Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Let's Move On...

I'm getting old. If you ask me what I remember to be unforgettable or memorable events in the country this year, I'll probably hold my breath for way too long, and still find it hard to recollect more than five.

I do remember that they are all not so nice political stuff, and tragedies.

Around the world, I remember the rescued Chilean miners because it was a miraculous thing. And people the world over followed their lives in the pit, and the rescue that followed. That was a near tragedy that had a very happy ending. If the world had mega loudspeakers, we could hear the sighs of relief and joy when the were all safe above ground.

At least that's one wonderful event I remember.

And then, the globe-shattering Wikileaks.

On the home front, I just wanna say that our fabulous Tigers' stunning performance that led to victory in the AFF Suzuki Cup, was a superb end to the year.

And it's a public holiday. So enjoy. Stop bitching just because you hate the Barisan Nasional.

Let's move on.

May you have the resolve, stamina, willpower and conviction to not break the resolutions you have made.

Have a Very Happy 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Salam Hari Natal!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Done shopping? Finalized your Christmas menu?

Already on your way to "balik kampung"? Safe journey, y'all!

Here's wishing a wonderful and blessed Christmas!


Typewriters And Transforming Malaysia...

Rocky AKA Ahirudin Attan wr0te about typewriters and government forms in his Thursday Rocky's Bru column in the Malay Mail

Here's an excerpt:

"This is Malaysia and we introduced the Multimedia Super Corridor to the world in the Nineties because we wanted the world to know that we are technology savvy. We told the world, that was fearful of the unknown Internet, the Malaysian government would never censor the Internet. Why? Because we are so ahead of others.

Today, we pay our bills on line, do our banking on the Internet, and check in and out using our mobile phones.

The Najib Administration has introduced entry points and high-income goals to keep with the times. The government pays companies like millions to make it convenient for Malaysians to execute transactions, settle bills, etc.

And suddenly you need a typewriter to fill up a form for bringing in a small item into the country?

How ironical can we be?"

I'll have to agree with Rocky.

I mean, what's our excuse? It's not so much filling up forms because some people may not have computers to fill up forms online or the fact that server/internet breakdown occurs ever so frequently, and so forth.
But, insisting that we have to have forms typewritten is ridiculous.

Something's not right here. The leaders saying one thing and the civil servants doing another.

Cross wavelengths, eh?

I think the government should look into this problem.

I know the problem because someone I know is faced with it.

You don't know that it's a problem because you're not faced with it, yet.

I'll tell ya...this is embarrassing.
Do you know where people are asked to get their forms typed out?

"Pergi cari itu petition writer bawah pokok di luar mahkamah-mahkamah..."

Can you imagine that?

I have fond memories of my good ole Olivetti and Remington. One was "robbed" from me by an armed robber/car hijacker (this is true) way back in 1982 and the other is somewhere in my storeroom at home.

Where it will remain.

So, people in government. Fix this, won't you!

Either, make typewriters widely available in government departments to make it convenient for clients (yes, we are the government's clients) to fill up the forms (tough, almost impossible and nearly crazy measure, this) OR just get rid of the requirement to have those forms typewritten. Duuh!
Be 21st century-lah!

And no, silly. I'm not being petty.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Talk

We are all so saddened by news reports that 27 people were killed when the double-decker bus they were in overturned and crashed into a rocky slope along the Simpang Pulai-Kampung Raja road, about 15km from Kuala Lumpur, yesterday (Monday).

It is the worst road accident in the country.

It is happening again.

How many times have we learnt that the driver of an ill-fated bus was slapped with X number of summons, that the bus was carrying more passengers than allowed, or that the bus was not road-worthy?

Right now, we do not have a clue what happened -- whether the driver who was among those killed, was speeding and lost control of the bus, or fell asleep and for that nano second of slumber crashed into the divider ...or whether the road was slippery, or the bus had a faulty brake.... We don't know.

What we do know is that a hell of a lot of people were killed in that single crash. That bus crash was not the first, and I'm sure is not the last.

I don't know about this particular bus driver. But I have seen express buses speeding on the highway.

But you know what I mean. A lot of Malaysian motorists and drivers are a very selfish and reckless lot.
They make illegal u-turns along highways, they beat traffic lights, they weave in and out of traffic in a very dangerous manner, they overtake other vehicles at nasty spots...

You know, you don't have to go out to the highway...just around your neighbourhood roads and you can see that bad attitude among our motorists.

And motorists will continue with that attitude because they know they can get away with it. Our traffic enforcement is not regular and consistent. I'm not going to make a sweeping statement that our traffic policemen are corrupt so that's why motorists dare go about their reckless ways. But the fact is that those reckless motorists do dare go about their reckless ways.

Our roads are generally good. I have been a motorist long enough to conclude that Malaysian drivers are impatient and if they can break any traffic rule, they will, without a care.

I laugh when I see cones lined up along the some roads to prevent motorists from making turns over double-lines where they shouldn't. You see, Malaysian drivers don't have respect for double lines, or any traffic sign that indicates "no".

I think our roads have the most number of speed-breakers and road humps in the entire world! Even in our neighbourhood roads. Can you imagine that and what it says of us?

I don't know what the L-drivers learn in driving schools. But I think L-drivers should learn more than traffic signs. They should learn about good driving and good atittude and respect for human lives.

You know...there was a time when buses were the transport of choice for long journeys. Not any more.

But the truth is, for so many people, buses are still the only mode of transport they can afford.

As for the road tragedy, the authorites willl just have to find out what happened, and work out ways to prevent more of such accidents from happening.

And there must be a will and a commitment to make sure that whatever measures taken, will be effective and long-term.

They Just Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To..

KUALA LUMPUR: Most young doctors are known to shy away from postings at hospitals outside the Klang Valley or capital cities, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.

Noting this current trend of preferring to be based in big centres, he said the young doctors were known to appeal against postings outside the big cities.

With this kind of attitude, it was impossible to provide equitable medical service for the Malaysian population, he said.

"Young doctors must, therefore, be ready and capable of adapting to serve in areas needed by the public to create an equal distribution of healthcare.

"It is crucial for future generations of doctors to have greater understanding of the expectations of the rakyat, not only in the city but also nationwide so that the people could enjoy accessible and affordable healthcare to keep them in optimal health.

"Unfortunately, not many of our young doctors today are ready for this challenge due to the fast changing modern and technological society," he said in his keynote address at the inaugural Pre-Medical Student Conference 2010 organised by Kolej Mara Banting at the Prince Court Medical Centre here yesterday.

Dr Ismail's speech was delivered by the Health Ministry's disease control deputy director, Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar.

Quoting examples, the Health D-G said there was still an inequitable distribution of doctors between the rural and urban areas as well as the public and private sectors, where some clinics in Sabah and Sarawak were still manned by medical assistants.

The one-day conference, attended by 107 participants from Kolej Mara Banting and other institutes, was aimed at preparing medical students for the challenges of the medical world. -- Bernama.


So..why do you want to be a doctor, then?

Lonely No More....

Last Saturday (Dec 18) Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud married a (very much younger) Lebanese woman in a very private and closely guarded ceremony in Kuching.

The name of the CM's new wife is still not known. Sources say that she used to be a flight attendant and is 28 years old, although this (her age) has not been confirmed. Some reports just said that she is in "her 30s".

Lucky devil the CM is, I tell you.

Anyway, the akad nikah was held at the groom's official residence in Jalan Demak in Kuching and attended by family members, close relatives and friends.Their union was solemnised by state mufti Kipli Yassin at 9.30pm, followed by a short bersanding session.

The very private affair had about 200 guests.

The chief minister's press secretary, Amin Sahmat declined to disclose any details about the bride or the wedding except to say that an announcement would be made later, and that a wedding reception would be held next month.

Taib has been single since his wife, Laila died of cancer, in April last year.

They had been married since 1959 and have four children ( all older than the bride).

See the reports HERE, HERE

Well -- all I can say is -- Selamat Pengantin Baru!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Construction of RM36bil MRT To Begin Next July

This is what the Prime Minister announced today.

Najib Razak said the Cabinet yesterday (Friday) approved the implementation of a mass rapid transit system for Kuala Lumpur.

It is the largest infrastructure project in Malaysia and is one of the economic entry points identified in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley National Key Economic Area under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme.

Construction work to begin in July next year, is scheduled to be completed in about five or six years.

The MRT is expected to improve public transport in the Klang Valley and generate 130,000 jobs during its construction.

It is also expected to generate gross national income of between RM3bil and RM4bil per annum from 2011 to 2020 from direct construction and operations and another RM8bil and RM12bil as a result of its multiplier impact.

Marriage Really Does Settle Men Down seems.

According to a new (yet another) study, that is. But, of course. A new study.

That's why marriage is called "settling down". Ho hum!

So, this study finds that men with a wedding ring are likely to engage in fewer aggressive or illegal behaviors than single men, both "because nicer men are more likely to get married and because marriage settles men down."

Oh well... you read it all HERE.

You don't have to believe everything you read, though. I'm sure another new study will follow this one and the findings would probably be different.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Domestic Violence

A Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia team is carrying out a nationwide online survey on domestic violence.

Why don't you take part.

Here's the link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We're Competent, Man. Very Competent!

Prime Minister Najib Razak gave an assurance to investors today that Malaysia is run by very competent politicians.

He said this when opening AUO Sunpower Corporation Sdn Bhd's manufacturing plant in Alor Gajah.

Take the US$600mil (RM1.88bil) investment, for example. That money is to set up the world's largest solar panel manufacturing plant.

A good example of "effective partnership" between the federal government, state government and foreign investors, Najib remarked.

The plant, which covers 108,000sq m, is a joint venture between US-based Sunpower Corporation and Taiwanese company AOU.

It will be able to produce more 1,400 megawatts of high-efficiency solar cells annually by 2013 and will employ 4,000 workers and engineers.

Of course, there are lots more examples.

So there, you Kiasu people!

Please Call Us KITA ...

...and it will be changed from an all-Muslim party to a multi-racial one soon.

Zaid Ibrahim, the newly-installed Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (AKIM), told this to reporters after its AGM at the Tropicana Golf and Country Club today .

Also, Zaid wants the name of the party changed to Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (KITA).

He has submitted an application to the Registrar of Society for the name change.

The newly-minted party president also said that he would announce the party's new idealogy and principles on Jan 19.

Zaid Ibrahim Is Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (AKIM) President...

Ooh, pandai nya Zaid. Join parti nyamuk di Kelantan, lepas tu terus jadi presiden!

He became AKIM president without so much as a flutter... at its annual general meeting at Tropicana Golf and Country Club (in Zaid's neighbourhood) today.

Ordinarily, the media would give the event a pass, you know, AKIM is not on people's radar.
But since everyone had got to know that Zaid had become a member and was going to be its president, it's something that you've gotta see.

Zaid easily took over from incumbent Zakaria Salleh who did not contest the seat.

How Zaid got Zakaria to move aside, well, I ain't telling. Your guess is as good as mine. And Zakaria is a very happy man.

But, I hear, there's a leadership problem there between Zakaria and Hanafi Mamat who still claims to have legitimate right over the party's presidency.

Now, it's Zaid's problem. But I hear Zaid's got it all under control. He thinks Hanafi has no case at all.

Still, I wish Zaid -- good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zaid Ibrahim Has Joined Akim...(Akim?)

Oh, it's a little-known party in Kelantan. It's full name is the Malaysian People’s Justice Front.

And with Zaid Ibrahim as a member, it will not be little-known no more. That's a promise.

Its president Zakaria Salleh said today Zaid - former Umno, former Parti Keadilan Rakyat member -- joined the party last month.

Zaid's resignation from PKR took effect on Nov 19.

How timely. Zaid may even want to be its president. Akim is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday to elect a new leadership.

Zakaria may even offer to move aside to give way to Zaid.

Wikileaks ....Why We should Just Chill....

How exciting and deliciously vicarious to read stuff about what was said by some diplomats about foreign leaders and sovereign heads. Among other things.

And what good ole USA was up to. Confirms what we all think about US leaders, and American diplomats. Just like them spy books and movies.

Yep. Shame on you, America, for all those lies about Iraq, Afghanistan the world. We knew you were lying. Wikileaks only confirmed it.

And now, it's for all to see -- how the US is handling freedom of information, freedom of the Press and all manner of freedom(s).

The US simply cannot. The world's biggest hypocrite.

(Look what they've done and doing to Julian Assange? )

Oh. Wikileaks. You game-changer. How you have re-defined diplomacy and the landscape of freedom.

And such tittle tattle. Such gossip, courtesy, Wikileaks. Those opinions. Anyway, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, flawed or otherwise.

And diplomats are supposed to be sending their two cents worth on important people and the political situation of the countries in which they are posted, to their bosses back home. That's part of the job, if not their main job.

Whatever the tittle-tattle is worth, it has caused much embarrassment to some people. That's as far as it gets.

The next time you're with an American diplomat, you know what to do. Feed him or her with your God-honest opinions. Or not...

More than 250,000 diplomatic and embassy cables obtained by Wikileaks, surely something must be said about Malaysia. Surely.

And by no other less then Kiasu Singapura. Were you surprised? Heavens, no!

Let the diplomats from both sides, work it all out. Can't wait to see how that is.

Then there was this.

The thing is -- what was said may not be the truth. They're people's opinions. They're not the gospel truth. Even if it's from Singapore's minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

So, you may feel ever so slighted and infuriated. Like this. Sure, you tell him, guys!

Don't get so defensive. Like this,

You can have a positive effect. Like this. But you don't have to believe them..

Anyway, no point in getting worked up.

Just chill, and relax.