Archive for August 3rd, 2017

Zahid’s Karma

Zahid Hamidi’s conduct (below) has the streak which we, in Chinese, say 没有底线 meiyou dixian — no bottom line. Umno has no bottom line; Zahid has no bottom line. If, from now on, anything goes then everything about Umno go, starting with that man.


Perhaps, he believes such a thing will appeal to Umno members, their minds conditioned as they are. But we, who have been abused so much over our ICs, why don’t we feel vindicated?

On the contrary, should Zahid next pass by Bagan Datoh, might he please stop a moment so that we can shit into his filthy Javanese tongue. His Chinese foster parents will see they have a pig gone berserk in their house.

Even for prime minister material, supposedly, Zahid doesn’t seem to see the far-reaching consequences that will likely flow from his shock-and-awe, and how it will affect people from the Malay sultans down. At its dead-end, Zahid would be shoveling Arabic dung for the rest of his Umno days.

Has he no idea, or a vague idea, what it is he has done? Karma is a real bitch and, guaranteed, it will return to bite him — as it did to Mahathir Mohamad. Zahid has set in motion his own cycle of demise, and now there’s no going back.

The sting in Zahid’s attack wasn’t whether or not Mahathir was of Indian therefore pendatang ancestry (so what?) but it was in Umno’s self-annihilating fascism: only Malays will serve and ‘protect’ Malays. Standing on this racial platform, it was easy for Zahid to next step up and accuse Mahathir, by pretending to be Malay, of exploiting Malay power, position and Malay privileges. The Malay, because it is a political term, comes and goes.

Personal identity, as represented by an IC or not, blue or black, it doesn’t matter, has long been in Malaysia an instrument of oppression. Those who protest against Zahid, whether Mahathir in his own defense or others, have not pointed this out.

They complain instead about the meaning of names even though whether it is ‘anak lelaki‘ or ‘bin‘, Mahathir remains, as personal and historical fact, the child of a pendatang.

Why don’t they see it? Perhaps they don’t want to. To save Malaysia, removing that instrument of oppression must be a beginning step, after which the bone of contention over who will better serve Malays, and how, will fade away. And, along with it, the dichotomy of meritocracy vs privileges.



Good strategy has no plot, nor a man’s life.






Letter to Lilan 報丽兰書




Xiaodi had been meaning to speak you in person, as a tongzhi 同志, since Zhao Mingfu 赵明福 was killed. That it has come belatedly is partly because I have just been able to wrench myself away from the burdens of my responsibilities. Yet, sitting down to write, the heart manages to find only reticence to speak of your brother, to speak to you, your family and Soh Cher Wei.

In Mingfu’s death, Sima Qian 司马迁 comes to mind, specifically his Letter to Ren An 報任安書》:

人固有一死,死有重於泰山,或輕於鴻毛,用之所趨異也。[In translation] A man dies only once. His death may be a matter weighty as Mount Tai or light as a feather. It all depends on the reason for which he dies.

[Alternate last line: It is how he uses that death that makes all the difference.]

有的人说 死亡等於回歸到一種無知、無識、無感、無覺的狀態。這原無什麼價值可言。可是如果我們進一步追問:我願意為什麼而死

Those words subsequently gave rise to a proverb in Japan: “Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.” 義は険しい山よりも重く、死は大鳥の羽よりも軽い

But, it’s the supreme irony that, driven to a frenzy with these words, Japanese soldiers killed more than 23 million Chinese and those were the days of bayonets and guns. No atom bomb. Are Chinese lives so cheap? Our people alone accounted for half the 45-48 million WWII deaths and not even a stone memorial, not a single word of remorse from Japan, no compensation, nothing. Instead, the world continue to vilify us, speak of us as aggressors, and America enlists Japan to issue threats every year. You can see why we, the Chinese, China, will never, never, never let it happen to us again, tomorrow or forever.

China’s PLA celebrated its 90th anniversary most recently. With this greatly increased military capability, along with enormous economic strides at our Motherland, our people have reasons to be proud. We, as Chinese, want to leave behind not only a pathway of progress but especially we want to ensure, as best as it’s possible, that the safety and security of our future generations will also be provided for.

In your brother’s death, and like Sima Qian’s letter to a dear friend, one is reminded of his final note addressed to Auyong Hian Wah:

他们 在没有复制我的电脑文件下取走了所有电脑。矛头一直指向你。
我说,mendapat lulusan YB。他们硬打成mengikut arahan YB.

“All spears are pointed at you! 矛头一直指向,”  Mingfu wrote. Yet — and here’s another irony — it was against him that death visited.

Similar circumstances had confronted Ren An (or 任少卿 Ren Shaoqing) when, with spears pointed at him and death near, Sima Qian, himself in a dire situation, could only help by writing the letter. That was enough, although we’ll never know if Ren An received the letter. But, that for 2,000 years our forefathers have so diligently passed it down to us, we know today from death a little more about life.

Not until much, much later did Hian Wah received your brother’s note. Like the apology to Ren An, there’s in it this: 我帮不到你,抱歉。对不起,我很累了,再见.

We are a people sentenced to death at the instance of birth.

This seems meaningless. But, we now know from Sima Qian and others, it is life that acquires for death its depth of meaning, gives it insight and a purpose. Mingfu must have understood this because he spoke on terms that concern friendship and loyalty, devotion and duty, the same terms understood by our ancestors and which Confucius have taught us. Their formulations for life have stood with us in good stead, and with Mingfu as well, never mind what the judges at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) might say about his ‘state of mind’ (below). Those are, in spite of their learning, naive and ignorant people, unable to understand why it is in life are the reasons for death made. They may be skilled in law and in analysis, but they have none of the insights into life to sustain and to support their skills.

How Mingfu was murdered is, however, a different matter altogether.

That’s a matter of law with which, because one has no control over, you must therefore fight tirelessly for it to come alive since Mingfu’s death eight years ago.

Law in Malaysia, as it is in the West, creates government, becomes its function in turn, is controlled therefore by it and, before that, by legislature. Essentially, that is, by politics. (Increasingly, though, law is religion, that is, Islam.) In our Chinese, Confucian jurisprudence culture, law or 法规 fagui is purely a product, an instrument of governance and so does not construct or determine anything. Thus, in that bewildering state, you must appeal to Law in Malaysia, being maker of and being made by politics, for the justice it is suppose to uphold and then, through it, find reasons for Mingfu’s death.

The world will never come to understand, not even remotely, your brother’s ordeal and pain, nor his duty and devotion because no one else had lived his life, died his death, and never will. When Law failed to offer justice, and when the reason for your brother’s death is not satisfactorily answered — 死了不明死了不白 — you must return to the beginning of all things: politics; this is what, I believe, you mean by campaigning against Najib Razak.

But, 丽兰, we do know!

We know everything and, knowing everything, it tears and wrings out and pounds our hearts, yours most especially.

We not only know how death took place — and this was the easy part to understand — we also know the reasons for his death, these being the same reasons he had lived, being Chinese, in keeping with his duties as colleague, friend, son, husband, brother. Your brother. This is why it so pains us, horribly, to see that the price of duty should be as heavy as Mount Tai — true today as it was in Sima’s time 2,000 years ago — and why being Chinese has come to be fatal, today as it was in 1969 and when the Japanese invaded.

But, understanding this, requires us as Chinese never to cease to live as we are because it is our life; it belongs to no government nor political party. Malay lives might belong to Umno, but our lives belong to no one, including the DAP.

The justice you seek and the Law you seek invoked might deliver to us the actual officers who murdered Mingfu but we want more than that. We especially want the Thing that brought him to the offices of the MACC. We want the Thing, the system, elusive as it is, that delivered his killers. It’s the same idea contained in the wish of a father wanting the person who hired the policemen to kill his daughter Altantuyaa. Without getting to it, the injustice will only continue; of this I’m convinced.


The price of duty is as heavy as Taishan 泰山, above.


A Government Gone Amok

What is the ‘Thing‘ I speak of?

Before Mingfu was taken, the MACC also took Tan Boon Wah and Dariff Din against both of who interrogators typically started and continued on this line of interrogation: “you orang Cina?” followed by “you dari Cina?

None of which had, of course, to do with some alleged misappropriation of 2,400 ringgit at Hian Wah’s office. Dariff Din got away only because, on his father’s side, he was Malay. Against Boon Wah, they told him repeatedly, Cina bodoh” as if that will made his interrogators clever.

There is every reason to believe, therefore, your brother’s death has to do with the same racial motivation that had set up Hian Wah as a target.

In that year, 2009, and this is long before the 1MDB and a year after the 12th General Elections, Mahathir Mohamad was already attacking Najib Razak on the grounds he was giving in too much to the Chinese and to Singapore, also Chinese. Recall the Utusan Melayu inflammatory banner: ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu’? Najib’s answer to such repeated criticisms from both Mahathir and from the Malay ground is now self-evident: it was to pick on the DAP, using anything to pin it down. Such were the circumstances in Mingfu’s death that the RCI never dwelled on and never looked into.

Chinese and Malay meet only once every four, five years when we queue up to vote. The rest of the time, we stay apart to avoid, for the Chinese, stepping on the Malay tails. We run our own schools, observe our custom, we don’t proselytize and we restrict our lives to ourselves, mind our own business, pay our rents without asking for subsidies, but they still won’t leave us alone as if our existence is itself a poison.

I believe this anti-Chinese racism is what caused Mingfu’s death, as well as hundreds and thousands before him. Supporting this racism wasn’t confined to the MACC and its officers. Here’s one and that’s from a supposed liberal named Mariam Mokhtar. Petra Kamarudin, also supposedly a liberal, has turned out to be thoroughbred fascist. The fault didn’t just lay among Malays; Anglophiles actually deepened it: Lim Kit Siang by asking to be Chinese second even though the Chinese were never first. Yeoh Tseow Suan’s response was to renounce her Chinese ancestry and to be born again as Hannah Yeoh, as Anglophile, after which she’d transfer her anti-Chinese racism to her child as Anak Malaysia, even refusing her an Indian name (the father’s). She is today called Shay Adora. Hannah’s Christianity is today interpreted as a Chinese affront against Malay’s Islam even though this is not the work of the Chinese but Anglophiles.

Who and what creates, prop up and advances this Thing, this unseen force? Unseen because it seems to dwell and move about even outside of people.

Let me take the example of the RCI, comprised of fine people who, although had the task to establish the identity of your brother’s killers within the MACC (it had to be MACC and no where else) but turned up, incredulously, exonerating it. Not once in their findings, as I’m aware of, do they mention the word ‘race’ or ‘Malay’ or ‘Chinese’ although these are matters of established fact both before Mingfu was taken in and during numerous related interrogations. How can this fact of matter, this reality, not be buried or hidden away when a fiction takes its place? The result, predictably, was utter humbug, a Commission of Inquiry reduced to speculation, and speculating about some other worldly experiences called ‘state of mind’ that has nothing to support it.

Mingfu’s note to Hian Wah was its refutation.


Reread the first line: Tormented by a predicament, Mingfu experienced a change in his state of mind… ‘Tormented’, certainly; ‘predicament’ maybe. But ‘experienced’? ‘A change in state of mind?” Those are states internal to Mingfu. After this extrapolation, the RCI then indulges in platitudes that were laced in contradictions:

Passage 356: The failings in the Selangor MACC which have been identified largely rest in the operational area, contributed by inadequate training.

Several paragraphs later:

Passage 367: Our findings and recommendations are directed at the individual officers involved and are not meant to be an excoriation of the MACC as a whole per se.

In that passage, it pulls back from naming individuals, from its minimalist approach to make everything look like the mountain fell, an accident: it was a ‘failing in operational area‘, ‘inadequate training‘, there is no ‘excoriation‘ (beating something to produce a wound).

The recommendations are intended to improve and rebuild the MACC….

This isn’t an RCI. This is a Cover-Up made in the name of the King.

Those words added up, plainly said, deflected MACC responsibility for a murder committed on its premises. The sum of the findings read like it were tip-toeing between puddles of Mingfu’s blood, looking for the way out. But we know who intended death and below is that list, available from the RCI report. So many names and so useful for hiding names:

List of Killers: Primary suspects, P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5.

  • P1 Hishammuddin Hashim, MACC Selangor deputy director, the arrogant leader (now Negri Sembilan director)
  • P2 Hairul Ilham Hamzah, MACC Selangor head of investigations
  • P3 Mohd Anuar Ismail, the case officer
  • P4 Arman Alies, the bully
  • P5 Ashraf Mohd Yunus, the abuser (RCI Passage note #158:  “Of the 20 cases, 2005-2010, reported against Selangor MACC officers for assault, Ashraf was involved in 14.”)
  • P6 Nadzri Ibrahim, recorded Zhao’s statement
  • P7 Azhar Abang Mentaril, took Zhao from Ean Yong’s office to MACC
  • P8 Hafiz Izhar Idris, took Zhao from Ean Yong’s office to MACC
  • P9 Mohd Najeib Ahmad Walat, broke into the email account using Zhao’s laptop
  • P10 K. Sachianandran

We also know why this happened the way it did. Because it ultimately involves Malay power, Malay interests and Malay demands, any of which must supersede law.

From the starting position that any Malaysian government must first and foremost protect Malay interest, one arrives, at last, at the point in which the government goes amok.

Its insanity — and this isn’t anymore about superseding law — is demonstrated repeatedly. Zahid insults a man’s father as ‘Kutty’ like he were coolie. Before that, he speaks of law, indeed, the entire system that is Malaysia, as an affront, an offense, to the Malay person.  Zahid again:

Muslims must unite and agree that Islam must be respected and that we do not want any decisions made by the National Fatwa Committee to be challenged by anyone, whether an individual or a different legal system outside of the fatwa committee,

For the reason Najib won’t deliver Baginda Razak over Altantuyaa’s death, neither will he deliver Mingfu’s killers. Malay thinking about power and in regards to their being and existence has arrived at the biblical epoch which says,

I, the Malay, given and possessing dominion in this land named Tanah Melayu, am greater than all life and all things. Whoever or whatever says otherwise shall be cast aside.

Lilan, please understand this: what it means to be biblical, these despicable Christians. Mingfu’s life is worth far less today than at the time of the RCI and at the time of his death, and before even that. One can see how, beginning from Mahathir — did he not see this coming? — step by step, generation following generation, we’d reach the point in which life’s purpose in death is reduced to just this: the Malaysian IC.

We, the Chinese, have been very reverent of law as we had for centuries when the Jins, the Mongols and Manchus ruled our motherland. We are model citizens because our ancestors since Kongzi have instructed us to first understand where we stand, that is, our station in life, and on that position we must excel. But, what if the law has no reverence for our lives?

This, today, is our problem though: it is not to Fate with which we are born; it is to Fate to which we now die. The determination of our station in life is being wrested from our hands, Lilan, and we must resist at all costs lest our children and their children suffer the more.

We each will individually resist in our own way, and we all know how, the ultimate point of which is to uproot the system and not merely defeat Najib because that is merely scratching the surface. Najib must go with or without the justice you seek but, also understand, his defeat is Mahathir’s glory and this is not necessarily to the betterment of all, ours and the Malays. Recall this principle of our lives: 对问题不对人.

Trust, therefore, your compatriots, us, to do what we must, vote how we must, conduct however our individual lives leads us. Campaign against Umno and Najib if you must, but recall that Najib’s political life isn’t our only purpose because he brings with him a train of history we seek to eradicate or, if that’s not possible, to ensure that they can go no farther and must retreat because they have gone too far. We shall help them along in their self-destruction. But I must say no more.

We do not go out looking for trouble but when it comes we fear it not.

All the Chinese are with you because Mingfu was and remains one of us. Has Laozi 老子 not said:


Please pass on to your parents the greetings of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. I can assure you that increasingly our Motherland is coming round to understand our predicament and that she stands with us, whatever direction we take, however we decide. Which is this: unlike ordinary Malays, our choices aren’t a simple matter of deciding between Najib and Mahathir and all that they each represent. Eventually, we have to defeat both and — xiaodi is sorry to have to say this — Lim Kit Siang and the DAP Christians are getting in the way.

对不起我用英文写,我相信你可以理解这个语言. Till our next life, I remain,

Yours truly,



Street performance is one of China’s oldest art traditions. Above, the 二泉映月 Moon Reflections on Two Springs was composed for the erhu around the 1930s, a time of upheaval, by a street performer much like the man above. The composition passed on but the blind musician died, still impoverished, and little about him survived except that he was called 阿炳 Ah Bing. His actual name might have been Hua Yanjun 华彦钧.

Below, the same piece performed in Vienna ages ago by the China National Orchestra.


怕你没有信 提取 報任安書













回来? 当然啊!即使不问也会回


The Collar 子衿


qing qing my collar qing, echo echo my heart echoes

standing at the gate tower I look out into the distance
one day not seeing you seems now like three months long







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