Thursday, March 29, 2012

Billionaire Anwar Ibrahim

Not as yet.

The Brother has so far sued - Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong , one time close associate Dr Chandra Muzaffar and UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin, The NST, The Utusan and just a few days ago one time tennis partner, Senator Datuk Nallakaruppan and Utusan again.

A variety of suits for calling him a homosexual, inciting racial hatred, being an American agent, him calling homosexuality to be legalised and now being bisexual.

Collectively the Brother is set to collect a handsome total of RM 370,000,000 should he succeed in winning.

God forbid, should Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim become Prime Minister and with a notoriously compliant judiciary, the Brother will soon be making the Forbes list of Billionaires with more suits anyone can possibly expect, should the Pakatan Rakyat win the next General Elections, god forbid.

The first ones I would imagine would be the Datuk T trio especially the Datuk Eskay for their sexposé and AsiaOne for this link.



Another Anwar Bin Ibrahim Stupid Is as Stupid Does

This links to the unsworn statement from the dock by Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim in Sodomy 2.0 and one as stupid is line, I particularly am impressed,

"It has to be observed at this stage the complainant could have, on his own admission in examination-in-chief, left the room as there is no evidence of any attempt by me to latch the door from inside."

If you don't get it you must be as stupid does.

Anwar Ibrahim - Stupid Is as Stupid Does
















The opposition leader who has been routinely discredited can only fool his own band of gullible supporters.


Let's look at the opposition leader, Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim's statements, "Anwar: Pakatan unhappy with EC, may delay state polls"
He said the leaders of PR states are still negotiating on whether to hold simultaneous polls with national elections but added there was fear the alleged voter roll manipulation could greatly affect the pact’s chances if it remains unresolved.
Even if the Pakatan Rakyat do decide to delay the state elections, delaying the state elections will not make any difference to alter an outcome because the federal elections will still be using an electoral roll which is "manipulated", wouldn't it?

Put it another way, delaying state elections will miraculously "affect the pacts chances" positively with the same "manipulated" electoral roll.

The Pakatan Rakyat's "chances" in a federal election would still be the same, electoral rolls "manipulated" or not, whether they had simultaneous elections or not.
“We have compelling evidence and facts to support our argument that the election process is fraudulent"
The ultimate stupid is.

You have compelling evidence and facts yet still stand for federal elections only postponing the state elections then have a fraudulent state elections later with the same compelling evidence and facts.

“So that’s the issue and that will influence our decision on whether to hold simultaneous polls ” he said.

As stupid does.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Malaysian Insider Never...Never Mind This is About Anwar Ibrahim


The Malaysian Insider reports "Anwar: GE13 a class war" and has these few lines,
Anwar’s plea to voters comes after a survey conducted last month by independent pollsters Merdeka Center found that Najib’s popularity had surged by 10 percentage points to 69 per cent largely on the back of 78 per cent support from households earning under RM1,500 a month.

The centre credited this largely to Putrajaya’s RM500 cash handout to households with a monthly income of under RM3,000 under the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia programme.

Najib’s predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s approval rating was 71 per cent before the 2008 polls but BN lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and four state governments.
What Malaysian Insider implies, in the last paragragh above, no need for rocket scientist to figure.

Reading the three paragraphs the approval ratings Malaysian Insider cites Merdeka Center polls, right?

This is Pak Lah's popularity rating according to Merdeka Center -

















"Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s approval rating was 71 per cent before the 2008 polls but BN lost.."

Can laugh or not?

Never mind this is about Anwar Ibrahim.

Oh, before I forget,
“This battle this election is about the masses the workers the low-income earners against the rich cronies of Umno ” - Anwar Ibrahim.
For some serious reading on Anwar cronies read another masterly A Voice "Opening of Anwar's Pandora Box"

To follow in the footsteps of the Master [Sorry friends ... as usual, have to be humorous. Do take it lightheartedly.] going back in time, a take on Anwar Bin Ibrahim and some other personalities.

WHO'S WHO IN THE ANWAR TRIAL

Dr M: The Hero
Anwar: The Villain
Shamsidar Taharin: She came, He saw, He came
Senior DPP Abdul Gani Patail: Main man out to nail Anwar's ass to the wall
Raja Aziz Addruse: Main man out to save Anwar's ass
Normala Yusof: Media's Pin-Up Girl (Best Face in the Case Award)
Augustine Paul: Beast Face in the Case Award
Ummi Hafilda: Media's Ex-Pin-Up Girl
Wan Azizah: The only sure loser
Megat Junid: The Postman
Observers: Busybodies
NGOs: Nosy, Gullible Organisations
Nallakaruppan: The Pimp
Datuk Mohd Said Awang: He may or may not be SB director. I can't remember.

We had the pre-Commonwealth Games, then the Commonwealth Games. Now it is the post-Commonwealth Games. Below are some of the results:

SHOOTING
Gold: FRU (for firing water cannons to a distance of 300 metres)
Silver: IGP (for shooting his mouth ever so often)

SWIMMING
Gold: Anwar (Backstroke, Freestyle, both were come-from-behind victories)

BOWLING
Gold: Winner on countback - Dr M (for striking Anwar down the gutter)
Silver: IGP (for striking Anwar down the gutter)
Bronze: A-G (for striking Anwar down the gutter)

BOXING
Gold: IGP (for giving Anwar a blue-black eye)

ATHLETICS
4x400
Gold: FRU (their experience with the baton paid off)

3,000 steeplechase
Gold: 3,000 protesters (for running for their lives when chased by FRU)

Hammer Throw
Gold: FRU (for hammering protesters and throwing tear gas canisters)
Silver: Police (for hammering Anwar when he was thrown in jail)

Triple Jump
Gold: Anwar (for jumping Sukma, Munawar and the driver)

Weightlifting
Gold: Mahathir's supporters (for carrying PM's balls for 18 years, including Anwar)

On a serious note, back in time "ANWAR JEKYLL & ANWAR HYDE"
But he promised he would not change. He would stick true to his ideals. Which ones? He first changed his dressing. No more chapals, white shirts with epaulettes and cotton pants. It was designer suits, Italian shoes and silk shirts from now on. After all, had not Mahathir promoted him to full minister. He had to live the part.

No more mangy hair. This was replaced by properly cut and coiffured hairstyles. No more the large framed glasses. This were replaced by Cartier glasses. And the slight, slight tinge of expensive cologne.

Had the change in his personal looks not affected his professed ideals, he would still be doing alright. But no. Not Anwar. He would say one thing in public, one thing in private and do something completely different.

As Mahathir continued promoting him, making him education minister and then finance minister, Anwar's friends started getting richer as well. But that is another story.
See, it's about Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim so read the whole article above.

Air Asia Paid MAS for Uplift or Bailout?

The Star reports a MAS statement, "MAS paid to uplift AAX-ed passengers"

Relevant excerpts and my comments -
Malaysia Airlines has received a prepayment of RM20mil in cash from AirAsia X (AAX) to uplift passengers on four routes that the low-cost airline had axed.

Yesterday, the national carrier entered into a Re-Accommodation Agreement (RA) with AAX and would use its excess capacity to fly AAX’s passengers.
Comment: When was it paid? If the RA was signed only yesterday, isn't that putting the cart before the horse?
MAS said economy and premium class passengers holding confirmed AAX tickets issued before Jan 13 on the four routes would be transferred for travel on MAS between March 28 and Oct 27.
Comment: MP Wee Choo Keong had highlighted a free ride for Air Asia issue and provided with a screenshot.


I have highlighted the date. The MAS statement says "AAX tickets issued before Jan 13 on the four routes would be transferred for travel on MAS between March 28 and Oct 27" and the screenshot shows 3 March 2012.

Is MAS telling the truth? My comment earlier asking when was the prepayment received is important because it would determine YB Wee's allegation.

The following highlight from the MAS website (date undetermined) would also corroborate YB Wee's allegation if the date of prepayment from Air Asia postdates the flight or flights -
c) Due to the volume of bookings involved, AirAsia X is working with Malaysia Airlines to process the various passenger bookings in batches for the issuance of fresh e-tickets and priority is given to bookings with earlier travel period. AirAsia X is then expected to transmit these Malaysia Airlines e-tickets to the passengers concerned.
Finally,
It added that the re-accommodation of passengers is an industry practice whereby airlines support each other to minimise disruption to passenger travel arrangements
Comment: From a limited understanding, Re-accommodation is a normal practice but due to cancellations of flights for various reasons and not for cancelled routes altogether. Relevant link "Sabre Reaccommodation Manager" here - "Protecting revenue and customer loyalty. You can promptly take care of your most important customers, preserving customer loyalty and protecting current and future revenue."

Is it really a Re-accommodation Agreement or a bailout?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Uneducated Chinese Educated and the Dong Zong Racists















According to the Malaysian Insider, "Dong Zong sees MOE conspiracy in Chinese teachers shortage",
The United Chinese School Committees Association Dong Zong today accused the Education Ministry of compromising Chinese education by “deliberately” not training enough Chinese school teachers.

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian said this was so the government could send in those without SPM Mandarin qualifications to fill the gap.

Yap also said at a protest rally here that the ministry’s apparent motive was to cause a gradual change the identity of Chinese primary schools by shifting the language of administration and medium of instruction.
I always give credit when it is due and I give it to the Malaysian Insider for publishing this in their Side View section, "Dong Zong pushing narrow agenda — Tam YS"

It opens with,
I saw this report by The Star “Dr Wee My duty to listen to problems of the community” and I admit I was saddened by the behaviour, bigotry and immaturity of the Chinese who were present.
and at the end,
Additionally I do not agree that a Bahasa Malaysia teacher in a Chinese school must be Mandarin speaking nor should this be required even for a Mathematics teacher if the teaching medium is in English.

We protest and cry when the Umno provocateurs stir up the racial and religious emotion at every turn but are we any better?

I am happy for the restraint shown by Datuk Wee Ka Siong.
What is most interesting in this Side View is a comment by a person who goes by "tan".

Folks, is the whole issue here about "mother tongue" and "identity" or is it about education?

This statement, "not training enough Chinese school teachers" shows Dong Zong's true colours.

What they really want are not SPM Mandarin qualified teachers but Mandarin speaking "Chinese school teachers" to preserve the identity of Chinese primary schools.

Question, who are those taking Mandarin as a subject in the SPM?

I will make an educated guess: 1. Chinese students 2. Students of other races who excel in Mandarin.

Next question, how many of those from #1 and #2?

See? What the Dong Zong actually want are Chinese teachers because they don't want teachers without SPM Mandarin qualifications to fill the gap.

I came across this blog piece, "My rant on the SPM mandarin subject".

Making an uneducated guess, I think the author is Chinese and makes for some interesting insights.

It starts with,
The SPM Mandarin subject is infamous for it's difficulty in scoring an A.
Why so? Oh, I don't know, Maybe Chinese people just love to give their us Chinese a hard time.
and concludes,
Teacher mentioned that we are the future for the Mandarin subject. Fact is, If I'm still in Malaysia, I wouldn't encourage my child to take that subject.
What does that tell you?

Coming back to the Side View article, whatever happened to this? -

CHINESE EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA: A Reflection of Its Past & Future Direction By Florence Kuek,
Despite these challenges, Chinese schools seek to maintain emphasis on the "Five Aspects of Formal Education in Confucianism (Wuyu Jiaoyu)" namely, moral (de), intellectual (zhi), physical (ti), social (qun) and aesthetic (mei) education. Until today, Chinese schools continue to value discipline, respect for the elderly, courtesy, personal character and morality, rather than marketable skills such as computer literacy, Mathematics and Science.
Going by various reports, products and advocates of Dong Zong Chinese schools have no discipline, no respect for the elderly, no courtesy, no personal character and morality.

All said and done, while we strive and labour to provide our children with proper education in school and further at home or abroad, the following article puts education in a bigger picture -

WORKING PAPER SERIES

DECOLONIZATION, EDUCATIONAL LANGUAGE POLICY AND NATION BUILDING IN PLURAL SOCIETIES: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHINESE EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA, 1950-1970
Dr Tan Yao Sua

In the final analysis, the central challenge of educational language policy that aims at fostering national integration in plural societies is to bring about unity within diversity.

Seen in this light, the Alliance government has certainly done the right thing by providing transitional bilingual education to the Chinese in Malaysia. This would allow them to maintain their language amidst a shift to Malay. Such an educational provision echoes the view of Stephen May who maintains that “individuals should be allowed to benefit from the currency of a dominant language and while also, at the same time being allowed to "stay-put‟ with respect to their own first language(s)”. All in all, the provision of transitional bilingual education to the Chinese in Malaysia augurs well for the nation building process where minority linguistic rights are accommodated within the larger interests of the majority group.

*Pic from Sundaily report "Chinese education problems: Real solutions needed"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Malaysian Insider Never Learns

As always, an apology or correction and everything is hunky dory. What damage done in the perspective that is relevant to the subject does not matter.

My previous post and today,
'We have withdrawn a report headlined "Five issues holding up likely June polls say sources" as Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis has denied he is the BN Manifesto Committee chairman or had briefed journalists from the NSTP group this past week.

The Malaysian Insider and I stand corrected in his involvement in this matter.'
But still the recalcitrant Malaysian Insider wants to have a last say with a spin headline, "Jamaluddin Jarjis denies TMI report — Jahabar Sadiq"

Denying a report does not have to carry any correction which stops short of an apology if you stand by your report in spite of any denials.

What it means is it's was bald faced lying report by the Malaysian Insider that only benefits the opposition, stinks to high heaven and questions the credibility of this news portal, again and again.


"I am therefore demanding that you remove the posting with immediate effect and also run an apology for your article of untruths I also reserve the right to institute further action against you and your newspaper.
Lastly I find it most unfortunate that a newspaper which claims to offer “an unvarnished take on events and personalities in Malaysia” and one that claims to have among their readers “Malaysians who crave for balanced and serious reporting on issues” can take such a lax attitude towards the authenticity of its information and the credibility of its sources." - Jamaluddin Jarjis

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lim Guan Eng - First Malaysian Chinese Prime Minister



Of course that is not realistic but not impossible and anyway the DAP Secretary General has stated that Anwar Ibrahim is the Prime Minister of choice as far as the DAP is concerned.

But in truth even if Anwar Ibrahim is Prime Minister, the DAP will be pulling the strings.

This is not an UMNO or MCA or Barisan Nasional propaganda lie, it is an expressed statement by the DAP themselves.
"On the occasion of DAP’s 46th anniversary since it was first registered on 18 March 1966, DAP urges all leaders and members to redouble efforts to ensure that PR wins the next general elections so that DAP can remain a party in power in state governments and hopefully in the Federal government too." - DAP Secretary General, Lim Guan Eng.
Last I heard, the party in power in the State Government of Kedah is PAS with the DAP having 1 seat.

Last I heard, the party in power in the State Government of Kelantan is also PAS and the DAP having not a single seat.

Last I heard, the party in power in the State Government of Selangor is PKR although the DAP does have a significant presence with 12 seats. PKR has 14 and PAS 8 respectively.

It is only in Penang that the DAP can be considered to be the ruling party, with a combined total of 24 seats with the PKR having only 4 and PAS a lonely 1.

Don't come and tell me I am twisting this egotist Sec Gen words. He did not say,
"DAP urges all leaders and members to redouble efforts to ensure that PR wins the next general elections so that PR can remain a party in power in state governments and hopefully in the Federal government too."
The chauvinist big head explicitly said the following,
DAP urges all leaders and members to redouble efforts to ensure that PR wins the next general elections so that DAP can remain a party in power in state governments and hopefully in the Federal government too.

No need to say anything about Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim. He will accept any statement or anything by the DAP just as long as he remains Prime Minister elect.

But PAS leaders are shameless and cowards for allowing the DAP to insult them in no uncertain terms.

Which goes to show there is truth in when PAS "Ex-exco man blames DAP for his sacking"

God forbid the DAP a party in power, even hopefully, of the Federal government.

This is proof that only UMNO protects Malay rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and others will be pushed aside when the DAP comes into power.

*Pic from Nutgraph

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim - Sodomy and Life Imitating Art

Readers may or may not know about a sexually explicit Marlon Brando movie, "Last Tango In Paris."


It was a movie where "In Italy the film caused a deep scandal for its sodomy scene" and which wikipedia describes "The film's scandal centered mostly on an anal sex scene featuring the use of butter as a lubricant."

So what has all of this has got to do with Anwar Ibrahim?

Remember Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim's letters to Carl Gershman President of the National Endowment for Democracy, NED?

From a page apparently deleted from the NED website, is a link to a transcript* of remarks by Anwar Ibrahim titled “The Future of Muslim Democracy” in a lecture series for the New York Democracy Forum, 1 December 2005.

As usual the Brother greets his host, NED president Mr Gershman -
"Thank you, Carl. It’s always my pleasure and I’m very fortunate to have Carl as a friend and the NED as an institution that promotes the idea of democracy throughout the world."
Then the Brother continues with his usual scholarly aggrandisement.

After all the name dropping intellectual quotes routine, comes to the most remarkable part of the Brother's remark -
'It reminds me of a great Hindi movie, “An Evening in Paris”, or probably Marlon Brando’s “Last Tango in Paris”. Or Taha Hussein’s lucid exposition on “The Future of Egyptian Culture”. And letters of a 19th century Javanese Princess, Radin Kartini, “From Darkness to Ligh.t” Long before the feminist writings surfaced, these provided a constellation of ideas and infused motives and desires that can only be fulfilled by the establishment of a free and democratic society.'
Now, isn't that a shocking disclosure or what!? Is that the Brother's favorite movie of all time?

"The Last Tango" inspires The Brother with "constellation of ideas and infused motives and desires that can only be fulfilled by the establishment of a free and democratic society."

I just cannot believe my freaking eyeballs, this is Bother Anwar Bin Ibrahim's “Future of Muslim Democracy”

PostScript

Inspired by the brilliant "High price of proxies" from A Voice at Another Brick In The Wall.

* Also here

Letter to Minister of Transport - KTM Komuter Deplorable Service and Empty Promises

Further to my previous post, I do not know whether The Star published my letter but will not be surprised if it did not. No matter, I have sent the same to the Minister today.

My file pics














Here it is.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Freddie Kevin De Souza
Date: 15 March 2012 10:47
Subject: KTM Komuter Deplorable Service and Empty Promises
To: "editor@thestar.com.my"


YB Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha
Minister of Transport
Blok D5,Kompleks D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62616 Putrajaya,
Malaysia.

YB Datuk Seri Kong,

KTM Komuter Deplorable Service and Empty Promises

I am a daily user of KTM komuter. I humbly implore your good self to give kind attention to the following:

1. I have deep suspicions the deplorable service that is severely inconveniencing commuters travelling daily is an attempt by irresponsible elements within KTMB to affect displeasure at the Government.

2. These suspicions were reinforced when the very next day after the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had launched the new set of SCS trains 8 March, a very significant date, there was a serious disruption to KTM Komuter services at the peak hours of the morning in the Rawang-Seremban routes both to and fro.

It is too much of a coincidence.

3. It has been a week after the launch of the new SCS trains but the KTM Komuter service has gone from bad to worse. If they are not deliberate acts, then it can only be - INCOMPETENCE, starting at the very top of KTMB.

4. I do not believe that your good self, the hundreds of Transport Ministry officers and the head of KTMB downwards are unaware of the thousands of commuters' daily predicament.

5. The buck stops at your office doorstep, at your Ministry.

6. No more empty promises. The wretched service since the launch has caused so much distress and inconvenience to travelling workers and students and is an insult to the integrity of our Deputy Prime Minister.

7. The rakyat are no longer the meek sheep to takes things sitting down or in this case being crammed, like sardines. We endure herd mentality day in and day out, just to board a train, but rakyat are also no longer stupid, like cows.

8. We should not be treated like animals.

9. Please take immediate action to alleviate our daily misery.

If the tenor of this letter is harsh I do apologise but you deserve it.

Yours truly


Freddie Kevin De Souza
This is a comment from a reader in response to my post:
Anonymous said...

last saturday evening, i was waiting for a train heading to Port Klang and as usual, one of it was cancel. (the announcement said delay.. what delay if the 1906hrs train only arrive at 1936hrs. tht's cancellation to me)..

anyway, others were waiting for the trains to seremban. i dont really know how long they waited but the crowd do show it was looongg.. and then, within 15 minutes, 3 trains coming to KL Sentral and heading to seremban.. one after another. of course, only the 1st train was full to the brim as everyone did not want to wait any longer for something uncertain. the 2nd (apparently an SCS) and the 3rd train, were particularly empty..

the problem with KTM Komuter is not about the trains. its always about schedule and reliability.. when kelana jaya LRT was still operating on 2-coach trains, people don't really complain a lot because during peak hours, they only need to wait for 2-3 minutes. but that is not the case with Komuter.

imagine, KTM have 4 types of services plying the same track. ETS, inter-city, Komuter & cargo. how are they able to cramp all 4 services into one track, i dont really want to know. all i see is DELAY DELAY DELAY..

there was one time, at Batu Tiga station, the announcement said there was delay to the service, at the same time, i saw a cargo train using the track.. slowly moving..

so, the delay was not entirely because of weather, it's partly due to KTMB's own schedule and GREED to take all.

PRIORITY needs to be set. passenger service or cargo service
I have emphasised the following statement "the problem with KTM Komuter is not about the trains. its always about schedule and reliability.." which is exactly my sentiments.

Is there any Komuter schedule in the first place?

There is no fixed schedule from what I have gathered.

The schedules are haphazard and beyond comprehension, trains to the same destination arriving at the same time as mentioned by Anon reader, and regular Komuter travellers will attest.

And the announcements? They are inaccurate, if your are not so anguished, good for a laugh and most of all unreliable.

I must add The Star is mischievous, it reported yesterday "New trains to increase ridership"

The Transport Ministry and The Star is making mockery and a disservice to our Deputy Prime Minister, when there is no improvement in sight.

Delays are still occurring.

Empty promise, "Steps being taken to improve KTM service"

Another empty promise, KTM Komuter to add 10 new trains this month"?

Folks, those are the new 10 six-coach-sets the Transport Minister is talking about.

I said it before, I won't laugh yet, again.

When my Komuter buddies and me read and talk about all the news reports on KTM Komuter, we have a good laugh, cynical laughs.

Blogger notes:

Daily, there are 480,000 Komuter travellers. Multiply 480,000 tired and disgruntled commuters by two adults per household and you get close to a staggering 1.5 million with no confidence. That's not counting relatives, sympathetic friends and fellow office workers.

Daily, 1.5 million very, very unhappy people from Rawang to Seremban and Batu Caves to Pelabuhan Klang.

Friday, March 16, 2012

After SODOMY 2.0, Free and Fair Elections or BERSIH 3.0

About a week after her most ardent supporter and celebrated ex-convict, Anwar Ibrahim, was acquitted of SODOMY 2.0, Ambiga Sreenivasan, chairman of BERSIH 2.0 is quoted by The Sundaily,
"We have tried everything. We still believe in negotiations and that PSC can come up with its recommendations.

"But ultimately, if these recommendations are not implemented before the next general election, then do not rule out Bersih 3.0,"
Fighter cock words, don't you think?

But it would not be unexpected. The Madam must reciprocate her most ardent supporter, Anwar, who said upon being acquitted, “Thank God, I have been vindicated. My focus now will be at the coming elections.”

We all know, of course, who Ambiga is - mother advocate of "free and fair elections".

For their common cause for free and fair elections, Anwar and Ambiga are the grandmaster and grande dame of protests.

I, been voting for every general election ever since I have been eligible and those who have also voted will wonder, how in the world do all these fair feathered friends come to be so sceptical of our elections?

Now before I proceed, Malaysians nowadays seem to be fascinated by all sorts of Malaysian rankings and surveys - 1st in this, top 10 in that, 100th here and second to last there, so on and so forth.

These rankings and surveys, international ones desirably to assume credibility, is a recent phenomena of sorts and a favoured weapon of choice in the political front, to demonise (by the opposition) or acclaim (by both sides), especially economic and democratic rankings.

Me, I take all these international rankings and surveys with a pinch of salt. You wonder where on earth do these institutions who come out with the results, get all the information from.

Has anybody been surveyed by any of these international institutions or seen a survey being taken or even heard of one being carried out?

Well alright, since the opposition and their die-hards view everything western as sacred gospel truth and for the purpose of this post, let's use two models to measure our democratic standing in the world.

For intents and purposes, I have taken the rankings of 3 other countries, for the benefit of personalities like our brother Anwar, sister Ambiga, and saudara DAP.

Freedom House - Freedom in the World 2011 (or here)

Freedom in the World applies one of three broad category designations to each of the countries and territories included in the index: Free, Partly Free, and Not Free.
A Free country is one where there is open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civic life, and independent media.

A Partly Free country is one in which there is limited respect for political rights and civil liberties. Partly Free states frequently suffer from an environment of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic and religious strife, and a political landscape in which a single party enjoys dominance despite a certain degree of pluralism.

A Not Free country is one where basic political rights are absent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied.
I chose this Freedom House report just for the above definitions.

Brother Anwar always has such praise for Turkish democracy and DAP for Singapore.

How does Freedom House find our country? Heck, no different than Turkey or Singapore - Partly Free.

Indonesia - Free 5, Turkey - Partly Free 6, Malaysia - Partly Free 8, Singapore - Partly Free 8. (Numbers are total score for ranking)

Yes, yes, Anwaristas are already frothing at the mouth pointing to Indonesia, another favourite of the Brother, often mentioned for praise for their democratic process. Hang on to your horses and kerchiefs.

Lim Kit Siang would probably die of a heart attack if he read something like this,

"Singapore, the pride of Chinese people all over the world - for it's economic miracle without natural resources, a country in which there is limited respect for political rights and civil liberties. A country that frequently suffer from an environment of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic and religious strife, and a political landscape in which a single party enjoys dominance despite a certain degree of pluralism."

Not I say, Freedom House said. Never mind, as long as got plenty money like China, right?

For me, I prefer Economist Intelligence Unit - Democracy Index 2011

Not because their gospel is more truthful but because this is my blog.

Madam Ambiga, you see, according to EIU there are only 25 countries in the whole wide world which are full democracies.

The rest are either flawed, hybrid regime or authoritarian, in descending order.

Malaysia at rank number 71 together with Indonesia rank 60 are similarly considered flawed democracies.

Anwaristas, there is my answer for you and your de facto leader.

There's more.

Uncle Kit, for your kind info, Singapore is a Hybrid democracy and it is not complimentary classification.

Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim, Turkey is also a hybrid democracy.

Brother Anwar, "Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said that Turkey’s democratic reforms give the entire Muslim world hope for the future of the Arab Spring", stop the bullshit.

Here are the rankings:

60. Indonesia - Flawed Democracy, 71. Malaysia - Flawed Democracy, 81. Singapore - Hybrid Democracy, 88. Turkey - Hybrid Democracy.

What it means Madam Ambiga, is apart from these 25 countries, ALL the other countries of the world do not have free and fair elections.

While our elections may not be perfect, except for only 25 countries on this planet, no election can ever be.

All other countries, apart from the 25 countries, must be looking up to you as the inspiration for free and fair elections.

Madam Ambiga, you and your coterie of idiots at BERSIH, stop the bullshit.

While our authorities keep an eye on your dubious actions for the sole purpose to keep the law and order, peaceful protests are not off the security radar in free and fair US albeit for ulterior motives, their justification is strikingly similar.

An "Exclusive: Homeland Security Kept Tabs on Occupy Wall Street" for mother advocate Ambiga,
As Occupy Wall Street spread across the nation last fall, sparking protests in more than 70 cities, the Department of Homeland Security began keeping tabs on the movement. An internal DHS report entitled “SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street," dated October of last year, opens with the observation that "mass gatherings associated with public protest movements can have disruptive effects on transportation, commercial, and government services, especially when staged in major metropolitan areas." While acknowledging the overwhelmingly peaceful nature of OWS, the report notes darkly that "large scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement."
However, Madam Ambiga, should you carry out your threat, to unleash your legion of protesters upon peace loving Malaysians, be thankful our police force do not resort to measures which your favourite full democracy, the US, has no compunction to use.

In Miami,
"Dozens of cops equipped with shotguns and assault rifles stormed a Miami, Florida apartment building on Tuesday, drawing weapons at peaceful protesters and children with the local Occupy Wall Street campaign that were lawfully residing inside."

So if BERSIH 3.0 comes to pass, don't mind a little bit of tear-gas and water cannons.

Prepaid Subscriber Service Tax - MCMC Denies Report

Syabas to MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi for swiftly refuting an earlier report.

The Sundaily latest, "MCMC denies memo to pass on 6% tax"
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has denied that it sent memos to telecommunication companies (telcos) to pass on the government's 6% service tax to their subscribers.

MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi in a statement today said, the news report quoting research house HLIB Research, was mere guesswork.

"The report is highly speculative as no such instruction has been issued on this matter," he said
Thank you Datuk.

It gives me confidence that the matter is being given thorough consideration.

Anwar Ibrahim and the NED

From AIDC, "And now comes Anwar’s letters to Carl Gershman", President of the National Endowment for Democracy, NED.


 





























































Interview with Dr Webster Tarpley, "Tarpley: Egyptian Parliament votes Israel out as Moslem Brotherhood opens door to IMF austerity"

Excerpt,

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, we know the case of the Americans involved with the NGO’s and then they were accused of fomenting unrest.

Now the military rulers were accused of giving in on the pressure from America to release those American detainees.

Basically, how valid do you think are these allegations of both Israeli involvement and the American involvement in trying to create violence and unrest in Egypt?

Do you think that they are doing that to protect their interests?

Webster G. Tarpley: Well, certainly the National Endowment for Democracy is simply a machine for interfering in the political affairs of other countries and this applies to the National Democratic Institute which was once headed by Madeleine Albright who thought that 1.5 million deaths in Iraq was a reasonable price to pay for what she called democracy and the International Republican Institute.

In many ways, the NED and these two faces that it has represents a kind of privatization of the old post war, cold war, CIA, right?

This was done under [Ronald] Reagan, starting in the 1980s, that those functions were focused there. So I do not really see how any sovereign country can tolerate the presence of these organizations and claim to have independent politics.

Prepaid Subscriber Service Tax - Boycott Telcos for a Month

Firstly, the Govt's approval is not in the interest of the rakyat

Telcos are making huge amounts of profit from both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

Just reported "the government may have finally decided to allow telecommunication companies (telcos) to pass on the 6% service tax to prepaid subscribers and "Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has issued a memo to be technically prepared for the launch on July 1".

If the telcos are going to pass on the service tax to the subscribers, let's do something about it.

On the month when the service tax is imposed, I call upon ALL existing prepaid users NOT to reload and ALL those wishing to buy a prepaid kit NOT to do so for a month.

It is a matter of principle and will to send a strong message to these avaricious telcos.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Better Than A Smoke or A Cup of Coffee

After two lousy days of getting to work.

Yesterday KTM Komuter service disrupted because of electrical cable fault. Had to tumpang fellow commuter traveller's car. He had earlier called his wife to come back to the Kepong station and use the car to get to office.

Today don't know what reason, another trip cancellation, macam sardine again.

At least there is some good cheer.

Never thought I would get such good news from unexpected sources.

"Bar comes to defence of judges" and " ‘The Rocket’ rapped by Penang Chinese newsmen" says it all.
 

KTM Komuter Woes - A Letter to The Minister of Transport

I have just sent an e-mail letter to The Star editor, on the totally unacceptable and wretched KTM Komuter service which has gone from bad to worse, since the launching of the new SCS trains by our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

It is my fervent wish that The Star will publish my letter in full.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The 8th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2012

Israeli Apartheid Week.

"Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement."
"The aim of IAW is to contribute to this chorus of international opposition to Israeli apartheid and to bolster support for the BDS campaign in accordance with the demands outlined in the July 2005 Statement: full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands – including the Golan Heights, the Occupied West Bank with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – and dismantling the Wall, and the protection of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. resolution 194. In previous years IAW has played an important role in raising awareness and disseminating information about Zionism, the Palestinian liberation struggle and its similarities with the indigenous sovereignty struggle in North America and the South African anti-apartheid movement. Join us in making this a year of struggle against apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace."
An Open Letter from Palestinian Students to Their Peers in Europe: “Time Now to Boycott Israeli Apartheid on University Campuses”

"Research centers in Israeli academic institutions are actively involved in fuelling Israel’s huge weapons industry and tools of its military occupation and siege.'

Conspicuously there is no city close to home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What You Won't Find In Malaysian Main Stream Media, God Forbid

The National Post comments on the New York Times placing an anti-Catholic advertisement,
"The American culture wars are never far from the surface but on Friday they moved to a new level with the publication of a full-page advertisement in the New York Times that blames the Catholic Church for most of the world’s ills."
































Catholics are being persecuted in Malaysia, we must tell the world.

The main stream media in Malaysia will never highlight our plight.

We do not have a free press.

Only the Western media can help us.

Blogger Note:

It's good to have freedom of the press, no?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Western Culture and Islamic Extremism

In my previous post, Islamic Extremism and Oppression, I touched upon adopting Western accepted norms to bring about attention to solve issues.

I refer to comment by a regular reader going by the name Hashimoto,
"Stoning to death is a punishment for those who had commit adultery. This applied for both the man and woman.

Islam is very strict with regard to adultery. However, I've never heard this punishment being carried out and furthermore the judge will also look into the marital well being of the individuals involved before sentencing."
Of course he was referring to the stoning as a punishment for adultery.

I reiterate that, by choice, I rarely comment on matters related to Islam.

In the question of Hudud laws, I have an issue with amputation and stoning as punishments. I consider it extreme and in saying so will offend not a few of the Muslim faith.

The following report is NOT punishment meted by an Islamic court, this must be made absolutely clear.

In Iraq, Stoned to death for being an emo: NINETY Iraqi students killed for having 'strange hair and tight clothes'

A group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, according to activists, activists told the Cairo-based al-Akhbar website.

The armed men are said to belong to 'one of the most extremist religious groups' in Iraq.

'First they throw concrete blocks at the boy's arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead then, they start all over again,' one person who managed to escape told Al-Akhbar.
Western vested interests have achieved democracy in the liberation of Iraq. This has led to a more open Western culture in Iraq, it would seem, and consequences by religious extremists.

Et Tu, Brother Anwar Ibrahim?

Haaretz reports on the latest Palestinian/Israeli conflict in Gaza, Way to go, IDF! - The cyclical ritual of bloodletting between Israel and Gaza always prompts two questions: 'Who started it?' and 'Whose is bigger?'

Excerpts,
Those million people, in case you failed to get it, are the residents of southern Israel. Only they live under fire. By yesterday afternoon, the bodies of 15 Palestinians were already laid out on the other side of the Gaza border. There were eight people injured on this side, and the Iron Dome antimissile system chalked up the successful interception of 25 rockets.

Who started it? The IDF and the Shin Bet security service did. The impression is that they carry out the targeted killings whenever they can, and not whenever it is necessary.

This convoluted announcement by the IDF spokesman was enough to get the Israeli public to accept this latest regular dose of targeted killing with automatic understanding and sympathy. And who knows what the late al-Qaissi had planned? Only the Shin Bet does, so we accept his death sentence without unnecessary questions.

The second question - "Whose is bigger?" - is even more ridiculous and superfluous, of course. It's the best equipped army in the world against a ragtag army of rocket launchers. Nonetheless, this has to be proven to everyone, both to them and us, over and over.

You have the score right here in front of you. As of yesterday afternoon, it was 15-0 in Israel's favor. If we measure it by the results of the IDF's Cast Lead operation in Gaza at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 - when it was one Israeli killed per 100 Palestinians - then from a statistical standpoint there's been backsliding.
"I support all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel" - Et tu, Brother Anwar Ibrahim? Then fall, Palestine.

Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government

No, this is not a report about religious state of affairs in Malaysia.






Pic from same Telegraph report

In UK, "Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government"
"In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross."

"Its response states: “The Government submit that… the applicants’ wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was not a manifestation of their religion or belief within the meaning of Article 9, and…the restriction on the applicants' wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was not an ‘interference’ with their rights protected by Article 9.”
Calling the Catholic Malaysian Herald re Father Lawrence Andrew, comment?

Or Rev Father Bishop Paul Tan Chee In, comment?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Islamic Extremism and Oppression

As a matter of choice I very rarely broach on matters related to Islam. That is not to say that I do not have any views when certain calls are made, in the name of Islam, which in my opinion is extreme and unreconciled in modern context, especially in our own country.

This still precludes me from making my views public. Islamic matters belong in the Muslim domain.

That said I can state one example, calls to avoid observing Valentine's Day.

All I will say that even Christians do not consider the day as being religiously symbolic.

Recently, prominent blogger OutSyed The Box had this post regarding the recent Erykah Badu controversy.

But then can you blame Muslims who caution against western influence that could promote sinful activities, when those who seek to redress what they see as extremities and oppresion in Islam, go about doing so in the manner all that is totally and sinfully abominable to Islam, Freedom unveiled: Iranian women strip to slam repression?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Malaysian Insider - Will They Ever Learn?

In making a scoop of the the day of sorts, the Malaysian Insider reported, "Tajudin’s sis-in-law wins 36 months’ pay for resigning from Naluri"

What the headline and the report implies, is not only mischievous it's also another Mahathir tarnishing act.

I do not see what Tun Mahathir has anything to do with this suit.

Not to mention shoddy reporting -

"The court ruled in favour of Datin Rizana Mohamad Daud who claimed she was entitled to a sum worth RM1.47 million after quitting her position as head of legal and corporate secretarial on January 14 2005 with three months’ notice" then later on in the same report "According to the 2002 Naluri Berhad annual report Tajudin was the firm’s chairman at the time of Rizana’s resignation" 

In the Naluri Berhad Annual Report 2002, Datin Rizana is the Company Secretary.

The Naluri Berhad Annual Report 2003 still lists Datin Rizana as Company Secretary.
 
In December of 2002, the overall and complete management of Naluri was placed under Special Administratorship by Danaharta -
On 23 December 2002, Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad (“Danaharta”) appointed Mohamed Raslan Bin Abdul Rahman, Gan Ah Tee and Ooi Woon Chee of KPMG Corporate Services Sdn Bhd as Special Administrators (“SA”) of Naluri Berhad (“the Company”) pursuant to the Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad Act, 1998 (“Danaharta Act”) to manage the assets and affairs of the Company. With the appointment of the SA, all powers of Board of Directors and the management of the Company were suspended. The executive powers now rest with the SA and only the SA can deal with the assets and affairs of the Company.
In the 2004 Annual Report, the Special Administrators were discharged from duties -

On 18 December 2004, pursuant to Section 28 (2) of the Danaharta Act, the Special Administrators of the Company were released from their appointment. Accordingly, the Special Administration of the Company and the moratorium in respect of the Company were terminated on the same date.

The Board of Directors resumed its duties and responsibilities to manage the Company and the Group on 19 December 2004 (since the termination of the appointment of the SAs).
The relevance of mentioning the Special Administrators will be duly explained.

The TMI report not only impugns nepotism but in "Rizana who was appointed to the post on August 1 2002 had a monthly salary of RM20,000 despite having no legal qualifications", grave injudiciousness. 

Whatever the merit or demerit of the judgement, the clause “cessation of employment as head of legal and corporate secretarial for any reason whatsoever shall entitle you to a compensation”, works both ways, resignation or dismissal.

Going by the TMI report, Datin Rizana was appointed to the post on August 2002 and the SA appointed 4 months later.

With "executive powers now rest with the SA and only the SA can deal with the assets and affairs of the Company", it is fair to say that all appointment contracts involving positions of high office especially one as unfavourable as this, could not have escaped the SA. 

After all, the SA was there from 2002 till 2004. They could have saved Naluri a tidy sum as events have turned out.

Putting a question mark on Datin Rizana "having no legal qualifications", the Malaysian Insider is found wanting.

Anyone who knows anything about the corporate accounting world will recognise KPMG.

That KPMG allowed Datin Rizana to remain Company Secretary for the official 2002 and 2003 year end results, casts away any doubts about Datin Rizana qualified (not the accounting term) for the position.

When will The Malaysian Insider ever learn to provide a decent, balanced and accurate report?

Will they, APOLOGY TO TAN SRI DATO’ TAJUDIN BIN RAMLI, ever learn?  

KTM Komuter Woes - Sabotage

I have just arrived at the office 9.30am, late for the first time this year.

The reason, KTM Komuter delay.

This seems to confirm my deepest suspicions, that there are elements within the KTM out to create hatred for the Govt, by deliberate disrupting services and inefficiencies.

Is it a coincidence that today's delays, both to and fro the Rawang-Seremban routes, is just a day after "New KTM Komuter trains launched" by the Deputy Prime Minister?

For good measure, one of the new SCS has been called back for repairs, for a window screen being smashed by agitators yesterday night.

More later.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KTM Komuter SCS For Commuters' SOS

"Long, Cool Train"

That is the front page headline of The Star today and the online reports, "Commuters looking forward to a better ride" and earlier this morning, "New coaches more spacious with latest high-tech gadgets".

Yesterday, NST "KTM to introduce six-car-set train service on Thursday" and The Sundaily "KTM Komuter to introduce six-car-set train service" carried Bernama reports of the long awaited, new six-car-sets (SCS), as front paged by The Star.

I have had enough experience, all of them bad, written on the subject of KTM Komuter woes, and all the so far, empty promises.

Before proceeding let me say this, even if KTMB had 380 six-coach-sets, there would be no point, if problems of delays are are not adequately resolved concurrently.

For example, when one train not only Komuter, old or new, breaks down and be stopped in it's track, all other trains will be forced to be delayed. This regularly happens.

This could could be anywhere between the KTM Komuter Rawang-Seremban and Batu Cave-Pelabuhan Kelang routes.

Delays are also often experienced during heavy rain and storms, common in our weather. It could be rail tracks being flooded or soil loosened making tracks unsafe.

Another, these are electrically powered engines, when there is an electrical fault along the lines in any of the routes, trains will be delayed. It has occured quite a number of times.

Most importantly, unlike the LRT which is computer operated with no drivers, movements of trains are continously communicated from the control centre to train drivers and vice versa. Not to mention between stations. Any breakdown in communication will effect a delay as a safety precaution.

Therefor, the statement as reported,

"A key issue for public complaints against the KTM Komuter service is the delay problem and long waiting period. But we (KTM) believe that with the introduction of the SCS train, all these problems will be overcome,"

by the KTMB corporate communications unit senior manager, is illogical if not disingenuous.

Be that as it may, 1. has KTMB taken these issues into cognizance 2. what are the contingencies in the event of delays of the above occurring?

Which brings me to an inexcusable failing, in the event of an inevitable delay - the KTM Komuter public announcements of delays and arrivals.

1. Public announcements of delays and arrivals are most of the time inaccurate to the point of being unbelievable.

2. At times there are NO announcements at all.

There was an instance, it was a Saturday afternoon, when there was NO public announcements. After waiting for about half and hour a few people started making the climb up the stairs to leave the Bank Negara station. I for one really "pantang" and will not tolerate when the elderly (or a family with small children), being inconvenienced by KTM Komuter inefficiencies. What made it even more tragic is - the train arrived less than five minutes later.

Obviously those leaving could not wait but if there had been any sort of announcement they would surely have waited.

On reaching home I immediately made the 03-22671200 call to the KTM customer service, which is not the first time.

What transpired is truly amazing.

I am really, really sorry for the person who took the call. Not for the reason you might think. I am sorry that I did not get the person's name.

This young lady is one of those one in a million kind. I am sorry because I did not get her name - to mention her specifically for praise.

After very firmly telling her the problem, in no uncertain terms, she replied that she will help to look into the matter. I asked why "help" when that is her job.

She replied that she was on assignment for KTM bookings and since there was no other person there, she took the call.

She put me on hold to contact the announcement centre and when she got back on the line with me, said that the extension was not answering.

I asked her where the announcement centre was and she replied that it was on the same floor as hers, at Bangunan KL Sentral.

I told her if she was a responsible KTM officer, the least she could do, was to go and check personally to see whether there was anybody at the announcement centre, to remedy the situation.

She took down my telephone number and said she would return my call.

To my surprise she did return my call, did walk over to the announcement centre but informed me that there was no one over there!

Of course, she had my praise and advised to bring up the matter with the Supervisor or Manager concerned to which she replied, it could only be done the following Monday!

As she had her actual duty to perform, I finished by thanking and complimenting her for her diligence.

And another thing, what I also found out from our conversation, the public announcement centre gets their information from the control centre managing train movements also on the same floor!

I have on many occasions made calls to customer service, on the lack of or inaccurate information of train schedules being announced, for immediate attention.

So when the information announced is inaccurate, who is to be blamed?

There was also once when I walked over to the KTM Komuter office at KL Sentral (at the 7 Eleven end, turn to your left) to complain and the personnel there did not know that there was a delay. Apparently he was not informed and nor was it announced.

One or a few bad apples within the KTM Komuter organisation, for example an irresponsible train driver, could creat situations and make all the efforts to overcome KTM Komuter problems, come to nought.

The human factor, is KTMB aware of these shortcomings?


Which now brings us to another malady - the train arrival electronic boards at Komuter stations.

Firstly, who actually controls these electronic arrival boards?

In the absence of public announcements, station staff work up to 9 pm and the customer service to 8.30pm, during and after these hours commuters can alternatively rely on these electronic arrival boards.

That's another problem, these arrival electronic boards are most of the time O-O-O, out of order.

And even if they are in working order, it would make no difference. Will the arrival time be accurate? The question as stated above of who actually provides the "correct" information of delays and arrivals and who operate the boards becomes relevant. 

Cari makan to make ends meet, all we want is a comfortable trip to make it to the office on time and back home on time, after a hard days work.

Students not having to wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to get on the train to be on time for school, college or university.

Yes, commuters will appreciate high-tech gadgets to make the ride more enjoyable but most importantly safe. Which is what I understand was the delay in getting the SCS on the tracks, SPAD had safety questions to these SCS for KTMB to resolve.

Commuters, by and large as all Malaysians are, are content with basic but satisfactory  service. We do not always expect everything to be excellent.

It is not high-tech gadget we crave. It is the relief to so much anxiety after all these years. We will be grateful.

But when you spend billions and still end up with the same old story, the disatisfaction becomes more severe, untenable and displeasure will be expressed commensurately.

Stop all the self-seeking and glorifying reports, especially The Star.

In heeding commuters' SOS call, the long awaited SCS must not end up being, Same Costly Shit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

President Obama at AIPAC Policy Conference 2012

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Well, good morning, everyone.

Rosy, thank you for your kind words. I have never seen Rosy on the basketball court. I'll bet it would be a treat. (Laughter.) Rosy, you've been a dear friend of mine for a long time and a tireless advocate for the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States. And as you complete your term as President, I salute your leadership and your commitment. (Applause.)

I want to thank the board of directors. As always, I’m glad to see my long-time friends in the Chicago delegation. (Applause.) I also want to thank the members of Congress who are with us here today, and who will be speaking to you over the next few days. You've worked hard to maintain the partnership between the United States and Israel. And I especially want to thank my close friend, and leader of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (Applause.)

I’m glad that my outstanding young Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, is in the house. (Applause.) I understand that Dan is perfecting his Hebrew on his new assignment, and I appreciate his constant outreach to the Israeli people. And I’m also pleased that we’re joined by so many Israeli officials, including Ambassador Michael Oren. (Applause.) And tomorrow, I’m very much looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Netanyahu and his delegation back to the White House. (Applause.)

Every time I come to AIPAC, I’m especially impressed to see so many young people here. (Applause.) You don't yet get the front seats -- I understand. (Laughter.) You have to earn that. But students from all over the country who are making their voices heard and engaging deeply in our democratic debate. You carry with you an extraordinary legacy of more than six decades of friendship between the United States and Israel. And you have the opportunity -- and the responsibility -- to make your own mark on the world. And for inspiration, you can look to the man who preceded me on this stage, who's being honored at this conference -- my friend, President Shimon Peres. (Applause.)

Shimon was born a world away from here, in a shtetl in what was then Poland, a few years after the end of the first world war. But his heart was always in Israel, the historic homeland of the Jewish people. (Applause.) And when he was just a boy he made his journey across land and sea -- toward home.

In his life, he has fought for Israel’s independence, and he has fought for peace and security. As a member of the Haganah and a member of the Knesset, as a Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs, as a Prime Minister and as President -- Shimon helped build the nation that thrives today: the Jewish state of Israel. (Applause.) But beyond these extraordinary achievements, he has also been a powerful moral voice that reminds us that right makes might -- not the other way around. (Applause.)

Shimon once described the story of the Jewish people by saying it proved that, “slings, arrows and gas chambers can annihilate man, but cannot destroy human values, dignity, and freedom.” And he has lived those values. (Applause.) He has taught us to ask more of ourselves, and to empathize more with our fellow human beings. I am grateful for his life’s work and his moral example. And I'm proud to announce that later this spring, I will invite Shimon Peres to the White House to present him with America’s highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Applause.)

In many ways, this award is a symbol of the broader ties that bind our nations. The United States and Israel share interests, but we also share those human values that Shimon spoke about: A commitment to human dignity. A belief that freedom is a right that is given to all of God’s children. An experience that shows us that democracy is the one and only form of government that can truly respond to the aspirations of citizens.

America’s Founding Fathers understood this truth, just as Israel’s founding generation did. President Truman put it well, describing his decision to formally recognize Israel only minutes after it declared independence. He said, "I had faith in Israel before it was established. I believe it has a glorious future before it -- as not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization."

For over six decades, the American people have kept that faith. Yes, we are bound to Israel because of the interests that we share -- in security for our communities, prosperity for our people, the new frontiers of science that can light the world. But ultimately it is our common ideals that provide the true foundation for our relationship. That is why America’s commitment to Israel has endured under Democratic and Republican Presidents, and congressional leaders of both parties. (Applause.) In the United States, our support for Israel is bipartisan, and that is how it should stay. (Applause.)

AIPAC’s work continually nurtures this bond. And because of AIPAC’s effectiveness in carrying out its mission, you can expect that over the next several days, you will hear many fine words from elected officials describing their commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship. But as you examine my commitment, you don’t just have to count on my words. You can look at my deeds. Because over the last three years, as President of the United States, I have kept my commitments to the state of Israel. At every crucial juncture -- at every fork in the road -- we have been there for Israel. Every single time. (Applause.)

Four years ago, I stood before you and said that, "Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable." That belief has guided my actions as President. The fact is, my administration’s commitment to Israel’s security has been unprecedented. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer. (Applause.) Our joint exercises and training have never been more robust. Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year. (Applause.) We are investing in new capabilities. We’re providing Israel with more advanced technology -- the types of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies. And make no mistake: We will do what it takes to preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge -- because Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. (Applause.)

This isn’t just about numbers on a balance sheet. As a senator, I spoke to Israeli troops on the Lebanese border. I visited with families who’ve known the terror of rocket fire in Sderot. And that’s why, as President, I have provided critical funding to deploy the Iron Dome system that has intercepted rockets that might have hit homes and hospitals and schools in that town and in others. (Applause.) Now our assistance is expanding Israel’s defensive capabilities, so that more Israelis can live free from the fear of rockets and ballistic missiles. Because no family, no citizen, should live in fear.

And just as we’ve been there with our security assistance, we've been there through our diplomacy. When the Goldstone report unfairly singled out Israel for criticism, we challenged it. (Applause.) When Israel was isolated in the aftermath of the flotilla incident, we supported them. (Applause.) When the Durban conference was commemorated, we boycotted it, and we will always reject the notion that Zionism is racism. (Applause.)

When one-sided resolutions are brought up at the Human Rights Council, we oppose them. When Israeli diplomats feared for their lives in Cairo, we intervened to save them. (Applause.) When there are efforts to boycott or divest from Israel, we will stand against them. (Applause.) And whenever an effort is made to de-legitimize the state of Israel, my administration has opposed them. (Applause.) So there should not be a shred of doubt by now -- when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back. (Applause.)

Which is why, if during this political season -- (laughter) -- you hear some questions regarding my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts. And remember that the U.S.-Israel relationship is simply too important to be distorted by partisan politics. America’s national security is too important. Israel’s security is too important. (Applause.)

Of course, there are those who question not my security and diplomatic commitments, but rather my administration’s ongoing pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. So let me say this: I make no apologies for pursuing peace. Israel’s own leaders understand the necessity of peace. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, President Peres -- each of them have called for two states, a secure Israel that lives side by side with an independent Palestinian state. I believe that peace is profoundly in Israel’s security interest. (Applause.)

The reality that Israel faces -- from shifting demographics, to emerging technologies, to an extremely difficult international environment -- demands a resolution of this issue. And I believe that peace with the Palestinians is consistent with Israel’s founding values -- because of our shared belief in self-determination, and because Israel’s place as a Jewish and democratic state must be protected. (Applause.)

Of course, peace is hard to achieve. There’s a reason why it's remained elusive for six decades. The upheaval and uncertainty in Israel’s neighborhood makes it that much harder -- from the horrific violence raging in Syria, to the transition in Egypt. And the division within the Palestinian leadership makes it harder still -- most notably, with Hamas’s continued rejection of Israel’s very right to exist.

But as hard as it may be, we should not, and cannot, give in to cynicism or despair. The changes taking place in the region make peace more important, not less. And I've made it clear that there will be no lasting peace unless Israel’s security concerns are met. (Applause.) That's why we continue to press Arab leaders to reach out to Israel, and will continue to support the peace treaty with Egypt. That’s why -- just as we encourage Israel to be resolute in the pursuit of peace -- we have continued to insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel’s right to exist, and reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements. (Applause.) And that is why my administration has consistently rejected any efforts to short-cut negotiations or impose an agreement on the parties. (Applause.)

As Rosy noted, last year, I stood before you and pledged that, "the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations." As you know, that pledge has been kept. (Applause.) Last September, I stood before the United Nations General Assembly and reaffirmed that any lasting peace must acknowledge the fundamental legitimacy of Israel and its security concerns. I said that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, our friendship with Israel is enduring, and that Israel must be recognized. No American President has made such a clear statement about our support for Israel at the United Nations at such a difficult time. People usually give those speeches before audiences like this one -- not before the General Assembly. (Applause.)

And I must say, there was not a lot of applause. (Laughter.) But it was the right thing to do. (Applause.) And as a result, today there is no doubt -- anywhere in the world -- that the United States will insist upon Israel’s security and legitimacy. (Applause.) That will be true as we continue our efforts to pursue -- in the pursuit of peace. And that will be true when it comes to the issue that is such a focus for all of us today: Iran’s nuclear program -- a threat that has the potential to bring together the worst rhetoric about Israel’s destruction with the world’s most dangerous weapons.

Let’s begin with a basic truth that you all understand: No Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction. (Applause.) And so I understand the profound historical obligation that weighs on the shoulders of Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and all of Israel’s leaders.

A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States. (Applause.)

Indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we've done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. It is almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon, triggering an arms race in one of the world's most volatile regions. It would embolden a regime that has brutalized its own people, and it would embolden Iran’s proxies, who have carried out terrorist attacks from the Levant to southwest Asia.

And that is why, four years ago, I made a commitment to the American people, and said that we would use all elements of American power to pressure Iran and prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And that is what we have done. (Applause.)

When I took office, the efforts to apply pressure on Iran were in tatters. Iran had gone from zero centrifuges spinning to thousands, without facing broad pushback from the world. In the region, Iran was ascendant -- increasingly popular, and extending its reach. In other words, the Iranian leadership was united and on the move, and the international community was divided about how to go forward.

And so from my very first months in office, we put forward a very clear choice to the Iranian regime: a path that would allow them to rejoin the community of nations if they meet their international obligations, or a path that leads to an escalating series of consequences if they don't. In fact, our policy of engagement -- quickly rebuffed by the Iranian regime -- allowed us to rally the international community as never before, to expose Iran’s intransigence, and to apply pressure that goes far beyond anything that the United States could do on our own.

Because of our efforts, Iran is under greater pressure than ever before. Some of you will recall, people predicted that Russia and China wouldn’t join us to move toward pressure. They did. And in 2010 the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly supported a comprehensive sanctions effort. Few thought that sanctions could have an immediate bite on the Iranian regime. They have, slowing the Iranian nuclear program and virtually grinding the Iranian economy to a halt in 2011. Many questioned whether we could hold our coalition together as we moved against Iran’s Central Bank and oil exports. But our friends in Europe and Asia and elsewhere are joining us. And in 2012, the Iranian government faces the prospect of even more crippling sanctions.

That is where we are today -- because of our work. Iran is isolated, its leadership divided and under pressure. And by the way, the Arab Spring has only increased these trends, as the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime is exposed, and its ally -- the Assad regime -- is crumbling.

Of course, so long as Iran fails to meet its obligations, this problem remains unresolved. The effective implementation of our policy is not enough -- we must accomplish our objective. (Applause.) And in that effort, I firmly believe that an opportunity still remains for diplomacy -- backed by pressure -- to succeed.

The United States and Israel both assess that Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon, and we are exceedingly vigilant in monitoring their program. Now, the international community has a responsibility to use the time and space that exists. Sanctions are continuing to increase, and this July -- thanks to our diplomatic coordination -- a European ban on Iranian oil imports will take hold. (Applause.) Faced with these increasingly dire consequences, Iran’s leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. They can choose a path that brings them back into the community of nations, or they can continue down a dead end.

And given their history, there are, of course, no guarantees that the Iranian regime will make the right choice. But both Israel and the United States have an interest in seeing this challenge resolved diplomatically. After all, the only way to truly solve this problem is for the Iranian government to make a decision to forsake nuclear weapons. That’s what history tells us.

Moreover, as President and Commander-in-Chief, I have a deeply held preference for peace over war. (Applause.) I have sent men and women into harm’s way. I've seen the consequences of those decisions in the eyes of those I meet who've come back gravely wounded, and the absence of those who don’t make it home. Long after I leave this office, I will remember those moments as the most searing of my presidency. And for this reason, as part of my solemn obligation to the American people, I will only use force when the time and circumstances demand it. And I know that Israeli leaders also know all too well the costs and consequences of war, even as they recognize their obligation to defend their country.

We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that, Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States -- (applause) -- just as they should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. (Applause.)

I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. (Applause.) That includes all elements of American power: A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. (Applause.)

Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests. (Applause.)

Moving forward, I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues; the stakes involved for Israel, for America, and for the world. Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster. Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built. Now is the time to heed the timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: Speak softly; carry a big stick. (Applause.) And as we do, rest assured that the Iranian government will know our resolve, and that our coordination with Israel will continue.

These are challenging times. But we've been through challenging times before, and the United States and Israel have come through them together. Because of our cooperation, citizens in both our countries have benefited from the bonds that bring us together. I'm proud to be one of those people. In the past, I've shared in this forum just why those bonds are so personal for me: the stories of a great uncle who helped liberate Buchenwald, to my memories of returning there with Elie Wiesel; from sharing books with President Peres to sharing seders with my young staff in a tradition that started on the campaign trail and continues in the White House; from the countless friends I know in this room to the concept of tikkun olam that has enriched and guided my life. (Applause.)

As Harry Truman understood, Israel’s story is one of hope. We may not agree on every single issue -- no two nations do, and our democracies contain a vibrant diversity of views. But we agree on the big things -- the things that matter. And together, we are working to build a better world -- one where our people can live free from fear; one where peace is founded upon justice; one where our children can know a future that is more hopeful than the present.

There is no shortage of speeches on the friendship between the United States and Israel. But I'm also mindful of the proverb, "A man is judged by his deeds, not his words." So if you want to know where my heart lies, look no further than what I have done -- to stand up for Israel; to secure both of our countries; and to see that the rough waters of our time lead to a peaceful and prosperous shore. (Applause.)

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless the people of Israel. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

Source the White House

Blogger Notes:

Emphasis added solely for blogger's interest to events unfolding.