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Friday, April 29, 2011

iSumpah - produk terbaru dari Burlesque Sdn Bhd

Untuk meraikan karnival JomSumpah anjuran TV terulung Malaysia, Burlesque Snn Bhd, sebuah syarikat tempatan yang dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh tiga orang warga tempatan Bumiputera (ahli gerakan 1Bumi yang dilancarkan tanpa kebenaran Tun Dr Mahathir), dengan ini melancarkan produk terulungnya, iSumpah.

iSumpah ialah satu produk elektronik yang unik. Ianya benar-benar percuma, tidak seperti 1E-mel, tajaan Tricubes Bhd, yang sebenarnya tidak berapa percuma.

Burlesque Sdn Bhd sedang dalam perbincangan dengan Unit Perancangan Ekonomi, JAKIM, Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan juga Jabatan Perdana Menteri untuk memperolehi kontrak selama 50 tahun.

Burlesque Sdn Bhd akan memasang unit-unit iSumpah di mesjid-mesjid dan surau-surau diseluruh negara dengan harga RM50000.00 seunit. Di dalm jangka masa terdekat, unit-unit iSumpah juga akan dipasang di tepi-tepi jalan, supermarket-supermarket Mydin, Tesco dan sebagainya untuk memberi akses yang lebih luas kepada rakyat Malaysia.

Penggunaannya adalah percuma. Rakyat tidak perlu membayar. Kerajaan hanya membayar harga unit-unit iSumpah itu, iaiatu, sebanyak RM50000.00 seunit dan kos penyelengaraan sebanyak RM60000.00 sebulan bagi setiap unit.

Untuk menggunanya, rakyat hendaklah menekan butang unit iSumpah yang berdekatan dan melafaskan sumpah yang ingin dibuat. Sumpah tersebut akan terus dialirkan ke website Burlesques Sdn Bhd untuk tatapan umum dengan percuma.

Dalam masa hadapan, unit-unit yang mempunyai berbagai bahasa juga akan dibekalkan.

Berikut ialah video promo iSumpah.

Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yang Amat Arif Tun, tsk tsk tsk...

I am real busy this week. So there will be no real writing by me.

However, ladies and gentlemen, feast on this news from the Malaysian Insider.

This is exactly what our judiciary has been reduced to. A place to implement "new and fresh" ideas in order to speed up justice. Speed up justice konon!

When a "new and fresh" system is hatched out without proper and in-depth thought and planning - if at all they think in the first place - this is what is going to happen. It becomes STUPID!

This e-filing is beginning to sound just like one of those rip-off initiative of which the recent 1Malaysia e-mail is just but one example.

Just feast, and then weep, on this one:

"First, lawyers are required to get an organisation certificate that costs RM1,500 each from MSC Trustgate, a third-party company, in order to make the e-filing.

The certificate is only good for two years and is non-transferable.

But the lawyers are questioning the need to pay a third party for digital certificates, noting in the Singapore experience, it was all handled by the court registry.

They claim the RM1,500 fee goes against the principle of access to justice as the costs will then be passed on to their clients, who will have to pay extra for fees.

They also have to pay an extra RM40 to get a digital signature to put down on their documents. That too is non-transferable from one lawyer to another.

Next, the lawyers are required to pay up the court fees in full before the system will process their applications.

However, the contracted service provider, Formis, failed to synchronise the online payment to allow a transfer of funds between the banks.

“Banks do not allow corporate accounts to perform online banking transactions. Only individual account holders can use online banking freely, for example, CIMB clicks and Maybank2U.

“And law firm bank accounts are corporate accounts,” lawyer Brendan Navin Siva explained to The Malaysian Insider.

As such, lawyers are now still lining up at the court to make the payments by cash."

RM1500 non-transferable digital certificates which are only good for 2 years?

RM40 digital signature which EVERY LAWYER who wishes to file documents under their own name has to have?

There are 13000 lawyers or so. Half of them - about 6500 lawyers - are court-going lawyers who have to file documents in courts. I am not good with Maths. You all do the Maths.

And what's with the failure to synchronise online payments to allow transfer payment between banks? What did they expect? That all lawyers have accounts with ONLY ONE BANK, ie, the 1BANK? And payment from corporate accounts are not acceptable?

Singapore took 8 years to implement their e-filing system. And we wanted to do it with 1 month notice.

Brilliant.

Full story is here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What is leadership?

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Sometimes a comic strip is worth more than 20 volumes of philosophical studies on a chosen topic.

Just look at the above. And think about:

- work not for me but with me

- lu tolong gua, gua tolong sama lu

- undilah saya, untuk kesejahteraan masa depan semua

- if I am elected, I would resign in two years time

- undilah saya, saya Bersih Cekap dan Amanah

- don't be afraid of the ISA, it will not, and I give you my solemn promise, that it will not be abused or used to stifle political oppositions

- blah blah blah blah blah.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

INSTITUTIONALISED BIGOTRY!

Besut boot camp for 66 sissies, screamed our premier English newspaper, the New Straits Times yesterday (19th April).

I have a question NST. When are you going to change your name to something like the New Bigots Bugles?

So what's next NST? The next time you are reporting on a cooking class for some mature women, why don't you headline it, "Cooking Class for Old Pussies" huh? Or how about a headline saying "Two niggers arrested in Chow Kit" the next time you report an arrest of two Nigerian students? Nice eh?

It is appalling to see the level of bigotry perpetuated by  a section of our society nowadays. It is simply shocking to see that in the year 2011 - that's year TWO THOUSAND AND ELEVEN, guys and gals - the editor of our premier English newspaper would allow such headline and word to be used to describe male schoolchildren who were born in a way which makes them a little bit different than others.

Let me spell it out, if you hadn't known, Mr Macho Editor.

sis·sy

[sis-ee]  Show IPA noun, plural -sies, adjective

–noun

1. an effeminate boy or man.

2. a timid or cowardly person.

3. a little girl.

–adjective

4. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a sissy.

Origin:
1840–50, Americanism in sense “sister”; 1885–90, Americanism for def. 1;
sis  + y 2

The word "sissy/sissies" not only means "effeminate". It also brings with it an insidious, and often, chauvinistic connotation. To describe a man or a boy as a sissy is to demean him and his nature. It is a crude description of a person for having a "lesser sex."  The word sissy itself is derived from the word "sis" , which is short of "sister" with the letter "y" added to it. Now, how demeaning can that be?

We now live in an unforgiving society. That I have said many many times. Young and pregnant teenagers are subjected to much ridicule and humiliation. They are scolded, humiliated and ostracised. Is it any wonder why they dump their babies in some drains?

In this society of ours, we focus on externalities. We never delve into the internals. The spiritual aspect of anything. Not even the spiritual aspect of our faith.

When we talk of externalities, we talk about conformity. And when we talk about conformity, we quickly reject and even demean those who do not conform to our being; our values; our form.

We never ever try to emphatise, let alone understand and accept. The most we do is we would try to tolerate them.

How sad is it for somebody to learn that he or she is just tolerated by society? Why don't we travel into the unknown. Allow me to take all of you on a trip.

On this trip, you were born different. You are a man. You are built like one. You sound like one. You look like one. You grow like one. You have all the external attributes of one. 

Deep down inside however, you are not one. Something is wrong. Something is unclear. Some doubts linger. You are not comfortable being one. You don't think you can behave as one. You look to the opposite side of your being and you think, that's what I am. You look at yourself in the mirror everyday and you yearn to be the being which is trapped in this external suit of yours.

You look around and you wonder why you are different. After all, you never asked to be born, let alone  born like that. You look around and you wonder who you could go to and talk. You wonder who you could befriend. You wonder who you could relate to.

When you walk, you know there are people looking at you  from the edge of their eyes. You know what they say about you to their company. You know they are sniggering when you walk pass. With each of their look; their sniggers and their remark, you could feel the hurt. You could feel that you are almost not welcome into "their" world. And those who sit with you; drink with you; study with you; they are just tolerating you. Deep down inside, you are alone. Unaccepted. Unwanted.

That is the world that "they" live in, ladies and gentlemen. That is it. Now how do you feel? You feel nice to be labeled "sissies"?

And of course, in this society of ours, where conformity is a must, these different creatures have to be "changed". They must be changed to conform with us; with our form; with our ways; with our being.

Of course, it is said, in this life, there are options. We want to show "them" so. But the only acceptable option is to be like one of us. Now. What option is there when the correct option has been pre-determined? Change or otherwise you are unaccepted; unwelcome and unloved. What option is there?

Then of course, we have heartless people who call them sissies.

To me, it's bigotry. And when it comes from a major newspaper with a large following, that's intitutionalised bigotry.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I almost lost it!

It's Monday today. And strange things happen on Monday.

Electricity supply went dead at about 5am today. I quickly woke up and groped in the dark for my iPhone. With the light coming from the mobile phone, I managed to locate my battery powered fan. That took care of the humidity in the room.

After finding out that the whole street was dark, I called the TNB hotline to lodge a report. That done, I went to the kitchen for the candles. I then lighted five candles.

Soon my wife woke up together with my school-going daughter. I placed one candle upstairs just to make sure the small boy does not wake up in the dark. All of us then went downstairs.

I placed three candles in the living room and one in the kitchen.

The three of us - myself, my wife and my daughter - sat in the candle-lit living room chit-chatting for a while. After sometime, I stood up and went to the book shelf looking for a book. Finally I found it. It was the Bible (it was the English version - as opposed to Bahasa Malaysia - and therefore I presume it was alright for me, a Malay Muslim, to keep one at home).

I sat down again with the Bible in my hand. I began reading it in front of my wife and daughter. At first they were a bit startled. But soon they began to give rapt attention to my Bible reading.

After about 10 minutes, my daughter went to the book shelf. Later she came back and sat down with a book of hymns. She then began to quote some verses from the hymns. Later she began to sing them.

My wife was in full attention. So there we were, bathing in the lights provided by the three candles, undertaking some serious Christian acts!

After about 10 minutes, I went to the washroom. I did not bring any candle with me. I just brought my iPhone. Guided by the light coming from the mobile phone, I brushed my teeth. While doing so, I suddenly realised that what I was doing just now (reading the Bible) in the early morning was downright strange, if not blasphemous, as I am a Muslim.

Then I thought what my daughter was doing was even more disconcerting. I mean she was singing hymns at 5.30am for God's sake!

I began to feel funny.

After brushing my teeth, I went to the kitchen. I saw the candle box on the kitchen table and decided to take a close look at it. Here it is:

photo

I was horrified reading what was written on the candle box. It says "White Religious Candles". It also says "keep for.... carols"!

Obviously the candles were meant for Christians to use them in Churches and while singing carols and hymns praising the virtues of their god Jesus Christ.

Oh my God. And I used five of them in my house this morning.

My wife, daughter and myself almost lost our aqidah this morning after sitting in the light provided by the three candles in my living room. Just imagine, I instantly began reading the Bible and my daughter began singing hymns. My wife also went along.

Thank God I went to the washroom without bringing the candle along. I managed to regain my religious consciousness in the washroom because the candle was not there.

Oh my God.

Now I understand why the poco-poco dance, Valentine's day celebrations and Manchester United jerseys are prohibited or discouraged  in certain states. And also why the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia must not at any rate be permitted in Malaysia, except for Sabah and Sarawak and perhaps also, the Federal Territories (which include Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan).

Please guys, be wary of this great Christian/Jew/Zoroastrian/Rosicrucian conspiracy to disengage us, the Muslims, from our aqidah.

I hope a halal candle would be promptly made available to the public soon.

post script - I am a great believer in not wasting anything and so, instead of destroying the 5 boxes of candles which I had kept in my house, I had given them to my Christian neighbour. I hope they wouldn't burn them when I go visiting their house next Christmas. Well anyway, I might not go to their house next Christmas as I might be seen as celebrating a Christian festival (although of course, Christmas marks the birthday of Nabi Isa allaihissalam). Oh well, I digress.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The RPK Factor

It is a measure of the iconic status of Raja Petra Kamarudin, or more popularly known as RPK, that yesterday, news about him in cyber space as well as the mainstream mass media, overwhelmed even news about the Prime Minister and the opposition leader combined.

Love him or hate him, whether you are a Barisan supporter or in the opposition camp, young or old, Malay, Chinese, Indian, liberal democrats centre-left winged or just a plain kite-in-the-wind kinda guy, you just can't escape the shower of political exuberance that RPK brings.

RPK combines the uncombine-able in the Malaysian great fight for change; for political and personal emancipation and for a semblance of societal sanity that have long since evaded this land. He is sometime brilliant; sometime broodingly introversive; sometime maniacal and almost all the time enigmatic.

I never knew the guy. He was my first ever client whom I had never met until I won a case for him! Winning his case was one of the highest, if not the highest, moment of my career. That moment is captured in RPK's Release: A Tapestry of Thoughts and Emotions.

Throughout my short association with him I have seen the man at work. I have had some insights into his mind, his steely determination and an almost child-like stubbornness which is cute and adorable as much as it is agonisingly exasperating and frustrating.

I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have seen this guy actually being prepared to die for what he believes in. There he was, in front of me, and to the absolute astonishment of his wife and other members of his legal team, telling us how he would undertake a private and absolute civil disobedient in detention which would ultimately result in his own death. Disturbing, to say the least. But that's RPK as I know him in the short time I have had the pleasure - and a lot of pressure - to act for him in his ISA habeas corpus application.

However, since yesterday, he is the greatest turncoat Malaysia has ever seen after his heavily edited interview with TV3 was broadcast by the UMNO owned TV station. He is now a vilified person. He has sold out. He did that to ensure his safe - and probably opulent - passage back to Malaysia.

Over yesterday night and yesterday, I received calls, text messages and e mails from friends and acquaintances questioning RPK's motives. Some of my close friends undoubtedly concluded that RPK has now bought his safe passage back to Malaysia. A sneak into the comments made at various web sites reporting on the TV3 interviews show  insulting comments questioning  RPK's loyalty to the  oppositions and making conclusions that he has surely sold out.

Above all, the timing of the interview is perceived to be correlated with the Sarawak state election and being so, it is viewed as a definite effort to derail Anwar Ibrahim's efforts in Sarawak.

Quite when RPK has been loyal to Anwar or the opposition is beyond me. And quite why in the mind of so many people that Anwar is THE opposition and the opposition IS Anwar are also beyond me.

As to why it is such a sin and blasphemous  to criticise Anwar while at the same time it is expected and fashionable for everyone to say bad things about the PM or UMNO people is also beyond me. Since when a fight for the betterment of the society is equated to a fight for the opposition is also beyond me.

The interview with TV3 was done a good 2 months ago in Perth. At that time, Sarawak election was way beyond anybody's guess. Of course TV3 chose to air it now. Was that RPK's choosing?

His position could well be understood if we emphatise with his plights. Here is a man asked to put some information into a statutory declaration. A statutory declaration is a statement under oath. It is made under pains of being held accountable for perjury. This guy was asked to put those information in an SD. He refused.

He was then told by some characters that the information was reliable. The informants were also men of truth and coming from members of temples of reliability. That was related to him.

It was also related to him that a document supporting what was being told to him would surface if he came into trouble for signing the SD.

Then he put the information in an SD, signed by him. Signed and sworn under oath by him.

The rest is history. He was arrested; interrogated; bundled up in a small cell with only one light bulb as a company; where he slept on the floor with some "officers" walking around slamming a tin cup on the bar to disturb his sleep; woken up in the middle of the nights for "interviews"; bundled up, blind folded and brought to Kamunting armed with a 2 year detention order signed by the then Home Minister.

WHERE WERE THOSE INFORMANTS; THOSE MEN OF HONOUR AND RESIDENTS OF THE TEMPLE OF RELIABILITY?

WHERE WERE THEY WHEN RPK WAS RECOILING ON THE CEMENT FLOOR IN SOME DUNGEON, THINKING WHETHER HE WOULD EVER EVER SEE HIS WIFE, DAUGHTERS AND GRANDKID AGAIN?

WHERE WAS THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENT WHICH WAS SURELY GOING TO SURFACE TO SUPPORT WHAT WAS BEING SAID BY HIM IN THE SD?

WHERE WERE THE PUBLIC STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT TO VOUCH WHAT WAS BEING BEING SAID BY HIM IN THE SD?

This man, who was prepared to die in detention in front of MY OWN EYES was left high and dry to fend for himself? HOW MANY OF YOU CAME TO THE COURT TO SHOW SUPPORT?

Now he had to leave the country for his own sake, and the sake of his family, his wife, his daughters and grandkid.

Ladies and gentlemen, put yourself into his shoes. Wouldn't you all be freaking pissed off with a capital "P"?

It is easy to have doubts. It is easy to make conclusions. But let me ask all those doubters this.

Do you have all the facts to form conclusions?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mahathir tells Taib, "learn from history"

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Malaysiakini today reports that:

"Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today dropped a big hint to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud: 'Learn from history' in deciding when to step down.

In his trademark cryptic style, Mahathir avoided giving a direct answer to whether or not Taib should stay, preferring to make a reference to losses the BN suffered as a result of state leaders refusing to quit."

Yes Tan Sri Taib, please learn from history. Take heed from what Tun Dr Mahathir had said. Learn from history. After all, who but Tun Dr Mahathir knows history the best?

Repeat: Learn from history. The Tun says it. History. Not his-story.

There are differences between the two.

Learn from history.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Asstro Interview

PMA: Hello everyone, I am Paula Malai Ali, and welcome to the pilot programme of “Money, and Nothing Else Matters.” Our special guest tonight is Mr Art Harun, a not too well known cynic-at-large. Hi Art, can I call you Art? Welcome to the show. Gosh, you are looking kinda hot…”

AH: Thank you. Yea, I am feeling hot. Is your air-cond working? And yea, you can either call me Art, or call me later, I am cool with that, yes yes..

PMA: Ooops, sorry, we had a power failure for 8 hours just now and power was just restored and I guess the air-cond needs time to power up.

AH: Oh, okay. “Nothing Else Matters” huh? That’s a Metallica song, in’it?

PMA: Erm....Metal-lick who?

AH: Oh, never mind…

AH: Paula, before you start asking me questions, can I ask you a question? Who produces this programme?

PMA: Oh, it's a pilot show by Asstro, your ultimate best-in-the-world cable TV. Enjoy Asstro's new product Art. It's called "B-yawn." It redefines the word "reruns." Oh dontcha just love reruns Art? If you do, subscribe to Asstro's B-yawn now. Missing In Action is being rerun-ed now. So is American Ninja 1, 2 ans 3. For the 89th time, mind you.

AH: Oh, Asstro B-yawn eh? Isn't re-running old movies too many times some sort of a con-job? I mean who in the world would want to watch Chuck blinkin Norris in HD la dey?

PMA: No, no. Asstro is not a con-job. In every cable TV, there must be re-run. I mean, cable TV is invented to make re-runs cool, didn't you know that?

AH: As I remember it, Asstro says they will not have commercials. But now it is full of commercials every 15 minutes on all it's channels? How come?

PMA: Oh err...err...let's get on with the interview shall we? You know, the interview where it is ME who is supposed to ask you questions?

AH: Oh, okay. By the way, you are hot Paula. You are so hot in that checkered thingy....

PMA: Oh mah Gawd, Oh mah gawd, OMG. How did you know. Gosh, I am so ...

AH: Err... why are so jumpy? I meant to say you looked great in the Checkered Flag programme.

PMA: Oh, heheheh... Oh my God, I though you saw me in my checkered undies. Good grief. Thank you. Okay. Let's get on with it. Art, what's your opinion on Taib Mahmud's decision to step down as Sarawak's Chief Minister after the Sarawak election next week?

AH: Oh, erm...you know I heard Taib Mahmud became Chief Minister in 1872 or something. I mean I admire that guy you know. He and his strength. Married a young wife some more. He is the man, Paula. Da man. I am sure he is so full of semangat you know. He made old people fashionable you know. I don't think he should resign just as yet. He should continue until, erm...until Malaysia enters the football World Cup final maybe, you know. Maybe until Sarawak hosts the World Cup final even, you know. Sarawak and Sarawakians still need his leadership you know. And patronage too you know. Really he shouldn't. I am gutted to hear the news. Really.

PMA: About three weeks ago he said he was going to leave in about three years time because he needs to ensure a smooth transition and a proper leadership to replace him, Art. Why do you think now, three weeks later, he wants to leave after next week?

AH: Oh well Paula, in politics three weeks is a long long time you know. Maybe his new wife wants him to spend more time with her you know. Or maybe he wants to concentrate on his businesses. Or maybe he sensed that some people want him to go. But that can't be you know. I mean, who would want him to go right? He's such a great leader. He has brought untold wealth, richness and welfare to Sarawak. I mean, look at them in Sarawak. Fuiyoh, look at all those gravel stone "highways" and all the forest which have been cleared for development and those, those, those, errr...what else, those nice long houses with water from the wells, err...those...er...you know what I mean lah Paula. Those Sarawakians shouldn't be such ingrates you know. Say thank you la to him by voting for him. Show some gratitude lah.

PMA: You know Art, people say he is worth billions. He and his family own businesses and properties around the world which are worth billions. What do you say about that?

AH: Hey, just because he is the Chief Minister doesn't mean he or his family members cannot do business no? You mean they cannot own property ah? Where got fair one like that? You know, it just so happens that his family members are great businessmen lah. That's how they make money. So, give him some credit lah. He's made his money through sheer brilliance and great business acumen la okay. Give him a break okay.

PMA: You mean only great businessmen can make money if government gives them free APs and impose a condition that all imported cars must have APs?

AH: Of course lah. If they are not great businessmen, how could they get free APs in the first place? Can you get free APs? Can I get some? No, right? That is because we are not great businessmen. Only truly great businessmen can do that. After you get free APs, it takes greatness and business acumen to sell them for at least RM30k each you know. You think simply simply can sell ah?

PMA: I have done a little calculation Art. If Taib earned a million a year as salary, he would have 30 million ringgit after serving Sarawak for 30 years right? But people are now saying he's got billions? It does not add up. What do you say?

AH: Haiyah, ok la, lemme tell you a top secret. This is so secret that even the CIA and MI5 are involved okay. You see, Taib and his family have been helped by an alien to make lotsa money okay? You know the Roswell aliens, you know the Area 51 thingy? Well actually it's true. There were 3 aliens actually. Only 2 are left. One escaped and ended up in Sarawak. This one alien has helped Taib and his family to make money. Okay? Please lah. It's legit okay.

PMA: OMG! What a revelation! Err..where is that alien now?

AH: Apparently it has co-mingled with human and gave birth to many humans. Some of them have become MPs and they could be found in our Parliament. Read some of the statements by our MPs to the public every day and I am sure you would know which one of them originate from this alien. I am not telling who in particular okay. Enough information. Shit. My life could be in danger now.

PMA: Err...okay. What's your take on the latest death at MACC's building?

AH: Suicide lah, what else. MACC don't go around pushing people out of buildings la please. You know, I think the cyber news people have not been fair to MACC. Once there is a death at MACC office, they quickly say MACC is to blame. Be fair lah. I know lah there is no death in other agency offices yet but be fair la to MACC. Soon I am sure there will be death in Immigration office or the Fire Brigade office lah. Because of all these bad press on the internet about MACC nowadays, even that Korean group the Wonder Girls also say that MACC stands for Malaysian Agency for Committing Chewside lorrr... Unfair la, really unfair. Kesian dierang tau. Dierang kejer kuat you tau? Sampai pegi Court to argue that they should have the right to work at night! Mana ada employee fight for the right to work at night you tell me?

PMA: Seriously, two suicides by jumping off from MACC building in two years?

AH: Ya la, what to do? If people come to MACC office in the morning on a motorbike to commit suicide at MACC office in mid-morning, what the heck could MACC do? What? I mean, if after this interview, I go to Asstro's toilet and drown myself in the toilet bowl, what can Asstro do? What? Tell me. What?

PMA: MACC have responded by saying that from now onwards all interrogation will be done on ground floor only. What do you think about that?

AH: That is just McCellent, you know. Hahhahaha...sorry, pardon the pun. Hehe...can't help it. It is so McFunny. HuahaHahah...sorry again. What was your McQuestion again?

Oh ya..what do I think about the ground floor thingy. Okay. You know, I think MACC should be wiser lah. I mean, jumping off the building from the 3rd or 14th floor is not the only way to commit suicide lah, kan? You interrogate the flers on ground floor pun, they can still jump onto the chair or table and then jump off the chair or table and break their legs no? Worst still, they break their neck and die oso can. How? Or I tell you, they go on top of the table and then their head got caught by the ceiling fans and severed, how? Mati jugak kan?

Or the interrogate-ee could go to the loo unattended and suddenly he gets drowned in the toilet sink. How? So frankly I think this interrogation-on-ground-floor only policy is not going to prevent suicide lah.

PMA: What do you think would be the solution for MACC?

AH: Simple. MACC should have CCTV covering every inch of their work area. There must be live feed from these CCTV to a web site. The public can view this live feed by paying a small fee. This way MACC can show to the world that their interrogations are professionally done. MACC can also earn good money. You know lah, after all, we Malaysians love to watch live action on the net kan.

MACC can also put up a sign on every wall at their office. The sign can say, "Rasuah  itu haram. Suicide lagi haram. Jauhilah dari rasuah dan suicide." Something like that.

PMA: You are so brilliant Art.

AH: Ehem, thank you.

PMA: By the way, many people wonder with a name like Art, are you Malay?

AH: Of course I am Malay. I may have Siamese blood from my mother and a bit of Keralan-Malayali-Sri-Lankan mix from my paternal grandfather and grandma side plus a little Chinese-Yunan mixture from my maternal great grandfather side, but read my lips, okay, I AM MALAY! I am, really.

I am also constitutionally Malay. I mean, I am Muslim. I speak Malay half the time. And I practice the Malay customs, like I eat rice and sambal belacan. So I am Malay. Yes. I am Malay. Really. Sumpah.

PMA: Okay, okay, you don't need to be defensive.

AH: Who is being defensive? I am Malay. Also, I forget to mention, like many Malays, I senang naik semngat you know. Actually I am looking at you now Paula, my semangat already naik ni. So later I will speed home in my Malay car, the Inspira, and when I arrive home I would instantly rush to my wife and tell her to attend to my semangat yang dah melonjak-lonjak ni. I don't care whether she is cooking, or praying, or ironing or whatever okay. She just has to stop and have sex with me. See? You need any more proof?

PMA: Err...no. Okay. Too much information Art. Anyway, Let's move on. What do you think of Minister Nazri's statement that there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Dato' T sex video?

AH: You know, Dato' T made a mistake.

PMA: Why?

AH: They should have put the whole video on You Tube. The whole video. You see, when people see the size of that man's dick, I am sure many will confess that they are the man in the video. Trust me on this. No need Royal Commission lah. So many already.

By the way, under the Commission of Enquiry Act 1950, a commission can only be established to inquire into matters which relate to:

(a) the conduct of any federal officer;

(b) the conduct or management of any department of the public service of Malaysia; or

(c) the conduct or management of any public institution which is not solely maintained by State funds.

The sex video in my esteemed and learned opinion does not come under any of those things.

Other than those situations, a commission can only be established if in the opinion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the establishment of a commission would be for the public welfare.

Tell me how would an inquiry into a sex video be for the public welfare. Unless of course, someone could prove that the Malaysian economy depends entirely on whether Anwar Ibrahim bonking a sex worker or not. Or the health of this nation depends on the size of Anwar's dick. Then, in my not so humble opinion, the establishment of the commission would arguably be for the public welfare.

PMA: But Anwar aspires to be the PM. Don't you think it would be in the interest of the public welfare to know whether it was him in the video?

AH: Well, if so then let's have a commission of inquiry to inquire into the private life of all of our MPs. What they eat, drink and who they screw? What do you think Paula? Shall I inquire into your private acts also please?

PMA: *blushing* oh erm...erm...you notty guy! What about the Omega watch?

AH: I don't know. I wear Seiko. You know lah. Our police is one of the most, if not THE most thorough, police force in the constellation. So it's their job and duty lah I suppose, for them to investigate into the ownership of the Omega watch.

You know actually ah, I think, this whole episode of this sex video ah...it is commissioned by Omega as a marketing ploy you know. Bloody hell. Don't anybody realise it? How much free publicity Omega has had from this sex video? Huh? You all morons or what? Hallo. Wake up and smell it man. Why must it be me who could know this kinda thing ah? Hallo.

PMA: What do you think of the Al-Kitab issue Art? Don't you think it is reasonable for the Christians to print the Bible in Bahasa Melayu?

AH: No. It is not reasonable. The Muslims can be confused you know. I mean the Muslims' Allah and the Christians' Allah are different. Muslims should read the Quran. Not the Bible. If the Muslims read the Malay Bible, habis lah. Tergugatlah aqidah dierang. Apa ni? You know, we Muslims are weak you know. Our faith is very weak too. It is easy for us to leave Islam and convert you know. I mean, if I pakai jersey Manchester United ker, jersey England ker, menari poco-poco ker I can already convert to Christianity tau. Ini kan pulak I baca Bible in Bahasa Melayu, habis lah I. Sure masuk Kristian punya. So please lah, keep the Bible in English or Hebrew or whatever. Not in Bahasa Melayu.

PMA: But didn't Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) say "seek knowledge even from China"? And the first Quranic verse was "Iqra'" which means "read or recite"?

AH: Ya lah. But the Prophet and Quran never say please read the Bible in Bahasa Melayu, did it?

PMA: But logically how to seek knowledge in China if one does not read their scriptures and teachings, for example?

AH: That was what I was trying to tell you Paula. The Prophet never said please read the Bible in Bahasa Melayu, did  he? Haiyah. Please lah.

You see, the Muslims are not supposed to understand what they read. Understanding is the privilege of the ulamaks. Mere mortal Muslims like me are only supposed to follow what the ulamaks say, you see. So, Bible dalam Bahasa Melayu orang Islam takleh baca, okay?

PMA: Okay, lastly but not the least, what do you say about the murder of a seven year old student in a religious school?

AH: That is sad isn't it?

PMA: Yes, it is sad. What do you think should be done?

AH: I think the teacher should be interrogated by MACC on the ground floor of their office.

PMA: Well thank you for being here Art. Good night.

AH: Taa daa Paula.

Post production script: Paula Malai Ali has not been in any way harmed in the production of this script. Art Harun holds the patent for the checkered flag undies.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Who's the fool this April?

 

Friedrich Nietzsche said, "Unless you have chaos inside you, you cannot give birth to a dancing star."

If that statement were to be applied to a nation - and that nation is our nation - and interpreted literally, I wonder how many dancing stars this blessed land of ours would have produced. Enough for a new cluster somewhere between the Milky Way and Andromeda perhaps?

It is April. We are just seeing off its first week. And what have we had this past week? A sex video. A murder in a religious school. And yet another death at MACC's office.

Of course, I am not even counting the election in Sarawak; the fake egg story which appears in our newspaper today and porn downloading in the wee hours of the morning at MACC's office (yes, it is MACC again) while a really important investigation on how a royal sum of RM2000 was being swindled was going on.

Let's start with the death at MACC's office yesterday.

According to the Star's report and a statement by MACC yesterday, Selangor Custom and Excise assistant director Ahmad Sarbani Mohamed, was found dead on the 1st floor of the MACC's office at Jalan Cochrane, Kuala Lumpur yesterday between 10.15 to 10.20am.

The late Sarbani was initially arrested by MACC on 1st April 2011 for investigations. He was released on surety on 2nd April 2011. According to MACC, he came to MACC's office yesterday at about 8.26am requesting to see the investigating officer. The officers were having a metting. He therefore waited at the lobby until 9.30am.

Later, he was escorted to an officer's room in order to get the investigating officer to see him. The officer whose room was being used was with him.

At 10.15am, that officer left him alone in that room. He (that officer) left the room in order to get the investigating officer to come to see him.

That is the story as told by MACC.

I find the story strange. It is strange because what the actors in the story did defies normal human behaviour. I would ask the followings:-

i) the crime which was being investigated was widely reported by the mass media. It was an achievement of sorts. Now, here's my question. When a suspect of a crime which has been described as some sort of a breakthrough came to MACC requesting to see the investigating officer, would any ordinary human being who is an investigating officer not regard that request as being very important? Wouldn't any ordinary human being go to see the suspect immediately? Why was Sarbani made to wait in the lobby for 1 hour 4 minutes? What if he changed his mind about talking to the investigating officer? Wouldn't that be a loss to MACC?

ii) what meeting were the officers having so early in the morning so much so that an arrested person who was out on surety but was back in MACC's office voluntarily to talk about the investigation could not be attended to immediately?

iii) why would another officer (whom Sarbani never requested to see) escort Sarbani to his room when Sarbani actually asked to see the investigating officer?

iv) if the purpose of escorting Sarbani was to bring him to see the investigating officer, why wasn't Sarbani escorted to the investigating officer's room instead?

v) I find it odd that the escorting officer came to take Sarbani and brought him to his room to see the investigating officer. He then left to get the investigating officer. This is what MACC said:

"Penama tersebut kemudian telah diiringi oleh seorang pegawai ke bilik pejabatnya untuk mendapatkan pegawai penyiasat menemui penama tersebut. Pegawai yang mengiringi penama tersebut telah berada bersamanya dalam bilik pejabat pegawai berkenaan.

Pada jam lebih kurang 10.15 pagi, pegawai yang mengiringi beliau telah meninggalkan penama tersebut di pejabatnya dan keluar sebentar pergi mendapatkan pegawai penyiasat. Dalam beberapa minit kemudian, pegawai tersebut telah kembali ke pejabatnya dan mendapati penama berkenaan tiada dalam bilik berkaitan."

vi) normal human behaviour would dictate that before the escorting officer came to escort Sarbani to see the investigating officer, the investigating officer would have been told that Sarbani wanted to see him. He would ensure that the investigating officer was already available. However, here we have a situation where the escorting officer brought Sarbani to his room. They then spent 45 minutes (from 9.30 to 10.15) in that room together.

vii) after 45 minutes in the room together, the escorting officer left Sarbani in that room alone. He left because he wanted to get the investigating officer. Why didn't he get the investigating officer earlier?

viii) aren't there telephones with extensions to all officers in MACC's office? If so, why was there a need for the escorting officer to actually physically leave his room to go and seek the investigating officer?

ix) the body was found between 10.15 to 10.20am (the time was narrowed down to only 5 minutes). The escorting officer left Sarbani alone at 10.15am. He came back some minutes later. Does MACC want us to believe that within 5 minutes or so, Sarbani left the escorting officer's room; walked around the MACC's office; looked for a window to jump out from, opened it and jumped out? And he did all these without anybody seeing him, a total stranger, wandering around in the office? And not only that he did all those things within the 5 minutes window, his body  was actually also discovered on the 1st floor within that 5 minutes window!

x) why didn't MACC state on what floor was the escorting officer's room?

xi) I also can't help to wonder whether this time, the CCTV in MACC's office would be in good working condition.

These are the questions which MACC should explain. For one death to happen in MACC's office, allegedly by falling off from its building, is one thing. For two deaths to happen within two years in the same exact manner is another thing altogether.

Prior to the Mac Death, of course all of us, long suffering people of Malaysia were again entertained by a video. Yes. A sex video whose main protagonist seems to have an uncanny similarities with Anwar Ibrahim.

I do not wish to delve into whether the video is genuine. I also do not wish to go into whether it is Anwar in the video. Much have been written about those questions. I neither have the knowledge nor the ability to find out the answers to those.

The sad thing about the video is the one issue that is forgotten. The one thing which has seemed to be missed by everybody. The forgotten one.

It is the lady in the video.

She was obviously a collateral damage of sorts. Insignificant. Irrelevant. She doesn't seem to have an iota of right, a semblance of dignity nor a teensy weensy honour which is protectable by us, members of this 2011 society.

There she was sitting. In her nice top and skirt. There she undressed herself. There she was ensconced in a towel. There she was standing, hugged and kissed. There she was. And that was it.

No mention of her otherwise. Who is she? Why was she there? Why was she doing what she was doing? Who is her family? How would she feel? How would her family feel?

She has a father I am sure. And a mother. I am a father too. I know how I would feel if I see my own daughter in that video. How would you feel if she was your daughter?

Who cares, right? She chooses to do the thing which she did. She probably get paid for it.

Who the hell cares? Right?

Then we have a religious school teacher who tied a 7 year old for two hours, assaulted him for an alleged theft and left him to die.

What kind of beasts do we have in our school? In a religious school to boot.

What is happening to all of us? As a society, all of us, individually and collectively, have to take responsibility for all these malaise which have infected us and threatened to infest our being.

I want to tell a personal story about life in school.

I used to smoke on the ceiling of my hostel before we would go to sleep. Every other night, about four or five of us would climb up the ceiling and shared a ciggy. It was a male bonding thing.

One night, we crawled on top of the head prefect's room and poked a hole in the ceiling. And we peeped. Just for fun. And we caught him buggering a Form 2 student!

No action was taken on him. Because he was the hostel's head prefect. Much later, he voluntarily left the hostel.

Guess what the head prefect worked as later in his life?

Yes, you guessed it right. He was a primary school teacher.

Now, doesn't that send a shiver down your spine?

Friday, April 01, 2011

April - a haram month?

The poco-poco dance has apparently been decreed as haram in Perak. The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, has asked everybody not to question such decree.

Well, knowing how hyper-sensitive all of us are when it comes to everything religion lately - and this applies to ALL of us, regardless of our religion - nobody in his or her right mind would be questioning such decree, Datuk Seri Minister, rest assured.

You will note that I am not even using inverted comas for the word haram anymore. That is because  haram has become a generic word in Malaysia. It is already accepted as a Malay word as well as an English, Tamil and  Chinese (all dialects) word. If you mention the word haram in Malaysia, everybody, regardless of his or her race or faith understands the word.

This propensity to decree anything and everything with the slightest connection with different faith or religion as haram in Islam is however a very interesting trend, if not a cause for concern.

As a citizen, I am horrified - and fearful - at the prospect of the State trying to regulate my private life. Laws should regulate actions which threaten the society as a whole. Laws should never be an instrument to govern private life or to foist upon anybody any  moral value or any code of moral behaviours, unless such behaviours threaten the society as a whole.

In Malaysia, all sorts of decrees have been made and imposed on Muslims lately. These decrees run from the most trivial - such as the prohibition against wearing Manchester United and England football jerseys - to that which smirks of institutional xenophobia - such as that which prohibits Muslims from "celebrating" other religion's celebrations or festivals.

Almost invariably, the reasons proffered for such prohibitions would be that such act, if done by Muslims, would affect their faith, or the preferred word, "akan merosakkan akidah mereka" (loosely translated, "such acts would affect their faith").

Malaysians Muslims cannot therefore wear England and Manchester United jerseys because the logo on the former has a crucifix and on the later has the depiction of the devil (although of course, nobody in Malaysia could seriously testify how the devil looks like, as yet). As the rationale goes, if I wear the jerseys, my faith might be affected and I would convert to Christianity after I take three steps forward and turn to the left to the left while wearing the jersey.

Velentine's day is a no no. Because it may lead to sex. Wearing Santa Claus apparels is also a no no because apparently Santa Claus is a Christian thing. Now the poco-poco dance is also a no no in Perak. Why? Of course it is because the dance has elements of other religions/faiths.

To top it up, according to the Home Ministry, Malays are not to read the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

Coincidentally, some months back, my wife attended a wedding in Mukah, Sarawak. It is a small village where the people live happily although life is obviously quite hard. These village folks are the forgotten people of Malaysia. However, what they lack in materialistic possessions, they more than fully make up with their attitude towards life.

I have seen video of the wedding. They had a karaoke session after the khenduri and the whole vilage jumped up to sing. Then of course they had the poco-poco. The whole family danced, including the 70 year olds! All in name of fun and merriment.

I do not know whether they have changed their religion since. I better check.

In a democracy, the power to legislate is with the Parliament. The Parliament consists of our representatives, whom we lawfully elect in an election. Their voice, while legislating and enacting laws, theoretically, reflects and represents your voice and my voice.

It is thus an anomaly that our private life could be regulated by some people who are not legally elected by the people of Malaysia as their representatives in the Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly, as the case may be.

Frankly, I am not able to grapple with the fact that somewhere in an air-conditioned room, some people who are totally bereft of authority, moral or legal, meeting and trying to regulate my life, let alone my private life! It is an aspect of my life that I find no room for negotiation and I find this hard to swallow.

Sometimes I wonder - in fact I always wonder - why are we so transfixed over people's private life. The recent sex video scandal is just but an example of how transfixed we are with a person's private life. We do that with impunity. With no regard to morality and good conscience. Is that Islamic?

I would love if our Islamic scholars could meet, discuss and make pronouncement on, for example, the followings:

i) whether it is Islamic and not haram for suraus and mosques to accept "budget" for renovations and what not during a period immediately preceding a by-election or general election. These "budgets" seem to miraculously appear from God when immediately before a by-election or general election when previous to that, the suraus or mosques could have been left dilapidated without anybody showing any care in the world about them. I would love to know whether such practice is Islamic and therefore not haram.

ii) whether detaining people without trial is not haram?

iii) whether embarrassing people in public is not haram?

iv) whether "Islamic banking", as practised in Malaysia, is really really really not haram?

I was doing some reading last weekend about Christian tradition. I found out that Jesus Christ was believed by the Christians to have been crucified on a Friday, based on details of Canonical gospels and also astronomical approach grounded upon a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model. That day is remembered until now as the Good Friday by the Christians.

On the third day after the Good Friday, it is believed that Jesus rose from the dead (resurrection). That day fell on a Sunday. Until now, that day is celebrated as Easter Sunday, metaphorically marking a day where Jesus and therefore all mankind were freed of Earthly burden.

That day also coincided with Passover day, namely, the day the people of Judaism faith believe to be the day the Israelites were freed by God from slavery when Moses led them out of Egypt from the evil clutches of the Pharaoh.

Jesus, himself a Jew, was believed to have been crucified during Passover time. It is even said that the last supper was a Passover seder (a ritual meal that commemorates the Biblical accounting of the Jews escape from Egyptian slavery).

Metaphorically, both Easter and Passover are regarded as symbols of freedom and liberty, The Easter was a liberation for Jesus Christ from Earthly burden which led to Christianity being born while Passover was the physical liberation of Israelites when led to the birth of Judaism.

The thing is, all these events took place in April (the Easter varies between March 22nd and April 25th).

Meanwhile, the month of April in itself, has its origin from the Greek goddess, Venus. It is believed that the word April is derived from Aprilis, which was associated with Venus'  Greek name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.

If connections with other religions or faiths is to be the criteria for decreeing that a certain act or event is halal or haram as they would otherwise be agents which could affect the "akidah" of Muslims, I wonder whether Friday, Sunday and in fact the whole month of April ought to be outlawed and removed from our calendar? What about the Easter bunny? And the eggs which are distributed during Easter?

I must state that it is not my intention to challenge any fatwa or sacrosanct decree. I just want to understand the concept of faith and the rationale of all these decrees which seek to govern not only my private life but also designed to make me feel small, childish and impotently brainless.