complementary opposite since antiquity. To paraphrase William Hazlitt in his characterization of Leontes, this discourse is “beset with doubts and fears, and entangled more and more in the thorny labyrinth” of mutual distrust and jealousy. We will have more to say about The Winter’s Tale and the overriding theme of tyranny later, but, for now, let us just say that, it is this blinkered view of the world with vociferous advocates on both sides that has led us into mutual suspicion, acrimony and hostility, and threatens to suck us into the quicksand of an even greater clash.

The Divine Comedy to my mind is really about the clash between good and evil, a universal and timeless drama of the human predicament. According to Santayana, the symbolism in The Divine Comedy had been devised for a purpose; “and this purpose, as the Koran, too, declares, had been to show forth the great difference there is in God’s sight between good and evil.” (1) Let me transpose the clash between evil and good onto the struggle between tyranny and freedom as we embark on a brief voyage with the Bard, “the most universal genius that ever lived”, as our guide and companion.

On September 2, 1998, I was sacked from the government and relieved of all executive positions. I have had the occasion to recount the stormy events that followed at a keynote address given last year to the Lawasian Conference held here too, and since brevity is the soul of wit, I will just round up the episode by saying, once again, that:

Midway upon the journey of my life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right way was lost

The ‘dark wood’ I found myself in was none other than the prison cell that would be my abode of solitary confinement for the next six years. Tyranny had been let loose. Freedom was being incarcerated. It might not have been the Gulag Archipelago of Solzhenitzyn’s but there was the same systematic, deeply irrational use of terror against a large section of society: people who supported the cause of reform; and people who just wanted to show that they cared for freedom and justice and that they were prepared to suffer the consequences of fighting tyranny; But much as we opposed, we couldn’t end them. Hamlet had gate crashed into our lives, so that we would have to bear the whips and scorns of time, the insolence of office and the law’s delay. But, as I had said to Nelson Mendela when we met in Johannesburg soon after my release, mine was only a short walk to freedom.

Isaiah Berlin tells us that freedom is essentially the absence of constraints imposed by others. I am free to the degree to which no man interferes with my activity; political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. But viewed behind the walls of incarceration, shorn of philosophical abstraction, freedom takes on a completely different dimension. Thus, freedom is simply the day my lawyer placed on my table my own copy of the Riverside Edition of The Complete Works of Shakespeare. This came six months to the day of my incarceration. Before that, only one copy of the Qur’an was allowed which no doubt was rprise for the poor!’

Could thought control be justified on the grounds that freedom of expression can never be absolute? In a civilized society, every individual has the right to express his or her thoughts and beliefs but we would imagine that there has to be some limits to freedom to defame, to incite to hatred one race or ethnic group against another, to blaspheme, or to disseminate falsehood, and so on.

But in reality, we find that there is an even greater likelihood of autocrats and tyrants abusing the constraints on freedom. For example, they will contend that the freedom to criticize the powers that be must also be curtailed because it causes political instability, which in turn may lead to insurrection and disorder. This pretext has been used habitually by petty despots and aspiring autocrats alike, some citing religious sanction for legitimacy. Of late, it is also being used by democracies as legitimate grounds to erode the basic freedoms of the people. In the name of the war on terror, these modern demagogues have no hesitation in suspending civil liberties which are supposed to be the hallmarks of a constitutional democracy. In this regard, it is fashionable to invoke the virtues of traditional values and condemn the blind imitation of Western concepts: Consensus is better than individual freedom. Opinions of the state must prevail over those of the individual because of the need to protect public morals and to maintain peace and harmony. So on and so forth.

Our answer is that those who hold positions of power also carry a moral responsibility to listen to the people. To interfere with individual freedom is to rob individuals not just of their freedom, but of the right and responsibility they have to reason. No one has a right to take away that liberty, not a single despot and not even a duly constituted legislative majority.

According to Aristotle, tyrants acquire power by promising to protect the people and retain power by preventing the rise of any person of exceptional merit, by assassination if necessary. He should employ spies, sow the seeds of discord, and impoverish his subjects while keeping them occupied in great works, as the king of Egypt did in getting the pyramids built. For such a tyrant, freedom of expression is obviously untenable. On the contrary, literary conferences must be banned just as any education likely to produce hostile sentiment. (3) This really looks like “art made tongue-tied by authority”.

In my solitary confinement, I sought solace in prayer and reading the Qur’an. Subject to that, I would agree with Hazlitt that Shakespeare would indeed be enough for us. Apart from going back and forth to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Nehru’s Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, and al-Ghazali’s Deliverance from Error, Shakespeare remained my most intimate companion and chief source of comfort: Hamlet, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale – the list may look predictable, even hackneyed, but only if we see it from the frigid perspective of academia. But in the stoned silence of the night, when you have no one to talk to, Shakespeare’s characters become more than mere dramatis personae. They speak to you and allow you to speak to them.

In Julius Caesar you hear yourself telling Brutus why he should not have made that fatal error in allowing Marc Anthony to address those fickle minded Romans. And then it dawns on you that you yourself might have suffered the same overweening confidence in the goodness of your cause to resist injustice and tyranny. Hazlitt sums up the argument: Tyranny and servility are to be dealt with after their own fashion: otherwise, they will triumph over those who spare them. Reading Macbeth, you tell yourself that the “air-drawn dagger” should be haunting your conspirators, assailing them with ‘the stings of remorse” and “preternatural solicitings.” Usurper, murderer and tyrant, that’s what Macbeth is: but you’re still alive. But it wasn’t for want of trying – don’t forget you were left for dead and the whole world saw your black eye. And now there’s arsenic in your food. In The Tempest, you look around and find yourself surrounded by four walls; what else is there but to take a flight of fancy and start playing the part of Prospero? This one you could definitely relate to. It’s the story about freedom over tyranny, the triumph of light over darkness. It starts with incarceration and ends with freedom. And between the idea and the reality you have to settle for Ariel instead, bending to the tasks at hand, do your time before the time is out. And as the end draws near, you gain freedom with the rediscovery of virtue within yourself. But we see tyranny in its most ruthless manifestation in The Winter’s Tale unleashed on the saint-like Hermione. There is neither an Edmund nor an Iago to lay the blame on for Leontes’s state of mind. Is there a way to rationalize the character of this jealous tyrant? Is it the tyrant in him that makes him so irrationally jealous or is it just the jealousy that transforms him into a tyrant? Or does the answer lie in Shakespeare’s metaphysics?

DESIDERATA will not post anything new for this weekend as his plate will be filled with reflecting on ex-DPM Anwar's rumination. Yes, on with Da Bard!If you forego next week's newspapers reading for just one Essay, I recommend Anwar Inbrahim's lecture. Not that I love the local newspapers less, it's that I love Da Bard more. aMORE with Desi?