Jun 12, 2009


Looks like the haze or smog is back choking us all. It is becoming an annual affair and what sickens me is that the government is doing nothing to stop it from becoming an annual affair. Sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and all the other dioxides fill the atmosphere- we are being poisoned to death in this 'gas chamber' which the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia are it's main joint sponsors. If Hitler's nazi war criminals could be tried in Nuremberg for the atrocities of the gas chambers, what about these two governments? Are they not criminals too? They commit crime against the environment and society year after year by their criminal negligence. To me this is the worst kind of atrocity. Killing all of us softly with their despicable apathy. They know the smog will have severe consequences on the public health - we all breathe in the filth 24 hours a day for months- year after year and yet they do nothing or little about it. Instead they enjoy happy holidays in Switzerland while the rest of us here succumb to disease and death. Perhaps each of us citizens should contribute to a legal fund - each of us contributing RM1 towards the fund to finance a litigation to sue these criminals as they have been grossly negligent to us all. I am sure a case can be made up against them. Forest fires raging from the Sumatra island increase by the day and the winds blow the choking smoke over all of us and the problem is compounded by the El Nino effect- res ipsa loquitur i.e. the thing speaks for itself. With opinions from medical experts on the affect of the smog on us all, i am convinced we have a case against these incompetent governments. Bring them to trial!
All we get from the government is the air pollution index. They don't even give us free N95 masks. So much for a caring government. As for the API, i wonder if the truth is really being told given these governments' record on transparency and corruption.
We are 'sitting ducks'. Helpless victims. I feel sorry for the elderly and those with respiratory and heart problems. They suffer the most and surely have their life spans shortened. What about the rest? They will in time suffer chronic diseases.
Perhaps its time for a truly environment and people friendly government to come into power in the next general elections.

Jun 6, 2009


The Sunday Star at page N4 had this news piece - "Working towards National Unity". It is reported :- "The Prime Minister said national unity could not be attained if the approach was not based on reality but on an Utopian ideal which did not take into account contemporary sensitivities and realities".

What is the reality facing the nation now? Perhaps the PM is still talking about the reality of racial politics and the need for it to exist so that a few "Umnoputras" can get richer and become billionaires or millionaires? Or so that only a minority rich can continue to enjoy Utopia in this land at the expense of the majority? Are we still talking about policies to make more malay millionaires or billionaires so that the Malays always enjoy 'Ketuanan Melayu"? Do we still want policies that make the Chinese, Indians and the lain-lain feel like they are second class citizens in their own country? The reality in my mind is that national unity can only be achieved when the government has a policy that brings the greatest possible happiness to ALL peoples of the nation irrespective of race, creed, sex or colour.

Perhaps when he says 'contemporary sensitivities and realities' he means the sensitivities and realities of the Umnoputras must be taken into consideration. Or that only an Utopia that takes into account Umnoputras' sensitivities and realities can bring about national unity? Either way i say he is ignorant of the realities facing the country today. The people are fed up of racial politics as is evident from the last elections and last few by elections. They want justice and equal distribution of wealth to all. They want transparency, good governance and fairness in the administration of the country.

In my mind ALL people are most sensitive to happiness and will happily want to realize it in their lives. And to realize this goal, racial politics in all its forms must be abolished. Racial politics cause distrust, injustice and division and as the great Nazarene taught :- "a house divided against itself cannot stand". Racial politics has been manipulated by unscupulous leaders to stay in power and create Utopia for only a few- those connected to those in power while creating Dystopia - a totalitarian and repressive society for the rest of the people.

The Government should endeavor to work towards the ideal of an Utopia for ALL- 'Utopia' (a term coined by Saint Thomas More) means an ideal community or society. A policy of utilitarianism could just work when implemented rightly and wisely. Utilitarianism would require that all moral, social and political actions shall direct towards achieving for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. What brings more unity than ensuring happiness reaches to all, making sure all are treated with respect and fairly, ensuring that all the resources and wealth of the nation be accessible and distributed fairly and equally to ALL and not only to a few billionaires and millionaires. Abolish greed and selfishness. That should be the new economic policy. Follow the Islamic policy of a just and fair society- to my mind this is Utopia. Let us have religious tolerance and work towards the happiness and goodness of all. If the Islamic policy came from God, surely it is meant to bring about the greatest happiness and goodness to all - it must have elements of utilitarianism.

In the golden rule of the great Nazarene we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as one would be done by, and to love one's neighbor as oneself constitutes the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. Utility would enjoin that laws and social arrangements be placed to promote the happiness or the interest of the whole. It would enjoin that education and opinion, which have a vast power over human character, be used to establish in the mind of every individual an indissoluble association between his own happiness and the good of the whole. It would implement a policy to implant the impulse to promote the general good in every individual. It would do away with nepotism, cronysim and racial politics. Utopia should be the PM's ideal. Policies of Utilitarianism the way to achieve it. He should not lay limitations to the ideal. Let us bring about an economic utopia, a political utopia, a religious utopia, a scientifical and technological utopia etc. After all, we coined the phrase "Malaysia Boleh" didn't we? Let us create a Utopian society in this beloved land of ours.

Jun 2, 2009


The 1Malaysia policy is being trumpeted all over the media these days. What is 1Malaysia? How can we have 1Malaysia policy when selfishness reigns in society, when the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing by the day, when certain ethnic groups are neglected, when we are not ONE about religion, about language, about education, about sports, about justice, about democratic freedoms etc. How can be ONE when policies that divide still exist? How can we feel ONE when we do not feel ONE. What is there to feel ONE about? Is this all an illusion? Or is it just a play of words to gain political mileage? We can say ONE body when we talk about our bodies because every part seeks the happiness or pleasures of the rest and avoid unpleasantness or pain for the rest. If our tooth aches, we make sure we do something about it to stop the pain. If we are hungry, we eat, if our heart is clogged, we make sure we go and get an angioplasty or a by pass to give us peace of mind. We act in harmony in the interest of ALL parts so it makes sense to talk about ONE body. But not ONE Malaysia, no yet so in my mind.
So do we have a philosophy to make 1Malaysia a reality. Utilitarianism perhaps? We all want to be happy don't we? We all want to avoid suffering and pain don't we? So if we have ONE common goal to ENSURE that all be happy, then in a sense we can become ONE.
The English philosopher, John Stuart Mill wrote that Utility or the greatest happiness principle means that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong if they tend to produce unhappiness. And he meant not just bringing about the greatest happiness to the individual only but the greatest amount of happiness to ALL, ALTOGETHER. This was Mill's standard of morality. Utility includes not solely the pursuit of happiness but the prevention or mitigation of unhappiness or PAIN in society.
How is this to be attained? According to Mills, it can be attained by the general cultivation of nobleness of character of all individuals in society. Thus in England we have the noble English gentleman. For when we are noble we will act in a manner that will bring happiness to all around us- not only human beings but all beings. We will be ashamed to be selfish for we know the consequences of our selfishness to society. Looking around us today, we see how man's greed and selfishness is destroying our country and the planet day by day. To bring about the greatest happiness to all would surely include certain amount of sacrifices, selflessness or nobleness on everyone's part to bring about the right balance of goodness and happiness in society
Mills further held that next to selfishness, the principal cause which makes life unsatisfactory is want of mental cultivation. A cultivated mind according to Mills was one which the fountains of knowledge have been opened and which has been taught to exercise its faculties to think rightly, greatly to bring happiness to all. Thus we require an education system or a policy that brings about the greatest mental cultivation to our citizens which would mean an education or policy based on the goodness and happiness of self sacrifice, renunciation, 'a give and take' policy for the good of ALL concerned for in the long run, this will bring only happiness to ALL. It would mean a policy rooted in the best traditions of democracy, justice and fair play. It would mean a policy training minds to be one for the happiness of all and all for the happiness of one so that the greatest happiness can be distributed to all.
The great Nazarene did after all teach:- "Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. A man's life does not consists in the abundance of his possessions". There has to be a balance between materialism and spiritualism (or moralism).
According to Mills, wretched education and wretched social arrangements are the only real hindrance to Utilitarianism's goal of bringing happiness to all. Lack of mental cultivation and nobleness in members of society lead to gross impudence, ill regulated desires and bad or imperfect social institutions - the enemies of Utilitarianism. And i believe that as long as there is no happiness to all, as long as inequality, selfishness, greed and social pains reign in society, there can be no 1Malaysia. Perhaps if our Prime Minister is really serious in bringing about 1Malaysia, he should consider Mill's Utilitarianism as a guideline.

May 9, 2009

Happy Wesak Day

Happy Wesak Day. Have not been blogging for some time now. Busy making a living. That is the problem with ordinary citizens. We are so busy making a living that we do not have time for the noble things in life like fighting for a better government, taking part in human rights demonstrations, going down to Perak to oppose the unconscionable take over of the state government, (on a big scale level) or to visit the sick in the hospital, the lonely elderly at the old folks home or the orphans at the orphanage homes, share our thoughts in our blogs (on a small scale level).
We are too busy earning to pay debts, to settle commitments- to feed, educate, clothe, shelter our own. We are so absorbed in our selves and our own- our little world- that there is very little energy or time left to fight for change in society. We are kept so busy in making money to pay bills that we are crippled to pursue our ideals. We do not have the freedom to be our true selves, to have the luxury to think, to be creative and do great things for our fellow citizens. We are constantly in a rat race. We become slaves to an oppressive system whereby we are compelled to sacrifice our values, our human dignity.
Perhaps today is the day to make a new commitment to manage our time better so that we have extra time to give to bring about a purification in the society we live in, to bring about real change. We can start by 'standing up and be counted' to bringing about a better government of the country which will bring about a better people, a better economy and therefore a better society.
E.F Schumacher, an economist had written in 'Buddhist Economics' (1973) that "materialism cannot sustain our present day economy as an attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single minded pursuit of wealth does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited. It is clear that Buddhist economics must be different from the economics of modern materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilisation not in the manipulation of wants but the purification of human character. Character, at the same time, is formed primarilly by a man's work. And work, properly conducted in the conditions of human dignity and freedom blesses those who do it and equally their products".
May all be well and happy.

Mar 20, 2009

Karma in football

For those who do not believe that the law of karma applies to football, think again. After the Champion League's draw yesterday, it looks like there is a real possibility of Manchester United meeting Liverpool in the Champions League Final. It was supposed to take place last year but did not. Well maybe the football gods have a better script in store this year. Liverpool has done the double over MU this season so far. The final between these two would surely be explosive, passionate and a no holds barred battle. A great treat for all football fans around the world though i think not for the organisers or the Rome police and security force. It would be a nightmare for them to control the fans from these two clubs with a great history, passion and animosity between them.
I don't think the scoreline will be 4-1 again. I am willing to wager RM100 on it. Coming to think of it, perhaps the 4-1 scoreline was a 'karmic debt' United had to pay to get an easier draw to the Champion's league final. The 4-1 thrashing was a freak result that i still could not come to terms with until yesterday's draw. The route to the final sure looks easier for United compared to their main rivals in the race for the Premier league title- Chelsea and Liverpool. Perhaps these two will knock , kick and batter themselves out in the two legged quarter final and be too exhausted to continue the race for the title. Well i think all we MU fans will be looking forward to just that. It is becoming an annual affair for Liverpool and Chelsea to meet each other in these crucial knock out stages of the cup. It would be a shock if it did not happen. Karma has it that they deserve each other for company. And i wonder why..
Coming back to the game last Saturday, I just cannot believe that Nemanja Vidic, the rock of the United defence could make such a mistake. I am sure a lot of United fans are still having recurrent nightmares about the give away. In the first game away to Liverpool, both Ryan Giggs and Wes Brown gave away balls to Liverpool to score. With all the humble pie MU team and their fans had to eat the last week and continuing, with all the boasting, ridicule and scorn poured upon by their rivals since that baffling, disastrous result, it is no wonder yesterday's draw favored them. Evidence of instant karma at work! The gods are kind and benevolent to the Red Devils. Liverpool had used all their good karma and now have a more difficult task to the final. So too Chelsea. Well if the 4-1 defeat was one MU had to pay to win the Premiership title, the Champions League cup and the FA cup, i think it would be most worth it. And we have to thank Liverpool for that if the quintiple becomes a reality.
Looking at the draw last night, it looks like it could be MU's year again to lift the UEFA Champions League Cup but then as the saying goes in football - 'the ball is round, anything can happen'. That's what makes football addictive to millions or possibily billions around the world. Best of luck to all contestants in the quarter finals. In these times of economic hardship, these games sure provide some form of relief to fans and great topics for discussion. It brings UNITY to all. Manchester United!

Mar 18, 2009

Manchester United and Liverpool

Looks like the Liverpool fans are still on cloud nine or ten this week. After all their team trashed MU 4-1. What orgasm for them until they can't forget it. Even they can't believe it so it was a fluke shot. Other clubs have also been encouraged by Liverpool players to attack United in the way Liverpool did as if a formula has been found how to beat MU. Well, as a MU fan, all i can say is that luck was with Liverpool last saturday, and rightly so as the they were more hardworking and compact as a team. The MU players were complacent, over confident, sluggish, not attacking the ball enough and therefore lost. Perhaps playing the game 2 1/2 days after the CL game against Inter Milan did not help.
It was a freak result. Anyway there is still opportunity for redemption in the Champions League. Maybe MU will have the last laugh. And he who laughs last, laughs loudest! Bring on Liverpool once more!

Bravo Chong Wei!

Looks like Chong Wei took my bruce lee advice and beat Lin Dan at the Swiss Badminton Open...Congratulations to him. Hope he starts beating the Chinese ace more frequently from now on.