Archive for January 8th, 2011

A gun for hire I am not

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

One of the crucial qualifications required of a politician, even one subsisting on the fringe of the magic circle such as I, is a capacity to develop a thick hide, quickly, to absorb, withstand and endure cheerfully the innuendos, aspersions and imputations of improper motives, that will assuredly come his way whatever he does, says or writes.

Although I am much the same person that I was before I made a conscious personal decision to throw in my lot with the DAP, I am today viewed with a degree of suspicion.

Some of my readers believe that I write as a party propagandist, yet others are of the view that I should refrain from commenting on the shortcomings of the Pakatan Rakyat, and worse, I should not say anything that might cast a shadow on my own party image.

I write as an independent columnist and comment on issues of the day as I see them, motivated not by sycophancy, as accused by a New Straits Times leader writer and others of his ilk or out of a misguided sense of loyalty to my own party, no matter what.

I despise anything that smacks of the putrid odour of decaying doctrinaire with its cultivated blindness to the importance of critical thinking. I am not a party political spin doctor. For that you must turn to APCO. Read the rest of this entry »


Mystery of mass animal death epidemic deepens

Daily Mail

Thousands of dead turtle doves rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town in the latest in a growing spate of mass animal deaths across the globe.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks.

Initial tests on up to 8,000 of the doves indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

A witness told ‘We have no idea why this happened all of a sudden.

‘The doves just started falling one-by-one then in groups of 10s and 20s.’

Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness.

Experts said results from tests on the doves will not be available for at least a week.

They said that cold weather could have caused the birds’ deaths as the flock was swept into a high-altitude wind storm before falling to the earth. Read the rest of this entry »


Cabinet next week must ensure Teoh Beng Hock’s death does not end up as “a heinous crime without criminals”

More than 25 years ago, the term “heinous crime without criminals” referred to the first biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal – when no one was held criminally responsible in the country for the financial malpractices, abuses of power and gross breach of criminal trust even though it claimed one innocent life, the cold-blooded murder of the young BMF Asst General Manager in Hong Kong, Jalil Ibrahim.

The Cabinet next week must ensure that Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Hqrs in Shah Alam 18 months ago on July 16, 2009 does not end up as a “heinous crime without criminals” following Wednesday’s Open Verdict of the inquest into Teoh’s death.

MCA President Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek has expressed full support for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement on the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, saying that the move showed that the Government was transparent and sensitive to the case.

This statement is testimony that the MCA President is completely insensitive to the sense of despair, outrage and consternation, felt not only by the bereaved and aggrieved members of the Teoh Beng Hock family that their 18-month agonizing wait for justice and closure had been in vain with the “Open Verdict” of the Teoh Beng Hock inquest, but that of the ordinary Malaysians as well.

Can Chua explain how the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry specifically excluded from investigating the cause of Teoh’s death but only confined to the investigation procedures of MACC could help in uncovering the cause of Teoh’s death – taking a further step in pursuing the inquest finding excluding suicide as the cause of Teoh’s death and the important finding of Teoh’s prefall neck injury? Read the rest of this entry »


“Papa believed in people and principles, not in ideologies and systems” – A tribute to my father, Fan Yew Teng

By Pauline Fan

Thank you, dear friends, for being here this evening to commemorate the life of my father, a man who touched so many not just by his tenacious commitment to social justice and through his incisive political writings, but also through his warm, radiant, playful personality. As my mother and sister have said, we have been deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support, the heartfelt condolences and tributes that have been offered to us during this difficult period. It brings us solace to know that Papa is remembered as a humanist, a patriot, and fighter for political freedom and human dignity. I know Papa would have been pleased to see so many of his friends and comrades here today, so many great men and women who have dedicated their strength, mind, and spirit to fight for a Malaysia for Malaysians.

Papa was a wellspring of strength, joy and laughter in our family. He loomed large in our lives; his presence was indelible, his charisma unmistakable. It is difficult for us to think of Papa as being absent from life, for he was always brimming with life. But in the weeks since his passing, I have come to know Papa differently, perhaps more completely, for the totality of one’s life is illuminated only in death. I know that Papa isn’t really absent at all, that he has simply transformed from ephemeral physical existence to a subtle, perennial presence in our lives. And if his spirit is felt among us more powerfully now than ever, it is because Papa lived and died by what he believed in – his uncompromising principles and deep-seated ideals.

The complex layers of Papa’s personal history have revealed themselves to me over time – from his activism with the National Union of Teachers in the 1960s to his years with the Democratic Action Party, to his tireless writing and activism outside formal politics. Papa’s fighting spirit was irrepressible; even in his hours of political defeat and isolation, he remained convinced that political change was both necessary and possible. Papa believed in people and principles, not in ideologies and systems. I think this is why he was so fascinated by history, the narrative of humanity itself. And he felt it his task, as a citizen and writer, to bear witness to history, to the triumphs and follies of his people, of his country and of his time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where the mind is without fear: A Tribute to my beloved father, FAN YEW TENG

By Lilianne Fan

I was at my father’s side when he passed away peacefully on 7 December 2010, at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He had been diagnosed with advanced cancer at the same hospital almost exactly a year ago. Finding words after the loss of one’s beloved father is one of the hardest things to do. And yet, our family has been receiving a healing river of words from near and far, from my father’s many friends and men and women whose lives he had touched through his life. These words have brought us comfort through our grief, and for this we are deeply grateful.

My father was a blessing, an inspiration and an absolute joy. He was deeply loving and devoted to our family. While he had a tendency to sometimes be protective as a father, he was also persistently provocative, incessantly reminding my sister and I to live boldly, to never be afraid of pushing boundaries in the name of our principles and dreams.

Since we were very young, Papa was our principal source of cultural exposure and civilizational education. He introduced us to the music of Edith Piaf and Om Kalsom, the writings of Rabindranath Tagore and Hannah Arendt. His mind was epic and encyclopedic, philosophical and poetic; his historical memory as impressive as his passion for justice was inextinguishable. The shelves, tables and floors of his bedroom and study were always overflowing with books, the walls adorned with portraits of his many heroes— Bertrand Russell, Frantz Fanon, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, and Nelson Mandela.

Papa’s deep humanism shaped us from an early age, as did the context into which our lives unfolded. Because he and my mother raised us in an intellectually-, politically- and socially-engaged household, we were exposed early on both to humanity’s creativity and promise, as well as the realities of oppression and injustice. Read the rest of this entry »


Malay contractors association apologises to Guan Eng

By Himanshu Bhatt
The Sun
Jan 7, 2011

GEORGE TOWN: The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia, which has in the past accused Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration of marginalising Malay businesses, apologised to him today through a delegation to his office here.

The association’s deputy president Datuk Mohammed Fadzill Hassan, who headed the delegation of about a dozen members, personally tendered his apology to the state government.

He said they wished to cooperate and work along with the administration. Lim responded by describing the new outcome as a “positive turn of events”.

“I hope we can start a new relationship based on facts and not emotion,” he said.

Lim stressed that accusations that Malay contractors were sidelined under the current Pakatan Rakyat government were untrue.

“Malay contractors are able to perform very well, as most of those who have won contracts under the state’s open tender policy are Malays,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »