The Hurt Does Not End By Hurting Them

Arrest them all!

At times it seems the solution to all our problems is to arrest someone, or a whole bunch of people. A proper remand if the lad is daft enough to just write whatever the daft write without regard for the consequences.

Then there is deportation, it’s in this season.

Punitive measures are what they are, to extract the pound of flesh.

And it does not seem out of place or not deserved, but it’s not my idea of building a great society.

The United States has a third of black males incarcerated at one point or another, but that’s not a great advert. “America, we nail them when they get it wrong.” Continue reading “The Hurt Does Not End By Hurting Them”

Latheefa Koya Is The Nation’s Top Graft-buster

Latheefa Koya

JUNE 4 — The news still sizzles, so hold on to your roller-coaster seats everywhere in Malaysia, the Latheefa Koya Show is coming your way.

As the newly appointed head of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

She is not for the meek, that’s the quick summary.

My favourite story about Latheefa is when of one of our reporters a decade ago tried to avoid contacting Latheefa, because she’s afraid of getting an earful from the lawyer who never minces her words. Worse, if the issue is misrepresented when speaking to her.

Say what you must, Latheefa is a believer and is willing to stick by her principles, come hell or high water. Continue reading “Latheefa Koya Is The Nation’s Top Graft-buster”

Two Days in Tamil Nadu

“Äre you sure you’re my daughter’s son? You seem to be losing it.” {The street outside the Alangudi temporary living quarters.

MAY 28 — It was three years since the last trip, and it was overdue. To Tamil Nadu.

Arrived at Tiruchirappalli Airport, which has a dryness the competent staff members replicate. But my mind was on Muthu outside waiting for his lost cousin, well lost in more ways than one.

They don’t usually put on T-shirts in Tamil homeland, so I stuck out like a sore thumb on this Friday in a crowd of people looking quite alike.

Only 9am, but already a warm May day as Muthu weaved through the traffic at the main thoroughfare outside the airport heading to the first toll stop, for the two-hour drive to Alangudi, my mom’s village.

He was even chattier than usual, and we were in a rental, the house jeep was in the workshop. It takes time he said when it’s the brake and they’d have to dismantle it. The dismantling was required he asserted. I nodded. Continue reading “Two Days in Tamil Nadu”

May 13 In The Closet

Kuala Lumpur, after.

MAY 14 — It was a word which ended conversations or contestations. Even fifty years later.

One word, and it was not appropriate to pursue the matter any further, usually concerning race relations.

We grew up letting, May 13, have so much sway over us without knowing more than the basic details. We, the children born in the decade following 1969.

People were proud, people kept talking, people voted, angry reactions and people died. Then it was decided, no more.

A generation of young people told, and then it was the 1990s.

The new millennium and student turns to become teacher. They tell the generation, a retelling of their version of the past, relying on the gravitas of the story, not the details.

Here, in the present, 2019, all of us mired in fear and cautious of shadows, lurking, ghosts really. Reminding if we fail to learn, it will turn bad. Continue reading “May 13 In The Closet”

PH Clueless About Playground Politics

Facts beneath the story.

Trying to figure things out.

Why BN always seems to dominate opinion and PH just losing breath keeping up.

Then it struck me.

PH is the dorky kid in the playground who reaches out for facts as a shield and proof of correctness.

BN,the jock with no care about facts. Facts don’t determine support or love from the larger school population.

It is a horrible thing to say, but as people, human beings, we are predisposed to trust strength even if it slants to the cruel.

The many rather follow the cocksure jock rather than the informed but forlorn looking dork. Confidence is a tricky thing, it’s less about facts and more about gut instinct, and more often than not it coincides with physical strength and commitment. Continue reading “PH Clueless About Playground Politics”

Flashback: Paying For The Pakatan Manifesto

Cybertroopers have been quick to capitalise in the months after Pakatan got into power.

This is reproduced from my column last year in the Malay Mail Online. How does it sound a year later? About the manifesto.


MARCH 15, 2018 — First, congratulations to Pakatan Harapan, for releasing their election manifesto. Right, wrong or mixed signals, you are willing to put your cards down and allow the rakyat to peruse the coalition’s ambition. And pass judgement.

It’s not advantageous to be evaluated, and which is why traditionally manifestos are released late into campaigns and turn out to be window dressing only.

It is advantageous for the voter, to be cognisant of what any side wants to do if offered the chance to govern.

As such, democracy benefits. One step to informed choice. Continue reading “Flashback: Paying For The Pakatan Manifesto”

10 Gems From The Sad, Sad World of Malaysian News, In A Day Before 5PM

Che Abdullah fears the satan in us.

If there is one constant, it is the sheer volume of nonsense daily. Sometimes the world, well at least Malaysia, would be a whole lot better if the white noise died down a bit.

This is not the newsportals or writers’ fault. There is a massive lack of useful or insightful information from the corridors of power or the gang lurking just outside to attack power.

They are either unnecessary, overkill, distract from real issues or just suck the oxygen in the room. Just look at what’s come out so far for the day. Just today,Feb 19, before 5pm. The day is not done yet.

10. Nik Abduh needs enemies

Headline:  Kalau Pas, UMNO dan Bersatu kerjasama, apa isu? (If PAS, Umno and Bersatu cooperate, what’s the issue?) – Nik Mohamad Abduh

Quote:”Whatever our move, it’s always going to be about blocking DAP.”

When out of ammo, and the world, both friends and enemies call you a liar, it’s time to flip it. Highly unoriginal, but effective nevertheless, when in panic, blame DAP.

It is almost as if he wants all past mistakes erased if only he can hate DAP enough.  This one needs mental help.

9. He’s my aide, he can cry if he wants to

Headline: Transport minister defends aide in RTM row, questions part omission of ‘live’ event

Anthony Loke has been that Seremban guy (I don’t know what the typical Seremban guy is, to be frank). He’s aide, Lim Swee Kuan was aghast when his guy was not featured enough in a RTM coverage, which ended with him claiming “heads must roll” at the national news agency.

It’s fine for the media to lap up the soundbite, but surely the minister does not need to weigh in the matter. Not so prematurely. The rule is to step in when the situation is dire, and minister must either back his man or show him the door.

We are far from that, and this will play out. Minister should have been better advised. Continue reading “10 Gems From The Sad, Sad World of Malaysian News, In A Day Before 5PM”