Putera UMNO and Perkasa have finally found something that they and the Malaysian public can agree on, Alvin Tan and his asylum claim in the U.S. The basis of this consensus is that he is a coward for running away, leaving his girlfriend Vivian to face the rap alone and, the fact that he is criticizing the government from the States.

Alvin and Vivian are both facing charges under the Film Censorship Act, Sedition Act and the Penal Code, for their Bak Kut Teh Ramadan greeting, posting lewd pictures on their blog and promoting enmity between the various racial and religious groups in the country. Now, that Alvin has absconded, Vivian is left facing this charges on her own.

Let me be clear, I think Alvin and Vivian were being uncouth when they made their Ramadan greeting. It was uncalled for and Lord knows what they were thinking when they did it. Therefore, I do not condone their actions and definitely do not agree with it. In fact, I think it was plain stupid.

But, the fact that Alvin is seeking political asylum in America is to me, an intelligent move by the former NUS scholar. Cowardly it may be. But, intelligent it definitely is. After all, what is so courageous about fighting a battle you know will never be be fought fairly. To stay and fight is an exercise in futility and he knows it.

Let’s be real. The fact that both, he and Vivian has publicly apologized for the advert, does not excuse them from punishment? But, the fact that they have apologized publicly should also be taken into consideration.

Contrast their actions to the cow head protestors, who, not only did not apologize to the public for their vacuous action but were also, never charged. In fact, the then Minister of Home Affairs, Hishamuddin Tun Hussein appeared at a press conference with one them, condoning their despicable action.

Secondly, what about the likes of Ibrahim Ali, Zulkifli Nordin, Mahathir Mohammad and other such personality who has in recent times or in the past made disparaging remarks against people of other races and religions ( yes, this includes Mahathir and his lazy Malay comment). Why are they not being charged? Isn’t making such remarks and then hidding behind some powerful figure, who can deflect any possible legal action being taken against them equally as cowardly.

The other charge Alvin is facing is the posting of lewd pictures of himself and his then girlfriend. Again, not condoning it but merely asking out of curiosity, have the three Datuk’s, collectively known as Datuk T faced any charges for their public screening of Anwar’s alleged sex tape? I don’t think so.

I opine that the reason UMNO, Perkasa, the IGP and others are getting all worked up is because they gave him the publicity that he was seeking and were trying to make an example out of him. But, he escaped and now he is using that very publicity to attack them. And they don’t like it because they fell for his ploy, hook, line and sinker. Pardon my French but, isn’t karma a bitch.

The central question here is an issue of law and equality. The fact that Alvin, as opinionated as he is had to seek political asylum overseas, simply proves the amount of confidence he has in our legal system. He might I add, is not the only one. Raja Petra, Dr. Munawar Anees and all the people we see on Facebook and YouTube, resorting to vigilante justice simply shows the deteriorating level of confidence we Malaysians have in our legal system.

This is not an isolated issue. Any attempt to do so is purely meant to deflect from the crux of the matter. And, having the likes of Perkasa and Putera UMNO giving their two cents worth on the matter is noting, in my opinion but attempt to add a racial dynamic to the mix, nothing else.

At the risk of repeating myself, I do not agree with what Alvin and Vivian has done. But, him seeking political asylum in the United States is a smart move and I for one do not think it a cowardly act. In fact, I would like to wish him all the best on his endeavours and hope he will continue to voice out against the abuses of power that occur in our country.



This was sourced from the Malaysian Insider, dated 21st September 2013.


My dear comrades, my dear compatriots,

When you read this letter, I am no more in this world.It was my original intention to pass away quietly and let my relatives handle the funeral matters in private. However, the repercussions of erroneous media reports of me in critical condition during October 2011, had persuaded me that leaving behind such a letter is desirable.

Ever since I joined the Communist Party of Malaya and eventually became its secretary-general, I have given both my spiritual and physical self in the service of the cause that my party represented, that is, to fight for a fairer and better society based on socialist ideals. Now with my passing away, it is time that my body be returned to my family.

I draw immense comfort in the fact that my two children are willing to take care of me, a father who could not give them family love, warmth and protection ever since their birth. I could only return my love to them after I had relinquished my political and public duties, ironically only at a time when I have no more life left to give to them as a father.

It was regrettable that I had to be introduced to them well advanced in their adulthood as a stranger. I have no right to ask them to understand, nor to forgive. They have no choice but to face this harsh reality. Like families of many martyrs and comrades, they too have to endure hardship and suffering not out of their own doing, but out of a consequence of our decision to challenge the cruel forces in the society which we sought to change.

It is most unfortunate that I couldn’t, after all, pay my last respects to my parents buried in hometown of Sitiawan (in Perak), nor could I set foot on the beloved motherland that my comrades and I had fought so hard for against the aggressors and colonialists.

My comrades and I had dedicated our lives to a political cause that we believed in and had to pay whatever price there was as a result. Whatever consequences on ourselves, our family and the society, we would accept with serenity.

In the final analysis, I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people.

It is irrelevant whether I succeeded or failed, at least I did what I did. Hopefully the path I had walked on would be followed and improved upon by the young after me. It is my conviction that the flames of social justice and humanity will never die.