Archive for category Mariam Mokhtar

Do Umno Baru men fear women?

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
August 4, 2014

The WikiLeaks ‘RM5 banknote gagging order’ has revealed that we cannot look to the West (read Australia) for an example of a nation which upholds democratic values, rule of law and a free press. Similarly, Malaysians cannot look to some men, principally Malay men in Umno Baru, as role models for equality, fairness and justice.

Last month, an Umno Baru constitutional law ‘expert’ said that PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could not become menteri besar because her menstruation was an “obstacle which would prevent her from accompanying the sultan, at functions”.

A few decades ago, when working in the petroleum industry, some men tried to discourage women with comments such as, “How can you go offshore, or climb ladders? Your clothing is an ‘obstacle’.”

These men had not heard of overalls. In their opinion, high-flying women were either stenographers or shop assistants. Things have not progressed much, in Malaysia.

Perhaps, Umno Baru men are trapped in a time warp, in which women are subservient and docile. Do they hanker for the good old days when a woman was a maid at home, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom? We are not living in an Islamic caliphate nor are we living in the dark ages.

Umno Baru lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Umno Baru Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) lecturer Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz forget how they arrived in this world. For nine months, women carry a foetus, suffer weeks of morning sickness, have eating and sleeping problems, to climax in the pain of delivery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M’s 4Rs coming home to roost

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jun 23, 2014

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has had a terrible month. His formula of using the 4Rs – race, royalty, the rural people and religion – to deceive the rural voters, most of whom have supported Umno Baru, is disintegrating.

One of the few good things which Mahathir did was to clip the wings of the sultans in the 80s, especially during the period when the rakyat appeared to be helpless in the face of criminal acts being perpetrated by the people to whom the rakyat professed their allegiance.

Mahathir’s emasculation of royalty was half complete. In recent weeks, the Johor sultan flexed his economic muscles, but the response of the politicians and rakyat was muted. Even fewer people were willing to discuss, in public, the awkward divorce of the former sultanah of Johor, months after her husband’s death.

Who dares to say anything, when they are at risk of being persecuted? This is not a respectful silence borne of loyalty, this is keeping silent out of fear.

Meanwhile, the newly-minted sultan of Perak proclaims that he would like to discharge his duties fairly and equitably. He said, “Do not tell me tales, to send me into dreamland, when the reality on the ground is something entirely different from what has been related to me.”

How many of us would like to believe him, especially when the merest mention of anything mildly critical is like a waving a red flag to the inspector-general of police (IGP), and attracts a charge of sedition, a fine and a jail sentence? Read the rest of this entry »

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Gang-rape is okay, chocs are not

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jun 2, 2014

The Muslim NGOs who were prepared to declare jihad, sue the manufacturers and burn down a factory, because their favourite chocolates were allegedly contaminated with pig DNA, deserve our contempt, not our compassion.

Where was their condemnation of the gang-rape of two teenage girls by some 30 men in Kelantan? Why did they keep silent about the abduction, attempted rape and subsequent beheading of a two-year-old girl?

In third world countries like Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, women are treated like replaceable items. Malaysia is no different. Some of our Muslim men treat their women like disposable razors: Once the edge has gone, their usefulness is over and they are discarded. Another will take its place.

Will the Muslim NGOs demand stern action to deal with violence against women? Are chocolates more important than women? Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 exposes Hall of Shame

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Apr 7, 2014

The grand self-proclamation of “Malaysia, the Best Democracy in the World”, with its fantastic education system which rivals the British, American and German systems is a myth designed for die-hard Umno Baru supporters. This fairy-tale was shattered by the disappearance of MH370.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, like the prime ministers before him, has let down the nation, but the investigation into MH370 has trashed Malaysia’s reputation.

We need a cull of the political class to regain our credibility as a nation. We should start with the following initiates of the ‘Hall of Shame’. Politicians head the list, then civil servants. If the civil servants were to be replaced before the politicians, the new ones would be corrupted by their political masters, who dictate to them.

Malaysia has been on auto-pilot for several decades and the nation has been performing like a rudderless aeroplane. MH370 signals the beginning of the end of Umno Baru. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kajang is on the way to Putrajaya

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
February 27, 2014

Why has Anwar’s decision to contest in Kajang caused so much upheaval inside the BN camp? More so in Umno? This is just a DUN seat. As Muhyidin says, when Anwar wins, at the most he can only be MB. Najib is still the PM.

Yes, why?

Umno says it’s protecting the people of Selangor. From what? Mahathir says no one is safe if Anwar is MB.

Hmmm – maybe. Perhaps there’s some truth in what Mahathir said. I did feel shivers down my spine when I participate in a talk with Anwar especially with my back facing him. Haha. I must remember to wear an iron chastity belt the next time. Umno people – please remember that too.

No one who has stolen from the state, no one who is corrupt, and no one who has emptied the treasury will be safe. My own uneasiness dissipates when I think that no treasury, no money is safe when Umno people are around. No public works are safe with Umno people around. These are dangerous people to be around, these Umno people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onederfully wanton NGOs

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Feb 17, 2014

Ironically, Teresa Kok’s ‘Onederful Malaysia’ film, has managed to ‘unite’ Malaysians, in a perverse way. The characters in her satirical video speak Chinese, and the clip has both Chinese and English subtitles. Incredibly, non-Chinese people, ranging from the mighty Mahathir Mohamad to nondescript Malay NGOs, have watched this video. Teresa has managed to engage Malaysians, in true ‘1Malaysia’ fashion.

Credit must be given to the Malay/Muslim NGOs. They have generated interest in Teresa’s video and exposed the hidden, serious messages, to a much larger audience than if they had not publicised the video.

The Malay/Muslim NGOs know that they are above censure and can expose whomsoever they wish. No mainstream media would dare expose the profligacy of a certain spouse of a prime minister of a South-East Asian nation. The last paper to publish her alleged extravagance had its fingers singed, when the paper’s printing permit was revoked.

Abdul Rani Kulup, the chairperson of the Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM) is the first person to publicly state that he thinks that Mrs Jit, in Teresa’s video, is Najib Abdul Razak’s spouse, the self-styled ‘First Lady’ Rosmah Mansor. It would be interesting to learn his basis for this assumption.

Abdul Rani is either very foolish or a very brave man. Perhaps, he has a personal grudge against Najib and is providing ammunition to the faction within Umno Baru which is trying to bring Najib down. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deviant sect gives M’sia two tight slaps

Mariam Mokhtar | February 7, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

The behaviour of the protesters yesterday reminds us of religious fanatics in Afghanistan or deepest Pakistan.

COMMENT

The deviants who claim to be Muslims and who wish to preserve the dignity of Malays by offering a reward to anyone who slaps Seputeh MP Teresa Kok are deranged.

They should know that there are no winners in the escalating tensions within the country. The latest act of bloody provocation has tarnished Islam and brought further disrepute to the Muslim community.

These deviants have also insulted the memory of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman who was born on Feb 8, 111 years ago. If he was alive today, he would have shed tears to see the country which he led to Merdeka being destroyed by men who are not worthy to be called leaders.

The men who claim to represent the Council of Islamic NGOs slaughtered four chickens and then daubed blood on the faces of opposition representatives, portrayed on a banner. They were upset by Teresa’s satirical video.

Did they feel good making that spectacle? Judging from the news reports, they acted like crazed men. Their behaviour reminds us of religious fanatics in Afghanistan or deepest Pakistan, who have just beheaded a man, and in their euphoria, celebrate by shooting their AK-47s into the air.

If these deviants are not censured, how long will it be before we descend to the point of no return and these loopy individuals bathe themselves in blood, whilst shouting “God is Great”? Read the rest of this entry »

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Taming the ‘pig-beast’

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 27, 2014

Umno Baru MPs are euphoric. They have successfully concluded the world’s longest animal behaviour experiment. Decades of living in a police state, run by a one-party system, have conditioned us to behave like laboratory rats.

‘Therapeutic’ methods are designed to make lab rats give up undesirable habits by associating them with unpleasant effects. In Malaysia, troublesome people – like those who dare to express an opinion, who design eye-catching T-shirts, or who interpret constitutional laws – will receive a nasty jolt, in the form of police harassment. Their lives are blighted by years of questioning, and the possibility of fines, jail or both.

These ‘gentle’ methods are sometimes supported by the action of thugs.

Like lab rats, our lives become devoted to pleasing the leaders who designed the experiments. We sacrifice our principles, our consciences and our children’s futures, because we are not prepared to do what is right, to question, and basically do what normal rats do best when in the wild – to live. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Lee Kuan Yew

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 13, 2014

The rivalry between former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and current PM Najib Abdul Razak has assumed ludicrous proportions. With a legacy to protect, a son to manoeuvre into position, his cronies to look after, and a country to run, Mahathir is in overdrive. He may be approaching 90, but he retains much of his vigour to annoy.

Yesterday, a former minister, Zainuddin Maidin, urged Mahathir to return to Putrajaya. Having Mahathir back in Putrajaya would be as bad as having a hole in the head.

Much to Najib’s annoyance, Mahathir refuses to shut up, but Najib has only himself to blame. Najib is busy clocking-up air-miles in his new jets. Mahathir says in one sitting, what Najib mumbles in one month.

The current ‘Allah’ side-show is meant to trick ignorant Malays, and weak-willed Muslims, into believing that Umno Baru is the only party that will protect their race and religion.

The real issue is the economy of Malaysia. Umno Baru, Najib and Mahathir are trying to mask this fact behind the ‘Allah’ charade. The rakyat is being out-manoeuvred by Umno Baru.

Last August, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew launched his book, ‘One Man’s View of the World’, in which he described Malaysia as an underperforming nation disadvantaged by its pro-Malay economic policies. Read the rest of this entry »

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The preacher and the part-time PM

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 6, 2014

Najib Abdul Razak: Entrepreneur. String-puller. Property speculator. Globe-trotter. Magician and part-time prime minister. Being the Malaysian PM is without doubt, a dream job.

Pampered while crossing the globe in luxury, dining at the finest restaurants, lounging in the best hotels and bedecking his spouse in the finest jewels.

The nation is on the cusp of another racial and religious conflict, but Najib is nowhere to be seen, or heard; a testimony to his expertise in performing the disappearing trick, he is the poor-man’s Tommy Cooper.

Be warned! Competition is fierce for this dream job. Although the job seems to be up for grabs every five years, just like a crooked race, the fix is in and the outsider always seems to win.

Today, when community tensions are simmering, and pro-Umno Baru NGOs are threatening Christians, Najib has again failed to censure the extremists. His head is stuck firmly in the sand, his lips are sealed together and he is hiding behind the extremist NGOs.

The recent troubles may appear to be a steep escalation in religious extremism, but they aren’t. The timing of the assault on the Christian community is critical. The Perak mufti’s intervention is revealing.

What we see is Umno Baru’s dirty politics at play. What appears to be a radical rise in extremism is an illusion being staged by pro-Umno Baru NGOs, and given excessive publicity by the mainstream media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Debunking the Umno Baru myths

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 16, 2013

Malay apathy is one of the most depressing features of Malaysian life. It is widely known that many Malays are work-shy, addicted to drugs and in long-term unemployment. Despite the early introduction of religious indoctrination, many Malays are said to be promiscuous and involved in incestuous relationships.

Some Malays are not afraid to say what our politicians are fearful of revealing. Perhaps, it is time to debunk Umno Baru’s lies. You may wish to add to the list below.

1. Only Umno Baru can protect the Malays

Umno Baru only protects the Malays who are beholden to them. The critical Malay does not win tenders for projects. He may find all manner of problems with his business licence. His application for government permits may be delayed or rejected.

A civil servant who dares to openly criticise may be demoted or sacked, and find his income tax being scrutinised, as punishment. Meritocracy, intellect and hard-work count for nothing in the Umno Baru world, only blind allegiance does.

When will the Malays realise that Umno Baru would cease to exist without the Malays? Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno Baru running scared

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 9, 2013

The 4Rs – race, royalty, religion and the rural people – have been used by Umno Baru to divide and rule Malaysia.

When Najib asked the rhetorical question, “Where would the Malays be without Umno Baru?”, it was a cry of desperation and an admission of defeat.

Umno Baru’s hold on the Malays is slipping. Najib and Umno-Baru are scared. Without the Malays, where would Umno Baru be? Domination of the Malays is not about protecting their rights. It is all about power and status.

The line that Umno Baru has used for over five decades to divide the nation, is no longer relevant. Malay graduates who return to Malaysia do so because they have to fulfil the terms of their scholarship or loan. Try asking them what they really feel about Malaysia, about Umno Baru and its leaders. Their stories will fill you with hope.

The current clampdown on dissent and the hunt for Malays who speak their minds is because the government is afraid. A thinking Malay is a threat to Umno Baru. A thinking Malay who is prepared to question the leaders and make them accountable for their actions will erode the power of Umno Baru.

Umno Baru knows that one thinking Malay will embolden other Malays and very soon, Umno Baru will become irrelevant. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP’s Xmas hit – You better watch out

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Dec 2, 2013

I am on the waiting-list for membership of the exclusive ‘Sedition Club Uniting Malaysians’, (SCUM) which has several distinguished members like Adam Adli, Haris Ibrahim, Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar, Safwan Anang and Zunar. I don’t think many people know the criteria which makes one eligible for membership.

Who would have realised that a well-meaning article ‘One Idealogy, Two Reactions’ about the need to be compassionate to Malaysians, regardless of their political leanings or social background, would have upset the inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar?

Does Khalid suffer from an inferiority complex or was he under extreme pressure to explain his involvement in the Lahad Datu debacle?

More importantly, he wanted to divert attention from the terrible handling of the Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab story, by the Malaysian government and himself. They probably thought they would capitalise on the story of Aishah’s enslavement. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP, What is Seditious in Mariam’s Article?

By Kee Thuan Chye
news.malaysia.msn.com
2nd December 2013

I cannot see a fellow writer being threatened by someone in public authority for what she writes and not stand up for her. I’m therefore saying that the recent warning issued by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to political commentator Mariam Mokhtar against writing articles that could be deemed seditious is highly unwarranted and deserves to be censured.

Now, if the IGP was giving her friendly advice in saying she should not write articles that were seditious, he might have good cause to do so. Even if the articles she has written so far have not proven to be so. But that does not seem to be the tone and tenor of what he said a few days ago.

What makes his remark deserving of censure is what he added: “She had better watch out or we will go after her.” That comes across, undoubtedly, like a threat. And it’s inappropriate coming from someone like the IGP. Read the rest of this entry »

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One ideology, two reactions

Mariam Mokhtar | November 29, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysians must wonder why Aishah is considered safe but Chin Peng’s ashes are deemed a national threat

COMMENT

Two people with a shared ideology – communism. Both Malaysians, both radicals. Both have spent the past 30 years living outside Malaysia. Both were educated locally, one at the Methodist run Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Perak, the other at the Tengku Khursiah College in Negri Sembilan.

One became a leader albeit of a banned organisation and disappeared into the Malayan jungle, whilst the other disappeared into the back-streets of London into oblivion.

The two people are a Chinese man, 88-year-old Chin Peng who died in Bangkok last September and a Malay woman 69-year-old Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab who with her two comrades staged a daring escape from her alleged captors on Oct 25.

Aishah and the other women had been kept as “slaves” in a collective by a couple – an Indian and a Tanzanian for the past 30 years.

Chin Peng rose up the ranks to become the leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) when he was only 23-years-old. Aishah was a very promising, intelligent woman who secured a Commonwealth scholarship to study at the London School of Economics (LSE) when she was 24-years-old. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three slaves and the rakyat

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Nov 25, 2013

The three women in London who were imprisoned as slaves have much in common with the Malaysian rakyat. Their escape plan was hatched in secrecy but their story, which is slowly unfolding, has shocked the world. It is doubtful if many Malaysians realise the similarities between themselves and these three women.

For the past 30 years, the women were forced to serve a married couple from India and Tanzania. The oldest woman was a 69-year-old Malaysian who was denied medical treatment when she suffered a stroke, another was a 59-year-old Irish woman, and the youngest was a 30-year-old, who grew up in this family.

The women cleaned, cooked, shopped, ran errands and cared for their masters. As punishment, they would be beaten but despite their treatment, were too terrified to escape when an opportunity to flee presented itself.

The women were imprisoned for three decades, but the Malaysian rakyat have been metaphorically imprisoned for the most part of 56 years. The women were described as having been shackled by “invisible handcuffs”, just like the Malaysians.

Despite being aware of the injustices and abuse of power, older Malaysians are reluctant to embrace change. The married couple are just like the leaders of Malaysia. The tools of control for both the London slaves and Malaysian rakyat, are a combination of threats and emotional blackmail. Police said that the mental hold on the women was strong and “cult-like”.

Umno Baru leaders know how to pitch their stories. For instance, older and more conservative Malays are told that a vote for the opposition would mean that the Chinese and Christians would overrun Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Perspective is everything

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Oct 28, 2013

Kim Jong-un of North Korea, the world’s youngest leader, is usually known as ‘The Great Successor’. He could use other titles like Supreme Leader, First Chairman, Commander and First Secretary, but the one he treasures, because it gives him respect, is the honorary doctorate awarded by HELP University which is based in Kuala Lumpur.

Nowadays, we all take honorary degrees for granted. Despots or those who literally shoot their way to the top, use their titles like badges of honour. Unscrupulous vice-chancellors desperate for donations award honorary degrees like confetti at a wedding.

The honorary award resembles Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘I help you, you help me’. Theoretically, awards may be revoked, if the recipient is involved in human rights abuses or corruption, but few universities are willing. Curtin University has honoured Rosmah Mansor, the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia, and the University of Adelaide gave an honorary doctorate to Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud.

Dr Kim’s award brought worldwide notoriety to HELP and its president, Dr Paul Chan, has been villified.

They say that Dr Chan is either stupid or ignorant; he is neither. When Myanmar opened up its doors, there was a stampede of Malaysian businessmen touting for business. North Korea cannot isolate itself forever, but Dr Chan has already got a head start. Read the rest of this entry »

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Backstabber’s guide to Umno polls

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Sep 30, 2013

Mention the word Umno Baru and people will think of the 3Cs – corruption, cheating and cronyism.

Thousands of miles away, Najib Abdul Razak told the UN General Assembly that “the greatest threat to Muslims today, is not from the outside world, but from within”. His words are poignant and have some gravitas, for they reflect the conditions at home.

Thanks to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the public has become extremely mistrustful of politicians. Thanks also to Mahathir, the biggest challenge which Najib will face at the next Umno-Baru elections, is ironically, within his party.

Many factors will affect the battles during the upcoming Umno-Baru election, including wit and financial considerations. The two men, president Najib, and deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, ‘won’ their seats unopposed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chin Peng has the last laugh

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Sep 23, 2013

The Malaysian government intended to deliver a humiliating blow and final insult to Chin Peng, the late former secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), by denying his dying wish.

Despite the sabre rattling by premier Najib Abdul Razak and extremist groups like Perkasa, it is Chin Peng who has won the psychological battle and more importantly, is having the last laugh from beyond the grave, leaving Najib with egg on his face.

Najib may wish to diminish Chin Peng’s role in our history, perhaps even airbrush him out of the struggle for Independence, but the irony is that his death on Sept 16, will mean that the Malaysia Day celebrations, will now also commemorate Chin Peng’s memory. Read the rest of this entry »

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The best (acting) prime minister

Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Sep 9, 2013

No one will dispute the filial piety and devotion shown by Tawfik, the eldest son of Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, who was once called “The man who saved Malaysia.” Dr Ismail died in office, in his capacity as acting prime minister, effectively the best prime minister we have had.

tun dr ismail abdul rahmanDr Ismail was remembered for his non-ethnic approach to issues and his concern about racial polarisation. He had a strong work ethic, was a strict but fair man who adhered strictly to rules. He despised incompetence and lateness. He was feared and respected. He refused to grant favours even to relatives and close friends. He was highly principled and enjoyed debating.

He avoided conflict of interest and the British High Commissioner said in despatches, “Ismail was a man of formidable reputation for integrity and talent in all communities.”

Tawfik has sullied his father’s memory by aligning himself with the present, undistinguished Umno Baru politicians by suggesting that the controversial film, Tanda Putera be made into a mini-series. Read the rest of this entry »

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