Friday, September 28, 2012

Call It What You Want -- It's A Damn Dahsyat Budget...

"This Government has never promised the moon, the stars or the galaxy. We have never painted a pretty picture based on wishful thinking. As a responsible Government, we continue to speak the truth even though it may be unpleasant. We have never misled to the rakyat with tall tales. On the other hand, we have always offered solutions and provided good leadership to every problem faced by the rakyat.": Najib Razak

They call it an election budget. Can't blame them for labelling it so, because it is the last one before the next general election.

Be that as it is whatever you want to call it..

Najib's critics, adversaries, enemies and what have you can try all they want to trash and thrash the Budget 2013...well...they can try.. but I talked to so many people...including those non-lovers of the BN and they say that Najib's really nailed it...'s got something for everyone. Okay, almost everyone...
Come on -- from the pre-schooler to the retireee/senior citizen.
Maybe the PM left out the mega/super-rich. Hurray..

But really, who's left out? Who has been excluded? And if you've been left out, you will suffer?

And for me -- as a mother, as a working woman and as, well, a woman -- it's got so much for me. tax relief, and for the kids and then for my kids' present and future and mammogram.. Yippee..

Of course, of course....they'll try to tear it down to pieces. Good luck.

Read the Budget 2013 HERE.

P.S: I'll not stop wishing for a good health plan for the rakyat...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Budget 2013....

It's that time of year again. Everyone's all bracing to know what's in store -- what's going up, what's going down.. Where are we getting more, and where are we getting the cuts.

Everyone's going to call it an election budget because well, the general election will be held soon...and "soon" is subjective. "Soon" to us may not be "soon": to the Prime Minister, or vice versa. But at the Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok exhbition booth yesterday, Najib was sporting enough to scribble "coming soon" on the board where people were asked to continue from what was written "I think the 13th GE is on...."

So, yes...your guess is as good as mine.. Which means we'll keep on guessing. And we've run out of "windows" etc...

Anyway, in the weeks and days before the Budget announcement, we, essentially...want to know what the goodies are. Yep..better believe and I and the rest of the country are just interested in the goodies...

But, cutting to the chase -- I know what I'd like to see in the Budget. As a Malaysian -- and like other Malaysians -- I worry about the rising cost of living. Rising costs of food, petrol and so forth. So, I'd hate to see rising costs of all these things that will cause hardship to me and my children.

People are talking about the needs and wants of the urban middle class -- particularly in buying houses.. The buzzword is "affordable" homes.

It's like this -- the rich can take care of themselves and the poor are taken care of already. But this UMC (urban middle class) group...They're pretty neglected. Somehow, people (read:the government) forget to include them.

Take housing -- this group does not qualify for low-cost houses and those they can afford are in faraway and unattractive locations, sometimes not worth the buy. And those in attractive locations are way beyond their means.

Although I'm lucky to have been able to buy a house in a good location (bought it in 1985, so yes...I'm lucky and finished loan payment..Thank God)...I can't say the same for today's working middle class who want to buy homes. These houses aint affordable these days...They're really expensive...

So yeah..I'm thinking about my kids when they're starting out on their own. Work, marriage,family, home ownership, you know.
Can they ever afford to buy their own homes. I suppose it's a case of beggars can't be choosers... But that is so sad...Those affordable homes for them are in  some God forsaken location..

So, yes...this will be a real challenge for the government to address. But I'm hoping there's something there on affordable homes.

My wishlist would be in three other areas very close to my heart as a Malaysian -- education, health and security (keselamatan -- as in fighting crime)...not necessarily in that order because all are equally important.

I must stress that in my old age, I am so concerned about health -- as in the cost of health and medical treatment.

Because of the over-crowdedness in government and public hospitals, people opt for private health care. It's okay for those still working and their health and medical treatment is  covered by the employers.

But good quality health care is expensive. 

I've always found it interesting that in my youthful working days, I was never hospitalised for any illness, except twice for maternity (delivering my two kids).

Thank God, I have health insurance which I took when I began my working life.

Imagine those people who retire and do not have health insurance. You know, the older you get the higher premium you have to pay. And when you start getting all those ailments, you may not even get your insurance application approved.

So, I suppose the best thing for Malaysians to do is to take care of their health...which for so many, is easier said than done.'s hoping that the budget will be a good 'un. (And heard that it will be)

and also THIS

Did This Really Happen?

I read with disbelief a report about a group of armed men who stormed into a showroom, overpowered 2 guards and fled with cash and new cars in Bandar Sungai Long, near Kajang early Tuesday morning.
They security guards were unarmed. The robber tied them up before fleeing with an undisclosed sum of money and five Honda cars worth over RM500,000.
There were about 15 of them, armed with parang and axes.

According to news reports, the guards freed themselves and called the police at about 7pm.
Kajang Deputy OCPD Supt Azman Ayob told reporters that the robbers spent more than three hours ransacking the premises and breaking into the showroom office to steal the money.

They then drove off in the cars three Honda Accords, a Honda CRV and a Honda Civic all without registered number plates.
The police are now going through the CCTV footage to assist in investigations.
The showroom started operations last year.

If this happened the way it was told, I am so dismayed. Can you imagine if this same group robs another showroom or a restaurant...? There is every likelihood. It's just a matter of when and where.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. It's not so much that they stole the vehicles and cash... but the fact  that 15 (or more) of them grouped together to commit the crime and, of course, got away with it.

I hope the police have already got leads...


Hypocritical Rant by Foreign Agents

Oh yeah. If you're got funds from foreign bodies, nothing to be guilty about. In fact no reason for you to hide that fact.

If you're getting the monies to do some job for your financiers, that's ok too.
You want to bring down the government?  Hey that's okay too. But say so.
This is a democracy. You have the right to bring down a government you do not like. But as an NGO, don't pretend you're not doing it when you are really doing it.

(source: The NST)

BETTER UNDERSTANDING: A new perspective on anti-government rhetoric following revelations of foreign funding
by Asmi Anshar

A HANDFUL of non-government organisations and a pro-opposition news website were reported to have accepted financial grants from foreign benefactors, and that the funding was the impetus for a slew of outrageous accusations and skewed reports against government leaders, the prime minister in particular, in recent years.
Upfront, it's quite all right to suck in this kind of money, especially in this era of global economic uncertainty and squeezed funds, for altruistic goals. Some look to government aid, others depend on private local sponsors, such as banks and wealthy corporations, while a selected number are chosen by foreign bodies to carry out benevolent programmes.
Every outfit, whether left or right, charitable or activist-minded, needs patrons with a liberal chequebook. But in doing so, some fail to live up to the simple rule of accepting money from foreign donors: be up-front about the money and be straightforward in rationalising the objectives.
For example, if you get money from a certain foreign government or billionaire, then say so from the beginning instead of shrouding the real intent with surreptitious red herrings like "pro-freedom" and "pro-democracy".
If your aim is to flummox the already toxic political atmosphere with your pro-opposition news reports and commentaries, say so, too, instead of pretending to be the mother of all free press, particularly when your editors once blatantly told voters to choose the opposition instead of voting with their inner conscience, as all independent press would do.
The outcome of these pretensions is clear: the reenactment of an age-old deception, the wolf in sheep's clothing, coming to mind as these NGOs' equivocal funding is exposed for the absurd but not laughable attempt at re-colonisation, the kinds infamously chronicled by ex-covert operatives of foreign spook agencies.
Instead of standing up by whatever political convictions they profess, the NGOs blame the messenger, the national newspapers, which exposed their duplicity. These NGOs tag team with their political mentors, supporters and apologists, vilifying the messenger's so-called "bad faith" reporting and hopping around the fact that they were caught wearing the "foreign agent" mask.
If a reporter asks the straight-to-the-gut question like: "Are you aware that by taking money from foreign donors, you are becoming their agents?", the NGOs' instinct would be not to explain rationally, but to scream bloody murder, legal action or something obfuscating like the "money is not related to our street demonstrations".
Ah... the language of the hypocrite.
The national newspapers are used to these hysterics: they've been so banned, blacklisted and sued by deluded opposition leaders and their ilk who can't see beyond their "undemocratic noses".
But the highfalutin high moral ground perched by many government critics won't see this as an affront to press freedom because it is free speech only if their own kind highlighted the corruption, but bad faith if the likes of the New Straits Times or Utusan Malaysia reported their putrefaction.
Ironically, these critics were unwittingly misreported by a certain website sympathetic to them, but highly critical of the prime minister.
In rapid succession, a Singapore-based foreign scholar was miffed that her remarks at a forum were misreported as, heaven forbid, endorsing Malaysian government initiatives, while the daughter of a certain ex-prime minister was equally miffed that a NGO she once led was said to have received the same foreign funds, but in her operative words "never during her time", a benefit of doubt she will be given. It's nice to know that these critics can remonstrate against a news website sympathetic to their rants for misreporting.
It's also good to know that their beef with the media is not confined to just the national newspapers. So, perhaps the scholar and the ex-prime minister's daughter could also put in a good word to certain opposition leaders to mitigate their anti-national press demagoguery and just be even-handed regarding all forms of reporting, good or bad.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teen Pregnancy On The Rise

This is alarming.

(The Star)

KLANG: More Malaysian teenage girls are getting pregnant, with a major hospital recording at least one case every day.

According to Dr Mohamad Farouk Abdullah, senior consultant and head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital here, about 14% of the 12,000 babies delivered annually at the hospital were by teenage mothers with many of them unwed.

“We thought such numbers of teen pregnancies were only in Klang, but I am also hearing of similar scenarios in the other six specialist hospitals in Selangor,” he added.

“The youngest girl to give birth at our hospital was a 12-year-old girl,” Dr Mohamad Farouk said at the “Pregnant by Choice, Not by Chance or Force” seminar. It was organised by the hospital in conjunction with its Family Planning month.

The Health Ministry recorded 18,652 births by girls below the age of 19 last year compared with 5,962 in the second half of 2010.

Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital's medical social welfare officer Nurul Azira Mahamad Jafar said she had been handling at least one case of an unwed mother every working day of this year.

“The highest number of referrals I have had in a day so far was 14. These are our children who are pregnant in their teens,” said Nurul Azira, who has been handling cases of unwed mothers as well as rape and sex abuse victims at the hospital for the past six years.
Most of the pregnant girls are referred to the hospital by clinics.
This is because teenage pregnancies are considered “high-risk cases”. A teenager is twice more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth complications than women in their 20s.
Most of the girls come to the hospital complaining of discomfort such as stomachache and spotting.

 The rest of the story here.

Read this article too.


Cameras installed in 14 hot or "black"spots in Perak, Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur to catch speedsters and motorists beat the traffic lights begin operation today.

This is under the first phase of the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Ten of the cameras are to catch speed limit breakers and four to catch those who jump traffic lights.
 More cameras will be installed at 817 blackspots in the second phase, which will see a nationwide implementation of the AES.

The government is hopeful that doing this would help reduce the number of road fatalities.
Now this is nice. The NST reported that in Perak, 90 per cent of the 106 who volunteered for the Territorial Army on Friday were Chinese.
 It's a fact that the community is not known to be so hot about joining the armed forces for several reasons.
But this is good.
This was not lost on army chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkefli Zainal Abidin who pointed out that race had never been the criterion for recruitment or promotions.

The NST said Zulkefli could not help but express his awe at the high number of Chinese youth joining the Territorial Army.

 Read the rest of the article here....
I know my sister, Nina, skipped this page in the papers or turned off the TV when the news about this was on.

Nina always tells me --"alaa...apa lah Kak Ena ni"...everytime I hold her newborn (she delivered Sofea Helena last month). She has 5 children now. Because I will look at her newborn and never fail to utter " could people do this to their babies..." Of course e I never get to finish my sentence because Nina would have this pained look...and besides, I would also stop as images of dead newborns play in my head.\

I have written about this topic -- of unwed mothers dumping their babies, in some cases killing them because they fear their families would find out  and the repercussions of that. These women are Muslims. Well, that's a fact.

Here's the news report that was published on Monday Sept 17.

A NEWBORN baby girl, believed to be a day old, was found sprawled on the ground floor of Block One of the Desa Mentari Apartment here yesterday morning.
The baby, whose umbilical cord was still attached, was believed to have been thrown from the third floor of the apartment.
She was discovered around 11am by passers-by who alerted the police.
Eyewitness Juandi Mat, 35, said he was repairing his motorcycle when he heard something hit the ground.
"At first, I didn't think much of it because residents here like to throw garbage from the top floors, but one of the residents who was standing next to me said that it was a baby.
"I didn't believe him and hoped that it was just a doll.
"But when I went to check, I was shocked to see the baby sprawled face down on the floor in a pool of blood," said the lorry driver.
District police chief Assistant Commissioner Arjunaidi Mohamed said a female suspect, in her 20s, was picked up for questioning.
"We are investigating this case under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
"The motive has yet to be determined."

The young mother is in remand and her boyfriend has been arrested.

I cannot begin to describe the horror of it all. What must have possessed her to throw her baby out like that.

Actually, I know. I can just imagine. So overcome with shame that diminished her mentally.

We, as a society, have failed her. We judge girls like her. And we punish them.