In international journalism, I am willing to say the single most tired Southeast Asian reporting cliche is that of DURIAN, THE FREAK SHOW FRUIT. In this @nytimes piece, “occasional disappointment” turns out to be a meta remark about the article, not the fruit. Thread:
This example of old-school worldly dispatch reported as a magazine-style feature immediately makes it extremely clear it only wants to paint the story's setting in ~*~exotic~*~ terms: Tropical Sun, Sticky Sweet Fruit, Peculiar Cultural Habits Of These Strange Peoples.
By my count, this is over 1,100 words long. Proper feature. So @hkbeech sets the scene, detailing a circus of SEA fruit oddities: rambutan ("hairy thing" in Malay!), langsat ("worth it, but only just"), jackfruit ("rubbery", "complicated"), dragonfruit ("bland mush") ...
Let’s think about it. The government movement control order applies to every Malaysian. For there to be 5% of Malaysians not complying, we would somehow be seeing *1,630,000* Malaysians out on the streets.
That’s close to the entire population of Ipoh, JB and Seremban COMBINED.
If you live in an apartment with 1000 units (5 units per floor, 20 floors, 10 blocks) averaging say 4 people living per unit:
200 of your neighbors would need to go out and flout the MCO for there to be 95% compliance. Does that make sense to you? Are these your neighbors?
5% of Malaysians flouting the MCO means one in every twenty Malaysians.
Put it this way: you probably know twenty Malaysians. If you can confirm nineteen of them are staying at home, YOU would have to be the one going out for this number to make sense.
Given Dr M made it clear in his speech he’s willing to hold onto power as PM, there can be no way to interpret Pakatan’s nomination of Anwar as their PM candidate as a rejection of Dr M, and proof that the Anwar/Pakatan narrative that Dr M wants Pakatan is and was bullshit.
In light of this latest sigh-inducing power play, I propose an alternate view on Dr M’s supposed ‘savage’ rejection of Umno: it’s not about him finding Umno unacceptable because they’re kleptocrats. It’s because he fears being the lame duck PM of an Umno-dominated government.
PH announcement timing no coincidence: I’m interpreting it as damage control in case of a worst case scenario from Dr M's speech. Wouldn’t surprise me if PH-Mahathir relations so frayed right now there’s no back channel transfer of info despite ostensibly being on the same side.
In the new SD by Altantuyaa killer Azilah, the specific moments he identifies Najib ordering her murder:
1. Instructing to kidnap & eliminate Altantuyaa, claiming she's a foreign spy 2. Explicitly saying “shoot to kill” while making a slit-throat gesture
3. Instructing then clarifying instructions to destroy her corpse 4. Discussing how to destroy the corpse with the use of explosives 5. Rejecting Azilah’s argument to have her arrested & deported instead 6. Giving a Samsung burner phone and ordering its destruction after the job
In his meeting with Razak Baginda, explicit references to kill Altantuyaa include: 1. Razak making the same slit-throat gesture Najib made 2. Repeating instructions to destroy the body using explosives
In the SD, Razak also explicitly identified these as orders from Najib.
A senior PBB leader says S'wak BN had a contingency plan to leave BN anyway. This would be huge: losing just PBB alone makes BN shrink by 13 seats. PRS is the next biggest parliamentary component in BN, with 3 seats. That would make MIC the 2nd biggest party in BN, with 2 seats.
A Semenanjung parties only BN would only have 60 seats, 55 (91%) from Umno. Barisan Nasional would be Barisan Melayu Bersama Tiga Orang Bukan Melayu. BN may as well collapse.