Sunday, September 28, 2008


Coincidentally it’s all about Old and New stories...


The Ministry of Defence’s decision to replace its ageing fleet of Sikorsky S61-A4 Sea Kings or Nuri with Eurocopter's EC725 Cougar helicopters has been hailed as a most appropriate decision.

Eurocopter already had a strong presence in the commercial market in Malaysia and this would the first time that the ministry would be procuring the marque for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Eurocopter is also the supplier of the Fennec helicopter to the police and navy. The decision was announced by the new (old actually since he was there between 1986-1987) Defence Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on his first day at Mindef.

Ageing Nuri (read:Old) to be decommissioned, state-of-the-art (read:New) Cougar flying in…


Blogger Ashraf Abdullah in his Jejak Pujangga said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who has once again reiterated to contest the Umno presidency March next year has already passed his era.

According to Ashraf time has eluded the former Umno Vice-President and he has almost lost touch with the party’s grassroots especially the younger members. Besides, there were among the youngsters who don’t even know Ku Li.

The grassroots are more receptive to Mohd Najib Razak whom the blogger feels was more capable.

Again, the Old and New perspective…


As expected US presidential candidate Barrack Hussein Obama has unofficially won the first round of the three scheduled debates with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day. The two vice-presidential candidates will meet next week for their only debate.

Obama and John McCain stood behind identical wooden lecterns on stage at the performing arts centre at the University of Mississippi for the televised debate. The 47-year-old Obama is seeking to become the nation's first black president while McCain, 72, is hoping to become the oldest first-term chief executive in history — and he made a few jokes at his own expense.

Clearly this is an Old and New issue…


Elsewhere in Malaysia, Malay-Muslim housewives and their helpers are busy replacing old curtains/drapes with new ones, old furniture with brand new products from the stores, older paint on the front façade of the house (including the gate) with newer coat and sometimes old washing machines with new washer to clean up new Aidilfitri clothes dirtied with old-styled rendang during the occasion.

The rest of the crowd are also busy -- getting new sampins, chapals (sandal), tudungs and kain pelikat (some called it kain pulicat) among the older folks -- all in the name of Aidilfitri while some of us take out the old shoes for a new polish, make up older car with newer stereo or sports rims to make it look new.

However, there are also some unfortunate among us who will get out our year-old, two-year old or not-so-old clothes to be washed and worn during the new day, the 1st of Syawal.

Some might complain that the new clothes are not up to the standard but hey, while some lament they ain't got no new shoes for Hari Raya please think of those without their feet, literally and figuratively speaking!

By the way, have you seen any mesjid, madrasah or surau folks put a coat over the old colour of the premises?

Salam Aidilfitri from Utarawan@ Zukri Valenteno, Rohana Mustaffa, Muhammad Zahir Zukri, Muhammad Zaim Zukri and Muhammad Zafir Zukri -- Maaf Dzahir and Bathin from us at Suasana Tenang, Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Caption: Maghrib prayers at Perdana Leadership Foundation, Sept 17, 2008. The writer is on the Doctor's left... pix by Jinggo

The first time I met him was some 40 years ago when he was a forty-something medical doctor running a charity like clinic in Pekan Cina, Alor Setar.

Me, the sickly five-year-old was brought to see him due to a slight fever and stomach upset which according to the doctor was just a simple case of “kembung perut, makan ubat ni sat lagi lega la..”. The story was later told to me by my late Tok Tam, my father’s mother. Accompanying us was my late mother, Rafeah Abbas (May ALLAH bless their souls).

After the consultation, we stopped for a meal at the famous Kedai Nasi Lemak Ali then located at Jalan Ibrahim which was a 15 minutes’ walk from Maha Clinic, a famous healing place for the poor.

The good doctor was Mahathir bin Mohamad, a stlylishly thick side-burned gentleman whose house -- Pondok Maharizan was about a kilometer away from our kampong in AnakBukit, some 5 km from the state capital. It was very rare to see the dashing young doctor driving his big light blue colored-car (he later admitted that it was a Pontiaq) around Alor Setar. Rare and in awe because firstly we sometimes could not figure out either to be amazed by the sight of the car or the driver and secondly the doctor was most of the times very fast behind the wheels!

Although our lives were almost a world’s apart, the nearest contact I had with the doctor’s family was that we kampong boys shared the same Quran teacher with his four children. After the late Mak Guru had completed her daily lesson with us she will be motorcycle-chauffeured by her husband Abang Pie to the pondok.

While growing up blissfully in Alor Setar, Dr Mahathir’s was among the two names frequently told to us kampong boys (to a point of being an irritation, sometimes) to emulate, something like “hangpa kena belajaq rajin-rajin la, besaq nanti jadi Dr Mahathir, dak pun Loyar Zahir.” Loyar Zahir is the late Tun Mohamad Zahir Ismail, the former Dewan Rakyat Speaker who was a famous lawyer in Alor Setar before he entered politics.

They were our towering Kedahans – Che Det and Ed, which is short for Zahir or Zahed to us Kedah folks.

We grew up knowing only these two names. However, none of us became doctors or lawyers. Most of us opted for the uniformed jobs such as the military, customs, immigration and the police force while two of us were neither – I became a journalist while my distanced and older cousin preferred politics.

The second time I met the good doctor in person was when granted an appointment to see him at his high-rise office in the Petronas Twin Towers two months ago.

It was in that 30-minute meeting I related to him the peculiar nursery rhyme of Che Det and Ed to put us young kampong boys to sleep or when we were caught loitering aimlessly around the paddy-planting kampong. I also told him a story of how the kampong folks described that he had the coldest hand around, so cold that it could instantly healed some feverish patient with just one touch!

They were saying: "hang jumpa dia, takdan apa-apa lagi dia pegang dada kita pun dah lega, demam pun kebah dah...tangan dia sejuk sangat..." It was actually the stethoscope exposed to the coldness in the air-conditioned room and smartly concealed underneath the doctor's palm while checking the patient's heartbeat, hence the coldest hand story. He just smiled.

Then after I studied at Sekolah Rendah Iskandar which is behind the famed Sultan Abdul Hamid College. I was there up to Standard Two until our family moved to Kuala Lumpur in the early 1970s. The primary school was named after Dr Mahathir’s late father who was well-known as Master Mohamad Iskandar.

It was at the meeting that I had the opportunity to finally present to Dr Mahathir a copy of “Seribu Wajah Dr Mahathir”, a coffee table-size compilation of unpublished pictures of the former premier through the lenses of the newspapers’ photographers. The book was actually the culmination of a three-month long photo exhibition of the same name to honor the statesman during his final days as the prime minister. I was the coordinator of the exhibition and the book projects in 2003 which were the brainchild of Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob, the Information Minister.

The third time I met Dr Mahathir in person in which I managed to steal some casual chat in between prayers when was invited to his buka puasa function at the Perdana Leadership Foundation on Thursday, September 17.

I was sitting crossed-leg in the front row while waiting for the congregation to perform the Maghrib prayers when the doctor trickled in and sat beside me. I greeted him and reminded him that I had a one-to-one meeting with him two months ago.

He vaguely remembered however, saying “saya jumpa ramai orang hari hari.”

But he instantly recalled our discussion on Malaysian politics and a particular political navigation that contributed in a small way for an opposition party to successfully capture a state government and a story of certain politician whose signature was helluva expensive back in 1997 when I told him my name, precisely my second name …

I had also related to him that as a chief reporter with TheSUN newspaper I had covered him extensively including the hectic 14-day campaign trail of the 1995 General Election. That assignment took me and pixman Raj Kumar King to almost every nook and cranny of the country such as Kuala Klawang (in Jelebu parliamentary constituency), Kuala Selangor, Gua Musang and Baling in Kedah. We were quite lost while looking for town called Jelebu when there was none. Jelebu is the name of a district and the town is Kuala Klawang. Similarly there was no town called Kubang Pasu for its a district while the town is Jitra.

After the prayers the guests proceeded to the main dining hall for a delicious Kelantan set dinner and some 30 minutes later we were back onto the mat for Isyak prayers and subsequently the terawikh.

Again, the good doctor performed his prayers beside me at the almost similar spot we had previously, only this time the famous blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin or TheScribe was on my left.

I was again in the doctor’s face with another small talk before we adjourned for moreh, the after terawikh prayers’ meal.

Upon my departure from the premises I had once again met Dr Mahathir the gracious host to extend my gratitude for the kind invitation. I was later told by Sufi Yusof, the doctor’s special assistant that the real host was Berita Publishing.

The doctor replied: “Valenteno…kita jumpa lagi lepaih raya na…”. Sure, I hope to meet my doctor again...

Friday, September 19, 2008


It was one long night for a politician, it could have been the longest in his entire career.

How he wished he was not there, and how he wished that they were not discussing about him, his political future or precisely his possible political demise.

Their verdict: Either you retire or risked being retired, period.

The last time Umno Supreme Council meeting had such a super-charged session behind tightly-closed door was (coincidentally in the same month) September 3rd, 1998 when they had a lengthy deliberation on alleged misconduct against a former deputy president. Then, the gloves were off and it was a no holds barred all night long bashing and counter-bashing against one of their kind.

Three were for his rescue but the rest, we were told, simply hacked, whacked and racked him into pieces. Everybody around the oval table had their say and one who was not present had his written in advance and was dutifully read by the secretary-general.

In the end the council revoked the deputy president’s party membership and thenafter all positions the deputy president had held in the party went south.

He was there, given adequate and ample opportunity to defend himself and it was to no avail as, according to the former president, the evidence which compounded the allegations was overwhelming and condemning.

Peculiarly, the former deputy president had a rare privilege of having been given two rounds of opportunity to answer against the charges but the tone of his political defense deferred from the first to the second, apparently after he had miscalculated his support among his peers.

Umno could not strip any member of his or her elected position as it was decided by the delegates of the general assembly but the party is at will to revoke the membership of a member whose case whatsoever brought before the council.

It was a déjà vu of sort last night at the 39th Floor, Menara Dato Onn of the Umno Headquarters.

If only the walls of the conference room could speak…and relate to us a blow by blow account of the meeting which had some politicians sweating in the fully and heavily air-conditioned room, some in cold sweat while a few had their temperatures up…


"SENDIRI MAU PIKIAQ LA...". Gambar hiasan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad semasa mengulung perbahasan pada Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2002 di Dewan Merdeka, Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra.

Saya memahami perasaan seseorang yang sedang menghadapi hari-hari terakhirnya.

Gundah gulana, sering termenung menjauh, lebih selesa menjauhkan diri daripada mereka yang sentiasa dekat dengannya dan sering bersendirian serta sukar untuk dibawa berbual walaupun topik yang ringan yang mungkin boleh menceriakan hati. Seringkali muka masam mencuka.

Mungkin beliau berfikir apa dah jadi atau apa akan jadi, mungkin mengimbas kembali dan mungkin memandang ke hadapan. Semua serba mungkin akan tetapi yang tidak lagi mungkin adalah esok atau lusa adalah hari-hari terakhirnya.

Itu yang pasti.

Situasi ini pernah saya saksikan sendiri akan seorang anggota Jemaah Menteri pada hari-hari terakhirnya seketika dahulu. Setelah hari itu sampai maka beliau pun mengadakan sidang berita (bukan sidang media atau sidang akhbar seperti yang selalu disalah sebut oleh pemberita dan wartawan cetak dan elektronik setiap hari) untuk menyatakan kepada umum bahawa beliau telah dengan sukarela meletak jawatan eksekutifnya. Bosnya tidaklah berkata demikian.

Siapa yang betul atau tidak dalam hal itu tidak lagi menjadi soal akan tetapi yang pasti anggota Jemaah Menteri itu tidak lagi berada di kerusi empuknya.

Apakah hari ini kita sedang menyaksikan hari-hari terakhirnya seseorang, laksana "The Last Days Of Pompei?"

pix by Jediraj...

Monday, September 15, 2008


As usual the last few days of the Muslim month of Syaaban will always be a busy time for me and my family.

As Ramadhan is approaching around the corner, there will be three must-do things (for me as my wife will be busy with other chores) and one of them is what I have always considered to be the most important – brunch at Restoran Yaseen Nasi Kandar Penang -- my favourite joint along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

One of the other two is to get to the tailor at Wisma Yakin at Jalan Mesjid India to make my Baju Melayu in time for Aidilfitri.

Like I said, the nasi kandar brunch or lunch, depending on how fast I could get to the restaurant is the most important agenda because if I missed the deadline then I will have to wait until after Hari Raya to enjoy “the-feast-of-my-life”.

As I see it, nasi kandar is a day meal and having them at night is simply a no-no for me although the restaurant operates 24-7. Unlike some people who include my close friends, having a nasi kandar meal to me is a serious business, meaning really serious! and as far as I am concerned nothing beats Yaseen.

With only two days before the fasting month I have to be extra fast to get to the joint failing which I will have to stand in line with between 20 to 25 eager customers leading to the food counter.

They were there for the same reason as well – to beat the pre-Ramadhan queue for brunch or lunch and you are able to see this as you drive along the busy and usually congested road which was formerly known as Batu Road. In a way this is also a testimony of how good the nasi kandar is at Yaseen.

If I am lucky and arrived early at around 9 am to 9.30 am then I will be able to feast myself to the first batch of nasi kandar which is off-white in colour and the aroma of which really wets the mouth while choosing the “lauk”. There will later be many more batches of rice replenished but the first pot is always the best! Not only that the nasi kandar is still hot from the stove, the lauks are also sizzling…

In my humble opinion this is by far this is the most authentic nasi kandar. This is the real deal in as far as nasi kandar is concerned and you can always take my word for this!

For the uninitiated, Restoran Yaseen Nasi Kandar Penang is located just a few doors away from a Honda outlet and almost opposite of a Sony boutique, and a stone’s throw from the now famous Tune Hotel which is located at the Jalan Sultan Ismail-Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman traffic lights junction near Maju Junction.

Should you missed or unsure of the landmarks, I am quite sure you will notice a long queue leading to a particular restaurant around 12 noon to 1.30 pm which is usually the lunch hour crowd. The façade of the restaurant is partly hidden by a bus stop but the green-yellow signboard above the joint is hardly invisible!

As I have travelled the length and breadth of our country, Yaseen’s nasi kandar is still the best and totally resembles the nasi kandar used to be hawked by Indian Muslim peddlars along the famous Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling in Penang and the ones served at Restoran Kassim Nasi Kandar or the Restoran Craven A near Komtar until they upgraded the trade into the comfortable restaurants as we see them today.

Those days the Indian Muslims in Penang or Mamak as we fondly called them ply their trade on foot with a five foot long piece of wood (or sometimes rattan) to carry two wooden food containers, mostly hardened and large-sized brown-coloured round basket.

The Malay word to describe the act of carrying them containers is mengandar or simply to kandar hence the name Nasi Kandar. It is also a description for a balancing act of the containers. The piece of wood which is supposed to stabilize the load is placed across the shoulder by the Mamak with the rice in the front container and its condiments in the back, or sometimes the other way around.

It should be a quick business transaction whenever a hungry customer flags the Mamak down to have a meal. Most of times the sight of one customer having his nasi kandar meal (while squatting or sometimes sitting on a small and short wooden stool) will attract other customers for a bite as well.

Drinks to go? Only plain water is served.

However, since the load is quite a problem, the peddlar could only afford to carry a certain amount of food products to cater to only a small number of customers during his rounds for the day. He could be back later after replenishment but that hardly takes place on regular basis. So you must catch him in the earnest.

But not to be despair for there were large number of nasi kandar mamaks making their daily rounds then along the busy streets and roads in Penang, aptly known as the Nasi Kandar Mecca of Malaysia.

I was told that nasi kandar was most probably the first downstream product of the booming spice trade which made Penang famous back then. Nasi Briani came into the picture much later.

My late grandfather from my late mother’s side (May Allah bless their souls) who was a Jelutong-born in Penang related to me about the earlier days of nasi kandar business on the island. Being a Customs officer he used to do his beat along the streets and stand witness to the trade which was conspicuous and one that turned out to be the most famous product of the island, even until today.

However, these days mobile nasi kandar are no longer around for the business is now more organised with uniformed waiters and cultured shops since the trade has been upgraded and commercialised to a more comfortable environment and in a better establishment in Penang.

Nasi kandar business has also spread its wings to the rest of the country and the world, even to Down Under and Chennai in India! These days, it’s common to see a nasi kandar restaurant around the corner in our vicinity and they could even be one near your house.

My question is, are these the real thing? I will get back on this later.

Back to Yaseen, which I have been so fond of having my meal since 1980 when I was still a college student in Sungei Besi. I was introduced to this shop by my Alor Setar-born father.

My standard meal these days – breakfast, brunch or lunch will be a full plate of nasi kandar, a piece of crispy fried pomfret (the front part), a piece of fried egg and all around kuah (gravy) from the other dishes with extra kuah itam besides the fish curry.

The best part is the a little bit of this kuah and a little bit of that kuah from the other dishes onto your serving that really pulls it off. Part of it is also due to the competency of the mamak in sprinkling your plate with the mostly table spoon-size kuahs.

On the side (or on smaller plate) is a medium-size chilli fried squid (with roe inside) to be cut into smaller pieces or sometimes medium-size chilli fried crab. Also on the side are a fresh (or sometimes not so fresh) long green jalapeno and a plate of three-piece appallam if you asked for it. You will also get pieces of sliced cucumber but I will always decline for between 4 to 5 pieces of lady’s fingers.

The best drink to go with the meal is a hot teh-o but I simply prefer a glass of warm water and later a glass of black local coffee to wash down the food, especially the after taste of fried fish head.

For this complete meal, between RM 8 to RM 12, depending on the size of the squid or crab, will change hands from mine to the cashier’s at the counter and with my utmost satisfaction.

Most of the times I will have my meal there alone while reading a newspaper in front of me to ward off any possible uninvited guest to share my table because I prefer to have my nasi kandar alone and in peace. And it will always be a quickie -- an eat and go affair with no time to spare then after, or perhaps a fag to top it.

I don’t mind travelling kilometres away and brave myself through the notorious traffic snarls from my Kuala Lumpur house in Taman Sri Gombak or elsewhere just to have my breakfast, brunch or lunch and leave immediately after its all done. And if I was on the way back from Alor Setar or elsewhere to Gombak, Yaseen Nasi Kandar will be the first item in Kuala Lumpur before hitting home.

So it’s all about the nasi kandar and nasi kandar only, hence the serious business I was talking about earlier! It’s really my passion and I am very passionate about nasi kandar so much so I am now a self-declared expert.

It is customary not to use soap while washing your hands after a nasi kandar meal because almost all kaki like to maintain the smell of the kuah taroh atas or gravy-on-top around their hand until late evening. It is advisable to wash your hands over your empty plate with warm water as most Malays and Indians do after their meal.

Nasi Kandar is not a set meal kind of thing. It is best served kuah-taroh-atas. Using fork and spoon only makes you look silly and in a way telling the others that you are not a kaki.

Why I had earlier vouched for Yaseen? After much travelling this blessed country and have tasted almost all nasi kandar everywhere and anywhere, the ones at Yaseen still fascinates me in terms of the rice and lauk.

While was in Bernama I was told of a story of a hardcore Yaseen kaki who was based in Jakarta as a correspondent who asked for a pack of nasi kandar upon hearing that a fellow journalist was about to make a trip there. The first thing he asked was “mana dia nasi kandar aku?” when the latter arrived at the airport and the kaki did not mind the 5-hour old package as long as the kuah itam is still intact!

Neighbouring nasi kandar joints along the same Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (up until The Coliseum) do not lived up to my expectation and taste as I was always rather disappointed after having a meal there. To date there are four other nasi kandar joints altogether beginning from the one before Yaseen if you are driving from Chow Kit (making head count from the Pizza Hut outlet) up to the one opposite what was formerly the Selangor Emporium, near The Coliseum.

One may argue that there are now many new nasi kandar eateries operating in prime areas such as Taipan in USJ, The Curve in Damansara, Bangsar and along Jalan Ampang where nasi kandar is being served in a bungalow!

Yes, these are nasi kandar to Kuala Lumpur folks but to me they are simply Designer Nasi Kandar.

These joints are simply too good, too clean and too neat to be described as the real thing and they do not make the kuah itam like they use to in Yaseen and back there in Penang. Even in Penang these designer outlets have been mushrooming all over the last 8 years or so and have been enjoying good business from whom I described as simple-minded and not-so-informed customers...

What I meant was the customers do not really know the real taste of nasi kandar if you have not been to Yaseen and since there is always one around the corner then to them that must be it, more so when these restaurants are in Pulau Pinang Darul Nasi Kandar!

Not quite right as if you happened to be in Penang and you want to get the real taste of nasi kandar then please drop by Restoran Kassim Nasi Kandar (among the pioneers) near Komtar, the under a tree Nasi Kandar Mesjid Kapitan Keling or the famous Line Clear Nasi Kandar near Chicago Tailor.

Still, Yaseen rates better.

Some may argue about my so-called expert opinion in nasi kandar but after 20 years of living with my Penang-born mother who served our family Mamak style curry (we called it gulai) day in and day out, I should be able to consider myself an authority in nasi kandar and everything nasi kandar. Besides most of my friends agree with me about Yaseen.

For example our family then will always have reheated curry with toasted bread or roti Bengali for breakfast, fish or chicken or beef or mutton curry and rice for lunch, again toasted bread with reheated curry for tea (unfortunately no tea but curry again!) and reheated curry with other items for dinner but curry will always be the main course. The so-called other items are rather negligible simply because it’s the curry that really make our day.

So, its curry, curry and again curry, well maybe sometimes dalca for a change. Curry and dalca are best served after at least two reheatings as my late father will always ask “mana kari semalam?”

For all those years of living with my Kedah-Penang parents I have never known any other dishes and only after I married a Negri Sembilan lady I discovered items such as masak lemak cili api, masak berlada and such. To my wife and the in-laws curry is not an essential item, unlike us then where curry is to die for!

There is a distinct difference between the real nasi kandar and nasi ayaq or normal white rice they have been serving at these designer nasi kandar restaurants that I have mentioned earlier. Just lift the lid of the pot to get a smell of the normal white rice at these designed nasi kandar restaurants and you will know what I am talking about.

It’s the aroma of the rice (off-white in colour and cooked with a piece of pandan leaf) and the lauks that stand out as the real deal. Otherwise they are simply normal rice or nasi ayaq (nasi air) being served and told to be nasi kandar. Most of the time these restaurants use too much oil in their dishes and gullible Kuala Lumpur folks are taken into believing that these oily items make the best of nasi kandar! Literally it must be nasi minyak then!

I have been arguing with my Penang folks that the best nasi kandar joint is NOT in Penang but in Kuala Lumpur. I had for a fact tasted almost all the joints on the island and the mainland and arrived at that conclusion confidently.

Whenever I am in Penang my must-eat items will always be the hawkers food at Gurney Drive especially Assam Laksa and Sotong Bakar or Sotong Kangkung and never nasi kandar or pasembor which Kuala Lumpur folks called rojak.

The only time I will have my nasi kandar in Penang thesedays is only after having bought some take-home and give-away items such as buah salak and nutmeg at the Chowrasta Market. Since parking is quite a problem along Penang Road, we will have to leave the car near a nasi kandar restaurant and on the way back to the car we will stop for a bite, which is rather out of convenience than passion for the food.

As expected these so-called hardcore nasi kandar kaki from Penang vehemently shoot me down on the argument of the best nasi kandar (yes, we fought hard about this and like I said earlier nasi kandar is a serious business to us!) until one day I took them for a hefty meal at Yaseen which cost me a bomb.

Since then they have never missed having a compulsory nasi kandar fix there whenever they are in Kuala Lumpur because in their own words “ni best in the world punya nasik kandaq, awat hang tak habaq mai awai-awai?”

My verdict – Nasi Kandar at Yaseen is simply first class!

This restaurant is flanked by both Khutu Mohamad Nasi Kandar Penang (underneath the Internasional Hotel) a few doors on the left and the Raja Alavddin Nasi Kandar Penang quite a few doors away to the right but please make no mistake about Yaseen which is right in the centre and the obvious queue outside the joint is a signature!

Should you have any doubt please get yourself down there for a meal and don’t forget to ask the mamak, “itu kuah itam kasi lebih!”.

p.s. This is NOT an advertortial...and the writer has no relations whatsoever with the owner of Yaseen (don't even know who the person is), simply a serious patron since 1980...

(Part of this article appeared on M10 (the Metro section), TheStar newspaper today, Sept 15 2008).

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Tahniah kepada Kerajaan Malaysia kerana bertindak tegas terhadap segelintir golongan minoriti yang kecil yang cenderung ke arah mengugat kestabilan negara ini.

Bertindaklah sebelum ia terlambat dan tindakan tegas dan keras semalam telah menghantar isyarat yang jelas bahawa "anda tidak boleh dan tidak berhak berbuat sesuka hati".

Kita berharap agar tindakan ini tidaklah bersifat "hangat-hangat tahi ayam" sahaja kerana ini bukanlah kali pertama munculnya golongan kurang ajar di negara ini dan pastinya bukan kali terakhir hatta tindakan tegas dan keras seperti yang diambil dalam masa 36 jam ini. Bertindaklah tegas terhadap sesiapa sahaja kerana mereka tidak mewakili golongan majoriti.

Sekurang-kurangnya keadaan agak reda sedikit sebanyak dan kita boleh kembali kepada kehidupan normal yang kita nikmati sebelum ini.

Disebabkan sikap keterbukaan kerajaan selama ini dan lantaran naiknya muka dan tercacaknya tocang segerombolan dua golongan minoriti yang mabuk kuasa sejak Pilihanraya Umum ke-12, maka kelihatan bahawa keadaan sudah dikucar-kacirkan – bangsa-bangsa asing di negara ini sudah celupar mempertikai dan mempersoalkan secara lantang kedudukan istimewa Orang Melayu dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Agama Islam telah saban kali dipersendakan termasuklah oleh mereka yang mengaku Islam, institusi-institusi yang dahulunya dihormati kini sudah dipandang enteng dan pelbagai lagi.

Keadaan semakin meruncing dengan segala macam suara kedengaran yang dahulunya tidak berbunyi sedikit pun dan hanya kerana mendapat kuasa yang sedikit maka keceluparan mereka menjadi ketara.

Namun ia hanya tindakan segelintir minoriti yang kecil. Sangat kecil dan mereka ini perlu diajar kerana kurang ajar!

Majoriti Rakyat Malaysia tidak bersetuju dengan golongan kurang ajar ini dan tidak menyokong tindakan-tindakan itu kerana masih sayangkan dan menghargai apa juga kontrak sosial, persefahaman dan semangat kerjasama yang dipersetujui selama ini.

Sehingga artikel ini ditulis, kita dimaklumkan bahawa tindakan tegas kerajaan semalam telah mencetuskan peluh dingin di kalangan mereka yang selama ini semakin lantang mempersoalkan apa sahaja termasuklah perkara-perkara yang tidak kena mengena dengan mereka langsung dan perkara-perkara yang mereka tidak mempunyai pengetahuan secukupnya untuk membuat ulasan dan komen – semuanya atas nama kebebasan bersuara di internet.

Dimaklumkan bahawa akan berlaku lagi tindakan tegas dan keras terhadap gerombolan ini.

Sejak enam bulan ini, kita telah melihat pelbagai opera, drama dan sandiwara yang bermacam-macam yang sudah memuakkan kita dengan perilaku dan tatalaku para pelakunya – terutamanya gerombolan tepi jalan yang telah diberikan mandat sebagai wakil-wakil yang dipilih samada di Dewan Undangan Negeri dan Dewan Rakyat yang termakan gula yang mereka taburkan.

Rakyat yang sayangkan keamanan, kestabilan dan keharmonian selama ini tidak terdaya untuk menentang golongan kurang ajar ini, hanya berharap sangat Kerajaan Malaysia melakukan sesuatu untuk mententeramkan keadaan. Alhamdulillah, keadaan sekarang sudah reda biarpun untuk seketika. Nampaknya golongan kurang ajar ini hanya bisa diajar sedemikian rupa dan tidak bisa mengunakan akal fikiran, kematangan dan rasionaliti dalam tindak tanduk mereka.

Diharapkan Malaysia kembali aman dan tenang dengan tindakan tegas dan keras ini.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Hanya disebabkan beberapa patah perkataan, seseorang itu boleh menjadi terkenal dalam sekelip mata.

Jika tidak kerana apa yang didakwa oleh seorang pemberita (bukan wartawan) Cina yang melaporkan untuk sebuah akhbar Cina mungkin tidak seorang pun di luar Pulau Pinang akan mengenali Ahmad Ismail, Ketua Umno Bahagian Bukit Bendera.

Kini beliau seumpama seorang selebriti. Tidak kiralah samada untuk sebab yang baik atau kurang baik nama Ahmad kini sudah dikenali – good publicity or bad publicity but publicity nevertheless.

Dalam keghairahan isu ini beberapa persoalan ditumbulkan...

(1) Benarkah Ahmad mengeluarkan kata-kata sepertimana yang didakwa oleh pemberita Cina itu? Mengapa tidak disiasat juga pemberita Cina itu?

(2) Tidakkah pemberita Cina itu mempunyai konflik kepentingan semasa mensensasikan berita berkenaan? Beliau masih baru dalam profesion ini dan berbangsa Cina, justru kecenderungannya mudah sangatlah dibaca...

(3) Sekiranya benar kata-kata Ahmad itu berbau perkauman, bagaimanapula dengan serangan balas oleh Gerakan yang juga berbau perkauman? Serangan mencelah oleh MCA dan DAP pula bagaimana? Tidakkah semua parti politik ini mempunyai kepentingan sama seperti konflik yang dialami oleh pemberita Cina itu?

(4) Kenapakah Polis tidak mengambil tindakan segera dan tegas sekiranya kata-kata Ahmad berupa hasutan atau menghina, sedangkan kita semua tahu bahawa polis sentiasa memantau setiap dan semua ceramah secara peribadi semasa sesuatu pilihanraya atau pilihanraya kecil?

(5) Mengapakah Gerakan sudah berani mengugut hendak meninggalkan Barisan Nasional hanya kerana isu ini? Sekiranya Gerakan begitu kecewa dengan tindak tanduk Ahmad termasuklah keputusan sokongan padu kesemua 13 ketua Umno bahagian di Pulau Pinang kepada Ahmad, mengapa tidak terus sahaja tinggalkan Barisan daripada bertindak bagai budak-budak – putuskan hubungan dengan Umno Bukit Bendera, kemudian putuskan hubungan dengan Umno Pulau Pinang...apa maksud semua ini?

Sekiranya sudah kecewa mengapa tidak terus keluar meninggalkan Barisan Nasional? Sekiranya anda budiman, tidak perlu mengugut, terus keluar dan persetankan....itupun kalau berupaya...

(6) Kalau benar sudah muak dengan Barisan Nasional maka mengapa masih hanya putuskan hubungan dengan Umno Pulau Pinang sahaja sedangkan masih ingin berada di bawah naungan Barisan Nasional di peringkat pusat?

Apakah sekiranya meninggalkan Barisan Nasional pusat maka beberapa ahli parlimen Gerakan akan kehilangan jawatan eksekutif? Jawatan-jawatan seperti Timbalan Menteri Penerangan (kebetulan penjawatnya Ketua Wanita Gerakan yang mahukan Ahmad ditahan di bawah ISA) dan jawatan Timbalan Menteri Perusahaan Perladangan dan Komoditi dan beberapa lagi jawatan yang lain. Bukankah majoriti pengundi di Parlimen Lenggong itu Melayu?

Mudah sangat mengambil keputusan untuk hanya berkisar di Pulau Pinang kerana sudah tiada jawatan untuk Gerakan kerana dihalau keluar oleh masyarakat Cina yang sudah muak dengan politik Gerakan.

(7) Benarkah Gerakan bukan parti perkauman Cina? Sekiranya begitu mengapakah hanya pada Ahad 7 Sept 2008 barulah muncul seorang bukan Cina (berbangsa Hindu) dipilih sebagai Pengerusi Gerakan Selangor? Berapa sangatkah bukan Cina mendapat tempat dalam Gerakan sejak ianya ditubuhkan pada 1969?

(8) Kita pernah dengar Gerakan melaungkan Bangsa Malaysia sebelum ini. Namun apakah mereka faham maksud dan intipati ungkapan itu. Sekurang-kurangnya tunjuklah teladan yang paling baik dengan (a) membuka pintu kepada lebih ramai bangsa bukan Cina untuk dilantik dan dipilih dalam kepimpinan parti dan (b) mulakan gerakan memansuhkan sekolah Cina yang menjadi satu daripada sebab utama mengapa wawasan Bangsa Malaysia tidak akan berjaya.

(9) Bolehkah Gerakan, dengan tiada lagi nama-nama hebat dalam barisan perjuangannya terus hidup atau berkubur setelah meninggalkan Barisan Nasional? Apabila seorang kepala parti itu ditolak oleh rakyat di kerusi parlimen maka, bisanya sebagai seorang pemimpin boleh dikatakan sudah tumpul.

Lihat sahajalah nasib seorang bekas menteri yang berbangsa India. Apakah orang peduli apa yang keluar daripada mulutnya termasuk daripada sebangsanya?

Sekiranya Gerakan dan parti-parti lain boleh melakukan semua ini, mungkin tindakan tegas terhadap Ahmad boleh diambil kerana dikatakan dan didakwa bersifat perkauman.

Sekiranya mereka tidak boleh melakukan apa yang dinyatakan di sini, maka lebih baik duduk diam sahaja. Atau cerminkan diri dan bertanya ”apakah aku pun memelihara kepentingan kaum aku juga, sepertimana mereka?”...

Pendek kata, siapakah yang lebih bersifat rasis daripada yang dituduh rasis?