Monday, November 30, 2009

ISA : A Draconian Means To A Benovalent Ends?

I had read Paula Khoo's blogpost HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE US ALL with some interest last week. It was about the ISA detention of Dr Lim Hock Siew by LKY. The heated discussions that follows, sort of made me wanting to add a few words here. The arguments can sort of be divided into 2 camps. The anti opression 'No draconian laws please' humanist camp and the pro-developmemt 'Crush the troublemakers' camp. From the humanist camp, you have your universal love and respect for human dignity. There shall be no excuse whatsoever to use evil laws and opression. Though I strongly support their principles, I am not going touch too much on it. Since they are mostly the usual stuff that sometimes fall into the trap of vocabulary elaboration. I also want to avoid sounding overly righteous and idealistic. It doesn't suit the image of a hardcore blue collar slave like me in a cosmopolitan city called Singapore. But I would rather share some thoughts on points made by the Arthur a LKY protaganist. These are points that I feel should be re-examined more directly. Our history books paints a scary picture of communist threats during the 1950s to 1970s. Indeed it could be scary indeed, had LKY not won Singapore could have became a leftist state like Myanmar and Vietnam. Thereby ending up as a military state with decades of under development. Arthur argues that Singapore at that time was in a fragile state. To focus on steering the ship he had to use draconian laws to overcome destructive left/communist insurgency. The success of Singapore today is a testament that he made the right call.

Lets check out of the matters raised by Arthur(Please read Artur's comment yourself at the link above) :

1) Dr Lim was leaning towards left and LKY towards democracy. Maybe more of LKY leaning toward UK/US anti communist stance. Is democratic spirit more alive in Singapore today than Malaysia or Indonesia? 2) The blanket term of 'communist/left movement threat'. Life was hard back then, so it was natural for people to incline more towards the left in search of fairness. Oppressive publication, societies registraton and detention laws was the mainstay of British colonial rule after WW2. The populist movements was driven more by anti-colonial sentiments than communist ideaology. And many that LKY was the extension of Britain. For example Fong Chong Pik in his memoir wrote that his detention by corrupt British backed cops was the turning point of him joining the left. 3) Teh Ching Wan is a straighforward corruption that became controversial. Did Mr Teh commited suicide because of his guilt towards the people of Singapore? Or was the pressure above too much too handle. If it is the latter, then it is a sad reflection of a society that to drives people to suicide in order to fight corruption. The courts fair action in dealing with Mr Teh case would have been sufficient to show the maturity of the Singapore estate. IMHO, anything else is just public relations( or worst political spinning). Another aspect that escape many of us, was the ammendments to the laws pertaining to the appeal of criminal and civil cases that follows Mr Teh case. 4) If LKY was not ruthless, he would have find it hard to rule. You are right, it was difficult for him to win populist support in the war of persuasion. With ISA/ISD he will guarantee win because it is his side who is doing the persuasion only. 5) Times are different, but Malaysia still uses ISA to stifle legitimate political dissent. Yes time are different. But things are still the same in some way. Legitimate political dissent is a threat to UMNO rule in the same way leftist movement were a threat to LKY rule at that time. For me, ISA should not be confused with left vs right, US Vs terrorists or UMNO vs Non-Malays. ISA is a trump card to stay in power when the chips are down. Basically anyone that controls the police and military hold this Dai Di (Trump Card for HK card game). The protagonist will argue that we need ISA to avert chaos. The antagonist will argue that ISA be abolished to prevent abuse. ISA and other oppressive tools is a manifestation of one individual /party quest for power to implement his ways or vision onto the society. So its back to the age old question of ' whether a benevolent end justify the ruthless means?'. Such justification process is a slippery path. We would even find it hard on how to define a benevolent end? Or to determine which is the lesser of multiple wrongs? Opressive rule thrives in society that over-relies on leaders and governments. Its sort of like a test of character and maturity of state (Not sure if anyone agrees with me on this). Is a society too dependent on its leaders to work things out for them? Or does masses play the leading role by moving together to find a way out of the mess? Regards, Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Perakians working in Singapore Part 1 (Intro)

Last month while chatting with fellow blogger Pratamad, the topic of Perakians working in Singapore came up. He seems to bumped into people from Perak and Ipoh everywhere he goes in Woodlands. Well it's true that Perakians are everywhere in Singapore.

In fact they can be found in every corner of the world trying to make a living. At the checkpoints, you can always hear kaki tambaks speaking in Ipoh cantonese. Fyi Ipoh cantonese is very different from those in Pahang or KL.

Well, I'd always had a great deal this of interest in Perak. It is a place of great natural beauty. It has everything from mountains, waterfalls, rivers, sea shores and forest. Perak is also renowned for superb quality water with rich minerals from the mountains resulting in better taufu, tauge and hor fun.

And the food there is absolutely fantastic. You have good dim sum, ngah coi kai and the most delicious chinese banquet in Malaysia. Heck even the pork and poultry just tastes better.

Perak is also a state of rich history and heritage. Ipoh, Anson(Teluk Intan), Kuala Kangsar and Kampar has their fair share of stories and glories in history. It is also home of heavyweight some heavyweight schools like MCKK, SMK Sam Tet, ACS, SMK Anderson and Nan Hwa. Many top notch people are from Perak and I am not talking about Michele Yeoh only.

Wait a minute. If Perak is so great, why on earth is its people running about all over the world just to make a few bucks. Well more of that in later parts.

Kaki Tambak

Friday, November 20, 2009

Guess what I spotted at 2nd Link?

A tortoise near 2nd link toll plaza Being on the motorbike for 3 hours each day can be really boring. So spotting this cute little thing on my way to work really lighten up my day. Sort of like the time I spotted an alligator while being stuck in a jam at Woodlands checkpoint.
Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Potong Jalan Diutamakan

For those who have used 2nd link before, you would surely have noticed some road cuttings on the stretch heading to Singapore between km 13.3 and 11.6. I have been meaning to post something about this strange occurrence at 2nd link for quite sometime. Finally took a few snaps to share it here.
These lines are hazards to motorcyclists. Fortunately tambak riders have good skills to overcome it.
Please click to enlarge.
Please click to enlarge.
Please click to enlarge.
Click for a clearer close up.
If I am not mistaken, the cutting of asphalt such as this are for the purpose of repaving the roads.
Well the only problem is that the roads had been cut 2 damn years ago !!!!
When is PLUS(Projek Letup-Rayau UMNO Sulit) going to repave this bloody stretch ?????
Did someone cut the roads by mistake ?
Or did they plan the road cuttings a few years in advance??
Another 1Malaysia thingy ?
Motor accident didahulukan !!!
Potong jalan diutamakan !!!!
Kaki Tambak

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tambak Riders using BMW?

Can you spot a BMW here at Woodlands Checkpoint?
Here is a close up of BMW 3 series........
Kaki Tambak

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fuyoh!! Why this week so jam one?

Bumped into a tambak rider friend yesterday. I was complaining to him how Woodlands checkpoint jam suddenly became so bad this week. He said, 'of course lah Obama is coming to Singapore next week for APEC meeting. Hu Jing Tao also coming. I betcha next week they will tighten security even more. So be prepare for a more jiak lat traffic jam.' So enjoy the traffic jams at checkpoint next week. Courtesy of Singapore Government in collaboration with APEC leaders. Regards, Kaki Tambak

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wee Car Tseng - Buttock Minister

Taken from Uncle Zorro post:
Deputy Education Minister
"It is also normal for the parents to say things like that when such incident occurs," he said.
(what would you say if it was your child?....better luck next time?)
Last week, I saw Wee Kah Siong commenting about Kampar bridge collapse on the news. Here is a guy who cannot stop talking cock arrogantly for one minute. I really hate it when Wee Ka Siong try to argue their way out of trouble. He totally shows no remorse on the tragic death of these young children. What an asshole. These children died because BN let half-baked people total control to force these children into half-baked programs/projects . Stop protecting your incompetent ministerial ass, civil servants and shitty contractors. Just resign.
Picture courtesy of Kaki Tambak (Please click to enlarge):
Feel free to share this around. Sincerely, Kaki Tambak

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Justice For Beng Hock Memorandum : Thanks Johor For Your 6109 signatures.

Thank you Johor for your support in supporting Memorandum Rakyat Negeri Johor - Menuntut Keadilan untuk TEOH BENG HOCK. We have managed to collect 6109 signatures in supporting our Memorandum. Suaram has compiled and passed the memorandum YB Er Teck Hwa who will eventually handover it to Prime Minister Najib.
Excerpt of Malaysiakini report on this Memorandum:
NONE 柔佛州子民为赵明福追讨公道行动委员会成功收集6109名该州子民和25个党团组织的签名,联署上书首相纳吉,要求公正彻查赵明福的离奇坠楼案。 该委员会代表方佩芳今午是在行动党峇吉里国会议员余德华的陪同下,到国会走廊提呈备忘录和签名给首相署副部长刘伟强。 国大党士姑来支部也联署 也是人民之声新山支部执行秘书的方佩芳披露,柔佛州子民为赵明福追讨公道行动委员会是在7月末开始收集签名,并成功在一个月收集6109名该州子民和25个党团组织的签名。 25个联署党团组织包括人民之声新山支部、柔佛人民力量、柔佛宗教司协会、人民公正党埔莱、新山等支部、回教党州联委会、行动党居銮支部等等。 其中,国大党士姑来支部也出现在名单More at Malaysiakini
I apologized for not being able to find a Malay or English version. However it is our spirits that counts. To achive this level of support in Johor(BN stronghold) is no mean feat. IMHO, I believe Johor has made a significant breakthrough.
Although things has gone down quite a bit, please don't be discourage. We are heading in the direction. Please keep the fire burning.
Kaki Tambak