Thursday, 30 June 2011

Conscientious Contentions

Why is Keith Bradsher* busybodying in a Malaysian’s affair?

He wrote: “But the construction and design may have serious flaws, according to the engineers, who also provided memos, e-mail messages and photos from Lynas and its contractors.

There’s more: “An engineer involved in the project said that the blueprints called for the plastic waterproofing but that he was ordered to omit it, to save money. The plastic costs $1.60 a square foot, he said.

Bradsher has been writing some critical expose on a major FDI for the state of Pahang which had caused** some people some mighty headaches.

Allegations such as the above should not be aired so openly, Mr Bradsher.

That’s not the way we do things here. Nope. We prefer to do loads of “kajian” (Research? Studies?) before putting on a huge smile and say everything is “Okay”. If it’s not, then we’ll do a fair bit more of kajians until it is.

All this talk about the rare earth plant being a contamination risk is causing undue alarm on the populace. Now, some of them have gone on and protested against the whole project.

Perhaps if you had not written way back in early March on the same matter then the furore would have been more subdued and the plant would be up and running faster than you can say, say, Bukit Merah.

What’s in it for you, really? I mean, not even our mainstream journalists here are probing too deeply into such an outwardly, rosy-looking project that is worth much, much moolah to the country.

What? There’s a 12-year tax holiday, you say? Hmm....

Well there is that 0.05 percent research grant per revenue and the, ahem, spill-over impact on the surrounding area’s economic wellbeing.

Your article have now gone on to open a can of worms right before the authorities could announce today the results of an independent international review of the plant. (See **)

What if someone – would anyone, though? - asks the abovementioned points and there is no answer?

More headaches. Sleepless nights. Un, ahem, CLEAN-shaven days.

* Keith Bradsher is the Hong Kong bureau chief of The New York Times. Wonder where he gets his sources from? Pretty close to the project to get such delicate info.

** Had caused are the definitive words as the Menteris announced the Independent Panel okaying of the project with some 11 recommendations. Not sure if these addresses the concerns you've raised, though...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Eyes Wide Open

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.


The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down and whisper "No."

They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men like my father or President Truman. Decent men who believed in a day's work for a day's pay.

Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn't realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don't tell me they didn't have a choice.

Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody Hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers... and all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say.

Walter Kovacs/Rorschach

Monday, 27 June 2011

Hoodie Doodie, the Yeller Submarinee

Green is a mixture of blue and yellow
Like a mango, at first green before going ripe and yellow
Or the Durian, so smackingly great, its flesh a goo-ish yellow
Never take a pineapple, unless its skins has turned plane, turned yellow

The Beatles once had a yellow submarine
They were cautioned – a yellow card, no less - for posing on the street
While the cars zoom pass, a yellow VW Beetle in the lead
Lo, the traffic lights turned yellow, it was first in line

Passing time, “That Yellow Bastard” artwork glanced
Brought as a TPB secondhand, pages yellow with time
Outside, the snow was falling, Yellowhammers chirping
Atop a man’s head-topping hat; standing silent, could he be a mime?

Stop for a while; says the police donning a yellow jacket
A limo’s passing through a yellow crest entourage blanketed
A right royally someone, yell ow loud a bloke behind
Hiding in the crowd, eh, not daring, a bloody coward*

Elsewhere, will there be a sea of yellow
All races, religions, gender, all fellows
Wanting to carry a prayer for a better tomorrow
In the face of bullies, ever wanting to come to blows

Lemons, then
Lemonade, thus
Drink it, in thirst
While the rest of us, wait, anxious…

* eponymous, I'd say

Friday, 24 June 2011

Kick Butting

This is a country that’s fast compiling its list of “lows” and today it just picked another with the charging and fining of the three pawne-peddling Datuks.

Talk about an anti-climax, eh? (Sorry, can't resist the obvious pon, urm, pun...)

More than 90 days has passed since the March 21 so-called expose and mind you, there was no real need for any real investigations done as the three powno-peddlers had sort of confessed quite early on.

Like Wow.

Slapping our wrists is probably more painful.

(To digress, how do you spell incompetence, again? C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y, or is it, I-N-C-A-H-O-O-T?

The spelling break has nothing to do with the three Ponno-Tuks charging, guilt-admitting and fining, mind you. Nope. No Sir. Not at all.

Anyway, does it matter? Not one bit really for me.

I’ve always viewed PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim as a compromised leader, not by way of his criminal convictions and alleged sexual, urm, inclinations and shenanigans, but more his one-time affiliation with the now-corrupt and rotten entity that is Umno.

THAT "palit"ed (it's a Malay word that basically means smeared but is more fun to use) Anwar will a whole lot of foul-smelling gunk.

That said, Anwar did herald a major change in the Malaysian political scenario and, suddenly, a check and balance is finally arriving. The sooner the better I say.

Digressing again here on.

Today’s Friday Sermon at the mosque I went to was exhilarating to say the least. The Khatib talked about jihad and why one is necessary for the country.

Our country is now down in the dumps and deep in poop. Read the Sun for this piece of “news”.

My God. What has happened to our values?

(A ponder-able answer: What is this "our values" word I keep hearing?, says the powers-that-be...)

Is this the kind of future we want to leave our children and theirs? Surely not.

If the current batch of leaders cannot bring about a turnaround in the overall welfare of the country, we should give them a firm kick in their butts and appoint others more tuned to the needs of the Rakyat.

Cut the crap on “Rome isn’t built in a day” and spin-till-you-drop pronouncements. If you can’t hack it, leave. Go fly a kite, to quote a popular saying.

We don’t have much time any more. If July 9 is the day of reckoning, so be it.

If you're the politically squeamish type, do stay away from today's Prime time television news. I predict a field day of ponno-airwaving.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Clownish Lunkheads

There are books I do not read alone at night and one of them is Stephen King’s “It”.

The murderous and downright horrific "Bob Gray" a.k.a. "Pennywise the Dancing Clown" in the novel is simply the stuffs of nightmares for children and adults alike.

Casting a clown as the antagonist was certainly a masterstroke for King. He probably knew right off that it’s an image that would stick in the dark recesses of the mind longest.

Right from the very first few pages, King hypnotically leads you to visit the horror of a malevolent creature that is “It”.

A clown. Imagine that.

Then there’s also Batman’s Joker. While not a clown in the clownish sense of the clowns’ world, the Joker still loves clowning around.

Far too many to list, some good examples of his murderous spree could be sampled in Frank Miller’s excellent "Dark Knight Returns", Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke”, Neil Gaiman’s “Arkham Asylum” as well as Jim Starlin’s “A Death in the Family”.

Now, we have one right here at home.

Why this clown is being given a free rein of socking everyone who doesn’t accede to his view of what things should be is a BIG question mark.

Anyone else who does and says what this clown does and says would probably be swiftly straight-jacketed and thrown headfirst into a pvc-lined private asylum with a bowl for potty and no television throughout the stay.

I mean, WTFH is the authorities doing? Resting on their platinum / gold / bronze / silver laced balls, are they?

What? Still "Kita kena kaji", is it?

What kind of a country are we turning into when there is a “them” and an “us” and whatever the “us” do is right, fine and dandy not matter what.

Clowning around is fine when you’re in a circus and the bowling ball falling on your green-streaked hair is made of foam.

Is our country a big, fat, bleeping circus?

Cos it sure smacks (pun fully intended in a most sarcastic manner possible) like one.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Sweating Cash

I once dreamt of a swimming pool
Olympic sized, its water bluish cool
On the undulating fluidic carpet floats
Millions in cash, a mix of red, blue and purple notes

In my dream on the diving board I stood
The world around me encircled in a fish eye lens hood
Readying to dive, thinking head first or foot
Into all that wealth, a life of riches, so magnificent a loot

Scents crisps of printed value assail my every inhale
To take it all in, I could well be a whale
Around me, people unknown, unrecognized, their laughter hearty and hale
Partaking a frenzied orgy, drunk from overfilled moneyed ale

I readied myself for a plunge so blissful
Encouraging shouts and whistle, urging and egging
Even as the watery stash gave birth to more cash by the bucketful
Spilling outwards, a bulging ogre’s torso to my horrific imagining

Jump, they shouted
Take the plunge, they brayed
A worldly paradise, they hinted
Arms wide, grinning, their words honeyed

The wind rushes past my flanks as I vaulted headlong
A whiff of sadness, whisper of regret
A soul succumbed, a fate forgone
My whole world then so sudden so quiet so dead

Notes red, blue and purple embraced my arrival
Edges sharp, cutting, snipping, engulfing, encircling
There was no water, in papers I was drowning
I thrashed, I grappled, my cries more and more audible

A plunge going deeper and deeper
All around me, chattering, chirping
Passing wealth of worldly boaster
A deathly oblivion, a sickened passing

I woke up in dread
A sweaty dream more a nightmare
As a RM note, red
Flitted freely traversing the fanned air

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Stooging Stage

There are moments when not talking can sometime be the best possible option.

For the so-called Obedient Wives Clubs (the now infamous OWC) management, this following excerpt quoted by the Malay Mail is, I think, one such moment.

“When we said that husbands should treat their wives like first-class prostitutes, we were not putting wives on the same level with prostitutes. We are talking about first-class elite types, not street hooker types.

Goodness gracious. Golly ghee whizz.

Downright degrading words - Prostitutes, street hooker types and a first-class elite types.

Were they said in a single breath, I wonder?

My hope is that it was a statement loosely translated from Bahasa Melayu but I have my doubts.

Seriously, though, maybe it’s just a ploy by OWC to get some prominence in the printed pages and online.

There’s a Time interview waiting too apparently. More publicity and the inanity (insanity?) can now go global.

Superb. Just superb.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Shell Shedding Peanuts

Despite my disgust of the current entity that is Umno, its member Nur Jazlan Mohamed has earned my admiration and wholesome support.

The Pulai Member of Parliament and eldest son of the late Tok Mat hinted his integrity and mettle by quitting his post as TM’s audit committee chairman after the irregularities were found but was not investigated.

His latest interview in the Edge on both the so-called Bumiputera (or should this be Malay) Agenda and UDA Holding’s plans for its Pudu Jail landbank is both frank and hard hitting.

Reading the two articles in whole is a welcomed breath of fresh air in a country stinking of rotten rhetoric and racial chauvinistic statements, especially when taken in the context that Nur Jazlan was also taking about advancing a much maligned idea of a community’s re-engineering.

There was no denying what needs to be done to propel the Bumiputera agenda further, according to Nur Jazlan.

“We have to have a format or formula on how to define this cost of the bumiputera agenda. If it is going to be the government giving money all the time, think again….. We don’t want to leave the next generation with debts.”

It has been something like 40 years since the so-called Bumiputera Agenda came to the forefront with the NEP.

Has the community’s economic standing been advanced all this while?

A burgeoning middle-upper class Bumiputeras group aside, the trickling down of the distributed wealth courtesy of the Bumiputera Agenda policies is exactly in such a state: TRICKLING.

The bulk of this wealth goes god knows where.

We have our suspicions, of course.

In fact, there is actually another Umno member whom I, urm, agree (not always) with - Blogger SakMongkol AK47.

SakMongkol, you see, has equally been hard hitting in his assessment of his party’s current ways of doing things though his words (posts) has basically fallen on deaf ears.

I’ve always asked him this question: “Why are you still there?”

Datuk Sak has his reasons, I suppose.

What of Nur Jazlan?

Kacang lupakan kulit; will say his detractors. Would he be where he is now had he not been Tok Mat’s son and a party member, they will decry.

It will be interesting to see what happens next and if the Finance Ministry would accept UDA’s so-called Bumiputera-interest's sidelining proposal.

I doubt so going by the MRT JV criteria’s fiasco.

One way or the other, pockets just simply need (side)lining.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Crummy Chums

The room is musty, the sofa creaky
Old magazines, its pages tattered keeping company the lonely
Apt description for the kopiah wearing Pakcik (or is it Haji?)
All the way he came, paid 25 bucks for a ride in a taxi
To meet one who must surely be somebody
Inside a room, a secretary in front, so pretty

Reads, stands, sits, paces
Every once in a while he peers
At the young lady looking so earnest
A smile so sullen in caught glances

It’s his fault, this long wait, the Pakcik swears
Took the odd few minutes away performing his prayers
Could have well been the time he reached his queue
He tried, he did, queried for a clue if said was true
Didn’t want to pester the secretary too much
Don’t wish to be called an old grouch

He sighs, curls his lips slight
Second to minutes to hours passed
A small window of moment was all he needed
To tell that someone his very plight

The door open, solid wood adorned
From within earshot, laughter’s heard
Two men? Could, too, be a third
Guffaws, chatters, a merriness none awkward
Old friends, perhaps, the Pakcik guesses a hazard

Three, indeed, they passed him by
Quick glances, none which registered
The Pakcik had stood, had smiled, the smile since faded
Realising he was all but invisible

“Pakcik datang lain kali.”
“Hari ni tak boleh. Datuk busy.”
He smiled a smile that’s weary
Thinking he was simply, surely unlucky
To not be in the list, of people chummy
As down in the corridor, the laughter, noisy
Shoulders slapping, the warmest camaraderie

To be in the list, of people so chummy

Friday, 3 June 2011

Worldly Toils

Last in a line of none
Staring was quite a luxury for him
Unblinking, the opaque screen was nonplussed still
How could it
Soulless, it talks without responding

Outside the freezing light-filled space
Motorists noiselessly zoomed pass
Under his breath came a choiced curse
Once inadvertent, now emitted nonplussed

Flickering neon numbers were certainly bigger yesterday
Four digits the result of a month's toil
Figures he wished higher everyday
Instead of one rollercoastering downhill

Where had they gone, he wonders
House, cars, bills, kids, he figures
Where else, he himself quizzes
Or, was he leaking like a sieve, he shudders

He sighed a resigned resignation
Fingers to panel, a three-figure number keyed
His mind tired to feign even frustration
Thinning wallet patiently waiting to be filled

A whirling of mechanicals then
The sweet, sweet sound of notes chugged
As he waits for a modern day drug
Stuck in an unfortunate, uncontrollable den

Pieces of paper jeer through an open orifice
In blues and reds, they beckoned his taking
What will be a week’s sustenance, for fuel and meals
Swapped from machine to wallet swiftly unflinching

Out popped his card, a small receipt follows
Black prints on white, its surface warm to the touch
Pulled it out, three digits the balance shows
The two behind, alas, not worth that much

Monthly toil
Gone in a whiff...