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Archive for March, 2017

For the answer, look backwards.

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Ninety-nine out 100 commentaries and reports about China in the Western media and their local apologists (including Malaysiakini), when not maligning they were either wrong or completely misjudged. China rarely offers a rebuttal: White people say what they want, we don’t care.

Take the Malaysia-North Korea spat, Najib Razak stupidly fighting over a rotting body that’s not even a PAS member. (So what if the name is Kim Jong-nam?) Among dozens of instant, amateurish commentaries, numerous of them asked that Malaysia turn to China as an intermediary. Dennis Ignatius, the virulent anti-Chinese Anglophile and Catholic insider for the Vatican, suggested outright Malaysia ally itself with China. Then, in his characteristic, contradictory piece of illogic, he asked that Malaysia stay out of big power play in East Asia.

As events turned out, none of that happened. It was instead pure barter: nine Malaysian lives exchanged for a dead body and two live Koreans. To what end? Yet, all the while, China reduced its comments to just one line: let peace prevail.

Below, lifted from Lit Hub, is a long view of China from a historical perspective. That is, China’s perspective, not liberals’, not gweilo‘s, not the Wall Street Journal, and certainly not The New York Times. To know what China is likely to be in the future, and what its relationship will be like with the East Asian neighbors, look at China’s past, as far back as 2,000 years. Howard French doesn’t answer those questions just posed. Rather, he just talked history so that, in the main, he is correct. His essay is worth reproducing in full.

Going through it, you might wonder: did Parameswara and his so-called ‘Malacca/Malay empire’ emerged only because of Ming assistance?

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All Under Heaven

What Will China Become?

There was once a country at the very center of the world, whose position was recognized as such by peoples both far and wide. Today, we call that country China.

Using the very word “country” is actually deceptive. The nation that we now instantly identify on the map as China hasn’t existed long. Throughout most of its history this dynastically ruled land would not even have recognized itself as a country, let alone seen its neighbors as such. It was an empire, and a largely borderless one, both in its geographical form and in what it considered to be the relevance or applicability—what the French would call the rayonnement—of its ideas. One could argue that there has never been a more universal conception of rule. Practically speaking, for the emperors of the Central Kingdom, this place we call China, the world could be roughly divided into two broad and simple categories, civilization and non-civilization, meaning the peoples who accepted the supremacy of its ruler, the Son of Heaven, and the principle of his celestial virtue, and those who didn’t—those who were beyond the pale.

For the better part of two millennia, the norm for China, from its own perspective, was a natural dominion over everything under heaven, a concept known in the Chinese language as tian xia. It is not a term to be taken too literally. From very early times, China had an awareness of faraway places, including other great empires, like Rome, but contact with such distant regions of the world was tenuous at best and hence both economically and politically marginal.

In the geopolitics of Chinese empire, what was most vital to the Central Kingdom under tian xia, sometimes interpreted as the “known world” in this context, was a vast and familiar swath of geography that consisted of nearby Central Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. Among these regions, Central Asia constituted a near-constant challenge to Chinese power, and quite often an outright threat. The dimensions of the Central Kingdom ebbed and flowed, mostly as a function of the shifting balance of power between Han (Chinese) and the peoples to the west and northwest, be they Turkic, Mongol, Manchurian, Tibetan or others. (China itself would come to be ruled by invaders from two of these cultures, the Mongols, from 1271 to 1368, and the Manchus, from 1644 to 1912, at the very end of the dynastic era.)

In geographical terms, we usually think of oceans as barriers that effectively separate countries, regions and continents, and in the faraway past nearly sealed them off from one another. But the littoral of East Asia, which runs in a gently articulated crescent from the Korean Peninsula south to the Strait of Malacca, has more typically served as a transmission belt for Chinese culture and prestige, Chinese commerce, and ultimately for Chinese power, although only occasionally hard power. From at least the Tang dynasty (618-907) nearly to the chaotic end of dynastic rule in China in 1912, to one extent or another, the peoples of this sea-bound region often found ways to defer to China, acknowledging its centrality and loosely following its lead.

Functioning in this way, Chinese power came to underpin one of the most remarkable international systems that human civilization has ever seen—a unique form of what has sometimes been described as an extremely loose and distant brand of indirect rule by China over a very considerable slice of humanity. This description is inadequate in part because there were important variations in China’s relations with its eastern neighbors, including degrees of intensity of both contact and obeisance. But at the foundation of this remarkably resilient Pax Sinica lay a basic proposition that was reasonably consistent: Accept our superiority and we will confer upon you political legitimacy, develop a trade partnership and provide a range of what are known in the language of modern international affairs as public goods. These included policing the maritime commons, mediating disputes and granting access to China’s would-be universal system of learning, broadly based on Confucianism. In the core states of this region—Korea, Vietnam and, albeit with growing ambivalence, Japan—Chinese values, Chinese culture, the Chinese language, Chinese philosophy and Chinese religion were all regarded for long stretches of history as essential references, and even universal standards.

The “system” referred to here has long been known in the West (and yet never among Chinese themselves) as China’s tribute system. Throughout this period, beginning as far back as the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), peoples in China’s imperial orbit regularly dispatched “embassies” to perform ritual submission before the Chinese emperor. The granting of trade rights by the imperial court by way of reward represented a tremendous boon that served as a powerful lubricant in bilateral relations. When the Chinese spoke of this system, their language was often full of euphemism and self-regard, frequently referring to the task of what would today be called in foreign policy “barbarian management.”

“To control the barbarians the sage rulers punished and resisted them when they came [to invade China], and prepared and guarded against them when they left,” reads one 19th-century account. “If attracted by China’s civilization, they came to offer tribute, they would be treated with courtesy, and kept under loose rein without severing the relationship, so that the blame of being crooked would always be on them.”

Within this system, foreign leaders often owed their very titles to the grant of recognition via patents of appointment bestowed by the Chinese emperor. Even as they sat on their thrones, new rulers in compliant tributary states had to content themselves with the title of heir apparent until they could receive their letters of investiture from the Celestial Emperor, for fear of infringing protocol.

Just how seriously this business was taken is vividly conveyed by a story from second-century BCE Vietnam, when a local king got it into his head to proclaim himself emperor in his own land. The response of the Han dynasty emperor Wen-Di was swift and unequivocal. “When two emperors appear simultaneously, one must be destroyed . . . struggling and not yielding is not the way of a person endowed with humanity,” he wrote to scold the Vietnamese ruler, whose response can only be described as one of abject submission. “I hear that two heroes cannot appear together, that two sages cannot exist in the same generation,” he stated in a public proclamation. “The Han emperor is the sagacious Son of Heaven. Henceforth, I shall suppress my own imperial edicts.” This pushback from China operated at two levels. Most explicitly, it was a direct statement that in its home region, the Han emperor would not countenance any would-be peers. Beyond that, China was signaling its determination to intervene anywhere in the world where it felt its central role or its vital interests might be challenged. In 1979, more than two thousand years later, as we shall see, China would mount an invasion of Vietnam aimed at making these precise points.

In fact, China would invade Vietnam numerous times during the succeeding centuries, which still resonates powerfully in their relationship today. But using violence to get its way was far from the ideal. As the Japanese scholar Takeshi Hamashita has written, “Like any hegemonic order [the tribute system] was backed by military force, but when the system functioned well, principles of reciprocity involving politics and economics permitted long periods of peaceful interaction.”

It has often been argued that the tribute system cost China more in trade concessions and in the constant hosting of visiting foreign delegations than any economic benefit it might have derived from commerce with an assortment of much smaller neighboring societies. But this is to ignore the domestic political value of the system for China’s emperors. As important as it was for neighboring rulers to enjoy the recognition of the Central Kingdom, it was equally important for the authority of a succession of Chinese emperors to have symbolically obeisant foreigners bowing regularly to their moral prestige and power.

In other words, the willing subservience of others to prostrate themselves before the emperor provided domestic proof of his unassailable moral authority, of his possession of, in the well-worn phrase, the mandate of heaven. This was as true near the end of China’s imperial era as it was during early dynasties, such as the Han. When Britain, approaching the apogee of its global power in the late 18th century, sent a mission to China to try to establish relations on an equal footing with the Qing dynasty, Emperor Qianlong exceptionally granted permission for the envoy of King George III to visit Beijing, on the basis that it would “contribute to the Emperor’s glory.” Finally arriving in China after a nine-month sea voyage, the British were disconcerted to find that all along the route to the capital were hung banners written in large characters proclaiming that the European delegation was led by an “envoy paying tribute to the Great Emperor.” Indeed, Qianlong’s court had informed the public that the head of the foreign delegation, the Irishman George Macartney, was a member of the British royal family who had traversed the oceans in order to “contemplate Civilization.”

“Most dynasties collapsed under the twin blows of ‘inside disorder and outside calamity’ (nei-luan wai-huan), that is, domestic rebellion and foreign invasion,” wrote John King Fairbank, the eminent Harvard scholar of the tribute system. “Every regime was therefore under pressure to make the facts of its foreign relations fit the theory and so confirm its claim to rule China.”

The essence of this thought survives even in contemporary Chinese political thought. As Wang Jisi, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, wrote in 2015, “Ever since the founding of ‘New China’ in 1949, China’s foreign and domestic policies have both served the same goal: to maintain internal political stability under the leadership of the Communist Party.”

It is scarcely appreciated in the West today that the “international system” we so readily take for granted is actually a recent creation. It took shape between the middle of the 19th and the middle of the 20th centuries, and started to be cobbled together at the precise moment that China was being subjugated by others and the world order it had sustained, and that had in turn sustained it for so long, was being replaced.

As our modern world was being born, China was plummeting toward a historical nadir in its relative regional power and influence. The norm for it had long been an unshakable conviction in the enduring universality of its values and ethics, its own culture, and its unquestioned centrality. The new, Western form of global universality was based not on a presumed natural hierarchy in the world, with China at the apex, but rather on the presumed equality (at least legally and theoretically) of clearly defined nations, on a raft of Judeo-Christian ideas and institutions, on spreading principles of electoral democracy, on open trade instead of managed tributary exchanges, and finally on a fast-emerging regime of international law. Underwriting all of these fine-sounding notions was, of course, Western and, in the 20th century above all, American power.

China’s experience of its own successful and long-lasting international system, and of its long and mostly unchallenged status as the standard-setter of civilization itself by right, would have necessarily made a shift to almost anything new a difficult downgrade. 

But to an extent that is underappreciated in the West, the brutal circumstances of the transition to what is our now familiar world, coming at a moment of unprecedented Chinese weakness, feeds an unusually deep-seated ambivalence toward contemporary norms, which is becoming more and more apparent with each passing year of increasing Chinese power.

Fairbank wrote with considerable understatement nearly 50 years ago, when China was ruled in largely autarkic fashion by Mao Zedong in near-permanent, revolutionary tension with the postwar system,“Modern China’s difficulty of adjustment to the international order of nation-states in the 19th and 20th centuries has come partly from the great tradition of the Chinese world order. This tradition is of more than historical interest and bears upon Chinese thinking today.”

In its most familiar form, the narrative of the demise of the Chinese world order is the story of rampaging Western imperialism’s triumphant march into East Asia. In its textbooks and in its nationalist propaganda, China itself has styled the one-hundred-year period during which the modern world was built as its Century of Humiliation, with Britain’s Opium Wars and the sack of Beijing by both Britain and France accorded pride of place. Although the aggressive expansion of Western powers into the China-centered world of East Asia was a critical fact of that period, it seems more likely that what the West achieved was in reality the early transformation of the old Chinese world that would soon lead to even more dramatic changes. Principally these would be wrought not by Westerners but rather by historically subsidiary nations in East Asia, as the yawning discrepancy between China’s self-image and geopolitical reality became unsustainable.

Although there were many actors in Asia seeking their own separate accommodations with the nascent international order, the main driver of the change that definitively closed the curtains on the two-millennia-old Sinocentric order in the region was without doubt imperial Japan. It defeated its much larger neighbor in 1895 in the Sino-Japanese War, and thereafter surged ahead of it according to almost every measure of national power over the next half century, only to be driven out of China and defeated in World War II, mostly as a result of reckless military overreach. But even in the decades following its ultimate defeat by the United States, Japan has remained well ahead of China in numerous ways, most obviously in per capita wealth and quality of life, but also, even if the lead here is shrinking, in things like technological advancement and global cultural influence. If nothing else, Japan’s grab for great power, coming very largely at China’s expense, proved the enduring relevance of the previously quoted maxim “When two emperors appear simultaneously, one must be destroyed.” Indeed, up until the present day, East Asia has never proven large enough for two great powers to coexist peacefully, and the question of whether this will be possible in the future looms darkly over the region.

Seen from this angle, the lingering place of the tribute system in the Chinese psyche takes on a new importance. It was one thing for China to be humiliated by the West; Chinese thinkers have taken comfort in the idea that barbarians from afar could never have been expected to accept the Central Kingdom’s virtue and cultural superiority. But the defeats administered beginning in the late 19th century by an upstart Japan, for the Chinese an intrinsically inferior nation whose very origins lay in immense cultural debt to China in everything from writing systems and literature to religion and governance, were a different matter, and the energies unleashed by this history are still profoundly at work in the world today. The towering early-20th-century Chinese intellectual and seminal figure in the birth of the country’s modern nationalism, Liang Qichao, wrote that China’s loss in the Sino-Japanese War “awakened my country from the long dream of four thousand years.”

During most of the second half of the 20th century, including most of the Maoist era, Beijing took a relatively relaxed attitude toward Japan, eagerly absorbing its technology and increasingly massive investments and studying its successes once China’s so-called reform and opening period got under way in the early 1980s. As it did so, Beijing mostly deemphasized the divisive past. China similarly took a largely accepting view of American military primacy in East Asia in the post-Mao era. In hindsight, with both of these positions recently having changed dramatically in the space of less than a decade marked by sharp national ascent, one is tempted to say that China simply made a pragmatic calculation that it was too weak to do anything about either of these situations and should therefore concentrate on quietly building its strength.

This it has certainly done, and today, as China’s self-regard has swollen, along with its newfound power, Japan has returned to the center of the Chinese gaze in the form of a bull’s-eye; the focus of Beijing’s approach to the country (and indeed to the entire sea-bound region that once defined the tribute system, and especially Vietnam and the Philippines) is to restore what from the perspective of the Central Kingdom is considered the natural order. This, it must be said, is not merely the preoccupation of the Chinese state, though. It has also increasingly become a consuming obsession of rising populist nationalism. Success or failure in this grand pursuit, therefore, will go far in determining the legitimacy of China’s leaders, from the assertive incumbent president, Xi Jinping, onward, and indeed could well decide the survival or failure of the Chinese Communist Party.

China’s ultimate goal, however, is not merely to restore a semblance of the region’s old order, an updated kind of tributary system in which the nations of Southeast Asia or even a wealthy and customarily diffident Japan will have no choice but to hitch their fortunes to it and bow to Beijing’s authority. A larger, more ambitious goal is already edging into view. This ambition, evident from behavior even if still not fully avowed, involves supplanting American power and influence in the region as an irreplaceable stepping-stone along the way to becoming a true global power in the 21st century. Shi Yinhong, one of China’s most prominent foreign policy realist thinkers, has written that Xi’s goal is “to give [China] a dominant role in Asia and the Western Pacific—at the cost of the US’s ascendancy.” In a conversation with me, he added, “The West shouldn’t think so much about integrating China into the Western liberal order, but rather try to accommodate China.” This, he said, would ultimately mean having the United States accept military parity with China in the Pacific, the ceding of what he called a “narrow but substantial span of strategic space” for China in the nearby seas, and a loosening of America’s alliance structure in the region.

Even though he is a respected insider, Shi’s vision is provisional and anything but official. It points us nonetheless toward perhaps the most important question there is in this era’s realm of international relations: What kind of power is China likely to become?

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Those stupid Mat Salleh…

For 2,500 years and taught by Aristotle they believe humans are a mind-body thing. So they began searching for the ‘Self’ wherein, it is taught and said, resides mind and body. Most of the time they found… nothing. Utter emptiness. Other times they found only Assholes (think of the Mufti of Pahang.)

Now, wait a minute, said one Harvard professor named Michael Puett. He had suddenly woken up, turned to the Analects by Confucius, only to discover 2,500 years late: Maybe, just maybe, there is no Self!

This, to gweilos, is revolutionary thought. It meant, for one thing, they can throw out their bibles, and along with it all the self-help books that Border bookshops stock in Malaysia for Malaysian Anglophiles (think Najib Razak or Helen Aku Cina Ang).

To Chinese, however, that there is no individual, innate, indivisible Self is plainly obvious. It was a bodoh idea from the West. Our masters and our fathers and their mothers before them have been saying the same thing countless times: We are endlessly, from Day One to Death, making and remaking out lives, our being, so that every preceding moment is forever different from the one that follows it.

It is call ‘cultivation’ la. There is no Constant; the Dao is here today, gone tomorrow, resurfaces, maybe, in another thought. Here, below, is how it begins, a classic in Chinese primary schools, scorned by those motherfucking Anglophiles (think of the Satu Sekolah types), and it is untranslatable:

道可道,非常道。
名可名,非常名。
無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。
故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。
此兩者,同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,衆妙之門。

Here’s another from the daodejing in English translation:

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Those lines seem incredibly natural and obvious. Yet it took gweilos (and Malays and Anglophiles) 2,500 years to figure them out. And they still can’t do it well. How is it that they don’t get it?

Answer: Aristotle and Plato. Both of them in combination had remodeled the early Greek notions of substance and origins of things then saying that, in a person, those things have ‘Forms’ (God as ultimate form), and ‘Purpose’ (Save Malaysia?), and  ‘Duality’ (good and evil).

Those ideas in the hands Augustine of Hippo (circa 350 CE) became ‘Faith’ and he is today regarded as the philosophical, intellectual buttress of the Christian faith. Even idiot American reporters today — this one named Ian Johnson of NYT for example — still regurgitate and make Faith synonymous with religion. (So, if gweilos have Faith, the Chinese must also have Faith aah?) That stupid gweilo Johnson…. And he gets paid to write such horseshit. People like Johnson don’t get it: the way of the Chinese, , the Dao, isn’t a matter of Faith because no Self presides over a religion or religious practices. There simply is no god, big G or small g.

That, of course, is a mystery to which the Mat Sallehs will die ignorant of.

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Never mind them, Master. They know not what they do. Or shit.

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to the New World.

Say what one may about gweilos, but they do have a touch for the philosophical Good life and, to discover it, have the instinctive ability to smooth over its difficulties with exquisite arts and good music. Above, Judith Durham sings to a long, long journey that cannot be traveled alone. Below, in text, some moronic asshole Malaiyoo talks about how to laden and ruin it all with more rules to travel. Yet, before starting off, he is already blaming his problems on gweilos. Sigh…

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I’d hold your hand / and be your Someone. 发誓.

***

On the Origin of Laws, specifically Malaysia’s Penal Code, Aidil Khalid, some lawyer it appears, has this to say:

These are laws imported from India which were taken from the British legal system. Some are based on the principle of morality and under the Christian principle. The Muslims never complained (about them).

But who let them in?

Aidil’s contention was made in a Bebas debate (some debate) on Hadi Awang’s 355 Bill. Present at which were, like Aidil, the lawyering types such as Haris Ibrahim. One would think that Aidil would be easy to crush: ‘Christian and you didn’t complain? No shit! So stupid of your Malaiyoo types to import those laws. Having done so, we are going to make damn sure we won’t make the same mistake twice, importing Arabic laws.’

Instead, all that Haris et al manage to respond was to go on and on with all the yada, yada about 355 religiosity as if Islam is a matter of rational debate. Haris would be better off to try reason with those head-chopping Saudi fascists and their ISIS collaborators.

The like of Aidil didn’t know it then, nor now, still, that cultural genocide — the complete eradication then replacement of a native culture by another — is a Western specialty later took up by Arabs and Muslims. Genocide is what happens when Malays are faced with a much more stronger — and dare one say, superior — force. Malays once lost to the English political system because they had none and they are now losing to the desert camel herders. But, whether they lose in politics or religion, it made for no difference; Malaiyoos are still done in.

If Malays had their own laws, or their own God to begin with, would they have needed to import any?

On the contrary, many of Umno’s apparatchiks even welcome the conversion from their infidel roots. Take that Malay moron and Nusantara supremacist Kadir Jasin. Today, he claims to be Muslim first and only after that is he Malaiyoo. We know why he would say that, of course: like ketuanan, Islam is taboo to touch, cannot be scrutinized, and if you as much as sniff at it, prepare for jail. Above all, it is a better tool than ketuanan to beat up the Chinese. They would say it is the fault of the Chinese if a Malay eats on puasa month. According to Ahirudin Attan (a supposed ‘liberal’) it is the fault of the Chinese girl if, on a puasa month, she wore short pants and the Malay oogling at her has bad, sinful thoughts: ‘Those Chinese are so insensitive,‘ he’d say. Heard that line before? Anywhere?

Now that Ahi’s liberalism and Kadir’s Great Nusantara culture (or what’s left of it) face their final threat of extinction, they have nothing to say. Not one fucking word from these coconut heads who otherwise will have a ready word for anything that concerns Malay existential survival.

Aidil may complain about having to inherit Christian laws but he says nothing about why that should be a bad thing for Malays. Whether the laws in Malaysia are Christian or Islam, they still emanate from a foreign God unless, of course, Aidil now says the two gods aren’t the same. And, if not the same, then the world is ruled not by a single omnipotent Power, the One, but by many, an idea clearly in conflict with Quranic statements or the Bible.

Saying that the Penal Code had Christian origins is not the same as saying the law is inferior because of its gweilo origin, especially since it was passed to an old Malay society that would have had been next to being lawless. Indeed Christian laws might have even delayed the complete subjugation and, thence, annihilation of Malay society. If not for Malaysia’s laws, Aidil et al wouldn’t be Muslim first and then Malay. Nowhere else, not even Saudi Arabia, would today’s Malay life be possible.

Confronted with that argument, Aidil would probably retreat to the only thing left to be said in defense of 355: hudud is only for Muslims. (But Christianity wasn’t; it was for everybody. Which was why Malaysia had it.)

If Aidil were to be true to his word that hudud is only for Muslims then Malaysia is in danger of being a corrupting influence on Islam because in ‘Holy Land’ Saudi Arabia, its Sharia is made applicable to all, Muslims and Christians alike. This is where Aidil lies through his teeth. His is the sort of lie advocated by their ustaz and imams who would consider hypocrisy and pretense as acceptable, even preferred value practices in their dealings with infidels in mixed, plural populations and settings.

Behind the For-Muslims-Only theory is the Quranic injunction that Muslims ought to live out their lives in Islamic fullness, that fullness being decided beforehand by coconut heads like Aidil and Hadi. The injunction is a minefield. Such a life, once made specific to another era and geography, had to draw support from the pre-Islamic traditions that were pagan, Jewish and Christian in their origins. Characteristically, today’s so-called Islamic laws produce the precise opposite of present standards of conduct; it reproduced the barbarity of the past (think also of the Inquisition). Such results implied that Allah’s omnipotent power has had messy consequences. It further infers that proper, socially acceptable conduct is impossible by individual acts of internal volition and so must coerced or forced out, by death and whipping if necessary. Just as Alice of Wonderland has seen and heard: ‘Off with his head’. It is very medieval Christian.

Small wonder, therefore, the like of Aidil have been endlessly offering justifications when promoting 355 — and justifications offered not to the Malays though, their primarily target audience, but to the Chinese. Which, if one were think it through, would be completely absurd: If indeed 355 is sanctioned by God, then there is no problem; passage into law is assured by the Omnipotent. And, if indeed 355 is so good and useful, why even bother placating other people, infidels in particular; its holiness ought to be self evident.

All of which suggests that Aidil et al knew beforehand that 355 isn’t merely an aberration in modern society. Rather, their proposed so-called Islamic laws are so completely deranged that they are left with only two means of ensuring its passage in Parliament: (1) force Malays into acceptance on the pain of being denounced then ostracized and, (2) tell the Chinese this is none of their business.

In telling the Chinese that Muslims have been tolerating Christian-based laws, Aidil is also offering the justification should Malays in future apply their religious rules on the Chinese. That is, they would say, infidels have no right to complain since this is all so holy and since Muslims have to put up with Jesus before, so can you with our Allah. To further strengthen those arguments, Hadi and Umno could even throw in this other piece of poppycock. Which is that, since more than half of Parliament, the majority, had brought about the law the minority must accept the decision: ‘It is the essence of democracy, you see. The majority prevails. So shut up or we will cut off your tongue.

Well, to Hadi, Aidil, Mah & Muh, their fellow Umno/Pakatan travelers, their Arabian tribe and their kafir apologists (think Helen ‘Aku Cina’ Ang) let this be said on the outset in case these towel heads still don’t get it: You want hudud? Fuck you.

***

Aidil’s inane attempt to segregate Malaysian laws on the basis of their Christian and Islam origins (even though they are rooted in the same past) also reveal an undercurrent in the secular (liberalism) versus religious (Islam) struggle within Malay society, a struggle forced now into the open by 355.

It is an old problem, pre-dating even Socrates and Islam certainly but peculiar to Western societies before, Malaysia today because of its late existence, its coming into being. (Ever hear about this fight in Japan, Korea or China?)

At the heart of which is the notional struggle that people can have only one God and He won’t tolerate a substitute, a replacement ideology much less. And, He must be obeyed. He is like the ghost haunting Malaiyoos since the day some unthinking pirate chief, who, too, must be obeyed, was hoodwinked by some Arab camel trader and Indian Muslim money changer. Exorcise Him from Malaysian life and everyone would be free. Imagine: Freedom!

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQuxUR0zd_6LFTpVsD383p4SRLMWg7zt7i-IIVlSfjpIst_IVpO

Fold a straight line, what you’d get is the above. Consider, thus, the Islamists (PAS, Sabri Ismail) occupying the right end of the spectrum line and on the far left the liberals, of course. Fold that line, they meet. This is no coincidence. Liberalism and God run along the same track and share the same End, the same ultimate intention, and both possessing the same proselytizing zeal and eclipse qualities. Yet, both were made up by gweilos, beginning with Plato and Anselm of Canterbury and, after them, copied by Arabs.

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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6n5_sjVoAAFwnu.jpg

天不连二,
地不离土,
君不开口,
亲不闭目,
师不齐肩,
位要端固。

(The above, an ancient idiom-in-poem, was found on Twitter. Free translation…)

Heavens are not in halves
Earth and land are never apart
The Wise knows silence
Parents know their names
A teacher isn’t you at shoulder
Why then think this is about you?

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Something isn’t quite right with this voter registration poster…

it presumes all votes have a moral content, they are equal and the man’s vote equal yours.

https://vivifychangecatalyst.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/60-6002-52bb100z1.jpg?w=404&h=404

Impossibility theorem at work.

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Imagine a moment:

Malaysia without God, without standards

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Kenneth Arrow has recently died (read here about the person and his work), the man who designed the ‘Impossibility Theorem’ around the idea that people typically make lousy choices and if they were given a second chance to correct the mistake first made they will again pick lousy ones. An infinite number of choices deliver an infinite number of bad judgments so, one can’t be the result of the other.

Hence, when liberals beat us with the cliche — you deserve the government you voted in — those moronic Anglophiles don’t know what it is they are babbling about. There is simply no ideal situation delivering an ideal set of information for making an ideal choice. In economics, that means no perfect markets; in politics no perfect system for an outcome entirely fair and just.

Change the conditions of a circumstance, or even change the settings during a decision, preferences change. This isn’t fickle-mindedness exerted by some invisible hand. Rather, conditions are never what you’d hope for, which goes to show that imperfection serves itself and so, too, imperfect markets. Or, in another way of saying the same thing, something imperfect is its own perfection. And if some lonely woman, say, Annie of the Valley, were to shop around for a perfect man according to a set list of criteria then she’d be drawing out a list every year instead of shopping. Poor woman. And if we think everything around us as unsatisfactory — Malaysians have shiploads of dissatisfaction — then that’s a view perfect only to ourselves. But we’ll never know if the perfection is true because, how can we?

(Why will one never know? Answer: depends on who you ask. According to the Great Moron of Manchester, ‘There are no truths because all views are subjective.‘ If, indeed, there are no objective truths out there then, by the same token, that statement couldn’t be true either. If not T then F. And if F, the Moron’s statement is nonsense. This is what happens when English La Salle and Victorian little old boys try to sell snake oil philosophy outside a Manchester nasi lemak restaurant.)

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Arrow’s theorem was great economic work from the use of vigorous mathematics that defeated earlier, commonplace economic and political assumptions which have no basis in mathematical probabilities. By commonplace, it means whining, an Ariff Sabri whine, so much yada, yada out of a Raub durian farm.

(Imagine this ludicrous statement from that DAP bleeding heart: ‘The defining characteristic of a Malay is poverty,’ a race-equal-poor definition plucked from before the 1950s when nine-tenths of the world was poor, including Lim Goh Tong. But never mind that, spare a thought instead for the Orang Asli today, poor, poorer, poorest, still poor, not Malay, without Umno and — thank god — without kampung heads like Ariff’s to struggle on their behalf.)

Arrow’s theorem had profound implications: it meant that material or social progress should not — and couldn’t be, anyway — be set to a single standard. In economics, such a standard, say, a perfect market is simply an artifice of invention which the Great Syed Akbar Ali calls the ‘Laws of Economics’. That man just discovered those laws at work in Malaysia 250 years after Adam Smith.

In Malaysian politics, standard setting is the desire of PAS, of some Umno ministers and numerous government-appointed muftis. Standards create, so they say, an ‘Islamic’ environment, supposedly so that the Malays could live out their Muslim lives fully, ‘holistically’, the Islamic way. RU355 is an example of the standard setting — the ‘Laws of Allah’, says the towel head Hadi Awang — giving form to a supposed Islamic environment. Of course, expect no God of heaven to thunder out and verify his commands that are being shepherded around by Hadi and that other Pahang towel head mufti.

Enter Bersatu and PKR, while Ariff’s DAP sit on its village hands. Also enter Mahathir Mohamad and Bro. Anwar Ibrahim, the latter in the person of Azmin Ali because Bro. Anwar, so happens, is indisposed. Both Mahathir and Anwar are continuing where they left off in the 1980s, currying favor with Islamist political groups — even after, and this what really gets to you — seeing the disastrous results of their early efforts. The decision by Bersatu and PKR to stick with PAS was purely electoral, One-to-One, but all know that the inevitable consequence in their maneuvers will simply hand over the country to those towel heads to dictate other people lives and fix other people’s standards.

Would Mahathir care? No. His hatred for Najib Razak is deeper than his desire to Save Malaysia from himself, from PAS and Islamism. That is, a Malaysia of humanly sane Malays unmolested by the impossibility of arbitrary standards.

In the old days, Mahathir’s excuse for collaborating with Islamist groups (in the person of Anwar) was to craft a set of Muslim standards for Malays while, in return, the latter would support Umno. In this horse trading, the presumptions were many, for example, a Saudi-type religious environment (No external interference in domestic affairs? That’s a load of Malay chauvinist shit.) was necessary for Malays to be good and what’s good for Malays has to be good for Malaysia.

But — and this is the key — they didn’t presume this: Anwar’s Islamic environment agenda was nothing more than standard setting. Instead they took the standard setting for granted, obligatory even. Why? Their answer, because it is a Muslim duty. Says who? Says Allah, never mind if those standards were never verifiable nor proven because, if that was true, Najib Razak who has since devoted so much time and money in the perfect kingdom of Mecca would be the model of sainthood.

All of which arrives at this other conclusion: Other than removing Najib, are Mahathir’s excuses for collaborating with Hadi any different from those during the Anwar days? The answer, if it isn’t self-evident by now, goes to show, once again, Mahathir is dangerous to everybody. He presumes he knows what is good for Malays (and everybody else) but his decisions are as arbitrary as Arrow’s Theorem — supposedly rational one day but would be idiotic the next. And, in between, causing innumerable damage to the fabric of society.

Mahathir is little different from PAS in their approach to politics and treatment of people and society. While he was fixated to the idea — then demanded — that an entire country be modeled after a prescribed standard (Malays! Get rich!), PAS would go about the kampung with its own prescription. Mahathir’s sycophants, namely Kadir Jasin and Firdaus Abdullah, would then call that stupid man a ‘visionary’.

The result: the simple, straightforward idea of merely administrating well and governing fairly is completely lost to these propaganda assholes.

But, here’s the even bigger problem visiting the country: both Bersatu (actually Umno by another name) and PAS are still standard setting because, so their argument goes, the first set had failed: more sex, more hair saloons, more girls on bikes, more unwed mothers. Like Pentecostal Christians — another bunch of assholes — the Hadis and the Berjaya ulamas have convinced themselves their set of moralities are greater than everybody else. So, must be followed — or else we’ll whip you.

Mahathir’s presumed moral world was, on the other hand, utterly infantile when not materialistic: feed full the Malay stomach, his intellectual powers will therefore grow; he will be smarter, become doctors, and all injustices will vanish. The PAS world of morality was, of course, primarily about sausages, haircuts, sex and women. Their morality was never — not even remotely — about Hermes bags or condominiums in England. (This absurdity is why in Saudi Arabia’s women-oppressed world, perfumes by Victoria Secret and clothes by Chanel sell so well even though their women will only get to use those things at home.)

Predictably, as a result, PAS has little to say about Najib’s 1MDB nor all the handbags accumulated by all the Umno wives. Corruption simply isn’t the PAS kind of Saudi morality standard they had been driving around the country since Day One, starting with the veil, Friday holidays, Melayu fetus tossed onto KTM rail tracks, leading to RU355 today — never mind if the Saudis flaunted their morality by booking a whole kafir island for a holiday.

If, ultimately, the PAS version of Saudi morality has nothing to do with money, or Najib in particular, then Umno is still the better of the two choices between it and Bersatu. All that Mahathir wants from PAS, through this 1-to-1 seat contest (which — and don’t laugh — Azmin calls a ‘principle’) is for the latter to deliver Najib’s head to them.

But Najib is the least of the problems confronting Malays and Malaysia. (Among 27 million only one man agrees with this conclusion — S. Thayaparan.) Najib as a national problem is a short-term one. More damaging, more lasting, and more insidious than the man himself is that Najib has gotten on board the Islam agenda which, to be precise, is a Wahhabist agenda fronted by and being fashioned out of PAS.

Yet this is the same Saudi front that Mahathir wants to work with, ignoring the dilapidating consequences from his decades of bringing into Malaysian mainstream the PAS in Anwar and PAS outright. (Remember the Islamic state?) And all that for what? For consolidating his power, what has it gotten Malays and Malaysia? So, for Najib’s head, Mahathir is again willing to throw an entire Malay society to the Arab dogs of Kelantan? Just like he did in his hey-days against political opponents.

That reason alone, Mahathir’s egoism — trading off the entire future of a nation, the greater good of the Malays, for the one man he hates — is  sufficient to reject Bersatu and, regretfully, all of Pakatan as well. We rather stick with Najib and Umno and Barisan: if money can buy Hermes bags, surely it can buy any God.

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Women Without Men

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Now, girls why would you need Hermes (below) if you had God (above)? The PAS answer, Because it is the woman’s “true function”. Handbags are god created exclusively for women just as women belong in a house, also exclusively.

From the wise assholes at PAS is this standard they have set for the Malay women:

The PAS Ulama council has called for women to be allowed to fulfil their true function as homemakers, even as the world celebrates Women’s Day today.

PAS Ulama information chief Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali At-Takiri said households in Malaysia were increasingly broken, citing the rising number of divorces as evidence that the institution of the family was growing weaker.

“As such, it is appropriate that the institution of the family be restored, including providing room and conducive space for each couple, especially wives so that they may perform their true function at home as wives and mothers,” he said in a statement.

Malays have lost so much ground already in spite of Malaysia, such as its Constitution, which had protected them from the vestiges of Islamism. While Umno talked and talked ketuanan, PAS, hiding behind that talk and hiding behind the word Allah, came to the forefront of stripping off those hard-earned rights. The next general election will see if the Malays will even lose more.

Every general election was never about how much the Chinese might or might gain in political power although this had been the handed down propaganda but, really, about how far Malays will retain their freedom and independence from an Arab religion. So far the Chinese have stood in between them and the desert force: Imagine then if the Chinese stop voting.

(Also see bottom of this post, the feature clip about women, Saudi society and its elections.)

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Even the recovery of those handbags from Johor had nothing to do with the morality standard of Allah set by PAS that they had copied from Arab camel herders. Only Anglophiles and Christians, associating money with evil, therefore moralizing the two, think it otherwise. Those handbags were about fixing up an Umno chieftain.

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Men Without God

Something is terribly wrong in the deputy minister’s answer, 355 won’t solve all of society’s ills. Who says it is suppose to? But, more to the point, since 355 comes from God (so says Hadi) then the Timbalan is also saying one of two things: (a) Allah is imperfect, or (b) 355 isn’t from Allah.

Regardless, the Timbalan in the above clip is evidence of Arrow’s Theorem at work in Malaysia: people change their decisions all the time and nothing in them, in any of those choices, will be fair and perfect.

The inference?

Malays (and Malaysians) are safer with Umno than with Mahathir (or Bersatu) who, like PAS, set humanly impossible standards then blame everybody else for failing to comply — but not themselves for proclaiming those standards. After which, and in order to rectify earlier failures, theirs, they go about making up even more standards that they then say had come from God, a god with an Impossibility syndrome. (picture at the bottom).

That being so, why even bother to start with? But those Kelantan Malay coconut heads will, in turn, answer (clip below): ‘This is the way we are, the way with our society; we follow Allah.’

That answer — ‘That’s the way with Malays‘ — is the Mother of all Lies, a self-contradictory and self-defeating answer because, in Kadir Jasin’s perverse, contradictory reasoning, it would mean that a once riverine, padi society would have had to originate from and had grew up in a desert 8000 miles away.

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Maria Without Opposition

Over an article critical of the Opposition, Maria Chin was told to fire her Bersih colleague Mandeep Karpall Singh, which she refused to do. Because, she said, “I don’t know why so many people are jumping up and down about it.

So, if she knew why people are ‘jumping up and down’, Maria would sack Mandeep? She was being disingenuous, of course. She knows why people are ‘jumping up and down’: The Opposition people — DAP motherfuckers in particular — are convinced they are morally superior to Barisan and so are beyond reproach. You cross them, they fix you.

Imagine them in the seat of power. In his days, Mahathir was like that. The Opposition (picture below) today is the most illiberal bunch, the largest ever pile of bigot shit gathered under a single kampung roof.

Here is the ought-to answer for Maria’s question about ‘don’t know why’: Fuck Mahathir, fuck Lim Kit Siang and fuck the Opposition — your Opposition, Maria.

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Impossibility syndrome found in the man above: Dulu Umno Melayu ketuanan bigot, sekarang DAP Melayu bleeding heart bigot. All the same a bigot; on top of that, a village idiot.

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