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Shafiqah Othman

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The term Malay Muslim is an oxymoron because if there is a Malay who is Muslim then, by extension of argument, there is a Malay who is Christian. This, though, isn’t pivotal in deflating the notion of the Malay Muslim.

More to the point, the term conflates the idea of Muslim and Malay so that anyone who is Muslim and Malaysian, resident in Malaysia, holds an identity card, subject to its laws, invariably become Malay (Zakir Naik, Ridhuan Tee), that is, speaking Malay and practices the Malay custom. But the Malay custom, like the terms Malay Muslim and Malay race, is yet another invention, that is, a fiction because if there is one, where is it? Where or what is the idea in the custom?

Malay custom by appearances has been long gone, of course. It has to happen because the more Muslim and the more Islamic is, say, Hadi Awang, the farther he is to being ‘Malay’ or to practice the Malay custom. In his entire life he conducts it like an Arab does. That, after all, is the whole idea of ‘Submission’ under Islam: it neither tolerates nor does it permit anybody to be anything else other than being Arab.

Islamic culture is the dominant Arabic culture. In the name of a God and under the power of one man’s predilection, even the Persians and the Africans have found themselves subject to not just speaking Arabic or eating dates during Ramadan or wearing towels on the head, but to the Hadith (written testaments based supposedly on utterances or acts by Mohammad) and the Quran. How could the Mohammad have possibly conducted his life in anything other than the desert culture of his time, that is, Arabic? Thinking of paddy fields and monsoon rain? Of course not.

How did descendants of Java, Sumatra and the Indonesian archipelago become subject to this Arab tyranny, but not the Indonesian? How does one become a conquered ‘race’?

It is easy to blame this state of affairs on the British but the Dutch did not hold sway on Indonesian thought. European, that is, western ideas were, of course, far more pervasive in Malaya than say Borneo. Ideas in themselves can’t do much though. If the British had taught Malays the world came into being by the zap of a magic wand from Allah, then that is just good for a laugh not serious study. Nobody is going to give a fuck.

What really change things fundamentally — and this is a hypothesis — is ways of thinking. By that, think of the creation story, that is, this God and the magic wand theory.

What underlay the mythology is the division of the world into two: the external and the internal, a creator and the created, the outside and the inside, heaven and hell, true and false, the good and the evil, and so on. Once the entire universe, indeed, once all reality is framed in this manner, anything to be discussed or talked through has to go down this pathway.

When Syed Akbar Ali at outsyedthebox doesn’t want to think along those terms, he calls it ‘thinking outside the box‘. But, that’s to presume there is even a box or a framework, so that, really, his way of thinking is still Anglophile (western).

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Shafiqah: she has an uphill task not only to debunk the mythology that there is only one kind of Muslim, the Arab kind, but after that there is even a thing or a person called Malay Muslim, such as the photo below. Because, if Allah is only for Muslims, who are Muslims for if not Allah that is Arabian? Where then is the Malay in the Allah?

Shafiqah falls into her own trap once her arguments are framed along the lines of liberal versus illiberal Malay because there never has been a Malay that is liberal. Islam, by its internal mechanics and its definition, is illiberal, however liberalism is defined. The fight she needs to address is, Malay life versus an Arab life. Doing that, you cut off the Malay from orthodoxy at its Arab roots. (Weeding, you see, is most effective from the roots up.)

The Crown Prince of Johore TMJ alluded to the gem of this idea and got that part right: ‘A country that abandons our local traditions such as our traditional clothes and chooses to adopt foreign customs, wanting to be like the Arabs.’

Therein, you know, is your ally. But, Malay versus Arab life? Yes, and think about it, Shafiqah, why? In another place, in the Arabia that Najib Razak (and Hadi Awang) wants to emulate, can you even sit behind that wheel?

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We, the Chinese, will let the Christians fight the Allah-cause. It is none of our business anyway: You guys can kill each other for all we care. But no Hudud, for the simply reason it is a bad name; it has too much Hadith in it and conquered minds are never worthy of our trust — or anyone’s else.

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Now come to Shafiqah Othman. (Shafiqah who? If anyone has to ask, that’s only because you think too much of Anwar Ibrahim. Forget him, that guy is just an ideas-parrot: gawk, gawk.) Though nothing new, there is no doubt that her charge, Malays are hypocritical, is persuasive. Indeed, it has been said that no Malay during Mahathir’s days, or even earlier, say in 1969, would dare make such an indictment.

But each time this argument is presented, the counter argument (careful there; click goes to an IS-styled Malaiyoo fascist rag sheet called ‘My Nation’) emerges and everyone is back to where they had begun: who the fuck is right?

It is as if there is no truth in anything so that Anglophiles simply return to the most convenient starting point. It is called a point of view (POV). All Anglophile journalists, without exception, are famous at invoking it, so you see this caveat all the time — This is the personal opinion of the columnist — as if there are opinions that are never personal, that is, at one with the rest of the world or the fucking editor.

Philosophers call this POV subjectivism, sometimes relativism. But there’s this problem: if a POV is subject to the person holding it, then only that person has a hold on the viewpoint. That being the case, no viewpoint ever stands independent of, or outside, a person but lasts or persists so long as it is held by the holder. That is, no POV is ever universally true or has any lasting value; and, ‘I think therefore I am’ (from Descartes) collapses into its own self-contradictory defeat.

The consequence? All political fights in Malaysia are therefore reducible to either, for one side or for the other. Ideas are only fought out from and stemming from whoever you stand with. Ideas are never fought out, for or against, because such ideas are simply bad or good, workable or unworkable, useful or not useful, just or unjust, fair or not fair. Ideas are right only when they are dependent from which side they are issued.

In such a circumstance there is no neutrality, neutrality in the sense that you hold two conflicting arguments in abeyance until you figure out the side that is right. Yet, you can never figure out which side is right because there is no thing as a right idea; only whose idea.

This sort of conflicting dichotomy as a way of thinking is at the root of much western thought, ranging from the creation of the world stories, theology and ideologies (communism, socialism) to the structuring of analytical philosophy (logic), its language and its sciences.

Dichotomy is Greek in origin. In its modern Marxist form it is called dialectics wherein history advances in an endless progression of thesis and anti-thesis. In America, it becomes pro-Life or pro-Choice; in Christianity, good or evil. Among Malays, it has become either liberal Muslim or orthodox (i.e. Arab) Muslim. There is simply no way out because everything depended not on the argument in and of themselves, but where you first stand. Are you with Najib or with Mahathir? Are you with PAS or DAP? Are you Malay or Chinese?

The result? Dedak bloggers like Ahirudin Attan or Kadir Jasin, these motherfucker editors who one day will be this and another day will be that. Another result? Lots of frogs, sometimes they are dedak politicians, sometimes they are self-righteous ones. Contrary to popular assumptions, there are no principles at stake because if the fights were over principles then problems arise: what principles, when derived, how, and especially belonging to who?

In this way, arguments never produce consensus or agreements; arguments become the basis for war. More people are today killed from war waged on the basis of principles than from the want of material need (women, grain, territory).

A third result is from Zaid Ibrahim although he is not entirely convincing as to how Malaiyoos came to be so lazy and stupid. Maybe it is the other way around.

In any case, on and on and on, this state of affairs spiral downwards.

Chinese philosophical ideas and thoughts have answers and methods to get off this merry-go-round. (Which explains why, against a robust Chinese culture and civilization, Islam and Christianity stopped at the Turkish-speaking borders, the Himalayas and the South China Sea.) How? That is for another time… maybe.

For now, face it, the Malay is no civilization: he/she is already a conquered mind. And Anglophiles (think Lim Kit Siang or Hannah Yeoh)? They are a complete write-off. The only solution to DAP politics is, wait — for them to die!

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时间都去哪儿了 A woman’s life in 33 frames.

彭丽媛 Peng Liyuan (in the days she sang professionally)

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The Malays Post Najib. Series Part 2

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It is to Malaiyoo motherfuckers like this Ara Damansara Shuib  — above, the one pretending to be some botanist from Mara! (does it teach scam or science?) — that Pakatan must appeal for votes. See post below. Imagine then if, after the vote, that piece of shit ketuanan pig shuib also tells Pakatan how to set national policies….

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The Accursed Paradise on Earth:

Tanah Melayu is to Malays as Islamic State is to Muslims

Free medical, jobs, money, lots of it, even virgins…

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This is second part in the ‘Post Najib’, Post GE14 series: What happens next? Not just to Malaysia but to the Malays especially.

The first part is here which essentially — in case you didn’t get it — deals with the question about the character quality of the Malays, in their general attitude towards Malaysia. That is, would it change with a new leader or a new government?

With Mahathir Mohamad it didn’t. That piece of mamak prick drove the inanity that Malays, like he, were heirs of the land when his father arrived from India only because the old man needed a job. Since there were no Malays to begin with — they simply aren’t a bona fide ethnicity — how could they have a single defining culture? (The Chinese have it, in case you think we are godless creatures.)

Arabs came to sell trinkets; Sumatrans, those from Palembang in particular, came to do piracy; Najib’s Bugis ancestors to expand territory; Kadir Jasin because his were starving; Hadi came to sell an Arab god named Allah. After which, when they could go no farther, they’d call themselves Malays and Tanah Melayu was paradise — not much different from the way the ISIS do their Islamic caliphate business, only more violent. As for the motherfucking Scottish and English, they want no part of this scam. Their skin color gave away the game and, besides, they were on their way to Australia; more land than there is to be imagined.

If Malaysia was, and still is, treated as a destination place to make money, how was the Malay to show loyalty when the Sulus invaded? During that time, Kadir Jasin blamed the Chinese for the Malay casualties because, he says, they were no dead Chinese — they weren’t loyal to country, you see. As it turned out, Malay loyalty was meted out by Malay ‘comrades’ betraying Malay soldiers. (Yes, let’s have a few more.)

Malaysia is not a deviant in world history. Following conquered territories, Americas and Australia, it was entirely made-up by White people. Nor is 1MDB. It wasn’t a historical accident nor is it an aberration of economic or social policies. If it was either then 1MDB would have been a single, stand-alone event as well. But no: it happened alongside endemic cases of police corruption, state-backed extortion and murder, disappearances of individuals, kidnap (even a school girl) and so on.

Only in scale and intensity are today’s cases different from the past. Even the justifications are the same: Mahathir did it in the name of a fiction called ketuanan; Najib in the name of another fiction called Malaiyoo upon who Umno speaks its name.

Because such criminal acts are in combination so peculiar that 1MDB and other events could only have happened within a Malay/Umno political setting; no such framework exists anywhere else. To consider this Malay setting or framework, consider  this: What give Malay authorities — the prime minister, the police and so on — the right to feel they are so empowered as to go to such lengths to steal and plunder? (The Low Yat phone theft and Mat Over are but tiny manifestations, but representative, of that power.)

The answers, self-evident, are traceable all the way back to Umno political culture, its tribal thinking, its fascism and, most pertinently, the thing that Mahathir Mohamad gave widespread legitimacy; it is Malay entitlement by ketuanan. All this constitute the heart of the Malaiyoo, who if one will were think of the continued Malay support for Najib, should be call the 1MDB Malays: power, money, positions.

Those are the daily Malay thoughts growing up. Those subjects make up the core of general discussions, parleyed in the Umno supreme council, even Pakatan and Mahathir’s Bersatu, played out in writing from Chedet to Zaid Ibrahim to Annie of the Valley. It is to these creeds that they live by: from the flunkies (Sabak Bernam fish sellers doubling up as national politicians) to the Felda farmers (preoccupied today with the FGV stock price instead of tending the trees); from the dedak-fed Islamic preachers (meting out useless fatwas for the lack of anything useful) to the top echelons of Malay, hence Malaysian, society.

It is to this fucked-up Malaiyoo marketplace, this Tanah Melayu artifice and with their connivance, that Mahathir and Harapan are peddling votes in competition with Umno. The proposal within the pro-Mahathir faction to let Najib have a ‘workable and peaceful‘ exit is, on the one hand, an old trick. On the other, it underscores the corrupted Malay soul, contemptuous of society overall, never trusting the general population while treasuring the positions some, still there, risk losing, others to get there faster and easier.

In the event Najib doesn’t walk away — he has more to lose — what will Mahathir promise the 1MDB Tanah Malaiyoos because that society will decide whether Umno makes or breaks. Or, in parallel, they are going to determine, crucially, the electoral outcome and hence decide the country’s future. (And, we, the Chinese don’t want to know what Mahathir might promise. Say what you want, we don’t give a shit.)

Now, let’s suppose Mahathir/Harapan get to these Malaiyoos and after that their votes. How will this Malay, post Najib look like? (Forget about the Chinese or Indians; whichever way things go, we know how to look out for our backs.)

The question above is centered on this Tanah Malaiyoo society because it is to them that Mahathir and Bersatu and PKR must answer to and especially them because political characters like the Muhs and the Mahs, the Zaids and the Ibrahims would have just managed to scrap through. Their positions hang on to a single Malaiyoo thread, hence the future of their positions, their bank accounts, and so on. How, therefore, will they speak, act and conduct themselves on behalf of the Malays? What?

The Chinese has internalized the concept of public service. We have been raised for thousands of years thinking about it. Malays? The default Malay political position, since Mahathir in particular, is to ‘protect’ the Malay person and Malay welfare. Protect what if not their material gains, their assets, money, 30 percent, and on and on and on?

Mahathir and the new government will find itself back to where this whole business had begun.

Surely something has to give because this jungle Tanah is so paved with Malaiyoo dead twits and their bones, you are bound to step on one. Save for lying to Malaiyoos or breaking electoral promises or simply ignoring their demands, is a clean break with the past not the only long lasting option left?

Such issues are rarely on the table because of the preoccupation with power rather than its uses, that is, with policies and with public service at heart. At Twitter, as it is inside Pakatan, the same banal desire for power are captured in one-line, two second tweets to solve a problem that has been building for 60 years. This is the trouble with Twitters (below), who like Anglophiles and politicians, are clever at substituting clear thinking with catchy one line solutions which, of course, reads juicy — and trite and so full of pig shit.

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A fellow Cina: Usually sharp, very sharp, as sharp as the clothes he wears, this time though he goofed. Why? Who knows…. Anwar can ‘get us there’? You’re sure. There…where? Which hole?
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First Thing First?

Wrong! Umno isn’t the First.

It’s those Malaiyoos

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Start with this man, Cina @ YouTiup who repeats a standard Pakatan-Mahathir tripe: ‘first thing first: defeat UMNO‘.

Riza Tan @ RizaTann: defeat umno, then? elect leaders who act, function and work in the same way that umno does. nice. short term thinking at its best

Cina @ YouTiup: it’s very simple, if your goal is to dislodge umno, there’s only one free man who could get you there. fuck your feelings, it’s not abt you.

Danny Lim @ Danny_LimNoooooo, we must “teach the opposition a lesson” until they become perfect & spotless & tick-all-the-boxes !!!

Cina @ YouTiup: 1. decide what you want to achieve, eg. winning, 2. know how to get there, 3. keep your feeling to yourself, unless you’re a child.

Cina @ YouTiup: our focus ought to be on governance, the politics will survive us by a few generations, but it may not thrive if we do the right thing now.

You catch the drift of the ongoing inanities? Twits on Twitter.
 
Not Cina, not Tamil, vaguely Malaiyoo, but Riza Tan? Anglophiles and Christians have English names; Malays and Muslims have Arab names; the blacker the Indian the whiter the name (think Charles Santiago and Denis Ignatius). But Riza Tan? That’s new….
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Anyway, welcome home. How do you find the Malaiyoo sun? Careful with what you wish for though….  Many motherfuckers, from Mahathir and Kadir down (that includes your friend Khairy J), will tell you, sooner when not later, that even the sun over the pantai belongs to Malays — exclusively. They were the first to spot it, you see.
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Fuck off Malaiyoo, I came first.
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The Shepherd Girl
Over at the mountain a girl stands over a flock
For who do you guard them?
Why have tears wet your clothes?
Why be you sad?
Are the mountains desolate?
Grass yellow?
Sheep hungry?
The master’s whip lift smoke on you…
Image result for 牧羊姑娘

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牧羊姑娘

对面山上的姑娘
你为谁放着群羊
泪水湿透了你的衣裳
你为什么这样悲伤悲伤

山上这样的荒凉
草儿是这样枯黄
羊儿再没有食粮
主人的鞭儿举起了抽在我身上

对面山上的姑娘
那黄昏风吹得好凄凉
穿的是薄薄的衣裳
你为什么还不回村庄回村庄

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Flowers for Funeral

She’s like, on her knees, begging her Love: Death would have been merciful….

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Reduced to pure (western form) craft, good as it is, the South African soprano missed the nuances, the pleadings, in the story.

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Dream of the Red Chamber

葬花吟

花謝花飛飛滿天
紅消香斷有誰憐
遊絲軟系飄春榭
落絮輕沾撲秀簾

明媚鮮妍能幾時
一朝漂泊難尋覓
花開易見落難尋
階前愁殺葬花人
獨倚花鋤偷灑淚
灑上空枝見血痕
願奴脅下生雙翼
隨花飛到天盡頭

爾今思去儂收葬
未卜儂身何日葬
儂今葬花人笑癡
他年葬儂知是誰

天盡頭 何處有香丘
天盡頭 何處有香丘

試看春殘花漸落
便是紅顏老死時
一朝春盡紅顏老
花落人亡兩不知

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This is a repost

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What Makes the 1MDB Malay?

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Malay village drawing, captioned in French; circa 1839? (Image via Pak Pandir)

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Theory of the Chicken Head

In ‘Belajar dari warisan budaya sendiri‘, Pak Pandir offers a brief, philosophical discourse into the need to sack Najib Razak. Pertinent lines:

Bangsa Melayu hari ini, kesana kemari bagaikan ayam tidak berkepala hanya kerana kepimpinan bangsa itu buruk.

Janganlah kita lupa, jatuh bangun bangsa Melayu ini bergantung kepada baik dan buruk pemimpin dan pimpinan. Baik pemimpin, baiklah kerajaan dan negara. Buruk pemimpin, maka buruklah negara dan bangsa.

Itulah pengajaran yang paling asas dalam tulisan klasik bangsa Melayu yang sudah tidak dibaca lagi dan dihargai oleh bangsa Melayu.

Maka hari ini, gerakan dan usaha mengeluarkan Najib ialah langkah yang bertepatan dengan pengajaran dari sejarah. Dari sejarah Melayu, mengeluarkan, mengalahkan pemimpin itu membawa akan kemenangan kepada pihak yang mengeluarkan.

Dari lembaran sejarah bangsa Melayu jua, bahawa rakyat lah yang menetapkan the terms of leadership atau rukun raja dengan rakyat. Janji Demang Lebar Daun akan bertaat kepada Sri Teri Buana bersyaratkan Raja dan pemimpin itu jangan menzalimi rakyat jelata walaupun bagaimana jahil dan buruk perangai, jangan dihina dan dicerca.

Sri teri Buana mewajibkan bahawa rakyat setia dan jangan derhaka kepada Raja walaupun zalim. Kata akhir tetap juga pada rakyat bila Demang Lebar Daun menegaskan , perjanjian terbatal, jika raja dan pemimpin yang memulakan penganiayaan terlebih dahulu.

Rakyat lah yang menentukan terma2 pemimpin dan ber-rakyat

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The thrust of Pak Pandir’s argument rests of the notion that leadership defines Malay society and in its present state it is like a headless chicken (‘ayam tidak berkepala’). So, for the sake of concision, let’s call it the Theory of the Chicken Head.

On the shoulders of that leadership, Malay society either go forward or backwards or nowhere. So critical is this position, the Head, that unless Malays in general take it upon themselves to shape, alter, and put in their say into its constitution, that is, its qualities and characteristics, Malay destiny, indeed its very identity, shall begin to slither away, waffle, acts directionless and, in time, even face degeneration. Nature abhors life standing still, doing nothing.

If that interpretation is correct then Pak Pandir’s reasoning, taken to its end, suggests that without the head, a Malay ceases in being. No Malay head, no society, no culture hence no Malay person, as is commonly understood.

Such a line of thought puts enormous pressure on the Malay to put in the kind of leadership society desires. But what does the society want? What does the Malay — in the aggregate — want? Under a certain set of circumstances, or a certain generation, who is to say one Head is better than another? What makes for an ideal Malay head?

Answers to those questions ought not to be difficult so that the problem then isn’t switching from one Malay head to another. It is, how does the Malay society breeds, raises, produces its Head?

Without intending to, P. Ramasamy has had a comment on that:

“It would be difficult to undermine Umno even if the new party is going to be headed by a popular former prime minister, that is, Mahathir. Personal credentials and experience are important, but …. [M]ost ethnic or racial political parties are sustained on the basis of powerful patronage that stems from holding political power.

That answer, by way of a comment, is trite by now (we all know that). Dig deeper though, it does illuminate some characteristics of Malay society. For one, it is deeply political (why can’t it be normal, like every society in the world?) and its politics is ultimately concerned with money. Mahathir Mohamad greatly expanded on that notion, and made to look like money is an important means of securing identity. Najib, flipping it around although without meaning to (he isn’t some intellectual, he is just Rosmah’s coffee boy): Identity is already there (he proudly displays his Bugis), so let’s just keep the fucking money. No! Let’s make more!

The Malay is politics is the government is the money. Like Umno, Felda, Felcra, MARA, PNB, Ismail Sabri and the like, all started on materialistic objectives (poverty alleviation is the nice econ word) but there was no escaping their political roots that eventually flowers into the image of its ketuanan mother. And the theological basis for this politics? The Chinese peril. Perhaps if all the Chinese were dumped into the South China Sea, there won’t be Umno, therefore no Najib. Perhaps. But Malay society might get worse. The Arabs.

PAS grew up on camel dung. The only thing standing between the kampung and that dung, and so suborning all Malays to its will, is the Chinese; hudud‘s failure in Parliament is a clear example. Still, there is the party: its attempts to distance life’s purpose from the kind Umno keeps regurgitating to no end, indeed to roll back the materialism, could only produce the Islam that, after decades of trial and error, would look no different from a thing 1,400 years ago in a foreign desert land called Arabia. That’s the Wahhabi-ISIS kind.

Under such exacting, sometimes distressing circumstances, under such pressures, how is a Malay to be other than being an apologist for Najib. 1MDB is not difficult to comprehend, not even to present, as a form of political ammo, to the kampung. It’s just that the kampung seems to find it banal — boring. Is that why they pretend to hear nothing? Because, to criticize Najib, to agree about 1MDB, is to spit at themselves in the mirror, to curse the society on which everyone went along. After Malaysian Official 1, there has to be Pemuda Asshole 2. No wonder Razlan Rafii (Umno FT) reminded Muhyiddin Yassin about his benefactor, Umno. Razlan wasn’t stupid; he was just being Malay. In this era, a 1MDB Malay.

Below is another perspective to the same problem, a foreigner’s perspective.

pak-pandir (800x250)https://i2.wp.com/www.newmandala.org/wp-content/uploads/cache/2016/08/MeredithWeiss/1757356462.jpg

Malay/Malaysian Society on the Rocks

While Pak Pandir appears to hold out some hope for Malay society at least (he was talking only about them), Meredith Weiss (above) is far less optimistic. Pandir’s optimism is the logic of hope, Weiss’s pessimism is the inevitability of despair.

In ‘Lamenting 1MDB‘ Weiss argued that the prospect of political, social and economic change is as hopeful as the Malay becoming Malaysian. And this is not just in the sense of Malay existing as core national identity (actually a stupid, unworkable and unnecessary idea) but in the deeper historical and cultural sense.

[T]he overall failure to translate aggravation into action indicates problematic ossification within UMNO, the opposition, and civil society alike. That ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has been reconditioned in his 90s as a reformist hero is startling, and speaks poorly for the availability of younger, newer, less baggage-laden opposition alternatives. …

At this point, enough countries are investigating 1MDB and its and Malaysia’s leaders that surely (surely?) something has to give. But the sad reality is, at this point, a court case, a criminal conviction, even a full overhaul of political leadership would not fix the problem. 1MDB has both laid bare and made worse deep weaknesses and ruptures in Malaysia’s politics, economy, and society.

As a quasi-neutral observer, my only hope is that we have hit rock-bottom…

Weiss’s argument is that even jailing the leader doesn’t undo what has in effect been (as seen in Najib) a progressive, step–by-step, year-on-year degradation of a society from the top down so that, unless this systemic failure, was addressed from bottom up, all the measures undertaken by a change of leader becomes just band-aid.

Yet, Malay society can’t seem able to produce something outside of itself, that is, a new, different leader replacing Najib. Anwar Ibrahim disappears from sight and almost immediately the quarreling starts. Why is it so difficult to produce a replacement Malay: Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, fellow Melayu, fellow Malaysians, maybe I present you, Melayu Supremo Bolshevik Trotsky! That is, why so difficult to produce, by extension, a Malaysian leader? Why?

  • One, up to 40 percent of the population (Chinese, non-Malay bumi, etc) are prohibited from participating in the discovery process that takes decades. They are not even permitted to be seated alongside the Malay, a propaganda now made a lie by relying purely on the presumption — now made a political truth-condition — that no Chinese or Indian or Dayak would be willing or able to serve Malays, even in terms of their religion, Islam. Here says it plainly. And that’s some ‘professor’ but, really, just another arsehole. (In case you wonder, ass is American spelling, arse is Queen’s English. Or is the other way round? One forgets.)
  • Two. The lie is so entrenched, so ‘ossified’ (Weiss) into the system, that it validates the psychology that only politics through Umno is permitted to present any new generation of leadership. Not even PAS is permitted, without Umno consent. The result: simply more of the Umno same. Mahathir begets Najib, Najib begets more Najibs. This is another result: It’s found in the bedroom. In which case is the poor Malay child, powerless as a victim and she doesn’t even know it. Instead of leveling the distribution of power, which ought to be a feature of a progressive society, a Malay people upends it deliberately. So disenfranchised is the society, that those at the Bottom accepts their lot, their Fate, which is in turn given a stamped seal of approval by the Top, the judges and the prosecutors, the very persons entrusted to protect them from harm.

Malaysia has society’s values gone to the dogs. It doesn’t even know anymore what’s good for it. Meanwhile… the muftis, the imams and the Ridhuan Tees, the Petra Kamarudins, and Ahi Attans continue their platitudes, occasionally spitting at Chinese girls as immoral infidels while they watch dismissively the perversity going on next door and in their backyards, among their lot. Not a whimper from them. Too bad, they’re busy on dedak.

Cry for Malaysia? Yes, please. Here’s a hanky.

Of course, Malaysia needs a change of guard. Normal societies do, without blinking an eye; it’s called spring cleaning. But how; how soon? Anyone for a revolution?

***


[update]

天啊 Another Umno

Not only has Umno live past its use-by date, it has become a poison.

So what does Mahathir Mohamad do to remove Najib Razak who, to all intents and purposes, is an Umno created poison. Mahathir doesn’t create an anti-dote. No, he distills another poison. Of course, Mahathir, Kadir Jasin (above), et al have their reasons and we know what they are. But, if Khairuddin Abu Hasan could see through into the origins of the present malaise, what’s with people like Mahathir and Kadir?

This is Kadir, a Mahathir poodle dog:

Ia bermatlamat mewarisi, meneruskan dan memperbaharui perjuangan Melayu/Bumiputera dalam era globalisasi, reformasi, ketelusan dan keterbukaan. [In translation: The party aims to renew the fight of the Malays and bumiputera in the era of globalisation, reformation, transparency and openness.]

The ‘fight of the Malays/bumiputera’? Transparency? Openness? Reformation?

How might this ‘renewed fight’ shape up? On a ceramah night, deep in Kedah, a Mahathir henchmen will say this: Najib has sold the country to the Chinese! And not just the local Chinese mind you but China.

Well, below, in the clip is the bumiputra, the indigenous people of Kuala Lipis. And they, too, are fighting: to get back land an Umno government sequestered from them — as Umno likes. It happens all the time, not once, not twice, thrice, but everywhere, year in, year out. And Kadir has the gall to invoke the Malay/bumi name? It’s convenient isn’t it? Makes it look like you are what? Malay hero?

Kadir, really, we all had had enough. You’ve no credibility. Like Najib, you can’t be trusted. This country is tired. Why don’t you do us a favor since your ultimate intent is to ‘Save Malaysia’, the same Malaysia you help start to destroy. That way, Kadir, it’s a beginning. Fuck off, arsehole.

*

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That Najib Razak has to go is a given and not for the reason he is corrupt (1MDB). Since the days of Mahathir Mohamad there have been an accumulation of more corrupt officials than all the fingers counted in the Umno supreme council.

More vital for the future is a complete break with the past, and this can only mean one thing: No country can bring forward the future without creating its own history, and this includes jettisoning Najib Razak because he simply builds on the sands of the old. Lim Kit Siang, Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir are all transplants of the past, wedded to its politics then, implanted with its core ideas, and then to graft them into the new policies. These — and the likes of them — must be the first go.

The Pakatan Harapan banner slogan that such people constitute the spearhead of the Future, Hope, Reform and Change are therefore never going to be fundamental; the evidence of which is the presence of Bersatu and Mahathir Mohamad in the coalition and that only with Mahathir et al at the front is it possible to break Barisan.

Zaid Ibrahim is a classic representative of this past and this thinking — so, too, he must go. In making an argument that turned pure supposition equal to fact, he turned Mahathir into a fixture, irreplaceable in the circumstances. That is, the Malaiyoo must come first, power first, win first, and there’s no other way. These are all the classics in the ingredients of past ideological arguments that, over time, 60 years to be precise, has made pure fallacy into a self-fulfilling prophecy and turned ghost into reality. Such a line of reasoning is identical to this, held in the common and atypical Hannah Yeoh fascism and prejudices that in black is racism but not white.

Below are summary-extracts of three lines of thoughts which, read together, call out the fallacies of the past. They are worth repeating because in combination those arguments speak the truth to Pakatan power which now, at this critical juncture, is in danger of abusing the part of Malaysia who got them in, ‘them’ being people such as Kit Siang, Anwar and Mahathir, plus those they have turned into their image.

1. Begin with Sin Chew Daily because its arguments (reposted here in all its glory by Din Merican), so tiresome, laying out Barisan’s fundamental principles are, really, the underlying problem manifested today: (a) Barisan is a contradiction to itself — one component protecting itself from the other while ‘building on diversity’; these are utter absurdities; (b) religious and race matters are not for moderation or for managing, they are for eradication; and (c) if moderation is a Malaysian DNA, why the fuck is it missing from Ibrahim Ali’s balls? If it is true moderation is a Malaysian DNA, why bother reform? Or why reform Umno because it is not entitled to reform. It is for eradication. And can anyone find this moderate DNA in Mahathir’s scrotum or his offspring Mukhriz…?

Since the inception of BN, we can see that component parties have been able to handle religious and racial matters rather prudently despite differences in their beliefs and thinking, and that they did not sacrifice the interest of the entire nation for their own political gains.

Unfortunately, recent developments in the country  (since Mahathir and now Najib Razak) have sounded the alarm bell…. Such things have happened before, but what we are worried about is that if things get out of hand, racial polarisation could happen out of the political needs of some quarters.

…Bankrupt politicians are those who look at things and national development from their narrow monoracial mind frame, overlooking the nation-building principles built upon the basis of our diversity….

2. Next, William Leong. One has to read this man carefully because, as with numerous PKR motherfuckers, you can never tell: Is he offering arguments for their own sake, the power of their appeal or for Anwar’s sake? Original thinkers within PKR is near impossible to find. But, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. (Emphasis added in italics.)

The proposal for Tun Mahathir to take over leadership of the opposition and for Bersatu to become the dominant party in Pakatan Harapan to win Malay votes, instead of securing victory will end in disaster. Firstly, the assumption that by adopting a racial supremacy policy, Pakatan can hold on to the 52% who voted for the Reform Agenda in 2013 is false.

If Pakatan Harapan trade Ketuanan Rakyat for Ketuanan Melayu-Minus-Najib in exchange for power, it will be a betrayal of principles, a selling-out of core beliefs. Pakatan Harapan cannot argue they are acting as statesmen or being pragmatic. The argument that such a compromise is justified by the higher objective of Pakatan Harapan forming the government cannot hold water. It is disingenuous to say gaining power is better than remaining in the opposition when the deal requires Pakatan Harapan to give up the very core reason to gain power — to institute change through implementation of the Reform Agenda. It is not a compromise. It is not even a rotten compromise. It is a capitulation. Power without principles is simply greed. Winning office without the power to implement the reform promised is a betrayal of the 20 years of struggle and the cause so many have sacrificed so much for.

Secondly, the assumption that by taking over the leadership of Pakatan Harapan, Mahathir will take over the leadership of the opposition is false. The opposition is not Pakatan Harapan. Pakatan Harapan is only a vehicle for the real opposition, the masses who arose from the Reform Movement. The opposition are the reformists, activists, civil society, the 62 NGOs that formed BERSIH, the thousands who with their own money, time and energy went to the towns, villages, estates, Felda settlements and long houses to spread the word for change, the hundreds of thousands that came out to the streets, and the millions that voted against BN.

There are no elections in the Reform Movement. The Reform Movement is an assertion of popular leadership by the people themselves. Democracy does not come from the government, from high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for freedom and justice. Politicians are elected and selected but mass movements do not elect officials or seek blessings or legitimacy from anyone. Mass movements transform society, they aim to persuade the courts, politicians and other actors to fall behind them, not the other way round. Mass movements accomplish this through appeals to shared sets of deep and widely held convictions among the people they aim to mobilise.

Thirdly, the assumption that an opposition coalition founded on the removal of Najib from office and not a policy-oriented coalition is sufficient to win the election and sustainable to govern is false.

Coalitions formed for the purpose of securing enough votes or combining a sufficient number of parliamentary seats to govern through power-sharing arrangements without an agreement on the policies and their implementation are referred to as “office-seeking coalitions.” Office-seeking coalitions are coalitions whose main goal is access to power. Cabinet portfolios are the payoffs. Office-seeking coalitions have been accused of being “unprincipled” because their members were ideologically remote and therefore perceived as political opportunists interested in short-term gains rather than long-term policy goals.

[Editorial comment: Citing the political experiences of Kenya, Indonesia and South Africa, Leong missed the forest from the trees. The primary issue underlying the coalition building in those countries was not about a fundamental break with the past but with merely certain aspects of past policies. Thailand and Japan are counterpoints to Leong’s analysis; there, new coalitions emerged replacing the existing but, soon enough, old policies returned.

On the point of severing with the past, the better examples are, other than South Korea (break with military regime): China (Deng Xiaoping breaking with Maoism), Taiwan (a dictatorial Kuomintang), and Indonesia, maybe (it has been tough going, so the jury is still out). With their break, life began anew. On the other hand, one never sees fundamental change in Selangor and Penang, despite being ruled by Pakatan. Instead, Sarawak, without a new replacement coalition, is seeing a fundamental break with the past, the trigger being Hadi Awang and Umno’s Act 355.]

3. Last, S Thayaparan, who begins with an attempt to demolish Zaid Ibrahim though not entirely convincing. Leong is better.

This writer (Wan Saiful), agreeing with Zaid Ibrhaim, wrote – “This is the game the opposition has chosen to play and if they want to win, they have to play for keeps. And that is the only way the former Prime Minister knows how to play.” I am, I suppose part of the problem. The problem I have with Wan Saiful’s rejoinder is that there is no new batch. There is no fresh blood. Malaysia’s men of always have seen to it that their imprimatur is stamped on the new political operatives that are supposedly stepping out from their shadows.

This is the main idea of Malaysia’s men of always. That we have no choice but to embrace their ideas because it is the pragmatic thing to do. That it is the only thing to do because people will never change and we are all ghettoised in our racial cocoons. The reality is that the Malay community has changed. This change was deliberate. The Chinese and Indian communities have changed. This change was reactionary. Change is not alien in Malaysia, just misunderstood.

[Editorial comment. Notice his contradictions: people will never change, then saying Malays, Chinese and Indians have changed. And he doesn’t say change in what? Or, to what? The gem of his argument is below, which summarized means that the Malay voting is not a behemoth bloc and requires merely a small tweak — an alternative to life — to break the Umno/PAS hold on them.]

There are literally hundreds of fringe Malay groups of young people who form the complex structure of alternate Malay politics, and instead of carrying on ghettoising them and appealing to them when needed, they should form the mainstream of Malay politics or, at the very least, the mainstream of Bersatu Youth politics.

So what is the real lesson we can learn from this? That the opposition needs a leader who, although dismissed by his own mainstream, resonates with a diverse, fractured voting demographic. That an election manifesto that takes into account the needs of the many, instead of the few, is a flashpoint for change. That the ruling establishment coasting on previous victories and running a poorly managed campaign is a soft target but more importantly, young people, if inspired, can wreck havoc on traditional political wisdom.

***


We are alone 獨角戲

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Zaid Ibrahim: How to follow in the steps of these failed men? Answer: Name one!

Actually, any one of them makes for no difference to Malaysia’s future.

***

In Koh Samui, Zaid Ibrahim writes on the Opposition naming the prime minister elect. These are his criteria for the nomination though they are phrased rhetorically:

  • Can we have a leader of the Opposition who is willing to articulate what is right for this country?

  • Can we have a leader who is willing to risk it all by saying to the Malays and the Muslims that their long-term interests require them to moderate their views on many things and that such an attitude will save them and this country?

  • Can we have a leader who is willing to revisit the idea of “fairness” to the various groups in this country?

  • Can he or she capture the right message and the right spirit that can motivate the people to unseat the Barisan Nasional?

Those criteria look straightforward enough and this is to Zaid’s clarity of thought. With the little he has in philosophical proficiency, he has the ability to turn complex national, political issues into basic arguments that run deep, sometimes very deep.

Why deep?

Because the question of ‘what is right‘, for example, is driven not by real needs of citizens but by a single political group, Umno, entirely Malay, that’s managed primarily with a largesse (a fact confirmed again and again, most recently by Nazri Aziz) which is, in turn, extracted by a combination of carrots, sticks and connivance, and among who its senior people are notorious for being both incompetent and manipulative, Islamic fascists to boot.

In his next post, ‘Deja vu all over again‘, Zaid’s singular answer to the criteria he posed was, Mahathir Mohamad. Now, take that answer and apply it to Zaid’s own set of terms; any of which one will do:

  • Is Mahathir the man willing to moderate his own views, much less tell it to Malays?
  • Or, is Mahathir, the man who defined what it is to be an Umno and Malay politician (‘Get rich! It is your right in Tanah Melayu.’) willing, as Zaid says, do something “with the whole system of administration that has long been in UMNO’s grip”?

Zaid’s ability to contradict himself is as legendary as Mahathir’s national policy failures. But, for him to fail every criterion he himself has laid out — in essence failing his own test — is further evidence of Umno’s inbred ineptness.  He reaffirms two of the most common fallacies in national politics: (a) pick the right (Malay) leader, everything will be fine and (b) let that same leader decide the way forward. That is, in another manner of speaking, Malay politics, the harbinger of national policies, is rigged right from the start and also from the top. Malaysian democracy was never bottom up.

Which explains why, even within Pakatan, there is such a position known as a ‘seat warmer’ as if only Anwar Ibrahim, and he alone, can set things right. This is telling on the political system: it is so racist and fraudulent that Opposition politicians have no shame even suggesting such a position. (What do they take voters for? Don’t half the population, the Chinese, Indians and those in Sabah and Sarawak, have any say?)

Malay and other Opposition politicians conveniently like to forget that it was Anwar who jointly with Mahathir triggered the downward spiral for what politics is suppose to do and Zaid’s infantile thinking is illustrative of this past brought into the present — also showing how little or nothing Zaid had learned from the failures before. Chief of which is, it should be good ideas that drive political careers. Instead, the pinnacle of all present and past political priorities is, get the power first. Is Mahathir at 92 not a seat warmer, like Wan Azizah, so that the only question left is, for whom? This being the case, Zaid’s criterion to find the Saviour of Malaysia is nothing but yet more Zaidgeist pig shit.

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已经告诉过了 一个小偷一个欺诈者有任何的交易:

明白这一点:在马来西亚,犯罪行为 — 包括谋杀,绑架,盗窃 — 是国家政策的工具。

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Belt-and-Road Express

… without Mahathir Mohamad on board. Why? Because, in his White Man’s way of thinking, he is convinced that countries, like people, are innately one-against-all, forever conniving, perpetually at war, and that this is all politics so the Chinese are out to colonize Malaysia.

But, so what…?

Stay in your twin kampung towers, Mahathir boy. And go fuck your mother.

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From the Economist

The belt-and-road express

China faces resistance to a cherished theme of its foreign policy

Silk routes are not always as appealing as they sound

ON APRIL 10th a freight train pulled out of Barking station in London carrying Scotch whisky, baby milk and engineering equipment. It arrived in Yiwu in eastern China (see map) nearly three weeks later, completing the second-longest round-trip train journey ever made (after Yiwu to Madrid and back, a record set in 2014). It lopped around a month off the time of a sea journey from Britain to China.

A day after the train’s departure, a less ballyhooed but potentially more significant event took place in the port of Kyaukphyu in Myanmar. Workers started transferring oil from a tanker into a new pipeline that runs from the Burmese port north to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in south-western China. The pipeline bypasses the Malacca Strait, through which 80% of Chinese oil imports are shipped. Eventually, energy supplies to Chongqing, the largest city in the west of China, will no longer be vulnerable to political disruption in the strait.

Both events show that Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, a central feature of the Chinese president’s foreign policy, is establishing what generals like to call facts on the ground. By financing around $150bn of infrastructure spending a year in countries to China’s south and west (along the old Silk Road), Mr Xi hopes to create new markets for Chinese firms and new spheres of influence for his government.

The president is preparing to host a lavish party in Beijing to celebrate the project—the Belt and Road Forum, as the event is known. On May 14th and 15th leaders from 28 or so countries will join the festivities, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr Xi will use the gathering to project his country’s self-confidence and his own as a global leader. But looks can deceive. In reality, Mr Xi faces a backlash against his project. At the forum, he will try to reassure his partners that he is not attempting to stuff their mouths with gold.

Not so fast

The scheme is running into three linked problems. First, it is unclear what its priorities are, or who is running it. “We haven’t really come up with a specific goal,” says Zou Tongxuan of Beijing International Studies University. Every province has its own belt-and-road investment plan. So do hundreds of state-owned firms. The government’s strong backing has helped to get many projects up and running faster than might have happened otherwise (Mr Xi first began to talk about the idea only in 2013). But no one is in day-to-day charge, so thousands of financially dubious schemes have the imprimatur of a belt-and-road project. And the overweening behaviour of Chinese companies in some countries where they operate has stoked fears in some places of an over-mighty China.

The different names given to the project reflect China’s struggle to make it sound palatable to foreigners. Mr Xi first talked about a “Silk Road economic belt”. That was uncontroversial, but to expand its geographical scope a new term was devised: Yidai Yilu, or One [land] Belt, One [maritime] Road. That sounded ugly in English and, officials realised, risked implying that it was all about a big Chinese plan: they wanted the venture to be seen as a co-operative one. So they came up with the anodyne-sounding belt-and-road translation (despite the unfortunate acronym it produces for the forum: BARF).

A second problem is finding enough profitable projects to match the vaulting ambition of the scheme, which aims to create a Eurasian trading bloc rivalling the American-dominated transatlantic area. It is not certain, for example, how successful the London-Yiwu rail line will be, given that (though faster) it is more than twice as costly as shipping. The Chinese hope to export their expertise in building high-speed rail. But China’s speedy construction of thousands of kilometres of it at home depended on cheap labour and the power to evict anyone who got in the way. That may be hard to replicate.

Belt-and-road projects are failing already. In Kara-Balta in Kyrgyzstan, Zhongda China Petrol, a state-owned company, built a big oil refinery—then found it could not buy enough crude oil to run it at more than 6% of capacity. The country’s deputy prime minister called the plant’s construction “ridiculous”; locals are protesting against its environmental impact.

China hopes the belt and road will bring others into its orbit, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. But these countries are not exactly champions in the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business league. According to Tom Miller of Gavekal, a consultancy, the Chinese think they will lose 80% of their money in Pakistan, 50% in Myanmar and 30% in Central Asia. Perhaps they can afford this, but it would be a costly success.

Third, locals in some countries are angry about what they view as China’s heavy-handedness. In parts of Asia, democratic politics have been challenging China’s commonly used approach to deal-making—cosying up to unsavoury regimes. This had begun before Mr Xi devised the belt-and-road scheme. In 2011 Myanmar suspended work on a vast Chinese-financed dam at Myitsone, to popular acclaim. In Sri Lanka, the government elected in 2015 has been engaged in endless wrangling with China over the building of a Chinese-invested port in the home town of the country’s autocratic former president. In January protests against China’s plans there turned violent.

Even in Pakistan, one of China’s closest friends in Asia, Mr Xi has been forced to abandon his usual mantra of “non-interference” in others’ internal affairs. Late last year China openly appealed to Pakistan’s opposition politicians not to resist construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a part of the belt that links Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province, with Gwadar on the Indian Ocean. Pakistan deploys a force of around 10,000 soldiers to guard the corridor against militant attacks.

The problem is partly one of scale: China is so vast that belt-and-road countries fear being overwhelmed by it. Loans from one bank, China Eximbank, for example, account for a third of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign debt. Yunnan is one of China’s poorer provinces. Yet its economy is still four times bigger than that of its more populous neighbour, Myanmar. Countries both long for and dread Chinese investment.

China is trying to change its ways. NGOs in South-East Asia say that Chinese firms, which had previously treated local critics with disdain, have started to take their concerns more seriously. Chinese banks are asking international institutions—sovereign-wealth funds, pension funds and so on—to join them in lending to belt-and-road projects, in the hope that this will help ensure higher standards. At the forthcoming forum, China is likely to emphasise links between the belt-and-road programme and other infrastructure projects that have been launched independently of it, such as a new transport network around Baku in Azerbaijan. The aim will be to show that Mr Xi’s project is not a threat. But this will be another minor adjustment of wording. The belt-and-road express has left the station. China is merely trying to improve the on-board service.

***

The Return of the 唐人 tangren

‘The road to my ancestors…’

 

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