As I sit here smoking my cigar while monitoring the news on the mainstream media I can’t help but feel extremely nauseous. What crap our government is spewing out. I have totally lost my merriment mood and hereby declare by royal decree that the New Year’s Eve celebration tonight has been cancelled.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Mediators to ease tensions
Volunteers to defuse religious, racial disputes in their neighbourhoods
Malaysia's government plans to train special mediators to resolve disputes between neighbours of different races in a bid to prevent communal tensions in the ethnically diverse country, officials said yesterday.
About 300 volunteer community representatives will undergo mediation courses next month as part of the government's efforts to curb racial and religious friction, said Datuk Azman Amin Hassan, director-general of the National Unity and Integration Department.
'They will be residents who can talk to both sides in a dispute to defuse racial problems,' he said.
The authorities have acknowledged that racial polarisation has increased in recent years, even though the Malay Muslim majority still has generally amicable relations with the large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities, who are mainly Buddhists, Christians and Hindus.
Malaysia has not suffered major ethnic violence since 1969, when riots fuelled partly by Malay rancour over Chinese wealth left more than 200 people dead. Nevertheless, grievances between ethnic communities have occasionally sparked bloodshed. A dispute between Malays celebrating a wedding and their Indian neighbours who held a funeral at the same time prompted violence that killed six people near Kuala Lumpur in 2001. But in a country where politicians often take charge when racial or religious tensions arise, or are sometimes accused of being the cause of the tensions, it is unclear where the mediators will fit in.
The plan is believed to be the first time that Malaysians are to be formally trained to handle disputes involving different communities and religious groups.
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said recently his mission before retirement was to cool racial and religious tensions. 'I am thinking of how to handle the issue of race relations and the issue of religious tensions,' he said two weeks ago. 'Muslims think from their own perspective. Non-Muslims think from their own perspective.'
He had suggested setting up an institution 'where all communities' could take their grievances. The answer could also lie in legislation, clarifying grey areas in laws on religious disputes, he said.
Sociologist Wan Abdul Halim Othman, who will train the mediators, said the programme will initially be implemented in urban areas where the risk of racial disputes is relatively high because multi-ethnic residents live alongside one another. 'We need neutral mediators who can prevent the usual conflicts between neighbours from accumulating and transforming into ethnic problems,' he said. 'In disputes involving different ethnic groups, people...tend to take sides based on race, but nobody mediates.'
The programme will initially be rolled out in Kuala Lumpur, and in Selangor, Penang and Johor states. If successful, it will be implemented nationwide.
Ethnic divisions have deepened amid increasing complaints by minorities about special privileges enjoyed by Malays in jobs, education and other areas. Some also say their religious rights have become secondary to Islam. The government has denied any unfair treatment. - AP
Election system needs to be reviewed, says Abdul Rashid
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the country’s election system need to be reviewed to give it autonomous power and total control over the election process, the media included. - Bernama
Police report lodged against blog
MARAN: The district Umno Youth lodged a police report on the existence of a blog containing insults of Prophet Muhammad, which had stirred anger among Muslims.
State Deputy Criminal Investigation Department Chief Superintendent Mohd Haris Daud said the report was lodged on Saturday by the movement's vice-head Hairul Amin Othman, 33, at the district police station at 3.45pm.
Haris said the movement felt it should fight for Islamic rights as the blog owner had insulted Prophet Muhammad. He said police would carry out investigations under the Sedition Act. - NST
First, let me talk about Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s comment. He said he is going to sue opposition leaders who slander him. Well, maybe Rashid can reflect on the many official meetings the opposition leaders had with him over the last ten years in his office in Putrajaya. I was there, in case Rashid would like to know, and let me remind him how disastrous those meetings turned out to be.
The main grievance was with regards to postal voters. Why do we still need the police and armed forces to vote by post when they are no longer located in the deep jungles of Malaysia for nine months at a stretch? They are all now located in their barracks or quarters and the polling stations are within walking distance from where they live.
All they need to do is walk a few minutes to the polling stations to cast their vote. And they need not do this five days before Polling Day and by post like now. If not because of the postal votes, the opposition would have won all 11 Parliament seats in Kuala Lumpur instead of only 10 like it did on 8 March.
Rashid’s reply to the proposal to abolish the postal voting system is that if they do that then none of the cabinet ministers would be able to retain their seats. When the shocked assembly asked Rashid is not the purpose of the Election Commission to ensure that they run a fair and free election, he shocked the assembly even further by retorting that the purpose of the Election Commission is to ensure that the Malays do not lose political power.
The Malaysian election system is rife with fraud and manipulation. The gerrymandering is preposterous and makes a mockery of democratic elections. Rashid, sue me. Take me to court. I am waiting to meet you in court so that I can reveal all the evidence we accumulated since 1999 about how you have fucked up the election system so bad that, last year, I actually appealed to the opposition to boycott the elections.
I am glad they did not do as I suggested though because 8 March 2008 proved the people were so disgusted and wanted change so bad that the 'big swing' managed to offset the cheating. But imagine if there was no cheating. Today, with a mere 300,000 votes more, Pakatan Rakyat would have formed the federal government. Yes, Pakatan Rakyat missed forming the government by a mere 300,000 votes. The postal votes alone, had they not been all mysteriously marked ‘Barisan Nasional’, would have given Pakatan Rakyat the federal government.
Rashid, you robbed Malaysians of a new government and I hope they have a special hell for people like you.
In 2004, the general election that saw Barisan Nasional perform its best ever, many seats like Kuala Terengganu, Kuala Selangor, etc., saw a 130% voter turnout. The national voter turnout averaged 75% or so. But many opposition strongholds fell to Barisan Nasional because of the more than 100% voter turnout.
What about the hundreds of Indians from Telok Kemang registered as voters in many kampong houses in Ijok during the Ijok by-election? What about the man voting as a woman whom we caught in Putrajaya and who was still allowed to vote, as much as we protested? What about the hundreds of voters having their residential address at graveyards? ‘Pengundi hantu’ maybe? These are but some of the many cases and let me assure you we have much, much more.
So, sue me Rashid. Take me to court, you slime-ball, scumbag and poor excuse for a human, and let all these details surface in my trial. I eagerly await your Writ of Summons.
Next, on the police report made by those Umno cronies against that Blog, which is alleged to have insulted the Prophet. I too made police reports, but which were totally ignored. One police report was with regards to the assault I suffered at the hands of the Criminal Investigation Department head, Bakri Zinin, the gangster in uniform. He beat me up in front of my wife and six other Reformasi activists on Hari Raya Haji Day in 2001.
I was asked about my police report during my ISA detention in 2001 and I told the Special Branch officers that Bakri had the assistance of more than ten other police officers when he beat me up. I then threw a challenge that I would meet Bakri for a one-to-one fight. He is very brave when assisted by ten police officers, I retorted. Meet me for a one-on-one and let’s see if he is still that brave. I was prepared to fight him to the last man standing and I promised that it would be between him and me and, come what may, I will not make it into a police case.
Either the Special Branch did not deliver that message to Bakri or he did not dare accept my one-to-one challenge. Anyway, he later arrested one of my friends who was selling Harakah on the streets and my unfortunate friend was handcuffed and thrown into the police lockup. Since when is it a crime to sell Harakah, the PAS party organ that has a publishing permit?
Bakri subsequently entered the lockup and tried to punch my friend. My friend managed to block the punch and gave Bakri a kick between his legs and got him right on his balls. Bakri went limping out of the lockup, groaning in pain. My friend ended up two weeks in the lockup but he was satisfied like hell and did not mind even if it was two months.
My second police report was against Jakim. Jakim was one of those who got me detained under the ISA recently on grounds that I had insulted Islam and the Prophet. But the government does not allow the ISA detainees to perform their Friday prayers and this was the basis of my police report.
The minister, however, said that ISA detainees and prisoners are not allowed to perform Friday prayers. In the US, prisoners are allowed to perform Friday prayers. Yes, that’s right. In the ‘kafir’ US, prisoners perform their Friday prayers, but not in ‘Islamic’ Malaysia.
Now that is an insult to Islam and the Prophet, a real insult. Why aren’t these ‘Muslims’ perturbed about this? In fact, the highest conversion rate to Islam is in the US prisons. Many prisoners, especially Blacks, become Muslims in prison. This is because Islam is well propagated in the US prisons. But not in Malaysia. In Malaysia you are not even allowed to do Friday prayers.
Finally, on the matter of race relations. One of the charges of my ISA detention was an article I was alleged to have written that said the mosques propagate hate in their sermons. (See what prison has taught me? I now use the term ‘alleged to have written’ so that they can’t use this article to say I admit I wrote that article and then come get my arse, yet again).
My Special Branch interrogators took me to task on this article (which I don’t admit writing, may I add, though it carries my name) and said I am causing racial tensions.
Hey, I replied, the loud speakers blast the Friday prayer sermons for all and sundry to hear. You mean to say the non-Malays do not hear what the imams preach? If the government is worried about race relations then get the mosques to stop these hate sermons. Anyway, is not what I was alleged (note ‘alleged’) to have written true?
The Special Branch officers admitted that it is true but that is not the issue. The issue is I should not have written about it as this may upset the non-Malays and may trigger racial problems.
Aiyoh, the non-Malays already know that Umno, the government, government-controlled mosques, Umno-backed Malay NGOs, and so on, are racists and spread hate, I argued. Whatever I write or do not write is not going to change anything. If the government wants to avoid racial problems then the government should first take the lead and make racism a crime.
Forget about these so-called ‘mediators’ that the government is proposing. It will not solve the problem. The same day the government proposed these mediators, the Umno-backed Malay NGOs organised a demonstration of a couple of thousand to protest the non-Malays ‘questioning Malay rights and privileges’. You think the plan is going to work? Everyone knows that the government and Umno are not sincere about improving race relations. This is just a move to court the 8,000 Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu.
If you really want to solve the problem then introduce a Race Relations Act in the coming session of Parliament. Make it a crime under the new RRA for anyone who makes a racist statement and punishable with a RM20,000 fine or three-year jail term or both. And start indicting some people under the RRA. That will solve the problem.
I know we can’t legislate conduct. I, for one, am against legislating conduct. We need to educate people into behaving properly, not put people who misbehave into jail. But let this be the first step. Then we educate people. We must teach people to be ashamed that they are racist. Only when we are ashamed of being a racist will we stop being one. Meanwhile, until we can educate them, send them to jail first.
Ban the word Bumiputera. Abolish the need to fill in your race and religion in all forms, applications, etc. Why the need to fill in ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’ in all the forms? Just have ‘warganegara” or nationality (Malaysian or foreigner).
Ban the use of the word ‘pendatang’ for Chinese, Indians and whatnot. How can they be pendatang when they are all born in Malaysia? And why do we say ‘Malay’ and ‘non-Malay’ (or ‘Muslim’ and non-Muslim)? Are the Malays (or Muslims) the ‘benchmark’ while all those who do not fit in to ‘Malay’ (or ‘Muslim’) became ‘non’?
Can you imagine in the US all whites being called ‘White’ and others are called ‘non-White’? Or maybe ‘Christians’ and ‘non-Christians’? I mean, since White-Christians are the majority in the US, then all non-White-Christians should be ‘non’ or classified as ‘immigrants’ (pendatang), just like how we do it in Malaysia.
No, no need for this new ‘mediator’ to be set up. Malaysians can live with each other and not hate each other as long as the government does not become the catalyst for bad race relations, like what is happening now. It is the government and Umno that are spreading hate. What we need is a government and political party in power that knows how to respect all Malaysians and treat all Malaysians as one. That is the root of the problem. And we can’t solve this problem by creating ‘mediators’ when the mediators themselves are racists.
Oh, and maybe we should also ban same-race marriages. By law you must marry outside your race. In 20 years time the majority of Malaysians would no longer be Malays, Chinese, Indians or whatever. They will all become ‘rojak’ like me. And my children are even more rojak with my wife being Thai-Chinese. Now I am a Rojak with a Kojak hairstyle. And see what a delightful chap I turned out to become?