I know it’s hard to believe. I mean, even to me, it seems like another lifetime. But Azalina Othman Said (Malaysia’s Youth and Sport’s Minister) and I use to go to the same school. We were classmates at SMK MGS Kuantan, and good friends at that. She was always a highly spirited gal, very popular, even at that time, and had a very “notable” walk. She used to be very vain about her hair too. I remember writing my first Malay poem for her, a poem about friendship.

When I left the school after Form 4, I lost contact with Aza (as we used to call her). 18 years later, I heard her voice over the phone. I was at the Women’s Crisis Centre at that time, not as a client, but a staff. We were happy to have met again. “Of course I remember you,” she had said. “You are one of the nice ones”.

She was an upcoming lawyer, pro-women activists and a good trainer. So you can imagine my disappointment when she joined Umno. In fact, when I was covering an Abdullah Badawi event at one time (before he was PM), she introduced me to Khairy the Son-in-Law. “She’s the most vicious reporter”, Aza told Khairy. But I didn’t care for Khairy. He never impressed me.

Of course, my disappointment did not stop there. I was even more flabberghasted when she told a mutual friend she would stop talking to me unless or until I left Malaysiakini.

After I left Malaysiakini, we did not meet, and to me, there wasn’t much loss, as really, with friends like this, do we need enemies? Now that I am a blogger, I am not sure whether Aza remembers me or not.

I was proven right when the issue of UMNO cyber troopers came about. That’s Aza’s task for Umno. For the un-initiated, cyber troopers are those keris wielding guys and gals who prey the internet looking for an unsuspecting blogger, any blogger, who speaks against their General. Their crime can be anything from linking their sites to unknown websites to allowing controversial comments to actually accusing the General’s army of murder. If you are spotted anywhere it between – Siap-lah kau.

And now I hear she’ll be speaking about bloggers again, at the PWTC. Rocky Bru says that Aza is going to brief Umno members about blogs. “I hope she’d tell them the truth about bloggers and the good that they can bring”. Don’t bet on it-lah. She’s not the same person we know. When one has a political master, things change. And what can she say to Umno -only what Umno wants to know.

But if her cyber-troopers are reading this, maybe they can “kirim salam” (greetings) for me to her, for old time sake. 

Otherwise, I have long since given up on Aza. And it is also beyond me now what Umno thinks about bloggers.


28 responses »

  1. hutchrun says:

    This Saturday August 18th, 2007, Khairy & Azalina is expected to hold a “Penerangan” session at PWTC for UMNO members on Bloggers. The session is likely to provide them a background on Blogging, their perspective of Blogging, and seeking support to take on Bloggers.

    To date, their handling of Bloggers have been negative and it has backfired. The more the bloggers are cursed and harrassed, it adds to public curiosity and more realised the ability of Bloggers to break-in news and provide interesting perspective of events. Hopefully, they realise that the most impactful approach is to effectively articulate and explain the ruling party’s point-of-view than the childish manner their cyber boo boo are engaging bloggers.


  2. wits0 says:

    Azalina Othman, the Tae Kwan Do one which RPK gave an uncomplimentary surname? LOL! UMNO members do need indoctrination on everything…to alienate others.

  3. Mason From Kuching says:


    This so- called “either you are with me or against me” has always been the norm of Malaysian culture.
    These ideologies is not only proven in the parliment as a core of BN practice as a threat against unpatriotic comrades for e.g. when the misogynists MPs of Kinabatangan and Jasin mocked the DAP assemblywoman, Fong Po Kuan, everyone in the BN camp was reticent, in lieu of speaking out against their compatriot, they will be branded traitors and will be subjected to degrees of punishments.

    A friend like Azalina Dykeman of yours can be likened to my ex-bible study group as the leader of the group is a self-proclaimed beleiver in emancipation, but when I opted to give testimonies before the Sunday mass, she, echoed by her spouse demanded me to write to them first.

    And they continued to affirmed that I am only allowed only if my contents is approved by them or and of course subjected to a series of repair-jobs, embelishments and etc. This is not a testimony, but a propaganda.

    In the civilised countries, like the US, remember the “Lewinskygate-scandal(?)”. Almost one third of Democrats voted for Clinton to be impeach wherein a legions of Republicans are against the impeachment of the ex US President and no one was subjected to repercussions nor reprisals. That is TRUE Democracy at work. In Malaysia it’s power-play.

    The Great Napoleon-“What is history, but fables that are agreed upon”

    I rephrase that history is wrtten by winners, and winners like UMNO who never have a smidgen respect for the TRUTH and unversal LAW but THEMSELVES.

  4. wits0 says:

    Susan, you don’t need any Aza as such as a friend. There is no moral comfort derivable.

    Neanderthals aren’t expected to understand anything about TRUTH and unversal LAW, Mason. Instead they’ll use religion to reinforce further their own pet fascism. Their cynicism about humanity pervades from their very psyche. That dark pall offers nothing that’s uplifting.

  5. hutchrun says:

    Anonymous said…
    She will perhaps demonstrate how her troop of cybertroopers invaded RPK’s website and hantam dr m a few days ago, just to prove that the investment is paying off
    8:31 AM
    A comment at:

  6. wits0 says:

    The cybertroopers’ effort have to amongst the putrid spam bin of 25,640+ failed curses. The numbers are expected to increase as their frantic but ineffectual effort increases. Hahaha!

  7. monsterball says:

    Susan…Loosing a friend or even a relative who is holding high post in BN is no loss at all..as their way of thinking and behaviors will change to toe the line of UMNO politics…which is already unacceptable by you.
    And if one close classmate who is now a minister….worst still. …..she will keep far apart from you…as she thinks you are as failure and she is the successful one. Such is the nature of humans…even two friends ..one got very rich and the rich one will not want to mix with that friend he/she consider poor…a failure in life.
    But in the end …these people do lost the realities in life and you are much richer without them..trust me.

  8. Mason From Kuching says:

    WitsO : Neanderthals aren’t expected to understand anything about TRUTH and unversal LAW, Mason. Instead they’ll use religion to reinforce further their own pet fascism. Their cynicism about humanity pervades from their very psyche. That dark pall offers nothing that’s uplifting.
    POINTBLANK! y didn’t I think of that.

  9. hutchrun says:

    `and had a very “notable” walk`
    Makes one wonder…

  10. hutchrun says:

    Mebbe Azalina will do a duet with Stefani:
    Perhaps Stefani should emulate this Kabul babe-rock outfit, and cover up – totally. At least, Walski thinks they’re babes… it’s kinda hard to tell with burkas. For all you know, it’s actually Ben’s Bitches in drag!

  11. KTemoc says:

    quote “She’s the most vicious reporter” unquote

    no way 😉 on just that note I’ll vote aqgainst her la

  12. hutchrun says:

    The Malaysia that UMNO is making:

    Khilafah Conference 2007

  13. hutchrun says:

    No, this is not at a premature 50th Merdeka celebration, but a ‘surprise performance’ at the MCA Youth annual meet today.

  14. monsterball says:

    I wonder does everyone know Susan’s blog has exceeded the one million hits!

  15. sinomalay says:

    “she introduced me to Khairy the Son-in-Law. “She’s the most vicious reporter”, Aza told Khairy. But I didn’t care for Khairy. He never impressed me.”

    Hi Susan,

    Could you please tell me whether Khairy speaks good if not perfect English?

    Please read this:


    Thanks and regards

  16. […] Aza, friend or foe? I know it’s hard to believe. I mean, even to me, it seems like another lifetime. But Azalina Othman Said […] […]

  17. […] Aza, friend or foe? I know it’s hard to believe. I mean, even to me, it seems like another lifetime. But Azalina Othman Said […] […]

  18. monsterball says:

    Mason From Kuching…..Are you one of the modern Knight’s Templar warrior?
    If so…you are not suppose to reveal yourself……hahahahahahaha

  19. Mason From Kuching says:

    Honestly Monty, being a Christian for almost 2 decades (during my schooldays), I am still unsure if these ‘things’ are equally real as written in the “Good-Book”.

    PerhAPS i should ask “Big-Skydaddy” why r there caucasians and niggers and we are stuck somewhere in-between. U watched steve Martin’s “Leap Of Faith?”

  20. monsterball says:

    All are fictions my friend!
    It’s just that humans natures are basically greedy and takes few smart guys to use one person…create him to be God and walla….it spread like wild fire..on and on for centuries. Who benefit most?….the creators.
    The con job will last forever ..as long as humans are greedy and selfish. Those that have mastered unselfishness are the key players…like teachers and headmasters for a reason…their whole lives well taken cared off…including their love ones.
    Ordinary guys in other con jobs…get free meals and lodging for life.These are the buffaloes and lazy blokes…doing just few chores and live like pigs and cats…eating and sleeping all their lives.
    Steve Martin show?..he is a great comedien…but I prefer Benny Hill..and “Yes Minister”

  21. Ahead of Time says:

    Forget her/him. Just be glad you are on the correct side of life, doing the right things. You have the love and respect of all right thinking people and people who have little hope in life who depends on people like you for a better life. This is something taking-only people like aza, hisha, najis etc will never achieve in this life or the next. You rock!

  22. Mike says:

    dont worry i lost quite a number of malay friends due to my blog they just offended that perhaps they rights are challenged

  23. Ahead of Time says:

    An afterthought: I just can’t believe it but you seem to be pining for aza !? Hmmmm…just maybe you women are too sentimental…cannot come to terms with reality. Umno is the exploiter and plunderer of the people and country. All those who join Umno are seeking riches thru corruption. Aza is NO different. Like the rest of them, aza must be viewed in the worst possible light. She’s changed for the worst. Money, self interest, are the ONLY things on her mind, like all the rest of them. And if you were to suffer, she will spare you not a gnat shit’s weight of sympathy. Remain true to the people like you were, always. Tak care.

  24. hejus says:

    testing. please ignore

  25. hutchrun says:

    New blog:

    Bakri`s comment:
    By publishing your essays in their submitted form and then highlighting the parts “edited” out, you will show how those so-called editors at NST butchered your piece.

  26. Eway says:

    Mason, why did you call Azalina dykeman? Just because she is not married and looks a little masculine? You are insulting yourself. You have resorted to personal attacks the same as KJ. Don’t stoop to his level.

    I think you are naive to think that US politics are clean and civilised. They are as bad as us, maybe worse. Look at George Bush. No one (democrats or republicans) tried to impeach him yet did they? Busy covering their asses. Same here.

    Azalina will be thinking of her position in Umno. Of course she cannot talk to you in Malaysiakini. In my opinion, she is the least bad in the cabinet. She seems more idealistic , apart from the Brickenbury mess. Joining UMNO seems to be a practical way to extend her agenda. As a minister she will have more opportunities to achieve her ideals.

    I don’t know how bad it is between you two but it may be wise to have an ally in Umno. (you can take my suggestion with a pinch of salt)

  27. People change….some do…we have to accept the fact. It is sad..but perhaps one day she will realise her true friends when she has no title or of no importance to anyone…if she is just ‘herself’….

    A friend in need is a friend indeed…and a friend when you hit the dust…or when you are nothing but a mere mortal…and is still your friend…then, that is a friend indeed…

    Only your nawaitus will set you apart…and only the almighty GOD knows what is in each of our hearts…

  28. SusilaDeeTarTor says:

    I’m reminded of an incident which happened about two weeks ago at a recreation park. A friend of mine was having a conversation with a multi-millionaire. At the same time there was something very urgent I had to tell him. So I approached him. All he had to do was just to stop his conversation for a few seconds and just to reply me YES or NO! But he just ignored me engulfing himself fully in conversation over what I’m not sure. He only came round to face and then talk to me a full 2 or 3 minutes after the rich man left.
    Life is like that, lah.

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