Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Archive for February 2008

Billi Lim and Inter-marriages

Self-proclaimed ‘failure guru’ Billi Lim is on a matrimonial mission to promote unity in the country. And if he gets elected, the first thing on his to-do list is to encourage more inter-marriages.Why inter-marriages?”It’s the only genuine way to unite this country nationally. Let the people decide which religion they want,” he told a press conference yesterday.

– quoted from an article published in Malaysiakini on 29th February 2008 (link)

This is great news actually – finally a candidate with forward thinking ideas! It is unfortunate that what he meant by ‘inter-marriages’ was not explained by the author of the article, though my understanding is the legalised marriage between people of different faiths.

Currently the main issue that I have seen is between Christians and Muslims. While it is legal in Islam to marry Christians, it is not legal in Malaysia for Malaysian Muslims to do so (the government seems quite happy to ignore this rule from the Quran). So this creates a lot of tension and prevents unity.

Malaysian Christians on the other hand have the freedom to marry any non-Muslim, there is no requirement to convert though that depends on which denomination you belong to. I have known Christian-Hindu and Christian-Buddhist couples, all of whom had their marriages accepted by their families without question.

I hope that even if he is not elected, that this sort of thinking is budding in the minds of other MPs out there, because interfaith marriages is a step in the right direction to achieving unity.

Written by ak57

February 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Sivarasa Rasiah @ Kg Sg Kayu Ara Selatan Video

Written by ak57

February 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Elizabeth Wong @ Kg Sg Kayu Ara Selatan Video

Written by ak57

February 28, 2008 at 2:26 am

Elizabeth Wong @ Kg Sg Kayu Ara Selatan

Elizabeth Wong will be speaking at the PKNS Flats in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara Selatan tonight between 9-10pm. I’ll be attending with a video camera to record the event, hope my experiment with technology proves a success 😉 I went looking for the flats this afternoon and thought I found them, but upon asking the owner of the local sundry shop he said no, and gave me directions to a group of flats much further north.

After checking with Elizabeth, turns out I WAS at the right place, d’oh! Its at Jalan Cempaka, tallest building in the area.

Kg Sg Kayu Ara Selatan Map

Written by ak57

February 27, 2008 at 7:07 am

Nurul Izzah’s Nomination

Nurul Izzah’s ArrivalA friend informed me late last night about a PKR march in Bangsar to the nomination centre at 7am. Since I was quite active in Lembah Pantai during the 1999 elections, I decided to head on down and join them.

7.30 am

People started showing up at McDonalds Bangsar. It was a nice, quiet chilly morning, with streets so deserted its almost as though every person standing about was a PKR supporter. I did spot a crowd of people wearing white t-shirts at the foot of the road, in front of Bangsar Village 1 – apparently they were Shahrizat’s supporters.

8.15 am

Flags and signs were handed out, we were told to gather at BP (behind McDonalds).

8.24 am

Nurul Izzah and her entourage arrive.

8.40+ am

We begin our march, sign bearers to the front, flag bearers bringing up the rear.

9.00 am

We arrive at the sports complex (nomination centre).

9.10+ am

Anwar Ibrahim shows up, walks through the crowd of PKR supporters waiting outside the sports complex. I left at 9.30 am, had other matters to attend to.

Thoughts

Well I can say it was a fun experience, though if I hadn’t carried a sign then I could have taken more interesting pictures. No doubt party photographers will have them online soon enough though. It was good to meet up with the leader of our 1999 PKR Lembah Pantai team, thankfully he is taking part this time around too so I might still be able to reconnect with the rest of our old gang.

Crowd at BP
Crowd of ladies

See the old lady on the far left with the crutch? She marched with us too, now that’s dedication!

PKR Peace Keepers

These guys reminded me of the Unit Amal chaps from the Bersih Rally.

Being in a mob

This is my point of view while being part of the march, poor visibility combined with two poles (one sign, one flag) did give me insight of what it feels like to be a medieval herald. Throughout our journey there were passionate cries of Reformasi and such, and much flag waving and sign thrusting.

I did notice something odd. While marching there was a long line of motorcycles making their way thru our crowd. A majority of the riders wore black t-shirts with red circle on the back, a circle bordered by 2 scimitars and the letters BA, BN or BR in the middle (it was a tough font to read). All the bikes had PKR flags. This is odd because the t-shirts indicate ‘gangsters’, not something any political party would affiliate themselves with. The other riders wore white shirts. The same white shirts worn by the BN supporters. So chances are these motorcyclists are there to make PKR look bad. Unfortunately I was not able to take pictures, having my hands full at the time 😦

The BN Side

The distance separating us

I wanted to see what the BN crowd was like so I walked outside our perimeter to get across to their side of the street. You see for our own security the PKR and BN supporters were kept behind roadblocks near the entrance to the sports complex. After leaving my PKR stuff behind it was an easy matter to get inside their mob and take pics.

Shahrizat’s Mob

There were loads of people there, at least 1.5 times the PKR group. But there’s one big difference. They lacked passion, they lacked spirit. The vast majority of them were milling about, while only the few in front waved their flags and sang a few verses from an old BN song. Compare that with the much larger number of PKR people who would shout slogans every so often from their side of the street.

I found it interesting that the crowd was split almost evenly between Malays and Indians. I guess it would disappoint HINDRAF supporters to see that so many Indians still support BN. There was also a large number of young teenagers, compared with the mostly middle aged and older crowd of PKR supporters. PKR’s supporters were also mostly Malay. Both groups of people had no more than a few Chinese supporters, I suppose that explains why most of the BN bunting hanging from the telephone poles were written in Chinese.

I’m not sure whether I will have much time to help out with Lembah Pantai this time around, will see how things go this week.

Update (12.32 pm)

Just found out from Malaysia Votes that an independent is running against Shahrizat and Nurul Izzah. Bad news indeed, why would this person split the anti-BN vote? Sigh.

Written by ak57

February 24, 2008 at 11:57 am

Election Posters

I have no idea where to put these up, figured I’d put it here and focus on more important things. Only had time to draw three, hope you appreciate the message. Click the images to see them full-size.

Dishonour Poster

False Unity Poster

Unity Poster

Written by ak57

February 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Loh Duo Enter Politics

KUALA LUMPUR: Loh Mui Fah and his son Gwo Burne, who were star witnesses in the recently concluded Lingam video clip inquiry, will stand in the general election on opposition tickets.Mui Fah said discussions were still under way to determine which seat and under what banner he would contest.”The seat will be finalised by tomorrow (today) but it will definitely be on a DAP or Parti Keadilan Rakyat ticket,” said the 58-year-old businessman.Gwo Burne will meet Datuk Lee Hwa Beng for the Kelana Jaya seat in Selangor.Mui Fah said he and his son decided to enter the polls following calls from opposition leaders and the public over the past week.

Gwo Burne, 34, a consultant, said he was to have left for China soon after Chinese New Year, but could not resist the call to offer himself as a candidate for the election.

The father and son said their campaign would touch on corruption, the current state of the judiciary, lack of ministerial responsibility, urban poverty, the rising cost of living and the crime rate.

– quoted from an article published in NST on 23rd February 2008 (link)

SurprisedAnother surprise. From their testimony previously, I understood them to be innocent bystanders, witnessing the crime of corruption. Gwo Burne’s involvement is still a mystery to me, because:

  1. He claimed the recording was accidental
  2. He claimed that the recording was not edited, meaning he pressed record, hit stop, and the 14 minute video that got released was the entirety of it
  3. Yet the third video proves that Gwo Burne ‘accidentally’ recorded Lingam again, possibly before the alleged phone call from Fairuz (more details). Two accidents?

Gwo Burne denied having anything to do with the release of the video, implying that as he left copies of the video all over the place, someone else might have taken it. Now he is running for PKR, I guess after seeing the farce of the Royal Commission. What is he going to tell his boss if he wins though?

Gwo Burne: Hey boss, I have to go back to KL to testify in court.

Boss: Oh..umm..ok but make sure you come back here and settle your work.

(weeks later)

Gwo Burne: Hey boss, I quit!

Boss: What the ???

Gwo Burne: Yeah, I’m a politician now sorry.

Boss: (speechless)

Written by ak57

February 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Fong Po Kuan, Incumbent Again?

SurprisedFong Po Kuan suddenly decided to come back yesterday, and frankly speaking I’m confused.

First she quits in a bad way, citing internal squabbling instead of picking a more diplomatic route of ‘wanting to settle down and start a family’.

Lim Guan Eng shames her by saying, ‘we might lose Batu Gajah’. Though since I read that DAP want to sue the press for misreporting, maybe Guan Eng didn’t say this *shrugs*.

Then her close friend Chong Eng announces that Fong wanted to quit in 2004 and life is very difficult for them as minority party women MPs.

Then Fong tells the press she is avoiding phone calls from DAP. Whatever happened to telling the press, ‘no comment’? You know how bad it must be if she’s not even picking up the phone when Kit Siang calls? Really bad.

In any case, this is in the past, time to move on. At least now DAP is pretty much guaranteed a safe seat, and Po Kuan … 4 more years of intense stress? Hopefully things improve internally in DAP post-election.

Drama Pros

  1. Stole a lot of column inches in the papers that could have been used for promoting BN?
  2. Brings to light the dedication that Po Kuan has to the people of Batu Gajah

Drama Cons

  1. Makes DAP look disorganised and disunited
  2. Makes Po Kuan look like she was pressed into service, both in 2004 and now

Related articles
Malaysiakini (link)
NST (link)

Elections #7

Written by ak57

February 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

R.I.P. AK57 Avatar

The Malay Mail today (20th February 2008) ran a front page story regarding a book published about Sharlinie. Curious I looked thru it and what did I find but the image I used as this blog’s avatar (online persona):

ak57_avatar.jpg

This picture that took a fair amount of time for me to create 😦 Apparently the author stole this image and used it to make a disrespectful poster of Sharlinie, Nurin and their kidnapper. Since Malay Mail had been unable to find out the author’s real name and contact, I went down to their office to straighten things out. Last thing I want is for some reader to contact them, pass them the link to this website and give them (and police) the impression that I had anything to do with the book. I looked through it myself and thankfully it was entirely in BM and contained no translation of my blog postings on Nurin.

I hereby state that I had nothing to do with the book. The only connection I have is the piece of artwork above, stolen by the author. I have removed this image from this blog, however it was used in all my previous comics where it remains, as removing them would be far too time consuming.

I hope the parents lodge a police report against the author, and the police catch him.

Update 7.42 AM

Wow, Malay Mail sure pulled a fast one on me. Not only did they print my name though I repeatedly told them not to, they put words in my mouth! I’ll let the fake statements slide since it is a tabloid, but why put my name? Thankfully they did not run my picture or the URL of this site. I would go down to the office to tell them off, but there isn’t much point to it since they are free to print what they like. So I can only say:

Don’t trust the Malay Mail to respect your privacy. Also, don’t give them your real name if you can.

Written by ak57

February 21, 2008 at 3:10 am

Posted in Personal, WTF

Tagged with , ,

Fong Po Kuan, Incumbent No More

Related articles:

Malaysiakini

  1. Fong to be squeezed out of Batu Gajah? (link)
  2. Fong Quits Batu Gajah (link)

The Star

  1. Po Kuan sticking to her guns (link)
  2. DAP’s Iron Lady melts (link)

Sun

  1. Fong had wanted to quit in 2004, says Chong Eng (link)

NST

  1. Batu Gajah MP declines nomination (link)
  2. Fong best person for Batu Gajah, says DAP (link)
  3. DAP desperately seeking Po Kuan (link)

I was surprised and saddened by this news, as she is a prominent DAP member and from what I have read Batu Gajah would have been a ‘sure win’ for her due to her tireless work for the people. To be forced out due to the political infighting of the Perak DAP and perhaps the party leaders … well it is unfortunate she did not contend in another state instead. Maybe it is just burnout? Po Kuan’s endorsement of her Batu Gajah replacement only if it is Thomas Su Keong Siong didn’t sound good either. State run media of course were happy to put her unhappy face on the front page, making DAP look bad and full of squabbles. What about the infighting going on almost daily in BN…apparently not worthy of more than a few paragraphs?

The next day Lim Guan Eng even went so far as to say, “We may lose Batu Gajah if she doesn’t run there”. Chong Eng (MP – Bukit Mertajam) wept and spoke at great length of the hardship endured by women, particularly in the Opposition, something which I agree with. Apparently Po Kuan wanted to quit in 2004 itself but decided to stay on, so she has sacrificed enough for the people already. Lets hope one day she decides to return to politics.

My salute:

Elections #6

Written by ak57

February 20, 2008 at 9:32 pm