Monday, June 28, 2010

‘……and they live happily ever after…’

June 12, Mohd Sharizan and Ida waiting to be led in as a couple

June 12, The Proud Parents, From Left: Isa and Hasniah with Shadah and Ruby

June 19, Thanking the Guests, From Left: Abdul Jalil, Nurul Husna, OP Halim and Nasimah

OP Halim's Guests, From Left: Mrs Akbar, OPs Bear, Shah and Amin

OP Halim's Guests, From Left:Azizah, Shadah and Mrs Akbar

OP Halim's Guests, From Left: OP Dolet (Datuk, Dr) and Datin

June 27, The Newly Weds From Left: Wan Adri and Dr Putri and Shadah

June 27, Dr Wan Hassan's and Sarifah's Guests, From Left: Datin and Shadah

June 27, Dr Wan Hassan's and Sarifah's Guests,From Left: Hank and OP Nawi ( Lt.Gen, Datuk )

June 27, Two Couples of Newly Weds, From Left: Induk Maridah's siblings, Rosdi Azwan and Nur Izzati and Sarayati and Rosdi Azmir

The school holidays season is often equated with marriages. The recent one from June 05 till June 20, 2010 was no different. In fact it was even preceded when our cousin Kartini had one done on May 29, (a week before the school break) at Bukit Chedang in Seremban. It was for her son, Sherul Marzuki and his lovely bride Nur Shafinaz. Incidentally, Sherul is also the son of the late Lt Col Othman Md Yusof, one of the officers commissioned at the Sovereign’s Parade in 1960.

We were invited for a spate of others during that period. Isa and Hasniah had theirs in Subang Jaya for their lovely daughter Ida and her beau Mohd Sharizan on the Sat afternoon of June 12.On a bright sunny day, Hasniah had most appropriately thought of a soft purple scheme for the day. It blends very well in the afternoon sun.

This was followed in the evening by my close buddy Syed Alwi for his lovely daughter Sharifah Naimah and the handsome Aminuddin at The Club in Pelangi Damansara. They did away with tradition whereby on the invitation cards wedding guests were invited by the bride and bridegroom and not their parents.

Even during the night there were other innovative happenings. The live band for a start had a very good male singer. He connected well with a medley of ‘evergreens’ and dangdut numbers. In between a likeable, 11-year-old boy did a Michael Jackson routine on stage at the Main Table complete with moon walk and stuff. To top it all, Aminuddin, the ‘groom’ belted out 2 numbers , one to his bride on stage. The other ‘ an Elvis’, It’s Now or Never’ together with the band down at the floor. It was an enjoyable night! ( the ambience was great, but a pity I did not snap any photos)

On Jun 19, OP Halim had his for his lovely daughter Nurul Husna and her beau Abdul Jalil a ‘tall and handsome’ guy. A few days before, OP Halim had quite rightly reminded us that it was a sit-down lunch and we ought to be there all at the same time. I said I would be there early and volunteered to be the point-man to receive the other OPs. This allowed me to receive guests when they arrived.

Besides receiving other OPs, it allowed me the privilege of meeting for the first time, blogger Norzah. Akhi Norzah arrived at almost the same time that the Hon. Minister YB Datuk Mustapha Mohamed was led into the lobby for a photo session with the newly-weds. There were some quick movements of guests in the lobby and OP Halim as host was in the midst of it all, together with the Hon.Minister. I managed to spot Akhi Norzah quickly when he arrived. He looked like that in his photo so it was easy. It was a poignant moment when we embraced. All these while I have seen Akhi Norzah via his photos on his blog. It was just great to welcome Akhi Norzah in person!

OP Halim as host was a measure of confidence. Everything that I saw went clockwork. A case in point was when OP Tan Sri Gnanalingam arrived when everyone were already seated. OP TSG came over to our table but OP Halim coolly came by and had OP TSG seated at the Minister's table. It just went naturally easy.

There was a lull for a week until yesterday. There were two yesterday June 27, 2010, both day-time happenings. The first one was by Dr Wan Hassan and Sarifah at Taman Melawati. It was for their boy, a big boy now, Wan Adri and his lovely bride Dr Puteri Shanaz. We arrived there by 1200hrs considerably early to make time for the other one.

I had the occasion to be seated at the same table as my old buddy OP Nawi ( Lt.Gen, Datuk) and Datin. OP Nawi kept persuading me to join in their weekly golf outings,through their Setiakawan Golf Club. There is a tournament on every Wednesdays at different venues, 52 in a year. It comprises a regular 10 flights each time. There are also overseas trips too. Should be enough golf to keep one fairly active.

Following some interesting account of how they fared in Perth, Australia recently, I am inclined to pick up the game again and join in. I’ve laid off for some while now. My golf buddies in KGNS had been trying to get me back even before this. This means I will have to go for some sort of ‘secret practice’ to tone up the golf muscles to give at least a creditable showing when the time comes.

The next reception was luckily enough just nearby at Keramat Wangsa within the Wangsa Maju locale. It was Induk Maridah’s do for her two sons, Rosdi Azwan and his lovely bride, Nur Izzati and Rosdi Azmir with his equally lovely bride Sarayati.
We managed to make it there by about 1400hrs ( 2,00pm) The crowd was building up and it was just nice.

That wrapped up the day and we took the DUKE highway which was conveniently located just at the end of the turning (from the junction facing the Mindef Back Entrance) . It was back to PJ exiting at Kota Damansara and back home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A fatality at the RMC

I’m saddened to hear of the untimely demise of Mohd Naim on June 24, 2010 at the RMC, my alma mater. He died as a result of ragging that went awry. Ragging the universal terminology now conveniently termed ‘orientation’ (which seemed more acceptable) has always been there.

In mild a form it helps facilitate lifelong friendships. It should not, however develop into plain bullying prompted by revenge or some misguided mob reaction by a few seniors.

During our time in 1960 at P. Dickson it was all done in good fun and innocence. It was called ‘dumping’. We, as new boys were forcibly carried by the seniors in the wee hours of the morning from our beds and dumped into the ‘tub’. The tub then was a concrete 3’x4’x15’ of icy cold water. We were dumped in one by one.

We were awakened by the shuffling of feet when the next bed was done in. We just waited for our turn silently ( I did not hear of anyone who escaped by running away to hide in all the years!) It was all done in fun.

When they came I just played dead, 4 seniors physically carried me, while 2 (1 on each side) applied the army supplied shoe-shine material all over our body. The dark and black material served no other purpose as it would not shine as well as a ‘kiwi’ did. So it was put to good use just for ‘dumping’ We would then spend a good part of the early morning to wash off the messy material.

There was no physical violence, no beatings and nobody got hurt. Every one of the new boys was given the same treatment. In fact, we anticipated it and plainly enjoyed being carried to the ‘loo’ for once. This only happened once or twice on a weekend in the First Term. It could be termed as a ‘mischief’ an outlet to let off steam in a fun way and I emphasized again ‘nobody got hurt’

I remember we did it to the new boys in 1961 (when we became seniors) in a similar way that ‘we were taught’. It was all in good fun ‘and again nobody got hurt’

When we shifted to Sg Besi, the utility facilities were very much improved. There were showers. But there was still a small tub (?3’x4’x5’) to cater for those who prefer to use a dipper to splurge water over them instead of the shower. For ‘dumping’ purposes it was just too small, and ‘dumping’ was conveniently forgotten. It would have been dangerous as the mosaic flooring was still very much slippery compared to the cement floor of old in PD. I don’t remember of any ‘dumping’ in Sg Besi.

When one person was singled out by a group and subjected to torture and beatings as what happened in the late Mohd Naim’s case then this was just plain gangsterism. When a person was doing ‘push-ups’ he was in a most vulnerable position. Apparently the late Mohd Naim was made to do push-ups. He could be easily kicked from any direction, and he could be stomped on. The stomach, kidneys and spleen were very easily hurt without much efforts even with a bare foot and with a reasonably strong force.  Internal injuries could not be known or seen until it was too late.

The TUDM trainee in Kepala Batas Alor Star and the boy in a Seremban school went through such severe punishments. Both did not survive, just as the late Mohd Naim.

The 5 or so boys from the Seremban school were charged with murder and were now languishing in Kajang Prison (I stand corrected) The 5 RMC boys on remand if found guilty may share the same fate, and held at the Ruler’s pleasure. Since there was a precedent and this was now a police case we could only wait for the outcome and expect the worst.Those involved in the TUDM case were similarly dealt with.

It was a waste of good talents. It was just a pity. I would not wish to delve too much into this. The less said the better.

Contrary to what some bloggers had said about the future of RMC, however, I believe it is very relevant still. There’s no 2 ways about it. It is everything a residential school is PLUS the military training acquired. That is unique! There are some black sheep but they can be dealt with in what designated ways that are appropriate.

The RMC stays!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

50 Years Ago - The Sovereign’s Parade 1960

1. Awaiting the Arrival of the Distinguished Dignitaries. A commanding view from up the ridge of the Married Quarters (MQ) of PD Garrison

2. The arrival of the Rt.Hon.the Prime Minister accompanied to the dais by the then Commandant Lt Col R De L King.

3. Arrival of the DYMM the Yang DiPertuan Besar

4. The DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong

5. The DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong Going for The Inspection

6. The Inspection Done on a Royal vehicle as the parade in Port Dickson took place on the College Padang which had to cover lots of ground ( unlike that of the Parade Square in Sg Besi which is smaller where it was done on foot)

7. The March Past by the Band

8. The March Past by the Senior Cadets in Slow March

9. The March Past by 'G' Coy, part of the Boys Wing contingent in Quick Time.

10. The DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong presenting the Director's of Studies Prize (for Academic Excellence) to 'G' Coy's SUO Salleh Mohd Nor of Upper Six Science ( a brilliant scholar, who hailed from Juasseh, Kuala Pilah later Tan Sri,Dr. who once helmed the Forest Research Institute, and currently the Malaysian Nature Society and countless other NGOs )

11. The Senior Cadets successfully leaving the parade as commissioned officers to the strains of the Auld Lang Syne

The Sovereign’s Parade is a most auspicious day for the Royal Military College (RMC). It is an annual event held at the end of the year. The Sovereign’s Parade as the name suggests is graced with the Royal presence of the King, the DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong who would confer the designated royal commissions to the graduating Senior Cadets.

It is a passing-out parade, the culmination of a 2-year training stint for the Senior Cadets. They are commissioned into the Armed Forces as a young subaltern officer with the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army ( or its equivalent in the Navy and Air Force )

In 1960, the then Federation Military College (FMC) comprised the Cadet Wing and the Boys Wing (now Cawangan Putra). In the Sovereign’s Parade 1960 ( as in all others until recently), the Boys Wing was accorded the privilege and honour of active participation together with the Cadet Wing.

This is a pictorial essay based on pictures in my possession. It provides just a glimpse of what happened, just a little of the dignified pomp and pageantry, an event steeped in the tradition and ceremony of the military, just a record to say that ‘I was there 50 years ago in the Sovereign’s Parade in Port Dickson’.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kelantan River Expedition

Before Departure: From Left, Back Row OPs Ong, Sham (Datuk Dr) & Aziz (Tan Sri) Kneeling, Hank

K. Lipis Rail Station: From Left, OPs Mansor(Datuk,Dr) Mr M.K.Gopala, Hank & Ratna (Datuk,Dr)

Mid-Stream, the Other Raft: Looks could be Deceiving But it Arrived Safely.

Stopover Mid-way: From Left, Back Row OPs Ismail, Sham (Datuk,Dr) Muhamad (Maj-Gen, Datuk) Syed , Mansor(Datuk Dr) Rahman ( Skipper) Front Row, Hank , Aziz (Tan Sri)

Pantai Cahaya Bulan: Pitched Tent at the Beach (2 to a tent)From Left: Hank and Ratna (Datuk Dr)

Aboard Ferry To Pasir Pekan: From Left, Rashid, Nik Anis (Capt RN) Mohd Sham (Datuk Dr) Aziz (Tan Sri) and Hank

Pasir Pekan, On the Way To OP Ghani's House: From Left, Ismail, Hank and Aziz (Tan Sri)

Back at Pantai Cahaya Bulan: From Left Hank, Ratna (Datuk Dr) Ong and Nik Anis (Capt RN)

Note: This was earlier posted on Jan 24,2010 without photos. Now it is more complete. Hopefully it now gives a better picture ( pun intended )

The Star of Jan 22, 2010 carried a news item captioned ‘Heroes recount how they saved 9’ It told of the heroic exploits of two rescuers, Saiful Azhar and fisherman Yeoh Lai Pin relating to the Dragon Boat tragedy on Jan 17 in Penang.

In the said incident, 5 students and their teacher were drowned during training for a boat race. It was a sad outcome to what was intended to be just a sporting event. We feel for the concerned families in their hour of bereavement.

I am reminded of an incident many years ago, not quite similar, but also revolved around a water activity - a white water rafting downstream. I had mentioned about wanting to narrate about this episode in a previous posting.

This happened during the Kelantan River Expedition. We were (Putras of RMC) on our Hari Raya Break (crazy) from Feb 23 till Mar 03, 1963. There were altogether about 20 of us, averaging around 18 years of age and a teacher-in-charge (‘ call me Gopala M.K.’)

On the way after leaving Gemas in the wee hours of the morning (Gemas was a hub of train change-over to the East Coast leaving @ ?0200hrs) excitement was in the air. Even though we were in the berth section of the 2nd class coach most were wide awake. Some were engrossed in empty talk listening to OP Aziz expounding his theories of a social-democrat in readiness of him going into politics (to the sceptical comments of Mr Gopala, who must be thinking ‘why politics?’ when we should be bothered with maths, geography, history etc).

It was much to the awe of those young minds around (who must be thinking OP Aziz was way ahead of his time) and to the consternation of the ticket checkers (who kept coming to our section), insisting the booked berth coaches were out-of-bounds to the 3 s.y.ts (from ?MWTC/ Tun Fatimah ) who were without seats (being pre-Hari Raya rush but invited in for a yarn by you-know-who!)

We were slated to go downstream from Manek Urai, in the upper reaches of the Kelantan river to Kota Bharu a distance of about 80km. It would take about 1 hr by road presently. We covered it in 3 days then, an enjoyable 3 days with all the excitement and drama thrown in.

When we arrived at Manek Urai there were 2 rafts all ready, waiting for us, made up of bamboos all nicely lashed up together. OP Wan Ghani had arranged for everything. (That we were told. When we later arrived in Pasir Pekan at the end of the journey, he had the whole group for lunch at his house. Great guy!).

We only had to further improvise the rafts by having our ‘ponchos’ set up tent-like, to provide cover.Otherwise they were perfect.

(Unlike on the Perak River Expedition later in the year, we had to spend 2 days to build our own rafts out of light wood and bamboo. The bamboos were already felled arranged through Kemunting Camp in Taiping.These were stacked ready in Sauk (of the weapons snatching notoriety, remember?) We loaded them up into the 3-tonners (lorry) and off to Chenderoh Dam to start lashing them and later off downstream when ready – but that’s another story!)

In Manek Urai we broke up into the 2 groups of 10 each to a raft. In my group were OPs Rahman, Mansor ( later Datuk, Dr. who at one time helmed the ITM), Aziz ( later Tan Sri, Deputy Mentri Besar, Pahang and a 2 term Senator) Mohd Sham (later Datuk , Dr.) Muhamad (later Maj-Gen, Datuk) Syed Mustffa and Ismail ( both joined the Army) yours truly Hank, plus two others I don’t quite remember now.

OP Rahman made himself out to be the skipper and was fortunately accepted readily by everyone. He christened the raft the 'Kon Tiki’ complete with the name written and stuck on a pole atop the ‘poncho’. OP Rahman is a very talented artist (you still draw and sketch? ) who speaks impeccable Queen's English that you never would realise speaking to a guy from Kelantan when he sounds every bit a polished English gentleman!

Kon-Tiki was the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. It was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, for whom 'Kon-Tiki' was said to be an old name. Kon-Tiki is also the name of the popular book that Heyerdahl wrote about his adventures. (see Wikipedia)

It was truly a new experience for me, in fact for all of us. The raft had 2 rudders of long bamboo of about 4m one at each end. Both must be manned by one person each all the time. Both must react immediately at their ends to maneuver away from obstacles, such as floating logs or rocks along the way.

We cooked on the raft. The army-supplied fuel, made up of 2”x 2” pieces of hard candle-like material were used extensively ( 2 of those can cook a mess-tin of rice to be shared by 2 persons) We continued travelling at night keeping away from the banks lest overhanging branches hit us again. It did the first night. The raft shook, the makeshift clothes line was swept away. A PD Green uniform, some T-shirts and undies were lost. It was a frightful moment. It gave us a jolt as what to expect when rafting in the night. Visibility was poor. We could not relate to the river banks so we were not able to see that we were moving even. We only felt that we were moving. We were more careful after that. We kept to the centre and away from the banks. We were lucky it was no more serious than that.

On the next day it happened. It was mid-day. Some were cooking for lunch, while 2 were manning the rudder. We were in the centre of the free flowing waters. The other raft was about 25m downstream, more to our right. Not that far but near enough. It was hot and sunny so it must have been tempting for OP Mohd Sham.

At first he just dipped in and out by the side of the raft. Then, all of a sudden he jumped into the water and swam towards the other raft. I think he did reach it. After exchanging some pleasantries with those on the other raft he jumped back towards us. I only realized it when he was cheered on. It was not going to be easy as he was now going against the current and water flow.

'This is going to be a disaster', I thought to myself. The others didn’t notice that I pulled a life-jacket from the pile next to me and held it in my hands. I made myself ready. I took off my wallet and handed it to someone just in case if I needed to jump in.

Sure enough. One minute OP Mohd Sham was smiling happily swimming towards us but the next minute he shouted out loud, ‘help!, help!’ and waving frantically. He was about 15m away. He was exhausted. He was not going to make it. The strong currents kept pulling him back!

I got up threw the life-jacket to him. It didn’t reach him. I jumped, swam towards the life-jacket and pulled it as quickly as I could to him. It was in the nick of time! OP Mohd Sham quickly grabbed the life-jacket. If I had been a split second late, it could have been a different story.

I would have been swept downstream by the strong current clutching the life jacket. OP Mohd Sham would have been swept downstream also but without a jacket.It was close! We both held on to the life-jacket and inched our way back slowly towards our raft.

Under normal circumstances, when we approach a drowning person in the water it would be fatal to try and catch hold of him. The person would grab even a floating straw so they say. In a panic state he would grab you even before you reach him and would bring down both together.He would not be in the mood to be nice to you!

The technique is to approach him with both hands bent at 90 degrees at the elbows (with the clenched fists pointing skywards) That was fundamental in the Bronze medallion life-saving training. It could be a life and death thing. The moment the person grabs your wrists, you bring both wrists down into the water with a quick pull. His hold would be broken and he would automatically let go as his head would be bobbing in the water. You then twist him around and catch him under both armpits. It would be easy as he would be disoriented and facing the other way. That’s no way he could grab you. You then softly calm him and pull/swim backwards to safety.

In the case with OP Mohd. Sham I did away with this as I had pushed the life-jacket for him to grab. He didn’t need to grab me. I just had to calm him down after that.

We got onto the raft. The others got to OP Mohd Sham. He was ok. I got my wallet back, went to one corner to change into a dry T-shirt and only then that I realized. I forgot about my pocket diary. It was in my T-shirt pocket when I jumped in. It was still there but all wet. I had jotted some notes about the trip but they were not readily readable anymore. It was ok, that was ok, that was not the problem.

What saddened me most was that I had 2 passport-sized photos plus another slightly bigger one also in the diary and all were damaged. That was what I was sad about, but I didn’t tell anyone of them. One was of mine but the other two were of someone so dear to me then (not a photo of my loving wife, I met my wife years later) The damaged photos were for a long time with me. I dared not tell that someone they were damaged. Anyway they are not with me now. I was very sad then but I have long forgotten about them. We did not keep contact. She is definitely a grandmother by now. I just wonder!

For the next few minutes upon getting up on the raft, I reflected quietly. What if there had been some submerged rocks or floating logs or a crocodile. It frightened me suddenly. What if I had not pulled the life-jacket and held it in my hands minutes before that. What if I had hesitated and not jumped even with the life-jacket in my hands. I dread to think about it.

I only had the personal satisfaction of doing justice to my life saving knowledge, acquired 3 years earlier (which gave me the confidence) I may not have jumped in otherwise.

I was at the Victoria Institution (VI) before RMC. VI is the only school (I stand corrected) with a swimming-pool. Our swimming teacher then was Lim Heng Chek, an Olympian, rare in those days.

I joined a life savings group when I arrived at the RMC in Port Dickson (there was none since then after we moved to Sungei Besi) The beach then was just across the road from us, so training was convenient.

The life-saving test was done in mid-1960 at the Specialist Teacher's Training College pool at Cheras Road, K.L. I remember that. There were just a handful of us, less than 10. One was for an instructor's certificate while the rest were for the Bronze medallion. All got through, yes! . The lone guy got his Instructor's Certificate. The rest became qualified life savers , each awarded the Bronze Medallion from the Royal Life Saving Society of England

The Kon-Tiki made it on the morning of Feb 26. We berthed at Pasir Pekan across the river from Kota Bharu. We later pitched tent at Pantai Cinta Berahi (now Pantai Cahaya Bulan) for a few days.

We then proceeded to Kuala Trengganu and put up at an old building provided for us. Apparently it was part of the palace complex and reputed to be haunted. Anyway nothing untoward happened in the night.We had a football friendly with Sultan Sulaiman School  (not sure of the name, I stand corrected)

We made visits to the cottage industry there comprising batik and silverware factories (for which I have faint recollection) before making our way back to our College. A group proceeded to Penang from there we were told later.

OP Mohd Sham went on for medical studies in Sydney, Australia. Datuk Dr.Mohd Sham later became a very successful pediatrician while in the govt. He was also very involved in SCAN for many years after that.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bird-watching – a new hobby?

The baby bird is seen for the first time. It must have been hatched in recent days

THe mother bird with an insect in its beak and the baby bird opening its beak expecting to be fed.

The mother bird flew in again with what looks like another insect.

This time the mother bird had something that looks like a berry or cherry. It appears the baby bird is a voracious eater.

Birds had always fascinated me. Even my blog heading is indication of my inclination towards the feathery kind. Nothing prepared me to what happened this morning though (June 01,2010). It was a rare occurrence, a rare opportunity.I had a chance to snap pictures of a mother bird feeding its young all at my front porch.

I’ve been told there’s a bird’s nest just outside the house. It was pointed out to me a few day’s ago but I didn’t give it much attention. It looked empty anyway.

However, this morning my domestic helper called out to me, excitedly ‘ Bapak, ada burung!

I rushed down and had a glimpse of it before it flew out again. I then rushed back to get my camera and stood at a strategic corner where I could see the nest and waited.

I waited for the better of 15 mins before I heard the chirping sound of the bird. It grew louder and it suddenly jumped into sight. I froze, careful not to reveal my presence. I had never stood still, upright and quiet this morning ( not since those days on the parade grounds back at the College) It was painstakingly a stiff neck posture holding the camera with unsteady hands.

It jumped about but still not nearer to its nest, apparently to make sure the coast was clear.Then suddenly it jumped into my camera’s sight and I just clicked and clicked. This happened for quite some while, it bringing little tit bits for the baby bird and I snapping every so often.

I recognize this bird. It is a ‘merbah’, not an exotic kind but an edible one. It has a crown which keeps moving when it chirps. Its lower abdomen is yellow in colour.

My late father used to go bird-hunting with his buddies before. They used air-guns with pellets the shape of a bell made of ‘timah’ (lead ) a little bit bigger than the size of a 'kacang hijau'( green beans)

The merbah birds were the most popular target. There were green pigeons and some other birds as a well. When the bounty was brought home I used to help out picking the feathers. They were tiny little things. They were cut up into 4 thumb sized pieces deep-fried , chili laced and very crunchy. I have not tasted any wild bird meat since then. Those were the days.

The air-gun? I was not growing up quickly enough to be bequeathed the air-gun. It was apparently passed over to one of my late father’s friends. I wonder if they still do bird-hunting these days.

Overstaying Your Welcome

Being a good guest we are expected to be considerate. We are not to anyway cause concern nor inconvenience to our host. It would translate to enhancing good feelings. It would mean another visit in the future that would be welcomed and even expected. It is a measure of refinement that ensures lasting relationships. So we are not to overstay our welcome. We are to leave at the appropriate time.

Can we expect the same in a political relationship. Is it not the same as in other refined relationships political or otherwise?

A case in point is the hot news in all mainstream media today May 31, 2010. The Samy Velu theatricals!

It is a culmination of the groundswell building up from GE12 when the MP for Sg Siput was no more an MP. It progressed further to the MIC presidential elections which he successfully defended for another term ending in 2012. What can we say?

He is there lording over all the underlings. Democracy is at its best in the MIC. Three who mustered some courage (read: who got out of line by asking Samy to gracefully resign immediately ) were immediately sacked themselves. The Sec-Gen a young and upcoming official who questioned the sackings also got the sack the following day.

This was made smooth and easy with the President’s absolute power allowing for immediate sackings. This brings back to memory the classic Lord Acton’s maxim that ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Power cannot be vested so absolutely in the hands of one person and expect it to be used discreetly. Only if is not against himself, yes, but not otherwise.

The GAS movement ( the Gerakan Anti-Samy ) which triggered the earlier 3 sackings held a meeting the weekend of May 30th, which was attended by 5000 members. They dared Samy to sack all 5000 this time.

Theoretically, if Samy continues sacking in the face of defiance from the members and contempt on his part there will come a time when he is left with only himself in the MIC.

Sacking does not signify strength or power. It is a tool. Using the tool sparingly or even not using it at all will indicate an inner strength of the leader. Samy apparently failed to see this.

Furthermore his actions cannot just impact on the MIC but the BN with the spectre of the GE13 looming ahead. A major BN component party led by a non-MP as President cannot position itself as a party of strength. No amount of sackings can reflect the strength so lacking as it is.

The saga continues…..