Sunday, 27 September 2015

Edge Decision is Good News

Sin Chew Jit Poh
24 September 2015
Finally some good news.
The suspension of the Edge Financial Daily and the Edge Financial Weekly was lifted by the high Court. The reasoning of the judge as reported in the news appears sound to me.
Basically, the judge decided that the show cause letter to the Edge was vague and unspecific. For example it did not mention exactly which articles the government was referring to when they said that the Edge was publishing something undesirable.
Without such specific information, it would be impossible to reply properly to the show cause letter and this was in the view of the judge against natural justice; which in lay man’s terms would mean it was really very unfair.
There was also a procedural process which the government did not follow when they suspended the Edge and this too was pointed out by the judge as another reason why the suspension was unlawful.
The fact that they did not follow procedure reflects in my view the unseemly haste with which they wanted to suspend the Edge.
Anyway, at the moment it looks good (of course there is the possibility the government will appeal), and there is a ray of sunshine in what has been a depressing few weeks.
It is heartening to note that there are judges who are still willing to look at a case not merely from the lens of the literal law, but also to apply concepts of justice and fairness in their judgment. I have often been critical of the judiciary, mainly by pointing out that the system we have in place now does not engender confidence in the institution.
But at the same time I have also often pointed out that there are very good individual judges who have made sound and just decisions over the years. They tend to be in the High Court and not the Court of Appeal or the Federal Court, but nonetheless their judgments are reasons to celebrate. This is one of them.
And what makes this judgment even more important at this time is the fact the bad implementation of so many laws have occurred recently; for example, the use of the Printing Presses and Publication Act (the same law as used on the Edge), to ban yellow clothes with the word Bersih 4 on them.
This ban is not only embarrassing for its petty obtuseness, it is also groundless. Why ban it? Is it because Bersih is an illegal organisation? Well, it’s not really an organisation; it’s a coalition of NGOs. Maybe it is because the rally is illegal for not getting a permit? Well, it’s not illegal because according to the Peaceful Assembly Act and a Court of Appeal decision, there is no need for a permit to assemble peacefully.
And what about all those people charged under section 124 B of the Penal Code for supposedly undermining parliamentary democracy, when in fact questioning the government of the day and demanding the resignation of a PM one thinks is bad, is part and parcel of parliamentary democracy.
The court needs to declare all this really very poor use of the law as unlawful. It is unlawful to ban t-shirts for no good reason; it is unlawful to define “parliamentary democracy” to mean nothing more than protecting the PM. One hopes there will be judges who can do just that.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Let’s see who the red shirts are

Brave New World (The Star)
16 September 2015


BY the time this is published, the red-shirt rally should be well underway.
Good luck to them, I say.
I support everybody’s right to assemble, even if I find their purpose for assembling repulsive.
You see, this is the difference between those of us who truly believe in democracy and those who support the manifestations of democracy only when it suits them.
One of their reasons to gather is to demand that Bersih can no longer gather – ironic, it is true. Although the concept of irony is probably beyond their little red brains.
There are those who say that the red shirts are advocating violence, therefore they don’t have a right to assemble.
This is true; the Constitution is very clear on this. One of the limitations on the right to gather is that it has to be peaceful.
But the organisers are now insisting they are peaceful, so let’s just see what happens.
Some of you may say I am being blase about the whole thing. After all, there have been many clearly violent sounds coming from this red lot. Posters inciting racial hatred and killing have been making their rounds, apparently.
I haven’t seen any of them, so I won’t comment. But what I do know is that it is far better to see the problem than to have them hidden away. And this lot are definitely a problem.
No matter how they try to paint themselves, the fact remains that this bunch got united together by one fact, that they are racial supremacists.
They now say that the rally is for national unity. How disingenuous; how utterly moronic.
For weeks it has been blood-curdling screams about so-called “Malay Dignity” and now suddenly they claim to be all cuddly and about national unity? Give me a break.
This rally is about nothing less than maintaining that notion of “Ketuanan Melayu”.
They have a list of demands that reflect this, including the abolishing of vernacular schools, and get this, the return of the Internal Security Act. And now they are inviting non-Malays to their little gathering, almost as an afterthought, to show their “national unity” credentials, I suppose.
By all means go and join them if you want to support the idea that somehow one race is superior to others.
As it is, Malays control the Government, the Government-Linked Companies, the police, the military, and the education system; everything except the private sector.
After 58 years of affirmative action, whose fault is that?
If these people had any “dignity”, they would be ashamed at having to act tough all in order to say they should perpetually be on crutches.
If they had any dignity, they would demand fair treatment for all in the public and the private sector so they can show their mettle on a level playing field.
But they won’t because what they want is a status quo where they can lord it over everyone else, not because they deserve it but because the law and policies allow it.
Let there be no mistake, Malaysia is not some happy clappy fairyland of racial unity, and there are those who will insist that this country is split between the first class and the second class citizens.
So, I hope they all come out. All of these folks who believe whatever these red shirt-types believe.
Let them show their faces so that we know who they are and let us also look out for who their supporters are. Let it be clear that for those of us who want a progressive, inclusive, plural and just Malaysia, these are the people who stand in our way.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Removing a PM

Sin Chew Jit Poh
11 September 2015


This is a purely hypothetical scenario.
A party wins the elections. Following convention, their leader becomes Prime Minister. Things go well for a year, then the PM starts doing crazy things. He sells off all our fighter planes and uses the money to buy a fleet of luxury jets for him and his family. He is known to chase civil servants around his office throwing durian seeds at them when they displease him. At the United Nations he makes a long rambling speech about his prowess in bed. He is corrupt, cruel and perhaps a little mad.
What can we do?
According to our current PM, absolutely nothing. Not until the next general election.
Sounds crazy right? Well, of course it does. Nowhere does it say in our Constitution that a PM can only be removed at election time. Ultimately, he or she is the person who holds the confidence of the house. Such crazy behaviour in my purely hypothetical scenario may cause a PM to lose that confidence. If the MPs do not support him in large enough numbers then he can either step down, or call for a dissolution of the house in order for fresh elections to be held.
And there is nothing unpatriotic or unconstitutional to call for the stepping down of the PM. There are procedures with which this can happen. It is disingenuous for the PM to suggest otherwise and it is obtuse for his Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to say that he has the majority support of the house. Obtuse because we don’t really know unless there is a vote of no confidence.
Besides, how can they have such short memories? It was only four years ago that the BN got the Menteri Besar of Perak sacked because they supposedly had got the majority of the house against him.
And how about Abdullah Badawi resigning before the elections? Have they forgotten that as well? If we take the PM’s words to their logical conclusion, since Badawi stopped being PM before the elections, then it is unconstitutional and therefore the current PM is unconstitutionally holding his post.
I am not suggesting this is the case of course. All I am suggesting is that if the current government want to defend their PM, stop doing so with statements that are utterly wrong.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


A compilation of my articles have been put into a book!
It is called "Brave New World: Greatest Hits"

It can be found at the bookstores below


MPH Bookstores

One Utama

Alpha Angle (Wangsa Maju)

Bangsar Village

Jln Wong Ah Fook (Johor Bahru)

MPH D Pulze (Cyberjaya)

Gurney Drive (Penang)

Jusco Seremban 2

Kinta City (Ipoh)

Mahkota Parade (Melaka)

Mid Valley (KL)

NU Sentral (Brickfield, KL)

Publika (KL)

Setia 7 (Shah Alam)

Subang Parade (Subang)

Spring Shopping Mall (Kuching)

Vivacity Shopping (Kuching)


Times Bookshop

  1Borneo Hypermall (Kota Kinabalu)

Atria Damansara (KL)

Bangsar Shopping Centre (KL)

CITTA Mall (Ara Damansara, PJ)

Sunway Giza (Kota Damansara)

Hartamas Shopping (KL)

Gurney Paragon mall (Penang)

Pavillion (KL)

Suria Sabah (Kota Kinabalu)


Kinokuniya Bookstores KLCC


Borders Berjaya Times Square, (KL)

The Curve (PJ)

Queensbay Mall (Penang)

The Garden Mid valley

Tropicana City mall (PJ)

Bangsar Village II (KL)

1 Mont Kiara (KL)

IOI City mall (Putrajaya)


Silverfishbooks Sdn Bhd Bangsar Village


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

National Day not disrespected

Brave New World (The Star)
2 September 2015

At midnight sharp, after everybody at Bersih 4 sang the national anthem and shouted ‘Merdeka’ with gusto, they left.


THE first thing that has to be noted about the Bersih 4 rally last weekend is how peaceful it was and how lacking in unpleasantness.
I have no idea how many people were there over the two days, but let’s just take a conservative estimate of 100,000 people.
Out of this huge (and very possibly even bigger) crowd, there were a few cases of food poisoning (allegedly from contaminated soft drinks), one broken ankle and one chap with heart palpitations.
A few people tried to break the police barriers into Dataran Merdeka, but it was said that they were stopped by the chairperson of Bersih, hardly the most Amazonian of women. That was easy, then.
And a couple of miscreants set off fireworks, but no one was hurt and the crowd did not panic.
Seriously, you would probably get more trouble from a school football match. So, let’s put to rest any idea that Bersih participants are troublemakers.
Right, so if they were not out to cause damage and hurt, what could possibly have been their agenda?
According to the Chairperson of the Advisory Board to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, its purpose was for Chinese Malaysians to offend Malay Malaysians by disrespecting National Day celebrations. Malays are sensitive about National Day celebrations, unlike the Chinese, he says.
Gosh, just when you thought Malays couldn’t be even more sensitive than they already are, one more thing is added to the list.
This one is quite funny, actually.
It reflects a total bankruptcy in ideas and logic. It is true that the participants were mainly Chinese, but not by any stretch of the imagination were the participants mono-ethnic in their make-up.
I wonder whether the gentleman thinks that the thousands of Malays, orang asli, Indians and who knows what else there were also out to offend Malays. Besides, at midnight sharp, after everybody sang the national anthem with tremendous gusto and shouted “Merdeka” with an equal amount of gusto, everybody left; leaving Dataran Merdeka all ready for the official National Day celebrations, which I gather went off without a hitch.
How then was the National Day disrespected?
But old Anglophiles are not the only ones who paint the national day celebrations as some poor victim of these nasty yellow-clad folk.

{The passages in red was removed by The Star}

There was a bunch of UMNO types who gathered at the Dataran on Sunday to ensure the national anthem was sung at midnight. You can feel their distress that this was not going to happen because of the horrid Bersih folk. These sensitive people need not have worried, the National Anthem was sung, and it was sung with genuine passion and hope.

The ugly head of racism has also popped up just as I expected, because those who oppose Bersih have zero ideas.
They use racially charged language to make accusations with no evidence and no proof.
They are using that old colonial weapon of trying to sow divisions based on ethnicities because that is all their little brains can come up with.
Maybe it might work on the bigoted and misinformed, but it doesn’t work on those who were willing to come down to the streets on Aug 29 and Aug 30.
It surely does not work on the Chinese boys who stood around their Muslim friends who were in prayer on the road, directing participants to give them space to conduct their worship peacefully.
Seriously, where is the proof that Bersih has some racist agenda?
Clean elections, clean government, a right to dissent, improvement of the economy and protecting parliamentary democracy are things which the entire nation needs.
That is what Bersih and the scores of thousands of people in Kuala Lumpur and all over the world were asking for.
Show me one shred of evidence that there is some hidden conspiracy afoot.
They can’t because there isn’t any.

The powers that be and their proxies can fling as many accusations that they want. They can be disparaging and they can insult. They can pass stupid laws banning the colour yellow to be worn. They can threaten arrests. They can do all of these things and more. What they can’t do is stop the people of Malaysia any more. They can’t stop us for demanding that our country be fixed because right now things are rotten. They can’t stop us because there are too many of us.