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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Wooden Horses prancing around the political bush

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First off, Walski wishes all Malaysians Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Yes, ALL Malaysians. None of this "to those who celebrate it" nonsense. Because ALL Malaysians should be celebrating it. That's the Malaysian way. 

Or at least it used to be, once upon a not so long ago time.

These days, it's "Happy [insert festival here] to [relevant demographic group] and happy holidays to everyone else"… Like, what the heck's up with that? "Oh, it's sensitive, bro. If I accidentally wish someone wrongly God will punish me. Murtad nanti."

Well, not in Walski's book. For him, everyone should celebrate everything. And unlike the religious authorities, God is not petty (Walski believes so anyway).

Life is short. And a couple of days ago, Walski got a reminder about just how short life can be. We'll just leave it at that, without delving into the who, what and why. Don't be so kay-poh. Just take it at face value: in the bigger scheme of things, life is short.

And because life is short, we should cherish every moment we have with our friends and loved ones. And that includes celebrating life. Any excuse you get, celebrate life. Hence, Happy Chinese New Year to, well, everyone.

With those niceties out of the way, let's get to the meat of what Walski really wants to say...
(the meat, with lots of sauce, and more, in the full post)

Unless you've been living under a rock, lying in a remote cave someplace not detectable by the GIS satellites, you'll know that there's been a lot going on politically in Selangor. But for the sake of brevity, Walski will assume you know what he's talking about.

Just in case you have been under said rock, though, it has to do with Pakatan Rakyat, PKR, Selangor and Anwar Ibrahim. Here's a link if you need a refresher.

Needless to say, there's been a lot of disappointed people talking about voter trust being betrayed, that internal party politics shouldn't spill over into state governance, Anwar's behaving badly furthering his ambitions, etc.

Frankly, Walski doesn't blame you lot one bit. Yes, it's disappointing. Provided you're looking at it in isolation, and not taking all the other shenanigans that's been happening, vis-a-vis Selangor, particularly from the religious front.

Now, ask yourself: what's the root cause of this religion-driven melee that's happening in Selangor (and elsewhere, but mainly in Selangor)? Walski won't spoon-feed you the answer, just give it a thought for a bit. Here are some bullet points to help you:

  • State religious authorities lobbying and clamoring for more authority
  • Mooting of a federal-level religious police squad
  • All of a sudden, JAIS goes into overdrive wanting to enforce Article 9 of the Selangor state enactment pertaining the "forbidden words"
  • UMNO-friendly "Muslim" NGOs come out of the woodworks in support of the raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia by JAIS
  • UMNO goes on a state-wide roadshow to "educate" Muslims on the provisions of the state enactment (mentioned in the third bullet point above)

There are a few more bullet points Walski could add, but that would be spoonfeeding.

The point is, UMNO has always regarded Selangor as its "crown jewel", and losing the state in 2008, and coming nowhere close to regaining it in 2013, has been a big blow to the party. Kinda like losing your 'family jewels', if you catch Walski's drift. And the opportunity to strike emerged with the JAIS action.

Walski's question: is Pakatan-led Selangor government to just sit still and not address this onslaught?

Logically, the whole mess with regards to JAIS, the Bible seizure, etc. can be easily solved. How? By amending Section 9 of the Selangor state enactment, removing the "Forbidden Words". Because as is, that section is actually un-Constitutional. And it's also unenforceable without being un-Constitutional. It's not just Walski who thinks this, by the way, but a whole brood of lawyers happen to think so, too, in particular Art Harun who wrote this piece for Loyar Burok.

"Forbidden Words" no longer forbidden, problem solved. Sort of. Except, of course, if HRH Sultan of Selangor refuses to sign off on it, creating as one constitutional expert put it, a Constitutional Crisis. Walski doesn't know the answer to this, but were the "Forbidden Words" inclusion back in 1988 made with prior consultation with the then-Sultan, or did the UMNO-led state legislature pass the enactment through sans consult?

Okie-dokie - so that's the partial backgrounder of what's going on in Selangor. Walski had to make this lengthy diversion because it's a well-known fact that Malaysians have a very short memory. Except when it comes to food, but that's another tale of gastronomical proportions we won't get into right now.

With that backdrop, let's revisit what's happening in Selangor: the Kajang state assemblyman quits, making way for a by-election in which Anwar Ibrahim is slated to run. To the one-dimensional dismay of many people, PR-supporters included. The feelings of betrayal are expressed, and condemnation of an Anwar-fied power grab are made. Campers aren't happy one bit.

Well guess what folks? It's politics. And because, in the bigger scheme of things, life is short, we probably shouldn't get all emo about it. Sure, if it suits you, you can champion moves to ensure Anwar doesn't get elected. That's your right to call for such a play.

Look, Walski has no love lost for Anwar Ibrahim. Walski does, however, care for what happens to Selangor. And the last thing Walski wants to see is Selangor fall back into the slimy hands of UMNO. Is that scenario what YOU would consider a better alternative? And while it may not be a very likely scenario at this juncture, with Pakatan Rakyat's majority in the state legislature, it certainly is not impossible to maneuver. What with the Malaysia Boleh spirit and all.

Think about it for a bit. Politics is a chess game. And in a chess game, one does not pre-publish what one's planned opening and game plan are for one's opponent to see, and have a heads up. 

Now, if the Kajang Maneuver is about nothing more than Anwar wanting to become Menteri Besar, please explain this statement from current MB Khalid Ibrahim. Not to mention that Anwar running for the Kajang seat has the endorsement of both DAP and PAS (but not the purported moves for the MB post).

So perhaps now you understand why the CNY greetings graphic Walski put up is what it is. And Chinese New Year is something ALL Malaysians should celebrate - no change there.

Not to say that all is well within the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat camp, particularly within the ranks of PKR. What former party member Zaid Ibrahim had to say about the whole issue deserves a mention, and a read. So, too, does this lament, written by Nathaniel Tan, someone quite close to Pakatan Rakyat and PKR, up until not too long ago.

Another valid grouse, of course, is that PKR's internal politics has allowed itself to spill over, affecting the voters and constituency. 

End of the day, however, it's politics.

Here's what a good friend mentioned recently with regards to what's happening in Selangor. Her dad is a retired politician, incidentally, and so her viewpoint is one Walski thinks pertinent: "Yes, a lot of unhappiness being expressed, but this is politics. You talk about the party and strategy and sacrifice. Learned this many years ago: no point getting emotional and upset. They don't think like us."

It's human nature to want to think that ours is an ideal world, and that issues can be looked at in isolation. Well, it's not an ideal world. More so when it comes to politics. Let the politicians involved sort it out, and let the people of Kajang decide: do they look short term and punish Pakatan Rakyat, or do they look at the bigger scheme of things? It really is their choice.

So what do we non-Kajangian mere mortals, do? Well, we can whinge and whine, like many good Malaysians do, about how politics is a dirty game, about how voters are treated like dirt, and go out of our way venting our frustration and anger at this less than perfect country, within the larger context of a less than perfect world.

Or, we can enjoy the remainder of Chinese New Year - and life, for that matter - with our friends and loved ones. Nighttime war-zone annoyances notwithstanding. It ain't CNY without a few things going bang-bang-bang, right?

Walski chooses to do the latter - subdued somewhat, with what's transpired on a personal level, but enjoy it all the same, as much as he can.

What you choose to do lies entirely up to you. Walski doesn't judge.

Click here for the full post......

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Oh, and by the way...

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Happy New Year 2014 netizens! 

Rumor has it that this is going to be a tough year. And when times get tough, sometimes we have to take tough measures. Most of all, hang in there, and don't give up the good fight.

Or at least that's what Walski told himself when the clock struck midnight...
(more New Year thoughts, in the full post)

For revelers at Dataran Merdeka last night, 2014 started with a major fizzle: celebrations were pretty much called off (via The Malay Mail Online). Apparently, this was done due to "unruly protesters", said our police force, who promptly "found" machetes and a very dangerous looking umbrella.

Image from The Malay Mail Online, by Zurairi ARclick on image to read the story (via The Malay Mail Online)

Yes, folks - no self-respecting revolution would let itself happen without an umbrella. Or at least that's what PDRM would have you believe. And apart from the deficits this country faces financially, the trust deficit doesn't seem to have improved, because Walski has seen comments about this 'recovery' being standard police SOP.

But at least the water cannons and riot squad didn't show up, so be thankful for small mercies.

As for Walski, the Mrs and him ushered in 2014 in a joyous, quiet celebration with a group of close friends. While we remain somewhat apprehensive about what the year will bring, what with the constant news about rising prices and all, we remain optimistic.

Indications are that things will start to get a lot tougher February onwards, after Chinese New Year. But it's the tough times that help build character - as difficult as times can be, we can choose to succumb, or choose to adapt and make the best of what life still has to offer.

Just remember: when facing the clouds in life, don't forget to look for the silver linings. They're there. Not always obvious, but if you look hard enough you'll find them.

And so with cautious optimism, Walski wishes one and all a very Happy New Year  2014. Have faith in yourself, and you'll weather whatever storm the year has in store. That's what Walski will constantly be reminding himself each and every day this year…

Click here for the full post......

Thursday, October 03, 2013


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You're probably surprised to see something posted here for a change. But there's a good reason for this posting.

Walski is humbled by the fact that myAsylum has been included in the blog link section of Fake Malaysia News, a local Onion-like satirical website. This is something he stumbled upon earlier today.

He is also humbled by the fact that this blog hasn't been updated since May of this year! That's almost 5 months of no new posting. Which, for a blog, is well within the realm of unacceptable.

These days, myAsylum's activity is centered around the blog's Facebook page, as it is more convenient to post stuff there in a hurry. And unfortunately these days Walski is always in a hurry.

In any case, Walski thought he'd write this short post to thank Fake Malaysia News, and to all who've stuck with myAsylum all these years. 

As much as he'd love to write more often, Walski can't. And it's not out of not having enough material. Malaysia's gotten so messed up, stuff to write about has become a new natural resource.
(excuses for not writing, and more, in the full post)

Ever since GE13, the UMNO & Friends government that got re-elected is back with a vengeance. Not a day goes by that there isn't some fuck-upery or other that makes the news. So much so that Walski is sometimes exasperated with the bullshit that Malaysia has become.

The latest example of the kind of idiots we have in office: Zahid Hamidi defending the IGP over the 44 missing guns, which the latter claims did not likely fall into the hands of criminals, but instead fell into the sea.

Yes folks, this country is run by FUCKING MORONS. Headed by an absentee landlord Prime Minister who's hither and yon, everywhere but at home where he should be, doing his fucking job.

And given enough time, Walski would have written a heck of a lot. 

It's always about not having enough time, isn't it. The 24 hours in a day really gets used up fast, Walski feels. But then again, that's the way it is when one has a business to run.

Hence this quickie post, just so that y'all don't forget that before there was Facebook, there was this blog. It's still alive, and hopefully once business settles somewhat, there will be more posts.

Incidentally, Walski conducted a survey not too long ago, announced via the Facebook page and on his Twitter account. One of the things he asked was how often you thought this blog should be updated. Most of you answered that myAsylum should have at least a weekly post.

Thanks for the feedback. Walski will certainly try to accommodate.

In the meantime, for the most up-to-date goings on - or shenanigans more likely - the best place to keep up is still on myAsylum's Facebook page.

Walski will be back to update this blog more often. Or at least die trying...

Click here for the full post......

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Change: DENIED

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Well, it’s been just over a week since GE13. The net result: BN regains power at the Federal Government level, albeit with a reduced seat majority, and losing the popular vote by a good 3 percentage points.

It would have been an acceptable victory had it not been for the alleged fraud. Pakatan Rakyat improved its seat count compared to GE12, both at parliament and state levels. More telling, however, is the popular vote, of which, UMNO/BN only managed to obtain 46.5%, compared to 50.3% for Pakatan Rakyat. What this translates to is an unpopular UMNO/BN helming the country for the next 5 years.

Just how unpopular? Let’s just say that the 51% of Malaysians who voted for change are not exactly happy campers right now.

Disappointed as Walski is, however, UMNO/BN won the election. Truly fair and square is another question, but they won. And as things stand, for right now, that’s the result we’re forced to accept. Reluctantly.
(thoughts and recommendations, in the full post)

What is more disconcerting, however, was Najib’s “victory” speech. The immediate blame on what has now become a cliché, the Chinese Tsunami, and the talk about reconciliation, almost in the same breath, so to speak.

Some would say it’s an UMNO kneejerk reaction, while others (quite rightly) would place the blame squarely on UMNO/BN’s polls strategists, who weren’t exactly the most strategic, it would seem.

Dr. M, who should really do the country and himself a favor and enjoy his retirement, came out to say that it was the fault of the “ungrateful Chinese and greedy Malays”.

Utusan didn’t exactly do its political masters any favors by playing up on anti-Chinese sentiment, asking the question “what more do the Chinese want?” True to form, the Internet generation responded almost instantly. And somewhat hilariously.

Despite the overall result, there were some positives. For instance, Perkasa, represented by Ibrahim Ali (Pasir Mas) and Zulkifli Nordin (Shah Alam), lost at the polls. So too did another UMNO conservative Puad Zarkashi (Batu Pahat), overrun by a Pink Tsunami, some have said. To Walski, this is a clear rejection of ultra right-wing voices within the winning coalition.

And for the first time in history, a BN candidate lost their deposit money, not getting even 1% of the votes cast (Pengkalan Kota, Penang state seat).

So, what does that mean for UMNO/BN and Malaysia?

Well, for now as far as Malaysians are concerned, Walski thinks we need to move on with our lives. But moving on with our lives doesn’t mean conceding defeat in our quest for a better Malaysia. Not at all – the fight certainly continues.

Much commentary has been made about how the new Najib-led government should move forward, among others by The Malaysian Insider and Zaid Ibrahim.

If Najib is really serious and sincere about pushing for reconciliation in what he calls a “polarized” Malaysia, this desire needs to be demonstrated. Urgently and decidedly. Walski being Walski, he, too, has a few ideas that the newly minted government may want to consider if they’re serious about this reconciliation they’re talking about.

First Off, It’s Not About Racial Reconciliation, But Fixing the Trust Deficit
What Najib Razak is talking about when he mentions “reconciliation” is actually the reduced support for BN, perceived to be particularly from the non-Malay population and urban population. This is a perception that’s out of sync with reality, and only exposes UMNO/BN’s obsession with a dying paradigm: race based politics. What the 51% represents, dear Mr. Prime Minister, is distrust for government and its institutions, which are seen to have become overtly beholden to UMNO/BN. There is a severe trust deficit when it comes to institutions of government, and that is not at all a good thing. Not for your government, and not for Malaysia.

Make the EC truly independent
One of the biggest complaints is the Election Commission (EC) itself. It’s time to remove the EC from under the Prime Minister’s Office, and make it an autonomous entity, reporting directly to Parliament. Or some other more viable reporting structure, but certainly NOT part of the Executive. Like justice, impartiality needs to be seen, and not merely exercised. And how, by any stretch of the imagination, can the EC be perceived to be totally impartial – even IF it really is – when it comes under the purview of the PM, UMNO/BN’s president? Logically, that’s as impartial as a Manchester United game being refereed by Sir Alex Furguson! Seriously, it’s time to get jibby with it.

Instant ICs, just add Bangladeshis
The problems with the electoral roll, Walski thinks, goes beyond the EC not being totally impartial. If indeed there were foreign workers who were on the rolls and voted, and had valid ICs, this sounds like a different kettle of problematic fish. It would, for one thing, involve the National Registration Department, and possibly the Immigration Department. This is as serious as what happened in Sabah, prompting a Royal Commission of Inquiry. And without a doubt, this is a problem that needs to be looked into. What say you, Mr. Prime Minister?

Implement IPCMC as recommended
To show that you, Najib, are a Prime Minister with the Malaysian people’s interest at heart, please implement the IPCMC as recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry. The half-hearted (and again, not very impartial) Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) is certainly not enough to restore the integrity of the police force in the eyes of the Malaysian people. Yes, it’s not going to be a popular move with your party/coalition, nor will it be with PDRM. But hey, you got your mandate, now it’s time to grow a backbone and a pair.

Transformation, within before without
Najib’s much touted transformation, now that he’s gotten the mandate (sort of), will be scrutinized with a fine-toothed magnifying glass. Whether or not UMNO/BN transforms, and what it transforms into, only time will tell. Perhaps the new cabinet will be an indication, but the UMNO General Assembly will be a huge indication. The early signs, however, are not encouraging. Utusan continues to play up racial sentiments, and whether UMNO likes it or not, what Utusan says is perceived as what UMNO says by proxy. Just like how charity begins at home, real transformation is only possible if UMNO can transform. Personally, Walski thinks it has no capacity to, but that’s just Walski. It’s another one of those wait and see scenarios.

There are other things to do, for sure, but act on these four areas, and PM Najib will have gone a long way to reduce the trust deficit. And perhaps demonstrate that he is serious about leading this nation towards a better future.

Needless to say, Najib has his work cut out for him. He wanted a mandate, and a minority mandate is what he got. How minority? This reposting of a Malaysiakini article by Tommy Thomas tells the full story. Yes, the parliamentary seat counts favor UMNO/BN, but the popular vote certainly does not. Even in Perak where UMNO/BN managed to retain the state government helm.

But before Najib can convince the nation, he must first ensure that his party and coalition are on the same page with him. Early indications are that many within UMNO/BN are still in denial, falling back on tired old rhetorical outbursts of race, indebtedness and betrayal.

First things first, however, is the new Cabinet. Or will it be an old cabinet with new paintjob and minor accessories? We’ll find out tomorrow. Meanwhile, a possible list has been released on the Politik Harian Media Rakyat blog. Kind of looks like… well, you decide.

Meanwhile, Anwar Ibrahim is on a roadshow to garner support for his position that the currently elected one is illegitimate, due to the alleged polls fraud. Walski has mixed feelings over this.

Bottom line, as hurtful as having the elections stolen is (if indeed there was fraud on the scale alleged), the relevant laws are there for a reason. If we are to support the rule of law, the last thing we want to do is take the law into our own hands.

Finally, GE13 has resulted in a more divided Malaysia. Not along racial lines as UMNO/BN want to believe, but along other more complex demographic lines. It’s probably going to be a bumpy ride, but Walski, for one, is here for the long haul.

And disappointed as he may be that real change was denied, the fight for a better Malaysia continues…

Click here for the full post......

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions about the 13th General Elections

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Finally, after months of speculation and guessing games, we’re gonna have a general election. The thirteenth in our history since independence, and one that seems, somehow, to be different from the other twelve we’ve had so far.

Why different? It looks like for the first time, there’s an acknowledgment that the possibility of regime change is certainly plausible. We’ll get back to this idea further into the post, but for now, suffice it for Walski to say that it’s different this round.

For some of you, this will be the first time you will vote. And so with that in mind, Walski thought it would be a good idea to do a quick FAQ for your benefit. We’ll start with the basic questions, then work our way down to the more inanely complex conundrums.

Even if you’re not a first-time voter, Walski hopes that you’ll find this FAQ useful.

There are, of course, many other questions that one may have but let’s focus on the ten most frequently asked. Or, at least, what Walski thinks are ten important questions you should be asking. (the FAQ, Walski's answers, and more, in the full post)

What’s all this voting business about?
To answer this question, we’ll have to digress a bit, and look at Malaysia and its system of government. Malaysia is what’s considered a Constitutional Monarchy, which means that we have a King, whose jurisdiction is limited by what our Federal Constitution allows. So contrary to what you may have been told, our King doesn’t have unlimited powers and jurisdiction.

The same constitution defines the kind of government we have, and it is modeled very closely to the Westminster parliamentary system, which is a democratic parliamentary system of government.

Contrary to what you may have been told (again), “Democracy” is the process with which we select our government. Granted, ours is not an ideal democracy (no country’s is), it still is a somewhat functional democracy, and one that’s been practiced since gaining independence in 1957.

Of course, democracy goes beyond voting, but that’s a subject for a different conversation. A Westminster system of government (or most democratic governments for that matter) splits its powers into 3 components: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.

What happens when we vote is that we select individuals to represent our voice at the state and national/federal levels of government. Essentially have a direct hand in only voting in the Legislative arm of government at both the Federal and State levels. At the Federal Legislative level, we only directly vote for the Lower House (Dewan Rakyat) of the bicameral Parliament. The Upper House (Dewan Negara) members are appointed individuals of good standing in society, selected by both the Ruling and Opposition parties/coalitions.

At the national level, we select a member of parliament – one of 222 nationwide – who will then sit as part of a democratically elected Lower Legislative arm of government. The leader of the majority grouping – party or coalition – will become our Prime Minister, who in theory, “commands the confidence” of the majority of those elected. Similarly at the state level, we select state legislative representatives.

The Prime Minister, in turn, will appoint members to his or her Cabinet. This cabinet forms the Executive branch of government. Cabinet members are called Ministers, who are then tasked to head the various ministries and departments of the Civil Service.

That, in a nutshell, is what all this voting business is about – the selection of the two arms of a democratic government – the Legislative and the Executive.

Why do we need to vote when there’s a perfectly functional government already in place?
The “visible government” consists of the Executive and the Civil Service. In the Malaysian context, the Executive is the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister. The Executive’s role is to set policy, which is then carried out by the Civil Service.

In a democratic governmental system, when a change of government happens, it’s only the Executive that gets replaced. The Civil Service, which serves the government of the day, remains pretty much constant.

A problem arises when the same party/coalition stays in power for too long. There is a tendency for the Civil Service – which is supposed to be non-partisan, and politically independent – to be beholden to not only the Executive, but also to the party/coalition the Executive belongs to. This is what’s happening in Malaysia today.

Half a century of being governed by the same coalition has blurred the lines between party and government, something that is not healthy for any functional democracy. Having the ruling party/coalition’s every whim and fancy railroaded through to become “government policy” without due process and debate (again something that is to some extent happening in Malaysia today, from Walski’s viewpoint) will be detrimental to the nation in the long run.

The “functional government” you see is the Civil Service carrying out its duties. Changing who leads the Executive does not take away the visible functionality of government machinery.

If I vote against the ruling government, am I considered unpatriotic?
Simple answer: NO. You’re not voting against the government in toto, but essentially against the political party/coalition that constitutes the Executive branch of government. And yes, the two are very different.

Because the same party/coalition has been in power for such a long time, the distinction between political entity and government to the point where said political entity (UMNO/BN specifically) can make the claim that anyone voting against it is being unpatriotic. Such a claim, however, has more holes in it than a block of Swiss cheese. It is a fallacious claim, in other words.

I am a civil servant. Isn’t voting against the ruling government unethical and wrong?
This has been answered, somewhat, a little earlier. The answer, quite simply, is NO. The Civil Service, in a Westminster-like system, is supposed to be politically independent. The Civil Service, as a whole, cannot have any political allegiance, and therefore members of the Civil Service are free to support whichever political party best resonates with an individual civil servant’s own ideals. A civil servant’s job is to carry out the specific civil function that he/she is employed to do, and it is not their job to be beholden to any political entity, even if that political entity makes up the current Executive branch of government.

The situation in Malaysia today, however, is such that many civil servants are being told that their allegiance MUST be with UMNO/BN, because UMNO/BN is the government. Again, a result of the blurring between Executive and party, due to half a century the Executive belonging to (pretty much) the same political entity.

I am concerned about the future, and the future of my children. Wouldn’t it better to just allow the current ruling government to rule in perpetuity?
Theoretically feasible, but then we must also stop pretending that we’re a democracy. Why bother having elections, when the result must be foregone? The best selling point about a democracy is that the citizens of a country get to decide who should govern. In fact, it is one of the very few democratic actions that we’re still free to exercise, without being subjected to restrictive laws. The notion that only UMNO/BN is fit to rule is one that UMNO/BN themselves have perpetuated, because they are the only ones who have held the reigns of the federal level Executive branch of government. The idea that they’re the only ones fit to rule only holds water if there were a situation to compare with. There is none.

From Walski’s own perspective, UMNO/BN has become increasingly self-serving over the years, and the only ones who truly benefit from their continued rule are those closely affiliated with the coalition itself. The common citizen gets scraps, while those politically connected are the ones who get the 10-course meal. Plus desserts.

Another sign that Malaysia is in dire need for a regime change: when our leaders don’t even have confidence in systems they publicly tout as “world class”. One example that immediately comes to mind is tertiary education – how many of our leader’s kids have attended local public universities, versus a true quality education abroad? Think about the future of your kids, and then think about this big gap between hype and reality. Then answer why you still think we shouldn’t be considering regime change.

If a new government is voted in, wouldn’t this mean all the government departments and institutions have to be reconstructed from scratch?
As mentioned before, the answer is NO.

Should I vote for an individual based on her/his merits, or along party/coalition lines?
For a long time, self-professed and somewhat self-centered centrist Anas Zubedy was promoting the idea of voting for the individual based on his/her capability and merits. And then this statement came from our former PM: General election not a contest among individuals.

Essentially, it comes back to why you are personally casting your vote. If you think that the candidate you support and vote for will make a real difference, then vote based on the individual.

Realistically, what Dr. Mahathir said is more relevant to the current Malaysian political scenario. Sorry Anas, but the reality (and Walski has mentioned this to you before) is that no matter how capable and good an individual candidate is, his or her capabilities will matter naught in the bigger scheme of things – it is the party/coalition that goes on to form government, not the individual.

So, back to the question: how should you vote? If you think that UMNO/BN should be given the mandate to effect reforms as they have promised, then vote for them. But before you do, ask yourself why is it that all of a sudden UMNO/BN is talking reform, when they’ve had decades to exact the reform they promise.

If it is real change you are looking for, then in Walski’s opinion what you’re going to get with another 4 or 5 years of UMNO/BN rule is, at best, small change.

It’s your decision.

Can I vote for a specific person to become Prime Minister?
Unfortunately NO. Since Malaysia is modeled after the Westminster system of democracy, the constitution doesn’t allow for it. You may THINK you’re voting for Najib if you vote UMNO/BN, but in reality you’re voting for UMNO/BN. And with the increasing irrelevance of the other component parties, you’re effectively voting for UMNO. Ketuanan Melayu, Ibrahim Ali-ism, and all the warts that come with the party, as far as Walski is concerned.

Similarly, if your voting for Pakatan Rakyat, you are NOT voting for Anwar Ibrahim. In fact, you will be voting for the particular Pakatan component that’s contesting in your area. Even if Pakatan does win the general election, it’s not a given that Anwar will become Prime Minister.

That’s simply how our electoral system works.

I don’t care which party/coalition wins. Why should I even bother to vote?
Walski won’t go into the spiel about it being your responsibility, etc. He will say, however, that voter apathy usually works out better for the incumbent. Not all the time, but Walski thinks more often than not.

You may think that whichever party/coalition winning won’t make a difference, but in actual fact, it will. For both you and your children, if you have any.

Why? The winning party or coalition forms the Executive and Legislative arms of government. And governmental policies are not written in stone.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb you can follow: analyze what each side of the political divide has to offer, then DON’T vote for the evil of the two lessers. For Walski, having weighed the options, it boils down to a choice between eventual, but almost certain doom, and a glimmer of hope that the path towards oblivion and disrepair can be averted.

Basing it this way, Walski’s choice was obvious – he chooses hope. If you bother to analyze, you’ll find that there is a distinct difference between the two sides.

If, after doing all this, you still find you don’t care, then all Walski can say is that don’t complain about the government you get later on. People who don’t bother to vote deserve the government they didn’t vote for.

I only have one vote. Will it make a difference?
For a change, the quick answer is YES, your one vote does make a difference.

There used to be a time when Walski thought that his single vote wouldn’t make a dent in the outcome of the elections. Until he realized that if enough people thought the same way he did, then the difference would be non-trivial.

If you recall, in 2008, many seats were decided on the slimmest of margins. Particularly those seats where big-ticket names were contesting. The same is expected this time around. Vote fraud – and let’s not delude ourselves that it’s never happened – typically only works in cases where the vote tally difference is small.

Put simply, and this will sound cliché, every single vote counts. Unless you prefer that a slim wins turns to shit just because some people thought it best to go postal. If you catch Walski's drift.

~ ~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~

And there you have it. The key questions Walski thinks you should be asking. Are there anymore questions that you think need answering before you cast your vote? Let Walski know.


Click here for the full post......

Monday, February 11, 2013

BN's PSYchological moves on Penang

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Even the most ardent of hip-hop/rap haters will know who PSY is. The Korean rapper became an overnight sensation worldwide with his Gangnam Style song and video, which had also spawned countless parodies the world over.

And PSY was here in Penang to perform as the headline act at Barisan Nasional's Chinese New Year open house event earlier today. On BN's invitation, sponsored by some undisclosed corporate entity, as has been reported.

It just so happens that Walski is up in Penang spending the Chinese lunar New Year with the in-laws, as he does every year.

It also just so happens that the historic Han Chiang grounds, where the BN Open House was held this morning, is not far from where his in-laws are. And so Walski thought, what the heck.

Not that he's a big fan of PSY, but as an old friend used to say, "He's International, and He's Here". That said, Walski doesn't dislike PSY either, and is quite impressed with the rapper's meteoric rise to international fame.

For BN, bringing PSY to Malaysia was to be the coup de grâce, a gift to the people of Penang, in hopes that Penang would return to their fold come GE 13. The logic, apparently, was that BN could bring the real deal, while DAP could only manage a parody - Ubah Rocket Style.

Did this strategic move work? By now, most of you reading this already know the answer. 
(the day BN Kanna PSY, and more, in the full post)

Before we delve into that, here's a quickie look at what went on at the BN Open House earlier today.

This, by the way, is the first major political party/coalition open house Walski's been to. That said, he kind of knew what to expect. Being that its Chinese New Year, the obligatory ang pow and Madarin Orange giveaway was to be expected.

Yes, BN was there in full force, and all their component parties participated in one way or another. The ang pow and orange giveaway was done by somebody from UMNO's Women's Wing, by the looks of it. For those who bothered to queue, what they got was a box of two mandarin oranges, and a red packet with RM 2 in it.

For the record, the image above is not Walski's ang pow (he didn't bother to line up for it), but of  a little girl who was kind enough to let him take a photo of the packet's contents. Most of you should know what two Mandarin Oranges look like, so Walski didn't bother snapping any photos of 'em. As for the box holding the oranges, it was a rectangular red-colored box that looked exactly like, well, a rectangular red-colored box. What else would it look like?

So anyways, there were loads of people who came to the open house. Walski estimates that the crowd, at its peak, was probably somewhere around 50,000 thereabouts. Including the police, RELA, BN volunteers, etc.

Malaysiakini in their report estimated around the same number. It is a wonder, therefore, how Gerakan Youth Leader, Tan Keng Liang, could have estimated 100k (via his tweet earlier today).

Unless the man was seeing double. The Han Chiang grounds isn't all that big, and there were many tents and other structures on the grounds. No way could it have been 100,000 people.

But never mind, based on Tan's optimistic tweet, more important is the REASON why a lot of folks came. Before we get to that, more on what happened.

PM Najib and the other VIPs arrived at the grounds at around 11am, and the "festivities" began, with the obligatory multi-cultural dances, emceed by a very over-exhuberant lady whose name escapes Walski. Kept egging the crowd, every now and again, to complete the sentence "ONE…..", and greeted with mostly silence from a crowd getting progressively impatient for the most important person for the day.

And Walski's not referring to our Dear PM Najib either.

So on the stage they were: PM Najib and Rosmah, former PM Abdullah Badawi, BN Penang Chairman Teng Chang Yeow (an extremely uninspiring person, Walski might add), other ministers, etc.

Najib's son addressed the crowd in Mandarin. You gotta give the guy points for trying. The response was lukewarm at best, however. More clues there as to WHO the crowd was really waiting for. After that Rosmah went up on stage, with a backup choir, to give the audience a couple of Chinese New Year standards. The crowd wasn't impressed.

And then came the first of two embarrassing moments for the day.

PSY SLAP IN THE FACE: Korean superstar refused to toss 'yee-sang' with Najib, BN
Korean superstar Psy handed Malaysia's ruling party a slap in the face when he declined to come onstage to toss the traditional 'yee-sang' with Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top members of his BN coalition at a gig to celebrate the Chinese New year.
(source: Malaysian Chronicle)

If Walski were tasked with writing the headline, it would have read "Najib Invites to Yee-Sang, But PSY Doesn't Give A Toss". But that's just Walski...

PSY is astute a professional artist enough to not get involved in Malaysia's political grandstanding , and therefore declined the invitation, much to the embarrassment of Team BN.

And if you think that's bad, there's this: perhaps the most telling sign that maybe, just maybe, BN will have a more arduous road ahead to win over Penangites during the next general elections.

Point to the people of Penang. And what a horrible moment that must have been for the organizers of the event, facing full on the real feelings of Penangites who attended. And they were there certainly not to see Najib, or hear Rosmah flub her lines. Or, be uninspired by Teng Chang Yeow.

No, the tens of thousands came for one reason, and one reason alone...

And as if to confirm that the crowd was only there to watch PSY perform, the majority of the sun-braving throng left immediately after the Korean rapper was done. IMMEDIATELY. Not even waiting for the VIPs to leave.

So much for the hilarious denial of Mr. Tan Keng Liang, who had this to tweet:

And so that was Walski's day at the Han Chiang grounds. An eye-opener in many ways, and a first-hand encounter with how ill-conceived BN's strategies for Penang are. Reportedly, BN spent in excess of RM 2 million for this event. Money NOT well-spent, if you ask Walski.

Seriously… if only elections, very serious affairs that affect how the next four or five years will be for a state or nation, could be as simple as bringing a world-renowned rapper to town...

As Penangites would probably say, today was really a Kanna PSY day for BN.

Walski's Linguistical Parody Footnote: Those familiar with Penang Hokkien will probably know what "Kena Sai" is. The phrase is a mixture of Malay and Hokkien, that has a connotative meaning of "Damn it". Literally, it means "getting shit on one's person". The made-up phrase Kanna PSY is a play on this popular Penang Hokkien semi-swear phrase which, in Walski's opinion, quite succinctly expresses how the day went for BN.

Click here for the full post......

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy 2013: Welcome to the Season of the WHICH

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Happy New Year 2013!

If this new year were to have been tag-lined by Jon Stewart, he'd probably have called it Indecision 2013. Walski, on the other hand, thinks that this year is The Season of the "Which".

We pretty much spent a good chunk of 2012 speculating WHEN GE13 would be. No thanks, of course, to Our Dear PM, who simply wasn't inspired enough to decide when the next general election should be.

We now know it has to be this year. When exactly we still don't know and will have to wait until Our Dear PM is inspired enough, but constitutionally, it will be no later than June sometime.

But more important than "When" will be the question of WHICH.
(why it's the Which, and whatever more, in the full post)

Do we retain Barisan Nasional - essentially UMNO plus a mish-mash of hangers-on parties - to lead us into the next 4 or 5 years, or do we put our trust in leadership with Pakatan Rakyat?

That's the WHICH we need to ask ourselves, and ultimately, answer during the coming GE13. In 2013. Has a ring to it, if you ask Walski.

It's New Year's Day, and the last thing Walski wants to do is to ruminate on this question. Not today, at least. We'll have the coming weeks and months to decide. He hopes, however, that those who have been criticizing what Malaysian politics has become have taken the trouble to register to vote.

He's not sure if you still have time to register now or not, but seriously, shame on you if you haven't, and criticize nevertheless. It may sound cliche, but every vote does count, and your vote represents your say.

There used to be a time when Walski felt his lone voice wouldn't make a single splash in the sea of seemingly ubiquitous support for BN, and therefore didn't bother to register as a voter.

That changed just prior to GE12, and he's never regretted the decision to be part of the electorate. It was, admittedly the first election he cast his vote in, but he saw for himself that when millions of lone voices speak, they collectively make a big difference.

Let's be objective for a moment - both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have their strengths and weaknesses. Neither coalition is perfect, but the challenge is for us to decide which is the evil of the two lessers, and deny them Putrajaya, the seat of the Malaysian Federal Government.

Personally, Walski wants the change promised by Pakatan, versus the lip-service type of change - loose change, as he calls it - that Barisan has been spouting since 2008, with increased intensity in 2012.

But that intensity in rhetoric has not been accompanied by real and meaningful change. The fact that Barisan Nasional has NO intention to change became very apparent when Our Dear PM came out to say that he can only institute change if he's given the people's mandate in GE13.

Are we to believe that he couldn't do jack for the last 4+ years, and can only bring about change in the BN (and by default, the Government) with a fresh mandate? 

Allow Walski to rephrase that: Are we GULLIBLE enough to believe this?

For him, the answer is a resounding NO.

We all know the real resistance to change, even if (presumably) Our Dear PM is sincere in wanting to institute change. And that impenetrable wall is called UMNO.

But that's Walski's personal opinion, and you're more than welcome to disagree. It's a free country after all. Well, somewhat free. At the moment.

And so Walski intends to spend the rest of today NOT thinking about WHICH, because 2012 gave him an abundance of time to decide. Thinking about it more today, New Year's Day, is not going to change his decision.

The ball is in your court, good people… Happy 2013, and welcome to the Season of the "Which". 

Walski's WHICH-witch-inspired-this-post footnote: Yesterday, while Walski was around about town, this 60s psychedelic classic came on BFM89.9, the only radio station Walski listens to. Without any help from psychedelics - apart from the tune - it became apparent that 2013 would be the season…

Many thanks, Walski supposes, to Donovan for the inspiration. Oh, and belated congratulations for the 60s icon's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Click here for the full post......

Monday, December 31, 2012

Coming clean for 2013

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In a few hours' time we'll be ushering in a new year. To say the least, it's been an interesting 12 months.

On a personal level, 2012 has been challenging for many reasons. High on the list would be his change of vocation, from the world of process automation and safety to the world of art. The circumstances of this change aren't important. Rather, what's more pertinent is the fact that as we traverse through life, change is the only constant.

As cliche as that may sound, it's a truism that we cannot escape from. Whether we like it or not, the world around us changes every waking (and sleeping) moment. And the truth is, either we embrace and adapt to change, or have our paradigms shifted for us - without a clutch. 

And driver's of manual transmission automobiles know very well how painful shifting gears without a clutch is. Trust Walski on this one - having your paradigms shifted for you, against your will, can be as painful, if not more.

As usual, Walski digresses.

What he really intended to do when he first started writing this post was to do a quick summary of the good, the bad, and the ugly that was the year 2012.

But he's since changed his mind.

Instead, Walski felt that it was time to come clean about something, that may serve as the answer to many a reader's question. Perhaps. In any case, it's a question that deserves to be answered before the clock strikes 2013.

Who IS Walski69? 
(the real Walski69, and more, in the full post)

My real name is S. Jamal Al-Idrus (via Facebook), or just plain Jamal to friends. In short, I'm nobody - certainly not a celebrity of any kind, or anyone whose name you should know, unless you have actually met me in person.

And yes, this will be one of the few times I write something for this blog not in the third person, as Walski usually does.

I came to this decision to reveal my identity after a conversation with a close friend of mine, who IS someone well-known. A journalist, in fact, who has managed to remain true to his craft, reporting with integrity and fairness. 

That conversation was the last check mark in the consideration mental checklist of whether or not to reveal the person behind Walski69. The realization came to me that since I never really hid my identity - anyone could connect the dots if they wanted to - there really was no point in not coming clean.

And just who am I?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, in the bigger scheme of things, I am a nobody. I am merely a very concerned citizen of Malaysia who thinks that this country is going in a direction that's less than healthy. I am very concerned with the growing influence of religionists who aim to turn Malaysian into a theocratic fascist state.

I am a concerned citizen who despises the tacit movement to make personal sins a crime in the eyes of the law. I am a citizen who thinks that it's time to reclaim the civil liberties of citizenhood that have been trampled upon.

I am also a citizen who hates the fact that we, as Malaysians, are continually being dumbed down and forced to believe that freedom is a bad thing, and that faith is something in need of legislation.

I am what I am, and every characteristic you know of Walski is a facet of who I really am. To list down every single facet would be just repeating what you already know about me.

So there, done. Just in time for 2013.

But henceforth, don't expect posts written in the first person. I choose to continue blogging as Walski69, third person and all, because I rather like the pseudonym, and have no wish to put it to pasture anytime soon.

Writing in the third person, in my personal opinion, defocuses attention to the writer, and puts due emphasis on what's more important - the content and message that's being communicated. You are, of course, free to disagree. But that's the style I think best communicates what needs to be communicated.

For the record, I don't have any formal political affiliations with any party, as some may think. Yes, I do write things that are critical of BN, but that's only because time and time again they have proven to not be a political coalition that can take us forward without doing more damage to the nation in the process.

In a few hours, it will be 2013. As much as 2012 was interesting and eventful, I expect the coming year to be an even more exciting one.

And in the coming months, this blog shall continue to report my thoughts as I see them, as much as I can, when I can. Not anonymously, but pseudonymously, as Walski69...

Happy New Year 2013 to one and all...

Click here for the full post......

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Heigh Ho… Let's Go!

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And a very very Merry Christmas! 

Although there have been those who would rather we focused on the differences between us, Walski chooses to embrace instead the overwhelming commonalities that bind us.

To quote the famous sage Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi:

The lamps are different, but the Light is the same: it comes from Beyond. If thou keep looking at the lamp, thou art lost: for thence arises the appearance of number and plurality. Fix thy gaze upon the Light, and thou art delivered from the dualism inherent in the finite body…The Faithful are many, but their Faith is one; their bodies are numerous, but their soul is one.

(together, as one, and more, in the full post)

Christmas has become, to many people around the world, a celebration transcending its original religious significance, and a time ubiquitously associated with family and joy. The commercialism aspects of Christmas aside, it is a time for giving. Not necessarily gifts of material value, but the sharing of care and love, that can in themselves be considered gifts.

Yet, there are those who choose to focus on the differences of theology and faith that exist among us. 

Well Walski, for one, chooses not to. We have more than enough commonality that can bring us together, and he thinks that it's more positive to focus on these. Let's embrace the positive values of friendship, camaraderie, sharing and caring this Christmas.

And as the four wise members of the myAsylum Mystical Marketing Council have alluded to above, you can't have joy without a little Oi!!

So to one and all, a very Merry Christmas… Peace, Love and Rock 'n Roll...

Click here for the full post......

Friday, November 09, 2012

The FURE, The Surgery & The (Hopeful) Recovery

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You're probably wondering about now - what the heck is FURE? Well, let Walski tell you right off the bat: it's another one of those acronyms he made up.

And it stands for F*cked Up Right Eye. What Walski was seeing out of the FURE is something like this.

Okay, it's not exactly a perfectly accurate rendition, admittedly, but Walski was kind of in a hurry when he created the image above. It does, however, give you an idea of what the right eye saw out of it.

Past tense, because he has since undergone surgery to try to fix it a couple of days ago. Technically, Walski shouldn't even be blogging about this so soon after, being that he's been advised to lay off being on the PC for long periods of time.

But writing has always been a kind of catharsis, and quite frankly, it feels good to be able to talk about it. Plus, Walski reckons that this is not going to be one of his famously long-winded posts.

He simply needed to talk about what he's been going through these past few days, then off he goes to get the eye rested. Again.
(the eye, the procedure, and more, in the full post)

Yes, it's been light duty for him since his surgery on Tuesday, staying home most of the time, spending much of it taking catnaps on the couch. And it will continue to be more of that for the next couple of days or so.

It's also utterly boring, by the way.

In any case, about a week ago, Walski felt that his right eye felt very blurry, with the sudden appearance of 'cobwebs' amidst a very cloudy span of vision. Kind of like what you see in the picture above, only worse.

Cross-section of the human eye, taken from Webvision Apparently what happened was that a blood vessel in his eye, somewhere along the retina area, burst, causing the vitreous humor (the clear gel within the eye) to get mixed with blood, clouding the eye and creating what appears as "cobwebs" swirling within the field of vision. In the process, part of his retina was also dislodged.

The surgical procedure that Walski underwent is called a vitrectomy, which involves removing parts of the vitreous humor contaminated by the hemorrhage.

Sounds painful, but the surgery was pretty much painless. The worst part was probably when the 23 gauge needle was inserted, and that too felt nothing worse than a dust speck getting onto the eye.

Post-op FUREA day after the procedure, Walski then went for his check-up, and had the bandages off. So no pirate eye patch for him, as he initially thought he might have to use for a while.


In any case, it's about three days after the procedure, and Walski does feel that the vision is coming back to normal.

But the doctor did say that some laser therapy may still be needed to seal the retina (if it didn't heal properly), and some other scans and stuff to ensure that the problem doesn't recur.

Speaking of which, enough time in front of the PC, and it's time to get back to rest.

The last thing Walski wants is to aggregate the FURE, or to get it FU again...


Click here for the full post......

Friday, November 02, 2012

Retiring the Stop 114A Pop-Up

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Walski has made a decision to retire the Stop 114A Pop-up.

The Stop 114A pop-up

For those who have been coming here with some regularity - and not likely the target audience for the pop-up anyway - you're probably have gotten quite tired of it. 

Like most good things in life, the pop-up has served its purpose, and it's now time to put it to rest. The indefinite has been made finite...
(state of online freedom, and more, in the full post)

But has it done any good?

In truth, Walski doesn't really know. Perhaps it has. If nothing else, the outrage over badly written laws has been vocalized/visualized. The reality of it, however, is that this particular bad piece of legislation remains on the books.

He hopes that it will never be used as the sole source of "proof". At least, that's the guarantee that has been given by the authorities. We will certainly hold them to their word.

As has been revealed recently, Malaysia ranks poorly in the promotion of personal freedoms (via The Malaysian Insider), as indicated in Legatum's Prosperity Index.

And no, "personal freedoms" do NOT include stealing the property of others. It also does not include inflicting physical and/or mental harm on others.

Since the tragedy of Walski's PC getting stolen about two weeks ago, he's had some opportunity to reflect on life.

First of all, life is short. Certainly too short to hold on to a grudge, or harp on things  that one has absolutely no control over. Like legislations being kept on the books, for instance. Raising awareness - which the pop-up has helped do - is one thing, keeping the pop-up in place longer than a useful timespan is another thing altogether. It's time to move one...

Second, in life nothing is permanent. Getting his PC stolen is proof of that. Never mind that the motherfucker also stole 20 years of Walski's work, both personal and professional, in the form of articles, reports, resumes, presentations, photographs, etc. None of these are easily replaceable. But they can be rebuilt.

Third, the Malaysia we live in right now is going through precarious times, and along with his PC, Walski's unquestioning faith in humanity has been stolen as well. Gone forever. 

October 19, 2012 will be a date that Walski will never forget. That's the date of the theft, and that's the date when his life changed. He's certainly more careful, and a lot less trusting. If you find Walski to be more bitter and more spiteful from now on, you now know why.

And you can thank the bastard who stole from him for that. This is not holding a grudge, per se, but reassessing one's outlook in life. Suffice it to say Walski's view of humanity has changed forever.

It appears that Walski's gone on a tangent… so let's return to orbit, shall we?

The pop-up's gone, and this blog may be accessed without having to close the Stop 114A window that shows up. 

That's pretty much what Walski wanted to say in this post. The rest is the ramblings of a man embittered by a once-upon-a-time beautiful humanity that's utterly failed him, and shown its true ugly colors...

Click here for the full post......

The Long Absence

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Joy Division, image taken from Yes, it's been another very long absence from blogging for Walski. There are many reasons for this, and he figured that it was high time something got posted to partially explain why.

If for no other reason, to let you folks know that Walski is still very much alive.

Not like anyone would really care if he disappeared from the face of the Earth. Probably most would feel that it's one less annoying person on the Internet.

In fact, life has been quite interesting in the past few months. Occasionally traumatic, too. But we'll get to that in due time.

As has been the case in the past, work has dominated most of Walski's time awake. Some of you may know that he is no longer full time in the process automation & controls world, but instead co-runs an art gallery in the KL area. He still does a bit of freelance work from time to time, but that's another story we won't get into.

And if you think running an art gallery (or any business) is easy-peasy, you're quite wrong. It is as challenging, if not more, only in different ways. 
(with interesting comes trauma, and more, in the full post)

So for the most part, life has been hectic, getting the gallery up and running from scratch, doing the online promotional work, the website operational, etc. So yes, Walski's been online a lot, just not blogging here (although myAsylum's Facebook page has been somewhat active).

Oh, and the tragedy part? Walski's PC, hard disks, iPad, and camera got stolen from his car a couple of weeks back. Yup - approximately 20 years worth of data gone. Some motherfucker broke into Walski's car and stole the lot. 

He won't delve into more details than this - too much pain - but suffice it to say that steps are being taken to try recover at least the PC, if not the whole lot of electronics.

In the meantime, this is being posted via a MacBook Pro, the machine on which he tries to rebuild all the data and images (particularly the gallery related ones) that have been STOLEN from him. To the thief: you've not only stolen physical hardware, but stolen someone's life and memories.

While Walski, on principle, doesn't like to wish bad on anyone, he does hope in this case the perpetrator's conscience gnaws at its host physical container and causes it to suffer the anguish and trauma that Walski has for the past couple of weeks... 

And there you have it - a short post to let you all know Walski is still alive. Maybe one day this blog may be as active as it once was, maybe it won't. It all depends on what happens the next few months.

In the meantime, our Facebook page is fairly active, so visit us there if you can...

Click here for the full post......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's all explained in ONE word...

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In the quiet shadows, Walski has been following what’s become of this nation of once great potential. And suffice it to say, what he’s observed is not pleasing one single bit.

Disquiet in the quiet, so to speak.

On the one hand, the ruling BN coalition is pulling out every single conceivable (and sometimes inconceivably ludicrous) ploy from their now dog-eared playbook, to the point of stating that at least what we have now, no matter how decrepit, is at least familiar.

Never mind that we’ve pretty much become 1FascistMalaysia. Fascism is good if it’s familiar. That’s the bullshit we’re being forced-fed. And suffice it to say, Walski doesn’t like it one single bit. Not a fucking molecule of it.

And then, on the other hand, just about everyone, and their pet amphibian, who has an iota of an inkling of Islamic credentials, is pushing for hudud.

“Oh, my hudud is better than your hudud. Your hudud is false-hudud, mine is God-ordained. You’re going to Hell if you implement your hudud; my hudud gets us to Heaven…”

Okay, maybe in not so many words, but you get the idea.

Well newsflash numbnuts…. the only good hudud is no hudud.

Exactly what shithole, God-forsaken nation do you aspire Malaysia to become, pray tell? Somalia? Afghanistan? Iran? Exactly what model of a despotic state do you have in mind when you dream your wet dreams at night?

Assuming you pro-hudud types can comprehend English, The Malaysian Insider published a really intelligent article on this issue (written by Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa, director of the Islamic Renaissance Front), and in it we see why, in the case of Malaysia, a secular democracy is the ONLY system that ensures justice for ALL Malaysians.

Never mind that our Federal Constitution does not allow for it. Too much detail to derail your wet-dream fantasy, is it? Well, continue to spew your pro-hudud rhetoric, because in a nutshell, that’s about all that it will ever amount to – a lot of hot air.

Sheesh… Seriously, between the two, Walski can honestly almost bring himself to stick his head in a gas oven, turn the knob to ‘Cremate’, and light the burner…

There is one word in the English language that pretty much sums up how Walski feels about what’s happening to Malaysia. And extrapolating a little from there, pretty much describes how he is starting to view life in Malaysia generally.

No thanks, of course, to the nimrods on the one hand, and the Oxygen-deprived dickheads on the other.
(and the word is…. in the full post)

Well, if you've been observant, and bothered to look at a clue Walski included above, you'd have already guessed what that word is. But if not, Walski invites these aged rockers of yore to enlighten you...

Walski’s never really been a big Aerosmith fan. But you have to admit that they’ve written some pretty powerful lyrics during their long career.

And in one word, they manage to explain how Walski’s been feeling for quite a while now.

Yes, Walski is JADED.

He’s jaded with how Malaysians are now expected to honor and revere STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE. And how the more ludicrous and nonsensical the argument, the more reverence that’s demanded of us.

Walski has about had enough with the race and religion baiting that’s being perpetrated by the political grassroots, primarily those of the UMNO persuasion. Do you imbeciles know how desperate you look? Malaysia must really be suffering from severe brain-drain if you lot are the cream of the crop future leaders of this country. And incidentally, scum also rises to the top, not just cream.

Yes, Walski is JADED.

Despite what the “statistics” say, crime is on the increase. No, it’s not just a perception, as we’ve been forced to believe. Walski has a real friend who really had her car smashed into while stopped at a traffic light, and had her handbag snatched (fortunately she didn’t suffer anything more than the hassle of getting important thing replaced). Walski may be a lot of things, but he certainly isn’t delusional, nor does he have imaginary friends.

And if this letter written to the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) is accurate, we are being lied to about the country’s crime situation. Walski doesn’t know about you, but he doesn’t like being lied to. In fact, he fucking hates it.

Remember the phrase Mark Twain popularized?

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
(source: Wikipedia)

The devil is in the details, and the details, apparently, involve creative crime classification. The letter to the CPI is definitely an interesting read, and if true, explains why our “perception” paint a totally different picture from what’s officially being reported.

Oh, and did Walski mention that he’s JADED?

Then, there’s religion. More and more things seem to be halal-ized, whether or not it’s necessary. Granted, the majority view is that beer is not halal (there is at least one minority opinion that states it is not entirely forbidden). But does that mean the word ‘beer’ is haram as well?

That WTF moment when you realize even labels need to be kosher
(click here for source)

Seriously, do you think you make Islam more attractive by making it more restrictive and prohibitive of this, that and the other? Think about it. Oh, Walski forgot… the pious aren’t allowed to think, only follow…

Yes, boys and girls, Walski is JADED.


The above are but some examples of why Walski says he’s JADED. And by the looks of it, things aren’t going to get any better. Not for the lack of trying, on the part of concerned citizens, though.

Earlier today, Anas Zubedy announced a Say Something Nice campaign, targeted to run between August 31st and September 16th.

You can find out exactly what the campaign is all about via Anas’ blog posting, but in a nutshell it is one man’s attempt to make everyone’s mood better. By saying something nice when you Facebook-post, tweet, blog, etc.

Will it work? Best not ask Walski that question right now. Not when he’s feeling JADED. But it’s a positive attempt. There – Walski said something nice. Happy?

Truth is (and it’s an ugly, inconvenient truth), while it’s nice to be positive and all, that’s not going to change the underlying rot that’s the real root cause of our national woes. Not much anyway. It’s a rot that’s been slowly festering for a long, long time. So much so that it would take a lot more than just smiling, and saying nice things, to heal that rot.

Perhaps invasive surgery to yank the rotting cancer out of our collective national soul would be a better option. Bonus if the surgeon smiles while he slices and dices. And says something nice about the rot in the process.

And you get the chance to play surgeon – GE13 will be coming our way anytime over the next 6 to 8 months.

In the last line of his posting, Dr. Mahathir wrote, “Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t(which was later picked up by The Malaysian Insider). Yes, change brings uncertainty, and (some) change cannot happen overnight – unless you’re a stupidly optimistic person, you will realize that these are real-world realities about change.

To Walski, the 25-point posting by our esteemed former PM is nothing much more than a desperate attempt to sugar-coat a terminally ill and dying Barisan Nasional as an entity that’s able to take Malaysia to the next level.

Next level down closer to Hell on Earth maybe, but certainly not to the next level of positive development, to be a nation par excellence.

Is it better to live out this life with a familiar mediocrity, rather than take a chance for possible excellence? With all due respect, Dr. M, Walski has to say, courteously, Fuck No.

Dr. Mahathir is, of course, entitled to state his opinion. That’s his right. Doesn’t mean we have to swallow it wholesale. Like many Malaysians Walski knows.

And perhaps that’s the problem with this country – the general ineptitude to  critically analyze, and to accept wholesale what a political leader friendly to one’s own persuasion has to say.

Compound that by 27 million, and you still wonder why Walski’s feeling JADED?

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1433H

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This should have been posted a couple of days ago on Sunday, but due to circumstances beyond Walsk’s control, here it is, two days late…

From all of us here at myAsylum, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1433H. And what better way to wish you all, than to post one of the best Merdeka Day slogan/logo parodies created, especially for this festive season.

Walski’s not entirely sure who the creator of the above image is, but since first appearing on Facebook a couple of weeks back, it’s pretty much gone viral. And because of the big brouhaha the original Merdeka slogan and logo, he couldn’t think of anything more appropriate for a Raya greeting graphic.

For Malaysians, ketupat and Hari Raya go hand in hand. Raya simply isn’t Raya without this favorite delicacy. And whether you prefer it with rendang or peanut sauce (aka satay sauce), you just gotta have ketupat for Hari Raya. That’s just the Malaysian way.

Over the next few days, beginning Sunday, the quest for ketupat, rendang, and satay sauce will commence. For those who have to travel long distances for this quest, we hope you do so safely, and that the traffic doesn’t get the better of you.
(Eid, be merry, and more, in the full post)

As you may have probably noticed, we reinstated the Blackout pop-up some days back, after it was announced the the Cabinet would not ‘review’ Section 114A of the Evidence Act. It’s almost as if the Cabinet were sending out a loud signal saying that they don’t want to be re-elected into office.

Malaysians may be forgetful, but the Internet has a very long memory…. We’ll see, come GE13, whose date remains a mystery, as it always traditionally has in Malaysia, waiting for the moment of inspiration from the Prime Minister to announce the “right time” for it.

By the way, in case you were wondering what circumstances caused this post to be delayed a couple of days, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that all is well now, but the bad news is that Walski’s dad had to be hospitalized the morning of first day Raya, due to a suspected lung infection. His dad, who’s 77 this year, had severe difficulties breathing and was rushed to the hospital.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a lung infection, but something else less sinister, related to Dad’s other existing problems. Walski won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say, the old man’s much better now, and should be released within a day or so.

In any case, we’re now in the third day of Hari Raya, and he’s sure that by now, you would have managed to find your ketupat. For Walski, on the other hand, the quest  continues.

Enjoy the Eid, safely, and because of the abundance of tasty treats this time of year, do exercise moderation when eating. But bottom line, enjoy yourself safely and responsibly…

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stop 114A: Veni, Vidi, Victorious (well, almost)

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It may not have sunk in yet for many who participated, but yesterday’s Internet Blackout Day was a significant victory. And if for no other reason, it’s because of this:

PM Najib's momentous tweet

We, the netizens of Malaysia, saw a problem with Amendment 114A, we took positive action, and that action has been noticed.

For this, we have to thank the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) for the Internet Blackout Day initiative. In terms of raising awareness about the problematic 114A, and having a positive outcome (so far), the initiative was a definite success.

It’s a small victory, but the fight for a free, unencumbered Internet is far from over. In a larger sense, this fight is for a freer, a more open, and ultimately, a more vibrant Malaysia. 
(Stop114A gets noticed worldwide, and more, in the full post)

While it may be a small victory, it’s an important one. The Malaysian Internet Blackout Day got noticed, not just by our Prime Minister, but far beyond our shores, by international news agencies (ABC, BBC, CNET, Forbes, and MSN, among others – see here for a longer list).

Another important indicator, pointing to the success of the initiative: the hashtag #Stop114A made it to the Top 10  Twitter trends yesterday, peaking at second position, if not mistaken.

The initiative’s success is acknowledged by the organizer, CIJ in an article published today by Free Malaysia Today.

CIJ executive officer Masjazliza Hamzah told FMT that the response to the campaign – created to highlight a unpopular amendment to the Evidence Act 1950- was phenomenal.

“In terms of response to the campaign, it’s just phenomenal,” she said, conceding however that it was not as “huge” as other online protests have been in the past.

“The catalysts are the websites…and the business that supported it…[but] I think the credit should go to netizens for making themselves aware of it,” Masjazliza added.

Nevertheless, she noted that the campaign – which saw many websites either going offline or hosting black pop-ups messages- helped to not only create a public awareness, but also pressured the government to think twice about the amendment.

(source: Free Malaysia Today)

Of course, yesterday’s Internet Blackout Day wasn’t without its detractors, primarily Tan Keng Liang, Kedah Gerakan Youth Chief. Whether the guy didn’t bother to read anything posted on what was required of the Blackout participants, or simply ignored facts to just be his irritating self, Tan (and others “inspired” by him) went on a tweet-rampage running down any opposition politician who were tweeting between 0000 and 2359 hrs.

It is believed that it was Tan who penned the #BlackOutTipu hashtag used throughout yesterday (and today), tracing back to the tweet that first used the hashtag.

But enough about Tan Keng Liang – you have to take your hat off to the man for his perseverance in being annoying…

In any case, the onus is now on the Cabinet to “discuss” Section 114A, and do something about it, not simply discuss the amendment. Walski is rather intrigued – isn’t this the same Cabinet that drafted the legislation and pushed it through Parliament in the first place? Weren’t “people first” then?

Question, Walski’s sure, that many others are wondering, too. But be that as it may, let’s hope something real and positive comes out of said “discussion” (whenever that might be).

Again, KUDOS to CIJ for an initiative well executed, and to all who participated in yesterday’s Internet Blackout, congratulations on a job well done.

Never forget that yesterday was a real victory, even though the battle is far from over. What the next step will be all depends on the anticipated Cabinet discussion and, presumably, action.

We wait with bated breath…

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