Sunday, 3 September 2017

AsH coming out : out of the paperwork

This blog has been dormant, not comatose and for very good reasons.

I think these images speak for AsH's  semi-recluse life in Leicester.

1.  The Paper Chase

Paper Chase at the Hermitage - View from the Door.

Paper Chase at the Hermitage - View from the Bed.


Recluse working on paper.



The Result by mid-August - just  5% of the main task. 



Bleeding Knackered - 3rd week of August.

  2.  The Wardrobe Chase



The Clearout - the Chosen ones.
The Clearout - destined for the Charity Shops.

3.  A little heartbreak in Leicester - the demise of one of my favourite shops, and soon after the end of British Home Stores early this year!!


My favourite stop at the end of New Walk - the main pedestrian path from our abode to the City Centre.
Good-bye Fenwick , one of the most beautiful Victorian buildings in Leicester - gone are the old haunts.



However, there still remains a touch of Leicester's humour - Eh Yup me Duck!




4.  Back to the Real World.   I do not want to be baked in a Pie!

Read this today :  http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/03/well-be-lodging-a-report-says-subra-minister-complaint-will-be-submitted-to-singapore-over-portals-f/


Reference:

Red                    Singlish

Blue                   Leicester-speak

Normal               Normal-speak   

After reading the news about that pie-in-the-sky whinge from a Singaporean, I reckon I could get a good kick at a posting in normal and two demi-languages.  Here goes.


Hour Fuming. Bleeders, some on um. Note but trouble.

"I donno one. After dee aksident, everyting tebalek.  I feel dee ambulance took soo long, 30 minutes, man!"  (quote by Mr Joshua Rozario - the spokesperson for the  Singaporeans)

The ambulance from Sultanah Aminah Hospital actually took 13 minutes to get to the scene of the accident.

Aktually all dis becos of misscommunication!

Miscommunication??

They spik in Malay. lah. How to expek us to unnerstand?  We only know words like "Belapa (berapa or 'how much)?",  "kasi penoh tangki (fill up the tank)", "Ada diskaunt?".
Orso, we come to Jay Bee only to eat cheep, shopping cheep, petrol cheep and landed property very cheep!  

Cheep, oops Cheapskate huh?

Teh you the truth, we all got no medical training, so cannot tell if  Jay Bee hospital know what they are doing.  We call the media becos we want to catch the person who langga us.
We orso want to teach Sinchiaporeans how or what to do if they kena same problem in Jay Bee.  We Sinchiaporean must know, these people not like us. Dey work like don't know how.  We cannot get privilege in Jay Bee like in Sinchiapore.  


Not to worry, Singaporeans.  As for catching the ones responsible, Malaysia's Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramaniam said  " It is up to the Singaporean Government to decide on the next course of action for the Portal's (The Independent.sg) "irresponsible" reporting."

Condolences for the passing of Justinian Tan.

There is such a fine line between justice and revenge  If the Walls of Joshua's Jericho has to be demolished, do not blow your trumpet to the media - firstly, double check the details from  for instance, the Hospital.  This applies especially for all news portals.  As they often say in Singapore,

SORRY NO CURE!

****************************************************************************************

Got to get back to my paper chase.

Tara me duck.








Wednesday, 19 July 2017

TAKANA JOH KAMPUANG

For my Abah - the man with the Minang soul - Oslan Hussein is one of his favourite singers and especially this poignant and jolly song "Takana Joh Kampung".

Oslan Hussein's songs - like "Ayam den Lapeh" - would reverberate in our kampung house during the sixties, disconcerting some of the kampung folks in Pasir Panjang, who were mainly Javanese and Malays.




Berjumpa kawan den lamo : to dear friends for the last 30 years - who are now frail in health.



Jack


Dot and Ann
.... to Colin who is slightly younger but a great teacher on media technology for the two idiots.

One of the techno-idiots and Colin.

There are our dear mates from Leicester Animal Rescue who volunteer their services for animal welfare.

Leicester Animal Rescue


The one who is really, really homesick and wants to balek kampung is ..




.... who longs to get back to his  friends  and familiar old routine.

Bringing home milk for a loverly cuppa tea!

.... and a walk in the park!
..... to where




As we've been hitched for yonks, my kampung is his and his kampung is mine.

Hence my choice of Takana Joh Kampung to our other kampung in Leicester.

We are leaving  our dear family and friends  tonight  and how I wish I could bring these dear cats to their other kampung in Leicester.

Socks, Comot and Rusty


Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Sins of the Father ??

Brothers/siblings fall apart all the time.  It's an ancient malady beginning with Cain and Abel,  the feud between Joseph and his brothers and Romulus and Remus.

In modern times in Britain, we have the simmering rivalry between the Milliband brothers, David and  Ed after Gordon Brown's departure from the Labour Party's leadership.     And Rupert Murdoch's brood had their problems too.

Even the mighty Royal Family was not exempt.  Because Edward VIII - who reigned for just one year in 1936 - decided to give up the British throne for the love of his American paramour Mrs Wallis Simpson, the duty and responsibility of the Monarch fell upon his reluctant brother George (who became King George VI,  1936 - 1952).  From childhood, George VI suffered a chronic stammer and public speech was an ordeal for him.  His wife Queen Elizabeth (the mother of the present Queen), was unable to forgive her brother-in-law ...... for what she regarded as a betrayal of the Royal Family.  She blamed him for her husband's early death - George VI died at 57, his brother who was a year older died at 78.

Today, we bear witness to the very public falling out between two brothers (and a sister), scions of the venerable  Lee Kuan Yew family/dynasty, all  holders of the much vaunted President Scholarship,  high-flyer graduates from one of the most pukka universities in the world (just like their mater and pater), top ranking players (just like their wives) in the first-world city state of Singapore - that Utopia in the economic backwater of  Southeast Asia. They are squabbling like alley cats over the old family home  - and the money and power that are linked to the old homestead.

It's not so much a tragedy as a farce.

We in Malaysia have been regaled by stories of the PM's  'financial shenanigans', his wife's handbags and  eye-boggling diamonds in both the local and global Press.

Now squeaky-clean and self-righteous Singapore is giving us a soap opera worthy of another manga-style comic book hero, as a sequel to the Manga comic book: The LKY Story - Lee Kuan Yew: The Man Who Shaped a Nation.

According to Bunsho Kajiya, managing director of Shogakukan Asia " The manga format is often used because even youth and children find it  appealing to read and there is a general understanding that manga format works on a global scale to attract many potential readers."

Say no More!

But I cannot avoid harbouring a feeling of deja vu, that this scenario has happened before in Singapore's history.

Now I remember this history textbook in Singapore.


In it , Singapore schoolchildren are taught the history of their  island Republic, of being small fish surrounded by many Malay fish.  This book notes



Let me continue this with a quote from an earlier posting - to illustrate what happens when legacy and siblings and power begin to disintegrate.
See : https://anaksihamid.blogspot.my/2013/02/stamford-bob-and-dave.html

"Raffles employed the old trick of manipulating factional rivalry and playing the kingmaker to ensure Singapura belongs to the British and to challenge the Dutch threat to Britain's lucrative opium trade between China and British India.

He installed Tengku Hussein who was exiled in Riau by his brother the Sultan of Johor as the Sultan of Johor!  All this was done with the collaboration of the man who was the head of the Malay settlement located at the mouth of the Singapore River when Raffles first landed in Singapore.

Stamford Raffles did not discover Singapore.  And he did not sign a treaty with the actual Sultan of Singapura - he installed a puppet, an interloper.

1 February 1819 - Tungku Long (Hussein) was smuggled in from Riau and Raffles offered to recognise Hussein as the Sultan of Johor  (just as Robert Clive did in installing Mir Jafar as the Nawab of Bengal) thereby legitimising the British right to set up a trading post (mind you, just a trading post)  in the treaty of 6 February 1819.

In the treaty, Hussein was claimed to be 'the lawful sovereign of the whole of territories extending from Lingga and Johore to Mount Muar.'  The Brits left no stones unturned!"

Well, I thought I might enhance some of the material in that school textbook which simply recorded this......


..... and an illustration of an exotic native warrior.




And so, boys and girls - here are some final thoughts.

1.

From "Elegy written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray, 1716-1771

2.  "The old trick of manufacturing factional rivalry and playing kingmaker" - it's a dangerous device  that is being manipulated in both Singapore and Malaysia.


3.  Among the Malays, there are a growing number of Tungku Longs and Temenggong Abdul Rahmans  who are willing to sell their fellow-Malays down the drain, knowingly or unknowingly - in the name of progress, religion, democracy, liberalism, human rights and profit.


What wee gave, we have;
What wee spent, wee had;
What wee kept, wee lost.

(Epitaph on Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon (d, 1419) and his wife at Tiverton)







Jest for fun.  My favourite song in the late 80s and a beautifully light advertisement
 for all stricken brothers.  Cheers mate!


Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A Hari Raya - enhanced by Singaporeans




Selamat Hari Raya, - Kampung Abu Kassim, Pasir Panjang, Singapore 1949.


Abah made the Hari Raya banner and the two stars for his 4 children's Hari Raya.  Very much a DIY man and coming from a background of the traditional Malay who engages in carpentry he must have enjoyed doing this for each Hari Raya.

As for the family's Hari Raya guests, they all posed for photographs in their best Hari Raya garments.

L to R : Mak and her youngest Akim,  Abah and son number one, Mus, Cik Ayik and family.  I think Pacik Mat was taking the picture.


Sixty-eight years later in 2017, Ash had a re-run of those Hari Rayas of long, long ago.  Four Singaporeans (a Peranakan, an Indian, a Chinese and a Malay) and Ummu an Indonesian (Lely's maid) made the long arduous  journey from Bukit Panjang to Setiawangsa on the first day of Hari Raya.  It was all made possible by Jailani, making his  first solo drive from an island  in the south to halfway up the Peninsula.

Bless you Jai for bringing together Miss Hamid and spouse with her former students on this auspicious day   A very heart felt thank you from me and my sister and brother for this : when you  menziarah my father's and brother's  grave on Hari Raya before you left for Kuala Lumpur (although you do this not only for Hari Raya).

Pusara Abadi , Singapore.


An old teacher's Hari Raya.

I do feel I'm the most privileged teacher on this planet when these 'kids' of mine turn up to revisit the old ogre, their Miss Hamid


L to R: Irene, Lely and their classmate from JSS days.  Din will always find the time to meet up with his old friends whenever they turn up in KL.  
(Ummu is sorting out the washing-up in the background - she also met up with her aunt and family who work in KL)



Then there's Jai who made it all happen and ....

L to R: Osman(a KLite),  Jai,  the spouse and Veera.  A mini-UN made up of an Arab,  a Malay native from Singapore, an Anglo-Scots, and a Singaporean Indian.


What more could AsH want  for this Hari Raya and for all of 2017 - Bless you all kiddos!






Finally, to all my readers, friends and kindred spirits ..... Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Bathin.




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Asymmetry of Reactions ......

........  AsH is borrowing a phrase by Vijay Prashad from his article "Violence: Theirs and Ours".

See  http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/31/violence-theirs-and-ours/

It's a solid piece about the hypocrisy of the West (both the Government and the Media) when dealing with descriptions and analysis of death and mayhem that are tearing up our world.  Up to more or less two years ago this scenario was limited to the Middle East and Africa.  Now the 'plague' has moved to Europe and its big cities and we are are now witnessing their pain and grief .  The West used to think that this  butchery only happened to other people in the Middle East, in Africa and Palestine - something they used to watch while they're eating their cosy TV dinners.  The immunity they used to feel when Iraqis and Afghanis and Palestinians were bombed to hell and back has now evaporated and the chickens have come home to roost.

On 22 May it was Manchester's turn to be violated by a jihadist and 22 mainly young people were added to the list of victims of the Crusade .......



..........  orchestrated and conducted by Blair and Bush at the turn of the century, according to  centuries-old  compositions.




I have watched this carnage of innocent lives, especially the young , from the belly of the whale itself, from my early days of settling down in Britain during the 1980s.  Through my 40s, 50s, 60s and now in my 70s, for half of my life so to speak, the endless trail and fields of death just seem to get worse and bloodier with each decade.  The ones who lit and fanned the flames were those close to my generation and the torch has now been passed to their children.  I don't reckon  I will see any change in my lifetime.

When I watched this video this morning, it is clear to see how the malignant cancer of terror are reaching the parts which seemed so immune to bloodshed and havoc because they have been so well- protected by their visible and invisible weapons and by their regime's subterfuge.




Unlike those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine/Gaza, Libya, Syria and Yemen the victims in the West will still have an intact infrastructure.  The kids can go to school as usual, the hospitals and doctors are still there, the shops are well-stacked with food.  Except for some broken bodies and grieving hearts, life will carry on as usual.

But how about these lives?





As for the Manchester Jihadist that murdered 22 and injured scores : those in the know like John Pilger had this to reveal.


READ: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/31/terror-in-britain-what-did-the-prime-minister-know/

To summarise, the perpetrator Salman  Abedi was a member of LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) regarded by Britain as "a terrorist organisation", seeking  a "hardline Islamic state" and "part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement".

The LIFG in Manchester (known as the "Manchester  boys") were strongly opposed to Gaddafi and were " considered high risk and .... under Home Office control orders".  However, they were set loose by MI5  and their passports returned, when Britain, US and France attacked Libya in March 2011.




There are a lot of bloody hands, innumerable Lady Macbeths in this "War on Terror" - but with one difference - they have no conscience.

In remembering the terrorist attacks in western cities, let's set the context for violence and bloodshed in the month of  MARCH this year.  (taken  from Vijay Prashad's article)


  • Khalid Masood, on  22 March 2017,killed four people when he rammed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.

  • US aircraft on the same date - in a bombing run - killed 33 civilians who were taking shelter in the al-Badia school.  Other sources say the number might be as  high as over 100.

  • On 21 March, a school, a field hospital and homes in Tabqah were  bombed by  US aircraft, killing 20 civilians.   


  • One week before , in the town of al-Jineh near Aleppo, a US bomb hit a mosque  killing 46 civilians.






The bells toll louder and longer for victims in France, US, Israel, Australia, Germany, Holland, Britain and all in the Judaeo-Christian world.

Some (or rather many) lives are expendable!  Guess who!

Do read Vijay Prashad's article.




"And the love doesn't weigh me down at all"  sing the Hollies.

More than Love - the world needs JUSTICE.

Friday, 2 June 2017

: Saying Sorry from a star


The spoken language , in its various intonations,  will immediately signal to you the nature and sincerity of a statement.

For instance, after committing an error you can respond orally with
  •  ' I'm sorry' (and I do mean it with all my heart) or
  • 'sorry?' ( did I really offend you?), or 
  • 'sorry!?' (I apologise but I don't see why I should),  
  • 'sorrryyyy' ( I am not, but I'm coooool!), or 
  • at the very worst you will receive 'sorry xz?w8hjfk!;!!!!!!!!'  (fill in the blanks yourself).
However, any form of written text is a bit more complex to dissect, to tweak out the hidden deception and half-truths - to look beyond the denotations of language to the connotation.  And of course the insertion and placing  of images in the text and layout of any print and electronic media  can be used as a subtle and clever type of innuendo and insinuation.

The Star for example, which prides itself on being .....




,,,,,,,, was recently caught - with its 'kn.....rs in a twist' ( not the first time though) with this front page  "scoop" .





It could only lead to the inevitable anger and disgust from the Malay-Muslims ( the bumiputra and 61.3 percent of the population).  Conflating terrorism with an image of Muslims at prayer is quite unforgivable and cannot be anything else but mischievous.  The management and editors at all levels of authority in The Star cannot claim that it's due to ignorance or an innocent 'coincidence'.

The pathetic and self-serving apology that followed made matters worse.

And so, after that headline and the limp apology, can we declare "Three strikes and you're out!!" ?



How pathetic is this sorry state of an 'explanation' ?

Paragraph 3:   Nobody but a cretin would not link the message and intent of the headline and the picture.  Do the powers-that-be in The Star think so little of the Malaysian public's ability to assess the carelessness and callousness of the design of that front page?  You don't need a degree to recognize the malice, whether it's intended or not.

This reminds me of the excuses put forward by the owner of Ninja Joe P. Ramly Burger when he was brought to task by the owners of Ramly Burger.

So, 'P' stands for pork in Ninja Joe's P. Ramly burger!!  What a porkie!  Or maybe this is just an unfortunate coincidence - a similar plight to The Star.

Extract from http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ramly-burger-boss-pans-pork-burger-tribute-says-seeking-legal-advice


More background information from Ash's posting of November 2016 :http://anaksihamid.blogspot.my/2016/11/ninja-ah-beng-introducing-p-tjtee-juicy.html




Paragraph 4:   "The Star should be more discerning and sensitive to the feelings of our Muslim readers".

What an unfortunate oversight!  Or was it?

Let's take this scenario.

Would some of  The Star's readers be irate if this collage  appears on the front page of  "Malaysia's No 1 Local English  News Portal".

An in-your-face Combi-Image 


           ***********************************************************************

Notes for the above  Combi-Image

The top image comes from www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-02/03/content_15781890.htm


Here's an extract from the third image at the bottom.

" The urban areas - especially the capital Kuala Lumpur ......... George Town, Malacca and Petaling Jaya enjoy a quality of living very similar to that in developed countries.

However incomes are still distributed unevenly. For instance the wealthiest 20% of Malaysians control 53.8 per cent of the wealth while the poorest 60 per cent  of the population controls just 21.3 per cent. ..............  Disparities exist along both geographic and ethnic lines.  In general, the Chinese population, which traditionally lived in urban areas and been involved in small and medium-sized businesses or employed in various industries has had higher incomes than the Malays,who often live in small towns and villages and were traditionally engaged in agriculture. .......... Peninsular Malaysia, where the majority of the population lives, has much higher standards of living compared to East Malaysia." 

             ************************************************************************

Being discerning and respectful of  people's sensitivities has always been a commendable trait in this country that gave shelter and sustenance to those who came to her shores for the last 250 years.   But standards of respect for our differences have fallen drastically - thanks to the Internet, Twitter and Facebook which allow neanderthals and cowards to flaunt their bigotry and double standards.

I recall these recriminatory words from Dato Seri Wong Chun Wai, Group Chief Editor of The Star in his column when he challenged the rantings of a Malay racist group.

http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/on-the-beat/2017/05/07/malaysia-belongs-to-all-of-us-we-should-never-forget-that-our-beloved-nation-was-built-by-founding/


In the fourth paragraph of his column, Dato Seri Wong wrote " Obviously, it needs to be reminded that under the definition of sedition and seditious tendency in our legislation, anything uttered which upsets a group of people along racial or religious lines is seditious.  The term may be broad but that's how it goes, people. "

Exactly!  That's how it goes  Malaysians!!   Especially when and if you believe that "you belong to Malaysia" and not the proprietorial  "Malaysia belongs to us/me".

                                                     ********************
Finally, here's an item from the venerable New York Times which is very similar to The Star's star headline.

1.  A few days ago I came across this article in The Guardian which complements the issues that arose from The Star's  'unfortunate coincidence' of May 27.  Extracts from the article  will do a better job at making a comparative analysis of  the journalistic style of The New York Times and The Star.

  
'Deliberate choices' in the name of the much-vaunted freedom of the Press



2.  
With apologies for the poor image.
  

News about lies and robbery committed by white swimmers representing USA during Rio 2016  (compare with Malaysian terrorist leaders in The Star)  was conflated  with that of  Usain Bolt's remarkable victory at Rio 2016 (compare with image of Malaysian Muslims at Terawih prayers in The Star).


  Our favourite betes noir: Islam/Muslims and Blacks





3.  
.... or Prejudice and Pride?




4.  
Reading between and beyond the Lines and Images





A B C keladi hutan,
Nasi basi jangan di makan

A B C keladi kangkung,
Tanggal gusi pipi kempong

A B C gula arak,
Aku makan isi, engkau makan kerak

Jinjing-jinjing tikus,
Pekasam labi-labi
Anjing sudah kurus
Malam2 masok babi.


(From Kalong Bunga, Buku 1,  oleh Za'ba, DBP 1964)





















Sunday, 21 May 2017

PMs Three - memories from the late twentieth century

Beware when you get to be a septuagenarian.  You reckon you are due for a change ......and deserve a peaceful sojourn on this earth in the time you've got left.

But no; a leaking roof, failing internet connection, sick pet (Rusty the cat, not the spouse), a fall down the stairs, and chronic insomnia have been on my plate since the last posting.  I  was becoming quite frustrated because a number of drafts I started could not be completed.  I put it down to decrepit old age - time maybe to settle down in my rocking chair and do something quiet and placid like embroidery!  If I were back in Leicester I could turn into a couch potato and watch re-runs of cowboy stories (like Bat Masterson) and mystery thrillers (like Perry Mason) on TV or make frequent forays to the Charity Shops in the City Centre!

Better than tidying up the clutter in AsH's head, I reckon a bit of spring cleaning could be very therapeutic.  And it was - because under the box which serves as Socks' bed I uncovered this:

My case numbered Item 94 titled 'Reference on Singapore' which arrived  in the container from Leicester to Setiawangsa in 2008.   Amongst other treasures in the case was that precious book 'Malay Participation in the National  Development of Singapore' (1971) edited by Sharom Ahmat and James Wong.



Amongst other goodies, I discovered a file of newspaper cuttings from The Straits Times in  April 1990 referring to news about Malaysia - about her Prime Ministers.



That the Chinese should be given the right to monopolise trade and commerce because they are better at it is quite a startling statement from the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.  Monopoly of any sector of a country's economy is bad news for any nation.  And to justify this in terms of the taxes that the monopolist will contribute is exactly the argument used by the chauvinists to exert their superiority and to denigrate the incapacity of the Malays!



The fourth Prime Minister's suggestion for the implementation of the NEP  (30% of the economy be allocated to the Bumiputras, 40% to non-bumiputras and the rest to foreigners) revealed another cloud-cuckoo-land vision.

"What we want to see is that the wealthy Chinese conduct businesses according to the NEP.  They should bring the bumiputra into their firms, accept him, train him to work and expose him to business risks - not just to use him as a front."

Was this the blueprint for cronyism in Malaysia? 

Whenever we come back to Singapore/Malaysia to visit the family, we spend the post-breakfast
 mornings catching up with the news.  I was just two years away from starting a teaching job in USM and when I saw these items from April 1990, I just had to bring these cuttings back to Leicester together with my supply of ikan bilis  and my mother's sambal pedas pucuk ubi/ikan bilis.  They more or less prepared me for the vagaries of  working life in  a Malaysian University.

I gave up after only two years - too much "sound and fury" (from  both the Academics and Administration) "signifying nothing".

In contrast, I worked for six and a half years in Brunei but that was a different scenario.    In 1978, when I left for Brunei, I was desperate to escape the straitjacket in Singapore!

As for the third of  my three Prime Ministers, it was heartwarming to read this of  Allahyarham Tun Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.

A  publication by The New Straits Times Press 1976


Allahyarham Tun Razak, the man ....




"In the ten years that Razak was Minister for National and Rural Development, nearly three million adults were taught to read and write.

The British took nearly a century to build two thousand schools; the Tun took ten years to build three thousand more.

At the time of independence, one million children were at school; in 1970, there were two million.  During Tun's tenure of office, nearly half a million acres of rice, coconut and other crops were provided with drainage and irrigation facilities, and more than 800,000 acres of jungle were opened for development."  (from page 47 of the above publication)


Quotes from Tun Razak:



When I was in Singapore University during the mid-60s, my (Chinese) fellow undergrads  labelled Tun Razak a racist , but they all agreed that he was made of sterner stuff than Tengku Abdul Rahman and would be a formidable leader of Malaysia.


Tun Razak was the right man at the right time to take over as Prime Minister after May 13 1969.




Maybe there will be people out there today, in their mid-40s, collecting newspaper cuttings, electronic folders, books and publications of our other Prime Ministers.  And when they become septuagenarians, they might  begin to  pore over their collection - with sad eyes and despondency.