Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anwar's Back But...

OhMyGawdOhMyGawdOhMyGawdOhMyGawdOhMyGawdOhMyGawd. Oh.My.Gawd.

Like, Did you see him? My Baldwin - Anwar Ibrahim - I mean. The last, like, time I saw him in action was nine years ago when he left Merdeka Square on the back of a motorcycle in a hurry.

And like, there he was again last Saturday, dressed in fabulous yellow on a motorcycle cutting through the crowd at the National Palace.

OhMyGodOhMyGawwddd!!! What a dish! What a dreamboat!

So, what now?

Like, what are we to make of this, you know? Like, he wants to be the dashing saviour of the tanahair?

Like, we are waiting you know? For solutions, ideas, proposals, like not pie-in-the-sky kinda talk but the real concrete stuff.

Otherwise, whateverrrrrrrrrrr, everyone will go vote for the devil they know, know what I am saying?

So, Anwar's back but... like, nothing concrete by way of providing an alternative. Gag me with a s SPOOOON already!

Bringing the crowd out is one thing but turning that into a force is another. Like, it could be a farce in a while!

And baby, if nothing happens, you'll be, unlike the Liverpool anthem, walking alone!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yellow Yellow Dirty Fellow

Everybody was a winner and loser at the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur on November 10, 2007.

The crowd. The political parties. The police. All winners and losers, according to the Siber Party of Malaysia (M) analysis of events in the yellow Saturday.

First, the rally and gathering showed the organisational network and acumen of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia in mobilising its members and marshals on the ground, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat cunning in planning and hijacking the event and Democratic Action Party plus activists in riding along for the action.

But while they won on that score and sent the memorandum to the National Palace, they lost on garnering a larger crowd from Kuala Lumpur. Most of the crowd were hard-core Parti Islam Se-Malaysia supporters who were left stranded when the police cordoned off Merdeka Square.

But Keadilan Rakyat and the Demoractic Action Party failed to bring in the crowd - a reflection of their skills and network. Their vaunted media communication skills were also left wanting as activists involved in the rally were not disciplined enough to send out reports through all channels, leaving bloggers and others to rely on foreign news agencies for updates.

That move revealed the police's successful single-minded strategy to keep Merdeka Square free of demonstrators notwithstanding that their initial charge using water cannons and tear gas forced the crowd to outflank them and still head for the National Palace.

While the Campbell area police kept their patch defended, their moves left the Brickfields area police under pressure to contain the crowd. Cooler heads and a lack of personnel facilitated the crowd to move towards the National Palace.

So both sides came out winners and losers.

But Malaysia lost the day! The four-point Bersih memorandum, to clean up the electoral rolls, use indelible ink, abolish postal votes and further access to the media did not have the single most important reform of all in the country.

And that would be a one man, one vote system!

After all, aren't we supposed to be equal in all aspects. Perhaps the existing political parties are still engrossed in their quotas and horse-trading for seats around the nation to figure out the simple steps to move Malaysia forward.

Perhaps Bersih and the politicians behind them were more interested in scoring points to prove their relevance but we think not! We in the Siber Party of Malaysia expect more than the simple points given by Bersih.

That is just their excuse for a show of force. Especially by Anwar Ibrahim in forging an alliance with Parti Islam Se-Malaysia and the Democratic Action Party to show his relevance and importance in national politics.

But he looks like the dirty fellow, hijacking the event here and overseas to shower glory on himself. Time will tell if he has cleaned up his act.

As for the others, were they riding together or being taken on a ride? Your guess is as good as ours but we would say don't fall for the hype from yellow Saturday. Time will tell.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Running of the Fools

In Pamplona and across other towns in Spain, they have the annual running of the bulls with the ever present danger of being gored or stampeded and trampled. Oh what fun!

In Malaysia, however, we have the the annual running of the fools, ie. the annual United Malays National Organisation (Baru) where one is in danger of being bored to death as their members stampede for favours and positions, trampling most Malaysian rights and possibly the constitution in the process.

This year was no different except the tail-end on November 9 had the excitement of a warning against a planned march on November 10 by a group called Bersih to the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur calling for free and fair legislative elections.

Well, let's first dissect the UMNO (Baru) general assembly and its salient points of preparing for the general elections widely expected to be called within the next six months despite the current parliament ending May 2009.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law, deputy UMNO (Baru) Youth Chief and everyone's favourite spleen-venting personality Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar called for the ending of fuel subsidies that cost the nation coffers up to 80 billion ringgit annually.

Great. Except now they want to propose a two-tier fuel price system for the poor and rich. Err... despite the fact that there is a seven percent discount for Bumiputeras buying houses, aren't we all supposed to be equal before the law, constitution etc?

Won't a two-tier fuel price system lead to abuse with the poor buying more for the rich to use? Shouldn't we all just pay the market price and learn to adjust to the reality of the rising prices of commodities and other products?

What the hell are these guys in government thinking about?

Then we have some UMNO (Baru) Wanita delegate pontificating about the Air Asia stewardess' uniforms being too revealing. Here's a tip, use another airline if you don't want to see the flesh.

You actually have a choice, you do know that, don't you? Unless you think the real world does not have choices like yourself in deciding which airline or television station to choose from?

Which brings us to the greatest editor of all time, Zainuddin Maidin, castigating Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang on the contents of his blog. Edit and censor comments in a blog?

Isn't that old media? Or does Zainuddin actually think Kit Siang is like the apparently influential blogger Jeff Ooi with his --deleted-- comments system?

But then, Kit Siang and his ilk in Bersih are no better, appealing to the monarchy - not quite the paragons of democracy themselves - to ensure there is free and fair elections.

Come on! Nine men, whose only exposure to elections is to choose among themselves to be the Supreme Head of the Federation for five years, are hardly the ones who can guarantee our democracy.

And for that matter, to wear yellow and march to the palace. What gives?

Aren't these people plagiarising the colour from the Thais? Or is maroon already taken by the Myanmarese, blue by Barisan Nasional?

Still, we believe its everyone's right to march and demand for their rights. And the police have no right to stop them but to facilitate such a procession. Of course, they didn't and we had another running of the fools in the city centre today.

Where is the love?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trick or Treat

Its a few days after Halloween, when a fair number of people got into the spirit - pun intended - of things in Malaysia by dressing up as ghouls, ghosts and god-knows-what and carrying lit-up plastic jack o'lanterns in place of the real pumpkin.

Apart from that, trick or treats in Malaysia are taking on a whole new character.

Last night, at the DAP Petaling Jaya fund-raising dinner in Kota Damansara, several speakers took to the floor and told those present what they already know, that Malaysia is a sorry excuse of a state under the Barisan Nasional government and things can only get worse but possibly in a decade, the opposition can form a viable government.

That, in a nut-shell and a paragraph, is what it was about. Of course, there were some slides with facts and figures used with liberal licence, some Latin and Modern dancing and singer Alfred Ho to round up the evening of food and fund-raising.

Treat? DAP MP Fong Po Kuan underscoring the point that one does not feel safer in Malaysia what with the rapes and robberies despite the government promising to put in another RM6 billion to the police force.

Trick? DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng saying up to RM20 billion should be spent to beef up the force with personnel and equipment with an additional 100,000 to patrol the streets. Err, do we have the beginnings of a police state with a copper in every corner?

While we applaud Lim Guan Eng for his solution to the crime situation, we think he and his party should also put their collective minds to offering solutions to the myriad problems and not tell us what we already know.

What we don't know is what you will do once you get to power. And maybe you could also tell us if you are serious about Penang and provide the line-up contesting seats there.

Also north of country, the good people in Bangsa Malaysia are having a dinner for 200 people this Saturday November 3, 2007 for the sake of unity.

Treat? Dinner at RM10 and a chance for food and fraternity with some awesome speakers in Penang.

Trick? They need your identity card numbers and a bit of biography apart from the red note of RM10 before the invitation card is sent to you.

We wonder why. Is there no trust anymore even as we talk about unity? Isn't it time we take steps to unite people instead of asking them for identity cards and such. Where does it stop? Will there be racial quotas so that it actually looks like a Bangsa Malaysia dinner party?

Going on the theme of unity and adding on the layer of education, Bank Negara and players in the local financial industry are getting together to train those who are getting into banking, insurance, financial planning etc.

All fine with us. Good to have well-trained personnel and those who will move up according to meritocracy, all things being equal (a favourite economist phrase to say they don't actually know what will happen!)

Treat? The company - with a stash of funds from Bank Negara and the financial industry - has received applications from hundreds if not thousands of people who want to be trained for a future in the industry.

Trick? After setting high standards of acceptance, the company with prodding from a relative of a Cabinet Minister, is adjusting the minimum standard of acceptance to get more Bumiputeras into the training scheme.

Hey, what gives? What price meritocracy? It is this kind of thinking that keeps the Bumiputera on crutches and a subject derision and revulsion among Malaysians. They don't need the leg-up as those who have made it will always carry the stigma that they are there due to the ethnicity.

It is time that we stop bright sparks like these - from the government, opposition parties and well-meaning if possibly misguided people - from spewing ideas without thinking for Malaysia.