Sunday, January 19, 2014


Dear Friends and members

Clamouring for the Almighty

The ‘Allah’ controversy rages on relentlessly in this beloved land of ours, wreaking havoc to the very fabric of multiethnic and multireligious Malaysia.

The recent controversial Jais raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia and confiscation of the latter’s 321 copies of AlKitab only raises the already hot political temperature in the country. In this regard, constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas feels that this incident is indicative of a government, both federal and (Selangor) state, that has failed its people in its approach to, and management of, religious matters.

Incidentally, ‘Allah’ is not the only word that is placed in the no-go area for non-Muslims. In Penang, the religious authority there has also banned non-Muslims from using 40 words purportedly Islamic in nature.

To be sure, the questionable Jais raid has raised concerns among Muslims as well. Deeply disturbed by this incident that is seen to have caused social fissures, Parit Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, for example, made a clarion call to adherents of all religious traditions in the country to respect one another’s holy books, including the Bible, and to protect the right to one’s holy tome.

Equally concerned about this controversy is fellow Muslim and Aliran member Syerleena Abdul Rashid who feels that religious insecurities among certain followers have been exploited to the hilt by bigots as well as certain politicians and religious leaders, for reasons best known to themselves.

Constraining freedom of expression

In important matters particularly religion, politics and the economy, it is crucial that freedom of expression is allowed and protected so that civilised dialogue, debate and constructive engagement can be encouraged in the effort to seek solutions and mutual understanding.

As always, however, the government resorts to clamping down on discussions. For example, the Home Ministry recently banned Comango (Coalition of Malaysian NGOs) presumably because the latter was critical in their assessment of the human rights situation in Malaysia when making their deliberations at the Universal Periodic Review at the UN in Geneva. In response, Aliran condemned this undemocratic action - particularly when religion has been used, or abused, as justification for this ban.

And as if taking the cue from the federal government, satellite television broadcaster Astro apparently censored the word ‘Allah’ in a Bollywood movie ‘Pukar’ that was screened for Malaysian viewers recently. In particular, two lines in a Hindi song in ‘Pukar’ that read: “he ishwar ya allaah yeh pukaar sun le” (god, Allah, listen to this cry) and “he ishwar ya allaah he data” (Oh God, Allah, Supreme Being).

But keeping mum - or an “elegant silence” (as some charitably call it) - over vital and urgent matters such as religion, race and the economy is no longer an option for government leaders, especiallyPrime Minister Najib Razak, especially when these issues have caused disquiet among ordinary Malaysians.

Many Malaysians have called upon Najib to intervene, show effective leadership and say the right things about particular issues of the day. For example, Aliran president Dr Francis Loh called on Najib to speak out clearly on the ‘Allah’ issue. State assembly member for Damansara Utama, Yeo Bee Yin, challenged Najib to state his stand on pressing matters such as the ‘Allah’ controversy in her open letter to the prime minister.

Even Najib’s brother, Nazir Razak, interjected to call on all concerned Malaysians, presumably including his Prime Minister brother, to work together towards putting the country back on track in the wake of the worrying levels of inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic tensions in the country. Writing in memory of the death of his father 38 years ago, Nazir asked Malaysians to return to “pangkal jalan”.

The kangkung cock-up

Indeed, right-thinking Malaysians are hoping for Najib to get out of his comfort zone and speak out like a conscientious leader for all Malaysians.

But little did they expect that Najib would turn over a new leaf by ranting over the reduced price of kangkung! Can we then blame Malaysians, particularly netizens, for having responded negatively in various creative ways (such as this and this) to this premier rant? This kangkung of a cock-up didn’t escape the attention of the international media such as the BBC, the reporting of which was apparently censored in Malaysia for a while.

So, as you can see, we at Aliran are still not sure whether to really wish you a Happy New Year even though the recent kangkung episode may have put a smile on your face!

Meanwhile, if your family and close friends would like to receive this weekly e-newsletter, please send their email addresses to us at

In solidarity

Mustafa K Anuar

Monday, November 25, 2013


“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”  Somebody called Thomas Sowell said that.

Me, I don’t give a flying fuck about rules IF those rules – TO ME – are unfair! Key operative words “TO ME”. If you think the rules we have are fair you have every rat ass right to push your overweight and over-lapping carcass around. But if you come up TO ME and attempt to stuff this trash talk down my gullet, I will allow you to kiss my ass and get euthanasiatically martyred. “Why so rough?” you might ask. Dang, show me a smooth sandpaper! 

So, can rules be unfair? If your Pa made those rules and you reckon they are fair because he said so, you deserve to be your father’s son until you find out he is not your Pa just because your Ma “openly” consented. It is not important WHO ruled that you must obey that rule. What is important is “IS THE RULE APPLICABLE TO ALL”? If it is not applicable to ALL, it is unfair……TO ME…..and I act accordingly…..

In early October 2008, after the global crash I got a gentle reminder about my insurance and road tax renewal. Cars below 2000cc could get cash (RM165) subsidy thru Pos Malaysia. My 940GLE did not qualify and there was an extra loading for insurance. This rule was not applicable to all! 

Some privileged did not have to pay for gas and insurance. I joined the privileged. Since then I have not paid for my road tax and insurance. There is a good downside though. I used to collect a good amount of traffic summonses. In one trip to Penang and back I accumulated 9 summonses. Since October 2008 I have not received a single traffic summon! 

Since October 2008, I religiously obeyed all traffic signs and adhered to speed limits! You could say I was a highway example of courteous driving. If everyone drove like me during the festival exodus, you would not have those sure-dead safe driving drives that annually challenged this year’s death-rate against last-years suicide achievement. Of course I was pulled aside during  traffic roadblocks and some unusually alert matamata noticed the color of my road tax sticker! I have always got off with a promise that I would be doing the right thing the next day. How I got off cannot be shared here…..maybe later. No, I have never bribed a cop although in those early days when we had just two wheelers and the cops usually preyed on us we used to wear badges that said: DO A GOOD DEED, BRIBE A COP. 

I have never, repeat, NEVER bribed a cop. The 3 Ps usually get me off….Poise, Personality, and that thing a former teacher of mine called PLUS…..that stuff that wins a wink! But on occasions I have openly given as much as RM20 to cops who do not waste my time. These are cops who stop you and immediately write out your summons without the usual ritual of delaying tactics until we initiate a deal. I usually tell these cops go buy something for the kids…..they deserve treats because their Pa was honest!

Dang! I just checked that my driving license expired 3 months ago. I will have to renew this. Although Rosie jets about I know she has a licence to drive.  


Monday, October 28, 2013


HARIS (Ibrahim) in an interview: Undoubtedly, the young Malaysians give me hope. The young Malaysians give me hope that even as we appear to be in a state of seeming hopelessness, we will see light at the end of the tunnel. God willing.

LAM (Radio Australia Interviewer): Insyah Allah.

HARIS: Insyah Allah.
The rest of the interview HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013


A day after the attack on Malaysiakini journalist Lawrence Yong, Zahid was at a security seminar for community leaders in Malacca, where it was alleged that he had made “sensitive remarks”.

Upon the discovery of the presence of journalists, Zahid banned them from publishing what was discussed and he followed this with a threat that he would have their newspapers shut down. The audience booed the media representatives, who were then forced to retreat.

Would Zahid have dared to humiliate, finger-wag and slap the shoulders of a foreign correspondent?

Perhaps, his rude behaviour is reserved for Malaysian reporters because he can gag them and punish them, with the laws at his disposal. A bully boy attracts loyalty by fear. If Zahid harbours ambitions of becoming prime minister, he should tread warily, warns an UMNO insider.
But what do you expect? Shoot first and then ask question or throw out of the window, the witness I mean…..the weapon you throw into the sea what!
Dang! Will the Omnipotent One shut down this blog?
He would if he could but being so macho at Home he might. Which reminds me so much of this macho man who was congratulated when he went to the maternity ward. “Sir, congratulations, you are father to quintuplets,” the matron beamed. “I expected such,” boasted the father of quintuplets, “as I am generously endowed like a chimney!” “Sir, I suggest you clean your chimney from time to time……the quintuplets are all black,” advised the matron as she hurried out as our macho man threatened to close the hospital!
This incident happened when we sent out a Minister to investigate the missing jet engines. He went to London instead of South America. Since he was already in the wrong country he availed himself of his mistake by acting like all normal first-time tourist in good ole London.   
‘What's that building there?' he asks the driver.
'That's the Tower Of London Sir,'
“ Ours is a twin tower, you know?” boasted our Minister.
A minute later he asks the taxi driver again,'What's that building?'
'That's Buckingham Palace sir.'
'We have a brand new palace for our King…… this King lived in the old palace once,' brags our man.
The next historic building in the tour is Westminster Abbey.
'What's that Building there?' our Minister asks.
The taxi driver says,quick as a flash,'Bloody Hell, I've no idea, that wasn't there this morning!'

This coming week is National Senior Minister Mental Health Week. 
You can do YOUR part by remembering to contact at least one unstable Senior minister to show you care.

I have now done MY part!!

Monday, September 30, 2013


Tomorrow morning, I am reliably informed, MPAJ will head for the UKRC (Ulu Klang Recreation Club) to take over its field. The PAS adun has distanced himself from this issue and the PKR deputy President who is the MP deems this not even worth spitting on! I have written in UKRC defence and it looks like we need a more significant effort to this end. I can think of nobody but the THREE of you to step up to the plate whilst those of us who have played a role will continue to take the field in positions we best can.


On Jan 18 2010 I wrote:


UKRC, the Ulu Klang Recreation Club was nearly snatched by some greedy MCA thieves with the help of Khir Toyo of course. That piece of land could make millions for some fat-cat MCA and probably contribute another wing to Toyo's mansion.  However, the community fought back with the help of the Malay Mail then and prevented the raid. The new Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Government dilly-dallied in getting the land officially gazetted after promises on promises. The MP Azmin made countless promises, the adun Saari Sanguib made similar promises. Promises only! Empty promises, that is.
The community played a significant role in the last GE. Period.

That was 2010…..and in April 2012, this is what happened….. on 1 April 2012

On 3 April 2012 we asked if MB Khalid Ibrahim would take the penalty kick for UKRC?

On 4 April we questioned why the Selangor Government was not willing to end this issue

Other postings HERE and HERE

I cannot be there as I have to go for my dialysis. Somebody please take my place.

Monday, September 23, 2013


“All his adult years Najib has depended entirely on government paychecks. No surprise then that his worldview is narrowly circumscribed. His solution to every problem is to distribute government checks, well exemplified by his many “1-Malaysia” handouts. His recent Majlis Ekonomi Bumiputra was no exception; likewise its hefty price tag.”

“Not being introspective, Najib does not and never will recognize his shortcomings. Consequently unlike his immediate predecessor, Najib will never resign voluntarily; he would rather destroy his party and country first. If UMNO does not recognize this, it too will go down with him; likewise the country.”

No, I did not author this. HE did.

Monday, September 16, 2013


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”

What has become of us……after 50 years?
Can you blame some of us if we move away from the shadow of this tattered once-proud symbol?

Can you blame some if they want to change this tortured fragmented symbol?

Think deep about THIS and THIS


Friday, September 13, 2013


Today I want to share the disgust expressed by a TTDI resident. This article appeared in The Malaysian Insider’s SIDEVIEW:

Rich in your pocket, poor in your soul - A disgusted TTDI resident

Death is never a pleasant subject. Doubly so if the person chooses to take his or her own life in a public manner. On September 11, a foreign migrant worker from Nepal took his own life in the lush and posh neighbourhood of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

The deceased, as was revealed a day later, was one of tens of thousands of migrant workers brought into Malaysia to work as a helper in one of the generic "Kopitiam" chain restaurants which had closed down over the month of Ramadan.

From then on, he had no work, no pay and no way to go back to his beloved family and friends in Nepal. In essence, he was stuck in not only an economic limbo but also a geographic limbo with little way out.

Under the mental strain of having had to pay the eye-watering debt he owed to agents for his journey here, he took his own life in the most public way on a rooftop of one of the shophouses where he lived.

This story unfortunately is a lot more common than we think, what with employers and the system allowing for such migrant workers to be exploited and abused in the worst possible manner. I shall refrain from elaborating on this issue as being a non-expert, I am sure many of you reading this are aware of their problems.

This is, however, about a handful of residents of this so-called posh neighbourhood.

What happened, thanks to social media, was just as shocking, if not more shocking than the suicide itself. TTDI has a community page on Facebook where the residents communicate on lost and found pets, sale of food, restaurant reviews, crimes and traffic problems. If you were to go to the page, you would see a lot of petty postings such as of residents complaining about their neighbours taking over the public nature strips outside their houses. That is to be expected from residents of a posh enclave priding themselves on being educated, well travelled and shall I say sophisticated.

On the morning of September 11, someone posted a picture of the now deceased on the roof, asking for verification that such an event is actually happening. Confirmations came in, with some people reporting that people were shouting at the man, goading him to jump.

This sparked a debate on the Facebook page, which revealed much about the hearts and minds of a few of the residents there. One said he should just jump and get over it, one even said that there was no way he could die from a relatively short height, which was of course proven wrong.

This absolutely disgusted the majority of the residents, me included. I have to caveat this because the most heartening thing that came out of this was that a majority of the residents chided the few who mocked, made fun of and assumed many things about the deceased. One even said that he wished he had actually jumped, instead of rolling off the roof in an undramatic fashion and falling to his death. To be fair, emergency services were there with an air mattress but he evaded it so that death could embrace him, to end his extremely miserable short life on this Earth (he was only 30 years old).

Some said that he was looking for attention and if he indeed was seeking attention, can we blame him?

Some residents even posted the picture of the corpse, uncovered and even videos of the “action”, all in the name of “educating” everyone on this tragedy. The administrators then removed the videos and pictures after an outcry. Of course the next day, some pictures were posted on this event in the newspaper, accompanying the story on the suicide. Of course being that editors are experts at self-censorship, less gory pictures were published. The residents who had their pictures and videos removed from the community page, in all their pompousness declared that if the newspapers could publish it, why not them?

My answer to that is, it’s a question of taste and respect to the deceased. While newspapers are out to sell more newspapers and increase their revenue, are the people who posted it on the community page out to garner a reputation for themselves?

Whilst they were not on-site goading the deceased, the semi-anonymity of posting on Facebook or any social media does not give them any immunity having played a small part in contributing to not only this man's death, but any future would-be suicides. Mocking, bullying and encouraging on social media is as good as them being there. Recent cases in the US and UK have revealed how mass online bullying has encouraged a shockingly high number of teenagers into committing suicide. Be it may that they were troubled children in the first place, one of the rules of humanity which I quote from Hippocrates is, "First, Do No Harm".

For it to come from a community that would help each other look for lost pets, bring lost pets into their homes until their owners were found, hold charity drives (yes, we do have a gaggle of social climbers who hoot and toot about their charity work), have strays medically treated with an ad hoc catch-and-release programme.

This contradiction in the character of a community in itself calls for people to have a long hard look at themselves. I am not asking for my neighbours to have rushed to the site and try to rescue him or try to talk him out of it. None of us are equipped with the necessary skills to do this. I am asking for something that is so simple to be and do. Just be a good human. Refrain from speaking ill of someone who has lost not only his mind, but also everything he has, and much much more.

I hope a lot of my neighbours, and I am targeting the ones who mocked and later tried to aggressively justify why they said what they said, that I hope one day you never have to lose your child in this manner.

I don't have confidence though that this message will get through to such people because they're so firmly ensconced in their luxurious air-conditioned home, lying on their Egyptian cotton bed sheets staring numbly at their 44” flat screen that their world is as far away as it possibly can be from an indentured migrant worker's life. For all their air of sophistication, attempts at writing in English, shopping at designer boutiques and travels to exotic countries that they so proudly display on their Facebook pages, their reactions just tell me how rotten they are inside.

From the good, kind people of TTDI, as most of us are, I would like to extend my condolences and apologies to the family of the Nepalese man. May he rest in peace. - September 12, 2013.