Malaysians in Gaza Incident

I really wonder why we are involved in the first place…

(The flotilla of six ships, including the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, was on its way from Cyprus to Gaza carrying supplies including cement, paper and water purification tablets that was intercepted by the Israelis. Image source: BBC)

Let’s get something right first – it is a fact that Malaysia does not formally recognise Israel. It is a fact that the Palestine issue is not a new one and despite strong objections on the issue by the global community for decades, nothing positive had happened (Palestinians are still screwed until today).

So I wonder why 18 Malaysians (12 have returned after arrested), knowing that they are going to face the Israeli military (or at least the administration which is not recognised by Malaysia), opted to join the flotilla that was destined to break a naval blockade to Gaza. Why they are in Gaza when certain places in Malaysia and some Malaysians are in shit-holes themselves? Where were these 12 jokers when there a massive crisis in Darfur, Sudan? Was it because the perpetrator in Darfur was Muslims and in Gaza was Jews?

Malaysian Defence reports:-

I remembered, last year, when the peacekeeping mission to Lebanon was announced, Malaysia was tripping its heels to get its troops there.

This time around, it is strangely in a slow motion mode. No one is talking about the number of troops to be sent, just considering and waiting. They even sent a special envoy to check what is going on down there! Which is to me, a clear indication of our wariness of sending troops there

For Unifil, we offered 1,500 troops even before the UN make an offer. In the end, after much wrangling, we got 300 troops.

Didn’t they know that when they play with fire, there is a big chance they might get burned? And when the Israelis did response strongly to the flotilla, some Malaysians and the nothing else to do political parties in the country (both from BN & PR) cried fault.

But then again, the question, many failed to ask, is why?

BBC in its Q&A page tries to answer the question:-

Why did Israel want to stop the flotilla?

Israel and Egypt prevent a large range of goods from reaching Gaza, in order to put pressure on the Hamas government. These include cement and scaffolding, which it says can be used to make launchers for rockets, but also a range of other goods which do not undermine Israeli security. Israel also wanted to check that the ships did not contain deliveries of weapons or cash. It offered to allow the flotilla to land in an Israeli port, and to deliver by road any goods that passed its checks.

Some previous flotillas have been allowed to reach Gaza; others have been turned round and sent back. It is not clear why this latest one was greeted by a commando-style raid. It may have been because of the size of the largest boat, the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara carrying nearly 600 passengers, which made it difficult to board by pulling up alongside.

Did Israel breach international law?

This is disputed. A Turkish draft resolution circulated at the UN Security Council described the attack as a violation of international law. Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the raid “tantamount to banditry and piracy” and “murder conducted by a state”.

Israel’s foreign ministry says that under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. It adds: “Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law.”

The buggers who went with the flotilla almost themselves killed or arrested and yet here we are, questioning the other party on the wrong doing. And who are we to tell others on what to do?

When other cries fault on how the Malaysian Government conduct itself, the local politicians (clearly unfit for the post that they are holding) come over and shout to others to mind their own business. Now we are telling Israelis that what they did was wrong – it would not be a surprise if the Israeli Government comes back and ask the Malaysians to “f-off”.

Malaysia is not an ideal country – it is perceived by many here and abroad as a police state, with double standards applied to the elite ruling parties and another to rest of Malaysia. We are not angels so we cannot expect others to be one. And those 12 Malaysians were simply at the wrong place and at the wrong time and they were not “heroes”, they were just busy-bodies, getting into other people’s conflicts. And when they get in trouble, time and huge resources have to be deployed to “rescue” them – sigh!.

Let’s focus on the shit that is happening at our own front yard (read: Well said, TDM) and work to make the country on a better footing on economy, human rights, civil justice and governance before we venture to tell others.

(Meantime, 6 jokers Malaysians are still in a ship approaching Gaza with “Israel’s prime minister has vowed the ship will not reach land”. Good luck, Amigos! After facing criticism from the global community, it is unlikely that the Israelis would back down now – that means they will lose face)

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Oh, the Jews


Saya Anak Bangsa

(KJ may have said things that are against the concept Saya Anak Malaysia in the past but hopefully he had realised that embarking on Saya Anak Malaysia would be the right way for country. Image source: Saya Anak Malaysia)

An interesting conversation that took place on 1Malaysia:-

The biggest laughter came with the final question from Khairy, who asked half-farcically: “Now, tell me, is 1Malaysia the best thing that ever happened since Merdeka?”

Chin Huat: “Well, I generally don’t trust politicians. For me, the public needs to view them like pets. You have to train them or they will go wild on you. It’s just like having a dog, you know. Put it through a training regime, then it will serve you well.” (Ouch… the man can bite!)

Haris: “Where’s the sincerity? You say 1Malaysia, but the nation is still divided into bumiputra and non-bumiputra.”

Khairy: “But Haris, aren’t you a bumiputra yourself?”

Haris: “I’m not a bumiputra. I’m an Anak Bangsa Malaysia.”

(Source: Saya Anak Malaysia)

Saya Anak Malaysia was founded on this notion that all of us are first and foremost Malaysians and Malaysia is our Home. “One People, One Nation” is what we need to achieve at the end of the day. 1Malaysia maybe another but before we can embark on that journey, we need to recognise that we all are in the first place Anak Malaysia.

A Hungry Malaysian…

It is a not a big secret that a hungry Malaysian is an ugly Malaysian. Add the opportunity for free food and you will get ugly and brainless Malaysian.

(It was almost like this when it comes to free food in Malaysia – desperate people rushing to grab on whatever is there . Image source: here)

I attended a wedding last wedding and it started at about 7 in the evening. 15 minutes into the wedding, my son nudged me and with a very soft voice, informed me that he was hungry. I looked at the buffet table which was a long way back in the wedding hall and immediately I knew that once the word “Dinner!’ is sounded, there is going to be a load of hungry piranhas heading towards the buffet line. From my current sitting place, I am probably going to be standing at the very end of the buffet line.

So, anticipating the long queue, I decided to inch closer to the buffet table and position myself strategically so that when and where a buffet queue starts to form, I will be standing nearer to the front line. I was not alone – another 20 or so people were doing the same. As everyone knows, an Indian wedding is not a so straightforward ceremony – there are too many procedures and rituals to be done.

So, by an hour later, everyone in the wedding hall looked very hungry. The more composed, educated ones remained at their seats and patiently wait for the actual dinner time. The more desperate but educated ones simply inch nearer to the buffet table but remained focus on the actual wedding (we just do not want to look too obvious). The really, really desperate and selfish ones simply walk to the buffet table and start helping themselves with drinks.

Once one thirsty guest takes the first cup, it did not take long to get a small queue started and when one old Chinese lady suddenly appeared with a large tumbler and started to fill up the iced orange juice, I knew that things will only get nasty.

The time was getting dangerously close to the actual dinner time – the bridegroom ties the “thali” around the bride’s neck and suddenly everyone knew what that meant – time to attack the buffet table. Thankfully I had made the right move and suddenly found myself at the front of the queue with my son standing in front of me in the line. There were some people started to jump queue and immediately shouts of “get in line”, “you don’t know how to queue ah?” and “please queue – there is enough food for everyone” started to emerge in the atmosphere around the buffet table. There were plenty of pushing as well – my son was almost got squeezed by the crowd.

The good thing was an orderly queue started to form despite the frequent queue jumpers. Just when I was about to touch the large rice spoon to scoop the briyani rice, the same old lady appeared and grabbed about 8 empty plates and started to distribute to her family members. Those younger ones of that family perhaps knew that it is not right to jump queue, walked to the end of the queue and started to line up for their turn. The older ones was a different story all together!

Oblivious to the people who been patiently queued up, they just tried to push the people away and grab the rice. I keep saying to them to queue up and there is enough food but they must have been too hungry to listen. One or two older ones were luckier – I decided to give way and allow them to grab the food. Perhaps they must eat something at particular time or they might die of hunger. The rest – I just pushed them back, (I could have ignored them but I just hate queue jumpers) which worked except for one determined lady.

Finally despite trying to be courteous and diplomatic to this lady (she is someone’s else guests), I had enough when she started to push my son rather rudely. My remark “tak pernah makan nasi kah” (never eaten rice before?) must have knocked some sense into this lady. As almost everyone started to look at her, she stopped and decided to move away until I have taken my food.

I got enough for my son to eat his dinner and enough for me and my wife to have something before the end of the ceremony. My mom and my aunties stayed on at the table until the crowd got lesser uglier. True enough, by the time we left the wedding hall, there were still plenty of food on the buffet table. Those who were not desperate earlier took their food very leisurely and even had time to choose the right chicken piece for their plate.

When it comes to Malaysians and free food, it is no longer the expression “a hungry man is an angry man”. The angry ones would be the one who had to fight off the queue jumpers, cutting queue and pushing just to grab on the free food.

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TV Smith’s look on the same topic

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Travel Warning – Indonesia?

(The dance in contention – the pendet dance. Image source: Flickr)

From Unspun’s blog:-

Another indication that the Indonesia-Malaysia spat is getting a bit out of hand is this incident yesterday (see clip from Jakarta Globe below), where ultra-nationalists armed with “sharpened bamboo sticks” stopped cars and motorcycles in Jakarta to look for Malaysians. In local parlance this is called “sweeping”.

Unspun further asks:-

What is the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta doing about this?

There is nothing reported in our local dailies – all seems to concentrate on the on-going MACC inquest and of course the recent cow head protest. Can we continue to ignore this real threat against Malaysians? It was fortunate that no Malaysians were hurt in the recent sweep by this radical group but it looks like it is not going end there

Although they did not find any Malaysian citizens, Muchtar vowed to continue similar actions and even expand the operation to seek offices and houses belonging to Malaysians. His group has been virulently anti-Malaysian, and had even opened registration for volunteers to wage war against the neighbouring country

The Malaysian Government should voice their concerns on the safety of its citizen to the Indonesian Government and issue alerts to Malaysians in the neighbouring country before things get out of hand

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MACC Critics

(MACC – was a big mistake and is not an institution for all Malaysians? Image source:

As the police are having a hard time piecing together the sequences that led to Teoh Beng Hock, the mainstream media led by the ruling party is doing its own spin. The fact that it is now touching on sensitive areas like racial composition of the MACC leads one to think that the Government have lost all avenues to keep shielding MACC from a guilty stand and is desperate to distract our attentions from MACC.

The latest insensitive spin was one written by New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Ariffin Isa in Berita Harian:-

Berita Harian suggested the agenda was to weaken Malay-controlled institutions in the article, “Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik”, written by the New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Ariffin Isa.

He wrote that political opportunism can turn grief into political capital, and death can be made a catalyst to stoke anger and racial sentiments.

“It is not just the Chinese or supporters of the Pakatan Rakyat who know anger and seek justice. “Suspicions have been raised especially among the non-Malays that MACC, which like other departments have many Malay officers, selectively chose non-Malays to be investigated,” he wrote.

(From Malaysian Insider)

Certainly Berita Harian and its learned editor have lost track of the plot and time (I guess they are still locked in the Stone Age mentality).

This certainly requires a strong response! And a hard hitting response it came in form of Art Harun’s post titled “Macdeth Act II – an open letter to Berita Harian” where among many thing he said:-

Yes, the deceased is a Chinese man. But most and foremost is the fact that HE IS A MALAYSIAN. Every death in custody, regardless of race, creed and breed, will be a tragedy and will be treated as tragic by us, Malaysians.

A. Kugan, an Indian, also died in custody, with horrific injuries or mark of injuries. Malaysians of all races denounced that. Malaysians of all races wanted the truth.

When Nurin Jazlin Jazimin and Sharlinie Mohd Nashar were kidnapped, the whole Malaysia was outraged.

That’s hitting a nail to the outdated and reckless statement from Berita Harian that the current tragedy has turned out to be a fight between the Chinese against Malays. It is not! All Malaysians would have been angered the same if the innocent, irregardless of his age, religion and colour of his skin, was interrogated into the wee morning without his lawyers and turns out death on the same premise on eve of his wedding.

Has everything that is going against the establishment has to be racial in nature? Can the establishment make not mistakes, abuse of power and corrupt? As Art Harun said – shame on you, Berita Harian!

Want to be first class sportsmen? Don’t train in Malaysia!

(Najib congratulating Nicol – to have the right sense not to train in Malaysia? And who is that in the middle? Picture source: The Star)

Najib should be our Sports Minister. No, I am serious. He should be since he made 2 valid points about sports excellence in Malaysia.

The first was in February when Najib said that Malaysia did Vijay Singh a big favor by not granting him permanent residence. The underlying message: Don’t be a Malaysian if want to excel at international level?Now, Najib made another remark, that the local professional athletes should emulate World No 1 woman squash player Nicol David by training overseas. The underlying message: Don’t train in Malaysia if want to excel at international level?

I say he has valid points because if you are a Malaysian and you are really good at sports, the chances are you will have difficulty in excelling in international level. Huh? Reasons are plenty and it does not take an expert to list it down. Oh what a heck, I will list down some of it out anyway:-

1. Officials are more important than sportsmen

Ya, you heard me right – only in Malaysia, being an official is better than being a sportsman – paid holiday & exclusion of any wrongdoing. Remember the issue of the ratio of participants to officials to the Sea Games in Manila which was at a ratio of 1:1.75? So, money that could have spent for sportsmen training, coaches and facilities was used for “sight-seeing expenses” for the officials. That matter has been swept under the carpet in light of Malaysia’s “good” performance in the Sea Games.

When the team fails to achieve (why I am thinking football here, hmmm), the players & often coaches are sacked immediately whilst the officials are retained to warm up the seat for another season (did you realise any “major changes” in FAM recently? No?)

2. Sports is not a big time business

I am not talking about Sports Toto here (it is big business alright). That’s not it. The issue is sponsorship and our rally champion, Karamjit Singh had learned it the hard way. I don’t blame the companies for not sponsoring our sportsmen – there is little exposure in some of the sports which means not much of publicity and some which has good exposure such as Formula 1 demands a very high sponsorship.

Lack of sponsorship from private companies means the Government need to fork out the cash for the training and facilities either directly or through GLCs like Petronas. A lack of support from the Government in turn means promising athletics to bid good-bye to sports forever.

Unless of course, if you are the local authority – you can hold “ransom” taxpayers for your little fun in games. Free money without any accountability?

3. World class facilities but not at where it is needed the most

We built great stadiums (originally for a main sporting event but later turned to held rock concert, carnivals and cheap sales for festive). Stadiums are built in faraway places where one needs to take at least 2 buses or the LRT or drive down through the traffic jam. It’s ok because we want the place exclusive, right?

But the neighborhood fields (where it matter most) are deemed too priceless to be allowed to remain as the “breeding ground” for potential sportsmen & future national sports hero. Development for new housing project or hawker is more important than a “wasteful” activity called sports.

4. Sports is not important career

Participating in sports is ok as long as you have a real job to fall back for your income – this is what most parents will say until they see the Govt gives Nicol David 200,000 cash and immediately they start packing their kids to start playing squash. I don’t blame them because I will say the same too. In Malaysia, there is no such thing as full time sportsmen or jobs related to the science of sports

Of course the Sports Minister can say fine words like “make sports a career” but how many companies are willing to take sportsmen on a full time basis. In my previous company, a friend of mine who represented Malaysia in sports was actually reprimanded for being away on an international assignment for the country (My friend still working for the company but stopped from being a sportsmen to focus on his real job)

5. Malaysian Sports are ran by “professionals”

Take a good look at our Sports Associations and tell me how many of it is headed by ex-sportsmen, coaches or people who are passionate about sports. Not many from the last time I counted. Now tell me how many is headed by politicians, public servants (some retired) and royalty. Some like the MHA (hockey) is well managed and has bravely maintained a good standard but others like FAM, people are still looking for an answer for degrading quality. The question is how professional sports in this country are being managed.

There are other factors too – but the fact is to say that it is good for you if you train outside Malaysia is acceptable because you may not have the right challenges or facilities here at home but to say that it is good for you if you are not Malaysian is an utter nonsense

Until then, we have to wait for more “wise statements” from Najib and by the way, Najib, who is going to bear the cost of overseas training? Will we get 1:1.75 participants to official ratio again? I wonder

(Filed under Tag: Governance)