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?

MyCen News

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Black Eye...

for listening to teacher's advice...

Jabu walked into class every morning with a black eye .

After a while his teacher got worried and asked him about it.

Jabu's answer was:

"Our house is very small miss. me, my mother and my father, we sleep on the same bed. Every night my father asks, 'Jabu are you sleeping? Then I say 'No' and then he slaps my face and gives me a Black eye."

So the teacher says to him, "Tonight when your father asks again, keep dead quiet and don't answer".

The following morning Jabu comes to school and his eye is fine, so the teacher breathes a sigh of relief.

But the day after that Jabu comes back with a severe black eye again. "My goodness Jabu, why the black eye again?"

He tells her: "Teacher, Dad asked me again, 'Jabu are you sleeping?... and I shut up and kept dead still.

Then my father and my mother started moving at the same time Mom was breathing erratically..."

Then my father asks my mother: 'Are you coming?'

Then my mom says, 'Yes I'm coming, are you coming too?' and my dad answered 'Yes'.

They don't usually go anywhere without me so I said 'Wait for me...'

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Tenang: BN won despite bad publicity in alternative media

Tenang is still BN's, despite all the bad publicity against it in the alternative media. In other words, mainstream media still rule in our 'feel good' country, where everybody goes about their daily lives more concerned about their own than what happened to the outcome of Kugan's or Beng Hock's inquiries or Anwar's second sodomy case.

Felda settlers were happy enough with the Rm1.6 billion which Najib announced just before campaigning started, despite Felda being abused through lop-sided deal with Naza, according to former Deputy Minister, Dr. Tan Kee Kwong.

There was no doubt that Malays are still the king-makers where they are the majority, despite warning by Tun Dr. Mahathir that they will lose control. Nobody believed him anyway what with all the institutions under their control. If ever there is going to be a major change, the Malays are going to decide.

PAS with their candidate, Cikgu Normala, have made inroads in this BN stronghold, especially winning the hearts of the Chinese at the expense of MCA.

Many people believed that the floods had caused disruptions to the voters coming out to vote, and the government machinery had been used to help those perceived to be BN supporters to get to the voting centres. Whether there is any truth in this, BN lacks credibility because of past abuses.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dr. Tan Kee Kwong reveals why some Felda investments do not make sense


Gist of it:
1. Before Najib took over as Minister in charge of Felda, the image of Felda was 'sederhana' (or 'modest'), never 5-star; Felda has land near Jalan Semarak with plans for a 29-storey building costing Rm220 million with tenders already called for; the PM then, Pak Lah, had even fixed date for ground breaking; 'Hidden hand'... the DPM then, Najib, called a special meeting in his Putrajaya office with Naza's Nasimuddin and Bakke, without the knowledge of Felda Chairman and Ketua Pengarah; Felda (read Najib) decided to have its HQ near KLCC, next to Singapore High Commission, which is the most expensive land in the country, at a cost of Rm662 million; upon signing S&P Agreement, Rm230 million was paid instead of the usual 10%!

2. Special relationship between Najib and Naza-TTDI: Privatization (without tender) of land next to Matrade centre: In exchange for a new Pusat Pameran (Exhibition Centre), Naza-TTDI got 65 acres of freehold commercial land next to Matrade Centre valued at Rm1.5 billion! When asked why, Minister Mustapha Mohammed said, 'because he thought of the idea first'!

3. Petronas: Dr. Tan challenged PM to reveal Petronas accounts. As a member of Public Accounts Committee, he had never ever seen the Petronas accounts. 'Don't show means plenty to hide'.
Link

A look at some organizers

I like this...

I don't mind this...

But what is this?

Link

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Toto 4D robbery

Where there are people paying cash, there are collection of cash, and this attracts robbers. It is a matter of when, despite CCTV which enabled this to be shown...



Link

There was a recent robbery in a house where the robbers even took away the CCTV accessories! Though a police report was made, the victim said he would not want to go for identification purposes had he been called. Just like what my late mother used to say, 'catching a robber can also be a problem' because of the perceived threat in future. The robber or robbers would know who you are and not likewise... 'sort of they are in the dark while we are in the open'.

Rais: Best place to debate is in the Parliament...

is it?

From what I gathered, MPs have to write in first, and only if allowed, will he or she be given a chance to speak.

While speaking, there might be deliberate interruptions by MPs of the other side of the political divide. Speaker, being an Umno man, is blatantly biased towards BN and naturally prejudiced against PR. Anything that is going to hurt BN will not be allowed to continue. He is also prone to send objecting Pakatan MPs out on suspension for a few hours or even a year.

There is no semblance of a debate like what we knew at school.

Rais, please give another reason for not accepting a challenge to a debate.

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Why Middle Aged Women should Stay at Home



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Friday, January 28, 2011

Heavy hints yet we do not seem to realize...

Arrogance is when the powers that be continue to behave as if we do not mean anything to them.

Corruption has caused the roof of a stadium to collapse soon after completion; roof in Parliament House which continues to leak; submarine which cannot sink; jetfighter engines which went missing; and so on (too many, much written, people actually got bored), simply because of its rampancy and the perpetrators getting careless as a result of impunity.

Anwar's famous black eye after being assaulted by the former IGP (supposed to be chief of our protectors!); over a thousand deaths in police custody over the years without closure, the most recent being Kugan who died as a result of injuries but with no one culpable (unbelievable, yet we are supposed to accept?); Beng Hock's death as a result of falling from MACC's office which seems to have originated from an attempt to implicate his superior, as part of a larger scheme to bring down a duly elected state government; and many more cases which were not highlighted, out of resignation of 'nothing could be done to make any difference'.

All such cases happened and seem to tell us that something is wrong with the present government, yet our voters did not get the message. It is way past time to take action by delivering to them the message that 'enough is enough'. Show them in Tenang, where they had a big majority, and the message would be loud and clear! Vote PAS for Cikgu Normala!







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Flip Flop from FLOM to FLOM?

From First Lady of Malaysia to First Lie of Malaysia?

"Najib’s statement has now been proven to be a pack of lies with the discovery that there exists a “F.L.O.M (First Lady of Malaysia) Division” in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) dedicated to serving Rosmah Mansor as evidenced by the PMO’s very own staff directory web page.

The fact that the web page was suddenly removed 2-3 days ago upon being criticized by the public makes the existence of this Division all the more suspicious."

More where that came from:

Maybe in November 2010, there was none? But still, the web page's 'now you see it, now you don't' was a classic of our PM's magic wand.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bursa Saham KL: when small timer meets someone smaller...

I have told myself not to place orders in case someone sold to me or bought from me, the minimum trading lot of 100 shares instead.

This afternoon, I was looking at a number of counters and picked Wong Engineering for its low price because of recent losses, but with a NTA of 70 sen. The situation was Buyer 0.275 and seller o.285. I calculated 0.005 on 10,000 shares would mean a difference of Rm50. I placed an order online to buy 10,000 at 0.28 and the screen showed Buy 100 0.28 and Sell 50 0.285. I could not believe it when the screen showed Buy 99 0.28 and Sell 49 with 1 lot done at 0.28! It was precisely 3.33 pm. I called up my good friend to tell him that if it continued till 5.00 pm, I would end up having to pay Rm12.00 minimum brokerage plus stamp and clearing fee for 100 shares costing only Rm28! Around 45%! Based on the change from Sell 50 to Sell 49, it would mean someone meaner than me, actually took out the order to sell 100 shares at o.285 in order to sell it to me at 0.28! Why? I am still wondering, considering he or she had to pay disproportionately high brokerage. Anyway, lesson learnt. I still can't get over the fact that for almost one and a half hour, nobody wanted to sell to my remaining order for 99 lots at 0.28.
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Accountability can be unpleasant

For ordinary folks like me, once a while it was nice to have someone who can give a treat where I can order anything in the restaurant, knowing full well that he could afford it. The other day, a lady commented that even a rich man's wife can be stingy as compared to the house-warming buffet she attended where there were many items to choose from. Of course, all such talk are relative in the sense that a sumptuous meal to one is so ordinary to another.

Generally, those with an entertainment allowance which covers top-end F&B outlets are able to do so without feeling the pinch. It is quite different even for such persons when it comes to paying out of own pockets. Even so, only the person knows when he claims from the company, whether he is subject to queries as to who was with him, first by the accountant, then maybe by the external auditor. Where the entertainment allowance is non-allowable for tax purposes, the company tends to be stricter than where it is allowable. But then again, there will be instances of the major shareholder treating the company like his own, and claimed regardless of allowable or not. The effect of this would be that the company (including other shareholders) is actually bearing the cost of his private expenses. A way out of this, maybe just to save face, is to transfer such personal expenses to the director's account, which in effect he is paying for it.

The reason why I say accountability can be unpleasant is the aspect of being questioned just because you are charging the expense to the company. If you are rich enough, why not treat your friends out of your own pocket and spare yourself from being humiliated?

The above example is my way of saying that I do not understand why people like Rosmah would go out of her way (really blatant if I may say so), to make use of her husband's position and department and get herself ridiculed by all and sundry. I can understand our PM's pay of Rm20,000 per month requires much more perks to make it respectable, so as to be comparable with his counterparts, but certainly not overdoing it to warrant criticisms and ridicule. Just being PM's wife is already a position many women would die for, why go overboard? Is it worth it?

The other point is that our 6th PM is the son of our 2nd PM, and going by our history of 'making hay while the sun shines' Najib comes from an aristocratic family who is by now, filthy rich by any standards. He could jolly well afford all kinds of luxuries, not to mention offers by cronies who would not mind picking the tabs on anything he or she fancies.

For the first time in Malaysia, there is a precedent in having a FLOM department within PM's oversized department (sort of cabinet within a cabinet within a cabinet!). Is it any wonder why the people are livid?






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You don't need to be a magician to steal a notebook...

just be cool when everybody is chattering away. Someone might appear to look but does not really see... but thanks to CCTV, we now know a modus operandus which we can be careful of...

Watch the man's computer bag (bottom left corner of pic)

From a different angle...

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some Good news on Fats (non-halal)

One thing I have discovered about human nature is that 'any news that suits you is good news' while in the process of asking for second or third opinions. The other thing which is a sure thing is that 'secret is something you tell one person at a time'. There was a joke about a wife who cannot keep a secret, so the husband will tell her not to tell anyone whenever he wishes her to tell everyone!

A friend forwarded to me an email which has original sender's comment on top of a report on Fats which seems to debunk the link between animal fats and cholesterol. These days, nothing is certain, except death and income tax, and maybe medical expenses.

EXTREME GOOD NEWS FOR BAK KUT TEH, CHAR KUEH TIAU, HOKKIEN MEE LOVERS

More reasons to eat Chee Yow Char (pig's lard fried crispy) now because it contains Natural fats and not Trans fats as in processed food made by Man.

*Low Cholesterol Levels Increases Cancer Risk*- American College of Cardiology

For years, I've been telling my patients that the medical establishment's obsession with lowering cholesterol per se to prevent heart disease is causing more harm than good.

If your doctor continues to get you worried about your high cholesterol levels, here's *a bit of news* for you...

In fact, your high cholesterol may be protecting you from cancer.

Today, I'll explain the truth behind the myth of cholesterol, and show you how to achieve heart health naturally.

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that driving down cholesterol levels actually increases the risk of cancer.

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Medicine found that among people taking "*statin drugs - like Lipitor and Zocor* - there was a higher* *rate of cancer*. Although the link between the drugs and cancer wasn't clear, there was no doubt that *drastically low cholesterol levels *correlated to cancer risk.

The big drug makers continue to sell the notion that the best way to fight heart disease is to lower LDL levels, the so-called "bad" cholesterol.

Yet 75 percent of people who suffer heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels.*

It makes sense that low cholesterol levels are linked to cancer because cholesterol is one of your body's basic building blocks. You need it to produce testosterone, to build and repair cell membranes, and to preserve your nerve cells through the formation of the protective "sheaths" that cover them.

Starving your body of this critical substance will lead to other health problems. We already know that extremely low cholesterol levels result in muscle weakness, fatigue, depression, decreased sex drive, and "brain fog." This new research shows that there may be even more deadly consequences*.

What really matters is not low "*bad" cholesterol, but high levels of HDL*, the so-called "good" cholesterol*. As long as you have a high HDL count - 75 to 80, for example - it doesn't matter whether your total cholesterol is 150 or 350. A high HDL will always keep your risk of heart disease extremely low.*

So why haven't you heard this already? It may be because there's *no drug that effectively raises good cholesterol levels*. You can only effectively do it naturally.

Consume natural fats. Avoid processed or fast foods containing* "trans" fats * - these man-made substances *were never meant for consumption*, and your body doesn't know what to do with them. They wind up clogging your arteries and putting you on the fast track to
heart disease. *

Instead, get your fat from free-range or grass-fed animals, eggs, nuts, and unprocessed vegetable oils*. These are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. (As with all foods, look for organic or minimally processed options whenever possible.)

The health benefit of these natural fats comes from their balance of *Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids*. Your body needs both but, as with cholesterol, they have to be in balance. *Omega-3s are great for your heart. They've been shown to prevent irregular heartbeat, reduce clogging of the arteries, lower blood pressure, and decrease inflammation in body tissues*.

If you stick to eating *natural fats*, you'll automatically get the right ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3, which is about 2:1. As an added bonus, you'll automatically raise your "good" cholesterol levels and you'll reduce your risk of cancer

PS. Stick to the old adage... 'everything in moderation'!

If the above isn't true, it might be too late. Don't think of suing me. I am just the messenger. In any case, it will only make me famous.

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In support of Cikgu Normala for Tenang


This by-election is becoming more important because of its significance as to the latest voters' sentiments for or against BN.

Johore is BN's stronghold, so a victory for Normala will be a good sign for Pakatan Rakyat. Besides the 'shaking hands' issue, PAS's woman candidate will test the local voters' acceptance of PAS as a party as well as its female candidate. So far, Normala seems well received, judging from comments in the internet. She has even started her own blogsite which seems well designed and making use of all the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.


PAS is gaining acceptance by non-Muslims, despite what was being portrayed in the mainstream media. As an example, there was a tale about a certain election centre in Perak at a general election. When the ballots were being counted, almost all the non-Muslims (mainly Chinese) voted PAS!
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Nobody likes to be a sucker... despite the small amounts

Yes, Kosongcafe is the right place (provided Kosong himself is sympathetic to the cause, being human), for small matters. Big matters are being looked after by well known personalities like RPK, LKS, and the like (gosh, I dislike naming people because by doing so, some people might feel left out!).

Personally, and I can count on Mary Schneider too (having read her dislike for jaga kereta, for foreigners - it is a term for those unwelcome guys who appear when official times for collection of parking fees are over and you can refuse to pay at the risk of damage to your car), I dislike jaga keretas because they take away my little pleasure of 'free parking'.

I also dislike cashiers manning tolled highways and car parks where the system are not fully automated and foolproof, thus enabling them to pretend to 'ring the till' when nothing was effected, and thus adding to their ill-gotten gains. To counter this, every motorist has to cooperate by insisting on receipts whether you need it to claim your disbursement or not. A give-away sign is when the cashier appears annoyed for the 'inconvenience' which is actually his or her job!

There are efficient car parking systems as well as really rotten systems, like everything else in life. Sometimes, what you read from sales brochures is far different from what you will get from management. One example would be allowing cars to queue to get in, only to find there are no vacant lots, yet the time spent is treated as 'parking charges'!

The following email is an example, though not exactly what I have described:

Since we’re like a virtual kopi tiam, I’d like to voice out some dissatisfaction from an experience yesterday. Trouble with something’s in Malaysia is you cannot find the party in charge online to complain. Instead I found the agent who’s in charge of buying and selling, so I sent him a comment.

“We went for some food at Suka yesterday but our experience was ruined by the poor parking. After having a meal, we proceeded (as you'd do) to pay the parking ticket only to find that there was a sign asking us to go to B3 to pay for the parking. Bear in mind, it’s not the most spacious of parking, we slowly negotiated our way to B3 from B1 only to find that there is NO payment machines there. Frustrated, we proceeded up to the lobby to enquire. Lobby staff claimed they didn't know about the parking issues and asked us to proceed to exit for the guy to open up for us. Upon arrival, we made a complaint and he urged us to pay RM3 to exit. We asked for a receipt, but he declined. The attendant still insisted that there was a machine in B3.

Now, this really stinks of mismanagement and some people may be making a quick buck out of this. I don't even know if you are the right people to complain to, but you're all I can find as a contact for One Residency. My suggestion would be, if you want to market the place, you need the potential buyers to have confidence in the place and not feel like they are being suckered into purchase. So I hope you can have a word with the management.

Sincerely,
BK”

Although I may seem like a naggy old man pulling up these points, but I guess I just can’t stand the sight of a ‘scam’, and if we don’t voice out, Malaysia will maintain the inefficiency levels.




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Believe me, your duck is dead...

and this reminds me of Patrick Teoh's duck over national radio which got him in hot soup after irate listeners complained of ill treatment because they thought it was really happening!

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman..

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Voice of the Silent Majority?

Open Letter to Chua Soi Lek
by Kee Thuan Chye

You are a highly educated person and one with the ability to think. As such, you are probably aware that the welfare of this nation rests on more than just the MCA winning its share of seats at the next general election and remaining in the coalition that holds the power to decide the fate of Malaysia.

You are probably aware that the way forward for Malaysia is renouncing the way of the Barisan Nasional, led by Umno, falling back on an outdated decades-old formula. And that if you and the MCA continue to collude with the other parties in BN to retain power, you are subscribing to practices that could lead the nation to racial rifts and economic ruin.

Would you not agree with me that at this point in our history, as we stand at this crucial crossroads deciding which is the best path to take, national politics should no longer be race-based?

If you do agree, what then is the rationale for the MCA to continue to exist as an ethnocentric party? What is the rationale for you and your party members to stick with Umno which avowedly fights for the Malays and the MIC which avowedly fights for the Indians?

How long more do you see this ethnocentric equation taking hold of the lives of Malaysians, causing strife from time to time when disputes arise over who should get what and how much? We’ve had 53 years of that; isn’t it enough?

Which is more important for you and your MCA colleagues: To stay on in BN in order to reap the rewards of being in government positions, or to do something that will ensure the honor and integrity of your party and of yourselves? I cannot tell you what that thing is which you could do to gain rectitude. You have to find it yourself.

But as you search for an answer, perhaps you would like to reflect on how strong the MCA’s position really is within the BN coalition for the party to achieve its aims. Are you, for instance, contributing to inter-racial understanding and harmony? How could that be when you have to speak up against any threat to the position of the Chinese? How could that be when Umno must speak up against any perceived threat against the Malays?

It’s a game full of contradictions, isn’t it? You can’t have one and the other, can you? In fact, your attempts over the past several months to speak up for the Chinese – indeed, for the country as a whole – clearly illustrate this.

Last August, after the Malaysian Chinese Economic Congress, when you called on the Government to gradually remove the 30 per cent Bumiputra equity in all sectors of the economy, you were immediately jumped upon by Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin. He even warned you about May 13.

A few days later, in your interview with a Malay-language newspaper, you had to soften what you had said, clearly showing your vulnerability.

Even Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein told you to “stick to the struggles of BN”. What are they? Do you know?

You were even a target of criticism at the Umno general assembly last October. A delegate slammed you for saying that the social contract should not be discussed openly.

Then at the BN convention last month, you called for a ban on the use of the term “Ketuanan Melayu”, and you told Umno it should not approve government policies during its supreme council meetings. But straight away, Hishammuddin said you had upset many BN leaders, including those in the MCA.

This boggles the mind. What you said was absolutely right – how could Umno take it upon itself to decide on government policies when it is only one of the component parties of BN? Does the MCA have no say? So how could MCA leaders be upset by what you said? Have they become Umnofied themselves? Have they become slaves of their masters? Or, as former Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin said, “running dogs”?

If so, what dignity is left in them? And in you, if you continue to serve the MCA within the BN fold?

Isn’t it obvious, too, that what you say doesn’t count for “doodley-squat”, as the American novelist Kurt Vonnegut would call it?

To be brutally honest, what good is your speaking up when you are still within the same cabal and your partners not only disagree with you, they don’t respect what you say?

As you have probably been informed, people outside don’t give much credence to your speaking up, anyway. They think it’s just a sandiwara act to merely give the impression that you are standing up for what is right. But it’s just an act.

I admit that going by the issues you have been bringing up recently, you are highlighting the fact that things are not being done right, and that your political partners should be held accountable. I might even hazard that you are at least concerned. What I fail to see, though, is your commitment.

For instance, at the MCA general assembly last October, Umno president Najib Razak told your party right within your own premises to be less communal and less demanding. Did you have an answer to that? Did you tell him in return to ensure that Umno would be less communal too? Did you tell him that the MCA was not being more demanding, that it was merely asking for what is guaranteed all Malaysians?

You see, I believe you know what is right for the country, but you are not willing to go all the way to ensuring that what is right prevails. If you were, you would not continue with the current regime. You would press for reform.

Surely, you would not disagree with me if I said the judiciary needs to be independent, that it needs to regain the trust of the people? The same with the police, the mainstream media and the civil service?

Surely, you would not disagree with me if I said our education system needs to be totally revamped to institute quality and regard for merit?

Surely, you would not disagree with me if I said that the way we award government projects needs to be transparent to eliminate cronyism? Or is that too tough a call after your appointment as Penang Port Commission chairman, a move that raised many eyebrows?

Above all, surely you would not disagree with me if I said we need a government that is clean; tells the truth; follows the rule of law; uses public funds for the people’s sake rather than for its own; and upholds the country’s institutions rather than abuses them for its own advantage?

Do we have such a government today?

If we did, you would not have said what you said last Dec 5 – when you called for each BN component party to have an equal voice and to share power “genuinely”; when you said BN had to change to be inclusive, multi-racial and to put the people first.

I know how to read between the lines, Soi Lek, and what you said that time said a lot about the coalition your party is part of.

Do you think it is capable of responding to your calls for change? Right now, looking just at the Cabinet line-up, we can see what a far cry it is from the days of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Will we ever see an inclusive government that has non-Malay ministers for the portfolios of Finance, Trade and Industry, or Defence? That no longer looks at skin color but at ability, integrity and character?

I think you might better serve the people by taking the first step that leads away from race-based politics. If you choose to do that, you will be blazing a trail. And that could bring honor not only to you but your party as well. Unless, of course, you’re a politician first and a public servant last. Then all I’ve been saying here is worth doodley-squat.

Sincerely,

Chye


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A true story on Good Karma

'I'm a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it's bad or good. '
Sandra Bullock

This is a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University . Its moral is still relevant today.

A young, 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not know­ing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea. A friend and he decided to host a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education.

They reached out to the great pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. His manager demanded a guaranteed fee of $2000 for the piano recital. A deal was struck. And the boys began to work to make the concert a success.

The big day arrived. Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total col­lection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. They promised to honour the cheque soonest possible.

"No." said Paderewski. "This is not acceptable." He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys "Here's the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left" The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely.

It was a small act of kindness. But it clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being. Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all come across situations like these in our lives.

And most of us only think "If I help them, what would hap­pen to me?"

The truly great people think, "If I don't help them, what will happen to them?" They don't do it expecting something in return. They do it because they feel it's the right thing to do.

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were over 1.5 mil­lion people starving in his country, and no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know where to turn for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help.

The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover - who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people. A calamity was averted.

Paderewski was relieved. He decided to go across to meet Hoover and person­ally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, "You shouldn't be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students go through college in the US . I was one of them."

The world is a wonderful place. What goes around usually comes around.

But this is not the same as our PM's 'I help you, you help me' when campaigning at a buy-election. That was a blatant breach of election rules, which BN had been and is still at it, without fail, and with impunity.

Link

Actual classified advertisements in UK

WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE.
Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.
(wedding dress given a second chance?)

FOR SALE BY OWNER.
Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes. Excellent condition, £200 or best offer. No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.
(encyclopaedia made redundant by wife)
Link

What you saw might not be what it was...

Meeting the Pope

A rich American tourist was holidaying in Rome, and was intent on seeing the Pope. There he stood, in a big long line with a rather expensive suit on, hoping the Pope would notice how smart he was and perhaps talk a few words with him.

As the Pope made his way slowly down the line, he walked right past the American, hardly even noticing him.

The Pope then stopped next to a low-life sot, leaned over and whispered something in the sot's ear, and made his way on again.

This really angered the American. After speaking with the drunkard, the American agreed to pay $1000 dollars to exchange clothing, in the hope that the Pope would speak to him the next day.

The next morning the American stood in the line, waiting to see the Pope and hopefully exchange a few words. The Pope was making his way slowly up to the American. When he finally reached him, he leaned over to the American and spoke softly into his ear..

"I thought I told you yesterday to get the f**k out of here."

Link

Monday, January 24, 2011

Glitches when trying to comment in Malaysia Chronicle

Enter the two words you see below (none could be seen!)
(Submit comment)
The words you typed did not match the ones displayed. Please try again.

My comment which could not be posted:

I watched YB Azmin Ali giving his speech. He had the support of Speaker, YB Teng who allowed him to continue despite attempts to interrupt. Pakatan had a field day while Barisan representatives had to endure the 'public lecture' of their erstwhile PM's role in curbing the powers of the Sultans.

I was among many who did not think it useful to have the State Legislature sitting, knowing full well BN representatives would not support the motion. But having watched the proceedings, it was well worth the effort on principle; more so, in having the opportunity to highlight what Dr. Mahathir did to curb the powers of the Sultans in general, the state powers in particular, especially in connection with the right to appoint the State Secretary. BN cannot be anti-Royal before and pro-Royal now, without losing its credibility.

Try to post a comment in the following article, to see for yourself:
Malaysia Chronicle's Azmin tells Umno: You will forever be remembered as traitors
Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Husbands Store and now Wives Store too!

Most of us would have read the Husbands Store umpteen times, having been circulated among friends for quite some time now. To avoid being accused of gender bias, there is now a Wives Store too! But since men are from Mars and women from Venus, there is nothing equal opportunities could change...

Husbands Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'
So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. (scroll and keep reading!)

PLEASE NOTE:

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a new Wives Store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Link

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What you hear is not necessarily what it seems...

which must be the basic difference between Radio and Television...

On Saturday Night Live (SNL) featuring Alec Baldwin...


These days, with increasing control as a result of copyrights and censorship, it is not always possible to upload videos, nor like in this case, to link a site with the video selected. The video appears to be a downloaded one (not original from SNL) .
Link

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Egg is good for us?

The other day, I had breakfast in Yong's coffeeshop in Pusing, after an absence of months. He was dozing off and when I woke him up, he said he had been for 'major repair' as in being hospitalized for 20 days for liver infection. After hearing his tale about how he discovered his health problem, besides diabetes, he asked if it is ok to take one egg a day, which his wife refused him. He said he preferred it well done rather half cooked which he thinks would have left with none of the ill effects! I told him that generally, my wife who used to be a dietitian, tends to believe that egg is an excellent natural source of everything that we need, despite studies even during her time (1970s) which linked eggs to cholesterol. But when I got back, she qualified it by saying that in the case of liver problems, the doctor might insist on a fat-free diet.

Anyway, even as a layman, we are often posed with questions which should better be directed to relevant professionals. Like being asked to explain a house purchase by a first timer who wanted to know all the details set out in a S&P Agreement and Loan Agreement! I did what I could, but told her that she should have asked her lawyer instead! But it is quite natural to ask for a free second opinion, isn't it? The other day, I actually panicked when another lady said, 'We are afraid that we will be conned.' in connection with a bank's online share trading application. Surely, I can only asked for the forms for her, and not guarantee what is going to happen thereafter! After all, I am not in this business as an agent, why should I be exposed to such potential liability, even if unlikely?

Coming back to the question on Egg, it so happened, another friend forwarded to me two summaries of opinions which support the goodness of eggs. One was by a Dr. JB Lim, described as a top nutritionist in Malaysia and another not stated but titled '10 Health Benefits of Eggs' . I have just superimposed the two (both seem to agree on main points) and left with some loose ends. Please judge for yourself whether they are valid...

1. Eggs and milk are among the best foods for the body especially to a growing child.

2. Eggs do not cause an elevation of blood cholesterol. (7. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person's lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol. )

3. Eggs do not clog up the coronary vessels as once thought. In fact the opposite is now true. (4. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
6. They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.)

4. Eggs are low in energy value, and is a factor to consider in the formulation of a caloric-restriction diet.

5. Eggs protein quality is extremely high, and has a very high nitrogen-retention value. Hence it is extremely useful in post-surgical care, trauma, and in post-management of hypovolemic shock against negative nitrogen balance.
(3. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.)

6. Eggs contain vitamin D in its natural form. The benefits of vitamin D require several chapters on human nutrition in medicine to discuss. And I refuse to repeat.
(8. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.)

7. Eggs are cancer-protective, especially for breast cancer.
(9. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.)

8. Eggs are very rich in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine which is a very crucial amino-acid in blocking damaging free radicals. These are directly linked to the pathogenesis of heart disease, cancers, DNA damage, all degenerative disorders, and accelerated aging.
(10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulfur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulfur or B12.)

9. Eggs protect against fatty liver, slow growth, macular degeneration (degeneration of the macula area of the retina in the eyes. This is responsible for central vision for reading, face recognition and detailed vision), edema (water retention), and various skin lesions.
(1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
2. In another study, researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.)

10. Eggs promote healthy growth of nails, hair and skin.

11. Eggs are rich in tryphophan, selenium, iodine, and riboflavin (vitamin B2)

12. Eggs selenium content is cardio-protective against Keshan disease, cardiomyopathies (diseases involving the heart muscles, cardiomegaly(enlarged heart), myocardial dysfunction (poor heart function) and death from heart failure.


(5. They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. )

13. Eggs are protective against Kashin-Beck disease (osteoarthropathy), myxedematous endemic cretinism (mental retardation)

Link

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why more people are 'Minding their own business'...

We have come across doctors in USA, even now in Malaysia, who would not reveal their profession at the scene of accidents, in case they are obliged to help, but more because they might be liable to multi-million dollar suits later.

To ordinary folks, more ingenious ways of attracting attention from targets of robbery and rape have made people increasingly wary of helping people who might turn out to be decoys, as this story reveals...

Sunday afternoon around 5 PM I headed into the Target. It was still light outside and I parked fairly close to the entrance. As I got out of my car and began walking towards Target, an older lady shouted to me from the passenger seat of a car about 30 feet away from me.

"Ma'am you must help me, help me please, help me "Ma'am!" I looked at her in the eyes and started to walk towards her when I remembered an email my Mom had sent me a week or two ago about rapists and abductions using elderly people to lure women in.

I paused, memorized the license plate and immediately headed into Target to get a manager to come help this lady, just in case something was up. While the woman manager headed out there, I kept a close watch just because I was curious what was wrong with the lady and wanted to be sure nothing happened.

As the Target lady walked up towards the car and got very close to the old woman in order to help her, the back door of the car flies open and a large man with a stocking cap on, jumps out and sticks a gun to the lady's stomach as he shoves her into the back of the car.

I yelled out "call 911" several times and just as I was saying that, a policeman who happened to be on the other side of the parking lot and who,luckily had seen the entire thing happen, raced over to the car.

He was able to stop the car and arrest the male as well as the old lady, who was involved in the scheme.

By God's grace everyone was all right, including myself, although I think we were both shaken up.

Like many of you, I would not in a million years have left an elderly person who was yelling for help if it weren't for the e-mail I had read last week. So, I wanted to pass this along so you all can be aware and remember that you really can't trust anyone these days.

You just never know when something like this could happen. I would have never dreamed it to happen to me especially on a Sunday afternoon at a Target in a safe area! It definitely was not a coincidence that my Mom sent that email just a few days before this all happened. Please, be careful and always be aware of your surroundings.

Link

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Something wrong when Ong Sum Ping was called Raja or King...

If I were to write the history of Brunei, I could be highlighting the following fact:

“In late Yuan Dynasty, China became chaotic, people who lived along the coastal area of Fujian, under the leadership of Ong Sum Ping’s siblings, escaped to eastern Kalimantan — they landed at the river mouth. When they were exhausted, facing a shipping crisis, someone lost their arms. After that, the Kadazans named it as Sungai Kinabatangan — the place where the Chinese lost their arms.

Ong Sum Ping and his sister, and the Chinese people developed the area of Sungai Kinabatangan, and they increased their influences there. With the increase of his prosperity, the natives named him Raja, or King. The Chinese named him as ‘Chung Ping’ - meaning the General. We can clearly see that Ong Sum Ping controlled Eastern Kalimantan...

...So, for Penang to go back to Kedah, ALL of the peninsula needs to go back to the Thais. Sarawak needs to go back to Brunei, Brunei needs to go back to Majapahit, Sabah needs to go back to the Philippines, and Parameswara needs to go back to Palembang, leaving the Orang Asli in charge all over again. (I find it ludicrous that the Orang Asli are disqualified as ‘Bumiputera’ although they have been here since 60,000 years ago)

History can be interesting if one is interested, for more where that came from by John Doe:


Link

Is this the way to bathe a toddler?

In this video, the woman is likely to be a maid, could be an aunt, or even the mother.

No matter how we look at it, we cannot trust a stranger to look after our most precious child. Is it any wonder these days, parents of young working couples would try to keep an eye on their maid; if not, CCTV would do, which presumably produced the following video:

Link

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A parent's open letter to our Education Minister

The proposal to make History a compulsory pass subject in SPM for 2013 has sparked off debates by educationists, concerned parents, people's representatives, journalists and members of the public.

Education is very important in a child's development of character, attitude, religious inclination, tastes and so on, which would shape his or her way of life later.

For example, there are basic differences between education in a National Type school (Chinese or Tamil medium) and a National school (Bahasa Malaysia medium). Within a family, those educated in different types of school speak different languages, read different newspapers, display different attitudes and have different tastes in lifestyles.

For those who took the trouble to write against the introduction of History as a compulsory subject, the common factor seems to be the narrow views of the chosen authors. The fact that the author of a book which was found objectionable by the Indians, is being given an award by Perkasa, seems to confirm this.

Azmi Sharom, a popular columnist for being fair-minded, went to the extent of buying a history book before commenting! A parent, CJ Yong, took the trouble to read the books, analyze and write the following open letter to The Star:

An Open Letter to Our Education Minister

The recent focus given to history as a compulsory subject in the Malaysian school curriculum has driven me as a parent of school going children to gain an insight of what my children are learning in history as a subject in school. Before I summarise my findings (via reading my children’s history text books from Form 1 – 5), allow me to briefly take you through what is being taught as history in our government school:

Form 1 students are taught predominantly about the Malacca Sultanate with sporadic anecdotes of the other states. Penang is not mentioned at all and if I’m a student studying in Penang, I will seriously be wondering why. That is until I go to Form 2 whereby I will learn about the Straits Settlement, Tin Mining, Rubber Plantation and Exploitation by the British. Form 3 students learn about the Japanese Occupation, the Communist Party of Malaya, leading to Malaysia’s independence in 1957. A very detailed account of all the political parties in Malaysia is also elaborated. The 1955 Election Results seemed to be an important account in history as it is mentioned twice, in Form 3 and again in Form 5.

In Form 4, other than the first two chapters where one learns about the early civilization and the emergence of various religions, the rest of the year you will be doing an in-depth study of Islam – Islam Civilisation, Islamic Government in Medina, Formation of Islamic Government & Its Contribution, Islam in South East Asia, and Islam Influence in Malaysia. One could not be faulted to ask the question if one is learning history or religious study. I believe Azmi Sharom has expounded succinctly and rather ingeniously on this issue in his article in The Star on 30 Dec 2010.

Form 5 is an overkill on the study of nationalism and the development of race and nation. Out of 10 chapters, Chapters 2 – 8 bear the following titles:

Bab 2: Nasionalisme di Malaysia sehingga Perang Dua Kedua
Bab 3: Kesedaran Pembinaan Negara dan Bangsa
Bab 4: Pembinaan Negara dan Bangsa
Bab 5: Pembinaan Negara dan Bangsa yang Merdeka
Bab 6: Pengukuhan Negara dan Bangsa Malaysia
Bab 7: Sistem Pemerintahan dan Pentadbiran Negara Malaysia
Bab 8: Pembangunan dan Perpaduan untuk Kesejahteraan


I am making a moot point in not translating the above. And finally, in the last chapter in Form 5, you learn about World War I & II; the significance of which are reduced to only five pages in the entire five years of studying history.

I am completely perplexed! Is this all my children are learning in school? Does this not make them myopic and insular? Learning history is much more than learning about Malaysia. One needs to learn about world history. I talked to my children about the Hundred Year Wars, the Renaissance Period, the Mogul Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, the Boston Tea Party, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, Slavery and the American Civil War, The Long March etc and they have no inkling what I am talking about!

There is also an obvious disconnect in the overall flow of the subjects covered. Subjects are doled out independently without any link or correlation to significant events. For example, the Japanese Occupation in Malaya is studied independently and students are not made aware that the Japanese invasion is part and parcel of WWII. Another point I would like to make is that we must use proper English names for the organizations that are mentioned. For example, United
Nations is translated to Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu, which is fine until we use PBB as the acronym for UN. Which other country in the world would know what we are talking about if our students refer to UN as PBB? Another bad case of translation is NAM – Pergerakan
Negara-Negara Berkecuali; are we lost in translation yet? I am truly glad that our historians did not attempt to translate Commonwealth and instead use the literal “Komanwel”.

I shall not comment about distortions, half-truths or inaccuracies but I feel strongly that the spirit of the history text books should be written to reflect a fair and realistic account of history, plain and simple. The way it is written now, Malaysia is perceived as a victim of circumstance; we are always the good guys while the rest of the world are the bad guys. I am not sure why we need comments like “Singapura menjadi ‘duri dalam daging’ kepada Malaysia” is in our history text book.

What is the rationale behind our history syllabus? What is the reason for making history a compulsory pass in SPM? We have five solid years to impart history to our school going children and the government has decided that a Malaysian student should learn (almost) solely about
Malaysia and to use this subject as the platform to inculcate nationalism.

History is an important subject as we need to understand the past to appreciate the present in order to achieve the desired future.

I would sincerely like to call upon our Education Minister to re-look the entire history syllabus. We need to give our children a balanced view of world history and yet understand the significance of Malaysia in context. We owe it to our children.

CJ Yong

A Parent

Link

For a few Ringgit more...

throwing caution to the wind... typically Malaysian? I wonder...

Frantic rush for strewn coins after highway accident

REMBAU, Tuesday: Road-users risked life and limb as they scampered all over to collect loose change strewn along the expressway after a four-wheel-drive vehicle, which was transporting about RM70,000 in coins, overturned near here today.

The incident occurred around 3pm at KM244 of the North-South Expressway and it was learnt that the money, all in coins, was in a large metal container in the vehicle.

Road-users, including women, totally ignored the police and other officials as they ran all over the expressway to pick up the coins.


They were seen frantically picking 50, 20 and 10-sen coins and putting them into plastic bags, pockets and even their helmets.

Some were also seen sitting along the roadside and picking the coins, oblivious of the crash victim who had escaped with light injuries and was just metres away.

According to Zairulhisham Mansor, 28, who was driving on the left lane with a friend, the accident occurred when his vehicle was hit from behind, causing him to lose control and it overturn along the road shoulder.

More where that came from:
http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Franticrushforstrewncoinsafterhighwayaccident/Article/

Link

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rm570 million for bus terminal: does it make sense?

Again, we are shown another example of our urge to splurge, yet not solving the problems, and in fact created new ones!

What are the main simple requirements of a bus station?
To bus companies:
Suitable ticketing office; reasonable rental; reasonable management;
Enough parking spaces for the buses in operation there; ease of driving the buses out or driving them in;
To the user public:
Efficient ticketing system, with no room for touts to operate.
Ease of getting there, preferably by public transport;
Car parking spaces for those buying tickets, sending or picking up passengers;
Amenities like clean toilets; stalls serving economy food and drinks.

We don't need rocket science, right? We don't need state of the art this, that or other. Our basic needs like convenience seem conveniently left out of the planning process.

When my daughter's friend (coming from Kluang) asked to be picked from the Bukit Jalil station, I chose another location simply because I have not been there and I might have problems finding it. I have yet to find it as there is no such need for me, since it is meant for the southbound buses. Now it has been replaced.

While on the subject of location, when another of Cheng's friend got married, we had to travel to Putrajaya twice (both times unsuccessful in locating the Marriot Hotel) before we were confident enough on the third attempt (actual day itself)! Putrajaya must have wasted much of people's time and money on fuel.

Coming back to the earlier topic, why do we always end up with problems of users complaining about transport ministry, planners, owners and what have you, not listening to them before construction?

In a small town like Batu Gajah, we have a bus station which uses only 30% of space; the location is such that travellers given a choice would rather they get off in town but disallowed; a brand new railway station which is 2 km away from the main road (compared with the old one by the roadside within walking distance); a two-storey market which faced opposition yet built regardless of the mistake shown in Tg. Tualang where the first floor remains unused; and so on.

When I first watched the short video of the new KL bus terminal on television news, I told myself that it puts the present LCCT to shame. In fact, some hypermarkets like Tesco look better than the LCCT.

Yamin Vong's article highlights the problems:

http://cbt.com.my/110115/new-bus-terminal-same-old-problems

Excerpt:

THE new integrated transport terminal in Bandar Tasek Selatan, the southern transport hub in Kuala Lumpur, has been getting plenty of media coverage over the past two weeks but for all the wrong reasons.

...Certain public elected officials have seemingly collaborated with certain private sector companies to put their commercial interests first and people last.

There are two ways to the terminal : the Besraya highway and the MRR2. The MRR2 is heavily congested at peak hours. There is only one toll lane for heavy vehicles like buses at the Serdang exit of the Besraya highway.

At peak hours, expect a tailback of buses from the toll plaza to the PLUS highway when the terminal is in full operation.

Where the original plan called for 40 counters, only 20 have been built and where another 20 were supposed to have been located, has been boarded off and said to have been rented at a fee of RM50,000 a month to a fast food outlet...

"Instead, the CVLB sent us a notice in the late afternoon of Dec 30 informing us to shift our operations on Jan 1.

"We've been given an extension of two, three weeks to move. We've been threatened that our CVLB permits will be cancelled if we don't shift. Is this the way the government works? We were looking forward to move to a good terminal and now this just leaves a bad taste in our mouth," he said.

Then there is the matter of ticketing. Major operators like Transnasional invested millions of ringgit for their own on-line ticketing systems. The Konsortium Transnasional Berhad system has 200 outlets, including 40 in Petronas stations. It is on par with an airline ticketing system as you can see at Transnasional's portal www.ticket4u.com.my

The bus depot, the operation of which has been granted to the private contractor Maju TMAS, had planned to take over the ticket sales of bus operators.

Naturally, operators like Transnasional were aghast. Their ticketing system had been developed over several years and was a strategic tool, one that was integrated to drivers' payroll and route planning.

'How can you expect us to transfer our strategic tool to an unknown party? We're a business organisation and we have our intellectual property. We compete and the passengers benefit, said a senior participant in the land transport industry.

The second major issue is that the air-conditioned terminal is designed more like an airport than a bus terminal. Bus passengers expect to pay less than plane passengers.


Link

Change of Goal Posts by desperate BN

Proxy Voting in addition to Postal Votes!

For years, BN had the advantage of postal votes from the army and police, and selectively to their advantage, Malaysians who reside overseas. Sensing the growing discontent among the voters for this coming General Election, the Election Commission (read BN) has proposed amendments which include a new Proxy voting system which is open to large scale abuse in the form of vote control, vote-trading and would create a market with the potential of deciding which coalition is going to win the general election!

To give an example, the proxy system of a club is likely to be abused by a small group of people who make it a point to go to inactive members (who do not care who are running the show), to collect signed proxy forms for nominees to vote on their behalf. The rationale of the original purpose of a proxy system would include the right of members who do not attend the Annual General Meeting to vote. But where the system degrades to canvassing for such votes, it defeats the purpose of providing such right to the members. In other words, if he is keen to see someone elected, he should be keen enough to attend. Here again, the common scenario at the AGM would be less than 10 percent of members attending and out of those, a majority for a certain individual can be easily defeated by another who has canvassed for the signed proxy forms.

To extend it further, abuse of the system can include fraud in the form of control over the proxy forms to be sent out to members. Just imagine the interested party having access to these forms through collusion with a member of staff, and forged the signatures of the intended members. I believe this is the part which worries the PR leaders. We have seen how the process of postal voting of the army and police was opaque and the voting in front of superiors less than independent. There was even allegation of someone designated to vote BN from a pile of voting slips! The proxy voting system could similarly be abused.

The new rules which would result from the proposed amendments are another source of concern to PR. From past experience, just the rule on the banning of tents outside election centres was abused to BN's advantage. When PR workers were unaware, the tents were allowed at the last minute! Guess who knew about this change of rule before hand?

Link

Monday, January 17, 2011

LRT ticketing system (against free-riders) works

Last weekend, our mission was to take a train ride to KL; later take daughter's car to KLIA to pick her from Dubai, fetch her back to re-sort her luggage, then send her back to KLIA to take a flight to Amsterdam, and then to Oslo. We were supposed to take her car back to BG.

As usual with woman's itinerary, there were a few surprises as to where to go in between. Eg. I was told she has to change a pair of jeans in a shop near Central Market. She had taken the train before and supposedly knew there would be at least a stop at the old rail station in KL. The train did not stop at many stops. It did not stop at Sg. Buloh, Kepong, Segambut, Bank Negara, and I said to her, 'Are you sure it is going to stop at the old station?' Then it passed the old station and we ended up in KL Sentral! So we had to buy LRT ticket to Pasar Seni (Central Market). While in the train, she realized that she should have bought the ticket for the next stop ie. Masjid Jamek because she wanted to visit the jeweller in Jalan Tuanku Rahman. Actually, we went through the gate at KL Sentral LRT station without using the entry machine (not working). So she said why not try if it is ok to stop at the next station. When we wanted to exit, the ticket could not be used at a couple of machines. The guards seemed used to such incidents and we were directed to the counter. The lady asked where did we get on. I replied sheepishly, 'KL Sentral' and she replied kindly that we should pay 60 sen extra for both which was right without any penalty (Rm1.30 tickets but we bought Rm1.00 tickets).

We have heard of stories about some people making use of loopholes within ticketing system to get free rides in London Underground. But for this type, at least I can confirm with first hand experience that the system works. Syabas!
Link

An enterprising wife...

We have heard of Indecent proposal which was made into a film. But this was more like an indecent suggestion:

In 2005, a boss, in order to keep a mistress, bought a house in Shengzhen for her to live in, plus a monthly allowance of 5000 yuan. The house costed him about 500,000 yuan.

He sold the house this year for 3.2 million yuan, after he broke off from his mistress.

A quick calculation:

After 5 years of free fling with the woman, he still had a net gain of 2.4 million yuan.

Basking in his glory, he kept gloating over this episode. When his wife found out about this, she was very mad and gave him a big scolding:

Why the hell did you just keep only one mistress!?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Suspicion torments the wife...

until she got the shock of her life.

A husband and his young wife were not on good terms. In fact the wife was convinced that he was carrying on with the pretty housemaid, so she laid a trap.

One evening she suddenly sent the maid home for the weekend, and didn't inform the husband.

That night when they went to bed, the husband gave the old story:

"Excuse me my dear...my stomach," and disappeared towards the bathroom.

The wife promptly dashed along the corridor, up the back stairs, into the maid's bed. She just had time to switch the lights off when in he came silently...

He wasted no time or words but quickly got into the act.

When he finished and still panting, the wife said "You didn't expect to find me in this bed did you!!" and switched on the light.

"No Madam" said the gardener!!!
Link

Friday, January 14, 2011

Problems with new KTMB station re-visited

How I felt then...
... still no change in residents' frustration of 'so near, yet so far', as in too near to call taxi, yet too far to walk.

To think of KTMB selling land below market value while losing hundreds of million does not make senior travellers on discounted fares comfortable at all. KTMB staff unlikely to be nice to us even though it is their social responsibility to provide reasonable fares and give discount to senior citizens.
Link

Quality time with my ex-classmate

Months ago, my friend Ken, an Australian now, was excited about having a big do to celebrate our 60th birthdays during his short stay in Malaysia. In the process of informing others and because of the poor response, he was disheartened.

After allowing for Christmas, family and golf, Dec 26 was the day he chose to spend time with another classmate and it was up to me to fit in. I had an important appointment (meeting future in-laws for the first time is considered so) and as it turned out, the timing was such that after our friend sent him back to his hotel (PJ Hilton), we were almost home in Section 14, which is just across the Federal Highway. Because we had to attend a wedding dinner and Ken had dinner appointment with sister, we were left with an hour to get ready. So it was arranged for him to drop by for a short chat.

The good thing about old friends, there were no pretence and we enjoyed a few jokes about ourselves, like dyeing his hair for this trip even though it would make his scalp itchy; Ken laughing at us (two old men calling each other when testing the phone, like small kids), and so on. It was only moments ago that I was handed an HTC Touch phone to play with. Know nothing about it, I was at a loss and decided to switch back to my old phone when I left for dinner. Ken showed me a picture of Anwar taken up close, sharing his table meant for four. Anwar was in the Sydney suburb giving a talk to some supporters and he just plonked himself joining them. The funny thing was, Ken said he wanted to send me the photo but did not know how! KC is better at this while I was hopeless with my 'new' phone. It was only after the meeting that I realized that we could have used Bluetooth to transfer the image from his phone to mine!

Link

How to spot political twits

For someone new to Twitter, Erna Mahyuni's 'The clueless politician's guide to Twitter' helps me in understanding it better. As usual, we tend to follow herd instinct sometimes, just to be with it, since everyone is doing it. Because I did not tweet for a few weeks (did only a few times), I even forgot my password and did not bother to find out, for now. My wife could not understand why some people like Marina Mahathir could get addicted to tweeting!


Link

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fight Science - Qi Gong Tested

We have seen such scenes many times before, wondering if they were indeed real and without camera tricks. This video shows two feats being scientifically tested. Please don't try them at home!



Link

How I imagine debate between Anwar and Nazri would turn out

Unofficial Debate between Anwar and Nazri on 'Pakatan Rakyat's 100-day reform plan could lead the nation to bankruptcy'

Just before the debate begins...

Nazri: I am still waiting for our debate on Apco...

Anwar: I wanted to discuss it in Parliament, not in a debate...

Nazri: Chicken, chicken, chicken...

Moderator: Ok, let's begin the debate.

Anwar: For a start, we will cut unnecessary expenditures like the Warisan Merdeka...and save at least Rm5 billion...

Nazri: Traitor, traitor, traitor....

Anwar: We will have open tenders and get rid of rent-seekers...and save at least Rm30 billion...

Nazri: Racist, racist, racist, racist, racist...

Moderator: Nazri, are you alright? Can you make sentences? Are you agitated in the presence of political opponents?

Nazri: Correct, correct, correct...



Link

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One upmanship

There were four Catholic men and one Catholic woman having coffee.

The first Catholic man tells his friends, "My son is a priest, when he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'."

The second Catholic man chirps, "My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room, people call him 'Your Grace'."

The third Catholic gent says, "My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room, everyone says 'Your Eminence'."

The fourth Catholic man then says, "My son is the Pope. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Holiness'."

Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well.....?"

She proudly replies, "I have a daughter...
Slim,
Tall,
38D breast,
24" waist,
34" hips.
When she walks into a room people say,

"Oh My God!"



Link

Is this why History is being made a compulsory subject?

A retired teacher forwarded to me this from Malaysianunplugged:

Quote

"...We want to know WHY our school curriculum has been allowed to be written from such a RELIGIOUS SLANT by a group of writers of only one religious background.

We want to know the reason for this sudden but quiet change in the school syllabus a few years ago.

We want to know WHY our children are COMPELLED to disproportionately focus and digest so much on ONE religion WITHOUT a balanced perspective of others?

We must demand for an immediate and urgent revamp and re-writing of the entire history curriculum for our schools and universities.

We must insist that POLITICS and RELIGIOUS INDOCTRINATION be strictly kept OUT of our textbooks.

We must no longer allow our school syllabus to be hijacked for political and religious propaganda.

Until then, it is unacceptable to even think that History should be made a compulsory pass subject in SPM.

- A Concerned Mother

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Giving people false hope is rather cruel

In the late Teoh Beng Hock's case, his family was led on to believe justice would be served.

I believe in being honest from the start, and not giving false hope to people who are expecting something from you.

When I was managing a small developer's office, my boss who was also my brother, would really stretch his goodwill beyond reality. Just imagine all the units taken up and when asked by a friend or relative, he would still give a reply: 'I'll see what I can do... in case there is any purchaser who changes his mind...' The demand exceeded supply and nobody would give up voluntarily, or even if a purchaser changed his mind, he could easily pass it on to somebody else, maybe for a small profit. Why couldn't he just say, 'I'm sorry, all the houses are taken up.'? It is better to give a straight answer than to give false hope with practically nil chance of it happening. Even for such a comparatively small matter, I felt guilty knowing the true situation.

Yet in Teoh Beng Hock's case, the poor family had to endure prolonged sadness, bitterness, and anger, which we can imagine under such circumstances, when there was no real intention to find the culprit or culprits responsible for his death.

With the benefit of hindsight, had they knew the Inquest and the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry were not to find the person(s) responsible, would they have agreed to the exhumation of the coffin? The Chinese are known to strongly dislike autopsy, let alone agree to the exhumation of a loved one's coffin for the purpose of further medical examinations. I can only say the leaders who could make a difference are being heartless for carrying on the charade.

Link

English words: spell the same but may sound different...

and could even have very different meaning!

Years ago, I came up with 'Do you see what I saw?' which seems incorrect but if 'saw' referred to sawing a piece of wood for instance, then it is right. If 'saw' was meant to be past tense of 'see' than it should be 'Did you see what I saw?' or in the present tense: 'Do you see what I see?'. But don't take my word for it, I am HP6 as far as grammar is concerned.

Someone has compiled the following which should be a good test of anyone's English, especially with our present crop of students in mind; with my attempt at explaining in my own way as simple as possible (read that's all I know!) :

1) The bandage was wound around the wound .
(past tense of 'wind' pronounced like 'wine'; wound as in injured part of body)

2) The farm was used to produce produce .
(produce as in yield; produce as in grains or vegetables)

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse .
(as in not to accept; as in garbage)

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
(as in rubbing to make something shine; Polish as in something from Poland)

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
(as a leader; lead could mean bullet in this context)

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert .
(as in leaving a place; desert as in a place full of sand like Sahara Desert)

7) Since there is no time like the present , he thought it was time to present the present .
(as in 'now'; as in 'give'; and as in 'gift')

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
(a type of fish; the biggest drum found in a drum-kit)

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
(as in a type of pigeon; past tense of dive)

10) I did not object to the object .
(as in oppose; as an item referred to)

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid .
(as in void or not valid; as in a disabled person)

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row .
(as in an argument; as in rowing a boat)

13) They were too close to the door to close it.
(as in near; as in shut)

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
(as in 'do' of singular subject; as in female deers)

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
(as in someone who sews; as in sewerage)

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow .
(as in female pig; as in sowing seeds)

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
(as in strong breeze; as in wrap)

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear .
(as in being torn; as in tear drop)

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
(as in subdue; as in a person under observation)

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
(as in confide; as in close)


Link

Monday, January 10, 2011

The fastest justice in the world...

did we beat the world record?

The fastest justice in the world. Ukrainian Holodomor "Nuremberg process" took just two days.

The Nut Graph:
Remembering the Perak crisis

Excerpt:

"And then there was the extreme haste in which Zambry’s applications were processed in the Court of Appeal. “None of us have ever heard of an application being filed, sealed, issued and fixed for hearing before a [Court of Appeal] judge in less than 2½ hours,” said Amer Hamzah, referring to Zambry’s application to stay the High Court judgment declaring Nizar the rightful Perak MB. By contrast, Nizar’s application to set aside the stay order, was only heard eight days after it was filed.

“There were disproportionate delays in hearing Nizar’s application but great speed in attending to Zambry’s plaints,” said Shad Saleem."

Thanks to having an ex-Umno lawyer as Chief Justice?
Link

A look at Human Capital

I had a discussion with a young coffee shop proprietor on general topics and I was asked about my children. This young man, who is only a year older than my son, has four children already! When asked about my children, I mentioned that my two daughters attended St. Bernadette's Convent and both were Head Prefects in their respective final year at school. I attributed their leadership qualities partly to having attended a short course at the Outward Bound School in Lumut when they were in lower secondary. I asked if he would allow his son or daughter to do the same and he admitted that he would not if it involved activities in the open sea. Incidentally, our old friend, Ahmad Fadzil is now a Director of OBS! Would it have been better having a friend in charge when they were there? Maybe not. Where it involves training, it is always better where the trainer is a stranger than a friend. There should be a level playing field to start with, and not favouritism.

I have come across 'kiasu' young mothers trying ways and means to help their children to have an edge over others. I would try, most times unsuccessful, in trying to explain that competitions and obstacles are many ahead of them. You might be able to win because of favourable circumstances (some created) but eventually, the person must be capable to prove himself or herself.

For example, at a trial examination, you are given information on what are the topics which the questions will be based, or better still, actual questions. You scored to be top student. Then you will be at a loss when it comes to the actual examination, if set externally. Of course, there are cases of internal examinations where even the questions for the finals were known to some. This would only degrade the grades obtained, no matter how excellent they were.

Take English, for example. If you are not really good, just a simple written or oral test will show your true standard.

We do have tests based on online questionnaires and telephone conversation. Here again, if you cheated while answering online, the telephone conversation would tell.

Then comes presentation of reports and delivery in the form of a speech in front of a group of people. Unless you have what it takes, you would fail miserably with this.

On a national level, we have to deal with brain drain or try to achieve brain gain. Somehow, our national leaders refuse to acknowledge the need to be fair to all for a start. Cases of people leaving the country because of being ignored despite excellent results are known yearly. In fact, for most of them, the discrimination against them was a blessing in disguise because of the opportunity of foreign exposure. Being left on your own to fend for yourself in a foreign land by itself is excellent training, as compared with being pampered when studying in own country and living with parents, especially with a car provided.

For those doing research, overseas exposure in a conducive environment, in terms of access to relevant data bases, and open to peer reviews and excellent facilities, is definitely better compared with our own limited resources.

In the case of foreign countries where human capital is considered vital, no expense would be spared to encourage development of the mind when they were still young. Meritocracy is the order of the day and excellence duly rewarded.

I came across the following article in Kit Siang for Malaysia...

China Rises, and Checkmates

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
New York Times
January 8 2011
Excerpts:

'If there’s a human face on Rising China, it belongs not to some Politburo chief, not to an Internet tycoon, but to a quiet, mild-mannered teenage girl named Hou Yifan.

Ms. Hou (whose name is pronounced Ho Ee-fahn) is an astonishing phenomenon: at 16, she is the new women’s world chess champion, the youngest person, male or female, ever to win a world championship. And she reflects the way China — by investing heavily in education and human capital, particularly in young women — is increasingly having an outsize impact on every aspect of the world.'

'...perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its citizens have shown a passion for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call “chi ku,” or “eating bitterness.”'

More where that came from: