Friday, 31 October 2008

Moral Policing: A Sequel

Imagine that: there are moral police even in the much-hyped land of the free, United State of America.

zack and Miri's poster
Kevin Smith’s sentimental comedy “Zack and Miri make a porno” did not make the cut in the state of Utah, with “graphic nudity and graphic sex” being cited as the main concerns for the banning.

A title like that would surely court trouble elsewhere too even if the movie is not an outright pornographic or blue movie.

Remember Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone’s “Basic Instinct” (1992)? I saw that one in the United Kingdom and my, my, did it have some graphic sex scenes.

Ditto with Madonna’s “Body of Evidence” (1993) where she shared some hot candle moments (amongst others) with Willem Dafoe.

Based on the titles alone, Stone and Madonna show of skin (and more) would have passed through to the viewers should the Moral Police not view the whole movie themselves.

Truthfully, I was also once a MP myself.

It was during my secondary school days where the student body organizes on a regular basis free movie shows at the college’s lecture with yours truly one of the so-called censor board member.

This particular movie (the title has long since slipped my mind) featured Vampires in a spaceship setting, but since it was a sci-fi cum horror offering, we let it pass without any pre-viewing.

I think the particular scene that spelt the death of the free movie idea was somewhere in third quarter of the movie when, at first, there were shadows of a nude woman.

To my utter shock and horror, the shadow then shimmered into one in the form of a voluptious vampire, who started to “do” the male crew member before absorbing his essence or something.

It wasn’t an outright sex scene, but more of a foreplay kind of thing.

The next thing the hundreds of unblinking students (male and female) knew, there was a rush to the projector, the light came on and that was the end of the movie.

Our feeble excuse that the title didn’t hint of any nudity or sex didn't get us any respite.

Movie titles matters.

Malay movies such as Sofea Jane’s “Perempuan, Isteri dan …” and Aleeza Kassim’s “Panas” hinted of a certain amount of raunchiness to their storylines; never mind that these would still be confined to that allowable in our local scenes.

The lovely Sofea Jane
I watched “Perempuan, Isteri and …” as well as Nasir Bilal Khan’s “Amok” to see just how far the local artists could stretch the R-Rated stuffs, and both made do with innuendos without resorting to being too graphic with its sexual contents.

Local moviemakers have been managing to stretch this boundary further with the new offerings especially in Ahmad Idham’s “Remp-It” which showed ample plain skin and “foreplay”ing without getting into much trouble.

Reading the “Zack and Miri make a porno” banning made me realized that those who make up censor ship board (or its equivalent) are really doing a thankless job.

To do their job, and do it well enough within the context of moral policing, they have to literally watch everything as the title might not provide any dead give away of it including graphic nudity and sex scenes.

Unless, of course, it is stated outright in the movie’s synopsis, that is.

Continuing to watch would then just be plain opportunistic.

PS: With thanks to all the wonderful producers whose works I am featuring in this posting.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Formal Sex

I am curious: How did we learn about “the birds and the bees” before this current situation of information overload?

Is sex still very much a taboo subject when it comes to talking about as a serious educational subject matter?

I chance upon this very informative and relatively detailled article entitled (quite coyly, if I may say so) Private Practices: The Doctor Says , in The Star; which writes at lenghts about sexual practices including a section on DIY (quite imaginative subheading from the good doctor!).

It goes about the subject in a highly “matter-of-fact” manner, unlike the one which got the now defunct Weekend Mail into trouble.

Anyone remember the survey done on Malaysian’s most preferred position? But then again, the WM was already stretching the moral ruling a wee bit with its Campus hotties feature.

With the best of efforts, I remember my first ever source of sex education: a (not so ) cleverly hidden Playboy magazine which showed a very, very young boy some very curvaceaous females in various lusty poses, clad in nothing else but their undies.

It was a very exciting discovery for me, but alas, one not lasting as the thick mgazine – which were also cut out in some pages - was no longer underneath the thick mattress in a room onn the fitrst floor when I went for second round of “reading” it.

Similar chance exposure came off and on, mainly from video tapes brought back by other uncle’s - mostly from horror movies, a genre which back then were filled with sex scenes just right before the victims would meet their gory end.

These were also fleeting moments as all the children would be shooshed away beyond the watching zones.

There were also novels – Mills and Boon, Harold Robbins (1916 – 1997) - about that provide the most vivid portrayals of sexual shennanigans, but they were way too thick and way too texty for a young boy to read, so for most of the time, I’d just skimmed through the pages seeking for THE part.

Formally, though, the first ever introduction to sex education was, of course, none other than the subject of biology during my secondary schooling days.

By that time, many of us pretended to know what it was all about and there were red faces when the topic came up.

I still remember my biology teacher (first name Faridah) who was easily one of two sexiest female teachers in my college then, the other being our English teacher whose name I sadly cannot recall.

Cikgu Faridah – who was also well known for being very stern when she’s angry - normally dresses in tight Kebaya that often showed enough glimpse of her curves to those who dared lift their eyes from the text books while she was teaching.

She would chide us for giggling or being red-faced during the topic of human reproduction system and say somethings along the lines of” “Why should you be ashamed for something that is very normal?”

Perhaps, but by then we do hear of fantastic stories of sexual encounters by some of the ”macho’er” college mates with their girlfriends which might or might not be true, but which nonetheless fired up the fertile, young imaginations.

It was only during my stint in the UK when I found out that the “dirty pictures” I came across all those years ago in the hidden Playboy were among the more decent ones in markets were such magazines were available to the public.

These and some easily accessible blue video (as they were known then) made sex their main subject, but instead of educating, the act was instead commercialised to the extreme end that it become soulless.

Anyone remember this one: a couple married for quite some time but still without any children went to a medical practitioner with their problem. When asked how they made love, the couple - quite forthcoming - said they did exactly what the porn actors and actresses did!

(If you don’t understand the punchline, you have truly led a pious and healthy life.)

We might not be opening ourselves to such a concept of “dirty magazines” for the public eyes, but the borderless world of the Internet meant that there is simply no such need to be in place.

A single click is all it takes to access for really foul sites which make sex the dirty word that it was not meant to be.

Cikgu Faridah may have had a coy smiled on her all those years ago when talking about it, but she was spot on in her remark.

Is it too late for us to re-teach this same notion to the younger generations?

(Do read also Dina Zaman’s “Youth, Sex and Doing Business” for a particularly disturbing look on this matter.)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Plat du Jour: Malbouffe délicieux ....

I came to know last night that my two daughters (and my wife, too) do not share my delight in Sushi of the uncooked kind.

They were at first very eager when they saw the cute pack filled with sushi pieces I bought for breaking fast, and as is always the case, the younger one gets to go first.

She dipped her fingers in the red roe, and the placed them in her mouth. Nothing. "So far so good,” I thought.

fishy roey sushee
My other daughter then took a quarter bite from the same piece.

The taste must have come as a shock to her as even as she started chewing, her face began to contort, giving me the “Eww!" expression, and, before I could say anything, she had already bolted to the sink, spitting everything out.

Everyone (except for me) was shocked even as I laughed. Only when I saw tear flowing from her eyes did I realized the extent of her reaction to the taste of uncooked fish roe, which, unfortunately, her dad loves.

I comforted her and asked her to drink warm water to wash the taste away as my wife berated me for feeding the children something she, too, wouldn't touch.

The little one didn’t ask for seconds, by the way.

More palatable?
Sigh. No one to share this particular love, then.

There goes my dream (someday) of visiting Japan with my family in tow to taste the many sushi dishes they have.

(Perhaps I can tempt them with the more palatable tempura dish…)

I am someone with a “pondan” (to quote a particularly irritating relative’s word) stomach when it comes to food, and am quite choosy in eating pre-cooked food as I am prone to stomach aches whenever I do so.

I’d settled for cooked food anytime (except for the aforementioned sushi, that is..) including the ubiquitous fast food which used to be de rigueur during family outings.

They are convenient, the kids love them and its relatively inexpensive until of late when prices soared to match – probably – our own highish inflation levels.

Nowadays, a RM50 note would be just enough to cater for the four of us, desserts inclusive. Even then, we have to carefully balance the purchase in a mix of ala carte and set meals to stretch the note and get some change back.

It was thus with eyebrows raised that I read this Bloomberg story titled French Bistros File Record Bankruptcies as Le Big Mac Reigns , especially the part where it quotes the price of a McD doublecheese set meal at 8 euro.

A rule I learnt from my stint overseas is that you should never, ever, convert when it comes to food; otherwise you’d starved to death. Compare their prices in terms of numbers and you should be safe.

(As an example, converting the above price at the prevailing rate will get you a price of RM36.58. Ouch! That’s more than the alleged cash bribe needed to buy a vote in a certain party nominations.)

What was more interesting in the story was the point that fast food is becoming the choice lunch there what’s with the current dismal economic situation almost everywhere the world over.

Imagine that.

Here, the fast food is still very much a once-in-a-while lunch or dinner treat, and the French (a notion put forward by the article, at least) is treating it as a budget item for hard times!

How far behind exactly are we in the economic pecking order?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Historical Histrionics

A piece of history
“According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot so secretive that anyone who made the mistake of encountering his funeral procession was executed on the spot.

Once he was below ground, his men brought in horses to trample evidence of his grave, and just to be absolutely sure he would never be found, they diverted a river to flow over their leader’s final resting place.”

I am no authority with regards one of the more well known Asian historical figure, and whatever “knowledge” I have of Genghis Khan is basically from Robert Shea’s (Shike – Last of the Zinja) portrayal of his grandson (?) Kublai Khan.

Shea’s Mongolian conqueror was depicted as someone respected by both his enemies as well as his ally, bright and highly articulate, but with a deadly ruthlessness in his quest of expanding his empire to the point of it being an obsession.

Before Shike came along, my image of the Mongolian conquerors (Kublai and Genghis) was that of Ming the Merciless from the campy science fiction series of Flash Gordon in the late 1970s.

Ming the Merciless
It’s an image that’s particularly transfixing in the mind as to how Mongolians supposedly look like.

There is another television character which also play homage to this typical stereotyping, one I remember only by his oft quoted “Amazingg…”, most probably from the 1960’s Get Smart series about a bumbling spy.

The name of the character with the droopy, noodle moustache escapes me.

The modern interpretation of the great conqueror is far less stereotypical however as seen in Sergei Bodrov’s film Mongol (2007) where ironically, Japanese actor Asano Tadanobu played the lead figure.

Asano Tadanobu
Irony in that the land of the Rising Sun proved the most recalcitrant of annexations for Kublai with two failed attempts that “shattered the myth of Mongol invincibility throughout Asia” (The Mongol Conquerors), the second of which was depicted in Shea’s Shike in great, albeit purely fictional, detail.

The world’s history has been made that much richer from these strong, driven characters, but little has been paid to those whose lives were affected by the actions of these great men (and women).

This is exactly where the realm where fiction thrives.

Combining accepted facts with fiction, good writers are able to weave totally believable tales of characters living during such tumultuous times, and in so doing breathing some measure of reality and drama into dull, staid, historical facts.

Incidentally the first two para of this posting is from a Bernama news flash of students from the University of California’s (San Diego) Center for Interdisciplinary Science in Art, Architecture and Archaeology using advanced visualisation technologies to locate the tomb of the late Genghis.

Apparently researchers have tried in vain to locate the tomb’s site since 1990, so these students are raring for another go at it, and this time, technology is hoped to provide the breakthrough.

Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin, an affiliated researcher of the Center, tells us why: “But as great a man he was, there are few clues and no factual evidence about Genghis Khan’s burial, which is why we need to start using technology to solve this mystery.”

If only I had foreseen all those years ago historians having this much fun.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Magik in Pittance

My first entrepreneurial slant, developed when I was 14 years old, was fueled by my thirst for comics.

I had sort of a Comics Club going at the college I was studying in, charging some nominal fee to finance the monthly subscription of several titles, namely Uncanny X-Men and some others.

Comics were relatively cheap back then – a bumper issue would set you back RM4.50 to RM6 at most – and they were delivered to the College office so they were pretty secure.

And as chief entrepreneur, I get the first read.

Alas, the same idea also dealt me with the loss of a major portion of those very comics from friends who – on hindsight – couldn’t care less about collections and being able to re-read the issues again and again.

(Incidentally, my better half is also always chiding me about reading again and again my collections of comics dating back to god-how-many years! She would ask how many times I needed to read the same thing. Sigh… )

Amongst the comics I lost were issues 186 to 188 of the Uncanny X-Men featuring the team against an alien breed called the dire wraiths (a spin off from another title : Rom The Spaceknight, which I didn’t read).

Chris Claremont's Lifedeath
The story arc started with “Lifedeath” ; a love-hate story involving Storm, of the X-Men, and Forge – the inventor who created the weapon which stole her mutant powers.

It was also the same weapon that saw the dire wraiths making an assault against Forge’s building in a bid to destroy not only the gun but its inventor along with it, and soon the battle is joined by members of the X-Men, namely Rogue, Colossus and, later, his younger sister, Illyana aka Magik.

The ending of the X-Men versus dire wraiths battle was a cliffhanger in another adversary being introduced who would only emerged again in later issues, a seemingly favored tact of writer Chris Claremont which I highly detest.

Claremont however makes this (admittedly small) flaw with huge degrees of characterization, imaginative storylines and down-to-earth issues of love, death and heroics.

I was rummaging through the boxes of old comics I have not unpacked and found a single copy from the ill-conceived, but worthwhile Comics Club batch; issue 192 of the Uncanny X-Men.
Enter: Magus!
The cover was worn out; the edges frayed and torn, and when I flipped through the pages, I found the tracing with a pen of Nightcrawler in one of the panels before the heroes – this time involving Kurt (the aforementioned Nightcrawler), Colossus and Rogue – went against another alien named Magus.

This issue also ended in a cliffhanger with Professor Charles Xavier – the X-Team founder and mentor – beaten unconscious by his students and dragged away to parts unknown.

Wow... Does anyone have issue 193?

I felt sad in seeing the issue’s condition but also elated the magic that drew me to comics were still very much alive in the yellowed pages 24 year later.

Best yet, it was only RM1.90.

A price tag that gets you pretty much nothing these days.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sick Money

As good as any picture.
“The first sign of trouble was powder in the baby's urine. Then there was blood. By the time the parents took their son to the hospital, he had no urine at all.”

Sometimes it takes details like these to drive home the tragedy that is the Melamine tainting scare.

Statistics alone never works to convey the enormity of what had been let loosed to the world at large: 4 babies dead, and 53,000 sickened.

I remember an episode of CSI: Las Vegas (I stand to be corrected) where someone went around injected poisonous substance into mineral water bottles.

It’s an act that is calculated to do the most damage to the public at large as anyone and everyone could end up being the victim.

Case in point: excessive Melamine was found in Malaysian-made biscuits with further test concluding that the tainting having originated from raising agents from China.


And for once, consumers thought that avoiding milk products from one of the biggest Asian economy would be safe enough only to be jolted with the realization that the culprits – faceless to date – had moved the goalposts to include possibly non listed ingredients.

How in heaven’s name would concerned parents go about in filtering the items their children take on a daily basis?

At schools, in kindergarten, their own purchases from the grocery stores, which might or might not know of excessive melamine exposures.

What are we to do? Stop them from eating?

Yi Kaixuan was 6 months old when he died from the melamine tainting. The details above describes the moments leading to his death.

He was one in millions, and it could well have been any child.

What were they thinking?

This “money-over-everything else” is downright sickening.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Historical Baggage

Bygone Era
The headline: 'Make history compulsory subject in primary schools'

The sentence that piqued my interest was this one: Abdullah also suggested making history a more exciting subject for students.

History not exciting enough? My, my …

It has been a while since I read a History textbook, but my recollections is that they do veer on the side of being dry and, most might say, unexciting.


Two World Wars costing millions in lost lives and the birth of a most horrific weapon of mass destruction, Empires born, bloomed, crushed and forgotten, birthing of major religions, cult-like personalities, mythical tales of bravery and sacrifice etcetera etcetera, history should be anything but unexciting.

It is an undeniable fact that from within the mass of “dry facts” birthed a good number of thought provoking, let’s say, by-products (for want of a better word).

Take the Malaysian history, for example.

It may not be as old as that of the world’s – our version of an “Empire” was only born in the 15th century – but the has had its fair share of tumultuous events, future-defining moments, bravery and dramatic sacrifices.

We have played to death the saga of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat(from (Hikayat Hang Tuah), figures steeped in myth but born from our chequered history in the Malacca Sultanate (1402 – 1511)
Amron Omar: Study for Pertarungan II, 1980, Charcoal on paper
I cannot remember which version of Hang Tuah I read all those years ago but a particular segment that remained in my mind is the part where the two friends had to have their climatic duel on trays (dulang) to avoid the many spears being poked into the floor by hose witnessing the battle (was it at an istana?)

The tale of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat was a tragedy for me. A friendship torn asunder by scheming politicos and an absolute Ruler whose ideals were far less than perfect.

Elsewhere and elsewhen, the novel by Leon Marcus Uris (1924 – 2003) Mila 18 takes us to the atrocities committed on Polish Jews in spining a tale of gallantry of its hero, former army officer Andrei Androfski, in the face of overwhelming odds and set in World War II (1939 – 1945).

The novel written in 1961 played out like a long-drawn movie and was extremely heavy reading material for someone barely in his teen back then.

A scene I can still recall is where the one of the main character – a Christopher De Monti – reluctantly parts company with his lover, a Deborah Bronksi who is incidentally Andrei’s sister and the wife of a Paul Bronski, a Jewish who hates being one, just pages before all hell broke loose with the invasion of Poland by the Germans.

Going further back in time is another novel – a two parter, the first of which I cannot trace its whereabouts – by Robert Joseph Shea (1933 - 1994) entitled Shike which centers on the love journey of its main characters Jebu, a Zinja (don’t ask) monk and Shima Taniko, a noble princess, amidst warring fued between Japanese Warlords, and in the second volume – a Mongolian invasion of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Facts and fictions intertwined seamless in all three that takes leaves from moments in the world’s history burnished into the memorable tales that they are.

All three are also steep in commentaries – some subtle, most not – of events, cultures, human frailties, allegiance, love, friendship – things that makes life what it is.

In fact, there are many, many more examples.


Perhaps the facts are stuck in the textbooks and had ventured no further.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Economic Apartheid

This one's from Enter the Dragon.
One of my favorite Bruce Lee film is the “Fist of Fury” aka “Chinese Connection” aka “Jing Wu Men”.

There were far too many memorable scenes in the film to really highlight, but one that would really stand out in an age of being politically-correct and what not must be the famous “No Dogs and Chinese Allowed” (highly offensive!) signage scene.
A most offending signage

On reflection, the scene was quite contrived as there was no real flow in its inclusion with the movie except to amplify the socio-situation during the era the movie was supposed to portray.

For those who has never seen the film, the scene sees the late Bruce Lee (taking on the role of hothead Kung Fu exponent Chen Zhen of Chin Woo) being denied entry into a park with the said sign only for a turban wearing Sikh guard allowing access to a foreigner with a dog.

A man (presumably Japanese) approached Chen Zhen and made a disparaging remark that he would take Chen Zhen in provided he (CZ) pretends to be a dog.

The guy gets what due with kicks and punches and the infuriated Chen Zen then shatters the offending sign with a jumping kick.

(Note: A more politically correct and, some say, with a more balanced view of the era is the more recent "Fist of Legend" , but the latter - true to its title - cops out on the core "fury" portion of Bruce's version. Both are still highly enjoyable.)

The offending signage scene gets an impromptu replay in my thoughts when I came across this Reuters article on the Emporio Mall in New Delhi and so soon after I read the International Herald Tribune's article on Hinduism versus Christianity .

Both articles – which tell of a deepening socio-economic crisis in one of Asia’s rising economic giants - disturbed me as it portays something out of a bygone age and complety at odds with the progress the world had supposedly made.

The first writer spoke of economic apartheid, of the “haves” and the “have nots”.

For a country that prides itself of one of the premier democracy Asian country, the much lauded system had unfortunately failed its masses.

Perhaps the faults lie with the populace who did not take the opportunities presented, perhaps its India’s long standing caste system that perpetrates this vast chasm of the wealthy and the poor, the strong and the meek, the pariah and the brahmins.

I neither know nor wished to speculate on the possible reasons.

My prayer is that we do not go the same way as did India.

God knows there are warning signs of similar inclinations here.

Democracy means a number of things and it must surely include economic consideration where the majority – never the minority - benefits, in one way or another.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Notional Debt

Taken from Korean Times
US national debt soars to US$10,150,603,734,720.

US$10.2 TRILLION. Or US$33,237 per person.

Fortunately, it’s a digital countre as opposed to a mechanical one otherwise, folks near or in its vicinity would find it extremely disconcerting to hear a click clack every time the clock goes up by one dollar.

From our Treasury Website, Malaysia’s national debt stood at an estimated RM176 billion as at 2007 a not so bad situation when seen vis-à-vis the USofA’s national debt figure (albeit the latter being a more updated 2008 figure).

We stand at a not so bad RM6,350 per person based on the 2007 figure.

And RM6,350 these days are not really that much.

Just last Saturday, my brother in law found out that it would “cost” him RM8,984 in hantaran and maskahwin to marry his long term girlfriend.

That’s about 5 times what he earns currently.

And that is exclusive of the corresponding costs of the kenduri, the wedding suits, the frills, the wedding ring.

Hopefully, he has set a ready allocation for all these costs without having to resort to a term debt or something.

It’s never good to start a family with the debt clock already at five or so figures and ticking.

I should know as I’ve been there.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Saving Private Fat Cats

“How much is 700 billion? The mind registers the number with such imprecision as to make it meaningless.”

Really: Just how much is US$700 billion?
Worth the paper printed on?

This is the figure bandied by the US government to stem the country’s steep descent into god knows where its headed economic turmoil.

In numerical terms, 700 billion is not much really: just eleven zeros behind the seven. Even converting to Ringgit at a crude USD1 = Ringgit 3, we’d get eleven zeros behind 21.

But then, it would be 2.1 trillion. In Ringgit.

US$700 billion is also 6,713,000 billion in Indonesian Rupiah at USD1 = Rp9,590.

700 billion in Zimbabwean Dollar will however only get you about 1½ kilos of mince meat – if you can find the item in the first place.

US$700 billion is also the Pentagon’s budget with at least US$100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Iraq, conservative estimate puts war casualties at around 700,000 in 2007 – four years after the country was invaded on the pretext of being liberated.

700,000. Approximately US$1,000 per head if you compare the figures bandied where WAR is concerned.

They didn’t need to bail the fat cats with taxpayers’ money after all.

All that money...

All that money...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Private Perceptions

I was at home in Kluang for the Aidil Fitri but wishing I was elsewhere.

Having been raised by my grandparents together with an elder sister, I have never managed the art of being close to both Mom and Dad.
The town's namesake hardly seen these days..
Conversations tended to be forced, stilted and very formal. Mom has the tendency to hearing without actually listening, while Dad was just slightly aloof and too regimented.

They get along really well with my younger sister (whom they raised on their own from young) though.

That late evening of Syawal 1st, I discovered another share similarities in both Mom and younger Sis: that of a hatred for Seputeh MP Teresa Kok for perceived anti Islam stand.

As they spew venom against TK, I came to realize that their sentiments were similar to that of a mainstream newspaper accused of targeting the DAP MP in its sights.

Probably Mom and Sis both did not bother the read ALL the news on the issue, sticking instead to the headlines, some quotes and, perhaps, some anecdotes from friends and relatives.

Incidentally, Mom and Dad are both staunch Umno supporters. Don’t know about Sis, but her hubby is the younger brother of a prominent Umno Pahang politician.

They quieted down when I impressed on them that there was a lack of fair play and justice in the matter, as similar actions are not being taken against others who are playing and fanning the racial embers simply because of their political affiliation.
Who is this Judge Dredd?
On a roll, I spoke at length the preamble of the (much talked and highly dreaded) ISA, its intended use and how its usage in detaining TK, Raja Petra and the Sin Chiew journalist was unjustified.

Whether or not they accept what I said I do not know. I sincerely hope that some of what I said filtered through, but I doubt if it would be lasting.

The conversation came back to me as I read Malik Imtiaz’s latest posting especially where he wrote:

"As much as the current Home Affairs Minister may think he is Judge Dredd (tread with caution, the image of the Minister in leather, zips and boots is not for the faint hearted), he should perhaps appreciate more fully that Malaysia is not facing the kind of apocalyptic prospect that the ISA was designed for.”

His warnings came too late for me. :)

Though no fan of Judge (Joe, Joseph, Stallone?)“I am Da Law” Dredd, I have a fair share of his exploits in my comics collections.

Dredd’s Mega City One is not a future I wish my children, their children and their children’s children to be a part of.

But it’s surely a place where our ISA would fit right in.