June 28, 2004

POST MALAYSIA

Iím back! Or, as they say in Malaysia: "Pakaranang sunalirokrang sebang satang bandarang yang mempunang persaingang hebatdalamang pasarang keranang dipasarkang pengang kutamang antarabang pekerjanyang yangakangmang mahirdang kerjayang berpelajaran kualiti kehidupannyang persimpang kedudukannyang kemudahang mengkagumkang!"

The language is pretty easy to pick up. It helps if youíre already fluent in Two-Stroke Moped ("yang yang yaaaaang mingmingming yaaaaaang"). Or you can just use English, since everybody else does. There are three English-language dailies, including the aggressive, very readable Star, which contains the best coverage of the sensational Noritta Samsudin murder trial.

Everybody is talking about it (well, when theyíre not talking about the Euro 2004 football tournament). Most expect Hanif Basree Abdul Rahman to be found guilty, but after meeting a lawyer whoís been following the case, Iím not so sure; the prosecution has apparently made several procedural blunders. No jury is involved, so the final decision comes down to Justice Abdull Hamid Embong. "Is he a hanging judge?" I asked my lawyer friend. "We donít know yet," he answered. "He's only a recent appointee." Update to come on Thursday.

Important Malaysian travel advice: If you ask for a glass of Scotch, you will be looked upon like the ignorant gweilo that you are. "We donít have any of this 'Scotch'," said a bewildered barman at one of Kuala Lumpurís many fashionable clubs. He was standing in front of a wall full of the stuff at the time. If you want Scotch, you have to ask for it by brand. Oh, and if you ask for a martini, you may be handed a combination of Seven-Up and vermouth.

All of which is helpful prior to stepping out in Kuala Lumpur traffic. "This city doesnít seem to have many pedestrian crossings," noted one of my colleagues, dodging a moped swarm. On the contrary; Kuala Lumpur has an infinite number of pedestrian crossings. Theyíre wherever pedestrians care to cross.

Which is everywhere, Malaysians not being inclined to obsessive rule-following. Regulation-bound westerners will find the place liberating. And the people? More smiles per city block than you can count.

More later. Must recover now from minor bruising/trauma/fractures suffered during a visit to Cosmoís World.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 28, 2004 04:33 PM
Comments

Welcome back, Tim

Posted by: Michael at June 28, 2004 at 04:35 PM

Urgh, that's the worse Malay I have ever seen. It sounds more like Tagalog than Malay.

Posted by: Rajan R at June 28, 2004 at 04:50 PM

Guess who's back....
Slim Tim.

Posted by: Jimothy at June 28, 2004 at 04:53 PM

Oh, as for the coverage of Noritta's murder, The Malay Mail is more, erm, graphic. Personally, I think that Hanif is innocent, a mere scapegoat to protect somebody else (the original description of the man suspected of murdering Noritta was way off on Hanif, not to mention the semen of another man's was found "in" Noritta you-know-where)

The prosecution's case is very weak, and if Hanif was found guilty, that's proof enough that he's just a mere scapegoat.

Posted by: Rajan R at June 28, 2004 at 04:54 PM

I heartily recommend the oyster laksa at the street stall diagonally across the road from the Pan Pacific. KL is a hoot- the mobile hotpot stall at the night markets is great, ad you can astound the locals by consuming four bowls of assorted bottom-dwelling sea critters with a half-dozen big bottles of Anchor on the side. Malacca is even better, but the pink is not good with a hangover.

Posted by: Habib at June 28, 2004 at 04:54 PM

Rajan,

Man, sorry that I've only just now read your earlier comment -- I would've got in touch if I'd seen it. Excellent site, by the way. Will link shortly.

Re Noritta: those prosecution errors (not pursuing DNA traces from other doors in the apartment, etc) are pretty awful. Those, plus the mystery man, should be enough to save Hanif. Do you think?

Posted by: tim at June 28, 2004 at 05:01 PM

Hey Tim, gimme what you meant in the Malay phrase and I'll give you a proper translation. From what I can decipher so far, you were saying how Malaysia is "high quality", "good knowledge", "nice city", "tough international competition", and somewhat like that. Doesn't really translate to "I’m back!".

As for linking to my blog, aww :-). If only I kept a blogroll...

Yeah, the prosecution's case is terribly weak, pressuring two witnesses to give false testimony doesn't help. In US, or Australia for that matter, no prosecution team would even consider this case (after all, if Hanif really is guilty, the court would throw out the case and double jeopardy comes to play).

I sincerely believe that the DNA belongs to a VVIP, a person in power. Or somebody rich enough to bribe a whole lot of people...

Posted by: Rajan R at June 28, 2004 at 05:13 PM

Welcome back, Tim.

Posted by: Donnah at June 28, 2004 at 05:22 PM

Hurrah! Tim has returned. Just as the comments on the other thread blew 300.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 28, 2004 at 05:29 PM

It also blew chunks.

Posted by: Habib at June 28, 2004 at 06:06 PM

Welcome back Tim,

I know you've been o/s, though whats the latest on Margo's caravan of tomfoolery as she flogs her book?

Posted by: nic at June 28, 2004 at 06:07 PM

so malaysia has their own laci peterson case? why wasn't I informed?

Posted by: Kevin at June 28, 2004 at 06:29 PM

It also blew chunks.

It sure did.

:)

Posted by: Quentin George at June 28, 2004 at 06:43 PM

Praise the lord and pass the ammo - get back into it Tim. I was getting very bored.

Posted by: Razor at June 28, 2004 at 07:25 PM

Cop this:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,9978162%255E1702,00.html

You fucking beauty - stick it right up those islamofiscist splodeydopes.

Posted by: Razor at June 28, 2004 at 08:34 PM

Nice to see you back around the way.

Posted by: Keith at June 28, 2004 at 11:17 PM

But what did you have for LUNCH in Malaysia, Tim?!!! I bet it involved LOTS of EXPENSIVE WINE with your SCOTCH!!!

Posted by: Independent George at June 29, 2004 at 08:06 AM

Jangan berdiri dekat pintu, Mr. Blair.

So far as I remember it from staring at the multilingual signs in the Singapore MRT, anyway...

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at June 29, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Steve Skubinna: Actually, it is Jangan berdiri dekat dengan pintu. Meaning don't stand close to the door.

Posted by: Rajan R at June 29, 2004 at 02:12 PM

"Pakaranang sunalirokrang sebang satang bandarang yang mempunang persaingang hebatdalamang pasarang keranang dipasarkang pengang kutamang antarabang pekerjanyang yangakangmang mahirdang kerjayang berpelajaran kualiti kehidupannyang persimpang kedudukannyang kemudahang mengkagumkang!"

I believe you mean, "Pelawat-pelawat, Pakaranang sunalirokrang sebang...."

Posted by: Sean Kinsell at June 30, 2004 at 02:26 AM

july 2nd, 2004
15:30

justice abdull hamid embong acquitted hanif basree as the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. bravo to the defence team.

Posted by: manja at July 1, 2004 at 07:37 PM