Thursday, December 30, 2010

MyKad burden for children of Hindu-Muslim parentage

The name on the identity card (MyKad) reads Ravichandran a/l Muniandy*. For the 17 years of his life, this gangly teenager has lived as a Hindu, and yet his MyKad states that he is a Muslim.

But at least he has a MyKad - received three years after he first applied for it, and only because his father, Muniandy, had made a scene at the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya.

NONE"We applied when he was 13, but even then the registration officer there tried to reject the application, saying that his mother's name is Malay so my son's name must be changed to a Malay name too. I refused, so they told me to go to Putrajaya," Muniandy said.

The second application was lodged with the boy's name, Ravichandran a/l Muniandy, as per his birth certificate, but nothing came out of it, and the boy was forced to sit his PMR with only the application slip.

"We went to the (NRD) branch several times and were told the card never arrived, so I went to Putrajaya, and they made us submit another application, again with a Malay name," he said.

After an altercation with the NRD officers, both at the counter and at the legal department, Muniandy managed to convince them into retaining his son's name as per his birth certificate.

"But the officer told me that they could not guarantee that his religion on the card will not be Islam," he said.

Ravichandran's sister Saraswathy is 15 years old and still awaiting her MyKad. If she is as 'lucky' as her brother, she will receive hers in time for the SPM examination, but her case might be more complicated.

Assaulted and threatened into converting to Islam

Born during a tumultuous period in her parents' life, her birth certificate was claimed by officials to be missing and the replacement states that Sarawasthy's religion and that of her parents is Islam.

Her name on the birth certificate is 'Sarawaswathy binti Kamal Shah' - the name religious officials forced onto her father.

Her mother Laila, a Muslim, was pregnant with her when religious department officials broke into their home after midnight to conduct a raid, acting on a tip-off.

"They broke open the front door and wiped the 'pottu' off my wife's forehead. We were so afraid - they had surrounded the house," said Muniandy, tears welling up in his eyes.

That was not the only time - after the first incident, the family absconded only to be found out again when Muniandy insisted in having his and his daughter's names on the birth certificate reflect their Hindu faith.

"We were raided again, I was beaten up. They took my wife and children away and told me to go to the religious department to 'negotiate'.

"They put me in a tiny room and put on (the azan) on loudspeaker," he said, of the many things done to him in an effort to make him convert to Islam.

But what sounded like brainwashing sessions masked as 'counselling' failed, and Muniandy survived the ordeal by agreeing to change his name to a Muslim name on his identity card, albeit not converting.

A white-collared worker, Muniandy said that almost two decades ago, he was advised by an Islamic welfare organisation that if he did not have faith, then he should not convert.

The organisation provided him with a card which states a Muslim name, adopted without converting, and with this the couple registered their marriage and lived as Hindus.

Muniandy never changed his name to the Muslim one at the NRD.

NRD officers added 'Muslim elements'

"It was a difficult time (after the raids). My photo was published all over the country and people harassed me at my workplace, so I lost my job," said Muniandy, who now has five children, with the youngest in primary school.

The family has had to live in fear of both religious persecution from officials and vigilantes, moving house at least five times in the past 20 years, sometimes after threats from parang-wielding Muslims.

For the past few years, life has been relatively quiet. Muniandy now has an understanding employer, and the principals of the national schools which the children attend have also registered the children as non-Muslim after the parents explained the situation.

But the MyKad issue remains for Saraswathy, who was told to reapply with a Muslim name, a problem that is likely to recur for her younger siblings.

The couple's other daughter's birth certificate also carries a Muslim name but the two younger boys' birth certificates have neither the religion of their parents nor the term 'bin' (to denote that they are Muslims).

"In my application for my (second daughter's) birth certificate, her name was (Shantini) a/p Muniandy, but her name is printed as Shantini binti Kamal Shah," he said.

Another son has the name 'Shah' added as a middle name by the NRD officer who claimed that he should have a 'Muslim element' in his name.

Other NRD officers have also blocked Muniandy from dropping the 'Kamal Shah' alias from his identity card, even though his MyKad states that he is Hindu, for unclear reasons.

"This NRD officers insist that we must all have Muslim names, Malay names. But how would they know what our faith is? I have nothing against Islam, but I don't want to desecrate Islam by taking a Muslim name or declaring myself Muslim but living as a Hindu," he said.

No freedom of religion

What Muniandy essentially wants is to raise his children as he sees fit, and for his children to be provided identity cards to reflect what they really are.

But for some, this seemingly harmless request would amount to heresy, and that removing the word 'Islam' from his children's MyKad is actually a case of apostasy.

With cases like Muslim apostate to Christianity Lina Joy meeting a dead end, and a happy ending on Malaysian shores remaining unlikely, this is precisely why Muniandy is fighting so hard to obtain identity cards for his children.

"This is so that they can sit for their exams and then later, hopefully, study abroad and live there... there is no freedom of religion here," he said.

Lina was not the first and only person to renounce Islam in Malaysia. Likewise, the story of Muniandy and Laila is in no way unique.

Quietly, all around Malaysia, many Muslims enter into marriages with non-Muslims, without their spouses converting.

Such choices made by consenting adults, however, have deeper repercussions for children born into such marriages.

Assumed to be Muslim by virtue of one parent's religion by seemingly well-meaning NRD officers, these children later face lengthy legal battles to renounce a faith they know nothing about.


seals: Wanna vote for BN government again ? Think about it.....

State sec's appointment a 'plot to oust Pakatan'

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has accused the federal government of manoeuvring to dissolve the Selangor state legislative assembly by appointing of Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the state secretary.

Khalid said that Khusrin, the former private secretary to Selangor Menteri Besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib and outgoing Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director, was beholden to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and not to the state.

“Najib wants to create chaos in Selangor and force the dissolution of the state legislative assembly,” Khalid told a press conference today.

His concerns come amid talk that Selangor, and other Pakatan Rakyat administered states, may decide against dissolving their respective state legislative assemblies in the event Najib calls for snap polls.

Such talk comes at a point where Najib's popularity is reportedly on a high note, prompting some Pakatan state leaders to consider the option of completing the terms of their state legislatures, which expire in 2013, even if the general election is called earlier.

Khalid said a pro-BN state secretary had played a major role in the ouster of the Pakatan administration in Perak in early 2009 and he feared the same would happen in Selangor with Khusrin's appointment.

He said Khusrin's credentials were weak and alleged that he was clearly "planted" to create problems for the state administration.

"When it comes to professionalism and capability, it has been proven that he is unsuitable," argued the PAS leader.


Khalid said a pro-BN state secretary had played a major role in the ouster of the Pakatan administration in Perak in early 2009 and he feared the same would happen in Selangor with Khusrin's appointment.

Invitations sent out for Khusrin's swearing-in

Despite disagreements over the Selangor state secretary's appointment, the palace has sent out invitations for the swearing-in ceremony for the post, which will take place before Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah next Thursday.

The sultan's private secretary, Mohamad Munir Bani, said invitations had been sent out by the protocol division and that the outgoing State Islamic Department director, Mohd Khusrin Munawi, is scheduled to take his oath of office.

“There are no other candidates and besides that, the new State Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director (Marzuki Hussin) replacing Khusrin will also take his oath,” he told Malaysiakini.

He said there were several programmes arranged for the Sultan that day, and the swearing-in ceremony was one of them.

NONEAlthough Khusrin's appointment is imminent, the Selangor menteri besar's political secretary, Faekah Hussin (left), said the MB, Khalid Ibrahim, believes the palace had not been given a clear picture on the matter.

“There is some political involvement (by the federal government) in the matter.

“Selangor Pakatan, however, is still working to get an audience with the palace to resolve the issue amicably and in a professional manner,” she said.

She hopes the people would stay calm in order to secure the dignity of the palace, the state government and the House (state assembly).

The debacle facing the appointment of the state secretary is entered its fourth day today, following the announcement made by chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan on Monday.

Sidek announced Khusrin's appointment, and this was assented to by the sultan. However, Khalid isaid n a statement that Khusrin's appoint was not final, as the state had shortlisted three names.

The names did not include Khusrin's, who Malaysiakini reported came in last in interviews conducted by a panel comprising three Pakatan Rakyat state exco members.

It was reported that state Economic Planning Unit director Noordin Sulaiman came up tops among the three names, and this was followed by Petaling Jaya mayor Roslan Sakiman and Subang Jaya Municipal Council president Mohammad Adnan Md Ikshan.

State sec will not attend first exco meeting

Meanwhile, a source in the menteri besar's office said whoever the new state secretary would be, the person would not attend the first exco meeting for the new year slated to be held on Wednesday.

The reason is, because, the person would be taking the oath of office before the sultan only on Thursday.

The source said the menteri besar was also unlikely to have any oath-taking ceremony for the new state secretary before Jan 6.

Reports suggest that the state secretary must take his oath before the menteri besar, not before the sultan.

With the new state secretary absent, his duties during the weekly state exco are likely to be taken up by one of the two deputy state secretaries.

In another development, a special prayer (solat hajat) session will be held at the menteri besar's official residence this evening.


Seals: What i see here is....

1. If BN Calls for GE and PR in Selangor did not dissolve the state legislative assembly then it makes no point as the UMNO will still cannot put their hands in the SELANGOR's wealth that was the major income for them

2. The main reason BN wants a General Elections will be to take over again Selangor and no point to do it if state legislative assembly is not dissolved.

They have tried many ways, this is one of the ways to place a man of UMNO in the critical function of the STATE.

This position has a lot of power ... I don't have to tell you.... I am sure you saw that in PERAK right? You want to see the same in Selangor?

When the people elect their reps, UMNO is planing to change the peoples decision....and this is already a betrayal to the own people!

Do the people of Malaysia need desperate BN to be in power still?

“Najib wants to create chaos in Selangor and force the dissolution of the state legislative assembly,” Khalid told a press conference today

'Najib, apologise for un-1Malaysian directive'

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok is demanding an apology from the prime minister for his office's directive to rid religious elements from a Christmas celebration, which she said was “disrespectful” to Christianity.

dj jamal hishammudin rais and teresa kok forum 270910 08According to Kok, who is also Selangor senior exco, the Prime Minister's Office's had issued a directive for crucifixes to be removed from the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) Christmas event on 25 Dec, where Prime Minister Najib Razak was a guest.

The directive, she said, also prohibited Christian prayers and hymns during the event that was held at the Catholic Church Archbishop's residence.

“Najib should apologise to the Christian Federation of Malaysia for 'de-Christianising' their Christmas celebration, that yet again denied Malaysians the right to freedom of religion,” said Kok in a statement.

“Such an order from the Prime Minister's Office shows how insincere and ungracious Najib behaved, as a guest at the celebration held at the Catholic Church Archbishop's residence.

“It is doubtful that Najib could have been unaware that his office had issued such a directive and far more likely that he is back-pedalling after having been exposed and publicly shamed,” said Kok.

'Where is 1Malaysia?'

church attacks sunday massThe Seputeh MP called the directive “a betrayal of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious 1Malaysia that Najib so fervently preaches”.

“If only Najib would match his beautifully written public relations spiel with credible action,” she said.

The Seputeh MP urges Najib to issue a public apology and to direct the government to respect Christmas traditions and the Malaysians' right to freedom of religion.

“I hope Najib and his office can be aware that there is a deeper meaning to Christmas beyond Santa Claus and snow, and that that deeper meaning should be respected,” she said.


seals: Very simple ... He just should have rejected the invite, rather then ask the core reason of the celebration to be removed from the celebration ...then the celebration will have no meaning ... would you do that ?

Do we still need to vote BN?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Controversial Jais chief named new S'gor state sec

Controversial Jais chief named new S'gor state sec

P Dev Anand Pillai: It looks like they seek to plant a Putrajaya spy in Selangor's administration. MB Khalid Ibrahim and cabinet will have to be very careful. One of the first steps Pakatan has got to take when it forms the federal government in the future is to ensure that there is a clear distinction between federal government employees and state government employees.

If the current state of overlaps which had caused the collapse of Perak takes place every time the people elect a Pakatan government, BN will use it to continue to manipulate and cheat the electorate by using their federal powers to simply move people around to do their bidding.

Let's hope the people will vote wisely and give at least 40 seats to Pakatan in Selangor to push for this agenda. MB Khalid can perhaps ignore the new state secretary and just get the job done using his own secretarial team instead.

Anonymous: It looks like the rakyat have no other means but to vote Pakatan Rakyat in the next general elections since the royalty have more interests of Umno at heart than the rakyat's. It is obvious to us where we should place our hopes with.

Disgusted: Pakatan state governments can't function properly since the 2008 Tsunami because of sabotage by the BN-led federal government. They have been attacked from within and from without by civil servants, police, GLCs and crony companies like Syabas to bring down the Pakatan government without giving them a fair chance to govern these states. They are choked for funds where BN takes out via taxes.

Yet people expect miracles from Pakatan-ruled governments. It's time for people throughout Malaysia to be bold and change the federal government and give Pakatan a chance to prove themselves.


Seals: Remember BN soon you will have PR Reps in BN Controlled State will taste your own poison :)

"MB Khalid can perhaps ignore the new state secretary and just get the job done using his own secretarial team instead." ... DO IT !

Kriya Yoga - Kriya - Immortal Enigma

by Anjali Bagwe

Mahavatar Babaji, a Himalayan mahayogi said to be about 1,800 years old, is the founder of kriya yoga. The world first heard about him courtesy Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. Today, many cults are growing around his enigmatic persona. Mumbai-based Dr Ram Bhosle claims to have lived with him for six years.

Legend has it that the remote parts of the Himalayas are home to many rishis, tapasvis and siddhayogis—Eternal Masters engaged in singular methods of sadhana or disciplined practice dedicated to cosmic exploration and in guiding the destiny of humanity through the ages. They live in rough-hewn natural caves under glacial conditions. Some have ashrams amidst verdant greenery, located at a vibrational frequency at variance with the 'normal' three-dimensional one to keep intruders at bay. Their abode has been verily named Shambala, Gyan Ganj, or Siddha Loka.

In this phantasmagorical world of accomplished yogis, anything is possible. A siddha sadhak (realized master) may simply choose to take the form of an ancient tree to meditate undisturbed for hundreds of years. Others, when they venture beyond the confines of their rarefied sanctuaries, may fly through the air as themselves, or change into swans, geese, eagles, or even into animals, fish and insects. There are many creative ideas for teleportation, with some just travelling on beams of light from one place to another!

Exalted as these beings are, a distinct feature common to all is their complete identification with India and her Vedic heritage. When people attain a certain level in their sadhana, they automatically lose their narrow personal bonds of family, language, caste or province. Then the old terrain of the Motherland takes over, so that it matters not whether it is Kabir, Lahiri Mahasaya, Shirdi Sai Baba or Ramana Maharshi , they all belong to India. And they converse with each other using an argot common to the wandering sadhus (monks).

Thus it is that the venerable heritage of Gorakhnath and Machhindranath is claimed for its own by Garhwal, Konkan, Bundelkhand, Mewar and Coorg, and many a little girl in the remotest village of India is put to sleep to the refrain of "Chalo Machhinder, Gorakh Aaya...."

With his lithe and youthful figure, Mahavatar Babaji (whose feats have been reported by Paramahansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi) is one such eternal master. He is the man with the 1,800-year-old immortal body. He's also the founder of kriya yoga, a discipline involving purification of the body-mind organism through breath control techniques to aid longevity and spiritual evolution. 'Mahavatar' means 'great incarnation'. He is also known as Mahakaya Babaji, the word 'Mahakaya' describing his immortal body. In some circles the Hare Khan Baba being referred to sounds suspiciously similar to Mahavatar Baba's persona.


Babaji comes with sanitized packaging shorn of ash, rudraksha or kumkum tilak. Of course, there have been many Babajis over the decades claiming to be the Mahavatar. There's a free-for-all on the Internet with the various Babaji Web pages multiplying rapidly to a current count of several thousand. Yet, the Self-Realization Fellowship established by Yogananda in California almost sounds as if it holds patent rights over the 'Babaji lineage'.

After conquering the West within decades, it's time for Babaji to return home to capture the interest of Indians who are still obsessed with pot-bellied gurus. A new international group called the Babaji's Kriya Yoga Order of Acharyas with a base of sorts in Pondicherry recently held kriya yoga seminars in major metropolitan cities across India. The Babaji they're selling is the same kriya yogi, but he's now positioned in a new Tamil incarnation as Babaji Nagaraj and never mind that he's been a permanent resident of the Himalayas for 1,800 years.

A book claiming to present new information about Babaji, written by the Canadian guru and chief of the Kriya Yoga Order, Marshall Govindan, presents startling claims about the Tamil origins of many ancient rishis and siddhas, including Macchindranath and Gorakhnath. Welcome to the club! Tibet too claims them for its own, and the Gorkhas of Nepal and India claim to be the original descendants of Gorakhnath.

The seminar is a casual affair, particularly since the group of two conducting it has no organizational set up. There is very little planning. In two days, you are to learn 144 kriyas or breathing techniques, 18 yogasanas and numerous chants. That's instant evolution. Devote 20 minutes daily to this and you zip past 50 lives' worth of karmic atonement and time! Or so claims the venerable lady acharya from California. The 60 participants in Mumbai are administered a battery of short written assignments, duly checked by the acharya, or head, in the course of the seminar. Gleanings of wisdom pepper the proceedings. Participants are told that Sri Aurobindo was close to attaining an immortal body during his lifetime, but for the fact that he did not practice yogasanas.

The acharya presents charts on the macrobiotic diet, the staple no-nos of which are chocolates and meat. All this and more is discussed over a period of two days, inaugurating the advent of yet another New Age cult in India.


Thankfully, there's a lot more than that to Mahavatar Baba, who never left the shores of India and who's way beyond the reach of puny intellectual property rights. He's a patriotic yogi and keeper of ancient faith, whose mission for ages has been to stem the tide of barbaric conquerors overrunning India. He has often changed the course of Indian history, guided by otherwise immortal rishis, working way above insidious parochial divisions.

Babaji's influence as a guru is said to have prevailed over the ages from Adi Shankaracharya and Kabir to more recent saints like Sai Baba of Shirdi, Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon and Swami Samartha of Akkalkot. The last three were reportedly firebrand revolutionaries who were given up for dead in the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. It is said that the first was a Muslim, while the other two were Hindus. They escaped to the Himalayas for sanctuary and were later given a spiritual initiation by Babaji. They eventually returned as illumined leaders of humanity.

Babaji mostly works in obscurity, even while serving as a spiritual mentor to scores of masters. He has guided the destiny of India and her people, yet he is perhaps one of the most accessible of siddhayogis to walk in our midst in recent times. Over two millennia, Babaji has continued to nurture hundreds of accomplished disciples.

One such disciple is an ageing healer, Dr Ram Bhosle, who lives and works in Mumbai. He is a world-renowned massage therapist who has treated illustrious patients like Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, among others. He has witnessed almost the entire 20th century, traveling abroad 160 times. A freedom fighter, he had several arrest warrants issued against him by the British during Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India Movement and was forced to flee to the Himalayas. His escape route cut a long swathe across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Sindh, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush mountains, before he finally reached the Himalayas.


It was there that he chanced upon Mahavatar Babaji. He ended up giving massage to Babaji, the latter offering him safe house initially for three months, and ultimately for a period of nearly six years to-date, spread over the intervening period. Dr Bhosle's stories throw considerable light on the immortal master.

Once, when the two had taken shelter in a cave for the night, Babaji asked him to go and fetch milk. A fierce snowstorm was raging outside and Dr Bhosle thought the sage had gone mad. But when he gingerly walked a few paces beyond the cave's entrance, merely out of deference to his host, he was surprised to find a pitcher of fresh milk, still warm to the touch, positioned on a ledge!

On another occasion, Babaji solicitously asked if he wanted a book to read. Unbelieving, Dr Bhosle asked for Bharatmuni's ancient opus on dance, Natyashastra, which was procured for him. Babaji remarked that deep within the womb of the Himalayas was an unimaginable storehouse of ancient texts. He also revealed that four rooms in that great edifice were entirely devoted to astrology. Babaji also predicted that from 2001 onwards India would gradually return to supremacy in world affairs. Several decades ago, he had also forecast the end of all the political isms of the 20th century.

Like great yogis, Babaji can supposedly materialize, dematerialize and take on any form at will. He may choose to present himself as an old man, an animal or a bird. He once promised a devotee that he would attend a feast at the man's house, but seemingly did not. When the man later questioned him, Babaji replied: "I was there. I was the dog whom you fed the leftovers."

Babaji can travel anywhere in the universe. When he is too busy to do so, he sends specific instructions to his chosen disciples through birds. He's taught a chosen few how to discern birdcalls, and it may well be that the pigeon stridently cooing at your window is actually a messenger from the great seer!


The Mahayogi can be stern when the situation so demands, even while displaying a great sense of humor and rare devilry at other times. He once instructed Dr Bhosle to perform underwater meditation at midnight in the sea off the Mumbai coastline to purify his healing energy. Often, Babaji walked by to supervise his disciple's work, treading on the waves. He would chat for a while, and then walk away nonchalantly.

Babaji sometimes greeted his disciple with an unprintable epithet, as is often the custom in youth subcultures around the world. At one time, the ageing Dr Bhosle reacted with considerable anger, remonstrating that such swear words did not befit his status as a mahayogi. Babaji replied: "These words are just creations of grammar." Mostly, the language spoken by the Master is incredibly creative, drawing from a fount of inspiring, lyrical Sanskrit words lending themselves beautifully to new improvisations in Hindi.

Interestingly, Babaji's entourage of enlightened and immortal disciples includes yoginis who are over 600 years old. Babaji conveys the impression that he cherishes individuality and thoughtful dissension, rather than servile obedience.

The sage with the immortal body has walked the length and breadth of India and is inured to the ways of the seemingly berserk lone ascetics that are a law unto themselves. There is no field of knowledge that is beyond him and the transmutation of atoms is simply an entertaining pastime. One day, Babaji took his entourage to a crematorium. There, he picked up a skull and placing some faeces in it, he offered them to his disciples, ordering them to eat. All of them declined, except Dr Bhosle, who gingerly touched it with his tongue. To his amazement, the revolting stuff had transformed into the most delectable dish.

In the 1950s, Babaji had set up an ashram in the Himalayan heights above Badrinath. He eventually closed it down. A true wanderer, he is not to be found in any one place, whether in the Himalayas or elsewhere. Yet he is very much amongst us, in Mumbai or Delhi, as much as he is in Badrikashram. He encourages disciples to strive for their highest destiny. Neither God nor an angel, Babaji is more like the atmik guru, or the inner light.

Dr Bhosle sounds a note of caution—the masters are suprahuman, beyond the frailties of emotion, and they demand total commitment to the chosen path. It is of greatest importance to follow the light with determination, discernment and detachment. The wise doctor concludes: "There is no such thing in this world as miracles. Everything happens through science. Only a person who doesn't understand science calls it a miracle.


seals: There is no place that HE is not there ....... Amen

Monday, December 27, 2010

Nazri, do you believe Bala's affidavit too?

'If an affidavit is proof, then Najib must be guilty because Bala also made a sworn statement against him.'

Nazri believes Apco more credible than Anwar

Md Imraz Muhammed Ikhbal: An affidavit from the accused merely refuting his guilt is proof and evidence to our law minister? Gosh! Which law school did he go to?

Can we now presume that an affidavit from Anwar Ibrahim refuting his guilt on the sodomy charge against him can likewise exonerate him once and for all of the alleged crime? Or does Nazri's logic applies only to wherever and whenever it serves BN's political agenda, and after which different standards apply?

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: If Karpal Singh is accused of being a 'third-rate lawyer' by Nazri then he has just confirmed the kind of lawyer he himself is.

Is the self-serving letter and affidavit from Apco credible evidence that is incontrovertible? Have the rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence not applicable when it comes to Anwar? Was Anwar given a fair chance to defend himself before the parliamentary rights and privileges committee? Why bother now, when the deed has been done using the brute majority of the BN based on the report of a 'kangaroo' committee?

The fact remains - why are we using the services of a Jewish company with close links to the Israeli establishment to advise us on anything, and pay them RM77 million a year?

Bluemountains: What kind of law minister is Nazri? He must realise that the more he spins, the more he gets caught in his own web. The rakyat know that he is taking them for fools.

PM: Apco more credible? What kind of a government have we that we have to use some Americans to do public relations for the glorification of Umno and its leader. You could have used our own local PR consultants for far less than the amount paid.

Broken Foot: Nazri has got the whole issue upside down. If you accuse Anwar of lying, should the burden of proof be yours? Anwar does not have to proof his innocence. He only need to defend himself, which you did not allow.

Since the rights and privileges committee has already pronounced Anwar guilty, isn't it a little late in the day to ask for proof?

Rakyat Malaysia: It would be better to spend RM77 million for the benefit of the people than giving the money to Apco. BN wasted money to doing a useless image marketing but has never done anything real for the people other than shouting '1Malaysia' brainlessly.

Fly Emirates: Israeli-linked companies have been known to disguise their business and country of origin so often, so I for one do not buy what they say. In case Nazri is not aware, due to pressure from the Muslim world, Israeli companies have moved their corporate head offices from Tel Aviv to Geneva, New York, London, etc, to give an appearance that they are not from Israel.

Even a certain persimmon sold in Malaysia claiming to be the sweetest persimmon in the world originates from a certain valley in Israel.

Wira: Nazri, Your thinking is flawed.

1. If an affidavit is proof, then Najib Razak must be guilty because private investigator P Balasubramaniam also made a sworn statement against him. Remember Najib's response? He swore to God he never met Altantuya Shaariibuu. Is this the standard of proof required in Malaysia to nail or to get someone out of trouble?

2. Nazri, you are entitled to what you believe. Just be aware that you are an interested party. However, don't be a hypocrite.

3. Anwar was not given the chance to defend himself at the rights and privileges committee even though the opposition parliamentarians had demanded that prior to a decision by the committee. Why ask for his defence now after you have sentenced him?

Pants on Fire: No one is stupid to have accepted RM77million and then say they are linked to Israel.

seals: There is always duality.....even in Malaysian Law

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Preacher's Salary

There was a preacher whose wife was expecting a baby so he went to the congregation and asked for a raise.

After much consideration and discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded,

so would his paycheck.

After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss t

he preacher's salary. There was much yelling and bickering about how much the clergyman's additional children

were costing the church.

Finally, the Preacher got up and spoke to the crowd, 'Children are a gift from God,' he said. Silence fell

on the congregation.

In the back of the room, a little old lady stood up and in her frail voice said, 'Rain is also a gift from God,

but when we get too much, we wear raincoats.'

And the congregation said, 'Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Factual errors in History books

AS an advocate of 1Malaysia which stresses national unity and ethnic harmony, I view with concern the substantially lopsided and biased content of our current Form 1-5 History textbooks.

To make matters worse, there are more than 10 factual errors and contradictions in our current Form 1-5 History textbooks.

The Education Ministry should immediately appoint a multi-ethnic Advisory Panel to ensure students are learning Malaysian and World History that is generally objective, well-balanced and wholly accurate.

The trend of “rewriting” Malaysian history started in 1996 with the formation of the Jawatankuasa Penerbitan Buku Teks Sejarah Tingkatan 1 and Tingkatan 2.

Its members (more than 15 for each committee), including the writers and consulting experts of the textbooks, were all drawn from one ethnic group.

Indeed, all 17 authors of our current Form 1-5 History textbooks are drawn from one ethnic group.

Hence, it is not surprising that our students are now primarily learning History as viewed through the lens of one ethnic group.

This does not augur well for the creation of a truly united and prosperous 1Malaysia.

Our current History textbooks are biased in the sense that they downplay the roles of the non-Malays in the development of our nation and its independence.

As an example, the previous textbooks used to adequately mention the contribution of the Chinese and the Indians in the development of the tin mining and rubber industries.

Now it is given scant attention.

There is also lopsided emphasis on Islamic Civilisation.

I personally counted that about 39% of the content of the current Form Four History textbook (compared to 15% in the earlier textbook) deals with Islamic Civilisation.

Hence, the recent statement by the new Education director-general that the weight of the Islamic Civilisation in the current Form Four History textbook is the same as the earlier textbook is inaccurate and misleading.

He must have been misinformed by his officials.

Interestingly, the current textbook has reduced more than 25% the amount of text related to Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism as compared to the earlier textbook.

Our History textbooks are also biased because they do not tell the whole truth.

For example, why can’t we state categorically that the founder of Malacca (Parameswara) was a Hindu prince from Palembang who died a Hindu.

We must be proud of our multi-religious and multi-cultural heritage.

The earlier Malaysian History textbooks do mention the role of Yap Ah Loy (Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur from 1868 to 1885) in developing Kuala Lumpur.

The current Form 2 History textbook has just one sentence (not even in the main text) on Yap Ah Loy: Yap Ah Loy antara orang yang bertanggungjwab membangunkan Kuala Lumpur (Yap Ah Loy is one of the people responsible for developing Kuala Lumpur).

As for Gurchan Singh, his wartime exploits were contained in a textbook, Heroes of Malaya, which was widely used in Malayan schools in the 1950s.

Indeed, our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was among those who grieved at Gurchan’s death in 1965 and personally offered condolences to his family.

The Education Ministry should also review the current teaching of History in schools.

History is an interesting subject which has been made uninteresting by teachers.

Most students have a natural curiosity about the past and how the present came to be.

Unfortunately, many teachers adhere religiously to the lecture and note-taking method of teaching History.

Worse still, very few teachers ask higher-order questions.

This is the major reason why most students view History as a boring subject.

In short, what is boring is not History per se but the way History is being taught.

The teaching and learning of History should be geared towards enhancing deep learning, critical thinking, information literacy and presentation skills of our students and not merely just for memorisation and to pass exams.

History should be taught in a lively and interesting manner using various instructional strategies (such as discussions, debates, group presentations, document studies and video clips) and not be limited to the traditional lecture method.

Students should not be mere spectators in the teaching and learning process; active learning should be promoted.

In our quest to create 1Malaysia, all of us have a moral duty of ensuring that our students study History that is not only accurate but generally objective and well-balanced.

Let us all work towards creating a truly united, harmonious and prosperous Malaysia wherein every ethnic group is treated equitably under the Malaysian sun.

Kuala Lumpur.


seals: When Malaysia announce History subject will be made compulsory, Dr Ranjits concern actually hit my head. I can feel what the BN government was trying to do is to change the History in 10 years time.

People of now is still aware and holding strong to the real History or at least almost real History, where MIC, MCA and UMNO and the PEOPLE of Malaysia as 1Malaysian worked for the MALAYA, then Independence followed with the Malaysia. 1Malaysia existed then naturally but now since the government has and is destroying it, they have to cover it with a concept 1Malaysia

Returning to the above points, Government will have to change the past (Malaysia Boleh) so that only they can be in full power in the future. I see this as a first step towards the psychological war to change the believe and passion of the "others" that their ancestors has contributed a lot towards Malaysia.

Will MIC ever change?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Suspensions will 'give BN two-thirds majority'

Pakatan Rakyat says the anticipated suspension of four of its MPs tomorrow will lead to BN regaining its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

NONERasah MP Anthony Loke (extreme left, seated) said the implications of this are huge and the consequences dire for Pakatan.

"Maybe the BN will use this opportunity to amend the federal constitution or re-draw the electoral boundaries," Loke told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

A motion to suspend Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for six-months was tabled yesterday in a bid to censure him for claiming that Apco Worldwide - a public relations firm that advises the Najib administration - was linked to the Zionist regime of Israel.

Following this, Anwar was referred to the rights and privileges committee, which recommended that Anwar be suspended, despite not giving him the opportunity to make his defence.

The committee's investigation has been criticised by three Pakatan MPs - Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) and Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor).

They have been accused of breaking the embargo on the committee's report and a motion, to be tabled today, aims to suspend them for six months as well.

Loke said speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had "allowed the federal government to use its majority as it likes".

“Tomorrow, they will pass a motion to suspend Anwar and now three more MPs from Pakatan. I see a hidden agenda here.

“This will mean huge political implications for Pakatan in Parliament because now there are 76 MPs and if four are suspended for the next six months, we will lose our one-third strength in the House. We will only have 72 in MPs,” he said.

'Umno using speaker'

Anwar said Karpal was only informed that he would be recommended for "severe admonishment" for allegedly insulting Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, the committee's chairman, for walking out of the committee's proceedings.

“You witnessed the drama in Parliament just now. Yesterday, when we were in discussion with Karpal, we only received confirmation that he would be admonished. But today, we were shocked to see these new recommendations of suspensions.

NONE“This means that things change every day. The facts may be the same as before but today, they want to suspend three others for six months,” said Anwar.

He said this was “unreasonable” and accused BN of attempting to bulldoze its decisions with the majority in Parliament.

“This is why we would like to record our disappointment here and our strong rejection of the speaker's agreement to allow this to happen.

“We are aware of the arrogance of Umno-BN, but to use the speaker's chair as the channel is wrong,” said Anwar.

He also pointed out that Pandikar “looked as though if he had no control” of the House after the argument over the suspensions that unfold in the morning.

“If he cannot control (the Dewan), he should retreat and ask his deputies to take over. But what happened was, as he said, 'Okay, you want speak, you speak'. So he showed his anger, and I think this is not healthy,” Anwar added.

Nasharuddin Mat Isa (PAS-Bachok) said that the move to censure the four MPs was “rather shocking”.

“Suspended for six months without a chance to defend themselves or to debate on allegations that were not taken from the primary source but from a source outside the committee.

“We always dispute the credibility of many institutions in this country but today, we are questioning the integrity of yet another institution, which is Parliament...

"Reform is needed and we promise the people that if we are given the mandate, we will reform Parliament,” Nasharuddin added.


seals: To make way for change if Federal Constitution and EC and other change that can assure Selangor take over and assure BN wins?

What a dirty will be good that BN taste their own poison after the next GE. Remember BN (As Rajnikanth said) If you do good for people they will be with you (you don't have to do tricks and so on) but you fail to care for the people who elected you then you face the consequences in next GE.

This gives more reason why Malaysia need 2 party system, soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zahid, is it patriotism or racism?

Neders: Zahid Hamidi, how did you become the defence minister? You haven't a clue about the reality on the ground. I am an old boy of the Federal Military College (now Royal Military College) and many of my non-Malay contemporaries joined the armed forces.

Sure, a number worked their way up to become colonels and even a sprinkling became generals (you stood a better chance to be one if you were prepared to sacrifice your prepuce). This was because they were of a calibre that was hard to ignore.

However, a larger number got stuck at the 'major' level and were overtaken by Malay officers many years their junior. Also, the intake into the RMC progressively became so lopsided that the 'nons' became discouraged and later disinterested. Why would I want my sons to join the armed forces when their chances of fair promotions stand as much as that of a snowball in hell?

I dare tell you in the face never to question our patriotism. You are the one who created the situation and now blame the 'nons' for the problem.

Ranjit Singh: Patriotism or racism? Do you want me to lay the facts out about the selective recruitment process under Dr Mahathir Mohamad where mostly Malays were hired in all public sector under the New Economic Plan (NEP)?

Seriously, imagine such a statement from a minister. What more can I say? This is the quality of people we have in Umno. Doesn't that statement speak for itself?

AJ: I can speak of my experience in RMAF (Royal Malaysian Air Force). I joined in the early years of Mahathir's reign. The higher allowance went to the aircraft mechanics as they came in with higher school grades and did better in the aptitude tests. Malay to non-Malay ratio was almost 60-40. No one had to worry about promotions as it was a very fair process.

As the years past, the non-technical support staff allowance was adjusted to that of the technical staff's. Now there was no need to be smarter or start off with a higher aptitude. Moral and pride began to slip. Soon Malays, who were juniors and those who were left behind because they did not excel in their work, were promoted.

When questioned, those who did the appraisals showed us that promotions were race and not merit-based. It was a government directive and beyond their control. Non-Malays subsequently left the force in droves.

Rick Teo: Zahid, which school did you go to? Chinese and Indians don't want join the army because your kind will always bully the non-Malays in the army. Promotions do not go according to merit but kulit-fication.
Anonymous: Chinese and Indians are very practical. Why would they join the army when they will be marginalised and denied promotions? By the way, Chinese and Indians are patriotic in a different way, they contribute to nation building by paying the most taxes. Every race has different way of contributing to the nation.


Chinese and Indians 'not patriotic enough'

Chinese and Indians 'not patriotic enough'
S Pathmawathy
Nov 9, 10
Share 178
Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi reasoned that the low number of Chinese and Indian recruits in the military could be due to “lack of patriotism”.

military tentera askar soldier malaysia 260307 wataniahZahid told the Dewan Rakyat this during Question time today when replying Mohd Jidin Shafee (BN-Setiu).

Mohd Jidin asked for the number of army recruits in the last two years and the breakdown of the numbers by ethnicity.

He also asked for the reasons behind the small number of a certain race in the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

According to Zahid, in the last two years 9,054 officers and those of other ranks were taken into the MAF compared to 14,749 officers and personnel of other ranks who were hired from 2006 to 2008.

From 2008 to 2009, 8,151 or 90 percent of those recruited were Malays, 26 or 0.29 percent were Chinese and 82 or 0.91 percent were Indians, while 795 or 8.8 percent were 'others' including Sabah and Sarawak bumiputeras.

“The ministry finds that the participation of non-Malays especially among the Chinese and Indians is still below par,” Zahid said.

Besides the lack of “patriotic spirit”, Zahid also pointed out other reasons that could have resulted in the poor participation of other races in the MAF.

“Maybe it is the fear of tough military discipline, low pay compared to private jobs or no encouragement from families,” he said.

It could also be the result of “lack of backing from their ethnic communities” or “the negative aspersions cast on the MAF”.

Minister a coward, says Kulasegaran

Nevertheless Zahid said the government has never set a quota for admission into the MAF and that entrance is based on qualifications and interest, and must be done voluntarily.

NONESeeing red over Zahid's comment, M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) raised an objection under Standing Order 36(10)(c).

Kulasegaran (left) demanded that the minister apologise for the statement that non-Malays lack patriotism.

As Zahid had already left the House by then, Kulasegaran branded him a “coward”, given that the minister had been asked to remain in the House.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia did not order Zahid to withdraw his remarks but instead reprimanded Kulasegaran for his use of the unparliamentary word “coward”.


seals: when the government treat the "others" not equal ...more like a 3rd class citizen, for sure they will find ways to find a proper life and show their
patriotic spirit in other ways.

Blocking promotions and letting way low juniors to be their boss and you can count the number of Lt. colonel and above ... how many non-malay Generals we have? How about the police ? The last top rank that I saw was
Selangor Chief Police Officer P. Alegendra. You mean to say the others are not capable?

So, what the government has done so far to attract the "not motivated" to be motivated to join the forces? Lol.... question that we might not get any answers ....

If intake of the "others" has reduced then blame the BN government for the failed policies and actions that demotivated the non-malays, still the non-malays equally patriotic enough in their own way.

The existence of opposition parties itself is another evidence of "patriotic enough" to safe Malaysia and to check and balance the failing BN. If not for the actions of the
oppositions party no country (not only Malaysia) will be a right place to live. But only the ruling party gets tittles and awards ... funny ah?

I am not surprised to see this from the UMNO Speaker:

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia did not order Zahid to withdraw his remarks but instead reprimanded Kulasegaran for his use of the unparliamentary word “coward”.

as it is common to see the reporters being arrested and media is harassed and the one who made the statement is having a good life outside :)

Or is this a first step for the BN government to start to change the History to make sure Malaysia 10 years from now will never know the contribution on Indians and Chinese towards the merdeka (independence) towards what Malaysia is today?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Racist BTN official suspended, warned

Racist BTN official suspended, warned
S Pathmawathy
Nov 8, 10
Share 14
The government has punished National Civics Bureau (BTN) official Hamim Husin over his racist remarks, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

NONEMinister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said the BTN deputy director was suspended on Oct 6 and issued a warning letter.

However, Nazri did not elaborate on the duration of the suspension.

He was responding to a question from Wee Jeck Seng (BN-Tanjong Piai) to state the number of civil servants who have faced disciplinary action for being racist while on duty.

At a closed-door briefing, Hamim (right) had reportedly referred to the Chinese as si sepet (slant-eyed) and to Indians as si kaki botol (alcoholics) when speaking of Umno's need to co-opt other races for electoral purposes.

The cabinet then ordered a probe over the incident, which took place during a Puteri Umno function in September.

The minister also said the government has acted on two school principals - in Kulaijaya, Johor and Bukit Selambau, Kedah - for similar offences.

Siti Aishah Mansor, principal of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Johor and Ungku Aznan Ungku Ismail, principal of SMK Bukit Selambau, Sungai Petani, in Kedah - were suspended and reassigned to desk duty at the education department in their respective states.

Mohd Nazri said the three cases were the first such offences reported to the government.

“Nevertheless the government is committed and assures that action will be taken against the officers involved under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993,” he said.

He explained that the investigation initiated against the school principals and the punishment was in accordance with regulations.

Limits to gov't action

Wee, in a supplementary question, stated that the government's move to punish the civil servants was not “effective enough” and has given the perception that the officers can behave “as they like” despite causing distress.

He asked if the government will take more stringent to prevent such incidents from recurring.

NONEHowever, Mohd Nazri (left) said that, even if the government wants to mete out much stricter punishments, it cannot.

“We can only do according to what is stated in the code of conduct. This doesn't mean the government doesn't want to take stricter action but we are limited by the regulations,” he said.

He explained that, although the police can probe the matter under the Sedition Act if police reports are made, it is also crucial to observe the behaviour of officers after the government has taken action.

“These principals had no intention to incite (hatred), they said it accidentally. In order to (initiate a) probe under Section 504 of the Penal Code or Sedition Act, there must be intention to incite,” said Mohd Nazri.

“We can study from their behaviour after making the statement - the teacher in Johor apologised four times to her non-Muslim colleagues and students in the assembly. The principal in Kedah also apologised - it clearly shows that it wasn't said on purpose but accidentally."


seals: Just a warning and "suspension" and maybe a promotion. I want to see if the same applied for all...... sure they will be arrested for sedition.... even if you report it. Like the reporter that was arrested under ISA and the UMNO man who said it was free and happy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How a New York film critic views

How a New York film critic views



He is no mere actor – he is a force of nature. If a tiger had sex with a tornado and their tiger-nado baby

got married to an earthquake, their offspring would be Rajinikanth.

By Grady Hendrix,, Sept. 27, 2010

Jackie Chan is the highest-paid actor in Asia, and that makes sense. Besides producing, directing, and starring in his own action movies since 1980, he's earned millions in Hollywood with blockbusters like Rush Hour and The Karate Kid. But the No. 2 spot goes to someone who doesn't make any sense at all. The second-highest-paid actor in Asia is a balding, middle-aged man with a paunch, hailing from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and sporting the kind of moustache that went out of style in 1986.

This is Rajinikanth, and he is no mere actor—he is a force of nature. If a tiger had sex with a tornado and then their tiger-nado baby got married to an earthquake, their offspring would be Rajinikanth. Or, as his films are contractually obligated to credit him, "SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth!"

If you haven't heard of Rajinikanth before, you will on Oct. 1, when his movie Enthiran (The Robot) opens around the world. It's the most expensive Indian movie of all time. It's getting the widest global opening of any Indian film ever made, with 2,000 prints exploding onto screens simultaneously. Yuen Wo-ping (The Matrix) did the action, Stan Winston Studios (Jurassic Park) did creature designs, George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic did the effects, and Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) wrote the music.

It's a massive investment, but the producers fully expect to recoup that, because this isn't just some film they're releasing; this is a Rajinikanth film.

At 61 years old, Rajinikanth has made more than 150 movies in India, and he isn't even a proper Bollywood star. He works in the Tamil film industry, Bollywood's poorer Southern cousin, best-known for its ace cinematographers and gritty crime dramas. But whereas Bollywood stars may have devoted fans, Rajinikanth is considered beyond reproach, beyond criticism, beyond good or bad.

Ask Bolly-fans about their favorite stars, and they'll spout the typical griping—Hrithik is a little boy, Shah Rukh Khan is spoiled, Amitabh Bachchan wears a toupee—but mention Rajinikanth, and their eyes light up. He is so rich, he does so many good deeds, his films are all No. 1 superhits. Rajinikanth is not just some filmstar, they insist. Rajinikanth is a "real man."

Indian message boards are alight with Rajinikanth jokes, the equivalent of Chuck Norris jokes. ("Rajinikanth was bitten by a cobra. After four days of intense suffering, the snake died.") Onscreen, when Rajinikanth points his finger, it's accompanied by the sound of a whip cracking. When he becomes enraged, the director cuts to a shot of a gorilla pounding his chest or inserts a tiger roaring on the soundtrack. Echo is added to enhance his "punch dialogues," rhyming lines uttered at moments of high drama. "When I will arrive, or how I will arrive, nobody will know, but I will arrive when I ought to," he snarls, confusingly. Or, "I will do what I say. I will also do what I don't say." Then he punches some goon so hard that he flies through the windshield of a minivan and continues on out the back window. Can't argue with that.

Rajinikanth's movies are crammed with comedy, action, and musical numbers (usually by A.R. Rahman), and they take great delight in kicking narrative logic in the face. Chandramukhi (2005) sees Rajinikanth play a psychiatrist so well-trained he can read minds based on a person's facial expression. The movie starts with a marriage, becomes a haunted-house drama, pauses for a musical number in which hundreds of kites spell out "Superstar" in the sky, and then concludes with Rajinikanth fighting a half-naked martial-arts master on the roof during a fireworks display while hundreds of doves flap around. It broke Tamil box-office records, was the longest-running Tamil movie of all time—playing for 800 days at one theater—and became a cult hit in Germany under the title Der Geisterjäger.

When Rajinikanth is around, the camera spirals, dips, dives, and soars during the most banal dialogue scenes while the cinematographer works the zoom lens like a trombone. The editing is hyperkinetic with Rajinikanth thrashing thugs so fast that you don't even see how he hits them. All of his movies are named after his character, and every single one of them starts with a musical number in which he introduces himself in the most insane way possible.

In the first scene of Padayappa (1999), he's asked, "Hey man, who are you?" and his answer is a four-minute musical number in which he plays the harmonica, flips through the air, oversees a massive martial-arts demonstration, and then morphs into a baby. At the end, the village chief says, "Padayappa, that song was excellent," at which point the music revs up again, Rajinikanth climbs a 30-foot-tall human tower and smashes open a clay pot, fireworks explode, and the director's credit flies out of it.

But as ridiculous as Rajinikanth is, he's also in on the joke. In Sivaji: The Boss (2007) he's a software engineer returning from overseas to battle political corruption and Wall Street-style fatcats. From a fight in a music store in which Matrix-esque bullet timing allows him to bash five miscreants with a guitar then do a series of dance steps before they hit the floor, to a musical number in front of the Guggenheim Bilbao in which Rajinikanth, in whiteface, sings: "I had a dark complexion then/ Now I am awesomely white!" the whole movie is a combination of fist-pumping populism and wink-at-the-audience masculine camp.

And that's what Rajinikanth offers his audiences: style. The Superstar doesn't just mop his brow with a towel; he flourishes it like a bullfighter. Putting his sunglasses on is an operation as complex as a Vegas floor show. His action scenes are so mannered that they're like watching a new form of macho Kabuki. As one song about him proclaims, "Your gait is stylish/ Your look is stylish/ Your thunderous action is stylish/ Whatever you do is stylish." While Bollywood movies, more and more, copy Hollywood conventions and morals, Rajinikanth stays respectful to his parents, chaste with the ladies, and firmly on the side of the little guy.

As Bollywood movies drop choreographed musical numbers in favor of MTV-style montages, Rajinikanth stays committed to old-school masala filmmaking. He's "exuberant, mesmerizing, and victorious," as one lyric says about him, but he's also an unreconstructed Indian, a homegrown hero who will never go Hollywood. A Rajinikanth movie without his "SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth!" billing, without his crazy-making opening number, without his fingers pointing like whips, without the world's most complicated plot, without the dshoom dshoom of him punching giant thugs into exploding electrical lines—that's just not a Rajinikanth movie at all.

Laugh at him all you like, but on Oct. 1 Rajinikanth is going to play a robot onscreen in Enthiran, and it is going to gross all the money in the world. Because Rajinikanth, like a Tamil Nadu Cyrano de Bergerac, is the epitome of manly Indian style and, like Cyrano, when one day he goes to his grave, he'll cling to the one thing they can't take away from him, the one thing that has mattered most to him in his life: his panache.

Grady Hendrix, a New York writer, runs the New York Asian Film Festival.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Young Malaysian’s Dilemma

A young Malaysian laments on the vicious cycle of survival young adults are caught in and the slim, dim chances of getting out to lead a life more meaningful.

The typical Malaysian student

The typical Malaysian student

Here’s a brief introduction to my (young) adult life. I went to university at the age of 18, right after my SPM. Dad scraped some cash to put me through foundation studies. I started my degree course at the age of 19. I then took a PTPTN loan and completed my degree at the age of 22. I got a job, moved up the ladder a couple of times, and here I am four years later.

Here I am, in debt.

I’ve been in debt since I was 19. So are most Malaysian teens who try to pursue their tertiary education upon leaving public school. I’m the average Malaysian youth from the average middle income family with average savings. I drive a second-hand national car with problematic automatic-windows which also increased my debt. I have an insurance policy that I pay monthly to ensure that I die in a warm bed in the event of any mishap; although it chips away at my savings account at the moment.

Now comes the interesting part. I plan to get married in a couple of years, so I obviously am going to need more cash. Then as the family grows, I need to buy a house to live in with my wife, kids and parents. Obviously I can’t find a decent home that’s cheap as most houses around the Klang Valley are priced in excess of RM350,000.

Assuming I manage to scrape RM50,000 from somewhere, I would still have to be gloriously chained to a bank with a debt of RM300,000 that would take 30 years to pay off while eating away half of my salary. Then of course I have to buy a brand new (and reputable) car as my current one will probably break down one day, which would easily set me back with another RM50,000 loan at the very least. Now add all that to my PTPTN loan – that is probably another thousand ringgit a month heading to the banks.

Where does this leave me? Dead broke – that’s where.

Lack of value

For a progressive and modern country, is this how our youths’ future will be? I’m sure many youths out there will find similarities to my situation here. I got into debt before I reached the age of 20, and it’s likely that I will be in credit until my 50s. What lingers in my mind is whether will I ever be able to enjoy the fruits of my labour and I spend my earnings on myself, rather than throw it all away to the banks?

The government may measure our success by the number of people being able to afford a home and how many of us actually own a vehicle, but did they include a “happiness quotient” in its statistics? I feel burdened of all this debt that I have to incur, and it seems like there isn’t a way out of this. I certainly am not happy nor do I feel that everything is a-okay.

Let’s look at things from the beginning. Many amongst us cannot get into public universities. Many of those who opt for private higher learning institutions have to borrow money from somewhere to get their education. You borrow money to study, and then work your bottom off to pay off the loan. If you don’t borrow, you can’t study, and your best bet for a job is at the city council, doing menial jobs. A vicious cycle.

What about housing and property? I earn twice the amount that my dad earned at my age, yet I cannot purchase my own property as he did 30 years ago. He bought a property with 11% bank repayment interest rate and I can’t buy one with even 4% repayment interest rate. Why? The property prices are inflated beyond comprehension. A good example (that I know of) is a property development in Klang along the KESAS highway. Upon launching early this year, it was priced at RM338,000. Last month it was RM374,000. At the time of writing this article, it’s RM389,000. I do not need anyone to lecture me about property valuation because I certainly don’t need statistics and technical jargons to try to justify the meteoric rise of property prices.

How many of us are free from debt? Forget about credit card debts or personal loans that people take to fulfill superficial materialistic wishes. I am talking about the basic needs in society: education, housing, healthcare and transport.

Is our nation so broken until a youth in his 20s has to be burdened by thought of how is he going to carefully plan his finances for the next 30 years? I agree that financial planning is an integral part of modern life, but to push it to this level where you are burdened by the simple idea of surviving in your homeland is absolute madness.

Life is meant to be lived. How many of us can claim that we work because we want to, not because we have to? Where is the quality in your life – if you have to spend ungodly hours at work, then braving the traffic jams, only to come home to work on your “side gig” to earn that little bit more to pay for the domestic help service that cleans your home while you and your partner are at work?

How many hours are we able to sit down and chat with loved ones without being distracted on matters that are supposed to be trivial?

The fact is, most of us are caught in this cycle. We sit down to think about this yet we seem so helpless. Scrap that. We are more prone to arguing about who gets to call god what and who gets to enter houses of worship. We prefer to picket about artistes’ “inappropriate dressing” and love to create badly photoshopped images of politicians. Our debates are on racial rights and how the press misquoted our words.

Naysayers will accuse me of not doing enough research and coming out with statistics and jargon. They will say that I should work hard to break free and attain my own freedom. God knows I do try as hard as I possibly can. And I don’t want to research on loan statistics and banking regulations as I speak from my heart. So too, do many Malaysians. For most of us, there is simply no time to look for answers because that time is needed to keep moving to stay afloat in life.

For us youths, we are just starting our lives. And boy, the burden is already feeling heavy.

LB: Kavilan Nakaswaram works with computers, has a penchant of looking at things from a different angle and believes that Bruce Wayne should be elected as PM of Malaysia. He has done his small share of blogging and usually puts out a point laden with sarcasm and humour . He currently blogs satire and parody at My Seed Stories and tweets nonsense as @kavilan

seals: Do we still need the new 100 floors tower?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Endhiran The Robot

I watched it last night at the premier show together with some stars....

Movie was superb, I will give a full star for the graphics. Never in Indian film industry I have seen such a cool graphics and importance given to graphics.

Storyline.... nothing great, but I like the way it was made to an interesting and action filled in the 2nd half.

I don't have to say anything about the SUPER STARs everlasting STYLE..., he is the soul the movie. Pssst: He uses iPhone :) ....

Aishwarya Rai, wow! and her kissing scene with Rajini ...was super!!!

I love the song and the locations...specially the Kilimanjaro song :)

I cannot talk about the plot as it will kill the Ummph! You have to watch it then you decide....!

And I like it at TGV CapSquare was spacious and comfortable ...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

BTN: Cabinet orders probe into 'racial slurs' claims

The cabinet is upset over allegations that racial slurs had been uttered by a senior National Civics Bureau (BTN) official against ethnic Chinese and Indians during a recent function with Puteri Umno.

NONEAccording to reports, Human Resource Minister Dr S Subramaniam said the cabinet also ordered the chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan to investigate the claims against BTN deputy director Hamim Husin.

Hamim was alleged to have referred to the Chinese as si sepet (squinty eyes) and Indians as si kaki botol (alcoholics) when speaking of the need for Malays to cooperate with other ethnic communities for political purposes.

Subramaniam, speaking after the cabinet's weekly meeting, said the ministers were upset to hear of the allegations and wanted a full investigation.

“All we have now is a report on an online portal, claiming the deputy director made racist remarks. This is not enough to take action against the person involved.

“Chief Secretary to the Government Sidek Hassan has been directed to investigate the allegations first, before any action is taken," the MIC vice-president added.


seals: MIC ur just a ant bite for the UMNO, you have no voice and you have made your self like that. UMNO can do anything nothing will happen tot them...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Najib put in an embarrassing quandary

2010-09-28 17:56

While Datuk Seri Najib Razak was urging all nations of the world to "choose moderation over extremism" to promote international peace and harmony in his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday 27 September 2010, it is surely shocking that back in Malaysia at about the same time, a senior civil servant spewed out one of the most extremist and venomous speeches against the Chinese and Indian communities.

Federal Territory Biro Tata Negara (BTN) deputy director Hamim Husin referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as Si Mata Sepet and Si Botol when speaking at a Puter Umno function.

“The Si Mata Sepet who has never gone to a mosque or surau only has one vote. The Si Botol who only knows how to go up and down Batu Caves only has one vote,” Hamim was quoted as saying, when talking about getting votes from the non-Malay voters.

It surely is most malevolent and seditious for the senior BTN officer to use such a contemptuous, pejorative and derogatory terms of Si Mata Sepet (slit eyes) and Si Botol (alcoholic) to describe the Chinese and Indian citizens.

The flabbergasted speech by the BTN deputy director makes our Prime Minister sounds like a first-class hypocrite at the United Nations!

The Prime Minister has urged world leaders to embark on building a "Global Movement of the Moderates" from all faiths to work together to combat and marginalise extremists, whom he said, had held the world with their bigotry and bias.

"It is time for moderates of all countries, of all religions to take back the centre, to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism, and to marginalise the extremists. This Global Movement of the Moderates will save us from sinking into the abyss of despair and depravation," Najib told the world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly.

Yet, back in his own country, a senior civil servant desacralizes his fair and impartial homily on inter-racial and inter-faith relationship.

The BTN, as an agency to train and develop civil servants, should be in the forefront of preserving and promoting racial equality, harmony and peaceful co-existence among the people.

It should be educating and acculturating the civil servants to lead all races to work towards achieving the inclusive OneMalaysia policy mooted by the Prime Minister.

However, the BTN has been shown to be an extremely racist and highly divisive politically-orientated agency to promote the supremacy of one particular race, which is in direct contradiction to Najib's inclusive OneMalaysia policy.

During the height of the controversy over the BTN in the last quarter of 2009, various former participants of the BTN courses had testified that the agency is basically geared towards the propagada and promotion of an exclusive political agenda.

For example, the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state government in December 2009 prohibited state civil servants and students in state-owned tertiary institutions from attending the BTN courses, claiming that they were an indoctrination process by the Barisan Nasional federal government and aimed at brainwashing Malaysians to hate all those opposed to its political agenda.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have accused the ruling Barisan Nasional federal government of using the BTN to brainwash civil servants and tertiary students to hate the opposition, and asked why the BTN courses are not open to the public and are conducted in secrecy.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders and former participants have also claimed that the courses were racist in nature and emphasised the idea of the supremacy and superiority of one particular race.

It was also reported that former BTN participants revealed that they were not allowed to take along their mobile phones and other electronic media gadgets, while course notes were not allowed to be taken out of the lecture hall.

The latest malicious and malevolent remarks on the Chinese and Indian communities by the Federal Territory BTN deputy director has again highlighted the fact the BTN is in fact an indoctrination tool to instil and reinforce a racial supremacist agenda, which is, for all purposes and intend, an antithesis to Najib's OneMalaysia ideal.

The predictable danger of such an indoctrination scheme causing untold harm to the already very frail and fragile multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and mulit-lingual Malaysian society is very real. It can even result in a veritable racial explosion, if not checked, curbed and controlled.

For the most part, those participating in the BTN courses consist of pre-university students, government scholarship students, civil service recruits, and civil servants sent for refresher courses.

With the BTN leadership comprising people with mentality like the Federal Territory deputy director, instead of seeking to instil the spirit of patriotism and love for the country, and promoting racial equality, justice, harmony and peaceful co-existence, the BTN is an utterly destructive agency which should be closed for good.

Najib has told the world leaders at the United Nations: "We must choose moderation over extremism. We must choose negotiations over confrontation. We must choose to work together and not against each other. And we must give this effort utmost priority for time is not on our side."

If that is what the Prime Minister sincerely believes in and wants to happen, he must show the world by example that he practises what he preaches in his own country.

Then, among his first actions should be the dismantling of the BTN, and the taking of disciplinary action against the racist civil servants, such as the Federal Territory BTN deputy director and the two school principals who cynically and contemptuously run down the non-Malay students in their schools. The actions should include sacking these people, and charging them for sedition.

In the case of the Johor principal who liken her Indian students to dogs, and told them and the Chinese students to go back to India and China, it has been more than two and a half months since the incident was exposed, yet no action has been taken against her. The most ridiculous and stupid statement issued by the federal government is that the Education Minister has no power to act on the case.

Najib also must act fast to rein in and restrain those political racial rousers in his own party Umno who are playing the communal card, causing the racial temperature and tension to rise with their irresponsible blazing stirring of sensitive issues.

He should also put a stop to all the fierce and destructive racial attacks propagated in the media owned by his party. The series of communal onslaughts on the human, fundamental and constitutional rights of the people must be made to cease immediately.

Until our Prime Minister acts on these matters, his speech at the United Nations General Assembly will just be sounds from an empty gong, with no substantial and essential value.

Read also in the Opinion section:
-- Discipline the Little Napoleons
-- Enough is enough of the Little Napoleons
-- The racist time-bomb is ticking fast
-- Racism is a sin
-- Zero tolerance for racism or zero action


seals: Too many incident to say it is one off, is our PM standing alone in his vision? Mr PM, I can see you are doing a lot for the people but some thing is wrong here.