Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
A call this evening from Azlan in Cairo, a seasoned relief worker representing Global Peace Malaysia, gave some indication that we may be able to get into Gaza, but subject to negotiations and collaboration at the border. "Our friends in Gaza are anxiously waiting for us brother," Azlan said.
Azlan is a terrific relief worker, having initiated a small dam to help a local community to start a farm in an Afghanistan village. An engineer by training, Azlan did some excellent work in the war-torm country a few years ago. Now, his attention is focused on Palestine, Gaza to be exact.
My team includes a medical doctor who's seen some real war action a few years ago. Being shot at has certainly not discouraged this Malacca-based doctor. Two other colleagues have been on relief missions in Acheh, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of Indonesia. I'm also bringing a photographer, yet another relief worker who's been doing a lot of humanitarian work among the orang asli community and in Acheh and Pakistan.
We hope to meet up with NGO friends from Mercy and the Malaysian Red Crescent and work closely with them. There are other Malaysian relief workers who have made their way to the conflict area. I hope to meet up with them too and coordinate our operations.
I hope to update my blog along the way, but am told that this is easier said than done. This trip would not have been possible if not for the help of Datuk Rashid, Datuk Seri Rais, Datuk Dr Latif, Datuk Radha, a Cool Cat, Sdra Hamdan and his bosses, Datuk Jamaludin, staff of Yayasan Salam, and other friends for their contribution, doa and words of encouragement.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Persepsi ini memerlukan Presiden Umno yang baru nanti, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, mengambil langkah drastik jika beliau mahu memulihkan BN dan Umno. Setelah kalah di pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh, dan sekarang di Kuala Terengganu, Najib tiada pilihan lain kecuali menunjukkan taringnya jika parti yang bakal dipimpin mahu kekal berkuasa.
Bagi Najib secara peribadi, mungkin kekalahan ini ada hikmahnya. Setelah begitu lama "dilindungi" bayang-bayang tiga Perdana Menteri dan PresidenUmno, iaitu arwah ayahandanya Tun Razak, dan seterusnya Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, masa sudah sampai bagi MP Pekan ini menunjukkaan belangnya sebenar.
Sebenarnya, sudah tidak ada cara lain bagi Najib. Jika beliau ingin terus relevan dalam politik tanahair, dan jika mahu menentukan halatuju agenda nasional dan perjuangan parti yang didokongnya, Najib wajib bertindak tegas. Malah, dia juga wajib dilihat supaya bertindak, dan bukan hanya sekadar membuat janji akan merubah keadaan.
Di KT, segala bala tentera BN/Umno tidak dapat menahan PAS dan sekutunya. Himpunan pembesar-pembesar Umno khasnya tidak terdaya mempertahan kerusi yang dimenangi pada Mac tahun lalu. Penolakan calon BN Datuk Wan Farid menjadi satu tamparan kuat kepada kerjaya anak muda kelahiran KT ini. Kehadiran bosnya sendiri tidak dapat membantu, dan ada pihak yang mendakwa kehadiran bosnya itulah antara punca kekalahan.
Pelbagai tanda bahawa Umno berhadapan dengan tugas berat di KT mula nampak sebelum penamaan calon lagi. Pada hari penamaan calon, kemewahan yang ditayang oleh bala tentera Umno menjolok mata pengundi tempatan. Maka tidak hairanlah jika mereka menolah tawaran demi tawaran, janji demi janji yang ditabur oleh pembesar Umno sepanjang berkempen.
Pemerhati politik membuat kesimpulan bahawa kekalahan kali ini membuktikan penolahan terhadap calon dan parti. Pengundi menolak calon yang dijanjikan akan terus dilantik sebagai timbalan menteri jika menang. Apabila begitu ramai pembesar Umno turun padang ke KT, maka isu nasional menjadi besar dan sekaligus mengalih perhatian pengundi.
Kemarahan dan kebencian kepada Umno di peringkat nasional akhirnya "singgah" kepada Calon di KT. Maka berkecailah cita-cita Wan Farid dan Umno untuk terus menawan KT. Kebencian dan kemarahan ini juga dizahirkan oleh ahli Umno sendiri, yang berkumpul di sana sini membuat analisa "kedai kopi" mereka sendiri.
Dalam satu rancangan televisyen disiarkan pada malam keputusan diumumkan, pemanggil semuanya mengecam BN-Umno. Mereka membuat kesimpulan bahawa Umno tidak belajar dari kesilapan Mac 8, 2007 dan Permatang Pauh. Mereka sudahpun membuat telahan bahawa Umno akan berkubur jika tidak mengambil langkah drastik sebelum pilihanraya yang akan datang.
Kekalahan di KT boleh menjadi azimat kepada Wan Farid dan penyokongnya. Perubahan diri dan pendirian parti itu sendiri akan diperhatikan dalam bulan-bulan mendatang. Masih ada masa untuk menebus kekalahan itu, tetapi ia bukan mudah dan memerlukan suntikan "ubat yang pahit" sebagai penawar.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Black, bloody Sabbath
by Jeremy Saltsent
31 December 2008, On Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath - the government of Israel killed nearly 300 Palestinians in Gaza. Its tools were pilots flying F-16 fighter jets provided by the US and munitions provided by the US. This is the biggest single-day death toll since the occupation of Gaza in 1967.
There is not a great deal left to say about the state of Israel. It was born in criminality and has lived in criminality since the day of its birth. It is a sociopathic, tribal state in a world of nation states, obeying no laws but its own, a state which lives in a state of cognitive dissonance, denial and self-delusion, a state which could not live without the arms, diplomatic protection and financial assistance of the United States.
Morally and ethically it is a failed state and through its violence and refusal to live within international law it is a rogue state. ‘Israel’ remains what it was six decades ago – occupied Palestine. No state that does not recognize the rights of people to whom it has done incredible damage has any right to claim recognition for itself.
There was no ‘war of independence’ in 1948. There was a war of conquest, to defeat and drive out the indigenous population. Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence was no different from the unilateral declaration of independence by the colonial-settler minority of Rhodesia in 1965 but not even Rhodesia or white minority South Africa did to the indigenous population what the Zionists have done to the Palestinians.
Not even the Algerian experience of the French begins to compare.
There is scarcely a foot of Palestinian land that does not belong to the Palestinians, individually and collectively. The citizens of Israel live in cities stolen from the Palestinians, in houses stolen from the Palestinians and in settlements built on Palestinian land and over the ruins of hundreds of villages.
Time does not efface the crime. Yet none of this counts with the Israelis. They are outraged not at what they have done and continue to do but at the Palestinian response, totally feeble in comparison to any of Israel’s actions.
They are outraged because after six decades of brutality and two years of a genocidal siege the Palestinians are still firing their home-made missiles at towns and settlements near the Gaza Strip. Firing them, it needs to be said, at the towns of Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod, all of them built on the ruins of destroyed and ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.
This is not a war in any sense of the word but yet another Israeli onslaught on a largely defenceless civilian population. It has numerous precedents going all the way back to 1948. Hosni Mubarak and Mahmud Abbas are actively complicit in the attack. So is the United States, condemning Hamas missile attacks which had killed two people by Monday but not the Israeli missile attacks which had killed 300 people by Monday.
Passively and duplicitously complicit, behind calls for Israeli restraint and an end to Hamas rocket strikes, is Britain and the European Union, which recently upgraded its relations with Israel in full knowledge of what it is doing to Gaza and the West Bank.
The Arab League, true to its abysmal form over many decades, has decided not to meet until Wednesday because of the prior commitments of some members. What could take priority over the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza is hard to imagine.
By Wednesday, of course, hundreds more will have been killed and – so Egypt and other Arab accomplices in this evil act hope – the Hamas government will have been finished off, a process that may include the assassination of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and senior members of his cabinet.
This is not just about ending Hamas rocket attacks. This is not just about bringing down the Hamas government or ‘changing the rules of the game on the ground’ as Tzipi Livni has said. This is about ending the ‘Palestinian question’ once and for all.
Mahmud Abbas is eating out of Israel’s hands but Hamas continues to hold up the banner of resistance in Gaza. So the time has come for it to be destroyed. If the ‘international community’ does not finally live up to its responsibility and compel Israel to live within the law, and after six decades of irresponsibility and cowardice there can be little hope that it will, this situation can have only two outcomes.
One is the final destruction of the Palestinian people as a presence in history. This is not likely to happen, despite the preening and self-congratulations of Livni, Olmert and Barak at the great success of their ‘defence forces’ in bombing civilians.
The other is war.
No one should delude themselves. Arab and Muslim anger is boiling over and under the continuing hammer blows of this violent state, the dam must eventually break. No Mubarak, or Abbas or Abdullah will be able to stem the torrent when it does.
Note: Jeremy Salt teaches in the Department of Political Science, Bilkent University, Ankara, and is the author of the recently published The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).
Friday, January 2, 2009
Hos program Blog@1 semalam ialah Sdra Hamdan Ahamu, yang pernah menjadi hos program Selamat Pagi Malaysia kira-kira lapan tahun dahulu. Orangnya berpengalaman dalam bidang penyiaran dan bergiat dalam industri komunikasi. Selepas program semalam, kami berbual panjang sambil minum teh tarik di PJ. Gambar ini saya rakam di restoran itu.
SAYA KENA BLOG! InsyaAllah, malam ini saya menjadi tetamu dalam rancangan BLOG yang muncul buat pertama kali dalam bentuk dan persembahan baru. Waktu siarannya juga sudah bertukar. Mulai hari ini, dan pada setiap hari Jumaat, BLOG disiarkan pada jam 1030 malam di TV1. Waktu siarannya juga dilanjutkan dari 20 minit kepada setengah jam. Saya difahamkan hosnya juga orang baru. Macam gambar hiasan ini - saya tolong pukul gendang sahaja!