Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chin Peng fights on in courts for homecoming

According to one of Chin Peng's lawyers Darshan Singh Khaira (pix), the Appellate & Special Powers Division of the Kuala Lumpur High Court, presided by Justice Mohd Zabidin bin Mohd Diah, this morning allowed the application made by the Government to require the production of the birth or citizenship certificate of Chin Peng, whose real name is Ong Boon Hua, for the latter's homecoming case to proceed.

But, Darshan Singh also said Chin Peng's legal team which argues that there is no such requirement under the 1989 Peace Accords signed between the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and the Government of Malaysia, will file an appeal to the Court of Appeal tomorrow against the decision made by Justice Mohd Zabidin bin Mohd Diah.

A news report in an online Chinese-language daily Merdeka Review quoted Darshan Singh as arguing that the birth and citizenship papers of the Sitiawan-born Chin Peng had long been confiscated by the authorities and that, in any event, the court should allow testimonies of Chin Peng's local relatives and acquaintances to serve the purpose.

In his popular memoirs Alias Chin Peng : My Side of History (Singapore, Media Masters, 2003), he reveals that he was born on October 21, 1924, " in an upstairs backroom of No.36, Jalan Kampong Koh, a two-storey shophouse in a long row of similar small business establishments the likes of which still dominate the southern Perak township of Sitiawan, some 50 miles southwest of Ipoh " (p.31), attended the Nan Hwa school in Sitiawan (p.33) and " the graves of my grandfather, parents and my brothers " are still located in a Chinese cemetery, " halfway between Sitiawan and Lumut ". (p.509)

Communist Abdullah' s version of ' Emergency '

Dr. Abraham : Chin Peng, " a freedom fighter "

Rashid Maidin' s memoirs now out in Mandarin

Monday, July 30, 2007

PM's official website deletes seditious article

I have just been informed by my observation posts that the infamous Malay-language article purportedly written by a ' Dr. Ng Seng ' has been quietly deleted from the official website of the Office of the Prime Minster of Malaysia. I hope it would not 'somehow' reappear in other governmental homepages like that of the Biro Tata Negara.

Bloggers who slander must be brought to book, says Khairy

Futurist Alvin Toffler on trajectory of history

American futurist Alvin Toffler is probably the first, or at least the most well-known, social thinker who explored in advance in as early as the 1970s, the consequences and impacts, both positive and negative, of Information and Communication Revolution (ICR) on human affairs. His magnum opuses like Future Shock (1970), Third Wave (1980) and Powershift (1990) are still being sold in bookshops all over the world, including Malaysia which, I remember, he visited in the 1990s.

As a fervent consumer of his books from the 1980s and 1990s, my critique of Toffler's and, by extention, Tofflerites' central idea of change in human society is that it is technologically deterministic although it has also contributed invaluable insights, from the perspective of modern sciences, into the world-historic connections between the past, present and future of the human conditions.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Anti-Chinese posting on PM' s official website

That the infamous Malay-language article purportedly written by a so-called ' Dr. Ng Seng ' is the insidious work of a non-Chinese agent provocateur intended to cause inter-ethnic disharmony between Malay and Chinese is beyond any reasonable doubt. The question now is why it has been posted and displayed on the official website of the Office of the Prime Minster of Malaysia since November 2005 without any action taken to remove it or to investigate PM Abdullah or his webmaster. PM Abdullah, who is also the Internal Security Minister, owes Malaysia and the world an urgent and public explanation.

Malaysia Today exposes Umno's ' Dr. Ng Seng '

Abdullah's red memoirs attractively packaged

I have only flipped through Abdullah CD's second memoirs Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10 (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2007) but three features of the book instantly impress me, namely quality layout and printing, an excellent index and the inclusion of 112 old and rare but still clear photographs of many legendary figures. Takniah to Pak Abdullah, his editors, publisher and printer who have performed another great public service to our nation.

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Communists played no part in ' May 13 ' riots

Pak Rashid's brother-in-law Cao Qi Tai passes

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Malaysia Today exposes Umno's ' Dr. Ng Seng '

Raja Petra Kamarudin's latest revelation of the secret existence and modus operandi of Umno's "cyber-troopers"attempting to stir up inter-ethnic and inter-religious hatred in the cyberspace has already been reported, among other Chinese-language media, malaysiakini (Chinese edition) and Merdeka Review. Raja Petra Kamarudin writes:

“ ... I want it on record that Umno is attacking Malaysia Today with 25 cyber-troopers and they are the ones who are posting racial statements. Sometimes they even masquerade as Chinese and whack the Malays and Islam. Then other cyber-troopers would respond and whack the Chinese. The Umno cyber-troopers are the ones behind this racial and religious bashing in Malaysia Today. Then they make a police report alleging that Malaysia Today insults Islam and stirs racial sentiments.” ( Read the full article by Raja Petra for context )

Article written by a ' Dr. Ng Seng ' in Bahasa Malaysia

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Very glad to have received a complimentary copy of Memoir Abdullah C.D. (Bahagian Kedua) - Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10 (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2007) which is a sequel to Memoir Abdullah C.D. (Bahagian Pertama) - Zaman Pergerakan Sehingga 1948 (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005). Pak Abdullah C.D. is a veteran of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) who led the legendary all-Malay 10th Regiment of CPM's armed units from 1949 to 1989.

Inaugurated underground on 30 April 1930 in a rubber plantation workers' quarters near Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, the Communist Party of Malaya was the first modern party that dedicated itself to end British colonialism in Peninsular Malaya and Singapore. In the period of 1941-1945, it led the only functioning armed resistance to Japanese occupation as a vital component of the worldwide Allied forces anchored on the the United States, United Kingdom, China, the former USSR and Charles de Gaulle's London-based Free France.

From late 1945 to mid-1948, it openly participated in the postwar public affairs of Peninsular Malaya and Singapore with the attainment of the independence of Malaya (Peninsular Malaya plus Singapore) as the principal and paramount objective.

In the wake of the massive and brutal repression against progressive movements for national self-determination that culminated in the proclamation of the so-called 'Emergency' by the colonial regime on 20 June, 1948, the party went underground and took up arms in the jungles again to fight for the independence of Malaya.

Although the Union Jack was formally lowered and symbolically folded up on 31 August 1957 in Peninsular Malaya, colonial forces and mercenaries continued to station and operate in Malaya on a massive scale under the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement (AMDA) and CPM's war for national liberation therefore continued.

As AMDA (renamed Anglo-Malaysian Defence Agreement in 1963) was replaced in 1971 by the Five Power Defence Arrangments (FPDA) which does not commit Malaysia to hosting any foreign troops on its territory and as the last Commonwealth Strategic Reserve (CSR) troops withdrew from Butterworth in 1984, the possibility for national peace and reconciliation became real.

Also, from the early 1970s onward, the Alliance/National Front regime, under tremendous pressures from the people domestically and progressive forces operating at the regional as well as global levels, also gradually shifted its foreign policy from Tunku Abdul Rahman's 'Cold Warrior' and one-sidedly pro-Western orientation (1957-1970) to a more neutralist and balanced posture or approach.

On 2 December, 1989, the Communist Party of Malaya signed the historic Haadyai Peace Accords with the Government of Malaysia under the premiership of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad terminating the 1957-1989 National Civil War. The CPM also signed a related peace treaty with the Government of Thailand on the same day in Haadyai ending all armed activities on Thai territory bordering Malaysia.

Another communist auto-biography in English

Michiko Suzuki's idealism in Japanese politics

Karl Marx's works now in Indonesian language

Director Amir seeks to lift ban on history film

Launching of Dr. Abraham' s new history book

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ah Hai's memoirs now out in English language

In Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History, there is a fellow communist called Ah Hai who appears to be not only a down-to-earth field commander of the guerrilla forces of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) during the 'Emergency', but also an older and wiser counsellor who offered more mature opinions of strategies or tactics to his younger and more hot-headed comrades. Ah Hai is also known as Ah Chen.

The real name of Ah Hai or Ah Cheng is Shan Ruhong and his autobiograhy, originally written and published in Chinese a few years ago, is now made available in English as Gold in the South ... the Story of an Immigrant (Kuala Lumpur, Penerbitan Abad 21, 2007) by veteran Penang lawyer as well as one of the surviving leaders and intellectuals of the Malayan Democratic Union (MDU), Lim Kean Chye.

Shan Ruhong, 88, is still alive in a Peace Village in southern Thailand.

Shan's autobiography is rendered even more valuable as a first-hand account of the alternative history of Malaya (including Singapore) by its written memories and some biographical notes of five martyrs of the anti-colonial and anti-fascist struggles who were Shan's mentors or peers in the communist underground, namely Huang Bo Sui @ Lin Jiang Shi, Li Liang @ Bai Yi, Hu Tian Bao @ Chen Lu, Shen Yuan Xiu @ Ke Fu, Li Jing Ming @ Ah Xue and Zhong Ying Hong @ Zhong Ai Ke.

Karl Marx's works now in Indonesian language

Rashid Maidin's memoirs now out in Mandarin

A Merdeka salute to martyr S.A. Ganapathy !

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Enjoying a multiethnic Malay marriage dinner

Last night, my friend and PKR secretary-general Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and his family hosted a very grand 100-table dinner at Bukit Kiara's Sime Darby Convention Centre to celebrate the marriage of his eldest daughter Siti Zaharah with Mohd Fairuz. It brought together many other common friends like Mat Sabu (left), Mahfuz (second from right) and Roslan (right). Mat Sabu, Mahfuz and I have known each other since the late 1980s and three of us once sat on the Opposition bench in the 8th Parliament from 1990 to 1995.

I also met the host and the happiest and proudest man of the night Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (second from left), fellow guests Lee Ban Chen (second from right) and Low Chee Cheong (right). Ban Chen is, of course, the Malay-language columnist of malaysiakini and Chee Cheong, a PKR Deputy Secretary and well-known youth leader and opinion-maker of the Chinese-speaking Malaysian community.

Also present were ex-DPM Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR President Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Vice President Azmin Ali, another Deputy Secretary Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, Information chief Tian Chua and Supreme Council Member Latheefa Koya , PAS' secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, DAP's Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, NGO chief Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew and State Assemblyman for Bandar Klang Teng Chang Khim.

The all-Malay musical band Kumpulan Balik-Balik from Selangor's Kampung Api-Api was truly impressive and inclusive as it played not only Malay and Indonesian but also Chinese, Indian, Arabic, English and Spanish love songs, including a very romantic keroncong.

My dear friend Kannan ends his bachelorhood

A dream comes true for Ah Keong and Ah Yin

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last night, I had a very enjoyable dinner with some European friends in Petaling Street and, in the leisurely conversation over some jugs of Carlsberg, one of them sarcastically said that Europe is "very grateful" to Umno Youth for not sending its 'warriors' to Brussel to threaten to raze the headquarters of the European Union (EU) to the ground or brandish their keris in front of it in response to Ambassador Thierry Rommel's critical comments on the race-based New Economic Policy (NEP). Of course, we had a really good laugh.

Race-based policy spoils EU-Malaysian ties

Friday, July 20, 2007

Psycho-analysis of born-again ' Islamist ' Najib

No signs of Stockholm Syndrome in Nathaniel

Very glad to have observed that our friend Nathaniel, despite his youth and mild manner, has not suffered from Stockholm Syndrome after being detained for four days and then released on bail. Cheers.

Candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan continues

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rakaman takziah : Clare Street shares the grieve and sorrow of the families of the six RMAF crew on board of the crashed Nuri . May God bless the souls of Capt Nor Azlan Termuzi, Capt Nor Intan Asykeen Mohd Arof, Sgt Khusnizam Ariffin, Sgt Azmie Md Yassin, Saifulizam Alias and Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad with true and everlasting love.

Candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan continues

Despite the heavy downpour of rain last night, many concerned citizens still went to gather at the front of the Dang Wangi Police Station to solidaritise with Nathaniel Tan. Also present were ex-DPM and PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim, PAS' National Treasurer Dr. Hatta Ramli, the President of the Malaysian Trade Unions' Congress (MTUC) Syed Shahir and, above all, Nathaniel's brave and proud parents.

One more candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan

Solidarity candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan

Monday, July 16, 2007

One more candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan

According to my friend Elizabeth Wong (right), there is another solidarity candle-light vigil tonight for our friend, Nathaniel Tan.

Said Zahari' s second memoirs launched in KL

Just came home from Kuala Lumpur after attending the launch of the second volume of Pak Said's Malay and English memoirs The Long Nightmare - My 17 Years as a Political Prisoner (Kuala Lumpur, Utusan, 2007) at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. The Chinese edition, published by a private company, was also displayed and sold. I was there as a guest of Pak Said who is my neighbour and friend.

Pak Said's second memoirs now out in English

Pak Said salutes friend, patriot Rashid Maidin

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Solidarity candle-light vigil for Nathaniel Tan

The Solidarity Candle-light Vigil for Nathaniel Tan began at about 8.30 p.m. just now opposite the Dang Wangi Police Station and when I left at 9.30 p.m., there were already about 100 concerned citizens of all races and age groups gathered to solidaritise with the 26-year old Harward graduate who has been remanded by the police reportedly for investigation under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Anwar, Kit Siang condemn OSA arrest

US Navy lends helping hands in search of Nuri

According to a Bernama report, a Sea Hawk helicopter of the United States' Navy has joined the aerial search for the still missing Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Nuri helicopter and the six airforce crew.

Chinese bank gives US$800 million loan to M'sia for bridge project

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ex-UN chief meets Anwar Ibrahim, Dr. Azizah

Yesterday, United Nations' former Secretary-General Kofi Annan also met Malaysia's ex-DPM Anwar Ibrahim .

President of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her daughter Nurul Izzah were also present at Kofi Annan's breakfast reception held at the Carcosa Seri Negara.

Annan : Problem is not the faith, it's the faithful

Friday, July 13, 2007

Expo of Chinese tea-drinking arts opens in KL

Just now my friend Beng Cheng and I went to Times Square in Kuala Lumpur to experience for ourselves the many types of Chinese tea-drinking art exhibited at the 2007 Asean Tea Cultural Expo which is open to the public from 10.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m and will last until next Monday (16 July). The sweet lady who sat beside me is a sale representative of a merchant house of tea leaves from the Yunnan Province in China where the now very fasionable Pu-er tea originates and also where the legendary Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) was born.

M'sia bans another scholarly book on Islamism

According to a 12 July Bernama news report, an academic book titled Islamic Fundamentalism Since 1945 , authored by Beverley Milton-Edwards and published by the internationally well-known and respectable London-based Rouledge in " the making of the contemporary world series", has been officially banned in Malaysia by the Internal Security Ministry under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984) and the ban has been gazetted (become legally effective) since 31 May.

Karen Armstrong' s best-sellers in Indonesian

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dr. Lim Hock Siew coming again to M'sia soon

According to Said Zahari, his 'good brother' Dr. Lim Hock Siew (pix above) will be coming again to Kuala Lumpur to attend the official launch of the Malay and English editions of the second part of his memoirs at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka on July 16 (Mon) from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm. The Chinese edition was already launched by Dr. Lim Hock Siew and University Malaya's Associate Professor Dr. Chia Ai Ping on 1 July at Johor Baru's Chinese-medium Southern College. The launch at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka is also open to the public.

Pak Said' s second memoirs now out in English

Cheers for Dr. Rajakumar's good health, spirit

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The first American folk song I learnt to sing while I was a boy scout with Troop Ipoh 39th was Shenandoah. I still love the song very much.

Sharing joy of Independence Day with friends
Just bought a new copy of VCD of the unforgettable Doctor Zhivago.

Fashionable taste in Chinese tea-drinking art

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fathis Aris Omar now also quits bachelorhood

Takniah to my friend Fathi Aris Omar who became raja sehari on 7 July (Sat) marrying Cik Safrina Hamsin in Kampung Gunung Besout, Sungkai, Perak. I was also invited to witness the ceremony but could not make it at the eleventh hour. Very fortunately, another friend Boon Hooi who went agreed to present an ang pau on my behalf first.

My dear friend Kannan ends his bachelorhood

Monday, July 09, 2007

Yesterday, I met and talked to Dr. Lim Hock Siew from Singapore at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Lim, 76, was once detained in Singapore by the People's Action Party (PAP) government of Lee Kuan Yew without charge or trial for almost 20 years from 1963 to 1982. For a fuller version of his side of story on the 1963 Operation Cold Store and more nuanced history of Singapore, please follow malaysiakini.

S'porean PM salary stuns White House official

Saturday, July 07, 2007

In less than a month's time, I met ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad twice. Today, both of us simply wished our common friend Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad (middle) a very happy 70th birthday and enjoyed the food, drink, music and friendship at the buffet party.

Launching of Dr. Abraham's new history book
My sifu-class of friend Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad @ Dollah @ Dollah " Komunis "@ Datuk Kok Lanas @ DKL (second from right in full white) celebrated his 70th birthday this early afternoon with his family, comrades, friends and ex-foes in a lesisurely party held in a Western-style restaurant Alexis at Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur.

Heartfelt congratulation to Pak Lah & Jeanne

China remembers Marco Polo Bridge 'Incident'

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fashionable taste in Chinese tea-drinking art

My friend Beng Cheng has just given me a small packet of the now very fashionable and expensive Pu-er tea leaves which was brought back by his wife from her business trip to China several weeks ago. I will wait until the Mid-Autumn Festival to taste it together with the mooncakes after another game of chess or two with Beng Cheng.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day to American friends

Happy Independence Day to all American friends in Malaysia, the United States and all over the world from James and his family.

Fashion upgrade of service uniforms in China

China has recently announced that its 2.3 million soldiers and People's Armed Police personnel will be dressed with newly designed uniforms.

M'sia understands China's military budget rise

In solidarity with Philippines' WWII sex slaves

Meanwhile, Evelina Galang's blog Laban! Fight for Comfort Women has been updated and upgraded with many more facts and figures about the issue of Japan's WWII 'comfort women' in the Philippines.

Japanese-occupied Malaya's 'comfort women'

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Japan's new minister of defence Yurilo Koike

According to a Xinhua news report, former Japanese environment minister and current special adviser to the premier on national security affairs, Yurilo Koike is to become Japan's new Defence Minister. She is to replace Fumio Kyuma who resigned earlier today to take responsibility of his controversial remarks on the U.S. atomic bombing on Japan at the closing stage of World War II.

Two stone-age views on women in 21st century

U.S. 'uneasy' over Brown’s anti-war ministers

According to a news report in London's Times, " Gordon Brown’s appointment of ministers critical of the Bush Administration and the Iraq war has triggered unease in Washington after the departure of its close ally, Tony Blair". The report was filed from Washington D.C.

Marxist don's son now UK's Foreign Secretary

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sin Chew Jit Poh interviews America's envoy

Just read the evening edition of Sin Chew Jit Poh and found the Chinese-language daily's full colour-page interview with US ambassador to Malaysia Christopher LaFleur on issues relating to the proposed Malaysia-US FTA. It reminds me of a similar Sin Chew Jit Poh interview with the then US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott in 1996 when I participated as the newspaper's Senior Staff Writer.

The Sunday before last, I also read the interview of Karen Armstrong in Sin Chew Jit Poh's Sunday Supplement where the translated commentaries of Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Dr. Farish Noor and Karim Raslan on Muslim world's current affairs are published quite regularly. Sin Chew Jit Poh was the only mainstream newspaper in Malaysia that published on its front page on 30 September 1998 the colour picture of former DPM and ex-prisoner Anwar Ibrahim with his black eye.

Greeting Chairman Mao's interpreter ' Nancy '

Meeting USA National War College delegation

Local media meets foreign journalist in M' sia

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thailand says no to making Buddhism 'official'

Despite the pressures mounted by a segment of its people, Thailand's Constitution Drafting Assembly voted 66 to 19 on 29 June (Friday) against the proposal to recognize Buddhism as the official religion. While the constitution of another Buddhist-majority country and center for learning of Buddhism since ancient time Sri Lanka (former Ceylon) defines itself as a "democratic, socialist" polity, the Republic of Indonesia, the country with the largest number of Muslims on earth, has also never officially been designated as an 'Islamic State'.

Wesak Day best wishes to friends, neighbours