Stop the press! Oops, too late.

Posted in General on September 17, 2009 by khookhoo

I met a very nice girl/lady( i can’t decide, at her age she should be a lady but she looks wayyy too young) at the launch of ABM yesterday. We got talking, and before i knew it, she was taking notes on things i was blabbing out incessantly. Today i received a call, asking if she could quote me and i said yes.

I checked my mailbox a slight bit too late, she had sent me quotes to proofread. However, once i sent out the mail, i found out it was already posted! you can read it here.

It was wonderfully written, however I feel I must have sounded obnoxious and all-knowing (along the lines of the Hermione character in Harry Potter) ! A trait my classmates know and hate about me =).

However, through the noise and conversation,and  in the spirit of speedy reporting, i think this needs a little explanation;

says Khoo. “I know how a properly run country should actually be like…”

I DO NOT KNOW how a country should be run, all I know is that the founding principles of our constitution are based on the ideas of democracy, rule of law, separation of powers and parliamentary supremacy.

And I stand by this saying, when you feel you know the difference between right and wrong, then you know that the way the country is being run is wrong ie we do not have rule of law, or separation of powers. And ideas of democracy are lost when there is constant intimidation and suppression towards citizens and the press.

I guess that was too long too quote, however I still think that the writer did a wonderful job, and I thank her for thinking I was worth a quote or two.

PS: And I have no desire to ever attempt at running a country, since I can’t even run my own life!

Teargas virgin no more!

Posted in Police, Politics with tags , , on August 3, 2009 by khookhoo

On the 1st August 2009, I headed down to KL with Shar and Crankshaft, in suppor of the Anti-ISA movement. We took the LRT down to Dang Wangi at about 1.00 pm, deciding not to stop at masjid jamek, since we were unsure whether the station would remain open.

As we reached the turning near Sogo, everything looked normal. Shoppers were going about doing their daily shopping. We stood there, wondering if we’d missed the action, or whether the crowd got dispersed before we arrived. Suddenly out of the bent of the road came a massive crowd shouting slogans and marching. My heart leapt with joy! These people cared! They were just as bent on showing the government, this is our right, our voice, our will!

Photo0043

Photo0044

Onlookers stared in surprise, some of them must live under a coconut tree but the looks on their face. They had no idea what the hell was going on! The woman in front of me made a snide remark, on how we were wasting our time and had nothing better to do. I was short of giving her a lecture on our right to peaceful assembly, however at that time the police started chasing after a few of the demonstraters and people started squeezing into the sidewalk to avoid any confrontation. I had the satisfaction of seeing that woman run helter skelter with her shopping bags =P.

As the crowd moved on, we caught sight of Haris running along with the police snapping pictures. Trust him to feel completely unintimidated by those bunch of goons! As the crowd moved on, we took another turn into the alley, to see whether any other groups were joining in.

As we walked, I felt a weird stinging sensation on my face. I suddenly got the feeling when one eats too much wasabi. My eyes started watering, and my throat felt dry. The others confirmed the felt the same. Suddenly we saw a few stragglers heading towards our direction, red-faced and teary-eyed. They’d been teargassed in the next street. And we could feel the effects standing more than 500 meters away. At that point i could only imagine what it feels like to get a full dose in your face.

Soon, the group we saw initially, had joined up with another, which i guess must have come from Masjid Jamek. The numbers swelled before our eyes. From the streets of Sogo, the Unit Amal PAS heading the front, locked arms to face-off with the police. Thousands stood behind them ready to march. The police at first looked helpless, then as the FRU team took their positions, I knew, there was going to be a face off. Me, Shar and Crankshaft stood against the wall of Sogo, trying to make our way through, suddenly without warning, people started surging against us, trying to get away from the police. Shar immediately gave the instruction, ‘stand against the wall, don’t move’.

Photo0045

Thousands of people crammed into the walls of Sogo, seeking protection from the teargas and water-cannons which were suddenly let off without warning. Crankshaft came prepared, she brought out her towel to cover our faces, and kindly shared it with me. I felt my legs tremble, i was getting claustrophobic, i told shar, we had to move, I can’t breathe.

We inched ourselves away against the wall, and made it up to the overhead bridge. Here, we could see the police in action. Brutal, underhanded, bullying bunch of bastards. I saw a plain clothes officer in blue shouting instructions, a sick grin on his face. He was loud, crude, and certainly no professional. He was standing right below me at the bridge, I was tempted to pour some water on his head, to cool of his steam.

Photo0052

Photo0053

As we stood there, I got a good look of the people who were around us. I was proud to see, many youths of all races, many ‘non-urban’ folk, who were there for the cause. Makes me wonder, whether those we term as less aware, and less exposed, are actually more informed than us city folk. These are the people, from the sound of their accent, who come from other states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. Where are the KL people?

These good folks, came armed only with towels and salt water, which they kindly shared with everyone else. In my mind, I wondered why are Malaysians so docile? We sure take a lot of shit from the police and FRU. They come with batons and shields, tear gas and chemical-laced water. What do we bring? Towels and salt water. Can we be any more non-violent?

I couldnt help feeling a sense of satisfaction as the people heckled the police trucks as they drove by. I realised just how much I hated our government, their servants and everyone under their command. My mind shouted to me, unfair, biased, abuse of power. Where did all my hate and anger come from?

Photo0047

Photo0051

After some time, when the FRU had cleared the roads, we went near the bar council to have a break and meet up with some other ABM’ers. I saw some young lawyers standing in front of the bar council, fully clothed on a saturday afternoon in their formal wear. I wondered what they were doing. Hope I don’t parade around in my suit off work hours when I join the profession.

After the break, some of us headed over to the road where Masjid Jamek LRT is. Heard there was a group there still. As we stood there, the roads were empty, except for the FRU trucks and police. Everyone was sitting or standing around the sidewalks. We watched as the police, continuously gave orders to an empty road, to disperse. It seems it was a crime now to even stand on the roadside. Soon, the police got in action again. The FRU team now sprayed water on the sidewalks. I reckon Burger King must have gotten a full blast of the water. Hope noone was sitting up in the open air second floor, or they would have gotten a full blast of chemical laced burgers and fries.

I stood about 500 meters back from where the water landed, unfortunately not far back enough. Even from that distance my face was hit with that foul substance. I felt my eyes and nose water. My skin started to sting. Desperate to get rid of the sensation, I took dave’s advise, lit up a cigarette and blew it in my own face. Seems like smoking finally has a remedial benefit. =)

It was late, close to 6, I was tired and hungry. We finally headed home, after failing to hail a cab we took the LRT back. I was satisfied, even if failing to deliver the memorandum, at least we irked the police and showed them we have no fear of them. People may say, what we did had no effect. But I felt the effect of it. I felt the likemindedness of the people around me, and the intensity of injustice and abuse of power. I felt the solidarity of coming together, and voicing out, if nothing else.

I felt I needed to be part of this, and that is all that matters for now.

Do not blame the parents

Posted in General on May 21, 2009 by khookhoo

I’ve never had the pleasure for meeting my paternal grandparents. My grandfather passed away just before my parents got married, and my grandmother met with an unfortunate accident when my mother was three months pregnant with my sister. That was 8 years before I was born. My dad has always spoken a great deal about them though, and everytime he does, I can see the glint of a deeply embedded love, that we all keep even when someone passes on to the next world.

He used to talk about how my grandparents, who had 10 children in total, made the best out of life and their love for each other, eventhough they were relatively poor. How his mother, took care of all her grandchildren, regardless of whether they were the daughter’s children, or the son’s children, and laboured over the stove, cooking for her huge family. He used to say that my grandparents were always loving and happy, despite being poverty stricken. And he had the great advantage of being the child of such humble, but great people in their own way.

My uncles and aunties have always been a subject of mystery to me. Throughout the years, I have hardly or never met all of them. My father only keeps in touch with one sister, who surprisingly is married to my mom’s uncle. That is how my parents met. My father does not talk much about the rest of his siblings.

Despite that though, last year, he received a call during after Chinese New Year, informing him that one of his brothers had died on the streets. He was the fourth brother. I distinctly remembered this uncle, as there was one day about 5 years back, my father brought him home to our house. He had been living in a shack with no running water or electricity somewhere in selangor. My father went to search for him, brought him home and gave him a job at his site in Perak.

After 2 days, my uncle ran off again, after failing to do his job. He was supposed to be guarding my father’s machineries, but he ended up drunk and slopping outside the nearest 7-11 every night. My father heard news about him 3 years later, he was now living on the streets, like a madman, begging for money, so he could satisfy his drunken stupor.

Not too long after that, the news of his death reached us. It was sad, sad because he had to die alone, his children and wife had long ago turned against him, for he was violent and drunk all the time. I often wondered how he could have turned out like that. Surely my grandparents are not to blame, they did all they could for their children.

I believe, we all choose the paths in our lives. After the age of 21, our parents can no longer be responsible for the actions and directions that we take. It must be hard being a parent, and watching your child go in the path of wrong. I guess it’s lucky my grandparents are no longer here to see what has become of their child.

But I really doubt it is their fault my uncle turned out so. Inevitably, every parent wants their children to choose the right path, and having done their part in instilling values and bringing them up the proper way, there is nothing more a parent can do.

Ever optimistic

Posted in General on May 13, 2009 by khookhoo

So, another decision stayed. Does it render the decision insignificant then? Well, to me it doesn’t. This just shows that there are more people willing to do the right thing, even if it means being overruled and put into ‘cold storage’.

Any voice, even one voice counts for me. Call me overly optimistic, call me naive, but Judge Aziz Rahim has done the right thing, by following his coinscience and upholding the rule of law. He was after all just ‘doing his job’. But by doing his job, he will certainly set precedent for other judges to follow; afterall, an avalanche usually starts with a single snowflake and builds momentum along the way.

So, I’m not ready to give up yet. Are you, or have you already done so?

Nizar is rightful MB!

Posted in Politics on May 11, 2009 by khookhoo

Thank god for the courts upholding the Rule of Law and judicial precedent. Read the full article here.

I must confess I almost forgot about the ruling today, but thanks to my dad’s intuitiveness when the mainstream media was silent on the issue, he immediately asked me to check online. Predictive of the MSM to keep silent on the issue when things were not in favour of the ruling government proved to be right! Traffic to mtoday and mkini is extremely heavy today. One wonders why…*snigger*.

Praise to those who were involved in the May 7th ‘black gathering’. I guess you guys are feeling less depressed now. Hopefully the case is upheld on appeal!

Black day tomorrow, hopefully?

Posted in General on May 6, 2009 by khookhoo

Just a short note, I won’t be able to go to Ipoh, but I will be doing my part by wearing black tomorrow.

Unfortunately CLP looms in 2 month’s time, and considering the amount of work I’ve put in so far, I better pull my socks up and get to work! Plus teaching and attending classes in between, and hopefully some court exposure if a certain someone is kind enough to allow me to shadow him in the courts, I am regretful to say that I won’t be able to make it this time round to the silver state.

However, I will definitely wear black tomorrow, and hopefully be successful in urging my students and friends to join me in making a statement, wherever you are; at home, work, studying abroad. Let it be the symbol of respecting the people’s choice of government.

By the way, after a thorough mugging of the Criminal Procedure Code, I am thoroughly disgusted with the excessive power given to the AG, and even though this is common practice in many countries, the thought of so much power in Abdul Gani Patail’s hands makes me shudder in disgust. No wonder I hate studying CLP!

Justice in Malaysia?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 by khookhoo

There was a time when the Malaysian courts were revered in the eyes of the world. This if course was destroyed in 1988 when the ‘ judiciary crisis’, as it is termed today, happened. I found this article here written awhile back, which articulates exactly how the court system went into rot.

Is it so surprising then, that RPK had no confidence in the judiciary? Since the Perak constitutional crisis, we’ve seen the courts actings ultra vires beyond their judicial powers, clearly serving their political masters of the day. I believe the layman takes no real interest in the courts, because to them it does not affect their daily lives. During the Nazi regime in Germany, the German courts were very much involved in the crimes against humanity that happened there.

Here’s an excerpt from http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/naziregime.html

In order to place the complete control of the machinery of Government in the hands of the Nazi leaders, a series of laws and decrees were passed which reduced the powers of regional and local governments throughout Germany, transforming them into subordinate divisions of the Government of the Reich. Representative assemblies in the Laender were abolished and with them all local elections. The Government then proceeded to secure control of the Civil Service. This was achieved by a process of centralisation, and by a careful sifting of the whole Civil Service administration. By a law of the 7th April it was provided that officials “who were of non-Aryan descent ” should be retired; and it was also decreed that ” officials who because of their previous political activity cannot be guaranteed to exert themselves for the national state without reservation shall be discharged.” The law of the 11th April, 1933, provided for the discharge of ” all Civil Servants who belong to the Communist Party.” Similarly, the Judiciary was subjected to control. Judges were removed from the Bench for political or racial reasons. They were spied upon and made subject to the strongest pressure to join the Nazi Party as an alternative to being dismissed. When the Supreme Court acquitted three of the four defendants charged with complicity in the Reichstag fire, its jurisdiction in cases of treason was thereafter taken away and given to a newly established ” People’s Court “, consisting of two judges and five officials of the Party. Special courts were set up to try political crimes and only party members were appointed as judges. Persons were arrested by the SS for political reasons, and detained in prisons and concentration camps, and the judges were without power to intervene in any way. Pardons were granted to members of the Party who had been sentenced by the judges for proved offences. In 1935 several officials of the Hohenstein concentration camp were convicted of inflicting brutal treatment upon the inmates. High Nazi officials tried to influence the Court, and after the officials had been convicted, Hitler pardoned them all. In 1942 ” Judges’ letters” were sent to all German judges by the Government, instructing them as to the ” general lines ” that they must follow.

The judiciary is the most powerful tool that a government may use for totalitarian control. That is why, the hallmark of any democracy is the separation of powers between the legislature,executive and most importantly the courts. I do not know which law school our judges went to, but clearly they must have fallen asleep in their constitutional law classes. The phrase ‘justice must not only be done, but must be seen to  be done’ clearly also applies. Perception of the public therefore, is a most important factor.

What is your perception then of Malaysia? My sister asked me a cynical question the other day; ‘Do you think in the eyes of the world Malaysia is in shit right now?’

I’d probably agree. Until and unless we can have an impartial court system, who acts without fear or favour, we will always be in ‘shit’. And we’ve been in shit ever since 1988, that was when I was only 2 years old. 21 years down the line, where are we today?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.