Archive for February, 2012

A radioactive imagination

Set against a backdrop of the current Lynas controversy, this film — which is directed by imaginative Liew Seng Tat — explores grim (and at times, comical) scenarios of a post-apocalyptic Malaysian kampung. An enjoyable and educational flick.

Does anyone know where a good waste site is?

In the wake of the massive anti-Lynas protests nationwide and the consequent assurance from no less than the prime minister himself, four ministries, i.e. Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Health Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, are now looking high and low for a suitable site to dump that infamous waste from the Lynas Corp rare earth refinery.

So much for proper planning for a highly radioactive material!

But alas! Mindful of the prime minister’s assurance that the Lynas project is “scientifically and factually safe”, ordinary Malaysians already have a few proposals, namely Pekan, Putrajaya, Sri Perdana and Koh Tsu Koon’s backyard!

Having a fling with the judges

After being handed a court order to evict himself from his premises “because of disciplinary problems”, an imam demonstrated his displeasure by throwing his shoes at three judges on the Federal Court bench.

He might have been “inspired” by similar shoe-throwing act committed by Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi. He threw his shoes at the then US President George W. Bush during a press conference in Iraq in December 2008.

Malaysiakini reports:

The incident took place just after 10am when the three-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkifli Ahmad Makinuddin(right) rejected imam Hoslan Hussain’s application to hear his appeal.

This followed an objection raised by the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council (MAIWP) lawyer Zulkefli Che Yong that Hoslan’s affidavit was filed outside the timeframe allowed.

Guess who’s not ready for debate?

Malaysians aren’t ready to indulge in public debates because they’re not mature enough, so says former premier Mahathir rather patronisingly. He made the comment in relation to the proposed debate between the Prime Minister and the PM-in-waiting.

If we reflect upon our country’s past especially the era under Mahathir’s reign, we would find that Malaysians had been made out to be so “immature” by the paternalistic federal government that their freedom of expression, assembly and association had to be curtailed to a large degree for their supposedly collective good!

Incidentally, could this be the reason why, for instance, many of the so-called TV forums have cardboard characters indulging in televised debates?

In the meantime, as if taking no heed of the Perkasa patron’s advice, the right-wing boss Ibrahim Ali appears to be quite “mature” enough to challenge Lim Guan Eng to a debate.

Rich accomplishment

In his keynote address at today’s “Malaysian Chinese at the Political Crossroads” conference in Kuala Lumpur, the prime minister took pride in what he saw as BN’s achievement in helping to create billionaires.

What was left unsaid here (at least from what was reported) is that these super-rich people emerge out of a social context where social inequalities have spiked over the years, an indictment of the failure of the federal government’s policies to improve the welfare of the not-so-fortunate fellow Malaysians across the country. As we know, such inequalities exist within and between ethnic groups in urban and rural areas.

Shouldn’t the BN folks instead be proud of policies that would uplift the socio-economic status of thousands of needy Malaysians, including ethnic Chinese? Shouldn’t the stark contrast between the poor and these super-rich be considered vulgar and embarrassing?

Malaysiakini reports:

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the country’s billionaires are where they are today because of of the BN government’s concessions.

“The list of Malaysian billionaires, I studied each and everyone of them, there are some in this room today.

“Everyone of them became rich because of our policies, either directly or indirectly,” Najib said in his keynote speech at the “Malaysian Chinese at the Political Crossroads” conference.

Er, it’s okay to attend Thaipusam…

Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria declared that it’s okay for Prime Minister Mohd Najib to have attended the recent Thaipusam celebration — after the latter had a personal chat with him recently.

So, folks, please delete his earlier comment on February 10 that he was dismayed over the Prime Minister’s decision “to sacrifice his faith” to attend the religious festival concerned.

See here and here.

What lies before us

On the eve of Valentine’s Day when the Malaysian authorities are gearing up to mount a nationwide hunt on “wayward” Muslim couples, ordinary Malaysians were made to understand that there were certain personalities who were apparently embroiled in deceit. Incidentally, tomorrow’s “hunt” is largely to ensure that Muslims, particularly couples, are morally upright.

One instance concerns the case of the Saudi journalist, Hamza Kashgari, who was alleged to have committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and had been deported back from Kuala Lumpur to Saudi Arabia to face the music. Human rights group, Lawyers for Liberty, had asserted that Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein had lied pertaining to this controversy.

Then there’s the case of two ex’s hitting out at each other. Ex-Prime Minister Mahathir accused the former Chief Justice, Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah, of lying. The latter claimed that the judiciary became subservient to the Parliament because Mahathir “clipped its wings in the 1980s when he amended Article 121 of the Constitution”.

Of course, we’re not suggesting here that two (or more) lies make a right.