Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Hisham on Hindraf

I grew up in Brickfields with many Hindu kids of similar economic background.

I have witnessed their suffering and deprivation.

I have also witnessed how some of the youths turned violent and eventually turned criminals, while their fathers continued to drown their sorrows within the compound of the toddy shop, a mere walking distance from Ananda Krishnan's family house in Jalan Berhala.

Ananda Krishnan made it, many others didn't. I am happy and proud that Ananda Krisnan made it big time; but I am more saddened that so many of the rest of the Indian community in Brickfields of my days did not.

Lazy? they were willing to do the dirtiest jobs for a mere token payment.

Genetically stupid? I know for a fact that many of them somehow speak good English, good in mathematics, humble, polite and very good in people-skill.

Have you ever seen any of our Indian brothers in the estates in Negeri Sembilan, where they only worked and spend their pay in toddy shop because of the sense of hopelessness?

Why is it so difficult for my Indian brothers to succeed? It pains me to ponder. But one thing I am sure, they don't deserve to be marginalised. And I am offended by the minister's interpretation of who should represent my Indians brothers, they are OUR brothers and we need to take care of them. By the way, I am a Malaysian Chinese who love all my fellow Malaysian Chinese, Malay and Indian brothers.
30/11 17:30:34

On Wee Meng Chee

If we go through the lyric and watch the video carefully and objectively, I do not think the composer meant to be offensive on the morning Azan other than describing it as “morning call”.

In my case, I often stay half awake until I hear the call to prayer from the nearby surau to finally get out of my bed to start my day.

In my childhood days when I lived near a Hindu Temple, whenever the priest tolled the bell at the temple in the evening, we took it as a sign to rush home for dinner. I hope it was not offensive to the Hindu.

On the morning Azan, over time, I personally find the call melodious and soothing; as a Christian, the call to prayer also reminds me of my Creator, therefore I am in fact appreciative of the call. However, there were several occasions when the Imam (I assumed) accidentally switched on the microphone a little too early and we could hear the Imam clearing his throat and warming up, the situation could be hilarious and lead us to wonder if there are some forms of guidelines governing how the call shall be conducted. As I have been relying on RPK to know more and more about Islam, perhaps RPK can enlighten us on this.

Wee Meng Chee certainly did not describe Malay as a race that is not bright, the lyric expresses his envy on the graceful and easy going life style of the Malay as a race, as against the Chinese who always struggle in the rat-race to be better. But he did insinuate NEP has caused certain race not weaning off. In essence, he was echoing what TDM described as the “Tongkat Mentality” or AAB’s fear of the Malay descending into “Wheelchair Mentality”.

The whole episode surrounding this Wee Meng Chee issue has proven that Malaysian as a whole can easily be manipulated and politicians are the ones who love to capitalized on this by stirring up violently negative reactions based on erroneous perception.

If we practice some measure of understanding and tolerance and allow more engagements with each other on all issues, I believe our politicians will then be forced to do some real work rather than playing destructive provocateurs.

On The Walk for Justice

It is disheartening to have our PM attacking the Bar Council for scaring off potential investors by organizing the Walk for Justice.

The Law of gravity does not Cause the apple to falling down from the apple tree, it merely Explains why the apple falls down from the apple tree.

The Walk for Justice definitely does not chase away any potential investor; it does however, explains why, among other things, some potential investors are not coming to Malaysia because of the lack of confidence in our judiciary.

Our current batch of politicians are so inward looking, deceitful, defensive and poor in their intellectual capability that it has become a mental torture for us to even listen to them.

MT- MCA Running Dog For UMNO

MCA-the Running Dog? No, it was not so in the beginning.

Tun Sir Henry H S Lee was one of the grand sons of a powerful governor of two important sounthern provinces of China during the Qing Dynasty.

He was also a nephew to one of the first cabinet ministers in Dr Sun Yat Sen's new Republic of China and was educated in Cambridge as state scholar.

Tun Lee came to Malaya, a wealthy and educated young man and liked it here. He was one of the founders of MCA, wielded his political influence and shifted the support of MCA to UMNO under Tengku Abdul Rahman from Datuk Onn Jaafar's new Party Negara, therefore helped in strengthening the UMNO of those days.

In those days, Tengku held many meetings at Tun Lee's private resident in KL. Tun Lee was close to the British Royal family as he also studied with Queen E's father before the latter accented to the throne. Many of his peers during his Cambridge days became eminent persons on the other side of the table for the negotiations on the independence of our country. Because of his personal friendship and influence, such negotiations were to some extent, made easier.

Tun Lee was the second signatory to the Agreement on our independence, after Tenku's signature. Tun Lee passed away in late eighties without a state funeral. But there was a week long exhibition at Museum Negara, displaying various items reflecting his contribution to the country, including his certificate of citizenship bearing single digit number which Tun accapted to encourage other Chinese to do likewise and yes, they also displayed the table from his resident which Tengku used for his many meetings while he was in KL during those pre-independence days.

Those days, MCA was not the running dog for UMNO.

I weep for Tun Lee tonight, as a professional who served him till his demise, not because the D & C Bank he founded has eventually became RHB today. It was also not because The China Press that he founded had lost its voice. I weep for Tun Lee tonight because the party he founded together with some others with noble intention and contributed so much for independence is being labeled a running dog today and all I can do is merely to whisper in silence that, IT WAS NOT SO IN THOSE DAYS!

On Local Council

Referring to Zainah Anwar’s article “ Whose Voice Do They Listen To?”

The Datuk Bandar and all the Councilors listen to not our voice but the voice of the one who appoints them.

Now do we understand the importance of elected representatives in the City Hall and all other municipalities rather than political appointees?

By the way, when someone took away the land from the orang asli, we did nothing because we are not orang asli.

When the super incinerator was improperly sited at Puchong and later Broga, we also did nothing because we do not live there.

When many green parks all over Puchong, Ampang, Selanyang, Setapak, Klang Lama or Bukit Gasing were converted for development, we did nothing because we do not go there.

When elevated highway to Putrajaya was constructed merely within twenty feets from those poor folks' homes in Sri Petaling, we did nothing because, thank God we do not live there.

Now, this is happening in front of our gates, who can we count on to make a difference?

I paid my cukai tanah today at the Gombak land office.

Visitors, including rates payers and tax payers are not allowed to drive into the vast compound with lots of car parking lots reserved only for the employees of the land office.

Visitors need to park on an open clearing far in front of the grand council building and walk all the way through the gates and up the long road to the grand lobby. A car park marked "VIP" with stainless steel railing was reserved for a VIP "civil servant" right in front of the grand lobby.

At the information desks, I felt bad as my enquiry startled the lady in the both. Apparently, she was reading some magazines and did not expect anyone to make any inquiry.

After settling my cukai tanah with a front desk "civil servant" who was also busy chatting with her many other colleagues with no apparent functions other than chatting, I walked all the way out to my car under hot sun. When I finally reached the gate and looked back, I noticed a beautifull arch structure with words that reads:-Terima kasih kerana mengurus dengan pejabat tanah.

Those words are facing out.

It was the same last year, except it was rainning and I was all wet before I reached my car.

ON Dr Azli 1/6/07

A protestant pastor thought there was nothing he needed to do while the Nazi persecuted the Jewish people since he was not a Jew.

Then he also thought that there was nothing he was required to do when the Nazi persecuted the communists, since he was not a communist.

When the Nazi started persecuting the trade unionists, he also thought that there was nothing he had to do as he was not a unionist.

And when the Nazi was prosecuting the Catholics, he did nothing as he was a protestant pastor.

So when the Nazi arrested him, there was already no one around to speak for him.

I wonder where were all the other faculty members of UUM and also all other local universities when Dr.Azli and his wife were dismissed.

UUCA muted us while we were in varsity in the 80s, making my generation of graduates from UM the laughing stock to our seniors who labled us "graduates of Pantai High School" who could only take instructions but could not think. Like ValentineHIMSELF, we swallowed the humiliations, constantly reminded ourselves to keep our cool and eventually some of us made some form of progress in our lives despite all forms of discrimination. As ValentineHIMSELF said, it was very difficult.

It is rather shocking to know that some regressive forces can now even manage to mute all the faculty members by just one piece of administrative document -"AKUJANJI"!

Dr. Fong was once the Acting Dean in the Falculty of Economics and Accounting - UM in the 80s, whom we respected. Datuk Shahrir was also a highly respected fellow student leader in our faculty who was always willing to assisst others. When he was the Political Secretary of the then DPM, Musa Hitam, I personally received his kind assistance in organising some sort of student activities and I was deeply impressed with his flair in getting things done by just making few phone calls.

I believe both of them understand Dr. Azly's noble intention in objecting to the last 2 clauses in the so called "AKUJANJI" document.

I am disappointed that their names appear in the list of persons of influence who did not respond to Dr. Azly's reasonable request for help, and I wonder why?

On May 13

On May 13 1969, outside gangsters took over our kampong at Lorong Scot in Brickfields, I was 11 years old.

There was only one malay gentleman living with us in our kampong.

Ahmad, who worked for KTM was a very frienly and jovial fellow.

The gangsters armed with parangs shouted outside Ahmad's room, threathening to kill him. My father and also some other neighbours blocked those gangsters and protected and cared for Ahmad throuout the curfiew.

After the tragedy, Ahmad, the only Malay in our kampong moved to Kampong Kerinci. Some displaced Chinese families from kampongs around Kampong Kerinci moved into our kampong instead.

We missed Ahmad and I believe some kind Malay families in Kampong Kerinci also missed those Chinese families who left them after the tragedy.

Whoever started the riots also divided the people for a long long time.

Today, let those politicians who try to separate the peace loving people of our country remember May 13 in the true context.

On the Relationship Between the Triads and our Police Force

In feudal Japan, Samurai were strictly guided by Bushido with very high degree of honour and served only one master.

Disgraced Samurai who were not accorded the priviledge of committing suicide to redeem his honour become Ronnin and some desperate Ronnin eventually turned into Ninja.

Ninja were not guided by Bushido and they adopt all sorts of tactics and weapons prohibitted under Bushido.

Ninja actually served the Samurai class effectively carrying out what Samurai were not allowed to do as guided by Bushido.

Therefore, "illegal entity" is often allowed to exist by some "powerful legal entity" to serve the latter.Just as Ninja was allowed to exist by the Samurai and the Samurai actually controlled the Ninja, never the other way.

It is the same with the Yakuza and the Japanese police of today.

Triads were very complex issues in the history of China, but the principles are the same, there were always more powerful legal entity supporting and making use of the Triads to carry out functions which were otherwise "not convenient" or deemed “improper” for the former to perform themselves.

Dr Sun made use of the Triads in overthrowing the Manchu; Chiang Kai Shek used the Triads to silence his political enermy.

Suharto used the Pemuda Pancasila (under a certain Pak Kepto, I believe) to ensure the smooth running of his every "general election"

No, the Triads in Malaya was never any headache for the Police Force under the British who engaged the Triads, allowing them to exist and survive and occasionally requesting for information or services to be performed.

I believe it is the same, here and now.

I also believe that it is the same in Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, Dublin, Hamburg and ofcourse it must be so in Sicily.

Nawi Embong - On Dealing With Muslim Officials

There is really nothing one should worry about when dealing with a genuine Muslim who is very likely to be fair minded.

Many years ago, in 1980, my family’s tyre shop in Klang Lama always got into trouble with corrupt enforcement officers from DBKL, for not paying them kopi-o money on their rounds of inspection, and there was no reason to as we have seen to it that the surrounding was properly maintained.

On one nasty occasion, a very rude officer who could not extort any payment from us, issued a summon with some frivolous charge of traffic obstruction. He was extremely rude and antagonistic as all other shops in the vicinity, in order to avoid problem, just pay meekly on their every visit regardless any offence was committed, except my family’s tyre shop.

I was outraged and demanded that the officer explains the charge but he told me off and just left with his gang laughing along. With tears in my eyes, I rode my Honda cub straight to DBKL and stormed into the office of Datuk Bandar to complain.

Of course I was stopped by the secretary who explained to me about appointment needed and Datuk Bandar having meeting etc.

Feeling frustrated, I retreated to a nearby coffee shop, and remember a senior of mine from Faculty of Law, who was posted to DBKL.

I went to her office, told her in details on what has transpired. She told me to see a certain Director in DBKL whom she said has very low tolerance on corruption and abuse of power.

I went to the Director’s office as directed, was told by the secretary to wait. Soon a man in green jacket and with beads in his hand emerged with an entourage of officers surrounding him.

I was taken aback, and cursed my senior who caused me to face an ayatollah or something, remember the year was 1980, after the Iranian Islamic Revolution and there were posters of Ayatollah Komeini all over our campus in UM.

Though the incident happened 28 years ago, I still remember what followed.

He had a glance of this long haired young Chinese boy with helmet in his hand and asked his pretty secretary:

“ Whats this?”

“ Mahu complain.”

He looked at me again, dismissed his officers and gestured me to follow him into his office, where I told him everything as quickly and as best I could. He asked some questions on my background and then summoned two officers to his office.

Apparently those were Senior Officers in charge of operations on enforcement. I was asked to repeat my ordeal. “Ayatollah Director” then asked the two Senior Officers if they knew their officers were abusive and corrupted as I mentioned. The two advised that investigation has to be conducted first before any conclusion could be made, at which point “Ayatollah Director” blew his top and snared at his officers:-

“What for? You mean to say, this young boy dare barge into my office if he is not genuinely aggrieved? Do you have any idea how your officers conduct themselves in the field? Do you care for our reputation?”

To cut a long story short, those corrupt officers were disciplined and I was told by “Ayatollah Director” that his door will always be opened for me and thank me for taking the trouble to sort things out the correct way.

Since that incident, I had no prejudice in dealing with any Muslim, and I find it rather easy to tell if a Muslim is genuine.

By the way, “Ayatollah Director” real name as I remember is Nawi Embong, I regreted not making any effort to locate him to express my gratitude. However, I have related his good deed many times to many of my friends. Now, I want to dedicate this true story to DAP.

Post 8/3/08 Posting on MT Re appointment of PAS Muslim MB in Perak

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Ronald Reagan wrote in his own hand writing in April 1981, soon into his first year as the President of the United States, and I quote:

“ …..that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.

We sometimes tend to forget that great truth and we never should.”

My understanding is that government exists for the people and therefore must deliver according to the wishes of the people.

In our country, the concept of the power of the government being voluntarily granted to it by the people is questionable. There is no leveled playing field as yet for aspiring political parties to communicate to the electorates. Voters are deemed immature and easily manipulated on racial and religious grounds.

Within such a context, we do need proactive leadership to lead the majority of the people but we should not merely hope that such leadership is also responsible to the people, there should exist some forms of constructive mechanism to ensure that it is indeed so. And I believe a free press is an essential part of such mechanism.

If our government intends to deliver to the people, a responsible free press is needed as a valuable strategic partner to work with and not being taken as something uncomfortable that should be controlled, contained and expresses only the official view of the government.

In my own business, I need to get real feed back from my associates on what is going on at ground zero. When my associates only echo and repeat my view, I know my organization is not moving forward.

To my understanding, self censorship is not welcome and not productive in progressive enterprises.

In progressive enterprises, large amounts are spent in getting all level of management and personnel to speak up so that the top management can accurately execute business decisions. It is therefore foolish for any government not to promote a free press and engaging the free press to feel the pulse of the nation.