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”

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Soap Opera At A Coastal Town, Or Port Dickson By-Election

Calm before the sun.

It is cheating really, for those writing about politics in Malaysia.

Because on days like these on Port Dickson beachside, the news writes itself.

Anwar Ibrahim has company for the by-election. Familiar company.

For weeks since the PD Move went public, the public has been going through the motions, from fatigue, mild interest, despair to actual horror.

If there was a maximum on turns a by-election could take only up to nomination day, this one has gone the extra mile. In PD the wrong mile, gets you with the wrong set of friends.

It may be poetic that after decades of Anwar intimating about the trouble Najib Razak once had, of the nefarious kind, in the coastal town, he’s getting a dose of his own vitriol. Continue reading “Soap Opera At A Coastal Town, Or Port Dickson By-Election”

PAS: The Clear and Present Danger

Always the leader of men heading to the past. PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang.

I was wrong predicting a Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the past election, but I was not wrong about Pakatan rejecting PAS.

While I said,Pakatan can win without PAS, if they are clear about their value proposition and work on the ground long enough as separate from the Islamist, I was not convinced either of those conditions were met, adequately.

Which is why I thought BN would edge ahead in a three way.

I was exceedingly wrong about it, the people of Malaysia proved that they already had enough reasons to reject BN and at the same time able to distinguish between a vote for Pakatan and PAS. Continue reading “PAS: The Clear and Present Danger”

Jumping Lawmakers And The Culture Of Absolute Power

The civil servants, still to just serve the master?

Sugut assemblyman Datuk James Ratib (Umno), Pitas assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail (Umno), Kuala Penyu assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury (Upko) and Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah (Upko) are rumoured to be next to abandon the BN ship for Pakatan.

Most Malaysians won’t remember their names or seat names, come tomorrow, but they are aware of the mass exodus everywhere.

It was expected long before that whenever BN finally loses, their candidates will flee, but the rate is unprecedented. It does not happen in regular democracy, but Malaysia is different kind of democracy. Continue reading “Jumping Lawmakers And The Culture Of Absolute Power”

This column first appeared in The Malay Mail Online. It is reproduced here.

 

Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor
Be careful, there are worst things than being a heart donor

FEBRUARY 5 — Have a look at the date again — the fifth day of the second month in 2015.

Nine days to Valentine’s Day and the naysayers have not started with their tirade over the dual — real or imagined — threat of fornication and layered proselytisation through the reference of a till lately, obscure Christian saint. Phew!

They are starting late this year, but don’t doubt them, they will start even if they sound like broken records — to sympathisers and supporters alike.

(Talking about Valentine’s, I really don’t want to know how ISIS will be observing it this year in order to warn Muslims worldwide away from performing unsanctioned love acts. I can suggest some nasty “ideas” as a joke, but I fear — through the mysterious powers of the Internet— somehow they’d hear about it, and actually carry them out. Those ISIS dudes, they raise “doing” to a whole new stratosphere.)

Over here in Malaysia, it has become an annual ritual — I know, it’s cute, a ritual to fight a ritual — to demonise those who are inclined to dating on the day. Continue reading

Friends in the Pakatan submarine keeping separate beds

This was first seen at The Malaysian Insider, July 7 2009. I’m putting up my old copies up. Some of the information, ideas and thoughts may be dated in retrospect.

JULY 9 — It is a Greek tragedy of sorts, the ever-increasing admonishments of Pakatan Rakyat — for its alleged rising ineptitude, communication breakdowns, tantrums and obtuseness.

The Kampung Buah Pala saga, PAS-Umno talks, PKR-DAP hostilities in the Seberang Perai Municipal Council and more, resulting in some claiming that this coalition of the willing risks the ire of an electorate and may lose its present gains in the next general election, probably in 2012.

Fair enough, the warning. Continue reading “Friends in the Pakatan submarine keeping separate beds”

Getting to the ‘what’ of our parties

Hee Yit Foong, courtesy of The Malaysian Insider
Hee Yit Foong, courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

This was first seen at The Malaysian Insider, June 25 2009. I’m putting up my old copies up. Some of the information, ideas and thoughts may be dated in retrospect.

JUNE 25 — There is a growing frustration among Malaysians. And in economically difficult times, political shenanigans grate people a little deeper, because they compound the growing uncertainty over their proverbial rice bowls.

They become edgy about all political parties, and this makes the present vote more knee-jerk and less habitual. In the long run, however, the Malaysian vote will be decided by what political parties — and by extension what their leaders — stand for. Continue reading “Getting to the ‘what’ of our parties”