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.)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bersih 4 upstages official Merdeka celebrations?

This picture from Malaysiakini says it all. How would the official Merdeka celebration programme look when juxtaposed with such an officially unwelcome mass of people?



URGENT PRESS STATEMENT -- 30th August 2015 -- Bersih4 stays in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka

The decision to move Merdeka Eve celebrations to Stadium Bukit Jalil was relayed to me by OCPD Zainol Samah of IPD Dang Wangi.
I then passed this information on to the press.
BERSIH 2.0 had no part in making this decision. We were in fact prepared to share the Dataran Merdeka space with all peace loving Malaysians.
The decision to move the location of the Merdeka Eve celebrations was made entirely by the authorities.
The Bersih 4 peaceful assembly will continue as planned in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka tonight, there is no change in plans.
As we approach the Grand Finale of Bersih 4, we reiterate our commitment to a peaceful gathering of Malaysians united for a better Malaysia. There will be no breaking of barriers and we will also disperse before 12.00am.

Maria Chin Abdullah
Chairperson, BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee


Another out of thousands of related pictures found in the internet...

Pic courtesy of Pahlawan Bersih

On second day, on the way: Tun Dr Mahathir and wife in LRT train

I don't care about Bersih's demands, I am here for Najib's resignations," says Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

More:


The Straits Times reported:

'Malaysia's ruling party Umno said on Sunday that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has "crossed the line" by attending the Bersih 4 rally, Bernama reported.

Dr Mahathir's attendance in the rally ran counter to a statement he made in 1998 that street demonstrations should not be supported, Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein said on Sunday.

"His action has gone against the values he had promulgated when he was prime minister," Mr Hishammuddin was quoted by Bernama as saying.'

"During his administration, he had clearly stated that street demonstrations were not the approach to voice dissatisfaction," Mr Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, added.

Mr Hishammuddin said Dr Mahathir's freedom of expression had not been curtailed after his retirement, but his presence at an opposition rally was unacceptable.

Mr Hishammuddin's comments came after Dr Mahathir made his second appearance at the rally on Sunday, following his surprise visit one day ago.

He was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, former Umno minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and four bodyguards at about 4.10pm Sunday, The Star said.

He was wearing a checkered blue shirt with a hat and headed towards Central Market, where he gave an impromptu press conference.

"I am here to support the people. This is not about the Chinese or Indians or Malays. This is not about Umno, BN, PAS, DAP or whatever. This is about the feelings of the people." he said.

Link

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Enforced absence from blogging

During last few weeks, there were two funerals (close family members) within 2 weeks, and my notebook crashed and could not be restarted.

Tried using wife's iPad to post something in this blog, but could not get past the heading: just could not get the keyboard activated at the content section. This could be a security feature to prevent unauthorised intrusion, as I was informed by email about the use of iPad to gain access. I just left it at that.

The stock market crashed too, a prolonged one, for one reason or other, and almost all shares lost substantially in market capitalization, and for those who held shares, would have lost at least in book values. Surprisingly, I have yet to read about anyone complaining about the effects on their personal finances. I am pretty sure there are those who speculate, trading on margins as well as contras. These speculators are likely to have their fingers burnt, despite their years of experience. As my friend would have put it: we cannot get past the 'greed factor'. Many people talked about selling their shares prior to the expected downturn, but most of them just loved their shares too much to sell, even for taking advantage of further drop in prices so that they could easily buy back at much lower prices. For those with extra cash waiting to buy, they hope for buying at the lowest, and would have either missed or glad that they did not buy as some prices dropped even further.

Forex exchange rates also worked against our Malaysian Ringgit (dubbed Shringgit) when it dropped to over Rm4.20 against the US Dollar, the lowest in 17 years as well as the worst performer among Asian currencies. Even against Singapore Dollar, it is now over Rm3.00, as compared with their parity in 1967.

Those with children studying in the USA, UK and Australia, are feeling the pinch because the fees and costs of food and lodging would have gone up substantially. While those who are working in such countries and Singapore are laughing because their savings can be translated into more Ringgits.

For the past few days, we cannot miss news about the forthcoming Bersih 4 rally. As usual, the government and police will try their best to frighten the people from participating, so that a lower turnout would mean less support for the opposition, activists and members of the public who are upset with the government. But based on feedback within families and friends, this rally is going to be the biggest and expected to be carnival-like. Let us hope there would not be saboteurs to blame any stupid acts on the organizers and participants, and that the police would not spoil the peaceful event by antagonizing them.


Link

Saturday, August 15, 2015

GLCs: Sink or swim together?

According to E.S. Shankar, just the following GLCs/Statutory bodies having invested in FGV have suffered huge book losses as a result of the recent stock market downturn totaling almost Rm8 billions:

GLC/STATUTORY BODY FGV SHARE #1 LOSSES 
  

    % No. of Shares     @4.55  @1.56BOOK LOSS



        RM      RM         RM
Felda Land20.00%      729,629,800     3,319,815,590  1,138,222,488  2,181,593,102
Felda Asset13.66%      498,321,192     2,267,361,424      777,381,060  1,489,980,364
Tabung Haji7.78%      283,710,100     1,290,880,955      442,587,756      848,293,199
Felda Co-operative5.80%      211,758,908         963,503,031      330,343,896      633,159,135
KWP5.63%      205,763,500         936,223,925      320,991,060      615,232,865
EPF5.28%      192,587,200         876,271,760      300,436,032      575,835,728
Pahang State Govt5.00%      182,407,575         829,954,466      284,555,817      545,398,649
Amanah Saham Bumiputra4.13%        89,010,989         405,000,000      138,857,143      266,142,857
Sabah State1.81%        65,934,066         300,000,000      102,857,143      197,142,857
PNB1.58%        57,803,700         263,006,835        90,173,772      172,833,063
Amanah Saham 20201.22%        44,601,400         202,936,370        69,578,184      133,358,186
LTAT0.97%        35,535,900         161,688,345        55,436,004      106,252,341
Yayasan Islam Terengganu0.45%        16,455,100           74,870,705        25,669,956        49,200,749
Socso0.33%        12,200,000           55,510,000        19,032,000        36,478,000
Lembaga Air Perak0.27%        10,000,000           45,500,000        15,600,000        29,900,000


73.91%  2,635,719,430   11,992,523,407  4,111,722,311  7,880,801,096

But of course, like in any investments, it could have been bountiful book profits too, during economic boom.

The question arises as to why those GLCs invested in FGV in the first place, especially despite fierce criticisms against the listing of FGV because at the time, it appears to be at the expense of the Felda settlers. Were they under pressure to make up the numbers?  Events since have also shown how the management have invested overseas, buying properties at above market prices and so on.

The recent fall in share prices at Bursa Saham was mainly because of withdrawal of foreign investment funds from it. Was it because of our questionable political situation where the rule of law seems topsy turvy?
Link

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lim Kit Siang questions the abuse of power under Section 124B of the Penal Code

Police arrests and investigations under Section 124B in the current crackdown against the Ministerial assurances when the law was passed in Parliament that this section will only be used against those who used “violent and unconstitutional means”


Until a month ago, nobody has heard of Section 124B but in the past few weeks, Section 124B of the Penal Code has forced itself into public consciousness as the new monstrous weapon which the Najib administration is using to launch a major crackdown and usher a new Dark Age in Malaysia.
How many people have been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code.
I do not know, but it is safe to say that never have so many people been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person to jail for a maximum of 20 years – and all these police arrests and investigations are against the ministerial assurances given to Parliament in 2012 when the new law was enacted that it would only be used against those who carry out “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”.
When pressed in Parliament on why Section 124B had not spelt out clearly that Section 124B only referred to “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”, the then de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claimed that this is understood and even referred to Oxford Dictionary that “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” means “by violent and unconstitutional means”.
When Nazri presented the Penal Code amendment of the new Section 124B, Parliament was in fact given to understand that it was meant to tackle terrorism previously covered by the already repealed Internal Security Act.
Unfortunatley, what was clear and obvious to the Law Minister in 2012 at the time of the passage of Section 124B in Parlaiment is no more “clear and obvious” whether to the new Attorney-General or the Inspector-General of Police as I dare say that all the police arrests and investigations under Section 124B in the past month do not have the element of “violent or unconstitutional means”.
It would appear that we have reached a stage where anyone who wants to have a change of Prime Minister or government is liable to be investigated, arrested and charged under Section 124B for “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” which is a total betrayal of both the Parliamentary and Ministerial intention in enacting Section 124B of the Penal Code.
The majority of Malaysians (as the Umno/BN government is a minority government winning only 47 per cent of the popular vote in the 13th General Election) would want to see Datuk Seri Najib Razak toppled as Prime Minister and the UMNO/BN Government replaced as well.
But this cannot bring them under the ambit of Section 124B of the Penal Code for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send those guilty under this section to 20 years in jail because they reject any violent or unconstitutional means of change and are only committed to peaceful, democratic and constitutional means of change or toppling of the Prime Minsiter or government.
If a law which is meant to deal with the advocates of violent and unconstitutional means of political change could be used on those advocating peaceful, democratic and constitutional means of political change, it would even mean the death of democracy itself!
More:
Link

Thursday, August 13, 2015

To give an idea of Rm2.6 billion (British not American)

To put in figures: 2,600,000,000 in British billions, and not in terms of American billions: 260,000,000. 1 American billion is only 100 million, unlike British 1000 million.

In Chinese terms, 'yat yik' or 1 'yik' means 100 million, or 1 American billion. So Rm2.6 billion is actually 26 'yik' or 26 American billions.

I can still remember Nurul Izzah posting a picture of a container truck with notes at the side to try and give a perspective of how much if the amount were in Rm1 notes. Not sure if it is actually accurate when put to the test. But this is another perspective...

Pic courtesy of Zunar Kartonis Fan Club

Abacus users might need this for calculating the 2.6 billions.
Link

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Perception of salaries and incomes


In the West, you are unlikely to be asked how much you earn, unless it has to do with a survey or research. It is impolite to ask and if you did, you are unlikely to get a straight forward answer... much like asking a lady for her age.

Over here, especially in Malaysia, people openly enquire about salaries and compare them, at social gatherings and in coffee shops. This could be a reason why people try so hard to be able to have something decent to show, for comparison purposes. Some would try to impress with cars instead of house or apartment which could be rented. While some try to impress, there are others who actually try to downplay their actual earnings, either because of illegal business or unreported or under-reported incomes. Sometimes, it is amusing when the same person could be showing off in front of people he is trying to impress, but pretend to face financial difficulties when sensing a friend or relative is about to ask to borrow money!

Parents would even compare the initial investments on education and professional training with future returns. Then there is the comparison between those educated overseas and locally. Some parents are likely to think: 'Why spend a fortune just to have an overseas education, when you can buy a shop house for less for each of the children? It is solid investment where he or she can start a business or earn rental income immediately, instead of the uncertainty of the future.' When they come across professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers having businesses like cafes or restaurants, where some actually gave up their professions to do it, such examples seem to bear testimony to their wisdom! Well, to each his or her own. There is no right or wrong decision where this is concerned. Personally, depending on our own financial circumstances, I believe in allowing and encouraging a child to do what he or she chooses to study, and later on, in his or her choice of a job or profession.

Then, we have the 'kiasu' parents who tend to overstate the incomes and perks of their children's employment so that they do not lose face, much to the embarrassment of their children who should know how much they actually earn.

Those having children working overseas where the exchange rates of the countries' currencies are favourable are generally envied. But, end of the day, it is the actual disposable incomes (after tax and other deductions) available for spending (bear in mind the higher costs of living overseas) and for saving, which are more relevant. To parents, the amount which a son or daughter could spare for them is also important, even if it is only symbolic of their filial piety. While some are well trained to save some for the parents in case of contingencies, some are more concerned about inheritance to be expected from their rich parents. There is a Cantonese saying, 'thoong yan, ng thoong meang' or 'we are similar as human beings, but our lives can be very different'. So what is necessary for some might be something taken for granted by others.

At my age, health is definitely to be wished for than wealth, not that I have much of the latter! I still cannot get over what a dying rich man said to me, 'I really envy you.' Simply because he was immobile and not allowed to eat anything which he liked, compared with my mobility and apparent good health and can eat anything I fancy.
Link

Debate over effectiveness of Bersih's rallies

Thomas Fann: What have Bersih rallies achieved so far?

“We've been sending the government messages for years, and it has had little to no effect. I was there for Bersih 2.0 and 3.0, and while it felt good to stick it to the man for a day, none of the demands for electoral reform were met and they achieved no real change – instead things have gotten even worse.”

'The above is a comment by a supporter of past Bersih rallies who is sceptical about Bersih 4. It is a sentiment shared by some when it comes to the effectiveness of street protests in Malaysia.

Of the eight demands of Bersih 2.0, only two were partially met by the Election Commission. The reform of the postal ballot has seen a partial fulfilment with overseas Malaysians being given the access to vote for the first time at the last general election. The other demand for indelible ink saw a flawed implementation when in many places the ink was not indelible as claimed but edible instead since some batches were made with food colouring.'

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/thomas-fann/article/what-have-bersih-rallies-achieved-so-far#sthash.UasEVkoM.dpuf

In Facebook, Thomas Fann posted:

'Please read Kee Tuan Chye's respond to John Mallot's article - "Has Malaysia become a police state?’

MALLOT CAN ONLY 'WEEP', MALAYSIANS CAN FIGHT.

I’d like to respond to John Malott’s most recent article entitled ‘Has Malaysia become a police state?’ and point out the shortcomings in it.

First, in his declaring that everyone has been silent about Najib Abdul Razak’s abuse of power, he asks, “Where are the sultans? They also are supposed to be the defenders of the nation. Yet we only know, indirectly, the views of the Sultan of Johor and his son. The others are silent...”

Surely, Malott must be aware that our system is that of a constitutional monarchy, which does not allow for royalty to intervene in political matters. And goading them on to do so would be creating a fresh problem. I hope his question was rhetorical.

Second, he unfairly devalues the worth of the Bersih movement by writing, “The leaders of Bersih 4 and others who think that street demonstrations will force him (Najib) to resign are naive. He already has shown that he has no hesitation to turn tear gas and billy clubs on his own people. That is what they will face on Aug 29.”

Of course, a rally will not cause the regime to collapse immediately. Thinking that would be naive, and Bersih’s leaders certainly don’t think that. But staging a rally to express public feelings about what Najib is doing is certainly better than doing nothing, isn’t it?

After all, as Malott writes in the very next paragraph, “I can only weep when I think of Malaysia’s future, when one man is able to subvert the institutions of government and thwart the will of the people. And when the great majority of the Malaysian people, from former leaders to the man in the street, stand by silently, and let him do it.”

Malott clearly contradicts himself. Bersih and the people who support it are trying to stand up and speak up instead of standing by silently, and yet he pooh-poohs their effort?

I recommend that he - and all Malaysians read instead the articleby Thomas Fann in The Malaysian Insider, entitled ‘What have Bersih rallies achieved so far?’ http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/…/what-have-bersih-ralli…

I hope that if he does, the American might understand better the situation on the ground in Malaysia.
I also hope Malaysians will not be influenced by the defeatist stance in his flawed article. I hope they will not be frightened by his prediction of what Bersih rally participants “will face on Aug 29”.

He can “only weep”; Malaysians, on the other hand, can fight the good fight.'

John Malott's article in Malaysiakini, Has Malaysia become a police state? (his concluding paragraph):

'As things now stand, I cannot think of a good outcome. It is only going to get worse.

Cry, the beloved country. I can only weep when I think of Malaysia’s future, when one man is able to subvert the institutions of government and thwart the will of the people. And when the great majority of the Malaysian people, from former leaders to the man in the street, stand by silently, and let him do it.'

Full article:
http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2015/08/09/has-malaysia-become-a-police-state/

JOHN R MALOTT is former United States ambassador to Malaysia.
Link

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015

Apparent and actual power

Two drawings in Facebook got my attention. To me, this one suggests a dictatorship...


and this one shows the true power of the people...


Link

Escalation of escalator accidents is worrisome

The most unusual and tragic accident involving an escalator: a young mum was holding her kid while on an escalator, fell to her death, through an opening caused by an unsecured platform. Her mother instinct made her threw her kid away from the hole and he was saved by someone nearby.

Yahoo: Chinese Shoppers Pictured Avoiding Escalators After Mum Killed In Accident

'After a mother was killed in a tragic escalator incident in China last week, residents will naturally be cautious.
Xiang Liujuan was seen in video footage heroically throwing her two-year-old son to safety as the escalator floor fell from beneath her, pulling her to her death.
The accident has seen an outpouring of grief for the young mum - but some people in China have taken to mocking the safety record of escalators in the country by filming themselves in all sorts of weird positions getting on and off.'





More:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/china-reacts-escalator-mum-tragedy-090006381.html#WKMo30z

Since then there were a few reports of minor accidents involving escalators in Malaysia, like the boy who had a shoe and sock caught in it. But when going up and the escalator suddenly go in reverse, it can be scary...

'A recent viral video is a tumble down memory lane for those who rode a malfunctioning escalator at a mall in Malaysia last year.

Surveillance footage posted online over the weekend of the bizarre shopping trip shows an escalator full of mall patrons suddenly go in reverse. It caused dozens of people headed upwards to topple back like dominoes and land in a major pile.

The incident looks very serious, especially since some of the shoppers were young children and senior citizens.'

To get a better idea of its effects, please view the video in this link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/watch-malaysian-mall-escalator-riders-tumble-article-1.2268065


Link

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Marina Mahathir: Simple guide to success in Malaysia

'SINCE everyone in this country is an expert in giving advice to everyone else, I thought I would join in and generously give my totally unsolicited counsel to all those aspiring to join cupboards or closets of any kind. Any likeness to anything familiar around us is naturally a complete coincidence.

First of all, please get it out of your head that you are wanted or needed because you have expertise of any kind. Who cares if you have a double degree in How to Make Anything Good and How to Make Anything Better? What you need is a PhD in How To Make Your Boss Feel Good, with a minor in How To Make Your Boss Look Really Good. It would also help if you have expertise in How To Clean Up Messes, especially if it involves getting rid of Messy People.

Secondly, you have to audition for the job. Don’t ever expect to be picked out of obscurity like some Cinderella. Let’s not forget that Cinders didn’t really get an invitation to the Ball – her ugly stepsisters did. And they worked hard for it by making sure they got noticed.

So find a way to get attention. Never mind if it means making a spectacle of yourself. Who cares if you look and sound like a fool as long as your potential Boss likes it? The path to position and lucre is strewn with puffery and pomp! Pledge loyalty, even if nobody asked you to. That counts as double points.

Thirdly, always be humble and say you had not expected this at all but it must have been Divine Intervention. Who in their right mind would question what the Almighty wants? And He must have spoken through his vessel, your soon-to-be Boss. George W. Bush said God made him President to do His will on earth. Surely if an American can claim that, we can too.'

More:
http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/Musings/Profile/Articles/2015/07/30/Simple-guide-to-success-in-Malaysia/
Link

Boo Su-Lyn: The never-ending fight for the facts

'When I applied for a job as a journalist, my boss told me that journalism was about reporting the “facts”, not the “truth.”

I didn’t really understand him then. Wasn’t it the same?

But I’ve come to realise that “truth” has its own shade of meaning, a play on passion and emotions, while “facts” are unemotional, leaning neither right nor left. You, the reader, are free to make your own judgment. But with the “truth”, it sometimes comes with the writer’s own judgments.'

'When the government suspended the printing permits of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, it wasn't just an attack on one media organisation, or even on the media industry as a whole ― it was an attack on the people.

It was an attack on Malaysians' right to obtain information about the government they elected.

It was an attack on people's ability to make informed decisions about public policies concerning their hard-earned tax ringgit.

What infuriates me more than anything else is the government's audacious act in suppressing information that Malaysians need in order to decide what kind of governance they want.

How dare they presume to do that, when it is the people who put them in power and entrusted them with the huge responsibility of using our tax monies efficiently to run the country?'

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/boo-su-lyn/article/the-never-ending-fight-for-the-facts#sthash.hMbFoC0L.dpuf
Link