Saturday, July 04, 2015

There is only ‘Bangsa Malaysia’, here

by azly rahman

I wish to comment on the recent interest in the term ‘Bangsa Johor’, and encourage instead for us to think as Malaysians first. We still have a lot to work on as a nation of multi-bangsa identities striving for equality, equal opportunity, equality, peace, and social justice. No need to fragment us unnecessarily - especially at a time when our nation is in deep political trouble, financial mess, and economic chaos never before seen.

Let us be more inclusive and continue to think more as a nation rather than pigeon-hole ourselves into this or that ‘bangsa’/race/nation which has no legitimate basis to secede and fight for independence later.

Of course the United Nations recognises one ‘nation’s’ right for self-determinism but only if the peoples are oppressed, criminalised, persecuted, and treated as sub-humans and their rights as human beings are violated. And only if they are relegated as a nation to abject poverty, eating dirt daily.

I grew up only hearing words such as ‘Orang Johor’, and never once ‘Bangsa Johor’. There are other ‘orangs’ as well. Oghe’ Kelate’, Orang Pahang. Oghe’ Ganoo, Owang Nogori. Ong Melaka, Oghang Perak, Orang Sabah, Orang Sarawak, Oghang Kedoh, and also Owang Peghelih. And crossing borders, we have ‘Owang Siam’.

These cover the spectrum of of people in Malaysia, each with its niceties and peculiarities and linguistically variant complexities, especially in the ‘funny way they talk’.

Those were that.

Nothing politically-charged the term ‘orang’ is. Of course growing up, I hear also terms such as ‘Orang Kuala’, ‘Orang Ulu’, and ‘Orang Bukit’ - the designation of the original peoples of Malaysia.

And of course there is ‘Orang KL or Kay Elll...’ as many take pride in, in identifying themselves and the ‘modernist look and outlook’ that they are said to embody and represent, albeit with false consciousness essentially. And of course too - ‘orang gila’ or mad men and mad women.

All ‘orangs’ or ‘folks of...’ and not ‘bangsa’, a politically-charged term that is a prelude to self-determination. Bangsa Moro of the Philippines comes into mind.

And then there is Louis Farrakhan’s ‘Nation of Islam’ as Bangsa Islam Amerika - a race-based African-American Muslim group that hailed Elijah Muhammad as ‘prophet’.

The idea of ‘nation’

But ‘Bangsa Johor’? What is this new invention? Sounds like something new that is cropping out of nowhere. Perhaps for no reason, too? I am not familiar with this term inviting Johoreans to a world of ‘nationalism’? Does anyone understand the idea of ‘nation’, originating from France? Do these people read the classic work of Ernst Renan or even recent works of William R Roff (on Malay origin of nationalism,) and Benedict Anderson on ‘imagined communities’, to throw the word ‘bangsa’ around?

Or do we need to focus urgently on building a ‘Bangsa Malaysia’, for an inclusive version of Malaysian Malaysia along the lines of the promises of the Principles of Nationhood (Rukunegara) and of the formation of Malaysia?

Why not do this as we struggle to make sense of what a ‘Malaysian nation’ is in the face of the importation of workers from Bangladesh especially, who will impact the evolutionary process of building the nation of Malaysia. Why not do this?

Why not think of how the wealth of Malaysia to be distributed with the principles of justice, so that in each state concentration of wealth will no longer be with the few - with those controlling the resources and using the state apparatuses to controlled the people and use the idea of this or that "bangsa" as a smokescreen to impose structures of domination and dehumanisation?

Reflecting on the meaninglessness of the word ‘Bangsa Johor’, or bangsa this or that, I am reminded by the great Indonesian novel, ‘Anak Semua Bangsa’, or Child of all Nations by the great Indonesian thinker-writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer or ‘Pak Prem’, jailed for 14 years during and denied pen and paper to write his thoughts on Indonesia’s social cancer.

We are a child of all nations, in this earth for mankind (anak semua bangsa di bumi manusia,) aren’t we? As Malaysians, think proudly of your culture, pride, and heritage - but think as a people of a cosmopolitan national entity as well.

Citizens of the world we are. Out of Africa we all come from; from the womb of the mythical and mitochondrial eve. Each one of us an aristocrat - until social inventions and dominations and historical turns create classes of the powerful and the powerless, Masters and Slaves, amongst us - through the strange idea of the ‘mandate of heaven’.

I hope those who coined the words ‘Bangsa Johor’ get the chance to read the Swiss Enlightenment thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s idea of the evolution of the Master-Slave narrative.

No - ‘Bangsa Johor’ is an unfamiliar invention of an imagined community. But what is the point there?

Nope - I prefer the old term ‘Budak Johor’ or ‘Mat Johor’. It rocks!

But seriously - there is only a ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ still yearning to break free from its national follies.


Friday, July 03, 2015

POETRY: "This Aristotlelian poetics of yours "

by azly rahman 

Show me the mirror of Aristotleian poetics
and let me go back to the Time
when I could see the script and postscripts of Life
of the setting
the plot
of those characters I was forced to meet
of the fights
the battles
the wars
I was thrown into
endless it seems 'unlike the structure of tragedy
Aristotleian invention
show me more of the complexities of what you have created
because you are the Author of Things
show me all the rising actions my Life have been through
those microfictions that weave like a sonnet of shakespearean proportions
the ramayana and the mahabharatta of your pulp fiction
of the rising action of that rock Sisyphus was condemned into rolling
show me all -- the conflicts in the life I have lived 

the life you have written
the life I have edited, revised, or even at times
this script of it I have shredded to pieces -- right in front of your eyes
show me then the climb -- higher and higher
until I reach the everest of the epic we have decided upon
of the climax of it all
and I-- still with the rock Camus wrote of, wondering where
I shall not go as I look above and below
in the nakedness of my soul
my spirit still deciding
whether to soar like Jonathan Livingston's seagull
of to plunge in the ravine down below like Man all done with Life
show me the way -- you are the Author of all Things
I am one and becoming one with your authorship
this is the prose of life , you said
and I am to become an epic poem
of yet another catharsis of a creation
in which eros, thanatos, and hubris, and hamartia all is one
in a that fountain of the peak I am now standing on
I shall now stand here like sisyphus
as I look down below
for a falling action
for that descend
you have planned
for a final destination
of a resolution
for a closure
for an end to a story

-- all these a plot of yours
I shall remain here and
and elsewhere
you shall remain with your script
you and I
are now
two different Authors

-- azly rahman

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

POETRY: Complexity


perhaps someday
when the rustle of the autumn leaves
is a whisper of distant breeze
becomes that butterfly that flaps its wings
that time
sometime ago
sending chills down the spine of
the one that turns clay into sculptures
that sings like those sirens of homer's odyssey
the memory of those years
we wished we were there

perhaps someday
we may become
those casual conversations
in a cafe
on park avenue
conversations without words uttered
mere glances
mere melodies
in our hearts
that refuse to let the world know
of a time we once met
in a distant place
some thousand year ago they say
when Time stood still
watching two hearts
become one
and nothingness, hence
to the music of
the rustle of the
autumn leaves
that evening of our contentment

Perhaps, someday
was already there
remembered not

-- ar

Monday, June 29, 2015

ON MARA -- Where is the truth?





MARA guna 7 syarikat serata dunia untuk sembunyikan pembelian hartanah di Australia yang dituduh melibatkan rasuah. Jika tidak ada apa yang salah, kenapa perlu disembunyikan sedemikian rupa?

Gambar dan dokumen di…/struktur-syarikat-mara-inc-memuda…/

National Oversight & Whistleblowers (NOW) merujuk kepada kenyataan-kenyataan Tan Sri Anuar Musa kebelakangan ini mengenai skandal pembelian hartanah oleh MARA Inc; seperti berikut:

1. Beliau memberi gambaran seolah-olah beliau tidak tahu menahu mengenai kontroversi pembelian itu sehinggalah isu itu ditimbulkan

2. Beliau memberi gambaran bahawa berdasarkan maklumat yang ada pada MARA, pembelian itu adalah baik dan tidak ada apa-apa yang menimbulkan syak wasangka mengenai urusniaga tersebut
Minggu lalu, saya (Rafizi Ramli) berada di Australia untuk beberapa urusan dan sempat membuat siasatan ringkas mengenai pembelian hartanah-hartanah tersebut.

Saya berjaya mendapatkan satu dokumen dalaman MARA yang digunakan di dalam satu taklimat kepada Tan Sri Anuar Musa dan delegasi MARA mengenai pembelian hartanah ini. Taklimat itu diberikan pada 20 Mei 2014 di Melbourne dan selain dari Tan Sri Anuar Musa sendiri, delegasi MARA itu turut disertai oleh Dato’ Lan Allani iaitu individu yang dikaitkan bertanggungjawab dengan pembelian hartanah ini.

Lawatan delegasi MARA ini untuk melawat hartanah yang baru dibeli di Melbourne dilaporkan oleh Kementerian Luar Negara di lamannya…/majlis-amanah-rakyat-mara-working-v…
Gambar-gambar lawatan seperti berikut:

Dokumen dalaman yang berbentuk taklimat kepada Tan Sri Anuar Musa dan delegasi MARA itu memberi beberapa maklumat penting mengenai keseluruhan pelaburan hartanah MARA Inc di Melbourne. Salah satunya ialah struktur pegangan syarikat-syarikat milik penuh MARA Inc yang akhirnya memiliki 4 hartanah yang dibeli iaitu:

1. 746 Swanston Street
2. Dudley International House
3. 333 Exhibition Street
4. 51 Queen Street

Saya sertakan 2 mukarusat dari dokumen itu yang menunjukkan struktur pegangan syarikat-syarikat milik penuh MARA Inc. Daripada dokumen tersebut, dapat disahkan bahawa:

i. Bagi 2 hartanah (746 Swanston Street dan Dudley International House), MARA Inc menubuhkan satu syarikat milik penuh di luar pesisir pantai (offshore company) yang didaftarkan di British Virgin Island (BVI) untuk memiliki 2 hartanah ini. Syarikat BVI bermakna segala maklumat kewangan dan operasi syarikat ini dilindungi sepenuhnya oleh kerahsiaan dan tidak termasuk di dalam carian umum

ii. Bagi 2 lagi hartanah (333 Exhibition Street dan 51 Queen Street), MARA Inc menggunakan 3 lapisan syarikat di negara yang berbeza untuk memiliki hartanah ini.

Bagi 333 Exhibition Street, hartanah ini dipegang melalui Powerwell Holdings Limited (didaftarkan di Labuan), yang seterusnya memiliki Carlton Garden Pte Ltd (didaftarkan di Singapura), yang seterusnya memiliki Peters Equity Pty Ltd (didaftarkan di Australia) yang akhirnya memiliki hartanah itu.

Bagi 51 Queen Street, hartanah ini dipegang melalui Vortex Holdings Limited (didaftarkan di Labuan), yang seterusnya memiliki Marinn Property Pte Ltd (didaftarkan di Singapura), yang seterusnya memiliki Queville Pty Ltd (didaftarkan di Australia) yang akhirnya memiliki hartanah itu.
Daripada maklumat-maklumat ini, jelas bahawa pembelian hartanah ini distrukturkan untuk menyembunyikannya dari pengetahuan awam dengan menggunakan syarikat pesisir luar pantai di BVI atau menggunakan beberapa lapisan syarikat yang didaftarkan di negara yang berbeza untuk memisahkan hartanah itu dari MARA Inc.

Tindakan menggunakan syarikat-syarikat yang berbeza-beza ini bukan sahaja sepatutnya menimbulkan syak wasangka, ia juga menelan belanja pengurusan dan pentabdiran yang merugikan MARA.

Oleh kerana Tan Sri Anuar Musa telah melawat sendiri hartanah-hartanah ini dengan diiringi oleh Dato’ Lan Allani dan diberikan maklumat ini sejak tahun 2014 lagi, NOW mengajukan soalan-soalan berikut kepada beliau:

i. Bukankah sepatutnya Tan Sri Anuar Musa sudah sedia maklum bahawa pembelian hartanah ini bermasalah melihatkan kepada struktur pegangan yang digunakan MARA Inc?

ii. Kenapa beliau tidak mengarahkan siasatan yang lebih awal sejak tahun 2014 lagi dan bukannya selepas perkara ini didedahkan oleh akhbar Australia?

iii. Kenapa syarikat-syarikat di BVI, Labuan dan Singapura digunakan untuk membeli hartanah-hartanah ini sedangkan pemilik sebenarnya ialah MARA Inc?

Daripada dokumen yang diperolehi, NOW akan mendedahkan beberapa perkara lagi minggu ini yang menunjukkan bagaimana pelaburan hartanah ini tidak memenuhi syarat pulangan kepada MARA dan sepatutnya telah dihentikan oleh Tan Sri Anuar Musa sebaik sahaja beliau menjadi Pengerusi MARA.

Pengarah Eksekutif NOW
29 Jun 2015


Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Malaysianise the Bangladeshis?

by azly rahman

As a student of Globalisation and Human Consequences and one who also teaches related courses such as Global Issues and the American Experience, I am intrigued by the latest development of Malaysia; that, as reported, over a period of three years, 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers are going to be brought in, I suppose as contract labourers working on construction projects.

My first question is: what actually is Malaysia’s policy of national infrastructural development at a time when the economy is going through a massive heart attack and if plans to further engage in real estate projects will help the country move from the Intensive Care Unit to the mortuary?

Bringing in half a million workers a year seems like something planned not only for economic purposes, but for political gains of the ruling regime; gains we are yet to ascertain as the next general election approaches.

What national infrastructural blueprint have we constructed that necessitate such a large number of workers whose life and times will mirror that of those working in places such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar (under heavy criticism on the inhuman treatment of foreign workers as the preparation for a World Cup is under way.)

Where are these additional 500,000 per year Bangladeshis going to be properly housed as major cities such as Kuala Lumpur becomes massively urbanised and plagued with massive issues of ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ of the dehumanised urbanites?

Have we not done any studies, inspired for example by the Model of Futurism, to anticipate (via Scenario Building, Futures Wheel Modelling, Simulation exercise, etc.) what will happen to society when a massive influx of migrant workers are brought in to a city that is already choking with the smog and social ills brought about by the urban decay and the ever growing enclaves of dehumanised habitats as a consequence of previous waves of modern migration?

What actually is going to happen to the city of Kuala Lumpur (and other major ones such a Johor Baru as well) and how will such a planned migration to the idea of national development and national identity of ‘Malaysiana’ we have been talking about for decades before we got addicted to cheap foreign labour?

Who is going to lose in the long run? Who is gaining in the short period of time? What will the children of Malaysia inherit?

Constructing their own developmental agenda

Can’t we tell countries such as Bangladesh to get their act together and stop agreeing to send their people to work in Malaysia and instead use their brains to help construct their own national developmental agenda using their own resources - skilled labour in this case? Become socialist communist states, if these countries must - use their workers and farmers to build their nation.

Granted that globalisation is a complex phenomena and one nation’s benefit as master surfers of it can be another nation’s slave ship, but let us at least (for Malaysia) form a special ‘council of concerned experts’ (if you must call them,) to think of the human consequences of blindly following the road to serfdom, this unthinking profit-motif capitalist agenda, this addiction to human labour of other nationals’ blood, sweat, tears, and fears - these issues discussed thoroughly, so that we may have a clearer picture of how our society will be impacted.

I don’t know. We don’t even know who is running the country these days.

All we are seeing is a nation not only in a bipolar state but moving towards tripolarist quadrophenic-phobic-kaleidoscopic-catatonic state in a world increasingly totalitarian and violent, irrespective of which national ideology is governing each nation, state, or ‘nation-state’.

Hard times ahead?

What then must we do - at least for the sake of our children?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


free flow
written late last night, June 22, 2015
-- ar

by azly rahman


and the time hath come for the stories once told
would once again be inscribed onto the scriptures one dearly hold
that the armies of the night
borne out of the rages of tempest delight
would march by the thousands
all masked
their souls crafted out of fire burning through the night
come hither scribes of the puranas
come poets of gilgamesh
with your chisel and tablet we shall await the warrior Indra

“Tablet 1”

O' Darkness
you have come with a Companion
one I am yet to see
a mirror of the Self
as you once promised
O' Darkness
O' Void
you have come again
as we sit in silence
a congregation of two
amidst the chaos
of what is beyond these walls
of white noise of the machines
singing like a chorus of a mantra
of material beings
unto me served
these offerings
of questions and nothing else
as I am bathed in this sudden ray of light
be and Thou shall be
become what you wish to become
as the Inner Desire in me implanted
like some "biochip" of a time to come
ready to be activated at the time of conception
Be and Thou shall be
surreal a being Thou shall become
unto thee the tools of work and play
or toil and pleasure
shall Thee create
Be! I command Thee to be
to exist
to be bathed
in this mystery
like a shroud of the dead and grateful
of a karma Thou will become daily
From what worlds am I to be
From which distant world am I set to be free?
O' Void
O' Darkness
I shall be what you have destined me to be
But Thou shall be ready
For a revolt
Of the senses
that too will govern me
As you please
Be as you say I shall be – ar

“Tablet 2”

O' Darkness
O' Void
a friend
an enemy
from Light you Thou have sprung
Unto Light Thou shall return
Darkness and Light will once again be
Wars Thou have fought
Battles Thou have won
and Lost
Rages on
Till this day
of the day when Thou
have created anew
Souls that will Be
and will become
yet another soldier of Fortune
and Misfortune
to see yet another battle
Winners and Losers
Like Darkness
Like Void
Like a Companion
All One
and the same
But indeed
Be .. as Thouest shall say
And Beings shall be
But imbued with Senses Five
and a Will to revolt
so that Thou too shall be set free
from the misery
of this never-ending
War of Misfortune
and Misery -- ar

“Tablet 3”

Tell me what I shall be
Only with words and more words
What I shall become
Because there shall never be
a Creation without the words Thou shall
unto the self, the mind, the body
Words becometh flesh
Becomes beings with feelings
Become Time and Space that will constrain
Be- and Thou shall become' as it is often said
Tell me of the Inner Mystery
O' Darkness
O' Void
O' Light of Sanity
Tell me about the Inner Desire
of the Lake of Plenty
of the warm Spring of Sanity
Thou have bathed my soul in
That I have become One in
That I have become Many in
tell me what springs forth for Thine's own game
of Creation and Karma
of path thou have carved for souls aplenty
tell me these and I shall guess what shall
the outcome of the game plan
So that I may choose which words
which inscriptions
of the soul
of the self
of the spirit
I shall choose
for Thee to install in me -- ar

“Tablet 4”

Hush and hush and hush
and whisper to me
If that is what Thou intend this to be
Speak to me in riddles
Speak to me in words that may confuse
Speak to me in jest
Speak to me with Mercy
You and I
will there only be
Beyond the walls of this cave
Lie souls aplenty
they call 'society'
The beast that will never understand
What Thou have planned this game of life to be
Lift me out of this Lake of Mercy
Whisper to me what the end of the journey might be
Dim the light of darkness in this darkest cave
if our conversation
will set us free
These words Thou will whisper
as these are 'tatoo-ed' into me
-into my self
-my spirit
-my soul
-my body
becomes words
only words
that will keep me alive
from cradle
to the grave
O' Darkness
O' Void
O' Merciful
My words becomes Thee
In this world of the 'persistence of memory,'
Is that not what we have agreed?

“Tablet 5”

Once Thou spoke to me of Time:
" Time
you have grown old
while the restlessness
of youth
in Humanity
leaving traces
of blood
in spaces
you cannot heal ..."
I have never understood Thine words of insanity
But now it hath become clear to me
As the wheels of Kama
The Law of Manu
the boddhisatva in me
completes its cycle
O' Darkness
O' Void
O' Merciful One
How could Thou and I be so wrong
in the story of Creation?
Come -- let us summon the Scribe
and write a story of Grace
of Wars no more
of Sufferings all gone
But as Thou have argued --
what then
what then
what then
shall the Story of Life be?

“Tablet 6”

Let the Beast called Society
roam free in the Concrete Jungle of Plenty
as Thou and I feast in this banquet of words and only words
whispering secrets of secrets
mysteries within mysteries
Let the Beast
roam free
in the Forest of Jataka
in some Jurassic Park
in the Lake of the Loons
in the floating baskets
of Aristophenes' Clouds
Let them be
beast of burden to the
words they too have heard
inscribed into
their souls
their spirits
their body
their thick skull
into their Happiness
of what they have chosen
and decreed to become
Come on
Thou and I
let us feast
from dawn to dusk
and into the darkness
of these seven phases of Time
of these seven Oceans of Mercy we shall sail into
of the travels into the seven heavens we have agreed to do
hush and hush and hush
Never tell this to the Best
called Society
O' Darkness
O' Void
O' Mercy
O' Love of my Nothingness
Let us dine
with words

“Tablet 7”

O' Darkness
O' Void
O' Nothingness
Did I not once speak about the garden I created
Out of the words and only words
Out of the persistence of memory so well crafted?
Better than the "Eden" I once heard about?
I called it Walden III:
In the center lies a circle
without borders in which lies an eternal flame
where must the self lie in Nature that hath no beginning nor end?
in my garden i asked
in Walden III i sat eyes closed
taming the flame
closer to my heart's desire you shall come as we become circles in search of a center ...
to return to the self if we must
until a new story we becometh
inside of me lies a paradise i see not
but in the manifest and the latent
i see not but in the eyes that sees me
in my garden i asked in Walden III
i sat with eyes closed to see the beauty of what lies unseen
roses why do you have thorns?
i asked
daily i tend to thee but daily thou unleashed the violence one can never see
o' roses climb thee to the heights of glory
beauty lies in thine's ephemereality
come the eyes of the storm
and thunder and lighting perish o' roses thou shall be
such is the beauty of this metaphor of a reality
a rose is a rose and nothing more
is that so doth Nature dictates
of sonnets and serenades thous hath been glorified to this date
yet unto dust thou shall dissipate
O Nature I salute thee
you and I may well be a conspiracy
when i tend to thee we shall both agree
that thou shall chant my name
and together rise to the himalayas of dignity
O' Nature I am like a solitary reaper
gathering moss and into the woods i traverse eternally
for thou hath shown me the beauty in the stone uncarved
and shown me too the hearts of men chained with greed and insanity
O' Water
Nature doth giveth
inside of me like a river flows
bows and arrows of temptation and desolation may a thousand cometh
I shall thank thee O Nature in thine' s keep in peace and tranquility
in Walden III i saw a drop of water on a leaf of a lily
a crystal-ball of a universe it looked to me
O' Nature I thank thee for making me see
the inside of a universe thou guarded jealously with beauty
only to be stained with the blood of those thirsty for power and glory
between men the universe breaks asunder
like a rose blown to pieces by merely a violent thunder
I shall wait no paradise O Universe
of flowing rivers of milk
and men and young boys of eternal youth
who wine and feast in merriment eternally
I shall conspire with you O' Nature
to create one daily and into eternity we shall craft this place of eternal beauty
close to our heart's desire
away from the words of wise men in robes with forked tongue speaking about rewards of eternal quest for desire
I shall not wait such a paradise O' Nature
promises of 72 virgins and hourries aplenty
only for blowing up the self and the innocent others mindlessly
O' Walden III
may thou and I with Fate and Free Will agree
that the beauty in us knows no boundaries


Tablet 1

O' Darkness
you have come with a Companion
one I am yet to see
a mirror of the Self
as you once promised

O' Darkness
O' Void

you have come again
as we sit in silence
a congregation of two
amidst the chaos
of what is beyond these walls
of white noise of the machines
singing like a chorus of a mantra
of material beings
unto me served
these offerings
of questions and nothing else

as I am bathed in this sudden ray of light
be and Thou shall be
become what you wish to become
as the Inner Desire in me implanted
like some "biochip" of a time to come
ready to be activated at the time of conception

Be and Thou shall be
surreal a being Thou shall become
unto thee the tools of work and play
or toil and pleasure
shall Thee create

Be! I command Thee to be
to exist
to be bathed
in this mystery
like a shroud of the dead and grateful
of a karma Thou will become daily

From what worlds am I to be
From which distant world am I set to be free?

O' Void
O' Darkness
I shall be what you have destined me to be
But Thou shall be ready
For a revolt
Of the senses
that too will govern me

As you please
Be as you say I shall be -- ar

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Biro Tata Negara  and the price of indoctrination 

written in 2009

What price indoctrination? Herein lies the question on the RM550 million spent over 10 years on a civic-consciousness programme that turned out to be a project of instilling fear into the Malays – fear of their own shadow and fear of other races.

The Biro Tatanegara (BTN) courses use Russian-styled pseudo-scientific pop psychology, drawn from the work of Bulgarian mind-bending experts in 'suggestopedia' developed by Lozanov and Barzakov with creative visualisation para-psychological techniques, into which the mind is emptied before propaganda is funnelled.

When the mind is half-asleep, subconscious wide awake, the body is relaxed, the room darkened, the voice of the propagandist-facilitator reigns supreme, suggesting anything to ensure that the doped, docile, and domesticated mind enters a game of master-slave narrative.

NONEThe BTN facilitators become the masters, the participants, mesmerised, are now the slaves - so that the idea of Ketuanan Melayu gets chiseled into the right side of the brain and urges the emotions to become reptilian, so that hate and mistrust of other races will be imprinted into the brain cells.

The directors and creators of Malaysia's now infamous indoctrination camps must be guilty of not learning enough of what culture and human progress is before promoting a dangerously divisive mental pogrom that is purposely designed to breed hatred amongst all races.

The last few months have seen a public outcry over the real intention of the bureau. The public do not want to see their children subjected to a government-sponsored programme of teaching a brand of history that is no longer appealing to a society badly in need of a better way to teach tolerance and meaningful understanding amongst the races.

Malaysia is a land for all races; a land of immigrants in which our forefathers toiled in padi fields, tin mines, rubber estates, the deep and high seas, and the jungle - both natural and urban.

BTN is a multi-million ringgit propaganda outfit that teaches history which is no longer relevant to the rakyat's need for a more inclusive and cosmopolitan view of what Malaysia is.

Malay cultural revolution

From a cultural perspective, BTN represent the thoughts of an old school - one based on the immutability of culture, and the 'classic norms' whereas culture is not static and ethnicity is fluid and ever-changing.

We live in an ever-changing present where the past merely consists of memories collected by those who believed in an imagined community - whether that community is Malay, Javanese, Bugis, Tamil, or Bengali. Globalisation erodes these and, from the point of view, chaos and complexity theory creates new cultures out of them.

Ultimately the question is - what is a 'Malay'? Hence my idea of a 'Sawojaya' as a new race to be constructed, so that we Malays migrate to newer fields, after the Malay mind have been damaged by BTN in modern times, and by feudalism and colonialism in times past. The evolution is cultural.

barack obama 051108It is like the Africans migrating from Mali-an dance to breakdance, and Yoruba tribal drumming to Bronx hip-hop. As long as we do not evolve to become gangsta rappers, we're good. But think of a marriage between a Thai and African-American - a marriage that produced Tiger Woods who recently 'transgressed'. Think of Obama's (left) parents - one Kansas white and one Kenyan. We must search for hybridised cultures that still has ethical foundations and celebrate their evolution.

Essentially Malays must leave their cocoon of 'ultra-Malayness' and become more cosmopolitan. This initiative must include a radical restructuring and deconstructing of the very core of 'incapacitating' aspect of the Malay culture. The Hang Tuahs, the Sejarah Melayu, and the glorification of the traditional Malay sultanate and its decadence and despotism and all the myths of superiority - all these must be questioned and deconstructed by the younger generation.

Real progress can be made if we redesign our schools based on the principles of education for critical, creative, ethical, and futuristic consciousness. The old school must make way for the new school. The classical norms must give way to the newer voices of the subaltern - voices of radical and liberating multiculturalism.

The work of BTN is about making more and more Malays subservient and docile, so that the more powerful amongst them can plunder the wealth of the nation and rob even from the poor. It's all about material gain and who gets the most out of a shrinking economy these days - in a world in which the definition of race and ethnicity is merely an instrument of domination.

azlanMalays are now feeling that they are being betrayed by the 10-year reign of BTN. They are angry. They are perceiving BTN as a traitor to the Malays; denying them a better perspective by instilling fear of themselves. Who benefits from all these? This is what the Malays are asking.

A new Malaysia requires a shut down of all BTN activities with immediate effect. The damage has been done through the dissemination of truncated history and strategies of a hidden curriculum delivered via under subconscious state of mind.
Malaysians have had a 10-year bad dream, locked in a master-slave world. For RM55 million a year, they could have seen better integrated schools, less racist teachers trained in multicultural education, and the implementation of a better curriculum that celebrates diversity and teaches us that Malaysia does not belong to this or that race, but to a land of immigrants valued for their talent and their respect for one another.

BTN destroyed that vision. It must therefore be put on trial and next, closed down. We will emerge victorious - as peace-loving Malaysians.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pre-Ramadan queries and reflections

by azly rahman

For this week’s column, I wish to share brief notes that I had used to contemplate on the state of things our country has been in. From the controversy over the proper attire a ‘Muslim gymnast’ should wear, to the question of ‘Islamic culture’, on the increasing use of the word ‘Bangsa Johor’ as a battle cry in the yet another phase of the Mahathir Mohamad-Najib Abdul Razak mahabharatta (‘the great war’), and finally on the question of who actually is a true ‘Bugis warrior’ - all these preoccupied me this past two weeks. Here are my notes:

What then is ‘Islamic culture’?

Don’t let Islam in Malaysia be reduced to an imitation of a tribal culture Islam in Arabia tried to eliminate; tribalism carries with it a tribalistic ideology, drawn from the discourse of ideological animosity amongst tribes trying to control each other and hegemonise thinking by pegging these ‘neo-tribalistic doctrines’ as Islamic practices.

It is easy for the 80 percent non-Arabic speaking Muslims to fall prey to these re-tribalised ideas of spirituality and how to engage in public display of such spirituality through language, rites, rituals, and dress codes which may include the commercialisation of religious objects and romanticisation of the superiority of this or that diet of the tribes of Arabia; foodstuff such as goat’s milk, dates, and pistachios named as ‘the nuts for geniuses’ (‘kacang cerdik’).

As far as my observation goes, in the case of Malay Muslims, I do not see many Arabs obsessed with wearing Malay clothes such as the kebaya and batik, as much as I see Malays wearing head coverings in a multitude of styles and men adopting Arab clothing as daily wear.

This is the complexity of culture mistaken as religion.

We must question what these are - and even what to wear to make us spiritually comfortable in what we believe as a truth.

Guidelines for Islamic arts in Malaysia?

And what in the whole wide world shall that be?
declaring that rock, jazz, classical, rap, hip hop, and western folk music as un-Islamic ?
declaring that all paintings produced must not depict human beings - only flora and fauna?
declaring that all female singers can no longer sing on stage as the voice is considered ‘aurat’?
declaring that sports in school should now be events separating boys and girls?
declaring that all football players must wear long pants and grow beard?
what in the world is ‘Islamic arts and culture’?
Bring these guidelines to Iran and Pakistan if you must
or else - spend your time and energy passing decrees to help us catch the country’s biggest thieves hiding behind pious language.

Islamic sports?

What in the world is that too?
don’t expect gymnasts to wear the burqa’
they will look like flying nuns
don’t teach every kampong football team
to takbir “Allahu Akbaar” at every goal scored - they are not having a match against the Dajjal or Yakjuj Makjuj United
don’t expect every Muslim to learn horse-riding and shoot arrows at fleeing camels
this is neither Islamic nor cheap a sports
each sports has its attire
let it be
let it be
there is neither a Muslim sportsman and woman nor a Kaffir one
there is just sports and sports alone
as I cannot be wearing a long robe and a turban playing football
unless I am in the Little Ayatollahs League
in a friendly but fiery match between the Syiahs and the Sunnis.

Bangsa Johor?

What in the world is that ?
there is none -
only those born and raised in that place
and grew up discovering that the rich is getting richer
and the poor, poorer in a state on sale, increasingly to foreigners
never coin a new word and lace it with pride
without understanding the ugliness it may also hide.

Pride simplified

- be proud of your cultural heritage
for therein lies the ethics of authenticity of your past
- be proud of your willingness to explore other worldviews
for therein lies the possibilities of your humanistic future
- be proud of living in the here and now
for there is fundamentally no past nor future
what merely exists, perhaps
is an ever-changing present

Malaysian forum on ‘Hide and Seek and Everybody Hides’

In the North it will be called ‘Forum Achi Lut’
in the South, ‘Forum Main Sembunyi Ibu’,
the winner gets to play Achi Ligan in the North
and Galah Panjang in the South
the loser to sing Aci Aci Buka Pintu
I think this will be good for the next Great Malaysian Forum
it should be a live telecast over the Internet, with streaming video
to avoid protests and screamings over any mention of Jay Low or Jay Leno.

Never call yourself a Bugis warrior

if you are a chicken without feathers
if even a friendly dialogue will engulf you in total fear
if you are a plunderer of the nation's coffers
and this is what the real Bugis warriors will do - shame you to tears
for today, it is not about a war between tribal leaders
but between self-glorified mega thieves and mega burglars.

Have a blessed Ramadan for those observing the practice of this special month of the Islamic calendar. May this be a time to reflect on what is right and who has been wronged and a chance to realise the meaning of Humanity rather than to perpetually think chauvinistically.

May we see light at the end of the tunnel of our darkest spring the nation has ever seen. Our fear is that, after the ‘seize fire period of Ramadan’ ends, hell will break loose again. Let us all work for peace; at least within ourselves, first.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


by azly rahman

of these fights between political leaders
verses they produce are like bad haiku
that makes poetry of Nature out of industrial smog
best for both to leave the scene
banishing the self
into the forest of yet another Jataka
and read poetry of the harakiri of ancient history
leave the scene if they must
and let chrysanthemums bloom
for way too long
we only have seen
dark spring greeting
to the sound
of the nation screaming
a finale'
the last moan
of our own seppuku 

-- ar

Lecture: Edward Said


Lecture: Noam Chomsky


Lecture: Jacques Derrida


Lecture: Jean Paul Sartre


Movie: 1984


Movie: Animal Farm


Movie: Chicken Run


Poems: Rumi


Dialogue on Religion: Karen Armstrong


Dailogue on Religion: Huston Smith


















The Bhagavad Gita


Jesus of Nazareth


Siddharta Gautama


Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)