A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Does ACA Stand for Aggravating Corruption Activities?

Based on reports in both malaysiakini and the MSM, it appears that the standard of the officers in the ACA is not worthy of the high standards we expect of this enforcement agency.

Maybe the officer in question was misdirected by a superior and she cannot really disclose such an order and has to remain quiet.

As we all know the task of the ACA is to minimise corruption in Malaysia but thus far we have only witnessed no major cases where really serious corruption was prosecuted although a few "ikan bilis" were caught.

Looking at the testimony of this sorry witness, is it any wonder that the AG's chambers were spared the heavy task of hauling in the sharks?

Dare I say we need a Royal Commission to look into the ACA?

Is There Such a Position?

While it is good that spouses of national leaders spend time doing good work and supporting charitable causes, I wonder if such activities can be considered as "official visits" as made out by this newspaper.

If I am not mistaken, there is no official position as the spouse of the Prime Minister and the person holds no authorised brief in the system.

Of course as the wife, she commands authority by association and may even represent him for certain unofficial functions. For instance, it would not be the proper protocol for her to welcome another head of state on an official visit if the Prime Minister were sick.

Maybe the NST should elaborate why they deemed this an official visit?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Maybe Badawi is Smarter than Most People Think...

"Are you daft?"
Many readers will probably think this out loud but to me politics is a strange game.

Remember that even Mahathir as the longest-serving the Prime Minister could not reform UMNO and the BN racist parties and perhaps Badawi with his many years of political life is trying the indirect approach.
He knows that the direct approach of force and dictatorial pressure will not work and it is not his character.

So perhaps his strategy is to give power back to the people and the two Royal Commissions under his watch provided some education for the masses. Maybe even the results of the two RCIs are meant to be unsatisfactory so that the public would be awakened from their malaise and become more proactive.

Now that TDM has come out with two broadsides against his successor as reported in these articles in malaysiakini, we should perhaps ponder carefully on his motives.

1.He wanted to put in the PM's post another candidate so why did he choose Badawi or has he already forgotten the reasons?

2.Looking at all the damage done to important state institutions like the Police and the Judiciary, do you think he will make a selection based on rational thinking?

3.We could consider what he has to say but always remember some people do not tell you the real reasons why they favour certain decisions.

4.After 50 years as a nation, we need to improve on the way we choose leaders. A democratic nation elects leaders and it is not a family succession plan.

So I say we should elect more opposition members into Parliament so that BN will be obliged to reform or it could become the opposition in the next round.

By weakening the BN government we will take an important step to help Malaysia evolve into a 2-party system without the need for a bloody revolution or military takeover.

Photo: Thanks to http://westmalaysia.com/wp-content/badawi_02.jpg

Two Heads are Better than One.....

The sorry RCI continues to reveal the malaise that afflicts our nation; no that is too mild a condition - we should consider it as a malignant cancer.

The RCI has yet to publish its findings but for many Malaysians we fear the worst. The team in charge of the treatment does not know how to cure the patient.

This article gives a small insight on what has gone wrong in the Judiciary where we catch glimpses of jealousy and opposing groups. I did not know that the pursuit of Justice had so many faces. Isn't justice supposed to be blind?

Nowadays TDM is afflicted with amnesia and cannot remember many things that happened under his watch but he can remember that he does not need to give any reason why he did what he wanted to do. I wonder if he remembers he sacked Tun Salleh Abbas and how he did it. Can he remember how he selected the subsequent CJs or is Malaysia going to go down the drain not knowing why and how?

We cannot allow such a state of affairs to continue and we need the next sitting of Parliament to change the procedure of appointing judges. Perhaps there is no need to change the constitution but this simple change would help a lot.

The PM should consult the CJ who will make two or three recommendations.
The persons selected must appear before a Parliamentary select committee who will approve/reject the candidate after a hearing.

As human beings are frail creatures, that may not be a fail-safe solution but one that I suggest is far superior to the whims and fancies of one man with unquestionable authority.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.wright.edu/cola/CRJ/images/justice_statue.jpg

Monday, January 28, 2008

Alice in RCI Land.....

"It gets curiouser and curiouser."
I am sure that is what Alice would say if she were to attend the goings-on in the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam tapes.

But since the inquiry is not going to be so open how so that "unnice" things will not be revealed, Alice would not be able to enter the court for she is not a real person. Even real people are being barred from some of the proceedings so that Malaysians will be spared all the sordid details of fixing the appointment of judges to the highest courts of the land.

Now that the latest series of the Lingam tapes has been broadcast, what is the RCI going to do about it? Pretend that everything is honky-dory and carry their proceedings as if on a tea-party with the Mad Hatter?

It would appear that every appointment in the Judiciary after Tun Salleh Abbas was removed by the use of dictatorial powers may have been tainted by unknown hands. The Lingam tapes is truly a revelation.

If you really believe that the Police and the Judiciary have been compromised and you really want the government to reform, you should consider voting in the general elections so that the 2/3 majority is denied and also vote to have a few states being run by the opposition. That will be the surest way to reform Malaysia.

Graphics: thanks to http://www.dvdclassicscorner.net/images/AliceinWonderland-masterpieceedition.jpg

The Future of Malaysia.....

The next time you meet an old friend you have not seen for many years, a discussion on the family will reveal many disturbing trends....

One of the most disturbing is that more than 75% of your friends have a son or daughter who is working abroad.

In fact I believe that is the new yardstick by which your friends will decide if you have made it in life. It seems that being able to being able to plant an offspring overseas is equivalent to sending a Malaysian into outer space.

Of course it is not openly stated as most Malaysians are too polite but there is a quiet understanding that remains unstated.

I was back in KL over the weekend and met two old family friends. Both of them had one child who is now working overseas and the topic of permanent residency and change of citizenship cropped up. It seems many Malaysians feel no loss if the Malaysian citizenship is revoked.

Another relative confessed to me that her daughter who started Darjah 1 with the new "back to English" program that was so hastily implemented now has lessons conducted in Bahasa and English as it seems 90% of the pupils cannot cope with lessons in English and the teacher now has to explain lessons using Bahasa.

The interesting trend is that even among Malays, many of our young adults prefer not to return home and many of these are on government scholarships but that is another topic for discussion.

With so many talented citizens not wanting to return, the future of Malaysia is gloomy as it means only mediocre people are left to take up national leadership roles and even the private sector suffers.

I don't know what is the solution as everyone will choose what they consider is best for them. After all, none of my four children are in Malaysia and I don't see that situation changing anytime soon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Judges and Lawyers Too Need Friends.....

(click2 to enlarge)

Reading the proceedings on the RCI for the Lingam tapes, one can infer that what is not disclosed can tell more about the things that went on between lawyers and judges.

Of course the lawyer in question is not going to buckle under the pressure and readily admit any alleged wrong-doing - after all he is a trained professional and looking at the people who may be implicated in fixing of judges who may then be more biased towards special clients, it is possible that he may have been warned of dire consequences if he decided to come clean ala the ex-Health Minister.

The take on being able to brag in one's own house and "talk with George Bush" is disingenuous but there is really too much coincidence of actual events in the drunken boast just like being in Changi and New Zealand at the same time.

With the tape's transcript verified and the speaker determined, the RCI should not have too many problems ascertaining that that was no idle boast but a declaration of an arrogant person who was obsessed with his influence.

It is hoped that the ACA will be able to reopen its files soon after the RCI publishes its conclusions.

Cartoon: Someone sent this in an email. Think it reflects the RCI in some ways.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Government Can Only Control Prices at Our Cost...

The latest decision by the authorities to operate food stock-piles shows that the price control mechanisms we have are not working well.

But they have now created another committee to ensure that prices of essential goods are controlled.

As I am a follower of Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" doctrine, I oppose all steps to control the market and the government should let market forces determine the price. Putting in more bureaucracy to control prices creates an inefficient market and ultimately the consumer ends up paying more for everything.

By fixing prices of so many items, it creates only a mirage that inflation is under control and I would imagine that the CPI used in Malaysia contains mainly the price controlled items so that there is some "Feel Good" factor.

Allowing prices to rise to market levels will force the consumer to find alternatives and the market will adjust automatically.
Without price controls and licence requirements, more players will enter the market to meet demand.

Having stockpiles will cost a lot of money and wastages and that cost will be borne by consumers. There was a recent article in Malaysia Today about how the company that is the sole importer of rice was caught with bringing in tonnes of rice above the authorised limits. That is what happens with a monopoly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why Not Have a Woman Prime Minister Instead?

That's one benefit of sending our leaders on all-expense paid holidays abroad - they come back with such interesting ideas.

This latest idea is a gem. He wants to encourage our Malaysian lasses to handle heavy duty jobs like handling construction equipment.

Maybe he does not know that already women make up more than 65% of the students in the universities and if the women take on more jobs "reserved" for men, what are the men going to do with fewer jobs available? More recruits for the "Mat Rempit?"

Why not suggest that women should also strive to become the Menteri Besar or even the Prime Minister? Now that is one idea I can support.

Dear PM: Don't Start Everything but Do Finish a Few Properly....

As we await the announcement of the next general elections, the PM has come out with a plea for more time to implement his plans.

In the report, he said,
"There was expectation that this or that has to be done. It’s not that we haven’t done anything. I have begun to implement practically everything that I have promised,” .

Of course we all know that unravelling the intricate and widespread web of corruption that engulfs the nation after 50 years of BN administration is tough and we wonder if he is the right person to lead the charge.

There is no point postulating grand visions for the next 20 or 30 years when we know the next 5 years budget is going nowhere when corruption will eat up 30% of the money and the results will not be satisfactory.

We know these two important parts of the body that is Malaysia are sick but the remedies are hardly inspired :

1.We need a good police force but alas the IPCMC could/would not be implemented because the senior officers protested. My goodness - will we scrap university exams if students complain studying to become doctors or engineers is too tough?

2.The Judiciary appears to be wallowing in a deep cesspool as indicated by the ongoing RCI. Based on the former CJ's testimony, he seems he could not reject the lawyer's plans to tag along for days.

We do not know the whole story behind these 2 major mill-stones for the nation's future and we need reforms urgently and within the next 12 months. Can you list the steps to be taken with a new mandate?

These are steps that can be done and all it takes is a change of mind-set that the DPM speaks about so fervently:

1.Abolish the 8 to 15% discounts for Bumi property buyers unless it is the first property being bought. Why grant subsidised property and housing rates to some who may already be millionaires?

2.Stop using taxpayers' monies to fund BN activities. You cannot use your office to hold BN Supreme Council meetings during office hours. No wonder many civil servants run personal errands and conduct private business deals during office hours. They are just following your bad example.

3.Take firm action to bring back the scholarship holders who refuse to return by not renewing their passports abroad. Advise the host nation that these recalcitrants have breached their contracts and inform them the passports will not be renewed.

Photo: Thanks to the Star

Monday, January 21, 2008

Malaysia's General Elections Scam......

Perhaps we should not get scandalised when the CJ of Malaysia suggests that all is well when he allows a lawyer to tag along with him for a few days while on a trip abroad. Maybe he did not know how to read the confusing road signs in NZ where the names of places are so long and look so foreign.

Just look at how the top leaders go about so shamelessly touting their parties while using government facilities on national tours. So far the following lollipops have been given to the kids:

RM10m for Chinese schools.

RM50 increase in allowance fo all NS trainees.

Thaipusam being declared a public holiday for KL and Putrajaya.

A few days ago, the DPM was in JB to disburse some monies for the flood victims in Johor. Of course the traffic police had to hold up motorists wanting to use the Tebrau Highway as his lordship wanted to rush through so as to avoid protesters or terrorists, I do not know. There was even a helicopter riding shot-gun above or maybe it was the news crew.

Yes it looks as if the election campaign has begun in earnest but the BN government does not follow any decent-minded rules but plays by the Queensbury rules. In other words the government plays dirty and cheats the taxpayers of the chance to make an informed decision.

These are the main issues:

The government starts the elections campaign without dissolving Parliament.

The official campaign is very short and gives little chance for the other parties.

All parties contesting the elections are not given proportionate air time on radio or TV to broadcast their political messages.

The ruling parties continue to make use of taxpayers' monies to run their campaigns by using government equipment and facilities.

This has been going on for some time so that even the Elections Commission has come out to say they are beholden to the government and he was then rewarded with a one-year extension of service.

So maybe following the CJ on holiday should not be frowned upon. We have so many other things going on that qualify us as a third-world nation. On the surface it looks good but underneath is a cesspool of iniquities.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Royal Commission and the General Elections..

The latest Royal Commission on the Lingam Tapes is a good indicator of how sick is the nation after 50 years of the same political parties in charge of Malaysia.

Not too long ago, we had another RCI on the goings-on in the Police. That inquiry culminated in the recommendations for the IPCMC but sadly that independent commission has been rejected by the politicians as apparently it is perceived that the police force cannot be reformed.
Before that, the police officers came out in a public defiance of the government and the top leaders chickened out; but not before they increased the salaries and perks given to policemen so that they will stop taking bribes.

So boths sides are co-exist in an unholy alliance; at the expense of taxpayers' safety and security. And the rape and plunder of the nation's wealth goes unabated.

Just take the latest excuses offered by the former CJ. I would guess that any teenager who reads the newspaper would be able to decide that most of the prominent witnesses have been lying through their teeth and used the answer, "I cannot remember" to cover their crimes.

We can consider the RCI to be like a major medical examination for a sick person who has been taken to hospital. Such examinations are thorough as doctors need to find out what is wrong with the patient before deciding on a course of action.

Sometimes when the patient is really too sick, the doctors may decide not to do anything but maybe just make the patient more comfortable.

Put this idea in the IPCMC context and it appears that top leaders think that the situation in Malaysia cannot be rectified and that is the reason that the IPCMC has been rejected.

That also explains why in the latest RCI, the terms of reference have been limited and some of the commissioners and the ACA lawyers seem to be doing more damage control than letting the truth set us free.

It is possible that the next GE will be called soon after the findings of the RCI are announced. Most Malaysians cannot do much to influence the daily goings-on in government but at the GE, please ponder carefully on how your vote can decide the future of this nation.

A good test of the government's sincerity and integrity is to delay the elections untill 3 months after the RCI ends so that we can really observe how they rectify the perilous and grave situation of the Judiciary.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Not Extremely Close.....

I wonder what you make of this phrase.

To me, I would allow a photo to be taken but probably would not put my arm around the other person unless he or she was a close friend.

If you check out the photo, the other person is about 100mm taller and that requires even more effort if of larger build.

When on holidays overseas, you might be happy to meet a fellow Malaysian but my encounter would be probably last not more than 10 minutes and would be limited to "Hi....where are you going to....how long you are staying?"

If the person is known and there is time, maybe share a drink or a meal. That would be most interaction.

The Star quotes the former CJ on the front page with
"When the man puts his hand on your shoulder, you can't simply shove it aside"

I would let the photo speak for itself.

As the CJ, one look of disapproval should have caused the other party to treat you with respect.
The mind boggles when he allows this person to "tag along" for the entire holiday.

How many of you will allow that to happen unless you are happy with the arrangements?
Did he report the lawyer to the authorities for stalking him and his family?

I think the former CJ should be checked out more with the lawyer for bringing the Judiciary into disrepute.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Total Recall or Totally Forgotten?

The Royal Commission of Inquiry on the infamous Lingam tapes provides some interesting reading on the goings-on within the corridors of power.

It is most remarkable for anyone to have total recall of events or a total lapse of memory and yet the former Prime Minister claims to not remember how and why he chose to reject the recommendations of the Chief Justice as to who should be promoted.

You can read the NST report here.

The former PM's testimony is based on the basic strategy of "Yeah I spoke with many people, I don't remember all the details, No I was not influenced and It is my sole prerogative." Quite a watertight and well thought through defense as people in the RCI are all wearing kid gloves.

I am sure some of you have made decisions on promoting staff and usually a shortlist is made and the various qualities listed so that a proper evaluation is made. Now if you have to consult someone on the names he or she proposes, surely there should be a meeting or discussion on who should be promoted now or during the next round?

We should be moving away from feudalistic practices like leaving the appointment of senior judges based on the whims and fancies of one man who can quickly develop a selective memory.

Please take the Green Poll on the left column and tell us how you think we can improve the quality of our judges. The authorities could have arranged for the live broadcast of this Inquiry as more Malaysians could have witnessed the proceedings live and not just read the dull reports or watch just some news coverage.

In such cases, the body language of the witness can be telling. Too much fidgetting, or pulling the ear, squeezing the nose, scratching the head can be signs that someone is lying through the teeth.

Just watch CNN and you could see the Federal Reserve Chairman being questioned by US Congressmen and he has to answer the questions directly.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.jcnot4me.com/images/Bush-%20Dumb%20Look%20Scratching%20Head.jpg

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"An Unjust Law is No Law...."

I did not coin up this phrase but these words are attributed to St. Augustine who lived in the third century.

Neither am I turning religious but this phrase was used in a new movie called "The Great Debaters" starring Denzel Washington that shows the struggle of the blacks in the USA.

Malaysia too has some laws that many consider unjust and some of these laws are draconian; especially the ISA that can deny you your freedom indefinitely if the Home Minister decides to use his unrestrained powers of detention.

Of course many of these laws are always deemed necessary by a few leaders for national security and racial harmony.

In the movie, DW plays the role of a lecturer in a small black college that develops an all-conquering debating team.

Many of us who were around in the 50s and 60s know how difficult was the struggle of the blacks to win equal rights in America.

We all know the great Martin Luther King, Jr. who paid the ultimate price with his life. Here is an inspiring letter he wrote from a jail cell in Birmingham.

To quote a paragraph:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

How long have we been waiting for justice? I believe the BERSIH and HINDRAF supporters feel we Malaysians have unjust laws in our nation. Can our leaders rise to the challenge?

WARNING: It is dangerous to hold one's breath too long.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Cheap are CCTVs?

That is the fashion for this month with people like local council and schools clamouring to install a CCTV system to eliminate crime; never mind if the people watching the screens will also be playing games on their handphones or chatting online - the crooks will not know that and the sign "Area Under CCTV Protection" will deter most petty criminals.

I read that a council will be spending RM3.9m for a system with 34 cameras. Doing a rough calculation, the cost of each camera plus all related equipment comes to an average of RM114,706.

Now that looks like a camera that is encrusted with precious stones and gold-plated as gold has reached its all-time high.

So I decided to take a look at CCTV systems and you can learn a lot from this site.

For really cheap solutions, one can purchase a 4-camera wireless set-up for less than RM1000 so that means each camera integrated into the system comes at RM250.

Now one cannot imagine that such a system would be suitable for outdoors and the reliability would also be suspect but nowadays, such technology is becoming cheaper and even industrial high quality systems do not cost an arm and a leg.

So what do you think a quality system should cost?
TEN Times the home system?
How about FIFTY Times?

This site has a price indication of the products used to set up a CCTV system so anyone can develop a reasonable estimate.

That looks reasonable.
50 x RM250 = RM12,500 for each camera as part of the integrated system.

So it looks like we are paying 10 times more than what would be obtained with a proper tender system. Somehow it looks similar to the horrors reported in the Auditor-General's annual reports.

In the haste to award such generous contracts I wonder if anyone has pondered of the benefits of all these systems being able to communicate with each other without other special equipment?

Graphics: Thanks to http://www.boschsecurity.us/index.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Fastest Passport in the World?

No I am not referring to the passport of our Prime Minister that probably qualifies for the most Frequent Flyer Miles among world leaders.

I had to renew my passport in Johor Bahru as the passport is used at least once a week when I accompany my wife back to Singapore.

I drove into the TJB car-park and as I about to cross the road to Wisma Perseketuan, I realised that I had left my Mykad in the copier machine at home. So I returned home to retrieve that, though I did think of doing the application another day.

As I left the car park within the grace period, there was no fee. Thank God for small mercies!
I returned with all the documents and went to the queue counter where the guy told me to go to the special room as I qualified under the Oldies category that includes anyone above 55 years.

There was this special room on the ground floor where those were were aged, handicapped or with small children were handled. There were only 3 or 4 others in the room and the service was really fast.

It took about 40 minutes altogether to get a new passport. SYABAS to the Immigration Department of Johor Bahru for a WORLD CLASS SERVICE!
I left the car park 48 minutes from the time I entered.

Just a few observations to consider:
Since the Mykad is presented for such quick processing there should be no necessity for a photo-copy. We can reduce paper wastage.
A small dust-bin would be useful near the processing area for the public to dispose of tissue used to wipe finger after thumb-printing.
Page 31 is used for the chop stating the details of the old passport. Now if page 32 or Page 3 is used instead, the usage of the passport can be slighly lengthed. Some immigration officers are quite fussy and tell me that Page 31 cannot be used as it has that notice.
The receipt collection area is raised 2 or 3 steps so a handicapped person cannot access and the staff will have to come down.

All-in it was a very pleasant experience. Now if we can transfer the good practices of the Immigration Department to other offices, we can enjoy a world class civil service.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Malaysia - A Country of Tragedy, Comedy and Farce

Even as the search continues for another young girl who has been abducted, Malaysians are being subjected to the usual program of tragedy, comedy and farce that has highlighted the nation's agenda for the past 15 odd years.

All this has come about with leaders who have placed personal gains ahead of national interests and the issues related to improving public security and safety are only one example.

First of all, the girl goes missing and there is the public uproar. First this is a tragedy that should have been avoided.

Straight off the comedy unfolds, RM75m has been approved to install more CCTVs even though the effects of such systems are still in doubt. If you have those cameras that detect motorists who beat red lights in your town, how many of those are still working?

Then there is this story in the NST.Only 6 out of 20 CCTVs are functioning.
I guess this system is about 2 to 3 years old and the failure ratio is alarming.

CCTVs are only as good as those responsible for the proper maintenance and those who watch the cameras.

But the most important criterion for good public safety is a police force with INTEGRITY and the willingness to SERVE. We had a good chance to get the police force in order with the IPCMC but alas after almost 3 years, this effort has been hijacked with the SCC.

So we will still continue the series "Malaysia - A Country of Tragedy, Comedy and Farce"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rasa Sayang Nonsense

I guess each Cabinet will have its own entertainer; otherwise life would be quite boring.

In days of old we had the court jester, the clown who would try to keep the king or emperor amused. If the clown was not good then "OFF with his head!"

So the Indonesian President has come to discuss some common issues with Malaysia; perhaps he also gave some tips on how to stay alert to our PM on the numerous issues that have been piling up.

Of course one of the subjects has been that contentious song "Rasa Sayang" that most older Malaysians would have learned.

Now if this song "belongs to both" why do we need to inform anyone if it is used?

Picture: Thanks to http://www.crystalinks.com/foolsunlion.jpg

Friday, January 11, 2008

¿Dónde vamos nosotros?

If you don't speak Spanish, that means "Where are we going?"
Don't be upset if this is not the proper phrase but I used http://www.freetranslation.com/ for the translation.

Perhaps that would be the question among ACA officers when told someone would be going on a trip to Spain and perhaps get a chance to watch Real Madrid soccer club in action.

We know that the tape has already been to Hong Kong so perhaps that was interesting for those ACA officers who were interested in shopping.

Before the RCI gets done the Lingam tapes may become world famous with trips to the USA or the UK.

I find this story in NST rather strange:

It starts off with:-
"Spain may hold the key to establishing the authenticity of a video clip featuring lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam purportedly talking to a senior judge on judicial appointments."

and further down:-

"It is learnt that the eventual findings were of little help to the ACA.

At that time, the mission to Hong Kong was to help a three-man independent panel decide whether the content of the clip had been doctored."

It appears that the RCI is still trying to establish whether the tape is genuine or not when it should be probing the contents in the transcript by questioning real witnesses mentioned in the tape.

Surely that is the most important role of the RCI that has powers to summon anyone who may be implicated in judicial fixing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Parents! Watch out for Your Children's Sake...

It may already be too late for this child so this message is addressed to those who still have children 12 years old and below.

Don't presume your child is safe if accompanied by an older sibling who is not a watchful person.

All it takes is two minutes and a child can be abducted and swiftly transferred into a car or away from view.

Even crowded places like shopping malls are not safe if you allow a child to wander far.

Sometimes women are also part of gangs that abduct young children for the sex trade and young boys can also be lured.

Instill in your child this urgent messages:

Don't accept food and drinks from anyone apart from Mum or Dad
Don't accept lifts from anyone unless Mum or Dad has specifically told the child earlier.
If in doubt always telephone Mum or Dad.

I remember the years we stayed in Damansara Jaya, a middle-class neighbourhood in PJ and during the times we took our 3 kids to the nearby playground about 300m from our house, both my wife and I would supervise the children at play.

Playgrounds are not really that safe and children can easily be killed by the equipment; especially the swings. All you need is a child running into the path of the swing and death could be instantaneous if there is a collision. If a child falls off a swing, it could become a hospital case.

My advice to parents is:
If you are not prepared to overseer the activities of many children, do limit the number to two or less.
The police will help but only after this type of incident occurs.

I understand that the Family Ministry now conducts courses for couple who want to marry. The course should include taking proper care of young children and highlighting the laws on not providing proper attention to their safety.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Guess You Could Ask for 500 APs or More Shares from this Minister

How will the Malays progress if their mindset is determined by Ministers with such a message?

She seems to be saying that the "crutches mentality" is a prerequisite to being a Malay. What an insult but I guess many will still buy this message.

The only positive note is her speech was to ask Malay groups to set up scholarship funds. Perhaps she should bear on those recipients of APs and shares to set up such scholarships. I would imagine at least 100 such funds could be easily obtained with her persuasion?

Maybe she should look into how many hundreds of Malaysians have reneged on their government scholarship agreements and now earning big bucks in other countries.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Educating the Folks in the Education Department

This department is crucial for the nation's progress and yet based on the TV segment on the news on TV3 last night, a jewellery-bedecked official tried to explain that everyone else like school principals, PTAs and parents did not understand that only school fees need not be paid.

She went on to say that somehow the instructions got diluted and now they would give written instructions to prevent future misunderstanding.

This issue of reducing school fees only has been badly handled and one wonders how competent are the people in charge of the Education Ministry and the state education departments.

Although I do not have any more children attending school, I understand the plight of parents who have to bear the burden of extra fees collected by the schools.

You can read in today's papers that one school even started a scheme to collect 10sen for each toilet use outside of recess time. This is quite a unhealthy practice as keeping urine too long can damage one's health and imagine the poorer children who have to hold back as they cannot afford to lose their little pocket money this way.

While the Education Minister appears peeved that parents who have paid now want their monies back, basically the fault lies with the Ministry for not taking a closer look at the monies collected by the PTAs.

Maybe the proper lesson may be learned if ALL monies are returned to ALL parents and a fresh start made.
I find fees collected for building maintenance to be unacceptable for this should be borne by the Education Ministry for all public schools.

One other fee that is easy to reduce is the school magazine. Only one magazine should be offered to each family where more than one child is studying in the school and purchase of the magazine is optional.

I suggest PTAs should only be allowed to collect standard fees like:

RM30 for first child in school
RM25 for second child in same school
RM20 for third child in same school.

No discount after third child unless parent is active in the PTA.
Monies collected would be for standard activities and materials approved by the MoE.

Those who really cannot afford to pay should appeal to the Principal who would liaise with the PTA or even organise a fund donated by old boys and girls of the school for needy cases.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Straits Times and the Elixir of Youth....

E U R E K A!
Now if this true go and buy NST shares for surely all the women will be lining up to buy this miracle product.

In the first article it was reported that

"Former TV3 newscaster Wan Zaleha Wan Radzi had a rude start to 2008 when she was assaulted and driven off in her car by several men on Tuesday.

The ordeal began at 9pm when Wan Zaleha, 49, now a businesswoman, was walking towards her car in Pusat Bandar Damansara."

Now within 3 days
, she has become younger by 6 years.

"Wan Zaleha's ordeal began on Tuesday about 9pm as she was walking to her Nissan Murano in Pusat Bandar Damansara when three men, pretending to be government officers, pulled up beside her to ask for the 43-year-old businesswoman's MyKad."

I know someone wrote in malaysiakini about boycotting MSM but if you do buy, make sure you read them with more than a pinch of salt.

Ending the Advertlets Nuisance

It was all right while it lasted but now it has become a nuisance.

Advertising is one thing but taking over the opening of my blog is simply too much.
So I have removed all the html for Advertlets from my site. Sorry if you had some problems accessing MalaysiaWatch.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New SOP for Ministers Staying in Hotels?

Maybe there is another lesson to be learned from the CSL incident?
But of course our DPM cannot say this out loud.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Making it Easier for Ministers to Resign......

The Health Minister's one-day delay to decide to resign shows that the government was not really in control and the dilly-dally to gauge the public response shows that such matters of state have been thoroughly thought through.

Even when the present Prime Minister took over, he inherited a Cabinet that in most homes would be termite-infested.

Therefore I suggest that the PM should get all ministers to sign this document and keep the date open.

After all ministers serve at the pleasure of the PM, so this type of incident would just require the PM to tell the person concerned, "I'm putting the first of February on that letter you signed."

It is the Correct Step to Take......

Now the Dr Chua has resigned, it allows him to spend more time with his family that has become subject to public ridicule.

It will definitely take a lot of love, forgiveness and understanding for him to mend his relationships for humans do have their own frailties.

I hope that in a few months or years he will be able to enjoy the close relationships he once had with his family.

Perhaps it is appopriate for couples who have been married a long time like say 20 years to take stock of their relationship and see which areas need to be improved.
All too often when the children are all grown up, couples tend to forget the closeness they once enjoyed and for people of influence it is so easy to get others who do not mind helping you betray your spouse.

Often the rationale would be "My partner is not interested in sex anymore so he or she will not mind".

So I think he did the right thing to resign and perhaps he was trying to put on a brave front by blaming Malaysians' "holier than thou attitude".
I think the pressure would have come from the MCA as they could have proposed a "No Confidence" motion against him.

It would have been better if he had been told by the PM to resign before the first public disclosure. It seems there was not much thinking through the problem before the announcement.
For an experienced politician, it was a case of abject naiveté not to expect a bad response from the public.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sex and the Minister....

Ministers are only human so we should not expect them to be perfect.

What we need from all ministers are mainly:



NON-RACIST POLICIES that are sadly missing in Malaysia today.

If he failed his wife and family, it should remain a private matter but it does indicate a major flaw with respect to the first 2 categories.

His quick admission and openess is something to be respected if we compare it to the Lingam tapes that has tarnished a major branch of the government.

malaysiakini has a Blacklist?......

I wonder what I wrote that has incurred the wrath of the folks at malaysiakini.

This blacklist was made known to me by one of the comments on my blog. So if any of you know why this is so, please be kind enough to let me know.

Of course they have the right to suppress anyone they choose. But I thought it kind of strange as I had been providing some FREE feedback on mistakes in their articles.