PKR strategists have also said that its newly launched Demi Rakyat campaign seeks to tap into the economic frustrations of the urban and semi-urban working class, a demographic the party says forms over 60 per cent of the electorate in seats it contested.
Gentlemen, we have a problem. It seems that once again our rights have come under attack. What rights, you ask? Why, only the right to be thoughtless, juvenile, unkempt, out-of-shape pigs. The right to ignore our spouses and children for hours at a time in favor of the Internet or the idiot box. The right, in short, to be the men we truly are inside. That’s what’s at stake here.
In the past, fortunately, we’ve been able to overcome similar assaults on our masculinity. For example, in the late ’80s, just when it seemed bands such as Poison and Motley Crue were going to make it necessary for all men to spend thousands of dollars on makeup and hair-care products, grunge came along and made it OK to wear filthy flannel shirts again. More recently, I’d like to commend you all for helping to counter the metrosexual menace by refusing to trim your eyebrows and ear hair. Well done, gents.
This time around, however, the threat is much more subtle, coming as it does in the form of a column written for Redbook
magazine by one Aaron Traister. The very headline of the column — which I read on Yahoo.com, lest you think I read Redbook
– hints at the scope of the problem: “30 Days to a Better Husband.” Yes, you read that right. I imagine by now you’re starting to see what we’re up against.
The criminally dangerous article chronicles Traister’s efforts to transform himself over the course of a month from a man into some kind of subservient lickspittle, determined to measure up to his wife’s ideal. He starts off by buying her flowers the way he did when they first started dating. Then he cuts his Internet surfing down to 15 minutes a night of responding to emails so he can be more “present” with his family. Then he starts exercising and dressing like a grown-up. Sad, isn’t it? Apparently, there’s nothing so lowly and pathetic that Traister won’t try it in an effort to win his wife’s approval.
Now, if Traister had just made these efforts on his own and kept it to himself, there wouldn’t be a problem. If one man insists on emasculating himself in pursuit of spousal acceptance, that’s his cross to bear. But when that guy writes a column about it that appears on one of the world’s most popular websites, it’s no longer just his concern. Clearly, women are going to read that column and think their husbands should do something similar, thereby creating unrealistic expectations for everyone.
Mind you, I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing to try to be a better husband. I’m just saying that if you make such an effort, don’t go bragging about it. It makes the rest of us look bad, and it sets up the married women of the world for a whole lot of disappointment when their husbands don’t likewise try to improve themselves.
So what can we do as men to defuse this ticking time bomb that Traister has dropped on us? Well, the simple answer would be to just try to ignore him and keep on doing what we’ve been doing, but I’m not sure that will work. My fear is that a number of men will take Traister’s advice and raise the bar for husbands everywhere. Thus, it may be necessary to take more drastic measures.
With that as prologue, I would like to extend a special note of commendation to an Austrian man named Niko Alm who is fighting hard for the rights of men everywhere. According to a BBC News story
, Alm recently won the right to have his driver’s license picture taken while wearing a pasta strainer on his head, which shows that not all men are interested in acting like grown-ups.
Alm claims to belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the followers of which call themselves pastafarians, and his actions were a sort of protest over Austria allowing members of other faiths to wear confessional headgear in their driver’s license photos, but I think all that is beside the point. The real story, as I see it, is that the guy is wearing a colander for a hat in his driver’s license picture. I don’t think I could possibly have more respect for somebody.
As for the rest of you, now that you’ve seen what real men do in the face of adversity, do us all a favor and get out there and do something similarly stupid, just like men are supposed to.
We have what appears to be one of the most inept, corrupt and foolish governments India has ever had the privilege of seeing in power. But is it really all that bad? Or is it that this government simply has no clue as to what to do or say in moments of crisis? Every time one occurs, as indeed one , the nation watches helplessly as its leaders make a fool of themselves. Having been a journalist for three decades, one has seen worse, far worse governments, though not perhaps as corrupt. But never have I seen one that has both its feet so firmly in its mouth.
ANOTHER DOG & PONY SHOW?
four-day conference.”The erosion of public confidence in the judiciary was recognised and measures were expressly taken to fortify the safeguards of judicial independence,” he said at the opening of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Conference 2011 (CMJA) in Kuala Lumpur.”We have heralded a comprehensive list of reforms that have drastically improved the efficiency of the Malaysian court.”The future of judicial reform is important to ensure the country’s continued economic growth and to protect the civil liberties and freedom of its diverse, multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.”I trust that this forum will provide an amenable environment for inter-judicial dialogue with an eye to exchanging views, experiences and ideas on how pluralism can subsist and operate within our jurisdictions without giving rise to considerable conflict.The aim of this conference is to promote a better understanding among judicial officers of all ranks and from all parts of the Commonwealth on diverse issues, to explore various approaches to those issues in different parts of the Commonwealth, to maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth and to serve the people of the Commonwealth.Almost everyone who speaks for the UMNO has zero communications skills and, curiously, none of them, from the Prime Minister downwards, have chosen a single convincing person to speak on their behalf. Their speech writers are lousier. More often than not, they make things worse by what they say. Let’s take last week’s BERSEH Umno, the commanding political party in the BN, is using the threat of Malays losing their political power to shore up its support base in countering the electoral reform demanded by Bersih 2.0, says national laureate A Samad Said.Any implementation of the eight demands by Bersih 2.0, which includes postal voting reform, a major source of votes for the ruling coalition, is expected to erode its stranglehold on power.“This (racial politics) is often raised by Umno. Most recently (with Bersih 2.0), there were also suggestions that Malay (political) power was being eroded,” Samad said.“All the prime ministers and deputies have been Malay, all the menteri besar are Malays except for Penang; Even among the MPs, many are Malays, so what is the excuse?“This shows political power is in Malay hands, but yet the Malays are screaming of being threatened… it means the Malay leadership is at fault,” Samad added.On June 26, Umno-owned Malay daily Utusan Malaysia published an article attacking Bersih 2.0 chief Ambiga Sreenevasan, claiming she had a track record of angering Muslims and Malays.A day before that, 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were arrested in Penang allegedly for ‘waging war against the Agong’, a symbol of Malay power.In the fourth and final part of an exclusive interview with Malayskini, this leading figure in the world of Malay literature shares his views on racial politics.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today that Malaysia is committed to safeguarding and ensuring the continued independence of the judiciary. The text of the prime minister’s speech was read out by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. Also present at the conference was Chief Justice Zaki Azmi. A total of 320 participants from 32 countries are taking part in the
‘Umno has some reflection to do’The 76-year-old poet and novelist said it was time Umno took responsibility and stopped blaming others for its failure.“When they are pressed, they use racial politics and the Emergency Ordinance (EO) for convenience, which is unhealthy.“The Malay leadership has to take responsibility for the ills in the Malay community. They are the cause of these ills.“It’s been (more than) 50 years (since independence), if they cannot galvanise (the Malay community), then they should reflect, not use racial politics to strengthen their position,” Samad said.Despite the attacks against Bersih 2.0, he believes that the best in Malaysian unity was seen on July 9.“During the demonstration, there were Indians, Chinese, and Malays – you don’t feel nervous standing by them, all of them wanted to membersihkan (clean) our democracy.“It’s something good, it’s a very good start,” he added.
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There must some committee or group strategising on how best to use the porn video to implicate Anwar Ibrahim and yet keep some space between the Datuk Trio with Umno.
That explains the strange happenings in the last few days.
WATCH: ”You could tell UMNO was scoping out the trouble aspects of it.”
But eventually the ANWAR loses patience with UMNO.
First, some senior police officer comes out and says that the probe is completed BUT the identity of the man in the video is not important. Also not key to the probe is the ownership of the Omega watch, presumably owned by the man in the video.
This is a complete turnaround from what Ismail Omar, the Inspector-General of Umno (oh sorry, the police), said last week. Then, he was really gung-ho about the police finding out the man in the video and tracing who owns the Omega.
Here is my take on this change of strategy (I have no evidence but then I am in good company because neither do the police, MACC and other agencies).
Some people in Putrajaya really want to use the video tape, believing that it will end Anwar’s political career but they also realise that because of some missteps (not charging the Datuk Trio for displaying porn material) the potential of backlash from public is there.
So it was necessary to take a few steps back and announce that the identity of the man in the video was not key to the police probe. The only thing important was to find out the people behind the video.
That is why the police changed tack. So we can expect the Datuk Trio to be charged and probably given a slap on the wrist.
If all goes well with this new strategy, the Datuk Trio will insist on their day in court and level all sorts of accusations against Anwar. So in effect, they will do the political killing instead of the authorities.
Then Umno can hold up its hands and say that it had nothing to do with this porn movie.
Umno wants to distance itself from the affair. That is why now Shazryl Eskay Abdullah says he is the only one responsible for the tape.
Think about this. After weeks of this scandal and many press conferences, he now says that he is the only one involved, not Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik or Shuaib Lazim.
Is the fact that Rahim is an Umno supreme council member or Shuaib the father in law of an Umno minister have anything to do with this change?
Again, the puppet masters in Putrajaya must believe that cutting off the Umno membership from the Datuk Trio will cut the party’s involvement from this scandal.
They must believe that Malaysians are as naïve and dumb like them.