Friday, February 27, 2009



many years ago, when i read that there were -and most likely still are- several uighurs from china's sinkiang autonomous region been detained in guantanamo bay, i couldn't understand or make sense of this. but now that i have visited kashgar, i can see that this makes perfect sense. the old quarters of the city is nothing like china and decidedly middle eastern in feeling and i could imagine this is what afghanistan or that rowdy pakistan tribal areas look like. the old quarters are 100% muslim uighurs .(in fact i hardly see any han chinese in the whole of kashgar). some of their women cover their heads and faces completely. and i meant that literally. the funny thing is they just simply put a brown see-through towel over their heads and lift it up as and when they feel like it. looks silly even to my muslim extremist eyes. i won't be surprised if my brother osama is hiding somewhere here rather than in the pakistan tribal areas as what those damned americans think. he'll be at home here.

but sadly the old quarters are now hemmed in in every direction by the boring chinese modern buildings. so, if you want to see old kashgar do come quickly. i think this will probably be gone in a few years time. even if they don't, i think the old silk road romance is quite gone now. many of the young uighur ladies now don't wear head covering scarfs, let alone drape brown towels over their heads. and although their men don't look handsome to me, and some of their girls looks a bit hairy , these young women exude strong animal sexuality. chinese girls look positively frigid compared to uighur girls.

and when a uighur taxi driver said to me ' karaoke you like?' my eyes widened a bit and i said yes? you have here? and he said yes, we go tomorrow ok? and i realised that he was actually offering to take me on the famous karakoram highway to karakul lake, a scenic area 180 km away from kashgar. but sadly i didn't have the time and just did the obligatory things every visitor does in kashgar. which is to visit the sunday market and animal bazaar and the two venerated sites in kashgar, the abakh khoja tomb and the tomb of yusuf has hajip, their 17th century revered muslim missionary whose teachings is widely practiced now. and the rest of the time hanging out around the id kah mosque, the spiritual heart of kashgar. or at least that's what my travel book says. and what lonely planet says is true (and i always found that among travel books, lonely planet is always the best and most accurate) that chini bagh hotel is very strategically located. it's only ten minutes walk away from id kah mosque and you can walk anywhere to main areas within kashgar from here.

since a picture is worth a thousand words as they say, i've put a novella's worth of pictures on flickr that you can visit here. i made no pretence to be a fancy photographer but you'll have a very good idea of what khashgar is like by looking at these pics. i wish i have some pics of uighur girls (preferably nude) but one can't have everything .....

Thursday, February 19, 2009


cheb mami and going to kashgar

here's my kid doing rubik's cube under four min.with the great cheb mami music in the background. i can't work out how the hell he did it. he can repeat it as many times as you like and now getting better and better at it. can even go under three mins. kids are amazing. i once mentioned this in an old post but since i'm listening to rai music of cheb mami and khaled right now i thought i might put it again here. most people know cheb mami through his wailing on sting's desert rose. but he's much more than that. he and khaled are the kings of rai. these are quite old music now and i've lost track of the newer arab music . but i can never get tired of khaled's and cheb mami's songs of the eighties and nineties. i'm listening to all these desert songs as a kind of an entre' to my long dreamed visit to kashgar tomorrow.

kashgar of course isn't in the middle east but in the semi desert area just next to taklimakan desert in central asia. the only muslim majority city in china and an important city in the middle of the silk road of centuries ago. yinchuan in the muslim autonomous province of ninxia just south of inner mongolia is another muslim majority city but when i was there a few years back this city was already completely sinified that it has totally lost whatever character it once had. and so before kashgar (kashi) turned completely into another boring generic chinese city i thought i'd better go now and visit the id kah mosque and other muslim holy sites such as the tomb of Abakh Khoja and the famous sunday market. there are only two good hotels for non speaking visitors. one is SEMAN hotel which was once the russian embassy and the other is CHINI BAGH which was the british's. only seman can be booked online but to my distress it was fully booked on the dates i'm going. so again had to get my good chinese friend in beijing to book me directly the room in chini bagh which is just as well as this is much closer to the old part of the city and just near the id kah mosque and the best hotel in kashgar. or so according to the info in the lonely planet and other internet sources. i'll soon find out.

my dream is to take a land journey by train retracing the silk road from beijing to kashgar. i did take this 48 hour train journey from beijing to urumqi. but did not push through perhaps another 12 hr land route to kashgar. this time i cheat a bit. will just simply take a flight from beijing to urumqi than a short connecting flight to kashgar. sometime in the future i hope to complete the silk route by doing kashgar to istanbul. ....probably when the the damned americans have had enough of screwing up pakistan afghanistan and iran and things settle down and become less crazy in these areas....probably it'll never come. but miracles sometimes till then, i'll just savor kashgar...tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


not quite the three musketeers ...or the three stooges either

i've never been to DBP that bastion of the malay language champion (which is doing a very poor job of it) but i was there last night. i was there for the live session of tv 9 "Hujah' programme of pemuda umno 'debate' among the three aspirants to the ketua pemuda umno post . although i despise umno with all my heart i'm open enough to listen to what they have to say and i thought this is the best place to learn the new vision (if any) of umno . here are their best young leaders mukhriz, KJ and Khir toyo . they would have a slug fest answering hard hitting questions from Prof muhammad Agus of UKM. a young guy from my home state with his thick english budu accent which is typical but peculiar to my home state english speakers , and now a well known local political commentator and analyst and de facto successor of the notorious razak baginda of altantuya fame.

and not least i was there to observe these three famous malay guys up close. and i wanted to observe khir toyo's amazing physical transformation . at one time he was turning white almost like micheal jackson due to tempe power. the last time i saw him up close was on april fool's day last year when he accompanied dr M at the hotel in PJ when dr M gave a scintillating speech insulting his successor dollah B and his SIL (and even rebuking najib for not aggressive enough to push dollah B out) . and at that time mr toyo for some reasons reminded me of my palm civet pet. his hair was completely white and face quite red like a blushing chinese doll. tempe power apparently worked very well even to the hair. and at that time i managed to shake dr m's hand and i can report here that his hand shake was the limpest i've ever experienced from anybody. and i resoved last night to shake hands with these three young pemudas and see who had the firmest grip.

but first about the slug fest. i'm not going to say much about this as many would have watched it on tv last night and many more will read the spins in newspapers today. but i'll just say this. prof agus did very well to ask all the hard hitting questions but the answers from those three pemudas did not give any real surprise. i was hoping for some agressive soul searching and even controversial replies from these young men but none were forth coming. all were for ISA, (although khairi seems to be a bit more open and willing to talk to the oppositions how best to improve ISA) , all think that they need to do more to mend fences with the non malays who had turned their back on BN. on education mukhriz reiterated his interesting proposal for a single school system and which i totally agree (and should have been done a very long time ago). on race relations toyo has perhaps the most controversial view. he bravely stated that not all races in malaysia are equal. (tidak sama rata). i'm sure this will not be blown up by media but this is very revealing. umno is as racist as ever. but no fireworks. no explosions. no catfights. i would have thought they would come more prepared with better 'positions' on issues but didn't seem like it. these young men were no three musketeers to save malaysia but they are no three stooges either.

the session was surprisingly muted. i detected almost a defeatist atmosphere even among the audience. this is a party that knows they are fucked. probably half of the audience are umno haters like me.

people say KJ is very articulate and i totally agree with this. kj really speaks well. i fancy he thinks of himself as the barack obama of malaysia. in fact he's the only one who mentioned obama last night. toyo was good, but mukhriz wasn't so hot. he appeared almost too nice. but the most revealing time was after the session. as in most things in life the digressions and the off the record part of any thing is the most interesting part. and last night for me was not totally lost. i enjoyed observing these three after the live session ended when they mingled around with the crowd.

the moment the show ended , these three scattered separately and quickly were surrounded by three distinct groups. you hardly see any difference for the first ten minutes or so of course. the only shouts you hear was hidup dato seri , hidup dato seri meaning for khir toyo of course. he was the popular one. many people scrambled to congratulate their pemuda of choice and i was busy elbowing everybody to go and shake hands with all the three of them. i first shook hand with khairi. his grip was quite firm.or could it be my hard grip that i felt?. i went next to mr toyo. his was just about the same as khairi's. on a scale of 1 to 10 ( ten being the firmest) i would rate both at around 4-5? i thought to myself. fuck! i was the one that did the gripping, so i resolved to soften my grip when i go to mukhriz next. and i did so when i met him and i distinctly felt that his was limp! just like his father's. a bit stronger may be.

you can read quite a bit about a person from hand shaking but i guess with politicians hand pumping thousands of times everyday i guess you can't read too much into it. but the interesting thing is to observe the crowds. soon enough the crowds became distinctly different. khir toyo was surrounded by a big crowd and he went out of the hall first with a gaggle of supporters cheering hidup dato' seri...he looked every bit a politician that he is. i observed that tempe power had somehow decreased now. he is slowly turning darker compared to last april fool's day when i last saw him up close. may be i was wrong, the hall was quite dim.

mukhriz was surrounded by his admirers and genially bantered with a few. all of the people surrounding him looked the serious type. but the most interesting to observe was khairi. at one stage he was almost alone by himself!. and then a gaggle of young school girls surrounded him and scrambling all over each other taking pictures with him.

He looked like an innocent lost young man or even like a humble artist. he didn't look like your average politician at all. he's almost like mawi among his fans. i almost felt a sudden liking for this guy. goes without saying if puteri umno are allowed to vote he'll win hands down, just for his looks alone. but looks can be very deceiving as we all know. among the three he looked the most amiable which surprises me a bit because i expect to see mukhriz that way. but khairi is the the man that will melt anyone's heart. i wonder how his sex life is. i bet it must be very very very interesting.

Monday, February 16, 2009



i'm very disturbed reading RPK's latest 'No holds Barred' blogpost in his Malaysia today netpaper today. it's true that RPK is wellknown for his flamboyant writings and histrionics but he's a man of his words. and a very very principled and brave man and i very much fear that he really will carry through his threat to starve himself to death if he is found guilty tomorrow and be sent back to jail. he sounds very depressed and i hope that what he wrote is no reflection of his 'saner' self. and i hope and pray he'll not be found guilty tomorrow. but what if he is?

i don't have too many people that i particularly look up to as 'heroes' but RPK is one of them. one of my local heroes. not that i always agree with his writings. he can be a real nut when he writes about islam but taken as a whole, he's my kind of guy. and i certainly don't want him to starve himself to death in jail. i think he can fight a better battle than that. nobody is jesus. jesus was very lucky. the world changed when he was cruficifed on the cross. that could only happen when people were idiots and believe in superstitions as was in jesus' time. but not now. nobody cares about sacrifice these days. and RPK won't change that. if RPK dies, people will forget him in seven days. a romantic form of protest but the world will go on. may be, just may be there will be stories writen about this man but i doubt it. malaysia is not a nation of writers. so RPK will be forgotten. no great literature will be written about his heroics.

oh and i finished reading Lucifer's alligator last night. and incidentally it's about protest too. a protest that did not give any good result. a hopeless protest. perhaps not dissimilar to RPK's threat to starve himself to death. i too sometimes can't keep my mouth shut. i too sometimes feel like shouting and protesting. but i'm just a weak bastard. i like life too much to do anything significant in life. i'm just like many of us...we just wait for the RPKs of the world to do the dirty job for us. we just reap the harvest. and this realization makes me feel depressed no end. i feel guilty.

but i do try sometimes. not much but sometimes i try to shout and holler. take this local book blog for example. bibliobibuli is a fairly popular local book blog visited my many (young?) local aspiring writers so i thought ok, i'll come in here and say my piece "as and when neccessary". i thought , writers shapes the nation and hopefully i can give my POV on things. one thing i notice is that most writers believe they are the most intellectual and liberal people there are. to put in another way, their egos are as big as this universe. but i often detect that they are mostly normal people. meaning as stupid and ignorant as any average guys. and i notice that many are terribly ignorant about islamic worldviews but unlike scientists who by default are keen to understand things objectively, writers are more lead by the heart. you can't say things that opposed their views without being hounded out of the discussion. this arguments on the talibans in a recent bibliobibuli post is an example. i guess it's not the writers fault really. i just bark at the wrong tree and the wrong place.

but all these dark musings make me want to fly away. escape. and incidently one of the more memorable books that i read about trying to escape is Birdy. It's a book writen by william wharton. and here's a good news for old geezers aspiring to be writers. Birdy was his first book and written when he was 53. well, at least it was pubblished when he was 53 that is. and he got $500,000 advance for it too. and it was a damned good book. i read it way back in the eighties and watched the movie version too. mainly because the sountrack is by my favorite musician peter gabriel. mr wharton passed away last october without much noise around here but there is a good orbituary in nyt as you can read here.

I hope we won't be reading RPK's orbituary any time soon. I hope not for a long long time. I salute you RPK.

Saturday, February 14, 2009



last night i read a short story in STORY (winter 1999) which started with a very good sentence. Celibacy had been Lucifer's idea and i promptly fell asleep before the end of the first paragraph. The story was by an unknown woman writer (to me) by the name of Julia Whitty. the little info at the back of this literary quarterly mentioned that Ms Whitty's stories have appeared in Harper's among a few other publications. and she has also received a Bernice Slote Award for fiction in 1986. i've never heard of this award before and google doesn't help much. there was a mention about someone winning $500 Bernice Slote Award for the best work by a beginning writer so it must be one of those little awards to inspire aspiring writers to bigger things. in fact i too have been toying with this idea of setting up an annual prize for some kind of writing competition here . i was thinking to get the company where i'm working now to set aside some funds under 'club and recreation ' committee for this. but sometimes i'm just too damned lazy to push things through. i did put up a paper to improve one state zoo a few years back but my proposal lost to some other boring proposal. but anyway the point is, ms whitty whoever she is is quite an acomplished writer.

and me falling asleed before the end of the first paragaraph was not a reflection of her writing. it was quite captivating in fact. and that's quite something because i generally don't read women's writings very much (in fact very very little if any) . i don't mind short stories by women though. because with short stories you can finish in one sitting (unless you fall asleep half way through that is ). so me falling asleep before the first paragraph of Lucifer's Alligator (that's the title of the short story) had nothing to do with the story itself or my prejudice against women writers but was due to a couple of other things. one, it shows that i don't have any worries in the world, and two i was just dog tired.

it's quite ironic that the more i buy books the less i read and i can not remember when and what was the last fiction that i finished from cover to cover. it is unfortunate that the political scene in our country is always at the boiling point that even i who generally hate politics - and especially umno politicians whom i detest with all my heart - do get sucked in and i'm ashamed to confess that now i've become quite addicted to the rancorous political blogs and net newspapers and have little time left to read good writings. this is very bad for me. it's like a disease that i can't get rid off. malaysians writing have one fatal flaw. they lack sense of humor. malaysians can write the most mind boggling political anlyses and conspiracy theories but the only thing i get out of reading all this is just feeling very tired and angry. certainly not very good for my health.

i guess i'll resume my reading of lucifer's alligator at some point. may be tomorrow night may be next week. i know if it's in STORY it must be good. afterall j.d Salinger was first published in STORY. and it has been going on and continue to be published since 1931. but i don't know. with all these political wayang going on it's highly likely that i'll be glued to the screen reading incendiery political blogs for the next couple of months at least- and get tired and all worked up by 11 pm and leave no time to read anything else .

lucifer's alligator is quite a misleading title because the lucifer here is just a name of a hippopotamus and the story is about goings on in a zoo but perhaps there is a good similarity to what's going on here right now. replace the zoo with malaysia and the hippo lucifer with lucifer the christain satan and i guess the story is just about right for malaysia. the christian lucifer is certainly very busy in the state of perak right now. but i may be totally wrong . need to finish the story first. may be tomorrow night, may be next week , may be sometime later....

Saturday, February 07, 2009


perak is fucked

now, i'm not going to give my two cents worth of political analysis . there're too much discussions, analyses , comments and spins already in the blogosphere , the msm and idiot tvs. i can't add anything worthwhile but i'll say this. perak may be quite fucked right now. but out of this fiasco I'VE FOUND MY LOCAL HERO!!!

forget najib forget anwar. both are merely the two sides of the same coin. both are assholes. now i know who is the real candidate for our next PM. the past few days' events have proven to be the making of dato seri ahmad Nizar. i've nothing but admiration for this man. i love him! he's malaysia's best hope . i dearly wish PAS will field him as a parliamentary candidate in the next GE. i dearly wish PAS will elect him to the highest office and i dearly wish this man to be our next prime minister.

isn't it ironic that a PAS man fights tooth and nails for a perak state government full of chinese DAP excos and state reps? one would think that PAS would secretly be elated that now the state government is full of malays(muslims) . but pas is not an asshole party like umno. PAS has idealism and principle. and even a bastard like me can understand that. i may not be a model muslim but hell, i love PAS. i only trust PAS. and watching malay muslims with white kopiahs in their thousands demonstration and protesting just to save a government full of chinese assemblymen should put to rest the chinese distrust of PAS . PAS isn't like the fucks in PKR and DAPs. you can depend on PAS. and nobody can buy PAS people.

interesting time ahead! but can't help wondering how those two PKR fucks and umno fuck and that DAP fuck sleep. do these fucks have conscience and souls? don't they feel ashamed looking dato seri nizar in the eyes? but i guess some men are just animals....

Thursday, February 05, 2009



oh what an interesting time it is for the citizens of perak state! for those who are addicted to malaysian politics but have high blood pressure and heart problem i suggest you take a few days off and fly somewhere where umno DAP and PKR don't mean a shit. (these parties full of crooks racists and rejects of each other certainly don't mean shit to me) . go to boracay or somewhere. let the politicians fight it out. switch off.

i don't have high blood pressure and heart problem as far as i know and i'm not from perak but i am in boracay right now . a place that is listed in one of those silly books of lists like 1000 places to see before you die. boracay is one of the three from philippines that made it to the list. the second is banaue rice terraces in the north east of luzon. sometimes described as the 'eighth wonders of the world'....not very much of a wonder in my view...and the third is...never mind...lists are very subjective and quite meaningless most of the time.

boracay is okay. think of kuta bali with no big surf but better beach. nothing too spectacular . snorkelling places are not half as good as those on the islands off trengganu. the only memorable thing for me is that i snorkelled with my mobile in my pocket and needless to say i'm 'immobile' now at least for a few days. there are quite a few phone repair shops here speciallising on repairing drowned mobiles. apparently there are quite a lot of idiots like me. germans, i don't feel too bad...

Sunday, February 01, 2009


right here right now

i can't see any reason why we malaysians can't create great works of art in whatever medium, literature, films, paintings, whatever. we have everything. beautiful country , a great history and a completely fucked up people. we've been fucked in succession by the portugese, the dutch , the brits and the japs. and now we fuck each other. chinese hate the malays, the malays think the chinese dirty money grubbing bastards and the indians will fuck any chinese and malay women they can lay their hands on and nobody cares very much about indian lives. we even kill them in police lock ups. we are fucked and we hate each other. if that's not the most powerful motivation to spur the creative juice flowing then i don't know what is.

and don't forget the politics. for a flea country we have some of the most egotistical politicians in the world. take dr m for example. the way he carries on he still thinks he's the best politician in the whole fucking world. and to all intents and purposes he thinks his hand picked successor abdullah badawi a retard. and that's not all. the political shenanigans that are going on right here right now is as volatile and crazy as any of those fucked up countries in black africa. this brilliant piece by RPK is a taste of malaysian politic at it's best. . .

an excerpt:-

When Pakatan Rakyat formed the Perak and Selangor state governments soon after 8 March 2008, Umno quickly offered PAS a deal. If PAS was prepared to form a coalition with Umno in Perak and Selangor, they agreed to allow PAS to become the Menteri Besar of these two states. As a sweetener, Umno also agreed that the Islamic law of Hudud be implemented in Perak and Selangor. Umno will give PAS its Hudud that it seeks.

It was a sweet deal. Not only will PAS be running Perak and Selangor and will hold the post of the Chief Operation Officers of these two states, but PAS will also realise its dream of seeing Hudud as the law of the land where it had failed in Kelantan 20 years ago and Terengganu ten years ago.

Sweet deal as it may be, PAS said no. Realising its dream and being in charge is one thing, but they also have to consider their loyalty to their partners, PKR and DAP. They will not betray their partners in Pakatan Rakyat for any amount of money. So PAS said no.

Umno then worked on DAP since PAS was no longer a possibility. The offer was RM10 million for each DAP man who was prepared to cross over. The DAP men and women all declined the extremely attractive offer. RM10 million is a nice figure. That kind of money
will go a long way. But there is more to life than money. And no DAP man and woman took the offer.

Okay, buying Perak and Selangor State Assemblymen and women from Pakatan Rakyat is not possible. No one is for sale. So, if you can’t buy them, then kill them. And Umno got a certain MIC man who married his boss’s wife after sleeping with her whenever the boss was out of town to do what he is most good at. They wanted PKR men fixed up.

That was easy. He is an expert at fixing up people. He fixed up his boss. He fixed up his boss’s wife who is now his wife. He can fix up PKR men easily enough. He asked to meet two PKR men. He then arranged for his driver to carry a bagful of money to the appointed meeting place with instructions to drop the bag under the table unseen and unnoticed. He did just as he was told.

No sooner had the bagful of money hit the ground when the Anti-Corruption Agency officers rushed in, picked up the bag, and arrested the two PKR men on allegations of corruption. They did not know what hit them. They did not even notice the bagful of money under the table.

These two PKR men are now missing....

if that's not a seed for a great work of ah...that word again, 'literary fiction' or a crime 'potboiler' then i don't know what is. but all we have are some books about ghosts and about some grandmothers and grand fathers.

sometimes it makes me wonder why we malaysians are still unable to create world class literature or films or any other form of arts. we have an amir, the film maker but despite his great sense of humor and obvious talents he's no emir kusturica. the painful history of yugoslavia gave birth to emir kusturica's underground one of the best and phantasmogarical films i've ever seen.

here's an excerpt of the above slant magazine review of the film:-

There's no need for a movie adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realist tome
One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's already been made. Emir Kusturica's tragic-farce Underground may be the most important film of the last 25 years, a sweltering, morally inquisitive work of political narrative fiction that laments our propensity for auto-destruction...

it could well be said the same thing for malaysian politics and perhaps one day we ought to have our own 'underground' made. malaysian politics is just as obscene as any and sometimes- just sometimes- it makes me want to switch off and hit to the jungle and live like a savage. but it's just a fleeting feeling. i too have been smeared with so much muck that i feel too weak to raise above it all .

sometimes obscenity can be raised to such a level that it looks like art. i don't know what is what anymore. just like porn, when it's raised to a certain level it is considered art. take this pic for example. this is a great piece of painting by courbet. it hangs in the muse d'orsay so it must be ART.

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