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Mkini and lawyer Tommy prove white is black

Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 11:14:08 am

One headline can make all the difference — or prove that people never read past the headline if it confirms their political prejudices. That must have been the case with lawyer Tommy Thomas’s rambling commentary at Malaysiakini (and also at Loyar Burok) last week.

A lot of hot air has been blown by people (if you consider political agitators to be people) talking and debating whether or not the Barisan Nasional government ended on March 8.

The thing is, lawyer Tommy didn’t say so. Malaysiakini said so. It declared so, unequivocally, without attribution, without hesitation, quite flatly.

Bullshit by Mkini

Malaysiakini declares BN govt to be over

Bullshit by Loyar Burok

Bullshit headline by Loyar Burok

But Tommy didn’t say so

He said if this, and if that, and if the other then voters can say that the Barisan Nasional is now a caretaker government. Tommy Thomas did not say flat out that the Barisan Nasional is now a caretaker government. (He’s a lawyer: he’s been trained in how to make a case.)

Tommy Thomas was just doing verbal sleight-of-hand, like the magician at your child’s birthday party: keep looking at the hat, kids, and now I’ll pull out a mouse.

So now I’ll try to do the same.

How to prove black is white

IF   I tell you to close your eyes
AND IF   I put a piece of paper in your hands
AND IF   I say keep your eyes closed and tell me what colour you see
AND   You say you can only see black
AND   I tell you to open your eyes, and you see a white card in your hands
THEN   I can say that I have just proven that white is black.

See?

That’s what Tommy Thomas did.

And Malaysiakini and Loyar Burok told you only the last line. They told you white is black.

Bullshit stinks as bad from any side

 

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30 Comments
  1. mahuhari permalink
    Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 12:20:28 pm 12:20

    Tommy Thomas did say, and I quote:

    “The undeniable fact is that five years would pass this weekend after the holding of the last election, with no announcement of a dissolution of Parliament and the fixing of the date for GE13. When this occurs, the BN government forfeits the moral high ground to govern our nation.

    BN remaining in office from March 9 to June 28, 2013 is constitutional and legal, but its political legitimacy and moral authority are in question.

    Voters can legitimately say that they voted for a BN government on March 8, 2008 to govern for five years, and if that government does not choose to secure another mandate within that period, it becomes a caretaker government.”

    Tommy Thomas did point out that for BN to remain in office as the Federal Government of Malaysia from 9 March 2013 to 28 June 2013 though “constitutional and legal”, nevertheless, it is politically and morally repugnant so to do. Thus, if such a Federal Government does not secure another mandate within that period i.e. from 9 March 2013 to 28 June 2013, it becomes a caretaker government.

    Today is already 14 March 2013. Six days have passed since 8 March 2013. Based on what Tommy Thomas has said on what constitutes a caretaker government, it is fair to say that BN has been the caretaker Federal Government for six days already. So, I am unable to see as to why you deem the Malaysiakini and Loyar Burok headlines (“BN Becomes Caretaker Government on March 8” and “”Barisan Becomes Caretaker Government on March 8”) as “bullshit”.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 13:30:11 pm 13:30

      Tommy Thomas’s comment is conditional on the previous paragraphs. He said “voters may say”. Voters can say anything. It does not make it fact. And he did not state that the BN govt, in point of fact, is a caretaker govt. He also said “When this occurs, the BN government forfeits the moral high ground to govern our nation”. That is his opinion. That is not fact. The Malaysiakini headline flatly says, as plain fact, that the federal govt is now a caretaker govt. That is factually not so. Wishing it to be so does not make it a fact.

    • mahuhari permalink
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 14:00:52 pm 14:00

      How then, can one know whether “factually”, the Federal Government is now a “caretaker” government. By the Federal Government officially announcing it?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 15:19:46 pm 15:19

      It is the convention in parliamentary democracies that a caretaker government is in place when an election is announced. See what Kit Siang did in 2008 https://uppercaise.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/kit-siang-and-son-talk-cock/

  2. Sam Kung permalink
    Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 15:25:14 pm 15:25

    How about some samples of BN politicians’ sleight of hand? You know the kind where they tell you 1 Malaysia but at the same time tell you to “balik India or China”. So in the morning radio news, we are all happy Malaysians, then in the afternoon Online news portal, its reported we are told our citizenship may be illegitimate since 1957.

    That to me is the GRANDMOTHER of ALL BULLSHIT!!!

    Misreporting / misreading Tommy Thomas’s opinion is bad journo for Malaysiakini and as for the wider public, all of us are products of BN education policies – so what do you expect, that all of us can read well?

    So, please mind how you tell off your fellow Malaysians. Snotty aren’t you?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 16:15:07 pm 16:15

      Snotty no. The DAP and PKR already do a good job of unmasking BN sleight of hand, why add to the noise? I didn’t tell off fellow Malaysians, I’m informing them. If Kit Siang and Guan Eng and Malaysikini feel I’m telling them off, too bad. The DAP has already practised personal blackmail for 20 years anyway, together with Gerakan, MCA, MIC and Umno.

    • mahuhari permalink
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 17:05:48 pm 17:05

      Mind telling me what those DAP “personal blackmails” are?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2013-Mar-14 @ MYT 22:04:44 pm 22:04

      And who might you be, and why should I trust you with personal confidences?

  3. Sam Kung Ly permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 08:08:36 am 08:08

    And I suppose BN does not practice blackmail? Oh dear, all of us have been blind sighted by Pakatan, especially by the evil ones, LKS & son, Anwar, Tok Guru. Amid all the sound and fury by Pakatan, we failed to see the good governance by BN.

    You have to make up your mind, whether you support or do not support the idea of change. This is the closest ever, over the last 50+ years that we have a glimmer of chance to change. And even in this eleventh hour, BN is still pursuing the racist path, nay, intensifying effort to polarize the races.

    In every society where racism is practiced, you will note that the victims will inevitably end up being poor and not merely in terms of financial riches, but in every way including health and culture.

    Have you seen the growing number of druggies and alkies amongst the Indians? The number of badly ill Indians and Chinese unable to afford basic health care?

    Another perspective in this political landscape now is to change the Big devil we know (i.e. BN) to the small devil we know (yes, don’t underestimate your fellow Malaysians that they may not be sharp enough to spot the devil). The gamble is this: the small devil is at the least, a small devil. But in the bigger scheme of things, we the people find that we are the ones who change the governing party if we don’t like them for their work or their lack of work or their shitty work.

    Give a chance for the racial divide to heal. Maybe it will heal when the government is changed? Maybe it wouldn’t. But we will never know if we do not change the government, would we?

    Now, consider this, with people like you and the weird self appointed wira rakyat RPK, the fence sitters will be more confused and will only serve to screw up efforts to go for change in this GE13.

    Unless of course that is your new direction – to sow the seeds of discontentment amongst the opposition faithfuls – for your own reasons – BN’s promises or simply stupidity on your part?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 08:35:02 am 08:35

      Read what I’ve written over the past three years and then tell me who are Lim Guan Eng’s new contractor cronies, who are Anwar Ibrahim’s arms merchant cronies and contractor cronies, and who are all the new Big Biz moneybags lining up to feed Pakatan Rakyat. Spare me your bullshit about change and the evil BN and the angels of Pakatan

      When opposition leaders talk of a free press, then spew propaganda and expect journalists to become propagandists on their behalf, it exposes their hypocrisy. And the people should realise this, that all politicians are double-tongued snake-oil salesmen. And if they vote for the DAP, or PKR or PAS, do so with your eyes wide open knowing the risks – and not because they think Pakatan politicians are the gateway to heaven.

      Politicians – ptuuiii.

  4. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 11:32:35 am 11:32

    Unlike you, Uppercaise, I tend to take the Marxist perspective, that contradictions exist in all layers of a society, be it inter- or intra class. As long as there are human beings, such contradictions will continue to exist. But one must always focus on the fundamental contradiction, the one contradiction which will determine the life and death of a society.

    As an example, contradictions exist between the Prussian military class in Weimar Republic era Germany and the middle class, They also exist between the ultra-nationalists and the left. Contradictions also exist between the parties of the left. E.g. the Communists regard the Social Democrats as pseudo-Socialists, and refused to co-operate with them even in the face of the danger posed by the Nazi Party. If these Communists focus on the fundamental contradiction, i.e. that between the left and the Nazis and pool their resources to prevent the Nazi Party from gaining absolute power, the subsequent tragedy of the massive loss of life could have been prevented.

    As for me, I vote with my eyes wide open and knowing the risks. I know politicians are merely human beings and human beings are imperfect. But I am voting knowing that voting in one coalition party “may” lead to damnation, but voting in the other coalition party is “certain” to lead to damnation. Thus, unlike you, I know where the “fundamental” contradiction is; that between the coalition party which is certain to lead Malaysia to damnation and the coalition party which may or may not lead the country to damnation.

    As for you, Uppercaise, I will leave you to your own cop-out stance.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 13:15:43 pm 13:15

      Journalists cannot be part of the political fray, otherwise they become participants and not observers, and thus become propagandists. Playing the guilt card – by making journalists feel guilty that they have not joined the holy cause of opposition politics – is just as manipulative as propaganda is. Journalists need to recognise propaganda for what it is and not blindly pass it off as fact. A journalists’ primary duty is to the citizen at large, not to political parties and not to politicians. Political agitators want to raise the anger of citizens. Journalists must give them the plain facts and let the citizen decide his and the country’s destiny.

  5. Sam Kung Ly permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 11:34:53 am 11:34

    Politicians – ptuuiii? Yes, indeed. I’d be the first to spit their faces.

    Sad, that for someone like you who claim to read carefully, you failed to read what I said about the Big Devil – BN and the smaller devil – Pakatan. Instead you chose to simply dismiss the comparison and state that I wrote about devil and angels.

    But pray, do tell, who would you rather vote? BN or Pakatan? Hey! Some joe has to do the dirty job, right? Its either the BIG Devil we already know, or the suspicious small devil?

    There are no righteous politicians, the last known and verified righteous people’s leader (mind you, I did not call him a politician) was shot dead in India January 1948 by a Hindu crazy.

    But I don’t think you are waiting for the mythical righteous and honest politician, right? If you are, you must be some bible thumping crazy who still believes in miracles.

    We have to make do with what we have in hand. When the new is not quite what we want, then we work to correct it. What you are doing instead, is to abort the foetus even before you have a had a chance to nurture it. You simply dismiss the opportunity out of hand because you don’t like Pakatan politicians hanging out with big business. Tell me, which freaking politician and big biz are not leeching of one another. All of them are, they feed off each other.

    The smart thing to do is to make sure that the end result of the union between politicians and big biz will be to the greater benefit of the community. Example: we cannot have an expressway (N-S Highway) built more than 25 years ago at an estimated 3 times of standard cost and the operator is still being allowed to charge toll even though the returns have far exceeded the targeted ROI.

    That is gross mismanagement and blatant cronyism, just one example of many.

    And we are not quite so naive to believe that it wouldn’t happen under Pakatan’s stewardship. It is not a matter of will it happen, its when and how. Its bound to happen. Show me a country with honest government, then I’d say you are showing me Utopia.

    If you examine some of the more successful (a relative term, of course) countries, e.g. Switzerland, Denmark etc with a higher standard of living, there is one common thread …… the politicians tread carefully. And the people watch them with hawkeyes.

    Here in our country, the democratic function is just beginning to grow. Give it some space. We can help it grow, by first making sure that change can happen.

    And if we don’t like what we have purchased, then we will do like what we always do with rotten food – throw it out. After a few cycles, we will enjoy better governance.

    So, don’t hold your breath and think that your frustration with Pakatan and BN expressed through your writing will ever change anything at this time.

    Your writing and your brave attempts to condemn the wrongs by Pakatan will be better served when we – the rakyat – have changed the government, otherwise be prepared to be screwed for another five years and maybe even more by the BN.

    I would like to conclude by thanking you for the space to let off some of my steam and frustration. I am truly fed up with BN shit and really do not mind having to put up with Pakatan’s fart. At least its a change of some sort. So lets have some breath of fresh fart, ok? And not the same old shit.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 13:11:57 pm 13:11

      I certainly don’t expect Pakatan or Barisan to change their ways. But my fellow journalists need to be reminded that being frustrated with BN stupidities does not mean blindly accepting anything Pakatan says. Journalism is badly served by Pakatan propagandists who let their emotions get in the way of the story. As for taking a stance, the time for any journalist to do that, like any citizen, is at the ballot box and not before. Otherwise he’s just a propagandist.

    • mahuhari permalink
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 13:40:27 pm 13:40

      With due respect, Uppercaise, you have contradicted yourself here. You said, and I quote:

      “As for taking a stance, the time for any journalist to do that, like any citizen, is at the ballot box and not before. Otherwise he’s just a propagandist.”

      But in your reply at 8.35.02 a.m. above, you have termed all those calls for “change” or “ubah” as “bullshit”. Pardon the journalistical ignoramus in me, is this taking a political stance?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 15:09:30 pm 15:09

      Read the full remark in context.

  6. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 13:42:06 pm 13:42

    Errata “Pardon the journalistical ignoramus in me, isn’t this taking a political stance?”

  7. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 15:25:46 pm 15:25

    Oh, the context of “Lim Guan Eng’s new contractor cronies, who are Anwar Ibrahim’s arms merchant cronies and contractor cronies, and who are all the new Big Biz moneybags lining up to feed Pakatan Rakyat”? Okay, I get it. When it comes to these fellows, badmouthing them does not constitute being “part of the political fray”. Thanks for Journalislm 101, Uppercaise.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 17:36:57 pm 17:36

      No answer to a straight question?

    • mahuhari permalink
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 17:56:36 pm 17:56

      I have already answered, Uppercaise. This is what you wrote:

      “Read what I’ve written over the past three years and then tell me who are Lim Guan Eng’s new contractor cronies, who are Anwar Ibrahim’s arms merchant cronies and contractor cronies, and who are all the new Big Biz moneybags lining up to feed Pakatan Rakyat. Spare me your bullshit about change and the evil BN and the angels of Pakatan
      When opposition leaders talk of a free press, then spew propaganda and expect journalists to become propagandists on their behalf, it exposes their hypocrisy. And the people should realise this, that all politicians are double-tongued snake-oil salesmen. And if they vote for the DAP, or PKR or PAS, do so with your eyes wide open knowing the risks – and not because they think Pakatan politicians are the gateway to heaven.
      Politicians – ptuuiii.”

      This is the context. Politicians’ alleged shenanigans. My question is: When you mentioned all these things, does not that constitute being “part of the political fray”? Yes or No? I am trying to learn here. As you already know, I am an ignoramus as far as journalism is concerned.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 18:47:00 pm 18:47

      I very much doubt you’re an ignoramus. They were straight questions.

  8. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 19:06:28 pm 19:06

    Okay, the context is: Calling for “change” or “ubah” in the midst of the politicians’ alleged shenanigans.sounds hollow. Is this the context? Okay, we are getting somewhere. But you still have not answered my question. Does mentioning all those shenanigans equivalent to displaying political partisanship, which as you mentioned (“Journalists cannot be part of the political fray, otherwise they become participants and not observers, and thus become propagandists.”) is a “no-no”? I am waiting for your reply and not a cryptic one-liner.:-)

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 19:30:43 pm 19:30

      Only if you view it so. They were straight-forward questions.

  9. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 20:38:25 pm 20:38

    To you, they may be straight-forward questions, to me they are politically-slanted leading questions.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 23:06:35 pm 23:06

      Only if you choose to view it so. Journalists ask questions, that’s the job. Political activists evade awkward questions by trying to question the journalist’s motive, trying to protect their leader or their cause. It’s not the journalist’s job to promote the politician.

  10. mahuhari permalink
    Fri 2013-Mar-15 @ MYT 23:40:27 pm 23:40

    I choose to view it so. That is my right. As to your other insinuation, it is your right to make them. I choose the path of revolution, you choose the path of reaction. Different paths, that is all.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2013-Mar-16 @ MYT 10:08:39 am 10:08

      I’m trying to point out that when awkward questions are posed about opposition leaders, the reaction is always to question the motives of the journalist asking the question, and to evade the question. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2013-Mar-16 @ MYT 10:11:56 am 10:11

      Three postings about how two opposition people twisted the facts – and most of the comments are about what? Why don’t you join us and shout ‘ubah’, and you’re a fence-sitter, why don’t you attack BN and other insults. When one Penang citizen questioned LGE about his mega projects last week, he attacked by saying why don’t you question Gerakan about their land sale. A typical evasive reaction.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2013-Mar-16 @ MYT 10:21:07 am 10:21

      At another forum discussing Lahad Datu, another DAP supporter kept banging on about Scorpene submarines and how their radar can detect sampans and ignoring all the facts about what submarine warfare is about. That is another typical reaction, to avoid the topic at hand and bring up other issues. Another typical technique is to pretend to be stupid: e.g. that particular DAP supporter asked “can you tell me about this Sakmongkol article, and where is it archived and how can I find it?”.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2013-Mar-16 @ MYT 10:21:25 am 10:21

      This discussion is now closed.

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