making sense of loose coffeeshop talk, political analyses and comments
How should we judge a government?
In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!
"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain
Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.
Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham
"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan
Government fed by the people
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.
Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.
Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)
'First, remove politicians from the Ministry of Education.
Education and politics don’t mix. The process of learning, and growing up requires us to recognise, admit and make improvements. You won’t learn if you are big headed, egoistic, and don’t listen.
Have you come across a politician who isn’t like that? I haven’t...'
'Second, our YBs must enrol their children in public schools. From the “wakil rakyat” to our dear prime minister.
Politicians, more than anyone else, will want the best for their children. Making them send their children to public schools provides them with a strong incentive to push for reforms in public education.
Not only that, schools will be also be on their toes vis a vis teaching standards...'
'Third, we need better teachers. According to a World Bank report, 70 per cent of them are not even qualified to take up Bachelor of Education.
Unemployed graduates with no interest in teaching are also trained to teach in this country.
I suggest MOE retain and recruit back well-trained, retired teachers. Since they were responsible for our past successes, it is only logical for us to retain their services. Hire them as consultants if you want. If we can pay the Americans good money under the Fulbright programme, why not pay our experienced teachers the same?
When that happens, I guarantee you will not have problems looking for good teachers...'
'Fourth, let us teach our young in the English language. If not PPSMI, then the government should consider creating English-medium schools in the country.
Critics should be made to understand that as long as Malaysia is regarded as a Third World country (no matter what the consultants want us to believe), as long as our graduates are unemployable, and as long as Malaysia remains behind technologically, Bahasa Malaysia will never be looked up to by the world...'
'Fifth, and last, let us leave religious lessons at home.
Our public schools should be sanctuaries that promote unity, beacons and centers of excellence and not homogenous classrooms that sprout racial, religious and political intolerance.
Students, parents and most importantly government servants should check their race and religion at the school gates. And with that I propose the scrapping of religious classes and moral studies in our schools...'
'Lastly, Malcolm X said, “Education is after all our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
I hope the government realises that the rise and fall of our nation lies with them.
While our politicians are dispensable, our future certainly is not.'
It is the time of the year when Malaysiakini invites their subscribers to vote for their Top News and Newsmaker of 2013.
Looking at the list, it is amazing how some news were easily forgotten while others still fresh in my mind. I'm sure your list or my list may not necessarily be the same as Malaysiakini's.
Since we are reminded that the newsmaker may not be the most popular, I can expect the popular votes will go to the most unpopular personality! Similarly, the top news is likely to be that which most riled up the public...
Top News of 2013
Vote by indicating your preference for each of the nominees - one vote being the lowest and 10 the highest. You may give the same number of votes for each nominees. Voting is opened to all paying subscribers and you can only vote once.
Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail’s alleged involvement in lost of Batu Puteh
Barang Naik (petrol, sugar, electricity, public transport, tolls hikes, etc) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Bumiputera Economic Empowerment (BEE)
Candi demolition in Kedah
Canteen in shower room and cow slaughter in schools
Court acquittals - Altantuya Shariibuu’s convicted killers / Ling Liong Sik / Aminulrashid Amzah
Death of Chin Peng
Deaths in custody - P Karuna Nithi, C Sugumar and others
Education crisis and blueprint
GE13 / Chinese tsunami / Apa Lagi Cina Mau? Malapportionment and Blackout 505 rallies
K-pop sponsorships and Auditor-General’s Report
Listen, listen, listen
Mat Sabu and Shiite crackdown
Pay hike in Selangor and other assemblies
Prevention of Crime Act, Ops Cantas and crime statistics, gangland shootings, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's shoot first remark
Religious row - Allah court case, dog trainer video, Johor surau demolition, Alvivi
Rosmah Mansor’s private jet and PM’s residence
Sabah RCI on illegal immigrants
Sulu incursion / Lahad Datu
Tanda Putera / New Village / the playing of Negaraku in cinemas
Newsmaker of the Year 2013
Definition: A newsmaker is someone whose actions make news headlines, who effects the course of public discourse and creates an impact in Malaysian politics, for better or worse.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Dr Mahathir Mohamad
Mohamad 'Mat' Sabu
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor
Shahrizat A Jalil
MCA wants 6% GST rate maintained for at least 5 years
Me: Even MCA expects the rate to be increased only, never to be reduced?
Be 'the next Mandela', (MCA) delegate urges Najib
Me: Unbelievable indeed! There is nothing whatsoever in Najib's aristocratic life which has anything in common with Mandela. Never spent a day in prison; became an MP in his early 20s, and it was smooth sailing all the way to become PM at age 56. With a status-conscious wife, there is no way he is giving up his position unless forced to.
As President of Umno, he is unable to change the party from within; afraid to tell off Perkasa; and so long as Umno remain a race-based party responsible for racial discrimination, it is the opposite of what Mandela fought for.
Let Malays run casinos too, ex-minister (Zaid) suggests
In mooting the idea in his latest blog post, the one-term de facto law minister chided Putrajaya for “making things difficult” for Malay businessmen by only limiting their participation to so-called halal ventures.
“Many years ago I had advocated a fairer gaming policy in the country in the belief that the Malays should be allowed to participate in this lucrative industry. I objected strongly to the gaming monopoly, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world,” Zaid said.
“It’s a ruse to enrich cronies, nothing more. If Islam were the real reason for disallowing the Malays from taking part, then there should be an outright ban.”
Me: Over the years, Umno compromised itself by benefiting from haram businesses while banning Muslims from such activities. Is it less sinful?
Tycoon Lee makes his presence felt at MCA, suggests using sin taxes to run Chinese schools
'Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, who is also Parit Sulong MCA division member, said the federal government could channel 20% of its revenue from alcohol and gambling taxes to Chinese schools to cover their operating expenses.'
'According to Education Ministry statistics, there are now 1,291 government Chinese primary schools, out of a total of 7,709, making up the second largest number of primary schools after national primary schools which number 5,949.
There is however no government Chinese secondary schools. All 60 Chinese secondary schools in the country are private and managed by Dong Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia).
In 2010, there were 603,192 pupils enrolled in Chinese primary schools, compared with 2.18 million in national primary schools.'
Me: The statistics are useful for future reference. Btw, are Chinese synonymous with Sins? We appear to be so, from the way we are implicated, with references as if we have no qualms getting involved in sinful activities.
He had his day when his father-in-law was PM, and he had made his pile too when the going was good. Now that he is a full Minister and on his way to realising his dream of becoming PM, he is certainly trying to make himself worthy of his own position within Umno's raison d'etre.
Maybe he is too young to know what a sextagenarian Chinese had been through since the introduction of NEP in the '70s. It was a time when advertisements for job vacancies invariably include 'Bumiputeras only' or 'Bumiputeras are encouraged to apply' or 'Preference will be given to Bumiputeras'. It was most discouraging to non-Bumis indeed, through no fault of theirs.
There were a fair number of non-Malays in government departments then, but for those heads of department, the pressure was on, to find their Malay successors in the shortest possible time. If you were second or third in line, but a non-Malay, you have reached the glass ceiling. Malay subordinates were groomed to take over as heads of department. Some of those who were sidelined decided to migrate because they knew the time had come for their children to face discrimination in education, employment, career advancement and business opportunities.
What was meant to be a policy for a definitive period, turned out to be a never ending one. Because silence was taken as a sign of acquiescence or even weakness, Umno leaders began to be more and more demanding and arrogant.
It is a fact that Malays are already in control of the military, police, government departments, GLCs and public educational institutions. Even public listed companies have to comply with rules to ensure there are Malay directors and shareholders. It is also an open secret that Chinese businessmen are good at making full use of their Malay directors' connections with Umno leaders who are also Malaysia's political leaders from PM, DPM and senior ministers downwards. Mega government contracts are given to those who have Malay partners or participation.
Over the years, the Chinese are quite happy to live their own lives within certain constraints as set out by our government policies. MCA used to be almost an equal partner in Alliance Party, but relegated to become a necessary nuisance in the eyes of Umno. Chinese are basically divided into two ideologies: join MCA and lead a comfortable life or join an opposition party like DAP and fight for basic rights, especially when BN members are given preferential treatment at every turn. BN leaders are likely to make use of positions and connections in everything they do, right down to having special treatment in clubs and restaurants. They are fond of the term 'Who you know' and enjoy being above others.
Like it or hate it, the Chinese are well known to mind their own business (which gave rise to the unflattering expression: the Chinese house windows are shut) in every country they live in (there are Chinatowns in every big city), mixing among themselves and speaking their own language or dialect.
It is now a common complaint among Malays in Malaysia that the Chinese schools are the main reason why Chinese Malaysians are generally weak at speaking Bahasa Malaysia. They tend to ignore the national language whenever possible, even having to use touts at government departments because they are unable to understand enough to fill the forms. But then again, are you going to insist that every Malaysian must know the national language? If this is made a criterion, then there are over 200 million in Indonesia who are eligible.
When Khairy complained about Chinese employers discriminating against Malay applicants, it ruffled many Chinese feathers. Chinese companies and businesses are mainly family controlled. Some of them became large corporations because of connections; some because of thrift and savings invested in landed properties which have appreciated astronomically; and so on. In fact, some companies faced the dilemma of having to open up their companies if they opted for listing on Bursa Malaysia or continue to remain tightly controlled family companies.
Khairy's statement is being felt as an intrusion into the last private turf of the Chinese. Why must Umno intrude into private businesses when they are already in control of the whole country since 1957? That the majority of Malays are still left behind is proof that Umno had failed them while Umnoputras become super rich. Please do not encourage them to envy the Chinese because of your own failing.
There is a big difference between Chinese employers and government employers: the former is not organised and consist of individual businesses having their own reasons for their employment policies, while the latter is institutionalised discrimination. So which is worse? Are they prepared to have an Equal Opportunities Act so that there is fairness across the board?
Not many people in Malaysia have heard of UNU-MERIT, partly because it is newly associated with Maastricht University, and more so, because of its full name: United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology. It is based in Maastricht, Netherlands.
In 2012, it was ranked No.3; and in 2013, it was ranked No.1, in Innovation Technology & Industrial Dynamics, by RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), a central index of economics research, incl. working papers, articles and software code...
'This year a best hand-kissing competition was held at Putrajaya and among the thousands, four persons were short listed. It was indeed a tough decision for the judges.
A surprise challenge came from Kamalanathan of the MIC who was the early leader.
But the former MB of Kedah Madzhir was a mite better than Kamalanathan .
He was however toppled by Shahidan Kassim the ex MB of Perlis who did the side-way kiss with perfection but unfortunately was disqualified because he left too much saliva on Najib's hand.
And the runaway winner was the MB of Trengganu Ahmad Said with his low bow and sprint kiss -- something never seen exhibited before. Word has it that A.Said has been practicing this sprint kiss on the quiet for almost a year and perfected the art before the competition...'
(From an email forwarded by a friend, author unknown)
'Justin R. Garcia, an evolutionary biologist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and a scientific adviser to Match.com who was not involved in this research, noted that kissing was so closely associated with emotional connection that sex workers often refuse to kiss their customers, insisting that it is “too intimate.” '
An unwanted kiss can mean a 'kiss of death' politically...
On the other hand, a proper kiss on the hand of the right person, can lead to career advancement...
Can't help being reminded of this old Francoise Hardy's song...
Home Ministry issues show-cause letter to The Heat over Najib, Rosmah story
'Weekly news publication “The Heat” has been issued a show-cause letter by the Home Ministry, believed to be over a front-page article on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s expenditure.
The Malaysian Insider understands that although the letter did not specify the offending article, it was a report entitled “All eyes on big spending Najib” published in its November 23 to 29 issue.
It is also believed that “The Heat” editor-in-chief David Lee Boon Siew was summoned to the Home Ministry in Putrajaya a week ago and told to tone down its reports.
“The Heat” received the letter a couple of days ago and HCK Media, the publisher, has 14 days to reply.'
When Mandela fought against minority white apartheid in South Africa, many Malaysians wondered about the hypocrisy in Dr Mahathir's support for him. Now, PM Najib is claiming Umno's struggle is similar to Mandela's!
Umno had been, and still is, in control in Malaysia since Independence in 1957. What was Umno's struggle since independence? Against itself? The struggle, if any, is being felt by the people against the new colonial power in Umno, which practises discrimination by race, religion and political affiliation. The minority in Umnoputras are lording over the rest of the population.
Najib asked, 'Where would the Malays be without Umno? The answer by general consensus seems to be 'Better off'!' In fact, many asked instead, 'Where would Umno be without the Malays?'
How Dare Najib Discredit Mandela
By Kee Thuan Chye | Bull Bashing – Sun, Dec 8, 2013
"Umno President Najib Razak diminished the stature of a great man when he said last Saturday at his party’s general assembly that Umno fought for the “same cause” as Nelson Mandela, who had died two days before.
What same cause? Mandela fought against racial discrimination whereas Umno institutionalised racial discrimination a few decades ago and still upholds it.
Mandela never advocated black supremacy, whereas Umno promotes Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).
After he became president of South Africa, Mandela proposed reconciliation and sought to bring the races in his country together, whereas in Malaysia, Umno divides the races in order to keep itself in power."
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we will be landing shortly. For those of you coming to Malaysia for the first time, kindly be advised that:
1) If you are bringing in dangerous drugs or firearms, you may be prosecuted and if convicted face the penalty of death by hanging. However, please bear in mind that if that were indeed the case, there is also a possibility that you may die of heart failure, asthma, pneumonia or self inflicted injuries pending your execution whilst enjoying our hospitality in detention. In that case, you need not fear hanging.
2) All foreigners will be required to have their fingerprints taken upon arrival at the immigration desk. If the scanning devices are inoperable for any reason, we will take your thumbprints with ink. To help save the environment, tissue paper is not provided to wipe off the ink. However, since our inks are edible and halal you can safely suck your thumb to clear all remnants.
3) Malaysia is well known for its gastronomic delights. As such, if you find yourself in an eatery where seats are full, you may use the shower rooms or toilets to enjoy our culinary delights. We do that in our primary schools too.
5) Your baggage may be opened by our efficient ground staff to check on any prohibited goods being brought in. This is in case our sniffer dogs get wet in the rain and consequently, defile your luggage when
sniffing around. We do not want to have them (the dogs) put down on account of this.
6) Malaysia is a paradise for shopping. Our very own Petaling Street is a must visit for those intent on getting a bagful of the 'genuine imitations' freely on sale. As most of the foreigners in Petaling Sreet are actually the vendors, you will find yourself quite at home.
7) If you are here on a business visa, kindly note the local sensitivities on the giving of gratuities. It is an offence for a gratuity to be demanded but conversely, it is regarded as a heavenly blessing and kosher if given out of your own volition.
8) For Christians visiting Malaysia, please note that you may refer to your God as Allah in your worship if you are landing in Sabah or Sarawak but may not do so if you are landing in W Malaysia. In the event of an emergency and you are landing in the sea, you may use any name that works.
9) If you are a visiting Shia Muslim, please do not engage in any religious discourse as there is a high possibility for exacerbating the level of confusion that already exists.
10) Last but not least, we apologise if you are unable to understand this announcement due to content or pronunciation as we are likewise unable to comprehend the script.
Thank you for flying with us and we wish you a pleasant holiday in Malaysia, and for Malaysians, KALAU TAK SUKA, BALIK SAJA.
"Good morning . . . At present we are not at home, but please leave your message after you hear the beep."
If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of "birth arrival" so we know who it is.
If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.
If you want to borrow the car, press 3.
If you want us to wash your clothes and do ironing, press 4.
If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.
If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.
If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7.
If you want to come to eat here, press 8.
If you need money, press 9.
If you are going to invite us to dinner, or, taking us to the theatre, start talking ..... we are listening !!!!!!!!!!!"
WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT?
(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds):
Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people's.
A grandfather is a man, and a grandmother is a lady!
Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them.
They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.
When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.
They show us and talk to us about the colours of the flowers and also why we shouldn't step on 'cracks.'
They don't say, 'Hurry up.'
Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear.
They can take their teeth and gums out.
Grandparents don't have to be smart.
They have to answer questions like 'Why isn't God married?' and 'How come dogs chase cats?'
When they read to us, they don't skip. They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again.
Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us.
They know we should have a snack time before bed time, and they kiss us even when we've acted bad.
GRANDPA IS THE SMARTEST MAN ON EARTH! HE TEACHES ME GOOD THINGS, BUT I DON'T GET TO SEE HIM ENOUGH TO GET AS SMART AS HIM!
It's funny when they bend over; you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog.
I'm sure Shane would agree... esp. the one in CAPITAL LETTERS!
Before we decided to buy a leasehold property in Petaling Jaya, we were advised by a relative who is a lawyer, that there is practically no difference between a freehold and a leasehold property in terms of security, because both are subject to compulsory acquisition by the government. But of course, there is a significant difference in value because of the uncertainty related to the latter.
When our son bought the house in Section 14, the remaining period of over 50 years was deemed good enough for his life time. But now that we have a grandson, our son has to think of his son too! For his peace of mind, he is thinking of extending the leasehold period after reading the following article in today's Star...
Longer-term payment needed to settle premium fee
BY EDWARD RAJENDRA
"HOMEOWNERS with a short lease on their properties are urged to take up the Selangor government’s 30% discount offer on the rate of premium for lease extension.
Local Government, Studies and Research Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the discount was for residential properties and must be settled within six months."
"How to calculate:
1/4 x 1/100 x Market Value of land (in sq ft) x Number of years to renew x Land area (in sq ft).
Example: 3,000 sq ft house with 10 years remaining on the lease (valued at RM120 psf), the lease renewal fee is –
0.25 x 0.01 x 120 x 89 x 3,000 = RM80,100.
Amount to pay – RM80,100 - (30% discount) = RM56,070.