Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Launch of Tengku Li's Amanah

Whether it's a bygone quest or it’s the last straw, the Amanah (Trust), an NGO forged over months of painstaking study for the best bulk of the popular protest in the killing of the mocking bird, is looking good.

It was five minutes late in the launching by the noble man, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, on July 22. It was a Friday, a day of prayers for Muslims and a day of hope for all Malaysian brothers and sisters.

The Angkatan Amanah Merdeka launching left us gaping with the question about what it will be when it’s time for the good wolves to huff and to puff to bring the whole corrupt house down.

It’s not anymore an existential question, like it had been with Hamlet asking his conscience ‘To be or not to be?’ as he walked down the endless steps of becoming.

The question having been answered by Tengku Li and his associates now begs for a clear remark about whether or not Ku Li, as he is better known, will one day take the Amanah out of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and surface it as a yellow submarine into the frontline of the Pakatan.

It is possible that the Amanah would be required to helm the Pakatan if Anwar Ibrahim ends up in jail again.

Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, is biting his finger nail in deciding when he will dissolve parliament. Some in the BN may be thinking of avoiding the general elections by calling an Emergency.

Umno and the BN is being battered everyday. They are almost sunk after destroying as many cherished institutions as can be counted without tears.

Said a former minister at the launching of Amanah, the government is misgoverning the economy into a mess of super-costly projects, high and still rising prices of food, of housing and of essential items.

It’s a cipher for certain regime change.

Following the daring showdown of right against might in the Bersih 2.0 through the streets of Kuala Lumpur on July 9, the BN can hardly be expected to let the cross-party new organization Ku Li is leading to exist.

It can be counted to pull out the required number of votes and force through a regime change.

That nearly happened in the 8 March 2008 general elections.

The Opposition had taken 51 percent of the total votes but fell short in the count for a majority in Parliament.

Of state governments the Pakatan took five but quickly lost Perak in a blur of sexual trysts and a case of poor leadership which together counted as a very high price to pay for moral misconduct and general inexperience.

The Amanah at the top is sexually safe and secure as a sum of leaders who have mostly been clobbered into good shape and others as social idealists of note like Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, 70, who had risen from a wasting village and taken by the Lord into Oxford University and became State Secretary of Sabah. Then he became the No. 2of SUHAKAM, the Human Rights Commission.

There’s Daniel Tajem, in-out-in of SNAP in Sarawak, who’s still living in a village among the people he represents politically and as a lawyer.

Former MCA president, the inspiring Ong Tee Keat, obviously towers as a man of conscience. He too is a beacon, like Razaleigh.

Given the ready pool of the morally injured among the people, it’s hard to miss a win with the group of leaders of the Amanah – a line-up of moral and ethical beacons that can, with freedom of speech, expression and assembly, light a path to the freedom from corruption, from collusion and from cronyism.

Other than former Minister, Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, 72 (one of his brothers had risen to the helm of the Umno Youth), there are Dato Subramaniam, formerly MIC deputy president and Ragunath Kesavan, former Bar Council president, with Bujang Ulis, Dr. Patau Rubis, Wilfred Bumburing and even a guy who has climbed Mt. Kinabalu more than 50 times, making the group into Pegasus, the constellation the ancients identified as the messenger or postmaster of the gods.

Therefore the powers will want Amanah blacked out.

Tengku Li said in his speech, “This morning can just be another interesting social event in the Malaysian landscape or it could be the start of something unprecedented that it could alter the course of our country’s future and direction.”

The room to move is calculated. It is limited.

The Tengku is aware some in Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR had blamed him for the failure of the September 16 lunge for power Anwar made.

As a result Anwar slumped, only to mount again in the re-run of a sodony charge, this time with the famous and invincible rectum of Saiful Bukhari, one of his aides.

In the Pas some are dismayed by the series of losses in recent by-elections. Nik Aziz Nik Mat is aging. Some who are equally disturbed by the rise of Mat Sabu as deputy president want Anwar as president with Hadi Awang replacing Nik Aziz as the Murshid ul-Am (General Guide).

Mat Sabu is not a religious scholar. Mat Sabu, as a carpet-bagger without any political base, is an obvious risk.

It’s about a simple thought for the culture of power, meaning Tengku Razaleigh could prove to become a torn in the Pas’ stronghold of Kelantan, which is also the Tengku’s home-ground. But Tengku Li is aiming for the center, the federal power.

The start of Amanah is a bit tough and hence the launching of Amanah passed in the media, including in the cyber portals, as a monumental whimper of a consortium which included more than a hundred corporate leaders who had come dressed in suits, many armed with blackberries, cameras and tablets to ensure a memory in digital-space of a reasoning for peace, for sanity, for a correction of systematic errors and for a return to development for the people.

This is the difference in Tengku Razaleigh’s touch. He brought leaders in the corporate sector to ground zero and to walk alongside the NGOs, intellectuals, workers, farmers, fishermen and the people at large, a final refinement of the Opposition that can make the Pakatan become the arm that will nail the coffin.

Elite Rule

There is a certain rule in Malaysia of the super-elite. It had arisen in the evolution of the New Economic Policy into a systematic dictatorship and which bastardized the whole of the policy while the civil service had become more and more the Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) cadre outfit.

Former Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had said about 85 percent of projects meant for Bumiputras had been leaked and given to Non-Bumiputras, suggesting a system overwhelmed by graft and mutual gratifications.

After some high government officers had stunned the people by openly campaigning for the BN in recent by-elections, a broader-based participation became immensely necessary for the people to protect themselves from the power-elite.

‘The rich must help the poor and the successful must help the unfortunate,’ Tengku Razalegh recalled. It was what Tunku Abdul Rahman had said in his vision of a united and happy nation.

It’s not about nostalgia. It’s basic in the formula for peoples who must rise to protect themselves from the dementia affecting governments when power is assumed for the competitive accumulation of money and of wealth in the human search for grand opulence in the Order of Mammon.

Met Him? Know Him? Your fate and destiny are your simple choices. ----a. ghani ismail, 23 July, 2011

The Amanah website is at

Friday, July 8, 2011

Into the Dark After Power Becomes a Lark

Just when the general elections was said to be “around the corner”, in a sudden exclamation of terror 31 members of the revived Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were intercepted and remanded on the mainland in Penang. The spaces of shock it caused were soon replaced with bewilderment.

Most of the 31 were poor Indians from the estates. There was a boy of 14 and a woman of 64. The party was taking a ride on the BERSIH 2.0 campaign for free and fair elections.

The only crime the group could have committed was about having with them T-shirts printed with images of outlawed former Communist leaders of Malaya – Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin, Abdullah C.D. and his wife, Suriani.

Power became a lark when these were alleged on June 26 to have been a band out to collect men and weapons to wage war against His Majesty, the King.

Seven days later police released six leaders of the band and immediately rearrested them under the Emergency Ordinance (EO). Police power became widely seen as a toy.

It was pre-elections noise, a ritual in Malaysia, this time grossly an over abuse of authority.

It was all about BERSIH 2.0, a loose coalition of 62 NGO’s that planned a rally for free and fair elections on July 9, which is today.

A Fairy Tale

Like in a fairy tale of ancient British tyrannical regimes, the Minister of Home Affairs, Hishamuddin Hussain, outlawed yellow attire and the people laughed, no longer worried the country was under serious threat.

With senior Cabinet Ministers and the Prime Minister himself acting out a poorly scripted game of deceit, the King decided to intervene on July 4 with an unprecedented royal edict.

For the people that settled the staged storm and BERSIH 2.0 leader, S. Ambiga, said she would call off the rally if that’s what the King wanted and the storm clouds parted to let through a wonderful ray of hope.

But His Majesty merely cautioned against BERSIH walking in the streets. The rally could be held in a stadium.

The King is the Sovereign and Sovereigns are the spirits of nations, so there was joy beaming in the faces of the people.

Yet the Minister of Home Affairs reminded the next day he had declared BERSIH outlaw on July 1, meaning the King, the symbol of the nation’s sovereignty, had acted in error – a disruption of the realm’s protocol and of a Royal edict, which was a certain disregard of the national virtues invested in the person of the King, His Royal Highness The Yang Di Pertuan Agong.

People were in gloom, like the affront was an omen of bad days to come. But what called for the vainglory?

It was mainly the prices in the bread and butter spread and of property, the latter a bubble that is knocking out a chunk of the middle class from the BN’s captive voters the ruling coalition cannot endure.

Then it is about sustainable corruption or of unimaginable high costs that continue to grow in the BN, the latest flair being that of the Minister of Tourism, Ng Yen Yen, who approved RM1.8 million for six Facebook pages of promotional writings.

Given the bulk of the overburden the Prime Minister has had to carry and his reluctance to remove the driftwoods from his Cabinet, it became popular to believe the ruling coalition, the BN, is going under in the 13th general elections scheduled for August or September.

But for panic there was no need. It’s a snap election the Prime Minister can choose to delay for a year or so.

And there are serious snags in the Opposition the people can clearly see.

After the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has all but lost its registration through dirty play in the party elections and the mad internal struggles continue unabated, people have been suggesting Najib invite either the Pas or the DAP to join the BN and be done with the tensions and the uncertainties.

PM Najib teased the Islamic party, Pas, but he had made no offer.

As a result the Pas president, Haji Hadi Awang, flung the idea into a cesspool in his policy speech at the recent party general assembly and remarked afterwards the country under the BN is headed for bankruptcy and with a debt luggage that’s already 54 percent of the GDP she will be mistaken for Greece in a matter of months.

The BN is in big trouble for failing to manage the prices of food, fuel and every other essential item.

The prices of fish and meat have reached the unthinkable. Beef is now about RM22 per kilo, from RM10 about a year ago.

Cheese slices costing RM2.50 two years before is now more than RM9.

That’s the immediate challenge Najib should have sorted out but is failing. It is eroding the value of the Ringgit and eating into the people’s earnings and savings at one and the same time.

This is the “terror” in Malaysia.

Since more than 70 percent of workers in the country earn RM1500 or less per month, unless immediately checked and by using an emergency ordinance (EO) for it, the result of an extended hike of food prices as it is now will cause a massive pressure driving more and more people against the BN by the day.

The EO should have been recalled for this problem and not for the detention of the MP for Sungai Siput, Dr. Michael Jayakumar, and five other members of the almost defunct PSM that’s merely trying to remain extant, in the dark and the damp of rubber and oil palm estates.

Now it is the BN that’s a lark which is seen as frantic for having missed the cuckoo’s nest in the strange mix of cross-ardor rising from a poorly managed rapture of Saiful’s underside in Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial.

This had been followed against all counsel to the contrary by a video showing a man of remarkable likeness to Anwar enjoying a sumptuous Chinese cuisine, the man with a pot-belly belying the tale of betrayal between old friends.

The attempts to kill the Opposition Leader’s character frothed and failed again, a case of blameless sustained ineptitude since the money flowed, nevertheless.

It is likely it is the serial failures that’s forcing the BN to the corner and to continue with the comic strips and abuse of power, making it lose the favor of more and more people at each turning and tossing of the misconducts and misgovernment.

BERSIH 2.0 should be in rally today. The BN is rapidly losing the people’s faith each passing day of this sad episode in the noisy heats before the 13th general elections will be finally called.

Think of sunshine. To find joy, think of sunshine on the other end of the elections when we will have a Bill of Rights in Malaysia. When there’s the will the way will come. But who will promise us the Bill of Rights? Will you? ---a. ghani ismail, 9 July, 2011