My Anthem

Thursday, November 02, 2006

TRUTH and Half Measures

mGf SeeFei from Solomon Islands -- seeking wisdom dare? -- gives hi-praise to Desi via Comments which I feel "undeserved". Is he a Malaysian so cheesed off by the monkeying and donkeying around (another mGf based in lundun says it's aAnimal House here!) that he can only find peace on a desolate island/s? 4f, this is a rhetorical question as in Thinking Allowed at Desi's, OK!

Reprising in full becos it's good to hear some trumpet sound!~~

"i read Sun for 5 days when i was in KL. no such expose leh! maybe not so much when i was there!

but really, trail blazing news reporting cause money & life, who want to do? some wretch life from the underclass?

it is a chicken & egg problem. guess ppl r too comfy to really want to hear the truth and realllly take action.

hence i salute desi the truth seeker for the good job in this blog.

syabas DESI!

By See Fei, at 9:18 PM "

SeeFei, the TRUTH I seek is as a WRITER, just that, nothing more, I hope my training as a journalist, now put to use as a Blogger, will help me see through the fog and mist -- yes, half truths thrown up as The Truth -- and using my skills of wordsmithing, I can crystallise some issues to be seen as what they are in essence. No, I can't tell you the Truth because it's finally the Readers themslves who must come to a coclusion themselves, hence I deem them Esteemed as God gave everyone a Unique Mind -- to use their beautiful mind.

Don't get caught on in half truths, outright red herrings and downright lies.
In the city nooks and corners lie may wolves, hence I always warn those Red Riding Hoods from outskirts to wlays beware the Urbanites Dress'd in Branded Attire. Especialy those who wear PraVda and Datuk and Tan Sri labels in front of their small names.
Me, call me Desi, or Chong, or YL, will do. As long as you pick up the tehtarik bills by the Furong rodaside.
So SeeFei, w'ile I enjoy seafood at Jalan Alor very much, I do turn red indian red, then finally lobster red when I am caught in such situations as suddenly someone makes a remark wrt Desi that makes him blush like a young maiden at her wedding chamber awaiting the first byte on the entrance of her enchanted prince. No, Helen I'm NOT writHing Mills&Boon stuff, DEsi's just doin' ketchUP on his 'ollywood trail, long negelectd.

Okay, on turning lobster red... hence, I I don't play professional Poker, though I poke a li'l with young nephews and nieces, and conTEMpores during CNY so that the brain cells are exercised annually on the Probability Theory. If you don't know what PT is, don't learn -- it does more harm than good... TRust me, I 'rite this from XXperience.

BUT my dear EsteemedReaders must get it out from your old, young and not-so-young heads that "Wisdom does not automatically come with age". No, wisdom comes with "discerning learning" and I believe, a humble mind in that as one learns more about the world, one knows indeed how little one knows about the uinverse, and hence remains a humble servant of the Almighty, however you deem Him to be. One of my mGf, Young&Articulate johnleemk can be wiser than many olde foolfs of so-called journalists that even at the peak of their careers, some top Editors still write their opening paragraphs with grammatical errors. When you get "shit" as first servings, do you wish to continue with more PR sheets? Then they give you liberal does of "I and my Tan Sri friend, ..." --

Fundamental Journalism rules will tell you that you don't use the First Person in writing unless the circumstances were so special, like having lunch with President Bush, or then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew or onecuponatime Chairman Mao or stillupontedime Castro or ...First Lady, I was going to say Nicole but I think I'll stop here in case someone yells CheongHee...hehehe.
Hey, you want names, I mean the recalcitrant EICs?
Please get an archive copy of the RM1.20 papers and probaility theory will tell you by Narrowing it down to the GEIC, your chances of spotting good examples are now having of odds of 50-50 in their Commentaries.

And what's that got to do with my topic this morning?

TRUTH? And Half Mesaures.

I'll leave some news headlines for you to ponder before I continue...LATER, INsya-Allah.

APPLICATION: Selangor Badminton Association (President - Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros)

APPROVAL: PKNS Land Committee (Chairman - Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros)

The Selangor Badminton Association applied for a piece of land which was approved by the Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor. Nothing wrong with that.

Except that beleaguered Klang municipal councillor Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros is the SBA president and chairman of the PKNS land committee which approved the application.

Zakaria, it appears, is a magnet for controversy.

Faizal repents, gives up Klang council post

KLANG: Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros is stubbornly holding on, but his fellow councillor has decided to resign.

Faizal Abdullah, who was the third councillor to have built his house without proper approval from the Klang Municipal council (MPK), was called to see Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo yesterday.

Faizal immediately decided to take the advice of his "boss" and resign as councillor for the 2006-2008 term.

DESI: The TRUTH of the matter is that a person CANNOT resign from a post (of Councillor) or a profession (of a Prostitute) is he has not been sworn in as a Councillor, or he has not entered the oldest profession and declared it in his income tax returns.

The TRUTH of the matter is that FAIZAL did not give up something which is NOT in his possession, so he did not "sdacrifice" anything as a show of his repentance.

Half measures refer to the CEO acting in cahoots -- a Kill Toyol campaign going on orchestrated by the Opposition, did I hear? -- calling on these three errant "Councillors" to resign for almost finishing erecting manisions without building plans approvals and putting on a Sandiwara with tear-jerkers (Zakaria dan famili) and seeming sacrifice-humility (starring Faizal). Let's now await the grand entrance of Mazlynoor Abdul Latiff.

Meanwhile, I call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to enforce FULL MEASURES, vis:

(1) Issue Show-cause Letter to the Selangor MB
for his inept and irresponsible administration
and closing BOTH EYES to all the shenanigans
involving his State Assemblyman and town councillors

(2) Maybe advise the Sultan to dissolve the present
Dewan Undangan Negeri and hold "fresh" elections
to seek a truly "democratic renewal of mandate"
from The People, For the People, By the People
of Selangor.

(3) Decalre that Selangor has not attained "Developed Nation"
status as self-proclaimed by recalcitrant CEO who does not
follow universal and world-renowned standrads of what
"Developed Nation" status constitutes and entails.


Now for some Rumination allthough it's not Sundae, because to get there -- V2020 remember -- you have to have a Developed Nation Mentality in tandem with Developed Nation Infrastructure, te alatter of which we already can stand proud of -- even by small minds' standards, for we have "small" houses that stand four-storey high.

From Screenshots who quoted from for which I don't have a subscription, and for reasons best known to myself and no one else although hinted at to a few mGf. Is young johnleemk so "siscerning" that he knows more than I do? Read his Conversation at JeffOoi's pertaining to some fellow conversationists' calls to get an MKini subscrition if they wanted to know more. Desi also does that sometimes, asking you blardy miserly readers to spend 30sen at SEVEN11 for theSun or RM1.20 for alternative MSM, not that I get 30% conmiss..., but at the end of the day, I wish ALL the mass media to thrive, even if they be headed by a moronic GEIC.

November 01, 2006
Equity: 'Bumi hit 33.7% a decade ago!'

The Rakyat have asked PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi -- rather politely as they didn't revolt -- the government's methodology in measuring Bumiputra equity under NEP. No answer so far.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reports that a university research paper has found that the NEP target of 30% bumiputera equity ownership had been achieved -- at par value and not market value -- about a decade ago in 1997!.

"SOURCE: Malaysiakini November 1, 2006
The research was conducted in 2002 by Universiti Malaya academician Dr M Fazilah Abdul Samad, and it was based on a 10-year analysis of bumiputera equity ownership between 1988 and 1997 of public listed companies on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE), now called Bursa Malaysia.

It found the bumiputera equity ownership target was exceeded in 1997 when it hit 33.7%, comprising bumiputera corporate equity ownership of 30.6%, and individual bumiputera share ownership at 3.1%.

Two weeks ago, Abdullah reiterated the government's official-speak that the country has yet to achieve the 30% bumiputera equity ownership target, relying on figure calculated by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) that is based on the par value of shares of 600,000 registered companies.

Get a Malaysiakini subscription to read the details.

Let's hope the PM rebutts ASLI-CPPS with EPU's methodology before he tries this one.

There has been wealth creation. The question is: Where has the money gone?

Posted by Jeff Ooi at 07:27 PM | Permalink | Conversations


LAST, but not least, I caught up with Y&A a month-plus late to "reprise" on an important topic.
His writing below is PROOF that wisdom does not come with age; this guy is blardy 16-going-on-17, and pretends he's in Desi's class, but how can/do you fault him?

Thoughtless Mind Ad Hominem: How Malaysians Lose the Plot
Written by johnleemk on 2:43:31 pm Sep 14, 2006.

Any observer of intellectual debates, whether on blogs, in newspapers, or between prominent Malaysians, can hardly fail to notice the frequency of ad hominem responses, particularly when foreign-residing Malaysians are involved. This isn't a good thing.
Take a look at any argument among Malaysians about politics where a foreign-residing Malaysian has given his views, and one thing becomes painfully obvious: Malaysians can't resist presuming that the views of Malaysians who don't happen to live here anymore are worthless, and ought to be given short shrift. In particular, this applies when said foreign-domiciled Malaysians are being critical of their home country, or when what is said is simply unpalatable. As one such criticism states, "Just stay away, do not confuse the laymen like us and make it more difficult for us to have a decent plate of nasi lemak in the mornings of tommorrow and day afters."

The reason for the prevalence of this argument is obvious. Malaysians seem to think that anyone not living here would be wholly unacquainted with the nuances and peculiarities of Malaysian life. As such, any criticism or advice from these people would be imperfect at best, and thus ought not to be heeded.

The problem with this approach is that it overlooks some basic problems with its conjecture. Someone born and bred in Malaysia can hardly be completely unfamiliar with the situation here. Yes, things change over time - but how much change can occur in the span of half a decade? A decade? Two decades? Quite a lot - but at the same time, perhaps not much. In either case, it seems irrational to dismiss out of hand any criticisms of a Malaysian living overseas.

Another approach is to imply these people have been corrupted by the Western values of the countries they have taken up residence in, or simply do not love their country. This certainly has some prima facie grounds; many Malaysians living overseas do tend to be more liberal, or in some cases, spiteful. It is not uncommon to run across inane tirades written by people with little better to do than smear mud across what little good name Malaysia has, and cook up conspiracy theories on the flimsiest of evidence.

The spiteful rants masquerading as thought-out criticisms are worthy of being ignored. They can contribute little, if anything, to a discussion of Malaysian politics or society. The problem that arises is that some people seem to categorise all liberal-minded Malaysians, and all criticisms of Malaysian society/government in general, under this label. As stated by one "vincent" in the first document linked to earlier, "what do you plan to achieve by telling the whole world what you fear about your ‘beloved’ homeland?"

The answer is simple. By constructively criticising the state of affairs in Malaysia, and comparing them with that of other countries, we develop a point of reference for ourselves that allows us to gauge our situation relative to other countries and peoples. Of course, some of the things liberals enjoy criticising will strike us as petty and unworthy of comment. Certainly, I've found many proposals of theirs to be unsuited for the situation here, and far too idealistic to ever be practically implemented in the present social climate.

Still, the freedom of expression granted legally by our Constitution and in practice by the Internet means that we shouldn't shut these people up. As long as their agitation does not rise to levels that pose a threat to Malaysian stability, there is no reason to abridge freedom of speech. It is better to have a little too much freedom than too little (although then again, this tends to be the kind of liberal statement that throws some conservatives into a mini-frenzy).

The last argument we will examine today is also from "vincent": "Malaysians living overseas have no right to complain about things going on at home, because if they really did care about things back home, they would be here like the rest of us trying to fix the leaking roof." In other words, put your money where your mouth is and practice what you preach.

While this certainly is a good exhortation, it has no impact whatsoever on the quality or credibility of the criticism being addressed. Whether one is willing to stand up for what one believes in has no direct effect on whether one's beliefs are right or wrong. The only impact it has is on the reputation of the fellow who is being critical. Even so, this rebuttal still fails to account for other possible reasons one might remain overseas. One might have established a family there already; one may still be studying; it is possible one is on bond due to past scholarships. It is unfair to expect such people to return home just so they can practice what they preach.

The more greyer fields are where we have people content to remain overseas, with little intent of ever returning to Malaysia. Such people can't be condemned outright - there must be a reason they still cling to their blue ICs and red passports. And even if they have given up Malaysian citizenship, they still remain inextricably bound to Malaysia by their heritage. It would be unfair to expect these people not to pass comment on a country they have cultural and emotional ties with.

In the end, these three defences for ad hominem attacks on criticisms of Malaysia share similar loopholes. The first is the fact that any ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy and is inadmissible in any real debate. The second is that foreign views are never entirely subjected to the attack of being unreliable. It is only foreign criticism that feels the brunt of such attacks.

Malaysians are eager to lap up any praise in store for us. We don't mind making comparisons with other countries, as long as these comparisons are sure to be favourable for us. (Look! We're ahead of Ghana!) And if someone from overseas, Malaysian or otherwise, has anything good to say about us, we don't mind. It's only when people start pointing out the pimples on our face and the scars on our body that we get irritated.

One counter-argument is that praise is fine, as long as foreigners don't take credit for it, while criticism is not because "Complaining just means that you want someone to fix that problem so your life would be nice and dandy when you do decide to return one day."

The issue with this response is that it assumes it makes sense to cut off your nose to spite your face. If you see a problem, you should shut up because telling other people about it would bring you personal benefit? (Even if these other people would also benefit were the problem fixed.) Somehow that isn't very logical. In the first place, the underlying foundation of today's global economy is that greed is good. Self-interest is the only reason anything gets done. Perhaps you're a socialist, but even so, would it make sense for someone who sees a problem not to tell anyone about it in a socialistic economy? I doubt so.

In the end, all we can say is that criticisms of Malaysia by foreign Malaysians are not deserving of outright dismissal. If there are issues with their credibility, there will be enough holes in them for them to be rebutted without hitting below the belt and attacking the loyalty, work ethic, or honour of those criticising.

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PS@1.45pm: I forget to visit this Y&A regularly because he locates at some funny host so difficultg to remember --so don't blame Desi for posting something 1-1/2 months old. Still, it's a Gem comapred with the 90% crap I glance at EveryDay at many blogs. You may retort, if they are "trash", why bother? Hey, the answer is that If I don't glance, I can't decide if it's trash or cash, okay! AD hominem ... understand this term well. GO and thank mGf, he may be leaving Malaysian shores soon; Get to know him-lah, especially you pretty Y&A, you may have here a GOoD Catch. Jest Remember Desi's 30%!:)

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