Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Allah's Chosen One

The UMNO General Assembly 2016 is here again – so do expect lots of rhetorical bombast that doesn’t even try to make any sense. But at least, we can learn to laugh at them and their juvenile antics.
For starters, the UMNO acting deputy president had exhorted party members to pledge their unwavering loyalty to Najib Razak because the latter was chosen by Allah!
“We have to remember we are in a time where Allah has put Najib as our president. It is fate that Allah wanted it that way,” Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) had said yesterday at the opening of the UMNO wings annual general assembly.
(Start guffawing here).
I don’t think God is cringing with embarrassment. I also think He has given up being angry.
I daresay He is so used to it by now – that pathetic humans are hell-bent on using His name in vain.
I suppose when one has lost all credibility, God’s name will have to be invoked. The last resort lah.
God, what say you? 
According to lawyer and activist Siti Kasim, forty-one orang asli had been arrested at Simpang Petir in Gua Musang, Kelantan on Tuesday where they had set up a blockade since September 26, 2016 to protest against logging activities in the Balah forest reserve –  according to her Facebook posting as at 7 PM.
Lawyer and activist Siti Kasim said they were taken to the Gua Musang police headquarters.
More arrests can be expected.
Siti Kasim said the orang asli are determined to take legal action over the arrest.
Earlier in the day, police and Forestry Department officers moved into the locality and dismantled the blockade set up by about 200 orang asli.
The PAS state government have demonstrated how uncaring they are. They are bullies! Islamic party, konon!
In the EFL Cup quarter-final game between Liverpool and Leeds United yesterday, the former struggled for long periods of time before they could finally muster a 2-0 win over the latter.
The Reds had 72% possession and yet, they still huffed and puffed before Divock Origi stole behind the Leeds defense to sweep in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right-wing cross from close range – in the seventy-sixth minute.
And then Wales Under-19 international Ben Woodburn – aged 17 years and 45 days – fired in the second in the eighty-first minute and eclipsing Michael Owen as Liverpool’s youngest goalscorer.
Liverpool will find out who they play in the semi-finals when the draw is made after Wednesday’s matches.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Malaysian Police Release Maria Chin Abdullah

Lawyer and activist Ambiga Sreenevasan shared this photo with Maria Chin Abdullah, after the latter was released on Monday, on her official Twitter feed. 

Surprise, surprise! Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was released at about 4.30 PM yesterday – her 11th day in the lock-up and a day before her habeas corpus hearing challenging her detention.

I don’t believe she is out of the woods yet – still, it gives her momentary relief. She is reunited with her family and that is comforting. 

Malaysians too can rejoice – for now at least. 

Supporters hold signs in support of Maria Chin Abdullah during a vigil at Dataran Merdeka, KL on November 28, 2016. Picture by Choo Choy May

On Sunday, in the Scottish League Cup final, Aberdeen were overawed and overrun, almost from the first whistle. And Celtic triumphed 3-0 – thanks to goals from Tom Rogic (16), James Forrest (37) and Moussa Dembele (64, penalty).

This was the sixteenth time the Glasgow team won and it was their 100th major trophy! An amazing feat!

Yesterday, I was at the Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam in Jalan Damansara, KL – and thanks to Nicole Leong and Rush Teh, I had a speaking slot. I presented CC speech #9 Persuade with Power titled “Kill Your Dreams”. I was also voted Best Speaker.

Additionally, I was an evaluator for an Advanced speech from The Professional Speaker manual as well as took up the last-minute role of a General Evaluator.

Christmas came early for Speakers Dream Toastmasters Club and I received this Wild Vines raspberry Zinfandel (Framboise) during the gift exchange – see photo!

Monday, November 28, 2016

US Election Recount

The US presidential election result is being challenged.

An election recount will take place soon in Wisconsin, after former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (left) filed a petition Friday with the state’s Election Commission, the first of three states where she has promised to contest the election result.

The move from Stein – who raised millions since her Wednesday announcement that she would seek recounts of Donald Trump’s apparent election victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan – came just 90 minutes before Wisconsin’s 5 PM Friday deadline to file a petition.

Stein, who secured 31,006 votes in Wisconsin, was not the only presidential candidate to demand a recount. Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, the Reform Party nominee who got 1,514 Wisconsin votes, also filed a recount petition, according to the state’s Election Commission.

Those are not the only two surprises waiting to ambush Trump.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it would join the recount although it admitted that it had not seen any irregularities so far in the White House contest won by Trump.

And I’m sure it will be targeting Pennsylvania and Michigan too. After all, Clinton benefits from the vote recount.

Had she won those three states, previously seen as part of the Democrats’ “firewall” – she supposedly would have secured enough electoral votes to win the presidential election.

Wisconsin has the first deadline of the three states in question. If Stein’s campaign wishes to file recount petitions in the other two states – she must do so by Monday to meet Pennsylvania’s deadline, and Wednesday to meet the November 30 deadline in Michigan.

Trump must be furious but for Clinton – a flicker of hope is ignited.

I was in Jalan Sentul, KL on Sunday morning – I attended the wedding of Kamaleswaran Jayarajah & Shreeta Sivarasa. Congratulations to the couple!

I love Indian weddings!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

UMNO Youth Run Amok in Penang

UMNO goons are at it again.

On Friday, a Zunar exhibition – featuring caricatures of PM Najib Razak – on Level 3 in Komtar, Penang had to end abruptly when an UMNO mob stormed the event and damaged the political cartoonist’s works.

The ringleader was Penang UMNO Youth chief Rafizal Abdul Rahim.

This was a mere three hours after Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng launched the event – and which was slated to run until Sunday.

UMNO are now enthusiastically eager to show their violent streak and they do it with impunity. They are not the least perturbed with a police presence even.

Where, then, is the rule of law?

And a day later, Zulkiflee Bin SM Anwarul Haque @ Zunar was collared.

Police said that Zunar's arrest was made under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948. And he is also being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code which makes it an offence to insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace. Or so they say.

Buddha said: "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth". And the truth speaks to us through Zunar's cartoons – a sample of which I am going to share here:

On Saturday, Liverpool extended their unbeaten run when they whipped Sunderland 2-0. This was in spite of the latter using nine defenders in this EPL match!

Divock Origi's in-swinging cross in the seventy-fifth minute produced the first goal for the Reds and James Milner converted a spot-kick for their second goal (90+1) – when Didier Ndong recklessly felled Sadio Mane in the box.

This afternoon, I was at No. 22, Jalan 18/2 in Petaling Jaya for the Sai Masters Toastmasters meeting – where I delivered my CC speech #8 Get Comfortable with Visual Aids titled “An Assortment of Ribbons”.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Three Laws to Manacle Maria Chin Abdullah

Polls reform group Bersih 2.0 said what Malaysians know all along – that the police are merely clutching at straws to legitimize Maria Chin Abdullah’s detention.
The Inspector-General of Police did an about-turn on Wednesday and he did it without even blushing with embarrassment. His face is indeed blessed with a rhino’s hide, that’s why.
Khalid Abu Bakar (left) had attempted to explain that Maria’s detention under SOSMA had nothing to do with politics or even the Bersih 5 rally – but offences related to national security.
Then he went on to say that Maria was arrested for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” under Section 124(c) of the Penal Code – after certain documents were found by a police party during their raid at the Bersih office in PJ last Friday.
On November 24, Bersih 2.0 issued a statement denying that documents seized during the said raid could justify Maria’s arrest.
Bersih 2.0 is fully aware of what documents were taken from the office. It is absurd to suggest that documents belonging to us can be linked to a threat to security” – and maintaining that no such evidence exists.
It added: “Bersih 2.0 is an organization dedicated to electoral reforms and good governance; these allegations now repeated by the IGP are baseless slander upon Bersih and the millions of Malaysians who support it”.
Why don’t Khalid produce the evidence? Show us, if he dares! 
As if as an afterthought, Khalid also revealed that Maria too, is being investigated under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for not fulfilling requirements for a public assembly – in relation to the Bersih 5 rally.
Three different laws have been cited just to keep Maria manacled!
One day later, Khalid even had the gall to announce that the government would facilitate the safe return of close to fifty Malaysian Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria.

It appears that these combatants are a lot less dangerous than a 60-year-old widow.
I have nothing but feelings of disgust for this sole member of the UMNO "Bukit Aman" branch; this despicable fool, who is happily doing his political masters' bidding; this heap of shit. 
I am acutely aware that the country is descending into madness.
And Malaysians are right to be fearful. Yet, we must confront fear.
Please give a listen to Jo Kukathas – she also talks about this fear that is right here at our doorstep.
Her speech made at the Monash University Malaysia Graduation Day 2016 (Second Session) and on the same day as Bersih 5 – her speech begins 2:19:26 – is illuminating, insightful, and inspiring:
As Jo reminds us: "Don't wait for someone else to save the world. it yourself".

On Thursday, I was in Seksyen U8 in Shah Alam to attend the Zuellig Pharma Toastmasters meeting.

I took up three duties – as Grammarian and as speech evaluator for two CC speeches, #2 and #5. And I was again voted Best Evaluator.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Bersih's Maria Chin Has Links to CIA

The detention of pro-democracy activist Maria Chin Abdullah doesn’t make sense at all.

And the powers-that-be will quickly have to come forward and justify their fascist action. And they did.
On Wednesday, UMNO information chief Annuar Musa (right) claimed that Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has links with the Central Intelligence Agency.
In his Facebook posting, Annuar said Maria was linked to the CIA due to her active involvement with some US-based NGOs prior to her returning to Malaysia with her late husband, Yunus Lebai Ali, in the 1980s.
He cited the National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI), which is under the sponsorship of Asia Foundation.
“And Asia Foundation is a network under The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) and Asian Network for Free and Fair Elections (ANFREL) to which (renegade) CIA agent Philip Agee had previously disclosed that both NAMFREL and ANFREL were ‘CIA tools’ that masked behind the slogan of ‘people power’,” he said.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he is privy to all of the above!
Annuar also claimed that Maria was involved in other human rights and feminist NGOs that were pro-LGBT such as Sisters in Islam and Empower.
He added that clearly, Maria was not an ordinary person but someone whose background should be thoroughly investigated.
Fellow Bersih activist Ambiga Sreenevasan slammed the above as “preposterous” and demanded that he retract it immediately.
She said: “Clearly he is aware that there is no basis for Maria’s detention and is vainly trying to use preposterous allegations against Maria who cannot at this point defend herself because she is unfairly detained”.
Celtic were eliminated from European competition as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored twice against Brendan Rodger’s team in a Group C match on November 23, 2016. I have zilch expectations of the Irishman – and so, I wasn’t disappointed.

In Bangsar South, KL, also on the same day, I took up two meeting roles at the MIA Toastmasters meeting – as a speech evaluator for a CC#2 and as a Grammarian.

I was voted Best Evaluator.

Another quiet meeting with only twelve attendees, half of whom were guests.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Unlawful Detention of Maria Chin Abdullah

Image via Facebook/Teresa Kok

Image via Choo Choy May/Malay Mail Online

Image via Marina Mahathir

Malaysians at a candlelight vigil for Maria Chin Abdullah in Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, November 22, 2016. Picture by Choo Choy May

And at Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur, November 23, 2016. Picture by Choo Choy May

Malaysian women march to Parliament. Picture by Saw Siow Feng

One of those arrested on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally was the polls reform group chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.

Maria Chin's arrest on November 18, 2016. Pix by Ghazali Kori 
Post-Bersih 5, everyone had been released – except Maria. Her arrest was made under the iron clad Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. SOSMA, which was enacted to fight terrorism allows the authorities to hold individuals without trial for 28 days and deny legal aid for two days.
She is now in her sixth day of detention.
Suhakam has confirmed that she is being held in solitary confinement in an undisclosed location and forced to sleep on a wooden bed, without even a mattress. It is said that her windowless cell is only 15 feet by 8 feet and where two light bulbs are switched on around the clock.  
Already, an online petition opposing the use of SOSMA against the 60-year-old activist has reached its target of 40,000 signatures. The #MansuhSosma and #BebasMaria petition on demands Maria's unconditional release of Maria and SOSMA's repeal.
“When tabling the Bill in Parliament in 2011, the Government assured and promised Malaysians repeatedly that SOSMA would not be used on the basis of differences in political ideology, but it is evident today that the administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is reneging on its promise,” the petition read. “In our view, this is a clear abuse of legislative and executive powers”.
Candlelight vigils are being held at Dataran Merdeka to demand for her release. On Monday, there were about three hundred protestors. A day later, that modest number swelled to nearly 800.
So much so that the Kuala Lumpur mayor closed the whole iconic square from 5 PM till 7 AM every day, starting from Tuesday until November 29, 2016.
Already, on that Tuesday itself, a habeas corpus application was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court challenging Maria’s detention.
On Wednesday, some five hundred women (and men) had marched to Parliament making the same demand. And also calling for SOSMA to be abolished.
That evening, about 600 people (according to Malay Mail Online) had again assembled at Jalan Raja, a mere 20 meters from Dataran Merdeka – undeterred. The Inspector-General of Police himself had proclaimed the gatherings illegal.
Civil society, the Malaysian Bar, opposition politicians and ordinary Malaysians are calling for Maria’s immediate release.
PM Najib must start recognizing the right to peaceful assembly. That is a right guaranteed under the Constitution.
Demonstrating for free, fair and clean elections cannot be wrong, by any definition. The use of SOSMA to detain Maria Chin Abdullah is, therefore, unlawful.

Our courts have only one option and that is, to put things right.  
Malaysians cry out against injustice! The power of the people had long ago been usurped by the UMNO politicians.
Only Malaysians can save the country! Fight, fight, fight!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman's "Kok"-up

I already said we are so fortunate to be in a place where so many clowns come together. (I am discounting the crooks in this particular post).

For sure, there will be no scarcity of humor – although in this country, warped humor is more often than not, a persistent phenomenon.

On Monday, we had a buffoon who wasn’t only trying to be perversely funny – but he is also a misogynist. By purposely targeting Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (left) – he blatantly bared his smutty wickedness.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (right) triggered a raucous racket of discordant dissonance when he alluded to the DAP parliamentarian as a "woman with a Kok"!
You don’t need to be a genius to know he was making a rude reference to the male genitalia! His salacious salvo had demeaned, degraded and disparaged a fellow parliamentarian.

If you know Tajuddin, he has carved infamy to himself with his obliging outpouring of oafish obscenities in the Dewan Rakyat in the past. On a regular basis at that. It looks as if he is really trying to outdo himself this time.

And Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee had refused to reprimand Tajuddin – explaining that the latter was merely referring to Kok's "family name". Even a village idiot will know – by the manner in which Tajuddin said it – that it was not! It was unacceptably offensive and undeniably lewd.

Unhappy with Kiandee's ruling, Opposition MPs continued to demand that Tajuddin apologize, with Amanah's Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad even calling Tajuddin "sial" (meaning, “damned”).

The angry arguments, which took place during Question Time, ended only when Kiandee directed proceedings to the next question.

Maybe, the milksop named Tajuddin is insecure and so, he loathes the fact than any person with a "Kok" to his or her name is more "man" than him. I can say that about nearly all of the BN politicians, not just him!

Last evening, I continued my CC manual Round 37 from where I left off Monday. I was at the TMIKL Toastmasters meeting  and I delivered a 'Research Your Topic' speech titled “The Gullibility Factor”. A good speech, methinks!

As a matter of record, this is my 490th project speech.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kayveas Wants to Bring Back ISA

People's Progressive Party (myPPP) president M Kayveas is trying very hard to win the “Stupidest Malaysian” Award 2016 – vying with other cerebrally-challenged BN politicians.
On Sunday, he made his first stupid statement. He declared Bersih as "just another branch of the opposition". Obviously, the idiot didn’t know that Bersih is open to all Malaysians, in fact, everybody. As long as he or she subscribes to its agenda. Really, everyone can rally!
And to show he is even stupider, he made a second statement – he labelled Bersih as a group "worse than terrorists", and urging Bersih leaders to "show some class" when accepting the results of an election instead of turning Malaysia into a "marketplace".
He didn’t stop there. Plainly, not satisfied with being dumb and dumber – he proceeded to make a third statement – by far, the stupidest!
Kayveas (left) said: "They've gone out of control. Perhaps, myPPP will propose for the Internal Security Act to be re-enacted once again, that way, it would be easier to control them". WTF?!?!
I am patient with stupid people – but not with those who are proud of it.
But I suppose without Kayveas, Malaysians would have no one to laugh at!

Actually, that's not true. We are blessed with many clowns and crooks in this country. We can keep on laughing and grieving at the same time!  

This is my Malaysia – a country that has gone to the dogs.
Yesterday, I was at the KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting in Bangsar, KL to deliver my CC#6 titled “Hope in Hopelessness”.

I was also the Grammarian.

We only had fourteen attendees but it was, still, a quality meeting.