Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A day of infamy

I have had it with the Malaysian government. Over the years I have often defended some of its policies (online and socially, often to some personal cost), in particular those that privilege indigenous Malays in the economic and academic sphere. In part my decision was due to a sober assessment of the over-arching necessity of preserving racial harmony as the Malays, whether due to heredity or culture, would be outcompeted by Malaysian Chinese and Indians in a completely level playing field, and end up as a dispossessed majority in their own land. That this is a surefire recipe for racial tension, one need only look across to Indonesia with its long, troubled history of anti-Chinese pogroms. That this program of affirmative action has been abused by political insiders is also open knowledge, nevertheless many have been lifted from rural poverty to create a solid Malay middle-class, a pre-requisite for a stable democratic nation.

Anyway never again. The recent deportation by the Malaysian authorities of the Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari back to torture and near-certain execution has exhausted my patience. Hamza's crime? On the eve of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday he tweeted:

  • On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you've always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.
  • On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.
  • On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.

Thats it. Totally innocuous and the only crime, if any, is to display a semblance of independent thought different from the common herd. Of course any sentiment short of near-idolatry (funnily enough, conservative Muslims accuse Christians of syirik, or blasphemously associating a created being with Allah while never noticing this inconsistency) is just unacceptable and thus set off a shit-storm in the kingdom. Being justifiably concerned for his life, Hamza boarded a plane for New Zealand (again, rather funny that one should flee a pure land where sharia reigns to a Western country for safety). However, on transit in Malaysia, he was detained and sent back despite attempts by his lawyers and concerned groups (liberal Muslim NGOs, I salute their courage) to stay his deportation.

Predictably enough, the minister concerned, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, hemmed, hawed, writhed, wriggled, obfuscated and lied to weasel himself out of any responsibility for the blood that will eventually be on his hands. Hishamuddin is the son of a former Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, who was universally noted for his integrity. His grandfather, Onn Jaafar, was one of the giants of the pre-independence period and floated a political plan so visionary that the country is alas still not ready for, 60 years on. Sadly, the grandson is a walking example of regression to the mean. I am heartened that one of my personal heroes, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, has come out in support of Hamza.

My thoughts on this day are:

I hope Hamza makes it through this ordeal and that the Saudi authorities may feel pressured enough to make some concession to international opinion. This is assuming that the main orchestrators of liberal outrage, who would jump at any opportunity to paint the Iranians as theocratic madmen, feel compelled enough to act against one of their house-broken puppets. All we lowly folk can do is to make sure that this issue doesn't fall off the radar, I've joined the FaceBook support page and if anybody feels like sharing this post, please do so.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Irony II

The picture appears to be photoshopped, the powers-that-be surely wouldn't be that blatant (would they?). Nevertheless, Britain has the highest ratio of surveillance cameras per capita in the world. This in the land that gave us the Magna Carta and English Common Law.

This post was brought about from re-reading Orwell's collected essays. What a master of lucid prose! And what would he have made of recent political developments?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Performing monkeys

A clip from Top of the Pops, 1977

One can just imagine today's PC commissars spluttering with outrage and going ape-shit at a South African band called "Black Gorilla" performing the ebonically titled "Gimme dat Banana" (perhaps it can be updated to "Gibsmedat Banana"). The band itself is multi-racial although I suspect this will be to no avail. It's worth considering that the entire PC movement, which is in essence the stoking of minority outrage to an ever escalating pitch of hypersensitivity by professional grievance mongers ensconced in their faux academic disciplines, has completely ruined any chance of free-and-easy banter or rough give-and-take exchanges between members of different races in the west. Its not quite as insane out east in Asia but there are the usual suspects returning home after a bullshit liberal arts edukayshun who try to engineer faux outrage as a form of moral preening (hey, those degrees weren't for nothing, after all!).

The actual song itself is forgettable ear-candy, although not quite, I remember hearing it in the late 70s in the olde country. But it's not hard to see (and hear) why Black Gorilla were one-hit wonders. Give me the blues anyday......

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's Only Rock and Roll

Feminists in Germany are up in arms and lashing out with their ethical leather handbags after a complaint that urinals in a local Rolling Stones museum were misogynistic and offensive to women.

The museum authorities point out that the urinals are meant to replicate the famous Stones logo created in 1971 by John Pasche that were modeled after the lips of Old Rubber Mouth himself, Mick Jagger. In addition, the urinals were created by a female designer, Meike van Schijndel.

Notwithstanding this interjection of common-sense, activist Roda Ballbust... Armbruster balled her fists, stamped her foot and pouted that "The tongue's been left out and it LOOKS like a womans mouth",  sounding exactly like someone who just (Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Full credit to the museum's owner and the town mayor for manning up and standing firm.