How should we judge a government?

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

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

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

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


Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

Prevent bullying now!

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

MyCen News

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A moral lesson... or was it a lesson for the salesman too?

I was a little disappointed when I saw the old buildings were now gone that I had known as a young boy. Every one of them replaced with a high-rise. It had been a long time since I had been to my hometown since moving North. I had driven to town hoping to see the old barber shop where my hair had been cut as a child. The orphanage would bring us kids downtown for a free haircut by the new barbers being trained.

As it was very early and hardly anyone on the street, I parked my truck and decided to try and locate a telephone to see if the Florida Barber College had moved to a new location. Hopefully it was sill in business.

As it was rather cold, I put on my coat and began searching for a telephone. After walking about a block I saw an open shoe store. I walked inside and asked if I could use their telephone book. Not finding a listing for the Barber College I picked out the number of a local beauty salon, hoping their might tell me if the barber college was still in business. The number was busy so I decided to wait and try again in a few minutes.

“How about moving on down the road?” said the salesman, in a loud, harsh tone.

I turned to see if he was talking to me.

“Damn homeless guy always wanting to use our bathroom,” he replied.
I saw a poorly dressed man standing outside the store, gazing through the large plate-glass window. The salesman motioned at the man, with his hand, in a backward motion, telling him move on down the street.

Several more times I tried to dial the number but it was continually busy.

“Like a cup of coffee?” the salesman asked me.

“That sounds great. Thanks.”

As he and I stood talking the front door opened and a young man about twenty came into the store pushing his self in a wheelchair.

The salesman sat down his coffee cup and walked toward the young man.

“I need a new pair of shoes,” said the customer.

As he turned the corner there was a blanket across his lap. I was shocked to see that the young man had no legs.

The salesman stood there having no idea what he should say.

“A gift for a friend?” I asked the boy.

“No,” he replied. They are for me,” he continued, with a smile on his face.

I just smiled back and watched to see what would happen next.

“What type of shoe would you like?” asked the clerk.

“How ‘bout a pair of cowboy boots. You got any cowboy boots in here?”

The man pointed to the back wall where three or four pairs of boots were displayed.

“Let me have a look-see at those black ones in a size 10.”

The salesman, sharply turning, headed off to the backroom.

“Isn’t this fun?” the boy asked me.

“You mean going into a shoe store, when you have no legs, and seeing the response?’ I replied.

“Of course not.”

I moved my hand to let him know that I did not understand his question.

“When I was a kid, my parents use to buy me a new pair of shoes every year. That was such a wonderful feeling. Something I have never forgotten. The smell of the leather and the pride I felt when I walked around the store showing off my new shoes.”

The salesman came walking down the aisle with a large box. He sat it down on the floor, took out a single boot and handed it to the young man. The boy closed his eyes. Placed the boot against his nose, tilted his head backwards and drew in a large breath.

I did not know what to say as tears began to fall on the young man’s cheeks.

“What type of accident did you have?” I asked him.

“Farm accident,” he said, as he tried to clear his voice.

“MOVE ON DOWN THE ROAD,” yelled the salesman, as he once again motioned his hand at the homeless fellow looking in the window.

The youngster looked at the old man and then turned to face me.

“Will you walk out there and see what size shoes that fellow wears?” he requested.

Slowly, I walked to the front door opened it and asked the old man to come in.

“What size shoes do you wear?” the boy asked the man.

“I don’t know,” he replied, as he looked down at his old tennis shoes.

“I would say about a nine and a half,” I replied.

“What’s your best hiking boot in nine and a half,” the boy asked the clerk.

The salesman turned and once again walked to the back of the store.

The homeless fellow stood there looking down at the floor.

Within a minute, the clerk returned with a pair of hiking boots, the insides lined with wool. The boy reached out, took the boot, placed it to his nose and drew in a large breath. Once again, tears came to his eyes.

“Sir, would you mind trying on these boots for me,” the boy asked the old fellow, as he held out the boot.

The old man sat down, slid off his tennis shoes, using his feet, and took the boot. The boy motioned for the clerk to aid him. The salesman slid his small, knee-high seat in front of the man and began tying the boot straps.

The old man’s eyes never left the floor the entire time. After the boots were tied the young boy asked the gentleman if he would walk around so that he could see the boots at a distance.

“How do they feel?” he asked the man.

“They feel wonderful,” replied the man.

“I’ll take’m,” the young boy told the clerk.

“Those are $189.00 boots,” the clerk advised the boy.

The boy pulled out his wallet and handed the clerk two one-hundred dollar bills.

Do you want the cowboy boots?” the salesman asked him.

“I don’t think so.”

“Don’t you have to use the bathroom?” I asked the old man.

He stood up and walked toward the back of the store. The clerk motioned his head, giving him the okay.

“I see buying a new pair of shoes still gives you that good feeling you talked about,” I told the young man, as I smiled.

“Yes it does.” he said “And now I have someone, and feet to share it with.”


Link

Friday, July 30, 2010

First World Development, Third World Drivers...

I can't help thinking of the Cantonese expression, 'chong tou yau saeng' or when you knock something, (you would know because) the impact gives a sound'!


These driving examples show either the lack of basic knowledge and/or the flouting of basic road safety rules.

A driving test in UK has a list of mistakes any of which is crucial to passing the test. One of them is to stop at unmarked junctions, look left and then right, left again, before deciding if it is ok to drive across. Usually the test candidate is asked to drive to a quiet housing estate where there are many crossroad junctions to observe his driving. If the driver drove across at any junction without stopping (regardless of whether there is in fact any vehicle at the junction), he would fail the test.
Most of the accidents in the video clip were due to the drivers' ignorance or just being reckless.
Link

Let's forget about Jho Low and Paris Hilton...

Reality check: when we follow our leaders' advice to change our lifestyles (if there is anything stylish in our lives)...

From Youth for Change:

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Flying 101... no worries over loss of manual...





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Rehabilitation...

From a comic: In a nudist camp...

New arrival: “Pfft!” “Damn! Everyone here is nude!”

“Ah! A new member... Welcome to our club, my friend!”

“You don't seem very happy, is something wrong?”

“Well, forget about that! Why are all of you here?”

“I'm a banker. I work hard all year, so I'm here to relax.”

“And you?”

“I'm a lawyer...I love nudism. I've been coming here for ten years!”

“I'm a computer programmer... here everyone is nude and are all the same, it's nice!”

“And you, sir?”

“I'm a pickpocket”

“Huh?!”

“My doctor sent me here for rehabilitation!”

Link

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Survey No.2: If your spouse is almost certain to be a vegetable...

I have decided to close this survey before time because of no further response.

46% would ask their children first, 23% would treat at all costs, 16% would pull the plug, and 16% would leave it to the doctor to decide.

I started the survey because a friend posed the question to us.

In a real case, it seems the husband decided to pull the plug and let his wife go, but was shocked when his three children refused to talk to him!

I believe the right thing to do is to ask the children before making any decision. Don't assume that because you are the head of the family, the opinions of the children are unimportant.

My mother was advised to have her right leg amputated. I suggested that since she used to believe in asking a medium for 'divine guidance', we should ask a medium. We were told to go through with it. What we did not realize was her repugnance at the idea of amputation and did not really let her decide to let it be, even though she would not live long. After the amputation, she just refused to speak to anyone and she gave up after a couple of days.

So far, women I spoke to, seem to prefer to pull the plug to avoid future problems in nursing care. I told them that despite knowing the problems involved in future, we must understand that children especially, might prefer to have their parent in person, though unable to react nor communicate, rather than letting her go and forever not being able to see her again. A lot would depend on the children's love for their mum.

I wish to thank those who took the trouble to take part in my little survey.

(Note: This applies to either husband or wife situation)
Link

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

International Ecownomics for Dummies

TRADITIONAL CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You sell one and bought a baby bull.
Nurse and feed it well;
They mate, your herd multiplies and the economy grows.
You invest and kept the gains into the country reserve,
You sell them and everyone retire on the income.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You mortgage both of them to the bank & obtain investment for two more cows;
Then re-mortgage the investment the four cows for eight cows and
continue to do likewise;
The financial market was flooding with mortgages & investments in cow's assets;
No one knows where and who owned the original 2 cow's.
Then these 2 original cows grew old & eventually died;
You are surprised when there's No Asset to back up the mortgage or repay the loan ???
Finally, You ask the govt to bail out the collapsed financial cow's market!

A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create clever cow cartoon images called 'Cowkimon' and market them World-Wide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Both are mad.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You break for lunch.

A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5,000 cows and none of which belong to you.
You charge others for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them..
You claim full employment and high bovine productivity.
You have the newsman who reported on the numbers arrested.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You worship them.

A MALAYSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You signed a 40-year contract to supply milk at RM0.06 per litre.
Then midway through, you raised the price to RM0.60 or you cut the supply.
When the buyer agrees to the new price, you change your mind again and now want RM1.20.
The buyer decided you can keep the milk and they go look for milk that comes from recycled cows or the cow urine instead.
Your two cows retire together with the Prime Minister.

And last but not least,

A SINGAPOREAN CORPORATION
You have two cows,
One "cow-peh" and one "cow-bu".

(Cow-peh and cow-bu in English cum Hokien literally means Cow Father and Cow Mother; but used to mean someone who cries and complains to father and mother)
Link

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Woman = Problems has been mathematically proven...



Link

Bloody 'O' my goodness!

Do you know your blood type?

According to a chart on blood types (source: Yahoo, I think), the following is noted by me (sorry, my attempt to copy it went haywire):

O- or 'O' negative to be precise, is the most versatile blood type, being acceptable by all blood groups. But unfortunately, on 7% of us have it. Though O- is the most versatile blood type to others, it can only accept its own type! By this fact alone, those people are truly selfless! Or unlucky, depending on how we view it.

40% of us have O+ or 'O' positive which blood can be accepted by 50% of blood types (AB+, A+, B+, and O+).

The second most common blood type is A+, with 34% occurrence, and is fairly acceptable by AB+, AB- and A+. They can receive 50% of blood types (O+, O-, A+, and A-).

Those with AB+ are the luckiest, being able to receive all kinds. But there are only 3% of us. But AB+ blood can only be used by its own type (selfish?).

Most rare of blood types (1% occurrence) are B- (can accept only O- and B-) and AB- (can accept O-, B-, A- and A+).

The remaining blood type is B+ which 8% of us have it, and acceptable by AB+ and B+ only. They can receive 50% of blood types (O+, O-, B+ and B-).

(actually got pretty confused! hope I've got the facts correct)
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Survey No.1: If you can just afford, but have to choose...

50% of respondents chose to 'buy a property'; 25% chose to 'pay for child's overseas education'; 8% chose to 'maintain a mistress'!; and 16% chose 'none of the above'. None chose to 'buy a dream car' nor 'invest in shares'!

Notwithstanding the small number of votes involved in this simple survey, I am not surprised at all with the high percentage of those who prefers to 'buy a property' instead of 'invest in shares'.

We are known to play safe when it comes to investment. Buying properties is one of the safest we can think of, because they are likely to appreciate. Even in a bad market, we can still salvage part of our investment.

Paying for child's overseas education is not everyone's cup of tea for various reasons. I can still remember when I asked my father for a chance to go overseas, he kept quiet. Looking back, he must have gone through a sleepless night before telling me the next morning, to go and find out! History repeated itself when I was asked by my elder daughter who was in Form 5 then, whether I would allow her to go to Japan under Rotary Club's international exchange programme for one year. Again, it took me one night of soul searching before I delegate the decision to others with a, 'if you are selected by the Committee'! This part of the decision was not financial, but emotional – the unwillingness to part with a loved one for a number of years.

The other main consideration is a question of affordability. If parents were to finance a child's overseas education, it is vital to ascertain the actual costs (including airfares for holiday returns, and for some contingencies). We have come across parents who could afford, were educated overseas themselves, but unwilling to pay for their child's overseas education. One remarked, 'I would rather buy him a shophouse so that he could start a business here' (almost no risks, you see), or 'give him the capital to start a business'.

Another important aspect is the uncertainty of tertiary education – the possibility of failure. Even assuming success, the high costs of education, especially in UK eg. it is costing around Rm1 million or more, to qualify as a medical doctor, is almost an uneconomical venture (if I may call it that)! Even if you do not mind (for the love of the child),other people would consider it silly to invest so much when the earnings upon qualification may take many years to get back the so-called capital or investment! We are not even calculating the return on investment!

I have included 'maintain a mistress' to add some variety to the decisions. I am wondering if it was meant to be a joke by whoever who ticked it, or he could be my friend who tried to be funny! But then again, it might well be someone's wish to look after his own interests rather than his child.

For those who ticked 'none of the above', they must have ideas other than what were specified.

I wish to thank those who took the trouble to take part in my mini survey.

Link

Monday, July 26, 2010

In China, have bamboo can cross river...


can even fetch bride too!

Link

A day of broken promises

My son drove from KL to Penang to take part in the round the island cycling event. After a meal of 'char kway teow', laksa, oyster omelette and other items in a hawker centre, he must have got food poisoning. He vomited after an earlier trial run. Then, was diagnosed with suspected food poisoning when it turned worse and could not participate. Our earlier arrangement for a dinner at Lawan Kuda at 7.00pm on their way back to KL turned into a home-cooked broth with salted eggs instead, supposedly at about 5.00 p.m. We left Selama, Kedah at 4.00 pm (delayed because of rain and late arrival of lorry driver who was not even familiar with the routes within the estate!). Just before the turn-off into Kuala Kangsar, there was a massive jam. My wife actually riled up someone when she did not give way and could have started a road rage which luckily did not turn out. I could see three men (could be more) in the other vehicle, the driver angrily revved his engine next to our right, then had to move to the left (on emergency lane) and honked loudly before passing us.

Anyway, we turned into the sliproad towards the toll plaza and it was a slow moving queue of vehicles, not helped by a Merc which broke down on the side of the road. Again our question of 'why didn't Plus inform other vehicles from entering the Expressway?' cropped up.

So it was a slower drive going through Kuala Kangsar town. My suggestion of meeting up in Ipoh was unacceptable to Boss. Anyway, our usual journey of one and a half hour turned into a more than 3-hour one, reaching home almost 7.30pm. I was supposed to attend a Full Moon buffet in Chendorong at 7.00 pm! But how could I leave when my son brought his current beau to introduce to us? It was a sort of half expected surprise! So it was, over a simple meal of broth with salted eggs to get to know each other. They did not even have time to drink Chinese tea which I had prepared. It was too late to attend the buffet... had to face the music from Shirley when she is back from confinement!


Link

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Anuar Shaari still did not get it

According to Malaysia Today:

Anuar Shaari urges PI Balasubramaniam's lawyers to declare their incomes

http://malaysia-today.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33286:annuar-shaari-urges-pi-balasubramaniams-lawyers-to-declare-their-incomes&catid=19:newscommentaries&Itemid=100131

As a layman, I can see that well known and established lawyers are financially well off. If any of them are prepared to take up a case 'pro bono' (or done for the public good without compensation or free of charge), he can not only afford to do so, he must have been sufficiently riled up to be willing to spend his precious time on the matter. Why must anybody associated with the opposition be subject to uncalled for actions by police, MACC, or the Inland Revenue?
Is there any other government institution not subject to BN's beck and call?
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Necrophilia

A man was brought before the judge and charged with NECROPHILIA (making love to a dead person).

The judge told him, "In 20 years on the bench, I've never heard such a disgusting, immoral thing. Just give me one good reason why I shouldn't lock you up and throw away the jail keys in the toilet?"

The man replied, "I'll give you THREE good reasons:

1. It's none of your damn business;
2. She was my wife; and...
3. I didn't KNOW she was dead, she ALWAYS acted that way!"

Link

Friday, July 23, 2010

How Penang was lost?

What I just received, unedited:

I was looking at a bunch durians and told the taukea: "Penangites are interesting ..."
the taukea ask: "what do you mean?"
I said: "don't you think so, the names of these durian are cool"
The taukea smiled and proudly said: "Do you wanna try ling-fung-jiao, it looks small, but is has this strong aroma. If not do you wanna try ling-qing-xia? not only it looks good, it taste bitter sweet."
I said: "alrite! alrite! lets try 2 of each"
Honestly after trying them , they do indeed tasted not bad at all.
And then the taukea said: "Do you wanna try our latest durian brand?"
I said: "You have new brands too!"
"Yes! This new brand is called Koh Tsu Khoon."
I was amazed and ask: "What is so special about this one?"
"This brand is actually not very special, but it has something that all other brand doesn't have."
"err! and what is that?"
The taukea smiled and said: "That is because this brand is BO HOOD(tak dak biji)"

Link

The meaning of PEPSI...

according to this man:

http://islameyat.com/video_player.php?id=2756


Link

How to be a Husband 101...

WICOE
(Women In Charge Of Everything)

Is proud to announce the opening of its
EVENING CLASSES FOR MEN!
OPEN TO MEN ONLY
ALL (MEN) ARE WELCOME

Note: due to the complexity and level of difficulty, each course will accept a maximum of eight participants.

The course covers two days, and topics covered in this course include:

DAY ONE

HOW TO FILL ICE CUBE TRAYS
Step by step guide with slide presentation

TOILET ROLLS- DO THEY GROW ON THE HOLDER?
Roundtable discussion

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LAUNDRY BASKET FLOOR
Practising with helper (Pictures and graphics)

DO THEY LEVITATE/FLY TO KITCHEN SINK
OR DISHWASHER BY THEMSELVES?

REMOTE CONTROL
Losing the remote control - Help line and support groups

LEARNING HOW TO FIND THINGS
Starting with looking in the right place
Instead of turning the house upside down while screaming
Open forum


DAY TWO

EMPTY MILK CARTONS;
DO THEY BELONG IN THE FRIDGE OR THE BIN?
Group discussion and role play

HEALTH WATCH;
BRINGING HER FLOWERS IS NOT HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH
PowerPoint presentation

REAL MEN ASK FOR DIRECTIONS WHEN LOST
Real life testimonial from the one man who did

IS IT GENETICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SIT QUIETLY AS SHE PARALLEL PARKS?
Driving simulation

LIVING WITH ADULTS;
BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR PARTNER
Online class and role playing

HOW TO BE THE IDEAL SHOPPING COMPANION
Relaxation exercises, meditation and breathing techniques

REMEMBERING IMPORTANT DATES & CALLING WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE LATE
Bring your calendar or PDA to class

GETTING OVER IT;
LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH BEING WRONG ALL THE TIME
Individual counsellors available

Link

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Parkinson's Law in PM's Department?

'Observation that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion," and that a sufficiently large bureaucracy will generate enough internal work to keep itself 'busy' and so justify its continued existence without commensurate output.

Proposed in 1955 in jest by the UK political analyst and historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909-93) while criticizing the British Admiralty (which was growing bigger while the number of sailors and ships under its care was going down). It is quoted more as a keen insight into the functioning of large organizations than as an empirical reality.' (quoted from www.businessdictionary.com)

That was the impression I get when I read YB Liew Chin Tong's article:

The RM12b department
The Prime Minister’s Department’s allocation for 2010 is a whopping RM12 billion, not RM4 billion as some people may have perceived it to be. That’s a lot of money for one single department.

In a parliamentary reply by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to Taiping MP, Nga Kor Ming, it was revealed that RM3.9 billion was allocated to the PMD for its “operations” in 2010. The minister was telling the truth; PMD’s “operating budget” was indeed the said amount.

But he seemed to be withholding another piece of information already in the public domain. Under a separate category of “development”, the PMD received RM 8.238 billion. Thus, the total budgetary outlay for the PMD in 2010 is RM12.1 billion, as revealed by the Federal Budget Estimates.

The PMD’s budget wasn’t so huge not too long ago. In the entire Eighth Malaysia Plan period (2001-2005), the development budget of the PMD was RM7.2 billion, or 4.3 per cent of the Plan’s total allocations. This means the development allocation for 2010 alone (RM 8.2 billion) surpassed the sum allocated for the first five years of the 21st century.

The PMD, which was already relatively strong and powerful compared to other Commonwealth countries, has grown beyond recognition, especially over the course of the last decade.
Its development budget underwent a four-fold increase in the 9th Malaysia Plan , driving its allocation up to RM 29.6 billion, or 13.5 per cent of the Plan’s total.

The huge increases in the PMD’s budget in 2009 and 2010 have never been seen before. The combined operating and development expenditure for 2009 was RM14 billion; nearly double the RM7.1 billion allocated for 2008. The total for 2005 was a mere RM4.1 billion in comparison.
A different way of looking at it is that the development budget for 2009 (RM10 billion) was five times that of 2005 (RM2 billion) while in 2010 (RM8.2 billion), is four times that of the base year.

What does this mean?

The development allocation for PMD is discretional expenditure that allows the prime minister to approve it literally at the stroke of a pen, whereas other ministerial expenditures or treasury payments must pass through more rigorous checks.

The “big push” in the increase of the development budget occurred in the Ninth Malaysia Plan and in 2009. In both instances, the increase occurred during the time when former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi’s position was threatened by internal revolts in Umno and other political challenges.

The big push of Budget 2009 was presented to Parliament in August 2008, amidst talk of defection of Barisan Nasional MPs, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak. Immediately, RM1 billion of the RM6.9 billion increase was allocated to Sabah and Sarawak. The other RM5 billion was for the development of the five corridors, which included Sabah Development Corridor and Sarawak Corridor ofRenewable Energy (Score).

Perhaps it can be said that such a big push managed to fend off the Sept 16 challenge, allegedly when those BN MPs were supposed to join the Pakatan Rakyat.

Besides the surge of monetary allocations, the staff size of the PMD and the speed of its growth (or over-growth) are completely mind-boggling. In 1981, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad assumed power, there were 4,414 staff in the PMD. In 2001, there were 9,673; 21,045 in 2003. In 2009, the PMD hired 25,332.

In the same reply, Nazri told Parliament that the PMD has employed 43,544 people in 2010.
According to Nazri, the increase in operating allocations and staff were due to the “creation of new agencies” within the department as well as the addition of posts in a few existing agencies.
The powers concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Department in Malaysia certainly have other Commonwealth prime ministers’ envy. Besides the personal offices of the prime minister and his deputy, there are five full ministers, five deputy ministers, a number of ministerial-ranked advisors (which I am still unable to confirm), and 45 agencies under the watch of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Some of these agencies, such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, Auditor-General’s Office, Election Commission, Human Rights Commission, Public Complaints Bureau, and Public Service Commission should have been placed under parliamentary oversight.

The Parliament should govern its own affairs, independent from the PMD; likewise for the judiciary and national palace.

It is disturbing that the Prime Minister’s Department is like a messy bazaar with all sorts of agencies under its watch that do not make any practical or coherent sense.

For instance, the dissolution of entrepreneur development ministry did not return the governance of public transport to the transport ministry but instead a new land public transport commission was formed within the PMD. One can only suspect that the licensing power of public transport is too great to let go.

The other agency that is gathering huge staff strength is theMalaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, which is our version of the coast guard. Why should it be housed under the PMD? The right thing to do is to place it under either defence or home ministry, and at the same time merge Marine Police with MMEA. At it is, Malaysia has the navy, MMEA, Marine Police, Fisheries Department and a whole hosts of agencies guarding our waters, yet our borders don’t seem to be less porous.

Something is very wrong with Malaysia’s public finance and governance, especially in these last few years. And the people have to bear the brunt of the current subsidy cuts, allegedly to help the government saves RM750 million this year.

Source : http://en.liewchintong.com/?p=787

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wharton has the edge...

in teaching how to earn big and spend big... when you have too much money at such a young age, you tend to have this urge to splurge, or what we old school of thought refers to as 'easy come, easy go'.

Malaysia Today: 'What They Don't Teach You At Wharton Business School'


I believe the high profile, high spending of this young man, whose name has been often mispelt Taek Jho Lo, or Low Taek Jo, (Korean sounding to me) is going to backfire sooner or later. Yes, his contacts will bring famous film stars to our shores, eg. Robert De Niro is said to be coming at the invitation of our First Lady, but where did he get all that money?
Link

Tin not worth mining, izzit?


According to Free Malaysia Today's headline: 'Tin not worth mining, says Khir'


Each time I took some foreign visitors to visit this abandoned tin dredge, I marveled at the huge size of the buckets used to scoop alluvia from the pond to extract tin, many years ago. I used to wonder how much the demand of tin must have been, to warrant such huge capital expenditure! Of course, without research, I am unable to provide figures as to the costs of an average tin dredge in relation to the price of tin then. But I can remember Steven telling me that the scrap value of the dredge at today's iron ore price is well over Rm1 million!

I am amused to read Khir Toyo's claim that tin is not worth mining and that sand mining is more profitable. Of course, if there were insufficient tin deposits to make it economical, then it is the end of the argument. But his simple dismissal of the claim that he was against sand mining because of possible tin deposits should warrant some response because at today's prices, tin mining can be profitable, depending on the amount of deposits. Like any venture, there are risks involved.

Amang factories have been in operation for many years, mainly for the purpose of extracting the little tin left behind after tin dredging or open cast mining. Tin tailings used to be bought from mines for extraction of tin. It was only later, when there were sudden demands for rare minerals that some operators switched their attention, especially during the periods when tin was at its lowest price which made tin mining uneconomical.

After processing at the amang factories, the average percentage of tin ore is around 65% when sold to smelters which further purified it to make tin ingots which are almost 100% pure.

A 7-ton lorry load of tin ore (65%) at today's price of US$17,800 per tonne (at exchange rate of 3.237) works out to Rm262,164.

As a comparison, based on a recent report on illegal export of sand, a barge carrying 5,000 tons of sand was valued at Rm250,000, which works out to an average of Rm50 per ton. Assuming a 7-ton lorry load of sand, it is worth Rm350 only. In other words, a lorry load of processed tin ore is equivalent in value, to 750 lorries loaded with sand!

Of course, I am not comparing like with like. But I am highlighting the value of tin ore at today's price which would make amang factory operators salivating if those so-called sand were actually carrying tin deposits of say 5%.

A barge of 5,000 tons of tin tailings (5% tin) can extract 250 tons of tin ore. At 65% purity, it is worth Rm9,363,022 (162.50 x 17,800 x 3.237)! Even after taking into account the costs of processing, it is obvious which is more profitable, isn't it?

Note: With further information, my above example (5% tin) would involve additional approval required from Mines Department. It seems tin tailings are considered worth processing with 1.5% tin content, without involving Mines Department. Even with this small percentage, just the tin alone could add >Rm3,000,000 to the 5,000 tons of sand, assuming the remaining 98.5% being sold as such. My contention was that someone could have secretly taken a sample of the sand and the percentage, assuming 5% tin would have brought him extra millions in Ringgit under the pretext of buying sand or doing sand mining. It is also to disprove Khir's sweeping statement that tin is not worth mining.
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Some Mumbo Jumbos

10 Ways to Avoid Ghost in Hotel Rooms

1. Knock on door or press door bell before entering, meaning to ask for permission to stay there.
2. When entering hotel room for 1st time, enter sideways so as to allow the 'dirty thing' to leave the room.
3. Leave a pair of slippers (each facing opposite directions) at door entrance. 'Dirty thing' coming in will follow the slipper and go out.
4. Place a glass of water and a pinch of salt at head of bed.
5. Flush toilet bowl before using.
6. Do not close the bible if it has been left open.
7. Avoid wearing black & red clothings. Wear yellow clothings.
8. Before sleeping, close toilet door & also switch off toilet lights.
9. Don't sleep facing big mirror.
10. Before sleeping, do not leave slippers together but each facing opposite direction to each other or in a messy way.



This reminds me of a Chinese restaurant in Leeds with a menu heading '3 ways to a duck' which led to one of my English colleagues to quip, 'Oh, I know a fourth way...' and it was hilarious then.

Update from Greencrusaders

Hi K.S.Ong,

here we are presenting a talk to MISC at Menara Dayabumi on 28June.

You have been to two of our exhibitions but have not sat in one of our talks. Hope to have you come to one in the future.

Regards, Don and Mylene

Here we are with Datuk Lat and the VVIPs of MISC.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Taxis in Dubai...

are luxury cars to us...


this takes the cake!

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Who's the boss?

was finally revealed...

The boss was concerned that his employees weren’t giving him enough respect, so he tried an old fashioned method of persuasion. He brought in a sign that said “I’m the Boss” and taped it to his door.

After lunch, he noticed someone had taped another note under his.

The note read: “Your wife called. She wants her sign back!”

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Man vs Nature...

Nature won.

Video clip of a landslide in action...


sure to make those with homes next to hillside jittery. In Cantonese: 'Yau tak charn, mou tak fun' or 'can shiver but cannot sleep'.
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Making sense of a house advertisement

I used to surf Mudah.com to check on used car prices, land and house prices, just to update myself, not that I am in any position to buy. Sometimes, it is useful to have enough info to chat on whenever necessary, like when meeting friends or relatives who started on such a topic.

It was quite a while since my last visit. Anyway, spotted this house advert:

Corner Song House in Double Storey Choon, Ipoh...

To anyone else, I am sure it does not make sense. But to locals, I can easily decipher it as 'Corner Double Storey House in (Taman) Song Choon, Ipoh'!

Just wondering how it happened... surely most people can piece together such an advert in the right order (not necessarily in my order). Maybe, it was written in Chinese characters and another person just translated according to what was scribbled on a piece of paper... which was torn into few pieces! Does it make sense?


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Why Waste Water When We can Wash With care?

Don't waste it!' followed by 'Save it!' seem common exclamations that go well together, usually from an older person to someone else.

Waste in the context of our precious water seems distant because of our wet climate with occasional torrential rain causing flash floods. Yet, sometimes, we are faced with 'water, water everywhere, not a drop to spare'. This is simply because water that is suitable for our consumption needs to be treated first, unless we are using it just for washing the car or water the plants.

In other words, just like recycling our garbage, separating the different uses would result in reducing waste due to indiscriminate use of water. We just need some adjustments to be able to save rain water for the purpose of general cleaning, washing the car and watering the plants. What we get from the tap would be restricted to boiling water for consumption, washing vegetables and meat, and any use which requires treated water.

How we use water can make a lot of difference. When we used to have a maid when the children were small, the water bill used to be around Rm50 for two months. Now, with just two senior citizens and occasional visits from children or friends, our bill has been greatly reduced to the minimum charge of Rm6.00 for two months! I would attribute a large part of the difference to the maid having the water hose running when washing things or rinsing the floor. Even having the tap running when cleaning dishes or brushing our teeth makes a significant difference.

From Home Economics (wife used to be one such teacher) tips, I am conscious of clearing the dishes properly, even using tissue to wipe excessive gravy off which saves on cleaning liquid and water for rinsing, as well as not having to wash stained dish cloths. Hot water helps in cleaning oily bowls and plates. Even rinsing, I would arrange in such a way that there are other items below the item being rinsed under the tap!

Some people might laugh at such attention to small details just to save what is deemed as a cheap commodity, as water. This is not a question of affordability which the low cost would attest to, but a question of reducing wastage of a scarce commodity! If everyone of us were to practise some form of conservation of water, then our government's warning of water rationing within the next few years will not become reality.

Please do not give them an excuse to start any mega projects which will benefit only a few and burden the rest of the public.

Just added: From Malaysiakini: Water: Scrap unsustainable mega-projects

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Aesthetic vs Practicality

Each time we admire a picture of a model house or a house in the West, chances are that we are looking at one without fences. How we wish we could have houses without fences, just like those in the kampong or village where everybody knows everybody.

But the reality soon dawn on us that we just cannot do without fencing... in fact, even with fencing, some robbers could jump into the compound. I can already feel the insecurity of sleeping in a house not properly fenced up.

The realities I have faced:

Even my ordinary plants outside the compound had been cut down or sprayed with weedkillers by a neighbour bent on encroaching our living space. So planting ornamental trees will be pushing my luck too far.

Because a sister-in-law had her wooden bench outside the house carted away, our collectible bench is our constant worry when away for longer. Other items which could enhance the overall landscape have to be put on hold.

Certain flowering plants cannot be in certain places because of our two free running dogs who can be easily excited by another neighbour's chickens who find our grass is greener.

Choice of plants is also important. I have to think a few years later as to how big the tree will be. Many people planted rambutan or mango trees in their house compounds and regret later when they grew too big. It would cost another few hundred ringgit to chop and cart away each tree. I think it is cheaper to just buy when one feels like eating any of the fruits. Durian used to be common and it would take 10 years before one realizes that it is either barren or the fruit is not what was promised. But from landscaping point, these fruits trees are out.

I have just found out the 'tower tree' which is a hot favourite in sample house landscaping, costs a few hundred each! This can grow as high as fifty feet and I am sure many house owners are not aware yet.

Being at home most times, I knew and could imagine what needed to be done. Being on high ground, our back of the house is in the way of strong winds. I have planted Manila red palms (turned out to be mistake because the fruits attracted rats which took them to the car engine section and clogged up the air-condition system) and 'thit si' (literally 'iron tree') because they were free and which grew fast, as windbreakers and shade against the hot evening sun. But what took a few years would need just half an hour of chain sawing when my wife brought back some workers to chop and clear without even asking.

Anyone who is a DIY enthusiast would be able to understand my tendency to keep whatever parts, nuts, bolts and screws which might come in handy just when I need it. This would accumulate and make the place untidy. Then comes the cat who is fussy over where to have her nap. She keeps changing her place and knocks down some of the stuff I left on top of cupboards and shelves. Once, even two car seats on top of a shelf came crashing down because of her!

Then there is the recycling which we are advised to practise. Don and Mylene take upon themselves as Greencrusaders. But the recycling means separating different items of garbage for collection later. This would undoubtedly clutter the place. At the extreme end, there is a friend who was fined because his neighbours complained about his house being exceptionally untidy because of what he keeps for recycling.

Our part-time cleaner collects old newspapers too for sale. My wife once heard her grandson exclaiming when seeing some, 'oh good, can change for money!' But sometimes, I actually felt the pressure of being forced to read before she takes them away!
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So near, yet so far

From Malaysia Chronicle: Why is Umno seen as drifting further and further from the Malays by Jebat Must Die:


This article seems to strike a chord in me, as a Chinese growing up during the young years of Malaysia, since she gained Independence in 1957.

MCA is seen as the usual way for any young man to join in order to improve his career prospects. As a student in TAR College, I was envious of a classmate's family Mercedes having an 'Emergency' sticker which was useful during or in between curfews imposed soon after May 13, 1969.

Those families involved in larger businesses were directly or indirectly involved in MCA, and being with the opposition parties like DAP, meant other businessmen might not want to associate with, for fear of repercussions like non-renewal of permits or licences. Till today, there are businessmen and professionals who might support federal opposition parties but would not want to be open about it!

But living in Jalan Ipoh, most Chinese were supporters of Dr. Tan Chee Khoon for being outspoken and sincere in helping the less fortunate. The stories of discrimination in terms of race or political affiliation affected us a lot. The history of Dr. Tan's hold in Kepong is legendary and the joke goes that the people were prepared to live with potholes and poor maintenance of public facilities just to show their disgust. This opposition stronghold is currently being held by MP for several terms, YB. Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Deputy Chairman of DAP.

As a result of this perception of joining MCA for gain, I have never been tempted to join as I dislike being viewed as an opportunist. When I was working for my late brother who was a small time housing developer, he was well known for getting Certificates of Fitness on time. With his years of experience, he could coordinate the various stages of construction well and did what were required promptly. But despite proper work done, it would be naive to think approvals from the relevant authorities were given as a matter of course. I did not like the wheeling and dealing that goes with the business. But I was sheltered from those and just got the administration done. I could have learned the tricks of the trade but chose not to.

But when I think about MCA, the world is really small. In UK I was with Tan Koon Swan's brother. In fact, in Form 5, I almost attended a tuition class given by TKS. As we know, TKS became President for a short period. Then when working in KL, a house purchaser said she is a niece of Ong Ka Ting, who later became President too! Besides, I used to hear of a 'lou kham' who had played mahjong with Lee San Choon, and another who had lunch with Dr. Chua Soi Lek! Wah! that was really lots of names dropping!
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Umno's 'Heads I win, Tails you lose'

Selangor MB has been really accommodating in appointing an Umno representative to head its Public Accounts Committee. Umno Youth chief, Khairy even suggested that other Pakatan states should follow Selangor's example! Talking about giving an inch, and he wanted one foot... this must be an excellent example. Why didn't Khairy suggest that Parliament's PAC appoint an opposition representative to head it? Surely, this would have been 'one up' on Pakatan's magnanimous gesture. But no, Pakatan has to be 'whiter than white' while Barisan can continue with its opaque mega projects.

Other people would have been ashamed of ongoing investigations about his palatial home, first class family tour to Disneyland, or his shredding of official documents when Pakatan won the state elections, but our famous dentist seems keen on checking on the sand mining problems in his quest for any wrongdoing by Pakatan leaders. This is only possible because of the snail pace investigations on him by our biased MACC.

Selangor's Freedom of Information Bill is the boldest yet in introducing transparency to official dealings. This initiative will not only benefit the people in terms of fairness in government transactions but made things easy for Barisan to check on Pakatan's work. It is something we can never expect from the Barisan government, which relied so much on the Offical Secrets Act which seems to hide irregularities. We are now seeing the opposites of a political divide: Transparency vs Opaqueness in action. The public must understand that it is harder to work with transparency than hide under opaqueness, so Pakatan should be encouraged and given the chance to work out any glitches in the process.

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Umno is like the single largest shareholder...

in a company, with its less than majority stake at only 36% of parliamentary seats. A simple majority requires 112 seats out of the total 222.

It is interesting to note that the four largest parties: Umno, PKR, PAS and DAP (in order of total votes), are in control of the following:

Umno: Federal Government of Malaysia; Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan; and nine states which are not under Pakatan Rakyat.

PKR: Selangor
PAS: Kelantan and Kedah
DAP: Penang and Perak (lost through dubious defections later)

MCA (840,489 total votes) compared with DAP (1,118,025 total votes) did not enjoy control of a state, unlike Gerakan which controlled Penang before the last election. MCA's influence has always been compensated with Ministerial posts, though less in significance, when compared with Finance portfolio during Tun Tan Siew Sin's time.

Gerakan appears to be the biggest loser in the last general election. Despite its 184,548 total votes, it lost the state of Penang and left with 2 Members of Parliament.

Based on the results of GE12, BN had 140 seats and PR had 82. According to the latest position, BN has 137 (-3), PR has 76 (-6), Sabah Progressive Party has 2, Socialist Party has 1, and Konsensus Bebas has 6.

The Dewan Negara, where the Senators are, is shown as BN having 54, PR 8, and Minorities 2, giving a total of 64, out of a maximum of 70.

Note: The most significant unfairness of it all, is the fact that despite Pakatan having won 10 out of 11 parliamentary seats in FT Kuala Lumpur, it is under the control of the BN Minister of Federal Territories!
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Chinese Perkasa

It just occurred to me that if MCA were to continue as a race-based political party, it could be a Chinese Perkasa if it so wished, by being independent of Barisan Nasional!

Many people have expressed their opinions about race-based political parties being anachronistic in a more politically correct environment. MCA is being perceived as hanging on to their Ministerial and other positions provided as part of Barisan Nasional, to give the coalition a multi-racial appearance. Within BN, each race-based party seems to 'fight for its race' to give it relevance, but to others, their 'fights' are nothing more than 'shadow plays'.

Now, with the advent of Perkasa, the charade is further fine-tuned to have a separate body, a so-called NGO, to do the 'dirty work' for Umno, with obvious acquiescence. This has prompted Donald Lim to suggest a Chinese Perkasa to counter the growing influence of the original! To add to the silliness, the DPM seems agreeable to any type of Perkasa! Are we going backwards in our politics?

MCA might as well leave BN so that they can be free to do what they think as their continued relevance in fighting for Chinese rights, rather than a multi-racial approach to fighting for universal rights.

Will MCA's influence be further eroded in the next general election? GE12 had reduced their number of MPs from 40 to 15. Would the present leadership rather wait until further erosion of support before they are prepared to reform?

I can see if MCA and MIC were to be dissociated from Umno, the latter will be the only race-based party left to continue its racist approach.





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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do not take figures for granted


The above table appeared in Malaysia Today, sourced from Sin Chew Jit Poh. I was trying to play around with the figures and realized that some figures are missing (PBRS), and number of seats as a percentage of the total was incorrect (SAPP). The total votes obtained by each party as a percentage of the total were inaccurately stated for the 3 Pakatan parties, to name just a few. Even the percentages of votes obtained by each party when added, do not add up! But the most important ie. the number of seats does add up, though the scenario has been slightly affected by events since a few defections. (Apology: PBRS won its only seat uncontested on nomination day which explains the missing figures mentioned by me)

Overall, we cannot escape the fact that Umno obtained almost 36% of the seats with just under 30% of total votes. The most striking in fact, was PBB which obtained 6.3% of the seats with just 1.6% of the total votes. The average number of votes per seat stands at less than 10,000 (14 seats with just 131,243 total votes)! From memory, Putrajaya has just over 5,000 voters, mainly civil servants!

In terms of total number of seats, the 6 major parties in order of importance are Umno (79), PKR (31), DAP (28), PAS (23), MCA (15), and PBB (14). The figures have since changed with some defections from PKR. There are now 5 so-called Independent MPs, friendly to BN, who formed an Independent Bloc (oxymoron?). It will be interesting to see where they stand at the next General Election.

An Independent is better than PPP, a party under BN, which currently has no MP! This was despite having obtained a total of 16,800 votes.

YB Teresa Kok (P122 Seputeh) had the biggest majority of 36,492 in GE12! She obtained a total of 47,230 votes. This would put to shame some of the lesser parties in BN coalition. (Figures revised from my original which were based on my memory).


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Super rich are still human after all...

Today's The Star: Tycoon sent jet to S'pore for durian purchase:


It was a coincidence that I bought 2 small durians for Rm11 (@Rm6 per kg) outside the corner coffee shop in Lebuh Cecil Rae, Canning Garden, Ipoh. The man said the durians were from Kati, near Kuala Kangsar.

It was after delivering my son's 2 bikes (sent from UK) to be re-assembled by his friend at Le Velo which is just opposite the coffee shop, that we had our late lunch.

In the evening, I opened the durians and both tasted superb in terms of creaminess and flavour. It did not matter whether they were Musang King at Rm38 per kilo or just 'from some old trees in Kati', we enjoyed them and they are easily available locally, something which we normally take for granted.

When we take away the private jet, and the glamour names of two richest men in Hong Kong, did they enjoy the durians more than us? But of course, the biggest difference beside wealth, is that they can do the same for any other items in any part of the world!

That is why money is so important regardless of what we say about it. When you have lots of it, it can be very powerful. Just imagine, a man can actually buy up a company where a lady he fancies, works. It can be seductive too when the place she is visiting is cleared of hassle and chauffeur driven in a limousine, and wined and dined in exclusive restaurants without having to worry over the prices!

Last night, I was watching 'Father and son' and in this episode, a spoiled brat of a rich man tricked a salesgirl into delivering some electronic stuff at a store. He made an indecent proposal and the girl refused to entertain him. He took a jibe by saying, 'I thought you are crazy over money' to which she replied 'Yes, but I like only money which I earned.' She warned him that she would forfeit his down-payment for the goods. He said he could afford to lose it and locked her inside!

Maybank is taking customer complaints seriously

As a follow-up to my earlier posting on 'A bit of rude awakening...', I received a surprise telephone call from the Assistant Manager, Miss Leong, asking me for further information. She said the Bank is taking customer complaints seriously and I believe so, with the unexpected call. She confirmed that I am entitled to make payments to LHDN using the local branch, even though my account is with an Ipoh branch.

I did not complain using email, just my blog posting. The internet search system would have enabled the name 'Maybank' to be picked up by its own website for their attention. This is my layman's explanation.

In case anyone thinks it is incredible that since I am not a customer with the BG branch, how could she get my telephone number, it has to do with a small town's 'someone in the bank is likely to know the person, and he or she is likely to know someone who knows him'! The fact that she took the trouble, to me, is really taking the initiative to improving service.

Using feedback from friends who complained about Maybank, I have the following suggestions:

1. Customers share information about banks' service. They can be incredibly sensitive and would change bank over a minor incident or small amount . For example, my wife has been complaining about the Rm5 monthly charge and I had on more than one occasion, reminded her about the convenience to me that I could deposit her cheques and pay to LHDN without having to drive to Public Bank in Pusing (the bank she has in mind for closing her Maybank account in Ipoh).

2. Counter staff must ensure there is no real or perceived favouritism. For example, the counter to collect queue number is also next to customer service staff who provide services like filling in forms and updating Savings book, etc. which take time. There are complaints that sometimes it is possible to jump the queue to just get the queue number, sometimes not. So the system must be strictly followed ie. either one can jump the queue to get queue number or cannot. To prevent this, it might be better to separate queue number collection from Customer Service depending on the situation.

Similarly, there are some complaints about seeing someone who knows the staff, jumping queue (just arrived and can get immediate service, without using the queue system). Admittedly, this could be real or perceived to be, but this is just to show how people can be put off by very small incidents. In other words, staff can be friendly but not too friendly to give the impression of favouritism!

By the way, the reason why I felt the way I feel about not being welcome using another branch's service was because I was once told by a staff in Maybank, Jalan Ipoh, K.L. that they would prefer that I change my branch to Petaling Jaya, noting my forwarding address a few years ago. That was relating to a family company! Can you imagine the hassle to change account? When told this (I did not mention it was a company), Miss Leong said it was not true and she is unaware of such a policy of suggesting customers switch their accounts to one nearer their homes. But then again, it shows how a small comment like that had affected my perception of Maybank till now!

It should be noted that I happened to be a customer because Phileo Bank was taken over by Maybank. So it was not a bank of my choice because of its impersonal image.

It will take time to undo the seemingly 'take it or leave it' image of the largest bank in Malaysia, and the only way is through genuine good customer service because we are only human.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paul, the psychic Octopus was right... but many lost money

Yes, he was correct in all his predictions, including the Final between Netherlands and Spain. But I was surprised when told that many punters lost money despite the correct result. It was correct to the extent that Spain won... but according to the betting rules, it should be based on the original 90-minute game which was a draw at 0-0, and excluded the 15-minute extra time which saw the decider goal. So for those who gave a handicap of 1/2 goal, they lost at a score of 0-0, regardless of the result after extra time. Does that make sense? I have no experience in football betting.
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Useful Tools of our government...

in dealing with the opposition seem to include various Acts of Parliament like Sedition Act 1948, Internal Security Act 1960, Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, Official Secrets Act 1972, and Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 which easily come to mind.

Institutions like the Police, the Attorney General and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission are perceived to use their selective actions against opposition politicians. Even the Judiciary seems to be biased with their Chief being an ex-Umno lawyer as a fact, and many decisions of higher courts which seem to favour the ruling party as evidence.

Recently, the harsh actions taken by the Securities Commission against a journalist for his articles were unprecedented. This was followed by blog postings, by those unhappy with such actions, about the Chairman's husband being active in companies listed on Bursa Saham Malaysia, which suggests its possible lack of independence when dealing with his companies as well as those friendly to him.

To me, what was most alarming was a suggestion by a BN politician asking the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri to investigate those suspected of sponsoring alleged fugitive, Raja Petra's stay in UK. Since when has LHDN been a tool of BN? What's next? Asking the banks to provide bank statements on mere suspicion?

With the use of Mykad and online banking with its associated problems of 'phishing', many people are already so afraid of actual losses through the use of phished passwords. Now, they have to contend with the possible loss of confidentiality in their financial affairs. We should be aware of further intrusions and beware of its possible abuse by unscrupulous politicians.
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How to take a free kick successfully...

when playing against a Japanese team (a Pepsi advertisement) :



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Paul, the psychic Octopus predicts for our GE 13


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Monday, July 12, 2010

Another most embarrassing moment...

but first, just in case some readers think the previous one was mine, I do not have nor even tried an iPod!

A couple took on an 18-year-old girl as a lodger. She asked if she could have a bath, but the woman of the house told her they didn't have a bath but she could use a tin bath in front of the fire.

"Monday's the best night, when my husband goes out to darts," she said. So the girl agreed to have a bath the following Monday.

After her husband had gone to the pub for his darts match, the woman filled the bath and watched as the girl got undressed. She was surprised to see that the lass didn't have any pubic hair, and told her husband when he came home. He didn't believe her, so she said, "Next week I'll leave a gap in the curtains so that you can see for yourself."

The following Monday, while the girl again got undressed, the wife asked, "Do you shave?"

"No," replied the girl. "I've just never grown any hairs down there. Do you have hairs?"

"Oh, yes," said the woman, and she showed off her hairy fanny.

When the girl went to bed the husband came in, and the wife asked, "Did you see it?"

"Yes," he said, "but why the hell did you have to show her yours."

"Why not?" she said. "You've seen it before."

"I know," he said, "but the darts team hadn't!!"

A novel way to get your personal details...

After Nigeria was eliminated from the world cup the Nigerian goalkeeper personally offered to refund all the expenses of fans that travelled to South Africa.

He said he just needs their bank details and pin numbers to complete the transaction.


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Sunday, July 11, 2010

One most embarrassing moment...

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my gas with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and noticed that everybody was staring at me...

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Modern equipment: the lift or elevator to some

...not everyone understands how it works...



To some, it may seem like a transformation machine... just like how some modern folks now believe 911 as the making of Avatar.
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Trying to confuse

A pair of shoes which look like bare feet:

A car that looks like a shoe:
Both cannot be Jimmy Choo's.

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Virtual vs Reality

This looks like RX8 next to an MPV but actually is RX8 painted on it:
This is for real: a Mercedes sports car to go with luxurious mobile home:

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Friday, July 09, 2010

To understand our Malaysian politics...

we have to know the Malaysia Boleh Perception Dictionary first. But please be warned that these definitions are from blogsites unfriendly to the government, so skip if you are not that inclined:

'Abide by the law' means do what we tell you to, not what we do.
'Ah Long' refers to loan sharks who charges more than 10% interest per month, first month's interest deducted from loan sum immediately; defaulters are splashed with red paint, more serious ones are even caged! Usually the loan sums are relatively small to start with, but the high interest would have snowballed them within a short period. Many people got in thinking they can afford the monthly interest, without considering the repayment of the principal sum.
'Apanama' refers to the longest serving PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir. That was endearing after 22 years.
AP or Approved Permits are given to Umno officials to ensure extra income to support a lifestyle they are accustomed to. If given to a business, it was meant to have a quick start to super wealth.

Appeals by a minority race is equivalent to a demand.
'Asking too much' is when a minority race seeks for equal rights and opportunities.

Assets in a company valued at more than liabilities means no cash flow problems.
Astronaut is a space travelling passenger.
Attorney General is the one who decides who will be charged for any offence. He can also decide before hand how many people are involved before a trial starts.
Augustine Paul, Justice, was known as the 'irrelevant' judge because of his habit of treating every evidence as such.
'Bala' is known for executing two different Statutory Declarations within days. Doing the 'bala' is just that.
'Bersih' means 'clean' in Malay but wearing yellow Bersih T-shirts face police arrest. It is the chosen meaningful Malay word to represent 'Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil' or Coalition (of 62 political parties and NGOs) for Clean and Fair Elections.
Bill of Guarantee of No Internet Censorship is a law passed at the strong suggestion of Bill Gates.
Brain drain is a process where students with excellent results are unappreciated locally, but accepted with open arms by foreign countries which offer them places, scholarships, employment with excellent career advancement, and even citizenship. To add to this, foreign spouse of citizens are disallowed to work here despite their qualifications, skills and experience.
BR1M originally 'Bantu Rakyat' (or Help the people) seems more like 'Beli Rakyat' (or Buy the people's votes) 1Malaysia.
Burger stalls and butting exercise in front of someone's house is not an offence.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day which is normally taken during office hours.
'Bumiputera' means 'son of the earth' (or native to the country) but someone who came later can be considered one if he meets the definition of Malay. He can then have more rights than another who is non-Malay even if the latter came much earlier.

Cabinet decisions cover kitchen items like chicken and sugar prices.
Caricatures of politicians are banned during an election.
CIA agent: Anwar is one because an unknown blogger said so.
Clock-in was introduced by Apanama but abused by clever civil servants who use someone else to do so.
Concessions are those agreements usually relating to expressways, where the main conditions must be favourable to concessionaires, with government guarantees if necessary.
Condominium gives a false sense of security.
Contract for mega projects must be done on a negotiated basis, to protect secrecy.
Contractors are classified from 'A' to 'F'. But mega contracts are beyond them because they get more complicated with involvement of politicians.
Cow is a term sensitive to a backdoor minister who lost in the general elections.
Crooked bridge is a project proposed by Apanama to prove that Malaysia can do things despite Singapore's disagreement. Its rejection by own government incurred huge compensations to contractors.
Datuk or Dato is a title to reward someone who helped to grab a state government.
Democracy or 'democrazy' is when there are regular general elections.

Diplomats are chosen not for their diplomacy and knowledge of the country where they serve, but for their efficiency in providing first class service to visiting politicians of the ruling parties.
Doctoral thesis is just academic, there is no necessity to put into practice.
Elections or 'erections' are considered fair when there are some opposition candidates winning some parliamentary and state seats.
EPF or Employees Provident Fund is the largest investment fund, yet cannot provide photocopying service to members.
Executive is headed by someone from ruling party elected by its 191 division heads, and the rest of the people have no say whatsoever.
Equality is when all races are deemed equal except one which is first among equals.
F1 Circuit is similar to a toy race track given by an average father.
Expertise in highway construction can be found in an Umno lawyer and wife of ex-Chief Justice.
Facebook is the place to show a politician's popularity.
Fighter jets are kept separate from their engines, so that they can be easily stolen by junior staff.
First Lady is a title given to PM's wife with an inferiority complex.
Fixed Deposits refer to virtual certainty of parliamentary seats from Sabah and Sarawak, for up to 5 years, with automatic renewal.
Flip flop refers to decisions or rather indecisions, because which is which depends on when you ask about it.
Fourth Floor refers to the floor where the real decisions are made, by the famous Son-in-law.
'Frog' is a term to describe a people's representative who left his or her party after election. Frog King is one who has jumped the most times, and behaves as though he is ever ready for another jump.
Fugitive is one who lives outside the country by self-imposed exile.
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom after.
Fraud cannot happen where an organization appears to be flush with funds.
GDP increase to the ordinary folks could mean increases in Gas, Diesel or Petrol.
Graduate Employability Programme is government funded to help graduates who remain unemployed six months after graduation.
GST or Goods and Services Tax is a convenient tax on all citizens to substitute for the eventual drying up of the oil revenues. Once in place, it requires only revision upwards whenever necessary.
Honour in an agreement means not having to honour after it has been signed.

Illegal member of a cooperative means there is no provision or by-law to sack him.
Income Tax Act provides for taxation of income, losses are your own problems. Unpaid taxes within grace period are automatically added 10% and then 5%, but refunds take time and do not earn interest.
IPP or Independent Power Producers are contracted to sell all their output at favourable prices to government regardless of demand for it.
ISA or Internal Security Act is meant to deal with Communists by detention without trial. If not, any oppositionists whom they call communists.
Jaga kereta is a despised person who looks after your car for a fee during free parking hours.
'Jalan Sehala' means 'One-way street' which foreigners mistaken it as the name of a road.
Jews or Juice are enemies of the country, period.
Jibby is a nickname of the PM given by people who like to jibe him.
Judiciary is headed by an ex-party lawyer following two sets of rules and ensuring the ruling party leaders do not get into trouble.
Keris is an old Malay weapon but it wields tremendous psychological fear in people.
Khazanah is our Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, inspired by Singapore's earlier success.
'Kulitfication' is a 'qualification' required for a job entry or promotion, based on skin colour or race.
'Lese Majeste' is when a Sultan's purchase of WWW1 car registration is being questioned.
'Losing control' is when one out of 13 states is being ruled by a non-Malay Chief Minister.
Mahafiraun is a nickname given to the longest serving PM, for being dictatorial.
Malay is a race by definitions; if any of the definitions failed in practice, the person remain as one. But to enjoy certain extraordinary benefits, one has to be in the ruling party. Otherwise, one can be worse off than a non-Malay because of persecution.
Maintenance is unnecessary because we prefer new and bigger projects to replace existing ones.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission closes one eye and shut the other when dealing with ruling party, but scrutinizes any activities of the opposition regardless of amounts or significance.
'Malaysia Boleh' or Malaysia Can is a tagline meant to inspire Malaysians to reach higher goals. It can also mean 'a place where everything is beyond human comprehension'.
'Malaysia Boliau' or Malaysia No More is suggested to mean Malaysia will fail with the many mega projects with huge costs overruns.
Malaysian Book of Records keeps a record of the highest, biggest or anything most ridiculous one can think of in the country.
Malaysian time means a time later than appointed time, usually explained by 'I'm on my way'.
MARA or Majlis Amanah Rakyat (The Council of Public Trust) serves almost exclusively Malays and Bumiputeras, not the Rakyat (the Public), many of whom did not know its stated objective.
Medical Certificate is one issued by an approved doctor who signs willingly to maintain goodwill. Sometimes, patients can know in advance when to have one. This is efficiency through enough practice.
Members of Parliament are required to look after blocked drains and uncleared garbage.
Meritocracy means selection using two different examination systems; one's B is equivalent to the other's A, and its A therefore becomes irrelevant.
Motor cyclists normally do not follow rules relating to traffic lights nor 'one-way' or 'no entry' signs.
Negotiated Contracts are those involving huge sums of money and open to large Variation Orders so that the final sum is at least double the original.
NFC (not Near Field Communication as in IT), but better known in Malaysia as National Feedlot Corporation, or some may suggest 'Not For Cows' because funds for the original cattle rearing project was hijacked to buy luxury cars and condominiums for a minister's family members instead. That her portfolio includes Family seems to suggest she had taken it too literally that funds could be used in any which way they like within the family.
Niamah is the name of a famous blog; is also a polite form of Chinese expletive similar to TN Sing.
Nuclear power sounds better than solar power.
Open tender must come with a guarantee of 30% for Bumiputera businessmen.
OSA or Official Secrets Act is stamped on all government documents, to prevent any irregularities from being known.
Perkasa is a rightist group, which means they are always 'right' in what they say. They are seen as doing the dirty work for Umno so that the latter can sometimes appear to be politically correct.
PNB or Permodalan Nasional Bhd has the main objective of taking up remaining shares meant for Bumiputera, but now seen as competing with Bumiputera companies in their activities.
Police lock-ups are dangerous places to be in.
Police summons if unpaid, are likely to get discounts.
Power sharing means distribution of lesser portfolios to other minor coalition partners.
Prime Minister is the CEO of Malaysia who is also CFO, a very busy man by any standards, but has a soft spot and time for any people's representative or anyone who has anything against Anwar Ibrahim.
Prime Minister's Department is like a cabinet within a Cabinet; it has a few Ministers and employs 43,000 people!
Printing Presses and Publications Act - no renewal after 6 months of application so that 'show cause' letter can be issued for breaking the law.
Privatization means private profit but public liability.
Professor or Dr. can be someone who happens to own or calls the shots in a university college.
Proton is the name of our national car manufacturer, the protection of which is the cause of our higher car prices.
Puspakom is the only private company with authority to inspect vehicles, a requirement which include transfers between family members because of a few cases of welding half-cut car bodies.
Quality FDIs are those which other countries would not touch, so long as they are deemed highly profitable.
Raja Petra is a prince who 'calls a spade a spade', aka 'loose cannon'; mocks the establishment, now living in exile as a so-called fugitive with known address in UK.
Recession is the time when mega projects are needed more than ever, to support the life styles of those accustomed to good times.
'Red Dot' refers to the tiny island of Singapore who used to be part of Malaysia but is now more successful despite lack of natural resources.
Resignation is the leaving of your appointed job on the last day of your contract of service expiration.
Royalties relating to oil is subject to whether the state is run by the Federal governing party.
Sacrifice is the resignation of a cabinet minister which follows intent and act of wrong doing.
Safety belt rule for rear passengers is applicable for up to 3 persons, not so if four.
Safety helmet rule not applicable to chief of Road Safety, and Ministers if in the presence of the press.
Salaries of our Ministers are 1% of those in Singapore but they can make 100 times more.
Sedition Act is meant to prevent people from uttering ... well, seditious statements which could cause disharmony in the country. Seditious statements found to be such, were those from the opposition. It is effective in shutting them up and even putting them away from creating problems to the ruling party.
Senator is appointed when a politician lost in the elections and because of his position in a party within BN, deserves to be appointed a minister. Others include those who are great at attacking Anwar Ibrahim, Pakatan Rakyat, PKR, and the opposition in general.
Sleepy is a sensitive word during Pak Lah's time.
Social Contract is claimed to be an unwritten agreement between the Malays and the non-Malays during Independence, whereby the former allowed the latter become citizens with the condition that the former retain their special rights.
Sodomy is our government's biggest problem, judging from the resources and time wasted on it. Only one person has ever been charged! It can be considered as more serious than murder.
Soft Loan is a large loan offered to an Umno stalwart at 2% interest p.a., repayment kicks in only when the loan has been fully disbursed. In other words, no need to repay so long as only Rm249 million out of the Rm250 million was disbursed!
Speaker of a State Assembly can be dragged out of the Assembly by order of the Secretary.
'Special position' mentioned in S.153 of the Constitution morphed into 'Special rights'.
Speed limits enforcement is a way of augmenting the low salaries of the policemen.
Speed limit of 80/90 kmph for heavy vehicles means minimum speed. Drivers will escape after a fatal accident.
Struggle is when a party fights to prevent loss of APs and rent-seeking opportunities.
Submarine is a marine vessel bought without guarantee that it will submerge.
'Suqiu' which means 'appeal' in Mandarin by a Chinese group taken to mean 'demands' by a group of communists!
Tea time is any time to have a chat at the canteen so long as there is someone else dealing with the public.
Tan Sri is similar to a knighthood given to persons friendly to and of the ruling coalition. A Datuk is likely to upgrade to Tan Sri when his son gets a datukship.
Television coverage are given firstly to anyone with anything critical of the opposition in general, Anwar in particular.
Tinting of vehicle windscreen is subject to different equipment used in JPJ and Puspakom, so tinting has to be done after any inspection required by the latter.
Traitor is one who goes against own race's racist policies.
Tun is a title awarded to senior politicians. It is believed the title provides immunity from corruption charges.
'Ultra vires' means 'insulting the Sultan.
'UMNO' is Malaysia's largest political party. Its relevance is in championing the special rights of the Malay race, their religion, Islam and their language, Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysia's national language). It is ironic that the party is better known as United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO rather than its Malay name, Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu!
'Under Siege' is a state when a majority race fears control by a minority race, even though its population is over 60%; and all the rulers; PM, DPM and senior ministers; and 90% of the army, police and civil service are of the majority race.
USA the most powerful country in the world, ok to lobby for recognition, but if naturally popular, deemed an agent.
UUCA or Universities and University Colleges Act is meant to control the students in institutions of higher learning to ensure they think within the Box. They are not allowed to join political parties nor take part in political activities unless sanctioned by the ruling party.
Water is in abundance, so we can afford to waste it.
Water crisis (despite heavy rainfalls and floods) can be created when Umno cronies are given lop-sided contracts in their favour, and blamed on Pakatan state administration.

Note: This Dictionary is subject to additions and changes from time to time.
Items in blue are those which appeared in the original posting.Link