My Anthem

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who will weep for Malaysia?


BUT our leaders continue to trumpet "jaguh Kampung" (village champions') victory songs.

Barisan Nasional politicians spend like there is no tomorrow, and the PM ane wife set good examples.
Then they ask the Rakyat (people) to tighten their belts a few more notches than last year, a little tighter than 2008,like a hangman's noose around one's neck, and yet the leaders do not see.

From The Malaysia Chronicle, lament after lament are being echoed, ye the leadrs remain deaf and blind, not dumb. They sing can sing K-rah-rah-rah-KO songs.

Ah, who will weep for NegaraKU?


Oil fields offshore Malaysia are a-plenty
Yet when world prices rise
Malaysians pay more for their petrol
Shouldn't it be the other way around?
We produce an old surplus
Whuch commands a premium price

No, the politicians smartly tell us
The oil subsidies keep rising
Hence, we raise the pump prices
We chase away Malaysians in their youth
To study in faraway land
A decade or two later
We beg them to come back
To serve the motherland

Who bleeds more, my dear?
Malaysians or Malaysia?

REPRINTED: wit'out permission from M dnight V ices and Other Poems,
May 2007

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Not only politicians but investors draw battle lines in Malaysia

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

The worst is still far from over for Malaysia, which recorded an 81 percent plunge in foreign direct investment last year as investors bet that Prime Minister Najib Razak will not be able to steer his country to safe shores.

“From their point of view, Malaysia is beginning to look more like Thailand each day. They don’t think Najib is in control at Umno anymore and they are worried about the next handover of power,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

“The second-line Umno leaders like Muhyiddin, Hishammuddin are not inspiring. Then the type of politicking displayed by people like Khir Toyo and Ibrahim Ali frighten investors even more. And that’s why they bail out. And I’m not talking about foreign investors but also Malaysians themselves. Both categories are running away.”

Najib has to call for a general election latest by March 2013, but pundits beleive it will happen before October 2011.

Sore thumb amongst ASEAN nations

Indeed, Malaysia was the only country in the region to record negative FDI in 2009. According to the World Foreign Investment Report 2010 released by the United Nations on Friday, Malaysia received only US$1.38 billion.

This is even less than Philippines’ US$1.95 billion and pales in comparison with Singapore’s US$16 billion. Only Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Timor-Leste received less than Malaysia.

The WIR data is chilling given that Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala had earlier warned that Malaysia could go bankrupt by 2019, if the government was not allowed to embark on a subsidy-slashing program to reduce debt.

But experts and opposition politicians have dismissed Idris’ arguments as masking the real problems, arguing that the reasons for the economic downfall was due to endemic corruption, a weak political and administrative system.

In particular, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has lashed out at Najib, who is also Finance Minister, for offering piecemeal solutions rather an integrated and structural revamp."Burdening the people on the pretext of reducing deficit and using 'government savings' to fund government excesses must be stopped immediately," said Anwar.

He warned that subsidy cuts, which would trigger prices hikes, should only be used as a means to cut the national deficit. However, Malaysia’s national debt has soared to record high and the fiscal deficit was 7 percent of GDP last year, he pointed out.

DAP chief economist Tony Pua was also unconvinced by Najib's five-year plan unveiled last month. This aims to bring the deficit down to 5.3 percent this year, and reduce government debt as a proportion of GDP to 49.9 per cent in 2015 compared to 52.9 per cent in 2010.

“What was previously unimaginable, that we may one day be compared to countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar, is now a real possibility,” said Tony, pointing to the WIR data.

“The government cannot use the excuse of global financial crisis as the reason for the precipitous drop in FDI as we have performed the worst compared to all other countries big and small in the region.”

Najib's roadshows failed to inspire

The WIR data also showed that despite its current problems Thailand recorded a 30.4 per cent drop, Vietnam 44.1 per cent and Indonesia 44.7 per cent.

The other ASEAN nations Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Myanmar managed to register positive FDI growth despite stiff challenge from East Asian dragons like China and Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, Anwar had suggested 4 key measures to bolster public and investor confidence. These include the immediate announcement of drastic reforms for a transparent government procurement system; restructure of gas subsidies for Independent Power Producers; vigilant management of Government-Linked Companies and government agencies and lastly, stepping up efforts to combat corruption and to stop political meddling in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney-General's Chambers.

“It is not a mystery at all why we did so badly. Investors fear not the Pakatan Rakyat but Umno and BN. They are afraid Umno might instigate or trigger a political stalemate if they lose at the next General Election. Bear in mind some Umno leaders have hinted they would fight to the end not to lose political power,” Tian said.

“We also have to look at the performance of Najib as Finance Minister. He has done poorly and should relinquish the post to someone more capable immediately. So far, his New Economic Model has disappointed and the weak FDI numbers are another testament to his inability to draw in funds despite numerous expensive road shows. He spends too much money on frivolous thing like public relations and media advertisements to boost his image and on the political front - too much time on negative politicking.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Goin' Creativity


Beginning today through the next se7en days, this Blogger shalt re-publish online his first published work which enjoyed a print run of 1,000 copies in 2007. "Midnight Voices" -- 900 copies of 1,000 print-run sold and almost 100 copies gifted away. A solitary copy lies in my study... you may peep to an intro about my maiden work in the July 7, 2007 blogpost:) -- and since Desi has just got ONE copy left, he desided to share with those who fortunately did not obtain a physical copy at huge expense of RM15 then with this Book by instalments. ENJOY! -- YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual

PS ON JULY 30, 2010:

I APOLOGISE TO ALL COMERS&GOERS that while the spirit is willing, the physical prevents. I COULD NOT -- even after 100attempts -- RECOPY THE REMAINING CHAPTERS FROM THE MASTER FILE of Midnight Voices, SO I HAVE TO LET MY ER DOWN> TIME/dime for a REPRINT eh!:) -- YL, Desi

Thursdae, 911am, July 22, 2010


Midnight Voices and Other Poems

by Desiderata YL Chong


Companion Essay
as a Special Medium of Communication



Chapter 1


1.1 Obstacles to Writing in Prose
1.2 Poetry Opens Window into Poet’s Heart
1.3 Research and Design

Chapter 2

Literature Review

2.1 Poetry Is Pulse of Human Endeavours
2.2 What Is Poetry?
2.3 Pleasure from Poetry Game
2.4 Poetry Is Versatile and Vibrant
2.5 Fuzziness in Prose Writing

Chapter 1 Introduction

September 11, 2001, must surely rank as a landmark day in this relatively new millennium’s history – when the world was shaken to its core as helpless people watched “live” as well as through constant replays over television, two commercial aeroplanes allegedly commandeered by Muslim terrorists and used as “missiles” to crash into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, USA. Suddenly, we realise that the world has become a “very dangerous” dwelling place indeed, and even the United States, the sole superpower in the world, is as vulnerable as its poorer cousins in the African and Asian continents who hardly have enough rations to feed their people, what more having money to spend on weapons of mass destruction! We all woke up that day to experience what I think was the “rudest awakening” that possibly transformed our lives forever in the most dramatic way, and evoked in us all the whole range of human responses, including grief, shock, rage, despair and bewilderment.

And how would human beings find a suitable channel, a meaningful outlet, for this spontaneous outpouring of grief and anguish, rage and bewilderment, shock and helplessness in the face of such great tragedy? This ruthless attack on humanity came “out of the blue” and certainly was beyond human imagination (initially some viewers thought the second airliner crashing into the WTC tower was an excerpt from the latest Hollywood blockbuster!), yet it was stark reality staring at us in our comfortable living room. This “creature” resembling a suicide bomber wrought by fellow human beings motivated by things beyond our ken and understanding to wreak carnage and havoc on human lives and dignity, so how do we begin to even comprehend and cope with a “new” world thrust upon us? provided an instant outlet, as fellow members of the species called Homo sapiens responded with dedications to 911, as the day of infamy has become identified. The online poetry website, operated by the International Library of Poetry based in Washington, D.C., then chalking 3.1 million entries (and since then has jumped to 4.6 million), immediately set up a dedicated page for people to share their responses. Some 700 readers sent in poems daily in the initial weeks – varying from a few lines to longer ones of 20 to 40 lines – to pour out their feelings. Poetry writing becomes a channel for release, and this is definitely useful therapy at a time of tremendous sorrow and grief.

At the end of the first week, there were some 5,000 poems already posted on this dedicated website, to which this writer added one, titled Reflecting on Newton’s law of 16 lines. I am reproducing here the said poem to demonstrate the brevity and niche theme summarizing some key points flowing from 911, served adequately by just one quarter web-page, to be contrasted with the summary of a piece of prose writing that follows occasioned by the same 911 event.

Reflecting on Newton's law

To every action
There is an equal and opposite reaction
Goes one of Newtonian laws
governing physical forces and motion

Extrapolating on Newton's law to human affairs
In light of the tragedy of Sept 11 morn
I fear that human response to
such horrendous attacks on humankind
Usually brings forth an opposite but often,
more than an equal, reaction,
Inflicting more, and spiralling, violence and tragedy on innocent ones

Borrowing Dylanesque wisdom while we're
adrift in this wind of confusion and sorrow
"When will they ever learn?", I say,
Leave the wrath of the Maker
To visit upon the actors of such cowardly acts.

The premise of my poem was that in human affairs in inflicting violence, usually the reaction is often greater than a reaction to physical force, creating a spiralling chain of increasingly more violent events. I firmly believe there was no way the U.S. could avoid following up with retaliatory action, as some reaction must follow such an attack on humanity. It was only a question of how and in what form the “reaction” (retaliation) would be, and for how long, to justify the objectives once the enemy has been identified and the objectives have been spelt out. My final premise of the poem was that finally, an end must come, and only God – in whatever form we perceive Him to be - can exact the just retribution on the perpetrators of the terror attacks.

1.1 Obstacles to Writing in Prose
Coincidentally on September 17, a close friend of mine, J. Vong, who runs a business website called, also wrote an article in prose, titled “Hope Amid the Carnage”, to mark what must be the rudest awakening ever in both our lifetime. He wrote that his was a “small voice pleading for reasoned thought and action amid the raging fires for revenge and retribution”.

Vong said the September 11 attacks on the financial edifices of the world and the center of the U.S. military power “mark yet again the frequent and unwanted blips in the long-march of peaceful civilization. ... However, reconciliation will ultimately have to succeed conflict … history teaches us that. Rebirth and regrowth must follow destruction … markets will boom after doom.”

He stated that it served no useful purpose from the perspective of human history for revenge and retribution. “Ultimately, building an international resolve to establish a system that can open more minds and hearts will undoubtedly, bring civilization to its next stage of evolution. Tearing down the walls of religious and racial bigotry is what makes for global leadership and this is the greatest chance for a global initiative by the United States.”

Can you imagine if some 5,000 people wanted to write in prose relating their 911 experience or reactions, how many could have achieved it? Just how much, and in how many different ways, can ordinary folks express their grief, anger and despair about the tragic event in prose? Very few indeed, I would submit, because it is only a small group who can write well in prose about such a subject generating very deep, personal feelings and raising global questions like war, terrorism and justice. For the record, Vong has been a regular columnist for a local newspaper for more than 15 years, hence he could produce such a lengthy piece, but I am also sure it would have taken him a lot of time, while comparatively, those poets who contributed to would have taken much shorter time. Usually, a poem would just focus on one theme or central idea, unlike an essay which would follow the format of Introduction, Body and Conclusion each consisting of at least one, if not several, lengthy paragraph.

Even if there was a will and capacity to entertain prose writings in a specialized outlet, could one imagine the space, time and human resources required to operate such a website, for “essays” would easily multiply ten- to twenty-fold the length of a poem, which runs merely 10 to 30 lines! So on occasions such as 911 when “instantaneous” action is required, what’s the solution? Yes, turning to poetry, that’s where a quick and ready platform to meet such an “emergency need” exists. Indeed, poetry’s a different world – this medium provides an easy channel for us to express our deep-felt emotions. Those who composed poems on 911, and readers worldwide who shared these works, would have reaped the benefit of “catharsis” so essential in the healing of wounds on the emotional and mental front.
Today, carries about 44,000 poems dedicated to 911, providing relief, consolation to people worldwide. Just a random listing of the titles –
Morning After Death, Sad Silence, In Memory, Inhumane, Sadness, World Trade Center, Where is God?, A Poem for America, Until the End of Time, Echo, 11th of September, and Nation of Survivors –
demonstrates the range of subjects they touched on, indicating the breadth and depth of the raw emotions that singular event evoked in different people. The contributors obviously benefited from releasing their innermost feelings, also fostering a common bond through sharing their poems, and bringing the world community closer together. Hopefully, this common bonding serves to unite the human race for a better tomorrow … and Poetry would have played a small, but meaningful, part in the process.

Therefore, it is seen that poetry on the heels of 911 had served, and continues to serve, as an outstanding medium of communication at a time of great tragedy and unfathomable distress, not just for Americans, but for all the world citizens. The world indeed becomes truly one and borderless under certain circumstances that hold momentous consequences for peoples of all nations as they mourn and commemorate the loss of some 2,800 lives.

1.2 Poetry Opens Window into Poet’s Heart

Poetry thus enables the writer or poet to communicate not just facts or knowledge to inform or persuade his/her audience, as would have been the objective of using prose to communicate. Poetic writing also shares the poet’s experience --writing from the heart -- so that the reader/receiver is touched emotionally, intellectually and perhaps, “affected” by the poem in a longer term than mere prose communication would have done. My personal experience is that speakers and writers in prose sometimes do not mean what they write/say. Simply defined, prose refers to writing that is not in verse. Prose writers through their “fuzzy” writing in some cases contradict themselves outright when a “discerning” listener/ reader is able to sieve through their verbosity and clutter! This especially applies to writings and speeches by politicians and public relations personnel, who can mask their ill intentions through linguistic gymnastics or bombasticity and that wonderful asset often the ownership of politicians worldwide, “double-speak”, and one cannot blame the readers if they feel a sense of letdown, or even betrayal, at the hypocrisy or insincerity of the writers or speakers. This point will be elaborated on later (see pages 92-96).

On the other hand, poetry normally would “expose” the writer’s innerself, and he is in a way “opening the window into his heart”. There is little room to hide one’s hypocrisy, and any lack of sincerity in poetic writing would easily be discernible through a proper reading, and the hypocrisy would be blatantly laid bare for all and sundry to see!

The works of past and present poets will be used to further demonstrate the power of the medium, and that only the medium of poetry – definitely, not prose writing -- can be effectively used in certain scenarios. Think of the worldwide outpouring of anguish, rage and bewilderment following the 911 incident cited earlier; no writing in prose can rise up to the task rendered by poetry in the breadth and depth in coverage.

And of course, in our daily lives, love constantly plays a part, big or small, so that the human race always has a compelling force to drive its existence. Borrowing from a popular saying, “Love makes the world go round”, we can safely say at any time of day, someone, somewhere, from this world’s population of some six billion, is thinking about love and how to express it to the recipient. Many would be contemplating writing a love letter in prose, but others would wish to put it in verse, for it carries the message better. Indeed, even in a love letter written in prose, it is highly likely the sender would have included a short poem expressing his/her love. The poem could be the writer’s own work, or “stolen” from some great poet’s creation. Indeed, this indefinable thing called “love” has inspired some great poems and still continues to motivate individuals in all walks of life to pen their heart felt emotions to their beloved in verse. And for tongue-tied young lovers who wish to pen his first love note to win a fair maiden’s (or a gallant lad’s?) heart, what is more effective than using a poem, even borrowing one from the works of poets like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose immortal lines starting How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways ... are often quoted. The poem will be discussed later. (See page 39) Indeed, in the month of June 2003, the Light & Easy radio programme was regularly playing an advertisement jingle promoting a food fest at a Kuala Lumpur hotel, leading off with: “How do I love my oysters? Let me count the ways ...” If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Browning would be on cloud nine, smiling down approvingly down on twenty-first century connoisseurs enjoying food going down very well with wine, poetry or song (minus the women in this instance since oysters are reportedly more tantalising for some men!).

Different types of poems – happy and sad, serious and fun, instructive, those with a moral or without, or mere straight versifying just for pleasure – would be explored to show the range of uses that poetry can be put to good use in human communication. I would also be personal in many instances, falling back on my own works, to share with readers the benefit of my own life’s experience, for what is good writing (or bad!) if it is not circulated and discussed? Hence, this thesis is definitely a journey of self-discovery, and the writer seeks understanding from the audience, and he promises to be a willing and ready listener to all critiques.

In recent years, the Government, and many of the older generation, have lamented the quick deterioration in the standard of English, both spoken and written, and this has resulted in Malaysia’s erosion in marketability and position in international commerce, academia and diplomacy. It is hoped that this thesis could in a small way point to the beauty in learning poetry, and the need to foster a love for poetry from a young age.

1.3 Research and Design

The identification of the works of various poets, both past and present, has been an ongoing process, and there will be many references to published works, both well known and less read ones. Since the writer has always been a lover of poetry and also been involved in composing poems, although more attentively and focused over the past few years, the project also serves as an extension of a “hobby of passion” the author started on many years ago. I do not plan to use any “quantitative” methods (conducting questionnaires or surveys) as the project I am undertaking is a “personal journey” using mainly a literary, and narrative as well as descriptive approach. I must admit, therefore, the approach is very arbitrary and tailored to the “functional” objectives of my thesis in demonstrating that “Poetry is indeed a special medium of communication”.

I have used as a format in classifying poems under Love, War, Humour and Satire, Narrative, Life, Death and God, and Miscellany, which, of course, is again arbitrary, but serves as a convenient way to pursue a subject which can be approached in many computable ways. Some poems are long, and hence only certain portions are quoted, which in the writer’s opinion, demonstrate the key issue under discussion.


Chapter 2 Literature Review

Nicholas Roe, who edited “William Wordsworth -- Selected Poetry1”, wrote that as a young man, Wordsworth (1770-1850) was “fired with enthusiasm” for the French Revolution. After graduating from Cambridge in 1791 he spent a year in France, but the latter course of the Revolution left him disillussioned with radical politics, and he devoted his time to literature.

Roe said that Wordsworth’s poems “affirm the strength of the human heart against the destructive effects of industrialization and the social dislocation forced by economic

“As Wordsworth knew, poems could not of themselves reconstruct a more equable commonwealth in Britain. But in the resilience of kindly relationships between human beings – the ‘strength of love’ expressed in ‘Michael’ – Wordsworth (like his friend Coleridge) recognized a possible basis for social melioration.

“It was Wordsworth’s friendship with Michel Beaupuy – a soldier in the patriot army, a man of action – that encouraged his allegiance to the republican cause. Yet it was the
sight of ordinary men and women transformed by zeal for humankind that convinced him the Revolution was a movement for universal good:

Even files of strangers merely, seen but once,
And for a moment, men from far with sound
Of music, martial tunes, and banners spread,
Entering the city, here and there a face,
Or person singled out among the rest,
Yet still a stranger and beloved as such;
Even by these passing spectacles my heart
Was oftentimes uplifted ...

“When the French Terror began in 1793, Wordsworth sought to disentangle his hopes for the Revolution from the violent course of events. The crucial figure at this period for Wordsworth (and others of his generation) was William Godwin, whose ‘Political Justice’ argued for the perfectibility of human beings through the exercise of reason...

“Yet ‘Political Justice’ was flawed, a partial account of human behaviour in that it denied the validity of emotional and instinctual life....” Roe wrote. (Roe, p. ix-xiii)

Many of the works of William Wordsworth, born in 1770 at Cockermouth, in the Lake District, centred on the beauty of nature, as reflected in his Daffodils -- “I wandered lonely as a cloud/ That floats on high vales and hills…” . And his huge body of works, including Lyrical Ballads, Descriptive Sketches, and The Prelude, earned him the poet laureate title seven years before his death in 1850.

2.1 Poetry is Pulse of Human Endeavours

American book editor Thadine Franciszkiewicz published a review entitled “Poetry: A Valuable Form of Communication” which was highlighted in the literary website,, on Sept 4, 2001 (Part 1) and Sept 17, 2001 (Part 2).

The writer said that poetry is a valuable form of communication because the medium enables humans to express their emotions and society continues to place cultural value upon it; furthermore, poetry has the quality of inviting moral and social inquiry.

“People engage in the pursuit of meaning and self-understanding, in relation to others and in relation to society. It is an ongoing challenge for people to effectively share experiences and gain knowledge as they utilize various forms of communication. Poetry is one vital communication form. It intertwines the emotional, intellectual and spiritual expressions people yearn to offer each other.

The reviewer also noted that as society technologically and educationally progressed, society’s cultural value of poetry paralleled these advancements. The oral expression of poetry gradually transcribed into the written verse. In the late Middle Ages, universities offered studies of verse.

“Poetry’s impact upon society is evidenced by ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Geoffrey Chaucer presented his poetic tale the various voices and roles during his time.”

The writer also cited the fiery impact poets had wielded on the community, quoting the voice of Anne Bradstreet, who challenged in her verses the strictly and plainly defined roles of men and women, quoting from her poem The Prologue.
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fit;
A Poet’s pen all scorn.
I should this wrong.
For such despite they cast on female wits;
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance,
They’ll say it’s stolen, or else it was by chance.

“One of Bradstreet’s contemporaries, John Milton paralleled her expression of needed changes within society as read in his poetry. Although from a different perspective, his poem ‘Paradise Lost’ had ramifying impact upon society, which is still evident today ...

“His (Milton’s) verse challenged readers to question their own actions, to ponder over the enforcement of established mores, and to wonder just who designed the fate of one’s life.

Franciszkiewicz noted that as society’s communication technology developed, such as printing presses, access to written poetry expanded. Thus, distribution of the written verse reached others beyond the community of the poet. “This gave opportunity for poetry to be exposed to a broader scope of people, widening the perimeters of emotional, intellectual and spiritual expressions.

“Poetry is the pulse of struggles, triumphs and defeats, which span the myriad of emotions common to all human beings. Poetry grasps at the very throat of the pursuit to meaning of life within the vapours of fog, smoke and verse.”

On what constituted poetry, Emily Dickinson was quoted by Franciszkiewicz, viz: “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that it is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. This observation remains a guideline for future poems created and shared.

Franciszkiewicz further wrote: “Somewhere there exists a poem, which connects the reader’s heart to poet’s heart, reader’s soul to poet’s soul. Perhaps, a reader maintains the top of her head. Yet, she is so moved by the lines that even her own confusion fades. Poetry strives for emotional, intellectual and spiritual connections to the reader. These connections are reasons which give poetry value as a form of communication. (The stress is mine.)

So the defining features that distinguish poetry from prose are the emotional, spiritual bonds between poet and reader besides the intellectual, the latter being the common property of poetry and prose. I would equate the features to a poem being equipped with qualities that touch the heart (emotion), the soul (spirit) and the mind (intellect).

Franciszkiewicz also noted that currently, the advanced mode of communication technology of the Internet is able to carry the genre of poetry through time, historically and futuristically. He added: “The rate of the Internet’s communication development is vast and fast. In the serious literary chat rooms, poems are read and shared by poets worldwide in milliseconds. Varied discussions evolve where moral and social inquiry fathoms. Thus, poetry jettisons into the new millennium with global cultural value placed upon it, with continued impact upon worldwide society, with vast expressed human emotions and with a high quality invitation to universal moral and social inquiry.”

Thus, it is seen that poets through the centuries have had played a key role in societal development, as a recorder of important community events and changes, maybe even in a secondary role as an “agent of change” in as far as intellectual leadership and discourse would be able to promote and achieve, as demonstrated by Bradstreet and Milton. This power of reach across national boundaries continues to be available to the modern age poets who are fortunate to be endowed with technology tools such as the Internet which give the poet almost instantaneous access to a potentially worldwide audience. But their influence would be relatively limited compared with that wielded by politicians and government leaders, whether in democratic or authoritarian nations.
In “The Desiderata of Happiness”3, editor Robert L. Bell wrote that Max Ehrmann. is “surely one of the greatest spokesmen of the twentieth century”.

“Deeply concerned with social problems, he was a friend of Eugene Debs, the pioneer union founder in America, whose championing of the underdog struck a responsive chord in Ehrmann who deplored the exploitation of labour in his early twentieth century life. His poem America -- 1910 reflects this period, and Complacent Women, writtten in 1918, is as relevant today as it was then.” (Is there within your soul no pride of life/ No whispered music, and no star of hope/ That you have no desire for human rights?…) (See Appendix 2)

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and graduated from De Pauw University, and going on to postgraduate studies in law and philosophy at Harvard University, Ehrmann first practised law, and then joined the family business.

“At the age of 41, he (Ehrmann) left the company (the family meat-packing business) in order to devote his life to writing. Contemporaries told of him lying in the grass contemplating the sky – an early ‘flower child’,” wrote Bell.

And the central attraction in Ehrmann’s poetry is that he used very simple words, and yet the message makes a strong connection with the reader, touching the heart, the soul, and exercises the mind, as exemplified by the following:

Love Some One
Love some one – in God’s name
love some one – for this is
the bread of the inner life, without
which a part of you will
starve and die; and though you
feel you must be stern,
even hard, in your life of affairs,
make for yourself at least
a little corner, somewhere in the
great world, where you may
unbosom and be kind.

Indeed, Ehrmann was the driving force for my growing love for poetry since teenage years. He was able to draw me into his soul in such an immediate and deep manner, that the impact was ever-lasting, especially on an idealistic young mind. His works examined the human condition and contemporary issues some of which are still relevant today. Ehrmann demonstrated the power of communication via poetry so well that on mere first reading of Desiderata in a Reader’s Digest article, I was besotted and moved to seek further reading of his works.

Hence, it is seen that poets like Bradstreet, Milton, Wordsworth, and Ehrmann were not removed from the political events of the day; they were affected deeply and some were actively engaged in contemporary politics via their writings, which must have wielded influence at the times of their lives. The role of a poet as a “conscience of society” can still be played by those engaged in active civil and social life accompanied by their writing, as one stirring poem read by an individual can itself become a powerful medium of influence, even an instrument for change (or the word of greater currency, reformation) starting with that individual self. Leading British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) wrote: “I needed to be made to feel that there was real, permanent happiness in tranquil contemplation. Wordsworth taught me this, not only without turning away from, but with a greatly increased interest in, the common feelings and common destiny of human beings.”

2.2 What is Poetry?

So at this juncture, the question is asked: what is poetry?
“Poetry is as universal as language and almost as ancient. The most primitive peoples have used it, and the most civilized have cultivated it... ,” Thomas R. Arp (1997) wrote in Perrine’s “Sound and Sense”.4

“Why? First, because it has given pleasure. People have read it, listened to it, or recited it because they liked it – because it gave them enjoyment. But this is not the whole answer. Poetry in all ages has been regarded as important, not simply as one of several alternative forms of amusement, as one person might choose bowling, another chess, and another poetry... Rather, it has been regarded as something central to existence, something having unique value to the fully realized life, something that we are better off for having and without which we are spiritually impoverished...

“Initially, poetry might be defined as a kind of language that says more and says it more intensely than does ordinary language... Perhaps the commonest use of language is to communicate information... But it is not primarily to communicate that novels, short stories, plays, and poems are written. These exist to bring us a sense and a perception of life, to widen and sharpen our contacts with existence. Their concern is with experience. We all have an inner need to live more deeply and fully and with greater awareness, to know the experience of others, and to understand our own experience better. (Emphasis by Arp p.3-4)

This substantial extract from “Sound and Sense” would lay the foundation for our understanding of what “poetry is about”, which underlines largely the “definition” of poetry for this thesis. The thesis does not propose to delve into the “anatomical analysis” or “ingredients” that make up a particular piece of writing to qualify as a poem. It adopts a general approach in accepting as poetry that which had been “aptly” described by Dickinson, in that when we read a particular piece of writing , we “know it is poetry” because of the effects it has on us. Something is poetic when the verses lift us to a higher plane of human experience, giving us joy and giving us a richer insight into the human condition that strikes a chord in the reader.

Of course, the reader of any poem must have acquired a certain level of competency in the language of the poem; otherwise, he may not be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the poem. For the more serious student of poetry, it is essential that his language proficiency has to be at an advanced level, especially if the language used is also subjected to various interpretations and calls on the reader to be informed of the poet’s background and period of his works to fully enjoy the poems. However, for poetry to serve the function as a communication medium, it suffices that generally, poems delight us with their sound (song) as well as enriching us with the sense in the words used, for every word used has been deliberately selected for its special meaning and property.

Here it is relevant to reproduce Alexander Pope’s observation as quoted in “Sound and Sense”, from the writer’s “An Essay on Criticism”:

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
‘Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.

Arp stated that poets, from their own store of felt, observed, or imagined experiences, would select, combine, and reorganise to create significant new experiences for the readers. By their participation, readers may gain a greater awareness and understanding of their world. “Literature, in other words, can be used as a gear for stepping up the intensity and increasing the range of our experience and as a glass for clarifying it. This is the literary use of language, for literature is not only an aid to living but a means of living.” (Arp p.4)

In an appendixed footnote quoted from Encyclopedia Americana IX (1955) 473-74, it was stated: “A third use of language is as an instrument of persuasion. This is the use we find in advertisements, propaganda bulletins, sermons, and political speeches. These three uses of language – the practical, the literary, and the hortatory – are not sharply divided.... But language becomes literature when the desire to communicate experience predominates.”

Arp continued: “Literature, then, exists to communicate significant experience – significant because concentrated and organised. Its function is not to tell us about experience but to allow us imaginatively to participate in it. It is a means of allowing us, through the imagination, to live more fully, more deeply, more richly, and with greater awareness. It can do this in two ways: by broadening our experience – that is, by making us acquainted with a range of experience with which, in the ordinary course of events, we might have not contact – or by deepening our experience – that is, by making us feel more poignantly and more understandingly the everyday experiences all of us have. It enlarges our perspectives and breaks down some of the limits we may feel.” (Emphasis by Arp p.5)

Hence, Arp has stressed the need of readers to take part in “experiencing” the poetry shared by the poet, or there is no “connection”. Only when there is participation, there is “connection” established between poet and reader which would result in an enjoyment by the reader or listener of recited poetry. To me, this is equivalent to “reaching to the heart, soul and mind” of the reader by the poet via his/her verses based on the latter’s experience which is shared through the written word; this represents the “bonding in communication” which does not normally happen in a piece of prose writing.

2.3 Pleasure from Poetry Game

Robert Scholes, Nancy R. Comley, Carl H. Klaus and Michael Silverman, who edited
“Elements of Literature: Essay, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Film”5, wrote:
“If you ask a poet, ‘What good is it! I mean, what earthly good is it?’ you may get an answer like Marianne Moore’s ‘I, too, dislike it,’ or W. H. Auden’s ‘Poetry makes nothing happen.’ The modern poet is not likely to make grandiose claims for his craft. And we shall try not to betray that honest and tough-minded attitude.”

They described Poetry as essentially a “game, with artificial rules, and that it takes two – a writer and a reader – to play it. If a reader is reluctant, the game will not work.”

“Physical games have their practical aspects. They help make sound bodies to go with the sound minds so much admired by philosophers of education. A language game like
poetry also has uses, but they are by-products rather than its proper ends. Poetry exercises a valuable though perhaps ‘unsound’ side of the mind: imagination.

The writers stressed that a game can require great exertion, but it must “reward that exertion with pleasure or there is no playing it.” (Emphasis by Scholes, Comley, Klau & Silverman p.525)

So readers of poetry, or listeners of poems read aloud by someone else, will derive pleasure, of varying degrees, from the activity, carried out alone or shared with others. Indeed, as children, we have learnt to sing nursery rhymes: like Jack and Jill went up the hill/ To fetch a pail of water/ Jack fell down and broke his crown/ And Jill came tumbling down after; and in our teenage years, easily learnt to hum along, if not sing, when a Beatles number, Let It Be (And when the broken hearted people/ Living in the world agree/ There will be an answer, let it be...), or John Lennon’s Imagine (Imagine there’s no heaven it’s easy if you try/ No hell below us, above us only sky...) came on air; or with Peter, Paul and Mary mesmerising us with their ballad, Blowin’ in the Wind, so relevant even today, with perhaps adapted lyrics like “bombs and missiles” (referring to the US-led war on Iraq early this year and replacing “cannon balls” in the lyrics ...(Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly/ Before they’re forever banned?/ The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind/ The answer is blowin’ in the wind...). It is going back to the ‘60s, when for most of us, the luxury was the radio broadcast, and colour, or even black and white, television was still the privilege of the well-to-do. I and others of my generation, and I am sure many others that follow through the decades, derived, and continue to do so, tremendous pleasure, also improving one’s English too, from the activity of just passively listening to, or joining in singing, the songs. The younger generation get luckier in that on top of the sound, they get visuals too, as colour television became a common household item, then followed by video compact disc (VCD), and now digital video compact disc (DVD), giving even more intense (and greater too?) pleasure from playing the sound and visual game!

On the “Qualities of Poetry”, the editors continued: “Part of the pleasure of poetry lies in its relation to music. It awakens in us a fundamental response to rhythmic repetitions of various kinds... But poetry is not just a kind of music. It is a special combination of musical and linguistic qualities – of sounds regarded as pure sound and as meaningful speech. In particular, poetry is expressive language ...

“Poetry, then, is a kind of musical word game that we value because of its expressive qualities. Not all poems are equally musical, or equally playful, or equally expressive ... But we may consider these three qualities as the basic constituents of poetry so that we may examine some of the various ways in which poets combine and modify them in making different kinds of poems ...” (Scholes, Comley, Klaus & Silverman p.526)

Hence, the medium of poems has to rely a lot on rhythm and sound, often but not necessarily, through rhyme, as modern verse has developed along non-rhyming patterns. Poems, when augmented by music, can command large audiences, especially with the young. Children and youth, with less inhibitions and lots of idealistic energies, often sing and dance to express their feelings, especially of freedom and adventure. Indeed, in the ‘60s and ‘70s with the “flower children”, thousands and thousands would flock to rock concerts throughout the US and Britain, and several European countries, as these concerts became a rallying point for anti-war protesters rebelling against the US government’s decades-long involvement in the Vietnam war. Some of the most reflective and thought provoking compositions came from that era, including from luminaries like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Carole King and James Taylor. However, it is not always that any song, especially pop, would qualify as poem, but the test of time and universal acceptance that a particular song’s lyrics are also poetic would suffice here. A good case is Stephen Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer, which is discussed later. (See page 42)

2.4 Poetry is Versatile and Vibrant

The human race can easily appreciate beauty in those aspects of life which bring joy and happiness – birth of a baby, attainment of success, celebration of a person’s landmark passage such as birthday, wedding and any other anniversary marking a celebration. But the question arises – how then does a reader derive pleasure from poems that inherently deal with tragedy, grief and despair, touching on war, death and destruction? Surely all these are occasions for sorrow and grief, not reasons to celebrate and rejoice!

Arp in “Sound and Sense” further wrote: “Poetry takes all life as its province. Its primary concern is not with beauty, not with philosophical truth, not with persuasion, but with experience. Beauty and philosophical truth are aspects of experience, and the poet is often engaged with them. But poetry as a whole is concerned with all kinds of experience – beautiful or ugly, strange or common, noble or ignoble, actual or imaginary. One of the paradoxes of human experience is that all experience – even painful experience – can be enjoyable when transmitted through the medium of art. In real life, death and pain and suffering are not pleasurable, but in poetry they may be.”

Arp added: “Poetry, finally, is a kind of multidimensional language. Ordinary language -- the kind that we use to communicate information – is one-dimensional. It is directed at only part of the listener, the understanding. Its one dimension is intellectual. Poetry, which is language to communicate experience, has at least four dimensions. If it is to communicate experience, it must be directed at the whole person, not just at your understanding. It must involve not only your intelligence but also your senses, emotions, and imagination. To the intellectual dimension, poetry adds a sensuous dimension, an emotional dimension, and an imaginative dimension. (Arp p.8-10)

Generally then, it is noted that it is difficult to define “poetry” adequately and comprehensively, as “there are so many kinds of poetry that almost any statement about one kind is untrue of another kind”, according to Elizabeth White, Joan Wofford, and Edward J.Gordon in “Understanding Literature” 6.

“Perhaps the one thing that good poetry cannot be is inaccurate A good poet must say exactly what he means; he must use words precisely – being aware not only of their dictionary meanings, but also of their associations and overtones. (Emphasis by White, Wofford & Gordon p.529)

“A poet wants to use words that suggest emotions, attitudes, values. Everyone uses such words, but rarely with the accuracy or originality of the poet.”

Cited as an example was the unusual line from a poem by a modern American writer, E. E. Cummings: “a salesman is an it that stinks to please.” Prose that stated the same ideas would have to be something like this (p.530): “I dislike salesmen. They seem like objects rather than human beings. There is something about the nature of their occupation – the necessity for pleasing others regardless of their true feelings – that seems corrupt and is unpleasant.”

This is a good demonstration of the “economy” of words in composing a poem; yet, the essence of the human situation is so well captured by the poet that even today, as we read about the salesman, whether in old times or in the 21st century, most would nod their heads in swift recognition of the subject! Some “characters” in real life are unmistakeably unchanging through the passage of time! Cummings’ observation of a salesman’s trait shows the power of a few, well chosen words at the hand of a wordsmith who has a “deep insight” into the human character. It shows the lasting impression created when the medium of poetry is used by one blessed with a well-honed craft!

The authors further stated that poetry often uses words with double meanings or words that suggest emotions, attitudes, and ideas beyond their actual definitions. “Because of this, more words than those used in a particular poem are usually necessary to express its meaning in prose. Maybe this is why many people find poetry difficult: it generally says so much more in a few words than is customary in other writing or in conversation.”

They also observed that “poets are more concerned with the sound of words than are other writers. Poets have no set rules about sound to follow, but a good poet tries to make the sound of a poem suit the sense of the poem. This is where rhythm and rhyme come in – and a great many other devices concerned with sound. The following line by (Lord Alfred) Tennyson is an example of words chosen for their sounds: “ ... while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly.” Notice the many l’s and w’s, the rhyme of blow and low, the similarity of lull and lowly. The effect is musical, which suits the meaning of the line.”

Often, metaphors, including simile and personification (see Glossary), are used by poets. Indeed, Robert Frost, once stated: “There are many other things I have found myself saying about poetry, but the chiefest of these is that it is metaphor, saying one thing and meaning another, saying one thing in terms of another.”

Why does a poet use metaphor? “The answer is simply that in using a good metaphor the poet does say what he means, and says it more quickly, more accurately, and more strikingly than if he tried to avoid metaphor.” (White, Wofford & Gordon p.556) As an illustration, The Wayfarer by Stephen Crane was quoted:
The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”

The seeker of truth is compared with a traveller (wayfarer), and the weeds likened to knives that can hurt, just as truth. Hence, it is seen that poetry is a very special medium of communication in that it aspires to convey more than just information, it raises the intensity of the experience by applying linguistic usage, including figure of speech, that goes beyond the ordinary meaning. Poetry goes beyond playing the main function of conveying information that is delivered by prose, although it is acknowledged that the latter still is dominant in our everyday communication, However, often prose is still not sufficient and adequate when circumstances call for sharing the human experience involving one’s senses, emotions and imagination, not just intellectual understanding.

Quite often then, when delivering speeches in prose, experienced orators will incorporate a poem or two to highlight the core issues. or summarise their main points, as exemplified by none other than Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the UMNO 54th General Assembly in June, 2003, which will be discussed later. (See pages 87-90) When properly used, a poem can enhance the reception, and retention, of the communicator’s ideas in a speech which can be very lengthy (in the stated case of Dr. Mahathir, running into well over two hours!) and lengthy prose tends to escape the audience’s attention or memory retention, while punchy verses arrest one’s attention and often, stay in the listener’s memory for a while or longer.

2.5 Fuzziness in Prose Writing

While speakers like Dr. Mahathir can arrest people’s attention with long speeches, there are, however, some prose writers who are often guilty of “fuzzy” writing, whether deliberate or unintentional. And it is not just among Malaysians. William Zinsser, in an essay titled “Simplicity” in “The Short Prose Reader” 6, compiled by Gilbert H. Muller and Harvey S. Wiener, (p.22-26) stated that “Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular construction, pompous frill and meaningless jargon.”

Zinsser asked: “Who knows what the average businessman is trying to say in the average business letter? What member of an insurance or medical plan can decipher the brochure that tells him what his costs and benefits are? What father or mother can put together a child’s toy – on Christmas Eve or any other eve – from the instructions on the box?”

He added that the national tendency was “to inflate and thereby sound important”.

All these views sound familiar, 12 years ago in America or now – just as true in Malaysia twelve years ago and at present. Things don’t vary much from country to country through the decades – people indulge in “fuzzy” prose to obscure and mislead, unwittingly or with ill intent, to deceive, or profiteer, or put the reader at a disadvantage.

Indeed, all of us adults at one time or another would have dealt with documents drafted by lawyers or insurance specialists, and half the time, the “real substance” would have been buried in mountainous jargon and verbosity!

In his message to writers to “simplify, simplify”, Zinsser noted of (Henry David) Thoreau, famed for his philosophical On Walden Pond.

“Open Walden to any page and you will find a man saying in a plain and orderly way what is on his mind:
‘I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert.’

I would go as far to describe this extract from Walden as poetry prose (see Glossary); of course, there are other gifted prose writers whose works also tend towards poetic excellence, but few among ordinary folks could ever hope to come anywhere near! I’m also not saying that ordinary people can easily write poetry; no, no, no! What is submitted here is that poetry can be used as a medium to enhance communication, and there is enjoyment, deeper understanding and upliftment of the human spirit when this medium is properly used by the transmitter.

Finally, the following poem on the same subject of “solitude” is compared with Walden’s poetry prose, and the similar thoughts are discerned but written in two different mediums, yet achieving the “exalted” status of elegant salute to a state of mind.


Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Should anyone try to paraphrase (see Glossary) Wilcox’s work, the resulting prose would be definitely found wanting. There’s just that much another person could do to send across the message of “solitude” in an essay form.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

J' ACCUSE REVISITED by mGf donpraypuks...:)

Oops, it's donplaypuks -- I'm suppering jackleg:(:(
by donplaypuks®


The 112th anniversary of the publication of the most famous denouncement in the history of the world of a racist conspiracy quietly passed us by on 13th January. The French writer Emile Zola took on the might of the entire Government of France when he sounded that clarion call for justice in the L' Aurore newspaper in Paris on 13th January 1898.

'J’accuse’ or ‘I Accuse’ represents the triumph of human intellect, endeavour, strength and resolve over hopeless odds when faced with institutionalised government misbehaviour, thuggery and gangsterism.

I had recourse to ‘J’Accuse’ in an earlier blog in 2008 click here

There are other epochal markers for human intellectual development like the 1776 ‘American Declaration of Independence’ with its doctrine of self- evident truths, that all men are created equal by their Creator with inalienable human rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and......especially that:

“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the GOVERNED”.

Were you not inspired by Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’?:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

.... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that a government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Or by Churchill’s war speeches as he stood alone against the onslaught of Hitler, The Third Reich, Gestapo, ‘blue eyed and blonde’ Aryan superiority racist Nazism hypothesis, Holocaust, Mussolini and Hirohito, fascism and an Axis of Evil:

“I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears......

....our policy is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us.....against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime..... You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.....

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even...armed and guarded....we would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

Stirring words and actions such as these represent the uncanny arrival of the right men and women at the right time to lead, guide and inspire the world to safety. They feature prominently among the pinnacles of the advancement of human mind and ethics.


When I first watched the black and white movie versions of 'The Life of Emile Zola' and 'The Dreyfus Affair' on Malaysian TV, I must have been 17 or so. The anti-Semitic aspect of the Dreyfus saga did not register much with me then though that was the central reason for the victimization of Dreyfus, seen as a pushover by dark and dangerous elements in the admiralty of the French Navy. Most of my classmates and schoolmates, including me, were politically ignorant and naive even at a time when the Vietnam War was raging so close to home and the 1969 race riots, pretty much restricted to Malays and Chinese in Selangor, Ipoh and Penang following the general elections, changed our world! Back then, Kuala Lumpur was part of Selangor; it became the first Federal Territory on 1st February 1974.

But if today, anyone here were to say he is ignorant of the Israeli-Palestine conflict or the USA-Iran/Afghan War when Malaysians have justifiably sponsored and boarded flotillas heading for Gaza, and unjustifiably spawned local bomb makers and regional terrorists, that would be the height of ignorance or hypocrisy!

So, as in 1957 and 1969, Malaysia is once again at a crossroads. Now, we are faced with a right wing organization, an NGO which claims to represent an “oppressed MAJORITY”! Now, isn’t that a little odd, if not an awful lot, given they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the New Economic Policy (NEP)? More than that, the last 40 years has seen the almost complete domination at every level of Government, the Civil Service, Army, Navy and Air Force, Police, Judiciary, the administrative and teaching corps at Government owned schools, colleges and universities and Government Linked Companies (GLC's) such as Petronas, Sime Darby, MAS, Maybank and sports organizations, scouts movement and many others, by one group of Malaysians over any other.

Yet, they would have us believe, this has created an unprecedented level of insecurity among the majority that seemingly defies analysis. The NEP was formulated in 1970 to address the charge that indigenous Bumiputra majority in Malaysia only owned some 2% of the economy and to rectify the imbalance therein through affirmative action policies. It was meant to be terminated 20 years later, but never was by ex-Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir Mohamad (1981-2003) who summarily claimed its objectives had not been fully realised yet, though he never disclosed any independent statistics to support his fiat.

Some fifteen years later, a leading and highly respected PhD holding analyst and researcher with government resigned his post when his statement that Bumiputras had achieved 45% control of the economy was hotly disputed by then Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Najib Razak (now Prime Minister). It appears that equity valuations are still stated at original cost and not market values!

After 40 years of NEP, our government claims that the originally loosely stated Bumiputra target of 30% share of economy languishes at just under 20% and that of the 40% of the population classified as ‘poor’ by international yardsticks, Bumiputras constitute the majority!!

Whose fault is all that? Who is responsible for the gross abuse of the NEP to the extent that it only benefited a relatively few cronies, politicians, insiders, the elite and well-connected businessmen and corporate raiders to the tune of billions of dollars, while the masses ate cake? Who's exclusively been holding the reins of power since 1957? Who takes ownership for the endemic corruption and billion dollar financial scandals, the economic looting and plunder that continue to rock and quake the country?

This has led to vociferous demands amid much public hand wringing, breast beating and self-flagellation, prominently backed by Dr.Mahathir that Bumiputras who perhaps constitute some 60% of the populace, should by some law of inverted logic control and share in 67% of the national cake! The NGO leader and his acolytes aver they have a right to speak up and demand actions based on their view of right and wrong, on any and all issues involving or affecting Bumiputra rights; that they have “wide and enormous” support from the “indigenous heartland’ (wherever that may be).

Many suspect Dr.Mahathir is the real brain-child and power behind this NGO whose public leader gained a parliamentary seat standing as a candidate under the banner of Malaysia’s opposition religious party, PAS, then defected and now operates as an independent MP. Apparently his friendly overtures to the ruling party were roundly and pointedly, ignored!

Accusations have also been hurled against the ruling party that it has outsourced its extremist right wing elements and leanings to Dr.Mahathir and this new kid on the block NGO, thus killing two birds with one stone - appearing to be a moderate multi-racial consensus party AND portraying itself as the only party capable of dealing with overt chauvinism and extremism.

The stance and line of attack taken by Dr.Mahathir and this NGO is very, very clear:

1. The Ruling Party is no longer capable of protecting Bumiputra rights.

2. NEP should continue indefinitely until they and only they say, “enough”.

3. Their demands are backed by ‘Special Position’ clauses enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

4. The award of citizenships to immigrant populations in 1957 was a deliberate act of sabotage by the departing colonial British administration. That this somehow created what is in reality a 2nd class citizenship and a “Social Contract” whereby these immigrant citizens, their children and the children of their children ad infinitum will not question their government, ever, even if the Flames of Valhalla were to engulf them.

5. "Others" should not question anything pertaining to the NEP, its cost or who bears it in what proportion even if there is blatant abuse of it. (This implies the NEP exists only to rectify the economic imbalance among one group of Malaysians and not all, through affirmative action policies which are not defined).

6. Demands by other Malaysian citizens as to their Constitutional rights is not quite cricket, as by virtue of the (iffy) “Social Contract” they are 2nd class citizens!

7. That Opposition political parties such as multi-racial Democratic Action Party (DAP) (unlike the major component parties of the ruling Barisan National (BN) where memberships are by race) are anti-Bumiputra, anti-Islam, anti-Federal Constitution and anti-Monarchy (anti-Sultans). That DAP’s malevolent, treacherous and treasonous "secret" master plan/agenda is for the Chinese to re-colonize Malaysia with help from Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore to eventually turn it into a vassal and protectorate slave state of China. The woodwork is crawling with foreign spies out to wreck our nation!

8. If not, multi-racial opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or People's Justice Party, is anti-Monarchy, pro-Israel and Pro-Zionists. It will turn Malaysia into a Republic and the 51st state of the USA, which, being ruled by proxy by Israel (as revealed so swimmingly by none other than Dr.Mahathir), shall surely result in Malaysia eventually being controlled by the Jews and their Diaspora!


Now we can clearly see in all its glorious nakedness the intentions of Dr.Mahathir, the new NGO, the ruling party and its MSM in the incessant demonization of DAP, PKR and its leaders. Attack is the best form of defence and when in doubt, play the man, not the ball (my tribute to World Cup Football)! Nazi Joseph's Goebbels' "A big lie when repeated often enough eventually will be accepted as the truth” has become fashionable political strategy. Ooh, you are about to be re-colonized and made 2nd class citizens in your own land by the minority and their foreign imperialistic allies! Boo, beware, or else your children will only be fit to be gardeners, chauffeurs, taxi and bus drivers, office and messenger boys, coolies and keranis (clerks)!

That it should fall to a non-entity, the little guy, the nobody, the small time blogger to sound the nation and the world, raise the cudgel and hopefully strike a blow for reason, freedom, truth and justice to prevail is a little worrying. All these people whom I revere and whose names I have sprinkled about as though I can claim a right to be associated with them - Washington, Lincoln, Churchill and Zola, oh Emile Zola, I ask for their forgiveness.

I am once again drawn to the 1776 ‘American Declaration of Independence’:

“..That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness......

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

And so let me begin:

J'Accuse Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of indulging and engaging in demagoguery, of playing to the gallery and playing with fire to drive a wedge and divide Malaysians, pitting race against race, by promoting envy and jealousy.

J'Accuse Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of scaremongering tactics, of and posturing like Enoch Powell who once scurrilously tried to frighten Britain citizens about being swamped by coloured immigrants and of “rivers of blood”! All this to mislead our people into thinking the ruling party is ordained (by divine right) to govern in perpetuity and there are no alternatives regardless of its excesses!

Let us be very clear. The majority of Bumiputras voting for the Opposition does not constitute loss of political power or control for the Bumiputras. It may be fatal for the incumbent ruling party, but that is not equivalent to a fate worse than death for the Bumiputras. No sirree, not by a long, long way! You see, you need the "consent of the GOVERNED". If you don't have it, you should know where the door is! The Governed today are not the uninformed naive lot that might once have been quietly bled to death by increasingly subtle ponzi and cunning Bernie Madhoff and Goldman Sachs mafia-style rabid conscienceless capitalist schemes!

J'Accuse Dr.Mahathir Mohamad of hypocrisy in ranting about a future government that MIGHT open the floodgates of immigration and reduce the Bumiputras to minorities in their own native land. There is also something quite amiss, something not quite right when Dr.Mahathir is himself actually the son of either 1st or 2nd generation immigrants from Kerala in India. Dr.Mahathir was the presiding prime minister when identity cards were issued by civil servants to illegal immigrants in Sabah attempting to re-engineer the population mix there. It was he who opened the doors to foreign labour and maids and then offered amnesty to a million illegal immigrant workers. Today, it is conservatively estimated that there are about a million illegal immigrants each in peninsular Malaysia, and Sarawak and Sabah.

J'Accuse Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of doing this deliberately and not caring a jot as to the consequences of such actions. In a tinder-dry atmosphere of his creation, when embraced by immature minds and opportunist politicians, such irresponsible utterances, writings and actions can prove to be the flash point for conflagration as in 1969! The highly intelligent Dr.Mahathir is not aware of it? Only too well, I suspect!

J'Accuse our successive governments of allowing the separate arms of a democratic state to deteriorate and be compromised as to their honesty and integrity to the greatest detriment of its people. Corruption and economic looting have been permitted to flourish and their perpetrators, to enjoy the fruits of their ill-begotten gains and escape scot-free!

J'Accuse our government of selective prosecution and double standards. Thus, an opposition MP is prosecuted under sedition laws for merely making a factually correct statement that a Sultan can be sued by law. Reporters and opposition politicians are bafflingly arrested and sequestered under the Internal Security Act (ISA) "for their own safety" based on unfounded rumours about an insult to Islam traceable to a blog posting by a ruling party MP and ex- State Chief Minister. Pro-government newspapers blow the conch for unreserved retaliation without verifying an iota of fact! A cartoonist, because his drawings are seen as anti-Government, has his books confiscated and banned under the repressive 1984 Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) promulgated by Dr.Mahathir.

On the other hand, a government MP is let off with a slap on the wrist for referring to some citizens as immigrants, most of whom are 2nd and 3rd generation citizens or older! As too occurred with the prime minister defending his political aide who was forced to apologise and resign amidst public furore and outrage over a racist speech rant that the mothers of Chinese immigrants came to Malaysia as prostitutes to sell their bodies, and Indians as beggars! Really, PM Najib, do you honestly believe the words that came out of your own mouth that your ex-aide had not referred to “local Chinese and Indians”? He was referring to foreign Chinese and Indians who never set foot on our shores? Really? Then, my grandfather was a Caucasian named Ghandhi Mao!

And insulting foreign Chinese and Indians is acceptable behaviour? It is not blatant racism deserving outright condemnation and possibly, prison sentence for the "orator"?


You cling to power, fame, the dismal dregs, trappings and illusion of money, property, wealth and a place in the history books.

I am not judging expecting perfection from you. The Lord alone knows my own weaknesses and pathetic failures.

I demand fair play. I demand justice prevails. That’s all.

And I say all this with great fear. I am no hero. I “know” no one. If they come after me in the wee hours of the morning because that’s what they have learnt from Stalin and Hitler and Idi Amin, Bokassa, Saddam and the Taliban about how to treat their fellow citizens, I shall go quietly and gently in their Black Maria and say nothing. I shall not give the enforcers any statements or the time of the day. I shall not give in to pain!

I have said what I meant to.

My inalienable right to say it is indisputable.

I have the weight of history in my favour and (I hope) God on my side!

we are all of 1 race, the Human Race,
we shall all unite around that indisputable truth!
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Posted by donplaypuks® at 10:08 PM 42 comments

From also titled GOIN' HOME TO CREATIVITY: Prologue

Jason Evans and a guest writer host a new short story contest:)

Monday, July 19, 2010
"Uncovered" Short Fiction Contest (featuring Stephen Parrish)

Welcome to the summer Clarity of Night contest!! I'm ready to COOK! You too?

Excellent! Today we welcome Stephen Parrish and his debut novel THE TAVERNIER STONES to the C.O.N. contest family. Stephen has graciously agreed to co-host and hang with y'all. Our theme and our contest photo are inspired by him. In his novel, lost jewels of incredible value called the Tavernier Stones capture the imagination of the world when one turns up clutched in the hand of a famous corpse (well, he was famous before he was corpse, that is). The discovery sparks an intense race to find clues leading to the other stones. Are you ready for adventure? Are you ready to ROCK?? (Yeah, I hear you groaning.)

Jason: So Steve, do the Tavernier Stones really exist? Can you tell us where they are? Um, exactly?

Steve: In a sense, yes, many of them do exist. They're just not all in one place, as my novel would have it. Jean-Baptiste Tavernier sketched the 280 carat Great Mogul Diamond in 1665, and it hasn't been seen since. As early as 1642 he reported the weight of the Great Table Diamond to be 242 carats. He even made a model which he sent to a prospective customer in Surat. It, too, has disappeared.

The Mirror of Portugal was a 30 carat table-cut diamond stolen from the French Crown Jewels during the revolution. No one knows where it is today. The whereabouts of the Pigot, a 49 carat oval-shaped diamond, has been a mystery since the 19th century. Likewise the Florentine, a 137.25 carat yellow double-rose, first described by Tavernier. And the Nizam, a dome-shaped stone of 277 carats.

Some large stones might have entered private collections where they remain secret, either for the sake of security or in adherence to insurance policy requirements. So gemologists and museum curators continue to hope that one day the world's most famous missing diamonds will reappear on the market—before disappearing again.

Jason: The shapely legs of some hotties in your novel wield all sorts of dazzling powers. What notable powers do your legs have?

Steve: I was a sprinter on the track team in high school. 220 and 880-relay. I didn't have enough burst for the 100 or enough endurance for the 440. Sometimes the race isn't to the swift, nor to the strong, but rather to those who find their niche between the two.

But the more interesting answer is metaphorical. I was turned down over 200 times, by publishers, agents, and literary journal editors. I don't think the number is particularly high, yet I keep hearing about writers who quit after a dozen or so rejections.

A dozen? Such writers have no endurance at all.

Jason: On a more serious note, the Tavernier Stones stand for something much deeper. In each of the searchers, they represent a missing piece, an unresolved question, or something unfulfilled. What would your Tavernier Stones teach you if you finally held them?

Steve: First, the novel is really about figuring out the definition of home. "Everything you take for granted," is how I like to put it. Unfortunately early readers thought the story should move quickly and conventionally and not be bogged down by "issues." So a couple of characters I adored, a man and a woman who found each other, rather than treasure, were cut. I believe writers should listen and respond to criticism, right up until the time their inclination to say "no" becomes an inclination to say "hell, no."

What would the stones teach me, if I held them in my hands? That I've been working all my life for the day when I have enough wealth to rip a new asshole in one of the problems facing the world. That is, after all, what treasure is for. We could use a lot more of it.

I encourage everyone to give THE TAVERNIER STONES a try and support all our blogger/novelists.


But before we get to anything else, I want to alert past contest participants that this contest will follow a different format. Because of the large number of entries last time and the fact that these prizes are BIGGER, only members of the Forties Club (who score at least 40 out of 45) will be posted here. I'm not thrilled about that, but my only other choice was to limit the number of entries and not give everyone a chance. If you score less than 40, I'll let you know with a bit of feedback. Of course, you're free to post your entry on your own blog.

Scoring will be conducted by Jason Evans only. Final judging of the Forties Club entries will be done jointly by Jason Evans and Stephen Parrish.

The Challenge and the Prizes:

Here's how the contest works. Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction (or poetry) piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 10:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 28th (Eastern Time, United States). I'd prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word (please see the format request below), but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email (no docx formats, please). Forties Club entries will be posted and indexed.

Now for the goodies. Thanks to an anonymous donor who loves writing, the prizes have been PUMPED! Serious money is up for grabs:

* 1st Place: $100 Amazon gift certificate and a signed copy of THE TAVERNIER STONES
* 2nd Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate
* 3rd Place: $35 Amazon gift certificate
* 4th Place: $30 Amazon gift certificate
* 5th Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
* Readers' Choice Award: $40 Amazon Gift certificate and a signed copy of the THE TAVERNIER STONES
* $15 Night Owl Prize (chosen at random from the entries not posted)

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Our different perspectives, styles, and skills shine when we all start at the same place. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other.


1. 250 words maximum.
2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
3. One entry per person.
4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
5. You grant me non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide electronic rights to your entry. All other rights remain with you.
6. Scoring will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of the judging criteria and scoring system, click HERE. For specific guidance on winning, click HERE. You can also read the winning entries from past contests.
7. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, let me know the address, and I'd be happy to link your site to your byline. If you don't have a website or blog, feel free to include a short bio. A bio does not count towards your word count.
8. At the close of the contest, I will give the date and time for the announcement of winners.
9. The Readers' Choice Award is awarded by vote of the contest participants. The entry with the highest number of votes wins. The rules for this portion of the contest will be posted after the entry period closes.
10. Public critiques in comments are encouraged, but must remain respectful. I reserve the right to delete comments and ban participants who do not abide by the collegial spirit of Clarity of Night contests.
11. For prior contests and their results, see the links on the sidebar.

What Stephen Will Be Looking For in His Judging:

When I read flash fiction I look for an "aha!" moment---that point, usually in the final lines, when I get it. There isn't enough time in flash fiction to take more than a passing interest in the characters. A good flash piece chronicles a small slice of a longer story. The smaller the slice, the better.

I agree with all of Jason's "Forties Club" criteria: show don't tell, shun adverbs and adjectives, etc. I would also suggest that you speak in your own natural voice, rather than try to affect one. "He glanced apprehensively at the ominous gray sky" might seem harmless enough, but you wouldn't use such a sentence if you were telling the story around a campfire. Read your piece out loud. If something sounds unnatural to you, it'll sound unnatural to us, too.

Also, anytime you use a dialogue tag, follow it with a period. Otherwise you'll risk committing what I call Square Dancing With Dialogue: "No, thank you," he said, turning away, shaking his head, his hands in his pockets . . . (Do-si-do your partner, then prominade, now alamande left . . .).

Finally, be true to yourself, even if it means ignoring everything Jason and I say.

Format Request:

These are not rules, and I will not reject an entry which does not conform, but if you follow them, my work in running the contest is much less. For that, I will be eternally grateful!

1. Single space lines, and double space paragraph breaks.
2. No tabs or indents for new paragraphs.
3. If you have italics in your text, please code it for html by putting a begin italics code <> where it starts and an end italics code < /i > where it ends.
4. Although it's rarely used, handle bold <>< /b > and underline <>< /u > the same way.
5. Write your title at the top of the document left justified in title case (first letters capitalized). On the next line write your byline left justified (example, by Jason Evans). Add two blank lines, then begin your story.

I declare the "Uncovered" Short Fiction Contest officially open!!
Posted by jason evans

Sunday, July 04, 2010

For Good

For all myGoODfriends out dare:)
Behave thyself... not that Desi does himself,
But in this world often we preach for others to follow
And we ourselves stray
It's easier that way. My way, not yours.
Maybe Dr Mahathir's, or Frank SINatra's
But it's OK with Olde Blue Eyes
SIN is in his family's name, Not Desi's, how about ye?

Human nature

And you think Desi's any different
Oh No! just less
So it's a matter of degree
The devil seizes our soul'd some times
Just cut down the times for Desi's sake
Throw me some dimes, willya!?
And I'll beseech of the Almighty
or Down there
here or everywhere
Bless ye, if thou be gOod
***Condemn/bless ye, if thou be badder
Than Desi:(

*** I amended this at 10.16AM after sleeping over changing thoughts of friends, so I toss a coin even in my prayers/players:)OR :(~~ Desi, knottyaSsusual

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Worth ruminating art from

Chinese are Jews: A Malaysian syllogism for Ketuanan Print E-mail
Written by ShuZheng
Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:35
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Morality of this tale:
You were right to emigrate; it’s still safer elsewhere.

Ng Wei Aik (left) is state assemblyman and aide to Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng. This fact is of no fundamental political consequence until, one day soon after Israel’s military operation against the Gaza flotilla, he saw that his party, the DAP, had beaten Najib Razak to the clock. The prime minister was being tardy, Ng complained. “He took 12 hours to register his anger,” a news portal quoted Ng on Najib’s remarks (the prime minister had twitted his response).

In another way of saying the same thing, the DAP was quicker on the draw. If Najib is slower, then by inference, his heart may not be with the Palestinians, that is, Muslims. If not with Muslims, who with? Conversely, DAP people like Ng cast the impression that they think of Muslims every moment of their waking hours. So touching….

Now it seems domestic politics is beginning to be measured in terms of hours taken to react and to issue a condemnation. And that over an ancient, Jewish-Muslim conflict nearly half a world away and reignited more than half a century ago, it having sparked when Malaysia was not even in existence.

Ng’s posturing is sign that the country is off on yet another trajectory in demonizing Chinese and in Sino-Malay relations. Anti-Chinese racism in Malaysia has this historic, lasting quality in varied forms: before, in stereotypical portrayal of Chinese as gangsters, prostitutes, towkays, usurious money-lenders (‘Ah Longs’); today, gamblers and Jews.

Most tellingly it is DAP’s scathing attacks on Israel that beat even the usual hate mongering coming from Umno and PAS/PKR.

This is to the credit of the Gaza flotilla, which offered a window of opportunity to propel Malaysia into arriving at the milestone in Chinese-Malay relations – a milestone reaffirmed on the streets earlier this month in demonstrations against Israel (against Jews really), and almost simultaneously in the Ketuanan Melayu propaganda papers: Jews equal Chinese.

He who started it

Mahathir Mohamad has been one of the earliest to bed the Chinese and the Jewish diaspora – his two pet hate projects. His most recent rants against both Jews and Chinese are today preambled and chorused by other Malaysians, notably Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (left), and Muslims and Chinese Christians who are staunchly anti-Jew.

From a lone Mahathir project before, it’s gone truly Malaysian. DAP, PKR, Chinese, everybody appears to have unanimously jumped on the bandwagon, or should we say the flotilla?

Equating Jew and Chinese, Ridhuan Tee says upfront: “the Jews are already right in front of our eyes”. To rub it in for the Chinese, he praises Hilter and fascism.

Ng, of course, did not equate Jew and Chinese. In suggesting that Najib was slow on the Palestinian, Muslim side, he has to mean, equally, the man was hesitant to stand against the Israeli Jews (recall the Apco episode).

It isn’t just the religious undertone. More pertinently, Ng invokes the default moral position – Jews are oppressors, Muslims oppressed – that puts him, on parallel in point of principle to Ridhuan Tee: one side oppressors, the other side oppressed. This requires little imagination to name the two sides.

In consequence, Ng contributes to feather the very bed made by Mahathir – Jews equal Chinese – and which Ridhuan Tee now repeats to no end.

Drive Chinese into the sea?

The device Mahathir employs (and in whose hallowed footsteps Ridhuan follows) is a form of logic technically called syllogism, using two inter-related or parallel concepts, and tying them up to forge a third – the conclusion.

Because it is so easily mistaken as truth, syllogism is used everywhere in the English speaking world, as in Malaysia by individuals who otherwise cannot make a convincing case from empirical evidence.

From one of the latter editions of The Malay Dilemma, below is a sample of terms, all Mahathir’s, and note they are entirely of a subjective, adjectival kind because in syllogism no objective facts are required – just say it.

First Parallelism (P.1):

* Jews: hook-nosed, stinginess, financial wizardry, commercial control, understand money instinctively.
* Chinese: almond-eyed, unscrupulous, manipulative, monopoly wholesale trade, defer to riches.

Second Parallelism (P.2):

* Palestine: whole country was taken (sic!) and handed to the Jews
* Malaya: predatory immigrants, Sinocization (sic!) of the country

The examples above pile syllogism on syllogism. The conclusions in each of them automatically pull together to create a third: (P.1) Jews = Chinese; (P.2) Palestine = Malaya; therefore, (P.3) Chinese illegally occupied Malaya. Extrapolate P.3, hence, drive the Chinese into the South China Sea as Mahathir did to the Vietnamese boat people? (Arabs say the same of Israel’s Jews.)

These conclusions need not be made plain; they become intuitive just reading the stuff.

The Chinese profile being constructed for hate has evolved so far along these lines (and note the same syllogism at work):

* Chinese are Jews.
* Chinese are infidels and the heathen.
* Jews killed Jesus.
* Jews kill Palestinians.
* Therefore Chinese are anti-Palestinians
* Palestinians are Muslims.
* Malays are Muslims.
* Therefore Chinese oppress Muslims.
* Chinese won’t become Muslims or Christians (neither will Jews).
* Therefore Chinese are anti-Muslims and anti-Christians.

Taken far enough in this reconstructed profile of racial hate, as Mahathir did in the Dilemma, is a recipe for a future pogrom.

Adopting the Mahathiristic ‘logic’

Although a little tilted, but equally insidious, sinister and purposeful, the Anglophile Chinese, virtually all Christians – Goh Keat Peng, Josh Hong, Thomas Lee, KTemoc – feather the Mahathir racism and anti-Semitism along an angled plane. They don’t go after the Chinese directly but are equally nuanced, like it is with Mahathiristic logic.

For example, the Malay gangs who in the days of May 13 had killed Chinese are today made to look like victims of the Chinese instead. This seems to defy belief but, then, belief was never necessary to work a logical tool; only assertion is needed because syllogism requires no proof to buttress a claim. The conclusion is like the topping in the pudding – very enticing.

Hence, Thomas Lee [journalist] says Malays cannot be at fault for hacking to death hundreds of Chinese. Well, if there is ever another riot, it won’t be the children of the media and political elites who’ll be hacked with a parang but some poor sod of a noodle hawker riding his old sputtering Honda Cub to collect his daughter from school or a 18-year-old boy dashing off to a stand in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman for a nasi lemak takeaway.

And KTemoc [blogger] says Jews are fascists for acting distinctive, different – and murderous in a sea of suffering (caused by Arabs to begin with) – and he said elsewhere the Chinese have the same insularity, therefore also acting distinct, refusing to be Malaysian. Josh Hong [columnist] labels outright the Chinese as racist. And Goh Keat Peng? This Christian missionary says of those who disagree with his pro-Palestinian views: “But your knowledge of the situation on the ground is appalling and so is your theology.”

The propaganda doesn’t stop there: praising the anti-Semitism, opposition politicians fawning after the Muslim vote are locked hand-in-hand with the Muslim fundamentalism they once denounced.

The greatest Malaysian achievement in the ‘Peace Flotilla’ to Gaza is, therefore, not concern for Palestinians. It is doesn’t even unify the local political divide, a cooperation that many online commentators have extolled as virtuous since domestic political enemies have gotten together to found a common offshore enemy.

More than all that, the Turkish flotilla electrifies a domestic, Malaysian, hate-Chinese project by transforming and giving it an international character, supported even by local Chinese, Lim Kit Siang et al.

From Mahathir, anti-Semitism as a way to drum up Chinese hatred is to be expected. But how could the opposition, one might ask, be so callous in their politics?