Monday, November 29, 2010

Dark mood of the White Paper

West Malaysia may have put Malaysia on the political map but many in Sarawak believe that the greed of West Malaysia may very well be the one to wipe Sarawak off the map if their actions against Sarawak are not curtailed, sanctioned and controlled. Whilst the recently proposed White Paper offers to curtail unwanted activity from the Peninsular, unfortunately it says nothing about the inherent greed in our own Sarawakian leaders, whose cronies and contacts are from the Peninsular.

I initially applauded the motion for this White Paper passed by a BN backbencher, thinking that finally, someone in BN was travelling in the right direction. The motion reads as follows:-

…unhealthy and divisive activities and actions with the tendency calculated to disrupt, undermine and destroy the peace, unity and harmony of or multi-racial or respect and tolerance of religious beliefs and practices and the economic interests and progress of the State of Sarawak, have been carried out by persons and or organizations from outside the state


… unless steps are taken immediately to prevent the escalation of such activities and actions, the peace, harmony, stability and economic interests of the state will be undermined and severely jeopardized


…I hereby move that this Dewan (House) resolves that the State Government shall prepare and publish a White Paper on all such activities and actions undertaken recently by various peoples. Organizations and media from outside the state and measures that the Government shall take to prevent the escalation of such activities and to pre-empt the deterioration of the peace, harmony and unity between our multi-racial communities, the security of the state and its economic interests and progress.

Sounds great doesn't it? Sounds like legislated protection for Sarawak against grubby fingers that want a dip in the rainforest pie. I am not against this White Paper but I call for (not that my voice or vote matters does it?) a closer look at the words underlined above and ask that the following be taken into account:-

1) Clarity
The words of the Paper must be clear and not worded in such a way that the intention can be interpreted anyhow to the advantage of those who seek to abuse its loopholes. This is a big problem and an issue because if this Paper becomes Law, the wording should be clear so that judges will have to interpret the Act according to the obvious meaning of the Act and not interpret it in a way suitable to obtain a holiday in Switzerland. The Opposition should serve as Shadow Cabinet on this. Anything less will be a farce, a mockery and an insult.

2) Intention
Is the intention to keep West Malaysian influence out completely or to keep political influence from West Malaysia out? Is this only about politics or does this cover education as well? Will this Act be used a situation where a West Malaysian Principal in Sarawak refuses to let a Chinese student bring pork to school or will the Government then say that it does not apply because the said West Malaysian resides in Sarawak? Will the number 13 (we are the 13th state in case you didn’t know) on our IC be a lucky number for Sarawakians in keeping evil out or will those from within the 13th State devour their own who will then be unable to garner help from outsiders as this will be prevented by the White Paper?

Is the Law supposed to protect Sarawakians or Sarawak? Who then will protect West Malaysians who have lived in Sarawak for many, many years and have made their lives and homes in Sarawak? Will they be protected under this legislation if anything untoward happens against them in the name of defending Sarawak?

3) Government Measures
What does BN mean by "steps taken immediately"? Does this mean being thrown into jail without trial? A compound fine? A warning? Who will be in charge of enforcing these steps? How will we know that these steps taken are fair? In the United States, people previously held without conviction in Guantanamo Bay have been released because it was recognized that holding people against their will for no valid reason except the often flimsy and overused excuse of “national security” was wrong and an offence against human rights. Is Sarawak to have her own Guantanamo Bay?

And what of the suggestion of "pre-emptive measures"? That sounds a lot like another Legislation we all know too well; the Internal Security Act (ISA). We all know what we think of the ISA and we know we do not like it. Mind you, this is not because the ISA is not good law but that its implementation and enforcement is done in a reactionary way to either get attention or scare people from doing things which the Government may not readily accept. It goes without saying that the justice under ISA is subject to higher powers. Is Sarawak to have her own ISA? Before we know it, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm may become reality for us.

A stinkbomb of a threat from the Deputy Chief Minister has not gone unnoticed either, “We shall stay united and will not allow anyone from outside the state to bully us… UMNO promises not to come into Sarawak as long as we are a stable and strong BN party.”

The irony about his threat is that UMNO wouldn't be seen as a threat if it didn't make the outlandish claims it did. Even if UMNO came into Sarawak, it will never change the Constitution. UMNO and the Deputy should go and read the Constitution of Malaysia.

If we use our imagination a bit and pretend for a while that the White Paper is now Law, will the leaders who strangle our children with quotas and suffocate our businesses with terms and conditions, will they be subject to this Law? After all the very first paragraph of the motion reads “actions with the tendency… to disrupt, undermine and destroy… the economic interests and progress of the State of Sarawak." Surely putting quotas and providing us with only 5% profit of our own produce falls under this category. And what of repossessing lands without compensation? What about failure to perform certain inherent job functions which results in poor infrastructure or letting criminals get away with daylight robbery?

AND what of the Deputy Chief Minister's threat above? That certainly falls under an action (speaking) with a tendency (nothing in the motion about intention remember?!) to disrupt peace and harmony. So what measures will the State take against him if this White Paper were law right here, right now?

The points raised in the White Paper is truly a fantastic idea and assuming the Chairman Backbencher who proposed it is not in cahoots with certain cronies, he certainly has my vote. However, the number of perched elephants in the room of DUN, purposely overlooked, is ridiculous to say the least and it shows the inability of certain quarters to look beyond their privileged piggy bank.

The benefits of the White Paper will depends on who it is really written for; whether it is really for the people or as another political blockade to prevent progress coming to Sarawak. The journey of the White Paper to Law will be long. During that time, perhaps we will be able to identify who the real ‘outsiders’ are.

If you would like to know more, Hornbill Unleashed has this to say about the White Paper.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

KLuising in KL

Flight out of here tomorrow. A journey of a thousand steps begin with one. I think I'm at number three hundred and sixty nine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

French Affair

Dare I take off on a 12-hour journey for a weekend rendezvous in Paris?

For Pierre Herme and Laduree, a thousand times yes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Read this

>>> Here <<<

Taib's Nation

In relation to the recent White Paper motion initiated by a BN candidate and passed by the State Legislature to establish guidelines to be adhered to by political "outsiders" especially those from Peninsular, our honourable Chief Minister made the following statement, "This is our nation, this is our Sarawak."

I should be jumping with joy that finally BN was trying and a leader was stepping up to the plate, no matter how corrupt he is (allegedly) and telling West Malaysia that they can't have their way every way, any way, all the time. But wait... this is Taib we're talking about. That he would choose such apt words sends a bolt of fear straight down my spine. There are things which are open secrets in Malaysia which cannot be shared here. The way our leaders scratch backs, the way they turn a blind eye, the way they give the handshake of death.

I'll admit, at first reading I was estatic that the White Paper was passed. I would have remained blissfully ignorant if our Deputy and Chief hadn't opened their big mouths to try reassure the public that they had their best interests at heart. In that way, I really should thank them. If anything is true, it is that whenever Georgie and T-Rex approve of something, one should pay extreme caution and it would be well worth it to listen to everything and accept nothing.

(Log)Jam Tarts - did you know they voted AGAINST Sarawak??

Politics is full of them and I loathe calling anyone "YB" (Yang Berhormat (Who is Respected); prefix for MPs) for the very reason that giving anyone that title imposes a presumption (at least in my mind) that these would be YBs are the very people who dip their grubby paws into the gold rush spawned by bloodshed, corruption, lies, lust, deceit, malice, greed, cowardice and every kind of evil imaginable.

I can't believe that these damn wusses that we voted into the billion dollar State Legislature (which will probably cause the corrosion of the Waterfront river banks at some point in the future) frickin CHOSE not to debate the motion on who was responsible for the logjam disaster after all that bull about evaluating the situation and standing up for the people. Congratulations! By not standing firm and using your voice, you have conveniently let your people rot and sink under together with all that illegal timber you or your cousin's in-law's nephew is raping from our lands. Unless they have a bloody good reason, I suggest that every single person who voted against moving the motion to hear the issue be voted OUT in the upcoming election. I wonder how many children they managed to send to college by self-emasculation.

Forgive me if I don't call you YB. It means that I still have some hope that maybe you might be able to change things for the better.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Following breadcrumbs

Hansel and Gretel had a nasty stepmom who wanted them better off kicking the bucket so for 3 days she took them jalan-jalan into the woods and left them out high and dry cos she thought they were wet behind the ears. 2 out of the 3 days they managed to come home cos super smart Hansel dropped white pebbles along the path that became the inspiration for our modern day cat-eyes on the road (I'm throwing wild guesses around here). However, on the 3rd day there was no stone pebbles to throw cos nasty stepmom had prevented Hansel from going outside the night before. She suspected that him going out the previous 2 nights had had something to do with their bothersome reappearance (she may be nasty but she ain't no dumb-dumb). So on the 3rd day, instead of pebbles, Hansel threw down breadcrumbs. He was then punished for being wasteful with his food (his stepmom didn't talk about the starving children in Africa) when all the birds came to gobble the bread and they couldn't find their way home (boo hoo).

Am feeling a bit like Hansel and Gretal now, lost in a maze of cannot-compute concepts. But on the upside, what Hansel and Gretal didn't have with them back then was Cadbury, Google, Nokia and Wikipedia. And Esther Anandaraj. So what if they found a gingerbread house?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cravings IV

Blanched asparagus with softboiled egg
Soup; lots of soup
Grilled salmon teriyaki with bombay potatoes in rosemary and sage
Cucumber salad with lime dressing
Black bean rice Cuban style
Boursin with Portebello mushroom
Stuffed yellow pepper with cous cous, aubergine, sun dried tomatoes and parsley
Lots and lots and lots of  bread. Brioche, Baguette, Bagel, Crumpet, Pikelet, Round loaf, poppyseed, walnut, banana, Roll, Crepe, Pancake, Naan, Tose, Soughdough, Scone, Savoury muffin, Sweet muffin, Ciabatta, Panini (is that even bread?), Cornbread, Pizza...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas list

As part of my unabashed nature to ask for presents... I thought I'd get this out early.

*Prefixed with "Anything" unless followed by something :)
1) Tim Flach - Equus
2) Carl Warner
3) Anne Geddes
4) Vladimir Kush
5) Salvador Dali
6) Linkin Park
7) Laduree
8) Satin - if bedsheets (at least 350 threadcount and not embroidered thanks)
9) Lancome - Tresor in Love
10) Ben & Jerry's - Half Baked

My sister usually chooses pretty cool presents without me asking. *Nah, said something nice about you 'in public.'

Road rage; kiss ass

I have no excuse and offer no apologies for my road rage. Most of the time I am grateful I do not own a hummer, crane or tractor and do not have diplomatic immunity or else many 4-wheeled creatures large and small alike (for I do not discriminate) will find themselves carved with talons of an enraged Velociraptor. Everyday, one of these idiots manage to annoy me to the point where I will readily sacrifice my car into oncoming traffic for the better good. I am talking about cars that keep going when the light has turned red. I have a good mind to accelerate as soon as my way turns green regardless of whether the incompetent driver from the other direction is speeding across the tarmac. From a hopelessly and idealistically romantic and machochistic point of view, I see myself gloating at the would be killer in Court, even as I sustain broken legs and lose more teeth. Argh!

Besides cars that run the red light, cars that refuse to signal appropriately, drive me up the wall. I met with an audacious piece of such trash yesterevening. Not only did this lunatic refuse to signal when cutting lanes, she had a sign in the rear window sporting a cartoon caricature which resembled her ugly mug, pointing to its ass and smirking "Kiss this; pay me."

Let me tell you, payment at that point was the least of my concerns. I was SORELY tempted to not just kiss that car's frickin ass but to drive over it with a steamroller and reverse. Will thereafter have pleaded insanity, intoxication by rage and intense provocation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea Total

*Editor's note: Having just returned from Pullman, I found out that the Passionfruit tea was also from Dilmah. Also, and more importantly discovered that the tea I actually rate as number 3 is not the Passionfruit tea but Pomegranate White by Gryphon. Nevertheless, enjoyed both pots with 4 macaroons. Have amended the list below accordingly.

  • Earl Grey sits comfortably in the Top 10.
  • Lady Grey sits above him.
  • Marsala (with milk and sugar) reigns above her.
  • The Passionfruit Pomegranate White tea from Cafe Chat, Pullman is currently at No.3. (Memo to myself:- must find out the name of the manufacturer)
  • Dilmah's Rose with French Vanilla (pic) is the 2nd best tea I've ever ever ever had; I give it the "I could die and go to Heaven right now" award.
  • Top of the list is still a Taiwanese lavender milk tea at ss.2 PJ, Selangor. It has its own category under "There is no such thing as reality." Will have some next weekend :D

A different kind of wrapping

How nice the world is shrinking
I don't need to have an inkling
Of how to get from A to Z
Because of integrated linking.

How nice the world is round
And blue and green, not brown
Since we will probably meet
It will be better on coloured ground.

How sweet the world is small
And filled with know-it-alls
Who need to know who said what
And better yet who took the fall.

How calm the earth on first Take
Unfortunately now rather fake
Conversation just white noise
I would rather French Vanilla by a lake.

How great the world is wide
Not enough there is to ride
To explore and see and get away
And get lost in the rushing tide.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chasing Pavements

Sometimes my paranoia affects everything I do and enjoy; even when I'm out on a lunch date with myself.

Smudges on my palette

I wake up to a kampua breakfast and DKNY, wave to the traffic police on the way to work and happily indulge in blackcurrant tea. Then I read the newspaper and my what-started-out-almost-perfect day starts to sound like a tired gong.

It is extremely hard for me to keep a lid on the sentiments of the UMNO Youth Chief as reported in the Star. If what is said is true (unlike Wikipedia that paints a really sugar-and-spice, 'hallowed' light on his character here), then people like him create disunity and disturbance and incite racial hatred and establish road blocks on the path to harmony and mutual respect. It is frustrating and tiresome that so many are given a free rein with their wagging tongues and no threat of f***ing sedition is even mentioned. Let me just quote (according to the Star) some of the phrases and paraphrases that sound dirtier than bringing pork sausages to school.

"He likened the Opposition to a three-headed Roman monster Cerberus."
Cerberus was not so much a monster as he was a dog. Someone clearly has issues with dogs.

"Berpantang maut sebelum ajal, hingga ke titisan darah yang terakhir (Before we die, before the last drop of blood) the warriors of the movement - he's talking about UMNO youth here - will never surrender."
Surrender to what???? What last drop of blood? Someone is forgetting Chinese blood shed on 13 May 1969. Someone is forgetting the hand that raised itself against the people who have actually shed blood. Someone should ask who really did the shedding for this country. We shed and we're still here. We're alienated and prejudiced against in national policies which matter and we're still here. We're called pendatang and we're still here. Maybe, just maybe, we love this Country more than you do.

"He said it would be meaningless should the country become a high-income nation by 2020 but the Malays were still left behind."
I wonder if he knows that only 12% of the rakyat pay income taxes. Talking about becoming a high-income nation is a back-handed slap to the face. I'm also sorry to say this but if the Malays are left behind as a race, it is not the fault of other races who are offered pittance in the so-called fair NEP. One only needs to look into the history of the NEP to see that it has failed to lift the Malay race and has in actual fact, condemned the very people it sought to save. Maybe someone needs to point the blame elsewhere.

Just another separate point to ponder:-

Lim Guan Eng (Opposition MP) mentioned that less than 1% of the 784,900 Malaysians overseas had returned home in the last nine years.
I am part of that 1%. That makes me "special" right? Maybe I'm just stupid for having returned. What future is there for me here? Hishamuddin has already identified with the Pakistanis, Bajaus and Turks as having "Malay" roots and vice versa. What am I waiting for? That the Chinese be called "Malay" as well? Maybe when I'm a certified Malay I'll finally have enough funds to leave this place. Then the Government can go shake legs in the kopitiam wondering how to get me back.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running in the rain

Most things in life have to be one or the other; you're either a morning person or a night owl; a cat lover or a dog one. You either like butter or margerine; wine or beer; the city or the countryside; walking or running. Whenever I go for my 'run' though, it usually means a very fast walk I walk for two reasons; to get rid of nervous energy, of which I seem to store in surplus and to chill by means of listening to music. I like actual running. I just don't do it very well. Running also causes my earplugs to fall out, which means I can't listen to music while I'm dreaming on my feet, which to me is stressful and defeats the purpose of eliminating nervous energy. So I walk. There are however, days when I do actually run.

It rained yesterday evening. Not your usual obnoxious downpour, it fell politely, as if apologetic for hitting grass and window panes along the way. Usually rain means forgoing my daily run but my feet were having a particular itch to move. So I ran. There was the running and there was the rain and there was, at the end of it all, waiting for me, a large bowl of special mee pok, with char siu oil.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Cravings III

Durian cream puff.
Durian ice cream.
Durian choux pastry.
Deep fried durian.
Durian macaroons.
Durian buffet.
Caramelised durian.
Durian durian.
Going to KL soon to satiate my durian urges.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Hall of mirrors

Changing rooms are truly terrifying. People who look decent, fresh and presentable in 'real time' suddenly warp into hideous, sallow-skinned zombies in that confined, musty-smelling cell that forces you to look at yourself in the most unflattering light as could possibly be.

Facial characteristics are magnified to horrific proportions; zits appear 4 times the size of the moon and previously plucked eyebrows look like they belong to a giant sloth. With a morbid and detached curiosity, as I examined my skin through the looking glass, I felt as though I were standing in the presence of Gulliver's Brobdingnagian or before Frankenstein's creature in my reflection. How strange that what may be a reason for delight can also with a twist of hand, be a source of revulsion.

Hair which before was lustrous and full, turned limp, dry and in this unkind light I spotted a white hair. A single strand, luminiscent and obnoxious, arrogantly and deliberately defying the natural order to remain black. Needless to say I promptly plucked it out. I was halfway through congratulating myself when I noticed another white hair and yet another and yet another. Horrible, nasty, fishing-string-looking things, wired higgledy piggledy all through my head.

Distressed, I refused to continue shopping and went home to salvage the dire straits I had found my head to be in by consuming two bananas. May the potassium work its magic overnight.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Very. Hard. Decision.

Should I save up to further my brain juice or fling my savings madly into a 2-week horse trek to Machu Picchu? It will cost approximately RM15,000 excluding flight to Peru but includes internal flight from Lima to Cuzco. There will be HORSE RIDING (up to 7 hours a day), possible horse poo/pee/hair/other bodily fluids on your leathers and a guaranteed saddle bum. Almost like Heaven*.

It'll be like being back in the Mongolian wilderness with more horse riding. Craziness...

Sien. Nobody is into adventure anymore. Command & Conquer from the cushioned armchair that has your butt imprints sealed into it does not count.

* As subjected to author's fanatical equine obsession

For No One Two Three...

I am...
  • a pedantic scatterbrain... or an absent-minded pedant
  • a Bacardi teetotal
  • a second-hand smoker
  • a short tall order
  • compliantly uncompromising
  • a cold shower
  • a heatwave
  • a raging calm
  • organized spontaneity
  • a realistic idealist
  • a calculating numeralexic
  • pessimistically wishful
  • a long-sighted myopic
  • indifferently curious  
  • an unequal equation
  • an oxymoron
I won't change for Nobody.

Stand-off

I will not be beaten

Inhale

Least of all by you

Ready

This is not funny

Chest constricts, jaw clenches involuntarily

Set

Reflexes in check

I think I need the bathroom

*tumbleweed bounces by*

Silence

 *followed by rising crescendo of Spanish guitar (on cue)*

Where's John Wayne when you need him?

Stares opponent down with what is hopefully a menacing look

Nose tickles

I can't sneeze now

My right ear itches

Damn mosquitoes

I wonder what he's thinking?

I hope he needs the loo more than I do

[to be continued...]

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Good news; bad news

The good news is I am light. Like Lurpak Light, not torchlight! Actually, I shouldn't be talking about butter. It makes me want extra thick toast.

The bad news about being light as I discovered last night, is I did not pack enough weight to fix my deflated car tyre. All things went to plan initially. All I had to do was remove the deflated tyre in order to put the spare in. Spanner was in place and I pushed, pressed, stomped and ended up jumping on it, trying to dislodged the nut. The car rocked like a bouncy castle but the screw wouldn't come loose.

Feminism may be the 'in' thing to chase but when it comes to cars, please may the XY chromosome set take over.

Horrible revelation

Was told I sound like HIM. Sounds like, thinks like. What else? Urgh!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Bright Sun Shiny Day

Am in a ridiculously good mood today. That is, until the 4pm shower inconveniently visits, preventing me from my evening brisk walk, forcing me to reroute home and face idiots on the road who don't signal when cutting lanes, at which point the effects of my healthy Muesli lunch will be buried under a pound of dark chocolate.