Monday, July 31, 2006

World condemns Israeli attacks on civilians 2006-07-30 23:57:05
Special report: Israel-Lebanon conflicts

BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The international community on Sunday reacted with shock over the Israeli assault on civilians in the southern Lebanese village of Qana, which killed at least 57 Lebanese, including 37 children.

The UN Security Council, in a presidential statement, expressed "extreme shock and distress" over Israel's bombing of civilians in Lebanon.

The statement "strongly deplores this loss of innocent life and the killing of civilians in the present conflict."

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the Israel's attack.

The United States urged Israel to show restraint after more than 50 civilians were killed in Israeli air raids.

"This was a horrible event. We continue to counsel the Israelis on the importance of restraint," White House spokesman Tony Snow said at a briefing.

U.S. President George W. Bush also called for a "sustainable peace" after Israeli air strikes.

The United States has refused to condemn the military action by Israel against Lebanon since July 12 by claiming that Israel is defending itself against Hezbollah.

Moreover, the United States has resisted international calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement that he was "shocked" by the fact that so many civilians were killed in the attack and expressed deep sorrow and sympathy to the victims and their families.

South African President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday joined world leaders in expressing South Africa's outrage and condemnation on the bombings.

The South African government said there would be no "military solution" to the problem in the Middle East and called on the international community to do everything in their power to stop the fighting in the region.

In a statement issued by Brazil's Foreign Ministry, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he rejected "the acts of indiscriminate violence and the use of military force against civilian targets by all parties" in the conflict.

He also stressed Brazil's call for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it condemned the tactics used by Hezbollah, and supported a call made by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to end hostilities in southern Lebanon.

In Venezuela, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said the government joined the worldwide rejection of Israel's attack, adding that "this murder of dozens of women and children has no justification whatsoever."

China strongly condemned the Israeli attack and urged the two sides involved in the conflict to cease fire immediately to avoid further disaster, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.

"The Lebanon-Israel conflict has caused grave humanitarian damage," he noted.

In Brussels, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for external relations and European neighborhood policy, said in a statement that Israel's attack on Qana means an escalation of violence that is unjustifiable at a time when the international community is jointly working to find a solution to the conflict.

The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) said it strongly denounced the "barbaric" Israeli attack on the southern Lebanese village of Qana and the unabated Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

In the statement, AL Secretary-General Amr Moussa called for "an open international investigation into the Qana massacre along with other war crimes committed by Israel in Lebanon, especially those against civilians."

Finland, holding the current rotating presidency of the European Union, said in a statement that Finland is shocked and dismayed by the Israeli air strikes on Qana and there is no justification for attacks causing casualties among innocent civilians.

Egypt issued a presidential statement and condemned Israel's attack on Qana as "irresponsible," saying "the dire need of issuing an international resolution on immediately halting military operations."

Egypt also urged the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility and work on bringing about a halt to Israel's onslaught on the Lebanese people and infrastructure.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya told reporters before his weekly cabinet meeting that the latest Israeli air raid on Qana was a big shock for the Palestinian government and people.

Syria's official SANA news agency reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad condemned the Israeli attack on the village of Qana as "state terrorism."

In a statement, Jordanian King Abdullah II strongly condemned the Israeli air strike in Qana, saying "this criminal aggression forms a strong violation of the international law." He also called for an immediate ceasefire and a solution to the crisis.

Kuwaiti parliament speaker Jassem al Kharafi said the Israeli "savage and barbaric" aggression against Lebanon surpassed all moral and humanitarian limits, disregarding international law, human rights and the world community.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Sunday urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan by telephone to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council to arrange an immediate cease-fire.

Before the government's weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret for the civilian deaths in Qana but said Israel would not rush into a ceasefire.

A Lebanese official said around 750 people have been dead there since July 12, when Israel started a campaign of airstrikes after the Lebanon-based guerilla group, Hezbollah, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others. (Editor: Luan Shanglin)


Xinhua Special Report on Israel-Lebanon Conflicts

People's Daily News Feature on Israel-Lebanon Conflicts

Latin American nations condemn Israeli attack on Lebanon

Worldwide communist solidarity with Palestinian and Lebanese people

Sunday, July 30, 2006

M'sian Armed Forces privatised already-meh ?

In the context of police investigation into the attack on Tun Dr. Mahathir, the New Straits Times today reported that (QUOTE) " Police have recorded statements from 27 people, including seven soldiers from the Eighth Brigade Infantry here, hired to protect Dr. Mahathir" (UNQUOTE). What ? ! Ordinary citizens can now HIRE soldiers as personal bodyguards ? !

What is the rate? RM or USD 150 per hour ? Any extra charge after midnight or on Saturdays and Sundays? Any discount for hiring 10 or more?

What is the arrangment to split the fees between the soldiers and their units?

Can rich dads and moms now rent or hire tanks or armoured vehicles to send their kids to schools every morning to ensure the safety of their loved ones? How much?

If we can hire soldiers from nearby barracks as bodyguards, why do our jewelry shops and banks still have to import Gurkhas from faraway Nepal as Jaga Pintu (JPs)?

Time for Defence Minister Najib to enlighten us publicly on this reported 'Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA) in the Malaysian Armed Forces .

Malaysia Boleh !

A few days after the hurlyburly at the Kota Baru Airport, I feel we Malaysians are quite a mature, disciplined and responsible lot because, to the best of my knowledge, no one has been circulating really wild rumours like Tun was hit by a Hellfire missile fired from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) coordinated by Global Positioning System (GPS). As I said earlier, the police must be commended for its prompt and clear-cut response to the attack on Tun.

We should be glad that no leaders or supporters of Suqiu and Al Ma'unah, KMM (Kumpulan Militant/Mujahideen Malaysia), Communists, Zionists, Mossad, CIA, Chinese chauvinists, Al Qaeda, Singapore secret agents, Reformasi followers, homosexuals or anti-social Indian youths are implicated.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Modernity in Malaysia goes back a long way

Thanks to the media, everyone in Malaysia now knows that US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice plays piano. A young friend rang up with I-Found-It or Eureka excitement to tell me 'the news' as if modernity has finally dawned on Malaysia after Rice's media appearance in Kuala Lumpur as a musician.

Rice certainly did what is right in and for the interest of American public diplomacy by displaying the most universal and powerful form of soft power.

But as far as my country and people are concerned, I had heard from my grandmother (left) in 1960s that a qualified Malay electrical chargeman La-Xi-Man-Tin (above) from Tanjung Tualang had known how to play violin long before Dr.Rice was born in 1954. Pak Rashid Maidin learnt English from a Christian missionary in Tapah and Mandarin among fellow tin-mining workers as early as 1930s.

Karya-karya Marxis

Situs Kaum Marxist Indonesia

No grand conspiracy in Kota Baru hurlyburly

We must commend the police for its prompt and clear-cut response to the attack on Tun at the Kota Baru Airport yesterday. I am glad no leaders or supporters of Suqiu and Al Ma'unah, KMM (Kumpulan Militant/Mujahideen Malaysia), Communists, Zionists, Mossad, CIA, Chinese chauvinists, Al Qaeda, Singapore secret agents, Reformasi followers, homosexuals or anti-social Indian youths are implicated.

Musa confirms attack linked to supporters' rivalry

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hurlyburly at Kota Baru airport this morning

The first and immediate impression of the reported incident is that Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad suffers yet another 'unfair' and 'highhanded' treatment again by the administration of his successor. Certainly, the impression may turn out to be true in reality.

However, there is another cynical opinion among my friends who holds that it is a self-staged sandiwara on the part of some artful supporters of Tun to create that impression to gain sympathy and make the administration of his 'wrongly chosen' successor looks bad and, if this observation is proven true, the kind of persons are known as agent provocateurs.

Only independent and open investigation can reveal the truth.

Meanwhile, I think we must not over-react and fall into traps set by those who want to create a popular impression of a worsening security situation to justify state repression and restriction on the freedom of speech, especially in the cyberspace.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

China condemns Israeli aggression in Lebanon

Israel's attack on a long established and clearly marked Untied Nations base overlooking the border at Khiam in southern Lebanon on Tuesday is stunning.

Four United Nations observers were killed in their bunker, including one from China.

The co-ordinated artillery and aerial raid occurred despite personal assurances given to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions would be spared Israeli fire.

We express our strongest condemnation at this inhuman move and convey our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

Israel must apologize for the bombing and to the victims' families.

Our hearts also go out to the Chinese soldiers in the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, who are now trapped in a very dangerous situation. Israel must make sure that its shells do not hit these peacekeepers.

Shocked and deeply distressed by the strike, Annan condemned it as "apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces."

No political pretext can justify such outrages.

Thorough investigations should be conducted and tangible measures should be taken by the concerned sides, particularly Israel, to ensure the security of UN peacekeepers.

It is high time that the relevant sides returned to talks to pursue a political solution.

With Israel resorting to military attacks after two of its soldiers were taken hostage by Hezbollah, the crisis in the Middle East is spiralling out of control.

Israel's bombing has gone beyond the legitimate right of self-defence.

The casualties are mounting as the fighting intensifies.

What the people of Lebanon and Israel urgently need now is to find a way to stop the fighting.

Israel's allies, the
United States in particular, should and could save the peace process by urging a ceasefire. But Israel is being allowed at least another week to continue its attack against Hezbollah.

Whatever the calculations, any indifference to the mounting death toll is dangerous.

By resisting calls for an urgent ceasefire, Washington is buying Israel more time to pound Lebanon.

Yet there is little sign that Hezbollah has been so far deeply wounded. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, threatened on Monday to launch missiles deep into Israeli territory.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, the countries that Washington is relying on to rein in Hezbollah, made clear that they could not accept a US plan that would make a ceasefire only part of a broader peace deal.

Mediation can work only when it takes into account the demands and principles of both Israelis and Arabs.

The Middle East conflict has already done enough damage to both sides.

From the 1967 war onward, Israel's key strategic goal has been to avoid a political process at all costs. The country understood that the inescapable result of such a process would be Israel's return to its 1967 borders, with only minor adjustments.

Avoiding a political process is also the reason behind Israel's decision to withdraw Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip in return for an intensification of Israel's presence in the West Bank.

But this tit-for-tat strategy has never found them peace.

Source: People's Daily/UPDATED: 08:49, July 27, 2006

Solidarity with Palestinian and Lebanese people

Latin American nations condemn Israeli attack on Lebanon

Israel-Lenanon conflict: news and views from China

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First anniversary of Chinese-language M'kini

Last evening, I joined about 150 friends of the Chinese-language malaysiakini to celebrate its first anniversary in the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. The fourth person from right on the front row is malaysiakini's Bahasa Malaysia columnist Lee Ban Chen (pix/left). His Chinese-language column originally published by the Oriental Daily was recently cancelled allegedly by governmental order from atas.

However, like all terrorist bombings of civilian targets in various parts of the world in recent years, no jantan has claimed or admitted responsibility of issuing such a governmental order. The trilingual Ban Chen now writes his Chinese-language column for another alternative media Merdeka Review.

Ban Chen's blog is maintained at

The jantan in blue shirt is Yang Bai Yang (left), formerly a columnist with the China Press but is now a writer most hated by MCA. However, he now writes for Chinese-language malaysiakini everyday continuing to cause psychological upheavals among top MCA leaders. He operates his blog at

The man standing and delivering a speech in English is malaysiakini's CEO Premesh Chandran who promised to also start another edition of malaysiakini in தமிழ் when the time is right.

Educationist hopes S'pore will lift 40-yr ban

Another call to lift S'pore travel ban

English, still the way to go

PAS' Chinese-language organ lauded

Being multilingual in Malaysia (Part 1)

Being multilingual in Malaysia (Part 2)

Two challenges to mother-tongue education

Anwar: BA leaders back DJZ on mother-tongue education

Anwar takes on BN gov’t over Chinese education

Chinese is the language to learn

Chinese-language learning hot in Indonesia

Chinese-language contest held in Indonesia

Indonesia enhances Chinese language education

Chinese-language newspapers comeback in Indonesia

Foreigners flock to learn Chinese

Seven-year-olds learning Chinese

Bush kicks off National Foreign Language Initiative

US troops' language bonus boosted

Defense Language Institute

History of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

English in Asia (Part 1)

English in Asia (Part 2)

Dude, which university you graduated from ?

Alternative Media should refer to Mainstream Media
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

(Bernama) -- Alternative media, that include websites and blogs, should refer to the mainstream media for news and resources and not the other way round, said Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"What is happening now is that there are some mainstream media that pick up news from websites and blogs and other sources on the sidelines.

"Unfortunately most of the information are not based on sources that can be relied upon," he told reporters upon arriving at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, here Tuesday evening.

Therefore, Zahid said, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's call for mainstream media to avoid competing with Internet websites and blogs in publishing materials and news that were speculative and sensational in nature, was right and timely.

The Prime Minister Tuesday said that mainstream media should play its role in delivering information to the people while being aware of the need to not report anything that could prompt adverse reactions and create uneasy situations.

Zahid said: "To me, though the people have the choice in seeking news sources, the best option is to obtain information sourced from the mainstream media where their credibility could be defended.

"If the statements are untrue, those responsible are often taken to court. What is important is the crediblity of the material and the source."

Newspapers of the world

Unveiling the hideous perils of propaganda

Power of propaganda - myths and reality

We love the Iraqi Information Minister

Watching America

Introduction of Karen Armstrong's The Battle For God

Ak-Ahram Weekly interviews John Esposito

Online Works of American historian Howard Zinn

American linguist and social thinker Noam Chomsky's Website

BBC World News - Karl Marx the millennium's 'greatest thinker'

Marxists Internet Archive

Situs Indo-Marxist (Dalam Bahasa Indonesia)

Lelaki Komunis 'Terakhir'

Sybil Kathigasu – new stories, same legend

Ketuanan Melayu: False premise and promise

Anwar: Time to suspend NEP

Bumiputera privileges must end, says Anwar

Question all historical ‘facts’

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who was Dr. Mahathir's adviser(s) on Suqiu ?

While I certainly appreciate the contribution of Tun's ex-political secretary Matthias Chang of making the government more accountable and transparent on the issues of crooked or scenic bridge as well as the undue advisorial influences on the prime ministerial decision-making process, many readers of this blog would also like to ask Matthias a question:

Who gave the crackpot idea to Tun in 2000 that Suqiu can be likened to or equated with "communists" and "Al Ma'unah". Could it be Matthias himself as Tun's then Chinese Affairs Secretary or one of the former IGPs or CPOs, Special Branch chiefs, cari-makan historians or some Tanjung Rambutan escapees?

Karya-karya Marxis

Situs Kaum Marxist Indonesia

Merdeka history in new light

History of the Malay Left

A tale of two Malay communist memoirs

Communist Party of Australia

Communist Party of Britain

Communist Party of Canada

Communist Party of Ireland

Communist Party of India (M)

Communist Party of USA

Japanese Communist Party

Iraqi Communist Party

Communist Party of Turkey

Tudeh (Communist Party of Iran)

Communist Party of Israel

Globalization and Communist Party - Part 1

Globalization and Communist Party - Part 2

Globalization and Communist Party - Part 3

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dr. Mahathir now reconciles with Suqiu chief

malaysiakini today reported that ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will be launching a book tomorrow with former Suqiu chief Ngan Ching Wen in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. When Tun expressed "endorsement" of Suqiu before the 1999 general elections, MCA claimed credit for it but when he denounced it later as "communist", MCA kept quiet. What is MCA's stand now?

Umno Youth leaders like Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir who threatened to raze the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to the ground over Suqiu on 19 August, 2000 now look like bloody fools.

Dr M to launch book by 'enemy' of BN

Ketuanan Melayu: False premise and promise

Anwar: Time to suspend NEP

Bumiputera privileges must end, says Anwar

A tale of two Malay communist memoirs

History of the Malay Left

Merdeka history in new light

Dr. Mahathir is not yet an opposition leader

Although some of his supporters now would like to style Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as an 'opposition leader', I think he is still not yet qualified to be one. True, Tun has made public criticisms against PM Abdullah which serve to make the government and its mouthpieces like the New Straits Times attempting to look more responsive to demands for transparency and accountability.

However, the issues he has raised are not broad and deep enough as compared to his ex-deputy Anwar Ibrahim and true opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang, Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Dr. Syed Husin Ali (left), Tian Chua, Dr. Lee Boon Chye (above) and Irene Fernandez.

For example, Tun has not called for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA), Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA), Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) and race-based affirmative action programme under the New Economic Policy. Moreover, unlike Anwar Ibrahim, Dr. Mahathir has not summoned sufficient moral courage yet to leave the ruling class by quitting Umno. Tun is still part and parcel of the ruling elite.

So, his fights are still essentially intra-elite or elite-elite, not people-elite, power struggle.

Given this broad framework of understanding of the overall situation, I think the Opposition must also not oppose Dr. Mahathir for the sake of opposing him. The merit of his ideas and criricisms must be treated on a case-by-case basis. For example, if and when Dr. Mahathir says Malaysia must continue to be non-aligned in international affairs and must not allow foreign troops or war machinary to be stationed in any form on our sovereign territory, we cannot say he is wrong just because Tun's name has been associated with many past scandals of nepotism, cronyism and corruption.

(A main point raised in my analysis in Penang and Malacca over the weekend)

SPECIAL REPORT: The Anwar interview

Anwar: Dangerous to back Dr M

Don’t let Pak Lah-Dr M spat cloud real issues: Anwar

Dr. Lee Boon Chye strives to break down racial barriers (in Chinese)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Home sweet home after 3 days on the road

Just came home from Malacca after delivering an independent and non-partisan analysis on the current political situation to a seminar organised by a Chinese veterans' association and Parti KeADILan Rakyat. Yesterday evening, a similar function was held in Penang's Chinese Assembly Hall of which I was also invited as an independent and non-partisan analyst.

Earlier on Friday evening, I was in Ipoh's Yuk Choy Old Boys Association attending the function as an observer. The full three-day tour afforded me a long awaited opportunity to break out from my office, library and virtual reality in the cyberspace to refresh street-boy contacts with many organic intellectuals on the ground whose intuitive insights and broad perspectives of the situations are truly valuable to balance against bookish logics and rational reasoning which, if unchecked, often leads to conspiracy theories.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another date set for Chin Peng's case hearing

The Kuala Lumpur High Court was today told that the four defendants named by Communist Party of Malaya veteran Chin Peng (left) have still not filed their affidavits of defence yet.

The Court, presided by Md. Raus bin Sharif, has fixed 28 August as a new date for the hearing of the case to be formally conducted.

Chin Peng's homecoming case was first filed with the Penang High Court on 4 March last year.

The four defandants named by Chin Peng are the Government of Malaysia, Home Affairs Minister, Inspector-General of Police and Chief of Defence Forces. They were represented by two Senior Federal Counsels.

Representing Chin Peng in the court today were Penang's Darshan Singh Khaira (left) and Ipoh's Chan Kok Keong.

According to Kok Keong (left), in relation to his homecoming case, Chin Peng has also filed another application for him to be allowed to enter Malaysia temporarily to attend the hearing of his case as a litigant. Also according to Kok Keong, the 1989 Peace Accords clearly provides for the entry of CPM members residing outside Malaysia for visit even though they have never been citizens.

In their memoirs, veterans of the Communist Party of Malaya Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah aka Eng Ming Ching and Abu Samah Mohd Kassim write about their visits to Malaysia in 1990s. Some other veterans like Ibrahim Chik now lives in Malaysia.

Last year, Chin Peng also filed another application alleging the Government to be in breach of the 1989 Peace Accords by making public statements that are against the spirit and letters of Item 1.2 of the Administrative Arrangments Between The Government Of Malaysia And The Communist Party Of Malaya Pursuant To The Agreement To Terminate Hostilities which stipulates that: " All press statements issued by either Party thereafter shall be in the spirit of the Agreement and shall not contain any slanderous terms such as 'mass surrender' and 'capitulation' "

Together with the Agreement Between The Government Of Malaysia And The Communist Party Of Malaya To Terminate Hostilities, the Administrative Arrangement Between The Government Of Malaysia And The Communist Party Of Malaya Pursuant To The Agreement To Terminate Hostilities constitute what is generally or popularly known as the 1989 Peace Accords.

The Agreement Between The Government Of Malaysia And The Communist Party of Malaya To Terminate Hostilities were signed for and on behalf of the Government of Malaysia by (a) Dato' Hj. Wan Sidek bin Hj. Wan Abdul Rahman as Secretary-General of the Ministry of Home Affairs, (b) General Tan Sri Hashim bin Mohd. Ali as Chief of Defence Forces, and (c) Tan Sri Mohd Haniff bin Omar as Inspector General, Royal Malaysia Police; while the signatories of the Communist Party of Malaya were (d) Ong Boon Hua @ Chin Peng as Secretary-General, (e) Abdullah C.D as Chairman and (f) Rashid Maidin as Central Committee Member.

The Administrative Arrangement Between The Government of Malaysia And The Communist Party of Malaya Pursuant To The Agreement To Terminate Hostilities were signed for and on behalf of the Government of Malaysia by (a) Datuk Abdul Rahim bin Mohd. Noor as Deputy Inspector-General, Royal Malaysia Police and (b) Dato Zulkifli bin Abdul Rahman as Director of Special Branch, Royal Malaysia Police, while the Communist Party of Malaya's signatories were (c) Ong Boon Hua @ Chin Peng as Secretary-General and (d) Rashid Maidin as Central Committee Member.

Chin Peng’s case – defence yet to file affidavits

Chin Peng's homecoming suit hearing this week

Chin Peng homecoming case date set

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interesting pictures on Elizabeth Wong's blog

My friend Elizabeth Wong (left) has begun to blog a series of interesting photographs she has taken at Ban Chulaborn in Sukhirin, Southern Thailand where some Malay/Muslim veterans of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) like Abdullah CD, Suriani Abdullah, Abu Samah and Siti Norkiah Mahmud Baginda now live in peace with their children and grandchildren.

Feel free to visit

History must also be fair to non-Umno Malays

I must admit I have not read the controversial "guide book" on ethnic relations in depth yet. I have just flipped through a few pages that were highlighted by those who object to it. However, allow me to remind non-Umno Malay friends to also pay close attention to the book on those parts where non-Umno Malays are concerned such as the roles in history played by Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM).

Also, don't forget about organisations that were bloodily suppressed and difitnah in the wake of the anti-colonial war that began on 20 June 1948, like API and AWAS as well as Malay veterans in the Communist Party of Malaya such as Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Ibrahim Chik, Abu Samah @ Sibar, Abdullah Sudin, Siti Norkiah Mahmud Baginda @ Minah, Kamarulzaman Teh and Mat Amin @ Rosli.

True history is such that when the original Umno was founded in May 1946, there were already three other earlier organisations that fought against British colonialism, namely the Communist Party of Malaya (1930), Kesatuan Melayu Muda (1939) and Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (1945). The slogan of original Umno was, until 1951, Hidup Melayu!, while Merdeka! belonged to Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya.

In any event, the original Umno founded in 1946 was declared illegal in 1988 and an Umno Baru was formed as a new party of which Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn had never been its registered members. Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn opposed to Umno Baru till the end of their lives. Umno Baru is what it is nowadays known as, very misleadingly, Umno.

Merdeka history in new light

Alternative accounts of Malaya’s independence

A tale of two Malay communist memoirs

The fairer side of Malayan communism

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Give PM Abdullah credit where credit is due

I think we should all applaud PM Abdullah for the cabinet decision to withdraw the highly controversial "guide book" on ethnic relations. To accept legitimate and reasoned criticisms and to make amend is not a sign of weakness but of moral strength.

PM: Ethnic relations book will be withdrawn

Fantasy, propaganda become official history

It appears that, although a huge amount of public resources has been poured into our universities since 1957, nothing has changed the mindset of Umno's Ketuanan Melayu ideological scribes in writing official history: 'our' side has always been 'peace-loving', 'tolerant' and 'magnanimous' but ' their' sides, namely 'pengkhianat bangsa', 'pendatang asing' and 'kafir' are always 'violent', 'greedy', 'ungrateful' and ' provocative'.

Remembering the martyrs

Merdeka history in new light

The charming 'firebrand'

Sybil Kathigasu – new stories, same legend

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

History of the Malay Left

The fairer side of Malayan communism

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chin Peng's homecoming case on Friday now

The hearing of the homecoming law suit filed by Communist Party of Malaya’s veteran Chin Peng has been brought forward to coming Friday (July 21). It will be held in chamber at the Appeal and Special Powers Division 1 of the Kuala Lumpur High Court commencing at 9.00 am. The presiding judge will be Md. Raus bin Sharif. More details in malaysiakini today:

Chin Peng's homecoming suit hearing this week

Why doesn't Pak Lah cancel Sports Complex ?

Since there is certainly a strong sentiment among the people against the use of RM490 million to build a Sports Complex in London, why do PM Abdullah and his Cabinet not take an "unanimous decision" to kill the White Elephant right away like what he did so firmly and so decisively to ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad's Crooked or Scenic Bridge? What is Tun's own opinion on the construction of the London Sports Complex vis-a-vis the deconstruction of the Crooked or Scenic Bridge? Which project is more beneficial to the people and country in terms of money circulation and spin-off or trickle-down effect? Please enlighten us the rakyat jelata or massa when you come home from a break with an even clearer mind and sharper tongue.

Say 'tak nak' to lavish complex, PM told

‘Plain stupidity’ in sports academy plan

Sports academy rationale crooked

Kaji semula projek kompleks sukan di London

Please divert RM490m to Ibans

Sports academy proposal preposterous

UK sports academy wasteful project

Sports officials bored with Malaysia

Darker motive of UK sports academy

British sports complex won’t help us

Can we afford UK sports academy?

Build hospitals, not sports academy

Monday, July 17, 2006

I have seen Amir's Chin Peng film. Have you ?

I have watched the full edition of the recently released (in Singapore and distributed all over the world) VCD of Amir Muhammad's Lelaki Komunis 'Terakhir' outside the sovereignty of the man-made Tempurung Zam-Zam. My friends and I had good laugh and deep thoughts over some scenes after the one-and-a-half hour session.

There is no violence, sex or vulgar languages. I certify it fit for family (including children) viewing for people who live outside - permanently or temporarily - Malaysia.

I shall share some of my reflections and reviews of it in this blog or elsewhere macam biasa-lah when I am freer. I have just re-entered the Half-Past-Six Realm two hours ago.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Chin Peng's case fixed on 6 Nov at KL HC

So, the hearing of Communist Party of Malaya veteran Chin Peng's homecoming case is now fixed on 6 Nov at the KL High Court.

Judge Datuk Md Raus Sharif will preside at the hearing. However, lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira has today written to the KL High Court applying for the hearing to be brought forward.

Plantiff Chin Peng (picture) has named four respondents, viz the Government of Malaysia, Home Affairs Minister, Inspector-General of Police and Chief of Defence Forces.

Chin Peng homecoming case date set

Backgrounder in Freedom-in-Solidarity

Search this blog for: "Chin Peng sets court case deadline for gov't "

Search this blog for: "The 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords ( Part1 ) "

Search this blog for: "The 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords ( Part 2 )"

Search this blog for: "Peace statements recalled in printed words "

Search this blog for: "A joint communique on reconciliation, peace "

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A small booklet that tells a really big story

After finished perusing it, I think Professor J. McMahon's 185-page The Cold War - A Very Short Introduction (New York, Oxford University Press, 2003) is really a remarkably conscise, balanced and fair-minded account of international relations that prevailed from 1946 to 1991. It is certainly a useful tool for historical contexts and perspectives to be recalled with ease.

US global positions – an updated survey

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Singapore never bans memoirs of Said Zahari

This morning, I rang up Pak Said to ask him if his memoirs have encountered any difficulty in distribution in Singapore. His answer was a categorical 'no'. He told me that even the Chinese and English editions of his first memoir Meniti Lautan Gelora - Sebuah Memoir Politik were sold across the Causeway without being held up, seized or banned.

The second one Dalam Ribuan Mimpi Gelisah - Memoir Said Zahari went into Singapore's market almost immediately after it was published. Its Chinese and English editions have, however, not been published yet. As we all know, his memoirs are highly critical of Harry whose government had detained him for 17 years without trial.

Now, not only his Malaysia-published memoirs are being sold in Singapore without problem, he can also now balik kampung and speak there quite freely about his version of the past.

Sybil Kathigasu – new stories, same legend

Heroine's book: Publisher 'challenges' local editors

Heroine Kathigasu books seized by JB Customs

Another 'Chin Peng book' held up

Read Introduction of The Battle For God here

I have found a very charitable homepage of a very commendable book seller in the United States which reproduces online for free and friendly perusal the Introduction of Karen Armstrong's The Battle For God whose book-form has recently been banned here. To read the full book, you have to visit Singapore more often.

There, you can also watch the VCD and DVD of fellow Malaysian Amir Muhammad's Lelaki 'Komunis' Terakhir and read Professor John Esposito's What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam (New York, Oxford University Press, 2002) or Faces of Courage co-authored by another fellow Malaysian, Chen Chin Sheng.

Introduction of Karen Armstrong's The Battle For God

For more book reviews both for and against Karen Armstrong ideas, please google " The Battle for God, book reviews"

Karen Armstrong, Turn, Turn, Turn

Bill Movers' interview with Karen Armstrong

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly's interview: Karen Armstrong

Islam and the West - an interview with Karen Armstrong

PBS interviews Karen Armstrong

Monday, July 10, 2006

A very short introduction to Cold War

(Updated edition) Although the East-West Cold War that started in 1946 had ended in 1991 with the final implosion of the Soviet Union, its origin and twists and turns are still being studied. There are, of course, many thick monographs but there are also some handy and conscise introductory booklets on the subject like Professor J. McMahon's The Cold War - A Very Short Introduction (New York, Oxford University Press, 2003) that cater for laymen or non-specialists.

After reading the first and third chapter, I think it is likely to be a balanced and fair-minded account with many facts and figures organised in a coherent framework of discourse.

Three sentences in Chapter 3 deserve deeper reflection:

" The epic struggles for national freedom and independence mounted by Asian and other Third World peoples in the aftermath of World War II rank among the most powerful historical forces of the 20th century. Those struggles, it bears emphasizing, were quite distinct from the temporally overlapping contest for power and influence being waged by the United States and the Soviet Union, and doubtless would have transpired with or without a Cold War. Yet the latter conflict did occur, and its totalizing character inevitably shaped the temper, pace, and ultimate outcome of the former. Decolonization and the Cold War were fated to become inextricably linked, each shaping and being shaped by the other, in Asia as elsewhere." (p.36)

So, this OUP booklet may help younger friends to comprehend with greater depth the global backgrounds of Alias Chin Peng: My Side Of History and other memoirs of the veterans of the Communist Party of Malaya like Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah, Ibrahim Chik and Abu Samah. It may also help you to understand the problems now in the Korean Peninsula better in a historical perspective.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Arbitrary 'system' of book censorship in M'sia

Malaysia's book censorship system is becoming increasingly arbitrary and irrational. For example, while Karen Armstrong's The Battle For God and John Esposito's What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam are now banned, Bernard Lewis' many titles, especially The Crisis Of Islam - Holy War And Unholy Terror and What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam And Modernity In The Middle East are readily available in major bookshops.

Before I proceed further, let me state clearly that I am not at all trying to argue for a ban of Bernard Lewis' books - which I have bought and perused and found recommendable - just because books by Karen Armstrong and John Esposito are now effectively deemed by the government as 'subversive' as Mao's Quotations -which I had also read when it was still banned in the 1960s and 1970s .

What puzzles me is the fact that in the US and Europe, Armstrong and Esposito are generally regarded as Islam-friendly Western scholars. On the Right in the United States, where most of the supporters and admirers of Lewis are to be found, Armstrong and Esposito are often seen as 'apologists' for radical Islam or Islamism. So, the question is what make the books written by Armstrong and Esposito more 'threatening' to Malaysia's 'security' or ' public order' than those by Lewis?

Have the censors actually read the books by Armstrong and Esposito which they have banned and compare and contrast them with those by Lewis which are not banned? What are the academic qualifications and English proficiency of the book censors?

Read Karen Armstrong's interviews online

Reading world-famous books and magazines banned or said to be banned in my own "half-past-six" country has been a very thrilling challenge for me since the age of 11 in 1973 when I first curi-curi perused a simplified Chinese-language edition of Soviet literature How The Steel Was Tempered (《钢铁是怎样炼成的》) originally written by Nikolai Ostrovsky, in the school's washrooms or Ipoh Old Town's Zhong San Cinema's kaki lima or in the St.Michael graveyard which is just beside my school Sam Tet. Two or three years later, I had already finished reading an edition of Mao's Quotations under similar conditions. In Australia, I, of course, read whatever publications deemed 'sensitive' in Malaysia. After coming back to Malaysia in early 1987, I also read a Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Bible or Al Kitab - Berita Baik Untuk Manusia Moden, which uses the words Tuhan and Allah (Allah simply means God in Arabic and is used by Arab Christians for hundreds of years) interchangeably, published in the same year by The Bible Society of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

A few years ago, I perused Karen Armstrong's A History Of God, although I have not read her other books like The Battle For God. For those who cannot find any more Karen Armstrong's books in the shops, I suggest that you travel to Singapore or Thailand to read them there or Google "Interviews of Karen Armstrong" to read some of her ideas with which you may or may not agree.

Karen Armstrong, Turn, Turn, Turn

Bill Movers' interview with Karen Armstrong

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly's interview: Karen Armstrong

Islam and the West - an interview with Karen Armstrong

PBS interviews Karen Armstrong

Friday, July 07, 2006

Abdullah-Mahathir row - Tian Chua's analysis

Is the Abdullah-Mahathir row caused by personal animosity or differences of political opinion? What would be its impacts on the political landscape in Malaysia? Would the row enhance transparency and accountability of governance and further speed up the process democratization in Malaysia?

KeADILan's information chief and my friend Tian Chua (picture) will share his observations and analyses in a nation-wide speaking tour soon. Tian Chua is a graduate from Australia and postgraduate from the Netherlands. We first knew each other as fellow student leaders in the mid-1980s in Sydney.

It will begin at 8.00pm on 13 July (Thursday) at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

Tian Chua will also be joined by DAP's sharp-tongued lawyer and assemblyman Teng Chang Khim (picture) who is also my friend since 1990 and a member of my Subang Jaya USJ neighbourhood.

It will be followed by another forum to be held at 8.00 on 15 July (Saturday) at the premise of Johor Baru's Taiwan Graduates' Association of Malaysia.

Two more similiar fora would be held in Ipoh and Penang:


Date: 21/7/2006 (Friday)
Time: 8.00 pm
Venue: Yuk Choy Old Boys' Association


Date: 22/7/2006 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: Penang Chinese Assembly Hall

For futher information, please call Ms. Ginie Lim: 012-6693453

Don’t let Pak Lah-Dr M spat cloud real issues: Anwar

Mahathir-Abdullah conflict dissected

'Peace pipe' Zam in a fix

Will Umno sack Mahathir?

Pre-empting Mahathir’s next move

Dr M vs Pak Lah: Between Yin and Yang

On Astrological Sign and Zodiac Year

Quite a number of emailers have asked me essentially a similar question: why don't I provide information on "my" Astrological Sign and Zodiac Year in the Profile. My answer is very simple: as far as I am concerned, I have no Astrological Sign or Zodiac Year as I do not subscribe at all to these cyclical and fatalistic belief-systems and I do not play-play with fundamental identity-defining belief-system for fun or fashion, or just to appease - or endear myself to- crowds. Of course, other are entitled to their own beliefs.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Indian invitation for wedding ceremony

Finally, my 中文-educated தமிழ்-speaking Indian friend T. Kannan (who, like Pak Said, definitely read, write and understand Mandarin much better than MCA big guns like Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Lim Ah Lek and Chua Jui Meng) has decided to voluntarily surrender his freedom as a bachelor and committed himself to a settled life with Ms. K. Maragatam Viji. An invitation has been extended recently to me to witness and grace the solemisation of the union on 20 August at Stadium Juara, Bukit Kiara Sports Complex. As a matter of proud fact, my own youngest sister Pooi Mun married English-educated Rajah twenty years ago in Ipoh . So, congratulation and best wishes for another multi-lingual and multi-cultural union of true love.

Tamil Language / தமிழ்

Learn Tamil through English

Malay political leaders told to master Mandarin

Being multilingual in Malaysia (Part 1)

Being multilingual in Malaysia (Part 2)

Two challenges to mother tongue education

English in Asia (Part 1)

English in Asia (Part 2)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How Dr. M can teach Pak Lah to answer Q's

(Updated Edition) So, there are now 39 questions awaiting Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad's answers in Malaysia as well as across the Causeway. These are hard questions but if and when Tun takes the bull by the horns and answer them publicly, there are obvious benefits:

1. By answering or attempting to answer the 39 questions, Tun can show that he is a more responsive leader and more articulate public debater than PM Abdullah or even many Singaporean leaders;

2. By answering or attempting to answer, Tun can teach PM Abdullah by personal role modelling how to answer and respond to questions, which is an essential skill of leadership in a modern democracy;

3. After answering or attempting to answer the 39 questions, Tun would gain even higher moral ground to (a) demand PM Abdullah to answer his questions, (b) put up a list of his own questions for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew to answer, including those related to Singapore's laws and their implementations.

In the process, Tun may even be thanked and credited by many Singaporeans for being their Al Gore.

I have absolute confidence in Tun's intellectual capacity to answer the 22 questions. Tun must have the self-confidence himself. Otherwise, Tun would lose his moral high ground in demanding answers from PM Abdullah.

By the way, do you (Malaysians and Singaporeans) have any questions for Tun and his supporters to pose it publicly to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (like why do you seem to enjoy suing opposition leaders for libel and defamation until they bankrupt? or Why did you arrest Christian activists in 1987 alleging them to be 'neo-Marxists'? or What is so wrong if one is truly and peacefully a neo-Marxist?) ?

22 questions for Dr M crosses the Causeway

Dr M, here are 17 more

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Anwar reiterates call for abolition of NEP

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia should stop giving preferential treatment to its ethnic Malay majority, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said, arguing the affirmative action policy deters foreign and local investors.

Ethnic Malays, or Bumiputras, which literally means ``sons of the soil ", get easier access to housing, education and government jobs under the 35-year-old New Economic Policy, aimed at protecting their interests relative to the Chinese and Indian minorities.

``We must be prepared to shift from this obsolete thinking,'' Anwar, 58, an opposition leader who was fired as deputy prime minister in 1998, said in a June 29 interview in Kuala Lumpur.

``It is important for us to think anew, discard the discriminatory practices of this new economic policy and use this to propel growth for all Malaysians.''

Affirmative action has lifted wealth among Bumiputras, who account for 65 percent of the population, and diffused tensions between them and the 25 percent of Malaysians who are ethnic Chinese and comprise the wealthiest segment of the population. Still, critics say the system discriminates against minorities and even hampers progress by creating a sense of entitlement that stifles initiative among ethnic Malays.

``If somebody has to park foreign direct investment, this sort of policy would clearly be viewed as a negative rather than a positive factor in helping to make that decision,'' said Joseph Tan, an economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore.

``What they are hoping to see, moving forward, is a liberalization of such policies.''

Education, Housing

The quotas run the gamut of Malaysian society, from governing university entrance to business ownership, and include a requirement that developers sell at least 30 percent of new units in their projects to ethnic Malays at a discount to the market price. Companies planning initial public offerings must sell 30 percent of stock to the grouping.

The program has helped diffuse tension between ethnic Chinese and ethnic Malays, who clashed in pitched street battles during the 1960s. In neighboring Indonesia, anti-Chinese riots occurred as recently as the 1990s.

``This bitter episode in the nation's history was the result of discontentment between `the haves' and `have nots' as well as the strained relations between different ethnic groups caused by inequitable distribution of the country's economic cake,'' Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in March, when he extended the quotas to 2020.

`Source of Disunity'

Still, critics say the quotas have allowed corruption to fester in the nation of 26 million people. The affirmative action policy has been ``raped'' and ``absconded to enrich the few,'' Anwar said.

``It's become a source of disunity in the country,'' Lim Kit Siang, the leader of Malaysia's Democratic Action Party, said in a June 28 interview. ``We should be moving away from such divisions, but it seems to be moving the other way,'' said Lim, whose party is predominantly supported by Malaysians who are ethnically Chinese.

As of 2004, the Chinese community owned 39 percent of businesses in Malaysia, the government said in a March report, with ethnic Malays owning 18.9 percent. Ethnic Chinese owned 69 percent of the country's hotels at the end of last year, while ethnic Malays owned 14.3 percent.

Abdullah, whose United Malays Nasional Organization, or UMNO, gets most of its support from ethnic Malays, in March pledged to raise the share of companies owned by ethnic Malays to 30 percent by 2020.

When privatizing companies, 30 percent of shares will continue to be reserved for Bumiputras, he said.The move will ``generate balanced development especially in under-developed areas and create more opportunities for direct participation in the country's economic development,'' Abdullah said in March.

`Lost the Impetus'

Abdullah has been embroiled this year in a spat with former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia for more than two decades, and the decision to extend the program may have been because his government isn't strong enough to scale back populist policies, Anwar said.

``We have lost the impetus,'' Anwar said. ``We seem to be bogged by the old obsolete thinking in the economic policy.''

Anwar, an ethnic Malay, was fired by Mahathir in 1998 and imprisoned for almost six years on corruption and sodomy charges, which he said were politically motivated. The Federal Court, the highest court of appeal, quashed the sodomy conviction in September 2004, though upheld the corruption charge.

Growth Impact

Scrapping the quotas would attract foreign investment and fuel annual economic growth of 7 percent to 7.5 percent, Anwar said, higher than the central bank's 6 percent target for this year.

In ``my limited experience and my discussions with the Malays, they're prepared to see this change as long as you're not going to forsake the Malays,'' Anwar said. ``You're not going to ignore the plight of the poor or marginalize the rural heartland.

''Mahathir in 2002, at the UMNO political party conference, criticized the Malays for being ``still weak'' and ``lazy.'' If the government didn't have to support them, ``the development of the nation would be easier, higher and faster,'' he said then.

Marina Mahathir, a rights activist and daughter of former prime minister Mahathir, also says the policy should be modified.``The original intentions were good; it was about equality, bringing up people so that there was a level playing field, but I think maybe nobody foresaw some of the psychological side effects,'' she said, citing the ``sense of entitlement.''``Making a level playing field should be really about economic levels rather than based on race,'' she said.

Still, Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist and now professor of economics and finance at Columbia University in New York, has said Malaysia's affirmative action program is among the most successful in the world.

``Because it's successful, they're now in a position to say, `we've redressed some of the imbalances, and now what we need to focus on is trying to make our country as open, or more open, than we were in the past,'' Stiglitz said in October 2003.

Anwar: Time to suspend NEP

Scrap NEP: Anwar’s message to voters

Anwar joins campaign for Petronas to spread wealth to the poor

New inter-racial policies needed, says Anwar

Bumiputera privileges must end, says Anwar

Anwar predicts economic doom as we lose competitiveness

Dr. M's preconditions for " reconciliation " ?

KeADILan's publicity chief Tian Chua (left) is quoted in a Bahasa Malaysia item in Malaysia Today that one of the preconditions of ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for any reconcilation with PM Abdullah is that a controversial 'adviser' of the latter, Khairy Jamaludin and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz be first removed from the govenment. The Oxford-educated Khairy Jamaludin is also the PM Abdullah's son-in-law.

Tian Chua is further quoted as saying that he obtained the information from " Dr.Mahathir's people". Excerpts of Tian Chua's statement is quoted today in Harakah Daily.

Meanwhile, former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Kadir Jasin claimed in his blog that in a meeting held last Saturday afternoon in Dr. Mahathir's resident at the Mines Resort in Sungai Besi, former Umno secretary-general Khalil Yaacob was told that as long as PM Abdullah does not answer to the questions he has raised publicly, he would not change his positions. Kadir also quoted sources as saying that Dr. Mahathir opines that PM Abdullah has the right to reply and rebut his questions.

According to Kadir, the meeting took place from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm.

Two new blogs ...

My friends Elizabeth Wong (left) and Ng Booi Hooi have started to operate their blogs.

Elizabeth Wong is, of course, the well-known human rights activist. Boon Hooi, a former journalist with Sin Chew Jit Poh, now writes for Chinese-language BBC World News and is also doing post-graduate studies.

Elizabeth Wong

Boon Hui on the Blog

Monday, July 03, 2006

Is Khalil Yaacob the mediator or not ?

According to today's news report, Zam has denied that Khalil Yaacob is the mediator in the Abdullah-Mahathir row. However, according to one of the stuanch supporters of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, namely former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Kadir Jasin, Khalil had met Dr. Mahathir on Saturday for more than an hour in his house at Mines Resort, Sungai Besi and Khalil was told that as long as PM Abdullah does not answer his questions, he would not change his stands on the issues he has raised publicly.

So, if Khalil is not the mediator as reportedly claimed by Zam today, why did Dr. Mahathir meet Khalil and why did Khalil go to see Dr. Mahathir over the matter? Is Zam telling an untruth or Kadir Jasin spreading unfounded rumour about an non-existent meeting on Saturday between Khalil and Dr. Mahathir?

Zam: Khalil is not the mediator

The Scribe A Kadir Jasin

Spin doctor fails to market even himself :)

Last Friday evening, I had already cast serious doubts on Zainuddin Maidin's 'reconciliation plan' in the following entry: 'Information' Minister Zam reportedly suggested a person 'dear to Mahathir and respected by Abdullah' to act as a mediator but without identifying the person. Could the mediator suggested be actually Zam himself ?

A more interesting question is: if that person who is 'dear to Mahathir and respected by Abdullah' could be found, Umno might as well put him as the new President to start afresh forgetting both Mahathir and Abdullah. Another interesting question is why has not Zam found DPM Najib to be the ideal mediator? Is Najib not 'dear to Mahathir' or 'respected by Abdullah'?

Could it be that Zam, being caught in a personal dilemma of not wanting to be publicly seen as ungrateful to old master Tun Dr. Mahathir on one hand and wanting to preserve current self-interest as Abdullah's minister on the other, merely try to avoid taking side by berpura-pura to be a 'non-partisan' peace-keeper for the moment ?

The truth may be that Zam is now neither trusted by Abdullah's camp nor respected by old comrades on the side of Tun at the time when he publicizes or advertizes himself as someone important who is also loved by all.

Now, it seems quite clear that there are people in Umno who share some of my independent observations. Well, I have been studying Zam's pattern of behaviour and psychological conditions as well as his political habitat for the last six years. My tentative conclusion is that Zam suffers from an OVER-INFLATED SENSE OF SELF-IMPORTANCE.

'Peace pipe' Zam in a fix

Zam: Khalil is not the mediator

Controversy over Zam's mediation plan

Khalil Yaakob to be peace-broker: report

Dr M agrees to a mediator

Mediator for Pak Lah-Dr M spat?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A dream comes true for Ah Keong and Ah Yin

Just came back from Cheras where Ah Keong and Ah Yin hosted a yam-seng party in a Chinese restaurant to celebrate the full month of the birth of their baby girl. Their parents and some of their siblings and relatives, including roost pork seller Uncle Fei Pang and his wife, from Perak's Cold Stream New Village, were also there to share the joy.

It was indeed a happy occasion for reunion with them after so many years. I am also honoured by their special treatment for me as an honourary member of their families because they only hosted the yam-seng party after they had successfully located me (through a Chinese-language journalist in Ipoh) and been assured that I would be free to attend it. I was seated at the hosts' table.

Ah Keong and Ah Yin were about 19 or 20 years old when they first appeared in my Kampar constituency office in early 1990s seeking my help to get back their international passports seized by the immigration after they returned from a foreign country where they worked and overstayed. I did fulfill their wish. Now, after some ten years, they have succeeded in their lives as petit bourgeoisie operating a small business in Kuala Lumpur. Those days, they addressed me as YB, now they call me Big Brother (Taiko) On.

I was, of course, touched when Ah Keong and Ah Yin told the party that without my assistance and "brotherly" advice not to waste their hard-earned money from working overseas on gambling, karaoke and donation to superstitious cults, they would have ended up like some of their friends who are still working in the kitchens of some China Town restaurants in some foreign countries. That was my quiet advice those days given to many other Ah Keongs and Ah Yins who came to my office seeking assistance of similar nature.

Ah Yin also said: " Now we work hard to earn even more money so that baby girl would one day go to further her studies in Ausralia like you ... "

Very good idea indeed to keep life full of hope, purpose and direction. Yam Seng !

New China intensifies anti-corruption drive

China navy chief sacked for graft

A top-level Chinese military official has been sacked for corruption after his mistress turned him in, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Wang Shouye, 62, was sacked as deputy commander of the navy and expelled from the national legislature.

According to official documents, an unmarried young woman reported Wang's activities and admitted an "improper relationship" with him.

Wang is one of the most senior victims of an ongoing anti-corruption drive.

China's ruling Communist Party is worried that widespread official corruption is undermining its legitimacy, and has taken care to highlight a number of high-profile falls from grace.

Earlier this month, in an unrelated case, a former deputy Beijing mayor, Liu Zhihua, was sacked over unspecified corruption charges.

Xinhua said the investigation into Wang began in January.

According to documents submitted to the legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), he was removed from office on account of his "loose morals", and the fact he abused his power to ask for and take bribes.

"Because of my involvement in economic crimes, I have been stripped from the post of deputy navy commander and thus no longer have the qualification of being a deputy to NPC. Please take me off the position," Wang said in a resignation letter dated March 29, 2006, according to Xinhua.

Story from BBC NEWS
Published: 2006/06/29 09:41:13 GMT© BBC MMVI

85th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (English) (Chinese)