Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stalemate

Again, I took on the role of Table Topics Master as well as delivering my CC speech # 2 at the PJ Hilton Toastmasters meeting, titled “The Failed Graduates”. My evaluator was Yeoh Cheng Lim of Taman Indrahana Toastmasters Club. It was only this afternoon that I managed to collect my confidence after I came up with an appropriate topic. And after that, it was a matter of developing the speech outline, and then I was set to go!

I was one of two speakers this evening; the other was a fellow HICT member, Jaimie who did his speech # 6: Vocal Variety.

Predictably, a good diverse crowd flocked to this meeting – there were Toastmasters from the following clubs: Stamford College, HICT, Taman Indrahana, UEM, MAS, Sime Darby Healthcare, UTC Kota Kinabalu, KL Advanced, and of course, PJ Hilton. Stephen Fernando, as always, is the glue that holds everything together!

I read that Prime Minister Najib Razak had advised Malaysians not to believe the claims made by fugitive blogger RPK (or Raja Petra Kamaruddin). “If Raja Petra is funded by the opposition, it means that his statements are politically-motivated. We should weigh them carefully and not merely [accept] them”, Najib told reporters after opening a Pekan UMNO meeting yesterday (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/rpk-to-najib-then-who-do-we-trust, posted July 05, 2010). This Prime Minister is unsettled, even worried by a free-spoken blogger!

Of course, RPK scoffed at Najib’s accusation that he is funded by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and therefore untrustworthy. I have to agree with RPK. After all, what about newspapers such as the New Straits Times backed by UMNO and the Star by MCA, to name just two? Does this mean that these newspapers are also not credible? Besides, as RPK rightly informed The Malaysian Insider, all media outlets are backed by investors with some kind of agenda, regardless of whether they affect the editorial direction.

If RPK has indeed erred in his blog writings, then the Malaysian Government should throw the book at him, without fear or favor. In fact, RPK had challenged them to bring charges of sedition, criminal defamation and an appeal against his release from the Internal Security Act to British courts – he is popularly presumed to be holed up in the UK – as he stoutly believes there can be justice for him only in the UK. I don’t blame him for not trusting Malaysian judiciary – they have lost their independence a long time ago, at least that’s what many Malaysians have concluded.

So it would seem that Malaysian authorities are reluctant to take action against RPK as long as he is in the UK! They are mindful that if they do it, it may backfire and give RPK more ammunition to shoot the BN-led government. So for now, we have a stalemate.

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