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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Malaysia's Political Smorgasborg.

Innahu sulaimana

Wainnahu bismilllahirahmanirrahim
Alla tanqlu alayya
Wa,tsuni muslimin
Jazzallah anna
Muhammadan saw
Ma huwa ah luh
In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Mr Lee Kua Yew said that he is a social Darwinist; the prerequisite of progress is change. The enabling idea may be attributable to Darwin; but the statement is not quite correct. The idea of change is more attributable to H.G.Wells' 'adapt or perish'.
People must change in order to progress; reform, revolutionise, etc. The Qur'an is more precise when God says He will not change the lot of a race provided the people first change what is inside them. This requires changes in value sets, skill sets, Weltanschauung, attitude, aptitude etc.
In 1978, people in China’s countryside were starving, eating tree bark and branches. But within one generation, China prospered tremendously and now has one of highest GDPs on the planet. This would not be possible without the changes I mentioned. 18 people changed the principles of command economics and adopted some free market economics and supported Deng Xiaoping. 

It is important for our leaders to make changes and a group of people to be the change agents. So leadership is important, as well as having a group of committed people. 

To be rich is glorious.

Take corruption for example; we must be indignant and be repulsed by it. Some irrational people may continue to adore "Bossku" but we must see Najib as he is -- an uncommon thief. He was the embezzler-in-chief. He stole billions through 1MDB, SRC, and maybe through Felda, Felcra, Sime Darby ad other SPEs. The government must leave no stones unturned in investigating these -- like the Malay saying, "Sampai ke lubang cacing".
Herr Najib may say he is the victim of selected persecution or political vendetta. We say to him, not to erect the wet thread. Of course there is political will to act against a person like Najib. But the government must show no one can make use of public office to make private gains, so let Najib get his deserved comeuppance. His political career is closed.
There must be sense of urgency among our leaders to prosper the country; we must not leave everything to the PM. Why is the bullet train Maglev so fast? It is because each coach has its own engine rather than being pulled by the head coach. The PM has no time to pull every other leader. Each leader must be a thought leader.
What must we do to prosper the country? We must prepare the required infrastructure; then the people will take over. That is why we must educate the people. I was listening to the interview with Maria Ressa the other day and was struck be her simple statement: after graduation, she felt she can do anything. Education is empowering. It is important to have human capital. For example, our farmers must have good farming knowledge. We need technology so our farmers can grow varied produce. We can grow different vegetables: onions,cabbages, potatoes; we can grow yubari melons, grapes, apples etc. Farmers can experiment with new form of businesses; a group can form limited companies and invite non-agricultural ventures to invest in them.
Let us talk about the pollution in Johore. Is the state run by dullards? Why is the state dragging its feet over this issue? If not handled properly, Johore can cost the PH goverment. There's one banal teacher who said there was no association between pollution and illness of pupils; presumably there must be one death first before there will there be an association. The state government should close down errant factories immediately. We must send the message to business people that they can do businesses but do them right. Otherwise the federal government will step in.
What is this about the unholy alliance between UMNO and PAS? They are causing us death by a thousand cuts. What they are doing is institutionalising racism. One uses the fuzzy slogan of Malay nationalsm -- the Malays par excellence, Tidak Melayu hilang di dunia, Ketuanan Melayu etc. The other uses the equally vague concept of Islamology. We acknowledge their presence but are not rolling on the floor and pulling off our hairs; as Cao Cao famously said -- "When a loser combines with a coward what can they achieve?" Or as Robert Mugabe said, "If our clothes is made of cassava leaves we do not befriend a goat". Imagine if UMNO the goat were to nibble at Haji Hadi'ss clothes; our DPM and the MP from Seputeh will faint and young children will go to sleep with nightmares.
The government ought to outlaw parochial nationalism and divisive religionism.
The minister of foreign affairs must vociferously voice the plight of Muslim Uighurs in China. It is unfortunate we have heard nothing from him. Our founding father established Southeast Asia as an area of peace and neutrality, which means we do not interfere in the internal affairs of a neighbour -- but the treatment of minority Uighurs in China is a cause for concern. Over 1 million Uighurs were sent to 're-education' classes, which are actually euphemisms for ethnic cleansing and complete erasure of culture and religion. We ought to rebuke China.
Finally we come to the vexed issue of succession. It is not a given that Anwar Ibrahim is our next PM. This is not a cult culture. This is not an elected dictatorship. Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim are not joined at the hip. Dr Mahathir doesn't have the constitutional capacity to name his successor. The next PM must be a leader of a party, and must command majority support of MPs in the House. If that person is Anwar Ibrahim, so be it -- then, he has my qualified support. But he needs to do at least two things: one, to refrain from orchestrating or bring involved in palace intrigues and machinations; two, never use public office to pursue private pursuits. 

Only then he can be the next PM.

- Sakmongkol.


Monday 29 July 2019

The PH Government

In the name of God, most Gracious and most Merciful,

Alla tanq’lu alayya
Wa’tuuni muslimin.

My name is Mohd Ariff Sabri. I was born in Kg Parit, Pekan, Pahang -- unlike the billion-ringgit whale who was actually born in Kuala Lipis but believed by many to be born in Pekan. He only came back to Pekan when the great Tun Razak died.        
I was not born in Raub as believed by many; Raub is the home of my ancestors. They lived in Temau before moving to Budu in Kuala Lipis. My great-great-grandfather, Khatib Amin was the younger brother of Imam Rasu, or better known as Tok Gajah.
Najib led UMNO to its defeat in the PRU14. It's now in a confused state. We must deal them a death blow. Najib has shown us what mismanagement and corruption can do to our country. We must never be condemned to do it; the Quran tells us the story of the nation Saba which was prosperous but because the people were ingrates -- lazy and indolent, silent on corruption, lacked discipline -- the once prosperous country became a hopeless wasteland. The poet T.S. Elliot said it nicely: "I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for to hope is to hope for the wrong thing."

Siapa bilang bapak dari blitar                                       
Bapak dari brambangan
Siapa bilang Pakatan Harapan tersasar
UMNO yang kebingungan
Siapa bilang bapak dari Raub
Bapak datang dari Pekan
Siapa bilang pakatan melalut
UMNO yang nak sawan

A popular poet wrote:
Berikan aku lidah
Aku mahu berkata kata
Bagaikan ombak
Yang menghempas pantai yang merdeka

Elsewhere he wrote:
Aku akan pergi dengan seribu jebat si anak tani
Sekian lama kita hidup dalam setia
Kali ini kita hidup dalam durhaka
-Comrade Kassim Ahmad

The PM is like the mighty tiger. We in the Pakatan are like a fox. One day the fox stumbles on the tiger. The tiger gave chase and the fox is cornered; but surprisingly showed no fear.

"Are you not afraid of me?" asked the tiger.

"Why should ?" said the fox. "If you don’t believe in me let us go to the village yonder."

On the way they saw some UMNO losers with their sycophants. When they saw the fox walking with the tiger UMNO, the losers and their coward sycophants ran away.

UMNO is really a paper tiger. It reminds me of what Cao Cao said: "When a loser combines with a coward what can they achieve?"
The PH is the government now. Those in power must quickly learn to understand and know how to use power. Managing a government is not like doing embroidery or attending a dinner party or eating mee abu in Alor Setar or eating pasembur in Penang. There must be a little bit of Machiavelli.
I think Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses on Livy must be required reading so they know how to reconcile being a nice person and a good politician. What the people require most is effective leadership.

We must apply a little bit of terror, a little bit of judicious tyranny. We must not give the opposition any air time. Remember that the objective of war, as Clausewitz said, is the destruction of its armed forces and one of those is the ability to spread their ideology. The faster the rakyat forget them the better.

There is no need for us to celebrate difference of opinion. That can be done during our tête-à-tête. Or during a coffee klatch. We do not have to prove anything to the Bukit Tunku Bolshevik,  the gauge caviar or the Gucci communists, or the Country Heights latte socialists. Apply some judicious tyranny on them.

The opposition will talk negatively of us; that is their raison d'être. Let them talk until the cows come home. It will not stop us from our main objective: to prosper the people.
The Quran asks us to fight in the cause of Go,d to protect and defend the weak who frequently prayed for deliverance. We must never forget that.

We should be guided by the principle of not concealing truth with lies and reveal everything if we have knowledge. The people know what the previous government did. Najib has been going around the country telling good stories about the world, hypnotising the people yet behind their backs, he was plotting nefarious deeds, such as stealing money from the country. He has destroyed the plants and cattle; look at FELDA and NFC. He has stolen money through 1MDB. He may have taken monies from Felda, Risda, LTH and the various organisations he created. The government must investigate these institutions.

I see dark clouds over Pekan. We only need to prove one of the charges and Najib will be a special guest at Bamboo River Resort and Rosmah will go on a long holiday at Kajang Hilton where we can serenade her with the quatrain:

One two three four
Satu dua tiga empat
Rosmah Mansor cincin besar                
Rakyat jelata apa dapat?
In Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith said a country is not prosperous if there is a large majority who are poor. We are grappling with this issue at the moment where the rural populations are largely poor.

What are we to do?

First we need to understand the psychology of the Malays; they need some disciplining. This trait i learned from personal observations. While recuperating, I have had Malay, Bangladeshi and Pakistani nurses. The Malay will take frequent long breaks and changed duties among their friends, ignoring the fact that i have to teach the new replacement all over. A few years ago the late Sanusi Junid summed up the secret of Malay success in the acronym ABDRS: Amanah, Berani, Disiplin, Rajin and Setia. All can be achieved but discipline is the most difficult.

In applying to Malay economics there must be a mixture of command economics and free market economics. We must tell them what to do, but the how will be done by them. I am a firm believer in supply-side economics. Employment and success will increase when the prices of goods and services are decreased. People will succeed if we give them the tools and opportunities to do so.

We can learn something from China; in 1968, people in the country were starving -- eating tree barks and braces, etc etc. But within a generation, China has become one of the biggest economies in world.

What did they do? One of the things they did was to mix command economy and free market economy. Another thing they did was to create free-trade zones; Shanghai, Guangdong, Henan etc. Perhaps we can do similar things to agriculture, for instance, zones where people can buy agricultural capital goods. Those not involved in agriculture would not be interested with these zones and would therefore seek other zones. That's how we can lower costs for farmers and fishermen.

We need to introduce products diversification. If the farmers can grow more expensive durians, they can also grow saffron and pomegranate. Rearing donkeys, water buffaloes, porcupines, deer and other animals. We can grow more coffee and cocoa. And very importantly, we should make use of greenhouse technology, which can help us to grow Yubari melons and strawberries. Fishermen can  rear scallops, mussels, oyster, hybrid grouper and lobsters.

China has recently come out with a 60-page document, in which they declare their goal to create a high-tech army. Perhaps our own Defense Minister can read this and apply to our army.

On the other hand, while we admire china on certain things, we are seemingly silent on its treatment on the Uighur community. More than 1 million  people have been sent to re-education camps and imprisoned. Uighur children are sent to special kindergartens to be indoctrinated. Why is our foreign minister mum on this?

The pollution in Pasir Gudang seems to be dragging too long. I am sorry to say the Johore government is inept on this issue. Their lagging can bring down the Pakatan government. Close down the polluting factories temporarily; jail the bosses and clean up the rivers. Simple enough, isn't it? Are the officers in the Johore government protecting these factories? SPRM should investigate this. It is well-established that polluted rivers are linked to deaths and/or sickness. Don’t foot-drag on this issue.

For the moment that is all.


Monday 24 June 2019

A Helping Hand


As I've repeatedly mentioned, I had a stroke nearly two years ago. Stroke is a debilitating illness. It affects you in ways you never imagine, physically and mentally.

People who suffer massive brain-stem strokes, as I did, generally have two outcomes: fatal or locked-in syndromes. Fortunately for me, I was the outlier to this though the cost of survival came with partial paralysis and speech difficulties. Still, my doctors remain certain of a full recovery. There have been improvements, albeit not as swiftly or as significantly as I would prefer. But I'm getting there, and my family and I are as steadily optimistic as my doctors.

But as with most great trials, my road to full recovery is not easy. More importantly, it is not cheap. From medical supplies to therapies to everyday expenses, finance can be a difficult issue. Therefore, I humbly appeal to my readers and fans for their sincere help during this troubling time. Any form of financial donation, big or small, is most welcome.

Contributions may be made to:

- Mohd Ariff Sabri bin Abdul Aziz

Account numbers:
- 1. AmBank: 244007 0000 239
- 2. Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN): 14205-41-0000-6696-2


Thursday 20 June 2019

Another Day, Another Sex Scandal in Malaysia

Sex and Politics: Azmingate

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mohd Ariff Sabri. I used to be an active politician. I used to be an MP. But I was struck by a stroke a few months before the 14th General Election and was therefore unable to participate in it. Eventually, I learned to accept this fate with an open heart. Perhaps God has a better plan than me being simply an MP.

Despite my illness, my interest in the governing and politics of Malaysia has not wavered. For the past year or so, I have watched as events unfold. The promises that were fulfilled (and those that weren’t), the grandstanding, the debates, postponed court cases, the earnest hard work to rebuild or reinvent—all these I’ve kept a weathered eye on.

But out of the blue emerges the Scandal. The Sex Tape. The Video that has undoubtedly shocked many people, not just with its content but also with the sheer unexpected-ness of it all. For who among us saw this coming? Certainly not the people in the video, I’m sure.

As long-time readers know, I have never shied away from controversial opinions. Therefore, I’m not afraid to admit that when I first heard about this dastardly tale, my mind immediately thought, “What a clever plan.” In Malaysia, it sometimes seems as if politicians can get away with anything, from embezzlement to fraud to openly racist remarks to maybe even murder. But a gay sex scandal? Let’s bring out the torches and pitchforks.

Who do I think concocted this plan? Again, I had an immediate thought: the Anwaristas, as I dub them. Supporters loyal only to Anwar Ibrahim and who answers to him and him alone. The fanatics steadfast in their belief that there can only be one star in PKR. The sycophants within the party who prove that, GE-14 or not, there still exists some Brownshirts who will stop at nothing to further their own wicked interests.

Let’s examine this story.

Azmin is alleged to have committed an unnatural sex act; he is alleged to have performed homosexual relations. His accuser, Haziq Abdullah, has admitted that he is one of the actors and wasted no time in throwing his “partner” under the bus. Azmin, he declares, is the other participant in the video. Azmin, he urges MACC, should be investigated for corruption and is unfit to be a leader.

How odd. Where is the logical correlation here? In one breath, Haziq Abdullah went from confessing to being an unsuspecting victim of an illegally-obtained video to pointing the finger of justice at Azmin Ali. Even odder, he seems overly eager to come clean about his role in the tape. An emboldened move to take back his power from the villains who recorded and leaked the video? Or something else more politically-motivated? Call me cynical for this latter opinion, but Haziq appears very overzealous to besmirch Azmin Ali.

If Haziq is to be believed, then maybe hell hath has no fury like a scorned lover because the young man is much too eager to accuse Azmin and be the conductor for Azmin’s downfall.

Why, you ask? Why is Azmin Ali the target of a political assassination? It’s rather simple, really. He’s a good politician, one with the potential to be the next Prime Minister.

When BN was finally toppled in 2018, I had two principal opinions. One: the next five years will be crucial in ensuring the Malaysian majority that they’ve made the right choice. We have to knock down the stained and crumbling house and re-lay the foundation, and there is no one better to oversee this reconstruction than Tun Mahathir.

Two: once the exalted Tun hangs his hat (for the second time), it may be better to replace him with someone other than the man currently anointed to be the next PM. A face that isn’t part of the Mahathir-Anwar-Najib saga. Thus, when a friend asked me who should be the next PM, it was an easy answer on my part: Azmin Ali. He fits the mould: relatively younger than the man anointed to be the next PM but experienced enough to carry the wisdom—and just the wisdom—of the Old Guard. The change we elected last year should stay its course and Azmin Ali, in my view, can steer the ship.

However, there’s a funny thing we sometimes do in Malaysian politics. We’re not fond of talented people—anyone perceived to be a future threat is squashed so completely there would be little to no chance of him or her getting the spotlight. This practice is mostly done by more established politicians and their henchmen. Azmin Ali, a good PM material, is not a surprising mark. All machinations and intrigue must be marshalled against him, the poor fellow. Burn the coal entirely before it has the chance to become a diamond.

At this point, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: all thoughts and opinions are my own. But I daresay I’m not alone with my suspicions. Some leopards can’t change their spots, etc., etc. Some people, no matter how loud they screamed “Ubah” last year, can’t drop their old mentality of dirty politics. Anwar may not be directly involved but he won’t stop his followers from assassinating Azmin’s character if it works to his advantage. Anything that removes the impediments to him becoming PM is great. This accusation may stick and Anwar knows firsthand how such a claim can ruin a man and his career.

Azmin on his part has told the public to wait for the outcome of police investigations. The police may have finished their investigations but for some reason, have shared this with the public. Instead, they may have reported their findings to Tun Mahathir, who is sufficiently satisfied with the results to make his own conclusions. Why else would he confidently state his support for Azmin Ali otherwise?

If my theory is correct, then I must say it’s such a stupid thing to do. Hasn’t history shown Azmin’s defamers how their action can backfire? This feels like déjà vu, folks. And if Anwar’s apparatchiks are responsible for this mess, this won’t help their idol. Stupid shenanigans like these will simply serve to diminish Anwar. Stupid shenanigans like these were the same methods employed by the former ruling party members. And where are they now? Where is their esteemed leader?

So while we wait with bated breath to see the outcome, what are Azmin’s options? The brazen choice would be to toss his name in the PKR presidential hat. If he wins, he could perform a political party cleanse. If he loses, he could—and likely should—quit PKR. From here, he could join a party whose members may not be overly fond of him but unwilling to employ dirty tactics. Or he could start another party. A competent opposition is always essential for checks and balances, and Azmin Ali is certainly no stranger to forming new opposition parties.

My final word is this: to the scoundrels seeking to destroy Azmin Ali, it’s highly likely you won’t succeed. The world is different now. More and more people are able to think on their own. Your old, dirty tactics are ineffectual, even pathetic. And PKR members, let’s unite—we have nothing to lose but our manliness. If being in Azmin’s camp means we’re gays, let us all become gays.

- Sakmongkolak47.


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