Sunday, March 31, 2013

Karpal Singh Predicts Win in 8 States

Hot on the heels of DAP colleague Lim Kit Siang’s prediction, Karpal Singh (left) confidently declared that Pakatan Rakyat will wrest control of Putrajaya and capture eight states in the forthcoming GE13.

Sensing a strong surge in public support, the DAP national chairperson said PR was on the right track to capture the federal government with a small majority. Besides retaining its current four state governments, he said Pakatan should add Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Perlis and Perak to its list after the polls.

Karpal said: “I think Malaysians can expect a new government after the election. A change of government was long expected in the country anyway”.

Both Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh are seasoned politicians, so they should know. Whatever the case may be, we will have to fight tooth and nail to win GE13. Malaysians have a simple choice to make. We can vote to expel the UMNO ogre or we can choose to have another five years of chicanery, cronyism and corruption. In GE13, Malaysians have a chance to take back their own country!

Check out this photo – even PAS has a wry sense of humor!

On Saturday night, I was at a wedding dinner for a couple (J-Son and Ainsley) who are not only friends but also fellow members of the Money & You Toastmasters Club. It was held at the Extra Super Tanker Restaurant at The Club Bukit Utama in Bandar Utama, PJ.

Sometimes, I wonder what is it with Malaysians that they cannot be punctual at weddings. Or for that matter, even at Toastmasters meetings. Sigh. Okay, I am whining as usual. I used my time productively though. I practised my contest speech.

Fleeing from Sabah

Image credit:

Since my last blogpost on the Sabah intrusion, there has been nil fighting on the Lahad Datu front. Except for one incident where a Sulu militant was shot dead after he tried to attack the Malaysian security forces personnel with a ‘barong’ (a type of machete) during a search on a house in Kampung Simunul, Semporna, Thursday. And another was detained when he surrendered himself after stumbling upon security forces mopping in the Tanjung Batu area on Monday evening.
Sabah police commissioner Hamza Taib announced that security forces had so far killed 68 “terrorists” (I am puzzled with the bodycount though because my number is less four!), while arresting 121 individuals to facilitate investigation under SOSMA and 443 others under other Acts.
And then comes the news that the Kiram clan had disowned the eight charged with the intrusion into Sabah as Malaysians and not Filipinos. Does it matter whether they are Malaysians or Filipinos? Irrespective of which identification papers they possessed, they are staking a claim on Sabah on behalf of the Sulu Sultanate, are they not?
The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had reported that the number of Filipinos who have fled Sabah since fighting broke out in Lahad Datu between Malaysian security forces and followers of the sultanate of Sulu has reached 4,771. As of March 28, the NDRRMC said a total of 944 families have left Sabah for the Basulta (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) region and are being assisted by government. Of the number, 2,861 persons are adults and 1,860 are children.
So these people are not Malaysians then?
Anyway, this number is expected to continue increasing as the crisis remains unresolved and amid a crackdown by Malaysian authorities on both undocumented aliens and those suspected of supporting the sultanate. Is there an end in sight? I somehow doubt it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Pakatan Rakyat ceramahs have been regularly dogged by BN-inspired hooliganism and violence has even erupted. But even the most tolerant can find their patience wearing thin. So when Mat Rempits were paid to disrupt a PR event at the Star City Convention Center in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on March 24, 2013, the PR fellas retaliated and the thugs on motorcycles just as quickly fled. As we say in Malay, “Padan muka!” (Serves them right!) Check out this 40-second video clip:

Today I was at the MIMKL Toastmasters meeting which was a whitewash of a meeting. We started fifteen minutes late. There was no SAA. There was no General Evaluator. Then we were told speakers had pulled out, leaving only two - one of whom was a guest Toastmaster from a Puchong-based club. The attendance was pitiful - there were fifteen of us only, of which ten were members. I took up two roles - as Toastmaster-of-the-Day and General Evaluator; the second one was handed to me because no one else was willling to do it. The club president also took up two roles, i.e. Table Topics Evaluator and Speech Evaluator. Even one of the two speeches fared less than well because the speaker wilfullly abandoned the objectives or she didn't understand them which is equally worrisome.

The above teaches us that boasting a large membership doesn't neccessarily translate into members who are commited to the cause. We seem to be always too eager to sign up members but what we get are Toastmasters who lacked real understanding of what Toastmastering is all about. Many pay lip service to The Toastmasters Oath. Maybe we should recite this Oath at every meeting? We obviously needed reminding. And the club president has to shoulder everything on his own! He forgets he is no Superman. I would score this meeting a 1 out of 10. Another disappointing meeting!

Nurul Izzah Seeks Judicial Review

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (left) filed for a judicial review on the electoral roll in her constituency, after finding over 4,000 suspect names on it.
Her lawyer, Edmund Bon said that the case has been filed on March 26, 2013 at the High Court. They named the chief registrar of the Election Commission (EC), the Election Commission, the director of the National Registration Department, and the government of Malaysia as the respondents.

Bon said that unlike a similar review that was sought by Klang MP Charles Santiago before, which was struck out, his clients are seeking the review based on Section 25 (2g) of the Election (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2002. According to this regulation, the chief registrar may at any time cancel any names from the electoral roll that he deems to be suspect.
Nurul has written a letter to the Election Commission about the suspect names on March 04, but said that no action has been taken to rectify the roll. According to her, there are at least three voters who are dead, 133 who are non-residents, and 4,637 voters whose addresses are unspecified or incomplete.
Bon said that they believe there are grounds to pursue the judicial review even though Charles’ earlier judicial review application, which was filed on March 14, 2013 was struck out. This particular case was based on Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958, meaning that the registration of voters cannot be challenged in court once the electoral roll is gazetted. [The rule was introduced shortly after residents from Likas challenged the presence of foreigners in the electoral roll for the Likas by-election in 2001]. In Nurul’s case, it will be based on Section 25 (2g).
I am not optimistic but I will still be hopeful. What choice do I have?
On Thursday, a trio of SUBS friends took buddy and colleague Adrian Mitra Nathai – he’s from Trinidad & Tobago – out for lunch to celebrate his birthday! We checked out a ‘new’ eating place in Sunway Pyramid:

And in the evening, I went to Kelana Jaya to attend the joint Toastmasters meeting between Kelana Bilingual and MAS Mawar. I was the Table Topics Evaluator. I would score this meeting a 4 out of a 10. The meeting started seven minutes late. And there were only two speakers.


Friday, March 29, 2013

The UMNO Mouthpiece

Wow, Gerakan is telling Malaysians that they are UMNO stooges! First, it was Teng Chang Yeow, now it is Koh Tsu Koon’s turn.

Koh (left) is saying that ‘Tanda Putera’ – the controversial 2012 film on the friendship between former prime minister Abdul Razak and his deputy, Dr Ismail against the backdrop of the May 13, 1969 racial riots – can be screened in private because the cabinet only forbade public screenings.

Asked why this was allowed despite charges that the film was racially divisive, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department raised a stupid question. "I don't know how many screenings there have been, but has it led to racial strife? I don't know”.

[Can you recall that the Information Minister Rais Yatim had previously said that Tanda Putera’s premiere has been deferred because of ‘inappropriate’ scenes in the film?]

Does Koh know anything at all? Clearly, he is unclear on the concept. ‘Private screening’ refers to a screening of a commercially made film (i.e. ‘Tanda Putera’) to a group of people inside a home. Anything shown outside of the home, especially in public areas like universities (e.g. UIA) and convention centers (e.g. PWTC) is legally regarded as a public screening.

But to have this man stoutly defending the screening of the movie is just too much! Calling him an UMNO mouthpiece is probably too mild an indignity to hurl at him! I should give him a verbal black-eye! Then again, he probably has a pachydermatous indifference to insults. I venture to suggest that Najib Razak's sub-intelligence must have rubbed off on him. 

And if he can conclude that ‘Tanda Putera’ is not divisive, why then did the cabinet choose to ban it for public screening in the first place? Duh!

On Wednesday, I took photos of the Sunway University academic building which is nicely coming up. The way things are progressing, it should definitely be ready next year!

Najib Razak's Financial Performance

In Malaysia, we like to keep things simple. For example, on financial matters, we believe that only one step is needed to place the country into the asphyxiating embrace of financial ruin. I am saying that we have been really unlucky (or lucky – it depends on whose side of the fence you are standing on) that we have this amazing man who willingly stepped into the shoes of the minister of finance. He is of course, none other than Najib Razak, the prime minister who is also the minister for Women, Family and Community Development. A dullard who deludes himself into thinking he has average intelligence.

Check out his report card on managing the country’s finances!

What can you draw from the above? Only one conclusion. Najib is impoverishing us all!

But given that there are still Malaysians who “love” Najib – they might just disagree with my one-sided view of him and they may even rebuke me for my anti-Najib invective. They might throw these questions at me, such as: “What’s wrong with Najib spending all our money?” “So what if we are in debt?” “Why are you always finding fault with Najib?”

I suppose these Malaysians are not avid readers and so they are probably clueless about the important things that have taken place and/or are taking place in this country. And if they do find out that Najib’s banditry is bankrupting the country, they probably don’t have the scrotal gumption to show their middle finger to him or to UMNO/BN!

Meanwhile, Najib continues to give away money and other freebies to the rakyat as if he owns the treasury. Can anybody argue that he (and not forgetting his wife too) is so good at spending other people’s money? As he himself had said, “he could not imagine doing anything else because he was involved in politics for a long time, since 22 years-old”. What he actually meant is that he is from the privileged class, and any other job is beneath him. And of course, he lacks the skills to do anything that is meaningful.

On Tuesday, I was in KL's Old Klang Road to attend the Elken Toastmasters meeting. I had promised Tan Hok Eng and so he had recommended me as the General Evaluator. This in-house club should do well, especially when Dr Henry Yeoh, the Vice President, Group Human Resources for the Elken Group of Companies demonstrated his support for the club by not only attending meetings – he was present that evening – but he also made the decision to join the club. I would score this meeting a 5 out of a 10. The meeting regretably started 7 minutes late.