Message to Donald J. Tump: Learn to accept defeat when the time comes

October 22, 2016

Message to Donald J. Tump: Learn to accept defeat when the time comes

Austin, Tex. — Richard M. Nixon, the first president to resign from office, was hardly a beacon of moral integrity. Nor was Nixon above demagogy on the campaign trail, infamously fanning the flames of Communist paranoia during the McCarthy era by unjustly painting his opponent in his 1950 Senate race, the California congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, as the “Pink Lady.”

Image result for richard nixon vs helen gahagan douglas

But the 37th president, as controversial as he was, offers a good example for Donald J. Trump on the importance of putting the country ahead of one’s ego and personal ambition on Election Day.

When Mr. Trump, amid his claims that the voting process is rigged, was asked in Wednesday’s debate if he would accept a losing result in the coming election, he responded by spitting in the face of American democracy. “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” he said glibly, as though presaging a reality-show cliffhanger. The next day he told an audience in Ohio that he would accept the results of the election — “if I win.”

He would do well to look at the election of 1960, which pitted Nixon, the Republican presidential nominee and sitting vice president, against his Democratic rival, the Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy. The two candidates waged admirable campaigns, which included squaring off in four substantive, widely watched debates, culminating with the election on Nov. 8.

The outcome was a wafer-thin victory for Kennedy, who garnered 49.7 percent of the vote and 303 electoral votes, versus 49.5 percent and 219 votes for Nixon. Of the 68 million votes cast, only 119,000 swung the election for Kennedy, who had taken Illinois and Minnesota by the slimmest of margins.

But shortly after Nixon’s concession to Kennedy, which he offered in a gracious telegram to his opponent early on the morning of Nov. 9, reports of voting fraud in Illinois and Texas benefiting the Democratic ticket began to surface. In Chicago, in one instance, 121 votes were counted after only 43 people voted, and 6,138 ballots were cast in a Texas county with just 4,895 registered voters.

The Republican establishment challenged the results in the news media and in state-level demands for a recount. President Dwight D. Eisenhower even offered to help Nixon raise money to cover what could easily have been a monthslong fight. Over the following weeks the Republicans relentlessly pursued charges of voting irregularity in Illinois and 10 other states, betting that if they won there, they could force a nationwide recount.

Image result for trump vs hillary

But in contrast to Mr. Trump’s rhetoric today, they tended to cast their efforts in patriotic terms; Eisenhower insisted that he merely wanted to show that the federal government “did not shirk its duty” when it came to questions about the electoral process. Unlike Mr. Trump, they started from a position of trust in the system, focusing their charges of specific malfeasance, rather than declaiming the election itself as “rigged.”

Nevertheless, Nixon, while agonized by his defeat and its dubious circumstances, opted not to join in.

At least publicly, he played the statesman; he subordinated his own ambitions for the sake of governmental continuity, ensuring that the country was not thrown off balance at a time when the United States was enmeshed in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. “I could think of no worse example for nations abroad,” he said, “than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential elections, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box.” (And, of course, he hoped to have a long political career ahead of him; being seen as a sore loser wouldn’t further it.)

Whether Nixon privately encouraged the recount efforts is almost beside the point; unlike Mr. Trump, he understood that unless rock-solid evidence existed to the contrary, the country needed to have faith in the electoral process and the peaceful transition of power, and it needed to hear from the losing candidate that he did, too. (Some argue, however, that Nixon’s experience in 1960 drove his paranoid turn as president, leading directly to Watergate.)

The good of the country, Nixon averred, was more important than the fate of any one man. When Kennedy took office on a bitterly cold January day two and a half months after the election, he sounded a similar theme: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

Image result for Nixon early supporter of Trump

In a bizarre twist, Nixon was an early supporter of Donald J. Trump. After hearing rave reviews about the brash developer from Nixon’s wife, Pat, who had seen him on “The Phil Donahue Show” in December 1987, he wrote Mr. Trump an unsolicited letter. “I did not see the program,” he wrote, “but Mrs. Nixon said you were great.” He added, “As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics, and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner!” One wonders what Nixon, a political sage, would think of Mr. Trump the “winner” today.

But there’s little doubt that if Mr. Trump winds up the loser on November 8, Nixon, despite outsize flaws in his own character, would advocate putting country above self. Doing anything less would take some of the greatness out of America.

The Clinton-Trump Debate: Final Round

October 20, 2016

The Clinton-Trump Debate: Final Round

This is the final round of the Presidential Debate between Hillary R. Clinton and Donald J. Trump. Now it is up to Americans to decide on their POTUS on November 8, 2016, which is 20 days away as of today.

Continuity Vs Disruptive Change? Whatever the outcome at the end of the election, we hope you will have voted the better of the two. Your choice will affect the rest of the world because America remains a major economic and military power.

Watching this debate, I am convinced that Hillary R. Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America. She is the winner of this debate. –Din Merican

Donald J. Trump–The Loner against The Republicans

October 12, 2016

By David Brooks

The point of town hall debates is that regular voters get to ask questions. In every town hall I’ve seen, the candidate turns to the voter, listens attentively and directs the answer at least partially back to that person.

Image result for Donald Trump The Lonely Fighter

The candidates do that because it’s polite, because it looks good to be seen taking others seriously and because most of us instinctively want to make some connection with the people we are talking to.

Hillary Clinton, not exactly a paragon of intimacy, behaved in the normal manner on Sunday night. But Donald Trump did not. Trump treated his questioners as unrelatable automatons and delivered his answers to the void, even when he had the chance to seem sympathetic to an appealing young Islamic woman.

That underlines the essential loneliness of Donald Trump. Politics is an effort to make human connection, but Trump seems incapable of that. He is essentially adviser-less, friendless. His campaign team is made up of cold mercenaries at best and Roger Ailes at worst. His party treats him as a stench it can’t yet remove.

Image result for Donald Trump The Lonely Fighter

He was a germophobe through most of his life and cut off contact with others, and now I just picture him alone in the middle of the night, tweeting out hatred.

Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis, but as the campaign sinks to new low after new low, I find myself experiencing feelings of deep sadness and pity.

Imagine if you had to go through a single day without sharing kind little moments with strangers and friends.Imagine if you had to endure a single week in a hate-filled world, crowded with enemies of your own making, the object of disgust and derision.

You would be a twisted, tortured shrivel, too, and maybe you’d lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe. For Trump this is his whole life.

Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others.

Image result for Donald Trump  and The Republican Party

To prove their own existence, they hunger for endless attention from outside. Lacking internal measures of their own worth, they rely on external but insecure criteria like wealth, beauty, fame and others’ submission.

In this way, Trump seems to be denied all the pleasures that go with friendship and cooperation. Women could be sources of love and affection, but in his disordered state he can only hate and demean them. His attempts at intimacy are gruesome parodies, lunging at women as if they were pieces of meat.

Most of us derive a warm satisfaction when we feel our lives are aligned with ultimate values. But Trump lives in an alternative, amoral Howard Stern universe where he cannot enjoy the sweetness that altruism and community service can occasionally bring.

Bullies only experience peace when they are cruel. Their blood pressure drops the moment they beat the kid on the playground.

Imagine you are Trump. You are trying to bluff your way through a debate. You’re running for an office you’re completely unqualified for. You are chasing some glimmer of validation that recedes ever further from view.

Your only rest comes when you are insulting somebody, when you are threatening to throw your opponent in jail, when you are looming over her menacingly like a mafioso thug on the precipice of a hit, when you are bellowing that she has “tremendous hate in her heart” when it is clear to everyone you are only projecting what is in your own.

Image result for Donald Trump's Supporters

Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.

It’s all so pathetic. One of Trump’s conservative critics, Erick Erickson, published a moving essay called “If I Die Before You Wake… .” Erickson has been the object of vicious assaults by Trump supporters. He and his wife are both facing serious health ailments and may pass before their children are grown. Yet as the essay makes clear, both are living lives of love, faith, devotion and service. Both have an ultimate confidence in the goodness of creation and their grace-filled place in it.

You may share that faith or not, but Erickson is living an attached life — emotionally, spiritually, morally and communally. Donald Trump’s life, by contrast, looks superficially successful and profoundly miserable. None of us would want to live in the howling wilderness of his own solitude, no matter how thick the gilding.

On November 9, the day after Trump loses, there won’t be solidarity and howls of outrage. Everyone will just walk away.


Ku Li: From A Principled Leader to a Run of the Mill UMNO Politician

October 3, 2016

Ku Li: From A Principled Leader to a Run of the Mill UMNO Politician

by Koon Yew Yin

It is clear that rather than live up to these principles, he (Ku Li) has abandoned them at the slightest opportunity for building up Malay support for his ambitions of leading UMNO and the country. It is also clear that Ku Li has no moral qualms about fanning Malay insecurities over loss of power even though there is absolutely no basis to it.–Koon Yew Yin

Read this article:

And this too:

Image result for Ku Li with Zhou En Lai

Dr. Kamsiah Haider and Din Merican with  a different Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at ISEAS Conference in Singapore in 2008

All sorts of developments have taken place in our political arena this past fortnight which prompted me to write. The most prominent is the attempt by the Electoral Commission to steal the next election for the BN.

However many other analysts have commented and written about it so there is no need for me to say anything much except to urge our Malaysian electorate to vote in the next election – wherever the constituency or outcome of the re-delineation exercise – so as to finish off once and for all, UMNO’s and Barisan Nasional’s monopoly of power.

Assuming the next election is in 2018, I propose that one of the key electoral slogans for the opposition parties should be: “Malaysians Have Had More Than Enough of 59 Years of BN Misrule and Power Abuse”.

What was personally more surprising to me was the news that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has now raised the issue of whether the DAP will now dominate the Malaysian political landscape, after the establishment of the two new Malay-based parties, Amanah and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Surprising is too mild a word. “Shocking and disgusting” is the better description to give especially since his comments were made to a Malay-language daily, Sinar Harian, and clearly targeted at a Malay audience. Personally, I am terribly disappointed and, yes, also “disgusted”.

I have for a long time been an admirer of Ku Li and have written on several occasions during the past few years on his leadership qualities, his political principles and his decency and good sense. I have argued that these qualities are the ones needed at the helm of the nation to guide us through this difficult time of racial and religious extremism, and unquenched opportunism and craving for power.

To help him get his message across, I invited him to provide the forward to my book ‘Road Map for achieving Vision 2020’ as well as be the keynote speaker at the book launch.

Image result for Ku Li with Zhou Enlai

Ku Li : A Young and Promising Politician with China’s Zhou En Lai

Given his latest comments, however, I wonder if I need to eat my words. I am not the only one. Many readers in the English language Internet have written in even more harsh terms about how upset they are.

Perhaps Ku Li was misquoted or the news report did not reflect clearly what he actually said. But if the report is accurate, what it shows is that Ku Li is no different from other UMNO politicians in playing racial politics through demonising the DAP and Malaysian Chinese.

Not long ago Ku li wrote about 10 Golden Political Principles for the country which I helped to disseminate through my writings. Among them were these two:

1. It shall be the duty of all parties to ensure that all political dialogues and statements will not create racial or religious animosity.

2. All parties undertake not to use racial and communal agitation as political policies.

It is clear that rather than live up to these principles, he has abandoned them at the slightest opportunity for building up Malay support for his ambitions of leading UMNO and the country. It is also clear that Ku Li has no moral qualms about fanning Malay insecurities over loss of power even though there is absolutely no basis to it. How many seats, after all, can the DAP win at most in the coming election?

We can assume that Ku Li can count as well as analyse. He must know that there is no way a Chinese-based party can ever establish political dominance in the country, not even if there is no electoral gerrymandering. Chinese or DAP political dominance can never happen – not in his lifetime, not even in the lifetime of young Malaysians.

Everyone knows this so the question to ask is: why is Ku Li trying to frighten the Malays? Everyone also knows that Ku Li’s lifelong ambition is to be the Prime Minister of the country. This explains why he has consistently refused to leave UMNO.

But he should also realise that he has virtually no chance of becoming the replacement Prime Minister, should the present one, Najib Razak, vacate his position voluntarily or involuntarily. Why he is still trying so hard to get into the good books of UMNO members is a puzzle to me.

Finally, he is doing an injustice to all the young Malay DAP leaders and supporters by his opportunistic and patently dishonest and deceitful claim of the possible loss of Malay political dominance.

I am sure all right thinking and fair minded Malaysians will join me in demanding a retraction or minimally a clarification from Ku Li on his comments to Sinar Harian. Should he fail to do so, we can cross him off the list of decent and honorable politicians. And his list of golden political principles can be seen to be just opportunistic empty-tin political principles.

Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

The Buffoons in UMNO

September 30, 2016

The Buffoons in UMNO

by Mustafa K Anuar

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah has received a death threat and understandably is concerned for her safety.

Image result for jamal md yunus ikan bakar

UMNO Chief Buffoon

In the meantime, Mohd Ali Baharom, or infamously known as Ali Tinju, the man who was alleged to have made that threat, surrendered himself recently to the Police for investigation – and was later released on Police bail.

In an effort to show even-handedness by the Police in the face of public accusations of double standards, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar announced that the Police had summoned Ali who then dutifully went to the police station concerned in a jiffy.

Image result for Ali Tinju

UMNO Buffoon No.2

For the uninitiated, Ali Tinju initially denied that he had ever made such a threat and that he was merely misquoted by the media. But a recording of an interview with him by Free Malaysia Today, which was made public, implies that he wasn’t truthful.

It is worrying that these days political and ideological differences are often responded to by certain groups in society with a threat of violence or show of force, if not the use of brute force itself. It is as if addressing such conflicts in a peaceful and civilised way is no longer tenable.

Former Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan was in May, 2012 “entertained” to a butt dance by Ali Tinju and his army veteran colleagues in front of her Bukit Damansara house to register their disapproval of the Bersih 3 rally. Co-chairman Pak Samad, it appears, was not treated to similar entertainment.

And in early 2014, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok got into trouble after she uploaded her “Onederful Malaysia” Chinese New Year video clip. A group of Malays reacted angrily by slaughtering chickens and offering a cash reward to anyone who would slap her in the face.

The above examples suggest sheer intimidation. But given our male-dominated society, one suspects that these brazen threats also involve bigotry of the sexist variety.

It seems that these women, like many other Malaysian women who dare to go against the grain, were considered easy preys particularly by the male perpetrators given the vulgarity deployed and the crass physical threat demonstrated.

Such gross misconduct should have been slammed in no uncertain terms by the so-called moral guardians, particularly among the male Muslim holier-than-thou-ers, because their silence is deafening here, as this may give the impression that these women – and non-Malay to boot — are “fair game.”

And yet there was not much “noise” from these quarters so much so that it suggests acquiescence.

Ali Tinju and gang could have just staged a peaceful street demonstration to register their condemnation of the said rally – minus, of course, the vulgarity and muscle-flexing, as is expected of any civilised citizen of the country.

Or better still, Ali Tinju and his band could have chosen to confront Maria Chin squarely in a cultured manner such as having a public forum where he could present his arguments against the pursuance of the Bersih 5 rally that is scheduled for November 19.

After all, Ali seems capable of engaging in a forum as was shown in his recent participation in such a public platform–although the intellectual level of this forum as as whole appears to be wanting, judging from Ali’s performance and that of other participants.

Image result for Rani Kulup and Najib

UMNO Buffoon No.3 and his Patron, Prime Minister Najib Razak

Why, there was even a participant in the said forum who accused news portal Malaysiakini of being a “terrorist” outfit simply because it was perceived to be aggressively critical of the government.

It seems that the participant prefers only a government mouthpiece or servile media in our midst. This indicates a nagging intolerance towards differences of opinion and diversity, including dissent, in a democracy. Competing viewpoints are seen as unnecessary diversion and annoyance. It also hints at an anti-intellectual syndrome in society.

“Terrorism”, as mentioned in that forum, normally has the negative connotations of fright and horror, and evokes condemnation – and presumably it was hoped that this social stigma would stick onto the news portal. However, when used in such an indiscriminate and cavalier manner, it becomes laughable as it also implies imbecility.

Anyway, if Ali and friends are intellectually incapable of carrying out such a meaningful conversation, others who are a bit more cerebral could represent them and the ideas they champion.

In turn, Maria Chin and friends would then have an opportunity to explain, if not convince, to Ali Tinju and his ilk the importance of having a clean and fair election, among other Bersih’s demands, in a concerted effort to deepen democracy in Malaysia.

It is true that in any social and political struggle, there are risks involved. However, violence or the threat of violence should not be incorporated into this equation especially when it involves women, which lends credence to the suspicion of sexist intimidation. Resorting to such intimidation and bare brawn is darn primitive.

2016 Presidential Debate Round 1: Clinton Wins

September 28, 2016

Democracy in America

A win for Hillary Clinton

The first presidential debate

by J.P.P. | Hemstead,New York

Image result for hillary beats trump

Trump is too dumb to accept reality that he lost Round 1

WHEN George Wallace ran a populist campaign for president in 1968, Lurleen Wallace, his wife, was asked what people liked so much about him. “When he’s on ‘Meet the Press’ they can listen to him and think, ‘That’s what I would say if I were up there.’” Bear this in mind as you read confident predictions that Hillary Clinton triumphed in the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. This campaign is the political equivalent of asymmetric warfare. The candidates do not meet on the same plane. Plenty of people who watched the debate will conclude that Donald Trump won.

Trump started the stronger

Mr Trump started the stronger. His opponent was handed a question on the economy to begin with. She waffled and missed an opportunity to point to the recent news that all incomes are now growing strongly. Mr Trump appeared, if not presidential, then not out of place on a stage next to a former senator and secretary of state. He had an effective attack against Mrs Clinton which turned her experience back on her: you have been in public life for 30 years, so why haven’t you fixed all these problems you keep talking about?

From about the 15-minute mark (of a total of 90) the debate became very strange. The moderator, Lester Holt, had an impossible job trying to prevent the two candidates from yelling at each other. Mrs Clinton launched a series of personal attacks on Mr Trump, which he couldn’t resist picking up on. Mr Trump bragged, bulldozed and free-associated, as he had through the primaries. Mrs Clinton was well-prepared and verbose.

Turning Point in Debate 1

The turning point came when Mr Holt asked the Republican candidate to explain why he had claimed, for many years and ignoring the facts, that Barack Obama had not been born in America. The exchange was so bizarre that it is worth quoting at length (h/t to the Washington Post for transcribing):

HOLT: Mr. Trump, for five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple of weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: The president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?

TRUMP: I’ll tell you very—well, just very simple to say. Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and close—very close friend of Secretary Clinton. And her campaign manager, Patti Doyle, went to—during the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard. And you can go look it up, and you can check it out.

TRUMP: And if you look at CNN this past week, Patti Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. Blumenthal sent McClatchy, highly respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out about it. They were pressing it very hard. She failed to get the birth certificate.

When I got involved, I didn’t fail. I got him to give the birth certificate. So I’m satisfied with it. And I’ll tell you why I’m satisfied with it.

HOLT: That was…


TRUMP: Because I want to get on to defeating ISIS, because I want to get on to creating jobs, because I want to get on to having a strong border, because I want to get on to things that are very important to me and that are very important to the country.

HOLT: I will let you respond. It’s important. But I just want to get the answer here. The birth certificate was produced in 2011. You’ve continued to tell the story and question the president’s legitimacy in 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15…

TRUMP: Yeah.

HOLT: …as recently as January. So the question is, what changed your mind?

TRUMP: Well, nobody was pressing it, nobody was caring much about it. I figured you’d ask the question tonight, of course. But nobody was caring much about it. But I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate. And I think I did a good job.

Secretary Clinton also fought it. I mean, you know—now, everybody in mainstream is going to say, ‘oh, that’s not true.’ Look, it’s true. Sidney Blumenthal sent a reporter—you just have to take a look at CNN, the last week, the interview with your former campaign manager. And she was involved. But just like she can’t bring back jobs, she can’t produce.

HOLT: I’m sorry. I’m just going to follow up—and I will let you respond to that, because there’s a lot there. But we’re talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans, people of colour who…


TRUMP: Well, it was very—I say nothing. I say nothing, because I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced it a long time before. I say nothing.

But let me just tell you. When you talk about healing, I think that I’ve developed very, very good relationships over the last little while with the African-American community. I think you can see that.

And I feel that they really wanted me to come to that conclusion. And I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.

HOLT: Secretary Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, listen to what you just heard.

Mr Trump suddenly had all the self-assurance of a weak swimmer who has just discovered that his water-wings have a fast puncture. By the end of the debate he had spent a lot more time talking about his tax affairs (on not paying federal income tax: “That makes me smart”); denying he had said things about the Iraq war and climate change that he had in fact said; and riffing about Rosie O’Donnell. Mrs Clinton, by contrast, had a strong finish. Her best, clearest answer came near the end, when reassuring allies:

Words matter when you run for president. And they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual-defence treaties and we will honour them.

It is essential that America’s word be good. And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I’ve talked with a number of them. But I want to—on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people, say that, you know, our word is good.

Image result for hillary wins Round 1 of the Debate

1-0 to Mrs Clinton.

Those who switched on this debate thinking that Mr Trump is not qualified to be president will not have changed their minds. Those who began by thinking that Mrs Clinton is a dangerous socialist who should be locked up will have seen nothing to change their minds. But what did the 10-20% of voters who tell pollsters that they are undecided, or planning to vote for a third party, see? They saw one candidate who was well prepared and a bit rambling, and another who was downright weird at times. 1-0 to Mrs Clinton.