Archive for October, 2009

Of ‘friendly’ representative

So Port Klang assemblyperson Badrul Hisham Abdullah finally says goodbye to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after months of speculation by political observers about his political future and inclination.

Like his Perak counterparts, he’s now independent but ‘BN-friendly’.

One wonders whether it would be terribly ‘painful’ for Badrul to maintain his so-called independence while at the same time he commits himself to being ‘BN-friendly’.

What does it take to have such political versatility, the very stuff that such politicians are made of?

The ordinary folks in his constituency who voted for him may be excused for passionately believing that there is such a thang as ‘Malaysia Boleh’.

Incidentally, he was reported to have said this: “I was elected by the people and not by the Mentri Besar of Selangor” — in a three-page statement in response to Khalid’s call for him to quit.

In this regard, Badrul may want to remember that he was then elected by the people as a PKR candidate, not ‘independent’ nor ‘BN-friendly’.

‘Fortress’ aka Perak State Assembly

At the rate things are going, the Perak State Assembly, which will be sitting today, is being transformed into a ‘political fortress’ by the present BN state government.

What’s even sad and appalling is that ordinary Malaysians in general and Perakians in particular aren’t allowed to go near this building, let alone enter it, a place that is in principle meant for and represent the interests of the ordinary citizens of a democracy.

Sadder still is that politics in Perak has become a subject of ridicule in the eyes of people who cherish democracy, justice and political sanity.

See here and here.

Legal judgement that bites

Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP and strategic director, Tian Chua, was found guilty by the KL magistrate’s court of “biting a police constable and preventing the latter from discharging his duty”.

As a result, he was today jailed six months and fined RM3,000. Chua was granted a stay of execution pending appeal.

Chua may lose his parliamentary seat as the fine exceeds RM2,000. Another by-election for the election weary Malaysians?

And another battle royale between the BN and the Pakatan bloc, with the former dishing out election goodies?

See here and here for the full story.

Freedom pressed

Just for the record, we’re still stuck at the bottom of the heap as far as press freedom goes.

In its latest report, Paris-based watchdog Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) ranked Malaysia at 131st spot, a position that should be of deep concern to Malaysians who yearn for freedom of expression and thriving democracy.

That said, for those Malaysians who still crave for that ‘feel good’ factor despite this poor showing, Malaysia has improved by one notch over last year’s spot, and is slightly better than Singapore, and way ahead of other Asean countries of Vietnam, Laos and Burma.

Malaysiakini reports:

Malaysia remains on the bottom quarter 175 countries in the worldwide press freedom ranking index released today by Paris-based watchdog Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders).

In the latest 2009 ranking, Malaysia inched one place up to 131 from last year. Just four years ago, RSF had placed Malaysia at 94.

Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden all share the No 1 spot, with Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the United States sharing the 20th spot.

Out of 11 Asean countries, Malaysia ranks sixth behind Thailand (130) and ahead of Singapore (133).

Self-imposed censorshipazlan

Other bottom rung countries includes Brunei (155), Vietnam (168), Laos (169) and Burma (171).

“The authoritarianism of existing governments, for example in Sri Lanka (162nd) and Malaysia (131st), prevented journalists from properly covering sensitive subjects such as corruption or human rights abuses,” wrote RSF in its official website.

“In Malaysia, the interior ministry imposed censorship or self-censorship by threatening media with the withdrawal of their licence or threatening journalists with a spell in prison,” it added.

A full country report has yet to be published at the time of writing.

Busting bras for that ‘natural look’

Somali women who wore bras were reportedly whipped by hardline Islamist group al Shabaab for being ‘deceptive’ about their natural physique.

Apparently rattled by the sight of a firm bust, the al Shabaab men rounded up women and then ordered them ‘to remove their bras and shake their breasts’.

Such a practice suggests a warped sense of morality.

The Malaysian Insider reports:

MOGADISHU, Oct 17 — Somalia’s hardline Islamist group al Shabaab has publicly whipped women for wearing bras they say violate Islam by constituting a deception, north Mogadishu residents yesterday.

The insurgent group, which seeks to impose a strict form of sharia Islamic law throughout Somalia, amputated a foot and a hand each from two young men accused of robbery earlier this month. They have also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then told to remove their bras and shake their breasts.

“Al shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts,” a resident, Halima, told Reuters, adding that her daughters had been whipped Thursday.

“They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women’s chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.”

Culture Club

Word has it that a new organisation will be set up soon in Malaysia for the purpose of acknowledging the achievements of a group of Malaysians who have made great strides in their careers, particularly in the political realm.

Called ‘Culture Club’, this outfit is to showcase those individuals who have relentlessly demonstrated that some Malaysians could develop over a long period of time a certain culture of human endurance and versatility.

Furthermore, this Club hopes to inspire and alert certain young upstarts in politics to the elasticity of human will and ambition.

In short, the very Club to remind us all in Boleh Land that nothing is impossible.

But I digress.

What may be of interest to certain observers of Malaysian politics is that the unmistakable seasoned politician Ibrahim Ali may be jumping going back to the UMNO fold.

Happy Diwali

(Photo credit: jamaicandawta.wordpress.com/…/28/happy-diwali/)

Wishing Happy Diwali to fellow Malaysians of the Hindu faith.

Festival of Lights where the knowing of the inner light outshines all darkness.