Monday, 11 October 2010

"DON" Razaleigh Hamzah leading the charge

I got this from Malaysians unplugged uncensored. It's ironical that UMNO has called upon him to lead the charge in the Galas by-election(due to the death of the state assembly man). Hitherto, he has been persona non grata in UMNO. But those UMNO leaders who wouldn't even touch him with a ten foot pole have suddenly welcomed him with open arms, gushing with enthusiasm that he would win back the state seat from PAS. Having appointed him as the state election director, a position traditionally reserved for the big wits in UMNO, they even threw him a challenge to stand for the by-election as well.

The Galas by-election is seen as the bellwether to how political power will be played out between the ruling coalition and the opposition.

Would he be the knight in shining armour, rally the voters to UMNO? Or would he, as the caricature above suggests, end up being ridiculed and disillusioned?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Rape Of The Sarawak Forests

Debris and logs covering about 50 kilometres of Sungai Rajang

Well, all these years of indiscriminate logging of the Sarawak forests and its attendant ecological damage have finally caught up with the Sarawak state government. Once again fingers are pointed towards the big logging companies. In the first place, who allowed them to log in the upper reaches of rivers, who ensures that these loggers adhere to stringent conditions laid down in the approval given to them?

Today's major newspaper reported hordes of people gleefully swarmed the choked river to grab dead or dying ikan patin or lulong.

Pic from the Star newspaper

Friday, 8 October 2010

Afghanistan: 1946

Another good book to read as basis for understanding modern Afghanistan. A book that recorded the transition of Afghanistan to nationhood, albeit through the eyes of Michener. It's free too. Some vivid insights:

1. Afghanistan was once invaded and razed by the Mongol hordes, but they left behind a pillar of corpses encased in gypsum as testimony of their terrifying presence;

2. Life of the Pashtuns, a major tribe of Afghanistan and their fascination with the travelling dancing troupe of feminine boys

3. The lives of the Povindahs, that nomadic tribe that traversed the deserts and mountains of Asia;

4. The powerful influence of the mullahs in the life of ordinary Afghans;

5. The stoning to death of an adulterous woman;

6. Afghanistan as a centre for learning and teaching Buddhism centuries before Prophet Mohammad was born;

7. The covert jostling for influence among the Russians, Americans and the British, and much more.

The funny thing is that there is no mention of the 'Talibans'. Presumably, they belong to another dominant tribe, the Afghans.

Go here for free downloading of the book.