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Archive for January 3rd, 2011

DAP Rocket (top image): Striking in the coffeeshop’s message isn’t just the political logo – which won’t break the law so long as Pakatan rules Selangor; rather, how it’s utterly un-Malaysian (above) – shop name, seating style, tables, purpose, and the complete absence of local flavours in all appearances. Minus the crowd and banners it could be a British pub, and that says much about the characteristics of the DAP: it’s hardly Chinese. If the DAP is hated by the Umno Malays that would be for its brusque, uppity Anglophile culture which Malays mistake for Chinese-ness.

From its European orientation, DAP is a small step away from the full-fledged, imported, cocksure, racist bigotry that today underpin its politics, hence Pakatan’s. So the popular idea that Pakatan’s attack on the 1Malaysia logo is a case of double standards detracts from a fundamental issue: the fascist doctrinaire and tyranny stirring deep inside Pakatan’s coffeeshop cups that couldn’t wait to fix its enemy, Barisan.

Below, note Anwar’s fascist-style hand salute to go with the propaganda: regime coup. Along with Guan Eng, their difference to the Europeans is, they salute with a smile. But wait till they get Putrajaya.

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Pity the hapless shopkeepers of Selangor. Before it was beer and arcade games, then lottery tickets and plastic bags; lately it is advertisement signboards.

Having now broken the law – and without knowing it – the poor man has to worry about paying an extortionate fine or go to court, and that’s after falling into the mercy of Elizabeth Wong’s municipal goons who could come any day soon to rip apart his shop sign, 1Malaysia, with neither apologies nor compensation.

Is it any wonder people leave this accursed country? Upon Pakatan sweeping into power in five states, more had fled in 2008-09 (300,000) than in any other single year before. Those still in Malaysia are therefore left to wonder, like the shopkeeper: in the past, I support Barisan so I won’t be harassed, now I mustn’t support Barisan so that Pakatan won’t be harassing.

To try and justify the unjustifiable, systematically stripping off every piece of 1Malaysia logo from shop-fronts in Selangor, Ronnie Liu and Elizabeth Wong were tying up each other’s tongue in knots. A shop-front is a commercial premise, as Ronnie had tried explaining, therefore within purview of the law. But he omits to say they are also private not public spaces, such as a park, a road, a lamp post, the canteen in University Malaya.

And, if this invasion, this Pakatan-sponsored terror against the shopkeeper, is justifiable in law, why stop at the door? Eli and Ronnie might as well send in their goons into every shop, check the walls, under the tables, the cashier’s counter. They could go farther: set up logo-traps for every taxi or bus cruising down the Federal Highway.

Since the thrust of the prohibition is against conveying a political message, publicly and in a commercial environment, why should it matter where such a sign is hung up?

But, of course, Eli, Ronnie and the Selangor executive council alone define what is political which then spares DAP’s Rocket United café from the law. Power to the DAP means getting coffeeshop security and protection from the law – no difference in point of principle from Penang Hokkein thugs turning up one morning at the premises to demand protection money from the cops.

All this also says Pakatan politicians and administrators have no qualms breaking their word, every word, in their glossary of slogans – justice, equality, beyond race politics, freedom, etc. On the other hand, the Selangor prohibition, along with a train of precedent events and signs, help to paint a picture into what the future is like under Pakatan rule.

Because the prohibition has appeared as if out of the blue, it seems like an isolated event, a whim, a quirk from some insanely vengeful Pakatan legislators out to damage Barisan where it hurts most. But happenstance is semblance only. The appearances so far reaffirms two things: one, that Pakatan exists purely out of hatred for Barisan and, two, that Pakatan couldn’t care less if individual freedoms are violated.

These manifestations are so plain to see that, because they show nothing else, deeper motives are concealed. If not why else should lawmakers break the law created in their name, then enforce it with a vengeance as if all shopkeepers are potentially the enemy, both as Barisan and as Barisan sympathesizers?

Eli and Ronnie, to recall, were once commoners like almost everybody else. That they should now occupy positions of power, exploit that power against a political foe, and then justify its use as combating the corrosive effects of power (that is, politics), reveals the depth into which society has sunk in its moral corruption.

In the Orwellian doublethink of the Anglophile duo, Eli and Ronnie, all common decency and commonsense are ejected out the window. Going out with that is especially the old Malaysian custom that for years have instructed people to live and let live.

The ramifications are far-reaching: (a) governance becomes an exercise in devising ways to make life miserable for your enemies, never mind about collateral damage; and, (b) municipal decisions, such as this ban, are not intended to regulate society for society’s sake. That is, public service, because it serves a political agenda, is not for a greater good, such as to make living among people more tolerable, more functionable, less troublesome and with less friction. (On other occasions unrelated to this logo ban for example, public services serve other agendas, with beer, it’s religion; with lottery tickets and plastic bags it’s western liberal ideology.)

If political messages are unlawful when sold alongside kichap and coffee, why is it lawful when sold with Jesus Christ and Allah? The answer isn’t just obvious. More than that, it speaks of ideological indoctrination, doctrinaire dogma, and cultural attributes: respectively, politics is a special brand above commerce; there is no other way to organise society except the Anwar teleogical way; and, the Abrahamic religions are above all, politics, commerce, humans. These ideas, once in the hands of Eli and Ronnie, explain why they alone say what the law is: they are deployed to validate arbitrary, tyrannical actions.

That, too, is how tyrants subject their populations. After the fashion of their Arab and Western gods, Pakatan legislators have learned how to turn the subjective nature of despotic rule into an ethical commandment: just turn the issue on its head. This is why Eli can and is willing to absolve Ronnie and the DAP over the Rocket cafe without batting an eye about her hypocrisy and contradiction. Eli: I disagree with Ronnie but he is entitled to his views. This is a democracy.

Informed by their religiosity, anointed into positions as if by Moses, and armed by a morality that’s greater than politics, tyrants don’t blink. When the moment arrives, in Putrajaya, Pakatan lawmakers won’t even bother with explanations: so much justification to them is just trite.

This is because tyranny is unrestrained randomness, not rationale. Eli invoking some municipal law (Section 17 in Shah Alam), for example, evades some fundamental questions: why is she using law that’s a product of Barisan, just as is 1Malaysia? Why isn’t the law scraped? What good use comes of this law to society?

Explanations lead to even more questions; hence, why bother. So, a deep cynicism, yet another reflection of Pakatan tyranny, now infects the fight for Putrajaya and power. The cynicism scorns any and all doubts and qualifications about Pakatan rule; nothing is tolerated, no ‘buts’, no ‘ifs’, no this, no that. One has only to enter into the comment pages of Malaysiakini or Malaysia Today to sample these attitudes. Among which, Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan are justified to do next to everything for time spent in jail. In another word, revenge.

All that also says Pakatan exists not for the betterment of society at large, or for a greater good of all by ameliorating and easing the hardships that have come from past policies. Justice to Anwar actually means vengeance; equality to Guan Eng is to see all equally dead in jail for the entire top Barisan leadership. The tragedy is the success with which they have converted their personal agendas into a people’s fight. In this process, even the shopkeeper must suffer to pay the price for a regime change.

Eli Wong: The Power & The Truth

Elizabeth Wong: Beneath the powdered patina of her make-up are deeper, ugly motivations one finds reflected in Eli’s propaganda website which carries the Orwellian phrase Truth to Power. Originally published as a book title a century ago, it was recycled for a Christian tract in America. As common citizen Eli might lay claim to the phrase as meaning something. But in her present legislative position and especially if in Putrajaya, she is the power (as demonstrated by her prohibition against the 1Malaysia logo). More than that, she is the sole power speaking the only truth; Anwar’s soft, powdery ideological front but still his hatchet.

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Under the Temple Roof: Anwar Ibrahim

N Gobalakrishnan expose is revealing not for its veracity into whether if Anwar did indeed order the closure of the Sivan temple in Petaling Jaya. Rather the catch in Bala’s revelation is the temple’s association with Barisan, in the persons of Indrani and Vincent Tan, that had caught and stirred Pakatan’s attention in the first place. Because the temple has to do with Barisan, then it’s a fair target for a retribution policy dressed as ‘reformasi’.

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SIDEBAR: Sue the Goat, Tinkle Not the Gist

Among all the riders that are shocking and mind-deadening in their direction and in the substance of their apologies for Selangor’s 1Malaysia logo prohibition, two have come from the 星洲日報, Sin Chew Jit Poh.

Lim Sue Goan (or 林瑞源 Lin Ruiyuan), who writes the the column 一心不亂 yixin buluan, Bent on No Disorder, says in 自找麻煩 zizhao mafan, Asking for Trouble, Dec 26:

國陣已經部署許多文字打手,包括部落客,一旦民聯犯錯,就會群起圍攻,因此民聯在未來幾個月應加倍謹慎,不要暴露弱點;民聯應該多做事,特別是多做對人民有利的事情,避免泛政治化。[Sin Chew’s own translation: The BN has deployed many text thugs, including bloggers. They will attack once the Pakatan Rakyat makes a mistake. Therefore, the Pakatan Rakyat must be more prudent in the coming few months and not to expose its weaknesses. The Pakatan Rakyat should do more, especially things that benefit the people and avoid pan-politicisation.]

Tunku Abdul Aziz, senior DAP man and columnist, wrote in the same paper:

This one rash, potentially suicidal, political decision is bound to reinforce, and lend credence to, the growing conviction among many Malaysians that some Pakatan Rakyat politicians are totally incapable of shaking off their doctrinaire attitudes, including that of opposing anything and everything for its own sake. … I understand the Pakatan Rakyat has its demolition team in the wings ready to smash the very foundation of corruption in our society.

Lim and Aziz are saying, in effect, this: if you want to fix up the Barisan, that is, take vengeance, do so; only don’t get caught. Use your head, be discreet and, above all, don’t expose your motive; hide it. Hence, Lim says it’s a ‘mistake’, a ‘weakness’ while Aziz says it’s politically ‘suicidal’.

More technically, Lim and Aziz are not faulting the intent of the Selangor government, only its methods. That’s also to say, they don’t question nor want to question why Pakatan does what it does; they’re angry at how it was done – making the DAP and PKR look bad in the process.

Only Aziz is willing to approach and stare into the crux of the matter: Pakatan people are in business for the retribution and not to seek a greater social good. But he stops at the front steps – Pakatan people are ‘doctrinaire’ – without actually entering into the intent of their ‘demolition team’ which couldn’t wait to ‘smash’ the Barisan. In other words, Selangor Pakatan had betrayed the Anwar/Guan Eng agenda by showing their hands much too early.

A collary to that exposes what’s life to be like under Pakatan. Should the shopkeeper with the 1Malaysian logo happen to be in the way of their destruction of Barisan, then too bad. He goes down as well.

Recall this is the exact same adopted attitude and method used by Mahathir Mohamad against Anwar Ibrahim: destroy him, and everything about him. Anwar, now taking a leaf of lesson and copying the example from Mahathir, reflects a truism within the Pakatan: he, Lim Guan Eng and others are an extension of the old order. Guan Eng will want vengeance for time spent in Sungai Buloh.

Hence, their politics are intended to be destructive (Zaid Ibrahim called it ‘combative’); they have no conception of what is politically called the greater good. So, common people – Malaysians – exist purely as a conduit to avenge a foe.

And when Pakatan speaks of a 100-day reform it could only mean demonstrating the power finally vested in them to overturn, indeed, wreak havoc, on all vestiges of Barisan rule. ‘Reformasi’ becomes a camouflage Orwellian word. Nowhere, not one line in the 100-day reform plan, does it speak of how such reforms would mean well for people at large. The plan is focused primarily on the institutions of power – naturally enough since power is the desired end – and not, for example, on how to set free the Malays from Islam’s tyranny or free the estate Indians from their excruciating poverty or to advance the Chinese idea of a humanistic society.

Pakatan’s destructive intent, stemming from its doctrinaire attitudes and personal agendas of its leadership, is not without precedent in the world. To comprehend in depth what such rule would be like, or entails, in the first 100 days is to look back for similar situations elsewhere. Tsar Russia comes readily to mind.

After the Bolsheviks forcibly seized the throne, the capital city and other symbols of national power and institutional control from the Tsar, they dithered for 100 days in 1918 as to what should be done with remnants of previous rule, namely the entire Romanov family, Nicholas II, wife, children, servants, a chef and a doctor – all told a dozen or so people. Within the Bolsheviks, a radical faction wanted no legacy, zero leftovers, and especially not in any tangible form, not even humans. Thence, at 2:00am on a summer’s night, they woke the entire family on the pretext of transferring them to another location. In an empty room with not a chair, soldiers promptly arrived and shot all of them dead, no exceptions not especially the boy who in Nicholas arms then was his offspring legacy.

Small wonder Najib Razak says the Barisan must defend Putrajaya at all and any cost, with even their lives. The question that follows is this: After the destruction of Barisan, what next?

It’s not terribly difficult to fix another target or find another enemy, for retribution is itself a policy principle and the effort to discover a new enemy is only a small leap away once vindiction starts. A new enemy is necessary to sustain the policy. Here is to hazard a guess by extrapolating the Nazi question, are you Jew? to the MACC question, are you Chinese?

The answer carries the exact, same, fated Bolshevik notion of exterminating a legacy. In the Tan Yi Min case, for example, conversion to Islam obliterates her Chinese cultural, ethnic and family legacies previously passed on to her. It is a destruction so complete as to be total and submissive, after which to be replaced by a new teological, cosmological order.

This isn’t to imply Anwar or Guan Eng will be out to kill the Chinese; they won’t because that’s killing the electoral goose. Rather it’s to fundamentally alter their humanism and their identities – Malays and Indians as well – so as to secure everlasting loyalty in their votes.

Barisan does the same thing today – turning over minds to secure loyalty – in history textbooks and in making history a compulsory pass subject. Pakatan leaders understand why they must stay silent to the insidiousness; like deploying the logo law, they might have use for the same evil.

That use is to mitigate a serious problem which comes with retribution as policy: what if Barisan returns?

Love Live the Bolsheviks, they shouted. After which, Long Live Bangsa Malaysia! Long Live our Messiah! Long Live Lim Guan Eng! Death to Najib! Death to Infidels! Death to Heathens!

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