Sunday 30 August 2009

Tit-for-Tat 2 - Tears and Fears

Tears and Fears in cosmopolitan London

At London's Hyde Park, Great Britain held a ceremony to pay tribute to the 52 innocents who died at the hands of four Muslim bombers (the religion of the perpetrators never fails to be mentioned) on 7/7.

52 stainless steel pillars were constructed at Hyde Park to commemorate these deaths.
(This is only an artist's impression. The real memorial which costs one million pounds, is quite stunning.)

Among the dignitaries present to grace the occasion were -
1. Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne who is well known for his pronouncements on peace. He also holds the ranks of Admiral in the Royal Navy, Air Chief Marshall in the Royal Air Force, General in the Army and Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment. He spoke of "...the brutal intrusion into the lives of thousands of people" and the tragedy of those who "did not walk away away from what happened on that awful day."
2. Tessa Jowell, Humanitarian Assistance Minister, who saw the memorial as a place of great beauty and great pain.
3. Sir Trevor McDonald, a well-known and popular newsreader, gifted with a mellifluous voice and impeccable RP accent, himself a non-British-Bumiputra from the Caribbean, who read out the names of the dead.
Gordon Brown was there ,of course. But what can he add to the ceremony except maybe dole out more money for this crusade against Muslim terrorists and Islamic rogue states?

Tears and Fears in Granai, a small village in Afghanistan - their 4/5

On the evening of 4th of May, the innocent villagers of Granai in Fatah Province in western Afghanistan were hit by a '2,000 pound guided bomb dropped by a B-1B strategic bomber'. 'In less than half an hour, 147 children, women and men were killed - 'the biggest single loss of civilian life since the 2001 US and Great Britain's invasion of Afghanistan.'

This is their Monument.

Guy Smallman, the only western photojournalist who visited Granai wrote:
".... high above Granai lie row upon row of traditional Muslim graves. My guide took me to the resting place of his sister and her children who died in the final airstrike.
He said that some of the graves contained entire families. .....At one end of the village cemetery lies an enormous mass grave stretching 30 metres across. It contains the remains of 55 people who had to be buried together as it was impossible to match the body parts recovered with individuals".

At Hyde Park Prince Charles talked of his 'grief and anguish' at the 'appalling aberrations in the human consciousness which produce such cruel and mindless carnage ... an inhuman and deplorable outrage" when referring to 7/7. Will you be able to repeat this for 4/5 in Granai, Sir?

And who will be called upon to read out the 147 names? It would take too long and anyway people would stumble over the pronunciation of such foreign syllables.

John Donne wrote - Any man's death diminishes me.
But some peoples's deaths are more painful than others. It all depends on who is pulling the trigger.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Tit-for-Tat : The Sins of the Fathers

In the 70s and 80s (before I got hitched up) I used to visit Britain quite often. I had to go to the British High Commission to get a visa and each and every time I had to show proof that I am economically active and financially able to visit such hallowed shores. Also I had to show a return ticket to my motherland or my country of departure.
I had the feeling that the authorities were not too happy with these non-Caucasian visitors. Now where did I get that idea? Anyway, there was one time when I presented my letters from my bank, from my employer and my return ticket even before the Immigration Officer asked for them. He gave me a rueful smile and said, "Well we have to be careful about, you know...". I returned his smile and replied, "Yes, it's the sins of the fathers...."
I was referring to "....for I the Lord, thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children". 20.1 Exodus BIBLE.
To be less pompous, all it means is: 'we are here because you were there' despite the sun setting on the Empire.

20 years later I read this in The Daily Mail September 11, 2008
"A leading ____________ has warned uncontrolled immigration may lead to more violence on the country's streets....Mass immigration could change what it means to be British......His cross party group is calling for a 'one in and one out' policy in a bid to reduce pressure....It takes time for people of different cultures to get accustomed to each others' ways and, regrettably, not all newcomers are committed to integration. Some are not even sure about the democratic values that are the very foundation of our society."
Disrespect for democratic values? Now, wasn't that Bush's and Blair's reason, amongst many other concoctions for attacking Iraq?
WHAT IF ..... a leading voice in the then Malay States complained in the same manner about massive immigration during the 1930s? If this leading ________ has this fear for his country, what were his forefathers's intentions in "bringing the benefits that immigration brought" to the Malay Peninsula. Perhaps his leaders could learn a thing or two about living and coping in a multi-racial society like Malaysia! We don't claim to be masters of the game, but Malaysia is not doing too badly even after 52 years of independence.

To fill in the blanks : write down Dr George Carey, now Lord Carey. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury (head honcho of the establishment Anglican Church in Britain ) from 1999 to 2002.

I am a magpie, a collector of inane and sometimes useful rubbish. I found this interesting information in a handicraft magazine 'Beautiful Stitches' - July /August though I don't have the year. It must have been around the late 90s when Dr George Carey was enthroned as the Archbishop of Canterbury. According to the magazine, this enthronement robe was commissioned to Juliet Hemingway's Studio. This is the headquarters of Church Textiles where stoles, chasubles, banners and mitres are 'dreamed up, designed and stitched'. According to Juliet, "Enthronements are held on martyrs' days. This particular day it was the feast of St Alphege the Martyr ..... , and I wanted to symbolise the martyrdom in some way. I also wanted to show the holy spirit, which is often represented by flame. The purple tones were reflections of the amethyst in the Howley clasp, which is a magnificent piece of jewellery worn at the centre of the robe.".. What was Dr. Carey's response when he saw the robe? "It's splendid".

Lord Carey - retired Archbishops automatically become members of the House of Lords -did worry that "it takes time for people of different cultures to get accustomed to each other's ways". I am quite certain any immigrant can get used to the display of such 'democratic' fineries and pomp.

Say no more.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Selamat Berpuasa - Appendix

I decided to scan the article mentioned in the earlier posting. Do click the image to get a 'readable' view. I am sure there is a better and easier way to do this but the technique and technology just eludes me.

Selamat Berpuasa

Check out

" we enter Ramadan, and remember the tremendous challenges from which countries in the Islamic world suffer: the waste and corruption, the underdevelopment, and the lack of job creation.

Many of us have no problem with wholeheartedly engaging in the rituals of Islam, while ignoring the awesome challenges that we face. Some of us claim to care about Islam, while saying nothing or doing nothing to alleviate our difficulties and catastrophes, as if they're unsolvable.

If we label ourselves an Islamic world, and fail to act in a way that betters this civilization, it's an exercise in futility. Some might want to celebrate their religion, very few are willing to work hard to promote a better tomorrow for the Islamic world."

Exactly my sentiments. I could not put it any better. Thank you to The Daily Star, Lebanon, for this editorial "As the month of Ramadan begins, the Islamic World is a shambles".

US firepower in Helmand, Afghanistan

To all, Selamat Berpuasa.

P.S. There might be a problem linking to the given site - with apologies.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Sarah Hana and Anis - Two Darling Sisters (CsH)

Dear Sarah Hana and Anis,
I had planned to write about tit-for-tat, but when I found this note on my desk, tucked under all my other papers - I just had to post this.

Anis Nazihah binti Muhammat Nadzim
01-246302 400
4 years old, going on 5
postcode: 6800
Malay person
loose clothing
brought her coupon
doesn't understand English
untidy hair
not wearing shoes
feels like she is a poor person

This is a 'report' by Sarah Hana (7-8) on her half-pint sister Anis. Sarah Hana, being in the middle of 2 sisters and two brothers, does not get much of a chance to throw her weight around and this 'documentation' on Anis is an indication that she can take charge.
The last three items of her 'report' had me in stitches. She is placing herself in the shoes of a teacher who is evaluating a new pupil. I wonder how she personally feels, or what she imagines a teacher would think about a 'poor person'? Is it the inability to understand English, the messy hair and the absence of shoes that mark out someone to be poor in the eyes of an eight year old? Or does Sarah Hana thinks these are the features that a teacher looks for to put children into a slot?
Sarah Hana , you really make your tok ngah wonder. Also I hope you're not too angry with me because I 'publicised' your little report. But you're (and Anis) such lovable gems and I just couldn't resist doing this. Perhaps one day you will be able to appreciate, from this posting, what a bright little button you are.

No matter what, Sarah Hana and Anis do adore each other.

Sarah Hana in green and Anis in blue.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

All Dressed Up (or Undressed) And Nowhere To Go

There has been quite a lot of news lately about dress-codes.
Firstly there was the case of a Sudanese employee of the UN's peacekeeping mission, Lubna Hussein, who was given a dressing down, to put it mildly, for wearing trousers.

The Islamic Government of Sudan said that she had to face public flogging for "offences against public taste". It seemed that she turned down the offer of pardon by the Sudanese President and intended to fight the law. Hurrah for Lubna Hussein!!
Anyway the Western Press had a field day using this news to clout Islam. In this case the Muslims in Sudan, especially, asked for it.

Secondly, Alton Towers, a major tourist attraction in England has banned (10 August) Speedo tight, skimpy swimming trunks at their waterpark. It was said that "while women may hail the return of the skimpy bathers" (why women only, one may ask?) it was not appropriate for the family-friendly nature of the theme park.
Kudos to Alton Towers! Will Speedo and the masculinists sue Alton Towers? What if Alton Towers was located in say, Malaysia? The human rights hounds will be upon this country like a ton of bricks!

Now hold your breath for this third example.
Going topless on beaches is so passe, my dear! Such feminist chic started in St Tropez in 1964 but now it is quite unfashionable. The reasons given are (1)Aids, which put a spanner in the sexual revolution, (2)fear of skin cancer because of ozone depletion and (c) the feminists are refusing "to give in to the endless
pressure" to parade their 'perfect' body.
There is actually, no ban on toplessness on French beaches except - this summer - the beach at Paris-Plage. Again the feminists are quite riled up because the Islamic veil is allowed!!
We just can't escape criticism, can we?

Just a plea. Can we ALL be a little bit more understanding and tolerant, a little less self-righteous and hypocritical and let a wee bit of "love fly like a bird on the wing"?

I came to know and love this song via my beloved brother,Akim - who left us 27 years ago, in September.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

The Three Wise Monkeys and An Old Soldier

Of the three wise monkeys one speaks no evil,one sees no evil,one hears no evil. When we were young it was easy to differentiate good from evil and right from wrong. Although this dichotomy becomes more complicated with time, politics and politicians have a habit of oversimplifying the situation. What suits us is good, what suits others is evil. The goods we sell are perfect, other people's products are defective.
Patrick Mercer MP (Conservative) is an odd monkey. Although we all would say we speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil Patrick Mercer's political stand and articulations in the media smack of mendacious propaganda at its worst and plain western humbug at its best. Mercer was a career soldier, an ex-Colonel and came to Parliament via BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, and as freelance journalist for the Daily Telegraph. Between 2003-2007, he was Shadow Minister for Homeland Security but lost the post because of racist statements made about ethnic minority soldiers. Today he heads the House of Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee.
Mercer Speaks no Evil
Patrick Mercer is often quoted as the voice warning Great Britain about the perils of terrorism, i.e. Islamic terrorism, in his country. On 1 August 2009 he expressed concerns about MI5 recruiting al Qaida sympathisers. Before that on 22 Feb 2009 he spoke of " a terrorist attack to rival the 7/7 outrages as almost inevitable in the near future."
"Their sole aim is to carry out out another 9/11 or something similar to the foiled plot in 2008 to make a mass suicide attack against airliners with home-made liquid bombs."
According to "MI5 is monitoring more than 2000 suspected terrorists... Young British Muslims are being radicalised at a higher rate than ever. ...killers have the means to unleash a chemical, biological or even nuclear strike. Mr Mercer said security officials believe terrorists could launch an attack at a major televised sports event to cause maximum international impact."

Despite his statement in March 2007 about how he had met a 'lot of idle and useless ethnic minority soldiers who used racism as a cover", his career has not suffered at all. According to Mercer, being called a 'black bastard' in the army is no different from being called a 'ginger bastard' or a 'fat bastard'. However I would challenge Mr Mercer if the army dares use 'Jewish bastard'

Mercer Sees no Evil
What is Mercer's take on his country's culpability for torture and other alleged war crimes? According to the Guardian of 22 August "MI5 participated in the unlawful interrogation of a British resident now held in Guantanamo Bay, the high court found yesterday in a judgement raising serious questions about the conduct of Britain's security and intelligence agencies." This is certainly a case of turning a blind eye, of putting on blinders and saying 'I see no evil.'

Mercer Hears no Evil

The sound of the indifference of the British print and electronic media and of course Mr Mercer is quite deafening.

This song is specially for the hearing of Mr Mercer and his ilk. Stay sweet for (1) the agenda of the arms industry and the security companies, (2) for the warmongers and the islamophobes and (3)Britain needs a distraction and diversion from the country's economic, political and social woes.

Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of the man who can fabricate it. Hannah Arendt
P.S. In the 2007 House of Commons Register of Members' Interests, Mr Mercer is not only affiliated with the BBC but also with several Security Companies like Blue Hackle, Saladin Security and the Hart Group. Such companies provide security and protection to the West and their Allies in the world's troubled hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday 5 August 2009


Tsk! tsk! tsk! chided my niece Maria when I told her we did not get home until 1.30 in the morning after Putri Kama's big do on Monday 3rd August.
Oh what a night! As two OAPs (Old Age Pensioners) we felt very privileged to be part of this young crowd of bloggers - all Wild Thing(s) like in the song by the Troggs. We hoped we behaved ourselves and set them all a good example of what they can be like when they get to our age - although I somehow think they would be more badly behaved.
Thank you all for a supercalifragilisticaspialidocious evening. I wished I had done a walkabout to talk to all those who I only know by their blog names. Just as some have admitted to thinking that AsH is a man - I must confess that I didn't think Sakmongol would look like my former formidable mathematics teacher. I was terrified of him! Sorry Ariff.
Thank you Mak Andeh for making sure these two shameless night-birds got home safely and we hope to see you one Sunday for tosay at Shah Jahan.
I really would have loved you lot as my students other than that incorrigible Din. I would have appointed Putri Kama as the Head Prefect (whip supplied). Kak Teh shall be the Pretty Nerd Perfect (oops, Deputy Head Prefect) armed with a pair of can-huffs (oh dear, I mean hand-cuffs). As for Fatimah, she shall be the Chairperson of the LDDS although I would have a tough time catching her or catching up with her. Pok Ku, Uncle Som, AG, the spouse and I - we can be found in the Teachers' Common Room eating bread spread with genuine Milkmaid/Lifeguard condensed milk sprinkled with Ovaltine. As for the rest they will have to be Prefects too because as I observed from the Poco Poco, there was no particular leader to be found - it was just a beautiful mess.
Once again, thank you all, especially to Putri and better half for an unforgettable evening - from two knackered but happy ole fogies.

Finally, oh Pendekar Putri Sayang:
Langkah serentak alah sajak, sama bergerak,
Sikap gaya, alah sayang pendekar putri.
Bertepuk tangan amboi tangan tanda berani,
Tiada gentar alah sayang hai membela diri