How should we judge a government?

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

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

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

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding trivia


Like Kate's wedding dress, Pippa's gown was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The gown featured short sleeves, a low-cut neckline, and was form-fitting. Immediately following Pippa's appearance at Westminster Abbey, web searches soared.

Kate remembers William's name
The curse is broken! Kate remembered William's full name! It might sound like a small victory, but it's far from it. William's full name is quite a mouthful. For the record, he is William Arthur Philip Louis. Imagine trying to remember that with two billion people watching.

Michael Middleton's butter fingers
The father of the bride did a wonderful job of walking with his beautiful daughter down the aisle and standing at attention at the front of the church. He did make one small mistake, though. Right when he arrived at Westminster Abbey, he dropped his hat. Oops. It was all aces from there. No harm, no foul.


Five months ago, when Prince William first announced to the world he’d given a ring to Kate Middleton, he made it clear that only one other woman mattered as much to him.
"It's my mother's engagement ring,” he told the press of the sapphire and diamond engagement heirloom. “Obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all -- this was my way of keeping her close to it all."

The focus wasn't only on Di's absence, but on the memory of her vibrant life. As Kate walked down the aisle in Alexander McQueen , every bit the breathtaking bride her mother-in-law was in 1981, she clutched a bouquet of Sweet William dotted with Lily of the Valley, a staple of Diana's wedding bouquet. And when it was time to say her vows, she again summoned Di’s independent spirit, by omitting the term “obey”. It was the one battle Diana Spencer picked when she agreed to marry Prince Charles. At the time, the break in tradition caused outrage among royal-watchers. Today it’s a testament to Di’s courage and trail-blazing choices.
Notable foreign royals include our King, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia;

Notable foreign dignitaries include those of relative unknown but Commonwealth countries, like:

*The Prime Minister of The Bahamas
* The Prime Minister of Barbados
* The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
* The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
* The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
* The Premier of Bermuda
* The Premier of The British Virgin Islands
* The Premier of the Cayman Islands;

Notable uninvited foreign dignitaries include US President, and many more, as well as our PM;

Notable celebrities include Mr. Bean, actor Rowan Atkinson, David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John;

More:
http://beta.news.yahoo.com/factbox-invitees-britains-royal-wedding-160551481.html

My wife commented that simplicity and sentiments seemed to be the order of such an important event: wedding dress is 'walkable'; only earrings and no necklace; hair simple and natural; inside Westminster Abbey, trees instead of flowers provided wonderful natural springtime setting, and the acoustic was fantastic!

Among other memorable items were the horse carriage (1902) and Prince Charles's 21st birthday present from the Queen: Aston Martin DB6 MKII convertible, with decorated registration JU5T WED which was driven by Prince William.

Link

Signs of certain businesses

Just got back from Ipoh, and would like to share some unusual business names.

My sister-in-law was with us when she wanted to check out a tile shop in Bercham, recommended by her intended tiling contractor. She kept saying the directions were from someone 'uneducated' but we knew what she meant was more like someone with just basic Chinese education who cannot even spell out the name in English.

She knew some basic Chinese but not good enough to write the name out in Chinese character, so she wrote 'Kah Lai' according to his pronunciation. We went looking for a Shell station, but there are two opposite each other along Jalan Bercham. After calling him, we got the right side of the road and tried looking for the shop described as the back row of two rows of shops. After a random driving round, I found it! It was in fact, 'Galy' described as 'kah lai' in Mandarin!

Later, we went to Ipoh Garden for brunch. I noticed a boutique cafe with a really catchy name, Beauty Fools'! Later, we were caught in a massive traffic jam along Jalan Kuala Kangsar towards city centre (caused by police check!) which gave me the opportunity to look at the shops on the right. 'Penny & Fanny' was the name I saw on the top of a unisex salon. Not sure if it was deliberate, one way or the other (your guess is as good as mine), but I cannot help thinking it was named after two female hairstylists having those names. Just imagine, it could have been named deliberately Pennies and Fannies in a not so subtle way to describe the unisex salon!

On the way back into Batu Gajah, there is a shop with a not so business oriented name: Mysad Enterprise! Just like Taiping (ever peace in Chinese), a sad enterprise cannot be a thriving business concern.
Link

Friday, April 29, 2011

Choosing suitable descriptions for medical practices

Two doctors opened an office in a small town and put up a sign reading: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones: Hysterias and Posteriors."
The town council was not happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to read, "Schizoids and Haemorrhoids."

This was not acceptable either, so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign to "Catatonics and High Colonics."
No go.

Next, they tried "Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives."
Thumbs down again.
Then came "Minds and Behinds."
Still no good.

Another attempt resulted in "Lost Souls and Butt Holes."
Unacceptable again.

So they tried "Analysis and Anal Cysts."
Not a chance.
"Nuts and Butts?"
No way.
"Freaks and Cheeks?"
Still no go.
"Loons and Moons?"
Forget it.

Almost at their wit's end, the doctors finally came up with:
"Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends."

Wonder what should our country be described as... being so obsessed with sodomy and sex, in trying to link and shame Anwar Ibrahim from leading a credible coalition against incumbent Barisan Nasional. Why can't they let the people decide who shall lead the country instead of being patronizing and parochial and decide for them. Are the present leaders able to pass the same stringent pre-qualifying tests?
Link

What will Kate Middleton's royal title be after she marries Prince William?

Answer from wiki.answers.com:

Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales

After her marriage to Prince William of Wales, Kate Middleton's title will be Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. On the engagement announcement, Kate used her full name, Catherine. So she will likely be known as Princess Catherine of Wales.

If Prince William receives a dukedom following the marriage, she will be known as Duchess in addition to Her Royal Highness.

Kate Middleton will not be "Princess Catherine." Unless Prince William granted a peerage on marriage, she will be Princess William - just as the present Duchess of Gloucester was "Princess Richard" before the death of her father-in-law and the wife of Prince Michael of Kent is "Princess Michael." So she will be Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales.

Diana Princess of Wales was never "Princess Diana," no matter what the press called her. At the time of her marriage, she became HRH The Princess of Wales; after her divorce, she was Diana, Princess of Wales. The title "Princess" with a woman's given name is reserved for those who are so titled from birth - the daughters of the Sovereign or of a Prince.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_will_Kate_Middleton's_royal_title_be_after_she_marries_Prince_William#ixzz1Kt0l45oo
Link

Note: Prince William and Princess William of Wales are now also known as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

When Stud meets a non-Finnish, he is finished...

The Italian Lover, a virile, middle aged Italian gentlemen named Stefano, was relaxing at his favourite bar in Florence , when he managed to attract a spectacular young blonde woman.

Things progressed to the point where he led her back to his apartment and after some small talk, they retired to his bedroom where he rattled her senseless.

After a pleasant interlude, he asked with a smile, "So, you finish?"

She paused for a second, frowned, and replied, "No."

Surprised, Stefano reached for her and the rattling resumed. This time she thrashed about wildly and there were screams of passion. The sex finally ended and, again, Stefano smiled and asked, "You finish?"

Again, after a short pause, she returned his smile, cuddled closer to him and softly said, "No."

Stunned, but damned if he was going to leave this woman unsatisfied, Stefano reached for the woman yet again. Using the last of his strength, he barely managed it, but they ended together screaming, bucking, clawing and ripping the bed sheets.

Exhausted, Stefano fell onto his back, gasping. Barely able to turn his head, he looked into her eyes, smiled proudly and asked again, "You finish?"

Barely able to speak, the beautiful blonde whispered in his ear, "No, I Danish."

Link

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How hot cross buns become 'Talibuns'

JAKIM's approved bakeries in Malaysia (those with Halal signs ) are now forbidden to sell 'hot cross' buns as this type of buns is considered religiously inappropriate for Melayu. Consumption of such buns might make Melayu less Islam.

They've removed the cross & replaced it with a rope design, that is only one line across the bun, and are now re-naming such buns...

"TALIBUNS"!

NB. I am not expecting anyone to take this seriously.
Link

Rare Earth Secrecy in Batu Gajah district

Thanks to Lynas controversy, an unpublicized MoU between a Perak state agency and a HK company was made public, with Menteri Besar and an Exco member claiming no knowledge of it!

We did not seem to learn from Asian Rare Earth problems and businessmen seem bent on making money regardless of what ill effects an industry could pose to the people. But I sense something else. CVM could be facing the wrong end of the stick for describing it as mining for rare earth, which touches on the sensitivities of the current protesters against radio-active substance.

I guess CVM could be interested in tin mining as its main objective with rare minerals as secondary revenue sources, and getting the involvement and approval of the state administration is a definite advantage. It used to be tin mining but lately, rare minerals are fetching record prices in the world markets. The company stands to gain from tin which could be the 'bread and butter' reason, but also struverite, ilmenite, zircon, monoxite, xenotine and whatever the world markets demand, from time to time. The minerals are non-perishable and with vast tracts of land available, they could be stored for the right price. Could 'rare earth' be a red herring which turns out to be a real hindrance?

In The Malaysian Insider: Zambry says unaware of Bukit Merah rare earth deal:


In FreeMalaysiaToday: Reveal details of rare earth venture, Zambry urged:
Note: YB Fong Po Kuan has her service centre in Bukit Merah New Village which is right opposite Asian Rare Earth factory which was shut down in 1992.
Link

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Protect your own Wi-Fi connections and beware of free public ones

"The man’s house was raided by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency last week, which later turned out to be a mistake. The reason? Department of Homeland Security agents traced a distributor of child pornography back to the man’s home Wi-Fi router.

The trouble was, the man wasn’t the one distributing the illicit and illegal material -- authorities say it was his neighbor, who was connecting to his Wi-Fi network. The agents didn’t have the wrong house, but it took them a week to determine that they had the wrong suspect."

More where that came from:
Five ways to protect your Wi-Fi network from hackers


Actually, this is also for my future reference when changing router. Truth be told, I was given a replacement Wi-Fi router which I have yet to use because I am not sure of our TM Broadband password. My present old router can still be used with cable connection, so I am not disrupting it unless necessary!
Link

Billy Graham's Prayer for USA

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'

Link

Mobile gadgets: too many and too fast...

"For anyone who likes to buy gadgets, and especially phones, it’s common knowledge that no matter how advanced your device is, it will probably be a common good, or even out-dated, in a matter of months. That’s why some people refuse to be “early adopters,” and why even some people refuse to buy a particular product. Knowing full-well that there’s going to be something new, and potentially better, right around the corner can prevent anyone from dropping their hard-earned cash on any gadget..."

http://www.phonedog.com/2011/04/22/is-innovation-happening-too-quickly-in-the-mobile-market/

While feeling lost amid the overwhelming information on new products, my friend has come to the conclusion that this is the Droid he has been looking for...

Feng Shui Tips for your Home

A friend forwarded some simple feng shui tips, source not stated, which I have re-arranged:

There should be no shoes or slippers lying around outside the main door of your house. Remove it if you can. Allow that space at the main door to be free and clear. The chi (energy) rides with the wind and will collect all the smell of those shoes and slippers into your house causing sickness. Ch’i then travels about in your house looking for water to stay but if there are no water fountains or fish tanks, then the Ch’i will be dispersed by wind.

Place an indoor water fountain in your home, position in a favourable area to attract whatever you want in your life.

If you already have a fish tank in your house, be careful. A fish tank placed correctly can bring about greater fortune, as you will tap on the "Divine Water Dragon's Den". But if you tap wrongly, it can cause you to have lawsuits, bankruptcy, work pressure, troubles and problems. If you noticed any of these after placing the fish tank for approximately four months, shift your fish tank to another location.

Kitchen
In your kitchen, ensure that opposite your stove there is no refrigerator, washing machine, washbasin and toilet. The fire and water clash causing family members to have disagreements.

Dining room
If you have a lot of work pressure, maybe it's the marble table that you have in your dinning room that causes you to have those problems. Remove that marble table and change to a wooden one or alternatively live with that work pressure

Sitting room
Do not use a red sofa set: The colour red represent the element of fire. And for Feng Shui, some places simply cannot have the colour red in that sector. For example: the wealth area or some other sectors which without a Feng Shui check would be unable to tell you where it is. A red sofa sets gives rise to heavy work pressure, troubles and obstacles.

Bedrooms
There should be no television sets in your bedrooms: If you cannot get rid of that habit then after watching the television cover it with a plastic table cloth. Remember it has to be plastic and not simply cloth.

There should be no mirrors opposite your bed or at the side of your bed. Mirrors opposite the bed can attract a third party to the relationship. Therefore, do not place mirrors anywhere you like and especially in your bedroom.

Your bed should always have a solid wall behind you. This is important if you wish to have a good rest. A solid wall simply means that you can go into deeper sleep and therefore enabling you to have good rest so that when you wake up in the morning, you will feel fresh and well rested. This also allows you to be able to concentrate on your work better.

There should be no beam on top of your bed. The beam above causes chi to be pressured thus enabling you to have pressures in life. Therefore, don't place furniture underneath it or alternatively level the beam. But make sure if you choose the latter, it is important that you have enough height for that space.

Always open your bedroom windows at least once 20 minutes a day to allow fresh chi to come in, we do this so that it allows fresh new chi from outside to come into your bedroom, if not you will be sleeping with stale chi every night. And if that happens, then how can you expect your life to bring in more good fortune to come to you? So open that window and never mind if dusts comes in! The great good fortune that you can have will far exceeds the time you take to clean off the dust.

Try not to allow children to sleep on mattresses on the floor. Yes, this allows young children not to fall off beds but it also causes young children to fall sick frequently. The reason is: chi is not able to flow underneath the bed. Ideally, chi should circulate around the mattress where our children sleep to allow them to be healthy.

Do not allow children to sleep on double bunk beds even if it means saving space. The child sleeping underneath will not have "fresh chi" and so his health might be weak. But if due to space constraints, then monitor your child's health if not add in a metal 6 rods wind chime or a crystal sphere, to break up the "stale chi" around his bed.

If your child usually falls sick in a bedroom: Then either change them to another bedroom or simply hang a six rod metal wind chime as the metal element will break all the earth energies in that room. After hanging, if the wind could not do the job for you then you will have to "chime" it yourself and then watch for the good results.

For young children, try to have their back to the wall when they write. It is important there should be a solid wall behind a children's writing table. This allows the child to have support so that he can sit there and study longer rather than for only half an hour and then they tend to move about because there is no solid wall behind their back. Adjust your writing table.


Link

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When your salary depends on donations...

There was a preacher whose wife was expecting a baby so he went to the congregation and asked for a raise.

After much consideration and discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the preacher's family expanded, so would his paycheck.

After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the preacher's salary. There was much yelling and bickering about how much the clergyman's additional children were costing the church.

Finally, the Preacher got up and spoke to the crowd, 'Children are a gift from God,' he said. Silence fell on the congregation.

In the back of the room, a little old lady stood up and in her frail voice said, 'Rain is also a gift from God, but when we get too much, we wear raincoats.'

And the congregation said, 'Amen!'

Link

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How is Talent Corp going to deal with push factors?

Each time we read news about a former Malaysian being appointed to a high position overseas or having an exceptionally well managed and profitable business, we are proud to highlight the fact they are ex-Malaysians and at the same time bemoan about it as 'brain drain'. But when we analyze it, those people did not get to where they are today by staying in Malaysia. They have proven themselves in a foreign country based on their own merits. Could they have done the same in Malaysia? NO. Not just because they were likely to have been pushed overseas because of local discrimination based on race: in education, employment and business; but also because the positions they are now holding are foreign: as an Australian state minister, or a US public prosecutor. They have the necessary qualifications, ability and experience which might serve them well locally, if given the chance to prove themselves here, but they had for some reasons chosen to live overseas. We cannot have an Australian minister or American public prosecutor in Malaysia though we can have their knowledge and expertise but probably they cannot fit in because of being unfamiliar with local situations and language. Moreover, to be able to hold such positions in a foreign country, they are already citizens of that country.

We do have people who are just as good, if not better than them, who have chosen or simply do not have a choice but to stay on in Malaysia, but unfortunately not given the chance to shine.

Kamahl became famous in Australia. Would he be world famous as a singer based in Malaysia? What I am trying to get at is that certain professions or industries are better known overseas and Malaysians who went there are given the chance to develop their talents. It can never be the same, no matter how intelligent, talented or capable if you remain here. For those who felt they were pushed out because of discrimination, they felt such unfortunate policies turned out to be blessings in disguise.

On the other hand, other countries are envious of our world class badminton champions, squash champion and bowling champions. We could have world class intellectuals too, if conditions were more conducive and fair. What we have now in local universities are mostly of one favoured race who are likely not to take kindly to those from overseas, with excellent credentials, and who are offered positions lest they outshine them. We can build a replica of Harvard University campus but we cannot replicate its academia.

Every year, Singapore has been scouting for intelligent Malaysian students, via education fairs, admission examinations, and so on, offering scholarships to successful candidates. Almost all of these students would graduate and gain employment in the government or private sectors of Singapore, and after a number of years, would likely become their Permanent Citizens.

We cannot stop Singapore or any other countries from offering such sweet deals, nor can we stop our students from applying for them. But can we offer them something similar? Yes, to a certain extent, but what we could offer have proven to be affected by racial discrimination and probably favouritism too. What we cannot offer is also foreign experience, facilities and even favourable exchange rates.

Many of Singapore's ministers, judges and other crème de la crème are former Malaysians. They are where they are because of reasons which would include 'push factor' in racial discrimination in Malaysia as well as 'pull factors' like educational and employment opportunities in Singapore.

I just cannot imagine how Talent Corporation could prevent Malaysians from leaving for better opportunities, which must also be the reason why they are concentrating on attracting those who are already overseas, by offering sweet deals in the form of free import duties for cars and even lower tax rates. I still cannot see how these could be attractive enough for them unless they are actually quite prepared to come back, because of economic downturn in Europe and US for instance. These incentives have already created some resentment among those who have stayed behind in the first place, so much for being 'patriotic'!

As a parent who has children who have studied overseas under 'FaMa scholarship', Talent Corp should (if not already in place), make known that they will consider providing scholarships to those intending to do post-graduate courses and encourage those who wish to but face financial hurdle, to apply. Sometimes, they are discouraged even before applying because of past discrimination and unfair and unfriendly practices.

It is quite obvious to me that we should catch them young, if not, when they are looking for post-graduate opportunities, with strict conditions that they must return to serve our government. There were so many cases of those who graduated under scholarships who were not offered jobs! How could this be possible when we are continually crying out for talent and complaining about brain drain? I would perceive it as some form of deliberate discrimination by those in charge in our government departments. Can Talent Corp change the mindset of those in charge of recruitment, as well as change the working environment to make it more conducive to those who intend to come back? I honestly doubt it.
Link

Tablets: Sometimes, ignorance is bliss indeed

I asked my friend a simple question: 'Which tablet is best and what price range?' and this is what he replied:

"Right now, most of my friends are waiting for the Asus EP121, a 12.1" display tablet running on Windows 7. It sure is taking its time getting now, as most of my friends are waiting to get it for their children college work. Their college kids are all pressing their parents for Notebooks, but I told them Notebooks are outdated and obsolete now. This Asus EP121 also uses a stylus pen.

For productive work, Windows 7 OS is safe, as you can use all the current applications (from spreadsheets to program development) on Windows, but not on Android or Apples. Altho Windows 7 is not totally meant for tablets since Win7 was first meant for keyboard Notebooks and Desktop, they managed to rustle up some emulators for touchscreen tablets.

Moreover, Windows 8 is rumored to be coming out in late July this year. Windows 8 is totally designed with the touchscreen tablet in mind. Another trick to get potential buyers to hold on.

If you are just into Internet browsing, emails, 3G phone calls, sms, etc., an Android HoneyComb tablet would be ideal. Android HoneyCombs tablets are coming out VERY FAST, with the HTC Flyer tablet coming out next week under Maxis. This Flyer has a HTC Scribe app which is superb - uses a stylus pen as well.

HTC Flyer is selling at about Rm2K, while the Asus EP121 prob. about Rm2.5K

Besides the HTC Flyer, there is another Asus 10.1" tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer.

In addtion, Gigabye is also launching later this year, a tablet that is dual-bootable with Windows 7/8 and Android HoneyComb."

These days there are no simple answers to simple questions. Small wonder Cheng lamented that the more she studies, the more she realized how little she knows!

Last Friday, at my other daughter's birthday party, my wife tried her sister's tablet and I realized it is definitely more user-friendly to someone who has yet to on a computer herself, yet thinking of buying a netbook because her friend said it is so convenient. She is also one who complains about small screen too! Anyway, we used it to look up theme songs of The Greed of Man by Alan Tam and Instinct by Adam Cheng, sang along... actually only my sister-in-law knows how to read Chinese and most familiar with the old serial re-runs which reminded her of her late sister. Her late sister was so addicted to TVB serials that she actually taped all the episodes of Man in the Net (which made Chow Yun Fatt famous) and commented that it was amazing how a small place like HK could influence so many Chinese all over the world.

Link

Proton well known for its power window problem...

and it was perceived to be so by the taxi driver who had Proton's boss as passenger! It goes to show the importance of quality control, the lack of which will leave a bad impression for a long, long time.

SHAH ALAM - Proton's power window problem is in the past, and in a show of confidence, the national car maker will give a life-time warranty.

Proton managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said Proton power windows now had zero defects although people still thought otherwise...

Earlier in his speech, Syed Zainal related his experience riding in a Proton Waja airport limousine from KLIA to his house in Subang Jaya.

“The driver would open his door instead of using the power window when we stopped at the toll booth. My wife was giggling and poking fun at me.

“So I asked him if the window was spoilt. He said no.

“He said his friend told him that if he used the power window too much, it would break down,” Syed Zainal said.

The Proton boss said this agitated him as the perception about the quality of Proton cars was very important to the point of it being debated in Parliament.

“I gave the taxi driver my card, and asked him to do me a favour by using the power window.

“I told him to call me on my mobile phone if the window breaks down. He has yet to call me,” he said.

More:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

PPSMI

the Malay abbreviation for 'Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik Dalam Bahasa Inggeris' or the teaching of science and mathematics in English in Malaysian schools.

Take it from Dr. Lim Chin Lam that English is merely providing students with the best tool for studying Science and Mathematics.

Excerpt from his Whither English in Malaysia in The Star:

While Mandarin is used by the largest number of people, English is the most widely used language in the world. The following are other data relating to the use of English in different situations: (1) 380 million speak English as a second language; (2) one billion speak English as a foreign language; (3) there are an estimated 1.7 billion users of the language: English dominates the Internet, the print media, business, aviation, conferences, other international events, etc.; (4) approximately one billion are learning English worldwide; (5) over the Internet, about 80% of home pages and 60% of e-mail are in English; (6) English is the medium of higher education in many countries, e.g. India, the Netherlands, Oman, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey; (6) 85% of the world’s knowledge is in English; and (7) 98% of scientific papers are written in English.

English in Malaysia

Certain segments of the Malaysian population seem to have a love-hate relationship with the English language. They harbour a lingering memory of English as the language of the colonial masters – but, arguably, with a grudging acceptance of English as a world language and the language of academe. How come, it is said, that they clamour for the national language to be used in school and university but send (because they can afford to do so) their children to be educated abroad where the medium of instruction is English? They objected even when only two subjects, viz. science and mathematics out of a basket of 30(?) subjects, were to be taught in English!

In 2002, the government of the day took a bold step and introduced PPSMI (the Malay abbreviation for the teaching of science and mathematics in English) in schools. Some years later, there was a re-thinking about the programme. In deference to non-government organisations (NGOs) that claimed that rural students were lagging behind urban students, the new government in 2010 scrapped the ongoing programme – even before it had completed a full cycle – so that the rural students could catch up. The decision was unfortunate, considering that the national vision is to attain developed-country status by 2020. Surely reining back the front-runners cannot be a strategy for advancement?

The SPM (Sijil Persekolahan Malaysia, a school-leaving certification) results which came out this year are revealing. Rural students actually outdid the urban students in science and mathematics. Will PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education), which has been campaigning with a steadfastness born of conviction, finally convince the government to reinstate PPSMI? After all, the campaign of PAGE represents the outcry of anguished parents of school-going children, while the objecting NGOs per se have no children to speak of. To the objectors, I maintain that PPSMI is not a circuitous way of teaching English; rather, it is merely providing students with the best tool for studying S & M.

Source:

Link

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1Malaysia towards 1Email each

When criticized by all and sundry, PM Najib said it is voluntary, you can opt not to join if you wish. Furthermore, it does not involve government money... Do you believe that?

For a PM to announce the programme, it will be a wonder if there is no government involvement, especially with funds and machinery. Someone has already traced Tricubes to CIMB! The immediate effect was a price rise in the shares of Tricubes, a troubled company likely to be de-listed, if not for this life saver.

The question is not just whether we want to be given an email address for correspondence with the government which he quite rightly said we have the choice of not using it, but government involvement of something which did not involve the people's consideration first. That was being arrogant and patronizing. Though it is now an option, there is no stopping future requirements by government departments to insist on using the given email addresses before they look into our matter.

Proton started without forcing us to buy the national car. But to help sales, government servants had to buy it under government loans; government departments had to buy it as official cars; import and excise duties on imported and other makes ensure Proton remains competitive, at the expense of every car buyer; and if it is in trouble, government would be the last resort to save it. So this choice is actually no choice at all.

The following drawn picture with words put in is from Zorro unmasked, which puts it in a hilarious way. But who is having the last laugh?

I believe there is a hidden motive in this seemingly innocuous yet helpful government initiative... especially for the first PM who had sent wishes to people he does not know personally... and that is, to have everyone's contact so that he could use to advantage for the next general election. Just imagine, not enough with all the mainstream media at his disposal, he is now trying to negate the advantages which the opposition has in the alternative media!

A case of 0.00 significance

Don't underestimate 'kosong' (Malay for 'empty', or 'zero' when referring to numbers. It can create havoc in our dependence on computers and if used by employees who are programmed to do specific tasks without using their under-used brains...

"In March 2009 a man living in Kandos (near Mudgee in NSW, Australia) received a bill for his as yet unused gas line stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another bill and threw that one away too.

The following month the gas company sent him a very nasty note stating that they were going to cancel his gas line if he didn't send them $0.00 by return mail.

He called them, talked to them, and they said it was a computer error and they would take care of it.

The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome gas line figuring that if there was usage on the account it would put an end to this ridiculous predicament.

However, when he went to use the gas, it had been cut off.

He called the gas company who apologised for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue.

Assuming that having spoken to them the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake, he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00. This bill also stated that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.

Finally, giving in, he thought he would beat the gas company at their own game and mailed them a cheque for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the gas company nothing at all.

A week later, the manager of the Mudgee branch of the Westpac Banking Corporation called our hapless friend and asked him what he was doing writing cheque for $0.00.

After a lengthy explanation the bank manager replied that the $0.00 cheque had caused their cheque processing software to fail. The bank could therefore not process ANY cheques they had received from ANY of their customers that day because the cheque for $0.00 had caused the
computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the gas company claiming that his cheque had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a cheque by return mail they would take immediate steps to recover the debt.

At this point, the man decided to file a debt harassment claim against the gas company. It took him nearly two hours to convince the clerks at the local courthouse that he was not joking.

They subsequently helped him in the drafting of statements which were considered substantive evidence of the aggravation and difficulties he had been forced to endure during this debacle.

The matter was heard in the Magistrate's Court in Mudgee and the outcome was this:

The gas company was ordered to:

[1] Immediately rectify their computerised accounts system or Show cause, within 10 days, why the matter should not be referred to a higher court for consideration under Company Law;

[2] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by the man;

[3] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by all the Westpac clients whose cheques had been bounced on the day our friend's had been processed;

[4] Pay the claimant's court costs; and

[5] Pay the claimant a total of $1500 per month for the 5 month period March to July inclusive as compensation for the aggravation they had caused their client to suffer."

And all this over $0.00.



Link

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A closer look at how Pakatan fared in Sarawak

Just for coffee shop talk...

Looking at available figures sourced from Malaysiakini, the Sarawak state elections turned out results which show BN victory as disproportionate to the votes cast for them. The figures in brackets are number of seats if based on some form of Proportional Representation:


Overall view
Barisan 372,379 votes 55.36% 55 seats (39) unfair extra 16 seats;
Pakatan 277,329 votes 41.23% 15 seats (29) unfair 14 seats less;
Independents 20,064 votes 2.98% 1 seat (2)
Overall total 672,667 votes; 71 seats.

In order of votes cast:
1.PBB 192,785 votes 28.66% 35 seats (20) unfair extra 15 seats;
2.DAP 134,847 votes 20.05% 12 seats (14) unfair 2 seats less;
3.PKR 117,100 votes 17.41% 3 seats (12) unfair 9 seats less;
4.SUPP 111,781 votes 16.62% 6 seats (12) unfair 6 seats less;
5.PRS 35,120 votes 5.22% 8 seats (4)unfair extra 4 seats;
6.SPDP 32,693 votes 4.86% 6 seats (3)unfair extra 3 seats;
7.SNAP 15,663 votes 2.33% 0 seat (2) unfair 2 seats less;
8.PAS 9,719 votes 1.44% 0 seat (1) unfair 1 seat less;
9.PCM 2,895 0.43% 0 seat
Independents 20,064 votes 2.98% 1 seat (2) unfair 1 seat less;

Total 672,667 votes 95.14% 71 seats

From the above table, it is quite obvious, delineation of electoral boundaries was skewed in favour of PBB, PRS and SPDP while DAP and SUPP competed for Chinese-majority seats which have bigger number of voters. PKR's voters were stretched and spreaded thinly over 49 seats.

According to a Malaysia Chronicle report:

"71 seats were up for grabs on April 16. The polls ended with BN winning 55 seats and Pakatan 15. A total of 672,667 Sarawakians came out to vote last Saturday, with the election marred by the greatest electoral fraud ever seen so far.

Most of the seats won by the opposition, in particular the DAP, saw more than 15,000 voters in one constituency whereas the BN strongholds had significantly lesser voters. It is the latter group of small and fragmented seats that are infamously known as the Taib's 'fixed deposit' seats.

For example, the seat of Pending, won by DAP, saw 21,274 Sarawakians voting. On top of that, Bukit Assek had 18,504 voters, Kota Sentosa at 20,559, Pelangan with 20,336 and 18,440 voters at Batu Lintang, all of which are seats won by the opposition.

These are the startling contrasts to the Taib strongholds. Only 8 out of 55 seats won by BN had voters ranging from 10,000 to 13,000.

The others were at least 3 or 4 times smaller in size. Contested by PKR, the majority of these seats ranged from 5,000 to 7,000 voters. The small size of the electorates make it exceedingly easy for the incumbent, in this case the Taib camp, to manipulate, bribe or buy out the voters should they wish to do so.

DAP had been offered but chose not to contest these seats, leaving the burden of fielding a contestant with the PKR and PAS. But perhaps, after PKR's stellar performance, it might wish to change its mind. Already, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has called for a merger with SNAP in a bid to spread the party's footprint over Sarawak much in the same way it currently controls Penang."

Rest of the article:
And a couple of relevant comments therein:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011 04:44 posted by Drama Queen
This is a flawed analysis as PKR is not comparing apples with apples. PKR won 117,100 votes because it contested 49 seats. That is an average of 2,389 votes per seat contested. Whereas DAP had 134,847 votes obtained from 15 contested seats. That is an average of 8,990 votes per seat. So, DAP's support per seat is almost 4 times of PKR. If DAP had contested in 49 seats like PKR, it would most likely have obtained more than 200,000 votes. So, the analysis by PKR is flawed. After losing, they still refuse to acknowledge their weaknesses and continue to give excuses. PKR lost because of poor preparation, fighting over power and not paying enough attention to local issues. Plain and simple. If PKR continues to behave like it is currently behaving, going to Putrajaya will remain a dream.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011 03:42 posted by Not fair
The point why BN won is because most of the Melanau/Malay seats have less than 10K voters..chinese seats having more than 20K voters....they smart..making many seats for malay/melanau....28seats just for 27.5% Malay/amelanau voters...whereas Chinese with 31.5% voters only got 15 chinese seats. this is blatantly unfair...

Shouldn't Najib be worried over the reality of the so-called two-third majority victory despite unfair use of government machinery, institutions and money?
Link

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Confidence matters, especially when you are small


The extraordinary scene was captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire.

The 19-year-old, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, who was photographing the leopard for a course project, was astounded by the mouse's behavior.

He said: 'I have no idea where the mouse came from - he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard.

'He didn't take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself.

'But the leopard was pretty surprised - she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared.

'In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened...

But even a gentle shove does not deter the little creature from getting his fill.

'It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked - he said he'd never seen anything like it before.'

Project owner Jackie James added: 'It was so funny to see - Sheena batted the mouse a couple of times to try to get it away from her food.

'But the determined little thing took no notice and just carried on.'

Sheena was brought in to the Santago Rare Leopard Project from a UK zoo when she was just four months old. She is one of 14 big cats in the private collection started by Jackie 's late husband Peter in 1989.

Raja Petra speaks the truth when it suits

Recently, Mukriz, a son of Tun Dr. Mahathir stated that only 40% of what Raja Petra written in Malaysia Today are facts and the rest made up by him...

Last July: Mukriz: Raja Petra's stories half made up
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mukhriz-raja-petras-stories-half-made-up/

Now Najib is glad the truth is out because Raja Petra said so, or what TV3, The Star and Malay Mail spinned that he said so. Or, assuming we give the mainstream media the benefit of the doubt for this, RPK is now speaking the truth 100% and not only 40%? Even so, he was stating what he had stated before in his Statutory Declaration which was based on someone's information and he hoped for an investigation. These days, we do not know who or what to believe in.
Link

Another Christian story

A niece forwarded to me this story, perhaps knowing I have yet to be a Christian...

A young man training to be an Olympic diver had been raised as an atheist. The only spiritual influence in his life came from a strong Christian friend. The young diver never acted like he paid much attention to his friend's conversations about Jesus, though he heard them often.

One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the university he attended. The lights were off, but the moon shining brightly through the skylights allowed enough light to practice. He climbed to the highest diving board and walked to the edge. Turning his back to the pool and extending his arms outward, he was moved when he saw the shadow of his body on the wall in the shape of a cross ---- the cross his friend had shared about so many times where Christ made the sacrifice for him. Recalling his friend's words, he knelt right there on that diving board and gave his life to Christ.

After praying, he stood. Just then a maintenance man walked in and flipped on the lights. The pool had been drained for repairs! Had he ignored the Spirit of God again, he would have dove to his death. His response to God saved his spiritual and physical death.
Oftentimes it's not just your soul that is saved.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18

In God's always-perfect timing, the young diver realized his need for a Savior, and God's power was shown in an awesome way. Are you sure of your own salvation?

Somehow, I am reminded of Art Harun's recent post in his blog...


Don't take him too seriously on this as he is better known for satire.
Link

Monday, April 18, 2011

About this Malaysian drunk graduate in Australia

A Muslim honours graduate drank alcohol and misbehaved, was described as 'like a terrorist on a plane', was convicted and fined AUD1,500.


Why was his mother in business class while he was in economy class? Was it because his mother was under company expense while he was under 'FaMa'? Did he behave like a spoiled child when he wasn't upgraded to be with his mother? Shouldn't he be spanked as well under our Malaysian law? Normally, a mother would downgrade herself to be with her son in economy class instead of expecting him to be upgraded instead. Signs of the times I suppose.
Link

Some Mr. Bean jokes

BRAIN TUMOUR:

Doctor: I regret to tell you that you have a brain tumour.
Mr. Bean: Yesss!!! (jumps in joy)

Doctor: Did you understand what I just told you?
Mr. Bean: Yes of course, do you think I'm dumb?

Doctor: Then why are you so happy?
Mr. Bean: Because that proves that I have a brain!

IN A DRUG STORE:

Mr. Bean: I'd like some vitamins for my grandson.
Clerk: Sir, vitamin A, B or C?
Mr. Bean: Any will do, my grandson doesn't know the alphabet yet!!

AT AN ATM MACHINE:

Friend: What are you looking at?
Mr. Bean: I know your PIN no., hee, hee.

Friend: Alright, what is my PIN no. if you saw it?
Mr. Bean: four asterisks (****)!

Marriage:

Friend: How many women do you believe must a man marry?
Mr. Bean: 16

Friend: Why?
Mr. Bean: Because the priest says 4 richer, 4 poorer, 4 better and 4 worse.

Video tape:

Friend: How was the tape you borrowed from me, is it Ok?
Mr. Bean: What do you mean ok, I thought it's a horror film. I didn't see any picture.

Friend: What tape did you take anyway?
Mr. Bean: Head Cleaner.

Spelling:

Mr. Bean's Son: Dad, what is the spelling of successful.. ..is it one c or two c?
Mr. Bean: Make it three c to be sure!



Link

We missed the wood for the trees

Most people would have missed the point about how Sarawak elections would turn out, especially those who expected a tsunami, when in fact, past gerrymandering would ensure victory for PBB only, and for West Malaysia, for Umno only.

DAP might be victorious at the expense of SUPP/MCA but PKR is more feared for its potential in upsetting the status quo if it managed to upset PBB/Umno's support base.

Spotted this in Lim Kit Siang's blog:

Comment on the 2011 Sarawak election: We need fair election rules

By Lim Yin Kuin

Sir,

I am a Malaysian student in a U.S. university and would like to comment on something I found outrageous about the Sarawak state election.

How is it that Chinese people make up the majority in Sarawak (something the mainstream media is not keen on mentioning often), yet Chinese candidates were left to fight for around 20 or so seats out of 71 in the state assembly? While I’m not a fan of political parties chasing votes from specific communities (PBB vs. PKR for Malays/Melanaus, SUPP vs. DAP for Chinese), how is it that the battle between DAP and SUPP to win the Chinese vote became a sideshow while PBB and Taib retained their political dominance while representing a minority of Sarawak’s population?

Of course, those questions are rhetorical. We all know the reasons behind them and no one dares ask why. For a Chinese person to question his or her lack of political representation is the worst form of political incorrectness in Malaysia.

More where that came from:


The reality of unfair delineation of electoral boundaries can best be illustrated with two extreme examples: the largest and the smallest parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia: in 2004, 104,185 and 5079 voters respectively showing an extreme ratio of over 20! Fortunately, Putrajaya is an exception. But still, in 1995, the figures were 85,954 and 21,719 giving a ratio of almost 4!

To be more specific, according to SUARAM:

"In the 1995 elections, while every parliamentary constituency in Selangor was allocated three state seats, the Opposition held constituencies of Klang and Petaling Jaya were allocated only two state constituencies. Such gerrymandering means that the opposition parties whilst obtaining the support of a substantial portion of the electorate will only still obtain a small number of seats in Parliament."

SUARAM and many other observers have pointed out as well that unfair constituency delineation or gerrymandering has also made a mockery of the one-person one-vote democracy that is fundamental in any electoral system that claims to be democratic:
"For the one-person one-vote system to function, the disparity in numbers of voters between constituencies (whether at state or parliamentary level) must be controlled. The original 1957 Federal Constitution provided such guarantees: it said that the disparity shall not exceed fifteen percent (15 %). However these fundamental guarantees have been removed by constitutional amendments. Today, opposition-supporting parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur have up to 100,000 voters whilst the smallest parliamentary constituencies may have about 20,000 to 25,000 voters. The difference intended originally to be limited to 15 % has now become 400 to 500 %! In 1990 for example, while Penang (which has traditionally been an opposition bastion) had an average of about 50,838 voters per constituency, Perlis had an average of 33,032 voters per constituency. Further gerrymandering occurs in the provision of state seats within parliamentary constituencies."

Source: Aliran

Despite its headline, Raja Petra's latest article seems relevant to this post:
Link

Animals' almost human behaviours

A bit higher...
Say please...

When your baby needs company, anyone will do...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A matter of priority...

misplaced or not, depends...

Bill and his wife Blanche went to the state fair every year, and every year Bill would say,

"Blanche, I'd like to ride in that helicopter"

Blanche always replied, "I know, Bill, but that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks!"

One year Bill and Blanche went to the fair, and Bill said, "Blanche, I'm 75 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance"

To this, Blanche replied, "Bill that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks"

The pilot overheard the couple and said, "Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and don't say a word I won't charge you a penny! But if you say one word it's fifty dollars."

Bill and Blanche agreed and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard.

He did his daredevil tricks, but still not a word...

When they landed, the pilot turned to Bill and said, "By golly , I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed! "

Bill replied, "Well, to tell you the truth I almost said something when Blanche fell out, but you know, Fifty bucks is fifty bucks!"

Link

How Pakatan Rakyat fared in the Sarawak elections

PKR improved by 200%, DAP 100% and PAS 0%! Just to show how misleading it can be when dealing with percentages.

In absolute terms, DAP did best, having increased their number of state assemblymen from 6 to 12, PKR increased theirs from 1 to 3, while PAS failed to make any inroad in Sarawak.

Notable defeats included Dr. George Chan, and Dominique Ng who left DAP to join PKR and turned independent when as incumbent state assemblyman he was sidelined by party leaders for this election. He even lost his deposit! So this must be a grim reminder to those who stood in the last general elections and got themselves elected under PR banners and had since joined BN.

Most people (except BN leaders and supporters) cannot deny that BN's victory was neither honourable nor fair. How could we feel otherwise when Mafrel and Bersih were not recognized and not allowed entry into Sarawak? Nazri had already admitted our Election Commission is biased because their commissioners are appointed by BN and they are not from heaven? PM and DPM left their duties as federal leaders to campaign shamelessly dishing out development funds and cash with the expected acquiescence of EC. While BN had the full support of government machinery and development funds to dish out and slush funds to use, the opposition's performance can be considered as credible and commendable. Again, we must not believe Nazri when he said there was democracy because we have elections every 4 or 5 years, and that elections were fair because opposition won and especially when they improved on their performance. Among other complaints, the reluctance to issue Form 14 by EC officials was a sure sign of possible rigging.

Rampant Vote-buying: It seems, at the long houses, a sum of money was left in each of them, depending on the number of occupants. They were told 'more where that came from' or something to that effect, after the results, provided BN candidates were elected! How could they refuse such windfalls which come only once every 4 or 5 years, and to vote otherwise would mean no such immediate enjoyment of money? BN will continue to rule so long as they are able to make money from mega projects which they could use to buy votes with impunity and the people continue to accept such money instead of changing the system.

The overall results of the Sarawak state election: BN 55, PR 15 and Independent 1. BN's list comprises PBB 35, PRS 8, SPDP 6, SUPP 6; PR's comprises DAP 12 and PKR 3; with one lone Independent. PBB on its own is one short of a simple majority and BN on the whole achieves more than the required 48 seats necessary for two-third majority in the Sarawak state assembly.

The Sun has done an excellent job in showing the results in graphic form:

Live: Ng Yen Yen opening Heritage House in Gopeng

sorry, if you are expecting a video. Live as in I was there taking this picture while she was giving a speech in English because the audience included some British including author of The Osborne Chappel Story, David Palmer. There was a Scottish too, presumably because he was in kilt.



There was also a Chinese traditional music orchestra formed by a Chinese school's students. I noted some familiar press photographers so I would leave the story to them.

Later, at a signing session by the author, I spotted MP of Gopeng, Dr. Lee Boon Chye in the queue behind my wife. I have never met him before though I had voted for him when I was under his constituency, courtesy of EC's unilateral transfer without my knowledge. At the time, he was not elected. I walked to him and asked a silly question, 'Why aren't you in the photo session?' as Dr. Ng Yen Yen and those connected with the Heritage House were seated to have their group picture taken. He excused himself and left!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Getting out of my comfort zone...

and getting my adrenaline rushing.

I stumbled upon this Bridal Fair at The Saujana KL, while waiting for Nee...

I drove Nee's car to Saujana Hotel and was a bit too early, despite having a quick bite in Gopeng and enjoyed a BK Whopper at Sungai Buloh rest area. At 4 pm, she and foreign colleagues just got out of KLIA (her Malaysian passport was a breeze at immigration but not the foreigners') and it took them half an hour by hotel taxi. She was supposed to send me to the nearest LRT station for me to try and catch the 6.05pm train from KL Sentral back to BG. If I missed this, I would have to take the next one, three hours later and reach past midnight. There were trains in between, not stopping in BG but Ipoh which would require a bus or taxi ride back.

It was a last minute decision at 5 pm when I decided to take the executive taxi from Saujana instead so that she could look after her foreign guests. The taxi meter starts at Rm6 and the short trip to Kelana Jaya station costed Rm19.80! Anyway, it was my first time taking a train from KJ so it was a frantic rush using the pedestrian crossing and looking out for signs to buy ticket and board the train. Here, being the end/start of Putra Line, any train at either platform can be taken. It was already 5.25 pm and the only advantage is no traffic jam.

By the time I reached KL Sentral, I had only 15 minutes to buy ticket and board the train leaving at 6.05 pm. It was certainly helpful to have been here before, yet because of poor memory, I had to read signs to get to the ticketing place for KTM Intercity. The need to get a queue number first meant delay when the person in front was asking for information. Despite having been here before and taken train to this station, I still made a mistake of going to KTM Komuter (a floor below) to ask for direction to board Intercity train which was on same floor as the ticketing office. I would blame it on poor signposting which failed my 'dummy test' which requires a first time user to be able to find his way. My suggestion would be unambiguous signs eg. KTM Intercity Ticketing and KTM Intercity Boarding or Platforms, instead of just KTM Intercity for both sections. Unless the person has prior knowledge, he is likely to confuse KTM Intercity with KTM Komuter as well, as though they are the same. Perhaps, an extra sign with direction arrow for Intercity at Komuter entrance and a similar sign for Komuter at Intercity entrance would help the occasional dummy like me.

As a comparison with the executive taxi fare, the train fare from KL to BG for a senior citizen is only Rm15 for a second class seat. The toll from Gopeng to Subang is Rm23.50 and you need to fill in petrol and pay for wear and tear of the car. Government should emphasize on building public transport systems for the benefit of the people.
Link

Half full or half empty question spawns a long list...

and these are just a selection from businessballs.com:

The optimist says the glass is half full.
The pessimist says the glass is half empty.
The grammarian says that while the terms half-full and half-empty are colloquially acceptable the glass can technically be neither since both full and empty are absolute states and therefore are incapable of being halved or modified in any way.
The worrier frets that the remaining half will evaporate by next morning.
And the cynic... wonders who drank the other half.
The professional trainer does not care if the glass is half full or half empty, he just knows that starting the discussion will give him ten minutes to figure out why his power-point presentation is not working.
The inquisitive troublemaker wants to know what's in the glass anyhow... and wants the rest of it.
The Attitude is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty, it's about who is paying for the next round.
Dutchman would suggest to both pay for the glass and share the content. Then tells you he will have the bottom half.

Link

How TV3, The Star and Malay Mail put words into RPK's mouth

With today's technology, any innocent misquotation is unacceptable and any deliberate misquotation is unfair to the person, and should be considered as disgusting by all fair-minded persons.

Haris Ibrahim, President of MCLM, took the trouble to analyse how our mainstream media had deliberately misquoted Raja Petra in order to show Najib and Rosmah in good light, enough for him to be quoted: 'Najib says glad truth out about Altantuya'.

The gist of it:

TV3: Prime time news at 8.00pm showing backdrop between two newsreaders: picture of RPK and the words 'Pengakuan Exclusif'.
The Star: RPK: I don't believe PM's wife was at Altantuya's murder scene
Malay Mail: RPK claims Anwar's aides told him of Najib's link to Altantuya's murder

RPK's Statutory Declaration mentioned the need for investigation and that his information was based on one person, 'Bul' (short for Bulat), yet Malay Mail deliberately mentioned Anwar's name as well as 'aides' to give the impression of a conspiracy initiated by Anwar, when in fact, Anwar and Din Merican were asked for their opinions on the reliability of a certain person!

'I do not yet believe...' was twisted to 'I no longer accept the story...'

The fact that the interview was done two months ago in Perth but shown last Wednesday for the Sarawak state election today shows their real motive.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Political correctness?

A twin-engine plane has one of its engines failed, altitude and air speed are rapidly decreasing ...
The pilot speaks over the intercom. "I'm sorry it had to come to this folks, but unfortunately we're gonna have to jettison baggage in order for the aircraft to remain airborne."

Baggage is thrown out, but the plane's speed continues to decrease.

Again the pilot gets on the intercom; "I hate to have to do this, but now we're gonna have to start off-loading passengers. The only fair way to do it is alphabetically, so we'll start with the letter – A." "Africans, any Africans on board?"

No one answers.

"Ok then – B." "Black people, any black people?"

Again, silence.

"C - Colored people, any Colored people on board?"

Silence.

A little black boy in the back turns to his mother. "But Mom, ain't we African?, ain't we Black? Ain't we Colored?"

"Yes son, but for the purpose of this exercise we are Niggers. Let the Mexicans and Muslims go first."

Link

Accounts custom-made to your requirements

Some businesses show more than one set of accounts: real accounts between partners; lower profits or even losses for the Inland Revenue; higher profits if they were for use to convince bankers, prospective buyers of their businesses, and so on.

But where government is involved, the objective is to deceive the public and the amounts are in terms of billions...

In Malaysia Chronicle:

Anwar tells of Taib link, accounting fraud in '1Malaysia' treasure chest

The latest 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) financial results have exposed Barisan Nasional’s abuse of tax payers’ money and mismanagement, said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Recalling the revelation in 2009 where 1MDB was allocated RM5 billion in 2009 via government bonds and yet still planned to raise another RM10 billion which would increase its liabilities to RM15 billion, Anwar cast suspicion over the profit of RM425 million announced by 1MDB in its first year of operation.

“The profit declared was nothing more than an accounting entry to hide a trail of arrangement to create slush funds for BN.

"Hardly five months after paying RM3.5 billion in cash for an investment in a joint venture with PetroSaudi of Saudi Arabia, 1MDB sold the investment back to the owners of the Saudi concern for RM4.1 billion,” he added, saying the account was made to look like an impressive financial return - some RM615 million gain that helped 1MDB showed profit.

Be nice to a nerd...

he may turn out to be one of the richest in the world!


Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school.

He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem.
The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.
They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT.
In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer.
*This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters.
You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF.
*Do that on your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life.
In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds.
Chances are you'll end up working for one.

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Train now stops at the near side of KTM Batu Gajah station

I was pleasantly surprised to see the train arriving from KL Sentral stopping on the same platform as those leaving the station southbound to KL. This means a lot to senior citizens and physically handicapped persons who had to cross the railway lines using the high overhead bridge. Why didn't they think of that before? Does it mean the pedestrian bridge becomes a white elephant most of the time?

But the inconvenient location remains a big problem. For those without arrangements, having to walk 2 km to reach the main Jalan Tualang is no joke under the hot sun in the day, and insecure at night. This Saturday, I will be coming back from KL Sentral reaching past midnight. Even with prior arrangement for wife to pick me, I am apprehensive at the thought of having to wait at that hour in this secluded station for the first time.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oldest living owner of a car from new

It may seem easy at first thought... just keep your first car year in year out, but for a world record, you have to be able to live up to over 100 years!


Mr. Allen Swift ( Springfield , MA.) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Picadilly P1 Roadster
from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in 1928.

He drove it up until his death last year.....at the age of 102 !!!

He was the oldest living owner of a car from new. Just thought you'd like to see it.
He donated it to a Springfield museum (to be given after his death). It has 170,000 miles on it, still runs like a Swiss watch, dead silent at any speed and is in perfect cosmetic condition.
(82 years) That's approximately 2000 miles per year.


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Fathers of Malaysia

...not the usual biological fathers, but Prime Ministers of Malaysia... seen in a different perspective... based on their lasting impressions on people...

First PM: Tunku Abdul Rahman – Father of Malaysia
He was credited with winning Independence for Malaya from the British in 1957, and in 1963, formed Malaysia with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore (S'pore was kicked out in 1965 which turned out to be a blessing in disguise). Best known for the video clip of his 'Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!' at Stadium Merdeka (where else?).

Second PM: Tun Abdul Razak – Father of Najib and NEP
He was credited with starting Felda which his son, Najib, is now managing like a family business, besides being PM.

Third PM: Tun Hussein Onn – Father of Hishamuddin; Son of Onn Jaafar
His father had a vision of a multi-racial party, but sadly he was using a telescope and his vision missed the elephant in the form of Umno, a Malay party which has ruled Malaya, then Malaysia, from day one. Onn Jaafar's mult-racial wish remained wishful till this day, and even his grandson has been credited with raising the Keris at every Umno general meeting, to reinforce Malay Supremacy.

Fourth PM: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed – Father of Ketuanan Melayu and NEP abuse

He started office as PM with a slogan 'Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah' but it turned out to be anything but. How could anything be clean with lack of transparency (Official Secrets Act)? OSA must be the single main cause of big time corruption, effectively covering up all trails. He was instrumental in disabling ACA from going after those who lived beyond their means. Internal Security Act was abused too. It was used to detain political opponents. Best known was 'Operation Lallang' when over 100 people were detained, including some BN leaders to give some semblance of fairness.

He is also known for introducing the 'clocking in and out' system for civil servants but soon they found a way by having colleagues to do for them and vice versa.

Proton must be his pet project, making Malaysia a car producing country, though re-badging of Mitsubishi seemed more like it. The main complaint by the public was the protection of the local car industry, which effectively raised the prices of other cars, whether locally assembled or imported. Sepang Circuit for Formula One racing appears to be built because of his son's love of fast car racing.

He was credited with 'Malaysia Boleh' or 'Malaysia Can' which started a craze for tallest this, biggest that, and longest other. Petronas happened to be producing oil and he was in a frenzy spending the money earned because he was overwhelmed by it.

Putrajaya was a showcase of delusion of grandeur, with new grand buildings and lakes created so that beautiful bridges could be built over them. Petronas Twin Towers were at one time the tallest in the world even though only one tower was occupied. National pride, but built by Koreans and Japanese. He can be called Father of Squander too. Form over substance was the order of the day. Even graduates were churned out in large numbers to show our progress, regardless of whether they were employable, in the quest to achieve his Vision 2020.

To be fair, his best achievement was North-South Expressway, which opened up and speeded development in the west of West Malaysia. But as usual, it was marred by the lop-sided agreement which sided the concessionaire. PLUS has been in a win-win situation at the expense of the road users: either allow us to increase toll rates or pay us compensation. Increasing toll rate is unpopular and could cost votes, but fairer because only users are affected. Compensation is considered unfair because other taxpayers are subsidizing the road users. Unbelievably the agreement was and still is classified under OSA!

Recently, he made a statement that he has some Indian blood, but he is a Malay (under our elusive definition), and there is no Malay who has ever championed Ketuanan Melayu like he did, ably supported by Ibrahim Ali, his machai.

Fifth PM: Tun Abdullah Badawi – Father-in-law of Khairy
He is best known for his famous son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin. Otherwise, he is known as Sleepy PM, who used to fall asleep during meetings. His biggest achievement was a landslide victory in 2004 General Election, mainly because of people's dislike of his predecessor. This was evident later when BN lost its two-third majority in Parliament as well as 5 states in 2008 GE.

Sixth PM: Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak – Father of Magic (Bapa Ajaib) and 'Kautim'
He is best known for making things disappear, as well as people changing their affidavits. There is virtually nothing which he could not 'kautim' or resolved with the kind of money at his disposal. He was instrumental in taking over Perak, by hook or by crook, by entrapping two PKR state assemblymen before arm-twisting them to jump ship; and made an offer to a DAP turncoat which she could not refuse. Now she goes around in a new Mercedes! He believes everyone has a price, and he is more than willing to pay, after all the money does not belong to him. He is making it a habit at every election with his 'You help us, we help you' with acquiescence from Election Commission, an admittedly biased institution because the commissioners are not from heaven! (Nazri)

Najib is also known as the husband of the first known First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM). She is the woman behind a well driven husband and credited for most of his achievements. When stricken with chicken pox, she represented him (instead of DPM by protocol) to welcome PM of Australia.
She even acted as Foreign Minister, relieving him of some public relations in the Middle East.

Apart from Tunku, the other Prime Ministers are known for nepotism:

Tun Razak died early and Najib came back from UK and was elected MP of Pekan at the age of 21! He later became Minister, then Deputy PM, and now PM. His banker brother has benefited from the many mergers and acquisitions of GLCs. CIMB was for a while, the largest company listed on Bursa Saham Malaysia, based on market capitalization.

The wives of Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn are sisters. Hishamuddin is now Home Minister. The relationships of the second, third and sixth PM show the immense power and influence of their extended families in our country. The present PM and Home Minister are cousins.

Tun Dr. Mahathir, despite his initiative to avoid nepotism during his time, has a son Mukriz as Deputy Minister now.

Tun Abdullah Badawi was well known as the father-in-law of Khairy, who is now Umno Youth Chief. The famous son-in-law was well known for his team in Fourth Floor.


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