How should we judge a government?

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

"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

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: 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
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

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.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

An apology from 'Sorry is the hardest word' is a big deal indeed

Our ex-Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir, is known for not making an apology. Events of late seem to suggest Tun is a changed man. He seems to be trying to correct all that were wrong which he was responsible as PM for 22 years.

He is all out to oust PM Datuk Seri Najib: from dropping heavy hints to open insults; taking part in Bersih rally; allied himself with former political adversaries like Lim Kit Siang; and acting as patron for new party, Bersatu, helm by ex-DPM, Tan Sri Muhyiddin. There is going to be a grand alliance in an attempt to win the next general election.

He was mentor to DS Najib, who turned out to be uncontrollable now that he is all powerful as PM. Formerly, with Pak Lah, it was easy to request for his resignation. But not with Najib. It was like having created Frankenstein and unable to control it. Most people know the reason why Najib is not going to give up his post is simply because he knows that without power, he is likely to be charged with various offences and be jailed.

Excerpt of Tun's apology:

'1. I would like to apologise for the amendment to the constitution which made the approval and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong no longer necessary for the legalising of an act of Parliament. It would seem that because of the amendment, the new National Security Law has become operational even though the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has not signed it.
2. However I would like to point out that the amendment is not for all laws. Some laws passed by Parliament will still need the consent and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. In fact there are more than thirty proceedings listed out in the constitution that still needs the Agong’s approval frequently without the advise of the Prime Minister.
3. Among these rights and power is that of declaring a state of emergency. The state of emergency is reserved for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong because it’s implications are serious. It gives the Government the right to suspend laws. With this right the Government can arrest and detain any person without trial.
4. Clause (I) of Article 150, Proclamation of Emergency states “If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency making therein a declaration to that effect.”

Rest of it:

Tun is swallowing his pride in making that apology. It is also a sign of being willing to do almost anything to oust Najib.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

P. Gunasegaran's take on the proposed High Speed Rail Link from KL to Singapore

Before I post the excerpt of the article, just wish to point out that I cannot find it from The Star's link. Very strange indeed. Is it being blocked?

The following is from another site, Transitmy, which commented on it...

'Why we should look for cheaper alternatives before embarking on an expensive rail link to Singapore
STRANGELY, one reason given for a high-speed rail link between Malaysia and Singapore is that it will increase property values in Kuala Lumpur.
The way it is phrased is interesting, “unlock property values in Kuala Lumpur.” Tell me, who locked property values in Kuala Lumpur in the first place? Perhaps that is key to understanding this convoluted logic.
I can understand that it reduces travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore considerably – by land that is. I can see how it might – might – improve tourist arrivals here, though I don’t see why the ingresses into Malaysia right now are insufficient.
Thailand and Indonesia don’t have high-speed rail links to anywhere but that has not stopped a burgeoning in their tourist arrivals. In fact, the easiest access to these countries continues to be by air. Lack of rail links has certainly not hampered Bali, for instance – the planes make a beeline to it.
The Government through one of its agencies, the Public Land Transport Commission, expects to finish a feasibility study in eight weeks. But let’s do a back-of-the-envelop, quick feasibility study here, which may take, oh, about eight minutes.
The cost, we presume before land acquisition and rolling stock (trains to you and me), is expected be RM8bil–RM14bil. Let’s take the upper end, because by the time all approvals are obtained, that’s how much it will cost and add to it a further RM6bil as land acquisition and contingency costs.
That brings the figure up to a nice neat RM20bil. And let’s say we need a return on this of 10% a year. That means a net profit of RM2bil a year, a huge amount which only a handful of public-listed companies achieve. And let’s say that takes a revenue of 10 times that or RM20bil a year!
That RM20bil is less than the entire revenue of both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines in a year, implying that we will not in the near future get anywhere near the revenue required to make this rail link profitable on a standalone basis.
Conclusion: It is not commercially viable.'

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

M Bakri Musa: 1MDB – Malaysia’s Enron and Watergate Combined


'The suit by Husam and Chang differs from the earlier DOJ’s in that the defendants are individuals and firms, not assets. They include the usual culprits Jho Low and Reza Aziz, plus his principal accountant Debra Johnson, Goldman Sachs’ bond salesman Timothy Leissner, and film producer Joey McFarland, together with their respective enterprises Metroplex Capital Advisors, Goldman Sachs, and Red Granite Pictures respectively.

Lawsuits are complex and expensive, both to initiate and defend. As for costs, we are looking at high six figures or even millions. That’s US dollars, not devalued ringgit. I do not know about Chang, but I am certain that Husam does not have the kind of resources to engage the high-powered law firms of Louis F Burke PC of New York and Ajamie, LLP of Houston. I do not know their arrangements.

America has the wonderful concept of contingency fees where plaintiffs’ lawyers would get paid only from the awards. Meaning, they have to prevail in order to get paid. That’s laudable public policy as it would ensure that the poor get access to good legal representation.

It would be in the plaintiff lawyers’ interest to ensure that there is a good or at least winnable case, as well as a pot of gold at the end of the trail, or trial. To put it in the colloquial, their defendants must have deep pockets.

Reza Aziz’s and Jho Low’s major assets are now tied up in the DOJ’s forfeiture lawsuit, while Low’s are also frozen in Singapore. Reza Aziz may have a super rich stepfather or donor somewhere. As for the other defendants, Goldman Sachs has the deepest pocket, tantalizing enough target by itself.
While the other defendants and their enterprises may not have deep pockets on cursory examination, they may have generous liability and other insurances. It would be a hollow victory, not to mention a very expensive one, if in the end you could not collect your awards.'

Rest of the article:


Joseph Schooling's Olympic gold: who should get the credit for his achievement?

A Singaporean retiree's opinion:

"As a nation, a people, a country, a govt., and as individuals, we did almost nothing to help Schooling get to the gold medal. We did not finance him, did not support him, the PAP choose not to groom and encourage this boy.

Very little of our money went to training him, and providing him the necessary support, compared to the millions we lavish on 3rd class athletes from China and elsewhere. Not only did we not support him, we almost killed his career by making him do NS. When I say we, I mean the 70% of the morons that supported and elected the PAP.

If his mother May did not fight MINDEF to get his deferment, he might still be in the SAF now doing NS. There was no mass petition from singaporeans calling for his deferment. there was no mass calling by the MPs to support him. There was no media support for him, and certainly no support from the Singapore National Olympics Committee for his deferment.

Instead, 2 angmos (one was his swim coach in University of Texas, Gregg Troy) and the other a technical director, Bill Swetenham of SSC, wrote in their support to ask for his deferment. Not one PAP asshole or Notable sinkie stood up for this boy.

But now that he won the Gold, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and be proud of him. I say that you don't have that right. Singaporeans have not earned the right to claim the limelight with him. Where were they went he needed them? Sinkies are really pathetic hypocrites.

Although I am born and raised in singapore, I am ashamed of our treatment of this boy, and I certainly cannot rejoice without a hint of embarassment that we as a people almost killed this great moment."

Only a Malaysian fought for him. His mom.

From reports, he was nurtured from young, so his Filipino maid should get some credit too?

As a young student, he used the Royal Perak Golf Club as well as the MBI public pool, and he broke state or national swimming records. Like Nicol David, the first initiative from the parents seems the most important.

What his country should do is to at least make things conducive for him, not hinder.

Friend's funeral was a grim reminder of our mortality and eventuality

In 2014, my mother-in-law passed away and within less than a year, in 2015, my brother-in-law too. My children were badly affected because when small, they lived with my in-laws. They were closer to them than my own family.

 When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, they felt that being away from home, they could not spend more time with me. My youngest, daughter, felt the loss of her grandmother and uncle most because she did not attend their funerals. It must have been one of her considerations which made her decide to work in Malaysia instead of Dubai. My elder daughter who had been studying and working overseas for 13 years, even booked to come back for holidays in September and December. Knowing how close I was with a classmate, KC Cheah, they were saddened when they knew about his demise. All 3 of them worried over how I felt about it. It was a shock to me and I couldn't help but reminisce about our times together, and the friends who were involved then.

Since his death, I have posted the following in Facebook:

'Still trying to get over the demise of my dear friend, KC Cheah early yesterday morning. He was my school classmate and we went to Leeds together, stayed in same room in MIH. He accompanied me on my first visit to meet someone (introduced in a letter by another classmate, Pearl), who became my wife. When I was working in KL, I used to visit him every week and chatted until midnight. 30 years ago he opted to work from home as IT consultant initially and then as stock market player. He was a Tai Chi and Gigong instructor but sadly diagnosed as suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable degenerative disease. In June, he wanted to accompany another classmate from Australia to visit me after my operation. I actually told him not to, and visited him instead. Weeks ago, I bought his Yamaha keyboard and had lunch with him. Days ago, I tried to sell his remaining musical instruments to David Chin who mentioned whether he should have jamming in his Kedai Makanan Basikal Stopover in KKB. So it was a shock to me when I got the news.'

'At my late friend's funeral wake, I had to betray him for not covering up his white lie. I was asked by his widow about the drum set which she thought was mine. In fact, just recently he told me to admit it was mine if asked by his wife. It was a case of telling his wife what she wanted to hear which was the reason for the lie. Friends advised her to forgive him for that. I hope he would for me. Rest in peace KC.'

'Met an old friend who I haven't seen since we were in same hostel in Leeds. I could recognise him but he couldn't. Leong Hee, Doeu Swan, KC and I were on the same Czechoslovakian Airline flight to Heathrow in 1973. Then we hired a car to Leeds. It was the first time for KC and I, but LH and DS were there a year before. My father and I actually visited Koon Swan and asked if his brother could travel with me since it was my first time to UK and DS actually changed his flight to accommodate me! Anyway our discussion with LH touched on his present residence in Meru Valley Golf Resort in Ipoh and that See Foon Koppen is a good friend of his wife. When I showed him my pic of her in Asia Magazine (1967), he asked for a copy which he sent to his wife. He texted back to say she was thrilled. He commented that I have very good memory. I replied that I remember only unimportant stuff... like the names of his brother and 4 other cousins who were with us in Leeds. Come to think of it, YB Dr Tan Seng Giaw was there in Leeds too. So was HK singer Cheong Kok Wing. There were a number of his HK textile coursemates staying in MIH.'

'When I asked Leong Hee about his cousin, Swee Joo, I was told he died 2 years ago, a week after a brain operation. Before he migrated to Canada 30 years ago, he took over his father's motor repairs workshop in Sentul, after graduating from UK. They were supposed to be good at repairing Volvo cars. He bought over my RX7 (from a newspaper advert) just to learn how to repair rotary engine. One of their mechanics was introduced by my brother to a niece of Ong Ka Ting and they got married. I can still remember on my way from BG on NSE, a Mercedes sped past my car. Sure enough, at the wedding dinner, it was Ong Ka Chuan, who was then a Perak Executive Councillor. I also learnt that his sister's daughter's surname Ong (same as mine) is different from the politicians' in Chinese.'