Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BERNAMA Erred, Rais Gets the Brunt of it

And so, here we go again. Is it round two or is it round four? I have lost count of the volleys and onslaughts by the detractors of Information Minister Datuk Dr Seri Rais Yatim to date.

It seems that almost whatever he did would, invariably, attract sarcasms or outright attacks by not only the opposition but the fifth columnists on the side of BN and the government.

But the thing is, although lengthy explanations were given to answer to the attacks, the rhythm of the offensives would still continue unabated.

Take for example the allegation of rape on the Indonesian maid? What gives when the woman herself had denied it ever happened and came out clean to substantiate that she had worked for good employers?

However, as Tun Dr Mahathir once said, if a lie is repeated again and again it may take a life of its own and ultimately be seen as the truth. This is what Rais’s enemies are doing. They will keep harping on it, reminding people about his foibles and alleged misdeeds, never mind that they were either white lies or mere fabrications.

So, we come to the much touted latest issue that claimed Rais approved the spending of RM100 million for the ‘Hari Seniman’ celebrations recently. The allegations said a whopping RM100 million, mind you.

Very unusually high amount for a day in commemoration of the artistes and creative folks among us. It would truly be a salute to their contributions and benevolence had it been, indeed, true. But it was not.

It so happened that the national news agency, BERNAMA, had erroneously reported the numbers. It could happen to anyone and it had again and again.

The number was much less, RM97, 655 to be exact, and not a mind boggling RM100 million!

But even that did not stop those on the other side and the turncoats among us to gloat over it. Why? Even until the time of writing this the staccato rhythm of the attacks have not lessen a bit.

Worse even when we see much respected journalist figures hopping on the bandwagon. Of course, they would not be able to accept it if we see them as practising gutter journalism, sour grapes journalism or plain malicious. No, they are too much above board in everything and consider themselves beyond reproach.

Why? In our haste to have them in our good books, they were even bestowed with lofty decorations such as datukships and the like. For what, I don’t know. Who was the smart Alec who recommended they be given such titles in the first place?

Back to the issue being harped…come on! It was a sensible amount and there is no call to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Treading the Cool but Dangerous Waters of Lenggong Valley

Yesterday it was reported that the deadly leptospirosis bacteria has been detected in a stream outside the Botanic Gardens in Penang, prompting the state government to advise the public to keep clear of the waters in the area.

With two out of three samples taken from the stream in April tested positive for the bacterial contamination, there is much cause for concern not only in Penang, but also elsewhere in Malaysia, where there have been scattered reports of leptospirosis contamination since last year.

The leptospirosis and melioidosis contamination have thus far claimed many lives, with eight deaths in the vicinity of Lubuk Yu near Maran, Pahang June last year.

At about the same time last year there was a similar scare at the Desa Rimba National Service Camp near Lenggong in Perak. Although the water from the stream and pond that flowed through camp was tested negative for leptospirosis, nevertheless the fear has been fixed in the minds of the people.

The same happened to the water at the Junaco Park National Service camp and the lake at Taman Permai in Sibu, Sarawak. Both were reported to have been contaminated with leptospirosis bacteria.

For folks in the once environmentally-pristine area of Lenggong Valley, the big question is “what’s happening to our beautiful waterfalls?”

A visit to the lush ambiance of the Lata Kekabu waterfall in Lenggong recently was met with a stark reminder in the form of a notice put up by the State Health Department absolving itself of liabilities and warning the public that the water may be contaminated.

There have never been any reports of infection linking the water of Lata Kekabu, but then again the Desa Rimba National Service, where a similar scare was reported last year is located not far from the area.

The water that cascades within the muted lush ambiance of Lata Kekabu come from the hills which form part of the Bintang Hijau range. Except for some work camps for oil palm workers and an abandoned tea plantation overlooking the sleepy town of Lenggong, there is no evidence to point to human causation of the leptospirosis scare.

So, what gives?

To the authorities, rest assured that this writer is not about to put full blame on any of them. However, blame must be had for a solution to be found and eventually addressed.

The experts at the Health Ministry had pointed to the irresponsible and rampant disposing of leftover picnic foods and the lack of civic consciousness to keep picnic sites, especially those near mountain streams and waterfalls clean.

Legitimate argument that but it goes back to the will of the authorities to seriously address this lackadaisical attitude of folks who frequent the areas.

A more intensive campaign should be mounted to drill-in the need for more responsible attitude with regards to this.

An integrated campaign involving the Health Ministry, Forestry Department, schools and even the Jabatan Agama Islam is needed. Give it a go and who knows what we can achieve to save this planet – no, to save Malaysia!

Incidentally, for Perak Tourism who proudly promote the lake district of Hulu Perak and the waterfalls in the state, what is the use if each time people are drawn by the colourful superlatives in the state tourism brochures they all but tread with trepidation in the dangerous waters of the silver state?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Only Now You Know That to Slander is Evil?

Translated from

The arguments put forth by the Perak UMNO Youth Chief and the PAS Youth Chief in the discourse on Slander in the End of Days (Wacana Fitnah Umat Akhir Zaman) pointed to one thing – the Anwar Ibrahim sex video scandal and slander. Although opined with some pertinent basis, the long and convoluted explanation given was only to say that the sex video was nothing more than slander.

Although on the surface the discourse looked attractive and had some elements of truth, however, when it pointed to Anwar Ibrahim, it has become something laughable, devoid of intelligence for a discourse of such a genre. It is nothing more than politics to save Anwar’s ass from the scathing perception of the Malaysian public who see is it as an act that is despicable, especially in the eyes of the Malays and Islam.

Its is, indeed, true that slander is an evil act. However, slander is also among the foundations that had been sowed in the country’s party politics. Each of the politicians among us is so prone to committing slander. Why, even PAS Youth Chief Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi had used systematic integrated slander when assisting the PAS candidate in Permatang Pauh to defeat Rohaizat Othman.

In this case, notwithstanding the truth that Rohaizat had two wives and as such practised polygamy without adhering to Islamic family laws in Malaysia, what right has Nasruddin to expose it and ridicule Rohaizat by dragging his second wife into the fray?

These are examples, but what about the case of the PAS ninja who was slashed with parang causing his shirt to be torn and his head to bleed? Bizarrely still, when it was discovered the parang attack did not leave any wounds on the torso. Not just the absence of serious wounds, there weren’t any traces of cuts inflicted by a sharp edged object despite the slash tear on the shirt.

But since the video had adversely and directly impacted Anwar, Pakatan Rakyat and in particular, PAS, the discourse had to be called and the subject of the despicability of political slander, which they claimed as immoral to be discussed and debated at length.

Why not they debate the need for the ummah to expose those leaders who might cause worse harm as had been warned by Imam Al-Ghazali and Al-Nawawi? Why was it that when asked about Nasruddin’s rationale in exposing Rohaizat, who at that time was the UMNO-BN candidate standing against Salleh Man of PAS, six factors outlined by Imam Al-Ghazali as contained in that tome of sea of knowledge, Ihya Ulumuddin was discussed and then easily accepted by those in PAS?

When it comes to things related to Anwar Ibrahim, the perception changes. Why?
Why not project him as a leader who could wreak much damage to the ummah than to showcase him as a personality who is beyond reproach? Is PAS not really adhering to Islam or is it only abiding by certain things, saying only parts and pieces, while hiding the rest?

It cannot be denied that the dissemination of the obscene sex video purported to have involved Anwar Ibrahim is something that is disgraceful and immoral. However, it says another thing like what is being done by most Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including those of PAS and its members, who came up with baseless counter allegations; accusations that would, invariably, necessitate the producing of four pure and sin-free witnesses. Is that not slander, too?

If they really wanted to reject politics of slander and return to the true path of Islam, please do it in earnest and sincerely. Doing half of it and using the other half to positively project PAS and Pakatan rakyat is not the way to go.

If Anwar is an UMNO leader, perhaps the strains we hear from PAS leaders would have been different. This is because all these while PAS is happiest when they produce shameful images involving UMNO leaders. In such cases they will not hesitate to use such images for publicity and uplift its ‘holier-than-thou’ stance.

The conclusion that we can make is that the discourse on Slander in the End of Days (Wacana Fitnah Umat Akhir Zaman) was not to discuss slander, which has imbedded itself in the mindset of humans of the present era, but instead on the part of Khairy Jamaluddin and Nasruddin Tantawi was to create the perception that the video, which was said to have involved Anwar Ibrahim was nothing less than slander.

That was all to it and nothing more.