- The Days of American Appointed Dictators in the Arab World is Over
- Selangor Peruntuk RM100k Bantu Pelajar dan Warga Malaysia di Mesir
- Rakaman Peserta Demo Mesir Ditembak Polis Mesir
- Berubah Sarawak “15 Seats Only..??”
- SHE AIN'T HEAVY, SHE'S MY MOTHER
- What is normal?
- Conservative Blogs I Frequent
- Shuhaimi dituduh menghasut - Kenapa Dr Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim, Sanusi Joned. Najib dan yang lain tidak dituduh?
- Malaysia's first Syariah compliant 5-star hotel is opening soon
- Shuhaimi charged with sedition
- 'Navy vessels costing 870 percent more'
- WIKILEAKS: Either the biggest revelation or greatest hoax _ Hosni Mubarak"S USD620billion wealth
- Brave Egyptian Journalist Shahira Amin Quits Her Job!
- Najib bullies ala Mubarak; Protection against revolution = principles, not force
- Replace Interlok with Kamasutra
- The Mad Hatter Stuck At 6.00
- Ronald Reagan's greatest achievements
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 01:14 PM PST
Cuba was a dictatorship, but at least Cuba is independent of the influence of the West. Today, Cuba has one of the best healthcare system in Latin America. Cuba is actually exporting their doctors to the inner parts of Venezuela in exchange for oil.
Tell me, why is it that a small, surrounded, socialist but independent from Western influence can relatively thrive compared to the rest of Venezuela who spent most of the last 5 decades under the rule of American appointed dictators i.e. Pinochet?
The Arab world is now breaking free from their curse of American and Western appointed dictators. For the last 50-60 years, the Arab world has seen nothing but dictators in the form of Presidents, Kings or even Prime Ministers, all of whom was and is appointed by America or Western powers.
Their role is nothing but to subdue their people into following every single whim of America and Western countries.
Another main role being played by these dictators are to serve the interest of Israel. America knows, population wise, Israel would have very few friends in the Arab world. Even the Coptic Christians in Egypt hates Israel. Their main Church, the Church of Alexandria has stopped their followers from performing pilgrimage in Bethlehem as long as Jerusalem is under the control of the Zionists. Let's not even talk about the Muslims.
But, with Western appointed dictators ruling Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Maghribi etc, Israel can be assured that the people in these countries will be subdued into protecting the interest of Israel.
The perks of becoming an American appointed dictators is the opportunity to amass wealth for themselves at the expense of their respective people. I mean, in Egypt, there are Egyptians who survives on eating garbage (i saw this with my own eyes) while their noble President has properties in Manhattan, London and many other western cities and capitals. It is estimated Mubarak had amassed wealth totalling into billion of dollars while his people has to eat garbage just to survive.
America also turn a blind eye on massive atrocities committed by these dictators on their people. In Egypt, torcher by the police is a normality. Even Arab films depicts the practice of torcher by their police openly. It's something that every Egyptian is very well aware off.
THank god, those days of American appointed dictator is coming to an end. All the atrocities committed in the name of protecting American foreign policy that is Israel centric will come to an end.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 12:23 PM PST
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Posted: 07 Feb 2011 12:20 PM PST
Saksikan sendiri bagaimana Polis Mesir membunuh seorang pendemo yang tidak bersenjata. Beginilah gambaran betapa kejamnya regim Mubarak dan sekutu-sekutunya. Lihatlah sendiri kekejaman sekutu Amerika dan sekutu Yahudi ini.
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Posted: 07 Feb 2011 07:14 AM PST
The coming of age of the footsoldiers turned into Generals will be very influential in this battle of 2011 Sarawak State elections. 1987 and 1991 has come and gone and twenty years on the remnants of PBDS are now emerging out of their shells. They have been bruised,suppressed,humiliated and left to fend on their own.Some have even stayed under cover of the BN masters but they know now its time to strike back.
Whats their argument? Nothing against Taib and his cronies personally but they know the time is ripe to come out fighting and gather back what is theirs and will not be pushed into submission. They have learnt without fuss what and how BN have used many methods and ways to stay in power. Now mosts of them are turning to a new Alliance and sees a new drift of fresh wind coming across from the Peninsular and images of People Power emerging also from the Middle East.
Even warlords are coming out claiming that they will be financing 15 of their own candidates. The 15 seats won in 1987 by the now defunct PBDS is being used to draw encouragement and a new hope for a new government and new alliance. SNAP can claim 28 seats but a former BN strongman who has since left said by all accounts its 32 dayak majority areas.
DAP will take on SUPP and is quietly confident of pushing their numbers up from the 6 assemblyman they have now to even doubling their numbers. Unless and if the SUPP leaders are still thinking that they are secured they will be in for a surprise. Did the Sibu episode teach SUPP a thing or two?
Seriously, the opposition members in Sarawak have used the technological advances to their advantage and the Election Commission members are even caught off guard. The GPRS tracking bar code system is cleverly being used to even monitor any irregularities. Clever but many have underestimated their usefulness and many elderly politicians are still thinking they can find a way around these technology.
God Help them if they keep thinking like that…!
The groundwork is already being laid down and even the usage of tough, fearless and hard man are been met with the long elongated twin barrels of steel facing their faces. This time they are ready and will use what they have learnt to mobilise their own man not to be intimidated or fear whatever is brandished on them.
It is unusually quiet in the Malay/Melanau areas as the dayaks will not want to be left into a false hope of PKR winning their allocated seats. Permas in 1987 promised so much and yet only delivered 5 seats and if only DAP was as strong as it is now the former PBDS members said,"I will not be here talking to you. We have come a long way and mosts of us are now in our fifties which is just appropriate for a final assault"
DAP and SNAP are at bests working the minds and hearts of the people to accept them and turn it into votes and not false promises. In 1987 a dayak leader said,"We were left to rue what could have been and 1991 we suffered after a good showing. PKR will need to look closely at what they have and where they can deliver instead of being the "TAIKO" he said.
Even the warlord he said does not particularly take him too kindly as he was very much branded an "Anti-Chinese" The brand of politics then mind you he described it was dayakism but we have moved on and sees it now that our people needs to vote their own as the assemblyman. Its a fight of different ideologies,party lines and who will win the hearts and mind of the people to turn to Votes. Is this wrong?
He even used Liverpools resurgence to Kenny Dalglish who they think has the charisma to turn the team around.The supporters of Liverpool has suddenly found faith in the team and with the victory against multi-millionaires Chelsea at their home ground no one can be underestimated. Even Liverpool Manager for now said lets take each game as it comes along. Do you see it ..??
15 seats we talk about we will and must deliver and the BN will not know what hit them. It's a million dollar question and the greed and arrogance shown by Taibs closest family will eventually take Taib himself down and out of the equation.
Even PRS and SPDP are looking over their shoulders and some PBB assemblyman looks confident outwardly but deep down they know they are in for a tough battle. They have looked after their people but by being virtue of being human beings they can change in an instant. The connected ones within BN are fearful that they will lose all if the modest 15 seats passed the simple majority of 36.
The modest 15 seats looks easily achievable and with the mood of the people especially very unhappy with the 'grabbing of land" Taib might do well if he clamps down and look at WHERE THE SPARKS will come from.
Could it come from the Kapit dayak hinterland.?? The demise of PBDS many shed a tear or two but they moved on.
We have earlier covered this subject and click on to read further with some other add ons:-
The 15 seats mutiplied and added on will just easily surpassed the 42 grey areas which the SB has been indicating in their reports. BN must know that the downtrodden has woken up and paid heavily for their lessons and are ready to serve the peeople with a breadth of fresh air to take their places amongst the ruling government.
BN needs to take steps to ensure that the people are still with them and they must not let everything to chance as it will mean a step nearer the end for them. The 71 BN candidates will face a challenge which will determine the fate of the BN government of Sarawak. They now will need eyes behind their backs and much more in meticulously looking at operational details with care and attention and briefed of the slightest movement in the opposition camp.
The opposition knows the mood of the people is with them and a modest 15 seats is within reach.
Did we not say the foot soldiers have gained tremendously..??Or Will they be extinguished even before the battle begins….?
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 07:09 AM PST
With my siblings all busy with their own lives, I know I will end up as my mom's sole caregiver by default. It is a role I have taken on for the past 15 years. So I won't be in unfamiliar territory. The only difference is my stress level will probably shoot up, and I will have to make changes in my lifestyle. Will I be up to the task?
Dr Lee Wei Ling's article "Who cares for the caregivers?" published recently in The Straits Times must have resonated with many women who have to look after an ailing elderly parent.
I quote an excerpt from a letter a reader wrote in response to Dr Lee's article. Dr Lee heads the National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore, and is the daughter of Lee Kuan Yew, former Singapore PM.
"The emotional and psychological stress of the caregiver takes its toll and very quickly the caregiver becomes very tired and drained. There are no support groups, as far as I know, where caregivers can share common experiences and frustrations so the caregiver in Singapore has to rely on the listening ear of good friends and relatives who have the time to spare.
I live this frustration every day despite having a dedicated maid to take care of all my 91-year-old mother's needs. I worry when my mother doesn't eat right. I worry when she complains of aches and pains. I worry when she becomes sullen and depressed, which is most of the time.
I tell myself I shouldn't care if she eats her meals or not, but I do. I don't get any smiles or thank yous from her and most times I feel she is unappreciative of whatever I do. All I get are scowls and frowns and complaints that the food I cook (I do all the cooking) is not done right.
So how do you stay motivated to do this every day? How does the caregiver block all negative thoughts?"
For my personal tips on caregiving, do click here to read my article "Caring For An Elderly Parent" which was published in the Singapore Women's Weekly, Nov 2009 edition.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 05:39 AM PST
Is this "normal"? I guess it is because it is obviously not raining anymore.
A friend of mine tweeted me and said she heard the news on radio that the flood situation is Johor is "back to normal". She wanted to know what is 'normal' about floods? Can anyone tell her? Or the news editors on radio stations?
Several times each year we all get to read about royals and heads of states who 'care'. A people's king. Or a caring ruler. Etc. etc. etc. As a Malaysian I have never had a stomach for these editorial cliches much less believe them. But I am so happy that there are exceptions.
I received some photos of Raja Zarith, consort to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Johor. Raja Zarith was photographed as she visited flood-affected Pagoh in Johor state. the Princess was delivering much needed supplies and spending time with the people of her state. Unlike our usual Malaysian big shots when they go on their rounds there was no fanfare. No banners. No outriders. No fuss. Just love and caring in the performance of duty.
I bow in humble respect of a real, Royal Princess.
The Princess listening to some of the flood victims in relief centres
A royal visitor with her people. Notice the total absence of photographers.
My favorite photo. The Princess eating with her people.
Now, if only those flers from Putrajaya would follow her royal example.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 06:36 AM PST
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Posted: 07 Feb 2011 12:37 AM PST
Out of all the blogs and sites available out there, I've been regularly following these few:
Moonbattery - Daily updates on the most evil, conniving, and downright idiotic things liberals across the world have been up to. Daily Open Threads encourage reader news tips (which I contribute to as well). Occassional posts celebrating countermoonbattery pushback against the Left. Almost every post will have an image or video. Strong Christian worldview.
Gateway Pundit - The usual Conservative issues. Close ties with St Louis Tea Party means coverage of Tea Party protests you won't find elsewhere. Often adds reminders linking back to earlier posts related to current issues, such as in order to point out a liberal breaking his word or the many times Democrats have assailed industry. About eevry post will have an image. Strong Christian worldview.
The Jawa Report - Heavy coverage on terrorism, including relatively unknown and localized cases. Strong campaigning to flag pro-terrorist videos and sites hosted in the USA for removal. Lots of highly amusing taunting and mocking of loser terrorist-wannabes. Anything remotely Star Wars related gets a post for teh lols. The usual coverage of other Conservative and Libertarian interests. Varied worldviews from multiple contributors.
Ace of Spades HQ - The usual coverage of Conservative and Libertarian interests, most posts are sparse on images and videos. Semi-regular long posts where Ace puts mocking skillz to good use. The Net's latest selection of fun, cool and memetic offerings from daily and weekend Open Threads, heavy on images and videos. Varied worldviews from multiple contributors.
Michelle Malkin - Showcases her weekly published columns, with selection of posts on the usual Conservative interests (currently handled by guest blogger Doug Ross). Being a good-looking Filipino American woman, the amount of racist and sexist bile thrown at her is more than enough to fill the occassional Hate Mail post. Each post in the sidebar has a thumbnail image, but not every post itself will have an image. Strong Christian worldview, and a mother.
Ann Coulter - The completely politically-incorrect queen of snarky sarcasm! (Seriously, some of her sarcasm will fly over your head unless you have some familiarity with the issues and persons she's talking about.) Site showcases her weekly published columns. Sidebar has short news bites, links or tweets accompanied by her snarky remarks on whatever news catches her interest, usually on Conservative matters. Background in Law means the occassional insight into legal aspects of an issue. Almost purely text site. Strong Christian worldview.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 07:30 AM PST
Ahli Dewan Undanga negeri Sri Muda Shuhaimi Shafiei hari ini dihadapkan ke mahkamah kerana tuduhan 'seditious' terhadap ke Bawah Duli Tuanku Selangor melalui halaman blognya semasa Selangor menghadapi krisis perlantikan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor baru-baru ini.
Beliau dituduh dibawah seksyen 41(1)(c) yang membolehkan beliau dipenjara tidak kurang dari 3 tahun dan denda tidak melebihi RM5000. Shuhaimi setakat yang saya ingat merupakan ahli Legislatif yang pertama berhadapan dengan tuduhan seperti ini.
Bagi saya jika benar Shuhaimi melakukan kesalahan itu maka beliau wajar menerima apa-apa hukuman setimpal jika beliau didapati bersalah mengikut lunas-lunas undang-undang. Itulah gunanya undang-undang diwujudkan untuk melindungi pihak-pihak yang wajar dilindungi dan memberikan hukuman kepada sesiapa yang menyalahi undang-undang yang digubal oleh mana-mana Dewan Legislatif di negara ini.
Tetapi apa yang memusykilkan saya ialah kenapa undang-undang itu dikuat kuasakan hanya kepada Shuhaimi dan hanya sekarang sahaja baru pihak yang berwajib begitu tangkas dan cepat menghadapkan Ahli Dewan Undangan negeri itu ke muka pengadilan?
Saya bertanya soalan ini kerana semasa krisis perlembagaan yang paling hebat pada 1993 dahulu banyak lapuran polis telah dibuat terhadap ramai pemimpin UMNO termasuk Dr Mahathir, Abdul Ghaffar Baba (Allahyarham), Hanafiah Man dari Alor Setar, Anwar Ibrahim, Najib Tun Razak, Nazri Aziz, Sanusi Joned, Utusan Melayu, Berita Harian dan ramai lagi individu-individu yang telah menghina Raja-Raja Melayu masih belum diambil tindakan?
Utusan Melayu telah menyiarkan berita yang Ke Bawah Duli Yang DiPertuan Besar NS Almarhum Tuanku Jaafar telah menyewakan tanah Baginda untuk membela babi di Lukut yang merupakan fitnah yang tegar dan menghina kedaulatan seorang Raja Melayu?
Semasa itu pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO kesemuanya telah membuat kenyataan-kenyataan 'seditious' dan disiarkan didada-dada akhbar dan dibaca oleh semua rakyat di negara ini. Kalau nak dikira, hampir keseluruhan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO dan Menteri-Menteri UMNO sepatutnya dihadapkan ke mahkamah untuk diadili.
Dalam krisis itu Raja-Raja Melayu dihina dan dinesta oleh pemimpin Melayu dari UMNO sendiri. Tidak pula kedapatan kenyataan-kenyataan yang 'seditious' dari pemimpin-pemimpin bukan Melayu dari DAP dan MIC. PAS juga tidak membuat sebarang kenyataan yang menghina Raja-Raja Melayu kerana PAS tidak menyokong pindaan untuk mengurangkan kuasa Raja yang telah diperuntukkan oleh perlembagaan negara.
Jika dibandingkan kenyataan Suhaimi dengan kenyataan menghentam Raja-Raja Melayu dahulu ianya ibarat langit dan bumi. Saya ingin menekankan supaya Dr Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim dan kalau boleh Sanusi Joned juga dihadapkan ke mahkamah kerana mengetuai UMNO yang telah membuat kenyataan-kenyataan yang sangat 'seditious' ketika itu.
Kenyataan mereka itu membayangkan seolah-olah Raja-Raja Melayu itu tidak ada langsung gunanya kepada rakyat dan negara. Pihak yang berwajib tidak boleh melakukan 'selective prosecution' kerana itu merupakan tindakan yang tidak adil.
Kenapa ada pihak yang terselamat dari tindakan undang-undang sedangkan ada pihak lain yang begitu cepat diambil tindakan walaupun kenyataannya tidak sepedas apa yang diluahkan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin kita semasa krisis perlembagaan yang dicetuskan oleh UMNO itu.
Kepada sesiapa yang sudah lupa atau pun terlalu muda untuk mengingati isu ini pada tahun 1993 dahulu silalah cari akhbar-akhbar perdana sekitar tahun 1993 dahulu.
Banyak lapuran polis telah dibuat terhadap mereka tetapi sampai kehari ini belum lagi diambil tindakan walaupun sudah hampir 20 tahun. Kenapa ahli-ahli politik yang berkuasa begitu kebal dari tindakan undang-undang sedangkan Raja-Raja Melayu dihilangkan kekebalannya.
Kita mesti ingat kepada nasihat Dr Mahathir; Melayu jangan mudah lupa.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 03:28 AM PST
Imagine a fund management organisation set up to help their depositors to achieve a lifelong dream
The said fund is also considered a leader when it comes to Syariah compliance
So when we heard that it is considering the purchase of a an abandoned 5-star plus luxury hotel in the golden triangle one can only assume that the hotel will be syariah compliant
You can enjoy all you non-alcoholic beer here and it will probably be home to the best halal Chinese restaurant in the country and the entertainment outlets will all play spiritual music and have may even have separate male and female buffet line.
According to sources, the management has approved the proposal and it is now awaiting presentation to the investment committee of the fund before finally appearing before the board of directors.
Our deepthroat also revealed that the person bringing forth the proposal is related to the top management and if the deal goes through the said executive stands to earn as much as RM38 million.
Our deep throat says that this is not the first time that such a proposal from the same person but the deals have been kept rather quiet.
Backgrounder of the abandoned hotel;
The Hyatt Group in 1994 gave the contract to develop the RM570 million Grand Hyatt Duta to Kuala Lumpur Landmark Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Olympia Industries Bhd. Mycom Bhd, the holding company of Olympia, then teamed up with Kuala Lumpur Landmark to develop a 52-storey building to house its headquarters and the hotel.
However, construction was halted in July 1998, when the group encountered financial difficulties during the 1997/1998 economic downturn. The incomplete skeleton of the building has been abandoned ever since and Hyatt Group is no longer associated with the project.
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 01:44 AM PST
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 02:22 AM PST
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 11:59 PM PST
CAUTION: I dont know whether all these documents are genuine or fake but they are interesting food for thought...
Could any world leader have amassed so much wealth? I mean $620 billion in a fixed deposit at 1% per annum is $6.2 billion in interests per year, that's more than $500million per month....you could buy a Boeing 747 every month and have enough left to buy an island... more documents after the jump
Interestingly the first document indicate that the wealth is assigned for the benefit of charity and charitable endeavours
These documents were initially published by Wael Abbas, he is a blogger and his site has since come under DDS..or under attack, if you want to see the documents as they appear on his mirror, click here
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 11:46 PM PST
Posted: 07 Feb 2011 06:32 AM PST
It's the price to pay FOR FREEDOM, she was reported to be saying at CNN's telecast datelined
via WORLD REPORT (relevant segment from Anderson Cooper's BACKSTORY) from 1.30PM Malaysian time Monday Feb 7, 2011.
Shahira also says she just walked off the job after she could NOT stand it anymore,mentioning "censorship" (Familiar ring to Malaysian MSM, yes?)at NILE TV which she worked for, was just reporting pro-Government stories on the EGYPTIAN UPRISING. She said TV NIILE reporters like her ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REPORT THE FACTS AND WHAT'S GOING ON AT TAHRIR SQUARE.
Shahira when asked by CNN what her message to fellow journalists would be, answered that they should report the truth and facts of what's happening in Egypt.
Asked how she felt now she's resigned her job, Sharia said she felt alright -- it's a "price to pay for freedom"...
YL Chong says: "May God bless Shahira in her challenging quest, Amen."
DESIDERATA: I SALUTE JOURNALISTS THROUGHOUT EGYPT WHO DARE TO STRIVE THEIR BEST TO REPORT THE FACTS AND TRUTH OF THE MOMENTOUS EVENTS HAPPENING IN EGYPT> I also appreciate the international news networks like CNN whose jornalists risk their lives reporting from the scene. That's the role media can play in helping humankind fighting for their freedom and progress via CHANGE! KEEP ON THE QUEST, STAY THE COURSE. Ther's a message somewhere in the EGYPT UPRISING for fellow Malaysians.
Let's have eyes, we will see; have ears, we will listen; have bodies, will act! -- YL, Desi
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 09:43 PM PST
Not to put too fine a point on it, but what an ass.
I dunno about you, but I hate bullies who try to threaten.
I think however, that we should all take this as encouraging sign – that Najib is admitting to similarities between his regime and Mubarak's in Egypt.
No mass movement is capable or even interested in overthrowing a government if said government is just. (Trust me, we got better things to do)
So, Najib is clearly feeling the heat of a guilty conscience, as well he should. We should keep up the pressure.
So instead of trying to strong arm and bully the rakyat Datuk Seri, perhaps you should look inwards and try to stop detaining people without trial, remove the dark stain of corruption and racism from our nation, and prevent people from dying brutal deaths in detention.
That's the ethical government's protection against revolution, not the show of force.
In other news, how on earth is one to feel about the Star's choice of picture caption for the above article to be:
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 09:22 PM PST
The Indians show disgust at Interlok, which prompted DPM-cum-Education Minister Muhyiddin to agree making alterations to the novel before it gets 'approval' from the Indian leaders for it to become a literature book for Form V students.
The government, according to some NGOs, observers and Umno members are bowing low to the minority in whatever action that would satisfy them, even to the extent of changing what has been written in history.
My opinion is, Interlok has to go. No point changing the facts and contents of the novel just for the Indians to feel nothing was wrong with their caste system in mainland India - the home of their ancestors.
As they also deny some history events relating to their migration to Tanah Melayu a long time ago, let me suggest one thing to cheer up the Malaysian Indians - let us replace Interlok with Kamasutra.
Those who know what Kamasutra is will agree that its 'helps multiplies' Indian population since it was introduced hundreds of years ago. And for Malaysian Indians to multiply and surpass the number of Malays in the country, they better take up such lessons.
When they become the majority, they can be in total control. Who knows, the Malays would be the third largest community after the Indians and Chinese, say in 50 or 100 years from now!
By that time, we would have an Indian or a Chinese as the prime minister. The Malays would just be the minority. Then, the Indians can deny them of any request to demolish some Hindu temples near their place.
Even today, there are more temples than mosques in the country. The government should look into this. Perhaps, we can plan for the largest temple in Putrajaya in preparation for the future. And what will become of Masjid Negara? It will not be in our history! Not even Masjid Jamek or Masjid Kampung Hulu in Melaka.
Our history books would by then be filled up with Indian stories, i.e how Samy Vellu, MIC, Hindraf and Makkal Sakthi have fought for the Indians to become the supreme race in Malaysia. No need to include IPF as the late Pandithan was against Samy. For the Indians, anything 'no good' must not become content of history.
For the time being, what else will the government do to please our Indian friends? My suggestion - choose some roads and buildings and name it after Samy Vellu, Moorthy of Hindraf and Palanivel. If they propose Kamasutra as a text book, just accept it!
In the next national poll, let us have Indian candidates to contest for Umno. Although many Malay NGOs have urged the Malays not to vote for Indian of any party in the general election, I believe they will have no choice but to vote for the ruling party.
(I bought the Kamasutra in Connought Place, New Delhi in 1995 and lent in to someone from the PM's Dept.... and I never got it back!)
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 07:56 PM PST
You may or may not agree totally with this one from Malaysiakini:
Mahathir - a moderate Muslim Machiavelli
Tom Plate Feb 7, 2011
You could love him or hate him but ignore him you could not.
Hardly a month would go by without some new initiative launched, the grandiose master plan tabled, new policy proffered. Say what you will about Mahathir Mohamad – may it be positive or negative – Dr M was a political phenomenon.
Even back in America, on the West's self-absorbed media radar screen, traces of Mahathir would surface from time to time. During the Silicon Valley revolution in the 90s, it caught Malaysia's PM making the West's money rounds, peddling his multimedia super-corridor like some software salesman.
During the Asian Financial Crisis, he positioned himself as the 'Conscience of the East', berating Wall Street (and sometimes baiting the Jews) for its destructive "shorting" attacks on his region's currencies. And within Malaysia itself, of course, Mahathir's name became synonymous with controversy and contradiction.
But outside the country, his legacy will increasingly be viewed in the context of the 'Clash of Civilisations' issue that seemingly has replaced the old Cold War as the chief obsession of the West.
This is a main theme of my new book 'Conversations With Mahathir Mohamad', the second volume in the 'Giants of Asia' series (next up: another controversial former prime minister, Thailand's Thaksin Shinawatra).
The question of legacy is important because history may well decide to downplay Mahathir's serious flaws and rhetorical excesses and in the final analysis, position him as one of the late 20th century's most important Muslim leaders. History may well decide that Dr M was a notably successful modern moderate Muslim Machiavelli at the very time the rise of the al-Qaeda was so unnerving to the West.
In the United States, you see, when the label "Muslim" is used, it tends to invoke flaming skyscrapers toppled to the ground. Jihads, however obscurely aimed or ambiguously intended, make Americans jittery. In fact, much of the US nation continues to suffer from a post-911 traumatic stress syndrome. So today Muslims will not likely get picked up on the media radar screen over here unless they're creating a clear and present danger.
But most Muslims go about their daily business like the rest of us – raising families, holding onto jobs, trying to make their way through life's ups and downs. What's especially lost on the West is the track record of those gifted, moderate Muslims whose records of accomplishment remain below our radar precisely because their moderation seems so categorically un-newsworthy.
Turning fundamentalism on its head
It is this larger and grander story of the mainstream Muslim that the West fails to absorb. The extraordinary Machiavellian tricks of the moderation trade that are required of a Muslim leader needing to keep his political balance while guiding the nation economically are hardly any less spectacular for their complexity than a complex terrorist plot. Moderation in the pursuit of a better life for all is no vice – and its achievement is clearly a notable virtue of governance.
But Mahathir, in my conversations with him, was in aggressive denial about his moderation. In fact, to his face, it will get you nowhere to call him a "moderate." He doesn't like it and in fact he will deny it.
To deflect any suggestion that his brand of Islamism is anything but tough-minded and Quran-pious, Dr M will insist his true religion is Muslim fundamentalism at its most intelligently fundamentalist. And so may no "ultra" Muslim - no pure-as-the-driven-Islamic-snow mullah - be given reason to depict him as some softie that's been genetically re-engineered into some Western secular poodle.
Malaysians of course understand that Dr M is nothing if not clever. And thus its longest-running PM (1982-2003) turns "fundamentalism" on its head by insisting that, fundamentally, Islam is moderation itself. "So, I adhere to that teaching - become a Muslim fundamentalist, and Muslim fundamentalism must let me be moderate," he told me, rather cleverly - but not, I think, insincerely.
More than verbal wordplay animates the good doctor. I am convinced, after the intense conversational sessions for the book, that his international pacifism (he is virtually anti-war) arises from his own personal philosophy – and from his public insistence of Islam as a powerfully peaceful religion.
Accordingly, I became convinced that his occasional resort to domestic repression - via the invocation of Malaysia's internal security laws - was in fact painful and aberrational, not at all joyful.
Yes, it is fair to say that he was not adverse to resort to hard power - though in his conversations with me he expressed deep remorse over handing the police so much power at times. But he admitted that every resort to repression was probably a symptom of failure. (It is not hard to believe that somewhere in his heart, he harbours the wish that the Anwar Ibrahim mess has been handled differently - and better.)
It was certainly illuminating when I asked him about Machiavelli's famous dilemma - Whether it is better for the Prince to be loved or feared. His response was quite different from that of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew.
The subject of my first book in the Giants of Asia series ('Conversations With Lee Kuan Yew') said that, if he had to choose, he would choose fear over love. But Mahathir's choice was - rather unabashedly expressed - to want to be loved.
But will the average Malaysian believe this? Not being the average Malaysia, I have no idea. But when he answered this way, I no more doubted the sincerity of his answer than the sincerity of LKY's.
A man of contradictions
Yes, Mahathir is a man of contradictions. And especially for the sympathetic Western journalist, the effort to scope out this complex Machiavellian Muslim was made much more difficult by his troubling - and dreary - attacks on Jews and Israel, just about whenever he needed someone to blame with whose demonisation his constituency would have no special quarrel.
But he jabbed at this convenient punching bag too much, whatever the demands of domestic politics. So is he in fact an anti-Semite?
It was difficult, sitting in his stratospheric office in Petronas Tower One, or in his Perdana Foundation crib in Putrajaya, to imagine this clever, sophisticated man as out-and-out anti-Semitic. Others share this doubt, too.
Consider the judgment of former Asian Wall Street Journal editor Barry Wain, in his rigorously detailed, scholarly bestseller 'Malaysian Maverick' (2009): "…Almost no one who knew him well or observed him at close range for any length of time believed he was anti-Semitic."
That Mahathir resorted to seemingly anti-Semitic language proves to me not that he has anti-Semite sentiments but that he was a Muslim Machiavellian. He used whatever tools, rhetorical or whatever, he could get his hands to keep his people and his party with him - and his country moving forward.
The bottom line is that Mahathir's 22-years of moderate Muslim Machiavellianism left behind a country far more developed than it was in 1982 when his reign began. His successors are now notably hard-pressed to maintain the same pace.
They also seem hard-pressed to keep Malaysia as calm and productive. Dr M himself expresses enormous satisfaction that, during his time, all more or less remained quiet on the ethnic and religious tension front.
He imagines that he helped position the country somewhere between Turkey, on the one hand, and Iran on the other. That made great sense. It's doubtful that a rigidly secular governance approach would work for Malaysia, or that a purely Islamic Republic of the Iran variety would be remotely good for it.
Malaysia, for all its problems, is admired internationally precisely because of its moderate Muslim modernisation. Can anyone imagine Malaysia erupting in the manner of Egypt? Certainly it could not have happened on Dr M's watch.
Construct this notion in another, even more provocative way: Can anyone imagine Egypt coming to a stop, as it has this past week, if its leader these past decades had not been the clumsy Hosni Mubarak but the clever Mahathir Mohamad? This is the implicit thesis of my new book 'Conversations With Mahathir Mohamad', and it offers significant international implications.
It is time for Malaysians to give this devil his due.
Professor TOM PLATE is author of 'Conversations With Mahathir Mohamad', just published by Marshall Cavendish, and is the newly appointed distinguished scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a veteran American journalist whose regularly syndicated columns on Asia, since 1996, have appeared in newspapers around the world. The next 'Giants of Asia' book will focus on Thaksin Sinawatra, until the 2006 coup in Thailand that country's longest running democratically elected prime minister.
Posted: 06 Feb 2011 05:40 PM PST
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