The ‘arsonist’ who cries ‘fire’

These days, if you have eaten something wrong and wanted to vomit it out, there is no method as effective as reading what our so-called leaders say.

One Moron Personified wanted the Bersih Lady to be hanged. This is for asking for a fair and clean election. One wonders whether he knows that this is not an autocracy , but a democracy, at least if we go by the Constitution.

In the first place, a clean and fair election is a prerequisite of a truly free and democratic country.  The ones that should be hauled up and jailed (i would not go the extent of asking them to be hanged) are those past and present ‘leaders’ who have manipulated and abuse their power to create the present anomalies in the voting system.

While one constituency may have 100,00 voters, another whose demography favours the incumbents may have 6,00 voters only. This is just one aspect, and if you read the online media and blogs, you will know how much anomalies are there in the electoral rolls. Then we have the massive increase in the number of voters in the State below the Winds, which has actually changed the whole political landscape of that state.

To manipulate this system and destroy the spirits of demcocracy enshrined  in  the Constitution is a crime against the country and its people, so these are the people who have actually committed ‘treason’ instead of those trying to right the wrong and asking for a fairer system.

Then we have the Old Horse telling people that the next election is about race, that the country has become more racist. It is exactly because of people like him and what he has uttered that has fanned racism. Like the arsonist who sets fire to a place and then shout ‘fire, fire’, the Old Horse is actually the person who is the main culprit who had singlehandedly caused the polarisation that we have seen today. From the 60s when he was an ultra, to the abolition of english schools, to the implementatiton of the NEP, to the corruption of many government institutions, he has done so much to destroy the foundation that was laid by the first PM.  He was the main implementor of the NEP, which he has hijacked and skewed in such a way that has made our society into what  you see today– corruption, lack of competitiveness, loss of excellence in almost all fields and a culture of warlordism..

The handy bogeyman

During the days of the Cold War, we have often heard of stories of diplomats being accused as spies and deported. These happened on both sides of the camps. When both sides were on the fringe of war, it was actually understandable. It was a case of spy versus spy.

Even in those days, diplomats  posted to friendly countries, although not exactly spies, did have a duty to observe and report back whatever happenings on the host countires. It was part and parcel of their jobs. Diplomatic immunity did make  all these much easier.

Now that Cold War is over, we don’t hear about spying so often as before.

But  diplomats posted to a friendly country still have an inherent duty to observe the happenings in the host countries and report back to their home coutries , so that analysis can be carried out, and see how these happenings will have any potential effects on their own country. This is especially so on countries that are physically close by or economically linked. What happens in one such country will have an effect on the others in these days of globalisation.

Malaysian diplomats do that when posted overseas. So do other diplomats posted from one country to another.

This is actually the norm.

Any diplomat that is posted to another country and then stay in his or her ivory tower without coming out to mix with people of the host country  and gather information would be failing in his or her duties. They cannot depend on news report alone, but need first hand observation.

So why are the Singaporean diplomats being singled out for being present in Bersih 3.0 gatherings? I am sure diplomats of many other countries are there too.

We have to go back history, perhaps.

Whenever there was a need to play up nationalism, none was as convenient as the ‘Small red dot’ down south to be made the bogey man and thus galvanised the support of rural masses under the pretext of nationalism.    On other occasions, this bogeyman has proven to be handy to divert attention, once sentiments were worked up.

This was proven effective in the past. So, it was not surpising that the bogeyman tactic is back again, and who but the outsourced racist “NGO” is demonstrating outside Singapore  High Commissiom. This time, howevr, they manage to get only a couple of hundred people.

This old tactic may no longer work, if only these archaic minded people spend more time reading the internet and keeping up with the time. To think that by playing up this sentiments, they are going to get more votes for the Big Brother is wishful thinking.

I see them more as a pack of jokers.

Fixed term election?

The other day, an old lady patient of mine surprised me with a question after the consultation is over.

She asked: Why is there no election yet?

This is a 70plus years old lady who is a typical housewife, talking about her illness and her family on most of her visits , and I have not heard her talk politics or comment on social problems all this while.

So I ventured to answered her: There are simply too many problems out there for the governing party to feel safe/confident to call an election.

I am curious to know how this group of over 70s feel, and so I followed up my answer with a question of how she viewed the whole situation. In the past, there were some in this gorup who would vote the incumbents for stability.

She said that she would not support the ruling party as there were so many things wrong.  This was despite of all the goodies given. She said she has taken the RM500 under BR1M, which was public money and it would be stupid for anyone not to take it. But she said that she would not be swayed by this money since this money did not belong to the government but came from the people originally.

I told her that another round of RM500 would be coming, and she was incredulous. She was worried that some of the people might be swayed by the money and thus continue to vote for this ‘bad’ party (that was her words used).

I told her about Bersih 3.0 and that most people in the cities would not be swayed.

I finally told her that Parliament will automatically be dissolved on 28th April 2013, and within 60 days of dissolution, there must be an election, which means that the much anticipated GE will have to be held within the next 12 months, like it or not.

She seemed relieved  and mentioned that this might be the last time she is voting as she is old . I have to reaasure that her health is alright, and that she has many years to go on if she continues to lead a careful and active lifestyle.

Thus ended this conversation which has given me much food for thought.

The hottest topic since the last 2 years was the pending GE. But for 24 months, we have heard the sounds of wlking on the stairs but have not seen anyone coming down the stairs, so to speak.

Because of the uncertainty, so much politics were played, so many so-called elections budgets have been tabled, giving many handouts which do not necessarily help the economy.

Each round when there were handouts or goodies being dispensed, there were rumours that election would be called.

This creates an uncertainty not only in the business sector, but in the stock market, in the investment milieu, and the planning of many of activities, and the list goes on.

The flexible election date is a feature of the Westminster system, and it gives the incumbents an advantage. the incumbents can call an election at a time most favourbale to them. Like stock markets, governing party’s fortune changes, and it cahnges rapidly depending on the policies implemented, the economic factors, and the mood of the electorate which can be greatly influenced by peer pressure. The latter is a result of many factors, among which are  the spin stories and the media influence.

I must say that I agree with Minister Nazri in his proposal that there should be a fixed 5 year term for Parliament.

It will enable proper planning, less politicking (once in 5 years unlike now, politicking starts 2 years from the lasy election), less wastage of money in the forms of election budgets. It would enable more governing, more stable business, stock market and investment milieu.

With the fixed term, voters can also plan their activities. Just take me as an example. Few months ago, when I got news that my daughter-in-law is expecting  in May, I was hesitant to buy a ticket to visit my son in May-june period, as there were rumours that there would be an election in June. But after analysing all the available info, I decided that there was just too much of outstanding issues for PM to call an election , so I went ahead and booked our tickets (My wife went over with me)in March. Even then, I wasn’t 100% sure that election would not be called in the school holidays in early June.. My vote may not mean anything (since my area PJ Utara was won by Tony Phua by a huge margin and I expect this margin to widen)  but I just want to do my civil duty as a citizen.

Disconnect

While I was in the States, i met a cab driver who was an ethnic Chinese American originally from Taiwan.

When I entered his taxi, he asked me in typically American accent : you a Chinese? I answered: Chinese Malaysian. Then he said that I must be able to speak Mandarin, and from then onwards we conversed in  Mandarin.

He said he was originally from taiwan, and among his university classmates, there were many Chinese Malaysians, and that is why he knew that many Chinese Malaysians could speak Mandarin.

He migrated to the states more than a decade ago, mainly because he was fed up of life back home, among them  the amount of corruptions taking place.  He is happy with his life as a cab driver, earning a decent living, and in the States, every profession is respected as long as you put in a decent effort to earn your living.

Then we talked about Malaysia. He said what he has read about a case, a woman who was whipped for being caught drinking, and asked me how we can live in such conditions where no entertainment and drinking is allowed.

I told him he was misinformed. I told him that it was true that the woman was sentenced to be whipped but she was pardoned. I told him that Malaysia, at least in the cities, is as advanced as any modern nations, and we even have a casino in Genting, which , even though is smaller than those in Vegas, shows that Malaysians are actually free to do a lot of stuff , same as the Americans.

Only certain religion disallows certain activities, just like in some Christian sects , certain rules have to be observed strictly.

Then he mentioned that he heard that corruption is bad in Malaysia. I have to admit that, and he even knew about the French case, and the Mongolian lady.  I have to defend my country so I said that even Taiwan has its “Ah Bian”.  But when he mentioned that Taiwan has a very free press, which can report on any wrong doing, and thus effectively acts as  a public watchdog, I have to concede that Malaysia  still have a long way to go. I have to conced that even if Malaysia has a “Ah Bian”, the probability is high that he would go scott free.

That is how negative some people view Malaysia..This is a view from a common person on the ground, and he has lots of friends in Malaysia.

While  we also have made some snail paced reform, with ISA being replaced by certain other law,  our press is still not free.

Worse, as things go, there will be more and more restrictions even on the online media. The new Evidence Act is a killer. It is meant to stifle freedom of expression on the net. It is something akin to some criminals, who committed a crime in your house, and while the criminals escape, you as the owner of the house is being held responsible.

Say someone came in and robbed patients sitting in my waiting room. while the robber got away, I would be held as responsible for the robbery happening onthem. It is ridiculous, and no one would agree to that. Extrapolate this to the Evidence Act, and it is actually the same thing.

While the proof of guilt should be the responsibility of the authority , it is now reversed and it is now guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.. How on earth can someone do that without the resources of a enforcement force and its availability of crime-solving methodology and technique.

It is like there is no more common sense up there anymore.

And news of government considering another round of handouts?  News of accusing those who attended Bersih as receiving money? I was there among the hundreds of thousands, and I do not see anyone who came because they received money.. What an insult to the 200,000 people that day, and million others  who had stayed at home but in their quiet way, supported Bersih.

How disconnected they are with the people on the ground, and yet they still think Big Brother knows best?

Dear readers

I have just come back from an exhausting 3 week trip to US, where I visited my son and celebrated the first moon of my grandson. the return journey with a few transit took about 38 hours door to door, and is very tiring.

Will try to get over the jet lag, and start writing again.