Friday, 29 April 2011

Dreamy Drizzle

Today’s a good morning
Though no sun rays peep through cottony white clouds
A great start to the day
Despite the dollopy drops of water falling from the heavens

It's raining, pouring

Blessed be the ticking seconds
So deep a man in his Zikrullah, muffling a thunderclap in the distant
Invigorating goes the minutes
Cascading shower on naked skin, cooling cleansing, a loving so tender

Thoughtful, worthy minutes pass
As drivers ponder an airwave sermon, their rides stationary in a choked waterlogged highway
Unbridled freedom from self made walls,
Breathed a man with a thousand employees, trading air-conditioned cell with the outdoors unshackled

So falls the rain

Such warmth
Thinks a boy, soaked, drenched head to toe as he dances a jiggly wiggle
What joy
Giggles a girl, bare feet, bottom submerged in a green-hued moat of a grassy mini castle

A gift so blissful
A gesture so beautiful

Let fall the rain…

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wonky Discourse

The on-going RCI on the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock has taken interesting turns of late.

Initially, it looked as though the RCI was turning into a farce with allegations of corrupt practices re-bandied again on Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong.

Suddenly, cans of worms – maggots? – began to open at regular intervals from the wanking - sorry, watching - of porn whilst a witness was in interrogation, rewriting of records, outright lies to cover your boss’ ass orders.


Then again, while all this makes for the kind of head-shaking, goodnessgracious, whatthehell ecstatic reading, I do realized that in the end, not much while come out of the whole exercise.

Probably there will be a Paper (white, blue, flowery pinkish base?) on things: how to pick future staff, safe interrogation practices, guidelines on following orders, how to cheat and get away with it et cetera.

Those guilty of anything (lying is technically not one unless you’re an obstruction to justice and here in Malaysia, this topic warrants Tolkien-length discourse) will probably be suspended or transferred or something.

BUT are we closer to the truth?

Nope. Sure doesn’t look that way.

There are insinuations at most, which is far from even the balance of probability level of evidence required in civil proceedings, much less the beyond reasonable doubt vis-à-vis criminal ones.

Maybe the panel forming the RCI can find a coherent straw from the mish mash of information and misinformation, but it sure seemed that the truth passed along with the deceased that fateful day in July 2009.

It was the same open ended ending in the Sarawak Department of Environment (DOE) investigating officer Rumie Azzan’s case, wasn’t it?

All these (not the tragic death but the ecstasy of disclosures of something-rotten-in the-closet and the surety of its blanky (got ahh, this word?) aftermath) is highly reminiscent of something.

Now, what could that be?

Should we be reading so much into the postponement of the RCI of one day? Again, insinuations here especially in the light of self-damning responses from MACC's own officers.

NST reported the postponement coming as "much to the surprise of reporters and several witnesses who turned up", quoting spokesperson, while Bernama cited "all witnesses for the week had testified".

Fish sold by katis
Veges goes by ikats
Witnesses for RCIs
Goes by weekly batches

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Rosy Bleakness

There was a man who lived his life with a whistle on his lips
Baggy, checkered pants, with him a hammer and a chisel
Walked with a swagger, an exaggerated swing of his hips
Every day he goes down a path crowded with overgrown thistle

He had the look of a man with an aim
Of doing something, perhaps a claim of fame
He answers queries with a smile so plain
Voiceless answers and questions slain

Where he goes nobody knows
Of what he does, nothing shows
A cryptic task, a secret held close
But a harmless endeavor, the need to know never arose

He walks alone, this man unnamed
Head held high, face haggardly weathered
Of what he does he has no shame
In his heart though his soul has floundered

The graveled path he’s been using
Brings him to a mountain centuries in standing
Had hammered his chisel a continued chipping
No pause, no rest, he was just unrelenting
A silent hope, a prayer for achieving

He toils away, this lonely man
Intent of finding a breach, a crack, a rent
He traces his effort, act on his plan
From the slightest trickle, he's looking for a gush, a torrent
Of spring water so clear,
So cool, so tender

He thinks it’s there, he hopes it’s true
Basing his faith on the barest of clue
A slight pause so sudden that’s out of the blue
“What if I have been but a fool, a victim of ridicule?”

A stop so short though seemed an eternity
He shrugs his thoughts, gutting his temerity
Hammer to chisel, the core of this entity
Hammer and chisel, his quiet dignity...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Resonating Melody

His iron steed astride a solitary tree at a street barely awoke
A secret rendezvous, an invisible eavesdropping
It was not his first, nor his last, he hopes
A newfound peace, a long sought solace
A chance discovery, from an outset of thievery

From four, there were now five, once there were six,
Seated across each other, while the neighbourhood continues its slumber
One after another they read from a scripture he'd seen but never touched
A melodic resonance of phrases he heard often but never understood
Strung together, they bring calmness to his harried soul.

Yes, he has one, this man of sullied, soiled past
An aimless, directionless journey he never envisioned
Thoughts of only in the next fix, of the next high
A slave hooked to a chain of undoing
Stuck in a road tearing apart his very being.

He closes his eyes now, letting the sweet melodies awash his very being
Deep within he felt a stirring, stung by the sudden warmth
A clarity of thoughts, a clearing of minds
A soothing of soul, a calming of nerves
As tears begin the swell between his shut eyelids

What's that he feels now, a soft touch on his shoulders
A soft "Insyaallah" in his ears, he opens his eyes to spy a smiling stranger
Sitting across, a simple gesture a welcoming an invite
"Am I not unclean? Aren't I unworthy?"
"Am I not to be allowed into a home so pure?"

What is filth, what is pure is not for me to judge, he says
Are we not all in the same journey on the premise of an astrally faith
A trip fraught with ebbs and tides, of lurid temptations
An earthly bridge, so thin, swaying, rocking, inviting surender
To plunge headlong into an abyss so deep.

A second chance, he thinks, a journey he says
Stepping from the shadows made smaller by the peeking sun
A lighted house an inviting recital an open door
Claspings hands so warm so tender.
Insyaallah, he stutters.
Insyaallah, he answers...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Pastaly Ponders

Overripe tomatoes on the precipice a wooden chopping board
Peeled, waiting to be diced, tiny bitty cubed?
Or smushed, a pulpy juicy slush?
Waiting, voiceless, choiceless.

Pale reddish in hue, bits of grayish white pock a pack of minced
Once hale and hearty, grazing greens beyond the windowed walls
Ready for pot, or skillet, or pan,
Crackling fat gushing salivating aroma.

Solid but brittle egg yolked durum in plastic opened one end
Fettuccine? Tagliatelle? Or plain Spaghetti?
Poached, boiled cooked El Dente,
So exotic Oh Mama Mia goes the cook

Mini shrubs on the kitchen top emitting a minty balsamic scent so sweet
Distant cousins to the bottled shreds
Italian herbs, American sourced
The end user a cook in a distant land

A place somewhere where snow is but fluffy, clotted cotton
Melting never, never minding hot, sweltering heat
An afternoon that last and last from the peeking of daybreak
Saying goodbye later at the slip of dawn

The coming together, a mixing so tender
Minced, diced, cubed, shredded, tied in an elegant promenade
The slightest touch, a salty intrusion so sparse
Seared stir fry, sizzled sauté, frizzling fried
A final heave ho to the mixing bowl so deep
Meal so handy, ingredients so plenty
Thus with a soft "In the name of Allah"
Buon Appetito then…

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Crystalline Longings

Listening, he hears words
Words that reaches to his left, his right
Front and back, the soliloquy flows
Slipping past, passing through,
Whistling phrases breeze
As cold as mountain stream
Hot as the streaming lava
A staccato of phrases
Touching hearts and minds
As tears flows freely
Why does he remain empty
Tears in eyes red from strains of innocence
Coddled souls in search of salvation
He peers bewildered
Spying a child cocooned in a grown man's husk
Weeping silently,
Fingers hiding in vain a steady flow
Tears, abundant tears
He hears the words
A silent rendition
He thinks then of a time
A time when he hears the words
Every vein, each pore
Overwhelming, humbling words
As a crystalline heart melts

He longs for the words
He longs for the feeling
He longs for tears flowing freely
Listening and hearing
Recounting of a sacrifice unrepeated
A love trascending time
For total strangers
The sharing a single love
The praying for a simple solace
The searching for a accepted redha
He longs for such moments
When tears flows freely...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mergering Blues

As an armchair critic whose opinions doesn’t matter a hoot in the large scheme of the (Malaysian) universe, I am all for the proposed Proton – Perodua merger proposal.

Why in the world would ANYONE protest to such a move is certainly beyond me.

As I got a C in A-Levels Economy, I know enough about economies of scale arguments bla bla, optimization of capacities yada yada advantages of the proposed merger.

BUT, and it is an important BUT mind you, my show of hands to this plan goes more basic.

In its article on the subject, The Edge puts in this line “…concern on whether a merged Proton-Perodua would deprive consumers of better choices in the car market…”.

Kidding, right?

Heck, the merger would do wonders instead to the choice-deprived poor, not-that-rich and so-so-only-rich motorists and motoring enthusiasts in the country.

Imagine if you may what could (would? I am not a clairvoyant…) happen should the merger proceed.

Right now, we only have, what, Protons, Proton-badged Mitsus, Perodua-badged Daihatsus cum, by a long, long stretch, Toyotas in the national makes category.

A marriage – though they are national car makers, the differences in shareholding makes the union non-incestuous in nature – would then allow (sorry, could allow) us to have Proton-badged (a really, really, really long stretch but still possible) Toyotas.

Imagine the pride and joy of driving a duties-subsidised Altis, Alphard, Caldina, Wish or Camry? Of course, their names would be Proton/Perodua-ised, but hey, they will still look the part.

And, in the economies of scale bla bla and optimisation of capacities yada yada point of view, the meger could (ditto) mean sale figures of 437,600 trimmed by, say, 30% from rationalization of models – surely the merger will scrap those in the same category, no? – which will get you figures of around 306,300 cars per year.

That’s easily more than what each company can do individually.

And though a recently received Proton Inspira of a close one’s colleague intermittently leaked rainwater into the boot, the much alleged unreliability of Protons are, as said, alleged.

Who knows, the merger may even bring in the much-said kaizen philosophy into Proton’s makeup and identity. A corporate culture thingy.

Imagine also the pride of seeing wholly national makes-dominated roads and highways – choked right after the tollbooths in Klang Valley as they are – all throughout the country.

Now, doesn’t that makes you want to shed patriotic tears?

Nationalistic fervor doesn’t get any realer than that.

So, how? Anyone keen on Produa (Opps. Seriously needs a rethink here..)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bottled Genie

Well, well. Looks who back in the limelight.

It was two posts ago that I mentioned him and hey presto, like the genie in the bottle (with thanks to Christina Aguilera) we have him pasted all over the news – online, print and even the idiot box.

Not all bad though things though as RPK did re-clarify that the allegation against the two Lieutenant Colonels are, well, allegations from a third LC.

What gives, though? Why now? Why TV3? Whazzup, Tengku?

To distract us from the Sarawak (buy) state elections? To add more straws on he-who-everyone-thinks-will be/should be/could be/may well be-Prime Minister’s already heavily burdened back? To add spice to the already colorful Malaysian political scenes?

Perhaps it the latter.

The Sarawak (buy) State election seemed to be fast turning into an ala-Middle east uprising against a long-time alleged despot, so I doubt if it all the shit about him-with-the-burdened-back will mattered.

Sarawakians disgusted with the rule of Taib M and the vast wealth gained through business acumen yada yada will vote against him, and those who think he’s done good will vote for him.

And the rest of the Candidates? Cogs in the wheel.

Commentators have spoken about the need to rebuild Sarawak, to allow more access to the riches that the state has.

Reading the vibe from the Middle East uprising, this has also been the central theme which has seen much bloodshed.

I’ve never been to Sarawak and the closest I got was a plan cancelled by the foot and mouth disease scare of 2006. Alas.

But there are enough to suggest for a rallying call to change, and change for the better.

You can’t forever be living hand to mouth after all.

Or the occasional vote-buying handouts.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Patin Reprieve

The RM13,000 Patin Kerdau episode is a very, very fishy story.

First it was RM13,000 for 50, with the Bernama-sourced report going:

“According to one of the diners who did not wish to be identified, he had taken his friends to lunch at the restaurant which served kampung food, including freshwater fish, ulam (raw greens) and kampung vegetables.

He said after the meal, the restaurant owner handed him a bill of RM13,000, and he had no choice but to pay it.

"The bill came to about 260 per person, which was more expensive than eating at a six-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur!" he told Bernama.”

Suddenly a day later, the feasting crowd inflates to 350 and in one type of the key makes the bill all halal and kosher.

Again, the story was from Bernama:

“A diner who was reported to have paid a whopping RM13,000 for a patin meal at a restaurant here recently, today said the bill was reasonable as it was for 300 to 350 people and not 50 as reported.

He said the menu for the lunch held after the naming of candidates for the Kerdau state seat by-election, included the prized river patin and krai fish dishes, udang galah (freshwater prawns) and several other dishes.

"The total bill came to about RM13,000, or less than RM40 per person, which is reasonable as we ate the rare river patin which is costly, and not patin from the farms," he said.”

Weird, ain’t it?

Two stories. Same Bernama reporter, same diner, same “friends“, same meal?

Two VERBATIM quotes, mind you. Not paraphrased, ie. there’s no “I was misunderstood / misread / misrepresented” bullshit escape here.

It’s quite a (hilarious in fact) spectacle to see such a flipping and flopping of statements.

What gives, Mr Diner, Sir? A late afternoon indignant phone call, perhaps?

I shouldn't be so surprised about the whole thing especially since the (must be a heck-of-a) meal is political in nature.

The Malaysian political scene of late has been throwing us a lot of not-easily digestible, erm, “news” so I suppose the Patin story is pretty passé, eh?

Me? Got the heebeegeebees when I saw the amount of blood from a Patin (reared, of course) being processed for the pot.

So, whether its RM260 or RM40 per pax, I’ll take a rain check.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Crushing Minutes

Dread creeps fast yet silent
Filling gaps in her mind
Leaving reasons in the farthest reaches
Could it be, could it be
Her quiet shudder
Her silent mouthing
Lips once luscious go dry
As her heart quickens

Flashing neon in the not quite distant
A foreground of murmurs, of rumours
A multitude of meaningful, meaningless words
Rising in pitch clambering, out shouting
What is what is it she says
Words that did not escape a mouth cupped
Trembling, those dry, dry lips

Not him (He’s always early)
Not him (He’d always call)
Not him (He’s rock steady)
Not him (He’d never fail me)
Not him (PleasenothimpleaseGodpleaseIbegyouplease)
Not him, she thinks, she prays
As eager strangers piled forward

Is that (a bloodied limb?) she spied
Murder, someone offered
Robbery, says another
Personal violation all the same
Most foul, most vile still
An empty alley vacant no longer

(Usually calls)
A steady demeanour no more
(Always early)
Unsteady knees close to buckling
(Where is he where is he)
Her hand grasping, seeking
Finding nothing but shoulders of strangers
Strangers... strangers total

Nina, Nina
(Why do I hear him now)
(My mind my mind is it gone?)
Strong hands steadied her
Recognised the warmth, she turns to see
A face sporting a thousand guilty faces
A wearied smile disguising a haunted look
So sorry, so sorry
It’s not like me to be so late, he says
Too many things, too caught up in everything
He says.

You've answered my prayers
Words rushing as tears flow freely
A soul unworthy within she cries
A heart grateful, a woman assured
She held his hands, stared into his eyes
That glistens (love? she's sure)

Then she remembered
Of the stranger
In a once deserted alley
Who could he/she be?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Spiking Copies

My heart sure goes out to the Chief Editors of the Malaysian news media.

It has been quite the frenzy feast with controversial (juicy?) stories and attention grabbing headlines rushing headlong into the laps of our overworked Fourth Estate the last few weeks (Months?).

And today, another MACC related death.

With the Sarawak state elections revving up.

Not to mention the two videos of alleged sexual shenanigan of a so-called prominent politician who some thinks is a top draw for the Prime Minister’s position should he be afforded the opportunity.

There's an on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry of an earlier MACC's witness death.

May I also remind of the Customs department’s personnel alleged billion Ringgits siphoning of national would/could/should be revenues.

Or even the AlKitab compromise cum negotiations controversy that seemed to have escape some national dailies...

So many things pandering their already divided attention that I wonder if our newspaper men and women have time to breathe, much less eat, rest and do whatever it is that the rest of us do in our free time. (Blog, perhaps?)

Those are the current ones, but there are many others that simmer just beneath the readers’ (news) consciousness.

Shall we give these a go?

There’s the PKFZ inflated cost saga, the ongoing sodomy trial of a certain politician who many seems to think as Prime Minister material, RCIs that never seems to have closures, a displaced renegade anti establishment blogger, huge arm spendings we can seemingly ill afford, bleeding of the national coffers year in and year out through sheer (alleged) negligence and (alleged) inflating of bids and tenders, allegedly rigged ones, horrific crimes that remained unsolved…

I got tired of thinking them out and simply gave up at the dot dot dot.

I don’t begrudge the odd (is there any?) Chief Editor who decides to throw the towel (or spike the copy..heh) on hot controversial reads and zoom instead to the feel-good ones.

Alas, these headlines are either too few and far in between, or smack too much of political hypes and gerrymandering.

Hence my own hiatus from commentaries; turning instead to rambling, pathetic attempts at nonsensical lyrical (I hope!) writings.

Unlike my former colleagues/bosses/compatriots, I am plain tired of grabbing headlines.

Now, if only I can veer my eyes away from them…

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Banquet Ignoble

Amidst noisy chatter, they sliced and they diced
Steel to wood, up and down side to side
A hand swats a buzzing irritant enticed
A heady mix of sweat scented allure

Ketchup and soy, salt and sugar
A syrupy sauce, a bubbly concoct
He spits to his side uncared aghast
Spatula in hand empty pot his disgust

Woof woof they circled a boned carcass
Earth red furs blanketing strewn hoofs
Six, seven, eight, counted the children
Stick in hands shooing hushing cackling

Tuk Tuk Tung the signal came
They are here, he is here, they say
To everyone, to no one, to all
They know, we know, all of them know

A banquet, a meal, three four dishes in all
Appetizer none (what is that) rice plenty
A curry something, a chili same thing
Salad on the side, all green and crunchy

He is here, he is here
Is the food ready, became the chatter
It’s ready but let him speak
Let’s hope it’s short not saccharine sweet

A wonderful meal of a worthy meat
Speared yesterday slaughtered soon after
It’s a must, it’s a must they told them so
Remnant advice from a forgotten stranger

Wonderful allusion, praiseful words
Something about caring, something of concern
Arabic quotes in the middle none understands
Tummy growling oh when oh when

The feast is on, the line is ready
Stacked plates, plastic, orange in hue
Fingers for forks, spoons and gravy
Children first, womenfolk the last
An adulatory banquet
A day of plenty.