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!

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan
Was he referring to Malaysia? Seems so apt...

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

How the Chinese control the economy

How the Chinese control the economy

MyCen News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tragic end to our greatest defender of justice

                                            (Pic from YB Nga Kor Ming's FB page)

News from Malaysiakini:


Courtesy of The Rocket

Asked why he stays in Malaysia in the face of so much adversity, Karpal’s answer is simple.
“They want to make it as difficult as they can for us here so we’ll go away. But we will not go - that would be giving them what they want, and that would be wrong.
“We have to stay and fight.”

Karpal Singh's last official statement (courtesy of Lee Kee Hiong and Antares via Facebook)...


The appointment of Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to act for the Registrar of Societies (ROS) in the civil application filed by the DAP against the ROS, clearly, reflects the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, has abdicated his functions, particularly so in the wake of the recent appointment of Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to act in the criminal appeal involving Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently in the Court of Appeal.

These appointments do not speak well of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Is the Attorney-General Chambers so devoid of personnel of caliber to attend to prosecutions and civil proceedings in courts? Must the tax-payer, in addition to be responsible for the salaries and other benefits for those employed in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, also make provision for payment to Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his services as an advocate and solicitor to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. What is the need for the duplication of these monetary benefits at the expense of the tax-payer?

No doubt, section 24(3) of the Government Proceedings Act, 1956 [attached] provides for the retaining of an advocate and solicitor by the Attorney-General to represent a Federal Officer in civil proceedings in court. However, that provision should only be invoked in exceptional cases where the expertise required in court is not available in the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The civil proceedings against the ROS do not require any special expertise. Therefore, the appointment of Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the expense of the tax-payer is unwarranted and an unnecessary burden on the tax-payer and his appointment should, accordingly, be revoked. The earlier it is done, the better for the tax-payer and the national interest.

In the meanwhile, I call upon the Attorney-General to publicly explain why Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was appointed and the state the remuneration agreed to be paid to him.

Dated 10th April, 2014
Member of Parliament
Bukit Gelugor

Ode on the death of Karpal Singh, MP...
by CLIVE S KESSLER, Emeritus Professor, Sociology & Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Australia...


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Peeved by CIMB Auto Finance in Ipoh

Was asked to collect registration card by my son with an authority letter (sent by email after  letter with signature had been scanned). My IC was inccrrect as well as incomplete but this turned out not to be a problem, but the signature! I must admit, I wasn't too happy with the faint signature, but despite this, I was told his signature was too different from that shown in the HP agreement!

I told them I am the father of the borrower, and my IC shows the same address, but that weren't good enough. According to their procedure (as required by auditors), the signature must be similar and that the two were too different. The alternative was to ask my son to fax another letter properly signed direct to them.

The standard operating procedures can be very different between banks. I wish to compare my personal experience dealing with HP accounts of Hong Leong Bank and CIMB.

After having paid my 7th instalment (of my 5-year loan), HLB asked me if I wish to take home the car registration card! In the case of CIMB, my son had just paid 47th instalment of same period loan, and yet I had to face the hassle mentioned above! Why the former bank could trust me with just 7 prompt payments but the latter could not despite having paid almost 4 years out of 5?

HLB sent me yearly statements of instalments paid, but I have just confirmed with CIMB that they do not send out yearly statements. In other words, 'no news means good news' until you receive a warning letter of unpaid instalments. I have just used Maybank's Giro Interbank Transfer (for the first time) and I had to ask CIMB Auto Finance whether the payment had gone through. With earlier payments by cheque, I had to rely on the acknowledgements and assume everything was ok.

By the way, Maybank Batu Gajah has created problems for some of their customers concerning HP instalment payments. Customers are advised to use the ATM machines wherever possible to avoid joining the long queues waiting to be served at the counter. A foodstall operator had this problem of not using the cash deposit machine because it accepts only certain denominations of Ringgit. By using the machine, she has to pay a sum over and above the instalment amount. She has no cheque account and does not use internet banking.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

GST Bill passed in Parliament

Highlights from Dr DZulkefly Ahmed's article: GST - Who's the liar, BN or PR?

" is a foregone conclusion that the Barisan Nasional government will pass this Bill regardless. A simple majority is all what it takes to replace the existing Sales and Services Tax (SST), to this new consumption tax i.e. the Goods and Services Tax or the GST."

"When the BN government brags and bandied around, in almost all their advertisements, that because they are gracious and care for the rakyat, they now have replaced two taxes i.e. Sales and Service Tax with 1 (one) tax i.e. the Goods and Services Tax.

Besides, they also claimed that, blissfully ignorant perhaps or downright compulsive liars, while the SST is 16% (Sales-10% and Services-6%), Alas and Behold! is only 6% for GST now!

A deeper reflection on this pathetic lie, wouldn’t allow one to be easily fooled and hoodwinked. If truly the rakyat-cum-people-cum-tax-payers are to be better off with 1 GST than 2 SST and 6% GST than 16% SST, i.e. paying less tax hence generating less income for the government’s coffers, would the government ever entertain to replace the existing tax system? Lying through their teeth!"

"... It is just that in the GST’s negative list system, all ‘Goods and Services’ not in the ‘Exempted and Zero-Rated’ categories, are taxable in GST. While in the older system of SST, all ‘Sales and Services’ are not taxable except what has been listed as taxable."

"...Exactly how long and what items are to be taxed would only be made known when the Gazette is released by the Minister!"

The following graphic from helps us to understand how GST works:


Saturday, April 05, 2014

When the timing of an article sucks

"AirAsia has apologised over an article published in the April edition of its in-flight travel magazine which suggested its “skilful pilots would never lose a plane”, saying it never intended to refer to missing flight MH370."

"The article angered netizens soon after a photo of it from the airline's in-flight magazine Travel 3Sixty, made its rounds on twitter.

The photo showed the last passage in the article which reads: "Training and Preparation – Pilot training in AirAsia is continuous and very thorough. Rest assured that your captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost. Have a safe flight.”

As a monthly contributor, he said, Lim prepared all of his articles months in advance before the magazine goes to print. The magazine’s April edition was printed well before the plane went missing.

"Unintentionally and regrettably, the current issue carries an article that discusses about GPS and Radar, which was printed a month before its issue date.

"This is a truly difficult time for the nation and words cannot describe how I personally feel of this incident. It truly saddens me that this article was released at such an inopportune moment," he said. – April 5, 2014.


This came soon after Hishammuddin's faux pas in his tweet which referred to MH370 incident as 'blessing in disguise'. It had to be deleted soon after when he realised his grave mistake.

Not sure if this old MAS advertisement was genuine... if so, it was most eerily, though unintentionally, prophetic...


Friday, April 04, 2014

After the initial euphoria, BR1M might bring adverse effects on BN instead

We have been through 2 BR1M payouts, and now in the process of 3rd BR1M distribution. Both earlier BR1Ms were obviously sweeteners to voters so that they would vote for ruling BN. The criteria for eligibility were not properly followed, with many people receiving them even though not strictly eligible. I believe it was intentional, as a form of legalised bribing of voters.

Perhaps the financial position of our Finance Ministry is rather tight these days, or maybe, having won the last GE, BN can afford to be stricter when scrutinizing those already registered with the ministry. From feedback received, some pensioners are complaining that they are ineligible this year even though they were 'eligible' before.

One pensioner noticed from his bank statement that he had received the full amount less deduction for insurance. Previously, he was twice rejected because of having bought a new car which exceeded Rm100,000, and twice he was successful in his appeals. Upon comparing combined pensions, his was rightly below Rm3,000.

Another pensioner noticed that his bank account had been credited with Rm450, even though he got the full amount before.  He admitted that their combined pension amount is between Rm3,000 and Rm4,000.

Another pensioner checked with the LHDN and was told that the combined pensions of both husband and wife exceed Rm4,000, which was why he did not receive any BR1M payout.

Yet another pensioner has more or less given up hope, now that he knows the finance ministry had double-checked with the Pensions Department in the above-mentioned cases.

The question at the top of their minds seem to be: will the government ask for the return of BR1Ms received, if proven they were actually ineligible before? Whose fault would it be if the government had been deliberately sloppy before because of BN's intention to 'bribe' voters for votes? I can imagine the outcry and backlash if such cases were to be pursued relentlessly, even though legally correct.