On truly eye-opening revelations…

Watching the midnight news on the first day of 2008, us ordinary boring people at home got a rude shock, as the MCA President, Ong Ka Ting vehemently made the appropriate noises about a certain sex video that has surfaced in Muar, Batu Pahat and Tangkak.

Now, why the sudden brouhaha about a homemade sex video, I’m wondering… After all, many people make their own ‘home videos’, so it isn’t exactly breaking news. The newscaster then went on to tell an awed audience that one of the ‘actors’ was a prominent Malaysian politician. Huh?

Curiosity piqued, I couldn’t resist going online to find out who the aspiring pornographic actor was. It turned out that the mainstream media will only give us a vague picture – that the DVD was distributed free, and now the DVD Ah Bengs are trying to get their hands on it to make copies, and that the police are now looking into it… If you must, read about it at Malaysiakini and Utusan Online.

And no, I don’t have the links to the video on Youtube or Youporn… Look for it elsewhere, you perverts… And NO, I don’t have a copy…

Further digging reveals that the mysterious actor is none other than our Health Minister, Chua Soi Lek himself, perhaps making a hands-on approach to testing certain pharmaceuticals. Surprise surprise, the lady involved ain’t his wife…

We will never know, who it was that made the recordings, and who it was who distributed it. Even more pressing are the real motives behind them. Why make them public if the powers that be wanted to contain the ‘contamination’? Now instead of several small towns, the whole of Malaysia is buzzing…

Mr. Health Minister, perhaps its karma biting you back where the sun don’t shine… After all, you did make some mean comments about baby Yok Shan… Maybe its providence, maybe its a malicious competitor… It could even be God himself… After all, He does move in mysterious ways 😛

Smiling, as the year begins with a big bang – Jasmine.

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On new beginnings…

Happy New Year y’all… May you have a good year ahead, and all those yadda yadda wishes… (Fill in the blanks lah!)

Making a resolution that this coming year will be better than the last – Jasmine.

On growing older, and hopefully wiser…

Short post, for my dear sister…

Happy Birthday darling! You’re finally 18, on the brink of adult life… I wish you all the very best in life, and may your wishes come true, and your dreams become reality…

Looking back in retrospect, here are a few ‘things’ I wished I knew when I was at your age… I do sincerely hope you don’t think of me as nagging you, but rather, take it as a reminder that I love you with all my heart…

– Sex is NEVER safe! There’s always an element of risk, so try to minimize them as much as possible.

– It’s never too early to start saving, whether its money or friends… As much as you humanly can.

– Always appreciate family, and not take them for granted… After all, blood is thicker than water.

– Don’t watch too much tv… There’s a reason why they call it the idiot box.

– You ALWAYS have a choice… ALWAYS…

– You and you alone are responsible for what happens to you… Never lay the blame elsewhere.

– Buy good shoes.

– Always wear sunblock. Don’t wish to be wrinkled and ‘pruney’ at the ripe age of 30!

– You can’t buy happiness, but having money does help.

– There is always a positive outcome. Sometimes you just need to look harder.

– It’s OK if you’re selfish some of the times… Not all of us can be Mother Teresa. It won’t make you a bad person. Really…

– Never ever let anyone tell you that your dreams are rubbish. Always keep your ambitions and aspirations close, you never know when opportunity knocks…

– Visit the dentist regularly. It hurts more if you only go once every decade.

– Read the books your father read. It will make you wiser beyond your years…

– Never underestimate people.

– Never act condenscending. NEVER! The biggest mistake you’ll ever make is insulting someone who might be able to get you out of a pickle sometime in the future.

– Age is not an indication of wisdom. There is seldom a sign of wisdom… A good cow-sense will suffice in the absence of wisdom!

– Lastly, always listen. Those who talk too much always have no substance between their ears, and the skill of listening is not an easy one to master. It is difficult to learn to bite your tongue, I know. But try it, you’d be surprised to see what people are really saying once you really listen…

As usual, I wish you my love, and a good and happy life ahead – Jasmine.

On the voices in your head…

Yesterday, was pretty much a normal Saturday for me… went out to Sungei Wang to get a new supply of contact lenses, walked around for a bit, shopped at those dodgy niches that sold all sorts of knicks and knacks that aren’t really the real thing but knock offs that go for a decent price… Went with a good friend of mine, Helen, who also had a few little errands to run of her own.

And you, my love, stayed home… because you had an appointment you had to keep with another friend. An appointment that was made weeks ago, and it was one that couldn’t be rearranged, or rescheduled… After all, it was just a girl’s day out shopping…

Being home, the little voices in your head convinced you that I wasn’t out with Helen, but with an imaginary ‘boyfriend’ who’s in KL…. How did that revelation came about, I wonder? Must have been those darn voices in your head, wasn’t it?

Coming home, you threw me a tantrum to make any self-deserving three-year-old proud. It didn’t matter the fellow you assumed I went out with is still thousands of miles away. It didn’t matter it was just an ordinary friend… It didn’t matter at all what ever I say, because the voices in your head are always right… I can never hope to beat them, after all, they have your attention 24-7, don’t they?

I didn’t answer your accusations last night, not because you never did give me a chance. It was because you wouldn’t have heard me anyways, it would have been the voices in your head would have won hands down anyways…

And you walked away, and for the first time ever, I have no idea to where and how you’re getting there… But I have always helped you, and rescued you when you needed it, and supported you emotionally and financially for all these years. I suppose it has become something you take for granted, that I’ll always be here, to catch you when you fall, to put up with all your nameless neuroses, and entertain your childishness… By walking away, I suppose you feel that you don’t need me anymore… You’re getting a job and everything, so you really don’t need me anymore, right?

Well… I wish you well… I hope you finally grow into a responsible and respectable man, and I hope you find someone who’ll love you as selflessly as you wish everyone does… I will wait for you to return, with open arms, but only if you leave the three-year-old behind… I feel that I too, am getting older, and need the stability and security of a safe and comfortable relationship based on trust, love, equality and respect.

Perhaps you will come back, perhaps you will not… Just don’t forget that I too, am human, and will not wait forever with bated breath… At the end of the day, you will have those voices in your head to keep you company, come rain or shine… And they will never ever take you for granted…

Praying against all hope that you will silence the voices in your head, and listen to the ones that love you outside your little head – Jasmine.

On Damai Malaysia…

Surely there must be a How-to-Govern manual somewhere that says ‘Thou Shalt Not Martyr Thy Opponents Unless Thou Really Is Not Interested in Winning the Hearts and Minds of Thy People’… right?

PM: Silent majority have spoken – we don’t want demos

PETALING JAYA: The silent majority of Malaysians have spoken up and they want a stop to street demonstrations which disrupt people’s lives and cause disharmony among the country’s multi-racial population.

Representatives of Damai Malaysia – an umbrella body comprising 395 non-governmental organisations – handed over to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday a memorandum criticising the illegal street rallies.

The Prime Minister said the memorandum was a sign that people were angry with illegal protests and violent acts.

They want peace: Representatives of NGO groups under Damai handing the memorandum to Abdullah yesterday expressing their wish that peace be maintained.

“The country’s successes and achievements didn’t come about due to street demonstrations or illegal protests.

“We have progressed because we have been able to maintain democratic institutions which respect the law while the people enjoyed the fruits of peace and political stability.

“If freedom cannot be respected and used in a responsible manner, the people themselves will be at the losing end.

“As can be seen from today’s memorandum, the people who remained silent have now stood up to make their stand. They want peace to be maintained.”

He said he was informed that the street demonstrations had caused a 10% cancellation of hotel room bookings and rental of tour buses, while retail stores also reported a drop in sales.

Abdullah was speaking to newsmen after receiving the memorandum before flying off to visit flooded districts in Pahang.

At the outset, the group of about 20 people led by Damai chairman Mohd Saiful Adil Mohd Daud was not allowed to enter the Royal Malaysian Air Force Subang airbase but after waiting for the airbase authority to get back to them, they were finally allowed to go in.

Mohd Saiful Adil gave a brief speech before proceeding with five other representatives to hand over the memorandum. The group applauded before they left the place.

The whole episode took less than 15minutes.

Damai represents 1.5 million members and its representatives include those from 75 Chinese-based and 20 Indian groups and associations.

In the joint declaration read by Mohd Saiful Adil, the members expressed their disgust at street demonstrations and the use of religious and racial issues to create hatred among Malaysians.

They condemned individuals and groups who used lies and slander against the country and asked for foreign intervention in Malaysia’s internal affairs.

“We also condemn accusations that the country’s leaders had allowed ethnic cleansing to occur in the country,” he added.

Damai advisor and Bukit Bintang MCA chief Senator Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said the Bersih and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) illegal demonstrations last month had caused tourists to cancel trips to Malaysia.

Cheras Hindu Youth Organisation vice-president S. Ariivazhagan regretted that Hindraf had used religion to protest.

“Hindraf has presented the wrong view to the world that the Indian community here is being persecuted. This group is not fighting for our rights,” he said.

On arrival in Kuantan, Abdullah labelled those who solicit support from outsiders as traitors and the action of Hindraf, which claimed to fight for the rights of the Indian community in Malaysia, as an attempt to destroy the country and racial unity, Bernama reports.

“Was there ethnic cleansing? There was nothing about wiping out the Indians in the country,” he said at a function to welcome him and his wife, Datin Paduka Seri Jeanne Abdullah at the RMAF base.

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I’m sorry, who are Damai Malaysia and who are the supposed 395 NGOs represented by them? Where is the list of those NGOs? So far the ones mentioned are all related to political parties which, in my book, don’t count as NGOs.

Secondly, where do they get off saying that they represent the silent majority? Were YOU asked? I’m sorry, I haven’t said much but I am NOT represented by this Damai lot. Who the hell is Mohd Saiful Adil Mohd Daud anyway?

Thirdly, what is in the memo? If they are claiming to represent the silent majority, then don’t the silent majority have a right to read that memo? I haven’t seen any report that actually tells us what is contained in that memo. And I love how thick it is! They seriously expect the PM to read the entire thing? (Or maybe it just says nothing except ‘we love you’ throughout?)

Fourthly, what is the difference between presenting this memo and those other memos? Just because this one says ‘We Think You’re Wonderful’ and ‘People Who Demonstrate Are All Thugs’, they get to hand it directly to the PM? While the ones that say ‘Please Can You Listen and Deal with Real Issues?’ have to go through police barricades, water cannons and tear gas? Is the inability to go shopping the most important issue of the day?

I can tolerate most things but I can’t abide being insulted and treated as if I’m stupid. Since when does peace mean maintaining hotel room bookings and retail sales? You mean, as long as tourists come and we’re shopping we’re OK? How dumb is that?

Peace is not possible without justice and equality. Look at places like Palestine; without justice and equality for all the people who live there, there can be no peace. Do we condemn their need to protest, even while we may not support some of their violent forms of expression?

Just because we don’t have violence doesn’t mean we have true and meaningful peace. Peace doesn’t mean just being able to go round without worrying if someone is going to shoot you ( though going by some of the stories in the papers, we should worry about this too). It also means living with a clear conscience, that your friend and neighbour is not suffering from injustice. It means everyone has the opportunity to better themselves, not just some.

I resent the implication that those who support the right to dissent and protest do not want peace and want violence. I don’t want to live in a place where I cannot say what I think, where I am treated as if I’m retarded if I want to express what I feel, where if I do not agree with the Government, I’m immediately labelled as a traitor. Excuse me!!! Do you know of any country where whole swathes of people are called thugs and traitors yet still remain peaceful? It is the name-calling, accompanied by thuglike behaviour on the part of Government institutions, that leads to violence, not the other way round.

All it takes is some empathy. I am so appalled that all the discussion is about what a nuisance demos and protests are when the real issues are swept under the carpet. Demos are just symptoms, not the real issue. What is so difficult about saying, “OK, enough already. Let’s all be civilised and sit down and talk?”

One oft-used criticism is that the protesters have not gone through ‘the proper channels’. It is unclear to me what the ‘proper channels’ are. If that was so, then why does Damai need to hand over their memo at TUDM base? Is that the ‘proper channel’? Do people have to lie in wait at airports and places in order to be able to talk about their grievances?

I am so fed-up of being condescended to by intellectual midgets who think they are smart just because they have power – Jasmine.

On the Internal Security Act, and more demonstrations…

Finally, the ISA has been called into effect, as 5 HINDRAF leaders has been detained under the draconian rule. Pak Lah himself has commented, that he “will not feel sorry to sign the detention orders”. The five were reported to be Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar — prominent members of the group, which organized the mass anti-discrimination rally by as many as 30,000 ethnic Indians which turned violent, with protesters battling police with motorcycle helmets. One officer was injured. Subsequently 31 members of the march were charged with sedition and attempted murder.

Human rights, Malaysian style…

The ISA has been criticized repeatedly by both international and domestic human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, the Malaysian Bar Council, and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission on grounds that it violates fundamental international standards. Enacted in the early 1960s by the British colonial government during a national state of emergency to put down a communist insurrection, it allows for detention of any person the police deem to be a threat for up to 60 days.

Detainees are denied access to legal counsel. Police can act on suspicion that an individual “has acted or is about to act or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof.” The law allows the Minister of Home Affairs to extend detention for up to two years without trial or submission of evidence. The detention order can be renewed indefinitely. Some 100 people currently are detained under the law, according to the AFP wire service, most of them Islamic militants.

What are we coming to? Just weeks ago, Malaysia announced to all and sundry that “we are a democracy!”. Zam himself, no less, and then reiterated by Nazri, said that peaceful demonstrations are allowed. If what they mean by peaceful, demonstrators get drenched in chemicals, tear-gassed, and then arrested and charged for sedition and attempted murder, then I hate to imagine what a violent demonstration would entail.

This weekend, we hear whispers of another big gathering on the 16th of December, by the PEKIDA people, in the heart of Malayland in KL, in Kampung Baru no less. There has also been whispers of plans to fill Stadium Raja Muda with Malay warriors and ‘pendekars’…  The PEKIDA get-together, I was told, was supposed to put the HINDRAF fellas to shame. Just last night, the roadblocks have started. And that was a Thursday. And then there’s the non-statement from Hishamuddin and Najib, calling the rakyat to ignore the calls to the non-existent gathering on Sunday… Hmmm… howzzat? How to not to come to a non-existent gathering? We’ll wait with bated breath, and see if the PEKIDA Malays too, will be given the complete FRU spa deluxe…

An even more interesting question would be whether the PEKIDA gathering, if it happens, will entail its leaders getting ISA-ed? After all, the Advisor of PEKIDA is Pak Lah himself, no less… So how now? ISA the man? This weekend is going to be an interesting one, ladies and gentlemen. I suggest you sit back, and enjoy the show…

Reminding those with a morbid curiosity to see the happenings of KL this weekend, that there is a PUTRA-LRT station at Kampung Baru itself 🙂 – Jasmine.

Pak Lah, pay attention to the rakyat please!

Bloggers for unity. 4 political parties and over a dozen NGOs issued the following statement to promote national unity in the face of a growing racial/religious divide and in abhorrence of excessive government-police response to calls for greater freedoms and basic rights as espoused in our Constitution.
As a Malaysian, I welcome the spirit of the statement.

Joint Statement to Seek Immediate Appointment with Prime MinisterWe view with great seriousness the recent crises that trouble our nation.

We are especially troubled by the racial and religious antagonism that now pervades Malaysian society. Our foremost commitment is to national unity, multiracial solidarity as well as to the safety and welfare of all Malaysians. We believe that the only way to safeguard these values is to reject socially divisive approaches and uphold Constitutional guarantees. We thus affirm our pledge to remain united in our multiracial and multi-religious approach to uphold justice for all.

We deplore the heavy handed actions of the authorities in the series of arrests that took place between the 9th and 11th of December. This brutal crackdown against leaders of civil society organisations and political parties is a clear contravention of the fundamental liberties and human rights guaranteed in our Constitution. The inconsistency of these arrests and intimidations with the government’s assurances that Malaysia continues to be a strong democracy will undoubtedly tarnish our country’s reputation in the international community.

We also remain firmly committed to pursuing the agenda of free and fair elections as well as meaningful electoral reform. The amendment of the Constitution to allow the chairman of the Electoral Commission to serve for another year is a clear reminder that the government is fully intent on perpetuating an electoral system that is rife with irregularities and corruption. We reiterate our calls to the government to provide full access to the media for all political parties and to take seriously the mass of incriminating evidence that we have adduced time and time again and take all necessary measures to abolish well documented electoral malpractices.

Justice, harmony and freedom in Malaysia will be forever absent unless immediate steps are taken to remedy these vital issues. The importance of addressing them vigorously is such that we will seek to bring the matter to the highest level of government.

We are thus seeking an immediate appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss these pressing matters of state and urge him to honour his promise of being willing to listen to the concerns of all Malaysians. At this meeting we intend to pursue the agenda of national unity and reconciliation among all Malaysians regardless of race and religion, press on with our demands for free and fair elections, and work towards resolving the serious national problems we face.

List of Endorsees:

Political Parties

1 Democratic Action Party (DAP)
2 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan)
3 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
4 Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS)

NGOs

 

1 Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
2 Centre for Policy Initiatives
3 Citizen Think Tank
4 Civil Rights Committee (KLSCAH)
5 Concerned Citizens Group
6 Gabungan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)
7 Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM)
8 Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
9 Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
10 Malaysians Against the Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
11 National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
12 National Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
13 Police Watch and Human Rights Committee
14 Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
15 Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
16 Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
17 Youth For Change (Y4C)

 

Perhaps, one fine day, our ‘leaders’ will wake up, and realize that the rakyat ain’t happy – Jasmine.