Friday, July 27, 2007

Little Lies

Are we lying to ourselves about our country, nation, state, whatever?

In our 50th year of existence under the crescent, star and stripes, some if not a lot of things have gone awry.

Before I go on, I rue the loss of two words that used to sum up Malaysia.



Yes, the muhibbah is missing, folks. So is gotong-royong. Haven't seen those words in the daily lexicon for years and I expect they are all but extinct now. Not even endangered but completely lost from use.

Don't let the people in power tell you otherwise. When was the last time they, if not you, used those words.

Be that as it may, the loss of those Malaysian words and concepts come at a time when Malaysia's economy is humming along with more projects across the nation and people gettin parochial and vested individual interests and rights take centrestage.

Islamic state, you say? That debate and declaration has been going on for years with naught to show for the attributes that make up an Islamic nation ie. integrity, truthfulness, cleanliness, neighbourliness, fairness etc.

Instead, we just have the morality police, the faith restoration centres, the halal hubs - which also covers the enforcement personnel who insist on people declaring coffee money halal - that appear to make up an Islamic state.

We think it is more an Islamic state of mind! Just another bare-faced lie.

On the other side, we have fellow citizens who think blogging defines life and anyone who blogs and is detained by the authorities means a crackdown on bloggers. Well, get a life and don't lie about your importance to the world.

We are all tiny cogs in the wheel of life and we could do better than put a spanner in the works for Mr Raja Petra Kamaruddin and his entertaining stories.

Sweet little lies by all and sundry.

To quote Abraham Lincoln - "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kuliyyah Jummat: Malaysia Bukan Negara Islam

Setelah lama kita berpisah, seronok juga Dek Mak kerana dapat bersua kembali dengan para pembaca dengan satu lagi sessi Kuliyyah Jumaat.

Pada hari Selasa lepas dunia media telah menggegarkan kita dengan laporan Timbalan Perdana Menteri kita, Najib Abdul Razak telah neyatakan bahawa Malaysia adahlah sebuah negara Islam dan "Malaysia tidak pernah berpegang kepada sekularisme tetapi didorong oleh asas Islam kerana perlembagaan jelas menyebut bahawa Islam adalah agama rasmi."

Kita kena ingat bahawa asas Islam dalam pentadbiran negara adalah hanya asas yang telah dipelopori oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang diterajui oleh UMNO.

Sememangnya adalah hak UMNO jika mereka mahu mentadbir Malaysia dengan asas Islam cara mereka.

Tetapi ia bukan bermakna Malaysia adalah sebuah negara Islam.

Malaysia hanya adalah sebuah negara dimana Islam adalah ugama rasminya dan ditadbir oleh kerajaan Barisan Nasional (buat sementara ini...) yang mentadbir dengan asas Islam (dan Islam ini adalah Islam yang didakwahkan oleh UMNO bukan PAS).

Cuba kita merenung buat sekita dan katakanlah PAS telah berjaya memenangi Pilihanraya dengan dua pertiga majoriti.

Jika rakyat Malaysia telah memberi mandat kepada PAS untuk membentuk negara Islam sebegitu, maka Malaysia dalam senario ini boleh menjadi negara Islam secara mutlak atau menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara theocratic.

Realiti bagi rakyat Malaysia sekarang adalah seperti berikut. Di dalam Perlembagaan kita:

Article 43(2) The Cabinet shall be appointed as follows, that is to say -
a) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representative who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House;
Dengan itu, Perlembagaan kita masih lagi memperuntukkan peluang untuk sesiapa saja tanpa mengira kaum untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri, asalkan ia mendapat sokongan majoriti ahli-ahli parlimen.

Dan dengannya ada peluang tersebut, dan jika seorang kristian ataupun penganut agama buddha ataupun hindu menjadi perdana menteri kita, masihkah kita mempunyai hak untuk mengkelasifikasikan negara kita sebagai negara Islam?

Mungkin para pemimpin Barisan Nasional telah terlalu lama menerajui kerajaan sehingga lupa perbezaan di antara falsafah Negara Malaysia dengan falsafah pentadbiran Malaysia.

Sesungguhnya Barisan Nasional adalah hanya satu gabungan parti-parti politik.

Barisan Nasional bukan Malaysia!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Right to Vote

Citizens, the Election Commission appears to be playing around with your right to vote. Either that, or the national news agency BERNAMA has got it wrong.

I can't seem to decide either way.

Well, read this first.

Voters Without MyKad Lose Right To Vote

MELAKA, July 15 (Bernama) -- Voters who have not changed their old identity card to MyKad are advised to do so or risk not being able to vote in the coming general election.

Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said the EC had decided that the electoral roll contain the names of only voters with identity cards (MyKad) bearing 12-digit numbers in line with the National Registration Department's policy.

"The old ICs have eight-digit numbers and have been removed from the list."About 24,000 voters have yet to change their old identity cards to MyKad and they are advised to do so soon after which they are to renew their registration with EC," he told reporters after the launching of a voter registration exercise here.

He said the electoral roll, which had been updated from April to June this year, would be displayed at 866 locations nationwide between July 18 and 28.He advised voters to check their names in the list for verification, adding that they could also check the electoral roll on the EC website at BERNAMA

Now, we have had our identity cards with the 12 digit numbers for a while now and I don't see why one has to change to the MyKad to get those numbers. The old identity card went the way of the dodo nearly more than a decade ago.

After all, only the citizens can disenfranchise themselves the right to vote by not registering to vote. But this, from the mouth of an election commission official, is just too much to bear.

So, who is stupid? Election Commission? BERNAMA? Maybe we are all with stupid!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We are not the World

Its July 4, Independence Day in the United States of A today.

Cable stations are screening either Independence Day or Born on the Fourth of July. All quite contradictory really but so is the world we know today.

The American way is not getting converts in the Middle East although their soldiers and enemies fall in great numbers daily in Iraq. For truth and democracy when the President can commute the court sentence of an ally?

The Great Satan? Right.

Tell that to the Muslims on opposite sides of the divide in what is still considered Palestine, in insane Iraq, loony Lebanon or the Lal Mosque in paranoid Pakistan's Islamabad.

Heck, consider the Muslims in mad Malaysia, those who want Islamise the entire nation that even a restaurant cannot put up religious icons/verses/what-have-you for fear of God-knows-what?

And apostasy. Islam is Hotel California in Malaysia where one is born, bred and battered in the faith, or lack of faith for that matter.

Or the cowardly or courageous coterie in the United Kingdom, who can use constructive items like propane, petrol and nails - lacking in many countries especially in Iran - and use it for destructive reasons.

Doctors you say? Right.

Also the bloggers who for lack of any identity call themselves bloggers, try to live life first!

Especially for those who fight the fight, trying to change the change, well, too bad! Fight the urge to change the world. Change yourself first!

We are not the World!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Meanwhile In The Land of the Wankers...

What a weekend!

On Saturday we were shocked by the news that Malaysian scientists have found a new virus, carried by bats that can give you respiratory problems; and because they found the virus in Melaka, the scientists decided to call it the Melaka Virus.

On Sunday, the name of the virus became the irk of Datuk Seri Rustam, the Chief Minister of Melaka. He believed that naming the virus after the state was an insult!

“Malacca is a good state, beautiful and peaceful, not the birthplace of diseases,” the Star quoted him saying.

And by Sunday evening Dr Chua Soi Lek, the Health Minister, conceded to the Chief Minister and will try to come with a new name so as to "not tarnish the good name of the state".

As I write this an Indian Medical News Portal has already chronicled the weekend's event.

So why the fuss over the name?

The Baltimore Sun attempted to try to shed some light to this, in an article trying to explain how the SARS virus was difficult to name.

They mentioned that usually the official name for a disease could come from a place, a doctor, the appearance of a virus or various other sources.

They cited an example of a name of a virus that could have gone wrong:

"L Adrew Ball, a professor of microbiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, discovered a virus last year and admits he would have liked to call it the "Andy Ball virus." But he knew better than to try."
The good professor continued:
"There's an unwritten rule that the person who first describes a virus has the right to name it. But sometimes there are disagreements over who was first."
"the practice lends itself to self-aggrandizement"
But Professor Ball did point out that while virus taxonomy is fun, "naming a virus can be a politically and socially sensitive issue if it's a real killer."

He's daaamn right about it being politically sensitive!

Dr Chua said earlier that the virus will be named after where the patient infected with the virus is from

Anyway, Datuk Seri Rustam maybe irked again if he finds out that the name of his state in greek is so not happening at all.

Malakas in greek means wanker.

Now maybe the Chief Minister might want to press for a change in the state's name for the sake of saving state tourism since the bad word is out.

Err... maybe not!

Don't know what the word wanker means?

Let me show you...

Still don't know?

In Malay it's called pelancap ;)

Have a great week ahead!