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.)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Understanding Europe's phobia of Islam

These two pictures say it all...

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Triciah Yeoh: Free small businesses from price controls

"Section 15 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2014 states that the minister of domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism has the complete power to impose price controls whenever he feels that profits are "unreasonably high". Under the new mechanism that was introduced for immediate implementation on Jan 1, 2017, the minister has the power to fine any business if it charges even one sen more than the past three years' profit percentages.
This matters because it applies across the supply chain, whether you are a small farmer or large supermarket. Even more ludicrous is that it applies to all household goods, and food and beverage products – including brooms, brushes, biscuits and snacks. The policy will have serious consequences on people's lives, and already has.
In May 2016, it was reported that a 32-year-old retail store operator in Kuantan was fined RM8,000 for failing to respond to a notice issued by the ministry.
He had been asked to justify why he sold a packet of laundry detergent for RM10.60 instead of RM9.90, which the government said was more justified – just a price difference of 70 sen.
A fine of RM8,000 may not sound like much to a big business, but it could definitely eat into the business savings of a small kedai runcit. One wonders whether his shop survived after having to pay the hefty amount.
Policies like these hit the small businesses the worst, because they do not have the resources, infrastructure or economies of scale to adapt as quickly as big businesses. They do not have the same connections needed either to voice out these concerns to policymakers, whether it is to big law firms, business chambers or politicians.
Thousands of stories like these mean that the country loses as much as US$12 billion a year on cumbersome business regulations, economic opportunities that we would have otherwise gained. The poorest of the poor are affected, and worse, it stifles their spirit of enterprise and efforts to get themselves out of poverty.
The signs are already showing. The SME growth rate fell by 20% from 2011 to 2015 (7.3% to 6.1%), and worse, the total early-stage entrepreneurial activity rate – or the start-up rate in short – fell by almost 50% from 2010 to 2016 (4.96% to 2.9%).
If this trend continues, this will be of great concern to the Malaysian economy, since at the moment SMEs contribute more than one third to the country's GDP, at about 36.3% as at 2016. They are the true drivers of growth as they create jobs, and perhaps more importantly, they are the very epitome of human potential that strives against all odds to better their lives and that of their families.
The Act was passed in 2014 to ensure that businesses do not profiteer out of the newly-implemented GST that took effect in April 2015. Price controls were supposed to have a limited period, up to Dec 31, 2016. But lo and behold, at the end of last year, with very minimal consultation, the government announced that it would be continuing an adapted version of this mechanism to begin effective Jan 1, 2017."


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

If the intention is to discourage non-Muslims from keeping dogs, then I for one am discouraged

I can still remember years ago when I went to the Post Office and asked to pay for a dog's licence,
"...atas nama..." and the staff laughed. Then I found out that it had to be renewed at the local council, MD Kinta Barat which is now known as MD Batu Gajah. For a number of years, I had been to their Enforcement Office to fill in a simple form and had it paid at the payment counter.

Yesterday, after having paid assessment bills, I thought of renewing our 2 dog licences. I was directed by Enforcement officer to Licence Dept in the main building. When given the new form, I was frustrated at the long list of requirements when applying for a dog licence. It would certainly take days and extra expense in order to comply. I am afraid, while doing so, just one condition unmet could mean no licence given. Going through the form, here are the requirements (translated from BM):-

1. Full picture of dog
2. 2 copies of photo of applicant/owner of dog
3. copy of IC of applicant
4. photo of surrounding area of premises
5. photo of kennel
6. letter of opinion of neighbours (left, right and back)
7. Vet's letter of examination/certificate from Jabatan Haiwan.

A. Details of applicant (name, IC No., address and telephone numbers)
B, Details of dog (name, licence no., sex, breed, colour, age and total number of dogs.
C. Place where dog is being kept:
1. Type of building: i. Bungalow ii. Semi-D, iii. Terrace Corner Lot, iv. Terrace End Lot,
v. Intermediate terrace, vi. Cluster, vii. Factory amd Exccutive Club, viii. Others
2, Area of house/premises.

Conditions for dog licence:

1. Dog above 3 months old requires a licence from MDBG.

2. Maximum number of dogs allowed according to premises:
i. Bungalow: 2
ii. Semi-D & Cluster: 2
iii. Terrace Corner Lot: 2
iv. Terrace End Lot: 1
v. Intermediate Terrace: 1
vi. Factory and Executive Club: 2
vii. Area of factory exceeding 930 sq.m.: 4

3. Type of premises requiring neighbour's opinion:
i. Intermediate terrace (toy dog only): left and right
ii. End Lot or Corner Lot: left or right
iii. Bungalow, Semi-D or Cluster: left, right and back
iv. Factory and Executive Club: left or right

4. Signboard warning presence of dog

5. Breeds of dogs prohibited: Akita, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brazilireo, Japanese Tosa, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pit Bull Terrier/American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

6. Rottweiler is not prohibited but new owner has to get confirmation of its physical health from Veterinar Negeri Perak (5-5459111). Those with existing licence can renew until death of the dog.

7. Owner of dog has to:-
i. have a kennel and ensure
ii. its clean condition
iii. disposal of dog shit without offending others
iv. ensure dog is not a nuisance to neighbours
v. ensure dog is kept within premises and if taken out, must be leashed and wears muzzle
vi. ensure dog is not taken to public places to shit
vii. dog wears a tag at all times.

8. Any dog above the age of 3 months, seen in public without a licence tag, MDBG can catch and disposed of it.

9. Owner of dog must ensure it is vaccinated yearly.

10. All rules and regulations will be in accordance with direction from MDBG from time to time.

11. Anyone found contravening the Undang2 Kecil Pelesenan Anjing dan Rumah Pembiakan Anjing (MDKB) 1985 can be fined a maximum of Rm2,000 or jailed up to 1 year, or both.

12. Fees for dog licence and tag: 1. licence Rm10  2. tag Rm10.

After all that, I don't feel like starting the process of compliance. Sigh.

Letter to The Star: Doggone unhappy with the new rules

THE Batu Gajah District Council (MDBG) has issued new regulations taking effect from February 2017 on applications for a dog licence.
Some of the regulations are absurd. For example, the applicant must produce a medical report on the health of the dog and this must be signed by a veterinary surgeon. Proof that the immediate neighbours are okay with having the dog around and photographs of the owner, the dog, the house premises, kennel and etc. must also be provided. Failure to apply for a dog licence will incur a stiff fine
Does MDBG have the manpower to check on all the residents to see if they have complied with the regulations? How is MDBG going to find out who are keeping dogs in their backyard?
I also wonder if the same rules are being imposed by other local councils throughout the country.
The Star: No dogs until neighbours agree by Ivan Loh
IPOH: The Batu Gajah District Council (MDBG) has become the first in Perak to require dog owners to seek consent from their neighbours if they want a dog licence.
It is now running a trial on this, covering residents who want to get a pet dog for the first time.
“This is to ensure better management of the pets and to ensure there are fewer complaints from the people,” said council president Nurdiana Puaadi, adding that the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council had a similar requirement which had been proven to be successful.
Nurdiana cited cases of a household keeping three dogs but only one was licensed, adding that the MDBG had received numerous complaints about dogs that barked non-stop.
“Once the neighbours give their approval, they cannot complain to us,” said Nurdiana, adding existing dog owners should also get their neighbours’ approval.
“This will also help keep stray dog problems in check,” she said.
The application form states that residents staying at terrace lots need the consent from neighbours from both sides.
Those staying in bungalows, semi-detached and cluster homes need the agreement from neighbours on both sides and at the back. Owners also need to put up a sign to show that they have a dog.
The types of dogs not allowed to be kept include Akita, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Rottweilers are allowed but owners need to produce health reports from the Veterinary Services Department for new applications. Those who have been keeping Rottweilers can renew the licence until the pet dies.
It also states that those living in bungalows, semi-detached or terrace corner lots can keep a maximum of two dogs, while residents in terrace end lots and terrace intermediate lots can only keep one.
Other stipulations include urging owners to keep their dogs clean and healthy and to ensure pets do not disturb neighbours with incessant barking.
Owners must also ensure their dogs do not roam unsupervised and must be muzzled and leashed when they are out. Dogs three years or older found without a licence can be impounded and put down.
Owners can also be fined a maximum of RM2,000 or jailed not more than a year or both if found guilty under any provisions of the Dog Licensing and Dog Breeding House By-laws.


Saturday, February 04, 2017

A friend's Chinese New Year marred by an overzealous DBKL enforcement officer

He received this 14-day notice to stop using a residential house as a motor workshop:

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But the house had conversion approval for which a total conversion fee of Rm78,000 was paid in 1997!

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I wish to know if such an approval is temporary because an officer in DBKL asked to see the Development Order (which cannot be found) and added that the owner can get refund of the fee paid but has to reapply for conversion for which the fee will be much higher based on current rate! If this is the case, then DBKL can go round looking for properties with similar approvals and demand new conversions and higher fees! Assessment rate was based on commercial use and he has business licence since he bought the property in 2004.

The other point is the trend to go paperless. When asked, the architect firm said they keep record up to 7 years only. So the onus is on owners to keep documents indefinitely?


Penang seems exemplary in helping those who are genuinely poor


Di bawah pentadbiran Pakatan Harapan yang diterajui oleh DAP dan PKR, Melayu dan Islam akan terus terbela di Pulau Pinang.

DAP baru memimpin sebuah negeri kecil iaitu Pulau Pinang (PP) yg tiada minyak, gas, balak ataupun KASINO, tapi lihatlah apa yg mereka telah lakukan;
1. Hafiz Al Quran dapat RM500 setahun
2. Anak baru lahir dapat RM200
3. Pelajar darjah 1 & 4, tingkatan 1 & 4 dapat RM100 (walaupun ibu bapa bukan orang PP)
4. Pelajar masuk Universiti dapat RM1000 (Sabah/Sarawak RM1200)
5. Surirumah tak kerja dapat RM100 setahun
6. OKU dapat RM100 setahun
7. Ibu tunggal dapat RM100 setahun
8. Warga emas dapat RM100 setahun
9. Ibu tunggal, OKU dan warga emas jika meninggal waris dapat RM1000
10. Pengayuh beca dapat RM1200 setahun
11. Pemandu teksi dapat RM600 setahun
12. Pengusaha bas sekolah dapat RM600 setahun
13. Nelayan dapat pukat percuma setahun 2 kali
14. Bantuan keluarga miskin. Kerajaan pusat bagi BRIM mulai 2012 kepada keluarga miskin ketika itu cuma RM500 setiap keluarga berpendapatan RM3000 kebawah.

TETAPI KERAJAAN PP BERI BANTUAN KEPADA KELUARGA MISKIN SECARA BULANAN SEJAK 2009 LAGI. Dan bantuan diberi mengikut bilangan isi rumah. Lebih ramai ahli keluarga maka lebih banyak bantuan yang akan dapat dengan HAD MAKSIMA SUMBANGAN KERAJAAN NEGERI SEBANYAK RM790 SETIAP KELUARGA SETIAP BULAN. Kerajaan PP menetapkan bantuan per kapita sebanyak RM220 setiap seorang untuk kiraan Paras Garis Kemiskinan (PGK). Contoh jika sebuah keluarga mempunyai 10 anggota maka PGK keluarga tersebut ialah RM220 x 10= RM2200. Maknanya keluarga tersebut memerlukan RM2200 sebulan untuk keluar dari PGK. Bantuan akan diselaraskan oleh agensi bantuan lain terlebih dahulu iaitu JKM dan Zakat PP (ZPP). Jika bantuan yg diberikan oleh JKM dan ZPP masih belum mencukupi barulah kerajaan PP akan TOP-UP dengan syarat sumbangan kerajaan tidak melebihi RM790 setiap keluarga. Sekarang lebih 1200 keluarga menikmati bantun bulanan ini yg dipanggil Agenda Ekonomi Saksama (AES) dan paling mengejutkan lebih 80% penerima bantuan AES adalah keluarga Melayu/Islam. Lain2 bantuan yg boleh dimohon melalui program AES ialah;

1. Bantuan baiki/bina baru rumah
2. Bantuan membeli peralatan utk membesarkan perniagaan

3. Rawatan dialisis percuma


Today's English words: patient, patient and patience...

As a hospital out-patient, patiently waiting at Ipoh GH, noticed Choy Sun Yeh is simultaneously in Room 1,2,3 & 4. 

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On the right (no pic), on the door, there was a CNY message in Chinese showing Sum Siong Si Seng... but it is 'For Staff only'!

Anyway, because of Chinese New Year holidays, there were few patients with few doctors on duty which caused the long wait. The queue system usually starts at 9.00 am but on this Thursday, it didn;t start until 10.10 am.

Meanwhile, patience with orchids can be rewarding...

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On the other hand, a patient might be called something else when someone takes his words literally...

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