Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Irony, Oh The Irony

Muhyiddin Yassin, the UMNO veep with his eyes on the deputy president's post, has apparently decided to show how good he'd be as a bulldog No. 2. In The Star today, his comments on the resignation of Penang Deputy CM Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin:

“The crisis shows a shaky government and proves they are incapable. They wanted to hide it at first, but now it has become a crisis,” he said.

I get a feeling that he thinks that Ali Rustam's ungraceful exit from the upcoming UMNO elections makes him seem like the cleaner candidate. But he is forgetting the larger picture that Ali Rustam is still in the same party, a party that decided to retain him as Chief Minister of Melacca - a position higher than that of Fairus.

To add to add, Ali has been found guilty of money politics, when at worst Fairus has been accused of being a poor performer. In the mangled words of media today, I believe readers wil agrees that I just "rubbished" Muhyiddin's assertions.

Irony works both ways though, as this article shows that the vandalism of the Democracy Plaque has turned in the Pakatan's favour.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prosecution Asks Court to Shoot Legal Profession in the Foot

There's a disturbing trend for trying to lock up people who, in all respects, are doing their jobs.

First, there was the case of the Sin Chew reporter who published the racist remarks uttered by Ahmad Ismail. She ended up under the ISA, a move so politically disastrous that the Home Minister had to backtrack, saying that it was for her own protection. Ahmad Ismail on the other hand got a slap on the wrist, and was welcomed as a hero in his own UMNO branch, indicating the apparent UMNO philosophy that calling fellow citizens “penumpang” is really something you should just say a little quieter.

Now this with Karpal Singh, being charged under the Sedition Act for recommending a avenue of appeal is entirely legal. Here’s news to the powers-that-be: he’s a lawyer, and he was talking about the law. To top it off, he’s not talking about a technicality or a hypothetical case – he’s actually filed suits against royalty before. Not to mention that the law was actually put in place by UMNO’s former president, and signed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the day.

Now the court has a rather distasteful matter in front of it. The prosecution, has already shot the legal profession in one foot, and is asking the court to finish the job of judicial suicide. They are being asked, in the home of the system of justice in our country designed to enforce the law of the land, to convict a person for speaking about what that law actually is all about.

If the Malaysian public can’t see the extent of idiocy in this act of lunacy, then the courts don’t have much left to shoot.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Homing in on the 'Even More' Unintelligent

In the article in today's Star, 'Teresa Kok files suit over detention under ISA', Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar is quoted as saying:

"I have faced many legal suits before. I will carry out my duty even more diligently despite the suit."
~ Syed Hamid Albar

Even more diligently? The way I see it, this has one of the following implications:

1. That before he was sued, he was well, somewhat less diligent.

2. Whenever the Home Minister faces a legal suit, it has the tendency to hinder his diligence.

3. If the suit was not filed, the Home Minister would carry out his duties less diligently.

In the meantime, Najib's wife, commenting on the DPM's soon-to-be promotion, is apparently hearing the voice of the Almighty:

"If God says it is his turn, it is his turn." ~
Rosmah Mansor

That, I must say, is a new one. After all in politics, it's more often "the Devil made me do it".

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What’s In Your Handphone?

Here’s a radical thought: invest not in your government. In any government. Vote for the ones you think best serve the people, the ideals, the rights, the equality upon which democracy rests, all this to be sure. But place your real investments, your rallies, your vigils, your microscope on those institutions which are intended to keep your government in check.

Your courts.

Your media. Including the computer screen in front of you.

Your election commission.

Your police.

Your anti-corruption agency, in whatever name it brands itself tomorrow.

Governments will come and go, and some will be better than others, but these, these are the barometers of democracy. These are what define our democracy, and be it the truth that I believe it is, our report card isn’t too flashy.

The mainstream media brands the man who stands up to protect his wheelchair-bound father from street thugs akin to one convicted of road rage. The Election Commission places by-elections in a place particularly convenient for the Umno elections. The riot police charge peaceful demonstrations – including one in the middle of singing the national anthem.

And the anti-corruption agency? The Star reports on the chief commisioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission:

“Ahmad Said has been attacked in blogs and via e-mail over the issue of his son bringing child pornographic material into Australia. His son, a pilot, pleaded guilty and paid a fine for the offence.

Ahmad Said vehemently denied that it was child pornography. He said that the titles of the video clips found in his son’s laptop computer were misleading.

‘I can bet with you that it’s something that you will find on most men’s handphones,’ he said.”

Now it is true that his son’s actions need not reflect on the Ahmad Said as the chief commissioner. What it reflect is he as a father.

What does reflect badly on him as chief commissioner is that he supports his son pleading guilty to a crime that according to him is “misleading”. Mind me asking, since it is apparently not child pornography, what else it could be that one would risk one’s reputation pleading guilty to child pornography? Who are these ‘most men’ that Ahmad Said knows, and here’s the obvious: is he himself one of them?

Is it any wonder that there is public scepticism. To which he replies: “This is an issue of perception. We will prove our consistency by our actions.”

In the challenge of Ahmad Said: I’ll bet.