Saturday, September 15, 2012

What values are our political leaders bringing to their job?

Values are very important. Values will affect the vision and the decision of our leaders. We must be careful to know what values the leaders we want to lead us have.

In our country, under the generally out-dated and archaic political culture that the majority of our politicians still cling onto, public expression of personal values are not allowed. For this reason, the voters and the public cannot know for sure what values each of them have. For this reason also, the kind of values that are being presented by political parties seem very superficial and artificial, some of which sound like they have been created by some political strategists or image consultants.

We have heard many times, some of our political leaders utter the term"Asian values" and then only to forget about it completely until another political occasion requires it. There had also been situations where "Asian values" had been manipulated by shameful politicians to sneakily justify oppression, especially denial of basic human rights. 

Likewise, the term "Islam" and "Islamic values" have been subjected to tremendous abuse, manipulation and trickery by politicians purely for political purposes with total disregard to the sanctity and right to personal faith. In this regard, quite a number of paid clerics and religious "gurus" shamefully abet their political masters in the manipulation and abuse.  This manipulation and abuse of the term "Islam" and "Islamic values" becomes easy for the politicians because they are either backed by mass supporters or by the very culture in our country that has allowed the politicisation of Islam. 

Terms like "Islam" and "Islamic values" have often been abused to condone denial of basic human rights, oppression and denial of women's rights. The voice that pleads that Islam upholds human rights, women's rights and abhors oppression of any sort is drowned by the smooth operation of the politicians and the shouts of their abettors - the paid clerics and the paid mobs.

Islam has become so politicised in the country such that the right and duty of the individual Muslim to practice his faith as he understands it has been taken away by the politicians in this country. Any cleric or scholar or thinker that denounces this control of faith is either pushed into oblivion or equally oppressed in ways that are possible. Alternative views are not only not allowed but often shout down by supporters organised and approved by hidden hands from above.

So, in the scenario of artificiality, superficiality and hypocrisy that has become part of our political culture, what are the values that these politicians hold? Don't you or the voters want to know or has the time not come yet in Malaysia to understand the impact of this question?

I look at both the Pakatan and the BN political parties and when I critically assess them, I am unable to determine with certainty what positive and encouraging values they represent. Often times, they all seem to say one thing today and another the next. Often times, their general behaviour is not consistent with the rare fine speeches they make. More often, their speeches frighten me to think that those are the values they represent.

DO they respect basic human rights? 

Do they even respect the dignity of a human being? Do they understand what "dignity" is? 

I do not know because I do not really know what values they actually hold.


President Obama's 2012 DNC Speech Video And Full Text Transcript

"Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud.but don't get any ideas, you're still going to class tomorrow. And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best Vice President I could ever hope for. Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope -- not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long.

Eight years later, that hope has been tested -- by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that's left us wondering whether it's still possible to tackle the challenges of our time. I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions.   Serious issues become sound bites.

And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me -- so am I. But when all is said and done -- when you pick up that ballot to vote -- you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.   Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace -- decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come. On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known; the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton's Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.

They knew they were part of something larger -- a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products, and everyone shared in the pride and success -- from the corner office to the factory floor. My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their first home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America's story: the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules -- from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC.

I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill, at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn't; racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition; to put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings -- a tragedy from which we are still fighting to recover. Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn't have much to say about how they'd make it right. They want your vote, but they don't want you to know their plan. And that's because all they have to offer is the same prescription they've had for the last thirty years:

"Have a surplus? Try a tax cut."

"Deficit too high? Try another."

"Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!"

Now, I've cut taxes for those who need it -- middle-class families and small businesses. But I don't believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don't believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all that we've been through, I don't believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home.

We've been there, we've tried that, and we're not going back. We're moving forward. I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy.   I never have.

You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.

And by the way -- those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington. But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I'm asking you to choose that future". 

The Video

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oppa Gangnam Style Rocks the World !!! So did Kolaveri !!! How???

Is it not amazing how talents and creativity can infect the world when politicians and religionists  do not inhibit them?

This is from Korea - everybody is dancing to it and making up their own versions too!!. In less than two months it has become the most talked about new swag. It has more than 120 million hits of Youtube and increasing by millions in few hours. As of this writing, it gets more than a million view per hour making it currently the number 1 Youtube music video based on the amount of song traffic. This is more than the biggest artists in the world namely Justin BieberKaty Perry and One Direction; It has been parodied by different people all over the world; It has garnered hundred thousands of likes in facebook, almost a million tweets and majority of people agree that it has not yet reached its peak of success yet. People even predict it will be the first video to reach a billion hits on Youtube. (

Here is the original song - Oppa Gangnam Style.

And this one is from India - Why this Kolaveri DI. Youtube honoured this track with a gold award for getting the most number of hits within a few weeks, reportedly almost 5 million in just few weeks! It has been sung in many languages all over the world ever since.

And here is the original song:

Here is the "Chinese version". Youtube and you will it in Arabic, English, Spanish and so on!

Talents ! = when those with "power" stay away..:)


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stamping on Najib's Face ???

While we celebrate and welcome freedom of expression (which we must protect), it is equally important to ask ourselves whether we will condone its abuse.

Recently, we have the incidents of some people stamping on YAB Datuk Seri Najib's photo. This is also clear from the "Janji DiCapati" clip. Is this the kind of freedom of expression that that will help the development of parliamentary democracy?

The production of the song itself is arguably creative and provides a different view, rightly or wrongly. That, I have no problem. 

However, under the current general political, economic and social conditions in the country, I cannot agree that it is necessary to stamp on the face of the Prime Minister of the country who is where he is democratically and constitutionally. Freedom of expression should not offend the sanctity of parliamentary democracy. Freedom of expression, on the other hand, should uphold the institution of parliamentary democracy.

When  an incident involving YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng's son was politicised some time back, I wrote on this blog chastising such methods of politicking. I pleaded with rational citizens not to allow the development of such political behaviour in this country. 

Likewise, I am now pleading not to allow politics to undermine the workings of a parliamentary democracy. We have to learn to respect institutions that have been constitutionally set up. 

Critique and undermining are two different things altogether.

Peace !