Friday, March 31, 2006

Nation, world all thumb up for Pak Lah's 9MP

Well, do we adults still have to buy and read tomorrow's mainstream newspapers or watch TV news or current affairs programmes for evaluation of the Great Plan that would surely (that is if the people continue to support the National Front government in the coming general election) deliver prosperity, happiness, stability, harmony, security, justice, peace, equality, freedom and progress for all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion, class, gender and age in fullfilment of the letters and spirit of Islam Hadhari?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Join me to pray for Pak Rashid

Many reliable reports have reached me in the last two weeks that true Merdeka fighter and great patriot Pak Rashid Maidin,88, is seriously ill in Southern Thailand.

Please pray for him and ask God to continue to protect and guide him with all His mercy and compassion.

In his youthful and younger days, Pak Rashid Maidin mastered Bahasa Melayu, English and Chinese. He represented the Communist Party of Malaya to attend the 1947 British Empire Communist Parties' Conference on decolonisation in London together with Wu Tien Wang and R.G.Balan, and the 1955 Baling Peace Talk with Chin Peng and Chen Tian.

As a poor kampong and working class boy in the tin-mining Kinta Valley hard hit by the worldwide Great Depression in 1930s, he first learnt his English from a Christian missionary and then through distance learning by post from Jakarta. He used to play violin and smoke 'Good English' brand of tobacco.

Pak Rashid has also published his memoirs Daripada Perjuangan Bersenjata Kepada Perdamaian (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005). His oral history is also published in English in my From Pacific War to Merdeka (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005). Both books are available in bookshops and Kinibooks Online.

In another recently publish booklet Islam Melayu Komunis - Wawancara Dengan Abdullah C.D., Rashid Maidin & Abu Samah (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005), Pak Rasid expresses his concern about anak-anak muda being morally corrupted by, among other things, "yellow culture", "drugs" and "individualistic lifestyle".

He calls on our angkatan baru to get themselves involved in "healthy activities" and to play their role in developing the nation, upholding democracy and justice as well as promoting inter-ethnic unity.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MCA MP vs. UMNO Youth: an out-of-box view

As a matter of principle, I am certainly sympathetic to His Honourable Loh Seng Kok's observation that our history book is 'imbalanced', not because he is a Chinese or non-Malay but because he is relatively right in this case. Those who know me well personally should know that I have never thought of joining Mr. Loh's 'Chinese' party even for a nano second since I began to interest myself in politics at 8 or 9 years old.

Indeed, given the changed alignments of international and regional relations, particularly the end of the Cold War 15 years ago, it is time to open up honest and rational discourses with the purpose of re-evaluating or re-examining the contents of our history books used in schools, universities, training institutions for the military, police and public servants as well as the National Service and Biro Tata Negara (BTN). What have MCA's ministers been doing in this regard in the past 15 years?

There are indeed many Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, Orang Asli, Iban and Kadazan histories to be told and incorporated into our history books. However, let us not forget that there are also some important histories of Malay-Muslim Left that have also been either marginalised or suppressed during the Cold War years when MCA participated in the bipolar slug-out on the Right in the then corrupt tradition of the anti-communist and chauvinistic Kuomintang rightwing.

Meanwhile, my very brotherly advice to Umno youths is that they should spend some time quietly to read up newly published books on alternative history like Dr. Mohammad Salleh Lamry's Gerakan Kiri Melayu Dalam Perjuangan Kemerdekaan and the reference books and papers in the bibliography. If they find alternative history interesting, they should have no problem in enrolling in BA and MA courses in universities to study and explore it further.

Bung James ini is always ready and willing to help sincere, humble and honest adik-adik, whatever their race, religion or political party, in their research by devil-advocating or providing second opinions or recommending some additional reading materials in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and English from left, right or centerist perspectives.

Selamat membaca dan selamat belajar.

Vox Populi: Loh Seng Kok vs Umno Youth

Memoirs of Ipoh’s WWII heroine being reprinted

Merdeka history in new light

History of the Malay Left

A tale of two Malay communist memoirs

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Root cause of our political, economic malaise

This is a portion of my interview with Mr. Kim Quek, a retired engineer at the age of 66 and author of Where to, Malaysia? A future with Anwar's Reformasi or back to Mahathirism? (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005)

Q: Can Umno still be reformed? If yes, how? If no, why not?

A: People who usually watch the telecast of Umno’s annual assembly would have noticed the assembly is now filled with people who are flabby, overweight and listless, which is in contrast to the scene in the 1960s or even the 1970s where the central delegates looked lean and fit and purposeful. These differing scenes tell the story of the transformation of Umno no more the nationalist fighters. Only the overfed leaders indulged by easy wealth, thanks to Mahathir’s largesse system of governance.

Can Umno change from a corrupt racist body to a positive force of nation-builders? The answer is: extremely difficult, though not impossible. The first step of reforms must be to ‘uninstall’ (to borrow a computer jargon) the deeply imbedded programme of racial ideology: racial privileges as a birth right; obsession with racial identities, racial comparisons and racial statistics; siege mentality that tends to conjure up mental scenarios of Malay vs Chinese or Malay vs other races. As racial hegemony has been the umbrella under which corruption and cronyism have grown and spread, so racial prejudices and discriminations must first be tackled ... (subscribe to malaysiakini to read more)

Where to, Malaysia?

Wither the young Malays?

After 22 years, let us vote for children’s future

Learning lessons from history

Even when I was a schoolboy, I loved history, both oral and written.

Now at 42, my love for reading good history books have grown even more passionate as I believe that there are indeed many lessons, both positive as well as negative, we can learn from good history books like British historian Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. As Bismarck was often quoted as saying: " fools say that they learn by experience, but I prefer to profit by others' experience" (B.H.Liddell Hart, Strategy, London, Meridian, 1991; p.3)

One of the great lessons of Edward Gibbon's history is that even a great polity like the Roman Empire could disintegrate from within by unproductive obssession with religious or theological speculations in public debates, moral and economic corruption of ruling elites, popular hedonism, and the usurpation of political power by the haughty military and insolent police, ambitiuous eunuchs and self-serving advisers as well as greedy relatives (including wives and sons) of emperors.

Makcik Suriani Abdullah's memoirs out soon

I'm very glad to read from news that my old friend Amir Muhammad's documentary film Lelaki Komunis Terakhir, featuring the life journey of Communist Party of Malaya's secretary-general Chin Peng, has officially been approved for public screening in May. However, as I have not watched the film, I cannot comment on it yet.

Meanwhile, another good news is that one of Chin Peng's life-long comrade Makcik Suriani Abdullah has completed her full memoirs in Bahasa Malaysia. It is titled Memoir Suriani Abdullah - Setengah Abad Perjuangan and it has been committed to the printing process.

Makcik Suriani Abdullah, 82, was born in Setiawan in Perak as Eng Ming Ching. She attended Nan Hwa school in Setiawan together with Chin Peng and also the Methodist Girls' School (MGS) in Ipoh.

She joined the underground Communist Party of Malaya in 1940 at the age of 16 and actively involved in organising and empowering women workers in the Kinta Valley and later, the anti-fascist guerilla MPAJA.

She was captured in Tanjung Tualang (the area where Pak Rashid Maidin then worked as an electrical chargeman in a tin-mining dredge as well as an underground anti-fascist activist) by Japanese troops on 28 January, 1945 and sent to Ipoh for incarceration and severe torture. She survived the ordeal, trial and tribulation without compromising her ideal and principle.

Immediately after war ended, she was seconded by the Communist Party of Malaya to the British Military Administration (BMA) in Perak as a people's representative. She also led the Allies' Victory Procession in Ipoh of which my grandmother and father were witnesses at No.24, Clare Street.

She was then appointed a secretary of CPM's open offices in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Now declassified British political and military intelligence refers her as 'Miss Eng Ming Ching'.

In the peacetime between 1946 to 1948, she improved her command of Bahasa with the help of the legendary Indonesian Marxist Sutan Jenain @ Ma Ali who was also reportedly a member of CPM's central committee in 1936.

In 1947, she visited the newly independent Republic of Indonesia, lectured at the Madium University, spoke on Radio Republik Indonesia in Jogjakarta and also met President Sukarno as well as Defence Minister Shariffudin at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. It was the policy of the Communist Party of Malaya at that time to support the Indonesian people's armed independence struggle, led by Bung Karno and Dr.Mohamad Hatta, against Dutch colonialism.

After the commencement of the Anti-Colonial War in June 1948, Makcik Suriani went underground again.

In 1950s, she was proclaimed, in absentia, a Resistance Heroine of the Pacific War at an international conference in Beijing. In 1975, she was elected a member of CPM's central committee for the first time.

She only reappeared in public view on 2 December 1989 as a VIP to the ceremony in Haadyai witnessing the signing of the Peace Accords between the Communist Party of Malaya and the governments of Malaysia as well as Thailand.

In mid-1990s, Suriani and her husband Abdullah CD, also Chairman of CPM, was granted audience in a palace by His Majesty Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. Later in 1999, they performed Haj at the Holy City of Mecca.

In the same year, she published Rejimen Ke-10 Dan Kemerdekaan (Hong Kong, Nan Dao), the official history of the all-Malay 10th Regiment of the Malayan People's National Liberation Army (MNLA). The MNLA and its successor (since 1983) Malayan People's Army (MPA) have been demobilised since 2 December, 1989 under the Peace Accords.

Now, Makcik Suriani and Pakcik Abdullah live with their daughter Karimas, son-in-law Inderajaya and granddaughter Meiliza at Ban Chulabhorn 12 in Sukhirin, southern Thailand.

We met in her house on February 20 and 21, 2005 (picture).

She is reportedly still healthy, cheerful and sharp-minded because every morning, she walks around the kampong and enjoys listening to adik-adik's laughters to keep herself physically and psychologically fit.

Lelaki Komunis Terakhir in cinemas this May

History of the Malay Left

Eng Ming Ching on national unity (in Chinese language)

Suriani, the resistance heroine

Tortured by Kempetai

(Advertisement) From Pacific War to Merdeka

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nazri's pseudo-liberalism now exposed

Just came back from a committee meeting/seminar held in Universiti Malaya.

A veteran lawyer and friend of mine told me that he is " very disappointed" with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz who, despite his English-language and legal education, is now not very different from "just another Umno opportunist" on matters like religious freedom and freedom of peaceful assembly.

My response was that I am not disappointed at all because I have never had any unrealistic expectation on the so-called "liberals" in Umno, most of whom are remnants of the "Team B" in the 1987-1988 Umno power struggle. (by the way, who say English-educated lawyers must necessarily be liberals, or Arab-educated Malay Muslims or Tamil-educated Indian Hindu cannot possibly be democrats? Technically, Noh Omar also passed his law in London, you know?)

The "liberals" in Umno like Nazri were critical of Dr.Mahathir's regime in the name of "Reform Umno" not because they wanted to free the people and society, but only to replace Dr.Mahathir and his team, with the system of Umnoputra hegemony, dominance and rent-seeking exploitation unchanged, so that they lord over us like before.

So, the contradiction between Mahathiristas and "Umno liberals" is intra-elite, not elite-people, power struggle.

In other words, despite their occasionally reported clashes of interests, personalities and characters at the elite level, they ultimately share the common interest in preserving and defending the system of Umnoputra hegemony and dominance from the people-driven and mass-based movement for democratization.

Petrol price stays, time for crackdown: Minister

Nazri brands DAP MP an 'Islam hater'

Govt: We don't intend to give Suhakam teeth

Nazri: Non-Malays not interested in civil service

Don't incite Muslims, warns Nazri

Govt says 'no' to law reforms commission

Of course, Chinese do demonstrate

Not all young Chinese are those 'good' bookworms projected and promoted by the mainstream media. There are always boys and girls 'bad' enough to be concerned about the society and the world.

I think street demonstrations help to form more upright and honest characters than socializing too much with Umno or MCA politicians and their crooked scribes and mouthpieces.

Liberation of women in practice, not theory

Many working-class women joined yesterday morning's MTUC anti-fuel price hike protest at KLCC. They proved themselves to be as brave and vocal as men. They are certainly also more genuine and down-to-earth women's liberationists than many self-styled feminists in the mainstream media, rich-girl NGOs, ivory towers and parliament who usually enjoy discoursing topics like 'poverty and women' in seminars held in 5-star hotels.

Police crack down on demo, 22 arrested

A History of International Women's Day

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Is PDRM's identity truly national, patriotic ?

It is a fact that Peninsular Malaya gained its nominal independence on 31 August 1957 and Malaysia was inaugurated on 16 September, 1963. However, in its official website, the Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) claims and prides itself to have been founded in 1807 and that is why on 25 March, 2006, PDRM celebrated the 199th Police Day.

As we know, before 31 August 1957, Peninsular Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak were ruled by the British Empire as colonies and the colonial rule was also interrupted by Japanese fascist reign for 44 months from late 1941 to August 1945. During the 44 months, Kedah, Perlis, Trengganu and Kelantan were separated from other Malayan states and handed over to a Siamese collaborationist regime.

From a truly nationalist and patriotic perspective, it follows logically that the 199-year PDRM is not yet fully Malayan or Malaysian because it still proudly associates or identifies itself with foreign, both imperialist and fascist, rules which caused so much humiliation, oppression and suffering on this piece of land and the ancestors of our people.

If the PDRM can suffer from identity crisis or confusion like this, can we still blame Alis, Ah Bengs, Subramaniams or Mericans for still proudly associating or identifying themselves, openly or secretly, with Indonesia and the Middle East, China, or India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka?

For the purpose of analysis and clarifying the minds, let us ask: What if Robert Mugabee's Zimbabwe invades and occupies Malaysia and compels all of us to fly Zimbabwe's flag tomorrow? Can the police we now know as PDRM still be called or named PDRM?

If not, how can the police force, then flying British and Japanese flags and commanded by the British colonialists and Japanese fascists, be identified with the police force of independent Malaya/Malaysia as one unbroken and undifferentiated institution?

Sejarah Ringkas PDRM

Saturday, March 25, 2006

No wonder the Old Man's getting nervous ...

A report in Harakah Online today quoted former DPM Anwar Ibrahim as saying he will settle down permanent again in Malaysia from May on.

No wonder Dr. Mahathir is getting increasingly restless and nervous and very talkative again.

The Special Branch will have a lot of over-time works to do. Of course, they can then claim more over-time allowance to offset the rise of living cost as the result of fuel price hike .

Journalists and propagandists alike will also be busy again.

Hehehehe ... Hahahaha !

Despite 911, Dr M & co fail to ‘turn over’ the US

BBC Analysis: the Anwar saga's legacy

The 'get Anwar' campaign, Part 1

The ‘get Anwar’ campaign, Part 2

Exploring Operation Buy-Love ...

What do Zam and Matthias Chang now have to say about Dr.Mahathir's Operation Buy-Love (OBL) in the Headquaters of Global Zionist-Anglo-American Conspiracy (HQGAAZC) ?

How does Dr.Mahathir's Operation Buy-Love fit in the grand strategy of overthrowing the Zionist-Anglo-American Secret Empire through a worldwide and simultanenous uprising of Muslims, Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Africans and Latin Americans? What was the link between HQGAAZC and Operation KOKS-929?

The 'get Anwar' campaign, Part 1

The ‘get Anwar’ campaign, Part 2

Despite 911, Dr M & co fail to ‘turn over’ the US

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spokesmen for 'silent majority' ?

Dear Tai Soh: when there is no statistical or numerical proof, anyone - politicians, journalists, writers or speakers alike- who boostfully claims to be speaking or writing on behalf or for 'the silent majority' on particular issues is usually and essentially a charlatan or swindler, whether they play golf or wear gold watch or not.

The idea of claiming to speak on behalf or for 'the silent majority' is to make other accept his or her arguments by the logic of( imaginary) force, not force of logic, or to make one's opponents in a debate feel isolated, lonely or marginalised. The reality may be that it is the one who speaks for or on behalf of 'the silent majority' who is the more isolated, lonely or marginalised guy.

If these 'spokesmen for the silent majority' are publicly challenged to produce statistical or numerical proof of their claim, the typical response would be silence (hoping other would forget their bullshits) or the non-arguments of 'you are arrogant' or 'don't I have the right to free speech?'

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A shift in Eurasia's strategic balance of power

China, Russia sign joint statement, pledge closer ties
People's Daily, UPDATED: 08:20, March 22, 2006

China and Russia signed a joint statement in Beijing Tuesday, pledging to tighten their ties by furthering cooperation in politics, energy and regional affairs.

Recalling their ten-year-old strategic partnership of coorperation, Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that "bilateral relations are at an unprecedented level of development".

Putin is on a two-day state visit to China from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Apart from the joint statement, the two heads of state also attended the signing of 14 cooperative agreements after their talks in the Great Hall of the People.

"The energy cooperation between China and Russia, as an important part of the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, is witnessing a high-level development, and is of great significance for further deepening bilateral economic cooperation," says the statement.

The two sides support companies from both nations to invest in the exploration of oil and gas resources and to tap energy potentials of both nations, according to the statement.

Russia expressed its strong support for the one-China policy. "The Russian side will continue to adhere to the one-China policy and recognize the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of the whole of China," the statement says. And "Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory."

Russia opposes Taiwan joining the United Nations and other international organizations that only sovereign nations could join, and will not sell weapons to Taiwan, says the statement.

China and Russia, sharing a 4,300-km-long border, thoroughly settled their boundary disputes last year after 40 years of negotiations.

The completion of delimitation and the smooth implementation of the agreement on strengthening military trust and mutual reduction of armed forces on the border areas, as well as the agreement on common economic use of certain islands in the border rivers and surrounding waters during the past ten years, are conducive to peace and friendship on the China-Russia border areas, the statement says.

The friendly atmosphere on the border areas further deepens the exchanges and cooperation between neighbouring regions of the two countries, the joint statement says.

The joint statement also says the two sides reiterated that they will finish the delimitation of the remaining two parts of land along the China-Russia boundary line by the end of 2007.

Both sides also pointed out with satisfaction that the preparation for delimitation is proceeding as scheduled by both sides, according to the joint statement.

The statement also says the two countries will make close cooperation in solving the Iranian and Korean nuclear issues. "China and Russia promise to further push for the international mechanism of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."

As to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China and Russia reiterate that the six-party talks is the practical and effective approach to solving the nuclear issue, the statement says.

The two countries vowed to step up coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which groups Russia, China and four Central Asian states -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"China and Russia will take the development of the SCO as a key link of diplomacy and continue to closely coordinate stances within the framework of the SCO," the statement says.

The SCO has become a unique force in international relations since its establishment five years ago and played a special role in effectively tackling transnational threats and challenges, the statement says.

The SCO summit is scheduled for June in Shanghai.

The joint statement says both China and Russia support an early resumption of the Palestine-Israel negotiation process, and the formation of the Palestinian State, which enjoys sovereignty and democracy, and shares security and peace with its neighbor Israel.

Both countries always maintain that the situation in Iraq should be stabilized as soon as possible, and Iraq's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity should be safeguarded, says the statement.

As for the situation in Central Asia, the joint statement says the stability and security of Central Asian nations, as well as their constant economic and social development are in the immediate interest of China and Russia.

Source: Xinhua

Putin visits China to open the Year of Russia

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How much are the Howard experts paid ?

According to PM Abdullah, experts from the prestigious Harvard university in the US have been appointed to help the government improve its delivery system. (for full story, subscribe to malaysiakini).

Can the PM tell us more about their individual and personal backgrounds (names, for example), credentials and working experiences ? How much are they paid by the government? What are the criteria and time-frame set by the government to measure their success or failure? Are they no Malaysians or experts of other universities who can do the job?

Do they know Bahasa Malaysia to read government documents and forms and interview civil servants for the conduct of their studies?

Don't tell us all these simple and basic facts are covered, or to be covered, under the Official Secret Act (OSA).

We have not forgotten the MAS's Mat Salleh 'expert' who was paid some RM7,000 a day but still failed to make the national carrier profitable. Please ask Najib to count how many bungkus nasi lemak can be bought with RM7,000 a day.

PM: Harvard experts to improve civil service

MAS manager quits after pay furore

Flap over sky-high cost of MAS paintings

Monday, March 20, 2006

Troublemaker from Northeast

Earlier this year, an American scholar I met in Kuala Lumpur told me about his observation that Taiwan's ruling party DPP is more like a single-issue NGO of anti-China activists than a mature mainstream political party with more issues, agendum, and considerations to manage.

After reading and watching Chen Shui-bian personally participating in anti-China street demonstration in Taipei two days ago, I cannot agree more with my young American friend. From a Malaysian and Southeast Asian perspective, I think the wild and infantile political behaviour of Chen Shui-bian as well as his ideological patrons and supporters is dangerous to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, through spill-over effect, when and if it is reciprocated or mirror-imaged, or emulate or imitated by politicians in the far larger, stronger, more resourceful and more populous Mainland.

But then, a more self-confident and self-efficacious Beijing may now see this kind of childish behaviour in Taipei as a sign of Chen's weakness, not strength. Many mature people in Taiwan, especially the Opposition, certainly disagree with Chen on his reckless or even adventurist manner in conducting cross-strait relations.

Taiwan stages new anti-Chen rally

Military balance goes against Taiwan

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Expressing gratitude to Pak Lah ...

As I said immediately after the Cabinet reshuffle, the appointment of Zam may not subjectively be liked by many journalists but it may objectively serve the purpose of heralding a Malaysian Renaissance as an unintended consequence in a dialectical process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

Those who are clear-minded and not as engrossed in humourless micro-details like Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang may have already sensed the Zam Effect in opening up the Malaysian minds in a matter of just a few weeks.

Zam has now introduced the themes of media-business relations, journalistic ethics, Western liberalism, nationalism and patriotism for our intellectual discourses and scholarly debates.

Boredom exists only for boring people.

Kalimullah, have you also heard the Voice ?

Malaysian National News Agency

Businessmen Should Keep Away From The Media, Says Zainuddin
General/March 17, 2006 21:33 PM

SHAH ALAM, March 17 (Bernama) -- People with business interests should not get involved in the media field because it can erode the ethics of journalism, Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said Friday night.

This was because the ethics of journalism were based on the principles of objectivity, impartiality, truthfulness and balanced reporting, he added.

"If this was allowed, it would be seen as becoming a tool for takeovers and mergers of companies to bolster prices in the share market," he said at the Selangor media appreciation night, here.

Zainuddin said that when journalism became an important tool of businesses or corporate giants, it would be pressured to sacrifice professionalism and idealism.

He also said that another challenge faced now by the media, particularly the print media, was pop journalism that was based on sensationalism, sensitivity and globalisation.

Zainuddin said the competition to seek markets and the challenge from television had driven newspapers from the traditional layout to a form that was exuberant, cheerful, startling and, at times, disturbing.

"The appearance of the newspaper has transformed into the popular look. The role of shaping the morals and attitude of the people, which was the main agenda of the media in the past, has been compromised for competition to seek markets through pop journalism.

"This should not be a cause for concern so long as the newspapers do not breach the ethics of journalism and national policies," he said.

Zainuddin said this development was also not a cause for concern so long as journalists did not indulge in "envelope journalism" (taking of bribes) or sectarian politics or become the stooges of the economic and political interests of foreign countries.

"I understand that in the face of competition, it is very difficult for journalists, particularly the editors, to hold fast to the ideals of journalism but there are those who have endured, have not resorted to taking bribes, and do not have vested interests in the practice of journalism.

"As a result, these people maintain the respect of the community and are held in high esteem, and do not become the subjects of cheap gossip," he said.

Zainuddin said it was sad that there were journalists who were prepared to trade the nation's secrets for position and money.

He wanted institutions such as the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the National Press Club (NPC) to be the guardians of ethical, healthy and dignified journalism.

"We should not regard western liberalism as the best model for press freedom in Malaysia. We should be able to discern the threat to freedom in the guise of liberalism cloaked with globalisation, sensation and fundamental rights.

"This deceiving approach should be understood by journalists so that the Malaysian style of press freedom that has successfully moulded a strong and united people with dignity is not infringed," he said.

Zainuddin said journalists who dwelled on racial and religious sensitivities did not understand the history of nation-building, did not have the spirit of Malaysia at heart, were not patriotic and were not nationalistic.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had never wavered from his conviction that laws such as the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act had contributed to racial harmony and the stability and prosperity of Malaysia.

"These acts are the pillars of the nation that should no longer be disputed," he said.--



Friday, March 17, 2006

Zams' bogey for next general, party elections

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fuel price hike unjust, says Anwar

Arfa’eza A Aziz (malaysiakini)
Mar 15, 06 11:05am

The government is being unjust in burdening Malaysians with a fuel price hike when billions of ringgit in profits for national oil company Petronas are only distributed among its cronies, alleged Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Anwar Ibrahim.

In a brief e-mail communication, Anwar said it was regrettable that profits amassed by Petronas are not being spent in a transparent manner.

Anwar, who was finance minister from 1991 and 1998, stressed the need for the oil company to be made answerable to Parliament.

Petronas has been recording high returns but yet it is answerable only to the prime minister and not to Parliament,” said the former deputy premier currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

“It is regrettable that its funds amounting to billions of ringgit are not being spent in a transparent manner. Instead these are used to bail out crony companies and finance mega projects. Petronas gives little attention to stimulating economic development or showing concern for the people.”

University established

He was commenting on the government’s latest decision to reduce fuel subsidies that led to prices increasing between 18.5 percent and 23 percent. In less than two years, the petrol price has gone up by 40 percent while diesel now costs 102 percent more.

The decision had revived calls for greater transparency in state-owned Petronas which was ranked last in the 2006 survey of the ‘World’s Most Sustainable and Ethical Companies’. Spanish-based ethics rating firm Management & Excellence conducted the survey of 15 major oil companies.

Anwar said that, as finance minister, he had managed to channel some of the profits to benefit the public, for instance by overseeing the establishment of the Petronas University in Perak. “(But at the same time) there were instructions for the company to rescue family companies... some RM2 billion was to bail out Shipping Consortium Bhd, Renong, the Twin Towers (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) and billions of ringgit more for the Putrajaya government complexes,” he claimed.

“The amount spent on the bail-out exercises and the mega projects is not commensurate with the amount spent on (projects that benefit) the people.”

Asked if he had been responsible for any fuel price hike during his tenure as the finance minister, Anwar said: “No... In fact, I had increased subsidies for the lower-income groups like farmers and fishermen.

“I managed to maintain the fuel price despite increase of oil price at the world market and had lowered the price when the (global) rate decreased.”

He said efficient and responsible financial management is the key to resolving issues relating to the fuel price, as part and parcel of managing the national economy.

Pak Lah has 'failed' us

Anwar: Time's running out for Proton

Anwar: Time to suspend NEP

Scrap NEP: Anwar’s message to voters

Umno... never again, says Anwar

I know how it feels, says Anwar

Anwar: Where are the promised reforms?

Anwar joins campaign for Petronas to spread wealth to the poor

New inter-racial policies needed, says Anwar

Bumiputera privileges must end, says Anwar

Ringgit peg courting disaster, Anwar tells Pak Lah

Anwar: M'sia not a 'moderate' Muslim country

Anwar takes on BN gov’t over Chinese education

Anwar: BA leaders back DJZ on mother-tongue education

Anwar’s lecture: Africans and Asians must examine themselves

Q&A: Pak Lah too indecisive, says Anwar

Anwar: To survive, Pak Lah must press on with reforms

Anwar to star in new campaign against ISA

Anwar: Islamic state not on my agenda

Anwar backs mother-tongue education

Anwar predicts economic doom as we lose competitiveness

Anwar calls for a stronger opposition front

Defiant Anwar gets hero's welcome

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pak Said's second book now out in circulation

Dear Yin,

This is the book cover of Said Zahari's second memoir, Dalam Ribuan Mimpi Gelisah (Kuala Lumpur, Utusan, 2006). It is already available in major bookshops.

I think you should form a study group among intellectually like-minded young friends to share thoughts and exchange opinions after reading the book.

Of course, all published books, including MM (formerly PM and SM) Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs, are publicly open to rational discussions and critical reviews in this blog, malaysiakini or elsewhere.

The book covers a wide range of topics and themes in Malaysia and Singapore since 1963, the year Said was detained without trial. It contains many vivid recollections of physical and psychological torture of political prisoners and the effects on them, especially Lim Chin Siong, a co-founder of PAP who later left to lead the Socialist Front.

His and many of his friends' detentions without trial attracted the attention of not only global human rights organisations like the Amnesty International but also Carter's administration in the United States which sent an official State Department delegation to Singapore. The episode is, of course, recorded in this book.

The woman whose picture appears in the cover is Said's brave wife, Makcik Salamah (may God bless her soul) who suffered so much - but also showed so much courage and fortitute even many men lack - during the 17 years of her husband's detention without trial.

Spore's communist 'threat' - was it real?

Ex-detainee: Anwar’s incarceration a ‘national tragedy’ (Part 2)

Said Zahari: Read Chin Peng’s memoirs with open mind (Part 1)

Said Zahari, the man

Sin Chew Jit Poh's 2006 interview with Said Zahari (in Chinese)

Dark Clouds at Dawn: A Political Memoir

Important Books with a Tale to Tell

Said Zahari's long nights

Dark Clouds at Dawn: A Political Memoir

Said Zahari and Singapore’s four presidents: the Left’s history

Zahari: Prison didn't shut him up

Ex-detainee Zahari to launch book

To Catch a Tartar: A Dissident in Lee Kuan Yew's Prison

Comet In Our Sky

Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History

Creating free spaces and alternative ideas

Decline of the Malaysian press

Singapore - republic of fear

Singapore - a modern 'dictatorship’?

Insider account of ties that failed to bind

Ousted! But still waiting to enter

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A spin doctor's further advice to crocodiles

Dear Mr. Crocodile,

In my last entry, I have given you the following advice:

You must own and control the public media so that if and when public opinion strongly turns against meat-eating, you can instantly ask top editors to publish pictures showing you actually frequent vegetarian restaurants every week and love vegetarian food very much. With the strong and united support of a controlled media, you can even stand on moral high ground to publicly accuse tigers and lions of being inhuman because they eat meat, and call on all peace-loving creatures to report any meat-eating activities to you so that actions could be taken against them by you. If you repeat enough, some people would actually forget you are also meat-eating.

Of course, the above-mentioned advice is only the ABC of propaganda. Here are the DEF:

Although publicly accusing tigers and lions of being inhuman because they eat meat can serve the purpose of diverting attention on you, it may be costly because tigers and lions, being creatures as powerful as you, could also counteract and make the same accusation against you. So, if you are not that desperate or threatened, you may consider first not to make allegation against creatures of equal or more superior strength but targeting at creatures of weaker or more inferior strengths like white ants, snakes, or rats and mices.

Well, although you cannot exactly accuse white ants, snakes or rats and mices of meat-eating, you can, through the media you own and control, create diversionary issues like campaigns against 'destroying other's property' or ' kill the rats and mices to keep the environment clean'. If your media is powerful, skillful and not stupid enough, creation of new and diversionary issues can also serve to kill off, or at least trivalise, the 'anti-meat-eating' public opinion.
After a while, many nice guys including genuine and true vegetarians may well come to see you as non-confrontational and people-friendly again although you are still a meat-eater behind the scene or in dark corners.

After the 'anti-meat-eating' public opinion has cooled down, you may also ask the media you own and control to invite a few vegeterian columists and commentators to write regularly in your media on issues like 'UFO', 'Big Foot', 'Pontian Anak' and 'The Menace of Tiger' or 'Michael Jackson's lifestyle' and encourage them to be as 'intellectually critical' and 'politically argumentative' as possible as long as they do not touch on the critical or vital topic of 'meat-eating'. This is to drain the intellectual energies of the more educated vegetarians, prevent them from talking about your meat-eating lifestyle and philosophy and to show you are also democratic.

Your media may also occasionally interview some less radical vegeterian leaders or vegetrian leaders who secretly admire the meat-eating lifestyle on issues like how to improve the quality of envionment in the jungle or how to upgrade computer skills for all creatures, etc as long as the topic of meat-eating is not allowed to be mentioned.

In this way, you can show that you are as humane as the vegetarians, you are receptive to vegetarians' point of views on many issues (minus eat-eating) and also that the media you own and control to defend and preserve your meat-eating lifestyle is actually not biased or one-sided against vegetarians.

* Of course, the strategy will only be successful if no one else (except you and me) or not many people know about it and that is why it is imperative that we keep our correspondence confidential and outside the privy of the by and large still credulous vegetarians, especially in the rural areas.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Malay Left in the struggle for Independence

Dear Xi Li,

Thank you for your email which asks me what is my progress of reading Dr. Mohamed Salleh Lamry's Gerakan Kiri Melayu Dalam Perjuangan Kemerdekaan (Bangi, Penerbit UKM, 2006) .

I have finished reading it for the second time with great attention to details and reflected deeply on it. I have also written a review for malaysiakini.

It is indeed a great book you must not only read but also buy to keep as a reference because it, like Pak Said Zahari's Dalam Ribuan Mimpi Gelisah (Kuala Lumpur, Utusan, 2006), helps us to understand many aspects of the hidden history of our land and people in the long and winding anti-colonial and anti-fascist struggle for true independence.

I think this book will also help to make us more multi-ethnic and less ethnically exclusivist in outlook. I really hope it will be translated into Chinese and English.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Why doesn't Najib consider emigrating ?

Umno's English-language mouthpiece New Straits Times today quoted DPM and Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak as saying that " in other countries" where fuel prices are not controlled, people do not blame their governments as they have accepted automatic price adjustments according to the world market.

Excuse my ignorance: I don't know what "other countries" Najib admires so much nowadays but if he really thinks there are countries where the people are less questioning and critical, less conscious of their own economic interest and human rights and easier to rule like in the 19-century British Malaya, then why doesn't he consider emigrating?

There, he would probably not have to publicly advertise - out of the blue- that he loves slippers just like Mahatma Ghandi and Ho Chi Minh. There, probably the people are not that discerning of elites' lifestyles.

Otherwise, he would only forever feel like a frustrated Governor of the Straits Settlements trapped in a sea of irrational mob of the Orient infested with dangerously modern ideas that threatened Imperial defence and security of the Realm.

A spin doctor's advice to crocodiles

Sirs, you must own and control the public media so that if and when public opinion strongly turns against meat-eating, you can instantly ask top editors to publish pictures showing you actually frequent vegetarian restaurants every week and love vegetarian food very much.

With the strong and united support of a controlled media, you can even stand on moral high ground to publicly accuse tigers and lions of being inhuman because they eat meat, and call on all peace-loving creatures to report any meat-eating activities to you so that actions could be taken against them by you. If you repeat enough, some people would actually forget you are also meat-eating.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Talking back to Pak Lah like a 'caring father'

We know PM Abdullah is panic and surprised to see the people's strong reaction to the fuel price hike.

Under the cirmcumstances, the people actually have no other choices but to respond firmly and decisively so that no political elites and economic vermins would exploit or take advantage of what they always see to be credulity, timidity and malleability of the people.

The people have actually acted firmly and decisively for Pak Lah's own good because we want him to have more accurate information or picture about the true feelings of the people. For the mainstream media often blacks out or trivialises such information like the chamberlins in the Emperor's New Clothes story. Also, his Oxbridge team of young economic advisers may still mentally live in a make-belief nirvana of neo-conservative economics.

So, Pak Lah should be grateful to the people who demonstrated and, therefore, provided him with true and accurate information about how ordinary and normal people live their daily lives of which his aristocratic deputy has proven to be incapable of supplying to him.

If Pak Lah faces problems or pressures in the Establishment, he should feel free to let us the people know through SMS or emails. We will be listening patiently and lovingly and also try to help out although we cannot tell now what form of help - and when- we will be giving.

This helicopter is not just wasting fuel ...

This helicopter, believed to be a public property allocated for the security sector, was obviously wasting fuel by circling the sky above anti-fuel price hike peaceful demonstrators at KLCC yesterday. It also continously attempted to tunjuk kuasa in a very bodoh-sombong manner, provoke and bully the crowd by flying and circling dangerously low directly above them.

What would happen if the it crashed into the crowd in a busy section of Kuala Lumpur? We know even military helicopters in Malaysia often crash due to weather conditions, technical faults, poor maintenance of materiel and, above all, poorly trained (technical as well as emotional) personnel, or a combination of two or more such factors.

Friday, March 10, 2006

People have changed artistic taste too ...

After the fuel price hike two weeks ago, many fishermen, rubber tappers, coffeeshop operators and squatters have now sold off all their European oil paintings and stopped going to visit London and Paris for perfume shopping every few months

Instead, they have developed very economic and indigenous taste for popular art and entertainment in the streets of Kuala Lumpur. Their children have been transferred out from international to national schools.

People like university students, hawkers, office boys and girls, mamak barbers and factory workers have also stopped driving Rolls Royces, Mercedez Bends or Proton Perdanas already.

Sir, people have changed their lifestyle ...

After the recent drastic fuel price hike, the people don't drive Rolls Royce, Mercedez Bends or Proton Perdana anymore. They have also stopped using military or police helicopters as personal verhicles for balik kampong trips or to beat traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur.

They walk in the streets under the red hot tropical sun for two consecutive Friday afternoons now.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Remembering Makcik Salamah on 3/8 IWD

Today is the Internaional Women's Day (IWD) which has been traditionally celebrated worldwide.

When I asked my wife last evening what to blog to commemorate the IWD, her answer was unequivocal: let's remember Makcik Salamah (second from right), the quietly heroic woman who stood by Pakcik Said Zahari for 17 years while he was detained without trial in Singapore, and brought up all their children in Pakcik's long and enforced absence.

We still remember Makcik Salamah always made kopi-O for us while we visited Pakcik. Sometime, she also shared her personal and real-life experience with my wife while Pakcik and I talked about other topics.

Makcik Salamah is always an inspiration of faithfulness and fortitude to us.

Rest in peace, Makcik. We love and remember you forever.

Said Zahari's brave wife Salamah passed away this morning

Ex-NST chief operates his personal blog now

One of my (second from left) sifus in the mainstream media, ex-NST chief Datuk Kadir Jasin (third from left) has finally joined the rank of critical thinkers and writers by setting up his own personal blog titled The Scribe A Kadir Jasin at

Whether we agree with his view on this or that issue or not, I think Kadir still writes passionately. There is, for example, a recent entry where he bangs DPM Najib Tun Razak on the fuel price hike and the remarkably EQ-less "change-lifestyle" call. Enjoy.

This photohraph shows we were together in the National Press Club in Kuala Lumpur in 1999 welcoming a delegation of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) whose chairman (third from right) was a former Member of Parliament of the British Conservative Party. As journalists and commentators, we, like all good politicians, meet and talk to all kinds of people, high and low, from left to right on the political spectrum.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Root cause of Malaysia's economic malaise

Dear Lilian,

I don't think you should blame poor hawkers for increasing food and drink prices to offset the impact of the government-initiated drastic fuel price hike and to maintain the normal profit margin. I think those who do are mentally poisoned by BN's propaganda campaign of trivalization, divertion and scapegoating.

The current state of Malaysia's economic malaise has its ROOT CAUSE in the unchecked parasitic or verminous consumption of the filthy rich and powerful ruling elites - especially those Umnoputras - who now appear in the media as (hey presto!) 'people's champions' and 'loving and caring leader' against 'profiteers', 'smugglers', 'unscrupulous hawkers' and 'wasteful bureaucrats'.

I think reading Uncle Kim Quek's popular book Where to, Malaysia? - A future with Anwar’s Reformasi or back to Mahathirism (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005) is a very good starting point for you BN diehards to decontamnitate the minds poisoned by omnipresent propaganda that you blind loyalists are not even aware of it as propaganda designed to trivialise, divert and scapegoat.

Play down public fury, press told

Price hike: Info ministry fuels the airwaves

Monday, March 06, 2006

Real economics is by its very nature political

According to one line of BN's propaganda, the issue of fuel price hike should not be "politicised" because it is purely an economic question. This is certainly an unscientific and outdated argument.

For those of us who have gone through intellectually rigorous studies in the First World universities, there is no such thing as "pure" economics because:

1. Makers of economic policies and measures are human beings with specific or concrete social class backgrounds in terms of his or his group's material interests and biased value-system;

2. Economic policies and measures have to be enforced by political powers which are held by men and women with specific or concrete social class backgrounds;

3. In all polities, there are more than one social class and their economic interests and values often differ or even in conflict;

4. Conflicts of economic interests and values are balanced through the medium of political powers, including political powers of the masses, counter-elites and anti-elites;

5. Elites and non-elites compete to control limited public resources and set priorities of public expenditures. (Why cut fuel or health care subsidies, not spending on arms race? Who make the final decision?)

So, there is no economics as such but only political economics in the tradition of Adam Smith, David Richardo, Karl Marx and John Keynes.

The spring of our discontent

Play down public fury, press told

Sunday, March 05, 2006

One more great WWII memoir out in market

Dear friends,

The long awaited reprint of Sybil Karthigasu's wartime memoirs No Dram of Mercy is now done. The book is available at , among other outlets, malaysiakini's Kinibook Online.

I don't think I need to introduce the book or the author anymore in this blog. Enjoy reading true, not concocted, distorted or whitewashed, history of our land and people. The Chinese-language translation was already published and launched in Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur last year.

Pray for the great Eurasian Malayan Christian who fought the Japanese fascists, and salute to ALL the martyrs of the Defend-Malaya-Resist-Japan People's War in Malaya and Singapore.

May they all rest in peace.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Nasi lemak price hike? Eat Polish tanks then

Could anyone please enlighten me on the number of days (or hours) the Asian man in the picture had worked in independent and productive (of marketable goods or services) income-earning jobs in non-governmental sectors before he was given power to make politcal, macro-economic and budgetary decisions affecting the livelihood of 24 million normal working adults and their families in Malaysia?

Has he ever taken a public bus or taxi before as a private and normal person without being accompanied by officials and policemen?

Gov't considering buying RM3.8 bil of weapons with gold reserves

Friday, March 03, 2006

Which class's lifestyle needs to be changed?

" No bread ? Let them eat cake ... "

DPM and Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak's public call for Malaysians to change "lifestyle" to cope with the government-approved drastic increase of fuel price reminds this student of European history of the historically infamous utterance of French Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) when she faced an angry and hungry crowd protesting against inflation and the shortage of cheap bread.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Nation cheers Najib for fuel price speech

but I overheard one (only one, be assured) illiterate anti-national fanatic this morning instigating the people by asking these questions aloud in the wet market nearby:

Why are there only two choices as falsely presented by Najib ( "Which is better? Raising it three times or only once?") ? Why can't there be the third real choice: no rise at all?

Why can't the government cut other spendings like frantic and spendthrift ARMS & WEAPONS PURCHASES , parasitic or verminous consumptions by economically unproductive ruling elites like PUTRAJAYA and other flight-of-fancy structures of similar nature, to remain financial sound and prudent without affecting the ordinary people?

Isn't the BN government becoming more and more IMF-in-Indonesia-like in its economic policies?

Have Najib and his fellow ruling elites changed and adjusted their "lifestyle"?

Govt orders four Airbus military transport planes

Gov't considering buying RM3.8 bil of weapons with gold reserves

Spanish firm says M'sia may order Airbus military planes

Malaysian ‘conduit’ bypasses EU arms controls

China arms deal halfway there

Gov't allocates more money for arms purchase

Decision soon on US fighter jet purchase: Najib

French company wins avionics contract for fighter jets

Gov't inks RM286mil helicopter deal with Agusta

Gov't to buy shoulder-launched missiles despite US security concerns

M'sia gets space ride, palm oil deal along with Russian jets

Rolls-Royce seeks naval engine deal with M'sia: report

War and terror send Asian defence spending soaring: Mahathir

M'sia denies arms race with S'pore

Call off arms race, says Mahathir

Putin eyes more Asian markets after Malaysia arms deal

Putin expected to sign fighter jet deal with M'sia

Gov't keen on anti-aircraft defences from Ukraine

M'sia eyes missile technology from Brazil, Bosnia

Defence Ministry buys new fleet of aircraft

Air force to buy 18 Russian fighter jets in RM3.4 bn deal

M’sia to pay for Polish assault tanks with cash and goods: Najib

M'sia eyes Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets

Gov't buys RM1.2 billion air defence missiles

Najib: Malaysia hopes to buy US fighter jets by year-end

Gov't to buy 48 tanks from Poland

Gov't plans palm oil-for-arms deals

Arms race feared as M'sia joins exclusive submarine club

Malaysia seals RM3.7 bln maiden deal to buy French submarines

M'sia inks RM1.4 billion missile deals, wants subs

Malaysia kicks off arms shopping spree with RM304 mil contracts

Malaysia to buy Polish tanks in RM950 mil deal: Mahathir

Prime Minister to visit Poland for arms talks

M'sia buys Russian missiles, offered new US fighter jets

Russia to export anti-tank missile systems to Malaysia

G'ovt may revive plans to buy Russian fighter jets

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New, fresh propaganda idea for Zams


Pamela Anderson: "Hi, darlings, Malaysia's petrol price hike is not unreasonable. Malaysia is still better than Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. Please continue to give your support to Pak Lah's government for unity, stability and harmony. I love you all ... ".

Media customisation and the propaganda of ‘love’

Silent majority welcomes petrol price hike

" ... only a vocal minority consisting of militant Islamists, Chinese chauvinists, Hindu trouble-makers and Communists as well as their fellow travellers are making noises to instigate the people, directly or indirectly and consciously or unconsciously, to disrupt national unity, stability and harmony ..."

(Dear Ah Beng: Am I not better and more skillful in this Cold War-type Propaganda 101 than Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik, 'Dr. Soooorians', 'Bubeer Singhs' and those 'Clinton' Wongs, 'Bush' Tans or 'Blair' Lims that used to appear as letter writers and spokespersons for the 'Silent Majority' in the New Straits Times or The Star ? )

A picture is worth fifty thousand words

Dear Peter,

You asked me whether Umno Baru now is "Malay nationalist" or "Islamist", and whether it is "pro-West" or "anti-West" and my answer to you is simply the picture reprinted above.

Mahathir calls US, UK terrorist nations

U.S.-Malaysia Defense Cooperation: A Solid Success Story

'Father' of Malaysia savages Bush and Blair,12271,1493443,00.html

Mahathir admits $1.2 mil paid for meeting with Bush