Mkini and lawyer Tommy prove white is black

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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If Najib’s govt is illegitimate, so is every Pakatan govt

Lim Kit Siang’s political bullshit for the past week goes like this: the last general election was March 8. Elections are held every five years. So Najib’s government is illegitimate.

That’s bullshit.

Elections are elections. Governments are formed after elections when Parliament is formed.

Kit Siang’s bullshit

Kit Siang's bullshit about illegitimate govt

Rafizi’s bullshit

Rafizi's bullshit

If you follow Kit Siang’s logic, then every Pakatan Rakyat state government is illegitimate. Including the state government run by his son Lim Guan Eng.

If you apply the logic of 8 March 2008 to 8 March 2013, then Lim Guan Eng’s DAP-run Penang government is just as illegitimate as the Barisan Nasional-run federal government.

And that’s bullshit because governments are not constituted from election dates. Lim Kit Siang is a lawyer, he knows that. Lim Kit Siang is also a politician. He knows how to twist the facts inside out to turn it into propaganda.

Politician’s talk equals propaganda equals bullshit.

Bullshit smells the same from any side

 

Demos, marches, rallies, elections and communists [video]

Not impossible! Of course Ong Tee Keat can be MB

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, old journos used to say, usually with a sneer and a wicked laugh, because someone had spilled a lot of words based on nothing more than pure speculation.

Lately a lot of speculative words have been spilled at Malaysia Chronicle about whether Ong Tee Keat, the MP for Pandan and a former MCA president, is being positioned to be the next menteri besar of Selangor — the first Chinese to be menteri besar  — after Barisan Nasional wins the next general election, of course. And of course, Barisan must first win the elections.

A Chinese as MB? Wow. It’s the talk of the town, says the Chronicle. Continue reading

With elections in June, journalists want fair reporting

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The National Union of Journalists plans to ask all members to take a pledge on fair reporting in line with one of the union’s objectives, to practise ethical journalism.

NUJ general secretary V Anbalagan said the executive council had unanimously agreed on this, and an extraordinary delegates conference will be held in late February or early March to debate the issue further.

Anba said the 13th general election was expected to be held around June.

The NUJ emphasis on ethical journalism follows from a seminar at UCSI University on Jan 12 at which Malaysian journalists were castigated for lazy journalism and transcription journalism, merely recording and recounting what others said.

Political bias during election periods was held to be a black mark on Malaysian journalism.

Continue reading

How to ensure fair election news coverage – proposals by journalists’ union

NUJ’s proposals to the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms

  1. The Election Commission
    1. The Election Commission must be empowered to form a media monitoring committee whose duties will include issuing guidelines to print, broadcast and on-line media.
    2. This is to ensure the media engages in fair reporting so that voters have access to balanced views for them to make their choice.
    3. The committee should be on duty from the time the Dewan Rakyat/State Assemblies are dissolved until election results are announced. In the case of by-elections, the committee should spring into action from the time there is a casual vacancy until election results are announced.
  2. Continue reading

Haris roasts Anas Zubedy (the 3rd Farce) for backing Umno ‘whores and thieves’

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Haris Ibrahim gives a roasting today to advertising man Anas Zubedy, who has offered another of his so-called alternatives to civil society’s alternative ideas on political change.

Anas wrote a letter to Malaysia Today to say that the ABU (Anything But Umno) campaign is all wrong. Don’t throw them all out lock, stock and barrel, he says. What if there are some good people still in Umno, he says.

To sweeten his subversive alternative to the alternative, Anas says quite nicely that he has the highest regard for Haris, the lawyer and activist who has been behind the People’s Parliament campaign, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, voter registration, and ABU.

Haris was also, for a year, president of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement started by Raja Petra Kamarudin as a “Third Force” for political change.

Just a week ago, Anas had popped up with a letter to Free Malaysia Today proposing his own alternative to the RPK-inspired Third Force. Anas stole the idea, the name, and even has a badge (using the numeral instead). His “alternative” method of choosing election candidates is that they must agree to several Umno-like Malays First pre-conditions, such as accepting Malay culture as the dominant culture.

In response to Anas’s latest move, a very courteous Haris did not quite say that Anas is a blowhard trying to subvert civil society. But you can gauge Haris’s feelings from this passage:

   Anas overlooks that today UMNO has become a whorehouse and a sanctuary for robbers and thieves. No decent soul would care to be associated with this lot for even one more day than they have to. (Haris also makes a pointed jab at Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by interjecting: ‘Kuli, I hope you are reading this’ then adds:)
Yes, Anas, not all the whores, robbers and thieves in UMNO are bad. But whores, robbers and thieves, nonetheless.

Ahh… stirring stuff, that.

Haris Ibrahim’s piece is at The People’s Parliament

The latest Anas Zubedy attempt to subvert political change and keep Umno in power is at Malaysia Today

 

NYT: S’pore loosens up on Internet

From the New York Times

Singapore Loosens Grip on Internet
By SETH MYDANS
Published: May 7, 2011
SINGAPORE — The tightly controlled city-state of Singapore took a step into the unknown in advance of its parliamentary elections on Saturday, loosening its grip on political discourse in the unruly world of the Internet, where Facebook, Twitter and other social media have amplified a clamor of voices and points of view.
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They ‘love’ Pek Moh, the White Haired Rajah

This is the DAP poster which has got under the skin of Taib Mahmud, the embattled chief minister of Sarawak, facing the biggest challenge to his 30-year rule in the most hotly-contested election in state history.

Taib has been labelled the White Haired Rajah (Pek Moh or “white hair”, in Hokkien) in a reference to the White Rajahs of the Brooke family who ruled over the 19th Century Kingdom of Sarawak.

The DAP’s “I love Pek Moh” billboard in Miri satirises SUPP president and Piasau candidate George Chan Hong Nam and two other candidates, drawing threats of legal action from the SUPP, the Chinese-based member of the ruling coalition.

“Please take down the billboard that shows our three candidates with the CM. You have no authority to use the photos of our candidates. Kindly be warned that we will sue for defamation,” said a text message sent to the DAP from an SUPP lawyer.

Another message warned the DAP that Barisan Nasional component parties may take “tit-for-tat” action if the billboard was not removed.

The DAP says the billboard does not defame anyone. “Unless it says you don’t love Pek Moh, there’s no defamation,” said Lim Sie Keong, the opponent to George Chan in Piasau.

The billboards play on the SUPP election slogan “I love Miri” and depict the three SUPP candidates in Miri, including Andy Chia Chu Fatt (Pujut) and Lee Kim Shin as bodyguards for the emperor, Taib Mahmud.

Jigsaw of ethnic and class differences shapes Sarawak elections

Sarawak’s jigsaw of ethnic and class differences will shape the outcome of this weekend’s crucial state elections, the most hotly-contested elections in the state’s history, according to an analysis in MalaysiaKini by political scientist Bridget Welsh. She points to the 27-40 ethnic groupings (the number varies because of how ethnicity is defined), and the 40 languages spoken in the state. Add to that mix the potent pull of religion, now a political factor because of Peninsular polemics, in a state where Christians form the majority of the local population, and with the largest number of Christians in the country.

Everything is local in Sarawak, but national issues of religion (the Bible controversy) and massive corruption in high places and its effect on individual incomes, had brought a growing realisation that national issues are also local issues.

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