The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Archive for the ‘People’ Category

They don’t really care about us!!

Posted by ella-mae on August 8, 2009

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, Bangsa Malaysia, BN, Crime, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, government, Human Rights, Ideology, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, malaysiakini, malaysian, MIC, Music, Najib Tun Razak, News, Observation, Observations, PAS, People, PKR, Politicians, politics, Racism, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Samyvellu, the dandelions, UMNO | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Dari Jelapang ke Jelutong: Suatu Kisah Penentangan

Posted by barbie on February 11, 2009

(This is the Bahasa Malaysia version for the previous post by Oscar – From Jelapang to Jelutong: A Tale of Defiance)

Nampak gayanya saya sudah semakin tua. Sudah banyak kali, saya mendapati diri saya terkapai-kapai, lemas dalam cubaan untuk merungkaikan kemelut politik Malaysia. Barangkali politik Malaysia itu sendiri yang semakin celaru untuk difahami, bukan kerana dangkalnya akal fikiran saya.

Kita ambil contoh, kes Karpal Singh. Beliau hendak menyaman Sultan Perak. Ramai yang tidak gembira dengan keputusan beliau ingin berbuat demikian. Banyak laporan polis telah dibuat di beberapa tempat, semuanya atas tuduhan bahawa Karpal Singh derhaka, kurang ajar, biadap; malah ada yang menyifatkan beliau sebagai pembelot kerana kerana menyanggah keputusan Sultan.

Bahagian ini yang saya tidak faham. Mengapa Karpal tidak boleh menyaman Sultan Perak? Itu adalah hak beliau untuk berbuat demikian. Sudah tentu, segelintir daripada kita mungkin berpendapat beliau tidak patut berbuat demikian, kerana adalah adat untuk seorang rakyat biasa menunjukkan taat setia dan patuh kepada raja yang berdaulat.

Tetapi pada zaman sekarang, dengan pembaharuan undang undang yang berdaya maju, hak seorang warganegara untuk membawa pemimpin ke mahkamah keadilan adalah suatu nilai kebebasan yang paling asas yang wujud di semua badan kehakiman di dunia. Sekiranya Karpal tidak mempunyai kes yang kukuh, saman beliau akan ditolak oleh mahkamah, yang mana beliau akan menanggung kos perbelanjaan mahkamah. Di dalam apa jua keadaan, badan kehakiman yang akan dipertanggunjawab untuk menegakkan keadilan.

Ini membawa saya kepada satu lagi kemusykilan. Mengapa ada segelintir rakyat yang marah kepada Karpal Singh kerana ingin menyaman Sultan? Saya rasa ini sesuatu yang amat lucu. Karpal Singh telah berkecimpung dalam bidang saman-menyaman Sultan, sejak sekian lama.

Pada tahun 1986, beliau menfailkan saman sivil ke atas Sultan Johor, Tunku Mahmood Iskandar yang pada masa itu merupakan Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Saman sivil itu difailkan bagi pihak Daeng Baha Ismail untuk meminta ganti rugi/pampasan serang (Daeng Baha Ismail telah dibawa ke Istana Johor dalam keadaan bergari oleh pegawai polis dan ditumbuk serta dipukul berkali-kali oleh Sultan di hadapan kerabat diraja yang lain). Karpal kalah dalam kes tersebut, dan desas desus menyatakan Sultan kemudianya menggunakan nama Karpal sebagai nama salah seekor anjing baginda. (“A Malaysian Who Dared Sue a King” Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 May, 1993).

Pada tahun 1995, Karpal menfailkan saman ke atas Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada pada itu, Tuanku Jaafar Rahman, Sultan Negeri Sembilan. Aduan dibuat bahawa Tuanku Jaafar telah menipu seorang ahli perniagaan dalam urusniaga tanah di Port Dickson. Karpal juga menyatakan hasrat untuk menfailkan pertuduhan pecah amanah dan telah membuat laporan polis ke atas Tuanku Jaafar. Tuanku Jaafar kemudiannya dilaporkan menyelesaikan kes tersebut di luar mahkamah dengan sejumlah besar bayaran.

Pada tahun 1996, Karpal mewakili Faridah Begun bte Abdullah untuk menyaman Sultan Pahang di Mahkamah Khas, akan tetapi kes tersebut tidak berjaya atas sebab-sebab teknikal.

Jadi, mengapa baru sekarang ramai orang berkecil hati dan tersinggung dengan perbuatan Karpal Singh? Saya merasakan bahawa perkara ini memang sengaja dipolitikkan.

Dan saya tidak sekali setuju dengan semua laporan polis yang telah dibuat atas tuduhan biadap dan menghina kedaulatan institusi raja-raja Melayu. Adalah jelas bahawa, rakyat Malaysia secara amnya mudah lupa.

Pada tahun 1983, kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah mengambil tindakan meminda Perlembagaan supaya kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk menolak rang undang-undang yang dilulus oleh Parlimen dibatalkan, oleh sekaligus menjadikan baginda sebagai ‘rubber stamp’.

Pada tahun 1993, sekali lagi kerajaan Barisan Nasional melupuskan immuniti raja-raja dan Yang di-Pertuan Agong dengan pindaan ke atas Rang Undang-Undang Akta Perlembagaan (Pindaan) 1993 dan ini membolehkan baginda dan raja-raja lain disaman atas perbuatan mereka.

Dengan izin, bukankah pindaan-pindaan rang undang-undang perlembagaan ini memberi kesan serta akibat yang lebih dahsyat dan teruk kepada Sultan-Sultan khususnya institusi raja-raja itu berbanding apa yang dilakukan oleh Karpal sekarang? Tiada siapa yang mengadu atau membabi-buta membuat laporan polis ketika itu, sedangkan kuasa institusi beraja telah dilucutkan dan dipijak sewenang-wenangnya oleh BN dan UMNO pada masa itu. Tiada siapa yang berani mengadakan tunjuk perasaan, siap dengan kain rentang, sepanduk; juga kain ikat berwarna kuning.

Sekarang, seorang rakyat hendak menyaman Sultan dan tiba-tiba ia menimbulkan kekecohan. Pemuda Umno, yang sememangnya lebih gaya dari rupa, seperti dijangkakan telah menawarkan khidmat untuk mempertahankan kedaulatan institusi raja-raja Melayu; institusi yang telah diperkosa oleh parti ibundanya – UMNO beberapa dekad yang lalu.

Khabarkan pada saya sekali lagi, mengapa saya tidak memahami politik Malaysia.

Posted in barbie, BN, Current Affairs, government, hypocrite, Malaysia, Oscar the Grouch, People, Politicians, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hamidah Osman, The Indian and The Snake!

Posted by ella-mae on February 10, 2009

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Barisan Nasional ADUN from Sungei Rapat, Hamidah Osman was sworn in this morning as a Perak EXCO member.

Malaysian Insider had earlier reported Hamidah Osman was not too happy with Zambry’s appointment because she had great expectations to be the country’s first female Menteri Besar.

She was probably not made the MB because Hamidah Osman prefers a certain type of reptile more than some of her constituents.

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Remember this???

Noooo…Hamidah Osman did not mean our Feather-Indian friend here…

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Let’s reminisce together…

Hamidah says ‘sorry’ for racial slur – MalaysiaKini

Ahti Veeranggan | Jun 28, 08 6:55pm

Sungai Rapat state assemblyperson Hamidah Osman, who caused a furore in the Perak legislative assembly on Friday with her racial slur, has publicly apologised for hurting the Indian community.

At a packed press conference in the Ipoh Country Club this morning, the Barisan Nasional elected representative issued the public apology before newsmen, saying that it was not her intention to hurt the Indian community with a racial slur.

“I have already retracted my statement in the House and now, I am  offering my humble and sincere apology here to all Indians for uttering the racist remarks in the heat of the moment.

“I regret for saying that and promise not to repeat it anywhere anymore,” said a visibly moved Hamidah, who plans to embark on a ‘constituency road-show’ to explain and apologise over the incident to electorates in Gopeng, which encompasses Sungai Rapat.

Her apology came in the wake of several police reports lodged by Perak Indian-based public interests groups such as cultural-based organisation Ipoh Tamilar Tirunaal (ITT) organising committee, which has 30 Indian NGO affiliates.

Remarks spark furore

ITT advisor M Mathialagan, a lawyer, lodged the report condemning Hamidah’s racial slur and called upon her to openly apologise to all Indian Malaysians.

During a fiery state assembly meeting in Ipoh yesterday, Hamidah earned the wrath of Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons when she asked whether speaker Sivakumar (an Indian) ‘agreed to disagree’ with a well-known fable of whether a snake or a man from a certain racial community should be killed first.

Her ‘un-assembly-like’ question sparked a furore, prompting Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives led by executive councillor Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Pantai Remis) to demand that she retracts her words.

However, Hamidah maintained her innocence and said she was merely asking if Sivakumar “agreed to disagree” with it.

The speaker who is also DAP Tronoh assemblyperson instead let her off the hook with a mere warning of “not to repeat such sensitive remarks.”

She later retracted her words.

Hamidah was roundly criticised by elected representatives and public interests groups from inside and outside Perak for uttering racist remarks in the House.

DAP Buntong state assemblyperson A Sivasubramaniam did not mince his words, labeling her “a racist upholding BN tradition of racial brand politics”.

“It is ungainly graceless for a people’s representative to utter such racist remarks against the speaker and his community,” he said.

Playing with fire

Sivasubramaniam also said Hamidah’s remarks was proof that BN, particularly Umno, had yet to accept its electoral defeat and conform to the reality that “a speaker of Indian origin was presiding the House”.

“She and Umno are playing with fire by hurting the racial sentiment of others,” he told Malaysiakini.

Meanwhile, Penang’s Datuk Keramat assemblyperson Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Perak assembly should have suspended Hamidah immediately and referred her to the Privileges Committee for disciplinary action.

Over the years, Jagdeep’s father, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh has had in several instances clashed with Barisan MPs in Parliament over similar racist remarks that implicitly portrayed “the Indian community as more venomous than a snake”.

The Penang assemblyperson said Hamidah’s racial slur clearly showed BN had not learnt its lessons from the last general election.

He suggested that another round of elections would remind the coalition that “its racial brand politics no longer appeals to the majority of Malaysians”.

However, a Perak government insider said Hamidah was not referred to the Privilege Committee because she was deliberately left to “suffer public condemnation”.

“She could have become an Umno ‘heroine’ and evaded public humiliation since she would gain ‘immunity’ if referred to the committee.

“The game plan worked to force Hamidah to come out and openly apologise to Indians in Perak and the country as well,” the insider said.

Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise: the newly (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) installed Perak state government does not have a single Indian rep.

So with this new (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) state government in place, Hamidah Osman can no longer threaten to beat up anyone from the ruling (I still cannot believe MY SULTAN DID THIS) coalition.

Or can she still?

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Posted in Article, BN, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, Famous for Wrong Reason, girls, hypocrite, life, Malaysia, malaysiakini, malaysian, MIC, Najib Tun Razak, News, Observation, Observations, Pakan Rakyat, People, Politicians, politics, Racism, Samyvellu, the dandelions | Tagged: , , , , , | 49 Comments »

The Victorious Vile Leaping Toads…….

Posted by ErnieJean on February 5, 2009

Remember these faces folks.......and let them have it kow-kow next election!!

Remember these faces folks.......and let them have it kow-kow next election!!

Tell me you’re not feeling the same sort of distress when you saw this picture on the front page of our MSMs………

Well, I’m still nauseous from the sight of all the “ringgit-fed” vile fat faces, smilling triumphantly.

A friend wrote the following in hopes that more people will be aware of the seriousness of voicing our collective discontent now, has agreed to allow me to share with all you good folks…….

And after reading, do sign the Sultan’s guestbook. It may be too late to change the Tuanku’s mind for whatever decision he has made, but at least we’ve collectively voiced our outrage and dissapointment over the blatant unprincipled and corrupted practices of the current ruling coalition.

ALL MALAYSIANS, Please stand by our fellow Perak-ians: each and every one of us, regardless of religion, race, state, cultural and educational backgrounds stand to greatly loose out, not only on our rights and interests as citizens of Malaysia, but also our individual sense of self-respect and the consequently, the strength of our individual electoral votes in future.

Those politicians we voted for in Perak represent our utter dissatisfaction with the current government, and the fact that those in vile power can unjustifiably force their way into power with total disregard for the people’s collective votes and voice is a crime against our every Malaysian’s interests.

And, it does not change our unease and frustrations with filthy political figures who will blatantly show off their power to field unfair and underhanded manipulation of power for all to see, as if unashamedly urging the people to feel the threats of fears and resentment towards them… almost goading the people of Malaysia to succumb to unnecessary crime and violence.

That those politicians jumped ship does not mean that we would do the same: we will not jump away from our responsibilities and rights as citizens and we will not be manipulated by filthy politics, and especially not those led by a power greedy politician associated with foul and brutal murder.

It is not by chance that the opposition won the majority seats in the last election but the present events clearly demonstrate that it can only be by choice, and only freedom of choice that the opposition, any opposition at all, continues to win the hearts of every other Malaysian citizen who will never accept any person associated with murder to use whatever means possible to force their way into power, and with total disrespect and disregard for the rights and interests of the people.

As a people, at this time, who will say without shame that they will happily allow the vile powers of crime, corruption and disgraceful politics to triumph over us?

For all that we have enjoyed, we have also endured under the power of old, ineffective and irrelevant. It is clear: we do not want to continue on the path to filth and nothing will falter our determination to bring about a better, cleaner governing faculty clearly intent on genuinely protecting our interests, and that of our children.

Our faith in the system will be immensely weakened if the Sultan shows partiality to those in vile power: in consequence, the DYMM will be demonstrating an appalling favor for filthy politics and injustice against the voice of his people, and the people of Malaysia.

Our faith will be renewed if the DYMM listens to the voice of the people and share our struggles and concerns against those in vile power.

In any case, we need to do what we can to serve the majority and defend ourselves. We need to do what we can to stop being manipulated into working for deplorable and dishonorable politics.

We cannot quietly tolerate being misused by unrepentant politicians who will not understand that “no” means “NO” and continue to abuse and violate our interests, rights, morality and through their power over the media, even our thoughts.

We cannot allow ourselves to continue to be treated condescendingly, to continue to be undermined and manipulated into having faith in filth and lies intent on turning our differences against us. We truly need to defend our interests, and help protect the interests of our fellow Malaysians.

Please help strengthen the voice of every citizen of Perak and Malaysia, right now, to our DYMM SULTAN AZLAN to NOT ignore the fervent wishes of the people and initiate a state election, which the BN will NOT win.

For all that we know, from all the clearly foul tactics that they have used, the only supporters that BN holds in the state of Perak are those that they have either bribed, threatened and coerced. Now ask yourself: who would do better than any politician associated with brutal murder and foul political tactics?

My answer: anyone with a clear conscience, and a genuine concern for others.

SIGN DYMM SULTAN AZLAN’S GUESTBOOK HERE:

http://books.dreambook.com/duli/duli.html

– Jacq Soo.

 As for those who sold their souls for a couple of million ringgit, let it be known that you all have signed your political death sentence. Next election, our dissapointment and anger will be translated to our votes!!

Posted in Current Affairs, erniejean, government, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, Meaningless, Najib Tun Razak, News, Observations, People, Petition, Politicians, politics, UMNO | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

RIP Kugan Anandan: Scenes from the funeral.

Posted by ella-mae on January 28, 2009

MalaysiaKini reports 500 people accompanied Kugan Anandan on his final journey. There were more people waiting for him at the Hindu cemetary at Batu 14, Puchong.

As expected, the police were there but not in their usual numbers. Perhaps most of them were away looking for the culprit who had the gall to take off with three pairs of shoes from the home of former finance minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin.

RPK at Kugan's funeral procession while a police helicopter hovers above.

RPK at Kugan's funeral procession while a police helicopter hovers above.

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Scenes from the funeral procession at Batu 14, Puchong

Scenes from the funeral procession at Batu 14, Puchong

Our constant companion throughout the whole event.

Our constant companion throughout the whole event.

One of the many children at the funeral.

One of the many children at the funeral.

Dark clouds loom ahead as the casket is taken out of the hearse for Kugan's final journey.

Dark clouds loom ahead as the casket is taken out of the hearse for Kugan's final journey.

The heavy downpour that came with the dark clouds did not deter the crowd from giving Kugan a dignified send off.

The heavy downpour that came with the dark clouds did not deter the crowd from giving Kugan a dignified send off.

Prayers before the burial.

Prayers before the burial.

Standing on whatever they could find for a better view.

Standing on whatever they could find for a better view.

The crowd around the Hindu cemetary.

The crowd around the Hindu cemetary.

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Many of the hardworking people from Pakatan Rakyat were at the funeral. We only managed to capture photos of Nik Nazmi, Gobind Singh and Teresa Kok.

Many of the hardworking people from Pakatan Rakyat were at the funeral. We only managed to capture photos of Nik Nazmi, Gobind Singh and Teresa Kok.

In his final resting place.

Young life, forever gone: In his final resting place.

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Nothing hurts like the death of a child, say those who have struggled to go on.

A family's anguish and pain: Nothing hurts like the death of a child, say those who have struggled to go on.

kugan-motherThe towel wet from Kugan's mother's tears fell accidentally onto the coffin bearing his remains. For her Kugan's death contradicts all reasonable human expectations that our children will bury us, not vice versa.

Towel wet from Kugan's mother's tears accidentally fell onto the coffin bearing his remains. For her Kugan's death contradicts all reasonable human expectations that our children will bury us, not vice versa.

Posted in Crime, Current Affairs, Dandelions, ella-mae, Human Rights, Malaysia, malaysiakini, Observation, Observations, Pakan Rakyat, People, Raja Petra Kamarudin | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Kiasu-ism…..It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World Baby!!!

Posted by ErnieJean on January 15, 2009

Questionaire 1

Hands up those of you who are familiar with one or all of the following situations :-

Situation No.1

 Parent A begrudges a classmate of her 8-year old daughter because the classmate was selected (instead of her daughter) to represent the school for some national level story telling competition.

She then instructed her child to not be friends with that classmate because she figured the classmate had lifted off some “good luck” or something like that from her daughter. 

Situation No.2

A dance teacher had to reschedule a dance class to 8pm on a weekday. All parents were fine with the time and day. Except for one particular Parent B. She insisted that the teacher have the replacement class at 8.15pm because her child had singing classes till 8pm and they would only be able to arrive at the dance school at 8.15pm.

It was totally out of the question that her child misses out on the 15 minutes.

Situation No.3

Parent C, on the first day of school, after identifying her child’s designated classroom, proceeds to “choop” (reserve) the best seat in the class (whatever that means…….but for sure, it’ll be right in front and near the teacher’s table) and bare fangs if someone else would even think about going near the reserved seat.

Situation No.4

Fellow classmates refusing to share notes with one another because their Kiasu-Parents told them not to, “…lest your classmate becomes cleverer than you”…………so woes to those who fall sick and had to miss class.

The above situation, by the way, are actual accounts….and we’re NOT talking about in the little red dot country down south…..these are parents from our very own backyard…..

Yes, they’re are our very own homegrown breed of Malaysian Kiasu Parents!!!! *scary slasher movie theme song playing in the background*

What exactly is Kiasuism?

Who are these Kiasu-Parents that the rest of us level-minded folks pull our hairs over?

I think Kiasuism is definitely more than wanting the best for yourself or your loved ones. After all, that’s only normal, to want to strife for the best that you can offer yourself or your child. But shouldn’t there be a limit as to how one tries to achieve it?

I would probably explain “Kiasuism” as wanting the best for oneself, to be a “winner” in every situation, DO OR DIE………AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.

In situations like the above, the Kiasu-Parent would be known to throw all niceties and decencies to the wind, just so he/she or his/her loved one gets to be “Numero Uno“, regardless of how petty it is. Who gives a damn about the others………they can rot for all the Kiasu-Parent cares.

These are the shameless adults who would use all ways….intimidation, bullying and harrassments……to achieve their goals. Wanna bet? They would also be the very same folks you find hogging all the food at a buffet line, regardless of whether they can finish it or not, just grab first!!! And those who fall victims to these “monsters” are usually children or meeker adults. I suppose what they say about bullies are true……they’re closeted cowards.

And that is how a society will eventually evolve to become the uncaring, self-centred, selfish and apathetic one that we can all see emerging on Malaysian soil.

A friend reckons that the Kiasu-Parents are probably, and I quote him, “…..using their kids as proxy to achieve things they never able or have chance to learn and imposing their ‘perceived version of success’ as a yardstick for their kids.”.

To be honest, I pity their children. For one thing, it’s almost certain that children of these Kiasu-Parents are bogged down with tuitions and extra-curicular activities. Not that I have anything against that, for with our current school system, tuition is almost unavoidable….believe me, I’ve tried avoiding tuition for my own kid and failed……teachers are just not teaching. But, oh, to go overboard with tuition for just about everything under the sun, demands for homework, multiple workshops for mental enrichment programs and what-nots, is almost akin to robbing a child of his/her childhood.

Can we ever hope to eliminate this “Kiasu” mentality? Unfortunately, I very much doubt anything can be done, for it’s one of the many human weaknesses. As long as the person doesn’t recognise “kiasuism” as a weakness to be corrected, there’s just no way of correcting it, is there?

See the following quotes from some Kiasu-Parents, taken from  http://www.kidzmag.com.my/regular_files/KIDZMAG0107_026-029_WSTS.pdf

There’s nothing wrong with being ‘kiasu’. I think it’s a good thing being competitive. It’s a dog-eat-dog world we live in; nice guys finish last. So I teach my kids to always do their best so that they can be the best. – Mark Wong, businessman with 3 sons.

For me, being ‘kiasu’ gives me a competitive edge over others. The business world can be cut-throat, so you’d have to be hard-nosed to survive. If not, then you’ll get trampled on. My thinking  is, as long as I don’t do anything illegal to secure my “triumphs”, then anything goes. I see all these graduates in their first jobs, all innocent and naive.It’s as if their families did not prepare them for the real world. Now they’re struggling to stay ahead. – Thomas Chung, Real Estate Agent 

And can we really say “To hell with the kiasu adults…….cannot be salvaged” and try to work on their next generation? The children? Is it possible? For isn’t it always that the child grows up to be the product of his upbringing? 

Wishful thinking?????????

 

Posted in Education, erniejean, Malaysia, Observations, People, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Even If We Lose, We’re Still Well-Liked, So Says The Ostrich Politician……

Posted by ErnieJean on January 7, 2009

Someone’s obviously running scared…….better cover his rear-end first by issuing a damage-control statement……… 

Wednesday January 7, 2009

‘Don’t use polls to gauge popularity of leaders’

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Kuala Terengganu by-election should not be used to gauge the popularity of the leaders of the country or the state, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said the by-election on Jan 17 was for the people here to choose the best person to represent them.

“This is not a referendum on me, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said,” he told a press conference after the close of nominations here yesterday. (Oooooo………..of course it’s not………is there a reason why it should be in the first place? Just make sure if your man does win for some reason or another, you and the PM will not be the first one to jump on the pedestal and declare that you’re popular, yar?)

Najib said Barisan’s candidate was the best man for the job because he has already been guaranteed a deputy minister’s post if he won.

“The electorate in Kuala Terengganu should think deeply on who they feel will be the best man to represent them – a deputy minister or an opposition MP.

“I have already told the Barisan machinery to explain to the voters that if they vote for PAS, their representative will never become a deputy minister,” he said. (So…….this is the “brilliant strategy” cooked up by UMNO!!!??? )

Najib said the Barisan was ready to answer all issues raised by the opposition. (Erm……..what about the answers to all the previous issues raised? We’re still waiting lah…..)

He said the Barisan would use a people-friendly approach, with “Barisan Is People-Friendly” as the campaign theme. (Yes….very friendly indeed….so much so that cyclists can get harrassed and candle stick holder get beaten up……..)

This, he added, would make the people the ruling coalition’s focus in the by-election.

“We are stressing this concept as a reflection of what we are doing. Our target is the people and they are our priority when we carry out any development programmes,” he added.

Najib said the opposition was likely to use national issues in their campaign because they seemed to have run out of local issues to harp on. (I’m sorry but don’t national issues affect local issues?)

Asked if he was optimistic about Barisan retaining the seat, Najib replied: “Based on the number of people who turned up to show support for our candidate, the mood is for Barisan but we cannot underestimate PAS as it is a formidable opponent.” (Wow…..truly a Master at twisting words…..*clap clap* !!)

Now, I was initially wondering why would our DPM be so quick and eager to quash any links of defeat to the support for his leadership…until I came across some photos of Day 1 Nomination Day At KT (Thanks to Malaysia Today and Uncle Zorro ;D)  ………..NO WONDER-LAH!!!!!! 

CHECK OUT PHOTOS TAKEN FROM THE UMNO CAMP………..

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umno-empty

umno-very-empty

AND NOW……FOR PHOTOS TAKEN FROM THE PAS/PAKATAN RAKYAT CAMP…….

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 While the show of support for PAS undoubtedly reveals how UMNO/BN are fast losing support due to their brand of arrogant politics, let’s just hope those numbers actually translate into actual votes.

Posted in BN, By Election, Current Affairs, Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak, Observations, Opinions, Pakan Rakyat, People, PKR, Politicians, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

No, It’s Not Our Business Anyway…….

Posted by ErnieJean on December 17, 2008

Remember this song?

My name is luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think youve seen me before
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight
Just dont ask me what it was
Just dont ask me what it was
Just dont ask me what it was
I think its because Im clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe its because Im crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
And after that you dont ask why
You just dont argue anymore
You just dont argue anymore
You just dont argue anymore

Yes I think Im okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask thats what Ill say
And its not your business anyway
I guess Id like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown
Just dont ask me how I am
Just dont ask me how I am
Just dont ask me how I am

Luka, apparently, was eventually found beaten to death…… 😦

Ella Mae called me yesterday, pretty much shaken up…….

A neighbour of hers, a lady from India who is married a local guy, with 3 teenage girls, was overheard screaming in pain. Knowing the husband’s history for beating his wife up whenever he pleases, Ella Mae got worried and called her condominium’s management office to send a security personnel to that apartment unit to check on them. Guess what? The security guard only went to the front of the apartment and upon not hearing anything, decided that it was a false alarm.

Not satisfied with the guard’s half-heartedness, Ella Mae then, decided to try approaching some other neighbours whom she is friends with, to check on the Indian lady. Needless to say, nobody wanted to get involved because it’s considered to be a “domestic issue“.

In the end, Ella Mae made the same security guard follow her to the Indian lady’s apartment, knocked on the door and the husband appeared. After being questioned about the blood-cuddling scream that she heard, he admitted to hitting his wife, but his excuse was that she hit him first. Funny thing that she’s gone to the clinic for treatment while he’s bruise free.

What got her extremely upset was the level of apathy her neighbours displayed during such incidences. The beatings that the lady had to endure was not a one-time-off incident, as she has endured so many beatings in the past that she tried running away before, but due to threats from her Malaysian husband regarding their daughters and her Malaysian visa, the poor woman had to return her hell-hole of a home. And Ella Mae knew that her neighbours had heard the screams that morning too, although they all played dumb when asked about it.

Nobody cared.

And nobody will too.

Because nobody wants to get involved in something that’s so messy and emotional.

Public Apathy, folks!!

The question is, do we really turn our backs on these victims of violence (domestic or otherwise), all for the sake of not being tagged as “Nosy-Parkers” ? And only to come out with stories for the press and TV crew when something horrible takes place, such as murder?

That only when the dead body of the wife is discovered and the husband arrested, do these neighbours eagerly jump at the opportunity to be interviewed by some TV reporter, for their 1-minute fame, and say “Ya-lah….we always hear the poor woman scream for help…..so pitiful“………..SAD, isn’t it?

Someone asked me what can one do if the abused victim doesn’t want to press charges or ask for help. Well, like Ella Mae’s neighbour, she’s obviously at the mercies of her abuser aka husband due to her status as a foreign wife (and we all know how our immigration people process eligibility for PR status, don’t we?) and hence how can we blame her for keeping quiet, but all these while, living in fear?

I think, the very least we could do as decent human beings would be to let the abuser know that he/she is being watched by a lot of people who will not hesitate to act accordingly if the abuses continue……..

Did you know that studies have shown that majority of these abusers are actually COWARDS? That they only prey on the ones that are weaker than themselves in order to cover up for their insecurities and weaknesses?

That if they are confronted by a group of people, these cowards would more often than not, back down and think twice before they use their fists again……and with the support from such a group, this may also give the victim the much needed courage to take charge of the situation.

The other thing we could do is to at least inform the relevant social organisation such as Women’s Aid Organisation for their possible intervention.

(Hey, by the way, does that mean our sadistic dog-catchers are cowards too? Throw away their shot guns and long sticks and see if they are still so macho, ya?)

Posted in ella-mae, Emo, erniejean, Malaysia, murder, Observations, Opinions, People, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Reasons Your Weight Training Results Suck

Posted by ella-mae on October 16, 2008

I found this article last week and thought it was a good read. Enjoy!

8 Reasons Your Weight Training Results Suck

If I had to guess, I’d estimate that for every person who has been weight training and getting good results, there’s probably about 50 other people whose results absolutely suck.

Some will give it a try for a certain period of time, get no where, and then give up for good. Others will do the same, only they’ll periodically try again, get the same sucky results, and quit only to repeat this all over again every few months or years (or annually as part of their New Year’s Resolution). The rest have all of the dedication in the world and will never give up. Instead, they’ll consistently get virtually no where… forever.

That last one sounds familiar to me because, well, it was me. I started weight training in 2000, and after some good initial results, I spent most of the next 2 years wasting my time. My results sucked. In fact, I came this close (I’m holding my thumb and pointer finger a half inch away from each other) to being one of those people (and there’s dozens of them in every gym) who are exactly the same today as they were their first day in the gym, and this will be equally true 10 years from now as well. Fortunately for me, I avoided this and fixed what was making my results suck.

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, I have good news. You can fix it. If you’re thinking of starting weight training for the first time, you can prevent it from ever happening to you in the first place. How? Well, I’m glad you asked (or I’m glad I asked in your voice).

Here’s what I feel are the 8 most common reasons your weight training results suck right now, have sucked in the past, or will suck at some point in the future.

#1: Your progression sucks.

Pay attention to this one. While this list isn’t in any specific order, I still put this one on top for a reason. Above all else, the key to increasing muscle, strength, endurance, or just improving your overall fitness level is quite simply progression. There must be some type of progression, and all focus should be placed on making this progression occur as often as it possibly can.

If you consistently work out in any typical gym for a certain period of time, one thing you are sure to see are the same people, doing the same exercises, with the same weight, for the same number of reps, for weeks, months and years… and continuing to get the same sucky results. And, rightfully so.

Without making an effort to progress, you will do nothing but maintain your current state. It’s the progressive overload principle. Basically, you need to convince your body that results (be it muscle, strength, whatever) NEED to happen, and the only way to do this convincing is by progressively increasing the demands being placed on your body.

The human body is smart. If you put it in a certain situation consistently, it will adapt. In this case the “consistent situation” is progressive weight training. The adaptation? Making you stronger, creating new muscle tissue, etc.. This is the real goal here… gradually increasing what your body is capable of doing so that it is constantly adapting to these new demands. This constant adapting leads to constant results.

How can you do this? Well, when it comes to weight training, the simplest, most common, and most obvious way (and the only way I’ll be mentioning right now) is by increasing the weight you are lifting and/or the reps you are lifting it for. For example, for Exercise XYZ, if you can currently lift 50lbs for 4 sets of 8 reps, your new goal should be to lift 55lbs for 4 sets of 8 reps of that same exercise. Let me break that down for you…

For Exercise XYZ, you can currently do:

Set 1: 50lbs – 8 reps
Set 2: 50lbs – 8 reps
Set 3: 50lbs – 8 reps
Set 4: 50lbs – 8 reps

Your goal the next time you perform Exercise XYZ should be:

Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
Set 2: 55lbs – 8 reps
Set 3: 55lbs – 8 reps
Set 4: 55lbs – 8 reps

If you can do it, great. Go to 60lbs the following time. If you can’t, and instead get something like this:

Set 1: 55lbs – 8 reps
Set 2: 55lbs – 7 reps
Set 3: 55lbs – 7 reps
Set 4: 55lbs – 6 reps

…don’t worry about it. This is perfectly normal. Your new goal is to make this become 4 sets of 8 reps. Put all of your effort into adding 1 rep to that second and third set, and 2 reps to that forth set. Maybe one workout you get 8, 8, 7, 6. Then next time you get 8, 8, 7, 7. Then next time, 8, 8, 8, 7. And then finally you get the 8, 8, 8, 8 the following workout. When that happens, repeat this all over again with 60lbs. This is progression. This is the single most important aspect of getting any form of positive weight training results.

If you didn’t attempt to progress and you just continued lifting the same 50lbs for the same 4 sets of 8, nothing would ever happen. No new muscle, no new strength, no new improvements, no new results. You could continue doing it for the next 20 years, it wouldn’t matter. This is something your body is already capable of doing. Continuing to do it will only signal your body to maintain what is needed for it to be able to lift 50lbs for 4 sets of 8.

Force your body to something it has previously been unable to do, and the complete opposite will happen. The only way your body will ever achieve any positive results from weight training is by you forcing them to happen. Signal your body to change, and it will. Don’t… and it won’t.

#2: Your little pink dumbbells suck.

Ladies, this one is for you. Step away from the 3lb pink dumbbells. The only reason you should ever go near them again is if you need a dumbbell-shaped paperweight to match some other pink desk accessory. Honestly, that’s all they’re really good for. Let me explain…

Did you read #1 on this list? If so, this really shouldn’t require much of an explanation. In order to get non-sucky weight training results, the progressive overload principle must be in constant and consistent effect. What that means is you must challenge your body to do something it isn’t currently capable of doing. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to go outside and try to pick up a car. It just means you need to do things that are challenging for YOU. And, take my word for it, I don’t care if you are 15 or 50, male or female, there is no healthy adult on the planet who is going to be challenged by a 3lb dumbbell.

I recently saw a woman in my gym do dumbbell presses with the smallest/lightest dumbbells I’ve ever seen in my life. She could have held 2 pencils in each hand and gotten the same effect. Hell, she could have drawn a picture of a dumbbell on a piece of paper and held the paper in her hand. It was just plain crazy. And of course, she’ll be back next time to repeat the same exercise with the same tiny dumbbells for the same number of reps. Then she’ll wonder why she isn’t any stronger, why she hasn’t built any new muscle, why she isn’t any leaner, why she isn’t getting into any better overall shape, and why she is getting nothing but sucky results from weight training.

The answer is simple. She’s not signaling her body to make any of these improvements. When she does this extremely typical type of workout that many females do, her body basically thinks this: “Oh great, here we go again. She’s got the tiny pink dumbbells out. What are we going to do now? Yet another set of 10-20 reps just like last time? Yawn. Wake me up when we’re going to do something that is even remotely challenging.”

If she progressed to the next heaviest weight of dumbbells the next time she did this workout, her body would think “Hey… what’s this? This is new. We’ve never had to do this before. Hmmm. Interesting. If she keeps this up, we’re going to have to adapt to this new work we’re being forced to do.” And that adaptation, of course, is the basis for all GOOD weight training results. The body will adapt by making the things you want to happen… actually happen. Increased muscle, increased strength, increased endurance, increased flexibility, increased bone density, increased overall fitness level, etc.. The body must be challenged to improve or else it will gladly remain as is. The typical workout done by most females just isn’t even almost making this happen.

What’s that? You use your light pink dumbbells because you don’t want to get “big and bulky” like a guy? Here’s the thing though, you CAN’T get big and bulky like a guy. Don’t get me wrong, you females can definitely put on your share of muscle, just not nearly as much or nearly as fast as a guy. It’s just not in your genetic makeup. What? What about the females who are indeed big and bulky like a guy? Well, all you need to do to avoid that ever happening is avoid their drug use.

This is the big female fear and the biggest excuse for having these non-challenging weight training habits. That if you even attempt to do a big exercise, or use a big weight, or do anything more than small exercises with light weights for high reps, you’ll wake up the next day and look like a big freaky female bodybuilder.

First of all, I wish muscle could be gained that quickly. Where you could wake up one day and think “Oh crap, how did this happen? How did I gain all of this muscle without realizing it?” It just doesn’t work like that. In fact, the best the average male adult could hope for is gaining something like 0.25 – 0.5 pounds of muscle per week, and that’s under the best possible circumstances. For females it’s most likely half that.

Second of all, as long as you don’t use any “assistance,” you could never get that big, freaky, manly look that so many females are afraid of even if you really wanted to. This common fear is a borderline myth, and all it’s actually doing is causing a lot a women to get a lot of sucky weight training results.

So ladies, what should you be doing in the gym? You should be working out like a guy who wants to gain 100lbs of muscle and be able to pick up cars and throw them down the street with their bare hands. Alright, that’s a bit extreme, but I’m just trying to make a point. You need to push yourself (safely, of course). You need to challenge your body. You need to do more than pick up the same little pink dumbbells and lift them for the same 15 reps for the same little isolation exercises (more on those later).

In my opinion (and the opinion of virtually any respectable source), there is no real difference in the way a guy and a girl should be weight training. We’re all human, and all of our bodies respond to the same basic principles. Therefore, we all need to do the same things in order to get the results we want. Would a guy who wants to gain some muscle or get stronger waste a second of his time with a 3lb pink dumbbell? Of course not, and no woman should either.

#3: Your body part split sucks.

First, let me clarify what I mean by “body part split” by giving you an example of a fairly typical version of one:

Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Biceps and Triceps
Saturday/Sunday: Off

This, my friends, may very well be a variation of the most common type of workout organization you’ll find the average person using in nearly any gym on the planet. Your first thought might be “Well, if so many people are using it, it must be good, right?” Wrong. The average person may use it, but then again, the average person’s results suck. This is no coincidence.

Your next thought may be something along the lines of “But bodybuilder so-and-so uses a similar body part split, and he’s huge!” or “I have a subscription to a bunch of bodybuilding/fitness magazines and every routine the pros or trainers ever recommend is always in the form of a body part split similar to what you just mentioned.” or “I read a ton of websites that all recommend a workout split like this.” or “I’ve been paying attention to this big guy in my gym and he appears to be using a similar routine.”

How could this be, you ask?

I’ll sum the answer up in 2 words… drug use. I’ll say it again, drug use. And, once more for effect… drug use. Cancel your subscriptions to those magazines. Delete those websites from your bookmarks. Ignore that guy in your gym. Here’s who body part splits tend to work the best for… drug users and those with well above average genetics. Pro bodybuilders are both. That guy in your gym is most likely one or the other, if not both as well.

Does that mean the body part split mentioned above (or anything similar) doesn’t work unless you have super duper genetics or are using some form of “assistance?” Nope, it can still work. The real question is, would it be the optimal way for a natural, genetically average person to workout? The answer there is a resounding NO.

You probably need some convincing, I know I did. It took me a good 2 years of once-per-week-body-part-split training before I started to realize how my own results sort of sucked and started looking for answers why. Let me save you the time. The body part split is not ideal for about 90% of the population. Nearly every single respectable strength coach (the people who train high school, college and professional athletes from a variety of sports) and fitness expert would back up that statement.

There isn’t an athlete (from football players, to gymnasts, to powerlifters) on the planet who splits their workouts up in terms of body parts and trains each one once every 7 days. They know that this just isn’t optimal.

Old time bodybuilders/strongmen knew this too, which is why they would have probably laughed in your face if you suggested they use a typical body part split. This type of weight training layout became popular right around the time performance enhancing drugs became popular. This is no coincidence.

So, magazines slap pictures of huge bodybuilders all over their magazines and sell it to you with the headline of “Learn what this guy does to look like this!” Unfortunately, at the end of the article describing his high volume body part split, they leave out the disclaimer that should say “Oh, and don’t forget to use a ton of drugs like this dude did.”

So then, what kind of workout split is ideal for us natural, genetically average people? A full body or upper/lower split. For beginners (less than 6 consistent months), there is no question that a full body routine done 3 days per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example) is by far and away the most recommended weight training split. An upper/lower split (upper body on Monday and Thursday, lower body on Tuesday and Friday) is perfect after that. I made the switch from a typical body part split to an upper/lower split years ago and won’t be switching back any time soon.

#4: Your exercise selection sucks.

If you want to increase strength or muscle, you’d be at a HUGE disadvantage if your workout consists primarily of, well, crap. A ton of biceps and triceps exercises, leg extensions and leg curls, pec decks, cable crossovers and dumbbell flyes, and so on. These are all small isolation exercises that serve to “isolate” the specific muscle you are looking to “work.” This is all well and good, and these types of exercises can (and in some cases should) be a part of your weight training routine. However, they should be nothing more than a very small part of it.

Instead, your workout should be comprised primarily of big, compound exercises. These are the exercises that allow you to use the most weight, allow you to add weight the most often (aka the progressive overload principle) and will add more muscle to your body than any combination of isolation exercises ever will.

These types of exercises include the bench press (flat, incline and decline), squats (and other squat variations), deadlifts (and other deadlift variations), rows (bent over barbell/dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, seated chest supported rows, etc.), pull-ups, dips, and overhead presses.

If you have any interest in adding any amount of muscle to your body, increasing your strength at all, or just becoming a more fit and athletic person in general, your weight training workout should be built around these exercises.

#5: Your recovery sucks.

When you are working out, you are not getting results. Instead, you are signaling your body to do what it needs to do to make the results happen. In order for your body to do this, it needs to rest and recover. It needs off days, days when you aren’t signaling it with weight training. It’s not even so much that each muscle group needs a chance to recover before the next workout (although they do), it’s that your entire body (from the nervous system on down) needs to recover.

For these reasons, the average person should have a minimum of 3 off days per week. This allows you to have a maximum of 4 weight training workouts per week. This fits perfectly with my recommendation of an upper/lower split as well as 3 full body workouts (which would allow 4 off days per week).

In addition, each workout itself should be kept to about 1 hour each, give or take 15 minutes or so.

Your body also needs sleep, the more the better. In an ideal world, 8-10 hours a night would be perfect. Your body also needs you to avoid stress. The weight training itself is about all the stress your body wants to deal with. Outside stress beyond that certainly doesn’t help.

#6: Your form sucks.

I see it so often that I barely notice it anymore. Spend time in any regular gym and you’re guaranteed to see it too. Horrible, many times even laughable, form when performing certain weight training exercises. Squats that have the range of motion of a calf raise. Biceps curls that look like some insane combination of a reverse grip upright row and a good morning. Bench presses where the spotter is getting more of a workout than the person doing the actual bench pressing. From something as advanced as a squat to something as basic as a push-up. Name any exercise and you’ll find thousands of people performing it with bad form.

The way I see it, there are 3 types of bad form. The dangerous kind that can (and most likely will) cause an injury, the kind that lessens or completely voids the effectiveness of an exercise, or the kind that is a combination of both. All types should be avoided completely.

You could have the best routine, with the best exercises, with an exceptional focus on progression, and it will all do very little if bad form is preventing you from getting everything out of it that you should be.

Whether it’s just a lack of understanding how to do an exercise properly, or just an ego thing (lifting more weight than you can with proper form for the sole purpose of lifting a heavier weight), it doesn’t really matter. If your form sucks, your results will suck.

#7: Your consistency and patience sucks.

The positive results from weight training don’t happen overnight. It takes time. You can’t workout hard for a couple of weeks and expect amazing results. I know, some people are programmed into thinking you can from the various ads making it seem like you should. “Get the body of your dreams in just 6 weeks!” or “Get the results you want in as little as 3 weeks!” Those are all giant lies. Ignore them.

In addition to time, it also takes consistency. As I’ve mentioned throughout this article, weight training is really just the tool you are using to signal your body to improve. That signal needs to remain constant (while still allowing adequate rest and recovery, of course). This means that you can’t expect to do everything right for a short period of time, stop, start again, stop, start again, etc. and get positive results. Your body won’t see the need it improve if the demands being placed upon it aren’t consistent.

#8: Your diet sucks.

There are so many reasons your diet could suck that this could quickly become a whole second article. Let’s keep it simple. First, calories. If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than your body needs. If you want to gain weight (specifically a significant amount of muscle), you must consume more calories than your body needs. (Full details on this can be found in the Guide To Calories And Weight Control.)

After that, you need sufficient amounts of protein, carbs and fat, and you need to get them all from good sources. (More details can be found in The Beginner’s Guide To Diet, Nutrition And Healthy Eating.)

Recommended reading: Dear Diary by MissJolie

Ella-Mae: You may also want to keep a journal detailing your workout 🙂

Then you need plenty of water, vitamins and minerals.

The best weight training workout in the world can easily be made sucky at the hands of a terrible diet. They go together. Get them both right, and the results will follow.

The End

If you’ve been doing any weight training and are getting less than stellar results, I can almost guarantee that one or more of the above reasons is the cause. If you’re new to or are planning on getting into weight training in the near future (which literally every single person, male or female, old or young, could greatly benefit from), these are the most common causes of poor results. Read them, understand them, and avoid them.

For an insanely detailed guide to building muscle, check out The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle.

Posted in ella-mae, Food, girls, Gym, People | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

An interview with Zaid Ibrahim – Minister of Nothing Now

Posted by barbie on September 23, 2008

A reform is only complicated if you don’t want it, says senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. If you want reforms, make the Government more transparent, adopt meritocracy and a more equitable system; that’s not difficult.

PUTTING Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim in a Barisan Nasional Cabinet after the March 8 general election might have seemed to some like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

“Will he fit in?” wondered his friends with concern while others reacted with consternation.

Tried as hard as he did for six months to fit in that hole, Zaid decided to call it quits after six months, when hit by the last straw – three civilians were arrested under the Internal Security Act on Sept 12. Sunday Star caught up with him shortly after his resignation and quizzed him on his time in the Cabinet, his political will and his next venture.

> In the short six months that you have been minister, can you tell us how Cabinet decisions are made?

It depends on the issue. For major issues, the structure is not so clear. It’s a difficult question to answer.

> Is a paper tabled in Cabinet first for major issues?

Yes. It can be approved as is or with some changes. It’s very fluid. With the more difficult ones and this is where I was not very good at – you probably need the Prime Minister and a few people to agree first before you submit a paper.

> Do Ministers ask for time to study the paper if they do not have expertise in the area, say for example in your paper on the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC)?

It’s very difficult to answer without revealing what happened in Cabinet. I can only talk about broad practices because I’m bound by an oath to secrecy.

> You can’t talk about the process?

It’s difficult because the process depends on the subject matter, it depends on who is the mover and who supports it and who doesn’t. It’s not something you can encapsulate simply.

> But people are curious about the process. They want to understand how after an announcement is made, for example, on JAC, Cabinet can decide to delay its setting up. Was it lobbied against? By whom? At what stage and in what form?

A responsible Government would take all views into consideration before coming to a decision. But there is no set rule for that before a paper is presented. Political will cannot be rendered by me alone.

> The public respects your decision to resign but who do the people speak to now?

They are supposed to tell their Member of Parliament, the party in power and the president of the party. Or they should change the government (if that doesn’t work). There’s only so much an individual can do. We all have to find alternative routes to get what we want.

They can try the new Minister (Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz) who’ll probably be more effective. Some say I’m not a team player, so maybe you need a team player. Some say I don’t know what collective responsibility means. All these are difficult concepts for me … I just wanted to do something I thought would be good and people would see that.

> What has been the most severe criticism levelled at you?

Not severe-lah, just irritating. That the reforms (for greater equality) don’t serve the Malays. It just shows their level of ignorance. Some said I’m not a team player, I don’t know how to convince people.

> The public were happy when the Prime Minister announced the setting up of a JAC. They understand it’s very complicated and the Government needs time but…

It is actually not a complicated thing. It’s only complicated if you don’t want it. The reform was meant to make the Government more transparent, employ a fairer and more equitable system, get the best people for the job, and to have meritocracy in place. That’s not difficult.

> So what was the difficulty, especially after March 8?

The difficulty is some people don’t want to change and as long as they are in power you have to live with it.

> Are you going to write a book about your six months in office?

No, I’m going to write a book about Malaysia.

> A re-hash of your past speeches?

No. That (In Good Faith) was my first book. This will be more of a story.

> You talked of setting up a foundation called MyFuture. What’s its mission?

I see race relations as a major problem in Malaysia. There are Malays who subscribe to ketuanan Melayu, special rights, special law and are fearful of the Chinese. They are fearful of accepting non-Malays in administration, high positions and in universities. There is too much ethno-centric and communitarian politics.

I want young people to be able to understand the other’s problems and fears so we can solve problems rather than “don’t talk about this, don’t talk about that”, “this is sensitive”, “you are threatening us” and “get out of the country if you don’t like it here.” It’s all symptomatic of a state of mind that is not confident. You can’t have reform then.

In a JAC, for example, with a more open process, you will end up having an Indian Chief Justice; you’d ask “how could that be? I can’t accept that.” That argument is racist in character. Or if you want a more equitable housing policy and if you perceive the act of redistribution of wealth or opportunity as benefiting one particular group you don’t like, then you say that is not on because it would endanger or violate your rights.

The whole spectrum of our national life cannot undergo reform if the Malays, Chinese and Indians are ridden with fear and chauvinistic views.

We should move beyond talk. It’s no point charging people with sedition here and there every other week. You have to address the fundamental problem.

It is compounded by the fact that we have two court (civil/syariah) systems. You must understand the issues and be willing to sit down and be trusting enough with one another to say how can we solve this problem.

We need a different approach for this. I hope this foundation can do that in a small way, based on the experiences and modules from other countries on how they deal with racial prejudices through cultural outreach programmes €” beyond eating and makan. We need to understand, for example, why Hindus build temples all over the place? What is the historical perspective? Can a church be next to a mosque? We have had that in Penang for over 100 years but can we do that now?

> You reckon they could build a multi-storey carpark next to the two places of worship to serve both communities, resolving the traffic/parking problem on Fridays at the mosque and Sundays at the church?

Yes (laughing). But you can effect reform only if people are trusting and don’t think that one violates another’s tenets.

We devote too much time on things like toll, double tracking when we should devote more time on Bangsa Malaysia, what kind of people we want to be.

I was told a person asked why a 9A’s student didn’t get a scholarship and the reply was that it was okay for one race but not another. I find that repugnant.
What kind of values are we teaching? We should teach our children not to fear another race or religion. We should recognise our differences and live as equal citizens in this country.

> Many Malaysians speak nostalgically about how race relations were better decades before. How will you erase years of racism and bigotry sown at home or in school?

We have the trappings of success but need to improve. I think the Malays are less fearful of the Chinese now but some people in my party think otherwise. I also know the Chinese in my constituency voted PAS.

> How will you woo parents who worry your programmes might “brainwash” their children into “liberals?”

There is a lot “brainwashing” here to start with, the brainwashing of civil servants and politicians. So if I do my brainwashing (laughing) what’s wrong with that? I am just sending a different message and countering theirs. I am willing to engage with these people that this is a flawed policy, this is not what makes us Malays proud.

> Do you think a JKKK (Village Development and Security Committee) would allow you to hold a programme in their village?

Why not? You need to engage with them. You can’t legislate, well you can but you have to do more. I’m not pretending I’m a great reformist in the area of values and beliefs but I would like another language, one more positive to be used.

If we can influence the young people, they will become decision makers every five years. That’s the one thing politicians are afraid of.

I used to go to Hindu temples in Kelantan. Nobody says anything there. When I saw the famous reclining Buddha I wondered about him. That started my interest in philosophy. Everything that you see stimulates your interest in something else.

We really need to get out of mediocrity and stereotype…I’m not so much interested in seminars and papers but in field activities involving young people. Then hopefully they will not grow up stopping forums and so forth; hopefully they will grow up willing to understand what the problem is.

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