Monday, May 27, 2013

Brave Women

The suspect who allegedly hacked a soldier to death on a London street last week, apologised to women who had witnessed the attack and then added " but in our lands our women have to see the same."

That statement struck me as rather ironic. I mean what era is this? Several minutes later I came across an AFP report of a brave women who had actually engaged the man who was holding a bloody meat cleaver in his hand. 

Naturally this made his earlier statement appear even more ironic. Of all the people at the scene, it was Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a former scout leader who stepped forward without fear of injury to herself. She has children, all the more reason to stay safe. But she stepped forward selflessly. 

Today I came across this article that echoes my thoughts perfectly

The Independent

The bravery of women shames men

by Janet Street-Porter

This has been a week when a few brave women stood up and the rest of us watched in awe. The horrific events in Woolwich filled me with revulsion, then a concern that images of men with blood over their hands would be seen by impressionable young men. If I had nightmares, what about them? Will they have seen the saturation coverage of the killing in all media, watched it trending on Twitter and want to ape that instant notoriety? I hope not, but the one image that gives me hope is of three ordinary women, confronting the alleged perpetrators while others walked by or stood transfixed, recording on their phones, tweeting banal messages.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the former scout leader, engaged a man holding a meat cleaver in conversation until the police arrived. Fifty people watched her, and she had to push one who was filming away because he was too close and might disconcert the alleged attackers. "It made me sad, they were thinking of themselves, not about this poor guy [the victim]." When one of the alleged killers said, "I will shoot the police when they come," she said: "That's not going to happen. I am here and I am going to listen to you." Two other women stood by the body of the dead soldier, covering it, offering prayers.

These selfless women are everything Tony Blair and David Cameron are not. We are in this mess because politicians talked of a "war on terror". Like the "war" on drugs, we will never win because it is being waged on the internet 24/7. Lone men and women sit in their bedrooms communicating with people spewing hatred on the other side of the world.

Politicians don't do what Ingrid did; they rarely listen. When more than a million voters said they didn't want us to go to war in Iraq, Blair refused to listen. Now we're stuck in Afghanistan but that war is being played out on an ordinary high street back here. The events of last week show us why more women are desperately needed in politics. Maggie Thatcher aside, most of us believe in conciliation, not confrontation, in conversation, not rhetoric and grandiose declarations of intent.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Racism post-elections

Tunku Abdul Rahman: "Bapa Kemerdekaan"

Tun Abdul Razak: "Bapa Pembangunan"

Tun Hussein Onn: "Bapa Perpaduan" or as some say "Bapa Maintain/ Bapa Neutral".

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad: "Bapa Pemodenan".

Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: "Bapa Batik"

I don't know if anyone of you have given any thought to what "Bapa" Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak would be at the end of his premiership. Definitely not "Bapa Altantuya" yes.....? "Bapa 1Malaysia" perhaps?

Well that might have been so, if he did not literally rip his shirt open Superman style on the night of May 5 and reveal to the nation what a racist he truly is. He coined the term 'Chinese tsunami' and blamed it on Barisan Nasional's poor showing at the polls.

Najib might conveniently forget this at some point in the future. But the enlightened electorate never will. In fact future generations to come will know of this too. He has carved a place for himself in history as "Bapa Racist"

And this from a man whose coalition partner spent a huge amount of money to bring Korean sensation Psy to Malaysia. Before the elections Najib pulled some moves to endear himself to the Chinese and yes even the Indians. Remember "Nambikei"?

Post elections when it was obvious his efforts got him nowhere, he turned sour on the Chinese. If this blatant racism stopped at Najib, fine, no big deal, no problem. But what starts at the top, trickles down into society.

Blame the Chinese

Utusan Malaysia took up the chant with their editorial "Apa lagi Cina mahu".  As any intelligent person will know. Najib and gang are fully aware that this is a "Urban tsunami" not a "Chinese tsunami". But one of the secrets of BN's success all these decades has been the concept of 'divide and rule'. When all else fails, they will resort to this.

Keep the rakyat divided. Put fear in the hearts of the Malays that the Chinese want a bigger share of the political pie, and thus the status-quo will remain. But those who make up the "Urban tsunami" are no fools. 

Unfortunately there are some who have taken up Najib's chant. To be honest I think these people are racist, you have to be racist to take what Najib said seriously. A few Chinese friends have told me that they have been subjected to racist comments in the office post-elections.

Now who started this? A true statesman would never have uttered those words. Which is why he is deserving of that epitaph.   

Saturday, May 4, 2013

#GE13....a sandiwara

 D-day is upon us. The day we have been waiting years for. At one point, we even began to wonder when exactly it would be! As Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak dallied and delayed calling for the dissolution of Parliament.

In fact many of us thought it would have been in 2012. Ah......but Najib is full of surprises. He does not want to go down in history as another Pak Lah......whose unofficial slogan is "Tidur lar.."

So he smacked his pinky lips and schemed. He had to make the rakyat go all gushy and warm. How?
$$$$$.......!!!! So he unleashed upon the nation the 'Politics of Goodies' He became our all year round father Christmas. Now stop for a minute and imagine Najib as Kris Kringle. Cannot? Haram....? OK never mind.

Basically Najib and his gang of strategist I imagine, left no sector of society out in their quest to dole out the goodies and secure the votes. Even the ones who didn't need it. Are Petronas staff poor? Will that one RM1,000 bring misty tears to their eyes, coz they can finally afford some Salmon?


Thanks to Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and gang, the issue of electoral fraud began trending like never before. Even kindergarten kids began to understand what the 'yellow' was all about. Not royalty k, "Clean and Fair elections" repeat that like a mantra in your preferred language when you go to vote several hours from now.

You see in the last elections, yes the Tsunami of 2008, there was talk that the lights went out at some polling centres, some last minute ballot boxes were brought in....and then some unpopular candidates won by a slim margin. 

This time around, Pakatan Rakyat are determined that they don't loose by such means, and the Bersih gang are even more determined.

The negative impact of this is that campaigning for GE13 started on a note of paranoia and distrust. To date two people who work for opposition candidates have been charged in court for padlocking ballot boxes.

Are they some kind of "samseng" or thugs. In my opinion, if there was no room for doubt in the way security around the ballot boxes were handled, these people would not have resorted to such drastic measures.

And then there's the issue of the indelible ink, stain remains...? Stain comes off...can go vote again...?
Allan and Indy of Comedy Court would have a field day re-enacting all this for their next show.

Oh, and those chartered flights, Were they ferrying true voters or.......all I know is that there was a scramble to explain it. And the explanation was rather lame!

Of bombs and thuggery

Whether GE13 results in a tsunami or no, it will be remembered for the thuggish behaviour of supporters from both sides of the political divide. Petrol bombs, damaged campaign vehicle, damage to operation centres, attempts to disrupt ceramahs - are some of the uglier aspects of GE13.

So what will happen? Will Najib's politics of goodies triumph at the polls. Will it really be "Ini Kalilah" for DAP and gang?

Will change come to Malaysia? Will the results be ho-ho-hum, nothing gained, nothing lost for both sides? 

Whatever it be, let it be what is best for Malaysia. We are an amazing country folks, we deserve the best!!

However in the true spirit of democracy, there must be check and balance, by that I mean no single party must have free reign to do as they please. Like handing out money simply because they can.

Signing out folks, "Selamat mengundi!" Will be posting live updates on Twitter and Facebook, from my hotseat in the newsroom.