Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You Gotta Listen to BFM's Morning Grill

Gee. You guys gotta glue your ears to BFM, especially for the morning session.

While having my breakfast this wednesday morning (tat tara tara), i listened to BFM's Morning Grill, where they invited one Datuk/Dato'/'Grandpa' from Asas Serba Sdn Bhd (ring your cash-cow bell tak?).

This 'Grandpa' was grilled, really, when he stumbled to answer market-savvy Khoo Hsu Chuang's straight and sharp questions on the proposed takeover of our highway concessions by Asas Serba. He's 'overdone' piece of 'corporate figure', I tell ya!

I wonder if we still have genuine corporate figures who are well informed and educated, instead of being well-connected, to climb the corporate (and cash) ladder, before 'getting the pilot seat'.

Gee. That's sad.

"Hanya 3 Hilang"

The very reason i try very hard not to read, listen and read our MSM is to prevent myself from turning manic*.

*Note : In case you don't know what i'm capable of when i turn Manic.

Manic is someone affected by mania.

Mania is the Greek word for madness. It is derived from mainai, to rave in anger. The Maniai in Greek mythology were the Furies who pursued those who had done unavenged crimes and drove them to madness.

Clinical symptoms as a result of mania include an abnormally elevated mood state characterised by such symptoms as inappropriate elation, increased irritability, severe insomnia, grandiose notions, increased speed and/or volume of speech, disconnected and racing thoughts, increased sexual desire, markedly increased energy and activity level, poor judgment, and inappropriate social behavior. A mild form in mania that does not require hospitalization is termed hypomania. Mania that also features symptoms of depression ("agitated depression") is called mixed mania.

I watched a snippet of Astro AWANI and read at the bottom of the TV - "Hanya 3 Hilang". Of course, you know this was with reference to tragedy of collapsed iron-cable bridge over Sg Kampar in Kuala Dipang.

Adik Dina, 11, perished, another 2 are still missing and the remaining 19 are fortunate enough to be saved on time when the one-month old bridge collapsed into the rapid water of Sungai Kampar.

Adik Dina and the missing pupils are amongst some 300 bright, outstanding students aged 10 to 12, from 60 schools from Kinta District, who were attending this 1 Malaysia Unity Camp, under supervision of some 25 teachers. The tragedy struck around 10.30 at night. The kids were on their way to get their utensils before having supper.

Thirteen years ago, Pos Dipang - an Orang Asli settlement along Sungai Kampar - was destroyed by ravaging mudslide, claiming 44 lives. Only weeks ago, i watched the moving documentary on ASTRO. One of the main reasons identified to this tragedy is illegal logging upstream.

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children"

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Hanya 3 hilang". That is what BERNAMA - our Malaysia National News Agency - tells the whole world about the tragedy.

"Hanya 3 Hilang" - Is that the price of these bright kids to our Ibu Pertiwi when we all know they meant beyond everything else in this world to their parents?

"Hanya 3 Hilang" - Is that the price to pay for some design faults on the bridge?

"Hanya 3 Hilang" - Is that the price to pay for some costs cutting by the current State Government?

"Hanya 3 Hilang" - Is that the price of corruption?

"Hanya 3 Hilang" - Is that the price of 1Malaysia?

“There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were”

~ Dwight David Eisenhower

My heartfelt condolence goes to their parents. There's no words could comfort their sorrowful souls and no money could wash away their regret for allowing the love of their life to attend the camping.

My deepest regret to 1Malaysia, people-friendly 2010 Budget. We would be spending billions on lifeless infrastructure yet we won't be spending some time and efforts to combat corruption.

Like Mr Hawkeye says in his commentary on our latest Budget presentation, Corruption kills!

Corruption kills your people.

Corrupted monies kill your soul.

Please, do not be part of this vicious cycle.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Woman’s Got To Do What A Woman’s Got Do To

“When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her” ~ Adrienne Rich

And that’s what Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan has been doing for more than 20 years in the male-dominated dog-eat-dog world. She believes, thanks to being a woman, she is still alive till today and that the spirits of the dead keep protecting her in doing her works – considering both the police and the criminals despise her.

She says she only wants justice and the public to pay attention to criminal justice system. Following her Buddhist belief, she tries to do the good and right thing and one who overcomes obstruction every day. Some sites like this one claim that she’s being paid by my state Government USD120 grand an hour to appear in Court for Adik BH Teoh’s Inquest. I am not sure if that claim holds water but it is better to pay such price for justice than to hire a personal jet to Sarawak for con-sulting jobs (wops).

“If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women” ~ Gandhi

Boy, how I wish we had more women like Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan, who are strong enough to call a spade a spade, because “a strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are not determined not be done” (Marge Piercy).

In today’s world, frankly, women are ‘groomed’ to be weak, meek and ‘gedik’ – depending on the situation being thrown at them by men and their children – and that is tremendously degrading. How could we stoop too low to please some people, with complete disregards to the idea of being a woman in the first place?

I always believe what makes a woman is her natural ability to make a man better in every single way because God Almighty has bestowed upon women the highest reward of being a human being – for simply being a mother, who in turn would send away a good son out to be a good man and leader.

So, you must be wondering why on earth I am writing like this. I am just tired to see us women given a ‘trophy role with no authority’ to change. I am mad to hear women being labelled negatively – so we could don LV’s, Jimmy Choo’s, Gucci’s and Tiffany’s? Gee, that’s a tad too shallow, ladies!

We don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman (and pro-human). We don’t have to dress sexy to be noticed. We don’t have to be ‘lembik’ to be ‘lemah lembut’.

So, a woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. Let’s make things right again. If we are being poorly treated and lowly accepted by men, we only have ourselves to blame. So, are you ready to shake this world up ladies?

“Love and respect woman. Look to her not only for comfort, but for strength and inspiration and the doubling of your intellectual and moral powers. Blot out from your mind any idea of superiority; you have none” ~ Giuseppe Mazzini

Pay-It-Forward Drive - Pay Homage to Hitam and His Likes

Our Heroic Hitam passed away on 6 October 2009 - the same day another precious soul was found in a snare in Royal Belum Forest. I found this heartbreaking announcement made on "Furry Friends Farm" Notice Board.

His memorial service will be conducted on 4 November 2009 as published in Shoba's blog here.

There's nothing much we could do for Hitam but I know we could do something for his friends by giving what we could spare, all within our own, small capacity.

Let's see what we can do for Hitam's friends and end the very problem that made Hitam's precious life shorter - overpopulation in Pulau Ketam.

We could always start with foods - for both physical and soul needs. Feed them whenever you can even if people think it's filthy and unbecoming to feed a stray at stalls, pasar and around our residential area. Stroke them whenever they come to you. I'd say a house rich in life is rich indeed!

We could start a small-scale neuter project in our neighbourhood. Send one or two strays to DBKL Spay-neuter Clinic in Jalan Air Jerneh in Setapak at minimal charges. If we could control their population, we could give them a better life. What say you?

If we can't do the above, we could always stop hurting them. Do you think you could that?

Hitam needs our compassion, not our passion (for passion may fade away in time). Hitam and his friends need justice be done, not charity (for charity for many of us is when we give away old clothes and things we don't want). Hitam and his friends need friends like us.

Inspired by our Hero and this movie, let's pay Hitam's kindness forward to other beings in need.

Let's make Hitam a worthy cause to change this cruel world. Let's start now.

Rest in Peace, my Hero.

"Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility" ~ S. Parkes Cadman

Missing A Precious Life – Our Story of Missing Priorities

Only yesterday, I watched Amber Chia on TV doing photo shoots for PETA, undressed down like a tigress, followed by a petite PETA spokesperson talking about animals kept in captivity were not happy animals. I can’t talk on behalf of the animals kept in our zoos but I do know how it feels like being admitted in the hospital – it could drive you nuts when you are well fed and taken care of. Get the drift?

Today, TheStarOnline reported demise of the injured tiger, found caught in a snare in Royal Belum Forest by Perhilitan, a week ago (I wonder why they took a week to announce this). To read that he died due to infection and extreme stress after undergoing surgery to amputate its right foreleg really breaks my heart. Then, after reading Malacca Zoo does not have a vet, tears rolled down my cheek while I bit my lips in anger.

”People have got to understand that the commandment "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you" applies to animals, plants and things, as well as to people. And that if it is regarded as applying only to people . . . then the animals, plants and things will, in one way or another, do as badly by man as man has done by them”~ Aldous Leonard Huxley

It is not that our Ibu Pertiwi does not have enough vets or sufficient number of Perhilitan personnel to patrol our forests. Unfortunately, our vets and Perhilitan personnel are unlike high-priority, knowledge-based workers like those in IDR. They draw paltry salary because they care for our endangered flora and fauna and our endangered flora and fauna are not cash-making commodities. Hence, this explains, partly, why our Tourism Promotion Board has not been able to turn in a single cent since 1976. Duh!

It is not that our Government does not have enough budgets for these lines of duty. They do have but they have been allocated imprudently to some enforcement body to buy some more vehicles so that we could reduce our crime rates. Please, I’ve seen too many patrol cars parked at many ‘balai’ while some cruising along our roads by some investigation officers (while many more cases are being thrown out the courts for lack of evidence). Double Duh!

Like many of us out there, there are some people in these lines of duty that work for the sake of making money, surviving a living, feeding some lives. How I wish we could ponder for a while – if we work because we want to provide for our loved ones, how about those souls we get in touch with while doing our works? Shouldn’t we treat them with care and respect just like how we would like others to treat our loved ones?

"Work is Dignity, It's not a Chore - It's a Calling" ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

That’s the sad, sad story of our Ibu Pertiwi. Just like how we bestowed posthumous awards to some ‘shakers and makers’ that transformed this Ibu Pertiwi to what it is today, we don’t know what we got till it’s gone…

“As custodians of the planet, it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love, and compassion. That animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help stop this madness” ~ Richard Gere

Yes, let’s stop this madness! Let’s do our part!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Solace Last Night

This card is perfect for you


I found the one card that's just right for you

But I want you to know, it wasn't easy to do...

In Search of the Perfect Card

Special people deserve special cards

If you were just anybody, then any old card would do

But you're not "just anybody" (Trust me on this one)

A card for you has to be just right

It has to be thoughtful and sincere, just like you

It has to let you know that it is sent with a big, thankful smile

And that it can't wait to arrive!

It needs to let you know

Just as soon as you open it and read it

That it's from someone

Who cares so much about you and your happiness

It needs to be something you can hold in your hands for this moment

And something you can put in a special place where -

Everytime you see it in days yet to be

It will brighten your life in a quiet, loving way

A card for you has to be as perfect as perfect can be

Because you are perfectly me

p.s. Life is cruel, I know but it is really heart-breakingly cruel when you cried, missing someone so much, in the middle of joyous moments you shared with others. That's was me last night. My only solace was the card above...

Dogs are Man's Best Friend - So Who's Our Government's BFF?

Man is a dog's idea of what God should be
~ Holbrook Jackson

While Gandhi says, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”, perhaps it is morally correct for me to say, “The obscurity of a nation and its progress can be judged by the way its less privileged beings are treated”.

After going through the AG’s reports on dismal performance of our public offices and the closure of “Correct, Correct, Correct” case with NFA, announced these few days, I wonder if those people, who are paid to their works, have been sleeping all these while. I, too, ponder if I am expecting too much from them, majority malay muslims – after all, they are lowly paid.

Yes, this nonsense happens in Malaysia, whose leaders used to be the chairman of OIC, preached for “Islam Hadhari” and continue to claim that they are protecting the interest of malays in the country that has Islam as its ‘agama rasmi’. Shame on them.

Yes, this nonsense happens, year in, year out, in Malaysia, whose learning institutions are aggressively promoting their courses to the foreigners, whose graduates need retraining to be hired, whose secret of success ‘climbing up the ladder or ladle’ relies heavily on your ‘fibre optic connection’, whose state of its brain drain is alarming. Shame on them.

Yes, we only realise the severity of this nonsense when we open our mind to knowledge, open our heart to conscience and compassion, open our mouth to aspirations, hopes and dilemma, open our eyes to things we failed to see all these while.

Shame on us – what have we been doing since we gained our independence from the Queen?

Bite us once, shame on the dog; bite us repeatedly, shame on us for allowing it
~ Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sanctity (and Insanity) of Marriage

I made a pit stop at the library to renew “How to Wow” and managed to catch a glimpse of beautiful photos in Reader’s Digest “Four Ways of Looking at a Rope”.

One of them is to look at it as a symbol of marriage.

Off the coast of Futami, Mie Prefecture of Japan lays two rocks – husband and wife rocks named Izanagi and Izanami, representing the primal couple in Japanese traditional history. According to legend, it is from this couple did all the Japanese islands arise. Japanese Shinto priests first wed these two hulking rocks more than 1,300 years ago to symbolize the sanctity of marriage.

Today, husband rock (the strong, silent type at 30 feet high) and wife rock are still yoked together in the Pacific Ocean by 100 feet of sacred rope called Shimenawa – braided rice straws - which is replaced three times a year.

The priests do that at low tide, when the rocks aren't separated by water, and worshippers join in the ceremony by handing the rope from person to person onshore. In the summer, the scene is perhaps most divine: The sun appears to rise between the two points, with Mount Fuji visible in the distance.

The photo is simply mesmerising.

Marriage is sacred to many while some think it’s a ‘medication’ to several life crises. Which is why I put it this way – Sanctity and Insanity of Marriage. Well, look at these quotes!
  • Here's to matrimony, the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented! ~ Heinrich Heine (Oh Am Jeeeee : O )

  • Many marriages are simply working partnerships between businessmen and housekeepers ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960 (Better not devilish Capitalist)

  • I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it ~ Lyndon B. Johnson (I love this one)

  • How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being ~ Oscar Wilde (If you want one, get a mannequin please)

  • Most people who meet my wife quickly conclude that she is remarkable. They are right about this. She is smart, funny and thoroughly charming. Often, after hearing her speak at some function or working with her on a project, people will approach me and say something to the effect of, you know, I think the world of you, Barack, but your wife, wow! ~ Barack Obama (What more can I say? Heaven!)
  • My wife has been my closest friend, my closest advisor. And ... she's not somebody who looks to the limelight, or even is wild about me being in politics. And that's a good reality check on me. When I go home, she wants me to be a good father and a good husband. And everything else is secondary to that ~ Barack Obama (I dedicate this one to 1FPM)

  • Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten ~ Dick Gregory (My advice to you gals, be very cautious with politicians :)

  • Elections are a good deal like marriages. There's no accounting for anyone's taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it's the same with public officials ~ Will Rogers (See! I told’ya!)

  • All young women begin by believing they can change and reform the men they marry. They can’t ~ George Bernard Shaw (Too bad some people make babies to change each other)

  • After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her ~ Mark Twain (How thoughtfully sweet, i think i'm going to cry)

  • To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the loving cup, whenever you’re wrong – admit it; whenever you’re right – shut up ~ Ogden Nash (How true!)

  • The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together ~ Robert C. Dodds (Precisely! Watch out gals – yes-man is a big NO)

  • My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you’ll be happy; if not you’ll become a philosopher ~ Socrates (If not, perhaps, be a blogger :P)

  • Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centred, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car ~ Will Stanton (I like this one and I guess I got to station myself at SPCA Jalan Kolam Ayer :P )

  • Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight ~ Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966 (Someone says this to me – Fighting is good. Making up is better :)

  • Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy ~ François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (Goodness gracious me – so I believe in this, wholeheartedly)

  • I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home, which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot, which swears all afternoon, and a cat that comes home late at night ~ Marie Corelli (:P I have 4 cats: Mulan fits the growling dog part, Adam the swearing parrot, Bongo is our midnight Cinderella while Benji never gets enough of me)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pay-It-Forward Drive - Trees Heal

My baby brother once simplified the route to get to our old house by saying this – “just find one house that has a mini jungle”.

I have no recollection when I decided to get ‘involved’ with the plants and everything in between them. What started as daily chores to water my Mak’s plants, I found solace talking to them, befriending the red ants, slimy snails and worms, and pouring my heart to my departed cats (yes, I buried them all in our small garden).

The garden is so much alive to me. The closer I am to them, the healthier and ‘manja’ they become – I must say ‘loneliness’ is never part of my ‘vocabulary’. I have bountiful ‘souls that care for me unconditionally’ – it shows on their ‘face’ and sounds they make. Yes, they say it all when they say nothing at all J

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves ~ David Orr

Like many other gardeners, I believe trees heal – physiologically, psychologically and spiritually.

In Joburg, in preparation for 2010 South Africa World Cup Final, hundreds of volunteers helped to plant thousands of trees and plants, and installing irrigation on former wasteland outside the stadiums, where the games would be played. Luther Williamson, who heads Joburg’s Park Department, has this to say - "Wherever you make a place greener," says Williamson, "you don't have so many problems. Places where we've put these parks in, crime comes down 38%. Green spaces give people hope. No grime, no crime" (Extracted from TIME’s Joburg Gets It Together).

Prof Frances Kuo of University of Illinois led a review of studies into the effects of trees and parklands and finds that “Living near trees 'makes people live longer and feel happier'”, as nature calms people and it also helps them psychologically rejuvenate.

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
How I wish local authority councils would introduce more green lungs or pockets in the city, and reserve more lands for nature conservation.

At home and in the office, how i wish we could always start small with a pot of plant.

During special occasions, how i wish we could try presenting your loved ones with a gift of nature – a pot of plant or a gardening basket for them to start their own garden – edible or ornamental.

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river ~ Ross Perot

Trees heal, why not we start planting them?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why We Are Where We Are - Bureaucracy

When Peru's military-socialist rulers announced in 1979 that they would restore constitutional processes after 12 years of dictatorship, Hernando de Soto decided to come home. He held a graduate degree in economic and at the age of 38, he was a managing director of Switzerland's largest consulting engineering firm. Now, he would run a mining venture and help to to chart his country's return to democracy.

After a year returning to Peru, he stood by Rimac River and pondered communities on either side. Each covered almost 3 acres and contained homes of about 500 people but there were startling differences between them.

In community called Daniel Alcides Carrion, most of the houses were crude huts made of mud bricks or cardboard and plywood. Yet, these were not destitute people as their shacks sprouted TV antennas and refrigerators and other modern appliances were visible through open doorways.

Across the river stood Masrical Castilla. It had 3- and 4- story brick homes with neat gardens and paved sidewalks. Many merchants lived above their businesses - a pharmacy, grocery, tire store and shoe shop.

Curious, de Soto talked to residents, police and government officials in the 2 neighbourhoods. What he discovered was tantalising: both were founded at the same time, by the people from the same village. He even found brothers living across the river from each other. So, why do some people prospered while others do not? Why are some nations poor, others rich? De Soto was perplexed.

The crucial difference between Mariscal Castilla and its impoverished sister village was the former's elected leader had hammered on Lima's politicians and bureaucrats for six longs years until they granted land titles to the residents. Thus secured eviction, the homeowners did the rest by borrowing, by saving from meagre earnings and by sheer sweat. In 10 short years, they had improved their homes to a stunning value of 41 times that of the untitled dwellings in Daniel Alcides Carrion.

In Daniel Alcides Carrion, the residents were still squatters, who could not sell their land, add and rent rooms or borrow money to set up businesses. They invested chiefly in appliances, and pickup trucks to move them if they were evicted.

De Soto deems that "the legal protection of the fruits of a man's labour's and creativity, what we call property rights, turns out to be a crucial liberator of enterprise".

In 1981, de Soto established Institute for Liberty and Democracy ("ILB") to study economic and political problems and advance ideas for their solutions. It soon grew to 38 full-time workers and hundreds of consultants and volunteers.

Amongst his first studies was to find out what the little guy who wants to start his own enterprises runs up against. He assigned a lawyer and 4 volunteer university students to set up a 2-sewing machine garment factory. With stopwatches and notebooks, they set out to get all the government certifications required to operate legally. "Don't pay any bribes unless you absolutely have to", he instructed.

The team visited government offices, waited in lines and filled out forms. They received 10 bribe solicitations and were compelled to pay twice. The total cost in outlays and lost income was $1,231, or 32 months' pay at the legal minimum wages and an individual would have to spend 289 days, 6-hours a day, to become certified.

He then sent a researcher to Tampa, Florida to rerun the experiment. He got complete legal certification in 3.5 hours.

Many of Lima's poorer citizens, de Soto found, have simply left the formal legal systems. Though they still pursue legal ends - building houses, manufacturing and selling goods - they do so without meeting government-mandated regulations. dD Soto called them the informal sector. Astoundingly, informal sector contributed to 52% of the country's manufacturing companies and employ a third of its industrial workers, producing everything from bicycles and mining equipment to clothes and furniture. Lima's 91,000 unlicensed street vendors sell $322 Million worth of goods, including 60% of city's food.

But the informals waste tremendous resources just to keep operating. They pay 10% to 15% of their gross income in bribes. They stay small, thus losing economies of scale. While the legals get the credit from state-regulated banks, informals must pay quadruple interest rates on the back market. Simply by removing the legal barriers that stunt their growth, the ILD estimated that the informals would increase Peru's GNP by over 50% in a decade.

De Soto concluded that Peru - like other Third World Countries - has never really tried free-market economics. Rather, the privileges of the few are protected against competition of newcomers. Too many of Peru's 'legal' capitalists, far from being real entrepreneurs, resemble the privileged monopolists of the 18th century. An this produces inefficiency, corruption, stagnation and revolution.

In 1984, De Soto launched a revolutionary movement of his own - a peaceful, grassroots campaign aimed at democratic reform. When Lima's Marxist mayor imposed stringent regulations on all street vendors, ILD economists explained how the new rules would aggravate the bribery problems, waste countless hours in bureaucratic delays, and raise food prices for everybody. De Soto presented petitions denouncing the regulations from 111 of the 120 vendor organisations. Astounded city authorities quickly backed down.

In 1986, the ILD unveiled an "ombudsman" program. The first issue : legal titles for homeowners without them. In 1 month, the ILD gathered 300,000 complaints. Within weeks, then-President Alan Garcia sped an ILD-amended title law through parliament. Then local politicians, fought to see who would get the privilege of handing out the certificates of private property to tens of thousand of informals.

In November 1986, De Soto published the ILD's findings in a book called "El Otro Sendero" ("The Other Path"), a powerful indictment of Third World government's negative interference in the economy.

Today, de Soto presses his crusade to cut down government bureaucracy in Peru and elsewhere. "I now know why some countries are poor and others rich. We're a world of 169 countries, and only about 25 of them have 'made it' economically. They were able to do so because they stripped governments of the power to deprive the humblest citizens of the fruits of their industry and creativity. The answer boils down to one word : Freedom".

p.s. The above article was extracted from November 1991's Reader's Digest. Can you find any similarities between our current Ibu Pertiwi and Peru back in 1980s? This is a wake-up call for us. No, we don't need politics to run our lives but we need conscientious people, the like of De Soto, to lead the right way out of this Third World phenomenon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali Wishes to All Friends and Foes

"Celebrate the triumph of Goodness over evil

May this bright day bless you with health, wealth and prosperity

Happy Diwali"

Note : "In Hinduism, across many parts of India and Nepal, it is the homecoming of Rama after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. In the legend, the people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (dĭpa), thus its name: dīpāwali"

~ Extracted from Wikipedia

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dealing With A Good Loss

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for” ~ Paulo Coelho

Pakatan Rakyat (“PR”) has been harshly criticised since losing Bagan Pinang’s (“BP”) by-election to corrupted UMNO.

Mr Wenger told me not to be too disappointed – winning and losing is part of the game. Mr Duke The Whisperer asked me how was I doing, dealing with the loss. Surprise, surprise, I told these concerned gentlemen that I am doing perfectly fine because, as scientifically proven*, my mind is locked on the last two words – corrupted UMNO – in the first sentence.

* Note 1 – we are innately pre-programmed to pay attention to the last words or any negative words in a sentence.

'Well Oiled Referees’

There’s a saying that corruption follows you till the grave so what is winning when we know the referee is biased i.e. isn’t performing ethically? Do you still remember why my Favourite Frenchman was fuming mad during Gunners-MUFC’s match in Old Trafford last August?

“Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency”

Only this afternoon, one Mamat proposed in one assembly that “Federal aid to the governments of opposition-ruled states should be reduced and be channelled directly to the people there because opposition parties were getting mileage out of the socio-economic programmes in these states, when little do the people know that what the opposition government is giving comes from the -tuuuut- Federal government”. Little does this Mamat know that the money belongs to the people and not to one or two political parties.

Here in this Ibu Pertiwi, the ‘referees’ are subservient to the ‘Demi-Gods’ they ‘worship, causing them to become paranoid, suspicious and neurotic by any attempts to ‘rock their boats filled with treasures’. Let’s pray that their conscience will be clear, soon. Amin 44x.

Dealing with this Good Loss

Mr. Dnightcaller says this loss is a good one and I have to agree with that.

Vanquish ‘Hantu” Supporters

Based on his experience in BP, he told me that most supporters of PR were not genuine – they jumped on the ‘bandwagon’ to get the opportunity to torment UMNO supporters. Instead of blessings to PR, they became a nuisance to the local people and their votes for UMNO are a telltale sign of their protest to these ‘hantu’ supporters.

Memartabatkan and Memakmurkan Rakyat Tempatan

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean” ~ Ryunosuke Satoro

It is a good lesson to PR supporters that in any campaign, the locals are THE Kingmakers. We must learn to be their confidante – what are their concerns, problems and aspirations – and only then, we could gain their respect, their trust and be their saviours, when they decided to do so. Dr Zul has proven his mettle to fight for Rakyat Tempatan in Broga – with Madam Alice Lee, he is a good example of an activist. BP needs an activist to help the local people to address their local issues.

PR should know by now that campaigning and helping people are not seasonal – they should be continuously done, regardless if it is your constituency or not.

They should start being a watchdog to the elected ADUN, to ensure that the rights of local people are well taken care of i.e. goodies distributed are not gifts but delayed rights after all these years of inaction by the elected ADUN.

Exorcise ‘Hantu’ Leaders

This loss should eliminate the ‘Trojan Horses’ and baddies in PR – those so-called leaders of People Power because they could have ‘worked’ hand in hand with BN. These ‘leeches’ normally have their personal agenda or problems that it is too easy to ‘entice’ them with goodies.

In addition, this shock is vital for survival of PR because ‘When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal”. So, what’s the coveted goal of PR, in which we have bestowed our hopes for a better Ibu Pertiwi in the last GE? Is it power? Or is it for us, the common people?

“The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters” ~ Walter Lippmann

It’s time for serious soul-searching, for both PR leaders and us because “We learned much more from defeat than we ever learned from winning”, about each other.

Let’s not forget the legendary speech of Mr. Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg: –

“The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

Monday, October 12, 2009

Every Child Deserves A Boon in Education

Pak Busu has a cousin, who lives in Scotland. She and her husband, in their sixties, work as social workers for the British Government, taking care of autistic children for the past 40 over years.

Recently, she came back to The Pearl of the Orient to visit her mother, who underwent a surgery. During her brief stay, she shared with Chu and Pak Busu on how they deal with these special children, as Hariz, one of My Little Angels, is one.

For an autistic child, he is merely a soul that has no physical attributes, hence it is vital to introduce him to himself by having photo journals and mirrors. “This is your mouth. You speak with your mouth”. “This is your hand. You touch the ball with your hand”.

For him, our world is such a chaotic place, with too many stimuli, which he cannot process and comprehend. Once he found one logical matter that he could put his mind, heart and soul into it, he would do wonders.

She introduces us to a perfect book called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, by Mark Haddon. Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. This is a MUST-READ book, not only to those who has autistic children, but it would also be beneficial to those who want to understand this mind-puzzling disorder. While some are clinically diagnosed as autistic, I somehow feel that there are some out there who show a degree or two of autistic behaviour (we may wrongly perceive them as anti-social).

In UK, once a child (a citizen) is diagnosed as one, a social worker would visit the parents, planning how they could guide the child to be a self-sufficient individual - any form of assistance is assured to reach the target group, unlike in this Ibu Pertiwi, where the less fortunates and zero'cable' are left unattended.

After various assessments, the child would be placed to live in a government-owned house, along with other autistic children and the social workers. One child graduated from the house to be a sushi chef in a restaurant and is currently living in a flat by himself. For social workers like Pak Busu’s cousin, that itself is a huge accomplishment. It is life made easy for the child and the parents.

So, when I thought I would still be basking in glimmering lights of hope this Monday morning, I am so sad to read that in 1(Failed)Malaysia, “Boon for gifted children” will be made available by the government, when in France, the Land of Carla Bruni’s Other Half, such establishment is privately managed and the expenses are borned by the parents of the gifted children.

“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” ~ Nelson Mandela

How I wish My Little Angel, along with other challenged children are given similar assistance. Of course, in the case of autism, we have NASOM. However, this Society is poorly funded and short-handed. Some parents were horrified to find their little ones being tied to chairs in a room because the centre has too little experienced staff to guide these special (sometimes hyperactive) children. After a few disappointing visits, my sister thinks that the Government should hire more social workers, where relevant training and allowance are provided, and establishing such centre could provide a lively and interesting ‘lab’ for wanna-be medical doctors, psychologists and therapists. Ideally, each child requires sole attention from one ‘guardian’, as autism itself has myriad spectra, which differ from one child to another and certainly this requires different approach of guidance. In real world, not all parents are financially capable to fork out a handsome sum of fees to get professional one-off training in handling autistic children.

Apart from autism, thanks to the advent of science, neurobehavioural development disorders (like ADHD) and learning disorders could be detected early in a child's life. But, what do we do once they are diagnosed as one? Most of them go into mainstream school only to be ridiculed by their peers and be treated harshly by their teachers.

These special children do not need out pity – they need our understanding and help to empower themselves, getting on with life. They say some savants, a spectrum of autism, are gifted. Some say M. Nasir and Michael Phelps and . I am not sure whether they are clinically diagnosed as one but the point I am trying to bring home is that these special children could contribute to the society, even in their little ways, beyond their beloved family.

All they need is a chance to help themselves.

Yes, each child that is born in this Ibu Pertiwi deserves a boon in education.

“Our task is to provide an education for the kind of kids we have... Not the kind of kids we used to have... Or want to have... Or the kids that exist in our dreams”
~ Mary Kay Utecht

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lemons and Winds

When life deals you lemons, make lemonade - that's what Dale Carnegie said.

When life deals you wind, make windmills - that's what Malawian William Kamkwamba did 7 years ago. Go watch this interesting show!

For that, shame on you Tetap Naik Bil (Letrik - purposely spell it the old way because Tetap Naik Bil is still 'katak bawah tempurung').

For that, shame on us Malaysians - Malawi is even better than Malaysia. Yicks!

p.s. "Addicted to Oil" documentary is a MUST-SEE.

From Broga to Bagan Pinang

From Broga to Bagan Pinang, we actually need one Wakil Rakyat like YB Zulkefly Omar and Madam Alice Lee - activists that fight for common people.

I cried watching these 2 videos - on YB Zul and on Madam Lee. How could the Gomen decide to build the biggest incinerator in Asia (if materialised), in such a pristine, scenic place like Broga? Was it because these 700 people, who majority are chinese, are irrelevant? Still, no incinerator should ever be built here in Malaysia because we are Malaysians, not Japanese (go figure why).

Politicians give us developments that most of the time affect our environment negatively. Look at Raub. Look at PD. Look at where i currently reside. It used to be adjacent to one Hutan Simpan and with all roads and residential areas thrown in between, the forest and its inhabitants are dying. Thanks to (Ba)Khi(l) Toyo.

So, when I read this piece of dilemma, wondering “How will he (YB Zulkefly) sell himself to multiracial and multireligious voters while making sure PAS's Islamist skeletons do not come jumping out of his campaign closet?”, really irks me. Such ‘celebrity-like questions by The Nutgraph’ reflects how shallow our society could be.

So, I wonder - did the Gomen or the media politicise everything under the sun? Reading that shallow piece, you now know the media in this Ibu Pertiwi plays a detrimental force to us Anak Bangsa Malaysia and our future due to the media inability to decouple national issues (that to be tackled by top leaders) from 'isu masyarakat setempat'. For that, I salute YB Zul for his consistent no-nonsense response to the nutty reporter.

For me, each by-election is Kingmaker to us Anak Bangsa Malaysia. It is the opportunity to 'micro analyse' how a constituency is being run and the issues face by it and its people. If, given that BG has been under the purview of one man, 'bernaung di bawah payung emas Kerajaan Pusat' for the longest time, I wonder why PD has become what it is today. I wonder some Indian kids had to make do learning in shoplots because there is no school for them. I wonder why water is still a problem . I wonder why it's called Bandar Tentera Lalat.

Why? Well, let me put it simply - 'sebab tak ada ketua yang ikut kehendak rakyat'.

It's polling day in BG and my Mak says the V goes to BN (thanks to postal votes and 'biar mati anak, jangan mati adat' folks).

Dear YB Zul and Madam Alice Lee, I admire your spirit. "Lawan tetap Lawan"!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Of 'Demi-Gods' and Animal Killers

While Mr Simon Templar deems one MSM is suitable to tapau roti canai, I use them to line my bin. However, I do read The Star Online to read humane articles like this – “Most Security Guards are Sitting Ducks” and “Tiger Rescued from Poacher’s Trap”, which you would never see in other gila-politik MSM.

Let's Not Forsake Our Security Guards

During my formative years to be a ‘good service provider’, I had great experiences handling people and money from the comfy desk to the chilly strong room. For odd reasons, being in the mighty presence of cold-hard cash made me felt ‘suffocated’ (now you should know why some filthy rich people are ironically depressed) plus I hate the smell (really, they do have bloody nasty smell).

One sunny Saturday afternoon, we expected the arrival of one armoured vehicle to stock up for anticipated ‘drawing spree’ by the retired ‘civil servants’ on the following week. Normally, tough-no-nonsense men would guard this delivery but this time around, 2 young chaps, grinning from ear to ear, carried the big duffel bags of cash into the strong room, with batons swinging by their hips. That’s all it took to deliver these millions of cash to one of the busiest spots in KL’s Golden Triangle.

I cried (I know it’s very unprofessional of me) looking at them, who seemed to look very proud carrying out their duties, even with less or no obvious protection provided to them. I salute their spirit – at least, they earned their money in Halal way.

For all the joy the cash they delivered would bring, how could we not feel responsible to ensure their lives are well protected?

How could we compensate their beloved family for the loss of their lives, if any tragedy struck them now our Men in Blue are pretty busy, attending candle light vigils, providing free escort services to you-know-who, manning peaceful crowds at buy-bye-by elections, state assemblies and not forgetting, diverting traffics from some famous Kompleks Mahkamah?

For all their service paid handsomely by many organisations, how could the employers sleep well at night when their men, who put their lives at stakes, are paid very (extremely) lowly? One 60-ish year old uncle once told me how much he earned after deducting his medical bills and no-pay leave – a meagre RM240. I seriously doubt one could survive with that kind of pay.

Is it sensibly justified to say that since these people are not well qualified that we expect them to feel ‘terhutang budi’ to the employers? Please-lah, even some well-educated ones are not qualified to carry their duties with full integrity and accountability. Well, just look at how much 1Failed PKFZ costs had ballooned.

Someone shared me with interesting discussion he had with his sons during recent Hari Raya, which revolved around Prophet Muhammad PBUH, who asked, "Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first".

Let’s Not Hurt Our Animals

I love animals and to see the cuddly 120-kg male tiger in such painful condition, simply breaks my fragile heart. It is even more devastating because this innocent tiger was trapped in our Royal Belum Forest Reserves. How could these poachers find their way in this pristine, so-called protected area?

Let’s pray for this tiger speedy recovery and that Malacca Zoo would treat it good (because I don’t trust Zoos, which I likened to animal shelters).

How ironic that we, the economically sufficient beings that could afford Astro at home, remain to be the ones that continue to buy exotic animal parts to remain healthy and virile? Hmm, perhaps we watch too much ‘unrealistic’ dramas instead of ‘feeding our compassion’ on Animal Planet, NatGeo and Discovery Channels.

What a mockery that we, believing that we are civilized ones, detest the encroachment of animals into our ‘peaceful’ residential areas when we are the ones ‘trespassing’ into their habitats? Hmm, maybe we are so much ‘engulfed’ with the idea of “Ketuanan” this and that.

Looking at how we treat our Security Guards and Animals, we are definitely losing control of who we are. No wonder we continue electing those 'Demi-gods' and animal killers as our leaders.

Waa Kill Rakyat, Dude!

p.s. Maltesers are my favourite choc
but nothing can beat this Mal-Teasers in the run-up to BG buy-bye-by election!

Physiologically, I am dead tired.

Heck, not that I am complaining – I love keeping myself busy. Alas, I am still mortal (dang, I wish I’m one of those Mortal Kombats – urat dawai, tulang besi) – this sebulan raya really tires me. I walked into the office on Monday morning, wishing I could fall down and sleep away – Sleeping Beauty style.

Hello! This is Boleh-land, where ‘jokes’ are spewed every minute by you-know-who. Mana Boleh Tidur when you have ‘great comedians’ on the ‘shows’ (but I know you’d say “Boleh” with a cheesy, Cheshire Cat grin on your face).

First sketch, one ex-MB told one MB that he is better at running a state.

Gosh, that’s the mother of all jokes because after 22 years being the MB, Seremban remains, as one filthy, poorly planned and developed Ibu Negeri (even my kampung Kota Tinggi can beat it anytime, ceh!), “Takde air” is an acceptable norm in NS (Please la voters of Bagan Pinang, say “NO to Takde Air” ok?), PD is such a lousy, dirty tourist spot (now, you want to turn it into Army Town – wowieee perfect example of “manis mulut”) and did you realise that of many ‘projek rumah terbengkalai’ appeared on TV3, majority happens to be in NS?

Gee, of all the fed-gomen flowing into this Negeri Adat Pepatih, could you please list down any viable economic activities being carried out, apart from Nilai3 and those jual kain-thingy spots (shish, buat habis duit je).

I was told, by one colleague who normally would side UM(ph)NO(more), that she is very shocked that the ex-MB was selected as the candy-date. Apart from all the ‘mishaps’ I mentioned above, his short stint as Minister of WP brought some ‘Gajah Putih’ projects, notably Plaza Rakyat in Pudu Raya. What about the ‘new, distorted image’ of Petaling Street and Masjid India?

I almost fell off my chair reading this one little of this article that appears on MI: -

“It is not that hard to be a wakil rakyat, I have been doing this for 30 years. I have not been a wakil rakyat only since March 2008”.

Of course la not that bloody hard (ops, me and my unlicensed mouth) to be one “Wakil Rakyat” when “Wa Kill Rakyat” (“Wa” as in “Gua”/”Me”) with the kind of projects that promote “One(1)Malaysia(Wa Punya) – Rakyat (Jangan) Didahulukan, Pencapaian (Wa Mesti) Diutamakan”.

What’s difficult about being “Wakil Rakyat” is when you have to be “Yang Berkhidmat (Untuk Rakyat)”. Get it, mister?

Oh, before I forgot, Mr. Wenger J Khairy says “Choose ISA because he did not cost RM21 Billion”. Theoretically, the great analyst is right but in reality, by choosing the ex-MB, our country would lose much more than that for ‘recognising one tainted leader as a credible ‘CEO’ to helm and manage the state’s coffer'.

Mr. Anil Netto reported on 18 September that our outward FDI for 2008 soared to USD14.1 Billion from USD11.9 Billion (circa RM49 Billion) in the previous year.With the 'tainted' candy-date running for the buy-bye-by-election, let's pray hard our outflow won't be 'phenomenal'.

In addition, we have yet to take into consideration on loss of future capital and spending power resulting from Brain Drain, which has also ‘infected’ middle class, urban Malays that are typically labelled as the evidence of successful NEP.

After ‘laughing like a hyena’, I turned sober and recalled this quote from Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi ~ “Systems are as good as the people who administer them. Organisations can rise no higher than the quality of their leaders”.

I am scared; actually very scared of what our future would look like if we brought back such tainted leaders to the ‘control room’. How could we trust our children’s future in their dirty hands?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One (Trigger) Happy Flip Flop Nation

Err, Pak Lah has left his ‘throne’ last April but how come I keep ‘seeing’ Flip Flops every single day – this week alone. I know I am a dreamer but these flip flops are nightmares, I must say.

On Monday, MI has learnt that Government mulls Benz, BMWs for judges, to replace its leased fleet of ageing Perdana V6 Executive, which are no longer in production. We all know how reliable Benz and BMW are but is it well justified to ‘reward’ the judiciary for their inactions (in addition to slow and flip-flopping actions) in upholding justice and rights in this Ibu Pertiwi? Besides, to spend RM80.0 million a year on leasing these luxury cars from Spanco is utterly ‘sinful’ during this gloomy economy weather.

If we go by the standard of ‘buah tangan’ to Bagan Pinang, as reported here, we could build 2 more primary and secondary schools. If we go by the basic school any right-thinking ‘corporation’ would provide to its native people like our Penan brethrens, many of them would have experience proper education system near their home sweet home, instead of having to travel for hours. Many of our sisters would have been well educated (capable to alleviate their family from poverty) and some may have become teachers in their hometown, instead of living in seclusion with their out-of-wedlock babies – thanks to the loggers that raped them on their way to school.

If this proposal went through some thick skulls, I bet that many more ‘anak-anak buah’ would get their hands on these cars too. Oh, I forgot. That’s NEP – enriching those Anak Melayu since majority of our public servants are Anak Melayu – but backdoor NEP lah because we, the gracious taxpayers, fund their high-flying lifestyle.

Yesterday, Tok Ketua Kampung says “
Govt may tighten belt without compromising efficiency”, in ‘JKKK’ bid to control the fiscal deficit by cutting down its OPEX but without affecting its efficiency. Targetted subsidies would be provided to ensure such subsidies went to deserving people. Shish, that’s a damn good ‘joke’ or is it my sarcasm ‘running amok’.

Guys and gals, our judiciary deserves the cars because we wouldn’t want them to be late for the court proceedings, would we? Imagine the multiplier effect - more cases would be attended to and deliberated, less people ‘lounging’ in the cells, less missing files, justice would be upheld, FDI would make a comeback as the investors trust our judiciary system and that make us one (Trigger) Happy Flip Flop Nation!

Yeay! >:(