Sunday, June 26, 2011

Courts have become a tool for politicians

The Datuk T trial an abuse of the courts

Former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul RahimThambyChik, businessman DatukShazrylEskay Abdullah and former Perkasa treasurer-general Datuk Shuib Lazim, all of whom make up the “Datuk T” trio, were fined yesterday after they pleaded guilty for the screening of the sex video at Carcosa Seri Negara Hotel here on March 21.

Despite pleading guilty why was the need for them to issue statements regarding the identity of the actor and the authenticity of the video? Why the need for them to refer to foreign experts when that should be the work of the police? Why the need to screen the video in court even after the accused have admitted their guilt?In fact Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee described that the court’s decision in allowing the video to be shown as “shocking” and “extraordinary.” We understand that huge screens were set up even before the start of the case in anticipation of what is to happen as thought it was all orchestrated. Why did the court allow itself to be abused by the accused?

The net big surprise came when most of the mainstream media reported the case as though the identity of the actor in the video was the main contention.Beritaharian wrote, “Video sek stulen, Utusan Malaysia “Video tulen, pelakun seksserupa Anwar” and the NST “Video not doctored”.The Star published"It is Anwar" in its front page. These reports are misleading, as the case was not about Anwar but about the trio screening and distribution of pornography.

It is extremely disappointing that our national dailies can stoop so low to submit to their political masters.What has happened to the ethics of journalism that they are supposed to uphold?The mainstream media should not make the same mistake of their political masters – underestimating the intelligence people, maturity and wisdom of the people. The people are not stupid and should not be treated so anymore.

Many peace-loving Malaysians do not subscribe to street demonstrations and rallies to vent their anger and frustrations against the government but it appears that with each passing day that unfortunately appears to be the only choice left for them

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bersih's 8 demands

The 8 demands of Bersih for a free and fair elections

Below are the 8 reforms drawn up and demanded on behalf of Malaysians by the the Bersih steering committee:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

2. Reform postal ballot
The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

3. Use of indelible ink
Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

BERSIH 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.

5. Free and fair access to media
It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.

6. Strengthen public institutions
Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.

In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

7. Stop corruption
Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

8. Stop dirty politics
Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

Dear friends,

1.These 8 demands are noble and just and worthy of the support of all Malaysians,regardless of race,creed or political ideology.

2.A free and fair elections are fundamental prerequisites for a democracy and it is imperative that the EC conduct the 13GE in a fair and just manner

thus allowing the people to elect the government of their choice.

3.Let's all give our support in whatever way we can for a free and fair elections.

4.Malaysians must unite to save the nation and the 13GE is the best opportunity to do so.

So please make sure we are around to do our duty to the country at the right time and at right place.

God bless Malaysia

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bersih Rally 2.0

A renewed yearning for change

The second rally, dubbed as Bersih 2.0, organized by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) to be held is to held on 9 July 2011.The countdown has started with the authorities declaring it as illegal and warning of severe repercussions for those participating in it.

The opposition parties and other activists have vowed to send hundreds of thousands of people to join the rally whereas those backing the government have pledged to defend the present system of elections at all costs. These have created a lot of unnecessary tension, which Malaysians can do without at this time of political and economic uncertainties.

At the last Bersih rally on November 10 2007,over 40,000 people took to the streets demanding free and fair elections. The rally organized by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) was described as a great success. However after more than 3 years we are yet to see substantial changes to our electoral system towards that end.

The numerous by- elections and the recent Sarawak State elections will bear testimony to the failure of the Election Commission (EC) to meet the demands of the people. The leaders of the election watchdog itself were denied entry to observe the Sarawak elections, which can be seen as an extreme example of the impartiality of the EC. The 8 demands of Bersih, are:

  • A thorough review of the electoral roll
  • Reforms to the postal balloting process
  • Marking voters who have cast their ballots with indelible ink
  • A minimum 21 day campaign period
  • Equitable access to media by participating parties
  • Strengthen institutions which enforces election laws
  • Eradicating electoral bribery
  • Putting a stop to dirty politics.

These demands appear to be very reasonable and just but why this reluctance by the EC and the BN government to heed their call which reflects the sentiments of the vast majority of Malaysians?

It appears that the government has not learnt from the past Bersih rally of 2007.It has yet to address the 8 demands made through proper dialogue. It appears to be making the same mistake as it did in 2007 when it adopted a confrontational attitude towards the people’s march, which caused the huge losses in the elections that followed five months later.

Today we are again at the brink of another general elections, described by many as the most crucial and hotly contested elections ever, and the government is still adopting the same confrontational stance as before, little realizing that it may cause them a bigger defeat if does not change to accommodate the demands of the people.

The coming 13GE is a defining one for the BN, PR and most importantly the people as it may be the turning point in the history of the nation. It is of utmost importance that this all important elections be conducted in a manner such that the results will reflect the true wishes of the people in selecting their government for the next 5 years. The only way to do that is to ensure that the elections are free and fair, the basic prerequisites for a true democracy

In an era of civility and technological sophistication especially in the filed of communications there should be no necessity for ceramahs, mass rallies and street demonstrations to reach out to the people.They are not only a waste of money and time but carries certain risks to the security of the people.

However the blatant denial of the media and other facilities to the opposition makes such demonstrations a necessity to put their policies to the people. How are the people who disagree with the government going to reach out to the people when they are not their rights to free access to the media?

The aims of the Bersih 2.0 are to highlight the need for meaningful electoral reform and petition the Agong to step in on the matter as the EC and the government turned a deaf ear to their plea. This could have been done through the mass electronic and print media if only they were given the opportunity to do so thus making rallies unnecessary. As they have no free access to such means of communication what other choice do they have other than street demonstrations. If this is done in a peaceful and civil manner there is no reason for the government to stop them, in fact it would be unjust to do so. How else can they voice out their displeasure of the unfairness in the electoral system?

It would be wise for the EC and the government to adopt a more cordial attitude in dealing with those who disagree with them. They must learn to accommodate dissent as it is going to be the way forward with a more literate, mature and discerning populace.

The Bersih 2.0 rally is a renewed yearning for change of the people at large and it is unfortunate the government seems to be missing the point and continues to confront and not accommodate dissent. Confronting the people with threats of arrests and violence will only accelerate its premature political demise.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Dear friends,

Wishing you all a happy and memorable Father's Day.

Have a wonderful time with your children when you still can and they are still young.

As the real test will come when they older and independent

Fathers who are hurt and saddened by your children, don’t give up hope

Continue to persevere and God will deliver you from your sorrows

Children please spend every moment you can spare with your father with love and respect.

Don't short change him anything else

You can have many things in life many times over but a father only one and only once

Show your gratitude to him in the little ways you can when he is still around

To those like me, whose fathers may not be around, let’s treasure and cherish:

Every moment he spent with us
Every principle he stood for in life
Every sacrifice he made to make us what we are today

He may be gone but his memories must continue live in us in everything we do and say.

Following quotations for you to ponder on this Father's Day

1.Dad’s someone to look up to no matter how tall you’ve grown

2."By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."

3."My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." -- Clarence Budington Kelland


Friday, June 17, 2011

Lesson on Sacrifice and Gratitude

The Story Behind the Picture of "The Praying Hands"

The Praying Hands

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No"

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one - no one - - ever makes it alone!

~Source Unknown~

Moral of the story

This is a story of sacrifice and gratitude which are virtues that are becoming a scarcity these days.

In this story Albert was so touched by the gratitude of his brother Albrecht Durer for having sacrificed his own ambitions in order to enable him to achieve his. Albert never regretted for doing what he did for his brother. On his part Albrecht expressed his deepest gratitude to his brother and gave all he had in his possession to express that gratitude to his brother in the form of the “Praying Hands”. We can imagine how he would have felt when he drew the crushed hands of his bother that were the source of his success.

This story should have touched us in some way as we all make some sacrifices for those we love, our parents, spouse, children siblings or friend. The greatest happiness for us is when those whom we sacrificed for appreciates what we have done for them. A little gesture of appreciation from will go a long way to encourage and inspire us to do greater things to many others.

Parents, like Albert in the story, feel happy when their children succeed due to their sacrifices and they feel extremely happy when they show their appreciation for their sacrifices. There is no happiness greater than that they get when their children ‘remain’ with them when they are old and incapacitated with ill-health. They do not need money, gifts or food but a secure place in the hearts of their children at that stage in their lives.

On the other hand children should adopt the attitude of Albrecht Durer who showed extreme gratitude for the sacrifices of his brother that he cannot repay with any amount of money. He repaid his brother with the greatest gift he had, his artistic talent. Imagine how immense would have been his feelings for his brother as he drew the crushed hands of his brother.

Gratitude is what most of us lack these days when life has become so competitive, materialistic and complex. A simple thank you, a phone call, a simple message or letter to express our gratitude to someone who has helped us will be all that is needed to inspire the person who helped. Unfortunately such simple gestures are hard to come by today. We seem to be too busy to even say thank you.

Even children forget the sacrifices of their poor and elderly parents once they are are better positions. They give all sorts of excuses; too busy, no time, financial difficulties, stress at work, sickness in the family and so on. This story of the “Praying hands “should prompt us to reflect on ourselves; how grateful are we to those who have helped us at one time or another?

Father’s Day 2011

Father’s Day 2011

Cherish every moment he spent with us

As usual at this time of the year it is time for us to spend some time to reflect on the role of our fathers in our lives. Many of us are fortunate to have our fathers still with us but there are those who aren’t that lucky to still have them. Whether our fathers are here with us or not does not matter as it is time to pay tribute to them for all they have done for us.

Father’s day may be meaningless to some; it may even be a painful one for others. To some it may be an unpleasant reminder of the tyrannous attitude of their fathers who was the cause of turmoil in the family. The following was a response I got from a man who is very bitter that he did not have a normal father like most of us.

“I feel jealous of those who have a father to shield them during their years of growth. I was born to a blind father and an illiterate mother. I had to grow up without parental care, financial support and guidance. Imagine the trauma of being called a blind man's son. So what kind of Father's day are we talking about? I practically grew up on my own, grinding through and even finishing post graduate with my own sweat and blood. Now that they are old, I have to support them. So those of you who had parental support, please appreciate them. I did not ask to be born...”

While we sympathize with this man, he should be praised for his tireless efforts to become a successful person in his life. His father may not be able to see but I am sure he has many exceptional talents and great values that a normal person may lack. It could have been his ‘handicapped’ parents who could have been the source of his motivation that lead him to attain the successes in his life. His blind father should remind him that he should not to be blind to the needs of his own children and also not be blind to the gross mistakes they make.

Dad’s someone to look up to no matter how tall you’ve grown

There are many such people with disabled fathers and their success stories could be an inspiration for others in similar situations. To those with tyrannical dads it should be a reminder of what a father should not be when it is their turn to assume that role one day. Everyone who passes our life, including fathers, should be examples either to ape or reject. As Mother Teresa rightly put it, “Never regret, having chosen or met the wrong people in life. No one else can teach the right lessons better, than the wrong people”.A handicapped father will have many virtues to offer us that a normal one may not.

However to the majority, Father’s day would be a day of joyous celebrations to thank their fathers for all that he has done for them. In the midst of all the celebrations, let us not forget to recall what our fathers meant us from the time we were young till what we are today.

To those like me, whose fathers may not be around, let’s treasure and cherish every moment he spent with us, appreciate every principle he stood for in life and value every sacrifice, however small it may be, he made to make us what we are today. He may be gone but his memories must continue live in us in everything we do and say.

It is strange that we tend to remember vividly the very small things that our fathers did for us rather than the many expensive gifts they gave us. That should a lesson for us too that it is the small things we do with great love that matters when our children grow up one day. They would appreciate these few little deeds more than the many expensive gifts we buy for them or the luxurious places we take them to.

Spending every minute you can

Those who are fortunate to still have your fathers with you, remember to spend every minute you can spare for him with love and respect. Your children are watching everything you are doing to him, good or bad. You need not tell them what to do as they will follow the way you live. Never say or do anything that you will regret later as that would be too late.

Happy Father's Day

"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."

"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." -- Clarence Budington Kelland

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