Friday, October 29, 2010

Universal Service Provision -- Money Well Spent?

Here's the thing -- the other day, Information, Communication and Culture Deputy Minister Joseph Salang Gandum seemed not to know much about the Universal Service Provision (USP), an issue raised by Wangsa Maju MP Wee Chee Keong .

The Malay Mail had the story on Oct 25.

In fact, Joseph said the fund had not yet been spent.

Which is interesting because yesterday (Thursday Oct 28), Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commision (MCMC) chairman Khalid Ramli was asked on the size of the USP fund and how much was left.

Listen to this: Khalid said the cumulative fund for the USP from 2006 was RM4 billion, based on an annual contribution of about RM800 million.

He added that most of the funds had been used for the construction of telecommunication towers and community communication centres, as well as for operational expenses.

According to Khalid, as of yesterday, there was about RM400 million left in the USP fund.

(The NST report HERE)

Now you do the math.

Money well spent?

Privacy Pirates

The Malay Mail published a report on privacy pirates: people (companies) who sell personal data of individuals -- from ordinary folk to celebrities, businessmen and ministers.

It's big business. They sell the data for prices in the range of RM1,200 to RM5,000.

According to the MM, "the high-end databases were mainly obtained from property developers while the credit card database is from financial institutions and market research agencies.

"As for telco records, we source it daily from various telecommunications providers and middle-men."

Now, let me tell you the source of the supply of data and information.

From stores, shops, eateries, petrol stations etc etc... you know all the forms that you fill up to be a card member of this and that to get discounts -- departmental store, petrol, favourite coffee shop, favourite restaurant DISCOUNT CARDS.

How freely and blithely we fill up these forms, furnishing them with our addresses, phone numbers and INCOME level.

Now -- that is where all those data originate.

But I'm sure you know that.

Very pricey info.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can Puteri Umno Be A Trendsetter?

Is Puteri Umno in danger of growing old before its time?

Really sad that this question has to be asked. Puteri Umno was formed out of necessity, whose time had come when Umno needed more young women.
Yes, even then, the Umno leadership was pushing for reform, reinvention, rejuvenation and revitalisation of the party to be relevant to not just the Malays but Malaysians.

Puteri Umno's founding leader Azalina Othman Said is, well, a hard act to follow.

She had so much passion, leading the nascent movement to become quite a force.
Her successor Noraini Ahmad inherited a strong movement but failed to take it further. She so paled in comparison, which, I must admit, is really not a fair comparison.

But then, it really does not get any better. Puteri Umno, under its current leader Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, does not shine at all.

Really. Any party, movement, body or organization is a reflection of its leadership.

Right now, Puteri Umno is dull and insipid. In a pause mode.

In the initial period, the movement had to fight off allegations that it was trying to upstage the Wanita with talk that Azalina and the then Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz were not on good terms.

In fact, Puteri Umno was accused of being "biadap" or "kurang ajar", showing little respect to the more senior and experienced Wanita.

Petty, you say. But pettiness, in politics, can find its way to centre stage. It gets column inches in the newspapers and airtime on radio and TV. And in cyberspace?

Rafidah, predictably, denied any bad blood between Azalina and Wanita and convincingly expressed her support for the younger leader and Puteri. Azalina denied that Puteri was trying to upstage Wanita and firmly stated that this new kid on the block had all the respect for Wanita.

All that is history.

Besides, Puteri members have graduated to become Wanita members. And the cycle continues.

Today, it is being asked whether Puteri Umno is doing what its raison d'etre dictates.

No doubt that in its nascent years, it did a good job of attracting young women to be members and played active roles in the general elections and by-elections.
These pretty girls in pink were no pushovers.

So, today, can Puteri Umno be what Rosnah wants it to be -- to be a trendsetter not a trend follower to gain due respect for its struggle which represents the younger generation?

Well, Rosnah -- you have to show the way. You have to be a trendsetter because you are what your wing or movement is.

But you know, the issue really shouldn't even arise.

Puteri Umno should already be leading the way for young Malaysians in helping to improve society.....

Just to update: Today is the end of the three-day Umno general assembly which was held at the Putera World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, October 15, 2010


ok there'll be the naysayers...but heck -- no rise in toll rates at PLUS highways for the next five years. That's good news.

But that Warisan Malaysia including a 100-storey tower for KL? Hmmm... to rival Petronas Twin Towers? Or simply because we can.

But wait...didn't they complain and criticize the KL Tower and PTT projects those days?

Anway, at this moment, the PM is delivering his Budget speech.

Here's NST pre-Budget report.

Will update later


Here's the PM's Budget speech.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Police Report Against Rocky's Bru and Two Others

I'm thinking -- apasal lah Rais Yatim (Menteri Penerangan, Kommunikasi dan Kebudayaan) buat laporan polis terhadap Rocky's Bru, Bigdogdotcom dan Taikors and Taikuns (TnT) mengenai posting RM1billion grant kepada 9 syarikat untuk mempertingkatkan broadband access seluruh negara.

Rais told the Malay mail on Monday that all the allegations about his son being one of the beneficiaries of the grant are not true and he was going to lodge a police report against the blogs.

You know, I read Rocky's Bru, BigDog's and TnT. mention of his son. Rocky's posting " Who Gets Santa Rais' RM1billion Handout?" made no mention of his son but of a "rumour" about "a minister's son" being part of the companies, and then made a link to BigDog's posting "2.6GHz Spectrum: Transparency Is the Way To Go" which did not accuse Rais' son of being a beneficiary of the grant. In fact, BigDog talked about a rumour that a close family member of Rais had lobbied for a share of the grant.

Rumour sahaja, tau. BigDog said he did not believe the rumour to be true because Rais is a respected Cabinet member.

So, BigDog's contention is that when you have this big a grant, you should be tranparent so that you leave no room for such rumours and speculations.

Why...I agree. Absolutely.

TnT made no mention at all of Rais' son, except to borrow Rocky's heading on "Santa Rais" and linked to BigDog's posting.

TnT responded to Rais' police report:
"Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Seri Rais Yatim
had made a statement that TnT was making allegations of our teaser posting. Readers would note that our teaser remains, well a teaser. Our sourced story carried made no allegations of the Minister, and points rather to Wimax launches and POSSIBILITY of added licenses.
We welcome any investigations for transparency, and can be reached at our official email:
TnT shall publish all articles it receives upon verification, and GUARANTEES the anonymity of our source."

So... overreacting to the blog postings and ending up making a frivolous police report.

We complain about the police not doing their job. Well, I think we ought to blame ourselves for taking away the police from doing their job. Honestly!

Anyway...Rocky, as we are speaking now, is at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), giving his statement.

So, "Wassup, Minister", Rocky asks in his latest posting .

Chill and chill out-lah.