Monday, 29 September 2008

The Great Wall












Last Friday on the 26th September, I took a trip to the Great Wall of China. Around 2 hours drive away from Beijing, the drive itself was scenic.

Needless to say, the anticipation of seeing this 2000 year old Wall was sky high. And the Wall is really truly, great. What a structure. Of course, most of it is re-built and maintained by the current Government, but the foundation and the track is as old as 2000 years.

The climb was steep and the higher you go, you can feel the air thins. I was trying to imagine the Chinese soldier hundreds of years ago, guarding and keeping watch on the Wall, though the bitter cold. Despite wearing a jacket, i was already shivering, they must have been really strong back then.

I hope to visit Beijing again, and must visit THE Wall again, too.


Thursday, 25 September 2008

Beijing


























Been in Beijing since Saturday. What an amazing city. A mixture of old and new. Vibrant, dirty, exciting, a little dangerous; all kinds of mix feelings when you walk around Beijing.

I did the usual tourist thing, by visiting the Forbidden City, Tianamen Square and the Temple of Heaven. But Beijing has more than just these obvious tourist spots. The 'Hutong' is marvellous. Some are small and dodgy, but some is full of culture and life. (Hutong is small lanes around Beijing)

The people here seems resilient. While back home in Malaysia people are panicking about the Milk fiasco, here the people just avoid drinking milk for the moment, and move on. (Starbucks here use soy milk in replacement) The Government has sacked the Governor of the district, where the said milk factory is located (Something Malaysian Government can learn about - accountability), and the Directors of that Company is likely to face heavy charges from the Government.

The Country is so huge and have 1.3 billion people. To put into perspective:-

Malaysia = 25,000,000 estimated people
China = 1,300,000,000 people.

China has 52 times more people than Malaysia. I now realise how difficult it must be to govern the Country. Imagine all 1.3 billion people switch on electricity or tap water at the same time...

Interestingly around 8% are muslim, which totals to around 100million people. So there are more Chinese Muslims in China than all muslims totalled up in Malaysia... interesting :) The currency reflects the muslims population, as the Chinese currency RMB, has Jawi writings on it,other than Chinese characters and English.

The people here sometimes speak very loudly, but whole heartedly. It seems when they speak to one another, they speak from their heart. Of course there are people still spitting here and there; and while most of the Public Toilets are very clean, some are just... well less said better.

Back to the places to visit. One has to walk around the inner streets to take in the city. As I cannot speak Mandarin, my travel has been a fairly silent one, in the midst of the noisy City. It would have been nice to have some friends or a partner as I was strolling the wonderful and romantic Temple of Heaven, but I suppose that is the price I pay for being a difficult person to be with.

Shopping too, is great. The prices here are either very much more expensive than in Malaysia, or dirt cheap. Examples - Kellogs Corn Flakes here is RMB 60 and in Malaysia, less than RM15. (RMB 2 = RM1). But cufflinks here one is RMB 10 - 20, sometimes up to RMB 100. In Malaysia,?? Well guys who buy cufflinks back home will know that what I quoted above is very cheap.

One cant speak about Beijing without mentioning the Olympics. The Olympic stadiums especially the new ones are fantastic. True engineering class.

My friend Will Fung and his wife have been a superb host. We were friends when we took office of the Young Lawyers Committee back in 2005. We miss Will's energy in the Bar, but our loss is China's gain. Will is a super lawyer here. He's got good legal skills, wonderful PR and has massive foresight when working. He's condo is a cosy and nice place, not too far away from town. As I see him walk around his new spanking office, where he is a partner (in a Large Beijing firm) I felt the sense of pride that one of us is making it big in Beijing.

As for the weather, really funny!! On Saturday, Will and I were walking around in shorts and t-shirts, and by Wednesday (yesterday) Beijing was cold. Had to put on a jacket over and above the long sleeve shirt. Amazing - in 5 days, the weather turned from warm to cold.

I've been walking around everyday since Saturday and today, I am gonna take a break. Will be going to Great Wall tomorrow.


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Free Speech just got stabbed a little deeper

RPK will be at KEMTA for 2 years.

It's confirmed, if there was any doubt at all, that ISA equates to Save Najib. Cause only when RPK approach the issue of Altantuya's murder, did this ISA issue was raised. We have government officials using ISA to pretect them.

Where is the National threat? Do we see 'rusuhan' in the country. Do we see people coming out in Villages in Kulim, or Streets at Shah Alam to protest? Was the Country out of control?

The only people who are a threat to the Country are:-
1. Najib
2. Syed Hamid Albar
3. Khir Toyo
4. Ahmad Ismail
5. and all other members of the Majlis tertinggi of that party called UMNO.


We live under a tyrant. And while I am not certain of the capability and capacity of the alternative Government, I rather take that risk with a new Government then continue to be governed under tyrants of UMNO.

Postcript (from the Malaysian Bar Wesbite's Forum)

I was tempted to say that Free Speech is dead after reading about RPK detention at Kamunting, but I told myself that the fact that I am writing this Forum posting on the Bar website itself means some kind of free speech exist. I just hope the webmaster dont place this under the "registered member's only" list.

But the fact is, with RPK's detention, the heart and soul of free speech in Malaysia was stabbed and it was stabbed deeper than usual, this time. For where is the danger of RPK's website? We dont see news of "rusuhan" or anxiety among Malaysians. No news from Kulim or Tumpat of Muslims being angry with RPK. NO news from PJ or Kuching of Malaysians feeling insecure due to national threat.

Syed Hamid Albar actually stated “His articles could arouse anger among Muslims,” quoted in the online version of the Star. See:-

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/9/24/nation/2104063&sec=nation

In that report, Syed Hamid actually claimed that the police investigated on RPK website and recommended arrest as RPK ridiculed Islam.

RPK himself is a Muslim, and he is purportedly questioning Islam. How is that a National threat? How did he undermine National Security? There are laws available to prosecute him, and it is in the Penal Code. The Penal Code provides prosecution, if one is disrespectful to a religion. Go check on Penal Code when you have the time, and you will find the provision I am talking about there.

So if we have a specific law to charge RPK if he is guilty of that offence, why instead he is now under ISA arrest?

It is all too coincidence that RPK's website got attention after he uploaded comments about Altantuya's case. Suddenly he is a threat therafter. He attacked our Najib to be involved and claimed to have much evidence in support.

Is ISA used when one's position in the Government under threat? Is ISA used to protect the Government? I am tempted to say that the current Government themselves, is a threat to Malaysia. We do not know who is running the Country as the current Government seems to have a fixation for Anwar. When he say something, UMNO jumps. He goes to Court, major road blocks and checks at Court. He claims to have the MPs to cross over, BN send MPs to Taiwan. etc etc.

And not only that, when Mahathir talks about pegging, Najib immediately say no.

What kind of governance is this? Who is running the country? Are we running on auto-cruise?

Everyday we read news about politics, Anwar, Najib, Pak Lah etc. And to add to the depression, we have poor girls kidnapped and killed. What is the Government doing about poor Police standard (IPCMC?). Any news of investment? What happened about Iskandar Development and all those Corridors?

Now, we have a man who was running a website, arrested under ISA, when you and I can still have teh tarik at night, without any feeling of fear that the National Security is under threat.


Friday, 19 September 2008

Do more than just pass a Resolution


The Bar will have its EGM on the recent ISA arrests on 20th September 2008. I wish to present some views and proposals to the Bar Council.

1. Perhaps it is time to bring the Motion to the United Nations. I am not familiar how UN works, but it would be ideal if Dato Ambiga can address the UN, on the draconian nature of ISA, and how it is constantly abused by the Government and/or Police.

We can raise funds to purchase the flight ticket for Ambiga to fly to New York. If Council wish to do this, I am ready to help raise funds to purchase the air ticket.

If not UN, we can consider handing the Motion to UNHCR.. Like I said, I am not familiar with UN, but we can work out something to carry the Motion internationally. We should get external pressure to cause change particularly to abolish ISA. I am however against engaging other specific countries, like the USA. Only neutral bodies like UN or ASEAN should be approached.


2. We have to engage Lawasia and IBA to voice their condemnation of ISA.

3. Every State Bar Should organise a Forum each, to educate the public about ISA particularly Section 73 of the same Act. We as Lawyers must explain to the public why we take such a stand against ISA and try persuade more people to agree with our views.

Again, if Council is willing to do this, I can offer assistance to help organise the Forum. At KL Bar we can kick start this Forum, subject to agreement to my fellow colleagues at KLBC.

4. Of course, we can do the usual engaging with the Government on this etc etc. We have been doing this for many years already. Anyway, my theme here is that we must do something more than just pass a Resolution. We have a 1987 Resolution on ISA. At KL Bar AGM 7 months ago. KL Bar also passed a Motion condemning ISA arrest, particularly of our lawyers, members of HINDRAF.

So what, if we pass a Motion; but it does not get sufficient exposure. As per Section 42 of the LPA, particularly:-  

1. Section 42 (1) (a) to uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interest ot that of its member, uninfluenced by fear or favour;  

2. Section 42 (1) (g) to protect and assist the public in all matters touching ancillary or incidental to the law.  

... the Bar must carry out its purpose to uphold the cause of justice and merely passing the Motion tomorrow, in my view would not suffice.


As I will be away during the EGM tomorrow - I am placing my comments and views here.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Petition to free Teresa Kok


http://www.PetitionOnline.com/freetkok/petition.html

Please consider supporting this Petition. Thanks


richard wee

Sunday, 14 September 2008

This is not the Democracy we voted for


Our government decided to use the ISA again. We now read many conflicting and illogical explanations, like:-

a. the Home Minister did not issue the ISA orders but the police did it on their own accord.

b. the Sin Chew Jit Poh Journalist is arrested for her own protection

c. the arrest of RPK and Teresa Kok is necessary but Ahmad Ismail remains free.


We also read condemnation not just from the Opposition but within the component parties of BN.

I wish to state that we may have by majority voted in BN, but surely Malaysian did not vote for this kind of democracy. We are given the promise of a better Malaysia by 2020. Just before the March 8, 2008 elections, we were promised by the winning BN alliance party of a more transparent and accountable Malaysia. 

Instead, what we get is a government with an affixation for Anwar Ibrahim. Last week when Anwar's case was set for mention (and lawyers will know a case for mention is merely a KIV date, where the Court will call the file for review and follow up instruction), and what happen in Court? It was a scene from one of Sylvester Stallone's action pack movie. FRU, police, traffic police etc etc. 

A few weeks ago, the Government ordered the traffic to be closed causing a huge traffic jam, where some CLP students could not reach their exam centers in time to take their exams. To-date I dont see any apology from the Government to these students.

Everytime Anwar makes a move we have roadblocks, new charges of sodomy, people swearing on Holy Books, and now - ISA. 

I am certain, and I repeat - we did not vote for this Democracy. We want a Government who is accountable and responsible, not one who is clinging on to power and doing all that they can do hold on to that power, even if it is at the expense of the Country. 


Saturday, 13 September 2008

Please rise as citizens and patriots of the Country to stop this tyranny of law, once and for all !


I urge the Malaysian Bar to call upon an Extraordinary General Meeting as per Section 65 of the Legal Profession Act 1978.

Whilst I am quite certain the Bar Council will call upon an EGM, I am prepared to initiate a Requisition as per S65(2) of the same, wherein at the request of 150 lawyers, we can hold an EGM. 

The EGM must condemn the use of the Internal Security Act.

I call upon the members of the Bar to condemn the arrest of not only Raja Petra but also Teresa Kok and that poor journalist who was just merely doing her job (Tan Hoon Cheng of Sin Chew Daily News) when reporting about Ahmad Ismail's comments. Lets us also not forget the HINDRAF boys still stuck in Kamunting.

I call upon my fellow lawyers to uphold the Article 5 & Article 10 Federal Constitution. I call upon lawyers to also uphold Section 42 of the LPA - to uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interests or that of its members, uninfluenced by fear or favour.

How long more are we going to sit back and allow this abuse of law? How long more are we going to allow a system resembling an elected tyrant, to continue to persist in Malaysia? Are we going to inform the younger Malaysians, our children, our future; that Malaysia remains in the hands of a selected few using ISA and Emergency Ordinance at their whim and fancies to run this Country? 

The abuse of ISA must be stopped once and for all. The practice to detain a person without Trial must be stopped once and for all. Please rise as citizens and patriots of the Country to stop this tyranny of law, once and for all. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

History should never be used to hold the future in ransom



It's interesting to see news like the one in the link above. About who sacrificed for the country. The 'oh my people died for the country...  more of my people died for the country etc etc' arguments. 

History is one of my preferred subjects at School. In my view history is always a great guide to us all, on what the past can teach us. The errors and mistakes of our predecessors can be avoided and the accurate decisions of the past can be adhered to, respected or even celebrated.

But in Malaysia, history is part of the gamesmanship between the races. The Malays will say they own this country, cause they were here first (even though it is proven that the Orang Asli were here first), the Chinese will contend that they died for the country too and they have a right to call this place their home etc etc..

In my view, it is not right at all to use history this way. History should never be used to hold the future in ransom, to tie up the future for the deeds of the past. History in fact guides us of what to do in the future. History explains why certain things are done certain ways. History makes us understand the country, the people and the system. 

As you can see below that newslink to the Malaysian Bar above; a lawyer is already trying to hint that a second opinion to be taken on this issue, under 'Comments'. The feeling I get when i read that comment is that the said lawyer who commented below there, is suggesting that the report may not be accurate. 

Does it matter, I ask? It is accurate many people died during the Japanese occupation, whatever race they were. It matters not which race suffered higher casualty. It matters not one race had higher casualty then the other.

What matters from that Japanese Occupation, is that we learn about the unity of the people through the (I think they are called) Malayan People Anti Japanese Army - MPAJA. The imperial attitude of the Japanese, and the British error in warfare tactics (remember the "they will attack us at Singapore" conclusion by the British Army about where the Japanese will attack first?). There are many other things we can learn about that part of history, but I dont think history should be blindly used by any race in Malaysia to show that the many death of people of that race would connote the people of that race has some kind of ownership of this country. 

History is the guidebook of yesterday, for us to decide what to do tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

5 new signings

































Finally Everton signed some new players. But will they be able to do the job?

1. Lars Christian Jacobsen
- suppose to be cover to Hibbert and Phil Neville on the right back position. If need be, he can play on the RB position whilst Neville plays as Defensive Midfielder. Dont think he will be a spectacular buy.

2. Segundo Castillo
- played at last World Cup and was a fairly good player at his last club, Red Star Belgrade. A Defensive Midfielder. Lets hope he will be our new Carsley.

3. Louis Saha
- why in the world did we sign a player who has been injured the last 4 years? My only hope is that he turn out to be a better player once he move to new a club. David Dunn was always injured when he was at Birmingham, but when he returned to Blackburn, he has played many matches. 10 goals from Saha if he stays injury free?

4. Carlo Nash
- perfect foil to Tim Howard. Willing to be a No. 2, and an Everton fan when he was a boy. I actually think he's the most appropriate buy Moyes made this time around.

5. Marouane Fellaini
- who is this fella? That was my first re-action. 15million pounds is a lot of money. I've checked him out on the net, and he seems a very bright player, and he is a box-to-box midfielder. If he is half as good as Lampard, I will be happy.

Well, as a supporter, we can only hope. Any player joining Everton will be supported and cheered on. The Club is bigger than the players, and I hope the Club will be bigger than ever at the end of the season. Unfortunately with the start we have had, finishing top 4 is gonna be an uphill battle. I would however settle for a top 6 place, or winning a Cup.


Nil Satis Nisi Optimum! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Orang Cina = Pendatang!


See the link above. Personally, I am highly irritated with the constant calls by some Malay people telling Malaysian Chinese that we are some kind of immigrant, and constantly hinting us to leave Malaysia. Zulkifli Nordin did it at the Bar Council Forum last month, and now this UMNO hero, Ahmad Ismail (I think he is some kind of 'Datuk').

The theme has been the same, that the Chinese and Indians are some kind of immigrant and the Malays are the owners of this land, being the Prince of Earth (Bumiputera). 

History has confirmed that the Malays were descendants from China who travelled to this Peninsular maybe 2000 years ago.

Please see : http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/malaysia/pro-history.htm

I quote from that webpage:-

"Ancient Malaysia - Negrito aborigines are considered to be one of the first groups of people to inhabit the Malaysian peninsula.  When the Proto-Malays, made up of seafarers and farmers, came to the peninsula they sent the Negritos into the jungles and hills.  The Proto-Malays came from China and were technologically advanced, especially in comparison to the Negritos.  After the Proto-Malays came the Deutero-Malays, which were made up of many different people - Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Proto-Malays, and Siamese.  The Deutero-Malays were proficient in their use of iron and when they united with Indonesians, they combined to make up the people known today as the Malay."


I have always maintained that the only people in Malaysia, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia to have any aboriginal rights is the Orang Asli. Technically the Malays have hijacked that right and crystallised that hijack in 1957. 

But really, i dont care about who came first, and who came later. I dont care if the Orang Asli or Orang Melayu should be the Bumiputera in Malaysia. If the Constitution states that the Malays have special rights, I will respect that.  

What bothers me is the constant attack on the Chinese by these group of Malays. I would suggest this to the government, if you want us Chinese (and other non-Malays) to leave Malaysia, then I demand this:-

1. Buy back all our properties;
2. Fully Compensate every single non-Malay for the movement cost to leave Malaysia
3. Pay back all our taxes that we have been asked to pay, and enjoyed by this government

And then we will leave. I ask for this compensation, as this would be normal when asking someone to rescind their citizenship. I dont mind returning to China though I know I will initially struggle. China is doing well and will continue to do well in the near future. There is always Singapore. As boring that city is, and as strict the Government is; at least there is meritocracy. There is also Taiwan and Hong Kong (though the latter is now part of China).

We can also move to Europe, Australia/NZ and North America. And not to forget, there is much opportunities in the middle east like Dubai 

I would like to see how Malaysia survive without the Corporate Tax of :-
1. Genting
2. Guiness Anchor Brewery
3. Magnum Corporation
4. Hong Leong group
5. The Kuok group
6. Maxis/Astro
7. Carlsberg brewery
8. Berjaya
9. Sunway
10. Country Heights
11. Public Bank
12.Titan Corporation
13. Air Asia

etc etc etc.

So please lah, if you really want to talk talk and threat threat the Chinese about asking us to leave, do it. Dont just talk.. we have enough hot air already, we dont need anyone to add to it.