My Anthem

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Kind of September

I just composed a few hours ago an Ode to September dedicated to Raja Petra Kamarudin aka Pete who was recently detained under the ISA (second time around) and other 60 plus Malaysians still under detention under the oppressive Internal Security Act. I now also reprise two articles first published in where I served with pride as News Editor for a year among the pioneering group of journalists.

Try to remember,
Eight years ago

"Be true to your work, your word, and your friend." -- Henry David THOREAU

A writer in his professional output will always look back and stand tall on certain works he has had crafted.I reprise a NUGGET to share with those not in the kNOw, and for those who have read it before, it's a re-visit which Desi feels is worthwhile, because it is about Malaysia's important crossroads.

It was significant because I believe the nation took a quantum leap into maturing as a democracy, the main Players pursuing political agendas, yet with others pursuing their dreams, main and bit parts players, like in a Shakespearean Play, caught in the current that swept them along, some as passersby, and some as victims Desi would categorise as The Unsung Heroes. The Bard had likened the world as a stage, and all the people are the actors (actresses are contained within the 'actors':) -- Mama Mia, I hope the feminists don't get out a hitgal on Desi!:(

I just pray my EsteemedReaders won't choose to remain as mere spectators. 'Cos Malaysia belongs equally to everyone of US -- which includes You and Me. We have equal stakes in the present, and the future, in this land called MALAYSIA -- NegaraKu.

Face Off, the book (Part I)
Sept 19, 2000

Chong Yen Long

I deliberately titled this piece thus as after reading Sabri Zain's journal of our country's traumatic times, I believe it could easily be the script for a movie too, not just a book.

Dare we dream that a Malaysian Peter Weir could emerge to give us a visual feast of FACE OFF: A Malaysian Reformasi Diary (1998-99)?

As I read over the weekend the 200-odd pages slowly, digesting it for a "review", I can't help but recall a film I had seen "The Year of Living Dangerously", in which the protagonist is also a newsman.

Sabri's chronicles benefit from his journalism background as most of his paintings and narratives were objective enough, though the choice of words, emotive and descriptive ones, clearly reflects the bent of his
loyalties to the burning issue of the day: the reformation movement spawned by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

From the outset, I must make clear this is not the usual book review, as I take the liberty of randomly highlighting segments that to me are telling gems, and Ruminations breaks a tradition by bringing the
reflection in two parts.

First, I quote from Rehman Rashid's foreword which he began with a familiar refrain: "Try to remember the kind of September" which I believe stirs a lot of nostalgia among us, of better times past?

To the romantic at heart ... if anything one expects presaged by the refrain a romantic setting of poetry and song, wine or the intoxicating journalist's brew - teh-tarik - or women in red (I prefer the word "lasses" and in blue too, but some colleagues object) lazing by a sidewalk café in Paris in the springtime, Sabri's diary is not "it".

"It" is romance of the political kind and of a higher plane ... The kind that has a bearing and great import on dear Malaysia's future for a long time yet and it is precious for all of us, Malaysians, to be involved. It is not of normal plane because this year-long sojourn does not instill just momentary pleasure, it aims to touch the inner heartstrings of Malaysians. I hope these feeling Malaysians are a majority of the 22 million here.

Also, Sabri's diary will stand up as an important historical document, with wit thrown in to dilute the reader's swelling anger perhaps, which future generations of Malaysians will treasure ... and not waste
precious time poring over reams and reams of newspaper cuttings to ever get near to any approximation of the truth of momentous history still in progress.

For those who missed the "action" where it happened, centred mainly around Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and its vicinity starting in September two years ago, Sabri brings the readers to the arena where the episodes of Malaysian history were played out. The writer's baptism that led him to cross Anwar's path - that Abim kid, his term of endearment - was that moment in 1974 where it started with a
demostration exactly 26 years ago - led by that "Abim kid" highlighting peasants' plight in Tasek Utara, Johor.

For whom the bell tolls

Key figures revolved around Anwar and his family and, of course, the puppet master or script writer or political conductor himself, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in person, or via his proxies, and the band of Malaysians that visiting American vice-president Al Gore proudly described as "brave Malaysians". (I actually agree with him and 'em, even if you call me "unpatriotic", so be it; as a journalist, I
subscribe to the motto: Don't shoot the messenger!)

Most importantly, the less heralded players, nameless yet exalted, faceless and unobtrusive yet endearing and enduring, are the ordinary Malaysians whom Sabri observed and recorded their "involvement". These bit players cared, and stood up to be counted. To me, the diarist has done them justice by his anecdotes of the true Malaysians ... the sum total of their contributions will form the substance of the reformasi, not just the rhetoric of politicians, though their roles should not be under-estimated.

In "Shopping For Justice" (Oct 10, 1998), Sabri notes:

* "Despite the attacks on demonstrators in the weeks before, despite the warnings almost every day this week that the authorities would crack down on any form of demonstration, despite the fear, despite the
threats, despite the solemn pronouncements by the powers-that-be that the Reformasi ... movement is dead - tens of thousands of Malaysians came out today - defiant and free."

Sabri was more than a little astute when he made some observations in "We Don't Tell Lies ... Up To a Point"( Nov 9, 1998), viz:

* "The only memorable news about Anwar in the weeks leading up to his sacking were denials by him and Mahathir that there was a rift between them and Anwar was being called on to resign. Mahathir was even quoted as willing to "kiss him on the street" to prove the point - a very risky proposition, considering the nature of the sexual accusations that were to emerge later."

* "The news of the country losing its Deputy Prime Minister was the third or fourth segment in the TV3 news that evening - after the top news of a change in the elementary school curriculum and some insignificant official opening by some insignificant minister in some insignificant place I can't even remember."

In "Waiting For Justice" (Nov 13,1998), the introduction quoted Tun Salleh Abas, former Lord President (from the book with K Das, May Day For Justice): And justice cannot be done hastily. And justice cannot be done in the dark ..."

Sabri's diary records the dark moments in Malaysia's justice delivery system ... today it may be Anwar, but tomorrow, the question on many minds was:"For whom will the bell next toll?"

However, the consolation is that Anwar was never alone in facing his travails.

At the Kuala Lumpur High Court:

* "My little group started discussing the reasons they were here. Some of them were here for the first time, others were relative "veterans". 'I've been here almost every day since the trial began,' said the Malay gentleman in the faded batik shirt. 'Sometimes I managed to get in, but most times I can't. I'm just here to show my support for Brother Anwar ...'."

* "The (elderly Malay) lady admitted she was very confused by everything that was happening. 'I don't know if he is guilty or innocent. But even if he is guilty, I don't understand why they are treating him like
this. Our leaders are coming out with so much filth in the papers. It shames his family and it shames our race.'"

In "Changing Times" (Feb 2, 1999), the uplifting observation is that the times in Malaysia, are a-changing ... for the better I believe, as denoted by the revelation that all the panelists in a political forum organised by the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee were all Malays, namely PRM president Dr Syed Husin Ali, PAS Youth chief Mahfuz Omar and PRM's Rustam Sani (now Barisan Alternatif Information Chief).

As recorded in the diary, Rustam noted:

* "One of the changes was that it was now a global world. 'With the Internet, people know there are much better alternatives to what you are fed in the local press! And Internet writers like Sabri Zain now have far more credibility than almost all the chief editors in our local newspapers!'"

Make no mistake, the compliment to the author was not self-trumpeted, but from a respected academician-writer himself, Rustam, whose father was the great Independence fighter Ahmad Boestamam, and whose freedom fight will assuredly continue with many of his family members after

Salute to heroes

And Malaysians must always treasure another veteran freedom fighter - Syed Husin, who was quoted as saying:

* "Race has always been - and still is - used by the rich and powerful to divide and rule. The government's recent scare-mongering campaign among the Chinese community is a classic example of this divide and rule tactic. To protect itself from the wrath of the people, the government is now trying to turn Reformasi in Malaysia into a racial issue. Malays will riot, they say. Malays will burn Chinese shops, they say. Malays will rape Chinese women, they say. And their loudest message of all - remember Indonesia."

The above entry was dated Feb 2, 1999 and today, one and half years later, Syed Husin's reminder still rings true to warn us Malaysians to remain vigilant: Witness the Umno Youth's recent demonstration in front of SCAH housing Malaysian Chinese Organisations' Election Appeals Committee (Suqiu) office to demand an apology for its 17-point appeal allegedly questioning Malay special rights (Genuine appeals must gain govt's hearing: PRM, Sept 18).

In the chapter on "Heroes" (Feb 13, 1999), Sabri salutes the ordinary man in the street who shines, as Malaysia undergoes growing pains in a phase when the "worst of times frequently brings out the best in people".

At a demonstration at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman on Sept 20, the day of Anwar's arrest, was recalled:

* "... an ordinary security guard became a hero to dozens of people - simply by doing his job. The security guard of a firm located on Jalan TAR allowed drenched, injured demonstrators into the building, locking the grilled gate after them - much to the annoyance of their baton-waving, red-helmeted pursuers. The FRU troopers shouted curses at the security guard, kicking the grill with their boots and demanding to be let in. The security guard - though visibly shaken and frightened - stood firm. This was private property."

"A junior supervisor refused to allow FRU personnel into a fast-food restaurant where demonstrators had sought refuge. They battered the glass door of the restaurant with their batons until it cracked - but the supervisor ensured his "customers" finished their hastily-ordered meals unmolested."

There is another episode of a Malaysian Samaritan - a retired headmaster - who stopped along Jalan Parliamen to help a young man lying on the road, and found himself "in the middle of hundreds of riot police
pursuing demonstrators who had marched to the Prime Minister's official residence that night".

* "An FRU officer in full-riot gear approached him and asked if a car accident had happened! "Can't you see?! This boy's been badly beaten by your own officers!" The policeman then warned the pensioner to leave the injured man alone and let the police "deal" with him. "He's a Malay," the officer said. "You're an Indian - don't get mixed up in this."

The pensioner refused. "Are you stopping a Malaysian from helping another fellow Malaysian in need?"May there be more such God-fearing Malaysian standing tall out there - just carrying out their duties and acting human as human beings should ... We have hopes for this young nation yet.

o o


Face Off, the book (Part II)

Sept 20, 2000

Chong Yen Long

Sept 20: Today marks the second anniversary of the arrest of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim; by natural news development, it also marks the birth of Face Off, though the budding could be traced back to that fateful day at the then Selangor Club Padang, exactly 26 years ago when providence brought the nascent author in contact with the "young kid from Abim".

Years later, the Philippines has seen the rise of Cory Aquino; maybe history will also honour Malaysia with an equally blessed first woman premier, now in the horizon (near or far), for a potential local counterpart is found in Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Women's groups can hasten the process by taking naturally to political waters as they take to the kitchen, PAS notwithstanding!

If Malaysians can help realise this dream, we would have proven to the world that an Asian democracy has actually blossomed and matured and arrived; until then, true and genuine Malaysian democrats must stay the fight. If September 1998 marks the leave of absence for her husband Anwar as an "active" player on the Malaysian political landscape, his significant other (using Sabri's quite unusual, fond reference) has slowly but surely risen in stature, yet with a grace and dignity that is indeed premium and prime.

To many of the Reformasi followers, Wan Azizah is the icon for their struggle - in the common pursuit of change, freedom, democratic government and, of course, justice.

I now continue with another entry from "Heroes":
* "The latest hero to have emerged recently appeared, quite unexpectedly, thousand of miles away from the courts, rallies and streets demonstrations of Kuala Lumpur - in the draughty corridors of Malaysia Hall in Bryanston Square, London. During a question-and-answer briefing on the current political crisis by Prime Minister Mahathir to Malaysian students there early this month (February, 1999), a young student stood up and suggested that Dr Mahathir Mohamad apologise to Datuk Seri Anwar and his family. The student also suggested the Prime Minister resign."
Harking back to Dr Chandra Muzaffar's laments in "All Honourable Men" (March 13, 1999), and later "The Emperor's New Clothes" (June 13, 1999), it is well appreciated that pockets of heroism sallied forth from unexpected quarters, just like Hans Christian Andersen's innocent child breaking out loud with the unexpected: "The emperor is naked!"

When a forum on ‘Public Intellectuals and Contemporary Challenges' to be held at the Universiti Malaya, the country's oldest seat of tertiary learning, was banned by the authorities, there was no outpouring of outrage and protest.
* "Why - in the midst of Malaysia's worst political crisis ever, in the face of the worst abuses in its human rights record - does there seem to be no sense of outrage at all among the country's elite - its intellectuals, its writers, its academics, its judges, its elected representatives?"

And these academics seem ready to accept little inconveniences such as suppression of freedom and are quite happy to continue, in Chandra's words, "living with a lie".
* "And it is a Big Lie that they are living. The brutal beating of street demonstrators. The absurd tragi-comedy of the Anwar trial. The indiscriminate arrests without trial. The torture and ‘turning over' of detainees. The prostitution of the media.

Often it's a case of: ‘See no evil. Hear no evil. Say no evil. And you'll keep your Volvo. But it is quite unfair to just single out academics. Other honourable men continue to live with the Lie. Not a single Member of Parliament has resigned in disgust.'"

But Sabri must surely be kidding when he added that "Not a whisper of dissent has been heard from the Umno Supreme Council."
If these councillors did not put a dagger into the victim's back, the poor "fall guy" was already blessed; more likely than not, in the cover of darkness, they will bludgeon you, blindfolded and handcuffed, to near-death. They won't want you dead for that would be martyr-creating, they relish to see you suffer, naked and helpless, preferably begging for mercy, calling out the name of the Almighty!

Here I digress by recalling a joke that Time magazine (July 3, 2000) ran to show the wit of Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid: "Egypt held a competition to guess the age of a mummy. France, Germany and the US sent archaeologists. Indonesia sent a military officer. The French team spent two hours with the mummy, then gave up. The Americans spent longer, but their guess was wrong. The German team estimated 3,200 years - also wrong.

"The Indonesian military officer asked if he could study the mummy in a closed room. Fifteen minutes later he emerged and said the mummy was 5,224 years, three months and seven days old. The jury was amazed - he was exactly right and won the prize. As he was leaving the Cairo airport, journalists asked him how he got the answer. ‘I hit him black and blue until he confessed.'"

Back to Sabri's diary, "The emperor realised that the people were right but could not admit to that. ‘I shall pretend that there is nothing wrong.' And though he knew that he was really naked, he thought it better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn't see his new clothes were either stupid or incompetent."

Lives turned upside down

An important chapter, "The Accused" (March 20, 1999), pays tribute, truly deserved I believe, to a group called the OKTs.
* "But amid all the twists and turns of the Anwar trial, just across the river from the (Kuala Lumpur) High Court, another drama was unfolding - almost unnoticed, almost forgotten.
Police arrested a total of 331 people in connection with massive street demonstrations that erupted following Anwar's arrest on September 20. In a series of eight reformasi trials, these people were being charged with illegal assembly, under Section 27 of the Police Act. If found guilty, they are liable to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and up to RM10,000 - and imprisonment for up to a year.

They're known as the OKTs - Orang Kena Tuduh or the accused. Because most of them spent many traumatic days in police lock-ups before bail could be raised for them to be freed, others preferred another meaning to the acronym - Orang Kena Tahan, the detainees. One bitter cynic among them said it also stood for "Orang kena terajang" (the beaten up).
Today, the significant other and I were fortunate to join about 80 of the OKTs at a small tea party held for them at the Bar Council Auditorium. It was a humbling experience.

The first thing that struck me was the number of ladies among the OKTs - shy, demure young girls in veils whom we thought were family members were, in fact, OKTs themselves! ‘There were 17 of us from October 17!' chirped one young girl proudly, referring to the day when police unexpectedly attacked demonstrators dispersing from the Royal Palace and pursued them all the way across town to Independence Square.
As a result, many OKTs had to take no-pay leave or even leave their jobs, so they could attend court. Those who were petty traders or had their own businesses have found the situation really tough.

‘These are people who have to support families,' said one of the lawyers defending the OKTs. ‘Some have lost their jobs, seen their businesses crumble, lost friends, they cannot find jobs ... their lives are being turned upside down.'

‘The financial hardship some of them are suffering cannot be underestimated,' said another lawyer. ‘During the trials, we actually discovered OKTs who skipped lunches and would just lie in a corner at the court and sleep - they had no money for lunch.'
Despite all they had been through, not one of the OKTs I talked to had any regrets. ‘If anything the whole process has made me stronger in my commitment to seeing justice prevail,' said one OKT."

Birth of 'Justice'

In "The Eye Of Justice" (April 4, 1999), Sabri records the graduation of social justice movement ADIL into a full fledged political party - Parti Keadilan Nasional or the National Justice Party, at the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Renaissance, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur ... the party's mission is crystal clear: to uphold truth and justice.
* "Everywhere (at the hotel) - on the walls, on tables, on posters, even along the staircase banisters - the blue-and-white "eye" of the Keadilan logo stared out at you.
Then came the moment everyone waited for. The whole room rose to its feet in wild cheers as Dr Wan Azizah walked to the podium to deliver her first-ever speech as the leader of a political party.

‘We're gathered here to fulfil a demand from the people - they are demanding justice. We are here to fulfil the demand of the Malaysian race - bangsa Malaysia. They are demanding the dignity of their race. And we are fulfilling the demands of our changing times - the time has arrived.
‘Ten years of rapid development has given us confidence. But for some, that confidence has turned to arrogance. Our economy was driven by ego and the desire to show off. Crony capitalism dominated the New Economic Policy. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism grew like an cancer. Massive mega-projects eroded our economic fundamentals and shook the stability of our banking system. The lust - nafsu - for mega-projects left our defences weak. Because of these weaknesses, the currency speculators attacked.'

She explained the party logo, which consists of a white sphere on a sky blue background, representing a pure cause, and a smaller blue sphere on the white, representing justice for all. "At first sight, you might think it looks like an eye. There are reasons for that.
‘Firstly, I am an ophthalmologist!' she quipped, to peals of laughter and applause from the crowd. ‘Secondly, it's to remind us of the infamous black eye,' she added, more seriously.

‘But it also has a deeper meaning,' Dr Wan Azizah continued. ‘It is our mata hati - our inner eye that helps us distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. It is a symbol of our quest for truth and our struggle for justice. It is the ‘eye' that seeks justice.'"

'Rainbow on the horizon'

"Anniversary Day" (Sept 19, 1999) records a Reformasi gathering of tens of thousands at the National Mosque, spilling across the road into the KL Railway Station and stretching to the Dayabumi complex.
* "And I am sure I have never before seen so many Chinese within the courtyard of the National Mosque. Today, there was a cause that transcended the racial barriers that once divided us. I suppose the tyrant's whip does not distinguish between the colour of your skin , the language you speak or the faith you hold."

Sabri's epilogue titled "Rainbow On The Horizon?" holds an optimism - hence the rainbow - tinged with some reservation as posed by the question mark. This throws a quiet challenge to Malaysians whether they are responsive and responsible enough to be moved, perhaps encouraged by his narrative of the many heroes doing their little bit, but definitely not enough to claim victory to date, to continue the quest for truth, freedom and justice.

* "We have arrived at a crossroads in the history of our country. We can keep on the familiar road of break-neck, unbridled development, at all costs, to the detriment of social justice and equality, political freedoms and basic human rights. Or we can take the road of sustained and sustainable development, where social development progresses in pace with economic development.
If Malaysians casually accept all that has happened so far without question - the climate of fear, trial by media, detention without trial, violent repression, blatant unfairness, sheeplike loyalty - then Malaysians will stomach anything.
In that case, we'd probably deserve whatever happens to us."


To allmy Muslim friends and readers:



PS: Desi-YL will take a HI-atus -- maybe a hydeOUT2, like another Furongknight AM, or izzit PM?, at Peyton Place -- for a few days. Hopefully I come back refreshed and inspired.:) Plus a few kilos to show; wonder
tehtari'&kambing will add a nu'e crop of EinsteinAlike mustouchio to lift me youngal!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Ode to September (2)

Dear Raja Petra Kamarudin (and Marina and family)
It's the eve of Hari Raya Aidilfitri
A fellow blogger humbly writeth with warm wishes
And prayers for your wellbeing and safety
That you'd be secure in His abode divine
And to thy family: peace and serenity
I know thou art God-fearing and His Angels will watch o'er thee

My fellow Malaysian, this ode is in praise of thy sacrifice
Out of your deepest love for our NegaraKu
If after all human efforts fail to achieve your liberation
and that of some sixty fellow brothers giving of their life's best
I'll with other peace-loving Malaysians will not rest
We will continue the quest for thy release

We shall remember it's the kind of September ten years ago
Reformasi with thy comrades we sang our ode to freedom
In this season of goodwill
Among brothers and sisters above colour, creed and race
We will light the candle of peace
and seek the final release
From oppression of all human kind
Until everyone other chained by the Cruel one
Is release to the bosomy kiss of the Malaysian sun
and the embrace of tender September wind and showers
of blessing of love, charity and release
from all worldly bonds

Because you taught us to see the face of cruelty of Masters
of abuse, oppression and indulgence
Will one day be overcome by what is inherently Right
So well fought for by one dear to all we call Pete
One day soon, we will again celebrate

Till then, take care
Have faith, believe

Desi, 10.00PM September 29, 2008


An Ode to September

Cool clean showers
Kiss my body, cool my tongue
Springtime flowers
Greet with generous smiles

Temper man's tempers most vile
Making upright heavy shoulders
That innocent children's eyes can still wonder
At Nature's streaming blooms and misty veil of colours

Descending on creatures big and small
They don't bother if you're short or tall
But if you do not make foul the air
Your two fairy feet would surely dance in pair

Just as I see a September Child
Born to love, give and yet, should sigh
Cos the adults don't respond as a child
With a gifted hand, and a face sweet and mild

Go, go you silly Man
Away, away to your messy Land

Let us be as Nature lets things be for just today
Let me kiss the last strains of September
In the still of the night, we still remember
Mum's like a sublime night's bosom caress may

Find me rested, above those Adult-erated moves
This world of spring showers,I sight
As morn sinks into night
A flight of departing Doves.

These verses close all the sweet September days
All the wine, roses and singing ways.
I wait patiently for the sure cycle of eleven months
Visiting again gifting Spring flowers and wondrous Mays.

(c) YL Chong
Midnite September 29, 2005

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When one legend dies, more than one hero will rise

And last night a small coterie of Bloggers and well-wishers gathered at a candle-light VIGIL to celebrate a Malaysian hero RPK's birthday while the man himself lingers at Kamunting cell, but we all know his spirit was/is/ever will be with us -- along with his esteemed wife Marina Lee's physical presence, staunch and always spirited, and a dashing daughter Sarah,another Princess Reformasi in the baking.

We sang a birthday song, lit many candles that outshone many of the giant sized neon lights against the city bright lights that belie the smouldering heat and hustle that's waitingtobuild up into a volcanic palll if the go vernment does not reform soon enough -- with the litmus test in FREEING ALL PEACE-LOVING MALAYIANS LIKE BE:LOVED RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN plus 60+ OTHER FELLOW MALAYSIANS WHOSE ONLY SIN WAS CHIEFLY TO STAND UP TO CLAIM THEIR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS -- FOR REEDOM and the DIGNITY OF MANand WOMANHOOD. AND FOR THE FUTURE OF THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN -- AND THAT'S NOBILITY OF BEING A TRUE BLUE MALAYSIAN.

I thanks for the many friends I got to meet last night at the Royal Selangor Club -- writer Ismail Ib, Sdr Raymond with kids in Ozland, Sdr Zorro-and-his-guzzling mates with names too long like mine to register with Desi half-drunk on teh-O-nICEd limau:)and Sdr Ng, a trader who found time with family to come by to show solidarity for one evening with Malaysians in confinement worthy of our time and salute. Please dropme a short note so I can continue our conversation; my email is As I often say, when in Furong, I offer thee endless rounds of tehtarik plus the bestA kambing at LINGAM'S, please don't bring the ex-CHEAPJUSTICE along!:(

Cheers, mateys:) awe!

Following is a news report of an international legend moving on -- a fitting reminder to all of us humans that life on earth is transient -- WE NEED TO ACT NOW ON MATTERS OF NATIONAL CONSCIENCE.Follow gradnDAD Bernard Khoo aka zorro-zorro-unmasked and YL-Desi in ahumble quest to help Malaysia find back its soul and dignity and earn its rightful place among nations of democracy in practice, not just in words.

... with no conditions atached.

... if these BN leaders -- Pak Lah and Syed Hamid, art thou reading this? -- have a conscience.


Legendary actor Paul Newman dies at age 83

Sat Sep 27, 10:55 AM ET

WESTPORT, Conn. - Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money" — and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario — has died. He was 83.


Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman had dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men," citing unspecified health issues.

He got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Oscars 10 times, winning one regular award and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."

Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."

He sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray. They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in "The Long Hot Summer," and Newman directed her in several films, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. "I was always a character actor," he once said. "I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood."

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's "enemies list," one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.

A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for "The Color of Money," a reprise of the role of pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film "The Hustler."

Newman delivered a magnetic performance in "The Hustler," playing a smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats — played by Jackie Gleason — and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel — directed by Scorsese — "Fast Eddie" is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but rather an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.

He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film "Road to Perdition." One of Newman's nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)

As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama "Empire Falls" and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, "Cars."

But in May 2007, he told ABC's "Good Morning America" he had given up acting, though he intended to remain active in charity projects. "I'm not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to," he said. "You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that's pretty much a closed book for me."

He received his first Oscar nomination for playing a bitter, alcoholic former star athlete in the 1958 film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Elizabeth Taylor played his unhappy wife and Burl Ives his wealthy, domineering father in Tennessee Williams' harrowing drama, which was given an upbeat ending for the screen.

In "Cool Hand Luke," he was nominated for his gritty role as a rebellious inmate in a brutal Southern prison. The movie was one of the biggest hits of 1967 and included a tagline, delivered one time by Newman and one time by prison warden Strother Martin, that helped define the generation gap, "What we've got here is (a) failure to communicate."

Newman's hair was graying, but he was as gourgeous as ever and on the verge of his greatest popular success. In 1969, Newman teamed with Redford for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," a comic Western about two outlaws running out of time. Newman paired with Redford again in 1973 in "The Sting," a comedy about two Depression-era con men. Both were multiple Oscar winners and huge hits, irreverent, unforgettable pairings of two of the best-looking actors of their time.

Newman also turned to producing and directing. In 1968, he directed "Rachel, Rachel," a film about a lonely spinster's rebirth. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Newman, for producer of a best motion picture, and Woodward, for best actress. The film earned Newman the best director award from the New York Film Critics.

In the 1970s, Newman, admittedly bored with acting, became fascinated with auto racing, a sport he studied when he starred in the 1972 film, "Winning." After turning professional in 1977, Newman and his driving team made strong showings in several major races, including fifth place in Daytona in 1977 and second place in the Le Mans in 1979.

"Racing is the best way I know to get away from all the rubbish of Hollywood," he told People magazine in 1979.

Despite his love of race cars, Newman continued to make movies and continued to pile up Oscar nominations, his looks remarkably intact, his acting becoming more subtle, nothing like the mannered method performances of his early years, when he was sometimes dismissed as a Brando imitator. "It takes a long time for an actor to develop the assurance that the trim, silver-haired Paul Newman has acquired," Pauline Kael wrote of him in the early 1980s.

In 1982, he got his Oscar fifth nomination for his portrayal of an honest businessman persecuted by an irresponsible reporter in "Absence of Malice." The following year, he got his sixth for playing a down-and-out alcoholic attorney in "The Verdict."

In 1995, he was nominated for his slyest, most understated work yet, the town curmudgeon and deadbeat in "Nobody's Fool." New York Times critic Caryn James found his acting "without cheap sentiment and self-pity," and observed, "It says everything about Mr. Newman's performance, the single best of this year and among the finest he has ever given, that you never stop to wonder how a guy as good-looking as Paul Newman ended up this way."

Newman, who shunned Hollywood life, was reluctant to give interviews and usually refused to sign autographs because he found the majesty of the act offensive, according to one friend.

He also claimed that he never read reviews of his movies.

"If they're good you get a fat head and if they're bad you're depressed for three weeks," he said.

Off the screen, Newman had a taste for beer and was known for his practical jokes. He once had a Porsche installed in Redford's hallway — crushed and covered with ribbons.

"I think that my sense of humor is the only thing that keeps me sane," he told Newsweek magazine in a 1994 interview.

In 1982, Newman and his Westport neighbor, writer A.E. Hotchner, started a company to market Newman's original oil-and-vinegar dressing. Newman's Own, which began as a joke, grew into a multimillion-dollar business selling popcorn, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other foods. All of the company's profits are donated to charities. By 2007, the company had donated more than $175 million, according to its Web site.

"We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person," Robert Forrester, vice chairman of Newman's Own Foundation, said in a statement.

Hotchner said Newman should have "everybody's admiration."

"For me it's the loss of an adventurous freindship over the past 50 years and it's the loss of a great American citizen," Hotchner told The Associated Press.

In 1988, Newman founded a camp in northeastern Connecticut for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He went on to establish similar camps in several other states and in Europe.

He and Woodward bought an 18th century farmhouse in Westport, where they raised their three daughters, Elinor "Nell," Melissa and Clea.

Newman had two daughters, Susan and Stephanie, and a son, Scott, from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Witte.

Scott died in 1978 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium. After his only son's death, Newman established the Scott Newman Foundation to finance the production of anti-drug films for children.

Newman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the second of two boys of Arthur S. Newman, a partner in a sporting goods store, and Theresa Fetzer Newman.

He was raised in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights, where he was encouraged him to pursue his interest in the arts by his mother and his uncle Joseph Newman, a well-known Ohio poet and journalist.

Following World War II service in the Navy, he enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he got a degree in English and was active in student productions.

He later studied at Yale University's School of Drama, then headed to New York to work in theater and television, his classmates at the famed Actor's Studio including Brando, James Dean and Karl Malden. His breakthrough was enabled by tragedy: Dean, scheduled to star as the disfigured boxer in a television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Battler," died in a car crash in 1955. His role was taken by Newman, then a little-known performer.

Newman started in movies the year before, in "The Silver Chalice," a costume film he so despised that he took out an ad in Variety to apologize. By 1958, he had won the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the shiftless Ben Quick in "The Long Hot Summer."

In December 1994, about a month before his 70th birthday, he told Newsweek magazine he had changed little with age.

"I'm not mellower, I'm not less angry, I'm not less self-critical, I'm not less tenacious," he said. "Maybe the best part is that your liver can't handle those beers at noon anymore," he said.

Newman is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur.


On the Net:

PS: Some 50 bloggers and friends were sighted at the Club surrounds lighting up, candles plus ciggies. According to surveillance chief zorro riding on his sturdy steed, he saw another 15,000 Others -- that could have been the hallucinatory effect of downing a dozen rut birs?! But I am not one to argue as I was his Guest -- thanks all the mateys, and kudos to the 500 Hindrafers gathered at the Vigil at the temple nearby,focusing on their "Hindraf 5" brothers at Kamunting. I hope in their Deepavali prayers, remember RPK and some 60 other ISA detainees as well. After all the post-MARCH 8 era ushers in a season of Malaysianness above race, colour and creed.


May the GoOD Lord bless all Malaysians!


PPS: Thos copy is from reporter's vantage point:

Anti-ISA vigil turns into peace march
Andrew Ong and Rahmah Ghazali | Sep 27, 08 8:05pm

About 2,000 people marched from the Dataran Merdeka to the Hindu temple opposite the Puduraya bus terminal in solidarity against the Internal Security Act.
Police presence surprisingly light
Crowd dispersed at about 9pm

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ah, This Johnny Cometh Lately...

I Have Cometh Early to a CONCLUSION: He Is an UMNO Plant!

Desi will sleep over this tonight (Actually its's now 12.38AM, so the remainder of last niht for accuracy suckkers, hear!:(and when I start blasting in the early dawn (provided I don't over-SLEEP which is now a national pastime, you didn't know?), I would not be reined in by anyone, except one. Miss Patience, eh?

NST Online
» Frontpage

DAP official opposes crossovers

Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim believes in the democratic process.

It is unethical to don the mantle of government other than through the ballot box, says DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim.

In disagreeing with the idea of forming a government by asking politicians to switch sides, he said: "This is really a matter not so much of politics but really to do more with ethics in politics.

"There is no law to stop people from crossing over from one party to another and this has happened in Sabah where opposition members crossed over to Barisan Nasional.

"Still, this does not really give it any legitimacy just because it has happened before.

"I totally disagree with it. The only way you can really achieve legitimacy to govern is through the ballot box. As I have said before, there is a time and place for it.

"The time is the next general election and the place is the polling station," he told the New Straits Times.

"Corruption is not just about money changing hands. If you bend the existing system, you are corrupting it.

"The point I am making is that the people who voted for you have certain expectations from you and the party you represent to protect the interest of the voters," he said.

Tunku Aziz also warned that when one put ethics on the back burner instead of in the driver's seat, problems would happen.

"Once we start putting ethics in the driving seat, we will see some improvement in the way we run our national affairs."


After a heavy brunch, I don't feel as angry as last night when I first read about the johnny being played up by the NST, ah, his haven for years/decades (?) past until just a few weeks ago++++. Four (Seiloh!) crosses which I will come back to later, fear not though it sounds ominous. "Not as angry" was because according to the adage "A hungry man is an angry man", I still feel angry but not as angry as before as the hunger pangs could be assuaged by manna for a price of RM5, but this johnny better not raise the champagne glasses yet as Desi's offering gin&tonic but arSENic-laced wine, be carefool.I do that to selected johnnies only.

For some background, let me tell this johnny I had carried DAP membership card in the early days, going back more than two decades (Yes, I am that young!:) when Lee Lam Thye held forth the Bukit Bintang parliament seat with pride, and me as a "backroom" boy culd walk with his head high. Yes, over some 10 years when the good MP (with the current MP for Cheras, TAN KOK WAI, as specail aide) paid for my party membership fees (because I don't recall paying any!), to enable me to take part in TWO PARTY CONGRESSES -- one in PJ and the other wan in Furong:) -- I can claim to know a little of DAP politics MORE THAN THIS JOHNNY-COME-VERY_LATELY for every definitive statemeent I make about DAP today; and I'll rebut your views para by para (THAT HONOUR ONY WENT TO TWO WRITERS THUS FAR: one Paddy-or-Cili-Schubert sumthin' and wan Dr Chandra-nos-all-MusquitoAfar sumthin'2...)

From the Q n A that the NST played up -- to obviously run down PKR's MP for Permatang Pauh Anwar Ibrahim's negotiating the problematic roadmap to Putrajaya thus far to take over diplomatically and legitimately from Pak Lah -- are extracts (johnny's in italics, thus) I would try to add my cilipadinesscomments in BOLD&italics:


TUNKU ABDUL AZIZ: Politicians must put Malaysia first'

NST speaks to Tunku Abdul Aziz on his views on politics and politicians and the crossover plan.

Q: What is your view of the crossover plan?

A: If you justify crossing over on the grounds that you will still continue to perform your duties, that justification really has no ethical foundation. As Abraham Lincoln once said: "Whatever is morally wrong cannot be politically right."

So the basis on which you are crossing over is in itself unethical. I am totally against such a practice because that is tantamount to abandoning democratic principles which we have all fought for.

In the fight for independence, for example, we were driven by dreams of political freedom and dreams of democratic practices and principles. And I despair when I think that politics has come to this because at the end of the day, whatever we do, particularly in the political arena, is in the area of public service. What MPs and state assemblymen are supposed to do is to perform public duties in the public interest.

Q: If the purported mass crossover happens, what are the reasons behind it?

A: I think the reasons are simply to gain an instant change of government and whether the process is legitimate or otherwise isn't really the point.

We have to consider: is this really how we want to portray the practice of politics in our own country. Of course, I regard this as assuming the mantle of government through the back door.

Q: What are the possible backlash effects of crossovers to Pakatan Rakyat and DAP in the long run, if any?

A: Well, if all cross over then the BN government will be out in the cold, which is an obvious scenario. But if this happens, I will not be a party to this, because my position is very clear: I will not support it; I will not go along.

Q: In this respect, are you going to be the voice of reason in Pakatan Rakyat?

A: I will certainly be the dissenting voice on this particular issue in Pakatan Rakyat.

Q: With existing uncertainties in the country's politics, more and more people are getting tired by the yet-to-be fulfilled promises that Pakatan Rakyat will form the government. What is your view?

A: I agree that there's a climate of uncertainty in the country, not only on the political front but now on the economic front as well. On the economic issue, we are very much affected by what is going on in the American financial system. But whatever it is, this uncertainty must be resolved quickly because it is not doing the country any good at all.

The perception internationally is that this country is becoming ungovernable. That is the impression created overseas, and this is unhealthy. Politicians on both sides of the political divide must put Malaysia first.

I'd like to see every political party adopt this model: that we must direct all our energies towards improving the political climate in this country.

Q: What are the main sentiments of DAP leaders and its members regarding the crossovers?

A: The DAP is not a monolithic organisation as it is made up of a lot of members. And, in the nature of things, there will be different views on this. From what I have seen and heard, there are a lot of people, across the whole spectrum, who feel crossing over is not a long-term solution. Sustainability is important and we should not go for short-term gains because they will not make the impact that we hope for in order to bring about change to the lives of the people.

Q: Since you have joined DAP and been appointed as the party's vice-chairman, are you still able to voice frank views about matters related to Pakatan Rakyat, including the crossovers?

A: My colleagues in DAP have always known me as an independent person. I am my own man and the fact that I have now joined a political party will not change my views on public ethics and morality. These are non-negotiable as far as I am concerned.

Q: In your past columns in the New Straits Times, you have been quite critical and vocal about political leaders, including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's theatrical acts. With current developments, what is your stand on this?

A: I stand by every word that I have written in my column. So those views remain intact. I joined DAP because it is a very democratic party. One of the principles of democracy is freedom of speech. Dissenting views are part and parcel of that process.

Q: Have you been asked by your colleagues to tone down?

A: No, no, no. They have been very open. I have been watching them for a very long time. Over the years, they have changed. They are not as strident and doctrinaire as they used to be. They are trying very hard to become a truly multiracial party. If there were more Malays in DAP, there would be a much better understanding of what DAP is all about.

The Malays view DAP as being shrouded in some mystery. It is seen as a chauvinistic Chinese party quarrelling over ridiculous issues like the wearing of songkok. This is one side of the DAP psychology, but they are mainly concerned with substantive national issues. We should not write them off as another lot of rabble-rousing political misfits.


DESI: This "crossover" question has been well debated in blogosphere, and post-joining DAP recently, Johnny is rehashing cliched views against the BN members pf Parliament crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat, including this socalled "moral thics" premise. I seek my ER' indulgence if I refer you to patiently re-read a key article well-enunciated by Sdr William Leong, MP for Selayang, on the topic of "crossovers" plus extracts of another referring to the ISA as I soon leave for KL to take part in the Vigil at Dataran Merdeka at 7pm tonight to show solidarity with RPK and other 60+ detainees suffering under the oppressive ISA ("I URGE MY FELLOW READERS TO COME OVER/CROSS OVER IF YOU LIKE!") ", copied from's as they are relevant to my dissection today"

Article 1:

Commentary on Morality of Defection of MPs
Media Monitor
Written by William Leong Jee Keen
Sunday, 14 September 2008 07:44
By William Leong Jee Keen, MP for Selayang

The Morality of Members of Parliament Crossing the Floor

Response to Bar Council and Others

The Bar Council, Harris Ibrahim and Sean Ang are reported in the New Straits Times on September 10, 2008 to have said that Members of Parliament crossing the floor to join another party is legal but immoral. It is therefore necessary to draw the attention of the public to several fundamental principles with regard to the issue on the morality of MPs crossing the floor. Crossing the floor to sit as a member of parliament in another political party is nothing new in parliamentary democracies. It has been described as the height of treachery. It has also been praised as the stuff which parliamentarian heroes are made of. The great Sir Winston Churchill is perhaps the most famous parliamentarian to cross the floor and switch allegiance on more than one occasion. There is no dispute that crossing the floor for money or personal gain is both immoral and a betrayal of the voters’ trust. However, when the MP crosses not for personal gain but in the interest and welfare of his constituents then he should be commended.

The Arguments for Immorality

The argument that crossing is immoral is that the MP was elected on his erstwhile political party’s ticket and that is amounts to a fraud on his voters. This argument is founded on two assumptions. The first is that the MP’s seat belongs to the political party. The second is that the MP was voted in based on his party’s platform and policies. The assumptions are wrong and the argument has failed to take into consideration several objectives and purposes of certain fundamental principles of a parliamentary constitutional system. Upon a proper understanding of these fundamental principles it will be seen that far from being immoral, the ability for MPs to cross the floor is not only moral but part of the democratic process.

The Electoral System and the Power of the 222

The argument that the voters have elected the MP on the party’s ticket and that the seat belongs to the party and not the MP arises from a confusion over the nature of the electoral systems in use. There are two major electoral systems in the world’s democracies:

The first is the constituency-based electoral system. By this system, voters in each local area or constituency elect an individual candidate. The person who wins the majority of votes in each constituency becomes a member of parliament. The party with the majority of MPs forms the government. In this system, the individual MP and not the party holds the seat. This means the MP can cross the floor and still keep his seat

The second is the proportional representation system. By this system, the electorate in a large area, for example, a province or a country votes for political parties. The political party chooses the people who will become MPs. Each party is allocated a number of seats proportional to the number of votes it receives in the election. In this system, the seat belongs to the party and the MP who crosses the floor cannot keep his seat.

The electoral system used in Malaysia is the constituency-based system. Therefore the argument that the MP has stolen his party’s seat when he crosses the floor is not supported upon a proper understanding of the constituency based electoral system. The constituency based system provides for individuals and not political parties to be the candidates for elction to the Dewan Rakyat. This is shown by independents, persons who do not belong to any political party, to contest. The candidate is elected not only on the policies and political ideology but also his personal character and capability. The policies and manifesto of the individual candidate will substantially be similar with the policies of other candidates from his party but there will also be differences according to the specific needs of the constituency and the candidate’s own capabilities. The party ticket is therefore a grouping of individual candidates professing to hold similar policies and ideology. However, the constituents are voting for the individual candidate based on his policies, his personal capabilities and personal commitment.

The party ticket argument also fails to give effect to the provisions of Article 43(1) and 43(4) of the Federal Constitution. Article 43(1) provides that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is to appoint the Prime Minister who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat. Article 43(4) provides that the Prime Minister is to tender the resignation of his cabinet if he ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat. The effect of our electoral system and the operation of these two articles is that the constituents have given the power to the majority of the 222 members of parliament to decide who, from amongst them, is to be the Prime Minister. The tenure of the 222 and their power is fixed. It continues until the next general election. The tenure of the Prime Minister, however, is not fixed and not immutable. It is subject to the Prime Minister continuing to enjoy the confidence of the majority of the 222 throughout the term of the Parliament. By its very nature the confidence enjoyed by the Prime Minister is capable of being lost and changed. This can be due to many factors including where the Prime Minister is unwilling or unable or inept in performing his duties or has failed to properly implement policies or no longer enjoys the confidence of the people or if there is a shift of public opinion as to the desirability of keeping him in office. The power to remove the Prime Minister in practice includes and requires the members of parliament crossing the floor. It is this ability to cross the floor that ensures that only a capable Prime Minister can hope to see the end of the Parliamentary term. The failure for the MP to act is that he will be unlikely to be re-elected by his constituents at the next General Election. It is thus the MP’s moral duty to cross the floor if necessary to ensure that an inept Prime Minister do not remain in office.

The MPs Duty and Good Conscience

The argument that the MP betrays his voters by joining another party glosses over basic principles governing an MP’s duties and his need to exercise independent judgement. The word “democracy” comes from the Greek word “demokratia” which means “government by the people”. The MP is elected to be the voice of his constituents and not to be the voice and handmaid of his political bosses. The MP and his constituents are the conscience of the Executive. The Honourable K. Rozzoli, Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly has described this as follows:

“A democratically elected Parliament is the only true voice of the people and accountability to the people it serves is the basic plank of a democratic system, however, no matter what forms of statutory accountability we bring to bear, true accountability lies in the conscience of both the people and their representatives.”

The Honourable Speaker also explained that an MP’s duties owed to his constituents prevail over that to his political party:

“The primary duty of a member is to his constituents who live within the electorate…The second duty is to help people outside the electorate… The third duty is to the Parliament, both to the institution itself and to the general dignity and process of the Parliament… The duty which exists to one’s political party is, I believe, not a duty. It is something we assume as an extra curricular activity.”

The paramount duty of the MP is therefore to act in the interest and welfare of his constituents and the next in the order of priority is to the Parliament. The Parliament, is the second pillar of government. It is one of the three institutions in the concept of the separation of powers of the government. It is to act as a check and balance to executive power. The Parliament is the avenue, through the principle of parliamentary privilege, by which the people may explore alternatives to the Executive’s proposals, to expose a wrong or an injustice. The people vote their parliamentarians to guard their liberties and to query the activities of the Executive and its servants. It is in the ability of the Parliament to challenge the Executive that provides the real restrain to an overzealous or unwise use of authority. The Parliament is therefore not created to be “a rubber stamp” of the Executive. The parliamentarians have a duty to be independent minded and are not put there by the people to be “yes men” for their party bosses. The British had more than a hundred years ago derided members of parliament who followed party orders without questions. William Schwenk Gilbert in “Iolanthe” lamented:

“When in that House MP’s divide
If they ‘ve a brain and cerebellum too
They ‘ve got to leave their brains outside
And vote just as their leaders tell ‘em to”

In more mature democracies, it is not unusual for members of the House of Commons to cross the floor or those members who generally support the Government to speak and vote against the Government. It is not unusual for members of the US House of Representatives or Senate to sit on either side of the House in a division. It is because of this that a democrat like Joe Liberman can follow his conscience to endorse a Republican John McCain as presidential candidate. It is because of this that a President Nixon can be impeached for Watergate. The problem in Malaysia is that no BN MP has in 51 years crossed the floor of our Dewan Rakyat. The Government controlled media had ensured that any vote against the ruling party or even a dissenting voice is labeled as an act of treachery. The idea of BN MPs crossing has therefore been quickly castigated as immoral without examining whether good conscience demands that the MP cross the floor resolutely according to the needs of his constituents’ interest or to remain in sterile stupor according to the dictates of his party bosses. The Watergates of Malaysia shall until then be destined to remain unearthed, unheard and unseen unless and until those elected to be the voice of their constituents find the courage to act according to their conscience. For so long as members of parliament from the ruling party conduct themselves as the proverbial three monkeys of “hearing no evil, seeing no evil and speaking no evil” about their party bosses, then the independence of Parliament does not exist. There is no check and balance by the Parliament of the Executive and only a “rubber stamp”. The political tsunami that swept away the shackles to an independent judiciary must now also free the legislature from its bondage.

Constitutional Convention and Expression of Public Morality

The ability for members of parliament to cross the floor is the expression of public morality and not of immorality. Article 43(4) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution provides that the Prime Minister is to resign his cabinet upon ceasing to command the confidence of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat. Our Constitution is modeled on the British Westminster Constitution. It is a collection of constitutional conventions and customs. It is the outcome of centuries of constitutional evolution. It has distilled and crystallized the essence of the expression of public values and public morality. The convention to provide members of parliament with the ability to cross the floor and thereby bring about the removal of a government is thus an expression of public morality.

The ability to allow MPs to cross the floor recognizes that there may be a significant shift in public opinion that does not require fresh elections but needs to be reflected in the Parliament. The ruling party may be unable or unwilling to implement policies promised to the electorate. This can then be given expression through the MPs crossing the floor. It is this ability that curtails the power of party bosses and makes for a more vibrant political atmosphere. It provides for greater democracy and greater sensitivity to public opinion during the Parliamentary term otherwise it inculcates the Executive to become an authoritarian regime relying in the knowledge that it does not have to account to the people for the next five years.

The improper use of the ISA, the Sedition Act, the requirement of police permit to prevent the people from exercising its right of free speech and freedom of assembly and the abuse of power to shut dissent must not have to wait for general elections every five years. It is the duty of the 222 to ensure that the Executive power remains in check. It has become even more imperative that the BN MPs be able to vote according to their conscience. Yesterday, 12th September 2008, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Selangor State Exco member and Member of Parliament for Seputeh, Ms Theresa Kok and the reporter from Sin Chew Daily News, Ms Tan Hoon Cheng who published the Ahmad Ismail speech have been detained under the ISA. Now is the time to act, the nation cannot wait for five years.

The Tectonic Shift after 308

Since the March 8 General Elections, the Barisan Nasional leaders have shown they are unwilling, unable or indifferent in addressing the challenges facing the nation. Despite, the global shortage of food and the increasing price of essential food products, the Barisan National leadership has refused to dismantle the monopoly given to Bernas in the privatization of the distribution of imported rice. With the global economic slowdown and rising inflation and the US going into stagflation, the BN leadership increased petrol prices by a massive and unprecedented increase of 70 sen causing inflation to jump to 8% per annum. It then did a flip flop by reducing the petrol price to 15 sen but this is too little too late to stop the galloping inflation led loose by the irresponsible increase. The property sector and the construction industry have come to a standstill due to the substantial increase in the price of building and construction materials. The SMIs are crying for help as the sudden jump in operation costs in electricity, petrol and transport costs threaten to put them out of business. Violent crime continues unabated after the General Elections. Murders, rape and robberies haunt the people every day. This indifferent and inept performance has led to a shift in public opinion of tectonic proportions after the March 8 General Elections. The Barisan Nasional leadership has failed. They have shown to be unworthy of commanding confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament. Good conscience demands the BN MPs who still wish to hold true to the duty to their constituents have an obligation to cross the floor. It will be immoral for them not to.


The ability of the Members of Parliament to cross the floor and by doing so bring about a change in the government is part and parcel of the democratic process. It is a form of check and balance. It ensures that the sitting government must continuously be sensitive to the needs and opinion of the people or risk being removed before expiry of its term. The famous words that a democracy is said to be a “government of the people by the people and for the people” must include the right of the people to remove the government when it no longer represents the people. When Members of Parliament cross the floor acting according to the dictates of the people and not the dictate of the party bosses, they are acting morally and not immorally.

William Leong Jee Keen

13th September 2008

Article 2:
wrt the Internal Secrity Act, followed by my comments and key question to DAP vice-chairman-cum-johnny...--DESI

Abdullah Badawi: Wading Back from the Rubicon
Media Monitor
Written by William Leong Jee Keen
Monday, 22 September 2008 06:42
By William Leong, MP for Selayang

September 20, 2008

In ancient Rome, the legions of centurions were for the protection of Rome and thus were required to be encamped beyond the shores of the river Rubicon. Caesar in leading his legions to cross the Rubicon used the legions not for Rome but for his personal goal and changed Rome from a republic to a tyranny, an act finally punished by his assassination. Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in using the ISA, not for the protection of Malaysia but for protecting his waning administration after having crossed the Rubicon last week. Once crossed, Prime Minister Badawi has to bear the consequences of his conduct and releasing the detainees after 18 hours or after one week is not going to change the effect of his act. One cannot wade back when the Rubicon is crossed.

According to all religious tradition, once it is established beyond doubt that a particular ruler is a tyrant or a particular regime is tyrannical, it forfeits the moral right to govern and the people acquire the right to resist and to find the means to protect themselves from injustice and oppression. In other words a tyrannical regime has no moral legitimacy. It may be the de facto government and it may even be recognized by other governments and therefore be de jure or legal government. But if it is a tyrannical regime, it is from a moral point of view an illegitimate government.

At what point does a government become a tyrannical regime?

A tyrant is some one who exercises authority without respect for its function of supplying the conditions for a normative order. In the philosopher John Locke’s view, “Wherever the power that is put in any hands for the government of the people and the preservation of their properties is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the arbitrary irregular commands of those that have it, there it presently becomes a tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many… Wherever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm.” The traditional Latin definition of a tyrant is “hostis boni communis” - an enemy of the common good.


The justification for having the Internal Security Act ceased long ago. The need to protect the country from the communist insurgency ended with the laying down of arms by Chin Peng. The ISA has been used to detain opposition members. The use of the ISA is not only against the three detained but also against all of the people. It is to warn the people that this administration will not tolerate dissent. The ISA is the tool used in the politics of fear. It is not used for the common good but to preserve the position of the few. When the ISA was again invoked last week, there were some voices of dissent from cabinet ministers but only one minister, Dato Zaid Ibrahim showed that he means what he said and does what he means. The rest once again proved that what they do is far from what they say. Each of them and more so by the inelegant silence of the rest shows that all of them that remains in Badawi’s administration have also lost their moral authority to
govern. They have mortgaged their souls for power.

A tyrannical regime cannot continue to rule for very long without becoming more and more violent. As the majority of the people begin to demand their rights and to put pressure on the tyrant, so will the tyrant resort more and more to desperate, cruel, gross and ruthless forms of tyranny and repression. The reign of a tyrant always ends up as a reign of terror. It is inevitable because from the start, the tyrant is an enemy of the common good. It will use repressive measures, detentions, bans, prohibitions, propaganda, states of emergency and other tyrannical and desperate methods. Hamilton writes “In all ages the favourite and most formidable instruments of tyranny is unwarranted searches and seizures, the arrest and punishment of men without trial”. A regime that is in principle the enemy of the people cannot suddenly begin to rule in the interest of all the people. It can only be replaced by another government, one that will govern in the interest
of all the people.

William Leong Jee Keen

20th September 2008


My statements:

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had also supported the ISA at one time, in the early days when the party was pretty tied to the PAP apron strings, and international socialist forums had taken him to task on the stand. Why do you think it led to difference of opnion with the more principled DAP stalwarts like Fan Yew Teng and others who soon had no choice but forced to follow the "EXIT" sign.

To the johnny, I ask:

Where were you then? You are of the same peer group in terms of AGE, so there is no excuse for you not to be preaching such high ETHICS that finally led to your leading a high moraly ground that was the head of TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL.

And on the present ISA detentions, do you mean to say that the VIGIL PLANNED BY THE PEOPLE'S PARLIAMENT AT DATARAN MERDEKA AT 7.00PM TODAY (Saturday, Yes!) and other civil society groups should not "ethically" proceed because the gathering had not received the BN's directed police permit? Because the johnny and his ilk want to spend hours discussing about legitimate dissent at a time of national distress?

Has he even heard the MESSAGES OF CHANGE sent out by the Voters/Rakyat on March 8, 2008 and August 26?

OR have this johnny and newfound DAP cronies not heard of Mahatma Gandhi's and Martin Luther King's civil disobdedience movements?

Perhaps, I shall this royal johnny come lately to visit for some lessons on CivilDisobedience101?


1. Where were you when DS Anwar Ibrahim was charged in court for Sodomy and Corrupt charges ten years ago?

Where were you when 10,000s Malaysians marched during BERSIH folllowed by Hindraf supporters before March 8, 2008 -- earning bread-and-butter writing PR sheets/s..t for New Straits Times and singing Pak Lah's looney tunes and no time to speak up on ETHICAL ISSUES like abuse of poowers and government corruption?

Where were you, Johnny, when madcap Zakaria Mad Deros built a small house costing RM7mil? Where were you when Port Klang Free Zone RM4.6 bialout debacle caught media lime light. LOST YOUR VOICE IZZIT?

I shall rest my case for now, and come back to "rebut" his high-profile interview exclusive to the NST when I have the time to spare for this johnny, right! If not today, tomorrow then as I will wave my creative Sunday's rumination on desiderata.english to entertain more johnnies who appreciate Desi's writHings, masochistics among them and their ilk!:(

Friday, September 26, 2008

International Forum Prefers Anwar to Malaysian *Finance Minister's view (*Olde and New)

* Prime Minster Abdullah Dabwai was the old one, Deputy PM Najib Razak is the new; or should it read "nude"?

I was planning to write a sizzling piece on a Johnny-Come-Lately politikus, but I felt fatigued running around bustling KL city, so I'll do another C&P, and you be Miss Patience for my blockbuster/(blockbustIer for some johnny...):

From cometh this:

Keynote address on US financial turmoil and the future prospects for Asean economies

September 26, 2008 · No Comments
Speech by Anwar Ibrahim delivered at the CLSA Investor Forum in Hong Kong on Friday 26th September, 2008

What do you do when a financial behemoth implodes?

What can you say about free market capitalism when the world’s leading liberal democracy dumps nearly a trillion dollars in private debt onto taxpayers? Are Freddie Mac and Fannie May along with Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG totally unforeseen victims of systemic once in a lifetime financial meltdowns or are they not really victims of their own greed? When you allow the “mushrooming of weapons of financial mass destruction,” to borrow a phrase from Warren Buffet then isn’t it written that you shall reap what you sow?

The question is who should pay the price of Wall Street’s excesses. I learned in Economics 101 that those who live by the market must also die by the market. But with this gargantuan bailout it looks like the only thing that is dead is raw capitalism. Not that I’m complaining or that I ever subscribed to this thing called a totally free market. Some will recall that in my address in Bangkok last year I repeated my mantra that the free market is well and good but Adam Smith’s invisible hand may sometimes continue to be invisible if not altogether paralysed when the time for action draws nigh. Sometimes as it is in times like these, Uncle Sam’s hand may prove to be far quicker on the draw. Otherwise spontaneous order may well turn out to be spontaneous chaos.

Hayek is history, so they claimed.

Speaking of history, it would appear that the powers that be have learned some lessons. We know what happened in the 1930s when, adhering strictly to free market principles, the Federal Reserve folded its arms and did absolutely nothing even as the financial system was cracking under the weight of massive defaults that eventually caused the collapse of the American economy and the contagion spread to Europe. There would have been lessons learned too from the October 87 crash, and the savings and loans scandal. Then of course, there was the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

As for the latter, Asian countries having experienced the pains of the financial meltdown which saw their currencies plunging to the depths, are now having generally stronger balance sheets. Regardless whether or not they swallowed the bitter pill of IMF prescriptions, they now have better current accounts than they had ten years ago. But what exactly were the lessons learnt? Is it that we can snicker at the U.S. and tell ourselves that we don’t need to listen to you, because we are far better off now? Is it that we don’t need market economy and the related principles?

Why talk about the sanctity of free markets and the importance of non-interference by governments when the bastion of free market itself is now engaged in the biggest bail out exercise?

Some leaders are now gloating over their so called successes in resorting to bailouts even much earlier and retrospectively sanitising their remedies of capital controls and the policy of currency. This is a false premise. Bailouts cannot be used as a veneer for crony capitalism. It appears rather foolhardy for certain leaders in the region to start thumping their chests over their relatively wealthier positions and that they have strong fundamentals.

Are the fundamentals that strong?

To get the analogy of true strength let me relate some lines from Tu Fu (Du Foo) one of the greatest Chinese poets and contemporary of Confucius; also a well known sage of the Tang Dynasty:

And so firm is the deep root,

So established underground,

That its lone lofty boughs

Can dare the weight of winds,

Its only protection the Heavenly Power,

Its only endurance the art of its Creator

The convulsions that began the last summer arising from the subprime crisis have morphed into a full blown seizure the implications of which have left us still groping in the dark. Aggravated no doubt by record breaking inflationary pressure, the current crisis has reached such a level that the threat of a worldwide recession looms. The hysteria, irrational as it is, is real. We saw the run on the U.S. financial institutions and the consequences unleashed. And as we all know, even Hong Kong hasn’t been spared—this week two typhoons scored near misses on the city, one a torrent of rain that passed to the south, and the other entailed a long line of depositors lined up outside the Bank of East Asia. With emotions running tense, we could certainly benefit from a return to sanity.

Even though the locus of the slaughter is the United States, the bastion of free ‘market’ democracy, yet, in many ways the current upheaval bears some similarities to the Asian crisis. We would think that the lessons learnt from the Asian crisis, in particular the Asean region, could help us navigate the treacherous waters that we may be heading towards.

At the end of the day, we are looking at a credit fiasco gone haywire. Both concern loan defaults which trigger a chain of consequences ending in massive losses for financial institutions. Like the crisis in the Asean region, there are without a doubt serious issues of governance, transparency and accountability at stake.

As I said back in 1998 at a forum in New York chaired by Maurice Greenberg, who was the AIG chief, I had likened the Asian crisis to the sinking of the Titanic. (I am talking about the AIG then, the financial Rock of Gibraltar, solid and unshakable, not the fallen giant of today.) Prior to the meltdown, there was the euphoria among the Asian leaders about the so-called East Asian miracle and all skeptics were dismissed as naysayers and those calling for fiscal restraint, including myself, were branded as doomsday prophets. Then the crash came. But the question is who the real victims were. Undoubtedly they were the ordinary people while cronies and family members of political leaders were given the life boats and the first to be bailed out.

In this regard, social justice must remain one of the main purposes of government. The proponents of free market may not want to admit it let alone utter the dirty word because the mantra is that state intervention should be avoided like the plague. But it is once again all too apparent that, left unchecked and unregulated, the consequence of markets running amok is not just gross inequalities of income distribution but systemic failure altogether.

We are looking at foundational weaknesses. Apart from the obvious issue of risks management, I believe that the global financial architecture and the institutions need structural reform. Make no mistake. We are not here to advocate command economies of the Orwellian kind but we can no longer be in a state of denial as to efficacy of a common sense approach to managing the economy. This is also very much in line with the demands of social cohesion and political stability.

Though we believe in a well-regulated market, where contracts should be honoured and the principles of fair dealing applied, we also know that a heavily-regulated market, coupled with highly opaque government operations cripples the economy and discourages investment. And it would be a grave error to think that governments have a duty to bail out badly run institutions and companies. Moral hazard cannot be simply dismissed as just another Bretton Woods construct. Among the most important lessons appears to be if you keep on spending money which is not yours, sooner or later it will take its toll.

In this regard, we view with great consternation the path that Malaysia has been taking in the last five years. Public-sector spending rose to RM200 billion annually from RM160 billion in 2004. That of course doesn’t include the slush funds in excess of RM30 billion used at the discretion of the Prime Minister. The national debt has gone up by another RM100 billion and as more money is being spent, the fiscal deficit has risen to 4.8% of GDP this year.

With capital flight at a record high since the 1997 crisis, RM125 million in 2008 already, Malaysian investment abroad now exceeds inward foreign investment. We are facing a double barrel onslaught of our own doing with the Ringgit hitting all time lows since 2005 and inflation a record high of 8.5%, the worst in 27 years.

Issues of governance and corruption are yet unresolved. The latest corruption perception index from Transparency International speaks for itself. In almost a decade Malaysia has hardly improved its position in the ranking while our would-be peers are making substantial improvements.

Our agenda for Malaysia is clear. Revive the lagging economy by adopting market friendly policies and take decisive action to cure the festering sore of corruption and cronyism that has decimated the judiciary, rendered the anti-corruption impotent and leeched billions of dollars from the state coffers – by Morgan Stanley’s account in the amount of at least $10 billion per year. Restore faith in the institutions of governance both domestically and internationally so that investors will once again find the country an attractive destination for their long-term investments. Among other things, this means strict adherence to the rule of law and an immediate end to draconian statutes that would allow the powers that be to detain their adversaries willy-nilly and without due process.

The issue of regime change is central to the current political scenario. The ability to handle a transition is a measure of the strength of the country’s democratic institutions. It can, and ought to be done, peacefully and orderly. Stability cannot be sacrificed on the altar of freedom no matter how intense the desire for change has become.

Weathering the storm of its own internal strife, it is apparent that populist spending is the easy way out for governments hell bent on clinging to power. On the contrary we would introduce structural reforms in public procurement programmes and the management of State companies while ensuring that adequate social safety nets are in place.

With the political will to combat corruption, wastage and mismanagement an 8% per annum growth rate is not unrealistic. Petronas should be made accountable to Parliament and not remain the private piggy-bank of the Executive Branch. We will remove restrictions on foreign capital inflows and outflows and revamp government protection of monopolies in industries like telecommunications and banking.

If our markets are strong and unfettered, and if our laws are transparent and enforced by impartial judges, we will not need special development corridors or regions to attract investment. A stable and clean business environment is far more important than special tax breaks and quotas handed out by a corrupt and opaque government.

With compassionate policies in place, the rifts caused by unequal development will finally begin to heal. Just as importantly, poor bumiputeras will finally be able to access economic aid that trickles all the way down instead of disappearing long before it reaches them.

The central principle of these economic policies is that the right opportunities must be made available to every single Malaysian –to learn, to earn an honest living, and to realise their dreams.

Ladies and gentlemen,

When the Asian Crisis struck ten years ago, the decisions I made as Finance Minister were not populist nor were they popular. On principle, I felt they were the right moves even though it was at the expense of my personal freedom. Yet in my darkest hours of solitary confinement I had never given up hope that something good was to come of the ordeal. And now after more than a decade of struggle and profound challenges we are on the threshold of a new beginning.

Thank you.

→ No CommentsCategories: Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The MYTH of just annouced petrol price decrease

From The Malaysian Insider:

Petrol, diesel down 10 sen

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 24 — The price of petrol and diesel will be reduced by 10 sen to RM2.45 and RM2.40 per litre respectively beginning tomorrow, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today.

He said the retail price of RON92 petrol will also be reduced from RM2.40 to RM2.30 per litre.

Abdullah disclosed this in a media statement read by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, here.

Abdullah said the new price adjustments took into consideration the actual petrol price between Sept 1 and 22.

DESI has stated consistently that the Government has created, fostered and continues to perpetuate a MYTH by offering another 10sen DECREASE in petrol price at the pump effective tomorrow.


Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch in this world?

would be away from his Post for the whole of Thursdae, which translates into 24+, so I'll read your answers cometh late Fridae, okay! DayOfLoving&Gifting! Flood MBH with your commentoes, help me arrivedesi at that 20mil
I-LAND so-ON!:)

race, racism, racialism

"Let us propose that only a truly multiracial party that has the will, motivation, intelligence and the set of acquired skills should be given the mandate to implement a Race Relations Act. Any communal-based party is too much a contradiction to put their act together on this one."

An important quote. Do you know where it cometh from?

Issuing from a wise olde man? From a Minister?
From a writer?

If you know the answer, the firts three responders wit' the correct answer, by dropping a Comment here! If you care to give him your postal address and REAL ID, I will send thee a signed copy of MIDNIGHT VOICES (REF July 7, 2007 post here). If you live nextdoor to AMlike you were the PM, I would send you TWO KOPIES as Anak Merdeka is still stuck in the shyways.

Politicians, Friends and Lovers

This Post was inspired partially by a lunchtime tokkok with mGf-cum-counsellor Sdr Coww plus another politikus-on-ivory-keys Mikegal (knot towers, that would be all the doctors!) -- this one owns a musical shop...You gas'd right, named Do Re Mi. Julie Andrews would be proud to learn that among the the pupils at the passing out parade was the ex-Paulian who went on to become the first ANGKASAWAN NEGARAkuKU; notwithstanding some witty Bloggers' pithy obs that it could also qualify as the highest paid passenger on a Russian space travel, not wit' Desi sitting as recorder.

If you don't catch meaning in my INTRO, nah mind, it's To each his/her own in blogwritesin cyberspace, the most democratic domain in the whole wide world -- hence www.It took over from John Wayne and Gary Cooper and Marilyn Monroe and Cybil Shepherd from the other www. Wild, Wild West, but that's so American,ane with the mega financial busts like Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros and .... whatever you name it, they've got it!, yet not in Marilyn and Cybil's league,Desi's bias is showing hear! But not the actresses' slip, my esteemed/XXsteamed, but knotty readers:(

Okay, to the body, naked yet not seen but heard well, not properly digested, I'm still ingesting politicalspeak from the PM Pak Lah aka Rip wan Wrinkled (in Desi's version) OR Rip van Winkle's in DonPlayPuks' -- and rival PKR MP for Batu aka rabble rouser-streetfighter Tian Chua. VIZ, quoting an MSM, though some of my Blogger mateys will shout me down as "traitor" for doing this, but do you think I give a dam?:

NST Online » Frontpage

Talks? What talks?: Another twist to 'empty boasts'

By : Hamidah Atan

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday scoffed at a Parti Keadilan Rakyat claim that talks were being held with the Barisan Nasional on a transfer of power.

**The prime minister, who is BN chairman and Umno president, also described PKR information chief Tian Chua's claim that contacts had been made between intermediaries of the two sides as "the craziest report I have ever heard".

At a press conference after chairing the second Economic Council meeting at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Abdullah said the report was baseless.

"Why report such a thing? You should think before you make such a report."

His deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is also Finance Minister attended the press conference.

In the latest twist to the Pakatan Rakyat's so far empty boast of having enough defections to topple the government, AFP had reported that negotiations had begun with the ruling coalition over a transfer of power.

However, not a single defector has come forward. The date set for a Pakatan takeover, Sept 16, had come and gone with the BN still firmly in office.

++While Abdullah has refused to meet opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua told AFP that contacts were being made through intermediaries.

"Our intention in holding them is for a transition of power to the opposition but I cannot speak for the other side," Tian Chua said. "So far it looks good and we will wait to see what happens."

Tian Chua claimed contact was made initially in the weekend and that more than one meeting had taken place.

Anwar had said earlier this month that he had the support of more than 31 BN members of parliament but refused to release the list of names until Abdullah agreed to a meeting.

He had also asked Abdullah to convene a parliamentary emergency sitting to debate a motion of no confidence against the latter but it was shot down.

Abdullah said there was no meeting with Anwar's representatives.

On whether fuel prices would be further reduced before Hari Raya, Abdullah said the cabinet would have to decide on the matter.

"Issues relating to fuel prices or subsidy are matters that only the cabinet can decide. It is better for us to wait than drop hints."

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad had said the government might reduce fuel prices before Hari Raya.

On Aug 22, the pump price of RON27 petrol was reduced to RM2.55 from RM2.70 per litre while the price of diesel was lowered to RM2.50 from RM2.58 per litre.

The Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia, however, has warned that there might be a petrol shortage during the festive season if the government were to reduce prices.

Its president, Abdul Wahid Bidin, had said station owners were unwilling to keep a large amount of stock for fear of making losses.

He claimed a petrol station could lose between RM15,000 and RM25,000 overnight if prices were reduced.


I am framing two questions, so pay heed to these two highlights marked ++ and **, Viz:

++While Abdullah has refused to meet opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tian Chua told AFP that contacts were being made through intermediaries.

**The prime minister, who is BN chairman and Umno president, also described PKR information chief Tian Chua's claim that contacts had been made between intermediaries of the two sides as "the craziest report I have ever heard".

DESI, on a rare weakday that's wedNURSEday when a childe born todie is wan "full of woe", has this puzzle in his head, so can you tell him WHO's TELLING THE TRUTH?

And in conjunction with this question, can my ER tell Desi:

Can politicians from across the political divide be friends, even become lovers?
I will share my philosophy during the wickedend if you buy me CON BF! And if I'm so inclined to be your friend. As for lover/s, I told you o'lady, my diehard devotion to Cybil who's also a shepherd.

The Friends and Lovers came on the air via LIGHTfm at lunchtime, and somehow the lyrics played o'er and o'er in Desi's head as I was thinking about Tian Chua's and Pak Lah differences; it could turn out to be a Sandiwara which translates into it being a Lover's Spat.

I think the Miracle of Miracles will see Pak Lah serving as Mentor-Mentee Menteri in a Cabinet headed by Tian Chua's boss Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and Raja Petra Kamarudin serving as Minister of Information and Propaganda-ganda Minda Anda!:)
I will try to carry Tian's bag if DSAI creates a new ministry for Tian Chua called Tian Tian Yu Yi. (Chinoserie for Every Day Friends...)


Friends and Lovers

-Artists: Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson-peak Billboard position # 2 in 1986
-Words and Music by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska

What would you say if I told you
I've always wanted to hold you?
I don't know what we're afraid of
Nothing would change if we made love


'cause I'll be your friend
And I'll be your lover
Well, I know in our hearts we agree
We don't have to be one or the other

Yes, it's a chance that we're taking
And somebody's heart may be breaking
But we can't stop what's inside us
Our love for each other will guide us


I've been through you
And you've been through me
Sometimes a friend is the hardest to see
We always know when it's laid on the line
Nobody else is as easy to find

So I'll be your friend
And I'll be your lover
Well, I know in our heart we agree
We don't have to be one or the other



UPDATEd @11.30PM:

came from via a September 24 Post, quoting a news report:

Anwar denies talks with PM Badawi
September 24, 2008 · 16 Comments

September 24, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat leaders are making contradicting statements regarding the much-touted plan by the opposition alliance to seize control of the federal government from Barisan Nasional.

Yesterday, PKR information chief Tian Chua claimed that several meetings were held between the rival camps since the weekend to discuss the transition of power.

According to him, the talks involved a ‘middleperson’ for Pakatan Rakyat and a ‘middleperson’ for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

While Abdullah had denied this, Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim also appeared to be in the dark about the negotiations.

“I’m not aware of any negotiations taking place between Pakatan Rakyat and the prime minister - statements made yesterday suggesting that a line of communication was open were misinformed,” said the opposition leader in a statement.

Previously, Anwar said that Pakatan Rakyat would take control of the government on Sept 16 but this failed to materialise.

He then called on Abdullah to hold an emergency parliament session yesterday regarding the takeover but the latter refused.

The opposition stalwart claims that he has more than 30 Barisan Nasional MPs who are willing to defect in order for Pakatan Rakyat to form government.

However, his rivals have dismissed this as nothing more than a political gimmick.

No Hasty Actions

Meanwhile, Anwar also revealed that he met with the Pakatan Rakyat leadership from PAS in Kota Bharu and DAP in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said Kelantan Mentri Besar and PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had reaffirmed their commitment to the spirit and goals of the alliance.

He added that Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also expressed satisfaction with the progress made to strengthen and broaden the consensus among Pakatan Rakyat parties and supporters from BN.

“We also discussed the next steps that Pakatan Rakyat should take towards forming a government that reflects the support of the majority of members of Parliament.

“Abdullah’s failure to accede to our request for an emergency session of Parliament represents another attempt by the Umno-led BN government to sabotage and scuttle the democratic process,” he said.

“Nevertheless I along with my colleagues in Pakatan remain confident that the people’s desire for change shall soon be attained. We will proceed cautiously towards our goals and we agreed neither to be provoked into hasty action nor to take an irresponsible approach that would lead to instability and greater uncertainty in country.” he added.

Anwar also said there is a crisis of confidence in the current leadership of the nation at a time when Malaysians are demanding solutions for the highest increases in prices in two decades, increasing joblessness and the dramatic decline in investor confidence.

“While the newly appointed Finance Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) boasts that the country is in sound economic standing, the facts tell a different story.

“In 2008 already over RM125 billion has been withdrawn from the country by investors weary of a government that has failed to implement a single reform to ensure judicial independence and that continues to use draconian laws such as the ISA to detain its citizens without due process of law,” he added.

I reproduce here one of ***Sdr Din's responses via COMMENTS plus excerpts from other Commenters; ****Desi added his 3sen' worth:(


// September 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Su, no talk with Pak Lah. Anwar Ibrahim, Ustaz Hadi and Lim Kit Siang wrote officially seeking an appointment. When he turned it down, we made no new attempts. It is Tian Chua’s cock-up, that is all.— Din Merican

Jong // September 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm

su, someone is trying to be a smart ass!

edisham // September 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm

At least Anwar managed to cover up otherwise it will be a liability for PR!

salak // September 24, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Don’t know that it has done that much damage. Pak Lah is now more or less under total personal siege.

We do know one thing. Pak Lah’s denial was officially heard loud and clear.

Tian Chua now has info. He’ll take the verbal saliva and everything else. But he has info!

Wei! It’s his job lah! If nobody dared do anything without orders, where would PKR be today. But you better KNOW what you’re doing! Otherwise it’s HARAKIRI!
Guffaw // September 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm

It’s in ‘National News’ - national embarrassment to not only his PKR boss, but Pakatan Rakyat so Tian Chua if he has any integrity left, must resign from his Information post!

He is not fit to be one!

Mr Bean // September 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Anwar should never allow his surrogates to speak for him - not over this issue!

Tian Chua and others like him could only muddy the water as he certainly did in this case.

****ylchong // September 24, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Tian C. should do his Information Bureau work with integrity andlet DSAI be the spokesman for High-level policy issues involving the prime ministership. Cock-up on such critical issues is not,never will be, excusable. I’ve since learnt a few things about activists who also just tokkok more than they wokthetok…Somebody please take over PKR information section because it’s aBIG LETDOWN! Six months after taking over a few key states, the party still does not publish an English newspaper. WHY?