Sunday, 7 January 2018

Spot the Missing Word

Many, many yonks ago the newspapers inserted a little competition to promote their sales.  It was called Spot the Ball Contest.  The picture of a ball had been removed from a photograph of a football match.  All you had to do to win a prize was to locate the position  of the ball.

Now, on browsing through today's The Independent I noticed this headline :

From The Independent 7 January 2018

My heart sank.  Trump's acknowledgement of the Zionists' and Christian Zionists'  appetite and prayers for acquiring Jerusalem had angered, understandably, the Palestinians.  But
this 'attack' on the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church would not help their cause!!

So I clicked the item and this was the headline in the article written by Ali Sawafta and Nidal Almughrabi from Reuters.

In the eyes of the world,  Palestinians mean Muslims.  Palestinian Muslims are a violent lot of terrorists - like the 16 year old girl Ahed Tamimi who slapped an armed Israeli soldier just last week.

So, on the face of it, a headline like that suggests a certain very predictable chain reaction from the guardians of Christianity?  I am thinking of leading lights like ....

  • Donald Trump - the leader of the Free World, of the world's richest nation.

  • Charlie Hebdo, the rabidly islamophobic  French satirical weekly magazine - this should provide great fodder for their genius to work on.

  • Imagine the distress suffered by the Pope to see his fellow leader of the flock being hounded by such a rabble

  • Other voices from the milieu of the Christian evangelists would clasp their hands and say "I told you so!" - voices from nearer home like Henry Pillai, pastor from the Grace Assembly of God who can barely subdue his antipathy towards Islam in Malaysia.  Remember that celebrity American evangelist Billy Graham?  Well this is how Muslims should be treated according to his son Franklin Graham.

Our President Trump could be threatened like the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church!
That would certainly be the scenario if one only read the headline.  What is the purpose of a newspaper Headline? It is mainly to catch the attention of the readers.  It is also supposed to present the gist and the main thrust of the text to follow.

But this headline has failed miserably, whether by commission or omission  BECAUSE this is the actual content of the report  ......

...... that the "attack" was carried out by Christian Palestinians ( and with justification)!

The missing "ball", the missing word is Christian.  

This is not simply a matter of distinguishing a religious denomination.  If  a Malaysian commits a crime abroad it does not matter if that person is Chinese or Malay or Indian, or Muslim or Christian or Hindu or Buddhist - he is just another Malaysian, albeit a nasty piece of work who has brought shame to the country.
But in Palestine, the cradle of three monotheist religions and a killing field where the powerful perpetrators are labelled the victims (with the collaboration of an omnipotent Big Brother abroad), where blood and tears are cheap especially for the Palestinians -  religion matters especially in a world where violence is always attributed to one particular religion; to Islam.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Old Crime and New Year

And so the end of another year - the end of 2017, by the Gregorian Calendar.  "Gregorian what??"  you may ask.  There are many simple things in life, like a Calendar, whose history has been  taken for granted!!

There are as many types of calendars as there are religions and customs.  The Catholic Gregorian Calendar we are using came by courtesy of Christian British  Imperialism - for it was adopted by Protestant England only in 1752, and not without protests and dissensions because Protestantism has always been suspicious of the Papacy and Catholicism; not much different from the present disengagement between the Shias and Sunnis.

The present Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory X11 in 1582 mainly so they say, to keep Easter, which is observed on March 21  in sync with the spring equinox, something which the former Julian Calendar (as in Julius Caesar) failed to maintain.

Later in the 19th century, Japan (1873), Egypt (1875) and Korea in 1896 adopted the Gregorian calendar.  This was followed by China (1912), USSR (1918), Greece (1923) and Turkey (1926).

More interesting, Saudi Arabia also switched over in October 2016.  According to The Independent (Harry Cockburn, 4 October 2016) :

"The country had used the lunar-based Hijri Calendar since the Kingdom was founded in 1932, but has switched to the Gregorian calendar to pay civil servants."  As the Hijri calendar has 11 days shorter than the Gregorian 365 days, "the move will mean Saudi civil servants will lose 11 days of payment as salary days are cut.  It is one of many belt-tightening measure announced as the country seeks to reduce its high budget deficit".

Certainly we shall not see a clamour in Malaysia to switch to the Hijri calendar!!!

I do not want to be a wet blanket, but what is the relevance and meaning of  a "New Year" for many people in many parts of the world.  Discounting the annual fat bonuses for the fat cats, the latest revolution in mobile and car technology, the amazing radical changes in choices and of lifestyle for the ordinary folks-in-the-street like .......

........  what's more, 2017 has revealed the mother-of-all sexual predators in the shape of Harvey Weinstein seen here with two of the 21st century's most iconic personalities - Barack Obama and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Barack and Harvey - great political pals, then - to the tune of $600,000 according to UK's Daily Mail.
It's hard to keep in touch with the latest diktat of political correctness and when the former 44th President of the USA (and also the most popular head of state, as ranked in a survey by the International World Leader Index)  made this statement about his pal Harvey Weinstein .........

From the Daily Mail, 11 October 2017

..........  he erred in using such words as "girls" and "boys"  which, in this new "liberal" climate, will discourage children from recognising and acknowledging their sexual identities as being  neither fish nor fowl.

In the case of Gwyneth Paltrow, I am surprised at her ignorance of the politics of sex and success.

Gwyneth and Harvey

It's all old hat to this septuagenarian.  In my time at Singapore University and in the corridors of the teaching profession, we  girls were told, mainly by word of mouth, how to get on with getting good marks and special favours from the men-in-charge : from old and young men, ugly men, repulsive men, men of all shades of colour and religion and highly educated men especially.  They can be nasty, persuasive and wily so as to get what they want.

But then it works both ways.  For the fairer sex, sometimes, all they have to do is to give these predators a dose of manja-manja, feed their ego and more often than not it can bring some reward.  Furthermore there are women who have polished this to a fine art to get what they want and some foolish men fall for it, hook line and sinker!   But then a bigger harvest will require a great deal of 'investment' on the part of the female.

It all depends on how desperate you are to get ahead and to do so without too much effort. It also depends on how desperate you are to keep your dignity, self-pride and honour.

For women in any part of the world and from any culture who want fame and fortune in what is basically a male domain, this is the oldest game in the world!

I guess I was very fortunate because when I reached puberty, my Abah cautioned and warned me that "men are crocodiles".  That really prepared me for the rest of my post-puberty life!!

What can 2018 bring for the ordinary, quiet and decent people of the world?      I am thinking especially of the decent and suffering people of Palestine.

What is in store for their children?
More of the same in 2018?

How many more graves have to be dug?
More visits by The Grim Reaper from Israel?

How many more broken and bloody bodies in 2018?
More casualties to be treated in broken-down hospitals (not for the blues, only the reds)

The great and good of the world are mortified by the unequal distribution of wealth on this planet - how a great deal of fortune is held by a small percentage of the population.  ( In USA, 1% of families own 38.6% of the country's wealth).

So what can we make of this unequal distribution of deaths in Palestine and Israel.  In 2017 there are 8.3 million Israelis and 5 million Palestinians but which country takes the brunt of ending up as the victims, especially among the children of Palestine?

The unequal distribution of deaths.

So, roll on 2018.  Bring on the life and times of the powerful, the wealthy, the victors and the self-righteous.

Publicise the salacious and the banal.

Keep out and rationalise the violence inflicted by the powerful, and the sufferings and deaths of the powerless.


I have no greetings for a Happy New Year but do read some of these links.

But so as not to be a killjoy;  to "celebrate" 2018 with a big bang, look up the following link and watch the video.  (4video)

Furthermore, we are all aware of the norms of political correctness.  Anti-Semitism and any other antipathies must be reviled.  However compare the reaction of the authorities in France to Charlie Hebdo's anti-Islamic trash and to Youpi Bayard's omission.

BUT THEN, WHAT'S NEW ???? - in this new year or in previous old years and forever?

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Trump and Yerushalayim rule ok.

I think I have written so much on Zionism, Israel and Palestine on this Blog that anymore would turn out to be a boring re-hash of old lecture notes.

But I feel the action of the 45th President of the United States in recognizing Jerusalem - Yerushalayim - Ursalim  (al-Quds)  as Israel's capital needs a new take.
The Holy City for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
 I am thinking here of my father's grandchildren (who are caught up with earning their living and rearing their children) and great-grandchildren (presently tied up with schooling, ranging from pre-school to university).  I feel I have a duty  to inform and educate them on some very critical issues that will affect them as Muslim-Malays for the rest of the 21st century.  I owe it to my father, to give them what my he gave to me.

To understand the present we have to dig deep into the past.  "Who controls the past controls the future.  Who controls the present controls  the past" wrote George Orwell.  The plight and the future of ALL Muslims depend on them taking control of the agenda of their past.

After all, the rise of the omnipotent state of Judaic-Zionist Israel began with the Balfour Treaty of 1917 when Christian Zionists in Great Britain decided to supplant the remnants of the Ottoman Muslim Empire and fulfil their Biblical prophecy.

However the battle for overlordship over Jerusalem can be recorded from even further back in history -  from the early confrontation between Christianity and Islam which resulted in the Crusades.

Here are extracts from The Crusades by R.R. Selman, Methuen's Outlines, 1955 to highlight some important aspects of the Crusades.

The Christian world before Islam

The spread of Islam - mainly in The Middle East and North Africa and Spain in Europe.

Note the column under Conquest which annotates how Jerusalem was bounced back and forth between the Muslims and the Christians from the First to the Seventh Crusade.

However, it was not until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire - at the end of the First World War, when British forces entered Jerusalem in 1917 - that Jerusalem became Christian territory again. General Allenby became the first Christian to control Jerusalem after nearly 700 years!

The "creation" of Zionist Israel was not simply a result of the Holocaust - as a sort of compensation to the Jews by Christian Europe for the centuries of discrimination and pogroms they have endured for being the 'killers of Christ'.

The rationale behind the British initiated Balfour Treaty had much to do with  the Biblical prophecy upheld by fervent British Christian Zionists (and American evangelical Christian Zionists too).  They believe that the creation of Israel with Jerusalem as the capital marks the "End Times", a period of history which will end with the second coming of Christ.

In modern times the celebration of this coalition between Christianity and Zionism  is best illustrated by the "36th annual Feast of the Tabernacles conference and celebration hosted by the international Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) from Sept 27 - Oct 1."

But first let's scrutinise the maps that illustrate the series of events that took place between the Balfour Treaty and the baptism of Yerushalayim by the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Palestine before the creation of Israel

Note Jerusalem as an International Zone

This is not the beginning of the Palestinian diaspora, but their Holocaust

When the British set up their Empire and ravaged the countries they occupied, it was done in the name of civilizing the natives with their language, their entrepreneurship and their Christian religion.

What about the Zionists-Israelis?  Here are some quotes. There are 11 samples here -maybe too many but it will help my Abah's grandchildren to focus on the Ways and Purpose of Israel.












What about the function and culpability of the United States of America?

Then there's Mark Twain.    Referring to the Palestinians,he said.;

As for the ruling elite of the USA, whether they are Republican or Democrat, antipathy to Islam and by association, the Palestinians (which includes Christians) and Gazans held them together.  But behind this scenario there are other players holding up the stage.

WHO PAYS THE PIPER in the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation?

In March 2016, Trump promised the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that he would "move" the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem"  (From Four Things That Could Explain Trump's Jerusalem Embassy Decision by James Reine, 6 December 2017)

Democracy in America.

Now here's another sponsor that chooses Trump's tune.  

They are the Christian Zionists from American Christianity, especially the fundamentalist Protestants who subscribe to the Biblical prophecy on the creation of Israel.

"The Christian Zionist  community will not forget the president's bold actions.
President Trump will be honored and memorialized by Jews and Christians for all time."

Closer to home - there was this attempt by the Calvary Life Assembly Chinese Church in Melaka.

For the restoration of the "Christian Caliphate"????


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

"No Hijabs, please. We're Malaysian hoteliers!" sez who????

That was the ruling by the Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH)  [or maybe that should be recasted into the Malaysian Anti- Hijabs (MAH 2) International Brigade] ,Samuel Cheah Swee Hee.

Samuel Cheah claims that the prohibition of the hijab was an international practice.

[By the way, Samuel, according to the Bibles's Old Testament means  Name of God, asked of God, heard of God.]

See :

Perhaps he should be asked to quote chapter and verse of this policy and if he can't we have to wonder if he is serving God or Mammon or just someone who has the trademarks of an  instinctive  islamophobia.

As a veteran observer of anti-Malay tomes I can't help but recall an incident in 1966(?) at the lecture hall in the University of Singapore.  It was at the height of the Singapore campaign for joining Malaysia.  The guest speaker was Dr Mahathir.  This was way before the Race Riots of May 13 1969 in Malaysia and before Dr Mahathir became the Prime Minister of a country with a lucrative petroleum and palm oil industry.

A question came from a law lecturer (who later grew up into one of Singapore's foremost legal experts and Diplomats) which more or less challenged the validity of special Malay rights.  Dr Mahathir paused, gave his usual whimsical smile and replied,  "The trouble with you people (referring to the Chinese as the questioner was Chinese - just like Samuel Cheah Swee Hee!) is; you can only see Malays as your drivers and gardeners."

It's most likely that Samuel Cheah and his sidekicks in the MAH have the same myopic view of the hijabed Malays as not being good enough? or attractive enough? or enticing enough? or looking sexy enough? to serve as their front-line staff?

Perhaps they prefer these hijabed women to work only as low paid dishwashers, kitchen squaddies and sweepers and room cleaners - you know, the kind of job that doesn't require good looks or brains, just a good dose of elbow grease and sweat.

I thought that in the 'Malaysia Tanah Air Ku' and 'Anak Malaysia' ethos, Malaysians had eradicated or at least diluted such prejudiced and racist concepts from their brains.  It's a shame that our Sultans can only put pressure on Malay-Muslim neanderthals and not to all the anak-anak Malaysia!

I say Mr Samuel Cheah, if you think a headgear like the hijab is prejudicial to the profitabilty of your hotels, would you also ban another religious headgear, the turbans of the Sikhs? or other religious symbols like the cross?

Today the hotels; tomorrow and tomorrow, will this racist closed door policy apply to the banking and other service industry in my Tanah Air?

Will the children and grandchildren of those soldiers and policemen and others who fought and died for their country during the Communist Insurrection be denied a choice of livelihood even after they have gone through the educational and academic hurdles - just because they chose to practise the norms of their religion?

We can resort to all the Laws and Conventions to eradicate discrimination and racism.  But the most toxic issues of embedded and pathological sense of superiority of  some over others are not so easily suppressed.

MALAYSIA BOLEH KA? We always reply InsyaAllah .  God wills it but man is too arrogant.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Selamat Pulang ke Tanah Air. Welcome Home to Malaysia

"For all Malaysians returning home", the MAS stewardess announced, "Selamat pulang ".   About two weeks ago we safely arrived at KLIA.

So often now, coming home to my people and my tanah air is such a bittersweet experience.

On our first day back home we drove to AEON to stock up the larder with fresh vegetables, other  comestibles, and of course cat food.  A few minutes drive from the house we had to swerve to avoid a female Muslim driver who casually dashed in front of our car, from the other side of the road, to get to a minor road on the other side .  Five minutes later another such female jumped a red light, forcing us to lurch to a halt (despite the green light) so we could give way to another Her Bodoh Sombong Highness on her journey from scurrility!

And we were also introduced to a new Malaysian traffic regulation for motor cyclists.  It seems there's a special lane for them on the left.  Now.we get even more dirty looks and angry hootings for "getting in their way" as they overtake us on the left - as they always have done, rule or no rule.  Hamba pohon ampun, beribu ampun!    Who are we to question the DIY rights of these two-wheeled gangstas! 


This time the MAS flight was almost full, the food was quite satisfactory - not as good as Emirates but miles better than the pathetic mush of 3 years ago.  However they were not too organised at shepherding passengers from the departure lounge to the plane.  It was a right old mess and people were getting very impatient.  A Chinese lady who was obviously a resident/citizen in a western country told off the MAS official checking the boarding pass,  "You're enjoying this, aren't you?"  The official simply replied.  "I'm doing what I'm told to do" as she finished checking the boarding pass.  Touche!  She had the last word.

More and more, one can't help noticing how Malaysians have a pathological aversion to queuing.  A hijabed (Malaysian) woman with her grown-up daughter behind her flagrantly pushed their way in front of the spouse, brushing against him and knocking him back.  It seems that this is acceptable whether he is muhrim or not!  Then came the husband, pushing his way in as well.  The spouse looked at him and was about to tell him not to potong jalan but then he gave up and said instead,  "Go ahead. Do what your wife's just done".  He, like his wife, was at least 20 years younger than us.

He moved on past a Caucasian (the husband of the angry Chinese lady) who put out his hand to suggest a go-ahead for him.  He smiled and said , "Thank you, Sir".  But he could not translate the body language of that Caucasian that said with mock courtesy, "Oh, go on, go on, you sad little man".

Arriving at the departure lounge earlier on, this family stepped straight into Harrods nearby. Window shopping, the good wife said to her daughter, "Beg tu £91 sahaja!".  Five hundred ringgit is cheap?   It is half of Osman's (our road sweeper) monthly salary!

But we mustn't despair ....... 


There has been much moaning about the depreciation of the Ringgit.   However I didn't see the Malaysians on that flight worrying too much about it, judging from the shopping bags from luxury fashion shops they were carrying into the plane.

 ..... And we had visitors, both from overseas and nearer home.

A week into our return, we played hosts to Ellie - the daughter of Colin, a good friend of ours in Leicester - and her friend Dan.  Recent music graduates, they had worked hard at all kinds of part time jobs to save enough for a six-month backpacking tour of Southeast Asia.  Despite their parents' middle class background they were determined to make it on their own.  And both of them are just 22 years old!

It always warms this geriatric's heart when I get to meet such courteous, considerate and well-brought-up youngsters. They offered to help around the house, always waited for the older folk to sit down .....and Ellie always dressed up modestly in the house or when we went out.  In fact we wondered about Ellie's reaction to all the legs and tight shorts we saw when we took her to Tung Shin Hospital.  And they were on the local girls!

They stayed for four nights before they moved on to Melaka, Singapore, Sarawak and then on to the rest of Southeast Asia.  They had, prior to our arrival in KL, travelled to Batu Caves, Taman Negara, Pulau Perhentian, Penang  and Ipoh.

This was their thank you gift before they left.

3 porcelain coasters and 2 porcelain bowls from Ellie and Dan
They left their bedroom in the same state of tidiness and cleanliness as when they arrived.  "Cool", they exclaimed in appreciation when I showed them the room.

I have to respond with the same "Cool"  when they left.


It is tough for two septuagenarians to prepare a house  - one that had been unlived in for the past three months - for two house guests from overseas.  On our third day at Setiawangsa, on Friday, Rodiah (my home-help) and I were knee deep in clearing up used laundry, making up beds with fresh bedding and pillow slips, dusting and cleaning the guest room and bathroom for habitation.  I had to prepare a shopping and cooking schedule for meals.  Because of jet lag, I was getting only 3-4 hours sleep and there was one night when I had to do with just two hours.  I had to put off my brother's usual drop-in whenever we came back from Leicester and postpone my customary visit to my elder sister and Abang Long on my arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

And on that same Friday, some local friends came.  There was a buzz from a hand phone and simultaneously the sound of car wheels arriving.  A family of six were waiting at the gate.

I was dishevelled, sweaty, looking like something the cat dragged in - unfit company to both male and female, young or old.  I rushed upstairs to tidy up and make myself, as quickly as possible, presentable and tidy.  When I got down to the gate, they said they wouldn't come in. It was just a short assalamualaikum visit.  But it's like getting a phone call after midnight.  One is both shocked and unprepared!

After making her salaams, the wife and mother in the family pointed to Osman's mattress, - which was draped over the gate for an airing - made a little giggle and said, "Kak Maznoor kencing di tilam, kah?

Well, I ask you!  Or should I say Astagh-firullah-la azim!

The silence that followed was deafening and in my anger I retorted, "Kalau nak kencing, saya dah buat di England.

Why? Why? Why?  How do you fathom the reason for a statement like that?  The use of the word kencing is, in Malay custom, insolent and uncouth.  If I said such a remark when I was a child, my mother would tampar my mouth in public view.  I would be given a good scolding for being kurang ajar if I had been older - but not before giving a minta maaf to the recipient of the insult.

But I am still in shock.    The lady is well educated - in both a secular and (especially) a religious way.   She comes from a well-off urban middle-class family.     And  I am at least 20 years older than her.

There can be only one interpretation.     She was making fun of elderly people who cannot control their bladder and so have a tendency to wet the bed.   Well, I am elderly.   But I have not reached that stage  - and hopefully (like my mother) never will!  If it was meant as "a joke" - the usual cowardly excuse - it carries the stench of something worse than the smell of urine.   

Oh my Malays .... you can have the best education for this world and the hereafter and all the good things in life - and yet very few simple Malay manners.



Although our abode is in Wilayah Persekutuan, I am enormously proud of the Bugis Sultan of Selangor - the Sultan of my birth-state for taking  a stand to stem the winds ( in ascending order) of excessive zealotry, self-righteousness and bigotry in the Malay world.

And my ancestry is part Selangor jati,, part Minangkabau, part Bawean and part Chinese, but 100 per cent Melayu.

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 :


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!


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 "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,



Got to get back to my paper chase.

Tara me duck.