Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yo Yo For Dummies

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Intentionally Misleading Is A Crime

Mala Fide is a Latin term meaning “in bad faith” or the fraudulent deception of another person; the intentional or malicious refusal to perform some duty or contractual obligation.

Bad faith is not the same as prior judgment or negligence. One can make an honest mistake about one's own rights and duties, but when the rights of someone else are intentionally or maliciously infringed upon, such conduct demonstrates bad faith.

Bad faith is a term commonly used in the law of contracts and other commercial dealings. It is the opposite of Good Faith, the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealings that is required of both parties.

To delve a little deeper, bad faith means intentional dishonest acts by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading others, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others.

Please forgive that rather long introduction as the Spanker feels it is a necessary introduction after watching a video titled ‘Program Tukar ke Orang Melayu (Project IC by Mahathir)’ which can be viewed here:

This video is a perfect example of mala fide and gutter politics, not to mention copyright infringement of a signature tune. Being falsely accused by the opposition is not exactly a new thing in politics. So much so it has become part and parcel of life in Malaysia.

It is no secret that opposition politicians crave power and frequently manipulate emotions and feelings to claim political mileage and further their personal agendas. The mere fact that they can do this minus any hard facts or statics does not say much for the maturity of their rabid followers. Of course in all fairness it must be said that the incumbent government also has its share of black sheep that engage in less than exemplary behavior.  

So, for the thinking Malaysian, the difference is how far they would go and what they would do to achieve their goals. This leads us to the definition of ‘gutter politics’. Where is the boundary drawn? Although not exhaustive, here are some thoughts on the subject.

Truthfulness - first and foremost, he who alleges must prove the allegation to be true. The accusations made in the video, being unsupported by evidence, sink to a low of fabrication, misrepresentations and gross exaggeration.

Context- Do the accusations in the video have any facts or statistics or references to back up their claims? Or is its objective merely to tarnish the image of the incumbent government?

Malaysians are currently obsessed with politics and the sad part is that there will be some Dungus who will buy into any horseshit dished out by their adored “heroes”. Their heroes’ favorite vehicle for regular dishing out of horseshit is of course social media.

In fact, the major portion of the opposition’s social media output is not only mala fide but downright libel, slander, defamation and character assassination. The fact that their heroes are grandstanding on the moral high ground while both sides of the political divide have an unashamed political agenda is lost on these haplessly hypnotized souls.

Satire- whether we like it or not, once a political meme breaks it becomes a public laughing stock. This is especially true in the wifi and smart phone era where data can easily go viral with a click. Nowadays political memes are deliberately planted, the product of paid mercenaries, creative designers and cyber troopers. We all love forwarding a joke to be part of the ‘in crowd’, don’t we? However do we ever consider the legal and political consequences?

The sad conclusion is that gutter politics are here to stay as long as the political power struggle remains. We now live in a world where politicians feed us half-truths, outright lies, spin, distortions and exaggeration in various combinations and press and media channels.

The Spanker says:
It is incumbent on us to ponder, weigh and verify the authenticity of the current “information” overload. The saying goes, ‘we get the government we deserve’. One can only pray that the Rakyat wise up to the tricks being played on them by power crazy politicians so that can we hope for a people-centered government to be elected in.

Yes I am perfectly aware that the preceding statement is an oxymoron. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

PAS Untuk Semua?

 I spoke at a PAS event yesterday. It was called Impian Malaysia (The Malaysian Dream) and held at the Library in section 13, Shah Alam.
Attending a PAS event for the very first time was an eye opener of sorts. For starters, it was slated to begin at 8am on a Sunday. Yes, you read that right – 8am.

There was a sense of frugalness about the entire event. After registering myself as a speaker, I was given a plain green goodie bag (no logo or wordings) which contained some PAS literature, a small bottle of mineral water and a packet of coffee flavored sweets. To identify myself as a speaker, I had a corsage of ribbons shaped like a flower pinned to my shirt. By a male volunteer, of course.

We were then led to a nice breakfast area facing a beautiful lake. I was politely told that there were no VIP’s in PAS and that I had to serve myself breakfast. There were 4 chafing trays and they were all filled with the exact same food – fried beehoon noodles with a little shredded cabbage and red chillies. Drinks consisted of hot teh-o and kopi-o in self serve pots.

Another eye opener was that the crowd trickling in to attend the event consisted of a large number of Indians and some Chinese besides the Malays. I did not see any stereotyped hard core turbaned, bearded and robe clad PAS members.  

When we were ushered into the auditorium, we had to take our shoes off. Thank heavens I wore a good pair of socks without any holes! I was led to the holding room where I met up with the person who had invited me – YB Datuk Dr Haji Mujahid Yusof Rawa, MP for Parit Buntar.

He in turn introduced me to YB Dr Haji Abdul Rani Osman, ADUN for Meru, Klang, and YB Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, MP for Kota Raja, Klang. I also met another speaker, Sherab Wong from the Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia.

Later in the auditorium proper I approached the tech guys to ask if they could download my powerpoint presentation to their laptop and check if it would play smoothly. They readily agreed but looked flustered when I asked for the clicker and laser pointer. I took my seat rather unsure of how to conduct my presentation.

The guy later got back to me and whispered that there was no clicker available, but I could call out to him verbally to change slides.  Just then the Emcee started the event by asking us to stand for a video rendition of the Negaraku and the Selangor state anthem, followed by a video “PAS Untuk Semua”.

Truth be told I found the PAS video quite comical as they tried hard sell to convince Malaysians that PAS was for us all via a song in Mandarin, Tamil and Malay. Here it is for you to decide for yourself.


I was the third speaker after Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary Kasthuri Patto, daughter of the famous P Patto, and Sherab Wong. Despite having to nervously say “next slide, please” 12 times, I ended up enjoying my talk as the audience freely interacted with me in a casual dialogue manner and clapped at relevant points.

Unfortunately I had another function to attend after speaking and the organizers were kind enough to invite me to again speak at their other events and present me with a memento – a framed programme of the event.

Ok with that the Spanker feels that he has been naughty enough with this post. No, I was not giving a ceramah on politics, although there was more than enough of that flying around at the event.

I was speaking on crime awareness and prevention methods as the founder of Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and snatcH. I was invited because I had attended YB Mujahid’s book launch the day before and he had urged me to speak at his event.

Attending has been good as I had some preconceived notions about PAS that are now being viewed with an open mind. I also resolve to attend more events from both sides of the political divide to decide for myself if PAS’s raw “what you see is what you get” rather unsophisticated style of holding events is not just another slick psychological attempt to woo more non Malays into the fold.

Venture forth, we shall - to see and decide and for ourselves. Keep watching this space.