How should we judge a government?

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

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

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

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

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

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TK Chua's letter to Mkini: Please stop the madness on multi-tiered fuel subsidy


'I refer to the proposed multi-tiered fuel subsidy scheme based on different income levels to be implemented by mid-next year. Seriously, I have never seen a rationalisation scheme more irrational and foolish than this. Are the Treasury and those entrusted with financial management going bonkers? What are they thinking really?

Presently we have fuel subsidies earmarked for different sectors, groups and industries which are not individual-based. But even with this system, the incidence of arbitrage, corruption, smuggling and administrative cost is getting endemic and colossal.

Just look at the number of personnel involved in administering and enforcing the schemes. Just look at the leakages and the abuse of subsidies. The government has constantly reminded us of the huge allocation for fuel subsidy under the present schemes.'

'We define income levels of less than RM5,000, between RM5000 and RM10,000, and more than RM10,000 as if we are all robots. How do we prove it and how do the authorities confirm it? For sure, not everyone has a salary slip like a government servant. Besides, the salary slips may not prove anything. There are many with lots of wealth but with no monthly income.

On the other hand, there are many with very high income but with no salary slips and no bank account in their names.'

'Passing it on to others?

Then, what about senior government officers and those high income earners from the private sector? Most of them are given cars with petrol thrown in. So in what ways are the rich and high-income earners made to pay more for their fuel? Can we now see that the poor and the middle income have to shoulder the higher fuel cost out of their own pockets while the rich just pass it on to others?'

Rest of the letter:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Malaysiakini's live coverage of Anwar's appeal at the Federal Court

It is encouraging to note that an ex-Federal Court judge has come to the defence of Anwar Ibrahim. He is now pitted against appointed lead prosecutor, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who had extensive experience as a Federal Counsel and in private practice.

'The biggest surprise yesterday was the appointment of former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram who retired in 2010, to lead Anwar's defence team. He replaced senior lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah who has not fully recovered from his leg surgery.

The inclusion of 70-year-old Gopal in the defence team had resulted in the judges who are mostly his peers or juniors not to abruptly cut him off as they sometimes do with other lawyers, as he delivered points after points in attacking alleged victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's credibility as the key witness.

The defence is compelled to do this after the trial judge at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Justice Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah, and a three-member bench at the Court of Appeal maintained that Saiful was a credible witness.'


Day 3 of Sodomy II: Prosecution to make submissions

Day 4: Prosecution's turn to make submissions

Shafee: Anwar's DNA found on Saiful's underwear

Shafee's Thai article submission hits 'KFC' snag

Defence cites 'dinosaur anus' for DNA argument

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another perspective to Globalization

While the world is experiencing globalization, we Malaysians are still quarreling over who should be described as 'Pendatang'... and Penang state government wants to control who can cook Penang 'char kuey tiau' or Penang 'Hokien mee'...

A definition of globalization that we can understand and to which we now can relate:

Princess Diana's death.

'An English Princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, riding in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This is sent to you by a Canadian, using American Bill Gates' technology, and you're probably reading this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian truck drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexicans who are in the US illegally because the current president, born in Kenya and educated as a Muslim in Indonesia, refuses to enforce US law.'


Friday, October 24, 2014

A tip to frequent flyers: leave your email address in your passport

'A passenger with an American passport, changed money, and in the process left his passport and boarding pass on my counter. As it was placed on the side, where my monitor blocks the view; it remained there for over 20 minutes; when the next customer brought it to my attention. I went outside, to search for him but to no avail.

The passport was well worn, with numerous visas, including Japan.
He had travelled from Narita to LAX. The page in the (U.S.) passport where one can write home address and third party contact was blank. All there was his e mail address.

I went on line, and emailed him a brief message, including my phone number.

He turned up about a half hour later, profoundly grateful.
He was blissfully unaware that his passport was missing!
He was checking his e mail in the cab when he saw the mail I had sent. So he turned the cab around and came back to the airport to collect it. He works in Japan and his work permit was attached to the Japanese visa in the passport. He was in the US only for a week.

In retrospect it is evident that even if he had written his address in the passport, it would not have helped. Even a phone number is not much help, as a finder may not be willing to call long distance, if 'found' in another country.

An e mail, any one would send, from any place; and you can access your email from anywhere in the world, when you are travelling!

Therefore PLEASE WRITE YOUR E MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR PASSPORT; it can really  'save your bacon' someday!'


Another perspective to our remaining precious time


The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules:
1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
Shocked ??? YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it.

1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.

5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING...

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.
Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”....

Enjoy Your Day!

A sound advice and some pics which make me feel intelligent


This guy or gal is too intelligent... almost selfish.

When we are old, whom do we depend on? Ourselves, ourselves, only ourselves

We have seen enough examples of how some people end up in old age. Yet try as we may, sometimes, we do not have a choice. While age advances, we will certainly lose control of our health and everything else, slowly but surely, sooner or later.

Someone had actually drawn a list of what to do when growing old...

Ourselves, ourselves, only ourselves,
(The truth, as disclosed by a group of old folks).

"Have your own abode. No matter what, do not lose it, until your death!
If you have an old companion, keep each other good company.
Watch your health while it is still good.
Maintain a positive outlook and you will be happy.
Now, our health is still good, our mind still clear.
But on whom can we depend in our old age?
We will have to analyse in various stages.
1st Stage:
Just after retirement, between 60 to 70 yrs old,
Our health will still be comparatively good
So too our financial means.
Eat moderately while we have the means
At times, wear what we fancy
Those who like it, have some fun.
Do not be hard on yourself
Our days are numbered
So, grasp the opportunity.
Have some savings !
Keep the house !
Make  arrangements for the days ahead or retreat.
If the kids are well off,
It is their business ...
If the kids are filial
They have good traits ....
We need neither decline financial help from our kids
Nor decline their respect.
But we should remain independent and
Live our own life well.
2nd Stage:
If no mishap and illness strike after we are 70,
We will still be able to take care of ourselves.
Not a major problem.
However, we must realise we are really getting old
Gradually, our body and mind will give way.
Our reflex will slow down with time ...
We will have to eat slowly, to avoid choking.
We will have to walk slowly, to avoid falls.
We can no longer put on a front, we have to look after ourselves!
Do not meddle anymore with this and that, or control the kids!
Some even interfere with the third generation !!!
We have intervened our entire life,
It is time for us to be a little selfish .....
Take hold of ourselves.
Life must come full circle.
Help with the cleaning chores ....
Try to maintain our health for as long as possible.
Give ourselves more opportunities to take control of our own life .....
We lead an easier life when we do not have to solicit help from others .....
3rd Stage:
Our health begins to fail ....
We have to request help from others ....
We have to be mentally prepared for it.
The majority of us cannot escape this hurdle.
We have to prepare ourselves, emotionally, to accept that:-
In life, living and aging, sickness and death are milestones we have to encounter.
This is the final stage in life .....
Nothing to fear!
Be prepared for it in advance and we will not be too depressed.
Either check into a private nursing home ...
Or an old folks home ....
Depending on affordability, of course.
There must be a way out ....
The idea is not to add to the kids' burden, emotionally, increase their chores & their financial commitments.
Try our best to overcome -
What hardship has our generation not endured?
What disasters have we not experienced?
Trust us to take life's last lap in our stride.
4th Stage:
Our mind is still clear, but
We are terminally ill,
When our quality of  life has deteriorated drastically...
We must be courageous enough to face death!
Insist that the family not try to prolong our life ....
Do not incur unnecessary expenditure .
Ourselves, Ourselves, only Ourselves ... Amen"

On the other hand, here is an example of someone young but in a state of helplessness, which might refute the last statement on not trying to prolong life:

I notice some main changes in our traditional views. For eg. living in old folks home used to be a 'no-no' for Chinese because it gives the impression that the children are not filial and cannot spare the time to look after their parent. But in today's society, the more successful the children are, the less time they can spare for the family... unless, they are rich enough not having to work for others or can delegate the running of their businesses to others.

The other main change is where to have the funeral wake. Again, not having one's own house for this was considered shameful before, as it gave the impression the family cannot afford to own a house. But with today's concern for security and convenience, the funeral parlour seems to be the top choice of very wealthy families. Having the wake at home means opening the house to all and sundy, during a time of general confusion within the grieving families. This can pose a security problem and there were cases of those with criminal intent, browsing obituary notices just to get the necessary details for action. There were actual reports of donations and visitors being robbed during funeral wake or bereaved families being extorted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Violinist Joshua Bell in an experiment on perception


In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.

Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?!

Enjoy life NOW ...  it has an expiry date!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book on Translation from English to Bahasa Malaysia: who was the editor? Or was there even one?

What I have just received from an old friend living in Sydney, Australia, is proof that news of this poorly translated book had really gone viral.

'Should I explain more? Dear English educators, if you happen to know anyone in the MOE office please share this. Someone should investigate how this book could get its way to bookstores. A friend of mine Issl Iressa bought this book for extra reading thinking it could be useful not until she read the proverbs part. By the way, the preface was written by Milon Nandy? I don't think he knows about this.'

Edited 16/10:

'Since this post has become viral and spreading, let us look on the bright side of this issue. This is a lesson worth learning for all of us especially writers, editors, translators, publishers, book stores and consumers.
Thank God she noticed the errors because we don't know how many innocent non-English speaking parents have bought this book in hopes of helping their kids.
Yes, knowing how in love I was with English, my dad bought me Milon Nandy books when I was in Primary school (that was more than 20 years ago).
Thank God he didn't end up buying me books like this because if he did, none of us would know that they're wrongly written.
Well, in this case, I believe Milon Nandy is innocent. God bless everyone!'


Monday, October 20, 2014

Getting to know more about Ebola

How we wish such a deadly disease can easily be contained and eliminated before it spreads to other parts of the world. But with modern air travel, this is increasingly difficult in practice. Already someone warned about the biometric method of checking thumbprints without cleaning the equipment can be risky. However, it might help if we know more about the disease as well as the basic preventive measures which we can easily learn and adopt. Here is something I find informative:

Dr. Ben Kim's Natural Health Newsletter
October 14, 2015

Dear Reader,

Many have asked for my views on the Ebola, so I'll share a few thoughts here.

My understanding is that Ebola is more transmittable than most world health authorities are generally leading people to believe.

It's true that the current form of the Ebola virus is not airborne, which is to say that the Ebola virus isn't capable of traveling through the air without fluid encasing it.

Chickenpox and tuberculosis are examples of airborne germs that are capable of traveling through the air from one person to another without transfer of body fluids.  Put another way, airborne germs travel from the lungs of one person to the lungs of another without exchange of blood, sweat, or other body fluids.

The point that isn't being made strongly enough is that the Ebola virus counts as a droplet-borne disease.  Droplets of secretions that are generated with coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and even some routine medical procedures that are done around the upper respiratory tract can transmit the Ebola virus.

These droplets of secretions that contain the Ebola virus can infect someone nearby if the droplets come into contact with any of their mucosal linings, like those that protect the eyes, nasal passageway, and oral cavity.

So if you are within several feet of someone who is infected with the Ebola virus, even if there is no exchange of body fluids, it is possible for you to become infected if that person releases enough droplets of virus via secretions that occur with coughing, sneezing, and other involuntary contractions around the upper respiratory area.

The latest data indicates that approximately 70 percent of infected people are dying.  This is confirmation of how debilitating the Ebola virus can be, but it is also confirmation that even if infected, some people are capable of recovering.

My opinion is that in coming weeks, more infections will be confirmed in multiple countries.

We can only hope that the CDC and their counterparts in other countries will be able to contain confirmed infections, and that enough support will be given to those areas within Africa that are being devastated right now.  With enough supplies and trained response teams, even hardest hit areas should be able to prevent this outbreak from killing many millions - the current goal is to successfully bury 70 percent of those who have died from Ebola and isolate and treat 70 percent of those who are fighting infections, all within the next 60 days.

For those who are lucky to be living in areas that have not yet been touched by Ebola, here are some points on prevention to keep in mind until the current outbreak is clearly contained:

1.  If at all possible, avoid airplane travel.

2.  Ensure optimal vitamin D status.


3.  Eat foods that are rich in vitamin C.


4.  Be mindful of washing your hands with soap and warm or hot water on a regular basis.

5.  Be well rested.

I don't believe there is much else that we can do to minimize risk of infection, not unless we want to stockpile enough food and water to last until Ebola goes away, and stay in our homes until then.

Unless you are living in an area where new infections are being confirmed every day, I don't think you need to fear going about your regular activities.

That is all I have to say about Ebola for now.  Let's hope that things change for the better soon.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful week ahead,

Ben Kim

Friday, October 17, 2014

Second Penang Bridge for Penang lang only meh?

It is amazing, almost incredible, that such an expensive new bridge lacks the necessary road signs to encourage road users to use it. I am also surprised that so far, I have yet to hear of complaints about this lack of road signs leading to the bridge to get out of Penang island. Just imagine there is still no publicity, let alone information, on how to find the way to the second bridge. Even the Tourism information counter at Penang airport could only give directions when asked, and the man just shrugged his shoulders when asked why there are no info on directions to the second bridge.

My second attempt at finding the Penang second bridge from Penang airport

My first attempt was a disaster, as I skipped the first turning at the roundabout outside Penang airport (sign shows Balik Pulau), tried the second and ended up in Relau, and then tried the last which took me to the old Penang bridge!

Last, Saturday, while waiting for Cheng to arrive, I asked man at Tourism info counter on how to get to the second bridge. His reply was pretty straightforward (so I thought): 'On your way out, take the left turn at the roundabout, then at the traffic lights, turn left.'

When we got to the traffic lights junction, there was indeed a left turn just before it but we did not take it, thinking it led to some housing estate. Then we saw two trailers turned into the road and we thought we should have. Continuing on the road straight ahead, we had our doubts as it was a narrow stretch too, until we came to another traffic lights junction. Here, at least we were reassured by a sign indicating the way to 'Jambatan Sultan Halim...' But as we continued, no more reassuring signs at a few road junctions! Basically, we are left to our own devices, using our own judgment and common sense. We were pretty sure the route wasn't the route where we came via the second bridge before.

To sum up, it is ludicrous that after the opening of such an expensive and well constructed bridge, there are no proper road signs leading drivers back to it. It was so straightforward joining it from the NSE. It would seem, the bridge is meant only for 'Penang lang' or Penang folks, and not for tourists from other states or countries.

We were under the impression any driver can pay and go into Penang via old or new bridge and return free of charge taking either one. We were right. But for the first time, when we saw toll booths, we thought we had to pay again, but it turned out those were actually PLUS entry booths to join the NSE.

One thing which I have yet to confirm is the rate payable for vehicles with 'twin-axle' like the pickup trucks Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton and so on. At the old bridge, such vehicles need to pay Rm12 instead of Rm7 for ordinary passenger cars. But at the new bridge, the rate difference is much greater at over Rm30 instead of Rm8.50. I wouldn't want to try using such a vehicle without first confirming the rate applicable, because of the big difference.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

It is safe to joke about Christians

Years ago, Irish comedian Dave Allen was well known for his jokes on Christianity but there were no complaints because the people in UK took it as merely jokes with no offence meant. There were video clips acted out in full Pope or Archbishop robes and so on. Once, we went to his live show in Leeds and he entertained the audience for one and a half hour, merely sitting on stage telling jokes, sometimes showing his missing or shortened finger.

Anyway, it is safe to tell Christian jokes, especially in ultra-sensitive Malaysia...

A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend's hand and pulled him aside.
The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"
My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."
Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"
He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service."
A man sobering up from the night before is sitting through the Sunday sermon, finding it long and boring. Still feeling hung over and tired, he finally nods off.
The priest has been watching him all along, noticing his apparent hangover and is disgusted. At the end of the sermon, the preacher decides to make an example of him.
He says to his congregation, "All those wishing to have a place in heaven, please stand."
 The whole room stands up except, of course, the sleeping man.
Then the preacher says even more loudly, "And he who would like to find a place in hell please STAND UP!"
The weary man catching only the last part groggily stands up, only to find that he's the only one standing.
Confused and embarrassed he says, "I don't know what we're voting on here, Father, but it sure seems like you and me are the only ones standing for it!"
An elderly lady was well-known for her faith and for her boldness in talking about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout "PRAISE THE LORD!"
Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, "There ain't no Lord!!"
Hard times set in on the elderly lady, and she prayed for GOD to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and shouted "PRAISE THE LORD. GOD I NEED FOOD!! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME. PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!!"
The next morning the lady went out on her porch and noted a large bag of groceries and shouted, "PRAISE THE LORD."
The neighbour jumped from behind a bush and said, "Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn't."
The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said,"PRAISE THE LORD. He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. PRAISE THE LORD!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Racial discriminating advertisement... but who did it?

According to a Star report,

'Oldtown White Coffee has said that an allegedly racist recruitment advertisement by a franchisee was not approved by higher management.

Kopitiam Asia Pacific F&B division’s executive director and chief operating officer Clarence Leon D’Silva said the advertisement was unacceptable and offensive and apologised on the behalf of the franchise that published the ad...'

In Malaysia, we have been conditioned with advertisements such as 'Preference for Bumiputeras/Malays' or 'Only Bumiputeras/Malays need apply' and nobody would complain.

The Oldtown advertisement states 'priority will be given to Malays and Chinese' which implies that other races such as Indians and so on are being discriminated against, which is unacceptable. But in Rakyat Times, it was mischievously reported as ''No Indians, please, we are Old Town White Coffee' which changed what could be an innocent mistake to a positive insult to Indians.

But later, it was discovered that the franchisee is a company owned by Indians! So the so-called racial discrimination becomes not as insulting as originally thought.

Someone suggested that we should have a Race Discrimination Act to put a stop to racially discriminating advertisements such as the above, but are we sure we can enforce it across the board?

In the UK, for instance, they are serious in enforcement even though people perceived discrimination exists covertly. For instance, there was a case of a coloured student who answered an advertisement for room to let, only to be told that it had been taken. So he asked a white friend to ask again and it was still available!

When Sex Discrimination Act was first introduced, some advertisements were deliberately posted with a sense of humour. For eg., 'Bricklayers required: must be able to work topless in summer.'

Living next door to a Smart Readers franchisee

Once, on my way back from PJ, I was listening to BFM and the founders of Smart Readers were being interviewed. They were Dato Seri Dr Richard Ong and his wife, Datin Seri Wang. From memory, some of the details were that they have 315 outlets, including 8, not franchised, which they run themselves. They are now busy introducing their brand abroad. Among other things, they said they are careful in selecting their franchisees to ensure they are well qualified as well as having the right aptitude for children and so on.

But I happen to live next door to one of their franchisees and I am not impressed with her selfish behaviour in being houseproud and 'rubbish thy neighbour' attitude. I am tired of listing out the things they have done when we were away for a few days, each time we were half expecting something unpleasant, like our plants cut down, sprayed with weedkillers or the public space in front of our house dumped with their garden refuse. They already occupied one patch to grow their vegetables, permanently obstructing our vehicles when doing 3-point turns.

The public space from the vegetable patch up to the garden refuse dump is in front of our semi-detached houses, why not in front of theirs?