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?
Corruption is 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.)

Monday, December 31, 2007

To all my friends and relatives...

and management and readers of Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, bloggers and so on.

Is this how you feel about 2007?

Cheer up!

Mr. Chung’s family will visit me later. I’ll ask them to visit you too!

The Chung’s family members are: Chung Ma Piu, Chung Tai Choi, Chung Toto and Chung Four Dee. They will be around to wish you Good Luck for 2008.

Don’t worry, one of them will not visit you the whole year. Chung Sam Mun is out of country this year. I hope he decides to apply for PR and stay for good.

Happy New Year!

The truth is out there...

but you need to do some research.

Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan's letter in Malaysia Today is indeed a revelation based on published materials, which the public in general are too lazy to look for and analyze, while the government's Minister of Information chose to discourage dissemination of information which might upset the cosy symbiotic relationship between government and favoured private contractors:

Should the government buy PLUS?
Posted by Raja Petra
Sunday, 30 December 2007

I refer to the statement made by Dato Shahrir Samad where he suggested the government takes over PLUS to reduce the financial burdeon of the people and the government in addressing the concession agreement with PLUS.

With due and utmost respect to Dato Shahrir Samad, whom I regards as one of the few honest politicians who speak with his mind, I believe Dato Shahrir has actually miss a major point. The government actually owns PLUS as we speak today.

If we were to study the PLUS 2006 annual report, we will be able to make the following deductions:

Issued capital - 1.25 billion

Large Shareholders with shareholding of 5% and above:

UEM 40.21%
Khazanah 23.87%
EPF 9.65%

From the Khazanah website, it is quite obvious that UEM is also own by the government via Khazanah. So when the Minister says that we should make it a government property, I believe Dato Shahrir means that it means buying those shares that are not own by the government as it is.

My own analysis of the scenario is that buying PLUS is actually not a very good idea. If you see the shareholding structure of PLUS, you can see that the directors themselves own very little shares in the company. What does this mean? It means that they know this is not a company that can make money. PLUS is merely a financial conduit for the other companies that is associated with UEM where the common director has larger stakes.

By studying the 2006 annual report, we can see that more than RM 5.8 billion was actually paid out to UEM and its subsidiary companies. What does this mean? Well let me make this simple. If someone is sitting in a company and start signing various service agreement with other companies where the directors has a bigger shareholding, it means that something fishy is going on. No wonder they keep a bare minimum number of shares in the company.

If my memory serves me right, UE took a RM 4 billion loan from the government to built the highway and over the last few years I think we can safely say that we have been paying many billions over the original cost. However due to the not so recent financial crisis and some politically led corporate manoeuvres, PLUS became a government company partly. Well there may be some quarters that claim that it has to be done due to other national interest, I beg to differ.

So, where do we stand today on the toll and PLUS issue? The government will still raise the toll to satisfy the shareholders of Teras Technology, Propel, Rangkaian Segar, UEM, Time Quantum Technology, BizAid Technology. If one were to analyze in detail the amount of payment made to the IT linked arm, you will be shocked on the "service charges". If PLUS is my own company, there is no reason for me to pay RM 2,135 billion recurrently( every year) on IT related service fee to subsidiary like Teras Technology, Time Quantum Technology and Biz Aid. I am a medical doctor and I have an MBA in IT, I can say for sure spending 100 million is already plentiful enough to setup an IT system. All you need is several million more to maintain it yearly. Well maybe I am a cheapskate businessman that count pennies and that is why I can come out with such a figure.
So, Dato Shahril you see, there are people out there that are very good with their maths. They make everything looks good on paper and went to make corporate manoeuvres, the Malaysian Public interest is not the prime importance. As the chairman of PAC, I urged you to look at this affair. The public keep asking to see the various concession agreement but many failed to appreciate many facts that is available in the Public Domain. The question that we should be asking is not about buying PLUS (which is partly owned by the government) but about buying UEM. Then only you can control the cost of managing the highway and keeping it low for the Malaysian consumer. It appears that we are paying ridiculous amount of money in so called maintenance activity.
With rising oil price, we need to find ways to keep the country to be economically competitive to produce goods cheaper than the rest of the world. With all this corporate game that makes cost of living higher among Malaysians, we are definitely losing our edge. For Malaysians, be prepared to pay more next year on TOLL to enrich UEM and its subsidiaries (indirectly its majority shareholders)

Regards and best wishes,

Dr Mohamed Rafick Khan bin Abdul Rahman
MD, MMed(OM), MBA(IT), Dip Ae Med, CTM, AME (17)

(So far, we are told that we have no choice as it is stipulated in the Contract (under OSA) that the government has to allow the toll increases periodically OR pay them the equivalent in compensation. Isn't it right that we should ask to see the Contract to see how lop-sided it shows and how silly the government negotiators look?)

Tell me the truth, but you must be properly dressed

When I read about the two ratepayers, who happened to be DAP members, being shown the exit during a Taiping council meeting, for not meeting ‘dress-code’ requirement, it really made me angry. Little Napoleons at work? Lack of transparency leading to morbid fear of nosey parkers?

Once, in Batu Gajah Land Office; I was told that my wearing shorts and slippers made it improper to meet their officer! So what does this imply? That one has to be able to afford proper clothes to seek any redress? Or that those who can afford to own a house should be able to dress up properly? Indians, who favour dressing like Gandhi, not welcome?

So this picture of Najib, who appears to be representing Pak Lah’s big ears, would seem just for public relations purposes, especially when it was done in Kelantan, the top priority state for victory this coming elections.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Most Indispensable Person of the Year 2007

In conjunction with Malaysiakini’s Award for Newsmaker of the Year 2007, I have one for the Most Indispensable Person of the Year 2007, and the winner..., without any shadow of doubt, goes to our beloved Election Commission Chairman, who required the BN’s 90% majority in Parliament to extend his tenure. The Constitution had to be amended just for him.

He publicly announced that 'no regime except the Barisan Nasional party can qualify to govern Malaysia'. I believe his Civil Servant mentality had gone so embedded in him that he thinks his job is just to ensure that BN wins again, by all means.

He was coy enough after the passing of the Bill to say that he had yet to accept the extension!

The Star quoted him today: “It is my pleasure to continue serving the people. I will do my best to ensure yet another fair election is held.”

I wish the ‘fence-sitters’ will vote to show their displeasure over the government’s abuse of its majority in Parliament, against the wishes of the people.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Legality and Logic

After having failed his exam in "Logistics and Organization", a student goes and confronts his lecturer about it.

Student : "Sir, do you really understand anything about the subject?"

Professor : "Surely I must. Otherwise I would not be a professor!"

Student : "Great, well then I would like to ask you a question. If you can give me the correct answer, I will accept my mark as is and go. If you however do not know the answer, I want you give me an "A" for the exam. "

Professor : "Okay, it's a deal. So what is the question?"

Student : "What is legal, but not logical, logical, but not legal, and neither logical, nor legal?"

Even after some long and hard consideration, the professor cannot give the student an answer, and therefore changes his exam mark into an "A", as agreed.

Afterwards, the professor calls on his best student and asks him the same question.

He immediately answers: "Sir, you are 63 years old and married to a 35 year old woman, which is legal, but not logical.

Your wife has a 25 year old lover, which is logical, but not legal.

The fact that you have given your wife's lover an "A", although he really should have failed, is neither legal, nor logical."

(The Bill to extend EC Chairman's retirement age is perfectly legal but illogical because of the people's perception of his known partiality towards the ruling party and strong objections from Bersih and the like. It was an obvious show of arrogance or desperation, depending on how one looks at it.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cry me a river, but don't flood Shah Alam please

I refer to Malaysiakini report, Khir Toyo: I cry for the squatters too. Can we believe that? Maybe he was affected when Zakaria cried too, which explained no demolition required.

A man has got to do what a man has got to do, so he can’t be too sensitive to minorities’ sensitivities?

Being Chief Minister of a state is even more powerful than its Sultan so we can understand why most CMs are reluctant to become Federal Ministers. It must be great to lord over a specific area where he surveys. It seems whenever someone becomes Chief Minister for the first time, he gets a cultural shock at the extent of his powers and ease in enriching himself, with the exception of Kelantan. So far, it is generally acceptable to do so as some are a law unto themselves, or 'untouchables'.

I wish Anwar is eligible for the coming elections and aim for the post of Menteri Besar of Selangor, which is more pragmatic for now. The mood is right with the many disgruntled voters of late.
(Picture from Mob's Crib)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Discordant Dude striking the right chord

When I read the letter by Discordant Dude in Malaysiakini, I realised that the young adults are increasingly more aware of our political situation than before. Perhaps they were less open about their feelings before but with the internet news portals with real time reporting and comments, they are taking it like ducks to water. It is only a matter of time before this new form of information will challenge the mainstream media in terms of reach, in providing a more balanced report of what is actually happening in the country.

My son, who has missed two General Elections, has not only took the trouble to register himself but also tried to find out how to go about voting while being abroad. But he was disappointed with the lack of response from the Election Commission to his enquiry.

In the last GE, he was surprised by the trouble his peers took to return to Ipoh to vote, mainly for the opposition. What is important is the realization that every eligible voter is entitled to one vote and there is no difference whether you are a Minister, Tan Sri or a labourer. But before we can be comfortable with the system, we have to be reassured that the system is fair with no phantom voters, no arbitrary transfers of voters (many realised too late that they had to vote in another state!) and the non-transparent use of postal votes of the army (which some people believe are for the protection of some key ministers!)

As an election agent in the previous GE, I was peeved when at the last minute, the ban on ‘hot tents’ (not sure what is the correct term), which were used for checking of names on the electoral rolls and last minute attempt to influence the voters, was lifted. Imagine, BN knowing before hand while the cash-strapped opposition caught by surprise was unable to do anything! My advice to the opposition is to be prepared for such surprises and have more election agents and helpers to keep an eye for any hanky panky.

Why should I go back to Malaysia?
Discordant Dude Dec 19, 07 4:36pm

I am an ordinary Malaysian who has been living in United Kingdom for almost half a year now. I have never felt more Malaysian until I reached the UK. I take pride in my identity as a Chinese Malaysian, in that order. It never tires me to point out that being Chinese does not automatically mean that I come from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

In the course of my work in a hostel here, I recently encountered verbal abuse which was racial and religious in nature from a resident. Not realising the gravity of the situation, I briefly recorded the incident in the logbook.

The next day I received a call from my immediate boss telling me to see the deputy housing manager as my complaint was viewed very seriously. To cut a long story short, the deputy housing manager assisted me in filling out an official hate crime/incident report that resulted in the resident being booted out from the hostel a few weeks later.

Just when I thought that the whole matter was over, I received a note from a police officer today leaving me his contact number. He asked if I wished to pursue the matter further and told me that in the future such abuses can be reported directly to him if I do not feel comfortable going through the channels in my workplace.

As a non-citizen, I felt amply protected by the laws of this country. It’s not that UK has a perfect system or that racism does not exist in this society. At least I am institutionally protected from overt discrimination such as racial and religious prejudices.

It has never occurred to me that racism was taken so seriously as per my case. This is probably because I grew up in an environment where racial discrimination is institutionalised and accepted as part and parcel of our life in Malaysia. After 50 years of independence, our education system, economic policy and political sphere are still ruled according to the dictates of race. It seems to me that we have not been freed after all from the shackles of colonial mentality divide-and-rule.

Maybe I am not seeing the bigger picture of our country’s laws and policies. But I am not the only one. Contrary to the landslide election results cited by our government every time criticisms are mounted, I can confidently say that the realities around me are very different.

I know of brilliant overseas students who refuse to return to Malaysia upon graduation. There are diligent local graduates working their way out of the system and dissatisfied friends and family who have no other recourse but to spend their time grumbling at mamak stalls. To say the least, our laws and policies are damaging the psyche of our nation.

How can we supposed that the general election results represent our public and political consciousness when the minister in the prime minister’s department so bluntly said in an Al Jazeera interview that the views of opposition members carry no weight?

This is contrary to the tenets of democracy. How can we reasonably believe in clean and fair elections when efforts to publicly debate such issues were reduced to childish name-calling and trivial bickering?

Yes, I am making a comparison between UK and Malaysia. The prime minister recently said that public security is of paramount importance but I cannot help but feel more secure and protected by a foreign country’s rule of law of a foreign country rather than my own. My short stint in the UK has exposed me to a law enforcement that takes the extra mile to assuage me of my fear of discrimination while my many years of encounters with the Malaysian police force was of intimidation and bribery.

All these are compounded by the discrepancy between what our mainstream newspapers report and the personal realities around me. The media tells me that the disgruntled are only a small segment of Malaysian society but everyone around me seems to be dissatisfied. The media says that only a minority in the police force are corrupt but everyone I know has at least one bad tale to tell. The media’s estimates of participants in recent demonstrations were hard to reconcile with what I saw on Youtube.

I am not saying that Malaysia should emulate her past colonial master all-and-sundry. No doubt we have much to learn. If I may take the comparisons one step further, the UK treats me, a migrant worker, more like a human being than we in Malaysia treat our migrant workers.

How can our migrant workers be more than a commodity when we have legislation against their love lives and none to provide them with more humane conditions of labour? Given the way we alienate our Indonesian neighbours in our country, no wonder they do not see that we share the same cultural roots.

Dear prime minister, I have been asking myself again and again why I (or anyone else in my shoes) should go back to Malaysia? An ordinary Chinese Malaysian like myself is more protected by the law, has more merit-based opportunities and can live a more comfortable life in the UK.

The only reason I tell myself is that Malaysia is where I belong - the people, the culture, the history and all. Tanah tumpah darahku. This is my society. This is where I want to contribute my productive and creative energy.

The recent events have distanced me from such sentiments altogether. Honest and loyal citizens struggling for a better Malaysia have been made to look like the worst traitors, charged with attempted murder and accused of conspiring with terrorist groups. The rhetoric of Ketuanan Melayu is getting louder by the day, nurturing a cultural and political system that I am becoming more and more estranged with. People in positions of power to affect change remain in absurd denial of a reality that all sane people know to be true.

Dear prime minister, I am writing and expressing my thoughts simply because I still believe and hope. Despite the many who have chosen to opt out of Malaysia, I still want to be optimistic about the possibilities for change. I trust that you still hold on to your promise of working with and for the people.

I am just an ordinary Malaysian who wants to see a better Malaysia. I pray that you will hear the concerned voices and reinforce my conviction that Malaysia is a country for all - regardless of race, religion or creed.

Listen to your gut seems as good in investment decisions

Over Light n Easy, I used to hear ‘from the resources of The Sun, The Edge, Bloomberg and Reuters…’

Since Zam lambasted The Sun for being critical of the government, we don’t hear The Sun and The Edge mentioned anymore. Was it a coincidence?

Anyway, I find the following article on investment interesting. Incidentally, the editor of The Straits Times, FK Han, happened to be a fellow resident in Methodist International House, Leeds, in 1973/74. I actually found this while browsing through Malaysia Today.

By Michael R. Sesit
The Straits Times

DO YOU find yourself spending days examining countless bits of data before deciding where to invest? The bad news is you might be wasting your time. The good news, if you can call it that, is you have plenty of company - particularly in the professional investment community.

'Our industry is obsessed with the minutiae of detail,' says Mr James Montier, chief global equity strategist at SG Securities in London and a specialist in applying psychology to finance.

One reason is that analysts seek to impress with quantity over quality, often producing voluminous reports that amount to the ostentatious presentation of the obvious. Another is that 'analysts are often petrified of saying, 'I don't know',' Mr Montier says.

Academic research shows more information does not necessarily imply better information - except perhaps when computers are used to process the data.

Expert handicappers were just as accurate at predicting winners of horse races when they had five bits of information as when they had 10, 20 or even 40 bits, according to a 1973 unpublished study by Mr Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the Oregon Research Institute.

More recently, three researchers at the University of Chicago's Graduate Business School - doctoral candidate Claire Tsai and behavioural scientists Joshua Klayman and Reid Hastie - came up with similar results after testing the ability of American football fans to accurately forecast the winners and point spreads of collegiate football games.

The participants - University of Chicago students who had to pass a test showing their understanding of football - were given six random bits of data, or cues, in each of five successive stages. The teams weren't revealed. On average, the participants correctly predicted the winners about 62 per cent of the time, regardless of whether they had six cues or 30.

Interestingly, the students' confidence increased when they were fed additional data, even if their predictive accuracy didn't. That was also true of Mr Slovic's handicappers.

When the Chicago experiment was replicated using a computer model, the model was correct 56 per cent of the time with six cues, gradually increasing in accuracy to 71 per cent with 30 cues. But people aren't computers, and the human brain can absorb and process only so much information.

Psychologist George Miller, in the 1950s, observed that the average human working memory - which Mr Montier calls 'the brain's scratch pad' - was able to handle seven items, plus or minus two. 'The span of absolute judgment and the span of immediate memory impose severe limitations on the amount of information that we are able to receive, process and remember,' he wrote in the 1956 edition of the Psychological Review.

Ever hear the old quip: The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you forget; the more you forget, the less you know? This scientific research unfurls it in spades.

'Too much time is spent trying to find out more and more about less and less, until we know everything about nothing,' Mr Montier says.

'Rarely, if ever, do we stop and ask what do we actually need to know.'

Instead of assembling gobs and gobs of data, investors should focus on the information that is really important.

That may vary, depending on whom you ask. There is no magic formula, of course. If there were, everybody would be using it. Better yet, there wouldn't be a stock market, because there would be nobody to take the other side of a trade.

Mr Montier says he measures a stock's appeal according to some valuation criteria: its momentum, which gauges the strength of its price movement, and balance-sheet data indicating a company's financial soundness, such as its so- called F score, which takes account of profitability, debt and operating efficiency.

Another item would be a corporation's capital discipline, such as how much money it is paying out in dividends and stock buybacks or keeping as retained earnings.

Again, another discipline may hold lessons for investors. A study of two Michigan hospitals found that emergency department doctors were sending about 90 per cent of patients with severe chest pain to their hospital's cardiac care units (CCUs). It also turns out that, by chance, they were admitting 90 per cent of those who belonged in the CCUs and about 90 per cent of those who didn't. The physicians might as well have tossed a coin.

The problem was the doctors were looking at a wide range of risk elements such as age, gender, smoking, cholesterol levels and family history. While good predictors of heart attack potential, they are poor diagnostic tools for determining whether someone is actually having an attack.

In another experiment, researchers Lee Green and David Mehr designed a 'decision- support tool', cards that matched heart attack probabilities against diagnostic data.

Doctors' decision-making improved. Surprisingly, though, their accuracy rate rose even when they didn't use the charts, reflecting the physicians' enhanced focus on key diagnostic elements.

'Teaching simple decision-making strategies might effectively reduce unnecessary CCU utilisation,' the authors wrote.

In response, researchers Green and Mehr came up with an even simpler decision tool of stepped yes/no questions relating diagnostic cues to heart attack probabilities. It worked even better.

Mr Montier recommends building similar information-filtering tools for investing. If you answer 'yes' to the initial question, go to the next query. If the answer is again affirmative, move to the third question, and so forth. If at any time you answer 'no', find another stock to buy.

Need a New Year's resolution? One word: Simplify.

The writer is a Bloomberg News columnist.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pigs unlucky this year?

No, I am not about to write about those affected by Ali Rustam’s order to have Malacca free of pigs.

I normally take astrology with a pinch of salt. My wife happened to have read Lillian Too’s prediction based on Chinese astrology and she remembers something about those born in the years of the Pig having to watch their health during this Chinese year of the Pig.

For taoists, they normally go to the temple to ‘sip tai sui’ to try and alleviate, or if possible, avoid any possible bad luck coming their way. One year is different from the next and each year, one or more animal signs might be affected.

Recently, Cheng mentioned about her fall in the bathroom in Maastricht, Holland. My wife remembered about the prediction and she went to her usual temple to check out. There was a list of those affected and who require ‘sip tai sui’. All men, born in the years of the Pig, eg. 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, are affected. Women born in the year 1983 only are affected, which refers to Cheng as well. Two weeks ago, my brother fell from the ceiling and fractured his left leg and injured two vertebrae, and he was born in 1947.

When I read the papers about Jeffrey Kitingan’s road accident, I vaguely remembered his age was mentioned as 60 and I double-checked it as correct, which meant he was born in the year of the Pig.

Coincidence? Who knows?

Anyone listening?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ISA invented by Angmos, morphed into a security blanket for Umno?

Because of the connection with communists insurgency during the Emergency, I always got the impression that it was started by the British… until I came across this article by half Angmo, Raja Petra, in 2002:

Tuesday, 12-Mar-2002 8:13 AM

The Internal Security Act – The Law of the Jungle
by Raja Petra

To understand Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA), one must first of all comprehend Malaysia’s history - and the history of the ISA goes back to the time of the Second World War.

Malaysia, then called Malaya, just like the other countries around this region - save for Thailand - fell to the Japanese during WWII. But the British were not about to give in that easily. They parachuted British Army officers into the jungles of Malaya to organise a resistance movement and with that saw the birth of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). The British officers not only trained the MPAJA but also supplied it with arms and ammunition but they never really managed to kick the Japanese out.

After the Japanese surrendered, the British disbanded the MPAJA and tried to repossess all the weapons. The slimy buggers, however, never surrendered everything. They declared they had lost most of the weapons and buried them in the jungles to be used at a later date.

Eventually, the British colonial government returned to Malaya’s shores but the MPAJA had by then re-organised itself into another army, a Communist fighting force. In fact, many within the ranks of the original MPAJA were actually Communists who aspired for an independent Malaya. Indonesia had shown that independence was possible when it declared its independence as soon as the Japanese left making it impossible for the Dutch colonial masters to return.

You can say the British trained and equipped the Communist army into what it was. But the British were not about to go home and instead banned the Malayan Communist Party so the Communists retaliated by declaring war on the British. And that was the beginning of the Malayan Emergency.

The Emergency was a trying time for Malaya. Many Malayans as well as British lost their lives, not to mention property razed to the ground. Even police stations were not spared.

In 1957, Malaya finally gained its independence from Britain while the war with the Communist Terrorists was still raging. The first Parliamentary Election was held in 1959 and, in 1960, Parliament decided to enact a law to combat the Communist Terrorists.

The Deputy Prime Minister then, the late Tun Abdul Razak, tabled the proposed new law, the Internal Security Act, which was primarily aimed at overcoming the ongoing and, from the looks of it, never-ending problem with the Communist Terrorists.

The Member of Parliament for Ipoh, Seenivasagam, stood up to question Tun Razak on the purpose of this new law. Tun Razak replied that the Communist Terrorists operating along the Malaysian-Thai border was a serious problem that needed to be overcome. There were an estimated 580 Communist Terrorists operating in Malaya which included small groups in the States of Pahang and Terengganu.

Tun Razak assured Parliament that the ISA would only be used against these Communist Terrorists. It was a very specific law with a very specific objective in mind.

Under Article 149 of the Constitution, Parliament, in dire situations, can enact laws to counter it. The Communist insurgency was certainly within this category and the ISA was enacted under Article 149 of the Constitution.

Article 149 is very specific. It is to counter subversion. And the definition of subversion is if there is a religious rebellion, racial disharmony, or Communist insurgency. And Article 149 can be invoked in the event that certain "action has been taken by a substantial body of persons".

Today, there are no more Communists in Malaysia, and certainly no Communist Terrorists in our jungles. And Malaysia is far from being subverted from any "substantial body of persons". But the ISA continues to be used against Malaysians.

The arrest of ten Keadilan leaders and Reformasi activists in April 2001 was on grounds that they are members of the party who "plotted to topple the government through the general elections and street demonstrations". That was the official statement released by the police the day the arrests were made.

The ten profusely deny this allegation. They were also alleged to be planning to bring in guns, bombs and grenade launchers. They deny this too and up to now no evidence have been offered to support this allegation against them.

The government also says that the ten were arrested because they planned to commit an act of subversion. Although they have not committed any such act yet, there is a suspicion they may do so in future. The ISA was invoked on mere suspicion that there is a probability such a plan could exist and they were arrested to establish whether it did actually exist or not.

The detainees are challenging their detention and seeking to get their detention declared illegal. They contend that they were never informed of the reason of their arrest and were denied access to legal counsel. And they are certainly not a "substantial body of persons".

The government says the detainees were informed of the reason of their arrest – that they are a threat to nation security – but the government is not obligated to tell them what act they performed which makes them a threat. ISA detainees need only be given a vague reason for their arrest. They need not be given any details or shown any proof argues the government.

The ISA detainees are arrested based on suspicion, based on the probability they may commit a subversive act in future, and so that they can be interrogated. It is up to the ISA detainees then to prove they are innocent. But the ISA detainees will not be told of what crime they have committed so they will not be able to defend themselves during the interrogation but can only do so after they have been sent to Kamunting. And they are sent to Kamunting after the government is convinced they are guilty, which will be established during the interrogation.

Sounds confusing? This is known as "Catch 22". You cannot prove your innocence since you do not know your crime and since you cannot prove your innocence you are sent to Kamunting.

The government also says that ISA detainees lose their right to legal counsel though the Constitution says that not only must those arrested be told the reason of their arrest, but they must be given access to legal counsel as well.

The ISA is a special law argues the government and agrees that the ISA contradicts the Constitution with regards to the right to legal counsel. The ISA is above the Constitution though it was enacted under the Constitution. (Even the Federal Court judges could not, as they said, reconcile this contradiction).

In short, the ISA is a law of the jungle where basic Constitutional rights does not exist – most apt considering, in the first place, it was enacted to fight those Communists in the jungle.

(To our Minister of Education, anything that is unfavourable to BN is considered 'poisoning' the minds of our young. I wish to state that we are after the truth without malice. If the leaders are sincere and transparent in their actions, there is nothing to worry about.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

We welcome foreign inputs...
like FDI, foreign currencies, foreign aid and foreign favourable reports or comments…
but please do not tell us how to run our country.

Responses like "butt out" to India on harsh treatment of local Indians; "clean up your own backyard first" to USA on ISA; and "take it or leave it" to criticisms on NEP, are fairly common.

A Canadian columnist in a local newspaper said he was asked why he did not comment on anything wrong with the country and his reason was that he does not think it polite to do so. Well, if he wants to keep his column, he jolly well keeps it nice and pleasant!

First of all, Malaysians expect or hope a foreigner would comment on what is happening in the country because of our need (insecurity?), depending on which side we are on, to have additional opinions to support our public statements.

I am sure it is well known that any foreign comment favourable to the government is highlighted in every news media while adverse reports are either unreported or downplayed.

To those in the opposition or who are against many government policies, the lack of space in the mainstream media to express their strong views as well as the common fear of reprisal have led to the need for foreign or other critics to speak out for them.

To illustrate this point on perceived fear of reprisal, YB Teresa Kok once said that a group of house-owners in her constituency wanted her to complain about a mosque about to be built in their neighbourhood. A meeting was called and the response was poor. When she said that she required their names and identities, almost all declined! They just wanted her to complain on their behalves without revealing their identities!

The fear (real or imaginary) of reprisals relates to employment (especially those in government service), business (where there are business relationships with the government or merely where annual renewal of licences is required), children’s applications for scholarships, and so on.

In Malaysia, we have a unique situation where there is institutionalised racial discrimination in favour of the majority race. To many of us, it is no different from the old apartheid policy in South Africa, of which our ex-PM was a strong critic then!

We are forbidden to discuss about this official discrimination because of the Sedition Act and the people discriminated against, are resigned to bearing with it.

Yet, every now and again, we have to put up with hypocritical statements made by our leaders about their self-claimed fairness in treating everyone equally and there is no discrimination! Please don’t insult our intelligence or rub salt into injury.

If we were to give specific examples, we are likely to be accused of fanning racial sensitivities.

Only recently, Umno Information Chief made a statement to the effect that local authorities should take it easy on small traders and we all know even before that, the authorities have been selective in their actions. Why not make it official policy for all?

Maximus statement with minimum meaning

Maximus’s statement over the weekend that the people should go through the proper channels like their elected representatives, relevant government departments and the media instead of taking part in street demonstrations sounded so hollow to the man in the street.

An elected BN representative, whether in Parliament or State Assembly, has to toe party lines so this not an avenue of protest against national or state policies. An opposition representative will get his or her proposal for debate shot down by the respective Speakers, time and again.

Government departments are usually run by little Napoleons who are overzealous in carrying out their duties and that is one of the reasons the people’s frustrations have been pent up and required other avenues to express themselves.

Teh Thian Hwa's letter in Malaysiakini:
‘Where are the journalists?’
Excerpts: "For a long time, the Indians have been receiving a very raw deal. Many of them are labourers with paltry incomes that are no match to the escalating costs of living in Malaysia’s badly-managed economy. If they try to seek alternative or additional incomes by setting up hawker stalls, for example, they face problems with the local council. Petty traders are met with racist and religious bigots who give minority races a tough time. Bribery, unfair treatment and unreasonable terms all conspire to make it next to impossible for these disadvantaged groups.

Religion, their sole comfort in life, is given a literal bashing when their temples or shrines are demolished with little or no compassion. Can one expect a community to undergo incessant oppression and not react? Do they not deserve a more compassionate review of their situation? Few speak up or represent them. Those who do are thrown into jails without trial (eulogised as detention centers, call it what you will, Kamunting is a jail). Surely this is a matter of serious public concern requiring objective dissecting of all relevant issues.”

Mainstream media are well known as fully controlled by the ruling coalition parties, and used as their propaganda machines. This has led to the use of alternative medium – online newspapers like Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today. But our government leaders refuse to listen to complaints in the internet, considering them as lies, so what choice do we have?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Justice delayed is justice denied...

Did I detect some delay on purpose?

Anwar's clip was partly revealed to the public. Pressure from the opposition and the public resulted in a quick fix panel of three to soothe things over. Report given to cabinet panel of three with legal experience (one of them had difficulty saying 'discharge not amounting to acquittal' when interviewed on tv in connection with another case) and then to the full cabinet to decide on Royal Commission.

Royal Commission includes two judges mentioned in clip, so it is going to be a bit tricky there. One of the three on the earlier panel actually declined re-appointment which gives rise to speculation as to his reason which cannot be due to being too busy.

Since the police started using water canons, Lim Kit Siang is influenced to say the IPCMC has been watered down to something without bite.

Though PM insists on wanting to hear (but not listen?) from us, free advice given by the opposition is a definite no-no.

Meanwhile, we just have to wait and see. I am not excited to know the outcome.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Prime Ministerial oxymoron?

“Silent majority have spoken – we don’t want demos” screamed The Star’s headline. And who were the silent majority who have finally spoken? Representatives of Damai Malaysia – an umbrella body comprising 395 non-governmental organisations! How convenient indeed. Or were they the cabinet ministers from the ruling coalition parties behind closed doors? Can Nazri care to comment based on his earlier logic?

I have already wised up to party leaders like, for example, MCA President saying that his party is 100% behind the PM. Can anyone really believe that statement when there was no poll carried out in the party on a given matter?

Now there is no more pretence when Nice turned Nasty. He seemed to have warned, “Please don’t make me angry, you won’t like me when I am angry” like what David Banner used to say.

Someone asked if the ISA used on the Hindraf 5 was the beginning or the end. I am more inclined to believe this is the beginning of Operation Lallang 2, just like what Mahathir did almost exactly two decades ago. MM also started with promises, which later he found he could not keep.

But once someone tasted power, chances are he will not give up easily and when desperate, there is always the stick in the useful ISA! No need to prove anything, just throw in some accusations and it is ready to use, like instant noodles.

Just imagine it as a weapon of last resort during a general election. Create intolerable conditions, like being obviously unfair and fan with nasty comments, the opposition and activists will go for it like ants to sugar. For those cases chargeable, a conviction of which disallows the person from contesting, will reduce some good opposition candidates, while those more vocal and high profile can be put away till after the elections. Unfavourable foreign comments will remain as comments as they are not supposed to interfere and our experienced Foreign Minister can easily brushed them aside with his instant stereotyped replies.

Fair-minded people who value justice and equality, transparency and accountability in the country’s administration had voiced out recently, and even took to the streets. Our leaders branded them as trouble-makers without seriously looking at and trying to solve their grievances. While these people risked their freedom and personal safety for the good of the country, there are those who are only concerned with loss of income and even our PM was more concerned about tourists cancelling their hotel bookings!

Excerpts from Malik Imtiaz’s Disquiet provide a legal argument against using the draconian ISA:

Friday, December 14, 2007
HINDRAF 5: ISA Detentions Side-Step Justice System
What need was there to detain the HINDRAF five under the Internal Security Act?The ISA is a draconian law. It has no place in the modern and mature society that Malaysia is. It has been condemned internationally and locally. The manner in which the ISA allows for subjective detention without trial is violative of the fundamental liberties of persons detained in a manner that cannot be justified in any circumstance.

The Government’s position is that the five are threats to national security and public order and that they are a menace to the public for having lied about the Government in accusing it of ethnic cleansing, for having organized illegal assemblies and for having had links with terrorist groups (‘5 Hindraf leaders a threat to national security’, NST, 14.12.2007).

We cannot lose sight of the fact that no matter how heinous the activity complained of may appear, accusations remain mere accusations until and unless they are made out in a court of law. Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.The detentions are therefore clearly pre-emptive, allowing for a side-stepping of a criminal justice system that is aimed at ensuring that no person is denied his constitutionally guaranteed right to liberty save where it is denied through an exercise of judicial scrutiny replete with inbuilt safeguards aimed at ensuring that an innocent person is not mistakenly imprisoned.

In the very public fanfare surrounding the official reaction to HINDRAF, we have been made to understand that the Prime Minister is angry at the suggestion of ethnic cleansing. He is outraged at the lies that he feels HINDRAF has allegedly told of his Government ('Governmnent doing its best for Indians', NST, 02.12.2007; 'PM: They want to destroy the country', Malaysiakini, 13.12.2007). He is also, by virtue of being the Internal Security Minister, the authority responsible for the issuance of detention orders.

Anger is not sound basis for objective decision-making. It is further not a proper legal basis for the issuance of a detention order.

The Prime Minister has publicly declared that the authorities have evidence of the alleged terrorist links HINDRAF is said to have ('Close watch on Hindraf', The Star, 08.12.2007). Minister Nazri has also publicly declared the existence of such links ('Link is with Tamil Tigers and India's Rss, says Nazri', The Star, 08.12.2007). If this is the case, then there is more reason for the five or any number of other persons involved to be appropriately charged and prosecuted.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Living in different Malaysia

This morning, one of my two regular breakfast ‘kakis’ asked me, “Why Bersih wanted to stop Parliament from extending EC Chairman’s retirement age? The election procedure seems ok when we voted…”

This really made me gave him a tirade of all the things wrong with our EC, which I am pretty tired of repeating here. He added, it makes sense that Rashid should continue as otherwise, the new Chairman would not know what to do! Can you believe that? Rashid should be kept because he is indispensable!

One of the main reasons BN is able to hold on to power was the almost complete control over mainstream media and there are many people relying on the radio, television and newspapers for the daily news update. Imagine reading opinions from Kalimullah and V.K. Chin and believing them to be gospel truth, and you get the drift.

Just yesterday, a retired teacher told me how he wishes to write his opinions in Malaysiakini if not for the fact that he was a government servant - another good news for BN - the fear factor (unfounded?) of ex-government employees, still receiving monthly pensions. Then there is another ex-teacher who is loud and opinionated but will leave politics to politicians. “What can we do?” is his usual lame excuse even though he is very fond of accusing MCA politicians to be corrupted and self-serving. He added, “in a way it is good if the MCA politicians actually helped the causes of the Chinese with the money from corrupt means!”

The icing on the cake goes to this coffee-shop operator who said his place is only patronised by DAP people, the MCA ones will go to the other one. I reminded him that my two ‘kakis’ are actually MCA life members. Upon hearing this, he admitted he is also a life member since many years ago, through the present ADUN, Lee Kon Yin! This is a good example of being a member in name but not in spirit.

Finally, my wife is also an MCA life member, simply because her brother is fairly active in it. This has made my role more meaningful (as in trying to convince them to vote opposition for the first time) or stressful (as in having to debate very often in the coffeeshop). Perhaps, I should offer myself to go out to speak at ceramahs this coming General Election. But the problem is that the local population prefers Mandarin or even Hakka (like in Pusing) and my points in English would easily lose its ‘umph’ when translated.

The political scene is now full of people who are really sick of the present government with its arrogance personified in Nazri, Khairy (kpc), Zam, Ali Rustam, Khir Toyo, Samy Vellu, Rafidah and many others. MCA and Gerakan leaders are under different category – the opportunists (to put it mildly). For now, I am giving Pak Lah the benefit of the doubt for being wrongly advised by the hawks, but when we think of those and their families suffering under draconian laws, we have a duty to correct the situation by voting opposition.

One way to ‘attack’ where it hurts is to concentrate on unseating them (except Khairy because he is not even seated yet), together with those MPs hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rapport with young people

On my way back from the newsagent, I used to hang out in a phone shop, to take in the cool comfort of the air-conditioned shop and partake in some local gossips and exchange of jokes with three young ladies, before I go back to my soho.

I am supposed to be their English teacher while I pick up some Mandarin from them. They are the only ones who call me ‘Kosong’ and refer to me as their ‘bouncer’! Actually the location is also convenient for the policemen on beat duty to chat with them just before they change shifts.

Last Friday, a brother had a fall from the ceiling and suffered a fractured left leg and the impact caused two vertebrae to close up. We did not know about it until another brother contacted him about a family gathering on December 16. As I was deciding when to make a trip to KL, (with the many events lined up, like an ex-classmate’s son’s wedding dinner on Dec 24, another ex-classmate coming from Australia on Dec 19 until Dec 29, Cheng’s ex-course-mate is coming back to hand to me her camera for repair), the girls asked me if and when I could show them around KL. It is not very often an old man gets such suggestion and in a way, it showed I look like a decent guy who can be trusted.

There was the initial arrangement as to where to meet and the original idea of leaving their car was changed to me picking them up from Jalan Tuallang and Chendorong. Imagine two pot-bellied men and three ladies (one of them in her fourth month pregnancy) and a 5-year old girl in a Hyundai Accent. From the initial 3 girls and a child, I was told the husband of the other girl (she is only 21) was interested in joining us because the driver knows his way in KL. More surprises were to follow.

As we proceeded towards Malim Nawar to get to the trunk road, I was told that one of them had to stop at Jeram to get her camera from her mother’s house. Just before reaching the house, we saw a woman in her sixties riding bicycle with a kid and Shirley exclaimed, “my grandmother!” and shouted to her to turn back to her house. When we reached the house, her mother came out and then I noticed the short Shirley is actually taller than her mum! Anyway, it was a typical village scene.

On our way to Kampar, there was a hint about having to collect some stuff from their fellow branch office. Again, I obliged, as we had to pass Kampar anyway. It really brought back memories of my dealing with my children, so I was surprisingly patient with them. I also thought about my belief that receiving favour does not necessarily mean returning favour to the same person. One can return favour to some other person who needs it.

I was quite surprised to have read about this lady who has met an Irish gentleman who went out of his way to help her during her student days in Ireland. When asked how should she return his favour, he replied something like ‘keep it rolling’. So recently, she was glad to have helped an Irish couple in Malaysia by providing transport to their destination, treated them to some snacks and drinks and advising them how to bargain with the local traders. Just like Alex and Clem acting as guardians to my children in UK, I take upon myself to show these young adults and a child what I take for granted – my way round KL, as well as providing accommodation for the night.

I did not confirm with a nephew who is living in Beng’s house in PJ about my intended stay but I did confirm with my friend, Richard, for just in case. Before I sent them to Mega Mall, I dropped by and was told that the house will be vacant for the weekend.

After dropping them off at the shopping complex, I went straight to Bukit Maluri to visit my injured brother. His fall reminded me of my fall about a year and a half ago, and serves as a warning to us that we are only mortals living at the mercy of a higher being. A few months ago, his wife had fractured her hand when taking out rubbish to put in the bin! Another sister-in-law had a fall at the staircase at home, and injured her ankle. Cheng had a fall recently in the bathroom in Maastricht!

As I was too early to meet my friend, I stopped at BHP station (3rd mile, Jalan Ipoh) to see my mechanic friend. He was kind enough to call me a few days earlier because he had not heard from me for a few months and said he thought I have migrated to UK!

I was in KC’s place at about 5 pm and it was too late for any jam session as Richard had a dinner appointment at 7pm. Taking on the role of taxi driver, I could only chat and wait for call from the girls. KC and wife could not get over the fact that I was at their beck and call! Soon one of them called to say they are ready to leave Mega Mall to go to Petaling Street.

Mega Mall at that hour was jammed with cars circling it, some trying to get out while others trying to get in. The problem was aggravated by the fact that they are not familiar with the entrance points and I am familiar with the Dome side. So it took a couple of rounds (thank goodness for handphones) before we decided on Robinson side.

Going to Petaling Street, I took them via the road next to the old Chinese temple opposite Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to go to Jalan Hang Tuah towards Jalan Imbi to show them Berjaya Time Square, Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10 and then the new Pavilion which I have yet to set foot. We jammed our way through Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Pudu before reaching the intersection of Jalan Sultan and Jalan Petaling where I dropped them off and looked for a parking space. When I walked to Petaling Street entrance, I took the right lane of the narrow stalls and got caught in the human jam without finding them. I was getting hungry by the time I reached Jalan Cecil and started looking for something to eat. I ended up at a quiet Hokien mee stall along Jalan Sultan as I was a bit fed up of getting a few people to agree on what to eat, bearing in mind there is a pregnant woman with a list of ‘don’ts’. After dinner by myself, I walked towards the car to wait for further instructions.

As I was standing beside Jalan Sultan, diagonally opposite the Petaling St sign, I noticed some Chinese ladies hanging around. They looked like foreigners. After a while, I realised they were actually hookers soliciting business! There were a number of foreign workers (Burmese or Vietnamese) who spoke to them individually. It took a local woman in her forties to confirm my suspicion! With hand signs and ‘suck and f**k fifty’ there was no doubt what it was all about. At one point, as I walked nearer to the junction, the same woman asked me ‘laeng chai, oi mou?’ So it turned out quite educational for me too!

When the girls were ready, one of them called and the taxi driver was ready to take them back to PJ. On the way, the knackered pregnant one said for tomorrow they will only visit somewhere near where we stayed.

The next morning, I got up before 9am and they were still in the rooms. I noticed the dirty ceiling and stand fans and decided to clean them. Then there is rubbish to throw and plants to trim. At the back of the garden, I actually saw a snake coming out from under a piece of cement about 2ft-square. Having seen me looking at it, it slid back in. Now I am wary of going to the back and will think twice if I had to go to the ‘basement’ store. I shall be bringing some sulphur on my next trip.

I did not want to wake them as I expected them to be tired. After some dilly-dallying, they finally got ready to set off. My earlier idea of leaving them at Amcorp Mall was changed to Pavilion at the suggestion of KC, as he did not want them to interrupt our jam session too soon. But I took a wrong turn and ended up turning right from Jalan Sultan Ismail towards KLCC and by then they decided why not KLCC!

My friends and I had lunch at Sentul Boulevard before we got ready for jamming. It was already past 1 pm. After 2 hours, I got a call asking if I am ready to fetch them. I was surprised when she said to pick them at Petaling Street! Well, one of them showed the way travelling by Monorail, another experience to talk about.

After all the service rendered, I thought I could get a favour by suggesting going back via Gopeng which required one of them to send the couple back to Chendorong. The response was an angry “I told you to leave your car at my place…” directed at the young couple. I made up my mind to return the way we came which was to get out of NSE at Tapah to join the trunk road. As we were getting through the tollgate, the angry one asked innocently, “Where are we heading to?” I replied that her earlier reply did not suit me and I wonder if she got the hint!

Just before reaching Kampar, someone suggested dinner and we settled for claypot chicken rice at Wing Lok Yuen at the suggestion of the young husband. Soon after, a group of people came and the man turned out to be Ngen, our Pusing mechanic, with his sister and her children! I was sitting next to a pregnant woman and the young man and I could imagine Ngen and sister wondering whom I was with!

While on this matter of people having the wrong impression, before our trip, when the girls were discussing with me on where and how to meet, we were at the Post Office. They have rented a counter on a daily basis because their shop is under renovation. And who was sitting within hearing distance but someone who knows me by sight who lives down the road! Again, he must have been wondering, “What’s going on?” At the time, I told them tongues would be wagging in our small town.

To show that honesty is the best policy, it was my wife’s suggestion to take them myself as she was expecting a childhood friend from Alor Star for lunch in Tg. Tuallang on Saturday afternoon. She actually saw Lim Kit Siang with his wife and daughter at the restaurant! I missed a chance to chat with him without his party members. She said she was quite surprised that her friend’s son, who is in his 30s, did not recognise LKS. It goes to show politics and current affairs are not everybody’s cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A series of faux pas?

Within a short period of time, our PM seems to have pushed his luck: from the failed attempt to extend the tenure of the former Chief Justice, the 3-step (hop, step and jump) appointment of Zaki to eventually assume the CJ post, and now the passing of the Amendment Bill to allow Rashid and his team to delay their retirement which is so obviously to allow them to 'continue with the same' in the coming elections. The last act and the way it was carried out was utterly disgusting and shameless.

The overkill in what could have been an easy passage in Parliament really made me lose what little respect I had for the BN regime.

I wish I can wipe the smirk off his face

HJ Angus:

Desperate Measures by the Authorities...

The arrest of 23 marchers on their way to Parliament as reported in malaysiakini is a sad day for democracy in Malaysia.

These people merely wanted to hand in a memorandum to their MPs protesting the passage of a bill to extend the term of the Elections Commission Chairman.

Instead of allowing a democratic process of petitioning and discussion to take place, the authorities are using a really heavy approach to handle small problems. Were they afraid the BN MPs would have kicked the bill out?

This episode show that the authorities are really desperate and only able to use brute force to crush dissent. It does not make for a healthy democracy.

As for those MPs who passed the bill, I hope some of you will not be returned to Parliament after the next elections.


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

When I read the headlines in Malaysiakini which tell of All roads to Parliament blocked to prevent certain Bersih leaders from delivering a Bersih memo: Why he (Abdul Rashid) is unfit to continue as EC chief and the eventual but predictable outcome which caused Vexed (Opp) MPs to stage (a) walkout in frustration at the undemocratic and oppressive conduct of the AAB government ...

... I did wonder why AAB has gone to such silly attention-attracting tactics when he could have easily permitted Bersih to deliver the memo (afterall Bersih did say they weren’t going to conduct a rally), get one of his parliamentary staff to accept the memo and say he’d look into it ... and end of story without high drama to entertain or anger the public.

I have often attributed his dramatic but unproductive pronouncements or actions to the poor advice of his moronic sub-mediocre advisors, but I am beginning to wonder in these recent cases of rallies and unnecessary heavy-handed police actions, whether there may be more than meet the eye (well, at least my eye).

Straits Mongrel:

The amendment was unanimously passed at 4.50pm.

That's the ominous final line in Malaysiakini's report on the constitutional amendment bill to extend the retirement age of Election Commission members to 66 years.


That came after all opposition MPs staged a walkout in protest of the arrests that took place in Parliament grounds today. That also tells you every single BN MP - MCA, Gerakan, MIC, PPP, SUPP etc - is in support of that amendment which speedily and conveniently skews the scales even more to suit the incumbent govt.

It also tells you this: It's that easy to muck around the Constitution if you give them such overwhelming power.

Just what have we done?

Mr. Nice creating enemies...

Zorro unmasked (but with lips sealed) walking the talk. Though I cannot imagine him jumping from the balcony to his horse now, his participation in the event is well appreciated by all fair-minded people.

Zorro doing community work under ISA? Mr. Nice has given his warning that no one is above the law...

except those protected by him?

Besides Mr. Nice, Zorro is now very angry indeed:

"Today, I hate it when people who are not there, dare put on print that the police was being professional. Were you there, or if you were, have your eyes migrated down to your backside. No wonder your fart has more substance than what you wrote. It is true that what we write mirrors our innate beings. Me I write such because I warned you that today I write with HATE. Don’t know about some forked-tongue serpentine running-dogs. I reserve the word apologist for professionals."

"Today, I also hate the police who bullied; who said, go ahead (at 8.10am) and march and then said later, you have 10 more minutes to march. And when they ordered you to disperse, how do you disperse when they hem you in and crowd you to instigate agitation and anger. I hate them because they do not know the basics in crowd control. Dumbo, isn’t it the guy who has his fingers on the trigger and whose gun is cocked, that has control?"

"That’s why I hate people who make arbitrary rules because they cannot think beyond their running-nose. The government hide behind draconian rules like the ISA, OSA, and whatever A(s), because they do not want to engage, are afraid to engage or does not know how to engage, or just not bothered. I have developed an abhorrence for laws like these and particularly detest those who hide behind these laws for self-protection and (self-preservation?)."

"I particularly hate people, duly appointed by the Agung, who in one mouthful tell everybody that the only regime that can govern Malaysia is the BN government. Was that a bid to gain extension. Lookee here our king is not that dumb as you inferred. We knew all along this creepy-crawly was not independent as his office required. And we have running-dog columnists from the Star who sermonized in his column on 16 November: Stop accusing the Election Commission of Bias”. V K Chin, I have a copy of this and if you want to swallow your words, I can oblige if it can change things for you. I am available anywhere, anytime, anyhow! I hate it when people do not think before they put thoughts into print. But most of all I HATE running-dogs, lap-dogs and spinners."

"I hate it when the government goon-squad rounded up those associated with 10/11. I hate it when they snatched a father from his daughters wedding. I hate it when a city-hall uniformed laborer can demand that Human Rights banner be removed from a private property. I hate this because it is a travesty! I hate it when the government go on a witch-hunt, like asking Jeff Ooi to come to Commercial Crime Department to answer some loaded questions. Jeff, Tian Chua, Mohd. Sabu and the few others are not COWARDS….THEY DO NOT HIDE. Because of their honesty they are easy targets. So easy and in public view they arrested lawyers Latheefa Koya, Sivarasa Rasiah, N Surendran, Amer Hanzah, Edmund Bon, activist and Malaysiakini contributor-writer Noorazah Othman and Ashfar Ali Raja, whom I tried to calm and console but failed. All these were arrested because they had nothing to hide. Brave souls. But I hate it when the police have yet to nail the 70 year old uncle of a Chief Minister who molested a 45 year old lady. The police know where he is but cannot I am told arrest him because he is under the protection of someone the IGP cannot touch for reasons that I hate to imagine."

From Ancient Mariner:

"About a year ago, former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir claimed that Malaysia is a 'police state', a charge vehemently denied by the Inspector-General of Police himself. But on Sunday, it took about 500 men-in-blue to police about 100 marchers celebrating UN International Human Rights Day. The peaceful morning march was stopped and several lawyers and human rights activists were arrested. Malaysia not a police state? Then why the overkill?.

The battle lines have now indeed been drawn. It is quite clear to all and sundry that the Pak Lah government has begun a crackdown on dissent. Charges are being framed against organisers of protests and demonstrations that have rocked the country in recent weeks and they include some lower rung leaders of the opposition parties. There is also the threat of the ISA. Obviously, this is a move to cow the general populace in a run up to a general elections expected to be called anytime soon in the next few months.

Malaysiakini has quoted the prime minister as saying that "he will not shirk his sense of accountability to the greater public, especially in the face of 'police intelligence' about planned violence by the rally organisers." Police intelligence?. Thats a classic oxymoron* for sure.

* This doesn't mean 'stupid cow' either ..."

From Sean-the-man:

It is grimly ironic that the only violence so far has been perpetrated by the police against the people.

It is even more ironic that the only people who have voiced intentions to be violent have been leaders of the PM's own party, UMNO.

"The Malays have never taken to the streets so do not force us to do so as we will draw our parang (machete) to defend the Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) in this country." - Rahim Tamby Chik, Melaka ex-MB (Malaysiakini)

"Hindraf should not provoke the Malays in Kg Baru, which was where many Malays struggled for the country’s independence and where they protected themselves during the May 13 incident in 1969." - Khir Toyo, Selangor MB (Malaysia-Today)

If there is any justice in Malaysia, it's UMNO leaders like these who should be arrested, placed under ISA, charged with sedition and have their citizenships revoked. But alas, there is none.

By sean-the-man - 12/11/2007 12:15:00 AM

Well, what can I say but hope that the people will remember the injustice when they vote in the coming elections.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let us pray...

prayer answered?

Walk all you want, write what you like, our PM is not bothered

Mr. Opposition, YB Lim Kit Siang’s earlier fears came true. Zaki’s promotion to No.2 in the Judiciary, so soon after being parachuted from private practice seems like an insult to all fair-minded people, particularly those senior judges who have been side-lined time and again.

Previously, there were criticisms on how some judges left service to become directors of companies, now we have someone who not only had been company director before but holding high profile positions in Umno to become a Federal judge and in a short three months, elevated to be President of the Court of Appeal, without having even written a judgement to show.

Zaki is only one year away from the Chief Justice post, probably only six months, and it is almost certain that’s the plan. Isn’t independence of the Judiciary an important aspect of a true democracy? Do we care about perception of the people?

Guided democracy? Indeed, with all the right people in place, nothing can go wrong.

What we have left is the ballot box, a transparent one to signify transparency, and a system of election, which only the Chairman boasts as most efficient and fair.

Update: Latest from Malaysia-Today:

07/12: Malaysian Judiciary: from one nightmare to another
by Kim Quek


"Apart from acting as UMNO’s nominee, Zaki also has held directorship in scores of major companies including some of the most well known names such as Berjaya, Metacorp, Pan Global, SP Setia, Malaysia Airports, Hume, Matsushita Electric, Pharmaniaga, etc. Zaki was reported by Bernama on 21 April 2007 to have said that his 58% owned Emrail Sdn Bhd, a railway specialist company, had only the government as employer, and that he was earnestly soliciting contracts in the northern and southern portions of the double-tracking project to turn the cash-strapped Emrail around.

Such political and business background would already have made him a poor candidate for any judicial appointment, Zaki is battered by yet another serious handicap – the question of his moral integrity arising from his controversial marriage and divorce from his second wife Nor Hayati Yahaya, who was half his age.

Following the revelation of Zaki’s marital trouble, he resigned as deputy chairman of UMNO’s disciplinary board, for which he commented: “Considering that members of the disciplinary board are of the highest integrity, I have made this decision following reports in the media.....” (New Straits Times, 9 Aug 2005)

The question we must ask now is: If Zaki is morally unfit to serve in UMNO’s disciplinary board, how could he be considered morally fit to be a federal court judge, not to mention his lightning elevation to the No. 2 position, and anticipated imminent rise to the top job in the judiciary?

Is this country so poor in legal talent and integrity that we have no choice but to appoint some one so glaringly unsuited for such important judicial position arising from his multiple conflicts of interests and questionable integrity? If not, then why did the Prime Minister make such a move? If it is not to advance the Prime Minister’s and UMNO’s interests, then what motivated such an appointment?

However, in the midst of despair over UMNO’s latest move, we detect something amiss in the Prime Minister’s announcement of this dual appointments (Hamid and Zaki). While the PM claimed that upon his advice, these appointments were assented to by the Agong after consultation with the Council of Rulers, no effective date had been decided for Zaki’s appointment, while Hamid’s was fixed on Nov 1 - the day he started duty as Acting Chief Justice. Neither had any date been decided for the handing over of the appointment letters. If these dates had not been decided, why was PM in such a hurry to make an incomplete announcement?

Whatever the case may be in regards to Zaki’s appointment, it is pertinent to take serious note of the view expressed by the Sultan of Perak, Raja Azlan Shah, on public perception of judicial impartiality in his opening address to the 14th Malaysian Law Conference on 29th Oct 2007.

Raja Azlan Shah, one of the most illustrious Lord Presidents of Malaysia, said that judiciary loses its value and service to the community if there is no public confidence in its decision-making. And the principal quality in judiciary is “impartiality”, which exists in two senses – the reality of impartiality and the appearance of impartiality. Of these two, the appearance of impartiality is the more important, stressed the Sultan.

Taking cue from this observation, Zaki’s appointment is an unmitigated disaster, as even if he has the superhuman capability to totally severe his umbilical cord to the ruling party and his commercial interests to eliminate conflict of interests, there is still the insurmountable problem of public perception. With Zaki’s questionable background, there is no way he can command complete public confidence, particularly when the interests of UMNO or his businesses are involved.

Knowing UMNO’s arrogance and supreme confidence over its political hegemony, we do not think that it is open to advice from the public. We therefore earnestly appeal to the Agong and the Rulers to exert their benevolent influence empowered by the Constitution to protect our judiciary from further injury, as they have so valiantly done in the recent past."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Deja vu!

Wow! The content of this letter almost reflect the official stand of Barisan Nasional! It could have been Macho Nazri's as Deputy Whip. Amazing indeed.

The privilege of choice works bothways...

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum,

Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden (?), $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:

1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)

2) Which age group should I target?

3) Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys

4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)

Ms. Pretty

Here's a reply from a Wall Street Financial guy:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here.

From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain. Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" and "money": Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square. However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later.

By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position". If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term & same goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased". Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in "leasing" services, do contact me.


J.P. Morgan

A Chinese oxymoron

If only our students' English are as good...

notwithstanding the mistakes which make us laugh out loud.

If you need a laugh, then read these Children's Science Exam answers.

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A: Premature death.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (e.g., abdomen.)
A: The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain; the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.

Q: What is the fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarean Section"
A: The Caesarean Section is a district in Rome.

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?'
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

(The main reason for our students' poor language skills, I think, is the objective-style examinations which do not require description - just tick the answer which you think is right. There is an element of luck as those who don't really know, just 'tembak'. There is a story about how if a student were to just tick (a) in all questions, for instance, chances are he would have got at least 20 marks!)

Royal flush?...

or Royal fart?

Using medical science to solve a simple problem...

Two medical students were walking along the street in Minneapolis when they saw an old man walking with his legs spread apart.

One of the students said to his friend: "I'm sure he has Petry Syndrome. Those people walk just like that."

The other student says: "No, I don't think so. The old man surely has Zovitzki Syndrome. He walks just as we learned in class."

Since they couldn't agree they decided to ask the old man. They approached the old man and one of the students said to him: "We're medical students and couldn't help but notice the way you walk, but we couldn't agree on the syndrome you might have. Could you tell us what it is?"

The old man said: "I'll tell you, but first you'll tell me what you think"

One of the students said: "I think it's Petry Syndrome."

The old man said: "You thought.......... but you're wrong."

Then the other student said: "I think you have Zovitzki Syndrome."

The old man said: "You thought......... but you're wrong."

So they asked him: "Well, what do you have?"

And the old man said: "I thought it was a fart............. but I was wrong."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

White on the outside, yellow inside...

With the rise of China as an economic giant, its presence cannot be ignored in world affairs. However, most people would never have imagined a Sinophile to takeover from Howard, a strong US ally and self-acknowledged Deputy Sheriff in supporting US’s role as policeman of the world.

The Australian people, like those in the US and Britain, must have realised the folly of maintaining troops overseas, fighting wars which do not concern the ordinary people and risking lives in the process. Should have learnt from Vietnam.

Ktemoc has some interesting tales to tell:

On race issue, regarding John Howard losing his own seat of Bennelong in Sydney, I read what SBS chief correspondent, Karen Middleton wrote about the behavior of some Liberal Party supporters on the night of Australia’s general election at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, which the Liberal Party used as its convention centre for that night.

When the polling count confirmed the predicted disastrous outcome for John Howard and his Coalition, some Liberal Party supporters went verbally feral.

Middleton wrote that “a prominent one-time senior Howard government official could not contain himself, even with media representatives standing around.”

That frustrated bigot spat out “Those f**king Chinese”, blaming the Chinese voters in the constituency of Bennelong for voting Maxime McKew instead of the erstwhile PM.

If you have read Australian political history, 60 years ago, PM Arthur Calwell in a 'Whites only' Australia had made an insulting comment against a Chinese resident named Wong. Calwell made a sneering pun: "Two Wongs won't make one white."

So to those diehard Liberal Party ultra conservatives, it must have been just too much to take, where today Chinese Aussie voters were significantly powerful enough to kick their favourite leader and PM out of office. How they would have wished Calwell was still around. But wait, there's more and it's about Wong again ;-)<

Giant killer Maxime McKew, who defeated John Howard, was seen during the campaign dressed in Chinese collared blouse ;-) and even cutting a ... guess ... no, not a cake or a ribbon ...c’mon ... yes, a roast pig ;-) together with several Chinese community leaders.

Hmmm, I wonder how it was done? Maybe they ‘prepared’ it by sawing through the bones but not the skin, so that when McKew and several Chinese blokes jointly cut the roast pig, they did it as if it was like a ... cheese cake ;-)

Needless to say, there were the obligatory lion dances etc. Alas, there was no Penang-style Chingay banner throwing ;-)

It didn’t help the ultra conservatives' anger that when mandarin-speaking new PM Kevin Rudd walked up at a Brisbane Hotel that night to claim victory for the Labour Party, he was accompanied by his family and Chinese son-in-law, Albert Tse who’s married to Rudd’s only daughter, Jessica.

The Star Online said: Rudd’s elder son, Nicholas, is studying at Fudan University in Shanghai, while the younger son, Marcus, is still in high school and is studying Chinese already.

An ardent Sinophile, Rudd’s love of things Chinese started when his mother gave him a book on Asian civilization when he was 10 years old. By the time he entered the Australian National University, his obvious choice was Chinese language and history. One report even claimed that Rudd has the Chinese character “solidarity” tattooed on his arm.

Chinese Premier Hu Jintao is said to have liked Rudd so much that he invited the latter and his family to be his guests at the Beijing Olympics. And this was even before the election. When the results rolled in signalling the end of Howard’s era, Premier Hu was among the earliest to congratulate him.

Then there is the report of Malaysian (Sabah) born Penny Wong in a Sydney Morning Herald report which talked about the "rise and rise of … Penny Wong".

Yes, this is the Wong of today that i mentioned earlier. It said:

Penny Wong, a Chinese Australian, is a huge winner.

She has ministerial responsibility for Australia's international stance on climate change. But fresh water is Australia's critical domestic issue. It is drying up. The issue will remain critical for the next decade, at least. Wong is the cabinet minister whom Rudd has given the power and authority to "co-ordinate" with eight state and territory Labor governments to "fix" the problem. A dozen or more of her colleagues would have done practically anything to get hold of the portfolio.

It has gone instead to a woman senator of five years of mixed heritage. Wong, from Adelaide, came to this country at the age of seven with her grandmother from what was colonial British North Borneo before World War II (well, it’s Sabah now). Hers has been a remarkable political career so far. Her handling of the water issue will make or break the rest of it. It is a massive responsibility.

Like Julia Gillard, the mega-ministry deputy prime minister from Melbourne, Wong is aligned with Labor's Left.

Then in another news article showing Rudd’s greater trust in Penny over high profile Peter Garrett, the Environment Minister, where he (Rudd) stripped off a key part of the environment portfolio, namely climate change (including managing the signing of the Kyoto Protocol) and water resource from Garrett, and created them into a new Ministry for Penny to handle, the Sydney Morning Herald in its article Wong set to take on the world talked about Penny being Australia's lead negotiator at global greenhouse talks beginning next week.

The elevation of Penny Wong directly into the cabinet confirms her rise to prominence one of the top performers during the election campaign. By naming her as Minister for Climate Change and Water, Rudd has responded to concerns about Peter Garrett as the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts.

Yes, it has been quite a long march for Chinese Australians since PM Arthur Calwell's infamous “Two Wongs won’t make a white”.

Today, Australia not only has a PM whose son-in-law is Chinese, or where Chinese Aussie voters were purportedly significant enough to vote John Howard out, but the cabinet has its first ethnic Chinese cabinet minister, Malaysian-born Penny Wong who has been selected on merit to be Australia's Tsar on climate change and water resources.

I wonder if Calwell was still alive what would he have made of "One Wong has made it all ‘right’"!

(My comment: In our Malaysian context, we have an almost namesake, Dr. Ng Yen Yen, who is the MCA Wanita Chief. She is a Minister in the BN coalition government which often touts the formula of power-sharing and which critics refer to us Umno-powered sharing.

What is significant is the fact that Penny Wong did not need a racial party to have got to where she is now. Ng Yen Yen's racialism compared with Wong Ying Yen's racial favouritism?

When I watched Devamany on national tv, I cringed at the way he has to ‘ampu’ to get out of his momentary bravado in Parliament. As far as I am concerned, and I am sure there are many out there who will agree, he is ‘history’.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some obscure laws relating to sex...

wonder how they got into the statute books!:

In Romboch (VA), it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with the lights on.
(relevant now with the possibility of hidden cameras)

In hotels in Sioux Falls (SD), every room is required to have twin beds. The beds must always be at least two feet apart when a couple rents a room for only one night. And it is illegal to make love on the floor between the beds.
(an insult to bed manufacturers?)

In Alexandria (MN), no man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions or sardines on his breath. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.
(no problem where there is no kissing?)

In Los Angeles (CA), a man is legally entitled to beat his wife with a leather belt or strap, but the belt can’t be wider than 2 inches, unless he has his wife’s consent to beat her with a wider strap.
(a haven for sadist-masochist relationships)

In Ames (IA), it is illegal for a husband to take more than three gulps of beer while lying in bed with his wife – holding her in his arms.
(be more focus mah, what an insult to the poor wife)

In Washington, D.C., the only acceptable sexual position is the missionary position.
(I bet many offenders but how would they know?)

In Newcastle (WY), it is illegal for couples to have sex while standing inside a store’s walk-in meat freezer.
(must be due to many people feeling hot)

In Detroit (MI), it is illegal for couples to make love in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple’s own property.
(must be kinky otherwise, if on own property, is there a necessity for that?)

In London, it is illegal to have sex on a parked motorcycle.
(because it can be seen and will offend others?)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

In my humble opinion...for the one with big ears

When I read the write-up on the new Sime Darby, I was almost convinced that now we have an almost invincible entity that can prove its mettle in the global scene.

But being the world’s largest oil palm grower, and the largest public listed company in Malaysia in terms of market capitalization, its fortune depends to a large extent on the world demand and resulting price of palm oil.

While the going had never been so good because of the unprecedented growth of the economies of China and India, we should not be too smug about being continuously successful. I believe our economy has yet to feel the total effects of a major downturn in the US economy and a possible collapse of China’s overheated stock market.

According to S Dali’s article in The Star’s Bizweek, ‘New ‘lenders’ of the last resort’, since the beginning of this year, Citigroup’s shares have lost almost 45% of their value, wiping away US$124billion in market capitalization. This goes to show that even the world’s largest bank was vulnerable to market forces, which was due to the damaging effects of sub-prime loans. As a comparison, Sime's market capitalization of Rm66 billion is only US$19 billion, probably equivalent to an amount to be written off their portfolio.

As an example of the unreliable basis of ranking a company based on market capitalization, before the listing of new Sime, IOI was the largest for a number of days. Many people just could not get over the fact that it was bigger than even Maybank!

In fact, I still believe that the merger to create the largest plantation company, which turned out to be the largest company, had something to do with Malay pride. Before that, IOI and KLK were leading plantation companies, well ahead of GLCs like Guthrie and Golden Hope. Now that Sime is on top, does it in any way affect the Bumiputera’s ownership percentage? No way. Not until a Bumiputera becomes the richest man in Malaysia, and that is the new criterion, set by Pak Lah.

Let’s just forget about the biggest for a moment and look at matters at my level, which is basically, ground level. Recently, I was told about an Indian contractor for weeding, who had worked for a local plc for more than 10 years. He was informed by the company that their new policy required a Bumiputera contractor. Later, he was approached by a company official, that he will be the new contractor, but he is willing to let him continue, if he could have a cut of Rm2 per acre. For 3,000 acres, it translates into Rm6,000 per month, for doing nothing. The deal fell through because of the problem of the sub-contractor having to wait for payment from the contractor, which can be dicey, as many government sub-contractors have experienced. If the policy were to have more Bumiputera contractors, then a serious contender willing to put out capital and sweat it out would have been more palatable. Wouldn’t this Indian feel marginalized?

We were approached by a broker about some 2-acre lots for sale at Rm30,000 in Perak. For agricultural land away from the main road, the price seems at least 20% below market rate. Upon closer look at the copy title, it was clearly stated as for ‘dusun’ (or orchard) and ‘tidak boleh di pindahmilik atau dipajakkan’ (cannot be transferred or leased). When we pointed out this fact, the broker said a certain lawyer has been handling such cases without problem. The likely scenario is some Chinese businessmen, who do not mind taking the risk, so long as they can work on the land for a number of years, hoping that none of the landowners would die during the period. Here again, it defeats the original purpose of giving it to those who have no inclination to work on the land.

I am still unhappy over how Southern Bank was ‘forcibly taken over’ by CIMB under the pretext of globalization. Yet the rules were changed to allow more than one negotiating party, after the take-over. The best part was the allegation that the books were cooked just prior to the take-over! I still remember how Tan Sri Tan tried so hard to fight off and many believed SBB’s real motive for taking over Asia General was in fact a poison apple to make the bank unattractive. It is like raping and then suing the victim for spreading VD to him!

Instead of reducing the number of banks with mergers and acquisitions, we now seem to have all kinds of banks to serve different purposes like SMEs and Islamic banking. I happened to be one for having niche banks like Phileo Allied but then again, politics had its way of changing the scenario. More recently, we have ECM Libra taking over Avenue, which was like a python swallowing an elephant.

Meanwhile, it looks like we have to direct our anger at super rich people like Robert Kuok, Lim Kok Thay, Francis Yeoh and Ananda Krishnan (not necessarily in order of wealth) for taking up a large part of non-Bumiputera shareholdings which made the NEP a never ending policy. But to be realistic, I am stuck with shares in delisted companies like Mbf Corp, Crimson, Datuk Keramat, Metroplex and so on, which according to the government’s criterion (nominal value instead of market value), I am fairly rich!

If Pak Lah does not wish to listen to a nobody like me, at least listen to experts in relevant fields like Dr. Lim Teck Ghee on share ownership and Wong Chin Huat on the electoral system.