Tuesday, May 8, 2018

An open letter for the people behind the Undi-Rosak campaign.

 By: Choo Sing Chye

Malaysia has an electoral-political system in which the direction of the politics is determined by ballots.  The government is formed not by a bloody contest in a battlefield but in a marketplace of choices whereby we count heads rather than chopping them off.  Thus, we should attach a high premium value on our votes and it is silly just to spoil them.

To say the least, I am not inspired by your ‘Undi-Rosak’ campaign. This campaign will lead you to tell the people not to vote for any politician across the board.  You do not care whether the politician is corrupt or honest and competent -  you just want the vote to be spoiled.

In  fact what you are doing is leaving the market place of choices and letting  the corrupt politicians and their goons to do the bidding among themselves - the more ‘undi-rosak’ the better.

Frankly speaking, can your action of spoiling the vote makes the practitioners of  divisive and hate politics  go away?   Certainly not. In fact it strengthens them.
Surely, this should not be the inspiration you wish to have or inculcate in our young, more so to influence them to embrace your unthinking campaign.

If you plan this campaign for the voters in the hope that a certain party could win, then it is very nasty of you.  But if you do it just to tell politicians off, then it is  not a very clever endeavour.

As future leaders, you should not lose your  intellectual  ability  to articulate the problems of the people eloquently to our potential leaders and to our voters, especially the young. 

Resolutely you should be inspired by idealism in politics and  able to peel away the layers of deceptions which seems to permeate into every nooks and crannies of our society during election time.  Thus walking away from this responsibility is  not wise.

To make this article short, I wished to recount my experience in Canada just to give an idea of a good government.

As a young student in Canada, I was inspired, yes, very much inspired by the near-free hard right-wing politics and a corrupt free government.  This is all because the Canadian voters are well informed  and they are very assertive in their choice of voting in honest and competent politicians to run the country.  
The province of Manitoba was governed by the left-of-center NDP (New Democratic Party) similar to the Liberal Party in Great Britain which dabbles itself with what politicians call Community politics or Lee Lam Thye politics as we use to call in Malaysia.

The impact of their soft-left  policies  had a tremendous effect on me.  I was able to graduate from  the Brandon University because the NDP provincial government was able to put a cap on the rising university fees  while the rest of Canada, the fees went up by 100 to 700%.   Being a corrupt free provincial government they were able to subsidised a huge part of the fee. The NDP was able to do this because education is controlled by the provincial government and not the Federal government as we have in Malaysia.  My whole 3 year degree cost me C$2,400 (RM4,200).

I am truly grateful to the NDP Manitoba provincial government, if not for their soft-left policies, I would have to come back home without a degree.
Another huge impact of these policies was on the new arrivals in Canada, the Vietnamese Refugees.

On my second semester (first year) in university, I was invited by Dinh Lam, a Vietnamese Refugee to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family.  
On arriving there, I realised that he was renting a small basement room. It was small and sparsely filled with old and worn out furniture, but tidy.   Dinh Lam was apologetic about the condition of his basement room which I told him not to.
His ordeal began in the mid 70’s where the discriminative racial and hate politics of the Communist Vietnam was so intolerable that his family decided that he and his two sisters should take the risk and leave the country.

On the day he left Vietnam, he was only 17 years old.  His eldest sister was 21 and his old younger sister, 10.  

They all cramped into a fishing trawler boat with 40 other refugees.  About a week at sea, the boat hit shore on a small island off Indonesia.  The moment they set foot on the island, the village chief and his men immediately took all his family heirloom jewelleries and a few hundred US dollars they were carrying.  He and his two sisters were left completely with nothing except for the clothes they are wearing.

Luck and timing was on their sides, when Canada’s left-of-center Liberal Party Government of Late Pierre Trudeau announced that the country was taking in 40,000 refugees, Dinh Lam and his two sisters were extremely lucky to be on the list.

In Canada they were welcomed by the Maronites.  The Maronites gave them food and warm clothing and a place to stay until they were able to fend for themselves.

A few months later, he found employment  as a factory worker assembling telephones and his eldest sister, a restaurant worker.  Both were paid a minimum wage of $6 an hour.  His younger sister got a place in the Canadian public school.

With the deep recession blowing across Canada, the telephone factory was not spared. The factory management had no choice but to reduce the working days from 5 to 3 days so that they can keep all its employees and the factory afloat. The Canadian government stepped in and pay the  balance of 2 days.  In doing so, the factory could weather the recession and the employees like Dinh Lam could stay on with full pay.

In my final year in Canada, he again invited me to his house to spend probably the last Chinese New Year with them.  This time round, I was surprised that they were staying in a detached large house and the furniture inside was of high quality.  Furniture that we could find in upper middle class home in Malaysia.

Curiously I asked him how much the rental was?  “No, I bought the house,” came the surprising reply.  He quickly ushered me to the back of the house, and showed me a speed boat and declared proudly, “I bought this too”.   
That summer we went boating in his speed boat  and I must admit, it was the most exciting time of my life.

It is inspiring to note that in less than three years they were able to achieve their dreams.  As for me, after coming back from Canada for more than three decades, I could not even achieve 50 per cent of their  dreams like many other Malaysians.
My choice is clear – I vote for Harapan.

Please Read This:

Gifts and Items Sent to the Prime Minister and His Family

Many Canadians choose to offer gifts to the Prime Minister and his family. These are kind and generous gestures. However, the Trudeau family believes that this goodwill would be better directed towards community, charity and family.
Additionally, security regulations and the Federal Accountability Act passed in 2006 prevent and preclude the Prime Minister and his family from accepting many gifts. All monetary gifts and gift certificates will be returned to the sender. Some items, such as perishable goods, cannot be accepted for security reasons. Other items may be severely damaged due to security screening processes. We would be very disappointed to learn that any item of personal value was damaged as a result of these measures and ask that you refrain from sending these valuables.

Finally, we would ask that you consider the impact your efforts could have for those in need across Canada. The Prime Minister, Sophie, Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien would be heartened to know that you are focusing your generosity as a volunteer or benefactor of a dedicated charitable organization.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Being Patriotic is not a non Malay thing?

By: Choo Sing Chye

Sad to say there are many who will go to great lengths of distorting history just for the sake of painting the non-Malays as unpatriotic.  They will peddle their phoney perceptions that the non Malays did not play a significant role in the formative years of the pre and post Merdeka  history.  And for this reason, they postulate that the non-Malays should not be given any fairness pledged in the Malaysian Constitution. This belief is unfortunately still prevalent in the mind-set of the UMNO’s Hard Right-wingers.

A great part  of my growing up was influenced by a man who was a former soldier in the British Army.  His exploits still rings dear in my heart until today. 

I remember quite well the many exploits  he had recounted.  One that stood out particularly well  was  on one routine patrol  his unit was ambushed by the communists.   His British officer had his arm shot clean off.   For a moment, all hell broke loose, and he without any fear for his life, surges forward to engage the Communists with his gun blazing.  After a fierce battle, the Communists withdraw.  For this brave stint,  he was nicknamed by the British Officers, ‘Cina Gila’ (mad Chinese).  This nickname stuck to him affectionately throughout his career as a soldier.

On many occasions he talked about the Indian,  Sikh, Kenyan, Fijian, Chinese, Burmese, Gurkha, New Zealander and Australians soldiers but nothing about the Malays. 
My little curious mind begun to wonder why the Malays were not fighting the Communists.  Why were they not patriotic as he and his cohorts?   

I was having this very state of mind that Pembela Ummah (Ummah) chairman Ismail Mina Ahmad  is having today when he said the Malays were doing all the fighting for the last few hundred years, but in the reversed order.  Perhaps Ismail Mina Ahmad feels comfortable and proud for having such beliefs, but not me.

So one day I decided to pluck up some courage to ask him this daunting question.   “Uncle, why the Malays were not fighting the Communist? “  Why?

His answer was that the Malays were as brave as they were.  He omitted the Malays because there were no Malays in his units as they were attached to other units. 

This was a huge relief for a 11 year old boy who had to bear the pain of believing my neighbour Malay saudara/s  were not doing the share of fighting the communists.

Today tears will swell in my eyes when I think of him.  He had taught me discipline, generosity, kindness and most of all, being truthful to others. 
He often remind me that the coin has two sides and whichever side one takes, one should not denigrate the other side which, one is not taking because it has the same value as your side. 

I had lost contact with him for over 40 years. So wherever you are, thank you very much, Sergeant Joseph Gee for being part of my formative years.

My sincere thanks to the Malaysian Armed Forces Chinese Veterans Association (MACVA) president Major Tan Pau Son and National Patriots’ Association president, brig-gen (rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji, for being on the side of truth.

Monday, November 23, 2015

McCarthyism in Malaysia?

By: Choo Sing Chye

HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah - The Rulers ... are not, nor can they be, deaf, blind and dumb to the critical issues on which the nation is hinged.

Seriously, reading Arul Kanda’s interview with the pro-government media and the account of his close talk-sessions with the MCA and UMNO members, gives me bad vibes.  

It is like the replay of the heydays of the 50’s and 60’s  BBC’s  boring “airport interviews" and the "jolly good fellow" stuffs that had no news value which amounted to government propaganda.  

I wonder, why are we still trapped within this vicious vortex of  discerning government  propaganda after all these years?  

We should have arrived at the stage where the journalists write and politicians do the sweating.  

But sadly, it’s the reverse here.  

It is all because our democracy is still rigidly guided (Guided-Democracy) by the all powerful elites of the National Front (Barisan Nasional).

In the West where Liberal Democracy prevails, investigative journalism is the norm.  
And here in the West, the journalists act as a voice of the people and not the government or the opposition.  They will do a critical review on  government  policies and debates in Parliament without fear or favour.   

For this reason, ordinary citizens in the West tend to believe the media more than the politicians from the government or the oppositions.  As a consequent of this, they are more inclined to vote for leaders of their choice based on these reviews.

But in Malaysia, the main purpose of investigative journalism is to dig out sludge from opposition leaders and not from the government.  

Not that opposition leaders do not have them, but when journalists do a critical piece on an issue, it must be equal in intensity for both sides, the government and the opposition.

However in reality, when they found any sludge from the government leaders, they will with all their effort  hushed it up.  Or they would at their customary best, blame the oppositions of making it up stories to remove the “democratic” government leaders.

Thus balance news is never the norm or the appeal of the pro government media because whatever they write is prone to one sided views – the government views. 

The attitude of the many print media in Malaysia concurs with what had happened in the age of McCarthyism where the Right-Wingers had seemingly gone mad.  

Nevertheless, evoking the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 50’s in American is to offer us a clear comparison between false accusations and the truth. 

Apparently there wasn’t a need for McCarthy to provide any proof, he just had to intercede any hearing with his famous “point of order” and whatever being said after this became the gospel truth.   

Hence many were indicted just on flimsy or false accusations. And those who were accused by McCarthy’s fearsome committee of being a communist or a homosexual meant instant dismissal and blacklisting. 

Television and newspapers editors knew about this, but chose to stand at the side line and sadly majority of them threw their self-respect away and supported McCarthy’s witch hunt. 

They were seemingly doped with fear of the mad Right-Wingers in the government and they knew pretty well what would happen to them if they did not toe the line. 

Nobody dared to utter unkind words about the government. Those who question the government or found not toeing the official line were bullied and destroyed. 

Two men stood against all these.  They were Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly.  Murrow, a journalist with the CBS and his producer, Friendly, decided to make a critical examination of Senator McCarthy. 

They examined nearly a million feet of film on McCarthy's fearsome committee hearings and every speech that McCarthy had made. 

They found out from their research that McCarthy was guilty of false accusations, bullying and character assassinations which had led the Americans to believe that there were communist agents under their bed.

The stage was set when McCarthy wrongly accused the Army Chief Counsel, Joseph Welsh of having a communist, a 19 year old boy in his law firm. 

Ed Murrow and Fred Friendly bought a quarter page advertisement in the papers for this crucial broadcast with money from their own pockets because CBS was afraid to attack McCarthy.

The climax came when Joseph Welsh, in front of 20 million television viewers, demolished McCarthy with these words: 

Little did I dream that you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is I regret that to say equally true that I fear that he shall always bear the scar, needlessly inflicted by you. 

If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I will do so. Let us not assassinate this lad further... have you no sense of decency? You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency? Sir.....Mr. McCarthy... I will not discuss with you further. You, Mr. Chairman may as you will, call the next witness." 

McCarthy stood there, humiliated, destroyed by a simple truth obtained from the, “million feet of film” by two men of integrity. 

The witch-hunt was over.

Ed Marrow concluded at the end of the broadcast:

..the action of the junior Senator from Wisconsin of course, caused alarm and dismay among our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. Whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it and rather successfully.”

It was a historic broadcast which gave birth to INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM.

Now coming back to our own back yard.  
The sacking of the main critics of the 1 MDB, notably, the deputy Prime Minister and coupled with an avalanche of documents out there in the open; Arul Kanda, had this to say:
We need to base ourselves on facts. We cannot rely on hearsay, allegations and other unsubstantiated statements without due evidence and due proof.”  

Predictably, the pro-government media columnists and journalists could not even pick up one teeny-weeny piece of incriminating evidence from this avalanche of documents. They, instead vehemently defended the position of the government.

Further, Arul Kanda on the October 28th Malay Mail Online’s news declared with this caption, “1MDB takes especially seriously the views of Malay rulers, says Arul Kanda.”  

In the following article, he said that “1Malaysia Development Berhad (will take) seriously the opinions of all parties, especially the Malay rulers, on the controversies surrounding the state-owned company.”

Apparently, Arul Kanda’s public relation statement falls short of being good manners.   It is not good manners to trivialise the Council of Malay Rulers’ Royal Statement  as “views” or “opinions”.  

We must not forget the fact  that the Malay Rulers have access to the country’s  intelligence and so, it is not proper for Arul Kanda to imply that the Royal Statement as just “opinions” or “views”. 

If we read the Statement carefully, it is not directed at Arul Kanda, but to HM’s government,  notably the Prime Minister, the Polis DiRaja Malaysia, MACC and BNM to do a thorough investigation and solve the 1MDB as soon as possible without fear or favour.  

Arul Kanda's role is not to answer the Royal Statement, but directly to the authorities investigating 1MDB.

To Arul Kanda, the whole 1MDB episode is hinged on  how he plans to restructure 1MDB and not to address the issue of mismanagement and the leakages so that there can never be a 1MDB Mark II. 

All these controversies happened before his time and to him these are all unsubstantiated statements and evidence.

This is a dreary PR exercise.  And if we really want to get to the bottom of this issue, the investigating authorities must be given the power without fear or favour to investigate 1MDB.   

This is what the Royal Statement is all about.  It’s as simple as that.

If it is not done, then it is another typical run of the mill patching up and repairing job with a huge collateral damage – us.

In sum, the significance of HRHs, the Malay Rulers’  statement could be expressed eloquently by  HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah’s address to the Oxford and Cambridge Society, on the subject of  the “Role of the Malaysian Monarchy” (1):

Let me end by way of a brief summary. The monarchy in Malaysia is more than a symbolic and ceremonial institution. In saying this, I recognise the tremendous social significance of national symbols. It does have discretionary powers that are set out in the Constitution, but responsibilities that go beyond what is written to what is intended. The Rulers also are not, nor can they be, deaf, blind and dumb to the critical issues on which the nation is hinged. Theirs are the voices of impartiality, fairness and reason when such are necessary. The Rulers must speak with clarity and firmness for those who cannot.”

Google definition of McCarthyism: It is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism."

(1) Paragraph 25 of the Address on the Role of the Malaysian Monarchy, made by D.Y.M.M. BY  Raja Nazrin Shah (Now Sultan), Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan  to the Oxford and Cambridge Society, on the 27th June  2008.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An open reply to Jason Chin’s article, “Does the Selangor DAP election mean anything at all?”

by : Choo Sing Chye

It is tiring to argue subjectively on the merits and demerits of a political party without first knowing its conventions or rules that guide its actions. 

If we do this, our arguments will be rendered as opinions rather than a Science. We can argue from dawn to dusk and still we will not come to any solution or conclusion. 

Because opinions are not based on facts and the outcome is always a faulty No-holds-Barred session, argument or write up. 

We must remember that there are only a few facts pertaining to any issue as compared to hundreds of opinions.

Unfortunately majority of our politicians or for the matter, political news commentators employ opinionated viewpoints to further their arguments. 

They argue political issues from a perspective of an artist, who, as we know, has total freedom of choosing whatever scheme of colours, subjects and techniques he/she chooses. 

This is Politics without the Science – Politics of Opinions. 

Political Science is the study of institutions, types of government, ideologies, democracies, conventions and so forth. And certainly it is not in their profession to analyse how a particular politician stabs someone in the back or doing political mischievous acts. 

In your article, “Does the Selangor DAP election mean anything at all?”, you fail to take notice that State DAP elections are based on a Committee model of voting in which delegates vote for their choice of fifteen members whom they think best suited to become State Committee Members. 

You continued: 

DAP State elections witnessed Gobind Singh Deo topping polls with the most amounts of votes. Tony Pua came in 8th, 241 votes behind Gobind. Yet, Tony was reappointed as chairman and Gobind as deputy chairman. How does that make any sense?

Yes Jason, it does not make sense if DAP party elections are position based rather than committee based elections. 

Incidentally, Jason, DAP party elections are committee based and there are no rules or conventions to state that a person who got the highest number of votes becomes the chairman. 

The first 15 members who received the highest votes are deemed elected as State Committee Members. All these elected State Committee Members are equal, notwithstanding their number of votes they get. 

And from here, the 15 members will amongst themselves choose the Chairman, Secretary and so forth. This is often referred as the second level voting. 

Now compare this to the Westminster Parliamentary System. All elected MPs are deemed equal even though some get a higher majority of votes than others. And from all these equals, they choose a first among them – the Prime Minister. 

But nowadays, Prime Ministers are selected by Party delegates and hence, it is often referred as the Prime Ministerial Government or Party Government.

In your next postulation: 

Gobind won the ‘popular vote’ why isn’t he the new chairman? Is the ‘popular vote’ logic only applicable to the general elections when things do not go the DAP way?

Given the fact that you have mentioned the words “popular vote logic,” it is not wise to use this conceptual term “popular vote” in two different settings i.e. the General Elections and party elections, as your argument would be made technically invalid by the science of Logic. 

When Logic comes into play, the question of validity is questioned. And as a consequence, the validity will be put to test if the concept of “popular vote” is seamlessly bundled together with another different form of election. 

For an example, in a General Election, millions of popular votes are cast by the voters to vote in MPs or SAs. But, Party elections are close-door elections which only opened to a few hundred selected delegates; and it is done in a close and composed manner. 

There is nothing popular or unpopular about the candidates, they are all comrades of the same political creed. 

Thus, in Logic, the above is known as the “fallacy of Division which is the converse of the preceding, and it is often hard to keep the two apart.”

We can test its validity of this concept clearly with this syllogism: 

Three and two are odd and even; therefore three and two are odd and three and two are even.

Here we could see the odd and even numbers share the same meaning and are also invalidly interchangeable like the concept of popular vote between General Elections and party elections. 

Just like in a case of comparing apple  with an orange although both are fruits.

Thus in finality, your logical representation of “popular vote” is invalid. 

On the opinion that Tony Pua is gutless and a flip-flopper, you use the Greek expression, Argumentum ad hominem very well - it literary means attack or run down the man and not his policy or argument. 

Needless to say, Jason, your article is full of them.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Khairy, it is not irresponsible to vote down the Budget.

By: Choo Sing Chye

Khairy should have known better that it is not “irresponsible” to vote down the Supply Bill (Budget).  
He said:

other than forcing the stoppage of government service to the people, the action too, if successful, was a risk to civil servants in the aspect of salary payment. 
This is because the government expenditure is based on the Parliament Act which required the approval of Parliament before the allocation revealed in the budget could be spent.  MalayMailOnline – October 22, 2015.

If Khairy wants to alarm the GPA 3.8 to GPA 4 Ministers, I believe he did it very well.   

Now even The Star’s columnist, Joceline Tan joins in the flay saying that, 

sabotaging a Budget is rarely a good idea because it will lead to a government lockdown, deprive government servants of their salaries and jeopardise amenities and services for the rakyat. And all because politicians are out to play politics and score political points. (MalaysiaToday website 25-10-2015)

Voting, whether against or for the Budget or any other Bills for the matter, is a required fundamental duty of all MPs.   

Khairy has every right to call on the MPs to vote for the Budget, but he cannot call  MPs “irresponsible”  if they do not.  It is utterly silly of him to do so.  

It is necessary for all MPs including Khairy to understand that it is the constituents that they are representing.  

They must  carry with them the burden of representing the aspirations of their constituents even at risk of  being censured by their own party colleagues  when they fail to toe the party line. 

So far, I haven’t seen this in most of our MPs.

Voting for or against the Budget must therefore be solely rest upon the quality of the debate and merits of the Budget.   

Hence it must be made very clear that voting against an ineffective  budget is not “irresponsible or sabotage”.

As for Khairy's and Joseline Tan's information, the Westminster Model do not have stoppages or “shut-downs” as seen in the United States.   

In the Westminster Model, the government immediately resign to pave the way for new elections. 

Thus watching too much CNN can distort the perception on the workings of the Westminster Modeled government.

If the 2016 Budget is defeated here, will the government of the day resign?   

In Malaysia, there is no precedence to test because the Budget had never been defeated before. 

Even if it does come to this point, nobody can predict the outcome as we have a very unpredictable Speaker in the House. 

But in the United Kingdom which our system is based, conveys a narrative that when the Budget is defeated, the government of the day resigns.  It is downright shameful for the government of the day to stay on.

In an hypothetical  scenario,  if the government of the day in UK is too thick skinned and refuses to resign then what?  

If this happens there would be no government expenditure for the following year.  

Even if this problem materialises, there will be no stoppages or shut down in the civil service, because when the time comes, the Queen will use her prerogative powers to frame an Order in Council.  

This Order will be make in the Queen's name and subsequently be presented through the Privy Council bypassing the Parliament to unlock the expenditure to advert the impending break-down of the  government.  

This Order is legal and doubles as Acts of Parliament  but without its consent.  

As it stands the BN’s budget will never be defeated, because it stills hold the majority in the Parliament.  

1.   Hung Parliament? – Just Rump it, like in Perak.

And believe me, the sacking of the ‘Rump Parliament’  in 1653, bear uncanny resemblance to what happened in 2009 where the  Pakatan Perak State Government was removed unceremoniously.   Just look at the satire sketch above  and the description attached to it and you will see the similarity.

2. Shadowing's more crucial than shadow cabinets
Although it is a British conventional practice used in Canada, they avoid using the term shadow ministers. In its place, the term ‘critics' is used as a common designate.

3. Shadow Cabinet – Do we have one in Malaysia?
By demanding the Opposition to form a Shadow Cabinet had at last removed any skepticism that there is a competing power to Putrajaya.

But this recognition is meaningless if barriers are put up at every single mile towards Putrajaya to thwart the Opposition from taking over.

4. Toeing the Party line – a bona fide Westminster practice

Now that lorry loads of diverse commentaries that had been dispensed by various parties on the subject of ‘toeing the party line’, it is unfortunate that none of the Barisan Nasional’s proxy paper and electronic media had given a plausible argument.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Is Riduan Tee safe to be stupid?

By Choo Sing Chye

It seems that it is safe for Riduan Tee to be stupid in his number 4 idea. In fact none of his other ideas proffer any intellectual wisdom that we keenly seek in him as a lecturer. All his proposed ideas, I supposed had certainly found a niche in the yelling-right politicians and NGOs.

Now his voice changes and he is trying to sneak his way to the centre with his recent posting telling the Red Shirts not to go out. (Read Article)

Too late, if we read all his previous postings which were solely focused on hatred of the non Malays especially the Chinese, we would not have any doubt that these postings had a profound influence on the Red Shirts. The burning of Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang's effigies bears testament of this.

What did he say about the numerological belief of the Chinese towards the digit 4 that manifest in his inability to write or say things intelligently – a kindergarten intellect?

The Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin lecturer also went on to say that the Chinese who joined Bersih 4 no longer believed in the superstitions attached to the number “4”, which is said to symbolise death. He said these Chinese rally-goers were no longer “afraid to die” as they now want to “bring death” to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. (Malay Mail Online – September 7 2015) 

Just the digit, “4,” Riduan Tee had managed to beat, hamper and forge it into a raw and hateful premise with the malicious intention to enrage the Malays. To say that the Chinese rally-goers motive is to bring death to Najib Razak and Hadi Awang is dangerous talk.

If there is an opportune time to explain to the people the need to have the Sedition Law in Malaysia - this is the time!

Now, let’s shift our attention to one article posted in the blog - OutSyed The Box:
Did you know that Malaysia is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where all the 90 odd gomen universities (IPTA) do not have even one School of Philosophy? … Philosophy is learning about how to think and how to debate or argue a subject”. (September 9, 2015)
Anyway, Philosophy is much more than “learning about how to think and how to debate or argue a subject”. Logic, one of the component of Philosophy teaches us to be inquisitive so as to detect FAULTY arguments similar to the one put out by Riduan Tee and company.

One interesting fact about Logic is that we can easily pair Riduan Tee’s argument with another similarly premised piece in order to bring out the stupidity of his argument with more clarity.

In Riduan Tee’s dim-witted argument we can see the parallel premised piece below:
Alexander the Great stopped a beer barrel.
Alexander was buried; he who is buried becomes dust; what becomes dust is earth; earth is probably made loam; what probably made loam would stop a beer-barrel; therefore Alexander stopped a beer-barrel.
It is time for the politicians and academics to reflect logically when verbalising their arguments.

Whenever men debate, discuss, and argue, Logic is a court of appeal in the background…Logic trains the mind to draw the right conclusion, and to avoid the wrong, to make the true inference and not the false.” (A.A.Luce – Logic)


Nurul Izzah's No Compulsion view - A case of misinterpretation

The recent HAKIM members’ letter (1) to Malaysia Today had prompted me to write this article. Since I am not an expert in Islam, I will not delve into the merits of the letter, and also, what had been said in the press by UMNO politicians and supporters. I only comment on the common faults of politicians in construing something that had not been said.

Ngeh's tweet: Why fuss over neutral question?

"Precision is the first fruit of the study of logic and precision will sharpen your statements, and add points and force to your arguments correctly.

"Lack of it, shows itself in the ‘deficiency diseases' of the mind i.e. vagueness, woolliness of expression and feeble grip of the matter at hand.

"Remember this, logic at its lower levels blends with grammar and at its height, merges in philosophy."

So true, look at the arguments of our local politicians and the writings of the BN leaning columnists and journalists and compare them to the West. You be the judge.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

1MDB, GST - The Ox and the Rope.

By Choo Sing Chye

The other day I met a guy whom, after several minutes, recognised him as a helper for the opposition during the recent General Elections.   One thing that striked me as odd was that he was confused over the issue of 1MDB and GST.

Apparently with Ahmad Maslan, Heng Seai Kie  and the whole wagon load of BN ministers as Chief Explain/ers of these two main issues,  it was normal to be confused.  I reassured him that there was nothing wrong with his mental capacity to reflect on issues logically.   

“Then explain these issues to me as plain as 1 – 2 – 3.”  He uttered with a huge dash of cynicism.

“Do you know the story of the Ox and the Rope?”  I asked.  “Nope!” Came the reply.

“Okay, here’s the story.”

In a bar somewhere in England, an old ex-convict was lamenting how he was unjustly put into goal.  Then a curious customer on hearing his plight, enquired the reason why?    

"Why, it was just nothing at all," the ex-convict explained easily. "I was strolling along the edge of the canal, when I happened to catch sight of a bit of old rope. Of course, I knew that old piece of rope was of no use to anyone, and so I just picked it up, and took it home with me."

"But I don't understand," the curious customer exclaimed. "Why should they punish you so severely for a little thing like that? I don't understand it."

"Beats me, I don't understand it, either," the ex-convict declared.

The curious customer went back to his drink.  Minutes later, he went to refill his glass, with the story still ringing in his head, queried the bartender.

“That poor fellow over there was thrown into jail because of a piece of unwanted rope, so sad, so unjust, what this world is coming to?”  

The bartender replied, “so you are new here, did he tell you that  there was an ox at the other end of the rope....?"  (END)

The guy laughed and said, “I understand clearly now, so the whole Barisan Nasional rationalised the whole issue as the rope and Tun Dr Mahathir and the opposition, the ox...”

The story above is taken from the book, JOKES FOR ALL OCCASIONS By EDWARD J. CLODE, with some changes here and there.