Home > Analysis, Opinion, politics > Opinion: the Death of Osama Bin Laden, the Ethics of Assassination, and Next Media Animation

Opinion: the Death of Osama Bin Laden, the Ethics of Assassination, and Next Media Animation

As you all know, Osama Bin Laden was killed by special U.S. op forces a couple of days ago in Abbottabad, Pakistan. According to Obama’s remarks in the immediate aftermath of Bin Laden’s death, Osama Bin Laden died in a firefight when he resisted capture.

Personally, I am ambivalent about the killing, especially the circumstances of Bin Laden’s death. The Whitehouse at first suggested Bin Laden put up resistance, but is already retracting that narrative.

I am especially skeptical of the U.S. sense of righteousness. To the extent it is wrong to assassinate a leader, I think the assassination of Osama is not justified. Some may point a finger: but Bin Laden is a terrorist. My response: to the extent Bin Laden is a terrorist, one might label the U.S. to be a terrorist, too. Al Qaeda may have a casual disregard for American life (about 3,000 died in New York), but so do the U.S. have a disregard for Muslim life (110,000 civilian deaths in Iraq9,000 civilian death in Afghanistan).

One might want to distinguish between Osama and U.S. based on intent: the New York civilians were the target of Osama’s operations while those in Iraq and Afghanistan were not the intended targets of U.S. operations; they died as collateral damage….

That is wishful moralizing. To say Osama’s goal is to kill the 3,000 per se, not to achieve greater political objective, is to buy into the American good vs. evil rhetoric without critical thinking. To think the U.S. does care about the 120,000 civilian deaths it caused is also to dwell in wishful thinking: imagine if those had been American civilian deaths, would the American public have allowed the war to drag on?

The truth is both Osama and the U.S. had political goals to achieve, and in the calculation of both, the human lives wasted (3,000 in the case of Bin Laden and 120,000 in the case of U.S.) were acceptable collateral damage, in their views, for achieving their goals.

Anyways – be that as it may, to the extent the U.S. sets the world order, and the small frys are called terrorists and celebrated when killed – I accept reality.

The original purpose for this post was however to also write about Next Media.

Yesterday, Next Media, a Taiwan based company that specialized in graphic depictions of news events, callously put up a video it titled  “Bin Laden Dead: Video Animation of Terrorist Leader’s Final Moments.” The animation video depicted Bin Laden getting killed, with American troops celebrating pissing on Bin Laden’s body, referring to the act mockingly as part of the “Islamic burial ritual.” The video then panned to what was presumptively Bin Laden’s first moments of afterlife, where instead of meeting angels, he was greeted by the a horned devil and led to a door to be greeted by 72 pigs, not virgins. A clearly disgruntled Bin Laden was then promptly pinned down by one of the piglets in an act of bestiality.

The video – with the link http://www.nma.tv/bin-laden-dead-video-animation-terrorist-leaders-final-moments/ – has since been removed.

I don’t know what the people at NMA were thinking. Some may think this funny, some may dismiss it as merely tasteless. But given the way it mocked not only Bin Laden, but Islam (pissing as a theme of Muslim burial rights, virgins shown as piglets), I consider it borderline hate speech.

Even though NMA has decided to take down the video (for whatever reasons), NMA has done so many tasteless things recently, I think someone must call them out.

It is because of junk like these that I think governments such as those in China has not only a right, but a duty to censor. What social value does such junk add? Some may argue, but value of things lie in the eye of the beholder, we should let the people – the market – decide what is foul and what is not.

If we really believe the people, the market, can regulate everything, we can just disband government. When a need for bridge arises, the market will provide a bridge. When social ills arise, the market will provide institutions that solve the problems. When companies make things that are bad for people, supply and demand will drive bad businesses out of business.

This is unfortunately not how things operate. We need government to ensure that the market works – that the people live in a just society. Just as we need laws to regulate toxic mortgages, we need laws to regulate toxic speech as well. The market may produce sensationalist things that appeal to the vulgar mass. It may produce things that tailor to the rich.  It is government – however – that is ultimately tasked with protecting the people.

This may be the ultimate lesson of the death of Bin Laden. Governments matter in people’s lives. Power rules. If you let foreign powers weaken your government and dictate your life, your lives matters little; your country matters little; and your leaders matters little beyond being called terrorists.

  1. Rhan
    May 4th, 2011 at 07:19 | #1

    Bin Laden is a strawman created by USA, there will be another one.

    I don’t know what shall be categorized under toxic speech, and who make the call what constitute toxic speech. There are many governments that regulate how we live, speak and write, for instance, Malaysia have Sedition Act, Internal Security Act, Official Security Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act and etc.

    We read how the anti-monarchy horde question and protest Prince William grand wedding, Malaysian will be prosecuted under the Sedition Act if we do the same towards our royalty. An opposition member of Parliament Lim Guan Eng (now Chief Minister of Penang) was charged under Section 8A (1) of PPPA and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Even if you possess a copy of official document that is evidence of corruption, you might not dare to make a report to police or anti-corruption commission for the fear that you may prosecuted under the OSA. And not many truly understand how ISA work, those that arrested under ISA could be various reason: terrorist, anti hadith, not from the Sunna sect, so called mocking and ridicule government and Malaysia, unionist and labour activist, political stance and so on.

    I am not from legal profession so I honestly don’t know how we could ensure all this laws were not abused. I think being a common man, I prefer not to have law to regulate how I write and speak.

  2. May 4th, 2011 at 07:58 | #2

    It is not our war as a US citizen from Hong Kong. It is the war between Israel and the Muslim according to the Bible. If it is about oil, shame on us. If it is about Crusade, shame on religions and the Jews who control the congress and drag us to wars.

    Wars destroy lives, our living standard, our economy…We can really not afford two wars and be the world policeman.

    They will fight back, and we’ll fight back… When it will end?

  3. May 4th, 2011 at 08:44 | #3

    @Rhan #12

    you wrote:

    I don’t know what shall be categorized under toxic speech, and who make the call what constitute toxic speech. … I am not from legal profession so I honestly don’t know how we could ensure all this laws were not abused. I think being a common man, I prefer not to have law to regulate how I write and speak.

    We trust the government to do so many things – control a military, run covert operations, have a standing police that watch over its citizens, regulate food and drug, come up with energy policy, incentivize scientific research (most of which is publicly funded), pursue economic policies that impact every aspect of our lives. The government is so vast and complex (any government) that it is really a black box to most “common man” as you might say.

    Given that we delegate so much to what governments do, including figuring out what is “toxic mortgage” and how such things ought to be regulated, it seems strange that you want to single out “toxic speech” – including hate speech – as something that is off bounds for governments to regulate.

    Maybe you have some preconceived notions of how “free” you are. But what you see on the Internet, on Google – these are results that reflect (simplistically) speech of web masters (people who control links and web pages) – which are but reflections of market dynamics (what makes money) – and reflections of Google’s taste (it removes what it doesn’t like and these ultimately reflects Google’s profitability, as already revealed in countless court documents) – all of these economic (and legal things) in the background impact our awareness of what is “free” – our awareness of what is “free” is defined by norms and laws set by the government – even if you choose not to see it – or to be ignorant of it.

  4. silentvoice
    May 4th, 2011 at 09:09 | #4

    No offense to the Taiwanese readers, I think Taiwanese media is full of crap. Just take a look at ANY of their variety shows, there’s so much sexual innuendos in there, it’s degenerative.

    Taiwanese news vs Chinese/Japanese news content also big difference. The former includes variety news and ‘bagua’, none of these in CCTV or NHK.

  5. May 4th, 2011 at 11:45 | #5

    Reminds me of a case about 10 years ago where a woman politician was secretly filmed in her apartment by a spycam placed there by her friend having sex with some married man. She tried to block the video from circulating, but some magazine distributed it anyway. I think it was hardcore x-rated material.

    I don’t recall the name of that magazine. They are for anything to make few bucks. NMA – same ilk.

  6. raventhorn2000
    May 4th, 2011 at 14:56 | #6

    My young American friend (who has been to China) was completely shocked, when I told him that the divisive extremist media in US was nothing in comparison to what the Taiwanese media does.

    He didn’t believe me until he went and verified it with an older Taiwanese colleague who had seen the polarization of Taiwanese Media in the last 4 decades.

    US and Taiwan illustrate the case of what happens with “free speech”. The political parties start to own them through businesses, and the speech become chorus of extremists and wing nuts.

    My Taiwanese colleague had a tough time naming even 1 Taiwanese media that was considered to be “neutral”.

    The problem with such “free speech” naturally is that it really does NOT promote any kind of diversity of opinions, nor even new ideas.

    Instead of 100 flowers bloom, they get 2 patches of overgrown weeds.

    What happens when you leave a piece of land unattended? Overgrown weeds, which are usually very good at squeezing out all other vegetations.

    Same thing happens in “free speech”.

  7. May 4th, 2011 at 15:11 | #7

    Great analogy, raventhorn2000.

  8. May 4th, 2011 at 15:54 | #8

    @raventhorn2000,

    I will build on the analogy.

    Censorship is like gardening. Sometimes, you do need to hire a gardener that prunes and churns and turns. Sometimes, depending on the conditions one find, one may not need do anything drastic. A simple trim here and there is all it takes.

    Every country, of course, finds each with different plot of land and goals for their plot. The lands in Asia and the lands in Europe are suited to different crops, for example. Wheat is relatively easy to cultivate. Rice, on the other, requires a lot more labor and water.

    Whether a nation hires an active gardener or a relativelyp passive gardener thus depends on the circumstances of each nation. There is no one rule. Just because one found that a passive gardener works does not mean that an active gardener doesn’t – shouldn’t – work – and vice versa.

    The same is with censorhip.

    Now, just because I’ve said that a government has a right – even duty – to censor does not mean all censorships are good or should be allowed. Just as gardening is an art, so is censoring. Gardening must achieve certain results, so does censoring. If censoring stifles creativity and dynamic intercourse of the populace – then it is not good. Censorship is a tool for building a peaceful, dynamic, and prosperous society. Recognizing that only recognizes it as a tool to and end, not an end in itself.

  9. oMan
    May 4th, 2011 at 17:49 | #9

    “Obama not a terrorist”? Right. And deliberately targeting civilians isn’t terrorism. Guys, your metaphysics is too strange for me. Go ahead and argue about angels on pinheads if you want. But out here in the real world, I am just fine with smoking this dude. And it’s nice that we did it “surgically” with the neighbors scratching their heads about what happened last night. Could easily have been a 20-kt airburst and the nearest survivors somewhere in Islamabad lined up at a burn ward. Next time, it probably will be. Sorry ’bout that.

  10. Rhan
    May 4th, 2011 at 17:51 | #10

    Allen,

    I never have the intention to single out toxic speech, my point is I don’t know the definition of toxic speech, since everyone talk about Taiwan, I agree there is lots of crap and childish talk spout out from almost every layer of Taiwan society but how do we determine which is hate speech? Malaysia and Singapore is the other way round, the various law and act make everyone prefer to shut up because we worry we might cross the border of hate speech, and I don’t think this is something we aspire when nobody want to talk. I do not entirely reject your idea, but I would say education and a proper nurture environment could be a better option, and find out the cause why people resort to hate and toxic speech, or in the context of this article, why some resort to terrorism?

  11. May 5th, 2011 at 01:41 | #11

    @oMan

    Who said “Obama not a terrorist”?

  12. momo
    May 5th, 2011 at 05:46 | #12

    Terrorism was never a threat to Taiwan province – but overnight, a million calls to jihad might have been issued if those smucks had not taken down that video.
    What WERE they thinking? Oh, Obama and US of A achieved a thumping victory when they gunned down Osama.
    Gee, we have to show how attuned to democracy we are!
    Let us show this video that insults the religion and its followers, in whose name Osama claimed to be fighting his war.
    So what, America will sell us weapons to defend ourselves – against the mainland thugs and any other interlopers!
    We have freedom of expression – oh, someone pulled the plug cos (like AWW) we might have crossed the limits and could provoke a LOT of trouble for ourselves.
    Crap. Small island, small minds. No wonder China has to keep them in line. Otherwise World War III could begin across the Straits – and it’s not due to a mainland invasion.

  13. May 5th, 2011 at 06:34 | #13

    Osama is a devil to US/EU, and a saint in Arab world, and vice versa for Obama.

    Both dedicate their lives for what they believe, good or bad.

  14. ed
    May 5th, 2011 at 18:58 | #14

    Tony: If it is about Crusade, shame on religions and the Jews who control the congress and drag us to wars.

    Yikes. No wonder everyone I know loves this site.

  15. May 5th, 2011 at 22:16 | #15

    @Allen
    Will have to borrow this analogy some day.

  16. May 6th, 2011 at 06:39 | #16

    I do think that we should not be bringing in any anti-Semitic (or other racial/ethnic) conspiracy theories in here.

  17. May 6th, 2011 at 08:15 | #17

    On that note, I compare conspiracy theories about Jewish people controlling the government to the “Yellow Peril” line used to defame ethnic Chinese.

    Just because a group of people are successful and influential in a society, does not mean that this group is conspiring in some way.

    *I feel a great deal of sympathies toward the Jewish People. Many of my school friends are Jewish (not necessarily because I feel some stereotypical similarities between Jewish people and Chinese people).

    In terms of geopolitical terms, I think that the influence of the pro-Israel lobby in US is heavy, but only because US invites foreign influences, when it meddles in countless foreign interventions.

    Frankly, pro-Israel lobby would not necessarily wish US to be involved in all the wars in the Middle East. Every time US threatens one of these Middle East countries, their natural impulse is actually to threaten Israel AND US. (For example, Saddam heightened his threats against Israel, when US turned on him).

    As we even see in Libya and Egypt, the locals almost always suspect Israel “spies” whenever something happens (even in democratic “revolutions”).

    And let’s be real, US is pretty much wrapped in its “continuous foreign interventions assembly line”, without much prodding from outside lobbies.

    Israel, as any sovereign nation, has the right to attempt to steer US’s interventions toward its own favor. (As I’m sure China, South Korea, Japan, have also occasionally done. China, for example, used US’s proxy war against USSR in Afghanistan to its own advantage, forcing US to agree to diplomatic concessions, in exchange to secretly shipping arms through Pakistan into Afghanistan.)

  18. May 7th, 2011 at 11:01 | #18

    @Rhan #10,

    I completely agree with you. If people can be educated to a high level of consciousness, the government can afford to do less.

    I do not believe however the people spontaneously will chart a way. Left to themselves, people can be barbaric to each other and do no good for their collective long term future. I fundamentally reject the notion that the Chinese government is somehow doing wrong in molding the modern Chinese society, despite the existence of sporadic resistance here and there within its populace.

    You may be interested my comment in response to one of Assange’s recent interviews.

  19. Rhan
    May 7th, 2011 at 18:51 | #19

    @Allen,

    I understand your point of view, but we are difference on how we experience life. We may have to agree to disagree on each other opinion with open mind. Cheers.

  20. May 8th, 2011 at 03:33 | #20

    @De Wang #5 – I remember this story, it came out when I first lived in Taiwan. The video was of Chu Mei Feng, a minor official who was videoed having sex with a married lover by a friend, who then gave the material to Scoop magazine, which published it in a VCD given away free with the magazine. The friend and the editor of Scoop both ended up serving jail sentences as a result.

  21. xian
    May 8th, 2011 at 16:38 | #21

    NMA is more entertainment than news, and they know it.

  22. Common Tater
    May 8th, 2011 at 23:46 | #22

    raventhorn2000 :
    My young American friend (who has been to China) was completely shocked, when I told him that the divisive extremist media in US was nothing in comparison to what the Taiwanese media does.
    He didn’t believe me until he went and verified it with an older Taiwanese colleague who had seen the polarization of Taiwanese Media in the last 4 decades.
    US and Taiwan illustrate the case of what happens with “free speech”. The political parties start to own them through businesses, and the speech become chorus of extremists and wing nuts.
    My Taiwanese colleague had a tough time naming even 1 Taiwanese media that was considered to be “neutral”.
    The problem with such “free speech” naturally is that it really does NOT promote any kind of diversity of opinions, nor even new ideas.
    Instead of 100 flowers bloom, they get 2 patches of overgrown weeds.
    What happens when you leave a piece of land unattended? Overgrown weeds, which are usually very good at squeezing out all other vegetations.
    Same thing happens in “free speech”.

    That’s human nature. You get loads of crap on the Internet in China, which is close to free speech. Would you have that more controlled that it is?

    And your love for having news being controlled by your government is a bit nauseating. How does that help deal with rampant corruption? How does the incredibly one-sided look at Tibet or Taiwan (for example) help address the issues as they are experienced by the people who live in these places?

    Answer: it doesn’t. Instead of weeds (mixed with flowers and eventually trees) you get a monoculture. Good for some, bad for others.

  23. May 9th, 2011 at 05:39 | #23

    Tater,

    “your love for having news being controlled by your government is a bit nauseating. ”

    News in general is nauseating everywhere. People have too much “love” for 1 sided news, Hence extremism.

    I merely point out the reality of censorship in the world, including in US. I expressed no preference for one type of censorship over another. Only that some people’s denial of censorship in the West is irrational. If that nauseate you, you need to get more accurate news.

    “How does that help deal with rampant corruption? How does the incredibly one-sided look at Tibet or Taiwan (for example) help address the issues as they are experienced by the people who live in these places? ”

    You think News in Taiwan is helping to address the issues, or helping to divide its people?

    “Answer: it doesn’t. Instead of weeds (mixed with flowers and eventually trees) you get a monoculture. Good for some, bad for others.”

    Monoculture? Frankly, your stereotypical perception of China is a product of your “free media”. If People need the news to form their opinions, then it is the death of “freedom” already. Hence, your “free media” brainwashed you into thinking that you need them, and if you are not glued to them, you are not informed. Guess what, you are ill-informed already.

    Extremism in the West shows that People are brainwashed by their corporate controlled media. Your perception of the world is so dependent upon your “news” that reality is wrapped up in stereotypes.

  24. May 10th, 2011 at 08:17 | #24

    On the current “debate”/spat over whether Pakistan was complicit in hiding Bin Laden or merely incompetent:

    I think Pakistan is close to incompetent, but it is merely the reality of chaos in Pakistan. It is poor, largely uneducated in most part of its remote provinces.

    US can regularly incur into Pakistani airspace and conduct military operations on Pakistani soil, Pakistan bearly even notice and hardly ever protest.

    How then, does US expect Pakistan to have effective control to know who’s going in and out and who stayed?

    Pakistan is a Wild West. That’s the reality. It would be foolish to expect Pakistan to know the coming and going of terrorists, or that Pakistan is even close to the capability of US in tracking terrorist movements.

  25. May 10th, 2011 at 23:49 | #25

    @Rhan #1,

    You wrote:

    I am not from legal profession so I honestly don’t know how we could ensure all this laws were not abused. I think being a common man, I prefer not to have law to regulate how I write and speak.

    Recently Time had an interesting article about Osama’s legacy on SE Asia.

    It included this excerpt of an interview with Maria Ressa:

    Are Southeast Asian governments doing enough to prevent more attacks and stop the spread of the ideology?

    What we’ve seen in Southeast Asia is greater cooperation between the governments. When the network was discovered they operated in vertical silos and rarely exchanged information. This has been successful. I see, particularly in Singapore, a single-minded determination and they see this as a virus and they are attacking it.

    The vulnerable point is Indonesia. It’s a vulnerable point because, first, JI has never been declared illegal. Radical groups operate at overt and covert levels. ABB, although he’s in prison, has started a group, JAT – that is continuing to recruit people. The boundaries are fuzzy between radical and moderates. The radicals are still trying to spread the ideology into the moderate mainstream.

    These governments have got to tell people what the danger is. If they don’t tell them they are vulnerable.

    Do you think gov’t should be telling people that Al Quaeda is dangerous or should the people be allowed to judge for themselves? If you think there is a role for gov’t, how strong a role should be allowed? Is that consistent with your comment quoted above?

  26. May 11th, 2011 at 06:17 | #26

    On the stereotype propaganda that China is a “monolithic” society, a “monoculture”:

    People in the West need to get a grip on reality and practicality.

    China, being the ONLY ancient civilization that survived over 4000 years of its own history, survived countless invasions, occupations, infusion of new people, new religions and new philosophies.

    How can such an old civilization possibly survive so long by maintaining a “monoculture”?! How can such an old civilization be called “monoculture”, when so many different things in history survived and flourished in its history?! (Confucian doctrines, Daoism, Buddhism, legalism, etc.)

    The answer is, it didn’t. Name 1 other civilization that survived so long with mixture of so many different things. None comes to mind.

    There lies the fundamental error of the current Western culture, that it assumes that the ONLY way a culture/civilization can survive is through maintaining its core “monoculture”, thus, it assumes that China must be a “monoculture”, because it survived so long. (And because in Western history, infusion of new ideas often led to downfall and disintegration of old societies. The assumption is that the old decays and the new replaces, rather than co-existence and mixing).

    The key to China’s survival was its culture of tolerance, in all level of its society, and a historical tendency to “DE-radicalize” extremism, that is, when adopting new ideas, Chinese society buffers and remove the extremist aspects of new ideas, in order that new ideas would have less conflict with existing ideas.

    For example, China’s adoption of Marxist Communist ideology is an illustration of how a foreign idea is transformed, and DE-radicalized, made less foreign/alien so that it could more easily fit into an existing Chinese framework of culture.

    Some Communist ideas were experimented, such as communes, but quickly abandoned as impractical. Public vs. private ownership were retuned for Chinese society, into “Land for the Tiller” philosophies, instead of harsh total repossession of private property in USSR.

    Even today, China’s experiment with Market Capitalism (with Socialist characteristic) can be said to be a traditional Chinese retuning of new/foreign ideas, DE-radicalizing the extreme aspects of it, so it can be more easily mixed into Chinese culture.

    In Chinese history, virtually all ideas were slowly experimented with, digested, transformed, over 1000’s of years. Even Confucian ideologies at the core of Chinese culture since near the beginning, were interpreted and reintepreted over and over again, to suit changing social conditions (not always successfully).

    This is the Chinese way, the slow digesting and assimilation of new ideas, Instead of the wholesale Bulimic binge swallowing and subsequent vomiting cultural identity crisis of Western history.

    In politics and culture, you are what you assimilate. Slow and methodical chewing is good for the digestion. And Bulimic binge eating is a sign of low-self-esteem.

  27. Rhan
    May 11th, 2011 at 17:51 | #27

    @Allen,

    I think we are talking a different issue, however, I do agree the sentiment and stances sound similar.

    During time of emergency and government apply ISA (detain without trail), most people would think government act in a sensible way. During an era of terrorism, government shall “modify” the law to suit the required needs to deal with terrorist, people would still think government did their job. But to arrest and detain someone who say and write their opinion on issue that seem to go against the government during a relatively “harmony” period, I think not. If we truly want to have such law, then it shall be very specific on how it is used.

    Read a below one ISA detainee dialogue:
    “If I have done anything wrong in the eyes of the country’s law, then charge me in an open court.’
    ‘This law does not require the Government to do that.’
    ‘This is not fair. How can the Government punish without first proving the crime of the accused in an open court?’ I asked.
    ‘We cannot bring these type of cases to court because of national security. But even this – this interrogation – is a sort of court. It is up to you, Mr Kassim, to prove that you are innocent.’
    This is impossible!’ I replied.
    ‘Why impossible?’ asked one of the officers who had so far remained silent.
    ‘How can I prove my innocence to a court that itself accuses me?’
    ‘That is up to you,’ retorted the officer, changing into a harsher tone.‘The decision is yours. If you can convince us you are innocent, you can be free.’ His statement sounded so simple, and yet it was not true.’

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/2496

  28. May 11th, 2011 at 22:48 | #28

    @Rhan #27,

    Sometimes I think we are almost on the same page – sometimes I don’t. But that’s how I feel with most of my law school classmates as well…

    My point was that the government has a role to play to govern / regulate. Of course, I’d also readily concede that a government may mis-govern / mis-regulate (as perhaps your example shows).

    I however fundamentally disagree that there is a “right” to free speech. Speech is not about a personal thing balanced against a societal thing – i.e. if society is peaceful, we can afford more rights, if not, we can’t. Speech to me is a characteristics of society. A society at peace may want more free speech because it creates more dynamism – free speech begets more prosperity. A society not at peace may want less to keep stability.

    Maybe this is only a philosophical difference. But it is a major difference in the sense that I don’t buy it when people merely accuse Chinese gov’t of violating right to free speech when they regulate speech. People may accuse Chinese gov’t of mis-regulating speech to the detriment of Chinese society, but the Chinese gov’t – any gov’t – has a fundamental right, duty – to regulate.

  29. Rhan
    May 12th, 2011 at 04:08 | #29

    @Allen,

    I think we are quite similar, the difference might be on scale and perhaps (1) your articulation skill is much better and (2) I live in a country that have less free speech, therefore emotionally I can’t allow too many concession of my stance as this would go against my struggle here but like I said, rationally I understand what you mean. In short, I am in the opinion that China can afford more free speech (hate speech) now but you don’t, exactly like the TPD horde think China were much better with democracy now while we don’t.

    Being a Malaysian, we know what is hate speech and writing because we hear and read it from time to time (I paste one below and you may delete it later). However, the priority to most of us is still freedom of speech and true democracy in order to break out the vicious circle of racism and extremism. Authoritarian may work in short period but I think the relatively young and educated people would reject it in the long term. The recent Singapore election is one good indication. Point is we just can’t have everything, and most politician is selfish.

    Paste here a comment I copy from a very popular blog in Malaysia:

    “Every culture has its ethnic origin……the gap between the Chinese and the barbarians is as wide as that between men and beasts” Zhang Binglin in his essay “Urgent Words(1903) from Sun Yat-sen by Marie-Claire Bergère, Janet Lloyd. Translated by Janet Lloyd; Stanford University Press, 2000
    ISBN 0804740119, 9780804740111. (Shades of the Middle Kingdom crap…..right?)

    And thus is revealed the primeval motivations that fuelled the founding father’s indefatigable quest. The fabled noble revolutionary who was, in reality, an opportunist marooned in a self made harbour of racial superiority and a hatred for fellow humans. Nothing surprising there , for me at least. For chingkie lovvas and sundry dissolutes focus on Part 2 of the book.. It contains the hallmarks of Chinese opportunism and hypocrisy. A case of shifting sands in shifting times. Then, read the books I have outlined below, look up the meaning of the word pig and surf the links for the whole picture and the esteemed view of the Chingkie of his Malay nemesis. Are you now blind to a chronically diseased soul infected by a weltanschung of extreme racism and turgid xenophobia? Isn’t it time we obliterate this yellow fever from our pristine shores? What say you my brethren? Read on………..

    The Yellow devil scents himself with the fragrance of democracy, meritocracy, equality and justice but beneath that aroma of cheap perfume lurks the stink of an unwashed, putrid soul of a god forsaken beast, the pig. A soul trapped within a flesh that wallows in muck and grows on swill and sewage so much so that the inner self cannot but be besmirched by the outer decadence. Fed on prejudice, gorged on deceit and fattened by duplicity, the chingkie soul cannot but stay true to his essential being. A racist and ethno-supremacist to the core, the chingkie pig oinks out canard after canard to obfuscate his ultimate goal : subjugation and domination. Hence, he bedazzles the gullible through his glib talk, fatous arguments and irascible tomfoolery and with the aid of the zombie chingkie lovvas and sundry scum extends his depraved worldview to an unenlightened rabble. His chubby visage and his sliteyed squint masking the venom of adeepseated hatred ensconced within his rapacious heart. His bacon of lies is cooked to perfection in lards of distortion while his ham of hypocrisy is barbecued evenly over the dissimulating embers of loyalty, the smell of his intellectual offal are masked by the herbs of amity while the reek of his distended loins is overcoated with the sauce of equality. And so he appears to all and sundry as the epitome of the intelligence, hardwork, frugality, business acumen and foresight when beneath his polished exterior skulks a sordid tale of deceit, deception, treachery and cunning.. waiting to be undressed in the space of public opinion. Shielded from the sunlight of reason, the Chinese Supremacist ideology has burrowed itself deep into the bowels of the Chingkie’s mind, lurking, waiting,biding its time to rear its ugly mien and strike with the fiery fury of an uncaged dragon. Be aware……..very aware of the Chingkie for he is apt to sell you a pig in a poke!!

    Post script: My malay brethren, be proud of the fact that you were never a racist but the purveyors of “live and let live”.. . For even in our apogee, we were lorded over by a Malay Sultan of Indian lineage (Muzaffar Shah) and another ruler who married a Chingkie Princess (Mansur Shah) who never deviated from their Malay heritage and Islamic roots….. Come on ye Farisees (Indian) and Azlys and Mericans (Arab), men of dubious Malay lineage who preach rubbish to a zombie rabble…what say you chingkie lovvas to your chingkie paramours now…. Must we be the “ladyboys” who have to kowtow to the chingkie emperor. Go fly a kite with Teo Jijit Thiam and while at it, tell nay help him to wash his arse as well as dettol his mouth before he spits out his shit in these parts……

  30. May 12th, 2011 at 11:53 | #30

    @Rhan,

    Good discussions…

    On a side note, I wonder if you’d agree with this Economist characterization of Malaysia as being relatively Western (it’s an article actually about Malaysia wanting to be the gateway to Western education for Asia).

    ONE corner of a foreign field is becoming for ever England. It is in Johor on the southernmost tip of peninsular Malaysia, opposite Singapore. At a site called Nusajaya, workmen are finishing a new campus of Newcastle University. Nearby foundations are being dug for Southampton University. And down the road Marlborough College, one of England’s most famous public (that is, private) schools, is building a Malaysian campus from scratch. If all goes well, the 900-odd pupils will hardly notice that they are looking out over palm-oil plantations rather than the Wiltshire Downs. Within a few years thousands of students will be enjoying an English education in this steamy bit of Asia.

    “Educity”, as the Johor complex is called, reflects Malaysia’s grand strategy to become a centre for Western education. The country wants to meet strong demand among Asia’s new middle classes for English-language schooling. It also worries about its brain drain (over 300,000 university-educated Malays work abroad). Having watched Asian children flock west to spend a lot of money on British and American schools, the government decided a few years ago to try to reverse the trend. It has campaigned to persuade Western schools and colleges to come and set up branch campuses. The Malaysian proposition to Asian parents is simple and beguiling: come to these famous schools and universities in our country and get the same degrees and qualifications as in Britain or America for half the price.

    Australia’s Monash University was the first to set up shop, followed by Britain’s Nottingham University, in 2005. Other Australian universities followed Monash, and in March the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teamed up with a Malaysian body to create Asia’s first Institute for Supply-Chain Innovation. Johns Hopkins University is expected to set up a medical school. The Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology is already in Educity.

    For these Western institutions, the prize is a toehold in the world’s biggest education market. Many have already gone into partnership with or lent their names to schools and universities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. But this is the first time so many have been persuaded to build replicas of themselves in another country, a more permanent and riskier proposition. They are doing so largely because the Malaysian government is bearing the start-up costs. Educity is spending about $100m on the infrastructure and buildings.

    Yet other factors count as well. Malaysia is a former British colony and English is widely spoken. The country has a superficially Western feel to it—ideal for Westerners studying or teaching in Asia, and for Asians who want to acclimatise to Western culture. Meanwhile, Malaysia cleverly markets itself to the Middle East as a relatively relaxed Islamic country where young Muslims can mix together freely and, for a few years, slip the surly watch of the morality police back home.

    In return for putting up a lot of money, the Malaysian government wants universities to set up faculties in subjects that will be most useful to Malaysia. The University of Southampton, for instance, will only offer degrees in engineering. But the influx of foreign colleges might have more interesting consequences, too. In order to attract foreign universities, the government has had to waive the restrictive and sometimes racist regulations that govern Malaysia’s own universities. In these places, informal quota systems give preference to ethnic Malays in the faculties of sought-after subjects such as law, medicine and engineering. Students are not allowed to join political parties or protest. Now, local students are demanding to know why they should be subject to these archaic rules when the new students are not. Good question.

  31. May 13th, 2011 at 03:05 | #31

    What surprises me, in fact impresses me, is that Obama happily utilizes the word “Kill” in favor of such sanitized, politically correct terms as “eliminate” or “terminate” or “eradicate” or even “execute”. Certainly this must have been intensely argued out in high circles. To me this indicates a certain candidness and honesty and forthrightness in his administration.

    On the other hand the word “assassinate” is strictly verboten. Very, very interesting, no?

    All the best of British luck to you.

    Love the representation of your site, by the way. In the infamous words of our beloved Mr Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back” (if you’ll have me)
    🙂

  32. May 16th, 2011 at 19:48 | #32

    Allen, you say: to the extent Bin Laden is a terrorist, one might label the U.S. to be a terrorist, too. Al Qaeda may have a casual disregard for American life (about 3,000 died in New York), but so do the U.S. have a disregard for Muslim life (110,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, 9,000 civilian death in Afghanistan).

    You my friend, are guilty of “false analogy”. In fact I’d go as far as to say you’re an “analogy terrorist” 😉

    Without entering into a lengthy forensic analysis, here are the major points of difference:

    # Al Qiada INSTIGATED terrorist actions for religious/political purposes.

    # The US Admin RESPONDED militarily, to protect non-military personnel.

    # AQ continues to instigate & remains un-remorseful and vows endless action.

    # The US is and remains, reluctant to continue, unnecessarily.

    # OBL’s group TARGETS indiscriminate murder of as many unarmed civilians as possible.

    # The US TARGETS terrorist groups only and AVOIDS civilians (albeit somewhat unsuccessfully).

    # AQ TARGETS all nationalities (even Muslims), of all ages, in all countries.

    # The Coalition TARGETS ONLY the sources of terrorists hotspots.

    # AQ operates virtually unilaterally to no rules of engagement.

    # The US operates within UN (world body) approved guidelines.

    # AQ utilizes largely militarily untrained personnel and happily “sacrifices” them.

    # The Coalition utilizes only trained military forces, and lovingly “protects” them.

    # AQ’s aim is attention-seeking through mass murder.

    # America’s aim is world order, through policing.

    # AQ’s aim is dictatorial world domination through harsh Sharia law.

    # The US aim is freedom for all men, including Muslims.

    # AQ respects martyrdom through death.

    # America respects the sanctity of life.

    This list is in no way, exhaustive, but I hope shows that your argument compares apples to pine-apples. Great post however, and thanks for letting me share.

  33. May 18th, 2011 at 10:27 | #33
  34. May 18th, 2011 at 19:07 | #34

    To TonyP4 May 4th, 2011 at 07:58 you say:
    “It is not our war as a US citizen from Hong Kong. It is the war between Israel and the Muslim according to the Bible.”

    Not only are you off topic, you are about as wrong as you can be. Without going into a whole spiel, the war around Israel is about ~25% land rights and ~ 75% Shia fundamentalist expansionism (read world domination). The war on terror is essentially 100% about fundamentalist Muslim global domination (spiced up with paranoia about nuclear type armaments) opposed to basic human freedom. Not oil, not arms trade, not democracy, not religion per se.

    Tony, you also say, “Wars destroy lives, our living standard, our economy” no argument there, but please understand, no one in the West REALLY wants this war. It is wholly driven and perpetuated by extreme and only the extreme, Muslim fanatics.

    And I’m sorry, but unless you’d l like to see your great grandchildren grow up oppressed by a brutal Taliban style dictatorship regime, it IS your war too.

    So Paul, no offense intended, but get all your facts right and accurate, and think it through carefully before you post neo-anti-Semitic hearsay to the world.

  35. raventhorn2000
    May 18th, 2011 at 19:40 | #35

    “Without going into a whole spiel, the war around Israel is about ~25% land rights and ~ 75% Shia fundamentalist expansionism (read world domination). The war on terror is essentially 100% about fundamentalist Muslim global domination (spiced up with paranoia about nuclear type armaments) opposed to basic human freedom. Not oil, not arms trade, not democracy, not religion per se.”

    Muslim Global domination (spiced up with paranoia about nuclear type armaments)?

    Considering there about 1 billion Muslims in the world, and they don’t control that many Nukes or other types of WMD’s (compared proportionally), I would think the Muslims are more afraid of the rest of the world.

    Israel alone has more nukes than each of India, China, and Pakistan.

    Seriously, who is dominating who in this world?

    “And I’m sorry, but unless you’d l like to see your great grandchildren grow up oppressed by a brutal Taliban style dictatorship regime, it IS your war too.”

    I thought you just said it’s not about “democracy” or “basic human freedom”?

  36. May 18th, 2011 at 22:22 | #36

    @Mr. Lifequotes #32m

    Thanks for the firm but respectful push back. I will try to respond in kind – although if my response appears terse, it’s due to the format of our discourse on a blog (some of these topics can take volumes of books to settle) and not any snippy attitude on my part.

    First let me start from your last point.

    # America respects the sanctity of life.

    I tend to not view the world through moralist perspectives, which can too easily corrupt. When thieves steal, they almost always have a good excuse. When people murder, they have a good reason. Thus, the crusade probably seem just for those who perpetrated mass killings in the name of God. The U.S., too, will kill to fight for its values, its ways of life – and has – as currently in the “War against Terror.” America’s respect for life is thus at most limited and qualified – reserved for itself and its friends – damn all others.

    Samuel Huntington has written: “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.” Ordinary Americans may cherish life. But on the international stage, I am not sure if that’s defensible.

    You also wrote, taken slightly out of order:

    # Al Qiada INSTIGATED terrorist actions for religious/political purposes.

    # AQ continues to instigate & remains un-remorseful and vows endless action.

    # OBL’s group TARGETS indiscriminate murder of as many unarmed civilians as possible.

    # AQ TARGETS all nationalities (even Muslims), of all ages, in all countries.

    # AQ operates virtually unilaterally to no rules of engagement.

    I am not sure where you are going with this. From AQ’s perspective, the whole of muslim world has been under attack by the U.S. The U.S. supports – financially and militarily – dictators across the Middle East that are unpopular. The U.S. is the reason Israel exists – or at least the reason Israel oppresses Muslims from such a position of strength. Given the vast shadow the U.S. military casts around the world (see YinYang’s posts here and here) – and taking into account the nuclear imbalance of the West against the Muslims, it’s amazing ordinary Muslims are on the average so moderate politically in general.

    When you are so powerful, you can demand certain ways of fighting – certain “civilized” ways of engagement. But the weak cannot fight that way and still has a right to resist and fight, too. Remember how the American colonists fought the British – by guerrilla warfare. Very uncivilized and ignoble? Try to look at things from the realist (not moralist) perspective, terrorism is really just a sort of asymmetric warfare forced by the weak to level the playing field a bit.

    You wrote:

    # The US Admin RESPONDED militarily, to protect non-military personnel.

    # The US is and remains, reluctant to continue, unnecessarily.

    # The US TARGETS terrorist groups only and AVOIDS civilians (albeit somewhat unsuccessfully).

    # The Coalition TARGETS ONLY the sources of terrorists hotspots.

    The term “terrorists” have no meaning in my books as one person’s terrorist is another freedom fighter. As for civilian deaths, facts – to which I referenced plenty in my post – speak louder than sermons.

    # AQ utilizes largely militarily untrained personnel and happily “sacrifices” them.

    # AQ respects martyrdom through death.

    # The Coalition utilizes only trained military forces, and lovingly “protects” them.

    Some may argue that at least AQ fight with valor, with conviction for their true beliefs while the West fights like sissies, fighting with robotic toys. Professional military is but another name for hired mercenaries to fight rich men’s wars.

    # AQ’s aim is attention-seeking through mass murder.

    # The US operates within UN (world body) approved guidelines.

    Many would argue U.S. is the mass murderer, not only in fact, but also through the large shadow of threat imposed by its large nuclear, chemical, biological stockpiles.

    I remember a case we studied once in law school about rape. A guy walks into an elevator with a girl. During transit, the guy stopped the elevator, smiled, took off his jacket, grabbed the girl by her wrist and nibbled on the girl’s neck, then asked the girl to take off her dress, after which he promptly had intercourse with her. Afterwards, he was charged with rape even though there was no sign of physical resistance.

    Sometimes, just because others go along with what you say – the girl in the elevator, weaker nations formally in the U.N. for example – the actions may not be consensual, especially when you exert real palpable dominion and threat over another.

    # America’s aim is world order, through policing.

    An order that many feel is unjust.

    # AQ’s aim is dictatorial world domination through harsh Sharia law.

    # The US aim is freedom for all men, including Muslims.

    U.S. law can be pretty harsh, creating a land for example with the highest prison per capita.

    Mr. Lifequotes, I have no problem if someone says support America and be done with it. That would at least be honest. Trying to say, support America because America is good, is righteous, is godly, is on the right side of history – that I have problem.

    Again, I truly think a moralist perspective of the world can easily blind and bias one’s perspective. Americans really ought to try less to impose its sense of right and wrong on others. The world can take care of itself just fine without its unwelcoming sermons, meddling and interferences.

  37. May 20th, 2011 at 12:49 | #37

    To raventhorn2000, May 18th, 2011 at 19:40 | #35

    Thanks for your reply, Raventhorn.

    1. The deposition of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was essentially about fear of nuclear type armaments, et al WMD in irresponsible hands. As a by-product, George W Bush envisaged a more democratic Arab world. We shall soon see that while this is a step in the right direction, it is NOT the correct answer.

    2. You are right Muslims ARE afraid of the rest of the world. The world at large is in a state of mass paranoia. Radical fear drives radical action.

    3. Only a handful of personnel are aware of the nuclear capability of Israel. You comment is conjecture only. Understand, Israel is NOT a rogue regime. Even if its destructive capacity exceeds any nation in the world today, it has not even once threatened its use of it.

    4. Israel was born out of the Nazi holocaust WWII. Its military might is driven by an intense sense of survival commensurate with a non-repetition of this form of atrocity. Its positioning in a continuing hostile neighborhood environment exacerbates its obsession with its self defense. Despite the propaganda to the contrary, it has NO expansionist charter. It is a tired and reluctant participant in wars that are thrust upon IT.

    In summing up, peace in the region can only come about by the genuine renuncification of its edict of the destruction of the state of Israel by its hostile neighbors – which won’t happen. America and the UN fail to comprehend this. A barrage of other confusing details and obstructions are brought up to complicate this situation but the basics are these.

    If Israel were to lay down its arms, that would be the end of Israel.
    If the Arabs were to lay down their arms, that would be the end of war.

    Hope this helps clear some misconceptions.

    An amazing Blog Allen, BTW

  38. May 20th, 2011 at 13:02 | #38

    To Allen, May 18th, 2011 at 22:22 | #36

    May I respond to you at length later, when time permits?

    I’m a quotes man, so may I quote a Shakespeare line to you from Hamlet?

    “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

  39. May 20th, 2011 at 13:26 | #39

    @Mr. Lifequotes #38,

    Please respond here or in other threads whenever time permits. This is one of the key advantages of having blogs – for you and me, who may never meet, and who may be otherwise too preoccupied, to have a substantive discussion anyways.

    I really like your site. Where wisdom and poetry mix, truth emerges…

    For today, this quote really resonated with me:

    The reason we have two ears and only one mouth, is that we may hear more and speak less.

    Cheers!

  40. wwww1234
    May 21st, 2011 at 10:39 | #40
  41. May 23rd, 2011 at 07:09 | #41

    Mr. Lifequotes,

    “1. The deposition of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was essentially about fear of nuclear type armaments, et al WMD in irresponsible hands. As a by-product, George W Bush envisaged a more democratic Arab world. We shall soon see that while this is a step in the right direction, it is NOT the correct answer.”

    Who’s “irresponsible hands”? Who would be RESPONSIBLE hands? People approved by US? Seems George W Bush is pretty irresponsible according to your definition.

    “2. You are right Muslims ARE afraid of the rest of the world. The world at large is in a state of mass paranoia. Radical fear drives radical action.”

    And your solution is to radicalize the Muslims even more, until they give up?

    “3. Only a handful of personnel are aware of the nuclear capability of Israel. You comment is conjecture only. Understand, Israel is NOT a rogue regime. Even if its destructive capacity exceeds any nation in the world today, it has not even once threatened its use of it.”

    British and US press pretty much all confirmed it. Israel officially threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear facility, which would result in an equivalent “dirty bomb”. (No one said Israel is a “rogue nation” here, just Israel has more bombs than MOST nations on earth.)

    “4. Israel was born out of the Nazi holocaust WWII. Its military might is driven by an intense sense of survival commensurate with a non-repetition of this form of atrocity. Its positioning in a continuing hostile neighborhood environment exacerbates its obsession with its self defense. Despite the propaganda to the contrary, it has NO expansionist charter. It is a tired and reluctant participant in wars that are thrust upon IT.”

    I do not doubt any nation’s right to self-defense. I merely point out Israel has MORE NUKES than all of its neighbors combined. (And aren’t your forgetting that Israel is still refusing to return to its 1969 border?)

    “In summing up, peace in the region can only come about by the genuine renuncification of its edict of the destruction of the state of Israel by its hostile neighbors – which won’t happen. America and the UN fail to comprehend this. A barrage of other confusing details and obstructions are brought up to complicate this situation but the basics are these.

    If Israel were to lay down its arms, that would be the end of Israel.
    If the Arabs were to lay down their arms, that would be the end of war.”

    Your predictions won’t comfort Muslims’ fear, nor your own. FACT, Muslims have disproportionally less WMD’s than the West and Israel. Thus, I don’t know why you continue to justify that somehow your fears are more justified than theirs.

  42. May 23rd, 2011 at 22:40 | #42

    @Raventhorn2

    I like you. You’re so homo sapien. Think more like a robot, dude.

    Like so many others, presidents and prime ministers included, you’re taking an already unsolvable, near black & white problem and complicating the basics to utter obscurity. (I feel like Sheldon in “Big Bang Theory”)

    Here are are the issues you’ve fossicked:
    # Responsible use of WMDs
    # Needless radicalization of Muslims
    # Israel’s threat to destroy Iran’s nuclear potential
    # The race for further quantities of existing WMD
    # Occupied territories within Israel

    No amount of argument along any of these lines will (or can) do even the slightest thing to bring peace to the region. Do you or do not agree that is THE goal? If so, we need to look at these 4 simple but essential issues, exclusively.

    # The right of faith
    # The right of recognition
    # The right of non-aggression
    # The right of homeland

    If both parties would truly and sincerely abide by these fundamental principles, peace would instantly “break out.” But it wont, because they wont. Short of miraculous divine intervention, it will NEVER happen. So we have ever faster spiraling of tit-for-tat violence, like water down the plughole.

    “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.” . . John F. Kennedy

  43. May 23rd, 2011 at 22:48 | #43

    @ Allen,

    Did I ever mention to you BTW, that I think this is one helluva site? I never comment in blogs. Funny huh? 😉

  44. raventhorn2000
    May 24th, 2011 at 05:22 | #44

    “If both parties would truly and sincerely abide by these fundamental principles, peace would instantly “break out.” But it wont, because they wont. Short of miraculous divine intervention, it will NEVER happen. So we have ever faster spiraling of tit-for-tat violence, like water down the plughole. ”

    That might be your prediction of inevitability, but that does not mean that your “blame theory” based upon your fear of Muslims is rational to start with.

  45. Rhan
    May 24th, 2011 at 23:50 | #45

    @Allen #30

    “On a side note, I wonder if you’d agree with this Economist characterization of Malaysia as being relatively Western.”

    I actually find this question a tough one. I don’t know exactly what “western” suppose to mean, my comment is largely base on Chinese Malaysian perspective.

    Malaysia as mentioned in the articles was a former British colony, our political system closely modeled the Westminster parliamentary system, our law is mainly based on common law, English are widely use in commercial and education. The entire attire and fashion, entertainment variety, building architecture and transport system, food and restaurant, tv and radio program, gambling and betting centre including horse race and casino, economy policy, finance and accounting regulation and standard, engineering, medical and most professional accredit system are more or less “westernize”. But if we observe closely, in fact there is not much dissimilarity between Malaysia with Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and I dare said China is today pretty ‘westernize’, the only difference might be China is relatively monolithic and monolingual while some Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Konger are multilingual.

    However from a micro perspective, the ‘non-westernize’ element do exist in Malaysia society indicate that there is aspect of diversity, our education system allow multi language stream start at primary level, and therefore there are many Malaysian that is bilingual and trilingual. And similar to Taiwan, some Chinese Malaysian preserve the many custom and practice brought along from the homeland, and due to the fact that most were migrated from the southern part of China and mostly are from the laboring class, I have the impression that Chinese Malaysian are indigenous and lack elitist in both outlook and attitude, especially among us that went through the Chinese education system, we were more tolerance and inclusive, I think not only we prefer the secular state of mind, we are also not that persistence to claim that secular mode is the best and wish to impose this values into everyone.

    Due to the historical fact of UK and US hegemony in the past two century, and Singapore succeed to uplift it status to become a develop and progress society via a western model that give emphasis to English language (Singapore closed down Nantah, the only Chinese medium university in this region), it is inevitable that most would believe that advance and decent living standard synonymous to everything ‘western’, thus to further study and to acquire knowledge from the ‘west’ is the best means to transform ourselves from the lower class to an upper class, in this context in term of mindset, I don’t see much difference between the Chinese Malaysian and the many commentators here that are mostly Western educated, hence the set up of the foreign university (mostly Western) branch is to fulfill our dream to get out from the muddy past and hardship, though in my view the policy is purely commercial and to satisfy our thirst of opportunity to become “westernize”. Ironic isn’t it?

    Generally I think Malaysia is similar to most country in the world whereby the society is segregated into conservative and ‘westernize’, the conservative wish to preserve a certain conventional ways of life but reality make the yearning a bit impractical. This is why I often perceive that you peoples are doing a good job here by promoting a different set of worldview and values, but fact remains that China and Asia still have a long way to catch up.

  46. wwww1234
    May 25th, 2011 at 02:52 | #46

    modernized vs westernized.
    Many would argue Japanese is not that westernized. I would think one major determinant is where one picks the balance point of collectivism and individualism. Or perhaps a balance of equality(fraternity) vs individual freedom.

    A chinese friend teaching in Japan tells me, most Japanese dont know a second language, and the university library does not contain that many books on various ancient or modern thoughts.
    China being monolithic? Most would say Chinese are agnostic or multi-lithic at the extreme if buddhism as counted as a chinese belief. Chinese Buddhism as practised is more a formality of ancestor worship. We are busy enough with a behavioural code for this present life to not be preoccupied with any next life.

  47. June 5th, 2011 at 12:05 | #47

    This may be of interest to some:

    Conspiracy Theories: Let’s look at Osama bin Laden
    http://www.bearcanada.com/fae/usa/conspiracytheories.html

    Washington Still Working Hard to Plug Gaps in the Bin Laden Assassination Story
    http://www.bearcanada.com/fae/usa/binladen.html

  48. melektaus
    September 16th, 2011 at 13:43 | #48

    The number of Iraqis killed from the Iraq war is actually 1.5 million (which you’ll almost never hear about) most of which are civilians. The 110,000 number is a number by the Iraq Body Count which only counts reported deaths in the western media. Most deaths are buried quickly in the Islamic world even in war. The standard way to measure deaths any conflict is through surveying by epidemiologists. That is basically how the 1.5 million number was obtained (extrapolating Lancet and ORB published studies) .

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