Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Must We Resort to the Use of Murderous Weapons...?

There are injustices going on in all Governments. However good and effective the government in any country is, there will be people who feel marginalized, sidelined, unfairly treated, or forced to comply with laws, regulations and policy decisions that affect them badly. There are protest movements everywhere, some peaceful, some very rowdy, but some causing hundreds of deaths and injuries. Revolts, revolutions and civil wars are not dead, only reduced to a very minor and controllable degree. They remain safe where no firearms and murderous weapons are used.

Firearms and the use of destructive weaponry make the difference. They can turn a small quarrel into a bloody feud, a small protest into a bloodbath, a minor uprising into a goary civil strife, and a populaar movement agaist the government in power, a full scale civil war. Especially when a foreign power is just too ready to support the movement and to get rid of an unmanageable tyrant or despot as called by that foreign power. But if that power is friendly with the tyrant or despot, then the military might of the foreign power will be turned on the supporters of the movement.

Whatever the case maybe, when the sophisticated and murderous weaponry of the foreign power is unleashed on the country in trouble, thousand upon thousand of people will die or suffer serious injuries. The intervention may have the loftiest of human reasons, the kindest of intentions. the sanest of arguments. But thousands will die and the country concerned will be turned upside down. Isn't that just crazy, stupid and inhuman? Call the intervention by any name, it's still inhuman and macabre when thousands of innocent lives are lost, due to the use of the so-called sophisticated human invention - the weapons of death.

Can't we quell an uprising or solve the conflicts between people in the same coountry without the use of deadly weapons. Any idiot or brainless person can solve a problem by shooting people who are causing the problem and killing them all. Is that a solution? A real solution calls for a peaceful unravelling of the issues involved, working out an acceptable bargain for both sides of the conflicting parties, and helping them to achieve a better conditions of life. Yes, any fool with powerful weapons can help destroy a nation in a few days then force its own rule on the people. But helping a troubled nation out of it's conflict and difficulties, without the use of deadly and destructive weapons is a different story.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

When Will Malaysians Stop Being Petty?

When I read the newspapers and see so much space being devoted to sex scandal and rape of the anus, and think of the amount of public money and official time (legal and law enforcement) spent on such maatters, I start to think that we are being so petty and picayune. Other countries and people too have such problems. But they're quickly resolved and public officials involved,removed themselves voluntarily, ( Hat off to Dato Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek}.

But why are the Malaysians, especially theMalays, so hung-up on such matters? Is it because of their religious implications or just a personal vendetta of a political nature? But the whole nation goes agog about them, overshadowing concern about corruptions and "kowtim" arrangements where millions are shared among insiders and friends while the bona fide entrepreneurs get the left overs. Such matters can never be brought to book because....why mention it when everyone knows but no hard evidence can ever be obtained. hy again? Because any things can be condoned when there's mutual consent, except when one party suddenly "blows the whistle" due to discontentment.

The trouble with allegations about corruption today is that, mention any case and there'll be fingures pointing up to the hills and the sky. So many levels of authorities seemed to be implicated that even the beest police force in the world would not be able to sieve out the truth. Only more public money will be spent for the investigations and inquiries which will lead to an impasse or will otherwize fizzle out. Only God knows who were really involved and He doesn't tell. The Malays and Muslims will conclude things with "wallahu alam" just as they will reply "insyaallah" to any request that they are not sure of being able to comply with. At least the English speaking non-Malay might say "I'll try my best, buddy!"

Back to the question of sex scandal and rape of the anus, the court and the neswspapers have brought out things that I would have blushed with shame to even hear them being mentioned as a young boy decades ago. I thought the modern pop and rap songs are already bad enough with their suggestions and invitations to sex ( touch my body, make love to me, f... me etc). But the lawyers in court are doing better with their detailed descriptions of the sex act eagerly soaked up by the newspapers. And the trial goes on for years...

Take any case that is brought to court and even a man-on-the-street can mewntion a good number that are not. Why? Because the alleged violater of the law is a VIP or the vic tim is a nobody. Even police officers and officers of the religious department are sometime involved, They are human beings and human beings do get involved in kinky sex. Bring them to book for heavens sake but why make such cases a national issue or given sensational coverage in the newspapers. To boost up sales of the newspareps? To assasinate the character of undesirable politicians. Must the nation as whole become the laughing stock of the world when the front pages of the newspares talk about sex skandal and the rape of the anus when
Libya is about to become another Iraq, Bahrain a possible Afghanistan when its fight against the Russians was first supported by the US, Yemen is in a turmoil, and many other North African and Middle Eastern countries are facing a revolt of some kind.

Sarawak is facing a State GE while Malaysia as a whole will be facing it soon. Are we going to talk about sex scandal and rape of the anus as the problem of the nation to keep away from the real problems and dilemma? While the PM is talking about economic and social transfromation are the public to be fed with the juicy stories of the alleged sexual adventures of some of our leaders that had been brought up while others remained to be blown open by some discontented insiders?. Someone said in the papers that there are a number of those SS ( Sex Scandals) tapes waiting to be shown. I suppose those tapes will surface before the GE.

Aren't we being petty and overconcrned about certain things while bigger and more important matters are being swept under the carpet?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wrath of Nature

We've seen or experienced it again and again. Earthquake, flood, tsunami, drought t fire etc. The most recent catastrophe that hits Japan with earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant explosion (with possible meltdown and radiation occuring in quick succession) is the worst that can happen and we still don't know how it's going to end. It beats the calamities that have hit the USA, New zealand, Chile, Acheh, the Philippines etc. in the recent past. Our prayers, condolence and sympathy go to the Japanese snd all those who have suffered the wrath of Nature..

Can natural disasters be considered as the wrath of Nature? i wouldn't want to say the wrath of God for I am not qualified to do so although as far as the Muslims are concerned the al-Quran stated very succinctly that Allah had in the past destroyed many human communities for going against His injunctions and the teachings of the prophets that He chose for them. Even the big flood and Noah's Arc was His way of selecting who and what would continue to livre on the earth.

What have human beings done to incur the wrath of nature in the form of earthquake although Science says it's only the natural result of some geophysical adjustments in the tectonic plates? No one can give a definite answer to such a question but we do know that human beings have been continuously tempering with the earth surface. We built huge dams and artificial lakes which impounded billion metric tonnes of water weighing on the earthcrust in places where nature had not decided to create a lake naturally. We pumped out million upon million barrels of oil everyday, leaving a vacuum which when even refilled with water will not be able to bear the same weght. This happens in many parts of the world especially in the offshore areas. Aren't we threfore not disturbing the narural balance of the earthcrust?

To a lesser degree human beings also keep hacking away at the hills and the mountains. No we don't disturb the really collosal mountains and the plateaus such as the Rockies, the Andes, the Tibetan Plateu, the Fujiyama and the Kinabalu. But we flattened the smaller hills to build homes and residentisl areas towns and cities. We dig tunnels and underground pathways to facilate trasportation. We build bridges and heavy structures to cross rivers, lakes and even the sea where the earthcrust could be rather thin. Aren't we, therefore, not adding on a lot of wieght on the land surface without actually knowing how thick the earstcrust is in the areas concerned.

What about floods. Can that also be a sign of the wrath of nature? Floods resulting from earthquake share the causes of the esrthquake itself - the unending and indiscriminate human activities which shift the weight and the pressure sustaiened by the earthcrust. But there other other things that we do which can cause flooding from rivers and rivulets. We cut away trees, hacked the forests away and denude the land surface. We also construct cement walls, roads and pavements which interfere with the natural process of draining rainwater away. Yes we make our own drainage and irrigation plan but not for all the rivers. Too m any water catchment areas of the world had been converted into towns, cities, and residential areas, while forestland which absorbed the running waters from the hills and mountains had beeen denuded.

So, is Nature (if not God Himself) not angry with us human beings for our many failures to live by its/His rule? The most disasterous earthquake in Shanxi, China, in 1556 killed 830,000 people, the Acheh disaster killed 283,106 oeople and many earlier disasters killed hundreds of thousand. We pray that Japan got away with lesss lives than the loss of properties and wealth which can be regenerated. It's time for human beings to rethink of what they have done to incur the wrath of Nature ( and God), and desist doing those things. If we don't then don't be surprised when Nature hits back, however sorrowful we are of the tragedies that hit us.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quarter way through 2011.

We're now ending the first quarter of 2011. What do we see in the horizon at the national and international level? New hopes, inspiring promises. more of the same as last year or more impending problems and trouble? Is our country and the world moving towards a betterment of human relations, peace annd prosperity or adding more stress and strains, spreading more misunderstanding and hatred, and generally moving towards another catastrophe?

In our interest to promote our own ideals and aspiration, our believe and values and our idea of world peace, we sometimes forget that God created Men and Women with different looks and characteristics, different blessings and destiny, and different needs in life. That differences also apply to different countries and climes, different habitat and habitations. Man cannot try to make everything the same in the name of modernization and development, freedom and justice, equitability and equality. Nothing in the world is equal as are our fingers (and many other parts of the body) in length and size.

So, can we have a system of government that applies throughout the world? That will please and satisfy everyone? That will bring peace and prosperity to every part of the world?

I think the answer is clear. No matter how similar things are outwardly, how uniform and homogeneous they look, there certainly are essential differences that make them stand apart. Difference in essence and spirit, even if they are the same in name, structure and functions. All hearts are different in men and women although the heart specialists and cardiologists don't see the differences and treat any malfunction and deformities in the same way.

Now think of people and the different countries, cultures, and habitats that constitute the world. Can we ever say that what is good for one country is also good for all the rest of the world, what makes people happy in one country will also make others happy in other parts of the world, and what satisfies an Eskkimo will also satisfy an Arab living in the desert or a Tibetan living on top of the Tibetan Plateau 4,400 meters above sea level.l. Similarities in certain basic needs ( like food and water) there must be. But even that may differ in the way they cook and prepare them for consumption.

Having said that. think of the American idea of bringing justice, freedom and equitability to all parts of the world through their concept of democracy. Is that logical at all - and acceptable? A new wave of protests and revolts is now sweeping through the Middle Eastern and North African countries and the American are activating their mighty warships and armament in readiness to "protect" the innocent protestors and rebels against the forces of the government. How? By ensuring that the existing leaders be removed, lock stock and barrel ( like what happened in Iraq).

The amazing thing is that, the world just stands by and watches, as if in support of the American heroic initiative. We certainly see some of the glaring inequalities, injustice and shortcomings of the governments that are now under seige - as seen from OUR OWN point of view. But is turning the guns towards thhe established leaders of those government, the way to affect a remedy? We all know what the Americans want by coming in immediately to HELP the innocent people, perhaps through local bigwigs who are working for the Americans as it serves theeir interests to do so. But why is the world so easily persuaded by the good intention of the self-appointed world police (SWOP)? Couldn't the world help out in correcting the wrongs of certain governments by other peaceful measures like helping out the unfortunate?

So. in moving towards the second quarter of 2011. can we see our country and the world moving further towards peace, harmony, prosperity and progress or towards greater tension, more messy problems and conflicts? Don't answer the question. Just convince yourselves over the answer that you give to yourself. All the others are probably doing the same while the world power continues to do what they want to serve their own interest.