GE-14: The Storm continues

May 22, 2018

GE-14: The Storm continues

by Bunn Nagara

People power: With the support of a majority of Malaysians, Pakatan delivered a severe blow to Barisan in the recent go with the picture of the two girsl holding up fingers.

Young Malaysians support Pakatan Harapan and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad


Whether it was a tsunami or tidal storm, GE14 hit Barisan Nasional for six, a blow so severe that its members, leaders and component parties are still reeling from it.

The Pakatan Harapan pact did not achieve this all by itself, of course. It had the support of a majority of Malaysians and, no less, a Barisan that had repeatedly shot itself in both feet.

Even after a string of scandals, Barisan failed to explain any of them satisfactorily or at all. It also failed to provide convincing arguments to justify its pleas of innocence – critically, as a general election loomed.

Instead, what an electorate saw was a chain of evasive actions, avoidance of independent scrutiny and familiar denials – or a deafening silence. These occurred amid a growing lack of transparency and the absence of credible rebuttals that had become the new normal.

At various BN campaign rallies, the public turnout ranged from low to very low. At several other familiar constituencies, BN did not appear at all – had BN given up this time, local residents wondered.

Then there was the error of BN leaders believing in their own rhetoric of success, as if it were guaranteed in perpetuity. Such rhetoric may be useful to rally the troops on the campaign trail, but believing in it for a false confidence is fatal.

Worse, actions by the Elections Commission (EC) seen as selective and partial against Pakatan shifted more popular sympathy and support towards it. Questionable technicalities that disqualified Tian Chua from his candidacy, and barring PPBM from contesting, added to the sympathy and support.

Image result for mahathir 2.0

Worst of all, targeting Tun Mahathir personally appeared to many voters as spiteful, disrespectful and in bad taste. For many, it revealed a lowering of campaign standards, ingratitude and the absence of a positive record to be proud of.

A negative campaign always has its costs. One aimed against Mahathir in particular is likely to backfire badly. In attacking him for his age and thus his supposed incapacity, his detractors ignored how their narrative was not shared by many. Age also means experience and distinction, particularly in Asian societies.


Mahathir is particularly associated with Malaysia’s best years in development, growth, progress and national pride at home and abroad. The country recovered relatively swiftly even when the worst economic crisis struck in the 1990s.

In singling him out, Mahathir’s foes only contrasted Malaysia’s current predicament with the nation’s glory days in his time. That was yet another bad strategic move.

Then a bizarre action based on a technicality backfired grotesquely – cutting out Mahathir’s face from campaign posters because his party was not officially registered. It focused public attention on the EC’s failure to register PPBM, whatever the reason, confirming the sense of bias and campaign vulgarity that seemed ingrained.

BN’s overall underestimation of Pakatan centred on its underestimation of Mahathir. For many he represented a tried and tested leadership that was both savvy and successful.

Besides, those aware of Mahathir’s political fortunes also know of his formidable and unbroken record of defeating every rival he encountered and every opponent who dared challenge him.

In the early 1980s, Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn had chosen Tun Ghazali Shafie as his successor. Senior UMNO figures including Mahathir approached Hussein with an ultimatum to change that choice.

Mahathir succeeded Hussein instead. As Prime Minister, Mahathir defeated all challengers in turn: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Musa Hitam and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Fifteen years after retirement Mahathir returned to politics to take on Datuk Seri Najib Razak – and defeated him as well. Mahathir may be in his 90s and with a heart condition, but evidently he is no ordinary nonagenarian.

BN had also underestimated Pakatan’s strengths by overlooking its own weaknesses.

Image result for Scandals in Malaysia

A series of scandals involving various public institutions came together because for many people these still had to be addressed or resolved properly: 1MDB, Tabung Haji, Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), the National Feedlot Corporation, Felda, Felda Global Ventures, Gatco and MARA.

Whatever the details, as public institutions they implicated the government of the day in the public mind. That is a critical liability of incumbency.

These institutions also happened to affect the livelihoods and future of a largely Malay community, with an impending election much of whose result hangs on the choice of that community.

Meanwhile, public dissent against the Establishment as represented by the Barisan continued to grow. On the Pakatan leadership front, another development spelt Barisan’s doom – the alliance between Mahathir and Anwar.

Since 1998 Anwar was in the political wilderness if not also in prison, and since 2003 Mahathir was in retirement. The institutional flaws at party and government levels gave way to deficiencies and excesses in their absence and their mutual estrangement.

Image result for mahathir and anwar ibrahim


For GE-14 both their forces came together, in the rebirth of an alliance between Malaysia’s two savviest politicians. Four opposition parties came together in agreeing on Mahathir as leader, thus posing the stiffest challenge to Barisan ever.

In addition, the Pakatan parties even agreed on using the same symbol at the polls – a significant step that made a difference with voters who might otherwise have been confused over the candidates.

As if all these challenging developments for Barisan were not enough, independent analysts who should have known better were giving Barisan better than even chances of winning.

They seemed to be deliberately underplaying Pakatan’s chances to avoid panicking Barisan, thus offsetting possible attempts to sabotage Pakatan’s prospects.

This, added to Barisan’s complacency in avoiding the harsh realities of the day, meant only one thing – a historic defeat. Number crunching aside, a Pakatan win could have been gleaned from the feeling on the ground.

As in the Philippines in 1986, Indonesia in 1998 and Thailand in 2006, the mood for change became palpable by March 2018.

In particular, those who underestimate Mahathir do so at their own peril. Not only has he not slowed down, he appears able to go further this time.

While Mahathir 1.0 could shape the discourse and narrative of issues, Mahathir 2.0 can also determine the context and trajectory those issues take.

After Pakatan swept West Malaysia, including Perak despite some initial difficulties, it is approaching belated wins in both Sabah and Sarawak, Barisan’s former stronghold states.

For many, only last week a Pakatan win seemed near-impossible even with a simple majority. But just a day after that victory, much of both West and East Malaysia seemed set to go Pakatan’s way.

Within hours of a new federal government, and during a celebratory public holiday, moves were already afoot in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in Pakatan’s favour.

Pakatan-friendly Warisan in Sabah has claimed a majority in the State Assembly while Mahathir has been in private talks with Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Very suddenly, the opposition pact nobody gave much hope for is fast becoming the new mainstream coalition. Not only has Pakatan defeated Barisan but is set to replace it altogether.

In the 1980s Mahathir remade UMNO with UMNO Baru. Today, one generation on, he is remaking Barisan Nasional as a whole with Pakatan Harapan – but with quite different qualities and objectives.

This is what age is known to produce: wisdom and experience.

Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

41 thoughts on “GE-14: The Storm continues

  1. A well-written overview of GE-14 Bunn. The title of the post caught my eye, though….”the storm continues”….? I was expecting to read more about the herculian task facing PH now, the teething problems, the impact of speculation on the fledgling government, and in particular an opinion on how the Youth and Education Ministries are charting their course for the next 2 years, let alone the next 100 days. Well done Bunn, hope to hear more from you!

    • Dr Sharifah,

      Speaking of Prof Syed Hussein Alatas, and Prof. Syed Naquib Al-Attas, I must say I am quite ignorant of their work. Imagine I am already of Tony Pua’s age. I have tried reading a little of Prof Al-Attas’ work. Yet, given I am not a Muslim, there is little that I understood his importance and influence in Malaysia’s context.
      As for Prof Alatas’ work, my dad taught me his admiration for Lim Chong Eu, and his disappointment for the later Gerakan, but I really have no clue who Prof Alatas is until wikipedia came about. I have a feeling many Malaysians could fair no better. We need guidance and context in appreciating their work.

      I am grateful for Columbia’s core-curriculum, especially of the books selected in core-curriculum and Asian civilization. At least, it taught me to appreciate Arabic tradition a little bit better, even though there isn’t much Islamic text in the readings then, except for a few optional selected readings of the Koran, because the lecturer insisted. But, it did leave me a good impression since I gathered from the first lesson that Plato’s republic survived because of Islam. My immediate after-thought was how that fact might have impacted Lee Kuan Yew.

      In short, do you see a possibility of creating such program in Malaysia, preferably a MOOC type? I think it can benefit Malaysia. Mostly, it will help many non-Bumi to appreciate Islamic culture better, and help Bumi understand the cultural influences that were shaping this Tanah Melayu. I suspect the window of opportunity for such program could be short. I am a pessimist. I don’t think current openness would last long, if no significant work is done to change the mind of all to appreciate each other’s, if not one’s own tradition. At times, I suspect because we are insecure of our own tradition, we become fearful of other culture. At least, that was the case for myself. Imagine when I was at Columbia, I thought Joy Luck Club is cheesy, and Iris Chang is too sentimental on Rape of Nanking, without realizing my own maternal grandmother gave birth to her first daughter the first week she arrived in Chongqing, following the retreat from Nanking, until the year I got to put things together when I finally got to baidu my maternal mother’s history in Shanghai. The world is getting a bit small for us not to seek understanding from each other.

      For Malaysia’s case, there is no reason to experience insecurity for either of our cultural inheritance. We could only experience shamefulness because we didn’t learn more about them.
      I am quite sure many wanted to learn about Prof Alatas’ and Prof Al-Attas’ work. But, we all needed a little help.

      Dean.Din, can you help? I always thought it is crazy that I grew up with so little knowledge of the history and tradition of other South East Asia countries, considered we talk so much about ASEAN. The good, the bad and the ugly. That is one way we need to mature, right?

  2. What is most interesting, UMNO leaders are already talking recovery when it does not even know the extend they have been wrong. A trillion RM debt, hidden red files, death threats to SPRM, highly dubious ECRL drawdown, even Rosmah cash in bags not fully counted.

    PH may be making assumptions and stumble as they grapple with being in power but UMNO does not feel repentant, still over entitled even in its worst moment. It does not bode well for them as future opposition – their inevitable route is joining and taken over by religo-right.

    PH political future threat is not UMNO, it’s PAS and bad as UMNO was, PH need to at least understand they remain a job to contain PAS, as it’s not possible to eliminate them.

    • There is a need to wean people away from looking at religion as anything other than solely as a spiritual companion. There should be no place for religion in the political realm. It will only handicap Malaysia from ever competing in an increasingly competitive and brutal world.

      Therefore it is imperative for the new government to improve the lives of people in the East Coast States. To bring the battle to their doorsteps, so to speak. Instead of waiting for religios extemism to fester among a state of economic and societal neglect.

      I’m also looking interestingly into how a fairer redeliation of constituencies can be achieved before the next election, so that the disprotionate rural vote bias can be further corrected.

      We’re looking at the survival of our nation here, gentlemen. Tak boleh main-main lagi, abang-abang.

    • Birthdays can be celebrated every year but hopefully, this is the reconstruction part after the fall of a Kleptocratic Dictatorship and the infrastructure have to be put right so that it will never be repeated.

  3. Let the experience teach us to be somber and vigilant as power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, which happened with the Najib regime. Let this life-threatening experience be a lesson to us.

  4. Dear Dr Sharifah.

    What you asking to see, taste and otherwise feel is pain.. Please don’t.
    The newbies, besides Octo, Muhyi, LGE and Azmin will be in a world of hurt.
    In fact, some of them are already opposing (since they were life-long Opposition) their own Ministries.. They aren’t interested in changing or revamping but expect an immediate Revolution. That never works in a slow-mo Malay civil Service, ya?

    Also don’t put your hopes too high for the Fiqh Expert Edu-Min – except for him parroting what Tun tells him to say, okay? At least for the first 100 weeks.

    Warm regards.

    • No pain, no gain. Malaysian society has felt pain for decades; it’s time to gain. So I will ‘please will’ (as opposed to ‘please don’t’). The ‘newbees’ as you disrespectfully put it have already been ‘hurt’ (your words, again). Your view of them ‘opposing’ their ministries BECAUSE of a lifetime of being in the opposition is at best skewed. Tun M has been the government and has not spent a ‘lifetime in Opposition. Please furnish the empirical evidence of their current opposition within their ministries as I think you have misunderstood a lot about politics and political process. If you have any understanding of political change, party politics or even basic social science, you would not hastily dismiss the DUE PROCESS that is required to right all the wrongs committed by the previous government. It is intellectually impetuous and childish to assume that the PH government expects an immediate Revolution (your words…yet again). Basic social theory would dictate that revolutions don’t take place within a democratic framework, and GE14 was that democratic framework. If you are following closely the daily events post-GE14, what we are seeing ARE changes and some revamping. It would be insulting to my intelligence to list them here as the information has been regularly forthcoming and easily accessible. I will credit you though for your astute (but very widely-known) comment about the slo-mo Civil Service….which again is the product of a lumbering, self-aggrandizing, corrupt and feudal BN over 61 arduous years in power! All current Ministerial appontments will leave some segments of our society anxious, only because push hasn’t come to shove yet. 100 days or 100 weeks is the time we should all wait to see how the pieces fall into place. Meanwhile the entire rakyat of Malaysia should not relax, but instead should scrutinize each and every press conference, every statement, every foreign report, every gesture/body language, every carton of chocolate, etc. for that is what a more matured society does in a democracy. My advice to you is to be less emotional, more circumspect and equally vigilant in weighing the pros and cons of every political development, with a critical and analytical mind.

      And Din….Happy Birthday….almost 8 decades and still going strong!!! Even BN tottered and crumbled in less time!!

    • In another word, doggie…..if u wanna bite, go bite your kind…..the running dog kaytee in australia

      Have some cojones, man!

    • Well said, Sharifah. A good response to this cynical cerebral narcissist (intellectual narcissist).

    • Wow! Must’ve poked some Logorrhoea switch.
      Perhaps i’ve got to be kinder to the Pakatoons? Harap Ma’af ya?

      I seldom dissect such hi-falutin’ academic stuff cuz i’m too stupid and have a muddled doggie neural network, as elucidated by looes74 – my favorite punching bag. But i must admit i have no inkling of ‘social sciences’ nor ‘due process’ whatsoever. That’s not okay, izzit?

      And Dr Phua, i practice Intellectual Onanism (a word Orang Malaya taught me) occasionally – not cerebral narcissism. But you are welcome to your most awesome ‘remote’ diagnosis. Where did you get your psychologist training, again?

      Btw, your friend, Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad will make a good MinoH. He priority is to clean out the purchasing and contracts department, before he starts to reform of that toxic ministry.

      Here’s a song that represents Harapan:

    • Final response to medical doctor CL Familiaris, the expert on everything (everyone else are classified as “idiots”, “newbies”, “turds” etc)

      And where did you get your degrees in political science, economics, sociology, history, philosophy and Malaysian Studies from?
      The University of Me, Myself and I ?

    • following @CLF’s Hawaiian train of thought.
      The reality is more like what Hawaiian are facing today with volcano.
      Malaysia is fluid. Ketuanan Melayu alone itself is simply too rigid or an antiquated model to help Melayu. Literally, there are volcano erupting everywhere from the world. Fiqh expert is actually not that bad. Fiqh, as far as I know is fluid also.

    • Actually, all those claiming to be the liberal intelligentsia are only liberal with othe people’s right since they were schooled in the UMNO era where the true nationalists such as Ahmad Boestaman, Helmii were harried branded as communist and jailed. Please get out of your comfort zone and work towards Bangsa Malaysia.

    • @Jeffrey: too little to write something imprecise. Just wanted to suggest I have no clue what Bangsa Malaysia mean. To me, it is nothing more than an empty slogan started by TunM (which is a generation before Najib), to continue assimilating. Others merely tries to twist the empty slogan something for position themselves better.

      For myself, I am still trying to figure out what does being liberal, understanding fiqh/Deobandi/Muslim Brotherhood, understanding Christianity, comprehending Buddhism, being Indian, being Melayu, and being Chinese mean. Too little time for arrogance and hatred in this life. Understanding is consuming, and heart wrenching. Not enough time, not enough space to record what I don’t understand. Tell us more about the Bangsa Malaysia that you understood.
      As for constitutional equality for all race in Malaysia, I am still pursuing that from far. I have been doing that. Unfortunately, correct if I am wrong, Harapan has never suggested that they are pursuing that. DSAI hasn’t agreed to that. I am unsure if Nurul Izzah has even publicly declared that herself.

    • In accordance to the Constitution, the citizens of Malaysia are those born and bred in Malaysia, though lately Philippinos, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and who have you had been given blue MyKad. These should be known as Bangsa Malaysia. Affirmative action should be need based and not race based as we are all Malaysians.

    • @Jeffrey, For my generation, I would say Malaysia has already completed the ‘assimilation’ project in the 70s. To suggest Tony Pua’s Malay is not good enough for Malaysia is pointless. For those who can’t speak as well as Tony Pua, we just have to say it is difficult to make diamond out of coal. IMHO, what’s crazy is that while pursuing this ‘assimilation’ project, we dumb down everything. We are made to not learn anything. I must honestly say, I know so little as compared to my mother’s father and her father’s father. They weren’t rich. Hakka pendatang in their homeland were never rich. But, they do pursue ‘learning’ and strive to be the best, even in kampung. Bangsa Malaysia dumbed down everything, IMHO.

    • Born and bred? @Jeffrey. We got so dumb down that we forgot where we too came from people of not born and bred in Malaysia a few generations ago, and the condition they came to Malaysia. Once given mykad, they are Malaysians. As Malaysians, they ought to be equal. But, I agree on the issue of wonton importation of cheap labor. What is irresponsible is a few who profit from their migration, merely to milk their life. In that, I say Malaysia did better than America to grant them MyKad. Many of our parents/grandparents/great grandparents too came with identical situation. Why are you saying such thing now to others who are not as fortunate as you? Those are the exact reasoning used by a few justify our lower standing/class in this ‘bangsa Malaysia’, as per today’s Constitution.

  5. The Star just reported that after counting about 1/3 of the bags they got RM109 million. So Jibby and Roastie are keeping a few hundred million as loose change in the house? No wonder over the past few months, whenever I go to the bank to withdraw some cash, they are always out of RM100 bills! All stashed away with these 2 kleptocrats.

    • Lots more cash and luxury goods stashed away in the mansions and palaces of the other UMNO Baru-BN kleptocrats.

    • Just look at the illegal and officially permitted money outflow from Malaysia over the past few years will set your hearts racing.

  6. Oh dear…I think when CLF talks about “revolution” he’s alluding to the expectation of some long-suffering Harapan members to clean the drain as quickly as possible. “Due process” could be an excuse for very slow action, something rather well-known even in democracies. And of course political revolutions, if defined as a quick change of governments, often without due process, do take place in democracies. Often known as a coup d’état, it’s also one of the various forms of regime change undertaken by certain world powers. Perhaps the Malaysian experience of such rapid change about 50 years ago could also be described as a “revolution”, though, as revolutions go, it was a relatively tame event.

    • So much to do and so little time. The previous regime had created such mammoth tasks for their successors.

    • Using pertinent words (such as revolution and due process) should be followed up with accurate narrative, as much as possible so as to avoid ambiguity. Such is the power of writing…the ability to influence and guide thought and ideas. So, revolution in the GE14 context leaves, at best, an ambiguous connotation of the events leading up to and just after GE14. Due process is an accepted social science (and legal) terminology that does not imply ‘an excuse’ for being ‘lembab’. Anyway, my point is write accurately, use empirical data and sound reasoning. Otherwise, it is a waste of time…to write and to read!

  7. “pertinent words … should be followed up with accurate narrative, as much as possible so as to avoid ambiguity.”

    Ambiguous, yes. I explained how CLF might’ve meant.

    “Such is the power of writing…the ability to influence and guide thought and ideas.”

    Ah, that’s where I went wrong: I didn’t know the power of words at all. That could be why I was attacked for an essay on modern art by a headmistress during the 1950s – or was it 1960? And it was despite the nice words I got from a Straits Times editor – or subeditor. ‘Twas a long time ago: my memory fails.

    “Due process is an accepted social science (and legal) terminology”

    Again, and I mean sincerely, it’s great to get a free refresher course on the subject. That’s the power of blogs, we might say. Of course, accepted terminologies do not necessarily preclude their misuse, which was what I was implying (I’d always thought Churchill’s “terminological inexactitude” was a flippant trivialization of lies).

    “my point is write accurately, use empirical data and sound reasoning.”

    That’s commendable, I think. Of course, to CLF, he’s, in his inimitable way, doing the same thing.

    “Otherwise, it is a waste of time…to write and to read!”

    Gosh, I’m a few years behind Din (happy birthday, comrade!) but, given my debilitating arthritis, there’s not much else I can do. Even writing is a chore, though I can still waste some time reading.

    Note: CLF, if I remember rightly, Dr Phua is an alumnus of the university where my daughter attended. If that’s correct, it’s one of the world’s best.

    • lcrenoir,

      Just keep going. Let the mind be active and the pain is bearable.I am watching uric acid since I am prone to gout. So I watch what I eat and how much and exercise. I appreciate your comments, my brother. Life has been good to us. Our kids are ok.–Din Merican

    • “Note: CLF, if I remember rightly, Dr Phua is an alumnus of the university where my daughter attended. If that’s correct, it’s one of the world’s best.”

      ……so is Columbia University….

  8. You look so good, Din – I really wish I’ve half your fitness and the energy to teach and operate an excellent website like this one. Thanks for the compliments. We’re located an ocean away, yet I feel the fraternal bond as if we’ve been on the same mission all our lives. Yes, our kids are ok, thank heaven.
    I am honoured by your kind remarks. We bound by the love of ideas and values that transcend our race, religion and culture. You ain’t heavy, you are my brother. This is for you, my dear brother from the late Glen Campbell.–Din Merican

  9. Ha ha CLF, why you poke the hornets nest? People in academia treat each and every article as a thesis or dissertation, to be complete with references and empirical studies. You and I write tongue in cheek and try to address the common folks. I learnt real early when as an Adjunct Professor in a US university that undergrad students especially from non English speaking countries have limited vocabulary and are not interested in researching beyond what is presented by the professor in class. In short its KISS, keep it simple stupid.

    For those not familiar with CLF, he comes from a well educated family. His better half has a PhD from Harvard and is a visiting professor for several universities. His kids are graduates from Australian universities in fields that are unique to advance countries and they would have difficulties securing a meaningful career in Malaysia.

    CLF rub shoulders with the high and mighty, rich and famous and both from BN and the former Opposition. Thus his insight is top notch and privy to info that many of us are not even aware of. You wouldn’t recognize him in a crowd of VIPs since he can blend in easily despite not having a honorific title, he he. Even his Mrs who Is a VIP and often gives keynote addresses have been mistaken as a Secretary or told to sit in the back row till they realise that she is the Guest of Honor.

    CLF holds back no punches, either you like him or dislike him. Like in the old song, to know Malaysia is to love Malaysia, one will respect him once you know him. The blog host even after all these years have not figured him out yet.
    Semper Fi, I like the part–“CLF holds back no punches”. He, you and I belong to the punching club. KISS is our tagline.–Din Merican

    • “For those not familiar with CLF, he comes from a well educated family. His better half has a PhD from Harvard and is a visiting professor for several universities. His kids are graduates from Australian universities in fields that are unique to advance countries and they would have difficulties securing a meaningful career in Malaysia.”

      I guess then we’re all ‘kissing ass’ (KISS)! But really…being the daughter of Prof. Syed Hussein Alatas (founder Gerakan), the niece of Prof. Syed Naquib Al-Attas, the cousin of Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the sister of Syed Farid Alatas. the ex-wife of Dato Danyal Balagopal (PH MP Port Dickson), the cousin of Hishamuddin Hussein, the half cousin of TMJ/Johor royalty…..the wife of Major (Rtd.) Latip Arifin, the mother of Shaheen Danyal….(and the list goes on and on… shoulders too are ‘bruised’ from incessant ‘rubbing’ with the high and mighty, rich and famous. But alas, it shouldn’t be an excuse to be stupid 😂

      Happy weekend all!!

    • We are not probing the depth of the river but only sampling the toxicityor otherwise of the water.

    • Good for you Dr Sharifah Munirah Alattas having being born into a distinguished family with relations to the Royalty. As for me and I guess CLF we are born on the poor side of the street to John Doe and Jane Doe. We grew up as street kids and learn how to survive on our own. No one gave us a helping hand and we got to where we are through our own sheer effort and determination. As for Kissing Ass, we dont Kiss Ass, instead we KICK Ass.
      CLF is both critical of BN as well as PH and have not spared Jibby or the Tokong LGE. CLF however do respect Kak Pidah and Muhiyuddin. As the Malay saying goes, siapa makan cili rasa pedas lah. Over the years some of the commentators on Din’s blog do deserve the insults from CLF. Guess insult is part of free speech which Din has always defended.
      Those who cannot take the heat should get out of the dapor. CLF can give much as he takes. Semper Fi.–Din Merican

  10. Hey semper, you guys still at it ah..?

    Forget it, buddy.. there are better things to do than ‘bell the chicken’ lah.
    Some like us, have dwelled among the poorest of the poor, but also found dignity in poverty. I remember the day you told me why you couldn’t enter the repository dedicated to the bones of Genocide.. I never told you i couldn’t either. Useless blokes, aren’t we? We shall remain Anonymous and Stupid, ya?

    Others insist on dignity in ancestry and pre- and post titularies.. That’s okay too, but in the End we’ll face our Maker, in Sheer Nudity..

    And yes, Jeffrey – depth begins in the heart and toxicity breeds in the brain. All these are wayward commentaries, which do nothing but puff the feathers and preen.. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. The matter goes to more than the personal – the quality of any media depends on the range of thinking permitted, the conflicting ideas it generates on any topic through the collaborative labor of what T.S. Eliot, referring to the field of literary criticism, called “the pursuit of true judgement.” Mikail Bahkin had a series of concepts related to progressive intellectual activities, such as dialogic argumentation, polyphony, and heteroglossia. And, really, the same concepts were also inherent in the dialectics of Plato, and delightfully explained in J. S. Mills’ “On Liberty.” The examination of conflicting ideas, however much they offend us, or perhaps BECAUSE they offend us, is the foundation stone of any democracy. Let us all be more accepting with those who disagree with us. I often disagree with CLF, but love the way he expresses his thoughts. “Pakatoons” got smiling through my rebellious bones, even before I swallowed my naproxen.

  12. /// Semper fi May 26, 2018 at 4:44 am
    Even his Mrs who Is a VIP and often gives keynote addresses have been mistaken as a Secretary or told to sit in the back row till they realise that she is the Guest of Honor. ///

    Ha, ha. Reminds me of this true story. A Permanent Secretary from an important ministry in Singapore as a VIP to Indonesia (or was it the Philippines?). He was ushered into a table for secretaries, until the host discovered the boo-boo and apologized profusely.

    But then again, those who mind don’t matter; and those who matter don’t mind.

  13. Thanks, semper – long time haven’t heard O.C.
    Here’s to you, missus and family. Of course, to our gracious bloghost.
    And also arthritic icrenoir – pain lessens with music, ya – and all who disagree with whatever we humans bicker about – in keeping with my plumage ‘motif’:

  14. Well CLF, I’ve said it numerous times, and I’ll say it again, as usual you’ve got the right of it.

    But don’t worry, there is a petition online to have Octo awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Check that, do worry.

    The era of the Kool Aid has truly begun.

    It appears any kind of differing opinions are unwelcome.

    The New Malaysia demands compliance. Being truthful like the Tokong is welcome.

    As the Commander (RTD) S. Thayaparan said, there’s a difference between the “truth” and “facts” but for the the New Malaysia speaking that difference is anathema.

    The way forward is the way backward.

  15. Thanks to all who extended their themes with wonderful videos. Glen Campbell and Dean Martin I know (thanks, Din!) but O C Smith and Randy Crawford are strangers to me, though still entertaining and instructive. “Living life from dream to dream” seems very oriental – it was Chuang Tzu who said he didn’t know whether he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly who dreamt he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly.

    Memorial Day in the states is over and there were the usual “thank the vets” ads everywhere, though some leftist websites said that the best way to thank the vets is stop all wars. Tell that to Bolton.

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