Loyal Followers

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Beauty and the Mullah

As it is video week, allow me to continue with the trend.

I was forwarded the video you are about to watch (it is a must watch) by Dato' Z aka Bernard of the Zorro-unmasked fame. Thank you to him for doing so.

There is no sex in the video. And so, you do not need to wear a jubah, green or otherwise, while watching it.

I am one of those who, like the beautiful actress in the video, think that there are many other things which a Mullah could do to make this world a better place. If, for example, all those cheap hotel raiders could just go to Chow Kit and show some love to some, if not all, the street and stateless children out there, instead of tom-peeping at couples at night, the world would a much better place to live in.

But of course, those are boring things to do. Who would want to go to Chow Kit and talk to faceless street children. That is a job for people who have got nothing better to do, like Dr Hartini and her Rumah Nursalam.

The inevitable focus then is of course on how women should behave; how women should wear the tudung; how Muslims should not drink alcohol, should not celebrate Christmas or wear like Santa, should not wear Manchester United jersey; how the Muslims should not celebrate Valentine's Day and whatever. Oh, I forgot. The focus is also on how an underage gal could be married off although she's could not yet have a driving license.

The actress in the following video was not going to have none of the Mullah's warped view of what Islam is and should be. She stood her ground and she fought to be heard.

And oh my God, wasn't she heard!

God bless her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The set-point for Dato' T?

In The Three Faces of Malaysia, I said:

"Because I foresee the next General Election is going to be the worst General Election in terms of utter madness and gutter politics. Mark my words. Zaid Ibrahim's photo-shopped picture with some bottles of brandy during the Hulu Selangor by-election would be chicken feed as compared to what will be forthcoming in the next GE."

The General Election has not been called yet. However, Malaysians have already been forced to swallow political toxic sludge this week. That takes the form of a video which apparently shows someone resembling Anwar Ibrahim having sex with a "woman of eastern" resemblance in a room somewhere in Pornsville.

First it was an Indian sex video. That was a long time ago. Then it was the Chinese politician's turn. And now, it is the Malay's turn, I suppose. As a Malay, I am troubled by the fact that, from the various reports I had read, the act lasted a mere 17 minutes.

Compare that to the Indian and Chinese videos. They lasted far longer. (Not that I had watched them lah. I am writing this based on hearsay lah). Which begs the question, is Tongkat Ali for real?

Clearly the NEP has failed the Malays. Pemandu, please take note.

Okay. Seriously. (Huahahhaha...it's hard to be serious. Because this topic is funny to a T. LOL!!!).

Let's just view this whole episode from a political point of view. 

In Malaysia, everybody loves sex. Especially when it is someone else who is being exposed.

And when the person involved is said to be the opposition leader, a representative of the people in our Parliament, the person who is set to be the Prime Minister if the opposition wins the General Election, sex and sex acts definitely are important, if not, definitive.

Anwar has of course denied that he was the person in the video. A dark conspiracy was then exposed by a PKR MP, Johari Abdul. Dato' T was then revealed to consist of not one, but three persons. "T" for "trio" (as opposed to "trinity", I suppose).

So, now, everyone is out in the open. The cards are all laid out for all to see. The video however, to people like you and me, remains elusive.

The question is, and will always be, "is it (the video) authentic?"

Let's set aside the authenticity question for a while.

Authentic or not, the damage has surely been done. Anwar's reputation is already sullied. To most people, the first reaction was, "oh no, not again!"

In politics, from the politicians' perspective, morality usually does not have a home.

Politics is the art of persuading the people to embrace one's ideas and oneself. How one goes about achieving that, in an extreme situation and at least in theory, does not matter. Morality may be a political weapon - or even a political goal - but it surely is not the governing tool of politics. That is why immoral politicians are sometime still preferred by the people and politicians with accepted moral norms are sometime rejected by the people.

The fact that morality and values are subjective also makes it difficult for moral to "govern" politics. Furthermore, moral norms and values are susceptible to changes precipitated by time and situations.

Morality therefore could be a determinative factor to the people. But not to the politicians.

There are two sides of the moral equation in this latest sexual expose.

Firstly, is it morally wrong for the trio to expose a sexual act of a supposed opposition leader in order to gain political mileage or to kill off their political opponent? While at first glance that question seems to be an easy one to answer, a deeper look at the issue would quickly muddy our judgment. Why?

The reason for that is because the answer to the first question is dependable on the answer to a second question.

The second question is, is it acceptable for a politician - especially if he is a leader of either the government or opposition - to commit a sexual indiscretion?

Of course there are various other questions too. For example, what would the people say about a leader who not only commit a sexual indiscretion, but who is also caught while doing so? If the leader has been caught doing it many times, the next question is what would the people say about a leader who not only commit the act and being caught but who also commit it multiple times and being caught multiple times?

In the last two questions above, morality is not the only issue. Diligence becomes an issue. How diligent is he who commits the act, being caught doing it once, and then he does it again and being caught again?

So, those are the questions. (Of course, the other question, to some connoisseurs of esoteric and exotic fulfillment, would be his choice of sexual partner or partners. Let's not wade into that bubbly water, shall we?)

Now, if the answer to the second question, from the people's point of view is in the negative, then who the hell cares about the first question. Dato' Duo, Trio, Quartet, Quintet or whatever can go on exposing and who bloody well care, right? In fact, their expose may, in that instance, backfire and harm them and the party which they represent.

If however, the answer to the second question is in the affirmative, it could well be argued, while attempting to answer the first question, that the trio has a duty to make the expose, so that the people know exactly who they are supporting (or not supporting) and the moral values which he represents.

Politics is about image and perception as much as it is about reality. In fact, in more times than not, it is about all about image and perception and nothing else. That is why the Prime Minister spends millions engaging APCO to sell his 1 Malaysia concept. Never mind about the reality. All that matter is perceptions and of course, to put it crudely, illusions. But illusions, more often than not, captivate. That is why, for instance, people pay hundreds and even thousands to watch David Copperfield and his ilk.

If morality is not a virtue of politicians but it is or may be a determinant to the people, it then becomes necessary for Anwar now to clear his name.

If this was a tennis match, Anwar's detractors have served a 167 mph serve through the expose. Anwar and his people have returned the serve by revealing the dark conspiracy at Flamengo Hotel. The Trio have however returned the ball by saying that one of them was actually at the scene and proposing a Royal Commission consisting of opposition leaders to determine authenticity of the video.

That last ball must now be returned by Anwar and his people. If not, the point - and it may be the set point - would go to Anwar's detractors, in so far as the perception war is concerned.

In my humble opinion, as far as the perception contest is concerned, Anwar has no choice but to return the ball - by showing once and for all that the video is not authentic or that the "actor" in it was not him - to prevent the Trio from winning.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Watch THE Video Here!!! (with sound)

Here it is guys and gals. THE video. Complete with sound.

Watch it now. No need to leave your mobile phones, pen etc with anybody. No need to wear jubah too (but do wear it if you please).

Warning: Viewers discretion advised.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Doctor Is Not In

Starting from the 2nd installment of the Godfather trilogy, right to the final episode in Godfather 3, we saw the chief mobster, Michael Corleone, vehemently attempting to legitimise his "businesses".

We saw how he bought the Vatican and consequently, an honorary award from the Church. We also saw his efforts aimed at justifying the murder - at his behest - of his own brother by insisting that "loyalty" was essential for the perseverance of the family.

In fact, the whole thing was, to him, about the family.

It is an irony of course that at the end he lost his family and died a lonely death.

That was of course a fiction. But fictions do often take their cue from real life.

In The Rhetoric of Oppression, I postulated that the oppressor often finds the need to legitimise or justify his oppressive acts. It is admittedly somewhat odd for an oppressor to do so. This is because of the untold powers that an oppressor normally has over the oppressed, making legitimacy of his oppressive acts totally unnecessary.

However, nature almost demands that an oppressor should do so. Whether this natural demand is precipitated by a guilty conscience is speculative. It is also beyond my intellect to know.

Whatever the motivation of the oppressor to legitimise or justify his oppressive acts might be, one thing is clear though. The rhetoric of justification or legitimisation is often a tired one. It is often a long rambling of some sorts. Incoherent sometimes. And at others it is so full of irony that one begins to doubt the sanity of the author.

In doing so, the oppressor clings to every single "fact" - even manufactured facts - which might lend credence to his arguments for legitimacy. And quite often - in fact, almost invariably - the oppressor is not about to blame himself or things which are or were under his control.

Umberto Eco, in "Turning Back The Clock" sums it up thus:

"In general, in order to maintain popular support for their decisions, dictatorships point the finger at a country, group, race, or secret society that is plotting against the people under the dictator. All forms of populism, even contemporary ones, try to obtain consensus by talking of a threat from abroad, or from internal groups." (emphasis is mine).

Recent events in the middle-east is a case in point. Just look at what Gadaffi was saying a week or two ago. He blamed the uprising on enemy countries who were supporting the "terrorists" in his own state. That he did to justify and legitimise the slaughter of his own people by the army which was supposed to protect the people in the first place.

Such is the warped mind of a dictator. And such is the trend of the legitimisation process of an oppressor or a political tyrant.

On 2nd October 1935, Benito Mussolini stood in front of Italians - which according to him numbered 20 million! - at Palazzo Venezia. That day he declared his intention to go to war with Ethiopia. He sought to legitimise his planned act thus:

"For many month destiny's wheel, driven by our calm determination, is turning towards its goal.....It is not only an army striving to attain its objectives but an entire people of 44 million souls, against whom an attempt has been made to commit the blackest of injustices: that of robbing us of a little place in the sun.....

We have been patient for 13 years, during which the circle of selfishness that smoothers our vitality has grown ever tighter. We have kept patience with Ethiopia for 40 years! Enough!....

And it is to this People (the Italians) that humanity owes some of its greatest conquests, and it is against this People of poets, artists, heroes, saints, navigators, and those who cross the oceans, it is against this People that they dare talk of sanctions!" (emphasis is mine).

Imbued in his speech were manufactured "facts" designed to legitimise a war. That war was necessary as it was a destiny for all Italians, according to Mussolini. It was also necessary because the Ethiopians have been robbing the Italians from what they obviously deserved. The Italians have been very patient and the time has come to fight back.

And of course, how can the great artists, poets, navigators and heroes - and even saints - of Italy be subjected to such demeaning treatment by Ethiopia?

Awesome!

In Malaysia of course we do not have dictators in our midst. We may have some benevolent absolutists who espouse democracy with "Asian values." (I have always wondered what is so special about Asians so much so that we should have democracy with Asian values. Do we, Asians, breathe different air or something?)

Be that as it may, in recent weeks we have seen a riot of attempts by Tun DrM at legitimising or justifying his legacy of oppressions. Those attempts culminated in the launching of his memoir, "A Doctor in the House."

That memoir has of course attracted a litany of scorns as well as balls-polishing statements. No less than Tengku Razaleigh has denounced the  memoir for being a trash-bin of political lies. Needless to say Anwar Ibrahim pukes all over it.

As for me, well, let's just say I am in no hurry to purchase it. After all, my copy of the Malaysian Maverick was found to have crushed a poor lizard to death in my car's glove-box compartment sometime ago.

It is without doubt, in my mind, that A Doctor in the House is Tun DrM's attempt at legitimising his legacy. And he did so with the finesse of Paul Gascoigne in an English pub.

Mussolini's war speech reminds me very much of Tun DrM's greatest bogeyman for the Malays in Malaysia.

This country belongs to the Malays. It is the Malays' destiny to occupy and own this Tanah Melayu. The pendatangs have come to rob us, the Malays, of what little rights that we have here. The Malays have been patient. Enough with that! How can we the Malays, the heroes, warriors, Kings and Rulers of this land be treated like this?

Let's unite. Let's protect our rights. Or we will be beggars in our own lands.

Classic!

How about Operasi Lalang? Oh, the police did that.

The ISA? Well, I wanted to repeal it but the police said no.

UMNO? Well, Tengku Razaleigh, whom I defeated in an election - where he (Ku Li) and his cohorts paid money to the delegates - fairly and squarely caused it to be declared as unlawful by the Court.

Tun Salleh Abas? Well the King had wanted to remove him because he complained that the renovation works at the King's house was too noisy for him. Anyway, I did not dismiss him. The tribunal did.

Anwar Ibrahim? He is a freaking sodomite. He is a sex maniac. I have seen four women who said they had sex with him. He just had to go.

Daim Zainuddin? He is the best thing to happen to Malaysia since Parameswara a/l Sri Vijaya.

Lee Kuan Yew? He is just a mayor of a small town.

Memali? Musa Hitam did it. I was away.

Of course, he is also not to be blamed for the Forex losses; the BMF scandal; the Proton debacle (hey, Proton is a success!); Maminco; Perkapalan Nasional bail-out; the one-way highway concessions; the independent power producer robberies; the various human rights abuses; the shrinking of the natives' rights; the AP porn; money politics in UMNO; the total subjugation of the judiciary to the Executives; the Royal Constitutional crisis; the weakening of almost every public institution and their consequent subservience to the Executives; rampant cronyism; blatant nepotism; the whatever else.

And the story goes on and on and on.

Everything he did, he did it his way. And he did it in the best interests of the country.

The bad ones by the way were not even done by him. Get it?

On April 29, 1945, a guy with a small moustache over his lips sat down and softly dictated a letter to his secretary, one Frau Trudl Junge. That man was one of the worst - if not THE worst - animal the Earth had ever had the misfortune of hosting.

Adolf Hitler was his name.

That morning he was not feeling too happy. The Allied Forces were pressing on and he sensed that his days were numbered. The sword of Damocles was hanging on his head and inching its way downward.

He had to legitimise his acts. He had to justify the nightmare which he had managed to enveloped the world with. The 6 million souls whom he had mercilessly forced out from the bodies of the olds, the young, the women and the children were screaming in his head.

He just had to legitimise and justify.

And so he wrote:

"It is untrue that I or anybody else in Germany wanted war in 1939. It was desired and instigated exclusively by those international statesmen who were either of Jewish origin or working for Jewish interests. I have made so many offers for the reduction and elimination of armaments, which posterity cannot explain away for all eternity, that the responsibility for the outbreak of this war cannot rest on me. Furthermore, I never desired that after the first terrible World War a second war should arise against England or even against America. Centuries may pass, but out of the ruins of our cities and monuments of art there will arise anew the hatred for the people who alone are ultimately responsible: International Jewry and its helpers!.....

But I left no doubt about the fact that if the peoples of Europe were again only regarded as so many packages of stock shares by these international money and finance conspirators, then that race, too, which is the truly guilty party in this murderous struggle would also have to be held to account: the Jews! I further left no doubt that this time we would not permit millions of European children of Aryan descent to die of hunger, nor millions of grown-up men to suffer death, nor hundreds of thousands of women and children to be burned and bombed to death in their cities, without the truly guilty party having to atone for its guilt, even if through more humane means."

Yes, Mr Hitler. The Jews started the war. And you were just defending yourself.

And finally the "truly guilty party have atoned for its guilt" through "more humane means." I suppose being gas-ed in a chamber and having their skin scaled out from their flesh and turned into a lamp shade was "humane means" to you.

We all know that.

And oh yes, Tun Salleh was rude to the King and so he was dismissed. Tengku Razaleigh destroyed UMNO.

Anwar Ibrahim has his brains in his crotch.

Quick. Call the Doctor.

Oh wait.

The Doctor is not in.

Acknowledgement: Turning Back The Clock; Umberto Eco, Harvill Secker 2006.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Awards

Malaysia is a trending society. By that I mean our people love trending and following trends.

Not so long ago, the trend was to get a Datukship, Tan Sriship and Tunship.

Than, having such royal award was deemed insufficient. Perhaps because an ex-gate keeper of KTM could also get a Datukship. And so one must have some other distinguishing award or title.

So, the trend changed. Apart from the royal titles, one must also get a doctorate of some sorts. After some time, we could see many Datuks and Tan Sris suddenly being conferred Honorary Doctorate. Tun Abdullah, for example was conferred a Doctorate in Democracy.

That being so, the awardees' social status is elevated one notch higher than everybody else's. One is no more a mere mortal Datuk so and so but Datuk Doctor so and so. Sort of makes up for one's deficiency in the crotch region, I suppose.

Then, when everybody was getting a doctorate of this that and the other, another trend stared. This new trend involves the grant of an award from some international bodies for some humanitarian works, charitable acts or whatever.

Thus we have Tun Dr Mahathir receiving - hahahah, sorry, I have to laugh - get this, the Human Right Award from, of all countries, Libya!

As you all can see, the people who gave the awards and the recipient are of course oblivious to the irony of it all. Libya, I mean, Muammar Gadafi giving a human rights award. And it was given to Dr Mahathir. That's like the Myammar junta giving the Freedom and Liberty Award to Kim Il Sung. Or vice versa. Classic case of self gratification. In other word, classic case of wanking in public.

The latest is this. Rocky Bru's posted that Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed, the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has now been  "listed down as the fourth most influential person in the world by Ethisphere." It is also stated that "last year, Ethisphere listed Barack Obama as the 33rd most influential."

Wow! Congratulations. The fourth most influential person on earth. Even Barrack Obama managed a 33rd. As listed by Ethisphere. I am sure the good Datuk Sri deserves his listing.

But, Ethis who?

My good friend, Kris of Kris' Musings did some sleuthing. He found this article about Ethisphere. Go and read it. Made interesting reading.

Among others:

- There's just one hitch: These ethics awards—let's call them the Ethies—may have ethics issues of their own.

- The Ethisphere Insitute, which describes itself as "a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability," is actually a for-profit company. The institute also lends itself credibility with an "advisory panel" of ethicists, yet several former members say they've had little if anything to do with it. Finally, the institute and an affiliated company sell services to and collect fees from some of the same companies Ethisphere extols.

- As might be expected, the Ethisphere Institute's director, Alex Brigham—also president and CEO of Corpedia, which helps corporations develop and review their ethics programs—is sensitive to any conflict-of-interest concerns.

- Over the phone in an earlier interview, Brigham sounded less like a lawyer. Ethisphere is an ambitious undertaking, and "I've got to figure out a way to fund all this stuff," he says. "I'd love it if someone wants to give me money to create a huge, separate institution to do it. ...We're just trying to do something good."

- For its ethics awards, Ethisphere accepts outside nominations, and it scores a corporation on several factors.

- The scoring is based mostly on information provided by the companies themselves, and Ethisphere says its questionnaire should take 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

- Brigham acknowledges that the system is imperfect. "Could they be lying to us?" he says. "Sure, they could. ... Over time, we're going to have to figure out how to verify that. And no one is going to pay us to verify it, and if we try to charge them to verify it, we're going to have reporters like you make it sound like we're getting paid off."

- Ethisphere says its methodology was developed with the help of a panel of independent experts. But as I dialed up half a dozen of the 20 committee members, I found only one (George Ash) who said he actually contributed to shaping the methodology. Others said they made a suggestion that wasn't heeded (Thomas Donaldson), or didn't seriously analyze the methodology (Patrick Barwise, John Dienhart, Chris MacDonald), or didn't know they were on the panel (Karen Paul). (my comment - oh dear oh dear....)

- Ethisphere charges companies to be part of its membership groups, buy ads in its magazine, and certify them with its "Ethics Inside" label, which they receive only if Ethisphere determines that "its compliance and ethics activities are demonstrably better than competitors." At first, Brigham told me that "because our fees are so small," there was no possibility of conflicts of interest. I would have "a better, sexier story," he said, if Ethisphere were "a wildly profitable enterprise."

- Then Ethisphere announced that for the 2010 list of the world's most ethical companies, which has yet to be released, 10 percent have "a material economic relationship with Ethisphere," and 5 percent have one with Corpedia. What, exactly, is a "material economic relationship with Ethisphere"? The institute's "Media Responsibility Report" defines it "as any customers that have represented one percent (1%) or more of the prior year's (2009) sales bookings of any product or service."

- It's tempting, of course, to dismiss all this as just corporate window-dressing, and in fact Canadian ethicist Chris MacDonald, who until recently was on Ethisphere's advisory panel, warned me to take such awards "with a grain of salt." And then there are people like Gretchen Winter, former ethics officer for "World's Most Ethical" winner Baxter International and current director of the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society at the University of Illinois. Winter says the institute's conflicts of interest and reliance on self-reported information make its awards "less credible." At the same time, she says, the awards help in "advancing the conversation about ethics and compliance programs in the executive suites and boardrooms." (my comment - Oh My Gawddddd!)

And taking the cake and eating it is this:

"Last year, while working on another story, I was interviewing a corporate spokesman about allegations of fraud against his company and government fines for a radioactive waste spill. He sent me a press release trumpeting the news that Ethisphere had named his engineering and construction firm, CH2M Hill, one of the "World's Most Ethical." It "speaks for itself," he said. If only he knew."

I don't mean to cast aspersion on Datuk Sri Abu Kassim. I am sure he deserves all the accolades. I am just highlighting some of the things said about Ethisphere.

And the award goes to.....