Sunday, September 07, 2008

... in the Sky with Diamonds

Scrumptious.* I wish I had thought of the name for my blog. Shaira in the Sky with Diamonds. If you don't know the Beatles, the title's inspired by the Fab Four's LSD, probably the best song ever written (check out the subtitles, borrowed from the lyrics of the meandering peace anthem Across the Universe). Shaira may not even be Sixteen, but she knows her Beatles as well as any hard core Sixty-year-old does.

Shaira is also a cucu of A. Samad Ismail's. Like grandpa, she writes. Or blogs, rather. From her latest posting Bye, Datuk : ' ( -- "I miss your scrumptious beef steak" -- you get a fairly good idea about the kind of grandpa Pak Samad was.

Please read also Philip Matthews' tribute to Samad, A Journalist Par Excellence.

* from Random House Webster Dictionary:
scrump·tious (skrumpÆshÃs), adj.
very pleasing, esp. to the senses; delectable;
splendid: a scrumptious casserole; a scrumptious satin gown.
[1820–30; perh. alter. of SUMPTUOUS]
scrumpÆtious·ly, adv.
scrumpÆtious·ness, n.


  1. Anonymous11:22 pm

    They were singing about the drug.

  2. Anonymous1:28 am

    (heha) :
    the beatles' 'hey jude' = about the drug too = ' ....the minit you let her under your skin then you begin to feel it better....' !
    'yesterday' is the BEST (to me lah,
    no offence, ok )!

  3. Anonymous1:28 am


    Everyone was high on drugs then. LSD was acid, the in-thing then but considered lethal so the song was banned in some countries. Another drug anthem was Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. Still rocks until this day.

    The Beatles are the Greatest!

    Regards and Ramadan Kareem to all!

  4. Salam Bro rocky, i know you are in a melancholic mood (Sorry for the loss of a legend Pak Samad, al Fatihah). And i apologise, but as a political watchdog like yourself i want to share :

    Anwar's Trojan Horse

    The Real Judas

    Anwar Ibrahim wants BN to think the defections before 16 September are going to come from Sabah and Sarawak. This explains the focus and frenzy surrounding MPs from East Malaysia. Their movements are being monitored, text messages have been swirling about en bloc defections and some, like Yong Teck Lee and Bernard Giluk Dompok, have been dropping broad hints about wanting to abandon the BN ship.

    But the unsuspecting BN leadership is completely unaware of Anwar's actual game plan. Sabah and Sarawak are the great diversions - Anwar's red herrings. Sure, he may eventually end up with some defectors from East Malaysia, but the real trigger that he wants to pull will be right under UMNO's nose. For Anwar, he needs to start with a bang. Something that will cause all other smaller component parties to tremble and quake in their boots leaving them with little choice but to jump en masse.

    What Anwar wants to do is to show that he can go for the big scalps. Not your SAPP or UPKO small number of MPs, but from the senior UMNO front bench. What better way of triggering a mass exodus from BN than to show that you have top leaders from BN's biggest party crossing over into PKR? This is the big bang that Anwar has been working on. Two or three front benchers from UMNO plus five other second tier leaders will be enough to precipitate chaos and panic within the BN ranks. It will be the catalyst of a free-for-all ship abandonment as though sailors have spotted a plague-infested rat on deck.

    So, who has Anwar marked as the real Judas in this most audacious of power grab in the history of Malaysian politics. Its not that difficult to answer. Think of someone most hard done by Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak's gentleman's agreement to transfer power in 2010. Someone who had political wind in his sails after the March election only to now see his future in doubt as UMNO gets ready to pick younger leaders in its annual congress. Someone who way back when, had the most coziest of cozy relationship with Anwar.

    Yes, Anwar is targeting Muhyiddin Yassin to be the Judas. Muhyiddin is said to have lined up at least three other front benchers and a handful more from the back benches. Many of these MPs are fed up of both Abdullah and Najib, and see the grass being far greener with Anwar. Many of them were also ardent Anwaristas when the Opposition Leader was climbing up the greasy pole of UMNO politics.

    These crossovers are said to be mutually beneficial in more ways than one. Anwar knows that the current composition of Pakatan MPs in Parliament is almost half Malay and half non-Malay. If he only manages to woo non-Malay BN MPs to defect, he will effectively head a non-Malay dominated government. This would be hard for the Malay-majority electorate to accept not to mention institutions like the royalty, military, armed forces and civil service. Anwar, therefore, desperately needs Malay MPs to defect from BN. In order for this to happen, he needs a Malay BN leader with enough seniority to attract others to follow suit. Hence, Muhyiddin.

    But that's not all. Anwar has already over-promised his buddies in DAP. He knows that he has to make Lim Kit Siang one of his Deputy Prime Ministers. That's not going to sit well with Malays, whether they are UMNO, PAS or PKR supporters. Regardless of the muhibbah rhetoric coming out of Pakatan and its acceptance by the Bangsar Starbucks Melayu, the heartland and grunt Malays cannot stand Kit Siang. To them he and his party stand for everything that is anti-Malay.

    That being the case, Anwar has to counter-balance Kit Siang's appoitment as DPM with a heavyweight Malay politician as another deputy. Of course he could appoint Hadi Awang and complete the unholy trinity of Pakatan parties as PM and two DPMs, and he probably would offer Hadi the post anyway. But he knows that Hadi cannot be trusted. After all, it is Hadi and Nasharuddin Mat Isa that almost tore PAS out of Pakatan with their secret rendezvous with Abdullah. Anwar has neither forgiven nor forgotten this act of betrayal by Hadi. He also knows that during the Permatang Pauh by-election, it wasn't Hadi that came to pinch hit for him in the last few days to turn Malay opinion around in the light of Saiful Bukhari's religious oath that he was buggered by Anwar. Hadi came briefly, gave a 10 minute speech complaining of a cough and hot footed it out of there. Instead it was Nik Aziz Nik Mat that came to Anwar's rescue, using his aura as a pondok alim to persuade the faithful in Permatang Pauh not to believe Saiful's oath.

    Anwar's preferred choice as DPM from PAS is not an MP. He is the man that whispers instructions into Nik Aziz's ear and he was the most senior PAS leader present when Anwar was declared winner after all the votes were tallied. Husam Musa cannot, for now, join a federal government because of state duties in Kelantan, but he is very much the bridge that Anwar wants to cultivate in PAS.

    So with the bad blood between Anwar and Hadi, even if Anwar offers Hadi a DPM post it would be out of courtesy to keep Pakatan together. Which means he would need another senior Malay leader to be a third deputy and the de facto most senior deputy with Anwar's full confidence and trust. He could appoint Azmin, but many would be uncomfortable with that prospect. So who better than Muhyiddin - a senior cabinet minister with experience in government. An UMNO warlord who can attract support from UMNO Malays and prevent Anwar from looking too dependent on non-Malay support. And most crucially, someone who Anwar trusts because back in the days of Anwar as DPM, when he said jump, Muhyiddin jumped.

    If BN leaders are looking at East Malaysia for potential jumpers, they are looking far away from where the threat really is. Anwar has secured Muhyiddin and its merely a matter of timing. Muhyddin has to deliver Anwar a handsome number of MPs in return for being made DPM under Anwar. That, according to sources, is underway and the count is increasing by the day.

    The plan is simple yet clever. Obvious yet deceptive. BN is about to lose the kingdom from right under its nose.

  5. Anonymous1:44 am

    When I asked him why he had confessed on TV he said he was disoriented in prison.

    Mid-70's memories: These "communists confessions" on television were one. I was in Form 4/5 then, certainly clueless when it comes to national politics ...

    But despite this, even I was aware that "something just was not right". RTM would make an announcement about "Pengakuan penting-something" that night. And repeating this every hour, at least.

    Those `confessions' by Tan Sri Samad, Abdullah Ahmad (wasn't there one "Abdullah Ahmad" too?) - blandly reading from a script, with no stress on rhythm, and certainly no emphasis on any word ... sometimes going on when there was a punctuation; and had to reverse.

    There were the compulsory post-Pengakuan interviews with Ministers and such; of "Saya terkejut dia..." (with shaking of head)

    These "Communists Confessions" are what I would automatically remember should someone ask about "Datuk Hussein Oon's tenure as Prime Minister".

  6. Anonymous1:48 am

    @Beatle Nut said...
    The Beatles are the Greatest!

    VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE!! The real Greatest are...
    Pink Floyd

  7. koolgeek,

    shaira, of course, had no inkling what Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was all about except that it was a damn great song. I explained to her.
    she didnt care becos LSD had no relevance nor did it hold any significance to her innocent mind. she just liked the song. she was 9 years old when she got hooked on the Beatles.

    to me, it's ok that she liked the song for what it is...

  8. Anonymous11:31 am

    (heha) : aina dear, can't sleep ah ? GOODBLESS, amen !
    btw, i prefer EVERLY bros to the beatles if i have to choose one !

  9. Let it be taken as what she wants it literally to be
    And not what it was originally subtlely meant to be
    On our part we can also choose what we want it to be
    For afterall the group was also famous for 'Let It Be!'

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 080908
    Mon. 8th Sept. 2008.

  10. Let it be taken as what she wants it literally to be
    And not what it was originally subtlely meant to be
    On our part we can also choose what we want it to be
    For afterall the group was also famous for 'Let It Be!'

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 080908
    Mon. 8th Sept. 2008.

  11. Anonymous1:20 pm

    I never knew Pak samad personally but I have heard a lot about him from my seniors. The accolades that are pouring in shows that he is a man who has been wronged by the powers-that-be during his times.

    What strikes me most is that the ISA had been used as a political tool to silence legitimate criticism and opinion.

    Pak Samad has proven that the ISA can easily be abused by politicians for their own ends. Thus, the legendary Pak Samad has proven that the ISA should go!


  12. Anonymous4:23 pm

    Oi, people! The song is not about the drug (LSD).

    FACT: The song is actually about Lennon's inspiration towards his son's (Julian) drawing of his classmate, named Lucy...
    Young Julian described the picture as "Lucy — in the sky with diamonds.

    Here's an interesting trivia:
    Paul McCartney recounted trading lyric ideas with Lennon in an interview, saying, "We never noticed the LSD initial until it was pointed out later, by which point people didn't believe us."

    PS, The Beatles are, and will always be the BEST okay! They're the greatest people to have ever engaged in the music biz. They boosted the music industry. They were creative genius. From groundbreaking song-writing to great performing. Look at their songs, they stand the test of time. Till now people still love listening to them. Like me, I'm a 16-year-old for God's sake and I freaking love The Beatles.

    Examples of tributes to The Beatles today:
    - The film "Across the Universe".
    - Cirque du Soleil; they did a theatrical production entitled "Love" which combines the re-produced and re-imagined music of The Beatles with an interpretive, circus-based artistic and athletic stage performance.

  13. Anonymous4:56 pm

    Oh yeah, even this year's American Idol did The Beatles, as their weekly song theme (for TWO weeks!)
    This is actually the first time in Idol history. They never extended the same theme for another week before this. :D

  14. Music is different things to different people - the same song, for instance, touches people in different ways. And which group is better than another is a very subjective and personal thing.

    Like, I might disagree with both opinions and say that Joy Division was the best band that ever was... heh heh.

    Every great music group (Floyd and the Fab Four included) has contributed, in their own ways, towards shaping what we know today as popular music...

    Kinda like how different individuals in a given time shape the future in very different ways.