How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

Why we should be against censorship: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

MyCen News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Years ago, there was a joke about a guy named William Poster, who dared not come out of his house because of the many signs in town, 'BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED'.

I was reminded of that joke when I came across this...


Obviously first-time travellers


1. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

2.  "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons.  I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort.'  We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

'Caveat emptor' or 'Let the buyer beware' in Latin

Many people have commented about some well known expensive dishes charged by a restaurant in Section 19, Petaling Jaya. Yet, our recent visit showed the place is still well patronised and diners have to book in advance to ensure specific number of seats available, especially if you are the host. It is a case of demand still exceeds supply, with the number of new or old customers exceeding the number of customers who decided 'not again' after having felt overcharged.

Despite being well prepared for the expensive dishes, our hosts still found it necessary to ask for details of the food prices, which I presumed to have been stated in a lump sum of say Rm800+ for food... for 6 persons! It wasn't nice of us as guests to ask for details but I overheard the most expensive dish was 'Sung har mein' which was over Rm400! I knew before hand how this dish can be expensive even at lesser restaurants, eg. minimum Rm54 which comes with 2 prawns and others were advised to order this dish only if you have 2 persons having the meal. So when the big dish came with big prawns and lobster on top of the noodles, I knew this is going to break any record I knew so far! It seems just the basic noodles and the big prawn (or prawns, not sure if there were two) costs Rm200 and add to it the lobster, and the price ballooned to over Rm400! then, there was a 'yee chi' or roasted piglet which costed some Rm200, and 2 big crabs which added another Rm200 or so.

It was only after dinner that I walked past the adjoining shoplot which displays the live sea creatures like crabs, lobsters and big prawns. What struck me most was the price for Australian lobster stated at Rm480 per kg.!

Honestly, I cannot afford to host such an expensive dinner, or even if I could, I would not. I would save it for when we are at places like Kuala Sepetang, Kuala Gula or even Tg. Tualang (fresh water prawns known in Malay as udang galah). For those living in Klang valley who crave for seafood, they might go to Klang or Port Klang or northwards to Tg. Karang or Sekinchan.

But for those where money is no problem, there are many ludicrous (at least to us ordinary mortals) instances of extravagance. I remember a film star who ordered caviar across the Atlantic; a HK billionaire who flew in his private jet to Penang to have selected specie of durians and took home some for his fellow billionaire friends; more recently, at a news portal, the headline asked if it is ok to be charged Rm48 for a roti canai, ordered through the hotel's room service; and so on.

There is a Chinese saying, 'Toong yan, ng toong maeng' or we are fellow humans (that's where the similarity ends) but have very different lifestyles.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Selangor's new Exco line-up

PKR appears to have gained the upper hand at the expense of PAS, after the unfortunate episode of removing Khalid Ibrahim which turned into a constitutional crisis in Selangor. The key players within Pakatan were put between the constitution and sedition and only a compromise favouring the royalty helps to diffuse what could have been a prolonged stalemate and possible untoward incidents.

I presume DAP Hannah Yeoh's position as Speaker remains intact with the following report:

'New Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali has revealed a revamped state executive council (exco) line-up today.

Speaking at a press conference at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building here this morning, the announcement saw some changes being made.

The new line-up saw deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of PKR dropped to the exco position with the deputy speaker position was reserved for PAS.
The changes made also saw PAS losing a spot to PKR leading the latter to hold four positions, with DAP and PAS holding three respectively.'

'The line-up consists of Dr Daroyah Alwi (PKR), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR), Amirudin Shari (PKR), Ganabatirau Veraman (PKR), Datuk Teng Chang Kim (DAP), Elizabeth Wong (DAP), Ean Yong Hian Wah (DAP), Iskandar Abdul Samad (PAS), Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PAS) and Zaidy Abdul Talib (PAS).'

Read more:

As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words while we await details of specific portfolios...


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jack Ma and his Alibaba... pity he is not Malaysian

In Malaysia, Alibaba refers to the type of business partnerships which involve a Bumi partner (with political connections to get contracts) and a Chinese partner who does the day-to-day running of the business.

Malays whine about the lack of employment opportunities in the private sectors, despite being in control politically as well as in charge of all major institutions, GLCs and government universities.

But what seems to be lacking is the drive or ambition to be successful. If you have what it takes, nothing can stop you.

Let's hear from the new richest man in China, Jack Ma, whose Alibaba's IPO in USA was the largest in NYSE history!

'Jack Ma: Before I founded Alibaba, I invited 24 friends to my house to discuss the business opportunity. After discussing for a full two hours, they were still confused — I have to say that I may not have put myself across in a clear manner manner then. The verdict: 23 out of the 24 people in the room told me to drop the idea, for a multitude of reasons, such as: ‘you do not know anything about the internet, and more prominently, you do not have the start-up capital for this’ etc etc.

There was only one friend (who was working in a bank then) who told me, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before.” I pondered upon this for one night, and by the next morning, I decided I would do it anyway, even if all of the 24 people opposed the idea.'

'When I first started Alibaba, I was immediately met with strong opposition from family and friends. Looking back, I realised that the biggest driving force for me then was not my confidence in the Internet and the potential it held, but more of this:  “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before.

As with this quote by T.E. Lawrence – “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”
Jack Ma: People lose out in life because of these 4 reasons:

Being myopic to opportunity
Looking down on opportunities
Lacking understanding
Failing to act quickly enough
You are poor, because you have no ambition.

Ambition is living a life of great ideals; a magnificent goal in life that must be realised.'
Jack Ma: If you’re still poor at 35, you deserve it!