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.