The erosion of human rights


New Mandala

Ritualism and the erosion of human rights

Just because states sign up to human rights conventions, it doesn’t mean they will follow them. Often it’s the exact opposite, writes Melanie O’Brien. 

While paying lip service to stopping human rights abuses, leaders in the Asia-Pacific are rejecting basic freedoms and reinforcing their own power, eroding human rights and flouting the very international agreements they are parties to.

Prosecutions for the crimes of lèse majesté and sedition have dramatically increased in the past two years in Southeast Asia. As a means of maintaining power, countries such as Thailand and Malaysia are clamping down on freedom of expression.

Since the May 2014 coup in Thailand, extraordinarily long sentences have been imposed on those convicted of lèse majesté, such as the 30-year sentence given to 48-year-old Pongsak Sriboonpeng in 2015. Accused are held in secret military detention. It was reported that, prior to the military coup, only two people had been prosecuted for lèse majesté, but this figure had risen to 56 by August 2015. Even the United States Ambassador to Thailand was investigated for the crime.

Despite a promise in 2013 to repeal their sedition law, the Malaysian government has instead increased prosecution of the crime, with dozens charged since that promise was made. In 2015, Malaysia passed amendments to the sedition law, raising the maximum punishment from three years in prison to seven and 20 years. The amendments also prohibit  those who make or circulate an electronic publication from accessing any electronic device; by doing so, cutting that person off from communication.

The goal of these lèse majesté and sedition laws is to restrict freedom of expression in order to keep power, by repressing any opposition to the current regime.

Further north, China still practices torture although it has officially renounced it, and its human rights defenders still disappear into arbitrary detention. Thailand hands out decades-long sentences under the loose accusation of lèse majesté, or showing leaders disrespect. While appearing to soften sedition laws Malaysia has actually toughened them. Hundreds of asylum seekers fleeing drastic conditions are detained indefinitely in horrific conditions by Australia, the country to which they fled in hope, which claims to be one of the compassionate democracies of the world.

There is an increased lack of respect for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, including in Australia, amid a growing trend for governments to reject the implementation of rights, even if a country is party to human rights instruments and is obligated to respect and protect those rights.

A consistent trend running through this is the desire of governments (and individual officials) to maintain their power. The rejection of rights occurs through a variety of means, from failing to apply existing laws that do respect rights, to a lack of willingness to introduce laws or policy that uphold rights.

Some Asia-Pacific countries subscribe to the argument that their culture will be eroded through implementing human rights; that human rights are a Western construct being imposed upon their culture. This argument is usually applied to particular human rights, such as women’s rights, freedom of expression, and freedom from torture – freedoms and rights that would upset the current power balance and nothing, really, to do with culture. It is all to do with entrenching the power of the ruling elite, a motivation that is becoming more prominent throughout the region.

China has taken steps towards the elimination of torture, with the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that confessions extracted through torture are not admissible evidence, and 2011 and 2014 amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law intended to enhance defendants’ rights and outlaw torture. In practice, though, torture still takes place, with one prosecutorial investigator telling me in confidence and in blatant euphemism that ‘we still lean on suspects’.

In 2015, the UN Committee Against Torture confirmed that China is still actively carrying out torture and ill-treatment of suspects. This includes the arrest and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, who are often kept incommunicado, leaving their families without knowledge of where their loved ones are or if they are even still alive.

Torture is used specifically as a form of power, and combines with the high levels of corruption in China – a crime also directly about power. China is actively seeking to combat corruption, but the desire to combat torture seems far less pronounced.

Australia continues to be highly criticised for its treatment of asylum seekers, held in off-shore detention centres. Reports from the Australian Human Rights Commission, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Committee Against Torture reveal ill-treatment and torture of detainees. However, the horrific findings of the reports have not led authorities to take action, instead the Australian government’s response has been to protect its power, claiming that ‘Australians are sick of being lectured to by the UN’.

This raises the question of the status of the respect for the rule of law and human rights in these countries. For example, if the Chinese Supreme Court and the Criminal Procedure Law outlaw the use of torture, why is it still being used? If Australia is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture and the Refugee Convention, why are asylum seekers being tortured and ill-treated?

The answer lies in a process Professor Hilary Charlesworth terms ‘ritualism’. Charlesworth defines ritualism in this context as ‘a way of embracing the language of human rights precisely to deflect real human rights scrutiny and to avoid accountability for human rights abuses’. States go through the motions of ratifying human rights treaties and being reviewed by UN committees, or promising to uphold human rights, but never truly follow through with actions that sustain human rights.

Alternatively, states that are not parties to human rights treaties, such as Malaysia or China, neither of whom is a state party to the ICCPR, are under no obligation to implement rights that are not customary law. However, these states give the pretence of upholding rights, but again, without following through.

All of these actions are a form of ‘ritualism’, designed to appease critics, rights advocates and the masses, all the while holding on to their hold on power. It is clearly time that we all stop being ‘appeased’, before we find all our rights have been eroded.

Dr Melanie O’Brien is a post-doctoral research fellow in the TC Beirne School of Law and researcher in the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, at the University of Queensland.

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#BlackGoo and Super Computers?


Never heard of black goo?

Listen to Harald Kautz-Vella – We Have Lost Control of Ourselves


Scientists successfully test ‘biological supercomputer’ performing complex tasks

© Sigtryggur Ari
Researchers have taken on the problem of reducing a super computer the size of a basketball field to that of a book. The answer is “biocomputers” – incredibly powerful machines capable of performing multiple calculations with a fraction of energy.

According to study coordinator Heiner Linke, who heads nanoscience at Lund University in Sweden, “a biocomputer requires less than one percent of the energy an electronic transistor needs to carry out one calculation step.”

A biocomputer is useful because ordinary computers are incapable of solving combinational problems, such as those dealing with cryptography or other tasks requiring that a multitude of possible solutions be considered before deciding on the optimal one. These already exist, but the new research from Lund tackles the key problems of scalability and energy efficiency.

Parallel computers of this sort run on molecular motors that perform mechanical tasks in living cells. Researchers used their knowledge of existing molecular motors in our bodies (such as specific molecules aiding muscle function) and considered how to apply them to other tasks. Surprisingly, their roles can be reprised by hardware that directs proteins along its paths with the aid of such motors.

“In simple terms, it involves the building of a labyrinth of nano-based channels that have specific traffic regulations for protein filaments. The solution in the labyrinth corresponds to the answer of a mathematical question, and many molecules can find their way through the labyrinth at the same time.

In case you were wondering when quantum computers were going to be mentioned –here it is. Biocomputers do use a similar approach to the above, but quantum computers use qubits, whereas the heavy lifting in biocomputers is carried out by molecules working in parallel with one another.

“The fact that molecules are very cheap and that we have now shown the biocomputer’s calculations work leads me to believe that biocomputers have the prerequisites for practical use within ten years. Certainly, quantum computers can be more powerful in the long term, but there are considerable practical problems involved in getting them to work”, Linke adds.

The other obviously giant advantage of a biocomputer is that it “requires less than one percent the energy an electronic transistor needs” to carry out one operation.

The current study was carried out by a team of international scientists from Canada, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is not the first time parallel computing has been researched and proven to work on complex problems. The idea was conceived by Dan Nicolau, head of bioengineering at McGill. He had worked on the new study with his son, Dan Nicolau Jr., a mathematician.

The model is so far designed to tackle only one specific problem, but that is enough to set the groundwork for further research, and, according to Nicolau, biocomputers are coming our way fast.

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Rogue Wave


TwoIceFloes

It is the stuff of legends and lore dating back through all of recorded history, of sinking ships and sea monsters, of tall tales and tragic deaths. The problem was obvious; any credible witness to a rogue wave usually didn’t survive the rogue wave, thereby relegating the actual phenomenon to the looney tunes category by the so-called ‘experts’.

In an authoritarian culture only the authorities can declare something ‘real’ regardless of how much evidence has been previously offered. It took an actual ‘scientific’ measurement in the North Sea off Norway on New Year’s Day, 1995 aboard the Draupner platform to convince the scientists (aka the authorities) there really was such a thing as a rogue wave.

The charted output of that instrumented event, described as the Draupner wave, is seen below and clearly indicates an extreme aberration, a bolt of lightning out of the blue if you will, a single wave easily twice the average height of the largest waves and three to four times the average height of the smallest.

Draupner Wave Graph - Final

Measured from the trough to crest, the Draupner Wave was nearly 25 meters/84 feet tall.

Since the impact force of a wave is an exponential function of its height, you can clearly understand why no modern ship is designed to survive a direct hit from a wave of this magnitude. 15 meter/49 foot waves from trough to crest is the current design standard, while the Draupner was nearly 25m/82ft tall, thus the reason for rarity of eye witnesses to these events. The only reason the measuring device, an on-board laser, survived to tell the tale was because it was secured to a gas pipeline platform anchored to the sea bottom and suspended above this monster wave.

Interestingly the 2001 European Space Agency’s MaxWave project illustrated that rogue waves, in this case defined as waves at least 25 meters/82 feet in height, are not as rare as previously assumed. Using satellite data from a three week period of time, they identified ten rogue waves in total. Even so, considering these ten rogues were spread over the entire globe and scattered amongst billions of ordinary waves, it is understandable why the vast majority of seamen never encountered one and the scientists were so skeptical.

So……aside from being a mildly interesting subject to some, and an even greater fascination to those of us who harbor an inner geek, why am I writing about rogue waves?

The answer is simple……and once we overcome our own cognitive dissonance, glaringly self evident. A socioeconomic rogue wave is bearing down on us. And no one, regardless of our financial security or psychological stability, will remain undisturbed.

Some will be hit broadside and succumb quickly, battered and beaten to a bloody pulp. Others, more prepared, resilient or just plain lucky, will suffer only a glancing blow resulting more in psychological shock at the near miss than actual physiological damage to life and limb.

But for the vast majority of us, and by ‘us’ I mean billions of my fellow humans worldwide (not to mention an even greater number of nonhuman creatures) for better or worse, what is about to unfold will change our lives forever. And from what I have been able to discern, this is not an exaggeration and might just be a colossal understatement.

Of course, this isn’t the first rogue wave humanity has faced and most certainly it will not the last. But, at least based upon recorded history, this is the most powerful if only because so many globally will be affected.

Earlier I showed a graph of the wave action just before, and immediately after, the rogue wave off Norway. The time frame is minuscule, just 600 seconds or 10 minutes, merely a blink of the eye when compared to a human lifetime. Even so, many will never experience a socioeconomic rogue wave because their human existence will fall somewhere within the long duration trough between rogue crests.

This is not to say we don’t experience severe buffeting, extreme suffering or even personal growth during the ‘relative’ calm period between rogue wave crests. But what appear to be mild sea conditions when viewed from the crest are in fact rough seas and large waves when viewed at sea level and from the human perspective.

We call this ‘normal’ sea condition ‘life’, and it can be brutal even during the best of times. A lifetime of heavy weather and high seas inflicts its toll, leaving deep scars and crippled souls just as effectively as any rogue would.

It’s not as if I am speaking about an event entirely unforeseen or unexpected by a wide range of people. More and more these days, people I speak with express a growing sense of foreboding and fear. They feel something looming, but are powerless to explain what it is other than to point towards the usual suspects of government, money, jobs and war.

The problem is most of those with whom I converse have no direct experience with a rogue wave other than possibly anecdotally. The last generation to fully suffer the onslaught and survive has mostly passed away over the last 10-20 years. Ironically this is precisely why we have reached the point where the next one is due.

For while wind and wave action, storms and prevailing sea all play a part in creating an actual rogue ‘wave’, the socioeconomic maelstrom headed our way is entirely man made. Which means it is most assuredly preventable and most definitely predictable in its occurrence, if not the exact arrival time.

As the chart below perfectly illustrates, the timeline of countries issuing the prevailing reserve currency fits the long duration trough between rogue wave crests. This time span roughly equals 4-5 generations (a generation is considered to be 20-25 years) just long enough for the memory of the last catastrophe to be washed away from the collective consciousness and the profitable misdeeds from the past once again ripe for repeating.

Global Reserve Currency Events - Final

Some events of note occurring around the transition from one reserve currency to another.

The difference this time? Ultimately the destructive capacity of any rogue wave is based upon its volume and velocity. In nearly all the examples shown on the reserve currency chart except present day, the ‘known world’, meaning those currencies that controlled commerce and people’s minds within a geographic location, did not encompass the globe or its entire population. Far from it in fact.

Those within the influence of previous reserve currency collapses definitely suffered each time the rogue passed. But there were always nations, resources and people outside the reserve currency system which acted as a buffer when the rogue wave roared through. Such is not the case this time, at least not to the same extent previously. And the proof is perfectly clear when carefully examined. When the Federal Reserve sneezes, emerging nations and their economies suffer massive convulsions.

It truly is different this time because the volume of the coming rogue wave will encircle the globe. Like a massive tsunami, the ripples and reverberations will be massively destructive and circle the globe many times until its energy is finally dissipated.

Only then, after the rogue has passed and the water receded, will the really substantial damage begin to manifest as cultures and civilizations break down politically, economically and socially. In my opinion this will occur relatively slowly as governments institute stopgap measures and emergency programs in an effort to halt the descent towards a substantially lower energy level. Think of it as socioeconomic Delirium Tremens.

This will also be the time when the next reserve currency fully emerges from its gestation period and takes its spot at the top. But the old guard will not go quietly into the night and I suspect great wars will be fought during this transition period. One can only hope it doesn’t go nuclear.

What I find even more frightening, and I suspect so do all the major central bankers and assorted operatives, is the velocity of the rogue wave now breaking the horizon. However, I don’t necessarily speak of the speed of its approach because I suspect this game of monetary insanity can carry on for years to come in one form or another. These are, after all, desperate men doing desperate things.

Rather I speak primarily about financial leverage when I say ‘velocity’. A perfect example of leverage most people would understand is the leverage employed when buying a home. When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, one needed at least a 20% down payment before the bank would even consider lending you the other 80% to purchase your home. Thus you were leveraging your 20% investment by 5 times (5 to 1) to purchase the home.

These days a 10% down payment is much more common (resulting in 10-1 leverage) and during the last housing ‘boom’ (as in ka-boom) no money down was offered by lenders to move housing stock. Essentially that works out to an infinite leverage since you bring nothing to the closing table. Just last week a major housing lender lowered the down payment required to as little as 3%. Here we go again.

But ‘consumer’ leverage rates are minuscule compared to those regularly employed by banks, brokers, hedge funds, pensions, private capital, governments and, most dangerously, central banks.

Archimedes using leverage - Final

Archimedes using less leverage than the Federal Reserve.

For example, the Federal Reserve has less than $50 billion of ‘capital’ (think down payment) supporting a balance sheet of $4 trillion (think the total loan on the house). The math shows the Fed’s leverage ratio to be at least 80-1. And I was being extremely generous stating the Fed has $50 billion in capital. In reality it has even less.

Most commercial banks are running leverage of 25-1 or more. And this number is low as well because the banks use off balance sheet methods to hide a lot more leverage they (and their regulator, the Federal Reserve) don’t wish to publically acknowledge.

When I first entered the financial field back in 1990, leverage numbers such as these were considered reckless beyond imagination and grounds for criminal prosecution of the responsible executives and possibly the pulling of their banking charter and the disposition of the bank into more prudent management hands. Now it is considered ‘normal’ and encouraged by those who should be stopping it.

And in my opinion it’s only going to get worse, not better, from here. I say this with great clarity and certainty since I see absolutely no evidence anywhere the powers that be are leveraging down and pulling back from the abyss.

Combine the global reach of the insanity with the utterly explosive leverage employed by the socioeconomic (and psychopathic) money masters and you get not just an ordinary rogue wave, but one several times larger than the world has ever experienced.

No wonder economic madness is piled on top of even more madness in a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable. The unspoken truth here is the monetary manipulations and interventions must escalate on an exponential scale just to stay two steps ahead of disaster. And that two step gap is rapidly diminishing.

What is not sustainable will not sustain. When the rogue wave strikes, the long term devastation will be mind boggling and literally a death warrant for millions, either directly through a systemic economic crash or from the (world) wars fought both before and afterward to scapegoat blame and resource grab.

I don’t know how you, or I, or anyone else will survive, or even thrive, during the coming rogue wave. Nor, if I am to be perfectly frank, do I know exactly how this will all work out in the end.

I can surmise and plan based upon logic, educated guesses and the study of controlled human nature. But to say I, or anyone else for that matter, knows with a high degree of certainty exactly what is going to happen is nothing more than a dismal demonstration in self deception and delusional thinking. The devil is in the big and small details.

Nevertheless, with similar frankness I declare there are one or two things I do know. While it is impossible to prepare the body for every conceivable threat and circumstance (though this will not stop some from trying) we can prepare the mind and spirit for just about anything, including death, by jettisoning preconceived notions and beliefs and embracing flexibility of mind and spirit.

In my very limited experience I have found the mind and spirit become immobilized if the body is perceived to be in anything less than immediate danger. Particularly if the danger is not well defined, but still considered (life) threatening. The control system utilizes this technique to freeze us in place like deer caught in the headlights. In effect we become our own worst enemy.

Deer In Headlights - Final

We’ve all been there. The only question is….how long do we stay there?

Spend enough time in a fear based environment and suddenly there seems to be no way out, since everywhere we turn perceptional impediments block our way. Soon enough we believe the only clear path forward is the path we presently travel, often laid out by others who do not share our own best interest.

Believed to be trapped, apathy and depression soon settle in, further compelling us to seek out alternative methods to ‘escape’ via physical, emotional and spiritual diversions. Obsessive compulsive behavior, including the full gamut of various addictions and ‘isms’, often emerges in those who can see no future and wish to ignore, deny and anesthetize.

Speaking as one who remains clean and sober after 26 years, thus possessing a modicum of credibility on the subject, the key to finding an alternative path is to first acknowledge our paralysis, then making the decision to move beyond. This, of course, assumes we even (wish to) recognize our failure to mobilize in the face of the oncoming rogue wave.

I readily acknowledge a universe of reasons why the coming catastrophe can, and will, be denied or downplayed by those who are certain this could never happen (‘they’ will never let that happen) will assume we are all doomed anyway (what’s the sense, we’re all gonna die) or are simply comfortably numb (don’t bogart that SSRI my friend). In reality there are always a million reasons not to act and barely one or two to do so.

As long as the herd is grazing (relatively) peacefully, from a psychological point of view it is much safer to burrow deeper into the perceived safety of the herd than to strike off on a contrarian path. Within the mind of the denier, the apathetic and the depressed, what is coveted above all else is affirmation from the herd we are doing what is best. First we lie to ourselves and then we seek affirmation from external ‘authorities’ that our lie is in fact truth. And the ultimate authority is the mindless herd.

Few have the stomach to walk the lonely path of the contrarian; fewer still have the stomach to lie to themselves and not seek external affirmation of their lie. Truth is self evident and needs neither confirmation nor affirmation. But the lie is voracious in its desperate need to be constantly confirmed and the liar affirmed.

I cannot, and will not, tell you which way forward is the best because I don’t know. I’m not even certain the steps Mrs. Cog and I are taking to prepare are correct. All we can do is to remain as flexible as possible with our physical assets and our mental thought process.

Nor will I pontificate about expected arrival times of the rogue wave, for that is a fool’s errand pure and simple. It could arrive in a few months, a few years or even a few decades. The powers that be are quite adept at keeping the balls in the air.

On the other hand, ultimately the arrival depends not so much upon the machinations of the money masters as the degree of faith and belief the population wishes to invest in the crumbling regime. Those who control and promote the economic madness are not the only desperate men out there. As the rogue continues its approach, the herd will sense encroaching danger and plead with those who ultimately created the wave to save them from the wave.

Thus self destructive collective bargains will be struck and the day of reckoning will be moved back a short distance. While the can will not be kicked down the road forever, it can be kicked further than you and I think possible. All it requires is an ever increasing price to be paid in the form of the citizen’s consent to greater burdens and deprivations. And by ‘consent’ I don’t necessarily mean ‘willing’.

One thing appears clear to me. You and I have more time than we think, but less time than we need to properly prepare. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, the rogue wave will approach gradually, then suddenly. The question is not if you will prepare, but do you have the inner courage to prepare now for a nearly certain event of potentially tremendous power arriving at an unknown time.

 

02-26-2016

Cognitive Dissonance

Rogue Wave - Final

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What’s wrong with criticising #Najib, asks activist #FahmiReza


The Malaysian Insider

Note: The Malaysian Insider website is blocked by the government.


 

BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA

Published: 28 February 2016 8:43 PM

FAHMI_REZA_BALAI_POLIS_DANG_WANGI_KUALA_LUMPUR_28022016_TMIFIQAH_04

Enter a caption

Activist Fahmi Reza holds up his artwork, depicting Prime Minister 
Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a clown, in front of the Dang Wangi police 
station in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by 
Fiqah Mokhtar, February 28, 2016.

Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza informed police today that he had no intention of defaming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the rendition of the clown image was just a form of criticism against the leader.

Fahmi gave a statement to the police at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today, after his drawing of Najib as a clown – which was part of a campaign against the Sedition Act – received flak from various quarters.

Tomorrow he is scheduled to be interviewed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in Cyberjaya over what is believed to be over another artwork.

clownnajib

MCMC public warning

“I have answered all the questions they asked. There were many questions, including about my intention of drawing the caricature and who had uploaded it on Facebook and Twitter.

“I told them I was the one who did it,” said Fahmi, who arrived at the station about 4.10pm and spent almost two hours answering questions from police and officers from the MCMC.

“I have no intention to defame the prime minister. It was a form of criticism, to portray what is happening in the country and… what is wrong in criticising a prime minister?” said Fahmi.

Fahmi was currently being investigated under Section 233 of MCMC Act and Section 504 of the Penal Code.

Despite authorities’ action against him, Fahmi said he would continue to draw satirical works on Malaysian leaders.

“I will continue doing what I am doing, drawing satirical posters of our politicians and leaders if they mess up,” added Fahmi.

During the two-hour session, he said MCMC officers even asked for his social media account’s username and password, to which he refused.

“They have the right to do so under the law but I told them it was private, but I have no problem in letting them check the contents on the condition that I have to be present.

“I don’t want them to go through items that were not related to the case,” he said.

Fahmi’s artwork had inspired other clown images to pop up on social media recently with the hashtag #KitaSemuaPenghasut (we are all seditious).

The clown images of Najib gained prominence not long after Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said there was insufficient evidence to implicate the prime minister in investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd and the RM2.6 billion being donated into his personal bank accounts in 2013. – February 28, 2016.

 

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– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/whats-wrong-in-criticising-najib-asks-activist-fahmi-reza#sthash.P35EeVvv.dpuf

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When state and religion were separate…or was it ever?


TheStar

The separation of church and state is a concept defining the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state. It may refer to creating a secular state, with or without explicit reference to such separation, or to changing an existing relationship of church involvement in a state (disestablishment). Wiki

Imho the very idea of a separation is a con. Its an illusion and now as chaos is running amok it appears that they are but one the same thing…control by subjugation.


 

separating-state-and-religion-660x350.jpg

During the early days of independence, faith was a private matter and the country experienced religious tolerance and ethnic understanding.

POLITICS has become a curse to this country. It is no longer a means to achieve good governance and reliable state management. It has been turned into a source of power to inflict evil on people.

Power has been misused to enrich those in high positions.

Independence has been turned into making the country socially and culturally backward.

Religion has become a source of amassing influence. The Malays were pushed into being servile, leading to a siege mentality.

They were made to lose their power of rational thinking and to totally accept what the powers-that-be had committed.

During the early days of independence, the country experienced religious tolerance and ethnic understanding. There was merrymaking whenever occasions presented themselves. Dances and singing were common happenings.

Funfairs would make their rounds in various towns. There would be games for the children and at night there would be dancing to the ­various melodious Malay tunes. Joget dancing was the order then.

Hostesses would sit in line on the stage and those interested in doing the joget could purchase tickets and go up to pick the dancing partner of their choice.

There would be joget and later this would be termed joget moden because Western tunes had also been incorporated.

There would be the old ronggeng, the precursor to joget, and in the north, there would be changgong from Perlis and ramvong, joget dancing to Thai music.

People were able to dispense with all the stress of life during the day through these fun outlets. There were no cases of rape, incest and such other devilish happenings.

In big cities like Penang and Kuala Lumpur, there were cabarets whereby working people would be able to get rid of the stress of work.

This was the place where enterprising people would practise their flair for Western dancing.

They would do the various ­dances, such as the foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, rumba, samba, tango and other new trends.

Competitions were also held and it was all in good fun.

Religion was never part of public dominance. It was a private matter.

That was when religion and the state were completely separated.

The Islamic religious departments were only involved in family matters, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Other aspects were left to the discretion of the people. Religion was never forced into the everyday life of the people.

Malay-Muslim children from a young age would attend afternoon Islamic religious classes where the various aspects of their religion were made known to them. The emphasis was that the individual was answerable to Allah and not to anybody else.

But Umno’s rivalry with PAS for the support of the Malay-Muslims caused both these political parties to accuse one another of being non-Islamic, and thus the devil was let loose.

Once PAS started to accuse Umno of being deviant in its Islamic stand and also convinced some conservative Malays of the sins practised by Umno, the latter in the 1980s turned into being fanatical in its Islamic agenda.

The Islamisation of the country started to take shape.

The tudung suddenly appeared as part of so-called female Islamic attire. Dances were no longer encouraged. Life had been made austere.

Islamic religious departments were expanded and new ones ­created, like the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Religion had been made part of the state. Malay-Muslim life had been regulated.

Money and power were invested in these religious institutions and with power in hand, more regulations were manufactured. Halal certificates became necessary to indicate to the Malay/Muslims which places they could patronise.

This was done simply to exhibit the power these institutions had.

The Umno government became victim to the whims of PAS and there was no need for PAS to govern the country as Umno was implementing its agenda.

Malay culture was deemed ­deviant from Islamic values and Arabic culture started to seep in. There were no more greetings of selamat pagi or selamat datang. All terms had to be in Arabic.

Politicians in starting their speeches would rattle off in Arabic for a few minutes to show off how Islamic they were before coming to what they wanted to deliver, and would do the same when ending their speeches.

The Malay-Muslims in the country became obsessed with rituals and other humanistic aspects of religion were discarded. Thus they became arrogant and aggressive in displaying their Muslim-hood.

This is nothing but mere hypocrisy. Religion should be personal. The state should have no say in regulating Malay-Muslim life.

What each individual does, drinks, eats and wears is up to each individual to choose as long as there exists no criminal element.

The state must divorce itself from religion.

The country must go back to being secular and let religion be the choice of individuals.

There should be only one legal system and to have two running in the country has caused confusion, where even the learned cannot distinguish between consent, conversion and conscience.

Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is a ­former press secretary to Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

GDP Declines When Govt. Grows – This is Basic Common Sense


 

Blog/Armstrong Economics 101
Posted Feb 27, 2016 by Martin Armstrong

Armey-Curve-2

A reader has contributed these charts that demonstrate why the socialist agenda is destroying the world. As the reader points out: “It seems that the optimal govt spending (share) is max 35% (US, AUS), and not >50% like in Europe. Lower govt expenditure has doubled GDP at least in the recent history.” The socialists refuse to listen simply because they are greedy. If you earn $1,000 and your rent if $200, your disposable income is $800. If government demands 10%, you have $720 to spend; if government demands 50%, you have $400. This is why we call them “public servants” for they consume wealth; they do not produce it.

The OECD has done studies but nobody ever pays attention. Any way you cut it, the larger the share of the economy consumed by the government, the lower the economic growth. So the sublime fool never looks at the data and simply regurgitates the same socialist propaganda into infinity. They live in a state of total denial simply because the core of their position is sheer material jealousy. They justify robbing other people because they lack the wealth they wish they had. It is just a question of greed.

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Kitchen-sink And Globalization?


Merahza’s Blog

May 11, 2009

Globalization is a dirty word to some people, especially when its mentioned viz a viz the New World Order (NWO).

One World

The points made by the conspiracy theorist (CT) lend credence to their theories when the conspirators self-admit their involvement in events that are purportedly and seemingly conspiratorial in nature. The calling for a single order in financial system, currency and world governance from the likes of maestro Kissinger, Bush (Sr. & Jr.) Clinton and many more are uncannily the same issues the CTs are against and accusing them of.

The secret meetings of the Bilderbergers are exposed each time they meet and the agendas and minutes of their meetings leek like the stuborn taps in my kitchen sink, which confounded my plumber friend, who even theorized that the pipes manufacturers are in cohorts with the water department/service provider in providing low-quality easy-leak pipes so that your water bills rise like the petroleum price (before the financial crisis).

Sheesh! Kitchen-sink conspiracy? My…my…what else?

Anyway, dumbfounded as I am, I’m more concerned on the more serious issues like the economy, bad corporate governance and that kinda stuff and this globalization thingy.

globalisation2

As I understand it, globalization is supposed to be a win-win thingy for the inhabitants of the Earth as all kinds of barriers, borders are dismantled and the world becomes one big Free Trade zone and one country. Look at the European Union (EU) where everything is one, and citizens cross-borders ( borders turned transparent) with ease and trade freely amongst each members. So whats so bad about that?

Well, the traditionalists don’t like it as it diminishes their national identities, customs, language and their national sovereignty. Along those lines I can agree with their concerns, but I feel those are quite personal thingy and you can still remain as Italians, Spanish, or whatever, and continue your lives ethnically as you like, and benefit economically at the same time. No?

The Theory Of Everything Globalization

Yes, but wait a minute…what happens to my country land, natural resources and wealth? All that go into the big pool! They become a sharing thingy. Of course the richer member countries tend to loose more, while the poorer member countries benefit. But you see, this union thingy is not about your personal benefits, but its gotta do about the oligarchs‘ and their corporations >> playing the monopoly game. Its about taking everything from everybody, and then you pay back to get those things which were once yours in the first place. You didn’t loose it, you gave it to them…so whats the complaint?

I still don’t get it, and how those governments of the individual countries allowed it to happen. The governments you’re referring to are not yours to start with as you didn’t elect them, or so you think. They are products of the Corporation >>, and it takes a lot of money and capital to create a government, which you minions could never ever afford to have one…not in a million years! Having said that, you’re paying for it nevertheless…everyday with all kinds of taxes imposed upon you as consumers, homeowners, workers, farmers, and whatever you do except breathing the fresh air, which is not yet taxed as they still couldn’t quite figure that out.

Aaah…suddenly the picture is coming through, remember that Obama talk on something Green thingy, alternative energy, or something…? Yeah, they’re saying the environment and the air that we breathe are polluted, and needs cleaning up, and we need to change our life-styles…and that costs money…lots of money, and where is that money coming from? Take a guess.

Globalization is also about the air that you breathe, its the same air around the globe, so it takes the global community to ‘work‘ (or pay rather) on sustaining its purity. Really? I’ve heard differently from the theoretical physicists and that thingy about the Earth and the planets performing their own thingy, and that we really don’t know much about climatic phenomena, much less how to control it.

Hmmm…I think I’m lost here, drifting from issue to non-issue? I don’t know…maybe. I read somewhere that all world events that seem separate thingy and issues are actually affectionately linked to each other.

Global warming linked to Financial Crisis to Gaza Wars to Swine Flu to Mexican Drug Cabals to the Bilderbergers to the Illuminatis to EU to NATO and to my Kitchen Sink?

Hang on…before I really messed up this page, let me look up Webster’s, or Wikipedia for a more accurate definition of Globalization

I’ll be back…hopefully…

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