Ak57\’s Weblog

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

Augustine Paul’s Passing

I was surprised to learn of Judge Augustine Paul’s death this morning. I didn’t think much of it and felt nothing. It isn’t like I knew the man after all. I only knew him as the judge who sentenced Anwar to prison, and his involvement in other high profile cases was unknown to me.

I don’t get it. After he sentenced Anwar he walked freely around the neighbourhood, all alone, and nobody assaulted him (in retaliation for his judgment). In my naiveté I thought the nation saw him as a pawn, a small fish, not worth taking revenge on.

Yet now that he is dead I see all these postings online expressing joy, thanking God and so on for his death.

It was worse when I saw activists I knew expressing the same feelings. There is a dark vengeful side to them that I wasn’t aware of.

He was not the evil dictator of a downtrodden country. He was not a mass murderer. He was not a terrorist mastermind. Truly, are there not better villains out there to hate? Why take joy in someone’s death?

Having read these postings I feel sad now for his family, knowing that their father’s name is being cursed now and possibly for years to come. I feel sad to see the lack of humanity among Malaysians online, and among the ranks of Malaysian activists fighting for justice and peace.

You know what would have made me happy? If he had made a death-bed confession admitting to the corruption charges that people assume he is guilty of. If he done that and named the person(s) involved in said corrupt judgments. Who knows, if PR had taken over the Federal Government he might have worked out a plea bargain to deliver the bigger crooks to justice? It’s not like he can come forward now when the crooks are free to make his family disappear.

He’s dead now so we’ll never know what might have been.

 As it stands now his death served no good. It has given grief to his family and friends and short-lived joy to his accusers.

Does his passing on mean that the Judiciary is no longer corrupt? Does it undo any damage he has done to victims of his judgments?

No, it does not.

I’m sure some of the people dancing with joy now will realise that the next time the courts make a ruling that is deemed unfair. I hope they realise then that ultimately, revenge is not rewarding.

To think I’m friends with some of these people. Ugh.

References

The Star: Judge Augustine Paul dies at 66 (link)

The Star: Judge Augustine Paul laid to rest (link)

Malaysiakini: Federal Court judge Augustine Paul dies (link)

Written by ak57

January 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Ushering in 2010

I don’t think there’s much I can say about 2009 that wasn’t already covered in my previous post. One update I can share is that my ex-abuser picked a fight with me in public, totally embarrassing herself in the process. It was weird, depressing and funny at the same time. All this time I thought I would be the one to snap, but she snapped first. The aftermath of that was my being comforted by the people she expected to support her mad behavior, comfort I direly needed. It’s helped a lot.

I started this blog back in 2007 because it was relevant to my work at the time to keep tabs on the VK Lingam drama. Along the way I started cartooning which has long been a dream of mine (I’m a huge fan of single panel comics such as Far Side by Gary Larson). I also dabbled a bit in video but technology has evolved a lot since I last worked with the medium a decade ago, so catching up has been slow.

These past few months I’ve slowly been trying to evolve a new art style, the result of which you can see above. One reason is that I recently wrote a draft book, well more of a booklet really since its 70-odd pages of single panel comics which require a new art style. Another is moving on with life by leaving behind reminders of this difficult period.

This year I hope to make a return to writing, cartooning and documenting the political happenings in our country. I spent most of 2009 asleep and in a daze and need to get back in touch with current issues, and blogging is the best way to do that.

Written by ak57

January 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Posted in AK57 Comics, Personal

Living With Physical Abuse Trauma

It has been a difficult time, living with the pain that I have been carrying for over a year. Two weekends ago I came close to sobbing thrice, and got nothing done. Last weekend I spent most of it asleep, easily 10-12 hours in bed not because I was tired but just to escape into my dreams. Last night I got teary again, leading me to be too upset to attend an important function today.

So now I think its best to write something down, in the hope that it might help.

I started working for her early last year. Our working relationship was bad right from the start. She made racial remarks, she offered no guidance, she would avoid talking to me – there were times when I would ask her a question and she would keep quiet. Added to that was the fact that I have various health problems, one of which prevents me from travelling, so there were some company activities that I could not take part in. I let her know of this early on but she chose to pressure me to go for these activities instead. I had to endure severe physical pain.

I was in a difficult place. I enjoyed the work itself. I enjoyed working with our clients and the feeling was mutual. I had no issues with my co-workers, just her. I asked her to stop what she was doing because it was hurting me and she made false promises to stop. So, as the abuse continued I felt I had no choice but to resign. Emotional abuse in the workplace is one thing, physical abuse is another.

The first time I resigned in person her response was, ‘No, you stay here and work!’ followed by her blaming one of my co-workers, saying all our problems is that person’s fault and I need to work it out with that worker. She refused to discuss the matter further. I had no idea what she was talking about. She invented this fiction just to avoid facing the crime she had committed?

I waited a month to see if her behaviour would improve but it got worse, so I resigned a second time in writing. To avoid a nonsensical response from her I also informed our clients. Yes that was unprofessional, but I didn’t know what else to do after my first resignation. She never replied.

Months went by and I was still upset whenever I heard her name or saw her face. I couldn’t understand why – I had resigned already, so what more did I have to worry about? Yes, she made me bleed, but surely I can forget that with time.

Why am I so traumatised? It took a long time for me to realise some of the reasons:

  • I was forced out of a job that I enjoyed. Until today I still want to know what’s going on in the office and how the business is doing.
  • I was abused by my boss, whom I trusted to protect me, guide me and motivate me to continue supporting her to best of my ability. No boss can justify hurting their employee.
  • Having to keep quiet because her reputation is so good that nobody would believe me. I confided in my best friend (her friend as well) and he refused to believe me, which ended up hurting our friendship.
  • Having to keep quiet when our clients/friends asked what her problem with me was, as our body language together made it very obvious.
  • The betrayal of trust and the horror of experiencing what happened – I never expected her to behave this way.
  • Having many mutual friends, and myself attending some of the same functions as her- I will never be able to take the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach with these reminders.
  • Not knowing why she did what she did, right from the start. I never did anything to deserve this.

I have been living poorly since I resigned. It’s like being half-asleep all day long. I have to force myself to eat. I sleep far too much. It’s impossible to get work done at a reasonable pace. I shouldn’t have to beg for contact with her given the circumstances of my resignation, but I needed answers so I started lobbying to see her since February.

I finally met with her on July 22nd this year, just over a year since my resignation. I thought her willingness to see me meant she had cooled down and was willing to explain why she did what she did. I was wrong. First she denied I had resigned. Then she asked me to come back and work for her. She did not want to discuss the physical abuse but I insisted. She didn’t deny what she did, but only gave an insincere, “I’m sorry”. How do I know? Because I worked for her – I know the sound of her fake apology line very well. There was no shame or surprise, she just couldn’t be bothered.

To make it worse she still asked me to come back. Then she left.

I just said, ‘you physically abused me’ and her response was, ‘you can still come back’?

What madness is this?

I don’t hate her. I don’t want bad things to happen to her. I just want to know why she did it and how she lives with what she did.

I’ve lost a year of my life to this problem. It’s scary to think of all the achievements I could have made but didn’t. Now that I know I will never get my answer from her, well at least I got that confirmation. That’s the only good thing that I see coming from that meeting.

I just hope I climb out of this pit soon before I go completely mad.

Written by ak57

September 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Personal

Hassan’s Moral Police Draft

It bothers me greatly to hear that many people believe that Dato’ Dr. Hassan Ali has created something new: a moral police that watches Muslims and arrests them for drinking.

JAIS officials have been empowered to ‘nab’ Muslims drinking alcohol and committing adultery for many years. Hassan Ali did not create any new laws – the moral police already existed. Just because you don’t hear about raids does not mean they do not happen, or that the threat does not exist. Maybe this ignorance among the people explains why it’s not hard to find Malay-Muslims drinking outside convenience stores in the wee hours. They have no fear of getting caught.

What Hassan Ali has done is draft more people into the moral police. Empowering untrained persons to monitor the morality of others… it’s a recipe for trouble. There’s bound to be a case of some overzealous chap harassing a Malay-looking fellow drinking beer or worse, starting fights.

Personally I don’t see how PAS/JAIS can implement their moral police. It is not right to enforce Islamic practices on non-Muslims. When a raid is done on a hotel/disco, the very act creates fear among the non-Muslim patrons. They should have the freedom to enjoy their life without being suddenly harassed on suspicion of being Muslim.

I am conflicted on the issue of JAIS keeping an eye on Muslims though. I know alcoholism is a problem among the urban Malay youth. JAIS has the responsibility of ensuring Muslims don’t stray from the path. But I disagree with the methods currently used. I think that finding out the reasons Muslims drink in the first place, then addressing those reasons makes more sense than banning alcohol or having moral police.

JAIS should only advise errant Muslims on why Islam has such rules. Fining, jailing, whipping and shaming are such harsh punishments in comparison. If a Muslim is flaunting the rules of the faith, chances are their faith is weak. Such punishment may then only serve to scare them into pretending to be Muslims; and be more careful when breaking the rules in future. They need to be convinced in their heart, and to reach someone’s heart is a slow and arduous process.

I hope one day that religious officials in our nation remember that Islam’s goal is to help spread peace and harmony. They need to focus on co-existing peacefully with other religions, instead of trying to police their brethren at the expense of non-Muslims’ quality of life.

References

Sultan wants explanation over arrest powers for mosque officials – Malaysian Insider (link)
Crackdown: Breweries not targeted … yet – Malaysiakini (link)
Pegawai masjid S’gor boleh tangkap pesalah serta-merta – Malaysiakini (link)
Selangor mosque officials can detain beer-drinking Muslims – Malaysiakini (link)
Selangor mosque officers can now arrest Muslims drinking in public – Star (link)

Written by ak57

August 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

Posted in Local News, Politics, Selangor

Tagged with , ,

A Show of Support

cmc_eliz_story3_web

The outpour of support for Elizabeth since she made her offer to resign has been overwhelming. It even surpassed the public outcry and support given by the public when Teresa Kok was detained under ISA! I myself have scores of emails from her supporters clogging my inbox.

I did some research online and its safe to say that over 90% of bloggers and commenters support her and don’t want her to resign. I figured that with this level of support, the backlash against PKR (i.e. lost votes) would be severe. Wouldn’t she have to come back?

Sources within the party say it is highly unlikely, even with the public reaction as it stands now. At best she may resign the Exco position and remain an ADUN.

I’m sure right now everyone is angry, hurt and confused. We don’t know why she offered to resign. We can speculate, but we know so little. After the unending outpour of support, Elizabeth issued another statement (link) saying that she intends to resign. No more ambiguity.

I choose to respect her wishes. To chase her and plead her to stay or ask her why – this would only be more hurtful.

A Book of Support

Last Wednesday (18/2) a signature campaign was started in Bandar Utama to gather personal messages by voters and friends. Not a petition, just a way to write a few kind words to show our support.

We got 40 signatures the first day, and reached 100 the next day. A trip to the CNY dinner event opposite Amcorp Mall on Friday brought the total to 190.

wednightelizsign3_web

Wednesday night

A couple of pages from the signature book are below, where you can see the messages penned by her PKR ADUN & MP friends:

elizsignbook1_web

Sivarasa, Tian Chua, Gan Pei Nei, William Leong

elizsignbook2_web

Wan Azizah, Azmin Ali, Syed Husein, Hee Loy Sian, Loh Gwo Burne, Ronnie Liu, Irene Fernandez

A banner of support was also put up at the Sony Bridge interchange next to Bandar Utama:

wednightelizsign2_web

The book will be at the service centre in BU3 from Tuesday (24/2) onwards. I hope those of you who are able, drop by and sign the book. It is easy to spend a few minutes to write an email, send an sms or write a comment, but to make the journey there takes real love and dedication that I’m certain she will appreciate during this difficult time.

A Petition to the Menteri Besar

A group of NGO’s and RA’s (Residents Association) started an online petition last Wednesday which at this time has 5000 signatures. They are also running a physical petition in parallel with that. The petition is addressed to the Menteri Besar and is intended to show the level of support by her voters and friends. You can read more about it here (link).

There was a road trip today to various places in Elizabeth’s constituency to get as many signatures as possible to be submitted to the Menteri Besar on Tuesday/Wednesday. I dropped by the first stop at BU3, group photo below:
sundayrallyeliz1_web

Written by ak57

February 23, 2009 at 2:52 am

An offer of resignation

cmc_eliz_story2_web

I was surprised by today’s events. At first I was upset because I thought she resigned over such a minor thing. Then upon closer reading of her press statement (link) I saw the key phrase: offer my resignation.

Elizabeth’s offer to resign instead of tendering her resignation could imply that she is being pressured to resign either by the party or by some anonymous person(s). Maybe there are more damaging photos/videos which have not been released to the public. Something that creates a real scandal and brings further shame to her, her family and the party.

Whatever this ‘something’ is, its not strong enough to make her resign immediately.

I am certain she would never voluntarily resign over what has already been released, perhaps that explains today’s compromise where the final decision rests with PKR’s top leaders.

An offer of resignation (which many take as being the same as tendering resignation) appeases the voters who want their politicians to be absolute saints – and the PKR haters too.

If PKR were to refuse to allow her to resign, she retains the benefits of having already offered. Not 100% of course, but from what people tell me the offer alone was like an admission of guilt, which they found acceptable. Then she can announce that she offered, but the party and the voters want her to stay.

If PKR accepted her resignation, she keeps her pride of not allowing these photos to force her to resign. Not allowing the criminals who took them, to control her.

I have no doubt that there are other issues that prompted her action today, its not just photos.

I have my doubts that there will be a good outcome to this, but we will just have to wait and see. Don’t go celebrating or mourning just yet.

References

Nude photos: Wong offers to quit – Malaysiakini (link)

Tearful Wong quits over nude pix – The Malaysian Insider (link)

Written by ak57

February 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

An act of indecency

cmc_eliz_story_web

By now everyone has succumbed to the latest factoid circulating around – that nude photos/video of Elizabeth Wong have been released to the public, implying some sort of ‘sex scandal’.

This is nothing more than a crime; an invasion of privacy. To paint it as a scandal is the work of a fool.

I don’t see a scandal here.

I read the Malay Mail’s story, which was surprisingly complimentary to Elizabeth and not the usual tabloid trash that I expected. Funny thing is they ran a high-and-mighty editorial claiming its none of their business and condemning the dissemination of the media.

Here’s a quote from their editorial – “In this vicious political environment of bitter rivalry, some will certainly see the opportunity to profit from this disgraceful violation.

Who ran (and tried to profit from) this story? What hypocrits.

I must count Khir Toyo in the company of fools as well. To be photographed nude/partially nude while asleep and unaware – how does that suggest immoral conduct? Its completely daft! Without further evidence to back it up he just comes across as a weak-minded individual.

However after some discussions with certain people I learned that there is a chance that Elizabeth may be forced to resign. It is hard for me to see the logic in that. Yes, we have two by-elections coming up. The photos could be used in the election to portray PKR as a party with immoral politicians. Is that reason enough?

Resignation would only show the voters nationwide that we cave in easily.

There were no indecent acts portrayed in the photos. Yet, there was an act of indecency. The individual(s) responsible for taking the images/footage and spreading it around – they are the ones committing indecent acts. They are the ones we should be cursing and condemning.

Sources

Its none of our business – Malay Mail (link)

Invasion of privacy – Malay Mail (link)

Nude photos: Exco lodges police report – Malaysiakini (link)

Selangor MB stands by embattled exco – Malaysiakini (link)

Factoid (noun) : A piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of frequent repetition.

– American Heritage Dictionary

Written by ak57

February 17, 2009 at 3:15 am