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Archive for December, 2010

Two Mini Tales of Bala & Hannah

Bala, top. Below, Hannah: Did somebody – ass hole Ah Hoe? – says she is pretty? Holy Moses!

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Compare and contrast…

PKR’s N Gobalakrishnan

ngobalakrishnan if you are dropping me, I need to stock up on my french beans and repair rusty plough tractor …

DAP’s Hannah Yeoh

hannahyeoh listening to @imokman on bfm now

Country is going belly up so Bala, who’s a bit of a gem, is thinking of hoarding food whereas Hannah is smooching in her dreams. Is she asleep on the wheel? Or worse…?

These Pakatan types… Aiya! And they’re suppose to rule, to make law!

Bet she’ll next tweet:

hannahyeoh wearing scarlet panties now

Jeeesus O’Christ!

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Postscript: Teresa Kok bellyache

De-Christianising? That is a new word, Teresa. No; no Christian was de-Christianed. (How does it work anyway?) It’s Malaysian First, Christian Second. Remember? Or is it Christian Last?

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Contd: Islam’s Enslavement of a Chinese Schoolgirl

At the instigation of Islam’s convert Fatimah Abdullah (邝美妃), Tan Yi Min (or Chen Yimin 陈乙敏), age 7, is abducted on Nov 8 from her Sungai Nibong school in Penang by an Islamic official who, along with others, had driven 200 miles in two cars from the offices of the Selangor Islamic religious department (JAIS).

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Pertinent points from China Press, below, reporting from the Penang High Court:

  • Yi Min meets father Tan Cheow Hong (or 陈招宏 Chen Zhaohong, 36) at last and after 49 days.
  • Yi Min is brought to court dressed in ‘Malay’ clothes, including tudong (meaning she had been converted to Islam).
  • While the three – Yi Min’s father, Fatimah Abdullah and the girl – met  the judge in chambers, the rest of the family, including paternal grandma, aunt and cousin sisters waited outside.
  • Appearing outside the court half an hour later, Fatimah promptly vanished with Yi Min again.
  • The judge wants until Jan 4 to deliver verdict whether or not to restore to father custody of Yi Min who was abducted from him 49 days earlier.

Still unanswered questions in the report: what’s Yi Min’s Muslim name, had they circumcised her, is she in school or getting Quran and Arabic lessons instead? Why is kidnap by Islam legal, or legal under Islam only?

The China Press (中國報) report, dated Dec 27, Monday, with a three-line title:

‘The School Snatch Case by Chinese Muslim Convert / Girl Appears in Malay Clothes / Judge  to Rule Next Week on Custody’

皈依回教華婦校園爭女案
女童穿馬來服裝出庭
法官下週裁決扶養權

(檳城27日訊)相隔一個半月后,被皈依回教生母攜回教庭令前往校園帶走的7歲女童陳乙敏,今午身著馬來傳統服裝,披著頭巾,在檳高庭外首次與生父及家人重聚。

女童是在法官耶谷默宋諭令下,被母親鄺美妃(28歲,現已改名花蒂瑪鄺阿都拉)獨自帶上法庭會見法官。

與父相聚半小時

父女重逢的那一剎那,女兒似乎好靦腆,一直拉著母親衣袖,直至父親蹲下來攤開雙手,她才撲進父親懷抱,緊擁其父,默默流淚。 (translation below)

口操英語的女童過后在通譯員牽領下,被帶入法官內庭會見法官約整句鐘,才被帶出來與其父親、祖母、姑姑及堂姐妹等人在庭外相聚約半小時,最后又被母親帶走。(translation below)

法官耶谷默宋親自向女童瞭解其意願后,將案擇定明年1月4日裁決,要將女童臨時撫養權歸給其父或母親。

在半小時的短暫相聚中,女童父親一家人幾乎個個淚汪汪。家人還送禮物給她,有些親人送生日禮物,姑姑送考獲全班第一名的獎勵,堂姐妹們則為她準備所愛的零食。

法官是在聆聽申請人陳招宏(36歲的工廠市場部副經理,女童父親),通過魏曉隆律師提出的臨時撫養權申請后,下令將女童帶上法庭。

陳招宏是在2001年與鄺美妃註冊結婚后,誕下女兒陳乙敏。兩人在2007年10月分居,沒正式離婚。女兒在過去3年來,都由男方撫養。其妻子于11月8日在宗教局官員陪同下,前往學校將女兒帶走。

In translation:

Looking bashful and good, Yi Min kept tugging at Fatimah’s sleeves. Then at the moment when her father lowered himself to the floor, squatting, she flew into his open arms. Father and daughter reunited – for a while – he was silent and in tears.

Under the direction of the English-language court interpreters, they were ushered into the chamber to meet the judge. Outside and for the entire half-hour duration meanwhile, grandma, aunt and cousins waited again for Yi Min.  When at last she reappeared, Fatimah was taking her away.

The last, preceding court hearing was Dec 10 during which Fatimah (in Chinese 美妃 Meifei, referential name for imperial concubine, age 28) did not show up. The court was to reconvene on Dec 20 but for reasons unknown didn’t, or it went unreported.

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Letter to Petra Kamarudin

(This is a long essay, with some complex philosophical concepts. Consider breaking up your reading over two or three sittings.)

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An MP is somebody who can be taught. Integrity is different. If your parents hadn’t raised you (with integrity), there’s nothing much you can do. – Haris Ibrahim, Interview with Malaysiakini, Dec 2010.

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Take loyalty and trustworthiness as the pivot and have no friends who are not like yourself in this. – From the lunyu 论语, the Analects 1:8

The junzi is not a vessel, for use. The junzi works from the roots. Once the roots sprout, the dao – the way – is born. lunyu 2:12 & 1:3

Rule with virtue and this is like the North Star which is fixed in its place and others look to it.lunyu 2:1

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Xiaode addresses Raja Petra Kamarudin:

Time Tests a Man’s Heart…

In parliament, to Pakistanis, just days ago China’s Wen Jiabao understood he was speaking to true friends when he quoted verbatim from a Chinese literary, historical tale the Investiture of the Gods (封神演義: 第二十回), below (you won’t find it in the ubiquitous Malaysiakini):

路遥知马力,日久见人心

As distance tests a horse’s strength, so time reveals a man’s heart.

Time reveals, yes, but not just the hearts of the people you know but yours as well. Like the road is to a horse, time also tests: a man’s sincerity, his honour and his virtues, things that speak of the nature of the heart.

So take time off to ignore those vile press articles directed against you and your society, the MCLM. Are they not like spittle in the wind although your reaction to the criticisms, you must admit, has been palpable. Why so, if as you say they are just ‘spins’?

No, they’re not spins which is to imply they are crafty words from clever minds. Crafty words maybe. But, would you say Kee Thuan Chye is a clever mind? Even a second rate mind? YL Chong? After you’re through with their ‘articles’, you come out no wiser –  so many words, so much bellyaching that amounts to nothing. Ordinarily they’d shout as if they’re great democrats and lovers of western liberal causes, yet they curse you for participating in a democracy. Can you now see the tyranny beneath ‘real’ Malaysians?

No, they are not spins; they’re like so much ox dung strewn on a village road and clogging the arteries of a society. Once the afternoon rain comes, the longkang clears….

About 250 years after Kongzi’s (Confucius) death – Chinese civilization history is so long that time has to be compressed into centuries – Xunzi (荀子) emerged among the followers as one of the finest exponents of Confucian theory, adding to it his interpretation of human nature. Here is an interesting passage from him:

Man’s strength is not equal to that of the ox; his running is not equal to that of the horse; and yet ox and horse are used by him. How is this? (cited in Fung Yulan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, 1948).

The answer, provided later, need not detain us for the moment. It is used here to name another person Han Feizi (or Han Fei 韓非) studying under Xunzi, who would had been disappointed if he knew in death that Han went on to break with the Confucianists by establishing a Legalist School of Thought.

For some time Legalism had supplanted Confucianism, which sought to put ethics and logical reasoning as the basis for governance. Legalism had risen from Confucianism but it then took a different turn, relying singularly on the criterion called power to govern. And power was in turn pivoted on strict observance to law and rules. The Qin dynasty hired Han Feizi for his theoretical guide into governance during which all Confucian books were burned (some survived). Han:

A wise ruler must signify the rule by law, so to speak, and act according to law so that the country would expand, the army would be strong, and the ruler would be venerated. Rule by law is the fundamental to governing. (in Ren Xin, Tradition of the Law, 1996)

Contrast Han’s legalist position – lay down the law and stick to it – to the Confucianist precept: rule with virtue, set yourself as the North Star example so that others might look to and to emulate (also see Appendix at the end of this article). Legalism placed China as probably the first state authority in the classical world to adopt rule by law that was coupled with threats of harsh penalties.

(To comprehend Legalism’s tyranny extended to modern-day society, consider Julian Assange’s rape charge in Sweden, supposedly one of the freest societies in the world and hankered after by so many PKR and DAP Anglophile lawmakers. But, there, how a man beds a woman is subjected to the law. In this article pay particular attention to the legal restrictions that go into the minutia of love making: from the moment a man drops his pants in Sweden, he’d better get signed consent at every pause in the copulating. Still, this is the kind of law the old spinsters like Eli Wong and Teresa Kok will want in future Malaysian statutes. They think a world of white society.)

An extant of rule by law is constitutional rule, at the back of which in Malaysia is a mish-mash of official ideology picked and pickled as jus sanguinis (native land rights, citizenship), ethnic supremacy (Malay special position), religious officialdom (Islam), and western liberalism (liberty, equality).

Umno champions some of these, but not all. PAS raison d’etre rests singularly on Islam; PKR being PKR, that is, an Anwar Ibrahim party, is all and yet none of the above. DAP is an Anglophile; its beginnings as democratic socialism is today mangled into Christian fundamentalism which has poisoned both its central committee and its second-echelon leadership. To summarise then: Hadi Awang is PAS Malay under an Arabian turban; Anwar is a PAS Islamist in PKR multi-hued batik (before that in Umno three-piece suit); and, Lim Guan Eng is a PAS bootlegged Pat Robertson in Singaporean PAP pants and shirt. In this scheme of things where lies MCLM?

Ostensibly you have the People’s Voice and the People’s Declaration. With some editing in their passages, their lofty declarations are not considerably different from a PKR or DAP campaign flier or Abdullah Badawi’s 2004 election manifesto. But all of you copied from the white man. No?

In declaration (note, the term ‘political principles’ is deliberately avoided), MCLM equals Pakatan equals Barisan. Pakatan’s failure to deliver on those declarations, you say, is the motivating force in MCLM’s offer of men – or, characters in men – to PKR, DAP, PAS (but not Barisan in spite of Najib Razak’s stated position on the matter). Such an offer, because it doesn’t touch ideology, suggests that only men can make a substantive difference in politics, in governance as well as the difference between actions – delivery on promises – and speeches.

Question: How far true is it Pakatan has not delivered against your shopping list, Petra? Or, has it been delivering the wrong kind of goods – you know, water for free, tossing out 100 ringgit here, 500 there. To Pakatan leaders, people are reduced to little pesky kids: here’s a lollipop, so shut up! You see all of these, everything, but meaningful and substantive change. Or, was it Pakatan’s delivery in the characters of men (Azmin Ali, Lim Guan Eng, et al) that you take exception?

Once you use characters of men as a political yardstick then you enter into a completely different league; you realise that of course.

The last question is the exigent one but answers itself. If character is important to politics, which it is, what about Anwar’s character? Does his character not count in your decision whether or not to support PKR, Pakatan by extension? Or, is he an exception to the rule because he is above all – the Messiah? What about Hannah Yeoh’s character? In the reckoning of your buddy Haris Ibrahim, she is hoisted up like she is a saint. If Hannah is a saint, then Haris must be the Grand Pontiff to have not only the powers of anointment but an uncanny ability to judge Hannah so conclusively, an ability other mortals seem not to possess. There’s is no other conclusion.

But, neither you nor Haris will want to go into such vexatious matters because, you see, the character of man is a very slippery thing. So Haris slips all the way around the dilemmas by restricting character’s definition to one word, ‘integrity’. And to put a bit of empirical science into the pontiff’s task, integrity is tested against two things primarily, one tangible, the other intangible.

Tangible is financial independence, meaning this test has to do with money; the monk who is dependent on charity (or, tian forbid, debts) and makes less money is less likely to pass the test than the lawyer who is better off. Intangible is demonstrated loyalty. That’s still vague but you probably know better than most how the test works, that is, loyalty to what and to who.

Recall again Wen’s cited lines, time reveals a man’s heart.

Here’s to relook at (say) the DAP where faithfulness to party doctrine or principles would be an element of loyalty. From a party’s viewpoint, loyalty is faithfulness not just to party but to especially its principles. From the member’s viewpoint, he must receive the quid pro quo to be fair: hence, has the party, as represented in its leadership, been faithful to established ideas?

Either way, loyalty has to look backwards for consistency in past actions and words. Question: Who has betrayed the party’s founding principles, its central committee (Lim Guan Eng top among them) or Hee Yit Foong who has revolted against them? The same kind of question could be asked of Anwar: has he betrayed his Islamic agenda he brought into Umno or has he merely changed clothes, put on different armor and climbed up another horse to pursue the same? Or, has he given up the agenda entirely for a ‘people’s justice’, whatever that is? What’s the integrity that’s betrayed? The cause or the party? And who is betraying who? Or, who is betraying what? Who is the frog? Or what is?

It’s been said, the question is always half the answer….

You see, Petra, this is the Myth of the Frog that’s been bought from the propaganda and subsequently recycled countless times at Malaysia Today. Not true?

The Character of the Messiah

Haris’s definition of integrity which traces financial independence and party loyalty as the most desired attributes in political reform puts Anwar (or Guan Eng) as the anchor-benchmark in defining a virtuous politician. That’s the far-reaching implication. The Haris definition has to presuppose that ideological principles in a party never changes but a person does, hence a desertion by (say) Hee Yit Foong has been taken to mean forsaking the principles. There’s another, less flattering word for ideology’s unshakeable hold on a person: dogma.

Suppose one goes along with Haris’s argument that loyalty means staying true to the party or to the cause (either way, it’s a test Hee would fail in Haris’s reckoning).  Question: Is the DAP ideologically the same today as it was 20, 30, 40 years ago? What exactly are the principles that the DAP has been loyal to, but not Hee for which she was then ridiculed as a frog? How has DAP been loyal but not Hee?

Take a specific idea: equality. Suppose Hee left DAP to join (say) PPP, a Barisan member, which also subscribes to equality, has she been disloyal to principle or to party?

The problems arising from those questions don’t stop there. They get worse: who’s to say the DAP has been faithful to its founding principles? Or hasn’t? Haris decides? Guan Eng? Or Hee? Since it was Hee who fled the DAP, naturally she must be granted the freedom to decide. Haris cannot decide for her decisions on loyalty, nor Guan Eng. And she can only decide from how she sees the DAP today, versus (say) 20 years ago when she signed up. What would be the basis for such a decision, all other factors unchanged?

Haris singular answer to that question is character, to wit integrity. On that score alone, Hee has integrity if she doesn’t change party even if the DAP’s principles, meaning the party’s principles driven by its top leadership, had changed. To Haris, Hee has no integrity even if she stayed loyal to the equality principle which, in her reckoning, had been distorted beyond the DAP’s original or commonsense meaning. To Haris, Hee is of dubious character although she is completely entitled to her own decision and entitled to weigh that decision against the background of her character upbringing that would tell her if the DAP is today a fraud.

The absurdity in this line of thinking has arisen because, overwhelmingly, the Pakatan propaganda casts the entire burden of loyalty’s proof on only one side, Hee’s. People go along with the propaganda because they assume parties are forever unchanging or they are static. Which is to infer that political principles within parties never change – a dogma – or they are what the leaders say they are.

This way of Opposition politics is so blinding that few stop to distinguish over which character is the problematic one, in the example cited above: the DAP or Hee?

Because the propaganda obfuscates rather than clarifies principles and policies, the Opposition politics you read and hear about get reduced to the sloganeering mentioned by Zaid Ibrahim, perceptive fellow. It’s become insane, entirely convoluted. Some of Zaid’s observations are worth paying attention and you should reflect on them:

“Pakatan is not addressing anything…. In Parliament Barisan calls something X, and Pakatan calls the same thing Y. Someone talks about ketuanan Melayu, then someone else speaks about ketuanan Rakyat. It’s very combative, not specific…. I want to address people’s issues…unity, racism, economics, safety (Zaid probably means security) and others.”

This failure to sort out the tangle of parties and ideology, between principles and characteristics in principles, and between the characters of parties and of persons has contributed greatly to the general sense of disillusionment at present. It is in these circumstances and it’s for those reasons that Petra’s MCLM came into existence. Because it answers to the disillusionment it’s maligned, which you’d call ‘spin’: why should Pakatan tolerate your hacking a way through the jungle and expose the booty it has hidden among the dead trees and grass?

The fault lies not just in Anwar or Kit Siang, sloganeers, one who masks an administrative ineptitude and the second to cover up the son’s desert-ideas. But yet they are well-received by the Anglophile population who had primed up itself to buy any kind of snake oil as remedy for any and all sickness. Hence, they say, Pakatan is the answer – the only answer – to Barisan. MCLM will do little or do nothing to penetrate this jungle wall, thence to offer meaningful change, as long as it fails to be crystal clear about its purpose. And why.

Remedy is not too late, however. But clarity is not vacuous statements about liberty and justice borrowed from some white men or worse, Anwar Ibrahim. How should the future of politics (hence Parliament, hence governance) be shaped? Who should do so? And how? Are your efforts focused on Parliament but not society? Should you be driven by the power of ideology or by the strength of characters? If both, which should pull the train? And why?

There are no easy answers to the questions, and the dilemma of choices is far from straightforward. Here is to flog the problem further with  specifics.

Take the DAP again where it now favours a pro-religious agenda (Christianity and Islam today influence public policies as mundane as 7-Eleven beer sales). Suppose you’re a member, having as Haris says, ‘strength of character’. With who do you stay loyal: DAP’s ideological character – which has changed – or Guan Eng? Or, to rephrase the question: Who are you to trust? The changed party with a changed leadership or trust to the hope in Guan Eng who had basically changed – less flatteringly, betrayed – the party? And betrayal is made without leaving the party! Understand the significance of that, Petra.

It’s from such a perspective that the problem about frogs is better aired. In Hee Yit Foong’s case, loyalty wasn’t an issue about the party (Barisan) which she had jumped into but it has origins deep within the DAP that has come to impinge on her character.

This means that the character of man is never a standalone, independent entity, like a stone or a rambutan tree. It’s always relational to a friend, a principle, an enemy and it is subject to circumstances. Character is driven by ethics and logical reasoning. Haris is only partly right to say integrity as a character trait is handed down, that is, cultivated and not just taught as a skill like fixing a bike. Integrity to be exhibited has to be acted upon so that ethics and logical reasoning then enter into the decision-making. This much must be clear to you, Petra.

Then, there are character traits that go beyond individual integrity. There is integrity to self, to spouse, to friends and there is integrity of ideas and integrity in ideas. Farouk Peru is mistaken to say ideology has to be the necessary bedrock of politics; it never was and shouldn’t be because dogma serves its own end, not people. He contradicts your core notion, and MCLM’s, that Malaysian politics must return to focus on the intrinsic characteristics in things and ideas, men especially. Politics must return to people, that is, to humanism.

To justify MCLM’s existence, Petra, more than he realises, was taken in by Anwar’s words, ‘we didn’t have enough good candidates’. Those words reaffirm Anwar’s self-anointment as Grand Pontiff and infers that he alone shall be the judge of character. Apologizing for his decision on the selection of electoral candidates, Anwar evades the originating problem: he and his PKR party attracts and collects men of all sorts, and only after that some are deemed questionable in their characters. He absolves the principles; Anwar’s mistakes are interpreted purely as a failure of objective decision-making and not a reflection of his own, internal morality.

How has PKR or DAP arrived at such a state of politics wherein personalities, the famous and the infamous, matter more than the results delivered? The plain answer is, it was always there; it was old politics in new bottle. Politics once boiled down to personalities, or in the character of men, MCLM is most vulnerable to go the way of PKR and the DAP. It risks turning itself into a new priestly, deified, ustaz class, composed of Messiah Anwars, Caliph Lims, and Saint Hannahs.

There is a way to break this jinx: make the Pontiff pay. And there are good reasons for doing that, one of which is that the failure of responsibility is a failure of duty by men to men, hence a reflection of character. Why trust a character that delivers bad characters? Why absolve the Pontiffs in the PKR or PAS or DAP that bring with them like-minded people into the governance of Perak, Penang, Selangor?

Take a specific case: If you no longer trust Behrang’s Jamaluddin Radzi why trust Anwar, the deliverer and creator of the assemblyman himself? Voters might not know about Jamal, but how could Anwar not know? Or, if he knew why send him to Behrang where, like hundreds of other constituencies, voters were expected to trust Anwar’s choice but they end up being betrayed.

MCLM wishing to take over Anwar’s selection role must therefore demonstrate ‘strength of character’ (Haris’s words) or integrity that’s greater than Anwar himself. On this line of reasoning a first MCLM task is to name a candidate for Permatang Pauh. After that Guan Eng. These politicians must be among the first to go. Either seat won’t go to the Barisan anyway, but MCLM would show it’s resolute and true to its claims: Pakatan has betrayed its voters; the insanity has to stop for it to be replaced by a new political culture dedicated meaningfully to people.

Or, are such acts beyond MCLM, questioning the Gifts of Allah?

So you see, Petra: In this and other ways MCLM is trapped, painting itself into a corner, wanting meaningful political change but unable and unwilling to cut off the hearts and heads in the diseased system.

Character vs Principles

In spite of, and because of, his shillyshally character, Anwar has a good record of delivery. To name a thing at random: the International Islamic University where Ikim (notorious for its Islamic fundamentalism) has its beginnings. It is singularly Anwar’s creation. PAS delivered better than Umno, upping the 30 percent housing bumi quota in Kedah to 50. DAP’s duplicities fill a book, in particular its speeches on secularism and on discrimination.

An Indian Hindu setting himself on fire in front of demolition teams applying sledgehammer policies; a 7-year-old child kidnapped for Islam’s sake, and Malay girls married off at age 14 once provided imageries exclusively associated with Barisan rule. This is no longer true, so the apology-claim that Pakatan’s three year span hadn’t been sufficient to make good on promises is, in inverse point of logic, bad and worrying enough. Give Pakatan more power, give it a further 20, 30 years, no place in Malaysia can be a refuge for the sane. Barisan is bad but is negotiable. Pakatan is bad and non-negotiable.

Ideological principles are like that: tightfisted in some hands they become sledgehammers. You don’t want to be seated below it. Seven-year-old Yi Min was. And numerous others.

Pakatan delivering on a set of goods different from Petra’s expectations arises from different interpretations of principles, hence policies. Justice in Anwar’s language of principles is Islamic justice not humanitarian justice; the former demands submission to Allah’s laws only, the latter to humans regardless of religious affiliation. Equality is meant by equality within groups only, the ummah in Islam’s case, and not ethnic neutral equality.

For evidences to these differing interpretations, look next to Anwar into DAP’s men. Where is the integrity to the cause? Three years ago Kit Siang and his son Guan Eng would reject any attempt to infuse religion into officialdom, yet only recently its party held a doa at its own conference. DAP will surely dismiss this matter as a party attesting recognition to Islam’s place in Malaysia which it is obligated to observe. But this is not about Islam; it is about the worth of a man’s word. It’s about character in short.

The electoral choice for you and others isn’t between Pakatan the evil nobody knows versus the devil (Barisan) they know. No, Petra, Pakatan is the devil Malaysia knows too well. You yourself posed the dilemma this way…

“…no exchange of one lump of shit for another lump of shit….”

Whose pile of shit will that be? And why are you walking on it instead of casting it out, along with the people defecating? A reason for saying this has to do with a problem that’s greater than the electoral dilemma that Pakatan elicits: its very existence, its being, exacts a moral choice.

Should one trust or not trust Anwar, Kit Siang, Hadi and their Pakatan parties? Three years with them around have showed zero results from mitigating – and this is not reversing but merely ameliorating – the oppressive consequences from past policies and Barisan rule. On the contrary, all evidences appear to show that whereas Barisan is addressing its policy shortcomings, the other pile of shit fertilizes the same problems: education, religion, land, temples, money, contract, power, 7-Eleven, beer, and so on.

To distinguish yourself and your MCLM from this status quo, you had raised a self-contradiction. In the Chinese vernacular it is like your pair of legs opened up and standing on the stern of two ships as they sail off from port in different directions. Any way you rationalise your society is ineffective (even if it coheres, and it doesn’t) because opposition is now a monopoly, just as Umno had before March 2008 monopolised rule.

One half in the monopoly of Malaysians has today passed into the person of Anwar. Only Pakatan and nobody else, not especially you, must replace Barisan. As in a commercial monopoly, a political monopoly carves out for itself the market (constituency distribution), dictates the sale (who seats where) and sets the terms and prices (who gets what eventually). And note this Petra: this is the same clique that pontificates regularly about democracy.

Monopoly once unpacked reveals power, which is exclusive. Possession of that power demands you are either with Pakatan or you are against it. Neutrality exists nowhere nor is it tolerated.

Religion, Islam or Christianity, is like this too – isn’t that so? – exclusivity, power, rewards and punishments, either you belief in Jesus or you are a heathen destined for condemnation. Your MT buddy and DAP’s mouthpiece Thomas Lee has said so as much. In Christianity, as in Islam, a man’s devotion has to be total, complete and submissive.

Those are also the characteristic qualities demanded of a political monopoly. Can you now see the fundamental principle that binds Anwar to DAP to PAS? Would you say such a principle is democratic? And has integrity?

The alternative is, of course, to break with Pakatan – a clean break. Almost immediately the ‘spin’ will stop, to be replaced by outright condemnation in the way they did it to Zaid and Hindraf before that.

You see, Petra, this is the price you pay to be in the company of KTemoc Hokkein thugs, Ah Hoe ass holes, ProArte idiots, Anwar messiahs, Hannah saints, Zulkifli opportunists, and so on. It’s been said a man is known by the company he keeps. And that which you keep, this mish-mash of the Pakatan world, a degenerate world, is a reflection of their characters that collectively you’d call ‘shit’ which is best dealt with by flushing down the toilet.

Can you now see how close you can be to the Confucian thinking in the opening quotes? “Have no friends who are not like yourself….”

You were right, therefore, to argue that more important than replacing Barisan is who and what should replace it. On March 2008, everybody thought they had the answer and it turned out to be celup, a fake. Malaysia’s failure to find convincing – and positive, as opposed to negative – answers to that question the last 30, 40 years is the only reason that has sustained Barisan, not apathy among people, not bad characters, or debts, or frogs or Malay chauvinism or Chinese extremism, whatever that is. Suppose Hee didn’t jump and Pakatan kept Perak, all will be well? Perak, like Penang and Selangor, would be the next thing to heaven? So MCLM will be redundant?

You see, the point in ‘replacing what and who’ is this, and it’s borrowed from the yijing (易經): great ideas don’t make men great but men make great the ideas. This is not law but Laozi imploring.

This brings us to the crux of your efforts: the band of 20 people (or is it 30?) of impeccable integrity necessary, in your words, to fix a broken system. That says the strength of individual, personal character counts above ideology, and counts first and foremost. Without which all declarations, all manifestos, all promises are just so much yada, yada, yada.

Junzi & North Star Rule

One is back to the opening lines with the analogy of the North Star and of rulers with virtue who by their demonstrated examples show the way. This is also to say the MCLM has a 2,400-year-old precursor in the Confucian School that extols virtue in character as the primary and necessary requisite to fix a broken system and after which to govern. These persons are collectively called in the hanzi, the junzi people (also see Appendix for background).

This junzi class is not inherited or plucked from the rice fields of Shandong. Selection was made from a systematic education system (you might recall such an education when passing a Chinese primary school in, say, Brickfields). After selection, they dominated ancient China’s bureaucracy, administrative apparatus and the courts, surviving Mongol plunder, western occupation, and communism’s influence. You see the junzi in action in Taiwan and in Korea today – at the police station, they seat you down in front of a tray of sweets, yes, sweets, and implore you to tell them your problem (Julian Assange slept with your woman?) so that the policeman on duty can fix it or make a ruling without breaking down doors for an arrest and after which go though the ugly business of the courts.

Junzi education underlies the motivation of Chinese parents (not counting the DAP Lim family and the Hannah Yeohs) to send their children to schools at all costs. This is a Chinese cultural imperative. Superficially it is about the child’s economic future and material comforts, but these motives hide and mask a deeper Confucian legacy (also see Appendix) that the Chinese say is (translated), to learn to be human. In hanzi script 做人 zuoren is literally ‘make human’. Learning to be human then is 怎样做人 zenyang zuoren which if you were to think it through is odd.

(You wouldn’t know this because it isn’t in the Malay or English press, but Wen Jiabao once replied in his handwritten script to a letter from a primary schoolboy in Hong Kong. He urged the boy to work hard in school because his primary task there was to learn to be human 怎样做人. Wen didn’t say, learn how to get rich.) Question: Why do Chinese schools teach kids to become humans or to make human? How is it done? What’s teaching a kid to be human? What’s to be human?

These questions won’t be dealt with here – this letter is long enough. As an aside, those answers explain why the Chinese want desperately to preserve the Chinese schools that Khoo Kay Kim and Kit Siang might wish to put to an end. If Chinese schools were about mastering skills and the English language, and so to make money when grown up, then the national Malay schools ought to be preferred. Yet they are not.

This implies that the fundamental driver in education lay elsewhere. Out of courtesy to you and to Haris, to the Malays, this truth remains unstated. Sufficed to say Chinese schools help produced a certain kind of individuals, thence towards a certain kind of society. In the varied societies that make up Malaysia, the Muslim society is fundamentally about fulfilling Allah’s demands, although his laws (like those of Christianity) would be humanly impossible to satisfy. In such a set of priorities the human is second place in the cosmos, and sometimes none at all.

Chinese education, hence its society, demands to put humans first, hence its humanism. And central to this humanism is the development and fulfillment of the human character, ren 仁, and not some laws from some gods. And what are the desired traits of the character ren, variously translated as benevolence and humaneness?

Return now to the opening quotes from Haris: An MP is somebody who can be taught. Integrity it is different. If your parents hadn’t raised you (with integrity), there’s nothing much you can do.

Haris places the entire burden of character development (integrity in his case) squarely on the shoulders of the parents. To a man (or woman) who had behaved badly or irresponsibly, the Chinese has a swear phrase, translated, ‘what did your mother teach you?’ Logically and empirically, Haris’s assertion is true only in part because Chinese schools share equally with the parents the task of character development. The ultimate end in this development is, to the Chinese, the Confucian junzi 君子 who’s not a saint nor a blueprint of one. Recall Wen’s letter to the schoolboy.

In China’s past, the junzi bears the literal translation ‘noble son’; today it is taken to mean loosely, a sage, but commonly, as noble person or exemplary person. The character opposite of junzi, small person 小人 helps clarify the meaning. Because there’s no exclusive blueprint, as if from the Bible or Quran, the junzi is an open-ended pursuit, going by a set of ethical precepts, yes, but achievable to all in this expansive world with millions of individual viewpoints. It is achievable to all who especially understands his place in the world and acts accordingly.

An MP loyal to his function as an MP is a good MP; he’s a junzi simply because that’s what he does best, in other words, fulfilling duty. This good, junzi MP is unlike the MCLM MP with primarily the attribute of integrity which, because of definition, can go only so far and no farther. The MCLM MP will not jump ship and he will stay loyal to his electorate whose interests come first.

The good, junzi MP and his tasks have greater clarity. To the children in his constituency their interests are to him ethical in nature, as if he is their ‘uncle’ (the Asian idea), teacher and parent; likewise to the rubber tree tapper, he is as friend; to the street hawker as customer, and so on. Such attitudes in MP-electorate relationship are ground-breaking in Malaysia because they fundamentally alter the state’s treatment towards people and hence effecting change in public policies – backwards.

The junzi MP’s role is not, at first glance, a multi-faceted function. Rather it speaks of the underlying principle in the MP’s conduct: the ethical and relational values between the MP and constituents that stem from the character trait that Confucianists call ren, 仁.

The etymology of ren is composed of two character-words, the number, two, which is written as 二 and man written as 人 but in radical form scripted as 亻to produce 仁. It takes two to make a society, a polity, a parliament and and a Malaysia. And the two must be different. Clones don’t make a society; they are a robot world. Humans, hence, are social animals – that is, they have relationships – who are able to independently organise and so make even the horse and the ox serve them. Humans serving humans is only meaningfully if done so out of volition and freedom.

To reiterate, humanism is demonstrated only by the interaction of two or more persons; an ethical and a relational concept. Robinson Crusoe is only human physically but never could be humanistic because alone in an island there is nobody to who he may act out his humanity (or inhumanity). He is MP, ruler and constituent to himself and numerous Malaysian MPs, Anwar and Kit Siang included, are like Robinson Crusoe MPs, narcissistic and egoists.

In spite of their narrow, functional MP roles, the MCLM’s defined version is the beginning of a sea change in fixing the broken system – that is, by moving away from the ideological centres towards relying on the human character. So it’s a beginning. And it’s a beginning from the roots up. But be careful, the implications are enormous which won’t be dealt with at this time.

Something else however….

Because the human character is central to the junzi class, as among MCLM candidates, this driver of politics is therefore non-ethnic in principle and non-ideological in worldview. But it’s cultural, much as Haris may wish to ignore or deny. The demand in Chinese culture (in its historical and truest sense) for the highest character standards in an MP is broader, expansive, significant and deeper than the MCLM’s core idea. For example, the Chinese standard would be premised on a set of humanistic ethics and sound logical reasoning – the qualities of the Confucianist junzi. In contrast, MCLM’s integrity demand is restrictive; its talk of money is materialistic.

There is another, pertinent issue: the root source of one’s character, hence character influence.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar may be Malay, should he so claim. If Anwar, also a Malay, fails an integrity test for whatever reason (say, by a criterion from Haris, his parents didn’t raise him well), then his failure raises a problem. How had Malik acquired the strength of character whereas Anwar failed?

The answer is unnecessary because Malik’s character proof is found in his present work, as lawyer, which in turn is informed by a ‘human rights’ regime that has roots in the Judeo-Christian West (see related essays linked to in this page, A Humane Society Without Human Rights). This says Malik is culturally western in his ethical and value subscriptions. In the Chinese worldview, he’d performed his duty work well, excellent in fact, as human rights lawyer, but as MP? How does he sees his relationship to the constituents? Who’s to know for sure?

Could Hadi Awang satisfy MCLM’s qualifying character standard of integrity? The answer is probably yes. But expand the idea of character, for example, to include, say, liberty. Would Hadi care if the Selangor religious department grabs a Chinese girl from his Kedah constituency to turn her into a Muslim? All know the answer. This is because Hadi’s values are informed entirely and exclusively by Islam to which his service is to Allah only. Any paternal, relational attitude he may have as MP to child is second place at best. Humanism is not even second; it may not even exist where he’s concerned.

Would Guan Eng, who claims to be Malaysian first, qualify a broader and a deeper human character test for an electoral ticket? No, of course not. Lim may be Chinese, but he is the Han Feizi of Malaysia where rule by law and its brutal enforcement trump humanistic virtues that empathize with people. He is not the North Star. Rather, like Hadi, he is informed by an imported ethico-religious regime that rules by Commandments issued from a mountain top. His performance as ruler may be good but that’s as tyrant who would say the abduction of the Chinese girl is rightful in law.

All that says Lim and Hadi are unlike Malik who might prefer to see the girl’s welfare as more important than Syariah.

These examples raise serious problems for the MCLM. Far too many candidates or MPs get pass the debt-free and the loyalty test of character to have any meaning. MCLM risks moving not forward but sideways to emerge from a dark tunnel looking no different from Pakatan (or Barisan) until it broadens its definition of character to include its root sources and influences. That can only mean their education, culture and the society in which they grew up.

Petra: your MCLM has the germinating seed for a class of junzi MPs, but limit your ambitions to getting in ten MPs, including five in KL opposition strongholds, and six state assemblypersons, two each in Penang, Perak and Selangor. In this way, modestly, independently and honourably, you satisfy MCLM’s noble goals and fulfill the trust of 10 million ringgit which won’t be frittered away on swines in Pakatan. Leave the Indians to Hindraf and the Malays to Zaid Ibrahim. Start with Seputeh. You’d be surprised.

Confucius:

The junzi is not a vessel, for use. The junzi works from the roots. Once the roots sprout, the dao – the way – is born.

******************

Appendix: The Junzi Class

  • Confucius (孔子 Kongzi) (551-479 BC)
  • Mencius (孟子 Mengzi) (c. 380-300 BC)
  • Xunzi (荀子) (c. 310-230 BC)

At around the age of 50, circa 500 BC, Confucius launched a plan to reassert the sovereignty of the founding rulers of the state of Zhou, the largest in geographical size and most powerful among several, far smaller states in China. The Zhou dynasty had by then fallen into a virtual state of disrepair – later to degenerate into anarchy, a period known among Chinese historians today as the Warring States era (475 – 221 BC). Ministers and advisors pulled the strings and a general population suffered from ineptitude and poor policies emanating from the Zhou court.

Confucius plan failed, and he was driven out of the palace. In exile for 15 years he was reduced to wandering in the countryside, many times starving. But with him was a band of like-minded men (today perversely called ‘disciples’), about 20 or more, and this group emerged as the genesis of the Confucian School. The Analects, or lunyu, is the result of their efforts, offering a summary of their philosophical and political discourse. Central to which is the cultivation and the excellence of an internal moral compass uninfluenced by dogma – religion or ideologies in the present day terminologies. This is called ren, humanity, which Confucius puts it as the driver and the core basis – the North Star alluded in the quotation above – for political performance, excellence in governance and, more generally, in human conduct. (Mengzi and Xunzi were to significantly expand on those ideas.)

After 15 years, the state of Lu took in Confucius, permitting him and his group to reside permanently and without threats of arrest, imprisonment or execution. Confucius was permitted his liberty because the Lu state is his homeland and ruler was somewhat sympathetic to, although not implementing, the Confucian ideas of just and virtuous governance. Lu is one of the smaller states, which was eventually seized by the first Qin emperor, circa 200 BC, uniting all China for the first time after 2,500 years of fragmented rule.

Confucius lived out his final years in Lu, still impoverished, and his friends did the honours to mourn him (his only son had died before him). But Confucian ideas survived him, and those were introduced into the Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220, soon after the Qin) with the establishment of an academy inside the palace and sponsored by it, and later used exclusively to train the emperor’s children as well as provide the ruling system with court, diplomatic and political officers, bureaucrats, clerical administrators, judges and so on. This education was expanded country-wide, and from which was developed the beginnings of a five-tier examination system, PhD at the top, to select the best people for national service. Chinese schools in Malaysia (as well as in Taiwan and China today) are the direct consequences, the actual fruits of a legacy from Confucius to whom Chinese societies everywhere are eternally indebted.

 

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The Racist Evolution of Lim Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng & the Evolution of DAP Fascism

In the beginning, there was a Malaysian Malaysia…

2007: Hallelujah! We are Jesus First.

2008: Heathen! Are you Chinese?

2009: We are Malaysian First, Chinese Last.

2010: Hindraf Hindus are racist Indian First.

2010: Those Malaysian kafirs.

2010: We have seen the Hand of God.

2010: Malay Utusan readers are phoney Malaysians.

2011: PAS Malays will be true Malaysians.

2011: Muslims and Christians are people of the Book.

2012: We are People of God, true Malaysians.

2013: All the kafirs, the heathens, keluar!

2015: The Final Solution – it’s under consideration.

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Old Chinese Wine & Anwar’s Golden Age

A Golden Age? What Golden Age?

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From newspaper records one learns that Anwar Ibrahim, as Umno member and as hotshot minister, had bragged about a Golden Age of Islam, lasting supposedly a thousand years until the 17th Century, an era during much of which Islamic Malay civilization didn’t exist, even in name. It was as if the claim would rub off on the Malays or that the Malays stood among great Muslim scholars, scientists, mathematicians bringing out even greater works of science, medicine and astronomy.

Anwar’s claim of Islam’s Golden Age endures to this day, one of the kind of stuff for promoting and for buttressing the ketuanan Melayu doctrine.

It passes on into Malaysian history where, says a historian, “Five out of 10 chapters of the Form Four history textbook deal with Islamic history as compared to only one chapter in the earlier textbook.” And note the book’s published date: 1996.

In Penang, Anwar’s Golden Age turns up as a kind of Caliphate-inspired rule for DAP’s Lim Guan Eng. And such an assertion is made before even Lim’s term of office has turned a corner for history to act the judge instead.

In politics, in religion, as in Anwar and in Lim, no modesty is necessary – or needed. Not especially proof. One has merely to stake a claim and, behold, is the truth: Islamic Renaissance, Golden Age, Caliph Wisdom.

This enormous appetite for making extraordinary claims (recall ‘Messiah’, ‘God’s gift’, ‘Saint Hannah’) acquires the same precedence at an exhibition (above) that’s been travelling around the world, in London before, New York today. Supposedly, it is an exhibition showing the Golden Age that boasted 1,001 inventions although the actual numbers are far, far fewer but what the heck….

The exhibited ‘inventions’ appear more like story-telling than actual accounts of science, so nobody cares for the differences between empiricism and plain speculation, between fact and guess work, and between inference and mere assertion. Curious, Edward Rothstein visited the exhibition and went away with a feeling of his tongue caught between his teeth. His report of an exhibit stand:

Consider one label: “Setting the Story Straight.” We read: “For many centuries, English medic William Harvey took the prize as the first person to work out how our blood circulates.” But “what nobody knew” was that the “heart and lungs’ role in blood flow” was figured out by Ibn al-Nafis, the 13th-century physician. And yes, al-Nafis’s impressive work on pulmonary circulation apparently fell into oblivion until 1924. But Harvey’s 17th-century work was more complete; it was a theory of the entire circulatory system. So while neglect is clear, differences should be as well.

But the exhibition even seems to expand its claim. Historians, the label continues, have recently found evidence that Ibn al-Nafis’s Arabic text “may have been translated into Latin, paving the way to suppose that it might have indirectly influenced” Harvey’s work. The “may have,” the “suppose,” the “might have” and the “indirectly” reflect an overwhelming impulse to affirm what cannot be proved.

Moving on, Rothstein found in other exhibits:

Sometimes Muslim precedence is suggested with even vaguer assertions. We read that Ibn Sina, in the 11th century, speculated about geological formations, “ideas that were developed, perhaps independently, by geologist James Hutton in the 18th century.” Why “perhaps independently”? Is there any evidence of influence? Are the analyses comparable? How? Nothing is clear other than a vague sense of wrongful neglect.

Some assertions go well beyond the evidence. Hovering above the show is a glider grasped by a ninth-century inventor from Cordoba, Abbas ibn Firnas, “the first person to have actually tried” to fly. But that notion is based on a source that relied on ibn Firnas’s mention in a ninth-century poem. It also ignores the historian Joseph Needham’s description of Chinese attempts as early as the first century. The model of the flying machine is pure speculation.

At the crunch line, Rothstein noted about the motivations for the exhibition:

Religious affiliation actually seems far more important here than is acknowledged, keeping some figures out and ushering others in. Christian Arab contributions go unheralded, but the 15th-century Chinese explorer Zheng He, a Muslim, is celebrated though he has no deep connection to Golden Age cultures.

And finally we never learn much about the role of Islam itself. Universities, we read, were affiliated with mosques. Did that affect scientific inquiry or the status of non-Muslim scientists? Did the religious regime have any impact on the ultimate failure of the transmission and expansion of scientific knowledge? And given the high cost of any golden age, isn’t it necessary to give some account of this civilization’s extensive slave trade?

Instead of expanding the perspective, the exhibition reduces it to caricature, showing Muslim culture rising out of a shadowy past to attain glories later misappropriated by Western epigones. Left unexplored too is how this tradition ended, leading to a long eclipse of science in Muslim lands. There is only a recurring hint of injustices done.

Moral of the Story: As with the Anglophile DAP youth chief Anthony Loke, the PAS ulamas and the ustazs of Penang’s Caliph Age can’t even tie their shoe laces. But Anwar goes around bragging about a coming ‘renaissance’ and saving Malaysia. Bah!

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Legacy of Chinese Wine

Archaeologist Liu Daiyun holds up what is thought to be a piece of animal bone from soup boiled 2,400 years ago. It was found in a three-legged bronze cauldron in Xi’an. Photo via Global Times.

Recall the present-day Chinese practice of honouring their families and ancestors, serving food, soup and wine to the deceased, either at tombs or on roadsides. Here is physical evidence into the same practice that went back in space to Xi’an and in time, by 2,400 years, a period around the time of the Warring States, a 250-year-long era and about 300-400 years after Confucius. A report from China about the discoveries:

Soup in Cauldron

A 2,400-year-old three-legged bronze cauldron containing soup and bones has been discovered in a tomb under excavation in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, a Shaanxi-based archeologist said Sunday.

The vessel, 20 centimeters tall and 24.5 centimeters in diameter, contains several bones soaked in liquid whose surface is covered in patina, a fine green film that forms on bronze due to natural oxidation. The bones appear green due to being immersed in the patina.

Well-Aged Wine

In the tomb, archeologists also unearthed a bronze pot that contained an odorless liquid that could be wine, Liu Daiyun said. The amount of liquid is estimated at about one litre and is semi-transpar-ent. Pieces of a pottery bowl were found at the bottom of the pot.

Experts believe that the bowl was broken and placed in the pot on purpose, as superstition held that it would make it more convenient for the dead to drink. …

Archeologists believe the tomb belongs to either a member of the landowning class or a low-ranking military officer (shizu) of the Warring States period, as it is located 300 meters away from the tomb of a Qin state king.

The tomb is near an extension to a construction site of Xi’an Xianyang International Airport, the report said. …

Xi’an is one of China’s oldest cities and has a rich historical heritage. It has more than 3,000 years of history, including over 1,100 years as the capital city of ancient dynasties.

 

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Julian Assange of WikiLeaks: he probably wasn’t aware, but he had done far more than simply exposed hypocrisy in western liberties. He also did Malaysia a favour, giving independent credibility to a long-held suspicion of the two-faced Anwar Ibrahim, politically before, now in the man’s personal conduct as well. Assange also exposed a deranged Malaysian polity, deeply seated in duplicity and pretence that go with a man variously titled as Messiah and Allah’s gift. Amid this incredulity, Anwar’s political allies, his lawyers, and apologists don’t even blink when assisting him to spread the deceit.

***************

The Norwegian politicians were already deifying Liu Xiaobo before handing out the Nobel to his ghost seated in an empty chair. Everywhere in Oslo they had strung up giant banner portraits of Liu that say, “I’ve No Enemies.” Yet, inside and outside the Oslo deity hall, Liu’s white handlers and his Chinese supporters were beating drums, blowing horns and shouting: China, Our Enemy.

In castigating China by the western press, duely taken up by Malaysiakini (Hear the deafening silence from the orang putih-lover Josh Hong?), nobody asks what’s it that Liu has done, really done? Liu is convenient as a bludgeoning tool, so much the better since he couldn’t write with any clarity or sense and has said the Chinese, to make any progress, should be ruled by the West, that is, white people. This is a point of contention the white reporters and The Hindu, India’s imitation of UK hack journalism, rather not say or repeat after Liu. Tim Black at Spiked!:

What’s strange is that Liu, the man at the centre of the award, is largely lost amid the jeering of China. So despite the reams of print expounded on the wickedness of China’s Communist government, and their offensive habits at the high table of international relations, very little is really said about Liu himself. …

It’s as if Liu’s actual work simply doesn’t resonate. It’s as if he’s been awarded for his symbolic significance alone, a testament to the dark, illiberal heart of modern China … portrayed as immature and raw compared to its Western superiors…. China’s behaviour is proof of Western nations’ moral superiority. Little wonder that too many commentaries have felt drawn to the historical analogy of choice for the morally bankrupt: ‘The Nazis tried to discredit a brave Nobel Peace Prize winner just as China is doing to Liu Xiaobo’, said a New York Daily News headline.

When Black searched himself to answer the question – what’s the big deal about Liu since he had delivered next to nothing – he saw that the promotion of the man by Nobel, by the Norwegians, by the US Congress, and by the western press was in effect…

… a shabby exercise in desperate Western self-affirmation. If governments in the West really felt strongly about freedom, they wouldn’t be trying to score points against the Chinese Communist Party; they’d be trying to do something substantive over here in the West, where freedom is also not highly valued today.

That leads to another point about handing out the Nobel prize to Liu.

Might as well, says one commentary, give it to Julian Assange who western governments are today hounding to death and killing his WikiLeaks site in order to silence him. So much for freedom of expression.

In this regard, the self-righteous Dean Johnses and their equally self-righteous adorers (Joshie, Malaysiakini) that are so ready to pontificate over an evil China and yet have nothing to say? As with rabbits caught in the headlights glare of their own hypocrisy, the dumbstruck Malaysiakini, which rides on the slogan of information freedom, could only answer for its Congressional NED paymasters by dismissing WikiLeaks as a “dump“. (Petra Kamarudin has come around at last to see a variant of the exact same point – to trust somebody is not a function of belief but should follow empirical reasoning. To his disappointment and violating that trust, he has discovered in the media and among politicians an acute, prevailing hypocrisy: freedom if it suits Pakatan and its apologists, subjudice if it doesn’t.)

CMP’s English translation of a Beijing Daily (北京日报) editorial dated Dec 10:

If we want to talk about someone who is now a figure in the global spotlight, then who, if not Julian Assange? The founder of the Wikileaks website has been the subject of a worldwide manhunt by Western nations led by the United States, and all because he wanted to release a number of secrets that could not be spoken. Based on what we know, Assange, who was arrested in London on December 7, will have to face a two-year jail term . . .

Assange’s misfortunes tell us that the freedom of speech that America advocates is not an absolute freedom, that it is a matter of kind and degree, and that it has its limits. Ordinarily, if you say vicious things about the American government, talk about its problems, or even openly critical the American government, this is nothing very remarkable. But this time Assange has dared expose the truth, airing out before the world a number of things and remarks that the American government wouldn’t dare make public, make transparent or share with others — and this has stepped over the line of America’s freedom of expression. And the worldwide manhunt [for Assange] is no surprise.

And this brings us back to the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the decision by the Nobel Committee and the remarks of a number of other Westerners [concerning Liu Xiaobo], considering the acts of free speech in which this Assange has personally participated, opposing all on his own the “government violence” of several Western nations, could he not be regarded as a “fighter for freedom of expression”? Why don’t the noble members of the Nobel Committee claim that the Peace Prize is given “in the defense of freedom of expression,” and then give it to this Assange who has been persecuted, chained and jailed by the West?

Everyone knows, of course, that this is impossible. . . . and the question of who can and who cannot obtain the prize is now entirely a matter of the likes and dislikes of the United States, NATO and the nations of western Europe, and depends on whether or not the recipient of the prize can become a tool for Western forces in attacking countries with different ideologies. Even if this tool is serving out a prison sentence for violating the law, so long as the tool can serve its purpose, they see nothing wrong with awarding them the Peace Prize.

Look through the name list of those who have received the Nobel Peace Prize, from Sakharov, who advocated division in the former Soviet Union, to Gorbachev, who single-handedly disintegrated his own nation, then to the Dalai Lama, who pursued “Tibetan independence” through violent terrorist activities, and to Liu Xiaobo, who is now serving a sentence for violating Chinese laws — all are tools of the West in promoting its values and ideology.

Assange wears the placard of “freedom of expression,” and this placard itself is something the West habitually uses to flaunt itself and intimidate others. But his actions [Assange’s] have actually jabbed at the American government and made Americans very unhappy. There is little hope, therefore, that he will be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize. If Mr. Nobel knew just how his Nobel Prize was being so spoiled, I wonder what he would think!

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A Kafir’s Prayer

At the Penang DAP Convention

Dear God:

We, the members of the DAP in Penang, stand before you united in our belief you will deliver us from the scourge of our beloved country, that is, Umno. This is reason we have come to Thou, Allah. If Jesus our Lord can produce miracles (1), if the Hand of God – I mean the God of Jesus – reaches out even to Sibu (2) – that stupid Chinaman town by the dirty river – even greater deeds shall come forth from Thou. We await Thy instructions. We believe in Thou’s Almightiness; Thou is the Omnipotent One, never equalled before; greater than all those pottery-things along Macalister and everywhere we go. Deliver us Putrajaya and we shall build Thou the greatest mosque in Southeast Asia at Kek Lok Si, that infidel place.

Thou, Allah, come highly recommended. Your Messiah, Anwar Ibrahim, your greatest gift to Malaysia (3) says we should turn to you and thus we’ve. Hear our prayers for we are the same One of the Book. That crown looter of our beloved country Najib Razak says we are Chinese chauvinist. Stupid man: in this prayer alone we show to the world who we are – not Chinese, and more Malay than that pendatang. Like Thou, we are none of most and all of those.

All gods and any god have their uses. But Thou, Allah, is the greatest of all these gods. We offer even our party’s charter to Thou; we changed it. Faith shall cease to come from the individual heart; we make it state policy. No man in Penang, no member of DAP, as told by American Express, shall leave home without it – without Islam, the Only True Faith. But keep this, please, a covenant and a secret between us. Especially tell not Saint Hannah; she’d call me backslider and Thou knoweth how I despise those Mohamad Ah Hoe type labels.

Let the Tok Guru know our intentions for he lies in bed, sick, and Thou has plans for him?

Our dear friends, PAS, are the Party of God; we, the DAP, are the Party of Moses. Our ten thousand saints and saintresses shall march forth from the Mount Kek Lok Si to Putrajaya, cross the sea, not the bridge nor pay Umno toll, we in the front, PAS behind us, but Anwar, Thou’s Messiah, we fear, shall have to watch from farther behind, behind bars. Still we shall take Putrajaya, our Jerusalem; it’ll be for him and for Thou and we know great rewards in gold and silver, in high positions await us – wealth beyond our wildest dreams. Our party members understand this: pray, pray, pray, pray and pray; never mind to whom. Yet, Thou knoweth my soul; we prepare these kafir saints and saintresses, the Great Islamic State of Penang. Some might be insincere; however, Thou knoweth my heart, this heart of Thy Caliph, Lim Guan Eng, but call me David King Mohamed Lim. Ameen.

King David’s footnotes:

  1. Attributed to Lim Kit Siang.
  2. Attributed to Hannah Yeoh.
  3. Attributed to Azizah, wife of Anwar.

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