Saturday, July 9, 2011

No Winner In This Madness

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (NST) -- Rally organisers claimed the street demonstration yesterday was a success. Police, too, said their operation to curb the riots was a success.
Which meant that the only loser was the man on the street.

Weddings, other celebrations and events were called off as many were afraid to leave their homes, roadblocks caused traffic chaos on several major roads, businesses were shut and taxi drivers complained they could not earn enough to pay their daily rental.

The promises by rally organisers that their march would be peaceful and that it would not affect the public adversely were not kept.

For about four hours from noon yesterday, there were flash points at various spots in the city when supporters of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), Umno Youth's "Patriots" and hundreds of policemen squared up to each other.

Conspicuously missing were Malay rights group, Perkasa, and Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia, which in the run-up to yesterday's rally, had threatened violence to stop the Bersih march.

But even without the two groups, the city endured four hours of madness.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who police said numbered "about 5,000 to 6,000", but they were defiant. They mocked the authorities and were spoiling for a fight from the beginning.

When the authorities moved in, they moved on, causing the disturbance to spread from Masjid Negara to Dataran Merdeka, KL Sentral, Lebuh Pasar Besar, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Pudu, Masjid Jamek, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Tun Perak and Kampung Baru.

All these were captured by the foreign media, precisely what the rally organisers wanted, but at what cost to the nation and its people.

In previous weeks, tensions escalated as various parties took sides. A multitude of reasons and justifications were given, but every individual or group which threw itself into the fray eventually fell into one of two camps -- pro-Bersih or anti-Bersih.

Accusations were thrown, abuses hurled. The language of the discourse, whether in the media or in the coffee shops, turned more divisive by the day.

Arrests were made, weapons confiscated, counter-rallies organised. More than three thousand police reports and counter-reports were filed.

The Bersih 2.0 campaign, which had begun with such noble intentions and in such high hopes, was threatening to collapse upon itself. Even among its supporters, there were calls towards creating a local version of the Arab Spring and Tahrir Square, evoking a state of lawlessness and chaos far removed from the democratic ideal it was protecting.

For those old enough to remember, the spectre of May 13, 1969 loomed like a dark cloud over the noise of the squabbling parties. The causes were different then but this is how it had begun -- anger drowning out the voices of reason, discontent washing over the city's streets.

It took the intervention of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to cool hot heads last Sunday, which allowed both sides to return tentatively back towards the road to civil dialogue.

The counter-rallies were called off. Bersih chairman Datuk S. Ambiga agreed to the offer made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the rally be held in a stadium.

But that was shortlived. Anywhere but KL, police said, concerned about public safety and security.

As negotiations fell through, Bersih's aims fell by the wayside. What had begun as a call for electoral reform had turned into an all-out campaign against the system of government.

What was clear was that Berish's intentions were hijacked by the opposition coalition as shown in a photograph taken at a press conference at KL Hilton at the height of the rally yesterday.

Ambiga was seated together with parliamentary opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

What had begun as a call for strengthening democracy became a battle cry for civil disobedience and yesterday, what the authorities feared most, happened.

People got hurt and almost 1,600 were arrested, including 16 children.

Most appalling was the number of parents who brought their children to the rally, despite the knowledge that events could turn ugly.

They wanted their children to witness "democracy in action". What disturbed many was that many of the children had barely mastered the art of walking, much less the nuances of democracy.

It is too easy to forget when we see a picture of a bloodied and bruised protester splashed on the front pages of the papers, that the person is someone's son, someone's sister, someone's mother, or someone's husband.

So in the end, who won?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why 'kecoh-kecoh' over poco-poco?

Would I be un-Islamic if I disagree with Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria's decision to ban the poco-poco? 
The reason for giving the fatwa is that the poco-poco has elements of Christianity and spirit worship.
Why all these years no ulama has declared it as such and why now?
And during all these years our Malaysian women were really having so much fun sweating it out to the song made popular by Indonesian singer, Jopie Latul:
"Belenggang pata-pata,
( berlenggang).........
cuma ngana suka bikin pusing.
(Hanya kamu suka buat aku pening). "
Is it wrong to have some fun? Have you seen these women chanting some holy or un holy words, as if they are in some kind of a trance? Or have our women converted to Christianity after these sessions?
Why do we have to take this seriously? Poco-poco is just a form of exercise, a close cousin of the aerobics. You will enjoy more during your workouts with fast and catchy numbers.
Jopie Latul's version is the most popular among Malaysians.
Over the years too, some Malaysians have created their own dance steps, and produced their own version of poco-poco, or better still Malaysian (or OneMalaysia) poco-poco.
Thank God, our Indonesian neighbour has not cooked up a storm with Malaysia over the rights to poco-poco!
Let us all not start a row over poco-poco. 
We girls just wanna have fun when we get together.
I can vouch for that. I was the one who introduced and taught our Bernama ladies to dance the poco-poco. I was the women association (Benita) president then until my retirement on March 1.  
Our GM's wife, Datin Suriani has since taken over this portfolio.
I could see the enthusiasm among the women when they joined these sessions. Benita immediately received new members especially the younger generation, to join our association.
But like many new things, the interest peaked when it was still hot, and dwindled later.
What's important is these women had so much fun.
This year, Benita will have aerobics sessions in its calendar of events.
With all the kecoh-kecoh over the poco-poco, it looks like many women associations are lying low and scrapping the poco-poco from their gatherings.
Let us hope that Selangor and KL will not follow Perak's footsteps.



Monday, April 4, 2011

Sex Video 'teaser' loaded on YouTube

 The Facebook Community were abuzz today with a 'teaser' of the controversial sex video. The Star online reports:

PETALING JAYA: A 'teaser' of the controversial sex video implicating an opposition leader has been loaded on popular social video site YouTube.

The one minute, 47 second clip shows a man in a towel and a woman in what appears to be a hotel room.

A third person, a fully-dressed man, is also seen in the short clip.

It is not clear who uploaded the video.

On March 21, newsmen were shown a 22-minute video, showing a man resembling the opposition leader, having sex with a woman, by a man who identified himself only as 'Datuk T'. He claimed the video was recorded on Feb 21 in a local hotel room.

Datuk T said he wanted the media to watch the footage showing the politician before sending the copy to him and his wife.

He said if the individual in the video was the politician he had identified to the media, "then he and his wife must step down from politics."

Former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik, businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Perkasa treasurer Datuk Shuaib Lazim later admitted to being 'Datuk T'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sex Video Scandals Spice Up Malaysian Politics

Sex video scandals in Malaysia involving prominent politicians by far have not really ended in political tsunamis for some key players.

Except for the first case involving D.P. Vijandran of the MIC who has never made a comeback after his fall, there are survivors from these exposes. A case in point is Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek of MCA, who was featured in another video scandal.

The tapes went public and Chua, who was then Health Minister admitted he was the one in the video. Perhaps, due to his honesty, party members elected him as president of the MCA, the second largest component of the Barisan Nasional.

In the latest video scandal implicating Datuk Seri Anwar Inbrahim, the now de facto leader of the Opposition, much will depend on the authenticity of the video clip.

In the case of Anwar Ibrahim, who was then Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, his boss, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, gave him a choice –either retire gracefully or face public exposure and ridicule over his alleged sexual escapades. But Anwar, who has always been a fighter, chose to stay and fight. He was only just one step from becoming Prime Minister.

It’s been ages, and Anwar is still fighting. Anwar is currently facing a second sodomy charge brought by his former aide.

In the latest fiasco involving Anwar, the video itself has not been made public. Those who who have watched the video are a small group of journalists invited by Datuk T, who turned out be three individuals known to Anwar.

One of them is Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik, the former chief minister of Melaka who also fell from grace after another sex scandal. The three men unmasked themselves during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur recently, two days after the video was shown to the journalists at a private function in Carcosa.

Rahim said Mr T was a collective moniker for himself, a prominent businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and a less-well-known man named Shui b Lazim, who was not present at the press conference.

Shazeyl said he was the one who found the video, and that he took it to the other two men to decide what to do with it. The journalists were shown a graphic sex video featuring a man who looked like opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The Opposition has pledged to fight allegations that nwar was filmed having sex with a prostitute insisting its leader’s troubles won’t fracture his three-party alliance ahead of national elections expected within a year.

The video has not been publicly circulated, but opposition officials are scrambling to convince people that it is a plot hatched by the government.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak denied authorities made the video.

Anwar’s top allies held a news conference last week to voice their support for him, claiming the video was simply the latest effort to smear Anwar’s reputation.

“All Malaysians must express their outrage and condemnation that Malaysian politics have reached a new depth of character assassination,” said Lim Kit Siang, a veteran official in the Democratic Action Party.

The opposition believes the release of the video was timed ahead Sarawak state election next month. Anwar’s alliance needs to perform well in the election to boost its flagging morale ahead of snap national polls that many believe Najib will call by early 2012.

Anwar filed a police complaint last Tuesday seeking an investigation into what he described as “an orchestrated attempt to force my wife and me out of national politics.”

“I will fight them, and I will fight them hard,” Anwar said.

Those who saw the video say there is a striking resemblance between the man in the video and Anwar. The PKR leader at a press conference recently noted there is a resemblance but said the man in the video has a bigger belly.

On a more serious note, Anwar said during the time stamped on the video (about 10.30pm on Feb 21), he was at home with his staff and family members.

Some groups have also called for a royal commission to investigate Anwar’s involvement in the sex video.

Of late, the latest internet chat rooms, portals and the Facebook community were abuzz with the sex revelations, with skeptics even saying that the tape was doctored.

PKR's Batu MP Tian Chua, in his tweet, described the "special viewing of a doctored video of Anwar Ibrahim" to the media as a desperate tactic by Barisan Nasional to distract the debate from policies and governance ahead of the Sarawak polls.

"(Barisan) shifted to focus on smearing and character assassination. The whole purpose of the exercise is to smear (Anwar's name).

On March 22, Anwar filed a report regarding this issue to the Dang Wangi police headquarters. He denied the allegations and told that he is not the man in that sex video.

In all these charges against Anwar, the veteran politician has denied all allegations against him,saying that he was a victim of conspiracy by the BN government to smear his name for the past 13 years.

Meanwhile, the search is on for the tape on the internet. Someone by now would have access to the video tape, and it will be a matter of time when some smart aleck upload it for the world to watch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Am Back!

It has been ages since I last penned my thoughts through my blog, Getaran Jiwa. Yes, I am back with a vengeance after a six month hiatus.

Hiatus! Too strong a word, let’s keep it simple, just a long break. Hiatus gives a negative meaning, as I have not totally forgotten that I have a blog and wish to keep it going. As long as I can still write, this blog will stay tuned.

Since Aug 26 last year, many things have taken place. And how time flies! I am now a retiree.

Prior to retirement, I accepted an assignment to visit Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Seattle, U.S. Call it my swan song! It was an experience of a life time, thanks to Malaysia Airlines and Boeing for making it possible for me and the rest of my media friends to be on the trip.

To fast track my story, I have joined a fitness club at Wangsa Walk. It comes with a full package – a personal trainer who is supposed to make me realise my goals –lose weight and keep fit. I wanted quick results, so I went on a thrice a week programme. I was over-zealous at my age.

After two weeks, my head was spinning. So, I was forced to take an emergency brake from my workouts. No, not that my blood pressure level had risen. It was just that I had to take a slower pace now. What do you expect, I am not one who enjoys regular exercises, especially during my later years in office.

What else do I do to fill up my time? To fulfil my spiritual needs, I attend a quran reading class every Tuesday.

What are my plans moving forward? I plan to produce an English-Arabic magazine, hopefully middle of this year with my partner. We are looking for one or two more strong partners for this magazine, which is targeted at the Arab community in Malaysia.

InsyaAllah, once we get the right partners, we will go ahead with this project.
Meanwhile, I am doing freelance copy editing, translation in both Malay and English and conducts courses in journalism.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


‘Bully- thy neighbour’ seems to be the right slogan for Indonesia, in the light of the recent attack on the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

In the incident, demonstrators led by the People’s Defence of Democracy (Bendera), has claimed responsibility for burning the Malaysian flag, Jalur Gemilang and throwing human faeces into the Malaysian embassy compound.

As in the past, Indonesians took to the streets and launched anti-Malaysia campaigns, with protests initially staged against the infrequent Indonesian maid abuse in Malaysia. Emotionally-charged Indonesians vented their anger against Malaysia over almost anything.

Similarities in culture, language and religious customs should make Malaysia and Indonesia good neighbours.

But long-running spats over everything from territorial boundaries to cultural ownership of culinary dishes, dances, instruments and even Malaysia’s national anthem, have over the years hampered ties.

As of 2009, there were nearly two million Indonesian workers in Malaysia, including 800,000 illegals and that 300,000 were employed in the manufacturing sector.

As Malaysian authorities were preparing to send illegal Indonesians home, thousands others were waiting to make their passage, legally or illegally, in search of job opportunities here.

The latest demonstration, which included a threat by Bendera to send home Malaysians in Jakarta after shaving their heads, was supposed to be sparked by our maritime border dispute.

Bendera supporters had also threatened to “sweep” Malaysians from Indonesia. Anti-Malaysia demonstrations in Jakarta, Medan and Pekan Baru took place soon after the arrests of three Indonesian Maritime and Fisheries Ministry officials on Aug 13.

Indonesia should take action against this group -- coincidentally acronymed Bendera, which means flag -- which showed disrespect towards Malaysia. Malaysians have been tolerant towards every uncivilised action from its people without any retaliation.

In the latest incident, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has ruled out an apology over the Aug 13 incident, saying that Malaysia had acted within the law when the authorities arrested the Indonesians.

Yes, Datuk Seri, we should be firm and not let our neighbour have the upper hand.

We have tolerated all these years over their bullying tactics and the time has come for them to stop their ‘acts of terrorism” against their own neighbour, and observe and practice good neighbourliness, in the true spirit of Asean brotherhood.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Abdul Rahman Sulaiman Appointed Bernama Chairman

(Latest pix: Abdul Rahman receiving a souvenir from visiting Vice Minister of State Council Information Office of China, Dong Yunhu (left) at Wisma Bernama on July 6)

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) -- A former Editor-in-Chief of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the agency effective Feb 1.

He takes over from Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini whose term as the ninth Bernama Chairman ended on Jan 31, this year, according to the Bernama management today.

The appointment of Abdul Rahman, 64, has received the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin to lead the 13- member Bernama Board of Governors.

He had headed the Bernama Editorial Department from 1989 until 1995. His last post in the government service was as the Director of Communications in the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister's Department from August 2001 until March 2010.

He was also the Director of Communications in the Prime Minister's Department from March 2009 until recently.

Abdul Rahman is married to Datin Maznah Adam and the couple has two sons and a daughter.

He was conferred the Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) which carries the title Datuk in 2007.

Born on May 26, 1946 in Parit Buntar, Perak, Abdul Rahman received his early education at Sekolah Umum Parit Tok Ngah and the Methodist Secondary School in Parit Buntar.

He joined Bernama in 1971 as a senior journalist after beginning his career in journalism at Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) as a broadcast journalist in 1966.

In 1973 he went for further studies at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in communications in 1976, and upon returning to Bernama, he was posted to Bangkok and the agency's correspondent for Thailand and Indo-China until 1978.

He had held numerous positions in the news agency including as the Johor Bureau Head, and Executive Editor of the General News Service before being appointed Editor-in-Chief in 1989.

In 1995, he opted for early retirement to contest in the general election as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Parit Buntar parliamentary constituency where he beat Idris Abdul Rauf from Parti Semangat 46.