Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bad blood between Dr Asri and Hindus?

FMT - Criminologist lodges report against Perlis mufti over FB post:

GEORGE TOWN: A criminologist has lodged a police report against Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin for posting a “provocative” statement against Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

Shamsher Singh Thind said the post uploaded by the mufti was a lie and would only serve to infuriate the feelings of Muslims towards Ramasamy.

He lodged the report at the Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam, police station today.

In his report, Shamsher said the police ought to investigate the matter for criminal defamation and also a violation of internet laws.

On Feb 15, Asri uploaded a picture of Ramasamy with the Thaipusam golden chariot in the background.

He also included a statement casting doubt over the country’s peace and harmony among races if Ramasamy held an important political position in the country in future.

“We are not sure what is going to happen to the future of our country’s harmony among races and religions if individuals like the DAP deputy secretary-general like this held an important political position in Malaysia.

“The harmony among the people of our country needs to be maintained.

“One wrong move and we stand to lose all the peace we have been enjoying thus far. ‘Jangan yang dikejar tidak dapat, yang dikendung berciciran’ (a Malay proverb which roughly translates to one being too greedy, despite having a lot, and later being left with nothing).

“We must strengthen our relations harmoniously, courteously, while understanding our country’s history. We are very worried about the enmity and tensions shown by some of the people when it comes to issues related to religion.

“Dear Allah, please save this country from the enmity between its people without a right cause,” Asri said.

The post was uploaded to his 1.1 million followers on Facebook, garnering 2,900 reactions, mostly giving him a “thumbs up”.

FMT has contacted Asri for comment and is awaiting his reply.

I am sorry to say this but in February 2017, that is, just last year, Dr Asri showed his dislike for Thaipusam.

The Mufti said he didn't like the breaking of coconuts along Lord Muruga's procession from Koil Vedu, Little India in Georgetown to the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple in the Waterfall (Botanical Garden) area.

Last year he warned Ah Jib Gor: Perdana Menteri boleh pergi untuk meraikan acara keagamaan kaum lain tetapi jangan sampai menyertai program yang diadakan sehingga dilihat menjadi sebahagian daripada mereka

Wakakaka, Ah Jib Gor - keep clear of nuts

As far back as 2013, he said of such Thaipusam processions:

"..... roads are not places for religious processions such as carrying idols and smashing of coconuts to the point of inconveniencing road users or messing up a public space, such as being carried out by followers of certain religions. If you want to streamline (the regulations), then do it for all."

notice the mainly Chinese crowd among the devotees?

they have been the most ardent devotees of Lord Muruga

Then Dr Asri was responding to Hindus' complaints about the Islamic ritual of slaughtering cows at a school in Selangor during Aidiladha that year (2013). He stated that while ...:

'... he agrees that schools are not appropriate venues for the Aidiladha cow sacrifice ritual, other religious acts in public places should also be similarly regulated.'

I had then replied on behalf of Hindus (wakakaka), saying in my post:

Come on lah, Dr Asri, where's the comparison between slaughtering live animals like cattle and sometimes even camels ... in front of young pupils and traumatising the kids, against the breaking of coconut fruits on roads which might have temporarily inconvenienced drivers.

Besides, all Thaipusam processions whether in Penang or Kuala Lumpur have been approved by the police who controlled traffic flows.

As for his claim that the ritual would mess up a public space (road), obviously, and strangely for a Penangite, he was not aware that once the Thaipusam chariot carrying Lord Muruga has passed, the so-called mess, namely broken coconuts on the road, would have been swiftly taken away by members of the public for their own use, like extracting santan (coconut milk) from the fruit, and even making use of the shells for fuel.

I didn't agree with Dr Asri on that Thaipusam issue, because we were talking about traumatising schools kids with the bloody slaughter of live animals (ones which additionally are sacred to Hindus) while the other merely broke coconuts on a road, which would not be insensitive to other religions (unless you're Raja Bomoh who worships coconuts, wakakaka).

Anyway, Dr Rama has consistently questioned the legitimacy of Dr Zakir Naik as a lawful guest here and who has allegedly been given VVIP treatment by the Malaysian government, when Indian authorities want Zakir Naik for questioning on terrorist-related issues.

Dr Asri has also defended Dr Zakir Naik whilst on the sidelines of a forum entitled 'Moderation in al-Qur'an: Between two points of extremism' in Kuala Lumpur , stating:

"There's no proof that he [Zakir Naik] called for or incited people to commit terrorist acts, through a single word of his or his lectures".

"When there is, then we can talk."

In April last year, Dr Asri caused quite a stir when he composed an allegedly racist poem directed against Hindus. FMT reported:

Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin’s caustic poem about those who “idolised cows” has not gone down well with Malaysian social media users.

However the poem, posted on the mufti’s Facebook page this morning, was “liked” by almost 5,000 Facebook users, shared over 650 times, and commented on by more than 320 people at the time of this article’s publication.

While some expressed support for Asri’s poem, which they believed was directed at Hindus opposed to the presence of Mumbai-based preacher Dr Zakir Naik in Malaysia, others condemned it for being racist.

“Even the mufti is emotional in this ZN (Zakir Naik) issue. (But) as a mufti, (you) have to calm the situation down and not pour oil on the fire,” said Mukhlis Eddie.

“Don’t just because of him (Naik) alone, all Malaysians end up fighting with one another. (And) don’t forget that the continent has the largest Muslim population, larger than Indonesia.”

He was referring to a part of Asri’s “Friday morning poem”, which spoke about a continent that “teaches people to make castes, to the unfortunate point of being called pariahs”.

Another Facebook user, Tharmeni Narendran, called for Asri to learn about Hinduism first before making statements about the religion. She also said it was unfair of him to condemn Hinduism or any other religion being practised in Malaysia.

Undeniably there exists very bad blood between Dr Asri and Hindus, but I hope it's not just because of an asshole like Zakir Naik?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Why cat missing from Chinese zodiac calendar?

It's a very interesting question by a blogging-FB matey, Mandy Ping.

Mandy asked quite curiously, "Why isn't there a Cat year", when we have in the Chinese zodiac in succeeding order, the year of the rat (or mouse), bull (or cow), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram (or goat), monkey, rooster, dog and piggy.

Of course it all started in the ancient land of China. Thus to answer Mandy's question we need to travel to China to investigate. Incidentally, China is today demonised bizarrely by the very Malaysians who once supported it and, supported by the very people who once demonised it, wakakaka.

Last year (2017) I wrote (extracts):

About, say, 30 years ago, when Malaysia was a neutral venue for international badminton matches between the two badminton giants, China and Indonesia, Chinese Malaysians frequently irritated Malay Malaysians by vociferous support for the Chinese team while Malay Malaysians did likewise by their ardent cheering of the Indonesian players.

Both accused each other of being disloyal to Malaysia, but with both failing abysmally to realise that without Malaysian players in the matches, what loyalty would we be talking about?

Why should we be loyal to either a foreign China or a foreign Indonesia? Mind, cheering for a foreign team is exactly like what some of us do when supporting Germany or Brazil or even England during the World FIFA Cup competitions.
But attitudes have changed since, with many Chinese Malaysians being vehemently against China investing in Malaysia, while UMNO Malays are doing exactly the opposite.
For example (wakakaka):

In 1983-4 Lim Kit Siang was demanding accountability from then-PM Mahathir during the Bank Bumiputra (BMF) loan disaster, then the biggest loss by any bank in the world (keeper of Malaysian Book of Records, note that superlative in BMF's 'loss', wakakaka).

But today Kit Siang is singing a different song, one totally 180 degrees from what he did 33 years ago. Yes, he's now defending Mahathir vis-a-vis the former PM's slothful revelation of what happened to BMF then in Hong Kong, which also saw the tragic (and associated?) murder of young Jalil Ibrahim.

Ooops, I've deviated from the missing cat story. I guess it must have been due to the loose cat hair floating around or more likely, gross bullshit (from Zodiac animal No 2) lying around, wakakaka.

OK, we're into Chinese history (or myths) now. I gathered same from several website so as to get more information than what my granddad told me. The info are quite good so I have done a fair bit of cut & paste though quite considerably edited and amended by me i.a.w my granddad's version, wakakaka.

Beyond satisfying the spiritual needs of an agrarian society that Chinese was and in many ways still are, the use of astronomy and astrology was also an imperative of the ancient emperor, who had the responsibility for ensuring harmony of everything under heaven.

To rule well and with prestige, one needed to be accurate in astronomical matters. Perhaps that is why the Chinese calendar, including the zodiac, became so entrenched in Chinese culture, to such an extent that reforming the calendar system was viewed as appropriate if political change then was eminent.

Mythology has it that aeons ago in China a la 'Long long ago' (wakakaka) the Jade Emperor* (Lord of Heavens) made an announcement to the animals.

* some story said it was Buddha, but Buddhism has nothing to do with Chinese culture, especially an aspect of Chinese culture which predated Buddha by several thousands of years 

"Come to my place on the morning of New Year's and extent me a cordial greeting. Whoever comes first will be considered the first guardian of the year and the number will end at twelve."

Twelve was the limit because even several thousand of years ago, the Chinese knew it took 12 (waxing & waning of the) moons to make a year - from Spring to Spring.

All the animals that heard the announcement were anxious to become the first to visit the Jade Emperor.

They were all looking forward to New Year's.

However, the Cat was always forgetful (apart from being lazy) so he asked Rat to remind him when to visit the Lord of Heavens.

Yes, you may not believe it but at that time, the cat and the rat were good friends and neighbours.

The rat then promised to awaken his friend and go together. However, on the morning when he got up, he was too excited to recall his promise, and went directly to the gathering place. On the way, he encountered the ox, who took the trouble to wake up very early on that special day.

The cunning rat thought up a good idea. He made the straightforward ox carry him with a promise he would sing for the ox.

At last, the ox and him arrived first. The ox was happy thinking that he would be the first sign of the years, but the rat had already slid in front, and became the first lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac.

By the time the cat awoke and rushed to the abode of the Jade Emperor, it was too late; the selection was over.

That's why other animals appeared behind the little rat and why the cat hated the rat so much (still does today). Every time they meet, the cat will attempt to kill the rodent, just like Mahathir wanting to kow-tim Najib every time he meets, reads, hears about or sees his former mentee, wakakaka.

There were other stories during the animals' journey.

For example, the snake, apparently also a little sneaky, coiled around the foreleg of a horse in order to cross a river. When they got to the other side, it scared the horse and beat it in the contest.

But the dragon proved to be honourable and altruistic. By all accounts, the dragon would have won the race as it could fly, but it had stopped to help villagers cross a flooding river safely, or depending on the teller, it stopped to help create rain for a drought-ridden farmland.

After Rat and Cow, the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
Many famous scholars in history had their own interpretations about this interesting topic. Hong Xun, a scholar in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), explained his thought based on Yin Yang Theory.

Among the twelve animals, those in odd positions (1, 3, 5, etc), namely the rat, tiger, dragon, monkey and dog have five toes. Five is an odd number which is thought to be in yang side (or positive). Horse has one toe, which was considered also as an odd number, hence it was placed as No 7

Even-positioned animals (cow, rabbit, ram, rooster, pig) have toes of even numbers which are thought to be yin, negative. Snake has no toe but its tongue has two tips thus was considered as an even number. Ying and yang animal signs were thus interlaced nicely.

Beside the tricks that rat played in the first story, there are other legends about its priority in those animals. In Chinese mythology about the origin of world, the universe was in dark without form like an egg before the earth and heaven was separated.

It was the rat that bit a crack in the 'egg' and let the air in. Thus the rat became the hero which started the beginning of the world and thus an important creature.

Another story averred the rat's fore paws have four toes while the hind paws have five toes, with both odd and even numbers. For such a special creature among the twelve animals, the rat naturally was considered first.

After reading the above stories, we still should be aware of some fundamental Chinese beliefs, one being that the zodiac animals were the twelve most important animals in ancient Chinese's life, and were thus selected to represent the Chinese zodiac calendar.

Alas, the cat was absent in the list of 12 animals because, would you believe, there was then no cat in very ancient China.

Wikipedia informs us that A genetic study in 2007 concluded that all domestic cats are descended from Near Eastern wildcats [Northern Africa, the Near East (Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey)] and around the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula, having diverged around 8,000 BC in the Middle East.

A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today.

leopard cat 

A 2017 study confirmed that domestic cats are descendants of those first domesticated by farmers in the Near East around 9,000 years ago.

Thus the cat has been principally a creature of the Near East (Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey and around the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula), which was quiet a way from China.

Horseshit about Israel's democracy

Malaysiakini - Anti-Semitism and mainstream Malay politics (extracts only):

flag of Israel in the evil spirit of the way her government mistreats Arabs 

I contend that the only challenge to the country’s dignity is having people who make stupid anti-Semitic remarks like what Amanah and PKR have done with this issue.

KT note: Commander (retd) Thayaparan was referring to Amanah's and PKR's predictable bigoted criticism of the Najib government for allowing Israel to participate in a UN forum, though as explained by Wisma Putra, Malaysia has to abide by UN requirements as the price for hosting the UN forum.

Anti-Semitism is mainstream in Malay politics. Anything wrong with the Muslim world is blamed on the Jews. We have hosted despotic theocratic regimes. We have welcomed religious tyrants. We have courted religious fanatics. We have embraced religious extremists who mock the religions of the non-Muslims in this country.
Yet when the only real democracy in the Middle East comes a calling, the Islamists use it as a weapon against Malay power structures in an attempt to appear “more Islamic” than their brethren.

While I have often supported Aneh and sometimes clashed with his views, I have to once again question his assertion that Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East.

Last year in May the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) published How democratic is Israel? (relevant extracts):

... some critics question whether the country can truly call itself a democracy. They point to Israel's occupation of the West Bank as a key issue.

"What do you call an arrangement where your country controls every aspect virtually of the lives of 2.7 million people who have no say or vote in the government that rules them?" says Daniel Sokatch, chief executive of the New Israel Fund, a non-government organisation dedicated to social justice in Israel.

"The religious establishment in Israel is part of the state, and that presents a host of challenges and problems when it comes to issues of freedom of religion." [...]

In June 1967 a war was fought between Israel and its neighbours: Egypt, Jordan and Syria. At the end of the war Israel had seized control of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Because Israel never formally annexed these territories, the Palestinian residents have never been given Israeli citizenship. Yet for the past 50 years Israel has settled parts of these territories with its own citizens.

"There are now more than 600,000 Jewish Israelis living in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank," says White.*

* Ben White is the author of Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination, and Democracy

"What Israel has done is effectively ... incorporated the territories occupied in '67 into the basic fabric of the state."

If you are a Jewish Israeli settler living in somewhere like Ariel in the West Bank, you can travel freely across the so-called green line, while Palestinians who do not have Israeli citizenship are subject to military law.

Israeli settlers living in the West Bank vote in Knesset elections, but Palestinians who live there do not.

"This dual system — people have talked about separate not equal, or apartheid — however you describe it, you have two groups of people living in the same space, but one of them has privileges that the other group doesn't," says White.

Methinks Aneh should do a bit more research before he praises Israel as the only real democracy in the Middle East, not when that nasty country practises apartheid like former White Supremacist South Afrika (which incidentally was one of the few friends Israel has and which together with Israel developed their nuclear bombs).

At this point, I want to present for you all to read one of sweetie Helen Ang's article, titled Malaysia is like Israel written for Malayisakini long before she took the road to Damascus (or rather Johor Baru, birthplace of UMNO) or to be more precise, on 31 December 2008.

Air strikes on Gaza over the weekend have aggravated the Israeli Arab’s growing disaffection with the state, suggest some Israeli writers.

Popular author Benny Morris, who is professor of Middle Eastern history at Ben-Gurion University, wrote an opinion-editorial in the New York Times on Monday titled Why Israel feels threatened on the challenges Israel is currently facing, including fraught relations with its minorities.

Allow me to compare Morris’ description with our own situation here. There is no exact parallel as we’re not in a war zone but Malaysia is somewhat like Israel in some ways.

The national policies of both countries contain elements of apartheid which serve to segregate communities. Israel is constitutionally a Jewish state in nature and its founding document reflects a race-preoccupied social contract too. The Declaration of Independence mentions only the history, culture and collective memory of the Jewish people; too bad for the Arabs who form one-fifth of Israel’s population.

Its ‘law of return’ allows Jewish immigration from any part of the world and Israel has received among others, African Jews and Indian Jews plus an influx of Soviet Jews when the old USSR disintegrated.

On the other hand, an Arab who is an Israeli citizen cannot just as easily bring home his Palestinian bride from West Bank. Compare with Malaysia’s permanent residency requirements for foreign spouses of the different races.

In Israel, its religious law halacha mandates conversion to Judaism in mixed marriages. In Malaysia, anyone marrying a Malay must convert to Islam. On matters relating to birth, death and marriage, an Israeli cannot turn to a civil court, meaning he has no secular recourse in these areas. Neither does the Malay who is governed by syariah.

Restaurants, factories and public buildings are obliged to adhere to the kosher practices of Jews, and public space are Judaisised under state policy. In Malaysia, we adhere to halal practices and additionally in schools, and public space are Islamised.

Israel’s law recognises and protects Jewish holy sites alone. Cemeteries, seminaries and religious institutions are built for Jews but not for Arabs. Palestinian legal aid organisation Adalah, in a report titled ‘Institutionalised Discrimination’, said during the 1990s typically 98 percent of the Religious Affairs Ministry budget was allocated for Jewish houses of worship and religious services.

Need I elaborate on Malaysia’s practices in this respect?

Why Israel/Malays feel threatened

With apology and thanks to Prof Morris for my borrowing his writing, let’s explore the ideas below.

Morris on Israel’s siege mentality: ‘First, the Arab and wider Islamic worlds…have never truly accepted the legitimacy of Israel’s creation and continue to oppose its existence.’

Some Malays regret my Chinese forefathers coming, and do not accept the full legitimacy of my presence – hence my second-class citizenship – while willing to grant a first generation Muslim from Indonesia or the Philippines bumiputera privileges.

Morris writes: ‘Second, public opinion in the West (and in democracies, governments can’t be far behind) is gradually reducing its support for Israel as the West looks askance at the Jewish state’s treatment of its Palestinian neighbors and wards. The Holocaust is increasingly becoming a faint and ineffectual memory and the Arab states are increasingly powerful and assertive.’

Public opinion in the West is gradually looking askance at Malaysia’s treatment of its minorities. The countries of origin of these minorities are increasingly powerful and assertive; Indian Malaysians revolted with Hindraf and Chinese Malaysians are grumbling louder.

Morris writes: ‘But the attack will not solve the basic problem posed by a Gaza Strip populated by 1.5 million impoverished, desperate Palestinians who are ruled by a fanatic regime and are tightly hemmed in by fences and by border crossings controlled by Israel and Egypt.’

The verbal attacks by Umno ministers and their agents on Hindraf supporters, as well as the authorities punishing the movement and its leaders – and even Jerit cyclists – will not solve the basic problem posed by a Tamil underclass of impoverished, desperate Indians who are ruled by a fascist-like regime and tightly hemmed in by state-erected social barriers, a lack of upward mobility and exclusion from affirmative action programmes.

Sense of wall closing in

Malaysia’s existence is not threatened but the recent spate of demonstrations and fiery rhetoric on Malay special rights indicate how some insecure folks see their minority neighbours as existential threats.

Morris writes: ‘The fourth immediate threat to Israel’s existence is internal. It is posed by the country’s Arab minority. Over the past two decades, Israel’s 1.3 million Arab citizens have been radicalised, with many openly avowing a Palestinian identity and embracing Palestinian national aims.’

a. Radicalised: Have the Indians been radicalised by Hindraf? If you read or listen to only the mainstream, especially Malay mass media and official channels spewing government propaganda, what would you think?

Have the Chinese been radicalised by March 8? If a Malay reads or listens only to the official mouthpieces, what would he think?

b. Identity: Undeniably, Chinese Malaysians over the past two decades have become increasingly sinicised. Today between 90 and 95 percent are estimated to attend Chinese schools. The Star group editor Wong Chun Wai is in favour of bringing back the English-medium of instruction and calls the Chinese educationists ‘racist groups’.

c. National aims: Morris writes that Israel believes the loyalty of its Arabs lies with Palestinians rather than with the state.

When prime minister designate Najib Razak says his government wants to assist the advancement of Malays elsewhere who are of other nationalities, what does it reveal of his racialist orientation, not to mention his low regard of our common nationality?

And what about those who want to put immigrant-squatters on a boat ‘balik Tongsan’ (China) and ‘balik Kalinga’ (India)? What does this popular demand tell about that Umno-type mindset?

Morris writes that ‘most Jews see the Arab minority as a potential fifth column’.

If Israeli Arabs are alleged to identify with their country’s enemies Hamas and Hezbollah, some Malays accuse Chinese Malaysians of siding with Singapore and another segment expects the Chinese to cheer for China should our two national badminton teams or players meet.

Unreal reflection in the mirror

Demographics offer another interesting comparison and contrast. The birthrates for Israeli Arabs are among the highest in the world with four or five children per family, according to Morris. He writes: ‘If present trends persist, Arabs could constitute the majority of Israel’s citizens by 2040 or 2050.’

Minorities are dwindling rapidly against the Malay prolific annual birthrate and this coupled with emigration and religious conversion will see the numerical ratio of bumiputera at a most satisfactory Muslim majority sooner rather later.

In Malaysian blogosphere now, there is the usual schism. The Malay-Muslim voices have been unequivocally pro-Palestinian. The non-Malay, non-Muslim voices have tended to be more accommodating of Israel’s self-justification.

Predictably, there was a protest against Israel at the American embassy yesterday and anger over the deaths in Gaza – ‘several hundred Hamas fighters were killed’ says Morris but he omits to mention the civilian casualties.

During the recent terrorist attack (above) on Mumbai, similarly, several hundred Indian security forces, civilians and foreigners in total were killed and injured.

Did the Malaysians, who are now bristling at Israel, earlier show an outpouring of rage for the dead in Mumbai? Did the ones chanting slogans at the American embassy extend condolences to the family of the Indian Malaysian victim?

Yesterday, it was reported that 400 people were slaughtered in Christmas massacres in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo – burned alive in their homes, villagers decapitated or killed with machetes, axes and clubs. Where is the Malaysian outcry?

Malaysia is akin to Israel in insisting the international community should view the country just as the wonderful, fair-minded democracy it miraculously manages to see itself in the smoked mirror.

Bear in mind Helen wrote the above (words, contents and all) in 2008. I felt and still do that she was very brave and honest to have done so, considering she was then very pro Israel (not necessarily pro Israeli).

Thus, Aneh should think carefully before he (incorrectly) praises Israel the only real democracy in the Middle East. That would be, as one Malaysiakini reader has written, a pile of Aneh's own horseshit. 


Dogs and Door stoppers

In MM Online, regular columnist Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin penned a nice piece in his Dogged by cultural fears (extracts):

... we live in an age where every action or inaction is sure to offend someone, and it seems some businesses are being criticised by culturally Chinese customers for failing to properly celebrate the Year of the Dog.

Apparently some business owners then face a choice as to which party to offend, and to calculate the potential damage caused by such offence.

Whether these fears are grounded in concrete precedents is a key consideration; but if this trend continues then Malaysia as a nation will continue inexorably on a path towards greater division and extremism in the long run.

For those who will “not want to be offended” will demand greater and greater constraints on the activities of others; and others will want such constraints reciprocated; and eventually such constraints will cross from the public into the private domain.

So, this cat lover says, honestly and loyally to the spirit of our Rukun Negara: Welcome to the Year of the Dog!

Well said, YM.

Tunku Zain, who was born in the year of the dog (meaning this year he is 24 or 36 or 48, wakakaka, take your pick. That's how easy it is to calculate one's age using the Chinese animal zodiac calendar) started his article confessing to his personal dislike of dogs. He wrote:

For as long as I can remember, I have disliked dogs. It must have been triggered by some childhood incident, because I feared and loathed them as a kid, and until today I am unimpressed by their gormless panting, incessant tail-wagging and unabashed displays of emotion.

There is nothing satisfying about a dog excitedly jumping towards (and trying to lick) every new human it meets; in contrast, a cat choosing to amble across the room to greet you with a headbutt — that ultimate sign of feline affection — is a pure triumph.

Of course, such prejudice based on biological factors is not in keeping with the times and I try to appreciate that every individual creature is different. However much I try though, in my books, the best dogs are those which behave like cats.

We all grew up in different environment thus it's OK to love or dislike a dog, cat, bird, etc because we are individuals with different individualistic characteristics and traits.

I on the other hand believe the only good cat is one stuffed and used as door stopper, wakakaka, whilst I love dogs, having kept numerous since my childhood days.

Mind, when I was a kid, my late mum kept several cats though thank goodness not at the same time. Thus I cannot claim to be deprived of cat company when growing up, but nonetheless I quiet frankly dislike cats.

Once I had a GF who kept two cats. Every-time I visited her I had to meditate internally to keep calm, but on leaving her house, meditated externally on how to get her annoying cats stuffed, wakakaka.

Undeniably cats lack loyalty unlike dogs who are 'pack animals' thus the latter loved to be part of a 'team' of which we humans should impress on our pets or companions we are the Alpha (leader). There has never been any companion more satisfying than a well trained dog.

I grew up in perfect harmony with such a dog, though it was not due to any training but rather my companion care for the mongrel. Yes, Rover was just a mongrel and not a pedigreed one, which strangely my late father brought home one day. Rover was given to him by his friend who didn't want to keep the poor creature anymore as he was moving to a new neighbourhood. Dad's friend also provided the rather unimaginative name of Rover, wakakaka.

somewhat like above 

I mentioned 'strangely' because my dad wasn't a man who liked to keep pets at home, whether that be a dog, cat, fish (mine of course, wakakaka) and the ones he disliked most of all, birds.

No it's not the birds he hated but the act of keeping those aves. To my very devoted Buddhist dad, that was an unspeakable act. My cousin who was living with us but naughtily kept birds had an hour's lecture from my dad on why it was unbecoming of a Buddhist to keep birds which should be flying around freely and not imprisoned in cages (as he did to me on my pet goldfish- for more on this, see my post If only ... at KTemoc Kongsamkok).

But for some unknown reasons he took to that dog he brought home. My grandfather also liked that canine, explaining to his grandson (moi) why it was a good dog from the way it rested with front legs crossed. My mum was pretty neutral though whatever my dad liked, it must be good. The family left the dog in my care.

years I fed, groomed and care for it. It was so devoted to me that no one, not even my mum, could raise a hand against me without the dog showing protective aggression.

Of course his show of aggression varied, depending on who acted against me, wakakaka, being a 'clever' dog who knew which side of the bread was buttered, thus it never approached the level of actually biting my late mum. A mild warning growl saved me from mum's thrashing on several occasions with my mum wisely walking away with mumbled imprecations against Rover.

One day Rover disappeared when I was away in KL in my first job. Reconstruction of its disappearance during my return on leave, discovered Rover, by then an old ageing dog, had accidentally wandered in a neighbouring district and thus canine domain. I was deeply stressed to learn he was killed by a pack of dogs in that neighbourhood.

Thus, unlike our MM Online author, I have never taken much to the very sombong and annoying cat as I hadn't experienced my mum's cat defending me with a loud miaow, wakakaka. Bloody door-stopper.

wonderful, as cats all ought to be, wakakaka 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Toxic politics cause loss of balance

FMT - Petronas apologises for CNY white ang pow design (extracts):

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas has apologised for the white ang pow packet design, which had attracted criticism from some Chinese, especially on social media.

In a statement published on its official Facebook page, it said it had never intended to overlook cultural sensitivities. It said, after receiving the feedback from Malaysians, it redesigned the packets – in red.

Petronas said: “The initial packet showcased a Chinese ink painting from the Petronas art collection, which depicts the welcoming of a new dawn and hopes for the new year.

“The light coloured background, however, has been mistaken for white, which in Chinese culture, is considered inauspicious.”

While I appreciate that Chinese cultural respect of its new lunar-solar year does not like certain inauspicious colours, like white and black, surely in a modern world of better informed people with less vulnerability to earlier superstitious beliefs, we could have dismissed that Petronas error with a greater level of graciousness, forgiveness and generosity of spirit, more so when that error was inadvertently committed in an act of muhibbah-ness.

Yet those very same critics could forgive a man who dictated over their parents for 22 years which period saw the loss of human rights, mutilation of our nation's hallowed institutions and profligate waste of unimaginable magnitude, and who has never apologise for his 'sins'.

Lord President of Judiciary sacked 

5 High Court judges sacked 

Dewan Negara mutilated to stifle voice of states  

106 people incarcerated, some for years, without due process of law - Lim Kit Siang and the late Karpal Singh were among the detainees 

once the public's conscience and voice
now the public's woe and Mahathir's voice

patron of a very racist organisation
Perkasa was set up to pressure Najib from becoming too friendly to Chinese

hundreds of million lost to fulfil his grudge against Singapore; we need to thank former PM AAB for stopping the silly crazy act of profligacy

Somewhere in our socio-politics the abnormally high level of toxicity has distorted our sense of proportion, tolerance and balance, where we are now making a mountain out of a molehill whilst attempting to cover up the real mountain of horror.

Related: Chinese dogs and prostitutes.