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

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?

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.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Before: BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED...

Years ago, there was a joke about a guy named William Poster, who dared not come out of his house because of the many signs in town, 'BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED'.

I was reminded of that joke when I came across this...




Link

Obviously first-time travellers

THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY "THOMAS COOK VACATIONS" FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:

1. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

2.  "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons.  I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

11. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort.'  We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."
Link

'Caveat emptor' or 'Let the buyer beware' in Latin

Many people have commented about some well known expensive dishes charged by a restaurant in Section 19, Petaling Jaya. Yet, our recent visit showed the place is still well patronised and diners have to book in advance to ensure specific number of seats available, especially if you are the host. It is a case of demand still exceeds supply, with the number of new or old customers exceeding the number of customers who decided 'not again' after having felt overcharged.

Despite being well prepared for the expensive dishes, our hosts still found it necessary to ask for details of the food prices, which I presumed to have been stated in a lump sum of say Rm800+ for food... for 6 persons! It wasn't nice of us as guests to ask for details but I overheard the most expensive dish was 'Sung har mein' which was over Rm400! I knew before hand how this dish can be expensive even at lesser restaurants, eg. minimum Rm54 which comes with 2 prawns and others were advised to order this dish only if you have 2 persons having the meal. So when the big dish came with big prawns and lobster on top of the noodles, I knew this is going to break any record I knew so far! It seems just the basic noodles and the big prawn (or prawns, not sure if there were two) costs Rm200 and add to it the lobster, and the price ballooned to over Rm400! then, there was a 'yee chi' or roasted piglet which costed some Rm200, and 2 big crabs which added another Rm200 or so.

It was only after dinner that I walked past the adjoining shoplot which displays the live sea creatures like crabs, lobsters and big prawns. What struck me most was the price for Australian lobster stated at Rm480 per kg.!

Honestly, I cannot afford to host such an expensive dinner, or even if I could, I would not. I would save it for when we are at places like Kuala Sepetang, Kuala Gula or even Tg. Tualang (fresh water prawns known in Malay as udang galah). For those living in Klang valley who crave for seafood, they might go to Klang or Port Klang or northwards to Tg. Karang or Sekinchan.

But for those where money is no problem, there are many ludicrous (at least to us ordinary mortals) instances of extravagance. I remember a film star who ordered caviar across the Atlantic; a HK billionaire who flew in his private jet to Penang to have selected specie of durians and took home some for his fellow billionaire friends; more recently, at a news portal, the headline asked if it is ok to be charged Rm48 for a roti canai, ordered through the hotel's room service; and so on.

There is a Chinese saying, 'Toong yan, ng toong maeng' or we are fellow humans (that's where the similarity ends) but have very different lifestyles.

Link

Friday, September 26, 2014

Selangor's new Exco line-up

PKR appears to have gained the upper hand at the expense of PAS, after the unfortunate episode of removing Khalid Ibrahim which turned into a constitutional crisis in Selangor. The key players within Pakatan were put between the constitution and sedition and only a compromise favouring the royalty helps to diffuse what could have been a prolonged stalemate and possible untoward incidents.

I presume DAP Hannah Yeoh's position as Speaker remains intact with the following report:

'New Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali has revealed a revamped state executive council (exco) line-up today.

Speaking at a press conference at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building here this morning, the announcement saw some changes being made.

The new line-up saw deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of PKR dropped to the exco position with the deputy speaker position was reserved for PAS.
The changes made also saw PAS losing a spot to PKR leading the latter to hold four positions, with DAP and PAS holding three respectively.'

'The line-up consists of Dr Daroyah Alwi (PKR), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR), Amirudin Shari (PKR), Ganabatirau Veraman (PKR), Datuk Teng Chang Kim (DAP), Elizabeth Wong (DAP), Ean Yong Hian Wah (DAP), Iskandar Abdul Samad (PAS), Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PAS) and Zaidy Abdul Talib (PAS).'

Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/09/26/azmin-announces-new-exco-line-pas-loses-one-spot/#ixzz3EO9nIWJJ

As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words while we await details of specific portfolios...






































Selangor Excos and their respective portfolios:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-rebranded-selangor-exco-posts-mb-azmin-to-head-finance-economic-portfoli


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jack Ma and his Alibaba... pity he is not Malaysian

In Malaysia, Alibaba refers to the type of business partnerships which involve a Bumi partner (with political connections to get contracts) and a Chinese partner who does the day-to-day running of the business.

Malays whine about the lack of employment opportunities in the private sectors, despite being in control politically as well as in charge of all major institutions, GLCs and government universities.

But what seems to be lacking is the drive or ambition to be successful. If you have what it takes, nothing can stop you.

Let's hear from the new richest man in China, Jack Ma, whose Alibaba's IPO in USA was the largest in NYSE history!

'Jack Ma: Before I founded Alibaba, I invited 24 friends to my house to discuss the business opportunity. After discussing for a full two hours, they were still confused — I have to say that I may not have put myself across in a clear manner manner then. The verdict: 23 out of the 24 people in the room told me to drop the idea, for a multitude of reasons, such as: ‘you do not know anything about the internet, and more prominently, you do not have the start-up capital for this’ etc etc.

There was only one friend (who was working in a bank then) who told me, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before.” I pondered upon this for one night, and by the next morning, I decided I would do it anyway, even if all of the 24 people opposed the idea.'

'When I first started Alibaba, I was immediately met with strong opposition from family and friends. Looking back, I realised that the biggest driving force for me then was not my confidence in the Internet and the potential it held, but more of this:  “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before.

As with this quote by T.E. Lawrence – “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”
Jack Ma: People lose out in life because of these 4 reasons:

Being myopic to opportunity
Looking down on opportunities
Lacking understanding
Failing to act quickly enough
You are poor, because you have no ambition.

Ambition is living a life of great ideals; a magnificent goal in life that must be realised.'
Jack Ma: If you’re still poor at 35, you deserve it!

More:
http://vulcanpost.com/7702/jack-ma-youre-still-poor-35-deserve/
Link

Monday, September 22, 2014

Confirmed: It is going to be YAB Azmin Ali, the new MB of Selangor... Congratulations!

Without royal approval, plan A has to give way to plan B, with PKR retaining the MB post which is most important under the circumstances...

Azmin to become MB, unanimous PKR endorsement
http://www.kinitv.com/video/10770O8

Wan Azizah accepts Azmin’s appointment as MB
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/wan-azizah-accepts-azmins-appointment-as-mb

We are somewhere between constitution and sedition. Despite the royal snub, Dr Wan Azizah has been most gracious in accepting Azmin's appointment to save the situation. At least, the position remains with PKR. PKR and DAP made their point, so did HRH. To continue confrontation would lead to another costly state wide elections which might further aggravate the situation. Even if PKR and DAP could win majority again it is not going to change HRH's stance. I am sure the people would understand and appreciate Dr Wan Azizah's magnanimity more. Sometimes, it is better to be kind than right. Congratulations to soon to be YAB Azmin Ali!


Link

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Asalkan MB MyBini or Only My wife be the MB

Cannot resist the funny side of the captions in these pictures (especially before HRH's choice is known)...


Courtesy of Madcow Muar in Facebook

Link

Saturday, September 20, 2014

MD Batu Gajah, are you too rich to send out assessment bills on time?

Yesterday (Sept 19), I received our second half year's assessment bills which were supposed to have been paid by Aug 31! Either MDBG is too rich and does not bother about delay in receiving payments or the staff responsible have been utterly inefficient. I don't think any private business would delay in sending out bills.

I checked with my friends and only those who remembered about the usual dateline managed to pay theirs on time, after checking with them and asked for their bills. The others have just received theirs and the penalty has been increased to Rm20 for bills below Rm200! Why do I get the impression there was a deliberate delay in sending out the bills? The penalty is equivalent to around 5% per month interest.

I am really peeved because I was waiting for the bills and actually forgotten about it. Being old, when I received the late bills, I actually thought I had settled them. I had to look for the bills (thinking it had been paid) and checked with my credit card statements too. Of course, people would say the onus is on me to pay on time, but the inefficiency of MDBG had been sending out duplicate bills before! Only this time, extra revenue (penalty)seems to be the only reason for the intentional delay and it is clearly stated any late payment incurs a penalty. Sigh.

Update Sept 22: I went to MDBG to pay our assessment bills and when I asked about the delay in sending out the bills, the lone cashier (during lunch break) blamed it on the postal service. Anyway, I asked about the penalties and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that SUK had decided because of their delay in sending out the bills, penalty has yet to take effect. I also explained the unfairness of the new penalties: Rm20 for bills below Rm200; Rm30 for those above Rm200; because it penalizes more on those who own cheaper houses.


Link

An article by Dr Lim Teck Ghee in 2009, Malaysian Universities and the NEP... just as relevant now as then...

because we know the reasons for declining standards but we do not have the political will to correct them.

Excerpt from an article, Malaysian Universities and the NEP, by Dr Lim Teck Ghee in 2009, which is just as relevant now because government was in denial mode:

'On September 25, I wrote on the recent Time Higher Education- QS Ranking of World Universities which rated our Malaysian public universities poorly in the region and world.

By coincidence, the following day, the secretary-general of the Higher Education Ministry, Dr Zulkefli Hassan, had an article in The Star (Sept 26, 2009) titled 'Towards a path of excellence' which blurbed "To achieve the Government’s aspirations of Malaysian becoming a world-class educational hub, both the ministry and the institutions have to embrace drastic change.
Unfortunately, the sec-gen despite acknowledging the need for drastic change in the nation’s universities, totally ignored the issue of the NEP and its race related policies and how these are related to the decline in standards.'


'Three years ago, in a frank admission of why standards have declined in the premier university in the country, various key issues were raised by Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, Chairman of the University of Malaya’s board of directors, when he addressed the university’s academic staff association. In his address carried in a Malaysiakini article,  he asked:

 "Are we colour blind in our dealings with students, or do we show preferential treatment to students we consider ‘our own kind’?
"Are we providing a working environment where academic integrity is paramount and the path to professional satisfaction and reward? Or are we creating an environment based on feudalistic practices that can bring about nothing but dissatisfaction?"
"Are promotions and appointments based on merit? Are we ensuring that the most qualified academics are selected for promotion and to lead our departments, faculties and research institutions, regardless of their ethnic background? Or are we undermining morale by appointing academics based on factors other than merit?"

According to Arshad, the declining academic standards “can be reversed by an administration that is transparent, accountable, non-racial and free of corrupt practices… . We cannot be seen as promoting the goal of ending racism unless we are also seen to be people who act in [a] just and non-racial manner."

Urging academic staff to take advantage of universities to promote racial integration and instill good values in students, and to be vocal on important issues, he argued that only merit-based promotions carried out in an honest and transparent manner could account for every cent of public funds, and that anything less would be an abuse of power and corrupt act.

The good Tan Sri did not mention the NEP and its race orientation directly in his unprecedented analysis. That may have been too much of a taboo topic and too sensitive even for someone of his standing to broach.

However, he also pointed out that “[a]silent culture is not an ethical culture in academia”.  Stressing the need to “stamp out corruption and racism” and to be seen as clean and trustworthy, he argued that “[w]e need to govern in a non-racial and transparent manner if we hope to get our students to understand the values of justice and accountability.”

Rest of article:
http://www.cpiasia.net/v3/index.php/228-commentary-sp-353/commentary/2633-malaysian-universities-and-the-nep
Link

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My first visit to KLIA2

We used to pass by the exit junction (entrance to KLIA2) on our way to KLIA. Last Sunday was our first visit and it helped a lot with my son driving instead of me having to find our way. Since Cheng had checked in via internet, we had time to spare, so instead of dropping her off at the departure lounge, we looked for parking instead.

BK didn't like the idea of using Touch n Go simply because of the additional 10% charge on top, which explained why I was charged Rm4.40 for an hour at KLIA 3 days ago, thinking the rate had been increased. It is silly of TnG to profiteer instead of encouraging more people to use their card. Btw, instead of buying a new TnG card for Rm10, you can top up TnG for the first time using your new Mykad, without having to pay extra Rm10. In fact, once I topped up Rm100 at KLIA and got a soft toy gift too. The gift could be a promotional thing.

The parking charges in KLIA2 are the same as KLIA at Rm4 per hour. To avoid this, many cars could be seen waiting along the road leading to the airport.

As commented by some, KLIA2 is as much a shopping mall as an airport. The whole complex was expansive (as well as expensive to build) and I am sure it takes time to walk from one place to another, which is why there are indicators on the walking time required to get from a gate to the plane.

While Cheng was checking in, one of BK's Japanese slippers gave way at the usual stud point. Luckily, there was a rubber band on the floor and he could use it to tie it from the bottom. Well, it lasted without having to buy an expensive pair at the airport! Cheng's luggage was overweight by 3 kg and she had to take some clothes out. Despite that, it was overweight by more than a kilo but she wasn't charged for that, presumably being human, the Air Asia lady took into account her effort in trying to reduce the luggage weight.

Later, Cheng texted to say that her Swiss knife (gift for a friend) was confiscated at the security scan because they found both the knife and a kitchen knife in her hand luggage. In her hurry to unpack from her trip to Africa and then repack for Thailand, she must have forgotten about those knives. But why confiscate only the Swiss knife? Must be because it has more value or usefulness than an ordinary kitchen knife.

McDonald is convenient for those sending off people at KLIA because of its proximity to the boarding entry points. We found their new McCafe good in terms of good coffee and reasonable prices. Similarly, at KLIA2, there is a McCafe near the boarding points too.

KLIA2 is certainly not meant to be low cost like LCCT which cannot even compare with a Tesco supermarket in terms of building quality.


Link

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What appears to be a high IQ test question for an Elementary School Admissions Test...



turns out to be quite ordinary indeed!

Just look at the illustration... upside down.

Change of ISP: From boiling pot to frying pan, and back to boiling pot? From YES to No and back to YES...

I was really disappointed this morning, when after using the internet for a while I was directed to YES website, indicating that I had used up my quota. But as it turned out minutes ago, it could have been a technical hitch soon after a major breakdown in YES service. While filling frustrated, this was what I drafted this morning for posting:

'Briefly, I was a YES subscriber before until I was put off by their minimum monthly fee of Rm30 which gave me the impression that even after termination, would be liable for the missing period had I re-subscribed later. Apparently, this has been done with, but I am still apprehensive in registering for YesLife!
Recently, I stopped my Maxis Home Wifi subscription and started on YES again, thinking it has a better offer. It so happened I was away for a few days and my YES huddle was switched off during the time. When I got back from PJ, I re-started it but there was no internet access! My friend in KL happened to call and asked about it and I told him about the problem. He checked the news on YES and I was reassured it was due to a general breakdown in the system and nothing to do with mine. Well, it came on just before 5 pm yesterday.
This morning, I had no problem with it until I could not connect to any other site. I was directed to YES website where I was given the options to reload and so on. Then it dawned on me that I must have used up my quota (at least, the peak hour part). But I just could not find any option to continue under 'throttled' mode which I was used to under Maxis! Is this the main difference between the two ISP?
Actually, I chose the Rm68 pm package to try out first before I decide on an upgrade to Rm79 which is supposed to be without limit. So my impression so far seems to be that the so-called 5 GB during peak hours lasted less than 10 days of my controlled usage (ie. not viewing video clips freely). Well, it is going to be decision time, but nothing much to decide during the 2-yr contract period. Hopefully, an upgrade will solve my problem once and for all. I would not trust the top-up option, knowing full well it is going to cost a lot more instead of a known fixed amount monthly.'

Now I am wondering how long my quota is going to last before I decide to upgrade. I have yet to use up the bigger quota meant for off-peak hours.

Update on Sept 19:

Since my earlier post above, I was happy to be able to connect to YES, despite earlier notice to top-up, but experienced difficulty in re-connecting each time I have disconnected. Just imagine taking at least half an hour or more to do so. Could be due to heavy use in BG during Malaysia Day. Today, received a message from YES that I have used up 80% of my quota (pro-rated) for the month. So it is going to be very restricted use to see how long this will last. I have yet to use up my bigger quota for the off-peak hours.
Link

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Can a majority race be 'marginalized'?

During an interview with Christiane Amanpour, PM Najib actually said that we must not marginalize the majority race. I always thought only the minorities are being marginalized by the majority and not the other way round.

I Googled the word 'marginalized' and found a blogger who discussed the term under her post, 'Can we find a better term for 'Marginalized' people?

Excerpt:

'In sociology (and several other academic disciplines.) the term minority group(s), refers to any group that has less access to power; in other words any group that is underrepresented in the power structure of a country or culture. A synonym I use in my classes is subordinate groups. Some minority or subordinate groups would include women, children, Muslims, Jews, Asian Americans, African Americans, gays, lesbians, the disabled, poor people, the working class, and so on. In contrast, the majority group or dominant group, the most powerful groups, would include whites, men, the wealthy, able bodied people, and so on.

So here is the problem, most people don’t think of the term as something related to power. They think about numbers. There are way more people in this world who are not considered White than there are Whites. So people of color are a numerical or mathematical majority, even if they are a sociological minority. The same is clearly true for women.'

More:
http://amptoons.com/blog/2006/03/23/can-we-find-a-better-term-for-marginalized-people/

In Malaysia, the Malay race forms the majority of the population, has political power and controls all major institutions. Isn't Najib's statement paradoxical?
Link

The situation we're in: 'I'm fine'

A farmer named Paddy had a car accident. He was hit by a truck owned by the Eversweet Company.
In court, the Eversweet Company's hot-shot solicitor was questioning Paddy.

'Didn't you say to the police at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?' asked the solicitor.

Paddy responded: 'Well, I'll tell you what happened. I'd just loaded my fav'rit cow, Bessie, into da... '

'I didn't ask for any details', the solicitor interrupted.'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?'

Paddy said, 'Well, I'd just got Bessie into da trailer and I was drivin' down da road...... '
The solicitor interrupted again and said,'Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question. ' 

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Paddy's answer and said to the solicitor:
 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favourite cow, Bessie'.

Paddy thanked the Judge and proceeded.

'Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my fav'rit cow, into de trailer and was drivin' her down de road when this huge Eversweet truck and trailer came tundering tru a stop sign and hit me trailer right in da side. I was trown into one ditch and Bessie was trown into da udder. By Jaysus I was hurt, very bad like, and didn't want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moanin' and groanin'. I knew she was in terrible pain just by her groans.

Shortly after da accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie moanin' and groanin' too, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Den da policeman came across de road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feelin'?' 

'Now wot da fock would you say?'

Yes, indeed!

This is how most Malaysians are feeling now... with the frenzy of actions taken by police under the Sedition Act. Politicians who have been insolent to the Sultan have to 'grovel' to please him regardless of what is in the constitution and practised by the ruling coalition for the past 57 years.


These two seem open defiance... but understandable...




This is art done surreptitiously...



But this (old photo) is asking for trouble...


                                         

Link

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Understanding the Jews


An Arab is going to have open-heart surgery. The doctor is preparing the blood transfusion.

Because the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn't be found locally. So the call went out to a number of countries. Finally, a Jew was located who had the same blood type and who was willing to donate his blood to the Arab.

After the surgery, the Arab sent the Jew a thank-you card for giving his blood along with an expensive diamond and a new Rolls Royce car as a token of his appreciation.

Unfortunately, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery once again.. His doctors called the Jew who was more than happy to donate his blood again, believing he will receive more gifts from the Arab again.

After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Jew a Thank You card and a box of Almond Roca sweets.

The Jew was shocked to see that the Arab this time did not acknowledge the Jew's kind gesture in the same way as he had done the first time.

So he phoned the Arab and asked him why he had expressed his appreciation in not a very generous manner.

The Arab replied: "Ya Habibi !!, (Dear Friend) you have to remember, I have Jewish blood in my body now"

Link

Monday, September 08, 2014

Of puppet and remote-controlled politicians

Everybody knows Dr Wan Azizah as Anwar Ibrahim's wife, since her husband was sacked as DPM and Finance Minister in 1998, arrested in a high-handed way, charged and then jailed for 6 years. How could anyone forget his famous 'black eye' at the hands of then IGP?

Since then, she went on to form PKR and had been party president, MP and Madam Opposition in Parliament. More recently, she was elected as ADUN of Kajang in Selangor. Prior to her entry into politics, she was already a doctor (even gold medallist) and eye specialist.

Even with such credentials, her attempt to become MB of Selangor had been resisted by many, who described her as a puppet of her husband, remote-controlled and more recently, as unqualified to be MB by none other than President of PAS, Hadi Awang! That it came from a fellow president of a coalition partner makes it more hurtful, especially after much delay and confusing statements on her appointment.

Hadi Awang himself had been Mr Opposition, MB of Trengganu after GE12 (and lost it at the next election) and mainly responsible for having lost Kedah too. Already, for his statement that Dr Wan Azizah is not qualified to be MB, his own performance had been questioned and criticised.

What then should be the qualifications of an MB? By today's standard, people expect someone with a university degree or a professional, with several years of working experience. So far, we have had examples of MB without university education, a dentist fresh from dental practice, and Najib who was MB of Pahang at age of 29! There were no complaints or objections which could match those against Dr Wan Azizah, simply because those were Umno appointments. The only factor which most critics refuse to admit is her gender.

As to whether someone is a puppet of her spouse, how could we tell how much influence a husband or wife has over his or her spouse? There were many who criticised Rosmah as the de facto PM, but did anyone object to Najib being PM? There is no direct election on premiership and since independence in 1957, it was traditionally reserved for the President of Umno.

If spousal influence is such an important factor, should we choose only those who are unmarried? Even with married couples, we cannot rule out the influence of mistress or lover which might have far greater impact by way of pillow talk.

A state's administration should already be working smoothly, helmed by experienced civil servants. An MB's job is like that of CEO, helped by Exco members or state ministers. So what is most important is decision-making. He or she could be decisive or consultative, depending on his or her style of leadership or personality. Even with a perceived weak leadership, any decision which is for the benefit of the people, fair and unaffected by corruption will be welcome by the people. So unless someone is given the chance, how can we tell whether she is capable?

As to being remote-controlled, there is no way we can stop anyone from being secretly influenced by others. We can only judge from her actions and decisions, and again, unless given a chance, how can we tell?

After all the shadow play in the current MB imbroglio, I think it boils down to pride. PAS was unhappy because the choice of MB had been decided by PKR and DAP and merely expected their confirmation. This was further complicated by HRH Sultan of Selangor's insistence on more than one name.  By insisting on one name, PKR and DAP seem to go against Sultan's wish. But if more than one name had been submitted, it would be awkward if Sultan chose the one without majority endorsement.

From Perak's experience and now Selangor, it would appear both Sultans were not in favour of Pakatan. In Perak, the late Sultan accepted BN's claim of majority (31 vs 28); now in Selangor, Dr Wan Azizah's endorsement by 30 ADUNs's SDs (effectively 30 vs 26) seems not good enough.
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Friday, September 05, 2014

Change of internet service provider

As part of my life long education in IT and internet-related matters, what better way than to experience more than one ISP's services?
I started with TM cable broadband, with the so-called 'unlimited usage' at Rm66 per month which was upgraded to Wifi at Rm90+ with some free calls thrown in. My perception was that any restriction in terms of speed and downtime was considered anything but. But the last straw was when there was connection problem and the technician said that he knew what was wrong with my notebook and the router, but he cannot touch them! He might have his rules on this, but to an average customer, that attitude seemed unacceptable.
Then I subscribed to YES when it was first available in Batu Gajah. I was apprehensive with their 'subscription for life' or something to that effect. Somehow, there was a minimum fee of Rm30 per month and I got the impression that I cannot find closure when I terminated the account. At the time, I got the impression (rightly or wrongly) that after termination, any subsequent re-activation would incur outstanding fees for the period when it was closed! However, I was reassured that they will waive such charges.
Then I switched to Maxis Home Wifi which basic package is at Rm59 per month for 3GB, split into 1.5GB each during peak and non-peak hours (8.00 am - 2.00 am and 2.00 am - 8.00 am) respectively.
Even with restraint on viewing short video clips, I found myself being notified that I have used up my peak hours quota, after just 10 to 14 days! Somehow, I felt the notification could have been deliberately set prematurely to encourage customers to top-up. Reason I felt this way was the speed seems the same even when it was supposedly at throttled speed for at least a couple of days.
Being a patient man, I continued using the internet, even at throttled speed until the beginning of the following month. The throttled speed was initially set at 64 kbps and later increased to 128 kbps.
Each time when I was at my son's place in PJ, I used his Unifi connection to enjoy some Youtube clips, especially those old music videos which bring back memories. But since my grandson started to know how to use the iPad, I had to give way to him. He used to like Sound of Music's Do Re Mi, then Frozen's theme song, and now getting hooked on Angry Bird and other games. Since he is allowed to use the iPad only when we visit, we often ask him whether he missed me or the iPad! But it is proven that he wants me to be with him when he is using it. So I am not allowed to rest when he is using it: 'I don't want Ah Kong to lie down or I don't want Ah Kong to read book (newspapers)'. He would point to the chair beside him and tell me to 'Chor chor' (sit in Mandarin).
On Wednesday, I accompanied a couple to a local IT shop to help ask relevant questions before they sign up for YES. They asked several places before but still blur on some basic information. Anyway, they were already set to sign up and it helped when I knew what their concerns were and got them answered by the person who attended to us.
I was impressed with YES's packages on offer and since I already knew BG has excellent YES reception signals, I asked to check my account to see if my account had been blacklisted for being overly critical before. It was negative which also meant I did not run away from any other creditors.
The last time I checked with the local Maxis dealer, I was told that for termination, I had to go to Ipoh and to return some equipment. Before rushing there, I checked with Maxis by phone calling their special '123' line to speak with someone. Then my call was passed to their termination centre. As expected, I was asked questions on why I wish to terminate the subscription. Apparently it was being recorded for use by management later. Put simply, just the restriction on use (half of quota to be used during off-peak hours) compared with another ISP which has no such restriction is good enough reason. I was lucky to have checked by phone because I was told I need not return the equipment (having subscribed for longer than the required 12-month) and that termination could be done over the phone, effective within half an hour!
On Thursday, I visited the local YES dealer... only to be told that they do not have stock of the equipment (huddle hotspot) which I wanted and I have to wait until Tuesday! What a difference a day made! I was there just yesterday. So it is either I go to Tesco Station 18 (likely to have stock) or wait till Tuesday.
Later in the afternoon, took a drive to Tesco 18 and found the shop dealing with YES subscription. Again, it was out of stock! Was told it should be availabe the next day. On Friday, went to the same shop but found the person in charge out for lunch. Waited and then spent time checking out some low end China-made mobile phones. Huawei is having promotional offers of discount on their range. But I had to get the YES wifi first before I could try out the new phone. Then I was informed there is another YES dealer at the other end of the complex. Sure enough, it was a temporary setup but more important, it has stock of the huddle I wanted! Signed up for the 4 GB package at Rm68 per month and tested it with my iPad which I brought along. Then with the huddle hotspot, went to the phone shop to try out the new phone. Bearing in mind the constraints of a lower end mobile phone (compared with iPad), I had to accept its limitations. My decision to buy a new phone was prompted by the failing battery of my old one. Instead of buying a new battery, why not a new phone?

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Almost anything we say can be seditious in Malaysia

We all know we cannot criticise, let alone insult, any of the nine sultans in peninsular Malaysia. They are above the law and above criticisms. We comment at our own risk.

Even any suggestion of secession by Sabah or Sarawak people too. Police are tracking down those who gave such an idea to the people... as they will make them hate Malaysia. In other words, we have to force people to love our country?

We cannot curse the ruling party Umno without being arrested for sedition, even if you said it in the Penang State Assembly.

Now, even the PM and IGP cannot be insulted too. The latter will use his IT experts to track down those who insulted him in their tweets or in Facebook. There is even a suggestion that we follow China's example by banning Facebook and setting up our own!

To top it all, even the expression of a legal opinion, by a law professor, can be seditious too! Soon there will only be conformists, yesmen and sycophants left in Malaysia.

PM Najib, when campaigning for GE13, promised to repeal the Sedition Act. He is famous for his 'Janji ditepati' but instead, more like 'janji dicapati', or 'janji akan ditepati... selepas semua pembangkang ditangkap'!

Recently, there was a sudden frenzy of arrests under the Sedition Act which shows a lack of commitment to its repeal. It is akin to seeing amber light at traffic  junction and take it as 'last minute to go' instead of the intended meaning of 'last minute to stop'!

Here's a list copied from Malaysiakini:

2011
Sept 11,  Mat Sabu, PAS Deputy President - criminal defamation (Bukit Kepong);
2013
June 5, P Uthayakumar, Hindraf leader - jailed for sedition (letter to UK PM on ethnic cleansing);
2014
 Feb 21,  Late Karpal Singh, ex-Bukit Gelugor MP - convicted of sedition (Perak Sultan);
March 14, Tian Chua, Batu MP - (call to rise up against racism, graft); Aug 12, insulting modesty of police officer);
May 6, Teresa Kok, Seputeh MP - sedition (video - onederful Malaysia);
June 19, Abdullah Zaik, Isma President - sedition (labelling Chinese Malaysians intruders);
Aug 19, N Surendran, Padang Serai MP - sedition (Sodomy II decision);  Aug 28, sedition (Sodomy II 'political conspiracy');
Aug 25 Nizar Jamaluddin, Changkat Jering Assemblyman - criminal defamation (of PM Najib);
Aug 26 Khalid Samad, Shah Alam MP - sedition (strip MAIS of executive powers);
Aug 27 RSN Rayer, Seri Delima Assemblyman - to be charged with sedition (Umno 'celaka');
Aug 28 Rafizi Ramli, Pandan MP - insults with the intent to provoke breach of peace;
Sept 2 Azmi Sharom, Academician - sedition (Perak constitutional crisis).

Update:

Add to the list: Suhaimi Shafiei (Sri Muda ADUN) and Thamrin Ghafar Baba (PAS Politician), among others mentioned below:

Excerpt from Adrian Lim Chee En's letter to Mkini:

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.” –Mahatma Gandhi

The Asian Law Students Association (ALSA Malaysia) is outraged and strongly condemns the recent increase in arrests and charges brought by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) under the sedition Act 1948.

The barrage of arrests and charges raise questions as to the sincerity of the prime minister’s promise to repeal the Act, which was live telecasted on local stations in July 2012.

It further undermines all efforts being undertaken by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) and Global Movement of Moderates (GMMF) in drafting the National Harmony Bills.

Such an Act violates the right to freedom of expression guaranteed to every Malaysian under Article 10 of the federal constitution.

It provides very minimal defences and holds a very low threshold in determining what is “seditious”.

Section 3(1) of the Act vaguely defines what is of seditious tendency.

Contrary to normal criminal cases, the proof of intention (mens rea) to any seditious remarks made is unnecessary.

Under such circumstances, an accused can be convicted as long as the courts are satisfied with the presence of a seditious remark.

It is a relic from a bygone era used to curb communist insurgencies and has been either repealed or put into disuse by modern states.

There are sufficient existing laws under the Penal Code to tackle and criminalise hate speech that puts one at physical harm.

In fact, if that is not enough, we can look at the proposed National Unity Bills.'

'At first glance, it appears as if this sedition dragnet only affects politicians from the opposition.

This however, is not the case as members of all walks of society are also affected.

In 2012, Human Rights activist Irene Fernandez was also probed for suggesting ‘Malaysia is unsafe for immigrant workers’.

Father Lawrence Andrew in January this year was not spared either.

Adam Adli, a well-known student activist, was also under the limelight in May this year.

Just last month, a secondary schoolboy was investigated under this draconian Act for liking a Facebook page.

Earlier, academician-cum-law lecturer Professor Azmi Sharom was charged for comments on the Selangor menteri besar crisis in his capacity as an academician.

As independent and non-partisan members of the legal academic fraternity, these charges are shocking!

We urge the attorney-general to immediately withdraw all charges, impose a moratorium over further usage, and repeal the Act.

We also urge members to speak up against any breach of fundamental civil liberties or suppression to academic freedom.'

Rest of his letter to Mkini, The law does not really say what is seditious :
http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/273581


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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Is there any hope for non-Malays in Malaysia?

...if even some Malays preferred to live in Australia?

Hussein Hamid says:

'Why then did I not stay in KL and make a life for me and my family there?

The easy answer is that I did not want to put up with negativity in my life.

There was money to be made in KL but to make that money you would have to do things that   I consider are not what I would ordinarily want to do in my life. You make life choices and when you do there are always trade offs. I have done it all and at the end of the day I did not like the person I have become and so I left....not once, not twice but three times...so I have tried and failed to make a life for myself in KL.

But I have been lucky because I could leave KL. We had had our children registered as Australians from the day they were born and my wife remained Australian and all I had to do was to ask for Permanent Residence which was granted without a question asked of my race, religion or political leanings.

But what if you cannot leave? There must be many many Malaysians who are now looking for a way out of Malaysia.

For all of them life is only going to get worse.'

'Umno is relentlessly working towards making Malaysia Malay. The more Malay Malaysia becomes the more secure is Umno's rule over Malaysia and so for Umno making Malaysia Malay  is their number one priority. Listen to what Zahid Hamidi has to say here:

Malays are paying the price for being kind to non-Malays, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said non-Malays are getting increasingly arrogant and are insulting the bumiputras, the royalty and Islam.
"We allowed them to be indebted to us without needing them to pay it back; they are now insulting Islam and the Malays under the pretence of democracy, freedom of speech, and globalisation," he said when launching the Umno Segambut divisional meeting today.'

More:
cakap cakap....life is only going to get worse.
http://steadyaku-steadyaku-husseinhamid.blogspot.com/2014/09/cakap-cakaplife-is-only-going-to-get.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Steadyaku47+%28steadyaku47%29
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Monday, September 01, 2014

What a Merdeka celebration in Penang!


These 156 PPS members never expected that after taking part in the Merdeka procession, they were under arrest and directed by police to the station. It is amazing how our over-stretched police force seems to have so much time to spare in arresting Penang's own voluntary patrol force who are tasked to help police maintain law and order. What a way to thank them! Surely any question about their legality should have been sorted out first before resorting to such high profile arrest. Seems to make a mockery of whatever unity message which PM Najib tried to convey in his National Day address to the nation.
Link

M Bakri Musa: Time To Sell Or Liquidate Malaysia Airlines

Excerpt:

'When I think of the many needed functions of government, owning or running an airline is not one of them. Instead, taking care of the health, welfare and security of its citizens should rank way up there.'

'Malaysia once again contemplates pouring billions to rescue Malaysia Airlines (MAS). Apart from consuming a never-ending amount of scarce and expensive government resources, the company receives an inordinate degree of attention at the highest level of the Najib Administration. I would have preferred that those leaders be concerned with our deteriorating schools and universities, or the awful delivery of our public services. On the day of the news of the proposed MAS bailout, there was another headline on a fire at the waste dump in Klang Valley.'

'Malaysia does not need MAS to project the nation’s image abroad. Besides, the image MAS now projects is of the worse kind. Malaysia also does not need MAS to bring in tourists. The other airlines including Air Asia do a fine job at that, and at no cost to the government. Malaysians do not need MAS for their international travels. You can choose from a dozen airlines to fly from Kuala Lumpur to San Francisco. In fact MAS no longer flies to the west coast of America.

There can only be one prudent decision on what to do with MAS now after all the repeated expensive and unsuccessful bailouts and reorganization exercises. Sell it or declare bankruptcy, with a view of total liquidation.'

'We should not be squeamish about or be ashamed of bankruptcy; it is an integral part of business. No enterprise is guaranteed to be a success.

Swiss Air, once dubbed the “Flying Bank” because of is solid finances, went bankrupt in 2002. Nobody would conclude negatively from that the business acumen or executive talent of Swiss managers. The more relevant lesson for Malaysia from the Swiss bankruptcy is this. The company’s entire top management was prosecuted for alleged criminal misconduct. They were found not guilty; nonetheless they were made to go through the wringer. A thought should MAS file for bankruptcy.

Japan Airlines, another government-linked company, also filed for bankruptcy. Today it is flying high after its reorganization. The venerable Pan Am, the very icon of a once glamorous industry, too was done in; likewise all the major legacy US airlines (Delta, United, American). Neither Japanese nor American pride was dented. Life (and business) goes on.'

'American Airlines posted its biggest quarterly “profits” from the insurance settlement of its DC 10 that crashed on take-off from O’Hare in 1979. However with MAS today, thanks to that “brilliant” WAU scheme, both planes were probably owned by another company with MAS leasing both back. So the insurance payments would go to that company instead of MAS!'

Rest of his article:
http://www.bakrimusa.com/
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