Post-GE13: An Open Letter To Everyone

To whom it may concern.

TO THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS

Congratulations on being given the mandate to administer the state and/or country for the next 5 years or so. Regardless of the political parties and officials that will constitute the makeup of the government, please try your hardest to keep the promises made in your respective election manifestos.  Continue reading Post-GE13: An Open Letter To Everyone

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Bloggitos

Don’t ask me what the title means. Consider it a filler title, just as the rest of this is filler material too.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Really fun movie, continues much of the great story and characterisations from the first movie. Why Guillermo del Toro is not considered quite the world famous director in league with Spielberg is beyond me. Hopefully The Hobbit will finally do for him what LOTR did for Peter Jackson. Fantastic effects, brilliant action, wonderfully natural down-to-earth performances by the cast (which is hard to do in a fantasy movie), and even villains for whom you might even want to root.
Verdict: 4.0

The Live Debate: Shabery vs Anwar
It’s the historic moment we’re all waiting for. To be telecast live on TV9, Bernama TV and Astro AWANI, starting at 9pm. Hopefully, nothing silly’s gonna happen before then, like maybe arrests of prominent people and all?

Also credit should given where it’s due. Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this:

Ahmad Shabery said the debate had to be aired live so that the public would not have the perception that it was being doctored before going on air.

“The debate is to have a clear picture of the government’s decisions and policies as well as to correct public perception on the matter,” he said.

They could have shown a delayed telecast of it, or indeed, not shown it at all. But it’s gonna be live, and I appreciate the Information Minister’s determination to push this through. Hopefully, all your future decisions will help open up this country’s much stifled and often silenced communication channels.

Much Ado About Nothing
All that traffic jams, and disgruntled people coming to work late, and all for what? A perceived threat? A vague idea of hostile demonstrations that didn’t take place? Where’s the so-called evidence, Mr Home Minister? If you have it, show it! I’m starting to get really annoyed at all these posturing from politicians from both sides of the divide who keep talking about having explosive evidence of major wrongdoing and what-nots committed by this Datuk and that Tan Sri. If you have it, show it!

Trust and Credibility
On that same vein, I’ve now come to accept that no politician can be trusted. Even the much hyped DSAI. I know lots of his supporters would lynch me for this, but a lot of the events of recent weeks tend to be so ridiculous and overblown that it’s difficult to believe everything all these politicians are saying. Not DSAI, not Najib, not Pak Lah. Nobody. From now, I care not one iota for what you say, only in what you do. (Which would make me watching the debate a bit hypocritical, but the point of the debate – for me – is not in hearing what these people are saying, but rather allowing these people’s sayings to be heard).

Gandhi-isms
At times like this, one can only hope a figure like Gandhi would once again walk upon this Earth. No aggressive posturing. No lies or double-speak. Straight-up honesty from the get go. Peaceful, non-violent disobedience. And above all, an outpouring of love for everyone, whether friend of foe. A person like that, everyone will follow.

Biggest Regrets and House of Cards
Just 2 cool videos I found via Boing Boing. The first is Radiohead’s House of Cards video.

The other is this interesting video about regrets. Nice.

On The Allegations Against Anwar

When I saw the front page of today’s Star newspaper, my first thought was, “Not again!”

My second thought was, “Is this gonna be 1998 all over again?”

My third thought was, “Poor Ong Ka Ting – his big news ends up playing second fiddle to the Anwar story. Can’t the MCA get a break?”

Yup, any other day, the news that MCA’s boss is stepping down would have received significant media coverage in all media pages and screens, be it mainstream or multimedia.

Not today, though.

So, as things stand, Anwar is currently the guest of the Turkish Ambassador for his own safety (whether real or perceived, but who wants to take the risk that the threats are fake?), the Prime Minister has stated that the government has nothing to do with the allegations (sorry, chief, but given the govt’s credibility, it’s gonna be hard for people to swallow that one), the kid who made the allegations (he’s younger than me, which makes him a kid 😛 ) has been named and shamed all over the net, and everyone’s buzzing with conspiracy theories (I even heard one that went that this whole thing was orchestrated by PKR themselves. Sheesh.)

Do I believe this allegation? Hell, no. I didn’t believe it the first time around either.

But that’s kinda the funny thing, ain’t it? Why on Earth would anyone trot out such a lame attempt to discredit Anwar? The BN, despite their many goof-ups, are not that stupid lah. So it makes no sense for them to pull this dead stinking rabbit out of their worn-out hat.

Here’s one theory I read that piqued my curiosity. Could this stuff have been drummed up in haste without proper planning and without consultation with people who’d have at least half an IQ point?

Could it have been cooked up by a “musang berbulu ayam“, a young man who, having failed in academia, tried, and failed, to serve his political masters, and when caught with his pants down (figuratively, at least), tried to save himself and his mission with a last ditch, but throroughly hamfisted, effort to discredit Anwar?

Ah, conspiracy theories – the Yanks certainly do not have a monopoly on them.

In the meantime, I can only pass on the advice that is being passed on by everyone to everyone else – Stay Calm.

Don’t take to the streets. Even an orderly demonstration can be turned into anarchy, thanks to a few twists of the screw made by certain people in power. And then what do you get? A suspension of the political process, a dictatorship taking over to “steer this country through this troubled times”.

Let’s sit and wait. I trust the people we have elected to Parliament to do what is right (I’m referring to the Pakatan reps, of course), and to handle the situation properly.

And if you’re the sort to believe in God, then perhaps a prayer might come in handy. Not just for Anwar and his family (and perhaps for that 23-year-old kid as well), but for this nation too.

Walk For Media Freedom

I’ve been asked to spread the word around about this, and I’ll gladly do so since I believe in the cause – though I will be unable to attend the walk myself, due to prior engagement.

Walk For Media Freedom

Walk for Media Freedom

Date: 1 June 2008
Time: 9.00am
Place: Dataran Merdeka to National Press Club (NPC)

Democracy in Malaysia is evolving and maturing.

Growth means change and growth often calls for one to leave behind zones of comfort and venture into unknown places. While some changes are slower to materialise, other changes that we can observe already taking place are truly refreshing.

One of those changes which will profoundly and positively impact democratic growth is the move towards Information Freedom.

From 9 am on Sunday the 1st of June 2008, Malaysian journalists and their fellow citizens will, together, demonstrate their keen desire for Media Freedom by taking a symbolic Walk at Dataran Merdeka.

To avoid problems with security laws, there will be NO PUBLIC GATHERING. Instead, participants are being asked to arrive on their own in ones and twos, show their respect to the National Flag at the Dataran, and then proceed immediately to the National Press Club which is just around the corner (location map and suggested walking route to be provided). Those who wish to do so are invited to wear something yellow, a reflection that this is a People’s Activity.

Underlining the importance of this initiative, YB Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has kindly consented to deliver the keynote address, explaining his views about the road to Media Freedom. Datuk Zaid is a Minister in the PM’s Department and the de facto Law Minister. From practically the first day of his appointment, he has said and done things that have pleased the people, especially the legal community, and has conveyed a very positive feeling about what he intends to accomplish.

Datuk Zaid has two requests – that journalists turn up in large numbers and that this program calls for ethics and accountability as much as it calls for freedom. Since this is the very thrust of this campaign and exactly what we are calling upon the writer community to deliver, it looks like we are very much in sync.

While we, the organisers, can direct the theme and thrust of the event, journalist participation will be determined by organisations such as the NUJ, the NPC and the various media groups. We look forward to strong support from them. This is an opportunity that they should not miss out on. Please pass the word around and tell every journalist whom you know about this event.

As to ordinary citizens and bloggers, here is your opportunity to show that you desire Media Freedom. Come and take the Walk with your journalist brethren and show your solidarity with them. We, as a people, can help to move our nation forward on the road to civil liberties.

See you there on Sunday 1st June 2008.

Benar blog: http://benarffm.wordpress.com

For programme details and map, visit the BENAR page.

O What A Night

I went to sleep sometime after 1am, cos I’m still struggling with the after-effects of my illness ‘earned’ from my trip to India, but anyway, by the time I retired to bed, the news that I was looking were all finally confirmed.

  • BN won the election by a simple majority, but loses their 2/3rd majority. Heh.
  • My constituency will now be served by a brand new MP – Nurul Izzah. Heh heh.
  • Aiyo yo Samy, apa sudah jadi? Heh heh heh heh…..
  • The bloggers’ public enemy no 1, Zam Zam, is gone too, along with scores of his high-profile teammates. Haha haha hahah…

It’s an interesting day. Still waiting to see how things pan out now.

To the people who’ve been voted in, WE’RE WATCHING. One false move, and you’ll be kicked out. You’ve been warned.

Obama08: Yes We Can


Song & video, featuring a star cast, by Will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas. Inspired by Barack Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech

I’m not American, and I don’t have any say or vote in how the American presidential elections turn out.

But I cannot help but admire the way the electoral processes are being held there (although I can’t say the same about the campaign strategies of some of the candidates).

I admire the openness, the transparency. I admire the efforts put in not just by party members, but by ordinary American people who are beginning to realise how important their vote – their voice -can be in the elections. Especially after the debacles of the last 2 elections.

Contrast this to that of our own. I ask sometimes how the government can expect us to be “involved” and “patriotic” in the electoral process when for most of our lives we are told to leave the politics to the politicians?

How can people be blamed for their political apathy when, for most of their lives, they’ve been conditioned to be apathetic?

And when people finally wake up to their responsibility in the nation’s political system, how can they be blamed for venting their frustrations in previously unheard of ways when normal avenues of making their voices heard are blocked?

But enough of that. This post isn’t about our elections. It’s about the US elections. Specifically, one presidential candidate.

Barack Obama.

I haven’t actually been following the campaigns closely, but I was watching TV some days back, and switched to CNN, just at the time when Obama was about to arrive on stage in South Carolina following his thumping victory in the Democratic primary there.

I watched his speech. And I couldn’t help but be inspired. Inspired to be the change we want to effect.

And I’m not even American.

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” – from BarackObama.com

Unlike his rival, he is not saying he’s THE person to solve America’s woes. He’s saying he’s the man to bring Americans together to solve them.

His campaign is inclusive. He’s the people’s man. And I hope he gets the Democratic nomination, and goes on to win the Presidential race.

He won’t be my President. But he can still be an inspiration.

If you’re American, I hope you vote for Barack Obama. The world needs someone to look up to now.

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