Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Bersih 2.0 is going ahead with its planned July 9th rally in the capital. Here are some brief thoughts on what is, of course, a complicated issue:

1. I am not a fan of demonstrations, especially street demos. I would have applauded the organisers if they had the sense to organize it indoor at one of the many Pakatan controlled State venues (ie. Stadium Shah Alam?). But not being a fan of street demos doesn't mean I am against it.

As a political tool to effect change and influence public opinion (including international media), nothing works better than the sight of baton-wielding policemen going after men, women and children. Maybe that is what the organizers are hoping for?

2. Bersih 2.0 is organized to effect changes to our election system. There's nothing wrong with fighting for what is right and logical, for example the lack of transparency or even the need for massive postal votes. But I'm a bit perturbed at how quiet Bersih has been since the last GE in 2008 and only now, with the looming GE coming up, at how noisy they're trying to be. If it was a proper and legitimate NGO, it should have campaigned, fought, protested for the past 2-3 years as much IF NOT MORE as it's doing this year.

I have little doubt in my mind that Bersih is also a political tool used by the Opposition. Consider that the last Bersih rally was held in Nov 2007, just months before March 2008, an election that saw massive gains by the Opposition.

It's a repeat of the same playbook. That's not to take away the efforts of real bi-partisan activists, but I have a strong believe that it's a matter of "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". Bersih without the massive grassroot numbers from political parties like PAS could never imagine to gather the number of people it hope to cause real impact.

3. But the reaction from the Government is baffling, to say the least. It has given this rally a life by endlessly talking about it. Even my dad, who has finally abandoned any attempt to keep in touch with real news, asked me yesterday, "What's going on the 9th?". Everyone now knows the date, and the rally. The fear-mongering is not working, and instead curiosity is piqued.

Today they just raided the office of Bersih 2.0, and there will be more pre-emptive arrests coming up soon. The Internet is abuzz with intelligent young Malaysians more and more disgusted by the heavy hand the authorities are using to quell this demonstration. The Government, in effect, has alienated the very group of people it knows it needs to draw away from the Opposition to have any chance of dominating Malaysian politics again. All the gains, if any, from ETP, PEMANDU etc is now lost in a space of a month.

Meanwhile, we have youths linked to UMNO attacking PKR headquarters and opportunist like Ibrahim Ali going all racial, without even a slap by the authorities. To see how silly this has become, Hisham just declared having the Bersih T-Shirt is illegal. Well, I'll be damn.

4. This does nothing but further infuriate more young professionals, and generally helping Bersih get more people invested in their cause. It's like telling people not to rob your house, but then opening the gate and letting people see how much money you have inside. Talk about shooting oneself on the foot.

If it was me in charge of the Government, I would offer the National Stadium with a police guarantee that no harm will come to any participants. This tactical gambit has the advantage of showing you're not against demonstrations, but you're concerned over the well-being of other citizens and to prevent chaos in the city center. Naturally, this offer would be rejected, but the goodwill has been established.

Once rejected, instead of arresting the organisers, work with them on choosing the best route, with safe corridors of passage guarded by the police. Publicize this co-operation.

On the day of the protest, keep your word. Protect the citizens who are exercising their rights. Make the whole protest AS BORING AS POSSIBLE. Imagine the following headline "Thousands March in KL" vs. "Protestors Attacked in KL". The first story would probably get only one or two mentions in the media, especially foreign. But the 2nd one would run for months, generating enough YouTube materials to spur people to hate the government leading up to GE. Nobody would watch videos of people just walking slowly and petition being handed over. But people love to spread videos of police beating up makciks and pakciks.

But alas, I am not in charge of this country:)

Finally, just to re-iterate, I am not a fan of Bersih, much less the Opposition. All I know is that Malaysians just like you and I are trying to say something that they feel strongly about. Maybe this time that thing is not something I share an interest in, but what if one day I want to say something I feel strongly about? Don't just dig a hole when you wanna shit. Think about the future.

p/s : Bersih 2.0 is so dot-com. Now it's all social and cool callsigns like Android Froyo. So maybe Bersih should consider a different name like Bersih - The Empire Strikes Back, or Bersih Durian. LOL

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Operation Malaysia

Just got a text "Malaysia braces for threatened cyber attack on govt website by internet vigilante group Anonymous - REUTERS". Read the star front-page on the purported security threat by Anonymous.

To me, this threat by Anonymous represents a bigger shift in geo-politics. No longer is the world subject to formal laws, but to actions by International vigilantes who, by all account, remain above and beyond the reach of the law. "Cyber-nation" has no rules, no set demographics, no population but instead exist like a collective consciousness of Internet users. It will be a growing threat, which I believe will one day bring down an entire government. The problem is, the basic premise of such organizations is its anonymity making it susceptible to infiltration by foreign elements.

Who can say for certain that there are no foreign government operatives infiltrating the Anonymous rank, and even to the point of leading its leaderless brethren, to perform attacks and hacktivism supposedly for Internet freedom but with an underlying political intention? Who can say for certain that criminals are not masquerading as Anonymous members? Recently Sony's gaming site was hacked and millions of credit card and personal details were exposed. The hack was attributed to Anonymous, but as Anonymous could include anyone, could criminals have access to our accounts?

And now Anonymous is threatening a sovereign government, Malaysia, for its decision to request ISPs to ban bittorrent and file-sharing websites. This is not the first time they've done so. Australia was marked last year because of its decision to start filtering child pornography sites.

Malaysians quickly supports the Anonymous cause because (1) they want their free music (2) it's against the Malaysian government.

My thought on this is simple:

1. Do you believe downloads of music and movies and TV shows for free are illegal? If you don't, then you're an idiot and there's no point in going any further (surprisingly quite a number of people actually think that downloading music and such is legal. Guess KRU's cartoon on piracy failed)

2. Knowing that it's illegal, do you still do it? Yes, I do. We all do. It's part of life. Been downloading since the days of Napster. What other illegal things that you know is illegal but you still do? Let me give you a simple example - speeding. We all have breached the statutory speed limit, some more than others. We all know if we get caught that we have no excuse. It's illegal, and we must be punished.

But we still speed don't we? We just become a bit more aware of where the cops normally do their roadblocks. We monitor #kltu on twitter. We install those sensors that can detect police speed-guns.Or we just speed knowing that the probability of getting caught every time is less than the probability of me hooking up with Giselle Bunchen.

3. So accepting that downloads are illegal, why is it a problem if the police or enforcers or the government take steps to prevent an illegal act? Wouldn't they NOT be doing their jobs if they don't take action?

4. Yes, it'll hurt us for a bit. It'll hurt me and my attempt to build an all-time greatest hits compilation. But we will move on and survive. Every time they put up roadblocks, we find another road to use, don't we?

5. It's more dangerous that we accept foreign intervention on our sovereignty. It's even more dangerous when we cannot identify who these people are.

I know this is an unpopular post, but popularity often masked ineptness. I've learned that on twitter. Plenty of idiots with thousands of followers make me believe that the world is really going down the shit hole. LOL

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Will Not Neglect You Any More Baybeh...

Oh blog,I have been neglecting you. Yes, we have been together for quite some time, although it still feels like only yesterday I opened up my heart to you. It was sad to leave Undergrounduate, but I knew I had to move on with you.

Problem is, 38 dates after more than two years is a sad sign of our relationship. Yes,I realized thst I don't feel like going out with you if nobody notices how great we are as a couple. I admit I feel a pang of sadness when nobody talks about us.

Yes, I have cheated on you. Remember Facebook? Yeap, we went out a few times but it doesn't feel the same. When I tag people on my dates with her, it feels like I'm forcing friends to watch me make love. So I turned to Twitter. I have to admit Twitter fits the box of what I'm looking for in a relationship right now.

It is simple, uncomplicated, and above all, quick. I know we had some quickies before but being limited to 140 steps kinda forces me to be very much straight to the point,and she accepts that willingly.

But its very simplicity, single-mindedness approach to dating means I miss out on my favorite part of consummation - foreplay and the cuddle afterwards. You see with you, blog, I could take my time, building up the excitement to an inevitable climax and later enjoy a literary equivalent of a stick of ciggy while you purr lovingly in my arms. Sometimes the journey with you, blog, is better than the destination.

And so please forgive me, my dear, for I have neglected you for so long. I promise to go out with you at least once every few days. But I have promised you this before, haven't I?