Friday, 6 July 2018

On Ogy and the AG.

Especially in Malaysia where race- based politics are the norm ......

The most honest and true statement from a Malaysian about Malaysians!

 ....... outbursts from celebrities such as the lady below only tend to generate more heat than light in the present political climate in this toxic nation.

Image 1

There's no business like show business!  But there is a pepatah Melayu  which cautions Malays (and Others) that "Kerana pulut, santan binasa, kerana mulut ........"  especially when referring to bangsa, and bahasa; to apportioning such derisions as "buat malu", "a lot of uncivilised people", "purely disgusting" to a particular community.

There is no doubt that their expression of frustration and anger is no different from this .... of Bersih 5 and all the other Bersih Campaigns  .....

 Image 2  - "Please step to prove that we are Malaysians hate #MO1  (Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak)"......  although I must admit they have softened the "purely disgusting" act by using "Please ".... aaahh!  .. that's sweet, not so "uncivilised".  (Taken from

....... or this ...

Image 3 - Taken from Lim Sian See's Blog 

Perhaps it will be fitting to apply this window from our Celebrity's eruption to the second and third images albeit with a few adjustments.

Pepatah Inggeris  has this to say:  "Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander".

We can manufacture and use all sorts of excuses and rationales to justify our anger and disgust (apologies for using that word again).

Here are several reasons  why those biadap and 'uncivilised' Melayu did what they did yesterday.

Ash will spare you the lecture. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

1.   History of Bahasa Melayu as Bahasa Kebangsaan'

2.  A celebration of Bahasa Kebangsaan by Malaysians in Kedah.

3.  From the very early days of Imperialism and the arrival of the Immigrants, Malay was the lingua franca - it was put to use in communicating vested interests - so that business and profit can be expedited.  Even the Mat Salleh had to resort to Bahasa  Melayu and in Jawi too!

4.  When the new principal legal adviser to the Government, to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and to the Cabinet - chosen by the PM of Malaysia Baru - decided to speak in English during yesterday's Press Conference, is it any surprise  that 'patriotic' orang Melayu would take umbrage and tell him to do a proper job - in the National Language.  He cannot describe their reaction as 'uncivilised'.  Any other red-blooded non-Malay (and also some Malay) Malaysian, who regard themselves as Anak/Bangsa Malaysia should feel the same about their Bahasa Kebangsaan.

If a top ranking legal officer in India for instance prefers to speak in English he would be hauled over the coals.  In India the use of English for official purpose ceased 15 years after Independence in 1947.  'Tommy' (how The Star affectionately refers to him) , as an "anak Malaysia"  has had nearly 60 years to maintain his fluency in his Bahasa Kebangsaan.  And when he was interviewed about his appointment, he commented :

" We are planning to reform 60 years of laws.... "  ?????? which or what laws?  Is that a promise or a threat from the Alliance of Hope?

5.  Still, he admits he has to brush up his Bahasa Kebangsaan.  Isn't it time he shows his commitment to his job requirement (in using the National Language) just as he is convinced that prayers and God elevated him to the rank of Malaysia's Peguam Negara.

I suppose BN hit the dust because they did not pray hard enough and their God abandoned them!!    Then, which religion and which God fostered the victory of the Alliance of Hope.  Dear God, what a burden we place upon you. Was it really you or the Politically Omnipotent Men with their Grand Design of Resurrection?

Finally, back to Darshan Singh:

Terima Kasih!

And a big thank you to P.Ramlee - the Eminent Person we never had!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

A response to the NST's 3 minute read today.

Good for you Malays!!  You have been learning the lessons to be imbibed from Malaysia Baru!

There's nothing ironic here and neither is this a "minor mistake" by the Malays who we are told, "have no shame".

Malays now realise in this country you have to use Mandarin to get your message across to other Malaysians who cannot and would not use or understand BM, the National Language, ( after living in this country for generations)  or English.

Old Malaysia must be discarded,  we are different now eh, we are as new  as a dilapidated coat turned inside out.

By the way, Assoc.Prof. Moon, our expatriate Specialist Chinese Acupuncturist from China at Tung Shin Hospital speaks better Malay than English.  He even jokes with us in Malay!!  He has been working in Kay-El for just over 5 years.

After all, we now have a brave new Malaysia with spanking-new leaders who are quite explicitly gutsy in  proclaiming  their style in Malaysia Baru.  For instance ....


WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET!  How true, how true!

How very LKY-eish and PAPist!!!!!

What you see is what you get !!

"Masuk kandang kambing, mesti mengembek.  But who's the kambing and who's the kerbau today and yesterday and many, many other thousands of yesterdays?  ....  when the Semenanjung's native inhabitants lived like this ...

...... and like this .....

For all those Malays who did not choose the Alliance of Hope, they have to learn to live and cope in the Brave New World (apologies to Aldous Huxley) of Malaysia Baru - for instance, they have to use more English (like the urban liberals, Malays and others), pick up Mandarin and Tamil (to fit in with the new kambing and lembu di kandang)but please remember to uphold your dignity.

If the NST regards the display of Mandarin placards as ironic, I would prefer to describe that as Satirical.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Balik Kampung Tanam Kacang

AsH balik kampung for Hari Raya in Kay-El and discovered Malaysia Baru - New Malaysia - hence my makeover spelling for the capital of a New Country.

With a memory like an elephant, a septuagenarian elephant at that - it reminded me of the landslide victory of Tony Bliar (oops Tony Blair) and the Labour Party in 1997 after a long period in the twilight zone when Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative party held sway from 1979 to 1997 with her free market, capitalist, monetarist policy.

Eventually, the British public had had enough of Thatcher and her cronies in the privatised Conservative culture.

Tony Blair came along like the Avenging Saviour for the weakened Labour Party caught in the shenanigans and mire of  'Socialism' and  Trade Union politics.  He modernised the Labour Party and stitched up a synthesis between capitalism and socialism and called it NEW LABOUR. It worked especially as it kept the middle class happy and Blair (and the Labour Party) ruled the roost from 1997 - 2010.  Like Ronald Reagan he was a teflon leader because political dirt could not stick to him - especially the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  AsH also believes Malaysia has a good share of teflon leaders!!  We Malaysians are as good as the West where modernisation is concerned.

If I had been in Malaysia Lama (or Malaysia Buruk?) on May 9, 2018 I would be utterly confused as to my choice of vote.  Deciding between BN and PH is really no choice at all.  It's like deciding between LABU and LABI, between the hantu or the jembalang.

Yang Mana Satu Idaman Kalbu??

Again our magnificient P. Ramlee has pinned the situation right down to a T.


Tukang masak aku tak sudi,
Tukang cuci menyakitkan hati.

As for misai tebal, ular sawa : as my dear ole mum would put it - selisih malaikat 44!!

But Haji Bakhil has hit the nail right on the head.  Tak habis habis asmara chinta (asmara politik?) Lagu nasihat lebih baik - bagaimana datang duit, darimana datang duit, bagaimana nak jadi orang kaya...

But that is what Malaysian politics has been all about for the past 50 years or so - the actors in Parliament, the protagonists in the social media, the (political) sifus and warlords, the taukehs and tycoons, the bankers, the lawyers, the academics, the CEOs, the Immigration Department, the handbag purveyors and the financial movers and shakers.  P. Ramlee could see all that coming - bless his cotton socks!  In my book he is the most Eminent Person that Malaysia did not have.  After all, if fate had not taken away his life too soon, he would be only 89 today - just a few years younger than the PM of Malaysia Baru.

I must admit that in this GE 14  I am on the same wavelength as Haji Bakhil's daughter :  Hati dah bosan.  Tidak berkenan sebab perangai tidak siuman.

And so in abject despair AsH has to submit to this ultimatum.

Biarlah setan atau pun hantu

Cukup bulan makan batu.

Biarlah hantu atau jembalang

Balik kampung, tanam kacang.

And here's the grand denouement :

Macham mana aku ta' makan,

Sudah memang makanan kami.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

My celebrated Settee and Yuwrajh's pop-in

How Yuwrajh left his  room after his departure on 22 May 2018.

We  met him last about 5 (?) years ago in London.  Since then we have made several contacts via email as he was ambling and moving  between London, New York and Singapore.

A few days ago we received this email.

We replied and then received this reply.

Two days ago, Yuwrajh arrived.  He had walked all the way from the Railway Station (about 15 minutes walk) to get to No. 43, just too early by almost three-quarters of an hour.  With his usual wicked humour the spouse told Yuwrajh he was too early, so could he please leave and then return at the right time.  I just had to thump him (the spouse, not Yuwrajh) and he backed off in defeat.  Woman power yeah!!!

Through the door, there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name.
Oh my friend we're older but no wiser,
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same.

Yuwrajh stayed over for just one night but we had a lot to catch up on - on old and new - on ups and downs - on here and there.  We ended the day with a marathon chinwag from 9 pm to 2.30 in the morning and this continued the next day until his departure.

I walked him to the Railway Station at 2.30 pm on that sunny, lovely summer's day.  I waved him good-bye as he sets off on his life and dreams - to where ever it takes him.

We hope to meet again InsyaAllah, in December this year in Kuala Lumpur and this time he can re-visit the old settee ( a lot of our conversation revolved around that venerable piece of furniture) and sit and lounge on it like so many people have done for many many years.

Abah bought that settee, second hand,  from a Eurasion neighbour when we were living at Kampung Chantek in 1947.  It had travelled with the family from Kampung Chantek to Pasir Panjang Road, then to Jalan Mas Kuning, Jalan Giam (Johor Baru), Boon Lay, Batu Pahat and finally to Setiawangsa.  I have been the Settee's caretaker for a long time and I hope the grandson for whom it had been destined will cherish it when I am busy pushing up daisies.

The Saga of the Settee

  • Pasir Panjang (1947 - 1967)

Abdul Hamid's Family.
  • Jalan Mas Kuning (1967 - 1973)
Che'gu Maznoor at home.
  • Boon Lay (1975 - 1996)
Akim, Ben and Yuwrajh.

Hidayah, Ash, and Lely.

Yuwrajh, Rojiah and Din.

  • Kuala Lumpur (2008 .....)

Lely and Irene.

Iain, Ash and Jai.

Irene, Din and Lely.

Comot and Spouse.

Yuwrajh, thank you for your company, for finding the time to catch up on your ole Miss Hamid, the wicked witch from Jurong Secondary School.

You have given me two wonderful days to make up for all the harrowing daze (no, it's not a spelling mistake) from October 2017 to 20 May 2018.

Friday, 11 May 2018

The Day of the Lickspittles

Assalamualeikum Malaysia. Za-o-an, Vanakkam, Good morning Malaysia.   Hope I got all that correct.

                                             The UMNO circus has folded up and a new one is taking its place.

Like the Emperor in the nursery tale, Malaysia has got on new clothes.  A new Party, a new Government and administration but the same ruling class.  Only the makeup and costumes have changed.

So, move over Barisan or to be more precise UMNO.   The Party's over.

There has been a revolution, an incredible coup led by a nonagenarian, one who had once held that power before for 22 years under the aegis of the Party he defeated..  This is indeed a record in Malaysia and in the world!  Malaysia and the man himself - the new Prime Minister Dr Mahathir - can take pride in that.

The new administration shall commence with a big celebration and a public holiday on Thursday, Friday and the extension into the weekend is such a deserving reward.

Malaysians can now look forward to a promised lower cost of living, life with subsidies intact, life without the abominable GST. In 100 days, you can fill up your trolley with all the supermarket goodies (as can be seen in the video above) without making a big hole in your wallet.  Then you can jump into your car and drive home in peace because the subsidy for petrol is back again.  It will all be cheap, cheep, cheep, like life for Singaporeans shopping in JayBee.  Lucky lot these Malaysians.  No wonder the British Press are so disapproving of us.

I do wish David Cameron or Tony Blair would make a a U-turn, co-habit with and lead the Labour Party ( for Cameron) and Conservative Party (for Blair) and rescue us from VAT and and rising costs.

VAT (or GST)  at 10% was first introduced in 1973.  People squeal whenever the Government puts up the VAT.  But it is a handy and safe way (for political parties) of raising revenue, better than raising taxes, especially Income tax.

Paying VAT for your purchases in UK  has become like air mandi.  Paying the earth (literally and metaphorically) for energy, which includes petrol (for your vehicle) and gas (for your cooking and heating)  has become part and parcel of living and loving and laughing and loathing in UK.  Yesterday I had to stump out this  20% Vat for my Ink, and the same amount for shopping at a Charity Shop like British Heart Foundation.

In these hard times, I hope the the new government will make a more strenuous effort to retrieve the money owed by the recipients of the NEP who I reckon reside in the highly urbanised states of Johor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Selangor, Perak and Penang.

Three days ago we had to deal with a crisis.  Osman (just recently retired roadsweeper), our good friend and saudara angkat  contacted us (with the help of our good neighbour, Zarina and Kenny) with the news that his son Hafiz was in a critical state in the Ipoh Hospital with just a 50-50 chance of survival.  He had been to the smaller hospital at Teluk Intan, had a diagnosis and then told to go home and 'recover'.  The next morning he collapsed and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital at Ipoh.  They live in Kampung Ayer Kuning, near Kampar.

A distance of over 42 km taking over 44 minutes by car, to get to the Hospital at Ipoh and this does not include the journey from the Kampung to Kampar. 

Syukur Alhamdulillah, Hafiz is out of danger but still critical and in a coma in the ICU.  Why Man, I agonised.  His 16 year old daughter died of cancer that was not properly diagnosed which I reckoned has to do with being where they live.

Here in Britain they call it the post code lottery when it comes to proper health care. The quality of service you get from the NHS depends on where you live.

His wife Aisha passed away just a year ago.

In Malaysia we believe we are all equal.  There are some who believe they are not getting enough  'equality' and in  a country like Malaysia there is  space for them to make a lot of noise and clamour to demand more equality and freedom.  But as told in  Orwell's "Animal Farm" :

In Malaysia Farm:

An enlarged Insert from the above.

The homes of urban dwellers (with my little embellishment).  Yes, I am one of them.  My Abah, a founder of UMNO in 1951 at Pasir Panjang Singapore always reminded us of our roots - of not turning into Kacang lupakan kulit - of doing and giving what we can to those in need, to animals and humans of whatever shade and hue.

The road to Man's kampung from the main road was just a pot-holed laterite road which spewed dust and dirt whenever cars and motorbikes got on it.  There were of course no buses for that unprofitable  route, but even taxis refuse to drive into Kampung Ayer Kuning.  Man and Aisha would walk down that road whenever they balik kampung to see their children and family.  You see, they represent part of  that 4.1% poor Bumiputeras in the urban centre of Kuala Lumpur - migrating to the city to be wage-earners so as to build up a better life ( i.e having a cash income) for their two children and family in the kampung.  They lived for some time in Puchong and would leave their rented dwelling at 4.30-5 am so as to start work at Setiawangsa by 7 am.

Their kampung did not get a proper road until about 10-15 years ago, more than half a century after Merdeka inSemenanjung Tanah Melayu !

My Abah, a founder-member of UMNO in 1951 at Pasir Panjang Singapore always reminded us of our roots, of our Tong Pao, as the Chinese would describe it - of not turning into Kacang lupakan kulit - doing and giving what we can for those in need, to animals and humans of whatever shade and hue.

SHAME ON YOU UMNO for betraying the ideals and sacrifices of our forefathers, of those Malay gentlemen and women of long ago.  If UMNO does not learn anything from GE 14  and turn its house inside out and back to front, then they might as well make a U-turn and join the PH.  Sad to say, my people are extraordinarily adept at running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.

A bedtime fable from Ambrose Pierce.  Beware of Wampogs, fried jackass, burying alive a mole and reading incantations in a public park, rubbing oil of dog on columns of the capitol and of Aged Man with a Broom.

But Malaysia, you can stand proud today.  You had  a peaceful, well-fought election - something just as credible and maybe even more so than Trump's election.  Whatever The Guardian, The New York Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Washington Post and The Independent choose to write - the usual snide, derogatory, and self-righteous diatribe, borne of an inherent hostility towards this Muslim-Malay nation - we have shown dignity and style.  The Opposition won a clear majority and the outgoing Barisan demonstrated grace despite this momentous loss.  No tantrums after losing,  unlike the post GE 13 Elections.  No angry demonstrations like after Trump's triumph.  No tanks and army trucks roaming Putrajaya and the streets.

Well done Malaysia !!!!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Election Fever

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole.  Edmund Burke  1729-1797

What a sterling statement from one of Britain's foremost political philosophers!  What a perfect achievement for any Parliament.

We have to aim to achieve the very highest (and toughest) principles of life and living.  When we fail or fall, we shall not descend into the deplorable bottom of the pit, but maybe just halfway down so that we will be able to claw our way back and enable us to reach some sort of redemption. Perfection is an excellent objective but to assert that one's principles and practice are perfect is almost like claiming divinity.

Just as I prefer to be a pessoptomist - a pessimistic optimist - I stand by this vision of perfection by Shakespeare,

                                       I saw her once
Hop forty paces  through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

We have to live with defects in our Parliament, in our leaders and especially in one very major frailty: that Malaysia as one nation and one interest is sadly and badly lacking "the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole".  Unlike the nations of Europe (including Britain), and even Japan and China to a certain extent, we were manipulated and  overpowered by the political, religious and economic ambitions of the Judaeo-Christian West.  Our history and geography, culture and economy were manufactured by others.  Southeast Asia and Nusantara became the proverbial Goose that laid the Golden Egg although in this case the Goose was not killed but allowed to keep on laying the golden eggs - thus maintaining the profitability of their enterprise.

The defects in our practice of Parliamentary Democracy are no different from any other country.  But Malaysia, unlike most other countries has a legacy and a structure that is not of our making.  Malaysia is made up of many dissimilar factions who, under the British, were allocated very differing and discordant parts to fit into the Empire's pocket.  Under such a condition, it is almost impossible to create an " assembly of one nation, with one interest".  It is like dealing with and living in an arranged and loveless marriage. You have to put up with it and hope for some kind of rapprochement and peaceful co-existence, provided no third party comes into the equation.

If oil is a curse on the Middle East, then the rich (now completely exhausted and depleted) deposits of tin in Perak and Selangor, together with the Peninsula's easy accessibility between East and West  have been the bane of the Malay Peninsula's existence.

The Malay Peninsula, a finger-like southeastern extension of the Asian Continent, caught in the grasp of the Occident and the Orient. 

Since 1957, the Federation of Malaya and later as Malaysia, has committed itself to the institution of rule by Parliament - of conducting General and Local Elections every few years. There have been many brickbats, thrown at Malaysia from both home-grown and foreign sources about the integrity of the election and the elected government.  GE14 like GE13 will demonstrate the same back-stabbing, dirty tactics, cheap racist innuendos and shifty debates to win over the hearts and minds of the electorate.  Our political parties are quite adept in pandering to the lowest common denominator in our political psyche - particularly on the issues of race and riches.

The run-up to GE 14 will promise a great deal of political theatrics and pageantry.  How shall a pessoptomistic septuagenarian cope?

I suppose I shall have to turn to Aesop and Sam.  We are all familiar with Aesop.

As for Sam .....
I reckon (when he was younger in the 1990s) he was not the sort of young man you would take home to meet your mater and pater who dwell in Kelburn, Wellington New Zealand, or Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, or Tanglin, Singapore or Hampstead Heath, London.

But as he is our Kiwi nephew we have taken him into our home in Leicester and Setiawangsa.  As you know, blood is thicker than water or even flat beer.

Sam (left) and his doppelganger, actually his twin brother Joe in the late 1980s.

In the picture above, Sam and Joe looked very bolshie and serious.  Sam had just returned from his anti-apartheid  occupations and demonstrations in Wellington. Joe is a skilful kayaker and used his hobby to harass the American warships that prowl the waters off New Zealand in the late 1980s.  In fact a few months after this picture was taken, Sam was badly beaten up by the police during an anti-apartheid demonstration in Wellington.  His right eye was permanently damaged but his commitment was left intact.

Sam spent his compensation backpacking in Pommie Land, Europe, the Middle East and continental Southeast Asia.

Sam's Journey 

When I was rummaging through the stuff I needed for this posting, I read once again after nearly 30 years Sam's postcard and I felt a lump in my throat.

Sam's Syria, thirty years ago.

Today, Syria has been bludgeoned back to the Stone Age because it was successfully and adamantly minding its own business - keeping the Americans and British and Israel and Saudi Arabia at bay.

When Sam Buchanan came home he decided to paddle his feet in the world of politics.  He became the candidate for McGillicuddy Serious Party for Kapiti.  Here's the write-up for  McG.S.P. in the local paper Kapiti Observer.

Exposing the Political Sham by Sam.

This is how this geriatric shall attempt to get through this GE 14 election fever with the aid of Aesop and Sam.

  • Aesop said :

Beware of joining forces with those who promise salvation and safety.

  • In the matter of making choices, Sam reminded voters that in "every election  .... the ordinary citizen has always lost".  Politicians always win.

  • Aesop also wrote :

  • Beware of the motives of politicians says Sam.

Aesop often used animals to refer to the self-serving nature of man, which I think is an insult to the innocent animals.  Take this fable.

Who can learn a lesson from this parable?

  1. Belacan Malays
  2. Mandi Malays
  3. Masala Malays
  4. Mayonnaise Malays
  5. The whole caboodle

Finally when this GE 14 is over I can imagine this scenario -  a panoply of  recriminations, complaints, squabbles and the 'only-in-Malaysia' tantrums!  This is how Aesop  would describe it.

To  sore losers and Travellers like these, me ole mum would say :

Hujan emas dinegeri orang, hujan batu dinegeri sendiri.

Dimana bumi dipijak, disitu langit  ku junjung.

And so, on 9 May 2018, vote wisely Malaysia.  Vote with this hope in mind -  "one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good ..."

And please do not denigrate the Plane Tree or take it for granted!!

To quote Rita Moreno, "Cool it".