Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bar None

Integrity. Corruption.

Flip sides of the coin that envelopes those in power, be they politicians, judges, lawyers, policemen and civil servants, basically anyone with influence. We have had a few if not more over the years - those with integrity and those corrupt.

Commissioner Ramli Yusuf is the latest one under the spotlight, following the footsteps of cabinet ministers, a dodgy judiciary, and others whose actions are not on the straight and narrow.

Are those in the positions of leadership and power not infallible? Are they easily seduced by lucre? Where are the men and women who can withstand temptation and stick to principles and work according to their oath of office?

Are they extinct? What are the reasons and situations that have led to this poor state of affairs? Has the gestation period been so long or is this a recent phenomenon? Is this a result of Malaysia Inc. or just plain greed for those in power?

We don't know.

What we know is that after years of sweeping dirt under the carpet, of fast-tracking projects and fast-talking politicians, Malaysia is now tripping over the carpet and uncovering unimaginable filth.

Helping the poor, the bumiputera, the rakyat are just euphemisms of helping oneself to the till. That it has to stop, and stop now, is stating the obvious.

But the Siber Party of Malaysia (M) opines that beyond rhetoric and the watchmen, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi faces the Herculean task of cleaning the Stygian Stables of the corrupt that is endemic in the country.

We either help him or we get rid of him and put in people who can do that job.

We can do without the fuck-ups!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ooops... Lalang!

Tomorrow October 27 - 20 years ago - 106 people lost their liberty and a couple of newspapers were shut down in what was infamously called Ops Lalang.

Those detained then - politicians and activists - will remember the occasion in a series of events tomorrow and among them will be one of those who precipitated Ops Lalang - Anwar Ibrahim who was then a rising star in UMNO and had held the post of Education Minister.

The other midwife for Ops Lalang was Najib Abdul Razak - who rallied support for Anwar when Chinese educationists protested against Anwar for insisting on placing non-Chinese-educated educationists in Chinese vernacular schools.

The situation came to a head and then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad took advantage to round up political nemeses under the Internal Security Act in the eponymous operation.

But times have changed!

Anwar is now in the opposition and Najib is railing against Anwar. Both are like lalang - weeds -that wave according to the wind - with not much of a consistent platform or principles to live by.

And apparently both are options as future leaders of Malaysia to replace a rather somnambulant Abdullah Ahmad Badawi if we still remain cowed - then by Mahathir, now by mindset - that Malaysian leaders come from UMNO or its dissidents who return to the fold.

We in the Siber Party of Malaysia (M) believe that its time - so let's make it the anniversary of Ops Lalang - to move towards a leadership of the able and capable and not one of shit and shift!

So, let's keep the lalangs in the past!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

From Bad to Worse?

Twenty years ago tonight, Malaysian Army private Adam Jaafar from the Ulu Kinta camp entered Kuala Lumpur's Chow Kit area and ran amok, killing a couple of people before he surrendered in daylight a day later.

There has been many a reason cited for his actions but events overtook that for nine days later, the Malaysian government carried out Ops Lalang which netted 106 citizens and closed down a couple of newspapers.

What's this got to do with what?

Absolutely nothing. Absolutely everything.

For that was just the day after the start of why we are where we are now.

We are still figuring out the country's failures among its success, debating whether a Malaysian who made it to space is an astronaut or a tourist and what it cost and profit the country, wondering whether the politicians or the civil service or both are doing a service or disservice to the nation.

There are parallels to what happened from 1987 to 1989 and what we are undergoing now, albeit in a compressed time moment.

Adam's actions lead to Ops Lalang within 1987 and later in 1988, an emboldened Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and a cowed nation oversaw the judiciary emasculated while in Burma, the military regime scythed through its citizens. Mahathir subsequently went through a heart bypass in 1989.

Fast forward to 2007 where there is no amoks or security operations but the judiciary again in a smaller disarray while Mahathir has again spent time under the surgeon's scalpel for a quadruple bypass. Burma, now Myanmar, has again cracked down on its citizens.

Ever thought about history repeating itself or parallels in time. George Santayana said those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

Guess that is what is happening right now in Malaysia.

We have yet to move beyond that period in time and we are still circling to find solutions and move on.

From bad to worse?

Funnily enough, the top song the week after Adam's adventure was Michael Jackson's Bad!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Idle Fitri

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Idul Fitri, Eid Fitr whatever.

It was more of an idle Fitri for us over at the Siber Party of Malaysia (M). We started out just over a year ago and this is our 102nd post, so it is a time for a review of sorts.

Not too happeninglah. We have seen some great response and we have observed a lack of comments which we can only presume means most people agree with us.

And don't have the heart to tell us.

Or rather, they are not bothered with our sense of logic or proposals. Most likely what we think or write does not make sense or makes too much sense that they cannot even fathom what the hell we are prattling about.

No matter. We shall persevere. We shall continue. We shall be here. Still. though we might idle once in a while.

More importantly, we want to focus on solutions rather than whingeing or whining about the state of the nation and how terrible the situation is and could be. We want to solve them, we want to resolve them, we want a better Malaysia for all of us.

Is that too hard to achieve? Is that too idealistic to consider? Is that too ephemeral to reach?

We don't know! We know we will try. We want more than smoke and mirrors.

And that counts more than just idling about with vague or fuzzy concepts and philosophies.