A Clean Assembly – Part One

I am not a lawyer.

I have never disputed the right to assemble by any one person or by a group. What I have been disputing is the fact that some uninformed or misinformed individuals have been abusing Article (10) of the Federal Constitution, as well as Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to assemble. To me, BERSIH on its own could have been well-received had it not been for its association with political parties representing the opposition, and a series of threats to public order made by its organisers added to the imbroglio.

Now, what went wrong, if any did at all?

Ambiga declared the march to be held on 9th July 2011. What should have (did it, I wouldn’t know) followed is the application for a rally permit, venue, route to be taken if there is a need to march, and so on. One must remember, the right to assemble is provided for in Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. However, if you were to read that particular paragraph carefully, it begins like this:

Subject to clauses (2), (3) and (4), everyone has the right to freedom of speech and expression; have the right to assemble without arms; and the right to form associations. Clauses (2), (3) and (4) of the Article provides the limitations to those rights: they must not be a threat to national security, public order, public moral and public health.

Based on these limitations, the police, in the spirit of the law, should award the permit based on the details given by the permit applicant. Any dispute, then the applicant should take it to the courts for a judicial review, in which the court will then hear out the pros and cons of having the rally. In the US, two tests are applied to this stage of process: the Clear and Present Danger test; and the Incitement test.

The court will then find a remedy (a compromise if you must) on the matter. If judgement is made to allow the rally to go on, then the organisers would have to provide marshalls, routes, rules to be followed and so on. This matter should have been handled as per the recommendation for the Red Lion Square disorder of 1974 by Lord Justice Scarman. He said:

‘…’The right (to demonstrate) of course exists, subject only to limits required by the need for good order and the passage of traffic…’

Did the organisers of the march take the police’s objection to court? The answer as we all know is a simple but deafening NO.

OR-CARE! Part 2

Engkorang mesti ingat aku dah hilang pening aku dengan OR-CARE!. Siapa yang tak tahu siapa atau apa tu, pergi baca dulu yang tu, baru baca balik yang ni.

OR-CARE ni ada perangai pelik. Kadang-kadang dia bertudung, kadang-kadang dia tak bertudung. Ikut suka hati dia. Pagi semalam, bini aku turun ke toilet bawah pukul 6 pagi, OR-CARE ada kat dalam tu…BERTUDUNG PENUH! Aku tak faham yang tu. Kenapa kena bertudung bila dalam bilik air. Engkorang ingat yang tu pelik? Kadang-kadang dia duduk kat luar rumah pun pakai tudung jugak. Apa nak hairan? DIA PAKAI TUDUNG TAPI SELUAR DIA PENDEK! Aku kengkadang reverse kereta takut accident sebab takut ketawa terbahak-bahak tengok dia lepas tu langgar kereta orang! Kadang-kadang tu dia duduk kat luar langsung tak bertudung. Tapi tidur nanti BERTUDUNG PENUH! Korang pikir la!

Dia masih lagi bercakap dalam bahasa alien dia. Aku sampai ke sudah tak faham apa yang dia cakap, atau sama ada dia sedang bercakap dengan aku atau dengan orang lain, atau dia bercakap sorang-sorang. Banyak kali aku terkena bila ke dapur dia terus bersuara, padahal batang hidung pun tak nampak sebab aku di dry kitchen, dia di wet kitchen. Bila aku tanya apa dia yang dia cuba nak sampaikan, dia akan cakap tak berhenti dalam bahasa alien dia. Aku dah belah nak naik ke bilik pun aku dengar dia bercakap lagi dalam nada yang sama, seolah-olah aku masih ada tercegat kat situ nak dengar apa dia cakap.

Tadi lepas makan malam, aku ke dapur nak basuh tangan. Kebetulan dia tengah basuh pinggan. Jadi aku pun beritahu la dia aku nak basuh tangan. Dia nampak tangan aku penuh dengan bekas makanan. Dia pun ketepi nak kasi aku laluan. Aku baru je nak letak tangan aku, DIA TUTUP PAIP AIR TU! KEJADAHNYA?

Satu lagi yang aku pening, bila aku balik dari buat groceries, buka je pintu fridge tu, mesti penuh. Especially kat freezer. Benda tak banyak. Tapi dia akan susun semua benda sebelah-menyebelah. Kalau ada 5 bungkus burger kat dalam freezer tu, dia susun semua bungkusan tu sebelah-menyebelah. Bukannya stack atas bawah. Sebab tu bila tanya dia kalau barang ada lagi ke tidak, dia akan jawab fridge tu penuh lagi dengan barang makanan. Hakikatnya, barang dah nak habis atau dah habis pun.

Dalam the first posting pasal dia, aku dah sebut dia tak reti baca. Itu aku dah boleh accept. Tapi sampai tak kenal rupa bungkusan tu dengan warna lain-lain, rupa lain-lain, itu satu lagi yang aku tak faham. Kawan kitorang, Spena, bawak Durian Pancake dari Medan. Kitorang simpan dalam fridge. Benda tu dalam kotak plastik siap berbungkus dengan kertas, memang tak nak orang bukak sebab kitorang nak melantak. Dalam fridge tu ada popiah berbungkus jugak.

Satu petang, dia nak goreng popiah. Dia ambik bungkusan durian pancake tu, buka, dan GORENG KESEMUANYA! Yang bestnya, dia pernah goreng popiah dari bungkusan popiah tu. So, aku tak faham kenapa dia tak ambik bungkusan popiah yang lain gila rupanya, dan yang dia pernah buka, untuk goreng? So, dia goreng la durian pancake! Bila anak aku tegur kata itu durian pancake, dia kata,

“Bukan! Ini popiah sudah mau basi jadi mesti dihabiskan cepat.”

Anak aku kata semerbak bau durian, tapi dia masukkan kesemua durian pancake tu ke dalam kuali.

Dia bawak la benda tu ke depan. Bini aku tak tau nak mengamuk ke, nak menangis ke, atau nak ketawa. Aku pun pegang la satu…aku tengok ada bintik-bintik hijau kat durian pancake goreng tu. Aku ingatkan daun sup. Rupanya, kertas wrapper pancake tu yang ada bintik bunga hijau halus. DIA GORENG DENGAN WRAPPER SEKALI!

So, aku harap engkorang faham la kenapa aku masih pening dengan si OR-CARE ni.


Busy Busy

My apologies for not being able to update as often as I would like to. We’re currently rigging down at this present field before moving for our next drilling campaign.

On top of that I have been busy preparing the post-campaign reports, and have been entasked with preparing the whole office tower for its maiden fire drill – and it is not easy trying to get the cooperation of the various subsidiaries. I can imagine the nightmare the 900-odd workers will cause this Friday.

I already have something in mind to write, and I promise I will write on that as soon as I am able to.

In the meantime, this is my next worry.

A Handwritten Legacy

Here I am, 34,000 feet above sea level traversing the breadth of the South China Sea, trying to type my thoughts to update a blog that has seen a dearth of ideas (and not to mention, postings). Every morning I would wake up with new things to be written; things that would have no relation whatsoever to what I had thought of writing just before I fell asleep the night before. Throughout each day I would be bombarded with more and more ideas, but one would take precedence over the past one as the hour progressed; in the end, I ended up not writing anything.

It is the final day of the month of June 2011 when I am “penning” these thoughts. In nine days, I would be celebrating my 45th birthday, and again I would be thinking about the achievements (or lack thereof) of the past year. Every year since the birth of this blog, I would reminisce and write about the things (often good ones) that have occurred over the past year. Perhaps, this year I would try to digress, if a little, and do something entirely different.
Should I talk about my wife? Or should I talk about my kids? Perhaps I should write something about my job? Perhaps I should write on something that would be the focal point where all these would overlap.

Being 45 means I would have gone way past the half-life of the average life expectancy of modern man – 69, according to UN estimates. Half a century ago I would have been in my twilight years as the global average was 52. Since I turned 40, I have been religiously (save for 2008) going for my twice-yearly full medical screening, not for myself, but for my family, for the job that I have, for good friends whose company I enjoy having, for those whose job rely on how I deal with them in order for them to survive hitch after hitch offshore. At 45, most would be looking forward to retirement; I cannot afford to do so. I will have to try somehow to make myself useful until I am at least 60 years old. I am struggling to lose weight; diet alone would not help, or so people kept telling me, but with two busted ankles, metatarsals on both feet, previously dislocated shoulders have contributed to my current state of weight, and deny me the ability to go to the gym to run on treadmills and lift weights – hence my motto: “No Pain, No Pain.”

But I do take lots of precautionary measures: I down a tablespoonful of pure virgin olive oil every morning before work and at least a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to help my body system; with clear tumour markers bearing negative results, a total cholesterol level of 4.2, and fasting serum sugar of 5.4mmol/l. On top of that the stress-echo test revealed that my heart’s in good condition still.

“…my birthday resolution is to write out my blog entries, have a photo taken of each posting, before I type them out again for them to be posted here…”

As I approach 45, I noticed that my handwriting has gotten worse. Even my signature nowadays looks like a miserable attempt by someone else to forge it, no thanks in part to computers: typing things out have made writing almost redundant. Therefore, my birthday resolution is to write out my blog entries, have a photo taken of each posting, before I type them out again for them to be posted here. I still have the Starbucks organiser for 2010 that my wife gave me (I’m still using the 2009 one), and I will fill that up with my blog postings before I switch to Moleskin ® notebooks.

I’ll call them, my “handwritten legacy.” At least one day after I am gone, my loved ones can look at them and imagine when I wrote each and every entry.

Yes, they would make excellent legacy.