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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Work Site Safety - Malaysia's Poor Record

It is quite sad that many people still die in industrial accidents and often the human factor is the weakest link.

In many cases there is a lot of pressure to complete the tasks and often short cut are taken. Safety rules are ignored and precautions are are not fully followed.
Many workers too don't bother to learn where are the dangers in their work-place.

There is also the tendency to cover up blatant disregard for safety rules as prominent companies may be involved and penalties are minimal in relation to the damage done.

For this fatal accident, I would also check the following:

1.Was the proper procedure followed to erect the tower?
2.Was the cable connections done according to the recommended procedure.
3.Were the workers working with safe practices?
4.Were the proper tools and equipment supplied?
5.Were the workers under adequate supervision?
6.What were the weather conditions like?
7.Was the replacement tower in good condition?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

APOLOGIES .... How Should a Leader Apologise?

There have been reports that some people are not too happy with the "ifs" and "buts" in the Education Minister's apology.

So this is a little essay on what should included in a good apology:

1. There should be an admisssion that one has done a wrong or made a mistake.
2. Should not contain any "ifs", "buts" and "therefores".
3. Should be some action to make reparation to the wronged party/parties.

Some I suggest that all political figures who sincerely believed they have done something wrong and need to apologise, this kind of apology will go down well with the majority of common folks.

"I am really sorry that my action offended many Malaysian. I did not realise that this act would have been interpreted in such a manner and I apologise to all those who were intimidated or offended in any way.

It was never my intention to cause such hurt.
Therefore I am resigning from public office with immediate effect but I will remain as a MP to serve my constituents.
When the people decide that I should seek such office again in the future, I will be more ready and matured to serve you."

What do you think?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The EC and Deceased Voters - Why Can't They Adopt this Simple Proposal?

We have spent billions of Ringgit in ICT with Super Corriders etc and it is therefore surprising that the EC wants the families of the deceased to advise of the dead person's identity so that the electoral rolls can be cleaned up.

So what happens when the deceased is the last surviving member of his particular family? More phantom voters?

To me this is quite a simple administrative process.
The department that issues the death certificate should be authorised to advise the EC. If this is done on a weekly or monthly basis, it should cost not more than RM0.30 per name.

No deed to publicise your weakness like this, Mr EC Chairman-Who-Should-be-Retired.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

That Keris Apology .... A Little Late but Learn From Past Mistakes

It must be difficult for the Minister to openly apologise but it is necessary if he wants to become a future leader of Malaysia.

All Malaysians value the rich heritage in our nation - we are truly blessed with a multi-cultural and multi-religious mix and the common sense of most Malaysians has enabled the majority to live in peace and generally get on quite well.

Of course we will always have a small minority of every race that will resort to extreme measures to attract attention in order to gain some political mileage.

The minister should have known that not too long ago, another prominent person spoke about "bathing his keris in blood" but unfortunately no definite action was taken to curb such an incendiary remark.

I reckon that particular remark caused more damage to race relations than the marches organised by the HINDRAF group that resulted in 5 of their leaders being detained under the ISA.

So a leader can get away with a call for a blood-bath but marginalised citizens get arrested for simply asking the government to look into their plight?
No wonder the BN is still wandering in the political wilderness.

Friday, April 25, 2008

If So-Called Mature Leaders Behave Like This, How Can We Expect Youths to Learn Nation-Building During NS?

The hooha about the ex-Gerakan leader helping out the Penang authorities by heading two important positions is a sorry example of poor bahaviour by our so-called political leaders.

It is not as if he is heading some terrorist group as those organisations will attract investors, create jobs and therefore increase the taxes that will flow to the federal government.

At first, the more pleasant side of the PM was reflected when he hoped "it could be a new beginning" for BN and PR but soon it was replaced by the more strident "against BN policy"; as if it was working with the enemy.

Now if the federal leaders cannot work in harmony with the state authorities that have been legally elected, what kind of example are we showing to the youths?

We throw them together for 3 months with a program that costs more than RM600m each year, get a few killed in the process and then hope they will learn racial tolerance, nation-building etc.

GOSH! From the way our leaders behave, this is really good monies down the drain. Did I hear someone mention, "NO....into someone's pockets!"

SHOCK Prices when Leaders Try to Talk Up Shares

I remember this casewell and it was after the ASJ was launched in 1992.
The MB of Johor was quoted in the press that the unit would go up to a few ringgit; thereby influencing many to buy especially those who do not understand the concept of unit trusts.

Today the unit is around RM0.50 about half of the launch price. It looks as if this fund manager is a really poor one and unit holders should at least try and recover their costs.

Of course if they had just kept their monies in the bank over 15 years, they could have at least doubled their money. No wonder people are upset at being taken in by influential sweet-talking salemen.

With such high losses, there are calls for the ACA to probe the unit trust company.

People in high positions should not make such statements especially about price matters unless they want to give a guarantee.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The ISA and Recalcitrant Leaders......

I think most Malaysians are not against the ISA so long as it does not affect them.
But under the ISA, if you do something that displeases the Home Minister like organise a peaceful march, you can get put away for 2 years and no one can question the detention order in court.

It seems rather draconion that we have given such authority to a mere mortal - no court hearing, no testing of evidence and no judge to decide the merits of the case.
I hope the new government we will be getting within 5 years will put this matter right.

Public security is one thing but settling private peeves is another.

Make Love, Not War

There was a recent news article that we have signed agreements worth RM1b on defense items and the Defense Minister remarked that such spending is warranted even though the region is at peace.

I argue that such expenditure should be reduced unless there is urgent need that is backed by some proper evidence of impending agression. From what I read, the only areas that are unstable near Malaysia are Thailand's restive southern area, Acheh in Indonesia and the Molo area in the Philippines. All these areas are fighting for self-independence and not directed at Malaysia.

Of more concern to Malaysians should be the acts of violence and other needs we read about in the news and all these are found in today's NST.

Newborn found floating
Baby's body found in plastic bag
Prostheses will give them new life

Now if we allocate perhaps RM200m of the monies spent on defense to family welfare and health programs we should not be reading such stories in the dailies.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NS - Enough Trainees Have Died Through Ignorance or Negligence.....

Recently there were 2 incidents that show many problems still plague the NS Scheme. A girl gave birth while a boy died of "pulmonary haemorrhage" due to infection .

The present scheme only requires the trainee to declare that he/she is fit for the program but as past incidents have shown, some of these deaths could have been prevented, especially related to health conditions.

Now if you Google "pulmonary haemorrhage" you will find this site that links pulmonary haemorrhage to a possible congenital heart condition "mitral stenosis" or a faulty heart.

The onus should be more on the NS Scheme to check the medical conditions of trainees who are suspect. Checking 100,000 may be too costly but maybe the costs can be offset if the training is cut by one week.

Also trainees must also bring their school physical education records so that their last training can be ascertained. Those who were not active for 3 months and more should get a physical check-up.

PENANG 2nd BRIDGE - Decide in Haste, Repent at Leisure

The announcement that the second bridge to Penang will be delayed on account of high costs and design factors sounds quite similar to the "Crooked Bridge" in JB.
Both mega-projects were launched with little serious thinking of budget constraints and good design. The main criterion was that the launch was with great fanfare and costly props.

There is an interesting write-up of the bridge project in this blog.

Now I don't own any land in Penang and I don't know anything about who owns what in Penang but just looking at the map of the proposed bridge, it seems that the bridge could be shortened by about half the proposed length if it is built to the north of GeorgeTown and making a more direct link to the Penang beach resorts with a coastal highway. That way it will reduce the traffic through the island.

The other design that could be re-looked are those two "boobs" in the centre of the bridge with what looks like Islamic domes etc. I reckon only one look-out is necessary and this could be an elevated design in the centre of the bridge. This means if you need to make a stop, you leave the bridge and go up the ramp to the look-out area.

This is what happens to projects that are launched without firm designs and open tenders.

Graphics: Thanks to the Star

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NS - A WARNING for All Parents!

This letter to malaysiakini shows that it is simply foolish to hope and trust that NS staff are the best people to take care of your kids during National Service.

There are a few reasons like:

1.Inadequate staff/trainee ratio
2.Poorly trained staff
3.Staff who couldn't care for the children of strangers.

It is good that the writer included his name so that the NS people can do a proper investigation of the case.

Many Malaysian children are asthmatic and sometimes the attacks come after strenous activities. They may start wheezing and if not treated properly they can develop bronchitis. Without swift intervention, that can lead to pneonomia and subsequent death.

At one time I had hoped that my son would be selected but after hearing the horror stories, I am glad he was not chosen. We sent him for the 30-day OBS at Lumut instead.

A Foolish Move for GERAKAN to Make.....

I wonder what they expect by giving him a show-cause letter, when he has already resigned from all party posts. He is simply an ordinary member of the party allbeit, a former official of the party.

By getting involved in PDC, he will be active in promoting Penang for investors and that will enlarge the federal coffers via taxes, employment etc.

If he is punished for just trying to contribute to Malaysia's economy, it reflects poorly on Gerakan and the BN. By the same token, anyone who voted Opposition would be wrong to continue working for the federal authorities.

IMPORTANT Advice for Wannabe Business Partners....

Friendship is one thing but business is another.
Make sure before you combine the two, there is a written agreement on the terms and conditions of the relationship or you will end up wasting lots of time and money making claims like this lady.

Once a business becomes successful, your friendship will surely be tested if you did not sign a written agreement.

Governments Should Appoint the Best Talents Available....

Some feel that a government should appoint only those who belong to the political parties that won in elections.
This means that about 50% of the people who belong to the opposition cannot be considered for appointments and that equates to a major loss of potential manpower.

I support the Penang move to appoint outside parties to important posts provided it does not compromise the situation.

Congratulations to both parties as a successful relationship will show Malaysians that we may disagree on politics but once elections are over, it is possible to cooperate to work for the greater good.
Another first for Penang!

Monday, April 21, 2008

An Independent ACA? malaysiakini Must Eat its Words

Just 2 days ago, malaysiakini had this article titled "ACA reform - again a let-down from PM".

AAB has been criticised by most for being slow off the mark but as they say a dying person appreciates every moment as being precious and wastes no time, AAB now realises this could be his final term in politics unless he is able to pull a few rabbits out of the hat.

Maybe the vociferous demands for him to step down has finally freed him and he now can decide on doing what is right and also good for the nation.
The majority of Malaysians really don't demand much and these are a few "must haves":

1.Government that is responsible and responsive.
2.Equitable treatment for all citizens.
3.Poverty eradication programs that help the real needy.
4.A good judicial system.
5.A police force with minimal corruption.

Today there is this great news from malaysiakini "ACA to be fully independent". The PM can create a much more forceful impact if he had included a statement like "This is going to be the first item for discussion at the first sitting of Parliament". Maybe introduce it under urgent business.

I don't suppose the people at M'kini mind eating their words? It is much easier doing it in Cyberspace!

Our Former PM Wants his Day in Court....

Most national leaders who retire are content to let the new leaders do their jobs but TDM seems to have created a new program for ex-leaders on "How to Belittle Those who Lead After You".

Within 2 years of his successor's term, he started his campaign, starting with the infamous "Crooked Bridge" to Singapore that he started even before the Singapore side has agreed.

Now that the government wants to pay ex-gratia monies to the judges that were punished from tribunals established by him, he questions the move as being politically motivated as everything that was done to them was approved by the courts and therefore must be legally correct.

In fact he has even challenged anyone to take him to court. Unfortunately, during the RCI for the Lingam tapes, he appears to be rather weak in his memory.
My experience with older people is that they can remember clearly something that happened 20 years ago but if you ask them what they had for lunch yesterday, it is a difficult recall.

National Service - Is this the Way to Go?

The NS Scheme is in the news for the wrong reasons again:

1.The death of yet another trainee who died of a "lung infection" that probably was pneumonia but the exact ailment has not been revealed.
2.The birth of a child to a female trainee - the first in NS history. This shows that the girl's parents as well as NS trainers do not know how to spot a pregnant woman.

To give everyone a break and to create the festival mood, they are now going to give the trainees "paid excursions" for those who cannot go home during a five-day break with the rational being that there is no major festival for this particular session.

These excursions are described as "free and easy" and guess who will be paying for it? Of course it is you and I, the taxpayers. I wonder if these "free and easy" excursions will result in more NS babies?

If the scheme is 5 days too long, they should just complete the entire training 5 days earlier and not complicate matters with unnecessary expenses and problems for everyone.

Having a break on account of major festivals is unavoidable but creating a break is totally unnecessary. Parents can after all visit the camps during the assigned visiting days.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

CRIMEWATCH - Suggest MSM Can Help Public More with Progress Reports...

The Royal Malaysian Police have scored another major success with the arrest of the suspects in the recent robbery at KLIA.

Many of these cases are solved with the help of the public through tip-offs but often the public quickly forget unsolved cases.

I suggest the major dailies can do a Crimewatch Summary for important cases to help jog the memory so that citizen's can play their role to help the police. A weekly section would be sufficient.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Independent ACA Would be Great But Let's Get the IPCMC First...

I strongly support the idea of an independent ACA.
We are more than 30 years behind the ICAC of HongKong that began in 1974.

By having an independent ACA, the PM will also subject himself to all laws just like everyone else and that would be a major move to start politically incorrect persecutions. I daresay that most Malaysians perceive the ACA to be unable to act without the tacit approval of the PM.

I suggest that since the IPCMC has been long overdue, it should be done now. Let's not cloud the issue with the ACA now.

After all we can easily adapt the HK model and that should be possible within a one-year transition. It is like trying to re-invent the wheel?

The PM Acted with Restraint and Humility at the Bar Council Dinner....

It was not a problem that was created by him but the PM acted with grace and humilty when he offered the judges who were wronged ex-gratia payments to ease their pain.

If you watched his speech, he was sincere in his desire to improve the tattered image of the Judiciary.
I found it rather strange that the DPM now has to come up with his own statement that it was never an apology.

We all know that but why undo unnecessarily the good work that the PM is trying to do? No need to complicate things further by describing the JAC as being merely advisory when the scope of the commission has not been established.

Sounds like trying to sabotage your boss.

Friday, April 18, 2008

60% Support the Prime Minister's Desire to Continue.....

It is not really a poll with significant numbers but of the 101 readers who took the trouble to participate, about 60% want AAB to carry on.

The question for MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 36 was :

"What Do You Think the Prime Minister Should Do for the Sake of Malaysia?"

40 or 40% chose The Game is Over - Go Gracefully

Of the 60% who supported his staying, the breakdown is as follows:

24 or 24% want "Make the Judicial Review and IPCMC the First Business in Parliament"
17 or 17% want "Bring Your Predecessor to Justice"
15 or 15% want "Step Up Reforms by Doubling the Speed"
5 or 5% thought "Carry on as normal. You are Doing Fine"

(there is a 1% rounding error)

Setting a Reasonable Time Frame for the Judicial Appointments Commission....

Now that the government has announced the setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission, I am sure that most Malaysians welcome such a move to restore public confidence and trust in the Judiciary.

A definite time-frame must be established and since most of the problems are known to the Bar and NGOs and the members of the Judiciary, I suggest such a Commission can be set up within 6 months.

It is better to get a commission that is 85% perfect in 4 months rather than try for one that is 97% perfect in 3 years. There would be broad principles of justice to be defined by stakeholders and the finer details that must comply with these principles.The JAC will refine the details as it does the work.

Since the IGP has also proclaimed that the Police are ready for the IPCMC, I suggest that since most of the same people will be involved in this issue, try and do both together and get the JAC and IPCMC running in 5 months or so.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Photos Don't Lie but We Need to Be Careful about Such Evidence...

No doubt many of you who use the NSH will be overtaken by those speeding buses that sometimes end up in the ditch with a few fatalities.

This motorist submitted a photo to the NST to show such an incident. However such a photo is not adequate for bringing a case to court for the following reasons:

1.The speed indicator does not prove both vehicles are in motion.
2.The bus position does not prove it had actually overtaken the motorist.

But the motorist is to be commended for this photo if he had kept both hands on the steering. I wonder how he was able to take the photo whilst driving at 110kph. But definitely the traffic cops should launch more ops to nab these speed demons. At one time they were talking of using the toll tickets to help control speeding and also those black boxes that can control most aspects of fleet management.

One aspect of these buses is that they are rather light in relation to the engine power and the flimsy construction above the passenger area means that when the bus turns turtle, only the seats afford some degree of protection. In an accident, I reckon the safest place to be would be on the floor between the seats.

Photo: Thanks to S.K. the letter writer.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm Sure We Can All Spend this Kind of Easy Money

This information is taken from the NST.

It is good that the ACA is looking at the details.

:: RM1.18 million on grants,
:: RM2.1 million on meals and accommodation,
:: RM932,000 on media and advertising,
:: RM710,000 on post and production,
:: RM710,000 on printing and stationery,
:: RM865,400 on equipment rental,
:: RM242,000 for volunteers allowances,
:: RM117,700 on wages, and
:: RM858,000 for travelling and transportation.

I would look at it with the following questions:
1.Grants are easily accounted for. The amounts to each sports body is easily checked.
2.Meals and accommodation looks rather high. How many meals and how many room-nights where?
3.Post and production, media and advertising and printing and stationery also is rather high and accounts for RM2.3m costs. Justification?
4.Equipment rental. What was rented and from whom?
5.How many volunteers and what was the daily rate?
6.Travelling and transportation - who went where and for what?

RM1.4 million entertainment bill should not include "a broad range of expenses related to sported events, athletes and team management participating in the National Women Games 2007. This included ceremonial events, opening and closing ceremonies, and prize giving ceremonies."

Opening and closing ceremonies can be counted and should be costed seperately and prizes can be detailed for the different sports.
That only leaves the actual amount spent on entertainment. A reasonable amount for entertainment should be allowed, perhaps capped at 5% of the annual budget.

That's the Way, Mr Prime Minister - Keep it Up!

I watch the PM deliver his speech at the dinner organised by the Malaysian Bar at the Marriott in KL.
The speech was well received and the PM announced the setting-up of a Judicial Appointments Commission and the paying of gratuities to the judges who suffered as a result of the Judicial Decimation of 1988.

He mentioned that monies to be paid would never compensate adequately for the wrongs done to the judges but I suppose he feels the urgency of his mission and the wish of most Malaysians to move on for the benefit of the nation.

The audience gave a warm reception to his speech. I think it was one of his best speeches to date. Way to go, Mr PM. Just get rid of some of those hyenas that are snapping and stalking you.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

The NS Scheme is Not the Place for Killing our Youth

One more youth has died during the long NS program.

The NST article mentions "lung infection" but I wonder if he died from pneumonia that could be treated with early diagnosis.

This person had a fever for four days before seeking treatment and then the person did not really take the proper action.
It is time we provided better protection for our youths.

I suspect this trainee did some really strenous activity before he developed the fever. Our NS Scheme seems to be the killing fields for a few of our youths each year.

RAFIDAH is Still a Leader with Gumption and Guts...

Despite her failings in the recent AP Scandal that was not handled judiciously by the top leadership, the Wanita UMNO leader knows what party loyalty and discipline is all about.
She was dropped from the Cabinet but took it in good spirit and now when the UMNO top gun is being gunned down from all quarters, Rafidah has joined the MIC leader in offering support to AAB.

The most important point is this:
Are Malaysians going to allow the Prime Minister they elected to be kicked out on the say-so of some minor minions in his political party?
It is quite strange that many senior UMNO ministers did not come out strongly to support their leader. Scared of being "jantan"?

After all, for many years the Cabinet has operated on that sacred term "collective decision" so maybe it is the right time to display that noble trait and take "collective responsibility".

Why I Seldom Write to Newspapers Nowadays...

I still remember writing to the dailies way back in the early 70s. The first letter that was published created a small stir in Wilkinson Process Rubber Co in Batu Caves but being a UK company, the bosses did not make a fuss.

I used to get published often in the Star, NST and the Malay Mail but the success rate was about 10 to 20%.

With the Internet and blogs, I don't bother much with newspapers these days except to respond to a rare article that is really interesting. Nowadays you can also reply using the Internet.

So yesterday's NST article NST says: "Get on with the job" evoked a response from me.
I wrote:

"I agree with this article.

Get on with the urgent reforms and many people will return to the BN.

Focus on serving all Malaysians and help ALL who really need it.

Anyone who wants to rule with a 2/3 majority should rethink this luxury as Malaysians will be more wary about whom they grant this power. We have suffered enough abuse already.

(PS. It would be good to have a preview button before sending)"

Now I understand that editors do edit but I do not agree that that they should simply take what they like:

My post ended up in today's printed NST as:
"Get on with the urgent reforms and many people will return to the BN".

I suppose the NST wants to be politically correct.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reducing the Demand for Foreign Workers is Good but More Must be Done to Train Locals

Easier said than done.
Just look at the large homes that employ 2 or 3 maids or the coffee shops where foreign workers now operate many stalls.

Now that is what one can see done openly - what about the thousands of SMEs that operate behind closed doors and high fences? Or the remote estates far away from prying eyes.

Malaysians are simply too lazy and we always want the easy way of doing things and not the correct way. Even the government operates on this wavelength.
What about the thousands of illegals that managed to become citizens through some magic process in Sabah?

A proper study needs to be done so this can be carried out smoothly. One measure that may be useful is that the levy collected from employers can be used to conduct skills courses for idle youths and even those in prisons so they can get proper jobs on release.
Employers can also be awarded matching grants to automate factory processes but this must be handled carefully but people will find loop-holes.

Getting Rid of that Sour After-Dinner Taste.....

It seemed that the police were adopting a more friendly approach to gatherings when AI's dinner to mark his return to political life proceeded without a hitch.

Depending on the source you want to listen to, the crowd ranged from 7,000 to 40,000 so you decide on the size for yourself.

To the credit of both parties, the dinner gathering went off without any hitches and the crowd was not served the usual chemical-laced cocktails via the police water cannon.

This only proves that Malaysians are disciplined enough to gather without creating a disturbance. Most of us are peace-loving citizens. Of course the police are needed to provide a security cover and easing the traffic situation.

If we compare the consequences of this gathering and the chaos that ensued when peaceful protests are disrupted with tear gas and water cannon, I am sure the police can do the necessary analysis.

The calling-up of PKR leaders does create a sour after-dinner taste but maybe the police need to go through the motions as technically the organisers had breached the law. Let us hope common sense will prevail and the police will let them off with a stern warning this once.

The police should also send them the bill for the extra manpower that had to be deployed. That is only fair for these people had to be brought in at extra costs for a private function.

Photo: Thanks to http://eastoceanseafoodrestaurant.com/eos_images/dinner_chinese.jpg

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Take 2 on the Handover Problems or Why the PM Wants to Steer for a Longer Period

A friendly warning to BN component parties. If you do not help our PM to make that sharp turn towards non-racist politics, get prepared to witness your party's plunge to oblivion.

Times have changed and the BN must regroup to meet the new challenge. Changing only the leader and not the policies will simply not work.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

The Incredible Pettiness when You are Stoopid

The Education Ministry has joined the Tourism Ministry in coming out with measures to isolate the PR state administration from the general public.
With such leaders in charge of education, it is no wonder that our school standards continue to spiral downwards.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Who Said that Reforms are Painless? SYABAS to the PM for Enduring the Pain

To those who are so loudly clamouring for the PM to step down NOW, it must be frustrating to hear that he simply refuses to abandon ship.

In a way AAB is allowing UMNO members to take a course of medication, a large dose of discipline to wait untill December to challenge him at the polls. He has opened the doors wide to open discussion so that the grassroots can decide who should become the next team of leaders to steer the BN into less perilous waters.
I hope he will also make the statement that whoever gets voted in as the Deputy President will also get his approval for we really need to get away from the "annointed one" syndrome.

Like most Malaysians, I am sure that even UMNO members are finding the new freedoms a little strange - too often we only hear or watch the loud-mouthed uncouth so-called leaders uttering profanities that can make a sailor blush.

I suggest to the quieter BN members to take the opportunity to voice all your concerns for the next seven months will determine the course of your political future.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Monday, April 14, 2008

OK, This is What the Handover Discussion Looks Like

Especially for those who do not like to read long articles.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Why Scholarship Holders Don't Bother to Fulfill Their Obligations

Each year Malaysian taxpayers lose millions of ringgit because scholarship holders refuse to return home to serve out the terms of the scholarships.

I would like to offer the following reasons why this has become a self-perpetuating problem:

1.The selection process is not transparent and many get JPA scholarships on account of their connections.
2.Recipients have no honour or integrity. They were not sincere when they agreed to return home asp after graduation.
3.JPA too lenient to allow extensions of stay for whatever reasons like - spouse wants to complete course in Architecture, children want to complete primary schooling, ETC. All are contraventions of the scholarship terms.

How do we solve this problem that has been going on for many years?
We can explore the following:

1.Take action against the guarantors.
2.Publish the names of the parents of the schoalrship holders so we can see which families benefitted.
3.Get a court order to enforce the repayment of the scholarship amount. Then explore the possibility of reporting these
to the UK credit rating agencies.
4.Make it a term in the scholarship agreement that the Malaysian passports will only be renewed overseas only to a date up to one month after the convocation date. Other applications can only be done in Malaysia.
5.Make working conditions and pay for new doctors more amenable.
6.Open the JPA to a few educational NGOs to improve the screening process.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

A Friend in Need or Why I Agree with Samy Vellu This Time

Yeah I know most people do not love Samy Vellu but his argument that AAB should not just resign on anyone's say-so or because BN lost badly in the last elections makes some sense.

The Cabinet and BN has always announced decisions as if such decisions are made on a collective basis; except when some items are kept secret or not fully disclosed like the AP Scandal.

Over years, hardly any minister has been forced to resign as a matter of poor policy and as long as the government remained strong, the PM and his Cabinet has been able to stave off all criticisms under the "collective leadership" umbrella.

But today as the BN government is being shaken to the core, many are clamouring that the Prime Ministe MUST resign so that the BN parties can rise from the debacle.

Is will just changing the PM make any difference if the individual BN parties do not change their ideologies or if the members do not change their thinking?
Now if we understand collective leadership, then not only the PM should resign but all those who held Cabinet posts in the last term should also give up their posts so that everyone starts with a clean sheet.

I suggest we should move away from the "collective leadership" concept and make ministers responsible for bad decisions. That way, the office of the PM remains strong. Let the minister resign and the public will perceive that the mistake has been learned.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Someone's Child Must Die Before They Do Away with NEP-Style Contracts...

Isn't this the usual convenient reason for another building collapse?
As the main contractor, one cannot just blame the sub-con for whatever shoddy work you accepted.

Or was it just a cursory inspection that allowed sub-standard works to go unnoticed? It would be interesting to check the contract history of this contractor and who is linked to the company. Another NEP crony?
This is not the first case of schools collapsing and looking at how things are, it will probably not be the last.

Just pray that your child is not around when another roof collapses. If this school hall had been occupied at the time, at least 10 children could have been killed by the falling tiles.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Then send the poll to 5 friends who may also want to share. Just click2 the second last sentence on the poll. Thanks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A New Record for TNB in Johor Bahru

Last week we had a blackout that lasted about 4 hours.
When we called the TNB Careline at 15454, the girl advised that some link had been stolen from the panel along the road outside my house.

Today the same thing happened. I wonder if this is going to be a week-end surprise every week?

Don't Blame the CHEF if You Insist on a Bad Recipe.

Well that is what is happening now. The PM had a bad recipe to begin with and now many are clamouring for his ouster as the dish he offered was not acceptable to many Malaysians.

We all know all the poor ingredients he had to produce that tantalizing dish but alas the voters were sick and tired of the same stuff, year in year out.
After 30 odd years, they want a more appetizing fare.

The RM1m question is, "Will changing the chef change the results if nothing else changes?"
Some people feel that the current chef will be able to perform if he decided to choose the ingredients himself and also the cooking process. But he must act fast. The heat in the kitchen is getting really hot.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.gifts2pinas.com/pictures/food/food16-big.jpg

Some Excellent Points on Religious Conversion to Consider....

We have not seen the authorities' proposals to safeguard religious harmony wrt conversions but this letter is worth a read.

The writer proposes an official hearing like a Family Court whereby the intending convert will make an official declaration of his/her intention and how the children and common property will be treated.

A mere letter will not be adequate but a more public process. Untill the process in the secular court is finalised, there should be no involvement of the Syariah officers.
Let us hope this procedure is approved soon.

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Thanks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Simply Absurd! Immigration Department Cannot Make Refunds....

There is this sad and also angry letter from a Malaysian concerning a refund from the Immigration Department. Yeah I know I praised them to the heavens a few months back about the fast passport processing.

Just imagine that! After 30 years they want him to travel from Ipoh to Putrajaya just to collect his RM750.
This process for permanent residency should not have taken more than 5 years for a "caring government" and after that the file should have been reviewed by the Minister in charge.

Maybe they have not heard of bank accounts? This is a case of "adding insult to injury."

PS. Please take the poll on the left column. Thanks.

Here's Your Chance to Tell the PM What to Do!

That is the aim of MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 36 that asks the question:

"What Do You Think the Prime Minister Should Do for the Sake of Malaysia?"

Please consider the possible answers and choose the one you feel strongly about.
Add comments if you feel you want to elaborate your choice.

Dropping the BRICK on the Brickendonbury Sports Centre

Finally they have announced the cancellation of this wasteful project that would have cost Malaysians more than RM500m.

The only regret about this case is that the former Sports Minister did not make the announcement and hear how cheaply we can train our athletes elsewhere. She's too busy trying to create problems for the tourism sector in states where the Opposition rules.

I reckon there will be a bill of at least RM5m wasted costs for this hare-brained project. That sum could have developed a few dozen soccer fields all over Malaysia for our youths.

"Excuse Me, Please Switch On the CCTV - We'll be Robbing Your Bank in 10 Minutes"

That seems to be the attitude of the management of Malaysia Airports Berhad, where the CCTV system was not operating at the time of the million-ringgit shoot-out at the KLIA.
They somehow have the notion that robbers will tell them when they are going to strike.

Apart from the CCTV malfunction(?) MAB is also featured in another report on a second security breach in 6 months. I wonder why the Minister claims that area is not under MAB's jurisdiction when its CCTV was switched off.

The security company that was ambushed also did not follow basic principles of reducing the chance of attack. By being so close together they really had no chance to defend themselves or those they were were supposed to protect.

They assume that because they have a gun, robbers will be afraid to attack them.
The next time you go to the bank, just observe the position of the armed security guard. In many cases, you can go up to the guy and ask him a question. This means you can easily overpower him if that is your intention.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

GOOD! But Just Do it Quickly with an Administrative Order First....

In today's malaysiakini, there is an article that the authorities are "working on a law that non-Muslims who are converting to Islam must inform their spouse and family".

This is good news but does not help the families who suffered as a result of dubious conversions.
In order that no other family suffers from a similar fate before the laws are passed, I suggest that the authorities can publish the guidelines so that the families will know the if the proper procedures were followed.

Fighting over corpses is rather distasteful and portrays the religion in a bad light.

Photo: thanks to http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/royal_tombs.jpg

Stop Being Pig-Headed About that Farm

Isn't it interesting that the former MB claims that the farm approval was only "in principle".
Looks as if this is one pig-headed project that he is not willing to be linked to. According to the report, some people spent time in Europe studying pig farms before the project got the green light.

I wonder why the State Secretary did not sign the full agreement just before the General Elections ala the water project?

As for those protesters, it is part of progress and a well-managed farm should be less smelly and polluting than dozens of illegal farms that can be hidden away.
One other factor to consider. Nowadays, there is the technology widely used in Singapore to produce potable water from sewage plants - so are you not going to drink the water in Singapore?

The new Selangor MB should release the documents so we know whose story is hogwash. Oh I forget .... they probably fed the pigs those shredded documents.

Photo: thanks to http://www.cefn.com.au/pigs1-2.jpg

Just Don't Blame GOD or ALLAH for this Accident.....

According to the NST article
"rain over the past week could have affected the stability of the soil and, as a result, it was unable to withstand the train's weight."

But this was the possible reason given by the District police chief and so we should wait for the official reason.
If you study the photo, you will notice that the train is about 20 meters above the water and also about the same distance horizontally from the water's edge. Apart from the continuous rain that would definitely affect soil stability and also the eroding effect of the river undercutting the slope, one should also not rule out the theft of those steel pins that hold the rails in place.

The daily or weekly rail inspection logs should also be examined to check on the last log entries.

Finally the operating instruction for the train at this stretch should also be studied. Was the train going over the speed limit at the time of the incident? More speed equals more vibrations that may trigger the landslide.

Photo: Thanks to the New Straits Times

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Message for the Prime Minister - "Stand and Deliver"

So now Johor UMNO is trying to ask the PM to go fly kites in a nice way according to this article in malaysiakini.

They want the DPM to run things untill
"Once the situation returns to normal, Abdullah can reassume the post or decide to let Najib continue,"

It looks as if these UMNO members do not know what has transpired since March 8th 2008. They think if AAB is away, UMNO will be able to go back to its past glory without any major mind-set adjustment. How sad for the main political force in Malaysia.

Meanwhile some concerned Malaysians have written a letter
urging Malaysians to give AAB the chance to continue.

I think the PM can do these 3 things to reduce the pressure he is facing on so many fronts:

1. The government gains more if it apologises to the former Lord President, as recommended by the Judiciary. Whether an inquiry is necessary or not, the government has the authority to do this and also reinstate the pension rights of those wronged men. Sometimes it is better not to depend on a Cabinet decision.

2. Charge the HINDRAF 5 in court or better still release them. The police should have enough evidence to bring a case of unlawful assembly or disturbing the peace or obstructing a police officer.

3. The best form of defence is to attack. Focus on your biggest threat and take some action; especially if a challenge has been made.

Taking a long leave of absence is a coward's choice. Many Malaysians still hope you will take urgent action against some of those mega-corruption cases. Once you leave, be assured it will be a one-way ticket to oblivion.

Tourism Minister....You Dare Claim it's Not Political? Try That on a 6-Year Old Child

Our Tourism Minister, aka the one who proposed a RM500m sports project in London at Brickdonerry that was cancelled after the UK authorities rejected the plans now wants to punish the PR opposition states by not channelling funds to the state government but directly to tourists officials appointed by the federal authorities.

How petty can one get?
And the cheek and audacity to claim that it is not for political reasons but only following the similar petty move they made when Kelantan fell to PAS rule.

It seems the central government is making a good case for the state authorities to amend the tax laws (at federal level) so that states must be allocated perhaps 30% of all taxes collected. This will enable the states to operate with more independence and not be subject to bird-brained schemes.

The funds should be allocated as per MOU and the Putrajaya authorities should just monitor the programs and expenses and provide feedback. Abuse of funds can be pursued with the AG's Report if necessary.

Let's Hope this Case Will End in Justice - No One Deserves ....

such a horrible end. Being beaten to death without a chance to defend oneself is a terrible fate.
Just imagine you are being held in a prison, serving a jail sentence and you are going to be discharged within 30 days.

Someone or some bodies decide that your sentence is not adequate and decide to give you a beating to within an inch of your life. They may not have had the intention to actually murder you but want to make you remember forever that you had betrayed the army's code of discipline that was tarnished by you going AWOL.

This case indicates that the army lock-ups are as bad as, if not worse than the police lock-ups that culminated in the RCI on the police.

I suggest what was learnt in that RCI can be applied to this case. Let's hope the culprits will be charged in court soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bank Negara - Getting Ahead of Technology is Also Dumb

You read this notice at all ATMs in Malaysia - "....the new RM50 cannot be recognised by this ATM following the introduction in January 2008".......

Well it is now 8th April and there appears to be no progress to getting the new note machine compatible.
Who at BNM is responsible for this boo-boo?
Or is there a desire to create more jobs in the banking industry counting these notes?

One would think that any new note will require a proper testing before it is distributed. What a crying shame for BNM!

Talks with Sabah and Sarawak - the Way Towards Decentralization

The request for more "rewards" by Sabah and Sarawak after they won many seats for BN is only fair and perhaps it may lead to more decentralization of Malaysian politics.
I feel that Malaysia could benefit if more independence is given to states to plan and develop with more local control.

For example, the building of schools, houses, water and utility systems can be done under the state government and the states can be granted a portion of the income taxes and company taxes collected, similar to the oil royalties. When will they give Terangganu back their oil dues?

Many of the problems that caused the almost demise of the BN were caused by too much control from the HQs. If only they had allowed the various local leaders to recommend the candidates for the polls, I imagine that 50% of the protest activities would have vanished.

If we give the states more autonomy to manage local affairs, the federal government can focus more on FDI attraction, foreign affairs, law enforcement and national defense. It would also require less energy and create better cooperation between Putrajaya and the respective state governments even if they are under Opposition rule.

We should all accept that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
With more decentralization, more power is transferred to the states and that itself will definitely reduce our corruption potential.

Monday, April 7, 2008

COMING SOON! Watch Out for This in the Historical Museum

Hmmm...would this come under heritage or the infamy section?

"Defections: Why Pakatan should wait" -- I Support this malaysiakini Article

Cease and desist!
That should be the principle applied to both sides of the political divide if Malaysia is to emerge stronger as a politically matured nation with no one trying to buy out MPs from the other side.

The nation has suffered much from about 25 years of racist politics and another 5 years (at the most) of a perceived weak leader is not going to affect the nation greatly.
If AAB starts to clean up the mess left by TDM and is able to reform the BN before leaving the nation with more democratic and responsible institutions like the IPCMC-reformed Police(that they have agreed to), I am sure both sides of the political divide will benefit.

With a larger Opposition in Parliamet, the Government will have to debate laws and issues more carefully and we will even get to watch some live recording.

So let's say NO to any party-hoppers of whatever colour. Switching allegiance should be considered the ultimate betrayal of the people.

Graphics: thanks to malaysiakini

NST Has a More Accurate Version of that Abduction Case

Children are usually the ones to suffer the most when marriages fail.
In this sad case, the mother even resorted to kidnapping her own daughter from her estranged husband.

I wonder how they thought they could get away with such an act.

SYABAS! Swift Police Response Saves Girl from Unknown Fate

This only shows the importance of public cooperation with the police who cannot be everywhere to prevent crime.
The public can serve as the eyes and the ears when we have only limited CCTV coverage in crowded places.
You need not confront the criminals but the least you should do is to observe details of the criminals and make, registration number and colour of the vehicle and time of incident.

The case has a few unanswered questins that warrant further checks:

1.Why did the man wait so long to report the abduction? Was he part of an elaborate plan to sell his daughter? Was he the biological father or step-father? Was the family overloaded with too many children?

2.At 1:15am, what was this young girl doing at the "doorstep of her house"? Most homes would be securely locked up by then.

If the man was involved in the abduction of his own daughter, it is possible that he had second thoughts and decided to make that report. We read of many cases where young girls get raped by their own father so this aspect should not be ruled out.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How Sick is UMNO? Is the Doctor's Prescription Correct?

Things are coming to a head in UMNO, when the past and present Presidents go at each other with hammer and tongs, in a figure of speech.

When once it used to be the indirect approach and via proxies, it is now a full-blooded head-on charge. The time for niceties is over.

Both men are trying to stamp their mark on the future of UMNO. One person claims that the way forward is simply to replace the person he annointed to succeed him. After making an admission that he had made a mistake of selection in the first place, how confident are UMNO members that any doctor's prescription is going to work?

When you discover you have a serious ailment, it is always wise to seek a second opinion and sometimes your own family may be too involved to offer a good solution.

Based on events in the past 15 years or more, UMNO has slowly become stricken with the ailment of being self-serving and not serving the nation for the general good.
Don't just listen to UMNO members but also listen to the other BN leaders who might be more willing to share ideas on how to save the patient.

The UMNO Dilemma - Change or Become Irrelevant

Change is always difficult, especially in the best of times when one becomes complacent and believes that the good times will roll on forever.
But we can learn from history that all empires decline and finally get replaced by a new empire that will also go through the same cycle of prosperity, complacency and decline.

Some people feel that the USA is in such a stage of decline. The basic reason it carries on as the world "superpower" is because the world depends on the USA to continue its conspicuous consumption because once the world decides that the USA is actually a bankrupt nation that has gone out of control, the USA empire will disappear.
This a a sort of doomsday scenario.

In Malaysia, the problems with UMNO too are somewhat similar. For many years the party has been living on borrowed time with people being convinced that without UMNO, the nation will be plunged into anarchy. Even though most people oppose the strict laws like ISA and OSA that have managed to paper over the serious problems of corruption, judicial interefrence and religious intolerance, most were reluctant to do anything about the problems.

Well the last General Elections show that people have decided to take positive action by handing out the most serious setback for the BN. UMNO as the backbone of the BN must now seriously taking the lead in non-racist politics.

Many feel that the entire Supreme Council of the BN should resign to allow newer leaders with a clean uncorrupted history to lead the BN to a more secured future.

What of the present leaders? Perhaps the BN grassroots should consider granting a few of them the mandate to help clean up the mess within a fixed mandate of say 2 years to guide the untainted leaders on the past mistakes.

It is possible that the BN may lose the next elections and some say even before that. Those who join the party must now realise that the road to immense wealth is not going to be through politics.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

You Must Listen to This - Especially Dedicated to Samy

Peabo Bryson performed at the Esplanade in Singapore about 3 years ago. At the time we did not really know much about him except the hit he enjoyed with the song from Alladin.
BOY! Were we glad we went for the show. He was simply AMAZING.

Excellent vocals, good showmanship and a fantastic range. I reckon that was the best concert I have seen.
Towards the last few numbers he even bothered to get off the stage and shake hands with the audience and I mean even with those in the middle of the hall where we were seated.

PEABO BRYSON - watch him wherever you can catch him!

Friday, April 4, 2008

PUTRAJAYA - Warning! Keep Away from the Water's Edge

It looks as if those man-made lakes in Putrajaya were designed for a specific purpose - no, it's not meant for tourists or recreational purposes. It's to provide a suitable habitat for all the "crocodiles and sharks" described in the would-be saviour of UMNO, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (or TR)in this malaysiakini article.

TR has been out of the mainstream power for many years after his fall-out with the top leadership during TDM's time. In politics, a few weeks can be a long time.
As for "crocodiles and sharks" we know that they have survived for thousands of years and the crocodile is a relic from the age of dinosaurs.

Maybe a TR may be able to handle both species of predators.
He calls for a purge of the party. Maybe some helpful pharmacists can offer them some laxatives?

40 Years Ago A Great Man Died for His Cause

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the great Martin Luther King Jr., considered by many to be one of the great American orators.
At the time, there was official discrimination against the blacks and they marched to gain their freedom.

This is truly a great speech from a great man.
Malaysians can learn many lessons here on what it feels like to be oppressed by official policies.

CIMB's Internet Banking - a Good IT Application You Must Try

When CIMB took over Southern Bank a few years ago, it appeared as if Bank Negara was encouraging a restrictive practice as it disallowed Southern Bank to court other suitors.

This barrier meant that Southern Bank owners could not maximise their return on their investments and years of nurturing the bank. So far Bank Negara has not disclosed the basis on which it creates such an environment that disallows market forces to decide the price.

Today I decided to apply for internet banking with CIMB and was really shocked and pleasantly surprised at their system.

All you need is the ATM Card. Once you key-in the password, you can select E-banking and it will ask you to create a password for the E-banking. It then confirms the password and prompts you to enter the mobile number that will receive the bank's code when you want to make payments to third parties.

It took all of 3 minutes. No forms, no other codes necessary from HQ.
I'm not sure how good is the security but if it is comparable to other banks, it should be secure.

FREE...One Executive Jet for Government Official Duties

According to this story, senior UMNO leaders are going on a road-show to gather feedback from members on 10th and 14th April covering Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and the FT.

I assume the government executive jet will not be used for political party purposes and since these days are not public holidays, the appropriate leave applications for time out will be made.

Since this is a personal undertaking, the only official benefit that can be used is the body-guard; with some restrictions on the expenses claimed. For example, if 2 bodyguards have to go on the trip, they should only be allowed economy class fares on a commercial plane.

Maybe that jet will be made available to other ministers with urgent government business to attend; so why not go and inquire?

Or am I being too naive to even dream of such things happening among our leaders?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

PENANG - the Bridge Too Far for PETRONAS

We all know that PETRONAS is active in many parts of the world and even in areas where the political climate may not be secure and so perhaps the new CM of Penang may have been hoping for too much to get the PM's directive for PETRONAS to fund the second Penang Bridge.

According to the malaysiakini article
,“He said it is not possible because of a few subsidies and other commitments they are planning,” said Lim

Given the usual secrecy that surrounds such mega-projects, the PM's refusal is not surprising. Just look at the "crooked bridge" project in JB. They wanted to change the design and the taxpayers ended up paying more than RM300m extra for less work done.

I don't believe the PM was simply trying to create a problem for the CM. The whole picture will be clearly seen if one can get hold of all details of the agreement that were discussed and agreed before the contract was signed.

Photo: thanks to malaysiakini

What's RM1.3 Million Saved When Another Ministry is Throwing Away RM150 Million?

I wrote earlier on how it is good that the competition between states has saved
about RM1.3m.

This story raises a few interesting questions:

These 30,000 employees were ordered by the State BN chairman to resign as these jobs were created basically to look after BN interests.
The new state authorities were going to allow them to finish their contracts before calling elections for these posts.

Now if the BN finds it necessary to use their service, well and good. But why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for such people?

For 30,000 employees at a modest RM5000 each per annum, the annual costs would be RM150m and that will come out of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry. That would mean 120 poor villages would be deprived of RM1m each in development grants to build roads and improve water and electricity systems.

KATAKS! OK-lah if You Resign Your Seats and Get Re-Elected

That seems to be the majority view of the 101 readers who take the MALAYSIAWATCH POLL 35 that posed the question:

What Do You Think of MPs who Cross Over?

Are they lining up like these cute frogs?

52 or 51% picked "Perfectly OK if they Resign and Re-Contest to Let Voters Choose"
17 or 17% chose "OK if No Money is Being Paid"
14 or 14% chose "Such People Have No Moral Courage and Principles"
11 or 11% chose "Why Not? Politicians are Mostly Crooks, anyway"
7 or 7% chose "I am Aghast at the Power Grabbing - It's Unfair to Voters"

It is interesting to note:

21% of the pollsters are quite annoyed with elected changing their allegiance.
11% are quite cynical about politicians(crooks?)
17% seem to be rather naive(zero inducement to switch sides?)

Photo: thanks to http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/images/122006/contest_frogs.jpg

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How Much Re-Branding is Necessary to Revive the BN?

We can observe the ugly side of humans nowadays as unhappy members try to lay all the blame for the BN's sorry election results on mainly the Prime Minister.

There is no doubt that the BN has been dealt a severe blow as the main political force of Malaysia and some doubt if it will be able to survive the demand of more transparency and good governance from the ordinary Malaysians who used to be rather complacent about political matters.

Before BN can undertake a major re-branding, the component parties need to embrace urgent reforms that may include morphing into non-racist parties; possibly with a change of name so that the old heavy baggage of the past can be buried for good.

UMNO as the main party appears to have the most unwanted baggage and so maybe the other parties should take the lead and merge into one political party with universal ideals that are acceptable to all Malaysians.

This will save precious time for the former BN components and UMNO leaders should also take part in the deliberations before their AGM in December.

Youtube: Bob Dylan was a world famous anti-war composer in the 60s

Nice Contest Shaping Up Between States and We are the Winners!

This is just the beginning of the benefits that voters will see in the coming years if we allow democracy to grow and flourish.

Last week, the Penang admin announced that the order for new cars was being scrapped as they wanted to save some RM600k plus and today we read this story that the Negri admin is doing a similar deed by scrapping "the privilege of keeping their official cars" of those who retired.

I wonder how that privilege was created in the first place? OK if the guy was doing the job for 20 years and the old car has some sentimental value. But not if it is less than 10 years old.

I am sure if this contest included open tenders, we the rak'yat will enjoy the ride more as costs will surely come down.

SMART Tunnel and the Not So Smart People in City Hall

After spending more than RM2b on the SMART Tunnel project in KL, it now seems that this tunnel is no match for the incompetent people we have in charge of DBKL.
It is time we brought back local elections for the people who service the tax-payers.

The excuse of "clogged drains" is really pathetic and it is the same old story from the people who are just warming expensive seats in City Hall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Screw Your Courage to the Sticking Place!" A Little Advice for our Embattled Prime Minister

This quote from Shakespeare's MACBETH is most apt for AAB as he has to fight off challengers from within and without his own party.

It would have been the easiest thing to resign and just leave the nation to others who may be more inclined to use force to stay in power. Don't forget we still have all those draconian laws that hang over all Malaysians.

Malaysia in entering a critical phase of political development and I feel AAB should be allowed to lead the nation; pending the results of the state elections in Sarawak.

Meanwhile he can take courage from Shakespeare's emphasis on the need for courage. He uses a "double" idea - screw your courage and put your courage on the sticking place. AAB needs to be courageous, firm and fair.

As it may be his last term in office, he should do the things that are correct in his heart and his conscience. Forget about past niceties and do the right thing.

PAKATAN RAKYAT - the New Political Force in Malaysia

Finally it is happening - the dawn of the 2-party system in Malaysia.
Readers who have been following this blog for the past 3 years will know that I have written some articles about ending race-based political parties and also the 2-party system whereby governments operate not on the basis of their divine right but based on the goodwill of the voters - in other words,
"Please deliver or you will be out the next elections".

It took moderate Malaysians almost 50 years to finally make that important decision and so PR should have no illusions that voters will not abandon them if they fail to fulfill their promises.

I wish PR well and only hope that the BN will quickly recover from their trauma, get rid of tainted leaders and become a balancing force. Malaysians want to be spoilt for choice and a too powerful PR will not be healthy either.

Logo: thanks to malaysiakini.It is interesting to note that the 3 parties have a circle as a common symbol.

The Police Force has the Capability, it is Just that We Accepted Unjust Laws

It is worrisome to see grown men arguing about the ISA and particularly the HINDRAF 5 that woke up many moderate Malaysians to the clear and present danger to their country Malaysia.

The police, I am sure are able to get evidence to get serious criminals charged in the courts as seen the recent multi-million drug bust - a job well done and involving many teams with special skills.

The ISA it seems does not require any specific evidence as all it needs is the belief of the Interior Minister that you are going to create mischief to endanger national security and PRESTO! they will come and arrest you in the middle of the night and able to put you away for 2 years without seeing the inside of a court.

So the police are not to be blamed for ISA arrests. We have allowed laws to be passed that put little onus on the Minister to justify any ISA detention.

Now that Parliament appears to be wavering between BN and PR(Pakatan Rak'yat) perhaps it may be a good time to revisit and revise this law or it could become like the UMNO election restrictions.
One never knows when such an unjust law will be applied to those who created it.

SYABAS to the Police for being Ready for the Long-awaited IPCMC

It has taken a few years but as they say, "Better Late than Never".
The IGP has now thrown the gauntlet down to the law-makers to pass the bill that will set up the IPCMC.

This bill is important as it complements the rebranding of the Police that came under serious public scrutiny with the "nude squat" incident that caused a minister to take a flying trip to China even though the woman was a Malaysian. I wonder what the Chinese thought of that silly sojourn.

It is good to have a PR program for the police but I feel changing slogans every 2 years is wasteful and not effective. I suggest a consistent slogan that will last for many years would be, "We Serve with Dedication and Integrity"

A Nice Juicy Carrot for Sabah and Sarawak....

This special offer reported in malaysiakini must be simply too difficult to resist for all states in Malaysia.
In effect, it allows more freedom of the states to develop projects that are more relevant to the needs of the states.
It is a masterly and strategic move and suggests that the future federal government is willing to let go of some of the financial constraints imposed on state governments.

It is definitely more equitable than the raw deal that was handed out to Terangganu and the government should take steps to remedy that unjust act.
I suggest that all states be given back 5 to 10% of all taxes so that projects like the Penang Ferry can be managed at the state level.