Tuesday 27 June 2017

A Hari Raya - enhanced by Singaporeans

Selamat Hari Raya, - Kampung Abu Kassim, Pasir Panjang, Singapore 1949.

Abah made the Hari Raya banner and the two stars for his 4 children's Hari Raya.  Very much a DIY man and coming from a background of the traditional Malay who engages in carpentry he must have enjoyed doing this for each Hari Raya.

As for the family's Hari Raya guests, they all posed for photographs in their best Hari Raya garments.

L to R : Mak and her youngest Akim,  Abah and son number one, Mus, Cik Ayik and family.  I think Pacik Mat was taking the picture.

Sixty-eight years later in 2017, Ash had a re-run of those Hari Rayas of long, long ago.  Four Singaporeans (a Peranakan, an Indian, a Chinese and a Malay) and Ummu an Indonesian (Lely's maid) made the long arduous  journey from Bukit Panjang to Setiawangsa on the first day of Hari Raya.  It was all made possible by Jailani, making his  first solo drive from an island  in the south to halfway up the Peninsula.

Bless you Jai for bringing together Miss Hamid and spouse with her former students on this auspicious day   A very heart felt thank you from me and my sister and brother for this : when you  menziarah my father's and brother's  grave on Hari Raya before you left for Kuala Lumpur (although you do this not only for Hari Raya).

Pusara Abadi , Singapore.

An old teacher's Hari Raya.

I do feel I'm the most privileged teacher on this planet when these 'kids' of mine turn up to revisit the old ogre, their Miss Hamid

L to R: Irene, Lely and their classmate from JSS days.  Din will always find the time to meet up with his old friends whenever they turn up in KL.  
(Ummu is sorting out the washing-up in the background - she also met up with her aunt and family who work in KL)

Then there's Jai who made it all happen and ....

L to R: Osman(a KLite),  Jai,  the spouse and Veera.  A mini-UN made up of an Arab,  a Malay native from Singapore, an Anglo-Scots, and a Singaporean Indian.

What more could AsH want  for this Hari Raya and for all of 2017 - Bless you all kiddos!

Finally, to all my readers, friends and kindred spirits ..... Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Bathin.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Asymmetry of Reactions ......

........  AsH is borrowing a phrase by Vijay Prashad from his article "Violence: Theirs and Ours".

See  http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/31/violence-theirs-and-ours/

It's a solid piece about the hypocrisy of the West (both the Government and the Media) when dealing with descriptions and analysis of death and mayhem that are tearing up our world.  Up to more or less two years ago this scenario was limited to the Middle East and Africa.  Now the 'plague' has moved to Europe and its big cities and we are are now witnessing their pain and grief .  The West used to think that this  butchery only happened to other people in the Middle East, in Africa and Palestine - something they used to watch while they're eating their cosy TV dinners.  The immunity they used to feel when Iraqis and Afghanis and Palestinians were bombed to hell and back has now evaporated and the chickens have come home to roost.

On 22 May it was Manchester's turn to be violated by a jihadist and 22 mainly young people were added to the list of victims of the Crusade .......

..........  orchestrated and conducted by Blair and Bush at the turn of the century, according to  centuries-old  compositions.

I have watched this carnage of innocent lives, especially the young , from the belly of the whale itself, from my early days of settling down in Britain during the 1980s.  Through my 40s, 50s, 60s and now in my 70s, for half of my life so to speak, the endless trail and fields of death just seem to get worse and bloodier with each decade.  The ones who lit and fanned the flames were those close to my generation and the torch has now been passed to their children.  I don't reckon  I will see any change in my lifetime.

When I watched this video this morning, it is clear to see how the malignant cancer of terror are reaching the parts which seemed so immune to bloodshed and havoc because they have been so well- protected by their visible and invisible weapons and by their regime's subterfuge.

Unlike those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine/Gaza, Libya, Syria and Yemen the victims in the West will still have an intact infrastructure.  The kids can go to school as usual, the hospitals and doctors are still there, the shops are well-stacked with food.  Except for some broken bodies and grieving hearts, life will carry on as usual.

But how about these lives?

As for the Manchester Jihadist that murdered 22 and injured scores : those in the know like John Pilger had this to reveal.

READ: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/31/terror-in-britain-what-did-the-prime-minister-know/

To summarise, the perpetrator Salman  Abedi was a member of LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) regarded by Britain as "a terrorist organisation", seeking  a "hardline Islamic state" and "part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement".

The LIFG in Manchester (known as the "Manchester  boys") were strongly opposed to Gaddafi and were " considered high risk and .... under Home Office control orders".  However, they were set loose by MI5  and their passports returned, when Britain, US and France attacked Libya in March 2011.

There are a lot of bloody hands, innumerable Lady Macbeths in this "War on Terror" - but with one difference - they have no conscience.

In remembering the terrorist attacks in western cities, let's set the context for violence and bloodshed in the month of  MARCH this year.  (taken  from Vijay Prashad's article)

  • Khalid Masood, on  22 March 2017,killed four people when he rammed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

  • US aircraft on the same date - in a bombing run - killed 33 civilians who were taking shelter in the al-Badia school.  Other sources say the number might be as  high as over 100.

  • On 21 March, a school, a field hospital and homes in Tabqah were  bombed by  US aircraft, killing 20 civilians.   

  • One week before , in the town of al-Jineh near Aleppo, a US bomb hit a mosque  killing 46 civilians.

The bells toll louder and longer for victims in France, US, Israel, Australia, Germany, Holland, Britain and all in the Judaeo-Christian world.

Some (or rather many) lives are expendable!  Guess who!

Do read Vijay Prashad's article.

"And the love doesn't weigh me down at all"  sing the Hollies.

More than Love - the world needs JUSTICE.

Friday 2 June 2017

: Saying Sorry from a star

The spoken language , in its various intonations,  will immediately signal to you the nature and sincerity of a statement.

For instance, after committing an error you can respond orally with
  •  ' I'm sorry' (and I do mean it with all my heart) or
  • 'sorry?' ( did I really offend you?), or 
  • 'sorry!?' (I apologise but I don't see why I should),  
  • 'sorrryyyy' ( I am not, but I'm coooool!), or 
  • at the very worst you will receive 'sorry xz?w8hjfk!;!!!!!!!!'  (fill in the blanks yourself).
However, any form of written text is a bit more complex to dissect, to tweak out the hidden deception and half-truths - to look beyond the denotations of language to the connotation.  And of course the insertion and placing  of images in the text and layout of any print and electronic media  can be used as a subtle and clever type of innuendo and insinuation.

The Star for example, which prides itself on being .....

,,,,,,,, was recently caught - with its 'kn.....rs in a twist' ( not the first time though) with this front page  "scoop" .

It could only lead to the inevitable anger and disgust from the Malay-Muslims ( the bumiputra and 61.3 percent of the population).  Conflating terrorism with an image of Muslims at prayer is quite unforgivable and cannot be anything else but mischievous.  The management and editors at all levels of authority in The Star cannot claim that it's due to ignorance or an innocent 'coincidence'.

The pathetic and self-serving apology that followed made matters worse.

And so, after that headline and the limp apology, can we declare "Three strikes and you're out!!" ?

How pathetic is this sorry state of an 'explanation' ?

Paragraph 3:   Nobody but a cretin would not link the message and intent of the headline and the picture.  Do the powers-that-be in The Star think so little of the Malaysian public's ability to assess the carelessness and callousness of the design of that front page?  You don't need a degree to recognize the malice, whether it's intended or not.

This reminds me of the excuses put forward by the owner of Ninja Joe P. Ramly Burger when he was brought to task by the owners of Ramly Burger.

So, 'P' stands for pork in Ninja Joe's P. Ramly burger!!  What a porkie!  Or maybe this is just an unfortunate coincidence - a similar plight to The Star.

Extract from http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ramly-burger-boss-pans-pork-burger-tribute-says-seeking-legal-advice

More background information from Ash's posting of November 2016 :http://anaksihamid.blogspot.my/2016/11/ninja-ah-beng-introducing-p-tjtee-juicy.html

Paragraph 4:   "The Star should be more discerning and sensitive to the feelings of our Muslim readers".

What an unfortunate oversight!  Or was it?

Let's take this scenario.

Would some of  The Star's readers be irate if this collage  appears on the front page of  "Malaysia's No 1 Local English  News Portal".

An in-your-face Combi-Image 


Notes for the above  Combi-Image

The top image comes from www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-02/03/content_15781890.htm

Here's an extract from the third image at the bottom.

" The urban areas - especially the capital Kuala Lumpur ......... George Town, Malacca and Petaling Jaya enjoy a quality of living very similar to that in developed countries.

However incomes are still distributed unevenly. For instance the wealthiest 20% of Malaysians control 53.8 per cent of the wealth while the poorest 60 per cent  of the population controls just 21.3 per cent. ..............  Disparities exist along both geographic and ethnic lines.  In general, the Chinese population, which traditionally lived in urban areas and been involved in small and medium-sized businesses or employed in various industries has had higher incomes than the Malays,who often live in small towns and villages and were traditionally engaged in agriculture. .......... Peninsular Malaysia, where the majority of the population lives, has much higher standards of living compared to East Malaysia." 


Being discerning and respectful of  people's sensitivities has always been a commendable trait in this country that gave shelter and sustenance to those who came to her shores for the last 250 years.   But standards of respect for our differences have fallen drastically - thanks to the Internet, Twitter and Facebook which allow neanderthals and cowards to flaunt their bigotry and double standards.

I recall these recriminatory words from Dato Seri Wong Chun Wai, Group Chief Editor of The Star in his column when he challenged the rantings of a Malay racist group.


In the fourth paragraph of his column, Dato Seri Wong wrote " Obviously, it needs to be reminded that under the definition of sedition and seditious tendency in our legislation, anything uttered which upsets a group of people along racial or religious lines is seditious.  The term may be broad but that's how it goes, people. "

Exactly!  That's how it goes  Malaysians!!   Especially when and if you believe that "you belong to Malaysia" and not the proprietorial  "Malaysia belongs to us/me".

Finally, here's an item from the venerable New York Times which is very similar to The Star's star headline.

1.  A few days ago I came across this article in The Guardian which complements the issues that arose from The Star's  'unfortunate coincidence' of May 27.  Extracts from the article  will do a better job at making a comparative analysis of  the journalistic style of The New York Times and The Star.

'Deliberate choices' in the name of the much-vaunted freedom of the Press

With apologies for the poor image.

News about lies and robbery committed by white swimmers representing USA during Rio 2016  (compare with Malaysian terrorist leaders in The Star)  was conflated  with that of  Usain Bolt's remarkable victory at Rio 2016 (compare with image of Malaysian Muslims at Terawih prayers in The Star).

  Our favourite betes noir: Islam/Muslims and Blacks

.... or Prejudice and Pride?

Reading between and beyond the Lines and Images

A B C keladi hutan,
Nasi basi jangan di makan

A B C keladi kangkung,
Tanggal gusi pipi kempong

A B C gula arak,
Aku makan isi, engkau makan kerak

Jinjing-jinjing tikus,
Pekasam labi-labi
Anjing sudah kurus
Malam2 masok babi.

(From Kalong Bunga, Buku 1,  oleh Za'ba, DBP 1964)