Category Archives: politics

Department of Dirty Tricks


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During Malaysia’s recent 14th general election, the department of dirty tricks was busy.  Great efforts was made to support the ruling government coalition by discourage a high voter turnout, silence criticism and other devious schemes.

In case you ever need help in thwarting the democratic process, you might want to take some notes on how to do it.  Here are a list of things you could do.

1.  Gerrymandering

Redraw the election boundaries in your favor even if it means including voters from areas which are not even geographically near each other.  My own voting district saw the inclusion this election of an area which is about 10 km away.  This would see the presumed addition of about 10,000 potential pro-government votes in the district that was won in the last election by the opposition by a 1,000 majority.  Surprisingly, the opposition still won with an increased majority.

2. Voting Districts are not all equal.

Make pro-government voting districts very small and districts which are opposition strongholds very big.  In this way, one pro-government area had only 6,000 voters while one opposition stronghold had 146,000 voters.  This means that in the first case, the government only needs about 3,000 votes to win while in the second case, the opposition wins but it uses up more of its supporters’ votes.  In fact, opposition candidate Tony Pua wins the Damansara parliamentary seat with 75% of the vote or a record supermajority of 107,000 votes.

3.  Shorten the election campaign period

Give the opposition little time to campaign by giving the minimum possible campaign period of 10 days before election.  Then also make the police require political parties to  apply for permission to hold rallies at least 5 days ahead of the event.

4. Make the Opposition party and its candidates illegal.

The opposition formed a coalition but the registrar of societies refused to formally register the opposition coalition in time for the election.  Some opposition candidates wishing to register as an election candidate were given wrong information about what they had to do and where and then told that they had missed the dateline for registration.

5. Stifle criticism and negative reports

First control all mainstream TV and radio stations. Next block many independent websites.  Also introduce a Anti-Fake News law just before the elections, that is sufficiently vague about what would be considered false news and threaten to use it to imprison anyone who shares “fake news” on FB or social media.

6. Make it difficult for voters to get to their voting stations.

Have the election on a Wednesday which is a working day and in the middle of the week.  Refuse to declare it a holiday to facilitate voters traveling to their hometowns to vote (this was finally overturned after public outcry).  “Coincidentally”, have road works and immigration computer glitches cause delays of hours at border crossings to deter large number of voters working in countries like Singapore from returning to vote.  Some people only managed the trip that normally takes only about 3-4 hours after repeatedly trying to cross over 3 days.  Also get the airlines to cancel or delay flights bringing voters back to Malaysia in the 1-2 days leading up to the election.

7. Sabotage Postal Votes.

Voters working or studying overseas and who are eligible to vote are supposed to be sent the ballot forms with sufficient time for them to post it back to their voting centre.  Instead, many did not receive it until it was too late to post or even courier them.  For example, voters in Hong Kong only received their ballot papers on the morning of the election day itself, and they would have to find a way to send it to their voting station in Malaysia by 5 pm that day.

But, despite this dirty tactic, Malaysians overseas got organised and a global network of volunteers carried most of the votes back in time.

8. Tamper with electoral rolls.

Some people who had not registered to vote were surprised that somebody had registered in their name and voted.  Often those allowed to votes are not even Malaysians.

9.  Stuff the ballot boxes.

A number of people were caught trying to enter ballot stations with large number of already marked ballot papers.

10. Increase the number of spoilt votes.

Some ballot station officials tried to get voters to use uncertified ballot papers.  Only certified ballot papers would be officially valid, the rest would be considered spoilt votes.

11. Buy votes

When there are no independent observers around, it is a small matter to stuff ballot boxes or buy votes.

12. Try to falsify the count.

The returning officer at each polling station is suppose to oversee the counting of the votes and then report the count on an official form which he/she is suppose to authorise by signing in the presence of observers.  In many cases, where the opposition had won, the returning officer had tried to get away without signing it (which would have allowed a different result to be sent to the main reporting centre).

13. Stall

Finally, when all the plans did not work out too well, stall, stall , stall.  The Election Commission quickly reported all the government victories but when it came to seats won by the opposition, delayed announcing results for up to 6 hours; probably to allow time for other dirty tricks to be attempted.  Independent websites posting the results of the vote counting were blocked.  Even when the results could no longer be denied, the Election Commission refuse to announce the winner.

 

Before the elections, in full anticipation of the actions of the Department of Dirty Tricks, I prayed to God to confound the schemes of the wicked and I believe God has answered that prayer cause it is quite the miracle that the government still lost the election despite all their nefarious schemes.

A couple of weeks earlier and I could not have written this post without falling foul of the Anti-Fake News law.  Just imagine.

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Malaysia : Re-Born 10th May 2018


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Dear Friends,

I am so elated, excited and over the moon.  After many days of prayer, sleepless nights and anxious moments, we got what we wanted.  A new Malaysia has emerged, reborn with a new sense of hope and destiny.  The results of the 14th General Election for Malaysia showed that the oppressive, divisive and corrupt incumbent government had been thrown out and for the first time ever (in 61 years), we have a change in government.

That this victory was achieved is miraculous when you consider how the odds were stacked up against the opposition parties.  The dirty tricks department had been hard at work on behalf of the government.  Not many had expected the opposition to win the elections.  Even the true believers were only hoping to scrape through.  But Malaysians flocked to the polling station on May 9th and achieved the unbelievable.  The land which has languished in darkness for so long is now enjoying the break of dawn.

Here are some highlights of what was achieved:

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If you are still not sure what has been going on, let me try to explain it in another way……

“Once upon a time, there was a Jedi and the force was strong with this one.  In fact, he was appointed the 4th Grand Master of the Jedi Order.  But having so much power began to sway him to the Dark Side.

When his first Padawan, began to challenge his authority, the Grand Master had him imprisoned.  Indeed, that was the fate of many who tried to defy him.

He then allowed his second Padawan to take over the reigns of the Empire.  But before long he was unhappy with his second Padawan for what he perceived as his weakness in showing tolerance to those who opposed the Order.

The old Grand Master then groomed his third Padawan to challenge his second Padawan for the throne and the third Padawan came to power.

But, under the influence of a woman who was the Dark Side personified, the third Padawan began to oppress, deprive and rob the citizens of the Republic on an epic scale.

The second Padawan who had previously been freed, tried to lead a Rebellion against him but was soon arrested and imprisoned again.

But the Rebellion did not die, selfless individuals carried on the fight for justice and righteousness for 10 long and difficult years.   The Empire had become so corrupt and so powerful, it seemed that it would last a thousand years.

Then, a new hope from and unlikely source.  The Grand Master himself (now 92 years old), pained to see what had become of his legacy, returned and joined the Rebellion.  And now, after 2 years of struggle, the Grand Master has led the Rebellion and the people to win the battle against the Dark Side.  With the third Padawan thrown down from power, the Grand Master has once again take control of the Republic.

With order and hope restored, the Grand Master will now release his first Padawan from prison and with the intention that he will eventually take over the duty of overseeing the well being  of the Republic, trusting him to govern wisely and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

THE END!

Surely that is worthy of a Hollywood movie!  Yes?

How about a Bollywood movie?  Make me an offer.

Alt Bohemian Rhapsody (Fake Song)


Now, despite my views of Mr. Trump, I have been keeping relatively silent about the going-ons in the White House for the last 6 months.  One, because there is already too much coverage on it in the media and on the internet and two, out of respect for those who still support the man.  I may disagree with your views but I felt it would be wrong to deride or ridicule them.

And then, I came across this wonderful gem below on the internet which touched on the recent short 10 day term of Anthony Scaramucci as Trump’s Communications Director and other current news.  It has been reposted so I don’t even know its original source but I thought it was really creative and funny.  So forgive the squirrel for this lapse in said principles above.  But this deserves to be celebrated.  Mago, I think you would particularly enjoy this.

Try singing it to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and have fun.

Scaramucci rhapsody

Like in the Movies


Most of us like action movies.  The explosions, the guns blazing, the mayhem and usually the good guys win and they look cool doing it.  For a couple of hours we escape into a fantasy world of thrills without any bodily risks or consequences.

But as recent incidents around the world has demonstrated, it is completely awful when it happens in real life and impact real people.

This last couple of weeks, a couple of Hollywood type stories played out on the streets of my city, Kuala Lumpur; stories with drama, action, suspense and intrigue.

Abduction

Pastor Raymond Koh was driving his car on an errand to deliver a food gift to a friend who was about to travel abroad.  At least three black SUVs screeched in,  blocking off  the road and boxing in his car. Men with black balaclava masks poured out.  A couple of them stopped oncoming traffic and another was seen apparently filming the incident.  Pastor Raymond was forced into one of the SUVs and the three vehicles then sped away together.  He has been missing since the 13th of February.

Pastor Raymond is active in a number of Christian charities and was the founder of Harapan Kommuniti (Community Hope) which holds free tuition classes for children and English lessons for adults from low income groups.  In 2011 though, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), in a controversial move, raided a community thanksgiving and fundraising dinner at a church and accused Pastor Raymond’s organisation of proselytising Muslims.

There has been no ransom demand or any communication from the abductors and despite numerous eyewitnesses and CCTV footage, the police have not reported any progress in their investigation.

Many Malaysians (including me) have been praying daily for his safe return.

Assassination

Our international airport was the ground on which our tale of international intrigue and skullduggery occurred; real James Bond stuff.  A Korean man traveling under the name of Kim Choi was making his way across the airport concourse to catch his flight to Macao when two young women approached him from different directions and appear to reach from behind and cover his face with a chemically laced cloth.  They then left as quickly in opposite directions.  After seeking help,  the man collapses and dies shortly later.

It is now believed that Kim Choi is actually Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  The two women have been identified and arrested.  One is a Vietnamese national and the other an Indonesian.  The Indonesian woman claims she was approached by some men and paid to carry out what she had been told was a prank for a TV show.  Police have also arrested a Malaysian man and a North Korean man.  Interpol has been asked to help hunt down four other North Korean men who left the country the same day as the incident.   The North Korean government has also objected to the autopsy investigation.
Malaysia continues to be making the news for all the wrong reasons.  Come on 2017, start getting better.
I will keep praying for Pastor Raymond and for Malaysia.  However, I promise to nudge 2017 along in the right direction by having more positive posts in the next couple of weeks.

Yellow and Red and Black and ….


Below is an excerpt from the highly esteemed BBC talking-type wireless show (or so they claimed for themselves), The Goon Show.  Written by the rascally Spike Milligan, the episode entitled “The Affair of the Lone Banana” has our intrepid but dumb hero, Seagoon, going to South America in search of a missing British citizen.  But when he arrives, he finds himself in the midst of much social unrest…………

Seagoon:  Now, now what’s all this about?
Moriarty:  It is the revolution señor – everywhere there is an armed rising.
Seagoon: Are you in it?
Moriarty:  Right in it – you see, you see señor, the united anti-socialist neo-democratic pro-fascist communist party is fighting to overthrow the unilateral democratic united partisan bellicose pacifist cobelligerant tory labour liberal party!
Seagoon: Whose side are you on?
Moriarty:  There are no sides – we are all in this together.

I used to think this was so funny even though I knew that sometimes reality actually sails very close to this.  Unfortunately, it has now even come closer to home, to Malaysia.

On the 19th of November, thousands of Malaysians put on yellow shirts and attended the Bersih 5 rally on the streets of the capitol, Kuala Lumpur.

Aerial view of just one of the rally locations:- How many yellow shirts? (some say 50,000; police say 15,000; one establishment newspaper claimed about 5,000)

But they were not alone.  Just like the Affair of the Lone Banana, there were other parties present too and they were all in it.  I hope to try to give some clarity to the situation.

Yellow Shirts – these are the peaceful, pro-democracy, pro-transparency, pro-electoral reform, anti-corruption, pro-justice, pro-change, anti- current Prime Minister Najib, supported by past Prime Minister Mahathir, non-sectarian, civil society groups and opposition parties.

Red Shirts- these are the thuggish, bullying, sectarian, anti-yellow shirts, anti-free press, pro-government, pro-status quo, pro-establishment, pro-Malay, pro-Prime Minister Najib, ruling party.

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One of several sad incidents involving red shirts attacking a yellow shirt some days before the rally

Black Shirts – anti-rallies, anti yellow shirts, defenders of the law against protests, newly set up party with ties to establishment.

MJMM president Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah (centre) posing for photographs outside the Dang Wangi police headquarters. — Picture by Melissa Chi
Black Shirts posing outside police station

Orange Shirts – anti-yellow shirts, pro-Prime Minister Najib, pro-Indian, pro-government party launched by the Prime Minister.

Purple Shirts – pro-yellow shirts, pro-protection of yellow shirts from red shirts.

In the end, the yellow shirts far outnumbered the rest.  There were probably more than  50,000 yellow shirts and about 2,500 red shirts.  The red shirts dispersed before long.

The police arrested many yellow shirt leaders and a few red shirt leaders briefly.  However, Maria Chin Abdullah, the leader of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections was jailed and placed in solitary confinement under an Act designed for action against terrorists.  Malaysians of all kinds of color shirts held nightly vigils for her release and she was finally freed after 10 days although the police say they are continuing their investigation of her.

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The nightly vigil for Maria’s release from solitary confinement.

If all this was rather confusing, let me just a summarise it for you.  In a nutshell, we are in a lot of trouble in Malaysia and no matter what color shirt, we are all in it.  If we are not careful, we will all sink in it.  What is needed is for us to drape ourselves in the multi colors of our national flag, put down our own selfish interests and fight for a country with justice, equality and opportunity for all Malaysians.

Yikes!


“President Trump. ”

“What? Really? Are you serious?”

“Yes, really”

“Hahahaha….hahaha….hahaha….(nervous laugh)”

“President Trump! It’s official!”

“Aaaarrggghhhh! The sky is falling…..the sky is falling……..”

After I run helter skelter until I am exhausted, I calm down and I reasoned……. maybe it won’t be so bad. Yeah, we can’t change the fact that he will be the next American President and leader of the free world.

Yeah, we just gotta give him the benefit of the doubt………

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…..my heart is still beating with fear though.

Derailing the Horror


Do you know what’s scary?  Answer:- the way I procrastinate.  If you look back over the years, readers will find that I will be making New Year Resolutions and wishing every  one a Happy New Year sometime towards the end of January.  Likewise, I tend to leave my Christmas decorations up and try to disguise them to make it look like I put them up specially for Chinese New Year a few months later.  So just yesterday, I finally got to watch the movie that I had set aside for Halloween.

It’s a Korean movie titled, “Train to Busan”.  As if train journeys are often not horrific enough, they throw in large numbers of evil, undead zombies.  It is a big hit in Korea and you know what?  In my humble squirrel opinion, it deserves every good review it has received.  As with any zombie movie, it is not so much a  spine chilling horror experience but more of an adrenaline racing, heart pounding action movie.  But the human element is well crafted into the story and the acting surprisingly good; especially the young girl in the story.  I recommend it.

You know what else is scary?  The real world!  Starting with Korea where the Korean President is alleged to have been unduly influenced by the daughter of a cult leader (BBC story); to Indonesia where thousands took part in violent and fatal protests in the capital Jakarta because they do not want a popular (and generally held to be an effective) non-Muslim governor overseeing a majority Muslim city; and finally the insane circus of the current U.S. Presidential elections.  Hilary or Trump?  The squirrel shakes his head at both but trembles in fear at the thought of President Trump.

squirrel-screaming

And so, we squirrels have decided to intervene for the sake of the world.

Squirrel knocks out power to Miami County elections board

Hungry squirrel tampers with presidential election

We try to help.