Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why I also believe Anwar is not guilty

This is very good. You guys should read this very perceptive observation from a letter writer to Malaysiakini.

I particularly like the irony of a couple of his questions... namely...

1. How does a 61 year old man, with a bad back and ill health - hold down, rip the pants off of and stick his erect dick into the asshole of a young strapping 23 year old man? Can someone explain to me how Anwar could have possibly done that?

Does anyone realise how hard Anwar's erection had to be in order to penetrate the clenched butthole of the young chap? Wouldn't a simple erectile dysfunction test be a more logical course of investigation than a DNA sample?

2. Since when does the Deputy Prime Minister become the first port of call of an anally raped young man coming from the camp of an opposition leader? Is Najib so free? Doesn't he have something more important to do?

Has Najib ever climbed down from his ivory tower to meet any of the genuine rape victims in Malaysia?

Why I believe Anwar is not guilty
K Bing | Jul 18, 08 6:00pm

First of all, I must say that I do not possess any information which is not already public knowledge. However, I have been following news of the new sodomy allegation against Anwar closely and I’m analysing this from the perspective of ‘reasonable behaviour’ and ‘balance of probability.’ Here are the reasons why I think Anwar is not guilty.

1. Is Anwar gay? A person who has fathered six children has established his sexual orientation firmly. Bisexuality is very rare and in any case he does not fit the mould. He has a loving family and his wife is standing steadfastly by him which says a lot.

2. The highly controversial sodomy conviction of 1998 failed to convince most people. A person in a position of power who allegedly cannot control himself to even keep away from his wife’s driver, must have a string of partners. One must ask, why has nobody else come out of the woodwork? Why was it necessary to coerce false confessions from two of his associates?

3. A person on the cusp of attaining political power would not be so stupid as to risk everything. If indeed one assumes that he cannot control his urge, where are the others that he may have violated or other consensual partners? With multiple partners, it’s a secret which is almost impossible to keep for a public figure.

4. Anwar’s anger and outrage at the new allegation is exactly how a wronged person will react. His body language when he speaks of the issue is consistent with his words.

5. When news broke of the police report against him, Anwar took refuge at the Turkish embassy. I believe he did so as he feared immediate arrest and not so much a threat on his life. This shows that Anwar believes there is a conspiracy against him rather than a private complaint which would not warrant immediate arrest. A guilty person would immediately assume it’s a private complaint.

6. Saiful’s resignation e-mail to Anwar did not suggest he had been sodomised and traumatised by his boss. This e-mail has not been denied by him.

7. The notion that a 61-year-old man can force himself on a 23-year-old youth is unthinkable. If threats were used, what can Anwar possibly threaten him with as he is not in a position of power?

Is there a conspiracy against Anwar? I believe there is for the following reasons.

1. The accuser, Saiful was obviously closely connected with Umno and has been photographed with a few Umno leaders including an aide to the deputy prime minister.

2. Saiful is obviously pro-Umno as had been revealed by his online postings. Why then did he induct himself into PKR as a volunteer if not for some ulterior motive?

3. His visit to the DPM’s office a few months before the incident was explained as him having gone there to apply for a scholarship. This is a very awkward explanation. As a college dropout, Saiful was not in the market for a scholarship and in any case, the DPM’s office is the wrong department to go.

And why would a scholarship applicant have his photograph taken with a senior aide? One must ask, why is it necessary to obfuscate and conceal the real purpose of his visit?

4. Najib at first denied he had ever met Saiful and later admitted that he met Saiful at his residence when a traumatised and sodomised Saiful came to ask for his advice. Why did Najib first deny and then admit later when under pressure? Was he trying to conceal something?

5. Najib said he listened to Saiful’s story and told him it’s up to him whether he wants to lodge a police report or not. This is not credible. Wouldn’t Najib have jumped at the opportunity to discredit his political nemesis and insist that Saiful make a police report?

It is wrong for anybody - much less a minister - who has been told a crime not to bring it to the attention of the law enforcement agencies. Why is Najib giving unbelievable explanations? Is he trying to divert all thoughts away from a conspiracy and overdoing it?

6. Najib said that Saiful visited him a few days before he made his police report. The report was made on Saturday and the sodomy was alleged to have occurred on Thursday. This means Saiful could only have visited Najib on Friday, one day before he made his report.

This is stretching the definition of ‘a few days’ to breaking point. Establishing when the meeting actually took place will shed light on the veracity of the allegation.

7. How easy is it for an ordinary person to drop in and see the DPM at his residence or office on such short notice? If he has been sexually violated, there is no need to hawk his allegation to politicians first before going to the police.

8. Saiful’s smiling and confident demeanor when he emerged a few days after his police report certainly does not indicate a man who has been sodomised and traumatised.

9. Saiful’s public challenge to Anwar to swear his innocence on the Quran is unbecoming of a real victim who would be expected to feel depressed and keep a low profile rather than play politics.

To round it up, let me deal with some objections.

1. It is too outrageous to imagine that Umno would weave a sodomy conspiracy against Anwar again as nobody would believe it.

Do you think negative public opinion will stop them? Umno controls the AG’s chambers, the police, the judiciary all of which are sufficient to convict a man of trumped-up charges. For good measure, they also control the mainstream press.

2. The allegations will increase sympathy for Anwar so a conspiracy is unlikely.

On the contrary, it could well discredit Anwar. The tactic could backfire but it is not beyond politicians to miscalculate the effects of their action.

3. Anwar stands to gain the most from it so Anwar must have planned all this.

Isn’t this even more outrageous than the above? No need to waste words on this.

4. Why sodomy again? Isn’t the script 10 years old?

What else can they pin on Anwar? He is not outwardly corrupt. A legal conviction is the most efficient way to get Anwar out of the political scene for good. After serving the sentence, he will have to wait another five years before running for public office by which time he may be too old to have any political ambition.

5. It is too transparent as Saiful has been photographed with high-level Umno politicians.

The plot may have been hatched after all those photographs. We have to be realistic, there are not many candidates who would do this.

6. Why did PKR take in a person without background checks?

He volunteered at a time when PKR was desperately short of staff. Once in, a person is not easily dislodged even when his previous pro-Umno leaning is known. There’s always the notion of fair play and judging a person by his work rather than his past.

In conclusion, when events really happen, details automatically fall into place. When there’s nothing to hide, explanations do not create more questions. A person’s demeanour and facial expression is a reflection of his inner thoughts.

All the bits and pieces collected together can create a complete picture. The picture is not complete but it is complete enough for me to decide that on the balance of probabilities, the incident never happened and Anwar is again facing another political conspiracy.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It's a problem of class... not race.

Interesting reading from Singapore's Today newspaper. It aptly debunks arguments that poverty and disadvantage is solely defined by race (as UMNO's holy book so says). It however is not instructive on how to kill the latest racial fetish that privilege and special (read: retarded) rights are also solely defined by race.

“Poverty and the problems associated with it are always a consequence of class, never of race.” And [there is] an alternative way to help the needy that bypass ethnic self-help groups: A ministry for the poor."

“If that (race) is the only factor that decides one’s thinking and action, it will not be healthy for a multi-racial society”

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Investigate Najib for sodomy

The police commenced investigations within a day of receiving reports of Anwar having sodomised Saiful Bukhari. Since I have full confidence in the professionalism and consistency of the Royal Malaysian Police Force to act without fear or favour.., sean-the-man expects that P.Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration will prompt the police to immediately INVESTIGATE NAJIB RAZAK FOR SODOMY!

Item 25(2) of the aforementioned statutory declaration reads:

Najib Razak informed Abdul Razak Baginda that he had a sexual relationship with Aminah [Altantuya] and that she was susceptible to anal intercourse.
Read the complete text of the s.d. by Razak Baginda's private investigator here.

Highway concessionaires continues sodomising M'sian public

We are still being screwed by the highway concessionaires, with the complicity of the BN govt, of course.

Government compensates concessionaires RM2.97b - The Edge

The government has paid RM2.97 billion in compensation to four highway concessionaires — PLUS Expressways Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak), Kesas Sdn Bhd and MTD Capital Bhd — for delaying their toll rate increases, said Deputy Works Minister Datuk Yong Khoon Seng.

Meanwhile, M Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat-DAP) asked the deputy minister why the government refused to reveal the terms of the concession agreements to the public.

[The Deputy minister] said the government had been providing information on the matter in the past few years and stressed that the government was not negligent in having to pay compensation to the concessionaires as there were such provisions in the agreements.
But why are these provisions for profit guarantees there in the first place? How did the govt come to the conclusion that unfettered profit guarantees given to private concessionaires makes better economic sense than the govt building the highways itself? Isn't it just a convenient way to make sure that certain cronies get to make unreasonable profits off the public in perpetuity?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Asia Sentinel revisits the so-called Social Contract

Good article on the background of the unvarnished version of the Social Contract.

Revisiting Malaysia’s Social Contract
Asia Sentinel
Joe Fernandez
01 July 2008

The contractual glue that keeps Malaysia’s races together seems to be running out

It was the turn of Malaysia’s Bar Council this time to host a public forum over the weekend in Kuala Lumpur on the country’s Social contract, the arrangement between Malays and non-Malays at the country’s birth to share its wealth.

In the end, no surprises were in store. The four panelists were evenly split, two calling it a piece of fiction, two disagreeing in polite terms. This is an endless debate and we can be sure the Bar Council Forum won’t be the end of the matter. Every school child in Malaysia has been well fed in the early years of independence with tons of material on the Social contract. It’s the younger generation that seems perplexed. Hence, the issue is revisited at regular intervals and the debate continues.
The contract, a simple unwritten arrangement fostered between Malays and non-Malays by the founding fathers, brought about a rare unity among the multiracial peoples of British Malaya and expedited the advent of independence on 31 Aug 1957. The Social contract also paved the way for the inclusion of Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei in an enlarged Federation within just six years of the midnight air ringing with shouts of “merdeka” – “freedom” – in Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. Brunei stayed out over oil revenues and Singapore, as we will see later, was soon booted out. The Social contract remained intact.

At independence the Malaysian economy was held almost 29 percent by the Chinese; less than 2 percent by the Malays, who were largely outside the money economy; less than 1 percent by the Indians and about 69 percent held mostly by the British and other foreigners. (Malaysia introduced the 20 year 1070-90 New Economic Policy in late 1969. The NEP pledged to eliminate the identification of race with economic function and place of residence; eradicate poverty irrespective of race, color and creed; and ensure that the Malays and other indigenous races own, control and manage at least 30 percent of the nation’s corporate economy by 1990.

But deviations soon set in and there was rampant nepotism, cronyism and corruption to sabotage the NEP and send the economy into a tailspin by the early 1980s. The NEP had to be scaled back to bring the economy out of a recession in the mid-1980s.)
The thrust of the contract was simple: since the Chinese of the towns in particular had considerable economic power in comparison with the largely rural-dwelling Malays who saw themselves as the indigenous people of the country, it was felt that it was only right that the Malays held the reins of political power firmly in their hands in a quid pro quo. This power they would then share with the non-Malays and thereby underwrite the continued economic success of the country. Malay hopes, unlike the disastrous route taken by economic nationalists in so much of Africa, Myanmar and Fiji, hinged on the economy going right. Had the Malays been overwhelmingly in the majority, it is unlikely there would have been a social contract of any sort. The non-Malay numbers almost matched the Malay, even after being bolstered for nearly 150 years by immigrants from the Malay Archipelago. Had overwhelmingly Chinese Singapore been included with Malaya, the Malays would have been in a distinct minority in their “own land”.

There were shades of New Zealand, Australia, Mauritius and the Americas here, all lands where the original inhabitants were reduced to an insignificant minority caught in a vicious cycle of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, ignorance and disease in vice-ridden shantytowns or in god-forsaken reservations apportioned the most inhospitable and difficult terrains.

The founding fathers, perhaps in a stroke of genius, saw no reason for a time-frame-bound social contract, nor did they see any reason for preserving the arrangement in print for posterity. The social contract, it was foreseen, would serve the nation well and melt away when its time came.

As the nation ends its celebration of its 50th anniversary of independence, an important watershed when we look back at this moment in history in the years ahead, the thinking among many Malaysians is that the social contract has entered the history books as a minor footnote. They point out that not only have Malay numbers increased significantly but the community itself has considerable leverage in the economy of the nation within and without the context of an expanding economic pie.

The levers of the economy at the policy level are almost totally in Malay hands, albeit because of their sheer numbers, although the community continues to be edged out at the retail level. The market is a different ball game altogether.

Not so, scream a vociferous minority, who not only see the social contract as far from having outlived its purpose but insist that it also includes other aspects like the granting of citizenship status to hundreds of thousands of stateless and immigrant non-Malays and their descendents; the position of the Malay rulers, the position of Islam as "the religion of the Federation" according to Article 3 of the Federal Constitution; the position of Bahasa Melayu as the basis of Bahasa Malaysia, the national language, and the sole medium of instruction in education; and the special privileges of the Malays, and by extension, other indigenous peoples of the Federation in the peninsula and Borneo.

This revisionist approach among a diehard Malay nationalist core hasn’t gone down well with the Indians and Chinese in particular and they have made no bones about it in the vernacular media and other channels. Malay moderates feel it’s high time to take the debate behind closed doors, not so much to re-negotiate the social contract, “but to remind community leaders about the history of the past so that they can re-assure themselves and their people once again and renew their faith in the nation and a common destiny, sharing and caring alike”.

(Article 3 of the Federal Constitution states that "Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation." Wanita Umno called in November 2007 at the Umno Assembly for the insertion of the word "official" before the word "religion" to prevent any "misunderstanding".)

Essentially, the various issues being bandied about outside the social contract are either well covered in the Federal Constitution or backed by social convention. Hence, the question of including these in an unwritten political arrangement like the Social contract should not arise at all. Generally, non-Malays are even more for the Malay rulers and see the institution as an important bulwark against mob rule and rabble-rousers. Meanwhile, the Federal Constitution remains secular, despite Islam being recognized by the otherwise color-blind document as the official religion. There’s a fine distinction between official and national and the fact remains that Malaysia does not have a national religion and the Federal Constitution guarantees complete freedom of worship.

Again, the country is definitely multiracial, multi-religious, multilingual and multicultural, as anyone with eyes can see, and nobody can take that away – “Malaysia Truly Asia” runs the official tourism theme proudly all over the globe -- despite conflicting claims that it is an Islamic state one day, Muslim the next day, run according to Islamic principles the third day while admittedly not a theocratic state, a bizarre contradiction in terms.

These shifting mindsets even among the religious moderates can best be seen as their coming to terms slowly and painfully with secular Malaysia and preaching a brave, new way to combat the dangerous mix of politics with religion. Religion is religion, and politics is politics, and never the twain shall meet in Malaysia. We need not go so far as to echo DAP MP Karpal Singh’s infamous outburst not so long ago that, “Malaysia will only be an Islamic state over my dead body”. Karpal was quickly hailed as “the tiger – shouldn’t it be lion – of Jelutong.”

The current debate over the social contract is not the first time that attempts have been made to revise history for reasons of political expediency.

Nearly 40 years ago, after the searing Sino-Malay race riots May 1969 in Kuala Lumpur, many historians attributed the bloodshed to the “breakdown” of the social contract when non-Malay political parties made substantial gains in the May 1969 General Elections. The island of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient, had fallen to the newly-formed Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, which was in fact mostly composed of ousted rebel leaders from the Malaysian Chinese Association, a key member of the ruling Alliance Party.

The DAP (Democratic Action Party), the Malaysian chapter of Singapore’s ruling PAP, had almost half the seats in the Selangor State Assembly, while the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) made similar gains in its Perak heartland. The MCA saw no further purpose in being part of the Federal Government and pulled out while still remaining as a member of the Alliance. The MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress), the other key member of the Alliance, stayed put in the Federal Government and in the states and at the local levels even as quite a number of panicky families sold their properties for a mere song and packed their bags for India. Elsewhere, long queues of would-be migrants formed for weeks outside the Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian High Commissions in particular and the US Embassy.

The MCA pullout from the federal government was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Race riots erupted first in the Chinatown area of Chow Kit which had a Malay hinterland and soon spread all over the capital city. The incomplete polling was abandoned, Parliament was disbanded, democracy suspended, a state of emergency declared by the caretaker government and Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, seen as too pro-Chinese, was ousted and placed virtually under house arrest for a while. It was like a coup d’ etat. There were isolated incidents everywhere. The police were hopelessly outnumbered and overwhelmed and the Malay Regiment was brought in while the multiracial Federation Army and the famed Sarawak Rangers of elite Iban and other Dayak troops were both confined to their barracks. The Malay Regiment were mindless robots who contributed to the carnage as well in perceived defense of race, religion and country. They were eventually ordered, albeit reluctantly and gently, to return to their barracks but not until the blood-letting had dragged on for some ten days or more of unspeakable tales of horror.

In hindsight, the apologists and conspiracy theorists rationalize that the Malay Regiment ran amok in revenge for the killings over two weeks by the Communist Party of Malaya’s Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army which virtually had a free run of the country while awaiting the return of British troops in strength following the Japanese surrender after the 2nd World War. The Japanese looked on. The MPAJA’s victims were mostly Malays seen as Japanese collaborators. There were feeble attempts in official circles to blame the communists for May 13 but these were quickly denounced and roundly condemned by the man in the street. At the height of the Vietnam War, the communists were the eternal bogeyman in Southeast Asia and everywhere in the Free World.

The Malay Regiment, disgraced in the eyes of the non-Malay population, was replaced by the Federation Army and the Sarawak Regiment and calm quickly returned to the burnt-out streets of Kuala Lumpur. There had been a heavy price to pay in innocent lives, all because extreme-right Malays in Umno, the lead player in the Alliance, had been rattled by the electoral setbacks suffered by the MCA and feared the unraveling of the Social contract. Apparently, the rightwing game plan was to intimidate the political opposition, punish the voters and force the MCA back into the Government. The fact that the political opposition had never been party to the Social contract was lost on the rightwing instigators of the May 13 bloodbath.

Even so, the Gerakan and the PPP were virtually blackmailed, with the promise of democracy being restored, to become members of an enlarged Alliance which was renamed Barisan Nasional. The Social contract was back on track. The Alliance, symbolized by a sailing boat, had sunk. The BN chose the scales of justice as the new symbol.

Hardly five years before May 13, Singapore had queried the social contract as a member of the Federation and was quickly ushered out. It's important that Malaysian history books explore the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation. However, this tragedy along with the Japanese occupation is simply glossed over. The key lies in former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's "infamous" outburst: "If these people (Kuala Lumpur) think they can squat on Singapore and get away with it, they are sadly mistaken." Apparently, Lee was alarmed that Kuala Lumpur had rapidly changed track after Malaysia with the extreme right wing in Umno calling the shots.

A serious deviation of the social contract was the misinterpretation by the right wingers that it was a carte blanche for Ketuanan Melayu --Malays first -- Malay political dominance and supremacy. This was anathema to Lee. Many saw Ketuanan Melayu as nothing less than an unabashed amalgamation of the Nazism of Hitler's Germany and the Apartheid of South Africa's white supremacists with the caste system of the Brahmins of India. Surely, such a system could not be good for anyone, even including the great majority of the Malays themselves.

Sabah and Sarawak, the Borneo states, remained in the Federation after some initial demands for a review by Sabah. Kadazandusun leader, Donald Stephens (later Mohd Fuad Abdullah), was eventually packed off into exile as the High Commissioner to Australia, before making a stunning political comeback in 1976 and dying mysteriously in an air crash shortly after with almost his entire State Cabinet.

Is the social contract still relevant in this day and age? Every two people have three opinions.

A simple reading of history and the demographics shows that the Malay factor will henceforth continue to be an important aspect of the nation’s politics unlike in the early days when the community genuinely feared being swamped by the immigrants from India and China and their descendents. No longer can a non-Malay be the Prime Minister of Malaysia, for example, unless with the consent of the governed, predominantly Malay and other indigenous peoples.

Malays have also entered the money economy in a big way as a community and made considerable gains as well in this field. As the Malays prosper and emerge more educated and universal in outlook, having a stranglehold on politics will be less and less the community’s main pre-occupation and obsession. Herein lie the seeds of destruction of the social contract despite having served the nation well. It is unlikely too that the Chinese parties in government will ever contemplate leaving the ruling coalition and should they do so, as was the case with MCA in the aftermath of the 1969 polls, they would not be wooed back. The Chinese in the political opposition, too long in the wilderness, are waiting in the wings for a historical opportunity to taste the spoils of office.