Monday, October 15, 2007

Why M. Bakri Musa can't come back

For the good doc's own safety. I knew of M. Bakri Musa as a Malaysian surgeon in California, and probably the most celebrated Minangkabau blogger outside Malaysia.
In a mail he posted today in response to one "Johan" who claims to be neither an "orang suruhan Umno" nor a Malaysian, Bakri tells all of us more about himself, of what he's been trying to do for his Malaysia from where he is and why he can't return to Malaysia (or contest in the election to respond to this Johan's challenge). Excerpt:
"Since Abdullah Badawi came into power, I had been warned from the highest level of the police force not to return. The warning came not as a threat but simply a message conveyed by someone from within the force concerned about my personal safety. Just to add substance to that threat, my friends in Malaysia have told me that the Special Branch had interviewed them! Fortunately thus far, it has just been an interview." [Read the whole posting here]
I guess when the government said it wanted to lure Malaysians abroad to come home, it didn't have people like Bakri in mind.


  1. Anonymous9:10 pm

    What wrong has Bakri Musa done?

    Has he been either 'inciting' or 'instigating', anyone on this country?

    I doubt he ever done that. So why should he be a threat to national security that the Police Force need to be weary of him.

    There are so many others here in this country, roaming free who had done worse and yet nothing is done against them.

    I seriously doubt this info e mailed by this 'Johan' is genuine. Some people just like to make a Himalaya mountain range out of the tiniest mole hill.

  2. Anonymous9:19 pm

    police state? dr m said already. correct corrrect corrrect!

  3. Don't worry Doc Bakri Musa. I have lived life to the full and I will take the bullet for you!

    Big Dog. Get out of the comfort zone is not safe for some. For mavericks like us, nothing is safe. Those who are "roaming free who had done worse....." are the privileged once protected by patronage. My 88 years old mum can figure that out.

  4. Anonymous11:41 pm

    Why come back? What's for you here? They don't want you. They can't handle you. They are afraid of you.

    So why come back to a land that's not fit for you? Or want to welcome you?

    Stay put. You are there. The grass is greener there. So stay there, you lucky devil you.

  5. Anonymous10:52 am

    One country's loss is another country's gain. Why come back when they already warned you to stay put. Malaysia, besides losing talented Chinese and Indians, is now also losing talented Malays as well and that is indeed serious. This is regression, despite the impressive mega and boleh projects.

  6. Anonymous12:02 pm

    Abang Rocky,
    My suggestion why don't you stand as an opposition candidate along with Jeff Ooi (I'm not kidding!). Never mind if you lose.For me winning or losing it a small matter but the message quite clear now. Everyone wants drastic changes to our beloved country that include bloggers (goblok?).
    All the best Abang Rocky
    Bob from Kuching

  7. Don't spoon everything that is said. Gullible ...

    OK Yeah ... perhasp ... many said there are such threat. Let me ask: What is the ciccumstances for Bakri to feel so?

    What has Baksi Musa really done that can shake the Government and be a threat to the current regime? Just his writing? Plezzzz ...

    You think the UMNO people down there open internet and find Bakri Musa writing and feel threaten by it?

    Bakri Musa is over dramatising. He is really of no threat. The leadership is more threatened by dissenting voices in UMNO then voices of opposition, bloggers and the remote of all a writer writing thousands of miles a way, whose writing is not in agreeable with majority Malay within and without UMNO and mostly accessible on the Internet and read by small segment of urban upper class society. Even the march are mere noises and meaningless.

    WHat I am saying is, wake up and get real!!!! Lets not fall in love with ourselves. Get real lah!

    You want change? Cakap Melayu dan tulis Melayu. Buat dengan beradab dan bersopan dengan penuh pemahaman sensitiviti orang melayu. Kalau nak tulis, tebarkan di luar bandar dan mereka yang pemimpin pendapat (I mean here opinion leader). Cuba ubah fikiran mereka. Baiki kehidupan mereka! Jika mereka terima saranan anda, baru boleh bawa perubahan. Kalau tidak, jangan syok sendirilah!!!

    Syok sendirilah kita tulis dalam bahasa Inggeris. Syok sendiri lah hentam, kutuk dan label orang melayu (not all do as I understand). Dengan memaki hamun dan panggil mereka kolot, kamu harap orang melayu, luar bandar terutama sekali, apa yang kamu sarankan boleh di sokong? Just becasue we are smart with helicopter view to see things, we think our generalisation and macroanalysis is the solution. Bawah tu banyak problem bang hoi! Masaalah harian mereka tu banyak lagilah!

    Back to Bakri Musa, even if the so called safe situation is there like in his own words were during TDM's time (as he said) Why is he not back here then?

    Alah ... pay is good and living on a ranch in Cailifornia. Why forgo all that? No shame there lah. Nak balik susah. Bini dan anak mereka2 seperti Bakri Musa dah tak tahu cakap melayu dan tak pandai makan bersila di kampung. Tak boleh kena nyamuk. Melayu kahwin melayu dudok lur negara pun balik tak dudok rumah sedara tapi hotel. Faham sajalah ...

    With Internet, he can do what he is most effective. Writing. His close friend Din Merican is here and now in PKR thinking he can do what that Johan fella told Bakri to do. You think he will be siginificant in politics? Nahhhh ... He shd have stick to teaching and writing, he is more effective. Shouldn't have soiled his hands with politics. Not with hypocrit like Anwar and Khalid Ibrahim (the swindler)!!!

    Politics is best left to politicians. Leave writign to writers or bloggers. Thinking to thinkiers. Governing to civil servants. Education to educationist.

    The more we jumble ourselves and start thinking having had earlier and more salt then rest, we know more. We are more susceptible to high blood pressure and probably tasted NaCl.

    Why the hell do some highly educated people failed in politics to some Petronas pump attendent (wink wink ... this is real life situation of one UMNO Bahagian top man)? They think having doctorate in some field (another case of too much salt) they know everything. They know who they are serving? Their pain and suffering? Their grouses?

  8. Anonymous1:50 pm


    you are on the dot. guess big dog is one of the few privileged ones. if you want to be in that category, gotta join UMNO. with the consent of the municipality, they can even squat on a field meant for the residents use. and if the residents over protest, they will be threatened into submission. even, the MP there runs for shelter. dont believe me? ask the residents Bandar Bukit Puchong.

  9. A Voice....

    I second those rantings of yours...


  10. Seingat saya dalam setahun dua ni tidak ada kes orang-orang penting ditangkap. Orang ditahan dan dilepas memang ada. Orang hampir-hampir kena tahan tapi tak jadi pun ada.

    Malaysia OK. Itu sebab pemimpin kita menggelupur dan tak gemar kalau Singapura kata Johor sarang jenayah.

    Kalau tak ada salah apa-apa, Bakri Musa tentu boleh balik. Kempen second home masih berjalan saya rasa..... Orang putih pun boleh duduk sini, apatah lagi orang kulit sawo matang.

  11. The government lures
    The Malaysian overseas
    Come home to serve the nation
    Good on paper
    Glory on its plan

    When the administrators work
    It sucks the plan to knots
    Those who came back
    Got fed up hitched out again

    The many red flags
    One gets fed up explaining
    Foreign wives foreign husbands
    The long queue on the line

    And the government wants
    The top notched Malaysians back
    But the small boys make blunders
    When doing the paperwork
    And round about circles

    So Dr Bakri
    You know the thrills
    In the government of today

    The government won’t touch you
    You haven’t said anything wrong
    What you said and written
    Similar what most bloggers here do

    I guess when the bones ache for the home land
    No matter how far one should stay
    The calling of the soil
    One will come home

    You worry about little napoleons
    They are the ones afraid of your skills
    Then you to them

    Come home by all means
    Fight on your soil
    Let the changes begin

  12. Anonymous1:45 am

    Iye ke?
    Or is it just another case of inflated sense of self importance...

    Haritu si kickdefella claims his house rummaged by you know who

    entahlah...Rocky pun tulis berapi juga, tak de pun kena threaten camtu, lawsuit adelah kan, but that one is probably more personal hate than anything else...betui tak

    ish ish revolutionary sangat ke idea si bakry musa ni, I read his articles and they are either too long winded for most people, in which case they are ineffective and most likely to be highly self-indulgent or completely off tangent, in which case who cares....

  13. Anonymous2:54 am

    Found this at

    they bashed Bakri for his condescending views of Malaysians and Malays especially

    Tuan Doktor, kita semua tak sebodoh you sangka lah

    Sure you are smart, just don’t forget it’s only because God made you that way.

    Islam bashing is fashionable, in fact religion bashing is fashionable these days as the self confessed ‘modern man’ grapples with his own perceived greatness, his seeming ability to create and invent which apparently puts him beyond the reach of God and His message.

    I do not know M Bakri Musa apart from the weekly blog that he churns out from his home in California where he is a practising surgeon. Even then very little as I cannot stand his long winded arguments.

    From his comfortable outpost he takes potshots at the Malaysia, where he was apparently born and raised and in his latest blog, this surgeon aimed his crosshairs squarely at Islam and clumsily borrowed Karl Marx’s communism-promoting quote that religion is the opiate of the masses as his preferred ammunition.

    Bakri uses his title and job description as a validator of his arguments, after all if he has a good enough memory to recall enough ailments and their pharmaceutical symptomatic remedies then most would think that he must have a bit of grey matter between the ears.

    In his lengthy article Bakri suggested that Malays are so high on religion that they cannot see the problems of the country, that we are so enamoured by a leader who can lead us in prayers that we are willing to forgive him everything. Since to be a Malay one has to be a Muslim, we can only assume that the religion he is rubbishing is Islam.

    By this he means that we will return Pak Lah to power based on the Prime Minister’s ability to lead prayers.

    As is typical with half baked idealists who think that they are a match for great philosophers because they can string two half logics into an incoherent article.

    In this article Bakri quickly drifted into an accusatory mode by stating that in most Muslim countries the main fight is for human rights. In his mind, this seems to prove that Islam is such a powerful opiate that Muslims are willing to endure gross human rights abuses in the name of their faith.

    As far as I can understand, this is his line of argument, see if you can spot where it is disjointed and crudely taped together

    We voted Pak Lah into power, Pak Lah was imam for few public prayer sessions therefore we will return him to power on the basis that we are stoned on Islam and would dogmatically vote for someone who has enough confidence to recite the Fatihah and a couple of short surah out loud in public.

    Since many Muslim countries are backward and still grappling with the basics of human rights therefore it is proof that Islam is a powerful drug to make Muslims forget their sufferings and keep returning the same person back into power time and again even if he is incompetent or a complete despot.

    Maybe Bakri has not been back to Malaysia for a long time, maybe the last time he was in the country was just before he left to study overseas or to migrate decades ago when most Malays alive in abject poverty and quite unable to look after themselves financially as individuals and economically as a community.

    Thanks to Muslim leaders of the Barisan Nasional we have developed the national economy and now have some semblance of equal distribution of wealth, even if it forced through the participation of Government and semi-Government agencies which are counted as holding the equity on behalf of the Bumiputra.

    As material wealth continues to grow, there is always some danger of Malays losing their religion and many have relegated God merely as a relic of their parent’s belief system, as the safety net of the poor and downtrodden. Now that they are rich they feel they do not need God anymore.

    They think that just because they can make more money than they need and can come up with ideas and learn some skills that they now have their destiny in their own hands. In short they feel that they need God only in small doses, on religious holidays. At other time God had better not be making demands on their time or their hearts.

    M Bakri Musa may be an intelligent man but no man is smart enough to look down on his own people and openly accuse them of being stupid, which is what he is saying when he says that Malays should keep away from religion if they do not want to be duped by politicians who use religion to stay in power.

    The Barisan Nasional Government realized some time ago that Islam is a fantastic self regulator of society as it teaches love, tolerance and impeccable moral conduct so they promote Islam as a way of life in order to inculcate greatness into the minds of Malays.

    Islam opens hearts, it does not close them. Islam makes clear the truth and keeps us away from the lie that is the world.

    Maybe Bakri has found his heaven on earth but to many millions of faithfuls in Malaysia, God’s reward in the hereafter is infinitely better and it has nothing to do with choosing a leader who can lead in prayers, though you would have to work hard to convince the people of Kelantan of this fact.

    Islam preaches nothing but love and tolerance, it is an easy religion to immerse in but the ignorant and half educated on the faith would show their true colours when they misquote the Quran and regurgitate half truths.

    Sure tying the camel before going for prayers is a sensible act, it is a lesson that is taught to every schoolchildren.

    Has Bakri ever contemplated what it would be like if someone were to have complete faith in his lord that he would tie his camel but would not care if he lost it anyway because he already has his Lord in his heart.

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regularly went on for days without food and this is not from shortage of food or money since people gave him food and money on a daily basis but he never kept any and passed on everything to those who are needy.

    The Prophet Muhammad taught us faith in this way. He taught us that it is not food that keeps us alive but Allah. Yes the food is a logical reason for explaining sustenance but stories of Sufi saints going on for years with nothing but a single raisin every day illustrates this point.

    Obviously you have to believe in saints first before you buy into my story and I accept that a surgeon like Bakri may feel that this is mere folklore.

    Far from being an opiate, Islam is the ultimate energizer, it pushes its faithful towards greatness and excellence, just look at the great scholars of Islam in the past.

    It is also popular to rubbish anyone who refers to past greatness of Islam but the point here is that when Islam is practiced in toto and with conviction, only greatness can arise.

    Bakri should read the comments that his article has attracted. Discredited characters like tojo is taking the opportunity to rubbish the faith again, riding on the wave that Bakri created.

    Self examination is deeply encouraged in Islam, in fact it is compulsory and at least five times a day Muslims must submit to their Lord in the literal sense of the word and manifest it in organised worship.

    In reality the submission is total and round the clock. All inspiration, intelligence, ability, or any kind of advantage that we enjoy over others are responsibilities that God put on our shoulder.

    He makes it look like a privilege because he wants to put no pressure on the recipient to decide what they want to do with that advantage. That is His test for us.

    God almost never reminds us that He is the one who gives us sustenance and that every breath that we take is by his express consent and permission, that every single molecule of oxygen that is absorbed into our blood is immaculately accounted for and pre-destined by or Lord.

    When we accept our weakness that we become great but the greatness is always dwarfed by the humility of knowing that we can take credit for none of it just as a wire can take no credit for lighting up New York City.

    We are mere vessels for God’s work. Look at it the wrong way and it becomes an opiate but learn from a true master and you will gaze at the greatest lesson in existence.

  14. Rocky!
    As much as I hate Big Dog for his pomposity and self righteousness, I love him for his candour!
    Rocky I have to agree with Big Dog. What has Bakri Musa done lately to render him to be a national security threat to Malaysia and that the Special Branch is allowed to waste its energy to "monitor" him?
    This is what I believe, we bloggers sometime suffer from serious and acute case of an illusion of grandeur, we think we the world read us, I do not think so! Like Bakri Musa I have lived in the West for close to two decades, probably a lot longer than Bakri have , and during those years overseas I have been critical of the government of the day when one day I received a registered letter from Dr Mahahtir Mohamad stating what he believes for the country, still have the letter for you to see. During that time our Malaysian mission in Canada contacted me for stuff, from serious to mundane things.
    One day a guy by the name of Zaki Azmi(just appointed a judge recently), who was then a legal adviser to the Home Affairs when Musa Hitam was the minister called me in Canada. and I did not know him, and politely asked me if he could come to our apartment and I said swell I will cooked curry for him, he came, he saw and he asked, and I answered politely. There was no threat!
    Back to Bakri Musa we have met in Canada maybe once, I know his type, away, alone getting older with no real friends (American that is)and wanting to have real contact with Malaysia but do not want to leave the luxury trapping behind, and if you are in that state, blogging and bloggers are your only "real" friends!
    I FUCKED the government many times when I was oversea and I came back. and yes they watch me, but I do not believe that we have such things as the nights of the long knives when the secret police breaking our doors to take us away, no I do not think so!
    In this fucked up multi racial society, my advise is for Malays, Chinese or Indians! We just have to know how much the fragility of our system can falter at a slightest instance, if you all failed to understand this YES they will take you away and send you to Kamunting, because if it is between you fucking up that "fragility" at the expense of the country, they will take you in anytime trust me! So the trick is very simple: Do Not Failed To Understand! To you Bakri Musas of the world, to the Zorros of the world, to the Rockybrus of the world and to the Big Dogs of the world! It is just common sense.
    As for Bakri Musa in America, it is just possible that you are blowing your trumpet a wee bit too hard, and it is also possible that you are suffering from an illusion of grandeur and have to snap out of it! The thing that irks me about you is that you are giving wrong information and impression to the racist American administration, and to some racist Americans, as Jenna has shown, about Malaysia and also to the world with that little bit of outdated second hand knowledge of Malaysian that you churned from your little flat ivory tower!
    So if you come back, with your knowledge, (forget about Mayo Clinic here you have to think Malaysian), I am sure you can really contribute something to help the country and the people, instead of griping and whining as though the world or Malaysia owe you a living,man!
    The country needs crazy people like me who came back and help, but not primadonas! We have also a lot here!
    Hasta la vista!

  15. Mr Musa,

    I suggest you stick to what you do best. Being a political observer, and a good one at that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would be good at politics. Mr Johan hasn’t an inkling of his own suggestion when he threw you that challenge unless of course the voters comprised of bloggers international.

    It is a fact that commentators are usually good at that; commenting, but when one is thrown into the field, he is useless.

    Classic example. The glorified football commentator Shebby Singh. He is brilliant with his comments and appears to have done extensive research on every game and team. But I used to pay to watch his team play with him at fullback and midfield. He sucked at it big time and only those who watched him (and paid to do so) play during his career would know while he is commenting a football game that he is full of shit, because we know that during his peak, he was unable to do what he demands from an EPL player.

    So, you’re doing the right thing. Stay out of politics while we read good material from you on it. Once you come in and we realize that you suck at it, your writings would be deemed worthless

  16. Anonymous5:50 pm

    Doctor Bakri,

    Listen not to these robbing Umnoputeras. They have not an ounce of credibility compared to you. They were born into rich Umno-given contracts and will oppose anyone who threatens to take the silver spoons away from their silver plates and silver trays.

    You, on the other hand, have proven that you can compete anywhere. If I was a Malay, I'd be proud of you (and I believe many Malays are, indeed, proud of you). I am a Malaysian and I am proud of you.

    The problem with these silvered Umnoputeras, Doc, is that they have so much fear. Phobia. They are suspiscious of any Malay who has made it out there. They don't mind someone like Khairy Jamaluddin because that guy has never made it anywhere.

    The good thing is there are many Malays and Malaysians who are matured enough and who know that you mean well for the country and for the people you have left behind.

    All the best, Doc. Fly the flag high!

  17. Anonymous6:29 pm

    Melayu high on islam, i'm disappointed that you take Dr. Bakri's views personally. Potshot's or whatever you call it should be judged based on it merits, regardless if it comes from a surgeon in Los Angeles or a sheikh in Mekah. u're embarrassing me as a fellow Malay-Muslim. doesnt islam advocate us to think?

    Dr Bakri, thank you for your ideas and gumption to express them. I may not agree with all that you say, your contribution to the market of ideas is a step forward for all Malaysians. Thank you and may God protect you and your family from any harm.