Sunday, September 23, 2012
By: Choo Sing Chye
'‘Learning Logic will do politicians more good than harm'’, said one professor from my university. ‘I don’t understand,'’ one student chipped in, "you mean that politicians should acquire knowledge on Logic or us."
'‘You,’' replied the professor. ‘'You are all going into the world as journalists and politicians. Therefore you need to study Logic so that you know precisely what you are speaking about, and precisely what you are saying about."
'‘Precision is the first fruit of the study of Logic and precision will sharpen your statements, and add points and force to your arguments correctly.
'‘Lack of it, shows itself in the 'deficiency disease' of the mind i.e. vagueness, woolliness of expression and feeble grip of the matter at hand.
‘'Remember this, Logic at its lower levels blends with grammar and at its height, merges in philosophy.'’
So true, look at the arguments of our local politicians and the writings of the Barisan Nasional leaning columnists and journalists and compare them to the West. You will be the judge.
Datuk Seri Nazri, as man with a vast legal knowledge and what’s more, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, you should have known better.
Legally, the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet is a QUESTION and Logically, it is also a QUESTION and not a PROPOSITION.
So, like any other questions, they end with a question-mark (?). Therefore, there is nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing can be deduced beyond the question-mark be attributed to Ngeh.
If there is any deduction made, it should be rightly belongs to the person or persons who made it. In this case, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaludin and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Datuk Seri Nazri, now let’s us use Logic to evaluate Ngeh’s tweet which sound as follows, ‘Khairy wants Muslim protest against Same Bacile. For Islam or for his political gains? Are Muslims wasting to much time and energy on this?’
Imperatively in Logic, we must first find out whether or not the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet is a Propositional sentence. For a sentence to be considered as a Proposition, it should be capable of being true or false.
In Logic, all Propositions are sentences, but not all sentences are Propositions. Ejaculations, exclamations, prayers, wishes, commands, and questions are not Propositions.
Unmistakably, the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet comes in a form of a question. It is easy to find out – a question-mark at the end of sentence means it is a question.
Therefore it automatically disqualifies Ngeh’s sentence as Propositional and rendering it without the tendency or capacity of being true ( positive) or false (negative).
In other words, Ngeh’s tweet question does not contain any element of falsity or truth.
It is waiting for an answer that contains both these two elements from whom ever wish to ANSWER. Period/Fullstop
Given that Ngeh’s tweet is not a Proposition, but a Question, we must be sincere to treat it as one.
Datuk Seri Nazri, let’s take a few steps further and examine the controversial part of Ngeh’s tweet in a more PRECISE manner.
When you call for the police to investigate Ngeh’s tweet, you must be on solid ground.
Are you on solid ground? No, my dear Datuk Seri Nazri! Here is the reason why?
You would be on solid ground on this one condition only.
If Ngeh had included just a tiny negative three letter words ‘not’ in his controversial tweet, even it is posted in his tweet as a question, Ngeh would be guilty as hell.
Now look at his tweet carefully, this time with a NOT inserted:
'‘Are Muslims NOT wasting too much time and energy on this?'’
Well, this is like saying that Muslims are wasting time and energy even it is intended as a Question.
Lastly, Datuk Seri Nazri, if you can see the difference between the two sentences, you would agree with me that you have made a mistake on Ngeh's tweet. If you don’t, I have nothing else to say - I rest my case.
But, remember, journalists, editors from BBC, CNN and other Media from the West are watching…..please don’t surprise them…..
The recent yoga issue has brought back fond memories from my childhood days. In those days when our parents were dirt poor, the ultimate fun was to spend a day frolicking in the Kinta River with friends. And all these cost us nothing but a very sored-throat from all the yelling and shouting. It was all worth it.
Mandi safar to us (non-Malays) meant a license from our parents to play in the river because we were taken care off by the Malay families with whom we had tacked along – it was undulterated fun.
Mandi safar was a family event then, and at the end of the day, heavy our hearts were, as the fun ended, we would all collect sayur paku for our favourite dish – sayur paku sambal as a last leg of our day at the Kinta River.
The meaning of mandi safar meant little to us, 8 – 10 year old boys and in any case we were too young to have acculmulated enough sins to have an end to end cleansing in the river. Apart from mandi safar, my Malay and Indian friends would go the river to swim during the school holidays.
One year it all ended. There were no more calls from my two Malay neighbours – "Jom mandi safar."
In the subsequent years our "jom, mandi sungei" were greeted with "mak, marah."
Later we found out the real reason and we removed mandi safar and mandi sungei from our intinerary of fun.
My Malay friends still response to our other calls – "jom main layang-layang or jom coun-da-coun-di (Indian game)…."
As we recall, mandi safar (Hindu ritual of sin cleansing) was just a poor man picnic and we had no idea of the religious reason attached to mandi safar.
(mandi safar, sungei, coun-da-coun-di are spelled according to sound spoken)
Monday, September 17, 2012
By: Choo Sing Chye
I am pleased to hear that the Penang Pakatan Rakyat state executive council had decided to set up a high powered executive committee to probe into the sale of some 4,000 acres of prime land made under the Barisan Nasional administration to be headed by you.
This, I hope would provide an accurate account of what actually went on during the long BN’s tenure of the Penang State Government.
But anyway, I wondered if you would take a second look at one scandal happened 18 years ago. And without doubt, this scandal would have made good Hollywood script.
During my work-visit to Penang in 1994 with the late P. Patto, to help out with the first Suara Tanjung 3 issue, I wrote the front page article, RM300,000 For Top BN Politician which was at that time the hottest corruption scandal in Penang.
RM300,000 for Top BN Politician
DAP Assemblyman for Datuk Keramat, K. Balasundram, caused a stir in the recent Penang State Assembly meeting on 1st June 1994 when he touched on an alleged RM300.000 armed robbery carried out by an office-boy-cum-director of a company said to be owned by a former Penang tycoon, an undischarged bankrupt.
This sum of money was meant as a pay-off for a top Barisan Nasional government politician in the Penang State Government..
Revealing further the mystery surrounding this armed robbery, Balasundram said that the robbery itself was only reported to the police six days later on 26th May. Apparently, the victim was prevented from making any police report on the robbery.
At this point, the Speaker of the Penang State Assembly, Dato' Abdul Rahman Abbas, knowing what Balasundram was driving at, tried to prevent him from speaking further on the matter but, failed.
Balasundram stubbornly stood his ground and revealed further that this incident was connected to an application for an excision of a 13.11 acres hill property to a non hill land so that it would be developed like any other land.
(Note: Any land which is more than 250 feet above sea-level is considered as hill land and therefore comes under the purview of the Conservation Act.)
In his speech, K. Balasundram demanded:
"The Penang State Government must establish a committee of enquiry headed by former Supreme Court judges, like either Tan Sri Chang Min Tatt or Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, to investigate into this case since it is said to involve a top politician in the government. This is to clear the good name of the government."
Immediately after Balasundram had completed his speech on the above matter, the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, who is also the Chairman of the State Land Committee, jumped to his feet, although Bala did not mention the name of the politician for whom the RM300,000 was meant for.
Dr. Ibrahim declared in the House that the matter would be investigated thoroughly. And he even assured Balasundram that the State Government would allow him to sit in this enquiry committee if he so wished.
The next day, 2nd June, the Opposition Leader, Lim Kit Siang, again raised this matter which was still surrounded in mystery. Kit Siang shocked the House when he revealed the name of the top BN government politician.
Normally one would challenge Kit Siang to repeat the accusation outside the House but the Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, anticipating trouble for the Barisan Nasional government, quickly cut in to declare that the State Government would establish a one-man enquiry committee by him and that he would investigate the matter. And that if anyone was not satisfied with his investigation, then the matter could be brought up in the House.
Kit Siang and Dr. Koh had a heated debate on this matter with Dr. Koh maintaining that he, and he alone, will investigate. Kit Siang insisted that it must be investigated by a Committee of House which should not be headed by him (Dr Koh) alone.
Following this heated furore over the RM300,000 alleged pay-off, the DAP Assemblyman for Pengkalan Kota, Chow Kon Yeow, moved an amendment to the Motion of Thanks. The amendment was to include the setting up of an Enquiry Committee headed by the Speaker - Dato' Abdul Rahman Abbas, the Chief Minister - Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Opposition Leader - Lim Kit Siang, State EXCO Member - Dr. Helmy and K. Balasundram with the powers to subpoena any person or body of persons, to investigate the RM300,000 pay-off scandal.
However, this amendment was thrown out by the Speaker.
It would appear that neither the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, nor the Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, is genuinely interested in getting down to the root of this scandal although it has been explicitly said to involve a top BN politician in the House.
What had become of this case? Had there ever any investigation done by Dr. Koh Tsu Koon into the alleged bribe.
Although this scandal is beyond the committee scope of investigation, I sincerely hope that you would take a second look at this alleged corruption as you can now access into the 1994 minutes or records of Dr. Koh Tsu Koon's lone investigation.
I have read the 3 comments in the Malaysia Today - it is not the RM 300,000 - it's small feed, but the name of the person involved will surprise you.