Dec 26, 2009

Dec 16, 2009

Your money or your life

Sometimes life can be very funny. It is just like magic: Now you see it, now you don’t. The untimely deaths of Yasmin Ahmad and Michael Jackosn are just two examples of how fragile life can be. Like sometimes, while browsing your morning paper, you would have come across an obituary of a friend whom you have just met a few days ago.

Our lives are not born-out to be perfect. As we grow up, there are a host of challenges and obstacles for us to clear before we can retire in peace: education, employment, children up-bringing and family. However, there are greater challenges that lie ahead: the social and health challenges.

The social challenge here refers to the social elements that can influence the behavior of our children. As parents, we are certainly very concern about how our children grow-up and to prevent them from mixing with the wrong kind of people and indulging in vices. Such a challenge is within our control. It is the health challenge we are facing that is scary.

Our lives are bombarded and ravaged with so many diseases that when we managed to overcome one, the next one awaits us. Just let me name some of these diseases so that you can realize why good health is so important: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and a host of other major organ diseases.

Of all the diseases, cancer is the most fearful to the extent it simply spells death to the person it strikes. The treatment cost for cancer which can be in the region of a few hundreds to tens of thousands or more a month and which do not guarantee a cure, is simply way out of the reach of ordinary working people. And for those who might have some savings, it will be a predicament: to spend on treatment or to save for raining days.

I must emphasize that it is not only the cost of treatment in cancer that is expensive as there are many other diseases that are equally beyond the reach of many, like hypertension and diabetes whereby the treatment is for life. With each discovery of a new drug that has numerous claims of better efficacy and cure rate, the price marketed by the multinational drug company is simply way above the reach of many. As if the cost of medication is not enough to ‘kill’ you, then together with the cost of hospitalization and the doctor’s fees, your ‘death’ is guaranteed.

Now, while you are still able to, it is extremely important that you pay a lot of attention to your health and well-being. Let us not wait for disease to strike us and when it does, treatment will be too late.

If we are to talk about fairness, then death is the fairest of all. Regardless of who you are, from being a King to a beggar, both must die.

This article is in memory of my late brother James Liew, who was either too stubborn or just not able to look after himself.

Dec 8, 2009

Where people dare

The property boom in the country during the last few decades has seen a surge in the development of many houses, shops and complexes.

If you were to take a drive to the many housing estates or to the shopping complexes, you will notice a distinctive feature of the many shops: majority is operated by the Chinese. Even during the current economic slowdown, many are still bold enough to venture into various types of businesses. Whenever and wherever there are opportunities, they will set-up their businesses like a swarm of bees that are attracted by honey.

In my housing estate, where there are so many restaurants that if I were to take my family for dinner by choosing one per week, it would take me a year to patronize all of them. I have noticed that not all of these restaurants are doing well, let alone to survive in this competitive market. In fact, it just amazes me that when one closes down, someone will take over, either to continue operate as a restaurant or to convert to other type of business. I have also noticed that there are more and more boutiques emerging which in future will change the area into a fashion street. There is also a posh snooker center whose capital outlay, I presume could be more than half a million. Just like the snooker center, some of the boutiques and restaurants are equally posh looking. I am just wondering how long it will take to earn back their capital outlay, not forgetting the profits.
I am sure such scenario is very similar throughout the country.
Why it is that the Chinese are bold enough to venture into business despite the many handicaps, while others are complaining of lack of opportunities? Even when opportunities are given on a platter, there are still so many failures? And with these failures, come the blame game.

Let us visualize what it will be like if there are no investments by these businessmen: many shops in the housing estates, shopping complexes and in the towns will be emptied and devoid of ‘life’. The whole place will be plunged into a dark and lifeless area like a ghost town without the vibrancy of human activities. And not forgetting the lost in the many jobs opportunities. With no jobs to feed the families, what will they do? To become small time thieves or big time robbers?
Oh yes, and the loss in taxes: income tax, licensing tax, signboard tax, the 5% Govt. Tax and a plethora of other taxes.

There are basically three attributes to be successful in business: be daring, be first and be perseverance. These attributes do not belong to one race. They belong to all. I am not here to glorify one race, for glory like the three attributes belongs to all. It is how one seeks glory through the use of good attributes that makes the difference.

Dec 3, 2009

Wake-up, please

I believe many of us must be extremely frustrated and disillusioned with the current happenings in the country. But then no matter what happens, maybe through the interference of God or maybe through the stupidity of the people who seemed still in slumber land that BN has been ruling the country since independence.

If these articles are not able to wake you up, then by all means, suffer at you own perils: read here and here and here.

Like Najib, who has Bugis blood, I have the Chinese blood. And like Najib who is born in Malaysia, so am I. And so are all the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Ibans and the Dayaks. And we call this rich potpourri of races: Malaysians. As Malaysians, I do believe we still love this country and will most probably die here. As long as we want change for the better, I see some hope in this country, despite the fact that thousands have already emigrated.
By now, you must have woke-up.
So, what are you going to do to change this country for the betterment of all?

Nov 30, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat: The way forward

The decision by the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor to ban its civil servants and public university students from attending the National Civic Bureau ( NCB ) deserves a round of applause by all right thinking Malaysians for its bravery, righteousness and farsightedness.

The NCB has long being used as a propaganda tool by the government to instill the spirit of dominance in the guise of patriotism to only one race and has caused so much of displeasure to the other races. With this controversial course now hogging the limelight in the medias, it makes me puke when some of the BN ministers said the course is designed in the spirit of 1Malaysia concept. This 1Malaysia concept thing in itself is being grossly overused and manipulated to suit the BN political mileage.

If the government is indeed sincere in wanting to promote racial harmony through the NCB, then it must not be afraid to let the public know the contents in the course modules and the relevant programmes to ascertain that there are no elements of communal poisons and ‘tribal’ indoctrination being pumped to the students. Better still, allow those past students and officials to tell their sides of the story, without fear and favor of course.

Do we want to see these students who will ultimately be the new generation of Malaysians to lead the country to become racial extremists or become leaders with righteousness?
Let this be the beginning of Pakatan Rakyat’s ability to undo whatever injustices that are planned and advocated by BN and to ignite the long awaited baptism of fire for the people to be patriotic.

Nov 20, 2009

Sorry Ireland

The winning goal that was scored by Thierry Henry of France in the return-leg of the World Cup play-off between France and Ireland is one of the most controversial and is already being dubbed by the press as the Hand of God II, following the infamous one by Diego Maradona.

The blatant use of the hand by Thierry Henry to stop and then control the ball before pushing it for his teammate to score is shown for all to see how unfair football can be. How can the referee and the linesmen not see such a foul?

With the advancement in video technology, FIFA must be brave enough to embrace new technology to prevent such an incident from making a mockery of football, like installing more cameras at strategic locations so that playbacks can be done instantly and accurately.

To prevent such an incident from happening again especially during the coming World Cup next year, FIFA needs to amend its rules and regulations and which I would like to propose the following:

1) In the event of a truly disputed goal, the referee has the right to stop the game for at least ten minutes but not more than 15 minutes to review the goal on TV.

2) During the review, the Managers of both teams, referee and two match officials must be present.

3) If it is concluded that it is an illegitimate goal by all, it must be shown on the big screen to convince the players and the spectators to avoid any untoward incidents.

4) In the event of a further dispute, then a vote must be conducted among the five officials with the majority overruling the minority votes. And the action of the disputed goal must also be shown on the big screen.

Nov 19, 2009

Sex: The subject and the object

Lately, we have been bombarded with the ‘potong’ or ‘cut’ advertisement by a broadband company. Such an advertisement, although seems and sounds ordinary enough, has created a topic for discussion among the public due to its sexual intonation: “Cut already only can go faster ma”. The Cantonese version has a more seductive tone. Many have argued that we are already living in the 21st Century and are matured enough not to be influenced by a seemingly 'harmless' advertisement. However, there are many who have called for the advertisement to be banned as it has a bad influence on the children. Well, they have succeeded with the intervention of a Deputy Minister, albeit not with a ban but a change in its intonation.

Now, there is another advertisement by a company that markets a ‘kuat’ brand washing powder with almost a similar sexual tone: “What did your husband say when you have changed to ‘kuat’?”

Marketing is basically about perception and the ability to catch the attention of the customers in a different manner so that it can be remembered instantly. Hence, the above two examples clearly showed the creativeness of the marketers: albeit in a controversial manner. I will not be surprised that such advertisements are created with the intent to cause some brouhaha so that the more it is debated, the more attention it is able to garner.

I remember that during the early 70s, Esso used to engage sales promoters as pump attendants who were sexily dressed in uniforms with tiger stripes as the animal was associated with power in Esso’s advertisement.

We have the beer advertisements with almost all of them using beautiful and sexily dressed ladies as if to seduce you for a drink. Even during the F1 races, one can see such ladies holding umbrellas to shelter the racers and strutting up and down as if to compete with the racers for attention. Then here again, we see many of these sexily dressed ladies, with some exposure of their boobs at the many motor shows.

Are men so obsessed with sexily and scantily dressed ladies that when they see one, they will make a bee-line to pump petrol or to the motor races and shows?
Are females being manipulated and exploited as sex objects by the advertisers to promote their products?
Or the adage that sex sells, simply holds true.

Nov 16, 2009

Who to blame?

The report in The Star today of a 15 year old girl who was raped by her brother and became pregnant must has shocked the nation. What is even more shocking is her willingness to give birth to the baby with the full knowledge of her parents. And the punishment for her brother? Well, he had been sent to a religious school without any punishment or charges. It seems like this is just a small matter and everything will be fine after this.

We have read of the many horror stories of snatch thefts and robberies that have made us feeling very insecure. And when parents do not seemed to care enough of their children, who should we blame for the existence of the mat rempits and the many gangsters who have been terrorizing us?

Nov 8, 2009

Monsoon Cup versus monsoon floods

The East Coast states have always been one of my favorite holiday destination due to not only its fabulous beaches and food but also the people. The humbleness of the people there can really makes one's holiday a memorable one.

The yearly monsoon season that is currently lashing at these states has brought much hardship to the people. It not only affects the livelihood of the people but has already claimed the life of a young girl inTrengganu.

Amidst all these turbulence and hardships, it is disturbing for me to read of the Monsoon Cup race which the rich are out to enjoy themselves. With the hundreds of millions to organize this yearly event which caters mainly to the foreigners, what actual benefits can the local people of Trengganu gain? Instead of clear sea water, we see muddy water at the race venue. As this race is shown internationally, there could be more damages to tourism rather than gaining. If these millions are truly spend on the development of the state, I believe the locals will have a much better standard of living and through good and efficient flood mitigation projects, the havoc caused by the frequent floods can be well managed and controlled.

But then, the success in organizing the Monsoon Cup is more important than the success in tackling the monsoon floods.

I spent my holiday in Trengganu with my family last year and have visited the marina for the Monsoon Cup. As I drove to the marina, the sight along the way was a pitiful one. Along the narrow kampung road, there are dilapidated houses and signs of poverty among the people. And yet, right here the government has the gist to build a few blocks of nice apartments for the participants.

As the saying goes, more projects mean more money to be made.
By whom and for whom is anyone's guess.

Oct 31, 2009

The Unbelievable

The Auditor-General's Report which has identified grouse mismanagement of government funds in many of the government departments, not only angered the people but has stretched our patience to the limits. The fact that this has been going on for umpteen years by those in power as if with impunity is indeed shocking and unbelievable.

And to fight such rampant corruptions, it is even more unbelievable for the PM to make the following statements as highlighted in red followed by comments in yellow:

The decision to form the
task force was made by the Cabinet at its meeting yesterday because it felt there was a need to look into any wrongdoings closely.
Well, the AG's reports have already identified the wrongdoings with all the relevant proofs. Is there any need to look closely anymore, like starting to investing all over again?

“They will not necessarily face legal action. They might face administrative action like surcharge, demotion, having their promotions frozen or be transferred,” Najib said.
This statement is the mother of all shockers.
It is akin to saying: "Well, since you have pocketed enough, I will transfer you to another department. Give other people a chance la".
Do you mind being transferred or demoted when you have pocketed millions with no charges against you for corruption?

Asked if setting up the task force was aimed an stopping corruption, he said: “Let’s be realistic, there cannot be absolute zero corruption but if we show seriousness (in going after those involved), I believe we can bring the numbers down considerably,” he said.
Hello Mr. PM, we have failed miserably in fighting corruptions.
How can you fight corruptions when your statements sounded so weak and so reluctant to charge the corrupts. For the country's sake, please use your power to nail these scorns of our society. Nail the big fish and the small ones will 'die' a natural death.

Oct 27, 2009

Believe what we believe in

1) The 2008 Auditor-General’s annual report has confirmed our beliefs that there are rampant corruptions through mismanagement and abuse of government funds. The sickening part of such a report is, while blatant corruptions have been identified, actions against the corrupts are either at a slow pace or merely for show. How much longer can we as taxpayers, stomach such a cancerous disease of greed and corruptions?

2) We believe that the Federal Government is not cooperating and assisting to the fullest in all the PR controlled states. When funds are not forthcoming, projects are either delayed or put on-hold and with the Little Napoleons in almost all departments, how can we then expect PR to rule efficiently. As such, for the DPM to say that these states are poorly administered, does not hold water at all.

3) We believe that BN is trying to sabotage the image of PR through its controlled mainstream medias. And it has been proven that factual truths are been distorted to become lies and lies become the truths.
4) We believe that many of the PR State Assemblyman and Parliamentarians are being targeted for selective persecution. Such attempts are nothing but to bring down the PR government either through by-elections or enticing the frog jumpers whom PR should gladly let go.

5) We believe that the 1Malaysia concept and the calls for change by Umno are nothing but a marketing ploy to please the peoples’ clarion call for change. With such a deep-rooted history of race politics, can we believe that it can change?

6) We believe that since the March 2008 election, the victory of PR has brought us hope for change: a change that we can believe in. The fight for change is not the responsibility of only one man but the responsibility of all in PR. And together we must make this change possible.

7) We believe that we are no fools. No matter what the evils say and do to sabotage PR, our hope for a clean and transparent government that can bring the country forward lies with PR. There will be grumbles and rumbles but we must never let PR tumble.

Oct 16, 2009

Greeting to all my Malaysian Indian brothers & sisters

May your home light up with the joy of Deepavali

Oct 15, 2009

Reformasi Umno

Can UMNO change that we can believe in ?

Oct 13, 2009

Post MCA's EGM analysis

1) Your hands must be dirtied in order to be cleaned in politics: The MCA President has learned it the hard way. His crusade to fight corruptions through transparency had stepped on many dirtied toes that are powerful enough to gang-up to remove him.

2) Either you are with me or against me: When one is against a person who has plenty of cash, where the ‘throwing’ of money to get things done is chicken feed and no matter how ‘clean’ the other party is, money is power. And God knows how much of money is involved.

3) Ghee Hin versus Hai San: The Chinese are reliving the history of gangsterism of these two rivals that existed here centuries ago. Whoever is the new President or Deputy President will be labeled as from different rival camps. And this rivalry will begin from the top and down to the supporters.

4) ‘Sick party of Malaysia’: The MCA should be aptly called as such because of its notorious records of in-fighting for power. It is truly sickening to the Chinese in particular to see such rivalry from a party that is supposed to look after their interest. If this ‘sickness’ is not resolve fast enough, it could be discarded by BN like a leper.

5) Integrity and dignity do not exist in politics: It is bared for all to see, the tainted one is openly fighting for power and the corrupted one continues to walk free. As for the ‘clean’ one, there is no place for him in Malaysia’s politics.

6) Two tigers cannot roam the same mountain: This holds true when the two tigers are hot-headed that bring no peace. With this in mind, the delegates are brave enough to remove the two leaders hoping to form a new team. Apparently, it has worsened the political situation in the party.

7) There is no permanent enemy or friend in politics: If the two rivals understand this saying in politics, gentlemen enough and for the sake of the party, they should shake hands and move the party forward and to regain some lost respect.

8) Power play of the forces: The so-called fence sitters have now reared their head to be a power player. While some retired leaders are playing behind the scene, others have joined in the power play directly. Under such a scenario, there will be plenty of wheeling and dealing from those with vested interests.

9) When cow sense has prevailed over common sense: When most of the component parties in BN are in disarray and losing support, this is the most opportune time for MCA to be strongly united. A strongly united party will enable the party to build a solid ground for respect and avoid being a punching bag in BN. As it is now, MCA is in such a total shambles due to its cow sense mentality that besides losing support, it has disgraced the Chinese.

10) And the division gets deeper: There are already some rumblings that the Foo Chows have triumphed over the Hainanese. Such comments, jokingly or otherwise, must never be allowed to flourish in MCA to divide the Chinese further, otherwise it is better for MCA to be known as Malaysia's Clans Association.

Oct 9, 2009

"Hello, Education Minister, I am sitting for my PMR examination. Your presence in the examination hall is distracting my concentration and giving me unnecessary pressure. If you just to want to show your concern, please observe from outside with your bunch of officers. And please use some common sense. Oh God, which question am I answering now?"

Oct 5, 2009

The rise of the dragon

See how China has changed over 60 years
As China celebrates its 60th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China on 1st Oct with great pomp and pageantry that befits the occasion and with the world watching in awe, many world leaders must be wondering what is in store for the world, economically and military in the future from a country that has risen from ashes.

As the founding father of the People's Republic of China, Chairman Mao Zedong was revered like god-like status. The whole nation followed him loyally. However, he was good in fighting but poor in governing. The Chinese had suffered so much of miseries and disasters under his leadership, that it had practically taught the people the art of survival. The Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward that were advocated by Chairman Mao were two major disasters that had caused millions of people died of starvation.
The Opium War with the British during the Manchu era and the occupation by the Japanese during the Second World War had brought so much of shame to the Chinese that they were called ‘The sick man of Asia’.

If we were to look at the history of China much earlier on, like during the voyages of Admiral Zheng Ho, the might and superiority of China was shown to the world: a fleet of powerful ships, the invention of fireworks and paper and many other discoveries. Interestingly, despite all these power and might, the Chinese never set out to conquer but to conduct trade.

Today, the Chinese has learned much from history and as strong followers of the teachings of Confucius, the will to succeed has make them a remarkable race: a race that has earn the respect from the world over. The sick man is no more sick and is well and strong now to challenge the world. In the words of Chairman Mao: "The Chinese people have stood up!".

And today, China is the third largest economy in the world and it has been forecasted that it may take over the United States to become the world’s largest economy in a decade from now. Being the world's most populous nation, it can be achieved. The Chinese has demonstrated to the world of its ability to perform since the successful staging of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. The success of its space programme and the speed of its industrialization, from building bullet trains to airplanes have open a floodgate of opportunities for the world's economy. With an average growth of about 8% for the last decade, it has propelled China's foreign reserves to more than USD3 trillion, making it the highest in the world.
Can we learn something from the Chinese?

It makes me wonder, what will be the history of the world in general and Malaysia in particular be now, if Admiral Zheng Ho had set out to conquer the world and Malacca.

Oct 1, 2009

Will it happen here?

It is with sadness that we read of the earthquakes which struck at Samoa and Indonesia’s Sumatra island causing untold miseries to many. At least more than 7o people have been reported killed in Indonesia and many are victims who are trapped under the rubbles of the collapsed buildings. The death toll may rise to thousands as many more are still being trapped underneath. And in Samoa, a magnitude of 8.0 is strong enough to trigger a massive tsunami causing widespread destruction with more than 100 victims already dead.
The earthquake in Indonesia which registered a magnitude of 7.6 can even be felt in KL, PJ, Penang and Johor, causing panic among residents and workers in high rise buildings to be evacuated. It must be noted that this is not the first time that we have felt earthquake tremors. We have experienced this several times before.
As tremors are caused by the movement of earth underneath and with most of our buildings not designed and built to withstand earthquake, it makes me wonder(and concern) whether the foundations of the buildings are still strong enough. If for example, each earthquake affects the foundation of the building by 5%, the strike of three earthquakes would have affected the foundation by 15%. What will happen if the next earthquake that strikes has a magnitude of 9.0 or 10.00? How many more tremors can our buildings withstand?
Have the relevant authorities taken this into consideration so that inspection of buildings can be carried out before untold calamities happen?
As Indonesia is situated in the ring of fire and it being our neighbor, there is a high possibility of further earthquakes. The notion that we do not have earthquake here does not hold true anymore. Whether it is going to happen here, only time will tell.

Sep 30, 2009

It's the system, dude!

The development of high quality human capital is one of the most important fundamentals that a country needs to propel forward. And in order to achieve this, a good system must be in place so that programmes can be carried out efficiently. A good example is our neighbor, Singapore. The government of Singapore has a reputation of always planning ahead of times so that the need for human capital can be identified in the relevant sectors.

The fact that its Education Ministry officers have come over to Malaysia to identify bright students to offer scholarships and subsequently to work there demonstrates Singapore's seriousness in its quest for quality human capital. When it realizes that it is in dire needs of IT and financial professionals, it has no qualms in offering PR status to attract them to serve in the country.

The call by Najib to bring back Malaysia's talent by providing incentives to keep them home is not something new that the government has done. It has been offered quite sometime ago: albeit with a lukewarm response. Why is this so?

Although monetary reward is important, it is certainly not the main reason why many of our talents are reluctant to come home to serve. The main deterrent is the political system of the country which is a total turnoff. With so much of emphasis being place on race in almost all the sectors: promotion, scholarships, loans, contracts and a plethora of other benefits which are almost exclusively given to one race, can we blame them? What kind of future will it hold for them and their children if they ever return home?

And Najib also wants to know whether it is the brain drain that Malaysia is not able to have a bigger number of science professionals. How can we achieve this when our education system is in a state of confusion? Come on Najib, we all know the reasons a long time ago, don't you?

It is the system that is letting us down: a system of imbalances and inefficiencies. We have been living through these systems for so long that they not only impede the progress of the country, they have also made the people 'retarded'.

Sep 22, 2009

Invasion of the foreign kind

This scene must be very familiar to many Malaysians by now.

Each time, whenever there is a long holiday during the festive seasons, we see many of the foreign workers taking this opportunity to relax and explore the country. In KL, we will see many of them converge in ‘strategic’ locations like KLCC and major shopping malls. There are also many who will converge in popular areas like Jalan TAR and Jalan Silang.The area in Jalan Silang ( behind Kotaraya) is so popular among the Nepalese and Bangladashis that they have set up restaurants and shops. As a Malaysian, if you happen to be in this area, you may be wondering whether you are in Nepal or Bangladesh. Their presence is so overwhelming that it simply makes you feel like a minority there.

In fact, Malaysia is a melting pot of many other nationalities. The largest group is undoubtedly the Indonesians which is not surprising due to the many similarities in culture, language and religion. While the males are mainly construction workers the females either work as maids or in restaurants. The second largest group is the Bangladeshis who seemed adapt to work in many fronts: construction, restaurant, factory and even in Petaling Street. The third largest group is the Burmese. Most of them work in restaurants with many managing stalls in coffee shops. Then there are the Nepalese who work mainly as security guards which suits the reputation of the Gurkhas. We also see of the many Vietnamese who are employed to work in factories throughout the country. There are also the pocketfuls of Indians who work in the IT industries while the Chinese and Thais work in restaurants as cooks.

I believe that the government will not be able to provide a correct statistic of these foreigners who are here either legally or illegally. A rough estimate of about 3 million is almost equal to the Malaysian Indians population, if not more.

As a workforce, although these foreign workers play an important role in supporting our economy, there are some downside as well. There have been many social problems that are attributed to these foreigners: security and health. Robberies have been rampantly committed by a certain group of foreigners while in the health front, when tuberculosis was already extinct here, it has resurfaced again. No thanks to the lax in the health screening checks by the relevant authorities.

What will the impact of these foreign workers be to our economy?
Well, apparently the local bus companies have already felt the impact of these foreigners for survival. A random check in bus stands here and KL showed a ratio almost at one Malaysian to seven foreigners. We have seen them manning stalls and doing retail businesses. Once they have tasted some successes in making money, they are bound to stay on and even take over these small businesses. By then, it will too late for the government to do much to repatriate them. And for the years to come, we will witness a baby boomer of the foreign kind.

Is our dependence on these foreign workers at the expense of the locals or are we just over dependence on them?

Sep 19, 2009

Greeting to all muslims

When terrorist Noordin Md Top was reported killed in a shoot-out with the crack Indonesian anti-terrorism squad, the world must have heaved a sigh of relief. This is the militant mastermind who has been responsible for a string of deadly bombings in Indonesia, including those in Bali in 2002 and two luxury hotels in Jakarta recently.

But then the Home Minister of Malaysia said he was sad over the death of the terrorist. He even said that this terrorist could have been rehabilitated.

Like many of you, I just could not believe what this minister had said.

Feeling sad over the death of a terrorist?
How about those hundreds of innocent victims who have been killed by the terrorists?
Mr.Minister, you should go and tell how you feel to the victims' families.

To rehabilitate a terrorist?
When we can't even control the menace of the mat rempits and rehabilitate the drug addicts, this minister is talking about rehabilitating terrorists. Maybe he should talk to Osama bin Ladin to work out a deal on rehabilitating his army of militants.

And if he succeeds in his rehabilitating programme, Malaysia will definitely be flooded with investments from the United States.

Sep 16, 2009

Bagan Pinang by-election: Whack them where it hurts most

Analytical overview of the electorates

Registered voters as at 4th Sept.09: 13664 (including 4604 postal voters)

Breakdown by race:
Malays - 8577 (62.77%)
Chinese - 1498 (10.96%)
Indians - 2834 (20.74%)
Others - 755 (5.53% )

Since the election will be held on Sunday and with most of the electorates working in nearby KL and Selangor, a good voters turnout of 80% is expected which will gives a total of 10931 voters with the following racial breakdown:

Malays : 2257 ( 6861 – 4604(postal votes already in Umno’s favor)
Chinese: 1198
Indians: 2267
Others: 604
Projected support for PR with racial breakdown:
Malays - 1128 (50%)
Chinese - 838 (70%
Indians - 1785 ( 70% )
Others - 422 (70% )

Total votes for PR: 4173
Total votes for BN: 6952
Majority: 2779
Let us assume that the above hypothetical analysis of the by-election is generally correct, then it is without a doubt that the postal votes hold the key to victory for Umno/BN. Even if PR managed to garner 80% of the votes from all, it will still lose by 812 votes in this Umno stronghold.

It seems that the only solution for PR is to ensure that there is no massive cheating of the postal votes and to allow the postal voters the freedom to vote.

As for the election campaign, Umno will do what it knows best: use the racial trump card and ketuanan Melayu to incite fear and confuse the Malay voters. It will also attack Pas by accusing it as a puppet of the DAP and is not strong enough to protect the muslims. But then, the more they engage in racial issues, the more negative perceptions they will generate for Umno.

On the other hand, PR must try to avoid a direct confrontation with Umno on racial issues. It needs to work out a road map for the Malays to move away from the old orthodox of racial politics. In other words, the Malays must be convinced to do a paradigm shift: to stay with a racist party and move backward or to support PR and go forward together

Although the PKFZ scandal, cow head protest and the death of Teoh Beng Hock have given some bonus points to the election campaign of PR, this by-election is by far the most difficult one. No thanks to the postal votes, which has put PR in a disadvantage totally.
Although this constituency is an Umno stronghold, a victory by PR will certainly hammer a solid nail into Umno/BN's political coffin.

Sep 12, 2009

The never ending war

Today is the eight anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States by the terrorist group of al-Qaeda which brought the World Trade Center down that has killed more than 3000 innocent lives and which also brought the United States to its knees. No one would have ever imagined that such a large scale attack can be carried out in the most powerful country of the world and which has the most sophisticated intelligence agencies like the CIA and the FBI where both have failed miserably against terrorism.

The accolades of martyrdom on the terrorists have ramified greater terrorist groups like the Jenamiah Islam Indonesia, Moro Liberation Front (MNLF) Philippines, Palestine Liberation Front(PLF), Hezbollah Lebanon and many more. And all of these terrorist groups have its own agenda and a myriad of reasons to fight: religion, land, oppression, freedom. The fight for land in Palestine with Israel against the backdrop of religion has been a long standing issue and with no solution in sight, the people of both countries can brace themselves for greater sufferings and destructions. Granted that this issue has been resolved, the terrorists will still have other reasons to continue to fight. They will fight a jihad war in the name of religion. They would want to liberate the Muslims in the belief that they have been oppressed by the west. So, the war on terror continues.

Why do these people so ever willing to fight and to kill? It is their religious beliefs or are they being brainwashed to fight for the sake of fighting? The fact that they have members who are willing to sacrifice their lives by becoming suicide bombers must have sent shivers down the spine of many. To achieve their objectives, they have no qualms to maim and to kill even the innocents. And history has taught us that a religious war is always long and bloody.

The resources to fight a war whether conventional or otherwise require a tremendous amount of manpower and finance. The ability of the terrorist groups to fight such a long war showed that they must have a huge amount of financial support. Can the United States identify its sources to cut this financial lifeline of the terrorist groups? Although President Obama has begun to reach out for peace to the Muslim world, especially Iran (but with a lukewarm reciprocation), he must continue to work with those countries where terror cells are rampant.

If olive branch diplomacy fails to work, then for the sake of world peace, should the United States leads an all out war, physically or economically against those countries that harbor terrorism?

Sep 8, 2009

Ghost stories

1) The weather for the last two weeks has been extremely hot, so much so that I need to on the room’s air-condition full blast before I can enjoy a good night sleep. One night, at about 2.00 am, there was a sudden urge for me to urinate and having done that, I walked towards the window just to have a look outside. To my horror, I saw a ghostly figure of a man standing opposite my house and he was wearing a bow tie! I froze for a while and when I realized that he was staring at my direction, I pulled the curtain slowly to hide my face. And for a good ten minutes he was standing there before he disappeared into thin air.
I realized the next morning that this is a Hungry Ghost month where the gates of hell open to allow them to roam the world and for those who died untimely deaths, the opportunity to seek revenge. However, this ghost with the bow tie seemed to be a friendly one.
2) About three years ago, my third elder brother passed away unexpectedly at a relatively young age of 59. He owns a restaurant which has been doing pretty well as he has been working hard to ensure his business is well taken care of. Just as he is to reap his success, his life was snatched away right before my eyes. One Sunday afternoon, he called me to fetch him to the hospital as he was having difficulty in breathing that seemed like an asthmatic attack. And two days after admission, he was gone.
One night, as usual on a weekend, I was sitting on the sofa watching my favorite Astro programme past midnight, when I could smell something pleasantly nice coming from the kitchen. As this perfume smell was familiar to me, I knew instinctively my brother had come to ‘visit’ me as the fragrance was his favorite. I sat still on the sofa with tears rolling down my eyes as I recalled his last breadth, and not wanting to turn back to ‘see’ him.
3) This happened quit a long time ago.
Previously, during each Chinese New Year, I need to drive home to my hometown in the East Coast for the celebration and then on the third day, to drive to Ipoh to celebrate with my in-laws. And this journey requires me to drive to KL and then to Ipoh by using the trunk road.
One New Year, while driving back to KL and as I drove through the tunnel near Genting, I saw a ghostly shadow of a child on the wall and was wearing the full attire of the Manchu era of China! When I revealed this to my wife, she told me that it is bad luck to see a ghost during Chinese New Year.
As I reached KL, I received a call from my friend who happened to go back to Ipoh as well. Remembering what my wife had told me, I arranged to travel in his car. When we reached Kampar, my friend met with two accidents. His car windscreen was smashed by a flying stone and later when this was fixed, his car door got knocked by another car.
Is there a relation to what I saw and what happened to my friend’s car?
I shudder to think what would have happened to me and my family if I were to drive to Ipoh.
Will I meet with a more serious accident and survive?
Whether we believe in fate or faith, let us appreciate what we have and not take things for granted.

Sep 6, 2009

Malaysia race relation: The way forward

I believe many of us by now are already blasé with the political milieu in the country whereby racial hatreds are being stirred so blatantly that it has made many of us nauseous.

So for once, let us forget about any political parties so that we can talk as one. Maybe we can share something interesting that demonstrate racial harmony. Maybe we can contribute some good ideas on how to enhance greater racial integration among the people.

And I hope the following stories can bring some cheers to all of us which aptly demonstrate the true meaning of racial integration:

Moving request for prayers

Chinese and Bumipitras working together for prosperity

Chinese yee sang for Hari Raya. What a great combination!

I have once mooted an idea(
read here) quite some time ago for the people of different races and religions to congregate at the same venue and on the same piece of land for prayers so that each and everyone can understand one's religion better. But then, the goons in the cow head protest have shattered my dream.

We must always bear in mind that the future of this country hinges tightly on the racial relations of the people. And to those who like to sow the seeds of racial hatreds, I would like to appeal to all of you not to destroy the bondage of the people. The above three stories have shown that the people of different races can work and eat together because there is respect and trust among them. And I believe there are many more of them out there.
Let us learn from our very own people.