Saturday, January 31, 2009

Online Credibility - A dispute that was Bru-ing

There are 2 blogs that I read often.
One by Haris Ibrahim, The People's Parliament.
The second, Rocky's Bru, by Ahiruddin Attan.
I have gradually grown to respect Haris' work very much. Rocky's work too.
Even my other favourite blogger, Malik Imtiaz Sawar, has sung praise of Haris. Coming from a just and objective lawyer, it is a considerable credit to what Haris has contributed to this country.
There were recently a few posts on a supposed "meeting" in Bangsar about how to blame our PM on the KT by-election loss.
At the end of the day, Haris relied on an informant on the event, which was against Rocky's word.
So, someone was lying. Who?
Does it matter?
What matters now is that Haris has apologised to Rocky like the gentleman he is.
Hello, you two grown-up men, there is the nation to think about rather than what happened and who said what.
I hope this matter ends with Haris' apology.
I started this blog when RPK went to Kamunting under ISA.
I felt that by writing out what I felt and thought, I would be able to flesh out my ideas and grow from the reflections.
Bloggers often say things they mean, and some things that may not be true.
I have quoted some figures and facts here in this blog that I got from my contacts and these numbers show how much the BN government has been robbing from the people.
I would not lie for the sake of getting more hits, or to create unnecessary trouble.
My only aim is to help make this a better and more transparent country.
I hope this objective is shared by other socio-political bloggers.
Get on with the program, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, January 30, 2009


My beliefs define me.
Not what others think of me or who they think I am.
Not my reputation or who people thought I was.
Not what others have heard, not what others think I have done or do.
Not my talents, not my successes, not my struggles.
Not my friends, not my family, not my place of worship.
Not the laughs, not the hurt, not the smiles, not the tears.
It is not my athletic ability, nor my musical gifts.
It is not my mistakes that I wish I could take back or the memories I wish I could relive.
Not anything else.

Kudos to JPJ

I can remember the last time I went to renew my driving license. I took a form, filled it up, and waited in a queue for 2 and a half hours before the application was processed.
Yesterday, I went to get a replacement as my driving license was lost by the idiotic security guards at Riana Green condominiums.
That will be the last time I will hand over my IC or driving license to anyone for security reasons.
I went around 0930 hrs, and hoped the queue wouldn't be too long.
To my surprise, I didn't have to fill up a form. All I needed was 1 photo and my MyKad.
I took a number, no. 1148, which at that time, no. 1109 was being served.
Can you guess how long the queue was? It was less than half an hour!
The queue numbers moved at an average of 1 per minute, and with 3 counters open, it moved so fast that people were getting up from their seats all the time.
I have NEVER seen this happen at a government service center before.
My number showed on the display, and I handed over my photo and MyKad.
Paid RM20.00 for the replacement and VOILA! My license was ready!
In less than ONE minute!
All I want to say is KUDOS to all the staff in JPJ at Padang Jawa, and whoever was the brains behind this improvement in service level, BRAVO!
I hope that our government departments continue to improve, and to the people at the Enquiry Counter, keep on smiling.

Friday, January 23, 2009

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse!

Ethan, this is for you. I had thought of posting this when your youngest sibling comes into this world, but after your fuss about going to school this morning, I decided it couldn't wait.
I’d really like for my children to know about hand-me-down clothes and home-made pastries and leftover meals. I really would.

My cherished children, I hope you learn humility by surviving failure and that you learn to be honest even when no one is looking.
I hope you learn to make your bed and mow the lawn and wash the car; and I hope your mom will not give you a brand-new car even when you have graduated from college.

It will be good if at least one time you can see a baby animal being born, and you have a good friend to be with you if you ever have to put your old dog to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I made sure that you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it is all right to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared; I hope you’ll let him.

And when you want to see a Disney movie and your kid brother wants to tag along, I hope you take him.

I hope you have to walk uphill with your friends and in a town where you can do it safely.

If you want a slingshot, I hope you learn by yourself how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read more books, and when you learn to use computers, you also learn how to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and that when you talk back to your mother you learn what soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on the stove and stick your tongue on something frozen.

I hope you get sick when someone blows smoke in your face. I don’t care if you try beer once, but I hope you won’t like it too much. And if a friend offers you a cigarette or any drugs, I hope you are smart enough to realize that person is not your friend.

I sure hope you will make time to sit on a porch with your parents or go fishing with your uncles.
I hope your mother punishes you when you break something belonging to someone else, and that she hugs you and kisses you when you give her a plaster of paris mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you; tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

PAS shows it's ugly side

I believe PAS to be an understanding party.
Yes, it had a bad history like statements about voting BN means going to hell and all that.
Just days after their by-election victory in Kuala Trengganu, their Federal Territory Youth wing is at it again.
This time, protesting the concert by Rihanna.
Previously, they have protested Avril Lavigne and other artistes.
First thing first.
Perhaps this "Youth wing" is not a representation of PAS's views as a whole.
Secondly, they fail to understand that the Malaysian population is not entirely consisting of Muslims only.
Third, they have ignored the fact that there are sufficient guidelines for public performances by artistes, local and/or foreign.
Heck, if these guidelines are not strict, why the hell did Beyonce Knowles skip Kuala Lumpur in her tour?
Because she REFUSED to compromise.
Her show is her show. Her trademark is her curves. She likes to show them off.
If you don't want to see, then up to you.
No one is pointing a gun at our youngsters to go and watch these shows.
SOLUTION: Very simple.
Ban all Muslims from this type of concerts / shows.
See if you get a reaction.
I'm willing to bet you that more than half the Malay population will protest it.
I have suspected something for a long time.
It seems that Chinese movies are a long time favorite among all Malaysians.
Whenever I watch a Chinese movie (which is very seldom), I like to see the variety of the crowd.
Very MUHIBBAH. There's the usual Chinese families, then you will see Indian AND Malay couples too!
Maybe it's because Chinese movies are not censored too much, so it's more enjoyable, even to people who do not understand the language.
That's my hunch.
So, PAS, prove it to me again that your heart and mind is open enough to accept products from another culture.
If there is another protest in public against Rihanna's concert, then it shows that PAS is no different than UMNO in trying to control the way Malays behave and think.
If they wish to do so, fine. It's up to them if they want to be fascist.
Just make sure they do not impede the freedom of other Malaysians to enjoy foreign shows.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Election BN cannot win

It's very humorous to read how the mainstream media has painted the picture that Barisan Nasional will win in tomorrow's by-election in Kuala Trengganu.
Very well then, so if BN wins, it won because it spent HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of the MALAYSIAN CITIZENS' MONEY on bribing the people in KT.
Contracts for Class F contractors (via "lucky draw", forget open tender, BN does not understand what transparency is), laptops for students, various financial incentives and the most despicable of all, RM 1,000 per vote.
I do not like the fact that the Chinese voters have been given the role of "kingmaker" in this event.
I would like to think of EVERY voter in KT as the kingmaker.
Who you choose in the ballot, is your appointed leader, someone you believe will work for YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY.
Also, it is laughable that BN gave RM300 to each Chinese voter. For some Chinese, RM300 is an amount that some people give to their children for Chinese New Year angpow.
It is an INSULT to the Chinese to think they can be bought over. To Chinese, it is HONOR that matters most. And honor CANNOT be bought.
Maybe MCA members might not understand this very much.
And after all this shenanigans, if BN still loses, then it loses BIG.
So, if win, still a loser. Lose, BN will be a BIGGER LOSER.
So, no matter what happens, the whole country can see with their own eyes that Barisan Nasional is the MOTHER of ALL CORRUPTION.
Even if they win the KT battle, they will lose big time at the next General Election.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Malaysia, Truly Asinine

I feel compelled to speak about the current conflict in Gaza.
Palestinians shooting rockets at Israelis.
Israelis bombing the bejesus out of Hamas' army.
For crying out loud, this conflict has been ongoing for 2,000 years. What makes anyone think it will end soon?
Even if US steps in, will it stop?
Even if Malaysia sends their entire army (which could probably be obliterated by a few Mossad agents), will both Israelis and Palestinians agree to love each other again?
I have a gut feeling this conflict will go on and on until I get a grandchild.
ok, so even if it's not a religious conflict, we should help on humanitarian grounds?
I get annoyed every time there is a charity drive to help someone OUTSIDE Malaysia.
We still have homeless people, starving people, and even people without an identity card.
Why can't we resolve all these issues at home before we even think of outsiders?
I remember after the tsunami hit Acheh, everyone was clamoring to help them.
When the collection tin came to me, I said NO. NOT A SINGLE CENT!
That's not because I'm a skinflint. I have helped in charities, including hole-in-heart cases etc.
I told the person, if there are NO MORE BEGGARS and HOMELESS VAGRANTS in Malaysia, then yes, I will donate generously to your Acheh cause.
I suspect some public figures are using this event to try to con the people that they're fighting for the "righteous". They get some good publicity and they hope that it will absolve them of their sins like robbing the tax-paying citizens while in public office.
I am hearing from my people in Kuala Trengganu that Barisan Nasional will be soundly beaten.
Seems PAS is heading for a landslide victory.
Well, it was probably UMNO who assumed they could continue to think that Kuala Trengganu people were stupid enough to believe their lies.
Here's to a better Malaysia.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Why so serious?

That has got to be my favourite line from 2008.
Well, there's a reason to be dead serious. IT's here.
The RECESSION has arrived.
My company is on a plan to reduce all overheads by 10%.
Coming from the HQ in Shanghai, the plan can't go wrong.
The Chinese know money like Tiger Woods knows golf. They just know.
Now, if you yourself can reduce your expenditure by 10%, you'll do very well in 2009.
Unfortunately, in Malaysia, no one really understands what deflation is.
Even when petrol prices goes down, LOWER than it was A YEAR AGO, food prices are still higher.
Tenaga Nasional continues to charge a HIGHER TARIFF it implemented due to higher "gas prices".
So, it's up to everyone individually to tighten their belts and brace for the worst.
But if and when we do get through this recession (which hopefully does not evolve into a depression), we will become better persons for what it has made us go through.

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals - Marie Curie

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An open letter to all Malaysians

The mainstream media is powerful. Most people realise their power and they use the media to spin their image. Not least, our current federal government.
On New Year's Day, I decided to write a letter to NST and The Star's editors. It was apolitical.
It did not get published. However, I will still post it here, the unedited version.
I hope each and every adult Malaysian will get the message.
Here it is:


Happy New Year to all Malaysians, and I hope 2009 brings glad tidings to everyone, regardless of their roots.
It will be a tough year, but something worries me. It seems most Malaysians have lost the ability to differentiate what is important and what is a priority.
When I go to the convenience stores, I see too many gossip magazines available for sale.
Who is this Mawi and Ekin? I have no idea who they are.
I see them on the cover of magazines and some newspapers as well.
When I ask the cashier, she says,"Oooh, you don't know, he's a famous singer. Their wedding cost RM 5 million".
I didn't want to ask her why it was important how much their wedding cost.
So, will it change my life if I know who they are? Why are they so important?
I don't know who Amber Chia is either, and I don't care whether she's someone's 2nd wife.
Am I going to be arrested under ISA for being a "subversive"? I just have no idea who Mawi and Ekin is.
Is this what it means to be no longer young? It's not so bad.
Maybe I can put it another way. Where did the idea come from that we should worship Mawi and Ekin and that we don't worship our respective Gods as we understand Them?
I suppose that's a sign I'm getting old too.
But there are too many people wondering where Mawi came from, and NOT ENOUGH people wondering where the Malaysia we used to know is going to.
The recession is coming, whether we like it or not, as it is part of an economic cycle.
I hope all Malaysians can work together towards weathering these times and not pull in different directions.
Thank you and have a great year ahead.

See, a letter like that cannot be published. Thanks to you, The New Strait Times and The Star, newspapers with ZERO INTEGRITY!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Barisan Nasional, the greatest robbers in the world

The people of Malaysia are being robbed.
In broad daylight.
By force.
Because they have to pay toll. EXCESSIVELY.
I stay in Puchong at the moment. Puchong is the ONLY town where you have to PAY to get in AND get out.
It costs RM 1.60 one way, so the minimum toll that Puchong residents pay if they're going out of the area is RM 3.20.
That is already half a meal for most Malaysians. And if you think that's not a lot, then multiply that amount by 150,000 vehicles passing through the Sunway toll plaza. I have not taken into account the USJ plaza and the Cyberjaya plaza.
So, LDP collects approximately RM 480k EVERYDAY! That's RM 180 MILLION A YEAR!
And this figure can be proven by the toll agreements currently open to public viewing.
The newspaper article also states that LDP expects to collect around RM 800 MILLION A YEAR in the year 2020 during the final year of it's concession. This is based on the INCREASE in TOLL RATES allowed in the toll agreement.
In total, LDP would have collected RM 18 billion throughout it's entire concession period. I have an ex-colleague who has the figures where it states the highway's cost is approximately close to ONLY RM 1 billion.
So, ok, I'm willing to take into account the NPV cost of cash or cost of funding for the works done. Say, an extra billion. So, where does the extra RM 16 billion go?
To the government of Malaysia, I hereby volunteer to BUILD ALL HIGHWAYS in Malaysia.
I solemnly promise that I will disclose my costs for all to see, verified by 3 independent quotations for each cost item.
I will collect toll at a rate where it will sufficiently cover the costs, including the cost of funds.
When this point has been reached, I will then reduce the toll rate to cover the cost of maintenance, again I will have the maintenance costing verified by 3 independent parties.
How is that, PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA? Would you like that?
And I still can't believe half of Malaysia voted for Barisan Nasional, the greatest robbers in the world.
I do not disagree with paying toll. I only do not agree that we have to pay toll for a NORMAL road that was done up nicely and then CALLED a highway.
Hello, the LDP was formerly just a normal road lah!
I only moved into Puchong because my in-laws are taking care of my kids who are still young. When I can afford to move to Subang, I WILL because I do not agree with paying toll just to go out of my house and to go back to MY HOME.
The signs look good in Kuala Trengganu that Barisan Nasional will LOSE and Pakatan Rakyat will again have a landslide victory.
BN is still employing the mainstream media to spin bullshit that they are ahead in pre-polls.
My next post will be on how NST and The Star has ZERO INTEGRITY.
Have a productive week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bribing your way to power in Malaysia

The people of Trengganu must be quite happy.
In a morbid kind of way, they are probably celebrating that a Deputy Minister had passed away.
Otherwise, how do you explain a sudden gift of a computer notebook to every Standard 1 pupil?
The BN government has chosen to present this to the pupils in Trengganu. I am sure the other states are eagerly anticipating the same present as well.
I will bet my bottom dollar that the states controlled by Pakatan Rakyat will not get a single laptop, much less a microchip.
Sorry, let's think for a while.
ok, he can play his Pokemon games. Or maybe he can learn to blog and be like his idol, RPK, someday.
Yeah right, I know 7 year olds today are much smarter but this is too much.
I am sure most secondary students would be able to appreciate the gift much more, regardless of whichever state they're in.
Also, suddenly, after years of wrangling, the oil royalties due to the Trengganu state government are paid by the Federal Government. Hmm, let's see.......
I sincerely hope that the Trengganu citizens can see through these charades.
That they will think what the BN is trying to do to them.
Trying to buy their hearts. And their VOTES.
I spent a few years in a Dutch oil and gas company. I heard that some states other than Sabah/Sarawak and Trengganu have oil, but they are not drilling for it.
Why, you ask? Because the moment they do, the Federal Government will move in and take it out.
So they wait. For the liberation that will come with a change in Federal Government.
One note of advice for Barisan Nasional.
If you do not repeal the ISA, I am quite sure that Pakatan Rakyat will use it on you when they take over in 2013.
Would you like that?
I think the prison in Kamunting will have to be expanded to be able to accomodate everyone from UMNO.
That would be good for Taiping's economy.
Also, added tourist attraction. Maybe something similar to the Night Safari at the Taiping Zoo.
View the animals that walk upright. They stole the people's money and now they're behind bars for tourists to see.
People of Kuala Trengganu, time to stand up and be counted!
I am sure that you have learned enough to PAS this test.

Friday, January 02, 2009

How to eliminate piracy in Malaysia

There are 2 types of pirates.
One on the high seas and the other type is land-based.
The shipping industry is suddenly beset by a high number of piracy cases especially on the Gulf of Aden.
When I was learning about shipping, the Captain of a 6,500 TEUs vessel took the liberty of showing me their anti-pirate measures. It was a simple high-pressure water hose that acted as a "water gun" to deter anyone from boarding the ship.
I couldn't help but laugh.
A vessel carrying cargo worth millions of dollars, protected by a big water pistol.
Now, land-based pirates. You can see them everywhere in Malaysia.
Around mamak stalls, food courts and sometimes at convenience stalls.
They sell you pirated movies and music.
I appreciate these people.
Without them, I would not be able to watch a movie in its totality.
This is because the National Censorship Board thinks Malaysians are a bunch of imbeciles.
However, it takes an imbecile to think the other person is an imbecile.
Beyonce Knowles. Her latest song is called "If I were a boy". There's a line in there, where she sings, "Go drink beer with the guys".
For some local radio stations, I have heard the song with the word "beer" censored out.
WHY? Is beer illegal in Malaysia?
Is drinking alcoholic beverages outlawed now?
Or maybe 9 year old girls who have Beyonce as their idol will start drinking because they heard the word BEER in the song?
Thanks to the Censorship Board.
I watched the movie, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Brilliant movie. Somehow, the movie escaped unscathed from the scissors of the Censors.
Maybe it was too brilliant for them to understand so they didn't know where to censor.
So, here's how to defeat piracy in Malaysia, STOP CENSORING!
If you don't censor, people will stop buying pirated DVDs. All they want is to enjoy a movie, the way it was made to be seen.
Malaysians have matured enough to know what they're watching and if they want to watch.
A show of a nipple will not cause widespread raping.
Blood spurting out from someone's neck will not encourage kids to hack their friends to death.
I believe my children's Ultraman VCDs are more violent than most movies.
Also, parents should be left to decide if they want to let their children watch certain shows.
Yes, I'm losing the battle with my wife to let the kids watch Power Ranges, who kick more butt in EVERY EPISODE than Batman and Ironman combined.
I look forward to the day when Malaysians can watch foreign movies and have a witty banter about the entire show, UNCUT.