Archive for May, 2009

Living in a box


(Photo credit: The Malaysian Insider. Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran and former Perak State Assembly speaker V. Sivakumar on the phone beside him in a moving black maria.)

Ordinary Malaysians may be excused these days if they feel as if they’ve been boxed-in, what with the increasing restrictions that have been imposed by the authorities of late.

For one, we’ve already been told that it isn’t kosher to sport black shirt, especially in the glaring presence of lighted candles in an open public space. The contrast, it seems, can be too jarring for some people.

Then, one can’t articulate the name of a certain deceased foreigner in public, let alone celebrate her posthumous birthday, for fear of her ghost haunting some other people.

Today we are made to understand that one cannot indulge in fasting, especially under a canopy. It befuddles the mind, though, to think that a group of people who fast, and subsequently grow physically weak, could inflict violence or social disorder to the extent that it might harm ‘national security’.

The politics of ‘Double Vision’

Malaysian politics, it seems, has come of age.

Politics has developed at such a dizzying speed to the extent that many politicians and personalities have come in pairs (with the exception of the three runaway Perak State Assemblypersons) in their professed desire to serve the rakyat: two Speakers, two Menteris Besar, and, the latest, two Presidents of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Blogus interruptus?

The thought of controlling the cyberspace lurks in the restless minds of the powerful. And that’s why there have been attempts in the past to ‘interrupt’ the smooth flow of information and opinions as well as sharing of ideas from time to time.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the idea of registering bloggers has been floated recently. And if it does gain currency and support from the powers-that-be, this might signal an uncertain, if not bleak, future in Malaysian cyberspace as far as freedom of expression is concerned.

This is because as it is, we already have enough restrictive laws that govern freedom of expression in the country.

Of black shirts and candles in Malaysia

(Photo credit:…/BlackShadow.aspx)


(Photo credit:…)

What the two items above have in common is that they are suspected to have the curious potential of causing social unrest or political instability in Malaysia.

Perhaps these two things are too much of a clashing contrast (one is darkness while the other is obviously brightness) that Malaysians are warned against using them even in the most peaceful fashion.

To be sure, participants of a recent vigil found out that the authorities were indeed determined to arrest this seemingly unsavoury fetish.

Videos, assembly sitting, and censorship

Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming reportedly told the police not to practise double standards when enforcing the law on the video recording pertaining to the May 7 state assembly sitting.

He was commenting on BN Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir’s announcement on Monday that BN would be making video copies of the assembly incident to counter Pakatan’s allegations.

Nga told the police to swiftly seize BN’s audiovisual equipment when they screen the assembly incident to the public in the same way the police took away the video clip of the assembly meeting that was shown by DAP in Sitiwan recently.

In this age of the Internet, transparency, accountability and good governance, one should argue instead for free flow of information so that what is freely shown by the BN should also be liberally screened by the Pakatan coalition, among other stakeholders in the society.

Black Thursday in our collective memory

Here are two video clips of the events that happened on May 7, 2009 in the Perak State Assembly.

The top clip is from the TV station, ntv7, while the bottom one comes from news portal Malaysiakini. It is hoped that these clips would serve as a useful but painful record of recent Malaysian history.


Political mayhem in the Perak State Assembly


Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar being physically dragged out


Ipoh, now and then

contrast in your design

(Photo credit:

Spot the difference (below), but no prizes for guessing.

An extract from today’s Malaysiakini report:

In contrary to the tight security at the Perak state secretariat yesterday, this morning the situation at the state’s centre of power was much calmer.

Barisan Nasional’s Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his exco members are expected to punch in for work at any time soon and they are not expected to face any tough time in gaining entry to the secretariat.

Yesterday Pakatan Rakyat’s Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his exco members were met by a large contingent of riot police. At least five Federal Reserve Unit trucks, one water cannon and about 50 uniformed policemen were seen milling around the compound.

The police had taken up positions at the building since Monday evening, soon after the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Nizar was the rightful MB.

And when Nizar’s entourage had arrived at about 7.45am, they were not allowed to enter the secretariat immediately.

The main gate was opened just enough to allow Nizar and his exco members to slip into the compound.

This morning however the police security has eased considerably. The traffic situation is almost normal while the FRU personnel are in a more relaxed mood.

The roadblock at the back entrance of the state secretariat has been removed although there still is a presence of some police personnel.

Zambry will be starting work today with the intention of reversing whatever policy decisions made by Nizar in his seven-hour control of the state yesterday.