Feb 25, 2011

Pakatan must strike at the core issues when the iron is hot

Egypt -----------Tunisia ------------ Bahrain ----------Libya ---------- Yemen ---------- ?????

Feb 16, 2011

Holiday in Bandung and Jakarta

At last, after being 'grounded' for a few years, I managed to 'take off ' for a short holiday of three nights in Bandung and two nights in Jakarta with my family during this Chinese New Year.

Just to share some photos and perhaps some advice for those who are planning for a holiday to Bandung.

A VIP welcome by my driver, Mr.Robert from Mulia Car Rental service which was arranged prior departure. It is advisable to arrange such service for comfort and convenience to move around Bandung: from the volcano sites to the many Factory Outlets for shopping. Oh yes, and not forgetting the professional service provided by my driver. Thanks, Roberts!

Highly recommended to stay at Novotel Bandung with its spacious room and friendly service. However, the room in Hotel Ibis Jakarta Tamarin is much smaller.

It is a new experience shopping in the many Factory Outlets in Bandung. These outlets are big shops by itself, unlike in KL, where we normally shop in complexes. There are a wide selections of branded names for both male and female. Generally, most prices are affordable and are quite cheap.
The main Factory Outlets are located at Jln.Dago, Jln. Rhiau and Jln. Setiabudi and most probably it needs two days for the shopaholics to finish their shopping in these areas. So, make sure you bring some empty luggage to stuff all your new clothes.
For the jean buffs, there is Jln.Cihampelas where the whole street is devoted to selling jeans. I was told by Robert that most are fake brands. So, he took me to another shop that sells original Levis (sorry, can't remember the name of the shop/street). Like the jean street, Cibaduyut street specializes in selling shoes. I suggest you do not waste your time here as most are locally made shoes that are mainly sold in shops and stalls. We left the place in less than half an hour.
Due to the 'excessive' shopping of my daughters, we missed the Anklung Udjo cultural performance.

For dinner, we tried the local Sundanese and western food which are reasonably priced at the many hilltop restaurants with all overlooking Bandung city: The Stone Cafe, The Peak, The Valley and Kampung Daun. Do not forget to bring your jacket as it can be very cold at night.
A beautiful night view of Bandung city from The Valley restaurant.

This is what mother nature has created after a volcanic eruption: Kawah Ratu on Gunung Tangkuban Perahu

We can still hear the hissing sound of the smoke billowing out from the crater and from it, the smell of sulfur. There is another crater nearby call Kawah Domas where you can see the hot water bubbling from the crater. Unfortunately, due to the rain, we couldn't make the trip. Deeply regretted.
However, you need to pay a guide IDR250000 (MR85.00) per hour to take you there.

Another stunning view of Kawah Ratu.
This is Kawah Putih, another volcano site north of Bandung. Its greenish white water and the solid rock background makes the crater truly beautiful.

Feb 12, 2011

Malaysia: The destiny is in our hands.

As I sat and watched with intrigue the change of governments in Tunisia and Egypt by the people's revolution, the immediate question that comes to my mind is: Will this happen in Malaysia?

Well, Najib has already said that Malaysia is different and he could be damned right. Yes, Malaysia is different, unlike Tunisia and Egypt whose population is basically homogeneous whilst the population of Malaysia consists of many races. The UMNO led government has dissected the people by playing the racial card to the hilt to make sure that the people cannot stay united to formulate a people's power. However, the difference ends here.

What Najib and his UMNO/BN led government fail to see are the similarities.

Fist and foremost is the scourge of massive corruptions which the people detested but have to live with it and suffer in silence. The great plunder of national wealth by those in power and their cronies seemingly with impunity is at an all time high since post independence. The invoking of the draconian ISA as and when they like and deem a threat to national security has stymied the voices of the people.

The few rounds of price hike in petrol, albeit in a silent manner, has spiral the cost of living. Many average income earners are currently hard pressed to cope with all the price increases. And with the slow pace of economic growth, job opportunities are hard to come by for the new graduates. Even if they found one, will the income be enough to sustain their personal monthly expenses, let alone a family? Who will they vent their anger and frustrations at?

The constant spewing of lies and the distortion of facts through the UMNO/BN led government controlled mainstream medias is indeed a blessing in disguise. In this well connected and wired world, it clearly allows the world to see the idiocy and the mentality of those in the government.

So, when former US ambassador John Malott wrote an article 'The price of Malaysia's Racism' which was published in the Wall Street Journal, the political goons in the government made a big hue and cry over it even though what was written was backed by facts and figures. The truths certainly hurt.

Does the government care whether the current political climate will affect the flow of FDIs into the country? Don bet on it. All this UMNO/BN political parties care is to cling on to power at all cost, in Najib's threatening words: even over crushed bodies, lost lives and ethnic cleansing.

Malaysia with its rich natural resources has certainly what it takes to be a well developed country. In fact, it should had achieved a much higher status than its little red dot neighbor had the country being govern efficiently,fairly and justly. Instead, we can now only grin with jealousy, envy and full of animosities.

So, what does the future holds for Malaysia?

To begin with, those clowns in the government are already making us the laughing stocks. And if these clowns are going to perform continuously with new tricks, the greater will be the laughing. And with the greater laughing, Malaysia will be looked upon as a 'sick' country.

And in the forefront of the international stage, we have the now infamous Altantuya murder case, Teoh Boon Hock neither homicide or suicide verdict and the Anwar sodomy II trial. All these trials have catapulted Malaysia into instant recognition and showcased the quality of Malaysia's judiciary in true Malaysia style.
Malaysia Boleh!

Malaysia has a relatively young population and a great part of them are literate and wired in this borderless world. It is this group of people that must educate those in the rural areas who are naive enough to believe that everything is pinky and rosy in the country. It is extremely crucial to engage them politically so that they can play a positive role in shaping the country.

And who else to end the misery of the people, but the people themselves.