Saturday, September 1, 2012

Silent Pakatan Tsunami hits Malaysia : Copycat Najib in praise of plagiarism wants BN anti-tsunami wall around Putrajaya I

Najib wants BN ‘wall’ around Putrajaya In the riskdisaster political risk business, local Putra Jaya firemanonly “half reassured” by the wall that had been constructed between Barisan and the  pakatan sea. Sure,, in the prefecture of Futra Jaya, had been cited Najib had come to visit this double system of ramparts, the second of which rises 11 meters in height.
 UMNO Sheltered behind this immense mass of concrete that cuts off the superb view across , the UMNOPUTRAS lived in what resembled an ancient fortified  BARISAN CITY. Most thought that they were protected from the  PAKATAN waves that, at regular intervals, had destroyed their party in the past. The worst of these catastrophes swept away all their HOUSE MEMBERS, All over, this destruction has vigorously revived opposition to this “wall policy,”  This opposition affirms that these precautions have above all made the NEWS SPINNERSs richer, while it would have been better to dedicate the money to improving HARDCORE POOR CITY PEOPLE
 On being questioned by a British parliamentary committee about graft allegations, Robert Clive remarked that he "stood amazed by my own moderation". Taking a leaf out of the book of the robber baron - who was described as "a tawny nabob with a bad liver and a worse heart" prime minister Najib recently advised officers in Putra Jaya to practise moderation in corruption.
najib told the assembled officers that if they worked hard to give benefits like potable water to the people, they would be quite justified in stealing "a little bit" but should not fall prey to the temptation of becoming "dacoits" and indulging in "big loots likein MAHATHIR ERA". The prime minister , who previously had dismissed the gruesome Altantuya Shariibu said it is a law and order issue, is known for what might be called unorthodox views on a number of subjects. But his latest piece of advice to his officers may well be endorsed by those who, having accepted the fact that corruption in various forms has become systemic in our polity, would argue that we might as well go a step further and make such practices systematic in scale and operation, perhaps by drawing up an official rate chart for how much graft may be taken for any specific service rendered.PWD minister Samy is familiar with the works of Aristotle. But the mantriji's view on corruption in moderation would seem to chime with the Greek philosopher's advocacy of the Golden Mean, which implies that a little bit of almost everything you might fancy is good for you, but an excess of anything is bad. In other words, while 'mota maal' - to use a term much in use in current political discourse - is unacceptable, what might be called 'chhota maal' may judiciously be winked at as an excusable indulgence.

Indeed it has often been argued that in order to keep the wheels of progress turning smoothly, the application of a certain amount of grease in the form of what is sometimes called 'speed money' is inevitable. The problem arises when - in their hurry to make money hand over fisc, as in the country's fiscal deficit - graft-seekers break the tacitly approved 'speed limit' and so draw undesirable attention not only to themselves but to the entire institution of rent-seeking in its many diverse avatars.

Going by what deserves to be called the Najib principle of moderation, the problem is not so much corruption as conspicuous corruption. In other words, a little 'chai-paani' is fine. But don't turn 'chai-paani' into the equivalent of the Queen's tea party in Buckingham Palace, as 'Moderation' Clive might have said. Datuk Seri Najib Razak today called on members of all Barisan Nasional (BN) parties to together erect a “political barrier” to foil the attempt by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to capture Putrajaya in the next general election.
The prime minister said that in the process, the BN should emerge as the coalition that would be not only victorious but also win big and in style.

“They (the opposition) may flaunt the ‘Road to Putrajaya’ slogan, but we want to stop their march to Putrajaya. We do not wish to set up a police roadblock, but we will put up a political roadblock because they are not qualified to occupy the seat of Putrajaya.

“We are the ones who developed Putrajaya. They are not eligible because they have uttered lie after lie. They have not fulfilled promises, and many of their so-called plans are left hanging,” he said when opening the Putrajaya Umno Division delegates meeting, here.

Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and BN and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who is also Putrajaya Umno Division chief and Putrajaya MP, were also present at the event.

Najib said the Umno division here was the symbolic representative of the Federal Territory of Putrajaya and, as such, the success or failure of the division would be a determinant in the effort to safeguard the reins of the country.

“Therefore, we must strengthen Putrajaya Umno. We must be spirited, and never tire and cannot tire, in continuing with our struggle.

“We must ensure that we will not retreat an inch or even for a second, but will march forward to ensure a more glorious future for the country,” he said.

Najib said Umno’s struggle ran parallel to the struggle for independence, even with the need to deal with various challenges while negotiating a difficult path.

“Many had predicted that the country will have to put up with a difficult journey to become a successful country, but it is evident after 55 years of independence that the predictions were totally misplaced. Today, our country is regarded as a model for success,” he said.

There are very few things that observers of Malaysian politics can regularly agree on.

However, there will be much concurrence with the suggestion that there are two significant traits for those who follow the local political scene very closely — a sense of humour, and a dose of masochism. Naturally, the agreement will be because those involved deem these traits necessary due to the ineptitude of those on “the other side”.

An unhealthy and extreme partisanship has evolved in Malaysian politics since 2008. This is even more obvious to anyone who follows political “commentary” on Twitter (to whom my use of the inverted commas would be obvious).

There is nothing wrong with a bit of banter and partisan one-upmanship. The disconcerting thing is when the immaturity comes from elected representatives, who forget (or perhaps never realised in the first place) that they are supposed to represent everyone, not just those who voted for them or their party.

Despite the frustration and disappointment, I do still follow some of these tweets, including the propaganda offered by full-time political commentators who are prominently featured in national newspapers. I did mention masochism earlier on.

However, the recent discussions about the Merdeka theme have taken things beyond what should be acceptable to any Malaysian, political or not.

I waited some time before putting my thoughts into writing, as I harboured some hope that the theme would be scrapped following the incessant criticism. Perhaps those responsible would hold their hands up and admit that it was a mistake? Silly me.

When announcing the theme — “55 Tahun Merdeka, Janji Ditepati” (55 Years of Independence, Promises Fulfilled) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said “we can already see that the promises made by the Barisan [Nasional] have been implemented”.

The theme has since been widely criticised. Some say the criticism is unjustified. It is important to put the theme in context, and consider the facts.

BN have been running a nationwide “Janji Ditepati” tour to highlight the promises that they have delivered to the people.

The theme speaks of the fulfilment of promises, which implies a need to be grateful. Whose promises? To whom are we to be grateful? How do we display this gratitude?

If the answers to these questions were not obvious enough, helpfully, there is an official song. The chorus goes, “Janji siapa? Janji kita!” (Whose promises? Our promises!). The verse serves up the kicker, “Janji sudah ditepati, kini masa balas budi” (The promises have been fulfilled, now it is time to repay our deeds).

Merdeka is supposed to be a celebration by all Malaysians of our nation’s independence. An official theme sets the tone for the entire occasion — and undoubtedly the message of the theme will seep into everything involved in the celebrations.

For this reason, the “Janji Ditepati” theme is fundamentally flawed. It is self-serving, and immediately alienates anyone who does not support Barisan — which, lest we forget, is a choice that Malaysians are entitled to.

I am not surprised that it has come to this. The political campaigning and posturing that has been putting “Malaysia” in the back seat has now extended to our Merdeka celebrations. It looks like this will continue at least until the general elections are finally called. Or perhaps even beyond then — the “winning at all costs” mentality that politicians on both sides of the divide have adopted is unlikely to result in either side losing graciously.

Is there an alternative? Perhaps a Merdeka celebration organised by a coalition of NGOs (no, not that coalition of NGOs)?

For the past two years, an alternative Malaysia Day celebration called “Malaysiaku” (My Malaysia) has been held in Bangsar, organised by Ed Soo. It brought together many NGOs and featured talks, film screenings, cultural performances, forums, stalls, and food.

It was a true celebration of the joy and privilege of being Malaysian, free of the stain of political campaigning — which really is what Merdeka should be about. Unfortunately, the event is not being organised this year. The Janji Ditepati theme means the absence of Malaysiaku is even more keenly felt.

Merdeka Day is already upon us, and Datuk Seri Rais Yatim has firmly said that the theme is fixed. He also asked the Opposition not to ignore Merdeka Day over political differences. This is where the sense of humour I mentioned earlier comes in, seeing that some argue that it is BN who have in essence ignored Merdeka with their unsuitable theme.

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that BN has the right to determine the theme, as it is the BN component parties who fought for independence in the first place. This sentiment unfortunately encompasses all that is wrong with the government’s approach to this year’s Merdeka celebrations.

The unfortunate victims amidst all this politicking are, as always, the Malaysian public. The political stakes are too high for the government to back down without seeming to be giving in. The political temperature that has been rising for months has gone past boiling point and scalded the Merdeka celebrations.

While all this is going on, we ordinary Malaysians will just have to celebrate Merdeka in our own ways, forcibly distanced from official themes and events.

It is unfortunate that, in our 55th year of independence, it has come to this. We expect our leaders from all political parties to conduct themselves in a manner that shows a respect and acknowledgement of the maturity of Malaysian society.

The BN government, in insisting on a theme that is unbecoming of the meaning of Merdeka, have allowed immature politicking to pollute this year’s Merdeka celebrations, and in doing so have disappointed and disrespected many Malaysians

Fareed Zakaria has brought plagiarism into the news again. Though he has apologised for his 'mistake' and been cleared of the charges made against him, people are once again talking about the 'p' word.

"Why do you think God gave you eyes?" sang Tom Lehrer, "But to plagiarise, plagiarise, plagiarise…" Biology, it would seem, is copycat destiny. There are only six basic storylines in the entire realm of fiction, from Scherezade to the 'Shah of Blah' (as Salman Rushdie has been called), from the Panchatantra to the remembrance of things Proust; the rest is all permutation and combination, ringing the changes and getting cross-connections.

Seneca grasped the nettle and defiantly declared, "Whatever is well said by another is mine." A millennium and a half later, Shakespeare paid back the Roman stoic in his own coin by helping himself not only to the Senecan legacy but also to anything else he could lay his ex-poacher's hands on. No wonder 300 years after that Emerson was to sigh "Every man is a borrower and a mimic; life is theatrical and literature a quotation."

T S Eliot went one better. When  a reader asked whether some of his lines hadn't been borrowed from Ernest Dowson's Cynara, far from hiding his blushes under a bushel Eliot formulated his theory of Tradition and the Individual Talent, which, in short, says: In literature, you're only as good as the chap you copy from, and as the fellow who in his turn is going to copy from you.

In this seamless continuum of mimesis, the sincerest flattery of life is not that it imitates art but that it imitates itself, endlessly going up and down the spiral staircase of the double helix of the DNA molecule.  In evolution, success literally breeds success.  The hidden ghost in the evolutionary machine, the immortal gene, has dictated this message through history.  Reproductive success is what shapes our ends, rough-hew them - or gloss them over - how we will.

Sex, said Bernard Shaw, was a biological ploy devised to keep the species alive.  Modern sociobiologists go further and say sex is the individual gene's way of making more genes in its own image; in other words, sex is the ultimate principle of successful genetic plagiarism.

But sex is not all, sociobiology and Khushwant Singh notwithstanding.  Lyall Watson has coined the term 'memes', or memory genes, comprising ideas which have greater potency than sperm cells, concepts which convey more than chromosomes.  Like a gene, a meme fosters replication.  But unlike a gene, it does not need biological fusion to come into being and reincarnate itself in future generations.

The great religions of the world are memes, as are political theories and scientific discoveries.  Cultural and social trends - whether Cubism or Women's Lib - are memes.  Some memes are harmful, like Nazism, or merely irrelevant, like the streaking fad of the early 1970s, and get selected against, though atavistic throwbacks may keep cropping up from time to time. 

The best memes, however, span centuries, countries and cultures, cross-breeding and cross-fertilising - like the pacifism of Tolstoy and the civil disobedience of Thoreau which inspired Mohandas Gandhi, who in turn provided a guiding light for Martin Luther King.  Memes are strands in a design which exhorts us to be both borrowers and lenders, seeking not to unravel the "subtle knot" of humankind but to weave it closer and more intricately together.

The never-ending plagiarised story doesn't end there.  Fred Hoyle and other astrophysicists have suggested that our living planet is itself a plagiarism, in that the primordial "soup" from which all earthly life emerged was catalysed by sporadic bombardments of microorganisms from outer space.  In which case, we are such stuff as stars are made on, quite literally, and could well be infringing some cosmic code of copyright at our own plagiaristic peril.  political road block...does that mean gangsters and thugs showing their colours...related article

Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not conduct himself as Prime Minister for all Malaysians when he divided the people on Merdeka Day and urged Malaysians to “defend independence” against Pakatan Rakyat.
In his closing speech at the “Merdeka 55: Janji ditepati” gathering at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium last night, Najib called on the audience “to defend the nation’s independence from enemies and the opposition alike”. (Malaysiakini/The Malaysian Insider)
He said:
"Ladies and gentlemen, remember that independence only knocks once for any nation. Let us close ranks and defend our independence with a solid front, at every corner and at any time.
"Even more so when enemies and the opposition are trying to bring chaos into the situation.”
This the final and ultimate proof that the 55th Merdeka Day celebrations had been hijacked by UMNO/Barisan Nasional as part of their desperate gambit to hang on to power in the impending 13th General Election – which had been evident when the UMNO/BN election theme of “Janji Ditepati” had been imported lock, stock and barrel to be elevated as the 55th Merdeka Day/49th Malay Day theme.
However, Najib cannot be more wrong, as UMNO/BN leaders cannot claim monopoly to patriotism or nationalism just because they are in power.
As I had often said in Parliament, the real patriots and nationalists of Malaysia are not those who abuse their powers and positions while in office and who are corrupt to the core, but those who are prepared to make sacrifices and pay the price for  standing up for the fundamental rights of ordinary Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, even going to jail and lose their personal liberties, so as to  speak truth to power.
Reflects on Najib's lack of calibre
I find it very sad and more a reflection on Najib as Prime Minister that he should be casting such aspersions on the Opposition in his National Day speech – for on a national celebration like Merdeka Day, all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or political differences, should be able to put aside their political differences for at least 24 hours and come together as one Malaysian people.
If the Prime Minister cannot set such an example, can we blame the Cabinet Ministers for failing to measure to such a standard?
I also feel sad at the Malaysiakini report “Propaganda comics colour Najib’s Merdeka bash” by reporter Ahmad Fadli NC, debunking the claim that the Bukit Jalil 55th Merdeka Day celebrations was a  truly national celebration, rising above partisan  differences, and not a blatant UMNO/BN event.
The Malaysiankini reported:
The circulation of propaganda comics at the Bukit Jalil Merdeka celebrations yesterday puts a question mark on government’s claim that their celebrations are apolitical.

The 20-page comic titled ‘Promises Fulfilled By The PM For The Rakyat’ piles praise upon the government’s initiatives, while making subtle jibes at the opposition.

The mystery publication by anonymous artists was given out for free at the stadium before start of the event that featuring Prime Minister Najib Razak.

On one of its pages, a couple is arguing over spending their RM100 school handout on groceries. The wife berates the husband saying they have no more money as he has spent everything by  “frequenting the ceramah”.

In another, a young man raves angrily that he can no longer “demonstrate and harass people” since the Internal Security Act (ISA) was abolished.

In both cases, the men are depicted wearing a white kopiah and green baju Melayu, and are always criticising the government’s schemes such as the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) RM500 cash handout to poor families.

The character appears five times throughout the comic book.

On page 12, a man is shown raising his arms to heaven as if praying, but instead offering praise to the PM for the curtains he has afforded to purchase at the Kedai Kain Rakyat 1Malaysia (1Malaysia fabric store).

On page 9, a man is scolded for being ‘berotak Yahudi’ (behaving like a Jew) for wanting to slander BN by using black magic on ballot boxes.

These cartoons, which have all the fingerprints of pro-BN propaganda, are packaged in a colourful booklet whose cover is bright and cheery in the style of BN campaign artwork, and includes a loud poster that reads ‘We love the PM’.
Was the Bukit Jalil Stadium National Day celebrations planned deliberately to embarrass Pakatan Rakyat leaders who attended the occasion and to divide along BN/PR lines?  An explanation from Najib will be most appropriate.
Lim Kit Siang is the DAP adviser & MP for Ipoh Timur

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