A mess of mad messiahs.

Nothing against the mentally ill per se, you understand. Most of us suffer psychological problems at one time or another, if not permanently. In fact there’s a compelling case to be made for the proposition that in some ways the entire human race is insane.

Thus we have to be as tolerant and understanding of each others’ irrationalities, inanities and insanities as possible. But such tolerance also has to be kept within bounds.

And to me the most definite bounds are as far as possible from positions of power.

This is, of course, as readers with their wits about them will quickly realise, a somewhat paradoxical proposition, in light of the fact that power-seeking is itself often a symptom of monomania, megalomania, kleptomania or even full-blown messiahmania.

As evidenced most vividly by the madman that the loony-tunes minority in the US have visited on themselves, their fellow citizens and the rest of the world, Donald Trump.

To anyone in his her right mind, it was clearly evident throughout the election campaign that Trump was more psychiatric than presidential material.

And to judge by the way he’s been acting since those crazy enough to vote for him – not to mention those too dim-witted to vote at all – presidential power has predictably so gone to his head as to even further scramble his brains.

As evidenced by the fact that he’s progressed from perceiving himself as the man destined to ‘make America great again’ to some kind of messiah sent to bring peace to the whole wide world.

But far from achieving anything to restore the respectability or effectiveness of the already deeply suspect ‘Pax Americana’, he’s made it look even more like the ‘Pox Americana’.

Preaching peace on a visit to one of the main sponsors of muddle in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and simultaneously crowing about selling multi-billions of dollars worth of armaments to these crooked theocratic crazies, then proceeding to cozy-up to the allegedly ‘chosen people’ of Israel and then to Rome to suck-up to the Pope.

In the process achieving nothing to bring the alleged ‘great religions’ or any other of the world’s eternally-warring sects to join hands in amity.

In fact this self-styled messiah clearly couldn’t even make peace with his token ‘Virgin Mary’ or rather ‘Mary Magdalene’, Melania, who repeatedly and very publicly refused to take his proffered hand.

But to Trump’s disordered mind such rejections would surely constitute the kind of martyrdom that every messiah must suffer, and only serve to confirm his deluded declaration that ‘no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.’

If he thinks he’s experienced as martyrdom as possible already, however, this American messiah has another think coming. Because when his peace mission comes to an end back in Washington DC, he’s facing more persecution, possible prosecution and political crucifixion for allegedly colluding with Russia’s Putin regime for the purpose of getting himself the messiah gig in the first place.

If only a fate of such biblical proportions was in store for some of the myriad other maniacal self-styled messiahs around the world currently devoted to making messes of the lives of their misguided masses.

Mad, not to mention bad messiahs like North Korea’s notorious head-case Kim Jong-Un, still hell-bent on his crusade against apparently any and every other country on earth for some clearly psychotic purpose.

And like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, admittedly apparently more homicidal maniac than messiah, given his insane lust for the blood of those who meet with his highly-selective disapproval.

Small-time players in the illicit drugs trade that he knows as well as you and I do is run by untouchably rich and powerful politicians and their cronies; and now Islamic militants whose operations have been enabled by the corruption and ineptitude of Philippines police and armed forces.

Declaring martial law across the southern region of Mindanao after a rash of atrocities there recently, Duterte typically warned those suspected of such crimes that ‘if I think you should die, you will die. If there’s open defiance you will die, and if it means many people dying, so be it.’

What a pity that Duterte isn’t less morbidly and madly obsessed with death and dying, and more messianically concerned with freeing his country from the killing levels of political gangsterism, corruption and exploitation that have for decades kept most of its people so desperately disadvantaged.

But some semblance of sanity, let alone good sense, would be far too much to expect from leaders, or rather bleeders, of a such a madly messianic bent.

An observation that brings us to Malaysia, which seems to be infested with more would-be messiahs than the rest of the world’s nations put together.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for a start, who at the age of 90-something threatens to stage a kind of second coming to lead the nation out of the wilderness that he himself created in his 22 years as its alleged saviour.

But actually destroyer, in that he so devastated Malaysia’s formerly independent judiciary, police force, news media and other civil and ‘religious’ institutions as to render the people helpless in the face of his Umno/BN coalition’s rampant corruption and criminality.

And now, the current head of this mess, the allegedly massively corrupt Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, is trying desperately to fend-off the threat from born-again messiah Mahathir by pretending to be the true messiah to lead the nation out of the predicament that Mahathir created and Najib himself has since made far worse.

But there is some method in Najib’s messianic madness, as the ‘transformation’ he claims to be leading is not due until 2050, by which time Najib and most if not all his accomplices in the current Umno/BN regime will have escaped into the alleged hereafter, and thus evaded earthly prosecution and punishment.

Punishment here on earth being the particular goal of yet another of the mad would-be messiahs currently infesting Malaysia, some Hadi or another who heads the fundamentalist Islamic PAS party, with its platform of whippings and amputations for what it perceives as wrong-doers.

And then, of course, there’s that long-time Malaysian messiah in waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, who is still very much out of the running due to his jailing first by former and perhaps future messiah Mahathir and then again by saviour-of-Malaysia-33-years-from-now Najib.

Given such a mess of mad messiahs as this, it’s time for those of us with our wits about us to start doing everything in our individual and collective power to get rid of them.

And, while we’re at it, to ensure that we abandon any lingering infantile fantasies of salvation by such self-serving rabble-rousers before any more of them emerge to take an even deadlier ethical, economic, physical, mental and emotional toll on us all than past and present ones have.

 

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Blasphemy by believers.

As a dedicated agnostic, or in other words a doubter as to whether an all-powerful, all-knowing ‘almighty’ might or might not exist, I’m aware that my very existence is anathema to those billions of ‘believers’ who claim to deplore blasphemy, or what my Webster’s dictionary defines as ‘the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.’

I console myself, however, with the thought that if such a supreme divinity did exist, he/she/it would likely not even deign to notice, let alone give a damn about, my or any other mere human being’s might/might-not opinion on this or any other question.

In fact, in the unlikely event that the almighty/almight-not-be did notice me despite my utter insignificance in the great scheme of things, he/she/it might, rather than blaming me for my doubts, perceive them as a blessing for the reason that, in taking the trouble to wonder which if any of the countless competing combinations of gods and religions is the genuine article, at least I’m using my allegedly God-given mind.

In other words, I believe there is a strong and even ‘religious’ case for considering those of us who sincerely contemplate, question, doubt and even reject allegedly ‘accepted’ so-called ‘beliefs’, ‘faiths’ and ‘truths’ or ‘wisdoms’ as not the ‘blasphemers’ we’re cracked-up to be, but what could justly be called blessphemers.

Whereas the real blasphemers are those who proclaim their unquestioning belief in some God, yet think nothing of ‘insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for’ their God whenever it suits what they perceive to be their economic, political or other secular self-interests.

As, by way of most recent example, Islamic extremists in Indonesia have recently done in support of political opportunists hell-bent on denying the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, another term in office, and into the bargain having him flung into jail.

Faced with the prospect of the popular Ahok’s winning a second term despite his being both Christian and Chinese, two minorities long embattled and at times even savagely-persecuted in Indonesia, some ‘pious’ Muslim political competitor accused him of insulting the Quaran.

Never mind that this was a lie of Islam-disgracing proportions, in light of the fact that what Aho had done was to complain in a speech that a line from the Quran was already being (mis)used by his opponents to unfairly deter Muslims from voting for him, the Islamic mob staged months of mass-demonstrations to force the courts to convict him of blasphemy.

And now these same sanctimonious scum, unsatisfied with his conviction and condemnation to two years in jail are still hysterically calling for his sentence to be made more severe.

Of course this instance of blasphemy, or in other words ‘insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for’ their own God and what even the most willfully ignorant of them well know to be His moral stipulations seems trivial in comparison with the murderously un-Islamic activities of the such mega-blasphemers as the Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram and so on.

But its relative mildness by no means excuses this or the similarly blatant blasphemies routinely engaged in by the rulers and supporters of every other Islamic ruling regime I can think of, including the one I know the best and thus loathe the most, Malaysia’s Umno/BN.

With absolutely breathtaking hypocrisy, a sin that I understand that the Quran deplores more than most others, Umno/BN has for decades on the one hand portrayed itself as engaged in a ‘struggle’ to defend Malay-Muslim race, royalty and religion against a variety of imaginary aggressors, while on the other hand it has allegedly – a qualification that of course I employ solely for legal reasons – robbed Malaysians of all races and creeds of everything you can think of.

Everything from tangibles like cash, land, oil, timber and other natural resources through to legitimate institutions including an independent judiciary, truthful news media, impartial electoral authorities and an enlightened educational system.

The only saving grace I see Umno/BN as having, and that only by default, is that it is almost as incompetent as it is corrupt and otherwise criminal, and thus its decades of attempting to keep Malaysians as ignorant, unthinking and just plain dumb as possible has been far from completely successful.

In fact so many Malaysians, Malays and non-Malays alike, have proven so intellectually resilient in the face of the god-forsaken regime’s endless attempts to render them so brain-dead as to keep supporting it that they’re now in the majority, and so Umno/BN relies more than ever on systematic gerrymandering of electorates and constant bribery of the blissfully ignorant minority to keep itself in power.

As vividly if depressingly illustrated by the recent festivities held to celebrate a milestone that most of us lament: the 71st anniversary of the foundation of the Umno party.

An event to which 80,000 people presumably so blissfully ignorant or uncaring of the fact that Umno is a blot on and a blasphemy against the religion it pretends to protect that they were prepared to so similarly and shamefully join in the blasphemy by ‘celebrating’ with these crooks in return for such pitiful ‘gifts’ as RM30 in cash, a six-pack of Ribena and a packet of 40 Gardenia Twiggies.

In the face of such unholy idiocy, it’s very tempting to give up all hope for Umno/BN’s Malaysia. But a story out of Ireland this week has demonstrated that anything is possible.

A complaint from somebody who objected to an anti-God diatribe by actor, writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry on a BBC program called ‘The Meaning of Life’ that was aired in 2015 led to a police investigation of Fry on a charge of blasphemy, an offence still included in the Irish Republic’s Defamation Act.

And on the face of it Fry seemed as guilty as sin, having posed such questions on air as ‘Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’

‘The God who created this universe, if it was created by God,’ he continued, ‘is quite clearly a maniac’ before adding a good deal more in the same vein.

But get this! In the very same Ireland that was for centuries the very epitome of ‘religious’ ignorance, intolerance and repression, people are apparently now so enlightened and broad-minded that the police have been able to find so few of them opposed to Fry’s clearly blasphemous remarks, or at least his right to utter them, that they’ve officially dropped the charge against him.

For my part, police charges or no, I feel that Stephen Fry and all the rest of us would-be critics of religions and fake religiosity would be better off saving our breaths in future. Because nothing we say makes the slightest dent in the self-serving ignorance and closed-mindedness of the faux-pious of Indonesia, Umno/BN’s Malaysia or indeed anywhere else. And in any case their own in-house blasphemies are far more destructive to the credibility of the Gods and religions that they so falsely and hypocritically claim to serve than ours could ever be.

 

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Biases, biasses and buy-asses.

It was amusing in an agonizing kind of way to read recently that the Umno/BN regime’s Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamad chose to celebrate World Press Freedom Day by claiming in a radio interview that Malaysiakini as a ‘very biased’ media outlet.

Because, though of course this lying ass had no intention of telling the truth, in fact quite the opposite, his assertion was perfectly accurate in one unintended sense.

Which is that, as far as I’ve been able to discern during the 18 years of existence, Malaysiakini is totally biased towards doing its duty as a disseminator of accurate information to its audience by reporting the news faithfully, or, as famously stated by the great Adolph Ochs when he took charge of The New York Times in 1896, without fear or favour.

And thus by implication Malaysiakini is also, as any legitimate news organization must be, similarly biased against the systematic censorship, skewing and indeed outright screwing of the truth by such fake ‘news’ organisations as Umno/BN’s so-called ‘mainstream’ media.

A system of organized deception so deplorable that it has resulted in Malaysia’s being ranked a decidedly rank 144th place in the latest world press-freedom report released by the widely-trusted news-media watchdog Reporteurs Sans Frontières (RFS).

But the asinine Nur Jazlan, having hypocritically branded Malaysiakini as ‘biased’ against the ruthlessly truthless regime he represents, had the effrontery to go on to accuse RFS of being ‘unfair’ in giving Malaysia such a lamentably low ranking.

Falsely claiming in support of this allegation that RFS focused on print rather than online media in its assessments of relative press freedom, and citing the fact that Malaysia rates a mere five places above ‘totalitarian’ China as evidence for his contention that ‘the index is fraudulent in many ways.’

While for my part I would argue, entirely to the contrary, that Malaysia’s depressing press-freedom ranking is not only a richly-deserved disgrace in and of itself, but also by extension an index of the utter fraudulence of every facet of the nation’s ever-ruling Umno/BN regime.

But of course it’s entirely predictable that I’d use this column to thus calumniate Umno/BN’s corruptions and countless other criminalities.

Indeed, by the very act of publishing my opinions, albeit with the customary legal disclaimer that it doesn’t necessarily share or endorse them, Malaysiakini demonstrates that its bias is not only towards the impartial reporting of true news, but also by extension in favour of the healthy airing and exchanging of views.

Views that, to speak entirely of my own, are as biased as they can possibly be. But genuinely, legitimately, justly and truly biased, I hope, on the basis of compelling evidence or careful consideration or both.

Truly biased, if you like, either in favour of or against people, organisations and ideas according to which side I perceive that they represent of the duality that Aristotle expressed in advancing the opinion that ‘as man is the best of all animals when he has reached his full development, so he is the worst of all when divorced from law and justice.’

As phrases go, it seems to me that ‘divorced from law and justice’ is as apt as any to describe the condition of the countless ruling regimes around the world that, like Malaysia’s Umno/BN and the Chinese Communist Party, deprive their citizens of true information and freedom of both thought and expression for the purpose of furthering their members’ and supporters’ power and profit.

In other words, to prevent any possibility of their people’s becoming legitimately biased against them and their misrule, they do everything possible to keep as many of them as possible as ignorantly and even idiotically donkey-like, or, if you prefer, biassed.

Biassed primarily, as in the case of the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic’ but actually criminal Umno/BN regime, against non-Malays and non-Muslims, but also against such other alleged boogeymen and bugbears as Jews, Western liberals and even foreigners in general.

And to ensure that they remain as dumb and docile as possible in their blissfully biassed state of mind, Umno/BN squanders some of the fortunes in public funds it routinely steals from the rakyat by means of scams ranging in size from everyday kickbacks and ‘commissions’ on up to such massive swindles as the PKFZ and 1MDB scams on bribing the biassed to keep quiet and above all keep voting for them, with cash handouts that many Malaysians cynically and highly appropriately call ‘dedak’ or animal feed.

And of course heaps of cash also goes to buy the services of masses of asses, like the aforementioned Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamad, countless other Umno/BN ministers and members, and the managements and ‘journalists’ of the ‘mainstream media’.

Or, in other words, buy-asses charged with and generously paid for keeping the biassed fed with a constant diet of lies.

Lies like the load of rubbish that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recently spouted in the latest of his regular attempts to keep the masses as biassed or in other words as unthinking and dumb as the ‘domesticated animals’ that Kant appropriately called those lacking in the will to use their human intelligence.

Najib proposed that Malaysians espouse three ‘principles’, identified as Wala’ (Loyalty), Wasatiyah (Moderation) and Tabayyun (Understanding), that he claimed will ensure Malaysia’s success.

But his explanation of Wala’ as embodying the values of ‘love, obedience and allegiance to a legitimate leadership and the institutions which they represent’ sounded to me suspiciously like just another exercise in Najib-style pleadership for people to keep blindly following his bleedership.

So all I can hope is that the biassed and even the buy-assed will finally someday come to see Najib and his accomplices in Umno/BN for the curse they are on Malaysia, and thus become as terminally biased against them as I, Malaysiakini, or indeed anybody in his or her right mind couldn’t possibly help being.

 

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Surviving religious education.

The recent tragic death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi following beatings he allegedly suffered at a private Islamic boarding school has apparently outraged a good many Malaysians.

And I see that the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has called on the government to abolish corporal punishment in schools on the grounds that it violates children’s rights by harming them not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally.

Morally too, I would add, in light of the fact that so many survivors of the same system of ‘religious’ schooling as proved fatal to Mohamad Thaqif are clearly left hopelessly confused between right and wrong.

Or perhaps not so much confused as highly selective and hypocritical in their moral judgements, as, for example, the purportedly ultra-pious members and supporters of PAS clearly are in their strident support for the corporal punishment of ordinary Muslims of all ages for a whole range of offences against shariah law, but shamefully silent in the face of crimes against the Malaysian people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, by the ruling Umno/BN regime.

And as for the ever-ruling regime itself, whatever ‘religious’ so-called ‘education’ that its members have received has apparently rendered them so hopelessly morally and ethically confused as to be capable of engaging in unholy degrees of corruption, criminality, secrecy and deceit, while simultaneously and hyper-hypocritically pretending to be engaged in a ceaseless ‘struggle’ to ‘defend’ Islam.

This pathologically paradoxical situation is by no means confined to Umno/BN, or Islam, or Malaysia, of course, but prevails to a greater or lesser extent wherever in the world that the terms ‘religion’ and ‘education’ are employed in combination, be it unthinkingly or with deliberate intent to deceive the innocent, the ignorant and the incurably gullible.

An observation that leads me to my point here, which is that ‘religious education’ is a contradiction in terms, or in other words an oxymoron. Though I have to confess that I feel like a total Aussie moron to have taken so much of my life to arrive at this realization.

By way of self-explanation if not justification, however, I was born so bereft of knowledge and power that I quickly came to perceive my parents as omniscient and omnipotent, and thus saw nothing amiss in their taking me to church every Sunday.

Same deal when they sent me off to school, where, since the nuns were called ‘sister’ or ‘mother’, and the male teachers ‘brother’ or ‘father’, and I heard lots about somebody called ‘baby Jesus’, I got the distinct impression that, along with my co-religionist classmates, I was part of some special extended family.

Later I felt somewhat let down to learn that this ‘family’ perceived itself as a more sheep-like ‘flock’ of which the formerly infant Jesus was considered the ‘good shepherd’, and whose authority was sometimes symbolized by a ‘crook’.

Long before I came to see the sinister ambiguity of this ‘crook’ concept, however, or started getting cross about this and pretty well every aspect of my own and other religions, I’d started my so-called ‘education’.

A process that, unlike the late, lamented young Mohamad Thaqif, I survived with all my limbs and my life, thanks to the relative mildness of the corporal punishment my teachers meted-out.

And I never suffered any of the sexual abuse that has subsequently been alleged that a small but significant minority of Catholic clergymen committed back then and since on children entrusted to their charge.

Nor, at least at the time it was happening, did I feel much if any pain as a result of what I later came to see as the intellectual and mental abuse arising from being fed a load of religious fantasies to accept as if they were facts.

Imparting the so-called ‘truths’ of religion to innocent, unsuspecting children, even to the point of forcing them to rote-learn and parrot allegedly ‘divinely-inspired’ texts, and requiring them to have ‘faith’ in such stuff on pain of ‘sin’ against some imaginary ‘almighty’ is an outrage.

As is thus indoctrinating them into any religion without also informing them about at least a selection of the countless atrocities that have been committed in the names of religions since time immemorial, and so appallingly continue to be committed today.

And, despite such enlightened views as those brilliantly expressed by Azly Rahman in his recent Malaysiakini column in which he deplores the ‘heartless, mindless and soul-less system of schooling and learning,’ even more of the same is threatened as recently by the allegedly ‘educated’ likes of Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In a recent public speech, Zahid, who claims to have a PhD, but which to judge by the way he talks could well signify not a ‘doctorate of philosophy’ but a ‘phoney degree’, declared that ‘if our social contract is broken, there will not only be social disorder but worse than that, our streets will be littered with blood and dead bodies.’

‘Those mad and irrational people out there who are propagating social disorder and tearing the fabric of our social structure must be challenged and overcome by our citizens who understand the reason for our being,’ he ranted on, in support of his highly-debatable further proposition that ‘the emergence of social media has deeply affected belief systems, intellectual thinking and moral principles, with mankind slowly being made to lose its dignity.’

This, I contend, is precisely the kind of maimed and misleading mindset that comes from the confusion, deliberate or otherwise, of mindless religious indoctrination or poisonous propaganda with true, enlightened education.

A concept that, as I recall from my school Latin lessons, is based on the word ‘educare’, meaning to ‘draw out’ as in liberate the young, indeed people of all ages, from ignorance, prejudice, irrationality and falsehood rather than to induce or further sustain such crippling mental blocks.

But, though it’s possibly small consolation to Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi’s bereaved family and friends, at least he is free forever of such pernicious ‘religious’ and other similarly destructive so-called ‘educational’ influences, and we can hope that the memory of his sad fate will serve as a lesson that will help many other young Malaysian minds to survive.

 

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Totally fake and on the take.

That to me pretty concisely sums-up the Umno/BN regime and the most compelling reasons why Malaysians in all their diversity need to unite to remove this curse from the country they claim to love.

But unfortunately, as demonstrated by Umno/BN’s fake ‘win’ of a majority of seats in the 13th general election despite its loss of the overall majority of votes, the very fakery and on-the-takery that render the regime such a curse are also what keep it alive.

Fake Umno/BN election ‘success’, for example, depends not only on the drawing of fake electoral boundaries by the regime’s fake electoral commission, but also on enough citizens either willing to take bribes to vote for the highest bidder, or else so patently and pathetically fake as to not bother to register or turn up to vote at all.

Similarly, the survival of Umno/BN’s fake ‘news’ media depend on not only on such constitution-faking laws as the unconstitutionally-oppressive Printing, Presses and Publications Act and the transparency-killing Official Secrets Act, but on the co-operation of countless fake ‘journalists’ corruptly taking salaries in return for their support of the regime in the form of lies, spin, self-censorship or outright silence.

And so on and on, through every conceivable institution of government and department of the civil services.

So it came as no surprise last week when fake Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, already under strong suspicion of being massively on the take via such scams as the long-ago Scorpene Submarines purchase and the currently very much ongoing multi-billion-ringgit 1Malaysia Development Berhad swindle, once again stole US President Donald Trump’s trademark ‘fake news’ concept for the purpose of belabouring his own detractors and critics.

Umno/BN’s very own fake ‘news agency’, Bernama, reported a lavish selection of Najib’s typical exercises in fakery, like, for example, his claim that ‘a well-known foreign newspaper’ had printed ‘complete lies about the government’, and that this had been done ‘without a shred of evidence, and based solely on nameless, anonymous sources who may not even exist.’

When in fact, as everybody knows, the so-called ‘well-known foreign newspaper’ was the highly respectable Wall Street Journal, and that, far from alone, the WSJ was joined in this reporting by countless other such trusted newspapers as the Washington Post and the Guardian; the story was not about the Malaysian government, but Najib himself; and the sources on which the running story was based, far from being ‘nameless’ or ‘anonymous’ or even non-existent, included such authorities as the US Department of Justice.

Entirely undaunted by the universally-known facts of the matter, however, which included numerous mentions of ‘Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) or in other words apparently Najib himself in the findings of the Department of Justice investigation and similar probes in Swiss, Singaporean and other jurisdictions, this faker went on to claim that such highly-credible reports ‘represent a cancer at the heart of journalism…a disease that can have very serious effects.’

And as if that wasn’t a fake enough take on the topic, Najib also claimed in the same fake diatribe that the Umno/BN regime permits considerable freedom of speech in Malaysia, in contravention of the clearly evident fact that a great many critics of him and his government’s blatant fakery and takery have been summarily hit with charges of sedition

Indeed, perhaps the most persistently outspoken of such critics, cartoonist Zulkifly al Haq, aka Zunar, is still, as far as I’m aware, subject to such a slew of sedition charges that at least in theory he’s facing the threat of over 40 years in jail.

Freedom of speech? Freedim or freedumb of speech, more like it. Except, of course, for Najib and his accomplices in faking and taking, who consider themselves absolutely free to speak as much stupid, lying nonsense as they please.

Such stupid, lying nonsense, in fact, as Najib’s recent ‘reminder’, again reported by his fake ‘news’ agency Bernama, that people should not support opposition parties as ‘there are leaders among them who do not want to see the development of Islam and Malays in the country.’

He then went on to claim that ‘the opposition practices an “end justifies the means” concept simply to unseat the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’ before delivering himself of a virtually incomprehensible clutter of fake religiosity to the effect that ‘The goal must be noble, the method must also be correct, if it’s not done in the right way, God will not accept our worship, everything must be right, if the method is not right, our worship despite our good intentions will not be accepted by God, and even in politics we have to hold to the principles of Islam.’

In other words, as I understand Najib to mean by these incoherent ravings, he’s perfectly prepared to risk darkening the names of Islam and of the divinity in which he allegedly believes by associating them with his fake, on-the-take and altogether god-forsaken regime.

An attempted association that, if I happened to be even remotely religious, I imagine that I’d see as little if anything short of blasphemous. And just one more of the many urgently compelling reasons why Malaysians should finally and for once and for all force Najib and his Umno/BN accomplices to take or better still fake off.

 

 

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Nothing but turn and bull 2.

I first made the point last year that Malcolm Turnbull’s strategy for surviving as prime minister was nothing but a combination of turn and bull.

Back then he’d turned from climate-change believer to sceptic and marriage equality advocate to equivocator, and turned like a mad dog on working backpackers in an attempt to hit them with a 36 per cent income tax, as well as on asylum-seekers with a lifetime ban on entry to Australia, and tried to justify all the turning with a total load of bull.

But since all that didn’t improve his pathetic ratings in the polls, indeed quite the opposite, he and his fellow Coalition Turnbullshitters seem fatally stuck with the same self-destructive strategy.

In concert with Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Turnbull has turned from his avowed intention to reform Australia’s taxation system to giving a whopping tax break to business, and tried to justify it with a load of bull about how it would work to create jobs.

Then he and his money-men turned to pretending they had concerns about housing affordability for would-be first home buyers in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, but then turned against doing anything to alleviate the effects of such obviously price-inflating policies like negative gearing and capital gains tax benefits.

In the process talking heaps of bullshit about having to be careful not to destabilize the national economy, but actually refusing to act beyond urging state governments to boost housing supply, as most Coalition voters, not to mention Coalition politicians themselves, have a vested interest in keeping real-estate values soaring.

Then it was the turn of Australia’s electricity market to receive the Turnbull treatment. He and Energy Minister Frydenberg turned on the South Australian government and blamed its renewable-energy policies for power blackouts in that state. But when that turned out to be a load of bull, and Victoria and New South Wales looked like suffering power overloads too, Turnbull advocated fixing the problem by beefing-up the capacity of the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric system.

Never mind that this bullshit solution would take at least 10 years and leave the populace with a bill of at least $2 billion.

And speaking of the billions all these bullshit schemes cost us, since then it has become clear that, having turned from a supporter of a carbon tax on fossil-fuels emissions to a supporter of keeping the ‘coal’ in Coalition, the Turnbull government intends to support the highly-controversial coalmine mooted for Queensland by Indian corporation Adani with a billion dollars of Australian taxpayer funds for infrastructure.

This, like the reduction in the rate of company tax, justified by the alleged creation of jobs. In the Adani case as many as 10,000 jobs according to the Turnbull government’s official line of bull, but as few as less than 2,000 according to many mining experts.

But, apparently undaunted by such a spectacular series of self-inflicted debacles and packs of lies, now Turnbull has apparently turned to pinning his fading hopes on that proverbial last resort of the scoundrel, patriotism.

What a turn-up for the books this is. Not only ‘reform’ of the foreign-worker visa system supposedly to protect those ever-elusive Australian jobs the Turnbull government keeps endlessly promising to generate, but also a savage increase in both the duration and difficulty of obtaining Australian citizenship.

With the latter proposed on totally bullshit grounds to do with the allegedly to do with ‘Australian values’, but to me smacking suspiciously of Donald Trump—style anti-Islamic jingoism, given that one of the principle values mentioned was opposition to genital mutilation.

Which is all very sanctimonious and politically-correct, of course. But from what I’ve seen of the citizenship tests as they stand, let alone the stricter ones the Turnbull and his patriots are proposing, most people born in Australia would be unlikely to be able to pass them.

And as for genital mutilation, which in any case is strictly forbidden by law in Australia, I wonder if this prohibition would extend to genital modification.

Like, for example, the circumcision that was virtually routine for male infants born in Australia back when I was, during World War 2, and as always has been and still is for males members of Judaism and Islam.

In any event, who the hell do the likes of Turnbull and his drongo Immigration Minister Dutton think they are to set themselves up as judges of what are and aren’t ‘Australian’ values?

Surely the Turnbull government, through all its betrayals of principles such as those of economic fairness, gender equality and environmental protection, not to mention its systematic bullshitty betrayal of the principle of telling the people the truth, is the last group to be trusted as judge and jury about what is and isn’t in accord with ‘Australian values’.

Or so it seems to me as someone who’s been an Australian for longer than any of them, and who sees our strength as a people in being able to get along despite our deep individual differences, not because we share some alleged ‘Aussieness’ as defined by the Turnbullshitters of some coterie of conservatives trying to pass themselves off as Liberals.

 

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Easter bunnies.

Perhaps in retribution for the dim view of the season that I expressed in ‘Easter escape’, the column I wrote on the subject for Malaysiakini and also posted here yesterday, fate has made a total bunny of me this Easter Sunday.

Having woken up far too early for my customary Sunday-morning coffee and chat with my friend and neighbor, Michael, I had the bright idea of doing a load of washing in expectation of impressing my wife with my housekeeping efforts on her return from her few days’ off in Tasmania.

But, boy, talk about getting egg on my face. Somebody had apparently booby-trapped one of the garments with a white facial tissue, and thus, despite all the cursing and shaking I subjected all the washed items to as I hung them out to dry, they look as though they’ve been befurred by a whole hutchfull of angora rabbits.

A result that threatened to totally spoil my day, until I eventually got to the café with Michael and saw in the paper there that the Kim Jong-Un regime had made an even more spectacular bunny of itself by firing a missile to demonstrate what a deadly danger it is to its neighbours and the US, only to have the thing explode seconds after it left the launch-pad.

And now that I’m back home from the café, I see that a Malaysiakini reader hiding his or her identity behind the pseudonym ‘Prudent’ has been so enraged by my criticisms of religion in general and Christianity particular in my ‘Easter escape’ column as to make a total bunny of him- or herself with the comment that ‘You are one very confused and deceived old man. If you have nothing good to write, please don’t. Malaysiakini should not allow the above article to pass muster. It is just an inane and insane rant against what Dean Johns is confused about the Christian faith. Malaysiakini, please do not allow such articles of negative value to the common good to pass your muster again!’

Of course I can’t be sure what religion Prudent represents, but if it’s one of the clutter of competing and conflicting sects all claiming to be the one ‘true’ form of the vast collection of illusions and delusions that calls itself Christianity, then I rest my case.

This is a typical example of an alleged Christian’s failure to adhere to the alleged advice of his or her alleged ‘saviour’ to charitably, indeed meekly respond to aggression by turning the other cheek.

But at least there’s a sign in there that criticism by us Crosstians, or in other words I and all my fellow former faithful who have become so cross at the unholy attitudes and antics with which clerics and congregations have double-crossed Christianity over the centuries as to abandon it in disgust, has had an improving effect.

For example, for the sin of casting doubt on Christianity in particular and religion in general, ‘Prudent’ proposes that I should be punished by being banned, whereas back in the good old days of Christianity he/she could easily have had me burned.

But save in more recently-invented ‘faiths’ like Islam, many of whose adherents still persist in killing its critics, apostates or opponents by stoning and sundry other methods, Christianity has been persuaded to abandon the death penalty for dissenters and disbelievers.

So enlightened has Christianity become, in fact, in the face of pressure from us Crosstians and other secularists, that the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has, in his special message this Easter, called for his followers to feel ‘shame’ at both their own callous indifference to the horrendous sufferings of people of other faiths, or even no faiths, in all the wars and natural disasters around the world, and also at the scandalous degree of child sexual abuse committed by members of their clergy.

For all my rabbiting on about others who’ve managed to making jokes (yolks?) of themselves this Easter, however, be they utterly bad eggs like Kim Jong-Un or the merely scramble-brained like ‘Prudent’ so evidently is, I have to confess that I still don’t feel any better about having made such a bunny of myself earlier, laundrywise.

And even less funny is the fact that I’m still stuck with the task of somehow ridding a whole line-load of washing of about a billion bits of tissue within the next hour or so, so my wife won’t die laughing at the sight of the kind of housework that’s been happening while she’s been away having a happy, husband-free Easter.

 

 

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